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.
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
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.