Monday, January 18, 2016

Cinematic Pieces of Sheets Part 3: Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City, Nightmare Asylum, and Dominion

Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City

This is the sequel to Bimbos B.C. so the first ten freakin' minutes were devoted to a recap and included such intriguing scenes from the first movie as the women standing there staring at a stream. It's purpose was probably to add to the running time, but it mostly served to remind us how bad the first movie was-- especially since I was watching it not drunk yet. The Prehistoric Bimbos song was a lot worse than I remembered. Everything was a lot worse than I remembered. But after the song fades out, and then abruptly starts again, and the thing gets underway I realized I was in for a different experience this time around. For starters we get a duct work robot! Like the one from Lost In Space. And people in big fly costumes!!! Whoever was doing the special effects seems to have had access to a much better stocked garage full of junk.

See?!?  Robot!!!

Things immediately got confusing when the Bimbos viciously attacked and killed the big fly-things, completely unprovoked from what I could tell. The Fly monsters were seriously just minding their own damned business, farming and hoeing some crops in a little garden, and BAM! They're getting slaughtered.

Awesome fly monster

It seemed unfair, and I was really sad because I really liked those guys. It reminded me of any given episode of Ultraman where as soon as the monster appears everyone's attacking it-- just because it's a monster, not because it's necessarily done anything.

The last thing awesome fly monsters see after vicious, unprovoked attack.

So the plot concerns a robot cop called Nemesis who finds and revives Salacious Thatch (the villain from the first movie who's name I managed to care enough to catch this time, and who’s also taken the time to grow an actual beard). Now the Bimbos have to stop them, or they have to destroy the Bimbos, or vice versa, or all of the above. Thatch has a cyborg arm with a claw, and some hobo's robots have been stolen and are being used by the bad guys for EVIL. They may have actually incorporated a legit hobo into the cast-- I’m not sure. The Bimbos go to Armageddon City, possibly to get the guy's robots back, possibly for some other reason that escaped my attention. The Sheets juice had begun to kick in by this point and my notes say things such as, “Boring.... boring... don't know what's happening...”

The Bimbos get captured and are forced to mine with re-bar and hammers and Thatch hatches an evil plan to turn them into “Cyber Chicks.” Meanwhile, Todd's character is wandering around lost on the other side of the fourth wall and accidentally finds himself in the 'wrong movie' because someone on his team bought a bodacious Alien mask that they just fucking had to use somewhere. And so the running joke with him lost and trying to find his movie continues to pop up from time to time, concluding with him finding the clacker-- a clue as to the direction the production had traveled. It could have been kind of funny if it had been delivered a little more smoothly. I sort of wished I could yell “cut” and make him do it again. Or just give him a hug. Not sure which.

Todd Sheets:  lost in his own movie

At this point things are kinda messy. Bimbos are fighting, new characters are appearing without introduction... or are they old characters with an off-screen costume change? Seriously, the scientist lost her lab coat and glasses between shots somewhere and I thought they'd introduced a completely new person. The bad guys are dancing and laughing maniacally, which sounds a bit like they're having a contest of trying to cough something up. Everyone keeps ending up in different spots... robots are wandering around... The music really doesn't help signal scene changes, or match the pace of the action, so I don't even have the audio cues to help me follow what's happening, and I'm pretty tipsy by this point, so I could’ve used all the help I could get. Remember people! When you make a terrible movie, people watching are going to be drunk. Just... keep that in mind.

The bad guys start fighting each other for control and chase each other in the most cautious car chase ever filmed, with speeds approaching all of twenty miles per hour. The cars... stop working for some reason... and the bad guys bail and hop on coincidentally available bicycles to continue the chase. They slap at each other, and one of the bikes has a basket and the whole time the recently returned/reprogrammed robot pursues on a scooter.

The bikes fuck out somehow and now they're on skateboards. Maybe I was just feeling drunkenly generous, getting into the whole spirit of the thing, but I thought the scene was pretty funny.

Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City was a lot more self-aware than Bimbos B.C. Sometimes the humor works, sometimes it doesn't. The effort to take the film seriously was wisely redirected toward production, and I think it made for a better bad movie. I recommend this one.

Next we started watching Nightmare Asylum.

It had a lot of the same “production challenges” of Sheets' other movies, but it was a bit more competent. The sets were really cool, and the lighting was better. Those two elements together, along with... we'll say “sampled” score music from public domain B movies, really created a nice, twisted atmosphere. I dug the look of this movie. The lines were repetitive, but there was a good effort on the part of the cast to really live their roles.

I didn't get very far into this one because I ended up turning it off, not because it wasn't good, but because of this torture scene where they were pounding nails into people's hands and shit like that. I'm all for people making what they want, it's fake, whatever, no one's actually being harmed. But personally, I don't watch that shit, or if I do, there better be a good reason for it. So there you go: it was effective at what it was trying to do, which was presumably get to it's audience. Otherwise, I liked enough of the movie where I would have continued watching if it hadn't headed toward torture porn territory.

So, having failed to get that one under my belt, I had to rifle through the collections for another Sheet-y masterpiece. Here we are: Dominion.

The opening of this vampire flick was fairly impressive considering what I'd gotten used to by this point. You got a setting in the olden times where people had candles and writing desks, a little girl has her dead brother vampire floating and clawing at her window trying to get her to let him in. You could hear it! The set was lit! With dramatic lighting! Holy shit! The kids are audibly delivering lines from an edited script rather than redundantly stumbling over improvised dialogue. I was so impressed I'm going to overlook that the little girl was pretending to write in her journal by wiggling her pencil several inches above the paper. You got vampires living in the sewers, detectives looking at exsanguinated bodies, a group of kids that just want to rock 'n' roll, and the geriatric sister of that long un-dead little boy from that first stunningly film-like scene. What do they all want? Fuck if I know, I was plowed!

Really though, we're decades into the future now, we got a new cop on the force (so hot, by the way), and he's apparently so promising all his accolades are repeated nearly word for word by him and another character in his introducing scene. The old sister wants to find her brother... for reasons. And the teenage girl character, Beth (there, I got another one!) really wants to go to a concert to see... who else? Todd Sheets' band Enochian Key of course! But her hyper-religious step(?)-mother forbids it because she thinks the music is Satanic. I will not soon forget the scene of the girl yelling at her parents, “They sing AGAINST Satan, not for him!and then several scenes later the band is shown demonstrating their religious convictions by accepting the vampires' proposition to join their ranks. Does this mean the whole time my parents were right, or knew something I didn't about heavy metal? See, now I'm going to wonder.

The detectives have a driving scene that's so long and pointless even the music gets bored an bails on it.

The teenage girl meets and becomes smitten with one of the vampires. I don't remember if this was part of a greater plan, or like all hundred + year old vampires he had a thing for chicks in highschool. Actually, what's the deal with that? Even in Interview the vampiress Louis falls for is physically a child. Living that long I guess you just become jaded and give up on doing what's right and just do what you want because, ultimately, what's the difference? Or is it that they're EVIL and so taking advantage of a rebellious, fairly willing adolescent is about the least bad they've found themselves capable of?

Anyway. So they go for a really fucking long carriage ride and he utters some of he worst dialogue ever written:

After the vampire shushes the girl's incessant heart-dumping, he says, “Enjoy the night, the beautiful night. We'll soon be at the concert with all those crazy rockers. Enjoy the quiet while you can.” I'm no teenage girl, but if I was, and an older guy started talking like that, I'd be thinking, I hope he shuts up when our clothes come off. But again, disclaimer: I'm not a teenage girl. Sorry if I've disappointed any of you Bots, Spiders and Micro-Taskers who only stopped here long enough to make a fraction of a cent, but I mean you can still pretend if you want to while you're reading this. I can even be blond with a birth name of Stephanie!

But I digress.

There's death scenes where no one knows how to die convincingly. There's another long-ass pointless driving scene where the cops are all just... in the car driving somewhere and looking burdened. This one was interspliced with scenes from the concert.... which must have meant that's where they were headed! To stop the vampires! It's all coming back to me... Another foggy bit of that night recovered! Hooray! Still never figured out where the mystery cake came from, though. But who cares, 'cause cake!

The icing on this deformed piece of cinematic work is the end, which is the tacked on second half of the vampire story from Madhouse. It's a scene with a different, but similar detective, and some of the same actresses who played vampires in both movies. Like, was it kinda supposed to be the same detective, or was it supposed to be some random dude who's there to demonstrate the vampire problem isn't solved yet and there still might be a sequel? If they're actually trying to fool us, it makes me a little worried about what might have happened to the old detective. Like, did he die or get sick or something before they could shoot the last scene? So they just stuck in the detective goes home to his bachelor pad and gets vampired scene with a completely different actor from another fucking movie? If that's the case, hopefully he couldn't make the shoot and they had to improvise, or the footage accidentally got recorded over and he said, “fuck you, I'm not doing it again,” 'cause that wouldn't be so heavy.

I just didn't know about this one. It could have been worse, I guess. It could have been Goblin.

I'm not done yet.  There are more of these things.  So... so many more.

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