Every Monday I watch a random movie I've never heard of before. Here are my latest.
NO DESSERT DAD, TILL YOU MOW THE LAWN (1994)
Thoughts before watching: Just look at that cover art. This doesn't even look like a real movie. You know when characters in movies actually go to the movies? This looks like a fake movie poster you would see in a movie theater in a movie.
I hope there's a big dessert because it looks like Dad will be mowing for three solid days.
Justin is a little league player who is upset because his workaholic father Ken (Robert Hayes), doesn't have time to take off work for his baseball games.
Yes. We're doing this again. The overworked father who learns a valuable lesson about not working so hard, and spending more family time. To be fair to this movie, it was 1994, and that cliche hadn't really been used to death at this point. But since HOOK was just three years prior, it wasn't exactly original either.
This really is a bad message for kids. These movies are basically saying, "Hey kids, Daddy didn't come to your game/play/ballet recital because he's a jerk who loves his job too much, and needs to be taught a lesson." When in reality hard-working Dads have to miss these things because they're out supporting their families.
I would love to see this get flipped on its' head. For once have the kid learn a valuable lesson that work sucks, and Daddy would rather be anywhere else. Dad's slaving away to put a roof over your whiney head. Nobody wants to go to work. If someone were to offer me a paid day off tomorrow to go to this kid's stupid baseball game, I'd be there with my face painted in his team's colors.
Anyways, Ken and his wife Carol (Joana Kerns), have a smoking problem. They go to a local hypnosis clinic in a strip mall for help. (Located next to Bruno's Bratwurst.) The clinic sends them home with a collection of cassette tapes to listen to for an hour every night. While they're listening to hypnosis tapes, Justin learns he can suggest things to his parents while they're under, and they'll do what he wants. Like buying Justin a pair of Air Jordans.
Justin decides to let his young sister in on the action and shows her how to suggest things to the parents for fun and profit.
Allison Mack who plays the youngest daughter, Monica, is the SMALLVILLE actress in the news right now for her alleged involvement in a sex ring. They should never have taught that bitch hypnotism.
The highlight of the movie is a young James Marsden as the older obnoxious stepbrother, Tyler. He reads Guns & Ammo magazines like porn and keeps a stash of cherry bombs in a hollowed-out copy of Mein Kampf. He's basically Chet from WEIRD SCIENCE. Marsden really hams it up and has a lot of fun with the role. He would go on to play a similar part in the movie SEX DRIVE.
Tyler is getting frustrated by his younger step-siblings getting everything they want from their parents, so when Mom and Dad go to dinner one evening, he ties them to chairs and interrogates them. At this point, I thought the movie might take a neat turn. I thought Tyler would find out about the hypnosis, and then start using it to make the parents do his evil deeds. That would've been cool. But nope, the kids get the parents to ship Tyler off to military school, and the best character in the movie is gone.
Dad finds out about the hypnosis. Son saves the day by helping Dad get his greedy boss fired by the corporate head. Greedy boss freaks out and grabs a machine gun and shoots up the office. A public shooting played for laughs? Oh the Nineties, you were so sweet and innocent. Dad learns a valuable lesson about not working so hard and spending more time with his family.
I didn't hate this movie. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and I'll never watch it again. But it wasn't as horrible as I was expecting with James Marsden's obnoxious brother character, and a few jokes that actually hit their mark. I can honestly say this movie didn't make me want to stab my eyes out.
OPIUM AND THE KUNG FU MASTER (1984)
A.K.A. LIGHTNING FISTS OF SHAOLIN
Thoughts before watching: Random movie picker chose a Shaw Brothers movie for me that I had already seen. So I decided to find one I haven't seen before. I picked this based on the title.
Tieh Chiao-San is the local kung-fu master. He also assists the local police when well-trained fighting hooligans get out of hand. Also, he likes to hit the opium pipe occasionally, but he's, "not an addict."
The evil villain decides to open an opium den in town, (located next to Bruno's Bratwurst), but first, he makes nice with Master Tieh and the mayor by gifting them with some of his purest, high-grade opium.
Soon after the opium den opens the mayor's son, and chief of police begins having all kinds of problems. Mainly one of his officers has become an opium addict and spends all his family's money on his habit. Soon the officer's wife kills her kids with rat poison and hangs herself, driving the officer to slit his throat with a meat cleaver. The police chief seeks Master Tieh for help but finds him passed out in an opium stupor. So he takes it upon himself to go to the opium den and burn the place down. This causes the chief to get his ass kicked to a bloody pulp. Master Tieh steps up to take on the den owner, and after an impressive fight his shaky addict hands get the best of him, and he's beaten.
After this Master Tieh vows to kick his habit, and a whole lotta ass.
But first, rehab. Rehab, consisting of being locked in a room and contorting on the floor from withdrawals. The second step is having to sit cross-legged on a floor, while guys with baskets of fire fan smoke in his face. This snaps him out of his addiction, and he's ready to take on the opium den owner.
This is the first Shaw Brothers movie I believe I've seen that tackles a serious issue like addiction. And it gets a little REEFER MADNESS-y at times. But who cares about that? I didn't put this movie on expecting a hard-hitting drama about the dangers of addiction. I wanted a hard-hitting, face kicking, ass punching, kung-fu movie, and I got that in spades.
Sword fights. Fights with knives on chains. Fights with a big brass ring. Fights with spears. Fights on a ladder. Fights in a rice factory. Fights in a burning opium den.
This is my comfort food. Of course, it's a gem. That's just to be expected.
OLGA'S GIRLS (1964)
Thoughts before watching: Speaking of sex rings.
New York City's top supplier of prostitutes and drugs, Olga, is brought a pair of girls to purchase from a "human flesh peddler." After giving the merchandise a thorough inspection, Olga starts a bidding war with the pimp that she wins.
Bringing in the new girls, we get to see the inner workings of her operation documentary style. She keeps the girls addicted to her drug supply, marijuana, heroin, opium. (All my reviews are starting to tie together.)
If the girls get out of line by stealing drugs or rejecting her lesbian advances, then they're taken to Olga's dungeon and punished with spankings, electrocution, and vice clamps.
Olga's top girl Colette gets sick of her bullshit and leads a hooker mutiny. She and a few other girls take Olga down to the dungeon and give her a taste of her own medicine. Olga recuperates and vows vengeance on the traitors.
And that's basically it. Not much of a plot, just really an excuse to show softcore nudity, and S&M.
The movie has no audio. Most of the events are detailed by a narrator, who sounds like the voice of a 50's classroom film. This comes off really odd when he's narrating over a nude shower scene documentary style. But one of the most bizarre things about this is that the character of Olga delivers some of her speaking lines through narration. Sometimes her character isn't onscreen in the movie, and at other times a different character is shown talking on the screen while she's delivering lines.
If you have a perverted grandfather who's into bondage, this was probably his jam back in the day.
The closing credits promise us that Olga's adventures will continue. OLGA'S GIRLS is the second in a trilogy.
Every generation has a legend.
The Olga movies would conclude with OLGA'S HOUSE OF SHAME.
The saga comes to an end.
ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES (1985)
Thoughts before watching: Random movie picker chose a Christian THE DIRTY DOZEN type movie. I must be a glutton for punishment because I kind of really wanted to watch it. I couldn't find it anywhere online, so I ordered a physical copy. During my searching, I ran across this. I picked it just because the artwork on the poster looked cool.
Holy crap! Where has this movie been all my life?
The film starts in the middle of the Atlantic, with nine survivors of a sinking luxury liner aboard a lifeboat. They drift away from the other lifeboats and end up on a deserted island.
The nine characters are all relatable. There's Moustache Guy, Bearded Guy, Guy in White Pants, Self-Centered Asshole Guy, Blonde Guy, Injured Guy, and three ladies.
After they arrive on the island and begin exploring, Blonde Guy discovers a pond of water and dips his face in for a drink. But like the majority of ponds on deserted islands, this is a pool of acid, and it melts his face off. Bearded Guy sums it up best when he says, "So much for the water."
Once the group finds a spot to camp, Moustache and White Pants go back to the lifeboat to retrieve Injured Guy but find he's been eaten away to a white skeleton. (This skeleton prop is going to be used multiple times throughout the movie.) They decide not to tell the others about this to avoid panic.
At camp that night the beast creatures attack. And the titular monsters of the movie turn out to be tiny little flesh-eating tiki dolls.
Movie, did we just become best friends? Yep.
The rest of the movie is the group running around the island getting attacked by adorable red tiki dolls. Every doll attack is hilarious — shots of the tikis pouncing on the survivors. (Off camera crew members throwing dolls at the actors.) Group shots of the actors with tikis attached all over their bodies screaming. Shots of the dolls running through the jungle, pumping their arms, making a Chika-Chika-Chika sound.
Eventually, only two survivors are left. Not all of them are taken out by the tikis. Bearded guy trips while running and impales himself on a branch. Self-Centered Asshole guy keeps getting bitten on the same spot on his leg, starts foaming at the mouth, and then dives into the acid pool. (Another use of skeleton prop.)
Soon there are only two members of the crew left alive. SPOILER ALERT: It's Moustache and the most attractive of the ladies.
When I was a kid, I used to try to catch the TRILOGY OF TERROR every time it played on TV. I always loved the segment with Karen Black being chased around her apartment by the tiki doll. I wished it would've been the whole movie. Well, here it is multiplied by a hundred. I'm going to quote STEPBROTHERS for the second time in the same review. Can you imagine if we had this movie when we were twelve? Even better we got it when we're forty.
I had an absolute blast with this movie, and I'll be showing it to some friends this weekend.
This is the reason I started this whole project. Not to shit on terrible movies, but to find hidden gems like this.