Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sleepaway Camp

Watched October 6, 2013

Starring: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields, Christopher Collet, Katherine Kamhi

In the last couple of months we've watched several of my favorite movies and I don't mind at all. Sleepaway Camp is another movie I first saw in my teens and absolutely loved. I would obsess with my best friend about the strange flash back scenes that Angela has of her parents and of her brother. We even made a short movie for our drama class that combined Sleepaway Camp with Blood Feast. If you've seen it or not, I'm not gonna spoil the super amazing ending here, so don't worry.

It begins with a summer lakeside boating accident. A father is playing with his two young kids on a little boat. But the kids are little tricksters and they push their dad off the boat, making it tip over. They all have life vests on so it's all good fun. Some teens are waterskiing nearby and they are totally goofing off like teens are prone to do. The teens don't see that the boat has flipped over and they run over it, killing the dad and one of the kids.

Ten years later, we learn that it was the little girl Angela who survived and she has been raised by her totally crazy aunt. This is the first year that Angela (Felissa Rose) will get to go to camp with her cousin Ricky (Jonathan Tiersten.) They head off to Camp Arawak, it looks much like the same spot where Angela's dad was killed. The camp is filled with councilors who look over 30, and most everyone wears tiny shorts and for the guys, even tinier crop tops. 

Angela is a quiet girl who has a hard time fitting in. Judy (Karen Fields) is one of her cabin mates and she is a huge bitch to Angela, and everyone. Even one of the councilors, Meg (Katherine Kamhi) gives Angela a hard time about being quiet and not participating. At the mess hall, one of the nicer councilors notices that Angela isn't eating so he takes her to get some ice cream. A pedophile cook takes Angela into the back to get some ice cream and is about to molest her when Ricky shows up and saves her. Shortly after the incident, the cook is standing on a chair, salting a giant vat of boiling water. Someone pulls the chair out from under him and he is drenched in the boiling water, getting 3rd degree burns all over his body. The camp director Mel (Mike Kellin) plays it off as an accident and doesn't tell the campers about it. 

Campers continue to get murdered and Mel continues to play the deaths off as accidents. Angela is still shy but suprisingly opens up and talks to Paul (Christopher Collet) a nice friend of Ricky's. Paul and Angela hang out a couple times and it all seems to be going well. One night after dinner, Paul gives Angela a tiny kiss, but she totally freaks out and runs away. 

Angela gets it together and invites Paul to meet her on the beach after the big camp social. This is where everything gets crazy. Mel is trying to figure out who the killer is without alarming all the campers, and he suspects Ricky. Meg is stabbed while taking a shower right before she was supposed to meet Mel for a date. It seems like half the camp is murdered that night. Finally we see who the crazed camp killer has been all along and it's completely surprising.

The twist ending really makes the movie special and memorable. Watch it for yourself to find out, there's good reason this movie has a crazy cult following. I know it just may seem like a camp slasher flick but it has so much more, you just have to see it to believe.

I hadn't looked up Sleepaway Camp  before on IMDB and I was completely surprised to find out that the actor who plays Paul also played Gary Lee in Prayer of the Roller Boys! That's another favorite due to a brief obsession with Corey Haim, so I'm sure I'll force everyone to watch it again with me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Watched September 29, 2013

Starring: Glynis Johns, Steve Railsback, Siphiwe Mlangeni, Sipho Mlangeni

I knew this movie was going to be terrible. 

The success of E.T. spawned many copycat movies like Mac and Me. I have to say that aliens usually aren't very cute and E.T. was an exception not the rule. PG rated family movies that are bad tend to be really bad, so I knew before I started the movie it was going to be rough. I was right in my prediction that this is another strange E.T. rip off featuring weird wrinkly aliens.

Nukie and his sibling Miko are travelling through the galaxy as beams of light. As they are zooming around Earth when something happens to their flight abilities and they are separated and fall to Earth. Nukie lands in Africa and Miko lands in the US.

Miko is captured by some scientists who probe the crap out of him/her. Nukie and Miko can still communicate telepathically so Nukie knows that Miko is in America but doesn't know where that is. Twin boys, Tiko and Tokie (Siphiwe and Sipho Mlangeni) find Nukie in the desert and bring him back to their village. Sister Anne (Glynis Johns) is the local missionary of their village, and she's got some weird agenda of her own. Nukie meets a monkey that tends the general store and that monkey loves candy. To get the attention of the villagers Nukie causes an earthquake that destroys many of their pots of water. Nukie is a jerk. Because of the earthquake the villagers decide they have to sacrifice one of the twins, they send them both into the desert with no help. One of the twins is bit by a snake but Nukie shows up and helps him. Nukie brings both twins back to the village. This turns the village so they decide to help Nukie find his brother.

Meanwhile at the lab, Miko is getting sick from all the tests that are being performed on him. The computer, E.D.D.I.  takes pity on Miko and they become friends. There is one researcher, Pamela who is let on that they should be nice to Miko and help him find his brother.

 Nukie and the twins hop in a cart that is half a car and drawn by two donkeys and head to America. They ride for an extremely long time, I guess they don't know that you can't get to America from Africa by land. Luckily Miko was able to pinpoint where Nukie really was and with help from Pamela gets in a helicopter and heads to Africa to meet Nukie. The gross alien siblings meet up and fly away together. They end up taking the candy loving monkey with them. What a mess!

The computer E.D.D.I. has a great freak out moment where it flashes No! on many of its screens a lot. This movie is so strange. Nukie is a very gross character that has snot oozing out his nose for much of the movie. I chose to illustrate the only redeeming part which were the cute donkeys that pulled the crazy car cart. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fear No Evil

Watched September 22, 2013

Starring: Stefan Arngrim, Elizabeth Hoffman, Kathleen Rowe McAllen

This film covers the eternal struggle between reincarnations of Lucifer and Gabrielle, I guess they will constantly battle each other until the end of time.  We see an old man version of Gabrielle find Lucifer and stab him with a special golden staff. Now that this Lucifer is dead, he will be reborn and the battle of good versus evil will continue.

Next we see a baby, Andrew, at his baptism. As the holy water is poured over him he begins to bleed, squirting his mother in the face with blood. Wind blows through the church disrupting the ceremony,  in fear Andrew's mother runs out of the church with him. Next we see their house, over time it falls apart, it's a metaphor for how Andrew is ruining his parent's lives. His parents have a very strained relationship with each other and it seems like it's because Andrew has been such a terrible child. Now it's his 18th birthday, his mother made him a cake, but in lighting the candles his father drops it on the floor. The parents yell at each other and the mom fall down, when she tries to get up an iron falls on her head.

At school, Andrew (Stefan Arngrim) doesn't seem to have many friends but he does like a girl, Julie (Kathleen Rowe McAllen.) Julie doesn't know Andrew exists until he hands her a book she forgot in class, she has a vision of herself and Andrew entangled in a bed kissing and it's terrifying.

Now that Andrew is 18, he realizes that he's the embodiment of Lucifer. Andrew tries to dream rape Julie, it's pretty terrifying, but Julie manages to wake up.  Julie continues to get strange visions about Andrew and about an old woman.  She leaves her house, without telling her parents, and finds the old woman, Margaret. It turns out Margaret is the current embodiment of the angel Mikhail. Margaret believes that Julie is the embodiment of Gabrielle. Margaret tries to explain what they must kill Andrew but it's convoluted.

The church happens to be staging their annual version of the Passion play. Andrew decides that night is the right time for him to embrace his satanic powers. He ruins the play, starts killing people and raises some zombie dead. Margaret and Julie run around trying to find Andrew. Luckily the magic staff also stuns Andrew/Lucifer so he can't get away. They finally catch him and stab him with the staff, destroying him. They've won this round, until Lucifer is reborn again.

The tone of this movie is all over the place. It's trying to be a spooky religious horror movie but it's cut with high school scenes that feature then contemporary songs by the likes of the Boom Town Rats, The Ramones, Talking Heads, B-52's, Patti Smith and more! The music was fun, the tonal shifts were not.

There is a super crazy scene where all the high school guys are taking a shower, including Andrew. One of the dudes, Tony starts teasing Andrew, so Andrew kisses Tony, literally locking lips with him and forcing him to the ground. It's such a strange scene, they don't address how weird it is but  it does feature lots of male nudity.

I think there was supposed to be some chemistry between Julie and Andrew, so it would be harder for her to kill him but that never happened. Since they established the thin plot at the beginning, it was just a waiting game to have the same events happen all over again. It's a strange movie but it didn't leave me with many memorable scenes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Watched September 22, 2013

Starring: Sam Ball, Judi Croon, Jennifer Fleming, Eric Gunther

I found this on the street in New York sometime around 2002.  By the title I thought it might be some homemade porn, but oh no it's something very different. Even moving across the country several times I have kept this movie as it's a favorite.

A college student is studying in the library where he is given a flyer to a singles mixer. The lady flirts with him as she gives him the flyer and promises she'll be there if he comes. He goes to the mixer at a bar and there aren't a lot of people there but he lady does show up. They do tequila shots together and she suggest they ditch this place and go to a real party. They head to a rave that has about 6 people at it even though the director tries to make it seem crowded. The lady suggests they do some drugs, she doesn't say what. The student is reluctant but is quickly convinced, my guess is that he just wants to have sex with her. She gives him 2 pills of something and they keep kissing. Not long after he doesn't feel very well, he goes to the bathroom and collapses.

It's morning when we see him again, and he's in an abandoned warehouse sitting in a bathtub full of ice. There is a phone by him, it rings and a woman tells him to call 911. Some flashbacks show that all the people at the rave took him into a surgery room and stole his kidney.

It ends with some text saying the black market for kidneys is very lucrative but it also says that the American Medical Association doesn't verify that that the market exists at all.

While looking up some reference images for this post I came across the Snopes article about kidney theft. It's an urban legend that goes back to the early '90s that also had a resurgence in the mid-1990's, but there is no real proof to it.

This movie is short and strange and that's why I like it.  I guess I also enjoy it because you really don't think that it will end up with him getting a kidney stolen. It does have an IMDB page: Allure, but I'm not sure where you could find a copy. I guess keep your eyes peeled on the street when someone throws it out.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Switchblade Sisters

Watched September 15, 2013

Starring: Robbie Lee, Joanne Nail, Monica Gayle, Asher Brauner

This movie changed my life. I first saw it between high school and college; I absolutely loved it. I brought it up at movie night to make sure that everyone got a chance to see it, as it's a personal favorite.

Lace (Robbie Lee) is the leader of the Dagger Debs, the sister gang to the Silver Daggers. At the local burger joint she runs into Maggie (Joanne Nail) a girl without a gang. They get into a fight and the police show up. All the girls are taken to juvenile detention.  Maggie is about to be molested by the warden Mom Smackley when all the Dagger Debs come to her rescue. Since Maggie doesn't have a gang she's invited by Lace to join the Dagger Debs. Lace is still stuck in the joint when Maggie is released. Lace gives Maggie a note to give to her boyfriend Dom (Asher Brauner), the leader of the Daggers. Maggie gives the note to Dom at the gang's hangout but he reads it in front of everyone and it's romantic and personal. That night Dom goes to Maggie's apartment and rapes her, which is super messed up. Lace is released and she introduces Maggie to Dom and the gang, not knowing that Dom already raped Maggie. Patch (Monica Gayle) is super suspicious of Maggie joining the gang, so she mentions that Maggie has to do a job to prove her allegiance. The task she is given is stealing a medallion from Crabs (Chase Newhart) the leader of the rival gang. Maggies manages to do this and is welcomed into the gang. Crabs and his gang retaliate by shooting Dom's brother Guido and gang raping his girlfriend Cherry. Maggie has the idea to attack Crabs's gang at the roller rink where they hang out on Friday nights. Maggie knows the turf because she used to live in that part of town.

Meanwhile Lace tries to reconnect with Dom and informs him that at the juvenile detention she found out she's pregnant. Dom doesn't care and throws her some money to get an abortion. Lace talks to Patch who convinces her that Maggie is making the moves on Dom and that's why he has become distant. 

At the roller rink, everyone is just skating around and all seems cool. Then the Silver Daggers and Dagger Debs attack! But Crabs's gang has their own weapons and they fight back. Dom is shot and Lace is kicked in the stomach. Dom doesn't make it,  Lace recovers at the hospital, but she lost the baby. Maggie knows that someone tipped off Crabs because how else would he have known about this attack. Lace plays it cool when all the girls visit her at the hospital, but reveals to Patch that she told Crabs about the attack because he promised he would take Maggie out. 

Maggie gathers all the girls together to take a stand. The Silver Daggers, now that their leader Dom is dead don't support the girls. The girls break away from the Daggers and rename themselves the Jezebels. Maggie goes to the local black radical gang for more muscle to figure out how to get their revenge on Crabs. It's obvious that Maggie is the new leader but Lace shows up and makes it look like she's in charge.  They all plan the big attack and Maggie is adamant that Crabs must be taken alive to figure out who ratted out the previous attack.

Crabs and his gang have a front where they give out free meals to kids, but I guess they use that as a front to get them addicted to drugs. All the girls attack Crabs's gang with Molotov cocktails and assault vehicles. It's a bad ass attack with the Jezebels and the black radical gang beating down Crabs's gang. Maggie corners Crabs and is about to figure out who squealed but Lace and Patch show up. Patch shoots Crabs and says that he was gonna run. Maggie is pissed.

Back at the gang hangout all the girls are celebrating their victory, they even got a special cake. Lace on the verge of completely losing her hold on the gang and doesn't know what to do. Patch helps Lace get it together and they both accuse Maggie of being the traitor who got Dom killed. Maggie challenges Lace to a one on one fight to prove her innocence. They have a vicious switchblade fight that ends with Maggie stabbing Lace in the throat. The cops show up and take all the girls in, but Maggie is filled with fury and promises that they'll be back.

The rape scenes are tough, but I love that these awesome ladies get through it by sticking together. I love that they shed their abusive dudes to form their own gang. Lace is both tough and a huge baby, it sucks that she was so attached to Dom that she couldn't see what an asshole he was. I highly recommend this movie.

The VHS version that I have was released by Quentin Tarantino's production company and includes him discussing his favorite parts of the movie. I'm glad that he made the movie available again but I always fast forward through him talking about the movie because I can't stand it.