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John’s Horror Corner: Offseason (2021), a lighter, PG-13-ish Lovecraftian story relying more on atmospheric style than gory substance.

June 13, 2022

MY CALL:  This film may be best for less seasoned, younger horror fans less keen on shrill terror or eye-turning gore. For this very reason, I’m actually a bit surprised this wasn’t helmed by a first-time writer and director. Most qualities to be assessed in this film come off quite rough for me, but mine is a very critical eye. I liked the premise, but required much more in the execution. 

Disclaimer: A screener was provided by a PR/Media group/company. I was not paid or compensated to write this nor were there any conditions to my receiving the screener other than my solicited review and the timing of its posting.

Short Summary from IMDB: “After receiving a mysterious letter, a woman travels to a desolate island town and soon becomes trapped in a nightmare.”

Where can WATCH NOW? RLJE Films will release OFFSEASON On Demand, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray on August 3rd. To watch on Amazon just CLICK HERE.

SOLICITED REVIEWS: On occasion I accept requests for solicited reviews. But make no mistake, I have a day job and limited time. My favoritism to accept solicitations leans towards those who offer a physical screener, but that favoritism does not de facto earn a favorable review—but a “fair” review. Examples of my solicited reviews include Séance (2021), Belzebuth (2017; US release 2020), Scare Package (2019), Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019), The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019), The Unseen (2017; aka Amourosis), The Belko Experiment (2016) and The Barn (2016).

Accompanied by her estranged lover George (Joe Swanberg; XX, The Sacrament, V/H/S, You’re Next), Marie (Jocelin Donahue; The House of the Devil, Insidious Chapter 2, All the Creatures Were Stirring, Holidays, Doctor Sleep) must venture to a tiny island village in Florida to address the desecration of her mother’s grave. Arriving just before the seasonal closure of the island to the public, the lone bridge is raised upon her entry. When things get fishy and they attempt to drive home, the roads become blocked by the local palmy flora as if a road was never there.

Weaving atmosphere, director and writer Mickey Keating (Pod, Ritual, Psychopaths) opens the film with Marie’s demented mother’s monologue. Clearly mad, or perhaps “touched” by some madness beyond, she instills a strong sense of gravity as she suggests that no place exists in which one can escape “them.” A bit cliche, but we are left to wonder what demons in the shadows, despicable people or maybe some other physical entities plague her thoughts.

The humble budget is most readily apparent upon every sight of “them.” Like a much older film, these “them” are powdered-ashen people with whited-out eyes, akin to a deadite but lacking any additional signs of demonic undeath. They generally stand motionless ineffectively staring at our movie’s protagonist. I think the inspiration was, among other movies, something to the tune of We Are Still Here (2015).

The gags in this film feel antiquated, the likes of which one may expect from a 60s horror film. A deranged old lady speaks creepy feelings into Marie’s ear before somehow disappearing, excessive use of fog is employed to get Marie lost in a graveyard and separated from George, the very manner in which “the island” prevents them from leaving, and the exposition dump from the bridge keeper (Richard Brake; 31, Mandy) all harken a bygone horror era. In fact, it seems that this film takes place in the 70s or 80s based on the car we see, the presence of pay phones, and the complete lack of any digital devices like cell phones.

What interested me most before seeing this film were the “Welcome to Innsmouth” lovecraftian vibes from the trailer. I hoped I was in for a retelling of Dagon (2001) with a more subtle approach (and thus, fewer tentacled fish monster people). The townsfolk tell a dark history of their island, and how long ago they made a bargain with a man who crawled from the sea. The bargain was to protect the island village from the deadly storms–but at a price. I was also getting strong folk horror vibes, wondering if Marie was meant to be some sacrifice to appease a dark God of the Sea or to abet the deadly storms.

Clearly the budget just wasn’t there for special effects. There is no gore or brutality, weak make-up, unrefined writing, and almost nothing in the way of scares. This film is a tonal creeper that isn’t successful in its goal. It seems like a very rough first draft of the film that was intended. Someone needs to give this filmmaker a budget so we can really see what he can do.

 

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 431: Fight Club, IKEA and Soap

June 10, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Phil discuss the 1999 cult classic Fight Club. Directed by David Fincher, and starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter and a bunch of pungent soap, the movie focuses on what happens when a group of men see a guy punching himself in a parking lot (there’s a lot more to it…). In this episode, they also talk about space monkeys, book adaptations, and the filmography of David Fincher.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – Review: A Perfect Example of How To Craft a Successful Sequel to a Film That Didn’t Need a Sequel

June 9, 2022

Quick thoughts – Grade – B+ – Top Gun: Maverick is a perfect example of how to craft a successful sequel to a film that didn’t need a sequel. 

In 1986, the Tony Scott directed Top Gun collected $357 million worldwide, increased Navy enlistment, and skyrocketed the sales of Ray Ban sunglasses by 40%. A year later, when it was released on home video, the affordable VHS tape (thank you Pepsi ad) kicked off a home video revolution that continues to this day as the tapes became more affordable due to commercial tie-ins (in the 1980s VHS tapes cost in the $80 range..long story). The Tom Cruise vehicle was the ultimate blockbuster, and it ended on a definitive note that featured hot-shot pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) earning the respect of Tom “Iceman” Kazanky” (Val Kilmer) and coming to terms with himself after the tragic death of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards). It’s a great ending, and even considering a sequel could lead to a danger zone that diminished the legacy of the highest grossing film of 1986. 

The good news is that Top Gun: Maverick is an expertly crafted piece of filmmaking by director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Only the Brave and the Tom Cruise film Oblivion). What’s great about the film is that it sticks to a simple plot line that focuses on Maverick coming back to TOPGUN to instruct a group of hotshot F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilots who are tasked with a near-suicide mission that involves them blowing up an underground facility that is enriching uranium. In a shrewd business move by the film’s producers, the facility is in an unknown country, that is occupied by an unknown group who have surrounded the underground facility with an almost comical amount of security that includes surface-to-air missiles and 5th-generation fighters. On a good day the mission would be impossible, but since it’s a Tom Cruise movie, the impossible is possible and he even finds time to rekindle a love affair with Penelope Benjamin (Jennifer Connely) a cool bar owner, and make peace with Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Goose, who is angry at Maverick because he pulled his Navy papers when he tried to enlist (Maverick doesn’t want Bradley dying too).

What’s great about Top Gun: Maverick is that it knows it is a summer blockbuster, and is totally fine with that. By keeping the narrative simple, Cruise and Kosinski were able to focus their attention on the thrilling training sequences and a finale that will leave audiences breathless. After filming some fun aerial battles in Oblivion, Cruise and Kosinski have built a familiarity with each other’s styles (Cruise will do anything for a movie and Kosinski loves making things look good) and their quest for beauty has paid off. Once again, Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer received the support of the United States Navy and their cooperation helped a lot as Cruise was able put his co-stars through a three month boot-camp that got them used to G-forces and taught them how to film their scenes when they were inside the jets (over 800 hours of footage was recorded – which is wild). Top Gun: Maverick drips with authenticity which makes the aerial dogfights and performances feel real and alive. 

The biggest issue with the film is that Miles Teller’s character Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw doesn’t get the needed screentime to come across as a three-dimensional human being. Teller does his best, and he does have his moments, but since the movie is more focused on Cruise and his relationship with old-flame Penelope Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), Teller is forced to play a guy who is just really angry at Maverick because he pulled his Navy enlistment papers. Don’t expect a Maverick/Goose/Iceman bromance in Top Gun: Maverick because this is the Cruise show, and at this point of his career he’s earned the right to headline this movie in every way imaginable. 

After watching every Tom Cruise movie three times since 2018, it’s nice seeing the film embracing Cruise’s love of running, flying, fast motorcycles and shirtless scenes. It’s also nice watching him being tossed out of bar by the younger pilots after he can’t pay a huge bar tab, and seeing him struggle while on a sailboat with Penny. Like in Edge of Tomorrow (Rita Vrataski trains him) and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Ilsa Faust saves him), Cruise is often out of his league and it adds a nice element to his character because it makes them somewhat relatable and grounded. 

The supporting cast doesn’t pop like the actors in Top Gun, but they are still likable and obviously committed. The best new characters are Jake “Hangman” Seresin (Glen Powell – watch him in Everybody Wants Some!! and Set it Up), who is the Iceman of Maverick,  and Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm), a vice admiral who really doesn’t like Maverick but is ordered by Iceman (who is now the commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet) to bring him on as an instructor. Other notable new characters are pilots Natasha “Phoenix” Trace (Monica Barbaro), Bob (Lewis Pullman carrying on the family tradition of plane heroics), and Reuben “Payback” Fitch (Jay Ellis). 


Final thoughts: Top Gun: Maverick is an excellent summer blockbuster that should be watched on the biggest screen possible (they shot the aerial sequences with IMAX cameras) because it actually took the time to create a grand spectacle.

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 430: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Talking Crabs, and Musical Numbers

June 4, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Megan talk about Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, their favorite movie of 2021. Directed by Josh Greenbaum, and starring Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan and a mermaid named Trish, the movie focuses on what happens when you visit a magical place in Florida. In this episode, they also talk about hot dog soup, lemon infused ice tea, and sand fights. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker.

Scream (2022) – Review: A Worthy Sequel That Takes the Scream Franchise in a Fun New Direction

June 3, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B – Scream is a solid addition to the Scream franchise as it expands the universe and introduces new elements (toxic fandom, fan fiction) that can carry the franchise forward. Also, it finds an organic way to bring back the legacy characters and features a standout performance from David Arquette. 

After an 11-year absence (not counting the TV show) the world needed more Scream, and with sequels like The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and Halloween (2018) doing gigantic business the time has never been better for more meta-slasher nonsense. The long gap between Scream 4 and Scream has paid dividends because during this time the cinematic world has been plagued by an onslaught of toxic fans who are angry that the sequels (or reboot sequels = requels) to their favorite films didn’t specifically try to appease them. Also, since Scream 4 was released in 2011, companies like A24, Blumhouse, IFC and Neon have released elevated horror films (a term I dislike and think only people who are new to horror use) like The Witch, The Babadook, and It Follows. These low-budget arthouse horror films which are patient, artful and not afraid of metaphors haven’t sat well with gorehounds who grew up on slasher films (and their sequels and their remakes) Thus, Scream (2022) had a gigantic sandbox to play with and it does a solid job of remaining relevant in the horror landscape.

This time the story focuses on a new slew of attacks in Woodsboro, which introduces a new crew of horror lovers. As customary for a Scream movie, the opening features Ghostface attacking a teenager named Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) who prefers The Babadook to movies like Stab 1-8. Tara survives the attack, and the news travels to her sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) whom she hasn’t seen in years after she left Woodsboro. Along with Sam is her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid), a horror-newbie who hasn’t watched any of the Stab films which conveniently allows everyone to explain the history of Woodsboro to him. Rounding out the potential villain/killer group are Tara’s high school friends  Wes (Dylan Minnette), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad (Mason Gooding), Liv (Sonia Ammar) and Amber (Mikey Madison). Since it’s a Scream movie all of the new characters are suspects and they have a fun time trying to decide which one could be guilty. One of the highlights of the movie involves Mindy (AKA the new Randy) breaking down the rules of requels in an effort to pinpoint the killer. It’s a fun moment that brings back fond memories or Randy (Jamies Kennedy) explaining the rules in Scream and Scream 2

Writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt made the smart decision to introduce the new cast of characters before they bring back the beloved legacy characters Gale Weathers (Coutney Cox) Sidney Prescott (Never Campbell) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette). This allows the audience to settle in with the new crew and it lets us know that the focus should be on them, instead of legacy characters who all join in organically. The now successful Gale comes back to Woodsboro to check in on Dewey, who retired from the police force and spends his days/nights drinking after he and Gale broke up. The two separated when Gale was offered a huge job in New York, and their reunion is legitimately dramatic as both actors have great chemistry during their scenes. It would be a spoiler to reveal why Sidney comes back to town, just know that whoever wanted her to return to Woodsboro didn’t think it through because Sidney is a badass who has survived everything thrown at her. When will killers learn to liver alone?

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (watch Ready or Not now) do a fine job of juggling multiple storylines (Tara-Sam, Friend group, legacy characters) and they take several big swings that make Scream worth watching. My main complaint about recent requels is that they take the agency away from the villains (Halloween), or play like a lifeless copy of the original (Jurassic World). Scream (2022) is a meta-slasher that uses fan expectations and fan fiction to its advantage, and in the end has something to say about fandom in general. The 11-year break was smart because horror movie fandom is always evolving and it will give the Scream creators plenty of material for years to come. For instance, there is a moment that involves a lemon square callback, many opened doors, a shower, and a knife through the neck of a strategically named character that totally validates the existence of the movie. The scene features a new character, a legacy character and several easter eggs that prove you can honor prior films in the franchise and still build something new. 

Final Thoughts – I can’t wait for Scream 6!

Watcher (2022) – Review: An Effective Psychological Thriller That Features Another Solid Performance From Maika Monroe

June 2, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B- – Watcher is an effective thriller that effectively uses the empty streets of Bucharest, Romanica to create a paranoid experience that’s worth a watch. Director Chloe Okuno (V/H/S/1994) is a writer/director to watch because of the way she is able to build tension and create memorable visuals that stick with you.

Watcher tells the story of Julia (Maika Monroe – watch The Guest and It Follows), and Francis (Karl Glusman) an American couple who move to Bucharest when Francis is offered a lucrative promotion that affords him a raise and a spacious apartment with large windows that allow the neighbors in the building across the street to spy on their lives. The open windows don’t worry Francis, who is constantly at work and often on out of town business trips, however, the fishbowl-esque windows begin to create dread for Julia who occasionally sees the shape of a man staring directly into her home. Since it’s a thriller, Julia learns that there is a serial killer on the loose who is killing young women, and since it’s not a particularly original thriller, Francis, her supposed loving husband doesn’t believe a word Julia says (which is a wildly common occurrence in the real world, however here it feels a bit stock) when she becomes paranoid that a man in the next building (played by Burn Gorman) is following her. It would be a shame to spoil the rest, just know that Okuno was influenced by movies like Rear Window, Charade, Lost in Translation, and Rosemary’s Baby, and a lot of that influence is on the screen.

The best parts of Watcher occur when Julia explores the empty streets of Bucharest that feel lonely and dreamlike due to the production being filmed during the pandemic. It’s a sprawling city with a population of 1.8 million, but nobody is around when she’s buying vampire trinkets or wandering through the grocery store. It’s also neat how her wardrobe choices evolve as she initially wears reds and bright colors, but as she becomes more isolated and alone she starts wearing drab colors and turtlenecks that match the walls of her apartment. You really do feel for Julia as her husband’s co-workers deliberately don’t speak English around her, and the isolation of moving to another country isn’t helped by Francis never being around (he’s a very bad movie husband – which is the point). In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Okuno said that she “ thought the simplicity of it (Watcher) was very intriguing,” and that “There is something particularly upsetting to me about the idea of not being safe in your own home and I liked the challenge of building suspense around this very minimalist story.” Okuno does a fine job of creating an interesting color palette (white, gray, beige, blue – lit by warm lights), and her work with cinematographer Benjamin Kirk Nielsen (who also worked on Okuno’s film Slut) pay dividends as they find a way to make Julia’s modern apartment seem like a cell that is slowly closing in on her. The 1.85:1 is inspired as it makes the windows seem larger than life, and according to Okuno, they slowly started centering the frame on Julia as the mysterious watcher really starts watching her (it’s neat).

In the end, Watcher is proof that Okuno is a director to watch and might influence you to check out Maika Monroe in The Guest and It Follows if you haven’t already.

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 429: The Chronicles of Riddick, Necromongers, and Hot Planets

May 31, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Norbert (@eddiecaine on Twitter) continue their Riddick trilogy series by talking about The Chronicles of Riddick (2004). Directed by David Twohy, and starring Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Thandiwe Newton and Judi Dench, the movie focuses on what happens when scriptwriters stuff six movies into one movie. In this episode, they also discuss Keith David’s accent, prison planets, and the Underverse.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker.

Shark Bait (2022) – Review

May 27, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – C – Shark Bait is a lean and mean 87-minute experience that features a few standout moments. If you’re looking for a movie that features a great white shark chasing down a jet ski, look no further than Shark Bait.

If you’ve read MFF for sometime you know that I love shark movies (I co-host Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast) and jet ski action scenes. That’s why when I first heard about Shark Bait (I like the original title more. It’s simply Jet Ski) I figured that it was going to be the best movie of the 2020s. In my movie world, it doesn’t get any better than watching spring breakers dealing with a great white shark while stranded in the ocean with only a jet ski between them and sharp teeth. It’s a perfect idea, and I’m sad to say that the movie doesn’t deliver upon the hype I unfairly put on it. The direction is solid, the actors are good, and there’s a moment in which a woman’s hair is caught in the wristwatch of a guy who is being dragged underwater by the killer shark (neat visual). Despite this inventive moment, Shark Bait is mostly a bland experience that sticks to self-seriousness instead of having fun. It’s definitely not in the league of The Shallows which combines humor, seagulls, psychotic sharks, and a likable hero who has three-dimensions. Instead, it plays like a less-tense The Reef (people are stranded and hunted by a shark), until the ending, when it finally decides to have some fun. 

The good news is that Shark Bait is better than most direct-to-streaming shark movies for several key reasons. First, you can tell that James Nunn, who directed the Scott Adkins’ film One Shot, and worked as the second-unit director on both 47 Meters Down movies, worked hard to make the film visually interesting. The on-location shoot in Malta adds a lot to the overall production as the crew and cast shot for 10-12 hours in the Mediterranean Sea to give the film an authentic look that will remind you of The Reef and Open Water (think lots of water, and zero help). Second, the cinematography by Ben Moulden is occasionally excellent as the jet ski scenes and overhead shots showcase the initial thrill of a joyride, then give the audience a feeling of isolation and danger. It must’ve been a beast to find 100+ angles to film the actors around the jet ski, but Moulden’s confident work gives the proceedings a polished look. Lastly, the finale of the movie features a great white shark chasing down a jet ski. It’s wonderful, and doesn’t end as tragically as the jet ski chase in Shark Night 3D does. 

The biggest problem with Shark Bait is that the characters leave zero impact, and the forced drama (cheating boyfriends…) and complete lack of humor don’t help the proceedings. I know that creating drama on top of drama isn’t a bad idea, and I’m not saying I could write a better screenplay than Nick Saltrese (A Prayer Before Dawn – watch it, He’s also worked on many British soaps, which potentially explains some of the drama), I just wish I could remember the names of the characters. It may be odd to want memorable characters in a movie where they exist to be eaten, but if it weren’t for some well-shot death scenes, all of the kills would fall flat because the characters aren’t anything special. Also, it is 100% their fault that they’re in the deadly predicament because during the last night of their college spring break, they steal two jet skis and almost immediately start playing a game of chicken that ends horribly. This leads to them becoming shark snacks and you never once feel bad for any of them. Of all the cast members, Holly Earl is the most memorable as she believably finds a wild amount of inner-strength to combat a great white shark who is so big and powerful that it destroys sailboats and can keep pace with a jet ski.

Final thoughts – Shark Bait features a shark chasing a jet ski, it’s worth the price of admission. Also, it’s WAY better than the 2021 stinker Great White.

Movies, Films and Flix Research – Encino Man (1992), Ice Blocks, and Lawn Mowers

May 26, 2022

I’m a big fan of the movie Encino Man (or California Man). It’s a breezy 88 minutes, Pauly Shore finds unexpected depth in his character, and Michael DeLuise is a perfect villain (SHOOOOOOSH!). As far as early 1990’s comedies go, it has enough memorable moments to stand out from the crowd and features a moment that caught my attention a few years ago while recording a podcast episode about the movie

While many people justifiably focus on how Link (Brendan Fraser) stayed preserved in an ice chunk for milenia, I was more impressed with how Dave (Sean Astin) and Stoney (Shore), two supposed dweeby suburb kids, were able to take a 1,000 pound block of ice out of a large hole, then transport to it a shed where they put it on wooden saw horses. If I ever found a 1,000 pound block of ice during my high school years, I wouldn’t have thought to create a pulley system using a swing set, metal slide, lawn mower, and loads of strong rope to pull it out of a large hole (that I dug). Dave and Stoney’s ingenuity and engineering skills are  admirable and even more impressive when you realize they spent zero dollars and only used household items to transport an ice block that “weighs a ton.”

The following is an overly long guide on how they completed their impressive mission. 

I’m assuming that the ice block weighs 1,000 pounds based on ice sculptures, online examples, and the fact that a human is inside it. I’m guessing the 6’2 Fraser weighed 185 pounds in 1992, so between his weight, and the ice chunk, 1,000 pounds is a safe guess. Also, if you take a look at this video you’ll see how much smaller blocks of ice can’t be carried by two people. 

Here’s the setup.

Characters

  • Dave Morgan (Sean Astin) – Suburban kid who thinks a swimming pool will solve all his problems. His sister Teena calls him a “disease” and tells him that “no one is going to swim in this stupid pool.” By digging the pool, he’s hoping to end his high school years on a high and become a legend. He’s kind of a wet noodle, who says things like “Robin Sweeney is mine,” even though she has a boyfriend and doesn’t want to go to prom with him. 
  • Stoney Brown (Pauly Shore) – A super chill guy who is totally fine being a “loser.” He’s the voice of reason for the two. For a high school kid, he actually sees things with surprising clarity. Also, he has a terrible home life as his mom is always “bummed” and he eats at Dave’s house because his mom never has any food in the house. 

Here’s the setup

  1. Dave digs an impressively deep hole in his backyard that will eventually be home to a swimming pool (dude only uses a shovel). 
  2. His digging is interrupted by an earthquake that unearths several Mousterian bowls, cave drawings, and a large piece of ice that has a caveman inside of it.  
  3. Dave tries to tell his mom. But she’s a mom in a 1990s film so she totally ignores him. 
  4. Instead of calling the proper authorities, Dave and Stoney decide to stash the ice block in Dave’s shed so they can make some money.
  5. That night, they transport the 1,000 pound ice block into Dave’s backyard shed.
  6. They rig up four heaters and blow dryers to melt the ice block. No fuses blow…

The following is an examination of how Dave and Stoney pulled off the impressive feat. 

  1. After finding the ice chunk, Dave and Stoney come up with a solid impromptu plan.
  2. They wrap the ice chunk with a cloth and tie it up with a strong rope. They either roll the ice block onto a sheet and tie it up, or they use a pulley system to lift it up. Either way, they had to wrap and tie up an extremely heavy ice chunk. Not an easy job.
  3. They move the swing set to the deep end of the hole, and take off the slide. They place the slide inside the deep end of the pool to use as a ramp. The good news is the slide seems to be made of durable metal. 
  4. They use the rest of the rope to create a pulley system.
  5. They use the swing set and a lawn mower to pull the ice block up the slide. I appreciate how they use the part of the swing with the ladder attached. This allows it to hold more weight.

Part 2 – They take the ice block to the shed.

  1. Moving the ice block 40-50 feet couldn’t have been easy. 
  2. They must’ve found some logs and rolled Link towards the shed. The two couldn’t carry the ice block, and a wheelbarrow doesn’t seem likely. That’s why the log option seems like the best bet. 
  3. They needed the lawnmower, 4-5 logs, and rope. I don’t think they dragged it because the next day there are no signs of any indentations on the ground. Sliding a 1,000 pound object leaves a trace. I suppose they could’ve used an outdoor broom to sweep the marks away, but that doesn’t make much sense. It’s possible skateboards could’ve been involved, but Dave doesn’t seem like a skateboard kid
  4. By this point, they are a well-oiled machine

Part 3 – They somehow lift a 1,000 chunk of ice onto two wooden saw horses. 

*Note – I’m not sure why they put the ice block on saw horses. Imagine if Link’s head melts first and his head/neck are crushed/broken when the ice block falls to the floor. It might’ve been easier to leave it on the ground. However, their plan worked, the surface air was increased which exposed it to more heat and allowed it to melt faster, so they must know something I don’t.

  1. They unwrap the ice block and hope that the melting ice doesn’t make it slip and slide while they put it on the sawhorses. 
  2. The sawhorses are legit. I researched similar styles and they could easily hold 1,000 pounds.
  3. Call me crazy, but lifting one end onto one sawhorse, then lifting the other, seems unlikely. I suppose they could’ve melted a portion of the ice, created a groove, and placed the sawhorse under it. However, lifting the other side would be a beast. The ceiling of the shed looks to be made up of 2x4s. So, they could’ve used those and a pulley to get leverage. It’s not impossible, it just takes a decent amount of planning to lift a 1,000 pound item onto sawhorses when you don’t have proper gear. It’s impressive that it didn’t slip and slide. 
  4. They set up four heaters and a blow dryer to expedite the melting. 

Final thought – The most amazing part of Encino Man isn’t the caveman. Also, between Son in Law (listen to this podcast episode here. It’s a fun one), and In the Army Now, Pauly Shore has an impressive set of skills that allow him to hack computers, make amazing purified water (1:50 in clip), and move a 1,000 pound block of ice into a shed. 

Final Final thought – What’s interesting about this trilogy of films is that Link (Brendan Fraser) pops up in all three of them. This means that Stoney (Encino Man), Crawl (Son in Law) and Bones (In the Army Now) are either triplets or clones. What does Link think about all of this? I know they are cheeky cameos, but it raises a lot of questions about how many Pauly’s there are in the Pauly Shore Cinematic Universe (PSCU)

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 428: Desperado, Robert Rodriguez, and Guitar Case Rocket Launchers

May 25, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Mark and Adam (of the GoFigure YouTube Show) talk about the 1995 action classic Desperado. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, and starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, and a bunch of throwing knives, the movie focuses on a mariachi’s epic quest for revenge. In this episode, they also discuss action movies, rocket launchers, and the career of Robert Rodriguez. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

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