Feature 67 – The Condemned 2 (2015)

or “Snake’s On a Game (of Death)”

Featuring: Randy “12 Rounds 2” Orton , Eric “The Pope of Greenwich Village” Roberts , Steven Michael “Breaking Bad” Quezada

Director: Roel “The Man with the Iron Fists 2” Reiné

Writer: Alan “Halloween 4: the Return of Michael Myers” McElroy

Origin: USA

Sequel to: The Condemned

Review_____

“One man’s pain is another man’s profit. And the only way to ensure profit, is to be the one bringin’ the pain!”

Surprise! You thought you were going to get some more international flavor this week with a new “World Tour de Farce” review, but instead you’re getting yet another “professional wrestler thinks he’s an action movie leading man” flick in The Condemned 2! Again, we see there is nothing you possess that I cannot take away. Especially when I’m the one giving you said thing, and the actual transferal of possession has not yet been enacted! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha *cough*cough*cough* HAAAA! *cough*

World Wrestling Entertainment gave us the original Condemned in 2007. It was like a grown-up, paramilitary, pirate internet version of Battle Royale. Or, a Running Man minus all the neon lights, gimmicked killers, and Richard Dawson. Being a WWE Films production, they cast one of their own as its star – former wrestling icon “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, not to be confused with “The Six-Million Dollar Man” Steve Austin (who, in turn, isn’t to be mistaken for “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase). Though it was a massive financial boondoggle to the company (their biggest cinematic money pit to date), most wrestling fans consider it to be one of, if not the best of the company’s movie offerings, so it makes sense that they’d eventually sequelize it.

Now, having made The Marine 4, Behind Enemy Lines 3, 12 Rounds 3, and See No Evil 2, The Condemned was the last guy in the power plant not to receive “Employee of the Month”. As WWE doesn’t employ inanimate carbon rods (they’re very careful about their hiring practices these days, since you never know when Linda McMahon might run for Senate again), it’s The Condemned‘s time to shine!…with Randy Orton as the lead. By the racist fucking skullet of Hulk Hogan, what did I do to deserve this?!

Randy Orton. Randy “STUPID!” Orton. Randy “Just do enough to get by” Orton. Randy “Shitbag who shits in bags” Orton. As he’s known in our household, Blandy Bore-ton. As the chaps at Old School Wrestling Review once described him, “oozing with banality”. In the wrestling world, he is the alpha and omega of douchebags. He’s a legacy (his grandpa and dad were both wrestlers), he’s a crony (he’s best friends with Paul “Triple H” Levesque, one of the heads of the company), he has a history of drug abuse (cocaine [Randy Snortin’], steroids and painkillers), had a dishonorable discharge from the US Marines for going AWOL (a fact that came up when veterans protested his casting as the title hero in The Marine 3) and he’s an outright asshole (including defecating in female wrestlers’ luggage and breaking character just to berate other wrestlers during matches). He also goes by the nickname of “The Viper” (hence this episode’s alternate title) and has a stupid tribal tattoo on his arm that he tried to cover up with another of a pile of skulls, but is fooling no one as the original is still prominent. What a fuckin’ knob. Enough of the miserable reality, let’s get to the miserable fantasy.

Will Tanner (Orton) is a bounty hunter. He leads a posse of similarly minded individuals in the pursuit of wayward criminals for fun and profit. The latest target of these roughneck rednecks is one sinister son of a cunt named Cyrus (Wes Studi – a.k.a. Sagat in the Street Fighter live-action movie!) who runs an underground gambling operation where sick fucks bet on disturbing shit like which homeless guy hooked up to a Kevorkian Express will shed their unwashed mortal coil first. In a fit of movie irony, Will tells his boys to keep it non-lethal (this a “Wanted: Dead or Alive minus the ‘Dead’ part” contract), only to manslaughter the crap outta Cyrus when the villain is impaled on one of his own death machines. Hmmmm, a double scoop of irony? I really shouldn’t. I’m on a diet.

This fight shows us right off the bat that our protagonist probably only won the leadership role because he picked the longest straw, as it clearly wasn’t for his intelligence or tactical wits. When he has Cy dead-to-rights and lined up in his sights, Willie makes the incredibly stupid move of getting within the bad man’s reach. From there it’s elementary for Cyrus to disarm the doofus and prompt the ensuing struggle. Guns are made to kill and/or maim from a distance. From. A. DISTANCE. Why in the names of Horace Fucking Smith and Daniel Fucking Wesson (weird how they both had the middle name “Fucking”) would you flush the entire advantage of having a firearm down the metaphorical shitter by getting so close to your still very upright target that you can smell whether or not he had onions on his Whopper for lunch?! And Tanner’s supposed to be a trained bounty hunter!? If anyone reading this happens to know Alan McElroy or Roel Reiné, would you please punch them in the dick for me? Hell, even if you know neither but still know someone else cursed with either of those names, kindly do the same. But don’t mention my name. I’ve got enough “conspiracy to commit bodily harm” charges pending as it is.

Due to his epic botch, six months later Tanner ends up on trial for manslaughter. Though the judge presiding over the case makes her disdain for bounty hunters known (if ya wanna chase bad guys, become a cop), she gives him a suspended sentence and probation. Remorseful for his actions (though you wouldn’t know it by Orton’s expressionless “acting”), Billy goes home to his dad Frank (Eric Roberts) to tell him that he’s quitting the family business. Ah, so Will only got the manager position for the posse through nepotism. That makes sense. Having spent the last 30 years building the Tanner brand as the number one name in independent ne’er-do-well nabbing contractors in ALL of lower mid-western New Mexico, Frank’s not happy about the fruit of his loin turning his back on the bond jumper biz over one little unintentional murder.

Their resulting argument is almost like that scene in Varsity Blues where James Van Der Beek shouts “I DON’T WANT YOUR LIFE!” at his dad, except the actors are twice as old and all of the passion and defiance is instead replaced with lazy, even toned sarcasm while a mood of “When do we get our paychecks, again?” hangs heavy in the atmosphere. Riveting stuff to watch…in that I’d rather have rivets fired directly into the sides of my skull than have to wade through another minute of this cinematic landfill.

By the way, for anyone wondering why I’d use such a classy arrangement of letters as “cinematic” in this review, it’s in no way because I find anything professional or artistic about The Condemned 2. I’m using it in the “having qualities characteristic of motion pictures” manner. Inasmuch as this movie has moving images and is thus, technically, a “motion picture”. Carry on.

Without the big bucks of the manhunting industry to keep him in Wrangler jeans and Ford trucks, Billy Bob takes on a new job as a tow truck driver to make ends meet. One of his first calls is a pair of young women in Daisy Dukes and crop tops (likely local models, friends of the cast/crew, or just hopefuls fresh off the casting couch) who giggle and whisper things to each other while he changes their tire. There’s no real implication of what it is they’re saying to each other, but I entertain myself on the possibility that they’re talking about how the guy changing their tire looks like he doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together, and they’re formulating a plan where in he’ll give them all of his money before he leaves or straight up Knock Knock him. Oh but to dream my dreamy dreams, with their creamy dreamy filling. Mmmmm, filling.

Our hero’s next service call changes his life forever, as it’s from his old bounty hunting pal…uhm… honestly, I didn’t bother to write down any of their names. They’re mas macho types who call each other by their last names (being on a first name basis is apparently too intimate for tough guys), and as such I remember the sniper’s (Dylan Kenin) name is Travis [like singer Randy] and another (Morse Bicknell) goes by “Michaels” [like Shawn]…uhm, the retired pro-wrestler, not the one-man Mandingo party porn actor. That’s Sean Michaels. In case you were wondering. Okay then.

Anyway, when Willie fixes said former co-hunter’s car (his battery connector just came undone…hint hint), the guy awkwardly invites him out for a beer in thanks. Unless this was just this dude’s way of trying to get Will out on a man-date with him to lube his inhibitions up with a few brews before confessing his long held secret romantic intentions for our leading man (only if he’s “leading” us straight to Nap Town), his nervous demeanor betrays that there’s some ulterior motive to this social exchange. Given that there’s also a camera equipped drone following the pair around, this is clearly our entry point (front door or back?) into the figurative Thunderdome that is to be The Condemned 2: the Search for Randy’s Personality.

Each member of the Tanner bounty party has been assigned to assassinate their erstwhile chieftain Will, lest their failure to comply be taken out in the form of ultra-violence against them and/or their loved ones. Meanwhile, a speakeasy of high rollers have gathered to watch the spectacle as they gamble on which of the contestants will be the one to finally finish off their deadpan prey. The troublemaker organizing this Laff-A-Lympics of death is Cyrus’s surviving sidekick-turned-avenger Raul (Steven Michael Quezada), who’s vowed a blood vendetta against his ex-boss’s bored looking butcher-by-circumstance. The rest of the movie is pretty much what you’d expect: Tanner runs around shooting guns at people, trying to save his neck while getting to the bottom of Raul’s game and doing his best to keep collateral fatalities to a minimum, as a good guy does. That’s pretty much it. Now you don’t need to see it for yourself, unless your medicine cabinet is pulling a “Mother Hubbard’s cupboard” and is barren of the sleep aid of your choice, in which case 20 minutes of The Condemned 2 will put you out in a pinch!

That wasn’t a joke. I’m serious. This movie put me to sleep during my first attempted viewthrough. Granted, that may have been my fault for starting it at 1AM after a long day of soul reaping and Underworld political crap (we had to fight management hard to get that break room back!) without any type of artificial ambition boosting my brain, but even sitting through the last twenty minutes the next morning were like going 5 rounds of bare-knuckle with Morpheus! For fuck’s sake, just writing this review right now is tantamount to drinking a tall glass of warm milk prepared by Bill Cosby. I have to keep deleting the *yawns* I’m unconsciously typing out in every paragraph!

Randy Orton speaks with such an eyelid burdening monotone. Terminators have more emotional resonance than this guy! As a former drug addict, maybe he’s on mood stabilizers or something and his complete charisma coma is medically induced? Wherever the true blame lies, the reality is still right there, dropping steaming dumplings in our figurative luggage: this man should NOT be starring in even the directest of direct-to-video action flicks. He’d be more relatable as the leading role in his own autopsy video than what he’s giving us here, and I’m not exaggerating. Was he contractually obligated to be in this movie by WWE and just did his best impression of a cardboard cutout so they’d never bother him about being in any more movies!? Z’Dar’s CHIN (my version of “Zeus’s BEARD!”), the man is the Typhoid Mary of digitally transmitted Narcolepsy! I have never, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVER (thank you, Chris Jericho) watched a movie with Eric Roberts in a supporting role and thought, “Wow, if he were the star, this movie would be so much better!”. If nothing else, The Condemned 2 has proven to me that anything is possible.

I’ve never seen any of Orton’s other movies, so I have no clue if this is how he tackles all of his roles. I do know that Quezada was never one to chew the scenery in “Breaking Bad” though, so maybe all of the blame should go on Mr. Reiné’s back? It could be another The Dark Knight situation where Chris Nolan made Chris Bale do the gravelly voice until all of Batman’s scenes were just a big joke and almost completely unwatchable. Either way, Orton should stay away from all future movie sets and just keep his shtick in the squared circle. Be happy with your athletic prowess and leave the acting to the actors. Or Eric Roberts.

The rest of the movie is just as sterile as its star’s performance. The camera work is fumbly (I think it’s supposed to be shaky cam, but as directed by a 10 year old), the overall direction feels like a slog through plain oatmeal from Point A to Point B with zero spices or fruit thrown in. The rest of the cast’s acting ranges from “good enough” to “please just shut up already”, the fight choreography is slow and sloppy (great for a blowjob, not for a fight scene) despite the attempts to cover it up by jostling the camera around while they’re happening. The music has to be some of the most generic background crap I’ve ever heard. This entire feature was just a poorly planned shit show from opening credits to end credits. It’s not even bad from a fun-to-mock standpoint. The moderate production values keep it from being a full blown skid mark, but that’s as good as it gets. Forgettable and regrettable.

There’s one unintentional running joke I’d like to end this on though, to make the writing of this review and your reading of it at least somewhat worthwhile. As mentioned prior, like any copy-and-paste paramilitary group, Tanner’s team-turned-tormentors has one member who’s a skilled sniper. In case you forgot already (and I don’t blame you), his name is Travis. Well, Travis is supposed to be a skilled sniper, but he’s not. The credo of the sniper is “one shot, one kill”, denoting that their job is to kill with surgical precision, needing only one bullet to put down their intended target. Throughout his time stalking Tanner, Travis fires 30+ rounds from his rifle (not including the 60 or more fired from his uzi) and manages to kill…well, let’s just say the spoiler free version of his murder math is something far far FAR (like “a galaxy far far away” far!) less accurate than the gold standard. If I gave my 80 year old grandmother a single-shot rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition, put her inside Dorothy Gale’s house while it was caught in the twister that carried it to Oz, took away her glasses and tasked her with shooting half a dozen Munchkins also thrown into the cyclone, I guarantee you her fatalities-to-rounds fired ratio would put this Travis guy into a shame spiral so deep that he’d need a grappling hook and half a mile of rope to pull himself out of it!

Whew! I’m winded just reading that last sentence. I need to lay down and catch my breath after this. By the beers of Billy Carter, I’m too Murtaugh for this shit.

Even when he’s pulling a “spray and pray” with his uzi, Travis still manages to miss his targets! He has no problem perfectly strafing his shots in an almost impossibly narrow line along the top of a fruit and veggie stand (sending fragments of splattered produce into the air), but hitting the trio of full grown adults scuttling in an orderly fashion directly behind said stand is just impossible for this fucking career marksman to hit. My rage over this, combined with my need to count the amount of ammo this guy burned through to such minimal effect, are pretty much all I had to keep me from giving out on my second viewing. When you’re on the Titanic, the best you can do is grab whatever flotation device you can and hope you get back to shore before the bitter death grip of Mother Nature can drag you down into her frigid black oblivion. I think my metaphor got a little out of hand there, but the initial message is still in there somewhere. I’ll leave it up to you to exhume it.

Okay, that’s enough of that. Bottom line: the truly condemned in The Condemned 2 are the people who pay for this movie. As for me? I’m going to see if I can discover a way to distill its essence and market it as a cure for insomnia! Provided I can withstand extended exposure to its background radiation….long enough…to……….stay…awake………… *zzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

Moral of the Story: *YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWN* Huh? What are you still doing here? There’s cab fare on the nightstand and $20 for breakfast. You can keep the change if you go away right now. Don’t call me. Goodbye.

Screenshots_____

That thing should come with a Surgeon General’s Warning.


Elderly people hooked up to suicide machines against their will while non-white criminals gamble on which dies first? I’m not sure if this was taken from the movie or a 2013 Faux News report about ObamaCare.


This profile leaves out the “Zach Galifianakis impersonator available for private parties on weekends” part of Mr. Cooper’s resume.


This photo was taken of Mr. Merrick after the sandwich shop regretfully informed him that they were all out of jalapeno cream cheese for his cheddar bagel. Sorry Cyrus, early bird gets the jalapenos!


“I have you, a man armed with a knife, at a great disadvantage due to my possession of a firearm! Though I should be forcing you to the ground so one of my partners can restrain you, allow me to approach you until I’m well within range of your knife, giving you ample opportunity to disarm me and put my life in immediate danger!”


Don’t get your hopes up, like I did. This isn’t the moment where the whole movie turns into a surprise sequel to Maximum Overdrive and we see Randy Orton run over by a pissed off truck. “When you wish upon a star” my hairy ebon ass!


“You just sit back and watch how a real actor carries a low budget action movie, Junior.”


“You think if we flirt with the tow truck driver he won’t charge us?”
“Duh! Why else would we dress like this!?”


This is what happens when people don’t respect the “my quarter on the table means I get next game” rule!


“I was a supporting character in one of the most critically acclaimed television shows of all time! Don’t you dare mock me for chewing scenery in one crappy movie! I’ve earned a pass on this one!”


Ever since “Breaking Bad”, wanna-be meth cooks have caused staggering rate increases in the “mobile home explosion” insurance industry over the last few years.


Awww, it’s so cute when rednecks watch car movies and try to emulate them. I see somebody finally rented Fury Road from the Red Box kiosk at their nearest WalMart!


Hanukkah casino parties are becoming a popular trend for the kids at the synagogues these days. Let that gelt ride, bubbale!

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Anubis will return next time in
“Life of Pi(e)”

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 24 [Rerun] – Evil Bong (2006)

or “Criminalize It”

Featuring:  David “Roommates” Weidoff , Kristyn “Doll Graveyard” Green , Tommy “Up In Smoke” Chong

Director:  Charles “Trancers” Band

Writer:  Domonic “Critters” Muir (as August White)

Origin: USA

Sequels:  Evil Bong II: King Bong / Evil Bong 3D: the Wrath of Bong / Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong

Review_____

“GIVE ME A MONKEY, BRO! GIVE ME A FUCKING MONKEY! COME ON, BRO!”

Intro: Oh man, Evil Bong. Sweet Cleopatra’s cleavage. I was emotionally scarred by Demonicus to the point of impotent whimpering (THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!), but at least Demonicus never beget Demonicus II: Demonicuster’s Last Stand , Demonicus 3D: Spies Like DemonicUs , or Demonicus Vs. Jack Deth Vs. The Head of the Family. When I first reviewed Evil Bong, it was a worthless throw away bag of garbage juice. I hated it, but it was harmless, and it gave some bad movie people I like a paycheck. Probably only enough to put a down payment on a General Tso’s Dinner Combo at the Wanton Won Ton, but some pocket change exchanged hands nonetheless. In the time since said review, the garbage juice has spilled from its bag and spread outward into the bad movie world, replicating itself in the form of three sequels. Comparing Demonicus to Evil Bong is like comparing getting your genitals obliterated with a chainsaw or having your hands and feet cut off via guillotine. Both are horrible things no sane person would want to ever experience, but on entirely different scales of awful.

So, while its initial crime may not be as abhorrent as that of Demonicus, the legacy it wrought has ensconced Evil Bong on my list of “things to go back and prevent once HG Wells finishes my damn time machine”. It’s right between The Great Chicago Fire and “American Idol”.

Anyway, here’s the original review in all its inebriated randomness. For those wondering, yes, I was actually stoned when I wrote this! And no, sadly I was not stoned for this updated re-reviewing. I’ll even pass a piss test after if you don’t believe me.

Original Review:
Note: this review is being typed while its writer has been infused with a sizable dose of THCs in the hopes of improving his outlook on this movie. Spell Check will likely pick up all the spelling mistakes, so hopefully this still makes sense when it’s over. If not, Microsoft will receive an angry letter from me when this chemical laziness wears off…

Note #2: I just had a five-minute conversation with my girlfriend (also high) about putting Cobra Commander on the “Don’t Tread On Me Flag”, because as G.I. Joe: the Movie taught us, Cobra Commander turns into a snake that “was once a man”, so he qualifies for the flag because he was once a man and now he’s a snake and he doesn’t want to be tread upon…

Man, fuck Charles Bond. He’s always bitching about how his brother James gets the mad bitches and takes what he wants and gets to drive all the best phallic objects and… oh wait, we’re talking about Charles Band? Oh jeez, not this douche bag again. Okay, a few years ago there was this new cartoon based on the original “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” that was actually much better than the original. It didn’t last as long as the original, since cartoons these days are actually outlived by their merchandise rather then simply existing to sell it, but it was definitely of better quality than its predecessor. On the other hand, (and Spell Check just told me that “otherhand” is apparently not a word in itself, in case you were wondering), there have been numerous retreads on the original “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” franchises over the last 10 years that have all sat firmly between my legs, chewing on the long nappy hairs of my dog-man crotch until someone finally put them out of their misery.

What’s this mean to you? Well, from the late ’70s to the mid ’90s, Chucky Band (son of the now zombiefied Albert Band) tossed a lovely bunch of coconuts to bad movie fans under his various production companies (Wizard, Empire and Full Moon) before his creditors caught up with him and he had to either go into bankruptcy or go into hiding for a few years till the “smoke” blew over. Whichever he chose, Band went away for a little while, popping his oddly shaped skull up from time to time to put out some softcore vampire flicks so the guys too embarrassed to rent actual porn could pick up some action at the local Cockblocker Video on those lonely Saturday nights. Amazonian grandma Julie Strain was in a couple of ‘em. Whether these movies made him enough money to pay off his financial predators, or his loan sharks were found with fatal doses of leeches/large drill holes/knife and hook gashes/12th degree burns/crushed heads one morning, Band apparently felt the time was right to bring back the new and “improved” Full Moon! There was a road show/traveling convention to promote it. William Shatner and Alex Band of The Calling were dragged along (likely to cover up their involvement in one of Band’s mass hooker orgy murder sprees), midgets and fire-eating chicks in their underwear tagged along for a freak show street performance, and the country was introduced one city at a time to what the next generation of Band sinema held in store – Crap.

Yes, crap. A big killer puppet shaped pile of it… made of some of Charles Band’s older craps that he’d been saving in his bread box for a special occasion. The special occasion of putting them all together in that aforementioned pile, then adding a few freshly squeezed ones too to adhere the old craps together, then further shape everything into what Full Moon would become today.

Everything from Full Moon has been totally thrown away in the last few years. There are no new stars of the industry, just cameos by washed up favorites from yesteryear and fresh faced youngsters who can’t figure out when it’s time to act or when it’s time to give a golden shower to the viewers’ senses. The great (or at least serviceable… most times) creators of the good ol’ days have long since departed, so we’re left with know-nothings (whose “artistic vision” has been blurred by disinterest and/or donkey ejaculate) and, sometimes worse, Band himself. The quality special effects, explosions, gore, and nightmarish marionette designs of the grand old times have been bait-and-switched with half-assed characters, cheap plastic toys, and home computer visual effects. The official final atomic bomb for Band’s proverbial Hiroshima was Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys. But, much like the people in those nuclear dystopia fallout movies, I stick around Full Moon to see what kind of glowing green ghoulies will emerge to vomit their blistered entrails on my feet in a desperate plea for help, only to be swiftly crushed in a splatter of digital blood and tiny plastic bones. It’s better for the poor things this way, so that they can get the truth and start to get over it as soon as possible, instead of suffering through less harsh pains for years, only to suddenly die one day because they’ve grown too weak and vulnerable from all the picking and poking…

Damn it, I’m sleepy…


Run, children! The crazy evil chipmunk man wants to fill your no-no places with his bad touch! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Okay, that woke me up.

So then I saw Evil Bong one day. I wanted to rent Talladega Nights or Death Trance instead, but I only had one coupon and something told me Evil Bong was to be the one for me. I now regret that decision and wish I could go back in time, not to tell myself not to rent the movie, but to go back a bit further and choke Charles Band to death with a fish wrapped in barb wire before he could even make his first phone call to Tommy Chong, who I’m hoping did this movie simply because “That ‘70s Show” was canceled and he needed some quick cash to cover his recent legal expenses. Stupid government, forcing Tommy Chong to do Charles Band movies because you can’t leave the whole “water pipe” issue to your constituents…

Sorry, my girlfriend and I just had an exchange about cannolis (that had nothing to do with The Godfather before you ask) and I called them “coli-olis” and I had to stop and laugh about that for a few minutes… She’s asleep now, so I can talk again. Don’t tell her you and I meet like this, otherwise we’re both in for some real trouble! I’m talking, “Holy shit, we gotta hire the A-Team to get us out of here!” type trouble, and not the original A-Team that had the Mexican guy playing Face either, but the improved version that everybody recognizes with the guy from Body Slam!

Evil Bong came about because Charles Band was looking to do an “homage” to Little Shop of Horrors and his sons were talking to him about bongs. He said he doesn’t know why they know what bongs are, but when you’re a guy who has to pay people to hang out with you, I can guarantee he’s bribed his kids for some patented “Band Bonding” on occasion with a few tokes off his 3ft Tunneler Tower. Anyway, as we all know, “homage” is a legal term that everyone in Hollywood uses these days that means “if I mention the original material that I’m ripping off, no one’s allowed to sue me, because this counts as promoting the sale of said original material, and therefore the stealing of its ideas and characters is considered payment for making said promotion”. Yeah, Band kinda ran out of old horror comic books whose copyrights had expired to use as “inspiration” for his flicks, so he’s been relegated to the old “homage” trick.

As for this movie, a group of college stoners all live together in a studio apartment (because even adding a bedroom or two would require getting another set and it was expensive enough getting the velvet curtains and stripper stages for the hallucination scenes later on). The four guys each cover a different stereotype of the “college cinema” dichotomy: Larnell (John Patrick Jordan) is the charismatic fast talker leader bean whose only goal in life is entertaining himself; Bachman (Mitch Eakins, who’s totally not an Ekans) is the career stoner and preeminent couch decoration; Brett (Brian Lloyd) is the machismo oozing, protein guzzling, skank plugging, jock-of-all-trades; and Alistair (David Weidoff) is the four-eyed super nerd with a subscription to “Calculus Hotties Quarterly” and a t-shirt that says “Nerds do it to the 9th Power” is his “club wear”… by which I mean chess club. Please note that neither of those cool things are actually in the movie, so don’t go renting it in the hopes of seeing them.

These four guys order a giant cursed bong named Ebee from the back of an issue of “High Times” and one-by-one they start getting sucked into an evil strip club dimension inside of the bong where chicks wearing flesh eating bras (as sold on Band’s Monster Bras webpage… because Band’s a whore and isn’t ashamed of trying to disguise a commercial as a movie, then sell it to the few loyal followers he still has left) kill them upon arrival… after a quick (and extremely lazy) lap dance, of course. When Alistair’s new girlfriend Janet (Kristyn Green) gets sucked into the soul slurping paraphernalia though, he takes a hit and goes in to save the day while the bong’s original owner Jimbo (Tommy Chong) shows up to try and defeat his old enemy/water pipe for good. If I had a nickel for every time I watched Tommy Chong get medieval on a 4ft bong with a chainsaw, my pockets would be very quiet… much like they are right now.

The movie itself is shit. The actors don’t act so much as look like they’re trying to improvise all of their lines because they thought The Blair Witch Project was a “stroke of genius” (when it was really more a “stroke of penius” that was never washed properly and instead stained your daughter’s prom dress…). The sad part is that they apparently ARE trying to act for real and aren’t just “running with the camera”, as illustrated by one scene that finds Larnell playing Super Mario World on his old Super Nintendo, and somehow winding up in four different levels in the 2 seconds it takes for Alistair to walk across the room and turn off his TV! Is this the result of having to do numerous takes, or did they just not pause the game while the camera guys had to stop and relocate their single piece of equipment for each different angle?!

Of course the “special” effects are just the opposite, as practically inanimate puppets and props plague us for 90 minutes with little-to-no movement whatsoever. The entire thing happened inside the movie’s single set and I got real bored of this loser lair real quick. I may hate natural light and there being a world beyond my apartment, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like to be reminded of what it looks like from time-to-time. And what the fuck was up with the bloated padding being done near the middle of the movie?! There’s a pointless 10 minute scene involving Larnell’s wheelchair bound millionaire grandpa and the geezer’s new wife dropping by for a visit that doesn’t contribute to anything in the movie but the running time! I could’ve used that time for sleeping or showering or writing a letter to my congressman banning the sale and rental of any new Full Moon releases in New York and the surrounding areas! Sure, the rental was free, but it’s not like I can take Charlie to “The People’s Court” and sue him for wasted time!

Evil Bong is not just a horribly done movie, but it’s a lame commercial too. You can’t look up anything about the movie online without being bombarded with ads for the Monster Bras or the Ebee replica bong or Tommy Chong’s autographed jockey shorts. The fact that the deaths in the movie were all lame and all the same is bad enough, but having each death caused by the soon-to-be-released product of the movie’s director is shameless and just adds to the disdain. Which dain? Dis dain. Dis dain right here! And there it is. To further the proof that it’s all one big advertising campaign, the movie is packed to the rim job with weak cameos by the likes of Bill “The Devil’s Rejects” Moseley, Phil “Ghoulies II” Fondacaro and Tim “Trancers” Thomerson, as well as Full Moon characters like Ooga Booga from Doll Graveyard, Jack Attack from Demonic Toys (the really crappy inanimate face version used in Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys too, not even the cool original version) and the titular wonder of The Gingerdead Man.

They should change his name to Charles Banned and exile his ass from the director’s chair after this one! It’s over, Chuck. Just let it go. She was good to you, she took care of you, she loved you like no one else, and you fucked it up. She’s gone and you have to give her up. Maybe she’ll come back and find you again someday. Until then, you’ve gotta let her go. If not for yourself, then for the sake of all those poor mutilated bunnies. Come on Charlie, put the corkscrew down and leave the bunnies alone. They have families, Charlie. And though they’re likely to eat their own offspring sooner or later, that’s for nature to decide, not you.

So there you have it: Evil Bong isn’t just a movie, it’s Charles Band’s way of promoting animal cruelty. For shame on you and a hearty “go fuck yourself!” from me, Mr. B. Walk away, old man. Remember the good times and let them keep you warm on the cold nights while you’re sleeping in the streets. Just let the darkness take you. We’ll see you on the other side, tiny dancer. The Full Moon has set. KA-BONG!

At least it was nice seeing Sonny “Rabbit” Davis again. I missed that guy…

Xtro: As with every rerun review, I had to fight myself Ash Williams style to keep from editing the bejeezus out of the preceding opinion piece, but interest in authenticity won out. Moving on, my recent re-viewing of Evil Bong warranted addressing the following points. Moot as they may be, I thought I’d bring ’em up anyway just to kick the movie around some more while it’s already concussed and bleeding out, face down in a gutter.

Out of the gate? The soundtrack. The generic pot smoking tunes by some Sublime knock-off band (possibly Kottonmouth Kings?) aren’t made any easier to stomach when a full page ad for Sublime is prominently featured on camera while our stoner doofi peruse their copy of “High Times”, reminding us of what we’re NOT listening to. Beyond that, there’s also plenty of shitty rip-off wanna-be Insane Clown Posse and Cypress Hull music to drag barb wire over your eardrums… oh wait, that’s not a wanna-be ICP, that is ICP! Blart! It’s really too bad that the two things those clowns (literally) are best known for (their music and their fans) are also the things I hate them for, because as bad movie nerds and pro-wrestling geeks go, Violent J and Shaggy Too Dope are top notch. Oh well, just add contributing to the delinquencies of Charles Band to their rap sheet.

The cast didn’t really go on to do much beyond the Bong, and it’s no surprise given that the best they probably received from acting class was a certificate of participation. Jordan, Eikens, Lloyd, and Robin Sydney (whose patience immolating character Luann was omitted from my original review for what seem to be obvious reasons of sanity preservation, in hindsight) all returned for the sequels, and Sydney would later get high and fuck a corpse as DyeAnne in the new Tomb’s maiden voyage (and undisputed toilet bobber), Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation. Man, her agent really needs to point her in the direction of better quality casting couches. As for Weidoff and Green, they would fizzle off into relative obscurity, which is probably for the better on both accounts. The next year, Green would do another Band-Muir blumpkin in the shape of Dead Man’s Hand, which… did not end well… at all… for anyone… As for Tommy Chong, his playing Hot Wheels with topless women at the flick’s finale was the only thing work taking into the lifeboats from this sinking ship movie, and 10 seconds of that doesn’t come remotely close to removing the taste of the 80 minute diarrhea deluge force fed to me via fire hose before it.

In summary, after wading through this chronic-based cloudy discharge again, I feel far more ashamed admitting to being a pot smoker now than I ever did after ANY anti-drug public service announcement. If you held free public showings of Evil Bong for Colorado stoners, those marijuana legalization laws would be repealed faster than you can say “Pass me the Goldenseal!”. I may review the sequels someday, but I may also smash my talons with a claw hammer. Just don’t expect both… though I do have a finite number of talons, so never say never.

Moral of the Story: If I ever hear the word “bro” again, I’m gonna jam a 5ft bong up somebody’s cornhole. Or I’ll just have Bill Moseley work you over with a car battery and a grapefruit spoon. Maybe both.

Screenshots_____

Cast simply because his last name sounds like “weed off”… and it’s a movie about weed… ha…. ha.


By “Special Appearance”, they mean he’s on screen for about 12 seconds and says “grapefruit spoon”.


A wholly appropriate image for a year where Easter falls on 4/20.


Brett learns of the horrific accusations against Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.


Brett then learns of the “totally unfair” penalty of “no bowl games for 4 years” levied against Penn State in the wake of Sandusky’s conviction… sadly mirroring the same disturbingly unbalanced sentiment of far too many Penn State fans (i.e. more than zero) after the same news. Some people just need to be burned alive.


“Dude! That’s not a cereal bowl! It’s my bedpan from that time I broke my legs! Sick, bro!”


“Don’t worry bro, drug tests don’t pick up second hand buzz! SHOTGUN!”


“Dude, I’m wearing my sweet Chinese dragon kimono and playing my Japanese video game. Can’t you see I’m busy with my Asian Studies homework?! Stop cock blocking my education, bro!”


Sonny Davis, you’re the winner of the 2014 Reggie Bannister Look-a-Like Contest! You’ve won a $20 Arby’s gift card and our condolences. We’re so sorry for you…


Careful friend, you’re dangerously close to over-Spicoli-ing. It’s not good for you.


Hey, Phil Fondacaro. You doing okay? You look a little UNDER THE WEATHER! Ahhhhhhhhhh… ha. Seriously though, Phil’s looking great! Good for you, Sir.


He only gets one bowel movement a month, and damn it, you’re not going to ruin it for him!


Good thing Larnell’s wearing his camo. That bong will never see him coming… Blart.


[John Larroquette voice] “The events of that day would lead to the discover of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history – the Tommy Chongsaw Massacre.”


Ebee looks like somebody’s taking their love for pot smoking to a very dark place… a very dark, violating place… a very dark, “violating her with their penis” place… I think somebody’s fucking Ebee’s smoke stack is what I’m saying.

Anubis will return next time in
“The Doctor is In(carcerated)”

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