Hyperspace (aka Gremloids, 1984)

Hey there guys, gals, and enby pals, it’s time for another B-Movie Enema and, this time around, I think it’s safe to say that the legacy of the movie being featured way outweighs the movie itself.

First, the basics. We’re looking at the 1984 sci-fi comedy Hyperspace, which also goes by the title Gremloids in the United Kingdom. It is an early example of Star Wars parody, but not the first by a long shot. Nothing about that is exactly unique. Parodies of the massive hit that is Star Wars go all the way back to shorts like Hardware Wars. That’s not even mentioning the various sci-fi movies that were simply trying to utilize George Lucas’ space opera as a template for their own quick buck cash-ins. Then, of course, that’s not even mentioning all the Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Turkish versions of the movie too.

Hyperspace was created by Todd Durham. Durham is a comedy writer. He mostly worked as a script doctor. It was in that role that he conceived the idea for the incredibly popular Hotel Transylvania franchise which is one of the few credits he actually does receive. You see, being a script doctor means you can claim credit for a lot of movies actually working, but you rarely really get on screen credit.

Hyperspace is not without some star power, though maybe not exactly the most recognizable in 1984. This movie stars Chris Elliot and Paula Poundstone. These two were making a name for themselves in the 80s, but maybe not quite this early. Elliott would have recurring appearances on David Letterman’s talk show as a comedy player. Poundstone would later go on to really cash in on HBO when they started doing regular stand-up comedy specials.

But they aren’t the real legacy of this movie… Not by a long shot.

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Phantasm: RaVager (2016)

We’ve come to the end, my dear Enamaniacs. Phantasm: RaVager is today’s feature and B-Movie Enema will finally complete Phantasm Sequels Month.

This one is interesting. I saw this at the Centerbrook Drive-In in Martinsville, Indiana in October of 2016 with a trio of friends. It played as part of a doubleheader with the original movie. It was the first time in a looooong time I had visited a drive-in, so that part was pretty awesome. It’s always fun to watch the original Phantasm. So that was pretty awesome too.

Then Ravager started. I ain’t gonna lie… The first time I saw this I was confused. I was not too happy about the movie. It felt really, really weird. In fact, I would argue that this movie, the only film in the franchise NOT directed by Don Coscarelli, though he did co-write it with director David Hartman, is maybe the most divisive one of the bunch. It’s got a lot of references to past movies, with even a returning character most would have no idea who she is if they hadn’t been watching the series recently just prior to watching this one. It’s not told in a very linear way. It jumps between at least two realities. It’s a strange movie.

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Phantasm: OblIVion (1998)

Here we go again with another installment of Phantasm Sequels Month here at B-Movie Enema.

We’re up to the fourth entry that goes by a few titles – Phantasm IV: Oblivion, Phantasm: Oblivion, or, my personal favorite, Phantasm: OblIVion. Yeah, stylize that shit! Anyway, believe it or not, after the last two entries getting budgets of something around $3 million, Oblivion would only get about $650,000. However, I should also state there is more to it than just a severely slashed budget.

You see, this movie actually began life as something else. It actually began as this epic script by Roger Avary. If that name rings a bell, that’s because he’s Quentin Tarantino’s writing partner on 1994’s Pulp Fiction. They won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for that movie. Avary is a self-professed Phantasm superfan. He wrote a sequel to Phantasm III that would have seen a major post-apocalyptic world that continued on from that previous entry and would have even brought Bruce Campbell on as a co-star – or so the story goes.

Fundraising for that project fell through.

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Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)

Welcome back to Phantasm Sequels Month here at B-Movie Enema!

Phantasm II, to put it mildly, didn’t perform as well as hoped. Sure, it brought in a little more than double its budget. That’s not bad, but it was hard to necessarily say Universal was all that happy. Goddammit, they wanted a franchise like those Jasons and Freddys.

However, Universal still had a little bit of a hold on the franchise. It would go on to distribute the next film, and this week’s featured entry, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead on VHS. Things get a little sideways here though. Phantasm III played a very limited, couple week run in movie havens Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St. Louis, Missouri. That may feel like places out in the middle of no-frickin’-where for a movie to get a limited, two-week release, and you’d be right.

It also saw Phantasm III become the highest grossing movie of that two-week run in both markets.

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Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold (1995)

Welcome back to B-Movie Enema. Also, I guess welcome back to Fred Olen Ray who we most recently had here making some real dumb jokes for the right-wing crowd in Sniper: Special Ops. But I guess we’re back to something a little more palatable with his parody Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold.

So, yeah, this is a parody of the classic Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. However… We’ve been in this neighborhood before. Remember back in 2020, we took a look at the Roger Corman-produced Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader. It was the first time Corman made a 3D movie no less. That movie was somewhat entertaining, but you could also tell, at least to a certain extent, that the movie was somewhat tame.

Wikipedia says that this movie has “much nudity”.

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Hercules (1983)

Here’s the first of two more movies I’ve wanted to cover on B-Movie Enema for quite some time – 1983’s Hercules. This is Luigi Cozzi’s update of the 50s and 60s tradition of the Italian sword and sandal movies that ran from 1958 to 1965. You might think that, oh, there were only five or six or so Hercules movies released in that time frame. NO! there were a total of NINETEEN Italian Hercules films starring a handful of various American stars with bodybuilder Steve Reeves being among them.

Yeah, the Italians loved them some Hercules. It kind of makes sense. These movies were almost like comic book style movies. You have a beefy hero, scantily clad (and absolutely gorgeous) women, and high action and adventure. It basically offered something for everyone. They were badly dubbed when brought over here and they were kind of goofy. After all, a few of them would be lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Still, they were popular enough to continue to be made with multiple movies released each year.

Hercules, the movie character and Italian cinema was so well tied together, I’m honestly shocked that it took 18 years between the last of the Italian produced Hercules movies to this one released by… OH BOY… Yup, this is a Cannon Films flick.

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Alien from L.A. (1988)

From Bill Rebane last week to Albert Pyun this week.

Welcome to another B-Movie Enema article – the 328th if we’re counting, and… I do. This week, we’re going back to good ol’ Cannon Films to peel back some layers on a peculiar little sci-fi film from the late 80s – Alien from L.A. Now, why is it peculiar? Well, it’s because it doesn’t take itself very seriously. It’s almost a comedy in how our lead character, Wanda Saknussem (what kind of name is that?!?), acts with a nasally, dorky voice. But it’s played by the mega-hot Kathy Ireland, so isn’t that funny?!?

But, more to the point, it’s, yes, an ALIEN from Los Angeles that Ireland is playing, but not in the sense you’d think. No, she doesn’t go to outer space or accidentally stow away on a spaceship or anything like that. She actually gets into the center of the Earth and finds an underground civilization that isn’t too far off from what we have up here. It’s more like when you call someone who immigrates from another country an alien. So, yeah, it is a little different than we normally see, but it kind of makes it a much more interesting and subtle Cannon movie.

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