Vinyl Dolls (2002)

The Vinyl Dolls seem ready for the big time if they can just all get along. Sadly, right before their biggest shows ever, their lead singer quits. Then they meet FInola who is actress Tiffany Shepis, the entire reason to watch this, and such a great part of Delta Delta Die!Tales of HalloweenVictor Crowley and so many movies that she’s the best part of.

There’s some kind of plot here, but all the sex scenes get in the way. When I was a teenager, I would have said that there’s a plot that keeps getting in the way of the sex, so I feel like I’ve made some growth in my life. Also, Jezebelle Bond and Kelsey Hart are in this, and if you instantly know their names, you’ve done some personal growth of your own at one time of another in your life.

Director Buddy Beale made exactly this one movie. This was his shot, his dream project and this is what he gave us. A Cinemax ready movie made years after that was no longer a thing anyone wanted. Rock and roll?

Trancers 6 (2002)

If you can’t get Tim Thomerson, use stock footage or have him jump into the body of his daughter Josephine (Zette Sullivan). Oh Full Moon, you are as cheap as you are sometimes loveable. The Trancers are just as deadly, but you know, Jack’s a girl now. Or old footage. But mostly a lady.

We neglected to mention that there was another sequel which was to be part of the Full Moon anthology Pulse Pounders called Trancers: City of Lost Angels that was on the old Trancers DVD and shows up on the blu ray release. It has Thomerson and Helen Hunt teaming up as an old enemy of Jack’s named Edlin Shock escapes a maximum security facility and comes after our hero.

So yeah. Trancers 6. Did you ever accept a wedding invite and then break up with someone and the two of you still decide to go together but it feels like an obligation and while there are some alright parts, you just can’t wait to have it all be over? Yeah. It feels like that.

That said, Sullivan is pretty decent and had some coaching — so says IMDB so take that with a grain of Trancers — from Thomerson, who told her to act like Steve McQueen, only more pissed off.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Hell Asylum (2002)

Way back to two weeks ago — time has no meaning in a pandemic — we watched “Shallow Graves” in the Full Moon remix anthology The Dead Reborn.

So yeah — this is the full length cut and it’s all about a reality show called Chill Challenge that offers a million dollars to anyone who can survive a haunted house for one night. Has no one learned any lessons in the history of film?

Joe Estevez plays Stan the Investor who sets it all up. Brinke Stevens plays the ghost who is named Head Spectre in the credits. Women are named things like Paige Turner and Rainbow. I’m shocked that there aren’t black and white cans that just say beer in this what with all of the creativity that’s on display.

Somehow, this was called Prison of the Dead 2 as a working title and didn’t end up with that name. Come on, Full Moon. We depend on you for sequels and movies with small creatures that kill normal-sized people.

If you were demanded a version of Halloween: Resurrection that somehow sucked even more, this is your movie.

You can watch this on Tubi.

The Scream Team (2002)

I watch a lot of Disney Channel movies late at night, so perhaps I can be forgiven when I mix them up. Or maybe it’s because this is the first of several films where some motherless or fatherless kids move to or visit a new town where a relative was involved in the supernatural and must deal with it themselves. Seeing as how there’s no Debbie Reynolds or Mr. Boogedy in this, I would assume that we’re watching The Scream Team, but you can also think that maybe this is Beetlejuice.

At least this has the talents of Eric Idle, Tommy Davidson and Kathy Najimy as the ghosts who help those in the afterlife cross over. They even have a waiting room just like the aforementioned Tim Burton classic.

This is also an early role for Kat Dennings, who plays Claire Carlyle, who is joined by her brother Ian in learning exactly why their grandfather can’t move on from this plane of existence.

This was a pilot for a series, but this episode is pretty much all you get. If you like this type of supernatural fun that’s safe for kids, trust me, there’s so much more on DIsney+.

Zombies (2018)

Based on Zombies & Cheerleaders by David Light and Joseph Raso, this Disney take on when Hell gets full is all about the town of Seabrook, where a power plant accident turned half the town into zombies, who have been fitted with Z-Bands — whose soothing electromagnetic pulses keep them from craving brains — and live in a walled off city called Zombietown.

Our star-crossed lovers are Addison, a cheerleader with white hair, and Zed, a football playing zombie. Nobody in either group of kids — zombies have their own all-in-one peer group — know that they’re in love. Throw in a few musical numbers and you have a recipe for success that has led to two sequels (Zombies 3 is in production) and 10.3 million viewers.

I kind of liked how the humans are more zombified than the undead. The only flavor of ice cream in town is vanilla, which is a cute joke.

There was also an unsold pilot for Zombies and Cheerleaders and the second film in the series added werewolves while the third looks like it’s going to have aliens.

I just want to know who decided to integrate the zombies into the school. That makes me want to make a serious drama about the zombies who worked so hard to get rights for everyone and if you think I’m kidding, you can laugh as I win an Oscar for my tearjerking dramatic script.

 

Junesploitation 2021: Babes in Kong Land (2002)

June 21: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie — is a movie with Julie Strain in it.

Also known as Planet of the Erotic Ape and World of the Erotic Ape, this shot-in-Cincinnati ape rip is actually a rip off of (IMHO) the Richard Hatch, Kay Lenz, and John Saxon bore festival that is Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) — only with sex and apes added. A TV repairman, who sidelines as a mad scientist, tests his new invention (something about transporting TV signals into space) and accidentally transports himself to a planet (which sounds like the dopey, 1989 John Roarke (S.F.W) fronted sci-comedy Mutant on the Bounty) where Amazonian women banish men into “The Forbidden Zone” and bed with talking apes. The gist of the tale is that the women of this world are ruled by a brutal dominatrix and their “erotic ape” sex partner, tired of his love-slave imprisonment, escapes. And when you’re a tribe of horny women without an ape, you turn into a lesbian jungle cult — and take an interest in your world’s newest male inhabitant. Or something like that.

Look, if you want to see a porn movie with five topless girls on an island horny for a guy in a ratty monkey suit, you’ve found your movie. If you want a lot of girl-on-girl action, you’ve found your movie. If you want a movie shot as a comedy, but without any comedy, you’ve found your movie. Hey, it’s only 60 minutes and the human babes on male ape sex arrives within the first five minutes, so what’s not to likey, here?

Keen eyes weaned on the lowest-budget of the low-budget B-Movies (aren’t our eyes all, for B&S wouldn’t exist without them) will recognize the reason that we’re here: Julie Strain, a Penthouse “Pet of the Month” in June 1991 and “Pet of the Year” in 1993, who has graced us with the likes of Psycho Cop Returns, along with appearance in Naked Gun 33 1/3, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Battle Queen 2020, along with Monique Gabrielle of Jim Wynorski’s Transylvania Twist, as well as 976-Evil II, Munchie.

Eric Eichelberger* (Ghoul Scout Zombie Massacre) started his career on this long-gestating Julie Strain project, but not at the same time. The future director and actress would come to work together on Blood Gnome (2004).

* We had an extensive interview with Eric in February of this year regarding his currently-in-development documentary Exploit This! The Complete History of Exploitation Cinema in America. We also reviewed several “erotic ape” movies with our “Ape Week: Sex on Planet Ape: The Lost Erotic Ape Movies” feature as part of our “Ape Week” of reviews of all of the Planet of the Apes movies and its rip offs, reboots and knockoffs.

We lost Julie Strain at the age of 58 this past January 2021.

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

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Belle da Morire (2002)

Vincent Dawn is the name Bruno Mattei used to make this movie, which is seemingly shot all in the same two or three rooms and feels like an even lower rent Showgirls, which is exactly the kind of movie that I want to watch Mattei make.

How do you know it’s Bruno Mattei? Because there’s an entire suicide scene from Lethal Weapon  cut and pasted into this film! Not an inspired shot or a copied scene, I mean he took the actual footage and put it into his movie.

That suicide scene goes in when one of Bruno’s (Hugo Baret, who is also in Mattei’s Privé and The Tomb) many women catches him in bed with another girl, does some coke he gives her and swan dives to her doom. One of her friends, Damy (Emily Crawford, also in Mattei’s Capriccio Veneziano), starts dancing in his club to get revenge.

I don’t know who this movie is for, because it’s packed with strip scenes that aren’t all that sexy and lovemaking scenes that are edited in strobing way that could give you a seizure but not an erection. Yet you know, I love that when some people retire and live quiet lives, Mattei was making movies pretty much up until the point that he died from brain cancer.

There’s also a sequel to this and with my level of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you know that I’m going to have to track it down.

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Capriccio Veneziano (2002)

You’d be forgiven if you think Venetian Capriccio is Desire, another Bruno Mattei — Vincent Dawn this time — softcore romp in which an American girl comes to Italy to learn the art of music and spends more time learning the language of the aardvark.

Our lady this time is Roberta (Emily Crawford, an adult actress whose mainstream acting career consists of this movie and another Mattei film, Belle de Moirre), who has come to Venice to teach music when she runs into an artist named Lorenzo (Gualberto Parmeggiani). Before you can say “Cinemax After Dark” he’s taking her to nightclub orgies and having her genderbend and make some tourists nervous.

But is it love? Or just cazzo?

This movie also has a very 60s attitude toward relationships, with Roberta giving her boyfriend Riccardo to another teacher named Luisa as well as her also making some horizontal music with her female friends Anna and Letizi.

With a name that literally means go with the flow, this is pretty much Mattei doing that, finding a genre that he can make some money in. His heart never feels in these gauzy romantic films, as if he sadly wants everyone to devour one another and not just as part of foreplay.

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Privè (2002)

At this time in his career, it seemed like all Bruno Mattei was making — sorry, Vincent Dawn — was Cinemax After Dark fodder with interchangeable covers of women turning their backs to the camera.

This time, we’re dealing with the dangerous liaisons of the rich and famous. Francesca (Dana Ceci, in her one and only role) can’t get anything out of her husband’s lovemaking skills, so she starts a secret identity as adult star Bizou. Along the way, she falls for a male adult actor named Bingo (Hugo Baret, who was Bruno in Mattei’s Belle de Moirre and High Priest Tatamackly in his movie The Tomb, pretty much playing the role that Arnold Vosloo essayed in The Mummy).

What a ridiculous name, I thought, and then remembered that one of the most famous male European adult stars of all time is named Nacho Vidal.

This was written and produced by Giovanni Paolucci, who we have to thank for the late period burst of Mattei’s shot on video horror period in the 2000s, but also have to blame for funding Dracula 3D.

There’s also a full-on devil worshipping scenes that feels straight out of Tim Vigil’s Faust comic. You know, when they adapted that movie, they should have just asked Bruno to make it. Also, there’s some PS1 level CGI in this, which made me love it even more.

LEE MAJORS WEEK: Big Fat Liar (2002)

Paul Giamatti, you have our respect.

You’re arguably the best actor of our generation and here you are as the bad guy in a vehicle for Frankie Muniz, at the time a hot sitcom star on Malcolm In the Middle. Speaking of sitcom stars, this was written by Dan Schneider (who beyond being on Head of the Class and writing Good Burger also essayed the perfect role of the evil Ricky Smith in Better Off Dead) and Brian Robbins (who also went from Head of the Class to now being the President of Kids & Family Entertainment at ViacomCBS). If that isn’t enough big time talent for you, this was directed by Shawn Levy, who directed the Night at the Museum movies before becoming the executive producer and one of the directors of Stranger Things.

This movie is literally packed with talented people, like Donald Faison, Sandra Oh, Taran Killam, Amanda Bynes and the reason why this movie ended up on our site, Lee Majors, who plays an aging stuntman. The hardest thing he ever had to do? Watch his leading ladies kiss some other guy while he’s bandaging his knee.

So yeah. All this talent in the service of a teen comedy in which Paul Giamatti gets dyed blue. They even remade this movie in 2016 and Barry Bostwick took over that role. The blue skin is the comeuppance for stealing Muniz’s script and making it his own. I was around twenty-some years too late to be a target audience for this film, but if it works for you, so be it.

I’m just here for Lee Majors, a phrase I have uttered more than once this week.