Comedy

SERIES OVERVIEW: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017)

SERIES OVERVIEW: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

This review might seem a bit out of nowhere for a horror site, but Mystery Science Theater 3000 is something near and dear to the hearts of many hardcore horror fans simply because we’ve all had to suffer through bad movies with our friends.
We’ve all been there, particularly if you lived through the video rental era. You’d wander the aisles for upwards of an hour, reading the backs of boxes, looking for the perfect movie to watch. You would grab a pizza and a few refreshing cold beverages, get home, pop in the movie and immediately be disappointed with your carefully selected choice of films. It happens, but you’d suffer through it anyway, because money was spent and you weren’t about to let that crappy movie win.
I’m a bit shocked that some of the people I watched movies with back then are still my friends considering how many bad movies I made them watch. At this point I would like to formally apologize to my friend John for making him suffer through all those dreadful movies. Notice I said that I would LIKE to apologize; I’m not actually going to because those memories are some of the best of my formative years.
Which brings me to my point. Mystery Science Theater 3000 isn’t just a movie watching experience; it’s more like a bonding experience. You feel a kinship, not just with the host and his companions, but with everyone who has ever suffered through a bad movie.
I’ll admit that when I first heard that Joel Hodgson was trying to reboot Mystery Science Theater 3000, I was skeptical. As much as I loved the show, I really didn’t think it was still relevant in today’s society of 140-character Twitter humor, Fail Army videos, and tasteless memes. That, and the fact that it’s closing on 20 years since the show appeared on television.
Surprisingly, the new incarnation is every bit as good as the older version. Mind you, it’s not the same show. It’s the next step in the progression of the show. An evolution. Everything about it is new. It’s much more polished with better visuals in some areas, and the old school, homemade feel in others.
Kinga Forrester and Max aka TV's Son of TV's Frank / Fair use doctrine.The story plays out the same way as the old one. Evil mad scientists Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), and her assistant, TV’s Son of TV’s Frank, aka Max (Patton Oswalt), trap some poor, likable dope — Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) — on the far side of the moon and force him to watch bad movies with his robot pals.
Even though Day and Oswalt do a great job as the new “Mads”, I don’t think their characters are fully developed at this point. They seem almost TOO competent compared to Clayton and Pearl Forrester. And while both are colorful and entertaining, they seem a bit generic. As a big fan of both, I’m hoping that both can embrace their respective roles and make them unique and interesting characters in future seasons.
Jonah and the bots / Fair use doctrine.Jonah Ray does a superb job filling the shoes of the hosts before him. No small feat. (Get it? Shoes, Feet. HaHaHaHa!) considering that Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson had two distinctly different styles. He’s not just filling the shoes in though, he’s doing a great job of making the role his own. And although the voices of Crow and Tom Servo have changed slightly, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn pick up almost seamlessly from Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy regarding the character and delivery of their respective robots.
The riffing in the theater segments is fast and concise right out of the gate, with lots of references to current events as well as throwbacks to some of the classic episodes. Just like the old show, the diverse range of topics give the new shows a great amount of re-watchability.
The host segments are lively and fun, although it’s easy to tell that Ray, Yount, and Vaughn haven’t quite mastered their on-screen chemistry. That sort of thing will come together over time, though.
Also, the addition of some big-name celebrities and a few familiar old faces dropping by on occasion gives the viewers an added treat. I’d tell you a few right now, but it’s more fun to be surprised by it.
Overall, it’s a faithful continuation of the series if you’re an old fan of the show, and it’s a great introduction if you’re a newbie.
Posted by Richard Francis in MOVIE REVIEWS, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
CROWDFUNDING PICK: Space Babes From Outer Space

CROWDFUNDING PICK: Space Babes From Outer Space

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I miss the old sex comedies of the 80s and 90s. You could argue that their time has come and gone, and a few months ago I probably would have agreed with you. However, the good folks over at Bandit Motion Pictures are trying their best to prove us all wrong with Space Babes From Outer Space.
It's time for Space Babes From Outer Space!
It’s time for Space Babes From Outer Space
If you aren’t familiar with Bandit Motion Pictures, it is a collaborative effort between Scott Schirmer, Brian K Williams, and Ellie Church. The group’s first films, Harvest Lake and Plank Face were disturbing and transgressive films. So if I had to guess what their next project would be, well I probably wouldn’t have guessed a sex comedy. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. If I had any desire to complain, it would have vanished with the trailers.
Space Babes From Outer Space will be directed by Williams (Time to Kill), while Schirmer and Church are on board as producers. Ellie Church (Frankenstein Created Bikers) pulls double duty as the leader of the titular Space Babes, along with Alyss Winkler (Plank Face) and Allison Maier. Seriously, if you need a reason to see this beyond that line up, I can’t help ya, friend.
The Space Babes From Outer Space crowdfunding ends soon!
And right now there is a super easy way to make sure you can watch Space Babes From Outer Space. Bandit Motion Pictures is in the midst, actually the closing stretch of an indiegogo. At the time of this writing, there is only a week to go. The perks are unbelievable, there is a limited double disc “stacked” edition, that will only be available to IGG supporters. After the IGG only the single disc version will be available, and it may not be available for long. Their first film Harvest Lake is already out of print. If you made the mistake of not nailing down a copy, don’t repeat it. Believe me, you will kick yourself, because the best Space Babes can only be found in Outer Space.
There isn’t much time left so hurry up. Space Babes From Outer Space is our crowd funding pick of the month.
Oh, and don’t forget to give the Facebook page a like.
Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, Crowd funding Pick, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

Director: Oliver Irving; Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren; Stars: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Melonie Diaz, Amy Sedaris, Paul W. Downs; Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 83 min; Genre: Horror Comedy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
I first heard of Ghost Team from a friend of mine a few months ago. I remember he showed me a trailer for it on YouTube, and, I must admit, the trailer did make it look pretty damn funny. When you put John Heder and Justin Long together, your outcome will most likely be laugh out loud funny… Well, unfortunately, that’s not the result in Ghost Team.
Louis (Jon Heder) and Stan (David Kromholtz) are roommates living down-and-out lives going nowhere fast. The two are fans of a paranormal TV show that is running a contest where the winner gets to be the next member of the show. So, when they hear of a local barn that might be haunted, the light bulbs over their heads switch on with the ingenious idea to become ghost hunters and try to win a spot on the show.
The two team up with other friends who they think might be able to help them out by specializing in different departments of their investigation, such as Ross (Justin Long), a rather gung-ho night security guard for a department store who becomes head of security for the Ghost Team. With a now full paranormal investigation crew, they head to the supposed haunted barn in the middle of nowhere in a van full of equipment that was borrowed from a local electronics store where Louis’ nephew Zak (Paul W. Downs) just happens to work.
From the beginning of the movie, I kept waiting for all the one liners and the slapstick to happen, and it just never really did. There were a few chuckles at best. It did, however, start to turn into what I thought was going to become a decent and suspenseful ghost movie. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of build-up, the suspense ball was dropped when we discover the reality of what their ghosts really are.
The film itself reminded me of an episode from the old Scooby-Doo mystery cartoon. The kids are out for adventure, looking for ghosts, but it lacked the pull-off-the-rubber-mask-to-reveal-who-is-underneath. The ball was dropped, and in so many ways! In short, Ghost Team as an entire film is a big let-down on many levels.
With the cast that was acquired for this film, Ghost Team had the possibility of being a great comedic piece and, even better, a great horror comedy. I am a fan of Justin Long’s work, and I’m not saying that his or anyone else’s acting is bad, but the movie just did use the talent properly. This leads me to believe that the cast must have owed a lot of favors to whoever made this. Maybe with the right group of people or if I had been a little drunk, it would’ve worked for me, but I was neither. Sorry guys, but this one goes nowhere fast!
Ghost Team is currently playing on Netflix.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

By John Roisland
The Night Watchmen, starring Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, and Kevin Jiggetts and directed by Mitchell Altieri is a 2016 laugh out loud comedic horror tale of a late night delivery gone horribly wrong.
When two stoner delivery guys drop off a coffin late at night to the wrong address, The Night Watchmen agree to hang onto it overnight after the deliverymen promise they will return promptly first thing in the morning to pick up and re-deliver the package. Now the problem’s not so much that they accepted the wrong package from a courier the problem is what’s in the package.
The package is a large, shiny, brand new coffin. Yes. A coffin. As the package is being ever so carefully watched over by our fearless men, one office manager, played by the incomparable James Remar, feels the need to investigate the package while he and a handfull of other employees are pulling an all nighter. To his surprise, inside lies the body of world a famous circus clown who had recently passed away on a European tour – along with the rest of his clown staff – and all had been flown back to America for burial. Upon opening the casket, however, they discover that the recently departed has returned to life plans to terrorize the city streets with his gang of clown vampires. It’s now up to our fearless Night Watchmen to save the world – or at least their asses – until the sun comes up.

As I mentioned in my opening, The Night Watchmen is a horror comedy full of one-liners that will have you laughing out loud in your seats. From the music, jokes, and the sometimes quirkiness, the film has a slight John Carpenteresque feel to it, and, in this writer’s opinion, that’s a very high compliment!
The story, originally penned by stars Ken Arnold and Dan DeLuca, brings to life a fast-paced, laugh out loud, and extremely bloody good vampire hunting time. I also want to give credit where its due – the stunt team. During tue heavy action scenes, the stunt team was pretty damn spot on!
On a personal note, I was extremely fortunate enough to have been invited onto the set on the second to last day of filming The Night Watchmen. You see, before House of Tortured Souls.com was officially launched, I was just a horror fan, and when I read in the paper of a horror film being made in my town, I had to reach out to them. I did just that thru The Night Watchmen Facebook page and was in contact with Dan Deluca. I explained to him the future plans of House of Tortured Souls.com and asked if, by any chance, I could possibly stop by the set and maybe grab a picture or two. DeLuca saw no problems with it and set up a date for me.
When I first pulled up to the set on a cold, snowy day in February and parked next to a long, shiny, silver, somewhat customized hearse, I knew was going to be a good day. The hearse belonged to special effects makeup artist R. J. Haddy who was in charge of special effects for the movie. Turns out my quick visit and a few pictures was a planned full day on set – while they were filming! I was first introduced to the staff, actors, director Mitchell Altieri and all the behind-the-scenes people.
This one of the top thrills of my life. Not only was I on the set of a movie while it was actually being filmed, it was also two days before my birthday, so it was quite a birthday gift! I kept in touch with the guys via Facebook through post-production and became friends with them. It was because of this that I was personally invited by one of the producers to a showing of the movie in Annapolis, Maryland, for staff and family. I was extremely honored and touched by the invite, and my wife Stephanie and I had one of the best evenings that we have had in a long time.
I’m not one to laugh out loud in movies, I’m really not, but I’ve got to tell you – I can’t even keep count of how many times I laughed throughout this film. The on-screen chemistry between Arnold, DeLuca, and Jiggetts is perfect!
The cast and staff are amazing, and I wish them all the best with this film. The movie officially premiered in Atlanta on November 17th.
Do yourself a favor and keep an eye on the listings, watch out for vampire clowns, and, most importantly, keep an eye out for The Night Watchmen!
John Roisland with Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca, and Kevin Jiggetts
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Movie Review: The Perfect Host (2010)

Movie Review: The Perfect Host (2010)

The Perfect Host
Dinner Parties Are A Dying Art

by Woofer McWooferson

The Perfect Host poster.

The Perfect Host poster.

Director: Nick Tomnay; Writers: Nick Tomnay, Krishna Jones; Stars: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford; Rating: R; Run Time: 93 min; Genre: Comedy | Crime | Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2010

The Perfect Host is one of the smartest and funniest crime thrillers in recent years. As Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) prepares for his dinner party, petty thief John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) searches for a hiding place after being identified as the culprit in a bank robbery earlier that day. Taylor dumps his car, also identified, near an upscale neighborhood and begins his search. After being turned away from one house, he moves on quickly and spots another possibility. A card in the mailbox indicates that the resident has a close friend, Julia, vacationing in Australia, and Taylor decides to masquerade as an acquaintance of Julia. Though he first denies Taylor entry, Taylor’s tale of lost luggage and a mugging eventually weigh on Wilson, who relents and invites him in. Wilson offers Taylor a drink and use of his phone while apologizing for being distracted with his dinner party preparations. Eventually, both men learn that neither is what he seems to be.

David Hyde Pierce in The Perfect Host.

David Hyde Pierce in The Perfect Host.

Through flashbacks, John’s reason for robbing the bank is revealed, and it is not what the viewer expects. Taylor has been trying to stay straight and legitimate, and his motivation for the robbery is to help his sick girlfriend. Warwick, on the other hand, is the model of a propriety, affording Taylor every consideration until he learns the true identity of this unexpected guest. While Taylor’s story is told in flashbacks, Wilson’s story unfolds linearly and when it does, the audience is treated to a well paced cat and mouse game.

The Perfect Host - the party gets going.

The Perfect Host – the party gets going.

Directed by Nick Tomnay and written by Tomnay and Krishna Jones, The Perfect Host could not be more aptly cast. David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) plays Wilson with verve and finesse, easily switching from nebbish to neurotic, and Clayne Crawford (Evil Remains) is equally awesome as he switches from stranded traveler in need to hardened petty criminal. Tyrees Allen (RoboCop), Cooper Barnes (Henry Danger), Indira G. Wilson (Reversion), and Annie Campbell (Anoosh of the Airways) round out the dinner party, affording Taylor the opportunity to see Wilson completely immersed in his element. As the movie progresses, the audience switches from wondering if Wilson will survive the night to wondering if Taylor will. As with everything else in this film, however, nothing is what it seems to be at first.

Shot in only 17 days and with a budget of only $500,000, The Perfect Host is an almost perfect comedic thriller. Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, the movie is tight, neat, and suspenseful. Certainly there are a few flaws, but the positives far outweigh the negatives, and David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford are amazing, true professionals. Their abilities to demonstrate a wide array of emotions ensures their characters are not cardboard cutouts. According to IMDb, this movie made only $48,000, and Tomnay has done nothing since. That is just plain wrong. The Perfect Host deserves more recognition and Tomnay deserves credit for crafting such a fun comedy crime thriller.

Spoiler Alert: Do not watch the trailer first. If you like dark comedies and/or crime thrillers, you will not be disappointed.

8/10 claws – Underrated, underappreciate, and unapologetic.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

By Machete Von Kill

rocky-horror
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Director: Jim Sharman
Writers: Richard O’Brien (original musical play), Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien (screenplay
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien, Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell
Rating: R; Run time: 100 min; Genre: Comedy, Musical; Country: UK; Language: English; Year: 1975

Sweethearts, and OH SO VANILLA, Brad (Bostwick) and Janet (Sarandon), newly engaged, are caught out in a storm when their car gets a flat tire. While looking for assistance, the straight laced couple discover the creepy mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry), a transvestite scientist from Transylvania, and a whole new (and FAR FROM VANILLA) world. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of over the top characters, including Riff Raff (O’Brien), a creepy butler, Eddie (Meatloaf), a biker from the deep freeze, and Columbia (Campbell), a crazed groupie. During the Transylvanians’ celebration, Dr. Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscle man named Rocky.

 

It’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the right…My October just isn’t October without Rocky Horror. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie. I can say I have worn out one VHS and two DVD copies of this cult classic. I know every word and can do the Timewarp like nobody’s business. I’ve dressed up (and would gladly do it again) as Magenta (Quinn) and still find 1975 Tim Curry in drag to be the sexiest thing ever. The movie exposed sheltered, junior high me to kink, men in drag, and many more interesting things than I would see on an average day in my little town. (THANK YOU RICHARD O’BRIEN & JIM SHARMAN!!)

Rocky Horror

If the story and songs weren’t enough, the fact that the movie encourages audience participation makes it even more fun. If you haven’t attended a live performance or a viewing that allows fan partici…pation, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Do it right now! You heard me, go Google it and find a showing or live performance, dress up, gather your props (you can use the fan participation script at the link above), and head up to the lab to see what’s on the slab.

And remember, don’t dream it, BE IT.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, RETRO REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments