Tag Archives: movie reviews

NEIL BREEN’S LATEST FILM: TWISTED PAIR (2018)

neil breen 2My fellow Human Breens will be thrilled to hear that the one, the only Neil Breen (PBUH) has released his latest cinematic effort. He once again wrote, starred and directed. This addition to the Breeniverse is titled Twisted Pair and features Neil sharing the starring role with the only man who could possibly hold their own with him on the big screen: himself.

As if one Neil Breen pompously setting straight the human race about what moral lepers we are wasn’t enough we now get Breen Times Two or Breen Squared or however you would prefer to describe it. Neil portrays identical twins Keith and Kale, who merge with a form of Artificial Intelligence, gain super powers from it and then set out to save humanity from itself. Same ol’ same ol’ in other words.

We get some Sheer Breenius right off the bat as the twins are listed in the credits as Keith and Kale but are referred to as KANE and Kale in the dialogue. Don’t ever change, Neil.

Anyway, Keith (Or Kane) and Kale are “Identical Neil Breens/ All the way/ They walk alike/ They fly alike/ They even give tiresome lectures with an air of moral superiority alike/ … What a Twisted Pair!/ You will lose your mind/ When Neil Breen/ Is Two of a Kiiiind!” 

twisted pairConflict is the essence of drama, of course, and though Keith and Kale just KNOW they are the Supreme Breens fit to reform humanity the twins disagree about the way to approach their mission. The two members of this Breen Trust clash when one of them decides the human race must be browbeaten into submission while the other decides that the human race must be SAVAGELY browbeaten into submission. Fifty Shades of Grey takes on new meaning here.

Anyway, in Twisted Pair the number of computers destroyed may be larger while the body count and the women’s breasts may be smaller but otherwise it’s pretty much Breen-ness as usual.

Remember the tagline to the Christopher Reeve Superman movie: “You’ll believe a man can fly.” Well in Twisted Pair you WON’T believe how hard you’ll laugh when you see Keith and Kale fly. If you’re a heathen who’s not familiar with the Breen Scene my look at his first four films can be found HERE 

The Twisted Pair trailer is below:  Continue reading

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THE CLONES (1973): MOVIE REVIEW

ClonesTHE CLONES (1973) – This neglected sci-fi item from the 70s was directed by Lamar Card & Paul Hunt, based on Hunt’s story. The Clones falls into that category of films that I always refer to as “X-Movies” because of the way they put one in mind of the paranoid and conspiratorial air of the best X-Files episodes.

Michael Greene, who played Secret Service Agent Jimmy Hart in To Live and Die in L.A, stars as Dr Gerald Appleby. Gerald is a scientist who has been cloned and finds himself vying with his clone for ownership of his life, career and girlfriend when the duplicate begins impersonating him.

clones 2Gregory Sierra, best known to trivia buffs as “And Gregory Sierra” for the number of times he was credited like that in various television shows and movies, plays Nemo, a government agent tasked to keep the clone project a secret and bring in the escapee.

Helping him out is fellow agent Sawyer, portrayed by Otis Young (Blood Beach). Sawyer suffers a crisis of conscience during this coverup assignment.  Continue reading

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THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977): BRUCE LEE EXPLOITATION

Dragon Lives Again

The Dragon Lives Again

THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) – CategoryBrucesploitation with an enjoyably absurd twist   

Even for the bizarre sub-genre of Brucesploitation films this movie is out there! The film starts with the recently – deceased Bruce Lee arriving in the afterlife, where the concubines of the King of the Dead gather around to gawk at the bulge in the pants of the late martial arts superstar. (Just in case you thought NO opening could be more tasteless than the one in The Clones Of Bruce Lee ) In a bit of alleged comic relief the bulge turns out to be caused by a weapon, not Lee’s organ. (Corpse schlong jokes! Who doesn’t love them?)

As head-shaking as that bit is at least it’s coherent, unlike virtually everything else that happens from this point on in the movie. And the time-honored tradition of Brucesploitation films having  leading men who don’t even look like Bruce Lee is well-represented in this flick, but at least here they try to explain it away by talking about how a person’s face and body change after death.  Which, of course, makes no sense since this is supposed to be Lee’s soul, not his body. 

Anyway, Bruce somehow persuades the King Of The Dead to grant him a chance to return to the world of the living, and is told he can return if he outfights all the other inhabitants of this odd netherworld. 

You see, this isn’t just any bland version of the afterlife our hero finds himself in. It’s kind of a Valhalla of cult movie characters and Bruce spends the rest of the movie fighting all of them in various combinations. Continue reading

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FRIDAY THE 13th: THE ORPHAN (1977)

Friday the 13th The Orphan biggerFRIDAY THE 13th: THE ORPHAN (1977) – H.H. Munro must have turned over in his grave at this adaptation of one of his short stories. This quasi-horror film was re-released in 1979 as just The Orphan and despite the original title it has no connection to the Friday the 13th series of slasher flicks. At least, no REAL connection. I’m surprised some unscrupulous distributor never tried sneaking this into theaters in the 1980s as a “prequel” to the slasher movies by presenting the insane young boy in the movie as the grandfather of Jason Voorhees.

Even so the title makes it hard not to think of our wealthy young protagonist “David” (Mark Owens) as an ancestor of the hockey- masked slice and dice man from Crystal Lake. In the 1920s David’s mother accidentally shoots his African Big Game Hunter father Kevin to death during an argument about his frequent overseas trips. David not only witnesses this but sees his mother put the gun in her mouth and kill herself immediately afterward.

Next David gets VERY disturbed when a presumed family member (an uncredited Christopher Lloyd in a “blink-and-you’ll- miss- him” appearance) forces him to kiss his dead father as he lies in his coffin.

The young man’s Aunt Martha arrives to take care of him (and yes, obscure movie buffs, she sometimes does dreadful things). Turns out Martha was dating David’s father before he callously dumped her to marry her sister. Martha takes her resentment of the father out on David and even chews him out about a cough he inherited from dear dead Dad. I’m sure you can tell where all this is headed. Continue reading

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MAVERICK (1994): MOVIE REVIEW

MASCOT COWBOY 2FRONTIERADO IS COMING UP ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 3rd! As always the Frontierado holiday (now celebrated on 6 continents) is about the myth of the Wild West, not the grinding reality. It’s just like the way medieval festivals celebrate the era’s romantic aspects, not “the violence inherent in the system” (for my fellow Monty Python fans).

MaverickMAVERICK (1994) – Richard Donner directed and Mel Gibson starred in this excellent tribute to the 1950s and 1980s Maverick television series. The original series starred James Garner as slick-talking gambler/ gunslinger Bret Maverick AND, in old-age makeup, as “Pappy” Beauregard Maverick, the gambler and con-man patriarch of that family of rogues.  (No relation to the real-life Maverick family of Texas, for whom “maverick” cattle were named.)

Maverick was just as often comedic as dramatic and nicely anticipated the many deconstructions of Old West mythology that were to come in the decades ahead. Sometimes the program was daringly farcical as in episodes like Gun-Shy, a spoof of Gunsmoke, and Three Queens Full, a Bonanza parody set on the Sub-Rosa Ranch (as opposed to Bonanza‘s PONDErosa). The storyline featured Maverick encountering a Ben Cartwright-styled rancher and his three less-than-straight sons, hence the episode’s title.

The original series centered on Garner’s Bret Maverick (and later other Maverick family members) vying in cardplaying and con-games with assorted rival gamblers, gunslingers and con-men. Elaborate schemes and multiple double-crosses often kept viewers guessing who would come out on top til the very end, since Bret sometimes ended up on the losing side. 

The constant betrayals and double-crosses were part of the charm of the television series and were perfectly captured by the 1994 big-screen adaptation of Maverick. This thoroughly enjoyable film is often dismissed as just another of the pointless movie adaptations of tv shows that began to flood theaters back then, but that is far from the truth.

Maverick 2Mel Gibson portrays Bret Maverick since by 1994 James Garner was too old for the role. Jodie Foster co-stars as rival gambler Annabelle Bransford and the iconic James Garner provides memorable support as a lawman. 

NECESSARY SPOILER: Many people that I’ve discussed this movie with said they avoided it or stopped watching it once they realized Garner was not portraying a member of the Maverick family. In reality – as we learn near the very end – he IS. He may have been too old to play Bret this time around but he reprised his role of Pappy Beauregard from the original series. Pappy is just POSING as a lawman and his son Bret obligingly plays along without blowing his Pappy’s cover. Continue reading

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1776: FOURTH OF JULY MUSICAL

1776-musical-movieIt may be my fondness for mythology that makes me love to watch particular movies around particular holidays.  I say that because many of the well- known myths were recited on ancient holidays when their subject matter was relevant to those holidays. The stories helped accentuate the meaning of the special events and that’s the way I use various movies.

At Christmas I watch countless variations of A Christmas Carol, around Labor Day I watch Eight Men Out, at Halloween The Evil Dead and the original Nightmare On Elm Street, Thanksgiving Eve I do Oliver! and for Frontierado (which is just a month away now) I do Silverado.

Since the actual 4th of July is loaded with activity I always show 1776 on the night before. It’s a great way to get in the mood for Independence Day. It’s a musical but with brilliant dialogue portions and the story involves the political maneuvering  surrounding the Original Thirteen Colonies at last announcing their independence from Great Britain, more than a year after  the shots fired at Lexington and Concord started the war.

The story is excellently conveyed and is moving, comical, invigorating and poignant all at once. As long as you know which parts of the tale are depicted accurately and which are complete b.s. it’s a terrific way to spend each 3rd of July. Continue reading

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FATHER’S DAY (2011)

Father's DayFATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.

Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.     

It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable.  Continue reading

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