Are You a Squash, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? The Revenge of Teenage Vixens From Outer Space

Last month, From the Projection Room revealed a new feature, in which Russ delves into his Criterion collection and brings us some reviews of truly fantastic films from around the world. While I love Mulholland Drive, Hunger, and Rashomon as much as the next cinephile, there are those amongst us, like myself, who grew up more on 976-Evil, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and Fraternity Vacation. So with that in mind, allow me to present another new feature, the yin to Criterion’s yang if you will, for everyone who spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday night watching USA Up All Night.

What I love most about b (or c… or z) movies is not only that they’re just flat-out ridiculous fun, but they can serve as a great example of just grabbing a camera, some friends, and shooting a damn movie. No huge budget, not-so-special effects, no acting classes… just write a story (or not, who cares) and make it happen! Is it going to be good? I mean, no, but who’s counting? Case in point, the first movie that I’m going to tackle – The Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space. By all appearances, this movie looks to have had a budget of about $15, maybe $20 if they splurged for lunch from Wendy’s one day. The vast majority of the cast have no other acting credits to their names, and I’m sure most of them would prefer to not have this one tied to them.

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Are You a Squash, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? The Revenge of Teenage Vixens From Outer Space

Stop Smiling, Crazy Lady: A Turkish STAR WARS Review

Let’s get one thing out of the way, right off the bat. This movie is a mess. A total and absolute mess. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I’d venture to guess that nearly everyone that enjoys it does not enjoy it in the way that the film makers intended. I mean, I don’t think it was supposed to be a comedy, let alone a comedy in which the few one-liners delivered didn’t solicit any laughter at all. There is literally no way that my review could impart upon your brain the level of confusion that you feel from actually watching, but I’ll do my best. So take a seat by the fire, children, and let me tell you a story of scene theft, rock karate, awkward smiles, and a wizard named Nimrod (I swear I’m not making that name up).

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Stop Smiling, Crazy Lady: A Turkish STAR WARS Review

Emotional Honesty and Not Being Emotionally Honest: A Review of JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE

As a music fan in today’s world, where even the most minute detail of a celebrity’s life is drawn out for the world to see, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when it wasn’t like that. Sure, you’d probably hear something on the radio if someone was arrested or something, but nothing near what it is now (we get it, Lindsay Lohan is making poor life choices). With that said, I went into Janis: Little Girl Blue as a fan of her music, but realizing that I didn’t know all that much about her beyond the primary – Texas girl lands in San Francisco, makes some kickass music, then sadly joined the 27 Club. Fortunately, director Amy Berg (West of Memphis, Deliver Us from Evil) did a magnificent job of elaborating on the story of Janis’ life, and connecting the dots for those of us who didn’t know the full story.

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Emotional Honesty and Not Being Emotionally Honest: A Review of JANIS: LITTLE GIRL BLUE

Mary Shelley, Mario Bava, and VC Andrews Walk Into A Bar … A Review Of Crimson Peak

Every career has its ups and downs, because, let’s face it, nobody is perfect. So when Guillermo del Toro’s last directorial feature, Pacific Rim, turned out to be some sort of poorly executed Lovecraftian version of Transformers, I let it slide. When he was one of the people responsible for the incredibly disappointing (to me, at least) Hobbit trilogy, I again let it slide. Because you know what? People make mistakes. Also, because I loved Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. In fact, when I first caught wind of Crimson Peak, I immediately thought of The Devil’s Backbone and got excited – del Toro is doing ghosts again! This has to be good! Right?

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Mary Shelley, Mario Bava, and VC Andrews Walk Into A Bar … A Review Of Crimson Peak

1, 2, People Will Hate This Review. 3, 4, This Movie’s A Bore…A Nightmare on Elm Street Review

I know this is blasphemous amongst the horror circles, and especially so in the wake of Wes Craven’s unfortunate passing, but it is what it is. As far back as I can remember, A Nightmare On Elm Street has always been my least favorite of the franchise movies. Admittedly, as the series went on, I liked them a little bit more – who can’t appreciate some of Freddy’s one-liners? The problem with this first one is that none of those are there (I’m not willing to count the “I’m your boyfriend now” line), none of the witticism at all is present, and without even that little glimmer of hope, the movie just falls flat.

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1, 2, People Will Hate This Review. 3, 4, This Movie’s A Bore…A Nightmare on Elm Street Review

Cannibals In Maryland Makes Sense: A Review Of Blood Massacre

Ah, Video Vortex. Without a doubt, the last Tuesday of every month is the day I look forward to most, just so I can soak in the trashy, so-bad-it’s-good VHS brilliance with a like-minded squad of miscreants. Only once have I been let down (I’m looking at you, Attack of the Beast Creatures), and this month’s feature, Blood Massacre, continued the trend of leaving me happy at the end of the night. Unhinged Vietnam War vet? Check. Bumbling criminals that get in over their head? Check. Bizarre, bloody sex scene? Check. Cannibals? Check. What’s not to love?! Director Don Dohler delivers up a great (if not cursed, more on that later) thriller/horror film with basically no “good guys”.

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Cannibals In Maryland Makes Sense: A Review Of Blood Massacre

Smart Zombies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Zom(bie) [A Review of Return of the Living Dead]

When I was a kid, one of the guaranteed highlights to my week was watching USA Up All Night (primarily the Rhonda Shear era, because let’s be honest, who can stand listening to Gilbert Gottfried’s voice?) every weekend. The amount of absolutely magnificent garbage I took in during all of those binge watching nights is pretty staggering, and most of them have long since been forgotten. There are, of course, some that have stuck with me over the years, and nestled somewhere in my memory amongst Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Student Bodies, and Daughters Of Satan is Return Of The Living Dead.

Here’s the thing, though – my memory of this movie was not a particularly good one. For whatever reason, it left such a bad impression on my young mind that I never bothered to revisit it. Even with my love of pretty much all things Linnea Quigley, I just chalked this one up as a loss.

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Smart Zombies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Zom(bie) [A Review of Return of the Living Dead]