Fringe cinema weirdness!

All the Love You Cannes!

All the Love You CannesWhat begins earnestly as "an indie’s guide to the Cannes Film Festival" violently swerves head-on into a Croisette staging of the theatre d’absurde — an apt thumbnail of most Troma productions, actually, barring the glam locale.

CineSchlocker icon Lloyd Kaufman begins this crude docu-comedy with such serviceable advice for fledgling filmmakers as pilfering airline muffins today for free breakfasts tomorrow, dodging pricey taxies by thumbing rides with foreign media, sleeping 40 folks in a tiny flat and the art of crafting phony press credentials to crash studio soirees to guzzle complimentary cocktails, and more importantly, a chance to network with international film buyers.

That, after all, is why the Troma Team’s been there in force baring melon-heavy breasts, since the fest’s inception, to sell The Toxic Avenger and his head-crushing ilk to Turkey, Malaysia and other lands starved for puke-slathered American entertainment. Amid the dealmaking are also scores of drunken, er, determined young Troma evangelicals who storm the beaches waving banners and engaging in guerilla marketing tactics akin to the rubbernecking spawned by any particularly grisly highway disaster.

Former Tromavillian Doug Sakmann, being the Kabukiman-garbed poster boy of said movement, makes a royal jackass out of himself throughout by somehow getting tossed out of any joint with more than two walls, clocked by an elder coworker, strangled by an enraged bell hop, with the pee de resistance of his Tromatic behavior, being the MOST gratuitous — and heroically voluminous — urination yours truly has ever beheld.

18 breasts. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Grossly overloaded elevator. Unsightly bloodletting. Random Roger Ebert, Quentin Tarantino, Jean-Claude Van Damme and crinkle brow’d John Stossel sightings. Copious puking. Bitchin "Electric Chair" tuneage by The Dolls (whose lead singer, Jane Jensen, canoodled with Debbie Rochon in Tromeo and Juliet).

Mr. Kaufman on his interoffice war with a crabby Warner Bros staffer and her snoopy pooch: "I think as a shareholder, I will write some kind of letter to the powers that be at AOL Slime Warner and complain about the use of shareholder money for hags with dogs!"

American Mullet

American MullenDocumentarian Jennifer Arnold presents an oddly compassionate exploration of the nation’s most hysterically maligned hairdo through a strange series of interviews with follic offenders.

Listen as a Billy Ray Cyrus lookalike explains how "the look" both kick-started his musical career AND earned him a free trip to Dollywood. Or there’s the rockin "hair band" holdout who theorizes that chicks who dig his do harbor secret sapphic desires. Yet no confessor is more bizarre than the webmaster of who appears on camera MASKED like some sort of gangland stoolie.

Incidentally, those amused by the popular site’s cruel chronicles of the mulleted, will likely tire as Ms. Arnold strays onto the high road by probing the, gulp, cultural significance of the hairstyle among lesbians and Native Americans.

American Pie 2

American Pie 2Shannon Elizabeth, being a fellow Texan, should be well familiar with the down-home adage of "dancing with who brung ya."Now, if she’d also strip nekkid and take a long gander in that imported mirror-mirror on the ceiling, she’d be reminded of who, er, what brung her to the party otherwise known as fame.

True, she’s ENORMOUSLY talented, but that’s thanks to Dow Corning and a two-for-one coupon at Doc Tatas. Not the Actor’s Studio, or even that creep enamored with Bernhard Pivot. Sure it’s her body, her career, but she shouldn’t expect us NOT to groan when she starts in about not wanting to be "known as a T&A girl" after we’ve watched her engage in selfgratification at the multiplex and hump robots while squirting herself with whipped cream in skin magazines.

That’s how Cate Blanchett earned quality roles, right? Wanna be a respected, clothed actress? Fantastic! Just stop accepting sexpot paychecks for Scary Movie, Tomcats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and a certain flick she promoted at the MTV Movie Awards in a TRANSPARENT TOP — American Pie 2 (2001, 110 minutes, Unrated). That’s more than she bares here, of course, seeing how basic cable and FILM are entirely different.

The movie: We rejoin the gang as they return home positively gloomy about having outgrown high school life after their freshmen years at college. Jim (Jason Biggs) remains lead goofus and obsessed with his insufficient sack time with anything warmer than his right hand. This issue becomes all consuming when geek-hungry exchange-babe Nadia (Elizabeth) phones in a long distance booty call, promising to diddle him senseless when she arrives at the summer’s end. But Jimbo is certain his launch vehicle won’t clear the pad without proper conditioning, so he resolves to spend the next weeks in preparation for his big chance at redemption, that and to have "the best summer ever" at a bitchin’ lake house with buddies Finch, Oz, Kevin and rabid horndog Stifler (Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein and Seann William Scott).

For many viewers it’ll seem like a summer that’ll NEVER end with miss-and-miss antics like playing gay chicken in exchange for a lame lesbian peep show, getting whizzed on, or having a very public masturbatory mishap involving Super Glue. Most of the real teehees involve Finch’s infatuation with Stiffler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) and his newfound devotion to Eastern spirituality. Also, Jimbo’s misadventures take him to band camp in search of sexual savant Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) who now TEACHES flute rather than, well, you know. They may have forgotten to put in all the gratuitous sex and nekkidness, but at least the hijinks end with one LAST party — wink, wink — before the gang goes their separate ways.

CineSchlockers might wonder why Tara Reid even bothered with this one, as she’s far better as the toe-challenged porno vixen in The Big Lebowski where she brazenly uttered the immortal line, "I’ll suck your c@#$ for a thousand dollars … Brandt can’t watch, though, or he has to pay a hundred." Roles like that just don’t come along every day.

Notables: Four breasts. Awkward diddling. One monkey. Attempted phone sex. Volleyball footage. Purple pleasure device. Gratuitous urination (world champion for distance and duration). Lesbian tongue rasslin’. Blurry porno footage.

Quotables: Fewer than the extras section would have us believe. Finch provides Stiffler with a simple warning, "You touch me! I bite!" Jim’s dad is always helpful, "Don’t forget your penis cream!" Band camper Michelle emotes, "HOLY POTATOES!!!"

Time codes: Freeze-frame pervert’s delight (4:52). Stiffler’s lauded "I got pee’d on" gross-out scene (16:50). Jim seeks guidance from the flute diddler (27:22). First and only breastage (47:27). Ms. Elizabeth in a bikini (1:20:35).

Final thought: Enough laughs to garner a cautionary nod of approval for extreme fans of the original. Those who insist on NUDITY in their sex comedies should look elsewhere.

American Nightmare

American NightmareThere’s no better B-actress on the scene than Debbie Rochon. She also wears her scarlet "B" with a great deal of pride. In fact, she’s a devoted fan of fringe cinema and a gifted writer who once had a regular genre column and co-authored the "B-Movie Survival Guide." Debbie left Vancouver before her 18th birthday to study acting in New York, where she appeared in many off-Broadway productions, but truly blossomed as a genre actress in the early ’90s.

What’s most striking about Ms. Rochon is her chameleon-like versatility which allows her to slip effortlessly from one well-formed character to another — a tattoo’d, pierced gothic lesbian in Tromeo and Juliet, a sex-crazed B-starlet in Terror Firmer, a no-nonsense movie censor in Erotic Survivor and a boogie-woogie chimpanzee in Play-Mate of the Apes. OK, so maybe that last one was a stretch, but Debbie eclipses them all as serial killer Jane Toppan in American Nightmare (2000, 91 minutes). Her performance is so raw, so crazed that the shear force of it makes this, well, NIGHTMARE of a flick worth enduring.

The movie: An oily FM reject has himself a "pirate" radio show called "American Nightmare" (a.k.a. the lamest horror conceit of recent memory) where folks phone him up and gab about their deepest fears. Perfect Halloween programming for a group of friends lounging around a totally believable coffee shop (with set decoration by the same folks who do religious "Say No to Nookie" videos).

They goad each other into humoring "Caligari" (Chris Ryan) by taking turns being the ninth caller. Get used to this yahoo and his love affair with the microphone, because his show is the thread that strings this whole mess together, as Jane overhears and makes good on her victims’ curiously theatrical fears. She derives the most pleasure from tormenting Doug and Wendy Whiner (Brandy Little and Johnny Sneed) who don’t die NEAR soon enough. She’s a babysitter who squeaks and sobs every other moment because it’s the anniversary of her sister’s murder. He’s a computer geek who doesn’t have the gumption to mount her hard drive. So in between killing off their friends by burying them alive, or hacking off their Mr. Happy mid-diddle, she plays hide and seek with the crybaby, has phone sex with Caligari and sends the joystick jockey to It’s horrible.

Well, not the deliciously demented kill scenes, or the schizoid weirdness exuded by Ms. Rochon, but everything else reeks. CineSchlockers shouldn’t blink when Wendy arrives for her babysitting gig, because B-Queen Brinke Stevens has a cameo as the mom (in wardrobe bound to bring back memories).

Notables: Four breasts. Eight corpses. Phone nookie. Killer cam. Gratuitous goth-rock band. Face painting. "I’ve been slipped a Mickey" cam. Gratuitous psycho photo and newspaper clipping gallery.

Quotables: Bruce has such a way with words, "Man, I’d tag her so hard her mom would feel it!!!" Time-tested horror dialogue, "What was that?!" and "Be safe!"

Time codes: Time for a nice soapy shower (20:30). Quick! Don’t miss Brinke! (24:30). Self-gratification with hunting knife (30:25). Doug and Wendy find love (1:14:25). The entirely groan-worthy ending (1:27:10).

Final thought: Lift Debbie’s icy ferocity as Jane Toppan out of the flick and this two-star nod vanishes. Watch her fly this featherless turkey.

American Psycho 2: All American Girl

American Psycho 2: All American GirlWhat does this have to do with the original? Beyond a crude and suspiciously tacked-on prologue … Zilch! That ’70s Chick Mila Kunis blathers endlessly about really, really wanting to be Captain Kirk’s teaching assistant as she’s backed by monkeys churning a nearly neverending circus calliope. I say "nearly," because the simian soundtrack IS interrupted nearly a dozen times for "Dawson’s Creek"-style music video interludes by hipsters like Old ’97s. Anyway, Ms. Kunis murders each of her TA rivals so she can land a gig at the FBI and catch serial killers who, presumably, aren’t as CUTE as she is. Hi-larious, huh!? Nary a snicker. Although it isn’t often CineSchlockers can spy Bill Shatner as a lecherous college professor.

No breasts, however freeze-frame perverts should proceed directly to timecode 51:45 and behold the wonder of notch three of Mila’s "clicker" bra. 12 corpses. Gratuitous Bob Dylan reference. Prophylactic strangulation. "Star Trek" booty call. Mop-handle lobotomy. One anime afro.

Art of War

Art of War

Neil Shaw (Wesley Snipes) is James Bond without the libido. He has the techno-gadgets of Mission: Impossible, yet he’s HARDLY a master of disguise. But Shaw’s still the man for the United Nations when it comes time for some good ol’ covert shenanigans. Like where he clamors around a skyscraper to crash a New Year’s Eve party over in Asia.

He does so by beaming some, ahem, compromising footage over the Jumbotron and Kung Fu fighting a bunch of Chinese guys before leaping off the building — only to have his parachute ripped to shreds under a hail of machine-gun fire. Apparently, this is a typical day at the office for Shaw. Now there’s a lot of plot in this one, and it makes sense, but it’s just too boring to talk about. Just know Sutherland and Anne Archer play U.N. honchos and there’s some trouble with a Chinese trade agreement, or something. Bad stuff happens and Shaw is on the run with Marie Matiko as Julia Fang a sexy interpreter with attitude. There’s a couple good chase scenes, a really nice crash into a fork-lift, and the flick makes just enough twists at the end so they can call it a "political thriller." Look for Michael Biehn as Shaw’s smirky cohort. Mike is also the sheriff in the buzz-worthy slasher Cherry Falls.

Notables: 10 breasts. More than 22 corpses. One-on-one basketball game with hip-hop soundtrack. Puking. One phony beard. Exploding hansom cab. Two man brawl. Multiple foot chases. Exploding Mustang GT. Blurry porno footage.

Quotables: Secretary General Thomas ponders an age-old question, "How do you give a medal to someone who doesn’t exist, for something that didn’t happen?" Neil cracks wise, "This is New York City, baby. A simple walk in the park can get you killed." Even as a translator, Julia still misses some of the subtleties of the language, "It must be nice for you to assume that I’ll bend over whenever you please."

Time codes: Wesley does Eddie (9:30). Shaw takes a moment to reflect (50:10). "Take off your clothes!" (1:06:55). Matrix-ish gunplay (1:44:20).

Final thought: A mishmash of appropriated stunts and action-genre gimmicks that expends much too much effort on actually having a plot. Ignore the United Nations mumbo jumbo and savor the Snipes fu.

Area 51: America’s Most Secret Base

Area 51: America's Most Secret BaseFor America’s "most secret base," we sure do hear an awful lot about Area 51 and its other nicknames such as Dreamland, Groom Lake and The Ranch.

According to this mighty lean documentary, it turns out the RUSSIANS have the best aerial photo of the non-existent base. While stateside UFO enthusiasts and the just plain curious also like to video tape mysterious glowing objects often visible over the base from the nearest vantage point miles away. There’s also a lot of second-hand talk about Bob Lazar’s experiences.

However, this piece DOES get into the pop culture aspect of Area 51, via a visit with the owners of the Little A’Le’Inn who’ve filled the niche market for T-shirts and nicknacks for those who bother to brake along Nevada’s "Extraterrestrial Highway."

Though billed as an extra, the value of about an hour of "unedited footage" of alleged UFOs (meaning scraps of increasingly poor quality video cobbled together with NO AUDIO) will be dubious to all but the most ravenous devotees of the field.


AutopsyThey sent me a couple I-Talian pictures to check out. And one good thing about foreign movies is that their scream queens WILL get nekkid on ya in a hurry. The first of the gruesome twosome is Torso, followed by Autopsy (1973, 100 minutes). Both flicks, shot in and near Rome, feature lots of skin and creepy dudes peeping up gal’s skirts and into their windows. Those dirty Italians.

Of the two, Torso’s a heckuva lot better, but I’ll go on and tell you about Autopsy right now. Armando Crispino directed the movie, which had a mess of names including: Macchie Solari (Sun Spots), Tarot, Evil Sun and The Victim. When they shipped it off to the good ol U.S. of A the weenie censors cut a bunch of the good stuff out — but don’t worry, it’s all been restored.

The movie: It’s the middle of the summer, and people are checking off the planet in a variety of ways. Slashing their wrists. Jumping in the river. Introducing a machine gun to their belly button. Blowing themselves up. Stuff like that. Makes for a great opening sequence. Pretty soon they cart the bodies down to the morgue, and that’s were we meet our heroine Mimsy Farmer (as Simoma Sanna). She’s carvin up corpses and working on a thesis about suicide. But the sun must be getting to her also, because pretty soon she’s seeing dead people … getting up from their slabs and humping each other on the floor. For a gal who’s always daydreaming about undead S-E-X, she’s pretty uptight, as she doesn’t let her boyfriend play nekkid Twister with her. The whole movie goes in the dumper, though, when her daddy’s latest conquest gets a bullet to the brainpan. Simoma tries to apply her expertise in order to determine if the girl’s death was a suicide, and that’s about the time a whole lot of plot starts bogging down the story. The movie never really recovers. But watch for Torso’s Ernesto Colli as the horny morgue weasel, Ivo.

Notables: 17 breasts. 15 corpses. Wrist slashing. Gratuitous surly cabbie. One road pizza. Wild driving. Dog attack. Multiple diddling. One seizure. Dog beating. Gratuitous autopsy photos. One car race with crash and burn. Gratuitous shower scene. Exploding car. Hypodermic closeup.

Quotables: Kudos to the oily Ivo for using the direct approach on Simoma, "Brains leave me cold. But if you’re interested in a little warm meat, doc — I’d be glad to oblige. Modestly speaking, I’m well endowed … What do you say if I brought it over one day, huh? A little home demonstration?" And to Ray Lovelock (as Edgar) who actually says, "Wanna see my etchings?" And it worked. Cuz before long she coos, "Undress me."

Time codes: Edgar and Ivo’s wacky gag (7:10). "Hey, kids, let’s all go down to the Criminal Museum!" (45:26). Nudie slide show as foreplay (55:30).

Final thought: Never better than its first reel.

Bikini Bandits Experience

Bikini Bandits ExperienceDuring the dot com craze, these buxom babes were the cat’s meow, routinely jiggling on the MTV and beyond through a series of high-caliber, high drool-factor video shorts.

Now, the bodacious bandits are back with their own movie of sorts, more accurately, a 53-minute collection of said salacious shorts stitched together with bizarre animations and highly homophobic phone exchanges between its producer and editor (of today’s Quizinart School of Video.)

The result is more miss than hit, but how can one NOT recommend a flick with Corey Feldman as an archangel, with erectile issues, who battles our time-traveling, bikini’d heroines in Bethlehem for the affections of the Virgin Mary!

Other ill-advised cameos include Dee Dee Ramone and Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf. (God rest his tiny, surly soul.) It’s hard to believe there’s only ONE bare breast among this cheeky T&A fest.

Black Scorpion II

Black Scorpion IIJoan Severance returns to tackle TWO baddies: Gangster Prankster and AfterShock.

We’ve got a new Mike (Whip Hubley), but Darcy is just as determined to diddle him senseless. Prankster (Stoney Jackson) is the Def Comedy Jam’s answer to The Joker with a Super Soaker full of acid and a busty sidekick named Giggles (who jiggles out of her top at least once).

While AfterShock (Sherrie Rose) is a supposedly homely blonde seismologist who turns evil when she accidentally causes an earthquake while attempting to quell one. Curiously, no one recognizes her in her bright-yellow getup, even though her face isn’t masked. AfterShock likes to grab fella’s by the family jewels and zap ’em good while she isn’t busy plotting to level the city.

Four breasts. 10 corpses. Face licking. Panty sniffing. Exploding clown.

Captain Strickland has the best line: "The last thing this city needs is another whacked-out broad in a mask!"