Directed by Twilight Zone veteran Ted Post and written by schlock scribe Abe Polsky, The Baby is a standout of ’70s unhinged depravity. I saw it for the first time last year through Cinemageddon, an obscure movie lover’s wet dream website. Last week, schlock film distributors extraordinaires Severin Films announced that they will be rereleasing The Baby. It was originally released on DVD in 2005. I’m not sure of the quality of that one, but judging from Severin’s treatment of Psychomania and Hardware, The Baby is going to get the primo-fucking release it deserves. Trust me when I say you’ve never seen anything like it.
It’s not gory or sexually explicit. It didn’t push the limits of the film censors. And, surprisingly, it’s not the film’s premise that shocks. The sight of a 30-year-old man dressed and acting like a baby seems to shock very little people – even in the film. For me, it’s the twist at the end that left me open-mouthed as well as the well-executed ingredients sprinkled over this exploitation romp.
From 1971 until about 1979, Blaxploitation was enormous. At one time there was something like 3,000 movie theaters in the U.S. that played exclusively Blaxploitation films. Film movements like that just don’t exist anymore. Blaxploitation played off of white stereotypes of blacks, sometimes, unfortunately, reinforcing them. Film critic Ryan Diduck once explained Blaxploitation really well when he called it “empowerment through an overturned representation of long-established agency limitations for black men.”
I thought of revisiting Boss Nigger yesterday when Rendar mentioned how he was in the mood for westerns after seeing True Grit. I’m not a huge fan of the genre by any means – far too many of the “classics” are racist toward Native Americans and I don’t play that – but Blaxploitation I do know so this popped into my mind. Hit the jump to read more about a unique film that packs more than a controversial title!
For the second Christmas Creep in a row, I’m putting my foot in my mouth. When I pitched the Creep to the fearless leaders of OL, I told them I would be writing up the shittiest, most painful Christmas specials/movies. Like Icarus, I flew too close to the sun and blew my load on the premiere installment, Christmas With the Turtles. Is that like Icarus? It doesn’t matter. What I mean is that after that first article, I keep accidentally watching AWESOME Christmas jams! It’s a Christmas miracle (which I didn’t think was possible since I’m engaged to a Jew). Earlier this week I enjoyed the hell out of Max Headroom’s Giant X-Mas Turkey and yesterday, over a Diet Coke and toast, Santa With Muscles (1996) tickled my bad-good movie bone. And my pecs.
Hulk Hogan plays a militaristic, millionaire grinch who gets knocked out during a mall debacle and wakes up thinking he’s Santa. He befriends the residents of an orphanage – including a 13-year-old Mila Kunis – and helps them wreck some plot by nefarious developers to shut down their facility. Along the way there’s singing, inept figt scenes, and explosive crystals. Yes, explosive crystals. Needless to say, it’s awesome.
Directed by John Murlowski, a volunteer at the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center hotline *record scratch* Say wha? Hold up. I’m sure his noble activity as a suicide hotline volunteer has nothing to do with shame over the films he’s directed. Moving on, this movie is the perfect storm of ’90s cheese with a Hulkamania cherry on top. Hogan was on fire in the first half of the ’90s. Suburban Commando, Mr. Nanny, and the Thunder in Paradise trilogy. Near the tail-end of this streak is Santa With Muscles, his movie-fart swan song, so to speak.
The “film” also stars Ed Begley, Jr. as an evil scientist and Clint Howard as a mall cop. As mentioned earlier, a 13-year-old Mila Kunis plays an orphan and in a weird twist of TV Fate, her future castmate on That ’70s Show Don Stark plays Lenny the Elf. Fellow WWF superstar Brutus the Barber Beefcake has an entirely too brief cameo as a thug but it’s Hogan who carries this turd on his shoulders like Atlas. And Icarus. Atlas and Icarus. I guess
This might be the perfect Christmas Hangover movie. There’s enough cheese to enjoy and enough crap to enjoy heckling with your pals. Consider hunting this down online before you channel surf for some more traditional X-Mas flick.
WARNING: Performing an image search for “santa with muscles” will open up a Pandora’s Box of porn that I’m guessing does not fall into our readers’ preferred spank material.
Max Headroom is one of the most bizarre creations imported to American television in our lifetime. He poked his unholy prosthetic head onto Cinemax in 1986 by way of British TV and quickly began stuttering his way to stardom. Headroom (played by Matt Frewer – who portrayed Moloch in Watchmen) actually has a pretty sweet backstory. I barely remembered what he was all about, but after watching his awesome Christmas special I did some Wiki research. It’s like the best cyberpunk tale never written by William Gibson:
The film introduces Edison Carter (Matt Frewer), a television reporter trying to expose corruption and greed. In the movie, reporter Carter discovers that his employer, Network 23, has created a new form of subliminal advertising (termed “blip-verts”) that can be fatal to certain viewers.
While attempting to flee the network headquarters with proof, Edison suffers a serious head injury, caused by striking a low-clearance sign labeled “Max. Headroom”. Believing him killed, the network’s chief executive orders Bryce Lynch, an adolescent genius working as a scientist for Network 23, to digitally record Carter’s mind. The recording will then be used to create a computer-based replacement for Carter in order to hide his death.
It only gets b-b-better, folks, and I’ll tie this all into Christmas after the break!
Welcome to the Christmas Creep, you swine! It’s Omega Sinema’s celebration of the absolute worst in Christmas specials. I found some doozies to share with ya’ll, from childhood icons, to icons we’d rather forget, to utter shit from New Zealand that made me want to convert to Judaism so I would never even be put in the position of watching it again.
I decided to kick things off with probably the worst of the bunch. Get it over with, you know? Like tearing the duct tape off your girlfriend’s mouth following a night of passion. Right? Anyways, it’s pizza time in Hell: Christmas With the Turtles (1994).
Back in the day, us TMNT fans were loyal and the Turtle obsession teetered on the edge of religious obsession. We generally ignored the blatant ripoffs like Biker Mice From Mars and Street Sharks but always shelled out our allowance earnings for retarded figures like “Farmer Don.” We were forgiving of the third movie. We kept it green and we kept it in the sewer. What then, I ask, did we do to deserve this kick to the nuts? I love the Turtles and I love Christmas but fuck this:
…what. The hell. Was that? Why do they all talk like goodfellas but sing with a fake patois? And why won’t they stop smiling? They all look atrophied – like a bunch of green Amy Winehouses, which I think is the plural of Winehouse. God, I could go on and on nitpicking about the horrible production, but lemme tell you about the racy and thought-provoking plot for a minute.
Sometimes I watch movies without Nic Cage in them. They’re usually really bad. I refuse to suffer alone. Welcome to Omega Sinema.
The Secret of Magic Island is a 1956 kiddie matinee movie from France with a cast made up entirely of animals. And it’s awesome. I don’t need a plot in order to enjoy watching a dog tend bar and a fox wash a rooster, but there is one. A “villainous space-age” monkey steals a good fairy’s magic wand that bestows on him power over the elements. Two brave ducklings travel via hot-air balloon to the monkey’s island to end his reign of elemental terror. I think. See, there is no known English-language print of the movie. The bootleg I watched was in Swedish. It honestly could have been in German (I hate German) and I still would have watched it. It’s the most adorable one hour of anything ever. It’s cutesploitation!
The first 10 minutes consists of a duck driving around a village and delivering mail. The first thing he does? Get drunk at Cafe Billiards! The proprietor of the cafe is the boxer puppy in the above picture. He’s just lamping behind the bar, reading the newspaper, and drinking lager with a duck. This movie rules already! The duck finishes then drives past a house filled with bunnies, then an inventor dog, and then a sawmill run by a pig. It is a fucking paradise.
Then he drops by the home of a kitten playing a church organ…I could just keep going on like this – listing the incredible marvels that await you on Magic Island. But instead I’m going to suggest you hunt down a torrent for yourself. You won’t regret it. Next time you fight with your girlfriend, just put on Magic Island. Next time the results come back positive, put on Magic Island.