Music Video Of The Day: Open Your Eyes, covered by David Hasselhoff (2019, dir by Vincent Cordero)


Uhmmm …. okay.

So, this is from David Hasselhoff’s upcoming new album, Open Your Eyes.  The entire album is going to be cover tunes.  This song was originally recorded by a group called The Lords of the New Church, which had a line-up of four musicians who had previously made a name for themselves as members of punk bands in the 1970s, Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys), Brian James (The Damned), Dave Tregunna (Sham 69) and Nick Turner (The Barracudas).

(Why yes, I did copy and paste that from Wikipedia.  Why do you ask?)

Anyway, I know that when I think of punk rock or even post-punk rock, David Hasselhoff is the first name that comes to mind.  In this video, the Hoff’s voice actually sounds okay but he goes a bit overboard with the facial expressions.  To be honest, the whole video has kind of a 90s feel to it but I get the feeling that might be intentional.  Certainly, the wall of TVs feels a bit retro, as does the family watching in amazement.  Families today are more likely to be gathered around twitter than gathered around the television.  My favorite part of this video would have to be the politicians and the bankers throwing the money around.  You can literally hear them yelling, “Look how evil we are!”

As always, the Hoff seems to be having fun and if you’ve ever wanted to see David Hasselhoff sing about income inequality …. well, here you go!

Enjoy!

Italian Horror Showcase: Witchery (dir by Fabrizio Laurenti)


Like many Italian horror films, Witchery is a film that is known by many names.

When it was originally released in Italy, it was called La Casa 4 and it was sold as being a sequel to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films.  (In Italy, Evil Dead was called La Casa.)  In countries where Umberto Lenzi’s Ghosthouse was a hit, this film was entitled Ghosthouse 2.  (Adding to the confusion, Ghosthouse was called La Casa 3 in Italy, even though it had nothing to do with the Evil Dead films.)  In countries where neither Ghosthouse nor La Casa were hits, this film was sometimes called Witchcraft and sometimes called Witchery.  For the purposes of this review, I’m going with Witchery, just because Witchcraft is kind of a bland title.

Anyway, the main lesson to be learned from Witchery is that David Hasselhoff will never be anyone other than David Hasselhoff.  In this film, he plays a character named Gary but, from the minute you see him and he starts talking, it’s impossible to think of him as being anyone other than David Hasselhoff.  You spend the film thinking, “Uh-oh, David Hasselhoff’s getting sexually frustrated.  Uh-oh, that witch is coming for David Hasselhoff.  Did they just throw David Hasselhoff through a window?”

David Hasselhoff and his friend Leslie (Leslie Cumming) are in Massachusetts, staying at an abandoned hotel.  It’s rumored that, living nearby, there’s a reculsive actress, known as the Woman in Black (Hildegard Knef), who decades ago made some sort of deal with the devil or a witch or something like that and the hotel is now some sort of portal to Hell.  Leslie is determined to discover whether the rumors are true but all David Hasselhoff cares about is the fact that Leslie is still a virgin.  “It’s not normal,” he tells her, with a look in his eye that suggests that he’s willing to help her out.  Somehow, Leslie manages to resist Hasselhoff.

Before Hasselhoff can continue to make his case, both he and Leslie have to hide in the hotel because a group of people show up.  It turns out that the Brooks family is interested in buying the hotel so that they can renovate it and hopefully make some money!  Now, they’ve arrived and they’re looking to inspect the property.  There’s Jane (Linda Blair), who is pregnant.  There’s Jane’s obnoxious stepmother, Rose (Annie Ross), who won’t stop complaining.  There’s two real estate agents, Linda (Catherine Hickland) and Jerry (Rick Farnsworth).  And then there’s a little kid who has a Sesame Street cassette player with him.  Have you ever wanted to hear a demonic chant come out of a bulky box decorated with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch?  Well, this is the film for you!

Anyway, the Brooks family ends up getting stranded at the hotel for a night, which gives the Woman In Black several chances to pop up and send people to Hell.  It turns out that the hotel is crawling with all sorts of demonic creatures and not even David Hasselhoff can scare them off.  One person gets their lips sewn together and is hung in a fireplace.  Someone else gets crucified upside down.  Someone else gets impaled on a marlin.  Because she’s played by Linda Blair, Jane gets possessed….

It’s a real mess of a film and not one that ever makes much sense.  You keep wondering just what exactly the Woman In Black is hoping to accomplish but then you realize that the film itself has no idea so you stop worrying about it.  Witchery may not be a good film but it’s such a strange film that it’s a little bit hard to resist.  I mean, how many other films combine demonic chants with Big Bird?  How many other films feature David Hasselhoff playing himself and getting into a fight with Linda Blair?  Watching the film, you get the feeling that everyone involved just kinda made it up as they went along.

I’m not exactly recommending Witchery but it is one of those films that’s weird enough to justify viewing it at least once.

6 Trailers For World UFO Day


With today being World UFO Day, it seems like a good time for a special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!  The 6 trailers below all bring the promise of aliens to the grindhouse!

  1. Starcrash (1978)

For the record, I fully realize and understand that I have shared this trailer like a thousand times on this site.  I make no apologies!  I love this trailer and, even more importantly, I love this film!  It’s perhaps the greatest Italian Star Wars rip-off of all time.  Directed by Luigi Cozzi and starring Caroline Munro, David Hasselhoff, Joe Spinell, Marjoe Gortner, and Christopher Plummer, Starcrash is a movie everyone must see!  I was even Stella Starr for Halloween in 2014.  Unfortunately, no one knew who I was (apparently, not everyone loves Italian exploitation films that I do) but I still got a lot of candy.

2. The Deadly Spawn (1983)

When a meteor crashes to Earth, it unleashes … well, watch the trailer.  I’ve been meaning to review this movie for a while but somehow, I keep getting distracted by Lifetime.  The Deadly Spawn is a lot of fun.  It’s good nature more than makes up for its low budget.

3. Starship Invasions (1977)

This is the trailer for Starship Invasions, which Christopher Lee regularly described as being the worst film he ever made.

4. Contamination (1980)

This one was directed by Luigi Cozzi, who also directed Starcrash.  It’s also known as Alien ContaminationHere’s my review!

5. Alien 2: On Earth (1980)

Oh my God!  A previously unknown Alien sequel!?  Not quite.  This Italian sci-fi film may have been released as Alien 2 but it actually had nothing to do with the original Alien.  That said, Alien 2 is still considerably better than Alien Covenant.

6. I Come In Peace (1990)

“…and you go in pieces!”

Hah!  You tell him!  I’ve never seen this film but I love that line.

Music Video Of The Day: Hooked on a Feeling by David Hasselhoff (1997, by ????)


A few weeks ago, I did a google search for the world’s strangest music video.  The results were largely made up of listicles, the majority of which had headlines like, “These Music Videos Are Messed Up and They’re Glorious” or “These 12 Strange Music Videos Are Everything.”

Bleh.  I hate clickbait headlines.

But still, I went ahead and checked out a few of the articles and I noticed that almost all of them mentioned a 1997 video that was made for a cover of Hooked on a Feeling performed by David Hasselhoff.  So, I went to YouTube and I watched the video and yeah, it was pretty weird.  Like a lot of things involving Hasselhoff, it’s hard to tell if it was meant to be taken seriously or if the video was in on the joke.

Anyway, enjoy!

Horror on TV: Baywatch Nights 2.4 “The Strike” (dir by David W. Hagar)


For tonight’s example of televised horror, we have another episode of Baywatch Nights!

In this episode, which originally aired on October 20th, David Hasselhoff rescues a young man from drowning and, before you can say X-Files, founds out that the man is connected to …. ROSWELL!  That’s right, it’s UFO time!

As with all episodes of Baywatch Nights, The Strike is silly and … well, actually, silly is the best way to describe it.  But it’s just so silly that it’s undeniably fun as well.

Plus, it’s take place on the beach!  Y’all like the beach, don’t you?

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: Baywatch Nights 2.5 “Circle of Fear” (dir by Bruce Kessler)


For tonight’s horror on the lens, how about a chance to watch David Hasselhoff and Angie Harmon battle the forces of dark magic?

That’s right, it’s an episode of Baywatch Nights!  This episode shows what happens when Angie and David investigate the burned book that they found at the scene of an occult gathering.  It’s all a little bit silly but then again, that’s the charm of the show!

Enjoy!

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (dir by James Gunn)


(MINOR SPOILERS!  SPECIFICALLY, THE IDENTITY OF THIS FILM’S MAIN VILLAIN WILL BE REVEALED)

The Guardians of the Galaxy are back!

And this time, they’ve brought some new friends with them, friends with names like Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, and … David Hasselhoff?

That’s right.  David Hasselhoff is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and somehow, it feels totally appropriate.  For all the words that have been written comparing Guardians of the Galaxy to the Star Wars franchise, it’s true ancestor is the 1978 Italian film, Starcrash.  (Perhaps not coincidentally, Starcrash was Hasselhoff’s film debut.)  Watch the trailer below and just try to tell me that you can’t imagine Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in the lead roles.

But enough about my obsession with Italian exploitation films.  I know the question that you want answered.  Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as good as the first one?

Well, it depends on how you look at it.  Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is an absolute blast, a wonderfully entertaining film that mixes subversive comedy with sci-fi action.  Everyone from the first film — Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel — is back and they’ve still got the same winning chemistry that made the first film so much fun.  Everyone is still committed to their roles, delivering even the strangest of dialogue with undeniable flair.  Nobody’s gotten bored with saving the universe yet.  The new additions to the cast are all well selected.  Kurt Russell totally disproves the assumption that MCU villains are never as interesting as their heroic opponents but, then again, it helps that he’s playing a character who has a memorable and odd backstory.  Once again, director James Gunn combines crowd-pleasing moments with his own sharp sense of humor.  If the pompous tone of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman made you sick, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is the perfect antidote.

Unfortunately, Volume 2 doesn’t provide the same thrill of discovery as the first film.  It’s easy to forget that, before the first film came out, a lot of people were predicting that Guardians of the Galaxy would be the first MCU film to flop at the box office.  The conventional wisdom was that, as opposed to a character like Captain America, no one, outside of a few comic book readers, knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy were.  Chris Pratt was just the goofy guy from Parks and Recreation.  A talking raccoon?  A walking tree?  It was all way too weird, the naysayers proclaimed, to appeal to a mainstream audience.

However, James Gunn proved them wrong.  Guardians of the Galaxy was not only the most successful MCU film to that date but it was also my pick for the best film of 2014.  I can still remember watching it for the first time and immediately falling in love with both the film’s skewered sensibility and Chris Pratt’s funny but soulful performance.  As opposed to a lot of films that were nominated for and won Oscars that year, Guardians of the Galaxy actually holds up after repeat viewings.

(Seriously, has anyone tried to rewatch Birdman lately?)

Going into the sequel, everyone now knows who the Guardians are and Chris Pratt is now a beloved film star.  Volume 2 has a lot to live up to and, for the most part, it succeeds.  It’s a tremendous amount of fun and, at the same time, it has a heart.  (The heart at the center of the Guardian of the Galaxy films is perhaps the biggest heart in the MCU.)

What is the film about?  Much like the first film, it’s about family.  After years of telling everyone that his father was David Hasselhoff, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finally meets his real father (Kurt Russell), a God-like figure named Ego.  Charismatic, cheerful, and just a little bit odd, Ego seems like the perfect father figure but he has some secrets of his own.  Russell gives a wonderful performance, making Ego one of the few MCU villains to be as interesting as the heroes.

While Peter is bonding with his dad, he is also being pursued by his adoptive father, the blue-skinned space pirate named Yondu (Michael Rooker).  Yondu has been rejected by both his adopted son and the rest of his adopted family.  The other space pirates are no longer loyal to him.  His former boss (Sylvester Stallone) wants nothing to do with him.  As silly as it all may sound, it’s also unexpectedly poignant, thanks to Michael Rooker’s performance.  Rooker has appeared in several of Gunn’s films.  He’s almost the Cary Grant to Gunn’s Alfred Hitchcock.  Rooker gives one of the best performances of his careeer in the role of Yondu.  It’s tempting to be dismissive of Yondu, with his blue-skin and his Alabama accent, but Rooker makes him one of the most compelling characters to ever be found in an MCU film.

Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon (voiced again by Bradley Cooper) has become a surrogate father figure to Groot (voice by Vin Diesel), who is still just a baby tree.  (Groot, a living tree, was reduced to just a twig at the end of the first film.  Fortunately, Rocket planted the twig and, in another few movies, we’ll hopefully have a fully grown Groot.)  Yes, Baby Groot does get to dance, again.  At one point, one of the film’s villains forbids any of his henchmen from attacking Baby Groot because he’s just too adorable to destroy.  And he’s right!  After this movie, everyone will want a Baby Groot of their own.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) has been reunited with her sister, Nebula (Karen Gilliam) and, once again, they spend most of the movie trying to kill each other.  I have three older sisters so I related to their relationship.

And finally, Drax (Dave Bautista) is still mourning his family.  Fortunately, he gets to spend some quality time with Ego’s odd assistant, an empath named Mantis (Pom Klementieff).  Drax and Mantis both have no idea how social interaction is supposed to work and their scenes together are definitely a highlight of the film.  Bautista and Klementieff share a really likable chemistry.  Bautista is one of those actors who can make you laugh just be giving the camera a quizzical look.  Drax may not be as a complicated as the other Guardians but that simplicity often makes him as interesting as his more complex compatriots.

The film’s not only about family.  It’s also a strike against elitism and a celebration for freedom.  Over the course of two films, the Guardians have battled against both an actual god and a fanatic who claimed to speak for God.  At a time when so many movie heroes are tools of authoritarianism, the Guardians of the Galaxy stand for freedom.  In many ways, Peter Quill is as much of a symbol for liberty as Captain America.  Captain America makes his point with a shield while Peter Quill makes his case by dancing.

As might be expected from an MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is full of thrilling visuals, exciting battles, and quotable one liners.  Even if it never reaches the heights of the first one, it’s a blast of a film and, as Arleigh told me it would, the finale brought tears to my mismatched eyes.  See it and have a good time.

Also, be sure to stick around through the entire end credits.  Along with a lot of clues about what might happen in the future of the MCU, there’s also one final Groot joke that made me laugh out loud.

Enjoy!