I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Archive for June, 2007

Holy Cow! It’s Vern’s Review Of LIFE FREE OR DIE HARD! Did He Like It Or Not?!?!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

I haven’t seen this one yet. Almost went to a midnight show tonight, but it just didn’t time out right. But honestly, you guys don’t care what I have to say about this. You probably don’t care what Quint or Harry have to say, either. Or Capone. Or Massawyrm. Or anyone here at the site except for one man… the guy whose original rant about the PG-13 rating ended up summoning Bruce “Walter B” Willis out of the ether in one of the craziest talkback moments of all time.

Yes, that’s right. It’s time for Vern’s review of LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. Which means it’s time for me to piss off and hand over the stage to him:

“No one has that power. There is a much more powerful guy in Hollywood, and his name is Rupert Murdoch. It’s his corporation. I only work there.” –Bruce Willis to Vanity Fair, on not being able to do an R-rated DIE HARD

“This city is like a big CHICKEN, waiting to get PLUCKED.” –SCARFACE, edited for TV version

Fellas–

DIE HARD, the motion picture, characters and their likenesses, are the copyrighted intellectual property of the Twentieth Century Fox Corporation. To them DIE HARD is a franchise, a license, a property, a brand, a tentpole, a consumer product, an opportunity for cross promotion with Arby’s and whichever candy bar it was. To them DIE HARD is a dollar amount for an opening weekend, a domestic gross balanced against a marketing budget. But to the rest of the world, to the people with beating hearts, DIE HARD is something more. (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’s Got A DVD Review For You! WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Vern and an obscure horror film I’ve never heard of? Sounds like a great read for a Sunday afternoon to me.

Ever since I reviewed the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE ULTIMATE EDITION I’ve been getting screeners in the mail from MPI Home Video. It’s awfully nice of them but I can’t really review all of them, because they’re mostly stuff like THE DORIS DAY SHOW SEASON 4 or a ten hour documentary about the ’70s or COMIC LEGENDS: PHYLLIS DILLER. But they do send me stuff from their Dark Sky label, the same guys who did the CHAIN SAW dvd. And these guys put out good stuff, lots of weird European horror and action movies, mostly things I never heard of. You know, one of these boutique labels that’s like a DJ, always digging to find some weird gem you didn’t know about. I know alot of people have sunk themselves financially by finding and restoring these old obscurities so I have alot of gratitude to the people who do it. Takin one for the team (the team being a metaphor for the human race in this case).

One thing Dark Sky does is a “Drive-In Double Feature” series (SEARCH AND DESTROY and THE GLOVE comes out this Tuesday) that’s the same concept as GRINDHOUSE but for real: two movies with vintage drive-in intros and trailers in between. Good stuff. Another release this week is THE LAST HUNTER which is a 1980 Vietnam War movie made by Italian exploitation director Antonio Margheriti. It’s kind of trying to be like THE DEER HUNTER but it has more explosions, intestines and funky music. And it’s dubbed. So it’s pretty different. (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 Glove

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Like I mentioned in my review of WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? that should be running on The Ain’t It Cool News soon, I’m on the mailing list for this Dark Sky DVD label. So I get all these nicely packaged Italian horror obscurities and what not, and to be honest I haven’t watched most of them yet. I loan them to my horror watcher friends and hope they’ll tell me I got a must-see there. But that doesn’t usually happen.

For the batch that comes out this week though I found time to watch them and I was impressed. The one I had the highest hopes for was WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? which is a creepy sun-drenched Spanish horror movie in the vein of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. But I already heard that one was good before, so a more impressive find is THE GLOVE, the b-picture in their latest “DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE” along with SEARCH AND DESTROY. (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 Perfect Weapon

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

This review is by special request of several individuals on the STONE COLD DVD talkback and other people over the years who have tried to get me to watch this movie. The Perfect Weapon of the title in this 1991 white martial arts movie is Jeff Speakman, an American Kenpo Karate sixth degree black belt who I guess is playing himself, since they just call him Jeff. The movie opens with Jeff shirtless and oiled up, in a living room doing karate moves to that horrible song “I Got the Power (It’s Gettin It’s Gettin It’s Gettin Kinda Hectic It’s Gettin It’s Gettin It’s Getting Kinda Hectic I Got the Power!)” by the group Snap!. It’s funny because this movie is only 85 minutes long but they still felt they had time for him to do moves to that entire song. As it ends he puffs his chest out like he just won a medal.

Then Jeff goes for a ride in his convertible and as he soaks in the open road he thinks about his past. So we learn that after his mom died he was a troublemaking kid, and his cop dad wanted to send him to military school. Fortunately Pops’s Korean war buddy Kim (the great Mako) convinced him to send Jeff to Kenpo Karate Dojo instead. To learn self discipline. (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.

Saw, Saw II and Saw III

Monday, June 18th, 2007

SAW

Usually I’m on top of the popular horror movies, especially if and when they get to the part 3 mark. But until now I never bothered with SAW. I know there was a pretty good buzz on that first one, but I just wasn’t buyin it. I had seen that fuckin puppet on the TV ads and I wasn’t so sure about a killer with an evil puppet. Evil puppets in horror should always be alive, like Chucky. A killer who plays with a normal, inanimate puppet – that’s just silly.

Plus, I read some essay years ago that referred to TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 as ‘SAW 2, and since it takes a while to type out TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2, and since that movie tends to come up alot for a guy like me, I started to use that nickname. Me and that movie are tight, we call each other by nicknames. It calls me V and I call it ‘SAW 2. Until now, because now there’s a SAW and a SAW 2. These movies interfered with my relationship with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2. So I sort of resent them for that. (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.

Ocean’s Thirteen

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

It seemed like most of the world hated OCEAN’S 12. I always figured it was because it was too strange, but people say it was just too self-indulgent, they get mad watching all those guys having fun together and being cool. Which is weird because if that’s the case I’m not sure why they liked the first one. I mean what else are they supposed to do? Not have fun and wear cheap suits?

Anyway I felt lucky they were making a part 13, like they were doing it just for me and the elite few who still give a shit. But I was mistaken – actually they were making this for the other guys to make up for part 12. This is the same shit but dialed back a little, so they are having a little less fun and are not quite as cool because Matt Damon wears a fake nose in one part. It’s Steve Soderbergh’s most mainstream movie since ERIN BROCKOVICH, but not even as satisfying as that since it’s sequel number two and there’s no surprise factor at all. And you get a little sick of all their con man lingo and code words. For example, faking an earthquake is “an Irwin Allen.” I’m not sure what the name would be for making a fun but forgettable part 3, since most part 3s are widely hated except for Lord of the Rings or if it’s in 3-D. And they are in the problem of being a part 3 only I asked for (see the end of OCEAN’S 12 review above). (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 Explains The Importance Of The STONE COLD DVD!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Really, what more is there to say? Vern’s the man, and if he says it’s time to go buy STONE COLD on DVD, who am I to argue?

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come. The eagle has landed. Brian Bosworth’s 1991 film debut STONE COLD is finally available on Region 1 DVD. We’re through the looking glass, people.

As a DVD this is kind of a bust. There isn’t even a trailer on the thing. They did spring for interactive menus, that’s about it. They even labeled the disc wrong, the widescreen is actually on the standard side and vice versa. The movie is about a biker gang, but the cover seems designed to make it look like a current DTV espionage thriller – there’s not a single motorcycle pictured on the front or back. (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.

Hostel: Part II

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

aka DAVE POLAND’S HOSTILE 2

NOTE: I started writing this review but I realized between actually reviewing the movie and once again responding to the response to the movie, the thing was just too god damn long. So I figured if I split the two topics into two separate columns nobody would notice that it was too long. But then I felt bad about trying to deceive you like that so I admitted that that was what I was doing. But you found it admirable that I treated you as a mature adult so you read the two columns willingly and did not feel they were too long. It was awesome. (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.

Hardcore

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

This is not the George C. Scott/Paul Schrader movie HARDCORE, this is the 2004 Greek movie HARDCORE that I only rented when I read that the director, Dennis Iliadis, was hired to do a remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. So this is kind of a review and kind of a scouting mission.

This is the story of two teenage prostitutes, told from the POV of the less crazy one. They are in love but they are always fucking other people, especially the crazier one Nadia, who loves to manipulate rich older men to get what she wants out of life. Along the way there is some blood, some cocaine, some suicide, lots of depression, lots of disturbing passionless fucking and dildoing. (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.