Erik Estrada week? Why?

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When I was seven I started watching CHiPs with my family. There quickly became a division between my brother and I. He brought it up, but his favorite character was the by the book and very dull Jon while I preferred the funny and more carefree Ponch. My brother tried to pull me over to the Jon camp but I insisted he was wrong which of course he was. Anyways I was a loyal fan of the show for maybe the first three seasons before losing interest. It was definitely one of the first kind of action shows I really got into. They didn’t shoot or even pull out their guns, but there were plenty of traffic accidents and possibly dangerous situations going on. When I re-visited the show when I was older I saw he cheese factor more clearly. The goofy jokes, the amount of times the show ended with Ponch and Jon ending up at a disco or some kind of dance. Still I like the show, it has a charm and Estrada’s cheesiness was part of that. Over the years much like Shatner I think Estrada has embraced the high cheese and goofiness factor of his image and just rolled with it. Through that he’s had a resurgence to some extent. I admire that quality to roll with things. For that and his influences on me as a young TV viewer I give Mr. Estrada a theme week.

 

Guns review on Thursday for sure.

Chupacabra vs. the Alamo

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What’s this about?

Doesn’t the title say it all? Perhaps, but I suppose that I should say more. Erik Estrada is a DEA agent who gets a new partner (no not Bobby or Bruce for you CHiPs fans), plus he’s having trouble with his daughter going out when she shouldn’t, double plus he doesn’t have much to do with his son because of who he hangs around with. Somewhere around this time some poor actors pretending to be more gang members/drug smugglers start getting wiped out by snarling death hounds. Just kidding the chupacabras here look like a cross between chihuahuas Dobby the house elf- “Harry Potter must not return to Taco Bell”. These CGI beasties don’t just get the bad guys either, no their fury knows no bounds as they get some good guys and the innocents as well. It does seem like the victim gets hit once in the legs and then they always fall down in the same position with the their arms spread and they lay there while the little critters rip the rest of their bodies apart. Yum-yum. Enough of this unbridled horror, Estrada’s character along with his new partner, his daughter, his son and some of his friends try to take on these fanged demons with guns. Eventually they end up at…

A-the bathroom

B-Petsmart

C-the Razzies

D-the Alamo

Ah, according to the film title I think this is D. Oh it is and what’s left of our heroes ends up there fleeing from the title creatures. The humans find a tunnel that has been hidden for decades (?!) and then flee. Blah, blah, blah Estrada triumphs over tiny computer generated throat rippers and all is well. Roll the credits.

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I see a creepy hairy thing, oh wait it’s just my hair piece.

The negatives-The creatures look like cheap CGI from 2000 but the film was done last year. The rest of the budget is small too and it looks it. Much of the acting is typical of this type of film.

The positives-Erik Estrada is in overacting mode, but it makes the film more interesting than it could have been. The pace is relatively decent even if the killings themselves are of the bargain bin variety.

I admit that I only really watch this because of Estrada and it was alright for one viewing.

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I think the coast is clear.

More Erik Estrada on it’s way on Wednesday with hopefully a review of Guns.

CHiPs-Trick or Trick

Hey, it’s Erik Estrada week so let’s get it started.

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1978

It’s Halloween in LA in the 70’s. Ponch says he loves the holiday. We also find out that he is superstitious as well as he and John pull over a speeder who is hauling a pile of black cats and then Ponch unwittingly walks under a ladder. Then he cuts himself shaving with an electric razor, wait is that possible? He did it so I guess so. Officer Grossman apparently does this little thing every year where officers take turns being the “hobgoblin” and read stupid rhymes over the police channel just to bug the Sgt. Grossman hands outs times for everyone to broadcast, oh joy.  Jon and Ponch ride off. Some time during this day some little wisenheimer squirts Ponch with perfume for not having treats and Ponch threatens to handcuff the kid, oh wait it was a joke, I think. Anyways the crybaby later runs off and his sourpuss dad shows up fussing at Ponch saying he caused it to happen. You bad policeman. So now the police are looking for the runaway kid. Also during the day our motorcycle riding coppers find two woman trying to take a sign, but it’s okay because it’s for a scavenger hunt. Oh, wait it’s not okay but since the sign isn’t off yet they let the woman walk and the guys get invited to a Halloween party after work- yee-haw. Meanwhile a couple decided to rob a liquor store and the female of the couple dresses as a ghost of some sorts. They rob a liquor store and coveniently enough Ponch and Jon happen to be in the area and give chase, whooo-whooo-whooo, but a car crashes to avoid the ghost lady and Ponch and Jon lose the robber. Darn it. Next on this high spirited night (see what I did there) a woman starts taking treat bags from kids dressed as skeletons. Go buy your own cheap candy, lady.  Oh and during all these goings ons all the police who were assigned to be the hobgoblin have not been broadcasting so Grossman has to be a pain all by himself. Ponch and Jon spot the lady candy grabber and pursue her. “Alright. lady drop the smarties and come out with your hands up”. Not quite but they do go to her house. Turns out she just got engaged and wore the ring even though it was loose and she thinks she lost it giving candy to a skeleton, not a real one though well real candy, but not a real skeleton. Our police guys help her out and find the ring in the candy bowl she was dishing out of. Hooray and they decide not to run her in for stealing Zagnut bars and candy corn. Oh and after riding past this old spooky house Ponch and Jon finally decide maybe the runaway kid is in there and hey he is. So everything has been wrapped up, whoops I forgot about that pesky dressed as a ghost woman and her partner that robbed a store earlier. They get greedy and Ponch and Jon are there again to give  chase, what are the odds? Well the baddies get between two teens playing a friendly game of toss the eggs across the street and whack the eggs hit their windshield and smash the thieves crash. Ponch and Jon nab them and are off to the Halloween party. Once there it seems a lot of their fellow police people are there too. Turns out bringing a cop to the party was also part of the scavenger hunt. Oh and the sarge figured out that Grossman was the hobgoblin and he’ll be in trouble. Oh gosh darnit, but everyone else laughs and enjoy the final hours of Halloween.

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I remember this one from when I was a kid. I enjoyed it then and still do. It has the cheesy bits that were part of this show, but the face pace and car stunts helped. This one also has lots of scenes of 70’s style Halloween costumes for you to look at too.

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There’s more Erik Estrada coming on Tuesday with Chupacabra vs. the Alamo.

Movies I own but have only watched once

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1-Starship Troopers-I saw this movie once and it wasn’t even the copy I now  oddly enough. I borrowed it from a friend once. I thought it was a good looking stinker. It was full of bad performances, characters I cared nothing about and flat dialog. However the effects were stunning and so was the action. I bought it used for maybe $3 years ago and have not watched it.

2-K-pax-I bought this for a couple of bucks years ago at a K-mart that was going out of business. I watched it right away and really liked it, but for one reason or another have not put it in the player since.

3-Watcher in the woods-Horror from Disney? My wife saw this when she was a kid and bought it for us to watch around Halloween a few years back. I liked it and have put in my to watch soon pile but have just never gotten around to it.

4-My bloody valentine (original)-I had a room mate years ago who just loved 80’s horror films and he ranted on about this one. I bought it maybe 6-7 years ago out of the bargain bin. It was entertaining is high cheese quantity kind of way. Again I have considered watching it again but that just hasn’t happened.

5-The Phantom-I grew up reading the Phantom in the comics on Sundays. I didn’t see the film when it came out I heard nothing but mediocre responses to it. That didn’t stop me from picking out of the bargain bin like a decade later. I thought it was okay and really wanted to give it another viewing some day… that day has yet to come around.

 

***Do you own any films like this?

Upcoming stuff and junk

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So I still owe a review of a sword and sandal film. No scouts or any extra activity tonight so I may get to see one of those movies tonight and shoot out a review on Friday. Then likely a list of sorts to end of the week. Next week will be a slight stretch more into the action realm as it will be Erik Estrada week.  This will include reviews of Guns, Chupacabra vs. the Alamo and reviews of one or two episodes of CHiPs plus something about his impact on me and why I like him. So put on your sun glasses, strap on your helmet and get ready for Erik Estrada week next week.

A very Klingon Christmas

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This new book came across my path recently and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. It was written by Paul Ruditis who has written books based on the characters from Charmed, Buffy the vampire slayer and other series. Patrick Farley is the illustrator. So what we get here is a Klingon spoof/version of ‘Twas the night before Christmas. Anyone the least bis familiar with the Klingons knows they are not the typical warm and cozy Christmas type. So the book throws in elements of Klingon culture into this version including the love of weapons, war and nasty cuisine as well as their fear of things like tribbles. Each page has a fantastic full color illustration and the expressions on the Klingon’s faces in certain situations is priceless. Of course it’s the Trek fans that will loves this and it may very well make a different holiday gift if you know a Trek fan. More casual fans may not catch all of the references. I found myself reading over several times to catch all of the jokes and to really soak in the illustrations. Overall I certainly enjoyed it.

Invasion from inner earth AKA : They

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Wah, a bunch of dots! The horror! The terror!

1974 (reportedly filmed in 1972, but didn’t get released until two years later)

I’m going to tackle this one a bit differently because it has a back story of sorts to it. Back in the 1980’s I used to watch way too much TV as in all sorts of crap. Oh, wait that’s no the end of the story. Once around I 84-85 I turned on the tube on a Saturday afternoon and went right into the middle of some movie. I remember scenes of people in the snow, something about not being able to leave and then indoor scenes of a couple of dudes and one woman sitting in a cabin talking about being trapped and some hooey about aliens invading from within the earth. I’m uncertain if I watched all of it at that time. Fast forward about two years and again I turn into the middle of this same film. This time I saw people vanishing one at a time, red lights and more blah, blah, blah talking. Then it gets down to a man and a woman left, they smile and suddenly instead of two hippies in the snow it’s two kids walking across a field of flowers and then boom it’s over. I remembered these parts of the film over the years, but not the title. About ten years or more ago I recalled those parts and tried to figure out what the film was by searching online with no luck. Fast forward to last month. I bought this cheapo sci-fi collection and last week I decide to pop a film in. I do and there’s some stuff about people being in the woods and like 15 minutes later the little sparks start to go in my brain and I leapt up and said “this is it, this is that film I saw in the 80’s”. Then I shut up and watched the rest of the film…big mistake. The film is made up of a few images of people in the snow, an airplane, a red light that comes before the people vanish and a bunch sitting around yacking about nothing and not in a good Seinfeld kind of way but in more of a “we don’t have a script just rant on about nothing” kind of way. The ending was the same as I remembered it. I guess it’s supposed to mean the two people were like Adam and Eve, the only two humans left and they went to start populating the world again. Although it may have meant the film has gone enough just slap something strange in there to wrap this baby up. Turns out the director was Bill Rebane who has made numerous films that show up on worst movies of all time lists.

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The film is very hard to take to the lack of much of anything going on. So it’s even hard to laugh at. At least I found out what this movie was.

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Plot? Meaningful dialog? Are you serious?

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The end.