Monday, November 26, 2012

It's a SpongeBob Christmas! SpongeBob may seem a bit of an odd choice to talk about here....but after watching this Christmas Special, I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty that this is going to be the stuff of Midnight Cinephile legend someday.  It's got everything......a bizarre plot, robot monsters and one of the goddamned scariest Santa's this side of Silent Night, Deadly Night!

So first of all, this special is stop motion animated like the Rankin/Bass Xmas specials of yesteryear....this automatically makes it infinitely more amazing.  It also lends it that extra little something that makes it that much stranger.  It gives it an organic, ethereal feel that I could perfectly well see as frightening some poor kid who stumbles across it on a cold December night in the year 2043.   I can picture it now.....little Timmy is stumbling around through his parent's digital archives....and comes across a strange file.  He pulls it up on the holo-vision set and is greeted by this special.  Little Timmy will never be the same again.  What was this strange bit of holiday programming?  Who lives in a Pineapple under the sea?  Spongebob?  WTF?  Little Timmy would then spend the rest of his life hunting down the obscurities of the past.....and another retrophile is born.

It's Rankin/Bass SpongeBob!  YES!!!

HOLY SHIT!  That is one fucked up Santa!  Look at those eyes!

So what is SpongeBob's Christmas about?  Well, it's like this:  Sheldon J. Plankton devises a plan to turn the rest of the denizen's of Bikini Bottom into complete jerks, putting them all on Santa's Naughty List.  Then Sheldon will seem nice compared to them and finally get what he wants for Christmas:  The secret recipe to Mr Krabs Krabby Patties!  In order to do this, he decides that he will infuse the ultra rare element, Jerktonium into a special loaf of Fruit Cake and distribute it under the guise of spreading good cheer.  The Jerktonium Fruitcake will then turn anyone who eats it into a complete jerk!  Sheldon tries his creation out of SpongeBob first, but it doesn't work....possibly because SpongeBob's heart is so pure......or maybe because his brain is so small.

Ah, Jerktonium....where were you when I needed you in Chem Lab?

Sheldon's Naughty List.......

Well, seeing as it had no effect on ol' SpongeBob, Sheldon gives up that idea and goes on to Plan B....creating a mechanical SpongeBob to wreck havoc on Bikini Bottom!  Meanwhile, the real SpongeBob takes the FruitCake Mobile that Sheldon was going to use and he himself starts to distribute the Fruit Cake, thinking he's spreading cheer.  The whole town becomes a bunch of jerks and Bikini Bottom is in danger of not getting any Christmas presents!  It's up to SpongeBob to save the day!  Oh yeah....and Patrick is trying to set a trap to capture Santa so it can be Christmas all the time......

The FruitCake Mobile!  

Santa's a JERK!  You can tell cause his beard is dirty......

I'm not a hunge SpongeBob fan.....I've seen some episodes and they were amusing, but I found this to be quite a charming special.  It's got the trademark humor and it's pretty hilarious.  If you like the show, then you will definitely like the special.....and even those who are not avid SpongeBob fans should find plenty to like in this interesting holiday offering.  I hope that this paves the way for more specials like this.  The stop motion animation adds a timeless feel to it, which I think is really what made this work.  If it had been just another SpongeBob episode or regular cartoon animation, it would not have warrented a completel MC write-up and more than likely would have ended up just another episode on the SpongeBob DVD or Blu Ray Box Set.

Holy Giant Robo-SpongeBob, Batman!

If you didn't get to see it this past Friday, you can either buy the DVD, or you can rent it and stream it on Amazon or Netflix streaming.  I highly recommend that you check this one out!

Friday, November 23, 2012

And it begins.....Ho Ho Ho!

Well, just like that, Thanksgiving came and went.  I wanted to cover some more Thanskgiving themed stuff such as ThanksKilling and the cheesy comedy Home For The Holidays, but I guess those will have to wait until next year.  I simply wasn't able to make it happen.  But hey, we must move on.  It is Black Friday and Christmas is now full tilt boogie.  Let the Holiday Games begin!

So just like I did before, I'm going to get you all jazzed up for stuff I want to do this Holiday Season.  Will I get more done this month than I did last month?  Jeez, I hope so.  There is PLENTY of whacked out holiday themed movies/tv shows/weird stuff out there, so it's not like I can claim I have nothing to work with.  I would like to cover the Silent Night, Deadly Night series as well as Black Christmas, Christmas Evil and the very promising sounding Santa Clause vs Zombies.  We'll see what happens!

Meantime, dig on this little slice of Christmas cheer:  TREEVENGE!

SEE!  Sentient Christmas Trees as they fight back against their captors and tormentors.

SEE!  Your Town, USA turned upside down as the local neighborhood runs afoul of the deadly decorations.

SEE!  The snow turn crimson!

SEE!   TREEVENGE!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unexpected Horrors - Part 1

When I was a kid I was obsessed with monsters (a lot like now).  If the word monster was attached to something, I was all over it.  I lived for Creature Double Feature on the Saturday afternoons of my youth....and when I got a little older, TNT's MonsterVision was my Friday night horror crack.  Every time we went to the library, I would borrow the awesome Crestwood House Monster Books, or any of the other other books related to monster films that I could find.  I loved looking at the photos of all the various monsters and imagining what the movies might be like.

As I've mentioned before, I used to spend some weekends at my aunt's house.  She had a massive collection of VHS tapes.  A lot of them horror films, a lot of Twilight Zone, Outer Limit and Night Gallery Episodes (as well as the complete original Star Trek series!).  When I would go to spend the weekend, I would get pumped up for a slew of monster movies and tv shows.  As a matter of fact, this is where I really started to develop my love of the classic monsters.  I saw most of the classic Universal Monsters for the first time with my aunt.....a lot of my first Twilight Zone and Outer Limit episodes too.  I loved the monsters.  It didn't matter how goofy they were, I wanted more of them.  

One of my favorite things, as a young monster nerd was finding monsters in unlikely places.  There was nothing cooler than watching a non horror or sci-fi movie/tv show and discovering that there were monsters lurking there!  Listed here are three awesome monsters that I wasn't expecting to see when watching their respective films.  Two were fun and goofy and one scared the living shit out of me!  So with out further adieu, I give you my three favorite monsters in non-horror movies!

Of course if you haven't seen these movies, then naturally you may want to steer clear of these until you get to watch the films.  Avast ye mateys.....there be spoilers ahead!

3)  Chet Monster - Weird Science

First of all, Weird Science is hands down one of the greatest movies ever made.  I don't know a single guy who didn't wish that he was smart enough to create Kelly LeBrock using a Memotech MTX512 (with an FDX add on, natch) computer and a Barbie.  Don't even get me started on the incredible cast!  You've got Anthony Michael Hall, who of course starred in The Breakfast Club, National Lampoons Vacation (he passed on European Vacation to be in Weird Science!) and of course played the villainous Jim in Edward Scissorhands.  You've got Bill Paxton (Pvt. Hudson him self!  GAME OVER MAN!), you've got Robert Downey Jr, Suzanne Snyder (Night of the Creeps, Return of the Living Dead Part II and Killer Klowns From Outer Space!) and Robert Rusler who on the final day of shooting went for his audition for the part of Grady in Nightmare on Elm Street Part II:  Freddy's Revenge!  That, my friends is an insanely awesome cast most John Hughes movies.

Anyway, as I'm sure you are aware, Lisa is endowed (WELL endowed!) with supernatural powers and uses them to turn Chet into a Jabba The Hutt-esque monster after he hassles Wyatt and Gary after their big party.  The first time I saw Chet-Monster I thought it was the coolest damn thing I had ever seen!  He's huge and nasty and I could compare him to a Star Wars character, so I was beyond psyched.  Even though there was an altercation between Wyatt and Gary and a mutant motorcycle gang (Michael Berryman was a gang member!) I was still surprised by the Chet Monster.

2) Philo's Alien Form - UHF

I know I really shouldn't be surprised by anything that happened in Weird Al's feature film, but to be perfectly honest, I never saw this coming.  Let's be honest, UHF throws everything but the kitchen sink at ya, but when Philo morphs into an alien, it's a nice little WTF moment!  Interestingly, the role of Philo was originally written with Al's friend Joel Hodgson (of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame) in mind.  The role was then offered to Crispin Glover, who turned it down because he was only interested in the role of Crazy Eddie, the car salesman who threatened to club baby seals to make a sale.  My last bit of Philotrivia for you is the fact that the character was named for Philo T Farnsworth, who was one of the inventors of television!  Look at that!  Ya got some new wrinkles in your brain there!

3) Large Marge - Pee Wee's Big Adventure

Of the three monsters/creatures featured on this list, THIS one scared the absolute shit out of me when I saw it as a kid.  There was absolutely NOTHING that had indicated that this horrifying claymation monster was going to appear until about a second beforehand.  The scene leading up to the monster reveal is pure horror camp.  Pee Wee is hitchhiking along a lonesome stretch of highway and gets picked up by an 18 wheeler.  Here was are introduced to it's driver, Large Marge.  A beefy and crusty old truck driver who doesn't say a word to Pee Wee until she starts to tell the tale of a horrible traffic accident she saw ten years earlier.  The whole sequence holds a certain campfire tale kinda feel to it, culminating in the monster jump scare.

I rented Pee Wee's Big Adventure on Friday night when my mom took me to the video store before we went grocery shopping.  She couldn't stand Pee Wee, but being a young boy, of course I thought Pee Wee's playhouse was awesome.  Anyway.....It bugged me the first time I saw it.  I genuinely creeped me out and when I tried to close my eyes that night, all I could see was Large Marge morphing into a bug eyed freak.  I thought about it all night long.  I obsessed over that nasty bizarre visage and when I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was fire up the VCR and have another go at Large Marge.  This time, watching her transform over and over again, rewinding, replaying, playing in slo motion.  By lunchtime, I had probably watched the scene about 30 times.  It has since become one of my all time favorite scenes in any movie anywhere.  I don't know why.....I just like what I like, mmmmmkay?

I'm sure there will be more unexpected horrors that I want to talk about, which is why I conveniently labeled this as Part 1.  I dunno when Part 2 will come down the pike, but I'm sure it will rear it's ugly head eventually.  Meantime.....HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Garfield's Thanksgiving Special

In case you thought that perhaps Garfield was a one trick pony when it came to Holiday specials, you would be mistaken my friends.  Garfield also knocked out this Thanksgiving special in 1989.  I don't think this aired too often because I remember seeing it like once as a kid.  There is also a Christmas special that we'll get into next month!

The Thanksgiving special may not have the class and pizzazz of Garfield's Halloween Adventure, but it has that distinctive Garfield Special feeling.  They just don't make them like this any more.  Back in the day there would be big old ads in the TV Guide announcing the special.....there would be TV spots all day leading up to the special....and then just before it begins, they'd show one of those network "special presentation" bumpers.  You felt like you were about to witness something truly amazing.....something important.....something epic.  Nowadays the fanfare is silent for these long out of rotation specials, and it makes me sad.

This time around, Garfield discovers that Jon is scheduled to take him to the dreaded vet, and in an attempt to make Jon forget, Garfield removes a page from the daily calendar and discovers the next day is Thanksgiving.  Garfield excitedly shows the calender to Jon, who informs Garfield that they best go to the store to get all the food for their feast.

Ol' Garfield thinks he's in the clear until they're on their way home from the grocery store and Garfield realizes that they are NOT headed home.  Looks like Jon remembered the vet after all!  Turns out that Jon's got a crush on the good doctor and looks forwards to Garfield's check ups.  Watching him hit on Dr. Liz is hilarious and he finally gets her to agree to have Thanksgiving dinner by holding his breath until he turns blue.  The visit does not far so well for Garfield, who is put on a strict diet......which does not sit too well with him.

The next day, it becomes quite apparent that Jon has no idea how to put together a Thanksgiving Day meal.  After literally tossing the frozen turkey in the oven and turning up the heat way too high, Jon starts to "cook" the vegetables, which Garfield delights in sabotaging.  "If I can't enjoy Thansksgiving," he says "No one will!" with that Garfield covers the vegetables in garlic.

Well, Liz shows up and Jon is in deep trouble.  Trying to figure a  way out of his dire situation (he realizes that he has completely botched dinner) Garfield helps him figure out a solution.  GRANDMA!  As usual I won't spoil the end, but hey, it's KNOW everything is gonna work out just fine in the end!

Tape Mold Issue #1

In the year 2012, digital content reigns supreme.  Blogs, websites, databases, digital downloads, apps, Nooks, Kindles, digital subscriptions, etc.  We are briskly moving towards a completely paperless society.  Anything and everything you could possible want is available at the click of a mouse or press of a touchscreen.

On one hand, this is fantastic!  Never in a million years would my twelve-year-old-self have believed that I would eventually own more movies than my local Mom & Pop video shop....let alone the fact that I would be able to carry them virtually anywhere I wanted.  If I could go back in time and tell young me all of the wonders that the future would hold, I would have surely creamed myself.  But enough about my prepubescent ejaculatory problems, we're here to talk about an underground force that is day by day becoming stronger.  I am of course talking about the retrophile movement.  Particularly today, VHS collectors.

I was quite unaware for a very long time that anyone other than myself collected VHS tapes.  I mainly was just trying to recapture a little nostalgia from my youth.  It was the Video Invasion articles in Horror Hound Magazine that first opened my eyes to the fact that others shared my passion for the analog Video Home System.  Then I discovered Lunchmeat Magazine and found that there were those who obsessed over VHS on a level that I never even dreamed.  I was truly among my brethren.

And now there comes another stir from the VHS underground.  Ladies and gentleman, I give to you the mighty TAPE MOLD!  Tape Mold is the brain child of Dan Kinem, who runs VHShitfest. Being that I love VHShitfest so much, I ordered my subscription to Tape Mold immediately, and I wasn't sorry when Issue #1 landed in my mailbox.

Issue #1's main feature is the three page review of the 1991 SOV schlocker Hauntedween, which is further augmented by a four page interview with writer/director Doug Robertson.  As if THAT wasn't enough then there is a two page interview with Hauntedween actor Brien Blakely!  There is far more written on Hauntedween in these 24 pages then there are on the entire world wide web!  Okay so that may not be entirely true....but I think I can safely say that currently, this is the definitive work on the film!

We're also treated to a fascinating interview with co-director of Hellroller Stuart Wall!  Not only is it a very unique look at one of horrors more obscure and out there horror films, but you really must read it to find out about Stuart Wall's dealings with an infamous serial killer who....shall we say liked to kill young boys and bury them under his house.  Give you a hint.....Captain Spaulding took his que from this guy.

The real gem in this issue though is the article on one Mr. Gordy "The Pumpkin Man" Falk, the man who gave us the "now" legendary special interest tape, How To Carve Great Faces For Halloween.  Gordy was somewhat of a local celebrity in his hometown of Whitefish Bay, WI.  What follows is nothing short of a Jack 'O Lantern carving version of VH1's Behind The Music!  I kid you not!  This article serves as a reminder that though we are dealing in what is now the obscure and forgotten, it was once everything to their creators.

Video reviews include Macon County War and Back Street Hustle, as well as the abominable Haunted Howls CD that came with of the UAV release of Night of the Living Dead!   You are going to be hard pressed to find in-depth coverage of ANY of these items....but here they are treated with respect and a compassion that non collectors could never understand.  Dan will come right out and tell you that a movie is absolute crap and he'll even steer you in a better direction if he can, but despite his warnings, I still can't help but WANT to see these films for myself.  THAT is what Tape Mold brings to the table.  You don't feel like an alienated freak because you watch films that no one in your family, school/workplace, neighborhood, city, state or possibly country has ever even heard of.

People like Dan Kinem, Josh Schafer from Lunchmeat, Video Invasion Matt over at Horror Hound are keeping the nostalgic heart of VHS beating.  You owe it not only to yourself but to the rest of the retro-philes out there.  I truly believe that it is vitally important that we don't let these so called dead formats truly die.  As long as there are those who refuse to let our beloved VHS format sink into the quagmire of of forgotten obscurities, Tapeheads will live on forever.

I was quite fortunate enough to catch up with Dan and asked him some questions!

Tell us about the genesis of Tape Mold.  In the age of the internet, digital magazines, blogs, etc....what made you decide to put out a print 'zine?
Well, being a huge collector of physical media it was an obvious move for me to eventually do a physical 'zine. I love my website VHShitfest, but I wanted something I could hold and I also wanted to try out some new things with my writing. My girlfriend is great at layout and editing so we teamed up to create Tape Mold and the rest is history.

Tape Mold is an insanely cool title.  Many times a 'zine's name holds a certain meaning to it's creators.  What does Tape Mold mean to you?
I actually came up with the name Tape Mold a long time ago. I loved it. I thought it not only captured the fact I will be covering VHS-related topics but also the fact that the topics are often obscure and unknown. The name "Tape Mold" makes me think of myself digging in a dirty basement for the next topic or film I'm going to write about.

Tell us more about Adjust Your Tracking!
Adjust Your Tracking is a feature-length documentary that a friend of mine, Dabeedo, and I are doing. It's all about VHS collecting and culture. We have completed shooting all the interviews and are currently editing. We collected over 100 interviews with collectors, directors, video store owners, etc. It aims to explain why people still collect the format and why VHS is making a comeback. It should be screening sometime in the Spring so be on the look out, whether you're a VHS fan or not, this is going to be entertaining and informative to all.

How long have you been into the VHS collecting scene?
Well, when I first go into collecting VHS, which was around 2 years, I didn't know anyone else was doing it. I thought I was probably the only one because I didn't investigate online very much. I started my website VHShitfest and, without knowing it, was involved in the current VHS resurgence. I quickly began hearing people tell me that the website got them back into collecting or that it brought back memories and that's when I found out about the collector's group on Facebook and from that point on I have been all about it. I'm not the type of person to just be satisfied with only collecting something (not that there's anything wrong with that). I like to use my collection to create something or do something, and since collecting VHS I've held screenings, created Tape Mold, directed Adjust Your Tracking, created online videos, released VHS, etc.

What is it that drew you into collecting?  

I've always collected things. I love owning things, looking at them, trading them, etc. My house has always been filled with stuff since I was a little kid. Collecting movies was just a logical step since I'm a huge film fan and from about the 7th grade on I've always been into obscure cinema and as anyone who's into obscure film knows, a lot of it is solely on VHS.

What is your most prized VHS tape?
This is a hard one. I love my autographed Hellroller, my autographed Invasion of the Scream Queens, 555, Lunchmeat big box, Let's Play Dead, and so many more. I also really love my 90s Nickelodeon collection.

Correct me if I am wrong, but currently the one of the most sought after tapes is Tales from the Quadead Zone.  What are some of the factors that 
cause tapes such as this one to become such sought after collectors items?
Quadead is definitely one of the rarest VHS. This is because of how much mystery is surrounding the release and film itself. Many people didn't know if it even existed for a long time. It also happens to be directed by Chester Turner, who did Black Devil Doll from Hell which has been making the rounds among collector's and horror fans for decades. People want to see if it is on the same level as that movie. But the bottom line is not many copies of the movie were ever made and coming across one is extremely unlikely. But if you have one, hit me up! 

What advice and/or tips would you give to a budding VHS collector?

Ask around. Know someone who likes horror movies? Ask them if they have tapes. Know someone who knows someone who used to have a video store? Ask if they have any tapes left. Buy as many as you can for cheap and try to not spend insane prices on not super rare tapes, because that makes you look like a new collector and you'll also run out of money easily that way.

So, talk to us about one of your favorite films, Hellroller.  There is a fantastic interview with co-director Stuart Wall in issue #1.  How did you 
come to know Stuart?
Well, Stuart is a great guy. I think another friend of mine, Donald Farmer, put him in contact with me, actually. We got to talking and I knew he was the perfect person for an interview. Not only is he hilarious and has tons of stories to tell, but he directed one of the most interesting and obscure horror films I've ever seen. 

The surprise article for me in issue #1 was Pumpking - Gordy Falk: The Pumpkin Man, Myth & Legend.   What was it like interviewing his friends and ex-wife?

Thanks! It was amazing. I was so happy to be able to talk to people that know him and were able to shed light on his life and legacy. I was really happy that everyone I talked to was willing to open up and talk about him freely.

So what can we expect in future issues?
Well, with Issue Two we have tons of great stuff. I talked with Bret McCormick (The Abomination) and Glen Coburn (Bloodsuckers from Outer Space) about their film Tabloid, I have a few articles covering the never released "lost" 80s SOV anthology film, Southern Shockers, I talked with the queen of fat porn. Big Bad Bertha, and much more. This issue is nearly 50 pages long! In the future, though, I have some VHS cover artists I'm talking to, I'm going to have an interview with Ted Newsom about Blood Frenzy, and many other articles that I don't want to spoil!


What is your all time favorite movie (any genre)?
Fanny and Alexander (the TV cut). It does everything that I think cinema is capable of doing. It's directed by my favorite director ever, Ingmar Bergman, and despite its 6 hour runtime, it is haunting, beautiful, and never boring.

What is your favorite movie snack?
Chinese. I love General Tso's chicken and Coca-Cola. I also love Satellite Wafers, which is an old candy that they barely make anymore. It is two tasteless wafers fused together and inside is a bunch of tiny balls that have a strange taste. Combine those two things together and it's gold.

What is the worst horror movie you've ever seen?
I fucking hated The Ripper with Tom Savini. Such a terrible movie. But the all-time worst horror movie in my eyes is Boondock Saints. Fuck that movie and anyone who likes it.

What got you into horror movies?
My dad enjoyed horror movies and showed me a few. I remember seeing my mom's favorite movie, Rosemary's Baby, and being terrified of it. I also remember renting all the obvious slashers and then moving into slightly more obscure stuff like Basket Case. It just kept growing and growing. It didn't hurt that I was surrounded by three video stores and have a small (but fun) horror festival in the town I live in.

Many of us Tapeheads spent many a Saturday at the local Mom & Pop video shops just wandering the aisles and admiring the treasure trove of 
VHS goodness.  What was the name of the video store you went to as a kid?  Do you remember the first horror flick you rented there?  Any other
fun video store memories?
I had two video stores I went to as a really young kid. It was Video USA and Reel Entertainment. I used to walk to both of them and just roam the stores and annoy the employees. I remember Video USA had a fishbowl that if you landed a quarter on the small circle inside you won a free rental. I got the technique down and won three free rentals for 75 cents before they decided to get a bigger bowl. I don't remember the very first horror movie I rented, but I do remember very, very early in life a video store went out of business and my dad bought a bunch of tapes. I distinctly remember Puppet Master very early in life. I remember being haunted by the fact there were dolls but you also saw tits.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Go to to buy Tape Mold and go like Tape Mold 'Zine, Adjust Your Tracking, and VHShitfest on Facebook!

I'd like to thank Dan for taking the time to talk to us and for giving us Tape Mold!  Looking forward to Issue #2!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chrome and Hot Leather - 1971

I love the fact that there are so many different type of 'splotation movies.  All you gotta do is take any group, faction, occupation....or noun and verb for that matter....add the suffix 'splotation after it and BINGO!  Instant film genre!  There's Nunsploitation, Nazisploitation, Sexploitation, Blaxpoitation, Ozsploitation, Shocksploitation, Canuxsploitation.....and the list goes on and on.

Today we're looking at a fun little piece of Bikersploitation called Chrome and Hot Leather.  It's your standard revenge plot, but this is the ONLY place you will see the one and only Marvin Gaye as a Green Beret disguised as a biker.  It's actually pretty hilarious.  The film follows an army sergeant named Mitch who receives news that his fiancee has been killed in a car crash.  Upon arriving in his hometown to attend her funeral he discovers that her death was caused by a motorcycle gang.  Okay, so really, it was caused by ONE guy in the gang, who kinda looked like Ben Still did when in disguise in Starsky and Hutch......but I digress.  Mitch enlists the help of his fellow Sergeants and they pose as a small bike gang with some Kawasaki dirt bikes.  Apparently Kawasaki was a pretty big financier......

Mitch catches onto the trail of The Wizards, led by T.J.  They're not exactly the most frightening bunch of guys.  They are not particularly ill tempered and the most they do is really kinda mess up traffic a bit and fight among themselves.  Except for Casey...who is the lugnut that ran Mitch's girl off the road.

There is an absolutely hysterical scene in which Mitch enters The Wizards' local watering hole and T.J. takes notice.  He and (almost) the entire gang descend on him and it all stops as we hear bloops and beeps and bumps.  T.J. looks to the side and see's Gabe (one of the gang) playing a pinball machine.  The dialog that ensues is the stuff of cinematic Gold.

T.J. :  "Gabriel......."

GABE:  "Yeah?"

T.J.: (Glaring at Gabe)  "Can't you see I'm trying to menace someone?"

Best part of the whole damn movie right there!  I laughed so hard I nearly choked on my coke!  There's a few little gem moments like that throughout the film.  The plot moves a bit slowly....but that's okay.  The little moments like this make it worth the extra effort it takes to watch.  You WOULD think that with such a lurid title, this film would be balls to the wall biker action, but it's really not.  The fight scenes are pretty amusing....I've definitely seen worse, but they are FAR from believable.

The third act of course culminates in a knock down, drag out fight between the gang and our four intrepid heroes.  It's quite amusing to see the Sergeants execute their battle strategy against the bikers and there's a few really cool bits here and there.  At the end of the day, this is a PG-13 flick that could have been so much more.....but I will take it for what it is.

If you've got some time to kill, you do worse.  Chrome and Hot Leather is currently streaming on Netflix and there is an MGM Midnite Movies double disc that is also available, paired with The Miniskirt Mob.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Return To The Class of Nuk 'Em High Radioactive Teaser!!!!

Yes friends, coming soon to a radioactive cesspool near you is a brand new chapter in the Nuke 'Em High saga!  It's been nineteen years since Class of Nuke 'Em High 3: The Good, The Bad and the Subhumanoid, but this, the fourth installment looks like it's going to be a wild ride with the trademark Troma style.  You've got all the major staples in this teaser alone:  Boobs, Blood, Monsters,'s all in there.

Return to the Class of Nuke 'Em High is slated to be released in 2013, which means none of us may get to see it, should the Mayan Apocalypse actually occur in 46 days....which I highly doubt....but I took the day off anyway just in case.

Anyway, don't get all gloomy thinking about our impending doom....enjoy this INCREDIBLY NSFW teaser of Return to the Class of Nuke 'Em High!  Seriously....don't even THINK about watching this trailer at work, school, your grandmother's house, in front of your parents, at the library, etc, etc...Midnight Cinephile is not responsible of any detentions or written warnings that may occur should you not heed our advice.  Okay?  Good.

The Man With One Red Shoe - 1985

I love discovering older movies with big name actors that manage to slip by me in the past.  Thus was the case when I came across this spy-comedy caper with Tom Hanks!  I had never heard of this film before and frankly I was shocked by the amount some of my favorite old school actors (old school for like 1980's....not like OLD school).  Carrie Fisher, Jim Belushi, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning....the list just goes on and on!  Oh yeah and I spent the entire movie trying to remember where I had seen Lori Singer before.  It dawned on me when I was going back to get screen captures that she was in Footloose.  Duh.

Okay, so what is this rather obscure little gem about?  Well, to start with, it is a remake of a 1972 French film called The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe.  Dabney Coleman and Charles Durning are CIA rivals.  Ross (Durning) is currently the director of the CIA. Cooper (Coleman) is the deputy director with his eye on the top spot.  After a questionable drug sting operation, the CIA is brought before the Senate for questioning.  Cooper is looking to get Ross removed and has his entire place bugged to try and get dirt on him.  Ross knows this and uses that against Cooper, feeding him false information about a "spy" that could possibly clear him of the charges.  Ross then sends out his man Brown to pick a person at the airport and "make contact" with them so that Cooper's lackey's will think that this is the spy.  Brown spots Richard Drew (Tom Hanks), a violinist in an orchestra,  and chooses him due to the fact that he is wearing one brown shoe and one red sneaker.

Now either it is never exactly explained why Drew is wearing mismatched shoes, or I possibly missed the any rate, I dunno why he was wearing one red shoe.  So this is what sets the events of the film in motion.  Every move that Drew makes, Cooper is watching and listening through surveillance.  Drew is a bit of a clumsy every man and the character reminds me a bit of Walter Fielding in The Money Pit.  You can't help but like the guy as he unintentionally outwits Cooper at every turn.  The whole spy games thing is quite amusing and it is said that it was loosely based on Spy vs. Spy (you remember the old Mad Magazine comic, right?)

Cooper sends in Maddy, a blond bombshell (Singer) to try and seduce the information out of Drew.  Things keep getting in the way and while it's all a rouse to Maddy, Drew finds himself falling for her.  Of course, this following typical film formula, you know she's going to start developing feelings for him as well.  There is a quite comical scene when Maddy invites Drew back to her place after one of his performances and while trying to seduce him, things get a  

For the most part, this movie has a good 80's comedy vibe to it.  There are times where it reaches levels of camp, especially in Belushi's scenes.....he's a bit "out there" in this one....though the dead bodies bit in Drew's apartment bit was pretty amusing.  It's quite fun picking out all the familiar faces and of course seeing Carrie Fisher in a leopard print matching bra and panties set my geek pulse a fluttering, bringing back warm fuzzy memories of her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi.

If you are in the mood for some Spy comedy shenanigans or in the mood for some vintage Hanks (and hey.....with Skyfall coming out soon and Cloud Atlas just released......what better time?!) this should hit the spot!  This is one of those movies that will work just as well as a Sunday afternoon time waster as it does a late night viewing.  It's got that "we-only-air-this-at-odd-hours" feeling, while still staying family friendly.  How bout that!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

What The Hell Happened?

Okay so, as you may have surmised, October turned out to be a complete bust for me as far as a Halloween extravaganza.  Started out strong and then it just kinda died.  Well, there's a few reasons that this happened.  First and foremost was a family emergency which took out mid to the end of the month for me.  It was just too hard to concentrate on anything.  Things are getting better though, so (hopefully) things will return to a more normal schedule as far as releasing posts and articles.

I hope that you all had a spooky Halloween and did something fun.  The Mrs and I caught one of the extremely limited re-releases of John Carpenter's 1978 babysitter slasher classic, Halloween.  It was absolutely awesome to see it on the big screen in a brand new HD transfer with 5.1 surround sound.  For a movie that I have seen about 1.6 trillion times, it was a totally new experience on the big screen.  Pure horror goodness.

Now, you may be asking, what comes up for November?

Well, you can expect a review of the killer turkey flick ThanksKilling, as well as a look at Eli Roth's  faux Grindhouse trailer for the as-of-yet-unrealized Thanksgiving film.  I'll be taking a look at Garfield's Thanksgiving Special and will touch on some more Thanksgiving goodness as well!

Which brings me to my next point:  Starting this month on Midnight Cinephile, you can expect to start seeing more non-horror fare being talked about here as well.  Now, horror was, is and always will be our number one passion here, but we also don't want to ignore the cornucopia of other films, tv shows and specials that also make up our insane viewing habits.  Because sometimes ya just want to write a thousand words on Mother, Juggs and Speed, ya know?  I want to make it feel like one of those great old UHF stations from back in the day, like WQTV (Channel 68) or WNDS (Channel 38).  They used to show all kinds of stuff in the witching hour.  Old games shows, Twilight Zone reruns, Gunsmoke reruns, Dark Shadows etc, and of course some strange movies!  Of course we can't forget early basic cable favorites like USA (Up All Night, Saturday Nitemares and Commander USA!  YES!), TNT (Monstervision) and of course, early Sci-Fi Channel.

If it wasn't for those stations, I never would have had my first taste of films like Cobra, Reform School Girls, Rambo, Better Off Dead, Death Wish, Vice Academy and of course most of Troma's output.

So there you have it.  It's going to be the same old MC, just with a new twist and more variety injected into it.  Pizza rolls and soda are still the preferred snack of choice 'round these parts.  You'll never see calorie listings here!  So sit back and enjoy!

Nuttin' But Love,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Midnight Cinephile.