I think the first time I saw Angela Bassett was in a chick flick while I was on a date in college. I do believe my favorite role for her was really in Strange Days, but I do wish she had gotten a chance to play Amanda Waller longer. How cool to have a picture of her on a Green Lantern red carpet event anyhow?
Here’s the thing, it had already been a strange weekend for me. I got into a lightsaber fight with a Jedi – all I had was a 3 ft candy cane… I got drafted into a zombie movie while I was making breakfast, I showed up for a photoshoot and somehow ended up in a parade and escorting Santa Claus up to a stage. and yet, walking into the Capitol Theater semi-annual secret film – Ihad no inkling how
much weirder it was about to get.
the secret film is Cleveland Cinemas way of announcing they are late shift cult movies for the next 6 months – they package it with something strange Dash and unannounced and practically unwatchable film usually. this time around it was Voyage of the rock aliens. How do I adequately describe this? It’s as if somebody took Greece, Mork & Mindy, and glued it all together with a healthy dose of Devo.
the film begins with a duet between Pia Zadora and Jermaine Jackson (did I mention this is a musical?), complete with a West Side Story Style battle between rival factions. Jermaine vanishes from the story after that, but Pia Zadora is there
in full force, hanging off the arm of Craig Sheffer. I’m not sure where you might know Craig from, but I’m familiar with his work with Clive Barker – Nightbreed and Hellraiser : Inferno . in this film he leads a gang called the pack – theyre also a band, and wears a lot of leather ( but not a whole lot of shirts). all of that clearly marks him as the bad guy.
The heroes in this film are a group of Misfits in ridiculous jumpsuits, led by a robot
that reminds me a great deal of the one from Rocky 4 – except for the times when he turns into a rolling fire hydrant… Seriously, I told you this was going to be weird. the prologue of the movie explains to us that the aliens are searching for rock music, though the storyline seems to indicate they’re more interested in finding mates to bring back to their world dash and unseen Utopia rendered emotionless by the jewel stuck in their foreheads.
there are spontaneously choreographed dance routines, New Wave sounds and sights, and Michael Berryman running around with a chainsaw. if that doesn’t sell this film to you I don’t know what will. as bizarre as it was, I didn’t stop smiling through the entire thing – had the Good Fortune to see this with friends. We clapped along with the songs, and softly made fun of the rampant lunacy that pervades this cinematic atrocity. since Sunday they’ve all been searching for their very own copies of this – at ask me all the harder by the fact that this was never released on DVD in the US, Though if you VHS copies are still to be had. do what you have to, find this film – it’ll change your life.
Jack is a fairly blatant Gambit rip off, with a little twist on the powers. I’m a fan of this style though. Grifter is another Gambit rip-off and I love the character. Knightsabre is a far less successful stab at that type, but it’s a model that’s proven, and this makes a nice companion piece to that Dice character I did last month.
I encountered the trailer for this film in front of another movie I was watching and was intrigued enough to seek it out (after all, isn’t that what trailers are for?).
Here’s what IMDB has to say about it:
One of the US Air Force’s most modern tactical aircraft, an F-100 with a new laser guidance system, crashes into the sea near Malta – a region where the Soviet forces are highly present, too. The CIA immediately sends out their best secret agent, Ken Tami, to salvage the system before it falls into enemy hands. To ensure his loyalty, they bring his two young sons to a nearby hotel on the island. Ken Tami’s tough opponent is KGB agent Andrei.
Okay, seriously, even this is too much description for this film. There’s really no plot here, just oone fight scene after another, painted against a backdrop that must have seemed timly at the moment, but now dates the film and locks it in a specific period.
It’s not a bad film, just a brainless one. If you’re in the mood for high kicks and have to complete you Van Damme collection, check it out.
Man, I cannot believe that full moon pictures mockbustered me. When I looked at this package, I mistook this film for zombie strippers – the one with Robert England and Jenna Jamison. When the full moon pictures logo came up, I knew I was in the wrong place. Full moon is a staple of indie movies, and usually bring surprisingly good quality, but they never ever had a budget that could afford someone like Robert England (maybe Jenna Jamison car but I’m not even sure about that!). Still, with a Full moon film, you know exactly what you’re going to get. They play it straight, they take it seriously. However, they also know when exactly to add some humour and lightness. This is not the sort of zombie movie that is going to change the world, but that doesn’t keep it from being fun. The movie is entirely set at a strip club, though we occasionally get glimpses of the parking lot, for the most part it’s inside the club.the owner is depressed because businesses bad – indeed throughout the entire movie we never see more than a couple of patrons – and he is planning on selling it. In fact, the paperwork has already gone through and tonight is the last night. It probably wouldn’t have any customers at all, if not for the zombie outbreak… Its early stages and no one knows what’s going on yet. A couple of people show up here because the strip clubs they were at descended into chaos, but they are saying is just your normal Friday night. We get further description of what’s going on outside through news reports and our patrons tales of what happened at the previous clubs they attended. Beyond that, it’s very straightforward – zombies show up, somebody gets bitten, zombies beaten back or hidden from, zombies show up again, someone turns… It’s all extremely by the numbers. The zombies here are also very much what we’ve seen before – shambling mumbling “brains! “.
There is nothing new here, but don’t let that turn you off. While you don’t get the social commentary of George Romero, or the gritty post apocalypse of the walking dead, they still take themselves seriously enough to not tip over into the wackyness of evil dead. While the movie doesn’t really add anything to either the catalogue or the zombie mythology, it also doesn’t take away from it. A box set like this is exactly where it belongs… part of an anthology perhaps. In a set like this it’s going to get more attention than it would on a streaming channel or doing a broadcast on SyFy – in those cases, I can just change the channel. On the other hand , Being a collection like this you won’t feel bad about possibly paying too much for this movie the way you might have if you had bought it for $5 in the dump bin at Wal-Mart. If this were something that I had rented for a dollar at the local video store on a Saturday night, I’m confident to say I would have walked away satisfied that I enjoy this, and it’s definitely a good sign if this is what I have coming up in the rest of the set.
Revolt of the Zombies starts off strong with the idea of reanimating the undead to fight in war with Ghastly results. It’s footage I’ve seen before on collections like Zacherly’s Horrible Horror – zombie soldiers being shot and not stopping, even as bullet holes appear on their chests.
The problem is, once you get past the made-for-the-trailer scense in teh beginning the film actually slows down to a dragging pace as we explore the origins of the zombie and how to create them. There’s an interesting attempt to kind of connect it with the classic White Zombie, but even that feels forced and over the heads of the audience.
This one’s better if you just catch some clips of it. Watch it in the background once perhaps and just skip to the good stuff.
First, right off the bat, I need to say two things; I’ve never NOT had a good time at Days of the Dead. Second, God bless the Hellraiser crew for keeping their autograph rates reasonable.
There’s something about Days that just feels more fan based, less like a cash grab. It’s always been well run and well put together. They consistently have great guests, good panels and a fun layout. I’ve been hitting Indy more often lately, its been a while since I hit Chicago. As I made the drive from Cleveland, I began to remember why. Still, in that time attendance here has grown significantly.
When I arrived, the hotel paring was full. I’ve never encountered that at Days before, but they were prepared. They waved me on, four driveways down, to a parking garage they had secured as free overflow parking. (This by the way, is an excellent example of how Days takes care of it’s attendees as opposed to say Horrorhound or Flashback. Those two shows both have the same issues with parking, and their reaction is pretty much “you’re on you own!” find some place, pay what you have to and then walk).
Inside, fans were shoulder to shoulder, the hallways jammed with people wall to wall. Moving about was difficult at best, but I managed to elbow my way into the guest room. Andrew Robinson was my first target, seated caddy corner from the rest of the Hellraiser crew. I’m a fan from not only Hellraiser, but also Star Trek and Pumpkinhead. He’s personable but definitely has a con personality.
The Hellraiser table was next, and my main target was Simon Bamford. Simon talks endlessly and goes out of his way to make you comfortable. He was enormously fun to chat with, talking about movies and the costumes that were passing by. (a big thanks to Cameron from Cincinnati who hung out in the line with me and took my photo with Simon). I’ve met the rest before but it was still fun to renew acquaintances. They were all astonished that I’d actually gotten to see the film recently on the big screen. One of my favorite moments was to see Nick the Chatterer with the people in front of me. The fan had a daughter in tow as he was getting his poster signed. She was playing with a doll on a toy scooter. The scooter broke at the table and Nick reached over to help the little girl put it back together. It was a beautiful moment.
I managed to catch both the Hellraiser panel as well as Dee Snider’s talk. I just heard Dee at Motor City Nightmares, but with new questions there was still a lot of stuff I’d never heard before. The tent they held the panels in was full, but still less crowded than the halls of the hotel. They have most definitely outgrown this venue and that’s a bit of a drag because I always prefer hotel cons to convention center shows, but at this point it was too crowded for me to be able to properly explore the vendors. I quickly added a signature to my Aliens poster and decided it was time for me to head back.
On my way out I stopped by Felissa Rose’s table just to mention to her that I had seen her recent film “Victor Crowley”, directed by Adam Green. I let her know it was enormous fun and she had given a great performance in it. Felissa’s eyes went wide as she took my hand to thank me. “That means SO much.” She turned to explain to her confused handler about how the movie had been shot in secret and one day Adam just kind of dropped it out of nowhere “Here, look what we made!” I waved goodbye with the distinct feeling I had just made her day. It certainly made mine.