Midnight Confessions Episode 99: "A Bit of the Ol' Ultraviolence"

For our 99th episode, we dedicate to the whole show to Stanley Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. So come and get one in the yarbles, if you have any yarbles...


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Midnight Confessions Episode 98: "3rd Annual Summer Sextravaganza"

It's that time of year again. In this double stuffed summer sextravaganza edition of Midnight Confessions we take a look at some WIP film (THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and THE BIG BIRD CAGE) and some nunsploitation (KILLER NUN and SCHOOL OF THE HOLY BEAST).

We also discuss Stranger Things, and I give the scoop on the summer movies of 2016. 

Plus music by: Wendy O. Williams, Ozzy Osbourne, The White Stripes, Dwarves, Twisted Sister and Nasty Nuns.


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[Animal Summer '16] Snakes on a Plane (2006)

David R. Ellis


Samuel L. Jackson - Agent Neville Flynn
Julianna Margulies - Claire Miller
Nathan Phillips - Sean Jones
Flex Alexander - Clarence Dewey
Rachel Blanchard - Mercedes Harbont
Kenan Thompson - Troy McDaniel
Bobby Cannavale - Agent Hank Harris
David Koechner - Rick Archibald
Lin Shaye - Grace Bresson

Genre - Horror/Science Fiction/B-Movies/Action/Bad Animals/Snakes

Running Time - 109 Minutes

This review can also be found at the awesome That's Not Current

2006’s SNAKES ON A PLANE celebrates its tenth anniversary this week, still remembered for one line of dialogue that has become a meme that will live forever as long as there is an internet. I still remember when this movie with the silly, yet straightforward title was announced. As it starred A-lister Samuel L. Jackson in the lead, as well as other familiar faces in the cast, many people weren’t sure what the deal with this film was. Was SNAKES ON A PLANE a serious film with a dumb title? Or was SNAKES ON A PLANE a B-movie schlock-fest with big time actors dumbing it down for a paycheck?

SNAKES ON A PLANE had a ton of hype going for it that almost rivaled 1999’s THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at times. The legend that the film was actually a drunk idea to see what would be the worst film idea ever created, yet greenlit by New Line Cinema, is just fascinating. The silly trailers added to it. The music video starring Cobra Starship, Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds, and Travie McCoy of Gym School Heroes captured the cheesiness of the film. Even Samuel L. Jackson and director David R. Ellis (FINAL DESTINATION 2, CELLULAR, SHARK NIGHT) promoted the hell out of the film, endorsing fan made trailers, parodies, and anything that seemed to be honoring the film’s existence. But despite a massive theater count opening weekend, a large internet buzz, and even a surprising 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, SNAKES ON A PLANE was a massive disappointment for New Line Cinema as it only made $62 million on a $33 million budget. While the famous line of dialogue had a life on its own, the film itself has been pretty much forgotten by many due to recent B-movies like SHARKNADO and LAVALANTULA.

Many have claimed SNAKES ON A PLANE failed because it’s a terrible movie with an awful title. But does this film deserve the venom some have given it, or is it a misunderstood masterpiece?


While having a holiday in Honolulu, Hawaii, adrenaline junkie Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) witnesses a mob hit led by Eddie Kim (Bryon Lawson). Sean escapes, but is now a target and a leading witness to put Kim behind bars. During an attempted murder, FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) saves Sean, putting him under his protection. Wanting to stop Kim, Flynn decides to take Sean back to Los Angeles, commandeering the first class portion of a flight to protect him.

Unfortunately, Flynn and Sean are unaware that Kim’s men have planted a lot of venomous snakes as cargo aboard the plane. Using a pheromone, the snakes are unleashed mid-flight, destroying the control panel and attacking anyone aboard on the plane. Now in peril, Flynn must find a way to stop the snakes, save the passengers, and land the plane while keeping Sean safe enough to testify.


Despite its dumb title and silly premise, SNAKES ON A PLANE has a lot going for it. The film never tries to be what it isn’t, constantly being entertaining whether it tries to be somewhat serious or hilariously chaotic. The screenplay by Sebastian Gutierrez and John Heffernan embraces all the silliness you’d expect out of a film like this, while never trying to insult one’s intelligence and actually trying to tell a good story. While the script does attempt at some serious moments of character development and tension, SNAKES ON A PLANE is at its best when it throws all logic and sense out the window. Once the snakes appear, the film never lets up. Watching CGI snakes stop a couple from experiencing the Mile High Club, bite a man’s penis, and caressing a woman’s leg while she sleeps with arousal definitely earns its humor. Plus snakes in barf bags, snakes in oxygen masks, snakes eating small dogs, and snakes squeezing the life out of jerks we hated anyway is always a fun time. Gutierrez and Heffernan went all out taking a concept that was meant to be terrible to begin with and turn it into something charming, fun, and entertaining. Unlike another disaster film that was released around the same time, POSEIDONSNAKES ON A PLANE takes the sub-genre into a B-movie territory and doesn’t feel ashamed about it.

Of course, the screenplay has some funny bits of dialogue. How can you not laugh when a man pulls out his penis and asks it, “How’s my big boy?” We also get a makeshift pilot towards the end, with the audience believing he took actual lessons – but in reality, this character learned how to fly by playing video games on his Playstation 2. And of course, we get that line by Samuel L. Jackson, which has become bigger than the film itself.

Even after ten years, I still laugh at it. So great.

Speaking of Samuel L. Jackson, SNAKES ON A PLANE would be a massive failure without his presence. Many people wondered why Jackson signed on to a film like this, considering he’s a huge A-list star who could probably do any film he pleases. But Jackson knows exactly what film he is, acting seriously during the serious moments, and hamming it up when the film calls for it. He keeps the film grounded and makes for a great lead in a silly film like that. The other actors are a mixed bag, only because I’m not sure if some of them are being intentionally bad, or just are. Julianna Marguiles plays it straight, adding a bit of quality to the acting. Same with Bobby Cannavale, who plays it seriously in a way that he tries to go against the cheesiness of the script while coming across just as cheesy. Not many actors can do that. Kenan Thompson is a highlight, playing the film for laughs and has some good one-liners. Flex Thompson and Rachel Blanchard come across as really terrible actors, but I think it may be intentional. And it’s cool to see Lin Shaye, David Koechner, and Taylor Kitsch on board. Considering the kind of film this is, SNAKES ON A PLANE has a pretty cool cast of people we know.

David R. Ellis is the perfect director for a film like this. Ellis knows exactly what type of film he’s making, directing everything firmly tongue-in-cheek and having fun doing so. The snake attack sequences, even after all these years later, still work surprisingly well. I found them to be full of tension and suspense even throughout the chaotic comedy. The CGI snakes haven’t dated well, as you can really tell which snakes are real and which ones aren’t. But compared to recent films like SHARKNADO, the effects are still slightly better. And we get the usual disaster film cliches with the plane almost crashing, and the survivor’s guilt that turns the characters into fighters. Ellis knows he’s making a big budget schlock film, but still manages to infuse it with charm and class, caring about turning a stupid script into a good film.

Ten years after the fact, it’s quite obvious that SNAKES ON A PLANE desperately wanted to be a modern cult film. In fact, it tries a bit too hard at times. Just the famous Samuel L. Jackson line alone gives that fact away. And what about that film title? Maybe I’m alone in this, but I prefer my cult films to earn that respect organically. SNAKES ON A PLANE is a great title and a damn original premise for its time, I won’t fault the producers for that. But you can tell that New Line Cinema was banking on the internet hype to make this film a cult classic, rather than just letting us viewers decide that for ourselves.

I also felt that while Bobby Cannavale’s performance was good, his more serious hunt-and-chase scenes ruined the film’s fun flow. These scenes are important for the film’s final act and its resolution, but transitioning right from comedy to a dramatic scene is a bit jarring. Plus, these scenes weren’t particularly interesting or fun to watch. Like I mentioned, I get why they exist. But these scenes felt like they belonged in another movie, rather than the main SNAKES ON A PLANE film.

I also felt the film slowed down towards the end, losing steam by the final act. The middle portion of the film is full of snake action, but we don’t get much of it near the end except for a few moments. Say what you will about those SHARKNADO films, but you’ll most likely always get shark action even during the more serious scenes. SNAKES ON A PLANE needed more snakes doing more things on a plane, in my opinion. You went all out with the premise and the film’s title. You might as well do the same when it comes to the story and direction on film.


Look, if you’re going to watch a film like SNAKES ON A PLANE  you can’t expect some Academy Award level filmmaking here. While it’s not perfect, SNAKES ON A PLANE is a really fun movie for the most part and still holds up very well ten years later. Samuel L. Jackson is still great, the snake action and direction still works, and it’s nice for a bigger budget film to embrace it’s B-movie status without a care. SNAKES ON A PLANE gives you what you’d expect, and that’s more than fine with me. It’s an entertaining movie and nothing more. 

3 Howls Outta 4


The B-Movie Bungalow Presents - Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens (2016)

Directed By: Anthony C. Ferrante

Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, David Hasselhoff, Tommy Davidson, Gary Busey, Cody Linley, Stacey Dash

Genre - Science Fiction/B-Movie/Action/Adventure/Bad Animals/Sharks

Running Time - 90 Minutes

Plot (from IMDB): Five years after the East Coast was ravaged in 'Sharknado 3,' Fin (Ian Ziering) and his family have been blissfully sharknado-free, but now sharks - and 'nados. - are being whipped up in places (and ways) that are completely unexpected.

Review: Another year, another SHARKNADO movie on SyFy. Who would have believed that a really stupid B-movie from 2013 would become one of the biggest film franchises of the modern era? I think I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of this franchise, reviewing each installment year after year, hoping to get it out there that these films can be fun if you just sit back and enjoy them. I re-watched the previous three films prior to seeing SHARKNADO 4: THE FOURTH AWAKENS, realizing that the first film wasn’t really as good as I remembered it, but loving the second film for knowing exactly what it was, and the third film - which does the same, but tries a bit too hard at times. Even with its clever title and known cameos, I wasn’t expecting much out of this sequel. By this point, I figured the well was very dry and the series had peaked with the second one. But color me surprised - as I found this fourth installment to be the most fun and quicker paced film of the entire franchise.

The story is what you’d come to expect with a SHARKNADO film. The characters are still the same, even though some of them have gained extra perks and arcs that could lead to interesting future developments. I liked the film had taken place five years in the future, with the shark problem finally solved - at least when it concerned water sharks. The idea of having a variety of sharknadoes that involved sand, oil, electricity, radioactive chemicals, and so on kept the narrative going for me. It’s a dumb plot and doesn’t make a lick of sense, but I’m glad the filmmakers tried to give us an evolution of what had been established and tired by the third film. The sharks became more of a threat and I kept being amused by the different types of storms that threatened our heroes. I also enjoyed that the film was centered mainly on the Shepard family, bonding them stronger as a unit against these sharks. It sucks April survived [damn you, viewers], but she did have some chuckle-worthy moments in her new character. Plus, seeing a five-year-old with a chainsaw is not something you see everyday. The ending pretty much tells us where the series is going in the fifth film, which I’m kinda hoping is the last one. I mean, what else can you do by this point?

I think the best part of the script for me were the throwback to famous pop culture moments or dialogue that fit well with the situation. We get the obvious STAR WARS homages, including the classic opening in SHARKNADO form and a character begging to “Stay on target!”. We get a few TERMINATOR references for April. Lloyd Kaufman makes an appearance to “Nuke ‘em high”. There’s an Action Comics #1 cover homage. The awesome Baywatch reunion with David Hasselhoff, Alexandra Paul, and Gena Lee Nolin is great. Christine, the car, makes an appearance with Steve Guttenberg’s LAVALANTULA character. Gary Busey is wearing the same glasses he wore in THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. And the best stuff was with Caroline Williams, speaking in her heavy Stretch accent from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, claiming that “the Saw is Family” and that “it wouldn’t be Texas without a chainsaw massacre”. Clever stuff that worked better than it had any right to.

The direction by Anthony C. Ferrante, who has directed every single one of these films, is what you’d expect from this series - except I felt the pacing and flow was a long quicker for the better. I’m sure this was done to compensate for a weird script, but SHARKNADO 4 had the most visual energy and style of the four films. There was never a lull in the film like in the previous three. We’d get certain character stuff really quickly before an action sequence pops up. I also felt some scenes looked really cool. In particular, the pirate ship scene at the start looked inspired by Dario Argento with its red, blue, and green vibrant colors. The final act resembled a Saint’s Row video game, as it was visually chaotic - but again, I liked that. The CGI is still as cartoony as before, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I felt Ferrante was very inspired with this installment, sort of directing with the same energy he had while filming the second film in New York City.

The acting isn’t the greatest per usual, even though I felt the quality was a bit above the other films. Ian Ziering is still the same straight man as Finn, playing a wannabe superhero that gets to do cool stuff. Tara Reid is back and she didn’t annoy me as much as she had in the previous films. I think it’s because I could tell she was having more fun with her new role and being more comfortable. She seemed more engaged this time around. David Hasselhoff is still one of the coolest dudes in the room. Cody Linley seems to be having fun starring in a SHARKNADO movie. Tommy Davidson seemed to forget he was in a SHARKNADO movie, actually acting well in his role and really standing out amongst the other actors. Gary Busey halts the crazy, playing his role a bit more subtle than expected. Stacey Dash uses her current pop culture persona to her advantage as the mayor, leading to an awesome WIZARD OF OZ moment [there are a lot of those here]. The cameos here are pretty cool as well. We get Seth Rollins, Gilbert Gottfried, Carrot Top, Adrian Zmed, Lloyd Kaufman, Caroline Williams, Dr. Drew, Corey Taylor, the Chippendales dancers, the Millionaire Matchmaker, Steve Guttenberg, and Gena Lee Nolin and Alexandra Paul from Baywatch. Plus Christine, the car, makes an appearance! I thought the cameos really worked here.

SHARKNADO 4 continues the level of CGI violence we’ve come to expect. The sharks seem weaker this time though, exploding pretty easily from just simple punches, kicks, and pelvic thrusts. We get the regular decapitations, sharks sliced in half with chainsaws, sharks squashing people, etc. We also get other animals doing some damage as well, such as cows and whales. The final act alone is chaotically violent in a cartoon way.

The sexuality in SHARKNADO 4 is standard. Chippendale dancers, Tara Reid shows her enhanced cleavage, and the Baywatch babes. There’s something for everyone.

The cheesiness is off the charts here. Nukenado? Oilnado? Firenado? Sandsharknado? Tara Reid as a cyborg with a battery pack? People with superpowers? Sharks with spikes? A lot of funny one-liners from famous films? We even get a space segment that starts with the classic STAR WARS opening. Yep, cheesy as hell.

The Final Howl: Look, if you’re not on the SHARKNADO bandwagon by now, you will never be. If you love SHARKNADO, you’ll really enjoy SHARKNADO 4: THE FOURTH AWAKENS. If you don’t like SHARKNADO, don’t bother and don’t try and ruin it for the rest of us. Bad acting, bad special effects, a silly narrative, and just a great sense of fun, amusement, and campiness. I personally feel that SHARKNADO 4 is the best of the series, as it went by super fast and genuinely made me laugh and mark out over certain pop culture references. Sometimes I want to watch serious movies. Other times, I just want to escape in the bizarre world of SHARKNADO. This was a lot of fun. Bring on the fifth one!

3.5 Howls Outta 4

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