Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from L.A.

From IMDb’s trivia page on Escape from L.A.:

 

Escape from LA [sic] was caught in development hell for over ten years. A script for the film was first commissioned in 1985 but John Carpenter thought it “too light, too campy.”

Too campy? How? Were The Riddler and Two-Face in the original draft? I find it hard to believe that Carpenter rejected a script for this film because it was campy. This movie lives on camp. It’s not light, though. I’ll give Carpenter that. Escape from L.A. is a violent flick. A bit cartoonish, maybe, but that many bullets can’t be fired in a movie and still be considered light. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from L.A.”

October Horrorshow: Basket Case

This is one of the more bizarre movies I’ve ever seen. From writer/director Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case is an ultra low budget black comedy horror flick about a young man and his brother. By all accounts, Duane Bradley is a normal person. Raised in upstate New York, he’s on his first trip to the big city. He’s naïve — green as all hell, in fact — but he has his charms, and it’s easy to tell that the city can’t come close to extinguishing all his innocence. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Basket Case”

October Horrorshow: Zombi 2

I could not imagine there being an October Horrorshow without a zombie flick. REC got close, but that and other recent movies are from the new wave of zombie fare — i.e., the bad guys aren’t zombies, they’re infected by some nefarious viral agent. But Halloween just couldn’t be Halloween without a horde of the classic lumbering undead making an appearance on my screen. Enter director Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, the 1979 Italian sequel/non-sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Zombi 2”

October Horrorshow: Asylum (1972)

The October Horrorshow continues here at Missile Test. The good, the bad, the unwatchable, it doesn’t matter. If there’s blood, there’s a place for it at the October Horrorshow. Today’s film is from Amicus Productions, a Hammer Films clone that made a number of portmanteau horror films in the 1960s and ’70s. Among these were the first screen adaptions of EC Comics horror staples Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. Asylum, from 1972, follows in the same vein. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Asylum (1972)”

October Horrorshow: Piranha 3D

It’s October, when calm nights are suddenly pierced by screams, unseen malevolent presences terrorize entire families, crazed masked murderers stalk virginal teenagers, and Missile Test celebrates all that is evil in the world with the October Horrorshow, a month’s worth of horror film reviews. A good horror film? We’ll watch it. A bad horror film? Bring it on. An absolutely putrid pile dog shit that had no business being produced at all? Yep, we’ll delve into those, too. Because the only thing that matters during the October Horrorshow is that there’s blood. And today’s selection has plenty of that, and not much else worth watching. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Piranha 3D”

October Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money

Listen closely at night and you should be able to hear the sound of the flapping of leathery wings. It’s October, when vampires in Chiroptera guise search for blood. And why not? October is the month of Halloween, and Missile Test is celebrating by reviewing horror films all month. It doesn’t matter if a film is good, bad, or so awful it would be better if all copies were burnt. If there’s blood, it gets a fair hearing. Today’s movie is a real dog born from a recent classic. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money”

October Horrorshow: The Human Centipede

The air is finally crisp here in the big city. The last gasp of humidity fled with the coming of Autumn, and in its place came the sounds of screams carried on the wind. For it’s October, when movie screens and television sets across the country run red with blood. It’s the month of Halloween, and to celebrate, it’s time once again for the October Horrorshow — time to dedicate Missile Test to watching and reviewing horror films. And we start out with a real winner. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Human Centipede”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Reign of Fire

What a gloriously stupid movie. Reign of Fire, from 2002, is about a post-apocalyptic near future in which dragons have been mistakenly awakened from a cave deep underneath London, and have turned the earth into a blackened ball of ash. A group of survivors, led by Quinn (Christian Bale), are eking out a meager existence in a ruined castle in Northumberland in the north of England, keeping their heads low and trying not to starve to death. They’ve reached a kind of perilous equilibrium, sure that as the dragons have burnt the surface of the planet to a crisp, it will only be a matter of time before the beasts all starve to death as well, and then rebuilding human civilization can begin. It’s a dangerous waiting game, between this meager group and the beasts, caught in a race to see which side can outlast the other. No side can hold out much longer, both heir to a land blackened and barren. The humans have pluck, and left alone, they may be the ones to survive, while the dragons, after all, are only animals. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Reign of Fire”

The Empty Balcony: Gojira & Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

Gojira is a very serious film. To watch it is to glimpse how grievously Japan was traumatized by World War II. Released only nine years after the end of the war, the film is heavy on imagery meant to invoke memories of the destruction that swept Japan’s cities. The origins of the monster Gojira are a pricking of the wounds left over from the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the firebomings that destroyed almost all large Japanese cities. What we see in this film is a generation of people still trying to cope with events from a decade past. At times, in scenes that take place in overflowing hospital wards or on streets where characters are surveying the devastation, I was struck by the realization that these people on screen were drawing from their own memories in their portrayals. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Gojira & Godzilla, King of the Monsters!”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Spice World & Trancers II

I never met a movie I wouldn’t watch.

— Missile Test

I thought I was being clever when I made that little play on the famous Will Rogers quote. I never thought it would get me in trouble, that I would be forced to live up to such whimsy as if it were a true declaration. I was wrong. One of my friends, Michael, over at Daily Exhaust, decided to challenge my integrity and the integrity of Missile Test by throwing out a suggestion for a shitty movie review. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Spice World & Trancers II”