Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Parties


Haven't been doing much blogging, lately, but I'm here for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks. This week is all about something many of us will attend at least a couple of this month, parties. I attended one last weekend, will attend another tomorrow, and who knows if I'll find myself at another between now and day 1 of 2017. I'll give away a few presents, might even get one or two, and if I'm lucky, Mrs. Dell and I will have a magical moment under the mistletoe. As for movies about parties, I'm going to get into some rather strange gatherings. Admittedly, these are more appropriate for Halloween than Christmas. It's been so long since I've suggested a really "out there" set of movies, I couldn't help myself. Let's party.

House on Bare Mountain
(1962)
This movie is about a boarding house for girls who walk around...um...bare. There's an incoherent plot about some criminal activity by the head mistress, and an undercover agent sent in to investigate. Somehow, it involves a werewolf making moonshine in the basement. No, really. The head mistress is played by a dude in a dress, who thankfully keeps it on. Aside from him, it's wall-to-wall boobies and booties swingin'. It all culminates in the girls putting on at least some clothes for a massive costume party that takes up the final 15-20 minutes of the movie. The whole thing is barely an hour long, by the way. Of course, the ladies all shed their clothing after a bunch of the revelers spike the punch. Click here for my full review.

Slumber Party Massacre III
(1990)
A group of high school girls have a slumber party at the house of the one who's parents are out of town. A couple of horny guys who know about the affair try to crash the party. Of course guys and gals getting all sorts of dead, mostly at the end of a giant drill bit, ensues. This is just pure, trashy fun. The writing is bad, the acting is worse, there's gratuitous nudity, and our killer's weapon of choice is so undeniably phallic its ridiculous. It's just a blood-splattering good time that's so bad it's awesome. Of course, before you jump the gun and watch this one, don't forget to check out the first two movies in the franchise.

Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned
(2008)
Chuck is about to get married to Michelle, his high school sweetheart. Fittingly, his bestest buddy Sammy decides to throw him a weekend long bachelor party. With the help of their creepy friend Gordon, they have the use of a house in The Hamptons for all the debauchery they can handle. When the strippers/hookers show up, all hell breaks loose. I mean that quite literally because it turns out these are ladies of the evening in more ways than one. Yup, they’re vampires. B C D-Movie vampire stuff ensues. Is this a good movie? No. Is that a bad thing? Depends on your point of view.



Soooo....

Last week, I was rather harsh on video game movies. This week, I'm in a much better mood. That means, I'm retroactively recommending some good movies for last week's topic: Video/Arcade/Board Game Movies.

The Last Starfighter
(1984)
Alex (Lance Guest) is just a regular kid living in a trailer park. The (fictional) video game "Starfighter" is centrally located in the park and Alex happens to be the best player. After he obliterates the record for highest score, the game's creator shows up and whisks Alex away to another planet. Turns out "Starfighter" is less harmless arcade game, and much more simulator or real events. In other words, Alex is recruited to help save the universe. Much 80s goodness ensues.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
(2008)
Steve Wiebe tries to break Billy Mitchell's nearly quarter-century old world record in Donkey Kong. On the surface, its a documentary about classic arcade games and the people who love them. I mean really love them. At its core, its a sports movie not unlike any number of underdog stories that have come before it. It happens to be a very well told true story. Its effectiveness largely comes from how skillfully it frames our two principals. Wiebe is a down-on-his-luck guy with a passion and talent for "Donkey Kong." Despite his faults, he's a likeable guy who becomes moreso as the film progresses. His longing to fulfill his quest in infectious, making us root for him. On the other hand, Billy Mitchell is our villain. Despite the fact he's obviously a hero to many people in the arcade gaming community, you will hate him. That part about him being a hero to many adds an interesting dynamic to things and seems to be the source of Wiebe's struggles to gain recognition. Even if you've never been a gamer, the story draws you in and tugs a bit at your heartstrings.

Atari: Game Over
(2014)
This movie provides a fitting end to this topic because it is about a video game that was adapted from a movie. The movie, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is beloved to this day, over 30 years since it hit theaters. The game was almost universally hated the day it was released. It was so bad, it nearly killed the video game industry. The legend that rose from its ashes is that the maker of the game, Atari, buried a million copies of the game in a New Mexico desert. This film tries to unbury the truth. It's part history of Atari, part treasure hunt, and all fun. Click here for my full review.



22 comments:

  1. I don't remember if I've seen Slumber Party Massacre III as I saw a lot of films based on sororities and horror back in the early 90s on late night TV due to my fascination for the female anatomy. I'm sure it's fun. As for your 3 video game picks, those are great choices as The Last Starfighter remains a childhood favorite of mine while I fucking love The King of Kong. Atari: Game Over is quite fascinating though it left me wanting for more about the video game crash of 1983. Plus, I don't think E.T. the game is the worst game ever as there's far worse.

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    1. Meh...if you saw one of the Slumber Party Massacre you saw them all. Not sure if it's the worst ever, but E. T. is the worst game I've played.

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  2. Well Dell I haven't seen any of the party movies. I don't think I'm too sad about that but they bear the stamp of your more eclectic taste when movie scouting. They all sound positively dreadful and I think I may have seen the original Slumber Party Massacre which was plenty for me.

    Of your game picks I've seen The Last Starfighter which was much better than I expected it to be when I sat down to watch and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it instead of the wretched Battleship. I'm surprised you found two more! Who knew there were so many out there?

    There are so many party movies I couldn't decide and then I stumbled across a theme and went with it! However it's been so damn cold the last week I needed a blast of summer and threw in an extra to turn up the heat.

    The Wild Party (1975)-On the skids Hollywood silent comic star Jolly Grimm (James Coco) is hoping that an elaborate party he’s throwing with the aid of his mistress (Raquel Welch), capped by the showing of his new film, will reignite his career. The party starts well but quickly spirals out of control ending in tragedy. This was loosely based on the notorious Fatty Arbuckle case. Welch and Coco are both excellent.

    The Wild Party (1956)-The wild party of the title is a kidnapping by a group of losers that becomes the ultimate bad night. “Kicks” Johnson, a hepcat ivory tickler (Nehemiah Persoff) who needs cash cause being broke for a living, “just ain’t cool for a jazzman”, Tom Kupfen, a former pro-football player (Anthony Quinn) reduced to rolling drunks for a few bucks, the trampy Honey (Kathryn Grant) Tom’s last hanger-on from his glory days- in need of cash to pay the rent who says of herself "I have 40,000 miles on me" plus a knife happy, small time con-man, Gage Freeposter (Jay Robinson) on the run from Johnny Law go looking for a score. Freeposter cruises an upscale jazz club “The Fat Man” where the “real cats swing” in search of a mark or two. They find a rich couple (Carol Omart and Arthur Franz) and entice them to an abandoned amusement park where things quickly go wrong. Loaded with 50’s hipster lingo and a primo jazz score.

    The Wild Party (1929)-A group of young women at a girls college are more interested in attending wild parties than studying for their classes. After being kicked out of one such party one of the girls, Stella Ames (Clara Bow), gets into a bad situation in a bar where one of her professors James Gilmore (Fredric March) has to save her. Gossip about the two spreads and Stella has to act fast to save both their reputations. Bow is at her “It Girl” best.

    Summer Throwback Bonus-Beach Party (1963)-It’s the original gathering of Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Deadhead, Eric Von Zipper and the whole beach party gang! This one has a bit more story than usual with anthropology professor Robert Orwell Sutwell (Robert Cummings) and his secretary Marianne (Dorothy Malone) studying the sex habits of teenagers. Not that they’re having any real sex just singing and dancing to Dick Dale and the Del Tones and surfing of course.

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    1. Nice theme within a theme! Haven't seen any of them, though. I have seen Beach Party a few times when I was a kid. It's such wonderfully cheesy fun.

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  3. Not seen any of the first 3, but the Fistful of Quarters film was great. Classic goodie v baddie. And what a title.

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    1. That is a great title...and a great movie.

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  4. Wow, those are some...unique choices for party movies.
    Happy holidays.

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  5. lol your party picks. I love when you bust out picks like this. I've had Atari:Game Over in my Netflix queue for ages. Eventually I'll get to it.

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    1. I hope you do. Love to hear what you think of it.

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  6. LOL LOVE these picks, even though I'd never go within a hundred feet of them.

    LOVE King of Kong, though, and that Atari movie sounds fun too.

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    1. Awe man, no Slumber Party Massacre for you? Your loss. At least you can appreciate King of Kong.

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  7. I can't believe it, six picks and I haven't seen any of them. The King of Kong sounds great though.

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    1. The King of Kong is great. I highly recommend it.

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  8. Haven't seen those party movies. I would probably go with Sixteen Candles or maybe Dazed and Confused

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  9. Those party movies sound so bad that I would want to see them. They must have about every cliche in the book. Glad you picked The Last Starfighter since I almost picked it but I haven't seen it in so long that I didn't think it was right. It's such a good gem of a movie. I haven't seen the other 2 at all

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    1. Every cliche, and then some. Happy to see some love for The Last Starfighter. As for the other video game flicks, both are really fun documentaries.

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  10. Ah man - King of Kong was such a great film, but I did feel sorry for those guys' families. Intense stuff and what the hell - a video tape is considered ok??

    Not heard of the part picks but the first one sounds amusing.

    Have fun at those parties too!!

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  11. I know, right? Odd that a video tape would be okay, but I suppose it's because everyone can't make it to video game headquarters, or wherever.

    Had a great time at those parties, btw.

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  12. Haven't seen any of your picks, even the video games ones, but I have heard about the E.T. game that was a complete fail. There are a lot of video game movie tie-ins, I suspect not a lot of those video games are good as well.

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    1. Yes, the E.T. game was horrendous. The doc about it, though, is pretty good.

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