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Heatstroke

Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Global warming: the great threat our generation faces. A number of possibilities have been given for what causes it: burning fossil fuels, deforestation, increased solar output, the list just goes on. The truth, however, lies in Heatstroke: aliens are the cause of global warming. This was a fantastic movie to watch; it goes back to the good old days of Syfy original movies where the special effects are so awful that they give you a great belly laugh while the endings aren’t anti climatic, a problem faced by so many recent Syfy movies. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, some cheesy sci-fi goodness and indulging in an alien conspiracy theory then this is the movie for you!

Well well well, look what the tide washed in.

It’s a beautiful day for the world to end in Hawaii. The sky is blue, the oceans are crystal clear and bikini models are frolicking gayly on the beaches during a photo shoot. Captain Steve O’Bannon is busy flying his ultralight around one of the islands, taking a relaxing afternoon to monitor any usual radiation levels that may exist in these here parts. Given that this is such a relaxing pursuit and the weather is absolutely gorgeous he doses off behind the wheel of his 1 man aircraft and begins a rapid decent towards a tree. Thankfully there’s something very similar to a velociraptor living in the tree and it leaps up to try and guide the aircraft away but, unfortunately, takes a giant bite out of the ultralight’s engine. Captain Steve awakes with a start and is forced to make an emergency landing in the middle of the bikini models’ photo shoot, much to their dismay.

The script's first draft was a painful sight for all concerned.

Following Captain Steve’s emergency landing head bikini model Caroline comes over to read the man the riot act for interrupting this photo shoot of groundbreaking importance to mankind. When Captain Steve doesn’t seem very interested Caroline brings over her hired goons, who Captain Steve quickly dispenses with. He beats the crap out of them again later when he finds them at a bar, this time with the help of his team mates Jillian and Waters (first name unknown). Somehow between coming to the bar, having a boiling beer and beating the crap out of everyone the team (including final team-mate Romeo Romero) decides that there must be something on the island causing the strange radiation spikes and they’re determined to find out what it is.

He died a hero. 1000 alien virgins await him in heaven.

The cause of the radiation, of course, is an alien invasion. The aliens look like some reject bunch of dinosaurs and have come to earth to heat up our climate to make it a little more hospitable for themselves. I don’t know about you, but personally I find it a little rude when guests drop in on your planet unannounced and then spend the whole time complaining about how you’ve chosen to do the place up. Captain Steve wasn’t about to tolerate this lack of manners in the first place and he certainly isn’t about to tolerate these rather rude invaders when they start melting the faces off his crew and the hapless bikini models that inhabit the island. Unfortunately, since he isn’t a rogue scientist and is contracted by the US military to study these creatures, he’s going to have to play things by the book, at least until he can discover just how big their plans are and how quickly they plan on turning our little Blue Marble into an alien cafeteria. Thankfully he’s not alone in his mission to save the planet; he’ll be accompanied by a rag-tag group of old Hawaiian natives, military grunts and a bikini model with a flower in her hair. God speed to you all!

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Models take great offence when people try to inspect their own crashed ultralights.
  • The military isn’t ready to believe global warming is the result of aliens living on earth.
  • Afghanistan is many things, but it’s certainly not a boring place to go on honeymoon.
  • Models are intrigued by kung fu fighting special ops agents.
  • Women are terrified when sounds come out of the woods.
  • ‘Top Secret’ means giving broad enough hints that everyone figures out what you’re doing.
  • Earth is a prime insect farming location for extraterrestrial life.
  • Earth can go from temperate to Venus in less than 2 hours.

HEATSTROKE SAMPLE

Road Train

Year of Release: 2010
Genre:  Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

There have been times in the past where I have accused directors of forgetting to have things happen in their movies. As some form of karmic retribution for that comment I was subjected to Road Train (a.k.a. Road Kill), a movie where there’s just far too much going on. We have angry couples, cheating couples, a haunted truck, madmen with guns, road trips, the Australian outback, Cerberus and what I believe to be an unintentional homoerotic subtext. With so much going on the movie never really has time to explain anything properly, and a truck really isn’t as menacing a killer as the director was probably hoping it would be. It’s an interesting idea, but one that isn’t properly developed and one that doesn’t really have the effect you can feel the movie was going for.

1 minute, 28 seconds in. That's when it happens in the movie too.

I’m always a bit concerned when a movie opens with a sex scene. It gives you the sense that this isn’t a very confident movie because it’s not saving the nudity for later when the plot might be taking a little dip and it needs to keep the audience’s attention. Since this isn’t Dead Boyz Don’t Scream I was also a little perplexed as to why we saw more naked man than woman, since this is very uncommon in the horror world. The sexing twosome are Nina and Craig, and a little bit off from their tent is the non-sexing couple Liz and Marcus. Craig, Liz and Marcus have been friends for donkey’s years and they go on little camping excursions into the outback every year and Nina’s just tagged along for the ride. There’s also a very strong Brokeback feeling going on between Marcus and Craig. Whether it’s meant to be there or not I’m not sure, but something’s just odd between them. Anyways, having sexed themselves out and had coffee the group heads on to find even more nothing in the great outback for them to enjoy and camp in.

After the gold rush part of the outback was sold to Hell.

Whilst driving and looking for more nothing the group spots a road train coming up the road. A road train is a really enormous truck and the kids are pretty excited because apparently being overtaken by one is the ultimate road trip high. Things take a little turn for the worse when, instead of overtaking them, the truck plows into the back of them. After trying a few evasive manoeuvres the truck eventually rams into them again, forcing their car off the road and sending it flying. The car ends up being completely wrecked and Craig has a little bit of bone sticking out of his arm, but other than that the group is left reasonably unharmed. Marcus and Liz notice that the truck has stopped just off in the distance, so they decide to go and have a little chat with the driver while Nina tries to calm Craig down about the excruciating agony he’s in.

The rare and elusive Outback Killing Stud.

The rest of the movie is just a mix and match of ideas that desperately try to hold onto one another. When Marcus and Liz get to the truck they find that there’s no driver to be found anywhere. When Craig and Nina join them a madman appears out of nowhere and starts shooting at them, so the four jump in the truck and drive it off. The truck then puts them all to sleep and drives them into a dead-end where it starts pitting them all against one another. Nina also discovers that the truck has no fuel, and judging by the smell of its fuel tanks it never has, so how it actually manages to drive is another story that no one gives much thought to. Cerberus also seems to be locked in one of the trailers at the very back and lures Craig in there and possesses him. Everyone’s fighting with one another, the madman at one point passes the torch onto Marcus, there’s a cult of sorts in an abandoned house, who’s been cheating on who comes out and leads to more arguments, water runs out, heads are placed under tyres and so on and so on and so forth. By the end you don’t actually care what’s happening, you’re just begging for it all to end.

Road Train was clearly made on a decent budget but its whole premise was just poorly executed. Without all the bickering and the inclusion of Cerberus (which really doesn’t make sense and is never explained) it may have worked, but this was really painful to sit through.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Women who hear other people having sex instantly want to have sex themselves.
  • Being part of an enormous accident where the car flies off the road and flips will only result in mild bruising.
  • Even with absolutely no experience it’s dead easy to drive an enormous truck.
  • Independent women are often threatened with becoming dingo food by Australian men.
  • Women think you can flag down a commercial plane and ask them for help.
  • When your best friend sleeps with your girlfriend a homoerotic bromance is bound to break out.
  • Women are oblivious to things like miraculous healing, a blood-stained muscular torso and Satanic possession.

ROAD TRAIN TRAILER

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Bloodlines

Year of Release: 2007
Genre:  Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
Breast-O-Meter: 0.5 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

If running this blog has taught me anything it’s that there’s a lot of crap out there to watch. 9 out of 10 times IMDB serves as a very useful tool for knowing just how much of a shit storm I’m walking into, but then there’s that very rare time when its rating (in my opinion) is wrong. It happened with Bikini Girls on Ice and now it’s happened with Bloodlines; this movie was actually a lot of fun. Granted it didn’t have the most amazing budget and in some of the effects it does show, but I will give props to the makers of this film for actually trying to make a decent movie rather than some piece of crap with a shitty title (*cough* Monsturd *cough*). The actors are more than capable in their roles, the storyline is a good one and overall, if this kind of movie is your thing, it provides a very solid hour-and-a-half’s worth of entertainment. Now, when you read my review, I want you to do so with a southern accent. It makes it a lot more fun 🙂

Why bother disinfecting an operating area if it's only gonna get bloody again later?

So we’re out in the middle of fuck-off nowhere where a group of inbred nut jobs are in the process of conducting a little breeding experiment. Realising that their gene pool has become a little shallow they’ve decided that the best thing to do is introduce some fresh blood. To do this they’ve been very busy trawling the countryside abducting young women whenever they happen to come across one. The head of the family rapes the women and waits to see which ones fall pregnant. Those that do land up being with child are kept in captivity for a further 9 months until they go into labour, at which point the matriarch collects the latest edition to the family, and by collect I obviously mean rip the mother open and pull the baby out. This is how lil ol’ Billy Bob came into the world of the Hackford family.

They're so grotesque when they sleep...

25 years later and very little has changed. The Hackford family, through its somewhat unethical breeding programme, has managed to increase its number somewhat, but there’s still the odd little bundle of horrendously mutated joy running around. The time has come for the family to once again start introducing some new blood into the line or risk producing too many mutated offspring that the Hackford name can no longer be saved. They’ve managed to capture a few girls so far, and the latest edition, and the heroine of our little story, is Amber Lynn, a delightfully southern girl who’s on her way to begin college life. Unsure of herself, she’s spurred into going by her two brothers who promise to look after the family home they inherited when their parents died until she gets back. Along the way the Hackfords manage to capture Amber Lynn and she’s taken to their home in the middle of the woods, leaving brothers Brody and Bear worried sick about their baby girl and what might possibly have happened to her.

Even by first date standards this one looks pretty awkward.

The updated breeding plan is actually quite clever. First off the Hackfords capture several girls and keep all of them as possible candidates to be human incubators. Once they’ve gathered up enough of these candidates the whole family is summoned to the house and an improvised arena is set up in the lounge. Two girls are then pitted against one another in gladiatorial style combat and must fight one another to the death. This is to weed out any weak women amongst the group of captives and the survivor is then taken away. Billy Bob, as the new head of the family since his father is ill, is in charge of all of this and is responsible for impregnating the victors. When it comes to Amber Lynn, however, this family has bitten off far more than they can chew. Having already attempted an escape 5 minutes after being taken captive this girl puts her many years of outdoors experience and hunting training (and, by the looks of it, she killed the bears with her bare hands) to work, hurting anyone who gets in her way. Her mama and papa done raised her right though, and she’s more than willing to help out the other girls and get them out as well. And then there’s her two brothers, mountains of manliness out looking for their sister with a lot of muscle and a great aim with a crossbow. Things for the Hackfords are about to get really, really messy.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for southerners, but I really did enjoy this movie. As I said the effects in places weren’t great, but at its core it’s a good movie that has been incredibly well made for its budget with people who can actually act. It’s a rare find in the world of a b-horror junkie.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Every hopelessly inbred family needs at least one Billy Bob in it.
  • Eating a good set of hacked-off nipples ensures that a child will grow up to be healthy.
  • The greatest bonds between women are those forged while being part of an incestuous family’s breeding programme.
  • Blonde women in pink tracksuits tend to make bad escape buddies.
  • Breaking someone’s arm in such a way that the bone sticks out tends to make them a lot more co-operative.
  • Trapped Women Gladiatorial Combat is a grossly under-reported sport.
  • Women having sex with their brothers don’t want him having sex with other women. It’s wrong.
  • Men having sex with their sisters are appalled by the idea of having a child with her. It’s wrong.

BLOODLINES TRAILER

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Fist of the Vampire

Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Horror / Action
IMDB Rating: 2.4 / 10
Level of Awful: High

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

The phrase ‘sweet baby Jesus what just happened?’ can be thrown around a lot when you watch the kind of things I watch, and I feel that I’d by lying if I said I could tell you what was happening in this movie because I really can’t. I’d like to place most of the blame on the man in charge of carrying the microphone boom around (assuming the budget allowed for such a person) since he just couldn’t seem to muster the energy to follow the ‘actors’ around, so following the dialogue was incredibly difficult. The problems this movie faces are far too numerous to list (I like to keep my posts under 1000 words 🙂 ) but what I did manage to take from this movie is that anything, and I mean ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, is apparently better if we film it in front of a green screen. I know this was intentionally done because I don’t believe the budget didn’t allow for filming in a park so there’s a stream of consciousness I’ve missed along the way somewhere, but I don’t have time to look for the paddle to go looking for the stream so I’m just gonna do my best to decipher this movie.

Oh dear, she's AB negative intolerant...

Right, now let’s face our initial challenge head-on: who the fuck is everyone? The only name that actually stuck with me is Lee Southward, our main character. Lee’s buff and butch and a cop with feminine dishes, granny linen and a dubious taste in women. Next is Officer Baksteen (actual name unknown – Baksteen is Afrikaans for ‘brick’. This sounds cooler and makes sense when you see his teeth) who seems to be Lee’s boss or something to that effect who gives Lee all of his assignments. After him is another cop that I will refer to as Life Insurance Guy because he just looks like the sort that would come door-to-door selling life insurance. Lee, Officer Baksteen and Life Insurance Guy all share one cellphone since the budget didn’t seem to stretch far enough for everyone to have their own phone. Added to this group of unmanly manly men is an unfortunately toothed female cop. These are the good guys. The bad guys are three vampires: Fat Vampire, Blonde Vampire and Slutty Bitch Vampire. These three are somehow involved in a 1977 family killing, being ring leaders in an underground fight club and generally being involved in drug deals and illicit prostitution. Baksteen & Co. are in charge of hunting down this group of miscreants, but obviously are unaware of the fact they are dealing with creatures of the night. And vampires.

A vampire's greatest weakness is the spot between the nipple and the shoulder.

So the vampires are running this underground fight club with the drugs and the prostitutes and a somewhat dimwitted fight audience when Lee comes in, posing as a fighter, to attempt to find out what’s going on and how best to bring these people to justice. What this has to do with the 1977 murder that we’re told about earlier is only vaguely alluded to later (in green screen). In amongst indecipherable scenes of 70s style pimps, a fat Hulk and some of the most horrible boobs you have ever seen (they’re either on the floor or so pointy they could take someone’s eye out) plans are made with hookers and fight nights are held on the beach that look like a cross between Survivor and Gregorian Masters of Chant. All that I know for certain is that as Lee gets closer to finding out who and what the vampires are and as the body count (gradually) begins to rise, the vampires get increasingly more and more pissed off. Bitch fights happen, punches are thrown and green screens are used in every possible way to build up to the most un-climactic ending whose only redeeming feature is that it marks the end of 93 minutes of torture.

As with Torment I really wish there was more I could leave you with, but I was so lost during this movie I needed a map to find my way back to reality. But I would recommend it for a laugh, especially when you get to see the entire 2 man film crew in Officer Baksteen’s sunglasses right near the end.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • A vampire’s basic cellular structure is made up of fishnet stockings.
  • Breaking into a house is best done in killer heels.
  • Bullets will ricochet off DVD covers, carpets, fridge doors, cupboards, boots and other guns.
  • Walking closely to a wall means that, even if you are wearing luminous pink, people can’t see you.
  • The police force clearly doesn’t cover any dental work that may need to be done.
  • Machine guns do about as much damage as a rabid rat at close range.
  • Nobody can stalk a vampire like a seasoned hooker.
  • Sometimes a thong becomes so buried you shouldn’t even try to retrieve it.

Fist of the Vampire Trailer

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