Monday, September 26, 2011

ROCKNOWLEDGY episode 7 is up on ITunes!

This week Valient digs deep into the depths to delve out a dastardly dose of killer jams.

Rocknowledgy Episode 7 Playlist:

T-6000 intro
Glory- Who Do You Love? (Bo Diddley cover)
Mahavishnu Orchestra- Eternity's Breath parts 1 & 2
Tygers of Pan Tang- Euthanasia
The Birds- No Good Without You Baby
Stalk-Forrest Group- Gil Blanco County
Neon Christ- Ashes to Ashes
Crucial Conflict- Desperado
Wynn Stewart- I'm Gonna Kill You
Wipers- Mystery
Rory Gallagher- I Fall Apart
Lillian Hale- Don't Boom Boom
Frank Zappa- Village of the Sun
Mercyful Fate- A Corpse Without a Soul
Wayne/Jayne County- Mean Mutherfuckin' Man
Valient/T-6000 outro
Spinal Tap- Gimme Some Money

Friday, September 23, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)

"I should have's a storage crystal." - Zax

"I pray we never meet on the same battlefield " - Hurok

"I pray exactly the same. Believe me I do... I... exactly" - Rhodes

This was a film that I had been familiar with since high school. I looked it up and tried forever to find it. Then when the internet was invented, and I figured out how to download songs and things, I eventually found a site that had some cartoons and things on it. This flick had been long forgotten, and then I saw it on the list. I was so excited to get it, it must've taken a week to download it, and after I did, I was so disappointed. I thought it sucked so bad. And it kind of does. To tell you the truth, all of these movies that are ROAD WARRIOR rip offs, could be about the same character. This looks like the further adventures of SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE. Or any number of those. They could all be sequels of one another according to which one you saw first. Main character guy is scruffy and in black leather. Carries a lazer gun. Drives a weird looking off road vehicle. Traverses the desert fighting alien badguys or various stormtrooper types. This one is no exception. Bull Shannon from NIGHT COURT as a cyclops prince, Tim Thomerson as a burnt out "tracker" or "finder", and a cast of unknowns in METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN. (I've still never seen it in 3D).

This one starts out with a black clad "finder" named Dogen who is out to track down a space outlaw named Jared-Syn. He is spotted driving through the desert by one of Jared-Syn's cyclopedian warrior clan on a flying space motorcycle. The cyclops in this movie all have half of their faces disfigured and wear shaved sculled pulled into a high ponytail. He gives chase and shoots the gun off the top of Dogen's vehicle. Dogen makes him smash into a mountain though and finds a weird red crystal on his person. Then we see a chick and her dad mining for some crystals. This dude rolls up who looks suspiciously like Trap-Jaw from He-Man (Why didn't they use this guy and his make up for MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE? We'll never know) named Baal. He commands a gang of cyclops and stormtrooper dude for his dad, Jared-Syn. Jared-Syn shows up and sucks out this dudes life force into the crystal. Dogen shows up later, and consoles the chick and they take the crystal he found to a little fat guy named Zax. Zax tells them what it is, and what they have to do to find someone who can take them to the Lost City to find Jared-Syn.

Ok, so Dogen and the chick have to fight Baal and his minions and then Baal's robot arm extends and sprays this green shit on Dogen's pants. It freaks him out but at least the chick starts blasting and scares them off. Jared-Syn comes to Dogen in a fever dream and tells him he's gonna get him. He wakes up in the chicks arms. They make out and then Jared-Syn knows they are "too strong" together so he vaporizes "Daphne" to his hideout and vapes a fucking glowing ice cyclops monster to fight Dogen. Dogen beats him and goes to find Roades, the old tracker dude who is supposed to help him find the lost city. Roades turns out to be a burned out Tim Thomerson! Yeah! He says no way, but then when Dogen gets in trouble, he blasts some dudes and goes with him anyway.

So Dogen and Rhodes drive all the way to the lost city and into cyclopedian territory past the signs that say, "you pass, you die." They come to this insect looking cyclops statue and Dogen steals a clear mask from it. Then Bull Shannon busts out of nowhere and asks who took it. Roades sells him out immediately, but it turns out they wanna kill who didn't take it. Dogen talks him out of killing him. But he still has to battle Bull "Hurok" Shannon in the pits. They fight with sais and Dogen wins, not only the fight, but the cyclops respect. Then Hurok tells them they are going to find Jared-Syn too. He points them out where to find him only they can't take the same road. So Dogen and Roades take a trecherous path to get there, fighting Baal and the boys along the way.

Ok, so it comes down to the end and Dogen and Roades have fought their way to the city, and Jared-Syn is preparing this huge crystal to enslave the world so that he can rule it. He's sucked up so many souls in those crystals that his power would be limitless. But Dogen has a badass mask that deflects the lasers from the giant crystal. Hurok lets Dogen speak and convinces the amassed legion of cyclops that Jared-Syn is the bad guy. For some reason Dogen starts running for a flying motorcycle and takes off, then we see that apparently Jared-Syn had already gotten on one (even though we don't see that at all). Dogen gives chase, and then they go into some psychedelic space time warp and Jared-Syn disappears. Dogen comes out in the desert and that's how they end it! No explanation. No death, no capture, no way of knowing what happens. I guess they wanted to make a sequel, but they never did. Millions have been on their toes for years wondering what became of old Jared-Syn. Was he "destructed"? The title implies that, but we have no goddamned proof. Anyway, this is a Charles Band production. He made a lot of the Full Moon titles like TRANCERS and EVIL BONG. Should you watch this? If desert wasteland end of the world badassery is your bag, then by all means. Hop to it.

ROCKNOWLEDGY episode 6 is up on ITunes!

Alahoyus everyone- ROCKNOWLEDGY episode 6 is up on ITunes w/ special guest Greg Hetson from Bad Religion/Circle Jerks and I introduce the T-6000, my robot super computer. Go download for free, and tell everyone!

Playlist for episode 6:

T-6000/Valient intro
Circle Jerks- Killing for Jesus
Interview w/ Greg Hetson
Creedence Clearwater Revival- Up Around the Bend
The Guess Who- It's My Pride
No Friends- Set in Your Ways
The Fall- DIY Meat
Oneida- Cold Rain & Snow (Grateful Dead cover)
Sparks- Angst in my Pants
Curved Air- Backstreet Luv
Silkworm- Couldn't You Wait?
Guided By Voices- Storm Vibrations
Leroy and the Drivers- The Sad Chicken
The Dillards (as the Darlins' w/ Andy Griffith)- Whoa Mule
Unsane- Against the Grain
Down By Law- Finally Here
The Kinks- So Long

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

"I hear a mountain lion! I gotta get back to my house and you better get to your car!" - Tom Hill

"I just got so tired of all the fucking deaths in Iraq. I just thought- why not give peace a chance?" - Ramsey

"She's taking a shit. Natalie is watching her back." - Rod

Wow. This was a fucking CHORE. I've had people tell me about this flick for about a year now. People were dropboxing it to me, emailing it to me, anything they could do to get me to feel as bad as they felt about watching this piece of shit. Now, as always, just because its a piece of shit, doesn't mean its not entertaining. But, seriously, there are 3 and a half minute sections where this dude is DRIVING TO WORK!!! A cast of unknowns in a first timer's first delusion as a filmmaker, I present BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR!!!

The great thing about this movie is that it gives other aspiring filmmakers hope, that all you really have to have is a camera, some friends, and some spare time and you can make a feature length production. You don't even have to EDIT! HA! Yeah, my biggest problem here, and probably the reason Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim chose to host a screening of this in Hollywood is that its pretty much edited exactly like their show. Which isn't bad if you are trying to be funny for 15 minutes. This movie has FORTY SIX MINUTES of set up before anything actually happens!!! Then FINALLY in the last half of the movie, you get to the actual Birdemic. I love Tim and Eric's style of editing humor, but this is an exercise in patience. They had nothing to do with this by the way, It just reminds me of them, and why they dig things like this and THE ROOM. Our film begins with a young software salesman who spies a hot ass chick from high school one morning in a diner.

No way in the world his lame attempt to get her number would have ever flown in real life. Its like they were actually robots, and not real people. These people had no acting experience whatsoever. The funny thing is if instead of trying to say lines that they've memorized, they probably would have been more convincing if they'd have just tried to act like humans. So he gets the girls number, goes back to work. Similar to the scene where he's getting ready, and driving to work, and getting in and out of his car, and stopping for gas and all these mundane (real) but not necessary things that are usually skipped in the storytelling process, when he gets back to work, his bosses have sold the company and its gone public or something. So they are all rich. They then clap for a solid minute and a half. It is like chinese water torture. Ok, now, in some sort of effort to make a statement about global warming, Rod attempts to sell his idea of cheap solar panels to some big wigs. They bite and he's even richer. So he asks the girl out on a date. They fall for each other, he meets her mom. This is all still the set up by the way. Everything's fine in silicon valley. This is supposed to be in San Fran, but it looks more like Irvine.

Ok, so they've seen a dead bird on the beach and somehow 45 minutes have gone by, and we think the movie has got to be almost over, it seems like its been two hours. Nope, we haven't even begun yet! They rent a hotel to bang each other to celebrate his good fortune and hers (she landed a "victoria secret" gig as a "fashion model") and then we see a serene landscape. Actually a montage of serene landscapes. Early morning. All is well... until: EEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRGGGCCCH! Thousands of eagles and vultures lay waste to the towns. They are forced to stay in their hotel room until late in the day. Then they leave and find another couple. The dude suggests they grab hangers to defend themselves... Then they jump in his shitty van and head north. They find two kids on the side of the road whose parents are dead. They just pretend tons of cars aren't going by them, and people aren't in the background on the beach when they're shooting. You have to pretend with them or you'll go insane yelling at your screen. OK, but somehow, after suggesting they use hangers, this guy Ramsey has machine guns in his ride. WHAT???? Why would you even fuck with hangers when you had an M-16 in the Astrovan? So lots of people are murdered by birds.

Throughout the next 45 minutes, we witness the worst computer effects ever put to screen (and some of the most annoying screeching sounds over and over and over). There is an attempt to make a statement about the Iraq war, global warming, and other social world crushing topics as they encounter doctors, hippies and outlaws on the road. "Gas, $100 a gallon? what a ripoff!" Dude, you just became a billionaire, who gives a shit how much gas costs?! Then theres a statement about spoiled kids when the 2 kids won't eat the fish he caught for them and ask for a "happy meal". Fucking little assholes. Don't they see the world is ending? Then all of a sudden for no reason at all, the birds just fly away. Rod and Natalie, and the 2 kids stare out at the ocean for a full 4 minutes before the credits start, and then stay that way through the entire credits. No explanation, the waves just rolling in and out. Birds just becoming smaller and smaller in the distance. Some call it art. I call it shit. Those birds are quitters. Or maybe the writer quit. Either way, the ending wasn't written, it just manifested itself. Should you watch it? Maybe. Are you a horrible person? Yes, then, you should watch it, over and over. And you should cry.

Bad/awesome flixxx review: Neon Maniacs (1986)

"Yeah, it was creepy. Probably your mom howling out her anti-sex warning." - teenager

"Now let me get this straight. You're telling me that these, these things are inside the Golden Gate Bridge, one. Two, that they only come out at night. And three, that they're responsible for the death of fifteen or more kids and three of my police officers? " - Cop

"When the world is ruled by violence and the soul of mankind fades, the children's path shall be darkened by the shadows of the NEON MANIACS." - Announcer

This is one of the better finds I've come across recently. I visited the very first thrift store I ever went into a few weeks ago back in my hometown and found a stack of VHS and a copy of this on DVD. Where or who that lived around there was genius enough to pick it up and dumb enough to let it go is beyond me. This is quality trash! Mid-80s monster story set in San Fran with some of the coolest looking baddies (12 of them!), 2 super shitty bands, one amazing creepy synth soundtrack, and a cast of unknowns in NEON MANIACS!!!

Our tale begins with a very quick murder of an old man on the docks. Someone or SOME THING grabs him outta the darkness. Cue creepy soundtrack and the credits. Then we have a good ol fashioned 80s teenagers buying beers and partying in the park story. How did they acquire the beers? Fake IDs I guess... they didn't show that part. But they did introduce the main characters of dork guy that the jocks make fun of, and the only girl without a boyfriend in the band full of partyers. As soon as everyone starts breaking off to fuck, sure enough, monsters come out of the dark. A Hangman, a really cool looking archer, a monkeyman w/ blond hair that seriously will haunt my dreams for weeks to come, an indian, and some other dudes roll up and wreak havoc on all of these kids. The only one they didn't get? The single chick, Natalie. She's a pretty decent looking blondie who's upset, but nobody believes once the pigs start sorting everything out.

Her classmates don't believe her either and one of the missing kids sister's tries to start a fight. They send her home til the heat dies down. This gives dork guy a chance to come over and console her. During the day he's a grocery delivery man, so he brings the stuff in, and she offers him a beer. He scores in a number of ways, #1 being that she is LAYING BY THE POOL IN A BIKINI when he comes over, because we all know, when our close friends are slaughtered, that's what we do, go chill out by the pool. #2 He scores a date with her as well. What I don't get is how the monsters got this chick's address.

Ok, so there's another character, some little nerd girl who's really into monster movies and shit like that. One of the cops investigating the scene has a son that's her classmate/amateur film crew guy. The cops found glowing slime "gook" at the scene of the crime. His dad relayed info to him, and he relays the info to her, and she (with her little hat turned sideways) turns into little monster sleuth girl. She actually goes down and video tapes the monsters, but they don't show up on her camera. So she goes and tries to reason with Natalie, but Natalie isn't having it, she just tells the girl to kick rocks. Ok, so Natalie and dorkus go on their date, but they have to take the subway home cuz his van broke down. Ape man, indian, samurai, and one of the other ones give chase and almost catch them but luckily they escape or it wouldn't have been much of a movie.

One of the monsters follows the little girl home and she shoots him with a water gun and he freaks out. She backs him into the bathroom and knocks him into the tub and melts his ass. Then she takes this new information that she's privy to and successfully convinces dork and Natalie that water is the answer to their problems. Turns out dork guy is the singer in a really hilarious sax heavy new wave band called The Outlaws. They just so happen to be in a battle of the bands against another heavy metal hair band called Genius (I think). Both of them suck in the BEST way possible. The songs are hilarious. The monsters show up along with a doctor one and a soldier one and wreak havoc on the party. A few of them are killed in the battle, but most of them get away. Then the pigs interrogate the kids. Then they go look for the monsters only to find nothing. Then the main cop who doesn't believe shit dismisses the other cops, but then gets eaten himself by the one eyed green monster guy. Killer! This is one I had no idea about, but I can't believe more people haven't seen. It is super fun and I highly recommend. CHECK it out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bad/awesome flixxx review: Slaughter High (1986)

"We'll take my car... it starts every time..." - Carol

"Let's drink some beer!" - Skip

"Um... fuck. Ah, tits. Screw. Um... tits." - Frank

I first saw this film probably when I was in fourth or fifth grade on the saturday or sunday matinee movie on what became the local fox affiliate before they even did that. I used to watch all sorts of matinees or black belt theater, or mega monster theater. I wish they still did that kind of thing. I'd love to host a midnight theater on some station somewhere. That's like a dreamer job. This seemed like a very typical slasher film, complete with a nerd getting picked on and him exacting his revenge. But little did I know at the weird mystery surrounding the cast that happened soon after the film was completed. A cast of late twentysomethings and a few mid thirtysomething unknowns somehow star as teenagers in SLAUGHTER HIGH!!!

Initially this film was supposed to be called "April Fool's Day", until the producers learned that Paramount was coming out with a film called that later in the year. The film was shot in England with English actors, but set somewhere in the states. The plot revolves around a nerd dude named Marty who is being tricked in the beginning of the movie by the hot popular chick at school named Carol. There's some kind of ball game going on (I wasn't paying attention because I kept thinking they were about to show Carol's boobs) and Carol told Marty to come with her down to the girls locker room to bang. Marty is skeptical, but isn't about to pass up a chance to lay Carol down. She suggests they first take a shower. Little does Marty know but Carol has all the popular kids with a full fucking film crew waiting while he gets undressed in the shower. She gets him to come out and upon the big reveal (no prob with full frontal nudity in this one) (and on a dude too, you'd think we'd at least got to see Carol's boobs once. whatever) they start jabbing at him with a pole vaulting pole and then they shock him with something and then they give him a swirlie in the toilet. After being busted by the janitor, the coach comes down to chew everyone out.

I feel like if this really happened these assholes would've gotten more than after school detention. Anyway, they all go for their punishment except the one stoner dude and his buddy hang back and give Marty a joint full of seeds. And then while he's smoking it, the other dude who was the ring leader guy sneaks in the lab where Marty is and puts some chemical in some container. When Marty comes back, the whole thing blows up creating a lab fire. Freaking out and trying to clean up the fire, Marty accidentally knocks into a shelf where a whole gallon of acid falls on his face melting it off and making him look hideous. The kids watch in horror as he's carted out, Carol in particular feeling remorse. As she tries to tell him she's sorry, he jumps up and tries to rip her face off.

Fast forward ten years (I guess) and Carol is like a porn chick, and her and the others are invited back to the high school for a reunion. They all either have car trouble on the way or end up giving each other rides (similar to plots in a lot of slasher films) and finally they all arrive at the school but wonder whats going on, because only 8 of them have shown up. They all think they can't be on the wrong day, but then they all suspect that it was Skip who invited them because he's a prick that's always up to no good. For some reason they decide to go into the old school that has CLEARLY been shut down for a few years. Two go around back to find a way in while the rest sit out front. Finally they get in, and decide to party. Drinks and streamers and shit are all set up. I would've been out of there, no, I never would have even gone in in the first place. They all notice their old lockers with their old shit still in it. Like no other students ever went there to school after that. They see Marty's locker and wonder what became of him. Skip starts joking about him. Pretty soon after that, Marty just starts murdering motherfuckers. One of them drinks some weird chemical in a beer and his guts explode all over this chick. She decides to get all the way naked and sit down in a bathtub (? where is there a bathtub in high schools?) instead of just washing her face and arms. And then the water is red and I guess that means its hot, because she doesn't get out, she just stays in it, and it burns her skin off and then her face melts off the skull! AWESOME SCENE!

Then another dude is cut up to death by a lawn mower/tractor/truck, and another is hung, but doesn't really die, but then DOES die because the hot chick hacks him in the face with an axe mistaking him for marty! Another chick is electrocuted, another drowned in a septic tank, the stoner dude is impaled in his car, and then the one chick decides to cheat on her hubby after two people have already been brutally murdered. I NEVER get that. Some people are dead, let's fuck! WHAT?!? So they get electrocuted too, and then finally in the end we are back in the girls locker room where the whole deal started. Carol has escaped Marty over and over again, but finally he fucking gets her. BUT THEN WAIT: The weirdest cop out ending I've seen in years happens. And I don't know if I'm mad about it or confused. Marty just suddenly wakes up. HA! Matty and me were watching this and he goes, "oh that old trick, eh?" HAHA! But WAIT- there's more: Then Marty is like so pissed that it wasn't real, that he grabs a needle, stabs it in the eye of the nurse and then looks dead in the camera and starts ripping the skin off of his own face?!?! WHAT? I was pulling for Marty for so long, and he just goes nutso on me. Well, I guess you'd have to be nutso anyway. And who says he can't go kill all these people with what was left of his face ripped off? Other murderers have done more with less. So should you see this? I say yes. Hit a big one and turn it on. If you dig slashers at all, you'll appreciate it. The moral of the story? Don't go to your high school reunion if you were a dick. Preesh.

I forgot to add this part in there, but the whole mystery thing that surrounded the cast afterwards went like this: while they were waiting on the flick to come out, the actor who played Marty killed himself by purposefully overdosing. There's a ton of mystery surrounding his death. Like where, when, wrong dates and all that shit. Anyway. Yeah, bummer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bad/awesome flixxx review: The Secret of My Success (1987)

"Look, I like you, I really like you, but I gotta tell you, I have become seriously and emotionally involved with someone who isn't my aunt." - Brantley

"My cousin Ellen married his half-sister's nephew, before she got bit by that dog and died." - Brantley's mother

"I was having fun on this job! You had all this energy, and all these crazy ideas... and you kept taking your pants off." - Jean

I remember watching the trailer for this as a little kid. BACK TO THE FUTURE had been out for a while and TEEN WOLF and FAMILY TIES had made Michael J. Fox a star. I thought I definitely needed to see this movie, but my Earth mother had other ideas. It was most assuredly about some sex stuff that she thought I probably didn't need to know about at 8. Either way, I had seen FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF and they had the same song by Yello in it (the one that goes "mmmmm chka chka, doo bow bow). So I thought it would probably be like that. I also remember the song "Walking on Sunshine" in the trailer as well that was a big hit that summer. I think I liked that song only because I associated it with Michael J. Fox. Anyway, this one also had a huge 80s crush of mine- Helen Slater from LEGEND OF BILLY JEAN and SUPERGIRL. Wow, she kind of looked like shit in this one, but hey, it was the 80s. Haircuts could really fuck you up. Both of them, a cameo from Herman Munster, and the dickhead cop from SOLARBABIES all star in THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS!!!

This film is the story of Brantley Foster, a pretty smart, well educated kid from the sticks in Kansas. He HAD to get outta there and move to the Big Apple to see if he could make it. He dreamed of coming back to Kansas in his own private jet and had "delusions of grandeur" as they say. But Brantley wasn't one to be denied. Upon arrival in NYC, he goes to his new job only to find out that 90% of the company has been shitcanned in a corporate takeover. He witnesses a robbery while in a telephone booth, and his apartment is a shithole that has his bed beside of a wall where his neighbors fuck constantly. So things aren't going so well off the bat. He remains positive. He tries to get a job everywhere, but no one needs him. Finally he remembers that his mom gave him his distant uncle's number and he goes there to try and score a gig.

His uncle is a bigshit dick exec type dude with no time for anyone but Brantley wins him over and lands a slot in the mailroom. Now the strange thing here is, I've been buying VHS like this for a long time and I just grab one and pop it in when I'm hanging with my Earth father. The two that I picked up had been purchased across the country from each other, and were completely picked at random, but BOTH starred this one rather rare dude in a (not leading but) prominent role. His name is Christopher Murney. Lately I've watched 3 flicks in which he's popped up. THE LAST DRAGON, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, and this one. In this one he's the mailroom boss. Brantley basically doesn't wanna be at the bottom, he wants to be at the top, so when a some dude is fired, he uses his mailroom gig to find out things about the business, assumes the fired guy's identity and starts making out like he's another guy named Carleton Whitfield. He also falls for this girl Christy (Slater). He also gets asked to drive home an executive's wife.

So, trying to impress the exec's wife, he tells her she is pretty and she's very impressed by him and obviously hates her cheating husband. He tells her a few other things that make her check him out, and immediately she takes him to the pool and then the pool house to bang. Moments later the husband shows up and turns out to be guess who? His uncle. So he banged his (very distant) aunt. She is still smitten with him and haunts him through the whole flick. He finally impresses the other girl Christy and they fall for each other while working on a project where he is trying to save the company from a hostile takeover by expanding when everyone else thinks they should fire people. Turns out though that his uncle has been cheating with Christy for a while as well.

Brantley amazing does an incredible job of living 2 seperate lives, quick changing in the elevator, and somehow pulling the wool over everyone's eyes for way way way way longer than he should have been able to. Everything comes to a head though when in fear of a hostile takeover, his uncle invites everyone to a big party over at their house, and Brantley is discovered after some SCOOBY-DOO-type-in-and-out-doors-almost-caught-but-not-yet-type-antics. Then when everything is discovered, at the last minute Herman Munster tries to buy the company, but Brantley buys it because he had help from the investor dudes that he wowed at the party they through. Its a little stretch, a lot of cheese, but its a pretty damn good 80s comedy. It's definitely probably one to watch with a lady. She would enjoy it. Word.

Bad/awesome flixxx review: The Last Dragon (1985)

"Now, what did I tell em when they said, 'a black man with a pizza shop in Harlem?' 'Just direct-a your feets-a to Daddy Green's Pizza!'" - Daddy Green

"And in the end, Eddie, you know what? You're nothing but a misguided midget asshole with dreams of ruling the world. Yeah, also from Kew Gardens. And also getting by on my tits." - Angela

"Well, well, well. If it ain't the serious, elusive Leroy Green. I've been waiting a long time for this, Leroy. I am sick of hearing these bullshit Superman stories about the - Wassah! - legendary Bruce Leroy catching bullets with his teeth. Catches bullets with his teeth? Nigga please." - Sho'Nuff

I bought this on DVD a while back thinking I remembered seeing something about a Bruce Leroy blaxploitation movie from later in the '70s. I was a bit wrong. This was basically an attempt by Berry Gordy of Motown Records fame to sell records from some of his newer artists like De Barge with a long player music video. That's a super bastardized version of the tale tho. In actuality its a mid 80s version of a blaxploitation kung fu movie that DID use a good portion of the flick to help sell records. Doesn't mean its unwatchable though. As a matter of fact its pretty good. Directed by Michael Schultz who did CAR WASH, KRUSH GROOVE and DISORDERLIES(!), with a cameo by William H. Macy and starring a lot of unknowns I give you THE LAST DRAGON!!!!

Ok, so "Bruce Leroy" or Leroy Green is a black belt dude living in Harlem in the mid 80s. His family owns a pizza shop, and his lil brother thinks he's weird. His master has taught him all that he can teach him, so he starts his own dojo and trains a bunch of kids. One day he goes to see a viewing of ENTER THE DRAGON and this bad ass dude name Sho'Nuff busts in with his crew claiming he's the prettiest and the baddest dude around, the shogun of harlem. He challenges Leroy every chance he gets, but Leroy chooses the path of least resistance all Bruce Lee style and won't fight unless he absolutely has to, like if he needs to protect someone. Meanwhile everyone in town goes to these dances at night where local celeb Laura Charles hosts the best new dance videos around and Leroy's lil bro goes to party there.

This actor Christopher Murney (the bible salesman in MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE) (remember him for my next review as well, I've been speaking of WEIRD connecting coincidences lately and its BLOWING MY MIND) (my dad thought he was Squiggy from LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY but he isn't) plays a character named Eddie Arcadian. He's a video game entrepreneur that also tries to make money by exploiting other people's talents. Lately he's exploiting his current girlfriend Angela who is like a really bad Cyndi Lauper type character. He wants Laura Charles to play her video and he won't take no for an answer. When Laura refuses, he tries to have his goons kidnap her from the club. Leroy intervenes and disappears. BUT- he drops his amulet given to him by his master who told him the only way to reach the "final level" was to take the amulet and search the city for him.

Laura finds his amulet, Sho'Nuff comes to the dojo and embarrasses Leroy, but Leroy still won't fight him, Leroy tries to find the master at this fortune cookie factory, Eddie Arcadian keeps trying to get Laura to play the vid, and then keeps trying to kidnap her. Leroy keeps foiling his plans. He gets his amulet back. Laura asks him to be her bodyguard. She wants to bang, but he keeps getting pulled away. There are a whole lot of dance sequences. They pretty much play the whole song of "Rhythm of the Night" by De Barge. I KNOW you remember it if you grew up in the 80s. It was all over the radio. I think it may have went to #1. Anyway, Leroy finds out that the fortune cookie shop has no "master" and then he's pissed and confused. Sho'Nuff comes and tears up Daddy Green's pizza shop. Leroy goes to his master and asks him why he bullshitted him. His master says you needed something to push you because I cannot anymore. Leroy desperately wants the "glow" which is what happens when you are the best. Your hands when you are ONE of the best, your whole body when you are THE best.

So Eddie Arcadian in a last ditch effort recruits Sho'Nuff to fight Leroy because he foiled all his plans. He kidnaps Laura, and takes her to the club. Then theres a long scene where Leroy kung fu's everyone on the dance floor. Then Sho'Nuff shows up and they have the final showdown. Leroy is scared cuz Sho'Nuff's hands glow, but then he figures it out last minute and his whole being glows when he reaches the final level. Then he kicks his ass, then he catches a bullet in his teeth! Yeah! Then he learns to dance! ha. well, sort of. Ok, Lucian watched this when we were in Europe and he thought it was almost unwatchable. I say its NOT THAT BAD. I mean its bad, but its certainly watchable. Especially if you like kung fu, blaxploitation, parody, or soul hits from the 80s. I say do it!

Bad/awesome flixxx review: Carnosaur (1993)

"You been watchin' too many of them I-talian zombie flicks." - waitress

"You know- a bobcat ate a fella when I was a little kid. It wasn't a local though, it was a hobo." - Friar

"Fryer- that is a 2 ton load of chickenshit- Hey Doc- you ever heard of a bobcat ate anybody's eyes? This was no bobcat. It sucked his eyes right outta his head" - cook

WOW. Perfect. This one is rough!! Another .80 cent Kansas City find, I've been looking for this one for a few years. I had only ever seen CARNOSAUR 3 on Syfy channel over the years, and its so ridiculous and awesome, I knew this one had to be just as good or better. I wasn't disappointed. In 1993 Roger Corman decided to usurp some of the Crighton/ JURASSIC PARK hype and come out with his own 'dinosaur in present day' flick. By this point, I'm thinking Corman was so old that they probably just go, "hey is this cool?" and he just nods his head yes, and they attach his name to it. But what do I know? Anyway, the clencher here for their classic "snaich"? They get Diane Ladd to play the lead since her daughter Laura Dern is one of the main characters in JPARK AND AND AND they rushed it out 2 weeks before JPARK's release. DOGGED. A very bad/good B pizza eating movie, Diane Ladd and Clint Howard star(?) in CARNOSAUR!!!

A weird thing happens throughout this movie where a paragraph in a small green font meant to give you some information concerning a contagious virus flashes on the screen every few scenes. Its super hard to read, but you can make out that they are trying to tell you that some virus is affecting a certain percentage of the population and as the movie goes on the virus seems to spread and infect more and more people. But they never really talk about it until the end of the movie. What does happen in the beginning is that in a chicken factory a rogue scientist lady has been tampering with the genetic code of these chickens and no one really knows what she is doing. A meeting is called by the government about this "known" rogue scientist lady and one of the head dudes asks which government contracted agency she is working for. One dude speaks up & claims she is working for them but they have no idea what she's up to because she gets a certain amount of time before she has to show them any results.

What IS happening is that she has successfully planted dinosaur DNA in chicken eggs. But these are bad dinosaurs, like aggressive carnivorous ones. And wouldn't you know it, One gets loaded into a chicken truck, gets through security JUST when they are closing it off, and hatches in the truck, escaping and killing the truck driver in the process. When word leaks, the head of the chicken farm wants answers and he's freaking out on the crazy scientist lady (Ladd). His daughter sneaks out to party with 2 dudes (kinky) and goes drinking and driving- out in a quarry - in a Jeep! (Coincidence that I just watched RAW DEAL? A few of these have been happening lately... more on that soon). They mysteriously get ravaged by what the cops think is a bobcat. Everyone thinks this crazy bobcat is tearing everyone to shreds, but leave it to a drunken night watchmen at the quarry to find out whats really goin' down.

'Doc' just happens to be a nightwatchman who likes to watch bad movies in his trailer. He's a fucking super alcoholic though, and always gets in fights with kids who come around drinking and screwing down in the quarry. One night he busts this pretty hot chick (the blond student from GHOSTBUSTERS) and holds her hostage til the black cowboy sheriff can pick her up. But he falls asleep and she escapes. The next morning when the sheriff takes him to the hippie commune to arrest the chick, Doc clams up and says he doesn't see her. She comes back to thank him, and they start up this unspoken flirting relationship. They run into a corpse one night and Doc starts to believe something more than bobcats are stalking this town. He goes to a diner and hangs out with Clint Howard who is funny as hell. More people keep getting killed, and those that don't get killed are getting this heavy virus that causes a fever. Clint Howard gets his head ripped off, and it pulls out his spinal cord (ALWAYS a good looking scene in a flick).

Hippie chick gets fever, Cowboy Curtis cop goes after dinosaur after he finds rotten eggs. Doc witnesses huge dino eating hippies in quarry. Somehow he knows to go to the chicken farm to confront Ladd. He gets her to explain the whole thing, then makes a joke poking fun at JPARK (which again wouldn't even hit theaters for 2 weeks. pretty cool). Then her secretary busts in and is sick and lays down a lays a fucking egg! A huge black dinosaur egg! Then she dies. Ladd explains she wants the dinosaurs to take over and she created the virus. Doc holds her hostage for the serum that can cure the fever, but not before blowing away some gooey eggs. Finally he gets it, and tries to split to save hippie girl. But Ladd sends him to a room where she has a full grown T REX hanging out with some lasers! He escapes somehow but so does the T REX. Ladd lays down to have an egg, but a fucking baby dinosaur busts out of her stomach! Awesome! Doc finally gets back to the quarry, but he knows that the T REX is on its way. So then there's a huge battle where him and the dying hippie girl fight the T REX with some backhoes! Finally after ripping the T REX's belly out with the shovel thing, Doc gives the hippie girl the serum hopefully keeping her from laying an egg. But just then, **************************HEAVY SPOILER WARNING************************

some government agents in full on Quarantine Nuke gear come in and shoot him and her to death in hopes of containing the virus. Then they burn the corpses!!! HA!!! fucking heavy!! I recommend getting a big thing of ice cream and some pizza and some burl sense buds for this one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bad/awesome flixxx review: Raw Deal (1986)

"The only way you'll ever end up lying next to me, Max, is if we're run down by the same car." - Monique

"Joseph P. Brenner. What's the "P" stand for?" - Cop
"Pussy" - Kaminsky

"Max, if you're the best there is, the wheel would never have been invented." - Kaminsky

"You should not drink and bake!" - Kaminsky

Another $1 purchase in Kansas City, this one being a (somewhat?) rare Schwarzenegger flick heavily overshadowed by the flicks he did before and after this one (COMMANDO and PREDATOR). There is nothing really special at all about this flick, its just your typical action flick, however I really enjoy these overshadowed often forgotten ones more than those that get totally chopped up by network tv and shown a gajillion times. Also this one has Arnie playing a down and out ex FBI agent who has to settle as a sheriff in a hick NC town. Double plus it stars Ralphie's dad from A CHRISTMAS STORY. You know him, you love him (or hate him according to if we're talking about movies or politics or not) the last action hero himself stars in RAW DEAL!!!!

Lovable, huggable Arnie plays Mark Kaminsky, an FBI agent who got canned by this worm of a District Attorney type guy on a witchhunt to clear the department of "loose cannons". Kaminsky gets relocated to Bumfuck, NC where he spends his days chasing blue light bandits on motorcycles in his jeep cherokee. Also his wife is an alcoholic who berates him day in and day out for bringing her to the sticks. Luckily for him in the beginning of the movie there's some kind of stake out going on, but the bad guys know about it, bust in and fucking annihilate a bunch of feds. We're talking full on bloodpacks exploding from chests and legs and headshots. Its a pretty grim scene to begin with and sets dudes up to yell "YES!" a lot right off the bat. When I say "Luckily for him" I mean that his old boss (Ralphie's Dad) 's son gets blown away in the ordeal.

This is just the opportunity Kaminsky needs to get out of his shitty situation. Ralphie's dad asks him to pull off this mission secret style, meaning no help from the feds, the pigs, nobody. If he does this, then he'll hire him back to the FBI. BUT one other thing--- he has to kill himself off. So Arnie drives his rig into a oil plant and blows the whole thing sky high. Death of Kaminsky, Birth of "Joseph P. Brenner". So Kaminsky/Brenner goes straight into pissing off these Chicago mobster dudes. First by driving a backhoe into their meth lab or coke den and then by bigshotting it around in one of their casinos. He offers up his services and snide remarks their main bodyguard guy Max igniting a feud betwixt them that lasts the remainder of the flick.

He also semi-seduces Max's girlfriend Monique who in the beginning tries to get the dish on him for Max, but then sort of falls for him. The reason the feds can't get to these mobsters is that there is a leak in the system. The leak turns out to be the same scumbag who got Kaminsky canned in the first place. Kaminsky/Brenner/Arnie keeps working his way up the ladder of the mobsters sort of like the guy in WISEGUYS or DONNIE BRASCO. Max is never convinced and finds evidence from the og pig who caught the real Brenner down in Florida. So he tattletales on Brenner and sets him up for a hit at a cemetary. The hit turns out to be on Ralphie's dad, and Brenner yells out and blows his cover. At the last second they blow away Max but Ralphie's dad is wounded. Arnie wants to help, but Ralphie's dad is like, "get outta here, if I die, its gonna take you a year to explain all this shit." So Arnie goes for his guns.

Ha! This is the part everyone's been waiting for for over an hour. Arnie walks into his closet and grabs a huge bag of insane machine guns. These are all Ramboed out with HUGE shells and look like they were leftovers from the COMMANDO shoot. It really doesn't make any sense that he'd be allowed to own these guns. But its still awesome. So he drives to a quarry(?) and kicks the windshield out of this Buick Le Sabre and SERIOUSLY theres a close up where he pops a tape in the tape deck and "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones comes on. And he starts mowing everyone down. Just whipping doughnuts in the quarry and not even aiming. Just emptying full clips. Then he goes to a casino and the same thing. Mowing everyone down. Kind of like the 80s PUNISHER flick with Dolph Lundgren. Then he kills the one guy, and then the main guy. Then he sees the leak guy and tells him he has to resign or be arrested. Basically the same thing that guy told him so long ago. The guy tries to shoot him, and he mows him down too. Then he gives that chick a bunch of bread probably cause he felt bad that he couldn't bang her cause he was already married. YEAH RIGHT. Who know why he gave her that bread?? He didn't owe her shit really. What a dumbass. Anyway, fast forward a bit, and Kaminsky is visiting Ralphie's dad at physical therapy. Ralphie's dad is crippled and he'll walk again if he'll only try. But he's being a big baby, and here's the sappy touching moment: Kaminsky tells Ralphie's dad that he's gotta try hard for the love he had for his son. So he tries and takes a few baby steps and they hug. Freeze frame. The End. Was it bad? Yeah. Was it awesome? Yeah, but i like the rarer flicks. Its like THE EVIL THAT MEN DO with Charles Bronson. You've never heard of it, but its just as good or better than some of his more known stuff. Well, I don't know if I'd go that far with this one. But it's worth a stony afternoon for sure. Cheers.

Bad/awesome flixxx review: The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)

Found a copy of this on VHS for a dollar in KCMO last weekend. I was a huge fan of this series when it ran in reruns when I was super young. I had done a little research on the show years ago, even captured some of the episodes when they ran on TNT or SCI FI or something like that back in high school over Thanksgiving when they used to show a lot of marathons. The thing was, this show didn't even have bad ratings. It only got cancelled because some dipshit at CBS didn't wanna be known as the super hero network. So they canned this and Wonder Woman, and kept The Incredible Hulk for a few more seasons. Bummer, there were only 14 episodes I believe counting this pilot/ feature length movie. Starring Nicholas Hammond (one of the kids in THE SOUND OF MUSIC) as Peter Parker, and the nosy neighbor from BEWITCHED as J. Jonah Jameson, AND Thayer David, the dude who was the Albino in THE EIGER SANCTION and the promoter in ROCKY as the bad guy, I present to you THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!!!

We all know the story of Spider-Man by now. Even dudes and dudettes who have never even opened a comic book know the story. What's the special significance here? Why and what made this so good? Well for starters, its got a super funky 70s soundtrack that is hypnotic if not repetitive. A lot of people put this down as camp, but the 1966 BATMAN was camp, this was a full on action series. Sure its super funny in retrospect, but nothing was really being done like this at the time, and the stunts were incredible and difficult. It was definitely aimed at the same demographic as DUKES OF HAZZARD or the like, and suffered only because they either didn't get the rights to the villains or decided not to use them in favor of real life criminals a la the 50s SUPERMAN show.

This version of the story has Peter Parker as a lab assistant at college while trying to freelance as a photographer at the ol Daily Bugle. When Parker gets bitten, he automatically gets his powers super fast. The story here when it begins is that for some reason a lawyer and a doctor for no apparent reason leave work and rob a bank, then crash their car and some crooks run off with the dough. When Parker is trying to get a gig at the paper, the news comes on and says that some dude claims responsibility for the crimes by mind control, and if the mayor doesnt pay him half a mil by midweek, 10 prominent citizens will take their own lives. Up to you.

So when Peter is walking out of his lab after being bit, the 2nd robbery guy who is hypnotized almost runs him over, and he jumps like 15 feet in the air and climbs the building. When the cops come he kind of freaks and acts suspiciously. He goes home, passes out, climbs out onto his roof and climbs around the walls in the funniest way because the format that they achieved the effect with is so out of date. Peter then foils a purse snatcher and is spotted by citizens. JJJ chews him out for not getting pics of the "spiderman" and Peter, feeling confident brags that he did. So then he has to set up the whole deal and get pics for the paper. He busts out a costume like that night, no thought, no struggle to find the right design, bang he just has it. They are psyched, but as always, JJJ is skeptical and jerkish. So, Spidey foils the 3rd guys death, and then saves him from jumping out of a window. The daughter of that guy ( who I assume is supposed to be like Mary Jane Watson) wants to go to see some guru. This turns out to be the bad guy who is putting a button on everyone's jacket and brainwashing them.

So everyone knows about Spidey now and the cops and the bad guy and the paper all want to catch him. The bad guy tells them to place the money in a seaplane in the middle of New York harbor. And he stands somewhere and watches the plane with binocs. HA! Like they were ever gonna let him slide on this shit. Peter finds out that its microwaves that is mind controlling everyone but its too little too late, because he was brainwashed too when he went to confront the bad dude. Luckily for him right before he almost jumps off the Empire State Building the little hook grabs his button and he isn't under the influence anymore. Then he beats up 3 samurai dudes, blows up all the equipment and fries the brain of the bad guy who he tells to turn himself in. BANG. The day is saved thanks to everyone's favorite wall crawler. I love this old shit, and wish like hell the whole series would drop on DVD. See it if you can.

ROCKNOWLEDGY podcast is on ITunes!! Episode 5 is live!

ok, finally finally finally, with much help and advice from Qwynneth Thorr, DawnOwar, and my good buddy Justin Little, I am psyched to announce that Rocknowledgy is up and ready to download and subscribe to on ITunes! Go there and get that shit and rate it, and tell everyone who loves podcasts everywhere! Thanx so much!

Rocknowledgy Episode 5 playlist:

Valient Intro
Hard Stuff- Jay Time
Troubled Horse- Shirleen
Dust- Pull Away- So Many Times
Just We- Something Like It
The Nationale Blue- Silver Alien Pajamas in II movements (I. the sleep, II. the wakening)
The Cramps- Garbageman
The Ultimate Warriors- untitled
Ruins- Komigriss
Karen Dalton- Katie Cruel
Big Star- Don't Lie To Me
Cryptic Slaughter- Money Talks
Conway Twitty- The Flame
Glass Candy- Fairy Fellers' Master Stroke (Queen cover)
The Smiths- A Rush and A Push and the Land is Ours
Voivod- The Unknown Knows
Gentleman's Pistols- Just a Fraction
Scott Walker- Track Three (the Dealer)

Friday, September 9, 2011

ROCKNOWLEDGY podcast update!!

I finally figured this shit out! Ok, all episodes of ROCKNOWLEDGY are up now at AND you can subscribe to the podcast there. PLUS you'll be able to subscribe to it starting next week at Itunes! very cool. Hope yall are digging it. More soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Gymkata (1985)

"There are many sounds around us, each is slightly different. So small as to go un-noticed by the person who is unaware. Do not hear the wood split. Hear the only sound of axe, cutting air. Read the air itself. It has much say to you." - trainer

"Death becomes you." - Zamir

"I know, but the games are tomorrow. Put your hardware back in your pants." - Cabot

My buddy Raf gave me a copy of this flick to review over a year ago I think. Its been sitting in my bag just waiting, patiently getting ready to BLOW MY MIND. A movie with a plot that's very close to the same idea as ENTER THE DRAGON, we have real life olympic gold medalist in gymnastics Kurt Thomas playing Jonathan Cabot- a dude who invents a "new way to fight" against some baddies after being hired by the government to hook them up. This movie is pure shit, but pure enjoyment. I laughed out loud so many times with my pop watching this. Now, I love a good ninja movie, but this really isn't good or a ninja movie, but what it is, is bad and awesome. Set in the very racist sounding made up country of Parmistan, I bring to you GYMKATA!!!

The film actually starts out with Jonathan Cabot's dad Colonel Cabot running from some men on horseback. This footage is interspersed with images of Jonathan doing his gymnastics on the bar thing. It shows his dad being run down by this mustachioed creep named Zamir. When Col Cabot tries to cross this ravine by rope, Zamir shoots him with an arrow and Cabot falls seemingly to his death. Next scene we have J Cabot winning some medal and then being whisked off by some suit. The suit is from the SIA (special intelligence agency). They want him to go in and win this "game" in this crazy country called Parmistan ran by this king with a super hot daughter. If he wins, they win a favor, and the favor they'll ask is to build a "Star Wars"/ "HAARP" type facility in there to fuck over the Russians. This was some heavy shit in the 80s. So they bring in 3 trainers, an eastern trainer, a western guy, and the princess herself. Very quickly Johnathan falls for the princess. She is a bitch to him for about 10 minutes, then they bang.

One of the funniest things in the movie is the SIA dude sees that Cabot isn't paying him any attention & is only making eyes at the princess. So the dude asks him, "Cabot, do you even know the city you're going to?", to which he replies, "yes, we're going to Carabal, on the Caspian Sea." The very next scene shows a port city from the water and a caption comes up at the bottom that reads: CARABAL, ON THE CASPIAN SEA. Hahaha! It didn't say: Carabal, Parmistan, or Turkmenistan, or wherever, it just repeated him. I absolutely CAN'T tell if this was meant to be funny or is just unintentionally hilarious. Just now, rereading what I wrote, it doesn't seem very funny, but you haven't seen it, so fuck you. Anyway, he goes to meet the contact, the princess is kidnapped, he rescues her and realizes that the contact is double-crossing him but the SIA guy jumps out and blasts the bad guys and saves the day.

So they finally make it to Parmistan & Jonathan is knocked out by some DEVO ninjas. They are ninjas with what looks like red DEVO hats (energy domes) on. He wakes up, is introduced to Zamir, has dinner, watches some inmates attempt the game only to die, has dinner with the other contestants, and then sneaks out to meet the princess after it is revealed that she is to marry Zamir at the conclusion of the game. Zamir is getting hot, he and Cabot have some very heated scenes together where the tension is thick. While out with the princess, Cabot learns that Zamir is trying to overthrow her father and if no one wins he'll sell the land or whatever to the US's enemy (Russia).

So the game starts, and Cabot's hero Thorg is playing too, but Thorg doesn't give a shit about Cabot and trips him at the start of the race. Already behind, shit gets even more dire for Cabot when Zamir defies the king and splits to give chase and kill Cabot before the king says he can leave. This finally makes the king suspicious and makes the princess plead for her father to realize that Zamir is bad and he's been duped. Cabot makes it through the cornfields, up the mountain, across the ravine and then further than anyone else. The only other contestant to not be killed is his Asian(?) buddy and Thorg. Thorg jumps out and tries to kill him, but one of the ninjas shoots an arrow through his chest. Cabot goes to the next part: a city of insane people. This scene lasts a good ten minutes of him just running from crazy people and Thorg making a return. The crazies kill Thorg, and they almost get Cabot, he starts tripping, but at the last minute a ninja helps him climb out. The ninja turns out to be ****************SPOILER ALERT************** his dad! So then 2 minutes later Zamir shoots another arrow through Col Cabot's back!!! That dude has NO LUCK! So then Jonathan takes off, ending up fighting a last battle with Zamir. He uses a special technique called GYMKATA to kick Zamir's ass. Then he rushes home to bang his princess. End of story? Not quite! In the prologue caption, we learn that in 1985 the US is the first country to install a HAARP system that probably controls most humans, the weather, satellite spying systems, probably causes cancer and basically everything that Tesla said it would do. So basically Jonathan Cabot helped screw up the world. But at least he screwed it up in the best way possible. The American way. Viva GYMKATA!!!!