Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mondo Trivia: Over-Sexed Rugsucker From Mars

-Courtesy of The Complete Oral History of MST3K...

(Kevin J. ) Murphy: There was one submission called Demon Rugsuckers From Mars, or maybe just Rugsuckers From Mars. [Ed. note: It’s actually titled Over-Sexed Rugsuckers From Mars.] It’s about vacuum cleaners. And there was a scene with this dorky bearded fellow making graphic love to a vacuum cleaner. That was the one time I thought, what the hell am I doing with my life?

That says alot, doesn't it?

Rare Flix: Over-sexed Rugsucker From Mars

Where the hell do I begin?  Well, let's start with the title.  It is Over-Sexed Rugsucker From Mars.  Need I say more?  Probably.  Let's get to the Plot then.  It is about some aliens who come to Earth and plan to make a new Species.  The Species- Half-Human/Half-Vacuum Cleaner.  I'll pause to let you react appropriately.  To that end, they animate a nearby Vacuum.  Through a series of circumstances, it ends up loose in the city and terrorizing some people.  Meanwhile, its original Owner- a homeless man named Vernon- is going through Therapy and a make-over to become a better member of society.  Interesting side-note: this is supposedly one of only 3 Films officially rejected for use on Mystery Science Theater 3000- alongside Child Bride.  Another thing to note is the Director- Michael Paul Girard.  His Filmography- from 1989 to 2006- includes this Film, previous review Getting Lucky, a Witchcraft sequel, a bunch of softcore Porn and...Operation Dalmatian: The Adventure.  It is all kinds of random!  So is this Film, so that makes sense.  To find out more (you know you want to!), read on...
Some stop-motion Aliens (looking worse than in Laserblast) land on Earth by a homeless man.  They think that the Earth is too dirty (note their size), so they plan to make a new Species.
They animate the man's Vacuum and he proceeds to well, you know, do stuff.
While all of this silliness is happening, we meet our terrible Lead.  He hates his wife and his life, but loves to oggle the neighbor lady.  He even sabotages her car to force her to carpool with him!
While he's in the Shower (watching the neighbor again), the new Vacuum he bought- the animated one- attacks and kills his wife.  It is silly.
He is arrested- after he survives his attack- and put on trial for killing his wife.  This makes the neighbor lady feel...bad for him...somehow.
Speaking of her, she is attacked and...um, violated by the same Vacuum.  Since she hasn't had sex with her new-age boyfriend, she knows it knocked her up!  That sucks for you!
She stands up for our 'hero' at the Trial, but nobody believes the 'killer vacuum' idea.  Things change when she gives birth in Court...but I won't SPOIL what the baby looks like.
After some utter silliness involving two men chasing each other via shopping carts, the Vacuum is killed (I guess) and then the Aliens (in their SIMON Ship) take the baby/thing.
In the wrap-up, our 'hero' sells a book, the neighbor lives happily and...the homeless man kills himself.  Funny?  The End.
This is dumb.  This is really dumb.  This is Troma dumb.  I'm almost surprised that they didn't buy and release this one.  If you can get past that, it has some funny moments and ideas.  If you like that kind of thing, you are definitely the person that this Film was made for.  The whole idea is silly from the get-go.  The Title will scare most people away.  Getting around all of that, I can't say that I had no fun with this.  It felt like a silly labor of love for those involved.  It is still not the kind of Film that I really like all that much though.  It is stupid.  It is ridiculous.  It is a very niche Film that my site probably isn't complete without.   All 4 of you that know it have probably been going 'when is he going to do this one?'  Well, I did.  I got it as a Christmas Present, which says alot about me.  The lesson: no matter how weird you are, some guy is probably married to a Sheep.
Next up, I cover a Film that has eluded me for nearly a Decade.  Can El Santo defeat the King of the Vampires?  Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Zoned Out: Act Break

On this Saturday, let's find out the answer to an age-old mystery courtesy of...
In this Tale, a man gets a wish in a weird way.  The only thing weirder is what happens next!
Our Hero- the guy on the left- is a poor Playwright pestered for rent by Mario here.
He goes home and starts working with his partner.  They get really passionate about their work.

So passionate, in fact, that our hero barely realizes that his friend just had a heart attack!
Now here's where things get odd.  His dying friend hands our hero an amulet, which he explains that he got from some Buddhist Monks.  Its power: granting one wish.
Instead of using it to heal his friend, our hero wishes that he had the perfect writing partner!

He's suddenly not in his Apartment and he looks different.
He does get a new partner: William Shakespeare!

He lets slip that he knows about the man's plays, so the Bard wants to know more.
Inadvertently, Shakespeare grabs the amulet and says that 'He wishes that he would tell him about the Plays.'  This makes his wish come true and now our hero is magically-forced to write all of the plays (which he now knows line for line).  The End.
Eegad- this is weird!  The whole thing is not played seriously, so it kind of works.  How did a New York Playwright end up helping some Monks and receive a magical amulet?  How does it work?  Why did his vague wish send him to the time of Shakespeare and transform him?  It doesn't make much sense, but whatever.  That is kind of the point, I think.  It is goofy and ridiculous.  Besides that, it is well-acted.  It is worth noting that the same guy who plays our hero's partner also plays Shakespeare in this, adding a Peter Pan-like element to this.  If you like silly, light-hearted Tales, this is for you.  If you like your Twilight Zone to just be serious, you won't.  I'll take care of that itch next week.  For now, let's just enjoy the fact that we solved the mystery that Frontline first examined back in 1989...
Next week, let me show you the opposite side of the spectrum with a serious Segment.  When is a test a matter of life and death?  Stay tuned...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Top Ten Gripes About...Devil's Due (2014)

I was going to do a more formal Review for this one, but all 4 of you that read my Facebook Posts will know how much it aggravated me.  So, instead, let me do something I haven't done since I saw Night of the Living Dead 3-D: Re-Animation.  This should hopefully make me feel better...
1. The Footage Mix: The Film is allegedly a Found Footage one, but includes their Footage, CCTV Footage from a Grocery Store, Security Cam Footage from a Parking Lot, someone else's Camera Footage, Police Interrogation Room Footage and Footage from the Sister.

2. Is This Found Footage?: Aside from the cheats above, the Film plays out like these normally do.  However, there is no Intro to explain what happened with the Footage, nor does the narrative make sense if someone Found it.  Everything is on tape!
3. It Took You This Long?: A key piece of Footage is on the original Camera (with Edits around it), but our hero doesn't see it until...his wife is 8 months pregnant.  It took you that long to watch your own Vacation Footage?!?  You didn't show it to anyone before that?!?   Speaking of which...

4. Blatant Cheating: In the aforementioned Scene, the Hero watches the freaky footage.  He calls as friend to come over and see it.  While he's away answering the door, the Footage (and the Hard Drive vanishes).  The problem:

There is a Camera pointed at the Computer (from the back) the whole time, but we never see that Footage!  You can't establish a Camera, act like it isn't there and then remember 20 seconds later!  How is that fair?!?

5. The Deer Scene: Some folks find a dead Deer in a Park.  A moment later, they find another one- this time with the pregnant wife digging into it.  When the people talk to her, she start to throw them around like Jean Grey!
6. Who's Footage?:  Speaking of that ridiculous bit, all of them (but the wife- obviously) are killed and the camera ends up in their Car.  Who Found this Footage?  Who Edited it together with the Film?  Who, dammit?!?

7. Still Confusion: Since I didn't watch this on regular DVD, I couldn't take Caps.  I found this one of the Trailer moment where the baby stretches the sleeping mom-to-be's stomach.  How does she sleep through this?

The bigger issue: the Scene takes place in reverse in the Footage, so this shot is from the Trailer?  Why is the Scene reversed from the Trailer to Film?
8. Cult Flick?: A bunch of this Film features footage apparently shot by the Cult behind...whatever this is about.  So did they release this?

9. Girl Cam: It didn't really work in The Last Exorcism, but is even worse here.  So one bit involves a kid at a Party taking the Camera and running afoul of the pregnant lady.  So did she tell anyone?  Is this all the same Hard Drive?
10. Most Cliche Sequel Bait Ever?: I won't SPOIL how the Ending plays out- although the movie begins with the guy being interrogated about the death of his wife, so...you know- but I will comment on the final part of the Ending.

In Ending Cliche #4, we get a couple in Paris on their Honeymoon being picked up by the Taxi Driver who picked up our Leads in Mexico.  It happens again!  On the plus side, at least it wasn't our Leads picking the couple up.

I feel a little better now.
 I could go on, but I think that I've made my point.  This movie sucks.  It is a Found Footage Film in which the Footage doesn't ever appear to be found.  This Film cheats- that's the bottom line.  The only way that this could be any less 'Found Footage' would be if it was a Book...
Just a coincidence, but thanks anyways, Google.  Having seen many of these Films, this is one of the most annoying.  For all that is Holy, please avoid!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heavenly Flix?: Gabriel (2007)

Angels in the Underworld.  Today's Film is Gabriel, a 2007 Action Film that came bundled with Legion and Priest.  Is it remotely as famous as those Films?  Nope.  This is the 'What else do we have?' Film in the bundle.  It is like how I got the Puppet Master Films (minus the last one) bundled with the Killjoy Films.  Why not?  So what is this Film?  Well, it is a bunch of pretentious nonsense to set up some Action Scenes.  Too judgemental?  Alright, alright.  In Purgatory, there is a battle between Angels in human forms and...you can see why I wanted to stick with the first explanation right.  The thing about this is that it feels very reminiscent of another Film: Underworld.  You'll see what I mean as this Review progresses.  This whole thing is...meh, but I will expand upon that.  They might be a bit lazy here, but I won't be.  To find out if this blows like Gabriel's horn or just plain blows, read on...
I won't go into this convoluted back-story too much, so here's the gist...

There are bunch of Angels in Purgatory- which looks post-apocalyptic- fighting for...Earth, maybe?
So our hero is an enigmatic person double-fisting guns and fighting dirty-looking people.  Throw in the blue filter- a common trend, mind you- and this looks like Underworld.
Well, at least there aren't any Vampires in this one...
...oh, never mind.

All kidding aside, Gabriel tracks down a woman and restores her memory.  She is also an Angel stuck here and doesn't exactly want his help (at least when nobody is trying to kill her).
When it is not about people talking quietly about its confusing back-story, the Film loves silly stuff like Bullet Cam.  Is there a point to this?
They also throw in an explosion or two, but that is a given.
After losing many of his friends, Gabriel makes a final stand against the villain: Sammael.
Naturally, it is raining during their final showdown.

It is also perpetual night- since everyone loves to copy Blade Runner.
After killing Sammael, but getting wounded in the process, Gabriel...jumps off of a building.  Um?  Uh.  Okay then.  The End?
This isn't all that terrible, but it does almost nothing to stand out.  Once you get past the bizarre Plot, this is just a mishmash of things that you've seen before.  The Action looks like Underworld and/or The Matrix.  The setting looks like Blade Runner crossed with Gotham City.  The Acting is not that great/impressive either, so there's not much to be interested in.  Nothing terrible here- just nothing really interesting or great.  More forgiving fans of Action might like this better.  More forgiving fans of Stories like this might like it better too.  As for me, it is a middle-of-the-road Film with high hopes, but not much in the way of results.  On the plus side, I know that this guy is wide-awake...
Next up, I'll steal a line from Michael Cole as we switch gears in the most dramatic way possible.  Let's check out a Film about Vacuum Cleaner Rapists.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Crazy Youth: The Time That A 'Dinosaur' Got Super-Powers

Who all remembers Dinosaurs?  Come on- you know that you do!  From 1991 to 1994, ABC ran this show Produced by Brian Henson- but conceptualized by Jim Henson- that was a riff on classic Sitcoms...only with Dinosaurs.  That was it.  Simple in concept, but hard in execution.  The Show managed to be Political in a subversive way at times and even a bit META at others.  Thanks to Netflix, the Show is more widely-available now than it probably was then.  Looking back it at, I can see alot more going on.  Mind you, I was 11 years old when the Show originally stopped running.  Reliving the Show, there is bizarre stuff on there.  There is an Episode dealing with Sexual Harassment, one with controversial Science and even one dealing with Tort Reform.  No, really.  In this Episode, they deal with Commercialism and Hero Worship.  How can this get any weirder?  Super-powers- that's how!  You know that you want to keep reading...
Earl is upset that his Baby- the Baby- worships and adores a TV Superhero.  Even when he gets put in charge of disposing of Toxic Waste, it is still the same.
Falling in said Waste (see the Title Card) gives him the ability to fly, shoot heat rays from his eyes and...guess people's weight accurately.

He becomes Captain Impressive and now the kid loves him...but his identity must remain a secret.
Just look at that and let it sink in for a minute.  It sure is...something, right?
When he accidentally reveals his powers near his Boss, Earl is forced to do deeds for his company.  After all, it was apparently in the Contract!
He begins doing ads for the Company, which makes him lose his kids' respect.  In the last straw, he's made to go on an HSN-like Channel to schill unsafe toys like the Trachea Plug.
He reveals his identity and later takes a shower, which washes off the toxic waste that gave him his powers.

In the aftermath, he gives Baby a toy that is just him (and not Captain Impressive).  When he's not looking, he plays with it.  Aww.
Damn- this is weird!  The whole thing uses a silly idea- a Dinosaur getting super-powers from Toxic Waste- to talk about some important stuff.  Kids do tend to worship larger than life characters at the expense of their loved ones.  Companies will do anything to market to Children.  Corrupt people will do anything to make money.  This is all true.  If you just say that, you won't get to too many people.  You need to find a fun and interesting way to do it.  Giving a talking Dinosaur super-powers is certainly one way to do it!  There really was alot more going on in this Show than I knew at the time!  This is weird, wacky and it kind of works.  If you can look past the technical wizardry (remember that this was a TV Show in the early 1990s) behind the Show, there was actually some deep stuff going on with Dinosaurs.  Hey Internet- let's see if we can make this into a Meme...
This is seriously weird, but also has some good points.  Watch this while all 4 Seasons are on Streaming.

Infamous Films: Supergirl

Ah yeah, this is (the) shit!  Today's Film is Supergirl, the Film that the Salkinds couldn't salvage.  Based on recent experiences of mine, it is clear that not enough people know about the Salkind Family and what they did for Superman- right and wrong.  Basically, they ended up as Producers with the rights to the Character for awhile.  They Produced the first 3 Superman Films, basically dumped the 4th one on Cannon Films, made this Film, made the Superboy TV Show and even have an Executive Producer Credit on Superman Returns!  So yeah, they were pretty influential- you can decide in what way.  After Superman II, they though about branching out and reaching a new market.  The result- Supergirl.  In this Film, Kara is forced to leave Argo City to return a life-or-death item.  Naturally, she starts out doing that...and then enrolls in College for no good reason.  Meanwhile, the item is in the hands of...a Witch?  This is an odd one.  I should also note that I'm reviewing the Director's Cut, a Version so important that it was hidden in a Film Can marked 'Do Not Use' for nearly 30 years!  It is the definitive Version though, so let's go for it!  To find out if this deserves the infamy it has or is actually good, read on...
Somewhere in Space (don't ask for details) lies Argo City, a land where many Kryptonians are still living.  Their most famous inventor is Peter O'Toole here.
He makes the mistake of letting Kara do something and she manages to lose the city's other power source!  Within 10 minutes, she manages to doom her people!

Wow- way to build her up!
The object ends up on Earth, so Kara follows it in O'Toole's ship.  It ends up in the hands of Faye Dunaway- who is a Witch seeking power.

Naturally, this alien battery helps her cast spells...
After learning that she has powers (which she should know if she has been watching her cousin Superman) and seeing some girls in School, she changes her clothes and hair color...somehow to become Linda Lee.

Here's another weird thing: her roommate is Lucy Lane- Lois' Sister!
Now empowered greatly, Dunaway and her friend see a random Landscaper and decide to cast a Love Spell on him.

That's...that's your only goal right now?
It gets better!

When the guy wanders away before he can see Dunaway again (to fall in love), he wanders into Town...so she animates a Forklift to catch him.  Supergirl springs into action and he ends up seeing her first.

Upset, Dunaway now wants to kill Supergirl/Kara.  That is her only motivation to do so!
After a few failed attempts, Dunaway manages to capture Supergirl and send her to the Phantom Zone...somehow.  Was that place just public knowledge after the events of Superman II?

In there, she runs into O'Toole- who sent himself there as a penance- and they must find a way back.
They do, leading to a final showdown with Dunaway.  It looks bleak at first when Supergirl seems to forget that she can fly for a while.

She eventually remembers, leading to Dunaway summoning the source of her powers.  Tres freaky!
Supergirl manages to beat Dunaway by...flying around her to make a small tornado.  Sure- why not?

In the aftermath, she just flies back (without her ship!) to Argo City and...that's it, huh?  K.  The End.
This is pretty damn silly.  I have a soft spot for silly, over-the-top stuff like this though.  I like Tank Girl.  I kind of like Bates Motel.  I like Action Jackson.  Let's look at this fairly though.  The Story is just plain weird.  A Superman spin-off involving a Witch, invisible monsters (the one with lightning being shot at it) and a Cthulhu-style monster- huh?!?!?  A Superman spin-off with no appearance from Christopher Reeve- nice.  Apparently, there was talk about him making a Cameo, but that didn't happen.  Instead, you get a bit of Radio Exposition explaining that he's '70 Trillion Light Years away at a Galactic Peace Summit.'  Really, guys?  In the first 2 Films, he never left Earth and we only saw Kryptonians, so...how did this make sense?  The only real connection to the Franchise is Jimmy Olsen appearing here.  Mind you, his role involves him going to the small town to hit on Lois Lane's sister- creepy, right?  One thing that is really surprising is the caliber of people that are actually in this one.  Faye Dunaway.  Peter O'Toole.  Mia Farrow.  Peter Cook.  Wow- just wow.  The Special Effects are decent at times and not so good at others.  The Rear Projection work is a bit iffy and the use of wires is not that subtle.  The whole thing is especially silly in how it treats its female characters.  Consider this: there are 6 Comic Book Superhero Films with Female Leads.  Out of those 6, only two of them have Female Leads and Female Villains.  In Catwoman, the Villain is a Trophy Wife who works for a Make-Up Company.  In Supergirl, it is a Witch who spends the majority of the Film pining over some guy she just saw once.  Wow.  We'll see how Wonder Woman turns out.  In the meantime, check out this amusing time-capsule of a Film if you like the goofy stuff.  Just watch your skirt as you land...
Next up, another Film about an Angel courtesy of the 3-Film Set.  Let's just pray that this turns out alright.  Stay tuned...