Here we are once again. A return to that rarified feature for all y'all with the attention spans of spastic hamsters -- the CineSchlock-O-Rama Lightning Round!!! How better to periodically flush the backlog of sweet, juicy schlock cinema that routinely clogs my mailbox? Simply click on the various covers for complete star ratings ... and away we go ...
CARMEN ELECTRA'S AEROBIC STRIPTEASE SERIES (2003): Finally! The perfect gift for that special someone that not only says "Get off your ass!" but "SHAKE IT!!!" Fitness sleaze charts new titillating territory in this 5-disc, state-of-the-art guide that promises both renewed boom-boom in the bedroom and shapelier hips, hineys and everything else the good Lord give ya. But let Ms. Electra explain, as she can do so without gut-laughing like yours truly: "Aerobic Striptease is about more than just dancing. Women have been taking it off for centuries to entice men and take control. Aerobic Striptease keeps that tradition alive, giving you the confidence to use what you've got, no matter what age, shape or size you are. So you never have to apologize for being sexy!" Amen, darlin! No apologies necessary, especially for Disc 4: The Lapdance!!! Remember, consult a physician before installing stripper pole. Double-Ds not included.
THE CURSE (1999): If there ever were a "horror" chick flick, this would be it. All the key ingredients of this Lifetime-forged genre are here. Most notably, an allegedly homely gal (the irresistible Amy Laughlin) who blossoms and finds long-illusive romance at the absolute least opportune moment. Namely just as she begins to routinely sprout unsightly body hair and be overtaken with animalistic sexual desires to the exaggerated degree of becoming an honest-to-goodness man-eater. That's right, she's a PREMENSTRUAL WEREWOLF!!! Har! Har! Har! As cringe-worthy as that must sound, writer/director Jacqueline Garry keeps the yucks -- and, well, yucks -- in just the precise balance to make this quirky little flick a genuine gas, even for those CineSchlockers who'd readily choose harakiri over a lonesome trip down Aisle 9 in search of tampons. Afterward, join Jacqueline and live-in producer Trent Tooley for TWO hairy commentaries that flow with refreshing insights on ultra-low budget filmmaking.
DARKWOLF (2003): So, I liked the PMS werewolf flick, but DIDN'T dig this fleshy romp about a horn'd up uber-hound, in the hulking form of CineSchlocker idol Kane Hodder, who'd stop ripping dozens of unsuspecting yayhoos to shreds if only Samarie Armstrong would willingly assume a certain position of the canine variety? Well, no, it's just not that great. Even with that impromptu rooftop photo-op where two gals strip nekkid, slather themselves in grease paint and knot up in imitation of some kinky lycanthrope porn they spy in a dusty old book. Not even for Tippi Hedren's turn as a way, way long-in-the-tooth werewolf disguised as a plot-point spewing bag lady. Heck, they couldn't even settle on ONE climatic quip from little Jo Jo: "Well, if it isn't the big, bad wolf!" -- and (no, it doesn't get better) -- "Looks like some fleas are going to be looking for a new home tonight!" Keep your hate mail.
CHEERLEADER NINJAS (2002): At long last, the distribution gods have smiled upon Kevin Campbell's tender tale of small-town cheerleaders and the geekazoids who drool (and fart) at the mere sight of them. Somewhere amid an admittedly migraine-inducing plot, the squad runs afoul with an ornery gaggle of Catholic schoolgirls who've seen too many Bruce Lee movies and are bustin' pompons at the behest of an anti-Internet movement. Feel a cranial twinge coming on? Not to worry, there's oodles of slapstick girlfights and Star This-Or-That references to fix what ails ya. Late-night cable siren Kira Reed (of the CineSchlocker fave Alien Files) prances around nekkid in a few bizzaro dream sequences, including an amusing ode to American Beauty. 10 breasts. Two corpses. Yogurt slinging. Panty torture. Lesbian tongue rasslin. Girls jumping on trampolines. Guys in chipmunk, squirrel, chicken and bear suits. Easily the best Troma movie they never made!
CHEERLEADER AUTOPSY (2003): At the other end of the Slip 'N Slide scale of cheer cinema would be THIS monstrosity, which holds the distinction of being the FIRST flick yours truly ever fell ASLEEP during whilst screening for review! Surprisingly, the sandman struck just about the time a fella took a carving knife to his own wangdoodle! Color me jaded, eh? But, anyway, that was well after the "Beavers" pep squad turned to Pop Tarts in a freak bus/redneck encounter that ultimately ended with the girls' crispy bod's being unwittingly sacrificed to the weird science of a senile mortician and his idiot sidekick. The included behind-the-scenes reel does little to explain what went disastrously wrong here, though CineSchlockers CAN witness a nekkid starlet having molds taken of her every nook and cranny.
BIKINI BANDITS EXPERIENCE (2003): During 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.
ARACHNIA (2003): With even absurdly cartoonish CGI -- Ahem! Darkwolf! -- more and more the rule over traditional practical FX, it's goldang refreshing to see someone such as Brett Piper willing to put in countless hours crafting stop-motion creature effects a la Harryhausen. We all know the story by heart: meteorites rustle giant, man-munching spiders from their subterranean haunts to feast on unsuspecting bovines and a gaggle of college students stranded in a long-deserted farm house where the women folk, including the alluring Alexxus Young, are forced to turn to EACH OTHER for comfort. Playing the reluctant hero, Rob Monkiewicz grabs a chainsaw and a fistful of dynamite to turn makeshift exterminator when the eight-legged freaks eventually crash said petting party, though the ensuing squishings become quite the fest themselves! Just about EVERYONE who ever heard tell of the movie contributes to the accompanying audio commentary. Everyone other than Mr. Piper himself who served as writer, director and supreme rubber spider wrangler for Vermont's Edgewood Studios.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND (1993): It's Cujo meets The Breakfast Club with an all grow'd up Ally Sheedy skulking around Lance Henriksen's secret lab as a nosy TV reporter looking to expose the barbaric realities of the "vivisection industry." Cue some seriously grody, though laughably phony footage of critters with exposed brainpans and electrodes crammed where they shouldn't oughta be. Naturally, Ally absently befriends and frees "Max," a hyper-intelligent, Datsun-sized pooch that just happens to be genetically-engineered ARMAGEDDON with a tail! Yet, for such a fearsome beast, Max sure is a hoot, such as when he swallows a kitty cat WHOLE like an anaconda, chews the brake lines of Ms. Sheedy's sweetie, buries a mailman under a house and even finds time for some sequel-friendly canoodling with the Collie down the block. Oh yeah, and he whizzes ACID!!! No wonder Lance will stop at nothing to get him back!
SILENT PREDATORS (1999): Hardly a great movie, even by creature feature standards, but it scored mighty high on the Willie Factor for yours truly. Giant critters? Not likely. Piranha? Don't swim. Swarming insects? Got bug spray. Snakes? Lots and lots of SNAKES?!? Like Indy, ya got me! Nothing makes my pasty skin crawl more. Those old westerns where some poor cowpoke wakes to a RATTLER in his bed roll!?! Instant and uncontrollable heebie jeebies for at least an hour. This sucker plays that same note over and over with unapologetic, TV-shocker-of-the-week bravado. Snakes under the house! Snakes in the car! Snakes at the gym! Snakes EVERY-FREAKIN-WHERE!!! And only Harry Hamlin can save us!?!
BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1990): Nope, this ain't it. Pioneer's extras-lavished disc is long off the shelves, so now comes Artisan's skeletal, R-rated reissue of Brian Yuzna's gooey revisitation of the Stuart Gordon classick. Jeffery Combs is back as Herbert West, as is Bruce Abbott's Dan Cain and David Gale as the severed head of Doctor Hill, or as West chirps: "Nothing but a dead head -- a no body!" Yeah, it never gets much funnier than that, though Yuzna's uncanny knack for grue hardly disappoints so long as that glowing green goo keeps a flowin' -- reviving bullet-riddled corpses fresh from South American killing fields, or most memorably, Dan's one-piece-at-a-time bride. Save your nickles for that old Pioneer release.
BRIMSTONE & TREACLE (1982): Originally a play, then a made-for-TV movie that was banned for a decade before the BBC eventually aired it, curiously after THIS film version hit theaters starring Sting of The Police. It's the story of a weary English couple whose invalid daughter weighs heavy on their minds and lives until a wily street urchin (Sting) charms his way into their home by claiming to be the daughter's forgotten beau. There's little doubt this "Martin" is up to the devil's business, but could he be THE dark prince himself? And what horrible secret wrought such a pox on the household of a simple purveyor of religious greeting cards? Police fans will appreciate the band's instrumental contributions to the soundtrack, as well as Sting's aptly titled torch song, "I Burn For You," and even his inappropriately jaunty "Spread a Little Happiness."
FRIGHT NIGHT PART II (1989): This oddly endearing sequel reteams horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) and vampire slayer Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale) for several more rounds against a fresh crew of neck-noshers led by lusty latina Julie Carmen. At first, Chuck swears off vamps as mere delusions, as per his psychiatric counseling, instead focusing on the deliciously supple reality of coed cutie Traci Lind. Yet such denial becomes mighty difficult to muster when Count Carmen drops by his dorm room for a midnight cup of plasma. Among her doomed bloodsuckers is the mutton-chopped furball and comic relief maestro Jon Gries and an insect gulping Brian Thompson who, in the final reel, illustrates the true meaning of spilling one's guts! Tragically, this toothy treat's been criminally carved down from its original W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N format. Rent if ye must.