It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival! Everyone, that is, except for Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), two valley gals who care more about meteoric fashion trends than celestial phenomena. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t either disintegrated or turned into a zombie, they… well, they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of the mauling, these two val gals flee with both killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
1984 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
6.5 out of 10
Over the past year or so, I’ve become somewhat lazy in terms of travelling to and from work. Using the excuse that “I’m really busy” to justify turning into a fat, sickly, exploitative capitalist, I’ve got into the habit of driving most days. Fortunately, realising my impending metamorphosis into a fat, middle-aged asshole, along with the fact that at work we’re even more penniless than usual at the moment (it’s a company car), I’ve resolved to do things differently. Remember kids, ‘smashing the system’ starts at home! If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. In an effort to save the planet even more than I normally do and increase the likelihood of my still being around to enjoy the fruits of my labour, I’ve started walking into work and home again. It’s 2.4 miles each way, so when I add a bit extra on for all the staggering I do that results from the exhaustion walking this far causes me, that almost 5 miles a day. After a week or so I have to report that the main effect has been to make my left knee really sore, although I’m sure the reduction in the amount of driving I’m doing has probably resulted in the reversal of Climate Change and consequentially the crappy, cold weather we’ve been having recently. I’m really sorry if I’ve spoilt anyone’s holiday. This film is also about something that has global consequences.
This is a cult movie. That means a lot of people have convinced themselves that it’s good, whereas in fact it’s pants. Two young sisters, the tall, attractive but slightly geeky Regina and the out-and-out bimbo Samantha, manage to survive a phenomenon that turns most people turn into a brown dust or a zombie. (I hate days like that.) They manage this as one of them had sex with her boyfriend in a cinema, whilst the other had an argument with her mother about something ‘teenage’ that I don’t understand and then spent the night sulking in a garden shed. Fortunately for them, they then manage to meet up with Lieutenant Commander Chakotay from “Star Trek Voyager”, although he’s a lot younger in it, nearly 400 years or so younger, given the date he was first aboard Voyager. But it’s definitely Chakotay and not some actor playing his part; the way he reacts to the zombie boy in his parents’ house is just so Star Fleet. Anyway, the sisters talk bollocks a lot, go shopping and foil a sinister plot of sorts by a group of Government scientists. With hindsight, I guess it was lucky that their absent father was in the military and taught them how to use a range of guns. Don’t mess with an armed cheerleader, good advice at any time. In its defence, this is a fun, über 80s film, which manages to lampoon many others without ever turning into a parody of them. I guess that makes it a bit of a geeks’ film too. The fact that one of its two main characters has the top ten scores on a Tempest arcade game, just goes to reinforce my point. (Tempest was crap; Asteroids was loads better.) Less impressive is the random survivor that turns up near the end. He’s driving a Mercedes sports car. He’s in Los Angeles, almost everyone else is dead and he’s probably got the pick of just about every sports car ever made within a mile of the city centre; and he’s picked a Merc. That’s so unrealistic, it totally undermines the believability of the whole film…
I like to moan about how rubbish most music is these days is, but in the 80s it was even worse. This movie features a lot of music from that time period and it’s dire. Trying to consider that it’s some sort of important cultural landmark and should be preserved, is rather like arguing we should keep a 60’s concrete tower block in place, simply because it’s an example of a certain type of architecture. No, no, no. The clothes women wore at the time were awful too.
Recommended for airheads, scientists, geeks, bimbos and Star Trek Fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? When the whole burden of civilisation has fallen upon you, it’s good to see that the Green Cross Code Man’s word still counts for something. After all, remember what he turned into. How the once mighty can fall… Even more badass is the fact that the traffic lights are still working so long after 99.9% of the world’s population has died.
I was driving home tonight and turning off the M3. At the junction a car had just broken down in the middle lane of three, at a set of traffic lights. (A BMW, ha-ha-ha). The driver behind it got all inpatient and started flashing and honking the broken-down driver. Then he suddenly pulled into the inside lane right in front of me, forcing me to brake hard and throw everything off the seat next to me and onto the floor, before he drove straight through the now red light. Asshole. If my car’s lights had been lasers (the sci-fi gun version, not the CD reading version), I’d have blown him to pieces, such was my annoyance. I doubt he heard it, but my language would have embarrassed more than just a nun too. People like that should be taken outside and shot. And no, I’m not going to give him a second chance on the assumption that he’d just had a bad day. My life might not amount to much, but I’m going to waste it at my discretion, not some stupid moron behind the wheel of a car’s. And talking of nuns, I thought this film was going to be about them.
2005 – Certificate: PG – USA
Rating Details: Mild language and sex references
Anyway, there I was, on Saturday evening, ready to watch what I thought was going to be a sleazy 70s, exploitation flick about nuns and kinky underwear. So you can imagine my disappointment when, on starting to view this film, instead of seeing nuns running around losing their clothing and wearing each other’s panties, I got a chick flick about four young friends and a pair of second-hand jeans. Bloody American’s, why do they have to mess about with OUR language; pants are, well, pants, not trousers or jeans. And a sisterhood really ought to have something to do with convents. With hindsight, I suppose the PG certificate and the “Perfect film for teen girls” splash on the front cover should have warned me, but I thought they were just part of the marketing; I didn’t think they, you know, really meant what they said. Anyway, to make the best of a bad job I watched it; I guess someone has to. After the first ten minutes I was already tiring of the four-teenage-girls-all-talk-and-giggle-at-once-about-nothing narrative. Still, a film has to be pretty bad for me to totally give up on it, so I persevered; and I’m glad I did. What I ended up with was a really great movie about four friends who are separated one summer for the first time and how they keep in touch with one another, grow as individuals and ensure their friendship remains intact. (Sounds a bit bluurrgg, doesn’t it?) To be honest, some of the subtleties of this were probably lost on me; I’m an old(ish) bloke, so I’ve next to no chance of understanding teenage angst or relationships; hell, I didn’t even understand them when I was a teenager, although come to think of it, that’s maybe the point of them. Okay, so it’s all a bit dumb, the ending is a bit too upbeat for my liking and the four main characters could basically be summed up as rebel, slut, wallflower and latch-key kid. But it’s all done with such sincerity that it’s hard not to get swept along with it. Most of it’s pretty lightweight stuff as you’d expect and the plot goes everywhere and nowhere, but every now and again a scene came along that enabled the whole movie to punch above its weight. It’s been done a million times before in films, but the scene in the hospital was a genuinely great bit of acting and you’d have to be made of stone not to be affected by it. I’m not sure if it’s a perfect film for teen girls, but it worked for this cynical old guy. I didn’t even miss there being no nuns in it either; (it does have some panties though). I wonder what the follow-up is like?
Recommended for teenage girls (according to the Sunday Mirror); and old blokes who are willing to step outside their comfort zones. (But if you need an excuse lads, it has some women’s football in it too.)
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? The subplot involving Tibby and Bailey is especially affecting; (or is it effecting, I can never remember)? This had lots of little scenes that are really quite special. Learning to care about someone is one thing; learning to show it is another. This is badass.