Now Playing: CLIFF HANGERS!
Gobby gets married in less than a week, so last night was the bachelor party. It was pretty tame as these things go; only five of us partook (my brother remained in St. Louis), and there were no nude body parts of any kind. It was still a late night and a good time, and who knows when we'll get together like that again.
The festivities began around 5:30 at my place with an array of meat, cheeses, chips, snacks, beer and soft drinks. We chattered while one of my homemade compilations of trash movie trailers played on the Cyberhome. Talk about current musical acts, cars and idiots we went to school with in Mansfiend was frequently interrupted by comments inspired by the trailers, such as "Why do people continue to fuck with Charles Bronson? Don't they watch Charles Bronson movies?" and jokes about Chuck Norris Super Karate Action Jeans.
A little after 7:00, we went to Neil Street to meet our 7:30 reservations at Alexander's Steakhouse. For $20, you pick your own steak and grill it yourself, along with baked potatoes and buttery Texas toast. It's some of the best beef in town, and I don't mind the alleged inconvenience of grilling it. I like the sense of community...and the chance to snack on that grilled toast.
After pounding our 18-ouncers, we cruised through the U of I campus for a few minutes. I often go down there, but it had been years since the rest of the group traveled down there. Campustown has changed a lot in the last ten years, and certainly in the last 20 or so since we first started going down there. Almost everything from our high school years is gone--the movie theater, the arcade, the fast-food places.
We ventured over to the Rose Bowl in Urbana, a bar I'd never been to before. It has been around for decades; my dad told me he hadn't been in there in 45 years. I doubt it has changed much. Even the formica furniture has "1963 kitchen" written all over it. The clientele was very white with men favoring cowboy hats and Harley Davidson T-shirts and the women in hoop earrings, big hair and shirts that didn't go all the way to the waist, no matter how much they weighed. The average age of the band, which was pretty good and played covers by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, etc., was about 53. Everybody seemed to be happy, and it really was not a bad little place to be.
Two pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon ("Fuck Heineken!"), and time to head back to my place to continue gorging on beer, flaming Cheetos, meat and cheese. I couldn't eat anything after the giant steak I had; I have no idea how those guys could eat.
Gobby had already picked out the first Crappy Movie of the night, a favorite of ours: KING FRAT. There's no way I can possibly defend liking this movie...I just do. It's a low-budget, filmed-in-Florida ANIMAL HOUSE ripoff, and your admiration for it will depend upon how many jokes about beer, farts, vomiting and all-around tastelessness you can take.
KING FRAT is about a fraternity at Yellowsprings College (yes, there's a urination joke there) populated with misfits, drunks, reprobates and party animals that is constantly battling with a fellow frat manned by uptight preppies, tormenting the dean and spying on sorority girls in various stages of undress. There's a corpse-napping, a costume party featuring a girl dressed as Lady Godiva, an inflatable doll, some offensive Native American stereotyping, a fart contest for money ("Holy shit! Fart contest!"), a guy in a gorilla suit and lots of beer-drinking. It's completely unoriginal and predictable, the students are at least a decade too old, the acting is mostly broad and sometimes amateurish, but there's a certain cheekiness in the proceedings that's easy to admire. Actor John DiSanti makes no attempt to disguise the fact that his fat, crude character of "Grossout" blatantly rips off John Belushi. He also wears a Howard the Duck T-shirt throughout the movie. I highly doubt Marvel Comics gave permission to use it.
After KING FRAT, it was REVENGE OF THE NINJA, a favorite of mine that attracted a lot of "ooohs" and "aahhhs" when we saw the trailer earlier. It's an incredible Golan-Globus production starring Sho Kosugi as a ninja who moves with his young son to Los Angeles after evil ninja graphically murder his entire family. He discovers his L.A. business partner and so-called friend Braden is using Sho to smuggle heroin into the country, and that Braden is also an evil ninja. This movie is about 90 minutes of nearly non-stop martial arts action, grippingly directed by Cannon regular Sam Firstenberg and choreographed by Kosugi. Some of the stuntwork looks very dangerous, like Kosugi being dragged behind a van, and even the little boy gets involved in the action scenes. MGM (accidentally?) put the original X-rated cut on the R-rated DVD, meaning there's more gore here than you saw on HBO in 1984.
Some of the party broke up at this point, but a few of us held on for one more: HOLLYWOOD COP, more insanity from the inept Iranian director of SAMURAI COP. And like that picture, HOLLYWOOD COP's entertainment value is hard to describe. It's just as incompetent as SAMURAI COP, but with some slumming stars and not quite as much hilarity. The wretchedness of the film is evident from the first fucking shot, which begins a bit too soon with the actors standing motionless waiting for the director to call "Action!"
Mobster Jim Mitchum (TRACKDOWN) wants back the $6 million a guy named Joe Fresno stole from him, so he kidnaps Fresno's son to hold for ransom. Fresno's ex-wife goes to a cop improbably named Johnny Turquoise (David Goss), or "Turk" or "Turkey" for short, to get the boy back. The investigation takes several ridiculous turns, such as stopping so Turk's partner Jaguar (a mugging Lincoln Kilpatrick) can make some bread oil-wrestling with two hot women. The script, filled with illogic and laughable dialogue (Turk tells a grieving husband whose wife has been raped in front of him, "Look, I know that guy fucked your wife and all, but..."), is matched in its incompetence by the inappropriate sound effects and photography.
It was about 3:30am by the time HOLLYWOOD COP mercifully ended, and sleep came quickly to those of us still standing. Gob's wedding is on Saturday. At least I'll get to have another steak.
Happy 30th to Shark Hunter. Hope your birthday party last night was at least as merry as ours.
Posted by Marty at 4:17 PM CDT