It’s sequel month here on SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?!, where we tackle sequels to films previously covered on this podcast. This week, we’re taking on 1995’s EXCESSIVE FORCE II: FORCE ON FORCE, directed by Jonathan Winfrey. We will just let the following IMDb synopsis do the heavy lifting for us: “Stacie Randall plays Harley, a Special Forces agent-turned-investigator, who arrives on the scene of an apparent mob hit to help the local police. In actuality, she’s hunting down Francis Lydell, her former C.O. and lover, who shot her in the head when she turned down his offer to become part of the freelance assassination squad he was forming. Ignoring the need for surgery to remove the bullet fragment which still causes her to have occasional bouts of disorientation, she continues her quest to bring down Lydell before he has the chance to kill a Mafia informant being held at the police station.” So, yeah, it’s glorious.
This week, celebrate the joys of both Christmas and New Year’s as we take on 1983’s TRADING PLACES, directed by John Landis and starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. We take a deep dive into what is considered by many to be a comedy classic. How does it play in 2019 to two guys watching it for the very first time? We discuss everything from its racial politics to its portrayal of women to whether it not it actually made us laugh. We may be in the minority on this one.
On this week’s episode, we attempt to get into the Christmas spirit by taking on 1942’s HOLIDAY INN, directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Despite featuring Irving Berlin’s classic tune White Christmas, it turns out that this film tackles all of the major holidays, from Easter to Thanksgiving to…Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, of which the less said, the better. But it certainly inspires a myriad of conversations, including couch surfing, hotel cleanliness, propaganda, censorship, 13 REASONS WHY and, uh, blackface, which plays a bigger role in this film than one could ever imagine. Yes, Christmas is in the air!
Just in time for Thanksgiving, we have the ultimate turkey for our listeners: 1985’s GYMKATA, directed by Robert Clouse. Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas stars as an elite athlete recruited by the U.S. government to participate in a top secret competition where the winner will be awarded a major advantage in the Cold War. Or something. Honestly, nothing in this film makes a lick of sense, including the titular fighting style, which is described as, “The skill of gymnastics, the kill of karate.” But it sure is a lot of fun, especially if you’ve had a couple of brewskis. Warning: the word ‘taint’ is repeated an abnormally large number of times in this episode. We apologize.
This week, SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?! gets into the holiday spirit as we take on 2005’s Thanksgiving-set revenge tale FOUR BROTHERS, directed by John Singleton. Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, and Garrett Hedlund star as foster brothers who return home to Detroit to bury their mother, who was gunned down execution-style in a robbery gone wrong. They will stop at nothing to find the killers, including elder abuse, animal abuse, child abuse…really, any and all forms of abuse. Did we mention this film is also incredibly misogynistic and homophobic? Yep, get ready for an overload of the festive warm and fuzzies!
Our 2019 Month of Horrors Extravaganza concludes this week as we take on Rob Zombie’s 2009 version of HALLOWEEN II. What was once seen as a cinematic travesty is now heralded in certain circles as a modern-day horror masterpiece. But is there any truth in such bold claims? We try to get to the bottom of it all, white horse and all. Shockingly, what proves most divisive is Scout Taylor-Compton’s lead performance. We anxiously await co-host Luke to admit he is wrong. At least we can all agree that this is better than the last Michael Myers flick we discussed (ahem, RESURRECTION).
Our Month of Horrors Extravaganza continues this week as we tackle 1988’s remake of the sci-fi classic THE BLOB, directed by Chuck Russell. A ball of gelatinous goo has crash landed into a small Colorado town, and it isn’t long before this alien substance starts making a meal of the local residents. The body horror is strong with this one, with lots of goopy practical effects that make us very happy. Kevin Dillon’s mullet isn’t half-bad, either. A pleasant, gross surprise awaits you. OK, we could have worded that better.
Our Month of Horrors Extravaganza continues this week as we discuss 2009’s DRAG ME TO HELL, directed by Sam Raimi. Alison Lohman stars as a meek loan officer who angers the wrong old lady and winds up with an ancient Gyspy curse. She has got three days to figure out how to stop it before she’s dragged to…well, you know, it’s right there in the title. Raimi is back in EVIL DEAD mode here, but is this a true return to form? All we know for sure is that we never need to see anything enter or leave Lohman’s mouth again for as long as we live. That came across as dirtier than we wanted. Sorry.
The week, we are celebrating both our Month of Horrors Extravaganza and our 100th episode by taking on Nicolas Cage in his most deranged role–1989’s VAMPIRE’S KISS, directed by Robert Bierman. The Cagester himself stars as a publishing executive who becomes convinced that he is turning into a vampire, resulting in whole lot of bug-eyed looks, random hip thrusts, and an accent that can best be described as “unidentifiable.” And just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, the man puts in some plastic fangs. This could be a masterpiece.
This week, we kick off our annual Month of Horrors Extravaganza by taking on 1996’s teen thriller THE CRAFT, directed by Andrew Fleming. Four high school girls get witchy and discover that with great power comes great responsibility…or something. Honestly, the messaging here is a little muddled, and what seems on the surface like a tale of female empowerment becomes more complicated upon a closer look. Honestly, we had no idea it was even possible to devote this much careful thought and analysis to a film like THE CRAFT. We impressed even ourselves is all we’re saying.