REVIEW: Cat’s Eye (1985)

Cats-Eye-1985-James-Woods

Cat’s Eye B+

Would you like to see a cat fight a troll? And James Woods fight addiction? AND Ted Striker fight a pigeon? AND Drew Barrymore fight the changes in her growing pre-teen body?

Well then have I got a movie for you. It’s three three three movies in one and it’s all made from Stephen King’s short stories.

The first story is about James Woods trying to quit smoking and is really good. Remember when he tried to quit doing blow in The Boost? Well he’s even worse here. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just tell you what this story has going for it:

* James Woods yelling

* James Woods being scared

* James Woods giving a doll to a retard

* James Woods desperate for ice cream

* Animal torture

* Person Torture

* James Woods telling a guy to shove it up his ass

* A mob guy

* Funny music during both types of torture

* A guy named “Junk” making out in a convertible (with a girl!)

* A disfigured person.

* James Woods begging for mercy.

How can you not want to watch that?

The second story is about Ted Striker from Airplane trying to steal this guy’s wife. The guy is a gangster, though, and wants to make a dangerous scary bet with Ted Striker to see who wins the wife. I can’t say no more without spoilers, but let me tell you that the gangster is played by that guy who wanted to slip it to Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. He’s scary here too.

This movie also has Drew Barrymore at an awkward stage. Not only was she becoming a woman, it’s obvious that her off-camera lifestyle was catching up with her. She looks real tired and she’s all bloated and puffy-kind of like John Bonham right before he died.

There’s this troll who lives in her wall that wants to sit on her chest while she’s sleeping and suck her breath out of her mouth.

So this cat has to save her.

Personally, I think the troll represents adult sexuality and he’s trying to suck her out of her child’s life into the sex-drenched hell of adulthood.

Which is why she grabs and hugs her “cat” so much. She wants to protect it and it in turn protects her.

So it’s really about female empowerment. So show this to your daughters so they don’t go out banging too much. And your sons can watch it too and they might not start smoking.

REVIEW: Looker (1981)

looker

Looker D+

Hi there. The Clown is back. Sorry for the layoff, but this movie gave me fucking writers block.

In Looker, Albert Finney plays a plastic surgeon who usually works on “television models”. Most of them keep coming back to get more surgeries because they think they’re not perfect enough. But he has ethics so he’s all “No, you look great already”. And you can tell he means it because there’s an obvious subtext that tells you he’s most likely banging these models-or at the very least whacking it to their surgery reference pictures.

But he’s also a father figure. You can tell the way he looks across the desk at the model in the first scene. He’s all concerned about her self-esteem, and she looks back at him, needing his approval. Now, this daddy-issue psycho-sexual confusion subtext would be a total turn-on, but you get pulled out of it because of the words the people say when they’re acting.

Anyway, these models won’t take no for an answer. They keep asking, telling Dr. Daddy they need the procedure, and they need him to give it to them. So he’s all, “Okay, fuck it” and he gives it to them and then is like “Here’s your bill.”

Then a bunch of these models start killing themselves because this guy has a ray gun that makes them do that. And then Dr. Daddy realizes that all these models look the same due to his procedures and suspects there’s a connection. So he goes to find Lorie Partridge, who is a model too. He thinks she is the next one to die. So he tries to save her…by taking her to his lake house. And she’s totally into him too, because if you remember, there was never a Mr. Partridge-just that manager guy. Daddy issues.

They start to investigate what’s up and then the ray gun guy comes after them. And you find out the ray gun can do other things like make people forget the things that are about to happen. Which is interesting, I guess.

And it all has something to do with James Coburn, who owns the modeling agency that represents all these girls. He also owns everything that goes on television and wants to hypnotize people so they’ll buy shit they don’t need. And it’s up to Dr. Daddy and Lorie Partridge to stop him and save America from commercials. And yes, Dr. Daddy has to fight the ray gun guy, who is big and has a mustache.

I’d give this movie a straight unwatchable. But I’m a fair man, and I have to recognize it’s got some stuff going for it. James Coburn. A ray gun. And….

…natural boobs. Yep! And right up at the beginning too! Like the opening credits. So at least watch that part.

REVIEW: Monkey Shines (1988)

Monkey-Shines

 

Monkey Shines C- (D if you like monkeys)

I know what I like and I know what sells. And what doesn’t sell is a “monkey shine”. Because what the fuck does that even mean? And on the poster, the monkey has cymbals, but doesn’t use cymbals as a weapon in the movie. The movie monkey mainly uses fire. Why the hell didn’t Hollywood put that on the cover? If I were in charge of Hollywood, I would have named this movie “Pyro Monkey vs. A Cripple”. That would have killed at the box office.

So anyway, there’s this cripple and he’s all fucked up. He can only move his head. He gets a helper monkey named Ella from his friend who does science. That friend has been doing science on Ella. He injected human brain tissue into her brain. This has made her….telepathic. I think. But he doesn’t tell the cripple.

Now, this cripple- whatever his name is-he still manages to get action while he’s confined to his chair. He somehow meets a female doctor who is (luckily) an expert in both quadriplegics AND primates. And they do a cripple-bang scene which I found interesting in a mechanics sort of way. This makes Ella jealous because the cripple used to spend his time listening to music with Ella. Now he’s having cripple sex with a regular person instead. So Ella starts burning people up and that’s pretty good.

But I hate this movie. You know why? It’s because all of Ella’s dialogue is fucking dubbed! By a human dude! What possible reason could there be for that?

It’s fucking infuriating. Let the monkey do her own dialogue. It’s racist. Who wants to hear a human doing monkey talk? He doesn’t even know the language! And there’s some monkeys that really talk good and are obviously fluent. And once, I seen a monkey doing sign language! Give the monkey a chance at least, Hollywood.

And shit, they must have had to pay the dude to do the voice-over! What kind of business sense is that, Hollywood? You had a fluent monkey right on set. Poor use of resources.

By the way, the monkey who played Ella- her real name is Boo and I can’t find her on IMDB. So they must have fucked her out of credit and probably all her royalties too. I’ve always said that if you cheat a monkey-it means you’re trash. And I still believe it. Even if you are Hollywood.

At the end Ella gets killed by a tape recorder. And the cripple’s still crippled. So what the fuck? And then there’s a dream sequence that might have happened.

Watching this movie is like being crippled. I understand those people now.

REVIEW: The Swarm (1978)

Swarm

The Swarm-C-

Would you like to see a movie that is mostly just Michael Caine in a leisure suit yelling at people while he tries to bang that Stepford Wives lady? And bees are killing Texans? And it’s 2hrs and 35minutes long? And that homosexual guy from Shogun plays the skeptical bearded doctor? And then the Air Force sets the ocean on fire? Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Well, get ready to scratch your heads because they already made that movie and it sucks. This is the movie Michael Caine himself calls his worst movie.

I know what you’re thinking-what the fuck does Michael Caine know about movies? He’ll be in anything.

But in this case, he couldn’t be more right. This movie is worse than Jaws: This Time It’s Personal or whatever that was. It’s also not as funny as Blame It On Rio and has less boobs. The humor is mainly lacking in that it’s about African Bees invading Texas and none of those pig-fucking Texans’ deaths are played for laughs. If they had made the exact same movie but with the Bee attacks in fast motion and set to Banjo music….hell, you could call me a fan. But no one has the strength of vision to push it all the way any more.

There are some cool bee-poison hallucinations and bee’s-eye-view special effects. There’s also a shot of a real bee sitting on a leaf looking at the humans and -I shit you not-the bee actually somehow looks shifty-eyed and sneaky. Great casting and direction.

But everything else sucks, except for Michael Caine and Dr. Shogun. There’s not even a Queen Bee to fight at the end.

Basically a rip off of The Birds with bees instead of birds, which sets up an obvious franchise-merging sequel to both called “The Birds and the Bees”. I just thought of that idea right now. ©The Saddest Clown in the World 2013.

I’m in the book, Hollywood.

REVIEW: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

baby_jane

 

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962): A

I have to apologize for yesterday’s review of “Mommie Dearest”. Apparently there WAS a real Joan Crawford and she was in the movies and she really DID like to make her children eat raw steak.

And also, she’s in this movie.

In a twist, she’s the one getting psychologically and physically abused. The abuser is her sister who doesn’t like her because she’s crippled and used to be more famous.

One thing I like is the way this movie handles the cripple. It’s hard to do cripples right because the line between pathetic and funny is just gossamer thin. This movie goes the pathetic route and….nails it! Joan Crawford played a scared, abused, helpless person really well. Maybe she was using her daughter for inspiration, I don’t know. But it works.

The sister is played by Bette Davis from the classic late 80’s nighttime soap opera “Arthur Hailey’s Hotel”. But apparently she was famous for other things before that and one of those is this movie and another is some fetish movie from way back in the 30’s.

Anyway, the sister is a fucked up child star from the 10’s who used to be known as “Baby Jane Hudson”. She had a creepy singing act with her father. They also made dolls that were exact replicas of her 8-year old body and sold them to people who liked to have them. She tried to make the switch to movie stardom in the 30’s, but she hella sucked. Meanwhile, Joan Crawford, who was the ugly duckling sister when Baby Jane was a star, made it as a respected actress.

But then Joan Crawford gets crippled, and Baby Jane has to take care of her and as the movie opens they’ve been shut-ins for the last thirty years.

They have a nice house and are still rich. They’re still so rich, Baby Jane gets liquor delivered to the door! Then she falls in love with this fat British piano player and starts to plan a comeback and gets meaner to Joan Crawford, who can’t do jack because of the crippling.

Bette Davis is way nuts in this movie and is scary as hell. She wears children’s clothes and dances around and plays with dolls of herself. Baby Jane also serves dead animals to Joan Crawford, who apparently had given up meat because this upsets her.

So there’s lots of tension and well-done suspense but the movie ends with Baby Jane’s dream of being watched by a crowd again coming true, even though she’s just spinning around on the beach with an ice cream cone in each hand.

And Joan Crawford gets a long rest. The final shot is really touching.

REVIEW: Mommie Dearest (1981)

Mommie_Dearest

Mommie Dearest (1981): Capital A

There’s something to say for balancing pairs like horror and comedy or disturbing and sexy. And this movie strikes just the right balance because the violence is mostly psychological and ALL of it is directed at children. Which this movie proves CAN be funny when done right.

The main character is this woman named Joan Crawford. She is played by Faye Dunaway, who you might remember from Supergirl and Halle Berry’s Catwoman movie. Anyway, it’s a fictionalized version of 40’s Hollywood, and Joan Crawford is a big star. This movie really conveys the time period well because they talk about other stars and movies that I KNOW really did exist. Another nice touch is when Joan Crawford wins an Oscar, they actually mention the real films and actresses who were nominated the year in which this is supposed to be.

She’s got hella problems, though. One of my favorite scenes of her crazy is in the beginning. Joan Crawford is yelling at her maid to clean the dirt off the floor better than the way the maid is doing it. Then she just pushes the maid out of the way and gets down on her knees and starts vigorously scrubbing while yelling “I’M NOT MAD AT YOU, I’M MAD AT THE DIRT!!!”. This scene is really disturbing, but also kind of a turn on-which speaks of the deft direction of whoever directed it.

Then she adopts some kids. Just about the age they can talk, she starts psychologically torturing them. She also makes them eat raw steak because cooked steak loses all its vitamins.

And then her career gets worse, so she marries this rich, fat guy and makes him spend all his money.

She also somehow takes over Pepsi-Cola by just being a bitch to some guys who run it.

It all comes to a head when she tries to strangle her adopted daughter after the daughter gets kicked out of her private school for banging some dude in the barn. Because Joan Crawford’s embarrassed.

After she dies, the daughter decides to write a book about Joan Crawford called “Mommie Dearest” and the movie is supposed to be like, all the stuff she’s going to put in the book. So it’s very Meta, and scary as well, and none of the acting is in any way over the top.

And it’s educational. I learned that steak thing. It works with bacon too.

REVIEW: Hotline (1982)

hotline

 

Hotline D

Wonder Woman works in a bar and gross men hit on her. Then one follows her home and breaks in while she’s sleeping to smell her hair or something, but he doesn’t hurt her. I actually kind of related to this, because I don’t want to hurt anybody, but there’s lot of hair I want to smell all the time all around me everywhere.

So she starts also volunteering at a psychiatric help-line for some reason, and she starts to get stalker calls from this guy whose first pitch is:

“Barber barber, shave a pig, how many hairs to make a wig?”

He wants to kill her and chop off her hair or something, which I also relate to because I really like long black hair and Wonder Woman, she has tons of it.

Once in high school, there was this girl with beautiful black hair on whom I had a big crush. She came to school one day with a short pixie cut, which was pretty sexy as well. But she asked me how I thought it looked, and I said:

“Great. But did you save the old hair?” and she said:

“No. Why?”

“I could’ve made a hand puppet out of it.”

Then I stared at her. And she laughed. She laughed because she thought I was joking. Then we started hanging, and we made out a couple of times and once went skinny dipping at midnight in this Irish guy’s pool in which we weren’t allowed.

And she let me hold her wet body afterwards ‘because it was so cold. I couldn’t close the deal, though.

Maybe I should give her a call.

Anyway, it’s a mystery and he keeps calling and her co-workers start calling him The Barber. He wants her hair and she doesn’t want him to have it so that’s the conflict.

The ending doesn’t make much sense, but it’s still cool because it’s not the guy who is openly obsessed with her for the whole movie who turns out to be The Barber. It’s actually open-obsessed guy’s best friend who hates her for not returning his friend’s love. And he wants make something for his friend out of her luxurious hair. And he’s her boss also.

And Frank Stallone’s in it.

If this was hard R (hard 80’s R) instead of made for TV it might have been good because there could’ve been a lot more detailed hair-fetish stuff and Wonder Woman could have gotten (tastefully) naked.

REVIEW: Hell Night (1981)

Hell-Night

 

Hell Night: C

This is a fairly entertaining little slasher film with pretty well-done suspense, some great jump-scares, some interesting murders, and Linda Blair dressed in ruffles and velvet. It doesn’t seem to have cost a whole lot, and I suspect that the biggest line item in the budget was Linda Blair’s cocaine.

But it loses at least one entire letter grade because the slasher is named ….Andrew. Andrew. When I think of a guy named Andrew…I just don’t think danger. I think of a Jewish lawyer or some red-headed perv or something.

So Andrew’s backstory goes thusly: He was the youngest son of Raymond Garth, the richest man in The Town That This Is In. Mr. Garth hated all his children, because as the movie describes them, they were “mongoloids” and “cripples”. Andrew had the bad luck to be born a “gork”-a word I’ve never heard, but it seems bad because when Garth killed the whole family and then himself, he punished Andrew by making him watch everyone die and then stay there alone. And he was never found, so he might just be living in the house.

So this Frat/Sorority combo at The College in The Town That This Is In is making 4 new pledges stay in the Garth house ALL NIGHT long after the biggest drunken, date-rapiest frat party of the year. Which is also a costume party.

There are: Slicky-Boy (who is dressed up as Robin Hood), British-Slut-Girl (who costume seems to be “whorish limey who wears underwear, boas, and flapper headbands everywhere”) the Boring Guy (whose costume is “feminine geek who has decided to assert his manhood by dressing like Lord Byron”). Then there’s the good girl, who is Linda Blair in velvet and ruffles.

So they’re locked in, and some things happen. One of those things is that Slicky Boy and the British Slut bang almost immediately, and she keeps calling him “Wes” instead of “Seth”, which is what HE says his name is. Even the last time she sees him. It was a good recurring joke seeing her strip away his identity like that.

As I said before, it’s actually a very solid slasher film with all the necessary tropes covered. It manages to provide some nice jumps and inventive kills. There’s also some subtle foreshadowing and deftly constructed suspense. But…I did see it when I was 10 and then once when my sister gave me the DVD as a joke and I watched it and then sold it to Rasputin’s. So maybe you can get it there.

There ARE some fairly glaring plot holes, but those don’t really matter if you just tell yourself to enjoy it. Don’t ask me why, for instance, if the Frat does this every year, no one’s ever gotten so much as a Wet Willie from…Andrew…all these years. Also don’t ask me who the hell is that other guy who Slicky-Boy blows away by the pool. I didn’t make the movie.

And the guys who did make it don’t care about your questions, and they’re probably laughing at you right now out on some pleasure boat somewhere while they snort blow off the butt cheeks of their Guatemalan slaves.