Back what seems like a thousand years ago, my first job had dirt cheap DVD packs that I absolutely needed to buy. Were they anything good? Typically no. These packs included things like the Prey of the Jaguar and The Conspiracy of Fear two-pack that I've already talked about here. One such pack was a "Horror Classic" pack of 5 movies featuring the legendary Mr. Bela Lugosi. So things like 1931's Dracula or even Plan 9 from Outer Space? Uh... no. More like his utterly forgotten films that fell into the public domain like The Devil Bat and today's film, The Gorilla, a slapstick "horror"* comedy that only has one redeeming element: Patsy Kelly.
I fully know that I have no one to blame for this but me. I went down a weird rabbit hole on Tubi and found a horror porno called Haunted Hellcats, but IMDB had never heard of it. It had heard of Paranormal Sexperiments with the same cast and crew, as did Amazon dot com. But both the Amazon and Tubi versions were too short to be the full movie, and a couple minutes into the Tubi version--like hell am I going to give Amazon any of my money over porn for straight men--it was clear that it was heavily censored. So much like The Mummy's Kiss before it, I had to turn to porn sites to find the full movie. Was it worth it? No. No! Absolutely not! Why would you even ask that?!
A lot of What If...? comic stories are total downers. A bunch of real bummer buzzkills, bro! But why can't everything just be chill for once? Sometimes it's just nice to have an alternate reality that doesn't harsh my vibe. I'm running out of incredibly dated slang, but the gist is that "What If Thor Was an Only Child?" is essentially a frat bro comedy about Earth's biggest party ever, and the party poopers who are ready to nuke the site from orbit.
I honestly didn't plan on this being a mini-event week. I started with 1966's Django, then found out about 2017's biography Django about musician Django Reinhardt, who the western gunslinger is named after. Then I went down a rabbit hole of all the unofficial sequels that had "Django" in the title and noticed Sukiyaki Western Django, an English language Japanese western by... Mr. Takashi Miike? The same Mr. Takashi Miike responsible for Ichi the Killer, Audition, Visitor Q, and The Happiness of the Katakuris? Well shit, I guess I have to watch it! And so here we are. No more "Django" movies next week, I promise.
Mr. Vanilla Ice was never actually cool, right? All I really know about him is that he did "Ninja Rap" for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, he copied the baseline in "Ice Ice Baby" from Queen's "Under Pressure," and he has an enormous dick. Allegedly. I think he's more meme than man today, but was he ever actually popular to the masses? Apparently not movie audiences if the failure of Cool as Ice is any indication.
So, uh... hi. How have you been? It's been a while, yeah? August was a shitty month for reasons I don't want to get into and it messed up my posting schedule to the point that I dropped Sunday posts about Shōjo Kakumei Utena, AKA Revolutionary Girl Utena. But we're back up and running! I still have my friend's my very own Funimation account, so let's dive back into Utena Tenjou fighting for the honor--and ownership--of Anthy Himemiya, the character with the darkest skin in the series. Don't think about that too much.
Breaking the tradition of the last two What If...? posts, this is not my newest favorite episode of the series. By process of elimination I think it's actually my least favorite? But that's not the same as "the worst"--just "my fifth favorite out of five episodes." This wasn't too much of a surprise, as episode 5, "What If Zombies?!" goes all in on the reanimated dead, and I'm typically lukewarm towards zombies. And for reference, Otto; or, Up with Dead People gets a pass on how gay it is and because it came out before zombies oversaturated the media landscape.
A lot of people were prepared for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to underperform. Beyond the chuds who predict any film not starring a white male will fail, we're still in the middle of a pandemic and theaters--enclosed spaces where you and up to a hundred strangers sit for hours, sharing the same air--aren't as popular as they used to be. But the naysayers can suck it! In addition to having a pretty good opening overall, Shang-Chi is now the highest grossing Labor Day opening weekend box office, earning over triple the previous top film, 2007's Halloween. Hell yeah!
We are six movies into this damned franchise. The series has gone on so long that this film is a reboot, showcasing a completely different dog with the same name and behaviors. Why did I do this to myself? The inevitable plan for reviewing all 14 Air Bud and Air Buddies movies is to cover them once a week, so why did I think marathoning Beethoven movies would be a good idea? I'm going to finish this--mostly out of spite--but then no more animal themed movies until at least November. Except maybe Pig.
In a sane world, this would be the last Beethoven movie. Sure, in a saner world there would would only have been the original movie and none of these sequels, but either way that's not the world we live in. No, when both The Land Before Time and Air Bud franchises have 14 movies each, we clearly live under the oppressive boot of capitalism, taking your nostalgia and trying to wring as much profit out of it as it can. So here we are with Beethoven's 5th, the film that feels like a Scooby-Doo episode. Maybe that's why I didn't completely hate it?