Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Babes In Toyland (1986)

Hi Guys and I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Today, I'm going to do a new segment, it's just like the same thing I did with Endless Love. I'm reviewing movies that was either bad, obscure, or a part of my childhood. I would even review movies that are considered my favorite but let's start with the bad and the obscure shall we?
Babes In Toyland is  a little-known 1986 TV movie starring Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves.

Barrymore was riding high off the success of such movies like ET: The Extraterrestrial and the cult hit Firestarter.

And this was one of Reeves' major starring role before breaking out in movies like River's Edge, Dangerous Liaison, and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

There's also an actress by the name of Jill Schoelen   who would later star in the 80's horror classic The Stepfather.
Boy the 80's were weird. Though as a kid I was pretty fascinated. I used to love 80's movies, especially fantasy and horror.
So I came upon watching this about 15 or 16 years ago, and I would say I sort of liked it, however, I gotten bored by last minute. The cast was good for what they worked with, though, they had to deliver some terrible dialogue.
But I think the story is more important to go over, So will go through this nice and quickly:

Lisa Piper,  a responsible 11 year old who looks after her single mom and siblings, sits at home to receive news of a terrible blizzard coming to the city of Cincinnati. So she goes to warn her older sister and friends, who work at the toy store.

So on their way home, the storm worsens, causing Lisa to be pulled back and being whisked out of the car.

Soon, she finds herself into the whimsical place called Toyland. Where she witnesses a wedding being held.

It is between Ingénue Mary and the villainous old-enough-to-be-her-dad Barnabus, along with his two henchman , which one reminds me of Nosforeatu and the other reminds me of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture show.

Once she gets a tip-off from a friend named Georgie Porgie, that Mary really loves Jack, Lisa stops the wedding at once and tells off Barnabus and Mary's mother.

After Lisa and the gang rescue Mary from the wedding, They go to the toymaster for help once they figure out Barnabus wants total power over Toyland. Let's not forget this guy lives in a freakin' bowling ball. Nobody wants a leader that lives in a bowling ball.

Meanwhile, Barnabus hatches an evil plan to frame his nephew Jack by raiding the cookie shop. Soon when everybody suspects Jack of the crime, he is taken to jail and charged with COOKIE THEFTFRY. Lol, I'm not joking guys. It's not long after when Lisa and the gang find a way figure out a way to break Jack out of jail.

They run off, only for Jack to be captured AGAIN by Barnabus by this time.

Lisa and Georgie Porgie are a little hesitant to confront Barnabus but Mary is more headstrong and goes off to save her man.

But in this particular scene, this is where I laughed till the days on end. Mary literally says "I need to do something other than crying." Wow. Do you see how bad the dialogue is people. It shows how useless this character. Even she knows it herself. To no surprise she easily gets caught herself, including Lisa and Georgie. Where the hell does Barnabus gets those traps anyway?

He soon sets them up in a poisonous gas that would turn them into troll monsters but Lisa is somehow immune to it because.....Wait for it......She's from Cincinnati. How fucking stupid. So she gets all her friends to sing the national Cincinnati song  and they break free of Barnabus' clutches.

Lisa and the crew go back to the toymaster agin, only for him to reveal the reason why his toys don't come to life is because Lisa has lost touch with her inner child.

Once she realizes this, the toy soldiers come to life and it's ready for battle between Barnabus and his trolls.

Blah, Blah, Blah. Barnabus is soon banished. Mary and Jack get married, and it turns out the toymaster was Santa Claus all along. Yeah, really lame twist.

So he takes Lisa back home and she soon wakes up to see her family and friends.
THE END(thank god)
Okay, here are my issues with this movie:
This didn't have to be a musical. The songs were quite forgettable and the musical numbers comes up at the most inconvenient times.
Why was Lisa trying to set up Mary's mom with Barnabus? It'll be worse if he was the girl's stepfather(heh, heh, get it).
Then there's the writing and the dialogue. I think I said my say on the dialogue. The story, by the way, is pretty unoriginal. It's kind of like a mashup  of The Wizard Of Oz and Alice In Wonderland.
I really expected this movie to be hilariously bad movie as certain movies in my childhood don't hold quite well. But I found myself oddly enjoying it. Don't get me wrong it's not good but it won't hurt to watch it for just once in your life.
My Last Word: If you were a kid in the 80's, you probably would give it a peek or two. And trust me, through all the ridiculous costumes, the awful special effects, and lazy musical numbers, you can't help but be entertained by this.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers

Boy, 1989 was a bad year for horror. Especially for certain horror franchises who ride high on box office success in 1988 but would give particular studio execs to release another sequel by the next year. That's the case with Halloween 5.
You know what I think about this movie? I think it's a complete time waster. God, I never witness such a pointless sequel. Well, it's not totally pointless since the last movie left us for an opportunity for interesting sequels. But I said INTERESTING. I was not invested into this in the least. I really wanted to, since it's continues Jamie's story, however, the movie refuses to do that. Most of the time we have to focus on utterly moronic teen characters that I pretty much didn't give a shit about, along with unnecessary scenes of pointless padding. It's incredibly boring and a chore to get through.
Let me just get this over with. It's really not much to go over and there's really not much to talk about in this movie. That's how non-existent it is.
The Story: After the events of the last film, Jamie is put into a Children's Clinic and seems to be suffering from PTSD, rending her mute. She also has a vivid physic connection to her thought-to-be uncle. Rising from his unmarked grave, he goes back to his unfinished business and it's only up to Jamie to break free from her psychosis to warn the people around that Michael Myers is back to release his blood lust.

The cast is terrible! though there are the exceptions with Jamie, Doctor Loomis, and a minor character named Billy. What the movie and therefore the script focuses on is the idiotic Tina and her equally idiotic friends. It's like the sequel never seems to take it's time with much more developed characters like Jamie and she should deserve as much screen time as she has because technically she is the main character but the director  refuses to do that. So we're left with the shrilling, ear-piercing voice of Tina for the majority of the movie.

First, let's start with Rachel, who was unceremoniously killed off early in the film. It wasn't the filmmakers killing her off that bothered me, it was HOW they killed her off. They could've had the chance to actually make her a much better written character but they just whisk her off like a tattered old piece of paper. And how they write her is also a problem. It's like none of the events of the last movie didn't effect her in any way. But as the saying goes: it is what it is.
And I cringe at the thought of this new character. Ugh. Without further ado, here is:

Tina. Oh dear lord, Tina. She is horribly played by Wendy Caplan, some actress I don't know or don't even want to know.

So what's there to say about Tina? Well, Tina likes to party. She's a party girl. Life is a party to her.....That's pretty much her character. She also hops around like a 5 year old high on sugar. And she's like that for THE REST OF THE MOVIE. Does a normal person act like this? Either she's on some hard drugs or she's really that mentally unbalanced.

What's even worse is that after Rachel is killed, she is our main focus. So what, she's our new final girl now? That's what I thought when first watching this. There was no rhyme or reason for this character to have this much time on screen, it was ridiculous. But I guess for some reason, the writer-director just found her fascinating and we are left to suffer this atrocity of a performance. By far one of the most despicable characters put in horror film.'
Now let's take a look at Tina's friends, trust me, I will go through this fast. There are nothing but caricatures, cardboard cut-outs to be laughed at:

We have Samantha, Tina's partner in crime. She's blond. And she's dumb. That's all I got, really. Though, I come to wonder why somebody like Rachel would be friends with these people but oh well.

Then you have Spitz. He is an example of what I call a male bimbo, which translate to himbo. He pretty much runs around the majority of the movie, squealing like an idiot.

Lastly, you have Tina's short-tempered, greaser-wannabe boyfriend Michael (get it). There's not much about him and he's only there just be killed by Michael M. and have his car stolen.

And just to squeeze this in here, we have these dumb cops who are treated as comic relief. I say comic relief because for some strange reason, clown music starts playing whenever they appear on screen. I really don't get this director but I'll take a riff on him later.
Just like what I did with the last movie, here are the more IMPORTANT characters:

Jamie, again played by Danielle Harris, thankfully has enough screen time for us to care about her as a character but sadly there are some inconsistences with her.  Where do these physic powers come from? I just don't get it. And neither does it continue on with this plot thread. Also they tried to retcon the ending of the last film, which is terrible but at least they found a way for us to make her sympathetic.

I do like the scenes between her and Billy. It's really sweet and it's one of Jamie's first experiences of Puppy Love. This what makes her grow as a character and the movie have so many missed opportunities of that. If there had been moments like this, I would've disliked the movie less.

Danielle Harris yet again gives a good performance, though unfortunately she's mute by half of the movie. But it doesn't hinder her acting. Even though, I think this is a low quality film, Danielle Harris pulls through just fine.

Sadly, I couldn't say the same for Dr. Loomis. He seems so wasted in this sequel, coming off like a deranged old man in a clichéd horror film. And it's not so much on Donald Pleasance's performance, it's just how the character is written.

Okay for instance, by the end of the movie, he uses Jamie as bait. Really? This isn't the Dr. Loomis I know. Donald Pleasance is still great but there is some underlying fact that the Dr. Loomis character might be going crazy himself.

I have to say my piece about Michael, as always, before my get to the more infuriating things about this movie. I like that they actually choose an actor with the right kind of build for the character but still not lovin' the mask though. I would say it is a step up from the last movie, but this mask looks more like Paper Mache.

There is the one particular moment that is still controversial till this day....Michael Myers cries. I really don't see this as a big deal, but him being describe as "evil with a face" and then all of sudden, getting one shred of emotion, kind of confuses things. Though I would say that scene between him and Jamie was kind of touching, though sadly, he still tries to kill her. Seeing that scene, tells me that Michael maybe truly suffering from some type of mental condition but the movie never goes deep into that and it just lives us confused. But don't worry, the next movie stupidly explains this.....
The suspense is either hit or miss. Mostly miss. Half of the movie consists of jump scares from our idiot teen characters. But some can be a hit with the climax involving Jamie and Michael. It's always scary when a child gets menaced like that and I was at the edge of my seat the whole time.

Speaking of Part 6, there are certain key elements that would lead us to the next movie. First, there is the thorn symbol, that we constantly see and secondly, the man in black, a character that would lead up to one of the most confusing, dumbest endings put in a horror film. But you know what the real punch line is? Writer-director Dominique Othein-Girad just thrown it in there to stretch out the movie more. Wow. Just Wow.
Which leads us to some Trivia:

Debra Hill was the one who suggested Dominique Othein-Girad. Love ya, Deb But I have to say that was a pretty huge mistake.
This marks the second time Michael Myers has been unmasked as he also was in the original.
The final budget of the movie was 3 million dollars. What a waste of money.
Rushed in production before a script was even written, Producer Moustapha Akkad admitted he was drunk of the success of Halloween 4. He's not the only one though, Just take a look at F13: Jason Takes Manhattan and NOES: Dream Child.
The reason why the Myers house looks vastly different from it's original exterior was because Dominique Othen-Girad wanted a house that fitted into the scenes of the script. But to be honest, I think he wanted more atmosphere for the film, rather that was a bad idea or not.
Shem Bitterman originally wrote a script that revolved around Halloween 4's shocking ending. Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasance was pretty much on board with this but Dominique Othenin-Girad was not. He hated the idea, and wrote a new fresh script with Michael Jacobs. Really, truly a bad idea.
The film ranked in 11.6 million dollars at the box office, which surprisingly made back the movie's budget. But it was not received well internationally, being released direct to video in some foreign countries.
The reviews of the movie was harsh and rightfully so, though I would say this movie is more....disappointing. It had the potential to be something more, have some actual character development but what we got was just hollow and boring to watch. It was really tedious to sit through. Danielle Harris alone what saved  the movie and there was at least some passion behind the writing before Mr. Othein-Girad( sorry I keep butchering his name, I 'm just not familiar wit the director) ruined it.
Trust me, this is a pretty bad movie but there were chances of not being one. So I said what I said, it's nothing more than a forgettable dud.
My last word: Don't waste your time on this.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Hunk Of The Day: Mystery Guest

Guys, I have a confession to make....I had a specific little childhood dreamboat in my day, that I would like to disclose...I have a major crush on.....

Steve Guttenberg. I know he's a little too old for me but hey I like a daddy once and for a while. At first, I thought he was some goofy comedian in the vein of Tom Hanks, But then I found him to extremely handsome with a really nice body. I was totally hot for this guy for some reason. And you know what, til this day I would dig him. But enough small talk let's indulge into the manliness of this 80's hunk.

Here as a young stallion back in the day. Yum.

Even when he's much older and distinguished, he still got it.

Gotta love the wet suit. Look at that package!
But I know what you guys want. So here are some shirtless pictures to do you some good:

Just look at that chest I could bury my face in it

And here's the full view for your pleasure

The Tarzan look really suits him

Even now he's still got that awesome body.

So there's at least one of my secret crushes. Here I am, as young as I am, still drooling over a guy that was a staple of  the 80's, a decade before I was even born. But who cares, This guy is one sexy daddy that still got his mojo running and that's always something I appreciate.