Slick Dungeon here and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s falling into a pit trap doing major damage to my hit points and losing my library card. I know it has been a while since I have done a book review. One is coming later this week. Due to the fact that I lost my library card I have not been able to check out books online very easily so it has been a bit. But I battled a swarm of rats and got it back. I will try to get back to my regular cadence of one per week starting this Friday.
#What’sup everyone? Slick Dungeon here with yet another movie review of a movie that you should definitely avoid watching.
You know how people go around annoyingly posting their life on instagram all the time? You know how every teen comedy/romance/drama ever is about a nerdy girl (who is clearly attractive but just wearing glasses and braces) who becomes pretty (by wearing a dress and doing her hair and makeup) and then gets ogled by her classmates for changing her look (yet no one ever mentions how overtly horrible these guys looking are) and then gets noticed by her hot crush (who is typically a jerk but not always) and then ignores her true friends (who obviously don’t want to be stuck in the friend zone for all time) and then has to go back to being the “nerdy” girl (but still is able to dress up when she wants to for say prom or something) and then everything works out so that the girl either gets the hot guy (if he is nice) or the friend gets the formerly nerdy girl (if the hot guy is a jerk) and the movie wraps up with a life lesson where you now know that what it takes in life is to be true to yourself (but apparently wearing make up and ditching the glasses is a plus)? Yeah, that’s this movie. Also, you know how the Fyre festival was super hyped up to be full of amazing influential people who are super wealthy and attractive and the party was going to be amazing but then turned out to just suck? That’s also this movie.
Look, any movie title with a hashtag at the beginning was doomed to be crappy. Then putting it in a high school was also just asking for garbage here. It’s kind of hard to summarize what is exactly wrong with this film but there is plenty to dissect. Let me start by summarizing the plot.
Dani is our main character. She starts the film at a camp where her friend tells her that a boy she likes wants to make out with her. We all see this coming right? When she gets there and tries to kiss the boy, it turns out to be a prank where they get her to almost kiss a pig. Then she gets stuck with all kinds of nicknames like pigs breath etc. We can all feel for Dani even though it also feels like we have seen this exact same scene one hundred thousand times before.
Fast forward to high school. Dani isn’t any more popular than she was before. She’s gone from wearing braces to a retainer and she seems a bit awkward but overall she’s doing fine. At school though, she is still made fun of, and the boy she likes is dating this instagram/youtube model who is extremely shallow and mean. This is Alexa and it’s obvious this will be Dani’s rival for the whole film. And obviously she is the same person who set up the stunt at the camp years ago.
We get to see Dani do things like be nice to dogs at the clinic she volunteers at, get into arguments with her sister who trends way more online than Dani herself and hang out with her friend Freddie who is an aspiring DJ.
Dani has an interview for a scholarship and decides to get dressed up fancy and go to school. Everyone notices. Also, around this time, the hot guy that Dani likes breaks up with Alexa. Everyone notices that too. Cameron, the aforementioned hot guy is now available and interested in Dani. The rest of the film is Dani making bad choices like going to parties when she shouldn’t, letting her friend Freddie down and saying things she shouldn’t in front of her boyfriend. Then, you know, making it all right again.
Watching all of that is just like watching… every teen movie ever.
There are a couple of twists and turns that are changed up just slightly enough to make this not exactly the same as all these movies but close. The hot guy who Dani has been in love with forever turns out to actually be a really nice guy and to have had a crush on Dani since prior to her getting dressed up. The guy stuck in the friend zone acts as outraged as he should for being screwed over by Dani but doesn’t go ahead and lay the bomb of being in love with her this whole time. Most of the characters are portrayed as being at least somewhat smart and caring, with the exception of Alexa and even she fakes it for a little bit (albeit to get what she wants). The parents in the film are caring and only kind of out of touch, not completely ignorant of their kids troubles. And finally, the whole thing looks like it was an attempt at being an instagram story in and of itself.
A few things definitely stuck out to me here though. I have a list.
As far as pranks go, the whole pig kissing thing seems pretty mild and I think that it would have been forgotten more or less before these people got to high school
The Alexa character literally walks into school with her dog, a bunch of cameras, and a group of friends. The principal reasonably stops her to ask what the dog is doing there to which Alexa claims it is a service dog and that the principal must hate dogs, or people who need them, and she could just tell her nine million followers about it. Yet the principal doesn’t ask for any proof it is a service dog! Sorry, but schools actually have rules about these things and if the principal had let that go like that in real life, he would have said goodbye to his job. I know, it’s dumb to complain about a fictional film being unrealistic in something like this but when it is that obvious to me, it feels like the film makers are just being lazy.
Freddie is desperate to be a DJ. He needs Dani to give him a ride but ends up two hours late because she flakes on him. He ends up getting a Lyft over there and is still two hours late. Dude, when you know you will be a little late, get your butt where you are supposed to be!!!
Dani is a smart person but is very easily swept up into the whole internet famous world and goes from a non-drinker to showing up drunk at Cameron’s important television interview. That seemed like a huge shift in character waaaaay too fast.
A disturbingly large amount of this film involves Bob’s Big Boy.
After Alexa betrayed Dani once, why would she trust her again? This makes no sense.
Speaking of Alexa, she seems like a horrible, horrible, horrible person. Why does she have friends again?
The acting in this is not bad but there are zero stand out performances and honestly after watching this, I can’t think of a single line of dialogue that sticks out to me at all.
At one point Dani runs her dad’s credit card for a $400 shoe purchase. Later her dad calmly tells her she still owes him the money. The level of parental rage portrayed over that was far, far, far below what should be reasonable expected in this situation.
This film definitely gives good reason to just quit social media but no one does it.
Basically if you have seen a movie with teenagers in it, you’ve seen this. Don’t bother wasting your time watching it. Just watch Mean Girls again instead. Also, just as a side note, Netflix could have put more money into Stranger Things or something like that but nope, they wanted to go with this garbage.
Next week I will be back with another review of what was originally a made for TV drama, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax. I don’t know where she took it to though…
It’s November and around here at Slick Dungeon’s Dusty Tomes and Terrible Films that means turkey. And boy do I have a turkey of a movie for you.
Kevin Smith is a witty and gifted film director. He has made some brilliant films that touch upon and reflect current attitudes among working people, that say important things about relationships, and usually at their heart are about friends overcoming adversity, even if that adversity is as simple as struggling through a typical work day in a boring job. Yoga Hosers accomplishes none of that.
Yoga Hosers is a spin off of the Kevin Smith project Tusk. Full disclosure I have not watched Tusk so I can’t really evaluate how this fits with that. I can tell you that Yoga Hosers is a terrible, terrible film. It lacks any charm and although there is some humor there, most of it veers off into the insanely inept.
Now, I actually like a lot of Kevin Smith films, especially his work from the nineties, including Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy. While all of those had their issues, not one of them came even close to being as much of a waste of time as Yoga Hosers.
I am going to attempt to summarize Yoga Hosers but it’s difficult to make this make sense.
There are two fifteen year old girls, both named Colleen. They work at a convenience store called the Eh-to-Zed in Canada. They are both in high school. That’s about where the plot stops making sense. These girls spend a day rocking out at their store, after which a customer is mysteriously killed. The only thing we know is that whatever killed that customer is small and crawled up his, er, you know, where the sun don’t shine.
The Colleens are unaware of this and go on their day to school, doing some yoga at a strip mall yoga place called Yogi Bayer’s, and generally doing a bunch of instagram posting or whatever.
The Colleens are asked to a party by a couple of High School Seniors. This is thrilling but the Colleens get stuck having to work and are unable to attend. So one of the Colleens calls the boy she likes and suggests they bring the party to the convenience store. Problem solved.
Only there are more problems and here’s where it gets weird. First, the two boys who come over to the convenience store try to kill the Colleen’s because they are “Really into Satan.” The Colleens are able to defend themselves with Yoga poses they learned from Yogi Bayer. Then those two boys die because more, uh, small things (I promise I will reveal what they are and you are going to think it is stupid) crawl up their respective rear ends. The Colleens are safe but now are arrested for murder. But before that happens, the Colleens are attacked by what I can only describe as, bratwurst dressed as Canadian mounties yelling in German. Yeah, you read that right.
Earlier in the film, when the Colleens (aka the Yoga Hosers) were in school they learned about a Canadian Nazi who wanted to control Canda by sending people to the Hudson river.
Also earlier in the school day this dude who wrote some book that I think must relate to something that happened in Tusk came in and interviewed the Colleens. He’s seen something supernatural before so when these bratwurst attack he has no problem believing the Colleens and springing them out of jail. But they don’t have their phones.
They go back to the convenience store in order to get changed and they discover a secret passageway. The passageway leads to this huge room which is where the Canadian Nazis were doing experiments including cryogenic freezing and cloning. So, remember those small things that were killing people? Yeah it was the bratwurst. For the rest of the film they are called Bratzis. Turns out that one of the Canadian Nazis was frozen and then made bratwurst clones to do his bidding. He spent a lot of time on Netflix to acclimate himself to current culture and now, he doesn’t exactly want to be a Nazi but more of an artist. He’s created a sculpture out of, uh, human flesh and a hockey mask. This thing can be piloted by the Bratzis. The Nazi guy wants the Colleens to take a picture of him so he can be in Them magazine and be famous. They can’t because they don’t have their phones. So instead, the Nazi orders this weird sculpture to kill all the art critics in Canada. The Colleens are able to defend themselves and stop the thing once again using Yoga. The Bratzis are stopped, the Nazi dies, the book author gets to write a new book and the Colleens are still stuck in their boring old jobs and still in High School. But they do get to sing a rendition of O Canada to take us into the credits. Also at the very end of the credits we hear the sound clip of Kevin Smith on his podcast where he first heard the term yoga hosers.
That may or may not be the weirdest film summary I have ever written but it’s right up there with one of the weirdest films I have ever seen. There are a very few funny things in this film and I am going to point them out.
Justin Long plays an awesome militant yogi and I found myself wanting to see him in way more scenes.
Jason Mewes has a cameo because, well of course he does.
Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin’s daughter) yelling I’m not even supposed to be here today was a great modern nod to Clerks and I am totally here for that.
And that’s everything good in this, period. Honestly, there was a lot in this that I straight up couldn’t figure out and it was pretty jarring. It was random and weird but not in a good way. At least Kevin has a lot of other good films going for him and those I can get on board with.
Next week I will be watching #realityhigh I bet it #reallysucks.
Hello out there on the surface world! Slick Dungeon here. I hope everyone had a great Halloween last week and no one got their faces melted by a mask with a shamrock on it. Now that the glorious month of horror is over, I am back to watching any bad movie and reading any bad book out there. For my movie review this week, I watched Barely Lethal.
I kept hearing about this movie, people telling me how bad it was and that I definitely needed to watch it. I stayed away from it for a long because, well, that title just kind of grosses me out. Worst pun for a film ever. Seriously. Title aside though, was this a terrible film?
I’m sure you could have guessed this film was stupid. What I was not aware of was that it starred Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba and Sophie Turner.
Before I get into the plot of this dud, Let’s think about those stars for a minute. That means Nick Fury, Sue Storm and Jean Grey all teamed up to be in a film about girls being raised to be lethally effective assassins for the government. How is this not the Black Widow movie? Really, I don’t get it.
You know what else I don’t get? Why this movie exists.
The idea of the plot is not actually that bad. A young orphan girl is trained by a government agency to be a killer but what she really wants is to have a normal life and experience high school. Sure, okay, given the right writing and acting I could buy into this.
Instead we get a montage of little kids fighting and Sam Jackson just yelling at them. They do stuff like knife skills, car chases and sparring. For the car chase a kid gets out of the car and there is literally no way she could have seen over the dash so I have no idea how she was driving.
Samuel L. Jackson spends the movie pretty much being Nick Fury but without the eye patch. He wants to hunt down Jessica Alba’s character because, uh, bad guy I guess? And Sophie Turner spends her portion of the movie as a jealous and angry rival for Megan.
During a mission to capture Jessica Alba, Megan fakes her own death and goes to live with a family as a high school exchange student. Megan did her research by watching all the nineties teen movies and seems to think that is extensive research, despite the fact that there is YouTube, Twitter and plain old Google that would give her a more modern take.
This movie then spends the next third trying to flip the old high school movie tropes on their heads. The cheerleaders are actually nice. The popular guy does like Megan right away. Of course the one they don’t change is the sort of nerdy guy in the friend zone being the right match for Megan.
Inevitably Nick Fury gets wind of where Megan is and tells her that she has to wrap up loose ends and come back to the secret compound. Megan is not cool with that because – homecoming. Yeah, it’s always a prom or a homecoming dance in these teen romances. I will say that the homecoming dance part was improved with a kung-fu fight between Megan and Sophie Turner. Also, as a side note, if you are wondering why the only character I am referring to as their character name is Megan, it’s because none of the rest of the characters were worth remembering.
The film goes on, Megan bonds with her family, she defeats her enemy, captures the bad guy, goes to homecoming, loses her date, gets her date and is allowed to live a normal life. Yay!
There are a few things that stood out to me in this film.
Dan Fogler plays a seriously disturbingly lecherous teacher towards the popular kid, Cash in this film. It was as cringe-worthy as the title and I can’t stop thinking of how gross it was because, Dan Fogler is not a minor and the popular kid, was a minor. Really gross man. Please just stick to The Walking Dead, okay Dan?
To be honest there are a few good lines in this movie but the rest was so bad, I can’t even remember them anymore.
The kid who plays the little brother in the exchange student family, was kind of awesome playing around with all of Megan’s deadly toys.
I also liked the turn around of the drunk goofus named Gooch who turns out to be a kind and sensitive guy by the end of the film.
There was a stinger at the end of the film that would imply there could be sequels to this.
Please God no.
If you want maybe the worst every double feature of people poorly portraying lethal agents, pair this one with Undercover Grandpa. They are both on Netflix so if you need to Netflix and chill, emphasis on chill, it’s a great match up.
Next week I am going to take on one of my favorite directors who just happens to have made a really bad film. Yoga Hosers watch out!
You’ve made two smash hit horror thrillers for dirt cheap money and made a fortune. These films feature an extremely relentless killer that infuses true horror on the screen. Also, these films feature a scream queen who sells the horror with every reaction she makes. What on earth should you do next? Should you make another film with those two characters? You know the ones everyone wants to see more of? Naaaaaaaaah. Who wants to do that? Instead make a film where the villains are, oddly silent androids, Stonehenge, a digital pumpkin and Halloween masks with shamrocks on them. Sold!
Happy Halloween everyone! I will say it’s just as dark here in my dungeon on Halloween as it is on any other day. Slick Dungeon back with a doozy of a bad film for ya.
I love Halloween and the Halloween film franchise is one of my favorites to dive into on this day. But you know what? They have a few stinkers in this series. For my money though, the worst of them is the one that has the least to do with the rest of them. Halloween III was almost never made because John Carpenter and Deborah Hill were tired of the films after making two of them. The only thing that really sold them on it was that this film would not star the original characters and they would be producing without too much more involvement than that.
The idea was to make this franchise into a sort of anthology series always centered around the day of Halloween. This might have made sense if they had made this film before making Halloween II but it was a bit weird for audiences to go expecting to see horror and watching this sort of science fiction, witchcraft mashup that had nothing to do with the first two films.
I think no one really went back to the idea of a good ol’ horror anthology series until the television show American Horror Story came around and pretty much did it brilliantly (not counting the season with the witches – coincidence?)
Anyway, this film stars a random doctor named Dan Challis who is disturbed by a death he witnesses outside of the hospital he works at. See there are these seriously not scary looking guys, wearing suits, who seem to be strong enough to rip heads off people’s bodies, jab their fingers deep into eye sockets and just generally look kind of menacing. Although, I guess a lot of the time, there is nothing more menacing than some old white guy in a suit, tbh. But not in fiction.
Dr. Dan, is divorced and has a couple of kids and all they want is these masks made by a particular mask company. The Shamrock novelty company masks have become all the rage, despite not looking like Mike Myers at all.
Strange things are happening though as at least one dude has been murdered while holding one of these masks. Then the guy who did the murdering went out of the hospital, sat in a car, poured gasoline all over himself and lit a match. Dr. Dan was troubled by that, especially because, the guy holding the mask told him that, “They’re gonna kill us all.”
Well, Dr. Dan being a single guy in search of a sexual harassment lawsuit, flirts around with the nurses a bit and with one of the assistants at the morgue. So naturally when the daughter of the guy who had the mask in his hand when he died shows up, Dr. Dan is all in for trying to figure out what is going on.
Ellie, the daughter, and Dan go to a small town called Santa Mira. Yes, Saint Look for anyone who is translating. So this town is famous for producing toys and novelties. The Shamrock novelty company runs the place and they have their biggest success yet with these Halloween masks. Why? They’ve been airing a relentlessly annoying but admittedly catchy Halloween commercial to try to get kids to buy these suckers. And it has worked big time. For some reason, this year, all the kids in California want one of only three masks, a pumpkin, a skeleton or a witch. No other Halloween creativity allowed! No princesses or vampires or pair of twins dressed as Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee or anything. Kids only want 3 masks and no other costumes for Halloween, this is proven scientific research!
Anyway, Ellie and Dan are there because basically a series of clues tells them that Ellie’s father was last spotted in this town. Not only that but he has sold some of these masks and should have had a supply in his car but his car seems to be missing.
Right away after the good Doc and Ellie get to town, the owner of the Shamrock Novelty company shows up and acts seriously suspicious. I mean we all know he’s the bad guy right? Spoiler he is.
Most of the folks in Santa Mira (St. Look) are employed by this guy, enamored of him, or deathly afraid of him. At night a bum who spoke with Dan for a few minutes gets his head straight up ripped off his neck because he said bad things about ol’ Mr. Cochran.
There’s another family visiting who sold a bunch of these masks and is super excited to see this factory. Well, Dan and Ellie don’t want to look suspicious so they say that they are married. This gives them a great excuse to hook up in the hotel room later. Despite being warned that people are watching and listening everywhere, Dan makes a phone call to the morgue worker from earlier and finds out that in the car fire, there have been no human remains found which is pretty odd.
This Cochran guy gives everyone a tour of his creepy factory, which is waaaaay less creepy than the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory tour and incidentally has fewer deaths than ol’ Willie served up.
Still, Cochran captures Dan as well as Ellie, but I guess Cochran is kinda sexist because he takes Ellie away and gives Dan the grand tour. Dan gets to see a big room with, uh, Stonehenge? (Checks notes: yes Stonehenge.) Stonehenge in it. Plus a whole bunch of computers. Dan is in for a demonstration! Lucky guy. He watches as the kid from that overly excited family puts on his mask, watches another of those annoying commercials and then the kid’s face melts and he turns into snakes, spiders and other creepy crawly things. Yeah, I don’t know how that works either.
That whole family gets toasted but Cochran is not the kind of guy to follow through with stuff, so he lets Dan live for, reasons. After he explains that he imported Stonehenge (Checks notes: yes still Stonehenge) to a small town in California without anyone noticing and that he is going to kill all the kids because, “The planets are in alignment.” Yeah, good a reason as any I guess?
Of course, Dan gets free, gets Ellie, breaks out of this factory after messing up a bunch of the computers that do, uh stuff. Oh, and figures out that those dudes in suits are robots. (Checks notes: yes robots) Robots that are definitely not programmed with the three laws of robotics. Dan puts it together that he has got to stop this commercial from airing or there’s gonna be a lot less kids and a lot more spiders and stuff because, Cochran is doing, uh, witchcraft. I guess that’s why this is the “season of the witch”?
But we’re all waiting for the twist here because ever since Dan got Ellie back she has not said a word. Instead she waits until he is driving and then tries to kill him. She’s a robot now! Or there is a robot that looks like her now? Or there is a witchcraft powered robot of her now? Err, Ellie is bad now, but not smart enough to kill Dan before he got in the car when he could cause a crash and stop her.
Dan does manage to get to a phone (see how useful cell phones can be?) and dials the networks to try to get them to stop this commercial from airing. If they get to the last screen of the digital pumpkin, we are all doomed because, uh, Stonehenge, robots, witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins. (Checks notes: yes, Stonehenge, robots witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins) For the first two channels, the commercials go off the air but the third station (imagine only three freaking television stations! What would we all do with our time?!) is slow to act and we see the last bit of the digital pumpkin…
I assume all kids in California are snakes and spiders now. Or maybe Stonehenge witchcraft robots. Whatever, this Halloween some jerk will probably just put a full sized candy bar on top of their inflatable Minions costume anyway so it’s all the same right?
A couple things baffle me about this film that I want to point out.
Why would this guy need to freaking move Stonehenge for his stuff to work? Also, if the planets are aligning for this, doesn’t Stonehenge need to be in the right place for it to work?
Like I said before, why would kids only want 3 kinds of masks for Halloween. No chance man. Kids are much more creative than that.
These androids have been going around killing people for months and no one has noticed until a week before Halloween? Really?
Dr. Dan seems to be a terrible husband, doctor, and father. Do we have to like this guy? I guess so because he doesn’t want all the dead kids and a bunch of other people are cool with that.
In this movie there are some indications that Halloween is fiction. We see a commercial for it, and there’s a mask in the background. So uh, what exact place is this? Is this real? Let me check and see if Stonehenge is still there or not.
It’s still there, we’re good.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough, bring back Michael Myers and Laurie Strode!!!!!
Oh, wait, okay, Halloween III: Season of the Witch did poorly at the box office and John Carpenter and Debra Hill want more money? Phew, we’re good.
In conclusion, Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe out there. Avoid all masks with Shamrock logos on them, all old white guys in suits who seem like androids, all old guy factory owners who talk about,”Planets in alignment”, and all annoying commercials ending with digital pumpkins.
Next week I will be back with another bad movie review that has nothing to do with horror at all. Barely Lethal here I come!
Hi out there constant readers. I know I am not the only Stephen King fan around. People sometimes ask me what his most terrifying creature is. Could it be a cosmic killer clown? A haunted car? A haunted hotel? Well, to all of those things you might say, that’s just made up stuff, it doesn’t scare me. Okay then, how about a human being who is just completely bonkers and dangerous. Pretty sure those exist.
Today you get psycho fan horror!
Ouch, my ankles need a rest after that.
So what horror do I have for you tomorrow? Well, I am not going to say but after all this indoor time, I think we need to be ready for some camping!
What’s up party people? Err, actually what’s up people reading my blog quietly to yourselves. It’s Slick Dungeon back with a review for an exceptionally stupid movie, Leprechaun 5: In the Hood.
I can hear the protests now. Why would I review a movie about a leprechaun in the middle of the month of October? Shouldn’t I have saved this for St. Patrick’s Day? To this I answer, much like the underprivileged neighborhoods depicted in this film, leprechauns just don’t get enough screen time as a general rule. I’m here to correct that. Leprechauns can be terrifying. But not this one.
This isn’t supposed to be terrifying anyway. No, this is a nonfictional film that is an excellent instructional video on how to have a hip-hop music career. Follow these instructions and you too can be just like Postmaster P. and launch a big rap career in Las Vegas. It gets a little complicated though, so pay close attention here.
Step 1: Let Ice-T (aka Mac Daddy) and a buddy go on a quest somewhere and find a statue of a leprechaun wearing a gold chain. Next to the leprechaun is a pot of gold containing many treasures and in particular a tiny golden flute.
Step 2: Let Ice-T do some of his most astounding acting work and obtain the pipe, and then watch his buddy die but somehow accidentally put the magic gold chain that was on the leprechaun back on him, thus freezing him in place.
Step 3: Make sure Mac Daddy is dumb enough to not only take the pipe but also the leprechaun with him to display in a glass case at his house where everyone can see it.
Step 4: Form a rap group where you are trying to break through in Compton and make sure that you want to deliver “positive messages”, thus explaining the P in your moniker Postmaster P. Harp on being “positive” throughout the film despite the fact that only one rap song you do doesn’t involve guns or killing or degrading women and/or Jesus.
Step 5: Randomly bump into Mac Daddy in the neighborhood, give him a demo tape, go to his home, see his treasure and the leprechaun that is on display in a glass case. Get rejected because you want to stay positive.
Step 6: Definitely break into Mac Daddy’s house, knowing he has a tendency towards violence. When he comes home before you finish stealing from him, be sure to shoot him. Also make sure you break the glass case with the leprechaun in it and remove the gold chain. This will revive the leprechaun. I cannot stress to you how important this step is to your music career. You must free an evil leprechaun or no record deal for sure.
Step 7: Make sure your bullet only hit the leprechaun gold chain that Mac Daddy wears, thus saving his life. You will need him later.
Step 8: Go on the run, hiding in homes in your own neighborhood, so that you can make sure to show up for the local rap competition so that you can go to Las Vegas. Mac Daddy is definitely not going to figure out that you would show up at the local rap competition even though you gave him a demo tape of rap music.
Step 9: While on the run, be sure to do an impromptu rap show. When you do the rap show, blow on the little golden flute. And now, this is important and you must listen here. When you blow on the flute, do not move your fingers or cover the holes at all like any rational flute player would do. Just hold it to your mouth and look towards the camera as if you knew there would be dubbed flute music and no one will notice that even though the notes are changing you are not doing anything whatsoever to make actual flute music happen.
Step 10: Get a big crowd at this show because everyone was hypnotized with the flute.
Step 11: Let your host/hostess/drag queen get murdered by the leprechaun
Step 12: Run away from the leprechaun.
Step 13: Go to a church? (Checks notes) yes, go to a church. The preacher will ask you to perform a church song, knowing full well that you are a hip-hop act and not a gospel act. Start by singing a terrible song. Then play the pipe by holding it still again without any finger work and get everyone to love your terrible song.
Step 14: Run around town again for a bit, run into Mac Daddy and the leprechaun here or there. Let one of your buddies get killed by the leprechaun in an off screen sort of way. Prior to this the leprechaun will have killed random people you interacted with for no apparent reason and also pretty much off screen.
Step 15: After all this carnage, realize that you just gotta have this flute to make it big, your talent is not enough.
Step 16: Go to the rap competition, use the flute. But no finger work on the flute. Get noticed by a record label executive who want to send you to Las Vegas but doesn’t give you any information other than to show up at the airport. Trust that this guy is telling the truth. Let some girls in for an after party. Realize that the girls have become hypnotized by the leprechaun and run out the place.
Step 17: Realize the leprechaun is not going to give up and kind of has a tendency to not only speak in limericks but get kind of murder-y to people around you. Have your buddy read Leprechauns for Dummies.
Step 18: Your buddy will get the idea to give the leprechaun some weed with crushed up four leaf clovers in it. Definitely don’t see your friend find the clovers and just trust that he somehow got them. These clovers, if smoked by the leprechaun will temporarily take away his powers so you can, um I guess get on a flight to Las Vegas?
Step 19: Decide that the best way to deliver the lethal clovers is to cross dress to get close to the leprechaun. Then, give it to him, watch him pass out, see that Mac Daddy is still back and still wants that flute he stole, Let your buddy get killed. Shoot Mac Daddy several times. Be there long enough so that the leprechaun comes out of his weakened state. Let Mac Daddy get back up even though he has been shot full of more holes than Swiss cheese. Let Mac Daddy try to stop the leprechaun with that bullet stopping gold chain. When Mac Daddy dies the chain will somehow fly way up in the air, despite the fact it was held at a low angle to the ground when he was killed.
Step 20: Make sure that the chain didn’t land on the leprechaun because now you and he are rockin’ it hip-hop fashion in Vegas together. That’s right, you and the leprechaun are now homies. Sorry, it’s gotta be that way or you can’t have three women in gold dresses as your backup singers and dancers. Plus let the leprechaun come out with his own rhymes, claiming himself to the be “the true O.G”
There you have it. Instant fame, fortune and success in twenty steps. You’re welcome.
Next week is the week of Halloween so I will be reviewing everyone’s favorite (least favorite?) so bad it’s good, Halloween film Halloween III. You know the one that doesn’t have Luarie Strode or Michael Meyers. Great decision guys….
The home buyer’s market can be a nightmare. No I mean it can be a literal nightmare. Don’t invest in property where there was an ancient burial ground or there was a recent murder or rumored demonic possession. It’s just a money loser guaranteed.
Today you get Haunted House horror!
Ah Amityville, where the walls like to turn red. Hey, don’t worry, if the house doesn’t work out, you can always stay at this cozy little hotel I heard of called The Overlook.
What horror do I have for you tomorrow? I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I am pretty sure she’s your biggest fan.
We’ve made it to the 20th day of October. The frights are sure to keep coming with intensity for the rest of the month.
Speaking of the number 20, for more than 20 years people have been trying, and failing, to kill the nameless void that is Michael Myers. The first Halloween movie is still one of the few slasher films that has a bit of class to it.
How do you make a successful horror franchise? Take a small budget, have a relentless killer and have that killer spend the entire night trying to kill teenagers. That recipe never fails.
Today you get Slasher horror!
What horror waits to jump at you from the shadows tomorrow? I am not going to tell you but I hope your home insurance is paid up.
If there is one type of horror that actually can creep me out on occasion it’s what we would call body horror. Alien has terrified people for generations because of body horror. The Human Centipede consistently creeps everyone out. But today I give you the granddaddy of them all.
With Donald Sutherland’s memorable performance, this movie set the bar for body horror. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is still creepy whether you think it’s about communism, consumerism, or you know, just aliens.
Today you get Body horor!
What horror do I have for you tomorrow? Well, I could put my face through a door and tell you, but let’s just see if you can shine it out.
Hey out there to all you clowns not trapped in a dungeon watching terrible films! It’s Slick Dungeon here and I’m back with another very odd film review.
I get a lot of people asking me for particular types of movies. What film has the most innovative camerawork of all time? I would say, Touch of Evil or Rope or maybe even Inception. What film has the best space battle sequence of all time? Anything Star Wars. What might be the greatest film of all time? Again Star Wars but in serious contention would be Citizen Kane and Casablanca.
But Slick, what film has a resurrected clown scooping out someone’s brains with an ice cream scoop while a whole house party is singing (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight?
Can’t tell you how often I get asked that but if I had a penny for every time I was asked it, I would have a number of pennies. At any rate, the answer is Stitches.
This film is out and out bonkers, no two ways about it. I guess I could see how it might be kind of scary if you really were truly afraid of clowns. The film has about the only real excuse I have seen for having coulrophobia.
The main character, Tommy, is having his seventh birthday party. It’s pretty obvious from a quick look around at these kids that they are a bunch of messed up jerks, possibly Tommy excluded.
Stitches is a clown and from the first scene where he is smoking and engaged in uh… adult activities with a woman, it’s pretty clear he’s not a very good clown.
Stitches arrives to Tommy’s party and starts into his routine. The kids give him hell for it and Stitches is only half giving it a go anyway. It’s clear no one wants to be there. Well, needless to say, Stitches ends up falling onto a knife sticking up in an open dishwasher, which goes straight through his eye. He is somehow able to stand up, knife in his head and all, he pulls the thing out in front of Tommy and blood gushes all over the kid. Then Stitches tries to stab Tommy but because some of Tommy’s jerk friends had tied Stitches shoelaces together, the clown slips. Once the clown lands the knife flails through the air and lands exactly where it started, in Stitches eye.
I can’t tell you how many parties I have been to where that exact thing happened. Okay, to be fair, I won’t tell you. Also, who in their freaking right mind would ever put a knife into a dishwasher BLADE UP?! This whole movie is about Stitches coming after these kids six years later, but I have to wonder why he didn’t want to off Tommy’s mom. What kind of stupid idea was that?
Okay sorry, back to the summary. Right after the clown is buried in a graveyard that is conveniently close to Tommy’s house. Tommy can’t resist checking in on ol’ Stitches and he finds an evil cult of clowns performing a ritual. The head evil clown tells Tommy that a clown can never rest if he doesn’t finish his act and that the jokes are never as funny the second time round.
Fact check: True.
Tommy also finds out that there is an egg painted like Stitches’ make up.
Fast forward six years and Tommy is on major meds, has plenty of hallucinations and by the way all those kids who were at the party are also screwed up in one way or another.
Tommy’s mom is away for his birthday and so he decides to have a few friends over for the first time since that last party. It turns into your typical teenage party. I’ve seen enough horror films to know that being a teenager and going to a party just means tons of people are going to end up dead. We all see this coming right?
Yeah so Stitches is magically resurrected and goes through killing most of the kids in ways that they might have deserved if they hadn’t been, you know, little kids, at the time of the first party. Tommy figures out what is going on, no one believes him, and more people die.
Eventually people do believe Tommy, especially the one girl who was nice to him at his first party, Kate. Kate and Tommy have to elude the clown, find the egg and destroy it and poof, there goes Stitches.
Lots of gore happens first, including intestines pulled, decapitations, the aforementioned ice cream scooping, and a head inflated like a balloon until it pops. You know, the usual stuff you see at most parties.
In the end, Tommy and Kate do find the egg, cause Stitches to fall on it, it cracks and yokes go everywhere, then Stitches dies again.
You know what bugged me most about this whole entire movie? Like the one thing where I was like, no freaking way? The egg, when Stitches falls on it breaks as if it was just taken out of the refrigerator. Even if Stitches had made this egg on the day of Tommy’s party that would be six years ago. Why wouldn’t they have hard boiled it?! That makes no sense at all! But anyway it kills Stitches and Tommy and at leas two of his friends are safe.
Or are they? We get to see that cult clown gluing Stitches egg shells back together, so I guess sequel is coming?
Forget Rotten Tomatoes, this one was a rotten egg. I’ll spare you all my egg puns.
Stitches was a very bad clown and a worse movie but if you want to see some weird clown related gore, this is your go to film.
The only way to top a killer clown is a killer leprechaun. Next week I will be back to review the fifth film in the Leprecchaun 5: In the Hood. The title alone tells me this will be some amazing film making.
What’s going on out there on the surface? I assume you are all enjoying October. It’s the fourteenth day already and I sure hope you have consumed enough pumpkin spice to fill your appetite for the moment.
What kind of horror do I have for you today? In the possibility of infinite universes I assume this is definitely real. I give you outer space clown horror!
These guys are not actually clowns. They are aliens who just happen to look exactly like clowns, only, you know bigger.
What horrors await you tomorrow? I can’t say but I hope you have brushed up on your sentence diagrams!
What horror comes out of the ground and rises again and again no matter how many times you try to kill it? Zombies! Everyone’s favorite undead creatures keep coming back, unless you put something right through their ol’ noggins. But what kind of walking dead is the best kind? Fast zombies, slow zombies, original zombies? My vote is graphic novel zombies!
Today you get zombie horror! Even if you are bored of the show, read the book, it’s freaking brilliant!
What horrors are coming your way tomorrow? I can’t say but it will sing a catchy tune, that’s for sure!
Who’s the man who is, umm… lots of men actually? Not Frankenstein, because that is just the guy who sewed up the parts. But Frankenstein’s monster is more like it! There’s been a ton of horror stories about humanity going too far in it’s pursuit of better living through science. But the best one, and the one that people are still remaking (Jurassic Park is pretty much Frankenstein but with dinosaurs) is and always will be Mary Shelley’s beloved classic Frankenstein.
While Boris Karloff made a career out of playing the monster, the book is a thousand times better than any filmed adaptation. But still, I dare you to think of anyone but Boris as a better monster.
Today you get Frankenstein’s monster horror!
What might come up out of the grave to horrify you tomorrow? I can’t say but it sure walks a lot!
Not all horror comes in the form of films or books or even campfire stories. Sometimes they come from the kitchen! What do you give to a person who just barely survived a terrifying night, running away from a deranged slasher serial killer? I can only think of one thing. Cake!
Today you get cake horror! Now doesn’t that cake just say it all?
What horrors might jump out of your cupboard next? You should know by now that I am not telling. But I can give you a clue, it’s some assembly required.
Well hello out there internet people, it’s Slick Dungeon coming to you from deep underground. I’m here in my dungeon and I am stuck watching some really strange stuff. This week I watched the eighties classic Chopping Mall.
First off, if you are one of those folks who was born well after the 1980’s and you decide to have an 80’s party, stop with all the day glow neon and headbands and stuff. Educate yourselves by watching movies like Chopping Mall, where the filmmakers were on a tight budget and I am pretty sure wardrobe was bring your own clothes with you. The fashion is still bad and it’s a lot more accurate. So many mullets and feathered hairdos I lost count!
Anyway, I think I was supposed to review this thing right? Yeah, okay so I thought based on the title that this was going to about a serial killer who hung out in a mall and chopped people up. Nope! This is about killer robots that go bad and shoot lasers, electrocute and strangle people. There was, and I mean this literally, no chopping, in Chopping Mall. Not one person that died was chopped.
Still, this movie is so awkward it’s kind of awesome. For those of you not acquainted with it, the film takes place in a mall. Well, duh. A group of friends decide to have a party in the mall after hours where they drink, have sex and dance to some heavily synthecized eighties music. I guess no one’s house was available? Anyway the film tries to blur the line and make sure you know these are adults while still sort of implying they have curfews as if they were teenagers.
Anyway, these people having their party did not count on a lightning storm happening outside. Because you know what happens when there is a lightning storm? You got it, it hits the mainframe computer and normal robots go crazy. Just ask Short Circuit. But in this case, instead of a military robot turning nice, these brand new security robots turn into lethal death machines. There are only three of them because, budget.
The party people get locked in with these rolling bots and have to fight for their lives. The first couple are taken down in no time at all because, they don’t realize the robots have gone bad. Why the heck the rest of them keep splitting up is totally beyond me. Never split the party!
The guys gear up with all kinds of guns that can only be found in and American mall and the girls try sneaking around in the air ducts. The air ducts seemed like the best choice to me because it leads to the parking lot but the girls don’t stay there because it gets hot and claustrophobic. The boys, meanwhile find the first of the robots. Right before that one of the guys says the best line in the whole film, “Let’s send these f—–s a Rambo-gram!” Rambo-gram, I like it. I think I will use it for my social media platform idea of bringing over-steroided actors together with survivors of killer robot incidents. Watch out Mark Zuckerberg, Slick’s on the loose!
Despite the fact that no mall would have loaded and filled propane tanks, the guys set one out in front of the robot and blast it away. Explosion ensues and the robot seemingly dies. Until it gets up like we all knew it would. But that doesn’t happen for a few scenes.
One by one these people make the dumbest mistakes. Like not getting out of the way when a robot is in front of them. Or not sticking obstacles in front of the robots since they only kind of roll around. These robots would be toast anywhere with stairs but lucky for them — escalators.
They also use mannequins as decoys but then stand to the side of the mannequins to shoot. What a bunch of morons!
They figure out that maybe they should shut down the main computer and try to make their way to the third level. They basically get picked off one by one trying to do that.
At one point a guy shoots a robot eight times with a six shot revolver without ever reloading. Another time, a woman hangs off the side of a balcony and her hands move to different rungs without her ever actually moving herself up or down. Also, none of the bullets ever pierce a propane tank but they all explode when shot at.
Long story short they mostly die but do manage to take down the robots. The only ones who live in the end are the two people who never wanted to go to the party in the first place. To which I say, that’s why I don’t go to parties!!!
The two that live will seemingly have a nice long life but boy are they going to have to explain a lot to the police when they show up.
A few things about this film before I go though.
Who in their right minds thinks it’s a good idea to have doors that lock down a mall with no possible way of unlocking it for an entire night? That has to be a fire code violation right?
Did you know this mall is the same one used in the Arnold Schwarzeneggar cheesefest that is Commando? Well, now you do.
Every time the robots kill someone they say, “Thank you and have a nice day.” I hate it when people say that to me on a normal day, but after you kill me? Forget it!
The most awesome part of this whole movie is that the pet store is named Roger’s Little Shop of Pets. This is a callback to Roger Corman’s TheLittle Shop of Horrors. This is relevant because Chopping Mall was produced by Corman’s wife Julie. Don’t get confused here, The Little Shop of Horrors is not the musical Little Shop of Horrors. It’s the film the musical was based on!
I had to wonder if the people who designed the killer robots for Robocop watched Chopping Mall and thought, those treads on those robots look totally stupid, let’s give ours legs that will fall over easily!
Finally, and I mean this most sincerely of all, who thinks it’s a good idea to have a party in a mall?!?!?!?!? Seriously man, what the heck?
I’ll be back next week to review a film about a killer clown. No not that one. No not that one either, those were aliens not clowns. Yeah, you got it, Stitches!
A lot of us go around in life feeling like freaks. Not that many of us actually are. I mean, I am perfectly normal other than the fact that I fell into a dungeon with nothing but bad books and movies to review. A dungeon that happens to have a surprisingly strong WiFi connection. Well, that and my dapper top hat and cane of course, they are freakishly stylistic. But you know who are freaks? The stars of 1932’s film classic, Freaks!
Today you get freakish horror! If you have not scene this fascinating film, drop everything and become, “One of us. One of us.”
What horrors are waiting to peek around the corner at you tomorrow? I won’t tell you but it will be delicious!
Slick Dungeon here again. It’s October and we are celebrating everything horror related. Today we pay homage to the best of the best scream queens. And no I do not mean the television show. I’m talking about the originals, Janet Leigh who broke it open with the most famous shower scene in all of film history and her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis who absolutely perfected screaming on screen with the classiest of the slashiest films Halloween.
Today you get screaming horror!
What horrors are coming your way tomorrow? I can’t say but it will be freakish!
Welcome back to the dungeon. When I think of horror, all the classic monster books and movies come to my mind. But there is one book that has undeniably been fascinating and scaring us for more than two hundred years. The one and only Dracula.
Today you get Classic horror!
If you have never read this classic, drop everything and go out and do it now!
What horrors await you tomorrow? I could whisper it to you, but I won’t because it’s going to be a scream.
How did we already get to the fourth day of October? I gotta tell ya, in case you haven’t figured it out, I love October. I love horror and I seriously enjoy being scared. I know, probably should have that conditioned checked professionally right? But anyway, there is only one man in America who has scared people consistently for decades and shows zero signs of stopping.
Today you get literary horror! Stephen King is the absolute master. Although I would like to point out some of his books are not horror related at all and remain brilliant.
Just look at that face! He could scare a killer clown!
What horrors await you tomorrow? I can’t say but it’s gonna be classic
You know what I love when it comes to truly, horrifying, bloody and tragic tales? Dancing and singing!
Today you get Broadway Horror!
Lift your razor high Sweeney!
Also, let’s not have any more of that Johnny Depp tomfoolery. The only way to truly appreciate this master musical is to see it performed live in front of you.
Also, if you happen to be in the market for a gently used, trick barber chair, lightly stained with buckets of blood, I know where you can get it. Just above the best pie shop in London (used to be the worst) on Fleet Street circa early 19th century. Get it now while the gettin’s good!
What horrors await you tomorrow?
I don’t want to spill the nuclear waste but let’s just say, it’s toxic.
Hey all you twisted individuals who actually read my blog. Count yourselves proudly amongst the people who have gotten this blog all the way into double digits! I am kicking off October with 31 days of horror. I’ll post something horror or horror related each day. Today you get, Pumpkin horror!
“You didn’t tell me you were gonna kill it!” – Linus
Wise words from a wise man. What horrors await you tomorrow?
Well, that’s the play And he wouldn’t want us to give it away
Hey all you lovely homo sapiens out there. It’s time once again for your old friend Slick Dungeon to take you through a mystical, magical, maze of wonderment at just how bad cinema can be. So you want to watch an Oscar contender instead? Pffft. Booooring. It’s the really bad movies that are interesting. Well most of them. Sometimes. Not this one though…
Last week I reviewed Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. Why? Because it came up in a segment on James Cordon’s show. James immediately mentioned that he also was in a terrible movie called Lesbian Vampire Killers. So first, a word to the wise. If you are looking for this movie, it might be titled just Vampire Killers. Apparently the use of the word Lesbian in the title isn’t cool with all platforms so they removed it. However. don’t confuse it with the actual film, The FearlessVampire Killers from 1967 directed by Roman Polanski. It’s not the same movie at all.
For James Cordon’s movie I had a lot of trouble prior to watching this, just because I wondered about the title. Are they Lesbian vampire killers? That is lesbians who are vampire killers. Or are they Lesbianvampire killers? That is, lesbian vampires who kill. Or are they Lesbian vampire killers? That is, killers who kill lesbian vampires. The answer? Mostly yes. There are no lesbians who are vampire killers in this movie. But there are lesbian vampires and there are killers who kill the lesbian vampires. Got all that? Good cause I am not going through it again.
This film is set in merry old England around 2009. At the beginning though, we get one of those cool narration scenes where there is a British guy talking and telling us about the horrible, horrible monster that was defeated centuries ago. In a lot of movies this can be pretty cool. In this one, it was pretty dull. There was a vampire and she seduced some baron’s wife and then he finds this sword and he kills her with it. But the vampire (Carmilla by name) gives a curse on this guy’s bloodline. It was very rambly and I think mostly a reason to show women posing in ridculously silly vampire poses while topless.
Forward to today and we get to meet our heroes of the film. These are Jimmy, played by Mathew Horne and Fletch played by the one and only, singing and dancing late night British television comedian who now lives in Los Angeles, James Cordon.
Jimmy and Fletch are best buddies. Jimmy is heartbroken because his on again off again girlfriend Judy has made it clear that she is ready for off again. Jimmy and Fletch drink the night away and try to think of an adventure to keep Jimmy distracted. They don’t have a lot of money and don’t know where to go so the obvious drunken solution is to toss a dart at a map and then go hiking to that destination.
Jimmy hits on the little town of Craigswitch. Lucky for us, this is the exact same town where Carmilla stalked her prey centuries before. So we know that one of these guys, probably Jimmy, because Fletch seems like the sidekick type, is the last of that baron guy’s bloodline and you know it’s gonna hit the fan when they get there.
They hike for about two whole minutes, Fletch carrying nothing but beer and condoms, and make it to their destination. This is a little creepy town that looks like it is stuck in the middle ages. Nevertheless, the people at the pub are very friendly to ol’ Jimmy and Fletch cause, well, we all know that there must be lesbian vampires around who want to suck some blood. And we all know that Jimmy and Fletch are probably just an appeasement to the vampires. (Checks notes: yep, that’s what they were) But of course these guys are our guys so we don’t want them to die.
Here’s what happens that night. First, a van full of vaguely Swedish hippies get stranded when their van breaks down. Guess what inn these women end up needing to go to? Yup, the same one that Fletch and Jimmy are staying at. Fletch is super interested in all the women and Jimmy is getting over heartbreak by finding some common ground with Lotte. She’s there because she knows all about the legend of Carmilla and wants to check this stuff out for herself.
So like any good horror film, there’s a party with beer and women and then one by one, the women leave, get picked off by lesbian vampires, turn into lesbian vampires and then come back to kill their friends. Okay, maybe not like any good horror film, just most of them.
Jimmy, Fletch, Lotte and the rest of the women who are not yet vampires agree this situation is not great. They do kill a couple of the vampires who after death seem to just ooze some kind of goo. Not blood, and it really looked like the film makers decided they just were gonna save on the cost of coloring the goo and use the rest of the money to, I dunno, pay more women to be topless in this movie?
Needless to say, all the non-essential characters get turned, leaving Jimmy, Fletch, Lotte and this Vicar who is from the town to strike down these vampires. And the only way to stop it for good? Mix Jimmy’s blood (because he is the last of that baron guy’s line) with Lotte’s blood (because she is a virgin) and this will bring Carmilla back, at which point, they can use a sword that is buried with the baron to kill Carmilla. You might ask, why that would work, as Fletch himself asks. The vicar’s answer? It just does. Fair enough.
They go through the night, fight the vampires, get the sword, Jimmy gets Lotte, Fletch gets to complain, the vicar gets dead, and at the end they decide to take the show on the road and permanently become, Lesbian Vampire Killers. Yay!
Yeah okay, so there are two jokes in this film that almost make it worth watching. First, at one point, Lotte tells Jimmy that the vampires who are outside the inn can’t get them because they have to be invited. To which Jimmy says, “It’s not like I am gonna say, come on in Lesbian vampires”. At which point, of course the vampires enter. Second, there is a point where the Vicar tells Fletch to stick with him because he knows a lot about vampire lore. Like that they need to be staked through the heart etc. And then Fletch is like, “Literally everybody knows that. It’s common knowledge, in books, film, television.” That made me laugh.
This is supposed to be a horror comedy. Does it succeed as a horror? Horribly bad maybe. Comedy? Not very funny. Most of James Cordon’s lines I can’t even repeat because they are just all about sex. And not like in an actually funny way.
At least James can acknowledge that this film is bad. And honestly, between the Bill Maher disaster of Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death and Lesbian Vampire Killers, I gotta go with the lesbian vampire killers. Dimension films, which made this thing has a long history of making some pretty bad decisions and this is right up there.
I do think James Cordon is right, over Bill Maher’s comments on fat shaming and I do think James’ bad movie is better than Bill’s movie. But they are both profoundly bad films. So if you are trying to decide who has better judgement here, the answer is, none of them. Not the people who gave the green light to these movies, not the people who were in them and definitely not the people who directed these abominations. And absolutely not the people who currently have late night talk shows.
Speaking of abominations, next week we begin my favorite fall pastime. Nope, not drinking pumpkin spice latte. Nope, not watching football on television. Nope, not raking leaves. Yep, I am talking about watching really, really bad horror films.
For all of next month, everything, and I mean everything, no exceptions, on Slick Dungeon’s blog is going to be horror or Halloween theme related (book reviews excepted).
Next Monday I am kicking off the month of horror with the how did anyone miss this 1986 film, Chopping Mall. Let the blood spilling begin!
Last week Bill Maher proved himself to be a giant blowhole when he encouraged the public shaming of people who happen to be overweight. Now, you might call that a lapse in judgement or an opinion that might need revising upon further consideration. You might say, that a person might reasonably make the statements Bill Maher made and think that he makes some good points about health and that what is really needed is his attitude to adjust because Bill is a smart guy. But if you think that, I encourage you to take a minute and look at his entire career. Because no matter what you think of what Bill said last week, only a completely moronic person would intentionally choose to star in Cannibal Women in the Avocado of Death. And that is exactly what Bill Maher chose to do.
I suspect that you can tell from the title that this film sucks. Yet, if you were not sure, let’s add in the fact that the big co-star of this film was Shannon Tweed. If you don’t know who that is you are probably not in the KISS army. Shannon is married to Gene Simmons of KISS. From that you can probably tell that her judgement is not the best. Even with these stars who were around the Z list at the time, the movie would have gotten no better if we had Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan playing the respective leads.
I tortured my own eyes for ninety minutes of this thing and I will never get that time back. The, I don’t know if you can call it one, plot of this film is so stupid that I find it hard to summarize here but I am gonna give it a shot.
We start off with two guys walking around what can only be described as a forest not a jungle. They seem to be lost until they find an avocado on a string. One guy goes to grab it, at which point there is unnecessary nudity and a bunch of women wearing bikinis shoot arrows at the guy and then promptly tie up the second guy who is too stupid to even run away.
Next we find out there is an avocado shortage in the United States of America and the military must do something about it. What can they do? Well, there is an avocado jungle in the middle of most of California. We know this from a map that a military guy shows. We can tell it is a jungle because it is made of straight green lines and says Avocado Jungle on it. This guy is talking to Shannon Tweed aka Dr. Margo Hunt. See, she is a prominent ethnographer and professor of feminist studies at some university. The problem with this jungle is that in the jungle there are cannibal feminist women there. The military threw tons of resources at taking the jungle, including heavy weaponry, tanks etc. The problem was that the women fought back with sticks and spears and the modern military had no idea how to deal with that. The proof? At the edge of the jungle they found dog tags covered in… guacamole. Have I mentioned this is supposed to be a comedy, I think? Anyway none of the jokes ever land in this thing.
So naturally the military think that maybe it takes a feminist to catch a feminist. They let Dr. Hunt know that another famous feminist has gone missing after attempting to go into this jungle. This convinces Dr. Hunt to not only go into the jungle but also to take one of her students, Bunny. Bunny is a home economics major considering becoming a feminist. She can’t seem to decide between wanting to have a husband and bake or becoming the first female president of the United States.
Off they go, after a really dumb visual joke implying that women can’t drive. What’s the joke? The line on the map heading toward the jungle circles in ridiculous directions. They finally end up in San Bernadino which is apparently the last stop of civilization before this jungle. Err… I have driven all the way to San Diego before and you know what? THERE. IS. NO. JUNGLE. THERE. I know, I should calm down, this is just a joke but oh my God this movie is stupid.
As if that was not dumb enough, Dr. Hunt and Bunny decide to stop in a bar and look for a guide to take them deep into the jungle. A Rambo type, a ninja and a pro-wrestler offer services until they find out where Dr. Hunt wants to go. Then they all chicken out. What Dr. Hunt really needs is a man’s man. Who is that? Bill Maher. Yeah. No kidding. This is the guy this film chooses to portray the most stereotypical aspects of masculinity. Bill freaking Maher. That is only one of the billion reasons this movie is so stupid.
Anyway, of course Bill aka Jim goes because Dr, Hunt and Bunny have no other options. Next we have to spend an uncomfortably long time hearing about how men should behave and how women should behave as they basically meander through dry areas of Southern California that will look familiar to anyone who has ever lived there, driven there, or seen a single movie set in Southern California.
At one point they come across a village of men who live apart from the avocado women and get along by knitting and giving these things to the avocado women so they won’t get eaten by the feminists. Yeah, I am not making this crap up.
So Bill Maher being the prototypical male that he is, digs out a whole bunch of beer and teaches these guys “how to be men”. “Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” – Homer Simpson, poet and philosopher.
Next thing you know these guys are catcalling Bunny and asking if she wants to ride in their corvettes. In my humble opinion, Jim wasn’t teaching guys how to be men. He was teaching them to be jerkwads who should just shut up.
Finally we come across the cannibal women and their temple. You know what their temple looks like? Exactly what I would imagine the back side of the building used for the university looked like. And yeah, we all saw this coming, the feminist who was missing is now the leader of the avocado women. Why? From what I can understand, she didn’t want to go on David Letterman anymore. Yeah, that was the joke. No, it wasn’t funny at all. Not even like dad joke funny, these jokes were just stupid.
These women immediately want to cook Jim and Bunny wants to join the avocado women because they get to wear cute outfits. Just to mention, these outfits are completely impractical bikinis, that sort of resemble jungle leaves that you would not find in a forest which is where this is filmed.
Bunny can’t kill Jim because she is in love with him. Dr. Hunt escapes and finds a rival group of cannibal women who hate the avocado women. Why do they hate them? They want to eat the men with clam sauce instead of guacamole. Yeah…
Dr. Hunt ends up fighting with the missing feminist, using weapons that would never have shown up in a jungle. Dr. Hunt kills her adversary but not before finding out that the military has a plan to get all the avocado women to come to Malibu (which is in the middle of where the jungle is shown on the California map if you know anything about California geography) where they will be brain washed with spa treatments and Cosmopolitan magazines. Did I mention this is supposed to be funny?
Jim, Bunny and Dr. Hunt get the avocado women to start a dialogue with their clam sauce rivals and head back to the university. Dr. Hunt threatens to expose the whole military plan on David Letterman unless she gets a grant for researching expanded opportunities for women in the military and a healthy dose of cash for her department. Meanwhile Jim and Bunny get married because, I guess someone has to kiss Bill Maher on occasion?
Ughh. I lived through watching this and now retelling it so that’s twice I have forced this thing upon myself. A couple of things before I sign off here though.
First of all, Shannon Tweed in real life is actually pretty smart. Her bad judgement in marrying Gene Simmons aside, I have no idea why she would agree to be in a film this stupid. I get why Bill Maher is here, he needed a career boost at the time. It did not age well for either of them though.
Second, never let it be said I am not an equal opportunity reviewer. James Cordon had a response to Bill Maher’s remarks and in it he mentioned how both of them have used poor judgement in their film careers. Jame’s opus of stupidity is apparently called Lesbian Vampire Killers and he says it’s every bit as bad as you think it is. Is it though? Is it? You can bet your last freaking avocado I am going to find out!
Olives are the Cure for Everything Except Stupidity
What’s going on people out there? It’s Slick Dungeon here again and although I keep hoping for it, I rarely run into a book down here that is worth reading. I wish I could say The Last Chance Olive Ranch was a fun read, with a smart mystery, fascinating characters who are well developed and as a bonus has some great recipes in the back. All I can really say is that there are in fact recipes in the back. I haven’t tried making them because I am stuck below ground in my dungeon so I suppose they could be great, I don’t know.
Now I have most definitely read worse books than this one. But, there are a ton of issues with this book. Like, how in the hell the whole thing happens in the first place. This basically has two stories going on. China Bayles and her husband Mike McQuaid both have life threatening adventures while in different locations. McQuaid is an ex-cop, current private investigator who has an escaped convict coming after him. China Bayles is an ex-lawyer, current business owner of several Thyme spice pun related businesses and she is supposed to be conducting some sort of seminar at an olive ranch with her friend and business associate Ruby. While at this ranch, China figures out there is a bad guy wanting to do some lethal harm to some people and also kind of helps to clear up a legal matter. I’m going to give a little more of a summary and then point out some things that just completely ruin this whole book.
The story basically starts with McQuaid getting a phone call telling him that this dude named Max has escaped death row. They refer to him in the book as “Bad Max” and I wish I was making that up. Max has not only got out but it seems like he is bent on going out and killing everyone who sent him to prison. McQuaid realizes he needs to catch the guy because he is the one who put him away in the first place and the guy is likely to come after him and China. He reasonably wants China to go do her thing out of town so he won’t have to worry while the guy is out on a tear.
China, meanwhile is torn between staying with her husband and wanting to go with her friend to do this seminar thing. She ends up going and learns all about this land dispute between Maddie, the operator of the Last Chance Olive Ranch and this guy named Boyd. China also happens to bump into an old flame named Chet who is a good guy but things didn’t work out and now he’s got it bad for Maddie.
I think the major plot points here are obvious. McQuaid is eventually going to get his guy. China is going to help figure out the land dispute and prove that Boyd is a grade A jerk, while also making sure that Chet and Maddie get a fairy tale ending.
I don’t so much have an issue with idea of the plot as a whole. But here’s the thing, it should never happen in the first place because every criminal in this book would have to be equal parts super genius and complete moron. There are some other problems with the book as well so I am just going to start a rant list below.
“Bad Max” is a terrible name for a bad guy. It will only make you think of a particular movie series and it makes you want to laugh and forget the whole book every time you read it.
Max breaks out of a death row prison in Texas. Think about that for a second. This guy would have to not only be Houdini, he’d have to be bulletproof and Hannibal Lecter smart to break out of here. So how did he do it? No idea, they never mention it in the book. Awesome.
This book is about an olive ranch but all of China’s businesses are named things like Party Thyme. So why is she the one writing excerpts about olives and olive oil between chapters? Shouldn’t she be the one writing about Thyme? And if anyone is going to write about olives shouldn’t it be Maddie, the one running an olive ranch?!
This has two completely different narratives going on, one with China, one with McQuaid. One is an ex-cop ensnaring an old enemy plot and the other is a love triangle attempted murder plot. Freaking pick one book please! You wrote two half books that don’t add up. They don’t even converge except for the first and last chapters and this only because China and McQuaid are married.
Despite this book being full of hardened criminals, tough guy private investigators and active police officers, no one, and I mean no one, swears even a little. China finds out that McQuaid has a plan to place himself as bait for a guy who has already killed three people. She thinks it’s “horsepucky.” At that point China is mentally flipping out and seriously, that’s the word she thinks of? I can think of another and it begins with Bull and doesn’t end with pucky.
The first owner of the Last Chance Olive Ranch was a woman named Eliza and she is inspired to make this ranch because of her Spanish lover. I lost count of how many times I had to hear about Eliza’s Spanish lover. Not a boyfriend or husband or person who she had an affair with. Nope, this is a Spanish lover.
Also he died in an orchard accident. That sounded mildly interesting to me. What happened? Not a clue because they never say. “I thought you died in a baking accident” Baker from Into the Woods
This book actually contains 30-50 feral hogs and that is before that was a thing on twitter. Nothing against this, it was just odd.
McQuaid has this ex-wife Sally and she apparently has a split personality. So not only does McQuaid have someone who can break out of prison coming after him, this wife is in trouble and she is begging for help. It never once occurs to McQuaid that maybe Max, the insane prison escapee might be the one after her. Max isn’t but shouldn’t McQuaid think that was a reasonable possibility? But nope. And when Max does grab her, thinking it’s China, McQuaid freaking blames her.
McQuaid’s genius plan to catch this guy seems to involve letting reporters he knows state to the media that he still lives in the town he lives in and is going to a community cook off. The bad guy actually calls McQuaid and tells him he is coming for him but McQuaid never thinks to, you know, wait at home and be prepared when the guy shows up.
Also, Bad Max is supposed to have figured out a way to get out of prison and kill five different people (with some help) before getting to McQuaid’s house. Now, when Max gets there he finds Sally. Does he do what makes sense? You know, shoot the wife of the guy you hate and then wait until the guy you hate shows up and then shoot him? Nope! He instead kidnaps Sally, and calls McQuaid to lure him to a junkyard. Err… what? That makes literally no sense.
At one point McQuaid goes and sees his son who is in college. He sees his son kiss an African-American woman. McQuaid kind of flips out in his own mind. I get owning up to your own prejudices and all but what he immediately tries to remember is if in all of his conversations about sex with his son, if he had ever brought up the issue of interracial sex. McQuaid my dude, let’s chat to the side for a minute. You know what you need to know about interracial sex? The same things you need to know about any kind of sex. Same info, it doesn’t freaking change! This particular thing in the book made me wish I was out at sea so that I could chuck the book into the water. Of course then I was glad I wasn’t because I would have realized putting trash in the ocean is not good. What’s worse was that McQuaid then thinks of himself as “fairly liberal”. Mmmhmmm.
Also, McQuaid seems to completely blame his ex-wife for having mental issues. He refers to her as “skitzy” in his mind. Let me just say this because I wish people would realize it, having multiple personalities is not the same as schizophrenia like at all. Books try to make this the same all the time but you know what it is when they do that? Horsepucky!
Speaking of my earlier point about language, McQuaid gets information out of a woman who is in with Max’s cousin Lester. It’s clear Lester is a horrible person and that Max has taken Sally by this point. The woman, named Candy, doesn’t think it’s all that weird that Sally has duct tape over her mouth. And she says that Sally is “a pain in the old patootie.” Okay, please, either make this character less dumb or at least let her use an actual word that a woman in that situation would use. The one I am thinking of is what usually follows Jack-
On China’s side of things, it’s so obvious Boyd is setting Maddie up that only a complete dummy wouldn’t figure that out. Maddie runs a successful business and is a college graduate but can’t seem to figure out Boyd’s motives. Why not? Because she is self conscious about a scar.
Also it’s completely obvious from the beginning of that story that Boyd is going to be revealed to be related to Maddie. See he tries to get her to marry him but Sofia, the half sister of Eliza, the woman with the Spanish lover, has a secret document in an olive wood box. China can’t possibly imagine what would be in there until she sees it even though we all know it’s going to be a birth certificate saying that Boyd is Maddie’s (well I was guessing half brother) cousin. Thus they can’t get married.
Hey, you know how they could have prevented Boyd from starting a fire and trying to forcibly take over the ranch? Give the birth certificate to Maddie, or her lawyer! Then I would have fifty percent less of this book I had to read!
There were so many things olives can do. I had no idea. I am sure this is true but they talk about how good it is to put in soap. Okay sure. Obviously good for food. No argument there. Then they talk about how it can be used as a cleaner possibly rivaling bleach. And that if it goes bad enough it is a fire accelerant. Wait, you want me to put this on my face and in my mouth? Mmmmm. I think I will pass….
So much of this book was simply an info dump and it got so obnoxious. We didn’t find out from general conversations or actions what a character was like. Nope, there are like five paragraph backgrounds we have to read through when we met or heard about a new character. That’s how I know Eliza had a Spanish lover.
I suppose the recipes might be good, I don’t know. But I appreciate that they are there because that was less for me to read!
I hope you enjoyed my rant as much as you might enjoy a fine virgin olive oil. Probably you didn’t but that’s okay because apparently that stuff can light things on fire. Next week I will be back to review Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson. Is that when a full moon is full of Mulberries?
The zombie apocalypse happens in the background but at least there is smooth jazz?
Welcome back to my dungeon where the lights are dim, the smell is musty and the films generally stink.
This week I watched Life After Beth. In the beginning of the film, Beth goes hiking alone at night. This, for the record, is always one hundred percent a completely stupid idea. Don’t do this friends. Beth (Aubrey Plaza) is apparently bitten by a snake and killed. This happens off screen (like most of the interesting things in this film).
Next we see Zack (Dane Dehaan) trying to buy black napkins at a supermarket. He’s sent to the party supply store instead. In the next scene he’s clearly at the wake for Beth and it’s pretty obvious Zack was Beth’s ex and he’s pretty broken up about the whole thing. Zack spends some time bonding with Beth’s parents played by John C. Reily and Molly Shannon.
Late at night, in the background Zack thinks he sees someone running around. The next day he goes back and is sure he sees Beth. His brother comes over and tries to calm Zack down but of course, eventually he ends up in the Slocum’s (Beth’s last name) house. And surprise, there is his dead ex girlfriend looking both alive and super happy to see Zack. Unfortunately, Beth’s parents want to keep the whole thing of her death and return a secret from Beth.
Zack tries to take Beth hiking but is stopped by her dad. In the meantime, Beth is doing some weird things like, having super huge mood swings and gathering dirt to put into the attic. Most of that we don’t really see.
The movie sort of goes along like this for a while where weird things happen in the background. People who seem to have been dead or missing for a while show up in town but not quite acting like themselves.
Zack gets overly emotional with Beth and tries to serenade her on the beach. Beth freaks out and uses super human strength to destroy a lifeguard lookout tower. Zack is understandably nervous at this point and thinks that he might get eaten by his dead girlfriend. That’s a reasonable assumption in my book any given day of the week. Still, for some reason he sticks around and wants to take Beth hiking.
Beth on the other hand is only able to calm down by listening to smooth jazz or making out with Zack.
Pretty soon the whole dang town is listening to smooth jazz and only Zack and Erica Wexler (Anna Kendrick) an old family friend, seem to notice anything off. This includes when Zack accidentally full on runs Beth over and Beth gets up no problem. Do the townsfolk think that’s weird? Not at all! Totally normal except of course they are a little mad at Zack.
Beth then screams at the onlookers and finally they get scared. Uh, what? Ok but fine.
Zack decides to spill the beans to Beth and let her know that she’s dead. This does not go well and soon the whole town is filled with zombies. I never understood in watching this if Zack telling Beth about this was supposed to be the trigger to make all the zombies aggressive or what. It was implied but I was never sure.
Pretty soon Zack tries to protect his family by warning them and then is promptly knocked out by John C. Reily. He spends most of the evening of the apocalypse blacked out and we see zero of the interesting stuff.
About the only really interesting part of this whole film was the end when Zack takes Beth hiking but she has to have an oven strapped to her back to prevent her from eating Zack. Zack puts Beth out of her misery after telling her how he felt about her. Then he gets to go have dinner with Erica Wexler, yay!
Ughhh. Okay so where do I start with this whole thing now that I have told you about it? Spoilers by the way. Shoot, gotta remember to put that up higher in my reviews.
Zack has a lot of overacting in this thing and he just comes off as whiny to me for most of it. Everything that could be fun or funny about this movie happens off screen or is presented in the most boring way possible.
That being said, this film is not exactly bad. It’s certainly not so bad it’s good. It’s just kinda meh.
It got trashed by critics when it came out but I don’t think it was due to the film itself. It has a decent cast and other than Zack’s whining I think it was well acted. Beth did give sort of over the top screams at times but it fit in with, you know the whole zombie thing. But critics hated this because there had recently been a slew of zombie films in the theaters and of course The Walking Dead was still rocking it on the television sets. I think critics were just kind of burnt out of the genre and might have even trashed Zombieland if it had come out at the exact same time as this.
I don’t really recommend watching this but there are definitely worse films out there. If you don’t believe me, read any of my other reviews.
There were missed opportunities here to me. At first when the dead seemed to return, most of them were acting a little odd but kind of generally nice. To me, having the whole movie be like that would have been far more interesting. Like what would we do in a zombie apocalypse if basically, everyone was really nice but they needed to change their diet? That could have worked.
I did find one line pretty funny when Zack gets upset that Beth eats a guy. Her response is, “What do you want from me Zack? I’m a zombie, zombies eat guys.” Fact check – true!
Other than that though, this movie was just sort of okay. I never found myself hating it or loving it. Hopefully next week the film I watch will be more interesting, even if it sucks.
Last week James Cordon did a piece about fat shaming and mentioned a terrible movie Bill Mahr was in and a terrible movie he himself was in. I immediately felt the need to do a side by side comparison to see which one is worse. I’ll be starting with Bill’s movie, Cannibal Women and the Avocado Jungle of Death. I have a strong suspicion it’s going to be every bit as bad as his opinions on fat shaming.
Hello out there to those of you above ground. It’s Friday the 13th today and that means bad luck. What was my bad luck today? Reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson.
I tend not to like romance books much and this one is a prime example of why not. From a barely there plot, to poorly developed characters, to really weird obsessions with mouths, this book was awful from start to finish. It was so bad that I was at times baffled and at times just straight up angry at how bad this could be.
Here’s the thing though, when I read something that I think is awful, I just obsess over it somehow. How did this get made? Why? Who thought publishing this was a good idea? But then it hit me, there is only one answer to this riddle for Temptation. I need to find out right from the horses mouths (yeah cause Texas and horses and… ah never mind). So, lucky for me, I have run into several of the characters in the book! I will be interviewing them below. I have no idea how they ended up in the fifth room of my dungeon but here they are. I wish I could say it was good to see people but well… maybe next time send someone with a ladder so I can get out of here?
Anyway, I am going to provide a quick summary of the (for lack of a better term) plot and then dive right into the interview.
Sheila Hopkins is an emergency room nurse in Royal, Texas. One day she is driving and sees a hunka hunka burning man meat in the car next to her on the way to work. She gets to work and surprise, surprise, surprise, Mr. man meat is there and meets her. This guy is Zeke Travers who is a private investigator. A baby was left abandoned and someone is trying to name Zeke’s best bud and client Brad as the father. It’s part of a blackmail scheme to get some money out of rich folks who are in charge at the Texas Cattlemen’s Club. Zeke and Sheila hit it off and Sheila, within minutes of meeting an abandoned baby is supposed to take care of it for two weeks while the custody of said baby is worked out. Sheila takes a shine to the kid and names her Sunnie, Zeke takes a shine to Sheila and they kiss a lot while ridiculously saying they should stay away from each other. Zeke has to keep an eye on Sheila cause what if she is some kinda psycho who just was handed a baby (never mind that it’s kind of psycho to hand over a baby to a stranger). Zeke and Sheila hook up, break up (but not really), hook up some more, have some fights, Zeke figures out the plot, Sheila has to give up the baby but it’s okay because now she can have babies with Zeke. Happy ending and holy crap there are a bunch more books in this series.
Let me give a warm Slick Dungeon welcome to my guests, Sheila Hopkins, Zeke Travers, Sunnie, and Bradford Price.
Slick: Hi Sheila, nice to meet you. So you were a nurse for the whole book but you never did any nursing other than taking a kid home. What are your thoughts about taking a baby home instead of you know, leaving it say, at the pediatric ward of your hospital?
Sheila: Neither me nor my kitchen would be able to handle all the heat Zeke and I would make.
Slick: uhmmm, that didn’t really answer the question. About the baby…
Sheila: Earlier in the day a man proposed to his his girlfriend in the E.R. It was very romantic.
Slick: Uh, ok. I mean have you been in an Emergency Room? It’s noisy, smells weird and occasionally people walk in with a severed finger in a mason jar full of ice. Is that actually romantic? Anyway, about this kid who you took care of…
Sheila: I named her Sunnie because she stopped crying and smiled at me. That makes me most qualified to be her mother.
Slick: I’m not sure that fits the definition of qualified but at least you are on topic this time. What made you so attracted to Zeke?
Sheila: Have you seen him? He has a mouth that is hot. Also he said to me, “Good. Because if I get arrested, Sheila, so do you. And it would be my request that we get put in the same jail cell.”
Slick: Okay, first off, I doubt you would get the request granted. Secondly, a jail cell? Is that supposed to be romantic? I kind of think your idea of romantic locations is a bit off here. Was it tough keeping Sunnie? You didn’t seem to have much experience with infants when she was randomly given to you.
Sheila: Zeke did a background check on me and I got sooo mad. Then he built a crib while I showered. We kissed. Zeke smelled good. Most of the men at the hospital smell sanitized. Zeke reminds me of a real man’s scent.
Slick: Wasn’t he all sweaty from building the crib and like hauling things in for you?
Slick: Okay gross. Also, just because you smell sanitary really does not mean you are not a “real man”. I think a lot of male nurses, doctors, and people who don’t like to stink might take offense at that. But since you keep bringing up Zeke, let me switch gears and speak with him.
Slick: Hi Zeke, you are a private investigator who did almost nothing for two weeks while Sheila took care of a kid that you first handed over, then thought, maybe I should do a background check on this woman that I gave a kid to. Were you suspicious of Sheila? And do you think maybe the background check could have happened prior to the baby hand off?
Zeke: Sheila attracted me right off. I kissed her, even though I had only met her earlier in the day, first at a stop light, then when I gave her a baby to take care of. This kind of mouth interaction with Sheila was stirring things inside me that I’d tried to keep at bay with other women.
Slick: TMI dude. So, Sunnie was not even five months old and cried a lot and had been literally abandoned on a doorstep of a club that your friend Brad is a part of. Yet, you wondered why the kid didn’t have a bed time. You don’t know how babies work do you?
Zeke: My friend Brad is a good man. He hired me. I own a big ranch. I have a niece and nephew too so I know about kids. Did I mention I kissed Sheila?
Sheila: Even after brushing my teeth I could still taste Zeke.
Slick: You need to brush better.
Zeke: Sheila tasted good. I couldn’t get enough of it, which is why I was eating away at her mouth with a relentless hunger.
Slick: Dude, stop, we have been over this. TMI.
Sheila: But he’s so romantic. He said, “I want to cherish you with my mouth, Sheila.”
Slick: I’ve watched a movie where space zombies try to take over the planet and no one in that film said anything even close to as weird as that. Let’s try talking about something else. There was a hurricane threatening your neighborhood, Sheila. Zeke did what a responsible guy would do and came over to check on you. Then he basically pressured you into moving into his house to wait the storm out. That seemed reasonable because, hurricane. But you asked him not to seduce you while you were there. He wouldn’t agree to that. Sheila, that’s seriously disturbing behavior, why didn’t you call the cops on Zeke?
Sheila: I went to his house knowing I was attracted to his mouth.
Slick: Okay… Uh, Zeke, did you not think it was messed up to basically say, stay at my house to ride out the hurricane but I won’t promise to keep my grubby mitts off you to Sheila?
Zeke: Brad is a good man. I own a ranch. I had to clear his name and to do that I had to mostly spend time with Sheila. My job was to investigate the crime so I stayed with the caretaker of the baby.
Slick: Er, you really sucked at your job and at being a decent guy. Hurricanes are not prime opportunities to coerce women.
Sheila: I stayed way longer than after the hurricane was a threat. I can’t admit my feelings for Zeke.
Slick: I would say all the kissing you did is kind of an admission.
Zeke: There’s something about Sheila’s scent that makes me want to mate.
Slick: Seriously dude. TMI.
Zeke: I could only imagine the outcome of this mating. But I needed it the way I need to breathe.
Slick: The outcome is pregnancy. In case you didn’t notice, there was a baby the whole time. That’s the outcome of mating. and let me just say this again, T.M.I.! But speaking of the baby, it was really convenient that she cried a lot at the beginning and then kept her attention on Sheila so she could be given over. Then it was even more convenient that she didn’t cry later in the book when you guys were doing weird mouth things and mating and what not. Sunnie, do you have anything to say about this?
Slick: Well I suppose you are kind of a plot device.
Brad: That’s my job. I’m a good man. I was set up. My brother had a kid with a woman, was killed by her and her drug dealing boyfriend then they tried to blackmail me with his kid. This is all explained in about two whole paragraphs in the book.
Slick: True. Sheila, you seemed to get surprisingly angry and depressed over the fact that Zeke might miss a flight while trying to catch a crook. Are you over that?
Sheila: Oh totally. We got married and Brad and this other woman Abigail that I met just days ago who seems to be interested in Brad was there.
Slick: Uh, more in this horrible series to come then?
Brad: Yeah. See when I told Zeke I had a genetic link to the baby, he left the building without any explanation and then hooked up with Sheila. We figured out it was my brother’s kid but not before I made Abigail cry. Then we watched a tape with Abigail that literally could have solved the entire crime if Zeke had just done his job and showed it earlier to the people at the Texas Cattlmen’s Club. But he was mating with Sheila. I get my turn next. With Abigail that is.
Zeke: Well, I did have to fly to Dallas and then be almost late for when Sheila gave back the baby, so I could watch other people arrest the bad guy. So I called my super rich dad who I was estranged from until a few years ago and ask to fly in his jet. Then while on that jet I bought a wedding ring for Sheila and proposed to her.
Slick: You proposed in a parking lot outside of the Texas Cattlemen’s Club?
Zeke: I did and she said yes.
Slick: I guess it’s better than an Emergency Room. How did you propose?
Sheila: He said, “Do you love me enough to wear my last name, have my babies and spend the rest of your life with me?”
Slick: Err. I don’t know where to begin here. First, is a last name something you wear? In my experience I mostly say it, spell it or sign it. Also, I would just like to mention that they wouldn’t just be Zeke’s babies. They would be yours as well. Spending the rest of your life, I have no problem with. But seriously, Zeke, you are one weird dude.
Brad: But he knows I am a good man. I bet he shows up in my book!
Slick: I will not be reading that. Thanks for finding your way here down in the dark. Now all of you, get out!
Slick drops microphone and releases various types of lethal oozes to get them to leave.
I hope you enjoyed my exclusive interview. Next week I will be back with another review. This time I will be reading The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. I guess someone already must have taken the first chance olive ranch?
Hello friends and freakish compatriots. Slick Dungeon here back with yet another review of a film that is never going to win any kind of awards. I had planned to review Captain Sabretooth and the Treasure of Rama Lama but it apparently is not on Netflix and it’s surprisingly hard to get an Amazon Prime membership when you live in a dingy dungeon cave and are forced to read terrible books and watch awful movies.
I ended up watching Season of the Witch. The most absolutely stunning thing about this film is how many actors are in it that you will recognize. This was filmed after Nicolas Cage really needed money but before Robert Sheehan was being fantastically weird in The Umbrella Academy. It was after Ron Perlman had been Hellboy a couple of times but before Claire Foy was Lizbeth Salander or the queen of England. It was well after Christopher Lee was cool but before Rory McCann had an epic throwdown in Clegane-bowl in Game of Thrones. And yes, all those high quality actors are actually in this film. You know what? It just proves that we can’t all succeed all the time.
Set in the time of the crusades, we learn in the first scene that witches are totally real. How do we know? Because a priest kills one but then gets killed for it. Supernatural things are afoot.
We cut immediately into a series of crusade battles where a bunch of Americans sounding very American do some British style sword wielding. They go on battle after battle in location after location. Conveniently, the travel takes no time at all because, editing. Ron Perlman and Nicolas Cage ham it up so much in these battle sequences, you can smell the pork on their breath. They play Felson and Behman respectively and the names do not fit at all with these actors. I guarantee you will think of them the entire time as Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman.
The fight sequences for the crusades seem to last about as long as the actual crusades. They are repetitive and dull and full of a lot shouting about God. Finally after the eons of this happening (along with a bunch of side shouting about committing all manner sins by Cage and Perlman) Behman stabs an innocent woman to death and thinks maybe it’s time for a career change. He and Felson quit and leave the battlefield. The head of the army is like, “You cannot leave,” to which Behman says, “Who’s gonna stop us?” My thought was, maybe that whole freaking army? But nah, they just let them go.
Cage and Perlman make it to the town we saw at the opening where the witch had cursed a priest. They find the whole place is dying by plague. Cage and Perlman are exposed to this stuff in the film over and over and over and over again and not even a cough out of either one of them for the whole film. Why? Because the plague was not caused by germs or spread by rodents or anything illogical like that. Nope. It was witches. For sure, witches. Oh and guess what? This town caught another witch and if she gets taken to some random town and put on trial where there is some book and some ritual is performed the plague will most definitely be over and we’ll all be good to go on and invent cheeseburgers in the future or whatever.
But there’s a problem see? They need some good ol’ deserters who can either choose jail time or go escort this witch somewhere. Cage and Perlman choose jail. Yep, you got that right. They were not afraid to fight off an entire army of crusaders but when a priest in a plague infested town tells them to leave, they are like, yeah jail sounds good. Behman has a heart though because he feels guilty for getting all stabby on a woman earlier in the movie so when this witch is in the jail cell across from him and she cries, he decides he will escort her, as long as he gets a pardon. Were there pardons back then? I dunno.
The witch begs Behman to make sure she gets a “fair trial”. Never mind that at that time a fair trial might very well have been checking to see if she burned to death by fire. They pick up a guy from the stockade who can apparently lead them to the town where this ritual is supposed to happen and they set off.
Pretty quick they end up in a spooky set location where one dude ends up dead in no time at all. Some of them think it was the woman causing the death some don’t know.
We go on a bit and the woman shows more strength than reasonable without ingesting a ton of steroids. They cross a rickety bridge, another dude dies soon after that and they’re all pretty sure the witchy woman is a witch.
But guess what? At that town, the plague has hit. We get to see Christopher Lee have a death scene and they find that book that would do that ritual thing. Next thing you know, almost everyone is dead except our heroes and the woman. They start up the ritual but it doesn’t seem to be working. The priest figures out that this is not a witch! It’s a demon. Now I want my money back for the film being mistitled. It should be called Season of the Plague Demon instead.
There’s a big battle, they have to do some reading in Latin, we see a CGI demon throw people around, Hellboy and the guy from National Treasure both die. Klaus from The Umbrella Academy and Lisbeth Salander live. She lives because apparently she was just possessed? I dunno. Anyway, we all survive the plague! Cheeseburgers are now in our future!
So yeah, that’s the film for ya. It was really bad. But sadly, it’s not the worst Nicolas Cage movie I have ever seen. The best part of Season of the Witch was one jump scare way early on and, um, yeah that’s it.
Next time you are stuck in history class and you have to talk about the black plague or the crusades, just mention how a hell-spawned demon took possession of a young woman, pretended to be a witch and got it’s butt kicked by a few Americans. You’ll get an A for sure!
Next week I will be back to review Life After Beth. It’s gotta be better than life before Beth right?
Have you ever read a book and thought, I should like this, why don’t I like this? That’s what Dime Store Magic was for me.
I enjoy lots of paranormal stuff. I watch Supernatural. I have enjoyed a couple of The Dresden Files books. I can even believe that a radioactive spider bite can give a boy powers that let him stick to walls. But I could not believe this book. Is it because this story focuses on women and I am a sexist jerk? I hope not, but I guess that’s a possibility. Is it because the writing is awful? No actually, this is fairly competently written. Was the plot terrible? Eh, well some of it was kind of silly and sort of didn’t make sense but I have absolutely read worse. I’m not sure what exactly it was that made me just not get into this book. It did give me a lot to think about though. I’m going to give you a plot summary and then point out some things that popped out to me about this book. I kind of think the real problem I had with this book is that if you sum all the parts up, it’s kind of dull.
Spoilers follow below.
Paige is a witch. She has a thirteen year old ward named Savannah who survived some trauma what with her mother being killed and all, and ended up living with Paige. The woman who murdered Paige’s mother and Savannah’s mother is a witch named Leah. That much I just gathered from the story but I think these events are covered earlier in the series. Paige and Savannah think that the whole deal with Leah is over for now but there is one thing they never, ever counted on. Court filings! Yeah, there is a custody battle at the heart of the story because Savannah has a father who was unknown to her previously. Needless to say this father is a sorcerer who runs a Cabal. A lawyer named Lucas Cortez shows up to help Paige and Savannah and needless to say is also a sorcerer but from a different Cabal but kinda kicked out of that Cabal but kinda not really. The father Nast, wants Savannah for two reasons. One, she’s his daughter. Two, she’s thirteen and about to start menstruating which apparently means she’s about to be a very powerful witch given the right circumstances. These Cabals apparently have an employment program where they hire one witch only. They want Savannah to be that witch. Lots of threats, destruction and bad media for Paige happen and in the end, Lucas and Paige hook up, Savannah is rescued from the evil Cabal, Leah is killed and Paige goes through the ceremony and can now most likely kick everyone’s butt. Yay!
Now here’s some things that stand out.
This passage did not age well – “In structure, though, the Cabal was more Donald Trump than Al Capone.” I think Trump was more Capone than the author realized, Tax evasion anyone? (Not the authors fault but it made me laugh)
This book does advocate safe sex which I applaud. Here’s proof – “My advice to young women who like to pick up guys in singles bars? Condoms prevent more than venereal disease.” True! Of course she was giving that advice so that no one gives birth to a half-demon hell creature but still, solid advice.
So the author and Cortez go to great lengths to say how these Cabals are legitimate businesses, not like the mob. Then they act like the mob for the entire book. At one point there is an unconscious guy in Savannah’s house and she asks Cortez how the Cabals handle these people. His answer, “Chain saws and large cement blocks.” That’s a super legitimate business practice not at all like the mob.
Here’s my favorite sentence in the whole book. “Leah might very well decide to take her revenge and the last thing any of us needed right now was a werewolf/half-demon grudge match unfolding in downtown East Falls.” Maybe they didn’t need it but you know what the book needed? A werewolf/half-demon grudge match unfolding in downtown East Falls! Sadly that did not happen.
Here’s the best quote from Savannah, “Oh, please. I’m in danger of being handed over to a psycho half-demon and brain-washed into slavery for supernatural mobsters. You think anyone cares whether I know how to conjugate verbs?” Shout out to grammar! Yes! And then Paige tells her to conjugate. Nice mothering!
There’s a ton in this book that explains how witch spells work. And how these supernatural beings relate to each other. It all sounded pretty boring and like basic office meetings where no one wants to go but you have to so you can collect a paycheck. It had me wondering if at the start of werewolf meetings, they needed to get like a vampire IT guy to come and set up the projector for the powerpoint presentation. Then Paige literally compares casting spells to learning programming languages like C++. Oh my God, being one of these magical creatures is like working in an office! That would drive me crazy. I would need to take two of my friends, steal a printer from the office, take it out to an open field and beat it to death with a baseball bat while rap music played in the background.
This whole story gets set off with some court papers. Cortez shows up a bunch of times and every time Paige refuses to let him be her lawyer. She can’t trust him because she is a sorcerer and goes two thirds of the book not trusting him then she sleeps with the guy. Uh, that went from zero to sixty out of nowhere.
Also, when they finally hook up, they are tumbling around on a pile of clean clothes. It’s supposed to be spontaneous and romantic. They do things like light and extinguish candles with their spells and whisper sweet nothings to each other. And Paige inhales the smell of the fabric softener. You know what I thought during that entire scene? I sure hope they wash those clothes again. They didn’t. Although, that may have more to do with the house burning down.
Savannah is thirteen and about to have her first period. How do I know? It’s mentioned about thirteen thousand times in this book. Yes, I know it’s natural. It’s perfectly normal but the word menses and menstruation appear a lot in this book. It apparently is in part what gives a which her powers. The boys seem to be sorcerers in this book so it just made me wonder, do they have something happen when their voice changes? When they get chest hair? What exactly is the trigger here?
It made absolutely no sense how often Paige tells Cortez not to be her lawyer. At a point that she is in jail with no money, no prospects, and no one else to help her and could very likely be charged with murder, she refuses his legal counsel. He goes away and then comes back insisting he still is her lawyer even though she told the police he was not. Can you lawyer someone under their duress? I don’t think so.
This whole huge mob shows up at Paige’s house because there were some cat bodies found there (planted by Leah) and people seem to think she is a real witch. She is but that’s beside the point. I mean I can see how a satanic alter and a few dead cats could be a curiosity but like a whole crowd, really?
There is a more believable mob later when it looks like Paige maybe killed someone. Cortez flicks people around and makes them stumble with some hand gestures to make their way through the crowd. Anyone looking might find this suspicious in my mind. Then Savannah wants to cast a spell that will make it hail to get rid of the crowd. Cortez and Paige tell her no because hail would be too suspicious in summer. Really?! Weird weather happens all the time and no one is going to think a kid cast a spell to make that happen. How moronic can you get?
These witches and sorcerers and all seem to be fairly powerful and capable of a lot of stuff. What do they do with that power? They become web designers and lawyers and business people. Seriously? At least in Harry Potter adults got to have cool wizard jobs. (And yes I know, Dresden Files does this too. I think it’s kinda silly there too).
One night, Paige and Cortez are watching television and Night of the Living Dead comes on. They call it stupid. How. Dare. You. This is doubly ironic considering the book earlier had a scene where the dead came back to life and that scene owed a heck of a lot to George R. Romero to make it work. Don’t insult good films in books!
Paige ends up in a legal custody battle, is at the scene when a man is murdered, has a violent riot happen outside her house, has her house burn down, goes to the house of Savannah’s father where several people are killed and then the house burns down. Is Paige wanted by the cops? Nope! Why not? Cortez “spoke to them”. Off screen of the story. That’s it. How is she not in freaking jail right now?!?!?!
That seems like a good place to stop. Next week I will be reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson. I suspect I will be tempted to stop reading it.
Slick Dungeon here, in the tenth room of my dungeon. This is where I watch the weirdest, baddest and sometimes oldest movies and give you a little review so you know if you should invest your time in them. You totally should.
This week I watched Robot Monster. Also known as the granddaddy of so bad it’s good science fiction films. It was poked fun of by the guys on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was so bad and did so poorly at the box office that the director tried to kill himself. His shot missed though and he survived. His movie, for all of the bashing it gets, is still around and people still talk about it. It’s not every movie that can say that!
This thing was shot in four days in Bronson Canyon. It has a whopping ensemble cast of eight people. Two of which are mostly in a monster getup that was not well thought out. The rushed filming shows if you look closely. There are spliced scenes from other movies, there’s a point where a woman is loosely tied up and unconscious in one shot and when we see her again, she is fully bound and fully awake, you can see a hand controlling the model spaceship in the special effects shots and if that was not enough, you can see the actor’s face in the space helmet when he is supposed to be some kind of technologically superior space gorilla.
But those things I just listed, are the unintentional mistakes. I feel like the conscious choices here are much, much worse. They wanted the monster to look like a huge furry ape creature in a space suit. Mission accomplished and it looks as stupid as it sounds. Let me give you just a brief plot summary here and as we go on, I will point out even more of the ridiculous.
The film starts out with a nice little family having a picnic. Johnny, the little boy in the film and his sister Carla run off to play unsupervised near a cave. At the cave there are two archaeologists digging out some fossils. They explain to the kids that their job is to dig it out and send this stuff to a museum for people to study. Johnny is more interested in space aliens. The older sister of Johnny and their mother find the boy and then they leave. Johnny can’t resist coming back and there’s a flash of lightning. Dinosaurs (from another movie) roam the planet! Lizards (from another movie) wrestle each other! Action! Excitement!
Next we see a monster. This is Ro-man (Pronounced Row-man not Roman thank you very much) and he is armed with a bunch of antenna, a television screen and even, a machine that makes bubbles! Ooooh watch out!.
But this dude is serious. He’s killed literally everyone on the planet with one stroke. Except for our five remaining cast members. Lucky for them, their father, “The Professor”, had cooked up a serum that protected the whole fam from any sort of disease at all. Yay for illegal science! There’s also a couple of people on a “space platform” that have survived, also thanks to the Professor.
Ro-man spends the rest of the movie, slowly turning dials, slowly wandering around in grass, slowly picking up little girls and women, and loudly yelling back and forth at his leader in space. It’s super obvious that the visibility from this outfit was zero for this actor. It’s awesomely funny.
There are also some choice bits of dialogue from the handsome lead to his love interest. Roy, who is not related to the rest of the family but was an assistant to the Professor also got to have an injection of the serum. Good thing for him too because he is in love with the Professor’s oldest daughter Alice. Alice is a beautiful and brilliant scientist in her own right. How do we know? Well, she almost fixes the screen that speaks with space. And, Roy, says to her, “You’re either too beautiful to be smart, or too smart to be beautiful.” Because you clearly, cannot be both. The fifties must have sucked so much if you were not a straight, white, male. Anyway.
Ro-man, as can be predicted wants to kill the humans. But not Alice because, well, I guess he’s got an open mind about dating. He shouts at the humans on the screen a few times and says they should ask for a painless death, but like, can he date Alice or what? Alice is kinda like, well, if it will save humanity, I’ll go talk to the space alien monster. The Professor and Roy decide to tie Alice up for her own good instead.
Then later, when there is still a dangerous monster out there, Johnny gives up the secret of the serum to Ro=man. Does Ro-man kill Johnny after that? No. Why? Because Johnny is on top of a rock above Ro-man, and that costume is unwieldy my friends.
Even later Alice and Roy decide to go do some necking as they might have said in the fifties. You know, despite the fact that there is a murderous alien. By the way, none of them ever once seems to think it’s a good idea to move away from the cave at all. Also, they don’t seem too broken up about the entire rest of the planet being dead.
When Alice and Roy get back from their fun time, Roy asks the Professor if he can marry Alice. Not like the Professor and his daughter have a lot of options but he agrees. Alice has time to find a veil but Roy doesn’t seem to have time to put his shirt back on. There is a little ceremony and they get married. They head off for a honeymoon. Yes, a honeymoon right near the cave where the murdery space gorilla lives. Roy, you must have been one amazing assistant.
Carla, Johnny’s little sister, runs after the happy couple, gives them some flowers and runs off (in the totally wrong direction). Ro-man finds her and strangles her off screen. Why off screen? Because that costume is unwieldy my friends.
Soon Ro-man finds our happy couple and the epic last battle for humanity begins again. He strikes Roy! He captures Alice! Alice is slowly taken to the cave! Alice has her dress torn (that’s seriously out of line, Ro-man) and she is slowly tied up, loosely! Ro-man turns around and argues with his boss that he should get to keep the girl. Boss is unhappy, Alice is now fully tied up completely!
Roy makes it back to the house with the Professor where they have just buried Carla! Roy dies! For a moment Ro-man seems to regret his actions! Boss zaps everyone on the planet including Ro-man!
Johnny wakes up! Oh, oh wait. This was all a dream. Yep, they went there. They Wizard of Oz’ed this sucker. I guess we knew that from the start since the actors don’t change at all from before Johnny went unconscious. Ah, well, all good they won’t be the last to rip that off. Roy and the Professor turn out to be the archaeologists! And Roy asks Alice on a date! Yay!
Now look, as ridiculous as everything I just described sounds, here’s the thing. I don’t think this deserves the harsh treatment it gets, I get what the film makers were going for and at the time it made sense. It was kind of poorly executed but you know what? This totally could have worked as a Twilight Zone episode. With a little more careful editing you wouldn’t catch the mistakes and the premise is not that bad. One family survives the destruction of Earth. Could be interesting. I recommend checking this out with the realization that this movie has actually lasted. It doesn’t seem that out of place from the rest of sci-fi at the time. Give ol’ Ro-man a break will ya? I mean have you seen the original Star Trek show?? They have a ton of weird stuff in there too and we don’t bash that the same way we do this.
That’s all for now, next week I will be watching Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama. At least Captain Tiger hasn’t gone after the treasure of Rama Lama yet.
Slick Dungeon here and I am just hanging out in the fifth room of my dungeon where I keep all kinds of less than stellar books. This week I read Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler.
But wait, what is this? What is this thing I found rolling around on the floor? It’s my new patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter. This device will without fail let us know if something in a book sucks. Along with this meter, there is a set of instructions. They tell me that there is a rating scale. For every beep I hear while describing something in the book, that is a suckiness point. If there is no beep, I will remove a point. At the end we will discover if Summer in Tuscany sucks or not.
First, a very quick plot summary. An overworked doctor has to go to Italy because her mother inherited a villa where she grew up. As soon as she gets there, a land dispute breaks out with a handsome American man that we all know is going to end up with the main character. I have no idea why so many romance novels lately involve land disputes but whatever. Stuff happens, people hook up, there’s a wedding and we all knew the summer in Tuscany was going to end with a permanent residence there with said hunky man. Is this Doc Hollywood or Cars with the gender roles reversed? Basically yes.
Also, quick note, I listened to this on audio so if I misspell any names please forgive my unintentional error.
Suckiness meter activate!
The main character, Gemma, is a doctor but in the first chapter wonders if she should get breast implants. Does she not know how bad putting silicon in your body for no reason is for you? What kind of a doctor is she? +3 suckiness points for being a bad doctor.
Gemma is described as a hard, working, dedicated emergency room doctor in New York City, who does her best to help people, all while raising a teenage daughter on her own. No beeps. -1 suckiness point.
We learn pretty quickly she has a biiiig secret about a man named Chase Drummond who is a cowboy crossed with a surfer. I bet her secret is not all that bad! And seriously, Chase Drummond? I think he should have just been named Chiseled Manhunk. +4 suckiness points for overhyped masculinity and secrets that are not secrets.
Gemma’s mother Nona, is hiding that she has a heart defect from her own daughter who I may have mentioned is a doctor. I mean, I get you don’t want to tell your kid bad news but, free health care right?? +1 suckiness point for not using your own resources.
Nona has to go back to Italy because she is told by a shady lawyer type that she has inherited this massive property and is now a wealthy heiress. Gemma is going to disrupt her life, and take herself and her kid Olivia (who goes by Livie) for an entire summer to sort it out. I’ve heard much worse reasons to go to Italy so no beeps. -2 suckiness points.
The book really gets going once the fam arrives in Italy and there are beautiful descriptions of the scenery and the food described is mouth-watering. -3 suckiness points
They see all kinds of sights in this book including going up the stairs of the duomo in Florence but they never wait in line. +4 suckiness points for not making this completely fictional story seem more like reality.
Gemma seems to be lusting over virtually every dude she sees but she has promised herself she would remain celibate due to reasons involving that Chase guy from her past. Yeah right. +5 for unbelievability.
Gemma, as I have mentioned, is a doctor but at one point she wonders if the “sexy parts” (her words not mine) on her body are called the loins. Did you not have to take anatomy to become an ER doc?! +7 for making me crazy with annoyance at her poor job skills.
Gemma meets her love interest, a man named Ben Raphael who, I freaking kid you not, is super wealthy and has a daughter named Muffy. Muffy!! Is there a more stereotypical rich kid name ever? I think she should have been named Super Spoiled Rich Kid instead. +3 for the continuing trend of stupid names.
Nona gets her own cute little romance with a guy from the village who remembers her from way back when. I have no problem with this and kind of liked the part where they let the dog decide if they should get married. -2 suckiness points.
Livie goes on her first date, with some random Italian guy who thinks she is older than 14, and misses her curfew but kisses him. +9 suckiness points for a combination of bad parenting and predatory grossness.
Gemma is constantly questioning her looks, despite the fact that there is a man who is seriously in love with her and keeps telling her how attractive he thinks she is. Confidence, woman! Why do women in these books always have self esteem issues? +5 suckiness points for boring old romance tropes.
Ben Raphael is wealthy, handsome, divorced, in love with Gemma and runs a vaguely defined “business”. I think he’s probably doing something really shady to make his money. It never says that in the book, it’s just the obvious conclusion. +3 suckiness points for more romance tropes.
For a good part of the book Ben is living at the villa and when he wakes up one morning and the shower does not turn on, he immediately thinks Gemma is to blame. Here’s the thing though, she was kissing him just the night before and although they are in a bit of a legal dispute, she gave him no real reason to think she would do anything like that. Hmmmm…. the shower didn’t turn on, I know! It’s the woman who was kissing me last night. Perfectly logical conslusion. +3 suckiness points for Ben being an idiot.
Ben also has weird things he says to Gemma. He literally calls her a walking disaster. He compliments her by saying she is “looking girly”, this despite the fact that he earlier thought how great it was she wasn’t hung up on make up and didn’t care about looking perfect all the time. (Spoiler Ben, she really is hung up on make up constantly and you could tell if you just read her inner dialogue like the rest of us did). Then he proposes to her in an Italian jail cell. Smooth move bro. +7 suckiness points for fake romantic moments.
At one point Ben and Gemma are… doing that… and while Ben is looking at her and says how much he wants her, Gemma looks behind her and then asks David, “Me?”. Uhhhh… you got a medical degree you say? But did you really? +3 suckiness points for making Gemma seem dumb, incompetent and way too self conscious with one word.
There’s this little side story where they chase around that shady lawyer guy but never catch him. It’s just an excuse for Ben and Gemma to get separated, go to somewhere else in Italy, and then hook up again. I had no problem with this. There are much worse reasons to run all over Italy and it gave the author more room to have nice descriptions of the scenery. -4 suckiness points.
Gemma is constantly thinking about how much she needs and loves her job. How it defines her. But in the course of a summer, she is able to just toss it overboard because she met a super rich guy and now her mother owns this villa. It didn’t seem like she was gonna keep doctoring either. Maybe that’s okay considering her track record of not great statements in this book. But still, if she felt it was so important, why give it up so fast? +9 suckiness points for sending the message that you should find your passion and then abandon it for a handsome, wealthy man.
Also, I am not saying New York City is better than Italy in any way, they are both good in their own way. But why do these books constantly insist that the best way to live your life is outside of a big, bustling city? What’s wrong with New York? Gemma leaves it without a thought and doesn’t seem to ask her daughter if that’s even okay with her. +2 suckiness points for small country bias.
Ben is constantly told by Gemma that she can’t love him. She explains how she will always love Chase which he understands. But he still is on her to say that she loves him, over and over. He proposes and her first reaction is to say no. So he makes her propose to him. Come on man, learn to take no for an answer. I mean, I know the book wouldn’t happen if she didn’t “truly love Ben” on the inside but when a woman says no, take it for exactly what it sounds like. I get it if you want to try again later after some serious discussion but in the moment it shouldn’t be, oh she can’t have meant to say no to me. +15 suckiness points for having to point out again what should be obvious to any decent man.
I’m going to give away Gemma’s big, deep dark secret about Chase. She had been in love with him and things were going well. But one night, after her shift ends, she asks David to come pick her up for coffee. He gets in a car accident and Gemma ends up treating him. It’s clear almost instantly that his injuries were too grave for even the best of doctors to save him. I thought her secret was going to be that she was overtired and made a mistake. Or that she blamed herself for not learning some new technique to save him. Nope. She blames herself because she invited him to coffee. Seriously. That’s her big secret. She invited a guy she loved for coffee once and he ended up in a fatal accident. For this she is torn up with guilt. She also dives in to her job because of it. I get the second part, and seriously, I know that grief does strange things to the mind but why would she think this was such a dark secret that she couldn’t ever love someone else because of it? +7 suckiness points for fake secrets.
The little romance with Livie and the Italian boy doesn’t go anywhere and she moves on like a perfectly healthy 14 year old girl should. -8 for not making it weird.
The book ends with telling us that they get married and live in the villa but whether they stay there or make it a hotel or whatever “is another story”. Good God, there’s going to be a sequel? Please, please, I am begging you, just.. just… don’t okay? +7 suckiness points for sequelitis (undiagnosed by Gemma obviously).
Suckiness meter deactivate!
Well, there you have it, the patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter worked like a charm! So what was the total?
Sucks = 97. Points taken away for non-suckiness = 20. Grand total of sucks = 77.
If you ever need to tell anyone how this book is, just let them know it sucks 77.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review more than I did reading this book. Next week I am going to be diving into paranormal romance with Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. A whole store of magic?! For a dime?! Count me in!. Uh, hey can I borrow a dime?
Here I am stuck in a dungeon with nothing but bad books to read. But sometimes I wonder what books I would put on my ideal bookshelf. If I was stranded on a desert island instead of this place, what five books would I most want to have with me? My list is below.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I know, I know, this is three books. But, it was intended to be one book so I am counting it as one. I can re-read this over and over and every single time I find something new to marvel at. It’s my favorite book ever.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – It’s an American classic and it even now seems to say everything you need to know about love, life and wealth.
The Stand by Stephen King – I had to have a novel by the worlds best horror writer. Technically this one is not exactly horror but it’s an amazing read.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas – Intrigue, revenge, politics, non-stop action, this book has everything to make a story great.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding – To remind myself how bad things can go wrong on a desert island. And because it’s a gripping, excellent read.
What are the five books you would bring on a desert island? Let me know in the comments.
In a world where cosmetic company executives are megalomaniacal jerks with no ethics…. wait that’s our world.
In a world where all the women think Benjamin Bratt is super hot… wait, still our world.
In a world where Halle Berry’s coworkers give her leather outfits for birthday presents… wait, probably our world again.
I’ve got it this time!
In a world where everyone’s favorite Catwoman is Patience Phillips (yeah definitely not our world) come along for a journey that could have been good but went as sour as a cat’s milk bowl left alone for a month.
Slick Dungeon here and I watch bad movies so you don’t need to. This week I put my eyeballs through Catwoman. I’ll give you a quick plot description and then I have some suggestions for this thing. So DC executives, if you are reading this, meet me at any time with lots of money and I’ll be happy to discuss further.
This film is about a meek woman named Patience Phillips who wants to be an artist but ends up working for a beauty company and making ads for them. The owner of the company is an evil jerk and his wife is even worse. See this beauty product is addictive and if you stop using it, your skin turns to rotted flesh. But also, if you keep using it, apparently you have some kind of super hard skin because, science.
Patience accidentally stumbles onto this evilness by trying to turn in her work at midnight in an off limits section of the office that she has no trouble walking through. The executive promptly kills Patience by flushing her out of a sewer pipe that is way too high up on the building to be realistic.
It’s not all bad news for Patience though because earlier in the day, she tried to rescue a cat outside of her building. As she was doing this, a cop named Tom Lone sees her and thinks she’s about to jump. So he rescues her by running up the stairs in a big apartment complex in under five seconds, going through her door which I have to assume was unlocked and catching her. They hit it off obviously.
Obviously also, is that the cat is a demigod cat who gives Patience cat CPR to revive her after she is flushed out into the water. So now Patience is not dead and she totally has the powers of a house cat. Okay, I’ll be generous, maybe it’s the powers of an outdoor cat. But Patience now has a memory gap.
She spends the next day doing things that are odd like you know, eating a ton of tuna, quitting her job, jumping around more than normal and having quicker reflexes than one would expect. I think this was also where she broke a date with Tom the police officer. Then in the evening she robs some jewelry and also beats up other jewel robbers. She decides to return the jewels and she writes the word sorry on it.
The next day she has a date with Tom in which she plays basketball according to no rules in any basketball game but apparently cats can dunk. With the help of very heavy editing. At one point she hands him a cup that says sorry on it.
While all the women stare at Tom because he is hot, he seems pretty dumb because he can’t put two and two together nor can he recognize Patience as Catwoman even though you can see most of her face. But that’s a DC problem not a Catwoman specific problem.
The rest of the movie is basically Patience figuring out that the beauty executive’s wife knows all about the evil beauty product and she’s willing to kill to make sure the thing goes on the market. It’s also about Officer Tom really being a bad detective and not understanding handwriting or evidence of any kind at any point until someone confesses to his face. There’s also a part where Patience meets her own personal Yoda. This is a crazy cat lady who somehow owns a huge place with tons of precious artifacts despite the fact that she had to quit teaching because she couldn’t gain tenure at a university due to sexist jerks. But you know, she does have the whole demigod cat thing living with her, so it evens out. She’s able to confirm that Patience is one of the “Catwomen” because she tosses catnip at Patience, who then rubs it all over her face. That’s apparently the test.
We get to see a fight between Halle Berry as Catwoman and Sharon Stone as Laurel Hedare who is just a woman with tough skin that looks younger than you would expect. Catwoman wins. Spoiler. Then Tom tries to get Patience to hang around and go steady with him but Patience is like, ” You see, sometimes I’m good. Oh, I’m very good. But sometimes I’m bad. But only as bad as I wanna be. Freedom is power. To live a life untamed and unafraid is the gift that I’ve been given, and so my journey begins.”
At that point we all know that there will never, ever, ever be a sequel to this train wreck and none of us mind.
But here’s the thing with this movie. It could have been good! There are parts that might have been interesting. Patience lives in a part of Gotham we don’t see very much. It’s where the real privilege in the city is and she’s just a basic worker there. We don’t have to have Batman to see that. They could have used the worlds favorite Catwoman, Selina Kyle. Halle Berry still could have played the character of Selena no problem.
And there was absolutely no need to give Catwoman supernatural powers. She is a cat burglar, not a freaking cat.
The villain was coming from a different angle than the weird and wonderful world of the Joker but could have been just as terrifying by really getting away with anything just by having money. It also would have been nice to just see Bruce Wayne somewhere in there and we could see that even Batman is not all powerful when it comes to the wealthy and that would have been really interesting.
Catwoman is supposed to operate in a gray area but Patience just seems wishy washy instead.
And while the performances could have been better, I honestly don’t think this one was Halle Berry’s fault. Yes, she had some terrible lines but she did not write the script. Yes, she delivered some lines really badly but the director didn’t choose to put in a better take. Also, she had a really good sense of humor about the whole thing. If you doubt me, watch her acceptance speech for her Razzie (be warned there is foul language) – it’s the best one I have ever seen. If you have to be in a bad movie, this is the way to be gracious about it.
So to sum up, next time you want to make a movie, DC, come and talk with me first. It’s going to prevent you from making a terrible mistake and it’s going to gain me lots of money so everyone wins.
I hope you enjoyed my review of Catwoman. If you did come back next week when I review Robot Monster. It’s gotta be better than Monster Robot right?
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