Monday, July 21, 2014

Darryl Revok

First appearance: Scanners (1981)

Turns out there's a real weird birth defect associated with the old analgesic Ephemerol. Psychic powers! Now there's two groups of people looking for these psychics, known as Scanners. One is ConSec and it's owner Dr. Paul Ruth, the guy who invented Ephemerol and tested it on his wife,  who is hoping to train these psychics to uses their powers for espionage. The other is lead by Darryl Revok, a scanner, who's using his company Biocarbon Amalgamate to send more Ephemerol to pregnant women in hopes of creating an army of psychic babies! Can former bum and troubled Scanner, Cameron Vale, help ConSec stop Revok from creating an army of fellow Scanners?
Most people know it as "That movie with the exploding head."
Another strange Canadian sci-fi/horror flick from director David Cronenberg from the 1980s. A little slow in parts but worth seeing for its strange mix of spy and monster movie conventions.
I think it might be my favourite Cronenberg movie.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ricky Coogin

First appearance: Freaked (a.k.a. Hideous Mutant Freekz, 1993)

On his way to help the E.E.S. (Everything Except Shoes) Corporation promote Zygrot-24, Ricky Coogin and his pal Ernie cross paths with a group of anti-Zygrot-24 protestors lead by the attractive environmentalist, Julie.  Having tricked Julie into believing they are environmentalists too, on their way to protest Zygrot they head into the wilds of Santa Flan, where a side trip to Elija C. Skruggs' Freekland changes their lives. Mutations and mutilations ensue!

The creature designs in this are hilarious. Mr. T plays a Bearded Lady. Keanu Reeves plays a dog!
Not really a movie for everyone, most people probably won't really get the appeal to it. It's weird, juvenile and occasionally a little gross, but with a message: "Even if you don't like macaroons, you should probably eat one if everyone else is doing it."

I actually remember going to see Darkman on its opening night and seeing posters and banners al over the theatre announcing the release of Hideous Mutant Freekz. My friends and I decided to make sure we could get to the theatre to see HMF when it came out. Sadly it never did. A few years went by and I saw a videotape at the local Videoflix called "Freaked" and thought to myself "That looks kinda familiar." Since there weren't any other horror flicks new that week I gave it a shot. Much to my surprise it turned out to be Hideous Mutant Freekz. Turns out the studio was scared about how weird the movie was so they pulled it's theatrical release re-named it and eventually dumped it onto VHS.

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Evil" Ed Thompson

First appearance: Fright Night (1985)

Charley Brewster is convinced his neighbour, Jerry Dandridge, is a vampire. He comes to this suspicion after seeing Jerry bite a woman on the neck and then bundling a human shaped garbage bag into the back of his car.
Turns out Charley is right.
Unfortunately since nobody believes him, he seeks the help of horror host and ex-horror film actor, Peter Vincent. Fortunately for the sake of a plot, Mr. Vincent doesn't believe him either. Eventually everyone (except Charley) is proven wrong and they all have a most Frightening Night.

Fright Night's a fun slice of '80s horror. Evil Ed and Peter Vincent steal any scene they're in. You may find Ed's laugh irritating at first, but it grows on you. He's such a strange character you can't help but enjoy his reactions to anything said to him. Peter Vincent is just as fun to watch. He's played by Roddy McDowell so you know pretty much how he's going to play things.
There's a sequel, which I've seen but remember nothing about. A comic book series that lasted 22 issues and (spoiler) brought Ed back to life. There's also a remake from 2011. It's not bad but it's also not as fun as the original. Mostly because the remake's Ed isn't as weird. There's as sequel to the remake, but I haven't seen that. I hear it's better than the remake.

Zap Rowsdower

First appearance: The Final Sacrifice (1990)

A young man, Troy, continues his father's quest to discover the lost city of Xiox! On the run from hooded cult members, he takes refuge in the back of a crummy pick up truck. The truck belongs to the impressively named Zap Rowsdower, a down on his luck former cult member (spoiler, sorry). Together this team sets out to avenge the death Troy's father, find the lost city of Xiox, redeem Zap Rowsdower, and save the world?

This weird, no budget Canadian adventure film received attention from the fantastic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 exposing the world to the incredible mulleted hero Zap! I'd love to see the movie un"riffed" just for fun. Normally I'd include the trailer for the movie with this little write up, unfortunately the movie isn't that popular or something so I can't find a trailer. I highly recommend you check out the MST3K episode, I think its one of their best.