Thursday, May 22, 2014
"Are the meek inheriting the earth?" - Prosser
"Listen lady I need any computer to tell me I'm in way over my head do you understand...LOOK AT ME! Did you see the firepower out there? Do you know what we're up against here? I don't like the odds here so I'm gettin' out alright? The deal's off. There's nothing more I can do for ya." - The Rider
"NO WAY! We're lucky we got outta there alive. I'm not going back in." - The Rider
Man this is a bad one. Another in the long line of really crummy MAD MAX/ ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK ripoffs. One of the first Italian ones, this is also known as THE MAD RIDER, THE EXECUTIONER OF THE LOST EARTH, and RAIDERS OF THE OMEGA YEAR. Not a whole lot to say about this one. If you like post apocalyptic trash cinema, then chances are you'll love this. Its one of those "funny but not intended to be funny" flicks. Starring Robert Ginty and Donald Pleasence with a cameo by Fred Williamson in WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD!!!
So "The Rider" is driving through this junked car strewn landscape. Their are several Morlock looking dudes on motorcycles and souped up apocalypse demolition derby type cars that start attacking him and trying to kill him by running him off the road and shooting at him. His motorcycle is equipped with some kind of wise cracking super computer. Eventually he wrecks and is found by Fred Williamson who informs him that he's been chosen by "The Elders" to help out "The Outsiders".
The Outsiders are trying to overthrow this state run military based government called "the Omega" ran by this evil dude named Prosser. The Rider is to meet up with this chick and help her rescue her dad from this super jail. Her dad is some kind of genius leader of the resistance movement. So they infiltrate the place, and The Rider is apprehensive the whole time. Finally they get the dad and are escaping by helicopter during a fire fight and the chick is shot in the leg and she barely misses boarding the chopper as the Rider splits.
So Natasha (the chick) is captured, and her dad insists that they go rescue her now. The Rider says no way, his orders were just to rescue the Professor. But eventually he comes around and goes to meet up with a bunch of gangs ("the Marginals) and has to battle them to assemble a team of badasses. They'll only follow and listen to him if he wins their battle. So he fights white karate dudes, rednecks, truckers, amazons, punk rockers and other various factions beating the hell out of them and gaining their respect (?). Then they go after Prosser.
So the Professor and the Rider and the Outsiders use tanks, motorcycles and derby cars to fight the Omega army. The Omega pull out this thing called the MegaWeapon. Finally the Rider destroys it by short circuiting it but not before his super bike is crushed. Then him and the professor split into the compound to fight Prosser and find Natasha. She is brainwashed and programmed to kill them. She shoots the Rider, but can't kill her father and ends up killing Prosser in a jarring slow motion scene as everything starts blowing up. the Outsiders celebrate and the Rider decides to split. However their victory is short lived as Natasha unknowingly killed a robot, and the real Prosser himself splits with the true secret traitor enemy, Fred Williamson. Should you see it? Nah, that's why I gave away the whole thing. If you are going to watch it, do yourself a favor and watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, so that at least you can laugh and laugh instead of laugh and then cry.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
"Nonsense! What kind of a dodo do you take me for? Human hair grows only half an inch a month, no more." - Teacher
"Quiet! Or I'll put you in the net!" - Sergio
"I found out that you've been kicked out of two schools, that you've faked famous paintings, and that you've changed your name and appearance four times. AND you claim to be Rembrandt's great-great-great-great grandson." - Principal
I swore up and down for years to myself that I had dreamed this movie and that it didn't exist. Only after hearing someone talk about it, and knowing the plot in my head, but not knowing how this other person could possibly have known about this made up dream story I knew, did I realize that this was an actual film and not a little kid imagination type thing that happened to me every once in a while. Sometimes shit DID happen that couldn't have been real. This time it was. A real French Canadian film about a kid who's hair falls out and then he talks to some drunk ghosts who tell him to spread peanut butter on his head and then his hair won't stop growing. Sounds like a crazy dream story right? Behold, THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION!!!
So there's this artist. He has a couple kids, a boy and a girl. His wife's father died and she bailed on him to Australia to deal with it for what must be a good little bit, because the girl is trying to cook and act grown up and she's belittling her brother and trying to give advice to her father. The dude is frustrated with his new paintings (which are sick by the way) and basically hangs out all day in his attic. The kids are making due but are quirky and have problems. The boy, Michael has a friend Connie (who may or may not be Data from THE GOONIES) who's always getting him into hijinks. Upon heading to school one morning, they come up on this old mansion that burned down. Connie dares Michael to go in, and he does only to be scared shitless by these homeless ghosts who used to live in the mansion but burned up in the fire. He got scared so bad that all his hair falls out.
So he completely freaks out cause he knows that everyone's going to make fun of him as school. He puts on a wig and then plays in a soccer game. During the game he gets in a row with another kid who pulls off his wig and he has one of those bad freakouts where he runs away crying with glue on his head and everyone's laughing at him in slow motion. What, that never happened to you? So later that night some ghosts visit him and give him a recipe for hair growth because he was nice and gave them his lunch money while they were panhandling. While making this concoction which is primarily made of peanut butter, his dad and sister come in and bust him and throw it out thinking that he's sleepwalking. The next night the ghosts come back and give him another chance to make the mixture, warning him not to use to much, because this shit is supposed to be VERY POTENT.
So Michael's hair starts growing immediately. By the next morning its a full head of hair, and then a few hours later its super long. His teacher's get pissed because its distracting the other students and Connie makes Michael tell him what made it grow so fast. So the next day it turns out Connie whipped himself up a batch and applied it to his pubes to make it look like he was going through puberty. Pretty soon hair is growing out of the bottom of his trousers. Finally everyone as school gets sick of the distractions and they are expelled. After searching for something to stop the growth (a "solution" if you will, although I think the solution the title is speaking of is the mixture with the pb itself...) Connie figures out that yelling at the hair stops it from growing. Then there's the whole side story about their weird ass art teacher.
Their art teacher is this dude named "The Signor". He's mean and he yells at his students. After getting fired from the school, he starts kidnapping kids. Once he gets a shitload of them including Michael, he puts them to work turning the hair into magic paintbrushes. Turns out the Signor is Michael's dad's art dealer's brother. The paintbrushes are so powerful they can paint whatever comes out of the users imaginations. But Connie and Michael's sister found out where the Signor kept the kids and they come to the rescue. I don't want to give away the ending, but its pretty clever and you can find this guy easy enough online to watch if you really want to. Enjoy!
Monday, May 5, 2014
"There's something about blasting the shit out of a razorback that brightens up my whole day." - Jake
"Now listen Bill. Yer in tha middle of bugger all here so for chrissakes don't go walkabout or we'll neva find ya. Now we'll be back in 5 or 6 hours." - Dicko
"It's only got two states of being- dangerous our dead. Nothing inbetween." - Jake
Wow! Watched this bad boy in Europe on tour last fall. What a great overlooked horror flick. I guess this is one of the Ozploitation flicks. I'm not sure if that term was recently-coined or not. I do know that the flicks in the category came out in the 60s, 70s, and 80s and were all pretty great genre flicks. I think they probably had little or no distro in the states and that's why some of them are under appreciated. Anyway, this one is great. It was directed by Russell Mulcahy who did the great HIGHLANDER, and the equally NOT great HIGHLANDER II. You'll also recognize a couple geezers from the first MAD MAX flick. If you like crazy ass giant wild boars, then this one is for you. I present to you a beautifully shot film, RAZORBACK!!!
This one starts out with an old dude taking care of his grandson and then all of a sudden this HUGE boar (literally) rips the house in half killing the small child. The granddude is accused of murder but he's ends up getting off because A BOAR RIPPED THROUGH HIS FUCKING HOUSE AND TORE IT IN HALF. No one believed him because anyone else who ever saw this huge thing besides him was usually killed. A couple years later we meet this lady who is an animal rights activist/ journalist. She splits from the US way down deep in the outback of Oz to search out some crummy kangaroo killers.
The journalist starts asking around at this local bar about kangaroo hunters. This flick takes place pretty far out in the middle on nowhere and the bar is one of the only spots around besides the pet food processing plant. The locals don't take kindly to a journalist coming around asking questions, especially a female one. Two of them, apparently two who specialize in killing kangaroos and who both work at said plant are tiffed and decide to make sure this journalist gets a scare so they can get on with their business. Unbeknownst to them while trying to scare (and possibly rape or have their way with her) the rednecks are themselves scared shitless when this monster boar comes upon the journalist's car and ravages it and her. So she dies. I didn't forsee that. We're only like 20 minutes into the movie and I thought she was gonna be a main character. That's good shit.
So her husband is sad. And he can't figure out what to do. No one knows what happened to her, and they don't have a body. So naturally he goes down to the middle of nowhere to find some answers. And naturally he too gets the cold shoulder from the locals. But he poses as someone who he is not. Maybe he thinks he'll get farther if they don't know who he is. The two hicks are spooked and they decide to take him out and let the boar get him too so they don't get in trouble. But they hang out with him for a bit after he seeks them out at the animal processing plant. And then they drive him into the bush and leave him for hours. He walks out and through the desert for hours and hours and finally comes on a farm. There's a super hot chick taking a shower and she screams and he screams and then passes out in front of her from exhaustion and dehydration. When he comes to, she has him in her bed taking care of him. Lucky for him she has more answers than anyone else in town. She knows about the journalist, and knows who may be able to help him. She's some kind of scientist studying seismography in the area. The team of her, him, and the old man figure out that it may have been the boar who killed his wife. The hicks freak out and think they're gonna get in trouble so they maim the old man and leave him to be killed by the boar too.
The husband is super pissed now. He knows the hicks are responsible for his buddy and his wife's death. He finds them and lowers one of them into a mineshaft killing him. Then he goes after the other one but before he can get to him the huge boar smashes the other hick to death. So now the husband and the hot chick basically have to survive and somehow kill this boar and get the hell out of there. Because like the old man said, he's either dangerous or dead. I'm gonna just go ahead and say yes, you should see this one. Its better than just a cheesy b horror movie. The cinematography is beautiful. They also built a humongous full size animatronic robot boar that cost thousands and thousands of dollars and you only see it in the film for ONE SECOND! So they need you to watch this because they're still trying to recoup the bread for that big bastard. Cheers.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
"You know Mary Ann there are times when I... when I wake up in the morning and I look at this guy in the mirror and I say "What the hell are you doing with your life frank?" and you know something, son of a bitch never answers me! - Frank
"I want a ninja. Find me a ninja. I want Lander's land!" - Venarius
"I don't like to be followed!" - Cole
If you ever watched ninja movies growing up in the 80s, chances are you are familiar with Sho Kosugi. Along with REVENGE OF THE NINJA, these were two of the most fantastic ninja movies I can remember. There were a few more of course, but these were two highlights for me. This one also has Franco Nero! Man he played everything! Those two dudes in a little kid who's eaten too much candy's dream flick, ENTER THE NINJA!!!
So Franco Nero plays Cole, a serious badass white dude who becomes a ninja. Everyone is super psyched for him in Japan except for this other badass dude within his dojo. That dudes name is Hasegawa, and he is the "black ninja" as opposed to Cole's "white ninja" getup. None of this shit is lost on kids who grew up watching this a few years after its release who were heavy into G.I. Joe. It was like Stormshadow vs. Snake Eyes in real life. Cole was a veteran though and after the Bush War he went to see his old buddy that he saved during the war who now owns a farm in the Philippines. No idea why. Unless he heard his old buddy just married a SUPER hot chick who is totally not faithful. And he's a scumbag. Maybe that had something to do with it.
So yeah his buddy Landers has married this head strong super hot babe. But Landers himself is kind of a pussy. He's getting bullied by a local mob goon. Little does he know that his farm has a huge oil deposit somewhere on it that the mob goon's boss is after. So Cole rolls into town and he's not scared of any mob goons. He's a genuine fucking ninja. A white one too, which just means those dudes ain't expecting that shit. Cole starts pushing back against the goons. Landers has been getting his ass kicked and mentions that he hasn't been banging his wife. So she shows up to Cole's room in a slinky little night gown one night, and then we're supposed to still buy Cole as a good guy. Didn't really feel so good about him, but I guess he is saving the farm and their lives, so....
So Venarius, the mob boss who owns most of the Philippines by now keeps turning up the heat on the Landers and Cole keeps turning on the ass-kicking. Every time Venarius sends more and more thugs to beat up and take control of Lander's land, and every time Cole beats them to a pulp. So Venarius starts to get pissed and finds out that Cole is a ninja, so he tells his dude to hire him a ninja then. So Venarius's dude travels all the way to Japan and looks to hire a ninja. And wouldn't you know it, he goes EXACTLY to the spot that Cole trained at and gets the ONE DUDE who hates Cole's guts. Hasegawa.
So, somehow Lander's gets killed, and then Cole is bound and determined to kill them all and get retribution. It takes the whole rest of the movie for him and his arch nemesis rival to fight it out to the finish, with Venarius trying to rig the outcome the whole way. Does Cole save the farm for his dead friend and his dead friend's hot wife? You'll have to try and find this one and find out. This was a super awesome flick and sort of started the ninja craze of the 80s. After this one Sho Kosugi did REVENGE OF THE NINJA and NINJA III: THE DOMINATION. I recommend them all.