Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Bad+Ronald+title+bigger.jpg (968×278)
Directed by Buzz Kulik
74 mins.  Color.
Warner Archive DVD

Bad Ronald shouldn't have buried Carol after he accidentally killed her.  His mom shouldn't have recommended that he hide.  But, if that had been the case, then there would have been no Bad Ronald, and that would've been a shame.

Bad Ronald's birthday is celebrated the day before they celebrate his mother's divorce to his father.  They celebrate with chocolate cake.  Afterwards, Ronald wants to go to a double feature with Laurie, but it so happens that Laurie sucks and only likes football players.  Carol is riding her bike by Laurie's house and makes this point clear to Ronald.  Afterward, Ronald pie-faces Carol in disgust and Carol bonks her noggin on a cinderblock, rendering her, well, dead.  Thus is born the film with the best title of all time.

bad_ronnie.jpg (582×724)Originally made as a TV Movie, this little gem is truly special.  I can't even imagine how awesome it would have been to have come home from school and seen this movie on TV?

Well, anyway, Bad Ronald's mom prefers that Bad Ronald not get the electric chair, so she comes up with a hair-brained scheme to wall off one of the spare rooms in the house and create a secret room for Bad Ronald to hide in day and night.  While it's not clear what the end game here is, it becomes a short-term fix that makes for some fascinating interactions through pantry wall.  Mom is pretty set on Bad Ronald getting his exercise and keeping up with his studies.

Whatever the original plan, things get very complicated once Mom needs a gall bladder operation.  A seemingly simple operation turns deadly and leaves Bad Ronald locked in the new secret room of the house with no news or supplies.

Apparently there are no legal hoops to jump through and the bank moves quickly to get a new family into the house, making things rather complicated for Bad Ronald.

The dinner table scene is incredible...

The Evaluation:
For what it is, this movie is the sweetest.  At a brisk 74 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome for a minute.  The outlandish scheme that Ronald and his mother come up with is so ridiculous and surprising that it's very refreshing.  Outside of the evil nosy neighbor, it's played completely straight.  Performances and production is pretty great and the story is completely unique.  Wes Craven, rip-off artist, managed to steal the last act for his People Under the Stairs (which is also crazy awesome, if you haven't seen it.)  If you love little well made obscurities, hunt down a copy of BAD RONALD.

Set Yourself Up:

  • Procure some evaporated milk, dried fruit, and other non-expiring foods.
  • Put yourself in a place to take it seriously.  If you go into this hoping for a laugh a minute trash film, you will be disappointed.  Its a well-produced, genuinely enjoyable film that should be taken seriously in its own right.
The Box:
About as skimpy a set-up as I've ever seen.  This is my first Warner Archive DVD and I was shocked that the menu consists of one button "play movie."  No scene selection, nothing.  But, no matter, I'm just thankful they put it out so I didn't need to shell out thirty-five dollars to buy the VHS.

- J. Moret
The clip below is sweet, but does contain spoilers:

Friday, December 27, 2013


lastslumberparty.png (580×467)

This week, Matt and John discuss the giant mess that is THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY.  This shot-on-video debacle divides us on whether the disastrous happenings are entertaining or tedious.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Interview with LEWIS JACKSON

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This week, I interview Lewis Jackson.  Jackson is the director of CHRISTMAS EVIL (aka YOU BETTER WATCH OUT).  His film is a fascinating and genre-breaking masterwork that is now a mainstay for me every year.  We talk about body horror pornography, how his film was financed by the Mafia and Communists, Fassbinder and his take on what Friday the 13th Part 3 woud've been if he had written it.

Check out this episode!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Wake-in-Fright.jpg (528×755)

Directed by Ted Kotcheff
108 mins.  Color.
Blu-Ray from Drafthouse Films

The Outback may be a sub-par steakhouse, but it's also a place in the wilds of Australia where drinking beer is serious business.  I was in Ukraine once, and there was a certain pressure to finish all of your food, no matter how full and vomitous you feel at the time. I got big time diarrhea.  It was not awesome. The outback is that way with beer.  Its' the social currency that all bonds grow out of.

Wake in Fright is the kind of film that makes you feel trapped.  It captures you and never lets go.  It has a surreal, nightmarish quality that has sat with me ever since I first saw it.  Images of a garish and giant Santa Clause ho-ho-hoing over the town square, a horrifying Kangaroo hunt, and unrelenting heat and dust feel completely overwhelming.

When you grow up in a small town, you understand the idea of a large claustrophobia.  The sense of being trapped in small town that you feel too big for is a feeling like no other.  Its' a strangling, suffocating sensation.  At the same time, it goes both ways.  Those who feel comfortable in the small place, have a sense of fear that others will move on, or think they are better than those who stay.  That deep division seems to be at the heart of the city / town divide.

In Australian terms, Sarah Palin would call Bundanyabba (The Yabba) the REAL Australia.  But, John Grant wants to head back to "civilization."  He simply cannot adapt to the ways of the Yabba.  Tortured by the outback, he's insolent to the locals, dismayed by their unquestioning loyalty to the Yabba, and easily drunk.  He has no understanding of the brutality of the games they play (whether it be gambling, kangaroo hunting or simply drinking beer).  Thinking he's above it all, he underestimates it and finds himself trapped.  He's currently a teacher, bound to the educational system until he can pay a sum of one thousand dollars.  So, he bets his semester's earnings at the local games and loses it all and is forced to stay in the Yabba.  He commiserates with Donald Pleasance (Doc) on his hatred for the Yabba and gets this brilliant response, "All the little devils are proud of hell.  Discontent is the privilege of the well-to-do.  If you've got to live here, you might as well like it."  I've never heard a more perfect description of the ways in which we over-glorify our situations to make ourselves feel good about them.

One of my existential nightmares is a night out on the town with the "boys."  And, that is exactly what the locals (Dick and Joe) see in John.
"What's the matter with him?  He'd rather talk to a woman than drink?"
And, so, they proceed to educate him.  In a turn of spinning camera shots and jagged cuts, he ends up in Doc's little shack and the existential odyssey takes continual turns for the worse.  Kangaroo gruel and beer for breakfast and Pleasance's sheer madness bring the tone to a fevered dream.

Wake in Fright is a masterpiece.  It's a perfect film.  The photography is stark and striking.  Taking place over the Christmas holiday, it has quickly become one of the best Christmas movies I've ever seen.  It captures the fish-out-of-water nightmare of being a city kid being in with the tough guys.  Both introspective and exploitation, it is extremely engrossing and thought-provoking.  Along the same lines as Blue Velvet, it is an unforgettable experience.  Mostly notorious for its controversial Kangaroo hunting scene (which is hauntingly horrible), it really should have become known for its' fantastic script and performances.

wake-in-fright21.gif (627×350)
Losing it all.
The physical copy:
The process that a film like this takes is truly fascinating.  It went through multiple edits (The US and UK titles being Outback), that were quite different.  Damaged prints were carted around the world for decades.  The original negative went missing for years, only to be found again in 2000 at the Mountain Vaults in Pittsburgh.  (Near the Wampum Mine where they filmed Day of the Dead.)  A pain-staking digital restoration provide us with the current, and beautiful, version available from Drafthouse.

The disc also has some great special features:
Audio Commentary with Kotcheff
To the Yabba and Back - a documentary from Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood)
Q & A with Kotcheff
A report on the rediscovery and restoration
Weird segment in weird show, Who Needs Art?
Chips Rafferty's obituary
And a wonderful booklet with essays and photos 

-J. Moret

Thursday, December 19, 2013


This week, Matt and John discuss the 1984 Christmas slasher film, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT.  After watching his parents get brutally murdered by Santa Clause on a deserted highway, young Billy stocks toys during a wonderful montage and then shoots a co-worker in the back with a bow & arrow, and we rejoice.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or you can listen here:
Check out this episode!

-J. Moret

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr.
85 minutes.
Uncut and Uncensored

"You've made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas."

Silent Night, Deadly Night is one of the most notorious horror films of the 80’s. Before the movie was released, the PTA tried to ban it because the marketing depicted Santa Claus with an axe. Regardless, it was still released November 15th 1984. Upon it’s release, Siskel and Ebert (who at the time were notoriously against horror films) gave it a scathing review. On their show they listed off the names of the filmmakers, shaming them after each one listed. Siskel went on to say that all the money earned from this film was “blood money”. The film was released the same day as A Nightmare on Elm Street and managed to outperform the classic, earning #1 in the box office for that week. However, the following week the film was pulled from theaters due to more protesting. Bunch of assholes if you ask me.

Silent Night, Deadly Night is about a boy named Billy who, on Christmas Eve, witnesses his parent brutally murdered in front of his eyes by a psycho dressed as Santa Claus. He and his baby brother are then brought to an orphanage where one of the worst nuns in the history of film tries to raise them like good Christians. She is the fuckin’ WORST! She doesn’t believe in psychology one holy bit, so instead of helping Billy overcome the trauma that he suffered watching his parents murdered on Christmas eve she forces him to celebrate Christmas. He, of course, freaks the fuck out. One day he witnesses some orphans banging the shit out of each other in a room and the evil head nun finds him spying. She runs in the room and grabs a belt and spanks the sin out of the two fornicators. It’s the worst kind of kinky. She proceeds to tell Billy that what they did in that room was wrong and that they deserved to be punished. Well this totally fucks him up even more and by the time Billy turns 18 not only is he scared out of his mind by Santa Claus, he’s got weird sexual problems. On top of it all, the nun put into his head this messed up version of right & wrong and who deserves to be punished.
This penguin is a total bitch

Billy gets a job at a toy store with help from a nice nun (possibly the only nice character in the whole movie). Everything seems fine until on Christmas eve, the toy store Santa breaks his ankle and the manager tells Billy that he has to be Santa Claus for the rest of the day. That's when Billy starts to lose his shit. Once the store closes, the employees celebrate with a little party. After Billy consumes booze for the first time, he witnesses the girl that he has a crush on and an asshole coworker making out. They go into the back room and shit gets real when the dude basically tries to rape her. Billy wanders back there and sees this happening and because of a combination of the booze, the Santa Claus outfit and his messed up feelings about sex, he gets a giant murder boner and kills the would-be rapist. Instead of feeling grateful for Billy saving her, the crush immediately starts calling him a crazy bastard. I just don’t get it. This guy just saved you from getting raped and you’re mad about it? Well, she’s dies and so begins "Billy’s Santa Claus Christmas Rampage ‘85".

This flick is brutal. Throats getting slit, people getting shot, heads being chopped off. There’s a lot of standard slasher film deaths but they are really well done. They best death in the movie is Linnea Quigley’s. Oh, did I not mention that scream queen Linnea Quigley is in this movie? She is and that can only mean one thing: she gets naked. 
She answers the front door topless and is predictably attacked by Billy. She gets lifted up in the air and skewered onto the antlers of a stuffed deer head on the wall. It’s pretty awesome! Billy’s catchphrases when he murders are “PUNISH!” and “NAUGHTY!”. It’s hilarious in a way. He says those two words about a million times* (*a rough estimate) throughout the film. I guess it’s better than “HO! HO! HO!”.

The absolute best part of this movie happens in the very beginning of the movie. Billy and his family go and visit dear old grand dad in the Utah Mental Facility. Grandpa just so happens to be a total nut ball. He also is seemingly comatose. When the family leaves Billy alone with ol’ Gramps, the old coot tells Billy all about Christmas.

Grandpa’s acting in this scene is just phenomenal! That right there makes this movie for me.

Crazed, overprotective mothers didn’t want anyone to see this holiday horror classic and man, they were dumb for trying to do so. This movie is just as great as any of the Friday the 13th movies and should be considered a classic among the slasher genre. The PTA and Siskel & Ebert somehow pushed this movie out of the limelight it deserves but Anchor Bay lovingly restored it to it’s uncut and uncensored glory. It is fantastic. Hopefully you’ve been good all year round and maybe you’ll find this movie in your stocking. Happy Holidays!

-T. Reinert

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


This week I talk with Jesus Teran.  Jesus started Slasher Video in April of 2012 and has been working at break-neck pace to put out some of the most obscure and interesting Shot on Video stuff around.  Starting with the notorious and hilarious Death Nurse, he's managed to keep his titles interesting and make the releases look great.  Our conversations goes all over the place, as we talk about how he got started, the process of putting things out, and the dream titles he hopes to release.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or you can listen here:
Check out this episode!

Thanks for listening.
-J. Moret

Monday, December 16, 2013


Collecting Physical Media is a dying hobby.  Digital Media is becoming more overwhelming and prevalent all the time.  Streaming services offer what seems to be an unlimited amount of titles.  However, services like Netflix and Hulu are actually far more limited and temporary.  So, in our hunt to find interesting titles that can only be obtained physically, I offer you MUTANT.

The Description:
"The residents of the small midwestern town of Goodland casually go about their daily business.  (So far so good.  I'm from the midwest!  I go about my business!)  Unaware of the danger that lurks below.  At first the unusual disappearance of a few visitors goes unnoticed, then the reality of a threat becomes apparent as the once crowded streets suddenly become deserted.

BO HOPKINS and JENNIFER WARREN star in this ghoulish tale of toxic terror as a nearby chemical plant's illegal dumping of deadly wastes finally takes its toll, transforming its victims into crazed mutants who crave human blood to survive.

The bizaree, evil mutations must all somehow be killed, but what about the toxic threat - waiting in silent anticipation for its next victim?"

The Evaluation:
Mutant really sucks.  You look at that box and you think, "Wow, what a cool looking movie.  It's gonna be a big time Alien rip-off and it'll be super fun!"

That is not an accurate representation.  Even though BO HOPKINS is spelled in capital letters on the back and there is a description of a ghoulish tale and all, it still sucks.  

Matt and I started this one night, just wanting something fun we could sort of pay attention to and talk during.  To our dismay, this movie had basically no action.  I don't even remember it.  I think they got run off a road, and one pushed out a window and some weird creature made a guy fall asleep...  And, all that makes it sound WAY cooler than it really was. 

That being said, I still love this art.  Look at that big malformed beast with the weird teeth!  People are dirty on the back!  That description also makes it sound like, Alien on the Earth!

You know what's better than this?  ARENA: STEVE ARMSTRONG VS HORN.  Check that out.

- J. Moret

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Walt Disney Pictures
97 Minutes, Rated PG (for a few crude moments)

Also Known As:

Санта Клаус

With Christmas upon us, nothing reminds me of the worst Christmas of my entire life quite like THE SANTA CLAUSE. In fact, Tim Allen's trend of fame reflects the worst period of my entire life.

THE SATAN CLAUSE came out the same year my parents got divorced. I also had mononucleosis so bad that year I was referred to the Mayo Clinic. With Tim Allen being everywhere on TV, and with horrible mono all I could do was watch TV. I associate Tim the TOOLman with with the greatest of my first world problems.

"OHHHH NO (grunt style)!"


This isn't about Santa. IT'S A MOVIE ABOUT DIVORCE AND BEING A HORRIBLE FATHER! According to the movie, the only way a divorced father can be a good father is to BECOME SANTA CLAUS.

My Dad sucks. When my parents got divorced, he never took me to the north pole.

Anyway. Scott Calvin (Shithead Allen) is a terrible father. He's a workaholic (similar to my dad. . . oh wait, no, he was an alcoholic, apparently that's different). He never has time for his son Charlie.

While Charlie is at Scott's home for Christmas, they scare Santa. He falls off the roof and croaks. Now Scott has to take over the reigns of Jolly old Saint dick.

Rosewood, what have you done.
Taking on the role of Santa makes Scott look like a pedophile while trying to win a custody battle for his son. He loses custody of Charlie while blowing up like a toilet at high traffic KFC in Orlando. He gets ultra fat and his hair turns grey.

Then he convinces his ex-wife and Judge Reinhold that he really is Santa by giving them a wienie whistle. Now they love him and are perfectly ok with their 8 year old son flying around the globe with a dirty coked out fat guy.
It's as if Disney executives saw a USA Today story about how high divorce rates were getting and decided it would be cool if they could make a Christmas classic for the divorced kid demographic.

Christmas movies should never use child custody battles as a plot device. I realize that I may be being a bit overly sensitive about it. My life has been pretty good. However, my parent's divorce was the single most devastating event in my life. I don't want a damn Christmas movie reminding me of it every single year.

Even if I didn't have such cold experiences with life during this films initial run, I think I would still hate it. It's too much of a family drama. It reminds me of those VHS / after-school specials that came with worksheets to complete with your parents about subjects such as drugs, sex, divorce etc. They'd usually star Malcolm Jamal-Warner or things like this would happen:

There were two more movies in this series too. I can only imagine the horrors that await me when I inadvertently see one of those.

I apologize for the extreme negative tone of this review. I probably come off as a hateful bastard. But tell me honestly, do you think THE SANTA CLAUSE has any redeeming qualities aside from smiling and farting reindeer (Crude moments)?

- J. Hetfield

Friday, December 13, 2013


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This week, Matt and John discuss the films of Chester Novell Turner.  Turner is the director of the very obscure films, BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL and TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE.  At turns fascinating, morally reprehensible, hilarious, and thought provoking, his films are finally able to be found on a new release from Massacre Video.  Our discussion veers from misogyny in horror film to suicide, to really good audio mixing.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, or you can check it out here:
Check out this episode!

Thanks for listening!
-J. Moret

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Director: Chester N. Turner
70 Minutes
Not Rated (Mild Language, Extended Scenes of Possesed Doll Fornication)

It's a real nightmare.
Has anyone ever said this to you:

"You have never seen anything like this."

It's something as a fan of the obscure and strange that I encounter quite often. However, saying this about Black Devil Doll from Hell is the only time I feel that actually using this phrase truly applies.

I went in to viewing this film thinking it would be a Pre-Chucky killer doll flick. Holy Hot God Damn. . . I was more than wrong. I was completely unprepared for what I saw.

"She's foxy, classy, ohhh, sexy, sassy. She's heavenly, a treat for the eyes to see."

Helen Black is a sweet, overly religious woman with sin surrounding her at every turn. Her friends want to set her up with men and leave church early, she can't walk down the street without having people try to sell her stolen goods. She is the sole shining holy light of the South-Side of Chicago.

A sample of Helen's Home Decor.
Like most crazy religious people, she loves talking to inanimate objects and thinking they're real.

So she wanders into a curio shop and buys a doll that looks like Rick James. The shop owners gives Helen a story about how she's had the doll in her shop  on several different occasions and how it grants it's owner it's deepest darkest desires.

As a hyper religious zealot, Helen represses all of her desires. After bringing the doll home while singing "Jesus Loves Me" she sets the doll on the toilet and proceeds to shower. The doll "makes her" touch herself. Annnnnnnnnnd the following 30 minutes of the 70 minute feature, the doll forces itself on Helen sexually, after while, Helen digs it.

The doll eventually disappears and returns to the curio shop. Helen is lost. She no longer has the power of sex to get her through the day. She was victim of the doll, now her insatiable desire for sex must be satisfied. She has sex with some dudes and nothing but the abusive and violent doll can hit the spot.

Member of the Dazz Band

Is this a comment about repressed desires? Is it a "Be Careful What You Wish For" story? Is it a comment about the state of Christianity? Is it about addiction? Is it a comment about Rape and sympathizing with the attacker? Is it about demonic possession? Is it a comment on inner city crime? Is it a comment about dolls that look like Rick James? Is this really even a movie? Surprisingly, it's something, and that's what makes it interesting.

Sing it STEVIE!

Being a Shot-On-Video production, it's about what you would expect. It's shot in about 4 locations: A house, a bar, a church, and the curio shop. There's one character and two other dudes. The music, while fantastic, is nothing more than a Casio and a broke ass Stevie Wonder Singing into a cassette recorder. It looks like garbage, it is honestly one of the worst looking SOV movies I have ever seen. It's shaky, washed out, and questionably edited. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Aww Hell Naw.
I have omitted many of the more bizarre moments of the movie. There are many moments of this movie that must been seen to be believed.


The New York Times wrote a piece that covers the background of this film quite well. It offers real research and quotes of those who have had a hand in making this movie. as well as finally making it available again. I highly recommend checking it out: CLICK HERE TO READ A GOOD ARTICLE.

If you don't want to read that, here's a quick background:

Negative Art = Art
Chester Turner had a camcorder. He wanted to make a movie. He enlisted his Muse, Shirley Jones and his Brother Keefe to Puppeteer and Voice the doll. The movie, while completely uncommon as a VHS tape, was released and the film did hit video store shelves.

Basically after Turner made his follow up to Black Devil Doll, Tales From The Quadead Zone, and VHS collecting became a thing a few years back, the rumor was spread that Turner was dead. He isn't and he is currently doing Q and As around the Nation with his films.

If you enjoy Shot On Video or bizarre movies, Black Devil Doll from Hell should serve as the foundation of the sub-genre. It is truly an experience that will never be duplicated. Now that it has been officially released on DVD (along with Chester Turner's SOV masterwork, Tales from the Quadead Zone),  I recommend everyone purchase this truly bizarre piece of movie history. Click Here to check it out on Amazon.

John and I recorded a podcast about the film during the time I was in Minnesota in early November which should be posted in the coming week.

 - M. McSlam

Friday, December 6, 2013

Podcast: THINGS

This week, Matt, Tom and John discuss the 1989 8mm tape gem, THINGS.  Directed by Andrew Jordan and starring Barry J. Gillis.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or you can listen here:
Check out this episode!

Thanks for listening
-J. Moret

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Directed by Larry Cohen
91 mins. Color.
World Premiere Video VHS

Larry Cohen's THE AMBULANCE is a weird animal.  Not that that is a surprise when watching a Cohen film.  His films are always genre-bending and more thoughtful than your regular schlock.

This particular film starts with a mullet-clad Eric Roberts, who is pretty attracted to some random girl on the street.  He approaches her for a date, there is some witty banter, and then the beautiful lady Cheryl collapses.  An ambulance shows up, they cart the lady into the ambulance, and she disappears.  Roberts visits every hospital in the city and there is no sight of her.

Turns out Roberts is a talented comic book artist who works for Stan Lee.  (Yep, that Stan Lee, character name Marvel Comic Editor).  Lee advises him to not go after sick girls, but he goes to the police anyway.  Unlucky for him, James Earl Jones is the crazy anti-comics detective, Lieutenant Spencer.

Anyway, Roberts is wandering the streets with a badly drawn sketch of the woman, that Jones aptly describes as Veronica from Archie.  Roberts eventually finds her roommate via the Veronica sketch, and they go on the hunt together.  They head to her work based on a mysterious message on the answering machine.  Little do they know that the evil ambulance and a bunch of horses will knock down Eric Roberts and make off with the roommate.

Next thing you know, Eric Roberts is having a breakdown, believes he is being poisoned, and ends up in the hospital.  While there, an awesome crazy old man, (retired newspaperman Elias) saves his life and they become partners in the mystery.

The Ambulance takes Elias, Jones hunts it down, takes a scalpel to the chest, gets run over, and enjoys an unhealthy amount of gum.  So, hot babe cop Sandra takes on the case and teams up with Roberts, only to land him in a junkyard where he gets beaten to a pulp by street toughs.  Bummer for him, The Ambulance is gonna take him away.  Well, the street toughs are easily convinced to then attack the Ambulance attendants, resulting in the best fight in cinema history.

Street toughs are disposed of, and Roberts then manages to get the back door of the ambulance open.  Unfortunately he's strapped into a gurney, this results in the best gurney luge scene in cinema history.

Skeaze-out Dance club head-butt, mob trampling madness and the power of Roberts' mullet end this film pretty perfectly.

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Good Hair

The Evaluation:
All the twists and turns are goofy.  The comedy is spot on.  The only thing that's really missing is funny explosions.  Cohen has a way of making things absurdly fun, and this film is no exception.  I must say, I was a little hesitant, based on the cover and the fact that here is basically no real press about it.  But, I was happily surprised at how fun and crazy this film was.    If you're looking for a fun little movie, check this out.

Before you go all diabetic:

  • Grain Belt Premium is in order
  • I'm gonna say Little Ceasar's or Pizza Hut.  Too bad they no longer have the big foot.  Man, that massive long pizza was the best.  Too bad there is no Crystal Clear Pepsi to go with it.  Now, I'm just sad.
-J. Moret

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Summer School
Directed by Carl Reiner
97 minutes. PG-13
VHS from Paramount

I have this memory about Summer School (the movie, not the school). I remember being picked up by my dad on the last day of school; I must have been in fourth or fifth grade. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I want to go to Home Video (my local video store) and rent SUMMER SCHOOL! I remember thinking to myself: "This is the best way to start summer!" I have no clue why I thought this was the best way to kick off summer but I had it in my head that it was the greatest idea ever and this it made perfect sense to watch a movie about kids stuck in school for the summer when mine was just beginning school free. I think I tried to make it a tradition but it never stuck. Regardless, my dad and I had a blast watching this wacky, good natured and strangely gory comedy.

Summer School stars Mark Harmon (best known for NCIS) as lovable gym teacher Freddy Shoop. It’s the last day of school and he’s got his hot girlfriend waiting for him in the parking lot with two tickets to Hawaii. Unfortunately for him, the teacher that was supposed to teach summer school just won the lottery and quit, leaving the dick bag of a Vice-Principal to blackmail Shoop into teaching summer school otherwise he doesn’t get tenure! His girlfriend takes one of the tickets and leaves without him. Even as a kid I thought that shit was cold. Also what if that ticket was non-refundable? A ticket to Hawaii is probably expensive. That Vice-Principal owes Shoop like, a BUNCH of money. So the now single Shoop is supposed to teach an English class full of “weirdos” and “losers”. The only problem is that Shoop is a gym teacher and knows nothing about actual teaching. The weirdos and losers are totally awesome by the way. There’s a kid who sleeps all day and happens to be a stripper at night, a pregnant chick, a hot foreign exchange student, a dumb nerd, and a dyslexic girl. They are basically the summer school version of the X-Men with each one possessing a different ability (and yes, I do realize that I just called dyslexia an ability).  The Wolverine and Cyclops of this group are Chainsaw and Dave. They are two horror obsessed movie nerds who are really good at make-up and gore effects. Those two and Mark Harmon’s irresistible charm are what make this movie for me.

This movie is just super fun. There's not a whole lot to distinguish this from other movies about misfits in school but it has an indescribable charm to it. It never takes itself too seriously and even in it's most dramatic moments it manages to stay light-hearted. When Shoop finds out that one of his students has dyslexia, most movies would make a really dramatic scene out of it with dramatic music in the background and serious faces and crying and other shit like that but Summer School just points out that this girl has dyslexia and rolls with it. No big deal. That's how this movie handles all of it's problems. Girl can't read? No big deal, Shoop'll help her learn. Pregnancy girl needs a Lamaze coach? No big deal, Shoop'll help her out. Everyone needs to pass the English test at the end of the summer otherwise they can't graduate AND Shoop will be out of a job? No big dea... no wait, that is a big deal. The movie goes from a montage of Shoop and the students not caring and going on insane field trip after insane field trip to a montage of them working hard and studying for the big test. I love me some montages and this movie is basically one big montage. It's fantastic. 

There is a moment in this movie that has always stuck with me. When the class is on a field trip to a petting zoo and are leaving to go back to school Chainsaw and Dave burst out of a barn with four rabbits ripping apart their faces. They scream for help as they peel the rabbits off, ripping the flesh off their cheeks. They fall to the ground and bleed out. Cut to the class cheering and the foreign exchange student totally freaked out. They get up, show that it was just make-up and the foreign exchange student LOVES it. Classic. I wanted nothing more than to do something like that to impress the hot chicks in my class but unfortunately I was not skilled in the art of special effects and as it turns out chicks are not really into that sort of thing. Who knew!? 

I have many fond memories of this film and unlike many films of my youth, this one still holds up. Director Carl Reiner brought a warmth and charm that hit the right chords for me both as a kid and as an adult. Light-hearted, a tad inspirational and totally rad. Summer School is a great way to start the summer!

Set Yourself Up:

  • If you want to be as cool as Shoop then grab a jar of peanut butter and spoon and you're good to go.
  • If you need a beverage then I would go for something summer-y: pina coladas or strawberry margaritas

-T. Reinert

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This week, I interview TERRORVISION.  It was a short-lived local podcast about finding great treasures.  Only ten episodes long, it was still one of the more enjoyable film podcasts I've ever heard.  The memebers are now scattered across the country, and we came together to discuss how it all came together, the future, and Red Lobster.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or you can listen here:

Thanks for listening!
-J. Moret

Monday, December 2, 2013


Collecting Physical Media is a dying hobby.  Digital Media is becoming more overwhelming and prevalent all the time.  Streaming services offer what seems to be an unlimited amount of titles.  However, services like Netflix and Hulu are actually far more limited and temporary.  So, in our hunt to find interesting titles that can only be obtained physically, I offer you THE DENTIST.

The Description:
“Dr. Alan Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen) is a rich and successful Beverly Hills dentist. In fact, he is so much more - a fine connoisseur of music, the owner of a palatial mansion, and the proud husband of a beautiful wife. There’s only one problem - he’s insane. Dr. Feinstone loves perfection, and he expects it of everyone. Unfortunately, no one is perfect. This unacceptable fact annoys the good doctor and leads him to commit his one small imperfection: murder. Murder is so messy, and Dr. Feinstone hate messes. But sometimes he just can’t help killing a patient or two.”

The Box:
Dentists can be scary. They stick needles in your mouth, scrape your teeth, floss you until you bleed, and they drill in your face. That’s the worst. They stick a drill in your mouth and drill right into your teeth. Sure, it’s all your fault for eating all that candy and drinking all that dew but… but… SHIT! That is some scary real-life shit. The cover depicts this horrific act right before it’s about to happen. The girl is obviously scared out of her mind as the drill approaches. The doctor’s gloved hand seems to clench with pleasure as he dives into her funky mouth. “IT’S BEEN SIX MONTHS. TIME FOR YOUR CHECK-UP!” Six months? Try six years. I’m SUPER due for a check-up. 

The box got me with the “From the Creators of Re-Animator”, a beloved classic of the messed up horror movie genre. The Dentist was directed by Brian Yuzna, the producer of Re-Animator. However, if you are expecting Re-Animator style awesomeness, you will be disappointed. On the back cover it states, “Produced by Pierre David, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, with his hits like PLATOON and INTERNAL AFFAIRS.” Three questions here: 1) Who the fuck knows who Pierre David is? 2) Who the fuck cares who Pierre David is? 3) Are they really putting The Dentist in leagues with Platoon??? Winner of four Oscars, Platoon?!?

"The movie I'm most proud of is The Dentist" - Pierre David
The description depicts Dr. Feinstone as a perfectionist, which is funny because the description has a typo, “...and Dr. Feinstone hate messes.” Dr. Feinstone would totally schedule an appointment with that writer. 

The Film:
It’s pretty fun. Yuzna makes great use of the feeling of invasiveness of someone poking around your mouth and the general fear that surrounds dentists. I cringed everytime he fucked with someone’s teeth. Corbin Bernsen was great as Feinstone and I really enjoyed his descent into madness. At one point, he is holding a gun in a girl’s face, ready to blow her brains out and she pleads for her life. He lets her go when she promises to brush her teeth 3 times a day and to never eat candy again. It’s a truly hilarious scene. The Dentist is this middle of the road movie that is far from greatness, yet isn’t that bad, which in the end makes it sort of forgettable. That is, until you have a toothache. One of the final scenes has Feinstone running around and chasing a young girl and he yells, “You can’t hide! Not from your DENTIST!” Wrong. I've been hiding for six years and my teeth... hurt. I should probably go to a dentist...

-T. Reinert

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Black Eagle
Director: Eric "I Hate This Guy" Karson
Rated R
107 Minutes, 1988

The Coverart is the best part about this movie.
Action. The name of the genre itself would make one think that there will never a boring film that belongs in the category. That's obviously not true. One shining example of this is the 1988 "Action" film Black Eagle.

Black Eagle is a piece of shit. It is not the most boring action movie I have ever seen. It's the most boring movie I have ever seen. Period. It's a damn shame too.

The movie is about a plane with some super secret weapons technology. The plane goes down in the sea. The Russians want to recover the American technology from the depths. The Americans, obviously want to prevent that from happening.

Ken Tani (Sho Kosugi) is a special operative assigned to protecting and recovering the weapon technology. However, much of his time on screen is spent diving or trying his best to be a Ninja Dad to his kids. His kids (played by his real life children) are essentially held hostage by the CIA on a nearby island to ensure Tani completes the mission and remains loyal.

Fo Sho'
The Russians suck. They are non-descript and completely uninspired. They aren't evil. They aren't crazy stereotypes. They aren't fun. In one of his earliest roles, Jean-Claude VanDamme plays the main Russian Henchman by the name of Andrei. It's amazing to see how uninspiring and how little charisma VanDamme shows in this picture. This film was released the same year as Bloodsport. In Bloodsport, VanDamme is charming and totally kickass. In this, he's looks like he'd rather be working at White Castle.

The same thing goes for Sho Kosugi. I haven't seen all of his movies or anything, but he typically comes off as a totally badass ninja dude. In Black Eagle, there are so few action scenes of note, he looks like a wimpy TV Movie Dad that occasionally stabs people in the belly.

Sho betta rekognize.
The cover art for this movie made it seem totally awesome. Sho Kosugi Vs. VanDamme should be an extravaganza or awesome martial arts. Instead, its very TV Movie-ish. The music reminds me of a Universal Monster movie (which is great for those movies, not this one). The film is mostly scenes of Babysitting kids, diving, and running around grey Maltese ruins. . . but VanDamme still does the splits about 14 times. So it may be worth watching if you're into that.

- M. McSlam