Showgirls 2: Penny’s from Heaven

I was obviously skeptical about a sequel to the amazing-on-many-levels Showgirls, as one should be.  Before plunging in, I did a little research.  Showgirls 2: Penny’s from Heaven is a low-budget sequel written and directed by Rena Riffel, who is also the star.  In most cases, when the writer, director, and star are the same person, the movie is probably a safe bet.  Riffel was an ancillary character in the original film named Penny (at least until we were told that “no one wants to fuck a Penny,” then she was “Hope”).  The movie also sports a fairly low budget (funded via Kickstarter, apparently), much lower than the 45 million in its predecessor’s pocket.  It has a 2.2/10 on IMDB, which doesn’t mean much.  So, all of this sounds promising.

Showgirls 2 - Favorite Characters
Looks like he jumped to his conclusion… without his golden parachute.

Showgirls 2 picks up Penny Slot’s story, 15 years after Nomi Malone destroyed Las Vegas.  She’s living with Jimmy (from the first movie), who now wants to start a t-shirt business using Nomi-inspired quotes.  Penny isn’t content with this life, though, and wants to dance on what looks every bit like a public access show called Stardancers.  What follows is a long and surreal journey.

Showgirls 2 - The Rich Guy
And then this happened…

This movie is FULL of Showgirls references.  Sometimes, entire scenes are recreated (mimicked and mocked), and other times, the references are more obscure, but there’s plenty to look for.  Don’t make it a drinking game, though, you’ll die.  Several actors from the original reprise their roles here, too.  All of this is bolstered by just how low budget it is, and how silly the acting can be.  At the same time, the movie is self aware, and while that can sometimes spoil a movie of this caliber (like birdemic 2, or so I’m told…), it actually works in this film’s favor.

Showgirls 2 Sex Party
and this…

For Riffel, this movie was a labor of love, and I appreciate that.  All in all, it’s pretty good, too.  My only complaint is that it’s long.  Longer than the original movie.  I thought we were probably nearing the last 30 minutes when I paused it, only to find out that we were an hour in and still had another 90 minutes to go.  It’s not that the remaining 90 minutes ended up being unwatchable- in fact, I like this entire movie.  It’s just LONG.  You may want to break your viewing up into 2 sessions, possibly on different nights.

Showgirls 2 Devil Show
…and how did we end up here?

I would at least recommend watching this movie, especially if you like Showgirls.  Personally, I would own it.  The current audio really fits the atmosphere and style of the movie, but Riffel is reputedly working on a new sound mix for future releases, so I may wait and see what’s going on there.

As a fun  addition to this, I received this comment on the original post for this movie:

brad kilmer commented!

Get it on Amazon.

New Year’s Evil

New Year's Evil - GMILF HostThis is a 1980s slasher movie that I’m surprised I didn’t know about until it appeared on Netflix a couple of years ago.  It makes me wonder what else is out there.  The story follows iconic cougar Blaze, as she hosts a nationwide New Year’s countdown for her throngs of teenage followers.

During the show, though, she receives a call from a stoma-voiced lunatic (named Eeee-villl) who announces that he will kill someone at midnight in each time zone. New Year's Evil - The Man Himself That is, he won’t travel to each time zone, but when midnight happens in a time zone, he will kill someone in the time zone he’s in.  He’s not just going to kill anyone, though, he’s focusing on naughty girls.  Plus, he’s going to kill Blaze.  So, Blaze is working with the police while her adult son manifests various mommy issues and plays with panty hose, and the killer wears an incredibly fake mustache so he can pick up chicks.


New Year's Evil - Rockin' Band!
Rockin’ parties need rockin’ bands.

This is a Golan-Globas movie, so you know it’s quality based on that alone.  Aside from the mustache, the killer also sports a great mask, there’s some really good dialog, some really awful music, angry bikers, death by bag of weed, nervous diarrhea, Eric Estrada name-dropping, and attempted elevator murder.  New Year’s Evil is like an early Scream prototype, but the killer looks a lot cooler.  I’ve seen it twice, it’s probably worth watching once.

New Year's Evil - Kill this Bitch
You’ll want to kill her, too.

Get it on Amazon.


Catwoman - Bad CG
Seriously, this may as well be a screenshot from the movie.

If you spend any amount of time enjoying bad movies, you’ve probably seen Catwoman.  Basically, some people took the Catwoman stuff from Batman Returns and combined it with The Crow to make total garbage.  They also sort of borrow Clayface from the Batman universe, but not in any meaningful way.  Plus she’s Sharon Stone.  It is often critically acclaimed as one of the worst movies ever made, lists I think overlook a LOT of movies, but Catwoman is definitely a general-public’s bad movie.  The movie won four Razzies, and Halle Berry called it “a piece of shit, god-awful movie.”

Catwoman - Cartoon Cat
I would accept this if it were from The Polar Express.

Berry plays Patience Phillips, a mousey nobody who works for an evil cosmetics company.  When she finds out her boss is evil, her evil boss kills her… but then a cartoon cat brings her back to life.  Now Patience has cat powers!  She can run on walls, and she really likes to eat fish and drink milk (just like a cat!), and she can land on her feet and use a whip really well.  Just like cats do.  She also has to work “purrs” into words… you know, like “That was puuurrrrrfect,” but Berry does such an abysmal job of delivering these purrs convincingly, you have to wonder if she could hear herself speaking at all (ha-ha).  It turns out there is an ancient magical Egyptian cat that brings people back so they can get revenge, and luckily, a crazy lady with a lot of books can tell you all about it.  Google can also really help you find out why you have magic cat powers after dying.

Catwoman - Sexy Catalingus
You don’t seem familiar to me AT ALL.

As usual, no one can figure out that Patience, who is now no longer mousey, who now acts like a cat, and who looks and sounds exactly like Catwoman, actually IS Catwoman.  Not even her police detective boyfriend (Benjamin Bratt) who is handling the Catwoman investigation. Coupled with all of this nonsense is some incredibly terrible CG.  The CG in Catwoman makes Veggie Tales look like Jurassic Park.  It is awful.  Look at the cat pictured above!  Really look at it.  This wouldn’t even be acceptable in a Garfield movie.

Catwoman Veggie Park
From the Criterion Collection.

I have watched this movie 3 or 4 times, so it’s safe to say it’s at least worth watching once.

Get it on Amazon.

Class of 1984

Class of 1984 - The Worst Kid of AllAs most movies will tell you, the future sucks.  Especially in high school.  Future high schools are individually equivalent to the worst cities in America.  What sets this movie apart is that it was partially based on real events, much like Serial Mom, and that it’s Canadian, so all of the tough stuff is laughable.  If a Canadian movie about brutal teens isn’t enough for you, it was also a box office success, features an Alice Copper song, and stars the late, great Roddy McDowall.  Unlike most movies in this vein, Class of 1984 is also EXTREMELY pessimistic, having been filmed in 1982.  Tim Van Patten is here, too, if you care.

Class of 1984 - All Stars
These guys are just the worst…

Class of 1984 - Michael FoxSo, as usual, 25-year-old high school kids are shit.  There’s a couple of good ones, like a young Michael J. Fox, but most of them are ruining band practice, selling drugs, fighting, and running prostitution rings.  Enter: Andy.  Andy is the new teacher in town, and he thinks this crap is bananas.  This movie has a rabbit-loving, gun-toting teacher, wife rape, a guy beating himself up (think Fight Club), and DEATH.  Class of 1984 was made by Mark L. Lester , who later made the obviously awesome “Commando.”  It’s not really LIKE Commando, but the big finale does take place at a music recital (as with Commando, if I remember right).  And there is a bit of killing going on.

Black Roses - Masked Troublemakers
Who watches the Watchmen?

Lester later made a pseudo-sequel, Class of 1999, which is a movie for another day, but one I recommend.  There’s also the Troma-made Class of Nuke ‘Em High, go ahead and watch that, too.  We watched these BEFORE Class of 1984, but maybe you should watch 1984 first, to better appreciate the following films.  Is Class of 1984 worth watching?  I’d say “give it a go.”  If you don’t like it after the first 15 minutes, wait 5 more minutes.

Get it on Amazon.

Black Roses

This movie is pretty straight forward: a bunch of 30-somethings are still in high school, and they’re super-psyched to find out that their favorite band, the Black Roses, are coming to their podunk (and Canadian) town to play FOUR consecutive shows.  Local parents, on the other hand, think that rock ‘n’ roll is the devil, so they protest the admittedly bizarre series of concerts.  In the middle of this is the really cool, mustached high school English teacher and his drinking buddy, the mayor, who believe the concerts to be harmless, and that rock music is free speech, so it’s ok.  BUT ACTUALLY, the band is demons and their lead singer, Damian, is evil, and all of the kids are turning into monsters.  So in the end, parents, and especially conservatives, are right.

Black Roses MonsterBlack Roses was finely crafted by some of the same people who brought us Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, and the two films feel like siblings, although Black Roses is a little more rewarding.  Some of that, I think, comes from the absurd message prominently displaying itself throughout Black Roses- rock ‘n’ roll will corrupt your kids.  One concert will turn them into smoking, back-talking, sex-having punks.  Overnight.  It also has a better soundtrack, featuring bands like Lizzy Borden and King Kobra.  This movie has metal, tits, demons, murder, puppet monsters, quality acting, quality dialog, a man getting pulled into a demonic speaker, a loose semblance of a story, a really lame final boss fight, and it’s full of great film-making decisions.  It’s a testament to what you can do with little money and little talent, and I love it.

Black Roses - Your Cool Protagonist
Cool guy at a cool party.

Get it on Amazon.