Here is another detailed run-through some of the great flicks in the HCC queue. Make an informed decision, people! I've added a feature this time. Where applicable, you can click on the title of the film to be taken to a page where you can pick the screengrabs that will be used for that film. The links will be obsolete once people get their grabbing ya-ya's out, but there you are.
If you want to check out the list so far, here are the links to those:
The Movies A-D
The Movies E-I
KILL A DRAGON (1967)
The Director Michael D. Moore (The Fastest Guitar Alive, Mister Deathman)
The Stars Jack Palance, Fernando Lamas (The Lost World, The Violent Ones, 100 Rifles), Aldo Ray (The Naked and the Dead, Miss Sadie Thompson, Riot On the Sunset Strip), Kam Tong (Have Gun Will Travel, Dimension 5), Don Knight (The Hell with Heroes), Hans William Lee, Aliza Gur, Judy Dan
The Plot From the IMDB - "An American effort to cash in on the then-nascent kung fu craze, Kill a Dragon (which I swear used to play on the Late Late Show as TO Kill a Dragon) features Jack Palance as Rick, an American adventurer hired by Hong Kong villagers to protect a salvaged junk full of deadly nitro-glycerin. Seems the junk originally belonged to villainous Patrai (Fernando Lamas wearing a Snidely Whiplash moustache), who is now threatening to destroy the village if his property isn't returned to him intact and unexploded. Tempted by gold and attractive local girl Tisa (stunningly gorgeous Alizia Gur), Rick takes up the cause with some assistance from tourist guide Vigo (Aldo Ray). A ridiculous but enjoyable action flick, Kill a Dragon does at least benefit from Hong Kong location footage." My guess is the IMDB is being too modest, it also benefits from one imagining Palance going on drunken rampages through Hong Kong and mistakenly trying to pick up young girls because he didn't realize it wasn't Bangkok.
Fun Fact Actor Don Knight used to be a Methodist minister before entering the world of acting.
KNIGHT RIDER 2010 (1994)
The Director Sam Pillsbury (Free Willy 3: the Rescue, Fifteen and Pregnant, Endless Bummer)
The Stars Richard Joseph Paul (Under the Boardwalk, Oblivion 1-2, Vampirella), Hudson Leick (Chill Factor, One Two Many, Xena: Warrior Princess), Michael Beach (Soul Food, Third Watch, ER), Don McManus, Nicky Katt (SubUrbia, Boiler Room, Boston Public), Brion James (Blade Runner, The Player, The Fifth Element)
The Plot Also known as "that Knight Rider thing even Hasselhoff wouldn't show up for," this TV movie took equal parts Christine, Johnny Mneumonic and My Mother the Car to create a new spin on the old TV series.... one everyone laughed off the air, if they bothered to watch at all. This one takes place in the then-distant future where the world is just a massive shithole. A smuggler tries to make ends meet in the Apocalypse, but his girlfriend is killed. Fortunately, she managed to store her spirit on a memory card that the smuggler inserts into a souped up Ford Mustang. Meaning this poor guy can't even drive away when things get too weird at the house - am I right, guys? Guys? Come on, don't leave me hanging here.
Fun Fact: Richard Joseph Paul has been doing a lot of Law & Order. Okay, not trying to pick but I'm just grasping for fun facts on this one.
THE LAST DRAGON (1985)
The Director Michael Schultz (Krush Groove, Disorderlies)
The Stars Taimak, Vanity (Action Jackson, 52 Pick-Up), Julius Carry, (Doctor Doctor, Murphy Brown, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.), Christopher Murney (Maximum Overdrive, The Secret of My Success, Barton Fink), Faith Prince, Leo O'Brien (Rappin'), Mike Starr, Jim Moody (Personal Best, 1983's Bad Boys), Glen Eaton, Ernie Reyes Jr.
The Plot What do you get when you try to cross Wu Tang martial arts, special-effects laden dance moves and a blaxploitation movie? You get this, a kung fu movie produced by Berry Gordy of Motown Records. Martial arts student Leroy Green (Taimak) is on a quest to obtain the elusive all-powerful force know as "The Glow." Along the way he must battle the evil, self-proclaimed Shogun of Harlem - a kung fu warrior also known as Sho-nuff (Julius J. Carry III) - and rescue a beautiful singer (Prince protégée Vanity) from an obsessed record promoter. Basically, Berry Gordy was trying to figure out how to milk a few more bucks out of the Motown catalog when he turned on the TV and watched Black Belt Jones. He said, "This kung fu blaxploitation thing is fantastic, but you know what it could use? El Debarge." Thus, one of the most hilarious 1980s spectacles was born.
Fun Fact 1: During the introductory training sequence, Leroy karate-chops an arrow as it soars past him. This is for real; it took two hours to get the stunt right.
Fun Fact 2: Under pressure from the studio, in an effort to cut two million dollars out of the budget, director Michael Schultz and screenwriter Louis Venosta sat up in a hotel room all night rewriting the script. When Venosta fell asleep on the hotel bed, Schultz pressed a button on the computer which deleted forty pages of the script. When Venosta awoke that morning, the pair spent the day recreating that material.
Fun Fact 3: In 1997, Busta Rhymes parodied the character Sho Nuff in his music video for "Dangerous". In the video, the music cuts off, and Busta proclaims, "Yo Leroy! Am I not the baddest . . ." and replicates the first on-screen speech of Sho Nuff in this movie.
Personal Reflection Dept. I have had to stop recommending this film to people at the local video store. Anytime someone really takes to it, the movie never comes back - no doubt getting riffed on by amateur cappers and their drunken, sweaty, hedonistic parties. We've had to replace this DVD like four times in two years.
LEFT BEHIND II: TRIBULATION FORCE (2002)
The Director Bill Corcoran (Atomic Twister, Vipers)
The Stars Kirk Cameron (Like Father Like Son, Growing Pains, Kirk), Brad Johnson (Always, Flight of the Intruder, The Philadelphia Experiment II), Chelsea Noble (Growing Pains), Clarence Gilyard Jr. (Die Hard, Matlock, Walker Texas Ranger), Janaya Stephens, Gordon Currie, Krista Bridges
The Plot In the first Left Behind, millions of people vanished off the face of the earth. All they left behind were their clothes (they're allowed to be naked in Heaven since they didn't do anything bad with their bodies in real life - like enjoy them) and their godless, idolatrous dogs. A new leader has come to the forefront and promises to bring the world into a new age of enlightenment. But hold on, this is Nicholai Carpathia (that name - really?) and he's the antichrist. Of course Satan is a commie, you silly pinko generation! Buck Williams (again - really?!?) has started a sleeper cell of terror- er, I mean a group of caring, Christian people to take down the Slavic Horned One. This Tribulation Force knows the seven year countdown to Armageddon (which in scripture is actually a place, not an event, but whatever) has started and they must stop Carpathia before it's too late. Fortunately, Buck is played by Kirk Cameron - who really doesn't look like a Buck - so you know that when he saves the world, he will do it only in the most sanctimonious and uninformed way possible.
Fun Fact 1: In one scene there's a sign in both English and Hebrew. The English says, "Do not cross! Violators will be shot" The Hebrew says exactly the same thing, but in English. The writers used Hebrew letters to create the same English words, and it is even read left to right, which is backwards in Hebrew.
Fun Fact 2: The movie was supposed to be released in theatres on 31 December 2002, but the film was never released (but only in church screens).
Fun Fact 3: Chelsea Noble is Kirk Cameron's wife. The two were also eventually married on the television show Growing Pains. He tries to get her in all his films, especially if any romantic subplots are involved. On the recent film, Fireproof, Cameron would not kiss co-star Erin Bethea. When time came for the kiss, Noble came in as a stand-in. He refused to kiss anyone but his wife. It's really taking things far sure, but admit it - some of you out there think that is awfully romantic.
LEFT BEHIND: WORLD AT WAR (2005)
The Director Craig R. Baxley (Action Jackson, Stone Cold, I Come In Peace)
The Stars Kirk Cameron (Like Father Like Son, Growing Pains, Kirk), Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman, Iron Eagle I-IV), Brad Johnson (Always, Flight of the Intruder, The Philadelphia Experiment II), Jessica Steen (Earth 2, Slap Shot 2, Trial and Error), Gordon Currie, Janaya Stephens, Chelsea Noble (Growing Pains), Laura Catalano, Arnold Pinnock, Charles Martin Smith (American Grafitti, Starman, The Untouchables)
The Plot Satan has brought about world peace. Wait, hold on- wow, really? Yes, the conveniently Slavic Great Adversary has united the world under a banner of peace. Only America could possibly stand in the way of such a sweeping event, But America is being run by idealistic President Gerald Fitzhugh (Louis Gossett Jr.). But wait, world peace is a smokescreen to allow Carpathia to start World War III! And by not putting your foot down and stopping Carpathia's actions, you've left America and the world open to annihilation. Oh, you foolish idealistic black president! Okay, so the film was made three years before the election, but let's face it - we all know where the Left Behind authors' loyalties lie. But all is not lost, Gossett might still stop the Antichrist and he'll do it with the help of... Kirk Cameron. Wow, we're screwed.
Fun Fact 1: Based on the final 50 pages of the second book (in a 12-volume series), Tribulation Force, which takes place 18 months after the signing of the Israel treaty, ushering in the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period.
Fun Fact 2: Instead of a limited number of movie screens that Hollywood opted for, the producers decided to open in 3,000+ church screens.
Fun Fact 3: Charles Martin Smith once played Satan on an episode of Northern Exposure.
Personal Reflection Dept. Left Behind ruined my sex life. Let me back up. I worked with a woman, a very nice and attractive woman. She was a Christian, as am I. Though it appears I'm considerably more liberal than she was. We went on a date or two, no hanky panky - Bickle's a gentleman, believe it or not. She said she would like to keep going out but not until I read this very important book and told her what I thought of it. The book was the first Left Behind book and I borrowed it from her. I started to read it in an Irish pub while ordering glasses of Guiness. The more I read, and the more Guiness I imbibed, I just couldn't wrap my head around what I saw as one of the most inanely written pulp novels that used shoddy fear tactics to force people into a certain line of thinking. From my point of view, there was no inspiration there, just fearmongering and sanctimonious preaching. I was really incredulous that anyone of any intelligence was falling for it. I put it down after about sixty pages, went home and watched some good old fashioned sex and violence on television. When she asked what I thought of the book, I was very honest, stating my point of view but not trashing hers. Never let it be said that honesty is always the best policy. Not only did we not go out after that, she seemed to avoid me unless it was absolutely necessary.
The Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator)
The Stars Tom Cruise, Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Timecop, Birds of Prey), Tim Curry, David Bennent (The Tin Drum), Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert (Under the Rainbow, The Charmings), Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah, Annabelle Lanyon, Robert Picardo
The Plot A few months before Tom Cruise donned his Maverick flight jacket, he donned a loincloth in Ridley Scott's eagerly anticipated but much-troubled fantasy epic. Jack is a "green man," which is their way of saying he's a spirit of the forest - not a sickly looking guy or the guy in the Chronic the Hemphog shirt who sells weed. He is in love with the fair maiden Lily (Ferris Bueller's gal Mia Sara). One day, he shows Lily something special - two totally non-Freudian unicorns, their erect horns glistening in the morning dew. But look out, Lily just couldn't resist touching one of those horns. And all because of her, one of the unicorns is killed by the minions of Lord Darkness (Tim Curry), the dude with the biggest horns around. Lily falls under Darkness' spell and is thus corrupted into a smokin' hot goth. Thus, Jack teams up with a group of elves (played by every major dwarf actor aside from David Rappaport) to defeat Darkness and restore beauty to the land. Ahh, but can anyone truly defeat Darkness? After all there is no love without hate, or light without darkness. I thought this was incredibly deep when I was eleven years old. And to be fair, compared to the other stuff we had in the 1980s, it was downright revolutionary.
Fun Fact 1: A huge set made to look like the sprawling forest was created. Unfortunately, the "007" stage burnt down and much of the film was made on reconstructed sets that never matched the scale of the previous sets. Upon hearing of the damage done by the fire, Ridley Scott figured there was nothing he could do. He went golfing for the day to get his mind off of it.
Fun Fact 2: Mia Sara was only 15 during the filming of Legend. Sara was actually born in 1967, so she was 15 in 1982, which is when production for the film began. But it took a further three years before Legend was finally completed by Ridley Scott because of the film's immensely troubled production history.
Fun Fact 3: The sound of the unicorns at play is actually a recording of humpback whales. The same sound effect was used in Mike Gray's Wavelength, Luigi Cozzi's Hercules and Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home.
Fun Fact 4: The script was originally much longer and more explicit as can be evidenced by someone speaking in a making-of documentry, relating the story of a producer who objected to the idea of Lord Darkness ravishing the princess.
Fun Fact 5: The U.S. and European versions differ greatly. The U.S. version is 89 minutes with a score by progressive band Tangerine Dream. The European cut is 114 minutes and features a more traditional orchestral score by Jerry Goldsmith. Additionally, the films feature different rhythms and certain sequences in a different order. Ridley Scott has said he enjoys both versions.
The Director Ronald Nearme (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Odessa File, The Poseidon Adventure)
The Stars Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Richard Dysart, Henry Fonda
The Plot Hey, Bruce Willis! You're sloppy seconds! Almost twenty years before either Armageddon or it's super-depressing predesessor, Deep Impact, Hollywood came up with a movie about a giant meteor about to collide with Earth and the brave men and women who try to stop it. It was one of the later disaster movies, an attempt to give it the sci-fi push in the wake of Star Wars. A huge cast was gathered, an obscene amount of money was spent and publicity went into overdrive before anyone realized the film mainly consisted of a bunch of bigtime actors watching a rock. Regardless, as pieces of the rock demolish major cities, we discover that the only way to destroy the bigger rock is by launching nukes from our illegal satalite. Not strong enough, American is forced to work with the Soviet Union who has also launched an illegal nuclear satelite. It was the Cold War, kids. This crap happened all the time.
Fun Fact 1: Re-rated "PG" on appeal after originally being rated "R" by the MPAA. Wow, looks like the MPAA didn't always turn a blind eye to the deaths of millions being depicted on screen, just because it was done with snazzy special effects. Go figure.
Fun Fact 2: Premiered on the floor of Meteor Crater in Arizona. This is also the site where the astronauts practiced their moonwalk and where the mother ship picked up Jeff Bridges in Starman. Coincidentally, it was where Jeff Bridges also tried to do the moon walk and was greeted with polite applause by the teamsters on duty.
MILLION DOLLAR MYSTERY (1987)
The Director Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, Tora! Tora! Tora!)
The Stars Tom Bosley (Happy Days), Royce D. Applegate (Gods and Generals, The Rookie, SeaQuest DSV), Penny Baker (The Men's Club), Eddie Deezen, Douglas Emerson (Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood, Beverly Hills 90210), Rich Hall (Not Neccesarily the News), Daniel McDonald (Where the Boys Are '84), Rick Overton, Kevin Pollack, Jamie Alcroft, Mack Dryden, Tawny Fere (Angel III: the Final Chapter, Rockula, Convict 762), H.B. Haggerty (Paint Your Wagon, The Big Brawl, Rad)
The Plot It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Film. Tom Bosley stars (!) as a guy who rips off $4 million from the government. (Only $4 million? HA! When you can steal $700 billion and rape our dog at the same time, then we'll talk escalation) He stops in a diner where some world famous chili promptly kills him. Before he croaks, he tells the people in the diner where the first million is, and that from there, he can find the other millions at various locations. The people in the diner immediately run off and try to make it to the cash first. During the closing credits, one of the characters informs the audience that there is a million dollars somewhere in the USA and if they follow the clues in specially marked Glad-Lock bags, they have the chance to win $1,000,000. It's one of those films like Mad, Mad World where they gather a bunch of stars together to look for missing loot. They forgot the stars, but what the hell.
Fun Fact 1: Glad Bags and DeLaurentiis Entertainment co-sponsored a real-life million-dollar "treasure hunt" to coincide with this film's release. At the end of the movie, the cash is still missing, and moviegoers were invited to find the location of the hidden stash, using clues provided in the film (the sponsors also emphasized that the money wasn't PHYSICALLY hidden anywhere, lest anyone injure themselves or damage property while searching for the loot; the audience just had to GUESS where the money was hidden). Ticket buyers were even given game cards shaped like American currency--with a big photo of Dine Del Laurentis where the President should be. In the end, it was a big disaster for the studio. The film was one of the major flops of the 1980s, barely grossing a million dollars at the box office, which the studio wound up forking over to the contest winner, a woman in Bakersfield, California. (Incidentally, the money was hidden in the bridge of the Statue of Liberty's nose). It gave birth to the slogan, "Give me your tired, your poor, your - holy crap I'm about to have the most expensive sneeze ever."
Fun Fact 2: Veteran stuntman Dar Robinson was killed executing a motorcycle stunt for this movie. The film is dedicated to him (as was Lethal Weapon, which he completed prior to shooting this).
Fun Fact 3: The man who drops dead before sending the cast on a treasure hunt is played by Tom Bosley, who was widely recognized as the spokesman for Glad trash bags at the time. The poster (pictured) even featured a Glad trash bag as its main focal point. When this film bombed, Mr. Clean's Tolkien-esque fantasy trilogy was quickly scrapped.
Fun Fact 4: When both Jamie Alcroft and Mack Dryden were nominated for the 1988 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor, it marked one of only three times that more than one person had shared an acting nomination with each other. The other two times were all five of the Spice Girls, (Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell) who were all nominated for, and subsequently "won" Worst Actress in the movie Spice World, and Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen in New York Minute, also nominated for Worst Actress
Fun Fact 5: Penny Baker only has a few film and television credits. She was a notable Playboy Playmate in the 1980s.
Fun Fact 6: Rich Hall was a featured player on the HBO comedy show Not Neccesarily the News. He was the creator of the 80s meame "Sniglets," which were described as "words that should be in the dictionary but aren't."
THE MIST (2007)
The Director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Majestic)
The Stars Thomas Jane (2004's The Punisher, Deep Blue Sea, Original Sin), Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River, Pollack, Space Cowboys), Laurie Holden (The Majestic, Silent Hill, The Shield), Andre Braugher (Glory, City of Angels, Homicide: Life On the Street), Toby Jones, William Sadler, Jeffrey DeMunn, Frances Sternhagen
The Plot From legendary frightmaster Stephen King and Academy Award nominated director Frank Darabont comes this amazingly bleak horror film. After a mysterious mist envelops a small New England town, a group of locals trapped in a supermarket must battle a siege of otherworldly creatures... and the fears that threaten to tear them apart. Take away all sharp objects from the room while watching this film. Seriously.
Fun Fact 1: In the opening shot of the film, David is painting in his room. The picture he's drawing is a design from Stephen King's Dark Tower series of the gunslinger Roland. Another design in the room is that of the poster of John Carpenter's The Thing. John Carpenter also wrote and directed The Fog, which shares obvious themes with the Mist.
Fun Fact 2: In the pharmacy scene, when David Drayton is collecting a comic book for his son, Frank Darabont proposed to Thomas Jane that he should grab a copy The Punisher: War Journal since Jane played the Punisher three years earlier. Jane declined because he had a falling out with the producers of the Punisher franchise and decided not to return for the sequel. He instead grabs an issue of Hellboy as a shout out to friend Ron Perlman.
Fun Fact 3: Shot in the six-week hiatus of The Shield, with its cinematographer, two camera operators, their editor and the script supervisor, all of whom the director has worked with when he directed episodes of the show.
Fun Fact 4: This isn't William Sadler's first time with The Mist. He played David Drayton in an audio version of the story.
The Director Patrick Rand
The Stars Stella Stevens (1963's The Nutty Professor, The Ballad of Cable Hogue), Mark Thomas Miller (Misfits of Science, Ski School), Jeannie Bates (Eraserhead), Brion James (Blade Runner, The Player, The Fifth Element), Mary Beth McDonough (The Waltons, 1983's Mortuary, Snowballing the Movie)
The Plot A blind serial killer with a penchant for pregnant women bites a kindly old woman, turning her into a blood-hungry monster. Okay, did everybody get that - we've got a blind serial killer. How might that work, you might ask? I don't know, I'm technically legally blind myself and I can just see myself stabbing at air for hours before the victim gets tired and says "Oh, give me the damn knife," and commits suicide. But he's not just a blind serial killer, oh no. Apparantly, he's actually a monster who transmits his craziness to a granny, who then turns into a cannibalistic beast. So, we have Wait Until Dark meets Maniac meets I Drink Your Blood meets Rabid Grannies. Can't say producers weren't thorough.
Fun Fact: Video boxes proudly touted that film was "from the producer of Men At Work." That statement no doubt was a major hook to twos of fans everywhere.
MONDO TRASHO (1969)
The Director John Waters (Pink Flamingos, 1986's Hairspray, Polyester)
The Stars Divine (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Lust In the Dust), Vivian Pearce (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living), Mink Stole (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, But I'm a Cheerleader), David Lochary (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble), Bob Skidmore, Margie Skidmore, Bernica Cipcus
The Plot A day in the lives of a hit-and-run driver and her victim, and the bizarre things that happen to them before and after they collide (sexual assault by a crazed foot-fetishist, visions of the Virgin Mary, strange chicken-foot grafting operations). Yeah, I could write something smarmy here, but what's the point? It's John Waters' first film, back when he didn't even care if anyone would turn his films into musicals. The guy is smarmy and crazy and wonderful and there it is.
Fun Fact 1: It seems that the bombshell is reading Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Babylon" when she's on the bus.
Fun Fact 2: While filming a scene featuring a naked hitchhiker, John Waters was on the campus of Johns Hopkins University without permission. When someone was offended, campus police were notified and Waters and his crew lammed it. They eluded the police for a while but were caught when they went to pick up the car and were charged with "conspiracy to commit indecent exposure."
Fun Fact 3: The title is a takeoff on the so-called "mondo" films that popped up in the 1960s, starting with Mondo Cane. The films proported to show the dark underbelly of the far corners of the world, but were mostly ficticious. Many other films would follow in the mondo films wake, most notoriously Faces of Death, which is still controversial although its been widely documented as being mostly simulated.
Fun Fact 4: Estimated budget - $2100
THE NEW BARBARIANS (1982)
The Director Enzo G. Castellari (Street Law, Keoma, Inglorious Bastards, 1990: the Bronx Warriors)
The Stars Giancarlo Prete (Black Belly of the Tarantula, Street Law, Messalina Messalina), Fred Williamson (Hammer, Inglorious Bastards, From Dusk Til Dawn), Anna Kanakis (2019: After the Fall of New York), George Eastman (Anthropophagus, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, Baba Yaga), Massimo Vanni (The Big Racket, Zombie 4: After Death), Venantino Venantini (Cannibal Ferox, Emmanuelle: Joys of a Woman, The Agony and the Ecstasy)
The Plot It's the year 2019. The world's been devastated by a nuclear war. It's a land where gangs of human predators travel in packs like wolves, where junkyards are filled with the dying remnants of society, and an army of carnivorous military prisoners threaten a fragile sliver of civilization. The only hope of the few remaining survivors is to reach a distant land where radio signals, indicate the possible presence of human life. One of the best Italian Mad Max knock-offs out there. The Italians could do these really well, since they noted the Mad Max films were basically Spaghetti westerns transported to a post-apocalyptic future. Hence, the climax of this one shares some similarities with A Fistful of Dollars. It does feature some things the westerns didn't - such as a car with a fruity-looking bubble top, an all-homosexual evil horde, a gal who acts with her hair and tinted goggles and yes Soozcat, extraneous armulets.
Personal Reflection Dept. I am a sucker for all these Italian Mad Max rip-offs (and Escape from New York rip-offs, and Conan rip-offs, and...). Hence, I begged and pleaded to rent this puppy when I was a kid. It was released in the U.S. as Warriors of the Wasteland and hit VHS on the old Thorn/EMI label in one of those big clamshell cases. It was one of the original "R-rated" films I was allowed to bring home. Nevertheless, I didn't get to see it all then as my father walked in when our hero has sex with the woman he saves on the very night they met - actually a non-explicit scene with some clever intercutting. I had to finally see it on Nite Owl Theatre a few years later, where of course it was cut for TV, though not by much. See kids - before the greedheads gave us infomercials, TV stations used to rerun bad sitcoms and movies no sane person would want to watch during prime time hours. It was a blast. I have seen it uncut many times since, and the film was released to a lovingly restored DVD as The New Barbarians by Shriek Show, an exploitation offshoot of Media Blasters.
NO HOLDS BARRED (1989)
The Director Thomas J. Wright
The Stars Hulk Hogan, Joan Severance (Black Scorpion I-II, Lake Consequence, Bird On a Wire), Kurt Fuller, Tommy "Tiny" Lister (Friday, The Fifth Element, Posse), Mark Pellegrino, Bill Henderson, Charles Levin, David Paymer, Patrick O'Bryan, Jesse Ventura
The Plot Rip is the World Wrestling Federation champion who is faithful to his fans and the network he wrestles for. Brell, the new head of the World Television Network, wants Rip to wrestle for his network. Rip refuses and goes back to his normal life. Still looking for a way to raise ratings, Brell initiates a show called "The Battle of the Tough Guys", a violent brawling competition. A mysterious man, Zeus, wins the competition. This gets Brell to use him as an angle to get at Rip. This is a film that features jokes about masturbation, penises and soiling oneself. It also proports that pro-wrestling is one hundred percent real, and non-WWF (Vince McMahon had yet to have his ass handed to him by the World Wildlife Federation - ha, ha!) groups had nothing against unleashing murderous fighters on national television, whether they attacked crippled people in the crowds or not. It is also not really a comedy. At least, I don't think so.
Fun Fact: To promote the movie Tiny Lister was brought in to the WWF as Zeus. Saying he was angry about losing in the movie and saying he could beat Hogan in real life. The problem was he was not a real wrestler. He wrestled only three matches, a tag match with Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake at Summerslam, an eight-man tag where he was eliminated by DQ. Finally since Vince knew the movie was a bust and wouldn't sell on PPV by it self he sold the PPV the match/the movie which included a steel cage match between Hogan & Beefcake vs. Savage & Zeus. Rumors say had No Holds Barred been a success, the main event for WrestleMania VI would have been Hulk Hogan vs. Zeus.
Personal Reflection Dept. Still the worst time I've ever had in a movie theatre, and that counts times I can't recount for legal reasons. Imagine a theatre full of loud, obnoxious twelve year-olds who are one hundred percent convinced that A. pro-wrestling is real and B. so is everything happening on the screen, and they have some say in the manner. It didn't resemble a filmgoing experience so much as a group of adolescents that all simulaneously heard their first fart joke... and stretched out to two hours. There is one scene in the movie, one I am only half-sure happened. I have a memory of seeing it on the screen and it was haunting to behold but I almost think it must have been some weird hallucination brought upon by the gaggle of pre-teen rioters in the crowd. I remember a scene where the Hulkster and his smart and prudish but sexy and obviously-oh-so-wanting-a-piece-of-the-Hulkamanic lawyer have to share a bed and so they dvide the thing with a sheet - something that had been going on ever since Jack Tripper shared an apartment with Joyce DeWitt and that skank who shills the Thighmaster. The lawyer wakes up in the middle of the night to the feeling of the bed shaking, looks over the sheet to see Hulk pleasuring himself. Please tell me I didn't hallucinate this or I fear I may have to commit myself and recommend that the white coats throw away the key. Oddly enough, I met Hulk a few weeks back. Very low-key, just waited on him at my business and sent him on his way. Didn't want to make a scene because hell, his son's a maniac behind the wheel, the daughter's a pop tart and his wife seems to be a real bitch. He's had a rough year and it's not his fault. Had I been more bold or had more senses on me, I probably would have said to him point blank, "Help me out here - I saw you beat off in 35 mm projection, yes?" How could that not have gone over well?
NOT OF THIS EARTH (1988)
The Director Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, The Return of Swamp Thing, Vampirella, The Bare Wench Project 1-4)
The Stars Traci Lords (Cry-Baby, New Wave Hookers, Adventures of Tracy Dick: the Case of the Missing Stiff, Tailhouse Rock), Arthur Roberts (Revenge of the Ninja, Hammerhead, Countess Dracula's Orgy of Blood), Roger Lodge (Blind Date), Rebecca Perle (Tightrope), Lenny Juliano (The Bare Wench Project 1-3, Vampirella, Cheerleader Massacre), Ace Mask (The Return of Swamp Thing, Transylvania Twist)
The Plot When a mysterious stranger (Arthur Roberts) arrives in town, he immediately hires Nadine Story (Traci Lords) as his nurse. Although the pay is great, her suspicions are aroused when his blood transfusions become more and more frequent. After some creative detective work, our hero finds out her boss is really a space vampire...and the chase is on! The thirsty visitor even threatens to transport Nadine back to his own planet. But Nadine has a few surprises in store for this enterprising alien as she brings her talents to the forefront and fight back during the thrilling climax. Mr. Johnson is a real dick, and the pun is absolutely intended because I'm just that immature. He's a stoic guy in a business suit who seems to have a strange hold over Dr. Rochelle (Ace Mask). The good doctor assigns his nurse Nadine (Traci Lords) to move into Johnson's house and supply him with regular blood transfusions. Turns out Mr. Johnson is a space vampire from the planet Davannah. He's trying to save his people by doing some heavy research. The people of Davannah need our blood to survive and if that means Johnson has to murder the odd strip-o-gram or vaccum cleaner salesman then what the hell. Nadine uses her considerable assets to solve the mystery. She also teams up with a cop who is such a great detective that he doesn't ask why a jailbait pornstar is working as a live-in nurse.
Fun Fact 1: Traci Lords' first mainstream motion picture. She was the subject of the biggest controversy to ever rock the adult film world. She starred in dozens of adult films and was the industry's top star, until it was discovered that of her dozens of films, only one was made when she was over eighteen. Radio ads for the film featured an announcement, "Traci Lords is Not of This Earth!" followed by one of Traci's soundbites from the film, "And I don't screw around!" This is also to this date the only non-adult film Traci has appeared nude in.
Fun Fact 2: The opening credits feature a montage of clips from various other Roger Corman movies, including Battle Beyond the Stars, Galaxy of Terror, Forbidden World, Battle Beyond the Sun, Humanoids frm the Deep and Pirahna. Sample footage from each of these movies appears numerous times throughout the movie as filler footage, as well as two full-length scenes from Hollywood Boulevard and Humanoids from the Deep.
Fun Fact 3: The reason for the great amount of stock footage is the strange way the film came about. Roger Corman and Jim Wynorski had a bet concerning the films Corman had directed in the 1950s. It was wagered that Wynorski could not remake one of them in the same amount of time. Wynorski matched Not Of This Earth's original ten day shooting schedule.
Fun Fact 4: Traci isn't the only "what the hell are they doing here?" person in the cast. If you don't recognize Roger Lodge from his acting oveure, maybe you recognize him as the old fill-in host on E!'s Talk Soup or more likely as the host for the syndicated TV show, Blind Date. Be sure to check out the scene where Lodge is no doubt trying to occupy himself in the background while Ace Mask talks on the phone. Being a police officer, that means he has props to play with, right? So, marvel as Lodge starts playing with his handcuffs and gun.
Fun Fact 5: A lot of the people in the cast worked with Jim Wynorski before and after this production. Arthur Roberts, Lemmy Luciano and Ace Mask are all recurring players in Wynorski's films. You can also see a humorous cameo by Monique Gabrielle, who had previously appeared in a dual role in Wynorski's Deathstalker II (Still by far the best of the Deathstalker films - and yes, I've seen them all multiple times).
Personal Reflection Dept. No sane person would ever defend kiddieporn. That said, I also don't buy that Traci Lords was purely an innocent bystander absorbed by the nasty world of adult entertainment and that hundreds of people knew the truth all along. Look, in looking at this, I realize there is virtually no way to make this sound good. After all, it is more than plausable that an industry had built itself up into a false sense of legal immunity and opened the door for a scandal that conintues to haunt it to this day. On the other hand, certain facts of the case, the lack of any substantial criminal prosecution and the reputation of one future John Waters co-star makes the whole thing stink a little. I'm just sayin'.