WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There are few things in life that can guarantee as much fun as an early 2000s movie with cheap animatronic dinosaurs brought back to life by a mad scientist, Eric Roberts and all of his self-importance in the lead role, and a sex scene that we could have sworn was on a perpetual loop. I present to you, dear reader, Raptor, perhaps one of the most glorious achievements of b-cinema I’ve seen yet. I gathered my most of my elite team of movie watchers for this one: Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, and our newest recruit, Plaas Meisie. There are no words to describe the sheer awesomeness and cheesiness of this movie, but if you’re a fan of b-horror you absolutely NEED to watch this as soon as is humanly possible.
As is often the case in these movies, we’re thrown into the middle of some little town in the middle of absolutely nowhere where the most thrilling crime that probably takes place is a little old lady having her dentures stolen. Eric Roberts is the local sheriff, and this gives him the right to practically smear himself with smarmy and then roll around in a vat of self-produced and bottled egotism. Armed with two belts, a pair of mom jeans and a token black deputy, Eric’s ready to find out what happened to those poor drunken teenagers out the middle of the desert – because something ate them up good. Thinking that it was something reasonably standard, like a bear, a cougar or a shark, he’s joined on the investigation by Busty Blonde Animal Control Lady (hereafter referred to simply as ‘Busty’), but she’ll be damned if she knows what killed the kids. Maybe it has something to do with the recent spate of mass-chicken murders happening all along the county’s various highways?
Over at the Eunice corporation (nominally a chicken manufacturing plant, whatever that may be, and which is still running blue-screen DOS computers by the looks of things), something’s more than a little amiss. There are far too many crazy scientists in would-be berets pushing far too many flashing buttons on control panels for this to be a simple chicken farm. Of course, for the omnivident viewer, we know that the trucks transporting enormous numbers of chickens is simply a cover up – that’s how Eunice Corp. is transporting all of its raptor and t-rex eggs between its different facilities after one of the raptors escaped into the desert. Being a team of maybe four people, however, means that the people at this particular facility aren’t doing a great job keeping track of their genetically re-created little monsters, and more and more are starting to wreak havoc on the little town.
For Officer Mom Jeans the problem becomes personal after his sweet, innocent little girl is attacked by one of the raptors after getting it on with a man twice her age and squealing like a little pig while they did it on the back of his pickup truck. But how exactly does one small town sheriff take on a giant company like Eunice Corp.? Infiltration and a Busty sidekick – that’s how. The two of them are determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on, but there’s a little more going on behind the scenes that they don’t know about. Apparently this whole dinosaur resurrection process originally began as a government military operation for fighting overseas, so they also want in on the action when they realise that their supposedly cancelled project is back online. Can Eric Roberts’ seemingly infinite supply of self-satisfaction conquer the might of an angry, resurrected mother T-Rex? Do silicone boobs move at all? Why are everyone’s intestines in this movie brown? Watch, dear reader, and have all of these questions answered.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- ‘Whatever happened, happened here’ is usually how most police investigations start.
- Deserts can be right quirky creatures sometimes.
- Character enhancement is best done with copious amounts of silicone.
- Surprised raptors shed their toenails like geckos shed their tails.
- If it’s not as intense as black ops, and at least 2 black guys are involved, it classes as dark ops.
- Most companies have emergency spaceship entrances installed in their elevators.
- Clones can be pulled out of thin air and given all the memories of the original person.
BUY RAPTOR AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Where would we b-movie fans be without the Syfy channel? Stuck with the Asylum I guess, but that’s entirely beside the point. You know when they announce a new movie that it’s going to be a complete cheese factory of goodness and, whilst it doesn’t make me want to re-evaluate my opinion that the golden age of Syfy movies has past, Piranhaconda doesn’t disappoint. It raises so many questions that otherwise wouldn’t cross your mind: what exactly is swimming in the rivers of Hawaii? When exactly does a person become so blonde that they should be given a legal guardian? Do you really get b-movie groupies? And, of course, the question that stuck out in my head: who the hell would sing this movie’s theme song? Jasmin Poncelet, that’s who. Don’t worry, I haven’t heard of her either, but good on her for having the balls to do it anyway. Not afraid to rip itself to shreds, Piranhaconda is one of the best times you can have with bad CGI, a group of random mercenaries and a posse of scantily clad females.
So we’re somewhere in the middle of Hawaii with Jasmin Poncelet singing her little lungs out when a helicopter loaded with Prof. Lovegrove and two soon-to-be-eaten students descends from the sky. Lovegrove, a world-renowned herpetologist, is on the lookout for a nest of strange eggs. Now feels like a good time to break it to you that the title is misleading and the creature contains no piranha or anaconda. If this disappoints you, take solace in the fact that it’s a Polynesian snake demon. Feel better? Good. So Lovegrove finds one of the nests laden with many eggs. Intent on revealing the creature to the world he bags one of the eggs up in a plastic corn flakes container to take back to the helicopter. As one might expect the mummy piranhaconda took a while to shove that egg out and isn’t about to just let some silly human run off with it. Defying the laws of space she emerges from a body of water that couldn’t possibly hide something her size, eats three out of the four people in attendance while Lovegrove runs off into the forest with the egg.
We now switch to another part of the forest where a group of scantily clad females are being stalked by a lunatic with a meat cleaver. For a moment I thought another movie had leaked into this one, but it turns out that we’re actually following a film crew around while they make the third installment in a slasher series that I’m fairly sure is poking fun at the Friday the 13th and Scream franchises. It’s here we meet Jack and Rose (if this is some strange homage to Titanic, I don’t get it, but I’m just gonna run with star struck lovers in the face of adversity), a stuntman and a script writer respectively. The two clearly have a thing for one another but, being the gentleman that he is, Jack just won’t let the movie’s slutty star Kimmy go without a thorough sun tan lotioning. This irritates Rose so much that she’s gonna tie that sarong so tight blood won’t flow to anything below the waist. Intense oiling up in the Hawaiian sun, however, is about to become the least of this little group’s problems.
Not from the piranhaconda, mind you, but rather from a random group of mercenaries that have also been running around the Hawaiian jungle. They’ve already managed to kidnap the professor and now manage to grab a hold of Rose, Kimmy and the movie’s director as well. Jack and his explosives buddy have managed to make a daring escape into the undergrowth that took splitting up, running frantically from side to side and tripping over every piece of wood they could find to get right. When they miraculously manage to make their way back to the road they think it best not to go back into town and alert the proper authorities and settle on the decidedly more manly method of taking on a hostage situation with no weapons other than a bag of plastic explosives. But, dear viewer, let us not forget the angry mother piranhaconda in hot pursuit of her missing egg and the many humans she’s prepared to nom through to get it back…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Piranhacondas are known to secure their eggs with anti-theft ooze.
- Nobody truly appreciates how difficult it is for a b-actress to be a sex bomb at 5 in the morning.
- $50 and some spare change is enough cash to secure a university professor’s safe release from a hostage situation.
- Mercenaries just prowl Hawaii’s forests kidnapping any random fool who walks by.
- Bands of rogue Hawaiian mercenaries are really just would-be directors and cameramen.
- Sometimes all a b-movie actress’s career needs is a hostage situation and threats of a violent death.
- Men sweat like pigs, sluts sweat like pound puppies.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Roger Corman and Eric Roberts strike again! Having already subjected myself to Sharktopus, I felt the perverse need to watch another movie where this terrible twosome join forces to melt the brains of anyone who owns a TV. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in this one: I had my good friend Tropical Mary helping me through it. As she put it, “Cyclops is a tale of two cities: Rome and un-Rome.”
Now, I know this isn’t a horror movie, but there is some logic floating around: since both myself and Tropical Mary are classicists, and in particular I have spent the past 7 years studying Roman history, to see this kind of thing happen to Rome is just bloody horrifying to me. The story is simple enough: giant cyclops is captured, taken to Rome, escapes, is recaptured and then used in gladiatorial combat because the Emperor Tiberius (Eric Roberts, who always looks so fucking smug with himself) thinks it’s a good idea. Since it really is that simple I thought, instead of running through the movie, I would just present the incredibly long list of Life’s Lessons Learned as compiled by myself and Tropical Mary. Enjoy! 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Just because the Americas haven’t been discovered doesn’t mean that Rome doesn’t have a thriving pineapple import business.
- Sneakers were a common Roman fashion accessory.
- Cletus and Barbara were common Roman names.
- By developing a rudimentary teleportation device Romans were able to transport modern locks and keys back in time.
- To prepare for battle many Roman soldiers donned purple tights and knee pads.
- The emperor Augustus spent a great part of his reign slaying the world’s cyclops population.
- Medusa was a witch.
- The Colosseum was brought back through time to the reign of Tiberius. This sadly made it compress in size.
- Half a boar is the traditional Roman meal at a banquet to celebrate the capture of a cyclops.
- The entire Roman Senate was comprised of 4 senators.
- A common office bestowed on victorious soldiers was the Tribune of Nothing.
- Roman amphitheatres were often decked out with Christmas trimmings.
- The ghost of Cato was known to rock up +- 60 years after he died to host the Saturnalia.
- Gift vouchers were often given to the populace that they could exchange for Prize bread.
- Rome had a sizeable Middle Eastern dancing community.
- The priestesses of Venus had nothing better to do than shag gladiators.
- Despite being a polytheistic people the phrase ‘Oh my God!’ was relatively common.
- Despite being a polytheistic people there are no temples or altars to be seen in Rome at all.
- Roman soldiers frequently went into battle with Celtic shields and helmets with crests made from a feather boa.
- Roman gladiators often wore Spartan helmets.
- Butchers never needed to be paid for their meat.
- The name ‘Flavia’ is pronounced ‘Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahvia’.
- The emperor’s assistant often wore a piece of lace trimming around his head.
- Despite ‘decimate’ being a Latin word the Romans had no idea how many people it involved killing.
- Romans had amazing dental plans.
- Despite being a demilitarised zone Rome often had entire legions of soldiers in it.
- Every Roman citizen owned at least one lumo outfit.
- Emperors owned wicker boxes named ‘Lot’.
- Despite the fact that emperors were never addressed as such, the phrase ‘Yes, sire’ was often used in acknowledging their orders.
- The only way for Romans to be freed from freedom was to have a cyclops kill the emperor and for gladiators to celebrate.
- The Seven Hills of Rome refers to nothing – Rome is completely flat.
I would recommend giving it a watch – it’s one of those movies where I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.
BUY CYCLOPS AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
It doesn’t get much cheesier than a SyFy creature-feature produced by Roger Corman, which is exactly why I was drawn to this one 🙂 Admittedly it is more of a sci-fi movie than a horror one, but when you have the opportunity to watch a half-shark, half-octopus creature swimming around and eating its way through Mexicans you really can’t pass up an opportunity like that. This is a perfect example of a b-movie because it’s not the acting (Julia Roberts must be so proud of her brother for being in this) that makes it bad but rather the complete absurdity of the monster the characters are faced with and the microscopic budget the effects must have been made on. I enjoyed a good few giggles staring at the screen while this played while constantly muttering ‘no, no way’ to myself.
The military’s up to its old tricks again: not content with nuclear weapons, missiles or allowing Justin Bieber to go platinum they’ve decided that they need something better, something that can take out pirates (aargh matie!). So what better plan than to genetically combine a shark and an octopus? It can have the shark’s teeth and ferociousness with the octopus’ tentacles and intelligence. Of course if you’re working in a corporation like Blue Water and need to prove that the billions of dollars used to fund this little f**k you to nature was worthwhile you need to take the creature, codename S11, for a test run. And what better way to test a creature with an antenna lightly strapped onto its head that allows you to control its movements (the only thing, in fact, that stops it from escaping) than making it chase after a small boat with rapidly spinning propeller blades? As is usually the case when idiots are testing mutant man-eaters the propeller blades cut through the strap and dislodge the antenna, making it impossible to control S11, who now gladly swims away while the people back at mission control sit and vaguely ponder what should be done next.
Now you obviously can’t just let the escaped sharktopus run around the ocean on its own little mission down along the Mexican coastline so Blue Water needs to find someone with a knowledge of the waters to help them bring it back to the lab. Enter Andy Flynn, a one-time disgruntled employee of Blue Water until he asked Nathan Sands, the boss, for a raise. Thinking that asking for a pay increase is an insult Nathan fired Andy, who has been living happily in Mexico drinking tequila and swimming in the pool. Joining him and his $300 000 pay cheque on this little mission are Nicole, Nathan’s daughter, and his best friend Santos. The plan: to dive underwater, tranquilise the sharktopus, bring it to the surface and launch darts into its head that will allow Nicole to interface with its brain again and command it to stop eating everyone.
There are several problems with this search and recovery mission, however. For a start this thing is really fast and can quickly grab a snack in the shallows by throwing its tentacles onto the beach to grab someone. If that doesn’t prove to be effective the sharktopus can also walk on land (water? fish? anyone?) and chase after people that way. Its skin appears to act like a forcefield and repels bullets or anything else you shoot at it and, perhaps the saddest of all, nobody in Mexico takes you seriously when you tell them a half-shark, half-octopus is coming their way to eat them, so civilian casualties are rather high. Add to this the fact that Nicole’s daddy went behind her back and altered the sharktopus’ brain to make it a killer rather than just a hunter (meaning that it kills at random rather than just for food) and you’ve got an enormous list of odds stacked against you. It’s now up to Andy, armed with a machine gun and against ever wearing a shirt, and Nicole, sweet and brilliant, to save the day and take down the sharktopus before more people get eaten and before daddy gets really mad.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- There really are fish in the ocean.
- Sharktopodes speak whale.
- Sharktopodes shoot ink despite having no squid in them.
- Mexican women don’t own clothes, just bikinis.
- A woman’s breasts will not get up and dance.
- The military does not need to get any form of permission from government to fund really weird genetic experiments.
- Chum should be used as a last resort when hunting a giant man-eating sea creature; try diving after it first.
- You should shoot giant man-eating sea creatures after they’ve eaten your friend, not as an attempt to save him.