Film Review: One Crazy Summer (1986)

Also known as: Greetings from Nantucket (working title)
Release Date: August 8th, 1986
Directed by: Savage Steve Holland
Written by: Savage Steve Holland
Music by: Cory Lerios
Cast: John Cusack, Demi Moore, Curtis Armstrong, Bobcat Goldthwait, Joel Murray, William Hickey, Joe Flaherty, Mark Metcalf, John Matuszak, Kimberly Foster, Matt Mulhern, Tom Villard, Jeremy Piven, Rich Hall, Taylor Negron, Billie Bird

A&M Films, Warner Bros., 93 Minutes

Review:

“[Reading the obituaries] “Hey, Hoops, you ever notice how people die in alphabetical order?” – George Calamari

One thing that makes this film so damn fun to watch is that it was chock full of a lot of talent from the time.

While it stars John Cusack and Demi Moore, it boasts great comedic and character actors like Bobcat Goldthwait, Curtis Armstrong, Joel Murray, William Hickey, Joe Flaherty, Taylor Negron, Rich Hall and Billie Bird. It also features big man John Matuszak a.k.a. Sloth from The Goonies and a very young Jeremy Piven.

This is a really goofy and surreal film but I don’t feel like it gets too lost in its zaniness. It does stay pretty well grounded and just works as a great ensemble comedy that is very much a product of its time. While that might mean that it hasn’t aged well to some, I still found it to be energetic, charming and goofy while still being an entertaining and mostly mindless pleasure.

The story focuses on a summer vacation to Nantucket for two buddies that recently graduated high school. One falls for a musician girl and there is a romantic subplot there but it isn’t heavy handed or really even the centerpiece of the movie’s plot. Most of the film is a series of gags with an overall story that connects everything and gives the characters more of a purpose and an objective towards the end.

Additionally, the film’s director is an animator and he incorporates his animations into the film. I found that stuff to be pretty cool and it just fit the film well. In fact, it really sets the tone from the opening credits, as it then slides the viewer into live action. The director, Savage Steve Holland would go on to create Eek! The Cat.

My favorite part of the film was the bit where Bobcat Goldthwait got stuck in a rubber Godzilla suit and accidentally crashed a party, which also saw him stomp across a miniature real estate model of a residential community. Granted, I’m a massive Godzilla fan, love Bobcat and this was at the height of his awesomeness.

One Crazy Summer is silly but it is enjoyable silly. I still like it quite a bit and it’s a good flick to cheer you up on a gloomy day.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: other teen comedies of the ’80s.

Film Review: Master Ninja I (1984)

Also known as: The Master (as a TV series), The Ninja Master (original VHS movie release)
Release Date: 1984 (the original run of the TV series)
Directed by: various
Written by: Tom Sawyer, Michael Sloan, Susan Woollen
Music by: Bill Conti
Cast: Lee Van Cleef, Timothy Van Patten, Sho Kosugi, Demi Moore, Claude Akins, Clu Gulager

Michael Sloan Productions, Viacom, CBS, 88 Minutes

Review:

“Don’t worry, I won’t leave this bar through the window.” – Max Keller

This isn’t really a movie but it was treated as such when it was lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is actually just two episodes of the television show The Master edited into a feature length format and presented as a film to the VHS market circa 1984. The show bombed and only lasted thirteen episodes.

This film version of episoides 1 and 2 doesn’t have a good flow to it. Usually when episodes are diced up and made into “movies” like this, the result is always pretty piss poor.

The thing is, I vaguely remember seeing the show when I was a kid and I kind of liked it. I was five when this came out though and I probably didn’t actually see it till I was like seven or eight but I thought it was sort of cool for the time.

Really though, it’s not a good show by any stretch of the imagination. It works if you are into televised ’80s action cheese. It certainly isn’t horrible but it’s shoddily produced with glaring flaws but it’s got Lee Van Cleef and Sho Kosugi in it, so it’s overflowing in manliness points.

It’d be easy to hate on this, especially in this butchered up format but I’m someone that loves ’80s ninja shit and that’s exactly what this is, even if it’s highly diluted for general audiences. It’s no Revenge of the Ninja or American Ninja but it still firmly represents the ’80s ninja craze with gusto.

The stunts are pretty good in a lot of scenes though.

Rating: 4.75/10
Pairs well with: Master Ninja II and The Master TV series.

Film Review: Parasite (1982)

Release Date: March 12th, 1982
Directed by: Charles Band
Written by: Michael Shoob, Alan J. Adler, Frank Levering
Music by: Richard Band
Cast: Demi Moore, Robert Glaudini, Luca Bercovici, Cherie Currie, Freddy Moore, Tom Villard, Vivian Blaine, Rainbeaux Smith

Irwin Yablans Company, Embassy Pictures, Kock International, 85 Minutes

Review:

When the credits started rolling, I saw “Irwin Yablans Company” and instantly knew this would be a big pile of awful crap. You see, they’re the people that gave us that massive donkey turd Laserblast. Having seen that film, which predates this one by four years, I knew that this would have to be another cinematic shitshow. Besides, even if the people at the Irwin Yablans Company somehow multiplied their filmmaking talent by infinity, the number would still be zero because anything times zero will always be zero.

So, as is customary with films this bad, I had to run it through the Cinespiria Shitometer, it comes out as a Type 7 stool, which is defined as “Watery, no solid pieces. ENTIRELY LIQUID.” I swear I’m going to make a Cinespiria Shitometer infographic one day.

The film takes us to the future: 1992, to be exact. In 1992 we don’t have a lot to look forward to. Earth is sort of a wasteland full of gutterpunks and weird sex performers that get off in hardware stores. On the bright side, there are ray guns. That alone makes me excited for whenever 1992 gets here.

But then there is the parasite. It’s this slimy slug thing that’s the size of a fat kid’s thigh. It attaches to people and next thing you know, they have parasites ripping out of their body. There is one cool scene where a parasite bursts out of a dying lady’s face. While the special effects aren’t all that spectacular, there seemed to at least be some effort put into the shot.

Also, this film was made to be seen in 3D. That being said, there are a lot of shots that look bizarre when seeing this in 2D. Lots of creatures and other things jumping at the camera is pretty much all this movie is about.

There is also this evil Agent Smith type guy that drives a black Lamborghini Countach. It doesn’t sound cool like a Lambo though, as they gave it sounds to make it sound like a futuristic car. Who are these people kidding? Any kid from the 80s knows a damn Countach when they see one. It sure as shit wasn’t some future car in the far off year of 1992! Had I seen this movie when I was a kid though, I would’ve probably just geeked out over the car and thought that the movie was actually awesome. Kind of like movies with ninjas. If I saw a ninja or a Countach in a movie, you could bet your ass that I was going to rent it at least another half dozen times from Citeo Video!

Demi Moore is in this movie but she’s not very good in it. I can’t blame her. It’s not like anyone was actually directing the film. But at least she got her shit together and pulled off a solid performance in 1996’s Striptease. To be honest, Burt Reynolds is the one that really carried that film to the top.

Parasite is a shitty movie in every way. There is nothing good about it except for the Lamborghini Countach and even then, they messed up how it’s supposed to sound. I bet the entire budget went to the car rental.