Nick and Chris review a variety of camp, B, genre, and otherwise bad movies.
225 - Assassin's Creed
It’s officially the Christmas season! Here we come a-wassailing! Here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus Lane! Jack Frost nipping at your nose. We’re reviewing Assassin’s Creed (2016).
Cal Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a convicted murderer who is being put to death in the Texas desert prison outpost in Huntsville. As he’s executed, he wakes up in a strange facility in Madrid. Sofia (Marion Cotillard) explains that they need to hook him up to a giant GLaDOS-like mechanical arm so he can tap into the genetic memory of his ancestors, steal the Apple of Eden, which contains the genetic code for free will, and this will somehow solve violence. Makes sense to me!
Cal is apparently a descendant of a line of assassins who have been fighting the Knights Templar for generations, mostly for this Apple but for other stuff too. He meets other assassin descendants, who basically have nothing else to do but hang around this facility for a while. There is also the icy Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), the Gendo of this organization and father of Sofia, as well as Cal’s father (Brendan Gleeson) who he thinks killed his mother.
Can Cal, under his cool ancestor assassin name of Aguilar, recover the Apple and save the world or something? Or is this creepy shadowy organization using sense memory VR to force you to do cool flips in 15th century Spain not all it’s cracked up to be? You’ll have to listen to find out! Also, if you didn’t know, this is based on a video game.
224 - Prey of the Jaguar
Your Stupid Minds covers a movie that may not exist, except in the deepest, darkest dollar bins of the seediest Walmarts of the world. It’s the David DeCoteau Punisher-lite tale Prey of the Jaguar (1996) starring Maxwell Caulfield, Stacy Keach, and Linda Blair.
Damien Bandera (Trevor Goddard, a.k.a. Kano in the original Mortal Kombat movie) is a drug kingpin who’s just been busted out of prison by his compatriots. Or is his name Banderas? He’s referred to as both in this movie.
Derek Leigh (Caulfield) is a regular 90s dad with a mustache who, for a 96 minute movie, spends a LOT of time in the first act with his loving pregnant wife and precocious son for them to not be fridged. His son Jeremy (Devon Michael) shows his dad the completely novel superhero he’s invented that has no ties to any existing intellectual property: The Jaguar!
Derek is visited by The Commander (Stacy Keach), his former boss at a secret espionage organization sporting a turtleneck, ponytail, and George H.W. Bush glasses. The Commander warns him that Bandera/Banderas, the guy he put away in an undercover operation, is out. Derek acknowledges his family may be in danger, and then goes to work. Bandera/s shows up where he works, shoots him, and throws him off a building. And mentions that he killed his entire family.
Three hours later, after he’s processed all of his grief, Derek decides to kit himself out and become a super karate vigilante named the Jaguar, fashioned after his son’s superhero. Will he fulfill his revenge? Was the Commander REALLY killed off screen in that car crash? Will there be a talking cat?! You’ll have to listen to find out.
223 - Amityville II: The Possession
Your Stupid Minds does one last spook ‘em up to round out the (now passed) Halloween season. It’s the Italian horror-infused prequel to a “real” haunting: Amityville II: The Possession (1982).
The Montelli family, made up of abusive father Anthony (Burt Young), manic mom Delores (Rotanya Alda), 26-year-old teenage son Sonny (Jack Magner), older daughter Patricia (Diane Franklin) and some other kids move into a new home in upstate New York possessed by a demon. They immediately begin providing ample dysfunctional fuel to feed the demon in his possession plans. The father is a physically abusive maniac, the oldest siblings have a weirdly close relationship, and the mom is fed up with it all.
The demon makes quick work of possessing Sonny and enacts its plan to murder the entire family. Can the local priest, Father Adamsky (James Olson) stop him in time. Will Catholic bureaucracy approve an exorcism? Will Sonny’s birthday party go off without a hitch? Considering this happens before the first movie, I think we can all assume this will not go well.
222 - Exorcist II: The Heretic
Your Stupid Minds is back with more spooky fare for Halloween. At least, it gives the air of spookification. If you find mind meld hypnosis machines, panopticon-like modern interior design, and fever dreams about locusts spooky, then you’d probably find 1977’s Exorcist II: The Heretic adequately spooky.
After a botched exorcism in Latin America leads to a woman “accidentally” setting herself on fire, Father Lamont (Richard Burton) is tasked with investigating the life and work of the late Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), who gave his life performing the exorcism in the first movie. He travels to New York where Regan (Linda Blair) has no memory of her past possession, and undergoes psychiatric treatment at a cutting edge facility led by Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher).
They use an experimental “synchronizer” machine to mind meld each other to relive past trauma in order to treat it. Instead, it unlocks the dormant Pazuzu, the demon from the first movie. Now Lamont must travel from Washington D.C. to Africa to Washington D.C. again to investigate this demon and defeat it once and for all. His travels involve seeking out a man named Kokumo (James Earl Jones), once-possessed by Pazuzu and exorcised by Merrin, who may hold the key, and special powers, the defeat the demon once and for all.
Just at the start of spooky season, Your Stupid Minds reviews the 1983 horror anthology Nightmares, starring Emilio Estevez, Cristina Raines, and Lance Henriksen.
Originally planned as a TV pilot, instead Universal packaged it together and gave it a wide theatrical release. Despite this slapdash release, it still managed to top #3 at the box office. That’s the ‘80s for you!
The theme is kind of urban legends, but that labeling stretches credulity. The stories include: A cigarette-addicted woman (Raines) who goes out for a carton despite the threat of an escaped murderer on the loose; a video game-addicted “teen” (Estevez) who gets sucked into a mysterious new arcade game; a priest who’s lost his faith (Henriksen) menaced by a black pickup truck driven by the devil; and a suburban family terrorized by a mysterious creature in the attic.
Return to Oz
Your Stupid Minds whisks you away to a magical fantasy land based on the L. Frank Baum novels that no one has read in the last 100 years. It's Disney's reimagined 1985 sequel Return to Oz!
In an effort to reinvigorate its flailing film releases, Disney bought the rights to the Wizard of Oz book series with the intention of revitalizing the franchise. One small issue though: the books are very dissimilar to MGM’s beloved The Wizard of Oz from 1939. No worries, the bones are still there: the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodsman. Oh, they’re barely in the sequels? Who are these guys? Gump? Jack Pumpkinhead? Tik-Tok? Also where are the ruby slippers? They’re silver? We have to pay MGM royalties to use the ruby ones? Oh dear.
Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) won’t shut up to Aunt Em (Piper Laurie) about this magical land of Oz where she murdered two witches and saved the Emerald City and all its diminutive residents. So naturally Aunt Em sends her off to a quack psychoanalyst who plans to electroshock this 10-year-old until she stops using her imagination.
She escapes the sanitarium and returns to Oz, teaming up with a talking chicken Billina (Denise Bryer), a robotic soldier Tik-Tok (Sean Barrett), Jack Pumpkinhead (Brian Henson) who is, let’s face it, just the Scarecrow, and Gump (Stephen Norrington) a talking moose head strapped to a flying couch.
Dorothy is determined to save the Scarecrow from the evil Nome King, and must solve a series of puzzles and challenges that were probably more interesting when they were in a children’s book. Come along with us on our flying Davenport on this wild adventure!
Entertaning, post-graduate level movie critique and commentary.
Love this show
The show is very fun, the cohosts have good chemistry and Chris is a Encyclopedia Bad Movies. The only drawback is a couple of episodes have audio problems and Nick can be a little too much at times.
Love the hosts chemistry! Makes me want to go back and watch some of theses movies again!