On this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” we consider the remarkable career of Boris Karloff, celebrating his iconic horror films and his diverse dramatic and comic work on screen, stage and television. Film historian Troy Howarth is our guest expert.
“The Goonies” turn thirty this year, which marks a fun anniversary of one of the most iconic family films of the 1980’s. To this day, the film is considered a masterpiece by many, even brandishing its own sequel coming very soon. I figured why not celebrate “The Goonies” by undermining its legacy and praising its knock off “The Monster Squad,” instead? Ain’t I a stinker? I’ll be honest, while “The Goonies” is a very good movie, at the end of the day I’d rather watch Fred Dekker’s “The Monster Squad.”
It’s harder edged, it’s much more entertaining, has more imagination, and it holds up against the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Goonies never say die, but The Monster Squad kills the fuck out of monsters and bad guys. Here are five Reasons why I’d rather be in “The Monster Squad” than “The Goonies.”
Man, Evie and Rick O’Connell have to be two of the most incompetent movie heroes ever conceived. Not only do they bring the mummy to life in the first movie, but in the opening of the second film, they desecrate a tomb, and steal a sacred bracelet that their snot nosed son slips on. Even worse, their son is kidnapped, and said bracelet is going to kill him in a week if he doesn’t find a mythical oasis. There’s a big difference between being an average Joe adventurer like Indiana Jones, and a bungling nincompoop like the O’Connell’s. Seriously, is it so hard to watch one child? And if you’re handling priceless artifacts that are absolutely irreplaceable, why entrust it to an eight year old kid?
Stephen Sommers’ ridiculously successful reboot of “The Mummy” is a film that almost gets the formula correct. It’s like a cocktail of action, comedy, romance, horror, and adventure that almost becomes the perfect marriage of sub-genres, but never quite hits the mark; even when it’s at its best. “The Mummy” is incredibly uneven and tough to really respond to, because Sommers seems to want to opt for action, while Universal seems anxious to embrace the horror. Thus it’s all so unbalanced and drags down an action horror comedy hybrid with potential to be a classic.
10. Space Chimps
You know, movie geeks make a lot of noise about films in theaters that are great and barely ever receive the attention crap like “Meet Dave” does, but every so often when a new movie scarcely gathers any kind of promotion at all, there’s a reason for it. A damn good reason. And “Space Chimps” is that prime example that some studios may hold films back because they’re just terrible and barely watchable. Cheap animation and a virtually non-existent plot pretty much destroy any semblance of potential this one-note premise has from the starting gates, as “Space Chimps” only clocks in at a lean eighty minutes and feels endless with its horrible voice acting, lame gags, and a twist in the second half that is not only surprising but clumsy in its delivery as if the writers just didn’t know where to go creatively after the chimps were actually in space. I always enter in to an animated film with a healthy sense of optimism (I even gave “Doogal” a chance!) but in a summer that brought us “Wall-E,” talking chimps and NASA propaganda simply doesn’t cut it for me.