Saturday, November 25, 2023

Miraculous Mouse Meds

     This week we end November with a trio of movies that make us feel good.

     What happens when the world's most beautiful girl marries the world's most handsomest prince- and he turns out to be a real piece of shit? A tale of True Love, high adventure, miracles, fencing, giants, and torture. Rob Reiner's film based on William Goldman's adaption of S. Morgenstern's history of his native Florin, The Princess Bride.
     What happens when a once rich string magnate leaves his sons nothing but a rundown factory, a more rundown house with a loan taken against it, and a box of cigars infested with roaches? A tale of bad reversals of fortune, psychological warfare, predator and prey games, and torture. Gore Verbinski's feature debut, Mouse Hunt.
     What happens when a pair of stoner buddies, both of second generation Americans of Asian decent, get a bad case of the munchies and their most desired choice closed the nearest location four years ago? A tale of what should have been a short trip turned into an epic trip across just a few miles of highway, with helpful if boiled mechanics, fallen television heroes, extreme sports enthusiasts, dreams of small square hamburgers, and, of course, torture. The first of a wildly popular cult trilogy, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (aka Harold & Kumar Get the Munchies in the UK).
     All that and Tyler tried to revive the hat buckle, Kevin might not get the assignment, Dave makes a room inventory, and Craig just doesn't feel the love like he should. Join us, won't you?
   Episode 336- Miraculous Mouse Meds

Saturday, November 18, 2023

French Pressed

     This week- we like French films, a pair of pretentious boring French films, we like French films, three tickets s'il vous plaît.

     Monsieur Hulot, the legendary signature character of Jacques Tati, is a man overwhelmed and confused by the new modernity of Paris, as he and others stumble through six segments both lampooning and celebrating modernist life, and repeatedly encounters, Barbara, a young American tourist who longs to see the old romantic soul of Paris under its gleaming glass and steel skin. Tati's staggeringly massive auteuristic undertaking that both bankrupted him and firmly established his place among the greatest directors in the history of the medium, Playtime.
     Controversial American writer, director, photographer, and lover of nubile young flesh, Larry Clark, turns his specific view of youth culture on Parisians. Math is a bored skater with a horrific homelife who takes up prostituting himself to earn shocking amounts of overpayment for services rendered from kinky older men. JP, Math's best friend and fellow escort, soon begins to realize his love for Math is far from platonic. Marie is the girl who hangs around them in a couple scenes so we can firmly establish the boys sexual preferences. Marie also flirts with a third young sex worker, who only works with older women so he can provide for his family. Soon all the kids find themselves in a whirlpool of sex, drugs, skate videos, and a few more serious felonies. None of them will ever be able to wash off The Smell of Us.
     All that and Kevin gets fitted for a new trench coat, Dave does as little as possible, and Tyler scents all over his happy place.
   Episode 335- French Pressed

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Catastrophic Corrosion

     This week two movies about people making violent choices. 

     The body of a young woman is dumped on Hampstead Heath. It falls to Police Superintendent Hazard, the only not massively racist cop in London, to find the killer. Before long, he and his casually racist Inspector look through jazz clubs and middle class workshops for who might have murdered the biracial victim and realizing that "Hey, there's a lot of racism, isn't there?". Winner of the 1960 Edgar Award for Best Foreign Screenplay, Sapphire.
     Following in her missing mother's footsteps, Sam works as an assassin for shadowy global dominating organization, The Firm. Tragically, Sam overindulges in a murder spree and accidentally kills the son of a rival group's leader and is offered up by her bosses to make amends. Fortunately, her mother suddenly returns and her mother's librarian friends help. Neon and sugar and homages, Gunpowder Milkshake.
     All that and Dave resumes the Great Work, Kevin refuses to go anywhere without proper noir levels ambient lit of fog, and Tyler realizes that his apple didn't fall far from Papa T's tree. Join us, won't you?

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Ways of Bushi

     This week two movies about modern versions of ancient codes and professions just trying to survive. 

     Martha only gets through every day without any thought to what else there could be in her life. The new girl, Nandia, only dreams of something more and how to move up the ladder. Soon they are drawn together but what happens when one starts to be left behind as the other never stops looking for what is next? How far can they go before one is just a lingering reminder of earlier times? How will they adapt to their quickly changing world and how long until they are pulled apart? Dennis Iliadis' 2004 debut feature, Hardcore.
     To repay local mobster Louie for saving his life years earlier, an enigmatic man who views himself as a modern samurai becomes the best hitman working. Modeling his life off the writings in Hagakure and communicating only through messenger pigeons, it is a perfect siltation for both Louis and his retainer. Until they are ordered to kill the made man sleeping with the head of the Vargo Family's daughter. In order to cover their connection to this unsanctioned hit, the whole force of the family is coming down on... Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
     All that and Dave gets ranty about ancient Japanese philosophy, Kevin tries to clear his head for some noir goodness, and Tyler learns how to be trashy in multiple languages. Join us, won't you?
    Episode 333- Ways of Bushi

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Burying the Hatchet

     This week we close out the October Horror Challenge with three movies featuring derailed travel plans.
     It is Christmas Eve and Frank has decided to take a short cut through remote back roads to his mother-in-law's house. Late at night, in a Jeep Grand Cherokee loaded down with goodies, his wife, son, daughter, and daughter's boyfriend, they have a near miss accident. Soon the group finds themselves being picked off one by one, taken by a large black hearse. Will Frank get his family to safety? Can his wife eat a whole pie in under a minute? Just what movie does his son think he's in? An English-language French production, Dead End.
     Frank and Ethel are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a road trip with their three kids, infant grandchild, two German Shepherds, and whiny son-in-law. They stop for gas while taking in the sights of the New Mexico desert. When the friendly attendant gives them a short cut, they don't suspect for a moment it will actually lead them to his nuclear radiation mutated family of cannibals. When the family suffers devastating loses, the remaining members decide to get back those they can and make a stand in the sunbaked landscape. Director Alexandre Aja's first English-language feature and a remake of Horror Master Wes Craven's film of the same name, The Hills Have Eyes.
     A decade after narrowly surviving a horrifying slaughter in Honey Island Swamp, Andrew Yong has milked the well of his celebrity dry. When his publicist gives him an offer to go back to the swamp for an anniversary interview with a large payday, he reluctantly agrees. Little does he know that others are nearby foolishly playing with forces they can't comprehend. No amount of money is worth trying to survive the resurrection of... Victor Crowley.
All that and Dave gets weird in Italy, Kevin gets a crash course in amphibian biology, and Tyler rises to be supreme commander of a retail resistance. Join us, won't you?
   Episode 332- Burying the Hatchet

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Franchising! The Sequel! Part VIII The Musical

     This week- two films that franchise unlikely originals, an inevitable sequel, and a frustrated Scotsman only out for revenge at this point.

     After surviving her second night in Honey Island Swamp, Marybeth Dunston walks into a police station with the scalp of Victor Crowley. Now Sheriff Fowler leads a team out to see the carnage but it's only a matter of time until Victor returns. The only entry not directed by franchise creator, Adam Green, Hatchet III.
     The twin cities of Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas have lived in the shadow of the Phantom Killer since their 10 week long reign of terror from February to May 1946. Deciding to embrace it, the state line divided communities have yearly Halloween screenings of the 1976 docudrama horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown. In 2013, a pair of kids leave a makeshift drive-in screening, only to find themselves confronted by a new Phantom Killer. A metafictional sequel produced by Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy, The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
     In a small middle-American town parents have been gathered to hear the tragic story of Jimmy Harper. Jimmy is a normal clean-cut kid, doing well in school, a leader of the local 4H, and in love with the girl next door Mary Lane. Until the day he meets Jack at the local soda shop and is lured to Jack's marijuana den with the promise of swing dance lessons. Before you know it, Jimmy is hooked and going down the depravity drain to murder and prison. The TV movie adaptation of a stage musical adaptation of a classic exploitation film, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical.
     Join us, won't you?
  Episode 331- Franchising! The Sequel! Part VIII The Musical

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Swamps for the Sweet

     This week some movies with film directors slaughtered, coitus interruptus, and not enough Tony Todd (but, really, is it ever?).

     Arletty's artist father has vanished. So she goes to his small California coastal town to find him. Instead all she finds is his journal, a trio of wonderers, and some nightly moonbathers awaiting a return from the sea. An atmospheric curiosity from the decade of feathered hair and oil crises... Messiah of Evil.
     A ridiculously creepy German photographer has absolutely no issues commuting the least interesting murder spree ever put to film despite openly stalking children and being prone to shouting about Hitler at everyone on first meeting them. A movie whose limp attempt at viral marketing has left a lingering bad taste in the mouths of many online horror communities... Murder-Set-Pieces
     Return once again to the sleepy wetlands of Honey Island Swamp, where the screams of those who wonder into the territory of Victor Crowley ring out. Picking up immediately where the previous film ended, sole survivor Marybeth Dunston enlists the aide of local entrepreneur Reverend Zombie to end the swamp's curse once and for all. Assuming everyone doesn't get a... Hatchet II ...the face this time.
     Artist Anthony McCoy is struggling to find inspiration until his girlfriend's brother tells him the story of Helen Lyle, who went on a killing spree and kidnapped a baby before throwing herself into a bonfire. As Anthony digs deeper into the truth of the story, and the history of the currently gentrifying area it happened in, he learns of the cyclical nature of an ever renewing legend. Arguably the best legacy sequel so far, do not say his name five times in a mirror... Candyman.
All that and Dave acknowledges why he's going to die alone, Tyler self-soothes, and Kevin admires his vast tunnels full of horded discs located deep below his home. Join us, won't we?
   Episode 330- Swamps for the Sweet