Feature 69 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

or “Shittin’ On the Schlock of the Bay”

Featuring: Megan “Jennifer’s Body” Fox , William “’Prison Break‘” Fitchner , Will “The Brothers Solomon” Forte

Director: Jonathan “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Beginning” Liebesman

Writers: Josh “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol” Applebaum , Andre “Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol” Nemec , Evan “Snow White and the Huntsman” Daugherty

Origin: USA

Review_____

“Tonight I dine on turtle soup.”

Once again it’s that time to give thanks, at least here in the US of A (not to be confused with the US of ‘Eh’ – Canada), as we Tetris our guts so full of food that they make Cambodian mass graves look roomy! It also means it’s time again for the ToA to carry on the classic “MST3K” Turkey Day tradition… though the whole concept’s kinda been made redundant since Joel Hodgson’s resurrected the actual Turkey Day marathonal celebration thing online, coincidentally enough on the SAME year I started my homage… thanks, Joel… lovable, fan appreciating, son of a Mad! Last year’s Thankskilling took the “Turkey” theme literally, but this year I’m taking the Day back to its intended “shitty movie” definition. You know what shares its first three letters with “turkey”? Turtles. You know what else starts with t-u-r? Turd. It’s kismet.

Last year I was walking to the chainsaw store and noticed a bird fly out of a tree. I was directly beneath the feathered fucker’s flight path, and had the nigh-psychic inclination of “I think this bird’s going to shit on me”. Sure enough, a discharge of sphincter napalm caught the light of the waning sun as I watched. Rather than step aside, I remained in that spot and watched that rectal blockbuster for the full extent of its descent until it finally ended up on my “I (CHUD face) NY” shirt. The moral of this story? I’m not the type of guy who steps aside when the Crap Express comes barreling towards me. I knew Michael Bay’s latest molestation of ’80s pop culture would knock on my door sooner or later. Rather than turn off the lights and pretend I wasn’t home, I downed a double shot of Rot Gut, snorted a scoop of Country Time Lemonade, and opened that door with my eyes open, my ears back, and my fists clenched. Now, the hunter becomes the hunted. Make peace with your gods and give thanks for the ass-kicking thou art about to receive! Booker T, take it!

As per Ape Tomb Law, not only am I not allowed to spoil major story moments, but I’m also required to watch every movie I review at least twice. I had to watch the RiffTrax version to stomach said second sit-through without resorting to smashing my hands with a hammer so I’d have an excuse not to type this. Also, on a final pre-show note, I have a very rare form of Tourette’s that only activates when I’m subjected to conservative republicans or any movie associated with Michael Bay. So, you know, be ready for me to degenerate into random bouts of bad word Pu Pu Platter the likes of which would give everyone around the dinner table a Turkey Day coronary.

The big controversies leading up to the release of this Steamin’ Mimi had TMNT fans (like myself) in an uproar. For appetizers, it’s a product of Michael Bay’s diseased digestive system, Platinum Dunes. For soup/salad, they cast Megan “all the range of a wax statue” Fox as April O’Neil. For the entree, the cold-blooded brothers are ‘roided up goliaths whose gargantuan frames aren’t exactly well suited for the stealthiness of Ninjutsu. And for dessert? Bay made the mistake of saying something to the tune of the titular terrapins being aliens now instead of mutants, which immediately turned into a terminal case of butthurt for nearly the entire pre-installed fanbase that these shit twizzling fuck blanket dick tits probably should’ve been at least trying to appeal to!

After the fallout from his comments though, BMMB (Bowel Movement Michael Bay) backtracked to clarify that he never said the half-shelled heroes would be aliens, just that their origins would be alien in nature, meaning they were either going to be the product of alien experimentation (like Marvel’s Eternals) or the method of their mutation was going to be extraterrestrial (i.e. mutagen is E.T. Jizz). Bay’s misremembrance of history’s not entirely true though, as one of the early drafts of the script reportedly did have the turtles as aliens who escape from a Dimension X prison, but was changed following the shitstorm backlash when fans got wind of it. The same thing happened when the movie’s title was originally announced as just “Ninja Turtles”, but was changed to include the entire moniker when, again, fans drowned the production in geek rage. You can tell by the lazy way “Teenage Mutant” is squeezed in above “NINJA TURTLES” in the title logo that someone was being passive-aggressive about acquiescing.

The aliens fuck up was enough that plenty of people to this day still believe that the turtles ended up being HGH fed Spaced Invaders and thus refuse to sit through this movie. Lucky them. As much as I loathe this worst kind of schlock, I make it a note to point out the truth to these misinformed people when I can. If this crapscapade flick’s going to be shit on and/or avoided, it shouldn’t be due to misconceptions, but because of how legitimately terrible it is. I’m a vindictive asshole of a human being, but a fair and balanced jackal-headed God of Death.

The movie opens with an extreme Fruit Ninja montage, as various items ranging from fruits to cinder blocks to VHS tapes are smashed and slashed out of the air by four very familiar ninja weapons. Who’s swinging them isn’t made bluntly apparent (though you might wanna check yourself against the DSM-4 and make sure you haven’t crossed over the Retard Town city limits), but said destruction of otherwise innocent inanimate objects is narrated by Tony Shalhoub, who most will remember of “Monk” fame, but whom I prefer to remember from “Wings”. Fuck you, I liked “Wings”. At least until Michael Bay remade it as Pearl Harbor. You didn’t know? Would I lie to you? Probably. Doesn’t make my statement any less true though.

Anyway, we’ll get back to Shalhoub-job later. Our story begins with April O’Neil (Megan “Not nearly as smart as a” Fox). She’s a news reporter for New York City’s Channel 6 (apparently the only channel in NYC without a broadcast affiliate or call letters) who laments that her 4 years in journalism college resulted in her covering morning news bullshit stories like how to do old person jumping jacks on a trampoline (don’t get excited, kids, this isn’t “The Man Show”) as taught by a guy who says that there’s no such thing as fat birds. Look up “fat birds” in the search engine of your choice and you’ll see this man clearly enjoys shoving his head up his own ass like some freakish M.C. Escher ostrich.

All she’s given are fluff pieces. Fluffy on the kind of level where you’d have to put a Himilayan-Persian in an industrial sized dryer for an hour to get something of similar fluffiness… though actually doing that would result in something far gruesomer, but you get the intended idea. Since her boss Bernadette (Whoopi “cushion” Goldberg) won’t give her a chance to prove herself as a hard boiled investigative reporter, April goes in search of trouble herself, determined to get to the bottom of the recent theft of some rare chemicals from a shipping dock at the piers. In doing so, she witnesses another burgling at the same pier by shadowy militant figures known as The Foot Clan, led by an Asian woman (Minae Noji). Their deeds of misappropriation are broken up this time by a shadowier figure who batters the baddies into retreat using the giant shipping containers (is this guy The Hulk?!) before Batmaning away into the night, leaving a Japanese kanji graffitoed onto one of the shipping containers. Miss O’Neil nabs a pic of the hero’s calling card as her solitary piece of proof, and is laughed out of the office when she goes into work the next day with the story.

If Whoopi ever gave me back sass for anything, I’d just return fire with “Sit down, Theodore Rex!” and watch her curl up into a ball on the floor. Little known fact – that’s one of her Manchurian Candidate trigger words. You don’t wanna know what she does when you say “Jumping Jack Flash”.

And the wind whispered “Boooyaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”.

Tagging along with April is her cameraman sidekick Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett), who tries to get the headstrong lass to be more like Eric Idle and always look on the bright side of life. He’s happy just following her around with his camera and awkwardly trying to flirt with her while she desperately struggles to convey emotion and interest as her job requires. For those familiar with the name, Vern Classic was a staple of the original animated series, but as a professional rival for the original be-jumpsuited April, always trying to sabotage her and steal her big stories for himself. Speaking of that banana suit, see the pic below for those ’90s TMNT fans who always wanted their animated dreams made flesh. Shwing! Anyway, I love Will Arnett like a wacky uncle (not the one who always wanted to “tickle” you as a kid…), but I think he would’ve been perfect as antagonist Vernon more so than the chummy optimist he is here. Ever seen Hot Rod? No? Watch it. That is the Will Arnett character I wanted to see as one Mr. Fenwick. Besides, it would’ve worked way better for the “older creep hitting on the younger woman” dynamic. Then again, making the older guy perv on Megan Fox was probably another one of Bay’s ideas. Art imitating life and all that.


(Porn actress April O’Neil cosplaying as her namesake!)

Pissed by the shadowed avenger’s intrusion into their scheme, the Feet are ordered by their master (a bald Japanese man whose face is covered in scars) to lay a trap for their antagonistic nightcrawler with innocent civilians as bait. Taking a group of hostages in a subway station (including April, whose nose butting inning may cost her this time… though I betcha it won’t), the heavily armed ninja commando squad hold everyone at gunpoint, line the walls with explosives, and call out to their foe, who Karai (the Asian lady ninja from before) knows is “out there”. First, how exactly does she know they’re “out there” playing audience to this random act of terrorism? Second, if “Heavily Armed Ninja Commando Squad” isn’t already the name of something related to G.I. Joe, I’d be very shocked. Cobra Shock Trooper shocked, even.

Naturally, before Kar-Bear can put a bullet through Miss O’Neil’s wooden face for taking pics with her cell phone, four hulking humanoid martial arts kappa (not nearly as catchy a name) swing in courtesy of a conveniently passing express train. These amphibian vigilantes (amphibilantes?) dismantle the trained assassins with so much ease that I’m at a loss for a word to describes something easier than “ease”. Then, just as quickly as they appeared, the midgetine Gameras escape through a similarly convenient construction tube thingy as the dozen or so eyewitnesses who eyewitnessed them try to figure out what the fuck they just saw, rather than running above ground to call 911. Not April though. She hoofs it up a fire escape to the roof of the building the yellow tube is connected to and finds the quartet of so-called ninjas LOUDLY SHOUTING about their accomplishment during a mutual back patting party. “Like shadows in the night” my hairy ebony ass.

They snag the she-peeper and try to intimidate her into forgetting about them, which is hard to do when one of them keeps saying creepy inter-species Jersey Shore scumbag stuff like “She’s so hot I can feel my shell tightening”. Holy shit eating fuck chunder cunt blister cock monkey whore cheese! I’m a skeez, and that shit made me gag! April faints (not a good thing to do around a guy who keeps talking about how much he wants to excavate your womb with his salmonella stick), then comes to with the four hovering over her like aliens prepping an abductee for a poop chute probing. They introduce themselves together as ninja mutant turtle teenagers (“who can still have adult conversations”… VOMIT! BARF! SPEW!), and individually as Leonardo (voiced by Johnny Knoxville… because when you think “I need a hero!”, the first person that comes to mind to provide their voice box is the lead of Jackass), Donatello (vb Jeremy Howard), Raphael (vb Alan Ritchson), and the group’s sexual predator, Michelangelo (vb Noel Fisher). They all have their traditional personalities – Leo is the responsible big brother, Raph is the rebellious a-hole with a chip on his shoulder, Donnie is the DIY tech savant, and Mikey, is it true that you’re the funny one? “Yes. Yes it is… Now somebody watch me while masturbate or I won’t be able to cum!”

Remember those racist stereotype Transformers that got Bay into a boiling cauldron of shit during one of the sequels? Turns out Michaelangelo was originally supposed to wear a big gold chain and be played up as a more “urban” (i.e. what white Hollywood calls the black inner city stereotype) character before outrage over said racial insensitivity forced yet another revamp of the script, giving the doofus back his traditional “Cowabunga, dudes!” gnarly surfer-dude persona. So, due to the outrage of the fans (and people who just don’t like racist schtick!), my spirit turtle went from hip-hop back to flip-flops. Bravo.

When April catches their monikers, it’s like someone finally turned the lights on in the vacant office that is her brain. From here, you’re better left to just turn the friggin’ thing off and walk away. Save yourself the needless loss of brain cells for something more fulfilling, like drinking paint thinner. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Without spoiling too much of the 3ft deep pool of turtle turds we’re led through, I’ll give you the “childproof safety cap” version. You’re welcome.

This version of the Turtles’ origin reads like so: the four reptiles and their furry Mr. Miyagi were all guinea pigs in a science lab seeking to utilize a green mutagenic liquid purported to have been from outer space. Titled “Project: Renaissance”, the shelled ones were named after noted artists of the Italian Renaissance period. The rat was named Splinter… for no fucking reason either. Probably because the script monkeys wrote themselves into a corner and figured “Fuck it. Nobody’s gonna care that his name makes no sense, so just go with it”. Prior to its destruction from a mysterious fire, the lab was run by a guy named Eric “nut” Sacks (William Fichtner). In the years since, Sacky has become the head of the self-titled Sacks Industries and a darling son of NYC, meaning he’s in good with the NYPD, the mayor, and probably hunts homeless illegal immigrants with Donald Trump at a private upstate lodge on alternate weekends. Given his high social status and engorged bank account, naturally he’s going to be the Lex Luthor of the movie. Or at least a four-color Gordon Gekko. There’s no spoiler in that, because if you didn’t already figure that part out then you’re either a 4 year-old or you’re a member of the GOP who’s too preoccupied with being sad that Sacks isn’t a real person whose member you could massage with your uvula in exchange for a new Super PAC.

Amidst the blaze, the quintet were saved from their tank and ended up in the sewers. There, the mutagen in their system caused them to gradually grow into their current humanoid bohemoth forms. Splinter knew that the misfit siblings would be ridiculed by society for their appearance (and their rancid sewage b.o. doesn’t help that), so he sought to teach them how to defend themselves physically, hopefully also instilling them with the emotional confidence to execute the “sticks and stones” defense. To this end, Splints discovered a martial arts training manual amid the refuse of their surroundings, and taught himself the ways of armed and unarmed combat before passing that knowledge and skill on to his “sons”… and making them wear masks just because.

It was the blind leading the blind, and all it took was a shit smeared book to become good enough to defeat an army of killers personally trained by the deadliest assassin in the world (Shredder) and wielding the deadliest in military grade munitions?! Fuck you. Though, to be fair, the Foot here are little more than masked guys who probably answered a wanted ad in the back of Soldier of Fortune, but still. Anyway, despite their huge lumbering frames, the Turts can flip through the air like Tony Jaa… and although he learned his own fighting prowess at about the same pace as he in turn taught them, Splinter is still somehow miles ahead of them… Maybe it’s his tail? That thing doesn’t operate like an actual rat’s tail with bones and cartilage, but instead like a squid’s tentacle (one long muscle) that can grasp things and bend like a contortionist in a Russian circus act. Given that classic mutagen was always explained as transforming any living thing it touched into an amalgamation of said living thing and the last other-species thing it came in contact with, maybe somebody in the lab fed Splinter their leftover calamari from lunch the same day of his last injections? Shhhyeah! And maybe the Wicked Witch of the West’s winged monkey bellhops will fly out of my butt! *BLART*

In case you missed this amid the rest of this toxic waste spill of a story, allow me to bring another important notion to your attention: Splinter is just a lab rat. Not the pet of Shredder’s rival, Hamato Yoshi. Not Hamato Yoshi himself. Just a lab rat. Thus he has ZERO connection with the main villain. What he does have though, as our writers expect us to swallow like we’re virgins on prom night, is an extensive knowledge of Shredhead, including his dealings as the most dangerous and powerful criminal in the Far East, and his unmatched lethality when it comes to combat… FOR. NO. REASON.

I want to punch a hole in my screen just typing that! Seriously, if somebody doesn’t “split the uprights” of whomever okayed this all-you-can-eat dookie buffet with a pair of steel-toed boots with knives duct taped to the end of them, I will have lost faith in karma as a universal force for justice. I will piss in the cosmic cereal bowl.

The rest of the run time is spent on your basic good guys vs. bad guys stuff. Shredder has a plan to murder all of New York with a poisonous gas, the Turtles fight him (and his hugely retarded, errr “developmentally challenged” made-from-Decepticon-remains cyber battle juggernaut armor) until they lose, they fight him again until they win, lone-wolf Raph learns the meaning of Christmas family, the day is saved, and every law of physics is brutalized beyond repair along the way. You know, paint-by-numbers stuff, only the numbers are a Chinese alphabet soup taken from a dozen different dialects and the paint is just an assortment of fluids drawn from the body pit that opens Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Shit cunt twat snot ball sweat taint sucking hairy asshole slut farm discharge.

Michael Bay. I know he didn’t direct it, since you can actually SEE what’s going on during action sequences (at least there’s that, so thank you Jon Liebsman). Nor did he write it, because I doubt he would’ve bothered to put in all of the little fan service winks we did get (at least there’s also that, so thank you, 3 guys whose names I don’t want to re-type). Alas, as the increasingly punch worthy face of Platinum Dunes, I personally hold every man-made pox they introduce into the populace over his head. Between this, what he’s done to the Transformers franchise, and all of the merit-less horror remakes sifted from the Dunes like so much cat shit from a litter box in the last 15 years, I’m declaring Michael Bay the new Uwe Boll.

Cue The Who – “Meet the new Boll, same as the old Boll. Circling the toilet bowl, fans want him cornholed.”

My thanks to the Evil Dead Bride for influencing the second half of that little musical interlude. Boom goes the dynamite.

Rather than make his own movies with his own ideas (Intergalactic prison break movie? I’d watch that. Guardians of the Galaxy and all.), Bay instead gets the rights to make movies based on pre-existing franchises, then helicopters his lily white pecker in the faces of the fans of those franchises by projecting his own ideas onto said established properties. He’s the grand champion of fixing what ain’t broken. And he does it simply because he’s a petty cunt who wants to ruin the things that other people love. The ’80s must’ve been some of his darkest years too, since the victims of his cinematic rap sheet are some to the few bright spots of the Reaganomics era.

Bay’s more dangerous than Boll though, because he’s got enough financial backing to hire entire teams to gangbang these beloved properties for him, and because he can afford to buy the rights to ANY franchise he wants… that isn’t already owned by Disney or Warner Bros.

As I’m always open to others’ opinions, when I mentioned which movie I was reviewing for Turkey Day, this was the unprompted response by my friend, Ashley –
“There are a lot of things that the phrase, ‘Well, you gotta just accept it for what it is’ that I’m more than happy to accept for what they are. If you make a TMNT movie and don’t stay true to the story, I MIGHT be able to accept that. HOWEVER, if you do so then make the characters, their personalities, and their voices SO LAME, and then don’t at LEAST put in Ken Watanabe (that’s right, I know him, without Google) as the voice for a JAPANESE character, and you use a JEWISH MAN, I’ll spit on it and call it shit cuz you’re kidding yourself, buddy.”

A valid point (except for the part about Tony Shaloub being Jewish, which he’s not) from a fellow fan who’s also been there from the days of “Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X” and “The Case of the Killer Pizzas”. For fuck’s sake this movie is the worst incarnation of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s source material I’ve ever seen, and that includes “The Next Mutation”! I’m not saying that things should have stayed 100% faithful to the material, because you’ll never be able to pander to all of the fans, be they of the original comic books, the current comic books, the original cartoon, the movies, etc. Trying to please everyone is a peril best evaded. The number one rule of comedy is to use humor you think is funny, not what you think others will laugh at… hence why no one else reads these reviews. But that’s comedy. When you’re making an adaptation of someone else’s creation, that you’re exploiting for its name alone and you decide to use your own junior high fanfic for the script? No. You’re a tit face dick snot apple cunt soft serve shit twister!

Though Eastman and Laird did ask fans not to pop a squat all over the whole “now they’re extraterrestrial expatriates” garbage and reserve their judgment until seeing the movie for themselves. Not something that the internet does, but at least the two said something. Then again, if Platinum Dunes threw a bunch of money at me to make The Tomb of Anubis into a feature, I’d sell out faster than a heartbeat, tell the fans to get the fuck over themselves, then just live the rest of my life in hiding so no one could track me down and verbally dick punch me. Not that I have fans anyway, but never let facts get in the way of a good story. Did I ever tell you about the time I tried to stab a family member and the only thing that saved them from total evisceration was their big belt buckle?

Watching this blue waffle (Google it, I dare ya!) of a flick for me had to be an experience tantamount to what Neil Degrass Tyson would suffer through while watching Space Mutiny or Star Odyssey. Wouldn’t be surprised to get a CAT scan after this and find out I had at least one moderate stroke from watching it twice. The prospect of ever having to do so again makes me want to slam my dick in a car door instead, in the most lopsided round of “Would You Rather” I think I’ve ever been presented with. Damn it, I could’ve watched Sexual Parasite instead of this movie. Shit, I could be getting a sexual parasite right now instead of typing this review!

Given all of the other “reworking” of the characters and their origins, it would also make sense to rework the initials from TMNT to HIV while we’re at it, because watching this garbage made me feel sick. Very very very sick. Like I’ve got some of that Charlie Sheen “tiger blood”… which it turns out is just HIV. It’s fitting that this is the 69th episode of the Neo-Tomb run though, because watching this shit cASSerole ruined TMNT for me the same way that deviant art of Raphael and Leonardo “making the Sign of Cancer” (i.e. mouth-fucking each other) stabbed my inner child in the spine with a sharpened broom handle.

The really obnoxious part about TMNT is that despite all of the fan demands that Bay and his co-conspirators gave into, the end result still came out a loaded diaper of poo stew! Once it was all over, I was left perversely wishing once more for that alternate dimension I’m always referencing where the various “what if…” versions of movies were actually made. In this case, my dream version of TeenBay MutBay NinjBay TurtBays consists of telling the loyal franchise followers to fuck themselves furiously by sticking with the initial script! I want every stupid idea laid bare so the budgetary blockbuster blumpkin pies itself so bad that their world’s Platinum Dunes is crippled beyond the point of recovery. Mayhem breaks out in the streets, the world is consumed in the flames and fallout of fan rage, and their George Carlin (who’s gifted with Nick Fury’s Inifinty Formula) just sits back on his observation deck high atop the Carlin Helicarrier and gets high off of the chaos.

And what better mental image to part company on after enduring this ball gobble-gobbler. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

Moral of the Story: I’m too engorged on turkey THC right now, so I’ll let Parker and Stone take this one. Sorry about the quality. It’s the best version I could find that included everything I wanted without requiring you to sign up for something.

Screenshots_____

A rarely seen 1991 commercial promoting LaserDiscs as a superior entertainment format. The same advertising firm was hired to create ads for HD-DVD, much to the same success…


See? Told you this scene wasn’t as fun as it sounded.


An unfortunately perfect screen shot that makes the case against female actors deserving equal pay.


Megan Fox poses for her celebrity Real Doll. I prefer the Sasha Grey model, myself. It’s just as hot but lets you do a lot more to her for a tenth of the cost!


This is why you don’t shave your head with a straight razor after 17 cans of Four Loko.


And there she is! Just like the can says!


Robert Downey Jr.’s character from Tropic Thunder went full retard and kidnapped Not Sasha Grey!


Did I miss the part in ancient Japanese history where ninjas wore old bamboo window blinds on their chests?


Shit. Father Time’s been a motherfucker to poor Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq-Fu can’t save you from the ravages of age, Sir.


You know what makes this image all the more horrifying? Michelangelo’s dick is probably rubbing against the back of the head of whomever is underneath him. Think about it. No, really, think about it. Don’t stop thinking about it. See it in your nightmares. SHARE MY PAIN!


Awwww! This movie is now the greatest film ever made! Look at baby Gamera! Eeeeeeee!


Whoopi Goldberg reacts to Ted Danson’s proposal to reunite for Made in America 2.


“Pizza Rat ain’t got shit on ME! That’s right! That’s right!”


If you think this looks absurd, the salesman tried to upgrade him to the DELUXE model. That includes an air conditioner, microwave, power sun roof, can opener, and two massive cork screws that pop out of the elbows.


“Oh no you don’t, you reject from a Food of the Gods sequel! You know that ‘better mousetrap’ everyone’s always trying to build? That’s me.”


April found the last functional payphone in New York City! Clear out your desk, Lara Croft, cuz we just found our new Tomb Raider!


And here we have unused concept art for one of Michael Bay’s “lost” Decepticons, Crappatron.


“God damn it, Bay! I told you I wanted BLUE Slush Puppies in my dressing room, not this green swill! Read my fucking contract!”


After proving his point that turtle farts are indeed highly flammable, Vernon never doubted Donatello again.

———————————————————
———————————————————

Anubis will return next time in
“Another ‘Slice of (After)Life’ Story”

Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

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.

Advertisements

Feature 65 – Kids Vs. Monsters (2015)

or “Willy Wonka’s House of Horrors”

Featuring: Malcolm “A Clockwork Orange” McDowell , Lance “Pumpkinhead” Henriksen , Richard “Satan’s Supper” Moll

Director: Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki (yes, I said typed “Sultan”)

Writer: Sarah “Lord of Tears” Daly

Origin: USA

Review_____

“She’s melting… on my beautiful carpet!”

If I smell like smoke, it’s cuz I’ve just been through Hel… and I wasn’t using a rubber. Deities don’t get STDs, and we don’t makes babies. At least not like mortals. We reproduce by budding! Speaking of masochism though…

Uggh. I could be in a luxury recliner at my local movie house seeing Crimson Peak, or preparing my Helter Skeletor costume for the Underworld Samhain Soiree. Yet, here I am instead, reviewing Kids Vs. Monsters. Son of a bitch.

Once again it’s that time of year that I (and I’m sure most of you) love best. When the Great Pumpkin rises, Garfield and Odie almost get murdered by ghost pirates (and one of the creepiest looking animated old guys this side of Heavy Metal), and “The Simpsons” reminds us how horrible the show remains with yet another “Treehouse of Horror” episode. A name that pisses me off more than Max Hardcore pisses on desperate crack whores, because the only time an actual fucking treehouse was involved with these Halloween trilogy specials was the first one, that came out TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO! For Krusty’s sake, they don’t even frame the stories with an arching narrative anymore, it’s just “We’re lazy. Here’s three stories that have nothing to do with each other. Leave us to count our money”. BLART!

No. Come to think of it, this annoyance is a level higher than even a “BLART!” can properly express. So, in the spirit of the season, let’s give the “Treehouse of Horror” it’s own personalized degree of disdain: BLUMPKIN PIE!

While on the topic, you know what’s really horrifying? In The Simpsons Halloween Special VIII, during their parody of The Fly, Homer sets up one teleporter pod in front of the toilet so he can piss from the comfort of his living room. Moments later, he shoves his fist into the living room pod and accidentally punches Lisa in the face… meaning he punched her while she was on the toilet. Unnerving.

Back to Halloween! Though I’m an anti-social old curmudgeon who never does anything on the actual All Hallow’s Eve holiday, for the weeks leading up to it I can still enjoy the numerous horror related offerings available to me at the 30 or so drug stores within a 20 mile radius of the physical Tomb… which is a two bedroom apartment that we don’t actually refer to as “The Tomb”, but as “The Abomination”, since that’s literally the colorful name given to it by the rental company manager when he told us about it, referring to the post-apocalyptic condition the previous attendants left it in. This is the end of the world…(and that was the apoc-ellipsis)

Sorry, I was trying to avoid having to talk about Kids Vs. Monsters for as long as I could, but it’s time to bite the bullet. My alternate title for this episode probably should’ve been “Anubis Vs. Movie”. My first encounter with tonight’s flick was a random trailer scanned on Hulu. When I saw Malcolm McDowell and Lance Henriksen were front and center, I was sold! Now that I’ve seen it, I wish I’d kept the receipt. Stupid impulse buys. Oh, and Keith David’s here too!…inasmuch as Bruce Campbell was in From Dusk Till Dawn 2. Proverbial sons of proverbial bitches. It should be a law that any movie featuring a worthwhile name in a merely cameotic capacity should be forced to preface any use of their moniker in advertisements with “and featuring a BRIEF appearance by (name goes here)”. At least when Jeffrey Combs was in the House on Haunted Hill remake for 4 minutes without any lines, it was because he was the killer!

By the way, that movie’s old enough to get a driver’s license, so if you’re gonna bitch and moan about no spoiler warning on that, stuff your spooge sock in it.

As lame as it is, at least Kids Vs. Monsters is direct and doesn’t bog itself down with stuff like plot development. It keeps it simple and follows the Willy Wonka formula of taking a group of obnoxious children and punishing them for their shitty attitudes and personality flaws. The “kids” in question are all only-childs of incredibly affluent and wealthy single parents, and they’re introduced to us in an opening fluff piece on the evening news, as hosted by Barry (Keith David, who gets third billing for this all too brief role) and Mary (Elaine Hendrix). The failed abortions in question are:

  • Avatara Lovett (Taylor Stammen) – the world’s most obnoxious social media attention whore hipster, who speaks almost entirely in web shorthand (“L-O-L!”, “O-M-G!”, “YOLO!”, etc.), is one of those fucks who hashtags everything (including her queefs, I’m sure), and whose self-worth is based entirely on the number of Twatter followers she has. She’s why Gen X fogies like yours truly have a stroke when the media lumps us in with Millennial fuck-wads like her. Ava’s dad, Greg (Adrian “Duncan McLeod” Paul!), is a tech mogul otherwise known as “The Man Who Owns the Internet”. Does that mean we can get in on a class action lawsuit against him for all of the “See a young girls’ eyes glued shut with midget cum” spam I keep getting!? That’s actually the subject line of an email I received once, by the way. I don’t know if it came through on its promise though, because I was too horrified at the prospect to investigate. Naked dwarfs make me think of pudgy, hairy children. Anubis no like.

  • Bobby Fitmore (Jesse Camacho) – a corpulent lad who lives his life carbo-loading like a professional athlete, but doesn’t utilize it for anything other than making himself famine resistant and well insulated for those cold winter nights. He once ate the family dog when he was left alone in the house for half an hour with nothing but salad to snack on. His idea of a “well balanced diet” is 50% sweet snacks and 50% savory snacks. Just like everybody else who wears a tracksuit daily, he does zilch in the exercise department. His mom, Maxine Fitmore (Marry “Reno 911!” Birdsong!), is the queen of a line of gym franchises known as “Maxi-Fit”. Not even 5 minutes in and my brain is already desperately clawing at the insides of my skull to get out.

  • Candy Chance (Francesca Eastwood) – the perpetually bored (when she’s not talking about herself) bimbo beauty queen who’s won every pageant from Miss Iowa to Mister Universe (no, you didn’t read that wrong) thanks to her plastic surgeon daddy, Charles (Christopher Atkins), buying off every judge in both American continents. She even won Miss Natural Beauty and Miss Plastic Surgery. She’s constantly dressed in a pink pageant gown, including a tiara and an array of sashes denoting her various title wins that change to fit each scene. Candy also doesn’t miss a chance to drum up customers for poppa, as she passes his business card along to people after criticizing their appearance. She’s the kind of girl I’d love to introduce to Patrick Bateman…

  • Oliver Gingerfield (Daniel David Stewart) – a snotty redheaded bully (get it? cuz his name is Gingerfield?!… you’d better not be laughing at that, damn it) that fancies himself a street fighter. If Ron Weasley had an older brother who’d sit on him and not let him up until he’d pissed his own pants (Krug style), it’d be this twat burger. Ollie dresses almost entirely in studded denim like a kid from an ’80s high school punk band. Did that trend come back around, or is that just how the people behind the camera think that’s what tough guys still dress like? His mother Francine (Lee Purcell) is the world’s first “global politician” (whatever that means), and is known by her nickname, “The Copper Queen”. Probably because her family was so poor that she couldn’t afford a proper sex toy in high school, so she popped her cherry with a roll of pennies. The kids at the time probably weren’t aware that pennies have been 98% zinc since the early ’80s, so “Copper Queen” it is!

  • Molly Sealskin (Sydney Endicott… hey, I live in a town called Endicott!) – the timid, shy, quiet little “goth” wallflower that’s most likely of the group to shop at Hot Topic. Well, hottopic.com, since she looks like being in a physical mall might throw her into a social anxiety shutdown. She’s the adopted daughter to Cecilia Sealskin (Candace Elaine), who made her fortune in the endangered animals fur market. “Sealskin”, get it? Blumpkin. Pie. Given that Molly’s spot on the Obnoxious Ass Hats Scale (the most scientifically proven scale for Ass Hat measurement in the world) is barely a ‘1’ and she’s openly mocked by the other “kids”, expect her to see the end credits and find out who she gets to blame for ruining her would-be career.

  • David Knight (Bridger Zadina) – the soft-hearted goody-two-shoes who’s all about using his family wealth for charity and junk rather than buying himself the newest rip-off Apple product or $500 pair of artificially distressed pants. His family ties are also mob ties (imagining Michael Gross as a gangster now), as father Damian (Armand Assante) is a big wheel in the cracker factory that is organized crime. Poppa doesn’t appreciate his brat trying to make the world a better place with his hard earned illegal funds neither, or how he apparently ratted dear dad’s criminal ties out to the fuzzy wuzzies. Yeah, I could see that causing a less-than-pleasant atmosphere around the homestead. Speaking of homesteads, why are all of these rich people single parents? Does anyone else find that the least bit odd?

    The kids’ parents are all members of a self-appreciation cabal that scheme in unison to make each other financially richer and morally filthier. However, their goal to control 100% of America’s wealth is stymied by their a-hole money sponge spawn who soak up their money and attention. Each hates their kids individually, so to get their heirs out of the way, they connive. The answer on how to do it without getting caught presents itself though, in the shape of a horned old man (not a horny old man) in a furry cloak who goes by “Heinrich” (Lance Henriksen). Heiny’s the earthly emissary to a Luciferian figure known only as “The Boss” (Malcolm McDowell, not Bruce Spingsteen), who runs “The Monster Realm” (great name. I’m sure it took Ms. Daly less time than a sneeze to come up with it.): the dimension from which all monsters are said to originate.

    Having been banished there (the circumstances of which receive zilch back story), Boss now manages the place, deciding which monsters he allows to travel to Earth, and punishing those that break the rules. Well, the singular rule: don’t get found out by the humans. And what happens to those that break said rule? Death. Such as the business given a certain wicked prognosticator of witchcraft (who’s dangerously close to a copyright infringement reaming by the Warner Bros. lawyers) gets caught and ends up as a puddle in front of Capital B’s throne.

    Boss’s proposition to the sextet of “Worst Parent of the Year” nominees is to trick the tykes into each thinking they’ve been invited to some grand congress of like-minded individuals (a brawling tournament, a beauty pageant, an elite pie-eating contest, etc.), only to have them shuffled off to an old boarding school where they’ll be pitted against a posse of seven amateur monsters in his employ that are looking to prove themselves right into the big leagues via causing some grisly deaths. The parents even hang out in Boss’s viewing room to watch the hopeful extermination of their young and make sure they get their dinero’s worth. Not that they’re spending any actual money on this deal, since Boss is taking the kids’ souls as his price.

    As such, let’s meet the other half of our titular antagonism: the Monsters. As introduced through poorly animated origin vignettes, they are:

  • Melissa – a “last of her kind” space bug who was the only refugee from her meteor-detonated planet. She made her way to Earth in an escape pod (pretty advanced technology for an alien whose planet shows no signs of any technology during her back story) and now this oversized offspring of a lobster and a flea looks to spread her parasitic progeny here, from sea to shining sea. “Melissa” is a strange name for an intergalactic cockroach, but Miss Daly was probably feeling too lazy to pull a bunch of random tiles from a Scrabble sack, so she just went with the name of some woman she hated at her last temp job.

  • Roger – a ’70s science lab coffee machine-turned-disgruntled killer robot straight out the movie Spongebob watches in that episode where he thinks Mr. Krabs is a Terminator. Boss refers to him as “our terrorizing tin can of pure robot rage”. I think “Roger” is a shitty name for a robot, but I fully endorse Roger’s credo of “Destroy all hipsters”! The lesson here? Always unplug your old coffee machines during a lunar eclipse if you don’t have your Old Glory plan paid up. Or, you know, just throw out your obsolete technology…says the guy who will probably be murdered in his sleep by his Laserdisc player and Virtual Boy.

    (I tried to embed a Hulu vid for the “Saturday Night Live” Old Glory Insurance ad, but it wouldn’t take. Google it.)

  • The Batler (Richard Moll) – seeking a cure for his OCD, the Butler (that’s his only name) volunteered to play guinea pig for an experimental serum created by a mad doctor named Guano (har har). The juice transformed him into a werebat a la It Lives By Night. His name fills my brain with images of a Man-Bat version of Hitler. He’s also the servant who butles for the little turds while they’re there. His overacting is probably my favorite of the movie, but that could just be because I was a big fan of “Night Court” as a kid. I might’ve been just as biased if Batler were played by Ted Danson or Alan Alda.

  • Monsieur Babette (Phillipe Simon) – a French-Candian bigfoot whose love for candy forced him to get a job as a lumberjack (insert Monty Python references here) to pay for his habit. Having gone native, he was shunned by his fellow Saskatoon ‘squatches (including his mate, who herself wears hair curlers, yet disapproves of him wearing flannel and a tuke? Hypocrite.) and came to America to start a new life…as a child murdering Chewbacca with an ax and a poorly dubbed French accent. Adding insult to injury, apparently his feet aren’t all that big for a bigfoot. Well, that explains the real reason his wife left him.

  • Daisy (Anna Akana) – when a Japanese demon cat and an American tomcat make love not war, the resultant hybrid is a typical American “mean girl” teen who dresses like a typical Japanese teen (school uniform and cat ears) and can transform into a tabby. She can also tear you apart, literally with her sharp claws, or figuratively with her bitter wit and insulting sarcasm. The first could be avoided with some extra-large plastic nail caps, while you could probably just give her a few shots with a spray bottle to avoid the latter. I’d be more afraid of her spraying the furniture or trying to rape me when she’s in heat, but hopefully Boss took Bob Barker’s advice and had her spayed first.

  • Rebecca (Alexandra Hulme) – proof that lounge singers and spellbooks don’t mix, Becky needed new material to wow the denizens of the jazz club in which she crooned. She fucked up though, because the grimoire from which she snagged her new lines was full of unholy incantations. The result? She became Lady Cthulhu. Easily the most legitimate threat of the group, the Calamari Queen uses such sorceretical tactics as black magic fireballs and a binding spell that traps the millennial skidmarks within the house.

  • Mr. Beet (Michael Bailey Smith) – the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and Mr. Beet is proof. In an effort to make vegetables more appealing to kids, a benevolent scientist tried to create fruits and veggies with faces. Yes, because nothing will make kids want to scarf down the flora like making them more like people! What the fuck?! Anyway, after numerous failed attempts, the doc decided to put his own face on a beet. As with any science experiment in movies, shit went wonky and the guy wound up as a roughhousing brute with a giant root vegetable for a cabeza… I… don’t… even… no. Forget it. His makeup work is pretty solid for such a Fuddrucker of a flick, but let’s just move on.

    Strange how Boss told us earlier that the monsters all come from The Monster Realm (I can’t wait to stop typing that…), yet each of these monsters originates from our dimension. Shit, Batler, Becky, and Beet were all originally humans! This friggin’ script has more holes in it than the world’s biggest reverse gangbang. BLUMPKIN PIE!

    Will the brood of superfluous scions survive to continue their obnoxious caricaturistic ways, or will the bottom-of-the-barrel beasties prove they’re only the second most useless group this flick has to offer? Who will survive and what will be left of them? Do you really care? I didn’t think so. Believe me, watching it won’t change that. If you have an extra 100 minutes of your life you don’t mind flushing into oblivion though, and you’re curious to see how some people have no qualms with throwing away $7.5 million, don’t take my word for it – see for yourself!

    As mentioned before, KvM borrows half of its theme from Willy Wonka. The other half comes from The Monster Squad, inasmuch as there’s a group of kids fighting for their lives against a group of monsters…though the kids in question here are all adults and the monsters aren’t incarnations of classic horror icons, but flaccid creature features that try too hard for laughs that never happen. Oh, and there’s the small matter of how this movie also SUCKS harder than a prostitute on payday… or me on a PayDay. What can I say, I love sticky, salty nuts in my mouth. You heard me.

    At no point was I 100% positive of what it was I was watching here. Either time. It feels like an over-the-top kids style movie, but with adult themes that make it clearly not for kids. The lack of an MPAA rating doesn’t help matter. It’s like a modern day Garbage Pail Kids Movie, only with less farts and boogers. Not zero mind you, just less. It has the atmosphere and visual style of a Disney Channel Original or an extended episode of “Goosebumps“, what with all the goofy ghoulie rejects.

    Imagine if someone who squeezes out those agonizingly unfunny parodical secretions like Date Movie or Meet the Spartans were to dip their finger in their toilet after a hard morning’s diarrhea party and write an original script on the bathroom walls. I know I promised to cut down on the literal poop humor (see what you miss when you don’t show up for meetings, Bill?!), but this is honestly the best approximation of the creative process for writing Kids Vs. Monsters I could come up with.

    Not every joke and reference falls flat. There’s a direct quote lifted from Day of the Dead as one of the characters defiantly screams Captain Rhodes’ final words. So that was kinda cool. Another one of the (very) few I appreciated is the Hobnobblin. Not because of its resemblance to the cretinous hand-puppets of Hobgoblins, but because of its nom de reference to Frank Zappa’s song “Goblin Girl”. Unless that’s just a coincidence, in which case fuck me for trying to make brownies out of butt biscuits. Speaking of the few functional moments of humor, today’s episode is brought to you by Dracola – The soda that bites back!

    KVM‘s finale threatens us with the possibility of a sequel, but I’d rather use a cobra for a condom than have to have any more of my time and IQ sucked into this digitized black hole. Unless the only reason they give us the ending they do (which I won’t spoil, so suffer it yourself if it means so much to you) is so they could end on an agonizingly punny note, in which case I welcome Sarah and the Sultan to eat a bag of dicks. Not just any bag of dicks though. I’m talking a Party Size bag of thick, veiny, barbed wire wrapped cenobite dicks.

    Much like my Night of the Living Dead: Re-Animated review, where my only reason for sparing it a full blown case of criticism AIDS was its inclusion of Andrew Divoff, the only thing keeping this movie from total damnation (in this damn nation) is that it gives me a chance to see McDowell, Henriksen, David and Moll together in one place. Any day these guys get paid some of that sweet sweet Sultan moneys is a good day. Sure, you can reprimand them for selling their so-called souls for the sake of gas money, but we’ve all done things we regret to get by, and your pride won’t keep the lights on!

    The next episode will be in a matter of days, so don’t forget to get your ass back here and check it out! I’m actually pretty excited for it. Until then, make sure to check your candy for glass shards and razor blades! Happy Halloween my hallowed wienies!

    Moral of the Story: It’s easier to have someone dispose of your annoying kids than it is to raise them, discipline them, or generally deal with them. Hence, our family therapist growing up was a guillotine with a big sign next to it that said “I’ll give you something to cry about!”.

    Screenshots_____


    “Hey, YOU try being an older b-movie actor in this market, then you can make fun of me for taking bit parts in shitty movies!”


    Subway’s search for their new non-pedophile Jared continues.


    Ironic that she was elected “Miss TV”, given that she’s got a face for radio…


    Having failed his audition for Gremlins 3: the College Years, the Hobnobblin gives in to despair and takes his own life.


    “How much longer do I have to be here for this? I’ve got an appointment to duel another immortal at 4 o’clock, then I’m the guest of honor for a sci-fi convention in a Toledo bingo hall at 6.”


    You can find this costume at your local strip mall Halloween pop-up store as “Ill-Pallored Goth Female Spellcaster”.


    “How many times have I told you, I don’t want to see your scrapbook and I think it would be a terrible idea to try getting it published! No one cares about your blurry, off-center behind-the-scenes photos from Pumpkinhead or Schwarzenegger’s half-eaten danish from the set of The Terminator!”


    “Have a seat and get comfortable everyone. Feel free to help yourselves to a glass of my Ghoul-Aid! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”


    Please come to life and eat her. Please come to life and eat her. Please come to life and eat her… Bah! Stupid Coca-Cola mascot.


    Richard Moll really enjoyed the free catered breakfast at the shoot, but spent most of the day trying to tongue poppy seeds out of his bridge work.


    “RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID?!”


    The human are dead.
    – The humans are deaaaaaaaaaad.
    We used poisonous gasses
    – and we poisoned their asses.
    The humans are… dead.
    … Binary solo!


    Out of curiosity, Malcolm and Lance decide to watch the two SciFi Original Pumpkinhead sequels… they vowed never to tell anyone about that night, under suicide pact conditions.


    “First one of you that says anything comparing my cooch to a fish market gets a one-way ticket to the Mountains of Madness! Got it?!”


    Gah! It’s the vengeful embodiment of the ghosts of all those cans of beets I used to blow up with M80s when I was a kid so mom couldn’t find them come dinner time!… I bet his favorite band is the Beetles… okay, I deserve a beeting for that one.


    That’s the laziest Hello Kitty cosplay I’ve ever seen. SHE HAS A MOUTH!


    Yikes. The switch over to HD really did Grimace no favors. No wonder they stopped putting him in commercials!

    ———————————————————
    ———————————————————

    Anubis will return next time in
    “The B-Team”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    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.

  • Feature 57 – Arachnid (2001)

    or “Where Monsters Dwell”

    Featuring: Alex “The Descent” Reid , Chris “’Kung-Fu: the Legend Continues‘” Potter , Neus “Torrente” Asensi

    Director: Jack “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” Sholder

    Writer: Mark “Sci-fighters” Sevi

    Origin: Spain

    Review_____

    “All spiders go to Heaven.”

    TheTombOfAnubis.com – Promoting literacy through good ol’ fashioned read-only bad movie pontifications! Video reviews be damned! (Maybe now we can qualify for one of those big-ass educational grants from the government!)

    For our final furlong (not Edward) of this field trip to the Fantastic Factory, I’ll be pulling the limbs off of the eight-legged freak known as Arachnid. And as you may have guessed by the rating, said furlong is a fucking death march. I could’ve saved myself a lot of misery had I done the rerun re-view review of Stuart Gordon’s Dagon, which originally left me with the unfulfilled hope that Gordon would be more involved with Yuzna’s company beyond the singular feature he helmed. You know, kinda like how people who hope that House of Re-Animator will ever happen are living in a fool’s paradise, eating the deceptive fruits of the delusion tree. Anyway, Dagon has already been earmarked for another reviews thing, so worry not, I’ll get to it sooner or later! For now? Shit, let’s get this over with…

    Arachnid wastes no time dumping our books and pushing us into an impossibly deep mud puddle, establishing itself as our bullying tormentor from the opening scene. An eye blistering sequence of the most amateurish of computer-borne special effects plays out, as a devil-may-care test pilot codenamed Lightfoot (Jesus Cabrero) flies a stealth bomber and rocks us like the proverbial hurricane. He’s blasting ass all over the Pacific Ocean, minus the dulcet tones of Kenny Loggins telling us about his scenic drive to the titular Danger Zone. Speaking of, today’s episode is brought to you by The Danger Zone™!

    Parents, do you need somewhere to drop off your little ones while you and the spouse test drive the new gimp suits down at Paco’s Pleasure Palace™? Leave ’em at The Danger Zone™ – It’s like Chuck E. Cheese’s, but with more exposed wiring, broken bottles, and used hypodermic needles in the ball pit to help your brat grow some balls instead of encouraging them to be a weak little sissy like those other family fun centers do! We don’t accidentally hire known sex offenders anymore (or any less)! Just take Exit 37 off the highway to The Danger Zone™!

    No sooner does Lightfoot go full stealth (and “mean and extreme”), than he catches sight of an alien spacecraft, camouflaged with some of that Predator brand “wavy air” cloaking tech…because they were too cheap to dedicate any of this already middling computer effects budgets toward designing an actual ship. The craft appears to have been harvesting sea life via a self-generated water spout when ‘Footsie interrupted. When he decides he can’t leave well enough alone and pursues the ship, his plane’s systems fail and he’s forced to bail…I’m sorry, I mean he’s forced to extreme bail in the meanest of totally gnarly fashions, bro! The bomber rear-ends the alien ship (looks like the Pentagon’s gonna be raising taxes to cover the bump in their insurance premium from this one!), resulting in a hilarious explosion that looks like it was lifted out of a ’90s PC game. The first rule of making a low budget movie? If you can’t afford to make something look even remotely realistic, DON’T SHOOT IT! And if you do, and it’s so stank-awful it makes your nose hairs curl and your eyes squirt like Flower Tucci’s twat? LEAVE IT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR! Fuck. And this is the movie’s opening! I told you we were in for some pain and shame, kids.

    ‘Foot parachutes down to a nearby island (that was NOWHERE to be seen in any of the wide open ocean footage we just saw), and within its luscious green canopy he finds a smoking crater that’s WAY too small for the size of the alien ship he just jackknifed. Also, despite crashing, the craft’s remnants are nowhere to be seen as the alien cloaking system was apparently unaffected by the mid-air collision nor the face plant into terra firma, because fuck the audience. An e.t. (that resembles what I imagine years of inbreeding between the mutants of This Island Earth would produce) appears, but its personal cloaking device must be failing as it distorts in and out of view like the picture on an old TV when someone turns on the Hoover. As Lightfoot watches in horror, gun drawn on the visitor, some giant spidery legs sprawl out from behind it, restrain it, then impale it on what I’m guessing to be a big spider dick. The murderous arachnid then leaps into the trees, with ‘Foot firing after it to no avail while the alien begins to sizzle (at least that’s what the closed captioning “subtitles” call it) before fizzling into nothingness. Goodbye, shitty digital alien puppet thing. You won’t be missed.

    Some Silly String looking shit then sprays over our hero (looks like the same stuff the Mothra larva and Kumongas used to jizz out in the old Toho Godzilla movies) before he turns away, coming eye-to-eyes with what I’m guessing is the eponymous subject of the movie. Cue his screams and likely pants filling before we cut to the title card.

    As our opening credits fade in and out of reality (not unlike the alien), we’re taken to a small airstrip in Guam, where we meet who’s sure to be the movie’s real hero(ine), Loren Mercer (Alex Reid). Merc’s been hired by one of the local physicians, Dr. Leon (Jose Sancho), to fly a small group out to a nearby island where the natives have been dying of an unknown illness transmitted by mysterious spider-like bites. The fatal sickness looks to me to show the symptoms of onset Brundlefly-itis, but damn it Jim, I’m a Death God, not a doctor! Also along for the trip are Dr. L’s assistant Susana (Neus Asensi), hired gun/field leader Lev Valentine (Chris Potter), Lev’s heavies Bear (Rocqueford Alan) and Reyes (Luis Lorenzo), published entomologist Dr. Henry Capri (Ravil Isyanov, stealing work from Ted Raimi) and native guide Toe Boy (Robert Vincencio, stealing work from that guy who played Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite). No idea if “Toe Boy” is his tribe given name or just a joke name he was stuck with by the missionaries who brought him there in the first place, but Toe Boy’s his name, so Toe Boy’s what we’re calling him! You know, if he grew up to become an orthopedic surgeon he could graduate from Toe Boy to Toe Cutter…

    Obviously, Henry’s going because Dr. L suspects some new breed of spider to be the cause of the sickness, but what else is he preparing for if he’s hired a trio of heavily armed military types to escort them?! Turns out Lev’s just one of those “overcompensating” types, as he declares to Lore that his sense of personal security directly correlates with the amount of armaments he carries with him. Or, to use his exact words: “The more guns I have, the safer I feel!”. I’ll let Matt Parker and Trey Stone posit my reaction on that statement:

    On the ride over, Lev and Lore chat it up a bit and establish some character background for us. He and Bear are both former Marines, while Loren is a recently retired Air Force fighter pilot. She resigned her commission with Uncle Sam to become a small time charter pilot on a two-bit island to “look for something”, of which I’m sure we’ll learn later. Mistaking Lev’s interest in getting to know her better as smooth talk, Lore makes sure to put it out there that she’s not interested in “companionship, a relationship, or even a hump buddy”… hump buddy?! What ex-military personnel calls it “humping”?! The term is FUCK buddy! Humping is what dogs to your leg. Believe me, as a human-jackal hybrid deity, I know.

    Loren’s electronics randomly die out on her, so she’s forced to crash land on the island’s beach. It’s a groaner of a scene, worthy of an episode of “Perfect Strangers” as the passengers throw themselves about in a panic and the camera’s shaken violently. The crash initiates an irritating back-and-forth bickerfest between Ms. Mercer and Doc Leon that carries on until one of them dies later (guess which one), and also divides the others as loyal attendant Susana and inevitable love interest Lev take obvious sides. The only silver lining about putting the group at odds is a scene where Loren makes a comment to Lev alluding to the idea that Susana sucked her doctorate out of the doctor’s dick, only to have Suze lock her smarmy holier-than-thou ass in “Oh Snap!” Jail when she runs down all of the bad ass work she had to do to earn her position! Even when Lore tries to salvage a sliver of pride with “Impressive. I just fly planes.”, Suze straight napalms her with “Apparently not very well”, then puts a black cherry on top of her shit-talk sundae by offering to help Loren with the scads of gnarly blackheads on her nose!

    It’s a good thing there are two such experienced medical practitioners in her party, because I doubt this backwoods jungle had a burn center equipped to treat the degree of posterior immolation our heroine just experienced. Her backside’s figuratively looking like some redneck’s after launching a bottle rocket from his butthole: scorched earth. Ouch!

    Mercer plans to stay on the beach with the plane and try to hail a cab ride home, but when she notices that Toe Boy’s wearing a scarf made out of a familiar material not native to the natives, she reconsiders and goes into the ominous overgrowth with the others. Could it have anything to do with the mysterious “something” that she mentioned she was looking for earlier? If you said, “Of course it does!” then you get a cookie! If you said “Huh? Why would you think that? I don’t think it does.”, then slap your parents for me. They know what they did…

    From here on it’s your basic slasher formula, as everybody gets picked off one-by-one by the killer. In this case, the jungle is the knife-wielding murderer in the situation appropriate mask. Macho macho man Reyes is the first to ride the bus, errr bite the dust, and he’s not even done in by the movie’s title terror! Instead, he ends up infested by some unholy tropical monstrosity breed of super ticks that plant themselves under his skin, crawl around to gross out the audience, mate, then force their way out of the nearest orifices. In this case, that would be his left eye socket and mouth. Somehow, as soon Henry told us the little buggers would extract themselves once they were done filling their gore sacs with Meathead’s life juice, I knew he wasn’t going to get out of this with both oculars intact. As decent an ipecac as this may have been for amateurs, I just re-watched Ticks a few weeks ago, so what happens here is Baby Town Frolics compared to watching a steroid engorged ultra-tick wearing Carlton Banks as a skin suit.

    Reyes is no big loss, as all he really contributed to the movie was being the resident douche-knocker who spent his time failing attempts at promoting himself to Susana as desirable breeding stock. That and doing bong hits off of a canister of liquid nitrogen for laughs. The latter serves to prove himself a dumbass while also establishing that liquid nitrogen will no doubt be used again later on, given Doc Leon’s graphic description of what it would do to the human body if swallowed. It’s nothing nearly as cool, but at least when it is brought back later, no one’s left throwing empty beer cans at the screen and shouting, “WHERE’D THE HELL THAT COME FROM?!”. Once the oversized parasites jump their lumpy ship (and are burst via bullets), Bear puts his partner out of his misery with a pity round planted in his coconut, turning the galoot’s ideas that Vitamin B was a pliable alternative to bug repellant into so much red mist. Two things you never turn down when offered? Bug spray and sunscreen. Don’t question me, make like Nike and JUST DO IT!

    Upon finding Toe’s village, it turns out that the place is empty. Either we’ve got a Roanoake Colony situation here, or everybody’s already been digested by the abominations of the surrounding terrain. I’d hazard a guess and say they’re all spider poops by now. Lore also discovers more of the aforementioned mystery material amidst the remnants of the tribe, which Lev confirms to be parachute cloth. Remember Lightfoot? Turns out he’s Loren’s brother. Well, more likely was her brother. Seems that after he went missing, the Navy searched two months for him before giving up. Hence, she left the Air Force to continue her own search via part-time chartering. 2-to-1 says he’s NOT living like Robinson Crusoe nearby, while 200-to-1 says he’s become the King of the Spider-People! Just the way Horror of Spider Island should have ended.

    Meanwhile, Henry’s study of the specimens he collects reveals that there are species of spiders on the island that have heretofore unseen evolutionary traits, like internal skeletons in addition to their exoskeletons. This Darwinian wet dream continues on as another overdeveloped freak combining serpentine and arachnid traits (but resembling a giant centipede with most of its legs removed), drags off one of Toe Boy’s peers (let’s call him Toe Rag) and pumps him full of what I can only imagine to be some manner of mega-venom. After emptying a few dozen clips of ammo trying to shoot the hellspawn, it hyper-slithers off into the night like a Chestburster on Four Loko.

    After the attack, Lev decides it’s time to scrap this death march and get the fuck outta Spiderville, to the chagrin of Doctors Leon and Capri. Lore insists on staying to look for her brother, but agrees to go too when Lev offers to come back with her and continue the search once the civvies have been returned home. Except for Bear, who gets the shit task of going into the hills with no one but another of Toe Boy’s victim-fodder buddies to try and snag an emergency radio signal! You’ve just discovered that the place is littered with super-evolved killing machines and you send the only black dude in the cast out into the woods with an extra who doesn’t get any lines in the script other that screaming “AH! AHHH!” when he gets a bio-acid bukkake 2 minutes later?! Fuck you, Cracker Jack!

    Henry wanders off on his own against Lev’s orders to do some more entomological exploring and ends up confronted by the giant alpha arachnid. By the time the others catch up to him, he’s been turned into an incubator for the next generation of mutants and bound up tighter than my colon after that time I ate an entire wheel of cheese by myself. He’s also transformed from a poor man’s Ted Raimi into a slightly less-poor man’s Dominique Pinon (the guy who played all of the clones in City of Lost Children, which is sadly disqualified from being reviewed here) as he babbles about how the spider is trying to evolve-fuck with everything on the island (including him, presumably), and how its structure is far too large to have developed in Earth’s gravity, thus it must be alien in origin. Well, at least that semi-verifies that it came here on the crashed alien ship, thanks to Loren’s dumbass brother. Oh, speaking of which, they found Lightfoot’s remains webbed to a tree nearby, hollowed out and heavily decomposed. Likely what Dr. Capri is gonna look like after his intestinal spider-babies hatch. No mother’s ever the same after she gives birth. Trust me, I’ve seen my share of scrotummies in my eons.

    Henry too gets a mercy death, only instead of a slug through the dome he gets pumped full of morphine as he vomits blood and fades out, asking that the group take his spider samples back with them so the species can be cataloged and named after him. Ruining the moment, Big Momma Octo-Legs shows herself in all of her giant puppet glory, and the heroes unload a few dozen rounds into her to little avail. The design’s actually not bad looking, and the numerous active bits around her mouth are pretty impressive! Kinda reminds me of a Graboid mouth minus the cluster of snake monster tongues. After the opening scene instilled the horror in me that we’d be getting some piss-poor CG beast a la Ice Spiders, I’ll gladly endorse a big angry animatronic! Sure, it’s a bit stiff and barely mobile (not unlike Pumpkinhead) in the wide shots, but at least it’s not the furry VW Bug from Giant Spider Invasion! Then again, this movie is actually making me pine for that sweat stained ’70s hillbilly monster matinee, so maybe a furry VW doesn’t seem all that bad right now.

    In their escape from Jeff Daniels’ worst nightmare, Susana gets wrapped up in a massive web (look where the fuck you’re going, Miss Brown Belt!) and while the others try to free her (told you that liquid nitrogen was going to come back into play later), dipshit Dr. Leon just casually stands around doing nothing in particular. While everyone else is trying to save his assistant, the geezer looks like he’s nonchalantly waiting for the fucking crosstown bus or wondering if he remembered to cancel his mail service before he left!

    With no apparent fucks to give, the old man is naturally the next to die, pumped full of paralyzing toxin and barfed on with alien Alka-Seltzer. Suze, Lev, and Loren escape to an abandoned WW2 Japanese military shed nearby, and Toe Boy has managed to disappear. No doubt he’ll be back later, likely to play cavalry with a machine gun toting Bear in tow, provided the trio can hole up long enough to be saved. Speaking of, when the beast tries to get in through a boarded up window, Lev manages to get himself bitten, which is bound to happen when you’re stupid enough to attack something like that head-on He-Man style with nothing but a machete! While he lays on the floor going into shock, Shelob’s great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter manages to creepy-crawl into the hanger without notifying the girls (maybe because they couldn’t hear anything over the blaring background music), forcing them to escape into a backroom to continue hiding. “Lady Tarzan” Suze, revealing that’s she’s claustrophobic, takes the first chance she gets to bolt from the enclosed space, budging her way to the head of the “who dies next” line. As the last interesting character in the cast goes, so does my already impotent interest. Actually, we’ve still got Bear, so maybe there’s hope yet!

    Lev and Lore manage to find some old tunnels underneath the building that lead them to safety. Well, not safety so much, as they’re still in the living death trap ecosystem that is the jungle, but elsewhere none-the-less. They rest, and Loren has a nightmare about her brother becoming a more realistic version of what you’d think Spider-Man would’ve looked like if his movie had been directed by David Cronenberg. Though a nicely gruesome sequence on paper, big brother’s cheap rubber mask face kills the mood faster than the cries of a dumpster baby on prom night.

    As expected, she wakes up to find Bear and Toe standing over her, so they load up and go spider hunting while Mr. Valentine continues to cling to life. Tracking the creature feature to its underground lair, they catch it sleeping/molting and find hundreds of eggs just waiting to crack open and unleash new rubbery horrors on the world. What a time to lose your flamethrower at the baggage check! Of course the Bride of Tarantula wakes up and takes out the movie’s real hero, jamming a head spike into Bear’s eye and killing him as Loren spends the whole time just shouting “No! Bear! Oh my God, Bear! Bear, get out of there! Bear! Look out, Bear!”, saying his name repeatedly as a less creative version of the Meow Game in Super Troopers. Just as she too is about to succumb to the monster’s appetite, Lev uses the last of his strength to come to the guns blazing rescue, alongside Toe Boy. TB fulfills several sequences of foreshadowing from earlier and uses blowdarts dipped in Black Widow venom to wound Big Momma further. Loren, connected to the creature via a tow line of webbing, finishes the beast off by pulling it down from the cave ceiling and impaling it on a waiting stalagmite as it shrieks its death rattle, bringing to mind the hilarious finale of Jaws: the Revenge. Fucking roaring shark. Thinking about it puts me in the mood to make love to an angry welder. Or get a hoagie.

    So, I guess this means Loren and Lev are off to get married and raise Toe Boy as their own, now? Or, since he’s the last of his tribe, will they just sell him to a museum? Or, will the Amazing Man-Spider watching them from the shadows (likely Loren’s niece/nephew) just kill all three of them? I don’t know about you, but given that we’ll never get a squeakquel on this one (thank Isis for small miracles), I’m going with that last one as the canonical epilogue to this tale. With that behind us, let’s make like a responsible dick owner on a one-night stand and wrap it up!

    Son of a Sniglet. What a way to end a reviews thing. Four weeks of episodes dedicated to a dumb theme and this is how it goes – not with a bang, but with a fart. The uptick of Beneath Still Waters was immediately followed with a massive kidney stone. I haven’t seen all of the Fantastic Factory offerings, but Arachnid has to be their lowest of low notes. Their own personal Brown Note, if you will. Now all I can hear in my brain is Depeche Mode singing “Their own. Personal. Brown note”.

    Mark Sevi’s first EIGHT writing credits were all forgettable sequels to action and sci-fi movies in the ’90s, most of which were direct-to-video. The biggest titles on his resume that stick out to me are the reprehensible Ghoulies IV and the Corey Haim starring Fast Getaway II. Sevi’s “talent” really shines through in Arachnid too, most notably in one scene straight out of a waaaaaaacky comedy. As Lev interrupts Loren while she’s taking a shit, he makes a comment about being careful because of ticks. She makes her best “Goldie Hawn in Overboard” snooty face in response, then gets stuck in a giant spider-hole full of arachnid spooge. Lev and Bear pull her free before she can be eaten by whatever’s down there, and she falls on top of her boyfriend-in-waiting, only to have their shirts glued together by said spider-goo, causing them both to go topless (don’t get excited folks, she’s wearing a bra), leading to the “hilarious” misunderstanding of everyone back at the group thinking they were off bumping the proverbial uglies in the bushes. There’s even a half-baked jump scare moment, as Lev reaches back into the hole to retrieve Loren’s boot, ignorant that he narrowly evaded an attack by the monster. It’s 5 minutes of movie that not only didn’t tickle my funny bone, but shattered it with a hammer while I had to type the whole scenario out just now. And you know that’s never going to heal right. Blart.

    Thematically, I’m down with the concept of a super spider mating with other species to create the apex of predation, but it just brings up the same problem I have every time I’m presented with an alien that mates with Earthlings: how the fuck are their reproductive systems compatible?! I get that a big component of science fiction is the “fiction”, but the other big component is the “SCIENCE”! If you’re gonna have intergalactic baby makin’, show me you put the effort into explaining how it’s possible! Or at least have someone bring up the question! Fuck! We’ve got two scientists in the party and neither one of them says, “Wait, so a spider’s been fucking snakes and ticks and people and everything else it can jam it’s furry spider-dong into, but how the hell are the Earth creatures reproductively compatible?!”. It’s the gods-damned “Saiyan frustration” all over again and it’s gonna make me lose my shit! GRARRGH!

    Okay, settle down Anubis. Tranquilizers are your friend. Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean. Serenity….now. Okay. Anyway, to be fair, the acting’s not terrible and some of the characters are likable. I would’ve preferred Susana and Bear making it to the end with Toe or Dr. Capri, but you knew they were all destined for the spider’s dinner plate…or breeding dungeon. The gore’s okay too, but those CG effects in the beginning? After already having to sit through them twice, I’d rather wear contact lenses bathed in ghost pepper sauce than do it again. And though the big evil spider puppet looks good when stationary, it’s painfully ugly when in motion (aside from those cool mouth tendrils) and even uglier when reduced to more of that nauseating, no-budget, computer-made rubbish as it jumps around its den.

    Overall, I’m glad we were never “blessed” by the sequel we’re threatened with at the end. I never advocate for arachnicide. Hell, my Evil Dead Bride and I welcome all eight-legged guests in our tomb and encourage them to stay a while, so long as they don’t get stepped on or eaten by our cats. I had spiders wind up in my hair, beard, and behind my ear on three separate occasions in one week, so they’re not a source of scares in our home. But Arachnid? Kill it with fire, flush the ashes, and salt the earth it was filmed on so nothing like it can ever grow again.

    And with that, we say goodbye to the Fantastic Factory. Probably the best thing to come about from that shit awful Fant4stic box office poison. I hope you had as much fun reading these reviews as I had writing them. The overall quality of the movies wasn’t great, but at least the concepts behind them lived up to the company moniker! They’re a decent atypical alternative to the endless generic slashers, zombie-fests, and found-footage hauntings that overrun the horror show market. There are a few more titles in their cache, so you can bet your Re-Animator 10th Anniversary LaserDisc that I’ll be coming back to finish what I began, not unlike Beatrix Kiddo in her titular revenge quest. Only, you know, less about vengeance stuff and more about being a completionist to whom this unfinished business will be itching powder on my medulla oblongata until it’s done.

    With the “Fantastic Four” reviews thing now in the books (and said books going into the pyre as soon as government agents kick in my front door), what depths of darkness and depravity are waiting around the bend? All I can say is that the next new review will be a very special episode of Blossom The Tomb of Anubis, so be sure to tune in with someone you love!

    Moral of the Story: When going into the hoary undergrowth of any tropical hell dimension, remember that “mega dosing Vitamin B” ain’t shit compared to some good old fashioned OFF™. It could save your life! Or at least keep you from being torn inside out by Darwinian super-ticks until you can have your entrails melted by something bigger later.

    Screenshots_____

    The self-proclaimed “Cheese King of Green Bay”.


    There’s a space ship in this shot. Can you spot it? This is what happens when you spend your budget hiring the guy from ‘Silk Stalkings‘ to star in your crappy giant spider movie.


    My computer made the same request when I put in the Arachnid DVD.


    It’s an adult version of one of those little rubber puppet demons from Rock ‘N Roll Nightmare!


    “No, I’m not Ted Raimi, but yes I will star in your Skinner 2 Kickstarter project!”


    They’re all laughing because they ate Taco Bell for lunch and this is going to be a LONG plane ride… and Susana knows it too.


    “Do you like the X-Men? I was the voice of Gambit in the cartoon, you know. Maybe you’d like to go out sometime, chere?”
    “Sure. Have you every been… spelunking?”


    “I’m sorry! This has never happened to me before, I swear! Oh jeez. There’s never been so much of it, either. Oh Hell, I got some in your hair too. I have some baby wipes in my pack, just gimme a second.”


    I see someone took that “eat with your butt and poop with your mouth” episode of ‘South Park‘ to heart. Uggh.


    The Red Ryder BB Gun’s campaign of cycloptic terror continues!


    “No, I’m not the wheelchair guy from Alien Resurrection. But, if you get me out of here, I will give you my autograph!”


    Every year, 1 out of every 10 entomologists is sexually assaulted by giant spiders. Don’t let this happen to you. Never accept drinks from spiders you don’t know.


    [Graboid voice:] “Something smells like Kevin Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Only one thing smells like Kevin Bacon and that’s Kevin Bacon! IT’S BAAAAACOOOON!”


    “Oh Garfield. If you can hate Mondays as much as you do, but still have the capacity to love lasagna like that, maybe we all have a chance at happiness.”


    That guy’s putting his optometrist’s kids through college!


    Looks like they’ll have to reset their “Days Since Last Giant Spider Attack” counter back now.


    “Rocky Dennis is the Amazing Spider-Man!”


    “What? Don’t you get it? ‘A man walks into a bar – OUCH!’? You don’t GET IT?! COME ON! It’s a pun on the word ‘bar’! How are you not laughing right now?! Clearly you’re some kind of sociopath.”

    ———————————————————
    ———————————————————

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Appetite for Duodenum”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    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.

    Feature 29 – Friday the 13th (2009)

    or “Mommy’s Little Monster”

    Featuring: Jared “Supernatural” Padalecki , Danielle “Piranha 3DD” Panabaker , Amanda “The Mentalist” Righetti , with Derek Mears as Jason

    Director: Marcus “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)” Nispel

    Writers: Damian “Freddy vs. Jason” Shannon , Mark “Freddy vs. Jason” Swift , Mark “The Messengers” Wheaton

    Origin: USA

    Review_____

    “You’re fucking lucky there, Stretch. Came that close to hitting the ‘start’ button on the whoop-ass machine, boy!”

    Writer’s Note: Yet again I’m a minor hinder (i.e. a little behind) with this episode. I was hoping to have it plastered on the page come Friday the 13th for obvious reasons, but failed to match my deadline after the 2 week stumble marathon that was my prior production. Also, I received my order of powdered rhino horn from that mysterious Chinese sorcerer who contacted me through the page’s feedback function, so I was UP ALL WEEKEND with my editor/wife. Ohhhhh yeeeeaaaah, macho man!

    Editor’s Note: None of that last part happened. He paid $200 for a cheap plastic elephant bottle filled with Country Time Lemonade drink-mix powder.

    Writer’s Note: Damn it…

    This is the first of a four part series I’m calling “Shake, Bake, & Remake”, focusing on remakes (duh) of otherwise infamous flicks that I can’t actually review here in the New Tomb, thanks to my self-imposed “Current Millennium Movies Only” edict. I’m not saying I’ve got it as hard as those religious kooks who put themselves through self-flagellation to prove their piousness, but I’m not not saying I’ve got it that hard either… and yes, I just said “I’ve got it that hard” ladies, in case you’re feeling frisky.

    There have been a LOT of these remakes in the last 15 or so years, so it was only a matter of time before I could stop ignoring the epidemic and had to spread awareness though my only available portal to the masses. “The more you know” and all that. Anyway, it seems that every 365 days the Hollywood Xerox machine is sputtering out new half-assed paper jam abortions to try and cash-in on recycled ideas, much to the chagrin of long time movie lovers. The kingpin of this human centipede-inal process of turning food into shit into somebody else’s food is Michael Bay. He’s not just a boogeyman that creative thinkers use to scare their children into brushing their teeth and washing their ears before bed, lest he steal their imagination, either. Depending on who you ask, Bay’s career is either one big punchline (with an explosion at the end) or a new holocaust that will be marked as one of the darkest times in human history. I personally would like him to hang himself with his own intestines, but I write the same thing whenever I get one of those damn customer service surveys on my receipts. That’s just the kinda Death God I am.

    In honor of the holiday (What? I always take Friday the 13th off from work. You don’t?!), I’m kicking things off with a figurative kick in the balls: 2009’s Friday the 13th. Now, since it’s officially hit its 5 year expiration date, this movie’s now ripe for spoilage. If you haven’t already seen it, and you’re expecting anything beyond “a guy in a hockey mask kills a bunch of horny teens”, you may want to close this window now and go on with your blissful ignorance until you can see it for yourself. For those of you who have seen it, or could care less about watching paper-thin plots put through the proverbial shredder, I’ll do what I can to make your stay a pleasant one. Now, onward to violence!

    Not a true remake of the original (because 95% of casual slasher movie fans don’t even know who the fuck Pamela Voorhees is), this F13 takes the broad-minded clusterfuck approach of jamming an un-lubed speculum into a 106 minute running time and trying to stuff four movies worth of dongs into it. Sure, most people would say, “Dude, they’re just slasher movies. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all, so what’s the big deal of cutting four down into one?”. Jane, you ignorant slut. You know not of the things you speak, so I’ll forgive your lack of awareness long enough to let you get out the front door and leave this place, never to return again. Seriously though, you’d be surprised how much more there is to the story of Jason Voorhees than “kills naked thirty-somethings pretending to be teenage camp counselors”. But, I’d probably have better luck trying to teach a cat how to evolve into a squid. Either you get it or you don’t. I’d rather eat razor blades than watch Twilight, so different strokes get off different folks…unless you get off to “Diff’rent Strokes”, in which case there’s help for your sickness – at the bottom of a well. Go find it. Headfirst. The world thanks you.

    The original movie gets put through the Cuisinart worst of the four originals, being hacked into little more than a black & white flashback played during the opening credits (yes, the opening credits) of Pam voiding her hat-of-the-month membership thanks to the final would-be victim of her Camp Crystal Lake murder revenge tour. The story’s still the same – she blames the counselors for the drowning death of her special needs son Jason, having been too preoccupied with cavorting of the pants-less kind to watch the little mutant while he was swimming. As any parent would like to do, Momma hacked ’em up like a butcher on bath salts. But, her death by self-defense decapitation was viewed by her still-living little boy. Taking up the very machete used for the aforementioned decap attack, Jason would go on a lifelong crusade of surviving on his own and serial killing anybody unfortunate enough to set foot on the campgrounds of Crystal Lake. The time it took you to read that is about 3 times longer than the movie actually spends setting things up.

    There are a number of barbs this movie maliciously drops down the back of our pants, but there are two in particular that gave me the greatest trouble sitting down after experiencing them. I’m now going to address the first – of all the things the writers could’ve done to tweak the tale of Jason Voorhees, the one most in need of adjustment are his years between seeing his mother die and starting his successful career as a killer of the people that Mountain Dew and Miley Cyrus are marketed to. It never sat well with me that we were expected to believe that a deformed retard child not only survived his drowning (The police never recovered his body from the lake?! Are you fucking kidding me?!), and not only chose to live in the wilderness rather than seek help from anyone in the community, but he actually MANAGED to live off of small animals and berries and raccoon shit for two decades, then just happened to witness his mother’s death, which sent him a killing spree for the next 20 years?! All of this is stupid! So, perfect chance for the reboot writers to retcon it the fuck out and make something more sensible, right? Like, maybe Jason survived the swimming incident and Pam’s killing spree wasn’t due to his death, but still due to the negligence of the counselors? She obviously wasn’t the sanest kumquat on the fruit cart, right? So it would make sense, especially if she brought Jason along with her to witness how much she loves him by striking wrathful vengeance in his name. It would definitely go a long way in explaining his own use of violence in avenging her death for the rest of his life. As far as the whole “living off the land for twenty years licking moss” bullshit, just put him into foster care following mom’s rampage, have him murder his caretakers at some point in his teens, then let him make the trek back to Crystal Lake to set up shop and we’re on our way! But no, let’s not do that. Instead, these dipshit fuck bags decide to fart in the face of effort and just stick with the whole Mowgli thing – Jason’s raised by squirrels or some nonsense and he’s just there and he’s always been there and when everybody who goes out there is never heard from again NOBODY WILL NOTICE OR DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! GRARRGHGRRRRRAAAAARRRRRRRRGH!

    Pardon my embolism. Uggh. So, yeah. New Jason is an adult now who may or may not have his own marijuana crop out in the woods around Crystal Lake. He lives in the abandoned remains of the camp (abandoned following the mass murder incident), probably drinking his own urine or just coating his intestines with parasites from chugging the lake water. There’s probably a whole hive of squirmy things in his guts. He probably doesn’t even poop anymore because the colony of colon worms just eat all his feces for him then re-poop it back into his blood stream, gradually turning him into an unstoppable dung golem. Where was I? Oh yeah, Jason’s pot field. For something like 10 minutes we’re introduced to a small group of friends who have come to Crystal Lake to sleep (and pork) under the stars. Two of the guys (one of which is a poor man’s Seth Rogen that looks so much like Ragnarok from Cinemasochist Apocalypse that I had to rub my eyes in one of those slapstick comedy double takes to make sure I wasn’t imagining it) are secretly there to steal weed from this legendary crop the one guy’s dealer told him about, the third guy is there to snoop around the campgrounds with his “girl next door” lady love, and the remaining female is there to show off her nauseating botched ’80s boob job and have silhouette doggystyle with one of the weed guys in their tent. They’re solely here as Jason fodder, hence all the marijuana and sex and trespassing. Jason himself is wearing a sack on his head a la F13 2, but it looks more like a pillowcase wrapped around his face than the traditional potato sack. Back to the delinquents. Imperfect Ragnarok Clone gets hacked up, his New Wave Holdover pot hunting partner gets macheted in the face like Leonard Lies, Gross Tit Job gets torched alive in her sleeping bag, Unthreatening Trespasser Boyfriend gets dragged through a floor and presumably slaughtered off-screen, and Appropriate Acting Trespasser Girlfriend is presumed also macheted. Until later on, when it’s revealed that Jason just takes her captive because she looks kinda like this picture of his mom that he keeps in a locket.

    Hey, I told you I was gonna be spoiling this nonsense like 6 month old milk! If you stuck around to drink it, you’ve only got yourself to blame, Jermaine. Hope you like sour and chunky, cuz I’ve got plenty more to pour down your gullet. NO WASTE!

    After ALL of this, we finally get our title card, some 25 minutes in. Somebody cal Guinness, because that’s gotta be the longest pre-title prologue sequence ever witnessed. From here we fast forward to “6 Weeks Later”, where a second group of irresponsible twenty-somethings are also making an ill-advised trip to corpse country. Since this is supposed to be the part where the Friday the 13th Part 3-D “homage” initiates, this rainbow coalition (well, it’s 5 white people and their token black and Asian friends) is assembling at the family summer house of their leader Trent (Travis Van Winkle) who, if you couldn’t already tell by his name, is such a massive douche bag that he might as well be played a gallon milk jug filled with vinegar that has “Summer’s Eve” stamped on the side. The only real elements of note from this group are that goofy blond pretty boy slacker Nolan is played by Ryan Hansen of “Party Down” (a criminally under-appreciated comedy from Starz that NOBODY watched), and token black guy Lawrence (Arlen Escarpeta) who, despite the *wink*wink* moment of not wanting to be stereotyped as one of those black guys, doesn’t even come off as an n-word, he comes off like a whigger because he tries too damn hard to be one of said black guys! I’m pretty sure he graduated Valedictorian of the Black Acting School’s Class of 2008… Hollywood Shuffle? Nothing? Really!? Isis help me…

    Transitioning into the Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter section of our movie, lone wolf heartthrob-on-a-motorcycle Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki) is also in the area, not just to play the forbidden love interest to our female lead – King Douche’s set-upon good girl girlfriend Jenna (Danielle Panabaker) – but to find his sister Whitney (Amanda Righetti), who went missing in the area 6 weeks earlier. Yep, Locket Girl. Speaking of, she’s spent the last month and a half captive in Jason’s underground cave lair (which is way more “influenced” by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 than anything F13), and looks WAY too clean for someone shackled in her own filth for 40 days and nights. Here’s a sticking point that Michael Bay’s welcome to stick in his boom boom hole: despite Camp Crystal Lake being long abandoned, it’s still wired for electricity, which Jason turns on with one of those big mad scientist switches that just don’t carry the same panache without the “It’s alive! ALIVE!” schtick accompanying it.

    Clay’s search for sis isn’t helped by the incompetent local podunk police force (an F13 series staple), especially Officer Brackle (Richard Burgi, who looks like the bastard spawn of Patrick Warburton and Huey Lewis) who recommends that Clay go looking elsewhere because Whitney and her friends probably just ran away somewhere else to disappear without a trace…having NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER TO OTHER STORIES OF ERRANT CITIZENS THAT HAVE REMAINED UNSOLVED IN THE CRYSTAL LAKE AREA ALL THESE YEARS ……… and there goes another embolism. Though there’s no Crazy Ralph proper in this movie, there is an unnamed old demented lady (Roseanne Knower) who does the job, filling in Clay on the whole sordid history of Crystal Lake being a Bermuda Triangle for missing credit card applicably aged delinquents.

    And beyond that? Not a whole lot to report. Jason kills everybody. In fact, he starts with a local yokel white trash stoner (who my Evil Dead Bride perfectly described as “exactly the kind of guy who would lick the pages in Hustler”) who I can’t help but feel is playing a part that was originally written for Jason “Jay of Jay & Silent Bob fame” Mewes. Whether you agree with me at first glimpse or not, once he starts sexually harassing a decrepit mannequin, I think you’ll come to my side of the opinion pond. Beyond licking porno mags (bet they taste salty) and groping inanimate objects, this guy’s reason for being isn’t just to be killed, but so Jason can find a certain iconic piece of sporting equipment in the dumbass’ smoke & stroke shack. Having taken up his sword (machete) and donned his magic helmet (hockey mask), the mighty masked mauler can go about his destined destruction of these purveyors of moderate debauchery. Using more skillful hunting techniques rather than simple smashery & slashery for the most part, the result is the same – everybody ceases to be and joins the choir invisible. I’m fine with that, except for Jason’s more agile feats, like climbing onto a roof with relative ease (ninja fart style: silent but deadly), then leaping down afterward to stab someone through the eye. I prefer my mute murdering juggernauts to be more the lumbering colossi type, but maybe I’m just old fashioned.

    By the last reel, it all comes down to the final four: Jason, Clay, Jenna, and the recovered Whitney. In somewhat of a shock, Jenna ends up the victim of implement impalement while trying to escape Jason’s silly underground lair. Which he probably fixed up at the cost of *dramatic pause* one BILLLLLLLION dollars! Man, nothing says you’ve got your bloody talons on the pulse of humor like a 12 year old Austin Powers joke. Blart. The chase eventually ends with a chain around Jason’s neck and our mongoloid mangler being dragged headfirst into the business end of an industrial wood chipper (which I would’ve expected to immediately screech to a halt once the first few feet of chain got wrapped up inside the blades, but hey, movies and stuff) which shuts down after leaving the top of Jay’s dome looking like he just tried on a toupee made of piranhas. I could have done without the Velveeta that Whitney vomits on us in triumph over her captor (“Jason! Say hi to Mommy…IN HELL!”), but as far as endings go, I’ll allow it. No yellow card.

    Sorry. The Tomb’s marketing department told me to try and pander to the World Cup crowd. I wouldn’t review Shaolin Soccer, so this was the best I could do to get them to stop poking me with their stupid marketing pitchforks…still don’t know how those slipped by me during the annual budget review…

    Immediately following the figurative disposal of the villain is the literal disposal of the villain, and this is where the movie’s second GIANT ass barb falls squarely betwixt my seat cushions. Okay, if you were in Clay and/or Whitney’s shoes, and you’d just stopped a crazed serial killer in a mask who slaughtered a dozen or so people around you… What would you do? Yes, you’d call the police and have them rush out to you immediately while keeping a sentinel-like watch over said murderer’s body, probably while wielding a large, sharp, weaponized gardening tool. And if you’ve seen slasher movies at any time in your life, you’d go the extra mile and chop off his hands and feet, crush his head with a cinder block, and/or park a tractor on top of his corpse as added insurance. What do the siblings do? Dump his body into the lake. What do you think happens when the cops show up, find a whole bunch of bodies, and a brother and sister say “It wasn’t us! It was this big redneck in a hockey mask that we managed to kill in self-defense, then dumped his body in the lake! No, really, we dumped him in the lake! Why!? Uhm… hey, Clay? Why did we dispose of the biggest piece of evidence corroborating our story again? Shit. We’re going to prison, aren’t we?”. But no, none of that matters, because the whole lake dumping thing is done solely for the goofy last-minute movie jump scare attempt when Jason leaps out of the water to finish off our heroes before the end credits roll. This is what happens when you get a friggin’ music video director to helm your slasher flick.

    I know movie criticism has a long history of people saying, “That sucked! I could’ve done a better job and I don’t even make movies!”, but in this case I have to agree. As of this review, I’m happy to report that we can at least find solace in knowing that none of F13‘s trio of writers has done anything of note in the half-decade since, possibly crushed by the torrent of hate mail from the Friday Faithful following this fart-in-the-wind remake. As for director Nispel, he seems to have ignored the bloody writing on his bathroom walls and chosen to soldier on with pissing off children of the ’80s, because his next credit was that Conan the Barbarian remake. As least the “slick kinetic Hollywood production” look fits something like a swords & sandals monster mash better than a slasher production, because aside from the hockey mask and all of the stuff lifted directly from the previous F13 installments, this is in no way a Friday the 13th movie. Just like other Michael Bay productions like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in no way represent their source material in any means other than the duplicitous “name only”. Jason looks like he’s been sticking to a strict routine on a BowFlex he found in one of the abandoned cabins, and has apparently mastered electrical engineering with one of those “earn your degree through the mail” programs. I blame the deaths of these people squarely on YOUR shoulder pads, quasi-celebrity Sally Struthers!

    Final judgment time: Friday the 13th has some decent violence, but any idiot with a blunt instrument can commit violence. A butcher can turn meat into a meal with skill. An artist can turn violence into entertainment with creativity. In the hands of these people, it’s just “stab stab kill kill”. An uninteresting story with even less interesting characters. A lazy for-profit attempt on a storied slasher franchise (just go with it) disguised as an homage to a legend when it’s really just an excuse to reuse someone else’s leftovers and try to call it your own fine cuisine creation. I’d rather watch Jason Takes Manhattan for a weekend straight than bother with this “re-visioning” by people blinded with dollar signs made of diarrhea. When you try to legitimize an illegitimate genre like cheesy ’80s slashers, you miss the point entirely. They put so much effort into being tongue-in-cheek that the whole affair ends up being way too on-the-nose, which eventually turns it into some kind of awful tongue-in-nose thing that’s just nauseating. And that’s all the time I’m willing to put into this review. Join us next time to see who the next slasher icon is to be put through Tinseltown’s imperfect cloning machine in “Shake, Bake, & Remake Part 2”! But for now, as Uncle Gunter would say, “Leb wohl mein kleines Schnitzel-Abgründe!”

    Moral of the Story: You know those parents of handicapped children who say that one day their special needs child could grow up to be the President of the USA or some other really huge achievement as such? Jason Voorhees just makes me want to go down to the Special Olympics and smother every last potential serial killer in the lot before they can come to maturity and take their hatred for the world out on me. I am the comic relief for any slasher movie, so there’s no way I make it long enough to hear the awful nu-metal shit they’re gonna shove into the end credits!

    Screenshots_____

    “Damn it Steve, if you forgot to pack the tweezers my brow line is going to look like a Pakistani during No Shave November! We have to go home and get them NOW!”


    See what I mean?! Switch out the Star Wars shirt for something Godzilla and this guy’s the movie version of Brother Ragnarok!… and clicking that link will result in no support for my argument, because Raggy doesn’t have a pic of himself on his profile… blart.


    Jason is terrifying enough on his own. These two just walked in on him jacking his jerky to bathing suit photos of his mom. They’re scarred for life. But, on the plus side, at least their lives won’t last much longer!


    If you thought termites were hard to get rid of, once you’ve got a Voorhees in your floor boards you might as well just burn the place down and start over… on another continent.


    “Excedrin Headache #13: the camping trip”


    Wearing a pillow case on his head and standing next to a burning effigy?! I know he’s a vicious serial killer, but I never realized Jason was a white supremacist too! Things are gonna be very awkward with Candyman at this year’s MurderCon.


    No, I haven’t. I don’t really like Whitney Cummings, and I’ve heard that show was unwatchable anyway. It was also canceled a year ago, so… no, poster, I haven’t seen ‘Whitney.


    “Are you on drugs, young man? Because, to be honest, I want a new drug. One that won’t make me sick. One that won’t make me crash my car, or make me feel 3 feet thick.”


    That moment you realize that the secret ingredient in your buddy’s “special brownies” wasn’t marijuana…


    No, before you say anything, I didn’t boot up the Maniac remake by mistake. Believe me, I really wish that was the case, but no such luck.


    The Invisible Man? The Mummy? Darkman?! Nobody knew who Jason was supposed to be at last year’s Halloween party, and every time someone asked he stabbed them in the eyes with candy corn!
    FYI – he was dressed as Hush. JV’s a big Batman fan.


    All she’s missing is a naked Richard Branson clutched on her back like a baby lemur.


    Kids, never go drinking with William Tell. That guy doesn’t just carry a chip on his shoulder, he’s got the whole stack of Pringles. After a few Pink Squirrels it always comes back to that stupid apple and, well, this happens.


    Michael Bay’s veiled threat to ruin the Puppet Master franchise next… oh wait, Charles Band’s been doing that since 1993. Never mind.


    This is why you’re supposed to take your contacts out at night, folks. The warnings on the box are there for a reason!


    “Hail Hydra.” (I’m not 3 months late, I’m just moving up the timetable for bringing it back.)


    There you go, ladies. Don’t say I never gave you anything… well, other than the creeps… and hepatitis.

    ———————————————————
    ———————————————————

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Pizza Puss Reborn”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    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.

    Feature 27 – Godzilla 2000 (1999)

    or “Children of a Lesser Godzilla”

    Featuring: Takehiro “Vengeance for Sale” Murata , Hiroshi “My Love is a Sniper: the Movie” Abe , Naomi “The Happiness of the Katakuris” Nishida

    Director: Takao “Godzilla Vs. Destroyah” Okawara

    Writers: Hiroshi “Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla” Kashiwabara , Wataru “Godzilla: Final Wars” Mimura

    Origin: Japan

    Sequel to: Godzilla (1954)

    Other movies in the Godzilla “Millennium” series: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack / Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla / Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. / Godzilla: Final Wars

    Review_____

    “It’ll go through Godzilla like CRAP through a goose!”

    So, by the time this posts, America will have made its second attempt at a Godzilla movie, and for the second time the titular engine of destruction is going to be played by a bunch of digital wizard sorcery rather than some masochist in a big rubber mutant Barney suit. I will have not seen the new movie by this time either, as scheduling conflicts have forced me to push back my viewing until Monday. I have no doubt this movie will already induce an exponentially meatier fanboy hard-on than the universally loathed 1998 “Fakezilla” flub, a.k.a. CGG (Computer Generated Godzilla). Take away my G-Club membership card if you have to, but I actually paid to see that movie theatrically TWICE, and don’t bear an ounce of shame admitting to it. I enjoyed it. It was campy, dumb, summer blockbuster merchandising popcorn fun. Your hate mail be damned! I have every faith in this new movie being amazing, if for nothing else than we’ve replaced Matthew “Glug-glug, vroom-vroom, thump-thump” Broderick with Bryan “THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!” Cranston. Unfortunately, no matter how good it is it’ll never be as good as it could have been if this fucking poster were canon.

    A diaper full of scarabs to the bastard who created that mock-up, because as one of the only 7 living Jet Jaguar fans on the face of this Earth (as opposed to the alternate Earth I want to live on where all of humanity ARE Jet Jaguars), I’m crushed with the hopelessness of knowing this is not a dimension where the events of this poster will ever come to pass. Speaking of heart eclipsing disappointments (with all due respect to Bonnie Tyler…however little that may be), here’s my review for Godzilla 2000!

    Okay, let’s blow up the irradiated elephant monster in the room first. Technically the original Japanese version of this flick, Godzilla Millenium, was released at the asshole end of 1999. Normally this would disqualify it from being reviewed on this site, since my edict stands that only movies from the current millennium are subject to my publicly published punditry. BUT, and there’s a BIG but here (as I like big buts and I cannot lie), the version of the movie I’m dragging onto Maat’s scales is the American dub. This version wasn’t released into theaters until the dog days of the 2000 blockbuster season (where all “big budget movies bound to fail” get their last rites), so you can make the case (which I am) that Godzilla 2000 counts as a current millennium movie. Most of the people who do read this couldn’t care less, but even if you do find yourself disagreeing with me, too bad. It’s my site, shit pants! Now, let’s get down to fucking this chicken!

    Toho’s ”Millennium Series” of G movies ran with the incredibly interesting premise of “every story takes place in its own alternate dimension that branches off of the events from the original Godzilla ’54”… with the exception of Tokyo S.O.S., which was a direct sequel to Against Mechagodzilla. But, that’s a (very large and spiny) tail for another review…HOMONYMS! Anyway, this split time line starts us off almost 50 years after Godzilla was seemingly disintegrated by the Oxygen Destroyer bomb, and makes no explanation of why said destruction of his oxygen didn’t quite take so permanently as they’d hoped. Whatever the poorly unillustrated case, the important thing is that Godzilla’s here, he’s queer, now get used to it. He shows up in Tokyo every so often, presumably drawn by the serious output of energy given off by their power plants. Who’s making this presumption? Father-daughter science nerds Yuji (Takehiro Murata) and Io Shinoda (Mayu Suzuki). The Shinodas are a lovable duo, with Poppa Yuji being the soft spoken single dad doin’ the best he can, and Io being the smart-ass little miss takin’ care of business. They’re the heads of the Godzilla Prediction Network – a small group of independent science types whose aim is to study Big G in the name of science, and to hopefully forecast his visits ahead of time so everybody in Japan can lock their doors, turn off all their lights, and just pretend not to be home. Yes, a force of nature given form that causes untold levels of destruction every time he feels like going for a stroll, and these lovable refugees from a rejected sitcom pilot are responsible for trying to map out his next walkabout. Only in Japan, people.

    Tagging along with the Shinodas is Yuki “Itchy Nose” Ichinose (Naomi Nishida), a newspaper photographer looking to get some glamour shots of Godzilla to help elevate herself out of the fashion beat and into the hard nose world of real Japanese news, like sex robots and teenage suicide clubs. She might try getting pictures of Spider-Man. I hear there’s a guy in New York who REALLY wants pictures of Spider-Man. Though she gets up close and personal with Godzilla in a way that only the leviathan’s dentist knows him, this Asian O’Neil (which makes no sense because she’s a photog, not a reporter nor a porn star) is shit outta luck, cuz the living radioactive fallout’s nuclear b.o. ruins her film…and probably will result in her giving birth to mutant Mothra larvae within a week. Or just kill her with some form of agonizing intestinal super cancer. Science fictional horror or science factual horror, either way Miss Ichinose is probably going to spend the final weeks of her life in relentless agony while her body rots inside and out as a result.

    Just call me Eclipso, kids, because I bring the darkness.

    On the flip side of our tale is the government sponsored Crisis Control Intelligence, headed by Yuji’s (not to be confused with Yuki, so try to keep ’em straight) former friend and science collaborator Mitsuo Katagiri (Hiroshi Abe). Given that Godzilla is to Japan as bears are to Stephen Colbert, He’s always atop Tokyo’s Threatdown. As crisis-in-need-of-control number-o one-o, He’s also Mitsuo’s given nemesis, so Mr. Katagiri’s always trying to find a way to kill Godzilla once and for all, not unlike Wile E. Coyote trying to murder the Road Runner. Speaking of, K Fed’s latest shipment from Acme is a series of “full metal missiles” whose penetration factor rates at Wilt Chamberlain levels and come with the money back guarantee that they’ll “go through Godzilla like CRAP through a goose!”. A fantastic quote from U.S general Georgie Patton that makes the English dub all worthwhile! And I typed that without a drop of sarcasm…nor that. Seriously, I love that line.

    Godzilla’s not the only item on CCI’s docket though. They’re also responsible for the discovery and recovery of an odd mass of rock found at the bottom of the Pacific. When they attempt to raise the mass, it stirs to life and surfaces under its own strength! Attempts at exploratory drilling through the mass prove fruitless and it just sits there floating like a living island. Though not half as cool Krakoa, the literal living island. 200 geek points to anyone who knows what the fuck I’m talking about without resorting to a searcher. There’s a John Wayne joke in there somewhere, but I don’t have time to look for it, because back to Godzilla! As for those goose crap armaments, Godzilla shows up again and gives the Japan Self Defense Force a chance to prove the Blue Oyster Cult right yet again about how “nature points out the folly of men”. Aside from a few blasted outer dermal layers, the missiles fail to get any deeper into the lizard king than “just the tip”, let alone go through him like the promise goose feces. If nothing else, at least the military has managed to provide Godzilla with something he can use to scrape off his callouses.

    The huge rock (which turns out to be an ancient solar powered spaceship caked in 60 millions years of scabby growth) does some kind of long distance bio-scan of Godzilla, flies off to attack our cold blooded anti-hero, and tries to death ray his big ol’ lizard tits off! But, when Zills returns fire with his atomic halitosis beam (which is the only digital effect that actually looks REEEEEEEEEEEALLY good!), the revealed star cruiser beats a hasty retreat. Godzilla heads back to the depths of the Pacific to nurse his wounds, and Yuji discovers some shed skin cells left behind in the reptile’s massive footprints on the beach…of which there is no corresponding tail trail!? Sweet Isis, my nitpickery will be the death of me. Yuji forms an uneasy alliance with his antagonists in the CCI so he can utilize their vast scientific resources to research said cells. He isolates the phenomenal genetic factor that allows Godzilla to heal from traumatic injury, and dubs the radioactive mutation “Regenerator G1”. Yuji hopes to use G1 as the basis for a miracle drug that will cure all ailments of man, both those known and those as-yet-to-be-suffered. So, if Godzilla or the CCI doesn’t kill him first, you can bet that the pharmaceutical industry won’t let him live long enough to even test his proposed creation, let alone save the world with it.

    Having shed its stone exterior (and revealing itself to look like what I can best describe as RoboCop’s codpiece), the mysterious ship nests itself upon the Tokyo Opera City Tower (which makes me miss the traditional kaiju magnet, Tokyo Tower) and hacks its way into local data networks to learn more about its new foe as well as the planet upon which they now intend to reside. You know, not unlike how Jeff Goldblum was able to hack into the aliens’ systems in Independence Day, thus providing further evidence that Bill Gates found an alien craft that crashed behind his family’s barn as a child and reverse engineered it to create Windows 1.0. Soaking up citywide input like Johnny 5 on a bender, the craft’s probably stealing the identities of everyone in Japan to sell to the denizens of Planet X, who plan to put Japan’s credit rating deeper down the crapper than Reptilicus’s career. This is why you don’t skimp on your anti-virus program, people!

    Everyone becomes terrified that the ship’s theft of their data will somehow plunge their island nation into a world-ending scenario, resulting in the catastrophic deaths of every last man, woman, and child. I’d hate to see what madness would be wrought if they had to deal with the shit data plan my current phone service shafts me with. This apocalyptic reading of everybody’s browsing history (lot of perverts in the land of the rising sun) must be stopped, so CCI plan on blowing up the Tower to stop the downloading before the aliens can finish pirating every season of “Dragonball Zincluding all of the side movies! Naturally, Yuki and the Shinodas end up neck deep in the lettuce and tomatoes of this shit sandwich as they remain in the tower to attempt reverse hacking the aliens’ data stream and figure out what it is the out-of-towners are specifically searching for. Speaking of, their creeping of Godzilla’s LinkedIn profile turns up Yuji’s G1 research, which in turn provides them with a way to create bodies that can adapt to Earth’s atmosphere and avoid any embarrassing War of the Worlds or Signs scenarios when they’re ready to make their bid for planetary conquest.

    Despite learning that his former friend Yuji is still in the building when it comes time to detonate the place, Katagiri 5 (PUNS!) goes full blown bad guy and authorizes the demolition to go through as planned. The unfortunate thing about Kats is that he’s perfectly positioned to be in the unappealing position of the guy who has to make the hard choices, as the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and it’s all up to him to make sure the many persevere by whatever means necessary. Even this moment, where he chooses to sacrifice his friend-turned-rival, can easily be handled with a regretful-but-necessary tone. Instead, at least for the American dub, Special K is sold to us as a complete dick from the outset, complete with garish super-villain laugh! For a movie that’s supposed to make people take rubber behemoths stomping model cities seriously, presenting Katagiri as a borderline Dick Dastardly probably wasn’t the best idea, Toho. Blart.

    The good guys make it out of the devastation relatively unscathed, as you probably imagined they would. They actually end up joining Katagiri (no hard feeling for trying to kill us, I guess) and the rest of the CCI big wigs atop a nearby building so as to watch the rest of the movie play out. Speaking of, Godzilla shows up for their rematch and the aliens, needing that sweet sweet Regenerator juice, body check Big G with some kind of force blast (okay, the only other good looking digital effect besides Godzilla’s fire) and drop a skyscraper on him! Using what little DNA they were able to scrap from He Who Is Both Large and In Charge, the aliens take form outside of their ship in the form of the massive monster Millennian, which is yet another piece of evidence for the prosecution against computer visual effects. Millennian looks like the bastard offspring of one of those classic gray skin big head “X-Files” alien types after a gene-splice mambo menage-a-trois with a giant squid and one of those forgotten Toho mushroom monsters from Matango. Fortunately, Earth’s polluted atmosphere mutates this form further and by the time it’s taken its final form (the Japanese love their transforming characters), we’re looking at the monstrous Orga, who more resembles a deformed, inside-out crocodile as drawn by H.R. Giger, that was caked in a mixture of Fluff and primer, then thrown into an atomic microwave to bake for a few hours.

    Attempting to steal Godzilla’s genetic material (I guess asking him to jerk off into a paper cup would be too awkward) so he can both become a complete clone of Big Poppa G and get the old man out of the way of their plans to takeover the Earth at the same time, Orga throws down his big ham-fisty gauntlet. Despite the high quality of the costumes, the duo’s tussle about the cityscape really isn’t one for the G-Man’s highlight reel. Though Godzilla throws a few impressive tail attacks, his face is emotionless as his mouth flaps unconvincingly and his eyes stare blankly forward. Orga as a whole is a bit unwieldy, so the combat involved a lot of lumbering and isn’t exactly the most visually dynamic. Big O (neither the robot nor the orgasm, so don’t get excited) gets bossed pretty hard by the Zillster, until he drops his jaw like an anaconda and tries to full on devour the king of monsters. Before he can finish absorbing Godzilla though, G just sticks his head inside Orga’s huge flappy vagina maw and fills him full of hellfire vomit, blowing him into chunks. Again, not the greatest return match for a guy who’s last on-screen title bout was his classic against Destoroyah. All the more disappointing since director Takao Okawara is the very same man who brought us that very same clash of titans so very un-samely.

    Having triumphed over the invaders, Gorilla Whale (what “God-zilla” translates into in Japanese) for no feasible reason, makes his way over to the cast, still in their spot atop the cheap seats building. While everyone else backs off in utter terror at getting the cockroach treatment, Katagiri stands tall in the face of his nemesis, shouts “GODZILLAAAAAAAAA!” in defiance while Yuji shouts “KATAGIRIIIIIIIIIIII!” (and all I can picture is the “KANADAAAAAA!” “TETSUOOOOO!” scene from Akira), then Kat ends his tale with a 60 story swan dive when the raging reptile casually swats at the rooftop like he couldn’t give two shits. Pro tip: don’t yell at giant monsters. They can make your entire time on this Earth a complete waste with less effort than it takes to scratch their ass. You are less than a dingle berry to them. Our movie ends with Io asking why Godzilla continues to protect humanity (what?!), to which her father ponders, “Maybe because Godzilla is inside of every one of us.” WHAT…THE…FUCK. He’s spent the whole movie telling us his theory that Godzilla was being drawn to the huge throbbing bug zapper-like power output that keeps Tokyo running, but now he says “Fuck it!” and, just like Springfield, GODZILLA IS A PART OF US ALL! A PART OF US ALL! A PART OF US ALL! The two most scientifically grounded members of the ensemble, and they both just turn into the morons who write whimsical morals for kids’ fairy tales for the last 2 minutes of the movie!? Godzilla was not there to save humanity because we’re his beloved children! He was there to prove to the aliens that he had a bigger dick! He beat them down with his dick, he told the humans not to fuck with him or they’d get the same, then he pissed off! Jeezus on a water slide! Is the oxygen they breathe in this alternate dimension heavily saturated with THC!? Oh, wait, I know what’s going on – all of their exposure to Godzilla’s fallout has given them brain tumors and said tumors have grown so large that the logic parts of their brains have been crushed by the weight. I’m a doctor, and this is the only plausible answer. End of story.

    Okay, let’s get to the nitty gritty of this shitty ditty. Where do I start? Well, let’s start with the start. Makes sense, right? The movie wastes no time in showing off our titular terror, which bucks the usual Toho blueprint of making the audience earn their pure chewing kaiju satisfaction. Sad to say, this actually leads to a bit of a Godzilla overdose. And not a ketamine k-hole overdose, where you slip into a pleasure coma from which you couldn’t care less whether you re-emerge or not. No, with the horrible green screen, poor light/color correction, and generally miserable computer generated monster effects on display here, it’s more like an overdose on laxatives – cuz there’s SHIT EVERYWHERE! The whole shebang looks like it had about as much budget as an episode of “Bibleman”…wait…is that Willie Aames in the Godzilla suit?! Seriously though, this is the ugliest Godzilla movie I’ve ever seen. I’ll take traditional suitmation with costumes that are coming apart at the seams from overuse being shot at by little wind up toys with fireworks attached to them over these piss poor digital effects. It’s possible it’s all one big elbow to the ribs poking fun at ‘Merica Godzilla being 100% binary, but if Toho really was being that petty to the extent of shitting in their own cereal bowl, that aforementioned elbow is being thrown by friggin’ Ryu Hoshi of Street Fighter fame, and the ribs belong to Karen Carpenter of “skeleton with skin stretched over it” infamy.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say this folks: the green screen effects in this movie look like they were done by the remedial class of the visual effects program at a community college. They’re so reprehensibly bad that they drag you kicking and screaming from the movie’s illusion like former senator Larry Craig being dragged from a Shakespeare In the Park men’s room production of Gay Boys in Bondage. I’ve seen better effects work in small town used car lot commercials! Godzilla changes colors between shots because somebody chose to take a nap rather than get the color correction actually correct. There’s a brief scene of Godzilla swimming underwater that looks like a cinematic lifted from a PlayStation 2 game. When people drive away from Godzilla, rather than shrinking into the horizon with the rest of the background, G Money maintains his screen stature, giving the confusing illusion that he’s actually GROWING IN SIZE AT AN ALARMING RATE FOR NO REASON! As salt into our already wounded eyes, tanks, choppers, and ships are pasted over footage of real life landscapes, and in the case of the ships, they sit complacent while the waters over which they’re super-imposed are churned violently. The opposite holds true for Godzilla, whose massive form has NO displacement effect on the waters through which he stomps, even when he’s being bombarded with high-impact explosives! If Archimedes filled his bathtub with this kind of magical Japanese movie water, we wouldn’t have the principle of buoyancy and high school science teachers wouldn’t have that infamous “Eureka!” story of one of history’s smartest individuals running naked through the streets shouting what boils down to “I HAVE FOUND IT!”. Because old man penis is the only way to get kids to pay attention in school.

    The good news is that once Orga’s taken his final, rubber-suited form, Toho mitigates and amends their shame a bit, as it becomes all about what brought the franchise to the dance: live-action monster brawling!…with the exception of a miniscule interruption by Orga’s big dumb flying cyborg maxi-pad so Godzilla can finally blow it into fragments and give fans a moderately soothing salve for their PTSSD – Post Traumatic Shitty Spaceship Disorder. The fight itself isn’t anything to sing the praises of, but the suits and model city are glorious to behold. Moreso in the wake of all of the garbage water we were having hosed into our oculars up until then.

    The writing and acting are fine. They play it straight for the most part, which is either a relief or a disappointment depending on what you expect from a Godzilla movie. There are a couple of slapstick scenes that feel REALLY out of place in a flick where the light-hearted comedy bits are best left to dialogue only. The funny part is that most fanboys decry the American dub for adding in these comedy lines (all approved by Toho, mind you) for what they swear is a serious movie (a serious movie about kaiju cosplay), but the goofy slapstick stuff that I thought were the real pimples on the production are all Toho’s fault! Speaking of oozing blemishes, generally I wish nothing but violent slow motion deaths for child characters. As such, I was very surprised and very relieved that Io didn’t rile those homicidal tendencies up once the entire movie. She’s not precocious and she’s not naive. She’s smarter than most of the adults in the cast and she’s all serious business with the exception of busting Yuki’s balls on occasion. Given the history of annoyance brought on by kids in giant monster movies with their creepy little shorts and stupid little faces, Io is a breath of fresh air in a genre polluted by Kenny farts. Don’t know who Kenny is? Got 100 or so minutes to spare? Then click this link and arm yourselves with knowledge, kids!

    I had high hopes for G2K. After CGG, a return to Coke Classic was just what the irradiated physician prescribed. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, right? This trailer promised monster smashing action and rang through my soul with the harmonious ear blistering of Rob Zombie’s “Superbeast”. Truly this Godzilla was the one that I wanted. Truly this Godzilla was my Superbeast. And then I went to the movie opening weekend with my compatriot in sub-par cinema and fellow alumni of the H.O.P.E.L.E.S.S. pantheon, Sosab Egroeg, and…I fell asleep. My first theatrical Toho outing since Godzilla 1985, and I was bored into unconsciousness. Given that it opened at number 11 on the box office charts, it looks like I wasn’t the only one. The complete lack of even a lick of Rob Zombie music, combined with those terrible effects that felt like punishment on high from a bitter God(zilla), killed my enthusiasm faster than Nancy Grace kills erections. I woke up half way through the big battle royal finale, regained a modicum of my geek stiffy, then had it shot straight into the floor with that closing exchange about Godzilla saving people (ARGH!) and being a part of all of us… and I swear, if Killer Ken Watanabe or Flyin’ Bryan Cranston say anything to either of those effects when I see the new movie tomorrow, I will make widows of the theater employees’ wives. Mark my words…unless you’re in law enforcement, in which case I’m just kidding and you can un-mark my words. Seriously though, (War)heads will roll!

    Moral of the Story: “It woke up after 60 million years, and Godzilla destroyed it the very next day.” In other words, Godzilla 1, History 0.

    Screenshots_____

    “I told you to just buy a GPS at the store! But NOOOOO, ‘I can build one myself for WAY cheaper than $50’ you said! You’ve spent $2000 on this stupid thing, and it STILL doesn’t work! Then you bought this van just so you’d have room to fit the stupid thing in! I want a divorce!”


    Being Godzilla’s dentist is a dangerous job, and it doesn’t pay anything, he just doesn’t crush your house or office during his rampages.


    Sure, you think that going to a sex robot sales seminar with your boss will be good for a laugh, but once you’ve seen such things, they can never be unseen…


    I hope that’s just a Baby Ruth… a really, really, REALLY big Baby Ruth. There isn’t a big enough pool net in the world to scoop that up!


    Here is one of the 477 government data banks that Japan uses to store the nation’s pornography. This facility is dedicated solely to videos of girls dressed like animals putting live eels up their butts!


    I know you guys are sick of Godzilla stomping on your stuff, but come on. You never shoot a dude in the junk, giant irradiated lizard or not. It’s the first fucking tenant of the man code!


    If erection lasts more than 4 hours, call a doctor. If erection becomes a 200 foot tall pillar of solid stone… shit, you’re on your own.


    And Godzilla replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I had stepped on you.”


    “Hey mamacita! I was gonna ask you for directions to where all the hot ladies hang out, but it looks like I’m already here!… How much for ass to mouth?”


    “Here you go, all Tomb Raider games, all with built in nude mode. Just enter ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A at the title screen to activate it. $200.”


    “I know the general said it would go through Godzilla like crap through a goose, but I didn’t expect actual crap… fuck it, I’m not cleaning that up!”


    I see the new athletic cup Ultraman ordered finally came in! Those giant outer space monsters tend to fight dirty.


    “Yum”? Someone should probably tell Japan that Apple computers aren’t actually made of apples. I guess that explains why denture orders went up 3000% that year.


    “Hmmmm, ‘Action Bastard‘ comes on when Gamera’s big arm is pointing at the 6 and his little arm is pointing at the 8, so… I gotta get home!”


    Toho uses the movie to debut their newest kids’ educational TV show host, Rapey the Happy Hentai Monster!


    Big G looks like he just stepped in a big pile of Hedorah and needs a McDonald’s to wipe his foot on.


    I know every grown man in Japan is a creepy voyeur, but come on guys. These two are just young and in love, and they deserve a little privacy.


    It still amazes me that this disclaimer needs to be added in on movies like this. But then, I could totally see one of those monster hunting TV show idiots trying to sue Toho for making characters so obviously based on their own life’s work.

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Alma Mind Over Alma Mater”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    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.

    Hans Rudolf Giger: Feb 5th, 1940 – May 12th, 2014

    H.R. Giger’s passed on to that big Xenomorph leather industrial fetish dungeon in the great beyond. I’ve been enamored by the man’s magnificent creations since I saw an article on him in an old issue of Penthouse in junior high. In his honor, here are my three favorite Giger pieces – click on the pics for larger images.

    The Crucified Serpent

    -The Crucified Serpent-

    Birth Machine

    -Birth Machine-

    The Spell II

    The Spell II-

    Feature 02 – Branded (2012)

    or “Business Is My Business and Business Is Good… BUSINESS!”

    Starring: Ed “The Pianist” Stoppard , Leelee “Joy Ride” Sobieksi
    & Jeffrey “Saturday the 14th” Tambor

    Directors & Writers: Jamie Bradshaw & Aleksander Duleryan

    Origin: USA/Russia

    Review_____

    “It used to be the brands were formed from peoples’ desires. Now it’s the people who are being formed according to the desires of the brands!”

    Did you know that, when played backwards at ¼ speed and amplified through a paper towel tube, the popular music song “Band On the Run” contains a repeated line of seeming gibberish? When that gibberish is run through Google’s translation program, first from “German to Icelandic” then “Icelandic to French” then “French to Portuguese” then given to a linguistics professor hallucinating on Absinthe to translate into Colonial American English, the rough result is “Beware Paul McCartney’s army of darkness”. Though most think this to be a warning heralding the End of Days by Sir Paul and an endless horde of unholy supernatural forces, it’s a common misinterpretation. The true translation is “Buy Paul McCartney’s armoires of dark woods”. That’s right, “Band On the Run” is, in actuality, a subliminal advertisement for Paul McCartney’s line of handcrafted cherry wood furniture. They’re beautifully made, sturdy enough to survive an F4 tornado, and heavy enough to crush any masked lunatic who might force their way into your home or office! And this marketing method? Brilliant. Speaking of marketing, let’s review Branded!

    As much as I make it my policy not to spoil movies under the 5 year moratorium, I may have to spoil a bit more of Branded than some would like. It’s a fairly complex movie, and taking you from part to part without telling you how exactly we make the progression might just lead to more confusion than entertainment. And in the end, that’s really why I’m here: to entertain you. I’m certainly not here to entertain myself by talking about the movie because, in the words of Columbia (Rocky Horror), “Ha! I’ve seen it!”. I’m also not writing “SPOILER ALERT!” before every key plot point I divulge, so either gird your loins or go watch the movie before you read this. Made your decision? Good. Let’s proceed. Keep your hands in the car at all times. Do not stand up once the ride has gone into motion. Spit out any gum, chewing tobacco, or other potential choking hazards now, as we are not responsible for any fatalities that may occur as a result of rider negligence. Children, pregnant women, people with heart conditions, and the elderly should not be on this ride, so if you’re already here, well, tough shit cuz we’re not stopping it now!

    Oh, and don’t misunderstand the title. I thought it sounded like some kind of cowboy version of Hostel too. It’s not that kind of “branded”. It’s a business movie about the powers of marketing.

    Wait! I promise it’s not boring!

    As a young British immigrant boy in Communist Russia (where Lenin created the idea of marketing via the very branding of Communism), our hero Misha fell asleep one night while waiting in a bread line. During his slumber he was visited in a dream by some strange deity resembling a cow-shaped star constellation. Upon waking from the dream, he was immediately struck down by lightning… FUCKING LIGHTNING! Being the most metal kid in the world, Misha wakes up from Mother Nature’s mighty sucker punch to find the rest of the line jockeys looking on in a combination of shock and not wanting to lose their respective places in said line. An old woman finally comes to his aid though, and portends that little Mish-Mash is gonna have a very “interesting” life. No shit! If he can keep from going into frequent epileptic seizures and wearing his underwear outside of his pants, do you know how much ass a guy who survived being hit by lightning will get in his lifetime?! MAD ASS! Mad. In math terms, that’s at least in the high 30s.

    Anyway, to paraphrase that old lady, so begins one of the more “interesting” movies I’ve seen in recent years. Misha grows up (and is now Ed Stoppard) to discover he has a talent for manipulation, or as the white collar class calls it, “marketing”. Upon graduating from college with an all but useless degree in history, and with Communism proving to be a failed experiment amidst the previously united soviets, Misha decided to use his born skill for appealing to the masses by founding his own one man marketing firm. Desperate enough to take mob money to do so, he finds himself in the “uncomfortable position” that everybody who borrows from money handlers of ill repute find themselves in sooner or later. There’s a reason they’re called “loan sharks” and not “cash guppies”. On the verge of getting a lead pipe enema, Mish lucks out when a rep of the US government named Bob (Jeffrey “George Bluth Sr.” Tambor) comes to him seeking someone to advertise for major US companies as they slip their lubed up corporate tentacles into the eager consumer holes of a populace ready to buy blue jeans, Springsteen cassettes, and Star Trek commemorative plates for something more affordable than black market mark-ups. There’s just one thing that Bob asks in return for this exclusive big money contract – a little espionage. Yep, Bob’s bosses in the CIA want Mish to unearth dirt on his countrymen like a proverbial Killdozer-for-hire. In other words, Misha trades one deal with a devil for a contract with another.

    As an aside (cuz random tirades are my thing), I know a little something about marketing, myself. You know who the greatest marketing geniuses in history were? The Egyptians. By using a written language that was nothing but pictorials, Egyptians were able to create an advertising method that would maintain throughout the ages, long after their society was consumed by the sands. Seriously! What’s the one advertising method that spans all cultures and breaks the language barrier no matter where you are? Yep, visual medium. Early man tried the same thing with cave wall paintings, but we Egyptians truly mass marketed the idea, to the point that’s it’s one of the most prevalent themes even the most average of average joes think of when you ask them about Egypt. Tell me you don’t look at Egyptian hieroglyphs and get a strange urge to buy laundry detergent or frozen chicken wings. See? Toldja.

    Back to our flick-of-the-day, Mish-Mash enjoys a few years of the high life, becoming a big wig in the advertising industry until he makes the cardinal mistake of dipping his pen in the company ink. And by “pen” I mean his ding dong, and by “company ink” I mean Bob’s niece Abby (Leelee So-barf-eski)’s poon pod. Abby’s producing one of those shitty “female beauty is determined by clothing and cosmetics manufacturers” reality shows (i.e. “The Swan”) wherein they convince an “overweight” woman to undergo an extensive series of surgical procedures to unearth the “attractive” person supposedly trapped and writhing for release from underneath her current meat suit of a body. While helping his new girlfriend choose the perfect candidate for said excuse for entertainment, Misha’s plugging of Abby’s baby hole is quickly discovered by Bob in a sitcomian moment or overly coincidental mishappery.thanks to one of those constant Moscow traffic jams. It’s like the LA of the steel curtain. What a country!

    In my best attempt to avoid some significant spoilage here, let me just say that a bunch of shit goes horribly horribly wrong for the young, oddly faced, lovers. When I say shit, I mean “Ammut after she ate those laxative brownies I was saving for Seth’s birthday” levels of shit. Said fecal avalanche comes about thanks to a sinister ”marketing guru” named Joseph Pascal (Max von Sydow!), who’s hired by a collective of fast food barons to bring their profits way up by whatever means necessary… WHATEVER means… When the smoke clears from the ensuing debacle Abby winds up forced back to return to the States, Mish abuses his marketing super powers and goes into self-imposed exile over the guilt, and Bob… well… damn it, just watch the movie!

    “Six Years Later”, ScAbby returns to the land of (yak) milk and honey (vodka), hunts down Mish-Mash, and finds him tending cows in the middle of nowhere. Being a modern girl, she’s not down on the idea of living with Mish 400 miles away from the nearest wifi source and taking her midnight dumps in a filthy outhouse, so love-of-her-life or no, she’s out of there. After her departure (you’re better off without her, dude), our hero has another weird-ass vision like he did as a lad. In this dream-within-a-dream, he’s told to build a sacrificial altar, find the cow in his herd whose fur glows red in the setting sun, slaughter it on said altar, then BURN the altar, before finally washing himself in the resultant ashes, then wandering off into a field to almost freeze to death. So, basically, he has his own Inception-alized Field of Dreams Screams moment. Shit’s getting’ complicated…

    Mishy awakens from his vision quest in the backseat of CrAbby’s car. She went back to try and convince him to return to society one last time, but just kidnapped his unconscious body back to Moscow instead. What if he’d died in her car? Was she planning on having him stuffed so she could keep him forever? Now THAT would’ve been an interesting ending! Instead, we continue on and finally get to the crux of the flick when Misha sees freaky little creatures squirming out of BlAbby’s back. Not just pink elephants and plaid donkeys, but floating parasitic aliens from a circus clown’s fever dreams. Shaking off these living nightmares, we go on to discover Abb’s become a mommy and spawned a brat named Robert since parting ways with Misha… HIS brat… his FAT brat… cuz, you know, StAbby is one of those single moms who’d rather give their kid all the junk food and stupid shiny toys they want rather than have to argue with them and raise ‘em like a real parent. I’ve known a few single moms (and moms who might as well have been single), and at least when it comes to sons, they fold faster than an origami master on a cocaine binge.

    While trying to deal with his status as an instant father (and how much the kid’s already been warped by his milksop mommy), mister protagonist sees more of those freaky beasties all around him. Thinking that his noodle’s been overcooked and he’s due for a straight jacket fitting, Mish soon realizes that these otherwise invisible monsters are actually influencing their hosts to indulge in consumerism. Know why little Fatty’s so fat? The deformed sock puppet stuck to his back makes him eat nothing but fast food, and causes him great discomfort if he doesn’t get it. And if you trace these Capitalist parasites back to their source? They’re spawned from GIANT versions of themselves that nest at the stores and eateries that birthed them! Burn down Wall Street! Occupy the strip malls! Kill Ronald McDonald! Insert additional rhetoric to get into hippie girls’ hemp undergarments here!

    ShAbby isn’t down with her baby daddy’s insistence on perpetuating his psychosis (or pushing her to the ground in a moment of random hilarity), so she fucks off back to the US of A for a vacation with her butterball in tow, telling Misha not to be there when they get back. Left to his own devices, Mish-Mash decides that the only way to rid the world of these evil creatures and cure himself of these visions is to crush the scourge of Capitalism (that HE helped infest Russia with in the first place) by turning its strongest weapon against it: marketing. Good thing these crazy visions weren’t bestowed upon somebody who sucks at marketing, otherwise this movie would’ve been a lost cause real quick! Unless the hero was Pauly Shore, in which case he’d stumble upon some kind of lucky break, show us all that we should maintain faith is seemingly useless, dysfunctional stoners, and make the world a better place for people to talk like surfer dudes who wiped out on one too many coral reefs… is Pauly Shore still alive? He is. Okay… WHY?!

    Despite being out of the game for a few years, Misha’s infamy as an advertising Great White still garners him a client eager to hire our marketing mercenary to make their vegetarian Chinese food restaurant a success in Moscow. Through an elaborate system of maneuvering and manipulation that would leave Gordon Gecko with jizz stains in his $5000 pants, Mish makes the restaurant chain the new czars of Russian fast food. By doing so, he also births them a corporate colossus of their own (a big green dragon), which immediately targets the iconic gargantua of their closest competitor, murderizing it like a Monster Island Curb Stomp. Of course, when you’re a big penis-shaped sock puppet clown balloon, you don’t have much of a chance against the talons and snapping jaws of a fucking DRAGON. Like Mecha-King Ghidorah overpowered on a dozen atomic bombs then descending on Varan… while his back is turned… and after a massive kaiju stroke took away the use of his arms and legs and tail… and he’s forced to spend the rest of his life in a huge wheelchair. Not a Mecha Wheelchair, mind you. Nor a wheelchair that transforms into Jet Jaguar, double mind you. Just a HUGE old wheelchair he found in a dumpster behind the Monster Island Retirement Home. Yeah.

    Anyway. successful in his first step of ridding Mother Russia of the Western Scourge, our monster slaying beastmaster of the business world sets his sights on seeing his crusade to the end!

    If the movie had just stopped here and set us up for a sequel, I would’ve given it a full grade point higher. I thought this was a perfect place to pump the brakes. Whether we actually got a sequel or not, THIS moment, of Misha standing triumphant over his first foe while a list of his remaining targets stands before him (and with BlandBland Snore-bieski out of the picture), made me want more! It really feels like that’s what it was meant to be made as! Instead, we actually get more, and the movie goes on for 15 more minutes. It works its way to an Occupy wet dream of an ending that just feels so damn “sell out” for such a supposedly “fight the power” flick. Almost like Branded fell victim to the infamous meddlings of the dreaded FOCUS GROUP. Bastards. But, you can’t sell your cause to would-be martyrs if they don’t think there’s a happy ending to the struggle, right? It’s like convincing suicide bombers that there’s some bullshit post-life reward, otherwise they wouldn’t be so eager to kill themselves if there weren’t pearly gates and fields of sex hungry bitches on the other side. Blart.

    The Stuff. Now THERE was a brilliant little lampooning on the dangers of commercialism. Great movie. Michael Moriarty. Garrett Morris’s head melt-splodes. Fantastic. Branded has a similar message (in case you haven’t been paying attention), but it gets REALLY heavy-handed with that message. Like, Hellboy’s right hand heavy… cuz it’s made of stone… what the fuck do you mean you don’t know who Hellboy is?! Onto the shame bus with you. As for the rest of you, in addition to Bradshaw and Duleryan dropping their anti-business message on us with the subtlety of an Acme brand anvil (“If it’s Acme, it’s a gasser!”), that message kinda gets confused at the same time. It feels like one big “FUCK YOU!” to the brain washing manipulations of Capitalism, but then it makes sure to remind us repeatedly that branding and advertising was created by one of Communism’s biggest proponents, Vlad Lenin! So… is it pro-Communism and just anti-Lenin? Is it cool with Capitalism business, just anti-advertising? Is it okay with advertising, just anti-OVER advertising!? I don’t fucking get it.

    As a message movie, it manages to be both blatant AND confused. As a movie movie, it draws a little long-in-the-tooth for the first 90 minutes, then packs way too much fudge into the final 15. Most critics complained about the low budget computerized mascot monsters. I don’t care. Their cheap-ass look lends them an oddly appropriate, distorted cartoonish look. I’m cool with it. Like I said, circus clown fever dreams. I’m also cool with Ed Stoppard. He’s oddly likeable. I should hate him because he has that doofy pretty boy look, but I don’t. He’s an affable chap. I hate Leelee Sobieski though. Hate her like the coffee table you’re always stubbing your toe on. She’s an imperfect clone of Helen Hunt, and I’m not a big fan of Double H to begin with. I’m not mad about her… not that anyone under 20 knows what the fuck that joke means. Either way, Leelee is Crapcrap and I wouldn’t miss her if she Dieddied. Jeffrey Tambor’s okay. If it’s not “Arrested Development’ or another Saturday the 14th sequel though, I’m not really paying attention. I gotta say, I did like the color composition of the movie. Some people are over the color saturation thing, but it kept my eyes happy. Thanks guys. Tighten your writing style a little and don’t let Mini-Hunt into anymore of your movies and I’ll gladly watch your next feature!

    Then again, as Misha says, “We have been trained to love shit. We want shit and shit shit.” Maybe Branded is the 100+ minute wet fart that the critics say it is and I only like it because I’ve conditioned myself to expect the absolute shit of the shit to grace my TV screen. Maybe Branded is garbage and the only reason I like it is because it’s not Ice Spiders or Killjoy or Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula. Or, maybe fuck everybody else and Branded does something different and totally deserves acknowledgment of that. I say that it’s almost guaranteed to become a cult classic, either because the right people will gradually discover it (and each other) over time, or because enough of the wrong people will vocalize their dislike for it that the “I only like what regular people don’t” types (i.e. hipsters) will pick up on it and claim it for their own. I’m really hoping it’s the former rather than the latter, because the only people I hate more than those who dislike movies they’ve never even seen before, are those who like movies just because someone else doesn’t… and Nazis. In the words of Hellboy, “I hate Nazis!”. Two Hellboy references in a single review. Points for me!

    One last thing before I go. Another musical secret. Do you know what happens when you play ANY Rob Zombie song at double speed? He sounds like one of the Chipmunks. Try it. It’s adorable. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go order some new furniture… OF DARKNESS!

    The Moral of the Story: If you need more than 6 packets of ketchup for your burger and fries, stay the hell out of Russia.

    Screenshots_____

    That’s gotta be the most haphazard opening credits card I’ve ever seen… stellar cast though.


    Bob’s face looks like Misha’s practicing his ventriloquist act on him… his hand’s in the guy’s butt is what I’m trying to say.


    “I’m sorry you don’t like my face, but I have to keep up with my Helen Hunting in case they finally greenlight a ‘Mad About You’ prequel series!”


    “I’m sorry ma’am, but as I’ve told you, I’m NOT an exorcist in real life! There’s nothing I can do for your daughter beyond an autographed Judge Dredd DVD!”


    “I’m telling you, I never called the Yakov Smirnoff Hotline! I certainly didn’t spend 47 hours and $390 on it at that!”

    Ouch. Looks like Jeffrey Tambor finally got around to watching the new “Arrested Development” series…


    High Plains Hipster


    That’s easily the laziest attempt at a Wicker Man recreation I’ve ever seen.


    Somebody finally found the perfect lighting to shoot Leelee Sobieski in!


    Abby finds out why Misha’s nickname is “Snowball”…


    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that to a woman, I could retire from this whole reviewing thing.


    Yeah, I don’t think Japan has anything to fear from Russia when it comes to the giant movie monster market.


    Don’t stare at this picture too long before bed. Trust me. More night terrors than Tobe Hooper’s Night Terrors.


    Protestors stormed McDonald’s corporate offices today, demanding that the fast food giant finally make the McRib a regular menu item. Ronald McDonald was violently dismembered. Hamburglar was lynched and subsequently burned alive. The Grimace is still missing…

    Branded

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Super Robot Adjective Excitement Perversion Display!”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    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.