November 15, 2018

The Blob (1958)

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Bullitt. The Great Escape. The Towering Inferno. The Magnificent Seven. What do they all have in common, aside from being straight-up awesome and, because of that, they will most likely never be discussed on this podcast? They all starred Steve goddamn McQueen, that's what.

McQueen had a helluva career. He started out as a television actor, but eventually felt it was time to step up and hit the big screen with a two-fer in 1958: the forgettable Never Love a Stranger and the spectacularly weird movie we watched for this episode, The Blob.

"Young" Steven Andrews (McQueen, who was 27 at the time) is on a date with his best girl, a cardboard cutout named Janie (Aneta Corsaut), and he is putting the moves on her hard (which, by 1958 Pennsylvania standards, means "gently holding hands and gazing wistfully into each other's eyes") when they see and hear something fall from the sky. They decide to investigate, and they drive off toward where they think it landed.

At the same time, an old man who looks like mid-eighties Lloyd Bridges (Olin Howland) also hears the noise and, since it landed only a few feet from his Evil Dead cabin, does what any of us would do: He goes and pokes it with a stick. It turns out to be a small meteorite, but poking it causes it to break open, revealing its gooey center. He collects the goo on the end of his stick, and it oozes down onto his arm, causing him immense pain.

His joy at discovering an extraterrestrial money shot is short-lived.
Steve and Janie are still driving toward the site when the old man lunges out of the woods, right in front of Steve's car. They stop to help the man, discover the goo attached to his arm, and throw him in the back of Steve's car to take him to the town's doctor, Dr. Hallen (Stephen Chase).

They catch the doctor just as he's leaving for the day, and he quickly ushers them inside his office. He takes a look at what's going on under the coat Steve wrapped the old man in and immediately calls his nurse/assistant, then tells Steve and Janie to go find the impact site because he has this covered.

They leave, only to find a group of middle-aged teenagers hanging all over Steve's car, demanding a drag race.(Because it's the fifties!) Steve agrees, but only if they do the race backwards. The "teens" agree, and Steve beats them easily, only to get busted by Lieutenant Dave (Earl Rowe), the town's "good cop" who can "relate" to the "teenagers" because they are the "same age" as he is, which is to say, in their "early" thirties.

Lieutenant Dave is not "hep"to Steve's "jive".
Dr. Hallen decides the old guy's arm has to go, and his nurse arrives. He tells her to go have a look at the old guy, but when she enters the examination room, the table is empty. As she looks around, the one lamp in the room falls over, causing the one fuse the office's entire electrical system apparently runs on, causing the entire building to go dark. Dr. Hallen goes to the basement to fix it, and when the lights come back on, the nurse finds herself globule with an angry murder snot, which attacks and kills her, and then the doctor, just as Steve and Janie show up outside the office to see how things are going.

Cold-and-flu season in rural Pennsylvania is hell.
Steve and Janie go to the police station to tell them what happened, and Lieutenant Dave sort of believes them. His partner, Officer Bert (John Benson) doesn't buy it, though, insisting it's all a prank to mock him personally because of his war record. Seriously; he actually says that. However, the "kids" persist, and they all go to Dr. Hallen's office to check on him.

When they get there, there is nothing; no doctor,no nurse, no victim, and no blob. There is, however, an elderly woman who says Dr. Hallen is supposed to be out of town, so there is no reason for him to be there. Vindicated, Officer Bert drags Steve and Janie back to the station and calls their fathers (Hugh Graham and Elbert Smith), who make stern faces and take the kids home.Minutes later, both Steve and Janie sneak out of their respective houses and go looking for the other retirement-age teenagers to hunt down whatever Steve claims he saw eating Dr. Hallen.

Steve and Janie eventually end up at the local grocery store, which has been inexplicably left unlocked, even though it is well past closing time. Also, Janie finds the old guy's tiny dog, which she scoops up to bribe her brother from telling their parents where she went. When the blob shows up. Janie throws the dog at it, and then he and Steve hide in the walk-in cooler, but the blob doesn't follow them. Instead, it oozes down the street to the movie theater.

"Blob" is short for "Blobert".
Steve and Janie grab their friends and start honking horns and setting off air raid alarms to get the people in town to listen to them so they can fight the blob. It works, for the most part, but a bitter and spiteful Bert refuses to buy it until the crowd that was in the theater comes running around the corner, screaming in terror. But they still need a plan...

Will that plan, which involves giving Bert a weapon around a bunch of the teenagers he so hates, work? Or will it get derailed by Janie's idiot little brother? How close to retirement age are the teens? What happened to the dog? And what's up with the cop playing chess over the radio back at the station? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek unabashedly loves this movie, despite the terrible acting that everybody is doing. Or perhaps because of it. He is, however, upset by Janie's lack of emotion. Even worse, when she tries, it looks like she's having all the emotions at once, and they hurt.

Jake liked it, too. He is pretty upset about just how old the "teens" look. Especially McQueen. It's like they didn't even try to hide it. Also, he questions McQueen's acting chops, as it appears the guy has only scanned his copy of the script.

So put on your most neat-o slacks and cardigan, gather your pensioner-teenage friends together, take some antihistamines, and tune in to the latest episode!

October 31, 2018

Madhouse (1974)

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Happy Halloween, you guys! And welcome to the final episode in the much talked about (here in Derek's living room) Vincent Price is Right Movie Marathon!

To finish it out, the guys sat down to watch 1974's Madhouse, which not only starred Vincent Price, but also included Peter Cushing at no extra charge!

What a bargain!
Paul Toombes (Price) has everything going for him. He's a famous actor, known for his role as Dr. Death in a series of successful movies. He is engaged to his beautiful costar, Ellen (Julie Crosthwaite). Top of the world, ma!

But then it all comes crashing down when, shortly after publicly arguing with Paul, Ellen turns up dead, and Paul is the one who finds her. Needless to say, Paul does not handle it well, and spends the next twelve years in an asylum. When he is finally released, he travels to London, where his writing partner, Herbert Flay (Cushing), lives. On the cruise to England, a young lady (Linda Hayden) recognizes Toombes and immediately starts badgering him, all the way up to the point where he gets off the ship and into a car to go to Herbert's house.

A girl? In my bedroom? Ooh! How scandalous!
Once there, Paul and Herbert start planning a Dr. Death television show, and to prepare Paul to return to his part, Herbert makes him sit down and watch one of his old movies, which sends Paul into a twitchy freak-out.

While roaming through the house, Paul goes to the basement, where he finds his former costar and Herbert's wife, Faye (Adrienne Corri), hanging out with the spiders down there and badly disfigured from an assault years ago.

But she has a great personality.
At the same time, the young lady from the cruise has found Herbert's house, and she makes her way onto the property to try getting to Paul again. Unfortunately, a dark and vaguely familiar skull-faced person stabs her through the throat with what looks like a grilling fork, then dumps her body in a boat and sends it out into the middle of a lake, only to be fished out by a group of boys not long after.

The police, of course, are naturally suspicious of the guy who was just let out of a nuthouse and played a murderous doctor in a number of orders. However, they cannot tie him to it, so he goes on his way and starts making the TV show he came here for in the first place, although that does not go well, either.

But at least his wormy producer (Robert Quarry) is there!
Unhappy with his new costar (Jenny Lee Wright), Paul tears into her. And, once again, the mysterious guy who dresses very similar to Paul as Dr. Death makes an appearance and makes her all dead, hanging her with her own hair.

On his way back to Herbert's after a day at work that could have gone better, Paul is confronted by the parents of the girl from the cruise (Ellis Dale and Catherine Willmer). It seems they found his pocket watch on their daughter's dead body, and they are now going to blackmail him, demanding he pay them to not turn the watch over to the police. That doesn't last long, however, as the mystery guy comes and turns them into a kabob.

And Paul had not one more fuck to give.
All is still not well, however, and Paul's assistant turns up dead, causing Paul to begin questioning whether it actually is himself that is doing all this killing. With no reasonable options available, Paul decides to end it all in fire.

Or does he...? And if it's not Paul being all murdery, who is? Also, what's up with that wormy producer? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek really enjoyed this one, and was especially pleased to see Peter Cushing working with Price. He also had a vaguely unhealthy interest in Linda Hayden's character. She's...she's really something. And he digs it.

Jake also loved the movie, and is particularly impressed with how Price's simple Dr. Death makeup works so effectively. It really is impressive, and reminds both of them of Heath Ledger's makeup in The Dark Knight. Very cool.

So get your medical bag, put on your spookiest cloak, and check out the latest episode!

October 28, 2018

The Tingler

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William Castle was the King of Movie Gimmicks. He would crank out horror films with skeletons that floated over the audience, smoke machines, planted moviegoers that screamed, and buzzers installed in random seats to zap people during the scary parts.

Vincent Price was one of the most beloved horror icons ever. His gentlemanly appearance, calm delivery, and unnerving laugh made him a staple of the early horror genre, as well as the occasional pop music video or Scooby-Doo episode. Quite a resume.

So it only seems that these two masters of their art would work together several times during the late fifties and early sixties. One such project was today's movie, 1959's The Tingler.

It literally starts with people screaming in your face, so strap in.
Price plays pathologist Dr. Warren Chapin, a guy who performs what he deems to be unnecessary autopsies on prisoners who have been executed by the state. After one such autopsy, a man walks into his autopsy room, introduces himself as Oliver Higgins (Philip Coolidge), announces he watched the execution, and then starts asking Chapin all kinds of questions about his job. Chapin seems unconcerned about the surprising lack of security in the building, and starts explaining his theories about fear and what causes it. The two become fast friends, and Chapin offers Ollie a ride home.

When they arrive at Ollie's residence, it is above a silent movie theater that Ollie owns and runs with his "deaf and dumb" (Ollie's words; not our) wife, Martha (Judith Evelyn). They go upstairs to the apartment to have tea, but butterfingers Chapin, who is, we remind you, a doctor, drops the saucer to his teacup and cuts his hand, causing Martha to freak out and faint. After making sure Martha is not actually injured and will be okay, Chapin heads home to his wife, Isabela (Patricia Cutts), only to find his sister-in-law, Lucy (Pamela Lincoln) getting ready for a date with her fiancee, David (Lincoln's real-life fiancee, Darryl Hickman), who also happens to be Chapin's assistant when he does his fear experiments. Lucy tells Chapin that Isabela is out doing errands.

When Lucy goes upstairs to finish getting ready, Chapin looks outside to see his wife kissing some guy in the driveway that is not him, which seems wrong. She comes in and the two of them snipe at each other until David shows up, at which point Lucy comes downstairs, and she and David leave, giving Chapin and Isabela some space to argue properly.

There. That's better.
Chapin fires a gun at Isabela, and she drops to the floor. He picks her up and takes her to his office, where he happens to have an x-ray machine, and takes several x-rays of her. When she comes to, he explains to her that there were only blanks in the gun, and she unknowingly helped him with a hypothesis concerning a parasite he believes every human hosts: A "tingler".

A tingler, Chapin explains, is the cause of that tingling sensation down a person's spine when they experience fear. It feeds on that fear, and if it gets enough, it can kill the  host and crush their spine. Pretty nasty stuff. Even more disturbing, the only way to weaken the creature is to scream. It is never explained why. And the x-rays he took of Isabela show something on her spine. He believes he found it.

And he's, uh...pretty "excited" by the idea...
The next step in Chapin's experiment is to create some fear for himself and, as he claims to fear nothing, the only obvious option for him is to inject himself with a buttload of lysergic acid and see what happens. You read that right: He mainlines some LSD "for science." And it goes about as well as you might expect; first he opens a window and claims it is locked, and then he sees wavy lines when he looks at a skeleton. Then he screams and everything is okay. Just like when someone really takes LSD.

Obviously, the next step is to go see Ollie and Martha, and load Martha up to see what happens when someone who is tripping balls and has to deal with their own tingler but cannot scream. (It sounds dirty, but it's not.) Then Chapin prescribes barbiturates for when she comes down and leaves. Weird guy.But then shit gets weird.

Color? In a black-and-white movie? Madness!
Martha dies of fright, and Ollie throws her body in the trunk of his car to take it to Chapin, wants to hack her back open and see if he was right about this whole "tingler" thing. Lo-and-behold, it turns out he was, which seems logical only because this would have been an even worse movie had he turned out to have been completely wrong. ("Huh. Weird. There's just gooey stuff around her spine. My bad. Throw her on the pile with the others, I guess.")

He removes the tingler and examines it before putting it in a box to take...well, we're not sure where. Maybe back to the morgue. He also tells Ollie to toss Martha back into the car trunk and take her to the police, who will handle it? Somehow? It's a little hazy because Derek and Jake had pretty much lost interest by this point.

But they remained fixated on the tingler's ability to hump
anything with which it came into contact.
Ollie leaves, and Chapin takes a nap, only to wake up with the tingler humping his chest.His wife had put it there while he was sleeping, in the hopes that he would get all kinds of dead from it. Fortunately for him, he wakes up in time and puts it back in its box. He then receives a call from the police wondering where the body was that he had promised them. Chapin realizes that something is up, and he heads to Ollie's place.

Meanwhile, Ollie is at home, packing like he's planning to take a vacation.We also discover that he took Martha home and just flopped her on her bed and covered her. When Chapin arrives and confronts him, Ollie pulls a gun, but Chapin is having none of that; he's going to the police. At least, he was, until he notices that the tingler, which he had brought with him for some reason, has escaped from its box and slithered down into the ventilation, which leads to the packed theater downstairs!

Will Chapin and Ollie let bygones be bygones and team up to find the little critter? Or will it escape after humping an unsuspecting moviegoer's leg? Or will we get an unsatisfying ending where nothing is really resolved because there wasn't a decent ending written? Or could it be all three? You'll have to listen to find out!

Jake did not like this movie, and really, who could blame him? The plot was almost non-existent, and what little bit there was appeared to have been cobbled together from leftovers and half-ideas from other movies. But Vicent Price sure was creepy!

Derek disagrees wholeheartedly. The movie was garbage, but it seems pretty clear that the gimmick came well before the story was conceived, and only the bare minimum of effort was put into constructing a plot to justify it. Also, the tingler looks like the ear creatures from Wrath of Khan.

So scream...SCREAM FOR YOUR LIFE (or just to make sure everyone around you is still awake) and check out the latest episode!

October 23, 2018

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

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In April of last year, the guys sat down to watch the 1999 remake of The House on Haunted Hill. Their responses to it were mixed. So for this year's Halloween marathon (dubbed as The Price is Right Halloween Marathon by Jake), it seemed appropriate that they should watch the original 1959 William Castle version, starring Vincent Price and an ensemble cast of vaguely familiar faces, some of which are very punchable.

And booze. Lots of booze.
Frederick Loren (Price) is throwing a birthday party for his wife, Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), at an Andrew Lloyd Wright-designed house he rented for the occasion. It's a pretty unconventional party, in that the five guests Frederick invited do not know him or his wife, and also his wife hates him and has tried at least once in the past to poison him to death. Oh, and the house is supposedly haunted. So you know a good time is going to be had!

Among the guests is Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook), who owns the house, and he takes everyone around for a tour, taking special care to show them the pool of acid under the floor of the basement. Apparently, it was installed so a previous renter who made wine could shove people into it who didn't care for his product. Pritchard tells everyone that the house is haunted, prompting two of the guest--Lance (Richard Long) and Nora (Carolyn Craig)--to hang back after the group leaves the basement so the two of them can investigate further. Immediately, Lance locks himself in a closet and gets knocked out, and Nora screams bloody murder when she sees what she believed to be a ghost.

Marty! We've got to go the FUTURE!
Back upstairs, Frederick explains to everyone why he invited them and how he will give anybody who stays the entire night ten thousand dollars. He also passes out guns as party favors. He really wants someone to die, apparently.

Nora comes running in and tells everyone that Lance is missing in the basement. She also tells them about the "ghost" she saw. They all follow her back down there and find Lance in the closet he went into, unconscious on  the floor. when they wake him up, he explains that he didn't see who hit him, and Nora starts freaking out, so everyone goes back upstairs, where Dr. Trent (Alan Marshal) treats the bump on Lance's head and Nora's breakdown continues as she demands to go home,and everyone else freshens their drinks.

Booze: It's what's for dinner!
Frederick attempts to allay Nora's fears by explaining that the "ghost"she saw was actually the caretaker's (Howard Hoffman) blind wife (Leona Anderson), just as they both appear at the room's entrance. Their appearance doesn't help their case,and Nora continues to say she wants to leave. The decision is taken away from her, however, when the caretakers leave before Frederick can explain to everyone that they can leave with the caretakers before midnight if they don't want to stay. Whoops.

From there, things start going downhill immediately. Nora tells Lance something tried to strangle her and leave her for dead. Lance thinks this is great, because whatever it was--the both believe it may be Frederick--will think she's dead and leave her alone. In the meantime, Lance and Dr. Trent start poking around, trying to find clues, when they hear a scream. They find Annabelle hanging from a noose in the hallway upstairs, but they don't think it was suicide; instead, they suspect Frederick, which is not really a reach, as they had all seen and heard the two of them arguing.

For his part, Pritchard decides to guard all the booze by keeping it safe in his belly.
Determined to make sure no more people die, Lance and Dr. Trent tell everyone to stay in their rooms with their guns at the ready, should the killer decide to visit. In her room, Nora sees the ghost of Annabelle outside her window, and a rope comes through it and tries to strangle her. However, she yells "NO!" at it until it goes away. Then she turns around and immediately runs out the door, eventually making her way to the basement.

Dr. Trent and Frederick split up and search the house. Lance, for his part, leaves his room and finds a secret room where,once again, he gets trapped. This guy is about useless. Dr. Trent meets up with Annabelle, who is not only not dead, but is also plotting with him to kill Frederick because Dr. Trent is diddling her pooter. Their plan involves getting Nora so worked up that she shoots anybody who comes near her, and then making sure that the one person who comes hear her is Frederick. It's foolproof!

And get this: It actually works! Frederick works his way to the basement, where Nora has run from the "ghost" of Annabelle. As he walks in, she turns and shoots him. She runs out, and Trent comes in to get rid of the body by dropping it in the acid pit. Annabelle comes in shortly after to make sure the deed was done, and she is confronted by a skeleton waling toward her!

Say, baby...Come her often?
Is it the ghost of Frederick? Is it one of the other people who have died there? And what happened to Lance? Will Pritchard run out of booze and tear a hole through the wall to get outside so he can find more? And is Nora nuts or what? Also, what the hell? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Jake liked Vincent Price better in this than in the last movie because he was more...Vincent Price-y. He was also deeply impressed by the skeleton special effects. They are SO realistic! His one complaint is the lack of actual haunting in this haunted house movie. Not a lot of ghosts happening.

Derek is really worried about Pritchard's liver. This dude is constantly knocking back the booze. A few times, he even grabs for the bottle as Frederick is waving it around while he explains the rules of the evening. It's a little unnerving.

October 8, 2018

Pit and the Pendulum

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It's October again,folks! And you know what that means: The guys have chosen an arbitrary subject them to follow for an entire month! And this month, it's one of the Old Masters of Horror, Vincent Price.

And what a way to start! This time around, they're watching Roger Corman's 1961 adaption of the Edgar Allen Poe classic, Pit and the Pendulum.

Poe, Price, Pit, Pendulum...It's got everything!
Francis (John Kerr) is on his way to Spain in order to find out what happened to his sister, Elizabeth (Barbara Steele). Elizabeth's husband, Nicholas Medina (Price) has sent word that Elizabeth has died.

When Francis arrives, he is greeted by Catherine (Luana Anders), who at first tells him that Nicholas is unavailable, as he is grieving and not feeling well. This turns out to not be true almost immediately, as Nicholas comes out of his room to speak with Francis, telling him that Elizabeth died due to some sort of blood disorder.

And not at all anything to do with murder or anything.
Francis feels this explanation does not hold water, and his suspicions are confirmed when Dr. Leon (Antony Carbone) arrives for dinner and tells him that Elizabeth died of heart failure. Now quite angry at Nicholas, Francis demands to see his sister was interred. On the way there, they stop by the castle's torture chamber (a leftover from when Nicholas's father was a part of the Spanish Inquisition--nobody expected that), and Nicholas explains what really happened to Elizabeth: She became obsessed with the torture chamber and its machinery, coming more and more unglued, until she one day closed herself in an iron maiden. He also says that her last word was "Sebastian," Nicholas' father's name. (He also plays his own father in a different flashback.)

Once again, Francis calls "bullshit," and refuses to believe it's true. When he tells Catherine what he thinks, she tells him that Nicholas might be a because, as a child (played by Larry Turner), he witnessed his father catching Isabella and his uncle, Bartolome (Charles Victor), in an affair. Sebastian reacts by beating Bartolome with a poker and torturing Isabella to death.

And, judging by his expression, he also walked in on his parents "doing it."
Also once again, Dr. Leon tells Nicholas that this is, in fact, not true at all. instead, Isabella was stuck behind a brick wall and left to die, a lateral change to the story, at best. This experience caused Nicholas to go just a little bit crazy, and he is now terrified that Elizabeth was also interred while still alive. Dr. Leon also rains on that parade, stating that there is no way that have happened, despite the fact that this is 16th Century Spain and they are basically cave people.

That evening, Elizabeth's room is the center of a lot of spooky stuff, including a voice whispering at the maid (Lynette Bernay), playing the harpsichord, and completely trashing the room. While searching the room, Francis discovers a tunnel that leads to Nicholas' chambers. and he accuses him of doing all this. By this point, Nicholas is so confused and messed-up that even he isn't sure he'snot doing it. This prompts them to go open the tomb where Elizabeth's body is kept.

They discover a corpse with a horrified expression and scratches on the inside of the lid, causing Nicholas to faint and be carried off to his room. While he drifts in and out of consciousness, he hears a woman's voice whispering his name, coming from the tunnel between his room and Elizabeth's. He follows it and finds himself at Elizabeth's tomb, where he also finds a not-desiccated-corpse-at-all Elizabeth, starts walking toward him. Again, he freaks out and, not realizing he is being sort of corralled, soon finds himself at the top of the stairs leading down to the torture chamber.

With one final lunge, Elizabeth causes Nicholas to fall down the stairs. Immediately, Dr. Leon, who, it turns out, was having an affair with Elizabeth and had planned this whole thing with her, shows up and checks him, telling Elizabeth that "he's gone." Again, almost immediately, this turns out to be not true. He's not dead. But he's definitely not his normal self anymore.

"Normal"compared to his usual state, that is.
But what's wrong with him? Will bad things happen? And what about this pendulum thingie we've been hearing so much about? How does that fit in? You'll have to listen to find out!

Derek is concerned about Dr. Leon's credentials. The guy is terrible at being a doctor, even by 16th Century standards. Someone should have looked into that. Also, how come he gets saddled with all the exposition? Probably because he doesn't have any patients.

Jake is surprised at the quality of this film, especially considering that it is a Roger Corman film. The sets are great. (Probably because they were used in a different, possibly bigger budget film--Corman did that a lot.) He also thinks Vincent Price was not suited for playing a grieving widower. But the crazy bit is good.

So slip on those pantaloons and frilly collar, and listen to the new episode!

September 25, 2018

Next of Kin

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The Outsiders...

Red Dawn...

Dirty Dancing...

Steel Dawn...

These are all movies that Patrick Swayze starred in during the eighties. He was also the star of the greatest movie--nay, the greatest thing--of all time...

Of course, they couldn't all home runs. And this time around, Jake and Derek watched one that was, at best, a bunt that resulted in an out: Next of Kin.

Patrick Swayze is Truman Gates, a Chicago cop who was born and raised in Appalachia. His brother, Gerald (Bill Paxton), follows him to the Windy City in order to make his fortunes in the field of cigarette machine filling. Unfortunately, Gerald gets caught in an extremely hostile takeover  of the vending machine company by some shady Mafia guy, led by Joey Rosellini (Adam Baldwin).

Not even remotely Italian.
Truman and his wife, Jessie (Helen Hunt), take Gerald's body back to Kentucky. Truman's family holds a funeral, and his older brother, Briar (Liam Neeson!), wants Truman to find the guys that killed Gerald and kill them right back. Truman wants to let the police do their job and arrest the bad guys. Briar is not willing to wait, so he heads to Chicago himself.

Upon arriving, Brian finds a hotel and befriends the clerk, Harold (Michael J. Pollard). Then he goes to visit the vending machine company, where he meets Rosellini and shoots the place up. Almost immediately after, Truman, who has returned home, shows up at the vending machine company and finds an empty shell from his brother's shotgun.

More Italian than Adam Baldwin.
Meanwhile, there is a power struggle going on within the Isabella crime family between Joey and his cousin Lawrence (Ben Stiller). Joey decides that Lawrence needs to go, and kills him after he finds out Truman had tried to get him to turn state's evidence against his own father.

Also more Italian than Adam Baldwin.
Truman finds Briar and arrests him to keep him safe, but not before they pound the snot out of each other in a bar. Truman then goes home and discovers that Jessie is pregnant. She tells him in the weirdest way possible, involving a teddy bear sitting at the dining room table. It's a short scene, but really odd.

While Briar is in jail, Joey's goons find out where he was staying and search his room, finding the shotgun he hid in the floorboards. (And possibly a lot of corn cobs, all symmetrically stacked and stripped of corn in an almost mechanical fashion. Maybe.)

Probably the closest to Italian, and furthest from Adam Baldwin.
Briar's gun is found at the scene of Lawrence's death, and Papa John Isabella (Andreas Katsulas) puts out a hit on Briar. Briar returns to the company and gets in a gun fight with Joey and his men. Briar kills two of Joey's men before Joey kills him.

FINALLY...Somebody who is at least a little Italian.

When Harold hears about the shootout at the company, he calls a number that Briar gave him in the event of something like this happening, and tells Briar's family what happened. Also, someone throws what may be blood or possibly marinara sauce at Jesse for some reason.

Meanwhile, Truman and the rest of the police figure out that Briar's gun at the crime scene was a plant, and Truman resigns so he can go after Rosellini. But will he be able to do it alone? Or will his family show up and help? Will Joey get away? You'll have to listen to find out!

Jake is shocked that, in an action movie from the eighties, starring Patrick Swayze, the female lead (Hunt) did not have a topless scene. It's not that he was particularly looking forward to it or anything, but it happened often enough in that decade that it would not have been a surprise here.

Derek is so very not impressed. Also, he and Jake both think that the movie should have been about Briar instead of Truman. Also, there's the whole corn cob thing mentioned earlier. Seriously, you have to have been there, but he does his best to explain it.

So put on your fedora, try not to make cousin-fucking jokes, and listen to this week's episode!

September 9, 2018

Cherry 2000

To listen/download, click here!

Remember back in the mid-eighties, when the 2010s seemed so far away and futuristic? Back to the Future told us we would have hoverboards and flying cars! But it turned out that the 2010s of the 1980s would not be all wine and roses and dehydrated pizzas.

For instance, by the mid-2010s (again, according to the mid-eighties), sex toys, while more authentic-looking, would turn out to be non-waterproof,but also incredibly difficult to replace. Such is the premise of this week's movie, the 1987 Melanie Griffith vehicle, Cherry 2000.

Hard-drinking, Bozo-haired Melanie Griffith.
Sam Treadwell (David Andrews), a successful businessman,is a man who knows what he likes. And what he likes is a sex robot (Pamela Gidley) he keeps at home. After a particularly hard day at work, he comes home to his walking Fleshlight (with patented PleasureMouth Technology) and finds it doing dishes, which turns him on so badly that he has to have it right then and there. The robot, apparently with priority programming that requires it to stop whatever it is doing whenever its owner wants to rut, immediately ignores the dishes and drops on the floor to get down with Sam, leaving the water running, which overflows and shorts it out.

If it can't handle a little water, how does it deal know...?
Crushed that his humpin' 'bot is broken, his repairman suggests he hire a tracker to take him to Zone 7, where these obsolete Cherry models are now stored. But before he can do that, his buddies take him to a bar/brothel called The Glory Hole,where he might try having sex with an actual woman. This does not work, as none of these women smell strongly enough of foam latex and gear lubricant.Oh, sure, there is some of that smell, no doubt, but not enough.

Now desperate, Sam seeks out the tracker his repairman suggested--E.Johnson (Melanie Griffith)--only to discover that she costs way more than he wants to pay. So he goes poking around  in dive bars, looking for someone cheaper. He finds Stacy (Brion James) and his partner, Slim (Michael C. Gwynne). Rather than help Sam, they attempt to rob him, only to be thwarted by their own stupidity. Sam immediately goes looking for Johnson so he can hire her. They hop in her Mustang and head out.

But not before attracting the attention of Robert "The Big Chin" Z'dar!
After a lot of driving, they stop so Johnson can rest, and Sam can listen to a  disc that has his Cherry 'bot's sex noises saved on it. When Johnson wakes up, she points out a ravine with a crane on the other side and explains her overly-complicated plan to use it to get to an underground reservoir where her mentor, Six-Fingered Jake (Ben Johnson), lives.

Johnson's plan, such as it is, involves pissing off the guys who own the crane by shooting at them, and then getting their car picked up by the crane and carried halfway over the ravine, then they have to kill the crane operator, and then get the car down into the ravine with a cable before the rest of the guys manage to kill them with rocket launchers.

Seems simple enough.
Somehow, this ridiculous plan works, and they get the car into the waterslide that leads to Six-Fingered Jake's hideout. Unfortunately, San screws it up when he slips and falls,causing himself and Johnson to let go of the rope connected to the back of the car that they were meant to climb down. They fall and slide until they land in a big pool of water, where they are found by Jake and taken back to his place, which is filled to the brim with toaster ovens, for some reason.

This guy knows how to cook a rattlesnake in three easy steps!
The guy who owns the site where the crane was, Lester (Tim Thomerson), sends some of his thugs to kill Sam, Jake and Johnson. Jake and Johnson escape, but Sam is knocked out and taken back to their base which appears to be some kind of trailer park from the 1950s. His ex-girlfriend, Elaine (Cameron Milzer), who now goes by the name of Ginger, tells him Jake and Johnson were killed. Lester offers to let Sam into his group, and Sam agrees, but starts regretting this decision when he watches Lester kill a tracker that made his way into the group.

Fortunately for Sam, Jake and Johnson aren't dead, and they arrive to save him, taking time allow him to set all of Lester's vehicles on fire and blow up a warehouse full of bees. (The bees are never explained.)

Nor are the clothing and accessory choices of Lester's men.
Sam and Johnson get away and, after a brief make-out session after Sam crashes Johnson's car, head to a gas station owned by a friend of Jake's named Snappy (Harry Carey, Jr.). Jake rejoins them, only to be killed when he discovers Snappy has informed Lester that Sam, Johnson and he are there.

Johnson gets to work fixing an airplane so she and Sam can fly to the factory where the Cherry 2000 'bots are, and they just manage to get airborne as Lester and his men show up.

But will they make it? Will Sam find a replacement for his beloved sex toy? Or will he give Johnson a try and see if an actual vagina is better?You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek can't get over how stupid the premise of this movie is. Especially now, when you can order a Fleshlight on Amazon Prime and have it two days later. And the potential for being electrocuted by it is greatly reduced.

Jake is bothered by the lack of a decent script that could have made this a slightly darker, but still entertaining sex-focused version of Blade Runner. Also, he doesn't like Sam, as there is really nothing about him to like,

Larry is straight-up enraged by the lack of structure in the movie, as well as how disinterested Melanie Griffith seems to be. He also dislikes Sam, like any right-thinking person should. Seriously, the guy is just so punchable.

So start the excessively complicated ignition of your futuristic classic car, stock upon hand sanitizer, and checkout this week's episode!

September 2, 2018

X-Men: First Class

To listen/download, click here!

(A quick note: About halfway through the commentary, you may notice that Larry and I start getting giggly and talking about pants a lot. This is because we watched the movie with the closed captioning on--to keep background noise down in order to get better audio of us talking--and during the training montage, there is a scene between Charles and Erik where Erik tries to move a satellite dish with his powers. When he fails, the captioning just says "Pants." For some reason, we found this incredibly hilarious, and it just sort of leaked into the rest of the commentary. - Derek)

I think the aggressive Jazz Hands are what really sells it.
There are those who would argue that the X-Men are a metaphor for the Civil Rights movement. Others say they are a metaphor that represents the LGBTQ community as an outcast society. It could be either, or both. But above all, it will be about good mutants with neat powers, trying to stop bad mutants with other neat powers from destroying humanity in order to become the next step in evolution. But how did it all start?

It's this kid's fault, with a little help from Kevin Bacon.
Back in 1944, a young man named Erik Lehnsherr (Bill Milner) is being separated from his parents in a Nazi concentration camp. Does not take this well, and his reaction causes his mutant abilities to activate, giving him the ability to control metal. A scientist at the camp, Klaus Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) observes this and decides he needs to experiment with the boy. When he threatens to, and then kills the boy's mother, Erik destroys the lab and kills two soldiers.

Meanwhile, in Westchester County, New York, a young Charles Xavier (Laurence Belcher) discovers a young girl named Raven (Morgan Lily) with shape-shifting abilities rummaging through his pantry. Charles is happy to meet someone who, like himself, is "different," and he offers her a place to stay and access to anything she needs.

Much later, he would offer to build a hair salon for her. It...didn't go well.

Jumping ahead eighteen years to 1962, Erik (now played by Michael Fassbender) is travelling the world, tracking down more Nazis to kill, and he's having fun doing it. As for Charles (currently James McAvoy), he has graduated from Oxford, and he spends his time trying to pick up women by pointing out their subtle "mutations," such as eye color, hair color, etc. However, he keeps getting cock-blocked by Raven (who is now Jennifer Lawrence), who disguises herself as "normal" in order to go out in public.

In Las Vegas, a CIA officer named Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) is tracking Schmidt, who is now going by the name Sebastian Shaw, and finds him at The Hellfire Club. She sneaks in and discovers that Shaw, along with his mutant crew--Emma Frost (January Jones), Riptide (Álex González) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng)--are pressuring Colonel Hendry (Glenn Morshower) to deploy nuclear missiles to Turkey, for some reason. Also, Shaw has a mutant power that allows him to absorb energy to keep himself looking young.

MacTaggart is having none of anyone's guff.
MacTaggert contacts Charles for advice about dealing with mutants, and she takes him and Raven to the CIA, where they meet a Man in Black (Oliver Platt), who takes them to Division X, where they hatch a plan using Charles' powers to find Erik and capture Shaw. They find Erik trailing after Shaw's submarine, but before he can get to Shaw, Charles stops Erik and lets him know he is not alone. Then they all go back to Division X, where they meet Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), a scientist who believes he can create a serum to treat Raven's appearance without affecting her powers.

Meanwhile, Charles and Erik go in search of other mutants to join their team. The results are, for the most part, positive. However, not all of them are up for joining.

And the Fanboys did shout "Huzzah," and there was much rejoicing.
As Hank continues working on the serum, as well as new uniforms for the team, he has a setback which results in him returning to his pre-treatment form, a large, hairy blue Beast.

Charles begins training his team, including Erik, only to discover that his powers only act upon a strong emotional reaction. At first, he can only do it by focusing on the dark feelings, such as him mother's death, for which he feels responsible. But with the help of Charles, he manages to use more positive feelings to control it.

The other team members are ready and waiting, including Raven who is into Hank at first, but then tries to get her hands on Erik's goodies by disguising herself as different women. Erik tells her she is beautiful as herself, and she gets all squishy about it.

Shaw's team attacks Division X, killing Darwin (Edi Gethegi). Shaw himself invites the rest of the mutants to join him, and one of them--Angel (Zoë Kravitz)--takes him up on his offer.

Later, in Moscow, Shaw convinces the Russians to put missiles in Cuba, and with a shiny new helmet designed to block Charles from finding him, he goes off and starts the Cuban Missile Crisis. What a dick.

And it's time to slap that dick down.
MacTaggart gets Charles and his team together, and they fly a stealth jet out there to stop any sort of aggressive movements between the Russians and the U.S. Navy.

But will they be able to keep everybody calm? Will Erik get his hands on Shaw and, in doing so, squish his head like he did those Nazi soldiers? Why does Charles have hair and functional legs? What, to put a fine point on it, the hell is going on?

Line dancing. Lots of line dancing.
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek liked this flick. It was nice to see how the X-Men began, but he has a real problem with Erik's handling of Shaw in the beginning. Shaw had a submarine. Erik can manipulate metal. Why didn't he just crush the submarine and get rid of Shaw right away?

Larry also likes the movie. He is impressed by Michael Fassbender's extremely intense performance as Magneto. He also agrees with Derek about the poor handling of Shaw and the sub near the beginning. Also, pants.

So put on your Spandex jumper and put on your silly helmet! And get into this week's episode!