Roger Corman Masterpiece Theatre: Deathsport

Let’s talk about motorcycles for a moment, shall we? Whether or not you think they’re complete death traps, you’ve got to admit, the people riding them are usually depicted as being cool as all hell. Cruising down the open road, leather jacket slightly open, with a half-naked co-ed clinging to them as an explosion is reflected in their sunglasses right as they do a sweet jump into the sunset.

But, as is usually the case, reality is not nearly as cool as film. The people who ride motorcycles in the real world usually either look like Santa (which is ADORABLE, by the way), or are doing so and somehow still managing to look like complete tools.

Which brings me to tonight’s film: Deathsport, a film about motorcycles. And explosions. And holy mother of God, I hope you’re ready for a lot of both.

The Plot

So, as the credits begin, two words flash on to the screen. These two words will forever shift my image of a man, whom I once deeply respected as a performer, more than the time he was found dead hanging in a closet in Thailand with a belt around his neck and his dick in his hand.

DAVID CARRADINE

Yes... YES... YEEEEEEEEEESS!!

Dear God. This man is a legend of cinema. Some other names scroll by, but who gives a shit, right? Fucking Bill is in this movie, and if what we’ve seen so far is to be believed, he is more important than the goddamn title. I’m going to do my best to keep the autoerotic asphyxiation jokes to a minimum, because that’s a really cheap and lousy gag. Fuck. That was an accident, I swear. I just choked under pressure. GODDAMMIT.

Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, I shall hand it over to the film’s narrator, who fills us in on the world in which this film takes place.

“A thousand years from tomorrow, after the great Neutron Wars, the world consists of desert wastes and isolated city-states. A few machines remain as symbols of the past, but only the city-dwelling Statemen use them. Between the cities roam the dreaded Cannibal Mutants and the Range Guides. Guides are legendary warriors, leading an independant, nomadic life, loyal only to their code.”

As the film proper begins, we see Carradine as Kaz, one of the aformentioned Range Guides. He is rugged, bearded, and showing waaaaaaaay too much skin. Like, I get you’re trying to make him look like some kind of wild man, but Jesus movie. A loincloth? A fucking loincloth? You’re seriously not making this easy for me, man. The temptation is right there. And you know a thing or two about giving in to temptation, don’t you Carradine? Okay, that one was intentional, I admit.

We then cut to some men who appear to be hunting Kaz. They seem to be trying to get the jump on him, but I’d like to think a man who spends all his time riding around in the woods would notice a bunch of mulleted dudes in silver jumpsuits, even if they were being super sneaky and walking on their tippy toes. Sure enough, Kaz gets the drop on them, and attacks them with what may be the least intimidating weapon I have ever seen in film. It’s plastic. You got that at the dollar store. Don’t even fuck with me, movie. I had like six of those. It even makes a cheap little buzzing noise. I’m sure they were trying to go for more of a lightsaber feel, but it’s pretty clear the person in charge of weapons had only ever heard Star Wars told to him second-hand.

Heh heh heh... Obi-Wank Enobi.

After Kaz dispenses of his pretty useless trappers, men on motorcycles appear, kill Kaz’s horse (or rather, hit it with a hand blaster and jump-cut it out of existence) and capture him almost instantly. Probably should have opened with that one, guys. Way less paperwork to fill out when you get back, is all I’m saying.

Kaz is brought back to the city-state of Mat-Paintingistan or something, and we get to see our two main villans; Ankar Moor, a Range Guide turncoat, and Lord Zirpola, the sweaty, seemingly drunk, always really pissed off-looking leader of this city-state. They are discussing the capturing of Range Guides for something called Deathsport, and Moor mentions that two motorcycles were destroyed capturing four Guides. Zirpola, flying into a drunken fury, thinks that is unacceptable, stating: “People need to be made to believe that riding a Death Machine will make them as powerful as a Guide.” Whoa, hold on. Just hold the hell on for a second here. Death Machine? Did you just call a motorcycle a Death Machine? What are you, a biker’s mom?

"You better be wearing helmets out there, or I swear to God..."

Anyway, Lord Zirpola decides that he needs one more Range Guide to complete his collection, and Ankar Moor heads out to find one. Zirpola specifies that it be a female, which just makes you want to start insisting that you be able to see his hands at all times. We then cut back to the wilderness, where we see two female Range Guides leading a group of Statemen through the wastes. We’re not quite sure as of yet which one of them will probably be naked at some point in this movie, but the brunette has a creepy, lumpy daughter, so I’m going to go with the blonde. Some men on Death Machines attack the group, the brunette is killed, her potato kid is snatched up by some Cannibal Mutants, the Statesmen are arrested and blondie, whose name is Deneer, is captured. Ha! I was right!

We then find ourselves in a small, dirty, probably very smelly room, and David Carradine is passed out, unbathed and wearing a diaper. Such is life. As he wakes up, he realizes he’s trapped, and reacts pretty much how anyone would, given the current predicament; like a fucking chimpanzee. He starts jumping off the walls, throwing stuff around his cell, beathing his chest and generally acting like a caged animal. I guess it’s supposed to make him look feral, but honestly, I kind of sympathize with the guy. I mean, think about it: you wake up in a loincloth in a room you’ve never seen before, it probably smells heavily of piss, and the door is fucking locked. At that point, the lizard part of your brain takes over. It would happen to any one of us.

Or when your parents cancel your World of Warcraft account.

Anyway, Kaz looks through his cell window and locks eyes with Deneer. There’s some exposition about how they kind of know each other and that Deneer knew Kaz’s mom and Kaz’s mom was a really righteous chick or something, but none of that matters. What does matter is that Kaz can somehow see Deneer’s memories. He sees the lumpy kid get taken by the Mutants, and agrees to help her get the kid back after they escaped. So, what, is he psychic? Is this some ability they all share? It’s not really explained ever, so go ahead and assume which ever one of those makes your head hurt less.

We then cut to Zirpola, who appears to be having some sort of massive stroke. A doctor is called in to take a look at him, and determines that his brain is actually rotting from radiation exposure. Honestly, I feel the same way right about now. The doctor makes the (rather sensible) suggestion that Zirpola should probably step down as leader, given the fact that he is apparently going insane. Zirpola responds by arresting the guy and condemning him to Deathsport, which is a totally level-headed response, in my opinion.

Just be thankful you didn't try to prescribe him anything.

The doctor is tossed in the same holding cell as Kaz, and tells him that Zirpola is going nuts and wants to start a war with a neighbouring city-state for its fuel. Kaz, apparently, thinks that this is a fucking hoot. He’s laughing at how stupid the Statemen are for letting a madman lead them to their deaths. That’s kind of fucking cold, bro. As all this is happening, the doctor’s foppish son returns to discover that his dad’s been arrested, and reacts like he just got a thirty dollar parking ticket.

Kaz and the good doctor talk about Deathsport, and we finally find out exactly what the fuck it is. In this new society, the modern prison system has been abolished. Instead, prisoners are thrown into huge gladiator matches. The winners go free, the losers get killed off. Yeah, that… that seems like a really excellent way to make sure all the most dangerous motherfuckers get out of prison pretty quickly, movie. Then, Ankar Moor shows up and starts to mock his former comrades. Deneer accuses him of having lost his soul or something really fucking stupid like that. Then, Kaz drops the big one; Ankar Moor killed Kaz’s mom. Do I smell a revenge subplot? Fuck yeah, I do! Turns out Kaz’s mom was a really good Range Guide, which obviously makes Kaz, like, also really good. As if we didn’t know that already. I mean, he eluded capture so easily. Oh, hang on a second. Nope. Not that. The other one. Got captured very easily. Yeah, that.

A group of guards arrive to do… something. They never really make it clear. It doesn’t really matter anyway, because it turns out that one of the guards is the doctor’s son, who’s here to spring his dad. His father is so happy that the two start to hug. And never stop. For the rest of the film, these two never stop giving each other the grossest dry-hump rub-down ever caught on film. It’s actually totally distracting. Kaz, Deneer and other freed Range Guides are planning some sort of grand prison break and there’s probably a big battle coming up, but I’m completely unable to break my eyes from the freaky two-man cuddle pile going on in the corner.

Oh, good. We’ve broken away long enough to watch Ankar Moor inform Zirpola of the prison break. Zirpola has the Range Guides and the man-handling father and son gassed and rendered unconcious. Kaz is taken away by Ankar Moor, and Deneer is sent to Zirpola. Remember, this is the female that he specifically requested. This sweaty, cantankerous, presumably reaking of Teacher’s Scotch, creepy old fucker. Nothing good can come of this. Literally nothing.

We cut to a dark room, and a mysterious voice says the first line of this film that legitimately had an affect on me. I am now terrified of what I’m about to witness:

“LET THE PUNISHMENT BEGIN”

I don’t know what the hell just happened. Like, I’ve got a boner, sure. But I don’t know if I should feel okay with myself over this one. Deneer was set loose in a glass dildo forest, completely naked. She’s rubbin’ up on all the dildo vines, gettin’ all in the groove, cuttin’ loose a little. But then we find out that Zirpola’s watching, and with a flick of a switch, he transforms this peaceful little softcore acid trip into a nightmare lifted straight from the mind of Sigmund Freud. She was terrified. She knew that, at any moment, she could die. And what was Zirpola doing? He was watching, and he was smiling, my friends. He was smiling.

We then cut away from this scene of utter perversion to find David Carradine, chained up in a basement, being flogged by a man while another guy watches. I’m starting to see why he did this movie, actually. Anyway, Kaz calls out Ankar Moor, challenging him to one-on-one combat, citing the code of the Range Guides. Moor, being a villan, naturally thinks the code can shove it and refuses the challenge, saying that he’ll enjoy watching Kaz die by someone else’s hand more than actually doing the deed himself. Rather odd take on hatred, but who am I to judge.

"Yeah, I don't really know how hatred works."

Kaz is tossed back in the cell with Deneer and the weirdos. He’s in pretty rough shape, so Deneer uses her magic powers to heal his wounds. Obviously. Then the two of them do some sort of pre-battle prayer before the doors get kicked in and guards pour into the cell. Kaz and Deneer are taken out and readied for Deathsport as Zirpola does his warmongering thing, talking about how the Death Machines will carry them to victory, acting like he’s going to drop dead any second, yadda yadda yadda. Then, Deathsport begins. Two guys on Death Machines are pitted against one another and, when one eliminates the other, the victor is set free. Again, these are just two criminals. Not necessarily death row inmates, they’re probably just your run-of-the-mill criminals. These could be a pair of video pirates, for all we know. After the battle is over and one Stateman wins his freedom in one round, the next batch of victims are picked to be pitted against Kaz and Deneer. The doctor’s cuddle buddy son is among those chosen, and the two share a lingering stare that is of an illegal calibur of creepy in modern cinema.

Moor arrives to mock Kaz one last time before the round begins, and Kaz tells him that he’d want nothing more than to just slice him up. So… why don’t you? Like, he’s right there, man. Just kill the fuck out of him. Oh, I see. There are three light bulbs running down the wall behind them, shining straight into the camera, trying to look like a forcefield. That’s a pretty bad special effect, guys. Like, I think the worst. Yeah, that’s what it is. Literally the worst. I believe the Gozdilla suit before I believe that. Moor tells Kaz that he and his mom can to fuck themselves, and Deathsport begins. Kaz and Deneer draw their plastic swords, Kaz mentions something about high ground, and the two people with dollar store weapons in loincloths set out to absolutely fucking ruin the heavily armoured Death Machine riders. We also get our first explosion and-

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THAT WAS AMAZING!

Did you see that?! That son of a bitch went up like the White House on Independance Day! That motorcycle exploded like it ran on fucking uranium! Seriously, no lie. I have watched a lot of movies with explosions in them. The ones in this movie are some of most ridiculous, hilarious, amazing detonations of any I’ve seen. These motorcycles explode in the most insane way, and there are so many that I lost count. In the first one we see, the force of detonation is so enormous that it actually launches the charbroiled motorcycle wreck about sixty feet straight up in the air. Like, holy shit. I’m willing to bet like sixty percent of this film’s budget was spent and the Acme TNT Surplus.

Zirpola is obviously angry that these assholes are fucking with his buzz by blowing up his Death Machines. So he responds by sending in more Death Machines. Not really sure how he thinks that’s going to help, but whatever. This reunites the father and son, who proceed to immediately start creeping me the fuck out again. Then, Zirpola flips a switch and HOLY SHIT MORE EXPLOSIONS FROM THE GROUND RIGHT NEXT TO THE ACTORS. Like, that looks really dangerous, guys. I hope you got stunt doubles or were insured or something. This also results in another Death Machine going supernova. It’s very pretty and full of sparks and then HOLY SHIT THAT GUY’S STILL ALIVE AND IS COMPLETELY ON FIRE! Now, I know that’s a dangerous stunt. I’ve seen professional stunt men get nervous before doing shit like this, and these are dudes that routinely get thrown from cars and off sixty foot buildings. I doubt this movie could afford a professional, though. So this was probably one of the directors less sober buddies who wanted to be in the film.

"I look so fuckin' cool right now, you guys."

Kaz and Deneer decide they need to get themselves a couple of sweet rides, so they kill a pair of Statemen and steal their Death Machines. Remarkably, they seem to know how to pilot these machines better than any Stateman, even though they’ve never driven one and, come to think of it, never even seen them before today. They manage to blow up the force field holding them in the arena, and Kaz, Deneer, the doctor and his son escape. Zirpola flips out at Moor for letting them get away, and Moor grabs him by the collar and gets his angry whisper on. He threatens to kill the guy who’e already dying if he doesn’t simmer the fuck down, and goes after the Range Guides and the creepiest duo.

As Moor rides off into the wilderness, he and Zirpola determine that the runaway Range Guides are on their way to the city that Zirpola’s attempting to wage war on. Moor says he won’t fail, and Zirpola hangs up on him. And that’s when we realize where we are. We’re back in the nightmare factory. We’re back in the glass dildo forest of utter despair. There is some unlucky brunette trapped in there now, naked and drunkenly staggering around the room, with Zirpola watching like the creepy toad man that he is. Then he switches up the terror. Once again, the woman is terrified, and reaches out for help. Zirpola, presumably forgetting where exactly he is right now, takes her hand and is dragged into the terror room, where he dies immediately. I’m not going to miss him. Not one bit.

When Ankar Moor delivers the news to his hunting party that Zirpola’s dead, they all seem pretty okay with it. One of them even suggests that they give up the hunt and return home. This man is immediately shot dead by Moor, who says that he will kill Kaz, and return as the new leader of wherever the fuck this movie was taking place. I’m not really sure how killing a guy who broke out of prison qualifies you for political office, but this crazy future world must work differently than ours. So the team continues to hunt them, catch up to Kaz and his friends, and are killed off one by one with relative ease. There are some more epically beautiful explosions. At one point a motorcycle hurls off a cliff.

Like, so many of these things blow up.

After eluding capture, Kaz and company decide to crash in an abandoned factory for the night before setting off to rescue the captured kid from the Cannibal Mutants. Oh, yeah. That was happening too, wasn’t it? Then Kaz shoots a rat to test his aim. He’s kind of an asshole, you see. The doctor and son talk about how the place used to be a munitions factory for the war. We’re never really shown anything about it, but it’s safe to assume that this Neutron War was some pretty serious business, considering it supposedly killed the world and mutated some of the population. In their exploration of the facility, Kaz discovers a pile of bones. This freaks out the kid, which Kaz thinks is funny as all hell because, as previously mentioned, the guy is an asshole.

Meanwhile, Ankar Moor and his hunting party are camped out for the night, and Moor is pissed off that they can’t hunt at night because of the mutants. So it’s sort of safe to assume that these mutants are kind of a big deal. But enough about that! Kaz and Deneer are getting it on for no reason! Kaz, even though there doesn’t appear to be a belt around his neck, and Deneer have a brief little sex scene because, hey, why not, right?

Then, it’s immediately morning again, and they’re back on the road, cracking wise about how Kaz overslept. This movie needs jokes like a sandwich needs a live beetle. But oh no! Ankar Moor has set a trap for them! Something tells me this is the end for our heroes! Oh, no, wait. Sorry, I keep forgetting. Everyone in this movie is a completely incompitent jackass. Sure enough, Kaz and Deneer manage to elude capture, but the doctor is killed. His son is so enraged that he tries to take on Moor and his entire team himself, but Kaz talks him down, making the rather logical point that the kid’s been pretty much useless so far and would probably just wind up dead. So the three survivors ride off as Ankar Moor throws a hissy fit and chases after them.

"Fuck you, David Carradine, you wanker!"

They ride around for a bit, and Deneer has some sort of memory rapid-cut flashback and figures out that the Mutants have taken the kid. I thought that was already established. I guess not. So the three heroes head into a cave to find the little girl. Kaz captures a Mutant and threatens to carve it up if it doesn’t take him to the little girl. They find her fairy easily, but are ambushed by a swarm of the terrifying Mutants, which look a lot like normal dudes in rags with crappy makeup on. The Guides very easily dispatch of the Mutants and HOLY SHIT ANOTHER FULLY BODY BURN! These people are insane! Anyway, the doctor’s son is wounded in the escape, and Kaz volunteers to stay behind and hold off Moor so Deneer and the others can escape.

Kaz leads Ankar Moor and the Statemen into a fuel depot. Oh, this ought to be good. Sure enough, it’s enormous explosion after enormous explosion after enormous fucking goddamn explosion. There are more pyrotechnics in this one movie than I think I’ve seen in literally any other. Kaz wraps up this ridiculous showdown by BLOWING UP THE ENTIRE DEPOT.

You can almost hear the screaming guitars.

Like, holy shit. I hope that this was shot far enough away from cities that no one got nervous. I mean, this was filmed in the 1970s. Explosions of that magnitude tended to draw attention. Ankar Moor, realizing he’s totally been bested, finally agrees to face Kaz in single combat. Out revenge plot has reached its end. Finally, these two legendary warriors will meet head-to-head on the field of battle. Witnesses gather in the city’s tower to view the duel that people will speak of for centuries to come.

Kaz and Ankar Moor get to it, and you’d never know that this guy who wields his sword like it’s his first LARP session would later go on to be a master swordsman in Kill Bill. But hey, I guess everyone starts somewhere. They fight, exchange small talk and Kaz slices Moor’s head off. As he resheaths his plastic sword Deneer and Potato Kid ride up and give Kaz a horse, telling him that they will now ride together as a family. The movie ends with the three of them, riding off into the sunset, and also into the anals of legend.

Points

Hey, I Know That Guy!: 5/5 David Carradine is hilarious in this movie, if only because he’s, well, he’s goddamn David Carradine! I don’t really feel I need to explain any further.

Ka-Blooey!: 5/5 These were some of the most ridiculously amazing explosions I’ve ever seen. They were absolutely over-the-top and, as such, perfectly fit in with the terrible acting and ridiculous storylines that make up Roger Corman movies.

I Saw A Boob!: 4/5 While there was plenty of boob to see in this film, it was always in a situation that made you feel a little uncomfortable. And I don’t care what kind of guy you are, weird boners are just that. Weird.

Overall: While this is by absolutely no means a good movie, I can’t really hate it all that much. I had a lot of fun watching it, in spite of (or perhaps even because of) its shortcomings. It entertained me, and I guess that’s what it ultimately boils down to. If you’re looking for some truly hokey acting coupled with stunts that the crew was obviously underpaid for, you probably won’t be disappointed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Douchebags 101

In the extensive research I went through to write this post (“research” here translated to “being at the bar”), I made an alarming discovery; the world of douchebaggery is not only large, it’s also varied. There are a great many kinds of jackass in the world, so how is one to know what kind one happens to be dealing with? Well, dear reader, I am here to help.

Using the highly complex scientific method of observing people at the bar and making crude judgements about their personalities based on how they look and act, I have come up with a comprehensive list, dissecting and examining the various kinds of douchebags you may encounter on a daily basis. It provides a description, a list of their common quips and, most importantly, tried and true methods of avoiding them at all costs.

Subject A: Jersey Douche

"Yo, what do you bench, bro?"

Named for the lovably dim-witted kids of Jersey Shore fame, this perticular sub-species is fairly easy to identify. All one needs to do is look for the strange glow that radiates from their bodies at all times. This is not due to them being from another world. It is simply caused by the fact that, even in the dead of winter, they somehow still manage to keep tanned. Whether by natural or aerosol means, the Jersey Douche always looks a little more orange than everyone else.

They also rove around in packs, usually congregating anywhere there tends to be an abundance of alcohol and midriffs. If you happen to be out at a night club, keep a sharp eye out: look for the tables where large orders of Jagerbombs and Vodka-Redbulls are headed, and steer clear. Also, listen carefully for words like “Bro”, “Bitches” and, of course, “Protein”.

Subject B: Musical Douche

"This sounds so much better on vinyl."

Again, this one really does speak for itself. The Musical Douche is a musician, and wants you to know it. He is artsy, sensitive, poetic and, chances are, in desperate need of a shave. Long hair, stubble-covered faces and tight clothes are abundant in this sub-species, but the real dead give-aways are in the stuff that they carry with them; headphones, iPods and, of course, their weapons of mass douche-struction, their musical instruments of choice. It will usually be an acoustic guitar, because nothing screams “I’m a sensitive guy that just wants to be held” like a touching rendition of “Your Body is a Wonderland”.

Unlike the Jersey Douche, the Musical Douche is a solitary beast. The only time they seem to congregate is for bizzare ceremonies they call “band practice”, where they argue, whack at their respective instruments for a few hours and accomplish next-to-nothing. Unfortunately, there’s only one real way to avoid this sort of person, and that is to scour the house or pub you’re currently sitting in for any musical instruments. If there is one, and a Muscial Douche happens to be about, he will sniff it out. Then, he will pick it up without anyone asking him, and he will begin playing. Suddenly, he’s the toast of the evening, and you have been reduced from “This guy seems pretty cool” status to the unescapable realm of “Do you know him? Is he single? Can you get me his phone number?”

Subject C: Douche on Wheels

"Man, check this out! I'm ridin' on 22's!"

The Douche on Wheels has a one-track mind. He doesn’t focus on sex, drinking, food or getting high. He thinks solely about his car. Whether or not he’s in the car does not matter to the Douche on Wheels. If he’s away from his car, he will tell you about how much money he’s spent making his car better than your car. He will discuss “NoS”, “Hemy”, “Hydraulics” and other words that normal people don’t really understand.

The reason for his ridiculous attempts to make his car stand out? He has a very small sense of self worth. He knows that girls don’t like a small sense of self worth; they don’t find them satisfying. So he pours thousands of dollars into his car to distract from his miniscule sense of self worth, and hopes that girls might ignore his pathetically small sense of self worth because of his big, shiny, flame-painted automobile.

Also, tiny cocks.

Subject D: Buzzed Douche

"Dude, watch this video, man."

Slow. Simple. Smelly. Hungry. The Buzzed Douche is the pasture cow of the douchebag world. These people are commonly known by another name: burnouts. They are the people who seem perpetually intoxicated, and consider that one of their points of pride. Admittedly, they don’t have many to begin with, so one really can’t begrudge them for working with what they’ve got.

Be weary of people who seem to miss rent payments frequently, don’t attend classes or shifts at work often, or dedicate more than $10 000 of their annual budget to “snacks”. If you happen to be walking into an apartment where one lives, you will know the moment you step in. First, you’ll be hit by a noxious cloud of maloderous, hazy air. If you make it through the initial gas attack with your brain still functioning at a reasonable level, look out for windowsills filled with empties, large bongs, mirrors on coffee tables and any posters featuring Jim Morrison, Bob Marley or Che Guevera.

Subject E: Mr. and Mrs. D-Bag

"It's so funny how we sometimes-" "Finish each other's sentences!"

Everyone has a story about this couple. The kind of disgusting, unholy pairing of two people who, under normal circumstances, might be loads of fun. However, once they’re together, they become a whirling dirvish of make-outs, pet-names and fun-suck. The room they’re in could be on fire, and they would still never notice because they’re far too busy looking into one another’s souls or some bullshit. After a while, they even stop being fun when they’re seperate from one another. The things they wind up being able to talk about at length become limited to “Oh, my God. Chet and I had such a great weekend at the lake. Chet and I are going out to dinner this Wednesday. I love Chet so much.”

Fuck Chet. Chet can rot.

If you can’t avoid them, and you happen to be in a normal relationship with a normal person, be constantly on your guard. If they happen to discover the fact that you’re seeing someone, you may be dragged into the nebulous abyss that is the world of “double-dating”. They don’t actually want to spend time with you and your partner, mind you. They simply want to prove to other people that they are, in fact, the perfect couple. And they will do this for hours while you pretend to be interested, secretly praying that the cooks took mercy on you and put rat poison in your panini.

Subject F: Vegan Douche

"Would you like a pamphlet? It's printed on one hundred percent recycled paper."

You are a monster. Did you know that? You and your horrible, murderous ways. How dare you enjoy that hamburger? You’re like Hitler. But worse!

That is the genreal opinion of the Vegan Douche. They love the environment and animals, and they do so with an iron fist and all the fury of hellfire. This is not to say that all vegetarians are sign-toting assholes that won’t just let you enjoy a damn hot dog. These are the extreme cases; the people that break into zoos to steal the penguins or throw buckets of paint at people wearing fur coats. But the most common kind are simply going to remind you that, no matter how much you love animals, you are neck-in-neck with Hannibal Lecter, Charles Manson and The Eye of Sauron for the coveted ‘Most Evil Bastard Award’, simply because you ate a steak.

In most cases, you won’t really have to worry about avoiding them. More often than not, they will avoid you. However, if you see large groups of people holding signs near a hot dog stand, it’s probably not a good idea to buy your lunch there, lest you incur the wrath of a bunch of malnourished, tofu-breathed hippies. If you simply must get something from that particular hot dog stand, and someone starts laying into you about being a baby-killing Nazi or something, simply inquire how many trees had to die to make all of their protest signs.

Subject G: Slutty Douche

"Oh, my God! I love your shirt! You're so cute! Did you drive here?"

If you’ve ever been to a nightclub, you have no doubt come across large groups of this sub-species. The kind who, despite the fact that it’s January in Moscow, still dress like they’re living in South Beach. The kind that don’t bring money to the clubs because they expect to have all of their drinks payed for. The kind who, once they reach the dance floor, seem to need to rub against the crotch of every single male there. The kind that get drunk and, when the focus of the room seems to be waining, grab the nearest girl and start kissing them, as if the alcohol unlocked some long-buried homosexual tendencies. Liquour, money and attention are their Kryptonite and, generally, the males they encounter are more than willing to provide.

If you simply must go to a nightclub or some such place, though I can’t imagine why you’d want to (we’ll get back to that), keep a watch for girls that look like the meat in a triple-decker fuck sandwich. Anyone wedged between a pair of Jersey Douches, mixed drink in one hand and the other somewhere unspeakable, should be immediately filed under ‘Not Fucking Worth It’. Not only are they probably riddled with self-esteem issues, a general lack of self-worth and some mysterious Third-world form of herpes, hooking up with one would be like trying to fuck a subway tunnel.

Subject H: Hipster

"Wait- you haven't heard of ANY of these bands?"

Hipsters hold a very special spot on the douchebag family tree, as they have somehow managed to take small portions of what makes each of the other sub-groups douchey, and combined them in such a way as to make some sort of terrifying Douchebag Megazord. The Hipster loves his music, his clothes, his parties, his drugs, his beer and, most of all, himself. They listen to a jumbled mess of sounds they call “Indie music”. They drink canned, carbonated moose piss that they call “Pabst Blue Ribbon”. They use words like “avant garde”, “meta”, and “ironic”, never actually knowing what they really mean. They wear wolf shirts. Scarves in the middle of the summer. Glasses with no lenses. The Hipster is an amalgamation of bad taste, crappy attitude and an unwavering ego the size of their iTunes collection.

And nowadays, unfortunately for you and I, they’re goddamn everywhere. They are most predominant in large cities, but you can find little pockets of these plaid-wearing assholes anywhere you go, plucking away at ukuleles or mandolins, because the acoustic guitar is too “mainstream”. There are so many of them that, tragically, there are really no easy ways of avoiding them. With any luck, this trend will dissipate and fade into obscurity in the next few years, so my recommendation to the concerned public is just to ride this fad out, and hope it doesn’t last.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roger Corman Masterpiece Theatre: Dead Space

As anyone who is close to me will be able to tell you, I love science fiction. It is one of my favourite genres of film. The technology, the space battles, the aliens; it’s just an all-around entertaining style of movie.

Gary Oldman, proving that fashion doesn't have to take a backseat to business.

Recently, I came into possession of a movie by the name of Dead Space, under the impression it had something to do with the game series. What I got instead was something much, much different. Dead Space is the end result of a drunken, greased-up Hammertime lovemaking session between Alien and The Thing, with anything that was even vaguely entertaining about either of the two vastly superior parent movies replaced with some of the worst dialog and special effects ever put on film.

This never happens in the movie. Not once.

The Plot

The movie opens up with some space scientists in a space science lab doing space science-y shit. Or it could be the biology lab at the local high school, for all we know. I mean, dude was using a Bunsen burner. I’ve used Bunsen burners. You’re really selling me on the futuristic aspect of your technology already, movie. Anyway, one of the scientists hears some hissing sounds coming from the plaster-of-Paris-covered tennis ball they have encased in a glass cabinet. The scientist jumps on the intercom to let his boss know, and we cut to… Walter White?

That’s right, a young Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle is in this. Normally, this man is an excellent actor. Both Hal and Walter White are memorable and entertaining characters. Except in this film, he isn’t so much “comically bumbling dad” or “morally ambiguous, cancer-having, meth-selling chemist”. He’s more just “mad space scientist”, and I don’t care if you’re Marlon Brando; When you’re motivation is that you’re a scientist, you’re mad and you’re in space, there’s only so much that an actor can work with in that.

So Walter and some woman who will probably get naked at some point (this is one of those movies after all) make their way to the lab, only to discover *Dun dun DUUUUN* the nameless scientist that paged them has been badly burned! They react with the same emotion you would to discovering that you’re pasta is undercooked, and the movie fades to black.

After the title sequence introduces us to the people we will grow to hate over the next ninety minutes, we cut to what can only be described as a steamhouse fuckin’ shack. And sitting naked in the middle of this weird sauna on a kidney-shaped rock is none other than the Beastmaster himself, Marc Singer. He plays Commander Steve Krieger, our protagonist. Think Nathan Fillion’s character in Firefly, minus the charm, wit, good looks and any air of badassery. He is called up to the cockpit by his robot, co-pilot, best buddy and presumably masturbatory device Tinpan due a distress beacon from the science facility we just saw.

"Fuckin'... science, right?"

Alright, so, a couple of things here:

First of all, what disgusting pornographic act did we just interrupt? Some dude’s lying in the Sweat Chamber, naked, just rockin’ a nice buzz. You know he was in there for a reason. I mean, your creepy perspiration fetish isn’t really for me, Commander. But hey, whatever gets your rocks off. And while were on the topic, what exactly are you the “Commander” of, if I may ask? As far as I can tell, it’s just you and that robot sailing around in your intergalactic love shack. Thirdly, Tinpan. Fucking Tinpan. Are you for real, movie? Like… fuck, Tinpan? I seriously hope I never have to hear that word cried out in anguish over the robot’s death, or I might just give up on comedy writing and join a parish or something.

Suddenly, Krieger’s ship falls under attack by an unknown force, and we get that this is actually supposed to be taking place in space. Krieger and Tinpan (God, this is going to suck if I have to keep typing that. Fuck it. He’s the robot) bicker about who was supposed to get the lasers fixed. Krieger is a super smart mechanic, evidently; he fixes the guns on his ship by smacking some wires together. He even fixes the robot by smacking it when it appears to be having a stroke. The pair decide to make for the research facility, despite the fact that their ship is basically shot to shit, and Krieger remarks, “How much trouble could a bunch of scientists get into, anyways?”

You’re not too familiar with the concept of science fiction, are you, Kriegster?

When they arrive at the science outpost, they are met by two women: the head of research and the women we saw with Walter earlier in the movie. The lady from earlier locks eyes with the dashing rogue and the two are immediately smitten. So right away, the likelihood we see her naked at some point triples. We discover that this is Dr. Marissa Salinger, head of biology, and it was she who sent the distress call. But the head of research informs Krieger that it was a false alarm, and he’ll have to stick around until his ship is flyable again.

Rather than accept the help, stick around for a bit and maybe not hang out in his sweat room for a few hours, Krieger decides “Fuck you all” and sneaks aboard his ship to leave, before repairs can be made. This is a man who would rather attempt a takeoff in a broken ship and try to fly it through hostile space (who were those guys, anyway) than accept the charity of some scientists. This guy is an absolute dick and I will not feel bad about anything that happens to him. The ship turns out to be too broken to do anything but shoot sparks, so Krieger is stuck with a bunch of nerds.

"Nerds? Totally gay, bro."

Krieger and we are then introduced to all the various characters that will get picked off over the next while. They have names, but they’re not important. There’s a Mexican in there somewhere. What is important is that Bryan Cranston is there to explain just what the fuck is going on. His team, in trying to create a cure to a deadly space virus called Delta-5, created an even more deadly space virus. It got out and infected the research assistant we saw at the beginning of the movie, and Marissa sent the distress signal against her commander’s orders. Which… actually makes more sense when I think about it. Keep the place quarantined. You don’t want people slipping on board and leaving infected by some sort of super space disease.

It turns out that this new super-virus has become a “metamorphic mutant”, which means something insane, I’m sure. When Krieger suggests destroying it, Walter gets all mad scientist-y, talking about how this thing is the cure they’ve been looking for or something. Then, the mutant hatches from its cocoon, breaks out of its glass container and crawls inside somebody’s brain. It is the first time I’ve felt anything close to empathy for any of these people. I know what it feels like to have something awful crawl inside your head. Later, during the autopsy, the scientists continue to debate with Krieger in the room to deliver one-liners from time to time. Then, a bizarre mouthed thing the size and shape of a football with a puppet pulled over it bursts from the victim’s chest and escapes into the facility.

No, but thanks for reminding me that I could be watching a much better movie right now, asshole.

It is determined through science (seriously) that this creature can only change or mutate when it is swimming around in someone’s DNA. As Marissa so eloquently puts it, “It exists to kill.” She’s really proving that her many years at Space Harvard or wherever-the-fuck weren’t in vain. Krieger decides he’s going to put his foot down, and sets out to kill the creature with the help of the Mexican maintenance man (again, I’m being serious) by flooding the vents with poison. It’s not the best idea, but it’s also the only idea that isn’t “keep the thing that’s killing us alive a little longer”, so it’s ultimately chosen. Marissa insists that she come with Krieger and Jorje, claiming that she can “handle herself”. I will now take bets on how long it will be before Krieger needs to rescue her idiot ass.

The team eventually splits up, as Marissa and Jorje set off to close the vents, and Krieger and the robot go brood in a lab for a while. Not really all that helpful, guys. It’s not long before Jorje is jumped by the monster, and Marissa does exactly what any woman who can handle herself would do. Panics, screams her head off and lets Jorje die and the monster escape. You fucking suck, lady.

"I am woman, hear me shriek and be generally pretty useless in horror situations."

The crew at the facility is obviously shaken by this, but the thing has been successfully sealed out of the living quarters for now. Krieger suggests that they all get some rest, but how could they? Three of their comrades have been brutally killed by a creature that, not only does science not fully understand, but science is responsible for. They have played God, and it’s gotten people killed. That weighs heavy on a conscience, and the crew finds no rest- oh, wait, no. That’s not right. Krieger bones Marissa, and two other characters that suck bone each other. Like, seriously. What is it with horror and bloodshed that drives people’s libido through the fucking roof?

You just know Ash has the weirdest boner right now.

I mean, Jesus, the only guy that wasn’t getting any was the robot. But you know that’s because he was standing in the corner of the room while Krieger was busy going beyond infinity. But it was cool, man. He was totally in “stand-by”mode, right? Right?

We also discover why Bryan Cranston seems almost obsessed with curing Delta-5; it’s because – SURPRISE! – he HAS Delta-5! What a twist! A character that seems to be going crazy, coughing into a hankie constantly and sweating like a hooker in church is sick? Next thing you’ll tell me is that the monster has somehow gotten into the living quarters.

Checking back in on Krieger and Marissa, we discover that the monster has somehow gotten into the living quarters. Krieger commands his robot to warn everyone and sets out to confront the creature. Marissa eventually joins Krieger and, after searching for  a while, they discover…

Spawn more Overlords

…one of the worst special effect creatures I’ve ever seen. It appears to be made of several hockey sticks, some plaster-of-Paris, a latex mask and a camouflage hunting tarp. It looks like shit, is what I’m trying to say here. But it manages to scare even the fearless Krieger, and the two of them barely escape with their lives. They also let the creature escape. Again.

Krieger and the robot set out to try and kill it (you know, because that’s gone so well so far) by walking around on the planet’s surface to hunt it. Krieger throws on a temporary space suit that doesn’t have a helmet and goes out to hunt this thing down. Let’s recap: that’s a space suit without a helmet which, my lack of knowledge of space travel notwithstanding, I would assume is an important part of the suit. Also, the suit will deteriorate in twenty minutes. What the hell kind of shitty technology is this?

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Walter makes a shocking discovery: the monster has somehow become a carrier for literally every disease ever known to man. That’s… that’s pretty out there, guys. I mean, everything in this movie is stupid, but that’s some Glenn Beck-level stupid.

While on the hunt, Krieger takes  a nasty fall and the robot helps him to shelter while two characters bicker about whether or not Krieger is awesome. The monster ambushes the two of them, and chases them back to base, where the robot and the monster get into a fist-and-claw-fight while Krieger is dragged to safety and- oh, god. Oh, god. They can’t do it. They just can’t.

“TINPAAAAAAAAAN! NOOOOOO! HE’S MY FRIEND!”

I’m sorry. I need a minute.

Alright, I’m better now. So, while Krieger mourns the loss of his beloved robot, another character gets grabbed, and the monster gets back into the facility. Like, seriously, I don’t even care about these people anymore. I hope that thing eats them all. When the team reconvenes in the medlab, the character that just got grabbed returns. Only now, she’s a carrier for literally every sickness humankind has ever known. So naturally, these being men of science, they let her in the room and don’t even pull up their little surgeon’s masks.

"These are just for show, really. Hell, the gloves ain't even that important."

Krieger shoots the dying woman, and sets off alone to kill the monster. I mean, yeah. Of course he does. It’s his thing by this point. But Marissa decided to follow him like a dumbass, and brings another one of the dumbasses along with her. The two wander aimlessly through the facility and stumble upon the monster, which appears to be either rooted to the floor or stuck to the wall. Well, this should be simple enough. I mean, it’s just stuck there like an asshole. It’s not going to be able to kill them if they just keep their distance. Unfortunately, Marissa and what’s-his-name are idiots and what’s-his-name is killed as Marissa escapes.

Meanwhile, Walter is realizing that all of this is his fault, and feels just rotten about the whole ordeal. He suggests attacking the monster with Delta-5-infected tissue and “just see what happens”. Again, this is another scientist at this research station making those countless dollars spent on education so worth it. Realizing that he’s going to die anyway, Walter and the head of research fill a bunch of tranquilizer darts with Walter’s infected blood.

Marissa and Krieger return to take the creature down, and the audience begins to realize that there can’t be that much left of the movie. There are only four characters left, for Christ’s sake. During the grueling battle, Marissa runs away, and things start looking grim for our hero. But Walter and the head scientist show up just in time to deliver the killing blow and both get killed themselves. The monster, clearly feeling the effect of the virus, throws itself through a window and explodes. Alright, cool. So, it’s dead. So, end of movie, right?

Nope! Two smaller monsters burst from the lifeless body of the first monster and start hunting Krieger and Marissa through the facility. Krieger burns one up, and Marissa has a mental breakdown and stabs the other one to death with a dart approximately eighty times more than was necessary. So, at long last, we have our two survivors, and Krieger and Marissa sail off into space with a now re-assembled Tinpan (I still cannot get over how shitty that name is). The movie ends with our two survivors necking in Kreiger’s nasty sweat chamber, and as the credits roll, we realize that we’ll never get that time back.

Points

Hey, I Know That Guy!: 4/5 Bryan Cranston really is the biggest name in this movie, and it’s really funny seeing him in something this shitty. He really is the best part of the movie, if only for the fact that he’s probably the only one you ever see emote.

Blood N’ Guts: 1/5 There was very little gore to speak of, and when it did show up, it looked really bad, even by this movie’s standards. There were a few beheadings and disembowelings, but not enough to recommend it for the cheesy gore

I Saw A Boob!: 1/5 The obligatory sex scenes in this movie were not only creepy and awkward. They were just a special level of weird that not a lot of other Corman movies have achieved. The sweat chamber was the worst part, though. That was just… unsanitary.

Ka-Blooey!: 0/5 No explosions. Not a one! Other than the brief and completely unnecessary space fight at the beginning of the movie, there were maybe two explosions, tops.

Overall: This is a bad, bad, bad movie. And normally, that wouldn’t bother me. There’s a market for garbage cinema, and I get that. But Dead Space manages to come full circle in a way that I cannot properly explain without a mathematician and a PowerPoint presentation. There are more entertaining Roger Corman movies than this. Do yourself a solid and never, ever watch it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment