Battlefield Earth – Movie Review

Cavemen make great fighter jet pilots

Lost in the mazes of this dungeon that I call home, I often have to use cunning and stealth to avoid being ensnared by dangerous creatures looking to do me harm. How I wish these creatures were even half as dumb as the villainous Psychlos from John Travolta’s pet project film, Battlefield Earth.

This movie is one of the greatest box office flops of all time. There are some who argue that this can be put in the so bad that it’s good category. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in bad films. This is simply so bad that it is bad. Totally and completely bad. I don’t find any redeeming qualities in this film and it’s downright painful to watch.

I’ll tell you the premise and then I’ll go into some finer detail on the awfulness of this abomination.

The year is 3000 A.D. and the human race has been nearly wiped out by a vicious, war hungry race of aliens called the Psychlos. When these aliens attacked, virtually everything on earth was wiped out. To the point that humans are basically living as primitive cavemen. They think that old structures that were once office buildings were built by “the gods”. They have some simple encampments and ride horses and things like that. Things that visually look almost identical to the opening of Planet of the Apes. There’s a standard heroic caveman dude with the standard heroic name of Jonnie. The humans at the beginning know that there is a threat out there but it seems like they haven’t encountered the aliens in a while because some think these creatures are real and some don’t. Caveman Jonnie is out hunting or something and comes across a few more cavemen and they are suddenly captured by the aliens. Just like Planet of the Apes they are then herded into cages and put to slave labor. They even get the same hose down. Then we get to meet the career defining performance of John Travolta.

Travolta plays the evil Psychlo, head of security, Terl. He has wild cackling laughter for no reason for most of the film. He overacts to the point of absolute insanity and most of the time he is talking to another Psychlo named Ker, played by Forest Whitaker of all people. You can feel Whitakerr’s pain just emanating out of his face the whole time, wondering how the heck he ended up in this film.

Back to a bit of the plot, Ter, wants to get off Earth and the only way he can do that is by making some money for this corporation on the Psyhlo home world. The Psychlos are pretty dumb though. They see humans as a menial labor species but don’t seem to think they are capable of using weapons, pushing buttons, or speaking with each other. In a weird effect in the film, the Psychlos and humans go back and forth, neither knowing the other language. It kind of works but it’s really distracting when they suddenly go from weird grunts in one perspective to speaking perfect English the next.

Jonnie, is able to nearly escape, kills a Psychlo and hangs onto the weapon. Ter’s reaction to this is disbelief but as soon as he sees that it’s true, decides to use the humans to mine gold.

Okay so to put this in a more succinct summary, bad aliens who are dumb, want cavemen who are slaves to mine gold. The cavemen want to not be slaves. With me so far? Good.

To train the humans, Ter hooks Johnnie up to this magic technology that will teach Johnnie the Psychlo language. But it doesn’t just do that, it also teaches him about the entire Psychlo history and culture. Johnnie is suddenly converted into the only human who actually knows what is going on. Now he’ll be able to mine gold and fly spaceships.

But of course, humans always endure so Johnnie is smart enough to figure out that he can use this to defeat the Psychlos. In the end, as expected the humans win.

Again to make this summary a little more succinct, the evil aliens give the cavemen the very technology they need to overthrow the aliens.

On the surface, in some ways this could have worked. Like say, if it had been, I don’t know, Charleton Heston playing the lead character and the bad guys were actually apes and we called it Planet of the Apes. At least in that one, Charleton Heston was not an actual caveman and knew stuff.

Now, one tendency I have when I watch virtually any movie is to overthink it. I wouldn’t write movie reviews if I didn’t. But here are some ways that this movie goes completely stupid.

The makeup on the Psychlos is absurdly bad. Don’t believe me? Look at the picture at the top of this post. That’s a rejected Star Trek alien if I ever saw one. These creatures are also supposed to be bigger than humans. I’d say they are roughly Shaq sized but the framing of the shots often makes the size relatively flexible and you really notice that. Also, why do they have fur on their hands?

The effects in this film are abysmal. They look clunky and weird compared to today’s films certainly but even for the time they were just bad. The blasts from the weapons are a vague streak of white light. At least make them red or blue or a bright color. Also, these guns sometimes outright kill, sometimes can blow a hand off and sometimes launch someone non-lethally through six panes of window glass. The ships look like there is no chance period they could stay airborne. The one or two shots we get of the Psychlo home planet looks like someone built the same building five bazillion times and then turned some lights on.

The acting is so bad. It’s not just John Travolta who fails here, it’s almost everyone. The cavemen are never believable at all.

Then there are the Psychlos and their plots. First off, fine they want to mine gold. why would gold in specific be a precious metal on any world besides earth? There’s no more intrinsic value to it than any other ore, especially if you come from a planet that is not Earth and might not even have gold. But okay, I can kind of get past that, there are other space movies where gold is precious.

But why would you give the humans access to all your technology? I mean any good warrior wants to know their enemy before the fight. But the Psychlos are like, hey here’s everything about us, have at it.

There’s good reason for the Psychlos not to go to where the humans mine the gold, the area is radiated. Why this particular kind of radiation doesn’t harm humans is never explained.

But instead of setting up some way of monitoring the humans. these aliens, who are smart enough to figure out space travel, don’t even think to monitor with some kind of camera to see what the humans are up to.

Then there are the cavemen. This is the oddest problem in this film. So, Jonnie is the leader and he got to learn from the magic machine. But they meet this other group of cavemen and they are never exposed to the magic learning machine. However, even without it, these cavemen are able to fly fighter jets. Why? Because it’s “like taming a horse”. Yup. Horses, fighter jets, pretty much the same thing for sure.

Also, the humans are able to defeat these Psychlos due to a series of ridiculous events. First of all, they fake mining the gold because Jonnie read about a place called Fort Knox. It’s convenient they had time to travel and get the gold and that they were easily able to break in and that the gold was still completely intact. Cause. you know, breaking in to Fort Knox should be relatively inconvenient for these guys right?

Conveniently, they are close enough to an Air Force base, the fighter jets still work, there seems to be working fuel which should have expired roughly one thousand years before, and they have nuclear weapons there.

There’s a fairly serviceable battle sequence at the end where the humans trick Terl into transporting a nuke to the home planet of the Psychlos but the visual of the cavemen in the fighter jet blows all credibility here.

In summary, do not watch this film. It’s not good. It’s worse than not good. It’s beyond terrible. Stay away at all costs.

This one left me frustrated enough that I want to go in a different direction for my next review. I am going to watch Undercover Grandpa. It could be about a grandpa who goes under cover, or it could be about someone who goes undercover as a grandpa but my bet is that this is ninety minutes of an octogenarian under a blanket.

Excruciatingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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Fatal Justice – Book Review

The manliest manly man to ever manly man

Here I am again, sitting in my dungeon, waiting for more light to seep through so that I can enjoy some of the myriad books I have on my shelves. Although, to be honest, I am not sure enjoyable is a word I would associate with this week’s book.

Many of my books are full of action and revenge plots. But none of them try to outdo the machismo that shows up in Fatal Justice. It’s not just hyper masculine, it’s downright hyper annoying. Let me give you a little summary of the book. Spoilers follow obviously.

A small town sheriff, Jack Lambert, spends a day and a half doing no sheriffing, drinking at a bar, hanging out with his girlfriend and murders a few bad guy mobsters. That’s the whole plot except to add that he also works for a secret government agency and has some spy equipment. Plus he has a dog.

There’s just not a lot to this book. It’s quite short (which I appreciate) but it’s also not surprising at all, very straightforward, kind of dull, and not a good book. It’s never a good sign when there are ads for a free book at the beginning and two other books in the series at the end. This author is begging for people to keep reading his stuff rather than, I don’t know, writing a good story and hoping people want to keep reading.

Jack spends the entire book thinking about guns, murdering people, sex, beer, and his dog in that order. Over and over again. I’m not sure if the author is really obsessed with these things, or just thinks that’s what a macho guy should think. It got pretty uncomfortable living in this guy’s head after a while. Let me give you some examples of his thoughts.

“…my Glock always gave me a warm fuzzy…”

“…if there was one thing I was really good at, and I mean Super Bowl Champion good, it was getting away with murder.”

“I shook away the vision of shooting all three of them in the parking lot and stuffing their bodies in the trunk in a compromising sexual position before taking a photo, posting it on their Facebook pages, and driving into the woods and setting it on fire.”

“She had probably been attractive sixty years ago, but old age and dementia didn’t excite me like they used to, so I kept my distance from her.”

“I flexed my pecs and drank some beer.”

“He had officially risen to equal the IQ of my dog London.”

That’s a small sampling but the entire book can be summed up with those quotes. It’s the same stuff throughout and it’s super clear the author just wants his character to be Dirty Harry. I’ve seen Clint Eastwood and Jack Lambert is no Clint Eastwood.

I should also mention that Jack is not that bright of a person, despite what this book wants you to think. This guy is some kind of super spy who does consultant work for this secretive agency. But unlike any good spy, he never seems to act in the capacity of his cover job of sheriff. He pretty much goes to a bar and drinks, but doesn’t seem to see the need to enforce any laws or even fill out paperwork or anything. At one point in the book he is trying to memorize a license plate. Normally I would say, sure that can take some mental capacity and depending on your vision you need to get up close to catch all the numbers and letters. However, the license plate in question is KING REX. That’s it. Pretty sure with normal vision you can see that and it’s not hard to memorize. Yet Jack makes specific mention of memorizing the plate and adds to himself that Rex in Latin means King so in effect the plate reads KING KING. So it wasn’t hard to memorize, he should be able to see it, and it’s unique in the little town he is in. Yet he spends like five minutes later in the book sneaking up on the car in the dark to see if he can see the plate. He seems to get really up close to the car too. That’s just not the work of a good spy.

Additionally, Jack takes this evil mob guy off to kill him but instead of doing the sensible thing and just shooting him and dumping his body, he just dumps the body into a well and then shoots. That clearly only happens so the mob guy can come back again. What kind of trained spy doesn’t make sure the body is dead?

Jack also thinks that a guy who has his life threatened by gunpoint and begs to be let go is “a submissive pansy.” Not everyone can be a manly man like you, Jack. It’s so great that manly men like you are around to do manly man things. Now to be fair the “submissive pansy” doesn’t do anything to try to stop a woman from getting nearly sexually assaulted, so it’s not like I like that character. I’m just saying that when your life is threatened, it can be reasonable to try to escape the situation.

I also thought this was a weird comment in the book in Jack’s head. “I silently vowed that my next girlfriend would be repulsive even to Shrek.” So a couple things here. One, Jack is so obsessed with how women look and bend over that even as a joke this doesn’t really work. Two, Shrek is all about inner beauty so uh, I think you were too dumb to understand Shrek there, Jack. Also, in the climax of the book when Jack is trying to get his girlfriend freed from the mob boss he thinks about how the forest always smells so good to him. Jack, focus. You need to focus here dude.

Now, Jack isn’t the only character in the book that either has odd thoughts or does things that make no sense. Here are some examples. Two mob goons call a waitress a wench. Wench? Really? Did we suddenly go the ren fair? Jack’s girlfriend, out of nowhere and with no previous mention of it, knows Judo. The mob boss saves his own life because he was a Boy Scout. That last one I didn’t have that much of a problem with but in the same section, he feels uncomfortable and disturbed because he is in the woods. Isn’t that where he learned his Boy Scout skills? At one point when the mob boss has Jack’s girlfriend hostage, and knows Jack is on his way to where they are, he takes the time to literally fondle and smell her high heels. Gross. And what? What kind of moron does that when you might get killed. I died sniffing sweaty shoes, but it was worth it!

In the end, Jack of course saves his girlfriend, gets to get away with murdering three people, feels no remorse about it other than the fact that his dog died (hmm… the dead dog thing reminds me of a certain film series) and continues to live in this town. Not sure why the town pays him to tell you the truth cause he just does murdery stuff and drinks. Although, technically Jack only throws the mob boss out of an airplane and doesn’t confirm the dude is dead, so maybe he only killed two people after all.

So, in conclusion, if you want a great story about a guy who is overly masculine, just re-watch Die Hard. You’ll have a much better time.

After all the violence, beer, sex and dogs of this book, I am going to try something a little lighter next week. I’ll be giving a read to Pets in a Pickle by Malcom D. Welshman. I’m thinking it’s either a really large pickle or small pets cause otherwise can’t they just eat their way out of it? We’ll see next time.

Miserably yours,

Slick Dungeon

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The Worst of the Worst of the Worst

What’s your least favorite book or movie?

I have seen and read a massive heap of bad books and movies. I’ve seen the lowest of the low, from poor mysteries badly solved to cheesey clowns from outer space. But I am wondering what you all out there who are not stuck inside the twisted mazes of my dungeon feel is the worst movie or book ever made. I know people like to slam things like Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey but is that really the worst we can get? I’m betting there is lower quality material out there. I am especially interested in the weird and offbeat but any bad book or film will do. If you know of a book or movie that you absolutely cannot stand, let me know in the comments below. Let’s find out together what is the worst of the worst of the worst. – Sincerely yours, Slick

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Transformers – Movie Review

Did we have to do this?

When I was a kid, before I fell into a dungeon, I had quite a number of toys that I loved. Top was Star Wars based toys, followed by He-Man and G.I. Joe but right after that without a doubt was Transformers. I have a lot of fond memories of the cartoon and the toys and spending hours with robots in disguise. But I never thought they would be cooler as a live action film. Turns out I (and a lot of other people) were right about that. Spoilers below if you have somehow not seen this film.

Before I body slam this film let me say, as a dumb, fun, summer blockbuster where you don’t need to think much (cause if you do this film makes no sense), this is fine. There are many, many worse films out there. Some of them are even in the Transformers franchise itself. So if you want to just enjoy this and not think much about it, I have no gripe with that at all. It’s not to my taste but disagreements are part of life so all good.

I thought long and hard about how I should review this movie. In depth analysis of a movie that expects you to believe cars can transform into thirty foot tall robots with gears and parts that were never in the car in the first place seems rather silly. Plus, there are professional film critics that have lambasted this film to hell and back and I don’t think i can say anything much more insightful than they did. So instead I am just going to list the good, the bad, and the ridiculous.

Before I do that, just in case anyone hasn’t seen this film, let me get a little summary of it written down. There are these robots looking for a mcguffin from outer space called the all spark. This mcguffin can vaguely menace earth because if it didn’t there would be no movie. There are bad robots that want it and good robots that don’t want the bad robots to get it. Some military types encounter these aliens in what seems to be an assault. A stereotypical nerd type character who is stereotypically bullied by stereotyped football bullies buys a car. That car happens to be one of the mcguffin seeking good robots. In the ultimate of convenient coincidences, this teenager (played by Shia LaBeouf in his twenties) has a great grandfather who has some glasses that can find the mcguffin. He gets intertwined with the military, a secret government organization and the good guy robots. Lots of explosions happen, a big robot who was in the Hoover Damn (???) gets awakened and threatens earth but the teenager dude, his very poorly developed love interest, secret government agents, and the good guy robots all team up to defeat the bad robots. We win, yay!

The good.

  1. Although the actors kind of phone it in, there’s no one here that I would say had such a bad performance that they ruined it.
  2. There are a lot of explosions and that can be fun right?
  3. Optimus Prime has the right voice.
  4. This was only mediocre at best so it can’t spawn sequels right?

The bad.

  1. The transformers go from reasonable looking vehicles to huge robots that seems to have an infinite amount of gears, paints and parts that were just not in those vehicles. This is probably minor to some people but come on, when they had the cartoon, you could still tell the robot that had been a truck was a truck. I hate how these things look now.
  2. There are so many lens flares in this movie and why is everyone sweating all the time? I mean you are either blinded by most shots or going, man they are so greasy and sweaty that I can smell it through the screen. This was a conscious choice on the part of the directors. Why???
  3. The camera doesn’t just look at but outright ogles every female in this film under the age of 35 and it’s especially disturbing when they do this to Megan Fox.
  4. Again this might be just me but I never needed to hear masturbation jokes in a Transformers film. It wasn’t funny and it’s awkward when the audience targeted in the marketing is like seven year old boys.
  5. See number four for when the robots swear.
  6. Did we need a thing from space for this to work? I can’t remember if that was in the cartoon or not but it seemed utterly stupid in this movie.
  7. The United States military had to give approval for the vehicles, uniforms, etc. that are shown in this film. This film has a vaguely defined government agency that doesn’t seem to be clear where it sits in regards to the military. The military signed off on this movie but wouldn’t let military planes be shown in The Avengers for the exact same things I just stated above.
  8. Michael Bay already has enough money so can he just stop already?
  9. There are super smart code crackers sitting in the Pentagon, who are surprised that the Secretary of Defense shows up. Seriously not showing your smarts there.
  10. Uh, there was this thing in the ice with a polar expedition and President Hoover so I guess we have Hoover to thank for us not being killed by robots before this?
  11. The run time of this movie is 2 hours and 23 minutes. I can watch like five hours straight of the cartoon and not be bored but I was checking my watch constantly on this film.
  12. There are more plot holes in this film than there are characters the whole MCU.
  13. In one spot, a military guy gives the teenager dude the Mcguffin and tells him he is a soldier despite the fact that there are actual soldiers who probably would have been more trustworthy with it and in way better shape to get to the vaguely defined objective.
  14. Why wasn’t Bumblebee a beetle? Because Michael Bay wanted more money.
  15. Everyone accepts that the Autobots are good guys because they pretty much say they are the good guys and not because they do good stuff.

The Ridiculous

  1. There ARE sequels to this.
  2. John Voight, Tyrese Gibson, and John Tuturo are all in this. Come on guys, you are capable of so much more.
  3. There ARE sequels to this.
  4. No one notices any of the bad robots because no one ever turns to look at the sound behind them.
  5. There ARE sequels to this.

I could probably go on with these lists for a while but instead I will just give some advice to improve this. I think what is missing is Marky Mark showing up in a future film having to do with King Arthur. That’ll work right?

Well, so ends another Monday Movie review from my dark and dank dungeon. It was a painful one but the next one on my shelf should cheer me up. I will be watching and reviewing, Battlefield Earth. That is supposed to take place in space, it’s under two hours long and it has John Travolta! What could go wrong?

Painfully yours,

Slick Dungeon

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A Hymn Before Battle – Book Review

Lifting weights makes you scowl

Before you walk in the halls of my dungeon any further, a warning. There are creatures that abound, lurking, practically invisible, at every turn. Many of them are just going about their day to day routines, on the hunt for sustenance and perhaps a little sport. Many of them are ugly, and grotesque, and would turn your hair gray or make it fall out if your hair is already gray.

However, none of them, not a single one of them, would I describe in the way that, John Ringo, does the alien race of the Posleen in his bloody awful book A Hymn Before Battle. Instead of using vague and menacing descriptions like I did above, he just calls them “centaur-looking”. Mmmhmmm, Yep. Initially that is how these creatures are described. It does not improve a lot from there.

This book is supposed to be a hard military science fiction epic. Ringo, nailed the very first word. It’s hard. Hard to read. Also it is far too long. This is just the first in a trilogy and I am not recommending to anyone ever that you read the first so I am going to assume the second and third are not any more worth it.

I’ll try to summarize this the best I can but honestly this book goes all over the place and is seriously confusing at times. The basic premise here is that earth has made contact with a federation of alien species. This federation needs help from humans because one type of alien from one planet or system or whatever is decimating the population of the rest of these aliens. The federation aliens are more or less pacifists so they decide to go to the warlike species of humans to, you know, kill stuff. Humans have a vested interest in doing so because in five years or so, the murdery aliens will be at earth and that ain’t gonna be good.

As far as a plot that doesn’t seem so bad to me and given a more talented author (paging Orson Scott Card for this one) might turn out to be good. While Ender’s Game took a decent idea and made it brilliant through memorable characters, a menacing threat and one major stunner of a surprise, A Hymn Before Battle decides to completely ignore that playbook. Instead we get heavy military jargon, a confusing set of timelines, characters that are nearly impossible to remember or keep straight and some of the oddest descriptions of aliens I have ever read.

The weird descriptions of aliens come later in the book but we get going early with an odd description of a human. One of the main characters, Mike O’Neal, is described this way, “his face fixed in a perpetual frown from weight lifting”. Weight lifting? Weight lifting gives you a frown??? Okay, Mikey, buddy, you are either lifting weights incorrectly or you are trying to make your jowls stronger by lifting with them.

A little more about Mike our weight lifting, scowling hero. He is the most fleshed out character in the whole book and that’s not saying much. We do get a little bit of background on him before the big reveal of aliens happens. He works in a tech office and seems to write military science fiction on the side, because, obviously this guy is a stand in for Ringo’s ego. He does feel a bit overlooked at the start of the book and laments not being a company commander because he wishes he could do something, “…important, useful, I don’t know, something more than building a really boss web page for the country’s fourth largest bank!” This ignores the fact that boss web pages for the country’s fourth largest bank totally rule. Non-boss web pages for the country’s third largest bank totally suck, so at least he isn’t doing that.

Other descriptions of humans get pretty clunky in this book too. Here’s a small sampling of the description of an officer. “Erect of carriage, his Battle Dress Uniform fit as if, contrary to regulation it was tailored. With closely cropped silver hair and glacial blue eyes he appeared to be exactly what he was: an iron-clad modern scion of the Prussian warrior class.” Say what now? I mean I get what the description is going for but did I start reading War and Peace or Gone With the Wind and not realize it? Clearly this guy doesn’t spend his time on building boss (or non-boss) websites.

The President in this book is basically a cookie cutter version of the one from Independence Day but he does say one line that stood out to me as super ridiculous, “We’ll fight in our boxer shorts before we’ll fight as slaves”. Are those really the only two options? Or maybe the President just really likes walking around in his boxers.

These weird descriptions continue, only more so once we are introduced to the enemy aliens, the Posleen. This is how they are initially described, “In general they are four legged sort of centaur-looking omnivores that lay eggs.” Not sure what they are in specific but I am going to assume, single legged sort of unicorn-looking carnivores that drink milk. The only real further description we get is when a video is shown of an attack made by these aliens. “Moments later leprous yellow-scaled legs with eaglelike talons entered the view.” Yeah, lots of centaurs with those… Later they are describe this way, “The aliens were Arabian-horse-sized centauroids. Long arms ending in four-digit talons, three “fingers” and a broad, clawed thumb, protruded from a complex double shoulder. The legs, ending in elongated talons, were longer than a horse’s, and sprung on a reverse double knee that seemed arachnid… Their long necks were topped with a blunt crocodillian snout. ” Thanks, Ringo, that clears it up in my mind a ton. It’s basically a menagerie of weird animals on a horse I guess? Maybe I’ll make a boss web page about it.

Now, the Posleen, obviously are not the only alien race in this book. There are more friendly aliens and here’s a little description of one of them. “The Indowy, those greenish dwarf-looking bipeds”. So we’ve got centaur-looking and dwarf-looking. Was this supposed to be a fantasy novel?

And if you are thinking that hey these centaur-looking menagerie creatures sound kind of cool and that could work, you haven’t had to slog through the few parts told from the aliens’ perspective. I’ll just leave you with one quote to demonstrate how bad this is. “Tele’sten, take your oolt to the lefto to support Alllllnt’s and prepare to recieve his oolt’os.” I think that quote pretty much explains itself don’t you? Seriously, if you are going to write about aliens, please don’t just mash a keyboard to come up with names. It never works.

Alright, I lied to you. I have to give you a second quote here, one that shows the dialogue more capable of readability but amps up the cartoonish aspect of these creatures to eleven. “And the structure of my enemies shall burn beneath my claws. I shall reap the blood and sear the bone. They will burn until the burning sends word to the demons of the sky that none shall oppose the A’al Po’oslena’ar!” I don’t know about you but I imagine this alien wringing his talons and cackling like Dr. Evil after that.

There’s also pretty poorly defined and often times nearly magical technology that the human soldiers get to use in their fight against the bad aliens. Seems no one in any military thought maybe inspection and adjustment of this stuff was a good idea. In one part a character named Sergeant Duncan is testing out this device that is more or less Jarvis from Iron Man and he literally cuts his roommate’s legs off with it. After this idiot does that, he tells his roommate “Forget it. They can regrow them now.” As if that wasn’t callous enough, Duncan then mopes about because he gets in trouble for it. Dude, you cut a person’s legs off, feel a little freaking remorse. Despite all that, this dude gets to keep right on soldiering.

Now, don’t ask me how these aliens knew how to make tech that would work for humans or why it sometimes is awesome and sometimes is pointless. But if this book teaches us anything, it’s that military officers are all idiots and no one would want to actually try and use this equipment prior to battle. It’s completely ridiculous. The enlisted guys basically have to fight with the upper brass just to train in these military suits that clearly are new to everyone. And the one guy who can use them (and did not cut anyone’s legs off with it) is shut down at every turn when he tries to show others how to. I mean, I know the military can be full of people that might make bad decisions and certainly mistakes are made but show me a military person who gets a new weapon and DOESN’T want to freaking test it??

Also, while the humans are flying to these planets they are on a spaceship that is totally unsuited to human size. Except for boss web page makin’ Mike’s room. So another officer asks him about it. This officer is specifically described as being about Mike’s size. Mike says he is able to have everything the right size because is about the size of the aliens so they listen to him. Then the officer says they don’t listen to his requests. Well then it isn’t the size thing is it Mike???

Then, even after a battle has begun where the soldiers pretty much get ripped apart, the officer who was against testing this stuff doesn’t want to take a call from scowling, weight lifting, Mike because he doesn’t want to hear, “I told you so.” The battle is still going on and this guy is too dumb to listen to the guy he realizes he should have listened to in the first place? That’s beyond stupid or incompetent.

The military jargon in this book is dense. There’s more TLA’s than you would find in a seven volume series of text books telling you how to design boss websites. And even when the acronyms don’t get in the way, what’s going on is about as clear as mud. Here’s a little sample, “Our mission is as follows: Task Force 2nd 3-2-5 Infantry has been tasked with defense of the III Corp flank in the area of the Deushi megalopolis where it is contiguous with the Nomzedi massif. The S-2 will brief on the threat situation.” Got it. I think that maybe there are some people defending some stuff in a place?

As an added bonus there is rampant sexism in this book. Women are close to non-existent. There are two women that actually get a description of any kind beyond what they are wearing and only one that does anything of action in the story. One is Mike, the scowling weight lifter’s wife. The other is a deadly assassin sniper named Ellsworthy. But here’s what the author wants you to know most about both of these women. They have perfect breasts. Ellsworthy has seriously cringe-y lines too. She’s out in space about to fight these murderous aliens and her comment is,”Damn, I wish there was a nail shop on this ball.” And that’s one of the least cringe-y things she says. Personally, I think the author needs to stop looking at boss web sites and maybe interact with an actual woman once in a while.

The end of the book gets a little better with a sort of epic battle going on. But this battle goes on for more than ten chapters so it’s a bit long winded. There’s also a side plot story about another group of soldiers that go to Indiana and have to clean up a riot at the army base. I imagine this will have something to do with the future books but I really could not care less about it. If you have to subject yourself to some really bad military science fiction I recommend just watching Starship Troopers instead of subjecting yourself to Ringo’s Posleen garbage.

In fact, this whole series is something I really couldn’t care less about. What I care about is making boss web pages for the country’s fourth largest bank! That’s what I am going to do until next time when I find out if in my dungeon I can get some Fatal Justice.

Agonizingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Surf Nazis Must Die – Film Review

The bad movie that is so bad it makes bad movies look good

While the previous two films I have reviewed on this blog are bad, I could argue that they are basically watchable for the so bad it’s funny factor. Not so much for Surf Nazis Must Die.

Despite having the best name this side of Snakes on a Plane, this movie is completely unwatchable. If you sat through Avengers: Endgame and thought, wow, three hours went by so fast, well this film is less than half that run time and feels four times as long.

The acting is abysmal for the entire duration. The cinematography does not work. The editing is off balanced and has some of the most jagged cuts I have ever seen in a movie. Roger Ebert famously walked out of this film after 30 minutes but my favorite reaction to this film, and perhaps the most on the nose is one provided by film critic Janet Maslin. She said, “Not even the actors’ relatives will find this interesting”.

The plot, what there is of it to call a plot, is meandering and dull. Apparently there was an earthquake, but we only know about that because sometimes people on the radio in the background mention it, and sometimes people in the film say things like, “The beaches have changed because of the quake”. Since film is a visual medium, you would expect to see some visual evidence of this so called earthquake but it pretty much looks like they just found cheap or abandoned locations to film on.

It’s supposed to boil down to a revenge plot where a man is murdered by surf Nazis and his mother breaks out of her retirement home to cause havoc to those who did her wrong. That plot could have kind of worked but it really doesn’t.

There’s a vague sense that there is a territorial turf war between rival surfing gangs on a beach in California. The Surf Nazis want to unite and dominate the gangs for… reasons? They have a guy who randomly has a harpoon gun, a dude that has a hook for a hand, and… you know what? There’s no point in really describing these people because they are utterly ridiculous. You would at least think we could find out why the guy with the hook hand has a hook in the early part of the movie. Instead, the film makers chose to wait until the last ten minutes to have the guy mention that a shark ate it. Nobody cares by then.

There is no character development for any single character in this film. None. These people are at best a caricature of a person. The best and only sympathetic character in the whole thing is Mama. This is the mother of the man who is killed by the Surf Nazis about a third of the way into the movie.

She goes to a harassed store clerk who sells her some grenades and a gun and she makes trouble for the Surf Nazis, ultimately killing them all. That sentence was about fifty times more exciting than watching it unfold on film.

The shots in the movie last far too long. There’s horrible synthesizer music throughout the whole thing that is supposed to build tension and be dramatic. It doesn’t come close.

The action, what there is of it, is slow and clunky. The fight scenes feel like these guys are just kind of slow motion wrestling. At least with The Toxic Avenger and certain other movies like it, you get a bit of a gore fest going on to maintain your interest somewhat. Most of the fights are bloodless and most of the deaths are off screen. The one supposedly shocking bit is toward the end when a speed boat decapitates a woman but the head floating in the water looks so fake it’s really kind of pathetic.

The one and only thing I can give credit for is that the Surf Nazis do die, so I guess it lives up to it’s title?

There are a lot of bad movies floating out in the ether and there are a fair number of them that I would say, if you are into it, are still worth a watch for one reason or another. This is absolutely just not one of them. Even if you are a fan of low budget B films, this one is not worth the effort.

I don’t want you to get the impression that in my dungeon I only have these cult classic films to watch and not be entertained by. People with a lot of money, resources, and access to quality actors, directors ans screenwriters also make terrible mistakes. So for my next film review, I will be delving into the first of the Michael Bay cash grab series, Transformers.

Until next time, don’t trust anyone who has a hook for a hand while visiting my dungeon. Just smile, nod and walk away while you still can.

In Search of Garbage

Hi all. Down in the caves of my dungeon I have scores and scores of books and movies. None of them are good. But sometimes I am not sure what to read or watch next. Do any of you out there know of terrible books or films you would like me to review? If so, let me know in the comments. If it’s on my shelves, I will get around to it.

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death

Only Roy can save us from this hell – spoilers below

It’s Fiction Friday here again in the dungeon. The light is dim and the walls are musty but the reading is… something to do. In my ponderous shelves I searched for a book and came up with the first in the supremely annoying Agatha Raisin series. It left me wondering just how painful gouging my own eyes out with a spoon actually is. Unfortunately for me, there are no spoons down here.

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death is essentially what you would expect it to be. It’s a murder mystery in a quiet little English village and our hero Agatha Raisin has to clear her own name by solving the case. Otherwise everyone will assume she is the murderer which we all know she is not. I don’t really have any issue with the premise of the story or even most of the plot.

The thing I cannot stand about this book is Agatha Raisin herself. I absolutely hate this character. People say that Millennials are entitled but that generation has nothing on Agatha when it comes to that department. I am going to walk you through the book and tell you all the ways that Agatha just completely gets under my skin.

To be fair, Agatha Raisin definitely has her share of fans. This is a strangely popular series and there is even a television adaptation of it. I haven’t watched it and I don’t plan to. If you are a big Agatha Raisin fan, that’s fine. You and I are going to have to agree to disagree. The difference is that when guests in my dungeon disagree with me, sometimes they get lost in the mazes for quite some time. But I’m sure you and I will get along fine.

The story starts off in London where Agatha has decided to give up her successful Public Relations firm and go live in a quaint little village in the Cotswolds. At the party for her leaving she is given what I can only describe as an inappropriate gift of undergarments from one of her assistants named, Roy. We’ll talk more about him later but let’s just say he could be the key to everyone’s sanity in this whole series.

Agatha makes her big move and immediately hates it. She is able to afford an interior decorator to spruce up the place before she even shows up. Agatha is also not a big believer in actual truth. We know this because she watches a reporter in Riyadh on television and her first thought is that he should have just reported in front of a fake palm tree in London. Fake news at it’s best. I won’t go into how, you know, a journalist can probably report the news better where it is happening but that just gives you a glimpse into Agatha’s flexible morality.

She also has a bookshelf with cookbooks that she has never opened. She is specifically mentioned as having only read the kind of books you read to impress people. Then like a paragraph later the author mentions that Agatha reads Agatha Christie books. Those are not the kinds of books people read to impress other people. Those are the kinds of books you read because they are good. So, to sum up Agatha Christie good, Agatha Raisin not good. Also, the frequent mention of Agatha Christie novels is supposed to make you think, oh cute, Agatha Raisin, is also named, Agatha, just like that famed mystery writer who actually wrote good books. Ughh.

Throughout the whole book Agatha wants everyone to instantly like her but she never does anything that would let anyone like her. She kind of says hi to neighbors and assumes that they should all be best friends now.

To ease a bit of her growing loneliness she goes back to her old office to say hi to her old staff. When she gets there and sees that the company she sold it to actually did stuff to the office, she gets royally pissed. I mean, she sold it but she still expects the people she sold it to should do what she wants? What is that?

Agatha also bullies every single receptionist, waiter, or low level assistant she comes into contact with, She acts in ways that would get an actual person kicked out of an office or restaurant and in ways that had the book been written now, would have ended up as viral videos where she gets a nickname like Agatha the Annoying. Or worse. Use your own imaginations for that. If you need a suggestion, try rhyming it with Magatha the Mass Mole.

We also get a small glimpse into Agatha’s life when she was younger. To sum it up here, she leaves her alcoholic parents without a word. I partly understand that and if she was treated badly, it can make sense but she didn’t even leave a note or anything. Then she promptly marries an alcoholic man, lives with him for two years then leaves him without a word. This is becoming a pattern and it’s so blatantly obvious that the author put this little nugget in so that five books down the line the long lost husband will pop back up and annoy us all again. Agatha assumes he is dead, so that’s code to us the reader, that he is gonna pop back up at the worst time possible later in the series.

One of the very first things Agatha does in her new neighborhood is to steal the housekeeper out from under her neighbor. Because she could. She doesn’t even put an ad in anywhere. She simply asks her neighbor if she knows of anyone who cleans houses. The neighbor says she only knows of her housekeeper and Agatha goes and steals her. That’s awfully entitled behavior.

Still, Agatha wants to be loved and adored in her community so she sees that there is a quiche competition for homemade quiche. Agatha asks one of her neighbors how to enter. The reasonable reply she gets is that she can read the information on the flyers that are all over town. Does Agatha do that? Heck no. She instead decides to take her neighbors out to dinner to get more information about it. If I was her neighbor I would have been left wondering if Agatha was illiterate or just lazy.

Agatha gets the dirt on the competition, finds out that it’s consistently won by the same person year after year and decides to buy a quiche from a bakery. She has no qualms about cheating, or fairness, or being an honest human being for even the slightest of moments. Again, more entitled behavior here. And not only that but she thinks to herself that her quiche, that she did not bake, and clearly broke rules to enter, had better win.

The next day Agatha eats at a restaurant that has some rich and famous people in it. She thinks of these as her people even though she doesn’t know any rich or famous people. Yet it was stated earlier in the book that Agatha ran a successful PR firm with famous clients. Which is it?

You can probably guess where this is going. Agatha loses the competition and she assumes it is rigged because she didn’t win. Not because the same woman wins every year, because Agatha didn’t win. That night, the judge, Mr. Cummings-Browne, takes a bite of Agatha’s leftover quiche and kicks the bucket.

There’s a whole lot of plot nonsense that goes on but it’s the standard solving a mystery kind of thing you would expect. Instead of go through all that, let me just provide you with some insight into not only Agatha but some of the other characters and events that occur.

The cops in this town strike me as exceptionally dumb. First, they figure out that Cummings-Browne’s death was not from natural causes. Then they decide that it could not have been poisoning because they find out the quiche came from a bakery. Because, you know, packaged food can’t be poisoned once opened or anything. They also find out that the quiche came from Agatha so they promptly ask her to bake them a quiche. Look, I’m not Sherlock Holmes but if I suspect someone could have had anything to do with a poison quiche, I think the last thing on my request list is to ask that person to make me a quiche. And in my final evidence that the police here are not all that bright, one of the cops says that it couldn’t have been the wife because the murder had to have been premeditated. Uh, yeah, hello? That’s how most spousal murders occur (at least in fiction, not sure of the actual crime statistics). Anyway, why would having to think about it first mean someone couldn’t have done it?

Agatha is also seriously judgmental of people based on their looks. Herself included really as she is constantly thinking to herself that she is too fat. But she thinks that Bill Wong, the police officer is too small to be a police officer. She thinks her ex-assistant, Roy is too effeminate. And at random times she wants to slap people for laughing.

A lot of the time in this book is spent describing meals that Agatha eats and is annoyed she has to pay for at restaurants. In fact every single time she buys a meal for anyone other than herself she complains internally about the cost. But it seems to me she has a good amount of money, so that’s just being a cheap skate.

I also want to take a minute to talk about how although this is a crime mystery novel, and Agatha basically solves the mystery, she can somehow still be a terribly naive sleuth. For starters, Agatha wants the death to be a murder because that would be better for her since she could solve it and people would somehow forget about her cheating in the contest. My guess would be people would think, hey, there’s Agatha Rasin, the woman who cheated in the quiche contest, the judge dropped dead and she somehow solved the murder. Awfully convenient for her. It’s demonstrated in the book that Cummings-Browne was having affairs all over the place, yet Agatha and the cops are surprised that a lot of women go to his funeral. Once Agatha figures out who likely committed the murder, she rushes over to the suspected poisoner’s place and promptly drinks tea. How freaking dumb do you have to be to do that? And to only Agatha’s surprise the tea was totally poisoned.

But perhaps the most egregious example of Agatha’s annoying entitled attitude has to do with her ex-assistant Roy. You can tell from Agatha’s internal monologue that she barely thinks of Roy as a real human being at the start of this story and it hardly gets any better from there. She assumes that if she goes back to London and opens a new PR firm, Roy will automatically want to work with her again. When Roy comes to visit her, she complains about everywhere he and his friend want to go. For this charity auction thing she comes up with, she forces Roy to put on a ridiculous costume and pass out flyers. When Roy gets any credit for the auction in the press, Agatha hates it even though she told Roy he could have the credit for it. And she forces the poor guy to ride her bike instead of take her car to do all this. Then she has him help her inflate the bidding, justifying it to herself that it’s all for charity. Charity is great and all but Agatha is only doing this so that her neighbors will like her in the first place, so I don’t think it counts for much.

The conclusion of the book is basically that Agatha solves the case, nearly dies, is rescued by the cops, the cops take credit for solving the case, but we all get the impression we have not heard the last of Agatha solving mysterious deaths.

I propose an alternate ending to this. Let’s just realize at the outset that this little village that was basically at peace before Agatha came along now has a serial killer in it. I mean, she appears in 29 novels and 3 short stories. Assuming a body shows up in each one of those, there is no way Agatha is not the ultimate culprit. Here’s what we’ll do instead. Roy, you know you want to get rid of Agatha. She belittles you, she uses you, she even wants to control your love life. I’m sure you can’t stand her anymore than I can. Roy, I am begging you, invite Agatha over for some tea. She’ll drink it without question. You can slip something in there and we can be rid of her. The cops are too dumb to figure it out because you would have had to think of it ahead of time. You’ll not only get off scot-free, you’ll be preventing 31 future murders. Help us, Roy, help save us from this hell!

That’s all for this week but next week, I am going to take a look at A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo and see if this is a quality piece of science fiction, or a bunch of swill just waiting to be made into a bad made for television film. Until then, stay silent and in the shadows as you exit Slick’s Dungeon of Dusty Tomes.

The Toxic Avenger

Melvin Ferd for President? Spoilers follow

There are many strange creatures lurking around down here in my dungeon. Some are harmless and just make noises, others are nefarious and threaten the safety of my guests. As you make your way through be sure to watch your step for any hidden springs or traps. But even if you spring one, you are not going to find anything as weird and unique as The Toxic Avenger.

Released in 1984 this film was a blend of a superhero origin story, a body horror film, and a romantic comedy, with some political commentary thrown in. If you are thinking to yourself that is too much for one film to contain, you are absolutely right. This movie tries to do so many things and it’s so weird that it easily achieved cult status for directors and producers, Michael Herz, and Lloyd Kaufman. This would probably best be described as a low budget B film but it really sits more around a Z film.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it. From the opening we are warned that this film contains graphic violence. It absolutely delivers on that promise. I’ll site some specific examples as we go along but if you want to say one thing positive about the film makers here, it’s that they do not lie to you.

Let me give you a brief rundown of the film and along the way I will show you how this is actually a progressive film that would be right at home with the platform of any 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate.

In the opening shots and voice over we are shown New York City and told that pollution is a necessary byproduct of today’s modern society. To emphasize the point we get a close up of a filthy field with barrels of chemicals lying near the water. It’s not that far off of a description of how New York City actually was at that time.

Next we see the small, nearby town of Tromaville, the toxic chemical capital of the world. Not only do we hear that in voice over, it’s right on the sign for the town. Right off we know that toxic chemicals are about to change someone’s life forever. How do we know that? We are told in voice over.

If you are getting the impression that the film makers do not trust their audience to figure things out, that’s because they do not. The story centers around a scrawny janitor named, Melvin Ferd. He mops at the local health center and is a ninety-pound weakling similar to, Peter Parker, prior to his radioactive spider bite.

He even gets bullied by the two town bullies. Because the film makers want to make sure you know that they are villains, these bullies are named, Bozo, and Slug. The reaction these guys have to even seeing, Melvin, is to literally scream. It’s hilarious because it’s so over the top.

In order to establish that Slug, Bozo, and their girlfriends, Julie, and Wanda are seriously evil, we first hear them talk about doing hit and run driving. Then we see them late at night in their car, cans of beer and bottles of alcohol lying everywhere as, Julie, goes over the rules of the hit and run game. There’s some racist stuff thrown in that I’m not a fan of but establishes even more what horrible people these are. Julie, reminds, Bozo, that if you hit a kid with the car, it’s double points. Looking at the darkness of the scene you would have to guess it’s around midnight at this point. In one of the parts that I find weirdest and funniest, a mom tells her son, Skippy, to put on his helmet as he gets on his bike. Who lets a kid go riding at midnight? Anyway, Bozo, sees the kid and seconds later he is flattened, head squished like a Halloween pumpkin. Graphic violence delivered.

After this, one of the few jokes that hits it’s mark in this movie is made. Bozo, wants to go do it again, find a new victim. Slug, says he can’t because he has to get up early. When the other three ask him why he replies that he has to go to church. To which they all nod as if this is a perfectly reasonable excuse. For some reason it cracks me up every time.

The next day we go back to, Melvin. Julie, comes up with a plan to trick, Melvin, into an embarrassing situation. She basically convinces him that she wants to make out with him by the pool. But only after he puts on a ballerina outfit with green polka dots and a pink tutu. No one ever said, Melvin, was smart. Melvin, enters the pool area in the dark (why he couldn’t find the light switch since he works there is beyond me) and finds what he thinks is, Julie. The lights come up and we see he is fondling a sheep. Not only that, the sheep is wearing lipstick and the pool is entirely crowded with people. Not a chance, Melvin, would have avoided colliding with some of them getting over to, Julie.

In embarrassment, Melvin, jumps out of the window and lands in a barrel of toxic waste. it was conveniently placed there because the drivers of the toxic waste truck decided to stop and do some drugs. So, Melvin, landing in the waste, gets out, is covered in green sizzling goo and is screaming bloody murder. Bozo, assumes he’s faking it. No one ever said, Bozo, was smart either. A police officer tries to help but his hands burst into flames upon touching the waste. Melvin, himself catches fire but it’s so obvious that the stunt double is nowhere near Melvin’s size that it’s comical.

We get to see, Melvin, transform, again much like, Peter Parker, but, Melvin, becomes grotesque as well as muscular. He still has his mop and tutu though. For reference see the picture at the top of this post.

Melvin, basically goes into hiding in a junk yard. We get to see that there is one honest cop in Tromaville and he comes across a gang of thugs including one named, Cigar Face. These thugs beat the cop up and in case you didn’t get it, Cigar Face, takes his cigar and burns the cop’s face saying, “Now you’ll see why they call me, Cigar Face!”. Subtext does not exist in Tromaville. But before much real harm can come to the officer, Melvin, shows up and rips them apart. And I mean literally. More graphic violence delivered. Cigar Face does get away though. Toxie, (the affectionate name given to the monster) leaves mops in their faces. I don’t know where he got the mops either.

Melvin, apologizes to the cop for getting so out of control. The town however, welcomes the monster as a hero. Despite the fact that everyone saw, Melvin, land in the toxic waste, no one seems to connect the two.

The only people who seem upset about this monster are those working in the Mayor’s office. Political corruption at it’s most obvious and finest. See these bad guys are on the payroll for the Mayor and are giving him a cut of their ill gotten gains. What do they do to get this money? No idea and it’s not explained in the movie.

Next we see, Toxie, making a home for himself more or less and this scene goes on for way too long. He spruces up the junkyard as best he can., including hanging a picture of his mother that he didn’t have in the previous shot. While this is going on, the Mayor is engaged in a land development scheme that is going to put toxic waste even closer to the water, endangering the population further.

Now to really establish that bad guys are bad and that, Melvin, aka, Toxie, is good, we see him disrupt a robbery and assault at a taco restaurant. The robbers are comically dressed and even introduce themselves to the crowd. They kill one of the innocent customers and within moments, Melvin, shows up. Here is also where the romance part of the film comes in. The robbers threaten a blind woman and kill her service dog. Needless to say, Toxie, is not okay with this behavior. He seriously destroys them, putting one into the hot oil machine, one into the oven, and making a literal milkshake out of a third. At one point he even pulls an arm off wookie style.

The blind woman, Sara, is eternally grateful and since she can’t see is not afraid of the monster. The film makers are still not sure if you think, Melvin, is the good guy so they have a scientist come on and proclaim that the monster must have a drive to destroy evil people since the only people the monster has destroyed are evil. Also, just in case you didn’t get it, the scientist explains that the monster was exposed to toxic chemicals. Still no one in town seems to think this is, Melvin. Also, the scientist tells us that the monster has a basic instinct to seek out and destroy evil. This basically gives the film free licence to show a lot more graphic violence later in the film.

Sara, and, Melvin, continue to fall in love. Some really horrible blind jokes are made but in all it’s kind of weirdly sweet.

Melvin, returns to familiar territory and goes back to the health club to seek out and destroy evil. A dude’s head is smashed with a weight machine, mop shoved on top afterwards, Wanda, is roasted over hot coals and another set of street thugs is ripped apart. Even more graphic violence delivered.

Bozo, and, Slug, attempt another hit and run but are foiled because, Toxie, moves the kids out of the way. Why they were sitting in the middle of the street is beyond me. This kicks off a montage of the monster helping people around town. The public is solidly on his side.

The mayor gloats about how the monster hasn’t gotten them yet, setting us up for the final conflict. Meanwhile a few of the thugs who had gotten away (including, Cigar Face) try to kill, Melvin, but he jumps out of the way and they all kill each other in ridiculously stupid fashion. We get more scenes of, Melvin, and, Sara, falling for each other.

Julie, is still alive so, Melvin, goes to the health club to kill her. He succeeds but, Slug, and, Bozo, are still alive and ready to hit and run again. Since, Julie, is not around to bring the car around, they decide to steal a car from an old lady. In a ridiculously crazy scene, they beat the old lady and take the car. I think they put this scene in because maybe for a minute the audience might have forgotten that these are bad guys.

In sweet revenge, Melvin, kills, Slug, and tells, Bozo, that he is, Melvin, as he causes their car to crash. Bozo, dies and, Toxie, survives.

Next, Melvin, kills a seemingly innocent woman at a dry cleaners. The Mayor figures he has the monster now and can call in the National Guard. Melvin, tries to hide away with, Sara, because he thinks he has gone too far. But it turns out the little old lady was head of a slavery ring, so he’s still only killing evil people.

A search ensues but the cop who was saved by the monster is opposed to killing the monster. He and a group of other civilians agree that they have to help the monster. In the climax of the film, the cops find the monster, with help from the National Guard. The whole town (or at least as many extras as they could get for the scene) show up also. Tromaville is still on the side of the monster. Only the little guy can save, Melvin, now.

With rifles and tanks aimed at, Melvin’s, tent, the crowd steps up. They proudly proclaim that the soldiers will have to shoot them if they want to shoot the monster. For some reason, at this point, the town seems to know that the monster is, Melvin. (Well at least his mother does) The soldiers and police officers refuse to comply with destroying, Toxie.

The Mayor is still bent on destroying the monster and shoots at him several times to no effect. Toxie, literally rips his guts out in maybe the least realistic looking graphic violence of the whole film.

The crowd goes wild and we go into an eighties pop song celebration crowd scene. We can’t end the movie without another voice over though, so we are told that the next time you are in danger, maybe, just maybe, the Toxic Avenger will be there.

So, why do I think this movie is progressive at it’s core? They want to clean up the environment. The Toxic Avenger shows what the harmful results of pollution can be. They want to clean up corruption in politics. Sure, they use over the top graphic violence to do it, but isn’t cleaning up corruption half of what the candidates are saying now? Melvin, treats his blind girlfriend with compassion, courtesy and respect, so this movie respects the rights of the disabled. (Ok so maybe the blind jokes don’t but still). There are even openly gay characters in this film. They are entirely played for laughs but in 1985, when there was basically zero representation, at least it was something. And obviously since, Toxie, doesn’t try to kill them, being gay wasn’t considered evil by this film, which could be taken as a progressive stance at the time. Melvin, even believes in following the rules of the road as he ensures safe driving by getting rid of the town bullies.

So, if you are thinking that the Democratic Presidential field is a little overcrowded, and not another candidate could make it on the ticket, well, you have not yet considered, Melvin Ferd, a.k.a., The Toxic Avenger

I hope you enjoyed this review. I am absolutely not making the claim that this is a good film. In fact it’s downright bad, but it’s so weird that if you can handle it, it’s absolutely worth a watch.

A few more notes about this film. Not only did it spawn sequels, but there is a musical about it and it inspired a kid’s Saturday morning cartoon show. Also, I just found out that a reboot is being planned. I will say this though, if they try to use CGI for the gore, if they try to make the plot more coherent, and if the acting is any good at all, then a reboot will not work at all. Trust me, it’s the bad parts of this movie that make it good.

Come back next week when I will find out why Surf Nazis Must Die.

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