Turner Home Entertainment
Woah! Robocop and Terminator in the same movie! Even without their metal suits, Peter Weller and Robert Patrick remain very likable killing machines. They also rise above the handicap of having to portray what might loosely be described as "human beings." As mercenaries with emotions, they quote Shaw (oddly, I didn't puke), and keep the body count fairly low while being pursued by Charlotte Lewis--a hit-woman who believes that tight leatherware is appropriate mid-summer outdoor attire and has more testosterone than either guy. PLAY.
"Are you thinking of what brought you to this moment?" Peter Weller asks a hapless foe in "Decoy" before dispatching him, samurai style. Watching an erotic thriller directed and starring C. Thomas Howell definitely sets the mind to spinning deep, dark thoughts about life's cruel turns. Despite a Fabio haircut that must be constantly brushed out of the eyes, and obvious sympathy cameos by buddies Donny Most, Lou Diamond Philips, Kieffer Sutherland, and--Carrot Top?!?--this generates as much heat and sense as if it were directed by and starring C. Thomas Howell. EJECT.
SAINTS AND SINNERS
Or as the titles have it, saintsandsinners. For you see, they're all squooshed together, two old buddies and the gal who, literally, comes between them--caught up in a menage a dysfunction, menage a deception, menage a screaming and yelling and drug-dealing. Yet, there's a safe sex message. And, after almost everyone is gunned down, a happy ending. If they'd kept shooting, it would have been much happier. EJECT.
THE TRUE STORY OF FRANKENSTEIN
A&E Home Video
This is largely a biography of the 1931 Universal film, but that's deserving enough--after 64 years, Karloff & Co. still deliver. From Edison's 1910 version to Kenneth Branagh's faithful flop, from Sir Walter Scott to geeky collectors, the narrative veers almost drunkenly over the topic, spending as much time with Mel Brooks as with Mary Shelley. Even the abundance of bow-tied eggheads can't dull the appeal of Ms. Wollstonecraft's "pale student of unhallowed arts"--though host Roger Moore comes close. PLAY.
FRANKENSTEIN SINGS...THE MOVIE
Turner Home Entertainment
Where the A&E biopic ends with Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash," this begins with it. What is more amazing is that 34 years after his one-hit, and 20 years after "Rocky Horror," Pickett is the star of this musical monstrosity, which is based on his play. And, yes, he'll be singing that song again later. Wacky with a capital Ack, this seems best timed to cash in on whatever goodwill Jimmie "J.J." Walker has left. I'll be too kind. PAUSE.
Republic Pictures [CC]
Yes, Alicia Silverstone gets naked, but you ain't seeing nothing. In fact, if it weren't for the overheated fantasy sequences of a bunch of drunken white people and their slightly less inebriated kids, this would be one dull night. As it is, only the 10-year-old sees any real action--a view of Playboy--until imagination becomes real and reality turns more unpleasant than the sight of Alicia kissing J.T. Walsh. PAUSE.
The last viewer of this act-fest about a talky psycho holding hostages in a nudie bar bailed after only 32 minutes. Interestingly, that's the exact point at which I grabbed for the remote. Being a professional, I fast-forwarded a few more minutes, saw that it only got uglier and considered the words a wise man once asked me: "Are you thinking of what brought you to this moment?" I killed the power altogether and reached for my sword. BULK ERASE.
Next: Battle of the VJs