Posts Tagged ‘candy

12
Jan
14

Mars Attacks (1996): Carnage Candy

 

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a Primal Root written review

Adapting a notoriously gruesome and controversial trading card series from the 60’s into a PG-13 holiday release for the 1990’s cannot be an easy task.  “MARS ATTACKS!” in it’s original form was a blood soaked Topp’s trading card series created in 1962. Of course, there was parental and societal uproar over the gory, frequently sexual card series which led to the series’ original run first being censored and then being halted entirely. Yes, tell the public they cannot have something because they cannot “handle it” and remove it from the market entirely.  Ladies and Gents, this is how you create a cult following.

In the early 1980’s, “MARS ATTACKS!” began it’s resurgence gaining a whole new generation of young fans while banking on the nostalgia of those who once had this gloriously sick and subversive creation snatched from their grasps by the moral watchdogs that know what is best for us all. Bunch of dick holes, I tells ya! This resurgence culminated in a film adaptation featuring and all star cast and directed by, at that point, creative dynamo, Tim Burton fresh of his biographical film “Ed Wood”, everyone’s favorite cross dressing Trash Cinema film director!

Just how in the world do you take a popular cult TRADING CARD series and transform it into a profitable commercial venture? Well, with the restraints of the imposed PG-13 rating, the best path was to tone down the horror elements and amp up the darkly comical elements which the screenplay by Jonathan Gems delivers in spades. Not only is it a damn funny movie from start to finish, it also manages to be highly intelligent, wickedly mean, and  greatly entertaining. Here, let me lay it out for you…

Martians know never to underestimate the power of the human male's libido.

Martians know never to underestimate the power of the human male’s libido.

It is brought to the attention of The President of the United States of America, that flying saucers have been spotted surrounding planning Earth originating from our neighboring planet, Mars. To the best we can translate, the Martians come in peace, but as soon as they land, they being disintegrating every living thing they come across with their awesome Martian hand cannons.  The remainder of the movie is a series of sight gags, action set pieces and nasty comedy as humanity fights for survival through a full  on Martian apocalypse.

“MARS ATTACKS!” is a blazingly dark, subversive, wacky sci-fi flick. Sure, it has it’s flaws, like a sluggish pace and a feeling that Tim Burton had a tough time juggling his impressive ensemble cast, but at the end of the day the movie comes off  just as anarchic as the Martians themselves. The film extends it’s middle finger towards societal conventions, and then has fun laughing maniacally as it exposes the shaky pillars that they all stand upon.  MARS ATTACKS! sets it’s sights on lampooning just about everyone.  Conservative military leaders and Wal-Mart families to liberal scientists and new agers, MARS ATTACKS! takes delight in taking them down a peg or two.

For the most part, every character is played as a buffoon,  a cartoon version of stock characters from B-movies past, contemporary leaders and everyday civilians.  The only folks not played for laughs are the handful of societal outcasts and misfits who are played as entirely human like the president’s daughter Taffy (Natalie Portman, channeling Winona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice), mild mannered New Mexican donut peddler, Richie (Lukas Haas) and, most impressively, Byron and Louise Williams (Jim Brown and the incomparable Ms. Pam Grier) as a blue collar, seperated African American couple trying to make ends meet and raise two young boys.  Louise drives a bus in Washington D.C. while Byron, once a Heavy weight Boxing Champion, now works in Vegas. They are by far the most honorable, loving and genuine characters in the movie and the ones you end up rooting for in the end. When everything else in the film is a lark, you want nothing more than a happy ending for this family.

But it’s not all touchy feely stuff,  let us not forget the fantastically depicted carnage. Holy shit, is this fun stuff to watch! Martians bowl through Easter Island statues, crush mobile homes with their colossal Martian manned robots,  and in my personal favorite gag, crush a troupe of cub scouts with the Washington Monument. See, you don’t get this kind of flesh pulping fun in crap like “Independence Day”. One of the aspects I admire about “MARS ATTACKS!” is how the Martians use the phrase “We Come in Peace” and “We are your friends” to gain our trust several times over in order to implement surprise attacks. Once, killing off several military leaders and countless innocent spectators and the second time killing off Congress. It worked so well int he past that later in the film we see Martians roaming a burning landscape, guns drawn still claiming that they come in peace and blasting anything living they come across while exclaiming “Do Not Run! We Are Your Friends!”   It’s a great joke, but it’s a goddamn chilling one as well.

mars attacks do not run

By film’s end, Earth is saved by a decent young man who went out of his way to save his Grandmother from her rest home which was under siege and, unbeknownst to them, unlock the secret weapon that will destroy the Martian threat and save what remains of planet Earth and it’s inhabitants.  It’s one of the most absurd deus ex machina’s I have ever witnessed in cinema, but in a campy, B-Movie send up such as this, it feels perfectly fitting.

Finally, when Earth is reduced to a smoldering husk of it’s former self, it’s the underdogs who survive. The blue collar workers, those who risk life and limb to save the helpless, and Tom Jones. And in this I see hope. Early in the film, before the Martians reveal their true intentions, Annette Bening’s character states to at her AA meeting that she thinks the Martians have come to save us. And in a way, by destroying the institutions that have always held us back from truly progressing, leaves us with a clean slate to start from. In a way, they’ve given us a second chance and left our world int he hands of the misfits. The survivors.

“MARS ATTACKS!” is one Hell of a flick.  Sharply intelligent, subversive and damn funny.  This is one film well deserving of it’s cult status. highly recommended!

Four and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

24
Dec
13

Dementia Grimm; December Devil Girl of the Month 2013

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Merry Trashmas Eve, Gang! It’s your friend, The Primal Root! The tree has been trimmed, the sleazy gifts jammed into stockings and we’re all settled in for a day of mirth, merriment, drinks and debauchery with those we hold dearest.  As we get into the good cheer of the holiday, I figure there are few better ways to stir up the cheer than observing the ever sultry and demented Dementia Grimm slaughter an innocent elf in cold blood with the assistance of a disturbingly pale Santa Claus! Nothing quite gets this Scrooge into the spirit of the season like some good, old fashioned elf slaughter!  So sit back, ready that yule log, and enjoy a little taste of pure Trashmas evil courtesy of our good friend, December Devil Girl of the Month,  Dementia Grimm! 

Stay Trashy!

-Root

Photographer: Avidchick Productions
MUA: Chris Davis

Models : Dementia Grimm, Carl Booth II & Joshua Vasquez

Special thanks to Jeff Lakeland)

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31
Oct
13

Mistress Paine; Halloween Devil Girl 2013

 HALLOWEEN, GANG! Well, it’s that most magical day of the year, the day when the barrier between the living and the dead is thinnest, when we all get to put on disguises and roam the streets without getting arrested, that day when it’s socially acceptable to bang on complete strangers doors and beg for candy! That’s right, Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve or Samhain, whichever you wish to call it is kosher in my book.  Well, one very sexy treat has been offered to us this Halloween in the form of a colorful, spooky and sultry set from the lovely Mistress Paine! Before we unwrap this sickeningly sweet piece of sugary confection, how’s about a little getting to know you chit-chat, hmm?

The Primal Root: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What kind of stuff are you into?

Mistress Paine: I really enjoy modeling but my focus right now is going to be to go back to school to be a vet assistant caring for animals has always been a passion of mine but for now in my free time i spend a lot of time with my best friend shawn and my bf2. As our Halloween Devil Girl, I was wondering which horror flicks you might be watching this October 31st?

PR: As our Halloween Devil Girl, I was wondering which horror flicks you might be watching this October 31st?

MP: This Halloween I’m going old school its not much of a horror but a favorite classic earnest scared stupid is my movie choice.

PR: What song would you recommend The Gang listen to while admiring your lovely Devil Girl set?

MP: A good song of choice to listen to while admiring my photos would have to be Head Like a Hole.

PR: What’s the scariest damn movie you’ve ever seen? What made it so frightening?

MP: Hmmm scariest movie I’ve ever seen is a tough one but id have to go with volcano as corny as it is when it boils down to it there isn’t a damn thing you can do to stop a volcano just get out of its way

PR:  When you’re out Trick or Treating Halloween night what sweet is sure to put a smile on your face?

MP: My favorite sweet that i look forward to this time of year is definitely candy corn i can’t get enough of those addicting pieces of pure sugar. 🙂

Well, the only thing sweeter than candy corn this Halloween might just be Mistress Paine’s wicked Halloween Devil Girl spread. Feast your eyes and enjoy! Oh, and Trashy Halloween! -Root

Photography by: Shawn Plunkett

 

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12
Oct
10

Satan’s Little Helper: The Many Faces of Evil

a Primal Root Review

****SPOILER WARNING****

“JESUS IS SATAN!” – Jenna makes a startling revelation in Satan’s Little Helper

Well, it’s that time of year again! My favorite holiday, Halloween, is just around the corner and I felt it would do the season justice to bring you a review for one of my favorite new films to take place on my favorite day of the year. We’re talking about the 2004 warped, jet black Halloween horror comedy, Satan’s Little Helper. A film that explicitly details the highs and lows of befriending someone who is pure evil and doing everything hey ask you to do. It also illustrates how easily lead and stupid children are. And how hot your sister is. And how creepy Amanda Plummer is. And how much hipster drama majors suck. All in one action packed movie! Let us get down to business.

 

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen, Satan.

 

Satan’s Little Helper begins with our little kid star, Dougie (Alexander Brickel) riding in the family sedan wtih Mom (Amanda Plummer) on their way to pick up his sister Jenna (Katheryn Winnick) who has come back from college to celebrate Halloween with her kid brother. Dougie is dressed up as Satan’s Little Helper, the main character in the violent horror video game his father bought for him. In the game, Satan’s Little Helper follows Satan around and murders people for points while avoiding detection by God and getting killed by an Avenging Angel. Now, if only this film had become more popular, every kid in North America would be playing this game. Including me.

Now, when Dougie and Mom pull up to the ferry to pick up Kathryn (she had to take a ferry because this place is small and secluded and could be an island or something) she has brought along a fellow theater major and possible suitor in the form of scrawny hipster, Alex (Stephen Graham) who won’t shut up about his abusive father and is never once likable. Needless to say, Dougie is pissed because he wanted to spend his Halloween with his super cool sister but now has to share her with El Douche Bag Theater Major.

Dougie mopes about his neighborhood before coming across someone who may or may not be the devil murdering someone on their front porch in broad daylight and arranging this corpse as a Halloween decoration.  This is the exact same behavior Dougie has come to idolize in his favorite video game so, of course, he’s gotta introduce himself to this silent, masked killer and offer up his services. Satan instantly approves after Dougie mentions the fact that his sexy, melon chested sister and slightly neurotic Mother are both home alone and Dad won’t be home till later.

Dougie and Satan, BFF!

The two embark on an awesome and constantly hysterical adventure together running over elderly blind men and pregnant women with shopping carts, crushing cats against  houses to write Halloween messages in their blood, and kicking elderly women from their walkers and then hanging them out the upstairs window so they can nab her drugs to lace the candy they will later be handing out to children.

Keep in mind, Dougie is not psychotic, he simply thinks this is all make believe and that this is all just like the video game. How could a cild be so damn stupid? I’m not sure. But it does add to the humor to watch a little kid give a murderer a thumbs up as he brutally stabs a grocer to death and toss the body in a dumpster.

The proceedings are all undergone with tongue planted firmly and bloodily in cheek and for those of you with the same sick sense of I possess this is a fucking gem of a Halloween horror movie. The film manages to pull off a pretty believable feeling of a small town Halloween and how easy it would be for a killer to simply kill people and set them all about under the guise it’s simply a Halloween prank or decoration. Half the action takes place in broad daylight with neighbors walking by, and on some occasions, even stopping with the kids to watch and take photos while laughing.

 

Satan gets acquainted with Dougie's big sister, Jenna.

 

The Satan figure in the film, in addition to being both hilarious and brutal, possesses an incredible intelligence and insight into human psychology. He manages to put a dozen webs and traps together and manipulate all his victims into killing family and friends for him. Like a more comical version of Jigsaw from the Saw franchise, Satan has a knack for almost clairvoyant forward planning. It’s really kind of remarkable when you watch the film and think about it.

A third of the way through Satan’s Little Helper, the small community falls into anarchy as the five man police team is decimated and Satan changes faces and his numerous plans come together. People rush to get the Hell out of there as it dawns on them what they assumed were harmless Halloween jokes are, in fact, deadly serious.

It is in this final third of the movie that Satan’s Little Helper, I believe, delivers a bit of a message. Satan changes costumes several times towards the end of our film. First, into Jesus Christ (donning an infinitely creepier mask than his Devil get-up.) who Dougie has prayed for to help him after being led blindly by Satan, whom he thought was his friend before he gutted dad and tied his lower intestines to a dining room chair. Dougie instantly believes this visage of Christ is here to help, little does he realize, Christ is the same evil he is trying to avoid.

Christ stops by.

By film’s end, the family lets a police officer into their home assuming he is there to help. This authority figure is revealed to be the same killer wearing another mask, another costume, of a figure many of us are conditioned to trust and believe in. Watching the film again I began to wonder if this was a Christian film, but in the end I have a feeling it’s a cautionary tale about trusting authority and those in power. Satan, Jesus, law enforcement, or otherwise you should always question those in power and not just play the sheep who blindly follows.

Could it be? A movie that’s such a brain smashingly nasty bit of comic fun as Satan’s Little Helper could jam a damn message into the proceedings? I dunno. I may be reading way too much into this thing. All I know is it’s just as funny to watch Jesus savagely beat people as it is to watch Satan.

This Halloween season, if there’s one flick I recommend you check out if you haven’t already, it’s the indie sleeper Satan’s Little Helper. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, and just maybe learn a little something about yourself.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

17
Oct
09

The Primal Root’s Halloween Special Part 1: Jack-O

jacko

Hey Gang,

Being a huge fan of the Halloween season I decided to go ahead and make TWO episodes in celebration. In this first part we are examining the 1995 Florida made micro-budget Halloween horror opus, Jack-O.

The flick features copious barren suburban landscapes, a hilariously bad child actor, killer toasters, witch persecution, evil conservative stereotypes, a tragically lame haunted garage, tons of gratuitous nudity and one towering, scythe wielding, pumpkin headed demon from hell who goes by the name of Jack-O!

Jack-O is a wild, fun, unintentionally hilarious little flick. So kick back, pour yourself some apple cider and let’s take a look at a truly glorious piece of our Trash Cinema Heritage.

Stay Trashy,

-Root

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85107964″>(NSFW) Jack-O (1995) The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 6</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24396091″>Kevin Cole</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

10
Oct
09

All the Monsters…Trick r’ Treat

A Review by  The Primal Root

October 31st. Halloween. A holiday with roots in Celtic tradition known as Samhain, adopted by Christian’s as the holy day of All Saint’s Day and eventually made it’s foothold as a great North American Traditional celebration in 1846 when Irish immigrants brought their own versions of the celebration to us. It’s a holiday steeped in folklore, ritual, and mystery. But many of us lose sight of how important a role this day is for us. Yes, Halloween has become an enormous commercial and marketing jackpot in recent years but one must never lose sight of the true Halloween spirit. As fall sets in, as the leaves turn brown and leave barren, skeletal trees, as the temperature drops and the wind chills our bones…we are reminded that one day we too shall fade away. On this one night a year we are allowed to be whomever we’d like to be, hide behind masks, beg for candy, and be one with the spirits of those who’ve come before. Halloween is a celebration of life in the face of death.

It’s a dark celebration filled with fun, danger and excitement. And Mike Dougherty’s recently released horror anthology Trick R’ Treat evokes everything we love about Halloween. Trick R’ Treat involves several different interweaving storylines that take place on one night introducing us to some truly bizarre, memorable characters and towards some very twisted endings. It’s a film populated with ghouls, creatures, human monsters and illustrates the evil they are all capable of.

TrickrTreat Bus

The Local Legend...

The film features middle aged Halloween tricksters who ends up  down in the dirt, a vampire run amuck,  a young woman looking for just the right man for her first time, a group of children paying their respects to those who passed in a ghastly town legend, an elderly shut in who refuses to celebrate the holiday and a young woman who makes the mistake of blurting out her hatred for Halloween. All the while the short figure of Sam Hain watched from the shadows.

In this stocky, silent, central figure to the warped tales told here, Dougherty has created a new horror icon sure to take his place amongst the pantheon of cinema heavy weights  as the cult status of this film grows and the possibilities for follow ups grow stronger.

The performances here are all strong, from veteran actors such as Brian Cox (Manhunter) & Dylan Baker (Spider-Man series) who tap into some pretty nasty places for their character motivations. Also on hand are some fresh faces such as Lauren Lee Smith(CSI), Quinn Lord (as Sam) and Oscar winner Anna Paquin (TV’s True Blood) looking sexier than ever in a Little Red Riding Hood costume and sporting her dark hair from back in the day. Not to give too much away, but when Marilyn Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams starts playing, Anna has never EVER looked sexier.

Anna Paquin is hungry for love in Trick r' Treat.

Anna Paquin is hungry for love in Trick r' Treat.

The production quality here is tight and perfectly captures the atmosphere of a whole town brimming with the Halloween spirit and I could not contain the smile that spread across my face in delight of the successful tone Trick r’ Treat sets from the first frame to the very last. I also appreciate that writer/director Mike Dougherty never once dumbs down the proceedings in order to spoon feed the audience and stays focused on delivering the greatest on screen celebration of our beloved holiday since John Carpenter’s original Halloween back in 1978.

Trick r’ Treat is a collection of some of our all time favorite classic monsters and a brilliant assortment of some new beasts to add to our cultural Halloween mythos. Trick r’ Treat is a horror classic in the making and you truly feel like you’re a part of something very special as you watch it.

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Halloween spirit incarnate. Mr. Sam Hain makes a house call.

So obey the rules this Halloween, and if you’re lacking a bit of that old Halloween spirit, check out Trick r’ Treat. It will reignite that inner jack-o-lantern in no time.

Stay Trashy,

-Kevin

(The Primal Root)

Trick R Treat Leslie Bibb

Leslie Bibb plays Halloween Hater Emma in Trick r' Treat




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