You know, driving is one of my all time favorite things to do. I sit in the air conditioned comfy seat, and rock out to my favorite tunes. It’s awesome. But, as much as I love it, sometimes I space out, and lose track of what’s going on. And maybe I drift a little. Nothing so crazy as falling asleep at the wheel, but just a little into one lane or the other, and the rumble strips on the side of the shoulder snap me out of it. And that’s how I feel about musical theater. It’s awesome, but after a certain amount of theateration, you get a little glazed, and you need a rumble to get you going again. And Julien Magnat’s French actioner Bloody Mallory is those little concrete bumpies. If of course they wore mirror sunglasses and skin tight pleather.
And you don’t need to know anything going into this movie. One look at the poster should tell you all you need to know. Break it down piece by piece. You’re getting a stone-cold French fox named Mallory (Olivia Bonamy); there will be much blood; there will be creepy eyes, beaucoup Satanic references, French bad words and badass guns. So, honestly, what the hell are you waiting to hear? If you haven’t added this to the queue yet, it better be because you’re watching it already through it’s IMDb page.
Besides, I’m not going to be able to convince you in the next few paragraphs.
But just for the sake of trying, let me say just three more words: Anti-paranormal. Commando. Unit.
And we’ve seen these movies before. There’s Drew Maxwell’s cheesy but decent Guardians (2006) and John Carpenter’s horrible Ghosts of Mars (2001) and really, even Predator and Godzilla pit a pseudo-military force against seemingly unbeatable monsters. But, like with everything else, it’s fun to see what the French do with it. No only that, but in those other movies, the victim of the monster-brutality didn’t have so heavy a potential impact on the people of those fictional whens and wheres. Oh, I’m sorry. Did I forget to mention it?
THE POPE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED!!
A Short History of the Papacy:
According to Catholic teachings, the first pope was none other than St. Peter himself (to those like me who are constantly bothered that ancient middle-easterners seem to have strangely British names, it’s important to note that Saint Peter, who in English is referred to as “Simon Peter” is actually called something closer to Seman Kefa (sort of pronounced SEE-mahn KHEF-fa) and was in fact born in Bethsaida – where very few people who are born are actually named Pete). While the heathenistic Protestants deny that Jesus (more closely named Yehosua and pronounced Ye-HO-shoo-uh) actually appointed Petey to a recognized position like “pope,” but as they are not Catholic, they are obviously wrong. When the pope (currently Benedict XVI – though I still consider him Ratzinger) is not protecting disgusting, hell-bound child-molesters, it’s his duty to tell Christians what they should believe, and due to the proclamation of Papal Infallibility at the First Vatican Council in 1870, he can’t be wrong! It should be noted that it was Pope Pius IX who presided over this First Vatican Council, where he also had the dogma of the Immaculate Conception affirmed (stating that Mary (whose Hebrew name is much closer to Miriam), mother of Yehosua, was conceived of her human parents without original sin and lived a sinless life. Soooo, I’m guessing he was an optimist. In more recent events, Pope Ratzingdict XVI, in an unforeseen show of progressive attitude, has appointed Earth’s first alien minister to be stationed in the United States.
Of course, Mallory isn’t fighting evil simply because it’s her calling. Like all great crusaders, she had a run in with evil – she married a demon. Damn demons. And her team is equally outlandish. Vena Cava (Jeffrey Ribier, who was actually in an episode of the “Highlander” tv series) is a damn near 6 foot tall, turquoise-haired, transsexual, explosives expert. Talking Tina (Thylda Bares) is a mute, telepathic, mind-controlling 10-year-old with an affinity for Duck Tails comics. And Inspector Durand (Thierry Perkins-Lyautey) is part man, part machine, all cop (minus the part about being half machine). And I’m hesitant to even call this a B-movie, even though it obviously is totally a b-movie. But honestly, when I think “B-MOVIE,” I imagine a movie with a small budget and no stars that’s trying to do something more akin to a big budget movie with big stars. When horror movies have over-the-top make-up and our hero’s hands make swishing noises like a Power Ranger when they punch vampires while actually in Hell, I tend to think of them as straight up comedies where people happen to get their insides removed. Then, add on top of all that, the scene where the six foot tall transsexual breaks out her purple, high-heeled, platform-shoe machine guns, and it becomes something else entirely.
The good stuff all begins from the very first second of movie with a pretty unique chase sequence between a bride and her newly acquired demon husband. And the first action scene is Mallory and the gang liberating (sort of) a few virgin nuns chosen to be the mothers of a new litter of ghoulish, demonly offspring in a church – complete with lines of dialogue like, “I’ve been so edgy since our two sisters’ unexplained disappearance!” I’m normally against movies with cheap scares (like a demon suddenly appearing in a dark doorway and screaming with loud violins chiming in just in case you didn’t notice), but I’ve been known to make exceptions … for just about everything. And this movie is just too damn fun to get caught up in silly pet peeves.
A Very Short History of Mad Movies:
It’s not really fair to say that “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ got their inspiration for their tv show directly from “Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection,” but it is fair to say that “Mad Movies” blazed the trail Joel, Crow and Tom Servo walked. Of course, to go back even further, British comedian Bob Monkhouse developed a tv show in 1965 called “Mad Movies,” where he introduced clips of silent films to instruct his viewing audience in the different comedic techniques used in film history. It was more instructional than comedic, but any time you get to watch Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton clips, you’re going to laugh. In any case, the L.A. Connection was a comedy troupe (in Los Angeles!) whose television show was a spoof. They’d show classic movie scenes with their own dialogue dubbed in. Genius. And of course, MST3K’s contribution sprouted from there. The point? This kind of movie is built for this kind of thing.
If you didn’t like Undead or Jack Brooks, odds are good you won’t like this either. Personally, I can’t get enough of comedies that take themselves totally seriously while also making complete fools of themselves. Take if from me, this movie is RIDICULOUS. It’s a blast to watch and if you’re having friends over for margaritas, it should be near the top of you list of entertainment choices.
Recent posts by Zack
- Zack's Best 10 of Twenty-Twelve - May 1st, 2013
- Zack's Take: Trance - April 16th, 2013
- Zack's Take (honestly) on: Oz the Great and Powerful - March 11th, 2013
- Sleeper Cell: Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) - October 30th, 2012
- Sleeper Cell Is Late to the Party for 2011: A Top 10 List of Sorts - August 1st, 2012