Monday, May 31, 2010

Drive-In Bombs, Part I

You know, down here at the Firefly Ranch, we appreciate a fine, well-crafted film. But my regular readers know that Mama loves herself the bad movies as well; bad acting, skimpy plots (or sometimes none at all), monsters with the zippers showing, and mutant animals/insects/aquatic life. I take the cheap tacky horror movies and I give them love while gently poking a little fun. Take any of the above mentioned elements, serve 'em up 60's or 70's style, and chances are I'll find something to like about it.

But every once in a while, I get myself in a righteous mess ala 'Godmonster of Indian Flats' (so convoluted and awful that it needs to come with a WARNING sticker), or sometimes (like a couple of weeks ago) I end up accidentally watching something starring Dean Stockwell.

And then there's Pick-Up.

While not exactly a horror film - at least, I don't think it is - actually, I have NO FRIGGIN IDEA what Pick-Up was trying to be - it was part of a series of films that I bought because I thought they'd be fun. I'm talking about the Drive In Cult Classics:

And God Help Me For Not Resisting a Deal on Amazon, I bought not just this set at the CRAZY low price of 6.99, I also bought parts 2 AND 3.

Then I started with Classics 1 today and dove in with the first movie. At first it seems innocuous enough, we have a couple of girls straight out of a Breck commmercial (and if you know what I'm talking about, high five!) who may or may not be making the right decision by taking a ride with some random dude driving an RV.

Then about halfway through, it's as if the filmmakers took parts of three or films they never finished, spliced them together, and called it good.

Cut to Mama F., on the couch, wearing my WTF??? face, rocking back and forth, saying through my tears:

"They've got to get better.....right? They've GOT to get better....."

Cut to me at my favorite restaurant drinking my favorite margarita to get up the strength to come home and write this review.

God help us, but here we go:
These are the kind of films that just get right into the action - we have a dude, the dude's RV, and two chicks who are apparently offered a ride....
Who are they, who is he, and how does he afford an RV bigger than most apartments I've had in my life?

Who cares? Like we have time to contemplate such matters......

Even though this one (w the dark hair and therefore the more reserved) thinks Aries is in a bad sun or something and this probably isn't a good idea.

I took a lot of trips in RVs in the 70s and 80s but I don't remember ever having one of these groovy signs hanging over the front....

You know, Just in case there's any questions....

Mobile Home must = Party Bus in this film, because as soon as we get going, Blondie is flashing the other boys on the road...well, kinda flashing...

Look! It's the underneath sweaty part of my left boob!

While Ms Moody McMoody Pants contemplates their future:

One Detour Later and whoops, we're stuck in the swamp:
Where our favorite party bus couple decides to strap the camera upside down to their belts and go for a walk:
And play with baby raccoons:

Miss Dark and Mysterious decides to venture out for a walk

where she is immediately greeted by a vision of a woman who tells her to prepare herself to be her successor.Successor to what? Listen people, this movie is a whole 75 minutes, and we've still got flashbacks and visions of clowns to fit in this damn movie! We don't have time for such nonsense..... I guess the answer is yes, because then
One white robe and one big scepter later, it's a done deal. Accompanied by much writhing on a big white stone table in the middle of the swamp, of course.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnd then .......
everyone has childhood flashbacks. Which seem to center around some sort of first sexual experience ..... or something.

Then, whoops, there he is, Mr Clown shows up:

And just what is he doing in the movie? I have NO FRICKIN' IDEA.

Then at some point, the driver of the party bus decides to switch from blonde to brunette and they go out to get it on on the marble table with the clown lurking about:

And if you think that bothers Blondie one little bit, think again. She just decides to start dancing around the RV with her favorite stuffed animal:
I really wish I could say someone in the movie threw that at her and smacked her in the face with it. But nope, she really does dance with it, and it's sitting that way on her head because she PUT IT THERE ON PURPOSE.

So she dances her way outdoors, her friends get it on in the swamp, and the next morning they walk back to the RV to find this:

And just as we're digesting THAT, the movie inexplicably returns to right where we started from:
HEE! We made a dumb ass movie that makes no sense!!!!

And, it seemingly starts all over again as the girls run off to join their boy toy in his RV party bus again.....

I guess this movie was just something to play at the drive in while couples made out. At least I HOPE they were making out and not actually watching this mess. What's really interesting to me are the reviews on IMDB - there are actually people out there that enjoyed this film and speak well of it. Which amazes me even more than the idea that someone made this thing ON PURPOSE.

I think I may need to watch something with some substance and value now, like another Planet of the Apes film.

-Mother Firefly

Back to the Apes, Part II

I can't say enough about how much I Heart my new Planet of the Apes Blu Ray Collection. I Heart it so much I bought one for my Mom for Mother's Day. Probably what I Heart even more than the Collection itself is the fact that I have a Mother who actually wanted it for Mother's Day - and who spent half a day looking for someone at work to tell about it - who would appreciate it.
She ended up finding a co-worker (another woman - how awesome!) who not only appreciated it but told my Mom stories about how she and her siblings would play 'Planet of the Apes' when they were kids. So, yes, us girls that heart on the Apes, we are out here, and we will kick you in the ding-ding if you hate on our monkey movies.

As much as I love these movies, I've always had kind of a 'blah' spot in my heart for Part II, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. For me, as a kid, it was the Tuesday movie during Ape Week, the one you had to get through to make it to my stone cold guilty pleasure favorite, Escape From the Planet of the Apes.

Beneath kind of disturbed me as a kid - it didn't really scare me as much as the freaky white people living underground just grossed me out. They literally made me nauseous, and when I think back to my childhood memories of this movie, they're almost always accompanied by a queasy feeling in my stomach. So I've always had a 'take or leave it' philosophy towards this movie.

So I decided I'd just 'get it over with' and watch Part II. And then I found that my memories of the movie were not quite accurate. For one thing, most of the movie does NOT take place underground (which I thought it did), and there's actually more Ape City action than I remembered. Also what I did not remember is that Cornelius and Zira have a very small role, and Cornelius is not played by Roddy McDowall. Which is not because Mr McDowall was too high-falutin' to strap the monkey suit back on, but had previous commitments that prevented him from taking the role. (Thanks, Special Features!)

BTW - in the other 'Thanks But No Thanks' Category of Special Features, the documentary on POTA points out that the special effects budget was cut on Part II, which led to a lot of inferior makeups in the background. Which - once you're aware of this, you can't help but notice. Like all the time.

Anyway......BTPOTA is, for the first half,, basically a remake of POTA. Astronaut crashes, other astronauts die, astronaut finds Nova and then talking monkeys, astronaut gets captured... you get the drill. Adding to the remake feel is our star James Franciscus, who, in my opinion, is basically Charlton Heston Lite. You know, it's made to taste similar but with half the cheese.

So 'Chuck MC Lyte' Franciscus runs around Ape City, gettin' into scrapes and making friends with Corn and Zira. He's also looking for 'Chuck Original Recipe' Heston at the same time. Nova is not a lot of help, since she can't speak, but she can drag Chuck Lyte around to all the important places, including the place that Taylor disappeared.

And it turns out that place is underground, in the old New York Subway, with the weird creepy bald people that make my stomach hurt. Probably the last part of this movie that I really enjoy is the time that James Franciscus and Linda Harrison spend exploring the location. Then the baldies who worship the Big Bomb come in the picture, and it's just okay for me after that.

Then Voila! Our Friend Chuck returns for the ending just in time to wrestle James Franciscus (which, if you think about it, is just about as awesome as the Elvis vs Elvis fight in Kissin' Cousins).

and curse out the Bad Monkeys again before he blows all the shit up.
The End.

I don't feel that I'm giving anything away here - even with a big ole bomb, the ending of this movie is just about as anti-climactic as they come. It's literally over with a peep. The End, now bring on the FUN one with Zira and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall's Back! Yay!) and Victor from Young and the Restless.

And that's about all Mother has to say about Part II. The film does look gorgeous on Blu Ray, and I did enjoy most of the movie, even if it is just a remake of the first one. I'll definitely include it in the next time I decide to watch all the films, even if I do turn it off right about the time of the 'Chuck vs Chuck 2.0' smackdown.

Till next time, Dearhearts, when we dive in and swim around in the guilty cheese fest that is Escape From the Planet of the Apes,
Mother Firefly

Friday, May 14, 2010

Planet of the Apes - Blu Ray

It looks all kinds of GORGEOUS and it was like watching it for the first time ever. I've seen this entire series on TV (B&W and color), VHS, and DVD. I even watched it all night long while I recovered from a nasty 24 hour flu once. But I've never been so.....ENAMORED of it as I was today. I usually take notes while I'm watching movies, but I couldn't take my eyes off it. I can't wait to see the rest.

If you love this series (or even if you just like the first one), GET IT.


Can't wait to get into the rest.

-Mother Firefly

Night of the Living Dead Puppet Show on DVD!!!

There are many things I love about living in Milwaukee, but one of the things I love the most is that I live in a city where something as fantastic as the Night of the Living Dead Puppet Show began. (Screw you, stupid Fonzie statue!) And believe me, one day I expect to read those words in Entertainment Weekly. Not 'Screw you, stupid Fonzie statue' (although that would be freakin' KILLER) but the part about the NOTLD Puppet Show having its origins in Milwaukee.

Seriously, people, it's that good - and it's that FUNNY. But while you're waiting for NOTLD : The Puppet Show to invade the rest of the country - and I predict they'll do just that - you can support the movement by purchasing the DVD from their website. (Plus you'll laugh your ass off, so what do you have to lose, people??)

Click on the link and follow the directions HERE:

And the main page here: Angry Young Men, Ltd

My original review from Zombie Con X HERE.

Quote from the website also follows the clip:

"Night of the Living Dead: The Puppet Show, Better Than Live(?) features a High-Def studio filming of the half-hour show. Plus, special features include a blooper reel, a new short short, a commentary version of the 2007 live show, and a 51-min Essential re-edit of the original 1968 classic. Order fast before they are gone! Just $10 plus $4 shipping.
Email for details.

My email is on its way, Barbara!

-Mother Firefly

Horror Blogger Alliance


As of this week, I am a proud member of the Horror Blogger Alliance:

As are many great blogs that I read (or try to read, anyway!) When I heard about this, I thought it was a fantastic idea.

Click on the picture, check out the great blogs, make a martini, and enjoy.

Also I want to say thanks to everyone who signed up to follow my blog in the last month. I usually make it a habit to add people to my blog list who do that, and I haven't been keeping up with that. I appreciate everyone who's signed up - I know I haven't been posting much lately. Which makes me all kinds of sad - and I have all kinds of great excuses - but pffft, who cares, let's get to The Scary!

But before we do.......I do have one big THANK YOU I need to send out to a dear friend of mine who just made my house 10% scarier (at least)

My friend Mandy got me a gift certificate for graduation and I knew what I wanted to spend it on. But then I kept procrastinating and second guessing myself. FINALLY I decided to just do it - and it was out of stock. Adding insult to injury was the fact that said item was on eBay for about three times the money. I held on to the GC, kept the item on my wish list, and one day.......(cue the ta-da sound effects)...
He showed back up - at the same price he was before.

Now he lives with me.
And quite frankly, I'm scared of him.
Which makes my lil black heart all kinds of happy.
Thanks, Miss Mandy!