Sunday, September 14, 2014

12 Years a Slave


Despite this being a winner at the Oscar's last year, I didn't have very high hopes for this movie. I anticipated some sad, jarring moments but nothing like what I ended up seeing. I am now thoroughly convinced that in every history class taught from this moment on, when the subject of slavery and the Civil War comes up, don't bother with textbooks and boring documentaries! If you want to capture the true horror and unfathomable evil that occurred between human beings in those times, just watch this. This movie brutally explains EVERYTHING!

In the late 1840s, we meet Mr. Solomon Northup who is an upstanding citizen in his community. A free black man, he lives in Saratoga, New York with his wife Anne (Kelsey Scott) and their two young children. Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) owned a home, had a decent job, and had many good friends. And all of that was stripped away by a pair of wicked men.

This was Solomon's life...and then it was gone.

With his wife and children out of town for a couple of weeks, Solomon was left to his own devices. While walking through the park one afternoon, Solomon finds himself introduced to two men who are the proprietors of a successful traveling circus and who are also feverishly looking for a talented fiddle player to join their company for a few days while they travel down the coast to Washington D.C. Solomon is offered a very handsome payment and agrees to accompany the men. One night, the three gentlemen are enjoying a lavish dinner where Solomon accidentally has too much to drink and winds up passing out. And the next morning he wakes up to find himself chained to a brick wall in an abandoned factory, and he is now at the mercy of a cruel slave pen owner.

He can't run now.

Despite his pleas and insisting, no one will take Solomon's word that he is a free man from New York. And with no one to listen, Solomon and several other colored men are boarded onto a ship and sent South to be auctioned off to the plantations. Solomon, being considered a black man with talent because of his fiddle playing, has a high price put on his head but is still purchased by a lumber mill owner named Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) who ends up being a kind master to his slaves. But it's not Ford that Solomon has to look out for. Being an educated man, Solomon has a difficult time adjusting to his new lowly status and winds up butting heads with Ford's Overseer Tibeats (Paul Dano). Tibeats thrives on his power over the slaves and takes great pleasure in being able to beat them and taunt them. But Solomon cannot help extending his knowledge on ways of improving work at the mill to Ford, who is overjoyed but Solomon goes too far and pushes Tibeats over the edge. Ford is forced to sell Solomon to a different plantation in secret after Tibeats nearly beats Solomon to death one night. And with that, Solomon's next life begins.

Things weren't perfect with Ford..but they were better than where 
Solomon is being sent to now.

Solomon's new owner is a cotton plantation owned by the name of Epps. Epps (Michael Fassbender) is no where near the kind master that Ford has been. He works his slaves hard and beats them even harder when they so much as step a toe out of line. But Epps tends to be kinder when Patsey is around. Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o in her Academy Award-winning performance) is not only the hardest working slave on the entire plantation - she picks 500 pounds of cotton every single day - but she is also the forbidden, but not so secret, love interest of Mr. Epps. And Epps' wife (Sara Paulson) despises poor Patsey for it. Patsey is denied food and soap by Epps' wife purely out of spite and suffers horrible injuries at the hands of that awful woman. And Solomon has to sit by and watch all of this unfold. Years pass and life is hard for everyone, but Solomon is determined to survive.

Just another day working for Epps.

At the beginning of his captivity, Solomon believed with his whole heart that the men who bought him could be reasoned with and convinced that he was a free man. If these men saw how talented and educated he was, Solomon could easily be set free! But when this hope is shot down again and again, Solomon decides that the only way to get home to New York and his family is to simply run away. But Solomon is always caught, thankfully though he is able to back track and prove that he was really given an order so he narrowly escapes being hanged. But then that's it. Solomon has no more options. The only men with the power to free him are white men who either call him a liar and kick him to the ground, or are too afraid for their own lives to try and help Solomon. And Solomon cannot risk being killed. So he gets by. He keeps his head down and works. He keeps his head down and is beaten. For 12 years, this is Solomon's life. Until the kindness of a Canadian carpenter named Bass (Brad Pitt) extends his hand to Solomon and helps get this man freed.

Solomon will find a way to get home.

This movie is the definition of raw. I was anticipating seeing whippings and beatings, but not at this frequency. Which is kind of jaded of me, because of course conditions for black people in that time were horrific! I wasn't prepared for such an accurate portrayal of slavery, and I wasn't prepared for the emotional toll it took on me. The actors in this movie are all superb and did such an incredible job but I think of everyone, Paul Dano and Michael Fassbender were the most impressive! Such malice and conviction! I really hated these men during the movie, well done fellas! But what really rubbed more salt in my freshly ripped wounds was that at the end of the movie I learned that all of this was based on the REAL LIFE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED TO A REAL BLACK MAN!!! Seriously?! This man was kidnapped and sold into slavery and his family has to go on 12 whole years without any clue as to where he was?? How awful! And being subjected to this kind of evil?! It's almost unthinkable... I highly recommend this beautifully, painful movie - it's an amazing history lesson, an incredible true story filled with drama and danger, and something that just should be seen. Amazing.

An emotional roller coaster, but an amazing one!

Friday, September 12, 2014

No Reservations


Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) lives her life exactly to her own specifications and she sees nothing wrong with that. Unmarried and with no children to distract her from her career, Kate is the renowned chef at an upscale restaurant called 22 Bleeker. She is in charge of creating the one of a kind menu, she purchases all the food for the restaurant before dawn several times a week from local vendors, and most importantly Kate is in complete control of everything that happens in her kitchen. You could call her a control freak, but Kate prefers the term 'specific'. But then one day when her sister and niece are coming in to town to visit her, there is a horrible accident and Kate's life dramatically changes forever.

Her kitchen, her rules.

Kate's little sister and niece were the victims of a terrible car accident, and while her niece Zoe (Abigail Breslin) came out with a few bumps and bruises the same can't be said for her sister. Kate is the only family that little Zoe has left, and with no other option than foster care, she becomes Zoe's legal guardian overnight. And it's quite clear that Kate has no idea what she's doing. Trying to juggle taking Zoe to school, finding someone to watch her while she goes to work, and even finding foods that Zoe will eat are such foreign and terrifying concepts for Kate. She has no idea what to do, or how to fix things. So she stumbles along as best she can.

"What do you mean you don't eat whole fish?"

Unable to cope with the uncertainty of life at home, Kate comes back to work to find that she's been temporarily replaced. What was once her tidy, orderly, clockwork of a kitchen has suddenly become vibrant place filled with laughter and abrasively loud opera music! And who is the culprit who thinks he can waltz into her kitchen and disrupt her order and rules? Nick. Nick (Aaron Eckhart) is an esteemed sous-chef from a well known Italian restaurant who is only one of dozens of chefs who wants the honor of working with Kate...but their personalities totally conflict! Kate loves order and guidelines whereas Nick cooks with passion and loves having fun in the kitchen. So now Kate has no safe place...what is she to do?

Kate will show this jerk who really runs the kitchen!

Unable to live with the idea that this joker of a chef has turned her kitchen upside down, and still having no idea how to get Zoe to eat or do much of anything, Kate comes up with the only solution she can: go back to work and drag Zoe with her. And at first it works! Kate is able to establish her dominance in the kitchen once more...but then she becomes so consumed in her work that Zoe falls to the way side. But Nick sees that Zoe is hurting, and he steps in with a few jokes and a big bowl of spaghetti. And like magic, Zoe comes to life again. And life becomes something bearable again.

Zoe comes to the restaurant with Kate every night and Nick acts her babysitter/teacher in the kitchen. Zoe even gets Nick to come over to Kate's apartment to cook dinner for them and play games. It's almost like they're part of a family! But not everything can stay perfect forever. Zoe still misses her mom more than anything, but Kate doesn't know how to connect with her and soothe Zoe's aching heart. And Kate can't help but put her guard up when she starts falling for Nick. But these walls all have to come down if Kate and Nick are going to be working together, falling in love, and helping Zoe come to terms with life without her mom. It won't be easy, but it will all be worth it.

Kate, Zoe, and Nick all need each other - they just need to accept that!

This movie was unexpectedly perfect! Most movies that deal with orphaned kids getting dumped on someone with no idea how to raise kids don't usually show the heartbreak aspect that the kids deal with - that made this movie feel very real. And I love the continuous tug-of-war relationship between Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones' characters - it's flirty and fun, but also believable when they both butt heads. And I've always been a sucker for any movie centering around kitchens and cooking, so this was a natural love for me. If you're a fan of romantic comedies with a touch of heavy drama, I would highly recommend this one. You'll crave a good meal, be sated by the romance, and probably need some tissues nearby for when things get a little emotional.

Hopelessly in love! I think I'm just a sucker for Aaron Eckhart!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Soldier


Today's Trash-Tastic pick is actually inspired by a song I heard at work a couple of days ago and a slight act of fate. For those who don't know, I work at a day spa and am always surrounded by plinky-plunky, light and feathery kinds of music - not my personal choice but it makes the clients happy so I can't complain! One day the music had a Gaelic theme to it, not sure why, and one of the girls sitting at the front desk with me kept insisting that the particular song that was playing was something she recently heard in a movie. I looked up the artist - Loreena McKennitt - and even though the song ended up being something that neither of us had heard, I did see that this woman sang a song that was featured in a very cool looking Sci Fi movie starring Kurt Russell. And then the next day I happened to find that same Kurt Russell Sci Fi movie during a pawn shop visit! If that wasn't destiny intervening in my life I don't know what is, but I am so grateful that it happened!

1996 is best known in the history books as Year 0 of the Adam Project. The Adam Project centered around the idea that the government could select healthy human newborns and raise them to be hard-edged, emotionless soldiers to be used as pawns in their wars. As the children - soldiers - grew, they are subjected to images and acts of intense violence and taught to accept these things as they are. But more importantly, they are not to have an emotional response. The little soldiers are raised to perform at their physical best and not to show any sign of fatigue or strain - those that aren't up to par are shot on sight. As these little soldiers grew into adult soldiers, they are sent into the world on missions where they are ordered to obliterate their enemies. But the real story begins during Year 38 of the Adam Project.

Perfect soldiers all in a perfect little row

The government always operates with the mind set that everything can be improved and made more sufficient, and that is exactly what Colonel Mekum (Jason Isaacs) did to the Adam Project. Even though the original soldiers are still performing at their absolute best, Mekum sees room for improvement. So he took it upon himself to create human beings in labs that are genetically engineered with emotional absence and insane muscle mass - they are stronger, faster, and meaner than the veteran soldiers and Mekum sees them as the way of the future. Commander Church (Gary Busey), the veteran commander of the original soldiers in the Adam Project, firmly believes that if his soldiers aren't broken they don't need to be fixed so he assigns 3 of his soldiers to take one one of Mekum's creations. And the results are startling! Mekum's soldier Caine 607 (Jason Lee Scott) is able to beat down 3 of Church's men - including his best soldier Todd 3465 (Kurt Russell). Church admits defeat and has his wasted men loaded onto a waste disposal ship.

Apparently their best soldier just wasn't good enough...

The waste disposal ship drops the men off on a planet that has been specifically utilized for garbage and waste but there's a catch - Todd 3465 isn't dead! He comes to just as his body drops out of the ship. Todd 3465 finds himself on a wasteland of a planet that is inhabited by only a small group of refugees whose ship crashed on this planet and they haven't been able to leave ever since. Out of the kindness of their hearts, even though they know that Todd 3465 is a born killing machine, these people accept him into their community and give him the chance to live among them. Mace (Sean Pertwee) and his wife Sandra (Connie Nielsen) take Todd 3465 into their home and try to condition him to work, to communicate, basically just to function like a human being but Todd 3465 was never programmed that way...and the transition is a total disaster.

You can take the soldier out of the army...but all he knows is being a soldier.

After several incidents, the community decides that Todd 3465 is a threat to their people and they simply can't have him in their midst. They understand that he is a great soldier but he doesn't have the emotional capabilities and the common sense to survive as a regular human being among other human beings. So the people give him warm clothes, a good knife, and their well wishes before turning him away from their little village in the trash heaps and sending him out into the wastelands. But these refugees quickly realize that they've made a terrible mistake. Remember that nasty Colonel Mekum? Well for some reason he can't stand the fact that these refugees have made their homes on this trash planet and he believes that because they serve no purpose they need to be eliminated. Overriding Commander Church's authority, Colonel Mekum issues his new soldiers to infiltrate the planet and slaughter all the refugees! But when the soldiers land and Todd 3465 catches wind of their plan, he refuses to stand aside and let this senseless massacre happen. He will go down defending these people who took a chance on him!

Caine 607 may have beaten him once...but it'll never happen again!

I was a little worried that this movie wouldn't live up to my expectations but it was AMAZING!! It has some cheesy 90s effects that aren't great, but the overall violence and action of this movie is great! Plus, I have an insane crush on Kurt Russell so I was bound to be pleased with just his presence even if this movie did tank! If you love action or Sci Fi movies from the 90s, I highly recommend this one! It's intense, wild, and definitely deserving of more credit that it's received....which I'm guessing it's too much.

I AM IN LOVE!! Thank you destiny!!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight, even though I won't be there tonight to tell you about Soldier during the Trash-Tastic Minute on Zorch Radio I will be there in spirit! Make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

Radio done right every Thursday night!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pumping Iron


Thanks to a close friend of mine who recently got me back into watching action movies, I have been enjoying checking out some of Arnold Schwarzenegger's classics like Total Recall and my personal favorite, Predator. One thing I do love about Netflix is when it will recommend things for me based on my search histories - sometimes the movies and shows are really spot on and other times they're pretty bad, but this movie was suggested to me after I showed interest in The Last Stand and The Last Action Hero. I mentioned something to my dad about watching this movie, and he got super excited about it so we watched it together. This movie ended up being different than I thought it would be...and it was a very awkward thing to watch with my dad...

This documentary takes place in 1977, the year that Arnold Schwarzenegger and many other muscular hopefuls buffed up their muscular bodies in the hopes of competing and winning the Mr. Olympia body building competition. If you're unfamiliar with body building competitions, they're not so much about feats of strength but about muscle definition and size. And back in the 70s when this was a really big thing to be part of, muscle building was HUGE! No pun intended. 

I didn't realize human beings had that many muscles in their back...

In this movie we are introduced to a small handful of major body builders of the 70s. Aside from Arnold there is also Louis Ferrigno, Mike Katz, Franco Columbo, and many others whom we watch build themselves up for the upcoming competition. Starting at the infamous Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, California and ending all the way in Pretoria, South Africa we watch these men build up their bodies and give brief interviews where they answer questions about their lives, how they got into body building, and thier strategies for taking the Mr. Olympia crown. Some are hoping to win with their sheer size, others have more psychological tactics but whatever their plan - once they are on that stage, all they have left to do is strike the ultimate pose. 

Pose it up boys! You're fabulous!

This movie was a weird watch. I wasn't sure what to anticipate to be honest, a bunch of guys building up their bodies and then competing? Which it was essentially but I wasn't prepared for how this movie portrays Arnold Schwarzenegger! Granted, I don't know much about him as a human being and not an actor but this movie made him look like a pompous ass! He's so full of himself and so sure that he is going to take down Lou Ferrigno, who was a first time contender, with his psychological bag of tricks! How mean is that?! I'd like to think Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't that kind of person...but I don't know. Overall, this movie was a semi-intersting one time watch. It was kind of cool seeing Arnold in his early body building days but aside from that this movie isn't horribly informative or exciting for a documentary. Which worries me further because this was based ON A BOOK! I am speechless. 

On a complete sidenote, if you have seen Pumping Iron and did find it entertaining and want to see more movies like it then might I suggest the sequel? Yes! There is a sequel to this movie that was made in 1985! It's called Pumping Iron II: The Women! That's right, women body builders of the 80s - I don't even want to fathom what this would be like, but feel free to find it, watch it, and report back to me!

I don't even know what to say...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Gravity


This movie is a prime example of why you shouldn't overly trust other's opinions on if you'd enjoy a movie or not - as a blogger, I realize this is a dumb thing to say since I'm basically asking you to trust my opinion but I promise I'm here to help! I didn't want to see Gravity because I was sure I would get motion sick and I didn't care for the plot very much. I mean...George Clooney and Sandra Bullock stranded and floating in space until they accept death? Definitely not a movie I want to watch, it sounds like a terrible waste of time. But I had to take the plunge, I had to know if my assumptions were right. I am so grateful I pushed past my initials impressions because this movie is brilliant, intense, and really terrifying in a magnificent way!

Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is being assisted by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) during her first space walk. Their mission is to do some repairs of the Hubble telescope and return safely to Earth - a very quickly mission but not easy. This is Kowalski's final expedition and Stone's first, so she spends nearly the entire repair job trying to keep balance, not letting her tools fly off into space, and keeping herself from throwing up in her space suit. Everything is going very routinely until Houston radios in with some alarming news.

It was supposed to be a very simple mission, and then everything went wrong.

Russian missiles have shot down some of their orbiting satellites which has resulted in chunks of shrapnel hurtling through Earth's orbit and is set to crash into Stone and Kowalski's ship at any moment. Kowalski calls for an immediate evacuation but Stone is slow to get back to the ship and costs them precious time when she insists on finishing out their mission. Which puts them right in the line of fire. And when the shrapnel hits it completely OBLITERATES their ship! The only saving grace is that Kowalski is wearing a propulsion pack, almost like a jet pack so he is able to move around without the risk of floating away. But Stone isn't so lucky. She is knocked loose from the ship and, unable to get a hold of anything, rockets off into the vast emptiness of space. 

Don't let go!!

Stone is tumbling through space with nearly no hope of rescue. Her oxygen levels are below 10%, she's still nauseous being in zero gravity, and her desire to survive is plummeting. But then Kowalski comes in over her radio! He still has his jet pack and has slowly been making his way to retrieve Stone, this being his last mission Kowalski is determined that they are going to make it back to Earth. Once Kowalski gets a hand on Stone's safety line, he propels them slowly towards the International Space Station where they should be able to board one of the escape pods and launch back to Earth unharmed. But that pesky space shrapnel from the decimated Russian satellites is still working its way around Earth's orbit and will be coming back around soon...and will be heading for the Space Station too! Kowalski and Stone are running out of time, but Kowalski makes it very clear: no matter what happens, Stone HAS to survive and get back to Earth! And she will...but it's going to be the ride of her life!

Stone will survive, she HAS to survive!

This movie was in no way what I thought it was going to be. This is less about being lost in space and dying, and totally about fighting for survival! The use of CGI in this movie is dazzling, and the sense of urgency is palpable - my heart was hammering like crazy through this entire movie! We've all seen movies that teach us to fear space for it's unknown wonders and the potential man-eating aliens that zoom around from planet to planet, but this movie shows us the REAL dangers of space - the fear of just letting go, drifting away and being totally lost forever. How terrifying is that?! This movie 100% deserved every single Academy award that it won. It's intense, thrilling, terrifying, and breathe-takingly beautiful - prepare to be dazzled!

Sheer sci-fi perfection! An award winner for a reason!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron


One thing that has bugged me a lot about getting older is that I can't seem to watch kids movie anymore without either crying or becoming severely emotional, this drives me crazy! All the movies I used to love as a kid like Homeward Bound or Mulan now reduce me to tears or leave me feeling like I've gone through some traumatic event. I knew that revisiting this movie wasn't going to be easy either, not just because of the plot which is emotional in itself, but also because of the music. If you're like me and it takes barely any effort to make you cry, tread lightly with this movie.

I was crying last night, trust me!

Spirit (voiced by Matt Damon) is a strong stallion born and raised in the wild, untamed West of the Cimarron valleys of New Mexico. Raised in a herd of wild horses, Spirit grew up strong and brave - he ran with eagles, protected the young of his herd from predators, he lived the perfect free life. But that that all changed late one night. While settling down for the night, off in the distance Spirit caught sight of a tiny twinkling light on a nearby hillside. Unsure of what it was, and being the protector, he went to investigate and found strange creatures he's never encountered before: humans! Even stranger than encountering the humans though was seeing that they had enslaved horses like him, and all of them were tied up. Spirit wants to investigate more but he accidentally wakes up the men sleeping around their campfire and he finds himself being rounded up by these men!

He'll go with them, but Spirit is not going easily!

Spirit puts on a struggle, but in the end he's no match for the stubborn ropes that bind him and he is lead through the desert away from his family and his freedom. Several days of traveling later, Spirit finds himself inside a US Army base where he is immediately thrown into a pen to be broken, he resists as much as he can...but the cruel Colonel (James Cromwell) refuses to give up. Spirit is tried up for days without food or water to weaken his will and while it almost succeeds, Spirit finds himself getting an unexpected boost of courage. Several scouts come back to the base with a captured Lakota Indian who calls himself Little Creek. Little Creek (Daniel Studi), who is just as unbreakable as Spirit, sees the fight in this horse and together the two stage a daring escape where they also manage to free all the other horses in the base! But no sooner does Spirit think he's earned his freedom that several Lakotas come riding up to him and Little Creek with ropes to bring him back to their village.

Great. More humans!

Little Creek is a much kinder keeper than the men at the Army base, he gives Spirit plenty of apples and a nice large corral to walk in. But Little Creek's hope is that he'll be able to ride Spirit and keep him - and Spirit has other ideas. Trying to just climb on his back doesn't prove very helpful, so Little Creek tied a rope around Spirit's neck to the neck of his horse Rayne - the plan is that Spirit will learn habits from Rayne who loves Little Creek so whole-heartedly that she is able to wander the village on her own free will. Days pass, and while also learning from Rayne. Spirit finds himself falling in love with her and wanting to stay forever. But forever is rudely interrupted when the Colonel from the Army base stages an attack on the Lakota village! Spirit rushes to save the people but is drawn away when Rayne is wounded and gets trapped in a raging river!

Spirit loves her, he'll do anything he can to protect Rayne.

Spirit is powerless to help Rayne escape the river and is even more powerless to do anything about her wound. But he's barely committed himself to staying by her side when a new group of men find them and drag Spirit off to be loaded in a train. Surrounded by other horses from the Lakota village, everyone looks to Spirit for some brilliant plan of escape but Spirit's heart is broken from losing Rayne and he calmly accepts that he is not in control of wherever he is being taken. Days pass and Spirit and the other horses are delivered into a large mountain range where trees are being cleared and tracks are being laid for the Trans-Continental Railroad line. Spirit and the other horses are strapped to harnesses alongside dozens of other horses being forced to haul the enormous locomotive engine up the side of the mountain while the tracks are being laid - an exhausting task and one that Spirit is not willing to be part of any longer than he has to be. And that's his breaking point: this is his time to tear free from the imprisonment of humans and regain his freedom! Spirit is going home! And no one is going to stop him now!

Spirit needs his freedom. It's in his blood!

This movie is a beautiful emotional roller coaster that will instantly tug at any horse lover's heart. I am not a big lover even though I've been raised around them, but I loved this movie. I love that it's kind of like a toned down version of Black Beauty, displaying the kinds of conditions horses were submitted to in the times of the wild west but not in a way that's going to scar small children. And I cannot get enough of the music! Bryan Adams, who sings alarmingly similar to Rod Stewart, moves the story along with his music which is powerful and deep! Perfect mood setter! And I also really liked that this movie took a different approach with the story telling, instead of the animals being able to speak like humans - this is called anthropomorphism - the movie is narrated by Spirit and we watch him and the other animals communicate through their tradition animals noises and gestures. I loved this different approach! If you love animal movies, animated movies, or movies with insanely awesome soundtracks I recommend this one highly! It's great for adults, great for kids, and great for cry babies like me!

If your heart isn't warmed by this clip from Spirit, then you might be made of stone
Bryan Adams singing 'This Is Me'

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cannibal Mercenary


It doesn't happen too often that I find myself overly excited while looking for something to watch on Trash-Tastic Thursday but this week I totally had that problem! Yesterday in the mail I received the Gamera Legacy collection and thought I would watch Gamera: The Giant Monster for today...but then I spent a little one-on-one time with my Roku box. I discovered a whole bunch of channels dedicated to Grindhouse and cult movies, and they were overflowing with trash exploitation, action, and sexy sleazy movies! The Big Doll House, Cannibal Holocaust II, and countless other killer movies were just mine for the watching! What won me over though was that I didn't have to take the time to pull a DVD out of its case and put it in my TV, I just had to push a couple buttons on my remote. That's right, this Trash-Tastic movie is brought to you by my laziness!

A rugged young Sergeant - who remains nameless during the entire movie - is struggling to get by. Plagued by horrible memories of war every night and day, he also finds himself powerless to help his young daughter who was diagnosed with polio. There is an operation that could save the little girl's life but the Sergeant doesn't have the $100,000 to pay for the procedure. He has no one to turn to until an elderly man comes to the Sergeant with a job that will be highly dangerous, but will pay him half a million dollars! Not thinking twice, the Sergeant accepts the mission all for the sake of his daughter.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

The Sergeant is assigned to a rag-tag troupe of mercenaries who are to dive into the wild jungles of the Philippines and find a woman there who will explain the next step of their mission. The men travel into the jungle where they end up saving a random woman who ends up being more trouble than she's worth. Trying to entice the men and then stabbing them when they come onto her, the Sergeant finally has enough and shots her. But she's not the end of their problems. The woman the men have been assigned to find has a mission for them that could leave them all dead. An evil drug lord and his army have nestled into the surrounding jungle and his wicked ways need to be stopped - but his men are repulsively evil, and they're armed to the teeth. Making it out alive from this mission might not be an option, but the Sergeant has to do it for his daughter!

Nasty flesh wound you have there buddy...

This movie is a ridiculous exploitation gem! With horrible British and American voice overs, it's hard to take the plot seriously - whatever plot there is to pay attention to. And towards the middle of the movie we meet this really creepy mongoloid looking guy who I think was the end result of some really bad photo shopping techniques - it's a terror you need to see for yourself. As far as torture and gore factors go, those aspects don't come into play until halfway through the movie but they're well worth the wait. There's blood, awkward lighting changes, creeps sweet talking snakes, intense violence and fight scenes - I enjoyed this movie a lot! If you're a fan of action movies, movies with bad taste, or basically anything to laugh at I think you need to check this movie out.

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight, where I will be talking about my experience with Cannibal Mercenary during the Trash-Tastic Minute on Zorch Radio. So make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

Tune in for all the Psychotronic fun tonight!