Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MY DEGENERATION (1990)

"Here I am petting a pig head and I'm actually enjoying it. This is really weird."

Thirteen minutes into MY DEGENERATION, the main character falls asleep while watching TV...I was jealous.  All kidding aside, I'm not sure why MY DEGENERATION gets such a bad rap.  (Although, proudly boasting "see why ROGER EBERT walked out after 7 minutes" on your DVD cover probably doesn't help.)  The film is pretty much what you would expect for a 61-minute movie made for $5,000 by teenagers in 1989.  The story (as unoriginal as it is) is about a rock band who sell out and then burn out.  Along the way, the lead singer falls in love with a talking pig head that she keeps in her refrigerator.

In the (surprisingly enjoyable) audio commentary, director/producer/writer Jon Moritsugu states that he originally planned for MY DEGENERATION to be a 30-minute short film, but then a friend bet him that he couldn't make it into a feature length film.  So, instead of adding story (and therefore increasing the budget), Jon simply stretched it to 61-minutes by added in a bunch of needless filler.  For example: replaying a long scene of the girls "playing" their instruments (I say "playing" because none of them knew how to play) that was shown earlier, but this time just inverting it to look like a film negative (kinda like the album cover to Nirvana's "Bleach", which was released in 1989).

Overall, MY DEGENERATION would have been much better as a short film, but it's still an interesting look at extremely low-budget filmmaking in the late 1980's.  My biggest complaint is the band members not knowing how to play their instruments.  That was distracting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

FIREWALKER (1986)

Tired as fuck Indiana Jones/buddy cop/ROMANCING THE STONE wannabe starring the zero-laughs-per-minute comedy stylings of Lou Gossett Jr. and Chuck Norris.  I like Chuck Norris and Lou Gossett Jr. individually (well, at least, their more popular stuff), but they make a lame duo here.

After a snoozer of an opening scene where an evil general ties them up in the desert (...and then drives away!), Lou and Chuck are approached by a mysterious woman in a bar.  She shows them a treasure map, then a dude with a crossbow attacks them and runs away.  Eventually, they travel south of the border in search for the lost gold.  Bad jokes and boring adventures ensue. 

FIREWALKER isn't a terrible movie, just really blah.  Like an extended length episode of some long forgotten 80's adventure TV series.  Cheap sets (the caves especially looked like shit), bad jokes, slow pace, zero adventure, zero tension, zero sex, zero character development, zero explanation of the title.

Outside of the drawing power of the two leads, I have no idea why the filmmakers thought that FIREWALKER would make any money...which probably explains why it disappeared from the theaters after just a few weeks. Skip it.
Lou moving his left leg before Chuck has untied it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

DROID (1988)

"Fuck the system."

What the fudge did I just watch?  Right off the bat, (I'm talking like five seconds into it!) you can tell this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Shot on what looks to be somebody's home video camera, DROID is the thrilling futuristic (Los Angeles, 2020) story of an "Eliminator" cop by the name of Taylor, who hangs out at a club called the Pleasure Dome.  When he's not blackmailing sex droids into wetting up his jimmer jammer, he's wistfully thinking about his ex-wife and asking himself why did she have to leave him.  There's also a stolen "decoder".  Taylor eventually locates the decoder, but then loses it.  The cops drug him, in hopes of locating the decoder.  Taylor's robot butler (who is fluent in "jive") gets shot with a laser.  The End.

DROID really has to be seen to be believed.  There's no way that I can fully convey just how bizarre and cheap-looking this film is.  Homemade sets, fog machine overdose, piss poor acting, almost non-existent story, unbelievably horrible splicing of scenes together, wretched lighting, music that will haunt your memory (in a bad way) and editing that damn near melted my mind.  Long story short, DROID fails in every single way that a film could fail except...making me not want to watch it.  I watched this turkey twice(!!!) and both times I couldn't pull handsome eyeballs away from the screen.  It's like watching seven train wrecks at the same time.

Afterwards, I had dozens of questions, so I did some research and found out that DROID was assembled from the non-pornographic scenes of two different porno films!  CABARET SIN (1987) and EMPIRE OF THE SINS (1988).  That explains the weird editing, vague story and excessive runtime padding.  And it makes me like the film even more!

I can't even imagine the level of disappointment and bewilderment that innocent video store customers had, in the late 80's, when they brought this sucker home expecting something like THE TERMINATOR and ended up with camcorder quality scenes of a woman (Bunny Bleu) repeatedly thrusting a trombone out of her crotch like it was a robot cock...for over four minutes!!!  Not that most people even made it that far...27:48 to 32:00

Recommended for fans of the obscure and weird.