Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Sore Losers (John Michael McCarthy, 1997)

Mildly thick and extremely temperamental. If you don't possess any of these qualities. That's okay. We can work things out. But if you do, happen to possess these particular qualities, that is, we're going to get along swimmingly. Featuring more oomph than a coked up drag queen with Tourette's syndrome, the women featured throughout The Sore Losers are a spicy bucket of  barbequed fun. Sure, you'll get your ass kicked every so often, and you might even get your feelings hurt. But at the end of the day, all that pain and suffering is totally worth it. Which reminds me. Don't you just love it when a film, especially one you've never heard of, suddenly hits you in the face with an awkward sounding kapow? Well, this kooky slab of sleazy goo, written and directed by John Michael McCarthy (Teenage Tupelo), slapped the mopy smirk off my face, and somehow managed to turn it into the type of grin that may or may not contain tiny pieces of fecal matter. Oh, you mean a "shit-eating grin." Um, I don't think so. You obviously have no idea who you're dealing with. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Mildly thick and extremely temperamental. Filmed in colour from start to finish, this tale of ultra-conservative, EC comic book-loving aliens who are sent to Earth to kill beatniks in a region not known for having beatniks might be one of them satirical homages thingies, but its take on femininity is not even close to being unstable. In fact, I would call it downright healthy. As I was saying, the women that populate this stockings-obsessed universe have this extra layer of shapely flavour attached to their organic structures. And from I've read, that added layer of fleshy padding drives non-fascist heterosexual men wild with breeder-based desire.
However, you're going to need more than curves to create a sustainable piece of wood. And that's where temperament comes in. Pair your curves with a churlish attitude, and I guarantee you'll be drowning in plant-craving electrolytes once the jiggling subsides. Seriously, if you can manage to combine these two traits, you'll be beating them off with a stick. Okay, you'll be beating me off with a stick. Either way, someone is going to be beat off when all is said and done, because these chicks mean business.
Starting off with the sight of a red flying saucer heading toward Earth, The Sore Losers makes it abundantly clear right from the get-go that this is no whiny indie flick. No sir. This is film celebrates exploitation, drive-in movie theatres, comic books, shapely chicks with big butts, and trashy garage rock.
The red flying saucer lands on the road and quickly morphs into a red 1955 Chevy (now that's a sweet ride). Behind the wheel is Blackie (Jack Yarber), a red racing jacket-wearing "loser" from the Killer Frequency. Determined to kill three more people in order to satisfy the bloodlust of The Elder (David F. Friedman), an omnipotent entity who lives inside the invisible wavelength, Blackie quickly finds his first victim.
A quick aside: Killing nine people in the summer of 1954, Blackie was well on his way to killing twelve. But he ran out of time. Forty-two years later, Blackie is back in this candy-coloured universe and is ready to finish the job.
Stopping at a gas station to check out what kind of comics they have, Blackie is shocked when he discovers that they don't any Weird Science in stock. (If you're looking for Canadian content in the nudie cutie world of John Michael McCarthy, look no further than the comic book rack in the gas station, as it's filled with issues of Yummy Fur.) Unimpressed with their comic book selection, Blackie knocks over the rack in disgust. As you might expect, the redneck behind the counter does not appreciate this, so he threatens to "open up a can of Mississippi whoop ass." This threat, however, is not carried out, as Blackie kills the redneck clerk with an issue of, you guessed it, Weird Science (he always has an issue in his pocket).
Even though the film has just gotten underway, I'm starting to feel a little antsy over the fact that D'Lana Tunnell hasn't shown up yet. But don't worry D'Lana fans, as Blackie is filling the body of the dead redneck clerk with lead, a vision of loveliness suddenly appears in the form of D'Lana Tunnell. That's right, one of the most alluring women the ever grace the silver screen, is sitting on top of a Barber's ice cream freezer. Wearing a floral top (one that was cinched well above the waist), a pair of chunky heels, black short shorts, and sporting haphazardly tied pigtails, D'Lana tells Blackie that she has a short attention span. She might not realize it, but she just talked her way out of being murder victim number eleven. Either way, before Blackie can change his mind, D'Lana has sped off on her motorcycle.
In the meantime, Blackie heads over to the abandoned drive-in movie theatre to bury the redneck clerk (murder victim number ten) beside the graves of the fine folks he killed back in 1954.

Feeling a tad lonely, Blackie decides to see if his old friend Mike (Mike Maker) is still kicking around. Finding him right where he left him forty-two years ago, at a rundown mental hospital, Blackie is excited to reunite with his long lost blood brother (a blood transfusion from Blackie has made Mike immortal...just like Blackie). Well, he's got to get past Nurse McComb (Lydia Martini) and her crossed legs of ashen doom first. Pale and covered with tattoos, the nurse's shapely legs, and, not to mention, chunky white heels, are not match for Blackie. As he is roughing up the nurse (apparently, they were a match), Blackie inadvertently unbuttons the top of her pvc uniform. I don't why I'm mentioning this, but I thought...No, wait, I just remembered. The nurse has two Eye of Horus tattoos above each breast.
Tossing Mike, who looks like Japan's biggest Bauhaus fan (one who secretly likes Spacemen 3 on the side), his trusty cane, the two hit the [fucking] road. Shortly after they stop at Mike's parents' house to pick up his comics (Vault of Horror, baby!), Blackie's red '55 Chevy nearly collides with a lime green AMC Pacer. If D'Lana Tunnell provides The Sore Losers with the curves, then Kerine Elkins must surely supply the psychopathic moxie. You know the instance Blackie meets Kerine, an insane redhead who will stomp all over your skinny ass at a moment's notice, that she's going to be trouble.
Hanging out in the woods, Kerine enlightens Blackie about the scourge that is the hippie movement. You got to remember, Blackie's been away for the past forty-two years. At any rate, Kerine informs him that they're against war, the death penalty, and bathing. And, on top of that, she tells Blackie about the hippie hitchhiker she killed earlier in the day (he tried to steal her lime green AMC Pacer). In Kerine's mind, the hippies are responsible for the decline of Western Civilization (the patchouli years), and because of that, they must be wiped from the face of the Earth. In other words, when Kerine says, "kill all the hippies," she means it.
It should go without saying, but Kerine is super excited to be a part of Blackie's quest to murder one more person.
During a stop at her parents house, Kerine, who just got out of prison, goes a little overboard with the parental homicide. What I mean is, she kills two instead of one, making Blackie's total: thirteen. And, as we all know, he's supposed to kill twelve. I don't see what the problem is. After all, we got to see Kerine read the encyclopaedia marked 'P' (1975 edition) in nothing but black, hole-covered hold-up stockings and a pair of black chunky heels out in the woodshed.
Scolded by The Elder for not only killing too many people, but for mostly killing the elderly, Blackie is given a second chance.
Who wouldn't fall in love with D'Lana Tunnell if they saw her perform at a carnival as "Goliatha of the Amazones," the world's strongest woman. In the world of J.M.M, women are superior in almost every way imaginable, and D'Lana represents this superiority during her motorcycle striptease/feat of strength; after removing her black opera gloves and black corset, D'Lana lifts her motorcycle above her head with one arm. Falling in love with her almost instantly, Mike, who even removes his trademark shades in order to properly drink in her womanliness (I hope you're thirsty, because her her fishnet pantyhose are drenched in sweat), manages to successfully woo her after the show.
Since things move pretty fast in the realm of The Sore Losers, Mike is caressing her leopard print bra while asking her about comics in no time (man, that Mike is one smooth motherfucker). Unfortunately, the Elder has branded D'Lana as number fourteen. Why D'Lana? That's what Blackie would like to know.
It all kinda gets convoluted after this point. Don't believe me? Well, the members of Guitar Wolf (ギターウルフ) show up as the "Men in Black" at one point. Oh, and, yeah, Hugh Brooks (Johnny Tu-Note from Teenage Tupelo) returns as Tuthpick, a fellow exiled alien who loves to kill hippies (he mows down a room full at one point), and Mary Wills plays character known as the "Malt Liquor Angel," a name that was given to her probably because she has angel wings and gives out cans of Schlitz.  
Replete, which is a fancy way saying, "filled with," with scenes where stocking clad women do what stocking clad women usually do when they happen to be clad in stockings, featuring seemingly random moments of lesbian bdsm, instances where fiery redheads can be seen painting the walls of dilapidated warehouses with their dead mother's entrails, and boasting a soundtrack so trashy, my ears started to cramp, The Sore Losers is basically the epitome of cool. In fact, I felt cool just watching it. And, as most of you, my coolness rarely needs to be authenticated, especially by a movie from the late-1990s. Now, who wants to go beat up some hippies?

video uploaded by Rockulapresents


  1. I'll admit, that's a more succinct way of describing my reaction to this flick. Hot damn, indeed. ;)

  2. Hm, Very nasty images from movies. but anyway interesting blog.

  3. I still have the DVD of this and it appears to worth a few quid now. Won't sell it though as it would be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands ;)

  4. Blu-Ray release & remastered LP release very soon...