Welcome back to B-Movie Enema and the grand finale of David Winters Winter. If you’ve been reading all month, I’ve been kind of teasing what the finale was going to be. If you know what David Winters is maybe best known for, particularly in the 80s, and if I was teasing an 80s film of his that has some questionable decisions made in the production and set decoration, then you had to know it was going to be Space Mutiny.
Of course, Space Mutiny is best known for being one of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. And what that episode is best known for are all the muscleman jokes made at lead star Reb Brown’s expense. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve called someone Rip Steakface, or Brick HardMeat, or Crunch Buttsteak, or Reef Blastbody, or Roll Fizzlebeef, or Big McLargeHuge, or Eat Punchbeef, or even Bob Johnson. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said one of those names when I see Reb Brown. In fact, I’m sure I used some of them when I covered the 1979 Captain America movie he starred in! It’s part of my very blood. Those 40 parody names are just some of the best jokes ever written for a TV show.
One year ago tomorrow, the world lost a fascinating entertainer, Michael Nesmith.
This week’s B-Movie Enema will take a look at the first feature film Nesmith produced, Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann. This movie is the rare science fiction western that deals with time travel when Lyle Swann (played by Fred Ward), champion off-road racer, gets zapped 100 years into the past in an accident dealing with an experiment. Now, this movie is notoriously known for being slow to get started, but more current reviews tends to be quite favorable and even calls the movie a fun romp.
But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to talk about Michael Nesmith. Nesmith is one part of a huge aspect of my youth. I grew up in a household with an older mom and siblings that were quite a bit older than most people I went to school with at home. So, I had a huge appreciation for older music. I was hip to the Beatles or Tom Petty or Led Zeppelin or even less appreciated groups like the Eagles and Aerosmith before most anyone else I knew. Then, in 1986, the Monkees, which I was already sort of aware of, made a HUGE comeback.
Third review in a week? That’s right! This is one of those years where we get a regular B-Movie Enemareview, followed by a Halloween special review, and then, just a couple days later, it’s back to the regular Friday release day!
For this first Friday in November, it’s time to start digging into some of the backlog I’ve accumulated. Most of what’s coming for the rest of 2022 will be made up of movies that I’ve been wanting to get around to, watch, or just write about for some time. So we start by one of the many movies I’ve bought from one of the regular Vinegar Syndrome sales that occur each year, 1991’s Steel and Lace.
It’s been a minute since B-Movie Enema did anything with Chuck Norris, hasn’t it?
Yeah, in fact, it’s kind of surprising that this blog hasn’t done even more with the kung fu, karate chopping, 80s superstar. In the six and a half years of this blog being kind of a constantly running thing, this week’s movie, Silent Rage, is only the fourth movie I’ve covered starring the man with the plan, Chuck motherfuckin’ Norris.
Before we get into the movie, let’s talk a little bit about the man, the legend, the omnipresence that is Carlos Ray Norris.
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.
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.