RETRO REVIEWS WITH THE PLAID PHANTOM
Greetings, readers of LaserCola.com! I have arrived here to share with you the best and worst of films from the past. My primary task will be to shed light on the dark, murky, and sometimes downright putrid forgotten corners of movie history. In short, a good deal of the movies I’ll be reviewing are the film equivalent to that disgusting puddle or stream of brown and green (depending on which way the light hits it) garbage water that seeps from the dumpster in the back of the mall parking lot.
Don’t get me wrong here by any means folks. These are my guilty pleasures. Cheesy effects. Atrocious acting. Bad Editing. Noticeable ADR. Terrible costumes. Awful music. Mind-numbing dialogue. Films that are extremely dated. I love it all. I truly believe that a film can be so bad that it is good. I also believe that one can be so bad that it goes to good and then back to being bad again. Then you have your films which show a very obvious attempt at being awful with no shame. These are often the most fun of all.
A good deal of the time these movies are going to showcase…well…nobody. They were often low budget. Most of the time they were overflowing with people that you’ve never heard from before or since. Some made a living by popping up in various other bad movies. The thing I find the most fun is spotting an actor who would go on to be a huge star. It’s hilarious to see these people who now get paid millions of dollars per film in these shitty movies in shit parts. They were struggling and would take any part in anything just to pay the bills. I do understand that you have to get your start somewhere. Granted this does not equate that you should be immune to mockery or ridicule.
Or perhaps you might see actors and actresses way past their prime. Two actors in particular who come to mind are Sir Alec Guinness and Donald Pleasence. Both well established legends of the stage and silver screen in their native England. Do you think they gave two shits at all what amazing film franchises they had walked into in the form of, respectively, Star Wars and Halloween? Hell No. They needed the money. They didn’t think anybody was going to see these films. Little did they know that these iconic roles would come to be the centerpiece of their careers whether they liked it or not. This especially was true of Guinness, who loathed the Star Wars films for the rest of his life and often refused to give interviews or sign autographs if Star Wars was mentioned. He supposedly threw away Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it. Who care if he did countless plays at London’s Old Vic Theater with Sir Sir Laurence Olivier. Who cares if he was brilliant in three earlier performances in the legendary David Lean directed epics: The Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago, and Lawrence of Arabia? Dude, you’re fucking Obi-Wan. Pleasence, on the other hand, put on a cowboy hat and jumped on Michael Myers jump suited back and rode that motherfucker into the ground smiling all the way.
I’ve always shown an affinity for having an almost encyclopedic knowledge of awful movies from all different eras and genres. Upon further review, I’m not sure I should feel proud or ashamed of this sad fact. I’m questioning my existence now. You assholes. How did I get to this? Anyhoot, I have logged many hours watching movies, and I have the white ass and dark circles under my eyes to prove it. If you describe a movie for me or give me name of it and I don’t know it, the odds good that I will probably get pissed off at both you and myself. Luckily this doesn’t happen too often. For instance, over the years my friends, family, and co-workers have come to expect this of me. They constantly try to stump me. If they do stump me they gain some kind of sick satisfaction from this and if I know it, then I look like a dork for knowing. So it’s pretty much a win-win for them.
What you can expect from me is a mixture of cult classics, forgotten gems, and my own thoughts on the mainstream hits we all know and love. I’ll try and go back and forth between the good ones and the bad ones. I am, by every definition, a child of the 80’s. Thus a fair number of my reviews will be movies of that era. If you were to ask me both way back then and now who my best friends were? I’m sure HBO would be among the first names I would say. I watched either of my taped copies of “The Goonies” or “Big Trouble in Little China” every day when I got home from school. No…really. Every day. Towards the end they were almost unwatchable because I’d worn down the tape that much from repeated viewings. I watched them so many times that I could tell you what previews HBO had shown before the movie started. For example, “The Goonies” had previews for “Running Scared” with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines and “Wildcats” with Goldie Hawn. Scary huh?
Films like Back to the Future, Top Gun, Labyrinth, Flash Gordon, etc.., have been reviewed so many times that there is little new to be said or written. All I can hope to do in that case is make it as entertaining as possible and perhaps throw some random fun facts in there. I’ll also share my own personal memories and takes on the films and what makes them special to me. I hold a lot of these movies near and dear to my heart. I have to try and bite my lip when I’m watching them with someone else who is only a casual fan. I might also say things like “Listen to what he says here…Hey…You’re not watching? Why are you not watching?” I can also be that dweeb who will say the line before it‘s spoken. I’m convinced that one day I will get to a point where I will only speak in lines from movies. If asked on a job application I will check English and Other: Movie Lines. I fully believe I could go out into public and interact with people speaking just lines from movies and be both functional and pathetic.
I guess that’s it for now. I’m confidant that this site will succeed. We have a passionate and devoted starting group of writers and contributors to start here. Perhaps down the road we will lose or gain new ones as the site expands and perhaps starts to cover different areas of geekdom. Either way, I hope you are all along for the ride with us.
Posted on November 13, 2010, in Retro Reviews and tagged 80's, action, big trouble in little china, Cheese, fantasy, flash gordon, geek, horror, nerd, Retro, reviews, sci-fi, science fiction, the goonies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.