The Gate.

Starkwell and Lovelock are notorious for having trouble dealing with kids in the horror realm, or even in films in general.  Usually they find them irritating at best and completely useless at worst.  I’ve tried to avoid telling them that “The Gate” is a story about kids, for EXACTLY that reason.  So they might hate me for a little while.  There have certainly been exceptions to their “kids in movies always suck” rule, so, I’m anxious to see how young Stephen Dorff will hold up.


[Dorff comes home to an empty house and a creepy movie plays in the Basement.]

Lovelock: Wait… is this about a kid?

Starkwell: Kev, you got some splainin' to do.


It will take some time, but I’m sure Young Dorff, or Glenn as he is called in this movie, can win them over. After a huge tree in Glenn’s backyard is cut, he and his friend dig up the sod that was put over the hole.  Then they uncover a magical hole!  And then, OBVIOUSLY, Young Dorff’s parents go away and leave TEENAGE SISTER Alexandra to look after the house and her little brother.


[As soon as the parents leave, Alexandra throws a party with alcohol, bad ‘80s music and crappy people.]

Starkwell: Meanwhile in Glenn’s room, Glenn and best friend Terry crack open a mystical rock.

Lovelock: You have got to love the level of irresponsible behaviour often on display in the eighties.

[Teenagers sit around telling ghost stories and having a séance of some kind.]

Lovelock: Teenagers in the eighties are fucking bananas.

Starkwell: Kids today could learn something from this.

Lovelock: If they could put down their Scooby Snacks and Pac Man video games long enough to pay attention.

Starkwell: Dare to dream. 


Then creepy shit started happening.  Glenn saw weird shadows and Terry saw his dead mother.


[Terry hugs the ghost of his mom, but then, it’s actually the dead family dog.  SCREAM.]

Lovelock: If I had seen this as a kid, this is the moment I would have pooped.  Good thing I was busy watching “The Labyrinth”, “The Goonies” and “Marked for Death”.

Starkwell: You're thinking of "Above the Law".

Lovelock: David Bowie’s horrible outfit and dick print in “Labyrinth” are much still scarier than this, I guess.


And that was it, for now.  It’s a bit slow moving, but it’s moving in the right direction, which is more than I can say about a lot of films, and certainly enough to keep Starkwell and Lovelock engaged.


Lovelock: So much pastel color clothing and bad hair.  So… much… too… much.


Terry listened to some bad metal record by a band called “Sacrifix”, where they had a spoken part in the middle of a song where they talked about “The Gate” and how it was a portal of some kind and some dark Gods were going to take back the world that was rightfully theirs.  Meanwhile Alexandra’s friends are the worst people ever and they take her to the beach, leaving Glenn alone, obviously.


[Sacrifix” are European, and only made ONE ALBUM called “The Dark Book” before they all died in a plane crash.  It contains the necessary incantations to close the Gate!]

Lovelock: Pfff… Eurotrash.

Starkwell: Terry’s wearing a “Killer Dwarfs” shirt?  Rad.

Lovelock: Dorff has a crazy bowl cut.


Alexandra’s boyfriend throws the dead dog into the backyard hole, which will TOTALLY open the gates of Hell.  So basically, they’re screwed.  But wait! Alexandra didn’t go to the beach after all!  She went and bought a rocket for her brother!  So they could launch it together!  They're friends again! I swear I think I saw Lovelock crying at the beautiful moment, but he CLAIMS he had eaten an onion.  It was actually pretty cute, all joking aside.


[Glenn’s window explodes, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, monster from under the bed grabs Alexandra.]

Lovelock: This would have hands down ruined sleep for a year for me.

Starkwell: More than Bowie's dickprint?

Lovelock: Same I guess.


Then shit gets real crazy and gory as demon versions of Glenn’s parents try to choke him and he makes both of their faces melt and well… yeah.  Lovelock was playing air guitar and making up melodies that he claims would be what Sacrifix would sound like if they were real.  And this was before the little “minions” showed up.


Lovelock: Am I nuts, or do the special effects hold up surprisingly well?

Starkwell: You’re not crazy.  Well, at least, not for making that claim.


[Terry throws a Bible into the Gate, Gate explodes.]

Starkwell: With thirty minutes left, I highly doubt that’s the end of it.

Lovelock: Maybe the last half hour will be a Sacrifix concert.

Starkwell: Dude, they’re not real… and if they were, they died in a plane crash, remember?

Lovelock: Well, in that case, I hope the minions come and eat Alexandra’s stupid friends.


[Zombie comes out of the wall, drags Terry into the wall, wall closes.]

Lovelock: As usual, the Bible doesn’t help… only makes things worse.

Starkwell: Deep.

Lovelock: Shut up.


Then there was a scene where Alexandra threw a Boom Box at the zombie and it fell apart into a bunch of little minions.  Glenn went to find his father’s gun and was attacked by Zombie Terry.  Starkwell and Lovelock sat quietly on the edge of their seats.


Starkwell: So… is Terry totally dead?

Lovelock: I hope not… as a zombie he was pretty cool.

[Original Zombie comes back again, takes Alexandra into other world.]

Starkwell: Alexandra will DEFINITELY be cooler as a zombie.


After the floor drops out in the middle of the house and shows the GATE at full power, a bunch of minions come out and summon some kind of super demon.  Black smoke flies out of the Gate like a reverse tornado. HELL ON EARTH!


[Glenn lies on floor in the foetal position, crying, holding doll.]

Lovelock: That is EXACTLY how I would react in his position, at age eight, age thirty or age infinity.

[Glenn stabs the palm of his hand, which now contains an eyeball.]

Starkwell: Forget about being in his position, I’m contemplating doing that right now just watching this.


Then Glenn shot a toy rocket at the super Demon’s head and yelled out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”.  I’m not sure why.  Needless to say, Lovelock and Starkwell cheered and repeated the line several times.  I will predict that they will repeat it a lot over the next, probably, several years.  Oh yeah, then the Demon explodes into FIREWORKS.  Everything essentially returns to normal, except that the house is still completely destroyed.  Awesome.


Starkwell: That’s the last time they let Alexandra babysit, I’ll bet.



On a scale from one to 'worst kid ever', they've just given Dorff/Glenn a three.  But I'm not really sure what that means.  Happy birthday.


The Man from Planet X.

An alien enslaves the minds of the inhabitants of a remote Scottish island?  Sold.  Play movie.


[The main character talks to a scientist at an observatory.]

Starkwell: Well, this all looks very scientific.

Lovelock: Especially the moustaches, and the reverb.


[Apparently some Planet X is rushing towards the Earth. Towards some isolated island.]

Starkwell: Obviously Newspaper Man wants to go to the island that is set to possibly be STRUCK BY A PLANET.

Lovelock: He certainly has moxie, and a nice hat.

[Newspaper Man meets woman he met six years ago, when she was still just a child.]

Starkwell: Holy Hell, did he just say “braces took care of your teeth and nature took care of the rest”? And that he noticed her legs?

Lovelock: Dude, that shit is fucked.  The fifties were fucked.

Starkwell: If you can remember that she was crying about going back to school at the end of the summer, and at that time, you were a grown ass man, and are now obviously trying to hook up with her and do all the sexy stuffs, you should likely go to jail.  Forever.

Lovelock: Dude, that shit is fucked.  The fifties were fucked.


Anyways, then nothing was happening and Lovelock fell asleep.  The girl is supposed to be British, even though she is CLEARLY American.  Starkwell chuckled often.  Lovelock continued to snore, often.  Eventually, Nancy Dumpface gets a flat tire and finds a spaceship with a creepy alien on board.  Starkwell kicks Lovelock, tells him to get up.


[Bright light flashes in the Doctor’s face, he is now possessed.  One minute later, he isn’t possessed anymore.  Nancy Dumpface asks him “Do you think it might have something to do with that planet?]

Starkwell: Great work detective Nancy Dumpface... Is she for real?

Lovelock: Did she say that we have a "bad case of the jitters"?

Starkwell: I don’t understand… was he possessed or not or… ?

Lovelock: I don’t think the film makers knew either.

Starkwell: How have they still not even suspected that that thing is a space ship?  Worst scientists ever.

Lovelock: Do you think this might have something to do with that planet?


Anyways, the Doctor and Newsy find the creepy alien and try to communicate with him, for like ten minutes or more.  It drags on forever.


[It very suddenly cuts from the alien to Doctor in bed with the flu?]

Starkwell: Seriously? Nothing happens, and then when something clearly DOES happen, it just skips right over it, without telling us how the Doctor ended up with the flu?  Man, fuck this movie.

Lovelock: Something needs to happen.  Or make sense.  Or both.

[The timeline is incoherent and insane.  It jumps from now to later, back to now… but it seems to all be happening at the same time.  Then Doctor’s Assistant kills the alien?]

Lovelock: On the plus side, something is happening, on the down side, it is all making less sense now.


So, the alien tries to build an army of zombie villagers, mostly because one of the doctors tried to kill him.  Seems reasonable.  Eventually it fails.  Humans win, hooray.  It’s all much more boring than it sounds.  Lovelock and Starkwell made fun of the fake backdrops a few times, and how the actor in the alien costume clearly couldn’t see anything… but otherwise, they mostly SLEPT.  I should mention that they both noted that the fight sequences between the alien and Newspaper Guy were the worst fights of all time.


Starkwell: Why don’t they just take his helmet off completely, instead of just turning the valve on his helmet? Because he keeps on turning the valve back… I HATE THIS.


Planet X misses the Earth, the alien gets exploded.  The end.  Did I mention that the alien was basically friendly, and that was only trying to escape the fact that the humans were trying to kill it?  Hooray for humans.


Bong of the Dead.

At this point, when a “film” is actually called “Bong of the Dead”, I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to show it to Lovelock and Starkwell.  I know how this is going to end.  But my unwillingness to judge a book by its cover, and my ABSOLUTE willingness to torture Starkwell and Lovelock, allows me to believe that this is a good movie to force them to watch.


[Old dude works on his lawn gnome collection, meteor strikes gnomes.]

Starkwell: Wouldn’t the explosion be a little bigger, given that the meteor was that big?

Lovelock: More like “Wrong of the Dead”.

Starkwell: Not a bad joke, but there’s bound to be a better time to use it.  I suspect you thought of it when you heard the title, and were just too excited to hold it in... Weak.


[Meteor cracks open, old man smells slime that oozes out, turns into a zombie.]

Lovelock: That’s why I never smell ooze.

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s why.

Lovelock: Hey, how about that bad overdubbing?  More like “Wrong of the Dead”. Eh?

Starkwell: Dude, be patient.


Then the old man bites his wife, and then the husband and wife sit on the couch, watching T.V. eating each others’ intestines.  A pretty decent start to a film, honestly, although the opening credits made Lovelock “want to punch something in the face lots.”  The director was obviously going for a comic book sort of a thing.  Did not work for Lovelock.  REALLY did not work for Starkwell.


[Introducing… stoners.]

Starkwell: Are we supposed to think they’re cool… or… ?

Lovelock: More like “Wrong of the Dead”, am I right?

Starkwell: Better, I guess.  But… still not there.


It’s pretty clear that the stoner guys are supposed to be “stupid”.  Ironically, stoned people would probably watch this and laugh.  Anyways, there’s this whole scene where the stoners use ground up zombie ooze brains to grow miracle weed in a matter of seconds.  It seems like they may be the only survivors?  Then there was a getting stoned montage, and EVENTUALLY the stoner dudes decide they need to go on a zombie killing mission, in order to get more weed fertilizer.  Starkwell leaves.


Lovelock: How much of this movie is going to be two dudes acting stoned to a shitty soundtrack?  Lots of it?  Oh, ok just checking.


Lovelock: Fart jokes?  Check.


Lovelock: Piss jokes? Check.


There was a fairly gross eye gauging sequence, that was enough to make Lovelock crack a little smile… but it takes more than fun gore to win him over.


[They meet the King Zombie.]

Lovelock: His name is Alex Montgomery the... Third?  That’s a bullshit name.

[The smart zombie, Alex Montgomery is… killed?]

Lovelock: Wait… is he the leader or… WHAT THE FUCK.


Shit makes no sense.  The overdubbing gets even worse as the movie goes forward.  They meet up with a girl.  She's all sexy and shit.  The girl character’s overdubbing is HORRENDOUS.  Lovelock said the movie was somehow managing to give him heartburn.  Then he said “fast forward, dude… I think I’m having a heart attack.


Lovelock: Obviously they get drunk, stoned and half naked.  MORE LIKE WRONG OF THE DEAD.  Seriously, fuck you.


The girl was using a zombie on a treadmill to power her shower.  One decent idea hidden in a mountain of poopoo film making.  And now it becomes obvious that it was only done in order to show the girl naked..



Lovelock: Now THAT is “Wrong of the Dead”.

[There it is.]


Lovelock: Why would they need to have two topless zombies front and center?  Why would they be making out?


In an obvious nod to “Dead Alive”, they’ve equipped lawnmowers to the front of their car and proceed to mow down zombies.  Lovelock says he’s going to be sick.  Not from the gore, but from the mis-use of Peter Jackson’s magic.  Anyways, the girl, let's call her Tiny Shorts McTitsAndAss and the one surviving stoner guy chop up all the bodies and fertilize the ground, I guess to grow a bunch of weed.  With ten minutes of running time left, they get naked and go take a shower together and terrible funky music plays.  We see lots of naked kissing.  Also there’s a zombie smoking a joint.  Roll credits… for ten minutes?


Lovelock: In conclusion, “Wrong of the Dead”.


So, the film explained NOTHING.  Why was there a King Zombie, what caused it, who the fuck is Alex Montgomery Snickens the Third?  Seriously, "what the fuck" times a million?  And then, I shit you not, they set it up for a sequel featuring a cyborg Zombie King.  I wish I was making this up.  A sequel.  I think they’ve been smoking too much of their inspiration.


Lovelock: Two “Wrong of the Dead”s don’t make a right.  Actually, it makes it double wrong.  Forever.


As bad as they thought it would be given the title, it was worse.  Pure turd.


City of the Living Dead.

Welcome to Lucio Fulci’s first film in his “Gates of Hell” trilogy.  I honestly don’t need to set this up any more than that.  Let’s do this.


[Movie opens with a scream, title shot and then creepy foggy cemetery.]

Lovelock: Do you mind pausing it?  I already need to change my pants.

Starkwell: Thanks, in no small part, to the brilliant Fabio Frizzi soundtrack.


[People sitting around a medium’s table, and during a séance, a girl named Mary sees a priest hang himself, zombies rise out of graves, and she is pronounced dead.  An ambulance carts her off.]

Lovelock: Well, if she’s dead, why did they speed off in an ambulance?

Starkwell: Seriously, what’s the rush?


Then this cop comes to investigate and makes fun of the medium and her peeps.  He calls them a bunch of junkies “on grass”.


[Dude squats in a house, wants to make sex with a blow up doll, and sees some maggot and worm covered bloody dead baby or child or animal or something.]

Starkwell: I feel like Fulci knows exactly how to get directly in my brain make me FREAK OUT!

[Then Starkwell puked.]


It’s pretty clear that Fulci wasn’t going for coherence.  But, although both Lovelock and Starkwell were thoroughly confused by the seemingly nonsensical plot, they sat quietly on the edge of their seats.


[Shrink’s girlfriend walks into therapy session.  Patient is mid-sentence.]

Lovelock: You know doors have locks, Doctor.  Worst shrink ever.

Starkwell: Seriously, she’s talking about incest and then the other girl comes in like “HEY SANDRA, WHAT’S UP!?

Lovelock: Worse than that, when she finally leaves, the shrink dude is like “Now where were we?”  Insane.  That’s why I don’t trust doctors.

Starkwell: Yeah… that’s why.


Lovelock: Nothing is happening!

Starkwell: I don’t know… I kind of feel like everything is happening.

Lovelock: I know what you mean.  Nothing needs to happen when shit is this fucked up.


[Mary wakes up, buried alive.]

Lovelock: First they pronounce her dead, then they rush her off in an ambulance, now she’s not dead?

Starkwell: Where is all that light in the coffin coming from?

[Cop hears her screaming, takes a pick axe to the coffin to get it open.  Misses driving the spike into her head by about a centimeter… three or four times in a row.]

Starkwell: Dude, like there wasn’t a better way to get it open?

Lovelock: You’re asking a bit much of this guy.  There’s no time to think when you’re swinging a pick axe.  Or when you’re rocking that haircut.


Anyways, the cop and Mary set out to find the city of the living dead.  Anyways, stuff happens.  They seem to be tying this in to Salem Witches?  Not sure.


[Zombie priest smears a fistful of dirt, worms and guts into a girl’s face.]

Starkwell: Ew.

Lovelock: Maybe he’s selling a new face wash.  He seems only slightly less pushy than those salesmen with that Dead Sea mud at those mall kiosks.


Then a girl bleeds from her eyes and vomits out her intestines and organs.  She then proceeds to tear out her boyfriend’s brains with her fist.  Starkwell ran to go vomit.  Lovelock was like “you want me to pause it” while laughing hysterically.


Lovelock: Never watch Fulci on a full stomach.


So now Detective Man and Mary are off to stop the zombie priest, as he is the one, according to her séance vision, responsible for OPENING THE GATES OF HELL.  They think by stopping the priest, they’ll shut the door.  Again, all based, of course, on Mary’s visions.  There are a confusingly large number of characters, so Lovelock and Starkwell are doing their best to stay focused on the Detective and Mary.


[Kid sees his recently dead mother in the window.]

Lovelock: Why is her face all melty?

Starkwell: I assume for the same reason that the girl that puked her guts puked like a million liters of guts.


Eventually the Shrink from the beginning ends up at his patient Sandra's house… I thought that the girl who interrupted their session was his girlfriend, but now he called this Sandra patient honey, and Starkwell is pretty sure that his girlfriend, Queen Interrupto, is dead.  But honestly, who knows?  “Probably not Fulci”, added Starkwell.  


Lovelock: Wait, so who is the girlfriend?  Who is the kid’s mother?

Starkwell: Don’t worry, I’m lost too.


Meanwhile Inflatable Doll Guy breaks into a friend’s house, and sleeps in the garage.  I should mention, he is on the run, because the police think he is responsible for the wave of murders in town.


[Inflatable Doll guy walks around Sandra’s garage, walks in front of a HUGE drill.]

Lovelock: Oh man, I really hope that drill is there for a reason.


After a random scene with Detective and Mary, we go back to Fugitive Pervert hiding in the garage of a girlfriend.


[Father catches pervert and DRILLS THROUGH HIS HEAD from temple to temple.  With drill from earlier.]

Lovelock: So… Murder?  Jail forever?

Starkwell: I honestly can’t believe that just happened.

Lovelock: I told you the drill would make a comeback.  Fulci and Lovelock, one, Starkwell, zero.

Starkwell: Wait, why is there a score? And how come Fulci is on your team?


The Shrink and Sandra meet up with Detective and Mary, and while in his office, the window flies open and maggots pour into the room through the window by the bajillions.  It is pretty clear that Fulci used REAL FUCKING MAGGOTS.


Lovelock: How could anyone film that, and stand there, covered in maggots?  I would freak the fuck out.  I would puke everywhere… no?  Starkwell? …

[Starkwell left to go puke again.]

Lovelock: At this point you must just be dry heaving.  Your calzone wasn’t THAT big.

[Inaudible comeback from Starkwell, from the bathroom floor.]

Lovelock: I can’t wait to see if Fulci can top, what I will call MAGGOT BLAST INFINITY.


[Sandra takes the kid home, kid’s zombie mother scalps Sandra with her hands, kid runs.]

Lovelock: Normally I hate all kids in all movies, but this kid is kind of a bad ass.


The Kid runs around the city, but keeps getting ambushed by gross zombies with worms on their faces.  Lovelock and Starkwell both look stressed, although Starkwell’s stress seems to be mostly rooted in the fact that he doesn’t want to puke again, and the zombies keep looking more and more disgusting.


[Detective, Shrink and Mary stand around in cemetery.  Fog rolls in, they hear jungle sounds.]

Starkwell: What’s with the lame ‘stock’ jungle sounds?

Lovelock: I think I’ve heard those in a Looney Tunes cartoon.


[Zombies eat people.]

Lovelock: The actors that Fulci would get to play zombies were always so much better at acting like zombies than anyone in his competitors’ films.

Starkwell: You’re basing that on…?

Lovelock: Nothing, I guess.

Starkwell: Ok, just checking.

[Zombie Sandra rips a hole in Detective’s head… brains ooze out.]

Lovelock: So, Fulci CLEARLY has no problem with killing, basically anyone and everyone.


After stabbing Sandra in the gut to make Mary’s eyes stop bleeding, the Shrink and Mary pressed onward into the weird cave / tomb full of skeletons and zombies, I assume, in an effort to kill Zombie Priest and close the gates of Hell.  Lovelock played air drums the WHOLE time along to the great synth soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi.


[Shrink stabs Zombie Priest in the crotch, creates a hole in his body that oozes guts and green slime, and then the priest spontaneously combusts, along with the rest of the zombies.]

Lovelock: Arguably the best death scene ever.  EVERY movie should have a scene like that.

Starkwell: Not sure it would belong in any movie.

Lovelock: Name a movie.

Starkwell: “Last of the Mohicans.”

Lovelock: EASY! The last Mohican dies at the beginning, and then like all the Mohicans come back as zombies, and then at some point someone stabs Daniel Day in the crotch and everyone gets set on fire.  I’d probably watch that version.

Starkwell: It’s pretty clear, from your description, that you haven’t seen the actual version and have no idea what it’s about.

Lovelock: Well, obviously not, since they didn’t do it my way, with the zombies and the flames and the crotch stab.


For some reason, after Mary and Shrink exit the tomb, the kid run towards them in slow motion, and we hear Mary saying “no” and then screaming.  We don’t see anything except the kid running and smiling, so either she is horrified at the prospect of taking care of this child or… honestly I don’t know.  I mean he did have a pretty bad hair cut... Starkwell and Lovelock were completely puzzled by the final scene.  As a movie, this was smack dab in between “Zombi 2” and “The Beyond”.  Not as straightforward, gory and action packed as “Zombie”, but not quite as surreal, atmospheric and horrifying as “The Beyond”.  It’s kind of like a cool band’s sophomore album, that comes in between their energetic debut, and their epic career defining third record, and as a result appears slightly less cool, even if it is still balls out rockin’.


The Dungeonmaster.

I apologize in advance for the length of this documented conversation.  It was impossible to get around.
This film was at one point called “Ragewar: The Challenges of Excalibrate”, which to me is a much cooler and more descriptive title than “The Dungeonmaster”.  But apparently the title was changed to try to trick “Dungeons and Dragons” nerds into checking it out.  Wow.  This is an anthology picture, sort of, since it features different sections each written and directed by different people.  Seriously, there are like eight writers and directors.  Charles Band (who? exactly.) leads the way. The overall narrative is that a computer programmer and his girlfriend get sucked into an alternate universe and have to deal with seven-ish different worlds, or “levels” if you want to make it sound like a video game… something I’m certain the producers were going for, given that this was produced and released in the wake of “TRON” and its popularity.  Who doesn’t love a good mockbuster!?!  Answer: In general, Starkwell doesn’t, neither does Lovelock.  Let’s see how this one holds up.


[The film starts with absolutely no set up of characters or story.  We see a guy waking up on a hospital bed of some kind, and he sees a girl in lingerie.  He unplugs himself, follows her, outside in slow motion, and chases her around outside.  Eventually they end up in a strange hallway, and in a dark room.  Now she’s naked and they start with the foreplay and the full frontal.  Somehow she’s on a bed.  Then, weird goblinesque creatures come into the room in some kind of submarine door and take the naked girl away, into some kind of foggy room.  Then the opening credits roll.  The music is EXTRA dramatic and intense.]

Starkwell: …

Lovelock: Is… ummmm… what?


Turns out, that was a dream… I think.  Some nerdy programmer wakes up at the office.


[Paul has a talking watch, and he goes running after work.]

Starkwell: And the award for brightest red hot pants goes to… Calculator-watch Eighties McNerdenstein!

Lovelock: The character SAYS he runs every day, but that actor has clearly never run before.

[Cut to an aerobics class for like five minutes.]


[He has a talking computer he calls “CAL”.]

Starkwell: Seriously?  Cal?  Sounds a little like Hal... Oh I get it.

[Aerobics instructor Gwen is his girlfriend.]

Lovelock: What could she possibly see in this guy?

[He wants to marry her, and says he ran it by his computer CAL, and that she, the computer, thought it was a good idea.]

Starkwell: Ummm… So… he invented a computer that thinks for itself… and he uses it to find recipes and give him relationship advice?

Lovelock: He's so dreamy.


Anyways, Gwen doesn’t want to marry him, because he is CLEARLY obsessed with his computer.  Then there’s another crazy dream sequence that makes no sense and Starkwell and Lovelock spent the whole time laughing at Paul's in-dream outfit.  My favorite was Lovelock asking “why is he dressed like Smoke from Mortal Kombat?” to which Starkwell responded “I was thinking Gay Mad Max.”  Obviously Gwen was in the dream, basically naked again.  At some point, even though he woke up, he was still in the dream… or it’s real now… or… anyways.  The girl is still in her underwear.  Then we are introduced to the Dungeonmaster (?), and he magically zaps Paul, and then he is wearing the Sub-Zero outfit again.  I think the Dungeonmaster is named Mestema, and refers to himself in the third person.  Also, he is Satan.  He raises his sword and says by the power of Satan, in an OBVIOUS nod to “He-Man” shouting “by the power of Grayskull”.  All of this happened in the span of about three minutes.


[Dungeonmaster knights Paul and tells him his name is “X-CaliBR8”.  He is apparently going to be a worthy match for Satan.  Gwen is still chained up, but is no longer in her underwear.  Apparently Dungeonmaster has waited centuries for this...]

Lovelock: Seriously dude, what the fuck is going on?  Did somebody put something in my club soda?  Are we on "Candid Camera" or something?

Starkwell: I want to run, but, I can’t look away.


Then there’s a flash of light, and Paul is suddenly in the wilderness and his magic bracelet, or POWER GLOVE is being stolen by two dwarf cavemen who, for whatever reason, sound like hyperventilating chipmunks.  Then a giant stone monument comes to life and chases Paul, shooting lasers out of the jewel in his forehead.


[Giant Stone Creature explodes when Paul shoots the jewel in its forehead.]

Lovelock:  Obviously he knew exactly where to shoot it, and how to aim with his forearm band.

Starkwell: If there’s one thing computer nerds know, it’s how to beat the boss at the end of the level.

[Cuts immediately back to Paul in cave with Dungeonmaster.  No Underwear Gwen  this time.]

Starkwell: As much fun as I am having… this all seems a little… what’s the word I’m looking for… fucking pointless what the fuck is going on.

Lovelock: That’s two words or more.


After an argument with Mestema about where Gwen was, Paul is warped to some foggy cave full of warrior zombies.


[Paul gets philosophical and waxes existential to defeat his zombie self, instantly warped back to FIRE CAVE.  Gwen is here this time.]

Lovelock: Wait so by saying that he is reality and he makes reality what reality is reality, then we learn that reality is real and therefore there is no zombie except for that in which there is in Dungeonmaster’s mind which is Paul’s mind which is my mind?

Starkwell: Shhhh… you’re missing Electric Dragon fight!

[Then there’s an electric dragon fight between Dungeonmaster’s electricity dragon and Paul’s electricity dragon.  They disappear just as quickly as they showed up, and served no purpose. Neither dragon won or lost, they just vanished.]


Lovelock is being surprisingly forgiving, since that is likely to be the only zombie content in this whole movie.  Then the Dungeonmaster said “Do you fancy music?  This is a piece of my own composing" TOTALLY out of the fucking blue, and he made them listen to his music.  Then, Paul used his bracelet to start playing shitty synth 80s rock to drown out Dungeonmaster's 'composing'.  It was a rock off of sorts, except no one was rocking AT ALL.  Then Dungeonmaster warped Paul to a shitty underground hair metal band’s rock show.  I should mention that it took about twenty minutes to get through this five minute scene, because Lovelock and Starkwell kept falling unconscious from laughing too hard, and I kept having to pause and rewind.


[Band plays, Gwen is held captive on stage.]

Lovelock: Dude, that’s fucking “WASP”!

Starkwell: In reality there would be a lot less women in the audience.

[WASP singer rubs a sword on Gwen and licks said sword.]

Starkwell: And that's why.

Lovelock: That’s also why WASP sucks.


Then his Super Bracelet tells him how to defeat WASP and he does.  Back to FIRE CAVE.  Momentarily.  Then he is zapped to an ice level.


Lovelock: I hope he fights a snowman!


[Instead, the ice cave is full of frozen PEOPLE OF HISTORY.]

Starkwell: I don’t really get why Dungeonmaster would have Albert Einstein and Jack the Ripper…

Lovelock: I guess it’s all of the most important villains in history… like… wait is that a Werewolf?

Starkwell: Why is Einstein a villain?

[Historical figures start attacking Paul.]


Then they rip a shiny spiky iceball out of Einstein’s hand and throw it at the other bad villains.  It blows up like a grenade, obviously.  And scene.  And back to firecave.


Lovelock: This must be where Bill and Ted got all of their ideas.

Starkwell: Also, Captain N.


[Dungeonmaster offers Paul freedom and three sexy women in exchange for Gwen.]

Lovelock: Dude, take the deal!

Starkwell: It actually looks like he’s contemplating it…


Then Gwen disappears, Dungeonmaster lets out a groan like he’s letting out a huge turd, and Paul wakes up in an alley next to a dumpster and a dead girl.


Starkwell: It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been watching this for forty five minutes.

Lovelock: There’s still another half hour… I can’t even imagine what’s in store.


[Paul jumps out of the back door of a cop car.]

Lovelock: I’m pretty sure the back doors of a squad car don’t unlock and open from the inside…

Starkwell: See, that’s normally the kind of observation I would make about continuity errors… but at this point…  

Lovelock: I guess it’s hard to really have any rules at all when you can literally make your character do anything, and make anything happen at any time.

Starkwell: The “X-CaliBR8” bracelet is the ultimate tool for the lazy screenwriter.  “How will Paul get out of this Jam?  Oh I know, his bracelet makes the cop car go away! And then things blow up. EXCALIBRATE!”


[After solving a crime in New York City, they’re back, and for some reason Dungeonmaster doesn’t know what the word ZAP means.]

Lovelock: Seems odd since half of this movie is stuff being zapped, with zappy sound effects.

Starkwell: Also, why would it matter at all that he doesn’t know the meaning, and why would Paul tell him it’s a “magic” word?

Lovelock: You know that with this movie, that will never come back as anything relevant.


Now Paul is at the mouth of a cave full of THERMO-NUCLEAR activity, according to his Power Bracelet, but he ventures in, since he can hear Gwen crying for help.


[Goblin thing gets smushed by a boulder.]

Lovelock: Holy shit, dude, they really threw a boulder at the poor actor wearing that rubber goblin suit…

[Goblin turns into an angel in lingerie.]

Starkwell: Well, that makes sense.

Lovelock: Nipples!


Then he warps back to Dungeonmaster and Dungeonmaster calmly tells the story about torturing a cat as a child, and finishes it by warping them to a junkyard for old planes.


[Dunebuggy chase in the desert with Big Laser shootout.]

Lovelock: Good thing the bad guys and good guys have different colored lasers, otherwise we’d all be confused.  Oh... wait.

Starkwell: There’s just such wonderful attention to detail in this film.

[Sarcasm.  Clearly.]


[Gwen and Paul crash into another dunebuggy HEAD ON and blow up.  But then they’re back in FIRE CAVE.]

Lovelock: So… did they beat that level… because it seems like they lost that one and it should be game over at this point.

Starkwell: This movie was game over a long time ago.


Gwen, in perhaps her most supportive moment of the whole movie, tells Paul not to challenge the Dungeonmaster because “he is a giant and you can’t possibly win.”  Now that’s faith in your man.


[Paul throws Dungeonmaster into the lava… pretty easily might I add after like one minute of fist fighting.]

Lovelock: Ha!  You showed that bitch Gwen.  Dude should leave her chained up and go after the three sex slaves he was offered earlier.  I bet they’d believe in him.

Starkwell: Classy.


[Then they're suddenly back in their apartment, smoke everywhere and Gwen's in her underwear again.  She then suddenly exclaims “yes let’s get married, I asked CAL”.]

Starkwell: Wait… I thought they were in the computer… the computer isn’t evil? … wait… what?

Lovelock: So… where were they?  Why is there smoke all over the apartment?  Why is she in her underwear, but he is fully clothed?

Starkwell: Was the dream sequence from the beginning part of all of this?  Was this all a dream?  AM I DREAMING?

Lovelock: I notice the importance of the word ZAP never came up again.


The credits rolled and some random scenes from the movie replayed in the background.  It didn't help clarify anything.  Starkwell and Lovelock sat around for the next hour asking each other questions about RAGEWAR.  Oddly enough, I think that somehow, they loved it.



Basically, this is just another fucking zombie movie involving strippers.  There shouldn’t be as many as there are, and yet, alas, here is one more.  Starkwell and Lovelock head into this one ready to hate.  The film starts with a nerdy Jesse Eisenbergesque character going over rules for surviving in “Stripperland”… “Zombieland”… “Stripperland”…Oh I get it now.


Starkwell: So… How much of this is going to be a cheap and sleazy knockoff of “Zombieland”?

Lovelock: I guess we’re ‘bout to find out.

Starkwell: So the director was like “I like ‘Zombieland’, I like strippers and boobies… how can I go wrong?”

Lovelock: If he only knew just HOW wrong.

Starkwell: Yeah, if he only knew.  If he only knew.  Guess what? I KNOW.  And I already know that I shouldn’t have already wasted five minutes on this piece of shit.  FUCK YOU, I’m out.

[Starkwell leaves before the opening credits even got a chance to roll.  He REALLY hates plagiarism.  This explains why he has basically never been able to sit through an ‘Asylum’ movie.  Lovelock is going to stick it out… for now.]


Anyways, main guy says “Welcome to Stripperland” and some really shitty “rock” music starts playing, the credits roll, and it’s a montage of strippers eating people.  Immediately after the credits, we are introduced to the Woody Harrelson knock off.  Instead of looking for twinkies, he’s looking for someone to bake a cake from scratch.  I wish I was making this up.  At this point, upon Lovelock’s request, I start skipping head.


[Lloyd Kaufman cameo?]

Lovelock: Obviously. Keep going.

[Old guy rapping, zombie strippers shake their ass, close-ups on asses.]

Lovelock: Please keep going. Hard.

[Apparently Linnea Quigley is in this too…]

Lovelock: Really?

[Can you believe this thing is almost two hours long?]

Lovelock: I quit.


Why was this made?  Fuck this movie.  It makes “Poultrygeist” look like “Pontypool”.


Alien Dead.

Writer director Fred Olen Ray made several low to no budget trips into quasi-zombie territory, but this was his earliest.  I haven’t heard a whole lot about it other than the fact that it takes place in Florida and that it’s short.  So… yeah.  Starkwell and Lovelock are sure to find more to say about it, and I will be more than happy to fill you in on the highlights.  The DVD is the 25th anniversary edition, if that means anything at all.  Were there any other editions?


[Dude types an article on typewriter reads it as he is writing.]

Starkwell: Does he have to read it as slowly as he writes it?

Lovelock: The movie is already so short… they probably had to find ways to stretch some scenes out.


It cuts to two people talking on a boat in the bayou looking for gators.  The “southern” accent on the female character sounds ultraforced, and the delivery of the dialogue is actually bad enough to become hilarious.  It takes talent to deliver a performance this bad.  It’s so bad that it has a surreal quality to it, and Lovelock and Starkwell are actually upset that she dies within the first minute.  I'm sure there will be more, and given the bad overdubs, that voice might even come back, even if it's visually a different actress.  It’s abundantly clear that all of the trademarks of old backyard horror films will be present: ugly-as-sin lead actors, horrible set design, bad sound mixing, incoherent dialogue and plot, and, of course, awkward cuts.  Lovelock added, “also, fantastic mustaches”.


[Zombie attacks girl?]

Starkwell: Wait… what killed her?

Lovelock: It looks as though the shock of being touched by a zombie made blood come out of her mouth… and, I guess, subsequently die.


[We meet another “southern” girl named Shawna Petunia or some shit.]

Starkwell: Is she saying my “Peppy” or my “Pappy”?

Lovelock: I don’t know… she sounds drunk.


Neither Lovelock nor Starkwell know what the Hell is going on, but still continue to laugh at the acting.  A few times, actors screwed up their lines.  I guess these were the best takes that they had.


[Reporter guy stays over at Moron Girl’s house, and her Old Man who can’t read has a theory that giant possums are eating the alligators and people.]

Lovelock: I would never eat anything that these people cook.

[Turns out, they served him possum.]

Lovelock: And that’s why.

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s why.  Actually that is why.


At this point, Starkwell started theorizing that perhaps this was actually a porno that had had all of the sex scenes edited out of it.  And the budget stripped away.


[Zombie attacks another girl?]

Starkwell: So apparently these “zombies” grab women, lick their necks, grope their breasts and then the women die from bloody mouth?

[Reporter and Shawna Petunia start making out.]

Starkwell: Did she just say her big dream is to “I don't know, maybe one day eat a hamburger”?

Lovelock: Clearly she’s already comfortable with wiener.

Starkwell: Dream big.


Anyways, they find a dead body and call the cops, and then it awkwardly cuts midway through one of the Reporter’s sentences.  “I’m going to go down there and-" CUT.  Well done.  Anyways, eventually we get more zombie attacks. A dog walks up to dead dude’s torso, licks his exposed intestines, and then a zombie drives pitch fork through old woman and it makes NO SOUND.  The woman makes NO SOUND.  I’ll tell you who made very loud laughing sounds: Lovelock and Starkwell.


[Once again the Reporter and Dingbat are interrupted right before they do sex.  This time, on a boat.]

Starkwell: Bitch, take it as a sign.

Lovelock: Those are the third lamest looking lake based zombies I’ve ever seen.


[Two hicks go fishing, a zombie grabs one out of the boat.]

Starkwell: You think the zombie groped him too?

Lovelock: Beggars can’t be choosers.

Starkwell: What?


Then for absolutely no reason, other than to show tits, I assume, a girl goes swimming topless in… the swamp?


Lovelock: Who goes swimming topless in the swamp?  In gator country? Alone?

Starkwell: Dead people.

[Policeman sees her car parked, goes to check on her, and instead ends up going Peeping Tom on her from the bushes.  This lasts a minute or two.]

Lovelock: Stay classy officer.

[Zombie pulls her underwater… I think.]

Starkwell: Good thing the officer left right before she died.  Just a quick peak and… GOOD LUCK NOT DYING.


NOTHING IS FUCKING HAPPENING.  But, Lovelock and Starkwell are having a lot of fun making fun of absolutely everything, from the actors, to the music, to the dialogue, to the directing, editing, location, seriously, everything.  There’s a scene where a girl stabs a zombie in the face with an afro pick and green stuff oozes out of his face, then he dies slowly over the course of next two or three minutes.  ON SCREEN.  Then she ends up dying anyway, IN SLOW MOTION while the other zombies pretend to eat her.


Lovelock: If the film maker’s goal was to make me slowly descend into madness, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

[Then Lovelock started crying and ran away with his hands over his face.]


Right after Lovelock left, they finally explained that all of this was caused by a meteorite.  They “showed” it, but honestly, Starkwell only knew that’s what the random flash of light was supposed to be because one of the characters actually said “to think, all of this is caused by a meteorite.”  Starkwell subsequently said "meteorite?  I though that was someone lighting a single firework in their backyard..."


[Another half naked girl swims in swamp, gets eaten.]

Starkwell: If you liked the underwater shots from “Zombie Lake” you’ll love “Alien Dead”.   I didn’t, so I don’t.  Also, CLEARLY that one actor playing that zombie is just using this scene as an excuse to hold her wet tank top boob.

Lovelock: Do you blame him?

[Oh yeah, Lovelock came back.]


Then the characters talk to each other for five minutes and explain the whole story.  Good thing too, because Lovelock missed the last time a character explained what was happening out loud.  The zombie mayhem continues as the surviving morons bunker down in some cabin.  The movie definitely has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi… that allows it to be fun, regardless of how much of an absolute piece of shit that it is.  Reporter and Shawna Hotpants end up out on the lake TOTALLY dead, and it ends on a freeze frame of a zombie.


Lovelock: EVERY MOVIE should end on a freeze frame of a zombie popping out of the water.

Starkwell: Not sure every movie could make that work.

Lovelock: Whatever dude, it’s just like when Skeletor came out of the water.

Starkwell: That’s not the first time you’ve referenced that.


I’m sure it won’t be the last either.



Recently the market has become saturated with comedic zombie fare.  Most of these comedies have difficulty paying proper tribute to the source material that it attempts to make light of, and ends up coming across as a huge turd of no laughs, no scares, no interest.  The relatively new “Deadheads” got mixed reviews, as these films often do, so I will leave it up to Lovelock and Starkwell to judge this one.   Since Starkwell first thought that he was about to watch a documentary about “Grateful Dead” fans, I can’t help but feel like he will mostly be disappointed.


[Grainy” filter is applied to the film during the intro credits.]

Starkwell: I can’t help but feel like Rob Rodriguez ruined ACTUAL old grainy films for me forever.

Lovelock: Well, at least it’s only in the intro…

Starkwell: That doesn’t make it ok.


We are introduced to two zombies that haven’t lost brain function, but apparently still need to eat flesh.  The musical score, a tad cartoonish, has been referred to as “out-of-place and distracting” by Starkwell.


[Police man asks ain character if he has seen “Dawn of the Dead”.]

Starkwell: Seriously?  Smells like Altman.  Looks like we have another Robert Altman style of writer.  Talking about movies NEVER SOUNDS NATURAL OR COOL.  Ever.

Lovelock: I think you mean Mark Altman.  The dude behind "Dead and Deader", among others...

Starkwell: What did I say?

Lovelock: Not that.

Starkwell: Ok.  Whatever, I’m still waiting for Jerry Garcia.


[Comic Relief Guy mentions and ridicules the “Transformers” movie.]

Lovelock: When Christian Slater talks about Sonny Chiba in “True Romance”, it’s actually pretty sweet…

Starkwell: Fair enough, but we're nowhere near that right now.

Lovelock: True.

[Comic Relief Guy compares main character to Luke Skywalker.]

Starkwell: Seriously. Enough.


The jokes aren’t terrible.  They’re not getting giant laughs.  Rather, they’re getting some minor smiles out of both Lovelock and Starkwell.  It’s unclear what is going on in the film, though.  It would appear that Mike, normal guy, and Brent, comic relief guy, have woken up right at the beginning of the zombie outbreak.  We have also found out that they died about three years ago.


[Evil Corporation is behind the Outbreak, NERDY GIRL talks with a nasal voice.]

Starkwell: Why would she talk like that?

Lovelock: Possibly to make us turn it off.

Starkwell: I’m close.  Believe me.


Then there was a drawn out scene with an old guy talking about his Vietnamese whore wife, and how she satisfied all of his sexual desires.  It was as awkward as it sounds.  Then we’re introduced to another character who talks in a stupid voice.  Handlebar Mustache.  Sounds like a Pro Wrestler, or a Gay Porn Star.  This is according to Lovelock.


[Random Black Guy is recruited by the Evil Corporation to kill all the zombies.]

Starkwell: Soooooo… as long as he “gets paid he gonna bring dem zombies?”  Weak.

Lovelock: Of course he's an escaped convict.


Then there’s a scene where a zombie, Brent’s pet zombie named Cheese, was driving a car.  Starkwell has had issues with this sort of thing in the past.  Lovelock tried to reassure him, and actually convinced him to stick around.  Although the humor, again, isn’t awful, Starkwell is wondering when something might actually happen.


[Mike gets stoned and talks about Vampires and Werewolves and how to kill them.]

Starkwell: Am I the only one that thinks this routine sounds like a failed stand-up bit?

Lovelock: Dude, it sounds like the kind of shit people would do at the Open Mics you used to do.

Starkwell: At least those had a two drink minimum…

Lovelock: It would take more than two drinks to save this one.


Seriously, nothing is happening.


[Brent’s dick falls off, he holds it up, then puts it in his pocket.]

Starkwell: I’m out.  Let me know how it ends.

Lovelock: Really?

Starkwell: No.

Lovelock: No, you’re not leaving?

Starkwell: No, don’t tell me how it ends.


Zombie Hunter apparently met up with Handlebar Guy and his sidekick.  They’re tracking Brent and Mike, apparently the Evil Scientists had injected them with some other version of the virus.


[They go to watch “Evil Dead” at a Drive-Thru.]

Lovelock: Good thing Starkwell isn’t here for this.


About forty five minutes in, things really start picking up, the plot ACTUALLY thickens a little.  Not to a melted cheese thickness, but more to the thickness of a watery bowl of oatmeal.  Which is a welcome change, since, as Lovelock says, “thus far it’s been as thin as Starkwell’s hair”.  That insult was enough to bring Starkwell back into the room.  Once he saw the newly thickened plot, he decided to stick around.  Then there was a “Goonies” reference, and actually, Starkwell reacted to it quite positively.  So it turns out that Mike’s girlfriend’s father is the one that killed him.  Also, he’s the CEO of the Evil Corporation behind the virus.


Starkwell: So, why is it no one seems to know that there’s an outbreak going on?

Lovelock: Probably for the same reason that the outbreak fell on the night of his ten year high school reunion.


HOLY SHIT THIS THING IS DRAGGING.  There’s only twenty minutes left, and they haven’t explained anything.  Nor has anything really happened.  As always, I’m paraphrasing here.  They both said something along those lines.  Then the film basically tries to tie everything up in five minutes.


Starkwell: Why would the Zombie Hunter guy suddenly be a good guy?

Lovelock: For the same reason that there basically aren’t any zombies at all, anywhere, anymore, since the beginning of the movie.

Starkwell: For the same reason that all of a sudden now bullets hurt them, and being hit by a truck hurts them, and they actually limp and stuff.

Lovelock: For the same reason that ALL THIS SHIT.  And so on and so forth.


The end, basically.


Starkwell: But, how could zombie Mike and the girl end up together?  Won’t his wiener fall off?  Why isn’t the dad in jail?

Lovelock: And why did they bother having that nerd girl character with the nasal voice?  Why was the corporation developing a re-animating drug anyways? Why did they hint at the fact that Handlebar Mustache was going to find Brent's severed penis in his pocket, but then they never developed it?

Starkwell: What a mess.  Just because it’s a comedy doesn’t mean you can just do anything.

Lovelock: This felt like one of those movies based off of a "Saturday Night Live" skit.  There is NO REASON for it to exist in the first place, let alone be ninety minutes long.

Starkwell: I don’t think I could have said it any better.