Critters 2-The main course

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The most 80’s looking intergalatic  bounty hunters ever!

1988

Here’s a turkey for you to feast on. This film does take place around a holiday, but it’s Easter rather than Thanksgiving. I know that if I found weird looking eggs that I would color them and try to pass them as Easter eggs. Actually no I wouldn’t, but some silly small town types do just that in this film. They might call it a plot device, but I would refer to it as stupid. Meanwhile out in space the bounty hunters from the first film along with former town drunk Charlie are told that there are more Crites (those nasty Critters) left on Earth. So they make a U-turn and head their space craft back to our little ole planet. The new Sheriff dresses as an Easter Bunny, but is attacked by the recently hatched Crites. He gets his man parts bitten and goes crashing through the window of the Church during Easter Sunday services. Yeah that won’t have a lasting impression on any small children in attendance. The kid that survived the first Crites attack tries to convince everyone else what is going on. They don’t believe him. The bounty hunters show up with one of them changing into a nudie woman and later a nerdy guy and eventually gets killed. That last part might have needed a spoiler alert, but most of you probably gave up watching the film and caring before that point. Eventually the town and the bounty hunters unite to fight these second rate Gremlins. Their plan to lure the Crites into the diner with burgers and blow them up fails as the Crites roll away from the flaming explosion as a big ball of chomping death, however it did likely make the air smell like a big cookout. Then Charlie devices a brilliant well though out solution – that’s right he crashes his ship into the Critter ball and kills them kablooie! Charlie however survives whether we like it or not. The other  alien is picked up by another ship or maybe it’s a space taxi and he’ll have a big bill when he gets back to his planet. The main characters talk some more yack, yack, yack and the main teens kiss-smoooooooooch. This film lost money so it’s a good thing as now they won’t make a sequel unless they discover the straight to video market-oh crap I think they went that route. Roll the credits.

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I paid money to see puppet eating salad?

The negatives-The first film was like an update of a 50’s alien invasion film and this one tries to capture that feel as well, but this one feels far more forced. Despite having more action the second half of the film is hard to make it through. It’s hard to root for characters when they are not all that likable.

The positives-It gives you a horror film to watch for at Easter. I think they’d tried to catch the feel of the previous film and at times they do, but at times it just feels like not enough is going on.

I saw this when it first came out in 1988 and I kind of liked it then, but now I just think it falls short.

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There’s goes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail..to meet his doom.

Upcoming junk and stuff

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Happy Thanksgiving! For about the last six years the evening before Thanksgiving at my house we eat a dinner of the above items. Peanuts fans will recognize it as the foods Snoopy served on the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and we eat this while we watch that special. I hope to have a Critters 2 review out some time today as I did watch it yesterday and then Hellboy 2 on Friday. Robin’s Holy exclamations will happen Sunday and hopefully Dr. Smith will finally return next week. One of the reasons I started this blog was to help urge myself to watch more of the films I have never seen that are laying around my house. I have not done as much of that recently so next week I’ll aim to get at least two reviews of films I’ve never seen up on the blog. Last year I started a segment called Saturday morning flashback and I reviewed a few episodes of the Star Trek cartoon. I hope to bring that segment back soon and it may be reviews of specific episodes of old Saturday morning shows or it may be my memories or general overviews of some of those cartoons or shows. Whatever the case since Saturday morning cartoons are now a thing of the past I hope to get that segment going soon and hopefully be consistent enough to keep it going. I hope to include sci-fi, super hero, fantasy and action cartoons and live action shows from the 60’s through the 80’s in this feature.

Take care!

Creepshow 2

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Need a trim, buddy?

1987

Let’s see this says “Creep, show review for you too “. Oh, no wait it actually says  “Creepshow 2 review for you”. This is an anthology which is something like fancy speak for a bunch of short stories. This film is framed by a cartoon that starts with some ruffians being mean to some smaller kid. Eventually we get into the first live action story. It focuses on a wooden indian. There’s this thug who loves his hair “oh, look at me, I’m like a male Rapunzel maybe I should call myself guypunzel”. He and his buds are mean to these old people that own this shop. The wooden indian comes to life and the wooden indian is less wooden than the other actors. He gives the hooligans what they deserve. The next story involves some teens that go out to the lake to act out and act cool-good luck with that last part. Everything goes perfectly for them .. yeah right this is the 80’s and teens in horror films are doomed. A tar puddle starts killing the teens off one and a time. What a bunch of weak victims – most teens in the 80’s get killed by a psycho with a weapon or a dream travelling perv not a patch of goop. Well a couple of the teens survive on a raft and are waiting to try to swim back to shore. The last guy gets to shore, but turns to taunt the monster and gets a bad penalty for doing that. The last segment starts with a former Bond girl cheating on her husband. She tries to hurry home so she doesn’t get caught. Then wham bam no thank you, cheating ma’am she runs over a hitchhiker. No one saw so she leaves. Then she sees the dead hitchhiker several times with a sign that says “you’re a stinky driver, lady” oh I think it actually said  “Thanks for the ride, lady”. He spooks her and eventually of course she dies in an odd way. That’s what you get for being in Moonraker, lady. Back to the cartoon with the kid and the bullies. The former victim lures the others into a trap and kills them with giant flesh eating plants. Then the film ends with the Creep host guy tossing his comics out onto the road which probably gives us an idea of how good they are. Roll the credits.

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I’m covered in a bunch of ooky stuff.

The negatives-At 92 minutes this film felt a little short and actually it was originally supposed to have two more segments but the lack of budget caused those to be scrapped. The film falls short of the first film.

The positives-I have a soft spot for anthologies so I may like this film better than most people. The indian segment is definitely my favorite. I think is a decent film overall and I try to watch it once a year. For some reason I associate it with summer and normally watch it late in the summer. They used to show this a lot on weekends on TV in the early 90’s and I came to like it back then.

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I’ve had better days.

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Aieee there be monsters here!

 

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No this doesn’t mean I need to go do a number two .. at least not yet. However a notice popped up on my blog today to inform me that it is the anniversary of when I started this blog. I know that it was two years ago. To everyone who has been reading my blog I thank you for putting up with my poorly written hooey and corny humor. To celebrate the event I’m planning or cranking out some reviews of some second films in series. I’ll aim to review Hellboy 2, Critters 2 and Creepshow 2 this week.

1980’s arcade games Spyhunter and Spyhunter 2

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1983

Between 1982 and 1985 I would to the bowling alley with my dad. While he did his bowling league thing he gave me a few bucks and I had a few hours to kill and had to decide whether to spend the money on comics, video games or food. Normally video games won out as there was an arcade in the strip mall and the bowling alley had six or seven games as well. The first time I saw Spy Hunter the bowling alley actually had it before the arcade. It was a stand up machine at the less crowded end of the bowling alley. I had recently been on a Turbo kick so I alright with a new driving game. The Peter Gunn theme came on and that was a good start. Wait, I have weapons and I can battle these bad guy cars? Whoaa this is like James Bond only I don’t have to put up with Roger Moore’s smirking face. This was one of the few games where I had to wait in a line at the bowling alley to play it.  When it finally came to the arcade it was a sit down version. Sitting down playing that in the dark and loud arcade was a fantastic experience and not’s like the game needed a lot to elevate it, but it got even better that way. I actually got better at this game the more I played it as well, that didn’t always happen with every game. When I have played it again in recent years I feel like even though the graphics are on it’s time the game has remained very playable and fun.

 

 

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1987

I actually never played or even saw Spyhunter 2 when it was released and I understand it only received a limited release anyways. I have played it recently as I was excited to see if it lived up to the original. Instead of the flat overhead look of the first it has a semi 3D look kind of like Turbo. Even though it was made in 1987 the roads don’t look of scroll as well as something Pole Position which was made several years earlier. Actually the car doesn’t handle as well as that game either. The car movements are slightly clunky. A simple move to one side looks like you are fishtailing on an icy road. I like the two drivers at once feature. Overall it’s not nearly as fun as the first game. I lost interest in the game pretty quickly, but not every video game sequel was MS. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong Jr.

Galaxy Quest

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1999

These people were on this sci-fi show years and now their careers have dried up except for appearing at conventions. Whew, glad this is just a film and something like this never happens in real life. The dude that plays the captain is an arrogant self-promoting  type who isn’t well liked by by the rest of the cast-so this certainly based on any star of any well know sci-fi show…or is it? There is also a female officer who just repeats what the computer says, the British actor who play the alien science officer but doesn’t like it, the somewhat backwards engineering chief and the once child prodigy navigator who is now a grown man. Plus a guy who once appeared briefly before killed in an episode takes up with them. The Captain is approached by what he thinks are fans wanting to hire him for an appearance. He goes with them and only upon leaving does he find out that this is real. He tries to convince the others it’s real and meanwhile knocks down a fan along the way.  The others think he’s nuts but go thinking it’s a job. They go to the alien ship and find it’s real. Only thing is these alien think the actors are really characters they played and they want them to save them from the evil overlord Sarris. When the actors find out the threat is real they try to leave, but eventually decide to stay and help. They have to play their roles for real, but have to figure out tasks they have only done on screen. They make plenty of mistakes and almost get themselves and everyone else killed. Eventually they put aside their egos and problems. Of course they end up defeating Sarris, they get along and they get a new show! Hooray, never give up never surrender and roll the credits.

The negatives-Not much.

The positives-Great casting all the way around the board. Alan Rickman might get my vote for best performance here. The story is story strong as it’s funny, but shows the impact of TV and the characters manage to grow and come together. The effect both special and make-up were good as well. The film has some very quotable lines. There are times when I see a good price at a store and I proclaim “By Grabthar’s Hammer..what a savings”.

Definitely the best space spoof out there. It takes shots at Star trek, it’s cast, it’s fans and the conventions. I watch this film very often and if anything it’s gotten better over the years. I can’t believe it will be 15 years old next month.

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Upcoming junk and stuff

LIS Smith Really Scared

I still owe a review of Galaxyquest which will happen on Friday because I have watched, but just need time to write it. My home computer went up on me and I wasn’t prepared to buy a new one just yet so right now I write during my breaks at work. So unless I get a new computer soon I won’t be writing during this weekend. One way or another I will be next week. Not sure what movies I’ll review yet, but Robin will likely stop by Monday instead of Sunday and I’ll write on an 80’s video game plus perhaps the return of Dr. Smith’s insult of the week.

Spaceballs

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1987

So this movie is about this summer camp where slackers go to be counselors and cause all kinds of hilarity. Oh, wait … I think that’s actually Meatballs. I got it now. This film is about this small time gym and some of the clumsy people there. They decide to raise money by playing this game and competing against other gym teams. You know if you can dodge a wrench then you can dodge a Spaceball. Huh? Oh, I’ve been told that’s actually Dodgeball, you know Ben Stiller’s funny movie. Now I think I have it. This film is about this Princess Vespa who is supposed to marry a sleepy goofus, but she leaves and this Dark Helmet fella and his boss Skroob go to kidnap her. They want to trade her for her planet’s air. Her daddy hires this guy Lonestar and mog (half man/half dog like you didn’t know) Barf to go and get the princess and bring her back. Since they owe money to Pizza the hut they agree to go on a rescue mission. I’m getting sleep this better get funny soon. It kind of does there are lots plays on names, crotch torture (is that really funny?) slapstick, site gags and more. The baddies try to get the princess and they get advice and a gawdy ring from Yogurt who also shows all the stuff they will sell to make money from this movie (yes, George Lucas this was aimed at you and your fat wallet). He tells them of the Schwartz-hey he just made that up. Later Lonestar struggles to do the Vulcan nerve pinch, but gets advice on how to it right. Heck maybe future Vulcan Tim Russ could have shown him because he had a small part in this film. Eventually there’s a sort of light saber type duel going on with Lonestar and Dark Helmet as they toss more funnies and not as funnies. The baddies transform their enormous ship into a space maid and try to suck the air from the planet -suck,suck, suck! However Lonestar foils their plans and blows the ship up. Parts of the maid fall to planet side to set up a Planet of the apes shot. Lonestar drops off the princess so she can wed the creep. He and Barf go off to eat at a diner where an alien rips out of John Hurt, hey didn’t that happen before? Lonestar realizes he loves the princes and she loves him so he goes and interrupts her marriage to the dorky guy from Too close for comfort. Lonestar found out he’s a prince so they wed, the film tries to squeeze in more jokes and roll the credits.

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The negatives-The music is really dated. There are times where the jokes fall flat or there isn’t much funny going on. This film isn’t on the level of Mel Brooks best films like The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

The positives-The films mostly spoofs Star Wars, but also takes jabs at Star Trek, Aliens, Planet of the apes and even the Wizard of Oz. It has John Candy and Rick Moranis-you sold me right there. It has quite a few quotable lines. There are times when the film just really on fire winging the jokes at you at warp speed.

I think this is a good, but not great sci-fi spoof. I watch it fairly often.

It seems like everyone is in this film- we have sound effects madman Michael Winslow, Felix Silla who played Twiki and Cousin Itt, Eight is enough star and Disney veteran Dick Van Patten, one of my favorite grumps of all time Jack Riley has a small part as a TV guy, a young Brenda Strong is here, the wonderful character actor Stephen Tobolowski, don’t blink or your miss seeing Rhonda Shear in the diner plus the voices of Dom Deluise, Phil Hartman and even the always busy voice actor Rob Paulsen.

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Space spoof week-Galaxina

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1980

This space patrol ship is staffed by several dudes and one robot who looks like a female. The Captain’s last name is Butt…wahahaha that is so hilarious…wahahaha oh wait it’s not that funny at all. Geez hope this gets better. The robot is the title character and all the male crew members think she’s hot, but wish she was a real woman. The other two main crewmembers are Thor and Buzz. There are some sort of laser fights between space ships. then the police cruiser are ordered to go find the crystal the Blue Star. Somewhere around this time crew visits an alien brothel, the captain give birth to an alien, Galaxina changes her programming to give herself emotions and oh man is this movie still going on? I think there is a Uranus joke -hehehe that’s rich, that’s almost as good as Captain Butt! Then Galaxina gets the Blue Star, but she is grabbed by an intergalatic motorcycle gang and taken to their hang-out on a multi-colored planet. Oh, come on this is making Ice Pirates look funny. However this does provide a little bit of action as Thor and Buzz swoop in and rescue Galaxina. They blaze off away from the motorcycle gang or perhaps they are trying run out on this film. Then there is some more talking blah, blah, drone, drone, drone. Galaxina now loves Thor since she changed her programming and roll the credits for those that are still here and awake.

The negatives-Didn’t you read the review above? The movie spoofs Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien and others. However the problem is other than a very few mild chuckles the film just isn’t funny. It’s not even silly, but rather it’s dull and flat. That’s how it starts because it falls apart as it goes along. I’ve heard the cast and mostly Dorothy Stratten get blasted for this, but really it’s the fault of the writers. The script is so poor that even delivering it the best you could wasn’t going to make it work.

The positives- Let’s face it the only real reason this film is known is because Playboy playmate Dorothy Stratten was in it. Her death shortly after it’s release possibly made more people seek out this film years later. For her part she looks lovely (there is no nudity in this film). Despite being a spoof I actually think the ships both the exteriors and the interiors looked good for the time. I actually found myself rewinding a couple of times to check out the ship designs. I guess perhaps this film deserves some credit for being one of the first space spoofs.

Overall this a tough film to make it through and honestly this was second try and I probably only made it because I had already committed to writing it.