Dissecting the 80s with Tripp and Andrew! The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough!

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Dissecting the 80s Logo


Hello everyone! This is the first of edition of Dissecting the 80s, with Tripp and Andrew, where the two of us are going to break down, discuss, heckle and just generally make fun of whatever we can find from the 1980s!

To start it off, we’re taking on the TWO-PART Cyndi Lauper music video for “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” which stars Cyndi, the cast of the movie, and a slew of WWF Wrestlers from the 1980s! Does it make sense? NOT REALLY! Is it a little bit racist? DEFINITELY! The video is below if you want to follow along/see for yourself, but it’s not 100% necessary.



Andrew:  My favorite part is the idea that there was a previous part

like the “when I last saw Cyndi”

Tripp Cookies with gas seems like the worst promo, no?


This room is so smoky

I bet that’s a reference to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Andrew:  Amazing on screen text

Captain Lou Albano

Tripp Captain Lou Albano played her dad in that video

We should investigate!

Andrew:  oh yeah! and she pinned his arm behind his back

Tripp lovely foreshadowing with the vegetable wrestling ring

Wrestling Ring

Andrew:  I don’t know why he’s got rubber bands all over his face

Tripp That was literally his character

they weren’t really creative

really racist, over the top Sheik for Iron Sheik

jerky Scot in Rowdy Roddy Piper, all of whom just happen to be in this limo, also


Andrew:  Are these all like super topical references if you know 80s wrestling?

Tripp I mean, somewhat?

Andrew:  Like make a suitcase out of your face?

Tripp I know who most of these guys are

Go i think that was meant to be

Go inside

And make a suitcase, like pack one



Tripp Now you know it’s the 1980s

Andrew:  ON WHEELS


Tripp It was an 80s fad, of course

I think that hood shutting on you would break your ribs

Andrew:  goonies hat on the guy in the hood

Tripp Old car hoods are heavy as hell

Car Hood

Serving the cow its own milk?


Andrew:  Is that supposed to be seen as a real cow?

cause he’s clearly milking it


Tripp hahaha, it is milkable

so I’ll go with yes

I like that they’re moving out and Cyndi is just carrying animal shaped things – sheep lamp, ceramic dog.

You know, the basics

Andrew:  were they living at this gas station?

Tripp yes!

Andrew:  what is that hole?

oh it’s a cave


Andrew:  thanks text!


Tripp so much fog!

the singing skeleton is amazing

Singing Skeleton

Andrew:  oh hey it’s the cast of The Goonies!

in matching t-shirts!


Tripp with an identical map?

why do they both need a map

if they are identical?

Andrew:  he Xeroxed it on his ship

Tripp hahahahaha

Andrew:  always make duplicates

pirate codex rule 1

Tripp I mean, his name is one-eyed willie

he can’t even see two maps

Andrew:  where is the swamp witch coming from!

Tripp I llike how the WWF villains play the pirates and themselves as villains

Oh look, a hole! let’s also climb through!

Crawl Through Hole

Andrew:  I want to know how those two relate to Cyndi

Tripp of course she doesn’t notice a skeleton before she sits down

Scary Skeleton

wow the skeleton is helping the bad guys

Andrew:  it’s the second skeleton she’s seen in a minute

wow a wench?


Tripp right? i feel like it should be less impactful



Andrew:  last chance

Andrew:  like Last Hibachi for 3 miles

Tripp wow, was that a racist subtitle?

Cyndi Lopa

Andrew:  yeah

Tripp Cyndi Lopa?

Andrew:  non subtle subtitle

Tripp it was the 80s, so you could be racist against asian people still I guess

Andrew:  oh hey! Steven Spielberg!


Tripp How much cocaine did they give him to get him to do this?

20, 30 lbs?

Andrew:  I feel like it was the boat scene at the end just with coke and not jewels

Tripp hahaha, he’s just dumping it into a bag?

Andrew:  and when he went to take the coke off the scale Mikey said, no don’t

that’s One-Eyed Willie’s

Tripp hahaha

that’s why he has no nose (Ed. Note: We’re referring to One-Eyed Willie, not Spielberg – keep your lawyers at home Steve!)

Andrew:  yeah!

Tripp cocaine’d it away

also, before we start part 2

let’s just make this clear

Andrew:  like Stevie Nicks almost did

Tripp Yes!

this two-part video is roughly 1/10 of The Goonies movie

its 12 minutes!

Andrew:  And it still tells the same story just without any kids talking

Tripp but if you hadn’t seen Goonies, it’s just straight spoilers

major action pieces!

Andrew:  yeah, because spoilers on the Goonies are real legit

you don’t know if these kids are gonna be murdered

Tripp there was no internet then!

it could have been darker

Andrew:  it was a summer kids movie!

about a hidden treasure and beating rich people

Tripp I’m just saying, the pirate ship scene is 100% ruined

by this video

Andrew:  OK, fair enough

Is that voice olmek?

from legends of the hidden temple?

Tripp I can’t tell – it’s pretty close

it also sounds a little like 1980s Vince McMahon, but I really don’t think it is

Andrew:  also you can’t just say “dave and wendy” like we ever learned their names

Tripp so the pirates capture her and the kids

Andrew:  and dave and wendy!

Dave and WEndy

Tripp and then they make her carry water

Andrew:  and serve drinks?

are they doing laundry?

Tripp Data and Chunk are not well choreographed

Not Choreographed

no they’re making sushi!

poor Martha Plimpton

Martha Plimpton

octopus attack!

Andrew:  poor octopus!

it was supposed to be his big break!


Tripp they clearly made this video before the studio executives were like…the octopus scene was a joke, right?

Andrew:  or after, it was the 80s and Cyndi was pretty wacky

Tripp oh here, have an octopus bit

how did dave escape?!

did chunk just hulk up and break metal off his neck!?

Andrew:  how did any of them escape?!

I’m pretty sure he did

Tripp chunk literally just did a Hulk Hogan

and it exploded

Chunk Hulk

Andrew:  oh the water slide that the pirates built for no reason

Tripp I love that they felt the need to pad this already 10 minute video with long montages

Oh, heres segments from the movie!

Andrew:  and a luau party?

Tripp the song isn’t even a song anymore

it’s just weird noises

the kids are wearing green fur hobbit feet?

Andrew:  yes. yes they are.

Hobbit Feet

also does she actually say Goonies?

I always hear “for you it’s good enough”

Tripp she definitely does in the movie credits, I think

I wonder if that’s the real song

and they were like

“For you” is two syllables

“Goonies” is two syllables

just go with it


Andrew:  she wrote Taffy Butt so clearly she’s up for anything


Tripp Unfortunately at the “I can barely walk” stage of his life

Andrew:  but still menacing

Tripp also what the hell is he wearing?

Andre The Giant

Andrew:  he looks like a Conan the Barbarian cos-player

Tripp that car Piper just tried to get into was clearly not part of the set

I think it was just a random person crossing by

Piper Car

Tripp he just frightened some poor old woman

who just wanted free cookies with her gas

Andrew:  he’s a man in a kilt making weird faces

he frightened me

Tripp hahaha

you shut your mouth talking about the Piper.

Andrew:  were there ANY wrestling references in the movie?

Tripp Not a one

but Cyndi was involved with the WWF

Andrew:  or was it just “hey kids love WWF”

oh that’s right!

Tripp it was like cross promotional stuff

also sloth wasn’t in the video

Andrew:  no but Andre the giant was

Tripp hahahaha, are you saying they’re the same?!

Andrew:  so in terms of giant men in weird outfits with funny faces they covered their bases

Tripp hahaha. Awesome.

did you know that she stopped playing this song in the late 80s?

Andrew:  hahaha just saying

I did know that

Tripp And people nagged her so much

she finally started singing like a verse and the chorus once acappella

and people were like


so now she plays it every night

Andrew:  that’s hilarious

I want to hear her sing Taffy Butt live



That’s from 2011

she apparently did Taffy Butt because her kids love Bob’s Burgers

Andrew:  that’s amazing

Tripp she’s singing for you in that, too

also she looks like death

all leather is not a smart choice in hot weather

Andrew:  she looks like a chunky Marilyn Manson

wait apparently she never says the word Goonies in the song

the studio execs tacked that on to the title for her

Tripp hahaha

Andrew:  Also, she was supposed to get a show on like A&E or something

Tripp really? For what?!

Andrew:  yeah! like her life story

like “Life according to Cyndi” or something

Tripp I cannot imagine a more needless program

Andrew:  I wanted to say like “The Seven Deadly Cyns” but that’s an album

I’d watch it

Tripp I would watch The Seven Deadly Cyns

but it has to be her in different outfits

pretending to be different people

Andrew:  that’s one of her old albums!

Tripp no it’s 12 Deadly Cyns, according to the internet.


7 would have been so much better

Andrew:  I was close

but I’m assuming it has 12 songs on it

Tripp yes


Andrew:  and a 7 song album doesn’t make sense

Tripp the woman wrestler in that video

Andrew:  the old lady yelling at the vegetables?

Tripp was The Fabulous Moolah



there’s her and her friend Mae Young

in a scene where Mae, who’s gotta be roughly 85 in that clip

gives birth…to a hand.

Andrew:  I’m curious now

Tripp because even in the year 2000…the world didn’t make a lot of sense.


Thus concludes Dissecting the 80s, With Tripp and Andrew, Part 1.




Catching up and Top 5 Fridays Returns!

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Hello out there!

*Taps microphone*


Whoa, all right, still works!

Blog time!

First, to catch up.

I did watch 31 movies last October. The ones I didn’t review were lovely. Or terrible. It probably depends on what .gifs I could find.

The beer thing!

I ended up drinking 34/50 states. I had 16 left with a few weeks, but decided the challenge was more spiritual and less “I should spend several hundred bucks to illegally ship beer from those 16 states,” so I opted to call it off..

I think we’re all caught up.

Oh, hey, it’s Friday. Let’s do that list thing.

TOP FIVE FRIDAYS: Breakfast bread-ey type things you make at home!

These are bready breakfast items (not including standard toast because, c’mon son). Since Parks and Recreation starts next week, and it’s so breakfast-heavy in plot, I’m going with a Parks and Recreation theme for illustrations.

Before we begin, one important note.

Maple syrup comes from trees. Imitation maple syrup comes from corn.

You want more trees in your breakfast, I promise.

All of these items need a healthy dose of prepared tree sap.

1. The crisp waffle

See how crispy that looks? The powdered sugar is extraneous, but still…CRUNCH.

Note the crisp part of that descriptor, because it’s important.

Waffles need to be slightly crunchy until you put syrup on them. What’s that, you say? The syrup makes them soggy? Eat faster you dolt.

Even so, you don’t want waffles pre-soggy. Those first few crunchy bites of waffle/syrup combo are perfection in breakfast form.

And, because it requires special equipment, the extra work makes it special. And a huge pain in the ass.

Sub top 5 within the top 5 – Waffle toppings! TOP FIVE-CEPTION
1. Maple walnut ice cream from the University of Maryland when you’re hungover on a Sunday morning in the fall, with optional maple syrup drizzle.
1. Any other ice cream.
3. Real maple syrup carefully drizzled into each syrup holder pocket/Butter IN COMBINATION.
4. Whipped cream.
5. Strawberries with whipped cream.
9999999. Maple syrup not carefully applied to each syrup pocket. WHAT ARE YOU, SOME KIND OF COMMUNIST? THE WAFFLE WAS ENGINEERED FOR SYRUP HOLDING. C’mon people. Do it right.

2. Homemade pancakes

There’s nothing wrong with using a boxed pancake mix – those pancakes will be perfectly acceptable.

But if you take the extra minutes to mix those ingredients from scratch, and throw some buttermilk in there? That’s an elevated breakfast, boys and girls.

Fluffy, golden clouds of delicousness, nestled next to a couple of eggs and a slice of bacon? That’s Ron Swanson approved.

That move is known as the Swanson flip, for those who aren’t aware.

3. Soggy waffle

Not as good as it’s crispy brother, this is the waffle you get when someone is making waffles for a group of people and they put them in the oven to keep them crisp.

Are they? No, not really.

But it’s still a waffle.

Alternately, it could be a waffle that has to travel to you, like this one traveled to Leslie in the hospital.

The two-handed munch is perfectly acceptable if you’re going naked waffle.

Even so, it’s still a waffle. And waffles are excellent.

4. French toast (challah bread division)


This is no thrown-together French toast, undertaken hastily.

No, you, sir or madam, went out and purchased some challah bread. Pre-sliced?! Go straight to hell, you heathen.

A pristine loaf that you chop into enormous slices before dunking into egg wash and frying is the only acceptable form of French toast.


5. Boxed pancakes/Non-challah French toast division

Bisquick…because you’re feeling lazy, but you still want pancakes!

You’re hungover

Sunday morning is the second day in a row that you woke up with a dry mouth, pounding headache and a general sense of malaise.

And you have to eat, but the thought of getting into your car and driving makes you want to vomit.

Both of these quick-fix breakfast items are a solid choice on those days.

You don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, and that’s OK. Your breakfast will be lesser, but it will still make you feel better than death, which is what you’re currently feeling.

Womp Womp Wednesday: Worst 5 Halloween Candies!

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As the little witches and wizards and friends go out for Trick Or Treating tonight, they’ll hopefully get to take home a hefty pillowcase full of delicious chocolaty bounty.

But we all know that it won’t be all good. No, it almost never is. Even after you get home and swap candies with all of your friends, you’re going to end up with a pile of crap that you wouldn’t ever want to eat.

To highlight this lame portion of the greatest holiday of the year, I present to you the first ever edition of Womp Womp Wednesday: The Bottom 5 Worst Halloween Candies!

Also, as a PSA to all those with kids out there: If your child ever suggests a costume that leaves them without the use of both hands, perhaps suggest to them that this is a bad idea. Mind you, I wouldn’t have listened to my parents whatsoever, but they could have at least said “I told you so!”

Me at age 10 or so, dressed as Hannibal Lecter. I still wonder what my neighbors thought about my parents. For the record, I saw the image on a Philly newscast, not the movie.

5. Good and Plenty
Oh good, crunchy bits of licorice. Just what every child wants! Said by no kid, ever.

Want to know something else horrifying, in case the idea of candy-coated licorice nibs didn’t make you sick?

From the Wikipedia entry on the candy:

“The pink candies are colored with a red dye called K-Carmine, produced from the crushed bodies of the female cochineal insect. Current packaging lists the red dye as “artificial color (K-Carmine and Red 40)”.”

What’s a Cochineal Insect? Glad you asked!

I think we should replace movie popcorn with these.

And here’s what they look like when they are smushed.

Who’s hungry?

Excuse me while I go rinse my brain in bleach.

4. Bit O’Honey/Mary Jane/Any other old-timey taffy candy
These tended to be part of Trick or Treating if you had older neighbors, perhaps those who remembered saving up to buy these things three to a penny. And while they’re now probably about a penny each, they still buy them by the bucketload.

This is just…gross looking.

One does not dispense any of these old-timey taffies without doing so in obscene bulk, which is great, since you can essentially get from one Halloween to the next without running out of them. These are the grossest, chewiest blobs of sugar, and will hang out on your teeth for weeks. Blegh.

3. Eyeball Keychains/Toothbrushes
“Now wait a minute, Tripp,” says you. “This is A. not a Candy, and B. you obviously didn’t ever receive this.”

Sadly, this isn’t just me repeating a lame joke. We had a neighbor growing up who avoided the candy like it was the plague and handed out these little delights.

The eyeball keychain is not what you want on Halloween.

Sadly, ours were not even sweet mini flashlights, but more the metal variety that broke in the course of trick-or-treating.

2. Candy Corn
Until recently, I wasn’t aware that anyone ate these fun-colored blobs of wax. Last year, I attended a Halloween party where the hostess put out a bowl of about 19 pounds of these.


I, of course, made the standard (and admittedly not that funny) jokes about how they haven’t made new candy corn but then watched in horror as the other attendees descended on the bowl like ravenous jackals.

I still don’t understand what happened that day. Or how this waxy crap continues to be pumped out.

1. Smarties/Necco Wafers
Oh, how I loathe these chalky tablets of awful.

The sad thing is, she just thinks she’s eating Necco wafers.

In a world where we’ve rapidly replaced chalkboards with whiteboards, Promethean boards and all manner of other items in the classrooms, it’s a good thing to know that Big Chalk won’t be disappearing anytime soon. Plus, ladies like this are around:

The worst part about getting these in your Halloween bag? You were looking at least a 10:1 trade rate to get anything of value back, and that’s assuming you had any friends that liked this crap. More often than not, we’d open all of these, divvy them up, and use them as poker chips.

Top 5 Fridays! Halloween Movies!

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Composing a list of my Top 5 Halloween movies was significantly more difficult than I thought it would be. Distilling this list from 10 to 5 proved to be extremely difficult.

But after much preparation, and an algorithm or three, I finally got down to just 5 movies.

5. The Thing

John Carpenter’s first spot on this list ($0 prize to those of you who guess what movie makes the grade later!) comes from the sheer awesomeness that is his remake of The Thing From Another World, which itself was a fantastic adaption in the sci-fi/horror vein.

Carpenter creates enormous tension here, and it builds consistently almost from the first frame. The premise of a shape-shifting alien who could be anyone is brilliant, and produces believable and consistent drama.

Plus, Kurt Russell has a sweet beard.


Seriously, look at that thing. I think it was the inspiration for the Robinson clan.

Also beardy.

4. Dawn of the Dead (1974)/Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I’ll just come out and say it. The remake has scarier zombies, and is 100 times easier to watch.


All due respect to Mr. Romero (seriously, I love the dude’s movies. I took a road trip to visit the cemetery from NOTLD and the mall from Dawn. I’m a huge nerd!), but Dawn was made in 1978, and clocks in at more than two hours.

Me, and my brother, being huge nerds.

It is soooooooooo sllloooooooowwwwwwwwww. It shambles along like the lifeless corpses it depicts.

The lifeless, shambling corpses it depicts.

The philosophy of decrying the consumer culture of the late 70s is fantastic, and the infighting of the group in the mall is well drawn, but it just moves so slowly. And yes, I fully admit to having some ADD when it comes to movies. Sometimes.

It’s a great movie, but the fast-forwarded remake is just as fun to watch, and wraps up everything in 100 minutes.

Plus, Ving Rhames is in it, and he’s all Ving Rhames-ey.


Plus that dude from Modern Family gets turned, then shot, and I don’t like that show, so that’s a bonus!

Yay for weird things to like!

I totally respect 1978’s contribution to the genre, and it’s a key piece of Romero’s original trilogy, but if you put your shotgun to my head and make me pick one to watch, it’s going to be 2004.

3. The Descent (2005)

This is the last movie to good and truly scare the ever-loving crap out of me.

The first time I finished watching this movie, I was so in the zone and scared that I had to go put on a kids movie (no, I don’t recall which) in order to be able to sleep.

I still will never spelunk (not that I had ambitions of doing any spelunking, or any lunking, for that matter.)

Pictured: Not Tripp’s ideal vacation.

The beauty of this movie is its simplicity. A group of girls trapped in a cave and stalked by creepy albino creatures who function better with no light. They’re completely outgunned, and running away isn’t exactly an option. It’s a fantastically crafted scare.

The aforementioned creepy albino creature.

2. JAWS (1975)

This is my favorite movie of all time. Well, today it is. The list changes pretty frequently, but JAWS has always been in the discussion.

In my opinion, there’s are a few movies that are perfect. This is one of them. The mechanical shark, nicknamed Bruce, after director Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, functioned so poorly that this became a character study that happens to have a giant flesh-eating monster.

The giant, flesh-eating monster. My mother, who’s seen this movie at least 100 times (not an exaggeration) still yelps every time this happens.

The Quint/Brody/Hooper trifecta is absolutely perfectly cast, and the interplay between the three characters is as good as any other trio ever put to film. This could have been a silly B-movie with a crappy shark model, but instead it’s a fantastic character study that just so happens to have a giant mechanical shark.

The Kirk/Bones/McCoy of JAWS.

1. Halloween (1978)

“But Tripp,” you say, a little confused. “Didn’t you just saw JAWS is your favorite movie, and has single-handedly made you afraid of all bodies of water?”

Why, yes, I did. HOWEVAH! It being a Top 5 for Halloween, it would be silly not to have the holiday’s eponymous holiday represented. Additionally, it’s awesome, and I love it. So shh.

I was actually struck by a small bit of similarity between the two movies while writing this. John Carpenter definitely borrows some elements of JAWS’ Bruce the shark in creating Michael Myers.


Consider this quote from JAWS:

“And, you know, the thing about a [knife-wielding lunatic]… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living”

It’d work just as well as a description of Michael instead of Bruce.

While Carpenter makes significant use of the jump scare (even goosing most of them with the DUN NAH NAH! Type chord on his synthesizer), all of them feel well-earned. When Michael pops up somewhere, you ARE terrified, just like Laurie. He never stops moving, and really, never stops killing. He’s the perfect movie bad guy. And this is the perfect Halloween movie.

This scene where he sits up almost made me crap myself on first viewing.

Also, if you’re a fan of the movie, you owe it to yourself to watch this. It’s stupid, but also kind of funny.

31 Days of Halloween, Part III!

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I most definitely forgot a movie that I watched somewhere in this extended layoff between posts. I know I had only watched a few (AND NOT ROSEMARY’S BABY BECAUSE MY DAMN DVR DIDN’T WORK!!!) after week two, so it wasn’t worth posting for just two movies or so, but in the interim, there’s at least one missing. Oh well.

This is not the first time I’ve undertaken one of these movie binge months, and holy crap is it exhausting. I know that sounds stupid, but you’re talking about 60 hours of movies, and another 6-10 to write these recaps (I know, I know, wah, wah, you’re beholden to no one, it was your idea, stop whining, etc. etc. BUT IT’S MY BLOG AND I WANTED TO COMPLAIN.)

Stake Land (Not on Netflix)

Really excellent atmospheric horror flick that has a stupid title and is a vampire movie during a time of vampire overload=overlooked and under-seen gem.

Plus, nobody wants to make out with these vampires.

Not to be a name dropper (Read: I’m going to be a name dropper.) I interviewed director Jim Mickle about another one of his films, Mulberry Street, a $20,000 zombie-type flick. At the time, I hadn’t seen it, but it is an excellent little zombie movie with the extra oomph of having rats involved.  WHO ISN’T AFRAID OF RATS? NO ONE.

Here’s part of our 2007 conversation, reposted from the Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:dZR4H5n7QoAJ:www.diamondbackonline.com/2.2793/eight-more-films-to-die-for-1.283659+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

“There’d be a lot of times where we’d say, ‘Oh, this alley looks cool, let’s shoot an action scene here,’ and we’d get kicked out a lot,” Mickle said. “Specifically … somebody was out smoking a cigarette on their fire escape, and we paid them $20 to let us run an extension cord up to their bedroom so we could plug one light in. It was this whole guerilla thing, and it ended up being the back of a restaurant, and the owner of the restaurant came out and kicked us out, threatening to call the cops.”

But the troubles didn’t end there for the cast and crew of Mulberry Street, as they encountered further problems later that night.

“We moved down one block to another really cool alley, and we started shooting this scene where someone gets attacked and they’re screaming,” Mickle said. “Ten minutes into it, three cop cars pulled up on both sides of the alley, completely blocking us in, and came out in riot gear, ready to take us down before realizing it was just a guy in a zombie outfit attacking somebody. … It was very much take what you can get.”

Stake Land shares the same impressive directorial eye, as well as a great vision for plotting and shooting gore elements. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say it’s got the best elements of a road movie combined with those of a good, scary vampire flick.

Netflix: 4 Stars. Seriously, this airs on SyFy (I still hate that name) at least once or twice more before the end of the season. WATCH IT! Check your local listings.

Rosemary’s Baby

Soapbox moment/rant incoming. Feel free to continue scrolling.

I didn’t get to watch this, because, like I said, my DVR just decided to lose all of its settings overnight. I refuse to pay for anything Roman Polanski is involved with, yet I feel compelled to watch this, as it’s almost universally talked about as a top 10 horror movie ever. AMC was finally airing it this year, so I would have been able to watch it without putting any money in that sick bastard’s pocket. Sadly, it was not meant to be. I think it’s a sign from the universe.


What happens if you take the zombie trope, but apply it in the most misogynistic way possible? DOGHOUSE! The story of a bunch of dudes who go on holiday (THEY’RE BRITISH!) to a small town, only to discover there’s no living creatures left and all the women are flesh eating monsters!

This includes bits of them dressing as women to fool the zombies. That’s not as stupid as it gets!

It’s still pretty stupid, though.

It’s a mishmash mess of horror tropes, rip-offs of other horror movies AND bad acting.

Not worth your time.

Netflix: Two Stars

The Dark Half

George A. Romero and Stephen King have collaborated a few times, most notably on the Creepshow series, and I think this is every bit as good.

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, but many of his horror books fall flat in the film world. This isn’t fantastic, and enjoyable 90 minutes or so, with a bit of psychological horror, some gore and most importantly, competent acting and storytelling!

Timothy Hutton pulls double duty as Thad Beaumont and George Stark, the latter being the creepy unformed twin that Thad had pulled out of him as a child and the pen name he uses for his darker books. Later, George becomes sentient, and starts to wreak havoc.

He also rots and kidnaps children!

Since King himself used a pen name, it’s pretty likely that this is one of his own nightmares. Romero handles this pretty adeptly (which, let’s be honest, is rare), and we get some nice moments of psychological horror as Thad tries to overcome George and his death spree.

Netflix: 3 stars (would be 3.5)

V/H/S (Not on Netflix)

I’ve said before that I really enjoy anthology horror, as it allows for a nice mix of flavors in one easy package. V/H/S is the latest of these to blow up, and has a marketing campaign based around the same word-of-mouth style crap they always have: “People were fainting/vomiting/crying/etc. in the theater! See at your own risk!”

There are worthwhile shorts in this bunch, which is sad because that only gives you a passing rate of 33%. The bookends for this is that four miscreants break into a house and watch an old man’s collection of VHS tapes. There’s nothing wrong with this except…fully four of the five shorts would have no reason to be on a VHS tape. Like…filming with Skype, for example!

Pretty sure there’s no reason for this to be on  a VHS tape.

The most effective shorts are the beginning and the end. If you get a chance to watch this, watch those two. Otherwise, move on.

Netflix: 2 stars


Other than the mild amusement at my realization that this stars BOTH Daniel Stern AND John Heard of Home Alone fame, this is a colossally bad 80s movie. And that’s from someone who LOVES bad 80s movies!

C.H.U.D. supposedly stands for cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller, but the movie also uses contamination hazard urban disposal to fit the acronym. Toxic waste turns homeless people into these, uhh, scary monsters?

Love the flashlight eyes!

The best part of this flick is a 30 second John Goodman cameo.

John Goodman!

Netflix: 1 star

Friday the 13th Part 5 – A New Beginning (Not on Netflix)

I have definitely seen parts of this. There’s a bit of nonsense with a fat kid who eats too much chocolate that I have absolutely seen before. That said, I definitely hadn’t seen it all, so now, I’ve finally finished Friday the 13th as a series!

This is my brain right now, if asked for higher cognitive function.

I am so unbelievably glad that’s over. These movies are so unbelievably bad, it baffles me that anyone went to see them. The 80s were a simpler time, I guess.

In this one, Jason’s dead, so they try to do the reboot-o-tron and have someone else wear the mask. It didn’twork, and they went right back to the old standard in Part 6.

They did, however, have one of the best scenes in this franchise’s history:

Outside that bit of giggle-age, this is just dreadfully bad from end to end.

Netflix: 1 star

Here’s the rest of my Netflix queue, but I definitely won’t be watching all of these. I also have some DVDs that might actually be good, so that’s definitely an option.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers
The Host
Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
The Tall Man

31 Days of Halloween, Part 2!

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The Thing (2011) (Not on Netflix)

As a HUGE fan of both the original 1951 The Thing From Another World and John Carpenter’s 1982 remake, The Thing, I was pretty excited to see this prequel to the 1982 classic. In addition to that, it stars my biggest celebrity crush, Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the Mac role played by Kurt Russell, so I was excited to see her get her Ripley on.

Like I said…she gets her Ripley on.

Sadly though, this doesn’t have any of the tension that makes those other two movies work so well. The premise of these movies, that the freaky mutant alien creature could be ANYONE isn’t played to its fullest extent. This premise lends itself to lots of scenes where someone JUST out of frame is about to turn into something like this (Blocked for your safety, in case you’re a wimp – http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111212160851/aliens/images/8/8d/The_Thing_Alien_2011_1.jpg) but it doesn’t have the kind of fun terror it should have.

Netflix rating: 3 stars

Don’t Go In The Woods (2010) (Not on Netflix)

Awful. Totally and completely terrible.

Vincent D’Onofrio apparently shot this for $100,000 bucks in essentially his backyard. It’s a weird mashup of musical and slasher, which is why I wanted to watch it (for the possibility of total madcap wackiness) but instead it was just blergh. The only half decent part of it was the music, which was only good in that sort of “This sounds just like all the other junk on the radio, hey is that? Oh no, wait it’s not, wait is it by that guy? Nope, not at all.” way.

Netflix: 1 Star, because 0 isn’t allowed

Final Destination 5 (Not on Netflix)

I love this film series. Completely and totally unabashedly. It’s the best kind of splatstick humor – if you can’t giggle over a gymnast working on the parallel bars, only to be blinded by chalk and completely forget how to dismount, so she dies of multiple compound fractures, well then… I don’t want to be your friend.

This time, the group of people who avoid death work together, and while leaving for a trip, the bridge they were to take collapses. You know the drill, they escape death, then death tries to kill them one by one. This one, like Part 4, is in 3D, but most of what’s fun had nothing to do with things poking you in the eye. That is, unless you’re in the movie.

Death by Lasik!!

This is the best Final Destination since the first one.

Netflix: 4 Stars

The Stuff

This is one of the all-time great VHS boxes.

Worst. Tagline. Ever.

Loogit that box! Look at it! It’s got everything. A rictus of fear! Melting stuff coming out of his orifices! (Orifici? No, orifices.) Sadly, the movie is nowhere near as good as the art.

This is one of those movies that could only have been made between 1980 and 1989. Some old guy finds some white goop bubbling out of the ground, and his first instinct is to just eat it.

Don’t believe me? Fine. Go watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veh0oc53i4o

That’s the opening of the movie. There’s no explanation, just some old dude and his white goop. Then they start selling it as an ice cream alternative, but, surprise surprise it’s addictive and also will kill you.

Paul Sorvino is also in this, as is Garrett Morris, who plays the owner of a chocolate chip cookie company who somehow knows how to fight back against the goop.

Overall, this is like a really bad version of The Blob, which I love.

Netflix: 2 Stars, mostly because of Morris, who is hilarious

The Ward

John Carpenter stopped making movies in 2001, which is a shame, because he made quite a few good ones – Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York, among others. But this…this wasn’t worth coming out of retirement for.

“Yes John, I can also point to your Halloween poster, but this movie is nowhere near as good as that.”

The “twist” of this, if you can call it that, because I figured it out pretty much instantly, is the entire hook. And while I consider myself above-average at figuring out where movies go, this was so ludicrously telegraphed that it just made me sad. Carpenter used to be an absolute MASTER of suspense and thrills, but this lacks all of that subtlety.

There’s a girl who gets committed to an insane asylum with a bunch of other weirdos, then she finds out that there’s a violent force killing girls there! OOOHHHHHH! Scarrrryyyyy!

Except it isn’t.

Netflix: 2 Stars

Creepshow 2

I’m a big fan of the horror anthology. When done right, they can be a blast to watch – Trick R’ Treat and Creepshow are some of the best, and mix multiple genres to great success.

Creepshow 2 has the same pedigree of George Romero and Stephen King that the first one had, but overall this is less enjoyable. Of the three stories here, the most enjoyable was The Raft, which pits four college students against some black goop that inhabits the lake they go swimming in.

Predictably, things do not go well.

Tar pits aren’t the best place to take a dip.

This was a fun watch, though.

Netflix Rating: 3 stars (would be 3.5 if possible)

The Wolfman (2010) (Not on Netflix)

I really, really wanted to like this. SO MUCH!

But I don’t understand how Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which had a budget of $25 million, compared to $150 million for this, looks about 1,000 times more realistic with its monsters.

Yes, I understand fur is harder to animate, but instead of using goofy CGI, perhaps use makeup.

So weird how this looks awesome and life-like and is cheaper!

Most of the movie uses the awkward CGI, which is terrible, and pulls me out of the movie every single time.

Netflix rating: 3 stars

The Gate

Two friends open a gate to hell in their backyard and shenanigans ensue.

Then these little guys show up and wreak some havoc

I was really hoping this would be another Monster Squad or Goonies or Gremlins, but this has none of the charm of those masterpieces. The kids are kinda ehh, the creature design is boring and there’s a false ending an hour in that was supremely frustrating.

The highlight is the friend who’s obsessed with heavy metal, which holds the key to opening and closing the date. I tried so hard to find the scene on YouTube or a photo of the kid’s room, but sadly, it was unavailable. It is some of the most hilarious set dressing ever. Imagine your grandmother trying to convey heavy metal as the music of the devil, and then having it explained to a blind person, who in turn has to decorate a set they can’t see. It is a delight.

Netflix: 2 Stars

Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark

For my money, having Guillermo del Toro involved in a movie is about as close to a sure-fire win as you can get today. While he only produced this one, his fingerprints are all over it – especially the cool creature design.

Plus, they eat teeth. There’s nothing scarier than fingernails or teeth.

Katie Holmes, who’s incapable of acting, somehow continues to get work. And despite her wooden statue style, she’s not bad here, mostly because she’s not asked to do too much. The little girl, Sally, played by Bailee Madison, who’s somehow been in 33 movies or TV shows since 2006, is really impressive.

The gist of the movie is pretty simple: Sally goes to live with her dad and his new girly, played by Katie Holmes, but the house is haunted by some truly terrifying creatures who steal small children and eat teeth. I don’t know about you, but people losing their teeth just absolutely horrifies me. Note to creepers out there: I’d rather you just bash my head in with the hammer than use the claw end in my mouth. Just in case that ever pops up.

Netflix: 3 Stars


This is more of a straight up comedy than anything else. Two zombies wake up, and are able to function pretty much identically to humans. The problem is mostly the fact that they TRIED to make a bad movie. That’s the worst possible thing you can do as a filmmaker.

Another bad idea? Casting the homeless man’s Trey Parker and Johnny Knoxville.

Mike has to go cross-country to meet up with his former girlfriend, who he was going to propose to, but now he’s dead, you see? And there’s this guy with bad muttonchops who just yells all of his dialogue for absolutely no reason, which is the really exciting part (nope, it’s terrible).

Not worth your time.

Netflix: 1 Stars

Good Neighbours

I may be the world’s only fan of Jay Baruchel. I first saw him in Undeclared, and have been a big fan ever since. He’s got a sort of charm to him, and his bumbling type of idiocy works really well for him in the roles he chooses.

He’s also made some really fun choices for his indie movies – Just Buried, I’m Reed Fish and Goon were all a blast, (The latter two are on streaming, and I HIGHLY recommend Goon, especially if you like hockey.)

Good Neighbours is a Canadian movie (THE U IS FOR CANUCK!) that’s more thriller/dark comedy than horror movie, but it’s really enjoyable. There’s a nice cat and mouse type of action with Baruchel and his co-stars, and a few wrinkles that keep you intrigued, even if you figure out who the killer is rather quickly (And you totally will).

Baruchel and his costars have an intriguing chemistry.

I’m a fan of the dark comedy/thriller combo, especially the ones that involve MURDERIN’, and this one is excellent, and a load of fun.

Netflix: 4 Stars

Week 1: 8 Movies

Week 2: 11

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers
Creepshow 2
The Host
Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
The Tall Man

31 Horror Movies in October!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE Halloween. It’s by far my favorite holiday of the year, and each year I try to watch a whole slew of new horror/thriller movies. Now that I have Netflix, this is far easier to accomplish, so I’m shooting for 31 for the holiday.

Halloween has been my favorite true horror movie since, well, ever. I love the first and second movies, and have faithfully watched all of them over the years. To see part 6 (STARRING PAUL RUDD!!!!) I set an alarm to wake up at 4:45 as a senior in college and catch it with AMC’s FearFest. I may have a problem. (Laaaadies?)

This year, I noticed Netflix had almost all of the Friday the 13th series, and being a fan of the first one, was curious to see what the rest of it held.

I had previously seen Friday the 13th and Part 2, as well as Jason X, the 10th installment, which sends our hero to space, Freddy vs. Jason, which was fun, if stupid and the remake, also titled Friday the 13th, which inexplicably cast Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame.

Padalecki is like 6’5”, which takes Jason from being the colossally huge monster that can’t be taken down to a bad guy battling someone the same size, which goes against the whole “Giant Monster Bad Guy!” thing the movies are based on.

(See? Same height.)

I want to write a Halloween vs. Friday the 13th post later, but in order to do that, I had to fill in those gaps.

BUT… the movies were inexplicably being taken down from Netflix streaming on Oct. 1, so I binged on Friday the 13th, and watched SIX of them in two days (So yes, I cheated and watched a whole chunk of movies before Oct. 1. STILL COUNTS!). I would highly recommend AGAINST this for anyone thinking about it.

Friday the 13th Part 3

Oh, how dreadful. This was filmed originally in 3-D, and so carries all of the typical nonsense that you’d expect: someone yo-yos in your face for like five minutes, popcorn explodes at you, etc., etc., etc.

Tripp Laino’s Blog – NOW WITH 100% MORE YO-YO GIFS

There is, however, a cool kill shot where Jason shoots an arrow from a speargun and it comes at the screen. That said, this is both stupid and not funny, so not much joy in watching. Netflix: 1 Star

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

This was so unmemorable that I had to look up a plot summary on Wikipedia to jog my memory, and I’m writing this 24 hours after I watched it. Now, to be fair, I watched six of these shlockfests in a 24-hour period, but that’s still pretty terrible. The only memorable thing here is the imaginative deaths: corkscrews, kitchen knives, axes, shower tiles and more! Still, really not very good. Netflix: 1 Star

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

I actually enjoyed this the most since the first movie. Jason goes on a rampage at Crystal Lake, but there’s tension, inventive death scenes and some unintentional comedy to boot.

At Crystal Lake, you read Sartre. At age 7.

This is actually worth watching. Netflix: 4 Stars.

Friday the 13th: The New Blood

The better subtitle for this would have been Friday the 13th: Jason Has a Titanium Skull. He spends more time being hit in the head repeatedly by random objects – a hammer, an axe, a television, a couch! – than I’ve ever seen in a non-boxing movie. This one carries a weird subplot about a girl who’s telekinetic and uses her powers to attack Jason.


She makes the worst face for a telekinetic in the history of movies. Go ahead, take a second and do your worst possible “Scrunch-your-face-to-attack-someone” face. I’ll wait.

OK. Now here’s what’s in the movie:

Can’t tell if constipated, or melting faces

Terrible. Terrible! Netflix: 1 Star

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Now, call me crazy, but when you put “Manhattan” in the title of a movie, I expect more than like…15 of the 100 minutes to take place…IN MANHATTAN. Nope. Instead we get “Jason takes a leisurely boat cruise and kills people on a boat.” Which is fine, but rather stupid, given the title.

This one gets pretty inexplicable. Jason gets into a boxing match with a guy and then LITERALLY PUNCHES HIS HEAD OFF. (Small bonus points for the hockey fight shirt grab, especially given that he wears a hockey mask).

Then (Spoiler alert, I guess?) he gets melted in toxic waste and turns into a child, who’s left shivering (still covered in toxic goop) in a sewer. Netflix: 2 stars for sheer WTF-ery

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

This is just weird. Jason has somehow been transported back to Crystal Lake, and became the giant zombie monster again. Then the FBI blows him up (Not a spoiler, it happens in the first minute) and he spends the rest of the movie trying to vomit himself into other bodies. You think I’m making it up, but I’m not.

Nom nom nom

It’s really not very enjoyable, and goes the Halloween 6 route of “weird supernatural answer to the problem of this monster that comes out of left field.” Netflix: 1 Star

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

This was an absolute commercial and critical failure, but damn it if I didn’t have a blast. This is more of the horror/comedy type flick than a straight horror movie, HOWEVER, it’s still quite a lot of fun, and definitely in the Halloween vein. I don’t know why, exactly, but I enjoy Brandon Routh, and he plays Dylan Dog with just the right combination of swagger and Ashley Williams “I-can’t-believe-I-have-to-do-this” that it makes it much more enjoyable than it’s gotten credit for. Netflix: 4 stars

Black Water

This is from the same Australian director who made the very tight shark thriller The Reef, which was excellent. His shtick, if you can call it that, is to film actual creatures – sharks, in that case – and juxtapose the footage of the real-life creatures with the actors. It’s not perfect – you can definitely see the layers in some of the shots, but overall it’s awesome. It looks leap years better than a true CGI shot or puppet would, especially given how little money is spent on these.

He also shoots handheld, in a documentary style, but not the goofy shaky-cam mess. It’s not found footage, which is tiresome, but instead just feels real, especially given the Australian actors and actresses who are unknown here.

Black Water (which came out first) swaps the sharks for saltwater crocodiles, which are as menacing as the sharks, if not more so, given their ability to leave the water. The cast gets stranded in a tree, hiding from a crocodile, who tries to snack on them.

So close, yet so far. And with CROCODILES!

Netflix: 4 stars.

Here’s the other stuff in my Netflix que, as of right now.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
The Stuff
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers
Creepshow 2
The Host
I Sell the Dead
Good Neighbors
Negative Happy Chain Saw Edge
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
The Tall Man
The Ward

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