April 5, 2020

Rocky III

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(A Note from Derek: Hey, everybody. As we're all aware, just about everyone is under a Stay At Home order around, so getting new shows out might be kind of spotty until Jake and I can figure out how to do this without having to be in the same room. Options will be discussed soon. Until then, we ask that you bear with us. Also, please stay safe, follow whatever guidelines you're supposed to and wash your hands. We can't afford to lose any listeners!)

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) personifies the American Dream; he started from almost nothing, and he went on to become the heavyweight boxing champion. He has a wife (Talia Shire as Adrian), a son (to be determined later), a big ol' bronze statue of himself, and a buttload of money.

And making friends!
But it's not all love and unicorn farts. He also has a brother-in-law (Burt Young as Paulie) that is jealous of Rocky's fame and fortune, and he also discovers that his manager, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), has only been allowing him to fight boxers that are easy to beat. And a wrestler named Thunderlips (Hulk Hogan in his first film role) who folds him up like a duvet cover during a charity match. Oh, and there's a homicidal top-ranked boxer named Clubber Lang (Mr. T) who wants to beat Rocky into a gelatinous pulp, just as the champ was getting ready to retire.

Clubber is the real hero of this film.
Clubber beats Rocky (and also somehow manages to give Mickey a fatal heart attack), and things are looking bleak. Fortunately, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) appears and tries to train Rocky to box like an actual boxer, while Paulie gets really racist and identifies the band Survivor as "boogaloo music." It's a weird movie.

Derek picked this one, and he regrets nothing. Sure, it's the goofiest movie in the entire Rocky canon, but it's so darn fun, and it goes by really quickly. Plus, it give shim a chance to do his Stallone impression, which is adequate, at best.

Jake agrees that it is pretty silly, but still a fun watch. He also gets to break out his Stallone impression, as well as his Mickey and an astoundingly good Clubber Lang! For that alone, you should check out this one, you guys!

So lace up your gloves, put on your shiniest shorts, and tune in to this week's episode!

March 22, 2020

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

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Robert Downey, Jr. is Harry Lockhart--a burglar who isn't very good at his job, and he accidentally stumbles into a new one when he interrupts an audition while trying to hide out from the cops. Suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a potentially famous actor, he meets a girl at a party who turns out to be high high school crush Harmony (Michelle Monaghan), meets a private investigator named Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), and becomes entangled with a nasty agent (Corbin Bernsen) while trying to help Harmony find out who killed her roommate.

Potty mouth.
Harry finds out who Harmony's roommate really is, loses a finger, has his testicles electrocuted, and makes a new friend in Perry, who thinks Harry is an idiot. Hollywood can be weird sometimes.

That message is "listen to our podcast."
Jake recommended this movie, and he loves it. It has been a favorite since he worked at a video store in Alabama! He recommended it to anyone who would listen back then, and many of them came to resent him for it. He regrets nothing, and he is right.

Derek was seeing this for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Robert Downey, Jr. was nailing it, and Val Kilmer was great because he looked like he was genuinely enjoying himself. The whole thing feels like the Coen brothers made a Lethal Weapon movie with Guy Ritchie!

So grab your tiny gun and your severed finger, and tune in to this week's episode!

March 7, 2020

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

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Finishing out the Bruce Campbell run, Derek and Jake sat down to watch Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, which features a bunch of great character actors--including M. Emmett Walsh, David Carradine, and an actress whose name they can't remember, so they call her "Hottie Blue Eyes". Clearly, they came to play.

And be subtle as they do it!
Bruce Campbell is Van Helsing, who travels to the middle-of-the-desert town of Purgatory to hunt down a vampire known as...uh..."Megatron" (Carradine)? We can't remember. But he's a vampire, just like everyone else in town. The big difference being, they have all sworn off killing humans to feed themselves, choosing instead to manufacture and drink synthetic blood. A larger group of locals want to go back to the old ways, so they want to fight the others and take control of the town.

"Margaret"? "Margarine"?
There are also a bunch of other characters that really serve no purpose other than to be fodder for the vampires to kill. There's also a family that comes to town, but it's unclear who the viewer is supposed to be rooting for. The whole thing is a mess.

ZZ Top is not impressed.
Jake did not like this movie at all. The acting is terrible, the story is non-existent, and the score sounds like it was ripped-off from Blazing Saddles. He was not impressed, and he is not wrong.

Derek liked it a little better, but only as a vehicle for making jokes. He agrees that the movie was awful, but it provided entertainment value in other ways. Still...woof, it was bad.

So drink some fake blood, try not to murder and tune in to this week's episode!

February 23, 2020

Maniac Cop

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A movie so bad, they literally threw out the lead halfway through!

Do not look directly into his mustache...unless you want to fall in love.
This time around, Jake and Derek cracked open 1988's Maniac Cop, which features Robert "The Big Chin" Z'Dar, Bruce "Not as Big a Chin, But Still Pretty Substantial" Campbell, Tom "The Inexplicable Sex Gargoyle" Atkins, Laurene "USA Network Late Night Regular" Landon, Richard "One Bad Mother--...Shut Your Mouth!" Roundtree, William "Have Another Cigarette" Smith, Sheree "Meaner Than She Looks, and She Looks Mean" North and Victoria "Visible Mustache" Catlin.

Lieutenant McCrae (Atkins) searches for a killer who is murdering people while dressed as a cop. When Jack Forrest's (Campbell) wife Ellen (Catlin) is found dead after she catches him in bed with a female cop, Mallory (Landon), Forrest becomes the primary suspect and must find out who the real killer is to clear his name. This leads to a confrontation with the real killer, Matt Cordell (Z'Dar), and his...girlfriend? Keeper? Potential victim? Anyway, her name is Sally, and she beats the piss out of McCrae with a cane, and Matt throws him out a window, leaving the movie rudderless.

When Chins Collide!
Can the suddenly very available Jack and his side piece Mallory find and stop Cordell before he kills again? Will anybody take notice of just how quickly Jack got over the murder of his wife? Did McCrae's mustache survive the fall? Will somebody please give Captain Ripley (Smith) a lozenge?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Jake picked this one, and almost instantly regretted it. He continued to regret it throughout the entire viewing, and still does. He's terribly sorry. And he can't figure out why everybody things Mallory is so hot. It's kind of weird.

Derek was visibly distracted by Ellen's mustache in every scene she appeared in. He also regrets Jake choosing this movie. There are almost no redeeming qualities to it, and also an unnecessary inserted story line about the mayor, who is covering up what happened to Cordell.

So run--do not walk--as far away from this movie as possible, but listen to our latest episode!

February 8, 2020

My Name Is Bruce

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Once again, the guys sit down to watch a Bruce Campbell movie. This time, Campbell gets back to his roots and made this one with a bunch of his friends (and some new folks), literally in his own back yard! Sure, the budget was about ten thousand percent higher than the movies he made this way as a kid, but it's a fair trade-off for the improved quality.

A little higher, anyway...
Bruce Campbell takes on his most challenging role as Bruce Campbell, who is recruited--or, to be more accurate, kidnapped--by a superfan named Jeff (Taylor Sharpe) to help rid the small town of Gold Lick, Oregon of Guan-di, the vengeful Chinese god of war and bean curd. Unfortunately, despite years of fighting them on the silver screen and television, Bruce Campbell has no idea how to defeat it.

Will he be able to save the people and town? Will he get the girl (Grace Thorsen), who also happens to be the superfan's mother? Will he fire his agent (Ted Raimi)? And, most importantly, will he bang his birthday hooker? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Good luck with that, Bruce!
Jake enjoyed the scene with the hock shop owner (Tim Quill) and his partner (Danny Hicks) offering Bruce any gun he wants. He was, however, suitably concerned at Jeff's level of obsession with the man. He also thinks that it looks too much like a TV show to be a movie.

Derek didn't have a problem with the look of it, and he really enjoyed the whole cast, including the cameos from past Evil Dead trilogy actors. But he doesn't get the whole thing about the bean curd. He also got a kick out of "Shemp's Premium Whiskey", another nice callback to the Evil Dead films.

So get yourself one big name, keep it under $1.5 million and tune in to this week's episode!

January 26, 2020

Bubba Ho-Tep

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(A Note from Derek: Well, it's a new year, and time for some changes! For one, we'll be changing from a [mostly] weekly podcast to a [mostly] "every-other-week" podcast. The reason for this is because, quite frankly, I would like to have a little free time to myself when I'm off work. Editing these podcasts can sometimes be a real pain in the butt, especially after a long day at work, so I'm spreading the work out a bit. Another reason is, with the way the last month has gone, we haven't been able to get together as often as we'd like to do these shows, so we ended up with huge gaps over the last six months or so. We're still going to get together every week--when that's possible--and record, but rather than issue them each week, this will allow me to build a library of finished shows that I can put out if we have to skip a week or two. The bottom line is, I'm trying to set up a release schedule that works for both Jake and myself. We appreciate all of you that have stuck with us over the past month of nothing very much, and we hope to ensure that there are fewer gaps from now on.

Another change I'm making is shorter episode descriptions. Honestly, it's kind of redundant to record ourselves talking about the movie and then write out an almost complete synopsis for the webpage. It's ridiculous. So I'm not doing it anymore.

Once again, thank you all for your patience while we try to get our ducks in a row. All the best. -- Derek)


Everyone loves Bruce Campbell, right? We sure do, and that's why we're starting out 2020 with one of Bruce's finest movies that isn't an Evil Dead sequel!

This week the guys sat down to watch Bubba Ho-Tep, where an elderly Elvis (Cambell) and a post-assassination John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis) whose skin was dyed brown and his brain has been replaced with a bag of sand square off against an evil mummy in cowboy clothes that is killing residents of the old folks' home they reside in so it can feast on their souls. Will they defeat the hillbilly mummy? Or will it defeat them and suck their souls out through their buttholes (a thing the mummy has been known to do)? You'll have to tune in to find out.

No, really. This is Elvis and JFK.
Jake is into the look of the whole thing, especially considering the micro-budget it was made on. Not too shabby!

Derek also likes it, but wonders if the whole thing is a figment of Elvis' imagination and he's the real killer. Who can say?

So put on your rhinestoniest jumpsuit, grab your walker and tune in to this week's episode!

December 21, 2019

Holiday Moviepalooza: Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas

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Once again, the guys have managed to meet up for another edition of Holiday Moviepalooza. Apologies for the sporadic posting, but you know how it is...Holiday season, shopping, family gatherings. It all makes it a challenge for them to get together on a regular basis. But they do what they can!

FINALLY...Derek and Jake got to sit down and watch a program that Derek has wanted to do for quite a while -- Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas.

What a year 1977 was! Star Wars and its infamous Holiday Special were about to cause the first cracks in its burgeoning fandom, a peanut farmer from Georgia was finishing up his first year in the White House, and then, the guy who helped create Sesame Street was hired by HBO to turn a children's holiday book into a television special.

Jim Henson and his Muppet performers managed to create what is really a technological marvel with some fun fur, a few electronics, some creative builders, great songs by Paul Williams and a lot of enthusiasm for the source material.

Which, of course, is Moby Dick.
Emmet Otter (Jerry Nelson) is a young boy otter who lives in Frogtown Hollow with his mother, Ma Otter (Frank Oz/voice by Marilyn Sokol). They're poor, but happy. Emmet brings a little money in by using his late father's tools to do repairs for his neighbors. Ma Otter does her part by doing laundry and some sewing. Both of them love to sing. All in all, things are pretty good for them, even if there isn't much money.

There is one thing that is weighing heavily on both of their minds: Christmas is coming, and neither of them can afford to buy the other a Christmas gift. While strolling through town, they come across a music store where Emmet sees a guitar in the window that he really wants. At the same time, he notes that Ma used to have a piano, but they ended up selling it, so he wishes he could get the money to buy her a new one. Their window shopping is interrupted by a gang of thugs from Riverbottom: Chuck (Oz), Weasel (Nelson), Catfish (Dave Goelz), Lizard (Richard Hunt) and Snake (Jim Henson). The group invades the music store and start making rock and roll noises, frightening everybody away.

They're like a cross between Deep Purple and Yes and Chuck E. Cheese.
On the way back home, Emmet runs across his friend Wendell (Goelz), who tells him that one of their neighbors will pay them to repair her fence. Wendell offers Emmet half to bring his father's tools and help him. They end up practically having to rebuild the fence. For fifty cents. Well, half of fifty cents.

On the way back home, Wendell and Emmet meet up with two of their friends, Harvey Beaver (Henson) and Charlie Muskrat (Hunt), who tell them about a talent contest that pays the winner fifty dollars. They want Wendell and Emmet to start a jug-band with them so they can win. The only problem is that Emmet would have to put a hole in Ma's washtub to make a washtub bass. He is hesitant, but he eventually agrees, reasoning that winning would allow him to put a down payment on a piano for Ma.

For the last time, Wendell, we are not playing "Freebird"!
At the same time, one of Ma's friends, Hetty Muskrat (Eren Ozker) is telling Ma Otter about the contest, suggesting Ma could sing and win. She is also hesitant because she would need a new dress, which would require her to sell Pa's tools, making it impossible for Emmet to to handiwork around town. In the end, however, she decides to do it so she can buy the guitar for him.

And so...Both Emmet and his mother have decided to risk complete and total impoverishment in an attempt to purchase Christmas presents for each other. If they fail, they will have destroyed their livelihoods. But really, what are the odds of that happening?

With top-of-the-line talent like this, anything is possible.
As the day of the contest draws closer, Emmet and the guys get together to rehearse a song called "Barbecue". It's catchy, and they sound great singing it. But that isn't enough for Emmet, who runs rehearsals with an iron fist, demanding they play it over and over again until the others are begging to be released from this hellish nightmare. Fortunately, Emmet's reign of terror is interrupted by the Riverbottom guys showing up on snowmobiles and making fun of them.

Finally, the day of the contest arrives. But who will win? Will Emmet and his band take home the money, or will Ma? What about those rabbits? Also, what's the deal with those jerks from Riverbottom? Also, why does Kermit the Frog (Henson) dress like Ron Burgundy?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Jake liked it, although he thinks it's a little corny. He's especially impressed with the technical aspects of the whole thing. There are some really impressive sets and lighting, not to mention the puppets themselves!

Derek has loved this since he saw it when it first aired. Despite that love, he's willing to admit that large swaths of the story don't make. Why would anyone risk the source of what little money they bring in on just a possibility?

So sell your tools and put a hole in the washtub, and check out this week's episode!

December 8, 2019

Holiday Moviepalooza: Gremlins

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(A Note from Derek: Jake couldn't make it to the recording last week, so I invited a couple of friends to pick a holiday movie and watch it with me. They chose Gremlins, which is basically It's a Wonderful Life, but with murder monsters. So...Enjoy this very special episode of Here Be Spoilers: Holiday Moviepalooza featuring myself and my special guests, Brooke Cooper and Mike Kelly, who, by the way, recently got married! Congratulations, you guys! -- Derek)

It's Holiday Moviepalooza time, you guys! And you know what that means: It's time to eat too much, argue over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and make questionable gift purchases at the last minute because you forgot somebody on your list! It is also time to watch some goddamn holiday movie, and that's just what happened in El Casa de Derek, where he was joined by two friends he had not seen in quite a while! And the three of them sat down to watch 1984's Gremlins.

Gremlins stars Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday, Corey Feldman, Judge Reinhold, Francis Lee McCain, Jackie Joseph, Glynn Turman and the always awesome Here Be Spoilers favorite Dick Miller.

Hoyt Axton is Rand Peltzer, an inventor who is wandering around Chinatown (possibly in New York), looking for just the right Christmas gift for his son, Billy (Galligan), a grown adult who lives in his parents' attic, hanging out with a young boy named Pete (Feldman) and dreaming of being a comic book artist.

The real monsters in this movie.
A different young boy (John Louie) leads Rand into a dark corridor below the street and, much to the surprise of anyone who has ever run across small children trying to do this in real life, does not mug him and take his wallet. Instead, the boy leads Rand to a curio shop run by the boy's grandfather (Keye Luke). But rather than buy anything, Rand starts pitching one of his semi-functional inventions, the Bathroom Buddy. The old man is not impressed, and Rand is distracted by a noise he hears, which he seeks out, only to find a small cage with...something in it. Having determined that this creature is exactly what he was looking for, despite having never seen one before, Rand offers the old man hundreds of dollars, only to be refused. Disheartened, Rand leaves the shop, only to be chased down by the kid, who tells him the old man is crazy, and if he wants the creature, the boy will sell it to him in a back alley, once again suggesting that it was all an elaborate setup for the kid to kill Rand with a shiv and steal whatever valuable he has on him. When the transaction is made, the kid tells Rand the rules of taking care of the creature: Keep it out of bright light, which can hurt it, and sunlight, which can kill it; do not get it wet; and never feed it after midnight. That third rule can cause all kinds of problems even in the safest environment (what about time zones?), but it is never addressed.

Meanwhile, back in the tiny town of Kingston Falls, Billy is trying to start his car so he can go to work. It won't go, so he and his dog walk to work at the local bank. Billy sneaks his dog in and ties him under the teller window he works at. Kate (Cates), Billy's cute-as-a-button coworker who dresses like an extra from Little House on the Prairie, straightens Billy's tie and makes sure he is ready for the day to start, which quickly involves a visit from Mrs. Deagle (Holliday), who wants to put Billy's dog down because she believe's it knocked over her imported Italian snowman and broke it. The dog, defending its good name, attacks Mrs. Deagle and causes what can only be described as "a kerfuffle."

Later that night, Rand comes home and gives Billy his gift, which is a Mogwai--sort of a fuzzy Yoda, but younger. Almost immediately after being told the rules, Billy and his family start breaking them, beginning with hurting the Mogwai, now named Gizmo, with a camera flash. The next day, Pete (Feldman) comes by to deliver the Peltzers' Christmas tree and, nearly instantly upon seeing Gizmo, spills water on it, causing five new Mogwai to pop out of its back and grow. But these ones are different. They're mean, and the especially do not care for Gizmo.

The next day, Billy takes one of the new Mogwai to Mr. Hansen (Turman), his old biology teacher, to figure out what these Mogwai are all about. After demonstrating the reproduction by water, Billy leaves the newesst one with Hansen and goes home to be assaulted by his father's inventions. That night, Billy is awakened by the five new Mogwai making noise because they are hungry. After briefly consulting his alarm clock to see that it's not midnight yet, he gives them some cold chicken, which is disgusting to watch them eat. Gizmo, who seems to know better than everyone else in this family, refuses to eat. The next morning, Billy wakes up to find five really gooey pods stuck to his floor. Back at the school, the same thing happens when Mr. Hansen leaves a sandwich too close to the Mowai's cage.

Gah! Kill it with fire!
That afternoon, the pods open up and reveal the transformed Mogwai, which are now green, leathery and  total asshats. They attack Gizmo and throw him down a laundry chute, and then go looking for Billy's mom (McCain). Fortunately, Mrs. Peltzer is as much of a badass as her son isn't, and she quickly dispatches three is the grossest fashion possible. One more attacks her from a hiding space in the Christmas tree, but Billy arrives home just in time to cut its head off with a decorative sword. But before they can catch the last one, which is called Stripe because it retained a shock of white fur when it changed, it jumps out the window and takes off into the city with Billy in pursuit.

Billy tracks Stripe to the local YMCA, where it jumps into the big swimming pool, almost assuredly bringing about the destruction of this tiny, quiet town of Kingston Falls by popping out hundreds of new gremlins. Billy, quite wisely, decides he needs to get the hell out of there and regroup.

You people just don't appreciate these two enough, ya know that?
Across town, Mr. and Mrs. Futterman (Miller and Jones) are attacked by some gremlins that have hijacked Mr. Futterman's tractor, driving it through their house and almost killing them. Everywhere else, things are starting to go haywire. Mrs. Deagle is thrown out a window by her stair chair. A traffic light turns green from all for directions, causing a crash. A mailbox attacks a poor guy just trying to mail out some last minute Christmas cards. And in the local tavern, Dorry's, where Kate volunteers to help the owner save money, a bunch of gremlins have arrived to drink, play cards, and re-enact cheesy scenes from movies and cartoon. For her part, Kate is keeping it together pretty well, considering. She's serving drinks and snacks, but when she is trying to like one of the monsters' cigarette, she notices it shies away from the open flame. Assuming it's the brightness of the flame, she grabs a Polaroid camera from behind the bar and starts firing off pictures, causing the gremlins to scatter as it flashes. Just as the camera craps out on her, Billy arrives in his car to save the day, having stopped home to scoop up Gizmo before seeing if his car will start, headlights blazing, scaring the gremlins out of the bar. Unfortunately, just as they get back in the car, it stalls, and they have to take off running.

The gremlins, however, continue to need to be entertained, so they go to the local theater and watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. When Kate and Billy realize where the gremlins are, they sneak in and open a gas pipe, set a rag on fire, and run like hell just as the theater explodes, frying all the gremlins. Except for Stripe, who had left the building to find more snacks...

Where is he going? Will there be some sort of final showdown between Billy and Stripe, possibly involving forestry equipment? or will Billy have to have his bacon saved by a small, adorable wad of fluff in a Barbie Dream Car? And where is Rand in all this? He couldn't have possibly dropped a potentially town-destroying monster on his family and then ducked out, could he?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Brooke liked the movie and really didn't have anything bad to say about it. She thought Gizmo looked like a Furby, which led to an entire ordeal of trying to find one on eBay, but that didn't make it into the recording. She believes Billy's mom is the real hero in this movie, because she took out those gremlins like a badass.

Mike also liked the movie a lot, despite problems understanding the rating system used on the show. He, too, believes Mrs. Peltzer is a badass, but also adds that Mrs. Deagle is pretty solid, as well, because she is the richest woman in town. He also suggests that this whole movie is basically a remake of It's a Wonderful Life, but with monsters.

Derek liked it, too, but he has a real problem with the gooey substances throughout the movie. If it isn't a gross, sticky close-up of a Mogwai eating, it's one of Rand's inventions spewing out some horrific, viscous goop. It's really quite upsetting. He would like to add that Kate is another movie badass because she keeps it together while dealing with the gremlins at the bar.

So stare into the sun, drench yourself in water, eat a bunch of late night snacks and tune in to this week's episode!

November 28, 2019

The Dark Tower

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Stephen King is, we can all agree, the most prolific horror writer in the world. It's his bread and butter. But every once in a while, he fires off a novel that isn't quite like his usual material. And a surprising number of those have been turned into movies, such as Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, The Running Man (although it is almost impossible to recognize the original story in that movie), and this week's movie, The Dark Tower.

Inspired by Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood and The Lord of the Rings, King has built an eight-book series that follows a gunslinger named Roland through an alternate universe where he must protect the Dark Tower that keeps the multiverse from collapsing in on itself or letting the various realms cross over into other realms. It also ties almost all of King's other books together, as well. It's a pretty complicated thing. Complicated enough to encompass eight books, anyway.

The sexual tension between these two takes up two books by itself!
Fortunately, if you don't have time to read that many books, there's this movie, which stars Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger, Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black (aka Walter), and young Tom Taylor as Jake--a young boy with a special ability that allows him to see what Roland is up to over in his part of the multiverse. There are dozens of other people, but they're barely worth mentioning here.

Jake, age twelve, is Special. Or, as his stepfather Lon (Nicholas Pauling) would say, crazy. He has the Shine, which you might remember from The Shining, another movie/book combo from King's earlier work. Jake has what he believes to be nightmares, where he sees visions of a gunfighter who fights a mysterious Man in Black, who kills the Gunslinger's father. Jake's bedroom walls are covered with sketches of the Gunslinger, the Man in Black, and the Dark Tower, although he isn't quite sure what all of it means, or if it's even real. Jake's mother, Laurie (Katheryn Winnick), and Lon the asshole think that Jake might be dangerous after he beats up a bully (Nicholas Hamilton) that steals his sketchbook. So she contacts a local hospice that immediately sends out a doctor (Eva Kaminsky) and an orderly (Robbie McLean) to come take him away. Jake notices clues, such as the doctor's hand shaking like it's trying to escape her arm and the orderly's face having a seam running around it that suggests it is not his actual face, that cause him to decide to sneak out of the apartment before they can drag him off. The orderly gives chase, only to lose him.

This kid is nothing but trouble.
In the meantime, Jake goes to a location he had dreamed about after checking online to see if anybody recognizes it. Someone does, and they tell him where it is located. When Jake gets there, he finds a run down house that has a surprisingly modern keypad and door at the back. Typing in a number he recalled from his dreams, the door opens a portal into what appears to be another world. After throwing a shoe through to make sure it is safe and then fighting with part of the house's floor, Jake goes through the door and finds himself in the middle of a desert. A quick search around the general area reveals what appears to be a campsite, and Jake finds a canteen full of water, which he drinks immediately, only to stop and find himself face-to-muzzle with the gun of the Gunslinger from his dream, and he does not appear to be pleased.

In the ensuing conversation, Jake tells the Gunslinger that he has been appearing in the boy's dreams, and then shows Roland the sketches. Roland realizes Jake has the Shine and decides to get the boy back home before the Man in Black finds him. He also warns Jake not to use his talent because the Man in Black can use that to track him down. This throws a real wrench into Roland's plan to hunt down the Man in Black and take revenge for killing Roland's father, Steven (Dennis Haysbert). The Man in Black is sending his minions out to collect gifted children so he can plug them into his machine and use their power to attack the Dark Tower. it's sort of how the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal use the Podlings as a source of vitality, but even more murdery and disturbing, because it's not puppets this time.

All this fuss...Over a big, pointy rock.
Roland decides that Jake's visions must mean something, so they head toward a village where a seer can explain them. Along the way, they are attacked by one of the Man in Black's monsters, but Roland shoots it a lot and they get away, although Roland's shoulder is injured by a giant stinger that leaves a pretty large hole. They continue on tot he village, and when the seer touches Jake to see his visions, the Man in Black's minions attack, killing people and setting things on fire like crazy! Roland, itching to shoot something in the face, steps up and does that to just about anything that looks like it is attacking, including an amazing shot from about half a mile away, killing one of the monsters that has grabbed Jake and took off running through the surrounding cornfields.

Back in New York, the Man in Black goes to Jake's home and kills Lon with a simple phrase: "Stop breathing." He then interrogates Laurie and reads her thoughts, seeing Jake's drawings of him, and then berating Laurie for not believing her own son. It does not end well for her.

Kind of a jerk. Also hangs out with dangerously thin women. Weird,
Back in the village, Jake tells Roland there is a portal back to New York, and the villagers activate their own and send the two of them through it, where the emerge in some kind of restaurant. Jake keeps Roland from shooting everybody, and then they go to the hospital to get treatment for Roland's injuries. It's a pretty funny scene, actually, as Roland attempts to explain how he was injured without letting the doctors and nurses know he's from another universe. They then go to Jake's home so Jake can check-in with his mother. What they find is a pile of ashes in Jake's bedroom, and a smiley face with the words "hello there" written on the wall in those same ashes. As a distraction and an attempt to comfort Jake, Roland teaches him how to shoot a gun, while also teaching him the Gunslinger's Creed. As they speak each line, Jake's aim improves, giving him the ability to calm himself enough to make a good shot. If you are expecting this newfound talent to show up later in the film, you will be sorely disappointed.

Having shot some harmless bottles to get out some aggression, Roland needs more ammunition, so Jake takes him to a local gun shop, where Roland sticks his gun in the shopkeeper's face and takes all of his bullets. As they're leaving, the Man in Black shows up and confronts Roland while locking Jake out of the store. Although Roland shoots at the Man in Black, the bullets go right through him because he's not actually there. Roland tells Jake to run, but the boy is almost instantly caught by the Man in Black's goons and taken to their base. Jake sees the code they put in to take him to the base, and he uses his Shine to let Roland know so he can get there, as well. Roland heads back to the portal to rescue Jake.

"I'm gonna shoot a buncha people, is what I'm gonna do!"
But will he make it? Or will the Man in Black vacuum Jake's power out and use it to destroy the Dark Tower? Will there be Gelflings involved? How about Ewoks? Can we get a couple of Ewoks up in here? And will Roland finally be able to face-off with the Man in Black? Who will win?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Jake likes the movie, although he feels like he would have enjoyed it more if he had not read the source material beforehand. Efforts are made to avoid comparing it to the books, but those fail miserably when Derek makes a joke about Roland's lack of a hat. (A sticking point with Jake.)

Derek is blissfully ignorant of the books--he's aware of them, but has not read them. He is, therefore, probably the best possible audience for this film, and absolutely enjoyed it. Well, mostly. His biggest problem with it is all the mumbling. For all the action, everyone sounds really bored.

So fire up your portal, put on your cowboy cosplay costume and tune in to this week's episode!

November 10, 2019

Hercules in New York

To listen/download, click here!

We all love Greek Mythology, right? Sure! Who doesn't! And when you add a young, muscle-bound, heavily-dubbed Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka Arnold "Mr. Universe" Strong) to the mix, as well as human-turtle hybrid Arnold Stang and a loose bear in Central Park, how much better could it possibly get?

The answer, unfortunately, is that it could get so much better. So. Much. Better.

Even a chariot racing through Times Square doesn't help.
Hercules is discontent with just hanging around Mount Olympus. He needs to get out and spread his wings. He needs to meet new people. He needs to dry-hump unsuspecting mortal women in the back of a carriage. And he needs to do it now. So he begs his father, Zeus (Ernest Graves), to let him go down to Earth and interact with the puny humans. Zeus is not keen on the idea, but it turns out that he is not the hardass he is depicted as in all those stories we read in elementary school. Defying his father, Hercules heads out, landing in the ocean, where he is picked up by a fishing vessel and is tasked with tossing other crew members around. He gets to work immediately, but decides to leave the ship when it gets into port in New York.

He is not, however, in a hurry to find any shirts.
The captain of the ship (Rudy Bond) is not too happy with Hercules just wandering off the ship (who will toss the crew around now?!), so he sends some thugs to drag the demigod back. It goes about as well for them as you might expect. And as the fight is happening, a local who sells pretzels on the dock and calls himself "Pretzie" (although it is entirely possible that Pretzie is his given name, because New York is weird) spots Hercules and decides that he needs to befriend this lumbering buttsteak, possibly to work as muscle for him, allowing Pretzie to charge whatever he wants for his pretzels without fear of repercussion. We do not pretend to know Pretzie's motivations, but he is clearly a pretty shifty dude.

After briefly assaulting a forklift, Hercules joins Pretzie in a cab ride through Central park, where they happen to find the Olympic team practicing. Hercules decides that he needs to get in there and show these bozos how to throw a discus and a javelin, and after some brief interaction with the coach, he is allowed to try and, of course, blows them all away with his amazing strength. So much so, in fact, that Pretzie bets one of the athletes fifty bucks, which he doesn't have, that Hercules can do better than their best guys at everything, which he does, of course.

Sure, they look weird together, but the sex is amazing.
In the random crowd watching all of this, Professor Camden (James Karen) and his daughter Helen (Deborah Loomis) see what transpires, and Dr. Camden immediately invites Pretzie and Hercules to tea. For some reason--most likely because it is 1969--Pretzie assumes that, by "tea", Dr. Camden means "drugs, most likely LSD." Pretzie is a weird guy. After Dr. Camden explains that he did not, in fact, offer Pretzie and his beefy, now-shirtless friend hallucinogens, they agree and head back to Pretzie's place to get cleaned up, apparently taking a few minutes to buy an enormous suit and several huge sweaters for Hercules on the way.

When they arrive at Dr. Camden's home, they are greeted by Helen, and Hercules, being a big, dumb lunkhead, immediately offends her. And then Helen's boyfriend Rod (Harold Burstein) shows up, so Hercules asks them if they are lovers, and a sort of fight ensues. Well, not really a fight, as such. Rod, defending Helen's purity, takes a couple of swings at Hercules, who then picks up Rod over his head and shakes him like a British nanny. We learn later that this violent jostling cracked two of Rod's ribs, but only makes him love Hercules more. He's a complex fella.

"Oh no! It appears my shirt has disappeared again and my enormous
pectorals can been seen by everybody! I am so embarrassed!"
Helen, for her part, acts as though every single dumb word that comes spilling out of Hercules' giant head offends her to her core, but only until the next scene, where the carriage cry humping mentioned above takes place. It is not to be consummated, however, because a bear that appears to know how to pick locks breaks out of the Central Park Zoo and goes on a rampage stroll through the park, where he bumps into Hercules and Helen. Hercules jumps out of the carriage to wrestle with the bear, while Helen stays in the carriage and yells, "HIT HIM! BEAT HIM UP!"

Dr. Camden convinces Pretzie that Hercules should get into professional wrestling to pay for more enormous clothing, and Pretzie agrees. Hercules, always happy to toss people around, also agrees and quickly works his way up the ranks. As he gets more popular, some gangsters, led by Artie Lange replicant Maxie (Merwin Goldsmith), pressure Pretzie into signing Hercules' contract over to them. Pretzie does, and immediately falls into a spiral of alcoholism that will, no doubt, shorten his already fragile life significantly.

Back on Mount Olympus, an angry Zeus demands to know where Hercules is and why nobody will listen to him. He first sends Mercury (Dan Hamilton) down to try and talk Hercules into returning. When that fails, he decides to send Nemesis (Taina Elg) to get him back home, but she is stopped by Venus (Erica Fitz), who instead instructs Nemesis to just take Herc's godly powers away from him. Again, defying the Father of the Gods without a second thought, Nemesis goes down to Earth and slips Hercules a roofie while he's out on a date with helen (who, you will recall, is supposed to hate him).

"Somebody bring me my re bar lightning bolts!"
The next day(?), Hercules must meet with another wrestler, Monstro (Tony "Mr. World" Carroll), in a contest. Not a wrestling contest, mind you...It's a weightlifting contest. So both men don their tiniest shorts and lift heavy things until Hercules, now without his super strength, fails to lift one thousand pounds. It is a sad day for Hercules, who throws down his fuzzy robe and stamps his tiny feet with incoherent rage. The gangsters who own his contract now are also angry because they lost a bunch of money on this contest, and a chase ensues. But will Hercules and his friends get away? Will at least one chariot be involved? Will Hercules return home? Or will he stay with Pretzie and blast Helen whenever he can? And what happened to Rod? Also, will Juno (Tanny McDonald) make some sort of sketchy deal with Pluto (Michael Lipton) that will result in Hercules spending a century in Hell?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Jake believes there is nothing redeeming about this movie. He is not wrong. It is garbage. The only way to enjoy it is with friends, so you can make fun of it. And if you do, get the version with Arnold's voice undubbed. Make soft pretzels. Every time he mispronounces his own name, eat a pretzel. It's fun!

Derek also finds nothing of use in this movie. Both were confused by Pretzie's lack of pretzels after his opening scene, and it is never addressed in the rest of the movie. Instead, he becomes as wrestling manager and drinks himself into oblivion. A fitting end, really.

So grease up your pecs, put on some really tiny shorts, and tune in to this week's episode!