Dire Wolf (2009)

Santa Mira has dealt with body snatchers and latex masks that make kids’ faces explode into worms and bugs, but now it has a dire wolf problem. Actually, it has half a dire wolf problem, because a research facility has combined a human being with a dire wolf — where did they get a dire wolf in the first place? — and it has, of course, escaped to kill people.

When you have a gigantic wolf who gets blood and gore everywhere, it helps to have an OCD sheriff played by Maxwell Caulfield and Gil Gerard as a military man on the case. This was also known as Dinowolf, which may be a better title, but it’s not like I wouldn’t watch it if it had a worse one. I’m in full Fred Olen Ray overwatch mode.

There’s also a deputy pining over his ex but I’ll be honest, I watched this movie as I would have when I was a little kid: I was only here for werewolf-based slaughter of human beings. Good news: I got everything that I wanted.

Bonus points for ripping off the ending of the original The Thing to kill the practical effect werewolf, which looks ridiculous in all the best of ways.

You can watch this on Tubi.

APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 24: Magadheera (2009)

Director and writer S. S. Rajamouli had a wonderful inspiration for this movie. He told Idlebrain: “My father Vijayendra Prasad prepared a story for a film titled Jagadeka Veerudu with Krishna as hero in the direction of Sagar. They didn’t like that concept and it was turned down. I was working as an assistant to my father at that time. I always wanted to do that story and it required huge budget.

When I was granted big budget from Allu Arvind for Charan’s movie, I picked this subject up. I watched DVDs of Alfred Hitchcock’s TV series before making Magadheera. What intrigued me is that he reveals the entire plot in the beginning and still be able to maintain the suspense by showing how the protagonist does it. It became an eye opener for me. That is the reason why I revealed the story of the movie right on the film’s launch.”

The reincarnation theme is about four people:

Kala Bhairava (Ram Charan), a valiant warrior and bodyguard for the royal family who is reborn as motorcyclist Harsha.

Princess Mithravinda Devi (Kajal Aggarwal), who is in love with Kala, who refuses to admit it, and returns as Indira.

Ranadev Billa (Dev Gill), the leader of the army who lusts for both power and the princess, reborn as Rajasthani monarch Raghuveer.

Emperor Sher Khan (Srihari), who wants to conquer the kingdom, and the fisherman Solomon.

The film may start in 2009, as  Harsha meets and falls in love with Indira. Meanwhile, Raghuveer has also become enraptured by her and is the first to realize that all of their fates are intertwined. It takes a near-death experience — and the murder of his father at the hands of Raghuveer — for Harsha to relive his past, including an epic chariot race and a battle to defeat a hundred of Khan’s soldiers that ends in tragedy before we come back to the present, a place where no one’s fate is set.

Just like Karz, reincarnation is central to this movie. It’s also a film packed with CGI and big ideas. It was so popular that it became the first Telugu film in India to have a blu ray release. Even in the U.S., on just three screens in New Jersey, it made $150,000. It may also feel a lot like Gladiator and 300, but the idea that it’s pushing to look as grandiose as those films left me exhilarated. The battle against the one hundred soldiers is just incredible and must be seen.

You can watch this on YouTube.

GREGORY DARK WEEK: Frenemy (2009)

Made as Little Fish, Big Pond, this is the last movie that Gregory Dark has made other than the documentary An Evening with Stephen Lynch. It follows the wanderings of Mr. Jack (Matthew Modine) and Sweet Stephen (Callum Blue) as they make their way through Los Angeles and discuss the nature of life.

And if you look at the cover and wonder, is Zach Galifianakis in this any more than five minutes?

No. He isn’t.

But hey, Adam Baldwin is pretty good as Tommy the cop and there’s a really strange dialogue on the history of porn, especially when you consider that director Gregory Dark had finally left the world of adult behind, but it doesn’t look down on anyone who needs pornography. But the mention of Traci Lords is interesting, seeing as how one of the movies damaged by her underage status was Dark’s New Wave Hookers.

There’s also the mystery of who chopped up a waitress, a Springer talk show with a child murderer, Mattew Modine tripping a child and singing a lot, a strange ending in limbo and a bum fight with a bottle stabbing. Not all of it holds up, but it definitely wasn’t the kind of movie I expected and I enjoyed watching it. It’s more of several actors all trying out characters, but it never gets too arty and indulgent.

Writer Robert Dean Klein has made a bunch of The Wrong… TV movies as well as a film we enjoyed last year, 6:45. Honestly, I’d love to speak to either him or Dark about this film and learn more, because I have so many questions. Maybe you catch watch it and ask some in the comments.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Hobgoblins 2 (2009)

How much does this 2009 made film want to look like the 1988 original?

I think that the majority of the ingenuity went into shooting this on 35mm film and using composite effects, look-alike actors, some of the original costumes and the same puppets to recreate the look of that film. A lot of work when you think about a movie that no one but video store and late night cable mutants like, but hey — here you are on our site.

Also, I realize that this movie and the one before it are both junk, but look — Rick Sloane did all the Vice Academy movies and yes, I’ve watched all six of those movies* more than six times each. Whenever I watch one of his other films — like Blood TheaterThe Visitants or this one — I always start to think they’re really not good and then I say, “But he did the Vice Academy where there’s a robot cop* and that one where Dolly Parton’s porn star cousin took over Los Angeles** or when The Commissioner and Miss Thelma get married*** or that time that The Commissioner’s son unleashed a virtual reality stripper supervillain or when all the girls went to jail***** so I’ll just be nice.”

So sure, there are some changes. People have internet sex instead of over the phone, so Rick Sloane is in the future with us. McCreedy has been locked in a psychiatric hospital after he blew up the film studio real good to destroy the hobgoblins. And everyone that survived has gone away to college.

If you get the DVD of this, the original cast pretty much makes fun of the actors who took over their roles.

Now, let’s get on to making Vice Academy 7. Rick, if you’re interested, give me a call or seeing as how we’re in the future, send me an e-mail.

You can watch this on Tubi.

*Vice Academy 2 of course.

**Vice Academy 3.

***Vice Academy 4.

****Vice Academy 5.

*****Vice Academy 6.

Porky’s Pimpin’ Pee Wee (2009)

Porky’s was a big deal in the 80s, a time before easy access to pornography. Because while that movie is set in the 50s, it delivers on what it promises: female nudity and plenty of it.

And sure, in 1994 it seemed like it took ten minutes to download a photo online, but the hose of non-stop pulchritude that was able to be beamed directly into your home had already started to trickle.

And that’s when Lontano Investments purchased all the rights to Porky’s.

Seven years later, they still hadn’t made a movie.

That’s when they signed a deal with Mola Entertainment, who promised to make the movie for the price of 1.5% of the movie’s budget and option fees, as well as the opportunity to make a sequel as long as they made a movie within five years. Legal wrangled ensured and years went by with no movie, as the big stumbling block was that Lontano Investments demanded that the new Porky’s must have a $10 million dollar budget.

So eight years later, Mola decided to spend a million to make an ashcan — a film made just to satisfy the contract and retain their rights so that they could make the sequel and then make money there, which seems like a wild plan — by making Porky’s Pimpin’ Pee Wee.

And that’s when they brought on Brian Trenchard-Smith.

Yes, the same man who made Stunt RockTurkey Shoot and The Man from Hong Kong.

“I call it Young Republicans in Love. Think about it. These characters are all pretty vile. Sex-obsessed, narcissistic young people,” the director explained to Moviefone.

Yeah, that’s the same Brian Trenchard-Smith.

Hired four weeks before filming — which took place over 15 days on location in Canyon Country and at a studio in Simi Valley — the movie got made. But was it enough?

No one’s really sure.

Mola believed that they had fulfilled their obligations and retained rights to make another sequel. However, Lontano claimed that the film required that $10 million dollar budget.

In 2002, Howard Stern acquired the remake rights. 11 years later, the parties reached a confidential settlement and agreed to dismiss a claim and counterclaim with prejudice. The terms of the settlement remain confidential.

And we still don’t have a $10 million dollar budget version of Porky’s…even if we don’t need one.

Somehow, the movie we got is supposed to be a sequel to the original trilogy despite the fact that the last time we saw Pee Wee, Meat and Tommy was in 1954 and they haven’t aged a day in the last 55 years. Did they walk through a gap in the space-time continuum? Are they clones? Perhaps robots? The movie never tells us.

However, the movie — with one lone exception we’ll get into — this movie is the most sex-positive teen sex comedy I’ve seen in a long time as well as one of the filthiest. There’s not much outright copulation, but plenty of sex toys, filthy talk and even male genitals being shown in outline and grabbed, something that rarely happens in these films.

Also, the story revolves around Porky’s daughter breaking away from her father’s house of the rising sun and making her own modern brothel thanks to the three male characters, who need to make money after a party destroys a vase.

That’s right. A Risky Business by way of 80s sitcom plot for a movie that has deep throat incurred puking.

This is also a movie where no one is truly exploited and all of the sex work in bright and cheery and you know, more of that please. It truly does not judge anyone for their kinks or their needs or their ability to make money from their bodies until the end, when one of the “what happened to these characters” moments reveals that one got the clap — maybe this is the 50s — and points an arrow at who gave it to him, shaming a woman in the midst of so many characters that went through this guilt-free.

Anyways, this movie is much more interesting for the story of how it came to be than what it is. But I think you figured that out by now.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Wild About Harry (2009)

Also known as American Primitive, this movie stars Tate Donovan (the voice of Disney’s version of Hercules) as the titular Harry, who has just moved to Cape Cod with his teenage daughters Madeline and Daisy. Their goal is to keep all of the women away from their recently widowed father. But what happens next will surprise everyone.

One night, when Madeline and her friends head out to the discos of her new town, she sees her father dancing with Mr. Gibbs (Adam Pascal, SLC Punk!, the original cast of Rent), his new business partner.

This is in 1973, so when the entire town finds out, you can just expect how they react. And when the girl’s maternal grandparents arrive to take them away from their father, how a family is defined comes into question.

Directed and co-written by Gwen Wynne (with Mary Beth Fielder), this film may be from 2009, but it’s certainly a movie that holds up and is worth checking out.

Wild About Harry is available On Demand December 17 from Global Digital Releasing.

SLASHER MONTH: Hanger (2009)

After this and Gutterballs, I guess that I can never accuse Ryan Nicholson of being subtle. I mean, beyond the back alley abortion that gives birth to this movies protagonist, there are numerous scatalogical scenes in this that even Joe D’Amato may have watched and said, “Potresti voler abbassare i toni, Ryan.”

A wire hanger abortion kills Hanger’s mom, but he’s raised in the back alleys and then taken to meet his biological father, who cheerfully gets him his first prostitute. Also, at some point, Hanger eats a Jehovah’s Witness, gets assaulted in his colostomy hole and then has to get revenge for everything that has ever happened to him.

But man, getting there is like walking through the meanest dark night, a knee-deep dive into a sewer filled with the vilest miasma you’ve ever seen, much less tasted. And if you ever wanted to see Lloyd Kaufman play a trans prostitute, this movie is here for you.

Sadly, creator Ryan Nicholson died of brain cancer at the early age of 47. He left behind a wife and son and that thought really keeps me from going any further into this movie.

The moral of this movie is this is exactly the kind of stuff that I tend to have on the TV when Becca walks in the room and she gets incredibly angry at me and refuses to talk to me for the rest of the day. Thanks, filmmakers!

2021 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 30: The Loved Ones (2009)

30. MARTINI SHOT: Blow off some Challenge steam with a hardy party scene.

This movie is one big party but it is not that you’d want to be at.

Brent is dealing with the death of his father — that he inadvertently caused when he swerved to miss a bloody man in the road — and trying to get through high school. Luckily, he has a pretty loving girlfriend Holly. But he’s made the mistake of turning down Lola Stone’s prom invitation, so that means that she’s going to do what any other young girl who has been turned away will do: she’s going to kidnap him, inject bleach into his vocal chords, knife his feet into the ground and slice her initials into his chest at the prom that she’s made for herself.

Look, if she wants to have an incest-filled dance with her father during all of this, it’s her happening and it freaks everyone else out.

Brent deals with a lot of damage in this movie. In addition to all the brutal abuse detailed before, he also gets a hole drilled into his head for a home-brew lobotomy and he only escapes by getting the drill bit stuck in his wrist. Yeah, this movie isn’t going to skimp on the horrific imagery, like a basement filled with lobotomized former boyfriends.

Sean Byrne has only made this and The Devil’s Candy. He really needs to make something new, because for a debut, this is pretty wild. It also inspired a real life crime where someone was stabbed more than forty times and had cleaning fluid poured into their eyes by a fan of this movie.



Amer (2009)

You know, the films of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani kind of frustrate me. I want to love The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears and Let the Corpses Tan, but they felt like they were at times more concerned with their own style, particularly the former. But man, I must have been in the right mood because Amer worked just fine.

We follow the life of Ana, whose life-long search for carnal pleasures is also haunted by the specter of death itself, symbolized as a black lace hand that holds her screams inside her body. There are three different stories and three different versions of our heroine as she grows from a frightened child into, well, a frightened woman played by three actresses: Cassandra Foret, Charlotte Guibeaud and Marie Bos.

The Variety review of this claimed that this film has “virtually no plot to speak of, and repeated use of shock zooms, jump cuts, monochrome filters and hissing sounds.” So, basically a giallo, right?

The soundtrack shines, as all manner of 70s Italian murder ballads play, including songs from The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (Bruno Nicolai), What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Stelvio Cipriani), Black Belly of the Tarantula (Morricone), Killer Cop (Cipriani), The Great Kidnapping (Cipriani) and Adriano Celentano’s “Furore,” which played over the opening titles of Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much, which totally fits into this film.

Sadly, we won’t ever live in the glory days from 1970 to 1975, when films like this were playing. But we can dream, can’t we?

Skull Heads (2009)

Written, produced and directed by Charles Band — I mean, it has small puppet-like killers and how can we even keep track of the demonic toys, devil dolls, worry dolls and skull heads at this point; also why was this not called Skull Headz and part of Full Moon’s urban films? — this movie starts by having Naomi Arkoff gettingis tortured on a rack for having a cell phone. Obviously, the Arkoff family is non-traditional and they also live in a castle in Italy, which would be the other Charles Band leitmotif.

Those little tiny Skull Heads protect the Arkoff family. Originally, the Romans buried the dead in catacombs and built the home that they live in to guard against grave robbers. And the little guys were created by witchcraft to keep people from messing with the dead.

Can you guess that the Hollywood producers who come to film the castle really want to steal what’s inside the tomb? Also, you may not realize it, but you’re going to watch a family drama that goes on for nearly an hour before the occult comes in, which is…well, it’s exactly the kind of movie I expect from this studio.

Beyond finding this movie under another title — Devious — this also shows up in a cut-down remix within Full Moon’s The Haunted Dollhouse. It may actually be better in this short format because it cuts out all the real people and gets us to what we really want: Skull Heads.

You can watch this on Tubi.