Sunday, June 19, 2016

Freejack (Geoff Murphy, 1992)

We've all been there. You're staring at your twenty year-old girlfriend, when all of a sudden, this kooky thought trickles through your mind: Why can't my twenty year-old girlfriend be a sexy woman pushing forty? I'm no math whiz, but you're going to have wait fifteen maybe twenty years for that to happen. But what if I told you there was a way speed up the milfication of your twenty year-old girlfriend? All you have to do is become a race car driver in, let's say, 1991, and hope Mick Jagger and Esai Morales decide to zap your body to 2009 just before the car you're driving explodes into a million pieces during a big race. Sure, your twenty year-old girlfriend in 1991 is going to be upset that you died and junk. But your thirty-nine year-old girlfriend in 2009 is going to be... freaked out when she learns that her dead boyfriend from 1991 is still alive. Okay, the plan isn't perfect, but that's the beauty of Freejack. It wants to be the Blade Runner of the '90s, but it unwittingly becomes the ultimate ode to insta-milfing. You see, while your girlfriend has slowly been aging for the past eighteen years, you haven't aged one bit. Meaning, you can rub your taut twenty year-old cock all over her fine thirty-nine year-old vagina. Well, in theory you can. Convincing a twenty year-old Rene Russo, who seems to channeling Drew Barrymore, to rub the shaft containing your organic tautness all over the bean-sized squishy lumps that pepper her not even close to being weather-beaten vulva is pretty much the epitome of easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. However, managing to persuade a thirty-nine year-old Rene Russo, one who is now a sophisticated executive with a wardrobe to match, to do is same is going to be difficult.

How difficult, you ask? Well, the makers of Freejack try to answer that question by showing the lengths a hot shot rookie race car driver named Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez) will go to get a delicious piece of mature pussy. I know, you're thinking to yourself: That's a pretty crass way to describe Rene Russo. But I can't think of a less vulgar way to put it.

In a way, Rene Russo should be flattered that Alex Furlong is so eager to enter her fully-developed lady-hole. In the majority of movies that explore the insta-milf phenomenon, the man usually dumps the older woman for someone younger. But not here. Uh-uh. Alex Furlong risks his life multiple times to get with the sexually attractive older woman of his dreams.

Of course, the reason Alex Furlong has to risk his life in order to hook up with Julie Redlund (Rene Russo) has nothing to do with society's reluctance to accept relationships that involve young men dating older women, but everything to do with Mick Jagger and Esai Morales wanting to use his body for reasons that are a tad complicated.

Actually, they're not that complicated. In the future, certain people on the verge of death can transport their mind into the mind of a healthy body. I know, why go through the trouble of snatching the bodies of race car drivers from the early 1990s just as they're about to die in a horrific car crash? Well, the reason the individual Mick Jagger and Esai Morales work for, McCandless (Anthony Hopkins), the CEO of McCandless Corp., wants this particular body is personal/convoluted. But it makes sense overall, as the bulk of today's society are too sickly to transport one's mind to.

It's like that movie Millennium. Only, instead of transporting an entire doomed airliner's worth people into the future, they transport one person. And that person is called a "freejack." Unfortunately for McCandless, his freejack manages to escape moments after being transported from 1991 to 2009.

After a narrow escape, Alex Furlong sets about finding his milfy prize. That is, of course, if she's still alive. I mean, the 2009 version of New York City looks a tad on the bleak side.

Helped by a shotgun-wielding, internet surfing nun (Amanda Plummer), Alex is sent to Park Slope, Brooklyn, where his agent from '91 (David Johansen) apparently now lives. Despite the constant raging gun battles in the street, Alex manages to find his agent and is well on his way to reuniting with Julie. All he has to do is not get caught by Mick Jagger's Vacendak, and his band of armored car driving, helmet-wearing laser-rifle-packing goons.

Even though it sounded like I was joking about Rene Russo channeling Drew Barrymore, I'm actually dead serious. Since the bulk of the film's budget went to designing those futuristic bubble cars and paying the steep rental fees for the fleet of armored cars used in this movie, there wasn't anything left over to cover the cost of making Rene Russo seem believable as a twenty year-old. Well, after watching Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy, Rene Russo decided right then and there that her (Saturn Award winning) performance in the early going of Freejack would be based on Drew Barrymore (watch her eyes, they're so Drew). It's true, I still didn't buy that Rene Russo looked twenty. But she did act the part, I'll give her that.

As for Emilio Estevez... Since he stays the same age from start to finish, no make-up is necessary to make him seem older. Nevertheless, he brings nothing of note to the film. Personally, I would have cast Christian Slater or James Spader as Alex Furlong.

My opinion as far Mick Jagger goes seems to change from day-to-day. One minute I'm like: Can you believe Mick Jagger is in this movie?!? And the next minute I'm like: Can you believe Mick Jagger in this movie?!? Wait, that's the same exact thing I said about the first minute. Either way, the sound of Mick's unique accent uttering lines like, "Get the meat!" and "Who's firing hard ammo?" was quite something. But like I said, I can't really decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I will say this, I did let out a mild giggle every time they would show Mick Jagger wearing his helmet (safety first).

When we do eventually meet Rene Russo in 2009, she's so chic it hurts. And, yes, her legs are usually adorned with hosiery. What kind exactly, I'm not entirely sure. But they were typically jet black and worn with long, slit-friendly skirts.

Now working for the McCandless Corp., Rene Russo has no idea that her boss (Anthony Hopkins) is planning on bringing her dead boyfriend from 1991 to 2009. If I was her, I would be flattered by the amount effort both McCandless and Alex Furlong go through to be with her.

If you think about it, the whole thing is freakin' romantic. Of course, Rene Russo doesn't see it this way. At least not right away. And because of this, Alex Furlong must jump through even more hoops to claim his milfy prize. And by "hoops," I mean, car chases, laser gun battles, and, not to mention, defeat a more conniving than usual Jonathan Banks (he plays an evil McCandless employee named Michelette). Just for the record: When it comes to being an asshole twenty-five years ago, no-one can top Jonathan Banks.

Anyway, it's a good thing Alex Furlong's "milfy prize" looks like Rene Russo, as I wouldn't have bought the film's premise (twenty year-old race car driver jumps through multiple hoops to hook up with a thirty-seven year-old executive) had the so-called "milfy prize" been someone who lacked milf-appeal. And Rene Russo... (Has milf-appeal?) Yeah. She does.

On the other hand, I didn't buy that nightclub's in 2009 would be playing Jesus Jones. Remember them? They were briefly popular back in 1991. Hell, the film can't even get 1992 right, as the use of a Scorpions song over the closing credits seems dated. Though, to be fair, hardly anyone predicted that grunge would take off the way it did at around the time of this film's release.

Oh, and keep an eye out for Jerry Hall as a newswoman (she appears during the nightclub scene) and Grand L. Bush as "Boone" Rene Russo's driver/body guard, who carries a TEC-9 and a samurai sword.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Spookies (1986)

Most people, at least the ones I've come across, seem fascinated by the fact that this film started off as a project call "Twisted Souls," directed by two guys named Brendan Faulkner and Thomas Doran. But then, for some strange reason, it ended up becoming Spookies, directed and edited by a gal named Eugénie "Genie" Joseph. I, on the other hand, could careless about who directed what. Though, I will say this, with the exception the insane zombie-filled finale, all the stuff that Miss Joseph shot pales in comparison to what Faulkner and Doran shot. Anyway, the reason I could careless is because I was too busy basking in the odd mannerisms of Charlotte Alexandra's Adrienne. Okay, maybe her mannerisms weren't exactly odd, but they're definitely the best thing about this movie. Well, to be fair, I dug the creature effects by Gabe Bartalos (Frankenhooker and Brain Damage) and his make-up team as well. But let's get real. The only reason any sane person should watch this movie is because Charlotte Alexandra plays an ultra-stylish woman who chain smokes and battles reptilian snake demons with a breathless elan, and... (Hold up, does she smoke cigarettes and battle snake demons at the same time?) I'm not sure. But if she does, that would elevate my misguided love of this equally misguided movie even more.

Itching to gush about Charlotte Alexandra's performance after the film was over, I turned on my internet machine and set about typing a few words about her amazing performance. Not expecting to come across much when I inevitably checked Charlotte's filmography for more info, I nearly fell off my chair when I discovered that she appeared in two of my favourite Euro-art perv-placating-twaddle fun-time movies, Contes immoraux (Immoral Tales) and Une vraie jeune fille (A Real Young Girl). Mildly giddy, I tried to remember which "Immoral Tale," she appeared in. While she's the star of the former, I figured she played one of the dozens of naked virgins in the Elizabeth Báthory segment of the latter. Then I saw her name attached to Thérése Philosophe, a.k.a. the zucchini masturbation scene. Which is, like, the sexiest scene in the movie.

So, as you might expect, the fact that Spookies–that's right, SPOOKIES!!!–features the actress from Contes immoraux and Une vraie jeune fille blew my mind. Of course, this didn't make it a better movie... it's still a jumbled, nonsensical mess. It did, however, give me something to write about. And at the end of the day, that's what's most important: Me typing words on the internet about semi-obscure movies. (I think it's safe to declare Spookies fully-obscure.) Either way, Charlotte Alexandra (who is apparently English, not French) should have been this film's final girl.

Now, I'm not saying Charlotte Alexandra's Adrienne is killed by a... (Wait, if she's not the final girl, how does she not get killed?) Good point. Well, spoiler alert... Adrienne dies... quite horribly. That being said, she shouldn't have died.

It's true, this film is chock-full of stuff that is mega-lame. But the lamest thing has to be the total and utter bungling of Adrienne's subplot. I don't know what they were thinking, but the handling of Adrienne's final moments were beyond piss-poor. Sure, Gabe Bartalos' creature effects are fantastic. But the scene itself is anticlimactic. It gets even more so when you consider all the hard work Adrienne had put in in the previous scene. I mean, just thinking about it makes me angry.

If anyone deserves to be a final girl, it's Adrienne. Do any of the other characters do battle with a gaggle of reptilian snake demons and a large, slimy monster with tentacles? I don't think so.

Granted, the others experience adversity as well, but no-one faces it quite like the way Adrienne does. Seriously, I've never seen a horror character so poised while a mucus-laden reptile summoned from the depths of hell chomped on their neck like it was a t-bone steak.

Should I even bother to try to recap the film's plot? Or, I should say, plots. You see, there's this little kid named Billy (Alec Nemser), who runs away on his birthday. Winding up at large mansion surrounded by a graveyard, Billy is stalked and killed (as someone plucks away on what sounds like a Yamaha DX-7) by a creature who looks like Nightcrawler in a gold vest. It would seem that the Nightcrawler clone works for Kreon (Felix Ward), and every person his cat-like servant (Dan Scott) kills helps bring back Isabelle (Maria Pechukas), Kreon's dead wife.

In a comatose state as the film gets underway, Isabelle is about to get an injection of life, thanks to the arrival of two cars filled with victims. Of course, when Isabelle regains consciousness, she isn't too thrilled when she finds her husband from seventy years ago is trying to bring her back from the dead. It's not that she doesn't want to be alive again, it's just that I don't think she wants to spend eternity with this Kreon loser.

As the car load of victims is entering the house, the only thing that stands out about these people is Linda's cleavage and Duke's Duran Duran shirt (no, I don't mean a Duran Duran t-shirt, I mean, it looks like the kind of shirt a member of Duran Duran might wear circa their self-titled debut - I can totally see Roger or John Taylor wearing this shirt). What was I saying? Oh, yeah, there's nothing really to this group.

That all changes when I see Charlotte Alexandra. Her white blazer shimmering in the moonlight, Charlotte Alexandra's Adrienne has arrived just in time to save this film from being a total disaster.

Holy crap. It just dawned on me that there are nine people in the group who enter Kreon's house. How the hell am I going keep track of all these chuckleheads? Thankfully, Lewis Wilson (Al Magliochetti) is killed right away when he's eaten by the ground (oh, and the reason I know his full name is because a grave stone with his name on it magically emerges from the ground on the spot where he dies). But still, eight people is a lot to handle.

After messing around with a ouija board (they find it in a closet - the plancette is in a box on a nearby shelf), and after Carol (Lisa Friede) turns into a demon, the group split up. The aforementioned Duke (Nick Gionta) and Linda (Joan Ellen Delaney) go downstairs to fight shit monsters (that's right, monsters made out of fecal matter... who make farting noises when they walk), while Peter (Peter Dain) and Meegan (Kim Merrill) go upstairs to fight... I forget what they fight. Oh, the group's resident goofball, Rich (Peter Iasillo, Jr.) has a creepy run-in with Soo Paek's "Spider Woman."

And that just about covers everyone. Just kidding. Adrienne (Charlotte Alexandra) and her dumbass boyfriend Dave (Anthony Valbiro) decide to stay put. Which makes sense. I mean, Adrienne doesn't look like the type of woman who would be into poking around an old, dusty mansion. No, lounging in a leggy manner while holding a cigarette aloft is more her speed.

While Adrienne manages to pull this off for longer than I expected, the dark forces at play in this film eventually show themselves. And this, unfortunately, applies to Adrienne, whose lounging/smoking session is interrupted by a those reptilian snake demons I alluded to earlier.

When one of the reptilian snake demons bites Adrienne on the neck, I thought to myself: Well, that was fun while it lasted. But then something unexpected occurs. Adrienne begins to fight back. However, she does so in a manner that suited her character. More annoyed or inconvenienced than scared or horrified, Adrienne fights back the only way she knows how. The best way to describe Adrienne's demeanor as she fought off the reptilian snake demon would be, savage nonchalance.

Dispatching the reptilian snake demons with a "savage nonchalance" (yeah, baby), Adrienne stands up, straightens her skirt, and leaves the house alive and well. The end. Nah, that doesn't happen. Though, I kinda wish it did. Sadly, the movie continues on without her. Which, to be honest, makes no sense whatsoever. You could also apply the same logic regarding this review. I mean, without Adrienne, this review makes no sense. So, yeah, I just reviewed Spookies. Parts of you suck ass, parts of you don't... suck ass.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Motel Sweets (Eric Edwards, 1987)

Did creepy men in raincoats still go to see "adult movies" in theatres back in 1987? If so, I wonder if any of them were as horrified as I was when they saw what porn had done to Taija Rae. Sure, she could have done it to herself. But I have a feeling someone within porn industry forced Taija to loose all that weight. If you don't know, the main reason Taija Rae is so fondly remembered as one of the greatest porn stars of the 1980s has nothing to do with her acting or charisma. No, the reason porn fans the world over loved Taija so much was because her body had oomph. What's "oomph," you ask? Well, to put it another way, Taija's body had a shapeliness to it that caused her to stand out in the porn crowd. Nowadays, porn stars come in all shapes and sizes. But back in the 1980s, all porn stars looked pretty much the same. Of course, stars like, Keisha and Lois Ayres stood out as well. But Taija Rae had that all-natural look long before anybody else. Which is why it was such a shame to see it eroded in Eric Edwards' Motel Sweets, a tepid porn sitcom set in a motel. Now, I wanted to say, "set in a weird motel," but the motel in this movie isn't as weird as Eric Edwards thinks it is. At any rate, getting back to Taija Rae's drastic weight loss. I don't know what she did to lose so much weight (drugs, perhaps?), but seeing her as an emaciated stick figure was disheartening. Her thick, delicious thighs reduced to formless pipe cleaners. Her rotund rump robbed of its ripple-inducing splendour. Her child-bearing hips plundered of their innate sway-appeal. Her juicy... Well, you get the idea.

Since I don't want this entire exercise to be about Taija Rae's tragic transformation from a shapely porn goddess to a gaunt, cocaine-soaked bag of skin, I'll try to complain about something else. Hmm, there's so much to choose from. (How about the fact that you have to wait thirty whole minutes before a pulsating pussy is properly penetrated by a pockmarked penis?) Nah, that's the kind of thing the raincoat crowd would complain about. I actually liked the fact that Eric Edwards made an attempt to tell a story. Only problem being, it's no Squalor Motel. And that right there is my biggest non-Taija-drastic-weight-loss-related problem with this movie. It thinks it's Squalor Motel. But trust me, it ain't.

As I stated earlier, Motel Sweets isn't as weird as it thinks it is. It also doesn't help that Eric Edwards' late night motel manager keeps saying that Friday nights bring out the weirdos. Every time he would refer these so-called "weirdos," I would say: What weirdos?

Yes, the extremely fussy Mrs. Tirebiter is a tad on the eccentric side, but Tantala Ray is basically channeling Audra Lindley's Mrs. Roper from Three's Company. In other words, she's not exactly weird. That being said, Tantala Ray proves yet again that she is one the finest actresses in the business. No matter what the role. Whether it be Moms, the owner of the cafe in Café Flesh, the warden in Desperate Women or the staunch lesbian in The Devil in Miss Jones 4, Tantala manages to elevate the material. However, unlike the movies I just mentioned, Motel Sweets needs all the help it can get.

While Tantala is working her milfy butt off to provide the comedy relief (to be fair, Eric Edwards says a few things that are on the cusp of being funny as well), who brings the sexy? After all, this is supposed to be a porno. And the last time I checked, porn is supposed to be sexy. At least it was back in the 1980s.

Well, since there's nothing sexy about Taija Rae in this movie, who's going to step in to fill the void? Why, it's none other than Shanna McCullough.

When I saw Shanna McCullough's delightfully round ass and workmanlike thighs appear onscreen for the very first time, I let out a sigh of relief. Bringing big booty majesty to the pre-Sir-Mix-a-Lot age, Shanna McCullough's never not pound-worthy organic structure is something I can always count on. And while Eric Edwards doesn't fully exploit Shanna McCullough's hefty thighs and larger than life buttocks to the degree I had hoped, I took solace in the fact that her curves were representin' something fierce.

However, until Shanna shows up, we have to endure Eric Edwards' wannabe film noir narration. Playing Sam Cooper, the night manager of a modest motel on the outskirts of town, Eric bemoans the fact that it's Friday night, his least favourite day of the week.

When Sam arrives to start the night-shift, he finds Taija Rae's Daisy the prostitute's skinny ass not making a dent in his office couch. I will say this, even though Taija no longer has the curves to properly fill her super-tight neon yellow tiger print hooker dress, the thrift store garment itself is quite fetching.

After we learn that Daisy prefers to be called "Sunshine" (she thinks it's more skank-appropriate), Martha (Tantala Ray) and George Tirebiter (Wayne Stevens) walk in the door. While Martha is paying the 27.50 for room 13, George is getting a cup of coffee. Well, at least he's trying to. You see, the coffee is as thick as molasses. And in order to stop the flow, you need a pair of scissors. Even though the cutting the coffee gag is only employed twice, it feels like it's employed at least five times. What I think I'm trying to say is: Would somebody fuck someone already.

Just kidding, I'm a big fan of character development. Besides, I loved it when Martha Tirebiter calls the front desk to complain that the toilet in her room doesn't have a sanitation strip on it, and Juanita (Ona Z), the night maid, misinterprets Sam's instructions to put a sanitation strip room 13's toilet (there's a bit of a language barrier between them). Instead putting a strip on their toilet, she performs a striptease, complete with black fully-fashioned stockings and wacky sound effects, for a befuddled Martha and George. I know this is an odd thing to say, but pay close attention to Tantala's face as Ona Z strips, her exaggerated facial expressions are pure gold.

Unlike the coffee cutting gag, the language barrier bit between Sam and Juanita is actually employed several times over the course of the film. (Several?!?) Okay, maybe three or four times. But still, it's more than two. Anyway, Juanita ends up in a three-way with a couple of truckers (Billy Dee and Jon Martin) and screwing Robert Bullock's Al the bug guy, who can be usually found hanging out in The Rusty Pipe Lounge, which, I have to say, is nowhere as cool as The Reptile Room, the motel-adjacent club from Squalor Motel.

After Sam gives newlyweds, Tom (Mike Horner) and Trisha (Shanna McCullough), a room on the house, Daisy/Sunshine finally hooks up with her trick for the evening. Now, I have to say, this guy (Nick Random) could be viewed as weird. I know, he seems harmless, but that puppet sex routine involving Mr. Weasel she makes Daisy/Sunshine partake in was not even close to being normal. In fact, you could call it abnormal. Either way, after some puppet-based foreplay, Nick Random sticks his dick Taija's primary fuck-hole... and the crowd goes wild.

(How come you didn't mention the fact that we get to see the tops of Taija's stockings during the puppet scene?) If Taija's thighs were the size they were a year ago, than, yes, I would have mentioned the tops of her stockings. But her thighs aren't the size they were a year ago, are they? No, they aren't. So, screw Taija's scrawny thighs.

As for Shanna McCullough... damn, girl! Sure, she doesn't wear stockings, but Shanna McCullough's rooftop sex scene with Mike Horner pretty much saved this movie from being an exercise in tedium.

Actually, Nikki Knights' "Devilina," who wears red suspender hose, does her best to fight tedium as well, with her devilish performance as "The Devil." While I liked Taija's hooker dress, I couldn't help but laugh when Devilina calls it "god awful" and tells her to "burn it."

You could say the same things about Motel Sweets. But it's not really all that bad. And, yes, the raincoat crowd must have found the thirty minute wait for penetration to be excruciating, I could care less. No, the film's biggest problems are simply this: Taija Rae is not hot as a skinny slut (Marlene Willoughby, on the other hand, is a hot skinny slut) and the film is basically a poor man's Squalor Motel.