Thursday, January 29, 2009

January's Cult Movie of the Month - Flash Gordon (1936)

The Review

Oh, man... what a snore-fest. I only made it through the first TWO CHAPTERS of this serial.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the old cliffhangers, but it's gotta be something I have a LITTLE interest in. And not being a Flash Gordon fan....

What can I say?

Speaking of interest, I'm not so sure about this new calendar I got. I went with one called "Cult Attack" (versus last year's "Monster Movies" calendar). When I got it, I was a little disappointed at some of the movies in it....

And TWO of the months don't even HAVE movies, they're PULP COVERS. I mean, I love the pulps too, but when you're trying to do a Monster MOVIE of the Month....

Anyway.... If you ARE a Flash Gordon fan, or just curious, click through for a chapter by chapter synopsis (that I didn't write)....

Synopsis - shamelessly stolen from

1. The Planet of Peril: The planet Mongo is on a collision course with Earth. Dr. Alexis Zarkov takes off in a rocket ship to Mongo, with Flash Gordon and Dale Arden as his assistants. They find that the planet is ruled by the cruel Emperor Ming, who lusts after Dale and sends Flash to fight in the arena. Ming's daughter, Princess Aura, tries to spare Flash's life.

2. The Tunnel of Terror: Aura helps Flash to escape as Zarkov is put to work in Ming's laboratory and Dale is prepared for her wedding to Ming. Flash meets Prince Thun, leader of the Lion Men, and the pair return to the palace to rescue Dale.

3. Captured by Shark Men: Flash stops the wedding ceremony, but he and Dale are captured by King Kala, ruler of the Shark Men and a loyal follower of Ming. At Ming's order, Kala forces Flash to fight with a giant octosak.

4. Battling the Sea Beast: Aura and Thun rescue Flash from the octosak. Trying to keep Flash away from Dale, Aura destroys the mechanisms that regulate the underwater city.

5. The Destroying Ray: Flash, Dale, Aura and Thun escape from the underwater city, but are captured by King Vultan and the Hawkmen. Dr. Zarkov befriends Prince Barin, and they race to the rescue.

6. Flaming Torture: Dale pretends to fall in love with King Vultan in order to save Flash, Barin and Thun, who are put to work in the Hawkmen's Atom Furnaces.

7. Shattering Doom: Flash, Barin, Thun and Zarkov create an explosion in the atomic furnaces.

8. Tournament of Death: Dr. Zarkov saves the Hawkmen's city from falling, earning Flash and his friends King Vultan's gratitude. Ming insists that Flash fight a Tournament of Death against a masked opponent, and then a vicious orangopoid.

9. Fighting the Fire Dragon: Flash survives the tournament. Still determined to win Flash, Aura has him drugged to make him lose his memory.

10. The Unseen Peril: Flash recovers his memory. Ming is determined to have Flash executed.

11. In the Claws of the Tigron: Zarkov invents a machine that makes Flash invisible. Flash torments Ming and his guards. Barin hides Dale in the catacombs, but Aura has her tracked by a tigron.

12. Trapped in the Turret: Aura realizes the error of her ways, and falls in love with Barin. She tries to help Flash and his friends to return to Earth — but Ming plots to kill them.

13. Rocketing to Earth: Ming orders that the Earth people be caught and killed, but Flash and his friends escape from the emperor's clutches. Flash, Dale and Zarkov make a triumphant return to Earth.


(In space no one can hear your brain....)

The Trailer

Couldn't find one anywhere....

The Details

Director: Frederick Stephani

Writers: Alex Raymond (based on the comic strip by) & Ella O'Neill (screenplay)

Release Date: 6 April 1936 (USA)

Genre : Sci-Fi


Buster Crabbe - Flash Gordon
Jean Rogers - Dale Arden
Charles Middleton - Ming the Merciless
Priscilla Lawson - Princess Aura
Frank Shannon - Dr. Alexis Zarkov
Richard Alexander - Prince Barin
Jack 'Tiny' Lipson - King Vultan
Theodore Lorch - High Priest #2
Richard Tucker - Prof. Gordon
George Cleveland - Prof. Hensley
James Pierce - Prince Thun
Duke York - King Kala
Muriel Goodspeed - Zona
Earl Askam - Officer Torch
House Peters Jr. - Shark Man

Friday, January 9, 2009

Silent Rage (1982)

Chuck and his mustache destroy Undestroyable Killer

The Review

I remembered seeing this in the theater when I was about 14. Don't think I even knew who Chuck Norris was, but - it was a movie about an "Indestructible... Unstoppable... Superhuman Killing Machine". (Hello!)

Now, 1982 was a long time ago, but when I gave it a good think I was able to dredge up a few celluloid memories, still rattling around the old brain:
  • a woman popping open her vest and shaking her boobs at someone (c'mon, I was 14)
  • a doctor slicing a guy's chest open and the wound almost immediately healing (very cool)
  • a terrified lady creeping around a dark house, a guy grabbing her by the face, smashing the back of her head into a wall and her head leaving a blood smear as she slid slowly down the wall to the floor (gruesome)
  • a guy getting shot several times and smashing through a 4th story window to the ground, then a close-up on his face as his eyes snap open (a la terminator)
Geeze. That's some seriously gruesome stuff. Where were my parents that day? They were supposed to protect me from stuff like this.

Anyway, I rented the movie to see how accurate the old brain had been and if the movie stood the test of time. And it... kind of... stood. Maybe it leaned a little, maybe it didn't have the best posture, but it stood. It did totally deliver on the unstoppable killing machine part, and that's the important thing. (It IS.) Sure, I could've done without that lame-o comedy relief deputy. But other than that....

The basic plot is this (from the back of the DVD):
Chuck Norris, six-time World Karate Champion, stars in his first suspense film as the tough, street-fighting sheriff of a small Texas town terrorized by a psychotic killer. Sheriff Stevens (Norris) is faced with the dilemma of stopping the invincible murderer, made virtually indestructible through genetic engineering. A young group of researchers are responsible for developing the genetically altering serum, and the head of the research institute is determined to continue the experiments, regardless of the consequences. Norris displays fighting brilliance as he single-handedly routs a dozen brutal bikers from a truck stop hangout, while revealing a warm and sexy side when he rekindles an old romance with Alison Halman (Toni Kalem), a researcher at the institute. Excitement, horror, and romance prevail as Norris combats the killer.
Overall, the movie was a little lame - but it gets sooo many points for having really cool unstoppable killing machine-ness. And I'll tell you, I'd be surprised if ol' Arnold hadn't seen this movie before he started working out his Terminator persona.


But I really can't comment on Chuck's "warm and sexy side".

The Trailer

The Details

Director: Michael Miller

Writer: Joseph Fraley

Release Date: 2 April 1982

Genre: Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Tagline: The king of martial arts versus a bionic killing machine!


Chuck Norris ... Sheriff Dan Stevens
Ron Silver ... Dr. Tom Halman
Steven Keats ... Dr. Phillip Spires
Toni Kalem ... Alison Halman
William Finley ... Dr. Paul Vaughn
Brian Libby ... John Kirby
Stephen Furst ... Charlie
Stephanie Dunnam ... Nancy Halman
Joyce Ingle ... Mrs. Sims
Jay De Plano ... Biker Leader
Lillette Zoe Raley ... Tatooed Biker Mama
Mike Johnson ... Biker at Cafe
Linda Tatum ... Biker Mama #1 at Bar
Kathleen Lee ... Biker Mama #2

Runtime: 103 min

Country: USA

Language: English

Monday, January 5, 2009

Kabluey (2007)

Man dons blue suit, unable to fly

The Review

This is a gentle little indie film about loneliness and alienation. Well, mostly it's gentle. It has kind of a despair-ish angry undercurrent to it. But it works.

It's also a comedy, which by golly says a lot for Scott Prendergast (writer/director/actor), since it's not easy to make loneliness and alienation funny.

The story goes like this....

You've got your pathetic screw-up, Salman (Prendergast), who's asked by his mom to help big sister Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) with her 2 preadolescent boys. Leslie's husband is off fighting in Iraq and, with no one to watch the kids, she's been off work for awhile.

But Leslie has to go back to work, or lose her and the kids health benefits, so Salman's job is to babysit. Now, these two boys see him as some kind of threat and hate his guts. Seriously. Like thumb tacks-in-the-cereal, ingest-cleanser-while-asleep serious.

Leslie hates Salman's guts too (the poor sod). Something about him and her wedding and nobody in the family's wanted him around since. Anyway, after awhile Leslie gets the kids into daycare, then tells Salman to get a job or leave (betting he'll leave).

But Salman doesn't have anywhere to go, so he ends up taking a job as a big creepy blue mascot for a failing dot com (where his sister works). The job consists of Salman dressing up in a big blue foam rubber suit and standing out front of the building, on the edge of the road, handing out flyers. Which he does.

It's a darn funny film, what with the boys' kill-attempts and Salman's blue-suit escapades, but along the way it also really explores it's characters and the ways they cope with aloneness and perceived lack of meaning in their lives.

It's a very visual (uh, duh) film, in that a lot of that exploration takes place without using dialogue, like the old guy (Thermos Man) we see on Salman's bus rides to and from work. He doesn't say anything (intelligible) throughout the movie, but his scenes add up in such a way that's really poignant.

And Lisa Kudrow does a nice job of playing a tapped out mom who's hopes have faded to nothing. At first I thought they'd used some kind of makeup to get her looking older and, well, dumpier. But it's really just the set of her face and the way she carries herself in the film. It's ACTING. Nice.

Well worth watching.


The Trailer

The Details

Director: Scott Prendergast

Writer: Scott Prendergast

Genre: Comedy

Tagline: Every family has a black sheep. This one is blue.


Lisa Kudrow - Leslie
Scott Prendergast - Salman
Christine Taylor - Betty
Conchata Ferrell - Kathleen
Jeffrey Morgan - Brad
Chris Parnell - Frank
Teri Garr - Suze
Angela Sarafyan - Ramona
Patricia Buckley - Elizabeth P.
Cameron Wofford - Cameron
Landon Henninger - Lincoln
Raquel Gavia - Esme
Bill Toney - Thermos Man
Nick Holden - Leonard
Matt Hensarling - Jared

Official Site

Friday, January 2, 2009

Terminatrix (1995)

lame softcore masquerades as robot movie

The Review

I knew better, I really did.

But it was about robots! Was I supposed to just walk away from that? Even when I knew it was an unheard of sexploitation flick, that it couldn't possibly have had the budget to include any cool robot scenes?

I couldn't stop myself. It was a robot movie I hadn't seen (and there are so few of those anymore); I had to take the chance.

It was a total bust. My first *no brains* review. Some slue about sex being regulated in the future and a rebellion of free love led by some lady and a killer cyborg sent back in time to off the lady's dad before he conceived her.

Sound familiar? Okay, I knew it was a Terminator spoof when I put it in the queue. Even then, I wasn't prepared for the banality of the film. No cool robot scenes. None. All robotic coolness was implied and not seen.

Plenty of ridiculous simulated sex scenes, though. Seen and not implied.


In the immortal words of Melvin Udall, "I'd be the luckiest guy alive if that did it for me".


The Trailer

The Details

Yuuki Fujisawa
Saeko Ichijou
Kei Mizutani ... Terminatrix

Mikio Hirota

MPAA Rating
Unrated (for nudity, simulated sex and lame dialogue)

74 minutes

Japanese with English subtitles

Terminatrix at IMDB

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Zombie Strippers (2008)

Old strippers never die, they just shoot billiard balls from their....

I'm only a little ashamed to say that I'm not a lot ashamed to admit I couldn't pass up a film with a title like this.

I'm not particularly a fan of zombies OR strippers, but there are certain words in our language, when paired together, that create something more than just their letters combined. Something... bigger than all of us.

I don't mean to say Zombie Strippers is a good movie. It's a bad movie. But I felt compelled to watch, just to see what could or would possibly unfold during a movie pairing these two words in it's title.

Well, save your money.

No. Really. Save it and buy yourself something nice. You're worth it.

The story's the same you find in most any zombie film: unidentified military entity creates and then loses zombifying potion, various and sundry innocents are infected and the brain barbecue begins.

In this case the infected folks are strippers and (in most cases) WANT to be zombified because their customers love watching zombies dance and the dead girls are making more money. (I know. What town is this?)

Anyway, much bloodiness and occasional funniness occur until the unidentified military entity comes in and cleans up the mess.

I think the question of whether you should see this movie can be answered here: 

If seeing two dead strippers battle for supremacy, and Stripper A blows Stripper B's legs off by inserting billiard balls into her own vagina, then using her amazing-stripper-pelvic-muscle-strength to hurl them at Stripper B like cannon balls does anything for you at at all - this is your movie.



The Trailer

The Details


Jenna Jameson...Kat

Robert Englund...Ian

Roxy Saint...Lillith

Penny Drake...Sox

Whitney Anderson...Gaia

Jennifer Holland...Jessy

Shamron Moore...Jeannie

Jeannette Sousa ...Berengé

Carmit Levité...Madame Blavatski

John Hawkes...Davis

Brad Milne...Dr. Chushfeld

Zak Kilberg...Byrdflough

Jen Alex Gonzalez...Lt. Ryker

Jessica Custodio...Kwan

Laura Bach...Sassy Sue


Jay Lee

MPAA Rating

USA: R/Unrated (for boobs, gore and tasteless humor)


94 minutes


Live Dead Nudes

They'll dance for a fee, but devour you for free.




Zombie Strippers at Wikipedia