Haunted World of El Superbeasto, The

If you’ve seen any of Rob Zombie’s films and music videos, you have a good idea of what Zombie enjoys: violence, cars, the 70s, wrestling, monsters, and tits....Not necessarily in that order, mind you.  So, it should come as no surprise that when Zombie decided to make a feature length cartoon titled The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, it would have all of those things.  But, you know, in cartoon form.

Based on the comic book of the same name (which I own…SHAME!), El Superbeasto (Tom Papa) is a luchador (Mexican wrestler)/celebrity who only wants a nice plate of buffalo wings and the sweet, sweet ass of Velvet Von Black (Rosario Dawson).  Unfortunately, Von Black is the key to Dr. Satan’s (Paul Giamatti) plan to obtain world domination through the “sudsy powers” of HELL!  So, ‘Beasto recruits the help of his sister/international super spy Suzi X (she’s hot, she’s blonde, AND she has a squeaky voice. You guessed it: Sheri Moon Zombie).  What follows can only be described as "madcap", “For Mature Audiences Only,” and … "gooey".

Part of what makes this film a lot of fun is that it’s done in the style of the old Looney Tunes.  There’s an extended title sequence featuring single frames of art behind the titles and cast.  There are multiple cameos of horror film icons like Jack Torrance, Michael Myers, The Devils Rejects crew, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon among others in the same fashion of celebrity cameos in old Bugs Bunny and Tiny Toons cartoons.

And what was missing from those old Warner Bros. cartoons?  Gratuitous female nudity!  The film is strange because it’s not presented like an adult Japanese animated film, or even a Ralph Bakshi film.  It’s not presented as a pornographic film.  It’s a silly Scooby Doo-esque cartoon with full frontal nudity and butt hair...Lots of butt hair.

Providing music and a running commentary throughout the entire film is Chris Hardwick’s comedy band, Hard ‘n Phirm.  The songs elevate the film in that they make fun of it, including an extended indictment of a parody of the prom scene in Carrie (1976) .

Zombie’s animated epic runs only about 80 minutes but, oddly, it’s a long 80 minutes.  There are long stretches where jokes do not hit, and sight gags are few and far between.  However, if you liked Ren & Stimpy, you’re probably going to enjoy the trip into the “Haunted World.”

Oh, and if nothing else, there’s also a million Nazi zombies.

Lawnmower Man, The

Jeff Fahey, the journyman actor from such b-movies as Body Parts and Darkman III: Die Darkman, Die!, brings us the classic, heartwarming tale of Jobe, a developmentally disabled man who is made into a super-genius by the finest computer graphics of the early nineties.

Co-starring Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Lawrence Angelo, the one doctor who never read Frankenstein or anything by Michael Crichton. In fact, the good doctor also haven't read anything by Stephen King, or he'd know that any money that comes from King's trademark shady government organization called "The Shop", and is going towards something that probably involves turning kittens into deadly killing machines...or some equivalent.

In about a month Jobe goes from down syndrome landscaper who uses the scariest lawnmower on the East Coast, to a blond-haired muscular version of Tetsuo from Akira. Seriously, he evens kills people with the mind scream. In no time at all he's mowing lawns with telekinesis, sleeping with the town husssy, and telling the priest he lives with to stop beating him.

Before long, Jobe reveals his powers to the good doctor by levitating a chair. Naturally, The Shop wants to get some of that as fast as they can, so they bring him to D.C. so he can freak out in front of the Secretary of Shady Government Weapons Projects. This all leads to Jobe loading up on "neurotropic" drugs and trying to find the cheat code for god mode in real life.

The  movie goes round and round like this for some time, and eventually Jobe exacts horrible-special-effect-assisted vengeance on everyone who was cruel to him when he was stupid. Even his friends' abusive father with that eeeeevileTM lawnmower.

That's generally the way King movies go. Everything is creepy and strange, until one night it all goes berserk. In this case, it's got really a really great 80's symphonic score, sets so mundane they might as well have been in a sitcom, and Fahey triumphing over all.

You can certainly cavalcade this a number of ways. A theme like "Virtual Reality" could partner this with the likes of Arcade and Virtuosity.

It should be noted that this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the Stephen King short story it's "adapted" from. King actually successfully sued the producers to get his name taken out of the title.-The Management

Fallen Ones, The

Let's start this off with a simple statement, so you understand where I'm coming from: I honestly don't know how the other critics do it. By "it" of course, I mean write about movies they hate.

My thoughts are if a movie is so chock full of suck that you are driven to drink in order to forget the terrible memory of what you've just forced yourself to sit through, the last thing you want to do is sit down and write 500 words about it, right?

Before the Cable nets got all uppity and started making original television shows that were better than what the broadcast networks were doing, they were the haven of television reruns, infomercials, and late-night movie marathons. TNT in particular, before they knew drama, were intimately familiar with B-grade splatterhouse schlock.  Of particular note was a Saturday night show called Monstervision that started in the early 90's and ended in 2000. Every episode the host of the show, Jo Bob Briggs, would enthusiastically talk about the movie we were about to see together-frequently throwing in bits of trivia about the cast, crew, or the making of the film. This guy loved these movies no matter how bad they were, and his excitement was seriously infectious. The best part of his reviews though, were his lists, where everything ended in "FU". An example of his breakdown style, for Vampire Cop (1990):

The special effects consist of about ten seconds of a drug dealer's face turning into Silly Putty and getting fried off in the sun. My kind of promotion!

  • Twelve breasts.
  • Twelve dead bodies.
  • Multiple neck-fanging.
  • Wrist-cracking.
  • Double vampire sex in a bathtub. (Don't ask--you don't wanna do it.)
  • Flesh-burning.
  • Co-anchor bashing.
  • Kung-Fu.
  • Fang-Fu.
  • Fe-Fi-Fo-Fu.
  • Gratuitous "Hot Bod" bikini contest.

Well, the point of all of this is that I now get why he did it that way.  Sometimes it's easier to do a breakdown list than actually talk about the movie in detail. Sadly however, I notice that I still have about a hundred words left to go in this review, so maybe I should actually talk about the movie this review is supposed to be about.

The Fallen Ones tells the story of Matt Fletcher (Casper Van Dien), an archaeologist who digs up a giant mummy, only to find out that it's the son of an Angel who raped a woman thousands of years ago (Navid Negahban), and who's now trying to resurrect his son to start a new war on heaven...or something like that. To be honest, by the time they get around to explaining motives or anything, you'll be deep into your drink, trying hard to forget the stabbing pain behind your eyes this movie induces. The vaunted giant mummy on the box cover appears in the first 5 minutes and the last 10, that's about it.  Everything in between is people talking or dying off camera.

The best part of the picture is Tom Bosley-the dad from Happy Days-playing a rabbi. Sadly he gets offed early in the film, so the only thing left to you is more booze to try and slog it through the full runtime. Lest you think I kid about this: At our Cavalcade screening, a non-drinker sucked down 4 Rum and Cokes to make it through the pain. Further evidence in our continuing theory that the more Casper Van Dien is in a movie, the more one must drink to forget it.

There, 574 words. I've done my duty.

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