Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The "Nevermind, Rewind" Turd Of The Week

Some kids don't like the real world.  This is a valid thought process, especially for a nerdy youth in the 1980's when the real world was pretty shitty.  In order to cope with the limitations of reality, a lot of nerds retreated into fantasy worlds.  Some of those fantasy worlds involved breaking things and hurting puppies, but for "normal" nerds, their fantasy world was full of ogres, dragons, thieves and rogues.  Yes, I am in fact giving a slow introduction to the fantastical and legendary role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons.  Since some people in the 1980's still believed in God, those weirdo fanatics decided that D&D was harmful to kids and would lead to the warlock witchery corruption of their white youth.  To capitalize on this conspiracy, several straight to video fantasy/horror films were made at the time using the fear of table top gaming and computer game corruption.  Tom Hanks was even in one.  This genre is full of enjoyable cinematic turds.  Unfortunately, turns out, 1983's SKULLDUGGERY is not one of them.

The general plot of this film involves a group of English theater nerds from different age ranges that regularly meet for a table top medieval style game, similar to D&D, but that comes equipped with a giant castle on the board and larger than usual gaming pieces.  Clearly the script writing work of some asshole that has no idea what people really do when they play D&D.  One of the players, a guy named Adam, comes from a long line since medieval times of cursed people.  When a warlock or whatever "curses" his far off ancestors in the opening bit, he basically murders them.  I'm not sure how this lends to a long family curse of the people capable of boning and continuing this blood line are magic murdered, but whatever.  Fantasy.  Anyways, so during the course of the first twenty minutes, Adam and presumably his girlfriend, a fellow and attractive gamer (lies) starts complaining of being so wrapped up in the game, that she hallucinates that she's playing ALL the time.  Like, when they walk down the street and see some kids in knight costumes playing with wooden swords, she imagines she sees knights fighting with swords!  Freaky shit!

More stuff happens introducing character backgrounds and the theater they are a part of, ALL BORING.  Adam starts having visions related to the warlock and some creepy puppet jester that was in the theater.  Then he starts killing people, seemingly possessed by either the warlock or the jester puppet.  I'm not sure and at this point, I didn't care.  The movie doesn't explain much related to this whole "curse" thing and I'm not sure why we're supposed to fear the possibility of role playing possessing us to murder since all we have to do is not be the descendent of a line of English people cursed by a warlock.  Seems easy enough.  Also, the characters are so dry and boring and the kills suffer from theatrical music, but no b-movie gore.  This movie clearly attempted to be good, as in Masterpiece Theater episode good.  Just one of it's many downfalls.  I'm sure there were more, but I turned it off.            

Shock'Em Dead (1991)
Dir. Mark Reed
Genre: Rock n' Roll Horror

"...Every fuckin' retard thinks he's a rock star."

Turns out, the Devil, as in, Satan, totally loves hair metal.  A lot.  This is a safe assumption I've made based on several debatable facts I've learned from straight to tape movies.  This is where most facts are safely hidden.  Seriously, the Devil obviously loves hair metal so much that he's willing to teach a lot of people how to shred an axe/play guitar good in exchange for their drunken, bandana-laden and extremely flammable souls.  The logical conclusion to be taken here is there must be awesome free rock shows in Hell.  Although, since it's hell, they probably charge some really shitty cover at the door.  Anyways, there have been a bevy of b-movies about the satanic art of rock, especially in the 80's when hair metal was at it's height of unironic goodness.  With so many amazing shitty satanic rock movies to choose from, 1991's SHOCK EM' DEAD has a few things that makes it stand out from the average bargain bin video pack.

A.  It's seems like the 80's, but it's the 90's.
B.  Co-stars recent porn retiree, Traci Lords.
C.  There is a lot of neon green slime in it.
D.  It is actually pretty good.

"So my penis has like, three heads."
SHOCK EM' DEAD has everything thing you could want from a shitty rock n' roll hell film.  Boobs, the aforementioned neon slime, puke takes, boobs, blatant racial insensitivity, zombies, women's blouses passed as bad ass male rock t-shirts (see Rock n' Roll Nightmare (1987), a hot tub, giant wigs, double headed guitars, ladies boobs, awful music, scenes in a pizzeria and murders!  Tons of murders.  Plus, the devil!  Plus, a possibly gay disco queen lead singer who dispenses amazingly shitty one-liners!  SOLD.

Martin decides eating soul dust
has to taste better than cheese bread.
In case you skipped the trailer, SHOCK EM' DEAD tells the story of this guy Martin (Stephen “The Fight Professor” Quadros).  Martin is a nerdy guy that wants to become a rock star.  The only thing in Martin's way is his brokeness, his aforementioned nerdiness and his inability to play guitar.  The only naked ladies he sees is his co-worker when she changes bras in the break room through a peep hole he carved in the wall.  Sad and a little rapey.  He even attempts to try out for a local "rocking" band, Spastique Kolon, (with aforementioned disco queen singer) whose band manager happens to be boner-inducing Lindsay (Traci Lords) and get's completely shit on.  These circumstances would normally crush the Motley Crue inspired rock dreams of most thirty somethings working at a pizzeria and attempting to learn the guitar in order to have sex with people, but luckily for Martin, he happens to have an run in with a random racist stereotype of a voodoo lady that knows the witchery of the Devil.  The Devil.  She senses Martin's rock n' roll plight with her voodoo powers and makes a deal with him.  He will become a rock god, but he has to sell his soul.  Since Martin has clearly already sold his soul to the corporate machine, he has no qualms with this.  Voodoo lady then stabs him in the chest, causing one of soon to be many moments of neon green slime to ooze from something.  Martin screams in pain and opens his eyes to find he's in some weird cheap Thriller music video set where he bares witness to a faceless large haired man playing a two-headed guitar while ladies stroke his legs and stuff.  Also, there is fog.  Lots of fog.  What the fuck is going on?!? 

"Hey.  I'm here to pick up
your daughter, Traci."
Suddenly, Martin wakes up in a somewhat expensive looking Hollywood Hills home with two half naked ladies laying in bed with him.  What the what?!?  Also, they're pretty cute.  Huh?  And he has lots of hair and piercings now.  Get out!  Plus, he totally knows how to shred on the guitar, like, HARD.  Holy shit!  He's a rockstar now!  A rockstar of the Devil!  The girls clue Martin in on a couple catches that have come with his new wig and penis.  Pros, he's a rich rockstar with endless funds, guitar playing abilities and a hot tub!  Plus, his wardrobe is full of pre-ripped tees and leather pants and his new lady friends sold their souls to the Devil in order to be beautiful, so their purgatory is to have sex with him until the end of time!  Party!  The cons are as follows, first con, he's actually totally dead.  Second con, in order to stay "alive," he'll need to regularly murder people and breathe in their neon green mist/soul.  Third con, his true self will be revealed in reflective objects, so, avoid those!  Pretty sure all these things are worth have hot tub sex with Traci Lords.  Or, at least in 1987 it would have been.

Sometimes hangin' with Angel is fun.
  Sometimes he has too many Grasshoppers.
  It's really embarrassing.
Martin, now going by his new good guitar playing name, Angel (get it), uses his new found Devil rock powers to try out for Spastique Kolon again (aka Devil induced nerd revenge) and not only does he get the gig for the upcoming Battle of the (40 year olds) Bands, he ends up replacing and soul sucking the spazzy lead singer!  Plus, he pukes green ooze on the crowd at the show for some reason.  This is not explained.  Anyways, thus begins the rockin' rampage of Angel and his angels who throw the most killer house parties in town!  Cause they eat people.  As Angel starts killing off strangers and rivals left and right, he also attempts to woo Lindsay (Lords) away from her douchey beau, the always overlooked, band bass player.  After several deaths and awkward moments in which Angel refuses to eat pizza with them, the band gets suspicious and realize he's a Devil person!  Sadly, for actual nerd Martin/Angel and his groupie club made of actual burn victims and cancer patients, since the whole Devil deal thing and murdering people essentially overshadows their initial good intentions, they are all defeated/sent back to hell by Lindsay and her boyfriend.

Traci awakes from one of her many
ongoing Ron Jeremy nightmares.
SHOCK 'EM DEAD is essentially a documentary about bullying and what it can lead to.  I mean, Martin would have never made that deal with the Devil if he wasn't tormented so badly, right?  It's actually a very sad statement about the lack of acceptance in the society we live in.  Thankfully, it is also filled with green slime, big hair and naked boobs, so who cares!!  Just remember, it's better to accept who you are rather than make deals with the Devil.  Hopefully for you that person is already Traci Lords!                  

Shitty Rock Song Covers:1
Breast Implants: 3
Half Shirts: 5
Pepperoni Peep Holes: 1
Zombies: 2
Double Guitars: 2
Glowing Green Eyes: 10
Actual Electric Shocks: 1
Boobs: 6
Air Guitar On Real Guitar: 9
Guitar Play Face: 2
Dead Bodies: 4
Puke Scenes: 3
Dildo Drills: 1

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

TEC Podcast: Episode 41: Nobody's Meaner Than A Beaner

For Episode 41, we gritted our teeth and clenched our fists through half-assed racist action drama, 1989's GHETTO BLASTER, which taught us that it takes a prankster to bring down a gangster!  Sadly, no ghettos were harmed in the making of this right wing wet dream.  Along for the ride were returning guests, comedian CORBETT CUMMINS and artist/Scarecrow Video employee ALEX THOMAS! Expect police sirens, broken dreams, cat raps and horrible parenting!

*This and all TEC Podcast episodes are available on our Podbean site and on iTunes!