Thursday, October 31, 2013

Phil attends the RiffTrax Live! Broadcast of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD at the Century 20 Oakridge Mall-October 25, 2013

Hello again everybody! So this past Thursday night, I headed on over to the Cinemark Century 20 Theaters in Oakridge mall in south San Jose to attended the RiffTrax Live! broadcast of the 1968 George A. Romero horror classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. To actually riff such a landmark film in the horror genre takes a lot of guts (pun intended), but remember these guys are professionals! If anybody could riff on the grandfather of zombie films, it would be the RiffTrax guys!

So if you don't know what a Rifftrax is, let me give you all a quick definition. According to their official website, Rifftrax "are comedic MP3 tracks that you play in-sync with your favorite movies. Written and performed by the stars of the award-winning TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, RiffTrax brings the unique humor of "Satellite of Love" partners Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett to Hollywood's hit movies."

They guys broadcast the event from the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee to hundreds of movie theaters across the country courtesy of the folks at Fathom Events. After some funny intros, they guys got down with doing what they do best!

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is one of the most revered and one of the most important horror films of the 20th Century. The movie is found in the Top Five most influential horror films and is considered the alpha and omega of the zombie genre. Directed by horror icon George Romero, the film spawned five sequels, numerous remakes, re-imagines, and parodies and homages.

Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, & Michael J. Nelson
Kevin, Bill, and Michael had no problem pointing out the faults of the film and riffing the hell outta them. It's funny, because of the film's legacy and how it's so beloved by horror fans, we fail to see some of the faults to be found within its frames. Luckily, the guys had the audience in stitches! Yes, the RiffTrax crew pulled no punches on the film, and had the us eating out of the palm of their hands! Making fun on a classic is by no means an easy task, but the guys managed to pull off the impossible, and made Halloween a little less scary in the process.

This was such an awesome RiffTrax Live! event! Now just in case you missed it, you're in luck! The gang will be back just in time for Christmas as the riff that awful holiday classic film SANTA CLAUS VS. THE MARTIANS! Tickets are now available for that event, which will take place on Thursday, December 5th at 7:30pm, so make that date on your calender!

To purchase RiffTrax downloads of audio commentaries, DVDs, and Blu-Rays, visit their website at To learn more about Mystery Science Theater 3000, visit their website at To learn about upcoming Fathom Events coming to your town, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees CARRIE at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-October 20, 2013

OK, now my reviews follow a specific formula. First I usually make a grand entrance in the first paragraph, then I give the film's official synopsis, talk about what I thought of the film, give some interesting trivia about it, and then my conclusion. That's my thing. I always to that. However, after seeing the remake of CARRIE, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, and directed by award winner Kimberly Peirce, I decided to forgo my usual M.O. and just cut to the chase.

I didn't like the film. At all.

There. I said it. Why didn't I like it? Did you see Gus Van Sant's remake of PSYCHO? Remember how much you hated it because it didn't bring anything new to the table and it was a complete waste of your time and was totally an unnecessary remake? 

That's what I thought while I was watching this movie.

I liked the trailer best. It told the whole film under two and a half minutes. But all it was was just a rehash of the original and vastly superior film.  So stick with Brian de Palma's classic and don't even bother with seeing this one.

CARRIE is a pointless remake of a horror classic. And further its blah, blah, blah, blah, yatta, yatta, yatta, yatta, gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. phhht, phhht, phht film. So do yourself a favor and skip seeing this film. And yes, I'm not going to even rate it. It hurt me that really, really bad.

CARRIE is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees MACHETE KILLS at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-October 20, 2013

In 2010, director Robert Rodriguez released the full length film MACHETE, which was based on the fake trailer that he made for his and Quentin Tarantino's loving tribute to exploitation films; 2007's GRINDHOUSE. Featuring an all-star cast including Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, and Steven Seagal to name a few, MACHETE received positive reviews and grindhouse fans loved the over-the-top violence, sexual innuendos, and seeing a Mexican as the hero for once. Three years later, I'm over at the Camera 12 in Downtown San Jose to see the latest installment of the series MACHETE KILLS.

The film's official synopsis: “Machete Kills” is an action-packed thrill ride about the adventures of legendary secret agent Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo). In his latest mission, Machete is recruited by the U.S. President (Carlos Estevez) to stop a crazed global terrorist (Mel Gibson) from starting a nuclear war. With a bounty on his head, Machete faces death at every turn from an all-star cast of deadly assassins. Breaking all the rules, visionary director Robert Rodriguez leads this star-studded ensemble on one of the wildest adventures to save the world ever captured on film!

After watching the film, I can honestly say (and agree) that it really is one of the wildest adventures to save the world ever captured on film!

The film opens actually with a fake trailer (or possible sequel?) for MACHETE KILLS...IN SPACE! Now it plays like an old 1970's Roger Corman type trailer (think STAR CRASH or BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS), filled with cheesy special effects, coarse language, sci-fi violence, and sexy space babes. So please Robert, make this into a real movie!! I will pay you big bucks for this!! Actually, I don't have a lot of money, so I promise to buy a ticket to see this when it comes out!!

Now the main film itself is filled with so many classic grindhouse cliches that I had a blast watching it. Now what's really interesting is just how complex and involved the plot is. There's at least three different subplots interweaving with the main plot point. Writer Kyle Ward wrote the screenplay for the film, which was based on the story by Robert and his brother Marcel Rodriguez. Major points go to these three individuals who took Machete and his universe to the next level.

Actor Danny Trejo looks bad ass in the film (but he always does anyway), and also returning to help aid him on his mission is the foxy Michelle Rodriguez, back once as Luz. Now two very interesting casting choices were made for the film:

1) Charlie Sheen as Mr. President. Yes the guy who excels at "winning" is cast as the President of the United States. In the film he's billed as Carlos Estevez, which in case you didn't know, is his real name! Watching him as the president was just so damn cool!

2) Mel Gibson as the vilianous Voz. The film marks the first time that Mel has played a villain since 1998's PAYBACK. After all the crazy shenanigans that Mr. Gibson has done in his personal life, it's great to see him in a role that was custom made for him, and he nails his character perfectly!

Also stick around during the end credits. There are not one, but two bonus scenes at the end and are a fun treat to watch!

For some reason, the film hasn't been doing very well at the box office and I really don't understand why? Maybe Robert waited to long to make this sequel? Maybe people forgot about the original? Or maybe the exploitation craze is over? Who knows, but it really is a shame that not a lot of people are seeing this movie.

Overall, MACHETE KILLS a glorious over-the-top exploitation classic that will thrill fans of the original! Let's face it, a lot of Hollywood films take themselves way too seriously. Here's a film that is the antithesis to all those so-called Academy Award contenders. This film right here is the real deal! Accept no substitutes!! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended!!

MACHETE KILLS is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil attends the one-night-only screening of THE NEW BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR with stars Broklyn Lee, Dana DeArmond, and Steven St. Croix live in-person at the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre-October 19, 2013

On December 17, 1972, the adult film BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR was released to theaters nationwide and was herald as an instant classic. It was the first feature film by the Mitchell Brothers (Jim and his younger brother Artie) to be screened in theaters other than their own, the infamous O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. The film transformed its star Marylin Chambers into an icon and household name. Now, 41 years after its release, director Paul Thomas and Vivid Entertainment has just released their latest remake/sequel film entitled THE NEW BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR, starring Brooklyn Lee, Dana DeArmond, and Steven St. Croix. To promote this new film, the O'Farrell Theatre held an open screening to the public and had all three stars there in-person to sign autographs. Yours truly was there to witness this historic event!

Upon purchasing my ticket for tonight's event, I met the theatre's marketing honcho John Michels. We immediately went into the next room where I saw some amazing artifacts from the past. There were framed original posters of BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR and RESURRECTION OF EVE. There were pictures of the late Marilyn Chambers (she passed away on April 12, 2009), along with a picture of her on the Ivory Soap box. There was also a pictorial shrine to Artie Mitchell (who was shot by Jim on February 27, 1991). There John and I were discussing the films of the Mitchell Brothers and he was quite impressed with my film knowledge. Then, out of the blue, he gave me a quick behind the scenes tour of the theatre. We passed through the majestic wooden door and climbed up a flight of stairs and I witness all the of history the theatre stored. There were drawings on the wall by the legendary underground artist Robert Crumb, pictures of the visionary Hunter S. Thompson, dozens of pictures of Marilyn Chamber performing onstage back from the 1970s. I also got to see some of the lovely ladies that were performing tonight. It was really extraordinary to witness all this history that the average attendee doesn't get to see!

After the tour, I went back downstairs, enjoyed some awesome dancing onstage, and had an incredible lap dance by the breathtaking Gemma Hart! (My favorite dancer there!) Around 10pm, I made my way to the Cine Stage Theater to see the film.

The event was hosted by the man himself Johnnie Keyes, who co-starred with Chambers in the original 1972 classic. He entertained the audience with some fantastic stories from back in the day when it was illegal to make pornographic films, how he was sent to jail by the police, his friendship with Jim and Artie who also put a million dollars to keep him out of prison. He brought out the film's stars Lee, DeArmond and Croix, and each one gave a "quick thank you" speech. Keyes then introduced the O’Farrell’s strippers, who performed an all-new production made especially for the film. After the performance, Keyes came back out, thanked the ladies, and then introduced the film.

The film's official synopsis: Hope (Brooklyn Lee) is desperate to find her birth parents. Almost broke, homeless and alone, the seedy underbelly of the city offers up a solution that Hope never thought she'd take. Shot on the streets of San Francisco, the home of the original "Behind the Green Door," master director Paul Thomas' sequel explores the dark side of human nature through the iconic character that Marilyn Chambers etched indelibly into our collective erotic imaginations 40 years ago. With a special guest appearance by original cast member Johnnie Keyes, and bonus footage with Marilyn Chambers' daughter McKenna Taylor.

The film is a reminder of when adult films were more like films. The production value is top notch, the cinematography is excellent, the script is great, and the acting is amazing, and the sex is volcanic! This is how adult films should be made.

This is the fourth of the "classic" films that Paul Thomas has remade. He started off in 2005 with his THE NEW DEVIL IN MISS JONES, then followed that up with 2007's DEBBIE DOES DALLAS AGAIN. In 2009 he made THROAT: A CAUTIONARY TALE which was a remake of the 1972 landmark film DEEP THROAT.

Paul Thomas (or P.T. as he's called in the industry) has once again done an incredible job of paying homage to the original while simultaneously making it fresh and new. His directing is very smooth and fluent, spotlighting the raw human emotions of love, belonging, and sex. My favorite scenes are when we see Hope out and about in San Francisco. Here, Thomas demonstrates his ability to capture the beauty of the city and of his stars, who look and sound authentic and real. This is his strongest effort yet, and in my humble opinion, his best work since the remake of JONES. Plus it also helps to have an amazing script to work off of, and thanks to screenwriter Phil Noir, Thomas is able to accomplish another masterpiece of eroticism.

This is easily Brooklyn Lee's best performance. She has a very natural approach to acting, and she really nails it here in the film. Here character Hope is a flawed person; lost, spoiled, confused, and lonely. She's on a mission to discover who she is by finding who her mother is. This is classic text book psychology, and we witness it before our very eyes. In between Hope getting on with some studs, we see her shine on the beach in San Francisco with an old flame, degrade herself for money, and then the revelation of who her mother was, and who she now has become. Lee's acting is superb and really deserves to be acknowledge!

Also, her sex scenes are indescribably intense! Her threeway sex scene is so hot and smoldering, it fogged up my glasses. Her scene rivals Marilyn's from the original (in fact we see the original film playing during this paticular scene)!! Hope learns who she is through the discovery of her sexuality as well. We the fans get to have the best of both worlds: an performer who can act and have hot sex. Hopefully in January, when the AVN Awards Show comes, she will win Best Actress for this role!

The film also marks Lee's last appearance in an adult film. In May 1, 2013, at the height of her popularity, she announced her retirement from the adult industry, citing to "focus on her education and because she was in a relationship and no longer wished to have sex with anyone besides her boyfriend" according to the AVN news website. If this is the case, Brooklyn Lee should be very pleased that she is going out on a very high note! A truly riveting performance!!

Also turning in some great performances is Steven St. Croix, who's acting is once again awesome! He's acting abilities are legendary and so is his "tool." Croix is a legend in the adult film world, a world he's been in since 1992! Also the lovely Dana DeArmond charms her way into Croix's pants and their sex scene is hot and nasty! (And yes, my glasses fogged up during that scene as well) To make a long story short, DeArmond is fucking amazing in the film! James Deen is the guy you love to hate. He's a deadbeat, he's a cheater, and he has sex with not only Lee, but with Ash Hollywood and Penny Pax, and then becomes Kylie Ireland's (in a non-sex role) new boy toy. So yeah, I hate the lucky bastard!

Now, I do have one, small, little complaint about the film. It's called THE NEW BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR, however, there is no green door! Really! I have watched my DVD about 10 times now, and I keep looking and looking for that mysterious green door! But there isn't one!! Did somebody forget to make a green door? I mean, there was one in the original, so why not here? I need answers!! OK, I'm done with my venting. Let's continue with my review.

The Lady in Red: Brooklyn Lee.
After the screening, John Michaels gave me a DVD copy of the film and I made my way over to meet the stars. I gave Johnnie Keyes a big handshake and I thanked him for all the sacrifices he made for us to be able to watch these films. I meet Croix and told him how great he was in the movie. Dana was so much fun to talk to and she was full of energy and just a really cool person to chat with. With Brooklyn, I mentioned to her just how much I enjoyed the film, how amazing she was in it, and I wished her the best with her boyfriend and her education. She was such a sweetheart: kind, funny, and beautiful. She and Dana were playing off of one another and this was a fun for me to witness this. I had them all autograph my DVD, said my thank yous and goodbyes one last time, and then made my way back home. It was one of the best nights of my life.

THE NEW BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR is one of the best adult films of 2013! If you like your porn films with great acting, solid directing, good story, and hot sex, then this is for all you couples out there. This is not your average porno flick. This is a film that offers so much more that you can't help but be impress by it. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE NEW BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR is available online at the Vivid Entertainment website as well as at Adult DVD Empire. To learn more about the Mitchell Brothers O"Farrell Theatre, their business hours, and upcoming special events, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Phil attends the opening day of the STAR WARS EXHIBIT at the Tech Museum in Downtown San Jose-October 19, 2013

So I have been waiting patiently for the past 8 months for the day to come! And now it's here! Yes folks this past Saturday my friends and I attended the opening of the STAR WARS: THE EXHIBITION at The Tech Museum of Innovation in the heart of Downtown San Jose! The museum was jammed packed with STAR WARS fans young and old. There were original models, props, and costumes to see and yours truly was in heaven! I took an enormous amount of pictures of the exhibit, but here are some of my favorites.

Standing outside of the entrance to The Tech Museum.
The Empire came out in full force! Actually these are cosplayers.
Just hanging out with some old friends of mine. Have you met them yet?
And now, I'm home!!
An original X-Wing Fighter model from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
An original Tie Fighter model from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
The Millennium Falcon model from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
The Hoth Creature and the Imperial Snow Trooper costume from STAR WARS: EPISODE V.
Luke Skywalker's Land Speeder from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
A Jawa costume and the Jawa Sand Crawler model from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
Yes, this is the actual Darth Vader costume from STAR WARS: EPISODE V.
Stormtrooper costume from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
Yoda puppet from STAR WARS: EPISODE V and Mace Windu's costume from STAR WARS: EPISODE I.
Tarfful and Chewbacca costumes from STAR WARS: EPISODE III.
R2-D2 costume from STAR WARS: EPISODE IV.
AT-ST and AT-AT models from STAR WARS: EPISODE V.
These pictures I took were only a small part of the exhibit! For all you STAR WARS fans out there, this is a dream come true: to see film history before your very eyes! To be able to see these amazing artifacts that helped transform a film series into a pop culture phenomenon was amazing. There is so much to see that it does require multiple visits, so rest assure that I'll be back at the museum again very soon to see this extraordinary, out of this world exhibit!

STAR WARS: THE EXHIBITION is currently on display for the genral public from October 19, 2013 through February 23, 2014. To purchase tickets, business hours and such, visit the Tech Museum's official website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Phil hosts the Camera Cinema's Cult Movie Screening of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE at the Camera 3 in Downtown San Jose-October 17, 2013

Hello again everybody and welcome to Month Ten of the 2013 Cult Movie series at the Camera 3 in Downtown San Jose! Now for those of you who are late to the game, let me explain this cool series. In 2011 the Camera Cinemas started up the Cult Movie series (which for years had been called the Midnight Movie series). They would show one cult film twice a month (Thursday nights at 9:30 and Saturday nights at midnight) from February through November. This past Thursday night just in time for the Halloween season, we screened director Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror classic THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Once again yours truly was back as the host for tonight's screening. Prizes were donated by Streetlight Records and by Time Tunnel Toys, both located here in San Jose. There were also yummy donuts to eat, courtesy of Psycho Donuts located in the lobby.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1974)
Despite what the voice over narrator (the great John Larroquette) states in opening credits, there was no chainsaw massacre in Texas to which the film is based on. However, Tobe Hooper has stated that the inspiration for the film came from several different sources. One story he has told several times is that one time years ago while waiting in a very long line in a department store, he saw that he was by the hardware section and they had a display of chainsaws. This made him wish that he could take one and cut thru the line he was stuck in. Hilarious story, don't you think?

The second source for the film came from a man named Ed Gein. If you don't know who he is, Gein was a grave robber who dugged up corpses in the cemetery in his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin. He also made cups, bowls, clothes, and such out of human bones and skins. He was also responsible for the kidnapping and killing of Bernice Worden, who the police found in his barn strung up upside down, gutted, and beheaded. His case would also inspire the characters Norman Bates from the PSYCHO series, Buffalo Bill from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and of course, Leatherface.

Hooper also cited the changes in the cultural and political landscape as influences on the film as well: including the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, the 1973 Oil Crisis, and the American public's distrust in their government were part of the movie's social commentary.

Filmed during the summer of 1973 during the sweltering Texas heat, the movie was shot on 16mm and the budget was less than $300,000. Hopper co-wrote the script with Kim Henkel and the cinematographer was Daniel Pearl, who later photograph the 2003 remake.

After trying to get a distribution deal, the movie was picked and distributed by Bryanston Pictures, which was owned and operated by the mob family the Perainos. Fun fact, they also funded and released the 1972 adult film DEEP THROAT.

The film was released to theaters on October 1, 1974 and would go on to gross over $30 million dollars, despite being banned in several states. It would forever change the horror genre and it also made Leatherface (portrayed by Gunnar Hansen) into a horror icon and a pop culture phenomenon, seeing him pop up in comic books, action figures, models, and so forth.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is one of the scariest horror films of all time, and it is considered a true classic in the genre. It has spawned three sequels, a remake, a prequel, and a 3D sequel just released to theaters earlier this year. As the old slogan goes, "The Saw is Family." 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is now available on both Blu-ray and DVD. To purchase a copy, visit your local retailer, or visit the Amazon website.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the show!