There are a lot of reasons why kicking a werewolf in the gonads shouldn’t work, just like there are a lot of reasons the film “Monster Squad” shouldn’t be this good. In both cases, a kick in pants turns out to be just what the mad doctor ordered.
From “Lost Boys” to “The Howling”, the 80’s reinvented the monster in ways few decades have and no, sparkling does not count as reinvention. Therefore, by having all our favorite movie monsters sit around and campily chew enough scenery to make Count Chocula cringe, is a heck of a risk. It’s hard to imagine a movie accurately described as “The Goonies” meets “Van Helsing” being actively engaging on any level beyond “laughable,” but “Monster Squad” succeeds in a way that no other monster mash movie ever has since “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” rising above the sum of its parts into something downright thrilling.
Passion is a key ingredient to this film. The film’s plot isn’t just an excuse to get all the monsters in one place – it’s an excuse to do so and then talk about them in a way only obsessed foul-mouthed kids can. And talk they do – about everything from what lies beneath the Wolfman’s pants to how do you buy silver bullets retail. Our pre-teen heroes can’t imagine this fandom will ever save the world – until Count Dracula and the whole Universal gang starts converging on their small town looking for a mysterious amulet. Soon, the kids must team up with very knowledgeable and very aptly-named “Scary German Guy” to prevent the monsters from gaining ultimate power.
The movie is co-written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and directed by Fred Dekker (Night of Creeps), and as such, features quite a bit more explosions, destruction and general mayhem than any kids movie nowadays. This unrivaled sense of energy and intensity is probably why “Monster Squad” remains a much-loved cult classic – and also why the movie is being remade by Paramount. While I remain skeptical about just how this remake will turn out today, i can’t complain – the present monster genre needs just the kind of kick between the legs “Monster Squad” can provide.
Rumble in the Bronx
Look out! Jackie Chan, high powered and stunt crew free, is leaping from the screen to give you a swift kick to the head and then giggle about it. He’s not taking anything for granted and he’s not going to give up. Powered like the man looking for the big American break that he was, he zooms through New York City on a mission. What’s the mission? Oh, the same ol’ same ol’ of just kicking things and taking broken bones in stride.
Jackie Chan used this movie to jumpstart his American career and it was this movie that taught me a few things. 1) Jackie Chan is funny as hell. 2) Jackie Chan breaks his own bones just to prove that he can keep filming a movie. And finally 3) Sega Gamegear’s don’t need a video game cartridge in them to function. Yes, this is the first movie that I realized movies had mistakes in them. However, giving Jackie Chan the freedom to leap from a parking garage several stories down to a balcony of an apartment building is not a mistake. It’s amazing, real and impressive. Of course, him breaking a leg while leaping onto a passing hoverboat and continuing filming is almost as much.
Right, back to the plot. Jackie Chan stars as Keung, a Hong Kong cop on vacation to see the wedding of his uncle. Soon enough, street gangs start a fight, crime lords enter the picture and he is the point man who just wants peace. Mostly, like the Rush Hour movies, it features him doing amazing stunts and then bloopers during the credits. Of course, what makes this special is that it is vintage Jackie Chan, before safety standards entered the picture.
Please be sure to pick this up from Deep Discount, or I’ll post an even bigger picture next week and that one will be of Chuck Norris. Rumble in the Bronx – $5.99 w/ Free Shipping
The Gorehouse Greats Collection (2009)
With our combined knowledge of thousands upon thousands of movies, we have not seen a single one of the 12 films featured in this collection. But when you’re looking at titles like “Blood of Dracula’s Castle” and “They Saved Hitler’s Brain,” we figured no amount of critical praise can do the job anyway.
These movies range in dates from 1962 to 1991, in which we’re pretty sure you’ll notice no change in production value or budget. What is great is the cover. It showcases that people are simply afraid of the movie names and with a title that states ‘GoreHouse,’ you have to enjoy the honesty. This is not a ‘PlotHouse’ collection or ‘ArtSchool’ collection. This is simply gore, spanning 30 years in which they tried to perfect the right look to that splatter.
Though, some famous actors are in these movies like Robert Alda, Alan Alda’s father, in “The Devil’s Hand.” Plus, there is John Carradine, who is a 60’s & 70’s horror movie staple, but perhaps more interesting is that he is the father of David, Keith & Robert Carradine. It is almost like the famous fathers collection. Which begs the question: Do you think they sit down and watch these movies? As a family thing, over dinner.
At the Bargain Crew meetings, we ask those hard hitting questions. Then wonder if that can get us in trouble.
We’ll be picking this up while it is on sale and as soon as we make our way through all 1020 minutes, we’ll let you know how it went. If you don’t want to wait and pick it up yourself, it is at DeepDiscount for $5.23 w/ Free Shipping