Friday, July 22, 2011

To Steve (Side B)

Ma + Pa respond to Steve... sort of.

To Ma + Pa (Side A) Part 6

In this final installment of Side A, Steve tells his parents all about his dreams of becoming a truck driver and seeing the world ("yes, even Mexico").

He also wonders out loud whether Dave is still going to move in with them and what room he's going to be staying in.

At the end he invites his parents to respond to him on Side B.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Revenge of the Mercenaries

Revenge of The Mercenaries is a bit of a mystery, even to someone who has seen it. There are no opening or closing credits, only the title, and probably due to the lack of credits, the movie isn't even listed on IMDB. The director, writer, and producer are all unknown, the only people receiving any credit for the movie are the three stars, Ian McPhail, Jon Austin, and Robin Atha. Only Ian McPhail has an IMDB page with acting credits, three films between 2003 and 2009, it might be the same actor, but I can't be sure. I found one alternate title, The Bounty Hunters, but that too gave me nothing but a low-res scan of the cover. The only information I've gathered is that this shot-on-video gem was made somewhere around 1983, somewhere around Canada, for somewhere around $100 (rough estimate). This one might have to remain a mystery, and I guess that's fine, because Revenge of the Mercenaries is a pretty terrible movie.

The movie opens in Vietnam with a pointless introduction to our two main characters (I can't even remember their names). The less said about that scene the better. The more apt introduction to the characters comes in the next scene; ten years after the war both of the men are bedding multiple women and being offered high-paying ($5,000) bounty hunter jobs, at the same time. Success!

Their current job is to cross the border into Canada and bring back a deranged, coke-addled nude photographer who is suspected of murder in the US. Their employer mentions black masses and ritual killings, but what we actually see in the movie hardly resembles anything that exciting; there are chains and torches, but it looks more like a really lame Halloween party than a satanic gathering. The main problem in the movie is that there's a whole lot of talk and very little action. The actual capture of the fugitive consists of little more than throwing some tear gas in his hideout, walking in casually, punching him in the gut and walking away.

Very little in the movie seems to actually pertain to the supposed plot, it's more like a string of unrelated scenes thrown together in haste. The movie does have a message though, something about the problems with extradition laws, but by the end no one will really care. The best thing in the movie is the way-over-the-top performance of the murderous photographer (he plays a coke-addled photographer like a coke-addled actor). Sometimes Revenge of the Mercenaries is genuinely hilarious in the way that only shot-on-video movies from the 80's can be, but most of the time it's dull to the max.

Originally posted at VHS WASTELAND.