Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: Warrior of the Lost World

Remember a couple hours ago when I said that Solarbabies strung together a lot of classic post-apocalyptic sci-fi tropes in a pretty fun way? This movie is pretty much the opposite of that.

In classic 80s VHS fashion, nothing in the movie looks nearly as good as this box art.

I think the main problem this movie has is a lack of discernible plot. This stems from the fact that there’s no connecting tissue between the scenes. No one ever discusses why they’re going to the next place their going, or how they’ll get there, or why they’ve completely changed their costumes. They’re just there, and something ridiculous happens. It’s like someone said, “I’ve got some vaguely interesting action sequences, but that’s about it.” Then, someone else said, “Close enough. Let’s just call it a script and start shooting.”

The movie also suffers from some absolutely terrible sound effects, and some of the most lifelessly dubbed lines I’ve ever heard. The main character has almost no emotion in any of his dialogue, which I’m pretty sure is completely ADRed through the whole movie. This makes a little sense, because the movie was originally made and distributed in Italy, but The Rider (That’s all he’s ever called) is very obviously speaking English. Was the original soundtrack just not available anymore? Why the hell did they re-dub every single one of his lines?

The only redeeming thing in this movie is Donald Pleasence, who makes an appearance as the main bad guy wearing one of his old Blofeld outfits. I was shocked that he never pulled out a cat to start stroking menacingly.

Oh, there’s also a talking motorcycle with the most annoying voice ever.

Terrible, just terrible. Still pretty fun though.

2 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: Solarbabies

Netflix Instant had a pretty rough, choppy transfer of this movie. The whole thing looked like that half-stop-motiony-slow-mo effect they used in 80s music videos. It was annoying, but I suffered through it for the sake of the greatest holiday of the year.

This foreign poster is way, WAY cooler than the American ones I found.

So… There’s a corporation that controls the world’s water supplies. They also run a series of orphanages, to indoctrinate future generations to take over the work of the “Protectorate”. Apparently, part of this indoctrination includes playing “skateball”, which is kind of like basketball, played with lacrosse sticks, while wearing roller skates. One of the skateball teams, the Solarbabies, finds a magical orb thing that seems to grant wishes. Of course, something bad happens, and the orb gets stolen.

Then, there’s this guy and his pet owl. Yeah, he skates too. He’s pretty much nine kinds of awesome.

After the kids escape from the orphanage (You didn’t think they were gonna stay, did you?) and go on a quest to find the stolen magical orb thinger. They’re trying to get the orb back, and the protectorate is trying to get them back. It’s a pretty standard and predictable plot, but it’s pretty well done. Also, there are some great visuals along the way. Once their travels start, they do a pretty classic run through of different crazy desert tribes. Every time they find a new place to stay, the Protectorate catches up with them, and they have to run again. At one point, they find the standard guys-that-make-armor-and-stuff-from-old-tires-tribe. These guys have taken the concept to 11 though, and their entire city seems to be made of tires. Seriously, there are thirty foot tall smoke stacks that are just giant stacks of tires. It’s crazy. This leads to the worst escape plan I’ve ever seen as each of the Solarbabies hide inside giant tractor tires, and roll themselves down a hill. They’re wearing roller skates the whole time, by the way.

I really enjoyed this one. It’s a great combination of all of the standard post-apocalyptic tropes I love, and the teen team action flicks that the late 80s seemed to be full of.

4 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: The Road

I was warned that this movie was depressing as hell, and it pretty much was. I was more worried about the ending being the worst part, but the last few moments are actually pretty uplifting.

These posters accurately portray the color pallet of the movie.

I rented this movie, so I didn’t have the box, which meant I didn’t realize that there was an amazing supporting cast until they popped up on screen. Not just the people on the cover either. Garret Dillahunt and Michael Kenneth Williams both steal the show when they show up as well. Every actor in this flick really nailed it.

I was also amazed by the scope of some the shots. The story of this movie is very small, it’s about a boy and his father, and that’s it. The huge sweeping burned out landscapes really pushed home the breadth of the devastation. They also looked gorgeous.

Seriously. Look at that. That’s crazy awesome.

The Road was pretty much great. While it’s intense, and super-heavy emotionally, I really, REALLY enjoyed it.

5 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: Predator

It’s time to get this day started. That means breakfast and Predator.

A great start to a great day. If this isn’t the breakfast of champions, I don’t know what the hell is.

I reviewed this movie last year. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, with one of the most insane, gratuitous action sequences ever. Don’t believe me? Watch this 5 minutes of insanity (with kind of terrible audio):

The whole movie is pretty much that amazing. If you don’t have time to watch the whole movie today, just watch this rap video that does a pretty awesome job of summing up the whole thing.

5 out of 5 (obviously)

Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies

Oh, The Asylum, how do I love thee. You’ve seen reviews here for 2-Headed Shark Attack, and 2012: Zombie Apocalypse, in fact, I’ve only reviewed movies from The Asylum since my return earlier this year. It’s no coincidence, they’re kind of my current obsession. I’ve actually watched quite a few of their movies recently that I didn’t write reviews for. However, that’s not the case with Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies. This is a movie that deserves a review. Despite being another in The Asylum’s long line of mock busters, it’s pretty dang good.

I’m pretty much a huge Abe Lincoln fan. In fact, several years ago, I made a mini-comic that featured him. Dude was a professional wrestler before he became President. That’s pretty bad ass. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why I was all in for this movie as soon as I heard about it.

This movie, like the amazing 2-Headed Shark Attack, is exactly what the title says it is. Lincoln personally leads an elite team of new Secret Service agents to recapture a fort that has been taken over by Rebel zombies. Boom. That’s a movie. This movie also does a great job of adding some pretty great character moments, and mixing in other historical characters along the way. However, those other historical characters, while a fun addition, are pretty inaccurately portrayed.

Teddy Roosevelt, age 6 – Pat Garrett, age 14

That’s a pretty minor problem in a movie that’s obviously not going for historical accuracy though. It’s also far overshadowed by the fact that Lincoln has his own personal switchblade style scythe, which he apparently keeps in a white house closet just in case he needs that shit for a zombie outbreak. Seriously.

I really, really enjoyed this flick, and while it had some problems, it was still hella fun. Oh yeah, the ending is pretty damn clever too.

4 out of 5

Buy your own copy of “Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies” from Amazon!

I Watched Avengers In 3D, But I Didn’t Wanna

That title’s a little misleading. It almost makes it sound like I didn’t want to see The Avengers at all, which, I assure you, was not the case. I really, really wanted to see this movie, I simply didn’t want to have to watch it in 3D.


This Sunday, my brother Nathan and I decided to go see The Avengers. When I arrived at my local theater, Nathan, who had arrived about 30 minutes early for the show, informed me that the 2D show was sold out. My theater, by the way, had one screen showing Avengers in 2D, and three screens showing the 3D version. We were trying to get to the earliest screening possible, as I had some appointments in the afternoon, so our choices came down to waiting another day to see the movie, or just seeing it in 3D. We debated our choices for a while, and as we did, several more people came up to the window wanting tickets to the sold out 2D showing. The workers at the box office informed them that the 2D showing was sold out, but that a 3D showing started just 15 minutes later. Of the 20 or so people I saw go through this scenario, the vast majority did not opt to see the 3D movie, instead, they simply left.

That’s right, rather than pay more money to watch the same movie, they went home.

My brother and I opted to pay the extra money, however, since we didn’t have another time in the coming days to see it together. We hopped in line, and when we got to the ticket window, I realized that the man working there was actually the theater’s manager. I purchased my ticket, and told him that I was doing it begrudgingly. He sympathized, and told me that he too wished that they’d had more 2D copies of the film. Then, he threw a little factoid at me that kind of blew my mind. He said that the box office takes for the two versions of the film were actually neck and neck, despite the 2D version being on fewer screens, and a cheaper ticket. I kind of doubted that, and in the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t been able to find anything else that backs that up. However, the view from my seat in the theater really got me thinking.

When the movie finally started, our screening was maybe, and it’s a generous maybe, half full. Some quick back of the envelope math breaks down like so:

Average movie ticket price – $8, Upcharge for 3D – $3 (That’s almost a 40% mark up, by the way), the theaters in our town hold about 300 people each. So, a sold out 2D showing makes $2400 dollars, and 3 half-full 3D showings makes $4,950. Yes, that’s twice as much money, but it took three times as many screens, and 40% higher ticket prices to get there. That doesn’t even take into account the completely lost sales of the people that went home when they heard the 2D showing was sold out!

I loved the movie, it was pretty easily the greatest superhero movie yet, but the 3D didn’t enhance my experience at all. In fact, it detracted from it. The action in the extreme foreground blurs horribly for me in 3D, and the entire experience never fails to give me a headache.

I really hope that 3D is a fad that fades away sooner, rather than later. It’s a gimmick. It doesn’t enhance the movie experience, and it doesn’t seem to be making any extra money for Hollywood at this point. All of this is obviously just my opinion, and your mileage may vary, but this is my blog, and that’s the way I see it.

Movie Review: 2-Headed Shark Attack

You guys, I was so excited to see this movie, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

This movie is exactly what you’d expect it to be, which is exactly why it was flippin’ awesome.

I’ve become a huge fan of the films put out by The Asylum. I haven’t seen a ton of them so far, but I plan on plugging through their back catalog in the near future. They make movies that are unapologetic about what they are, which is essentially modern grindhouse cinema. Their movies are made to appeal to a certain demographic in a lowest common denominator way, and do so without pulling any punches. 2-Headed Shark Attack is a great example of this.

I honestly don’t know what else to tell you. The movie is called 2-Headed Shark Attack. If you hear the title and think, “That sounds awesome”, then you’ll dig this movie. Period.

4 out of 5

Get yourself a copy of “2-Headed Shark Attack” from Amazon!