Demolition Man

When this movie was made, it didn't realize it was among a dying breed: The big-budget R-rated action flick. I’m not counting the Matrix films, because I can’t really understand why they were rated R in the first place. It was released around the time that people really started complaining about the violence in the media or Hollywood making R-rated movies and marketing them to kids. An argument this picture did nothing to dissuade.

With its comic-book type premise and execution, the 11-to-17-year-old boy will find this movie irresistible. Yes, there’s a lot of violence. Yes, there’s even some gore (but not much). Yes, there’s even some nudity. But, make no bones about it. It was marketed straight at teens. I actually remember the commercials appearing during cartoons after school.

That doesn’t change the fact that this is the perfect dumb action movie. Lots of explosions, lots of humor, and a great villain in Wesley Snipes. It even goes the extra mile of having an interesting premise with a charming supporting cast in Sandra Bullock (pre-Speed), and Benjamin Bratt. Hell, even Rob Shneider manages to make an appearance and not make you want to see somebody step on his head repeatedly.

With Malice.

Any arguments about story and logic are moot here. They don’t even really try. Stallone plays John Spartan (not an action hero name at all), your typical "renegade cop". Snipes is Simon Pheonix, a psycho killer criminal cut straight from the Jack Nicholson Joker cloth, only with more physical violence. Starting out in a dystopian future (of 1996), the two arch-nemesis battle it out in a supposedly empty building before spectacularly blowing it up. Then, in a glaring display of forensic ineptitude, the courts-convinced that said building contained living hostages at the time- sentence both Spartan and Phoenix to life sentences in cryogenic stasis. Yes, it makes as much sense as it sounds. No, it doesn't matter. Because 36 years later, a villain gets Phoenix paroled and unleashes him on a city that hasn't seen a violent crime in almost 2 decades.

With the police force overmatched, they of course have to turn to the one man who brought him down in the first place. Cue the Demolition Man. Brought back to save a world where the most popular radio station plays nothing but commercial jingles, people only have virtual sex, and all the restaurants are Taco Bell.

A movie that has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, it never pauses long enough for you to get bored, and keeps building until its explosive finale (complete with running from a fireball in slow-motion). While some parts of the film do feel a bit dated-such as the casting pre-Rescue Me-Dennis Leary so they could feature one of his trademark rants in a role that serves no purpose save to distract from the more fun story between Stallone and Snipes, the joke regarding the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library" took on a whole new signifigance after he was elected Governator. For a while, I really wondered how long it will take the Republicans to get that amendment passed.

The Verbal Morality Statute, which gave a ticket anytime you used one of George Carlin's infamous 7 Words is only a few years away. Just you wait and see.

Yo-Yo Girl Cop

Movie titles are very important.  Sure, most audiences know something about the plot or the actors involved in a movie before they start getting interested; but, there are some titles that just grab an audience before they know anything else, like : Yo-Yo Girl Cop. Even if you do not enjoy the not-so-subtle art of playing with a yo-yo, you have to admit that it’s a catchy title.  Which is important since the movie has little else going for it.

Released in 2006, Yo-Yo Girl Cop is the third in a series of films based on a television series based on a manga series called Sukeban Deka (“Delinquent Girl Detective”).  Each version features a young girl fighting crime undercover in Japanese high schools armed with only a metal yo-yo and congenital badassery.

The latest installment is no different as we follow Saki Asamiya (or Asamiya Saki, if you want to be formal), the next generation’s delinquent, as she is recruited by the Japanese police to infiltrate a high school which is the focus of an ongoing movement for teenage immolation.  Which, for the folks playing at home, brings our “Stolen Ideas from Better Movies” count to 3: La Femme Nikita 21 Jump Street and Blood: the Last Vampire.

When it comes to teenage suicide (and now for the requisite “don’t do it”….Damn you, Heathers !), pills and razors are for wimps. These guys strap bomb-vests to themselves and go running for the nearest populated area!  Apparently, it’s also a group activity.  Taught how by the resident villain’s website, “Enola Gay.”  While watching the teenagers working their chemistry sets to create the explosives and wiring together the timers and vests, I was struck by how, even in the arena of juvenile delinquency, Japanese teens are still more educated and innovative than Americans.  There has to be some way we can close this gap, America!

Remember that awesome title I mentioned in the beginning?  You’d think there’d be wall-to-wall yo-yo action.  In fact, there are only about 4 real scenes of intense yo-yo violence.  The bulk of the movie is devoted to Japanese teenagers crying about bullying in their high school and deciding that blowing themselves up is the only answer.  Well, that and robbing a bank.  It turns out that the bombing movement was a smokescreen to rob a bank, which brings us to 4: Die Hard!  However, towards the end, there is a sequence when Asamiya fights the “evil” Yo-Yo Girl and it, as a much more prolific internet commentator named Chris Sims has pointed out, “is the entire reason this movie was made.”  In some movies(Casshern ), one scene of exquisite violence is more than enough to justify its existence, Yo-Yo Girl Cop is not one of those movies.

There are some fun points: a girl explodes in the first 3 minutes; the “shaky-cam” technique is used to demonstrate some incredible sandwich-eating choreography; goofy yo-yo fighting; and, Tak Sakaguchi.  However, the story is too bogged down in teen melodrama to be exciting.  Maybe if they’d try to bring Tom Smothers out of retirement…

Surrogates

In the future, everyone has a sexy robot version of themselves that they pilot around to avoid being ugly. A side effect of this is no one can actually die, until Jack Noseworthy shows up with a what appears to be an industrial flashlight that fries users through their robots.

Welcome to the world Surrogates.

The whole living through robots thing sucks all the life out of the whole movie. If the characters are never in danger, where's the excitement? Nowhere, dammit.  Surrogates commits the cardinal sin of making a boring action movie, which is a shame because director Jonathan Mostow directed the very exciting U-571 and the somewhat exciting Terminator 3, so his next movie is sure to be a grand achievement in the realm of boring.

The main failure of this movie is not knowing what the audience wants and expects. In Surrogates, everyone has been worked over with that CGI smoothing technique they used in X-men 3 to make Xavier and Magneto young again. It works fine for a minute or so, but more than half a movie with it, and you realize just how plastic the technique makes people look.  Not only do we not want dull action movies, we do want Bruce Willis to be bald and grizzled. He's made his career out of being a wise cracking tough guy, and seeing him smoothed out with bright pink lips and a bad blond hair piece is just disturbing. You know that one guy holding onto to youth too hard? Computer generated hussy Willis looks like that, but creepier.

You can be anything with these surrogates? Why doesn't the world look more like Second Life? Oh, because no one would want to see that movie. . .

The movie I did want to see, tucked away inside Surrogates, was about the rebel faction that refuses to use surrogates and are second-class citizens as a result.  How do they undermine the rest of the world if they are completely out numbered by android puppets that are ten times as durable as they are? (With shotguns, to start)

All of those questions go unanswered, and I grew stiff with boredom as I realized that anything bad that happened to most of the main characters was that they would get kicked off an online video game. You use a surrogate, you probably run the risk of a host of other issues as well, like diabetes, weird sexual fetishes and demonstrating a super exaggerated version of John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory , but none of that makes me want to pay attention to you.

After meandering around a murder mystery in a way that telegraphed the conclusion in the first ten minutes, Bruce Willis...

[slider title="spoiler"] saves everyone from being killed but destroys all the surrogates in a comic scene where they all just fall over with hysterical clangs and clinks around the extremely clean version of the city of Boston. Now everyone can live their lives the way god intended, the end.[/slider]

This movie is sticks to classic paranoia tropes of technology ruining humanity and, as such, would go great with Johnny Mnemonic, or Robocop 2 at any Cavalcade. Just keep the booze on hand

Just in case you were wondering, some of us thought U-571 and T3 were terrible too-The Management

Tokyo Gore Police

One of the great things about running the Cavalcade is that whenever we're asked to speak about our desire to bring back the Drive-In Grindhouse movie experience, people can't help but to excitedly blurt out their own personal favorite B-movie experiences, often leading to us discovering new gems.

On one such occasion, we were introduced to the amazing Kung Fu Cult Cinema website, a fantastic resource for all things Asian Cinema. An attendee of one of our Events was so excited about a little film she found through their site, she couldn't stop talking about it. It led to us bringing it into our homes and being completely blown away by its sheer....Awesomeness.

And what, pray-tell, was that fine cinematic gem that sent our minds reeling into the outer reaches of the spiral arm of the western consciousness?

Two words: Machine Girl (2007)

This movie has it all. Ninjas. Yakuza. Flying Guillotine. Chaingun Arms. A Drill Bra. Death by Tempura.

It. Was. Amazing.

But while we were still reeling, the DVD followed through with the promise of more to come in the form of a trailer for Tokyo Gore Police , a film that promises to outdo Machine Girl on every level. We're here to tell you: If there isn't a ton of gore and  some police against the backdrop of Tokyo, we're going to have some problems.

When a crazed scientist called Key Man develops a virus that causes humans to mutate, samurai sword-wielding cop Ruka is called in to annihilate the unnatural creatures. Can Ruka wipe out the mutations and stop Key Man before the virus takes over humanity? Little does Ruka know, though, that the slaying of her father years before means she shares a hidden bond with her nemesis. Yoshihiro Nishimura's fast-paced gorefest stars Eihi ShiinaItsuji Itao and Shôko Nakahara.

Look. We know we promise that we "look for the worst Netflix has to offer" each week. But frankly, the last few films have seriously impacted that crucial sector of our brains we like to call  our  "will to live". Give us this one week to actually enjoy a flick, huh? Please?

Please refresh this page to see the latest live-blog post after 2pm the day of the event.

  • We’re starting up Tokyo Gore Police
  • The movie is startign with a light jazzy score and kids in the park…And dad’s a super hero!
  • and HIS HEAD EXPLODED!
  • This is more like it! Dark! Broody! BLOODY!
  • Why are there mattresses on the top of the cars?
  • Eeeew, eyeball sushi!
  • Sooo this is going ot be a live-action anime. Only…weirder.
  • With a heroine having issues with an exacto knife..and her wrist. Hey look, LEATHERFACE!
  • Seriously, how can you NOT notice the chainsaw-weilding maniac walking up behind you?
  • He just grew a new organic CHAINSAW arm that he can throw with a retractable chain! I WANT ONE!
  • Oh wait. Hot school girl rocket jumping with a bazooka. I’m in love!
  • Um. Dude. Don’t try to eat the chainsaw. Bad for your teeth.
  • SWORD DUEL…WITH CHAINSAWS! Is it wrong that I’m aroused by this?
  • All that before the title sequence! I need a cigarette.
  • They just executed a criminal for a commercial. That’s marketing we can believe in!
  • What’s up with all these people with saws for hands? The coroner has a bone saw for a right arm!
  • A key-shaped tumor is a trademark of a mutant? Huh?
  • The cops are in full cyber-samurai armor. And the car-tops are temple roofs?
  • Ominous chorus, flickering lights…Somebody gonna bleeed soon. OUT COMES THE SWORD!
  • The gimp..is..an..amputee? Being walked like a pet dog by a demon cyber-samurai? AWESOME.
  • Aaaaand it’s her boss wishing her a happy birthday. This is one F’d-up police department!
  • Ok. The police captain is one freaky dude.
  • Ok..Thaaaat’s a dildo.
  • aaaaand that’s a creepy dude in a diaper.
  • Seriously. What is up with the Japanese and doing weird things to schoolgirls?
  • *gasp* it’s the key-shaped tumor! This can’t be good!
  • Aaaand there goes the madam. I do believe she is being drained of blood into baby bottles..
  • DUDE! INTESTINES IN A COMMERCIAL! WHAT. THE. HELL??
  • A new packing method of stuffing whole prostitutes into a tiny box for convenience!
  • And now the hero is dressed as a prostitute. OF COURSE she is. Oh, and let us not forget the umbrella sword.
  • And now for a commercial for fashionable wrist cutting toys? WOW.
  • Dude is eating Cicadas covered in maggots. Grossest thing. EVER.
  • Ok. One woman you do NOT want to fondle in the train is the one who will cut your arms off!
  • Um. Why are you going to sit there and watch him mutate? STAB HIM SOME MORE!
  • he PULLED THE TOP OF HIS HEAD OFF AND HAS EYE CANNONS???
  • Hard to use facial recognition when you only have the top half of a FACE.
  • A Wii mote with a knife where you can actually disembowel people by remote control? That’s a product I WANT!
  • The commercials in this movie make those in Robocop look like freakin’ Sesame Street.
  • um. the stripper has an eyball in her mouth, and a penis for a nose. not the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.
  • Golden Showers…FROM A CHAIR. WHAT?
  • No. I mean THE CHAIR is peeing on people!
  • When the genetically modified prostitute with weird skin grafts straps you down, this is not good.
  • aaaaand she bit it off. TOLD you, dude. Told you.
  • We have decided we need vodka.
  • Her entire lower half is now an aligator jaw! You don’t WANT to know where the throat is!
  • Honestly. I don’t know that I can say anything more about this movie. I just watched a mutant vagina EAT a man.
  • 4-foot-long PENIS CANNON!
  • And now we pause for exposition. Complete with illustrations in crayon!
  • The only thing weirder than the movie is its explanation.
  • For Supercops, these guys really let people walk up behind them and shoot them in the head WAY too easily.
  • “Thanks a lot for telling me…you insane bastard”-Best line in the movie.
  • The movie has now become amputee porn.
  • Acid-shooting-Nipple-cannons? REALLY?
  • We have decided we need more booze.

20 Minutes later…

  • We now have strawberry thingamajiggies with vodka and SoCo.
  • 22 minutes of solid ultra-violence left….
  • There are a pile of body parts, and one of the cops is licking a severed foot.
  • Fist gatling gun? I want to MEET the guy who came up with this!
  • Flying middle fingers of DOOOM!
  • And now we have an epic battle with a 0-limbed amputee that replaced everything with swords!
  • The bad guy is flying on Blood-jet propelled leg stumps!
  • Amputee now has MACHINE GUN LIMBS! I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!
  • And that’s the end. OH, MY FUCKING GOD, was this movie awesome!
  • Last sbot of the movie: “MORE GORE COMING SOON!” With that, we close out Tokyo Gore Police. Thanks all!