Mitchell and Final Justice

Today you get two movies, but they both star Joe Don Baker.

Mitchell Loose Cannon
He’s a loose cannon.

In Mitchell, Baker plays an unlikeable anti-hero named, surprisingly, Mitchell.  Mitchell is one of those loose-cannon kinds of police detectives that chiefs are always grumbling about.  He’s an out of shape, alcoholic piece of crap living in a garbage-and-porn-cluttered apartment.  He won’t hesitate to get into an argument with a child, he doesn’t treat his prostitute all that well, AND he has his own theme song.  He’s inept, stupid, incompetent, and dangerous… but he always get his man.

Mitchell Beer
Beer and hookers and a cool apartment. Cool life.

Baker does a pretty good job of bringing to life a character who doesn’t care about how he looks or smells, or whether he obeys the law or shoots anyone who gets in his way so long as he accomplishes his own goals on his own terms.  The movie has a bit of violence, unwanted sex scenes, slow car chases, questionable editing, a helicopter chasing a boat, fights, and good dialog.  I recommend watching it.  There’s a Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, but it’s not necessary to enjoy Mitchell.  I’d actually recommend watching the movie on its own, then watching the MST3K version.

Mitchell v. kid
Granted, the kid’s an asshole, but Mitchell is infinitely worse.

Once you’ve done that, you can turn your attention to Final Justice.  This time, Joe Don plays Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, a Texas sheriff and total jackass.  When his partner is killed by an Italian mobster, Geronimo tracks the guy down and escorts him back to Malta… but the guy escapes, so Geronimo rampages across foreign soil with no regard for anything but his own goals on his own terms.

Final Justice
Sheriff America McJackass Fuckyou-s-a. Texas rules.

He’s no Mitchell, but he still holds his own in recklessness and overall unlikeability.  There are car chases, boat chases, boobs, brawls, gun fights, and swear words.  How does a small town sheriff from Texas NOT create an international incident while run-and-gunning all over Malta?  Who cares?  Geronimo is so badass, consequences never matter.  This one also has an MST3K version, and it’s worth watching either way.

I’d be more likely to own Mitchell and just watch Final Justice, but if you’re going the MST3K route, you may as well own both.

Daughters of Satan

Daughters of Satan Tagline
It looks like a romance novel, but it’s even better.

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this one, but Daughters of Satan is an early ’70s horror film starring Tom Selleck.  This was one of his earliest roles, possibly his first starring movie role, and not one he’s really remembered for.  If you can believe it, this movie doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry.  In fact, go look at Tom Selleck’s Wikipedia page right now- there’s no mention of Daughters of Satan, other than being listed on his filmography at the bottom!  Baffling.

Daughters of Satan Tiny Mirror
Now I know that I look like the girl in this painting. Thanks, tiny mirror.

Selleck plays James Robertson, who buys a painting of three witches being burned at the stake, and it turns out that one of the witches in the painting looks a whole lot like his wife, Chris.  As usual, buying a weird painting lands the buyer in a world of witchcraft, disembodied voices, bad housekeepers, reincarnation, cults, and wives going insane.  PLUS, he’s living in the Philippines, so everything is exponentially worse.  The ’70s spawned a slew of bad horror movies, but Daughters of Satan wasn’t one of them.

Daughters of Satan Conquistador
Tom Selleck can say he’s been dressed like a conquistador. Can you?

Daughters of Satan rates at 3.7/10, but if you want a point of reference on that, The Conjuring (2013) has a 7.7/10, An American Haunting (2005) has a 4.9, and Paranormal Activity (2007), which deserves a 1/10, has a 6.4/10.  None of these movies are even close to good, let alone being better than Daughters of Satan.  It has B-Movie qualities, while still being good enough to not have to call it a “good bad movie” behind its back.  Look, it has a 1 star review on Amazon because it’s insulting to pagans.  Don’t take the criticisms seriously.  Daughters of Satan is worth watching, and it has a good ending.

Get it on Amazon.

Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared-Syn

Metalstorm Hero Dogen
THIS guy is your protagonist.

Metalstorm is brought to you by the same guy who brought us Puppet Master.  It’s not much like Puppet Master, though.  It’s maybe like The Road Warrior with sorcery and some high-tech stuff.  Or maybe it’s like a really, really reduced Wild Arms.  If you took the first Wild Arms, and diluted it a LOT, you’d get this movie.  It’s got a little bit of everything in it- there’s skybikes, magic crystals, a cyborg, Richard Moll, swords, and a guy who’s reluctant to help Dogen, but then helps Dogen.

Metalstorm Dogen is not a wiener
And he’s not a wiener, he’s really cool.

Made in 1983, Metalstorm follows a space ranger named Dogen, who is trying to destroy Jared-Syn.  Jared-Syn is some type of intergalactic techno-sorcerer on a crappy, boring planet who leads a group of thugs called the “One Eyes.”  They are called the One Eyes because they each gouge out one of their own eyes so they can be more like cyclopes.  Cyclopes is the plural form of cyclops.  Syn’s second in command is the leader of the mutants from Heavy Metal that Taarna had to kill.  The One Eyes also have red crystals that eat your life force, so don’t let them touch you.

Metalstorm Cyclops Moll
They poke their own eyes out so they can be Cyclopes.

You can get a feel for this movie by watching just about any other early 80’s movie.  Think Star Wars, Tron, The Road Warrior, Tron,  The Dungeonmaster… Dogen finds the mask of the Toa of Light, and it sends him on a drug trip to visit a burning tree that moans and bleeds.  Most interesting of all is that the title lies, and Jared-Syn never gets destructed.  In fact, he escapes in the end.  I don’t know.  Metalstorm veers toward being boring, but it has enough going for it to maybe watch one time.  I probably wouldn’t sit through it more than that.

Metalstorm Laser
The movie was originally in 3-D can you imagine how cool this looked?

Get it on Amazon.

Mac and Me

Man and Me Mac
Make him cute, like E.T. // Ok, here you go.

Remember E.T.?  Its original working title was E.T. and Me.  Stewart Raffill remembered it so well that he made his own version of it called Mac and Me.  This movie is basically E.T., but with a lot more product placement.  Much, much more than E.T.  E.T. has product placement, sure, but Mac and Me takes it to Super Saiyan levels.

Mac and Me MExican Standoff
Holy god, kill them!

Mac is a “mysterious alien creature” who subsists on  Coca-Cola and Skittles.  He initially lives with his horrific, emaciated family on another planet until NASA lands there and sucks them all up in a vacuum and brings them back to Earth.  After escaping NASA HQ, Mac terrifies children, trashes houses, and dances at McDonald’s.  More like MacDonald’s, amirite?  Oh, also, his little boy sidekick is in a wheelchair.

Mac hangs out with children while NASA hitmen hunt him down.  And the movie ends with the words “We’ll Be Back!” over the final frame… so already, they expected this behemoth to be a giant success.  Unfortunately for them, the only thing this movie succeeds at is failing.  It was not well received, though it did win a couple of Golden Raspberries, and was nominated for Worst Picture BUT LOST TO COCKTAIL.   Tough call, I guess.  Also, this is how Jennifer Aniston broke into showbiz.

Mac and Me Nationalize
WHERE in America would this be ok?

So, if you’ve seen E.T., this is the Best Choice version of that movie, if it had fallen off the delivery truck and sat in a gutter for several weeks, with a bunch of dead pigs and dogs and hitchhikers, while the weather alternated between record highs and lots of rain.  It’s pretty great.  I made it sound terrible, but it’s worth watching, so go watch it. If you need extra convincing:

The kid’s name is Eric, but doesn’t he look like a Jodie?

Get it on Amazon.

Tiptoes

Tiptoes Couch Legs
Yeah, that looks real. (said without sarcasm)

Oh, Tiptoes.  This movie is a special sort of mess.  It’s not quite a Perfect Storm, and it’s very much unlike most movies anyone has ever made.  People do not seem to like this movie.  Reviews on Amazon and IMDB tend to rate it low.  I love it, though.  So much so, I bought it on DVD.  You may not want to go this route… Tiptoes isn’t going to be for everyone, but it’s got this great combination of elements that make it difficult to resist.  Gary Oldman plays a dwarf.  Not a Middle Earth dwarf, I mean a real one, like Peter Dinklage and Michael J. Anderson.  Both of them are in this movie, too.

Tiptoes Long Arms
If he rests his arms, they would touch the ground.

Gary Oldman is a dwarf named Rolfe.  He’s from a family of dwarfs.  Everyone in his family is a dwarf, except for his twin brother, Matthew McConaughey.  This isn’t a comedy, mind you, it’s… I don’t know, a drama, I guess.  Oldman is clearly older than McConaughey and Oldman clearly isn’t a dwarf.  McConaughey gets his artist girlfriend, Kate Beckinsale, pregnant, and has to reveal that he’s from a family of dwarfs.  It doesn’t go well, and Beckinsale ends up spending a lot of time with Oldman, learning all about dwarfism and the accompanying lifestyle, while Dinklage and Patricia Arquette alternate between having sex and fighting in the background.

Tiptoes The Wedding Kiss
Th-is is how peo-ple ki-ss.

So.  I mean, that’s the premise.  You can see a couple of screen shots here.  Tiptoes is what it is.  Silly, mostly.  It tries to be serious, but the dialog doesn’t really carry that across, and there are several points in the movie where it’s obvious that Oldman is just on his knees, or sitting in a couch with stuffed dwarf legs sitting in front of him.  Decide for yourself.  Tosh covers the whole movie here, and I just listened to it- he talks about everything you need to know about the movie, every point that needs to be brought up, so listen to Tosh, then decide for yourself.  I’ve watched it 3 times already.

Get it on Amazon.

The Order of the Black Eagle

Order of the Black Eagle Surrender
Here’s your hero, giving up while seducing banditos.

The Order of the Black Eagle is a sequel to Unmasking the Idol, which I’ve never seen, and I’m not sure I need to see.  Released in the magical year of 1987, this movie is an action-man super spy v. neo-nazis yarn, featuring a hero named Duncan Jax.  He’s a 007 sort of guy, complete with baboon sidekick.  Dangerous animals make great sidekicks, especially when they wear tuxedos and can drive a tank.  That sounds awesome, but unfortunately, it’s not THAT awesome.  Jax also collects a group of Expendables: Bolt, Cowboy, Hammer, Juice, Special Delivery, and Spike.  They all have special powers based on their names, except none of the powers are powers at all.  For example, Cowboy wears a cowboy hat.  Juice drinks a lot of alcohol.  Spikes wears spikes.  It’s like a bunch of Metal Gear characters the designers never, ever showed their bosses.

Order of the Black Eagle Man and Monkey
Cool guy with Baboon Friend. Sexy ladies man.

This movie seemed full of potential, and I went in with high expectations.  What little I’d heard about it told me that The Order of the Black Eagle was going to be a really good bad movie.  It fell a bit short of that, though.  Actually, it comes close to being boring.  Scenes with the heroes pushing a bus that’s stuck in the mud, fighting in hovercrafts, or just waving a bra around to defeat bad guys really make the movie drag on and on.

Order of the Black Eagle Villain
Orson Welles as Perry Mason as an egg soaked in ham juice.

There’s some stuff about a proton beam and whatever, plus the nazis, now residing in South America and lead by an eyepatch-wearing Perry Mason figure, have a cryogenically frozen Hitler in their base.  The last 30 or so minutes are where the movie really shines- lots of guns, lots of explosions, Hitler gets a Bionic Commando-style scene that’s great, AND a stunt man gets his head run over by one of the heroes.  Yep, one of the actors runs over a stunt man’s head, and they kept that in the movie.

Order of the Black Eagle Baboon
One more baboon picture.

This isn’t a long review.  I could go on about this or that, but why bother?  The Order of the Black Eagle is worth watching once, but it’s not for everyone.  Even if you like bad movies… this one has some good qualities, but it never really manages to earn a spot in Valhalla.

It’s not currently available on Amazon, but here’s the link just in case.

Miami Connection

Friends through eternity.  Loyalty, honesty.  We’ll stick together through thick or thin.  Friends forever, we’ll be together.  We’re on top, ’cause we play to win.  

Miami Connection Friends
Just doing what friends do.

These are cool lyrics by the band Dragon Sound.  Maybe you’ve never heard of Dragon Sound, but they are a group of cool Taekwondo pals who pal around and do Taekwondo and play in Dragon Sound.  Clearly, the ’80s were a magical time, an era unlikely to ever occur again in the whole of human history.

Miami Connection is a film made by and starring a beautiful human being name Y. K. Kim.  This man took himself to the brink of bankruptcy to make one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.  When Miami Connection came out, it was basically universally panned, which is unfortunate, because it’s so, SO good.  So good, in fact, that it wasn’t released on DVD until the very end of 2012- thus fulfilling the Mayan prophecy and saving the world.  So now that the threat of elder gods no longer looms over us, we can all enjoy Miami Connection.

Miami Connection Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad hated Dragon Sound so much, he would later ban all Taekwondo-based bands from Iran.

Five college students, who really know what friendship is all about, and who are masters of Taekwondo, battle biker-ninjas and cocaine dealers.  This is more or less the plot of Miami Connection.  It doesn’t get too much more ’80s than that, I’m pretty sure.  This is a midnight movie, no doubt.  Like other films in this realm, I don’t want to call this a “good bad movie,” but that’s a phrase most people can understand… if I have to use that, though, I would actually take it up a notch and call Miami Connection a “GREAT bad movie.”

Miami Connection Y.K. Kim
Look. He’s serious.

Personally, I tend to gauge how good a movie is by how little I have to say about it.  If I can write several paragraphs about it, it’s not that great.  If I don’t have a lot to say about it, it’s because the movie is fantastic and speaks for itself.  This is the case with Miami Connection- there’s little I need to say about it, besides “own it.”  It definitely belongs in my collection, and if you like what I like, it belongs in your collection, too.  If you’ve never seen it, just buy it.  Seriously.  Miami Connection gets hands-down approval from me.  It could kill my whole family, and I’d keep it in my collection… but it wouldn’t do that, since it understands good sportsmanship, friendship, loyalty, and honesty. When I’m weak, it makes me strong.

See if you can spot the scene where Y. K. Kim’s character is accidentally depicted as checking out young girls.

This has been featured on Best of the Worst, and there is a Rifftrax version.

DC Cab

I only found out recently that this movie exists, thanks to Netflix.  DC Cab is a 1983 comedy by Joel Schumacher, who made other movies besides Batman and Robin, but I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that DC Cab was made by the guy who made Batman and Robin.  To his credit, though, he’s made a bunch of movies that are nothing like Batman and Robin, so Batman and Robin is quite possibly not his fault.  Right, so DC Cab.  Look at the poster:

D.C. Cab Poster
Mr. T towers over the rest of the cast of future nobodies.

Continue reading “DC Cab”

Cool As Ice

Cool as Ice - Cool Style
The 90’s. Never Forget.

In the early 90’s, it became really, really apparent that we needed a movie featuring Vanilla Ice.  He had already conquered the music world, and Hollywood was the next logical step.  In Cool as Ice, Vanilla Ice plays Johnny Van Owen, a rebel motorcycling rappist who travels from town to town to set right what once went wrong.  After nearly killing a girl on horseback who, for reasons unknown, gets angry about nearly dying, Johnny decides he can never leave this town until that girl belongs to him.  Her name is Kathy Winslow, but you’ll probably never care enough to really remember her name.  Also, he has motorcycle friends/band mates, and one of their bikes breaks down, so they’re all stuck in this town, anyway.

Continue reading “Cool As Ice”