"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Posts Tagged ‘Zach Galligan’

Warlock: The Armageddon

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

tn_warlock2Remember how I have that problem with horror movies about witches, because they pretend that witches were real and the religious crusaders – who in real life executed totally innocent people based on a superstition – were right? WARLOCK had enough of a fun time travel premise and comic tone that it didn’t bother me that much, but I appreciate that in the sequel they go out of their way to avoid that problem. The solution: Druids!

Kenny Travis (Chris Young, Bryce from Max Headroom) is a high school nerd who is picked on by a popular (long haired) jock kid named Andy (Craig Hurley) who he calls “the school bully.” Andy makes fun of Kenny for reading comic books, but more notably accuses him of being satanic. Kenny doesn’t know it yet, but his father and some of the others are Druids who are charged with using magic runestones to protect the world from evil. But the Christian church-going townspeople blame all the evil shit that happens on this religious minority.

It’s easy to hate this asshole Andy, but not as easy to actually like Kenny. Can’t he be a nerdy underdog without being such an uncharismatic weiner? He stands there cowering while his fucking dad comes up behind him and uses magic to make the sprinklers go off on the jocks. Then all he can come up with to say to them is “Butthead!”

This, unfortunately is our hero who has to face off against the Warlock, who is played by Julian Sands but is apparently not exactly the same warlock he played in the first one. That’s pretty unusual, now that I think about it. As the movie’s Wikipedia entry currently puts it, “It is a sequel in title only to the 1989 film WARLOCK, and stars Julian Sands returning in the title role.” It’s kind of like if LADY DRAGON 2 starred Cynthia Rothrock again as the Lady Dragon but it was totally unrelated to the first one and not about the same lady dragon. Oh, wait. That is what they did. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hatchet III

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

tn_hatchet3Ever since I was a little kid (give or take decades) I’ve always wanted to like the HATCHET movies. They talk a good game about bringing back “old school horror,” they’re throwbacks to the ’80s slashers I’m in love with, they have Kane Hodder as a deformed hillbilly swamp maniac and some funny gore ideas. I also kinda liked writer/director Adam Green’s other movie FROZEN, which of course is sweeping the nation and capturing the hearts of little princesses of all ages who want to see a thriller about people stuck on a ski lift.

On paper HATCHET and HATCHET II are right up my alley, but in practice they took a different street. They’re not comedies, but I found them too self-conscious, too jokey, not atmospheric enough, not structured correctly to be an effective slasher story. I remember the first one as a bunch of actors walking around in a big group on a small, fake-looking swamp set pretending to be lost. I just couldn’t get into it.

So I’m proud to announce that I finally pulled it off. I really liked a HATCHET movie! Part III specifically. Maybe we can credit new director BJ McDonell (promoted from steadicam operator on the first two in the series), but to be fair I-II director Green did write this and was very hands-on as a producer from what I’ve read. Maybe practice makes perfect. After 10,000 hours of making HATCHET movies you get really good at it, like Malcolm McDowell says. (read the rest of this shit…)

Gremlins

Friday, July 20th, 2012

GREMLINS is a weird only-in-the-’80s mix. Like POLTERGEIST it’s a Spielberg production of a PG-rated horror movie directed by a legit horror director, Joe Dante. I mean, we can’t pretend THE HOWLING is on the level of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but I think it’s a minor classic at least, genuinely creepy horror only overshadowed by that other even better werewolf movie that came out the same year.

But the other important factor at play here is that while Dante came up under Roger Corman he’s more of a goofball and cartoon nerd than a horror master. So his monsters are vicious bastards but also funny. Like the martians in MARS ATTACKS! they seem to live more to fuck with us than to kill us. And they plan to do both.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Point Doom

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Back in 2001, long before he ever challenged me to a wrestling match, CHAOS director David “The Demon” DeFalco wrote an action movie called POINT DOOM. It’s directed by a guy named Art Camacho, who was in HALF PAST DEAD and directed a bunch of Don “The Dragon” Wilson movies. The producer is the same guy from CHAOS, here credited as Steven Jay “Bernie” Bernheim. It was sold as a Blockbuster Video exclusive, which I’m sure everyone involved was very proud of.

This is a terrible movie, but it has its own style of craziness and ineptitude that to me makes it much more interesting (if less competent) than the straight up rehash of CHAOS. It has a distinct ’80s retro L.A. sleaziness and an insulated world view that makes you wonder if these people only know cliches or if they are shut-ins who live in a strip club before. I think Grieco is supposed to be a straight-up hero, not an anti-hero, but it’s hard to imagine who would find this chump sympathetic. And the females in the cast have the gravitas of BAYWATCH stars. Almost everybody in this movie is a talent agent, a biker, or an employee of a strip club. The only exceptions are Ice-T (gangster, but not biker) and Angie Everhart (sister of strip club employee). (read the rest of this shit…)

Infested: The Invasion of the Killer Bugs

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Well as you know I am always searching for straight to video movies that don’t suck. And even I sometimes forget why that is my mission, so let me put it down in writing here as a reminder. See, in the old days you had b-movies, you had exploitation movies, etc. And the idea of these movies was low budget, lowbrow, easy investment quickie moneymaker. Like squeezing out sausages. And there was alot of disposable garbage made, because that was the whole point. But within that world there were people like Roger Corman, William Castle, Jack Hill etc. who sometimes made movies that transcended just being a product, movies that some people still watch and hold dear today. Lots of directors like John Sayles, John Demme and maybe one or two other guys got their start working on cheapo Roger Corman movies about women in prison or giant alligators. Also unfortunately Ron Howard but that doesn’t count. And people like George Romero and Sam Raimi started with low budget independent movies made for the drive-ins, movies that nobody would expect to still be considered great all these years later. (read the rest of this shit…)