Thursday, March 4, 2010

Out-of-Print and 80s

Dance or Die - 1987 - Dir. Richard W. Munchkin
Location: Micah's House
Horror Movie Night Bye-Week Pick

Micah posted on his Twitter about this movie he started watching on VHS and about twenty minutes in it crapped out on him. He found another copy and it was watched by the usual suspects, along with Jenny and Melissa (Micah's wife). What a glorious night for us all! This isn't so much of a horror film rather than a thriller about a Las Vegas choreographer, Jason, who is hunted by his recently deceased drug dealing roommate's killer. There is plenty of dancing but not in the way I hoped. It is used as a way for Jason to tell the story of his life and his struggles with kicking his drug addiction.

There is plenty of 80s fun here with fashion, hair and more fashion. My personal favorite scenes involved anything with Jason's AA meetings and sponsor who looked to be much older than she said, even though Jason would hit on her from time to time. The hit of the night would be the killer who is known as Turtle. Jason spends a lot of time looking for this mysterious man and hires the help of a psychic who finds a bag of coke hidden in a two-liter of Coke! When Jason realizes his sponsor has a turtle tattoo he has quite an argument leading to some wonderful dialog.

Sponsor: I like turtles!
Jason: That's not good enough.
Sponsor: Then go fuck yourself!

Genius. Sad to say this is not out on DVD so you can't really watch with friends. But if you ever come across a VHS somewhere watch it!

Rescue Force - 1989 - Dir. Charles Nizet
Location: Micah's House

After Dance or Die we were trying to decided what to watch next and we decided on this interesting 80s action flick. This takes place largely in the Middle East as a huge team of CIA agents go to rescue a kidnapped official. There are tons of explosions (easily a third of the film), bad/non-existent transitions, horrible acting and many weapons. One thing that really stood out is how the majority of the dialog is dubbed in post and those who aren't appear to be reading the lines from a notepad on their respective desks! Good grief.

Micah and Marcus seemed to enjoy this one, but I was bored for the majority of the film. Parts were funny for being so bad, but it was mostly just bad. There was also a lot of confusion with the many characters and the badass, Striker, appeared to be played by more than one actor and wasn't even credited. I can't really recommend this, even if you could find it, but on the plus side the end of the film sees three female agents nude in a hot tub together with champagne.

The Donner Party - 2009 - Dir. T.J. Martin
Location: My Couch

I remember reading about this one a while back somewhere because of Crispin Glover's involvement but it had completely slipped my mind. Then when watching Attack of the Show on G4 as I always do, the lovely Alison Haislip showed a quick clip to promote since she's in the film. I immediately put it in my queue and sat down to watch it as soon as it arrived. The story of the Donner Party traveling to California in the mid-1800s, getting stuck in the snow and some resorting to cannibalism is well known. Still I have not seen much in the way of films about this that weren't awesome musicals by the creators of South Park, Cannibal! The Musical. This film doesn't follow the main group but catches up with one section after they has split from the rest and were stuck with the likelihood a rescue party looking grim. One of the party says they know the way to food supplies and certain help but they need the help of others to make the three day trek and the wealth of William Foster (Glover) to pay a rescue team. As everyone knows, things don't turn out so well and the idea of eating one of the group comes up.

This is not a face paced movie and nothing really action packed happens, but the slow pacing and intimate setting of the freezing, hungry characters packs a powerful punch. You really feel the pain this group faces and the struggle when it comes to the inevitable. Their discomfort is easy to see but hard to watch. Glover has the most extravagant role in the film, and I don't really think he can due subdued anyway. At times it felt a little like George McFly in the 19th Century, but his roles often always feel like McFly to me. There are a few scenes of brutality but overall this is a very simple film that really works. Pick up the
DVD here.

Hot Dog... The Movie - 1984 - Dir. Peter Markle
Location: The Comfort of My House

After watching Hamburger: The Motion Picture a while back I decided to visit the food themed 80s flicks, or at least food-in-the-title. This film was even written by the director of Hamburger! A young hot shot skier named Harkin Banks (Patrick Houser) heads to a skiing competition and picks up a hitchhiker along the way, Sunny (Tracy Smith). When he gets there he meets a world class American on the slopes, Dan (David Naughton), and the rival jerk from Germany, Rudi. Tons of competitive skiing with impressive jumps and runs and plenty of nudity to gleefully remember the 80s.

The jokes are as lame as most films of its ilk, but the good news is the nudity is just as great. Every one of these films needs a playmate or other nude celeb and here we have a small role by Shannon Tweed, now the non-wife of Gene Simmons as Rudi's ex who likes to get around. Plenty of boobs and sex related humor for all like the "steamy" ski lift ride and the country western bar's wet t-shirt night. That scene is epically awesome but it seems to border on some sort of sexual harassment crime at times. These guys get a little too excited and forceful when pulling girls on stage. Plenty of great 80s times are to be had here and it's a shame the DVD went out-of-print. You can still find some
used copies here.


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