I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Archive for March, 2007

The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)

Monday, March 26th, 2007

THE HILLS HAVE EYES REMAKE II

First, a review of my review of THE HILLS HAVE YES REMAKE I: not so hot. I had so much I wanted to say about that movie that I couldn’t figure out what was actually worth saying. Just skip to the end where I ask, “Are you asking for a movie about mutant cannibals who steal a baby and then raise it in a safe and loving environment? Because I don’t think I would like that movie as much. (I’d watch it, though.)” Somebody oughta do a remake of that review. Sorry, everybody.

Second, a review of the advertising for THE HILLS HAVE EYES REMAKE II: top-notch. The teaser trailer was one single shot of two weird mutants dragging bodies through the desert, then the title of the movie. Because what more needs to be said? A masterpiece of simplicity. I also enjoyed the TV commercial narrator who said, “Last year, critics said THE HILLS HAVE EYES went too far. Now, get ready to go even further…” I am not a fan of advertising in general, so I gotta give credit when credit is due. You did it, fellas. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Long Live Dolemite! Vern on Rudy Ray Moore

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Friday night I saw Rudy Ray Moore perform at The Funhouse in Seattle. If you’re not familiar with Rudy, he’s a legendary comedian, maker of x-rated comedy records, who paved the way for his contemporaries like Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx to do their thing by carving words like pussy and motherfucker about ten thousand times into vinyl. But it was his string of self-financed, low budget blaxploitation comedies like Dolemite, The Human Tornado and (my favorite) Petey Wheatstraw, the Devil’s Son-in-Law that put him on the map for most of us. Those movies are built around his persona, the arrogant, unbelievably shit-talking chauvinistic badass with a knack for hilarious insults and rhymes. Like his movies, his act is mostly built around the traditions of the dozens and toasting. He tells stories in rhyme and picks out people in the crowd to talk shit about (which most people take as a great honor).

I never saw Rudy Ray in his hey day, but I did see him here a few years back. That was a polished, old fashioned show with a band of local musicians who he probaly hadn’t met, but he handed them sheet music and they knew what to do. He did all his classics (Dolemite For President, Signifyin’ Monkey, Shine, Petey Wheatstraw, etc.) to the music and even sang a few songs. At first the pure filthiness and sexism of the whole thing was almost overwhelming, it kind of felt like he had gone around slapping people at random, everyone was in shock. I remember there was a young woman playing in the band who didn’t look too happy at all this talk about pussies and dicks. And there’s a joke he does about “a deaf and dumb bitch” that is about the worst thing anybody ever said. But then slowly it seemed like that woman in the band started to get to a point where it was so ridiculous she started to laugh and by then most of the audience couldn’t stop laughing. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Leprechaun, Leprechaun 4: In Space, Leprechaun in the Hood, Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I don’t know why, but I never saw a LEPRECHAUN picture before. You guys know I got a taste for straight to video trash, as well as little bastard killers. Nobody is as good as Chucky, but I had fun writing about THE GINGERDEAD MAN. Plus, the Leprechaun made it into space 4 years before Jason did, and I loved JASON X. (HELLRAISER won the space race, after false starts from HALLOWEEN, give credit where credit is due. But Leprechaun was there second.)

More importantly, it was St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m not Irish, and I can’t drink, so what the fuck else am I supposed to do on St. Patrick’s Day besides watch some Leprechaun pictures. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Secret

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

“People around the world have been talking about a movie so powerful that it can change the course of your life. ” –oprah.com

“If you’re talking about DIE HARD I agree.” –outlawvern.com

I am so happy and grateful now that I saw THE SECRET, because I can warn you not watch this shit.

Not too long ago I used to run into this drunk Native American gentlemen at bus stops who would tell me to go see WHAT THE COCKSUCKER DO WE KNOW, a movie that would change my life. Actually he called it WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW, but the title on the poster had a %$#^! type gibberish curse on it so I figured it was up to interpretation. Anyway, all the new agers and people you never knew were new agers were raving about it, and it played for months on end at one of the smaller Seattle theaters, making it the new NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. But I wasn’t sure if that was due to genuine demand or if the theater was rented out by the Ramtha cult. The movie features this crazy gal from Washington who makes lots of money pretending to channel the ancient wisdom of some Hagar the Horrible type warrior named Ramtha. That sounds like a funny movie, obviously, but I never gave it a shot. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern Goes on John Carpenter Remake Watch

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

In my last post about Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake I mentioned MTV’s report that Zombie wouldn’t be using John Carpenter’s theme music in his version. Well, on his MySpace Teen Friendship Page, Zombie reveals that the MTV writer misunderstood what he was saying about the theme music, and that he actually plans to use it.

But don’t let your guard down yet, Carpenter fans. While you were busy boarding up the windows in case of Zombie attack (get it, that is some kind of a pun I believe) Fast and the Furious producer Neal H. Moritz was planning a remake of another Carpenter classic, Escape From New York. As reported earlier by Bilge, the remake may star 300’s Gerard “SPARTAAAAAAA!” Butler as Snake Plissken. It would be written by the guy who wrote Black Hawk Down.

Now, I’m not gonna lie, I can see how some of the elements of the original movie could be juiced up and re-imaginated and what not. In fact, the idea of the government turning Manhattan into a maximum security prison takes on a little more punch in the age of Camp X-Ray and the USA PATRIOT Act, so they could treat the politics a little more seriously if they wanted to. And it would be interesting to see the dark model city world of the original given life by the bigger budget and the digital technology. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

300

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Make no mistake about it, it’s hard out here for a Spartan. Alot of these bastards, they’re “baptized in the fire of combat.” They grow up having to fight their dad all day, and I mean really fight him. You thought your dad pushed you too hard at hoops, well at least he didn’t beat on you until you fucked up. These guys, the beating is the actual practice. It’s their culture.

In some of the other neighborhoods, like Arcadia for example, you can grow up to be a potter, a sculptor or a blacksmith. In Sparta, you’re a soldier. But you don’t even get to talk about it, like “What do you do for a living?” “Oh, I’m a soldier. I’m baptized in the fire of combat.” In Sparta, they ask you what your trade is you gotta yell out “WHOO WHOO!” or something. You are highly trained in combat and in grunting. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween Remake

Friday, March 9th, 2007

I don’t think I’m gonna surprise anybody by saying that Halloween is one of my favorite horror movies. Like alot of people I watch it once or twice a year. Usually the regular version, sometimes that TV version where John Carpenter shot extra footage of Dr. Loomis dealing with young Michael Meyers in the sanatorium.

So I’ve watched this movie with alot of different people and more often than not, when it gets to the part where Michael steals a car to bust out of the joint, somebody laughs and says “How does he know how to drive? He’s been locked up since he was a kid!” I love it because they think they’ve outsmarted the movie, but they’re wrong. Later when Loomis is told Meyers doesn’t know how to drive he says, “Well he was doing very well last night!”

Turns out Rob Zombie (born Robert Puppydogsandbutterflies) disagrees. He’s the writer-director of the Halloween remake coming August 31st, and he just told MTV that his Michael Meyers doesn’t drive. “[Meyers in the station wagon] always bothered me. They always play that off like someone must have given him lessons, but you know no one gave him lessons! He’s in a maximum-security prison! So, no, he doesn’t drive.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Black Snake Moan

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Some people might say, just because Christina Ricci spends a good third of BLACK SNAKE MOAN wearing only panties and a half shirt, chained up like a dog to control her bestial urge to fuck anything with a dick, that it’s degrading to women. Well, okay, if I put it that way. But as cool as Samuel L. Jackson’s backsliding bluesman Lazarus is, it’s Ricci’s coughing town slut Rae that you sympathize with most. The weird thing is this ends up being a sweet movie, a cute movie. Like a really subdued KILL BILL, BLACK SNAKE takes ridiculous notions that don’t have to make sense in an exploitation* picture (a man chaining up a young girl to cure her nymphomania, her forgiving him for it) but then treats the characters’ emotions so seriously that I actually start to care about them.

I’m not gonna complain about seeing Ricci half naked or the lurid pulpy advertising campaign revolving around Lazarus having her on a chain like a pet, or something worse. But honestly, swear to God, cross my eye with a needle, etc., I was excited for this movie because it’s from the writer-director of HUSTLE & FLOW. If you have to compare the two I’d say this one isn’t quite as compelling, although some would disagree due to the panties and boobs. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Zodiac

Monday, March 5th, 2007

David Fincher’s movie SEVEN (no, I’m not gonna do that cute shit where you type the number seven instead of a v, do I look like the type of dude that would try to pull that sort of typographic horseshit, I don’t think so) is the deadbeat dad of the modern serial killer thriller. Or the killer that inspired all the copycats. Ever since then, hacks have been trying to cop that thick atmosphere, that dark-as-tar nihilistic tone, that sicko mix of religion and violence, that serious treatment of the type of gimmicky murder sprees that used to be fun when Vincent Price did ’em, and especially those fonts used on the opening credits. Simply put, without SEVEN there would be none of those other movies where Morgan Freeman tries to catch a serial killer, nor would there be a GLIMMER MAN. And then where would we be as a society?

When you take away the artfulness of Fincher’s direction (and add a side order of Seagal/Wayans bickering) you can see how morbid and ugly that type of subject matter is. So the fact that Fincher took the time to do such a good job of it makes you question his mental health a little. Didn’t they say he personally splattered the fake blood on some of those victims? (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Holding the Razzies Accountable: Vern on the Other Great Awards Injustice

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Okay, so at the Oscars Jerry Seinfeld pissed off the documentarians, the theater owners, and if I were one of those minimum wagers who have to clean up theaters I don’t think I’d be too happy with him either. We know you’re a millionaire bud, if the popcorn is too expensive just bring some caviar from home. But pick up your own garbage, asshole.

Me, I’m thinking bad thoughts about a different set of awards. Every year around Oscar season you see articles and discussions popping up about “when Oscar got it wrong,” usually pointing to The Unfortunate Dances With Wolves Over Goodfellas Affair as well as the career-long snubs of Hitchcock and Kubrick (please remember to delete references to Scorsese not having an Oscar before recycling that essay next year). Coinciding with those writings are the annual blurbs on the Golden Raspberries, which can be summed up as “ha ha, that crazy bitch Sharon Stone made a bad movie, ha ha.” You don’t usually see complaints about the Razzie people getting it wrong, but they do it all the time. I know it’s all supposed to be in fun and nobody really thinks about it too much, but still – these people have been getting attention this way for 25 years. Either we hold them to a certain standard or maybe it’s time we gave this smarmy tradition the gong. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.