Saturday, June 27, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Stephen Traxler
Literally nothing happens for 97% of the movie. I hated everyone in it but the woman named "Jeff". Well, I also liked the monster.
But it is a movie named not after a monster, but after radioactive mud. Which. Come on, guys.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Movie: (Spawn of the) Slithis - 1978
Watch Movie at: Amazon Streaming
Time: 8:30 PM
Let's pause it right at the beginning and wait for the cue at the hashtag. We usually get going right at 8:32 or so.
This looks super good. Nuclear waste! Swamp creature! Southern California sun-dappled beach town and mayhem and murder! And very, very good acting. Plus, it looks like they're kinda riffin' on Jaws, too.
Friday night! Prepare your own beverage of nuclear waste, fire up your twitter machine and join us as we ponder SLITHIS. Or SPAWN of the SLITHIS. Or whatever they called this thing.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Frank Henenlotter
We've been taking suggestions from the peanut gallery for Friday night Tweet-a-Long, and Lauren brought this one.
Horror isn't really my thing, but sometimes the movies hit me just right, and that was the case with Basket Case (1982). A no-budget film that relies on a strong concept, some non-Henson-inspired puppetry and a go at stop-motion that would do Gumby proud, it's just simply way better than it seems like it should be. They go with less-is-more approach to our friend in the basket, and make sure a heaping helping of the horror is the descent our lead is on, acting out of love and Stockholm Syndrome.
Essentially the story follows a young man who hits NYC with *something* in a wicker basket - his conjoined twin from whom he was separated at a young age, with the intention the twin would die. Both have lived, and now seek revenge on the doctors who performed the surgery.
Along the way, the more normal brother begins to get an idea of what it would be to fall in love - which is at odds with his brother for any number of reasons I'll leave it to you to find out.
Anyway - good pick, Lauren!
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Movie: Basket Case (1982)
Watch at: Amazon Streaming
Price: $2.99 HD, $1.99 SD (it was shot in 16mm, so...)
Day: Friday 06/19/2020
Time: 8:30 Central
at 8:20, I'll tweet out a screenshot of where we're pausing, so look for the hashtag
This Friday, the movie is no picnic! It's Basket Case, a 1982 no-budget horror movie made in NYC and selected by our own Lauren (in NYC, natch).
I've never seen it, but watched a clip that was bananas. So - get ready for some old school, 16mm Rated-R nuttiness. I assume, based on the rating, era, what I read of the movie's description, etc... if you're a sensitive sort, this may be one to skip.
But I hope you don't! This movie is pretty famous and it's worth a gander. Come and behold one angry puppet.
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Movie: Frankenstein's Daughter
Watch: Amazon Prime
Day: Friday - 06/12/2020
Time: 8:30 PM Central
At 8:30 - pause the movie here. We'll give you the signal to sync up!
Apparently shot in 6 days and on $65,000 - what could go wrong? Apparently no one told the make-up artist the monster was to be female so get ready for an accidentally progressive 1950's monster film where we respect the featured creature's pronouns.
I believe this film has 2 monsters, a band and some mad, mad science.
We're going old school! Join us as we delve into some 1950's monsterriffic mayhem!
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Movie: The Beastmaster - 1982
Watch: Streaming on Amazon Prime
Day: Friday 06/05/2020
Time: 8:30 PM
Let's pause the movie here and wait on my signal:
|the name that means "quality?"|
Let's watch a movie about a grown man who walks around like it's okay to keep your ferrets in a duffel bag.* He also has a large cat and a bird. And Tanya Roberts! And many, many muscles.
It's a pre-"V" Mark Singer in a fantasy movie I haven't seen since high school. This is one that if you ask any dude between the ages of 52 and 40, they will swear this movie is good. But very few of us have watched it since, say, 1991. We don't really know.
In fact, aside from Mark Singer wearing a loin-cloth and constantly surrounding himself with animals (get a dog, Mark. Sheesh.), I don't really remember what the movie is even about. Probably an evil army that needs defeating.
Understandably, Conan: The Barbarian costs something to watch, so we're not doing it. I am also furious that Amazon has the balls to actually charge for:
- Red Sonja
- Conan: The Destroyer
- Clash of the Titans
and many, many other films that I would immediately watch if they were not $4. But Beastmaster is free to stream with Prime, so we're doing it.
Seriously, Red Sonja is the bomb.
*I mean, we all knew that guy in college, and he seemed colorful at first and then, eventually, you realized he just kind of sucked. Ferrets are great, and I loved them when my brother kept a couple of them, but they are not meant to go places with you so you can use them in place of a personality.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
|Dr. Freud is doing cartwheels in his grave|
Format: Amazon Streaming on "Full Moon"
Viewing: Second, as it turns out
Director: Andy Sidaris
As was said during the viewing, "this movie was actually printed on toxic masculinity". It's hard to remember how different things actually were in the 1980's, but different they were. Or, at least, certain held viewpoints were much more in the forefront of popular culture. And I'm not pretending like Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987) was a popular movie or one most people alive during the era had seen, but it is emblematic of a certain kind of filmmaking that one could now hand over to a film-studies undergrad to get them to *really, really* understand the concept of "the male gaze" in movies.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Movie: Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Available at: (for $4) Amazon Streaming
Day: Friday - 05/29/2020
Time: 8:30 PM Central/ 3:30 Hawaiian time
Get ready for action, adventure, tropical settings and - I'm assuming - nudity. It's Hard Ticket to Hawaii! It's a NSFW foray into a very particular blend of 1980's movie making, merging automatic weapons with vendetta-mad baddies and athletic-wear models in shorts.
I've never seen it - so you cannot hold me personally or legally responsible. And, yes, it will cost you $4 unless you sign up for "Full Moon" for a free trial, which... hey, maybe Full Moon is amazing? How am I to say?*
A foretaste of the feast to come:
*looking at their website, it LOOKS like it's amazing
Sunday, May 24, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: Unknown. Probably 3rd?
Decade: Reagan 80's
Director: Joseph Zito
I am not wasting my time or yours by writing this up or asking you to read about this movie.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Watch at: Amazon Prime
Day: Friday 05/22/2020
Start Time: 8:30 Central
Pause Video and Wait At: 20 seconds - as soon as the Cannon Logo locks in.
Because: CANNON - the sign of 80's QUALITY
The 80's were a time of amazing action movies that rarely, if ever, made any sense, but did provide plumes of flame and dudes with automatic weapons taking care of business. It was also the halcyon days of Chuck Norris before he became a meme. But how did he become a meme and why? We're here to find out.
Join us as America works through its paranoia and racism in the form of a land-based invasion force who seems hell-bent on... something. But apparently a single boatload of guys in camo pants is enough to set Reagan's America on its ear! You'll wonder how a country need be made great again when you're bad-ass enough to have Chuck Norris around to single-handedly save the nation!
Monday, May 11, 2020
Format: Tweet-a-long on Amazon Prime
Director: Tonjia Atomic
I don't know. I don't know what I expected.
Somehow a return to "Manos"- The Hands of Fate, the 1966 zero-budget horror indie out of El Paso, TX, which had neither synced sound nor coherent narrative, and arrived in 2018'ish as a shot-on-video-but-not-great-video and featured simply too much dialog - was kinda just right.
Manos Returns (2018) features - and I want to get this out there, because I missed this prior to watching - the original actor who played The Master and the former little girl who played Debbie, now a grown lady-person still playing Debbie! Take that, David Lynch and your 25 years later!
Much like the original, I don't understand the movie or what it is trying to do. At times it seems like it wants to be a parody, and at other times, a straight sequel with some enhancements thanks to the power of video editing. There's genuinely more story to this movie, but with similar outcomes. And more red bras. Lots of red bras.
I dunno. I didn't *not* enjoy seeing the movie, and it is definitely a worthy successor to Manos, whatever that means. But, you know, beware something striving to be a sequel to Manos.
BTW - seeing this also told me there's a mini-market of Manos ancillary media being produced. Debbie is going on to make a TV series, there's a Rise of Torgo movie out there, too. And seemingly other things. Anyway, proceed with due caution.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
God help us, we're going back for more.
- Movie: Manos Returns
- Day: Friday May 8th
- Time: 8:30 Central
- Place to watch: Streaming on Amazon Prime
- hashtag: #manosdos
Start at: 00:00:08 - you'll see a lady with blonde hair and her eyes closed. Just pause there. We'll say "GO" with the #manosdos hashtag when we're all set.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) is widely considered one of the worst films of all time.
Accordingly, I have seen Manos at least six times - at least once as part of an Elvira episode, along with Mystery Science Theater 3000, live broadcast with RiffTrax and at least once just by itself.
It's the kind of bad that leaves you feeling queasy and weird at the end of the movie, like you just listened to a madman rant for 90 minutes or accidentally drank some laudanum and are just coming back around.
I'm not a Masters-Level viewer of bad cinema, but I get around. This movie, Monster a Go-Go, Birdemic and a handful of others were so bad, so inept in every facet of their production that they take on a quality of surreal outsider art. There's no accounting for what went so incredibly wrong, but you have to admire that someone finished the thing and then said "yeah, the world needs to see this."
If you haven't seen Manos: The Hands of Fate and you've never heard of it, you move in better circles than I do, I guess. If you haven't seen it and *have* heard of it - well, you're a goddamn coward.
I had planned to never rewatch Manos: The Hands of Fate in this lifetime or any other, and God willing, I will never sit down and re-watch the movie.
In the mid-2010's, some intrepid film fans decided Manos could and would not rest easy.
This Friday, we're watching the sequel. I know nothing about it. Here's to embracing the lovecraftian madness waiting on the other side.
I'd tell you that you need to watch the original, but (a) if you haven;t by now, you won't, (b) I doubt it's useful and (c) I can only punish you people so much.
Here's the original trailer, anyway
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Jimmy T. Murakami, Roger Corman
I dunno, man. It's Battle Beyond the Stars (1980). It's a not-great sci-fi movie that hasn't aged particularly well.
Mostly I had fun watching it with a whole bunch of folks on the twitters! Thanks for showing up, every buddy!
One day we'll understand why that ship has a rack/ looks like a diagram of the female reproductive system.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
On Friday night, join us for a live-tweet-a-long as we watch Battle Beyond the Stars, a movie I was led out of, totally freaked out, when I was five.
It is in no way scary. I was a sensitive kid.
Watch at: Amazon Streaming or other popular streaming sites
Day: Friday, May 1st, 2020
Time: 8:30 PM Central
We're going to start when I say GO on twitter.
Get queued up to about the 3 second mark on the movie. Pause and wait on this image til you get the signal:
|it is really hard to get a screengrab of an Amazon Prime video. I am not spending time learning how to do it. Your reflection may vary.|
Then get ready to behold what happens when a small studios sees Star Wars, wants in on that money and decides "it's a western in space". Then proceeds to rip-off a very specific, very famous western/ samurai movie.
But this movie has B-movie Queen Sybil Danning as a Space Valkyrie with the rad-as-hell mid-80's new-romantic band name of "St. Exmin".
|I'm gonna fight on *her* team|
Also stars George Peppard as the embodiment of my spirit, Robert Vaughn as Robert Vaughn In Space, John Fuckin' Saxon!, Sam Jaffe and the guy who played John Boy on The Waltons, Richard Thomas, officially killing his chances at making it to the big screen. It also has a spaceship that, if memory serves, is trying to be both mother and lover to John Boy.
So, 8:30 PM Central time on Friday! 3 seconds in at that image above!
Friday, April 24, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming Tweet-a-Long
Director: Brendan Steere
It was amazing.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Description: After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.
Time: 8:30 Central
Location: Amazon Streaming
Twitter Hashtag: #dinoninja
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow! He's perfectly aware that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, and he's here to clean up New York City! Alongside his network of trusted assistants, The Shadow lives a dual life as Lamont Cranston, millionaire playboy - but at night, hunts the wicked men of the city!
Time: 8:00 Central
Watch on Amazon Streaming: https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Alec-Baldwin/dp/B002CSR45W
Our Twitter Hashtag: #bitterfruit
Sign up in the comments so we know who is coming!
It's 1994! Marvel was still making straight-to-TV and video movies in the mid-90's, DC was pumping out increasingly iffy Batmans, and studio heads were greenlighting the costumed heroes of their youths. In an era before X-Men, Spider-Man and Iron Man reset what we thought of as superhero entertainment, we got some pretty interesting stuff!
Starring Alec Baldwin, Penelope Ann Miller, John Lone, Ian McKellan, Jonathan Winters, Tim Curry, Peter Boyle - and more!
It's a Post-Batman splurge into the pulp world that spawned the very idea of comic book superheroes! Delve into the 1990's grappling with early 20th century takes on Eastern Mysticism! Watch Alec Baldwin try not to be handsome! Behold: Penelope Ann Miller!
I had forgotten Taylor Dayne had a single supporting the film! Here's the video - which contains scenes from the film and Ms. Dayne herself.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
PODCAST! "Captain Marvel" (2019) - Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan and a Not Quite Chronological Countdown
Format: Alamo Slaughter Lane
Jamie's brother and sister-in-law were in town, and we all saw the screen debut of Marvel's cosmic-type Avenger. Join Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan as we share our "first reaction" takes on what happens the 90's collide with aliens, space faring adventure, Annette Benning, and Marvel's first female lead (it's about time, y'all).
Captain Marvel Theme - Pinar Toprak, Captain Marvel OST
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Avengers Chronological Countdown
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Night of the Living Dead (1968) is a movie everyone should have in their collection and/ or have access to. It's got all sorts of copyright failures that mean everyone owns it and no one owns it.
This year is the 50th Anniversary, plus it's Halloween-time, so let's watch the movie that launched a 1000 imitators and a whole culture around re-killing dead people.
I was going to try to do a videoconferencing thing, but I've realized that everyone's TV's playing the movie out of synch is just going to be a nightmare, so until we sort out how to watch the movie together, we're still LIVE TWEETING.
- Movie: Night of the Living Dead
- Time: 9:00 Central, Friday October 26th
- hashtag: #getbarb
- to find me: @melbotis
Where to watch:
- unpredictable effects of cosmic phenomena
- why none of us care if Barbara gets it
- how it's kinda nice all the zombies are dressed nice from their funerals
- the complexities of what it means for a bunch of dead people to come back as proposed in this film versus other films
- casting a Black lead in 1968
- why one should always keep a good shovel around
- brains: yes, delicious, but - also nutritious?
- why Dawn of the Dead is also pretty spiffy
- what is the most depressing element of this movie?
- why I'd become a dictatorial monster inside of five minutes of a zombie apocalypse
- what to do when you awkwardly run into a zombie who is someone you used to know
Well, I'll be drinking, you can count on that. But I'm not making any recommendations. Both the Corpse Reviver and Zombie cocktails are delicious and require too many ingredients I don't have. So, people, just do what you know.
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
|the parade of pretty people|
As the foremost world expert on all things cinematic and Marvel Comics, my words on Avengers: Infinity War are already making their way around the world as the definitive statement on what any right-thinking human should believe about this movie. So it's natural that so, so many of you would come to me with your questions in all things Thanosy.
Here, I shall address your queries, both penetrating and dumb as hell.
Let us begin with the following question paraphrased from an actual bit of correspondence:
Dear The League,
I have somehow spent the last decade not seeing all - or even most of - the Marvel films. Obviously, this is a sign that I should not be trusted with any decision-making whatsoever.
Therefore, I must bow to your superior wisdom, which is great in so, so many areas, and ask the following:
If I've only seen, like, five Marvel movies, should I see Avengers: Infinity War?
(name redacted to prevent a torrent of well-deserved shame)
Needless to say I was simply shocked that one of my readers - nay, one of my FRIENDS - would have fallen so far. But I wanted to put some serious thought into this, and share my answer for everyone, give them a chance to ponder my response and apply that knowledge - yes, innate genius but also hard-earned - into their own life.
If you have not seen all 18 movies or whatever of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - will, indeed, Avengers: Infinity War be worth the viewing? Will you glean all there is to grasp in each moment, in each line of dialogue, each meaningful glance? Despite the less-informed experience, can you still squeeze some joy, taste the fruit of the labors of both creators and audience, or will the ambrosia be robbed of flavor for your lack of understanding?
My answer may surprise you in it's thoughtfulness and sincerity, it's consideration of every angle. It follows after the break.