Cinepub


Review: Mega Piranha (2010) by Jamie

Well we finally come to the cream of the crap of this little Piranhathon. If you’re looking at a film and the title is an animal name with the word ‘Mega’ in front of it then there’s a good chance you’ve got a pretty shitty B-Movie on your hands. There’s also a good chance that you may be dealing with a release from the internet’s favourite film studio, The Asylum. I hope you put on appropriate protection before picking up that DVD case. The film we’re looking at today, Mega Piranha, also debuted on the SyFy channel so we’re looking at something so terrible that even they wanted to get in on it. Now, I know I probably should have saved his for my new video review series that’s coming soon ‘Cinepub Presents SyFy Presents’ but it just fits in to the whole piranha theme I’ve got going on at the minute not to include it here what with the fact that it’s got piranha in it.

Ok, I warn you now that as I write this I’m starting to feel like I’ve eaten some really bad fish. I’m beginning to suspect I’ve overdosed on piranha based entertainment. If I start to just ramble on about giant piranha crashing into buildings and inexplicably exploding then understand that I’ve pretty much broken down and reality is starting to melt… No, wait. That actually happened in this film. Fucking hell.

Well, the film opens with an American Ambassador to Venezuela on a boat with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister and a bunch of bikini clad/topless women. They’re discussing political things when all of a sudden their boat is attacked by a school of uber-aggressive piranha or Mega Piranha if you will. The scene is really quite ridiculous with a bunch of piss-poor CGI fish jumping onto the boat and eating the party aboard except for one guy who, perhaps realising he’s in an Asylum movie, just jumps overboard into the sweet release of the waiting piscine jaws. Also the water is pretty poorly coloured red digitally. Really? Would it have been that hard to have just splashed some red dye into the water or something? Awful.

The American government is somewhat perturbed by this little sudden disappearance f an ambassador in a foreign land and, fearing a terrorist plot, they decide to send in Jason Fitch, one of their top special forces agents to investigate. Fitch is played by Paul Logan and there’s only one way to adequately explain his performance to you. You know how everyone says that action stars generally aren’t the best actors? Well, to some degree this is true but people tend to over-exaggerate their criticism of action stars acting capabilities. Paul Logan is what you get when everyone’s criticism of action stars is not only true but is actually holding back a bit, perhaps to spare the feelings of those action stars. What I’m basically getting at is that Paul Logan is to action films what Tommy Wiseau is to acting, writing and directing drama films. He’s apparently got a degree in bio-chemistry which I guess makes him a bit like Dolph Lungren if Dolph Lungren were an even worse actor.

So Fitch heads to South America in order to find out if this was terrorists, a boating accident or maybe some kind of Mega Sloth or Mega Tapir. The one thing he never expected, however, would be the one thing he would find… Mega Piranha! As he’s leaving the airport having met the Venezuelan Colonel Diaz, his liaison in the country and the eventual villain of the piece, Fitch is pulled aside by busty red-headed scientist Sarah Monroe because apparently it’s very easy to get this close to secret agents on missions when they are being escorted by the Venezuelan military. She informs him that this was no terrorist attack. It was a strain of incredibly deadly piranha she created in her lab for some reason. More on that later. Anyway, Monroe is played by Tiffany who I understand was a musician of some kind in the 80s. All I know is that while thoroughly researching this film I came across some pictures of her from Playboy on the internet and let’s just hope she gets ‘em out for the lads at some point during this film because if I’m watching films about killer piranha I expect two things, piranha attacks and breasts.

Anyway, Diaz doesn’t believe the story about the Mega Piranha and, infuriated at Fitch’s insistence that that may be what caused the attack, he calls of the entire investigation. Fitch goes to the lab to try and find out more about these killer fish. There he meets Monroe’s colleagues, Dr. Higgins a tubby man who speaks like Adrien Brody in ‘Predators’ making everything he says hilarious (despite which the man playing him, Jude Gerard Prest, does deserve quite a bit of respect for being a man with a long and successful career behind him having filmed on every continent except Antarctica. Seriously, look him up on Wikipedia. It’s really quite impressive.) and Gordon who’s just kinda there looking up data occasionally. They explain that they had been developing hardier animals so that the people of Venezuela would have a more steady food supply. During this experimentation they accidentally released a strain of mutant piranha into the local river system. The piranha are growing at an increasingly rapid rate and show no sign of stopping. Also they’ve developed an assortment of extra organs, can absorb nutrients through the skin (which begs the question ‘Why do they need to eat?’) and have virtually impenetrable. Hold on a moment. You were creating animals for the people of Venezuela to eat so why the fuck did you create these Mega Piranha? What possible benefit could indestructible, ravenous killer fish bring to the impoverished people of Venezuela? I guess that’s why I’m not a movie scientist. I just can’t see the bigger picture.

Fitch goes out to gather evidence of the existence of these Mega Piranha and kills one in order to bring it back to Diaz. He’s attacked a bit but as soon as he stabs a fish, the other piranha ignore him to cannibalize their fallen compatriot. Take note of that because it will be important later or it would be if the ending made any sense. More on that later. Anyway, whilst Fitch is diving to capture the piranha, the movie actually teaches me a couple of things I had never known before. For one, the Amazon is incredibly clear which I guess makes the enlarged sonar organ those river dolphins evolved for navigating murky waters pretty unnecessary. Gutted you endangered pink pricks. Secondly the Amazon has quite a few coral reefs which came as quite a shock to me. I had always considered coral reefs something that were exclusive to marine environments but nope, apparently they occur in rivers as well. Good for them.

Diaz reacts to the piranha the way that any rational human being would. He ignores the scientists thoughts on how to kill them and takes to the air with his squadron of helicopters and shoots the shit out of the river and the natural dam that was keeping them pinned in. Of course the piranha somehow survive the weapons being fired randomly at them from the sky and escape into the river system at large. Diaz decides that the best course of action is to arrest the scientists for creating the piranha and releasing them into the wild, also deciding that the whole thing is part of a secret CIA plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

Now, I know that Diaz is meant to be the villain of the piece, impeding the mission of our valiant heroes but he’s kinda got a point. Like I said earlier, why the fuck did those scientists create those Mega Piranha if not to intentionally release them into Venezuela to create panic and unrest during which the CIA could easily replace their system of government with one more to their liking? The more I think about it, the more it’s the only possible solution to the whole mystery behind the creation of the Mega Piranha. The only error the scientists made was making their Piranha too damn Mega, making them a threat to not just Venezuela but the whole world.

Anyway, Dr. Higgins, Fitch and Gordon manage to escape from the military which leads to one of the most blatant and hilarious examples of repeated footage and dialogue I have ever seen. Let’s watch, won’t we?

Jesus fucking Christ. There is no way to describe the ridiculous nature of what we have just observed. Just take it in and cherish it, never let the feeling you had watching it go. You will die a happier person. Anyway, because the two stand there repeating the same movement over and over for a little too long they are apprehended. Still Fitch manages to track them down and, during a Mega Piranha attack on a random Venezuelan city, let’s call it Venezuela City (I don‘t know if Venezuela City even actually exists but it‘s a fine name for a city from Venezuela), he manages to free them and they make their escape. Well, except for Dr. Higgins. He gets gobbled up by a Mega Piranha. Alas poor Higgins, you bizarre voice and habit of doing the same thing over and over will be sorely missed.

I should take a moment to address something very important about the nature of the Mega Piranha’s attacks. They have reached the size of about a car at this point and they attack by simply launching themselves out of the water into buildings and exploding. An explosion which, I should say, they manage to survive. They can be seen quite happily flapping their tails as they sit stuck in buildings. So what the hell causes the Mega Piranha to explode upon impact? Are they attacking exclusively nitro-glycerine plants? Is Venezuela City known for it’s nitro-glycerine production? Or have the mutant piranha simply evolved the ability to extrude napalm through their skin? What the fuck where those scientists doing in that lab? How are giant piranha who attack buildings and explode on impact a help to anyone? I know I’m repeating myself but seriously!

A massive car chase ensues through South America during which time both chaser and chasee’s cars randomly change into different models at random times. The science team manage to ascertain that the Piranha are heading for the river mouth and, being freshwater fish, they’ll be trapped there and vulnerable to attack. Fitch gets on the phone to his boss and a plan is set up where a passing battle cruiser will bomb the river mouth, exterminating the Mega Exploding Piranha for ever more.

Of course the plan fails, the Mega Piranha can in fact survive in sea water and they take down the battle cruiser for good measure as they head out to ocean. Yes, piranha destroy a battle cruiser. It’s… Well, it’s just fucking ridiculous. Admittedly they are now the size of really big things but still… fucking ridiculous. So they all figure out that the Mega Piranha are heading up to Florida and so the race is on to stop them before they kill any goddamn Americans! Yes, the Venezuelan military are putting everything they can into stopping the rogue scientists whilst the Piranha eat everything around them but the good ol’ US of A’s military is fully behind protecting their citizens. Well, sort of. Their contingency plan if they can’t stop the piranha in the ocean is to nuke the fuck out of Florida so there’s that.

Of course they can’t stop the Mega Piranha in the water. They launch a ten kiloton nuke at the fishy bastards and yet they survive. Fitch’s boss is all ready to bomb Florida into a sheet of glass when Fitch remembers the way those piranha cannibalized the one he stabbed earlier. If only he could get them all to bleed, they’d surely eat each other to death. So the plan is to drop a bunch of divers amongst the school and have them shoot at their eyes. Once actually in the water and the eye plan falls, Monroe informs them that some piranha don’t have regular blood vessels in their eyes and they should try shooting their gills instead. Well, thanks scientist lady! That’s information that would have really been helpful earlier before half the team had been eaten by giant ravenous Mega Piranha! Then when that doesn’t work either she suggests shooting bombs into their mouths which should cause massive haemorrhaging in their stomachs! Well, thanks again scientist lady! You didn’t think that the suggestion of shooting them in the largest target area in their face, the one they are most likely to be swimming towards you wide open was important to share back up on the surface before the operation began? I’m starting to think you created these piranha because you just get turned on by the thought of people being eaten by giant fish! What the fuck is wrong with you lady?!?

Anyway, Diaz turns up in a helicopter and Fitch manages to get the piranha to eat him, helicopter and all using a transmitter which emit’s the sounds they make when they find prey. Fitch manages to blow up the Mega Piranha that had eaten Diaz by shooting a missile still attached to the helicopter. The rest of the piranha go into a feeding frenzy and set upon the corpse. All the divers get out and celebrate because apparently blowing up on fish and getting the others to eats its corpse constitutes winning somehow. Seriously, they kill one fish and everyone just starts celebrating… WHAT THE FUCK?!? How does that make any sense? What about the hundred or so other giant piranha which are still going to attack Florida once they’ve finished with their dead comrade? It’s the equivalent of solving a bank heist by arresting one guy who was tangentially involved, brushing your hands together, saying ‘Case closed’ and walking off into the sunset. It doesn’t work! And Tiffany didn’t get ‘em out for the lads! This film is a massive waste of time from every conceivable angle!

That being said it is a hell of a lot more fun than Piranha 2 or the 90s remake of the original Piranha. It’s just so fucking stupid, it is one of those bad films that it’s genuinely fun to watch maybe even more fun than Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. The special effects are laughable, the acting is terrible, the same footage is repeated over and over again and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. It’s hilarious to watch. So all in all I’ll have to give it two and a half stars out of five for simply pushing the boundaries of the ridiculous. Will Piranha 3D fare any better? Come back tomorrow to find out. Laterz.



Last Year In Film/Great Scenes From Shit Films Part 9: The Happening by Jamie

The Happening is a stupid, stupid movie. I don’t think anyone can deny that. In fact, it may just be the stupidest movie I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen Snakes on a Plane and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. It plumbs the depths of dumb in ways that few films have ever done before and for that, M. Night Shyamalan deserves some credit. A few days before reviews for the film were posted online, M. Night said that The Happening was intended to be a B-Movie and I can’t help but call bullshit. If it was, why did he wait so long before revealing this fact? Why wasn’t it mentioned in any of the films advertising? Can you imagine if Grindhouse had been released under a different name without any attention being drawn to the fact that they were Grindhouse films? People would be annoyed and rightfully so… Though with the two films released under the Groundhouse title it is painfully clear what is going on even without any reference to it so maybe that’s a bad example. Sorry. Anyway, it’s pretty clear that Shyamalan intended for this film to be something more than a B-Movie and, when he got wind of the reaction to it, he decided to try and bluff everyone. Well, it didn’t work.

Once more, spoilers ahead. The Happening tells the stupid, stupid story of people all along the East Coast of the US mysteriously killing themselves for no apparent reason. It begins in New York in Central Park. People suddenly stop what ever they are doing, walk backwards and start killing themselves. What ever is causing this soon spreads throughout New York ending in a hilarious scene where builders begin leaping off of the building they are working on.

It’s in the next scene, in Philidelphia, that we meet Mark Wahlberg as Elliot Moore, the worst science teacher in the world. He believes in auras and mood rings and at one point, with regard to the disappearance of bees, he actually says:

“Science will come up with some reason to put in the books, but in the end it’ll be just a theory. I mean, we will fail to acknowledge that there are forces at work beyond our understanding. To be a scientist, you must have a respectful awe for the laws of nature.”

Wow, that is truly, truly awful. I can agree with the last sentence but everything before it is terrible. Just a theory? There is no way that a scientist would consider the meaning of the word ‘theory’ to be a guess. That’s the colloquial definition of theory. In science a theory must be based on observed facts and make testable predictions. It must have no equally acceptable or more acceptable alternative theory and it must have survived attempts at falsification. And what’s this crap about acknowledging that there are forces beyond our understanding? A scientists job is to explore those forces and try to understand them. In short, Elliot Moore should not be teaching anyone science. Still, despite all this, Mark Wahlberg is the best thing in this film. More on that later.

Anyway, the school principal, played by Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, closes the school early and Elliot and his best friend, Julian (John Leguizamo), decide to get the fuck outta dodge and get a train to Julian’s mother’s house in Harrisburg. They are accompanied by Julian’s recurring plot device… I mean daughter, Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez) and Elliot’s wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel, yes, she actually spells her name that way.) It’s hinted that Alma may have cheated on Elliot in some way and that she’s still lying to her husband about it. I hope that pays off well.

The train is stopped in the middle on nowhere because, as the train drivers say, “We lost contact… With everyone.” Wow, powerful stuff. Anyway everyone holds up in a tiny diner for a while, getting constant updates on the situation from the TV. This is also where the greatest scene in the entire film occurs. It is literally awesome. In fact, let’s make it a Great Scene From Shit Films entry as well. Ok, here it is:

(I’m sorry, I thought there was a better quality version of this scene on YouTube but I couldn’t find it.)

Fuck me. That dude got his arms all ripped off by lions. Thankyou movie, honestly, for letting me see that. At least you have a reason for existing. That’s more than most of the Razzie films I’ve watched for this segment. Let’s back to the story. Julian can’t get in touch with his wife on the phone and decides to go to Princeton to find her, leaving his daughter with Elliot and his missus. He get’s a ride in a jeep being driven by Dante from Clerks, though you never clearly see his face, his beard in the side view mirror is enough to give him away. Sadly, Julian never meets his wife because, after another hilarious scene which features a bunch of bodies hanging down the road in Princeton, air leaks into the Jeep and everyone becomes infected. Dante intentionally crashes the jeep, somehow managing to propel the person behind Julian over him and through the windshield. Julian survives only to get out of the jeep, pick up a piece of shattered glass and slice open his wrist.

Meanwhile Elliot and co. manage to hitch a ride with a hot dog obsessed botanist and his wife. The botanist doesn’t believe the official story behind what’s going on, that terrorists are behind the mysterious events. Instead he believes it’s plants, because all plants can communicate with each other and they’ve all evolved to want to take us all down a peg. This is, of course, blatantly stupid. Even if plant’s can communicate with members of their own species (and such communication is pretty much limited to releasing chemicals to warn others when they are being eaten so that the others can increase toxin production) they certainly can’t communicate with other species. It’s also impossible to assume that they all evolved this strange neurotoxin at once. Plant evolution works in exactly the same way as animal evolution. The smaller, quicker-breeding plants can mutate quicker whilst the large, slower-breeding plants mutate at a much slower rate, therefore there’s no way the trees and grass could all do this at the same time. Unless it was all part of some nefarious plot, the grass evolving this ability centuries ago and have since been waiting for trees to catch up. Now that they have, the time to strike has come! No… That’s too stupid, even for The Happening.

The group soon meets up with a few more survivors and they begin walking to a lightly populated town in hope of escaping the terrorist attack. They split into two groups, with Elliot, Alma and Jess’ group being in the front whilst the second, larger group follows behind. Suddenly, the first group hears gunshots and realises that the second group are killing themselves. Not only that but the botanist was right! It is the plants! Oh my god! This scene leads up to one of the moments that makes Mark Wahlberg the best thing about this film. He is hilarious.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Wow. Just wow. Throughout the film Wahlberg acts like this and it actually makes the film watchable. If not for him, The Happening would be a boring piece of shit with an incredibly stupid plot. I salute you Mark Wahlberg and your heroic mastery of the craft of non-acting or whatever it is that you’re doing.

This scene then leads into one of the stupidest things ever put to film. Did I mention this film was stupid? Well, what happens next is a scene wherein Wahlberg’s group runs away from the wind. Yes, there’s certainly nothing more exciting in all the world than seeing a bunch of people run away from the wind. And that’s pretty much the point where the film completely falls apart. Each scene is more ridiculous that the last. There’s sights you’d never thought you’d see like Mark Wahlberg pointing to a big house in plain view of everyone and shouting “Hey, there’s a big house.” Mark Wahlberg talking to a plastic potted plant, asking it’s permission to use the bathroom. We also found out what it was that Alma was feeling so guilty about. She confesses to Elliot that she and a co-worker went out for GASP! dessert and she never told him about it! Really? That’s it movie? That’s your big infidelity storyline? Fuck you movie. Fuck you. There’s an awesome scene of a man getting himself run over by a ride on lawn mower and there’s a crazy old lady who lives alone and doesn’t like it when people eye her lemon drink.

It’s while staying at this old lady’s house that Mark Wahlberg’s performance reaches it’s pinnacle, where Wahlberg truly reaches for the stars:

There’s something about this scene that makes it seem as though Elliot was planning to kill the old women, even though I’m pretty sure that never crossed the character’s mind. Maybe he suffers from a similar condition to me. I find it really hard to sound sincere when I say thankyou, even when I genuinely mean it. Maybe Elliot really has a problem trying to sound as though he’s not going to kill someone, even when he has no intention of doing so.

Anyway, the film culminates with The Happening not happening any more just as Elliot, Alma and Jess have to go outside. I mean literally just before. It’s so fucking stupid it makes me damn, damn mad. Anyway, Jess is adopted by Elliot and Alma, Alma get’s knocked up and a man on the TV posits that this was just a warning. We then cut to Paris where The Happening begins to happen again. This time, however, it only lasts a few hours as the French immediately surrender and France is soon ruled by trees. Sorry to any French readers but, well, who can resist?

So there you have it. The Happening was easily the most entertaining film I’ve seen out of the Razzie nominations, largely due to the hilarious performance of Mark Wahlberg. Seriously, without him this would have been an awful, awful film but because of him it’s just a stupidly fun bad film that gets two pints out of five.



Great Scenes From Shit Films, Part 8: Batman And Robin by Jamie

It’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been suprisingly busy lately. Today we’ll be looking something just a little notorious. I give you:

Well, here we go then. One of the greatest atrocities ever committed to film. Something so bad it killed not only the Batman franchise but comic book movies in general for several years. Was Batman Forever bad? Undoubtedly. But this? This is… Well watching this is akin to accidentally setting your genitalia on fire, then having someone piss on you to try and put the fire out but missing the fire and hitting you square in the face. That having failed they decide to stamp the fire out before giving up and leaving you there to die. It’s pretty fucking bad.

So what exactly do we have here? Well George Clooney dons the bat-mantle this time, with Anakin Skywalker playing Robin. What? Sorry, that’s Chris O’Donnell. Guess I was confused by his constant fucking whining.

The film opens to them gearing up for business. And oh, how they gear up for business with there new and improved muscle-toned and be-nippled outfits. Marvel at the fine craftsmanship on the ass crack! Revel in delight at the sight of the plastic six-pack! And gasp with joy at the sight of those bat-nipples! I’m sure it’s just the design Bruce Wayne had in mind when he decided that criminals were a superstitious lot that would fear the visage of a bat!

Anyway they eventually (and I do mean eventually, the Batmobile takes forever to emerge from it’s holding space in the Batcave) arrive at the scene of the crime where Mr. Freeze, played here by >shudder< Arnie, is trying to steal a Diamond from Gotham City’s Museum which seems to have all of it’s exhibits in one large neon room. Mr. Freeze makes a few ice puns, freezes Robin, grabs the diamond and escapes. It should be noted at this point that ice puns will feature regularly in this movie. Far, far to regularly. Also of note is the fact that Mr. Freeze is a scientist. A scientist who claims that dinosaurs were made extinct by the Ice Age. I know it’s just another throw away ice pun but it really fucking bothers me.

Meanwhile in South America, Uma Thurman is working for Daniel Clamp who has apparently become a scientist and moved to the Southern Hemisphere after having his tower wrecked by Gremlins. I guess it makes sense. It appears as though they have developed a formula called Venom though Clamp won’t tell Uma what it’s ultimate purpose is. She soon discovers by spying on him when he administers it to a puny convict who then becomes >sigh< Bane. Except it’s not fucking Bane! I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since we’ve already seen not Batman and not Robin fight not Mr Freeze but it’s getting too fucking much now.

Daniel Clamp realises that Uma has been watching him and dumps some chemicals on her when she refuses to join him. He’s convinced she’s dead but of course she isn’t because what this film needs is one more shitty villain. Introducing Poison Ivy! She kills Clamp with her poisonous kiss, finds out Wayne Enterprises has been funding Clamps research and heads to Gotham City with Bane! It’s yawn inducing excitement!

Meanwhile Alfred is dying and his niece Barbara Wilson comes to visit from… England? I mean, that’s what she says but she certainly seems to have an accent that I’ve never heard in this country except for when talking to foreigners… specifically foreigners from America. Oh fuck… I don’t think I can make it through this… I think this film is actually beating me. We’ve already had the wrong version of several Batman characters but it looks as though we’re going to get not Batgirl as well… Sigh. I need a beer. I’ll be back in a minute so Chill Out!

There, I feel better. At a charity event, Ivy puts herself up for auction for a date after dancing seductively whilst dressed as an ape. God, how I wish that didn’t happen. Batman and Robin begin bidding wildly, Batman eventually winning because of his Bat Credit Card. His Bat Credit Card. Where do they send his fucking bills? They actually let a man who dresses as a fucking flying rat have a fucking credit card? FUCK! More Beer.

Right lets get through this. So Freeze interrupts the party, throws around more ice puns and steals another diamond. Batman catches him and Freeze ends up in jail. Ivy busts Freeze out of jail and they join forces with Ivy’s plan being to get Freeze to freeze the world, killing off humans and animals so only plants survive… For fucks sake! She’s supposed to be a scientist too! Yet she knows nothing about exactly what would be affected by freezing the Earth! Has she ever seen anything about the south pole? Does she know what lives there? Fucking penguins! Penguins and no fucking plants! MnnNmNn! More Beer!

No. Fuck it. I’m done. You wanna know how it ends, watch the damn thing yourselves. This film has caused me actual physical pain. My brain hurts and I think my bladder may be failing. Either way this film has left me needing serious surgery. And serious beer. Fuck, I think my eyes might be bleeding. This film makes me want to go out and hurt actual bats. I love bats but now if I ever come across one I am likely to force it to endure Saw-esque levels of torture like making it watch Batman and Robin.

I’m sorry… I tried, tried so hard but it was to much. I never should have tried to take this on alone. If you find this blog post please tell my parents I loved them. My final wish is that I be buried with my DVD collection except for Batman and Robin which is to be destroyed in an appropriate manner. I would suggest toxic waste but I fear the disc would do more damage to the waste than vice versa.

Oh and your scene for today isn’t just one but an entire collection of Arnie’s Ice puns… I’m so very, very sorry.



Great Scenes From Shit Films, Part 7: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan by Jamie
04/11/2008, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Great Scenes From Shit Films | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love the Friday the 13th films to an almost psychotic degree but even I will admit that most of them are not good films. Fun films to be sure, but not good films. I’m not entirely sure exactly why I like them so much, there’s just something about the silent, plodding killer that I love so much. That and the sheer stupidity of the characters he kills. Perhaps my favourite example of this is in one of the earlier films. I’m not exactly sure which but I think it might be number two.

Whatever film it is doesn’t really matter, the scene is thus. Two characters are sitting downstairs playing a game, a boy and a girl. The boy is in a wheelchair. Take note of this because it’s very important. Any way, the two are flirting and generally having a good time when the girl decides to leave to change in a sexier pair of panties. While she’s away, Jason strikes killing the boy in the wheelchair. The girl returns and looks for the boy BY GOING UP THE FUCKING STAIRS! She leaves a boy in a wheelchair by himself and figures that he must be waiting UP THE FUCKING STAIRS for her. She is quickly despatched and frankly deserved it for her stupidity.

But we’re not here on Halloween to talk about whatever particular film in the series that was. We’re here to look at perhaps one of the worst films in the entire series, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, a film only really outshone in awful by part IX: Jason Goes To Hell. Christ, not even the messiah himself, Billy Dee Williams, could save that piece of shite. On to Jason taking Manhattan.

So part VIII begins, after a montage of the seedier side of New York, with Jason once more being resurrected and immediately sets about doing what he does best, despatching horny teens. Oh Jason, you loveable rogue! Is there a sexually adventurous teenager you won’t massacre? Anyway, it turns out ol’ Camp Crystal Lake is getting a little tired and played out for everyone’s favourite zombie serial killer. He wants to slay in the city that never sleeps! He hitches a ride on the cruise ship Lazarus bound for the Big Apple at… Crystal Lake harbour? I’m not entirely sure when Crystal Lake became connected to the sea but apparently it is. Hooray! Also aboard is Renee, a girl with a pen and a troubled past, and Sean, the ship captain’s son with a sexton and daddy issues. There are of course also your generic machete fodder. There’s 80’s rock chick JJ, film nerd Wayne who looks and sounds a bit like Matt Damon and Julius the boxer and two girls who do coke. There’s also high school teacher Charles who also happens to be Renee’s creepy uncle and Salty McSeadog (Actual character name may differ) who claims the ship is doomed.

So Renee has a few visions about drowning and the young Jason Voorhees, made worse when she falls overboard, Jason goes around ridding the world of a few pointless background characters and stereotypes and one of the cokeheads tries to seduce creepy uncle Charles whilst Wayne films in an effort to get out of handing in a biology paper. She is soon after taken out by Jason.

A storm hit’s the boat and Jason kills the ship’s captain and his first mate, making the journey that much more treacherous. Sean discovers his dad all dead and that and takes command through whining. It is now 40 minutes into the film and I’m guessing Jason killed the crew as he was pretty pissed off that it was taking them so long to get New York. He really wants to stray around the very heart of it. Salty McSeadog goes on about Jason Voorhees, claiming every one will die. He’s clearly a bottle o’ rum half-empty kinda guy. Anyway, Jason kills a few more folks including the other girl who does coke and Wayne. The rest of the gang decide to try and take Jason down, gathering as many weapons as they can. They fail and abandon ship, finally reaching New York and hour into the film with about half an hour left, Wow, Jason really has to tighten up his game if he wants to take Manhattan.

The survivors are captured by a New York street gang but are rescued when Jason shows up and begins killing the gang members. Has Jason finally changed his ways? Is he becoming the superhero we all knew he was deep down inside? No, he just loves killin’ folk. He’s been doing it for a while and sometimes hobbies are just impossible to give up.

Jason now hunts down Julius who decides to fight the big gut on top of a roof top in a scene which may or may not be at the end of this blog post. Ok, it will be. It’s great. Seriously. This one scene almost makes up for the rest of the movie for me. Julius’ determination, Jason standing there and taking it and it’s inevitable yet awesome conclusion make this film worth renting at least… though since I’m going to show you the scene, I wouldn’t bother. Nothing else is really worth seeing.
So from down here it’s all down hill. There’s a flashback in which Charles explains Jason drowned because he never learned to swim and that he’s still down there, ready to drag people down if they can’t swim. He then chucks her in the lake and tries to force her to learn, explaining her uninteresting back story of being afraid of water. Sean and Renee run off, leaving Charles to Jason’s capable hands. Jason drowns Charles, which I guess is supposed to be irony or karma or something.

Renee and Sean run to the subway, Jason chasing them and apparently not being that big of a shock to New Yorkers. Guess they have seen a lot what with giant gorilla attacks, alien invasions and all manner of things that’d make someone from a smaller town at least raise an eyebrow. Jason gets shocked on the subway track and our two, sigh, heroes are safe to explore New York. Except this is a Friday the 13th film and there are still 15 minutes left! Jason is still alive! I for one am surprised.

He chases them across what I think is Times Square where he freaks out some punk kids by lifting his mask. I for one am annoyed with Jason. Where’s the bloodshed, bro? Where’s the wanton slaughter? Has the franchise grown so tiresome that even you are bored of it all? No matter, Jason still has two more victims in his sights before he retires, moves to Florida and spends his last days playing Bingo.

They escape into the New York sewers, which makes perfect sense. If I had an unstoppable killing machine after me, I’d head into a dimly lit, underground maze. As they flee, they run into a sewage worker who explains that in ten minutes the sewers will be flooded with toxic waste, just like they are at every night at midnight… New Yorkers, is this true? If so, why? Is it to kill of all those alligators that live down there? Perhaps a mutant turtle eradication programme? If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, maybe you wouldn’t have such a high ratio of mutated animals living in your sewers if you didn’t flush them with radioactive goop every night.

Anyway, Jason shows up and kills the sewage worker and is about to kill Sean when Renee attracts his attention with a flashlight. Apparently, Jason has the same mental capacity as the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, even though earlier he was seen to be working out elaborate ways to kill his victims bringing his intelligence level at least up to that of the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park 3. Renee runs away with Jason following, leaving Sean unconscious in a tunnel that is about to be flooded with toxic waste in a matter of minutes. Plan. She stumbles across a toxic waste barrel and throws it in Jason’s face. Seriously New York, is toxic waste really that big of an issue in your fair city that, not only must you flood your sewers with it on a nightly basis but you must also leave barrels of it lying around in aforementioned sewers? What The Fuck?

The toxic waste causes Jason to remove his mask, revealing his visage. It’s kinda hard to describe, something kind of like a cross between one of those old Madball things and a Garbage Pail Kid. If you’re too young to understand those references I’m sure the fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia will answer your questions. In my day we had to use real encyclopaedias and I can guarantee you that they didn’t have entries about old 80s toy lines. Anyway, here is a picture of Jason sans mask for your viewing pleasure:

As you can see it’s pretty fucking terrible. Seriously fucking awful. Just plain shit. But it doesn’t stop there.

Renee comes back for Sean, they climb a ladder and leave Jason below as the, sigh, toxic waste begins to flood the sewers. As it does, Jason speaks. Yes, Jason speaks but only that, he sounds like someone trying to do a child’s voice but poorly. And what does Jason, who has been so silent for so long have to say to the world? “Mommy, don’t let me drown… mommy.” Well… that’s just great. I know it makes sense in the context of the series but still… It just… It’s just wrong. Jason then get’s hit by the toxic waste and is reverted back to his childhood form. Which makes no fucking sense but by this time you’ve been pretty much battered into submission by the films unrelenting stupidity and you just kind of accept it. And so Sean and Renee are free at last to go and be boring together. Whoop-de-fucking-doo. You know what, fuck it. Let’s just show you the last scene, courtesy of CampVoorhes.com. Consider it a Halloween bonus.

See! See what I mean! It fucking sucks! And what’s worse is it looks like Jason the child has a normal head. What the fuck is that about? Fucking hell!

Ugh. There you have it. So what have we learnt? Well, I personally have learnt that New York has a severe toxic waste problem that they can surely find better ways of solving than simply flushing it down the sewers. I’ve learnt that throwing your niece into a lake after telling her it’s haunted by a dead child is not the best way to teach her to swim. I’ve also learnt that, since most of this movie takes place on a fucking boat, it was severely wrongly titled. It should have been called something like Friday the 13th VIII: Avast Jason! Or Friday the 13th VIII: All Hands On Death! Or some such thing.

Let’s at least end things with a high note. I present to you, my favourite Friday the 13th death of all time, Jason Vs. Julius. Enjoy.



Great Scenes From Shit Films, Part 6: Pumaman by Jamie

Ok, I promise, tomorrow will not be a movie featured in MST3K. In fact, it’ll be a super awesome Halloween special edition of Great Scenes from Bad Films! Awesome. But Mari Nickl reminded of Pumaman and I just had to include it. It was another great Mike era episode and this film really deserved the MST3K treatment. Allow me to elaborate.

The film opens with a paragraph regaling us with the Aztec legend of a God descending from the heavens, fucking an Aztecette and fathering the first Pumaman. Next we see a giant sphere approaching Stonehenge… I think. I’m not entirely sure because I just don’t see how Stonehenge could possibly fit in to Aztec legend. Anyway it’s probably not important. The aliens bequeath a mask to mankind, declaring that the Pumaman will look after it and that. This is followed by the credits in which the film’s big name, Donald Pleasence, has his name spelt wrong as Donald Pleasance. Well done movie.

We then meet a blonde lady archaeologist, intensely studying the aforementioned golden mask in modern times. Donald Pleasence enters, looking for all the world like a hideous, bald dominatrix, and basically asks her “How’s shit?” She turns around and answers “Shit’s good but don’t desecrate this mask otherwise the Pumaman will fuck you up.” Donald decides not to heed this careful warning and uses the mask to take control of blonde lady archaeologist’s mind. Oh Donald, you funky, cheeky monkey.

Anyway, I guess my first major question arises here. Why the fuck did the aliens leave a mask that gave people the ability to control the minds of other people? And I thought that the Pumaman dynasty was supposed to guard it always. Why was it not passed down the Puma family line?

The next scene shows a man being tossed out of a window, a newspaper revealing it’s the fourth American to be killed in London that week. It turns out that the person behind these slayings is the hero of our story, Vadhino (I must interject here and point out that I’m not saying he’s the hero because he is ridding London of Americans. Hmmm, shouldn’t have used the word ridding there, just makes things sound worse. My point is no one should be killed in London. Except for Luxembourgers. You know what you did Luxembourg!) and his next target is the film’s side-kick character, palaeontologist Tony Farms.

Tony ‘senses’ danger whilst being yelled at by his boss when Vadhino appears, steals a bone and Tony gives chase. Vadhino suddenly grabs him and chucks him out the window. Way to sense danger there Tony! When Tony survives, Vadhino tells him he’s the Pumaman and runs away.

Tony then meets blone archaeologist lady, Jane, and they ‘flirt.’ She invites him to a party laid out by her father. Alas! She’s still being mind controlled by Donald! Gasp! It turns out he’s controlling Jane’s father as well!

As Tony’s getting ready for the party, Vadhino shows up again and gives Tony the lame plastic belt that allows him to access the powers of the Pumaman! Which confuses me as it’s already made clear that Tony can survive falls and see in the dark. We’re also lead to believe he can sense danger but… Anyway, Vadhino explains that he knows Tony’s father which also raises the question as to why he didn’t look up where Tony Farms was, rather than going around tossing Americans out of windows. Guess it’s a hobby or something.

At the party, Donald turns up with a few henchmen and begins to stir up trouble when they attack Tony. Tony beats a few up or dances violently with them, it’s hard to figure out exactly which. Vadhino shows up, tosses Tony the belt allowing him to fly through the air… like a puma. The belt also gives him the lamest superhero costume since Robin decided little green underwear was a great look.

And so Tony flies. The effects are astounding. You’ll gasp in wonderment as Tony flies at all manner of angles, especially apparent when he drops a henchman, You’ll scratch your head in amazement Tony glides through the air with all the grace of an Aardvark tossed out of a helicopter. It truly is a thing of beauty.

So Tony tries to find out where the mask is by entering a trance and walking through a wall… like a puma. Or at least he tries but fails. Because if there is one thing that you will learn about Pumaman it’s that he’s the living embodiment of epic fail.
Jesus this is going on for a while. Ok, to cut a long story short. Donald has an evil plan, Pumaman tries to stop it, fails but thankfully Vadhino saves the day by not being Pumaman. At the end of the film Vadhino, Pumaman and Jane go to Stonehenge, which seems to be in an area which is certainly not where Stonehenge actually is. Vadhino claims that the the protection of the Gods has not failed since the day is saved though I must heartily disagree. The day was nearly lost because the stupid fuckers left the mind control mask on Earth in the first place… Twats. Anyway, Jane and Pumaman kiss and it seems apparent that the patter of tiny puma paws can’t be too far away. Eww.

Ok, sorry about that synopsis. I was watching the MST3K version, trying to ignore the riffs and focus on the film and I just completely lost track and the will to live, so I guess I have to add the same warning that I added to the previous two MST3K-inspired entries, do not watch without Mike and the Bots. Seriously. I think my left arm is tingling and I’m certain I feel chest pains.

What’s left to be said about this film? Well, as mentioned the special effects are awesome, though not just the flying effects. When Donald is taking over someone’s mind, the film wobbles, like water being sucked into the mouth of a goldfish’s mouth. That’s an odd analogy and that’s how this film has effected me. I’m also not sure whether Pumaman can phase through walls or just break through them. The special effects are that ambiguous!

One last thing of note is the music. Pumaman’s theme is a touching little number that will cause many to hold their hand over their heart and shed a tear for the Aztec Puma man-God who came to Earth to save us all from the mask left here by the Aztec Puma God for some reason.

One last thing, Vadhino would later appear in the second ever episode of the A-Team and get pummelled by Mr T. Good on him.

Well I’m exhausted. Couldn’t actually find any clips from a pure copy of the movie so here is a compilation clip from the MST3K version. I’m doing you all a favour, really.



Great Scenes from Shit Films, Part 5: Hobgoblins by Jamie

As with yesterdays entry into the hallowed halls of shit cinema fame, this entry came to my attention through the stellar work of the crew at Mystery Science Theater 3000. This film was in what is possibly my favourite of the Mike era episodes, in fact it would probably be my favourite of all episodes if not for Manos. Everything about this episode is great, the riffs, the host segments with classics like Crow’s ‘In Search Of…’ style programme about women to the cardboard cut-outs of the crew singing about Hobgoblins. One particular scene of note is the ‘interview’ with director Rick Sloane during the films end credits.

Still, this isn’t supposed to be about MST3K, it’s supposed to be about the movie itself. It’s about a number of small beasts from space who can make peoples fantasies come true with TERRIFYING consequences.

The film begins with an elderly security guard and his young helper doing a check of the old movie studios where they work. They go their separate ways and the younger of the two gentlemen opens a vault. Inside he suddenly finds himself on a stage where he begins… well I guess you’d kinda have to call it singing really. Suddenly he falls from the stage and dies. The older security guard, Mr McCreedy, discovers his body and shuts the vault door.

Our… well I guess you’d kinda have to call him hero really, Kevin takes the dead dude’s job so he can impress his frigid bitch of a girlfriend Amy because as every man knows, nothing impresses a woman more than taking a job which means you’d have to spend most of your nights away from them and most of your days sleeping. Good thinking Kevin.

After his first night he comes home and finds Amy hanging out with uber-slut Daphne and effeminate Kyle. Daphne is a classy kind a girl, wearing a condom in a packet around her neck and Kyle is a stylish fellow in his little red shorts. Amy is dressed like she doesn’t want to have sex with anything. Ever. Daphne’s boyfriend Nick, a soldier type, arrives later and challenges Kevin to a fight. The weapon of choice? Garden utensils! In what was rated as the most epic fight scene until Gladiator came along, Kevin and Nick duel it out for some time until Nick just manages to get the upper hand. Nick gets his reward by fucking Daphne in his van, whilst Amy takes the piss out of Kevin. In the background Nick’s van can be seen bouncing up and down with hilarious cartoon bouncing sound effects! Rick Sloane is a cinematic genius.

The next night Kevin chases a burglar into the vault that the dude had died in earlier unwittingly releasing the titular Hobgoblins! Oh Noes! WTF? I can has Cheeseburger?… Sorry, not sure what happened there. Anyway McCreedy provides the creatures back story and explains they can make people see what they most wish for though they do kinda accidentally kill them in the process. And so our mighty hero Kevin goes to stop the evil beings and save the friends that frankly no man deserves!

The Hobgoblins head straight for Kevin’s house, perhaps wanting to leave him a thank you note for freeing them after all this time or perhaps smelling Daphne’s rancid pheromones from miles away and they are just looking for an easy lay after such a long time in the vault. Either way they happen upon Kevin’s chums whilst they are…well I guess you’d kinda have to call it partying really. The hobgoblins manage to lure Daphne out of the house with an exact replica of Nick’s car horn. Having never met the man and having been locked in a movie vault, I can’t help but wonder how they know the sound of his horn or where and when they purchased such an item. Anyway, one of the hobgoblins tries to kill Daphne but she fights them off with a rake. Garden utensils would have made Lord of the Rings way more awesome.

Meanwhile, Kevin is calling a phone sex line, when he is told the woman he’s talking to is right outside. He takes her to the make-out spot of the city, with signs denoting where people should park depending on what kind of sexual activity they plan on engaging in. I’m sure the city council are very pleased with such a well organised make-out spot. The woman tries to push the car off of the make-out spot cliff with Nick still inside it until Kevin shows up and kills the hobgoblin generating the fantasy. The car still goes over the edge and the two characters are left standing there, watching the terrible fire which seems to have all the intensity of two torches being shone into the actor’s eyes.

Whilst this is going down, Amy heads to Club Scum to become a slutty, slutty stripper. (Point of interest: The man who plays Club Scum’s host would go on to voice Cosmo in the Fairly Odd Parents.) She demands to be degraded until Kevin and friends show up to kill the hobgoblins. The club is thrown into chaos and Nick begins to fantasize that he’s in combat. He manages to set himself on fire by jumping on a grenade… damn that’s stupid.

The surviving friends go to tell McCreedy that they’ve killed all the hobgoblins but Kevin is confronted by the burglar he chased before. A fight breaks out and Kevin wins, impressing Amy at last. Maybe now she will have sex with him. Good for them. But what’s this? The burglar has a gun! He’s going to shoot Kevin! Will he never get his end away? Thankfully McCreedy shoots the hobgoblin which is causing Kevin’s fantasy and the future conquest of Amy by Kevin seems assured. Kyle makes a move on Daphne who seems willing, probably because she’s a whore and not even little red shorts will put her off. Unfortunately for Kyle, Nick shows up covered in bandages. He and Daphne retire to the van which begins bouncing with those same cartoon sound effects and the future conquest of Kyle by Kyle’s hand seems assured.

The rest of the hobgoblins run into the vault and McCreedy blows up the studio, a plan the old man who spent his entire life guarding them for the sake of mankind must have really wished he’d thought up earlier. The End.

Well there you have it. Once more, as with yesterdays pick, I recommend you only watch this film with the appropriate MST3K riffs. Doing otherwise will release the hobgoblins. Oh an rest assure, the hobgoblins will ride again regardless with the soon to be released, direct-to-DVD sequel, Hobgoblins 2. Hooray!

So, what scene? Well there can only be one choice really. Enjoy.



Great Scenes from Shit Films, Part 4: Manos: The Hands of Fate by Jamie

Like most people out there who have seen Manos: The Hands of Fate (Translation: Hands: The Hands of Fate) I became aware of it through Mystery Science Theater 3000. The episode is held in high regard amongst the shows fans and rightly so. It is, after all, awesome. Some of my favourite riffs I heard in the shows history come from this episode, as do some of my favourite segments. Such a thing is only possible with the just the right film, and Manos is just such a film.

Every frame is such exquisite crap, that you just can’t help but laugh. From the inexplicable scenes involving two teenagers making out to Torgo’s chilling theme music, everything here is so ripe for a riffing that if MST3K hadn’t done an episode with it then there would have been a public outcry… except that no one would have heard of the movie.

The plot then if it can indeed be called such. A family made up of husband Mike, wife Margaret, daughter Debbie and dog Peppy are travelling somewhere for some reason. Meanwhile two teenagers make out in a car until a cop tells them to piss off. The family reach a house and are greeted by every one’s favourite satyr/housekeeper Torgo. He takes care of the place while the Master is away.
Mike asks Torgo is his family can spend the night at the house and, after a little hesitation, Torgo agrees.

Later that evening, Peppy runs outside the house and is later discovered as a corpse dog by Mike. Margaret wants to leave and Mike demands that Torgo put the luggage back in the car, which is a very rude way to treat someone who kindly let you stay in house even though he had reservations. What a bastard. It’s not Torgo’s fault they can’t control their fucking dog. Torgo does as he’s told before catching Margaret alone. He informs her that the Master wants her for a wife but he can’t have her because Torgo wants her for himself. He then ‘fondles’ her in a way that demonstrates just why Torgo is considered a ladies man without equal.

Meanwhile, the two teenagers continue making out until being told to move on by the police again.

Now Debbie runs outside of the house and, rather than being found as a girl corpse, her parents find her with a big evil looking dog. When asked where the dog was found, she leads them to a chamber which contains the Master and several women (his wives) dressed in white nighties in an apparent cryogenic stasis, though without the cryogenic part.. The family run back to the house and try to find Torgo.

Torgo, though, has gone to the chamber himself where he does a little more fondling, this time of the Master’s lovely ladies. That Torgo, what a lovable scamp! Torgo then knocks Mike out and ties him to a pole. Suddenly the Master and his wives awaken. They argue about the families fate, some wanting to kill ’em all, others wanting to keep the wife and daughter. The Master, however, has his own plans. He’s pissed at how Torgo always seems to get more pussy, even though the Master has well loads of wives. So he decides he’s going to sacrifice him to Manos! It should be pointed out at this point that the Master is wearing a fetching poncho with a hands motif. It’s lovely. He leaves the chamber and the wives carry on arguing about the fate of the family which devolves into a wrestling match in the sand. A long one. Like several minutes long. It’s really painful viewing at this point.

The Master finds Torgo and tells him he’s going to be well dead. Torgo tries to fight but the Master puts him in a trance or something. Meanwhile one of the wives finds Mike and kisses and slaps him while he’s unconscious but by this point of the film you will have given up hope that anything in life will ever make sense again. The Master brings Torgo to the tomb, puts him on a stone tablet whilst tying up one of the wives. The wives give Torgo a massage for some reason, the Master burns his hand and Torgo runs away, presumably to his death. He then kills the wife tied to the pole for good measure.

Mike wakes up and joins his family as they try to escape. Unfortunately they encounter a stock footage snake which impedes their progress. of course it’s not like they are in a wide expanse of desert affording the option of walking around said snake and giving it a very wide berth so Mike decides to fire at the snake. This gunfire catches the attention of the policemen who shooed the teens who were making out so they go to investigate. These are clearly crack crime fighters as there investigation involves moving away from their car, staring into the darkness before giving up and going away. To Protect and Serve!

The family, unable to make their way through a maze of stock footage wildlife, decide to return to the house. It just makes sense. The Master attacks, Mike fires at him and the screen fades to black.

The next scene shows two women who are travelling somewhere for some reason. They reach a house and are greeted by every one’s favourite human/housekeeper Mike. He takes care of the place while the Master is away. Next we see that Margaret and Debbie have joined the army of wives in stasis, which it pretty disgusting when you consider that Debbie is a little girl. Chris Hansen needs to take the Master’s ass down a peg or two.

The credits are followed by the scariest scene in the entire film when the words ‘The End?’ flash up. That question marked has plagued any and all who have seen this film.

So there you have it, the ‘plot’ of Manos. Now for a few fun facts:

1) The camera used to shoot the film could only shoot for thirty seconds at a time and everything was filmed without sound. The voices were dubbed in later!

2)The film had a budget of $19,000!

3)The driving sequences at the beginning of the film were supposed to have the opening credits over them, but the director forgot to include them!

4)John Reynolds, who played Torgo, sustained permanent damage to his kneecaps because of the apparatus on them. He was constantly on painkillers up until his suicide, due to the injury he had from this movie. It’s believed that his kneecaps were damaged due to the device being worn backwards… I’m sorry, that probably shouldn’t have been included in the ‘fun facts’. Let’s move on.

This movie is among the very worst ever made. Simple as that. Plan 9 from Outer Space is awful, Hobgoblins is an abortion but in my opinion this film tops them all. If you have to see this film, and you have to, make sure you watch it with Joel and the Bots from MST3K. Doing otherwise is hazardous to your health.

As for the scene I’ve picked from this treasure trove of awful, I’ve decided upon Torgo charming the pants off of Margaret with his suave fondling. Enjoy.




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