A Movie A Day #52: Overexposed (1990, directed by Larry Brand)


overexposedSomeone is stalking soap opera star, Kristin (Catherine Oxenberg).  She is receiving frightening notes and her coworkers are dying.  Who is after her and what does it have to do with a tragic fire at a birthday party?  Is it one of her jealous co-stars?  Is it her duplicitous boyfriend (David Naughton)?  Is it the stranger (William Bumiller) that she’s having an affair with?  Or is it the obsessed fan (Karen Black)?  Detective Morrison (Larry Brand) is on the case!

The return of Detective Morrison (played, again, by the film’s director) makes Overexposed a sequel to The Drifter.  (Both films were directed by Brand and executive produced by Roger Corman).  Morrison has much more to do in Overexposed than he did in The Drifter so maybe the plan was to launch a low-budget franchise of Detective Morrison movies.  It didn’t happen, because Overexposed is much less interesting than The Drifter.  The spoiled and rich Kristin is never a likable character and the movie’s real star was Oxenberg’s busy body double, Shelley Michelle.

Overexposed does have a few good scenes, including death-by-acidic-facial-cream.  The best thing about movie is Karen Black, who brilliantly delivered a monologue about why she loves television.  It doesn’t have much to do with the rest of the movie but Karen Black knocked it out of the park.  The monologue ends with Karen Black paying homage to The Mod Squad by shouting out, “Solid!”

Overexposed was forgettable but Karen Black?

Karen Black was solid.

2015 in Review: The Best of SyFy


Well, here we are!  It’s the first week of January, 2016 and that means that it is time for me to start listing my favorite movies, books, songs, and TV shows of the previous year!  Let’s start things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer in 2015!

Below, you will find my nominees for the best SyFy films and performances of the previous year.  The winners are starred and in bold.  As you’ll quickly notice, it was a good year for films about sharks.  Especially films about zombie sharks!

ZombieShark_Image

Best Picture
Lavalantula, produced by Anthony Frankhauser
Night of the Wild, produced by David Michael Latt
Ominous, produced by Peter Sullivan
Sharknado 3produced by David Michael Latt.
They Found Hellproduced by Anthony Frankhauser
*Zombie Sharkproduced by Sam Claitor and Eric Davies.*

Best Director
Nick Lyon for They Found Hell
Mike Mendez for Lavalantula
Eric Red for Night of the Wild
*Misty Talley for Zombie Shark*

STEVE-Guttenberg-2

Best Actor
*Steve Guttenberg in Lavalantula*
Jason London in Zombie Shark
Barry Watson in Ominous
Ian Ziering in Sharknado 3

zombie-shark-26d805394971ee282f2c7dab4adb9646f62f1dce-2

Best Actress
Illeana Douglas in Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
Sarah Dugdale in The Hollow
Alexis Peterman in Roboshark
*Cassie Steele in Zombie Shark*

Syfy-movie-Lake-Placid-vs-Anaconda-Robert-Englund

Best Supporting Actor
Tony Almont in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf
*Robert Englund in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda*
David Hasselhoff in Sharknado 3
Roger J. Timber in Zombie Shark

catherine oxenberg rubber glove

Best Supporting Actress
Becky Andrews in Zombie Shark
Laura Cayouette in Zombie Shark
*Catherine Oxenberg in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf*
Annabel Wright in Lake Placid vs. Anaconda

Best Screenplay
*Lavalantula, written by Mike Mendez, Neil Elman and Ashley O’Neil*
Robosharkwritten by Jeffrey Lando and Phillip Roth
Sharknado 3written by Thunder Levin
Zombie Shark, written by Greg Mitchell

Best Cinematography
Lavalantula, Richard J. Vialet.
OminousStuart Brereton.
They Found HellRichard J. Vialet.
*Zombie SharkMatt S. Bell.*

tfh

Best Costume Design
Mega Shark vs. Kolossus
OminousDarragh Marmorstein.
*They Found Hell, Irina Kotcheva*
Zombie Shark, Kellye Bond

Best Editing
Lavalantula, Robert Dias and Mike Mendez.
Sharknado 3, Christopher Roth.
They Found HellDon Money.
*Zombie SharkMisty Talley.*

Best Makeup
The HollowJoanne Kinchella
*Lake Placid vs. AnacondaDesislava AlexievaRalitsa Roth, Atanas Temnilov*
Ominous
They Found Hell

Roboshark-SyFy

Best Score
LavalantulaChris Ridenhour.
Mega Shark vs. KolossusChris Cano and Chris Ridenhour.
*Roboshark, Claude Foisy*
Sharknado 3, Chris Ridenhour and Chris Cano.

Best Production Design
Lake Placid vs. AnacondaBorislav Michailovski
*Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Fernando Valdes*
OminousStephen Hass.
They Found Hell

sharknado 3 sharks in space

Best Sound
The Hollow
Night of the Wild
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Best Visual Effects
Lavalantula
Roboshark
*Sharknado 3*
Zombie Shark

Congratulations to all the winners!  Thank you for keeping us entertained in 2015!

Check out last year’s winners by clicking here!  And 2013’s winners by clicking here!

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the best from Lifetime!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015

Let’s Talk About Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf!


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On Saturday night, SyFy premiered Roboshark and Mega Shark vs. Kolossus and viewers like me will be forever thankful.  However, SyFy wasn’t done giving us treats.  On Sunday night, another new film premiered.  It was called Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf and I’m not ashamed to say that it was absolutely brilliant.

Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf takes place in the Dominican Republic.  A disgraced baseball player, Felix Rosa (played by Mario Arturo Hernandez,) goes to a mysterious German scientist, Dr. Reihnhardt (Catherine Oxenberg), in search of a treatment that will again make him a superstar.  However, as often happens with mad scientists, Dr. Reinhardt has an agenda of her own and soon Felix has been transformed into a hybrid between a whale and wolf.  This means that he looks like a wolf but he swims like a whale and he tends to act like a dog.

Except, of course, when he’s eating people.

When he’s eating people, he’s all Whalewolf.

whale

Meanwhile, alcoholic boat captain Ray (Casper Van Dien, giving a likable and energetic performance) has discovered that Sharktopus — a creature with the head of shark and the body of an octopus — is swimming in the waters around the Dominican Republic.  At first, Ray and his sidekick, Pablo (Jorge Eduardo De Los Santos), aren’t too concerned about the Sharktopus or anything else.  But then the local voodoo priest (Tony Almont) demands that they bring him the heart of Sharktopus and, when they don’t promptly comply, he starts to stick pins into Ray and Pablo voodoo dolls.

While all of that is going on, Ray’s almost girlfriend, police officer Nita (Akari Endo),  is trying to keep the peace but that’s a little bit difficult when you not only have to deal with a voodoo cult, an alcoholic boat captain, and a German mad scientist but also with Sharktopus and Whalewolf as well!

But that’s not all!  A Dominican version of The Bachelor is being filmed nearby.  It would be a lot easier for the bachelor to find love if not for the fact that Sharktopus keeps eating all of his potential wives.

And finally, there’s a tourist who is vacationing in the Dominican Republic and is convinced that she’s starting a new chapter of her life.  Needless to say, things don’t exactly end well…

Okay, you may have read all that and may now be under the impression that there’s a lot of going on in Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf and you are absolutely correct.  This is a very busy film but, then again, that’s exactly why it works.  The pace is relentless and the action is nonstop.  No time is wasted when it comes to introducing both Sharktopus and Whalewolf.  It’s nonstop Sharktopus and Whalewolf action, without a single slow moment.

The tone is pretty much set from the moment that Catherine Oxenberg first appears and starts to speak in the most over-the-top, deliberately exaggerated German accent ever heard.  Then Casper Van Dien shows up, pulling flasks out of his pockets and, at one point, getting into a literal slap fight with Sharktopus.  (Casper Van Dien gives a performance that can be positively compared to the best work of Bruce Campbell.)

Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf works as both an entertaining monster film and a glorious send up of the entire genre.  If you missed it for the first time, keep an eye out for another showing.

And hopefully, Sharktopus will soon return!

SW

What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #91: The Omega Code (dir by Robert Marcarelli)


Early this morning, after waking up and walking into a wall, I watched The Omega Code, an evangelically-themed film from 1999.

Why Was I Watching It?

Earlier this year, my friend Evelyn and I watched a film called Megiddo: The Omega Code 2.  We were both oddly amused by Megiddo so, when I saw that the first Omega Code film was going to be on one of the religious stations, I set the DVR to record it and made plans to watch it at some point in the future.

Last night, I happened to wake up around 3 in the morning.  I got out of bed, I took a few steps forward, and I walked straight into a wall.  After that, I turned on the lights and I was relieved to discover that my nose had protected the rest of my face from the wall.

So there I was at 3 in the morning with my red nose and my bruised pride and, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get back to sleep.  What’s a girl to do, right?  So, I decided that since I was awake anyway, I would go ahead and watch The Omega Code.

What Was It About?

The world is ending.  People are starving.  Nations are going to war.  Fortunately, the President of the European Union, Stone Alexander (Michael York) has a plan to save us all.  Unfortunately, Stone Alexander also happens to be the Antichrist.

In order to get all of humanity to accept his plan, Stone recruits the world’s most famous motivational speaker (Casper Van Dien).  However, Van Dien find out about the Omega Code, a secret code that uses the bible to predict the future.  And, as Van Dien discovers, the future looks positively apocalyptic….

What Worked?

When I reviewed Megiddo: Omega Code 2, I mentioned that if you’ve got a naturally villainous name like Stone Alexander, you might as well be evil.  The same remains true of The Omega Code.  Stone Alexander is so evil and Michael York is obviously having so much fun playing him that the fun is almost contagious.

Michael Ironside plays Dominic, Stone Alexander’s henchman.  In a rather offensive moment, Alexander reveals that Dominic is both gay and a former priest and the implication (which was probably popular with the film’s target audience) is that Dominic’s villainy is the direct result of both his Catholicism and his sexuality.  But, regardless, Ironside gives a memorably menacing performance.

It’s interesting how the villains in religious films are often more compelling than the heroes…

What Did Not Work?

Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was spoiled by getting the chance to see the 2nd Omega Code before I saw the first one.  Omega Code 2 was the epitome of a so-bad-that-it’s-good type of film but the first Omega Code was just bad.  Not even the combined villainy of Michaels York and Ironside could make The Omega Code entertaining.

(Add to that, Megiddo: Omega Code 2 featured cameos from both Franco Nero and Udo Kier, while The Omega Code featured … well, no one.)

No review of The Omega Code would be complete without mentioning that, in the lead role, Casper Van Dien gives perhaps one of the worst performances ever captured on film.  It’s oddly fascinating to watch and try to figure out how anybody could give such an incompetent performance.

As I watched the film, one question kept nagging at me.   The Omega Code makes the argument that biblical prophecy should be taken literally.  Therefore, if the bible is itself a literal document that tells you everything that you need to know  than why hide a secret code between the lines?  And, if you’re going to go through all the trouble to come up with a secret code, why use that code to then hide cryptic phrases that could literally be translated to mean anything?  It just seems a bit overly complicated.

(That, incidentally, is the same reason why I don’t have much use for anything that Dan Brown has ever written.)

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

None.  Seriously, there was not a single moment in this film to which I could relate.  Some of that may be because this film was obviously made to appeal to an evangelical audience, as opposed to a free-thinking fallen Catholic like me.

Then again, it could also be that The Omega Code just wasn’t a very good movie.

Lessons Learned

I really didn’t learn anything.  Sorry, not sorry.

omegacode