Goliath Awaits (1981)

In the days where there were only three major channels, Operation Prime Time was an effort to create network quality programming for small independent stations. I can remember several films that aired locally from this effort, including Yogi’s First Christmas, the Rankin/Bass Jack Frost special, Solid Gold and The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything. With the launch of the Fox Network, most of the independents all switched to that network and there was no further need for OPT.

This was directed by Kevin Connor, who has some pretty fun movies in his resume, including Motel HellThe House Where Evil DwellsFrom Beyond the Grave and The Return of Sherlock Holmes and plenty of others.

Written by Pat Fielder (The Monster That Challenged the WorldThe Vampire) along with Richard M. Bluel and Hugh Benson, who often were producers.

It’s a great idea — at some point in World War II, the gigantic ocean liner RMS Goliath was sunk by torpedos, along with its entire crew and 1,860 passengers. 42 years later, however, a crew led by oceanographer Peter Cabot (Mark Harmon) discovers that the ship is still intact, with 337 survivors and their descendants living in an air bubble utopia. Then again, if you consider a world with mandatory contraception and physical abuse utopia, then maybe it’s not for you. Leading the ship is John McKenzie (Christopher Lee), who saved many of them during the original accident.

Oh yeah — the Goliath also has sensitive documents from President Roosevelt, with Admiral Wiley Sloan (Eddie Albert) demanding that Cabot’s team destroys the top secret letters.

You also get Alex McCord from Airwolf, Emma Samms, John Carradine as an actor who replays his same movie over and over again*, Robert Forester, Frank Gorshin, Duncan Regehr, Kirk Cameron, John Ratzenberger and more.

*That movie is The Black Knight, which starred Peter Cushing.

You can watch this on YouTube.

Killjoy (1981)

You may have also seen this movie under the name Who Murdered Joy Morgan? Either way, it’s a very early role for Kim Basinger, who plays Laury Medford, a woman caught between two men, pursued by a driven older detective (Robert Culp) and way more than she appears.

Dr. Max Heller (Stephen Macht, The Monster Squad) and Dr. Paul Trenton (John Rubinstein, The Boys from Brazil) are the two men after Laury, who may or may not be the murdered Joy Morgan, who may or may not exist. What is real is the fact that Dr. Paul is totally dominated by his mother (Nancy Marchand, who would go on to an even more famous matron role in The Sopranos as Tony’s mother Livia).

What moves the story forward is when a bartender hands Laury and Paul an envelope meant for Max — who has become Laury’s fiancee, mind you — with keys and a love letter for that mystery woman Joy Morgan. Inside an apartment, they find Max’s new coat and a framed photo of him, which seems like a set-up, because whoever marries Laury is going to move on up, seeing as how her father is a big boss at the hospital where they should all really be working.

The real mystery is Joy, who may have been the woman we see killed in a POV shot in the beginning or a fake actress set up to act as her or even a woman who didn’t exist in the first place. Or maybe she’s been Laury all along. The film really piles on the tension until its morgue-set close.

This is the kind of whodunit that made for TV movies were made for. And who better than John Llewellyn Moxey to be at the helm? This was written by Sam Rolfe, who also created The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Have Gun will Travel.

You can watch this on YouTube and tear up at that U.S.A. Home Video logo at the beginning like I did.

Urgh! A Music War (1981)

This is a rock-documentary-cum-concert flick that dispenses with the backstage tomfoolery and goes right to the stage with professionally-shot footage compiled from a variety of 1980-era shows held in England, France, and the United States.

And there’s a couple of reasons why the Police spearhead Urgh! A Music War: Not only were they the most commercially radio-successful “new wave” band of the groups featured; Derek Burbidge, the director, helmed several videos (the famous “Roxanne”) for the Police (he also did Gary Numan’s “Cars”), while Miles Copeland, the brother of the Police’s drummer, Stewart Copeland, managed the Police and operated IRS Records, which produced the film. The film briefly appeared in U.S. theaters via Filmways Pictures (seen it in an art house theater, natch), but gained its cult status due to its frequent airings on HBO and the USA Network’s “Night Flight” video block.

Beginning in 2009, Warner Archive (the successor-in-interest to Lorimar Pictures, who co-produced with IRS) released an official DVD-R of the movie — burned on a made-to-order basis. As result, this one’s not available as a cable PPV or VOD online stream and the freebie You Tube and Vimeo rips don’t last long. However, searching “Urgh! A Music War” on You Tube populates numerous concert clips from the film. The bands you know in those clips are the mainstream MTV video bands the Police, Devo, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Go-Go’s, Joan Jett, Gary Numan, Oingo Boingo, Wall of Voodoo, X, and XTC. The lesser known bands featured — that some know and most don’t — include L.A.’s the Alley Cats, the Dead Kennedys (Terminal City Ricochet), Magazine (off-shoot of the Buzzcocks), the Fleshtones (Peter Zaremba hosted IRS: The Cutting Edge for MTV), Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, 999, Pere Ubu, the Surf Punks, and Toyah Wilcox (Breaking Glass).

You can view the film’s full track listing on Discogs while you listen to the soundtrack in its entirety on You Tube: Side A/B and Side C/D. If you need more punk documents, be sure to check out our “Drive-In Friday (Saturday!): Punk Night II” featurette where we not only took a look at Urgh!, but Punk in London, The Punk Rock Movie, and D.O.A.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

Repost: The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran on June 21, 2020, as part of our “Rock ‘n’ Roll Week.” We’ve brought it back for our “John Doe Week of Films.”

Penelope Spheeris may be best known for Wayne’s World, but her life and films are more than just one movie.

Until the age of seven, Spheeris grew up in a traveling carnival until her father was stabbed after intervening in a racial dispute. After his death, she grew up in California trailer parks with a succession of stepfathers, yet still graduated high school voted “most likely to succeed.”

Working at Denny’s and IHOP in Los Angeles — one wonders if she even encountered David Lynch — she put herself through UCLA and started her career producing short films with Albert Brooks, several of which aired during the first few seasons of Saturday Night Live.

Between DudesSuburbia and two of the Decline films, Spheeris has shown her understanding of punk even as she lays bare some of the sillier moments of the kids caught up in its wake. The decline of Western civilization could mean many things here. It could be a reference to Lester Bangs’ review of The Stooges’ Fun House, where a friend remarked that this album had to be the signal of the end of it all. Or it could be a reference to Germs singer Darby Crash Darby reading Oswald Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline of the West).

The bands within this movie — as well as the punk rock fans — gave Spheeris some amazing access to their lives, warts and all. While some bands like Alice Bag Band and Catholic Discipline may not be well known, X, the aforementioned Germs, Fear, the Circle Jerks and Black Flag should be recognized by anyone, not just punk fans.

After the film was screened in Los Angeles, punk music fans got into so many fights and caused so much chaos that L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates wrote the filmmakers a letter asking them not to screen the film again.

This series of movies was only available in bootleg form for years. This was because of licensing issues for all the songs and Spheeris not wanting to go back and relive them. She didn’t need the money, but then she decide that she’d rather be remembered for these films than her more commercial work.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi. There’s also the official site which has press clippings and more info on the films.

UFO’s It Has Begun (1981, but really 1974)

You have to hand it to the producers of this film. Based on the book UFOs: Past, Present, and Future by Robert Emenegger, it was originally released with that title in 1974, then re-released in 1976. And after Close Encounters of the Third Kind, they changed the title to UFO’s It Has Begun and put it back in theaters in 1979 and then again in 1981.

That’s ingenuity. Or grindhouse ingenuity, as it were.

Supposedly, at some point in 1971 Emenegger was asked by either the Republican Party, officials at California’s Norton Air Force Base or the Department of Defense itself to produce a film about UFOS using only official DoD and NASA source material. If he agreed, he was allegedly promised footage of a 1964 landing at Holloman Air Force Base (that footage is in this movie but the few seconds shown don’t prove anything).

The main reason I got into this was that Rod Serling hosts the film — from the grave, as he died in 1974, so as the film expanded for the 1979 re-release, they needed to add more actors to narrate — and starts it off just like The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery, asking questions of our existence.

The rest of the movie features episodic stories of otherworldly events, such as a Lubbock, Texas event that is explained away as ball lightning, tales of ancient aliens punctuated by Burgess Meredith reading from the Bible, an appearance by Dr. Jacques Vallée, tales of how the Air Force, Pentagon and CIA got involved, animal mutilations and finally, a dramatization of alien visitors landing at Holloman Air Force Base and collaborating with the U.S. government.

Somehow, this movie was nominated for Best Documentary Film at the 33rd Golden Globe Awards. Other than the time Pia Zadora won the New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture Golden Globe, this would be the only time I ever cared about that show.

In a 2018 episode of Ancient Aliens,  Emenegger again told the story that the government promised to give him the Holloman footage, as well as the potentially apocryphal story that he handed Steven Spielberg a copy of the original UFOs: Past, Present, and Future film and that’s why the director made Close Encounters. You have to love when a huckster never stops being a huckster.

You can watch this on YouTube.

Repost: Car Crash (1981)

Editor’s Note: This review ran on October 14, 2020, as part of the 2020 Scarecrow Psychotonic Challenge. In our quest to catalog all manner of car flicks from the video fringe, we’re reposting the review as part of our “Fast and Furious Week: Part Deux.”

If you’re going to make a race car movie in 1981 and you’re Anthony M. Dawson — ahem Antonio Margheriti — and you’ve got the Italians, the Spanish and some Mexicans interested in your film, you propose only one actor who can be in your film. Travolta.

Joey Travolta.

And oh yeah, John Steiner. Everyone loves John Steiner!

Paul (Travolta) and Nick (Vittorio Mezzogiorno, The House of the Yellow Carpet) are race car buddies who run afoul of the mob and a double-crossing antiques dealer named Janice (Ana Obregón, who is in Treasure of the Four Crowns and a fixture in the scandal sheets, what with being a Jeffrey Epstein client, a rumored affair with David Beckham that caused his wife Victoria to refer to her as a “geriatric Barbie” and paying her bodyguards to assault reporters). They get the perfect car to be winners — a red Trans-Am — and end up finally racing in the Imperial Crash, which seems like something out of Speed Racer in all the best of ways.

Steiner is Kirby, the person who is buying all the antiques off of Janice. He ends up flooding most of his estate and challenging our heroes to a race that destroys most of his home, crashes his car and drenches his butler. And he loves it!

This is a big dumb Italian version of a big dumb American race movie, which is something I never knew I wanted but totally know that I now love. You know what’s missing from those movies? Model cars and a synth-ed out soundtrack. This one has that, including a model train crash and numerous scenes of firepits being jumped, cars racing down hills, non-stop motor noise and protagonists who whip dynamite out of moving cars like they’re done it a million times before.

I’m not saying that I want Antonio Margheriti to direct everything I watch, but if the ratio was 75% Margheriti, this would be a much better life.

You can watch this on YouTube.

King of the Mountain (1981)

Before Paul Walker and Vin Diesel’s exploits in The Fast and the Furious, there was Harry Hamlin and Joseph Bottoms in this film that first chronicled the real life street racing communities of Los Angeles. However, in this tale, they don’t pull a “Point Break” and use their street racing exploits to front a crime wave: they’re just a group of competitive friends who race their high-powered cars up and down a dangerous and deadly mountain road known as Mulholland Drive — to become the “King of the Hill.”

Here, we get all of the actors we care about: Joseph Bottoms, Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Warriors), Seymour Cassel (Trees Lounge), William Forsythe (Smokey Bites the Dust). Yeah, this rocks. Oh, yeah. And some guy name Dennis Hopper (The Last Movie) shows up.

So, did Neal H. Moritz, Rob Cohen, Paul Walker and Gary Scottt Thompson pinch this forgotten VHS-to-HBO obscurity? Well — did they — as Sam pointed out, pinch (even more so) 1987’s No Man’s Land starring D.B. Sweeney and Charlie Sheen thirteen years before (also reviewed this week, search for it)? Nah, it is surely coincidental: their film was a film where Days of Thunder collided Donnie Brasco — and those were released waaaay after King of the Mountain and No Man’s Land.

Leigh Chapman based the screenplay on “Thunder Road” written by David Barry for Los Angeles’ New West Magazine. The characters of Hamlin’s Porsche-obsessed driver and Dennis Hopper’s Corvette aficionado were based on the article’s real-life subjects of Chris Banning and Charles “Crazy Charlie” Woit. Director Noel Nosseck made his debut with the Richard Hatch-starring, Crown International Pictures’ vansploitationer, 1975’s Best Friends, as well as the 1981 TV Movie biker flick, Return of the Rebels, which starred Barbara Eden, Don Murray, and Christopher Connelly (Atlantis Interceptors).

You can watch this on You Tube.

While this played in theaters — where I saw it — it made its way to HBO — where I saw it again — then eventually to VHS in the ’80s. The film found its way into the grey market via VHS-to-DVD rips sold on eBay. However, in 2016, the film was officially released in the U.S. for Digital HD and Video On Demand services through iTunes and Amazon Prime.

Update: As we went to press, we discovered Kino Lorber acquired the rights to King of the Mountain with plans to re-release it to Blu-ray on November 24, 2020. The brand new 2K Master also features interviews with star Harry Hamlin and director Noel Nosseck. You can learn more about Kino Lorber’s complete roster of films at their official website and Facebook, and watch the related film trailers on You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

The Last Chase (1981)

Damn you, Burt Reynolds! Damn you, Mel Gibson! And damn you, Canadian film industry! For we blame each of you for this utterly dumb collision of Smokey and the Bandit and Mad Max*. And does anyone remember 1979’s Americathon with “Mr. President” John Ritter? And we’ll blame Burt twice because, since this is a cross-country race to a “free zone” in California where there are no vehicular rules, we have a touch of Cannonball Run. What the hell: let’s blame David Carradine, too. For if 1976’s Cannonball had a jet plane, we’d have The Last Chase.

Yes. You heard us right. This is a movie about a car vs. a jet plane. For in a petrol-void world, the last chase will not be between a futuristic, Spaghetti Westerneque cop and punk-mohawked warlord: the end shall be waged between a Porsche driven by an ex-bionic man and a fighter jet piloted by an ex-penguin.

Remember Firebird 2015 with Darren McGavin? Well, if you thought that future was FUBAR’d. . . .

Warning: The Logan’s Run-inspired city may not appear in the actual film.

In this futuristic tale set in 2011, Lee Majors (who, no matter how hard he tried, couldn’t transition out of TV into film) stars as “The Bandit” and Mickey from Rocky, yes, Burgess Meredith,” stars as “Sheriff Buford T. Justice.” Only the Pengy is a burnt-out, ex-hot shot Air Force pilot assigned to fire up a mothballed fighter jet and chase down Major’s gas scofflaw.

And I, desperate for entertainment in my youth, went to my town’s little duplex to see this.

Shame on me.

Argh! No freebie uploads. This is a Crown International Pictures production. Isn’t their entire catalog in the public domain? Oh, well. We did find this 3:00 opening credits clip, alternate-extended trailer, and a segment of the first 30-minutes, with Part 2 and Part 3. The Last Chase was originally released on VHS by Vestron Video (now a division of Lions Gate Entertainment), which licensed the film to DVD in May 2011 through Code Red Releasing.

* While we’ve never reviewed Mad Max itself, we certainly reviewed all of its knockoffs with our “Atomic Dust Bin of Apocalyptic Films ” Part 1 and Part 2 round-up featurettes packed with links to all of our reviews.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

Mill Creek Sci-Fi Invasion: Escape from Galaxy 3 (1981)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Freese contributes to many different magazines, zines and websites such as Videoscope, Rue Morgue, Drive-in Asylum, Grindhouse Purgatory, Horror and Sons and Lunchmeat VHS. (His most recent piece, about the 80’s video distributor Super Video, can be found here). He also co-hosts the Two Librarians Walk into a Shelf podcast so he has an excuse to expose library patrons to ninja and slasher films. 

Depending on what copy of the movie you are watching, the title is either the really cool sounding Escape from Galaxy 3, or it is a fake looking title card blocking out that title with Starcrash II superimposed over it, in classic Commodore 64 font.

Our movie starts with a space attack. Almost immediately we don’t so much as feel like we’ve seen this all before, but we know for a fact that we have seen this all before because we are watching special effects outtakes from Luigi Cozzi’s 1979 sci-fi-adventure flick Starcrash. You may be tempted to take the disc out to check it to make sure you put in the correct movie, but rest assured, you did.

Cosmic radar has picked up an unidentified space craft in the galaxy. It is Oraclon, the King of the Night and possibly a member of some intergalactic glam-rock Village People cover band. He has big eyes and a glittery beard.

Oraclon wants to claim King Ceylon’s planet for his own. Ceylon’s hot to trot daughter, Princess Belle Star, wears half a dress and a glitter pastie in the shape of a star over her single uncovered breast. She is ordered to get into an escape ship with Captain Lithan and collect the King’s allies before Oraclon can make his next move. (This is “Plan Epsilon,” for whatever reason. Seems like a good old fashion retreat to me.)

When Ceylon refuses to surrender to Oraclon, the Studio 54 disco-reject puts a hurting on Ceylon’s space station and blows up the king’s home planet of Exalon.

Belle Star and Lithan manage to get away from the battle that is just as exciting as it was the first time we watched it in Starcrash. Oraclon, enraged, screams, “You galactic idiots! Imbeciles! We are not returning to the base until I have their heads at my feet!”

After rocketing through space, Belle Star and Lithan discover a strange planet, third from a sun, populated by savages. They crash land and damage their ship. These savage men and women, although cleanly shaven, live in huts and perceive the visitors to be enemies. The atmosphere of the earth enables the Captain and the Princess to display superhuman powers. Naturally, they are quickly sentenced to death.

In a moment before being condemned, Lithan saves a young boy from falling to his death, and then the primitive Earth people love him and the princess and welcome them to live in their village. While living among the cleanly shaven primitives, Belle Star and Lithan spy a young couple partaking in some nookie in the woods. This is odd to them, as physical contact between people is not allowed where they’re from. They are curious. It looks like fun. They decide to try kissing.

Never before has the screen exploded in such raw, non-passionate making of the love. I mean, these two kids kiss like they are sharing the same stick of gum. It is painful to watch, like watching your mom and dad kiss. Later, after a nude swim under a waterfall, one of the savages loves up Belle Star and she is enthusiastic for Lithan to try it. He can’t seem to get into the spirit of her experimentations. Just then, a trio of young people, two girls and a guy, come walking by and Belle Star suggests they basically engage in some group lovin’. Everyone is for it but before they can bang a gong and get it on, Oraclon learns where they are and announces he is coming for them. They try to decide what to do and finally feel it is best to leave once the final repairs on their ship are completed.

That night, at the Festival of Love, young men battle in odd, elementary school “Field Day” type competitions to win the opportunity to bed down and make the intercourse with any female they desire. The winner takes Belle Star. She looks longingly at Lithan. Lithan feels jealous and takes a young lady to his bed for a passionless coupling.

Both Belle Star and Lithan imagine the other’s head on the bodies of the people they are shagging. (I think it is safe to say that the similar scene of Tom Hanks imagining different peoples’ heads on Monique Gabrielle’s body in Bachelor Party (1984) drew quite a bit of inspiration from this scene.)

When Oraclon finally attacks Earth, they flee. While on the spaceship and drifting through space, they become bored, so they make sweet, sweet intergalactic nookie. Disgusted, Oraclon watches from a sensor screen and exclaims, “What are they doing?! I don’t understand!!!”

Like a jealous 13-year-old who hangs out with two friends, another guy, and a girl, and love suddenly connects the other guy and the girl, Oraclon vows to destroy Lithan and take Belle Star as his slave. He’ll show them! He has captured all the remaining kings of the different galaxy worlds to bare witness to his cosmic hissy fit. Belle Star tells her soon to be master, “After thousands of years, our sexual powers have come back to life and we haven’t suffered any harm. On the contrary. We’ve acquired a powerful new dimension.”

Aghast, Oraclon and his giant eyes and weird glittery glam beard look at the princess like she has lost her damn mind and wails again, “I don’t understand!”

At last, Belle Star surrenders to Oraclon. He declares that she will be his slave. Captain Lithan is condemned to slave labor, per Oraclon, “For the rest of his cosmic life!”

Belle Star and Lithan kiss, profess their love for one another, and then accept their fate as they stare longingly into each other’s glazed eyes.

In this one moment, Oraclon appears to honestly feel bad for being such an evil jerk. It’s as if he wants to say something, release these two crazy kids so they can experience a life of love and happiness, but his pride and his glitter glam beard keep him from saying anything. Surprisingly, this is a character of great depth, far from perfect, in constant conflict with his true self. (Just possibly, there is a piece of Oraclon in all of us.)

Belle Star goes to Oraclon, accepting her fate, and kisses him. At that precise moment, Lithan shoots eye beams into Belle Star, which pulse through her body and electrocute Oraclon, rendering him into little more than a smoldering pile of charcoal briquettes. They free the kings, set Oraclon’s ship to self-destruct and escape back to Earth, where they can be free and happy and enjoy the making of the savage love of the primitives. It ends with a nude midnight beach frolic, as the strange cosmic lovers embrace, and the passion squirts out of them as they seemingly share one last stick of gum.

Somehow, I missed this movie back when I was teenager. I mention this only because, as a grown up, I realize what a piece of garbage this movie is, but, as a forever 14-year-old, I really enjoyed the straight Star Wars rip-off plot mixed with a teen sex comedy. I mean, this is like Star Wars meshed with Porky’s.

I can’t say that I can recall too many Star Wars rip-offs that ever had such an emphasis on bedroom space antics. Still, it is not nearly as sleazy as it could have been in the hands of, say, Joe D’Amato. (Oh, my!) It has a juvenile charm. It is not as horrible as many movies I can call to mind.

The reason most people seek this one out is that inappropriate and unfotunated AKA, Starcrash II. Luigi Cozzi’s Starcrash was a hit for New World Pictures and for years various sequels were promised. Several attempts at following it up were made, by many different people. This film claims to be a sequel, but in no way should it ever be considered a sequel, even if Cozzi is sometimes mentioned as a co-director. It seems confusing, but when I had an opportunity to ask Cozzi about it, he cleared it up for me.

According to Cozzi, the Italian executive producer of Starcrash, Luigi Nannerini, was given the rights for Italian distribution. Nannerini thought he could utilize unedited model shots of the spaceships and space footage for an entirely new, low budget science fiction film. Early on, Cozzi said he was interested in making that movie for Nannerini, but the producer refused to give him any money for more optical effects. The only effects would be the unused, unedited footage from Starcrash.

Realizing a movie could not be made like this, Cozzi walked away from the project. Nannerini then hired Adalberto “Bitto” Albertini to put the film together. Released in Italy, the film was a flop. Nannerini went back and inserted hardcore sex scenes into it, only for the film to flop in the hardcore Italian market. (I don’t have any other information on this alternate version, so I don’t know what graphic scenes, if any, were added.) In the end, Nannerini admitted to Cozzi that he had been correct. The film really needed new special effects to make it successful for the science fiction crowd.

When I asked Cozzi if fans of Starcrash should consider Escape from Galaxy 3 a real sequel or continuation to his beloved sci-fi adventure, he did not mince words in his response, saying, “Absolutely not. Escape from Galaxy 3 has nothing to do with me [or] with Starcrash. It’s just a kind of [an] extremely bastard son, a rip-off, a giant theft. A shame. I’d never been able to do such a piece of shit.”

I can certainly understand where Cozzi is coming from with wanting to distance this film with his. But from a certain point of view, Escape from Galaxy 3 has a brain damaged charm that is hard to resist. I mean, if someone said, “Hey, do you want to watch a Star Wars rip-off with a lot of nudity?” What is the possibility that you would pass on watching such a film? Well, Escape from Galaxy 3 is that film.

Now, some bare flesh doesn’t a great flick make. And please don’t think I’m trying to convince you that Escape from Galaxy 3 is some kind of lost “drive-in” classic, because it most certainly is not. It’s a throwaway junk flick made to be watched and forgotten as you go to the next movie on the double bill. For those among us who like their entertainment skewered with weirdness, I don’t believe too many would argue that this film is worth a watch. It is so bizarre, like it was directed with the kiddie market that flocked to Star Wars and Starcrash in mind, but then someone said, “Do you know how many tickets we’ll sell if we show the princess naked?” This is one of those wonderfully weird discoveries within a 50-pack of misfit movies that rises above most in the set to deliver unexpected and surprising entertainment value, especially when you were figuring it was going to be just another Italian Star Wars rip-off. When one considers some of those run of the mill Italian “Sons of Star Wars,” Escape from Galaxy 3 is far from the worst of its ilk.

SLASHER MONTH: Home Sweet Home (1981)

Also known as Slasher In the House, this is one of the few Thanksgiving slashers that I can think of — that said, I can tell you others are Deadly Friend, Blood FreakThanksKilling, ThanksKilling 3Blood Rage, the remake of The Boogeyman, Kristy and Intensity — and it’s also a section 3 video nasty, so it has that going for it.

It also stars Body By Jake star Jake Steinfeld, who legend says refuses to discuss that he was ever in this movie. Dude, if he had Cameo, I’d pay to ask about this movie every single day. He plays PCP addict Jay Jones, a guy who has already destroyed his parents.

Harold Bradley should have never made Thanksgiving dinner for the nine victims in this movie, including his heavy metal son “Mistake.” But here we are, with car trunks getting slammed onto heads, stabbing nice young ladies and the aforementioned KISS loving son getting electrocuted.

Director Nettie Peña was an editor and associate producer on Dracula Sucks, so there’s that.

This is also the first role for Vanessa Shaw, who was Allison in Hocus Pocus (and also appeared in Eyes Wide ShutLadybugs and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes).

Seriously, Mistake should have been the killer, or better yet, he could have just run away and survived, heading off to Wisconsin where he and Marvelous Mervo would start a band that would destroy minds and reap souls when they both weren’t playing practical jokes, peeping on women and crying about how tough life was for them.

Also: more movies should have killers that inject PCP directly into their tongue before grunting like maniacs and killing everyone around them. Remember when people did PCP and would go nuts and turn into criminal supermen? Whatever happened to it after the video game NARC?

You can watch this on YouTube.