Sunday, August 23, 2009

98. The Astro Zombies

I'm not going to lie, I feel slightly ruined, lost, somewhat misguided thanks to "In The Mix"... that was such an upsettingly awful movie.
But, i remain optimistic. One of the most exciting aspects of this little experiment are all the movies NOT from the late 90s that are on the list. The first of this, is Astro Zombies. A movie, if it not for this blog, I would almost have been certain that I had seen at some point, but as it turns out, luckily. I haven't.
My only knowledge (without having to look anything up) of this movie is that Danzig named a Misfits song after it, a pretty good one, that's all I know. It's time to get real. I should add this is the first movie on the list I am watching via NETFLIX streaming.
"The Astro Zombies" 1968 U.S

Tagline : "Dismembered Bodies, Transplanted Organs, Are Used To Create The e.t.c."

The movie was written directed and produced (YES! My favourite trilogy..wish he starred in it also) by Ted V.Mikels, a name I do know, a master of the Grindhouse in his own right, I actually had no idea he made this movie. A movie in which the myth of it has surely i'm assuming surpassed it's talent. But then, This is the director that gave us (and starred in) "Dr Sex" 4 years prior to the making of this movie.
This might be the first (and last) movie on the list that actually has somewhat of a cult following, as in people do seem to genuinely love this movie.
So much so, that in 2002 Ted V.Mikels saw it necessary to re-create "The Astro Zombies" instead, naming it "Mark Of The Astro Zombies" (Obviously, i'll have to watch this at some point also.)
I can't help thinking about Tommy Wissau, creator of my favourite movie "The Room". He has no idea why people find his serious drama the most hilarious movie ever made. Yet he will revel in the glory as if it was after all, everything he intended, so when he tries to make his comedic soap opera to cater to such a new found audience, it becomes one of the worlds greatest mind fucks.
He has no idea as to why people found him funny when doing a drama, so now imagine that same person trying to make a comedy, for that same audience, I still don't think i've recovered from seeing it..

Another fun fact is that apparently near 80% of this movie was shot on property of M*A*S*H actor Wayne Rogers.

I should add, this movie features Tura Satana... playing a character named "Satana".
I'm pretty fucking excited about watching this!

Keep in mind, I really don't think Troll 2 is a bad movie.. no irony involved. I think i'll write up why at some point, not sure when.. anyway...

Plot : A scientist gets fired from a space agency, so decides to create Superhuman Monsters from the parts of dead bodies, that, low and behold, decide to go on a killing spree. I'm definitely somewhat slightly disappointed that the Astro part of the title is just because they were made by a scientist...

Let The Games Begin!

Analysis : Holy crap, this shit starts straight away!

Well, if by straight away I mean a solid few minutes of a woman driving..whatever, i still have high hopes for this one!

She just pulled into her garage and I believe, we have our first sighting of an 'Astro Zombie'..

She definitely knows something is watching her..

She'll get out of the car anyway. So far this movie has started WAY better than "In The Mix" even though it literally is just a woman driving through the californian suburbs for 5 minutes.

She should have stayed in the car.


I'm literally praying these toy robots are meant to be Life Sized or at least giants.. literally praying..

I don't believe they are though, I know this movie is meant to be bad, but I refuse to believe this would be the case, they're definitely going to cut to a kid playing with some toys in a sand patch or something..

WOAH WOAH WOAH.. Hold on..
Look who the second screenplay writer is!??!

Do people even know about this, 'Trapper' from M*A*S*H Co-wrote the screenplay to Astro Zombies!? No wonder it's filmed in his backyard! Jesus..

I'm still waiting to find out if these are meant to be toys or not..

Well, they haven't answered this question.. but look at the 'blood' on this guys hand!? Incredible, he also wins the award for best ADR of an injured man.

Maybe it's from all the destruction the robots caused.. maybe.

I'm gonna guess that this is the scientist dragging said corpse.

Wow, so there really was no reason for that insanely loud and weird toy robot title sequence, amazing.

Things are getting serious.
This guy below is now stressing how worried he is about all the mutilation murders going on...
The dialogue is extremely non sensical at the moment, and sooo longggg.
Every sentence drags out, then doubles, and is then repeated for every person in the room. It feels like i'm at an elderly family gathering, and no one's spitting out quite what they feel like saying... at the risk of sounding like a blood thirsty kid, but where's the blood?! I'm thirsty..

I'm pretty sure smoking in a lab amongst 'real' brains is not hygienic.
Urgh, I don't even know what is happening!! They're just talking.

"What you mean to say doctor is one man's brains can be transmitted into another mans brain and controlled thoughts from another man?"


"A sort of a Zombie?"

"That's not exactly the scientific term.."

"Well, what else do you call a man with a synthetic electrical driven heart, a stainless steel mesh stomach, a plastic pancreas " e.t.c....

I wish he said, a sort of a "Astro Zombie" and then winked into the camera.

Ok, smoking guy has been hired to track down the murderous scientist. Got It.

Oh Hi Satana...

It's kinda weird how the white guy is brown and the asian girl is white.

So far i'm actually quite enjoying this! I mean, it's pretty boring, but it's not offending me!
I'm pretty sure I can finish it before bowling a bit later on..
OH SHIT, someone just died.

Anyway, i'm excited about getting back to the bowling aisle. I'm planning on entering the league with a team of my own in the fall. Got to practice as much as possible.
Oh, someone else just died.. this time, they got run over.

Oh I see, this is where it all happens, how exciting!

It's odd, the whole movie has this weird subdued feel, as if i'm watching a detective movie from the late 50's, rather than a sci fi horror movie from the early 60's.
It's just not that exciting, considering people are being killed.
All the male characters speak in that stern old fashioned "man" voice, that just for some reason flies right through your brain without ever sticking, Like a sunday afternoon whilst your dad watches some kind of "boring" movie and all you want to do is switch over to MTV / Cartoons / e.t.c... That's what this movie reminds me of, That very feeling.. when you were about 7 years old. And couldn't possibly understand why your Dad was wasting such time watching something that was quite clearly boring and abysmal in your mind.

Again, this movie isn't offending me, and I wouldn't call it awful. It's just sooo drawn out and long and soo much talking between men in lab coats that look like this.

Jesus, I had no idea creating zombies was so boring!
Wow, even my internet agreed with me, as it seems to have just cut out...actually, let me fix this..

Man, so whilst watching this i've started to do other things, that's how boring this is.. i found this if any of you guys are interested.

Basically it's a screenshot comparison between James Cameron's "Avatar" trailer and the movie "Delgo" which came out last year, pretty funny/interesting..
Ok, let's check back in with this movie.

Oh good, still making a zombie, scientist still has his right eye closed.
And this might possibly the LONGEST blood draining scene in history.. all one shot, that's pretty genius when I think about it..
I'm going to just assume there's a huge payoff at the end of this movie.
I can't get over how misleading this all is! What a trick!
The whole thing is just a load of dudes in lab coats talking to each other in monotonous tones.
Makes me wonder if "Dr Sex" is just a single shot for two hours of a kid reading a porno.

Urgh, this one's back.

You know, i have no idea what the storyline with her in the restaurant even was about,..


Wow. That was some kind of a payoff I guess, Astro Zombie fondling some female scientist side boob..

Now this is happening.

If you're lost amongst all of this, so am I.. so am I.

At least things have picked up now, and I don't have to search for James Cameron trailers whilst watching this.
Actually, whilst I'm on this subject, does anyone think 'Avatar' looks a lot like Star Wars Episode 1 : The Phantom Menace?
The worst thing is, as unforgivable a movie that was, at least it was Star Wars. There's nothing to forgive Cameron's effort featuring cgi blue aliens riding winged creatures whilst shooting flame throwers. Wow, that description actually made me kind of like it..

This girl is still dancing by the way.

Still naked and covered in paint.

That's how long each scene is in this movie.
I have time to think, write, search, write, think, write and a scene still hasn't even played out, in fact, a shot usually hasn't even played out.

Oh, she's done.

These guys loved it!

"I love that chick!"
Hah! Best line of the movie!!

Is this the weirdest scene in cinema?
Quite possibly.. where the hell are those god damn Astro Zombies? Why is the detective playing with his fork and spoon!?

I'm only half way through.

You know, I think Tura's only said about two lines in this whole movie, and I still don't quite understand her role in all of this, maybe it's my own fault for not paying well enough attention.
But it's soo hard!!?

I go away for just over a week on thursday, this is what's playing on my mind right now, the escapism aspect of cinema has been shattered, and i'm not intent on homing in on logistics and plans for the week ahead, thank you very much Astro Fucking Zombies. How has an hour gone by and I've only seen two! The first of which was right at the start of the movie. They barely deserve to even pluralize the title!

I'm too un motivated to screen grab what just happened.
But that Tura broad just shot a couple dudes. There you go, do you feel like you've watched it?

Oh no, we're back in the lab again.

I'm guessing this is the scientist girl from earlier? So hold on.. let me just get this straight. The Astro Zombies go out, and find victims, for the scientists to cut up, and make into more Astro Zombies..that's one hell of a vicious circle. I wonder if M*A*S*H bro had time to really plot this one out before setting pen to paper.

No exaggeration, there was just a three minute silence whilst these lab bro's played around with equipment. Pure silence.. and yes, he's still closing his right eye.

I'm so upset, I was willing for this movie to be enjoyable in some form at least..
But no, it's this guy reading in his uninterested voice every five minutes...

I want to die.
If i'd only shown you this one screen grab above, would you EVER assume it was from a movie titled "Astro Zombies"?

Oh, well this makes three Astro Zombies.. maybe they could re title the movie "A Few Astro Zombies".
I'd never looked closely (well, I only had two times to try!) at the mask for the Astro Zombies, it's quite clearly just a plastic helmet.
So upsetting... so so upsetting.

They seem intent on trying to strip the girls they attack, well, both of them anyway.

Wow, this one escaped!
But is now crying like a fucking horse. I think it was overdubbed...

"The Astro Man got away..."

Hold on, wait a second, what did he just call him? Someone needs to inform this guy the title of the movie.

So far, Tura has a higher kill count than any Astro Zombie/Man.
And that;s whether you include by hand, gunshot, or ordering one of her cronies to do it for her.
And yes, this girl is still on the table.

Not long left now, I wonder what the climax will be.
I'm still holding out for a payoff of some kind.

Here we go ten minutes left.
The two worlds collide! I wonder how this will play out!

Running around with a torch in his head, what a "bright spark"... (i'm sorry).

Urgh, obviously 5 minutes of these ten minutes is them talking..

Holy shit! Look who's now joined the party!

So it turns out the climax is a few feeble gunshots and Astro Bro running around with a machete hacking people up.

Then eventually electrocuting this annoying broad.

Then more shots of the robots from the title sequence.

I'm cool with that.
Good Movie!

My Thoughts On This Movie Summed Up In One Screen Grab :

99. In The Mix

It's 8 am on a friday morning. I woke up roughly an hour ago to the title sequence of "The Man With One Red Shoe" playing on my laptop, The 80's movie in which Tom Hanks plays a classical violinist who is falsely 'bugged' due to a confusion leading him to be perceived as a terrorist. Yes it's a comedy..

"In The Mix" 23 November 2005

Tagline : "Everyone Wants A Piece Of The Action."

Headaches and back aches aside, the next film on the list is Ron Underwood's 2005 return to directing, "In The Mix". Self proclaimed Crime Romantic Comedy Caper starring Usher as the lead role, Sloan from "Entourage" (Emmanuelle Chriqui, or as my girlfriend might know her as, the slutty teacher from season two of Gossip Girl) as the female lead, and what i'm going to assume is the 'weight' of this movie, actor Chazz Palminteri from The Usual Suspects.

As always, I have to delve into the directors past, and it seems. This time. I need to bow down and pay some respects.

Ron Underwood wrote and directed "Tremors".

I feel almost obliged to just end everything here. Give him the benefit of the doubt.. it's not as if he particularly had anything to do with the sequels either. So no reputation dents are to suffice there.
He also directed "Mighty Joe Young" which would be his final feature film before he started directing odd episodes of "Monk", "Boston Legal" and "Ugly Betty".

I wonder what prompted the return to cinema? Was the script too good to turn down? Maybe.

I should add (for comical and also incidental purposes) that in front of me I have Usher's Patented Body Lotion.
My girlfriend works at a magazine where such things are left un-wanted (can you even imagine!?) so as a joke/lovely sentiment she took it for me.
The thing is, it's honestly the best lotion i've ever used, it's incredible. Of course. Why wouldn't it be? It's the equivalent of Justin Timberlake breath mints being the best in the world.

Plot : It's always a real sign when not even the wikipedia page for a movie has the plot written out.
Anyway., the basic premise of "In The Mix" is that a famous DJ (played by Usher) named DJ Darrel (really?) accidentally saves a mobster, as his payment, he then has to look after the mobsters daughter (I smell 'Bodyguard'?), Sloan from 'Entourage'. (Some payment!!)

The funniest thing is, I know that after this movie came out and got completely obliterated, Usher decided to take on the role of Billy Flynn in 'Chicago', as a way of proving his worth again. There must be nothing worse than being literally the best in one field, for a long time, then going back to where you actually started from, and being completely obliterated by critics because of it.

Anyway, on with the show, let me just get my box of ritz first.

Analysis : I wish I could some how explain what the title sequence music is.. i really wish I could. I know that in this movie's IMDB under genre it does also list "Music", obviously after "Crime" and "Comedy", but before "Romance".

It sounds like "Fruity Loops" samples! This movie was made in 2005, hadn't Usher already dropped "Yeah"! by that point? I don't understand!!!!! Ok, i'll actually press play now..

Ok, so i've had to pause it, this is faster than I paused "Chairman Of The Board". The reason, i've paused it, is because over the top of the "Lionsgate" multicoloured Helvetica logo, a child like female south london voice has stated for me to "Make Way For The S.O.VEEEEEEE."
Ladies and Gentlemen .. Lady Soverign.

I have this thing in movies, where I can tell who's a villain or who's a gangster by quite how bad/clear their skin is.

1 minute 9 seconds in, Lady Soverign is instructing everyone in the club to get tipsy, and this 'dude' is taking it as a literal instructions. WHERE THE HELL IS DJ DARREL?!!?

Found him.

Usher's first line of the movie... "OH, Where Brooklyn At?" So I guess the movie's set in New York, I just assumed it took place in the kind of town where "She's All That" or "Can't Hardly Wait" took place, but logistically, this movie is about "Gangsters"... (Ellipse Ellipse...)

I wish you could see quite how on form DJ Darrel is right now.."Ya'll ready for this?" No, i'm really not! But i'm sure these guys are!

I was wondering who the overactive "Str8 Clownin'" black dude would be in this movie..

Ok, sorry.. i've only got to 2:49 of this movie... i'll digress..
It really feels like the 90's in this club.. maybe it's a 'throwback' party..
Overactive Black Dude has just stated to Usher how psyched he is for the "Fly Honeys" in the club tonight. Obviously Overactive Black Dude has a high pitched voice, akin to Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, e.t.c... oh, by the way. These are the "fly honeys" in question.

Is this movie rascist? I'm wondering.. seriously, it's like a 101 in the worst of ebonics.
Oh, just as I said that, this guy turned up.. I don't know if this strengthens or weakens my case..

I'm so glad he just said "Fo Shizzle".
I think my "Ritz" are playing up.
I can't do this.. please, please, no more.. WHAT!?!?
I literally took my eyes from the screen for 4 seconds... and now..

"Oh Darrel!"

"The babysitter fell asleep watching "G-String Divas'"... I actually quite like that line.

Wait wait wait, ok, so what's just happened is DJ Darrel met a girl in a club, takes her home, this young girl who was being babysat, turns up and says.."What happened to Pamela?"
Then the girl DJ Darrel took home, gets angry, and leaves... ok, just making sure.. glad to know there are some standards still left in the world.. I should add that up until this point Ushers acting is as solid as his designer stubble, and by solid i mean wooden.

Scrolling transitions between scenes make my life worth living.

"I'm trying to get my own studio going, like Atlantic Records, back in the day."

Hold on, where's the designer stubble gone?!!?

Hi Storm.

"Daddy, I missed you soo much".

Jesus, fucking christ... ok, so the moment, in which DJ Darrell saves the mobster's life just happened.
Literally, it consisted of, Usher staring aimlessly into space, which we're then shown is in fact at a car pulling up outside, in slow motion, with "serious" music playing over the top of the "dance" music...then the gun being pulled out from the car window, and DJ Darrell screaming.. well, saying.. "Gun." before leaping (falling) in front of the Mobster boss, taking the hit.

Life, saved.
I almost wish (for many reasons) this was the end of this movie. Perhaps it's a documentary on the danger of taking Corporate Dj gigs.. the final still of said documentary would be this.

And a caption would appear over the top proclaiming "Stick To What You Know Kid."
Luckily, there's another hour and twenty minutes left of this movie.

This guy (real name Matt Gerald, I had to look him up after watching this movie), my new favourite character. He attacks his words with the true venom of a stereotypical New York Italian Gangster middle man--- Leather Jacket + Semi Religious hand gestures = Cinematic God.
(P.S his name is Jackie..)

"You know how you celebrate after getting shot..go to the strip club, everybody knows that!" - Overactive High Pitched Black Dude.

I'm sticking to my "Racist Movie" Theory...

When are these fucking kids going to fall in love already..

Ok, i've decided I need some backup.. so i've stopped watching this on my laptop, and decided to watch it on the living room DVD player with aid from my room mate Chris, (honorable mention, it was Chris' idea to actually do this blog.. thanks alot... )

In the break from switching systems, I went to the store across the road to get some "Maximum Draino" to unblock our toilet.. again, the list of metaphors are endless.

You'll be pleased to know that Usher has now been accepted as "Part of the family".. this current scene, 10 minutes long, is SO offensive..

Let me attempt to explain part of it.
Usher now needs to get "New Threads" if he's going to become Sloan from Entourages bodyguard.

Que countless culture clashes involving Usher and the mafia tailor.

1. "What up holmes?" Usher slaps the hand of Tailor as he puts it out for a handskahe.

2. Tailor goes down to measure Ushers pants "WOAH, hold on there, you better tell a brotha before you go around messing with his junk.."

3. Tailor responds, "Junk? this is the finest material"..e.t.c.e.t.c.e.t.c.e.t.c....

I think that Ron Underwood had an agenda with 90's ebonics, he then had to wait 10 years to finally take his revenge, and with it, he knew he could take down Usher a notch or two also.. this must be the case, that would explain the constant hip hop-erisms of this white kid from earlier, as a mocking side note to everyone involved in this farce.
Undercover Sasha Baron Cohen like intentions, hopefully...

Sloan is doing some Tai Chi... Usher has to participate, of course... to her dismay, but alas, he is her bodyguard..

Sloan's friend.. "Who's the new guy?"

Sloan... "Friend of the family I got stuck with."

Sloan's friend... "I wouldn't mind getting stuck with that!"

The next half an hour are literally situations like that, where Sloan is annoyed at having to spend time with him, and all her friends are completely in love with him.
A lot of situations evolve into some Justin Long in "He's just not that into you" date guru type situation.

"Have a bite of my pot-sticker.." Usher bites. The girls just love him I guess! It is that easy.

Some "Meet Joe Black" shit nearly just unfolded in the rain, For a DJ, Usher sure knows how to save lives (last night a dj e.t.c..) Unfortunately though, Jackie is watching.. and does not trust Usher.

I'm on team Jackie.

Hold on, what about his DJ jobs?

Usher and Jackie are facing off...

Jackie just called him an Eggplant.

An Eggplant.


An Eggplant.

Guess that was the final straw, he's back to Djing again.

Oh, i spoke to soon. POOL SCENE ANYONE!?
What is he thinking..if Jackie see's him..

I don't think i've ever seen two actors with less of a chemistry, ever. EVER. It's ridiculous, as if they are both using this as their vehicles, in all senses of the term.

Ok, more racism! I swear!!!!

Usher's been asked to show Sloan and her 'stuffy' fiance is favourite place to eat.

Obviously it's a fried chicken joint in the hood complete with cop car sirens..

HOLY CRAP! Look who he bumps into there!! The girl from earlier, who he met in the club.. oh you've forgotten? Well just as well every line she ends her sentence with is " the club".
Involving such starters as "Unfinished business," "When are you back..." "Ever since I saw you.." and "I'm gonna head back, so I can get...".

Chris raised a great point, maybe Underwood isn't racist, he's just avidly trying NOT to be... urgh.

So they're kissing, and I can't help thinking what a dog Usher is, and what a slut Sloan is (slutty teacher from Gossip Girl).
I mean, her fiance isn't a bad person. He's actually a nice guy, has done nothing wrong. She was just with him, left him, and now is hooking up with Usher.
I hope to god Jackie kicks his ass!

I can't do this anymore.
I'm going to drink my coconut water until the end of this movie..

I can't handle the insane racial boundaries being crossed..

Usher - we have macaroni and cheese
Sloan - oh we eat that with sauce
Usher - so you like it?
Sloan - yeah it ain't bad. Yeah we've had stuff like this at home... can i come to the club?
Usher - the club? my club, oh you won't like that...

What the fuck is happening!?!? Macaroni and cheese? Isn't that an all american past-time!?

Well anyway, just as well they're at the club now.

Sloan - Dance with me?
Usher - I can't dance

Oh shut the fuck up. Just shut, the fuck, UP.

I'm actually getting angry now, I can't even be motivated to take pictures from my phone.


SHIT!! at last!
Jackie, just turned up at the club! "Looks like someone's got jungle fever..." Pulls out gun.

"He's got a gun!!!!!"

Oh, they ran away so it's ok.

I don't even know what's happening anymore. Honestly I don't, this is over. They fall in love, the end. I'll update this if ANYTHING else happens.

Chris just said my exact sentiment.
"Now I get why this movie is rated so badly, because it's actually starting to piss me off."
I'm soo angry I can't even finish my coconut water.
Especially now this god awful 7 minute sex scene is happening.

Kill Me.

My Thoughts On This Movie Summed Up In One Screen Grab :

EDIT : Holy Crap! Jackie was the bad guy all along!!!!

Shame he dies by a falling Disco Ball.

Usher : "If growing up in the hood is so dangerous, how is it I only get shot by white people."

My Room Mate Chris : "If I hadn't just bought this TV I would punch it."

Ok, I keep trying to end this. But we've just put on the special features, there's a documentary for the making of titled "25 Days and not a minute more".
They shot the whole movie in 25 days.

And that's my final thought.