Mandy

Mandy, Mandy, Mandy.  There is one film per year that becomes your gang of freaks’ “movie of the year.”  Doesn’t matter if it’s a quality film, doesn’t matter the genre, the actors or the amount of swords and TITS included (usually prerequisites though…).  It just has to have an effect on your group in a meaningful way, even if it’s arguing.  Examples of this are Fury Road for 2015, the VVitch in 2016, Get Out for 2017, Hundra for 1983, etc.  It’s only September, but I’m feeling like Mandy is already a strong, strong contender.

This film came to my attention when the trailer hit and moreso on account of strong rotten tomatoes score after Cannes. When the trailer hit, I watched it like 4-5 times the first day, then again the second day while whoring around the trailer to others whenever possible.  This film pretty much aims straight at Appendix N people and it hits like a Sniper Elite NUTSHOT.   If you like weird ass horror, HK cinema crime/revenge films and dig a bunch of stuff from Appendix N, you will cream your jeans on this film.  If you grew up in the 80’s as well, this will be an enlightening experience as the film is like an extended music video from 1983 or so.

So go see it. The film will likely be out of theaters until award season at least as it’s likely going to be up for something and then get another stint in the theaters again.  Stop here if you don’t want spoilers.

The Film and stuff I liked

  • Mandy and Red’s bed in the porch room with the greasy windows surrounded by woods.
  • The part where they were in the boat and then Red is looking across the fire at Mandy.  A lot of people have said that these characters are ‘really in love’ but Red has a level of obsessed awe and confusion when he really looks at Mandy that Cage is able to pull off that is different from some Love Actually shit.
  • The scene with Mandy being killed is very disturbing and they linger on it a long time.  This is extremely effective BUT I feel like they did not linger on the deaths of the cult enough when their time came.
  • The bathroom scene with Red in his tighty whities was amazing.  There’s a lot to love about Nicolas Cage’s performance overall, but that scene takes the cake.
  • I really enjoyed the fight in the shitty drug house with a coked up demon biker who was watching a porno on a small TV.
  • You can’t argue with practical effects face melting.  As a kid I accidentally watched this one movie where a woman gets too close to a volcano and her face melted.. then the next summer it was on again and I walked into the room just as that scene was playing so I saw it a second time!!
  • Acid. Every single character is on LSD or something like it at some point in the film.
  • The music

Stuff I didn’t like

  • I couldn’t understand what Red was saying at the end of the movie! Too garbled up.
  • I think the film should have given more of a feeling of time-span between when Red escapes and starts killing people, or spans in between the killings
  • Some of the killing/fighting was a bit boring, granted most of the cultists were petrified non-combatants, but the demon bikers could have been a bit more interesting in the fight choreography /setting (think Freddy Vs Jason or Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness witch fights type of shit).  Red gets all fucked up, but you don’t FEEL it like you do when Ash does in Evil Dead.
  • The film is slow in the beginning and then there is payoff. I was expecting some 2001 style psychedelic trip out at the very end of the film (there’s a small one, but not a huge freak out that I expected) to tonally shift it back to the first scenes of the film.  It shows a surreal flashback of Mandy and Red at a party where Red is staring at Mandy with that obsessed confused look and she is smiling and crying and I would have cut the movie right there and not shown Red again driving in his car through the woods.  His gift for going to hell for revenge is to be able to experience her memory uncluttered with all the ‘crazy evil’ and they should have left him with that.

Questions!

Why didn’t Red kill the young whore-cultist girl?  She was party to everything and didn’t help Red for shit at any point.

What was the double moons and alien landscape at the end of the film supposed to indicate?

Why didn’t they kill Red when they had the chance (twice!)

Where did they get that VAN? Where did they find that HOUSE?

Kickstarters, Kickstarters

Four kickstarters of interest have just popped up.  These are pricey to back in some cases, and I certainly can’t back them all, but one or more may be worth your interest.

First up is one of those insta-backs that is bound to make a shytte-load of cash and be awesome:  Eclipse!   This has cool ships, cool trays and probably isn’t something absolutely needed if you have the base game, but you’re going to want it.  The full game with the expansion is a hefty 150$ though.  I remember getting a copy of the first printing when the game got really hot by luck of timing years back and it’s been balls to the wall Eclipse ever since.

Second is OVER THE EDGE, a new version of the classic ‘fucked up island’ RPG that I never had a chance to play or run. The design was very influential and I expect it will be even better (much like Feng Shui 2 is to Feng Shui).  This may not be everyone’s cup o tea, but the old game spawned the Greatest CCG card ever made.

Third is another Quartermaster Game yet this time about the Cold War.  I really liked Quatermaster 1918 and feel this one will be even better.

Last is DEAD MAY DIE: CMON’s take on the Agents VS Cthulhu thing.  This looks good but there are so many of these games… sooo many…

Names for Maaaat

We play a bunch of RPG’s and Matt is castigated most of the time for his character names. So much so that he has descended into utter filth or silliness as a response. While I’m used to players naming their characters after other PLAYERS in the game, or some two word combo that turns out to be violent sexual imagery when pronounced, I seek to help matt with his naming problem and wasn’t sure how until I found this post about a neural network generating thousands of ‘fantasy’ names.

Here are some good ones out of the 10K+

Chagg Castlewink
Mira the Bastard
Ravelock Hewclot
Saltroth Dank
Varion Mandrin
Perry Bardwood
Mellock Fistbelly
Rhon Smallthorn
Maedo Balland
Poppy Didgins
Corvish Prinn
Temen Maft
Morrigan Hellioa Forgelock

Films of the 2018 ski trip

We went skiing in Oregon in February.  At night we played RPG’s and a few board games and watched terrible, terrible movies.   Steve managed to bring some DVD’s filled with some of the worst films in the scifi genre in addition to the ‘Miami boob’ DVD’s that must have graced skinimax back in the day.  Here’s what we watched and the average grade for each.

Raiders of Atlantis
Rating:  C

I liked this movie, despite it being, you know, terrible.  It had some Italians that pretended to be in Miami and Atlantis rose up out of the ocean to unleash some sort of human control mechanism that gave rise to a biker gang that attacked everyone with silly go cart things.   This is sort of an island mad max with aliens and shit.  The Italian actress in here (Gioia Scola) is a looker.

Robo Vampire
Rating: F+

Unwatchable.

Horror High
Rating: F

Unwatchable

Galaxina
Rating: C

An interesting sci fi movie that a couple people really liked. The android lady is played by a beautiful woman who was murdered just as her career was getting rolling (the movie Star 80 was based on her life and murder). Overall I thought this was poorly paced and overacted, yet with some interesting parts. The space ship designs were cool.

Deadly Prey
Rating: D

This is a ridiculous film, with almost all scenes taking place within a few hundred yards off a road somewhere in California. People may enjoy this for the comedy of it, because it does take itself so seriously, it’s hard not to laugh. There were some good fight scenes here and there, but overall this was pretty boring.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Rating: C

This film has the famous scene where the skateboarder with a fuck-doll and a shotgun gets blown up by a rocket launcher. Let me tell you that it is the best scene in the film and the rest is pretty forgettable. I like boobs and this has a lot of them often, but it’s just not enough, even compared to some of the other Andy Sidaris films we suffered through. The concept of taking playboy and penthouse actresses and throwing them headlong into films like this I do appreciate and approve of. You could strike gold: look at Marilyn Chambers in Rabid— despite her ‘park a couple of mac trucks in there vag,’ she was a decent actress.

The Eliminators
Rating: C

Well shit this has Security officer Natasha Yar from Star Trek the next generation. She gets her WHITE tanktop wet while nearly drowning inside a crashed airplane too. Otherwise this is a strange cyborg movie that has a few solid scenes, including a very comical bar fight that ends up being highly entertaining. I could barely sit through this one, but it’s not unwatchable. The pursuit of the ‘heroes’ by a pissed off lesbian boat tour captain was the highlight for me.

The Dungeonmaster
Rating: D+

I don’t know about the other guys, but this movie is one I wished I hadn’t watched. Sure it has Bull from night court and he does a hammy good job, but overall a lot of the vignettes are trash. Generally disappointing, but has some funny parts. It has WASP playing a song in it. Great.

Rolling Vengance
Rating: C-

This is some sort of coming of age film for a young truck driver in a truck driver family in Ohio that runs afoul of some hillbillies that end up killing accidentally then on purpose his entire family, and then they rape his girlfriend outside his barn. He gets revenge by running them all over with a monster truck with the help of the local police. Fucksakes.

Hands of Steel
Rating: D+

This is a near-future cyborg movie from 1986. The plot isn’t that bad: a critical anti-pollution activist is nearly killed by a mind-wiped cyborg that botches the assassination on purpose and escapes. Yet, the critical scene is an arm wrestling one so you can imagine where this ends up.

HUNDRA
Rating: C (I rated it higher!)

This is my favorite film from the ski trip and one I want to force others to watch as soon as possible, especially women. Hundra is a full bore warrior woman of a tribe of women who only need men to mate with and make more women! She has to confront some VERY hard choices when things go wrong for her tribe and while this starts out just like Conan the Barbarian, it soon takes a very strange and incredible turn when Hundra goes to see a seer who tells her things she does not want to hear. Laurene Landon is awesome. Absolutely recommended.

Prisoner 984
Rating: D-

Unwatchable.

There were a couple more I’ll throw up onto another post.