A Note About Book Reviews, Library Cards and Secret Pit Traps

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.

Stay safe out there!

Defensively yours,

Slick Dungeon

#realityhigh – #MovieReview

This Film is Netflix Famous

#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…

#Yours,

Slick Dungeon

Yoga Hosers – #MovieReview

I’m Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today!

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.

Candianly (but not really) yours,

Slick Dungeon

Barely Lethal – #MovieReview

Wait, Is this a Marvel Movie?

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?

Yup.

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!

Lethally yours,

Slick Dungeon

Halloween III: Season of the Witch – #MovieReview

I guess Michael MYers was Busy This year?

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!

Halloweenishly yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 31

I thought long and hard about what kind of horrors to drop on you on Halloween. There was so much to choose from, I decide to give you everything but the kitchen sink horror!

Visitors to the new Creepshow maze will be guided by The Creep, the skeletal namesake of the comic book. (Courtesy of Universal)
Jack Nicholson walking through snowy maze in lobby card for the film ‘The Shining’, 1980. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 30

Only one more day until Halloween! Our month of horror will soon come to a close. But not yet!

Who is the monster that stays dead for centuries but awakens to terrify the population as soon as you mess with his stuff? The Mummy of course!

Today you get, bandage wrapped undead horror!

What could I possibly have in store for you tomorrow? On the day of Halloween? Well, all I can say is there will be plenty of horror for you!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 29

What’s hairy, growls, bites and only comes out in the moonlight? The wolf man! There are so many iterations of werewolves but I think my all time favorite will be the original film classic.

Today you get werewolf horror!

What horror awaits you tomorrow? Let’s just say we’re going to need a lot of bandages.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

31 Days of Horror – Day 28

It’s the month of creepies and crawlies. And here on my blog we are celebrating all of what horror has to offer.

Today I present to you one of the most common phobias anywhere in the world. Today you get arachnophobia horror!

Who didn’t love John Goodman decimating these little suckers?

We’re getting really close to Halloween now.

Side note for those of you who follow my blog, I usually post a movie review on Mondays but since this week I am reviewing a Halloween movie, that review will come out on Halloween.

What horrors do I have for you tomorrow? It’s hairy, it’s fangy, and it’s hungry!

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon