Tuesday, June 18, 2019

STAGEFRIGHT (1987)

An actress, while practicing for a play in a small playhouse, strains her ankle.  Naturally, she goes to the nearby mental hospital(!!!) for some medical attention.  While there, she captures the attention of a psychopath who recently murdered and dismembered 16 people.  He escapes and makes his way over to the playhouse where the director, in a fit of temperamental rage, secretly locked the doors to the playhouse and gave the only key...to the woman who immediately gets stabbed to death on stage in front of everybody.  Chaos ensues.

I liked STAGEFRIGHT.  The beginning is a little bit too slow for its own good, but once things got moving, it was a fun film with great spurts of sudden violence.  Things would be going along fine...then out of nowhere a dude would get this arm and head chopped off or a girl would unexpectedly get ripped in half!  It was awesome!!!  That said, there were a few drawbacks.  For example: the characters were all too bland and, honestly, looked a lot a like.  I kept getting them confused.  Another thing is, they were all dumb as hell.  Maybe they didn't have fire alarms back in Italy in 1987, but I know that if I ever get trapped inside a building with a looney tune motherfucker wearing an owl mask and sporting a chainsaw, I'm pulling the fucking fire alarm!

Uneven pace, impressive directorial debut by Michele Soavi, great colours, interesting camerawork, dumb ending, a fair amount of blood, script by that tall butthole from ANTROPOPHAGUS, horrible attempts at fighting back, minor nudity, a Cramps shirt.

STAGEFRIGHT isn't life changing, but it's interesting (and enjoyable) enough to watch.  Recommended for horror fans.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

VEGAS VACATION (1997)

Completely devoid of any original ideas, the writers have Clark Griswold take his family on a PG-rated trip to Las Vegas...wow, that sounds like a real laugh riot.  Once there, his wife runs off with Wayne Newton, his simpleton son accidentally becomes a high roller, his daughter becomes a go-go dancer and Clark gambles off his family savings.  Yeah, nothing funnier than a dad losing all of his family's money.  That's always good for a laugh.

In between the depressing bits about Clark's hilarious life-destroying gambling addiction, the viewer is treated to other anti-funny moments like Clark being a distracted and dangerously bad driver; the Griswold's going on a tour of Hoover Dam and the guide using the word "dam" a lot; Cousin Eddie living on an old hydrogen-bomb test site; Clark gets toilet water on his hand and the family stealing a winning keno ticket from a corpse.  All of that is just comedy gold!

Zero laughs, zero nudity, boring camerawork, completely flatline pace, meh acting.  I saw VEGAS VACATION during it's original release and thought it was surprisingly lame.  Watching it again now for this review...it's honestly even lamer than I remembered.  The only thing that I found noteworthy was that the daughter, Marisol Nichols, is now a mom on "Riverdale".  That's really not that interesting, but goddamn, I was bored senseless trying to trudge through this stinker.  It was honestly a chore.  Skip it with a vengeance and never look back.

If you need me, I'll be in my room watching "Riverdale".

Part 1 - National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Part 2 - National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
Part 3 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Part 5 - Vacation (2015)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

SUMMER OF 84 (2018)

June, 1984.  Oregon.  A suburban teenage boy begins to suspect that his neighbor, who's a cop, might actually be a serial killer.  And not just a normal serial killer, but one that preys on teenage boys.  Eek!  The suburban teenage boy recruits his friends to help him investigate.  The End.

As far as the amateur detective/suspicious neighbor/serial killer/ "Stranger Things"-wannabe subgenre goes, SUMMER OF 84 is alright.  Some of the dialogue between the boys was humorous and I like the basic story idea, but goddamn, the pace was slow as molasses and that ending was a fucking yawner!

Zero nudity, very little violence, zero surprises, zero tension, zero gore, a Bad Religion shirt, dark lighting, okay acting, various nefarious shenanigans but nothing shocking shown on screen, an Iron Maiden shirt, a strange fictionalized version of the 1980's.  I was really hoping that SUMMER OF 84 was going to be awesome, but it ended up way too lightweight and unimaginative for it's own good.  Skip it.

If you need me, I'll be in my room watching FRIGHT NIGHT.