Sadly, yet another cult icon has left us. Julie Strain, on January 10th, the one and only Heavy Metal model died at the young age of 58 after complications from Dementia. Strain went in to star in a hundred movies, and was well known by pop culture fans. With her tall stature, and incredibly sexy good looks, not to mention her enthusiasm for pop culture, Strain was well known for her charisma, bright smile, and affable sense of humor.
One of the bigger more interesting memes at Tiktok right now is the “#IfAnythingHappensILoveYouChallenge.” This particular meme involves a person or people filming themselves before and filming themselves after watching “If Anything Happens I Love You” on Netflix. Every video so far has shown each viewer beginning the movie with a nervous smirk and closing the video with teary eyes. Some of the users are nearly inconsolable afterward. If you didn’t think a short film could legitimately derive so many emotions from viewers, well them you probably have never seen “If Anything Happens I Love You.”
The “Zombie Bloodbath” trilogy is the sheer apex of garbage zombie movie fodder. It topples even “Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection.” The trilogy is something you’ll be forgetting minutes after, as only an hour after viewing these I can’t truly recollect the plots. There’s really no sense of arc, continuity, or overall cohesive storytelling here, as the zombies take center stage in films where characters are a sheer after thought. In the first Zombie Bloodbath from 1993, at a remote radioactive plant, its workers suffer the outbreaks of a chemical spill which turns them into—what else? Zombies.
There’s some supernatural element in “Friday the 13th” that doesn’t fully reveal itself until “Jason Lives.” Before that, Jason was more of a mortal superhuman capable of being killed and he is presumably stopped in “The Final Chapter.” In Danny Steinmann’s “A New Beginning,” Jason is definitely dead and Tommy has difficulty moving on as he’s haunted by Jason’s image time and time again. Since the fifth film apparently still takes place in the town of Crystal Lake, Tommy is still facing the trauma of battling Jason, even though it’s established he’s buried.
1987’s “The Lost Boys” is often examined as a film with heavy overtones of homoeroticism, and the idea of embracing the vampire mythology in a broader scope. It somewhat re-invented vampires, and even influenced many a creator in modern vampire fare. One of the reasons why I absolutely adore “The Lost Boys,” among many others, is because of its commentary on male models and debasing the antiquated idea of the nuclear family. While “The Lost Boys” is a play on the term from “Peter Pan” about a group of boys that never age, the title is also a play on the recurring theme of male role models and lack thereof.
I’m glad we’re living in a time where teen movies are becoming so much more diverse and open to various audiences. Once upon a time, teen movies were basically about upper middle class Caucasian teenagers living through something bad. And while I don’t begrudge John Hughes for tapping in to the zeitgeist, seeing someone like me on screen these days is so refreshing and allows a new generation to see themselves on-screen. Representation matters. And it counts for a lot.
Before the late aughts, there were a select few teen films about minorities. One of the best of their ilk was 2003’s “Raising Victor Vargas.” It’s a movie I’m shocked doesn’t get discussed very much these days, as it’s so much in line with John Hughes’ teen drama comedies.
For a movie that’s almost as old as I am and features many a flat tops and pastel vests, “House Party” is a movie that’s barely aged. In fact, it’s a movie that so many studios have tried to duplicate but never quite have captured the same magic and enthusiasm. There’s just something about “House Party” that’s kept it a vessel of pop culture, hip hop, and comedy that was shifting from the eighties and in to the nineties. Not even the sequels lived up to what is basically the perfect party movie when all is said and done. The movie advertises itself in the title, but while the movie is centered almost completely on a party, it’s also a pretty excellent coming of age comedy.
In 2000, Syfy (then known as Sci Fi Channel) was undergoing a transition in programming that included the introduction of “original programming.” Among these new shows was “The Invisible Man,” a series that mixed classic HG Wells’ science fiction classic, with comedy, drama, crime, science fiction, fantasy, and some good old fashioned espionage and heist antics. The story followed Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca), an inept cat burglar who accidentally murders the owner of a condo attempting to steal some jewels. He’s caught by authorities and given life in prison with only one way out: he can go free if he promises to sign up for a clandestine government program by a mysterious government benefactor.
He agrees to the stipulation and is injected with an experimental formula known as “Quicksilver.”