If there’s a more stylish ’80s teen movie than 3 O’CLOCK HIGH I don’t know what it is. This one’s shot like RAISING ARIZONA or an EVIL DEAD with all kinds of cartoonish zooms, energetic cuts and dramatic angles. In fact the internet tells me Barry Sonnenfeld was the cinematographer, although I only noticed him credited as “special lighting consultant,” which seemed kind of weird. Anyway it makes it constantly interesting to look at and sort of shows you the world through the eyes of the characters. To us a real high school would just look like a building but to them it’s real dramatic, some Sam Raimi and some Sergio Leone. (read the rest of this shit…)
Archive for September, 2009
In ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT Bruce plays Kirkpatrick, a grizzled Gulf War vet turned private high school principal who must use his elite combat skills and overcome great odds to retake the school when it comes under siege by an army of guerillas intent on murdering the student body president because they don’t like the theme for the homecoming dance.
That’s not true. I made up everything after the word “principal.” Bruce does play the principal and he does always talk about Iraq. He could almost be the same character from PLANET TERROR. He’s a hostile disciplinarian who’s driven into a fury when students chew gum. He also leads the school in a singalong of a patriotic song he wrote. But it’s not an action movie and he’s not the star. (read the rest of this shit…)
PORKY’S REVENGE is part 3, done in 1985 without Bob Clark or taste. The whole cast does return, looking a little ridiculous since most of them are 30 years old playing high school seniors. This time the gang are all on the basketball team (without any teen wolves to guarantee victory) and alot of the plot revolves around the state championship game. So get ready to pretend to care.
Porky does return and is out for revenge. He tries to do that by forcing Meat to marry his daughter and provide an heir to the Porky’s business empire. Porky shouldn’t actually be that mad at the kids though in my opinion because their cruelty actually gave him that extra nudge to drastically improve his life – he replaced his demolished night club with a god damn riverboat casino! (read the rest of this shit…)
PORKY’S II: THE NEXT DAY is a weird one – a foolish but also pretty enjoyable shot at catching lightning in a bottle. On one hand the gang from part 1 kind of seem like they’re your buddies, so it feels natural to go back to school with them. On the other hand the fresh feel of the first one came from trying to make a different kind of movie, and from basing it on stories from Bob Clark’s youth. For this one, to a certain extent, he’s trying to make the same kind of movie, and making up new stories that might remind you of the real ones. So it’s kind of forced. (read the rest of this shit…)
PORKY’S is a monument to young men and the issues that interest them. It’s about trying to get laid, spying on naked girls, fake IDs, sneaking into titty bars, dick size, the proper use of condoms, practical jokes, convincing cops to let you go, getting in fights, standing up to fathers. But mostly it’s about giggling – lots of giggling about dicks and what not.
It also takes place in the ’50s, and it’s kind of a fantasized nostalgia where men play 16 year old boys (director Bob Clark points out that people looked older back then) and everybody’s friends with everybody else and the boys can pull of anything and get a fantastical revenge on a seedy character they really shouldn’t fuck with if this were real life because somebody would get their legs broken. So it’s a nostalgic look at their coming of age years but it’s not the same type of nostalgia George Lucas and others of this generation had. It mostly ignores the cars, the music, the dances, the hairstyles and all that shit that usually gets fetishized in anything about the ’50s. (read the rest of this shit…)
SURROGATES is TERMINATOR 3 director Jon Mostow (plus the writers of TERMINATOR 3-4) doing another robot movie, this time free of the expectations and mythology (and budget, from the looks of it) of the TERMINATOR series. The only thing they’re chained to is the “graphic novel” the ads say it’s based on, which means a comic book. Luckily they don’t have to be too careful about adapting it because nobody ever heard of it until it was being made into a movie. You show me someone who has read it and I’ll show you the guy that did the copy editing. I was gonna say the mom of the guy who wrote it but I doubt she read it either. This is not some iconic one everybody knows like Alan Moore’s Watchmen or Garfield’s Big Fat Hairy Deal. (read the rest of this shit…)
I know the school movies marathon is probly beginning to wear out its welcome, but I got a couple more left that I think are pretty good. Anyway, October’s coming up so I will definitely be watching some horror movies pretty soon. I have a few ideas but I know you guys know some good ones so I wanted to give everybody a chance to suggest me some.
First of all, no need to tell me [REC], that’s at the top of my list. Also, of course, I will pick and choose what sounds good to me, or maybe ignore all of them and find my own. At Halloween time I’m looking for certain moods and I’m kind of particular about what I feel like watching, so don’t be offended if I choose a bunch of other crap. I’ll try to keep in mind your suggestions even after Halloween.
I’m open to every type of horror, but as you may know I’m always on a quest for decent ’70s or ’80s slasher movies that I haven’t seen yet, so extra points if anybody comes up with some of those.
thanks in advance for your consideration
TEACHERS is kind of like the more realistic, less actiony version of THE PRINCIPAL. Kind of. If you buy that description then Nick Nolte would be Belushi, but before he’s transferred and promoted. He’s a beer drinking, too-hung-over-to-come-in-on-Mondays teacher at a high school where only a small amount of learning occurs. But instead of putting the blame on drug gangs and juvenile delinquents this one points its finger at a system that only focuses on the kids that are easy to teach and neglects the hard ones. The story takes place in the midst of a lawsuit against the school district for graduating a kid who didn’t know how to read. (read the rest of this shit…)
Here’s one from Cannon Films and our friend Albert Pyun, but I’m sorry to say this is the most boring one I’ve seen so far in my back-to-school marathon. The idea behind it, at least, is different from the other ones I’ve seen. This time the school is overrun with troublemakers spraying graffiti and what not, but they’re not the bad guys – that would be The Sentinels, a group of fascist jocks who patrol Vista Verde High School to keep people in line. Their main job at school is just painting over graffiti, but outside of school they actually track people down wearing masks, beat the shit out of them and make them think they’re going to murder them, then leave them crying out in the middle of the woods. Don’t you hate popular kids? (read the rest of this shit…)
This would’ve been a perfect opportunity for another “is…” movie. James Belushi is… THE PRINCIPAL. But director Christopher Cain (YOUNG GUNS) let that one fly by. Anyway, in this drama-leaning-toward-action James Belushi plays Rich Latimer, a fuckup teacher who’s punished by being “promoted” to principal of Brandel, the crime infested cess pool of an alternative school where all the district’s worst troublemakers get shipped off to after they light a teacher on fire or crash a stolen hot air balloon whatever. Those are not specified but I’m assuming that’s the type of stuff they did. You know this place is bad when Latimer stops by to check it out during non-school hours and gets mixed up in a fight and car chase. (read the rest of this shit…)