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.

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  • Feature 26 – Stage Fright (2014)

    or “Everybody’s a Critic”

    Featuring: Allie “House at the End of the Street” MacDonald , Meat Loaf “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Aday , Minnie “Grosse Pointe Blank” Driver

    Director: Jerome “ABCs of Death 2” Sable

    Writers: Jerome “ABCs of Death 2” Sable , Eli Batalion

    Origin: Canada

    Review_____

    “Kylie Swanson slept with so many people on Broadway, they called her ‘The Great White Lay’!”

    There was a local legend in my neck of the cosmic woods about a disfigured creature who lived in a dumpster behind the local Taco Bell and attacked random drive-thru customers after dark. It would make off with their orders and escape into the night, consuming the purloined fast food feasts to provide itself with the saturated fats and high sodium its unique biology required for survival. Some said it was a former employee traumatically mutated thusly: an assistant manager (in a direct insult to the gods) offered him two straight Thursdays off with pay if he would consume an unholy brew consisting of one packet of each type of Taco Bell sauce mixed into a 40oz cup of Baja Blast, poured over a half-eaten Beefy 5 Layer Burrito and some Volcano Nachos left behind by a mysterious customer dressed all in black (who paid for his meal with Canadian currency) and microwaved it for 66 seconds at .6 power. The nightmarish brew turned the young register jockey into an abomination that would be dubbed by the hushed whispers of the townies as the Chalupacabra.

    As an amateur Cryptozoologist (and in need of money to help fund my proposed Tomb of Anubis book project), I man-jackaled my own solo mission to shackle this horror and put it on display for public entertainment at county fairs and truck pull events. Unfortunately, my investigation did not turn up a gordita thieving freak. No, the so-called Chalupacabra was just a local homeless guy named Pete who had bitten off a drive-thru girl’s pinky finger one night after he’d huffed a whole can of Rust-Oluem. Pete had no mysterious origin, mystical or otherwise, he’d just lost his job when the ChiChi’s next door closed down, and moved into the Taco Bell dumpster rather than take up at a homeless shelter. What the fuck does my story have to do with today’s movie? My very simple, reasonable expectations and the universe’s continued failure to meet them…and my need to make “Chalupcabra” a matter of public record so I can claim copyright on it if Taco Bell ever tries to steal the name from me for use as a new corporate mascot. Which they desperately need, cuz you know that “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” dog died YEARS ago.

    News of Stage Fright came to me from my Evil Dead Bride at first under the perception that it would be a remake of the 1987 Italian slasher flick of the same name, also known by its first moniker, Deliria. In anticipation, we sought said cinematic situation, and sat through 2hrs of goofy in a 90min tow away zone. By which I mean it was a bizarre little movie about a stab happy murderer stalking the cast of a corny ’80s rock opera while wearing a big creep-ass owl mask. It’s good old fashioned spaghetti sauce from the “the more dead young people the better” decade. When it finally came time to taste test this new Stage Fright, despite some very loose similarities (a masked killer stalking the cast of an absurd musical), our aforementioned prior perception turned out to be a misconception. Disheartening, given how the original was good for some freaky visuals, slick slaughter, and a few absurd chuckles. Blart.

    Oh well, as I always say, expectations are the fault of the expecter. For instance, if you were expecting me not to make up a word like “expecter”, you failed. You get NOTHING! You LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR! Anyway, in case you too were suffering from the same delusions of campy grandeur as we were, welcome to reality. Pardon the smell. We haven’t been able to find the cause and we’re pretty much hoping it dissipates on its own eventually. Speaking of campy…

    Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver… who gets top fucking billing for TEN MINUTES OF WORK!) was once a lauded stage performer (acting not stripping, thank Set!) on the verge of her big break – starring in a critically acclaimed production of Haunting of the Opera (because Phantom’s probably copyrighted out the ass). Too bad for her that an unidentified guy in the masked Phantom-esque killer’s costume cut her career violently short with a sizable bit of Slash Co. brand stabware, which he demoed for her across her throat and into her mouth! Mamma mia, that’s a spicy piece of stainless steel! Only from Slash Co.!

    Ten years after the fatal fall of Kylie (a book title if I’ve ever heard one), her twin children Camilla (Allie MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith) have reached adulthood under the parentage of Kylie’s then boyfriend and producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf – that’s exactly how he’s credited on his IMDB page!), who took the kids under his care in the wake of their mother’s gruesome windpipe ventilation reassignment procedure. No longer enjoying the life of a successful producer, Roger’s since tobogganed face first down the icy slope of financial collapse since Kylie’s demise and has invested what little he had left into establishing Center Stage – a summer camp for aspiring child performers (where the twins work in the kitchen). Through Center Stage, Roger hopes to exploit any burgeoning young success stories from which can get himself an AC/DC: back in black…though his dirty deeds done dirt cheap will probably get him thunderstruck on a highway to Hell with his balls to the wall! Wait, that last one was Accept. However, if you want blood, you’ve got it! Sorry, there’s no more blood yet, I was just caught up in the AC/DC thing. I’ve gotta stop listening to music when I write these things.

    Back to the beaten path, the underage attendees of this little refugee camp for failed “Glee” hopefuls have a tendency to break into song and prance as if they’d previously rehearsed these spontaneous acts of musical mirth. I thought I was walking into a cheesy slasher romp, but it appears I’ve stumbled into a little too much whimsy and much too little horror. This year’s big camp production is a kabuki (“Bukkake?”) rendition of…can you guess? Go on, give it a shot. Did you figure it out yet? If you guessed anything other than Haunting of the Opera, I’d like you to go back to every teacher you had from grade school to whatever your highest level of education may be, and slap each of them for failing you. If any of them are dead, let me know who and I’ll slap them for you here in the Underworld.

    As for that play, the acting and/or singing bug hasn’t just bitten Camilla, it’s crawled up her nose, eaten half of her Medulla Oblongata, and laid eggs in her Fissure of Rolando. Inspired by an autographed 8×10 of her mom (long story, don’t ask), Cammy takes center stage (no pun intended) of our story as she bucks Roger’s rules about only campers being allowed to audition for the shows, and snags herself a chance at the role her mom originated as the female lead! Whose name I forget because who cares. Despite McCall’s misgivings, the show’s assigned director/romantic lead/self-proclaimed artist/biggest douche bag in the state, Artie Getz (Brandon Uranowitz…no, YOU’RE ano…is…witz…shut up!), insists that the fresh faced lass be his leading lady. He did helm their previous summer’s bold musical re-imagining of The Vagina Monologues after all, so he must know what he’s doing…that, and Cam’s the only legal age ass in the camp he hasn’t had on his casting couch yet. Finally given a chance to make her dead momma proud and do something with her life that doesn’t involve Brill-O pads and industrial sized cans of spaghetti sauce (that’s mostly watered down ketchup), Camilla couldn’t be happier and dedicates herself wholly to her new craft. As for brother Buddy, he’s not happy with the arrangement, as it leaves him with twice the workload now while he picks up the proverbial slack left by sister’s absence. Someone else not happy with Cammy’s leading role is Liz Silver (Melanie Leishman), the resident diva of the program who will do whatever she has to to get the spotlight onto her cunty mug instead…including murder? You never know.

    Except that I do, because I’ve already seen it, hence this review.

    While all of this has been playing out, a manic figure dressed in black has been lurking in a nondescript, poorly lit room at an undisclosed place. I’m not entirely sure he’s even on the campgrounds, to be honest. Our obvious killer-to-be spends his time wailing on his electric guitar and screeching like Sebastian Bach (his rock opera performances will either give you a tongue-in-cheek laugh or a spike-in-the-butt aggravation) as he splatters red paint on the campers’ head shots and slashes at them with his movie murderer tool of choice: a pair of circular saw blades modified with finger hole grips. On The Tomb of Anubis Scale of Bad-Ass Weapons, these mofos fall somewhere between Jason’s saw blade weed whacker in Friday the 13th Part VII (“Very Bad-Ass”) and Ash’s chainsaw hand in Evil Dead 2 (“Legendary Bad-Ass”). They’d be equally excellent either here as a shredder of teenagers, a homemade peacemaker in one of those “Joe Everyman becomes a vigilante” flicks, or some hardcore ninja gear in a Shaw Brothers feature. I think I’ll put in a requisition with Osiris to get a pair of my own for soul reaping during those times when my scythe is in the shop getting its firmware updated.

    The night before the big show’s set to open, our phantom flayer finally gets his feet wet (with gore) when he torture kills someone (I won’t tell ya who) on the stage. The next morning, Roger tells the kids that the person’s death was clearly an accident (though I’d love to see the Rube Goldbergian scenario he comes up with to explain the kid’s multi-step mutilation) and convinces them that the show must go on… through the use of another rousing musical number! And so, the play goes off without a hitch, Roger gets back into the big leagues of Broadway productions, Camilla is rocketed to immediate stardom, and she and Buddy open their hugely successful restaurant together. Everybody lives happily ever after. Don’t believe me? Good. You’re learning. What really happens? I’ll tell you this much – nothing goes right, people die, and Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhampsody Numero Dos” gets a comedy scene that overstays its welcome. But then, any rendition that isn’t the piano duel between Daffy and Donald at the Ink and Paint Club is bound to fall short.

    Is the killer Joel (Kent Nolan), the stalker-lite lighting guy who looks like that Mexican werewolf kid from the Twatlight movies and has an obvious boner for Cammy? Could it be the creepy all-too-obvious-red herring janitor who’s always skulking around looking all-too-obviously-suspicious? Maybe it’s Buddy, trying to end his sister’s career before it can begin so as not to interfere with his dreams of the duo opening a restaurant together one day? But, what aboot Liz? I mean, once she lost the leading lady role, why not ruin the show for everybody? Then again, this could all be connected to whoever it was that gave Kylie the butcher knife taste test, back to make sure Roger’s amputated career never gets the chance to grow back. Speaking of, it could be Roger behind the mask! I mean, the killer’s not fat enough and hits notes too high and screechy to be Roger, and it would make no sense for Rog to sabotage (my new alias – Rog Sabotage) the production he hopes will put him back on top of the Broadway scene, but I learned long ago to stop giving movies the benefit of the doubt.

    So, how do you solve a problem like Maria? Errr, by which I mean, how do you sum up a movie like Stage Fright? Well, if High School Musical and Sleepaway Camp had a Bartles & Jaymes regret-together one summer night, Stage Fright would be their Valentine’s Day partial birth abortion. Ever see Camp Blood: the Musical? Watch that instead. Less production value, but at least it doesn’t let you down when it comes to over-the-top summer camp killing with a dash of Gilbert & Sullivan. Stage Fright hints at the campiness of a Troma movie, but never goes so far as shooting ping pong balls out of its hot pocket. In fact, it ends its act and walks off stage without even taking off its top. I know not to expect a Troma production if there’s no Troma logo on the box, but I feel certain envelopes should’ve been pushed further than they were. This barely-R rated feature could’ve been bumped up to a soft NC-17 and nabbed a few more fun points for such absurdity in the process.

    Some of the tunes are pretty catchy though (the end credits being the best), the gore (of what’s there) is pretty slick, I like the Kabuki theme of the slasher’s getup, the comedy works most of the time (the epilogue is an amusing *wink*wink* to slasher movie fans), and the acting’s actually pretty solid. Allie MacDonald? Young lady’s got chops. She does the shy/traumatized girl thing REALLY well and could get tears from a glass eye. The lass has got a set of pipes on her to be proud of too! I don’t go in for younger chicks as a general rule, but I think she’s talented enough that I’d make the exception. Besides, she’s applicable under the “half your age plus 7” rule with a few digits to spare, and this pic of her in a Black Flag shirt just seals the deal.

    AllieBF

    Now, If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go pump some custard in her honor. As André Benjamin said, become the master of your own bation – the future is in your hand. I’m out like a boner in boxers! Later, gators!

    Moral of the Story: Even if you find a place where you can feel safe and happy with like-minded people who support and appreciate you, there’s ALWAYS gonna be some crazy person in a mask waiting to kill you.

    Screenshots_____

    I appreciate the filmmakers’ dedication to the truth here. It always bothered me that John McNaughton didn’t have the balls to keep the real life break dancing segments in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.


    Billy and Sarah have the misfortune of attending one of the “Sesame Street” tapings where the actor playing Big Bird shows up drunk… and without any pants.


    Minnie Driver tried one of those do-it-yourself plastic surgery kits to shave a few inches off of her jawbone. Kids? Leave medical procedures to the professionals.


    I know that look – she wasn’t paying attention to her calender and woke up REALLY wishing she’d put in a tampon before bed… looks like someone’s getting a new mattress!


    Good thing there’s a summer camp specifically for kids like this. It’s the only way most of them will ever get the chance to lose their virginity.


    I asked a First Nations representative which aboriginal spirit this totem represents, and he told me to give back his land or get the fuck out. I tried offering him some beads and trinkets, but he just had security stuff my pants full of arrowheads, wrap me in a smallpox infected blanket, and roll me down a steep hill!


    An recently uncovered production still from Ed Wood’s long lost film adaptation of Phantom of the Opera!


    If that guy doesn’t have a work glove with razor blades on the fingertips, a rusty pitchfork, and several rolls of duct tape in the trunk of his car, I’ll be very surprised.


    This may look odd to some, but he was hired to perform a puppet show at Lucille Bluth’s birthday party. I’m afraid I just blue myself… NO TOUCHING! TV SHOW QUOTES!


    Okay, these Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequels are going a little too far back into Leatherface’s history now.


    I feel like this was a concept originally done in one of those sticker trading card sets from the ’90s about parody products of known brand names. Like the ones in this link.


    Meat Loaf is Chris Farley in Tommy Boy 2: No, Not Black Sheep. Not since Blues Brothers 2000 has a beloved comedian’s legacy been so completely shit upon!


    “I’ll need my assistant’s help with my next trick, which I call, “The Reverse Uncle Fester”!


    Pro-tip: you might wanna use a mirror when you put on your eyeshadow.


    You kids these days with your pierced I-don’t-know-whats! Unless you’re the Bionic Woman, you shouldn’t have more metal in your head than bone! You go take those things out this minute, young lady, and you let those holes heal shut!


    I don’t know what she needs with a lantern when she’s got a perfectly good pair of headlights! SHAZAM!

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Children of a Lesser Godzilla”

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