Thursday, June 1, 2017

Junesploitation Day 1: Aliens!

It preys on human fear. It feeds on human flesh!

131 comments:

  1. ALIEN! TWO-FER:

    Luigi Cozzi's CONTAMINATION (1980, 95 min.) on Amazon Prime for the first time.

    You can actually picture writer/director Cozzi seating in an Italian theater watching a double feature of Lucio Fulci's "Zombi 2" and Ridley Scott's "Alien" (both released a month apart in '79) and saying to himself 'Fuck it, I'll rip 'em both off and get the British guy from Fulci's flick to star in it.' And for the first act and conclusion (which mirror "Zombi 2" to a tee, right down to its "dead" boat entering NYC's harbor), "Contamination" is as gloriously batshit as you'd expect from an Earth-set movie with pulsating green eggs from outer space that turn those that touch it into imploding extras from a "Re-Animator" movie. Unfortunately the middle portion in M̶a̶t̶u̶l̶ ̶I̶s̶l̶a̶n̶d̶ Colombia (particularly the meant-to-be-tense 'egg in a bathroom' scene) drags big time, and only one of the four main actors (hint: the one without a penis) seems to give a crap about what they're doing. Who cares? When it's on its game "Contamination" rocks hard, and when it bores the God-awful dubbing is amusing enough to make you look forward to more Italian cheese later this month. EGGSPLOITATION! :-P



    Ridley Scott's ALIEN: COVENANT (2017, 122 min.) in theaters for the first time.

    If H.R. Giger's original alien/world designs were meant to imply phallic representations of penises penetrating cavernous vaginas, is there any other way to interpret "Alien: Covenant" but as a sign that soon-to-be-80-years-old Ridley Scott can't get it up anymore (creatively)? The second installment in the new "Alien" prequel trilogy would be a passable 'B' horror movie in its own right if it wasn't so damn pretentious. Quoting Shelley and Byron (who?), wrapping its 'monster on the loose' and grotesque torture scenes around the creation of life and having Michael Fassbender teaching himself to play the flute (a special effects/acting highlight reel) are poor substitutes for human characters we should care about and fear that the alien is coming after them... except we don't. I hated Elizabeth Shaw as a character in "Prometheus," but even she didn't deserve what was done to her in "Covenant." Except for Katherine Waterstone and Danny McBride, the human face of the "Alien" franchise now belongs to a mad robot. If 2017 Ridley Scott had made 1979's "Alien" Ash would have survived and Ripley gone up in flames. JUMP-THE-SPACE-TRUCK-SPLOITATION! ;-)

    And Junesploitation! is on its way. Good times. :-)

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    1. I'm planning on checking out Contamination later today. Excited to watch it sometimes "rock hard"!

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  2. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

    Watching a Roger Corman blatant Alien knock off with Sid Haig and Robert Englund seemed like a good way to ring in Junesploitation 2017. And boy it was! It really is quite the rip off, but while it is quite inferior, it just about makes up for that in sheer weirdness. The threat isn't simply an alien here, and what it is has the freedom to do some wacky things. You know, like giant caterpillar rape and people punching off their own arms. General stuff. ;) I enjoyed the practical effects that really do go wild in every way you want them to.

    So happy the festivities have begun!

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    1. This movie does sound awesome! Perfect pick!

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    2. I started off my Junesploitation with that movie last year for Sci-Fi day. Indeed that is a great start. Some early James Cameron work as well.

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  3. Starship Troopers (1997)

    Thus begins my month long movie service to gain citizenship. What a giant ball of fun this movie remains after all these years. Denise Richards is crazy cute in this movie and so many blood squibs and decapitated limbs. A great alternative title for this movie would have been Melrose Aliens.

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    1. When I caught the Rifftrax Live screening of this a few years ago I found myself becoming more invested in the flick than the riffing. This is one picture that's made for the big screen.

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  4. Replies
    1. But then again, isn't it always?

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    2. I hink at least 10 of this months days Xtro would work for, maybe more

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  5. Actually started off my day (at midnight) watching Wonder Woman for work. Zero to do with aliens but worth mentioning at least as it fits in with my Junesploitation plan of movies starring women, and maybe at some point in the future we'll be looking back on Comicsploitation as a thing. Anyhow, aside from a few small nitpicks (running time and a lot of CGI action) I thought it was great.

    About to start on my actual day 1 Junesploitation pick, Aliens 3: Assembly Cut now.

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    1. Alien 3: Assembly Cut (1992):

      This is my first time revisiting the movie since it came out was well as my first time watching this cut of the movie. Such a talented group of people making this movie it's quite a shame that they lacked a few important things like a completed script. Still, this version is better than the theatrical cut at least and I could watch this cast do a 145 minute long Coors Light commercial if I had to (provided I didn't actually have to drink any Coors in the process). Also it was nice of every subsequent Alien movie to lower the bar so much that Alien 3 is now one of the higher points of the franchise

      It's good to be starting Junesploitation and I'm going to try to get in a bonus movie of Harvest Lake if I have time before I go to work. It's 5:30am here now so I'm about to get some sleep.

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    2. Bonus movie: Harvest Lake (2016)

      It's never explained but I guess this qualifies as an alien movie. I'm not sure how I feel about this movie, partly because it felt like the quality of the acting and the dialogue varied greatly from scene to scene. It never left me bored though and that last scene is going to stick with me for a long time.

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  6. They Live (1988)

    In no way is this movie still relevant. Watch Transformers instead, Obey, Trust Authority. Consume.

    I know I am usually late to the party, but with They Live it was a little ridiculous. But I am here and I am all out of Bubblegum. What is not to love about this movie, it's just great from beginning to end. The Shanty town sequence and the alley fight (which wow people weren't kidding about that fight) are like symphonies. The movie is just great.

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  7. Invaders From Mars (1986)

    While at this state, I didn't love this as much as Lifeforce (but it is LifeForce, and now I really want to watch Lifeforce), I love the way Hopper uses colour. The reds, browns, greens, even the lens flares, all gave the movie this almost too artifical look that made it kilt over to the left.

    And of course then there are the creatures themselves, delightfully slimey, membrainy and the best kind of Henson-esque.

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  8. Is it also called Alien Contamination?

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    1. Michael GiammarinoJune 1, 2017 at 12:26 PM

      Luigi Cozzi's Contamination? Yes.

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  9. Krull (1983)

    Generic fantasy template, mixed with a hint of sci-fi, topped off with a generous serving of British pantomime.

    I really dont want to start off Junesploitation by ripping into a movie, because thats not why we're here, right? but...

    As a c-grade movie, its does its thing well. Unfortunately, Krull is playing in the a-grade pool (budget, production etc) and therefore i think it warrants more judgement and I ultimately wouldnt recommend it.
    On the plus side, there are some really nice set pieces that work really well if viewed separately from the rest of it; i.e. the spider cave is cool to look at with a surprisingly emotional moment, and the villians lair/space fortress is a really good design especially when viewed in small moments in the first 2 act.

    Unfortunately, too many less-than-one-note-characters and a general lack of motivation for the majority of the players lets the while team down.

    Looks great at times though.

    4 out of 10 armoured space slugs.

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    1. Sorry you didn't like it, that's one of my faves but I'm a sucker for anything fantasy-adjacent. That score is phenomenal (even though it is self-plagiarizing)!

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    2. Agreed, love Krull. Krull is to Legend as Flash Gordon is to, I dunno, Dune.

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    3. Maybe I'm being too hard on it.
      It wasn't a chore to watch, so one day i might give it another go. Now i know what to expect i might find it more enjoyable a second time around.

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  10. I feel I'm in the minority of not preferring the assembly cut of Alien 3. After seeing Covenant, it inspired me to revisit the franchise and watched alien 3 assembly cut for the first time and ooo-eee ouch.

    I feel it took the already difficult to watch 2 hours and extends it to 2h 25. I also rather enjoyed the chest burster at the end in the original cut, sad to see that not included. To be honest though, my memory of the theatrical version is hazy so as much as I disliked assembly cut; it could still be an improvement. I'm not about to watch alien 3 theatrical again to find out though.

    I've been working through the franchise in reverse after Covenant (which I rather enjoyed despite agreeing with all criticisms levied against it) It has been an interesting journey and have discovered a few things. For instance, I loathed Prometheus after seeing it only once in theaters but watching it again after covenant; the film is pretty great. the first hour and 5 minutes the flick nails atmosphere and the excitement of exploration and pioneering uncharted space. The first threat emerges after halfway through the film. I appreciate that restraint and world building. Once the action kicks in gear, the plot makes a lot more sense when viewed on it's own merits and not with the alien lore weighing it down. As a viewer, trying to connect the dots between prometheus and alien franchise became frustrating. It spoiled the film. I feel leaving that baggage at the door, one can have a lot more fun with prometheus.
    I enjoyed it so much in fact I had to watch it a third time with Damon Lindelof's commentary which further enriched the experience. I would strongly recommend a revisit to any naysayers, as I once was.

    Alien Resurrection has been a low point, although I found it easier to digest than alien 3. They over abused dutch angles that served little function, ala battlefield earth, and all together a strange, frenchy feeling mess.

    All that's left to finish is Alien and Aliens. Saved the best for last, my love for those have been cemented a long time ago. So now that there are 6 films in the franchise, only 2 of them I consider bad. Not a bad average for movie franchise. Might I suggest taking on the alien anthology for the end of scary movie month? could be fun.

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    1. Completely agree about Prometheus. Never understood the hate for it, and can only assume that it comes from unmet expectations of what it was "supposed" to be. I think history will be kind to Covenant, as well; at the very least as much as it was to Alien 3, but hopefully more.

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    2. Wow, hold on there... I believe you're missing a couple Alien movies. There are 8 of them by my Reckoning.

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    3. I forgot all about AvP. You're right. I like to pretend those either don't exist or are their own alternate reality.

      Another detail in Prometheus that I believe is easily misunderstood and further spoils the movie is the mercenary, black goo infested, zombie Fitfield that reaks havok at the loading bay of the ship is often believed to be the dead, sick,scientist, boyfriend Holloway that gets torched by charlize theron earlier at the loading bay. Since fitfield LOOKS like a scorched dead guy, and the action occurs at the same place, most people think they are the same guy. I certainly did and thought wtf is going on? That's dumb that holloway would come back to life as a zombie after being flame throwered.

      The distinction that they are two different characters made the movie better logically.

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  11. The Thing From Another World (1951):

    A fun enough B sci-fi adventure (groups of men standing in rooms!) that mostly reminds me of how brilliant Carpenter's remake is. Without the shape-shifting creature, there's none of the paranoia that makes the '82 version so great.

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  12. SLITHER:
    I could not think of a better way to start Junesploitation than revisiting James Gunn's excellent Slither. I can't say enough how much I enjoy this movie.
    If you have not seen it, I highly recommend you fill one of the days this month with this gem.

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    1. I love this movie, it might be in my top 10 horror, just so much fun, gross and I adore all the characters

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  13. Oblivion (1994, dir. Sam Irvin) on ShoutFactoryTV

    "In the year 3031...its Cowboys and Aliens."

    At first I felt like I was watching 'Full Moon Does Troma', what with the broad performances, pacing and comic beats. Then the film won me over with the funeral parlor/Bingo scene. Bonkers and sincere this movie is: we’ve got Andrew Divoff in lizardface, cyborg deputy Meg Foster, giant stop-motion scorpions, an arm-wrestling death match, TV’s Catwoman and Lurch in supporting roles, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. It doesn’t always strike gold – our hero is cringe-worthy vanilla pudding, and drunken doctor George Takei is The Worst (although “Jim…beam me up” did make me chuckle pretty hard) – but its good fun nevertheless.

    *BONUS* Laserblast (MST3K, S07E06)

    Silly movie + remarkably consistent riffing = great episode

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  14. Xtro (1982)

    I wasnt sure if I was going to stick with this one all the way through, then I saw a woman give birth to an adult man. Needless to say, I have now seen Xtro.

    4 out of 6 Alien metaphors

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    1. Are the sequels worth a look?

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    2. Nope! At least, not unless you really love watching Jan-Michael Vincent pretend not to be drunk.

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  15. They Live (1988) (With Commentary by John Carpenter and Rowdy Roddy Piper):

    This movie is a classic. I think everyone knows that. If not, work it into your queue immediately! This commentary is also completely awesome. The two guys are clearly fans of each other (and not in a fake Hollywood way) and the commentary is more of a conversation that flows naturally. Piper is what you would expect, totally gregarious, likeable, and honest. He opens up stuff about his personal life and airs some interesting dirty laundry about the WWF. Carpenter is clearly amused by some of the outrageous stuff Piper says. This is in the 99th percentile of all commentaries. Highly recommended.

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    1. There's a weird bit in that commentary where Piper (R.I.P Hot Rod) references a film he saw called "The Bronswick Affair". It is about people's purchasing habits being influenced subliminally by their televisions. It is also not real, although Piper apparently mistook it for a documentary. You kind of get the feeling that Carpenter knows this, but is too much of a gentleman to correct his pal. It's the part that I found most interesting in this amazing commentary.

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    2. Haha I didn't realize that wasn't a real thing either. I think it was similar when Piper said people told him they thought his face was CGI'd onto someone else's body. Pretty sure CGI wasn't a common knowledge thing back then. Carpenter seemed equally politely amused about that comment.

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    3. That sounds incredible!
      Just checked my dvd copy, :( bare bone edition. No commentary track.

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    4. It's on the Screm Factory Blu-ray. Support them if you can! #PhysicalMedia4Life

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  16. The Arrival (1996)

    I was going to start out this Junesploitation with something else but then saw The Arrival/The Arrival II disc at the library. The Arrival is one of those movies you don't really remember that much but you hear that it's actually pretty good. Well, I had a lot of trouble getting through it. I had it in my head that it was a 7 out of 10 but it's more like a 4. I started the second one but was so bored by the first that I might not finish it.

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  17. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

    Roger Corman's Alien was an early runout for James Cameron as a production designer on this before moving onto a bigger and better Alien movie. At the same time this is great fun with plenty of recognisable faces like a pre glove wearing Robert Englund, Erin Moran trying to break away from her nice girl Joanie role and Sid Haig playing the strong silent type (so strong he punches off his own arm in fact) with crystal throwing stars.

    It's proper b-movie craziness that's topped off when a female character, shortly after she says she hates worms, has her clothes licked off and is subsequently raped by a giant maggot.

    Junesploitation is off and running and I couldn't be happier.

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  18. Alien Abduction (2014)

    Family on camping trip encounters aliens of the not-E.T. variety. There are some pretty good effects here and there (not counting the laughably bad alien costumes), but the movie suffers from the usual problems of found-footage films: no real plot, long stretches of tedium, and an over-reliance on jump scares. Our amateur documentarian this time is the family’s 11-year-old autistic boy. I have to hand it to this kid – even when filming beings from outer space, he thoughtfully turns the camera away to record his family’s reactions of same. I also chuckled at the rough backwoodsman with perfect teeth. You can tell the filmmakers are proud of themselves – this 84-minute film has over 10 minutes of closing credits.

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  19. The Thing (1982)
    Yup, still awesome. Great way to start the month.

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  20. Xtro (1982)

    Well, I finally did it. If you've never seen Xtro, it fits into several different days of Junesploitation and I highly recommend you find an excuse. This film perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the month and was a great way to kick things off.

    I was going to put a short plot synopsis right here, but I decided that it's not really necessary. I found myself checking out of the story line after a while and was just enjoying the various WTF-scenes (holy shit, the father's "birth"?!) and special effects. At times it takes on a fever-dream quality with life-size toys and clowns showing up (yeah) and the gore effects are pretty sweet.

    Unfortunately, it's not available to stream on any of the major services, but you can watch it on Youtube.

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    1. This one had me at the '2001' riff from the outset. Happy Xtro Day!

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    2. Perfect explanation, that's why for years I call it a British Giallo, just like Suspiria or The Beyond it doesn't have to make sense, just sit back and enjoy the unpredictable "Xtro-ness" of it

      At only 82 minutes it's the perfect running time for an easy fast moving bonkers film

      I'm glad you enjoyed it

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  21. Grabbers (2012, dir. Jon Wright)

    A fun little Irish scifi-comedy about a tentacle monster from space whose only weakness (not a spoiler, all the marketing stuff highlights it) is alcohol, so the solution is for the whole town to get hammered. It's got more clichés than you can shake a big stick at ("It's a small town, nothing ever happens here", the two arguing cops, the obvious romantic plot, the redemption story, an Aliens "homage", a Wilhelm scream) but still manages to be a good time. The small Irish town setting is charming and the CGI isn't that bad. Some actors play drunk better than others.

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    1. Bonus: R'ha (2013 short film, dir. Kaleb Lechowski)

      A 6-minute CGI short film about a member of an alien race whose war machines pulled a Skynet. A nice idea and the alien design is really cool.

      Watch in on Vimeo.

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  22. Breeders (1986, dir. Tim Kincaid)
    Tim Kincaid started out directing gay porn in the '70s under the name Joe Gage (...!!! Tarantino must be a fan,) made a string of crap classics in the '80s (Robot Holocaust, Riot on 42nd St., Mutant Hunt, thank you very much,) then took a decade off before returning to gay porn for the rest of his career. In other words, the man's a national treasure, and this is his very New Yorky riff on Alien. Aliens from under the Empire State Building are taking over people's bodies and making them rape virgins. Every female character gets naked, and they all end up in a kiddie pool full of milk for the climax. I was most excited to see LeeAnne Baker in this, who was the sextuple-breasted witch from personal fave Necropolis.

    Star Crystal (1986, dir. Lance Lindsay)
    Absurd. Cheap as fuck Alien knock off that mostly annoys for three quarters of its runtime, before pulling one of the ballsiest, out-of-nowhere twists of all time. (Huge spoiler: The monster repents after finding Jesus.)

    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956, dir. Fred F. Sears)
    As a card-carrying Mars Attacks! fan, I felt like a right cunt about never having watched this before, and as a D.C.-area native, I felt grand satisfaction during the landmark-battering finale. Not incredibly exciting, but inarguably essential '50s sci-fi.

    Cat-Women of the Moon (1953, dir. Arthur Hilton)
    The Astounding She-Monster (1957, dir. Ronnie Ashcroft)
    Devil Girl from Mars (1954, dir. David MacDonald)
    And finally, I felt a hankering for sexy '50s alium dames in leotards and fetishwear, so I busted through the main trifecta of said genre. These made me nostalgic for the days when my public access stations ran stuff like this on the weekends during my high school days, sometimes as part of The Spooky Movie with Dr. Sarcofiguy. I definitely saw Devil Girl that way back then, so it was a nice revisit. Lots of satisfying casual misogyny, sneering, and extreme eyebrow pencilling.

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    1. Wow, all those just for "Alien!" day? E.S.A.D.D. is going to have white hair and walk with a cane when Junesploitation! is over.

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  23. SPACED INVADERS (1989)
    A group of diminutive Martians come to Earth on Halloween night, so everyone assumes they’re trick-or-treaters. Two kids help them get home, etc. This movie wants to be another Gremlins, combining small town nostalgia with anarchic comedy. The “comedy” though, is limited to the Martians talking with annoying wacky voices. There are great practical effects (models, costumes, sets, etc.) but not much else to recommend.

    STRANDED (1987)
    Aliens crash-land near a farmhouse and befriend the grandmother and granddaughter living there. The cops surround the house, thinking it’s a hostage situation. The movie is way more occupied with hostage negotiation stuff than it is with the aliens, which is disappointing. It’s always nice to see Ione Skye, who plays the granddaughter, and there’s a semi-nifty twist at the end, but overall, it’s a snoozer.

    THE PUPPET MASTERS (1996)
    A variation on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where facehugger-like aliens latch onto people’s backs to mind-control them, and a group of heroic government agents must stop them. I was expecting dreary conspiracy thriller stuff, and was surprised instead to see the movie is wall-to-wall action, with a lot of chases and fights. There’s nothing new here, but it’s super cheesy fun.

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  24. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

    I feel the title says it all. What else do you really need to know, besides that you're in for a good time!

    This is an all-time favorite for me. It's one of the first horror movies I remember seeing, and it just a blast to watch. It has great costumes and make-up, the humor and gags are funny, and it has a pretty kickin' soundtrack (especially that opening song... it's an awesome little earworm). it has one of my favorite John Vernon performances in it as well.

    If you've never seen it, I recommend checking it out. If you have seen it, well, it is most definitely worth a rewatch!

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    1. I think I have to add this movie to the list, I have been meaning to watch this for a while.

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    2. You have to, Lindsay. It's a must see.

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  25. ENEMY MINE (1985)

    Bearded Dennis Quaid! Louis Gossett Jr.!Cross-cultural feels! Mickey Mouse insults! Asexual childbirth! Sarlacc Pit ripoff! This movie is so freakin' underappreciated it hurts. Quaid is a macho space fighter pilot who, through a series of unfortunate events, crash lands onto an uncharted (by humans, anyway) planet where his enemy happens to be hanging out, as well. They have no choice but to work through their hatred and come together to survive, man. The third act will make you cry, just make peace with that now. Based upon a bestselling sci-fi book, ENEMY MINE is forever resonant because it's a simple parable at heart, about prejudice and blind hatred. Watch this movie.

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    1. A very underrated 80's sci-fi flick. Wolfgang Petersen directing and Maurice Jarre scoring do make a noticeable difference.

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    2. I actually read the novelisation of this (not the novella on which it was based) when I was a pup.

      The trope of two members of a warring alien race being stranded on a hostile planet and having to learn to get along in order to survive has been beaten just about to death, possibly with a Futurama lightsaber nightstick, in science fiction in the years since. The Star Trek franchise returned to that well on a number of occasions, but it was even done in the original Battlestar Galactica where it was Faceman and a Cylon, I think.

      Maybe not a Cylon.

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    3. *two members of different warring alien races.

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  26. Xtro (1982)

    You might think that this movie has been hyped on the site too much. You might think it can't possibly be as crazy as people are saying. I considered those things. But you would be quite wrong.

    This movie truly is as crazy as people say! WOW. I must admit I even got pretty invested in the family drama aspect. I found it sad and a truly difficult decision. What do you do when an estranged spouse comes back?

    Also, nothing can prepare you for the birthing scene. Or the toys. Or what happens when people start suckin on people. Good god. This movie is exploding with imagination! I'm thankful it exists.

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  27. Hell Yeah!
    You got it spot on, I feel it hit you like it hits me, the family situation is the glue for the whole film, it gets even better with more viewings
    One of us.....

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  28. Xtro (1983)

    Appropriately, it begins with New Line Cinema's early 80's seizure-inducing flashing logo. From there we get monsters, slime, absentee fathers, and absentee fathers who may or may not be slime monsters. #NoSpoilers

    All this and I haven't even mentioned the snakes, clowns, panthers, alien eggs, alien pregnancy, and other assorted nastiness to be found. Dennis is onto something, this felt like the absolute right movie to start Junesploitation with. It's goopy, gory, and certifiably batshit crazy. ¡Viva Junesploitation!

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    1. AbsenteeFathersploitation!

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    2. Hell Yeah JP

      You know I'm reading this and smiling ear to ear, your synopsis is perfect, love it

      Another convert

      One of us....

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  29. Contamination (1980)

    J. M. gave a great look at this film at the top of this page.

    It's a really batshit combination of a lot of alien movie elements. "The chestburster in Alien was cool, but what if we amplified it by 100?" Overall a good watch, but it gets a little tame after a really great opening, and I wish it pushed things a little farther in some areas.

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    1. Watching this based on J.M.'s rec as well. Is there a word in the Italian language for pacing?

      And you're so right about the chestburstings. ;)

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    2. haha No kidding. I'm watching it now too. Boy, it's a slog at times but it keeps giving me something to enjoy every so often.

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    3. According to Google Translate, it's just "pacing."

      It's like they're not even trying.

      Come on, Italians, step up your game and come up with some original words. You don't even have your own one for pizza.

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    4. Like most flicks that fall under the category of exploitation (which "Contamination" embodies), the heart the filmmakers put into making it shows through the tiny budget. Compared to the way the "eggs" are handled in the all-the-money-in-the-world "Alien: Covenant" I'll take the happy Bronx warehouse employees that'd rather blow themselves up (literally!) than be taken into custody. I just wish the meat in "Contamination's" sandwich was as tasty as the meat holding it together (i.e. strong start and batshit ending).

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    5. Yeah I really thought it would continue to deliver when they arrived at the Coffee plantation, but everything takes place in the bathroom for waaaay too long. Somehow the suspense escaped the room before the colonel did. For the first 20 minutes or so I did think "Wow these scientists are smarter than the ones in Alien Covenant."

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  30. Mac And Me (1988)

    This must be seen to be believed. An E.T ripoff, partially financed by McDonald's and Coca-Cola. Even with those two titans of industry in the mix, the movie appears to have been made for about sixty bucks, but every penny is up on the screen. There is a full-on, not even plot adjacent, surreal dance number set in the most spacious McDonald's on Earth, which is notable for being the film debut of an uncredited teenaged Jennifer Aniston and a cameo from OG Ronald McDonald. The product placement is far from subtle. Many times, the aliens are given Coke to drink to recover from injury/illness/depression. One of the songs is clearly a Chicago/Cetera knockoff from the "Glory Of Love" era. Come on Ronnie, get off the wallet, you can afford Peter Cetera.

    The aliens in the film look distressing to say the least, nightmare fuel for anyone under twenty-five. Mac has pemanently pursed lips and communicates through whistling sounds (financially convenient), and has two expressions surprised and horrifyingly surprised. Mac is a combination of stop-motion, child in suit, puppet on a stick and abandoned rag doll. The adult aliens look like malnourished burn victims and walk like they are in constant agonizing pain and/or stupefyingly inebriated.

    The acting in this ranges from terrible to horrible. The single-mother is frighteningly obsessed with seeking her kids' approval and this is not played for comedy. The "Elliott" of the movie is in a wheelchair and played by a disabled child actor who is not very good (don't worry, it's ok to criticize, he's probably in his forties now). This was a real life "Armageddon" strategy in that they figured it would be easier to teach a boy in a wheelchair to be a lead actor, rather than teach an actor to use a wheelchair, much like it's easier to teach oil drillers to be astronauts then to teach astronauts to use a drill.

    In the great tradition of Buckaroo Banzai, they threaten the audience with a sequel that will never be. This is highly recommended for bad movie lovers. There is so much nonsense going on at any given moment, that if a WTF measurement tool existed, Mac And Me would cause it to overheat and explode.

    Mildly spoilery: There is a scene where the lead boy rides his wheelchair off a cliff into a lake and it is hilarious. Paul Rudd plays it whenever he's on Conan as "a clip from his new movie". Also, it is later revealed that the aliens have healing powers and they heal "Elliott", but not enough to get him out of his wheelchair. Kind of a dick move if you ask me.

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    1. I saw this one at that cinema. It was my ET.
      Someone should have called social services on my parents

      Delete
    2. This movie made a huge impact on me back in the day, strictly because of the way the older sister character looked in her McDonald's uniform's pants. Talk about sexy-me seed buns! (Burger joke.) The dancing teddy bear scene was unbelievable too.

      Delete
  31. Dark Star (1974, dir. John Carpenter)

    Turns out one of the greatest horror directors' first movie was a scifi-comedy on a shoestring budget. Who knew?

    Not a big fan of this one. The philosophical discussion with the AI bomb was kinda fun and there were occasional chuckles, but overall even at 69 minutes it felt a bit of a slog to get through.

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    1. Bonus: The Twilight Zone S2E19: Mr. Dingle, the Strong (1961, dir. John Brahm)

      This would be a totally forgettable comedy episode if it weren't for the good performances from Burgess Meredith and Don Rickes and the ridiculous-looking two-headed alien. Still, far from a classic episode.

      Bonus: The Twilight Zone S2E28: Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? (1961, dir. Montgomery Pittman)

      The polar opposite of the previous one, a great little paranoia story. This truly is a classic one, and deservedly so.

      Delete
    2. Not the worst two-headed alien I've ever seen.

      'Printer's Devil' is Burgess Meredith's finest hour in The Twilight Zone in my opinion. I believe Stephen King even mentions that one in Danse Macabre.

      Delete
  32. Contamination (1980)

    This is a movie where a man gets a slight peck of a kiss from a woman and he says, "That was the most fantastic thing that ever happened to me."

    Really dude?

    If the only thing you liked about Alien (1979) was exploding chests, then boy oh boy this is the movie for you! This Italian flick certainly has things to like. The monster at the end is pretty rad. The Goblin music is great as always. But overall I found this movie really boring. It gave me things to enjoy along the way enough to keep me from being too tempted to shut it off, and I really did enjoy the alien at the end. But overall... quite dull. Still, I love that Junesploitation is getting so many people to watch goofy stuff like this. haha It's so great.

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  33. The Thing (2011)

    First time, and when viewing in a "bubble" it was quite enjoyable. Shot on film, it was beautiful to look at, but the monster effects were too obviously CGI. When viewed relative to Carpenter's The Thing, this is a piece of shit.

    Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)

    As a stand alone movie, this one is awesome. They should have called it Hunter Alien: Escape Of The Space Pets, to disassociate it from the "franchise"

    7 word review: Rubber Suited Actors Play Pro-Choice Aliens

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    1. When viewed relative to Carpenter's The Thing, this is a piece of shit.

      We do not need to see your fillings. This assessment will suffice as evidence of your humanness.

      There is a chance, though, that the Thing has good taste in movies as well.

      I just watched this film too. I saw it when it first came out and didn't love it, but I think the passage of time has been kind to it. I thought the CG was pretty good for the most part, resembling practical special effects at times, which is well-nigh impossible. It goes downhill towards the end, as most action/horror movies do nowadays. One of the great things about the original is the way it finishes on such a low-key note.

      I don't know why the Thing chose to reveal itself and crash the helicopter.

      Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)

      As a stand alone movie, this one is awesome.


      I'm getting my flamethrower.

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    2. Why so many flamethrowers in the Antarctic? I didn't think it was bad, but it's hard not to compare to 1982's version which is near perfect. The Thing revealed itself because they were about to turn the helicopter around because the girl was waving at them.

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    3. I spend about three months of the year in the Antarctic because of my job. We love s'mores down here as much as the rest of you do, hence the copiousness of flamethrowers.

      Thanks for the helicopter explanation. I obviously wasn't paying close enough attention.

      I'm watching Xtro, and I'm as bored as cock with it. I could be seeing the original The Thing. Do you think at conventions and such, people sometimes follow the director of that film into the restroom and stand next to him at the urinal just so they can for the rest of their life say they saw John Carpenter's thing?

      Poor guy must get sick of it.

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    4. "I'm watching Xtro, and I'm as bored as cock with it."
      thumbs up emoji

      Delete
  34. The Blob (1958)

    It's funny what you think is scary when you're little. I tried watching this with the kids and one of them made it through. It still has its charm. Steve McQueen was 28 playing a teenager. I remembered it having more action but it's mostly people standing around talking about a monster that might exist. Even so, nostalgia makes me not hate it and the acting is ridiculous but watchable. I had it as a 7 out of 10 and I'll stick with that.

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    1. I know as a kid the 58 *blub would send me out of the room. I think it was the shot of it coming out of the theatre. Anyway I need to rewatch, I have had this *Blub blu sitting on my wish list for a while.

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  35. Xtro (1983)

    This is my first year of Junesploitation and I must say I certainly made the right choice for Day 1. I've been wanting to see this film for years after hearing how bizarre it is. After seeing creepy clowns, toy action figures coming to life, lots of slimey flesh sucking and probably the grossest birthing scene ever, I have to agree that this film is indeed totally wacko. Highly recommend this one for any alien/exploitation lover!

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    1. Fantastic, Xtro day is going down great, it really is the best start to the month, I'm happy you were won over by its "Xtrodinary-ness"
      One of us....

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    2. Mmmmmmm...slimy flesh sucking. [HomerDrooling.gif]

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  36. The Day IT Came to Earth (1977 in Louisiana; 1979 in California) what the F?! Dir. Harry Thomason

    What starts as Film Noir-esque initially in which some gangsters dump a body in the same lake a meteor carrying an alien lands in. The alien turns the dead body into a zombie (Zombie/Alien Movie!) and insanity ensues (not at all).

    It would have been awesome if the Film Noir tone maintained throughout the movie, but unfortunately it goes away rather quickly and we are left with a pretty standard campy, yet tame, Drive-In movie that I still found fun enough.

    Rita Wilson's first film role and she looks great; taller than I thought she was. Delight De Bruine, only credited in one other role as "Bunny" in "Happy Days", is great, too. From reading the reviews I'm not the only one who picked up on the script in which a professor names the alien/zombie "Geophysical Gaseous Goon" and makes sure that "in the event there is a code word needed, we will call it "gee Ga Goo".

    Apparently this was on "Elvira's Movie Macabre" so my "diggin' deep" rep isn't strong here.

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  37. Planning on watching Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars....if I can find my blu Ray. If not, I'm going to have to check out Xtro, because I've heard it's bonkers haha

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  38. I saw Evil Aliens, a super-gory British horror-comedy from 2005. It's available to watch on Youtube, although I can't vouch for the quality. The film is... memorable. I don't think I'll ever forget it. In the very first scene we see a man anally sodomised almost to death with the sort of thing Leland Orser was made to wear in Seven.

    It references just about every science fiction film and television show you've ever seen. There's a spitload of nods to Star Trek; also Psycho (I don't believe in either the Hitchock original or the wretched Vince Vaughn remake we ever got to see Norman actually ejaculating as he does his peeping tom thing), Phantasm (flying spheres of death), Species (an alien lady with scary boobage having amorous relations with a geek), Day of the Dead (more an actual reference than an allusion in this case), The X-Files, Jaws, Peter Jackson's Braindead (that's unkind; the first of the Hobbit films wasn't too bad), and there's even some Sergio Leone 'Dollars' business.

    Oh, and it stars Emily Booth. She doesn't get entirely naked in this one. You have to watch Cradle of Fear for that.

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  39. Not of This World a.k.a Space Killers (much better title) (1991 TV Movie) Dir. Jon Hess

    Great cast with great hair and "Knots Landing" Lisa Hartman being top billed yet given nothing to do. There's also the Mexican/Native American Josh Brolin, A Martinez, as the sheriff who sucks at baseball and tucks his jersey into his jeans.

    After a meteor shower, "electrified" lizard-like aliens are terrorizing a small town. Most of the time nothing is happening, but when the electric lizards make their space killings it's pretty funny.

    Fun fact: CBS Tuesday Movie of the Week aired Feb. 12, 1991 at 9pm against new episodes of ABC's Rosanne, Coach, Thirtysomething and NBC's In the Heat of the Night and Law and Order.

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    1. Now you have to do fun facts for every movie. They better be fun!

      Delete
    2. I will be a bit late to get my review up for today but you can blame Chaybee because I spent the 90 mins i set aside for watching listening to his albums in my kitchen.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Russell! Much respect, man!

      Delete
  40. As the president of my high school film club, I showed Starship Troopers (1997) for my final film. I gotta say, it played okay (though I think it is great). I am unhappy to report that I'm not sure it holds up on a third viewing, but that's probably because it is just that. A third viewing.

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  41. When I watch a movie, my criteria often is "will it thrill me?" Well, Night of the Creeps does just that.

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  42. The Thing (2011):

    Why do this? And why do it like this?

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    Replies
    1. Because there are some people, as JB is fond of pointing out, who are bastard people.

      Delete
    2. Michael GiammarinoJune 2, 2017 at 8:24 AM

      Whoever it was on the executive level with decided the practical effects in this films had to be "drawn" over with cg needs to be fired.

      Delete
  43. Terror Vision (1986)

    This is why I love 80's horror comedy! Pretty good start to Junesploitation I must say. Basic plot here is that a family's satellite receives signals from another planet that opens a passageway for a very hungry alien. Decent practical effects and all around goofy fun.

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    1. This is a damn-near masterpiece. Gerrit Graham being in something is always a good omen, and this is also one of the best Jon Gries performances. Plus, Diane Franklin never looked better than in the rainbow sherbert wig she's wearing in this. (And if you wanna see the daughter from TerrorVision topless, grab yo self a copy of Amityville II post-haste, brotha.)

      Delete
  44. Species (1995)

    I remember seeing....well...clips of this movie, but never the whole thing. Unfortunately the special effects (which range from okay through to awful) date it badly...but the cast is good, if a little wasted, and Natasha Henstridge will never not be great to watch.

    Imagine 'Under the Skin' written by 12 year olds in 1994. Drunk 12 year olds.

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  45. Night of the Creeps (1986)

    While I was originally planning on watching The Thing, I decided very last minute I was gonna try to stick to movies I haven't seen before. Plus, the last movie of F This Movie! Fest this year was Monster Squad, so Night of The Creeps felt all the more fitting.

    And boy was this the right way to start of the month. Aliens. Slugs. Tom Atkins. Zombies. Axe Murderers. Zombie Axe Murderers. The movie is so fun and just like Monster squad, it's clear Dekker loves himself some horror movies. So much so, that every single character in the film seems to be named after a horror director. Cameron. Cronenberg. Raimi. Romero. Carpenter Hooper (one name). They attend Corman University. It borders the obnoxious but it's clear Dekker is so sincere that who cares. Also, Dekker just completely repeats his "dead guys don't just walk around" SMASH CUT TO *said dead guy walking around* joke from this movie to Monster Squad. Think no one would notice Fred? Well I did.

    Tom Atkins is the bomb in this movie. His first few scenes feature him investigating crimes in a Hawaiian shirt unbuttoned way too far. He's able to play the character as a mix of this lovable jerk and this pitiful old man. It's a strange combo, but Atkins pulls it off.

    See y'all tomorrow, when I'll probably be watching Lethal Weapon.

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  46. Critters (1986)

    In the hands of a good director Critters probably could have been an okay movie. The cast is a wonderful ensemble of familiar character actors (including Dee Wallace!), the premise isn't super original but it's not bad, the creature's kinda cool - but somehow it all comes together to make for an often dull experience. It's got some moments - introducing subtitles for the creatures was genius but doesn't get used to its full potential - but it just doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from all the things it's ripping off. i can see why 9-year old Sol thought it was great but it's not!

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  47. EVIL ALIENS (2005)
    -on Shudder

    Yeah, this seems like the way to start the month off right.

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  48. Evils of the Night (1985, dir. Mardi Rustam)

    I mean, it isn't NOT a movie, right? The first 30 minutes of this movie are so full of nudity and softcore sex that it's utterly tedious. Then all of that stuff goes completely away and we're left with Julie Newmar, John Carradine and Tina Louise in an Ed Woodian epic about aliens who come to Earth to drain the blood of humans so they can live forever. Oh, and the bodies they use are collected by their two helpers -- auto mechanics played by Aldo Ray and Neville Brand. I honestly have no idea how so many "name" actors signed on to this, because it is schlock in the truest sense of the word. Naturally, I do not mean this as a pejorative, though I do wish this was a little more energetic and fun to kick the month off in slightly more spectacular fashion. Not wasted time, but not one I'm really recommending.

    So many movies being watched and talked about, everyone. What a great first day and an incredible start to the month. Thank you!

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  49. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
    I don't know how I hadn't seen this before but I don't think I could have watched it at a better time. Not exactly the "alien" movie I was expecting, but I loved it regardless and I think it was the perfect way to start June. Maybe what the world needs right now is Michael Rennie and a giant robot

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  50. Xtro (1982)

    This is why I don't talk to Ex's (Ex-tro anyone?). That was pretty insane and even with all the hype I did not see where it was heading. The make-up on those last couple of shots were awesome! This one has been on my list since last Junesploitation and it was well worth the wait. Pretty much a perfect start to the Junesploitation madness.

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    Replies
    1. Another convert

      One of us....


      I'm so happy you liked it, my church is growing, Xtrology is the new Scientology

      Delete
  51. Lifeform (1996)

    It's the age old question. What happens if you send something to Mars and it comes back with an attachment? You wait til it tries to kill everyone. I actually had a blast with this one. It's pretty much contained in one area but it kept me interested. The alien effects are mostly practical and the dialogue wasn't as bad as most 90s sci-fi movies. Also, Ryan Phillipe is a soldier that looks like he's in elementary school. I'd give it 7 out of 10 and definitely worth checking out.

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  52. I thought I was only barely getting into the spirit of things by watching Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, but it turns out it is more exploitation-y than I expected. I kind of forgot it existed until the other day and realized there was a Spielberg movie I hadn't seen, which needed to be remedied. That is just a straight up, old fashioned alien invasion movie. Aliens show up, wreck the earth for an hour and half and then go away so the movie can end. Also, very much a Post 9/11 movie.

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  53. Attack The Block (2011)

    It's been years since I've watched this, but I don't think I'll make that mistake again. ATB is just awesome, bruv.

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    1. "That's an alien bruv, believe it." I love Attack the Block, John Boyega is the man. Innit, fam.

      Delete
  54. I Come In Peace (1990)

    I refuse to call it Dark Angel because that's a stupid title. Hey, Brian Benben, a first name said twice does not make a last name. Sure this movie doesn't make a ton of sense but who gives a shit. It's got Interplanetary drug dealers, Dolph, Bernard from Lost, the guy from Dream On(Benbenbenben) and CDs! I love it and you should too. 8 out of 10.

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    Replies
    1. I do love it, Brent, put the CD launcher down, please! The trailer for this one really freaked me out as a tyke.

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    2. I come in peace...you go in pieces. Maybe the best line in the history of cinema.

      Delete
  55. Invaders from Mars (1953)

    Pretty impressive low budget 50s sci-fi/alien movie. This would have been great at one of those all day Portage Theater marathons. I don't love it like I love Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Incredible Shrinking Man from that era (era) but I'm glad I finally got around to seeing it. The ending is sticking with me too. Pretty spooky!

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    1. My persona legit favorite '50s sci-fi movie (Robot Monster would be the non-legit fave); like you stated, genuinely spooky. An older woman I work with knows how much I love movies, and asked me if I could remember the name of a movie that she remembered really spooking her when she was a kid, and it turned out to be Invaders. So the movie's assumed objective of traumatizing '50s kids is a confirmed success.

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    2. Yeah it really sneaks up on you and then credits. It's an eerie feeling you don't expect from the era (era).

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    3. Damn, that sounds great. Might have to watch that for scifi day.

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  56. Lifeforce (1985)

    First time. Somehow had no idea it was Golan Globus. No idea Patrick Stewart was in it, etc. etc. In love with the makeup/puppet effects. Everything else (besides some of the editing and couple of the effects) was super solid for me. This maybe only my third favorite sex alien movie, but it's the one that explores the victims intense feelings for their succubus and that's pretty cool.

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  57. The Galaxy Invader (1985)

    Don Dohler's classic movie. Retarded movie with a baby faced man running arround with his father chasing an alien that just wants his weapon back. It's trash, but fun and you can see your grandma shoot a man of a cliff with a shotgun.

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  59. Galaxy of Terror

    All this talk about Sid Haig and Robert Englund in the cast but no-one mentioned David Lynch regular Grace Zabriskie.

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