Saturday, July 13, 2013
my birth month of December, 1951. Fawcett published ten issues of
the title from December 1950 to June 1952...and then it went over
to Charlton for three more issues, numbered #3-5. That’s all I can
tell you about this comic book, save for my observation the guy on
the cover doesn’t look very young to me. In fact, he reminds of a
middle-aged Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter. If any of my bloggy
thing readers can tell me more, I urge them to do so.
Two more comics from my birth month to go. Look for them tomorrow
The last time I wrote about movies in this bloggy thing of mine, I
was having a spectacularly bad run. I’m delighted to say that has
turned around with the three most recent movies I’ve viewed in the
Isabella Movie House. Staring with...
Sharknado [The Asylum; 2013] is a classic! I’m not kidding! It’s
a big and goofy tsunami of fun that I’ve already ordered a Blu-Ray
copy of because it will be an awesome addition to my home library
of exceptional cinema. If Sharknado were shown on a big screen, I
would pay to see it that way. From here on in, I must activate the
A hurricane deposits hundreds of deadly sharks into the skies and
streets of Los Angeles. There are tornado-like water spouts that
are filled with swirling shark death. A oceanfront tavern owner,
his cute bartender, his pal and his best customer struggle to make
their way across town to rescue his estranged wife and their kids.
Shark shit happens.
Yes, you will tell me this is a ridiculous premise and I respond,
“Yes, it is, pass the popcorn!”
Yes, you will tell me the fake rubber sharks look silly and again
I will ignore your inability to grasp the wonderfulness before you
and maybe ask for some relish on my hot dog.
Yes, you will cry out from time to time saying “They did NOT just
do that!” and I will cry, “Oh, yes, they did, yes, those glorious
I haven’t had this much giggly fun watching a film since I watched
The Avengers on the big screen. I chuckled when the flopping sharks
still try to eat people with their last breaths. I laughed when the
customer takes out a shark with a bar stool. I was in silly heaven
when a shark tries to eat its way through the top of the good guy
truck. I yelled “Thank you, Jesus” when the only really unpleasant
character - the frat boy type shacking up with the hero’s ex-wife -
lasted about a minute-and-a-half before he got gobbled by sharks in
his flooded living room. He deserved to die because, Godzilla be
praised, this movie is filled with heroes.
Scene after scene, people (and not just the main cast) risk their
lives to save others. One young man pushes a friend out of harm’s
way, only to get clobbered by the next shark to land. When people
die in this movie, no matter how humorously, they are more than the
mere statistics of disaster porn movies.
The heroes keep coming up with ingenious ways to stay alive and to
kill themselves a passel of sharks. And, if the movie goes light-
years into fantasy coincidence to ensure a happy ending, then I’m
okay with that. This is a goofy classic.
Sharknado is a classic. It has been blowing up the Internet tubes
since it aired on the SyFy Channel. I think it deserves a goldang
Academy Award for...something. I don’t care what.
I love Sharknado...and I’m proud to shout that to the world!
Also from The Asylum, though not remotely a classic, is Attack From
Beneath . Originally titled Atlantic Rim - and still listed
as such on the Internet Movie Database - Attack is a “mockbuster,”
a production designed to leech off the expected success of a major
studio release. I’m guessing the title change stems from a cease-
and-desist letter from the makers of Pacific Rim. Both films are
basically “Transformers Vs. Kaiju,” but Attack probably cost less
to make than any single Pacific Rim trailer and it shows on the
screen. Which is not to say Attack isn’t mildly entertaining in a
late-night monster movie sort of way.
In Attack, three human-piloted “bots” are still in the test stage
when they are called upon to investigate the utter destruction of
an oil rig. If you’ve seen Super Shark (2011) or any of a number
of other “giant critters from the sea” movies, you know that these
oil rigs are a leading cause of monsters. Another sin to be laid
at the doorstep of Big Oil.
One of the human operators is a likeable loose cannon romantically
involved with the feisty woman of the trio. The third operator is
is also in love with the woman and he and she once came very close
to doing the intimate mambo. The characters are not breathtakingly
fresh, but David Chokachi, Jackie Moore and Anthony 'Treach" Criss
play them with amusing gusto. As do Graham Greene, Steven Marlow
and Nicole Dickson with their respective roles as a gruff-but-fair
admiral, a crazed subordinate who wants to nuke New York City and
a borderline crazed scientist.
Attack from Beneath is completely worth a single viewing. Decent
acting, a reasonably suspenseful story, special effects sufficient
to do their job. It’s the kind of movie that would probably have
shown up on late-night television if it had been made back in the
days when the big event of my life as a Cleveland kid was watching
Ghoulardi (the legendary Ernie Anderson) present monster movies and
subversive comedy skits. It’s not a keeper, but I got my money’s
worth buying the Blu-ray via Amazon. It showed up the day before
Sharknado aired on SyFy and was a nice appetizer to that classic.
It’s a perfectly fine way to spend an hour-and-a-half.
One more movie today and it’s The Last Stand  starring Arnold
Schwarzenegger. Here’s the quick synopsis from IMDB:
The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to
the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff
and his inexperienced staff.
The movie is violent, predictable, over the top and an amusing way
to spend 107 minutes. I like old Arnold better than I like young
Arnold and I liked young Arnold. The villains kill people and chew
scenery with equal relish. Arnold’s ragtag band of deputies - and
one old lady - all get special moments.
Forest Whitaker plays a federal agent who takes the entire movie to
figure out the obvious while Arnold is taking names and blowing ass
to Hell. So, in a sense, this is also a movie about the little guy
(the small-town sheriff) beating the big guys (arrogant drug lord
and arrogant federal law enforcement). Which is as deep as I care
to get with this explosive cinema picnic.
The Last Stand isn’t a great movie, but it’s fun...and that’s all
I need from the films I watch. Check it out.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella