Saturday, April 24, 2010

Welcome to Hell, y'all!


As I started watching the film up for review this time around, I heard ringing in my ears Lee Marvin's immortal quote from the film Paint Your Wagon: "Welcome to Hell, preacher!" Seeing as I am an ordained minister, it seemed even more fitting. Is it possible Lee Marvin saw this film in a vision? It would explain his heartfelt gusto in delivering that line.

Come and join me in the lowest region of Hell. Here, people have their limbs removed so they cannot leave. Their heads are nailed to the walls so they must face the images projected before them. Their eyelids have been removed so they may not close their eyes. What horror are they subjected to that could cause such suffering that the mind shatters? They are forced to watch Bill Rebane's Twister's Revenge throughout all eternity.

Bill Rebane is most famous for The Giant Spider Invasion. Having seen that movie many times, I can assure you that it is the high point of his career. Once you've seen any of his other films, you will freeze like a wild deer in a Mack truck's headlights when someone mentions the name of Bill Rebane. If someone suggests watching Twister's Revenge, you are dealing with either a total innocent or someone who has held a long-festering grudge against you. Run away as fast as you can.

On paper, this movie sounds like it might be...maybe...kinda watchable, given proper chemical alterations of your senses. Let's go with that for right now.

We are given the simple story of a cowboy who drives a monster truck for state fair exhibitions and such, his new bride who is a total computer geek and fairly easy on the eyes and their monster truck, know as Mr. Twister. Into this happy world comes three grease monkeys who decide to steal...something. It started as grand larceny by trying to steal a computer from a van, so it was a minor leap to full-blown felony kidnapping of the young bride.

This could be fodder for an interesting action film. Do keep in mind that this is a Bill Rebane film. Not only are the "heroes" of the film bland as distilled water, but the would-be criminals are denser than a slab of granite. All in the name of comedy, Wisconsin-style on a two dollar budget.

After nearly ten minutes of pointless Scooby Doo type car chases mixed with bad voice-overs that utter fail at humor, the bride is kidnapped. Suddenly, the truck reveals he is the redneck cousin of K.I.T.T from Knightrider. So our suddenly single hero teams up with the monster truck to recover the fair damsel.

That's it. Really.Oh, wait, I forgot to add the horrible sound, utter lack of acting, the worst rear projection of ANY movie ever made, shoddy camera work, a cast of hundreds of extras who capture that pure hick quality because they ARE hicks, an absence of logic, action sequences more tedious than paint drying in an empty room...do I need to go on? Honestly, attempting to give you detailed examples of any of these problems would mean I spent more time explain things to you than the entire crew spent on this film.

It isn't hard to see how Mill Creek Entertainment can sell their 50 movie packs so cheap when they have movies like Twister's Revenge on tap. I have little doubt that Mill Creek received a fat check from someone for including this fecal storm on their Drive-In Classics set. In case you have that set, it is the second movie on Side A of Disc One. If you are wise, you will never, ever watch that side of Disc One. I think even Bill Rebane would decline an offer to watch this film again.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A New Day, and A New Way


Today, we begin a new way of doing things here for the time being, just to see how it might work. First thing, I will be cross posting some of the upcoming posts on two blogs: Deranged Visions and Bargain Basement Thrills. Why? well, that leads us into the second thing. I buy too many movies. Seriously. I stacked up most of the movies (and video games, but, sorry, no video game blog for me) and did a rough calculation that I have spent nearly 1,000 bucks on movies (and games) in the last 9 months. Did I get good value? I think so, but when you are buying that many movies and you are watching less than two movies a week, you tend to start drowning in movies.

So, here's the deal. I'm on new meds for ADHD and anxiety. I'm feeling better than I have in years, and I know I can follow through now without serious distraction. I'm not posting a schedule, but you should see posting coming a bit more regularly. AND, in a effort to start cleaning house, I'm intending to start working my way through some of these Mill Creek Entertainment 50 movie sets I have stockpiled. Do they all belong in Deranged Visions? Mostly, yes, and they definitely belong to Bargain Basement Thrills as these things can be had cheap as dirt in most cases.

To celebrate my amazing brainchild, I promptly ordered a 250 movie set of mystery/suspense/action films. Heaven help me.

We are looking at the first disc, side A of the Drive-In Classics 50 movie set, just in case you want to keep up.

We start with The Devil With Seven Faces. No, Tony Randall is not in this movie, but there is an appearance by a very annoying Asian gentleman with a horribly dubbed over-blown Asian accent. Mickey Rooney would be proud.

Enter into a world hopelessly mired in awful 70's fashion. I could hardly pull my eyes away from the woman wearing the hideous patchwork quilt looking granny dress. Yes, we can truly be thankful for a change in decades. Oh and don't be fooled for a moment. Yes, those are Dutch locations running behind the credits, but take note that most of the crew's names end in enough vowels to make Vanna White turn pale.

We start with a rather uptight woman being stalked by a paparazzi, and then she seeks out the help of a rather distracted looking Stephen Boyd. Within minutes, Boyd and his overly-horny friend Tony, who happens to be a race driver (it is sure to figure in somehow), rescue her from thugs and proceed to become her guardian angels. Though I have to give the race car driver credit for being rather single-minded whereas Boyd is prepped to dip his wick in any honeypot that presents herself.

It seems our damsel in distress is one of a set of twin sisters. One is being stalked for her involvement in some shady jewel heist, and the other one is being harassed as well. One is in England while the other is in Amsterdam, yet the crafty bad guys can't seem to keep track of either one. According to a picture they show, one has dark hair and the other has light hair. How the bad guys can't figure who is whom makes about as much sense as anything else in this movie.

The characters run around and hop from one location to another with no real sense of purpose. And everywhere our heroine goes, someone dies. Why these two guys hang around a harbinger of death is beyond me. She isn't THAT good looking. Maybe that is mercenary of me, but I had to occupy my brain somehow to keep myself awake and distract me from the fact the heroine's hair changes length at random. And in one scene at the beach, Julie wears a huge blue wig that looks like someone sent part of a cos-play outfit back through time.

The highlight of the film is a car chase that almost looks like it should be in a Keystone Cops short, with overclocked film speeds and goofy action.

Then comes all the double-crossing you could see coming from the first 10 minutes. People die, people are tortured, and Stephen Boyd says he's rushing to the rescue and proceeds to sit at his desk while people come to nasty ends. I almost expected Christina Lindberg to show up and start wasting people. Alas, it didn't happen.

Ultimately, you walk away wondering how people this brainless and inept managed to pull off a heist to begin with.

Recommendation: Watch ONLY if you feel you have to see every movie Stephen Boyd ever made. Otherwise, just realize you don't need to know why the devil has seven faces.