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Burgundy LaRue Presents: The Carnival of Cult Movie Madness!

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GIVE IT TO ME!  GIVE IT TO ME AGAIN!  GIVE IT TO ME AGAIN, AGAIN!

 

Back by no one's popular demand and one person's delusion, it's the BLRP: CCMM.  Sounds like something you cough up after smoking two packs a day for 20 years.  Whatever.

 

The name done changed, but the basic premise remains the same. 

 

I'll be back later with the goods!  :P

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Hurry up.  I need some reading material today...

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I'm able to make long posts again!  YEEEEEAAAAAHH!

 

This is the original piece I wrote on this movie before DVDVR 3.0 powered down

 

******************************************************************************************************

 

THIS FILM PRESENTATION WAS MADE BY DVDVR MEMBERS LIKE YOU: YOU JERKS!

MOVIE: Brain Smasher, A Love Story
YEAR: 1993
DIRECTOR: Albert Pyun
RECOMMENDED BY:  Madcap


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When I decided to tackle this B-movie blog experiment, I figure I could pick the minds of some of the most degenerate folks I've ever come across.  Don't get me wrong, most of you are fine folks.  But it takes a special kind of crazy to last around here.  It's like Arkham Asylum, only Batman ain't saving Gotham from us.  We built this mad house.  We built this mad house on wrestling, beatdown buses, and  nerdiness.

Back to the task at hand, the following was suggested by the man of 1000 rap star faces, madcap.

A in-her-physical-prime Teri Hatcher plays international supermodel Samantha Crain, who's dumping her no-good rich boyfriend while on location in London when we first see her.  He gives her a Rolex as an apology for being a cad, but she gives him the heave-ho anyway.  During their breakup, the boyfriend also gives Sam a package from her botanist sister with a message to go to Portland, Oregon with package in tow.  Sam opens the box and finds a single red flower enclosed in a vacuum-sealed container.

A few seconds later, we're in the Pacific Northwest.  Time machines are used generously in this film. Sam and her sister meet with a group of mask-wearing Asians guys quickly surrounding them.  The sister explains that she found a rare red lotus during a trip to Tibet.  The deadly monks—who are called ninjas throughout the movie despite being Chinese and not Japanese—want the lotus, as they think it will give them unlimited power which will lead to world domination.

Sam and her sister manage to get away from the ninja monks briefly and decide to split up, with a nearby church being their meeting point the next day.  Sam runs down the street and finds herself near a night club.

 Andrew Dice Clay is Ed Molloy, a club bouncer that's a cross between a Rambo-era Stallone and a PG version of Dice himself.  Despite his tough guy exterior, Molloy is a decent guy who doesn't believe in guns and only uses his fists when necessary.  His calm and collected fighting style has earned him the nickname of Brain Smasher, which he wears high-school letterman style on his jacket.  Gotta love the lack of subtlety. As he's whupping up on some drunk dudes, Sam sneaks in into the club.  Since she didn't pay her cover charge, Molloy goes in after her to kick her back out.  Meanwhile, the fighting monks have also made their way into the club to grab Sam themselves.

Molloy gets to Sam first and when she tells him her story, he thinks she's on drugs.  An understandable conclusion, if you ask me.  He plans on taking her to the overnight detox center, but the the ninja-monks catch up with them.  Molloy finds himself fighting to keep Sam alive.

And that. . .is the entire premise of the movie.  It's a matter of wash, rinse, and repeat.  Molloy and Sam run, they stop running for whatever reason, and the ninja-monks catch up with them.  Molloy fights for a bit, he and Sam start running again, and the ninja-monks return the chase.  As A comes before B, the movie follows this path to its inevitable conclusion of Molloy and Sam professing their blooming love as Sam's sister goes wherever botanists go with their red flowers.

Now, this may sound like a negative endorsement of BRAIN SMASHER.  On the contrary!  This movie is hilarious!  The repetition makes for easy digestion. The key is to think of as a spoof of an action-romance thriller.  Who in their right mind would cast Andrew Dice Clay as the lead in a legitimate action flick?  Other than his raunchy mouth during his comedy routines, what's particularly tough about him?  His presence alone lets you know that what you're watching should be done so with a give-no-f*cks attitude. 

 

Hatcher as the sexy damsel in distress is easier to buy.  This movie came out just as Hatcher was starting The Adventures of Lois & Clark, when she was at the height of her popularity and tried to used her TV platform to move into movies.  She didn't a good transition, because while having some decent comic timing, Hatcher doesn't have anything that makes her unique enough to become a movie star.  Her film career more or less tanked and her role in Desperate Housewives is what allowed her to continue with her fame.  Giving her a botanist as a sister who has her smuggling dead flowers into the States is as thin of a plot as you can get.  And the 'we are NOT ninjas' monks!  One moment, they're doing flips and kicks to make Bruce Lee and the Six-Million Dollar Man jealous.  The next, they're falling over themselves in sad attempts to catch up with stiletto-wearing models and their brooding bruiser bouncer-turned-bodyguards.  And can we talk about their wardrobe?  The masks are corny, but I loved their black trench coats and eye-catching scarves.  So alluring. *purrs excitedly* And their investment into being world dominators, despite not explaining why monks would want this sort of power, is hot like fire.

This movie is the bee's knees, y'all.

There's a blurry 8-segment version on Youtube.  Don't let the bad video quality stop you from watching this.  It is glorious.  It is hilarious.  I've gotta track down the incredible soundtrack.  I want a Brain Smasher in my life, returning $10,000 watches that I shouldn't have taken from men I've just dumped because it comes off as kind of trampy. I WANT MADELYNN VON RITZ SINGING “YOU ARE THE ONE” AT MY GUNSHOT WEDDING/ANNULMENT PARTY WITH QUEEN KONG ACTING AS SECURITY.  *hugs self while squeeing*

Many thanks to the esteemed madcap for suggesting this.  You've got a permanent spot on my DVDVR Cool Kids list now! (You had one anyway, but play along with me, OK?)

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And thank you for taking my suggestion! This is seriously my favorite "bad" movie.  Clay's likeable, Hatcher was in her prime, a DEBORAH VAN VALKENBERG sighting, and a cool soundtrack that two haunting songs that are almost impossible to find anywhere.  Like I said, I love this movie.

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I had a great time watching it!  I can't believe I hadn't heard of it before.  It came out around the same time that another Hatcher film, The Cool Surface, debuted, which I watched on VHS a long time ago.  Now that was dud, some soft-core tripe veiled as a psychological thriller.  It didn't work, needless to say.

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a DEBORAH VAN VALKENBERG sighting,

 

Cosmic Cow agrees.

 

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There is no way I sat through this bleeding ulcer of a film and I don't post my review again.  If I suffered, all of you will suffer with me!

 

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DOUBLE THE BAKER, HOLD THE PLOT

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MITCHELL

YEAR: 1975

DIRECTOR: Andrew V. McLaglen

 

Joe Don Baker. The name, outside of a few roles, most notably his turn as Sheriff Bufford Pusser in the original Walking Tall, probably brings a slight chuckle from anyone who recognizes his name. While he's not an obvious punchline, I don't think anyone regards Baker or his career highly. He's sort of given the brush-off, it seems, as what tends to happen to C-list stars as time passes.

 

Baker isn't the worst actor, or even a particularly bad actor. He was solid with decent material and early in his career, brought good physical presence to the screen. It's just that somewhere along the way, he went off course with some bad roles. For an actor who wasn't a master thespian or incredibly handsome, he had no margin for error. In a decade that saw a number of non-conventional looking men become stars—Pacino, DeNiro, Hoffman, Nicholson, Hackman—Baker could have become more of a player. I don't know why it didn't happen. He could have been some variation of Eastwood or Bronson, the vigilante bent on payback or the cop who's had enough of the corrupt system. He may have even been able to put out a few comedies, like Smokey and the Bandit. He was on his way to that, and then he wasn't. It's a shame, but a classic example of someone who for whatever reason, didn't quite make it to the top.

 

My next two reviews will cover a pair of Baker's worst cinematic outputs.

 

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Baker plays the title character in this movie, a drunken slob of a plain clothes police officer. He's sleeping off his latest stupor in the back of a squad car when a call comes in to check out a murder that just took place at the home of attorney Walter Deaney (John Saxon). Deaney shot a burglar in cold blood and planted a gun on the gun to make the murder seem justified. The uniformed cops accept Deaney's explanation, but Mitchell senses something else is going on and plans to investigate. However, his police chief tells him that the FBI is keeping tabs on Deaney and his dubious dealings; therefore, he's their business. To distract Mitchell, the chief assigns him to follow James Arthur Cummings (Martin Balsam), a shady businessman with mob ties. Mitchell isn't interested in Cummings and still goes after Deaney—until he learns that the cousin of Cummings' mob friend wants to use Cummings' ports to smuggle stolen Mexican heroin until the states. When he needs more backup to help him fend off the mob, Cummings tries to bring Mitchell into his fold.

 

What you quickly learn in watching this sorry film is that Mitchell is a no holds barred bastard of a degenerate. He's a drunk. He's slovenly. He has porno magazines scattered around his dirty apartment. The dude is an amoral waste of space and he's a loser at his job. No one in the police department likes him. His boss would likely fire him and why he doesn't is beyond comprehension. Mitchell only gets things done if his greasy ass gets lucky and he stumbles into solving a crime.

 

Watching Joe Don Baker running and scaling walls is the stuff of hilarity. He looks like he's about to have a coronary at any moment. Just two years after Walking Tall, Baker's physique had already taken a major nosedive. I could feel his veins hardening by the minute in this movie. A diet of cigarettes, cheap beer, and margarine will do that to you. Baker became the doughy jowl version of Buford Pusser and it's sadly comical to watch.

 

Meanwhile, Mitchell receives a visitor in the form of Greta (pre-Dynasty and pre-Yanni Linda Evans), a high-end call girl to distract Mitchell and shake the slob cop off his tail. When a guy only has beer or vodka to offer as drinks, you know you he's straight class. (makes gagging noises) Mitchell spills beer on Greta just before getting her drunk and sleeping with her. What a gentleman. He's a keeper.

 

Next is what has to be one of the slowest car chases I've ever seen. There are hearses that move faster than Mitchell chasing Cummings as he's being driven by his butler Benton (post football career Merlin Olsen). They go onto a dirt road and eventually, a red Mustang runs Mitchell off the road. This is just sad.

 

After getting beat up by some thugs that I assume Cummings sent his way, I find myself cringing in agony as Mitchell has a romp with Greta. I could have went my entire life without watching poor Linda Evans having to pretending that Baker was sexy enough for her to get naked for. They're rolling around and we see Mitchell pick up three cans of Schlitz using his foot to grab the plastic holder. As he sets down the remaining beers, a quick shot to a half-used bottle of baby oil is seen. FUCKING BABY OIL. JOE DON BAKER AND FUCKING BABY OIL. And yeah, this is happening while country singer Hoyt Axton is singing in the background. What in the entire fuck? Oh, damn this mess. I feel abused. I'm going to be sick. (vomiting noises)

 

(rinse out eyes with bleach) Greta and Mitchell get into something resembling an argument and Mitchell drags her into the precinct to be booked by the actor who played Deep Throat in The X-Files. That bit is the most interesting part of the whole movie. Meanwhile, Cummings tries to bribe Mitchell, who says he can't be bought and assumes that Cummings was paying for Greta's services to set him up. We learn that Cummings had nothing to do with Greta. Actually, Greta was hired by Deaney, who is also trying set up/bribe Mitchell. It doesn't work. Mitchell is a rank bastard, but he can't be bought. His outsides may be dirty, but he's clean at the core. Yay.

 

So now we get Cummings setting up Mitchell on a drug deal gone bad while he and Benton make their way to the marina to hop a boat and run for Mexico. Mitchell gets roughed up a bit, but he has some backup in a helicopter come for him while he blasts some bad guys to meet their maker. The foot chase scene here actually went faster than the earlier car chase. After shooting four guys in the chest, Mitchell hops on the helicopter and chases after Cummings and hope to get the Coast Guard to help. Woo-hoo.

 

And the exciting copter/boat chase where Mitchell sacrifices one of the pilots due to his own laziness as Benton manages to shoot the guy despite the boat moving at a good clip and the guy being in a helicopter. Geez, where are the laws of physics when we need them?

 

Doughboy Mitchell manages to shimmy down a rope to the boat where he and Benton get into it. Some gut punches are thrown, and Benton nearly throws Mitchell into the Pacific. But Mitchell rips out Benton's intestines with a grappling hook and Mr. FTD is fish bait. That leads to Mitchell disabling the boat and Cummings trying to convince him that they can split the million-plus dollars he has on the boat. As Cummings comes out, Mitchell blasts the guy, even though Cummings wasn't trying to shoot it. Jeez, so he doesn't take bribes. He just kills folks in cold blood. Whatever, geez.

 

Mitchell makes it back to his dumpy apartment, and instead of the intruder that he thinks is in there, he finds Greta. Apparently, she's in love with the guy. WHAT? Gorgeous Greta wasting her paid-for cooter on Mitchell? That slob? Hell no, hell never. No one believes it. Mitchell smells marijuana on Greta and decides to haul into the station for arrest. The end. Yeah, that's how this infected third-degree burn of a movie ends. *slaps forehead*

 

In case you're wondering—and why wouldn't you? (HA!)—you may be asking: What happened to John Saxon's character? Apparently, this MST3K version is heavily edited and didn't show it, but Deaney dies in a dune buggy accident with Mitchell somehow involved. Hope I didn't spoil things for you. (snickers) I won't be looking for the uncut edition. This one has given me more than enough.

 

(holds nose) WHAT AN OUTHOUSE OF A MOVIE. So much crap. Where do I even begin? You've got a plot going with Saxon that gets dropped for no reason. You've got an Oscar winner in Balsam, slumming it up and trying to keep a stiff upper lip. I don't know what made Olsen think that being caught in this film was a good idea. Not that Olsen ever became much more than great athlete turned mid-level actor, but he deserved better than this. Evans has never been been mistaken for Bette Davis in the acting department but even for her, she was near comatose here. And she had to make out with Joe Don Baker. Good grief, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. He just drips bacon fat all over the place. He's absolutely vile. I can smell him through the screen. Pig feet in pickle juice set outside in August, if you must know. Maybe Evans had to get stoned before shooting their love scene, in which case I give her a pass. She must have needed the paycheck bad. Everyone must have. No way anyone read that script and thought: This is a good movie! I'm going to hit the big time with this one! Just an appalling mess of a film that should be ashamed of its mere existence. Any TV cop drama from this era is miles better than this. And let's not forget Hoyt Axton warbling the title theme with a wink and a smile as he downs another shot of Wild Turkey. My, my, my Mitchell, hanging around the criminal scene. What the hell? Damn this mess! (starts gagging again)

 

And keep in mind that I watched the MST3K version. Can you imagine if I had subjected myself to the straight movie, no Crowbot chaser? (shudders)

 

What a turd. Some version of it is in the 100-movie Action Classics pack from Mill Creek Entertainment. I wouldn't advise watching this. Do it at your own risk. I'll be lying down with a cool cloth on my forehead. Just after I pour more bleach in my eyes. Sweet, cleansing bleach. May you help me forget.

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We need the archive of the old board so we don't lose things like the Frances Bay, Denver Pyle (courtesy of Ziedler), Ian Wolfe tributes aka "Actors who were never not old."

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I had a great time watching it!  I can't believe I hadn't heard of it before.  It came out around the same time that another Hatcher film, The Cool Surface, debuted, which I watched on VHS a long time ago.  Now that was dud, some soft-core tripe veiled as a psychological thriller.  It didn't work, needless to say.

 

I think they quickly rushed that out and tagged it with something like "COME WATCH LOIS LANE GET HER LA-LAS OUT!" as a quick cash-in. Gillian Anderson got the same treatment with some film when The X Files went big.

 

That Mitchell film sounds pretty good. I've seen a fair bit of Joe Don Baker recently. He was great in Charley Varrick and The Outfit, the latter of which is a fantastic film. Wasn't so keen on the former. Baker was pretty good when he could be bothered.

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I'm really glad these are back. I don't think it would necessarily count as a B movie, but can you find it in your heart to do Night of the Comet? That movie, along with Say a Prayer for the Roller Boys, has long been at the top of my guilty pleasure list.

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" And their investment into being world dominators, despite not explaining why monks would want this sort of power, is hot like fire."

 

 

Wu did explain it: "I too have aspirations.  I don't want to be a kung-fu thug forever!" 

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DOUBLE THE BAKER, HOLD THE PLOT

 

MOVIE: Speedtrap

YEAR: 1977

DIRECTOR: Earl Bellamy

 

Part 2 of my Joe Don Baker double feature. Thankfully, I fared better with this pick.

 

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After a string of high-end cars are stolen with no clues, police and insurance company alike have no choice but to bring in private investigator Pete Novick (Baker, looking like a hound dog crossed with a frog). The police chief doesn't like Novick and rather not deal with him, but needs to do so as to get everyone off his back. We soon learn that one of the cops, Nifty Nolan (Tyne Daly at her perkiest), is an ex-girlfriend of Novick's and is willing to help him with the case as the slick thief, only known as the Roadrunner, has eluded everyone with tricks and highly skilled driving.

 

The Arizona streets get even hotter as a Rolls Royce with $1 million of heroin in its trunk is stolen from the drugpin Spillano (Robert Loggia, who must have been strapped for cash). With his Hawaiian shirt wearing heavy Loomis in tow, it's a multi-car Wile E. Coyote gunning for the Roadrunner. Even a psychic (Lana Wood, Natalie's sister) is brought in to help, to no avail.

 

This movie is like Cover Girl cosmetics: easy and breezy. Deep characterization and intricate plots are nowhere to be found, but things move along at a decent clip, as we see the Roadrunner use a device that blocks and scrambles police radar. Novick soon joins the chase in his hot red and white Charger. I actually like this Charger better than Starsky and Hutch's ride.

 

The chase scenes are pretty good, as are the crashes. Some of the wrecks come courtesy of a bubble-headed student driver (B-movie regular Roberta Collins). She goes over cars like a monster truck, taking out anything in her path. Over a dozen police cruisers bite the dust while the Roadrunner continues to get away. The soundtrack helps to keep the action zipping along.

 

Things go into the absurd as the Roadrunner, in an attempt to shake the police, drives onto a dirt race track while pushing a swank Mercedes. Novick is in pursuit in a Corvette as the race announcer begins calling the cat-and-mouse chase like it's the Daytona 500.

 

Eventually, we get to the inevitable capture of the Roadrunner, which won't be a surprise in the least.

 

While nothing great, Speedtrap has just enough going for it to be OK. The chase scenes are good with some nifty camera work to show off the cars. The acting is inoffensive and the music is solid. You've got drug dealers, crooked cops, and kids jumping off levees to avoid getting run over by car thieves. Baker isn't totally phoning it in on this one. All in all, this wouldn't too bad to have in the background during a lazy Saturday afternoon. In several parts on Youtube, should you be interested.

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For anyone who would like to make a suggestion for my viewing displeasure, feel free.  I have a list from the dearly departed DVDVR V3.0, but I don't have the names of who recommended which movies.

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I love that 1990 Cap movie so much.  I have it on VHS somewhere.  The trailer for the blu-ray release is so earnest.  I kept waiting for the joke and it never came, which made it so much better.

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