T-Fest 2012: The Rev.

Editor Ken: It should be noted that the Rev. has been sending me pieces a lot faster than they’ve been going up. Notice this one is for T-Fest 2012. In the future, I’ll just post them (more or less) immediately.

Humongous Hooters, Hoses and Horror– Reflections on T-Fest 2012

Oh look, another fest report you can read long after the event!  Who’s surprised?

Our annual exercise in cinematic pain was held in a different location this go-round, as Sandy’s office was unavailable.  It ended up being moved to Sandy’s home, which I’d thought was a lot farther from me than it was.  Granted, I’d only been there once before, but I was certain it was just outside an hour from me, rather than the 35 or so minutes it actually took.

Well, would have taken, had I not wasted 13 minutes (I actually timed it) stuck in a line of cars trapped by one of those charity walks for cancer.  I knew it was going on, but forgot about it completely; and even had I remembered, I didn’t think it’d come that far east.  Combined with my unavoidable late start, I was nearly the last to arrive.  The warm welcome I got melted away my irritation, and I took one of the last seats left, right next to Kirk and Patty.

Who else was there?  Good question!  Along with Kirk, Patty, and the returning Rachel and Sheepie, the attendees included Jason, Mason (who will never be able to not wear his Billy Jack shirt to one of these, it seems), Arthur, Cody, Reed, Guy, Frank, Matt, Samantha and Travis, Black Chad and Sara, the even-later-than-I Angela and Rich, and of course Ken and Sandy, our hosts for this day of horror.

Fair warning:  I know Ken tries to keep it clean around here, and I try my best (not always succeeding) to follow suit, but I’m warning you all right now:  there will be swearing in this write-up because HOLY SHIT THEY INFLICTED SOME TERRIBLE F*CKING THINGS ON US.

Anyway, I had missed half of the first movie by the time I arrived, but I lucked out:  I’d seen it before, and I hadn’t missed a goddamn thing anyway.

Jungle Hell

AKA “Stock Footage A-Go-Go” or “Stock Footage Hell.”  Sabu and some white people do very little, while a UFO does even less, except make us hope the movie’s going to get interesting.

I don’t think I’m going to waste much time on this.  Sabu and the white devils walk around and point at stock footage.  Once in a while a UFO that looks like a slightly squashed, radioactive Hershey’s Kiss™ flies overhead.  Occasionally it shines a spotlight on the Earth below.  I guess they’re supposed to be harvesting some sort of radioactive mineral they left there long ago to age. 

No, I can’t tell you the logistics on how that works, or even how it can be profitable.  It doesn’t help that I don’t give a rat’s ass about anything that happens in this movie, except for seeing the poor elephants with their rubbed-raw legs from being regularly tied up. 

Poor pachyderms!  Amusingly, the elephants often make a noise that sounds just like the Deadly Mantis in flight.  Why they would dub this in, rather than going with elephants’ regular, interesting sounds is beyond me.  There’s also a bad guy, because there always is, who ends up fighting a tiger (which is being controlled by the aliens) to their mutual demise. 

The fight against the stuffed tiger, badly cut in with actual tiger footage, is about the only fun you get from this crappy movie.  Oh, right, Sabu and his white buddy also wrestle a stuffed panther, which is also intercut with actual panther footage.  Honestly, Ken’s life-and-death struggle with Sheepie at this time was more realistic and tense. 

Still, if they’d added a few more fights against stuffed animals, this movie would’ve been so much better.  If they’d also cut out all the stock footage, and not bothered pretending the UFO had any damn reason to be there, it would’ve been a classic, not to mention 70 percent shorter. 

You wouldn’t think drastic shortening would be necessary with a movie that’s about 78 minutes long, but holy hell does this thing draaaaaaaaag.  If you really want to know more, go dig up Ken’s review; as is often the case, it’s much more entertaining than the movie.

Kirk and I made a little of our own fun coming up with a chant for this movie:

Kirk:  “1, 2, 3, 4, God, this movie is a bore!”

Me:  “2, 4, 6, 8, it’s this movie we all hate!”

Kirk:  “3, 5, 7, 9, this goes until the end of time!”

Me:  “4, 6, 8, 10, never show this shit again!”

Ah, good times.

Well, that was a painful start.  Little did we know we were merely in the first circle and that all hope should be abandoned…

Themes:  About the only one I could come up with was scenes of jets taking off and/or landing.  We get a couple of those here.

Well, actually, there is another one, but it wasn’t in the movies themselves.  This particular line-up caused a theme to begin amongst us, as quite a few movies made someone yell out the now-classic T-Fest rejoinder, “F*ck you, movie!”  (Hereafter I’ll refer to it as “FYM” to give Ken a break.)  It started here, as someone (Reed?  Mason?) yelled it out during the 90th piece of stock footage.

Yeah, drink her in, boys!

Double Agent 73

Chesty Morgan and her unfathomably ginormous breasts kind of stop a bunch of enemy agents from doing…something or other.

Oh, man, this one scared me.  I’ve heard a lot of howling about this one from various members of the group, and that is a sure sign of a truly painful experience.  Just ask the survivors of Funky Forest (which, yes, I am again bringing up, because the world needs to be warned.)

I thought instead of trying to describe the movie or discuss it as I normally do, I’d just write down the little bullet points I scribbled during its run time, with expansion as need be in parentheses.  We’ll see how this break from tradition works.

·          My god!  Her breasts!

·          That was possibly the worst “getting run over” scene ever.  (This would be the first of many, many things I didn’t buy during this movie.)

·          Wait…she picked up that phone and started talking BEFORE IT EVEN RANG.

·          So…a camera in her breast.  In her case, it wouldn’t even have to be a micro-camera.

·          Jets landing…theme?

·          My god!  Her clothes!

·          Shoes!  (Everything said about Doris Wishman is true!)

·          Wait, that was supposed to be plastic explosive??  Not only was it clearly a wad of Play-Doh™, but it didn’t even explode!  Sorry, movie, not buying it.

·          She hit that guy with her tit and the camera went off in his face.  That was actually pretty good.  It also gives new meaning to the phrase “flashing someone.”

·          Oh, it’s the Psycho shower scene…as done by a talentless hack.

·          Hey!  Lyz’s Law of Strangulation™!  Cool!

·          From her reaction, you’d think Chesty had forgotten to DVR the latest episode of her soap, rather than found her friend stabbed to death in the shower.

·          Atomic Lipstick™!

·          She’s wearing a goddamn clown suit!  (Which I thoughtfully shared with you up there.  No need to thank me; your shrieks are thanks enough.)

·          I absolutely refuse to buy that throwing earring.  Nope.  No way.

·          Worst.  Struggling.  Ever.  (She’s tied to a chair and barely twitching at all.  Something else the movie can’t get me to buy.)

·          M.C. Escher wallpaper!  (See it to believe it!  Or don’t.  It’s not worth it, really.)

·          The guy working her over swings with a closed fist, only to hit her with an open hand.  Okay.

·          At least he looked to be connecting, sort of.  Greta can’t even manage that.  (She makes Chesty bleed despite not actually hitting her.  I guess she’s like Riki-Oh:  so powerful that even if she doesn’t actually hit you, the force of the blow can still cause damage.)

·          I’m not buying that rope cutter, movie.  That’s just a sparkler and we all know it.

·          Fun fact:  A human taking a broken bottle to the face will end up with no cuts or marks of any kind, just blood appearing as if from nowhere.  (Maybe he had the Red Death…)

·          Wait, there’s a bomb in there with the camera!?  Why??  Further, why wouldn’t you warn her??

·          She’d be better off dead than captured?!  That’s your reasoning!?!  What if she succeeds, as she does here?  You just hope she does it in time so you can get the bomb out!?  Man, you guys are jackasses.

·          You have two minutes to remove the bomb…and they have to call an ambulance first.  Really.  (Obviously this bomb has one of those movie counters that only count down when they’re onscreen.)

·          You know what?  I’m not buying this whole damn movie.

·          The man she loved was betraying her all along!  Oh, bitter irony!  Or something.  (That might explain the bomb thing, I suppose.)

·          Wait, that’s not the same gun…or the same wall they were in front of.

·          Well, at least she’s got a stiff upper lip about that whole “killing the one you love” thing.  Either that or she can’t act worth a damn.  (Place your bets, folks!)

·          Seriously, screw this movie.

Yeesh.  This whole thing is just one long string of incompetence.  Blocking, editing, acting, special effects, script…all of it.  I suppose that makes it slightly more forgivable, but it doesn’t make it any less painful.  The acting, particularly from the lead, is a prime strike against it.  You know, I’ve seen much less attractive women than Chesty Morgan, but that in no way excuses the way the movie treats her like the second coming of Helen of Troy. 

Further, her seeming inability to show any emotion at all really adds to the notion that we’re watching a fetishistic sex robot* performing in a movie, and I suppose some might go for that, but I do not.  I guess if you’re a fan of eye-searing ‘70s fashions you could watch it for that (and there are some doozies that Chesty wears throughout this thing), but otherwise stay far away.

[Editor Ken: I’d describe her more as a Gerry Anderson nudie puppet.]

Themes:  Sure enough, a jet lands.  Also sure enough, Mason shouted, “FYM!,” because, seriously, this movie.  I thought bad Russian accents might become one, but after this and the next movie that came to an end, so no go there.

Okay, that was pretty damn bad.  I mean, two Jabootu specials in a row?  Hopefully now we’ll get a breather, perhaps a nice kung-fu film or ’50s monster movie…wait, why is Ken giggling?

We were given a choice of The Dungeonmaster and yet another Jabootu movie.  I went for the former, which had the lead in the voting, until Ken and Sandy whined enough that a couple of people changed their vote.  I was one of them.  I regret everything.  Why do I still trust these two?

Here we see the limited-edition Pia Zadora Real Doll…wait, what do you mean it’s not a doll?

The Lonely Lady

Pia Zadora blankly stares her way through this TOTALLY TRUE TO LIFE story of corruption and perversion in Hollywood.

We start with quite possibly the worst movie theme song ever.  Naturally, it proceeds to get stuck in your brain.  I like to call this phenomenon the “Silla-Salla-Syndrome.”  After a brief introductory scene meant to pave the way for the story, we get to the movie, which is one long flashback.

Our oh-so-innocent lead, Jerilee, as portrayed by Pia Zadora, graduates from high school.  She even gets an award for her scholarship.  Sure, the “solid metal” award is awfully wobbly, but we’ll ignore that.  Jerilee just wants to be a famous writer.  Too bad her life is going to end up being a sadistic nightmare.

First, Ray Liotta hits on her.  Not such a bad thing, even if he’s pretty forward.  The trouble starts when he jumps in a pool, swims up to her standing at the edge, grabs her by the ankles, and somehow manages to heave her over his head and into the pool.  Damn, he’s strong!  He then proceeds to try and rape her; he isn’t able to do it himself, so he grabs a handy garden hose and uses that instead.  Lovely. 

To top it off, Jerilee’s own mother brushes off the very obvious rape as “just assault.”  Later, she rants about rich people getting away with things like this…only to gush over Walter, Ray’s dad,* when he shows up, ostensibly to apologize.  So apparently Jerilee’s mom has some sort of untreated mental disorder.  We get a second song on the soundtrack here that may be worse than the opener, just to make sure we’re good and scarred.

[*Editor Ken: No one can be faulted for not paying complete and utter attention to The Lonely Lady, but in point of fact, Walter is the father of Ray’s nebbish friend.]

She ends up dating, and later marrying, Walter.  On their wedding night, let’s just say his spirit is willing but his flesh is weak.  Still, her first novel is a big hit, and her husband’s latest script is being filmed.  Life seems to have turned around for Jerilee.

Ah, but there are always dark clouds on the horizon for our poor protagonist.  Jared Martin shows up and starts hitting on Jerilee.  (If I wasn’t worried before, Martin’s appearance sealed the deal, as I’ve yet to see a movie with him in it that wasn’t terrible.)  Some oily Mafioso-wannabe shows up and starts putting the moves on her as well. 

Walter, afraid that he can’t fulfill his wife sexually, interrogates her about why she didn’t run off with the young studs.  He then picks up the garden hose and asks her if she prefers that sort of thing.  This may be the worst thing ever.  Pia’s non-reaction to this led me to wonder if she is actually a walking, talking wax dummy.*

[Editor Ken: I’d describe her more as a Gerry Anderson nudie…hey!]

She ends up leaving her husband and taking up with Jared Martin.  They seem happy at first, so you know it’ll end up badly.  I wish I’d been ready for how badly.  Jerilee ends up pregnant, and Jared pretty much drops her cold.  He won’t even go with her to the abortionist, letting her deal with this all on her own.  This is nasty enough, but it leads to something very, very bad later.

As you might expect from her track record up to this point, Jerilee rebounds with the oily guy.  Oh, yeah, I’m sure he won’t be a complete ass.  I almost want to say she deserves it, since at one point early in their relationship she lies on a pool table and lets him shoot the cue ball at her lady business.  Who would do that?  Naturally, he lives down to our expectations by demanding she prostitute herself to some Hollywood big shot in order to advance her career…and then cheats on her.

She ends up losing her mind, and for one moment the movie is entertaining-bad, instead of war crime-bad.  She destroys her home and her latest script, she showers with her clothes on, she hears voices from her past, disembodied heads start swirling around her, things get trippy…it’s actually a lot of fun.

The movie decides we’ve had enough of that “fun” nonsense and returns us to our regularly scheduled horror.

After recovering, Jerilee decides to turn her horrible, horrible life into a screenplay.  Like you do.  She starts writing a new screenplay, and the production company demands Jared Martin in the lead.  Naturally she is not thrilled by that idea.  Her agent tries to convince her, and utters the following, which might actually be worse than the garden hose callback:  “You’ve already had one abortion, sweetheart; don’t make it two.”

Oh god DAMN it, movie.

We’re not done yet, though.  For instead of rightfully beating the living crap out of said agent, Jerilee shrugs and says, “Same father.”

For my reaction to this, please see the “Themes” count later on.

Jerilee wins Best Original Screenplay at “The Awards,” and turns her acceptance speech into one long, bitter hatefest that somehow never gets cut off by the producers, even when she drops an f-bomb.  It’s…something.  Then she leaves to a chorus of boos from an outraged Hollywood who cannot BELIEVE anyone would dare say such things to them.  Finally, mercifully, the movie ends.

Wow.  I hated this movie.  Fellow Fest-goers argued that Double Agent 73 was worse, but I do not agree.  Yes, it’s quite terrible, and Chesty and her clothes are rather hideous, but that movie is mostly a misfire due to lack of talent on all counts.  It was not a cake walk, but it was at least kind of breezy and trying to be fun, even if it was only entertaining on accident.  This thing is unsubtle and downright ugly, wallowing in filth and slime, with enough talent behind the scenes that the whole thing turns putrid.  It may be a cliche, but I wanted a shower after it was over.

I will say that Pia Zadora has two more expressions than Chesty.  Whereas Chesty had “emotionless zombie,” Pia had “dull surprise,” “slightly angry surprise,” and “kind of happy.”  Granted, she mostly used the first one, but at least she had a little more going on.  Plus, while her face is rather odd, with its chipmunk cheeks, she was definitely built back then.  I didn’t cringe at her nude scenes.  Well, except for the one during the hose rape.

Much like the previous movie, this one is full of things I did not buy.  Among them:  A “movie poster” that is absolutely pathetic; a “violin player” at a party who clearly cannot play the violin; crickets denoting night, regardless of how bright it is; and the bad Russian accents a couple of people attempt to assay.

The only bright spot was the “going mental” scene, but honestly, just go find it on YouTube or something.  It is so not worth slogging through this reprehensible pile of shit to get to.  There was one other bright spot, but since most of you won’t have Sandy ’s dog Naomi coming up to you during the running time so you can pet her sweet head, it’s not really applicable.

Themes:  No jets, but someone tossed out an “FYM” when Pia’s husband asks her if she liked getting raped with a hose.  It was hard to tell who it was, though, since there was a lot of yelling and cursing at this point, as you might imagine.  I ended up dropping my own “FYM” at the abortion line.  So, good job, movie!  You got two of them from us!

Good lord.  That was just about the worst thing ever, I thought at that point.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I was so young and foolish back then!  At least we got an all-too-brief interlude…

A New Plan

This was a short film about a man being pestered by a really persistent cell phone representative to get a new plan.  It’s notable for being produced by, and starring, our own Rich and Angela.  It’s a nice little piece, with good suspense.  I wouldn’t mind seeing more of their work.

Themes:  No and no.

Afterwards, Sandy stood before us with a DVD in his hand, saying that this was a movie he had not been able to finish.  The last time he tried to show it, people actually paid him, in cash, to stop it.  Sandy said we could do the same; the asking price was $50, which was to be thrown into a hat he produced.

A movie SANDY could not, would not watch.  What fresh hell is this?

The Magic Land of Mother Goose

It was H.G. Lewis’ other kids’ movie.  I think $20 was immediately thrown down upon our seeing the title.

We start with the King of Hearts on a crappy castle set, talking to a balloon he’s holding.  He lets air out to simulate the balloon talking back to him, and proceeds to hold some sort of conversation with it.  WOW, that is absolutely bonkers.  I think the conversation was about stories, but I’m not sure.  The screaming of the other attendees was making it hard to hear.  Wait, he’s Old King Cole?  Why the hell does his costume have all those hearts on it, then?  We can add false advertising to this movie’s many crimes.

Old King of Hearts Cole walks over to a large storybook prop, and someone in a creeptastic rag doll costume comes dancing out.  I think it was stolen from the Santa Claus set.  I have no idea what the King said to the doll; the shrieks had built in volume as people desperately pulled out their wallets and emptied their purses.  The King seemed mad that the doll wasn’t listening to him.  He might have been asking what kind of loving god could allow such a thing to exist.  I know that’s what I’d have been saying in his position.  Then a wizard shows up, followed by the explosion of smoke that was supposed to represent him appearing from nowhere.  Even for Lewis, that is damn inept.

This is as far as we got.  It took the group about four minutes to pony up the money, at which point Sandy indeed turned it off.  The money went to Ken to help keep his website up and running, so it was for a great cause, at least.  Considering the way this day went, I’m surprised Sandy didn’t turn it back on and finish it anyway.

It’s rather frightening to consider, but even if I had had any cash on me I don’t think I’d have contributed.  I was actually kind of curious as to just how insane things would get.  I should ask Sandy how low my sanity score is, that I wanted to watch an HGL movie.

Themes:  Not enough time for either.  I doubt jets would’ve shown up, but I’m pretty certain someone would have kept the other one going.

Popeye – “Nurse-Mates”

A classic Popeye cartoon from one of those fantastic collections Ken has.  Popeye and Bluto try to take care of Swee’pea so Olive Oyl can get ready for a date with one, possibly both, of them.  Havoc ensues, as it does.  They still hold up marvelously, decades later.

Themes:  No, and of course not!

Ultraman, ep. 8 – “The Lawless Monster Zone”

Sandy had considered showing episode 11, which is probably a good choice for the future.  However, he deferred to my expertise and showed this one instead.  This is the first episode to feature several giant monsters (four, plus a killer vine), and is pretty much nonstop action.  It’s easily one of the top five episodes in the series, in my opinion.

A scientific expedition has gone to an unmapped island to explore it, which is never a good idea when you come from Japan.  Sure enough, all contact has been lost with the group.  The Science Patrol is ordered to investigate, and they bring the whole crew. 

We know at least one monster is running amok on this island, because what kind of episode of “Ultraman” would it be without a monster?  It turns out we’ve got a whole plethora of them to contend with.  (Names provided courtesy of myself and my vast knowledge of all things giant monster, with some help from the Internet.  As usual, no names for the critters are provided in the episode itself.)  Two of them, Chandora and Red King, are shown fighting each other.

Chandora has a walrus-looking face with two curving elephant tusks jutting from its mouth, and small, floppy wingflaps on its arms that can’t possibly lift it from the ground.  (People like me will recognize it as a refurbished Pegila costume from the original “Ultra Q” series.)

Red King has a Godzilla-esque build, albeit with a much shorter tail; oddly textured skin that makes its long neck look like a corn cob; and a tiny head with fangs and beady little eyes.

 Red King seems to be at a disadvantage, with a bleeding wound in its side.  However, its ferocious nature turns the tables, and before long it manages to tear off Chandora’s arm.  Red King doesn’t mess around, man. 

As the (presumably) dying monster shambles away, Red King throws a series of boulders at it.  Red King is kind of a prick.  At the end of the battle, a spiky monster head briefly emerges from the earth, takes in the situation, and decides discretion is the better part of valor.

Upon arrival, the Science Patrol splits up.  Splitting up is usually bad, but in this case it’s understandable.  One party is made up of Hayata and the Captain, the heavy hitters (not to mention that one of them is Ultraman’s alter ego), and the other contains Fuji, Arashi, and Ide, who are all competent, and have the dreaded Spider-Shot with them.  Of course, they all have their powerful Supergun standard sidearms, and their vast, amazing array of bombs as well.

Group A runs into the spiky monster, named Magura.

It threatens them, but they start throwing napalm bombs (which produce a surprising lack of flames when then explode) at it.  The bombs subdue the monster, possibly killing it as it does not show up again.  Of course, during the battle Hayata is sent tumbling down a hill by the monster, giving us a highly amusing shot of a dummy being tossed down a hill.  I just can’t get enough of that! 

Hayata is naturally knocked out, and also loses his Beta Capsule.  Gee, never seen that happen before.  Why he never invested in a wallet chain for that thing, I’ll never understand.  I’m also surprised he didn’t end up with permanent brain damage from all the time he spends unconscious during the series’ run.  I suppose if Ultraman could bring him back to life, erasing brain damage would be child’s play in comparison.

Meanwhile, Team B runs into Sufran, a large carnivorous vine that of course goes right after Fuji, since carnivorous plants love dames.

It appears to have eaten some of the scientists, judging by the clothing shreds they find after driving the vine back with the Spider-Shot’s “barbeque” setting.  Soon after, they see a rare, human-sized monster named Pigmon and chase after it.  To facilitate the chase, they use my all-time favorite Science Patrol bomb on it:  The Balloon Bomb.  This sticks a pink helium balloon on a string to the monster, which can easily be seen floating above the foliage.

They follow Pigmon to a remote cliffside area, where it turns out it’s a friendly monster who was leading them to the only surviving scientist.  At this point, Red King shows up.  Pigmon tries to reason with the big brute (giving us flashbacks to the “monster talk” scene in Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster), but ends up buried under a rockslide.  Boo!

In a bit of pathos, the balloon is knocked free and floats up in front of Red King.  Remember how I said it was a Balloon Bomb?  Team B shoots it and sure enough it blows the hell up, right in Red King’s face.  YES!!  Take that, Red King! 

By this time, Hayata’s gotten his Beta Capsule back, and turns into Ultraman.  He proceeds to knock Red King around like a bitch.  I don’t know what happened here; Red King went from vicious killer to pathetic stooge, getting punked out quickly and easily. 

Not only does Ultraman not bother zapping him with the Specium Ray after tossing him around, his Color Timer doesn’t even go off, it’s over so fast!  At the end, the group stands before the burial site commemorating those who died on the island.  It’s a pretty somber coda.  Then they all head home.

As you can see, there’s a lot of carnage in this episode.  Chandora would indeed seem to die from its wounds; it only showed up in “Redman,” an odd Tsubaraya spinoff where an Ultraman knock-off fought a bunch of past Ultra-foes; and in the American-produced “Ultraman Powered,” although that appeared to be a separate member of the species. 

Magura also appears to die, which may seem odd, but the Science Patrol had a pretty good record against monsters; they maimed or killed a few during the series’ run.  Magura didn’t appear in a proper Ultra-series; he was used in the spinoff “Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle,” which from what I can tell is a non-canon, live-action “Pokemon” with Ultra-monsters.  Sounds pretty great, eh? 

Magura also surfaced in Ultra Galaxy Legend: The Movie, as part of Ultraman Belial’s 100-Monster Army.  It is quickly killed by Ultraman, the poor dope. 

Despite its apparent death, Pigmon would return later in the series, and went on to become a pretty popular monster, with a couple more appearances over the years.  Oddly, Red King became one of the biggest stars of the Ultraverse.  It reappears later in the series, back to being a beast (and again ripping off another monster’s limbs) and is not so easily dispatched.

It would return in quite a few later series, and was usually one of the tougher opponents for whichever Ultra-being it was battling, despite its quick dispatch by Ultraman here.  It also seems to have been one of the main monsters in that “Ultra Galaxy” program. 

There are a few Ultra-monsters I completely understand becoming so popular (the Baltans, in particular, are wonderful, and Gomora and Zetton are pretty badass), but Red King’s fame kind of eludes me.  It’s just a big, clumsy brawler, although a powerful one, and is usually presented as being pretty stupid.  I guess he’s the blue-collar monster the common man can rally behind.  Maybe that’s it:  Red King is the Joe Six-Pack of the Ultraverse.  It does look like it’d be happy drinking Budweiser and watching monster truck rallies, a ball cap perched on its pointy head.

Maybe I should commission Rock to draw that when I have some money.

Themes:  We got the Science Patrol’s jet taking off.  Ultraman is superb, so naturally the other theme did not come into play.

The People’s Choice Vote

We had no trivia contest this time.  Instead, we were given a long list of things that appear in movies, and asked to pick 20 each.  The most popular would show up in future Fest offerings.  I seem to recall a couple that I picked being chosen, like ninjas, but for the most part I went against the grain, as other things ended up winning. 

I do know that Kirk recruited his family to make sure they have to show a Barbarian Brothers movie, and knowing Kirk it’ll be some ghastly “comedy,” like that one he’s always talking about.  Twin Sitters, I think.  Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how Ken and Sandy fulfill those choices.

NOW…now…surely we’re going to break the cycle here and get something fun.  They can’t possibly keep abusing us this way.  I mean, Chris Hamilton’s not here…wait, what?  Good lord, is it ever going to end?!?  Now a Bruno Mattei film?!  Why do you hate us, Ken and Sandy??

They let us pick our poison, choosing between The Tomb and something called Alienators.  The consensus seemed to waver, but eventually ended up on the latter.  As soon as it started, I got a sinking feeling, and I asked if it happened to go by a couple of other titles.  They smilingly affirmed that I was correct, and at that point, I very strongly considered curling up into a ball and weeping.  Oddly enough, I’m pretty sure I heard Braineater Will laughing at us, all the way from New Jersey.  He might have just been laughing at me, since he hates me and all.

Yeah, this is exactly why I don’t eat natto.

Shocking Dark

Um, this is Aliens, as done by a couple of hacks.  This is not a joke.  It is damn near word for word and shot for shot in places.  It sucks that I used up all my relevant jokes on Zombies:  The Beginning, because this is even MORE like Aliens than that was.  Yes, that means that Bruno Mattei ripped off Bruno Mattei with Z: TB.  Wrap your brain around that.  I’m telling you, the world would’ve been a better place had Mattei never seen Aliens.  Also, The Thing and The Terminator, which are also ripped off here.  Hell, let’s just say we’d all be better off if he’d never seen any movies, ever.

It starts with guys on a security camera ACTING!!!  Then they get cacked by something or other.  It turns out they were being attacked by mutants in Venice’s world-famous subterranean tunnels.  You know the ones.  The Tubular Corporation (!) sends down some Marines from the Megaforce (!!) to see what’s going on.  No, they do not have flying bikes.  Apparently Mattei hadn’t seen that movie. 

The Marines can pretty much be paired off to their Aliens counterparts, although in a brilliant bit of originality the Vasquez AND the Apone are portrayed by one black woman.  (Also one less actor to hire.)  They have a guy with a submachine gun that they refer to as their “sniper.”  Ummm, no.  There’s another guy who shows off with nunchakus, and then never pulls them out again.  Why bother, then? 

The Marines go into the *cough* Venetian tunnels, employing a lot more Italian slurs than I would have expected from an Italian-made movie.  (You think that’s nuts, later on we get a bad Italian accent.  Again, in an Italian-made movie.)  They unfortunately run into a Newt, who of course they bring along to annoy us.  This gave Kirk the chance to drop a Penn State joke.  Thanks, Kirknmovie. 

Their progress is monitored by a “futuristic” computer that of course runs very slowly.  We then get a complete, and I mean COMPLETE, steal of the “they’re in the ceiling” scene, except the mutants are in the same damn hallway.  So, yes, there’s no reason they couldn’t see them without their tracker, except that Mattei didn’t give a crap. 

One of the team, as you can imagine, turns out to be an android.  They call it a cyborg, but they’re wrong.  A chance to have something fun happen is passed up when the android doesn’t fight the mutants, which it really should have done.  “Entertainment?  Not in my movie!” says Mattei. 

Again, to presumably save money on actors, the Bishop (actually, in light of subsequent events, he’s the Ash) is also the Burke, as he locks the Ripley and the Newt in a room full of mutants.  They escape, and try to get away from the android. 

Now the movie becomes The Terminator for a bit.  We get a gripping scene where the Ripley keeps hitting the wrong button to close the door, and finally hits the right one just in the nick of time.  This makes the Ripley look really stupid, seeing as how there were only two buttons to choose from! 

Back to Aliens as the Newt throws herself down a hole, and I do mean throws herself down, because Newt fell down one as well.  The slide she goes down (because it’s a slide, dammit, it is not any kind of pipe or tubing) does look fun, though. 

The android pops back up to choke the Ripley, which you’d think it could do very quickly, but it takes its time and allows her to invoke Lyz’s Law of Strangulation™.  She breaks a handy steam pipe, which causes the android to drop her and stagger away in agony.  I’m not sure how that works.  She then sprays it with white crap.  I have no idea what it was.  You can’t tell me there was a fire extinguisher down in those tunnels. 

She and the Newt meet up again and come across a room full of people webbed up to the walls.  The mutants did this because, you know, Aliens.  They then somehow turn the people into more mutants.  It’s kind of like how things went in The Thing, except inexplicable and rather retarded. 

They run into a surviving Marine, who promptly gets shot in the chest by the android.  This shotgun blast to the torso only seems to minorly inconvenience him, as he crawls to a handy nearby phone, speaks clearly to home base, and later shows up to save the Ripley and the Newt! 

Eventually a countdown to extinction is begun, and the place is set to blow.  The survivors try to find a way out.  Luckily, they stumble upon a time machine (!!!) and take it back to the past before the place explodes.  Too bad the android follows them in the other time machine (!!!!) and continues the chase.  Oh for f*ck’s sake, movie.

The Ripley smashes the android in the face with a handy discarded bottle, which hurts it.  Again, I don’t know how this works.  They run off and hide in a tunnel.  The android teleports in after them.  There’s no other explanation, because it was not in that tunnel prior to it suddenly popping up. 

Finally, the Ripley pulls out the time machine’s remote control – which had not been shown or mentioned until this very moment – and throws it at the android.  The remote sparks and the android vanishes, presumably going back to the future and getting blown up in the tunnels.  I don’t know for sure, and the movie sure isn’t going to bother telling us.  T

he movie sort of peters out at this point, with the Ripley talking about stopping the Tubular Corporation or some crap I can’t be asked to give both my rats’ furry asses about.

This, uh…wow.   It boggles my mind that someone could rip off so many movies at once, and be so blatant about it.  It’s even more nuts that someone could do that and yet show no understanding at all about what made those movies work. 

I might have been more forgiving if we’d had more mutant action, but they’re almost an afterthought, despite the predominance of the movie stealing from Aliens.  That shot up there is about as good a look as we get in the movie itself; and in the end their presence contributes nothing. 

They barely even seem to be connected to the Tubular Corporation’s dastardly plot.  What is their plot?  Well, in this future, they own all the land Venice is built on.  They are going to kill all the people (I guess the mutants are to be used for this…or maybe the android?) and poison the land.  This will raise the asking price of said land, which they will then sell.  Yeah, exactly.  That’s the kind of plan you’d expect the villains on Captain Planet to come up with…if they were sloppy drunk.

The only good thing I can think of regarding this movie is that we got three separate instances of dummies being tossed over railings.  Each time, my heart sang.  Then it went right back to weeping as this abomination ground on.

I think this movie broke me.  It’s my own fault, though; I made the mistake of trying to think about it.  Have I learned nothing from my experience with Rock and Roll Nightmare?  Ken, Mason and Guy all started zonking out, causing Sandy to hand them energy drinks because he was going to be damned if anyone avoided this garbage.  I think that says more than I ever could about the lack of quality inherent in this movie.

Themes:  No jets, but I’m pretty sure Kirk said, “FYM!” when he realized what movie this was going to rip off.

Dinner Break

We took a short drive to Burger Island #1, but I was unable to participate in dinner because I was dead broke.  I busied myself by watching the end of that Karate Kid remake with Will Smith’s kid and a slumming Jackie Chan.  I had been pretty sure I didn’t need to watch it before this day. 

I’m now quite sure of it.  Everything I saw had been inflated from the original:  the difficulty of the training regime, the level of cheating done by the opposing competitor, and most ridiculously the main character’s winning move in the finals. 

Remember how the karate in the original, while fairly crisp, looked like something teens could do in real life?  Especially the dreaded crane kick, which is honestly not that hard a move to pull off, but looks good? 

Forget it with the remake.  There were kids flipping around like ninjas on speed, and the final move was so ridiculously over-the-top that it blew me right out of the movie.  No way am I buying a kid that young pulling off a move that complex and acrobatic without all the money and magic of Hollywood to help him.  Your average youth would have broken at least one limb trying to learn it, and probably still wouldn’t have it anywhere close to mastered by the time the tournament rolled around.  Smith just tossed it out like it was nothing at all.

I just now realized why that move is bugging me so much, even now:  it’s so obviously staged.  It’s the kind of flashy, flippy, show-off maneuver a modern-day Mexican luchador would perform during a wrestling match.  It looks great, and entertains the fans, but is blatantly fake-looking and no one in their right mind would ever try it in real life. 

That’s fine for wrestling, but not so much for what’s supposed to be a real martial arts competition.  No good teacher would encourage that sort of thing.  If an MMA fighter tried that nonsense, his opponent would think it was Christmas before leveling him.  I kind of hoped Smith’s adversary would easily sidestep his showboating and just belt him in the face, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen.

The Monster That Challenged the World

Giant prehistoric snails are awoken by a nuclear bomb test and set out to drain the precious bodily fluids from all mankind.

FINALLY!!  A movie that doesn’t suck!  I despaired of that happening this day.

We have a triumvirate of heroes in this, much like in the similarly-structured It Came From Beneath the Sea.  Other than it being a triumvirate, there are not a lot of similarities:  no love triangle, the scientist isn’t in it quite as much as the soldier and the dame, said dame has a kid but no husband (I’m pretty sure she was widowed, but that’s still a surprising thing to show for the time period) and isn’t any kind of scientist, etc.  The scientist is played by Hans Conreid, who got the appropriate applause when he appeared. 

Still, the other two leads are no slouches:  Lt. Thunderbolt’s played by Tim Holt, who was in Treasure of the Sierra Madre; and Gail’s assayed by Audrey Dalton, who was in a lot of television and some movies, including William Castle’s Mr. Sardonicus and MST3K subject Kitten with a Whip.  The child actor manages to be refreshingly non-annoying, which is a plus.  The plot moves along well, with no real drags or odd subplots.

Of course, we’re here for the monsters, and man, these are doozies.  They’re quite creative beasties, as they’re huge prehistoric mollusks of some kind.  They have a shell like a nautilus, but themselves resemble huge snails with little stubby caterpillar limbs and army ant mandibles with which to drain their prey.  Their eyes are not stalked, and look kind of like big wasp eyes. 

My favorite part is the fact that their face is designed to resemble a skull.  They’re pretty damn tough, too.  One gets stabbed in the eye, but I’m not sure it was enough to kill it, since it slowly sinks out of sight, still roaring and moving about.  We don’t see it again, though, so maybe it was enough. 

The one they manage to capture for study, after it inevitably gets loose in the lab, is hit with the old standby, the fire extinguisher, as well as various flasks of chemicals and a blast of steam from a pipe, and it still takes three guys with guns to come in and finally put it down for good. 

The climax, as you can tell, is pretty spectacular.  Hell, it almost makes it seem like the love interest and the kid are going to get whacked.  Sure, it wasn’t going to happen, but man does the cavalry cut it close!

My notes indicate that Kirk went pun-mad during this movie.  That’d mean pun-mad for him, our resident Pun King, which is damn scary to think about.  There must have been too many to keep up with, as I don’t have any written down.  It’s probably for the best.

Well, that was a nice break.  Too bad it didn’t last.

Themes:  No to both.

Do it!  DO IT YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!

Daniel der Zauberer / Daniel the Wizard

 

Sandy prefaced this by saying it featured some guy from the German version of “American Idol.”  He didn’t win, which turns out to not be surprising, but apparently he was popular enough that they kept bringing him back.  (I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ll be damned if I research anything related to this movie.)  He said it was in German with no subtitles. 

Finally, he mentioned that the director was Ulli Lommel.  Ooooh, shit.  My bemusement turned to horror at this point.  I’ve only seen one of his movies in full, The Devonsville Terror, which had its moments but was mostly kind of meh. 

Years later, I tried to watch his supposedly Lovecraft-based The Tomb.  I started fast-forwarding about ten minutes in, saw that nothing was improving, and quickly gave up.  I’ve almost never cut out on a movie, especially not that quickly, and it was on OnDemand.  Even free, I couldn’t be bothered to finish it.  Honestly, The Tomb has robbed me of any desire to see Lommel’s other films.  I might track down The Boogeyman someday, but that’s about it.

Even with this information beforehand, it was still worse than I could have imagined.

I’m making guesses as to what is supposed to pass for the plot since my German isn’t nearly good enough to keep up with native speakers.   Daniel Küblböck, the androgynous and possibly transgender “star” of this mess, is shown hanging out with his family, preparing for a concert tour that I refuse to believe really drew as many people as are shown, performing during said tour, and being an irritant.  

There are three people, two men and German Pia Zadora, who apparently want to kidnap and/or murder Daniel, so they immediately become the audience identification figures.  There’s also a subplot with two ugly guys who may be wizards (Daniel is not, by the way) or possibly an angel and a devil who meet backstage during the tour and talk a lot. 

At one point the one who’s supposed to be good turns the other into a rat for a minute, and then changes him back.  The evil one might have wanted to kill Daniel, or corrupt him, or maybe just compliment his beautiful girl hair, I don’t know.  I have a feeling I wouldn’t understand this even if I was fluent in German.

Daniel looks like an 11-year-old girl, is annoying even when you can’t understand him, likes to prance (German people should not prance!) and is not a good singer.  So of course someone made a movie for him.  Pardon me:  I feel a rant coming on.

*ahem*

This is what happens when we let mediocrity and sub-mediocrity become celebrated, okay?  This is why I hate nearly every “reality” show on television:  it makes celebrities out of people that have no business being famous for anything.  I should not know who Honey Boo-Boo or her landmonster of a mother are, okay? 

I should not have to see those goddamn gold-digging Kardashian whores everywhere I turn, all right?  “Housewives” who use their trophy husbands’ money to pay other people to do housework, people who can’t sing a lick yet get record deals, morons famous for abusing themselves and those around them…and don’t even get me started on those horrible f*ckers Heidi and Spencer. 

They, at least, seem to have dropped off the face of the Earth (hopefully via a giant sinkhole).  The rest need to follow their lead and vanish.  Everyone who helped make this shit possible needs to suffer horrible agonies for the rest of their miserable lives, and I hope there’s a Hell waiting for them.  I may end up there as well, but I will at least be able to comfort myself during all the burning and pitchforking with the thought that they’re down there with me.

Anyway, you can imagine what I think of the people who paid to see Daniel’s concerts, as well as everyone involved in this “movie.”

All that I’ve mentioned isn’t the extent of the nastiness, though.  I swear, this movie purposely mocks the viewer.  For example, one of Daniel’s stupid fans keeps wanting to play his music at her grandfather’s café; he doesn’t want anything to do with it, and rightly so.  Well, by the end, he’s happily letting her play it.  Maybe he went senile, I don’t know. 

Occasionally an old, one-armed man shows up and spooks Daniel.  He appears to be a ghost.  Does he scare Daniel to death, or haunt him until he’s driven mad?  No, because it turns out it’s his dead grandpa, and he’s trying to help Daniel. 

Even worse are those three conspirators.  They don’t do a damn thing.  The scene where we think they’re going to stab Daniel in his bed turns out to be a dream.  That’s just cruel.  Oh, sure, they eventually manage to kidnap him and hold him at gunpoint (eliciting impassioned cries of “JUST SHOOT HIM!!” from the crowd), but then they start talking with him. 

I guess they’re ensorcelled by Daniel’s “magic” because the guy with the gun does not shoot him.  You can imagine how angry we were at the guy with the gun.  We started demanding that German Pia Zadora shoot him, but she didn’t, either. 

Eventually, they let him go unharmed, at which point I’m pretty sure I heard the laughter of dark gods (maybe that was just Sandy).  In turn, Daniel doesn’t report the kidnapping, which means they don’t get punished for the unforgivable sin of not bringing this movie to an end.  Bastards, they are all bastards.

They couldn’t even make the movie interesting to look at.  It’s clearly shot on video, there are no effects to speak of (probably no budget for them), and it’s mostly indoors.  Everything about this movie is bad and wrong.  I have nothing positive to say about it.  Even the fact that it’s only about 80 minutes long is a strike against it, as that’s about 80 times longer than it needed to be.

EVERYONE hated this.  After we found out the stabbing was only a dream, Kirk summed up everyone’s thoughts by yelling out…well, I’m sure you can guess.  After seeing Daniel perform, I declared that we may have been too hard on Rebecca Black.  (There’s one I forgot for my rant!)  I later stated that Daniel needed to end up the second person in a human centipede; since we were being fed his shit, it only seemed fair to return the favor.

We started talking about how disappointed in Germany we were.  Ken said we might have been too hard on Germany in the past, as this may have been the worst thing that country ever did.  That’s right:  Holocaust jokes.  That’s where this movie sent us. 

As this wretched thing ground on, people started talking about horrible movies they’d rather be watching than this.  Mason said he’d watch Double Agent 73 again.  Kirk said he’d watch Shocking Dark over and over.  As I felt the movie draining the life out of me, I inadvertently ended up trumping the contest when I declared that I would rather watch the f*cking “Jilla-Jalla-Jellyfish” scene from Sting of Death on a loop. 

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I meant every word.  That’s how awful this thing is.  At this point, Sandy quietly said that that was what they (presumably Ken and himself) had been wanting to hear.  Did they mean all of us wishing for something painful but still less painful than this, or just me?  I have a feeling it was the latter, but why?

Oh, right.  Because they’re remorseless monsters.  Silly me.

Themes:  I think there was stock footage of a jet taking off or landing at some point, but I might be wrong.  Kirk, as noted above, kept the other theme alive.  He probably wasn’t the only one, to be honest.  In fact, let’s just assume everyone screamed “FYM!” at some point, along with “Why has God forsaken us!?” and “Why do we keep showing up to these?” and “Why is there no hard liquor in this house!?”

We were getting late in the evening, so there was time for one more movie.  I shuddered to think of what abomination they were planning to hit us with, because if anyone could bring us something worse than Daniel the Wizard it would be Ken and Sandy.  It was obvious at this point that this was a lights-out, no-holds-barred death match.  For all we knew, they were going to play Funky Forest again.

As we sat in worried silence, I heard someone mention a movie title.  A movie title I know very well.  It was the title of a movie that was not horrible at all, but was in fact one of my favorite pieces of cinematic cheese.  A movie I had bought in junior high, have watched many times since, and more recently hooked Chelsea on. 

Was this their game, to give us false hope before crushing our souls once and for all?  The DVD’s menu came up, with the title prominently displayed.  It wasn’t a lie!  Wait, wait, they might just show us this screen, then take it out and starting laughing at us while they put in whatever monstrosity they really had planned for last. 

But no!  Sandy hit “Play,” and the movie began.  I couldn’t believe it!  They were going to play it, after all these years!  I would no longer have to beg them to use it as their Tyrannosaurus movie!  For a brief moment, the sins of the day were forgiven, I was so happy.

Rumors that I started bouncing in my seat and squealing in a manner similar to Lyz when she saw the shark in Jaws 3(-D) thrust out its jaws may be slightly exaggerated.

Gem…Jim…Gemini!

ATTACK OF THE SUPERMONSTERS!!!!

The premise is that a bunch of dinosaurs escaped extinction by moving deep into the Earth.  They continued to evolve, developing human-level intelligence, greatly increased size (we’re talking Godzilla-size here), and increased resilience due to the depths and heat they deal with down there. 

They also developed superpowers, like flaming breath, radioactive particle smoke breath, eye lasers, mouth lasers, the power to control and command various mammals, and the ability to speak perfect English (probably Japanese in the original). 

Some of them are tired of living underground, particularly their ruler, Emperor Tyrannus.  He and his loyal dinosaurs (and those he enslaves with his evil powers) have decided they’re going to return to the surface and once more take over as the supreme lifeforms. 

Only the members of the Gemini force, led by twin siblings Gem and Jim Starbuck, can possibly hope to save mankind from enslavement, or destruction, or whatever it is the dinosaurs have in mind.  It kind of depends on the day.  Lots of footage of people in rubber monster suits stomping on toy buildings and swatting at toy planes ensues.

Yes.  YES.  YES YES YES YES YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

I am so happy to be talking about this movie.  Much like Super Inframan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Tarkan vs. the Vikings, I adore this movie wholeheartedly, unashamedly, and out of all proportion to its actual quality.  It was one of my first bad movie loves, coming after GvM, which was my first, and one of my greatest; because as we all know, I love me some dudes in rubber costumes playing with toy armies and cities.

Those of you who haven’t seen this (RECTIFY IMMEDIATELY DAMMIT) may be wondering why I’m talking about people in costumes, yet I’ve got a shot from some Japanese cartoon up there.  Well, those are the heroes. 

That’s right.  This show is part animated, and part live-action.  So we’ve got badly-dubbed anime with Hanna-Barbera-quality animation (prepare for lots of reused and repeating cels) presenting us with the plot, and then we switch to rubber costumes and plastic toys for the good stuff.  If you’re reminded of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” well, you should be. 

Actually, Yor, the Hunter from the Future would be a more apt comparison, as this too is a movie comprised of episodes of something from television smashed together with nary a care for continuity. 

In this case, it was a show called “Dinosaur War Aizenborg,” and yes, I really wish this would be released on DVD.  (UPDATE, 4/23/13:  I GOT MY WISH!!!!)  Of course, you would have figured this out from the opening, which is very clearly an opening sequence to a television show.  There are some weird-looking “dinosaurs” in that sequence that sadly don’t show up in the movie itself.

Anyway, there are four episodes in this “movie.”  Three of them concern one of the dinosaurs coming up, taking control of some animal (dogs,very large bats, and rats), turning them an odd color (bright red, or yellowish in the case of the bats) and attacking mankind, directly or indirectly (the rats mostly chew holes in a refinery plant and cause massive explosions as a result). 

The dogs and rats are animated like the people, but the bats are rubber bats on sometimes painfully-obvious strings (except for a cloud of animated dots they use to represent the swarm in long view a couple of times.)  The other one just has two dinosaurs coming up and causing problems.  No animal attacks, which would have been perfect to fill out the movie, but hey, two dinosaurs this time!

Since this is a Japanese kids’ show, we should not be surprised to see brutal death happening all over the place.  We don’t see any people actually die, but we get still shots of cartoon people very clearly about to be killed by animals.  At one point, some dogs jump on a screaming guy, and he falls out of shot, but we know what’s happening.  In another wonderful instance, we get a couple of rubber skeletons lying around after a rubber bat attack. 

The dogs and bats are allowed to survive, but all the rats end up being driven into the flames of the burning refinery, so that’s nice.  The dinosaurs are not spared, either.  The heroes do not mess around.  Once Gem and Jim combine themselves to form the cyborg superhero Gemini (and, why yes, they CAN only do this for three minutes at a time; how’d you guess??) and make their jet sprout multiple sawblades and a massive drill bit, the dinosaurs end up sliced, diced, and gutted.  Body parts go flying.  Throats are slit.  One dinosaur ends up getting drilled through his gut, and chunks fly as the jet emerges out of its back.  There is no blood, though.  I guess that would’ve been just too much.  *snort*

Gem and Jim are the heroes, but honestly they’re kind of stiffs.  Gem’s a bit fun at times, but Jim has a massive stick up his ass.  Luckily, they’re assisted by Jerry, Wally, and Professor Carmody.  Okay, not so much Wally.  Wally is the science officer, and he’s our Odious Comic Relief™.  Think of him as Gemini Squad’s Alpha-5.  Yeah, he sucks. 

Jerry is also comic relief, but he’s actually not too odious, and in fact he turns out to be pretty heroic.  I do worry about that mole on his face, though.  It gets bigger every episode.  Seriously, watch it and see.  Also watch Carmody’s moustache, which fluctuates in size, but is always massive and lush.  He looks like Don Frye’s dad, which is great. 

Carmody is their Zordon, giving them important information and sending them to do the dirty work while he “manages” them from base.  Despite that, he’s pretty cool. 

Jerry and Wally start out in the jet the squad uses, but inevitably they are sent down to a little APC that attacks from the ground, or more often performs crowd control or other support functions.  It does not have sawblades or drill bits, so it’s not nearly as cool. 

It does have giant weighted chains it can shoot out and drag monsters around with, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.  Despite this support, Gemini Squad’s usual plan is, “Shoot everything and then hack up anything still twitching.”  I suppose when all you have are advanced vehicles brimming with weapons, everything looks like a Supermonster.  (Did I torture that analogy enough?)

 Fun fact:  Emperor Tyrannus used to be the Last Dinosaur, until he found all these other dinosaurs and was crowned their Emperor.



No, I don’t know how there are clouds underground in the Tyrannus shots.

The dinosaurs are fantastic.  The featured ones are an allosaurus, a pteranodon, a stegosaurus, another allosaurus (or maybe a tyrannosaurus), and a styracosaurus.  Styracosaurus doesn’t get enough cinematic love, so I am very happy about that.  They shout and bellow every single word.  Most of those words are “DESTROY!  DESTROY THEM!  DESTROY THE HUMANS!” but anyway.  My favorite part of the movie is probably the allosaurus standing there, huffing and puffing, and making weird grunting noises before uttering his favorite word. 

“Errrg….arrgh….hrrrg…DESTROY!!”  They all have lasers and/or fiery breath, as well, because that’s what dinosaurs needed to be even better.  That, my friends, is scientific fact.  Don’t even try to question it.

Ken fell asleep during this.  SHAME ON KEN.  All of you reading this need to post and shame him.  I am not joking.

I love this movie so much.  No joke:  I was so happy that Sandy showed this that I completely forgot about how angry and sad I was about the previous movies.  It wasn’t until I started writing this the next day that the rage and pain flooded back.

Themes:  We get to see Gemini’s jet take off every “episode.”  As for the other, no way!  This thing’s awesome!  Besides, I’d have slugged anyone that did, and I’d have been sure to PUT MY WEIGHT ON IT!!!  (See my B-Fest write-up if you don’t get that reference.)

The Survivors Now Envy the Dead

It was a humbled crowd that shuffled into the night.  We all thought we were so badass, with our various bad movie watching bona fides.  We knew nothing.  NOTHING.

Well, if nothing else, I no longer fear death. 

I shouldn’t have to tell you what the best movie was.  Sorry, giant snails!  I still love ya.

It astounds me that we had four movies that, by all rights, could easily have been the worst movie of the fest…and yet none of them actually took that title.  We went from Jungle Hell to Double Agent 73 to The Lonely Lady to Shocking Dark

I was all worried about which of the last two I’d choose…and then that choice was taken from me by that godawful shitpile Daniel der Zauberer.  I’m telling you here and now:  Funky Forest is now off the hook, and this will now be the one we all bitch and moan about for years to come.  At least FF managed to be entertaining for about five minutes, even if it the other 145 are excruciating. 

The brief flickers of entertainment in DdZ, all of which revolved around Daniel possibly being murdered, ended up making things worse by refusing to follow through. It just kept offering hope and then snatching it away, kicking us in the balls in the process.  This might be the worst movie I’ve seen.  I mean, it got me to beg for the Jilla-Jalla-Jellyfish, after all.

I am quite certain Ken and Sandy enjoyed their fun, but they hadn’t counted on how it would affect me.  Some of you may have noticed many moons ago, when Ken and Kirk brought it up, and then purposely asked me about rhymes for it, seeing as how “I was the expert.”  You’ll notice I cheerfully answered them with nary a hint of psychotic rage.

You see, their trump card is gone now.

Not long after T-Fest, I purposely watched the Sting of Death scene I hated so much, just to see if I had been exaggerating in my impassioned pleas.  It turned out I had not.  No longer did that song bore its way into my soul, echoing through my brain for days on end.  No more does it haunt me.  Never again will I dread them showing it at a fest.  In that moment, when I cried out that I’d rather watch it over and over than continue experiencing Daniel der Zauberer, I meant every word.  In fact, I’m humming “The Jellyfish” as I type this.  It has no more power over me.

Now…I can begin to plot my revenge.  Fools!  I’ll show them!  I’ll show them ALL!!!  MU-WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!