BARE BONES: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS! and KNOCK KNOCK

MZNJ_bareBones_Marquee

now playing

Humerus-Bone1

electric boogaloo cannon doc

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS! (2015)

Great documentary about schlockmeister Cannon Films that churned out so many delightfully bad…and very entertaining B-movies during the 80s. Mark Hartley’s documentary is told through the eyes of a number of talents who worked for Cannon during their existence from both behind and in front of the camera. We get a real good look at the inside of the studio founded by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and how they dreamed of taking America by storm. We hear from actors like Bo Derek, Molly Ringwald, Robert Forster and Cannon regulars Lucinda Dickey and Michael Dudikoff, who all have entertaining stories to tell about starring in some of the studios most infamous productions. We also hear what it was like to make films for them by the likes of Tobe Hooper, Sam Firstenberg and Franco Zeffirelli. We get a story of two men whose dream to be a major studio was derailed by churning out some of the shlocky-est productions during a decade renown for it’s excesses. They made a major action star out of Chuck Norris and reignited Charles Bronson’s career…although not completely in a good way. Documentary is almost as fun as some of the ‘so bad it’s good’ movies they produced under Golan and Globus between 1979 and 1985.

-MonsterZero NJ

three and one half stars rating

 

Humerus-Bone1

knock knock

KNOCK KNOCK (2015)

Eli Roth’s flick is a reworking of a 1977 film called Death Game where two women (Sandra Locke and Collen Camp who are given producers credits here) terrorize a man (Seymour Cassel) over a two day period. In this update, we have architect and family man Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) who is left home alone on Father’s Day weekend to finish some work while his wife and kids hit the beach. During a rainstorm, two beautiful young women (Ana de Armas and Lorenza Izzo) show up soaking wet at his door, claiming to be lost and wind up seducing Evan into a threesome. The following morning Evan finds his guests still there and acting quite out of control. He manages to evict them, but they return that night to take Evan hostage and begin to torment him as punishment for what he did to them, claiming they are only fifteen years-old. Viewing him as a pedophile, the psychotic women claim he must die at dawn unless he plays their twisted games.

Despite a familiar premise that could have been fun, this flick is just dull and silly as these two loonies torment Reeves’ unfaithful family man for over forty minutes. It’s not only never gripping, but really just amounts to a fairly bloodless and uninventive torture show as the two women claim that Webber needs to pay for taking advantage of underage girls like themselves. While the two actresses do have a good time going all over-the-top, neither is remotely believable for a minute at being that young, or is given any real meaty material to work with. As for Reeves, he seems very miscast here and does not seem comfortable at all with the material…and it goes beyond the character’s discomfort with being a married man in the company of two horny vixens turned psychopaths. Even had Reeves been less wooden, the film offers nothing new and doesn’t even make inventive use of the familiar tropes of this type of Fatal Attraction flick. Roth does clarify his ladies intentions in the DVD extras, but one shouldn’t need supplemental material to make things clearer. Dull and only worth watching for the generous nudity from Armas and Izzo (Mrs. Eli Roth) who are clearly having a fun time with their parts. Wish Reeves would have had more fun with his part and Roth stopped recycling his influences and gave us something more original.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

bars

TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: CHEERLEADER CAMP (1988)

MZNJ_New_TON

now playing

Cheerleader Camp

bars

CHEERLEADER CAMP (1988)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The only reason to really check out this 1988 slasher flick is…aside from abundant cheerleader action…a slew of familiar 80s faces such as Betsy Russell, Lucinda (Breakin’ 1 & 2) Dickey, Playboy model Rebecca Ferratti, porn star-to-be Teri Weigel, George “Buck” Flower and 70s teen heartthrob Leif Garrett. The film is also a good example of how late 80s horrors were filmed with a more colorful look and far more humor than their early 80s counterparts. (read more about this here)

Simple story has emotionally fragile Alison (Russell) going to Camp Hurrah for cheerleading camp for the summer. Soon after her arrival, there is an apparent suicide and people start disappearing. It finally becomes evident that someone is targeting cheerleader and counselors alike and there may be no escape for Alison and her friends…unless there is some truth to her vivid dreams and Alison is the one her friends need to fear…

The only thing creepy about this slasher is that Leif Garrett is pushing 30 and his receding hairline makes him look far too old to pass himself off as a teenager. As directed by John Quinn, from a script by David Lee Fein and R.L. O’Keefe, this is a slow moving and very routine slasher. There is a long time between killings and despite a fair amount of suspects, very little tension or suspense. The film only really gets going in the last 10 minutes or so and by then, we’ve figured out who the killer is long before the last scene reveal. Sure there is a very attractive cast of cheerleaders, but the acting is pretty wooden all across the board and eye candy is more the purpose of the predominately female roster. The males are mostly there to be suspects or horn-dogs and the suspects are a little too obvious to actually be the real killer. There is some nice 80s nostalgia, too, but as a slasher, the body count is low and the gore moderate and only moderately effective. There is humor sprinkled throughout, but it doesn’t blend well as the rest of the film seems to be taking itself very seriously. The film is, for the most part, fairly forgettable if not for the nostalgia factor.

Overall, there isn’t too much to say about this flick. As a slasher it is very routine and generates little tension or suspense. As an 80s movie there is plentiful nostalgia, especially due to a plethora of 80s B-Movie regulars. There is certainly a lot of eye candy from the nubile cast of models and B level starlets, but as a movie, it’s not bad enough to be enjoyed on that level and definitely not very good as a legitimate slasher. If you are an 80s completest, like me, it’s worth a look, but don’t expect much.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 pom poms.

cheerleader camp rating

 

 

 

 

bars