Video HighMar 11, 2021
Ep #72: Bingo (1991)
Like a dog with a bone, we're obsessed with BINGO (1991). This shaggy dog story follows a runaway circus dog that travels America in search of a family. Billed as starring a "sort of canine Macaulay Culkin," this dog and pony show comes straight from the Blockbuster shelves of Jamie's memory. But is this another forgotten childhood gem, or are we barking up the wrong tree? Go Packers!
EXTRA CREDIT: "He's a Leo? That Makes Sense."
Ep #71: Split Second (1992)
If the title means anything, it's the sheer pace with which new concepts are thrown out in SPLIT SECOND (1992). A thematic chopped salad, this dystopian thriller stars Rutger Hauer as a indeterminably psychic cop on the edge chasing a heart-eating serial killer through the flooded streets of London to avenge the death of the partner he cuckolded before he is driven mad by the heartbeat of the clawed rat-mutant sewer dweller that may be the actual Devil with an interest in astrology and scampish sense of humor. What's that? Blood? Coming out of my nose? Huh.
EXTRA CREDIT: "It's The Only Way"
Ep #70: Adventures in Dinosaur City (1991)
Like a flightless pun-slinging pterosaur, ADVENTURES IN DINOSAUR CITY (1991) comes crawling up from way down in our collective memory holes. Maybe we caught it on the Disney Channel. Maybe it's just another piece of the omnipresent dinosaur media of the 90s. Maybe Forry is just the most Video High friendly character we've watched. But this group of friends who have nothing better to do than dive into a VHS sure did love this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cribbing mess about a group of friends diving into a VHS. At least we'll always have Tar Town.
EXTRA CREDIT: "Um Actually, It Was Flavor Aid"
Can't believe summer's almost over. No more songs around the campfire. No more passed around porno mags. No more encounters with Christ. Soon we'll go back to our boring lives, and drink the Flavor Aid with the rest of the squares. They say that's the real SUMMER CAMP NIGHTMARE (1987) EXTRA CREDIT episode, ya know?
Ep #69: Summer Camp Nightmare (1987)
In the name of the glorious revolution, do not wake us from this SUMMER CAMP NIGHTMARE (1987). This not-so-campy, surprisingly affective anti-authoritarian allegory Lord of the Flies in the face of its summer camp slasher packaging. Chuck Connors earns a Video High merit badge for showing up once again, this time as a pious camp director on the wrong side of a horny teenage people's rebellion. And it's the first movie we've done based on a book, so it pretty much counts as reading. Ya'll know us. We're Ed Heinz!
EXTRA CREDIT: "Paul W.S. Anderson's Murder on the Orient Express"
The class had so much fun talking about things that weren't STEEL DAWN that they needed their own episode. Such wide ranging topics as: the false scarcity of the Disney Vault, Lawrence of Arabia puns, and imagining the beauty of Paul W.S. Anderson's Murder on the Orient Express.
Ep #68: Steel Dawn (1987)
It's a mad mad mad max world in the post-apocalyptic western STEEL DAWN (1987). In this dystopian rip-off of the western classic SHANE, a dirty but non-dancing Patrick Swayze saunters out of the wasteland and into the arms of his real life wife, Lisa Niemi. But will a water robber baron, a knife-kneeing assassin, and the cries of a young boy to come back stop our unnamed hero? Not even a little. Now that's what I call wind racing!
Ep #67: Evolver (1995) with Peter Angelo
Ready Player One? Take off that VR headset cuz EVOLVER (1995) is stepping out of the game and into the living room of one lucky contest winner (Ethan Embry). But this supposedly family-friendly adversary hates to lose and plays for keeps. A state-of-the-art robot voiced by William H. Macy goes on a killing spree in a 90s rental store classic where hi-tech meets low-class. And joining our class is stand up comedian PETER ANGELO (@metalpetecomedy), who's ready to tea-bag this bot. Get good.
Check out Pete and fellow Video High alum Neil Rubenstein's new podcast: Can't Stop, Should Stop!
Ep #66: Delta Force Commando (1987)
To celebrate three years of Video High, the class infiltrates the airspace of another jungle shoot-em-up Rambo II ripoff with DELTA FORCE COMMANDO (1987). Brett Baxter Clark packs the guns and the pecs for just the right amount of M60 muscle jiggle, and Fred Williamson backs him up with cool quips and just the right amount of romantic subtext. The plot has something to do with avenging a murdered wife and a stolen nuclear weapon. But that's not important. We just need to know if it's ok to think a reactionary film villainizing a democratic people's revolution is this rad. Happy Commandoversary, class!
Ep #65: The Rejuvenator (1988)
Beauty is a real beast in THE REJUVENATOR (1988)! A mad scientist turns an aging b-movie starlet into a b-movie monster. It's like if THE FLY and SUNSET BLVD went into the machine from THE FLY.
Can the killer make-up make up for a lackluster story? Does out of sync audio add to the film experience? Is Jamie the real monster for watching this movie at 1.5x? Lights, camera, serum!
Ep #64: Super Mario Bros (1993) with Neil McNeil
Hold onto your plungers as we warp pipe into SUPER MARIO BROS (1993)! We all know the classic Mario story: alternate dimensions, royal fungus, Dinohattan, yadda yadda yadda. But is this legendary flop a masterpiece or a disaster-piece?
With the help of TV writer and double-named Italian Brooklynite NEIL MCNEIL (@Neil_McNeil), the class tries to convince Josh it's the best thing since sliced pizza. This episode's a spicy meat-uh-ball! 🤌
EXTRA CREDIT: "Still Not Dungeon"
We need an extra week to get our heads around the 1993 Super Mario Bros movie. But thankfully after our "final thoughts" on DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2000), we just couldn't shut up. Enjoy a taste of what happens after class, and we'll see you in the Mushroom Kingdom next week.
Ep #63: Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
To celebrate the release of a new D&D movie, we're revisiting the old D&D movie: DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (2000). It takes everything you love about the tabletop roleplaying game and burns it to a crisp. With graphics out of a late 90's screensaver and too many scepters to count, this one is a sight to Beholder. But at least Jeremy Irons is there to chew the scenery. Roll initiative!
EXTRA CREDIT: "Straight As with Neil Rubenstein"
Ep #62: Bounty Tracker (1993) with Neil Rubenstein
Lorenzo Lamas is Boston's finest BOUNTY TRACKER (1993), and his Los Angeles vacation is about to be cut short by the grisly murders of his brother and pretty much everyone else in the movie. Matthias Hues leads a team of untraceable leather-clad assassins that enter and exit every room guns blazing, silencing anyone connected to the money laundering schemes of a jailed millionaire. Will our Bounty Tracker be able to stop doing karate and community outreach long enough to stop this mass murderer? We tracked down stand-up comedian Neil Rubenstein (@neilrubenstein) to help us reach these kids.
Neil's Comedy Special GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/HaveSomeDignity
Ep #61: Hands of Steel (1986)
In the nearish future Paco Queruak is a cyborg with second thoughts about his mission to assassinate an environmental crusader. After going on the run from his handlers, Paco wanders into an entirely different movie...an arm wrestling competition flick! HANDS OF STEEL (1986) is chock full of surprises. It has toilet paper based pranks. It has phallic computer renderings. It even has a helicopter chase that puts the "death" in "death-defying". You have no future, except to listen to this week's episode!
Ep #60: Knights of the City (1986)
When you're whatever this gang is called, you're what that word is all the way. In KNIGHTS OF THE CITY (1986), Leon Isaac Kennedy leads a street gang of chain-swinging, switch-blading, tight leather shirt-wearing, bad b-boys with dreams of musical stardom taking them beyond their rough streets. The big music competition is their last shot to prove something to themselves and everyone else - except the record label head, who threw the contest specifically to see and sign them. But will rival gangs, a romance with the execs daughter, and the existential angst of being a gang that now focuses on music instead of violence break them? Or will it Breakin' 2 them?
Ep #59: Last Flight to Hell (1990)
Somewhere in the jungles of Southeast Asia, a drug kingpin has kidnapped another drug kingpin, foiling the DEA's plans and demanding his daughter bring him a key to a safety deposit box. Now it's up to golden throat gargantuan Reb Brown to shoot everyone and get whoever's left on the LAST FLIGHT TO HELL (1990). While we love Italian schlock jungle shoot-em-ups as much as the next school, this one rebbed some of us the wrong way. Today's episode brought to you by Long John Silvers, and their new Buttered "Lobster" Bites.
Ep #58: The Kiss (1988)
This Valentine's Day, give your Auntie THE KISS (1988)!
After the death of her mother, Amy's strangely estranged aunt comes to live with her and her oblivious father. Don't let Aunt Felice's supermodel body or free vitamin shakes fool you! She's only out for one thing: her niece's body...in a non-sexual demon possessing way, of course.
But best of all, THE KISS has the climax to end all movie climaxes. So THE KISS, will you be ours? XOXO
Ep #57: Alienator (1990)
It’s January-Michael Vincent, so out of respect, today’s lesson plan will debate the ethics of death by ALIENATOR (1990): a Fred Olen Ray riff on two classic 80s franchises that, combined, make for something much more. A cast of B-movie vets, scenic Griffith Park shooting locales, and a cyborg female body builder with a gun arm make for essential Video High watching.
EXTRA CREDIT: "VideOracles: New Year or Die"
Video High once again puts its ear to the door of the future to listen to what cinema is coyly whispering about the year 2023. We see it all: what has passed, what's to come, and what may yet shall be. The only thing we don't see is texts from each other to make sure we don't all cover the same movie. But our resolution this year is to try to be attentive, B-E attentive. The class discusses movies set in the year 2023, such as BRING IT ON: CHEER OR DIE (2022) and [redacted] and etc etc.
Ep #56: Elves
We pulled a gift from the video store shelves, because this Christmas we're unwrapping ELVES (1989)!
When a young woman summons a killer elf from the grass;
An ex-detective mall Santa helps her kick Nazi ass.
Given three ideas and a week for the script;
Writer/director Jeffrey Mandel pulled it together fast as St. Nick!
Plus the class has questions about elf folklore;
Luckily Greg may have some answers in store.
Ep #55: L.A. Bounty
Even if the title makes it a little obvious, it's still possible to get lost in L.A. BOUNTY (1989). Written and produced by star Sybil Danning, she cast herself as Ruger: a monosyllabic ex-cop turned bounty hunter following the trail of a kidnapped mayoral candidate. But let's face it, we're all here for the main attraction - Wings Hauser! - who delivers a trademark enigmatic villain performance that has the class asking themselves whether Heath Ledger deserves his posthumous Oscar. Was that a good one, God?
Ep # 54: Home Sweet Home (feat. Chloe Medghalchi)
Tryptofanatics - third time's a charm! We again gather 'round the Thanksgiving table yet again with our favorite dinner guest CHLOE MEDGHALCHI to hold hands and thank the B-movie Gods that we have one more turkey to watch. HOME SWEET HOME (1981) pits a large, annoying family of indeterminate relation against a knife-wielding (but never using) killer who may be actually be doing them a favor by bumping them off. So grab some beer, some valium, and pass the PCP!
Ep #53: Model by Day
The class sashays down the runway with MODEL BY DAY (1994)! In this failed TV pilot based on a based graphic novel from the aptly named Rip Off Press, Famke Janssen stars as Lex. She's the world's best supermodel by day, but when her roommate is injured in a carjacking she must become the vigilante Lady X to avenge her roommate's...uh, eyeball we guess?
Ep #52: Hollow Gate
Hey all. Casey here. I want you to know that while I wrote HOLLOW GATE (1988) in the show title, the movie's opening credits clearly read "Hollowgate." Everyone else on the internet calls it Hollow Gate, and I don't understand why we're all perpetuating this farce. Either way, it's about a mentally ill middle-aged teenager named Mark who goes off his meds and kills people. Seemingly triggered by it being any Halloween in his life, this nutcake slashes out with a variety of kooky methods and rachel slurs. This is a Pepin-Mehri masterpiece before PM Entertainment. So it was AM Entertainment. Thank you. Goodnight.
Ep #51: The Jar
The class blows the lid off Shlocktober with THE JAR (1984)! After getting into a car crash Paul finds himself tormented by a pudgy lil' demon in a jar...or a bottle. Much like everything in THE JAR it's not quite clear, or visible, or audible. But is it really as bad as the internet would have us believe?
Ep #50: K-9000 (feat. Jordan Olds)
For their big five-o, the class goes to the dogs with K-9000 (1990)! A failed TV pilot turned failed TV movie where a luddite cop reluctantly teams up with a cybernetic dog to save its creator. Special guest Jordan Olds (Two Minutes to Late Night) joins us to discuss: the lack of dog content, the cinematic canine-iverse, and the rabbit hole that is Catherine Oxenberg's IMDB trivia page.
Ep #49: The Divine Enforcer
Forgive us classmates, for we have sinned. In an act of gluttony, we couldn't stop ourselves from making a whole meal out of THE DIVINE ENFORCER (1992): the parable of the kick-boxing, gun-toting, dialogue-mangling vigilante priest who comes to a Los Angeles diocese to diodecease some scum bags. Armed with crucifix knives, psychic visions, and a never ending stream of confessors, Father Daniel tries to protect a Holy Order of B-Movie Bishops from Don Stroud eating corn flakes out of a human skull. That sentence makes sense. We'll tell you our sins, if you tell us yours!
Ep #48: Meet the Hollowheads
The world is really going down the tubes...and that's where we start when we MEET THE HOLLOWHEADS (1989)! The class wades through softening jelly, butt polish, splat spray, and whatever else this Nickelodeon-gone-nutso family portrait can throw at us. Unclog your brain and join us on the edge!
Ep #47: Project Vampire (feat. Dave Columbo)
This movie sucks, and not the way you want it to. PROJECT VAMPIRE (1993) is much more project than vampire, pitting a hapless intern against an immortal college professor bent on the worldwide distribution of his immortality serum/anti-sun booster so that humanity may fall under his psychic spell: a vampire’s greatest power. Just as Bram Stoker imagined. We invite comedian and TikTok virus Dave Columbo (@davecolumbo) to help us out with this one, because we don’t have a dot matrix AI powerful enough to do the podcast for us. Bleh!
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Ep #46: Naked Obsession
Believe or not, William Katt is hankering for a fatal attraction in NAKED OBSESSION (1990) and the class is hot and BOTHERED. Urban planning and gentrification have never been sexier (???) in this psychosexual thriller. Allow Sam Silver to welcome you to the Dark Side—just be careful where you leave your neckties lying around.
Ep #45: Future Force
John Tucker must die in FUTURE FORCE (1989)! In the near future, justice as we once knew it has ceased to exist (too real). Cops have been replaced by C.O.P.S, bounty hunters sporting sleeveless denim vests and beige sedans. After the CEO of C.O.P.S puts a bounty out on a reporter, John Tucker (famous martial "artist" David Carradine) goes rogue-er to keep her safe. It's a RoboCop ripoff without the Robo.
Ep #44: RoboCop 3
Don't think we've gone Hollywood or anything, but Fred Dekker gave his career so that we could have this insane threequel! ROBOCOP 3 (1993) casts a sans-Weller RoboCop in a PG-13 Detroit - filled with splatter punks, ninjas, and jetpacks - in the hopes of telling a brand new story the same way again. Dead or alive, creeps, you'll buy that for a dollar!
Ep #43: Terminal Entry (feat. Patrick Labyorteaux)
Boot up, kiddos - it's a blast from the past! Cold War agitprop goes full technophobe in TERMINAL ENTRY (1987), which makes WarGames look like kid's stuff. We dive into all the 8-bitty gritty with star & gentleman Patrick Labyorteaux! It's not just an episode, it's a warning...
Ep #42: Devil Rider
Travel down the GOREgon trail for DEVIL RIDER (1991)! Canoodling frenemies fall victim to an immortal cowboy who may or not be Satan himself. Come for the horse screams, stay for Zeb the farmhand (RIP Zeb). Plus the titular Devil Rider visits the class (and won't leave, despite Josh's insistence). In the immortal words of Cosmo Kramer: Giddy up!
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Ep #41: Tiger Claws 2 & 3
It's a Video High double feature! The class re-enters the tournament ring for TIGER CLAWS 2 and TIGER CLAWS 3. Forget everything you know about Tiger Claws. Because now there's magic, time travel, time-travel-magic and (sigh) even less Cynthia Rothrock. But which is the class' favorite? What's the "Indiana Jones problem"? And what rhymes with "Tarek"? Step through the magic Stargate to ancient China to find out!
Ep #40: The Killing of Satan
The class hitches a ride back to visit Uncle Miguel but must contend with The Prince of Magic and his MASTER! Who could it be, we wonder? We'll have to summon all our squiggle magic to find out and join Lando, Renzo, and a host of snake people to crack open the secrets of THE KILLING OF SATAN (1983)!
Ep #39: Tiger Claws
2022 is the year of the tiger, so Video High starts a new semester with the DTV Jalal Merhi martial-arts movie megalith, TIGER CLAWS (1991). So many questions... Can Detective Tarek stop the Death Dealer, played by Bolo Yeung, by becoming a master of Tiger Claw style kung fu without becoming a killer himself? Can Cynthia Rothrock be there to help sometimes? Can anonymous wall hole sex prevent the spread of COVID? Somehow all these answers lie in Canada, the New York of the North. Claws out, yall.
ANNOUNCEMENT: "Reduce, Reboot, Recycle"
Ep #38: Trancers
It’s Christmas in July in January as the class time travels down the line for TRANCERS (1984)! A Terminator era tale of a bounty hunter named Deth traveling back in time to stop a psychic-zombie cult by inhabiting the body of his ancestor and bagging a baddie. (And by baddie, we mean Helen Hunt. Grrrowl!) Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like time traveling cops and psychic serial killers, right? So curl up next to the ashes of your yule log, grab a mug of expired eggnog, and join us for the most festive podcast you'll hear all month. Merry Schlock-mas!
EXTRA CREDIT: “Don’t get mad, get New Years Even”
Ep #37: The Carrier (feat. Alana Regan)
The Video High class starts this holiday season with a deep meowtaphysical quandary: Cats or Death? If the deliriously delicious disease horror-comedy THE CARRIER (1988) has taught us anything, it's that can be a much more complicated question than it seems. So we’re making this a family practice by bringing sister extraordinaire Alana Regan into the classroom to diagnose our woes and dissect this perfectly imperfect allegory for our quarantine years.
Ep #36: Blood Rage (feat. Chloe Medghalchi)
Despite what BLOOD RAGE (1987) may think, very few people truly mistake blood for cranberry sauce. But that doesn't stop this cornucopia of carnage! Filled to the brim with blood, guts, weirdos, maniacs, and more - Blood Rage proves that we always have something more to be thankful for. Artist and friend Chloe Medghalchi (@lil.somethin) returns to our Thanksgiving table, unless her evil twin has something to say about it.
Ep #35: Sakura Killers (feat. Sharif El Neklawy)
Have you ever wondered: what is a ninja? Before 80s gave us ninja shellshock, you may not have known. Thankfully there were movies like SAKURA KILLERS (1987) to learn ya but good. Shuriken! Smoke bombs! A lot more wiggling than we were expecting! When a deadly beta tape is stolen, star of the film Chuck Connors knows what to do: get someone else to go get it. Filmmaker and cinematographer Sharif El Neklawy (@sweetsharif) cuts it up with the rest of the class on a field trip through Taiwan's best teppanyaki joints.
Ep #34: The Devil's Rain (feat. Bunk 237)
Iiii wanna knoooow... Have you ever seen THE DEVIL'S RAIN? Yes, it's the Ernest Borgnine goat man movie. But is it more? Can William Shatner and Tom Skerritt take down this devil in the dust before the fires of hell consume them? The class is joined by the inhabitants of Bunk 237 and that of course means everything's about to get absolutely soaking wet
Ep #33: The Demon Lover
Happy Schlocktober Classmates! This week, The Devil went down to Michigan and was looking for a whole coven of souls to steal in THE DEMON LOVER (1976). A Donald G Jackson—Jerry Younkins covenant, this exercise in "Zen Filmmaking" offers up a mess of mansplaining, karate lessons, and Ted Nugent’s house—and maybe a couple of gory teen deaths while it’s at it. AT LAST! THE TRUTH ABOUT DEMONS!
Ep #32: Doctor Mordrid
Greetings true believers! This week, the doctor is in - DOCTOR MORDRID (1992) that is! Jump into a multiverse of madness where Jeffrey Combs stars as a (sadly not at all Strange) sorcerer who defends the Earth from his NYC penthouse...sound familiar? Come for Brian Thompson's meaty performance, stay for the stop motion dinosaur battle. Excelsior!