Trumpster Fire Day 251: An Ongoing Disaster

Puerto Rico got walloped by Hurricane Maria. The storm made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 hurricane seven days ago, now. Maria destroyed the territory’s electricity transmission infrastructure, and the vast majority of the territory is still without electrical power, with all the attending problems that causes. Food is running out, potable water is in desperate short supply, and it could be months before power is restored. Continue reading “Trumpster Fire Day 251: An Ongoing Disaster”

Empty Balcony: Battle Royale

Before The Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. In fact, it’s not all that hard to go back through literary and film history to find stories about groups of people being hunted in a confined environment, commonly an island. Some pit characters against each other, while some feature characters whom are hunters, specifically. A quick trip through my memory (aided by the Google machine) brings up The Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, and even Death Race 2000. This isn’t a hard idea to come up with, which is why Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games novels, can plausibly claim that she never heard of the book and film Battle Royale before the similarities were pointed out to her. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Battle Royale”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Women’s Prison Massacre, aka Emanuelle Escapes From Hell

In the annals of shitty cinema, the 1980s saw the Italians holding the world championship crown. Between Enzo G. Castellari, Joe D’Amato, and Lucio Fulci, American b-flicks just didn’t stand a chance. Bruno Mattei is another filmmaker who can be added to this list of sublime cinematic futility. His 1983 film, Women’s Prison Massacre, also released as Emanuelle Escapes From Hell, among a couple of other titles, is an unbelievable piece of shit. Not only is it bottom feeding trash, it’s sexually exploitative. Being a film about a women’s prison, that’s to be expected. But there is also a cut floating around out there with hardcore porn, using body doubles of the cast, stitched into the R-rated sex scenes. I didn’t see that cut because, believe it or not, I wanted to watch this dog for the plot. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Women’s Prison Massacre, aka Emanuelle Escapes From Hell”

Empty Balcony: Shot Caller

Jacob (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was having a good day. He and a co-worker, Tom (Max Greenfield), were about to close a big deal, and took their wives out for a double-date to celebrate. Too bad for Jacob, then, that he had one or two too many drinks. Otherwise, the red light he ran, and the accident he caused that killed Tom, probably would not have resulted in jail time. As it is, vehicular homicide and all the DUI stuff has left Jacob with a two and a half year stretch in a maximum security prison. His lawyer advises his upper middle class client not to show weakness while serving his time, and Jacob decides to run with that advice. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Shot Caller”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Timecop

In choosing a film for Shitty Movie Sundays, care must be taken. Too often, before being watched for a Shitty Movie Sundays review, a movie appears to have the all the right ingredients that make for a shitty movie. There’s a veteran of shitty cinema in a lead role, the ideas behind the film are ridiculous, and the trailer is an absolute howler, but then the film turns out to be more mediocre than shitty. A mediocre film is such a disappointment. At least when a movie is bad, and really wallows in it, it can be a captivating watch. But a mediocre film just fades away. It has no significance and leaves no lasting impression. What to do, then? Make an executive decision, that’s what. Timecop, the 1994 film from Peter Hyams, is a forgettable sci-fi/action flick that normally wouldn’t be bad enough for this space, but then there are the cars. Oh, my goodness, the cars. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Timecop”