December 29, 2017

Home Alone

To listen/download, click here!

Well, it's finally time to pack up #HolidayMoviepalooza for another year, but even though Christmas is past, and we had to skip a week, the guys went ahead and recorded a commentary for the movie you, dear reader/listener, chose from our polls: the 1990 classic, Home Alone.

Home Alone is essentially Die Hard for kids.

With Macaulay Culkin in the Hans Gruber part.
It's a few days before Christmas, and the McCallister family is preparing for a trip to Paris, where the patriarch of the family, Peter (John Heard), has been temporarily transferred for his job.

The night before they are scheduled to leave, a policeman (Joe Pesci) shows up to check on the house, claiming he is making sure that that people in the neighborhood are taking steps to combat break-ins that have been taking place. After Peter makes assurances to the officer that there are timers on the lights and an alarm system--there is also an overlong bit about paying a pizza delivery guy--the cop leaves, and the family dives into the pizza, including young Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), who gets upset at his older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) for eating all the cheese pizza.

A fight ensues, and Kevin's mother, Kate (Catherine O'Hara), banishes him to the attic, telling him he can sleep there for the night. Kevin, being a snotty eight-year-old, argues with her and then says he wishes the whole family would disappear, the storms off upstairs.

Where he proceeds to invent his own family from random objects around the house.
The next morning, the family wakes up late, and in the frenzy to get to the airport on time, they accidentally leave Kevin home without realizing it. Later, when he wakes up, he sees there is nobody else in the house, and he assumes, quite naturally, that his wish came true.

And so, Kevin starts enjoying the heck out of life. He watches movies he is not normally allowed to watch, eats nothing but junk food, jumps on his parents' bed, and rides a sled down the stairs and out the front door.

High above, on a Paris-bound jet, Kevin's mother comes to the realization that they have left their youngest son at home, and she immediately freaks out, quite reasonably.

Meanwhile, the "cop," who is really a burglar named Harry, and his partner, Marv (Daniel Stern), are  using information Harry got from the people in the neighborhood to determine which ones are out-of-town for the holidays. Harry shows Marv the McCallister house, and they both decide that that one will be the big score. But when they go for a closer look, they are spotted by Kevin, who, thinking quick, pretends his parents are still there, causing Harry and Marv to leave the place alone for the time being.

Which is just as well, as it turns out that they are both idiots.
Kevin continues his own questionable activities by ransacking his brother Buzz's bedroom in order to steal his life savings (about $25), and orders a cheese pizza all for himself. In order to convince the pizza guy that there are adults in the house, Kevin uses a VCR to play audio clips from an old gangster movie, which conveniently has perfect dialog for the pizza guy to perform the entire transaction without actually seeing another human being. To top it off, Kevin uses part of a murder scene to scare the guy off once and for all. And one has to wonder, why didn't that guy call the police?

The kid goes shopping the next day for some essentials, only to almost get run over by Harry and Marv while those two argue about whether or not it's a good idea to continue calling themselves the Wet Bandits, whose signature move is to plug the kitchen drains in the houses they rob, and leave the water running, thus flooding the houses. After the brief run-in, Kevin continues on to the store, where he asks a lot of questions before "accidentally" shoplifting a new toothbrush after seeing old man Marley (Roberts Blossom), whom the kids int he neighborhood believe to be The Shovel Killer.

Now a hardened criminal, Kevin heads home, where he comes to the conclusion that he needs to beef up security with his own special plan. He does so by setting up an elaborate and improbable machine using dummies, mannequins, and a Michael Jordan standee mounted on a train to make it look like there's a big party happening at the house, causing Harry and Marv to again put off robbing the house.

Again, because they are idiots.
Over in Paris, Kate is trying desperately to get call friends back home, as well as the police, to go and check on Kevin to make sure he's not dead or, worse, eating too much junk food and not changing his underwear. The police send a patrol car out, but Kevin refuses to answer the door, so the police immediately wash their hands of the whole situation. Your tax dollars at work, folks!

Kevin makes some attempts to not be a terrible person, even going to church for mass, where he runs across old man Marley, who is there watching his granddaughter's Christmas choir concert. Marley tells Kevin that he knows what everybody thinks about him, but insists it is not true. He's just a sad old man who is estranged from his son. Kevin, being only eight-years-old, believes him completely, and the two discuss the difficulties of dealing with family. They part ways after kevin offers the sage advice that Marley should probably ought to talk to his son. You know, just in case his son doesn't actually hate his guts.

Back home, Kevin decides that he has to defend his home, and he begins setting up several dangerous and increasingly complicated traps, as well as a zip line so he can escape to his treehouse for a dramatic Last Stand.

When Marv and Harry show up, Kevin shoots Harry in the dick with a BB gun, and then shoots Marv in the face. To be honest, Kevin takes entirely too much joy in assaulting these guys with a potentially deadly weapon, even if they are trying to break into his house, but it's Christmas! So we guess that makes it okay.

And, of course, there is the fact that they are idiots.
Their resolve strengthened, Harry and Marv split up to find an easier way in. Marv heads for the basement, where he first slips and possibly suffers a concussion because Kevin coated the outside basement stairs with water, which froze into ice. When he finally manages to get inside, he heads for the stairs, which are covered with tar and shingles with nails pounded through them, adding to Marv's potential health risks with tetanus and possible infection! Harry does not fare much better, burning his hand on a heated doorknob, and then having his head set on fire with a torch.

Did we mention that this is supposed to be a comedy?

Now back in the United States, Kate is trying to get a flight from Pennsylvania to Chicago, where Kevin is, no doubt, dead from a sugar coma, and probably still wearing underwear from two days ago...Any mother's nightmare. And although there are no flights available, she is offered a ride by Gus Polinski (John Candy), the Polka King, and his band. This sounds sketchy, but she accepts, dooming herself to hours of terrible polkas as they drive through the night.

Kevin causes further trauma to Harry's and Marv's craniums by smashing them in the face with paint cans when they both finally make it inside the house. It is very likely these two will not escape alive, and if they do, they will still suffer from debilitating brain damage at the hands of this rambunctious, psychopathic scalliwag.

After what feels like several more hours of abuse at the hands of this tiny psychotic, the two of them manage to chase him to his escape point, where he uses the zip line and openly mocks them from his treehouse after calling the police and giving them the address to a neighbor's house. Harry insists the crawl along the rope to get to him. Marv, now terrified of this small child, does not think it is a very good idea, but he's not the brains of the outfit, so he has to follow Harry. This, of course, results in them being further injured when Kevin cuts the rope as they are halfway across, causing them to swing across the yard and smash faces-first into the brick wall of the house.

Kevin escapes to the neighbor's house, where Harry and Marv catch him. But before they can take their revenge on him for the assault, they are stopped by old man Marley, who assaults them himself by pounding their heads with a snow shovel.

That they even survived is a miracle. Also, as previously noted, they are idiots.
Will Kevin get the house cleaned up in time for Christmas? Will Harry and Marv, now taken into what can only be considered protective custody, survive through the night after the brutal beatdown administered by a small child and an elderly man? Will Kate make it home without being raped by a group of lonely polka musicians, or will she end up in jail herself after killing them all when Gus shouts "ONE MORE TIME!" as they enter into hour fifteen of their journey? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry loves this film, as he was twelve when it came out. Also, his mother was obsessed with it, so it was a family tradition, and so there are all kinds of soft, squishy memories attached to it, which is understandable. He also thinks Joe Pesci is hilarious, which is also true. He does, however, think Kevin is an unstable and psychotic human being. This, too, is also understandable and most likely true.

Derek does not care for this one, mostly because Kevin is a horrible little turd of a human who takes entirely too much joy and satisfaction in injuring people, regardless of whether or not it is done in the course of protecting one's home. This kid has issues, and will suffer for it some day, most likely in some sort of institution. If not, he will probably grow to be a criminal himself, or possibly an addict of some kind.

December 22, 2017

It's a Wonderful Life

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Four years. Several attempted scripts. Numerous run-throughs. Zero finished product.

Until now.

Yes, after discussing doing a riff of It's a Wonderful Life back when this podcast was called "The Ugly Couchcast", plans were made. Then they were pushed back. The next year, when the guys started doing movie reviews and occasionally recording commentaries, they decided it was time to try again. And then they didn't, pushing it back another year. Are you seeing a pattern here?

After yet another failed attempt, Derek finally took the initiative and announced that they were just going to do it on-the-fly...No script. No planning. No backsies. Just put the movie in and let the cards fall where they may, which brings us to this week's addition to #HolidayMoviepalooza 2017.

Larry wanted to do Snakes on a Plane, but couldn't present a plausible argument.
Meet George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart). Looks like a pretty happy guy, right? Big family, beautiful wife (Donna Reed as Mary)...Yup. Things are looking good. But, alas, not all is right in the small town of Bedford Falls, USA. We'll get to that in a minute.

It's Christmas Eve, and the people of Bedford Falls are worried about their old buddy George. So, as one might choose to do, they send out some prayers to anybody who might happen to be listening. And, believe it or not, it works!

Well, sort of. Saint Peter, who is represented by a glowing tempura shrimp and handles God's schedule and appointments, decides to send a guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Traverse) down to see if he can help George. But before he can do that, he has to hear George's backstory, and we, the lucky viewers, get to see all of it!

Including a vicious beatdown at the hands of his first boss! Christmas!
Young George (Robert J. Anderson) enjoyed most of his childhood. He hung out with his friends, saved his younger brother's life, and worked at the local drug store/soda fountain, where the girls, Violet and Mary, fought over him. He had plans to travel when he got older, and was proud of his father, who ran the local building and loan, which gave loans to the people in town who couldn't go to the mean old guy who ran the other banks in town, Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore).

While at work one day, George notices that his boss, Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner), is acting sort of odd. He's drunk and really yelly, and George discovers it's because Mr. Gower's son was killed while overseas. When George tries to talk to him about it, Mr. Gower yells at him and tells him to go deliver some pills. George, however, notices that the pills are, in fact, filled with poison. Mr. Gower won't listen, so George decides to go talk to his dad (Samuel S. Hinds) to see what he should do.

Unfortunately, Pa Bailey is busy arguing with Mr. Potter. So George heads back to the store to try and talk some sense into Mr. Gower, who beats him without mercy until George manages to penetrate Mr. Gower's rage and sputter out that he thinks the pills are poison. A quick investigation reveals that he is right, and Mr. Gower, the damage already done, apologizes to George, who tells him he won't ever tell anyone what happened.

Jumping forward, George is getting ready to leave town. He wants to travel! He wants to see the world! He wants to get the hell out of Bedford Falls! But not before he disappoints his father by telling him that he doesn't want to work at his dumb old building and loan.

Despite his constant urge to want to argue with Mr. Potter.
Before hitting the road, George's brother, Harry (Todd Karns), insists he come to the school dance and see his old friends. George goes, only to run face-to-face into the now very grown up Violet (Gloria Grahame), and the stunningly obnoxious Sam Wainwright (Frank Albertson). Fortunately, another friend, Marty (Harold Landon), interrupts to ask George if he would dance with Mary, Marty's little sister. After getting a look at her, George agrees, and they begin to Jitterbug vigorously, until the floor opens and swallows them up. (True story. Well, sort of; a jilted potential suitor of Mary's takes his revenge by opening the floor, which is over a pool, and George and Mary fall in it, followed by everybody else in the gym.)

On the way home, in clothes scavenged from the gym locker rooms, George tries to make a play for Mary, but his smooth talking is interrupted when Harry and Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) come looking for him because Pa Bailey has had a stroke.

Pa Bailey doesn't make it, and the building and loan is on the verge of being taken over by Potter, until the board votes to keep it separate, but only if George takes over. He grudgingly agrees, and Harry goes off to college instead of George going off to travel.

Jumping ahead one more time, George and Uncle Billy await Harry's return. Once Harry is back, he can take over the building and loan, and George can head to college. But, as you may have guessed, that doesn't happen because Harry, crazy college kid that he is, went and got married to a woman named Ruth (Virginia Patton). Her dad owns a big ol' business, and he wants to put Harry in there, once again leaving George holding the building and loan.

Where he has to explain to Uncle Billy daily why pants are necessary.
While the family celebrates Harry's marriage, Ma Bailey (Beulah Bondi) informs George that Mary is back in town, and he ought to go see her. He does, trying to play it cool, while Mary makes it very obvious that she is interested. Mary's mother (Sarah Edwards), however, wants Mary to make George go away because she thinks her daughter needs to hook up with Sam Wainwright, who is in New York...AND HE'S ABOUT TO CALL!

George overplays the whole "cool" thing, and ends up getting into an argument with Mary, just as Sam calls. They both talk to him until he starts telling them they need to invest in plastics. Apparently, this gets George and Mary's motors running, because they drop the phone and start making out while Mary's mother watches from upstairs. What a sicko.

George and Mary get married, and, because this involves George, the departure date for their honeymoon falls on Black Friday. No, not the one where people trample each other at Walmart for a Hatchimal. We mean the Black Friday--the one that started the Great Depression.

They rush to the building and loan, only to find that Uncle Billy had locked the gates,, refusing to let people in. George opens the place, and all their customers come in, hoping to be able to get their money out. But Uncle Billy has already given all the money to the examiner, so they are kind of screwed.

Or are they? First, Mr.Potter calls and offers to buy everyone's shares in the building and loan for half the price. Just as everyone is getting ready to go over there, Mary jumps in and offers up her and George's honeymoon fund, hoping it's enough to get everybody through until the banks reopen. It works. (Yay!) But in the commotion, Mary has disappeared. (Boo!) She calls (Yay!) and tells George he needs to come home. (Wha'?)

George arrives at the old Granville house, which the two of them talked about and threw rocks at the night of the dance, and Mary has either bought it or just sort of took it over, where she and George can have their honeymoon among the leaky ceilings and broken windows. Outside, Bert the cop (Ward Bond) and Ernie the cabbe (Frank Faylen) serenade them while they do...honeymoon stuff.

Another quick jump takes us through George and Mary's new life together. Potter keeps being a jerk, George and Mary have a pile of kids, World War II starts (probably not related), Harry becomes a hero during the war, and Uncle Billy's incompetence grows, up to the point where he puts the entire building and loan, as well as George's freedom, in jeopardy when he loses the money he was supposed to deposit in the bank on Christmas Eve. George threatens to beat Billy to death, then goes home to yell at his kids and threaten his daughter's teacher over the phone.

Mary, suddenly aware something may be wrong, tried to comfort George, but he's having no part of it. He stumbles out the door, goes to a bar for a drink, gets punched by the teacher's husband (karma can be a real jerk sometimes), and decides that the best way to help everyone would be to jump off a bridge and end it all, because that seems completely reasonable.

However, before George can jump in the icy river and end it all, someone else beats him to it, and George jumps in anyway, but with the intention of saving the mysterious man.

Why can't you poop inside like normal people do?
The man reveals himself to be Clarence, an angel (second class, because he hasn't earned his wings yet). He claims to be here to show George that he is better off alive than dead. In order to do so, he gives George a Twilight Zone-esque glimpse into what the world would be like if he had never been born: Harry des as a boy because George wasn't there to save him, everybody has miserable lives because George wasn't there to enrich them with his clumsy good-naturedness, Mr. Gower goes to jail because he poisoned that kid because George wasn't there to stop him, everybody is living in crappy homes owned by Mr. Potter because George wasn't there to give them loans for better houses,the whole town has turned into a stripmall of depravity because George wasn't there to...not let it happen? Also, everybody suddenly has a New York accent...because...uh... Okay, you got us on that one. We don't know why.

Oh, and Mary is, according to Clarence, an "old maid" who works at the library. (*Gasp!* Scandalous!) So, obviously, everything is terrible. But will George realize it? Will he want to go back to existing? Is Clarence even able to do that? And what was going on the whole time with the real star of this flick, Annie (Lillian Randolph)?

She was off doing her thing, uninterrupted, because she is awesome like that.
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek loves this film unabashedly. Seriously. It's his absolute favorite. Everything is great. Really. He has nothing bad to say about it at all, except that there should have been more Annie in it. Otherwise, straight-up perfection. There's no joke here. Move along.

Larry likes it a lot, too. But not as much as Derek. Seriously, that guy has some sort of weird obsession with it. It's really starting to worry Larry. It keeps him awake at night, knowing that Derek is probably watching this movie yet again. But then he thinks about the lovely Violet, and drifts off to sexy dreams of the proto-Cyndi Lauper.

So check your insurance policy, listen for ringing bells, and listen to this week's commentary! HEE-HAW!

December 7, 2017

A Christmas Story

To listen/download, click here!

Welcome to Week 3 of #HolidayMoviepalooza! Larry couldn't manage to get out of work this week, so Derek recruited the guys' pal Troy Parker to record a commentary for this week's movie with him!

And that movie is the 1983 classic, A Christmas Story, based mostly on a story from Jean Shepherd's hilarious book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.

Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a young man whose connection to reality is tenuous at best, is on a mission: he wants an "official Daisy Red Ryder 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time" for Christmas. He does not just want it. He has got to have it. And he will do anything to get his hands on that blue steel beauty.

Including trying not to offend Flight Commander Biggles.
Unfortunately, his biggest roadblock is his mother (Melinda Dillon), who immediately throws out the classic Mother Block, "You'll shoot your eye out."

Ralphie's Old Man (Darren McGavin) is not much help, either, as he is too busy fighting with the furnace, bitching about the family car, trying not to burn the house down, being attacked their hillbilly neighbors' hounds, and attempting to win puzzle contests in the newspaper.

And then there's Randy (Ian Petrella), Ralphie's non-eating, whiny little brother, who is an entire universe of problems in his own right.

Ralphie's friends, Flick (Scott Schwartz) and Schwartz (R.D. Robb), are completely oblivious, spending most of their time arguing about whether or not your tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole.

SPOILER: Yes it will.
The rest of their time is spent being harassed by the school bullies, Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) and Grover Dill (Yano Anaya).

Undaunted, Ralphie decides that his next plan of attack in his quest for weaponry should involve getting his teacher, Miss Shields (Tedde Moore), on his side, by writing a theme singing the praises of the Red Ryder Air Rifle. How could he lose?

Meanwhile, the Old Man's persistence pays off, and he wins one of his contests. He's getting a Major Award, which turns out to be just the best thing ever.

And Mom is absolutely thrilled for him.
Around this time, we also discover that Ralphie and his brother enjoy listening to Little Orphan Annie on the radio, although Ralphie's interest is solely based on his overwhelming desire to become a part of the Secret Society that Annie sends messages to at the end of her shows. The messages need to be decoded with a special device, available only from the show's sponsor, Ovaltine, and although he sent away for one, his hasn't shown up yet. (This is the sort of thing people did in the 1930s because there was no Twitter.)

The brutal beatdowns from Farkus and Dill continue, consisting mostly of the two of them yelling, "RAAAAAAAWR!" at Ralphie and his friends, and the occasional arm twist. Flick suffers most of the abuse, mostly because the others are faster.

Scut has to stop and wait for Grover to catch up all the time.
Back at school, Miss Shields has given Ralphie a C+ on his theme, so it is clear to him that she is no longer a viable option in his quest, as he is convinced his mother got to her first.

Later that night (possibly), the family goes out looking for a Christmas tree and, on the way home, their car gets a flat tire. When Ralphie's mother suggests he get out and help his father, Ralphie is thrilled! A chance to do Real Man things! Again, what could possibly go wrong?


Especially if, while he is holding a hubcap with the lug nuts in it, his father accidentally knocks it out of his hands, sending the nuts flying, which in turn causes Ralphie to utter The Word. You know the one. The Old Man sends him back to the car, and when they get home, his mother makes him stand in the bathroom with a bar of soap in his mouth for a while, until he is ready to tell her where he heard that word. Not wanting to get the Old Man (his real source for colorful language) in trouble, Ralphie says he heard it from Schwartz. Mom calls Schwartz's mother and tells her, and Schwartz gets beaten for something he did not do! Christmas!

Ralphie finally realizes that the only option available to him now is to go right to The Man himself and tell him about the air rifle of his dreams. What follows is a nightmarish, almost hallucinogenic sequence involving an angry Santa, screechy elves in funny hats, and moist children, all on top of a giant mountain inside the local department store.

The hell is wrong with you, kid?
Unfortunately, Ralphie freezes-up when he gets his chance and, although he manages to finally get it out in the open, even Santa shoots him down! Now what?!

Accepting that he is just not going to get what he wants in life, Ralphie lets his guard down, and he is cornered by Farkus and Dill. But now Ralphie has nothing left to lose, so he snaps, beating Farkus to a bloody pulp until his mother comes and pulls him off the bully.

And then...Christmas comes...

But will Ralphie suffer defeat at the hands of the Christmas gods and eventually grow up a cold, hardened drifter, making what little money he can by offering unspeakable acts at truck stops across the country? Will Flick ever stop getting beaten up at school? Will Randy ever eat?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Now, before we get to the guys' thoughts on the film, we just wanted to say that we reached out to Zack Ward (he and Derek follow each other on Twitter) to let him know we were watching the movie and whether he had anything he wanted to say to the fans. Here's what he had to say:

What a nice guy.
So, big thanks to Zack for getting back to us. You rock. And be sure to check him out in recent episodes of American Horror Story and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.


Troy had never seen this movie before. Seriously. What the hell? But he really liked it. He was especially into the whole leg lamp thing. His one concern is for Grover Dill, whose small frame seems completely off, considering how wide he looked. He hopes Yano grew into his width.

Derek unabashedly loves this movie, and has for as long as he can remember. (About three-and-a-half hours, usually.) He is, however, somewhat worried about Ralphie's inability to maintain a constant tether to reality. That kid is going to need some serious therapy later in life.

So turn on your leg lamp (be's fra-GEE-lay), put on your pink bunny pajamas, and tune in to this week's episode!

November 29, 2017

A Christmas Carol (1999)

To listen/download, click here!

Hey, gang! It's #HolidayMoviepalooza time again! And this week, Derek and Larry sat down to watch and record a commentary for the 1999 TNT/Hallmark version of A Christmas Carol starring Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, and a cast of amazing actors.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Patrick Stewart) is a grumpy, angry man who hates everybody and everything, especially Christmas. (This is not a sudden change; he has been like that his entire adult life.) He also tends to take this anger out on his long-suffering assistant, Bob Cratchit (Richard E. Grant).

Mr. Scrooge, I'm here to count. Why must I clean the chamber pot, as well?
Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), has passed away, but Scrooge continues on running the counting house the two of them shared.

On the seventh anniversary of Marley's death, Scrooge is visited by his nephew, Fred (Dominic West), who is the complete and total polar opposite of his uncle, something Scrooge clearly takes personally. Therefore, when Fred tries to spread a little holiday cheer and invite his uncle to Christmas dinner, Scrooge refuses and mocks poor Fred for getting married. What a jerkface.

After a visit with two men (Edward Petherbridge and Jeremy Swift) who are collecting for charity leaves Scrooge in an even worse mood, he berates Cratchit for wanting Christmas Day off and then goes home to his cold, dark apartments.

As he is about to enter, he sees what appears to be the face of his long-dead partner on the door knocker, which kind of freaks him out a little bit. But then it goes away and he heads upstairs to put on his dressing gown and eat some soup as loudly as he possibly can. (No, really...It sounds super gross and wet.)

His soggy lip-smacking is (thankfully) interrupted when he is visited by none other than the ghost of Jacob Marley himself!

Or, possibly, Mick Jagger.
Marley is there to warn Scrooge that he is currently on the same path Marley himself went down, leading to his spirit wandering the face of the earth, seeing the terrible things everybody was doing, but unable to stop them. But now, this one time, he has been given the opportunity to contact hs old partner and tell him what needs to be done to change his potential future.

He tells Scrooge he will be visited by three ghosts--ghosts who will show him the error of his ways. Scrooge, naturally, is not particularly thrilled about the idea, but he is not given a choice.

The first ghost appears shortly after midnight, waking Scrooge with a bright light. A quick investigation directly outside his bed curtains reveals the Ghost of Christmas Past (Joel Grey).

Or, possibly, Edgar Winter.
The spirit takes him to the school he attended and shows him a young Ebenezer (Rowland Sterlng, and then Josh Maguire), whose father does not want him to come home. Young Ebenezer is a loner...a loner who dresses like Angus Young, but completely fails to rock out.

When his sister, Fran (Rosie Wiggins), arrives a few years later, she tells him that their father finally wants him to come home, the two leave, but we don't get to see what happens because the Ghost takes them away to Mr. Fezziwig's (Ian McNeice) business, where Scrooge worked as a young man (Kenny Doughty). And just in time for the Christmas party! (What are the odds?)

During the party, young Scrooge meets the lovely Belle (Laura Fraser). The two of them begin seeing each other, promising to marry once Scrooge is making enough money to support them. However, once he hits that level, he is not willing to put Belle ahead of his work, and she leaves him.

Returned to his home in the present, Scrooge is immediately met by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Desmond Barrit)--a large, hairy man with a disturbingly low-cut robe and a booming voice.

Or, possibly, Harry Knowles from the future.
He takes Scrooge on a tour of the city on Christmas Day. They stop off at the Cratchit residence, where Scrooge discovers for the first time that Bob does, in fact, have a family, including a fiercely protective wife (Saskia Reeves), and a young son, Tiny Tim (Ben Tibber), who is crippled.

The Ghost is so very disappointed in Scrooge that he does not know Cratchit has a family, although, for his part, Scrooge takes an interest and asks about whether Tiny Tim will live. When the Ghost tells him that he sees "an empty chair and a crutch without an owner," Scrooge has his first twinge of real concern. Oh, sure, he was disappointed in himself for not choosing Belle over his work, but he is finally seeing the effect he is having on those who more-or-less depend on him. And he's even touched that Cratchit insists they toast Scrooge, even though he treats Bob like garbage.

Their next stop is Fred's house, where he and his wife, Martha (Claire Slater), are hosting a dinner party for their friends. Bob also insists on toasting his uncle, and everyone seems agreeable, for the most part, although his wife wonders why he keeps inviting Scrooge to Christmas dinner when he knows the old man will refuse. Then it's time to play some games!

Scrooge asks the Ghost if they can stay for a bit and watch, because games! Another chink in the hardened exterior that is Scrooge's armor against the world...

The Ghost of Christmas Present, whose red hair is now grey, announces that his time is up, and he disappears, leaving Scrooge standing on a street in the middle of the city. Not for long, however, because he is in the presence of the Third Spirit (Tim Potter).

Or "Jeff" to his friends.
Their first stop is the stock exchange, where they see a group of men taking unsympathetically about a colleague that has died. They discuss whether or not they are going to the colleague's funeral, and they come to the consensus that, so long as lunch is served, they might consider it.

The next stop is a pawn broker (Trevor Peacock), who is looking over some items that some locals stole from the home of someone that has recently died. Very recently. In fact, one of the items is a shirt that is still warm. Ick.

Disheartened by all of this greed and negativity, Scrooge asks the Third Spirit to take him somewhere that is sympathetic and caring.

They visit the Cratchits, who are mourning the loss of Tiny Tim. Bob is taking it especially hard--understandably--but manages to hold it together for the rest of the family. For the most part. Scrooge is deeply troubled by this, and asks the spirit about the dead man they heard about earlier.

They visit a morgue, where a body is laid out on the slab, but Scrooge refuses to pull off the cover and see who it is the others spoke so poorly about. This seems to anger the spirit, and he takes them to a cemetery, where he shows Scrooge his own grave. With his body in it.

Will this be enough for Scrooge to change his ways? Will he wake up in time for Christmas? Will he have the most awkward laughing fit ever committed to film? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry was a newcomer to this version, having been brought up on the (very popular and well-made) George C. Scott version. That said, he seemed to enjoy it. He has issues with Mrs. Cratchit's dental issues, but was otherwise impressed by the whole thing.

Derek, having seen this numerous times before, thought this was a perfect time to bust out his killer Patrick Stewart impression. He also worries that Scrooge thinks changing his ways will somehow keep him from ever dying, because that's how the character acts.

So throw one tiny piece of coal in the fire, put on your night cap and dressing gown, and tune in to this week's commentary episode!

November 22, 2017

Miracle on 34th Street

To download/listen, click here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

As the cold wind blows, and there days get shorter, we find ourselves moving inexorably toward that most important port of the year, the annual Here Be Spoilers #HolidayMoviepalooza event! And guess what, lucky reader; that time is now!

Yes, Derek and Larry sat down this week to record a commentary to the 1947 classic, Miracle on 34th Street, Starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, about a hundred well-known character actors, and the entire city of New York (1947 Edition)!

Including this overflowing fountain of raw sexuality right here!
An elderly man (Gwenn) wandering the streets of New York City on Thanksgiving happens across some sort of parade or something (we've never heard of something like that), thrown by Macy's, one of the mom-and-pop department stores that inhabit that small, bustling burg. (We know literally nothing about New York, except that David Letterman haunts part of it.) The first thing he discovers, however, is that the parade's Santa Claus (Percy Helton) is completely hammered! So the mysterious old fellow goes looking for someone to lecture about it, as old people are wont to do.

He finds Doris Walker (O'Hara), the parade's coordinator and immediately lays the blame at her feet, and she reacts to his blind verbal assault in the only reasonable way possible: she hires him on the spot to be the new Santa, because his unquenchable rage makes it clear he would be delightful with children.

He answered with a string of profanities that made her burst into flames.
Having handled one potentially career-destroying incident, Doris heads home to see her daughter, Susan (Wood), who is watching the parade with their neighbor, Fred Gailey (Payne). For his part, Fred tries to inject some fantasy and fun into the parade for little nine-year-old Susan, but she is having no part of it, having been told the dark, soul-crushing truths of adulthood way too early in her life by her mother.

Susan is not so jaded, however, to keep from letting Fred bribe her to convince her mother that she should invite Fred to Thanksgiving dinner.

The next day (possibly--the timeline is kind of sloppy), Fred brings Susan to the store so she can see Santa Claus. She, being the nihilist that she is, goes along to humor him, but she makes it clear that she thinks the whole premise is ridiculous. When she finally meets him, she tries to rip off his beard and, when it doesn't come off in her hand, she immediately switches sides. Doris spots this and lectures Fred about confusing poor, stupid Susan. (She doesn't actually call Susan stupid, but the way she talks about her implies that she considers her daughter to be a window licker.)

Why, you rotten little monster!
The new Santa appears to be working swimmingly, and Susan's boss, Mr. Shellhammer (Philip Tonge), and his boss, Mr. Macy (Harry Antrim), are super-thrilled. Everything is just dandy, until Shellhammer overhears Santa suggesting to a child's mother that the toy the kid wants is available at another store. He goes to Susan and tells her that this Santa has to go, so she fires him.

Later that day(?), during a meeting, Mr. Macy is thrilled that Santa is offering people alternatives when they cannot find what they want at his store. He even gives them a bonus and suggest giving one to Santa, as well. (Sad trombone sound as Doris and Shellhammer realize that their money just walked out the door.)

Santa, meanwhile, has assembled an army to invade Macy's!
They find him and give him a bunch of money, and then ask him to have a psychological evaluation from the in-house therapist, the extremely twitchy Dr. Sawyer (Porter Hall), after he reveals that he believes he is actually the Santa Claus, or Kris Kringle, as he prefers.

Dr. Sawyer is a chinless bully who clearly despises Kris and does not believe he is the least bit sane, and he shares this opinion with anyone who will listen. It falls on mostly deaf ears, although Shellhammer is on the fence.

In the meantime, Kris has befriended not only Doris and Susan, but also Fred, who offers him a place to stay while he's working at the store. Kris also tries to teach Susan how to use her imagination, undoing the years of mental torture her own mother has subjected the poor child to, and probably saving her a fortune on decades of therapy later in life. It starts out slow because Susan is not too keen on pretending to be something she is not.

Young Susan, the John Merrick of holiday movies.
After a bit of work, the two of them bond over bubblegum and pretending to be monkeys.

Later, while speaking to a young man named Alfred (Alvin Greenman), Kris discovers that Dr. Sawyer has told the kid to stop playing Santa at the local YMCA, because he feels that Alfred will develop the same delusions that he believes Kris suffers from.

Duly enraged again, Kris goes to Dr. Sawyer and assaults him, hitting him over the head with an umbrella. Sawyer plays it to the hilt, using the opportunity to convince Shellhammer that Kris is an unstable loony that could go off at any moment, and they decide to have him committed.

An overly complicated plot is enacted, and they get Kris into a car and headed to Bellevue. It isn't until later that evening, when Fred is about to go to bed, that anyone realizes that Kris is missing. He speaks to Susan, who finds out what happened. When she tells Fred, he goes to visit Kris, who intentionally failed the psychological examination because he felt that the people he had trusted and believed were his friends had betrayed him.

Fred convinces Kris that they can fight the commitment in court, and even offers to represent him. All they have to do is prove that Santa exists, and that this elderly man who came out of nowhere is that very person. No problem, right?

But will Kris be able to prove that he is both sane and Santa? Will Sawyer still have eyebrows by the end of the hearing? Will the bitter and unbelieving Susan change her mind yet again when Kris gives her the ridiculously extravagant gift that she demands as proof that he is who he says he is? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek loves this film, going back to when his mother used to make him watch it every year. (It was her favorite, too.) He does feel that Susan is way too cynical for her age, which brings up all kinds of questions about Doris' parenting skills. He also wonders what happened between Fred and Doris, because there isn't a lot of detail.

Larry, having never seen this film, was pleasantly surprised. He also worries about Susan's mental health later in life, but assumes all is well by the end of the film. His only real concern is for Shellhammer, Sawyer, and the others at the store who play the parts way over the top. There is also a disturbing question about the chins (or lack thereof) these men possess.

So fire up your Miracle on 34th Street DVD, load up on turkey, and check out this week's episode!

November 17, 2017

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

To listen/download, click here!

(Note: This week's episode is a commentary track meant to be listened to while you watch the movie. If you don't actually have the movie, you can either listen to the beginning and then skip to roughly the two-hour mark, or just go ahead and listen to the whole thing and try to figure out what the hell we're talking about. Whichever works for you. We won't judge.

Also, stick around until the end, because we have news about this year's Holiday Moviepalooza choices! - Derek)

This week, Derek and Larry sat down to watch and discuss Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the sequel to Gremlins, the 1984 Christmas classic from Steven Spielberg.

Six years after some horrible little critters (Dick Miller and Polly Holiday) all buy destroyed the sleepy little town of Kingston Falls, the person responsible for it, Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), and his adorably cute girlfriend, Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cates), are now living in New York, working for the Clamp Organization, which is owned by one Daniel Clamp (John Glover).

In Chinatown, fuzzy little Mogwai Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) is back in Mr.Wing's (Keye Luke) curio shop, where he belongs. When a visitor (Robert Picardo) shows up to play a videotape at Mr. Wing--a videotape of Daniel Clamp offering to buy his shop in in order to build a giant, gaudy Chinese-themed tower. Mr. Wing is the only holdout, but he is in poor health, so it may only be a matter of time. And that time is about three minutes.

Whatever...I don't even care,
Back at Clamp Tower, Billy and Kate head to their respective jobs; he as what appears to be a conceptual artist, and she as a tour guide to the massive, "technologically advanced" building. (Really, it's a crap building. Every mechanical thing in the place tries to kill anybody using it, and the gremlins haven't even shown up!)

Billy is forced to deal with one of the most stereotypical 80s New York women since Jeanine Melnitz in Ghostbusters, his supervisor, Marla Bloodstone (Haviland Morris), a constantly smoking, neurotic, power-hungry woman who treats every single thing like it is the end of the world. Not only does she constantly shoot down Billy's ideas, but she also wants to see what his underpants look like.

The man she wants meets the man she wants to be.
The carpet under her feet is ruined right now.
Back across town, the curio shop is being destroyed, now that Mr. Wing is dead. Gizmo, now homeless, wanders the mean streets until he is captured by twin scientists, Martin (Don Stanton) and Lewis (Dan Stanton), and taken back to the genetics lab where they work, which just happens to be in the Clamp Tower! What are the odds?!

(No, really...What are the odds that this one rare creature would somehow find its way through a city of about 7.5 million people at the time, and end up in the laps of the two people that it knows? Based on what little information we could find about this kind of probability, it hovers around about 12%, although that seems way too high to us.)

Not only does Clamp Towers have an art department, a genetics lab, and what looks like a mall of some kind; it also has a television studio that rivals 30 Rock in size. There are a number of shows shot there, including Microwaving with Marge (Kathleen Freeman), The Clamp Cable News channel, and a b-movie show featuring a host named Grandpa Fred (Robert Prosky), who looks like Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster. Billy and Fred are friends, and they lament the fact that Daniel Clamp only wants horrible gaudiness instead of quality.

Back in the lab, Dr. Catheter (Christopher Lee) is unimpressed by Lewis and Martin's new find, and he's all-in on the idea of dissecting Gizmo and trying to find his "cuteness gene".

Yes, but can I make it one of my dark minions?
Fortunately (and improbably), a deliveryman (Raymond Cruz) hears Gizmo humming his song, gets it stuck in his head, and starts humming it himself. Moments later, in another incredible coincidence, Billy overhears the song and grills the man about where he heard it. The man tells him, and Billy immediately lies his way into the genetics lab to see if his suspicion is correct. (SPOILER: It is.)

Billy rescues Gizmo from the lab, but now he has to hide him until he can go home. He stuffs the Mogwai into a drawer and tells him to wait. Immediately, Marla arrives and suggest she and Billy discuss some new ideas over dinner (at a restaurant that serves Canadian cuisine, because why the hell not). More or less trapped into going, Billy finds Kate and tells her that she will have to take Gizmo back to their apartment while he fends off Marla's advances over a Molson and some poutine. Kate, who is a reasonable person with a pretty good memory of instances when a bunch of these creatures tried to murder her to death, is not especially thrilled about the idea, but she agrees.

Billy tells Gizmo that Kate is coming for him, and then goes off to dinner with Marla. Gizmo,satisfied that Billy is really gone, escapes the desk drawer he was left in, and is almost immediately soaked by a janitor (John Astin) who is fixing a water fountain while muttering to himself about how underappreciated he is. This causes a number of little fuzzballs to shoot out of Gizmo's back, and we all know where this is going, right?

Left to Right: Larry, Jake and Derek meet Grandpa Fred
Yes, these little fuzzballs are all evil Mogwai. They torture Gizmo and throw him into an air duct, and then go about causing mayhem. Kate comes to the office and takes the googly-eyed, giggling Mogwai, believing it is Gizmo. She takes it home, where it begins to trash the entire place.

At the Canadian restaurant, Marla continues trying to woo Billy, who is not the least bit interested. When she realizes that she isn't going to get anywhere, she lets him leave, but not before laying a sloppy, lipstick-covered kiss on his cheek.

Billy returns home to find Kate covered in food and the apartment wrecked. And then he finds that t wasn't Gizmo that Kate brought home. It slowly dawns on them both what has happened, and they get ready to go back to the tower and find Gizmo. Unfortunately, they are delayed when the Mr. and Mrs. Futterman (Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph, respectively) arrive a day early to visit. You will recall Mr. Futterman as the astoundingly racist, alcoholic tractor driver from the first movie, and Mrs. Futterman as his put-upon wife. But now they're fun and goofy, so it's okay!

Billy and Kate blow them off and head to the tower, just in time to discover that the Mogwai have eaten after midnight, and are now the super-killy gremlins, whose antics make the tower slightly more glitchy.

What follows is the usual gremlin hijinks, including attacking the television studio, the genetics lab, Daniel Clamp himself, and even the film itself. (This last one is remedied by the appearance of Hulk Hogan, for some reason.)

Once the gremlins get into the genetics lab, they begin trying all the different concoctions available to them, creating several genetically-modified new gremlins: a bat-gremlin, a spider gremlin, and one that can actually carry on a normal conversation (voiced by Tony Randall).

And a musical number. Did we mention a musical number?
Billy meets up with Clamp, and they come up with a plan involving getting the gremlins into the lobby and exposing them to sunlight. But will it work? Will Billy and Kate's relationship survive Marla's incessant need to paw at Billy? Will Gizmo's affinity for Rambo movies every be explained? Will Mr. Futterman have a relapse and murder everybody? You'll have to listen to find out!

Larry enjoys this movie. All the gags, the gremlins themselves, and even whatever the deal is with Marla. He is also thrilled that Gedde Watanabe makes an appearance as, surprise, a camera-toting Japanese tourist whose grasp of what is actually going on is only marginally better than his grasp of the English language.

Derek also loves the film. Despite the harsh reviews, he can appreciate that it doesn't even try to take itself too seriously, even during the darkest moments. He says it is, essentially, a parody of itself and the entire franchise. He was also excited to see Leonard Maltin in the movie, but it raises the question: If the first Gremlins movie exists in this universe, is it considered a documentary to him?

So don't get wet, don't eat after midnight, and tune in to this week's show!

November 9, 2017

Future War

To listen/download, click here!

If you took Terminator and threw in some Theodore Rex (minus Whoopi Goldberg's staid and nuanced performance), and then added a pinch of the "special" effects from the old Krofft show Land of the Lost, you would have a horrible, unwatchable mess of a film. But it would still be better than this week's movie.

This week, the guys sat down to watch Future War, starring Daniel Bernhardt, Robert Z'Dar (and his chin), Travis Brooks Stewart, and Andre Scruggs.

And Jake "The Snake" Roberts as Dog the Bounty Hunter!
"Four days ago, fire fell from the sky," our narrator, Annie (Stewart) tells us. Repeatedly.

You see, this is her "poetic" way of telling us about The Runaway (Bernhardt, a Jean Claude Van Damme knock-off from Sweden), who uses an escape shuttle to get away from what appears to be some kind of prison ship in space.

Although we are never told exactly why he is a prisoner, he is pursued by a cyborg bounty hunter (Kazja, shown above) and the cyborg's tracking dinosaur, which is a thing in space, we guess. After a brief fight with the cyborg during which a number of innocent cardboard boxes are destroyed, Jean Claude Aw Heck stabs the dinosaur in the neck, and it explodes, because there is a collar around its neck that monitors its vital signs, and when those tank, it explodes, destroying any evidence that it existed at all.

Jean Claude Gosh Darn IS The Prisoner.
Immediately after defeating a killer cyborg and its killer dinosaur puppet, Jean Claude Oh Shit is run over by a nun driving a Miata. The nun turns out to be Annie, our cursing, cigarette-smoking, drinking narrator. (The Miata is probably borrowed from a Production Assistant.)

Fortunately, Annie's ability to kill runaway prisoners from space with her car is about as effective as her ability to be a nun, so he is alive, but in pretty rough shape. She loads him into the hatchback of her car and takes her to the halfway house for fat guys(?) where she is a counselor and has a nurse friend give him a look.

While the nurse tends to the Jean Claude Aww Yeah, Annie knocks back a few shots of brown liquor and tells her own backstory to Fred (Scruggs, whom Derek and Larry incorrectly refer to as Frank throughout the whole show...oops).

All's I'm sayin', Frank...Frank? Fred? I dunno...Ya wanna get some tacos?
You see, Annie used to be a prostitute. And did a lot of drugs. She partied, she drank, she smoked. And then, one night, another of the girls she worked with was killed, and that put her on the path of giving up roughly 40% of the bad habits she had, which apparently is good enough to qualify you for the sisterhood in California.

When Jean Claude Oh Well returns to the land of the living, he is unable to speak because he also had one of those exploding collars on, but he manages to explain to Annie about the dinosaurs and cyborgs by using broad gestures and making whining puppy noises at her.

After a looooong walk-and-talk where Jean Claude Gosh Darn can suddenly speak (possibly because Annie gave him beef jerky on a train?), they return back to the house just in time to be attacked by another dinosaur puppet, which Frank (Fred?) shoots, and then run away again, only to be arrested for a reason that is never made clear.

As they are being transported to the police station, a call comes over the radio of yet another dinosaur puppet attack, and the police car diverts to the scene, which we're pretty sure is a breach of protocol when transferring prisoners, but what do we know.

One SWAT guy shows up, as well, and is almost immediately eaten. But then another cyborg shows up (Z'Dar), and fights with Jean Claude No Way. There is much kicking in the face, several more cardboard boxes are destroyed, and then the cyborg is taken out by being gently poked with a thin aluminum pole.

A rolled-up newspaper could have probably allowed them to avoid all of this.
The dinosaur is also killed, and it explodes, prompting the police to re-arrest Jean Claude Th' Hell and Annie, whom they finally take to the police station.

As they are being interrogated, some FBI guys show up and take over the case, deciding to cut a hole in Jean Claude Well Yeah and removing a tracking device imbedded in his spine. Unfortunately, it's still active, and the dinosaur puppets find them again, and lots of people get dead.

Somehow, they manage to get out alive, and Annie meets up with a gang to help her get some weapons and explosives so she and her cohorts can blow up the dinosaur puppets, which are now hiding out in a warehouse(?) underground(?) in the sewers(?).

They set a trap, tease the dinosaur puppets, causing them to give chase. One falls into an inexplicable pit in the middle of a hallway, and another is taken out with a microphone stand. A third continues to follow them, making its way past the traps and pit.

You be quiet, Muldoon.
Just as the dinosaur is about to catch up, the bomb goes off, blowing it up into a million tiny foam pieces.

Everybody's safe now, right? RIGHT?!

Of course not, you silly theoretical reader, because just as Annie is taking her final vows to become a real nun, Robo-Z'Dar returns to get kicked in the face some more!

And there is a lot of face to kick.
Will Jean Claude Fuck Yeah be able to defeat Robo-Z'Dar again, but for reals this time? Or will Z'Dar's mighty chin finally bring down The Runaway? Will Annie be able to stop smoking, drinking, and swearing long enough to be an actual nun? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry almost immediately regretted choosing this one, because it was astoundingly stupid. Even though they watched the MST3K version of it, it was still unwatchable. He thought the jokes were pretty funny, but not funny enough to recommend the movie itself. And he is right.

Derek is straight-up furious about the special effects. This was one year after the film Jurassic Park was released, yet they used shitty foam puppets for the dinosaurs. He's super angry about that. But he was excited to bask in the majesty of Robert Z'Dar's magical chin for two scenes.

So put on a wife-beater tank top, do some splits, and avoid actually watching this movie by listening to these clowns talk about it!

November 3, 2017

Super Mario Bros.

To listen/download, click here!

Imagine having the opportunity to make a movie out of the most popular video game franchise ever created. Now imagine taking almost every single thing that actually resembles the game itself and removing it. Throw in a British guy and a Colombian-American guy to play the very Italian lead characters, and throw in Frank from Blue Velvet, Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia, and the parking valet who took Cameron's dad's Porsche for a joyride in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Oh, and also Mojo Nixon.

No, really. Someone thought this was a good idea!
Finally, add in a bunch of nonsense about rival plumbing companies and mafia-run construction companies (because New York, we guess), and you almost have whatever the hell Super Mario Bros. was supposed to be. And that's what Derek and Larry sat down to watch this week!

65 million years ago, a meteorite crashed into the Earth, apparently killing off the dinosaurs...

...or did it?

No, it totally did. But Super Mario Bros. suggests that, instead, the dinosaurs were blown into an alternate dimension, where they continued to thrive and evolve into some sort of dino-human hybrids.

Millions of years later, a mysterious woman leaves a mysterious package containing a mysterious egg with a mysterious baby in it at a not-especially-mysterious convent. When the egg hatches, the nuns discover a small rock that had been embedded in the egg's shell...

Jumping ahead a few more years (probably around twenty-ish), we meet Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo), a pair of plumbers who work in the cutthroat sewer repair industry that apparently exists in Brooklyn, New York.

Mario is all business--a guy who knows how to fix the heck out of a leaky pipe. He has no time for the silly tabloids and garbage television shows with which his apprentice brother Luigi is infatuated. When the brothers get a call for a repair job, they pile into their truck and take off, only to be beaten to the customer by the Scapelli Construction Company.

Across town, Anthony Scapelli (Gianni Russo) himself is causing problems for someone else: Daisy (Samantha Mathis)--an archeologist who is trying to have a poke around a piece of land where Scapelli wants to put a building. Scapelli, unimpressed by Daisy, threatens to make things incredibly unpleasant for her and her crew, so she goes looking for a payphone (remember those?) so she can call the museum and get them to hire more security for the site.

By a strange coincidence, she finds the exact payphone that Luigi happens to be using to call an answering service while Mario goes into a nearby store to get some water for the truck's radiator. Luigi offers Daisy the phone, and Mario comes out, only to discover that his little brother is smitten with this average-looking young lady. Mario immediately starts laying the groundwork for Luigi to get some action, offering Daisy a ride back to the site so Luigi can stammer at her for a bit.

And show off their incredible fashion sense!
Despite the fact that Daisy only walked a few blocks to the phone, the ride takes long enough for the site to clear out almost entirely, aside from a couple of creepy guys (Fisher Stevens as Iggy and Richard Edson as Spike) who are following Daisy.

Daisy offers to show Mario and Luigi what it is that she is digging for: the skeleton of a dinosaur that appears to have opposable thumbs, which means that they continued to evolve after the meteorite supposedly killed all of them.

While this is going on, Iggy and Spike open up a water valve, hoping to flood the site and force them out. Fortunately, Mario has his tool belt, so he and Luigi set about shutting off the water, only to be knocked unconscious by Iggy and Spike, who then grab Daisy and make a run for it down the tunnel.

Mario and Luigi give chase, only to find some kind of portal. Daisy manages to get halfway out, long enough for Luigi to make a grab for her, but only managing to get her necklace, before she is pulled back in. Luigi convinces Mario that they need to go through that portal to rescue Daisy, so they jump in, only to find themselves in a dark, crowded underground city.

They are immediately mugged by an elderly woman, who steals the necklace. That woman is then mugged by Big Bertha (Francesca Roberts), who takes the necklace and throws the old lady over a railing.

She may be vicious, but she's still all woman.
As Mario and Luigi try to get the necklace back, they stop to listen to a protest singer named Toad (Mojo Nixon), who is singing a song about the evil King Koopa. He is almost immediately arrested, and then so are Mario and Luigi when they try to defend him.

Sent to jail and caged, the brothers receive a visitor (Dennis Hopper, for some reason). When they go to meet him, he says that he is the lawyer assigned to them, but after they start talking trash about this King Koopa guy, the lawyer reveals himself to be Koopa and sends them to the Devolution Chamber, where they will be devolved back to dinosaurs, or goombas, as Koopa calls them.

Before they can have their bodies enlarged and their heads shrunk, they turn the tables on Koopa, stuffing him into the machine, which gives Koopa lizard eyes and that's about it. The brothers make their escape, steal a police car, and a chase ensues. Just like in the game.

Getting stuck on top of another car, and then making a wrong turn or two, Mario drives them over a cliff, Thelma and Louise-style, only to be saved by the mucus that seems to be all over the place. Luigi thinks it intentionally saved them. Mario is dubious.

Daisy, who has now been stuffed into a room with a bunch of other women who had been kidnapped, is taken to speak to Koopa, who wants her to give up the necklace because it turns out the rock in it is part of the original meteorite that hit the Earth millions of years ago, and reattaching it to the meteorite will reconnect this dimension with ours, allowing him to take his goombas and rule that world, too.

And really get his Kiss tribute band out there, ya know?
She's not down with that idea, even though he also promises to let her father (Lance Henriksen), who is a drippy wad of goo currently, live.

Mario and Luigi find themselves in a desert, with Iggy and Spike coming after them. The brothers ambush the two nimrods and tie them up, demanding to know what it is they want. When Iggy explains that they just need the necklace and why, Mario offers to get it back from Bertha if they will help him and Luigi get Daisy back. An agreement is made, and they all head back to the city to find Bertha and dance the necklace away from her. (This makes sense. Trust us on that.)

Now that they have the rock, Iggy and Spike take it to Koopa, only to have it snagged by Koopa's assistant, Lena (Fiona Shaw), who wants to put the pieces together and rule bother worlds herself.

Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi are trying to find Daisy, and they run across the other women, one of whom is Mario's girlfriend, Daniella (Dana Kaminsky). But Daisy is nowhere to be found, because she is being taken to see Lena.

With her chaperones in tow. Just in case.
Lena chains Daisy up with Yoshi, a small dinosaur that looks nothing like the one in the game, and then takes the necklace to the room where the meteorite is stored. Mario breaks the girls out of the room they are stuck in, and leads a bunch of goombas on a chase that involves sliding down an ice tunnel on a mattress. Luigi finds Daisy somehow, and they go looking for Lena, getting there just in time to see her get blasted into the wall because only the princess--Daisy--can put the pieces back together.

Lena did manage to open the portal briefly, transporting Koopa and Mario to the "real" world long enough for Koopa to turn Scapelli into a chimpanzee with a portable Devolution gun, and then sending them back, where Koopa and Mario square off. Will Mario defeat Koopa? Will the brothers ever get back to Brooklyn? Will this movie never end?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek picked this movie because he thought it would be funny to watch Larry's reaction. Unfortunately, the film was so terrible that he forgot to look at Larry, so the whole point was lost. He is, however, upset that such a great cast would read the script for this film and still agree to be in it.

Larry actually enjoyed the movie, for some reason, causing Derek to question just what sort of horrible things Larry has experienced that would make him enjoy this film. He does, however, agrees with Derek about the casting.

So get your toolbelt, grab your plunger, and listen to this week's episode!