July 21, 2018

Street Fighter

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Just when we thought we had covered the most dumbass video game movies with Mortal Kombat and  Super Mario Bros., Jake had to go ahead and find one that is, if not worse, most certainly equally stupid in the form of Street Fighter, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia (in his final role, which makes it even sadder), Ming-Na Wen, Kylie Minogue, and a whole bunch of people nobody would recognize if they passed them on the street.

Go ahead...Identify anyone else in this picture. It can't be done!
So it turns out that things aren't all wine and roses in the made-up country of Shadaloo. This is largely because deranged drug lord M. Bison (Raul Julia, who will always be remembered by the Here Be Spoilers crew for his immortal line reading of "Ma...My nuts?") has captured some A.N. (like the U.N., but not at all) workers, and is demanding $20 billion in order to free them and not feed them to his new secret weapon, a green dude named Charlie (Robert Mammone) who also happens to be the best friend of A.N. General William Guile (Van Damme).

Who, rumor has it, was baked out of his mind the whole shoot.
Guile wants to get in there, rescue everybody, save Charlie, and possibly kick Bison in the face, because that's kind of his thing. His assistant, Sgt. Cammy (Minogue), sort of tracks down Bison's location, and they prepare to send troops to the scene, with Guile taking the lead.

For the record: Guile's best friend in the whole world.
Meanwhile, a couple of scammers from the not-made-up country of America (really, it exists!), Ken (Damian Chapa) and Ryu (Byron Mann), are in Shadaloo to rip-off Bison's arms dealer named Sagat (Wes Studi) by giving him crates of what are essentially Nerf guns. Unfortunately, Sagat discovers that the guns are fake, and he takes Ken and Ryu prisoner, forcing Ryu to fight Sagat's cage champion, Vega (Jay Tavare). The fight, however, is interrupted by Guile driving a missile-equipped tank through the building and arresting everybody. Like, everybody...Hundreds of people.

When Guile discovers that Ken and Ryu aren't part of Sagat's people, he offers them a deal to infiltrate Bison's crew, and they accept. They stage a prison escape to gain favor with Sagat in order to get access to Bison. But they are being watched by a reporter named Chun-Li (Wen) and her crew, former sumo wrestler E. Honda (Peter Tuiasosopo) and former boxer Balrog (Grand L. Bush), whose careers Sagat had ruined before the movie started.

Shown: NOT Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li.
Chun-Li throws a tracking device on the truck the prison escapees steal so she, too, can find Bison's fortress, and she and her guys go looking for it. They track the stolen truck to a party where Sagat and Bison meet up, and their plan is to kill the two of them, despite Guile thinking this is not the best idea. Ken and Ryu stop the assassination attempt in order to get on Bison's good side, which works. Bison takes Chun-Li, Honda, and Balrog prisoner. Honda and Balrog are sent to be tortured, but Bison wants Chun-Li sent to his quarters for a different kind of torture. (As best as we could tell, he plans on overacting at her to death.)

Ryu and Ken break Honda and Balrog out of some sort of weird, Pulp Fiction-y, "Zed's dead" sort of captivity, and the four of them go to find Chun-Li and rescue her from having to hear Bison recite Shakespeare at her or some damn thing. But when they get to Bison's room, he is in the process of getting his ass handed to him by Chun-Li. He uses the distraction of the four of them interrupting to go hide in his panic room and he gasses them.

In his excitement, Bison sort of got some in him eye.
Guile, in the meantime, is searching for the now green-skinned Charlie. But before he can rescue his pal, he must kick the ever-loving shit out of Bison, which leads him to the main room where Bison awaits, ready to murder all the A.N. workers and fly away on his flying desk. (Yes, that is a thing. It is run by arcade cabinet controls. Seriously.) But will Guile defeat Bison? or will Bison's clothes save him? How many times? Will somebody just die already? You'll have to listen to find out!

Derek thought that he would never see a dumber martial arts-based video game movie after Mortal Kombat. He was wrong. And he is seriously saddened by the knowledge that this was Raul Julia's final film. Nobody should have to go to their grave with Street Fighter as the last item in their resumé.

Larry liked it a little better than Derek, but only a little. He is also saddened by the Raul Julia thing, as well as how little Charlie was used in the movie, being as the character is so kick-ass in the original Street Fighter video game. (Not to be confused with the Street Fighter: The Movie video game, a video game based on a movie based on a video game.)

So put on your ridiculous costume, strike a stupid pose, and tune in to this week's episode!

July 15, 2018

Mortal Kombat

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This episode is a commentary, so you're going to need a copy of Mortal Kombat to watch while you listen, if that's your bag. If not...well, have fun!

There was a time, not too long ago, when the prospect of a video game movie was exciting and new. Of course, that was back when games like Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. were cutting edge 8-bit technology, so expectations were not too high. This is what allowed the viewing public to believe that it was a good idea to cast a British guy (Bob Hoskins) and a Latino guy (John Leguizamo) as a couple of Italian New Yorkers.

But then, over the horizon, came a new game that changed the...uh...game. Instead of pixelated cartoon guys kicking turtles around and trying to save princesses from angry apes, the Midway company used photorealistic images of fighters and threw in buckets of blood to create a game called Mortal Kombat. Naturally, parents went apeshit and demanded that the blood be removed, causing kids to like it even more. It was only a matter of time before someone took the game and turned it into a money-making machine of a movie.

Unfortunately, the budget wasn't as big as the box office.
Part of the problem with taking Mortal Kombat and turning it into a movie is that there really isn't much of a story. Basically, there's a big tournament that takes place every thousand years, and the "best" fighters are invited to come test their talent. The whole thing is run by a guy named Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), with the added bonus that he gets to take their souls, which keeps him young and gives his lair its lustrous sheen.

Among the people he has chosen are: Liu Kang (Robin Shou), a Chinese martial artist whose brother was killed by Shang Tsung for reasons that are never really made clear; and Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), an action movie star facing rumors that he fakes all of his fights and stunts. Additionally, a government agent, Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), ends up in the group because she is in pursuit of a criminal named Kano (Trevor Goddard), who was hired by Shang Tsung to draw her into the tournament. Fortunately, these three have a little help on their side, as well, in the form of Lord Raiden (Christopher Lambert, for some reason), the God of Lightning. He's there to ensure that the tournament goes fairly.

Unfortunately, this Asian God is the freakin' Highlander. WHY, GOD? WHY?
Over on Shang Tsung's side of things, he has a bunch of nameless leftover goons from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Foot Clan, as well as a couple of specialized ninjas with super powers that they only use when it is the least necessary. One of them, Sub-Zero (François Petit), has the ability to freeze people and create weapons from ice. Fortunately, it turns out that he can be taken out with a little bit of water in a bucket. Not especially helpful, really. The other, Scorpion (Chris Casamassa), can spontaneously generate a spear connected to a cable from the palm of his hand. He's kind of a murdery, sentient claw machine. Unfortunately, his cable length is just that much too short, and he is unable to murder Johnny Cage with it.

But the can both serve the heck out of you in a dance-off.
There's also a lizardy kind of ninja named Reptile (Keith Cooke), but he was a last-minute add, and he isn't very effective.

Fortunately, Shang Tsung has a back-up plan: A big guy called Goro (Kevin Michael Richardson and Tom Woodruff, Jr.), who has enough arms to beat everyone all at once! He's also a high-five champion, but they don't cover that aspect of his life in this movie. Maybe they did in the sequel.

Put it there...and there...and there...and there...
Goro's job is to kill off the final Kombatant (ugh...we feel so stupid spelling it like that...) so Shang Tsung can take over the mortal world or some such ridiculous thing. To be honest, this is way more information than is actually needed in order for the viewer to enjoy the best part of the whole thing, which is watching people kick other people (or creatures) in the head. Unfortunately, there's a lot less of that than there is unnecessary exposition.

Oh, there are fights--Liu Kang fights Sub-Zero (kills him with a bucket of water) and Scorpion (Bicycle Kick to death), Johnny Cage fights Scorpion (can't remember how he beat him) and Goro (dick punch splits), and Sonya Blade fights Kano, who seems to enjoy having his head locked between her thighs a bit too much for a guy who is losing.

He seems like the sort of guy who would actually tell her that, too.
But the fights are few and far between and, really, not that great. And after all of that, Liu Kang has to fight Shang Tsung because Tsung has kidnapped Sonya and dressed her up like an extra in a Whitesnake video. Will Liu win? Wll all the souls Shang Tsung took in get returned to their rightful owners? Will anyone hold Johnny Cage responsible for what was clearly an illegal move in the Goro fight? Will Sonya get Kano to stop making gross comments and asking her to put him in a leglock again? You'll have to listen to the guys' commentary to find out!

Jake realizes that this is not a good movie, but he still loves watching it. As bad as it is, it's still good fun, although nobody can convince him that Christopher Lambert being cast as Lord Raiden was a good and not-racist idea. The others are right there with him on that one.

Larry seemed hurt by the mean things the other guys said about the movie, but is willing to admit that it is not the best film out there. He is, however, impressed with Goro, which was a practical effect, rather than a CG creation. He's right. It looks good.

Derek pretty much agrees with both of the guys' assessments, but his biggest joy was hearing Jake come up with his variations of the game Mortal Kombat, which included Mullet Kombat and Marital Kombat. Derek's contribution was Mortal Wombat. Cut him some slack.

So get on the boat, head to Outworld, and listen to the latest episode!

July 8, 2018

This Is Not A Test

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Some of you may remember our episode covering the movie Atomic War Bride, where the guys were horrified to see an actual cow actually machine gunned by an actual fighter jet. Well, it turns out that there was a second movie on that DVD, and it, too, speaks of the horrors of potential nuclear war, as well as the abuse of animals. In this particular case, it involves an angry guy violently throwing real chickens around.

You'd think Colonel Sanders himself started the nuclear war.
The movie is called This Is Not A Test, and it was made in 1962. It stars a bunch of people the guys had never heard of, including Seamon Glass (there was some discussion about how this guy's first name is pronounced), Thayer Roberts, Aubrey Martin, Mary Morlas, Michael Greene, Alan Austin, Carole Kent, Norman Winston, Ron Starr (aka "Clunt, the chicken thrower"), and Don Spruance.

Oh, and this dog, who gets murdered, as well. Nuclear war is fucked-up.
Deputy Dan Coulter (Glass) is on a late night patrol out in the middle of nowhere. It looks like a pretty quiet night until his dispatcher contacts him and tells him he is to set up a roadblock and stop any traffic going either way. He rushes to the location and immediately sets to work blocking the road. As he does this, an old pickup truck rolls up. He meets Jake (Roberts) and his daughter Juney (Martin), who are apparently delivering chickens somewhere in the middle of the night. (If Deputy Seamon were any kind of decent cop, he should be wondering why they are moving them so late...Probably black market chickens.) He tells Jake to pull the truck over to the side and set down some road flares to get the attention of any oncoming vehicles.

Is it pronounced "Shay-mon" or "Semen"? Guess which one we went with.
Meanwhile, another car rolls up, coming the other way. Officer Seamon goes to talk to them and discovers they are Joe (Greene) and Cheryl (Morlas), a couple who are on their way to Las Vegas to gamble some of the $750,000 Joe won somehow. (It was probably mentioned, but the guys don't remember.) Officer Seamon tells them to pull over and get out of the car. They are not especially thrilled about the idea, but they do.

At some point around this time, a married couple, Sam (Winston) and Karen (Kent), and their small dog arrive and join the group. It's turning into a real hoedown in the middle of nowhere!

At the same time, Jake flags down a semi truck with two men in it. Al (Austin), the driver, pulls the truck over and goes to see the deputy to find out what the deal is. His passenger, Clint (Starr), however, stays in the truck and refuses to speak.

Al and Clunt: Purveyors of discount fur coats and caviar.
When Officer Seamon takes a look at Clunt, he realizes that he is a wanted man and tells him to get out of the truck. Clunt jumps out and runs into the woods, with Officer Seamon and the small dog in pursuit. He returns moments later without Clunt, who turns out to be really good at not being found.

Everybody wants to know what's going on, but Officer Seamon has nothing to tell them. Fortunately, the radio in his police car comes on and announces that the whole area is on YELLOW ALERT! However, it does not immediately explain what that means, so Joe and Cheryl decide they want to get out of there. Deputy Seamon is having none of that, and he beats Joe down with the butt of his rifle, and then handcuffs him to the front bumper of his own car.

Everybody else is content to just stand around and pretend they didn't see that.
Once again, the radio announces that the whole area is still under YELLOW ALERT, but this time offers up a little more information. It seems that there are nuclear missiles on the way, so they should all probably try to not be standing around when they arrive. Deputy Seamon suggests Al move the truck a little further down the road, and they remove all the contents so they can use the trailer as a shelter.

Take note of the company name on the truck.
Everybody gets to work, including Joe, who decides that he likes being helpful much more than he likes being pistol-whipped and cuffed to cars. As the group pulls boxes from the truck, they start going through them, finding fur coats, whiskey, saki, champagne, and caviar...from a store called Discount World. Let that sink in. Form your own opinions. Try not to let it bother you too much, but keep these three words in your head while you watch the movie (which is available on YouTube): "Dollar store caviar."

During the unloading, Al takes a shine to Karen, and they sneak off to make smoochie-face. Juney has a bit of a freak-out because she is not a fan of confined spaces, and she insists to Jake that she is not going in that trailer, regardless of nukes. Also, a guy comes rolling up on his badass Vespa scooter, and introduces himself as Peter (Spruance). He joins the group in unloading the truck, but the work is interrupted when the radio announces that the whole area is now under RED ALERT! The missiles are coming and it's time to get to shelter!

Deputy Seamon makes everybody grab some mud to block off the vents in the trailer, and he sends Sam off to find Al and Karen, who, it bears repeating, is Sam's wife, which turns out to be a bad idea, because he finds them pawing each other in the tall grass. He tells them to get to the trailer, then goes back and kills himself. Dude was a total puss.

Juney again freaks out and runs into the woods, where she runs into Clunt, who decides not to murder her because she was the only one who was nice to him. As Jake gets near, Juney heads back to him and immediately rats Clunt out to the deputy. Then she and Jake decide to wander into the mountains, where they hope to find an old mine to hide in, and Peter invites himself along so they can drink from his hat.

But what will happen to them? Will they get instantly vaporized in the nuclear blast? And what about the folks in the trailer? Will the one-inch thick walls of aluminum and plywood keep them safe from radiation? Will they get along and not try to kill each other? You'll have to listen to find out!

Derek picked this flick, and he doesn't regret it one bit. It's a good movie, if a bit slow, and builds the suspense nicely. He is deeply disturbed by the chicken throwing and dog murder, but what are ya gonna do?

Larry also liked the movie, and was also very disturbed by the animal abuse. In fact, the chicken tossing was so upsetting to him that he legitimately yelled about it while they watched the movie. The clip at the top of the page is only a few seconds of it. It goes on for over a minute!

June 27, 2018

The Visitor

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Hey, everybody! It's Derek. it has been a couple of weeks since we have been able to do a show, what with Larry's insane work schedule (and now he's sick, to boot), so I wanted to do something special to make up for it. So I went and found a very special guest whose name I won't mention in this write-up; you're just going to have to listen to my guest and me provide commentary for 1979's Italian flick, The Visitor, starring Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen, John Huston, Joanne Nail, Sam Peckinpah, Shelly Winters, and Paige Connor. With a cast like that, what could possibly go wrong?

Actually, quite a bit, it turns out.

Not the least of which is the opening scene, which appears to have no
connection to anything at all.
The above scene ends, taking us to a scene where a guy who looks like the lead singer from Nickelback (Franco Nero) tells a bunch of bald kids about a great battle between Good (in the form of Yaweh) and Evil (in this case, Zateen). According to Wikipedia, he talks about how Yaweh killed Zateen, but Zateen's spirit remains alive and well, occasionally managing to impregnate women, causing all kinds of problems.

Next, we're thrown blindly into a basketball game, where team owner Raymond Armstead (Henriksen) and his girlfriend, Barbara (Nail) watch the last quarter of a game n what appears to be real time. It goes on forever, only to end with an exploding basketball, which appears to signify that Raymond's team won. Or not.

It should also be noted that Raymond is part of a Satanic group that are trying to gain control of Barbara's daughter, Katy (Connor), who happens to have some pretty disturbing psychokinetic abilities, as well as a deranged bird that murders for her.

Henriksen, as usual, displays his emotions with the voracity of a stunned
While Raymond is trying to get to Kasty for evil purposes, Jerzy Colsowicz (Huston) is trying to win her over to the side of Yaweh. Or, failing that, straight-up kill her. And he is the good guy. He's also got powers similar to Katy's, and the Nickelback guy sends him to Earth to get the job done.

For some reason, his plan involves beating her at Pong.
During Katy's birthday party, she uses her powers to transform a glass peacock into a gun, which she blindly tosses across the room, where it lands on a table and goes off, shooting her mother and severing her spine. A new housekeeper (Winters) comes in and instantly recognizes Katy for what she is, and the housekeeper is not putting up with any of her shit.

Why is your daughter's head spinning 'round like that, ma'am?
There's all kinds of yelling and trying to murder each other, Jerzy tries to get Katy, and Katy tries to kill him. A detective (Ford) is trying to find out who keeps killing people who don't like Katy, Raymond is trying to convince his Satanic masters that he can totally get Barbara knocked-up to spawn another Zeetan baby to mate with Katy, and possible abortions performed by Barbara's ex-husband (Peckinpah).

But really, there is almost no coherent plotline to follow. Seriously. I literally had to look it up on Wikipedia because I had no friggin' clue what it was I had watched. And the same goes for my Special Guest, who is the person that suggested this movie. Truthfully, the plot described on Wikipedia sounds like it would be a good flick, so I'm not really sure what happened here.

Eventually, things come to a head (and that head is almost decapitated), and there are birds and screaming and blood and all kinds of I-don't-know-what, and then it ends, and you are left even more confused than you were before you started watching.

I'm not going to give you a summary of our opinions. Suffice to say, we were both confused. Still, we managed some good jokes, so feel free to look it up on Vudu or Hulu for free, and listen to our commentary while you watch!

June 6, 2018

It Conquered the World!

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If someone were to ask you, Dear Reader, what name comes to mind when they say "drive-in horror and sci-fi," the fact that you are here, reading this (and possibly listening to the attached podcast), no doubt means that the first name that would come to your mind is that of Roger Corman, the King of Low-Budget Movies!

And you would be right to say so.

One of the things that is rarely remarked upon about Corman, who is regularly--and erroneously, in our opinion--referred to as a "schlockmeister," is the vast network of amazing talent, in front of and behind the camera, that he is responsible for putting to work. Jack Nicholson, John Landis, David Carradine, Martin Kove, Sylvester Stallone, Beverly Garland, the immortal Dick Miller...The list goes on and on.

So the cast of this episode's movie, 1956's It Conquered the World, should not come as a surprise to anyone. But it did surprise Derek. Especially the appearance of Lee Van Cleef.

Look at him there, completely okay with being in a movie with Peter Graves!
Van Cleef is a scientist named Dr. Tom Anderson. Tom has built a super-powered ham radio, much to the consternation of his wife, Claire (Beverly Garland), and he has been using to talk to someone (or something) in SPAAAAAACE!

Dr. Tom's friend, Dr. Paul Nelson (Peter Graves), also has aspirations of communications in SPAAAAAACE! However, he goes the more traditional route by working on a military base, launching a satellite and looking at a TV screen that looks like the opening of The Outer Limits. Paul's wife, Joan (Sally Fraser), seems okay with that.

Despite these guys being the ones tasked with keeping the base safe.
When the military scientists lose control of Dr. Paul's satellite, there is a bit of concern about it crashing into an inhabited area, but Dr. Tom contacts Dr. Paul to ask him over to his house for drinks, where he will explain what is happening up there, because it turns out that Dr. Tom is at least partially responsible.

You see, Dr. Tom, ham radio aficionado that he is, has been using his radio to speak to somebody from Venus! In SPAAAAAACE! And he suggested to his new Venusian friend that it board the satellite and use it to come down to Earth, in a spot that has a similar atmosphere to its own planet. (Apparently, the atmosphere of Venus is similar to a hot springs out in the woods. Who knew?) It does, and immediately sets out to find itself some people to turn into radio-controlled slaves of some kind.

This is done by sending out flying deformed waffles to do its bidding.
At the same time, the entire city loses power. Nothing works; electricity, cars, water...All of it is dead. Except at the home of Dr. Tom and Claire. Claire is suspicious of this, worrying that her husband went and made friends with an evil entity from SPAAAAAACE that may very well bring about the end of humanity. You know how it is with married couples.

Since their car died halfway to Dr. Tom's house, Dr. Paul and Joan have to walk the last twelve miles, and they are in serious need of beverages. Fortunately, Dr. Tom provides those while he explains to Dr. Paul that there may be just a tiny little bit of an invasion from Venus happening, but it's all good because Dr. Tom is pals with the Murder Onion that is the monster from Venus. Dr. Paul, like so many others, is suspicious, but he keeps it mostly to himself because Dr. Tom offers hs friends a ride home in his still-functional car.

Did we mention the Murder Onion has lobster claws? It does.
Back at the base, Brig. General Patrick (Russ Bender) sends all the non-military folks packing out to the desert, for some reason. He then tells the gate guards, Sgt. Neil (Dick Miller) and Pvt. Ortiz (Johnathan Haze, who played Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors), that they and the rest of the soldiers on the base are going on a forced march out into the woods somewhere. They do so without questioning the fact that they were not given a specific destination.

Meanwhile, the flying waffles are trying to find their targets and turning them into mindless automatons, as they tend to do. There are a total of six sent out, but only about four actually find their marks--the General Patrick, the sheriff, and Dr. Paul's wife. The other four...not so much. Two were intended for the mayor and his wife, but they died in the stampede of people when they are being rushed out of town. One was intended for Dr. Paul, but he kills it with a fireplace poker. He also kills his own wife because she's the one who tried to trap him so the flying waffle can get him.

Claire, now fed up with all this murder and aliens and ham radios, decides to take matters into her own hands and go after the Murder Onion with a shotgun, so when Dr. Paul, who has found a bicycle and pedals the twelve miles to confront Dr. Tom, she takes one of only two workings car in town (the other is a Jeep that the General drove) and goes to the cave where the Murder Onion has established its base.

It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Fortunately, the wandering soldiers of the forest happen to hear her screams, and the now-convinced-he-was-wrong Dr. Tom arrives with Dr. Paul in the Jeep formerly driven by the now deceased General, just in time to help the soldiers confront the Murder Onion. But are they too late to save Claire?

Will Dr. Tom learn the error of his ways and take up a more reasonable hobby, like woodworking? Will Dr. Paul take up bicycling and walking as a hobby and become one of those insufferable douchebags who go on and on about how good they feel and how much better it is for the environment? Will the Murder Onion be defeated and added to a giant stew to feed all those people who are stuck out in the desert? And, most importantly, will Dr. Paul be held accountable for all the people he killed? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry was pretty impressed with the film, despite the goofiness of the Murder Onion. He's also pretty sure the cave it lives in is the same one that Ro-Man lived in during the events of Robot Monster. (It was. It's called Bronson Cave.)

Derek was amazed at the cast in this film, particularly Lee Van Cleef. He also finds the Murder Onion kind of ridiculous, but not enough to take away from the enjoyment of the movie. And he declares his undying love for Beverly Garland.

So fire up your ham radio, warm up some flying waffles, and listen to this week's episode!

May 30, 2018

Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

To listen/download, click here!

Ah, Public Television, where would we be without you? You were there when we were kids, with your Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. And you stick by us until we die, what with your opera concerts and shows like American Playhouse.

And it is one of those American Playhouse episodes that Derek and Larry sat down to watch this time around--a little flick from 1983 called Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, starring Raul Julia and literally nobody else that you might recognize.

Seriously...Who are these people?
(Side note: There are almost no pics of this movie that are not from MST3K.)
Aram Fingal (Julia) is bored at work. Work, in this particular case, is a giant mega-corporation that controls a portion of the world, including its weather, and is run by a tubby guy known only as the Chairman (Donald Moore).

Fingal likes to kill time at work ogling his coworker, Felicia (Wanda Cannon) and watching "cinemas"--films from the past that are now, for some reason, illegal. When he gets caught watching Casablanca, he is sent to see a psychist (Helen Carscallen), who determines that what Fingal really needs is to have his consciousness vacuumed out of his head and stuffed into a Disco Cube (not the actual term used), so she prescribes a mandatory "doppel". (This movie is filled with ridiculous terminology in an attempt to make it sound futuristic.)

But to get you in the Disco Cube, they have to saw off the top of your head
and install 5.1 surround sound.
When he gets to the clinic to have his brain wired, he meets Apollonia Jones (Linda Griffiths), a computech in charge of running doppels, although, as her voiceover informs us numerous times, this is her first time doing a mandatory one. This, apparently, will make it more difficult, for reasons that are never quite clear.

Once Fingal drinks some old Tang and they put him under the bandsaw, he is shipped off to the medico (Denise Pidgeon), a fumble-fingered Olive Oyl simulacrum who not only has to wire Fingal for doppeling, but also has to deal with a group of filthy schoolchildren who are being shown around the clinic by their teacher. One of the kids (Audra Williams) tries to put her mustard-covered fingers all over Fingal's brain, and another, a horrible little monster named Marco (Hadley Kay) uses the teacher's distraction to switch out the routing tags on some of the bodies in the room, including Fingal's, which identifies him as a doppel.

With his brain now wired to the Disco Cube, it is taken and plugged into a baboon in Africa named Daisy, giving Fingal control over the poor monkey, forcing it to do cartwheels and eat something called "maruba(?) fruit," which apparently get the animals drunk.

Later, while Fingal/Daisy is in a tree, trying to recover from a massive fruit-induced hangover, an elephant tries to knock over the tree, causing Fingal to freak out and try to end his doppel experience. Instead, he is sucked into a fake world similar to his own, created by Novicorp's mainframe computer.

But somehow even more uninteresting than his real world.
Apollonia makes contact with Fingal and tells him to just act normal. When that fails to work out for him, she tells him to make small changes so things aren't so mundane for him. Naturally, he decides that the best way to do that is to convince Felicia to let him bone her, only to discover that it wasn't as great as he imagined it would be, which kind of contradicts the whole premise, being as it all takes place in his imagination.

While this is going on, Apollonia is informed that Fingal's body has been misplaced, and she has to go speak to the Chairman about it. He wants to just forget about the whole thing, but Apollonia convinces him to let them find the body before the Disco Cube self-destructs in forty-eight hours, because they are apparently made of C-4 and scotch tape. The Chairman agrees after it is explained to him that letting a doppel die because they've misplaced the body could have a negative impact on profits.

But then how will I afford my gravy baths?!
Fingal, now completely insane, has combined the world of Casablanca with his own, resulting in a lot of sweaty people, a nightclub called "The Place", and a Humphrey Bogart character (also played by Julia) named Rick. Apollonia tries to intervene in weirder and weirder ways, showing up as Fingal's soup-delivering mother (Jackie Burroughs), and even coming down from the heavens as Eve to drop off the Ten Commandments of not fucking around with the computer simulation, but to no avail.

When Fingal starts messing with Novicorp's finances, the Chairman gets involved himself, appearing at The Place as The Fat Man. (Jake, as far as the guys can tell, was nowhere to be found.) He also tries to convince Fingal to knock it off, but uses a Telly Savalas lookalike to work as a bully for him.

Say there, handsome...Come here often?
As time runs down and the danger of disappearing completely escalates, Fingal keeps trying to figure out the password to Novicorp's computer so he can get himself out of there and get out of town. The Fat Man makes numerous offers, and even almost convinces Fingal to let it all go, but Rick convinces him otherwise, telling him he can bring down Novicorp and get his body back.

But will he? Will Fingal figure out the password and save himself before his Disco Cube explodes? Or will the Fat Man die of a heart attack before he can take out Fingal? Why was Apolonia's coworker, Djamilla (Chapelle Jaffe), licking her watch? If Apollonia was supposed to stay in constant contact with Fingal, why does she keep dropping out on a disturbingly regular basis? WHAT THE HELL DOES "I AM INTERFACE" MEAN?!

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek is angry about so much of this movie, but he is happy to acknowledge the one shining light in this train wreck of a film: The enigmatic and fascinating Tooby (Gary Farmer), a medico assistant who appears to have suffered some sort of internal head trauma, but still maintains his professional life. Good for him!

Larry was the one who wanted to watch this one soooooo bad. And now he is regretting that choice. He had only seen the MST3K version until now, and although he loved it on that show, he is nowhere near as happy with the unriffed version. He promises that he will never watch this monstrosity of a film again.

So drink your Reconst, get ready to Fingal your Doppel, and tune in to this week's episode!

May 23, 2018

Extra Terrestrial Visitors (aka Pod People)

To listen/download, click here!

For the third episode of Derek's Narcissistic Month-Long Birthday Celebration, he chose one from a classic MST3K episode: Pod People (originally known as Extra Terrestrial Visitors), a knock-off of E.T. the Extra-terrestrial starring Ian Sera, Nina Ferrer, Susan Blake, Sara Palmer, Óscar Martín, Maria Albert, Emil Linder, and a bunch of other people you have never heard of.

And whatever the hell these are supposed to be.
We begin when a group of poachers (Frank Braña, Guillermo Antón, and another, uncredited guy) arrive in a quiet wooded area to murder a bunch of animals "in peace and quiet," as one of them says. None of them seem to like the others, and they spend more time arguing than anything else. While trying to climb a tree--presumedly to murder some birds while they sleep in their nests--they send one of their number (the uncredited guy) to go get a rope from the truck. On his way there, he sees a meteor fall and decides to take the group's truck and investigate, and finds a giant hole that glows red. So, of course, he goes inside to have a look.

What Uncredited Guy finds is what appears to be a nest of some kind. There are a number of giant eggs on the ground, and they're all bathed in the red glow and some sort of goop. Duly unnerved by this, Uncredited Guy grabs a stick and starts pounding on the eggs, revealing them to be filled with what looks like the same stuff they used to fill Stretch Armstrong dolls with, as well as raw chickens. While doing so, he is attacked by...something.

Burt (Braña), who looks like George Peppard, looks for critters to shoot.
Without warning, it seems we are thrown into a second movie, where young Tommy (Martín), an on-the-spectrum boy who collects pets (which he refers to as his "specimens") and demands everyone call insects by their scientific names. He gets into an argument with his father (Manuel Pereiro) about what to call a centipede, but Tommy's mother (Concha Cuetos) intervenes and tells Tommy to go to his room. High drama, indeed.

We are saved from this emotional rollercoaster by being violently tossed into yet another movie, where a singing group, led by the smarmy Rick (Sera), tries to record a terrible song. It's pretty clear from the start that Rick is not impressed with the work his backup singers, Sharon (Ferrer), Kathy (Palmer), and Tracy (Albert). He berates them and demands that they try to keep up with him. When they try again, making it all the way through. When the producer, Brian (Linder), tells them that it sounded good, Rick offers his own opinion.

The iconic "It's adequate" scene.
Having half-assed their way through two takes, the group takes the weekend off, intending to go camping and having lots of sex. But when they get out to their RV, they are met by Lara (Blake)--a woman that Rick "accidentally" hooked up with and invited to go with them.Sharon, who is currently dating Rick, is upset, and she storms off. Brian chases her down and tells her that being a lying, cheating asshole is part of Rick's act, and she falls for it. Then they all leave to go camping.

So, of course, it's time to check in with what's going on in the poachers in the first movie. They are still trying to find animals to kill, but are not having much luck because of rangers and an absurd amount of fog that permeates the entire movie.

There's probably tons of cool stuff happening in this scene, but we'll never know.
Checking in with movie number two, we find that Tommy has gone out to find more bugs to argue about with his father. While blindly trudging through the forest, he runs across the same hole in the ground that Uncredited Guy found, and he goes inside, where he finds the body of Uncredited Guy, all the eggs that were broken, and one unbroken one, which he promptly stuff into his coat and takes home.

Back to movie number three, where the group has reached their destination and made a fire to cook over. Small talk and pleasantries take place as Lara tells everyone about Rick inviting her to come with them. Sharon makes a sarcastic remark, Lara returns one, Sharon throws coffee at Lara, and Lara runs off into the woods.

Good times, if you hate being comfortable.
The rest of the group go looking for Lara, but she is found by the remaining poachers from movie number one. They make some lewd comments and she pulls away from them, only to fall down into a pit where she no doubt suffered multiple broken bones and lacerations. The poachers split because they only want to murder four-legged animals.

Rick finds Lara at the bottom of the pit and, with the help of Brian, the pick her up and move her back to the camper, despite what even the most rudimentary first aid training might suggest about moving someone who may be injured. After putting a blanket on her and trying to pour some whiskey down her unconscious throat, they decide to maybe try finding some help, which eventually leads them to the home of Tommy and his family. And his new pet alien.

Please...Just let me die...
From here, people start getting picked-off, one-by-one, and thrown onto the ever-growing pile of dead bodies stacked in the spare bedroom. Rick wants to stay where they are. Tommy's dad wants them to get the hell out of his house so he can drink and shoot at things in peace. Tommy wants his new pet alien, which he named Trumpy after it hatched (that took about ten minutes after him getting the egg home), to do tricks for him, and Trumpy is happy to oblige, resulting in a ridiculous sequence involving a Simon game, a jigsaw puzzle, a generous amount of peanuts, and a terrified bunny.

The poachers have taken up residence in a cave, hoping to ride out any fallout from being partially responsible to what is at least the crippling of a Valley Girl. As they try to decide what to do, they are attacked by a familiar-looking alien that kills the younger of the two and brands him with a weird, glowing mark on his head.

Mick "Mankind" Foley joins a cult.
So the George Peppard-looking guy goes running to Tommy's house, because it's the only one around, we guess. He teams up with Rick and Tommy's now visibly drunk father, and they go looking for an alien to kill!

But will they find it? And is it Trumpy? Will Rick be considered an accessory to murder for the terrible injuries Lara sustained by being manhandled by him and Brian? Will Tommy's balls ever drop, allowing him to sound like a male? Will this thing ever end, possibly with a very Harry and the Hendersons-style sending-off of the alien? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry was visibly shaken after watching this, having entered into this with high hopes that he would be surprisingly entertained, like he had been from the last two movies. He is disappointed by the poorly-designed alien, as well as the goo in the eggs. Why was there a raw chicken in there?!

Derek is deeply upset by the lack of simple first aid knowledge in this film. It's very likely that Lara and all the other victims may have survived, had it not been for Rick and Brian flopping their unconscious bodies around like ragdolls. Those guys are the real monsters in this film.

So fire up the RV, load up your innocent animal killin' guns, put on some hip waders, and listen to this latest episode!

May 16, 2018

Catalina Caper

To listen/download, click here!

For the second episode of Derek's Birthday Month Un-Riffed MST3K Movie Fest-O-Vention, he chose a film that even the MST3K writers had a hard time writing jokes for: Catalina Caper (aka Never Steal Anything Wet) starring Tommy Kirk, Del Moore, Peter Duryea, Robert Donner, Ulla Stromstedt, Jim Begg, Sue Casey, Lyle Waggoner, Michael Blodgett, Peter Mamakos, and dozens of other people you probably don't recognize, not to mention Little Richard, Carol Connors, and the Cascades! It's a musical romp of mystery, comedy, scuba diving, and art theft. Not to mention the biggest draw of all...

Pensive-looking ship stewards in bowties.
It's summer! And Don  Pringle (Kirk) is heading to Catalina with his buddy Charlie (Brian Cutler), a chick-magnet who wants Don to have himself the best time ever. And Charlie recruits another friend, water cop Bob (Blodgett), to help him get Don some action/

For his part, Don is into the idea of having fun, but he has no interest in the girls because on the boat to Catalina, Don meets the mysterious and enigmatic Katrina (aka "Creepy Girl," played by Stromstedt). She is dark and vaguely European, with a thick accent. Don is immediately smitten, despite Charlie throwing girl after girl at him.

So...You have those. I like that.
Everybody else on the boat, however, is busy listening to a doped-up Little Richard blandly lip sync a song called "Scuba Party". You would think a live performance from Little Richard in the mid-sixties would be pretty exciting, wouldn't you? But no...He looks like he's not even sure where he is for most of the song.

Look at that face. He has no idea where he is.
Over on Catalina, Lawrence (Begg) has been dispatched to the local museum to steal a valuable scroll as part of a plan to rip off an art collecting criminal named Lakopolous (Lee Deane), whom Derek and Larry refer to throughout the show as "Totopoulos." because they didn't pay close enough attention.

Lawrence's boss, Arthur Duval (Moore), and his wife, Anne (Casey), spend their time trying to not look like criminals while also avoiding their straight-as-an-arrow son, Tad (Duryea), who looks almost as old as his father.

After Lawrence delivers the scroll, Don and Charlie arrive, and Arthur takes the opportunity to dump Tad off on them, allowing the elder Duval and his wife to get on with arranging a meeting with Lakopolous.

Say, fellow teenager, do you happen to have a copy of the Wall Street Journal?
Arthur's plan involves having his wife make a replica of the scroll and, after showing Lakopolous the real scroll to convince him to pay up, switching it out for the fake scroll, and then putting the original back in the museum, leaving nobody the wiser. Tad, of course, is suspicious, but as a 45-year-old teenager, he cannot blow off the opportunity to look at young girls in bikinis and go scuba diving.

And that's exactly what they do, but dumb ol' Don is still hung up on Creepy Girl. And it gets even worse when she shows up on the beach in a modest bathing ensemble that, for some reason, everybody freaks out about.

But the guys seem to like it.
This causes some anger from the other girls on the beach. They all storm off to go stand on a boat and look sad, and most of the guys follow and try to make them dance by kicking them in the ass. Seriously. That happens.

Don, however, stays behind to talk to Creepy Girl, who goes into the water and almost immediately loses her top. Don, ever the gentleman, offers her his jacket so she can cover up, and her boyfriend Angelo (Waggoner) shows up to yell at her and Don. Creepy Girl wants no part of that, and she sends Angelo packing.

Lakopolous sends one of his goons, Borman (Mamakos), to meet with Arthur on the Duvals' boat. A scuffle ensues, and the scroll, which is stuffed into a protective tube, is thrown off their boat and into the water. Whoops. Fortunately, Bob is going by on his boat and interrupts the fight. When Tad finds out about it, he checks on his parents who offer to throw a diving party as a cover for getting the kids to find the lost scroll.

As all of this is going on, a detective by the name of Fingers O'Toole (Donner) is keeping an eye on Arthur, hoping to catch him doing something sketchy. Unfortunately for Fingers, he misses a lot because he spends a lot of his time falling into the ocean.

You're a moist sonofabitch, aren't you?
The kids get together for the party and start diving, trying to find the the scroll, as well as a bunch of other junk Arthur threw overboard, for prize money. Don and Charlie find the scroll, but they are harassed by Lakopolous's men, who try to steal it back. Charlie gets punched a lot, so at least it's fun to watch. But where is the scroll?

Will the scroll be returned to the museum? Will Don realize that Creepy Girl will never truly be his because she's like the wind, baby? Will Tad start collecting Social Security before his own father? Will we get to see the inevitable doctor visit for Charlie where he learns he has all the STDs? Will Fingers ever stop being soggy? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry was surprised to find that he actually enjoyed this movie. He also thinks that Creepy Girl is "beautiful." (His own words.) Also, he is a big fan of Robert Donner falling into water. It's a little weird, to be honest, but who are we to judge?

Derek just doesn't understand anybody's attraction to Creepy Girl. She is by no means CHUD-ugly, but he doesn't think she is all that great, and goes out of his way to point out that there are many more women on the beach that he finds more attractive. It's kind of rude on his part, really.

So put on your swimsuit, get your flippers, and tune in to this week's episode!