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Category — Puppets!

Great Scenes – CREATURE

Nobody’s arguing that this shameless Alien knockoff is any good. But the fact of the matter is that it’s not totally unwatchable either. There are several redeeming factors in William Malone‘s Creature (1985) – namely the presence of scenery chewing Klaus Kinski in a teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy role, some serviceable Fangoria moments that’ll satisfy gorehounds, and above all – wait for it – the presence of an exploding head! Which of course brings the grand total in IOC‘s boom-capitation series to six (6) – and we haven’t even begun to look at the Scanners trilogy and spin-offs yet! The story of a space crew that travels to Titan and inadvertently awakens a creature who’s been sleeping for like a million centuries is one I’d recommend to horror completists only – or cellulo-masochists who enjoy flicks like Troll 2. This scene, however, is a different story – so if you can stand a bit of gore feast your eyes on some ‘splodin’ noodles.

September 25, 2012   No Comments

Great Scenes – ARENA

We’re easing back into things after a hectic couple of weeks here at IOC with the little-seen Arena (1989) – a movie directed by Peter Manoogian starring a variety of familiar soap and b-grade actors (Paul Satterfield, Claudia Christian, Marc Alaimo, etc.) in the story of an intergalactic fighting competition where a human underdog finds himself outmatched by larger, evil-er aliens and a corrupt governing body. Here’s a scene in which our Rocky-light hero (who looks more like Ivan Drago) takes on a pretty cool looking creature which was unfortunately designed to hide the fact that it can’t move – making it more painfully obvious every time they cut to it. Still, it’s a good deal of ridiculous and cheesy fun, from a bygone era before bad computer fx replaced bad practical fx.


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September 4, 2012   No Comments


THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT leaves silliness behind in search of something more.

I see a developing trend in recent “romantic comedy” entries, in which characters act less like Katherine Heigl or Ben Stiller in their respective fluff-fest mannerisms and more like the very adult and realistic characters from, say, Woody Allen‘s Annie Hall. It’s as if today’s audiences are being asked to evolve, and consider what happens once our beloved heartfelt fantasies – such as John HughesSixteen Candles – actually end, and to watch these relationships develop after that initial doe-eyed romantic honeymoon stage. With that in mind, Nicholas Stoller‘s The Five Year Engagement (2012) succeeds in that it actually feels like it takes five years off your life – that’s a compliment. It’s both harsh and hilarious, and true to life. Co-written by Stoller and star Jason Segel, there’s less of their Forgetting Sarah Marshall silliness on display and not as much grim-ness as the duo’s 2010 Get Him to the Greek. In fact this offering seems to balance the best of both worlds: Not only do we watch a couple (played by Segel and Emily Blunt) that truly loves each other struggle with the serious ways in which a long-term commitment to a person can clash with one’s own personal commitment to one’s career, but we also get to watch two grown women have a serious discussion in Muppet voices and the ridiculousness that ensues when Sriracha is introduced (unwisely) into love play. The movie isn’t perfect – it lags in some places and feels overlong, but it more often than not hits the right notes. It made me laugh, cry and even cringe, and if all these new romantic comedies are intentionally trying to reach Annie Hall-ness, then I’ve got to say that this one is the closest to succeeding that I’ve seen so far. Watch for it!

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August 14, 2012   No Comments


Sometimes a movie comes along that single-handedly raises the bar on WTF?ness. The 2005 quasi-omnibus Funky Forest (directed by Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine & Shunichiro Miki) is that movie. Those experienced with Japanese cinema will have an easier time tolerating the seemingly unconnected vignettes that make up this movie, whose plot loosely involves a group of aliens making first contact with a group of equally alien humans. This one’s  weird even by Japan standards – and plays like an unholy marriage between Luis Buñuel‘s Phantom of Liberty and David Cronenberg‘s Naked Lunch. If that sounds good to you you’re apt to enjoy today’s great scene. All others should probably stay away. Warning: the following scene contains bodily fluids, overwhelming weirdness, and mind-boggling logic that may be detrimental to your mental health.

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June 6, 2012   No Comments

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