10 October 2012

October 10th

Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992) directed by Anthony Hickox
Silly as all get out.  Despite the title, there's no waxwork in this film.  Rather, Hickox has discovered an even better method of jumping from setting to setting: a mystical-magical necklace that points the way to invisible doorways connected to other worlds.  In effect, he gets to have his characters wander a series of movie parodies without worrying too much about the thin plot line driving them.  It sounds like a recipe for creating pure z-grade garbage, but I found the movie pretty funny.

Without a doubt, the best bit is the Haunting parody starring Bruce Campbell.  Inspired, I think, by Bruce's presence, they go all Evil Dead with the segment.  Campbell's character John ends up tied to a cross with an exposed rib cage.  John is calm despite his predicament... that is, until main character Mark releases the wrong rope and drops him directly on his chest.  After that, it's a Three Stooges-like parade of calamity on the poor guy: Mark picking chunks of floor out of the ribs, a possessed girl throwing hammers and boxes at his head, a bag labeled "bag of salt" being thrown into his chest, and Mark accidentally grabbing a bottle of vinegar to wash the salt away.  All the while, Bruce is giving each blow his broad Ash-like expressions of pain.  It's all very goofy and both Jack and I were cracking up loudly.

The movie slows considerably when they get stuck in the medieval period.  There, the evil black magician guy wants to impersonate the king and take his place.  He also wants to marry his own sister for some reason.  Compared the rest of the film, this section isn't anywhere near as fun and much of it is played rather seriously.  Mark decides to become a standard movie hero here, freeing prisoners, sword dueling, and saving the king.  I liked it better when he was accidentally torturing an exposed rib cage.

I can see why some people were disappointed with this sequel to the original -- it's way over the line into I-don't-care-how-silly-this-is territory -- but I had a lot of fun with it.

Watched: DVD from Artisan.

Tales from the Crypt 5.11: "Oil's Well That Ends Well" (1993) directed by Paul Abascal
Notable because it's the first and only time John Kassir, the voice of the Cryptkeeper, played a character in the story.  He's hilarious in this episode and full of manic energy.  The plot is a standard "scammer gets her just desserts" deal, but it's populated by enough entertaining characters  -- also including Alan Ruck and Priscilla Presley -- to make it entertaining.

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