Jem and the Holograms (2015)

I’m a child of the 80s.  I bathed in the glory of the awesome toys and amazing cartoons of the decade.  While a lot of the sheen of those shows faded as I grew up, it’s okay.  That’s because I’m a grown up and can understand that those things are special for what they were then and it’s hard to recapture that love and the exact feelings I had when I first discovered the cartoons.

That said, I still love the toys and still smile at everything surrounding those glory days of cartoon and capitalist infusion.

Now, while I didn’t exactly watch or love the show Jem and the Holograms, I knew A LOT of people who did.  Regardless of watching or not, and certainly not having the dolls that were released, I still liked the gimmick and idea of the whole concept.  I talked about it a couple weeks ago when I reviewed Teen Witch, but wish fulfillment is really, really, really important to young people.  Jem certainly encapsulated that too, but it wasn’t entirely made specifically for girls.  Maybe not the toys, but the show had a fairly decent mass appeal. Continue reading “Jem and the Holograms (2015)”

Penitentiary (1979)

We’re getting back to some good old blaxploitation with this week’s B-Movie Enema.  Penitentiary was written, produced, and directed by Jamaa Fanaka.

Fanaka was part of the L.A. Rebellion from the late 60s and into the late 80s.  This was a movement of black filmmakers whose whole intent was to make films that offered an alternative to what most deemed “classical” Hollywood films.  This was mostly influenced by Latin American and Italian cinema, but also from an emerging African cinema.

You see, the 1960s was a particularly turbulent time.  After a series of events like the Civil Rights Act, Affirmative Action, and the Watts Riots, society shifted and evolved very quickly.  Affirmative Action allowed for many more black students to attend colleges – and particularly at UCLA which got urged to create an ethnographic studies program to allow black filmmakers to tell more of their story and stories that would expose their struggles. Continue reading “Penitentiary (1979)”

Nashville Girl (1976)

I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone has had a dream of being the hottest new country music sensation, right?

No?  It’s just me?  Come on, guys, I cannot be the only person who ever thought about running away to Nashville, Tennessee, wearing a short skirt, pretend that I’m only about 18 years old, and use my looks to make it big in the world of country music.  Really?

You may say that you’ve never thought about it, but I can smell a lie like a fart in a car, dear Enemaniacs.  But, hey…  Maybe that bug just hasn’t bitten you yet.  I guarantee that after watching this week’s B-Movie Enema feature, Nashville Girl, you will have a new life dream.

Country music is a fascinating beast.  It’s a genre of music that I just cannot abide.  I’m a rock and roll guy through and through.  Yet…  I really like southern rock.  My favorite singer/songwriter is Tom Petty and, despite being heavily influenced by The Birds, he’s undoubtedly a southern rocker.  However, there is an element of country music that I really do have some appreciation for. Continue reading “Nashville Girl (1976)”

Showgirls (1995)

I mean…  Sure.

Why not cover 1995’s NC-17 rated, all pomp and circumstance but failed at the box office with a whimper Showgirls?  This is directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Joe Eszterhas who had previously teamed up for one of the all time greats in the world of erotic thrillers with 1992’s Basic Instinct and again right away with 1993’s Sliver.  Verhoeven was always a big fan of the big musicals from studio MGM and wanted to make one himself.  Eszterhas was in one of the worst moments of his life.

This is what you can accomplish with a little hope to make a big musical while your writer buddy is in the deepest dumps of his life.  The film obviously is not what most would expect from this duo.  Eszterhas has often stated that there were clearly mistakes made.  Plus, that whole thing with him being in a dark place meant he wasn’t being as clever or witty as he normally could be.  He admitted both he and Verhoeven were probably operating on a great deal of hubris after Basic Instinct was such a success.  Continue reading “Showgirls (1995)”

Cats (2019)

Holy crapatini wowzers, of course I was going to write about 2019’s Cats.  Look at this fucking nightmare fuel.  How could I not do this???

Look at this…

And…  Holy shit, Dame Judi Dench?  You are an Oscar winner and James Bond’s boss, goddammit!

And the fuck is this?  Who is Rum Tum Tugger?  Why was he so important and only in, like, a single scene?!?

Continue reading “Cats (2019)”

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

“This is my happening, and it freaks me out!”

Welcome back to B-Movie Enema’s Russ Meyer Month.  We’ve finally gotten to the back end of the month and his 70s features.  It also brings us to two features Meyer did with famous Chicago movie critic Roger Ebert.  First up, it’s the one the duo is most famous for – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Meyer and Ebert cranked out a treatment that came to 127 pages in about a week and a half.  Ebert completed the screenplay in three weeks.  It was intended to be a straight sequel to the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls.  Now, here’s where we start in on the rabbit hole that leads to Meyer and Ebert coming in. Continue reading “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)”

Vixen! (1968)

I love how Russ Meyer uses punctuation in his titles.

Welcome back to Russ Meyer Month here at B-Movie Enema.  This week, we’re going to venture into X-rated territory for the 1968 drama-satire-softcore porn exploitation classic Vixen!  We also travel north of the border to Canada for our story as well.

Vixen! might just be considered one of Meyer’s very best (though I have some commentary to add later).  The Los Angeles Times and the New York Times both gave high praise to this film despite its themes and obvious sexploitation nature.  However, again, it’s Roger Ebert who maybe says the best, most heartfelt comments calling this not just the “quintessential Meyer film” but that he also talks about how Meyer creates characters.  We should already be aware with Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Mudhoney that Meyer likes going over the top for his villains and various other stereotypical characters.  Ebert calls to the front that its Meyer’s talent in doing that that helps put people at ease seeing their first “skin-flick” and allows people to just have a good time – maybe the only thing Russ Meyer really wanted people to have. Continue reading “Vixen! (1968)”

Mudhoney (1965)

Russ Meyer…

The name usually conjures up images of sleazy things happening with buxom beauties and just about everything that someone might call “exploitation” when it comes to 60s and 70s cinema.  While it may seem like his movies are full of that sleaze, many note that his films were important in terms of female empowerment and showing women who aren’t just sexually free, but generally more powerful than the men in his films.  That said, he would also place his female characters in ordeals that they would have to prove their strength and their ability to overcome the obstacles that they face in his movies.  It’s probably true that his films were subversive in many ways that would eventually strike at the heart of a rising feminist movement.

All that and more will be discussed over the course of the next five weeks as B-Movie Enema tackles Russ Meyer Month!  We begin with 1965’s MudhoneyContinue reading “Mudhoney (1965)”