A Movie A Day #236: Bad Blood (1994, directed by Tibor Takacs)


Though it is sometimes hard to remember, there more on late night Cinemax than just Shannon Tweed films like Scorned and Body Chemistry 3.  There were also Lorenzo Lamas action films, movies like the Snake Eater trilogy.  Though Lamas was a terrible actor, his direct-to-video efforts were always a hundred times more violent than everyone else’s and, for male viewers of a certain age, it did not hurt that his then-wife, Kathleen Kinmont, often showed up in various states of undress.

Kathleen Kinmont did not appear in Bad Blood but the movie made up for her absence by being so violent that it was originally given an NC-17 rating.  As a result, there are actually two versions of this movie floating around: the slightly cut R-rated Bad Blood and an unrated version called Viper.  (Interestingly, the violence in both Bad Blood and Viper is really no more graphic than the violence that was featured in a lot of mainstream films released in the mid-90s.)

In this one, Lorenzo Lamas is Travis Blackstone, a former cop who was kicked off the force after he destroyed evidence to protect his smarmy brother, Franklin (Hank Cheyne).  Travis was sent to prison but now that he is out, he is working in a shipping yard and coaching little league baseball.  (I do not know many parents that would be happy with an ex-con as their child’s little league coach but that is the power of Lorenzo Lamas.)  Unfortunately, Franklin has gotten in trouble again, embezzling millions from the mafia.  Not only does Travis have to find the money to repay the mob but he also has to keep Franklin safe.  Unfortunately, since Franklin is now involved with Travis’s ex, Rhonda (Frankie Thorn), Travis’s new girlfriend (Kimberly Kates) assumes that he is cheating on her and tells the mob where they can track down the Blackstone brothers.

The main bad guy, Chang, is played by Joe Son.  (The unrated version begins with Chang giving a little girl a lollipop and then shooting her dead.)  Joe Son was a UFC fighter who was later revealed to be just as bad a guy in real life as he was in the movies.  After being convicted on rape in 2011, Son was sentenced to seven years to life.  As soon as he arrived in prison, he beat his cellmate to death and received an additional sentence of 27 years for voluntary manslaughter.

As for Bad Blood, by the standards of the typical Lorenzo Lamas action movie, it’s not bad.  The action is constant and fierce, with Travis gunning down a seemingly endless number of gangsters in designer suits.  Tibor Takacs was a better filmmaker than most of the directors that Lamas worked with and it appears that he managed to keep Lorenzo Lamas’s ego under control, the result being far less shots of Lamas posing than in any of the other movies that Lamas made during this period.  The production values of Bad Blood are also consistently better than what was on display in the Snake Eater films.  There is even a scene where Lamas not only flips over a speeding car but he shoots the driver while he is doing it.  Let’s see Steven Seagal or even Dolph Lundgren do that!

Back to School Part II #10: Grease (dir by Randal Kleiser)


Grease_ver2

When it comes to reviewing Grease on this site, the film and I have a long and twisted history.  There have been several times when I was tempted to review Grease but one thing has always stopped me:

I absolutely hate this film.

Grease is one of my least favorite films and, to be honest, just thinking about it causes me pain.  Just about everyone that I know loves Grease.  They love the songs.  They love the music.  They love the performances.  They want to see it on stage.  They want to see it on the big screen.  They watch every time it pops up on AMC.

Growing up as a theater nerd means being surrounded by people who love Grease.  I cannot begin to count the number of times that I forced to watch this movie in school.  So many theater teachers seemed to feel that showing Grease in class was some sort of reward but, for me, it was pure torture.  And the fact that I was usually the only one who disliked the film made the experience all the more unbearable.

Back in 2014, when I was doing the first set of Back To School reviews, I was planning on reviewing Grease.  But I just could not bring myself to voluntarily relive the film.  Instead of putting myself through that misery, I decided to watch and review Rock ‘n’ Roll High School instead.  It was the right decision and I stand by it.

Jump forward two years and here I am doing Back to School again.  And again, for some reason, I had put Grease down as a film to review.  It’s just a movie, right?  And yet, after I finished writing my excellent review of Animal House, I again found myself dreading the idea of having to even think about Grease.

So, I said, “Fuck this,” and I promptly erased Grease from the list and I replaced it with Skatetown USA.  Then I watched Skatetown and I’m glad that I did because that was an experience that I can’t wait to write about!  And yet, I still had this nagging voice in the back of my mind.

“You’re going to have to review Grease at some point,” it said, “If not now, when?”

The voice had a point.  However, I was soon reminded that there was an even more important reason to review Grease.  A little further down on my list of Back to School films to review was a little film called Grease 2.  How could I possibly review Grease 2 if I hadn’t already reviewed Grease?  My OCD would not allow it!

And so, here I am, reviewing Grease.

Grease, of course, is a musical about teenagers in 1958.  Danny (John Travolta) is in love with Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Sandy is in love with Danny.  But Danny’s a greaser and Sandy’s Australian!  Will they be able to work it out, despite coming from different worlds?  Of course they will!  Danny’s willing to dress up like a jock in order to impress Sandy while Sandy’s willing to wear black leather to impress Danny!  Yay!  They go together!  And they’ve got a flying car, too!  YAY!

Screen-Shot-2013-07-12-at-13.51.48

And then Satan arrived…

Of course, there’s other subplots as well.  For instance, Frenchy (Didi Conn) nearly drops out of school but she’s visited by Satan (Frankie Avalon) and he manages to change her mind.  And Rizzo (Stockard Channing) might be pregnant because Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) hasn’t bought any new condoms since the 8th grade.  Comparing the sensitive way that teen pregnancy was handled on a show like Degrassi: The Next Generation with the way it’s handled in Grease is enough to make you want to sing “O Canada” every day for the rest of your life.

Here’s what I do like about Grease: Stockard Channing is great as Rizzo, though it’s hard not to feel that she deserves better than a doofus boyfriend like Kenickie and a boring bestie like Sandy.  I also like You’re The One That I Want.  That’s a fun song.

But as for the rest of the movie … BLEH!  I mean, it is so BORING!  It takes them forever to get to You’re The One That I Want.  Olivia Newton-John is so wholesome that she literally makes you want to tear your hair out while John Travolta pretty much acts on auto pilot.  As for the supporting cast, most of them appeared in the stage production of Grease and they still seem to be giving stage performances as opposed to film performances.  They’re still projecting their lines to the back of the house.  Worst of all, it’s obvious that director Randal Kleiser had no idea how to film a musical because the dance numbers are so ineptly staged and framed that, half the time, you can’t even see what anyone’s doing with their feet.  If you can’t see the feet, it defeats the whole purpose of having an elaborate dance number in the first place!

So, no, I don’t like Grease.

Sorry, everyone.

However, I’m sure I’ll enjoy Grease 2….

Love you, Canada!

Love you, Canada!

Film Review: Snake Eater III: His Law (1992, dir. George Erschbamer)


Snake Eater III: His Law

I don’t know what happened here. In Snake Eater we have a ridiculous movie where an ex-special forces cop named Soldier (Lorenzo Lamas) fights rednecks. In Snake Eater II, Soldier fights a war against drugs from inside a mental hospital. Those movies both came out in 1989. This was released in 1992. From the first scene it’s night and day. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of similarities to the first two films, but it’s also so different, and better. Still bad, but better than the first two.

First off, it’s like those first two movies never happened. He doesn’t start out in the mental hospital he was left in at the end of the second film. However, just like those two movies, Soldier gets himself put on suspension from the force inside of a few minutes. In the first film, it was cheesy, sleazy, and corny, but okay. In the second film, it was a stupid rampage. But in this film, it’s a humorous little scene that I actually enjoyed that gets him suspended. A guy is trying to rob a diner when Soldier walks by and sees what’s happening. He goes in pretending like he wanted to rob the place, but that this guy had beat him to the punch. He warms up to the guy, then takes him down. In the process he scares the lady who works behind the counter and that’s what puts him on suspension.

I guess I would be scared too if a guy was doing this to me when another guy showed up and also pointed a gun at me.

I guess I would be scared too if a guy was doing this to me when another guy showed up and also pointed a gun at me.

Luckily, Soldier thrives on suspension. This time a family comes forward inquiring about his services. They want him to track down the bikers who kidnapped, raped, and generally traumatized their daughter so much that she walks over to the table where Soldier is sitting and starts pulling down her panties thinking that’s what she’s supposed to do. That’s some messed up stuff. That character is the big detraction for this movie. It’s just too much for what otherwise is more light hearted and humorous.

Soldier now seeks out a guy we will just refer to as Roy Rogers. He’s even listed as Cowboy on IMDb and if he had a name in the movie, I didn’t care, and still don’t. Roy is a private detective and Soldier wants to join forces with him to track down these bikers. Of course a humorous brawl ensues. Same thing happened in the first film in a bar, but this time it’s more enjoyable.

Roy Rogers (Minor Mustain)

Roy Rogers (Minor Mustain)

Soldier never hits a girl, but he'll gladly throw her out a window.

Soldier never hits a girl, but he’ll gladly throw her out a window.

Stay right there, please!

Stay right there, please!

The main connection to this gang is a man named Goose (Scott Bigelow). At this point, I have to point out that there are at least two scenes where guys just pee outside. Once in a parking lot and the other time Roy does it just outside a house. However, the movie gets a pass on the second peeing. That’s because Soldier electrifies Goose’s toilet so that it’s his final piss. Obviously, that toilet was out of commission.

This movie should be straightforward with Soldier working his way up the ladder till he takes down the bikers at their gang headquarters. That happens, but along the way that poor girl who drops trow for any guy keeps getting kidnapped. It happens at least twice and she is clearly raped and/or molested both times. It’s not only a little confusing, but too serious for this movie. At least this scene happens at the end so we know she finally got some backbone again.

In The End

In The End

She kills the bad guy to save Soldier

She kills the bad guy to save Soldier

We see her at the end with her family and she appears like she’s going to be okay. The family offers him money, but he takes tomatoes instead. Honestly, this is better than the first two, but the girl is enough to say don’t check this out. If you must watch any of the three Snake Eater movies, then stick with the first two because as bad as they are, you can get some fun out of them. This one will make you feel uncomfortable. Just like this guy.

Uncomfortable

Film Review: Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster/Snake Eater’s Revenge (1989, dir. George Erschbamer)


Snake Eater II

Snake Eater II

There are numerous editors on this site. Lisa Marie Bowman gets the sleazy Lifetime movies and fun SyFy monster movies. Jedadiah Leland picks and chooses interesting things to post about. pantsukudasai56 is an anime expert. Dazzling Erin gets to post pretty pictures.

I could write about fun sleazy movies like I Am Frigid… Why? (1972) with it’s tick tock clock erection scene. I could carefully pick and choose pieces to write about. I’m no anime expert, but I could do a six part series on the short-lived Ralph Bakshi adult cable animated show called Spicy City (1997). I certainly can post pretty pictures. I love to hike and take photographs. Here’s a couple of them.

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But no. I write about movies like Tammy and the T-Rex or Snake Eater. Why all that lead up? It’s because this movie is so boring and barely anything happens. There is next to nothing to talk about, but let’s do what we can.

MacGyver Club

The movie begins in a club for kids that couldn’t get MacGyver as their role model so they have Soldier (Lorenzo Lamas) instead. Some role model. Didn’t they hear about his rampage against the rednecks? Anyways, some girl falls to the ground, and wouldn’t you know it by the title, bad drugs have killed her. Obviously, Soldier isn’t happy about this and decides to do something about it.

Preparing For Battle

Of course, since it took going Rambo to stop rednecks, it’s gonna take C-4 and grenades to deal with some local drug dealers. Soldier does just that. He gets a knife in his back in the process. Right after that another guy shows up saying he was going to do the same thing, but is going to leave since it wouldn’t be right for him to take credit for Soldier’s work.

After that the movie gets really stupid. While on trial, Soldier is put in a mental hospital. He is soon taught by the locals who like to order Chinese food that he can come and go any time he wants. Of course, this first means he needs to do battle in a wheelchair.

Wheelchair Battle

I wish I was making this stuff up, but no. Now he is allowed to leave through the vents where he also happens to run into a horny girl and a pizza delivery man. The rest of the movie is break out of the hospital, attack the drug dealers, then go back to the hospital till the big guys are taken down.

Pizza? Buddies

That’s all they wrote folks. It ends with the comedic relief from the hospital looking through a door and then dancing in the hallway. Soldier is found innocent of his crimes by reason of insanity and confined to the hospital. I wonder if the next movie picks up there. Who knows? They resurrected The Hammer after Black Caesar (1973) for Hell Up In Harlem (1973) so anything is possible.

Cliche

Cliche

Dance Fools Dance!

Dance Fools Dance!

Film Review: Snake Eater (1989, dir. George Erschbamer)


Jack 'Soldier' Kelly (Lorenzo Lamas)

Jack ‘Soldier’ Kelly (Lorenzo Lamas)

I HATE THIS MOVIE!!! I didn’t know there was more of me that could die after having seen God’s Not Dead and that movie that shall not be named. I’ll review that movie eventually. I don’t have any choice seeing as Creed is on its way. Anyways, more of me is now dead inside thanks to Snake Eater. You know Lorenzo Lamas was in a sequel to What Would Jesus Do? last year. I know what he would do. He would condemn Snake Eater to the fires of hell!

The movie begins with Soldier on a drug bust that suddenly turns into a strip session with some lady who shows up. Then two idiots appear and have to be dealt with. Soldier springs a trap that sends nails shooting up through the floor to hold the bad guys in place. She gets caught in a net when she tries to leave the room.

Nails!

Hanging Out

At the end of the movie Soldier once again captures a bad guy as a cop. In between is the rest of this steaming pile of cow dung. The movie is Lorenzo Lamas vs. Rednecks. A bunch of rednecks come on board Soldier’s parents boat, kill his parents, and kidnap his sister. Why? You are never told. It’s just an excuse for Lamas to go all Rambo in the backwoods of the United States. These are the saddest bunch of bad guys I have ever seen. Just look at these jokes!

Oh, God! I'm so scared of these guys.

Oh, God! I’m so scared of these guys.

One of these guys looks like he’s from the Beavis and Butthead porno spoof Beaver and Buttface. No joke. No joke that the movie exists and that he looks like he’s one of the actors from it. But these rednecks not only are so powerful that they are able to capture Soldier at one point, but he needs to go completely Rambo in order to deal with them. They couldn’t be ninjas, members of a powerful gang, or international drug smugglers? No, they had to be rednecks.

Rambo

Rambo

Rambo

It’s so wonderful to know that we have a special Search & Destroy Rednecks Tactical Unit in this country. I feel so much more safe when I go to bed knowing they’re around. Too bad they weren’t around in 1974. Poor Ned Beatty. My God, rednecks, really? Who thought these were good enemies for someone who was ex-special forces?

I would say more, but it’s just stupid fights with rednecks or bikers. That’s it! I can’t believe this not only started Lorenzo Lamas’ career as an action star, but it also spawned two sequels. But you want to hear the most shocking thing? I am actually looking forward to those sequels. It looks like they took the few minutes of this movie that worked when he was actually a cop and made it the whole movie. WHICH IS WHAT THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

Note: A guy does get grabbed in the crotch, but it does not lead to a “testicular standoff” like in Tammy and the T-Rex. Lamas does pull a guy’s tooth out though. Nasty!

Crotch Grab!

Crotch Grab!