Sunday, August 30, 2009

Compare & Contrast: The Hitcher

(Originally written on 5/20/07)

Sometime ago on the blog I posted a rant about how Hollywood isn't original and the only things they're coming up with are remakes of older classic movies. I know, that's nothing new, but I was complaining about how they were remaking a movie from the 80's, which made me feel incredibly old since I was born in 1980 and this movie came out in 1986 when I was only 6 years old!!! Gee, thanks Hollywood.

Of course I'm talking about "The Hitcher". But I have a small confession to make. I did see "The Hitcher" (the "original")...back in 1987 when it was on cable. Seeing as that was 20 years ago and I barely remember what I did five hours ago, I don't really know if I like the original or not.

Yeah, I shouldn't have ranted about a movie I barely remember or even know if I like, but it was about the principle of the thing, dammit.

But now that the "2007" version is out on DVD, I can finally take a look for myself in a new piece I'm calling



Throughout the course of today I will be watching both the 1986 version, and the 2007 version of "The Hitcher", and posting the similarities and differences between them. Who would do something like this? A movie geek with too much free time on his hands.

This one starts off with Jim, played by C. Thomas Howell (if this doesn't scream 'this was made in the 80's' I dunno what does), driving at night in Texas. He falls asleep at the wheel and almost gets Dodged by a Ram.

He spots a hitchhiker on the side of the road and I guess decides to pick him up to keep him company so he'll stay awake. Me? If I saw Rutger Hauer on the side of the road I would keep on driving. (Poor Mr. Hauer, if his car ever breaks down and he needs help, no one's gonna ever stop and help him cause of this movie). But Jim, realizing the movie needs to continue, picks him up.

Rutger introduces himself as John Ryder and almost immediately starts acting weird. He doesn't say where he's going and is just sitting there sneezing and smoking. Eventually he lets on that he killed some guy and he plans on doing the same to Jim. All Jim does is pull over and say "get out!!" John then goes "Uh..I mean...I need gas" and Jim goes "Oh. Why didn't you say so?" and continues driving.

Eventually though, John lets on that he's really crazy by putting a knife up to Jim's balls and says he'll let them go if Jim says four words, which are "I wanna die". Yeah, it's technically three words, but whatever. Jim notices that John didn't close the door all the way, so he makes a hard right which knocks John out of the car. Jim celebrates his victory by honking his horn like crazy.

Later, Jim is still enjoying his victory when he passes by a family in their car. Jim smiles at them and is all happy and wonderful...until he notices John in the backseat! Jim then starts acting like a maniac and frantically tries to warn the family but they think he's crazy and lets him get hit by a bus, which he does.

If this was a Choose Your Own Adventure book, the story would end there, but since this is a movie, Jim is ok and he frantically drives away, looking for the family. He finds the car later and we don't see any bodies or anything but we can imagine the carnage.

Jim then speeds away looking for help and he finds it in the form of a closed down gas station. John is there and he just simply throws Jim's car keys at him and he gets a ride from someone else. Jim drives to yet ANOTHER closed down gas station (Jeez, I thought getting gas nowadays was rough) but this time John just drives on through it with the truck that picked him up at the first gas station.

This movie gets rather silly with John always being 3 steps ahead of Jim, as if he somehow knows where he's gonna be and is just there waiting for him. And it's even sillier when he just crashes through the gas station.

As a result of the gas pumps being destroyed, and Jim now covered in gas, John lights a match and blows the whole thing up. Jim escapes with his car aflame.

Probably normally the car would've exploded but it didn't. Instead we meet Jennifer Jason Leigh's character Nash (she has some nice bridges, if you know what I mean) as she opens up the diner she works for. Jim comes around begging to come in to use the phone. Nash reluctantly agrees. Jim calls the police and tells them where he's at and then washes up. Nash has prepared a nice cheeseburger for him. While talking and waiting, Jim finds a finger in his fries. Man, someone's getting a call from the health department in the morning.

Jim runs out, throwing up when the police pull up. They think HE'S the one killing people and blowing up gas stations left and right so they arrest him. While searching him, they find John's knife. You're probably thinking "How the hell did he put his knife in Jim's pocket?" And I came up with a solution while I was pondering this. When Jim stopped at the first gas station and John just merely gave him his car key's. The movie doesn't really explore this too much though, so it's only a theory.

Jim is interrogated and thrown into a cell. Later, he notices his cell door is open and he wanders out. He finds all the cops at the station are dead. More cops show up and Jim escapes with a pistol and he wanders off into the desert. He finds a phone booth and is calling someone when two cops appear. Jim pulls his gun on them and makes them take him to The Captain.

Jim talks to The Captain telling him he isn't the murderer and the Captain said he'll help him out if he turns himself in. Jim then thanks him when all out of nowhere, at that particular moment in time, John rides up and kills the cops. I think they're trying to say John is God or something. Jim escapes and is contemplating suicide when he gets inspiration by the clouds or something and doesn't.

Jim finds yet ANOTHER diner (Texas: Nothing but Desert, Gas Stations which are empty, and Diners) and while sitting in a booth, God appears in the form of John Ryder. John tells Jim the gun is empty and he gives him the bullets and simply leaves.

Jim then sees a Greyhound bus pull in and he decides to sneak on to use the can or something. Inside, he puts the bullets in the gun when people get back on the bus and it leaves. While sitting in the back he notices Nash and forces her into the bathroom. He tells her he isn't a crazy murderer, despite him holding a gun to her head in a cramped Greyhound bus.

The police pull the bus over and Jim says he's gonna give himself up, which he does. But we are now in the part of Texas where the cops don't give a shit and just wanna kill people left and right. So they treat Jim less than kindly and is probably two minutes away from raping him when Nash picks up the gun Jim had and steals the cop car and they head out.

Nash gets on the radio begging to be let go so they can turn themselves in but the assholes say fuck you and shoot them. A stylish 10 minute car chase ensues. All the asshole cops are dead and things look to be ok when a helicopter shows up. But because John is God he shows up and shows his Godly powers by shooting down a helicopter with a simple hand gun. I tried that on Grand Theft Auto and if I can't do something in a video game, it should be harder to do in a movie. But the helicopter crashes and John ascends into heaven.

Jim and Nash pull into a trucker hotel and Nash pretends to sleep to see if Jim is gonna rape her or something. But Jim instead takes a shower. While doing that John just magically appears in the hotel room and kidnaps Nash. Jim realizes this and runs out to save her. But the cops show up and tell Jim "Oh, it's ok now. We know you didn't do it. John has Nash tied up between two trucks and he's driving one, threatening to tear her apart. Go in and stop him."

So Jim does and John just wants him to shoot him but Jim won't cause then he'll let go of the break pedal when he does. John goes "Pussy" and lets go of the break pedal anyway.

I know, I was all "Wtf??" too.

So now that Jim is cleared of all charges and John is in custody, things SHOULD be alright. But no. It's not. While taking John to prison and the Captain is taking Jim....somewhere, John SOMEHOW gets out of his handcuffs and kills his guards. Jim steals The Captain's gun and drives away. He finds the bus carrying John and the final showdown ensues.

John jumps into the truck Jim is in but Jim does the whole "hit the break pedal so John flies out of the car" thing and that works, until John gets up and starts blasting the hell out of the truck. Jim runs John over but that doesn't even stop him so Jim finally fills John with shotgun bullets. The ending credits run while Jim stands by the truck in an artsy shot, smoking a cigarette.

Despite the silliness and having John just pop up randomly, I did like this version a lot. With that out of the way, let's see how the remake holds up.

Ok. Now that you know what happened in the original, I can more or less skip over the identical parts and point out the differences.

First off, there are two main characters, Jim and his girlfriend Grace. They're leaving from somewhere to go to somewhere and the entire movie takes place in New Mexico. I was dying to know if New Mexico had the same amount of closed gas stations and diners as Texas. Sadly, we don't find out.

While Jim and Grace are on the road one night, they almost run over John Ryder, played this time by Sean Bean. They realize they've seen this movie before and leave his ass back there. They pull up to a gas station and while getting gas, John shows up and acts like a nice guy who is having car trouble. John asks Jim for a ride and being put on the spot, he agrees.

The same exact line of dialogue is used except he puts the knife up to Grace's eyeball. And sadly, the door isn't ajar, Grace has to open it and Jim kicks him out.

Another family picks up John but this time it's a CHRISTIAN family. Cause they're the only people who'll pick up hitchhikers in this day and age. While trying to warn them, Jim and Grace fly off the highway "Dukes of Hazzard" style and their car is totaled.

While walking they find the station wagon and we see dead bodies this time around. Except the father is still alive, so they use the station wagon to get help. They stop at a diner where a waitress decides to be a bitch and tell the police murderers are there instead of saying people are dead.

The police show up, arrest Grace and Jim, and Jim is put in the cell while Grace is interrogated. Then we yet again get a scene with Grace roaming the station free while all the cops are dead. How Jim or Grace didn't hear the shooting is beyond me.

Grace finds Jim in the cell and lets him go and much like the original high-tails it out of there. And since there's a female character travelling with Jim now, we gotta have a scene where they bicker for five minutes about who's fault this whole situation is.

But something different happens for once! John throws a truck off a cliff and it lands within inches from Grace. I was kinda excited to see something kinda sorta new! And different!

Oh and to further make this different, we see things from the cops point of view as they arrive at the police station. The Captain shows up and he knows that Jim and Grace didn't do it. So...yay for that!! But while they're running from John in a junkyard (this scene went on 10 minutes longer than it should've), a cop shows up and Jim tries to talk to him but the cop tries to arrest him. Grace shows up with the gun and holds the cop hostage. While trying to get out of there, John with a sniper rifle (Which won't ever be seen again) shoots the cop, which makes it look like Grace did it.

The chase scene occurs but it's not as cool as the original. And it's set to Nine Inch Nail's "Closer". Oh but this time, all the cops see John come up and shoot them all, so now the Captain believes Jim and Grace aren't responsible.

Instead of us using our imaginations and assuming they just got a hotel room, we spend five minutes seeing them break into one. They shower and Jim says he's gonna get help. After awhile, John suddenly appears (This character is suppose to be God or the Devil or something I swear) and attacks Grace in the room. But he suddenly leaves.

While looking for Jim, Grace finds him in the position Nash was in in the original. What a cop-out! So it's up to Grace to stop him, but the same exact lines of dialogue is exchanged and John lets go of the break. But this time we see Jim torn in half!!

We also learn that John Ryder is the name of one of the Hitcher's victims, so we really don't learn his name. Same exact thing, interrogated, taken into a truck, Grace is in a truck with the Captain, etc. Except this time The Captain and Grace (I bet Tenille was jealous) are behind the truck with John.

John breaks his hand to get the cuff's off and we know these guards are doomed when they start talking about their 5 year old daughter. God, don't screenwriters ever learn? Never have characters talk about their kids, it just tells us what you have planned.

Anyway, John manages to kill all the guards and an El Camino appears all out of nowhere, crashing into the truck and the truck The Captain and Grace were in. Captain is stuck and Grace steals his gun to face off with John. This face off isn't as cool, I'm sad to say.

John gets out, locks Grace into the truck, and sets it on fire. He shoots the Captain but Grace manages to find a shotgun and shoots her way out of the truck. Then she shoots John like 900 times, but for some dumb-ass reason he's wearing a bulletproof vest. Eventually, Grace shoots him in the head and...that's about it. She walks away and it's the end. Well, that sure was uninspired.

This version isn't as good as the original, even though the same exact things happen. The addition of a female makes it more annoying cause you know there's gonna be fighting and is only there to provide a reason for Jim to protect her, instead of it being a fight for freedom like the original. And Sean Bean is no Rutger Hauer, he doesn't have the same intensity. This whole entire movie was like a music video, and the reason for that is because it was directed by Dave Meyers, who directs music videos. I knew I was in trouble when the cover boasts "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE!", and I'm sure they meant the shitty remake. Which...was produced by Michael Bay. Ohh...that explains a lot.

So with those out of the way, let's compare and contrast!

-Rutger Hauer is a much more menacing name than Sean Bean. Sean Bean may be an ok actor, but he's not as scary as Mr. Hauer is. And see, I feel the need to call him Mr. Hauer in case he finds this site, finds where I lives, and tries to beat me senseless. Whereas I can call Sean Bean by his first name and the most threatened I'll feel is if he offers to dance The Macarena.
-We don't need any immediate backstory on Jim in the original. We start off with him driving, he picks up a crazy hitchhiker, boom! We're in. The remake felt the need to set up all this backstory that doesn't even figure into the plot. And now that I think about it, he wasn't really hitchhiking in the remake. He was just standing there by a stalled car.
-The addition of a female character in the remake hurt the story a bit. In the original, the female didn't come in until the middle of the story and was just there to help out the main character. Then she got herself into the whole mess by defending him. Whereas Grace is also a victim and is just there so Jim has a reason to run and defend himself.
-We really didn't need to see the cops point of view on all the stuff happening. We were better off thinking "Oh, how is he gonna get out of this if the entire state is after him?" instead of "Oh they think they did it, no wait they don't." It adds to the helplessness if the cops think the characters are the cold-blooded killers.
-The original's ending is better cause Jim had to go out of his way to stop John and making us wonder how he knew he was gonna eventually get free. It was just lazy screen writing to have Grace just happen to be there when he escaped. And you already knew in the remake that Grace was gonna win, whereas the original had you wondering until the very end.
-The original didn't need pop songs to be played during the action scenes. Enough said.

The clear winner is the original 1986 version, hands down. Why they felt the need to remake this is beyond me? I mean did we really need a version of "The Hitcher" to include music by All-American Rejects and Nine Inch Nails?
No. No we don't.

The Hitcher (1986):

The Hitcher (2007):


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bad Actor Spotlight: Eli Roth

I really rue the day Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth became friends. Cause now every Tarantino movie is going to great to me, but I'll be annoyed by the presence of Eli Roth. I didn't care too much for Eli as a director until "Grindhouse" came around and he gave us "Thanksgiving" which was awesome. I hate "Cabin Fever" and both "Hostels", which is how Eli and Q.T became B.F.F's. But now Eli has a role in "Inglorious Basterds" and after seeing that movie today I gotta say this:

But...Eli Roth can't act. Sorry. In "Basterds" he's cast as "The Bear Jew", a big hulking guy who kills Nazi's with a baseball bat. That in it of itself is cool and I liked that portion of the character. Then he had to go and open his mouth. And I felt the urge to jump through the movie screen and slap the shit out of him.

I miss the days when Q.T was friends with Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth cause they could act. I love every movie all four of them did together in any form. This includes "Sin City" which only had one small scene directed by Q.T and none of them was in that one scene.

Maybe I'm a bit harsh on Eli's directing capabilities but I'm sorry, he can not act. Anytime he talks, he sounds like he's whining his lines. I don't even know WHY he was cast as an actor for this movie. Or how for that matter. I'm guessing Eli had some rare print of a 1970's Hong Kong film that Q.T MUST have and this was the only way to get possession of it.

The first I was made aware of Eli's acting was in "Cabin Fever", where he gave himself the bit role of stoner camper Grim. I didn't know this when I first saw "Cabin Fever" but I always thought that guy was a bit off and out of place and now I know why. After giving himself another minor role in "Hostel" as Annoying American #1, he was then cast in the Q.T directed half of "Grindhouse" "Death Proof". I've only seen this once so I don't remember if he was given a name but he was one of the dudes at the bar at the beginning with the group of annoying chicks. Probably can't miss his eyebrows.

And now here he is. Killing Natzees with a baseball bat. I wish this would've went to Michael Madsen. Anyway, Mr. Tarantino, please don't cast Eli Roth in any more roles where he has to talk. If you MUST cast him, cast him as a mute. He is intimidating to look at but that all goes away when he talks. Kind of a shame he was the one that did the thing at the end of "Inglorious Basterd".


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Many of You Will Probably Be Dissapointed By This Review

Originally reviewed on 8/10/06

For this review, I decide to give you sort of a rundown on what I was thinking while I was watching "Audition".

-Ok, Audition. I seen part of this on Bravo's 100 Scary Movie Moments or whatever. So I'm kind of prepared! Bring on the gore!! WOO BLOOD!!

-Ok, I don't speak Japanese. Where are the subtitles? Ah I gotta turn my captions on. Damn foreign films.

-Ok I missed the beginning, what's wrong with this lady? Well she died from it, whatever it was.

-Ten years the kid was what? 7? 8? 6? 2? What?

-It must suck to be a fish. You're just swimming along, suddenly this shiny object appears and you go "Hey that looks like fun..OW!!!!" then you end up in some dude's stomach. Talk about your bad day's. (Cue the Daniel Powter!)

-Seems like everyone wants this dude to get married. So he's talking to this other dude and he's like "We'll hold a fake audition and we'll find you a wife."

-Ok, they just said Audition like 20 times in the past 5 minutes. I think I know what movie I'm watching.

-This is probably based on a reality dating show in Japan. "What these girls DON'T KNOW is that they're unwilling dates for this dude who's only PRETENDING to be a movie producer! Will they pick the movie or the date? Let's find out!!" Hmm...that's not too bad. (Calls up MTV)

-Oh joy, a montage of all 30 auditions. I wonder if my walls need painting...

-HEY! There's the chick he seems to have a thing for. And she knows ballet. Awesome.

-He's gonna jerk off to her picture and video, isn't he?

-Hmm...any guy she use to be around suddenly vanished. Not a good sign.

-GAH! This is so boring! Did I get the wrong movie by mistake? Is this a Lifetime movie? Is the mother from Growing Pains gonna run through and start crying about her wedding dress or some shit? What's going on?? Where's the dismemberment??? I WANT BLOOD!!! ARRGH!!!!

-Ok, I'm better now. But I'm still bored.

-Whoa! She's getting naked....aww no boobage. Damn you Japan! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!

-That was quite possibly the longest one night stand ever. It was more like a 2 and a half week stand.

-Hm, this movie producer friend of his seems to think she's psycho. And he'd be right...if he'd just say so.

-Doesn't know where she live? DUDE! You were in the fuckin' cab with her when she got out. GO THERE!!! GAH!!!! My head hurts...

-So you think she lives in the ballet school?

-Ok, how can a guy in a wheelchair teach ballet? That's like Helen Keller becoming a vocal coach.

-Well Wheelchair Dude is kinda creepy. Did he bone the chick?

-Now it's off to a restaurant. Where a grisly murder happened. Maybe this dude should call Monk. Or Kojak. Or Spencer. He's for hire.

-Ok, I'm like one hour and 20 minutes into this movie and ABSOLUTLY NOTHING HAS HAPPENED??? I must have the wrong movie. Maybe this is "Audition: The Story of A Dull Dude Who Wants To Get Laid So He Pretends To Be A Producer But Nothing Bad Happens To Him!" Ok, I know people told me this movie was slow, but to me "slow" means nothing happens the first 20 or 30 minutes of the movie. This isn't slow. This is just stopped. Not moving. Motionless. NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!

-Oh she breaking into his house? Is it gonna start? But...the movie seems to be almost over. Something's not right...

-Ok, he's slowly moving through the house. He's getting a drink...whoa can't handle your liqour there, buddy?

-Wait, what just happened? Is my DVD broke? It just jumped back to what was happening an hour ago! NO!! NOT AGAIN!!! WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH GOD!! WHY????

-Wait...his wife is there....and he's introducing her to the chick? The hell is...

-Oh! I get it! It's's a fuckin dream??? NO!! Don't do the whole "It was only a dream" route! I HATE THAT!!! I'm gonna cry now.

-They must've gotten David Lynch to direct this part. I feel like I just watched "Muholland Drive" but with a Japanese cast. And no lesbian scene.

-Ew, did she throw up? Into a dog dish? What is she....OH HOLY FUCK!!! JESUS CHRIST!!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!? OH MY GOD!!!!!!! HE'S EATING VOMIT!!!!! WHY IS HE EATING VOMIT???? EWW EEWWWW EWWWWWWWW!!!!!

-Wait. This dude in the bag didn't have a tongue. But...he's lapping up the is that possible? Still. Ew.

-Oh, he's passing out again. And...she's in the other room. With a rubber apron!! YES!! THE DISMEMBERMENT CAN BEGIN!!!! (Sits closer to TV)

-Oh man...not needles. I hate needles.

(Throughout the whole actupuncture scene, I was balled up on the floor, weeping slowly and trying to look but trying not to look.)

-Foot? She's gonna cut off his foot?

-WHOA!! THAT WAS COOL!! And she just throws it agains the sliding door. AWESOME!!!!

-Time for the other one. And..uh oh the son is home. Wait, is she gonna spray him with perfume? Like those ladies in department stores? Hm, men do hate that.

-Wait...THAT was a dream??? She didn't leave him!! Or go psycho!! And he has his feet! Arrgh!!

-No wait...what's going on? It's back to the house and the son and he's running away..from perfume? Couldn't he just knock it out of her hand?

-WHOA! She broke her neck!!!

-"Are you ok?" "GEE son, my foot was just FUCKIN' cut off!! What do you think???"

-He had to tell him to call the police? That'd be the first thing I'd do.

-Ok how is she talking with a broken neck?

-It's over? You mean to tell me I rented this movie that was suppose to be so graphic and crazy and controversal and all that crap and it doesn't happens until the last 10 minutes of the movie?? Seriously, what a rip off. Granted, I didn't know about the vomit scene (ew), but still! What a rip off!! ARRGH!! Note to self: next time someone says "DUDE! This movie is crazy!! People's heads explode and Madame Judy Trench gets naked and squeezes chocolate syrup from her nipples!! You gotta see it", ignore them and kick them in the throat.

So yeah...I had to sit through an hour and a half of a Lifetime movie in order to get to some crazy shit. That kinda sucks.


Friday, August 21, 2009

"This is MY bullshit lecture!"

As I stated in yesterday's post, I went and saw "Rifftrax Live!" at a movie theater where the Rifftrax gang riffed on "Plan 9 From Outer Space". We arrived pretty early and for whatever reason, they were showing a Gloria Estefan concert. I didn't know if that was part of it or what. I mean, what does Gloria Estefan have to do with Rifftrax? Did they ask her to open up the show? And why?

Well after a few minutes Gloria left and soon came up some title cards from the Rifftrax gang making fun of those little game title cards movie theaters have that have information and games and stuff. They mainly did things like "Only In The Movies" where they talked about things like when you turn your lights off, you can still see everything in the room but it's only slightly blueish. And no matter where you are in Paris, you can see the Effiel Tower out the window.

Then there was weird "Did you know?" things like the name of Captain Picard's goldfish was Livingston and the full name of Jabba the Hutt which I don't care to remember right now. The funniest one was during "Movie Mistakes!" it simply say "Keanu Reeves was cast to star in 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'." That got a huge laugh from the crowd.

And speaking of, I was a bit surprised by the crowd turn out. I didn't know there were that many MST/Rifftrax fans in this city. I don't ever hear them say anything on all the MST message boards I go to. Oh well, I guess I can represent Indiana MSTies online.

Finally it started. First they riffed on a short called "Flying Stewardess" which was pretty funny. The film was some training film on how to be a stewardess in the 1950's, which includes making meals and tucking passengers in their beds for night flights. There were a lot of jokes made at Fort Worth's expense. Sorry Fort Worth!

"There's NOT a man on the wing of the plane!"
"She snores like a breeder hog."

Afterwards, they bought out this guy named Jonathan Coulton or whatever. I never heard of him but he's apparently popular among MSTies cause everyone, even in the theater I was at, was singing along to his songs. He did a song about zombies which was pretty neat. The first one about robots or something I didn't like but whatever.

There were also two fake sponsor ads, one for a flour and grain expo and the other about Berry Watch. It's hard to describe those but to give you some idea, they were made by the guys. Speaking of, Lowtax from SomethingAwful was there for a few second to help give out a prize that I didn't win so I won't talk about that.

Finally the movie started and shit it was funny. I don't recall a time where I wasn't laughing. They used the colorized version, which was ok. I noticed they did a couple of things to the film itself like put in a picture of some couple over a bed and had one of the alien guys turn green after the "STUPID STUPID HUMANS!" line, which made the Rifftrax gang laugh, which says a lot about this movie cause you know they've seen this more than once.

"His mother named him Tor cause that's what he did to her vagina after giving birth."
My favorite had to be when the alien dude was walking and one of them said, to the alien chick "This is my impression of you. See? I'm you." I know it's not funny to read it but trust me, it was hilarious.

The movie ended and I came home and downloaded my free goodies, which included the picture used up above, the Flying Stewardess short riffed, and an original song by the Rifftones. Overall it was a fun night and I hope they do it again soon, with another movie. I dunno what movie but I don't care as long as they do it again.

It's a bit vain of me to even think anyone at Rifftrax reads this stupid blog but just in case, I'd like to thank them for a great night and tell them how awesome they were.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bela! Not Bela!

I'm gonna be hitting this up tonight:

I'm totally looking forward to it cause I finally get to see and maybe meet other MSTies in this area, if there are any. I shall report back later on how it went.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

4 Years of Crap

This month I celebrate four years of watching horrible movies and writing long badly written posts that people claim are funny about said movies, while at the same time enduring so much pain I'm surprised I haven't checked into some kind of hospital. Well, I did that one time but it had nothing to do with the movies, it was that one night I went out drinking and met a girl...


Usually I do SOMETHING for my anniversaries but this year, cause I got a new job which sucks so much ass they actually EXPECT me to work, I haven't had time to do much. But I got some free time now and I thought I'd pick and choose some of my personal favorite movies and/or reviews that I've done over the years.

First, let's start with the first one that popped on this site when I created it. Prior to creating Invasion of the B Movies, I was doing a project called "Friday Night Video Review" where each Friday I would watch a movie and write about it. Simple. One of those Friday's I took on "Dead Alive" and about a week later I was inspired to start the site, so I drug that review to that site, along with two new reviews "Frogs" and "Inflated". All three movies have a special place in my heart. "Dead Alive" for it's Kung-Fu priest, "Frogs" for it's pre-mustachioed Sam Elliot battling amphebians, and "Inflated" for...well read the review and find out.

Another one of my favorite movies that I've reviewed is "Slugs". God I love that fuckin' movie. The dubbing, the horrible acting, the "Birthday" line, everything. I wish every B-Movie could be "Slugs".

But then I came across "Basket Case" and I fell in love. To show my love, I gave it my first ever five star rating. And it was based on the last 10 minutes of the movies. Those are probably the best 10 minutes in any movie ever.

Pretty much every Mass Invasion we've done was my favorite, only cause my group of friends are pretty funny and it's great to read their take on these movies. If I had to choose a favorite though, one I had fun doing, it was probably "Showgirls". Turns out, there are tons of ways to call a girl a slut.

A neat experiment was the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" review, where it wasn't much of a review but transcripts of me and my friends Maria and April riffing the movie. I do wanna do that again but I havne't found the right movie to do it to.

GNFOS. 'Nuff said.

The worst movie that I can think of right now that I've seen and reviewed probably goes to "Las Vegas Blood Bath". It was like an anti-movie. Yeah, I hated "Cabin Fever" "House of the Dead", and "Fear of Clowns" but those did have some kind of story happen, even if it was excuted poorly. But "Blood Bath", man. A whole 30 minute scene of girls eating pizza and watching TV.

I honestly can't think of any more so I'm gonna stop there.

I do wanna thank some people for inspiring me or making the last four years pretty awesome, like:
Albert at The Agony Booth
Andrew at
Odd Todd
Fletch for making me a LAMB
My fiancee Felicia for putting up with me watching these movies for the past four years.
All my Mass Invaders: Adam, Bobbie, April, Maria, Sean, Rachael, and that one French guy who's name I forgot, sorry dude.
And finally, you my readers. You are a quiet bunch but when you decide to be vocal, you say nice things and it makes me feel like I am doing this for some reason other than my sick personal amusement. Let's make year #5 fuckin' awesome, shall we?

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Is Me Getting Off My Ass and Doing Something!

Between last months "CHUCK NORRIS!!!!" posts and this months new feature "Double Feature" (I think I need a name change for that, I dunno) I been neglecting the site, yet again. I promise I'll fix this really soon. I went to my Netflix and saw that it finally started empting out after having it for 3 years. Usually I have about 120-160 films in my Queue but after all the Chuck Norris watching and double featuring watching it's down to a paisly 50. So I got a lot of crap I fill that back up with. And I made a list of at least 20 movies I wanna review for the rest of the year so yes, more new content will be coming forth from yours truly.

I'm also trying to get a Mass Invasion going but I think all the Mass Invaders lost intrest or something but we'll see. For now, thanks for your patience and I promise new cool stuff is on it's way.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Double Feature #3: The Jungle Book/Bloodsport

In what is probably gonna be the strangest combination of movies during this project, I took on the classic animated film "The Jungle Book" and the Van Damme opus "Bloodsport".

It seems like the movie that I call "tails" for always gets chosen first. I should try to fix it next time so the movie I wanna watch first gets "tails" and see how that goes. Anyway. I fuckin' love "The Jungle Book". I watched it every day when I was a kid and I had this Disney Songs on cassette tape thing and I use to listen the shit out of that, so I have most of the songs from that movie memorized. My fiance gave me weird looks when she came home and I was in our living room going "SOMEONE LIKE YOU!!!!! I WANNA WALK LIKE YOU!!! TALK LIKE YOU!!! TOO!!!!" In a related story, I need a place to live. Anyone need a roommate?

Then there's "Bloodsport" a name that just oozes testosterone. Just merely watching it made my dick grow 2 inches....from the ground. YEAHH!!!! I been wanting to see it for awhile now (the movie, not my dick) and when someone listed it when I sent out the email to all the mass invaders to list movies, I had to go and run with it. Let's see how it stacks up against "The Jungle Book".

1. Any Similarities?
You could easily say that both movies feature characters doing the things they do cause they're wild animals and this is the only solution to their said problems. But its much deeper than that. In "Jungle Book", Bagheera the Panther wants to take Mowgli back to the "man villiage" to protect him from Shere Khan (KHAAAAAAN!). Despite him giving up a few thousand times, he ultimately gets this task done. You could boo Shere Khan for attacking a innocent young boy but he was only doing what he felt was right and hey, he's a tiger for christ's sake, it's not like he's smart or anything.
Then there's "Bloodsport". You could easily say that these guys are just looking for an excuse to beat the shit out of each other in a country where nothing is illegal but it goes deeper then that. These guys are here to protect the honor of their respective families. And much like Van Damme's character Frank, he's there for the honor of his friend and former master, who is dying of "Mysterious Movie Disease". Surely winning this ass kicking contest will make him better. So in both films, there's a deep layer of honor and doing what you feel is right.
And I feel Baloo and Ray Jackson are possibly similar.

2. Any differences?
One movie is possibly ok to put on if you're babysitting some kids and need them to shut the hell up for an hour. The other, if you do put it on, you will be fired and possily sent to jail for some reason. And one movie has catchier songs.

3. Any compatibility?
The characters in "Bloodsport", while fighting for said honor, have to muster up all their animalistic insticts to survive inside the "runway" as it's called for some weird reason. It's either kill or be killed, which is the rule of the jungle. So deep down inside, these movies are compatible. You just have to look through some blood and guts to see it.

4. Would it have been different in reverse order?
Yes. After watching "Bloodsport" last, I wanted to rip open my freezer and take a bit into some raw steak. If I watched "Jungle Book" last, I would be doing the same thing, but singing some catchy songs in the process.

Overall, this is probably the most interesting grouping of films and I recommend it. You can do this at home if you have a family. Put on Jungle Book first and let the kids fall asleep, then put on Bloodsport and, ladies watch out, cause the dude of the house is gonna have a 14 inch boner and is willing to eat out anything.
And I do mean anything.


Trying to justify this post:
Seth Green was in Indianapolis. Seth Green, on top of being in some cool movies, made some bad movies like "Without A Paddle" and the upcoming "Old Dogs". I talk about bad movies and the people that star in them. There, done.

Saturday, the people behind the show Robot Chicken was here in Indianapolis to promote their latest DVD "Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 2". They were having it at a roller skating rink literally down the street from where I live. Seth Green and his friends was gonna be there, along with the band Gym Class Heroes.

If you bought the DVD, that meant you get in an hour early, which I did. I got in at 7, but Felicia got in at 6:30 cause she's on the roller derby team. So I get in and I see Seth Green skating around with all the derby chicks. You can see this in the first video. Much of the time was spent trying to get his autograph but he wouldn't stop near me right away. Finally, he did and I introduced myself and he said "SKATE!!" to my face and skated off. He came by again later, signed my DVD, then said "Dude, it's ok if you can't skate, just have fun, man!" then he skated off again. It was awesome.

Also in this video was me meeting Seth's friend and other producer on the show Matt Something. He was a cool guy, even if I can't remember his last name. That's him taking the camera from me and interviewing me, making me promise I'd skate, which I never did.

Also again, the guy on the segway is the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes. He didn't talk to me as you see but I shook his hand and he signed this chick's bag. I didn't have anything for him to sign though. I don't think I even know his name. It might be Pierre.

The second video is from the performance. Seth had to kill time while Gym Class Heroes got ready, so he asked these two guys to do a free style rap. I didn't tape the second guy but I wish I did cause it was pretty embarrassing. Finally, Gym Class Heroes took the stage.

It was a fun time and I'm glad I got to be part of it. Seth Green was super awesome and he talked to everybody and took pictures and stuff. And he wasn't surrounded by bodyguards or nothing. He was just a typical guy skating his ass off. Except he played Scotty Evil. And does the voice of Chris on "Family Guy".

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stuff Going On

1. If you are waiting for a prized DVD from me, I assure you I will mail it out on Monday. I apologize, I been super busy.

2. RIP John Hughes

3. This month marks the FOUR YEAR ANNIVESARY of Invasion of the B Movies! WHAT?? WHAT??!! I know I can't believe it. I don't really have anything special planned though cause this job I have is kicking my ass. Yes, I hate it.

4. Tonight, I swear, I will be at this. Yes, I will be hobknobbin' it with Seth Green and the Robot Chicken crew while trying not to fall on my ass on skates. I doubt I'll be actually skating though. Hopefully I can take my video camera in. We'll see.

5. I swear by the power of Greyskull that I will be going to B-Fest 2010 in January. I swear.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Double Feature #2: Thriller: A Cruel Picture/Dead Alive

After flipping a coin, I watched "Thriller: A Cruel Picture" first. This is a movie I been wanting to see for awhile now. My friend Adam was the first to bring it to my attention, then the Cinema Diabolica guys (who seem to have vanished) took it on. I chronicalled the affair I had getting this movie so now I finally got to watch it.

Afterwards, I watched "Dead Alive" as part of my annual viewing to honor when I started my website all the way back in 2005 (Jesus I been doing this for four years?). I still love the movie, what with it's "I kick ass for the Lord" speech and the ending where Lionel kills the zombies with a lawn mower. I wish Peter Jackson...well you know.

1. Any similarities?
Both movies take place in different countries, "Thriller" being Sweden and "Dead Alive" in New Zealand. Both films have two cuts available, the "heavily cut" for them easily offended Americans, and the full directors cut with so much sex and/or gore you can shake a stick at. Both have main characters who start off as normal and weak, then end up getting strong and kicking lots of ass. And both seem to have a cult following.

2. Any differences?
The overall tone in "Thriller" is kinda dark and brooding, while "Dead Alive" is a fun zombie film. I should've felt bad for the One-Eyed Chick in "Thriller" but I didn't cause it seemed like if she was smart at the beginning of the movie, she wouldn't have gotten herself into that problem to begin with. I felt more sorry for Lionel cause he just wants to have a normal life but his Mum is too overbearing. What stops him for killing her is anybody's guess. Well, in a way he eventually does I guess.

3. Any compatibility?
I think Lionel would be scared of One-Eye. But if a zombie outbreak occured in Sweden, and she heard about Lionel's exploits, she'd probably call, well more like send a message, to him and then both of them stand side-by-side, her with a sawed-off shot gun and him with his lawn mower, kicking zombie ass. It'd be even greater if all the dudes One-Eye killed came back to life.
In terms of the movies themselves, I think it was an interesting combination. Lots of blood and ass kicking.

4. Would it have been different if watched in reverse order?
Probably not. I was expecting a super dark depressing movie with "Thriller" and when that came up first, I was happy that I got to use "Dead Alive" as a way to wash away any feelings I might've gotten. But I was a bit dissapointed in "Thriller" cause none of the stuff that ended up happening to her was any different than I seen before. Maybe if I was around in 1970-whatever year that came out, I would be like "GASP! Heroin?? An EYE PATCH??? Putting a dick in her anus?? MY WORD, MAN!!" then dance to the Bee Gee's or something. But since I watch a lot of porn and b-movies with so much sex it'll make Ron Jeremy be a Mormon, I wasn't that shocked or disguisted. I guess I was expecting "I Spit On Your Grave" or "Last House on the Left" type of exploitation. This was just a chick who made a dumb mistake and now she has to fight her way out of it. So I think the order wouldn't have made any difference.

My recommendation:
I wouldn't watch these two together again. I know this whole thing is about pairing movies that have nothing to do with each other, but this is where I discover that this pairing wasn't right. I think you need to watch another early Peter Jackson film with "Dead Alive" and some other kind of exploitation film with "Thriller" to fully get the effect. I feel kinda odd right now. Not suicidal like the other day, just...weird.

Quick word about "Thriller":
I would award "Thriller" two stars cause it wasn't a bad movie, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It was kinda built up to me and I was expecting a lot of guns shoved into guys throats and then pulling the trigger. Instead I got a lot of slow motion scenes for some reason. Way, way, way too many slow motion scenes. I will say this though, the chick that played One-Eye was hot and she is naked like half the movie. I have my doubts about the sex scenes being her cause they were quite graphic, but holy hell she's hot.

I Owe Star Wars Fans Everywhere An Apology

A year and a half ago, in a galaxy not that far, far away, I took on "The Star Wars Holiday Special". Back then I worried I would upset Star Wars fans, but I wasn't too worried cause I was taking on one of the few things most, if not all, Star Wars fans hated. But I knew there would be that one person that would say something. Now grated, what I'm about to post isn't hate mail or a "how dare you" kind of thing.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was toiling away at work, I recieved this email. This is the email in it's entirety. I will leave out the guys name and stuff cause while I am poking fun at him, I don't want him to be flamed or anything from all my rabid fans. All 2 of you.

"That RUG you're waiting for should be arriving soon. Some old lady made it herself by HAND. SOLO!"

Actually, he says “shaggy carpet”, not rug.

For the confused: In my review I was talking about how clever Art Carney was being when he was talking to Chewy's wife in front of some storm troopers or whatever about when Chewy will be arriving, and with Han Solo. Apparently, it's known in the Star Wars universe that Chewy is a shaggy carpet instead of a rug. Yeah, rug is another word for carpet and how dare I leave out one word out of the fine dialouge spoken by Art Carney. For this, I am ashamed and I apologize for my error. To any Star Wars fans out there that I offended by confusing these two words, I hope we can work things out and discuss this, while talking about Han and Greedo shooting each other or something.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Double Feature #1: The Odd Couple/Rosemary's Baby

And here we go. The start of a new feature on the blog. I will be doing this regularly, but during August I'll try to do as many I can. The object, in case you missed it, is to watch two movies back-to-back that seemingly have nothing to do with each other. Like, total different ends of the spectrum. The best example, shown to me by Final Girl, was The Odd Couple and Rosemary's Baby.

You look at the double feature poster and go "Huh. What the fuck do they have to do with each other to be billed like that?" The results, much like anything you'll find on "Maury", will shock you.

This being the first one, I'll explain how this will work. I won't give a full out review of the movies, unless I group a movie I am gonna review with it. What I'll do is write a post about the experience of watching them both and asking four questions, then giving an overall recommendation if you should try this at home, only cause I'm a professional and you shouldn't alway do what Uncle Jason tells you to do.

I asked many of my Mass Invaders to send me some movie titles from different genres, so they know at least one half of the upcoming ones. I think when they find out which ones I paired with which, it will surprise them. Or just make them go "eh" and move on with their lives. Whatever.

Ok time to shut up, let's get this going.

For future reference, the order I watch the movie will be chosen at random, probably with a coin toss or something. This time, though, I watched "The Odd Couple" first cause it's been my experience (and correct me if I'm wrong) that movies listed on a double feature poster, the one on the left was shown first, then an intermission, then the one on the right was shown last. I'm not sure who decided on the order of this but they were sick, sick people.

1. Any similarities?
Oddly enough, yes. They're small and subtle but they're there. Both were released in 1968. Both were released by Paramount. Both take place in New York City. And both movies take place in an apartment building 80% of the time. It's kinda funny to pretend that maybe both movies take place in the same building and that down the hall from Oscar and Felix is a self absorbed actor who decides to fuck with his wife who hadn't done anything wrong by having her get fucked by Satan. And it's funny to think that Oscar and Felix are Satanist Witches.

2. And differences?
Well one movie is a comedy written by Neil Simon about two guys moving in together and driving each other crazy, which was eventually turned into a successful sitcom in the 70's. The other is a super dark weird film about a chick giving birth to the anti-christ. I know just listing the genre's under differences is a cop-out. So I'll say this, I felt good at the end of "The Odd Couple". I feel like killing myself after the ending of "Rosemary's Baby".

3. Any compatibility?
Well, if you like movies from the 60's that take place in the 60's, specifically NYC '60's, then these two movies are made for each other. The '60, as seen through the filter of these two movies, was groovin' times, baby. In "The Odd Couple" Felix is upset about his divorce so he roams around NYC for a bit, he walks into a place clearly named something Cafe and inside is a groovin' band with half naked girls dancing. In "Rosemary's Baby", everyone was either old and evil or young hippies who liked to smoke weed. And I guess back then it was normal for young hot chicks to be friends with old people. They must love visiting their grandparents.

4. Would it have been any different if watched in reverse order?
GOD YES! Making "Rosemary's Baby" the last movie of this double feature is like following up a nice dessert with a stab in your eyes. Don't get me wrong, I love "Rosemary's Baby". It is a great film and really dark but it's dark bleak ending is leaving me rather depressed and full of dread. I feel if I watched that first, then used "The Odd Couple" to cleanse my palate would've been better. I dunno, maybe people in 1968 took things like this a lot better. Or no one really watched the movies and just made out the entire time.

My recommendation:
If you think you can handle both sides of the rainbow, go for it. I mean, these two movies are total opposites, no doubt about it. Yeah, "Odd Couple" can be dark what with Felix's suicide attempts, but I think Mia Farrow fucking the Devil and then birthing said offspring is a bit fucked up. I think someone should watch "Rosemary's Baby" first, then "The Odd Couple" and report back to me on what you find.