The often overlooked teen classic
featuring a bevy of today's hottest stars:
Sarah Jessica Parker,
with bushy eyebrows and fried hair
Helen Hunt, as Lynn Stone, aka "that cool
Jonathan Silverman, as the nerd
Bratty, pre-teen Shannen Doherty uttering lines
like "Don't throw a mental, Dad."
and a really cute guy who shoulda been a star, Lee
Our story begins with Army brat Janie (Sarah
Jessica Parker) introducing herself
to her classmates at her new catholic school in Chicago:
daydream was always the same...
someday I was going to get to Chicago because...
that's where they make Dance TV"
Los Angeles DJ and 80's flashback compilation
album cover boy Richard Blade plays the host
of Dance TV,
an American Bandstand-ish show.
you know it--Dance TV is having open auditions
for a new couple!
Lynn and Janie bond over their love for
the show and decide to try out,
after rebellious Lynn convinces Janie that it's okay to sneak out behind
her strict father's back.
you do everything you're told?"
"Oh my God, you do."
Janie stands out at the auditions because
of her gymnastics skills and catholic school uniform.
She makes it to the finals and is paired with Jeff, a hunky working class
boy whose sleeveless t-shirts are always drenched in sweat.
Their rival is Natalie, a rich bitch.
She hits on Jeff and invites him to her debutante ball.
Lynn and Janie get a hold of the invite, xerox it, and invite all the
riff raff of Chicago.
Punk rockers crash the deb ball! It's chaos.
Natalie's dad ends up with his face in the jello salad.
they ruined your beautiful silver hair!"
Just like all those great John Hughes teen flicks.
Helen Hunt provides
comic relief with lines like
"Velcro. Next to the Walkman and Tab, it's the most important invention
of the 20th century."
and by disrupting choir practice and prompting
a nun to utter the weird line
"Lynn Stone will join us and sing
it like an American."
Janie and Jeff rehearse together, overcoming
all kinds of obstacles such as Janie's strict father and Jeff's attitude
Of course, they fall in love.
Meanwhile, Natalie plots to foil their chances.
Her dad owns the factory where Jeff's dad works and threatens Jeff.
you don't want your father to lose his job
anymore than I want my daughter to lose that contest."
Jeff mopes and withdraws, like a brooding
James Dean with a mullet.
Janie worries about Jeff, knitting her bushy eyebrows,
until he finally gets approval from his dad to dance!
Who wins the final dance-off?
Ya just gotta rent it.
It's fun, I'm telling ya, and you just wanna have fun, don't ya??
The sequel nine years in the making
Written and Directed by Don Coscarelli
was all in your imagination..."
"The FUCK it was!"
James Le Gros
indy film star
He successfully avoided the brain-sucking
orb in Phantasm I
and now he's back, driving a Hemicuda,
and all fired up to fight the eerie tall man
and duck the orb some more.
harvesting the town! We've got to warn people. "
Who's harvesting the town?
THE TALL MAN
guaranteed to creep you out.
Mike, watch out for those Jawas!
(Aren't Jawas a registered trademark of Lucasfilm?
And what are they doing running around in this movie
with special effects far below the ILM standard?)
a 19-year-old kid. You're a bald,
middle-aged ice cream vendor."
Yes, these are our heroes, Mike and Reggie.
They've got girlfriends too!
Mike's chick looks like a cheap Rebecca De Mornay
and Reggie's babe is named "Alchemy."
story about me blowing up my own house
because it was infested with midgets--
It wasn't true."
Actually, they were jawas, not midgets.
Brain-sucking orb! Duck!
A priest didn't duck, and he ended up being lynched
by his rosary.
The director must have some Catholic school angst he's working through.
saved my life and a few minutes later
I saw him get sliced and diced by some flying cuisinart."
Funny, I didn't know the cuisinart company made brain-sucking orbs!
I'm on my way to Crate & Barrell now!
It all ends with a climactic battle of the
They've found a doorway to his world!
Tall Man be stopped?
Rent it and find out...
unless you're a wuss...
If you're like me,
a good horror movie puts you in the mood to do arts and crafts:
The following review is intended for mature audiences
as it is filled with satanic flowered wallpaperings, shag rugs
high, dracula collars, and the 60s mascara job
and spock-like ears of Karen Black
staring Karen Black,
Karen Black and Karen Black
(and if you think she isn’t scary,
watch Burnt OfferingS
with Bette Davis & Oliver Reed.
You’ll never be the same!)
Episode 1: starring Karen Black
Synopsis: teacher, student, some date-rape
drug in the root-beer,
incriminating pictures, a $15 hotel room and
Karen becomes a nervous, blackmailed sex slave!
A SUDDEN CHARACTER CHANGE LATER...
Karen turns the tables on her blackmailer.
She speaks of their alleged sex (we never actually see any sex occur)
"their dramatic experiences."
Turns out she’s psychic. Uh huh.
quiver, he drools, he convulses.
Indignantly, he cries, "You’ve drugged me!"
"No dear," she responds, "I’ve killed you."
And then she sets his house on fire. Uh huh.
Episode 2: starring Karen Black
Gist of this vignette: MY
SISTER IS EVIL
Just look at her library of hard-bound books on
sorcery, Satanism, pornography, Ozzy Osbourne.
Meet more lip quivering men:
one boyfriend sporting
The Worst Supercut
Ever Appearing in a Motion Picture
Witness: Voodoo Revenge
(making this flick Jan Brady’s pick of the week)
Well, actually, Suicidal Voodoo
and apparently fake hair and fake nails will do the trick
BECAUSE THE REAL HORROR HERE IS
ONE OF THE
WORST CASES OF SPLIT PERSONALITY
THIS DOCTOR HAS EVER SEEN!
Episode 3: starring Karen Black
From a curio shop on 3rd Avenue,
Karen has bought a genuine, fortified Zuni
Spirit included, no batteries necessary,
Some disassembly required
TO UNLEASH THE PSYCHOTIC WARRIOR TRAPPED INSIDE!
No rebates, returns or guarantees.
Of course, the sprit is accidentally released.
and soon Karen is hearing the pitter-patter of little wooden feet
as the Zuni warrior muppet
makes his acting homage to Animal.
can’t be happening!"
Karen screams and writhes
on the bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen,
as the warrior muppet tries to give her
She throws that sucker into the oven
and two minutes of orgasmic Zuni wailing later,
She opens it up to have a look-see
EVEN THOUGH THERE’S A BIG
ON THE OVEN DOOR!!
She accidentally inhales EVIL.
THE LAST MUST SEE SCENE:
A squatting Karen Black with, hands-down,
the scariest eyebrows and orthodontia
The sight will be forever branded on your retinas.
so get your ass up off the couch and
and stick around for the "previews"
at the end of the video:
"House of Exorcism" with Telly Savalas & Elke Sommer
and "Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things"
Remember when husky lil' Jerry O'Connell
asked River Phoenix and his other buddies:
"You guys want to go see a dead body?"
flick is like a strung-out Stand By Me
Samson Tollet, "John" to his white
trash posse, kills his girlfriend and leads his friends to see her naked
on the river's edge.
"Dude! I saw it! I poked at
it with a stick."
Of course, John has a motive for his crime.
"Why did you kill her?"
"She was talking shit."
John's friends, led by Layne (Crispin Glover,
even more wacked out than he was on Letterman when he tried to kick Dave
in the head) decide to cover up the murder for him. But Layne is the only
one really committed to the plan. He buries the girl and nobody helps,
not even John.
"I'll be expecting a sixer for
says Layne, dumping the body in the river.
"You'd think I'd at least rate a Michelob,"
says Layne, when John gives him a sixer of Bud.
at the Pre-Speed teaming of Keanu Reeves
and Dennis Hopper
Keanu plays Matt, the burn-out with a conscience
Hopper plays Feck, a nutso shut-in with a stash of premium weed, which
he gladly gives Layne and his friends whenever they visit, as long as
they talk nice to his inflatable girlfriend, Ellie.
a real girlfriend once, but he had to kill her.
So he and John have something in common.
Psycho bonding time!
"I killed a girl once,
put a gun to the back of her head, blew her brains out the front.
I loved her." --Feck
"I strangled mine." --John
"Did you love her?" --Feck
"She was all right." --John
Matt's little brother Tim is the most evil kid since Damien.
He drowns his little sister's doll.
When Matt beats him up, he hatches a plan to kill Matt and tells his asian
punk friend, "Go get your nunchuks and
your dad's car!"
Watch your back, Matt!
Eventually, somebody narcs to the cops.
Furious, Layne drives around in his jacked-up VW Bug
trying to figure out a plan.
Meanwhile, Matt gets together with Layne's
girlfriend, played by Ione Skye.
He also has a big fight with his mother's boyfriend, who lives with the
"You just stay around here
to fuck my mother and eat our food.
Mother Fucker! Food Eater!"
The kids spend a lot of time wondering why
they don't feel worse about their dead friend.
Maybe it's because they're jealous
Maybe it's our morally bankrupt society?
Maybe it's just ennui?
"Sometimes I think it would be a lot
easier being dead."
"That's bullshit. You couldn't get stoned anymore."
this movie for a much more insightful look at today's wasted youth
than Reality Bites or Dead Man on Campus.
Eyes of Laura Mars
The 70s Hyperdrama
Starring the premier Hyperdramatic Actress
"I'm (SIGH!) alright."
MURDER, SUSPENSE and A 70s SOUNDTRACK
FROM AN ACTUAL 70s MOVIE!
Raul Julia leaping on women,
Tommy Lee Jones say: "I LOVE
you. I LOVE you."
too funny to be sexy but good try, Tommy!
Retro Commercials in inopportune spots,
"Plop Plop Fiz Fiz..."
An over-long, misleading plot trail 70s
"Gee, he's not the killer after
all. No wonder the movie didn't end 15 minutes ago!"
And a bad case of shamelessly letting your
sing the tortured and irrelevant theme song.
"WHAAAAAAAAT is it about You"
You go, Jon
A MURDER SUSPENSE DRAMA WITH LOTS OF LAUGHS
JADED ARTIST THEMES and NO SEX SCENES,
( I saw more violence from Bette Davis in Agatha Christie's Murder On The Nile )
TO YOUR NEAREST VIDEO VENDOR
AND SNATCH A WEDNESDAY-NIGHT COPY
of Laura Mars
The 90s Pseudo-Action Thriller Starring millions of dollars of special effects that still manage
to look like sets Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland
built in the barn!
spewing psudo-military mumbo jumbo and
The generic president -
he's a pilot, he's the president
and he's a darn good father, too!
Meet: The generic gay guy, Harvey
Feinstein doing generic gay business.
"Oooh! I'd better call my mother!"
The generic old Jew, Judd
He stoops, he complains, his every word a sarcastic quip.
Meet: The Movie!
A war movie, an alien movie, a love story!
W hat a deal!
Just listen to this minimalist dialogue
the great empowering and heart-warming lesson of this film:
HEY! We could all write this!
1. "Get me the secretary of defense!"
(significant pause) "THEN WAKE HIM!!"
2. "Address the nation. There's
gonna be a lot of frightened people out there."
"Yeah, I'm one of 'em."
3. "You think we'll get to Washington and they'll be there?" (Poignant look)
opens the computer, "yap!,yap!,yap!," closes the computer,
draws little circles all over the president's letterhead, opens the computer
AGAIN, whirls it around...
AND THE CLOCK IS TICKING!!!!!!
A CLOCK! THAT'S IT! WE'RE DOOOOOOMED!!!
MORE WITTY DIALOGUE!
"And then what?" "Check mate."
"OH MY GOD!!"
OH MY GOD IS RIGHT!
The Shadow: Surprised looks (Ooh! It's big!)
from the Hollywood Sign to the
White House lawn to Central Park.
Thank God we moved to Jebidiah's Farm, Iowa! Sheesh!
They've got an infinitely superior technology
but no Virus Scanners. Doh!
See the president outrun a fire ball
and Will Smith's chick:
the only person in LA clever enough
to find a cubby hole of safety.
Rats can do it
but, apparently, Americans cannot.
AND THE AWARD
FOR BEST MOB IN A MOTION PICTURE GOES TO...
After a movie from Verhoeven -- we pat him
on the head and say,
'Terrible movie but entertaining anyway.'
Put Will Smith and an Alien
in a wave-making, sex pool scene
and maybe we'd do the same.
It's July 4th and all's well in the world.
With a wisecracking, alien-punching Military,
Celebrate your Independence!
AND FINAGLE A TUESDAY-NIGHT COPY
(JULY 3RD: "A lot of people died
If you thought Dick
Clark only liked teens who wore poodle skirts and lived for music
with a beat they could dance to...
You'll be shocked
to picture Dick with drug-crazed youth in this LSD
Dick left the squeaky-clean Bandstand boppers
behind when he recruited hordes of unwashed hippies...and a couple of
future stars for this hilarious cheapie!
Groove to the Soundtrack
featuring "Incense and Peppermints"
by the Strawberry Alarm Clock.
Packs More Star Power than Airport '77!!!
Dig these names!!
Ok, so Susan's not really a star herself,
but she's the offspring of Lee Strasberg,
the father of method acting. Susan employs the method to BECOME the deaf,
square Jenny who journeys to Haight-Asbury in search of her brother.
How did the Academy overlook her in '68?:
to dance? No, I'm deaf."
He plays Jenny's brother, now called THE
SEEKER, looks like a cross between Jesus and Charlie Manson. He entices
Jenny to S.F. with a cryptic postcard:
is alive and well and living in a sugar cube."
the writer/director of such chatty flicks
as EATING and SOMEONE TO LOVE, Henry lets his mutton-chop sideburns do
the acting here, as he plays poster artist and irresponsible drug user,
Wake up! Warren's freaking out at the gallery!!"
He convinces the trippin' Warren not to
cut off his hand, even though Warren swears his flesh is rotting.
Jack used to HAVE hair --
enough for a ponytail!
He plays Stoney, lead guitarist, supposedly
(check out the fake guitar-playing on "Purple Haze" in the concert
scene -- I was more convincing playing my tennis racket at age 4). Stoney
and his merry men befriend innocent Jenny, but Stoney just wants to get
into her pants.
Note Jack's trademark womanizing charm and
know she's digging me!
(cue psychedelic sex scene)
Is sneaky Dick Clark presenting this flick
to critique the hippie mentality? The film's hero, Stoney, just exploits
the "free love" vibe to get the free sex. Jenny wants more,
so she turns to:
as the jaded Dave, sometimes member of the
band, sometimes philosophizing recluse. He claims he'll give Jenny the
love she craves... but first he gives her a glass of kool-aid laced with
Don't you understand! Jenny does not know that drug!"
The guys must find Jenny in the streets
of S.F. before she does harm to herself.
"Reality is a deadly place
Expand your mind!
See the colors!
I give it an 8, Dick, because it's got a
good beat and you can trip out to it!
It's written and directed by Michael
Yes, before his big-budgeted projects like
Jurassic Park and E.R.,
Crichton made tacky movies like Looker and this one.
But there's one constant in his work-- Conservative Technophobia!
Jack Ramsey, a cocksure cop on the Runaway squad.
The man who also gave us Her Alibi, Folks!, Mr. Baseball, Quigley Down
High Road to China
here picked another really bad movie
Smart moustache, foolish choices.
The very blonde
Cynthia Rhodes plays Jack's new partner,
who can't stop drooling over him.
(Just like she threw herself at John Travolta in Stayin' Alive)
Together, they hunt and kill robots on the rampage! Technology is bad.
to be the future,
and robots are working as maids and construction workers,
so why are the cops driving Ford Tempos?
Big Problem with this movie: robots aren't
If you don't believe me,
rent Chopping Mall,
a bad horror movie where robot security guards
zap teens with lasers.
Although the movie is set in a mall, there is no chopping.
I felt gypped.
But I digress...
Jack, a widower, has a young son
and a robot housekeeper named Lois.
She looks a lot like Rosie from The Jetsons.
"Lois, you can't keep giving him hot dogs for dinner," says
"It is all he would accept," says Lois.
Jack's partner warns of the perils of the older model maidbots:
"My mother had a Series 10. It kept burning the toast."
Dr. Luther, the mad scientist
who is making the robots wreak havoc.
He's got a big gun!
It shoots heat-seeking bullets that can go around corners in pursuit of
"You've heard of a bullet that has
your name on it?
Well, this one really does."
Without the aid of his KISS makeup and
costume and axe bass,
Simmons has trouble being menacing.
Even though he leers and over-acts,
the other characters feel the need to keep reminding us
that he's the villain.
"This is a bad guy"
"He's evil, I'm telling you!"
"HIs name is Luther...like Lucifer."
She helps Jack track down Luther, then reconsiders and begs forgiveness.
Luther kisses her,
then stabs her in the back of the head!
Luther launches little spider-like robots
on his enemies.
They're kinda cute.
"My little machines will follow you
wherever you go.
They're loaded with acid!"
C'mon, Gene, show us your tongue just
You're no fun at all.
In the first reel, we're told that Jack
has only one weakness
as a supercop--
he's afraid of heights.
How ironic that the finale takes place
at a skyscraper construction site!
Luther has kidnapped Jack's son and climbed to the top. And the spiderbots are everywhere!
RENT IT YOURSELF
to see the exciting conclusion.
I'll tell you this much--the spiderbots kill somebody
and it's not pretty.
I won't tell you who,
but apparently they like ham.