Monday, March 31, 2008

Mag Wheels aka Summer School (1978)




As I often do on long afternoons, I was browsing IMDb and thought, you know what? Mag Wheels is the best movie ever, I should look it up!

I was shocked to see that so few of the actors went on to anything else. I mean, the acting for the most part isn't very good... but it's not horrible either. OK, so the main girl Anita is kind of really bad, but she's pretty and at least she gets to be a part of conversations like this:

Anita: You want to rap with me?
Dad: No. I don't want to rap. I want to TALK.

For those of you not in the know, Mag Wheels was another late 70s entry into the beach teensploitation comedies that were so prominent then. The only difference is... this movie isn't funny. I mean, it's really funny, but not in any typical sense. The story itself is kind of heart-wrenching, very Romeo and Juliet, if you will. See, Steve hangs out with the guys who drive vans and Anita has found herself in league with the female pick-up drivers. Star crossed lovers never had it so bad...

Anita (Shelly Horner) is the new girl at school. When Steve (the luscious John McLauglin, who did go on to a nice acting career) gets one look at the voluptuous transfer, it sets his girlfriend Donna (Verkina Flower, Buck Flower's daughter) into a tailspin and she'll stop at nothing to make sure these two never unite. And she calls Anita a "Whozitt"! Damn, she's pissed...

Unfortunately, this isn't Anita's only problem. I mean, let's take her dad. He constantly yells at her and demeans her (not to mention the rapping part) and isn't all the interested in things like when she's almost been run off the road (by Donna, of course!)... Then there's her sleazy and extremely overweight boss (she works at the big hangout, The Boogie Bowl, no less), who decides that if she wants her paycheck, she'll have to dry hump him first - at least that's what I think he's doing. I'm pretty sure she doesn't get her check either... Oh yeah, and Anita gets expelled from summer school on the first day, although she does show up afterwards (thanks, dad!)... And I won't even go into Jill's weird homoerotic fascination with Anita... If Jill (Pheobe Schmidt) didn't look like Richard Lynch, then maybe, JUST maybe it would have worked...

Anita is one big walking drama. I'm not saying she brings all of this on herself, but dude, if only she'd listen to her best friend/wanna-be lesbian lover Jill and just "Shine it!" But instead, Anita kind of gets herself mixed up in all kinds of turmoil. She does get some female empowerment when she tells Steve she didn't mean to blow him away and still asserts herself enough to let him know that she doesn't ball for just any guy. Ah, that's good to know. She may just shine it all on yet.

All of this culminates in a near gang rape, which Steve feels bad about, leading to what we hip 70s folk like to call a "Drag Out", which is essentially a tug-of-war with vehicles! Can Anita save the day or will she just become another statistic of a free luvin' culture? Only the van and truck clubs know that...

A staple on USA's Up All Night as Summer School, Mag Wheels is an oddity to say the least. It's got all of the elements exploitive comedy - fast vans with awesome carpeting, nekkid ladies, rape, revenge, high waist jeans... but what comes together is a very unfunny and tragic story of a girl who just wants to belong. Luckily, the film itself is so inept that none of it comes across as offensive. Even the dry hump scene is amusing... It's also a great staple of 70s California culture with surfers, skaters and the like all whooping it up in the name of grooviness.

Is this movie worth checking out? Well in the immortal words of Jill, "Fly me".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dead Heat




Dead Heat is misguided, miscalculated and mean-spirited.

And I kind of liked it.

Dead Heat was meant to be Joe Piscopo's illustrious comeback to Hollywood after a battle with cancer. God bless the man, but this was not a good choice.

Treat Williams plays Roger Mortis (HA!), and Joe is his partner, Doug. Hot on the heels of a shoot out where the bad guys took about a thousand bullets and kept on going, they somehow stumble across this perfume laboratory where zombies are being created(!). During a scuffle, Roger finds himself in a decompression chamber that certainly decompresses him... permanently. Or so you think. Thanks to Roger's ex-girlfriend, Rebecca, he becomes her guinea pig as she resurrects him. Then she bluntly tells him that in about 12 hours he'll become "organic stew". How sweet. Roger, being the true blue cop he is, decides he's going to use this time to get to the bottom of this zombie making scam. I don't know, I think I'd hit the beach or something...

I'm positive that this movie must have looked great on paper. It was 1988 and cop/buddy movies were all the craze. From Turner and Hooch to Red Heat, Hollywood was finding as many ways to re-use this formula as possible. Two great twists on the tired premise stand out to me. The Hidden, an excellent and odd cop/buddy movie where the parnter is an alien, and this one. I mean, how cool would be to have a cop movie where one of them is a zombie?!? That totally rocks. Unfortunately, everything about the script fails this interesting idea.




First of all, there is really no talk of Roger's short future. Every so often he makes a kind of sarcastic or blunt comment on his impending death, but most of the movie kind of exploits whatever non-funny gags it can pull out of its undead hat. When Roger begins to go pale, he buys lipstick and Joe Piscopo says in a stereotypical gay-ish lisp "It brings out your eyes," which only leads to a groan instead of a laugh. However, this same line comes in handy at the end, and is re-used in one of the best shots of the movie. I have to admit, I did laugh at it that time... I'm so conflicted!

There's some really misguided shit in here. Watch the scene were Roger is driving a woman around (first of all, why is the zombie driving?!?), and he makes a joke and kind of looks at her in this sort of embarrassed I'm-hitting-on-you kind of way. Fine. Then the camera cuts back so you can see everyone in the car and Roger continues to look at her while he's driving. He even turns a corner without so much as a glimpse towards the road! It's a great goof.

Unlike the other zombies, when Roger decomposes he ends up looking like a sleazy Miami Vice fan. I had no idea that the dead used that much hair gel.

If you can work with the idea that someone's ex-lover would bring them back from the dead, only to make the real departure that much more horrific, you can enjoy the death of every single cast member. This may be the first comedy where everyone dies! And there is this superbly gross scene in a Chinese market where decapitated animals come back to life. There's even a gag with a duck head's quacking. Gee, how funny. And the scene goes on forever.

Then there's Joe. Straight outta Mulletland, he's the crazy buddy. You know the one, the Mel Gibson to Treat's Danny Glover. He tries, but so much fails him, I'm surprised he could put in any effort at all.

So why did I like it, you ask? Am I just a cold-hearted bitch who enjoys misery? Is it because Treat Williams is pretty cute? I don't know if I can answer that question. All I know is, I laughed and was engaged, albeit for all of the wrong reasons, by this mish-mosh. It's a mess, don't get me wrong. The jokes are mind-numbingly bad, the idea of Treat's situation simply isn't funny either, and frankly, it's a little sick. But hey, life is short (especially for Roger), and I've come to truly appreciate the so-bad-it's-good movie. It's kind of an art form, and can make even the most flat films come to life. It's not a total loss either, Darren McGavin is just brilliant and Vincent Price shows up at the end and does that thing that made us love him in the first place. Just knowing those two were in a film together kind of warms my heart and if Dead Heat isn't poetry in motion, at least it's original. And when was the last time you saw that?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Return to Waterloo



Return to Waterloo is one of those films that came out during the heyday of the Bravo channel. Believe it or not, instead of tons of reality shows and re-runs of popular American programs, Bravo aired uncut/commercial-free films from around the world. It was Bravo that exposed me to the beauty of a Merchant/Ivory Production, it was they who introduced me to quriky world of French Films as well as playing host to what would become my favorite foreign film of all time, Twist and Shout.

As a teen living in Vegas in the late 80s, I don't think I have to tell you that the city was a little short on, uh, culture. It was a town of stone-washed Guns-n-Roses fans, which was great - I was one too - but one of the only outlets we had in our desolate little town (and yes, Las Vegas might look like a Mecca, but it's a very small place for locals), was this magnificent cable channel.

Every Saturday evening, they would show cult movies and I had the great pleasure of catching Return to Waterloo. Written and Directed by Ray Davis of the Kinks, Waterloo mixes some of the most thoughtful music of the 80s (all written by Mr. Davis) with a disturbing allegory about hidden truths and innocence lost.

The story focuses on The Traveller (Ken Colley), a man who is taking a train on his way to work. He passes people reading papers and he looks a lot like the serial rapist featured on the front page. He seems normal enough when his trip begins, but as things progress and some of the passengers come in and out of his life, we start to learn that The Traveller may in fact be the man everyone is looking for. And his deep secrets may also be the reason his daughter ran away and is now missing.

Told mostly through music, the lyrics that accompany the film are straightforward, simple and profound. One of my favorite scenes features the song "Missing Persons" and some of the lyrics are:

Now I'm sitting at home, staring at the wall.
Waiting for the missing person to call.
Waiting for the message I'm dreading to hear.
Waiting to confirm my darkest fears.
She's a missing person, I wish I could see
All of the places she might be.
Maybe I stopped her from being free.
Maybe there was something missing in me.


Davies often takes a literal approach to the lyrics, like the ones above, but other times he gets very surreal, and to great effect. There are no answers given to the viewer, but piece by piece, you get a fairly good sense of what The Traveller has done and the repercussions he's endured.



I was really moved by this movie the first time I saw it. The music and imagery is very of its time. It's obvious that Davies had to make this movie on a limited budget, but like so many great, underrated films of that era (Dogs in Space for instance) Waterloo is a work of art. Not only does Davies convey a real feeling dread for The Traveller's journey, but also the downfall of England itself.

Waterloo is also one of Tim Roth's first films and his performance is spirited. In fact, this film is flooded with interesting characters portrayed by wonderful actors. There's a definite British feel to Waterloo, and it captures a place caught between prim patriotism and a country on the verge of a revolution. Davies adeptly portrays the exasperation of the how the middle class lived out the decadent 80s.

For years this movie was impossible to locate, but I see it's on DVD and the soundtrack is readily available. I got the soundtrack last night. What's stopping you?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Valley of the Dolls

"I am NOT nutty! I’m just hooked on DOLLS!"

Should you ever come across someone who simply doesn’t understand the term “camp” and you can’t seem to explain it well, I’ve got your solution. It’s quite simple, really: sit this person down and show him or her Valley of the Dolls. That should clear up any confusion in a jif. Surely there’s no movie that’s so deliciously camp as directorMark Robson's Valley of the Dolls, the1967 ode to pills, sex, Hollywood, and showtunes based on Jacqueline Susann’s hot novel of the same name. Make no mistake- this is a bad movie…a very bad movie. The filmmakers have aimed for high drama and come up astoundingly, wonderfully, hysterically short. Valley of the Dolls is so bad it’s the best.

The film tells the sordid tales of three young women in Hollywood as they reach dizzying highs, desperate lows, and rich, creamy middles.

Anne Welles (Barbara Parkins) heads to New York City, leaving behind her fiancée and her quaint, constantly snow-covered New England hometown. Hired on as a secretary at a law firm specializing in Entertainment Law, Anne is shocked…shocked and appalled at the ruthlessness on display behind the scenes on Broadway. The cut throat nature of The Biz doesn’t jive with her good-girl sensibilities, but handsome lawyer/agent Lyon (Paul Burke) convinces her to stay on with the firm. Before you know it, Anne and Lyon are sleeping together and Anne is the new face of Gillian Cosmetics. Plucked from obscurity, Anne heads to California to become a Gillian Girl, a supermodel famous the world over. When Lyon cheats on her, Anne dabbles with pills…after waking up on the beach, however, she gets her shit together enough to hightail it back to New England with her sanity and her beauty intact.

Jennifer North (Sharon Tate) is a sweet, beautiful girl who sadly realizes that she’s got no talent- any success she finds in showbiz will happen thanks solely to her looks. She faithfully does her bust exercises and endures date after date with older, powerful men- until she meets Tony Polar (Tony Scotti). The two fall in love and get married, but their wedded bliss isn’t to last: Tony has a terminal disease and is forced into a sanitarium to spend the rest of his days. Jennifer remains a faithful wife, but to pay the sanitarium bills she heads to Paris to make “art films”. “Art films”, of course, means “nudie cuties”. Jennifer eventually finds a lump in her breast, and, faced with losing one of her only money-earning assets, she ODs on pills.

And then there’s Neely O’Hara (Patty Duke), the talented young singer who succumbs to the sweet siren call of success, spiraling down to the depths of substance abuse, man-stealing, and assorted other diva-like behaviors. Neely gets hooked on Dolls- sleeping pills- which she counteracts with uppers and often downs with copious amounts of booze (“It makes ‘em work faster!”). Eventually she winds up committed to the very sanitarium that houses poor Tony Polar, but the sobriety she gains there is short-lived. Soon enough Neely is out and chugging booze, gulping Dolls, dropping out of performances, and sleeping with Anne’s boyfriend Lyon. The abuse she’s heaped upon herself hits home one fateful night in a back alley, where Neely shouts to the heavens the names of people she’s lost along the way- when she gets on her knees and rails “NEELY! NEELY O’HARA!”, the audience is moved to tears…of laughter.

That’s the magic of Valley of the Dolls: it’s so incredibly over-the-top and melodramatic that you can’t help but laugh. The dialogue is atrocious and the acting isn’t much better- though it’s bad in an endearing way. There’s no way to describe Patty Duke in this movie except to say she goes absolutely apeshit. It’s one of the most scenery-chewing, ridiculous performances I’ve ever seen, and that’s exactly what makes it so much fun. Add in cat fights, lines you’ll immediately add to your personal lexicon (“You know how bitchy fags can be!”), showtunes, and some truly dated and bizarre sequences (see below for shots of Neely’s training regimen as she works at becoming a star!), and it all adds up to 2 of the best hours you could spend watching a movie. It’s like 5 seasons of the best Aaron Spelling nighttime soaps wrapped up in 12o minutes!



While Patty Duke’s performance is far and away the highlight of Valley of the Dolls, Susan Hayward steals every scene she’s in as Broadway battlehorse Helen Lawson. The restroom showdown between Neely and Helen simply isn’t to be missed. In no time at all, you’ll be screeching right alongside Neely: “I NEED A DOLL!”

For all its ludicrous qualities, however, Valley of the Dolls was a teeny tiny bit revolutionary in that it exposed what really goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood. While the problems of studio stars had previously been kept firmly behind closed doors, Valley blew the door off to show that Tinseltown is run on booze, drugs, and sex. It’s hard to imagine today, when every celebrity’s every move is documented and broadcast for the world to see, that sex and pills in Hollywood were once a hush hush topic.

This is the stuff, kids.

NEELY O'HARA!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Top Ten Horrible Horrors


Lovers of the horror genre will oft-times find themselves in intellectual wrestling matches with naysayers who often call our beloved films one step above porn (a statement I will never understand). Furthermore, these mental midgets will go round and round with you on the term a “good-bad movie”. There are plenty of wonderful horror films that prove many genre films are not just simple throwaway exploitation potboilers with no thought. Every generation has them. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), it’s the one genre that loves to rip-off that film’s defining elements. Countless have tried to copy Halloween, but although a few were successful, many were about as scary as a Richard Simmons workout. Wait, that IS scary… If done correctly, many of these films were able to eke out their own little niche in the good-bad genre, a section frequently overlooked. Regrettably, too many camcord addled youths ruined the good-bad movie by trying to make a good-bad movie. There is a lesson here. You can’t set out to make a good-bad movie. It just is. Endurance comes from earnestness and fans of Ed Wood understand exactly what I mean. In short, please don’t set out to make an Ed Wood film. Pretty please?

As a rabid fan of the stuff, I have inadvertently taken it upon myself to sift through the piles of good-bad movies to actually find out what really is good-bad. I ask not for thanks, but rather that if you have an adventurous spirit, or if you’ve hit the Jack a little hard, you try out the following films, many of which seem to have been lost over the years while a recent slate of bad-bad movies seem to have moved up quickly from the rear. Support the cause, it’s quite worthwhile.



Barn of the Naked Dead (1974)

Andrew Prine, who is hotter than Texas asphalt, kidnaps a bevy of luscious babes and keeps them prisoner in his barn as he trains them for his ‘circus’. Be forewarned: No naked dead to be seen in this awesome little exploitation flick that features an over the top Prine in a role he’s admitted he’d like to forget. Directed by indie maverick Alan Rudolph, who’d also prefer you’d overlook this.



Track of the Moonbeast (1976)

More of an endurance test than an actual film, a piece of the moon catapults itself to earth and a chunk of it hits a young archeologist in the head, making him a Moonbeast. His blonder than normal girlfriend, wearing some of the shortest skirts on earth, tries to help her Moonbeast Mancub, but to dire results.



The Pit (1981)

A slightly autistic kid named Jamie, with a penchant for peeping is left alone with his smokin’ hot babysitter for a few weeks. Unbeknownst to her, the kid has found a pit full of what he calls Tralalogs, small man eating monsters whom Jamie feeds with various members of his small town. You’ll laugh as he dumps a wheelchair bound lady into the pit. Or maybe not…



Boardinghouse (1982)

The first shot-on-video feature film, we can all blame the director/star David Wintergate for unleashing a then unknown filming concept on the masses. Unlike a lot of current crop of SOV crap, this movie aims to entertain and does in spades. Oh, it’s not very good but in many ways it’s totally great. David plays landlord to a bevy of beautiful sexpots and an angry ghost. After several deaths, David and an up and coming singer go toe to toe with a malevolent red thing.



The Prey (1984)

The famous tagline says “It’s not human and it’s got an axe!” Well, it is human but he does have an axe, so I can forgive the little things. Actually, this meandering slasher is quite effective if you’ve ever been terrified by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. The Prey has atmosphere to spare but very little story. Yet, if you dig overcooked gypsies impregnating campers, this may just be the flick for you!



Miami Golem (1985)

Legendary Euro trash actor David Warbeck plays a TV reporter who stumbles upon an alien baby in a jar. John Ireland chases Warbeck through the swamps of Florida and an alien woman seduces our hero as he races to save someone from something. Miami Golem is hilarious. It makes no sense, but Warbeck is up to the challenge and makes an engaging hero in this non-thriller.



The Mutilator (1985)

One of the best bad movies ever imprinted on celluloid, what works best about this gory film is that it seemed the director was genuinely trying to make a scary film. Instead, he got a group of high-school trained actors to dramatically pause between each sentence (I’m not joking) and say things like “Oh, heavy" and “I’m going to get high score in video machine”! You can also observe a man practically falling asleep as he’s chainsawed! A great escapist gore ride, The Mutilator rocks the known universe.



The Uninvited (1988)

Clu Gulager, Alex Cord and George Kennedy all board a boat with a couple of sexy nymphs and a few college dolts and of course, a little kitty who has an even smaller but far more evil kitty living inside it. Whenever the cat gets finicky, people get killed. An ultra-hilarious movie with a few nice touches (Clu is great as usual), this one manages to stay absolutely ludicrous from beginning to end.



Phantom of the Mall (1989)

Cutie pie Derek Rydall is Eric, a kid who was thought to have burned to death in a fire. Instead, he’s survived and lives as a charred crisp of himself within the air vents of the newly built mall which stands where his house once was. What he did before the mall was built is anyone’s guess, but he’s there now. His old girlfriend, who still pines away at her loss, gets not one, but two jobs at the mall and he starts to follow her around, killing anyone who gets near her (all while having sexy flashbacks). Since she’s there all the time, you can imagine that he’s quite busy. Pauly Shore shows up just long enough to stick a wax ear in some yogurt and moon the audience.



Shakma (1990)

What happens when a bunch of medical students, Roddy McDowell and a psychotic baboon find themselves locked in a building during a spirited Dungeons and Dragons type game? Well, it can’t be good. The red-bottomed guy (and I don’t mean Roddy), puts foot to ass to some fairly recognizable faces such as Christopher Akins.



Thursday, March 29, 2007

Party Line



I saw most of Party Line waaaaay back in the early 90s when it was first running on late night cable. I didn’t remember much except Leif Garret wore a wedding dress (!) and people spoke on the phone to each other. Not much to go on, but since I’ve been walking down this lane of fragmented Cinemax memories, I decided to pick up a copy and give it a go.

Wow.

I mean wow in a good way AND a bad way. Like, I have a new appreciation for psychosexual thrillers from the 80s and 90s. It was strange time folks, people still tried to include a story in the midst of its tawdriness. Can you believe it? And for the most part, a lot of these films are a let less bad than people would have you believe. Well, Party Line is bad though. I mean, it’s about a supposedly incestuous rich brother and sister who bide their time by hitting the club circuit where Angelina (the AWESOME Greta Blackburn) lures horny men into her clutches with offers of real wild sex. Then Seth (Leif Garrett) shows up and slits their throat. He dons a red wig and takes no prisoners.


Picture this in a wedding dress. Yikes!



Enter Dan (Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica), the typical goes-against-all-the-rules-but-gets-the-job-done, kind of cop who just happened to be at the nite club where the latest murder happened. He’s all angry, but dude he just cares. He ends up being paired with Stacy (Shawn Weatherly looking divine), a by-the-book assistant in the D.A.’s office. Yeah, you totally see where this is going, huh? But you don’t! Because lo and behold, Dan has a girlfriend, a fellow cop named Butch (Marty Dudek). Threw a wrench in that love interest angle, don’t it? Well, maybe not…

Anyway, Stacy and Dan check out this awesome 80s club with a killer live band some great synth pop and actually encounter Seth, who tries to give them false info. This kind of blows up in his face when he’s asked to leave his info with an officer for further questioning. Whoops!

And all while this is going on, there’s a sixteen year old nymphette named Jennier (Patricia Patts) who likes to call the “Party Line” and talk amongst other horny people. It’s so funny to see this, as it’s such a precursor to chat rooms. I like this idea better because you actually get a voice on the other line. I mean, not that I've done that or anything... Well, Jennifer kind of enjoys calling 976 numbers when she’s babysitting, so it’s not long before her lecherous employer, Mr. Simmons (Terence McGovern) wants a piece of Jen’s action. He calls the Party Line one night as she’s arranging a date with The Fireman, aka Seth. By the way, Jennifer goes by The Explorer, which is kind of gross.

During all of this mysterious mysteriousness, Seth gets pulled over by Butch and slits her throat. When Dan finds out, he means BUSINESS. He’s going to put some of that Apollo foot to ass and real-good-like, I tell you!

The next day, Seth shows up at a café with his requisite red suspenders and another Party Line listener approaches him as if she was The Explorer, much to Jennifer’s dismay. Then comes Mr. Simmons and the three soon leave to meet up with Angelina for a night of rough and weird sex. Things don’t go so well though and the anonymous girl and Mr. Simmons end up in a field in Malibu all nekkid and dead and shit. I’d like to say Mr. Simmons blew that one, but that’s kind of inviting a Three’s Company style joke.

Jennifer realizes she was just inches away from a madman and goes to Stacy to help catch the killer. I mean, someone needs to bring Mr. Simmons’ killer to justice. Right? Right? Oh, damn, I’m losing you…

OK, this movie rules. Aside from Leif in drag, the dynamics of his relationship with Angelina is amazing. She totally rules the roost and when she’s not playing mind games or killing, she’s working out. And she works out A LOT. It also doesn’t take much to aggravate her as she’s often calling Seth a “Mama’s boy,” and slapping him. Personally, I think he kind of likes it.

Unfortunately, Angelina is actually the smart one. So it really doesn’t take long for the shit to hit the fan, but c’mon did you really want more than 90s minutes of a transvestite Leif slitting throats? Yeah, I wanted more too. It’s a fun movie, shot pretty well and Hatch is really good. Richard Roundtree shows up for a bit too and he’s always gold. And contrary to what I’ve read, Leif is actually quite good. He’s very subdued, but I think his character calls for that. Now, Greta Blackburn, damn she’s great. She wears only the BEST late 80s gear and has the coolest frosted perm this side of Dynasty! She’s a lot of fun to watch and I think even if this movie was just her slapping Leif for an hour and half, I’d love it all the same!

Party Line was directed by William Webb who also helmed the cruelly slandered The Banker with Robert Forster – but that’s for another blog day!

Just plain Apollo? More Like Apollo Creed Cuz he puts foot to azz - well, kinda!







Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prison-A-Go-Go!



Can any movie sporting sexed-up nymphets, ninjas, mad-scientists and a countdown clock to the shower scenes be anything but fabulous? You’re right again, Prison-A-Go-Go is slapstick spoof of several genres and by in large, it works. And it works well.

Sweet but not too smart Janie (Laurie Walton) vows to find her sister, who’s being turned into a porcupine in a Philippine prison (yeah, you heard me right… a porcupine!). So Janie decides to kill a homeless guy and next thing you know she’s America’s next T&A export to this dung heap of a pokey. Once inside, she meets Jackpot, a horny Rhonda Shear who basically rapes the entire male prison guard staff, and the warden, Wilbur Thorn (Mike Weibe), a recent college grad who sips coffee and thinks his office is pretty cool. As Janie searches out her sister/porcupine, she encounters chicks with a Freon addiction, ninjas and just a few zombies to keep her on her toes. Oh yeah, and she showers A LOT.

Prison-a-Go-Go is a riotous comedy that gets it right more times than it misses. Made by Barak Epstein with heart and an obvious love of the genre as well as silly slapstick, I was impressed by how fun this movie was. And that’s the key word here… fun. Barak and his cast of players, especially the co-writer and star, Mike Wiebe who shows an amazingly natural knack for comedy, are up to the challenge of playing it straight while surrounded by hysterical chaos. Ms. Shear is also hilarious and still looks amazing. It looks like they could only get Mary Waranov for one or two days but she delivers her lines with the same sinister zeal that made her an icon after Rock and Roll High School.

If you like your Women in Prison movies mixed with a bit of Airplane, then you’ve just got to see Prison-a-Go-Go. And if you’re not that kind of person, then I feel kind of sorry for you.



Believe it or not, Rhonda will sleep anyone, including Lloyd Kauman!