The B-Movie Bungalow Presents: Trip With The Teacher (1975) [Video Review]

Also known as: DEADLY FIELD TRIP.

Earl Barton

Barbara Fogarty - Miss Tenny
Zalman King - Al
Dina Ousley - Bobbie

Robert Gribbin - Jay

Robert Porter - Pete

Cathy Worthington - Julie

Susan Russell - Pam

Jill Voight - Tina

Genre - B-Movie/Cult/Exploitation/Rape/Revenge

Running Time - 89 Minutes

TRIP WITH THE TEACHER is a LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT ripoff that's actually worth a watch if you have 90 minutes to spare. Zalman King owns this movie. Watch the third part of my video reviews for the Drive-In Cult Classics collection!


FMR wins a "You Scare Me" Award!!

Wow, so Petunia Scareum of Deadly Serious [FOLLOW HER!] has created a blog award called the "You Scare Me" Horror Blog Award to acknowledge Horror Bloggers who, as she says, deserve their day in the sun or moon. She named me the first ever recipient of the award and wrote a wonderful statement as to why I was picked that really touched my heart. Sometimes I wonder why I even do this blog and it's great people like Pete who remind me why. So thank you Pete for this award and for commenting on my posts. It truly means alot! :)

Here is how this award works.
1. You must thank the blogger who sent it to you.
2. You must choose two Horror Bloggers that you feel are outstanding and deserve to be recognized for their work and dedication to the Horror genre.
3. You must describe why you think each recipient deserves this award.

It was really hard only being able to choose TWO Horror Bloggers because I think there are so many out there that are just truly incredible. But I had to pick the two that inspire me to become a better horror blogger and actually reveal me to movies I probably would have never known unless I took a day off to research. So here are my two choices:

1. Reverend Phantom - Midnight Confessions

I've known the other Fred for over three years now, thanks to MySpace. I believe he read my WEIRD SCIENCE review and wanted me to write for his Phantamorte MySpace page. Ever since, we've always commented on each other's stuff and helped each other whenever there needed be. We both love the same things pretty much, although his taste for horror is a bit more European and exploitative than mine is currently [I'm getting there, Phantom!]. But he always takes his reviews seriously, always giving you information that may not have known about, as well as throw in some humor when there's a need for it. Because of him, I remembered movies that I had long forgotten about, or I'm introduced to some crazy ass shit that I want to see and add to my Netflix queue. He was pretty much one of the first of our MySpace crew to start doing video reviews and has since become a reviewing star on Midnight Confessions and on YouTube with his over 400 subscribers - all well earned since he was my inspiration to doing video reviews in the first place.

He's always been a true friend to me and never has an ego about things. He truly loves film and graphic arts. Without him, I probably would have stopped reviewing a long time ago. One of these days, we will meet and our reviewing powers will combine, creating a massive crash in the reviewing blogosphere that will be felt for years to come. But until then, he gets a "You Scare Me" award.

2. The Lightning Bug - The Lightning Bug's Lair

Zach was one of my first Blogger followers back in 2008 and has always supported me quietly ever since. His blog is incredibly impressive and so damn entertaining. He writes reviews with a chock-full of information and trivia that I wouldn't have known until reading his stuff. He's another blogger that introduced me to other films I have never seen, broading my horror film knowledge tenfold. He has different segments for his blog, like "Once Upon A Time In Italy", "Ladies Night", and so forth - all equally entertaining. He never shies away from a film, even if it's cinema trash, always giving us his honest opinion whether it's good or bad. Zach is a true horror blogger in every sense of the word and definitely one of my biggest inspirations. If you haven't checked his stuff out, then you definitely need to. He gets my second "You Scare Me" award.

That's all for this post. The next review [my 345th!!! - I already have my 350th review planned - and yes it will be a video review for an 80s horror classic] will be a video review for the B-Movie Bungalow: TRIP WITH THE TEACHER (1975). Until then, stay scary!


Class of 1999 (1990)

Mark L. Lester

Bradley Gregg - Cody Culp
Malcolm McDowell - Dr. Miles Langford
Stacy Keach - Dr. Bob ForrestPam Grier - Ms. Connors
John P. Ryan - Mr. Hardin
Patrick Kilpatrick - Coach Bryles
Traci Lin - Christie Langford
Jimmy Medina Taggert - Hector

Genre - Science Fiction/Action/B-Movie/Cult

Running Time - 99 Minutes

I'll never forget 1999. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and boy bands ruled the radio. People were livin' la vida loca. THE SIXTH SENSE and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT scared the shit out of a lot of people. Then-President Bill Clinton was still denying sleeping with that young intern. And I was 18 years old and graduating from High School. Yes everyone, I AM the Class of 1999!

However while watching CLASS OF 1999, which came out in 1990, I don't remember my High School life being as violent. Gang wars before, during, and after school? Android professors? MULLETS??? If this is what the Class of 1999 would have become, I probably would have found that "Genie In A Bottle" and rubbed her ass the right way so everything can go back to normal! But thankfully, the film didn't come true, even if CLASS OF 1999 is a cool flick in its own right.

In the "future" [or is it "past"? or "future past"? aw hell, forget it!] of 1999, the American school system has gone to hell. Gangs who've watched THE ROAD WARRIOR too many times rule the schools. Violence and drug use are normal routines in and out of school. Guards and police barely are able to enforce any sort of rules. And no teaching ever takes place because the students are too busy fighting each other rather than learning from one another.

This all changes when the Department of Educational Defence steps in. They hire Megatech robotics expert Dr. Bob Forrest (Stacy Keach and his badass mullet) to sort this mess. With the permission of headmaster Dr. Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), Forrest brings in three robot teachers: Mr. Bryles (Patrick Kilpatrick), Mr. Hardin (John Ryan), and Ms. Connors (Pam Grief) - three badass ex-Army machines who love to discipline!

When the robots begin to do things on their own accord, recently-released-from-prison Cody Culp (Bradley Gregg) begins to notice that things aren't quite right with his new teachers, especially when the students end up being abused or even killed. With the help of Langford's daughter Christie (Traci Lind), Cody decides to see what's going on.

CLASS OF 1999 is sort of considered a "sequel" to 1982's CLASS OF 1984, which also dealt with violence in and around schools. The two films aren't really connected and are definitely different in terms of look, style, and message. I first watched CLASS OF 1999 in a theater back in 1990 in a double feature with LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III [which will be reviewed sometime in August hopefully]. And quite honestly, this film is the one I mostly remembered of the two. And watching it 20 years later, I see why because it's actually a pretty fun movie.

Mark L. Lester, who also wrote, directed, and produced CLASS OF 1984, seemed more inspired by TERMINATOR, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, and the MAD MAX films this time around. We get killer androids. We get gangs that are distinguised by their neon colors. We get shoot outs, car/motorcycle chases, and huge explosions. It's more of an action/sci-fi hybrid rather than the more grounded exploitation style of CLASS OF 1984. In a way, I do feel that the sci-fi stuff dates CLASS OF 1999 a little bit [even though the message of technology taking over in a good and/or bad way is still ringing true even today], CLASS OF 1999 is still nevertheless an entertaining film.

While the story itself is barebones [humans vs. robots - nothing more, nothing less] and the character development not really there, except for the villains [who happen to be robots, go figure], the dialogue in the script is pretty humorous [although I'm not sure if it's intentional or not]. Here are some gems:

"These things are like a bad, fucked up George Jetson nightmare!"

"Do you trust him?
Like I trust a vampire to give me a blowjob."

If campy dialogue like that doesn't make you chuckle, then you're probably an android. And there are more of them in this movie, making a fairly straightforward script into something a bit more entertaining.

Like I said, the development of characters is fairly weak for the most part. We have a love story angle with Cody and Christie that isn't deep enough for reality dating shows such as The Bachelor or Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. They hang out. They fight. They distrust each other. Then they have to save each other. Nothing more than that. They were more brother and sister than romantic counterparts. I also wanted to know more about the gang rivalry between Cody's gang and Hector's gang. They just seemed to hate each other because that was in the script. Also, why was Cody in jail to begin with at the start of the film? When I know more about killer robots, it's kind of sad. But then again, you're not watching this movie for quality screenwriting, are you? Still, it would have been nice.

The special effects are actually very well done for a low budget feature. The androids, when their skin was peeled off towards the end, looked really cool and wouldn't be out of place in a TERMINATOR film. We get arms peeled off to reveal flamethrowers, drills, and a tommy gun. Plus students get murdered in really grisly ways, like being burnt alive and even being split in half. There are those who even get a hard spanking [literally] by one of the teachers. Plus one kid got drilled in the head that sort of reminded me of PHANTASM. The ending of the film is very violence with a lot of shit blowing up, and the effects team did a really great job making it come to life. The budget went to a good place.

The direction by Mark L. Lester is good, although his work on CLASS OF 1984 was better. He handles the action sequences quite well and the pacing of the film is excellent, meaning you'll never be bored waiting for something to happen. I love the locations used and the cinematography is also quite nice. I kind of wish these kids weren't wearing what they were wearing: bulky leather jackets, tight leggings that happened to be in neon colors, and stupid headwear. It looked out of place with the seriousness of the rest of the film. But at least it made me laugh and glad that these fashions never came true.

The acting is good as well. Bradley Gregg, who many horror fans remember as Phillip the human puppet in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, as well as River Phoenix's older brother in STAND BY ME, does very well as the lead character Cody. Gregg's character wants to change from his bad boy ways by doing something right by the end of the film, and Gregg brings that out quite nicely. He carries the film well and has nice chemistry with Traci Lin [who does a capable job as the token girlfriend] as well. Malcolm McDowell is pretty much wasted as Dr. Langford, the school headmaster. Honestly, anyone could have played this role and they would have all been interchangable and unmemorable. That's not McDowell's fault, as he's a great actor. I blame the screenwriter for not giving the man material worthy of his skill. Stacy Keach has more to do as the evil Dr. Forrest, showing off the maniacal nature of his character with ease and glee. I kind of wish McDowell had this role, but Keach pulled it off.

As for the actors playing the androids, they were probably the best actors in the film. Patrick Kilpatrick [nice name there buddy] brought a mean, intimidating presence as the nutty gym teacher. John P. Ryan as Mr. Hardin cracked me up with his pipe smoking, one-liners, evil sneer, and his spanking techniques. But the best one was Pam Grier as Ms. Connors, the badass History teacher who took no shit. These actors had the best and more entertaining stuff to do.


- In 1999, cellmates threw toilet paper at those who got released from prison. That's a really shitty to do. What a bunch of asswipes!

- Don't ever tell Pam Grier to "fuck off". She'll go FOXY BROWN on your ass! And I don't mean like the rapper, although that would be just as bad, if not worse.

- Mr. Hardin, the math teacher, spanked his students for misbehaving. And for those who get aroused by this abuse, anything under 12 inches doesn't constitute bringing a ruler to class. You're still unprepared!

- Mr. Hardin enjoys teaching about The Trojan War. I think more students should learn about this time in history. Knowing the origins of teenage pregnancy, safe and unsafe sex, and the rise in power of one Maury Povich would have saved people a lot of trouble.

- Mr. Hardin made of the students ingest his own drugs to end his addiction. Dr. Drew should take note for the new season of Celebrity Rehab.

- Angel's gang colors are black, yellow, and purple. Either the confused kid is colorblind, or he's one of the new members for Prince & The Revolution. Hmmm...maybe it is the latter. You gotta party like it's 1999, right?

- The battle boys showed Malcolm McDowell how they discipline others. I think I just viddi'd some ultraviolence, my little droogs.

- Hector said that Ms. Connors had "bionic tetas". I wonder if the Six Million Dollar Man had a bionic... you know what? I don't wanna know.

If you're a fan of CLASS OF 1984 and expecting this semi-sequel to be as memorable or as meaningful in its message, you're gonna be disappointed. But if you want to see humans and robots destroying each other in cool action sequences without thinking too much as you watch, CLASS OF 1999 is definitely your film. Sure the story is lacking, has some needless exposition, and campy dialogue and fashion sense. But CLASS OF 1999 never takes itself seriously and knows right away which audience it's targeting. On all accounts, this is a bad movie - but it's an extremely fun one that you can't help be charmed by. Just relish in the campiness of it all and you'll have a good time.

3 Howls Outta 4


The First Ever Billy Loves Stu Meme for Horror Bloggers

Pax Romano, of the very entertaining Billy Loves Stu, has created this meme for horror bloggers. Since I'm kind of in a meme-y mood, I decided to play along.

The First Ever Billy Loves Stu Meme for Horror Bloggers

1: In Ten Words or Less, Describe Your Blog:
My outlet to discuss horror films honestly and humorously.

2: During What Cinematic Era Where you Born?
A: The Classic Horror Era (late 30's to 40's)
B: The Atomic Monster/Nuclear Angst Era (the late 40's through 50's)
C: The Psycho Era ( Early 60's)
D: The Rosemary's Baby Era (Mid to Late 60's)
E: The Exorcism Era (Early to mid 70's)
F: The Halloween Era (Late 70's to Early 80's)
G: The Slasher Era (Mid to late 80's)
H: The Self Referential/Post Modern Era (1990 to 1999)

I was born in 1981, so definitely The Halloween era. In fact, since Halloween is my all-time favorite movie, I wouldn't have it any other way.

3: The Carrie Compatibility Question:
(gay men and straight women - make your choice from section A)
A: Billy Nolan or Tommy Ross, who would you take to the prom?
(straight guys and lesbians - make your choice from section B)
B: Sue Snell or Chris Hargensen, who would you take to the prom?

While Sue would be great as a girlfriend and crazy ex-wife, I would take Chris to the prom because I know I would get laid all night long. Have you seen her lick her lips before pulling that rope? Oh yeah... you know what I was thinking about!

4: You have been given an ungodly amount of money, and total control of a major motion picture studio - what would your dream Horror project be?

I would love to bring back the anthology series, like Tales From The Crypt, The Twilight Zone, or Tales From The Darkside. I would also like to contribute to making those Goosebumps books into real movies because I know a lot of people who would like to see that happen, myself included.

5: What horror film "franchise" that others have embraced, left you cold?

It's gotta be Hellraiser. I've only seen the first four and I only like the first three. I'll watch the rest and probably review them one day, but I'm in no rush.

6: Is Michael Bay the Antichrist?

And disrespect the Antichrist? No way. He's part of Hell though. I don't care if the dude makes stupid action films. But leave my horror classics alone! Yeah you did okay with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and especially The Amityville Horror. But fuck off the rest of them, you greedy fuck!

7: Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Frankenstein Monster - which one of these classic villains scares you, and why?

Well since I'm part of the Wolf Man's pack, I embrace his work. I would say Dracula. Once he hypnotizes you and wants your neck, it's done for.

8: Tell me about a scene from a NON HORROR Film that scares the crap out of you:

The horse head from The Godfather. That shit was freaky and haven't looked at horses the same way since.

9: Baby Jane Hudson invites you over to her house for lunch. What do you bring?

Botox injections. How else is she gonna stay Baby Jane? Also Coca-Cola to piss off her sister. I'll remind her to hide the wire hangers.

10: So, between you and me, do you have any ulterior motives for blogging? Come, on you can tell me, it will be our little secret, I won't tell a soul.

While I do like the attention, I do it really because I like to get my thoughts out and it helps me deal with stress. Plus it allows me to interact with other horror fans. I never really had that outlet when I was growing up.

11: What would you have brought to Rosemary Woodhouse's baby shower?

Talon clippers and heavy metal music.

12: Godzilla vs The Cloverfield Monster, who wins?

They both do because we will all be dead during the battle. But at the end of the day, Godzilla.

13: If you found out that Rob Zombie was reading your blog, what would you post in hopes that he read it?

I would tell him to make his own horror films [no remakes] on the side while focusing more on his music. He's a much better musician. Also, to stop having his wife star in every single thing he makes. It's getting annoying.

14: What is your favorite NON HORROR FILM, and why?

A Clockwork Orange because it's fuckin' awesome and Stanley Kubrick was a genius ahead of his time, although some do consider that somewhat horror. If they do, I'll go with The Goonies.

15: If blogging technology did not exist, what would you be doing?

Probably making movies and watching them. I don't think much would change besides having more time to do other things.


The House of the Devil (2009)

Part of Final Girl's July 2010's Film Club

Ti West

Jocelin Donahue - Samantha Hughes
Tom Noonan - Mr. Ulman

Mary Woronov - Vivian Ulman

Greta Gerwig - Megan

A.J. Bowen - Victor Ulm
Dee Wallace - Landlady

- Horror/Supernatural/Satanic

Running Time - 95 Minutes

The state of mainstream modern horror hasn't really made it all that fun to be a horror fan. Don't get me wrong, I will always be a huge horror fan in good times and in bad. But look at what horror has become recently. We have pointless remakes of films, that still stand the test of time, all in the name of money. We have unnecessary sequels, again, all in the name of money. And we have films that rather deal with style over substance, sacrificing story for blood and gore. I don't hate all of these modern films, but it's nice to watch a film where the story takes precedence over everything else for a change. This is the case in 2009's THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, where the plot leads up to the violence and brutality - not the other way around. It's pretty sad that for a film paying homage to 70s and 80s horror movies, it's the freshest horror film I've seen in a very long time.

Samantha Hughes (Jocelin Donahue) is a college sophomore who needs money and fast to pay the rent for her newly acquired apartment. And what does any 80s college girl do? No, not strip! That was the 90s! In the 80s, girls babysat, which is what Samantha decides to do. She ends up in the boonies to meet an eccentric couple called the Ulmans (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov) at their home. They're upfront with Samantha, admitting that they lied about having a small child. Instead, Samantha must babysit for Grandma, who is asleep upstairs and not to be disturbed. All alone in this huge house, Samantha begins to snoop around out of boredom, finding out that strange things are going on at this house. Ironically, there's also this mysterious total lunar eclipse happening at the same time, although I doubt that has to do with anything...

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL was an indie hit last year due to the fact that it was different than most modern genre efforts. It's all about story, atmosphere, build up, wasn't a remake or a sequel, and is a very good homage to what many call the Golden Era of horror - the 1970s and 1980s. While it's not a perfect homage and does have it flaws, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is still a very well-made film.

The story by Ti West is based on 70s and 80s horror. The fact that it even takes place in the 1980s makes it welcome viewing. We have a babysitter in a haunting house that hints at Satanic stuff going on behind closed doors. It's like HALLOWEEN or WHEN A STRANGER CALLS mixed with ROSEMARY'S BABY, THE OMEN, or even THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. It's not self-aware. There's no quoting of other horror movies to make itself sound clever. This is a straightforward creepy little horror film that takes itself seriously and wants to scare its viewers from sleeping in the night. It never feels like a cheap imitation of an earlier film. Hell, if someone told me this was made in 1983 or so, I probably would have believed it. It captures the time and feel or 70s-80s horror very well.

What you've read in the plot is pretty much the entire screenplay for THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. There are no real surprises and you pretty much know what to expect. The film moves at a very slow pace, focusing on building upon the horror rather than giving it all away within the first 15 minutes of the film, like a lot of modern horror films tend to do. As a matter of fact, besides a surprising moment [at least to me] within the 37-minute mark, nothing much happens until the last 15 minutes of the film [which are very violent and feel like an acid trip at times]. That's a rarity these days! And I know a lot of people who saw this complained about the film not being faster when it concerned the horror, but I personally enjoy the slow burn. In fact, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL wouldn't be as effective if the film didn't take its time to set things up. I did have an issue with one part where Samantha just paced around the house and did much of nothing for like 5 to 7 minutes, boring me a bit. But other than that, I was drawn in and wanted to know what will happen.

I thought the slow build up allowed the characters to develop. It's rare for a horror film to have realistic characters, but Samantha and the other characters in the film acted like human beings and spoke dialogue that sounded more like real life than reel life. It allows the viewer to understand these people, mainly Samantha, who we watch struggle with her inconsiderate dorm mate, her desperate need for a job to support herself, and how she's willing to stay in a strange house just to make money that will make ends meet. It's the horrors of real life that eventually change into the horrors that only a film would unleash until its created world.

And I enjoyed that the idea of Satanism was used in this film. Back in the late 60s to the late-80s, the idea of the Devil being the epitome of evil was commonplace in horror. Satan's presence is all over that house, from the sounds coming from both the basement and attic, to the feeling that someone is watching - it creates tense and suspenseful scenes. It sort of reminded me of ROSEMARY'S BABY in a way, and that's a good thing.

The direction by Ti West is very good for the most part. The look of the film isn't really a homage of older horror films [I kind of wish there was more grain or age to the film], but the way it's shot is definitely 70s and 80s. We get a lot of angled shots and slow moving shots that reflect the time. I do think that West's direction was too simple at times, which kind of hurt that scene where Samantha just wanders around. That scene needed more visual style to keep the viewer interested and it almost drew me out. But besides that, the pacing is well-handled and the shock moments work. The best scene was definitely the jolt scene 37 minutes into the film that truly caught me by surprise by how abrupt it was. I just felt it was written and directed well. Plus, I loved the old school opening credits and end credits. It was a very nice touch.

The acting is excellent. Joselin Donahue carries the film extremely well. She's pretty much the only actor for half of the film and she has no trouble advancing the story and building the tension. She also has a quiet charisma about her, showing nice vulnerability and inner strength that every final girl should have. Plus she looked like she was from the 70s and 80s, which completed the character. Just a really great job by this newcomer. Tom Noonan [who was the original Tooth Fairy in MANHUNTER] gives a gentle, creepy performance as Mr. Ulman. His height is intimidating and his voice is quiet - his nice guy act makes him easy to distrust. Mary Woronov, as Mrs. Ulman, is quite the opposite. She's hardly in the film, but her forceful nature and bluntness makes her very memorable. And Greta Gerwig as Samantha's best friend, Megan, is probably the best actor in the film. She would be portrayed as the stereotypical bitch in most horror films, but her actions and diction make her likeable and easy to relate to. I wish she was in the film more, but she makes her presence known whenever she's on screen.

And for you gorehounds out there, you're in luck. We get a head shot to pieces, stabbings, blood drinking, sliced throats, and other stuff. Plus you get an 80s soundtrack, including Greg Kihn Band's "The Break-Up Song" and The Fixx's "One Thing Leads To Another". Can't complain.


- Dee Wallace let Samantha rent out an apartment with only the first month's down payment. Seeing that the woman dealt with werewolves, rabid dogs, and even a reinvented killer with sister issues, this decision may be a BAD idea!

- Samantha's dorm room had a sock on the doorknob. Either her roommate had a missing sock returned, or she's busy getting banged by a Red Hot Chili Pepper. Either way, I could care less.

- Mr. Ulman said he hadn't much time to spare due to the eclipse. Either there's gonna be a BLOODY BIRTHDAY due to three evil kids, or I'm gonna have to suffer watching sparkling vampires and werewolves. I'm not sure which one is scarier...

- Don't tell anyone that you're not the babysitter. The response will blow your mind. Literally.

- Samantha put toilet paper on the toilet seat. I'm guessing it's to keep germs off of her ass. Or most likely, she doesn't want to look stupid on The Soup when she's shown in a clip for I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.

- Samantha found clumps of hair in the bathtub. Well this was the early 1980s. A Brazilian Wax was more of a chore back then than it is now.

- Samantha was tired up over a pentagram by Satan worshippers. At least when the villains say that the Devil made them do it, it won't be a total lie!

THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL was a pleasant surprise. While it's slow and takes a while for things to actually happen, it's a solid horror flick that old school fans will enjoy. And if you modern horror fans are looking for something with a bit of substance, you'll probably enjoy this film also. I'm an old school soldier and I dig this old school homage to horror films of the past. It appears that things can still go bump in the night, and that makes this Wolf smile.

3.5 Howls Outta 4


Class of 1984 (1982)

Mark L. Lester

Perry King - Andrew Norris
Merrie Lynn Ross - Diane Norris

Timothy Van Patten - Peter Stegman

Roddy McDowall - Terry Corrigan
Michael J. Fo
x - Arthur
Stefan Arngrim - Drugstore
Keith Knight - Barnyard

Lisa Langlois - Patsy

Neil Clifford - Fallon

Erin Flannery - Deneen

Genre - Thriller/Drama/Exploitation/Revenge/B-Movie

Running Time - 98 Minutes

The idea of "It's Cool to Stay in School" seems harder to fathom these days. In between all the sex scandals, gang violence, bullying, and overcrowded classes, school seems to be about everything other than learning. How ironic is that a Canadian exploitation thriller from 1982 called CLASS OF 1984 would get it right about the future of education? And while CLASS OF 1984 is dated in terms of fashion and music, the theme of high school violence has never been more powerful and relevant.

In 1984, music teacher Andrew Norris (Perry King) is shocked by the events of his new school, Abraham Lincoln High. He sees students passing through metal detectors, exchanging weapons in broad view, selling drugs, and scaring the faculty - some to the point that they bring guns in their briefcases. While Andrew attempts to teach as well as he can under these circumstances, a group of punks led by Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten) begin to make Andrew's life a living hell. They vandalize his car, beat him up, and even rape his wife (Merrie Lynn Ross). It's when a man is pushed to the limit that the real lesson begins...

CLASS OF 1984 may have seen farfetched for 1982 standards, but in 2010, the reality of this movie couldn't be more true. Sure, the film is B-movie exploitation, but looking at it now [especially after Columbine and other violent school incidents], it's a portrait of things to come that actually came true. Written by director Mark L. Lester, John Saxton [HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME], and Tom Holland [FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD'S PLAY], CLASS OF 1984 has actual political and social messages that are told seriously [with a bit of camp] without the messages being too heavy-handed.

There's so much in this film that reflects society. We have parents who are clueless, or better yet, in denial about who their children really are. We have teenagers vandalizing their town, selling drugs, and bullying others to get their way. We have white-on-black crimes that are pretty racist at times. We the police who are too afraid or lazy to anything about these crimes due to "lack of evidence", looking away rather than stopping it. The society in CLASS OF 1984 breaks all the rules, creating nothing but chaos until even the "best" citizen has to go against what he believes in just to survive. The fact that Lester, Saxton, and Holland wrote a film that reflected things to come is truly interesting and actually kind of scary.

The characters are all written distinctively and are developed enough in a film like this for us to relate to them. We all have an Andrew Norris in all of us, wanting to do the right thing and help others - only to be taken advantage of and pushed to the point where violence is the only way to be heard. His de-evolution from normal music teacher to vigilante is done believably. In fact, his fellow teacher Terry Corrigan [who has already de-evolved to the point of madness] is really Andrew's future self. Terry is the man Andrew will become due to these messed-up students until he puts a foot down and stops it from getting that far.

And when it comes to the villains, it's a good thing that the writers made them all different instead of interchangable like in most modern films of this kind. Peter Stegman is the ringmaster who acts like a mob kingpin by controlling the high school drug and prostitution rings. Drugstore is the comic relief of the gang; always strung out and making you wonder if he's using more than he's actually selling. Fallon is the muscle of the group who beats people up. Barnyard is the silent fat guy who uses his size to intimidate others. And Patsy is the annoying, vocal one. They're all stereotypes, sure, but at least they're stereotypes with personality. And while the things they do are viciously horrible, you can't really blame them entirely. The fact that Stegman's mom is too busy wanting to find a man rather than seeing her son for who he really is shows that the parents are just as much to blame as the children. In fact, Stegman's mom is the only parent we see in the film, which shows how insignificant their roles in this society have become. So while Stegman's gang deserve to be punished for their crimes, it started with their parents, or lack thereof honestly.

And while I'm reviewing CLASS OF 1984 in a serious manner, the film is still a campy exploitation film. In fact, a lot of the dialogue is actually pretty funny in either the way it's recited or just the way it's written. From lines like "No one messes around with my man Leroy. I'm gonna cut you white meat!" to "Life is pain. Pain is everything. You will learn." to my absolute favorite "What's the matter with you? What's the matter with me? What's the matter with matter?", CLASS OF 1984 can be unintentionally hilarious at times. But that's part of its cult appeal.

Mark L. Lester, who would later direct the classic 1985 COMMANDO and the sequel to this film, CLASS OF 1999, does a very good job handling the material. It's mainly straightforward in terms of style and editing, but it gets the job done just the same. In fact, I thought he handled the subtle, quiet moments of drama really well. And I love the revenge stuff in the last act of the film, where the gang begins to get their "detention" in the worst ways. From limb detachment, to pyromania, and to a hanging, Lester shoots it all well. Plus I enjoyed a lot of mise-en-scene when it came to the grafitti on most of the walls. They seemed to serve as messages to things that were happening or were about to happen. I thought it was a nice touch.

The acting is pretty good. Perry King does well as Andrew Norris, giving us a character we connect with. When he becomes frustrated, angry, and vengeful due to the dilemmas these punks put him in, we totally believe in his actions. Also, a lot of actors who play "good guys" tend to force it. King seems genuine and it's hard not to root for him. Roddy McDowall is definitely the best actor in the film, giving us a convincing performance of a man driven to the point of insanity. He drinks on the job, relates more to his biology animals than his students, and carries a handgun with him for protection. His scene inside the classroom where he forces the punks to answer his questions correctly, or else he'll shoot them, is probably the highlight of the movie. It's tense, it's suspenseful, and it's all because of McDowall's unhinged performance. Timothy Van Patten does okay as Stegman. He plays the villain role a bit over-the-top and quite hammy, but it's sort of entertaining at the same time. And we have a pre-Family Ties Michael J. Fox as a chubby music geek named Arthur. He doesn't really exhibit the performer he would become later, but it's interesting to see where he started from.


- Due to some vandals, Abraham Lincoln High School has a "Fuckuty Parking Lot". Apparently in the 1980s, the Emancipation Proclamation referred to freeing your willy instead of freeing the slaves.

- "If you want to survive around here, you have got to learn to look the other way." True, but when you look back, that bus hits you and squashes you like a bug. So either way, you're screwed.

- "What's the matter with you? What's the matter with me? What's the matter with matter?" What's the matter is that I'm fuckin' confused! Nevermind. It doesn't matter anyway.

- The easiest class in school is music. It's the only class where you can get an A legally by blowing well for your professor.

- Stegman's gang sprayed stage blood in Andrew's face, even though his wife had no idea what it was. That's understandable. Anything's that shot onto her face is usually white.

- Stegman's gang blew up Andrew's car with a molotov cocktail. Well Andrew's car was the bomb...

- Terry held his students at gunpoint. When you lived with all those damn apes on that stupid planet, you'd go nuts too.

- Terry tried to run down Stegman and his gang. Talk about having a FRIGHT NIGHT!

- Stegman and his gang raped Andrew's pregnant wife. At least they won't have to go to Maury to see if they're the father.

CLASS OF 1984 is a film that is ahead of its time. If you like dramas about delinquent students mixed with a bit of DEATH WISH and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, CLASS OF 1984 is the way to go. It's everything you'd want in an exploitation flick: violence, sex, foul language, camp value [the Alice Cooper theme song alone fits this bill], and even a serious message beneath it all. In 1982, the future of education was inner-city violence, metal detectors, and the disinegration of society as a whole. I guess Stegman and his gang really were the future...

3.5 Howls Outta 4


Obscure Horror Movie Month Entry

Big Daddy Horror Reviews has posted my entry for Obscure Horror Movie Month. It's for the 1981 killer kid flick, BLOODY BIRTHDAY.

Here's the link to the entry: Big Daddy Horror Reviews: Bloody Birthday

Here's the link to my review from last year: Bloody Birthday Review

Thanks Brandon for letting me contribute.

Full Moon Reviews is a Versatile Blog!

Full Moon Reviews wins another blogger award, this time from Brandon Sites, blogger for the great Dollar Bin Horror and Big Daddy Horror Reviews.

Thanks Brandon for believing in my blog. I always appreciate support from my fellow bloggers.

The rules attached to this award are:

• Thank the person who gave it to you.
• Share 7 things about yourself.
• Pass the award along to 15 who you have recently discovered and who you think fantastic for whatever reason.
• Contact the blogs you picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Myself
1. I own every Madonna album.
2. I'm a huge Rock Band and Guitar Hero fan, playing Expert [Guitar, Bass, or Vocals] with ease.
3. I've seen John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN so many times that I can recite the dialogue by heart.
4. I have a fetish/obsession with wolves and skulls.
5. I'm a big professional wrestling fan and have almost every televised WWF/E event recorded on VHS from 1994 to mid-2007.
6. I've been watching Days of Our Lives on-and-off for the past 26 years.
7. My longest relationship was a year and that was back in high school. I either get bored when it comes to dating or the women I date are too much drama for my psyche to handle.

15 Versatile Blogs
1. Disturbing Entertainment
2. Final Girl
3. The Stoned Horror Critic
4. Midnight Confessions
5. The Jaded Viewer
6. I Like Horror Movies
7. Billy Loves Stu
8. Porkhead's Horror Review Hole
9. Tower Farm Reviews
10. The Horror Digest
11. Deadly Serious
12. The Ringmaster's Realm
13. Magniflorious!
14. The Lightning Bug's Lair
15. The Spooky Vegan
16. Freddy In Space (So I cheated. And what?)

Thanks again!


Dead & Buried (1981) [Video Review]

Gary A. Sherman

James Farentino - Sheriff Dan Gillis
Melody Anderson - Janet Gillis

Jack Albertson - William G. Dobbs

Robert Englund - Harry

Christopher Allport - George LeMoyne / Freddie

Genre - Horror/Zombies/Mystery

Running Time - 94 Minutes

DEAD & BURIED is an underrated zombie film that deserves more attention. Watch this video review to see why.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Tobe Hooper

Dennis Hopper - "Lefty" Enright
Caroline Williams - Vanita "Stretch" Brock
Bill Johnson - Bubba "Leatherface" Sawyer
Jim Siedow - Drayton "Cook" Sawyer
Bill Moseley - "Chop-Top" Sawyer
Lou Perry - L.G. McPeters

Genre - Horror/Slasher

Running Time - 100 Minutes

In 1974, a movie was released that terrorized audiences, and became so notorious that it was banned in several countries. That film was Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. The controversy and box office success of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE gave Hooper much respect and fame in Hollywood. He went on to direct 1976's decent TCM-like EATEN ALIVE, 1979's classic SALEM'S LOT, 1981's just okay THE FUNHOUSE, and then his most successful film criticially and commercially in 1982's POLTERGEIST [co-produced by Steven Spielberg, which has led to rumors about who really directed the film that are still brought about today].

The success of POLTERGEIST helped Hooper get offered a three-picture deal with now-defunct production company, Cannon. These films included 1985's alien space vampire film LIFEFORCE, 1986's remake of INVADERS FROM MARS, and the unexpected sequel THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. Even with a big star like Dennis Hopper, makeup effects expert Tom Savini, and a key screenwriter in L.M. 'Kit' Carson, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 bombed. With LIFEFORCE and INVADERS FROM MARS also bombing, many blame Tobe Hooper and his producers for financially collapsing Cannon.

It's sad that the blame went to Hooper here when it concerns THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. I can imagine the audience going apeshit over how different the sequel was compared to the original. Obviously, Hooper and Carson knew they could never top that film, so they decided to go with the "black comedy" route instead of a true horror film. Audiences were most likely turned off by this, and critics aren't usually favorable toward horror sequels to begin with - all adding to the film's box office failure. However, time has been very kind to this film and there's a reason for that: the film is actually very good if you can open your mind a bit or two.

It's been thirteen years since Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns in the original TCM film) and her friends were attacked in the backwoods of Texas. After being committed to a mental asylum and telling anyone and everyone about her ordeal, there's been a hunt for her attackers. Unfortunately, no trace has been found, although chainsaw murders have been occurring all over Texas.

The murders come again in the forefront when two drunken rich kids challenge a random pickup truck in a game of chicken. Unfortunately for them, the pickup belongs to the Sawyer family, led by The Cook (Jim Siedow) and his sons Chop-Top (Bill Moseley) and the infamous Leatherface (Bill Johnson), who murder these kids gruesomely. The problem is that the kids were on the phone with a local radio DJ nicknamed Stretch (Caroline Williams), who has heard and recorded the entire incident. Holding the evidence on cassette tape, she locates Texas Ranger Lefty Enright (Dennis Hopper), the uncle of Sally and Franklin Hardesty, who has vowed revenge against these attackers. Lefty has convinced Stretch to play the tape on air, as a way to use her as bait for the Saywers. It works, as Chop-Top and Leatherface to intrude the radio station to steal the evidence and murder Stretch.

There's a problem though: Leatherface has developed a huge crush on Stretch. With Lefty on their tail, will Leatherface's love life ruin all the work the Sawyers have accomplished for years?

Anyone expecting something even remotely close to the original THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE will truly be disappointed with this over-the-top sequel. The gore is more in your face. The characters are more eccentric than ever. And it's more silly and humorous than it is scary. To say that this sequel will cause shell shock to anyone thinking they're getting a true continuation to the original would be an understatement.

But I applaud both Hooper and Carson for doing something drastically different with the franchise. There's absolutely no way the original could ever be topped. So why not go in the other direction and make us laugh at what's going on with this family and the characters they're terrorizing? The great thing about the screenplay is that while it is pretty funny, the themes are still very serious and extremely clear: The Sawyer Family are dangerous and will kill you regardless of who you are.

The family dynamics are what makes the story work. As we already know in the original, Leatherface and his clan are a bunch of nuts that love each other as much as they hurt each other. They all have a common bond to kill in order for The Cook to have enough human flesh to make his special chili and win prizes for his "delicious" food. But Leatherface's childlike mentality and his crush on Stretch puts a damper on things. I gotta say that the scene where Leather dry humps Stretch with his chainsaw and suddenly becomes impotent when he can't make it work is pretty odd, yet hysterical. And his thrusts towards her using the chainsaw as a phallic symbol make me laugh to no end. Chop-Top is too busy babbling on and off while more focused on dancing with a corpse and scratching the metal plate in his head with a hot hanger. They're so dysfunctional that they're not only funny, but also real in a really twisted way. While not this extreme, we sort of know families like The Sawyers, which makes them watchable and oddly easy to relate to.

There was also supposed to be a family dynamic between Lefty and Stretch. In the original screenplay, Stretch was Lefty's illegitimate daughter. However, the studio wanted it out in sake of making the film scarier, not understanding this was meant to be a comedy [and having no idea how to market this film, which led to the low box-office take]. In fact, most of the screenplay was actually written as the film was being shot because the studio kept taking money away from the original budget during filming! And the fact that the film is actually consistent and clear shows how much a strong screenwriter 'Kit' Carson is.

And to say that this film has extremely memorable dialogue is an understatement. From "Bright lights, big titties," to "Dog will hunt," to "I'm the Lord of the Harvest!", and to my favorite "That got the hemorrhoids, at least it'll save a trip to the hospital," THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 is extremely quoteable.

The special effects by Tom Savini are very good here. His best moment is probably during the beginning, where one of the rich kids gets sawed in the head by Leatherface. Blood just spews out of his now shaved and open skull as his friend just screams in terror. I also liked the L.G. skinning scene and its aftermath. And of course, the makeup of Grandpa was pretty dead-on to the original. We also get a ton of rotting corpses, skeletons, entrails coming out of walls and human bodies, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Love Leatherface still kickin' with a chainsaw right through his gut. Savini did a great job here as always.
And I have to make mention to the production team, who really created a creepy set design for The Sawyer Family hideout. It's like an underground labyrinth, decorated with Christmas lights, walkmans, hooks, wires, and chandeliers. Just a really fun looking set that really makes the last half of the film work.

The direction by Tobe Hooper is pretty similiar to his work on the original. While the grittyness of the film is gone due to the higher production value, Hooper's sense of pacing and approach is very much the same. The action squences, such as the game of chicken and the classic chainsaw battle between Lefty and Leatherface are filmed wonderfully, and are fun and exciting to watch. The stunt work is great. The sound design and editing rocks. I do think the labyrinth chase isn't as good as the chase in the original with Sally running through the woods, but it's okay. I still believe the original TCM is Hooper's best directorial film, but the sequel is no slouch either.

The acting in this film is what makes the film work. Dennis Hopper, may he rest in peace, is fuckin' insane as Lefty. He really embraces the role of a confused and tired man, who just goes nuts with three chainsaws in order to get revenge for what happened to his family. The dude is batshit crazy, singing hymns and quoting stuff from the Bible. Hopper plays the role to perfection and seems to be having a blast. Here's an Oscar nominated actor who didn't need to be starring in a genre film like this, yet he does and treats it as seriously as any other role. And that's why Dennis Hopper was so damn great.

The other actors are just as good. Caroline Williams gives a focused performance as Stretch. She screams really well and looks FANTASTIC in Daisy Dukes. I can see why Leatherface fell in love with her. Her tough Southern Gal charm won me over too. Bill Moseley as Chop-Top is probably the most memorable of the villains. This was his breakthrough performance and it's easy to see why. He hams it up and plays the whole Vietnam-vet with a steel plate in his head as sort of an over-the-top zombified hippie. Plus he has great dialogue to work with as well. He steals every scene he's in, pretty much. Jim Siedow is always great as The Cook, bringing the funny with his brass one-liners. And Bill Johnson was okay as Leatherface. While not as scary as Gunnar Hansen, Johnson brings a bit of sensitivity and childlike humor into the character. While not my favorite version of Leatherface, Johnson's acting works in context of the film. I really can't complain about the acting here.


- Stretch wears a ZZ Top T-shirt as she works. Well I will admit, she's got legs and she knows how to use them...

- Rick's friend got sawed in the skull. Talk about a splitting headache!

- L.G. constantly likes to spit. No wonder he's single. Everyone prefers a swallower.

- Chop-Top likes to use a wire hanger to scratch himself and pick his scabs, tasting them each time. Joan Crawford is not a fan of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2.
- Leatherface dry humped Stretch with his chainsaw. I can see why she was so scared. His thrusting abilities are a cut above the rest!

- Lefty called The Sawyer Hideout "The Devil's Playground". I thought that was Mel Gibson's house?

- Leatherface put a victim's face on Stretch's. Damn, Joan Rivers could have saved a lot of money on plastic surgery if she had just won Leather's heart!

- Grandpa is 137-years-old and still as fast as Jesse James. Believe me, Sandra Bullock found that out the hard way.
- Lefty used the chainsaw between The Cook's legs. Talk about tearing one a new asshole a bit too literally!

THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE will always be one of my favorite horror films, but THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 is definitely worth a watch. Honestly, it plays like a spoof of the original film and maybe a bit misleading as a sequel. But I enjoy it either way as it's own film. The acting works. The direction works for the most part. The story is pretty funny as well. It's nowhere as good as the original, but if you go in with an open mind, it's a very entertaining movie.

3 Howls Outta 4


The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: The Fourth Kind (2009) [Video Review]

Olatunde Osunsanmi

Milla Jovovich - Dr. Abigail Tyler
Elias Koteas - Dr. Abel Campos
Will Patton - Sheriff August
Hakeem Kae-Kazim - Awolowa Odusami
Corey Johnson - Tommy Fisher

Genre - Horror/Sci-Fi/Thriller/Mystery

Running Time - 97 Minutes

I'm glad I missed KIND 1, 2, and 3. This movie blows. Hear my thoughts in this video review.


Knight and Day (2010)

James Mangold

Tom Cruise - Roy Miller
Cameron Diaz - June Havens
Peter Sarsgaard - Fitzgerald
Jordi Molla - Antonio
Viola Davis - Director George
Paul Dano - Simon Feck
Marc Blucas - Rodney
Maggie Grace - April Havens

Genre - Action/Comedy

Running Time - 110 Minutes

Score - 3 Howls Outta 4

Tom Cruise is seen as a lot of things. He's an acting veteran for the past 25+ years. He's an action star. He's a dramatic actor. He's become a comedic actor. He's a Scientologist. He's a complete nutjob. He's delusional about science and the world around him. But the most important part is that he's a huge star with a ton of box office appeal. That's right everyone, Tom Cruise knows how to bring the goods to the silver screen.

Well...that was until his KNIGHT AND DAY, 2010's supposed summer action blockbuster, failed at the box office and has become Cruise's lowest grossing action film to date. With the media backlash [even after his hilarious turn as Lou Grossman at 2010's MTV Movie Awards] and reviews from critics who pretty much bashed KNIGHT AND DAY, the film did a dismal box office take in its first weekend and has dropped dramatically ever since.

Which is a shame, because the film isn't all that bad and is made for the mindless summer blockbuster season. However, there are flaws to KNIGHT AND DAY that make it a possible watch instead of a must-see event.

Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), is an FBI agent who may or may not have gone rogue, but is definitely in possession of a ultra-powered battery that everyone seems to want a hold of. He bumps into June Havens (Cameron Diaz) at the airport as she's about to catch a flight to Boston to attend her sister's (Maggie Grace) wedding. While June seems to be smitten with Roy, Roy is using June as a mule for the battery without her knowledge. On the flight, Roy is attacked by assassins and murders them all, taking June as a partner/hostage.

After some hilarity, Roy tells June that FBI agents (Peter Sarsgaard and Viola Davis) want this battery and that they'll tell her that he's insane and not to be trusted. Not sure who to trust at this point, June decides to go along with Roy's story, causing her to be caught up in Roy's life of espionage. Also, they fall in love...like you couldn't guess that.

KNIGHT AND DAY is mostly a fun, mindless action film that is a more comedic and cartoon-ish version of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise [also starring Cruise]. You're caught up in the excitement, the visuals are nice, and it's well paced. Unfortunately, there's something missing about KNIGHT AND DAY that makes it a standout.

Let's deal with the positives first. The acting is very solid in KNIGHT AND DAY. Say what you want about Tom Cruise's personal life, but no one can say he's a terrible actor. In fact, he's the best part of the film and carries it quite well. We all know Cruise can handle action and he does that fantastically here, doing most of his own stunts and having fun riding his motorcycle through Spain while bulls chase him and assassins want to shoot his brains out. But Cruise also brings on the funny here, really making Roy a certifiable lunatic in terms of his actions and behavior. This makes him engaging to watch, as he's always confidence, charismatic, and definitely excited to be on screen. I wish he had better material to play off of here, but Cruise makes it work and it's a joy to watch him do what he does best.

Cameron Diaz, who I usually find pretty annoying in most films to be honest, is actually more than okay here. She plays the confused and neurotic June to perfection and actually looks pretty cute doing it. While she does have her action moments, especially towards the end, she's mainly the girlfriend/eye candy role that we usually see in action films. But she handles it well and maintains incredible chemistry with Cruise [who already worked together in 2001's VANILLA SKY]. I wouldn't mind see them do another film together.

The other actors are also very good, but they're not given much to do. I will say that Peter Sarsgaard and Marc Blucas are the standouts in the supporting roles. Sarsgaard's role is very predictable but he does the most with it. And Blucas has a funny scene with both Cruise and Diaz that's one of the better moments in the film.

The direction by James Mangold is also very good, even though it's not his best work as a director. Comparing KNIGHT AND DAY to his work on GIRL, INTERRUPTED, 3:10 TO YUMA remake, and especially WALK THE LINE, isn't really fair. But Mangold shoots the action scenes well [even though I noticed Cruise's stunt double very clearly in one shot that made me laugh] and he keeps the film light-hearted. Mangold seems more focused on the chemistry and relationship between Roy and June rather than all the exciting stuff that's around them, which doesn't hurt the film much at all. In fact, I'm glad Mangold focused more on the comedy than on the action, since it takes stale premise and adds something to it to make it a bit staler. Nice direction all around.

The action sequences are also fun, even if they are pretty much action film norms. From the running of the bulls scene, to the rooftop chase, to shootouts in a warehouse, and to dealing with explosions on an island, they're everything you'd want in a film like this. They're over-the-top and pretty implausible, but the film never takes itself all that seriously anyway, so I have no qualms.

What makes KNIGHT AND DAY suffer, however, is the poor script by Patrick O'Neill. While the film does manage to get to point A to point B to point C, it doesn't really develop the journey much to really be memorable at the end. The subplot with the battery is sort of a McGruffin, even though it is the reason why the events occur. It felt like an afterthought to me because it wasn't really the focus of the film. I was too busy wondering why June would fall in love with Roy one minute, want to beat the shit out of him the next, and then fall right back in love all over again. I don't think characters in romantic comedies are that confused.

That brings me to the characters here. The development doesn't really exist for anyone other than Roy and June. Roy is the ultimate spy - reckless, cocky, full of expertise and superhuman abilities, and always one step ahead of everyone else. You even question if the guy is a hero or a villain, especially during the first half of the film. Obviously O'Neill was focused on Roy more than anyone. June is less developed, which you can tell because she likes to talk to herself alot to explain how she's feeling so the audience can understand - i.e. lazy screenwriting. We barely share in her family life and she seems so desperate for a man that it's off-putting at times. I was never sure what to make of June. The only thing that saved the character was Diaz's performance.

And the supporting characters really get the shaft here. June's sister is barely in the film, even though the reason June goes to Boston is for her sister's wedding. Maggie Grace gets barely three minutes of screentime. Rodney, played by Blucas, seems like a foil for Roy over June's affections, but he just comes off as a likeable dolt who also happens to be a firefighter. Not much is done with him. And Fitzgerald is pretty much a predictable action character [I won't spoil it] but Sarsgaard deserved better.

I will say I did enjoy much of the dialogue, as it was witty and funny. So that's a plus.


- Roy and June constantly bump into each other at the airport. Either it means the two are destined to be together, or one of them is a filthy, clumsy bitch who deserves to be smacked around, even if they are holding a baby in their arms!!

...Sorry. Mel Gibson likes to possess me every once in a while. Moving on...

- Roy had to deal with assassins on an airplane. If Harrison Ford was President, those bastards would have gotten off of the plane and it's be the end of that!

- Roy hit a scarecrow while landing a plane. He should be less worried about a brain and more concerned with getting better life insurance.

- Roy managed to survive being squeezed in between two cars inside of a tunnel. That's the power of Xenu, baby!

- Roy wanted a waitress to serve everyone pie inside of a diner as he held June at gunpoint. Only on The L Word does everyone get a piece of pie, Roy. Only on The L Word.

- Roy shot Rodney in the leg as he tried to save June. Man, he used to be able to take more than that. Ever since he broke up with Buffy, his boring ass got weak!

- Roy and June got cozy on a private island. Because islands in the stream, that is what they are. No one in-between, how can they be wrong?

- June followed Roy as he tried to make a deal for the battery. Some women just don't have any faith in their man. I say don't trust a ho. Never trust a ho. Hell, I won't trust a ho 'cause the ho won't trust me.

- Don't steal someone's battery. Unlike it, you won't keep going and going and going when it explodes in your face.

KNIGHT AND DAY is a good action film if you don't want to think too much. Basically, perfect for summer escapism. Unfortunately, the story is pretty weak and the characters could have been developed better for the audience to care more about what they were watching. But the acting is solid [especially by Tom Cruise, who's career ISN'T over yet] and the direction is good. It'll make a good date movie and a definite rental when it's released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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