Thursday, May 18th, 2023
May 20, 1983-
SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE IN 3-D is a movie I’d never seen before now, but had been vaguely curious about for years because of its long title and mysterious status as an ’80s space adventure that never much caught on as far as I’ve seen. Now thanks to this review series I finally get to learn what it’s all about and how it differs from another long-titled 3D sci-fi movie we’ll be taking a look at in August.
That first part of the title refers to Wolff (Peter Strauss, THE JERICHO MILE), who’s kind of a Star Lord – a 22nd century mercenary who takes a gig rescuing three tourists from Earth whose escape pod crash landed on the hostile planet Terra 11 after the luxury space cruise ship they were vacationing on blew up. It’s a pretty great opening with charmingly goofy model spaceships (some of the miniature work is by legendary TERMINATOR animator/slide guitarist “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow) and a really cool design for the pod. It opens up and they have these weird gold encasings over their torsos, you’re not really sure who or what you’re look at until they lift off the metallic things and reveal that they’re three ladies who look like they could be Barbarella’s friends from college or one of Prince’s girl groups. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aleisa Shirley, Andrea Marcovicci, Cali Timmins, Dan Goldberg, David Preston, Deborah Pratt, Edith Rey, Elmer Bernstein, Ernie Hudson, Harold Ramis, Hrant Alianak, Ivan Reitman, Jean LaFleur, Lamont Johnson, Len Blum, Michael Ironside, Molly Ringwald, Peter Strauss, Sneaky Pete Kleinow
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 18 Comments »
Thursday, August 12th, 2021
Earlier this year I did a week of rock ’n roll related animated features, including Don Bluth’s ROCK-A-DOODLE, which was released on August 2, 1991 in the U.K. (though not until the following April in the U.S.). In that review I talked about Disney struggling in the ‘80s, and Bluth disagreeing with their direction and splintering off to try to recapture the old Walt magic, doing a pretty good job for a while but then completely losing the plot by that time, when he made that completely befuddling movie about a farm rooster exiled to animal Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Disney was finally getting their shit together, in a way that reinvigorated the entire American animation industry. It kicked off in the summer of ’88, when Robert Zemeckis and Richard Williams’ love letter to animation history WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT was a giant hit with adults as much as kids. Then in ’89 THE LITTLE MERMAID perfected the musical fairy tale formula that Disney and its rivals would attempt to recapture for the rest of the decade. (A similar thing was happening on TV, with every network trying to make prime time cartoons in the wake of The Simpsons. Even the cartoons made for younger audiences were beginning to be more creative and less disposable: Nickelodeon debuted Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show on August 11th.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Dana Hill, Disney, Harold Ramis, Hyperion Animation, Las Vegas, Rodney Dangerfield, Sal Landi, Shawn Southwick, Summer of 1991
Posted in Cartoons and Shit, Reviews | 41 Comments »
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
Six months after AMERICAN POP we got another animated-feature-for-adults-with-a-rock-soundtrack. This entry in the ink, paint and rock ‘n roll mini-genre is not directly about the music, but heavily emphasizes its soundtrack, basing sequences around it not quite like FANTASIA, but not completely unlike it. And some of the visual subject matter definitely shares its DNA with the kind of stuff they put on the album covers for this kind of music.
HEAVY METAL was based on the comics anthology magazine Heavy Metal, which is an English translation of the French magazine Métal hurlant. If they had translated the title literally it would’ve been HOWLING METAL, so it would’ve sounded about fifteen to twenty times cooler, but I bet it wouldn’t have been turned into an animated feature with a soundtrack featuring Sammy Hagar, Nazareth and Black Sabbath. And Devo and Blue Öyster Cult and Cheap Trick and Journey and Grand Funk Railroad and Stevie Nicks. And Riggs? Not the same one we’re thinking of, I don’t think. I don’t know who Riggs is. But he has a song on this.
The movie originates from Canada, specifically producer Ivan Reitman, whose directorial work STRIPES came out the same summer. He’d also produced serious genre movies SHIVERS, THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE and RABID, so this movie being much more of a sci-fi/fantasy/horror type deal than a comedy is not completely out of the blue for him. He’d also produced NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE, making him a pioneer of cinematic adaptations of magazine brand names. I wonder if he ever tried to do HIGHLIGHTS’ GOOFUS AND GALLANT? If not they must not have Highlights in Canada, because that’s just a no-brainer. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: adult animation, Alice Playten, Bernie Wrightson, Dan O'Bannon, Daniel GOldberg, Don Francks, Elmer Bernstein, Eugene Levy, Gerald Potterton, Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman, Jackie Burroughs, Jimmy T. Murakami, John Bruno, John Candy, John Halas, Len Blum, Marilyn Lightstone, Moebius, Richard Corben, Richard Romanus
Posted in Cartoons and Shit, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 28 Comments »
Monday, July 18th, 2016
GHOSTBUSTERS (1984) is the story of three male scientists – Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray – who live and work in New York City and specialize in studying the supernatural. They lose their grant at the college just because the uptight higher ups notice that they are bringing great shame and humiliation upon the institution by wasting everyone’s time and money on an area of study that is not real. And that’s without even knowing that Murray (WILD THINGS) doesn’t totally believe in it and spends his days doing fake telepathy tests just to hit on women.
So they decide to lease a beat up old fire station and start a scrappy new business that treats exorcism like pest control and advertises on TV and what not. Lucky for them they are correct, it turns out ghosts are real and there are a couple actual hauntings going on in the city. A female client (Sigourney Weaver, ABDUCTION) comes to their male offices with a huge case: her refrigerator is a portal to a ghost dimension or some shit and she and her neighbor (Rick Moranis, STREETS OF FIRE) get possessed and an ancient Sumerian god named Gozer (Slavitz Jovan, KNIGHT OF CUPS) appears on top of the building and they have to shoot lasers at it, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Elmer Bernstein, Ernie Hudson, ghosts, Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman, Richard Edlund, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, William Atherton
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 113 Comments »