Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carny (2009)

So there I was, minding my own business, when Nancy comes in and produces a new bad movie: Carney (2009)! Now, she had noticed this movie when watching the previews to another one of the Maneater Series and she wanted to see it. Frankly, the previews do make it look entertaining and I was on board for yet another bad movie marathon but, as the bard says, "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions" (Hamlet Act IV, Scene V). Still, I do enjoy bad movie night with Nancy even if the movie is a little...tragic. Lets get to it!

A creepy carnival boss finds a new attraction and pays for it with blood! Soon afterward, he brings his eerie carnival to a small New Mexican town.

"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous" (Julius Caesar Act I, Scene II).

The bored local sheriff (Lou Diamond Phillips) rides out the carnival to check the permits.

"Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast". (Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene III).

All the permits seem to be in order and the motley crew of carnies that accompany the show sure don't disappoint!

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair"(Macbeth Act I, Scene I).

As our intrepid hero walks the grounds, the fair and enchanting medium catches more than just the sheriff's eye. Ah! Young.. er.. middle-aged love!

"Who wooed in haste, and means to wed at leisure" (The Taming of the Shrew Act III, Scene II; I know, its not a tragedy but I like this play).

Soon the ferocious star attraction--the mythical Jersey Devil--breaks loose and sets off on a murderous, blood-soaked rampage!

"Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war!" (Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I).

As the body count rises, the sheriff forms a team to hunt down the insatiable killer. Even so, the evil head carny will do anything to capture the beast and save it from destruction in order to sell it on the black market.

"Et tu, Brute!" (Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I).

Even as the trap is set, the evil head carny learns (a little too late) that the Jersey Devil ain't havin' any!

"The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief" (Othello Act I, Scene III).

Now the community's only hope is gather the remaining carnies for one last show(down) to destroy the devil and send him back to hell! Oooh! Scary!!

"O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright" (Romeo and Juliet Act I, Scene V).

Yeah, this movie has some issues: (1) the CGI is bad, really bad. (2) Why exactly is there a love story? They seem to try but, like in Romeo and Juliet, they never seem to catch a break. Oh, and it seems so contrived--as if they need to fill an extra five minutes in the script. And (3) would someone just slap the preacher? Come on!

Still, the acting isn't too bad and there are a couple of scary moments in spite of the script. Over all, it is probably better than the contrived play in Hamlet (I hate that play; I mean, just stab him, will you? Stop trying to be all cute and coy! But I digress..). Its worth a $.49 rental on a Sunday afternoon--especially if you should be working.

Rating: 2.5 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ice Spiders (2007)

Uh-oh! Its time again for another bad movie review! Yes, I owe a paper to Liz and yes, I owe a peer review on a paper that may be published and yes, I do have the dissertation looming but hey! Procrastination prevails and you get to suffer through a review of the latest lamest in a string of bad movies to plague us all.

Nancy and I sat down to watch Ice Spiders which she found in the $2 bin of that closing video store. Now, she has been licking her chops at the chance to watch a bad movie with me that has evil spiders in it. Why? I suffer from a mild case of arachnophobia (btw--another good, bad movie) which she finds amusing. Nancy, why do you hate the handicapped? Still, we watched it and I survived (mostly unscathed) with only mild nightmares. Fortunately, the spiders were so unrealistic that my nightmares centered on a wasted $2 and sooo many cheeseburgers and... well... this ain't Dr. Phil so we had better get to the review.

A young ski team training for the Olympics arrives at the remote and isolated Lost Mountain Ski Resort (yeah.. that's good writin' there, Lou!) to focus on training. Hey! It's all about the children, right?

Dude! I, like, rock and stuff!

They're thrilled, THRILLED I tell you, to discover that a retired Olympic skier (named Dash for God's sake) is there to help them train.

Hi! I'm Dash Dashiell; all-around Man of Action!

Alas! Their skiing plans hit the skids when a scientist, dressed in pink, from a nearby secret lab arrives to warn them of trouble (that starts with "T" and rhymes with "P"... etc.) to come.

The Pink Scientist warns the hill folk

Meanwhile, someone is looking over the menu...

Mmmm... Stoners...

Soon, everyone realizes that a top secret Government project has escaped and lunch is served!

Nom, nom, nom, nom...

Dash has to cowboy-up and he ain't havin' any!

Gittin' it done with the tools at hand!

Panic ensues as giant spiders run amok!

Gonna getcha!

It's all up to Dash to lead the eight-legged menace away so everyone else can escape their webs of doom! Exciting, ain't it!

Shelob on yer six!

Yeah, this movie has issues. First, the acting is pretty bad; not Sharks in Venice bad, but still pretty bad. Second, the special effects are bad; not Sharks in Venice bad, but still pretty bad. And third, the dialogue is really blase and trite. Not... well you get the picture: Sharks in Venice is BAD and this movie is only slightly better. Still, it does have a couple scary moments and The Pink Doctor is almost believable. Its worth a $.49 rental if you are dodging your dissertation.

Rating: 2.5 Bites out of 5.

-Safari Bob

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dog Soldiers (2002)

So yesterday Nancy and I were both feeling like we needed a break from work. She had just finished an academic conference that she helped plan and execute and I was working on another revision of my IRB proposal. Now, if you don't know what an "IRB proposal" is, then please allow me to congratulate you on your good fortune and superior wisdom. If you do know what this is then you certainly have my most heart-felt and sincere condolences. In any event, suffice it to say that both Nancy and I were feeling spent and we needed a break from the usual joys, rigors and tribulations of academia; in short, we needed some mind-numbing, non-productive, time-wasting, potato chip-munching, vacuous escapist schlock-fest movie watching! So we popped Dog Soldiers into the DVD player and got down to it! I found this movie at the local Wal-Fart for $7.50--a little expensive for the usual schlock fare--and it delivered. Kudos to Mr. Roper for the recommendation!

A band of British soldiers, stationed in Scotland, is dispatched deep into a remote forest to participate in war games. They soon stumble on the remains of a rival team and realize that something is amiss.

"Who ordered the liver?"

Suddenly, it becomes apparent that they are not the only ones hunting in the woods.

That ain't a gorilla in the mist!

Fleeing the mysterious masters of murder and mayhem, the soldiers hole-up in a fortuitous and recently abandoned farmhouse. They soon get a few visitors.

Avon Lady!

Something, not human nor animal but all deadly, has followed the squad and they ain't havin' any!

Sit Ubu sit! Good dog!

Dawn is only a few hours away but time is short as the soldiers fight for their lives! Ooooh! Scary!

This is one of the best werewolf movies I have seen. The dialogue is great (there are some truly funny lines throughout the movie), the special effects are fairly realistic, and the fight scenes are all good. What truly sets it apart, however, is the movie really sets and keeps an eerie mood throughout that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this film if you love horror and/or werewolf flicks; it is worth buying to watch and re-watch for years to come.

Rating: 4.5 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pterodactyl (2005)

Ah yes! Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your computer, it is time for another bad movie review! Last night, Nancy and I sat down to watch another movie: Pterodactyl. She found this movie in the $2 bin of that same closing video store and it might actually have been worth the price paid. When I saw the title, I was all ready to watch some dinosaur-driven grade A schlock! I mean, this movie stars Coolio of Dracula 3000 fame. Aw yeah! Schlock is in the air! Now, lets get to it.

Deep in the heart of the Turkish forest lies Mt. Ararat (yeah, the same mountain where Noah is supposed to land the ark), a dormant volcano that holds a deadly, prehistoric secret that has been sleeping for millions of years.

"Hello my honey, hello my baby.."

After an earthquake rocks the region, a paleontologist (Professor Lovecraft.. Mountain of Madness nod?), who is desperate to publish, leads a team of graduate students to investigate. Yeah, I know. Why a paleontologist to investigate an earthquake? How the hell should I know? Makes no sense to me either. The do need AAA, however.

Unbeknown to the paleontologists, a military expedition lead by Captain Bergen (aka Coolio) is on the hunt for a dangerous terrorist. They soon find the hapless, stranded scientists and are forced to take them along.

I'll show you Sumpin' New!

Soon, they realize that they must rely on each other if they are going to survive a new threat:


Now they have to avoid death from above while they make their way out of the the forest below! Exciting, ain't it?

Yeah, this movie has some real issues: (1) What are paleontologists doing out investigating the affects of an earthquake? (2) They have a rocket launcher that shoots rockets that the flock leader can dodge in flight. They find him sleeping on a cliff but wait all night until he's awake before they try to shoot him? What the Frijoles? and (3) Mid-way through the movie, the special-ops team blows up the only working Jeep--just because they can! Why not ride it out of the forest?

Still, it is an OK schlock-fest. The special effects are alright (except the dino eggs hatching), the dialogue is not too bad overall, and the fight scenes are pretty good. It's worth the $.49 rental fee to watch on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Rating: 2 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Name is Bruce (2007)

Oh, HELL yeah! It's time for a new bad movie review and next up is one from The King! Bruce Campbell is simply the King of B-Movies and, if I must be honest, my personal hero. When I heard about his new movie My Name is Bruce, I knew that I would soon be wasting.. er.. investing another two hours (well, 84 minutes) of my life in B-movie bliss! Yeah, the dissertation would have to wait. It's OK; it's not like my committee reads my blog (or DO they...). Anyways, lets get you caught up!

Something evil is stirring in the small mining town of Gold Lick, and it is NOT happy! Local teens, who are bored and hormonal (as ever) get to jacking around in an old Chinese cemetery and awaken an ancient evil: Guan-di, the Chinese Protector of the Dead and Bean Curd!

"You kids get offa my lawn!"

Now, Guan-di is on a bloody crusade to wipe out the small town's population and reek his hellish vengeance on the locals for their ancestor's abuse of the Chinese immigrants. What can the good citizens of Gold Lick do? Time to call in the big guns!

Shanghaied by the locals and rather clueless, Bruce Campbell believes that he is filming his latest B-movie masterpiece as he leads what's left of the locals against the deadly deity of late-dynastic doom!

Reality (Ha!) soon sets in for Bruce when he realizes that this is not Hollywood and that ain't a rubber polearm comin' at him! Daddy needs to cowboy-up!

Gratuitous Chainsaw Sighting--FTW

This is a great bad movie that has some truly laugh-out-loud moments! I love how his life is depicted and the special effects are pretty good. Heck, the insider chuckles at his past movie and TV portfolio alone are worth the rental price. Get it, grab some popcorn and enjoy!

My favorite quote of the movie: "Consider yourself officially exempt from my wrath sweetcakes, and if you're lucky a little later I'll let you play with my boomstick." Hail to the King, baby!

Rating: 4 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Snakeman aka The Snake King (2005)

Ah yes! It is time for another trek through the bad movie section of your local video store! This installment is of a movie so nice, they named it twice: Snakeman aka The Snake King starring your buddy and mine, Stephen Baldwin. Oh yes, fresh off of our review of Sharks in Venice--and the role Stephen Baldwin was born to play--we are going to have a look at Anaconda.. er.. Snakeman! Yeah, Snakeman... definiately NOT Anaconda... yeah...

Incidentally, have you ever performed a Google search for "Snakeman"? Whew! You get some really strange pictures I can assure you. I mean, I expected to find pictures of Jake "The Snake" Roberts, but THIS guy?

It's Important to Floss!

Anyway, lets get to the review.

In a remote corner of the Amazon (um.. not the e-store but the jungle), a team of archaeologists discover a perfectly preserved corpse of an ancient warrior who lived to be over 300 years old. Gentech (aka Big Pharma wannabe), sends a team of its top scientists to discover the secret. Now, everyone knows that scientists are not well versed in jungle survival, so what do they do? They call in the big guns!

Hi. I'm a manly man; just ask me.

When a violent storm forces their helicopter to crash in the jungle, the exploration team runs into the local Welcome Wagon--and they ain't havin' any!

"This land is our land, this land ain't your land..."

Lost and on the run, our band of intrepid explorers soon discover a terror previously unknown to modern man...

That ain't Lady Gaga (um.. I think) on yer six!

Soon, the snakey-sultan-of-slaying gets to work and supper is served!

Hey! Personal space!

As the decimated band of scientists flee the pursuing carnage, they come face-to-face with the tribe that holds the secret to both serpentine death and eternal life! Exciting, ain't it!

Overall, this movie is not too bad. The special effects are ok and there are a few scary moments. Still, it does get a little preachy at the end (you know, evil modern man against the noble savage and all). It is worth the rental price just to see Stephen Baldwin get smacked around a bit.

Rating: 2 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

(The only trailer I could find is German; it's actually an improvement)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009)

Oh yes, folks! It is time for another installment of Bad Movie Safari! Today we are going to watch bad clips of
Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus! Now, I know what you are saying... "No! Not another bad movie review! I mean, don't you have a dissertation or something to write?" Ah yes, O' Gentle Reader, but I also know deep in the places you don't like to talk about that you want me on that need me on that wall.. Besides, if I were not writing these movie reviews I may actually have to do some work. Who needs that? Now let's get to it!

Millions of years ago, two titans are frozen in a glacier during mortal combat! The U.S. Navy, while experimenting with new sonar technology, accidentally releases the gigantic terrors from their icy prison and upon the world! Soon, carcasses of whales begin to surface and this attacks the attention of a renegade marine biologist (80's Pop-Star Deborah Gibson) who now believes that the world is fracked. Yeah, I know, but stay with me here.

Yay! I made pee-pee!

Soon, the world takes notice as all the coastlines are being terrorized by the deadly denizens of the deep, dark past!

Nom, nom, nom!

Not to be out done by his arch-nemesis, Evil Octopus decides to one-up ole Megashark and open a can of delicious whoop-ass on the US Navy!

Everyone needs a hobby!

Megashark says, "I see your nuclear submarine and raise you... A 767 AIRLINER!"

Evil Octopus looks on with envy at Megashark and says, "Oh no, you didn't! It's ON like DONKEY KONG!"

Aha! Take THAT! And THAT!

Overall, this movie is pretty good. It does drag in places and it does star mega-bore Lorenzo Lamas. Frankly, there are some really ridiculous moments (like the Megashark gettin' on that airliner). Still, it does have some surprisingly good twists. For instance, Debbie Gibson's character does fall for someone in the movie but its not Lamas' character; she actually falls for the nerdy Japanese scientist! Also, the special effects are not that bad for the budget. It is worth the rental fee just to laugh at Lamas trying to be all butch.

Rating: 2 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sasquatch Hunters (2005)

So the other night Nancy and I decided to match a movie--a bad movie mind you--and I pulled out Sasquatch Hunters. Nancy found this for $2 in bin at the closing video store and it was almost worth it. You know, I am old enough to remember the "bigfoot" craze of the '70's. He was everywhere! Everyone knew someone who knew someone who saw one once! Hell, he was even on The Six Million Dollar Man! Ah yes... good times... Now, let's get to it.

Four forest rangers lead two paleontology professors and their graduate student deep into the forests of Pacific Northwest in search of fossil evidence of a large creature that once existed in China. Yeah, another Chinese import scare.

As our intrepid heroes make their way deeper into the dense forest, they soon discover a graveyard filled with strange inhuman bones - the fabled Lost Sasquatch Graveyard of Death! Oh, and the caretaker ain't havin' any!

Luckily, they brought along Ranger Rick (Matt Lattimore aka the Tool Guy) to lead them out of the deadly deathtrap of Sasquatch death! Oooh! Scary!

The Tool Guy Gettin' it Done!

Yeah, this movie has issues: (1) they spent approximately $33 to have your neighbor's son make a 3 second CGI clip of a running Sasquatch that they use and reuse again, and again, and again, (etc.), (2) why did they need so many rangers to lead three people on a 2-day hike (apart from body count)? and (3) since when does Sasquatch dig pits? I mean, where did he get a shovel? Home Depot?

Still, this movie does have its moments. I love the monkey suits and watch out for bear traps! It's worth a cheap rental.

Rating: 1.5 Bites out of 5

-Safari Bob