Episode 01 – Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation (2012)

or “Jeffrey Combs Dies at the End”

Starring: Andrew “Wishmaster” Divoff , Jeffrey “Re-Animator” Combs , Sarah “Super Shark” Lieving

Director & Writer: Jeff “Dr. Rage” Broadstreet

Origin: USA

Sequel to: Night of the Living Dead 3D

Review_____

“Never a god damn zombie around when you need one!”

In choosing a movie to review for the inevitable return of this great white dope, this one made the most sense. Hell, it made so much sense; it literally jumped off of my NetFlix “Shit You’ve Subjected Yourself To” category and headbutted me. Fucking technology is getting out of hand… Anyway, though a steaming shit heap of no remorse, if you end up liking this website, you can thank NotLD3DRA (jeezus, even the acronym is a John Holmes sized mouthful) because the idea of reviewing it was the last push over my retirement cliff to send me headlong into the crashing waves of the Reviewin’ Fiords. The reason? Well my new/returned friends, they are countless several:

• It’s a Night of the Living Dead movie… well, it has “Night of the Living Dead” in the title. Let’s not shame George Romero and Dan O’Bannon’s collective legacy by pretending this is an ACTUAL NotLD movie. Anyway, what better sub-genre than a zombie flick to start off a resurrected bad movie review site?!

• It stars Jeffrey Combs. My hero. The man whose turn as Herbert West in the first Re-Animator was a big green syringe in my ass that put me on the path to “holy shit, horror flicks are awesome!” appreciation, which quickly introduced me to the realm of putting my opinions out into the world wide wasteland.

• Andrew Divoff. He’s cool too. Remember that part in Wishmaster 2 where he made that guy fuck himself? Yeah. Don’t fuck with Divoff.

• It’s bad. Dear fucking Ra is it BAD. Bad movies are the most fun to review. There’s a reason they didn’t riff good movies on the Satellite of Love. Shit like NotLD3DRA are my vice.

Describing the events of this movie are what I would imagine a rape victim goes through when they have to relive the horrors of their victimization as they tell the police officer the moment-by-moment violation of their own sense of self and security. But, at the same time, I have to relay my nightmare to you, the audience, in a way that’s entertaining. How to do so… how to do so… hmmmm… it’s been a few years, but how about this: Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation invokes the same “just had my guts torn out through my belly button” feeling of pain and emptiness I went through when I saw Miley Cyrus maltreating herself in front of millions with a foam finger, with her body spasming and her face contorting like a mentally retarded 6 year-old who discovered her vagina for the first time. The veil of innocence and goodness the world had once been draped with, had been snatched away, leaving only the festering, depressing truth, contoured by legions of writhing maggots, squirming and seething with the sounds of my very soul oozing away into a mire from which it would never be clean or pure again… It was like some eldritch horror of pure sadness worming its tentacles up my nose and into my brain, where it laid eggs. Those eggs hatched, and the terrors they bore burrowed through my ocular orbs (i.e. eyeballs), saw what I was watching, and immediately died…

Okay, I’m going overboard and overblown. I’m just getting back into the proverbial swing of this stuff and haven’t quite re-established my balance. The tightrope over the hyperbole hole takes a lot of practice to navigate and I’m holding on by my last talon here. Seriously though, I’ve bowed down and bared my soft underbelly in supplication to malicious unforgiving hell beasts like Demonicus and Jack-O and Ankle Biters. If I can scale those mountains of madness, I can find my way through this shit-shrubbery maze with my head held high and my dick firmly in my hand, damn it! Eye of the tiger, mouth of a teamster! Eye of the tiger, mouth of a teamster! FUCK YOU JEFF BROADSTREET! If my metaphorical poop chute can survive the sphinctoral sufferings beset upon him by the likes of Charles Band and Adam Minarovich, then it’s gonna bite your desiccated little meat stump of a movie RIGHT THE FUCK OFF!

And so, with 4 or 5 nonsensical preliminary paragraphs of introduction out of the way, let’s dispense with the pleasantries and ride this rampaging turd rocket right into the toilet of forgotten cinematic history where it belongs! SALLY FORTH!

Before we get started (this is about the movie, I promise), did you know there was a Night of the Living Dead remake? And no, I’m NOT talking about the Tom Savini one, which looks like the Romero original in comparison to that 30th anniversary re-edit abomination that Anchor Bay should’ve aborted the moment the idea was conceived, which looks like the Savini remake in comparison to what is known as Night of the Living Dead 3-D… which, in turn, looks like a rabid mandrill raping a puppy to death in comparison to even the shittiest of the later Dead entries… starring Sid Haig (who will be playing the part of Jeff Broadstreet) as the mandrill!… and the zombie genre as the puppy. Awwww, poor puppy. 😦

NotLD3D was, as everyone pretty much expected, a crap orgy. Poop and shame everywhere. But, Sid Haig probably needed the money, and sometimes you gotta rape some puppies to pay the rent… or buy groceries… or buy a bottle of Tenafly Viper so you can melt to death in a toilet like a common hobo and retain a modicum of whatever dignity you have left… sorry Sid. Tough love.


(Sid Haig invests the paycheck from his latest role)

I’m sorry folks, but I think I’m subconsciously trying to avoid getting to the review. I’m now hypnotizing myself to overwhelm that damn “fight or flight” response and will proceed with the movie in 3…. 2…….. 1….. SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! I mean, REVIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!

Gerald (Divoff) and Harold (Combs) Tovar are brothers. Brothers with stupid rhymy names. Brothers who aren’t the best of friends (probably because their parents saddled them with stupid fucking rhymy names), but put up with each other out of that weird “family obligations” thing that I never understood. Their dad, Gerald Sr., was the proprietor of the Tovar & Son Mortuary until his untimely passing. Gerald Jr. inherited the family biz and discovered that dear ol’ dad had been disposing of chemical waste and “failed biological experiments” for big kickbacks since the ‘60s. Though Gerry Jr. immediately put a stop to the family’s side income, he did so AFTER being stuck with a few body bags full of Uncle Sam’s science snafus. Turns out Gerry’s also a pyrophobic, so he can’t bring himself to operate the cremation furnace, which means he’s been piling bodies up in the mortuary basement since taking the place over! A mortician who can’t cremate bodies?! It’s a recipe for WACKINESS! Hyuk hyuk! Woot woot wooooooooo! BLART!

Naturally, adding bags of zombie ooze to a basement that’s starting to look like it was owned by Pol Pot can only lead to disaster (a few dozen rotting corpses isn’t disaster enough?!), but before we get to the inevitable ghoul-a-go-go showdown, there’s a bunch of other shit we need to wade through first. Harry went off to make his own fortune elsewhere, and has only now returned to try and get his share of the family business, or a financial equivalent thereof. He reveals his scheme later on (I’ll leave that to you to find out, in case you get a self-abuse urge), but the majority of his time through the first 70min of the movie is spent dialoging it up with his big brother. Gerry tells Harry about the zombies, Harry calls bullshit, and then goes along with it because he’s a Tea Partier and is ready to believe any fairy tale as long as it has some kind of government conspiracy super glued to its ass. Broadstreet decides these conversations would be a great time to show off his geek cred by slapping us in the face with a wet red snapper (“Verrrrrrry tasty!”)’s worth of nods to the Romero original trilogy. First by having Harry BLATANTLY refer to the movie’s titular shamblers as “Romero zombies!” (*BLART!*), then much more subtly by having him read off the years and locations of said movies (including the Savini remake and Return of the Living Dead) as being incidents during which these failed government gropings of Mother Nature are rumored to have occurred…

Wait. Hold up a second. So, in this world, George Romero’s movies not only exist, but the release years of said movies ALSO happen to coincide with government zombie outbreaks?! FUCK YOUR KIDNEYS TILL YOU PISS BLOOD, JEFF BROADSTREET!

While Gerry Jr. descends further into madness and tries to keep the family legacy (which I noticed is oddly lacking in female components…) from going down the one way road to Crap Town (by killing the occasional zombies as they rise and somehow managing to keep the stench of a basement FULL of festering cadavers from catching the nasal attention of the staff or the local townsfolk), and Harry works on a way to exploit said madness to pay off what I’m assuming is a scratch-off lottery ticket addiction, the mortuary’s other employees… do stuff. There’s Aunt Louise, who just sits around watching Fix’d News (har har); Hot Topic cast-off and corpse fucker DyeAnn (sadly, none of that previous statement is a typo); Russell the irresponsible slacker handyman-ish type; and Cristie (Sarah Lieving) the fresh faced new girl, who picked the WRONG day to start her new job! Recipe! Wackiness! DINGLE-DOOP!

These supporting characters do pretty much nothing. Eventually they serve as corpse chow, they say and contribute nothing of importance, and they have one awful scene straight out of a ‘50s “educational” film where they smoke weed and do ecstasy and have completely unwarranted hallucinations (Evil Bong flashback! EVIL BONG FLASHBACK!) where a nekkid cadaver gets off their embalming table and sparks up a doobie with them before Dye humps his rigor mortisized junk pile… with her underwear on… Fuck. You. Jeff. Broad. Fucking. Street.

Due to Harry’s Tea Party leanings, naturally the movie has to have a Sarah Palin parody character called Sister Sara… because I guess there was still some sinew and meat hanging from that dead horse and Jeff Broadstreet thought it’d be fun to try and beat it off… the meat, not the horse… the meat on the horse, NOT the horse’s “meat”… I’m all up for the maiming and mutilation of the real thing, but Tina Fay perfected the Palin caricature. It was the only worthwhile thing she’s ever done. It never needs to be done by anyone else ever again! Anyway, SS too ends up at the funeral home at the worst possible time thanks to a broken down car, and she too becomes a mindless zombie… and I think there’s a joke in there somewhere about brain eating… cuz she doesn’t have one… or she’s already a zombie… cuz she’s a tea bagger… maybe? I stopped caring and I suggest you do the same.

It all comes to a sputtering, awkward, poorly acted, “we ran out of budget”, naked hedgehog (i.e. pointless) finale that just serves as the rat dropping sprinkles on this turd frosted crapcake. Gerry has a final stand off against the remaining re-animated that consists of Divoff standing in front of a green screen and pretending to fire a shotgun a few dozen times before finishing with one of the most needless and contrived endings I’ve seen in YEARS. The end. My time would’ve been better spent letting Anne Coulter funnel fire ants into my rectum (DAMN NEAR KILLED ‘EM!) while Louie Anderson carpet-bombed my face with boiled egg farts.

Actually, scratch that. The one redeeming factor of this movie, the solitary thing that keeps it from being labeled as unsafe for human consumption and being banned by the FDA, is Andrew Divoff. Whereas Jeffrey Combs is practically a non-factor, and plays his part with a “you have to at least show up and read the lines to get paid” ambition that saddens me as a long time fan of the Combs Monster, Divoff puts forward way more talent than the paycheck deserves. He plays Gerald with an odd balance of Southern Gentlemantality with a borderline Vincent Price-ian creep charm, all backed by just enough intensity and “man watching his entire life slip away into madness” pathos to earn him (and by default, the movie) one whole heart rating. If he weren’t onscreen as much as he was (not that any of that time would’ve been used to actually DEVELOP any of the ancillary characters anyway), this could’ve been another Demonicus. Instead, it just ends up being “Why Andrew Divoff Should Have a Better Career than He Does: the Movie”.

Getting Andrew Divoff in your movie doesn’t excuse you by a long shot, Jeff Broadstreet! Get your ass over here for chewing out. Being a zombie nerd who’s seen a few movies does NOT qualify you to make one, let alone two, let alone BOTH of which carry the moniker “Night of the Living Dead” in their titles! If you were half the zombie fan you make yourself out to be with your scripts, you’d release your bowel movements under their own titles and cut out the heresy. All your little call backs to better movies (especially the Return of the Living Dead story and character elements, and using “Re-Animation” in your title as a *wink*wink* that you have the star of Re-Animator) only serve to remind us that we should be watching those movies instead. Also, your zombies and gore sucked. Most of the makeup was passable (except for that PATHETIC “broken jaw” zombie thing you were attempting to pull off at the end), but the extras playing the zombies were a joke. And not a funny joke, but the sad kind. Like, “Why did the shoe salesman lose his job? Cuz he lost his legs in a horrible car accident… along with his wife… and now has to raise their 3 young children alone… *rimshot*”. THAT kind of joke.

Rather than invoking menace, your big zombie jamboree finale invoked boredom as the ghouls aimlessly mill around like some endless game of Living Dead Musical Chairs that didn’t have any fucking chairs! Also, if you have a special effects budget that you need to delegate to either squibs and rubber limbs, or community college levels of computer generated gore, if you opt for the latter, just stop trying to make movies immediately. Go home, take a long shower, and reconsider the choices you’ve made in life. Then, wash down a box of rat poison with a bottle of Clorox, because the only people you’ll ever be of any use to are the fucking community college drop outs making these not-so-special effects on their laptops that YOU’RE providing with work.

Thanks for the wake-up call, Jeff Broadstreet. If I’d known you were soiling the world with your own special brand of digital brain cancer, I might never have given up movie reviewing in the first place. But also, fuck you Jeff Broadstreet. I hope Dan O’Bannon comes back from Hell just to piss ghost acid into your mouth while you’re gargling, every morning for the rest of your life. Movie cameras are meant to be magical machines that bring creativity and talent to life, not colostomy bags to fill with your SHIT. Damn it, my first review back and I’ve already made another mortal enemy. Seriously though, fuck you Jeff Broadstreet. Again. Repeatedly. If you don’t die ravaged and hollowed out by Ebola and acid ghost piss, then the concept of “justice” is the sickest hoax ever played upon the world.

The Moral of the Story: Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. Stuff like this movie happen maybe, just maybe, because I’ve been sitting on my ass the last 3 ½ years rather than using it to rain down brown napalm on those who deserve it.

Screenshots_____

Gossip icon Perez Hilton died today… nobody cared.


He’s the test tube child of Vincent Price and John Waters!


That moment Jeffrey Combs realizes he probably
should’ve said ‘yes’ to House of Re-Animator


“Have you ever fantasized… about being KILLED?”


NOW it’s a horror movie!


“If that Broadstreet a-hole ever approaches me with another
contract, one of us isn’t gonna see the next sunrise.”


Jeff Broadstreet just comes straight out and
shows the audience how he feels about them.


“I don’t need a coroner to tell me that
this guy obviously died while rocking.”


The answer to “Whatever happened to
Mimi from ‘The Drew Carey Show‘?”.


Man! Gushers really ARE bursting with fruit flavor!

Click the Box Art for an Easter Egg ;)

Anubis will return next time in
“Business is my business, and business is good… BUSINESS!”

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All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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Episode 00 – Tag Team (1991)

or “The Tomb of Anubis Pilot Review”

Starring: Roddy “They Live” Piper , Jesse “Predator” Ventura ,
& Shannon “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death” Tweed
Director: Paul “Crazy Like a Fox: the Movie” Krasny
Writer: none credited (go figure)

Origin: USA

Review     
[NOTE: This is a review from my previous website. I updated it (slightly), but the majority of the review is intact. I’m posting it as a “pilot” episode of sorts, and I figured what better review to post as a pilot than a review for an actual pilot!]

Ah professional wrestling. Not quite a sport and not quite a soap opera. The spandex clad gladiators of the squared circle have been trying to break the barrier into Hollywood recognition for as far back as I can remember, always with mixed results. 20 years ago, professional wrestling was a pop culture oddity that everyone from the most tornado-ridden trailer park to the most cocaine saturated penthouse would flock to, the biggest annual gala of which was Wrestlemania. Over the years though, pro wrestling has more or less become society’s big heart tattoo with an ex-lover’s name on it. Long time fans either display it proudly and risk being mocked by those around them or try covering it up with a lifetime of big sweaters for the same reason, while the former fans who were only into it while it was popular pretend like it never happened, brushing it off as “something stupid I did when I was a kid” when someone gets a little too close and sees it peeking out from the neckline of their shirt.

Back in the good old days, everybody new the names: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jesse “the Body” Ventura. Everyone knew who they were and everybody still remembers them today. Of the current crop of wrestlers today though, it’s apparent that Hollywood’s not really interested in hiring glorified stuntmen for their movies anymore. If you walk up to the average Joe and Jane Nobody on the sidewalk and say, “Who’d win in a fight, Samoa Joe or Daniel Bryan? Sheamus or Abyss? Randy Orton or Sting? CM Punk or AJ Styles?”, chances are they’re either ignore you and walk around or pity/fear you, give you a dollar, and tell you they’re going to pray to God for your well-being tonight before they go to bed on their mattress stuffed with hundred dollar bills. If you went up to the same woman who watched the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan match at Survivor Series ’91 or the Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin match at Wrestlemania XIV and you asked her if she prefers WWE or TNA, chances are she’ll think you’re asking her about whether she prefers the Nintendo Wii or tits and asses. It’s true. You can’t even count Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson amidst the dying breed of wrestlers in popular culture anymore, as he’s officially sworn off wrestling in favor of bigger paychecks for less work, with the occasional exception where he comes back for a few big paycheck appearances and to promote his newest digital waste of 2 hours. Can’t blame the guy really, but with his departure there’s really nobody left to pull in the “outside” crowd anymore… well, there’s John Cena, but even as the biggest name in the business today, his crossover appeal is both minimal and very limited.

Anyway, the point of all this is that wrestling was so popular 20+ years ago that ABC was ready to make a weekly buddy cop show with none other than Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura in the lead roles… no, seriously. The story stars Piper and Ventura as Tricky Rick McDonald and Bobby “the Body” Youngblood respectively. The duo is a tag team who are on their way to the top of the marquee, and a shot at the Tag Team Championships. Before that, they’ll need to get past the ruthless Samurai Brothers to get there. Prior to the big match with their “sounds like the title of an obscure NES game” opponents in question, their boss’s wife pulls them aside and tells them to throw the match, otherwise she’ll tell her hubby that the two of them have been making passes at her and he’ll blackball the duo from the wrestling world forever. Though this sounds stupid now, what with competing wrestling organizations always trying to buy each other’s top talents, back then the WWF was the only game in town, so for wrestling fans it’s not unbelievable to think that one promoter could successfully end the careers of two guys like McDonald and Youngblood. Also, even though it’s been widely acknowledged by wrestlers today that everything is scripted in regards to who wins the matches, this was still at a time when the WWF was adamant on the idea that the outcome of matches were not pre-planned, so you can forgive the lack of logic here. Of course these guys aren’t the type to back down to blackmail, especially not from some skirt, so they go through with the match and chalk up a victory against the Samurais, subsequently getting their asses fired as a result. Cue the basis for a tv series!

I’m going to stall the review for a moment (as I’m oft to do) by addressing the incredibly bad writing of this show, starting here with the entirely uninspired characters. Wow, Tricky Rick and Bobby “the Body”, what a long way from Rowdy Roddy and Jesse “the Body”… you’re telling me these writers couldn’t even stray far enough from their WWF characters to give Ventura a nickname other than his actual nickname?! At least they changed Piper from Rowdy to Tricky, but Ventura’s nothing more than “the Body”?! How hard is it to turn that into something like “the Stud” or “the Hunk”? The slacker approach to character naming doesn’t end here though. Check this out: the Samurai Brothers’ manager is played by real life wrestling manager Harry Fujiwara, a.k.a. Mr. Fuji. How far from the norm do our mysterious unaccredited writers deviate from the true life path here? Mr. Fuji becomes Mr. Sake… they couldn’t even drop the “Mr.”?! I guess writing TV pilots is easier than writing 5th grade science fiction considering my English teacher gave me an A+ and these guys lost their jobs. However, if this was all instead a marketing scheme by Vince McMahon that the characters in the show are contractually obligated to resemble their WWF counterparts as a way to better advertise his product on national television, I apologize to the writers… for now. Back to work.

So, no longer allowed near a wrestling ring and having no prior work experience other than lifting weights and pretending to beat people up, it’s a recipe for wackiness when Rick and Bob try to integrate themselves into the blue collar working world. Whether it’s moving pianos or playing padded assault victims to a women’s self-defense class, things don’t look favorable for the guys’ wallets. On top of that, it looks like they may soon be evicted from their apartment (yes, they even live together…)  if they don’t come up with a way to make money fast. Inspiration comes in the strangest of forms though, when the boys break up a robbery at their local grocery store and get the perfect idea: they’ll join the police academy! Hey, it worked for Bubba Smith, right?

Yes, before Trish Stratus was doing “Armed and Famous”</a>, two other wrestlers thought it’d be a good idea to become legitimate peace keepers. Though they struggle a bit, the boys make it through basic training and earn their shields. They look too damn goofy in police uniforms though, so it’s written into the script that Ricky and Bob-O will be working undercover… okay, time for interlude numero dos!

I gave the show’s writers a temporary pass for the name change thing, citing that it’s very possible Vince McMahon was being a dick about the whole thing and insisted that only the slightest changes be made so audiences would better recognize his performers and, thus, his product. However, I can’t blame McMahon for the unbelievably stupid rationale behind making two former professional wrestlers into undercover police officers! You want to make them cops, that’s fine, I can live with that. It’s made more acceptable when it’s revealed that Youngblood (mirror Jesse Ventura’s real life history) is a former Navy Seal. But, doesn’t it kinda defeat the point of being “undercover” when you’re also one of the biggest former names in professional wrestling and everybody knows who you are!? Gah, brain fire! Brain fire! Put it out! PUT IT OUT!

Like I was saying, while in the academy, Ricky and Bobby meet seen-to-be officer Ray Tyler. Ray becomes their bumbling comedy sidekick and the show’s general big talker, meaning he’s always the one who acts like he’s in charge until a genuine authority figure comes around and turns him into a brown-nosing weasel. A necessary evil in the TV dichotomy. He pops up from time to time to either try and butt in on some of our heroes’ glory or to get pushed around and have his status in the force threatened by Youngblood and McDonald’s antics. Speaking of which, the dynamic duo’s first assignment is witness protection. It seems that a dog walking veterinarian named Leona (Shannon Tweed!) witnessed a mob hit in a parking garage while our boys were running through basic training. The rest of the pilot revolves around Ricky and Bobby protecting Leona, beating up mob goons with their old wrestling tactics (I guess they forgot they have guns… as do most of the mob goons who seem to have had some in-ring experience of their own), getting suspended from the force for screwing up their job, running around looking for Leona, beating up more mob goons and saving the day so Leona can testify and put a crime boss away. It all ends with the two adopting a formerly injured dog and Roddy Piper on the floor in the last of what would be many questionably homoerotic situations, naked with the exception of a towel around his waist while laughing and playing with his new best friend while Ventura and Tweed look on. Kinda creepy in its own way really… Then again, being married to Gene Simmons, I’m sure Tweed’s seen 100 times weirder shit in her days.

If you had to sum up Tag Team with a single word, you’d be hard fought to figure out something more suitable than “campy”. There’s so much cheddar being thrown around here that it’s hard to figure out how much of it was intentional and how much was just really shitty “Hey, that’d be a cool thing to have!” moments between the writing staff. The show definitely nods to the absurdity of the pseudo sport on which it’s based though, the most obliging of which being the introductory scene in which a young fan visits Youngblood and MacDonald in their locker room (okay, so just anyone can waltz around back stage at a wrestling event and wander in and out of dressing rooms as they please?!), apparently unhappy with their current professional monikers and questioning why they would want to give up their former show aliases as “the Lizard Brothers”, to which MacDonald replies that “the green scales and the ears just weren’t us”. You think that two wrestlers dressed like lizard men is a bit much to swallow? You obviously haven’t seen the darker side of wrestling my friend…

Beyond the little touches like that, the rest of the wrestling stuff sucked. I don’t mean “sucked dick like a crack whore” sucked, I mean “sucked a conga line of hobo dicks like a drugged out trailer park whore with a Hoover for a mouth” sucked! It’s painful to watch as the cheese is ramped up to heart attack levels at such moments as Piper and Ventura jumping off of structures to land on people or coming up with their own catch phrase, “Body slam!” or, the coronary that finally killed the moose: Ventura is pinned to a tree by a thug with a rake, desperate for some help from his partner. Seeing the emergency state of his pal, Piper sees Vantura’s hand outstretched and, in a slow motion moment that makes “Baywatch” look like Hamlet, Piper leaps through the air and tags his buddy’s hand WWF style before saving the day… HE FUCKING TAGGED THE GUYS HAND!!!!! ARGH!

As far as the rest of the show goes, Ventura and Piper are actually pretty good actors, even when being Full Nelsoned with a bad script. They’re fun to watch. The only problem I have with the two is the frequent shirtlessness going on here. You half expect them to go knocking on their neighbor’s door and asking for a cup of shirt because they’re fresh out. You could make a drinking game out of the number of scenes they show up shirtless in or wearing a towel, all in a mere 45 minutes! In fact, if anybody wants to buy a copy of this off of me, I’ll include the rules for the “Tag Team: Get Tagged!” drinking game with it!

The pilot actually tested well enough that a regular series was given the green light by ABC execs. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the idea was scratched a mere 24 hours before shooting of the first episode and “Tag Team: the Series” was not to be. Both stars went on to somewhat better things though. Piper, beyond wrestling, enjoyed a career as a b-movie star in flicks like Hell Comes to Frogtown and They Live (where he fought Keith David in the greatest fight scene ever), while Ventura would become a bad movie tough guy himself before ending up the Governor of Minnesota of all things. As far as Tag Team goes though, let me put it this way: Cheese is good. I like cheese. Cheese goes great between two slices of bread or melted on top of a taco (except for the pink kind). Cheese is great when eaten by the cube or in peelable cylinder form. Cheese can even be good for you in moderation. In that regard, there’s too much cheese in Tag Team. It clogs my arteries of tolerance and it gives me a cinemasochism heart attack. Ingest your movie dairy products in moderation my friends, so you can avoid that groaning agony in your chest. It’s fun up until the point where it just gets to be too much, and at those times it becomes flaming daggers in your chest.

On a sidebar though, let’s go back to the pre-review rant. Where do I stand on the whole tattoo situation? Wrestling was introduced to me by my dad and my grandpa. I have good memories of watching the pay-per-views with my family as a brat and going into school the next day to regale my friends with results from every event. Everybody else wet themselves over Wrestlemanias, but for me the best times of year were always January and Thanksgiving. January was the Royal Rumble and on Thanksgiving, after we’d eaten our meal and given the Tryptophan a chance to burn through our brains, it was time for Survivor Series. Both were unique for their specialty matches (the R-Squared for it’s 30 man battle royal and Double S for it’s 4/5/6 man tag team elimination matches) and always appealed to a kid like myself who was just waiting to see mash-ups of guys who otherwise would never have wrestled against each other, either through company politics or because they just wouldn’t have garnered the fan reaction the office big wigs thought they would.

Anyway, my grandpa died a few years ago from Leukemia. He’s not only the one who introduced me to wrestling and cultivated that love throughout my childhood, but he was the only person I knew besides my friend George who still watched wrestling. With him gone and George having graduated to being a full-time family man, I’ve got nobody. Despite that, and despite the brush off I get from everybody else around me when they hear that I still follow the stories, I stick with it. The easiest excuse would be to say that it’s to honor my grandpa, but even though that’s panty peeler for the sentimental gals out there just looking for an excuse to get laid beyond the socially unacceptable obvious reasons, it’s not really the point. I like to watch wrestling.

Yes, I know it’s “fake”, in that the feuds are written by shlubs in the background, but so is every Hollywood blockbuster or TV ratings grabber. I know that they’re not really hitting each other “that hard” and that they’re just selling everything to make it look good. But you know what? These men and women are more athletic than 98% of the “real” athletes in the world today. They don’t get paid the kinds of bloated salaries that these ungrateful pricks in baseball or basketball do, but they’re out there jumping off of shit and putting their physical well-being on the line 365 days a year. They don’t get an “off season”, they more often than not work through every holiday, and they’re putting their bodies through torture that leaves most of them broken when it’s all said and done, addicted to pain killers, alienated from their families and the rest of society, waiting for Vince McMahon to ring their phone and give ‘em one last shot in the spotlight. If you’re one of those dick cheeses that still thinks wrestling is a joke and the people involved are nothing more than pretty boys who can’t act their way out of a wet nut sack, then go watch Beyond the Mat or read any autobiography by Mick Foley and see if you don’t respect them afterwards.

Hmmm, once again it seems like a simple review has turned into a soap box session of defending a lifestyle choice on my part, so let’s try to end this on a joke. Here’s a good one:  An Irishman walked into a bar, hoisted his bad leg over the barstool, pulled himself up painfully and ordered a shot of whiskey. The Irishman looked down the bar and said, “Is that Jesus down there?” The bartender nodded and the Irishman told him to give Jesus a whiskey too. Next, an Italian with a hunchback came into the bar. He shuffled up to the barstool and asked for a glass of Chianti. He also looked down the bar and asked if that was Jesus sitting down there. The bartender nodded and the Italian said to give JC a glass of Chianti too. Last, a redneck swaggered in dragging his knuckles on the floor and hollered. “Barkeep, set me up a cold one. Hey, is that God’s Boy down there?” The barkeep nodded, and the redneck told him to give Jesus a cold one. As Jesus got up to leave, he walked over to the Irishman and touched him and said, “For your kindness, you are healed!” The Irishman felt the strength come back to his leg, and he got up and danced a stereotypical jig to the door. Jesus touched the Italian and said, “For your kindness you are healed!” The Italian felt his back straighten and he raised his hands above his head and did a cartwheel out the door. Jesus walked toward the redneck and the redneck jumped back shouting, “Don’t touch me, I’m drawing disability!”.

Oh those wacky hillbillies.

The Moral of the Story: Wrestlers can act. It’s part of their job. It’s the writers who are always faking the talent…

Screenshots_____

“So it’s agreed: no “e-i,e-i-o” jokes and no Rod Liefeld jokes.”


I don’t even know that kid and I already want
to smash a bottle of Old English over his face.


Little known fact: this moment is what
inspired Vince McMahon to create the XFL.


“‘Damn near killed ’em’! Don’t you get
it!? Come on! ‘DAMN NEAR KILLED ‘EM!'”


Homo-eroticism Level: Negligible


Homo-eroticism Level: Sitcom Misunderstanding


Homo-eroticism Level: Bukkake Party Grandpas!


In a pilot featuring Shannon Tweed,
there were way too many instances of the
wrong cast members ending up shirtless…

 

Click the Box Art for an Easter Egg ;)

Anubis will return next time in “Jeffrey Combs Dies at the End!”

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