3/4/16

Lady Justice (1997)

I'm giving the whole movie away, so proceed at your own risk and keep your poo-poo spoiler complaints to yo'self - Thanks, Mgmt.


Lady Justice has arrived and with a cover looking like some kind of glamour-shot of a small claims paralegal that you'd see on a billboard in the mid-west, how could I not drop everything for it?




























The opening scene is by far the best. Our leading lady, played by Suzy Milano, in a mall trying on all kinds of different outfits and modeling for herself in the mirror. I love a good fashion montage, and I absolutely LIVE for a bad one.
































So sansual.


It's explained in a series of intertitles that we'll experience this movie with a new technique called 'Mondo-Vision' so we can interact with Suzy ourselves AS the killer. WHOA, this must be pretty high tech.

























Serial rapist and killer, Frank Beaver, just got out of jail on a technicality. He targets strippers, and can't wait until he can rape and kill again. We know this because he keeps saying it. "Oh I just can't wait to rape and kill some more women" or something like that. He hasn't even stepped off of the courthouse property before spotting a woman (Suzy) changing a flat tire. He offers to help her in attempt to gain her trust, she's so grateful that she gives him a ride home, even stops at a fast food restaurant to buy him a diet pepsi to thank him. While she's in the restaurant, he notices a gun in her glove compartment. He steals it to use against her at the right moment. She gets back in the car and they have more small talk, she reveals that she's an exotic dancer and he gets an audible boner. At some point he can't take it any more and he whips out the gun and tells her to pull over. She makes a run for it and tries to lose him in an abandoned warehouse. This scene, long and fruitless, was when I realized that "Mondo-Vision" was literally just his first person perspective. IE: the camera is the killer, FAR from a new technique in 1997, and not even worth mentioning.


A few minutes later Suzy runs out of the warehouse and the killer runs after her. He fires, she goes down. He's mad he didn't get to assault her first, but celebrates her killing as a small victory. His excitement is short lived as he starts feeling woozy, he falls to the ground just in time to see Suzy getting up and walking toward him. The gun was filled with blanks.
























When he awakens, he's tied to a table and Suzy is smugly lounging in a beach chair drinking a glass of wine. She explains that she's the sister of his last victim and that his diet pepsi was drugged. He whines and pleas, she taunts him with multiple weapons.
.
























She balks about how the justice system has failed her sister, and gives him a little knick with a chainsaw set to the classic lounge song "Topsy Part 2",  but then it all abruptly stops. Here I thought I was in for some good serial killer goring, and instead I get more inter-titles...



























WHAT. Now Suzy, er, Evelyn is going to jail?



























Luckily, she was found not guilty, PHEW! I was really worried for a second. But like, WHAT ABOUT FRANK BEAVER? Evelyn's not done with him yet. She decided to fight fire with fire and become a lawyer. lol.



























SIMPLE AS THAT.
























WHAT IS IT?






















Frank gets put away for GOOD and Evelyn puts her life of exotic dancing behind her so she can now make important telephone calls while reading the paper.
























Just when you think the endless title card stampede is over, there's one more message from the director...


























Lady Justice is pretty unique, not because of "Mondo-Vision", because of it's strange by-the-books morals and filtered through this very specific Judge Judy aesthetic. Milroy Pictures is new to me, but I already have another lined up for a future review and I'm looking forward further understanding what this extremely low-fi company is about. All of the movies seem to be linked by a theme of organized crime, spies and the justice system. Lady Justice certainly had it's weaknesses, but weirdness will always prevail here at Atomic Caravan. So I embrace it with loving tenderness.





2/27/16

Nice Cats (1995)

Lately I've been delving into the fascinating and awful world of Mockbuster animation. Extremely low budget rip-offs of Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks films. When it comes to trash cinema, something about this stuff seems sleazier than exploitation. Taking advantage of the ignorance of kids and the ambivalence of parents. The first example I decided to explore is this extremely crude mock-up of The Aristocats awkwardly titled "Nice Cats" ('Artige Katzen' in German).























Mrs. Mcdonald is taking her three cats on vacation to Acapulco. Lauren, the mother cat and her two kittens Lucy and Lionel. It's worth noting that it's they live in San Francisco, I did the math and it's 2,400 miles. That's quite the road trip. By the end of a generic incidental casio jingle, they're in Acapulco and immediately Lucy is getting the itch to wander. Mrs. Mcdonald warns all the cats that there's talk of a cat catcher on the prowl so to stay near the estate. Lucy runs off anyway and gets herself catnapped.





















"Bunny Fashion"


















"I Love Cats"

In cat jail she meets a stray named Charlie, they work together to plan an escape. Lucy plays dead to distract the cat catcher long enough to bite his bunghole.
























By the time they get back to the estate Mrs. Mcdonald has taken the two cats and gone back to San Francisco, an ass move if I ever saw one. So now they have to travel all 2,400 miles on foot, Encountering different animals and humans along the way who help.








































The plot is inconsequential. From the onset of the first frame you know that you're in for something truly horrific. One of the strangest companies to piggy back the success of Disney, the German based "Dingo Pictures" is responsible for other atrocities such as 'The Dalmations'  (101 Dalmations), 'Toys' (Toy Story), 'Countryside Bears' (Winnie the Pooh), and the one I'm the most excited to see 'Dinosaur Adventure' (The Land Before Time). Run by a husband and wife team, Ludwig Ickert and Simone Greiss, and I suspect not a single other employee. The backgrounds look like they were hand drawn by elementary schoolers and the characters themselves appear to have been TRACED from the source material. All three cats from "Nice Cats" have the same outline as Duchess from The Aristocats. The animation style reminds me of something between outdated 70's x-rated cartoons and that creepypasta 'Suicide Mouse'. From the limited images I've seen, it appears that all of their films have the same unfinished dullness. If the animation and copyright infringement wasn't enough, the dialog is amateurishly storybook style; with a woman narrating for every character. She has no accent but the grammar and sentax tells me that this was poorly translated from another language. With sentences like "Breathing was difficult for many people because the air was stuffy" - in regards to living in the city, or when the catcher caught a cat saying "That was a successful cat!". My favorite line however is when Lucy announces "I can't find my damn hairbrush!" - apparently Dingo is notorious for sprinkling curse words into their films.






































A few other things I appreciated about 'Nice Cats'...






















the entire movie is poorly hand drawn up until the end when they board an 8 bit boat. Suddenly we're in a video game.





















The placement of the characters over the background went beyond not giving a shit. Charlie is floating in the middle of the frame like some experimental Jean-Christophe Averty shit.






















Cameo by fake Thumper.






















The saddest pizza I've ever seen. This isn't even Crayola, this is Roseart half way through the school year.





















This racially confused Italian restaurant with a pizza being flipped like a pancake and a miniature china-man wearing a coolie and holding two sticks in front of a closed pot. This may be one of the most confusing moments in film history. I am literally stunned.


With my own "nice cat" Egbert recovering from oral surgery, this seemed like as good a time as any to participate in this bewilderment. Egbert has the luxury of pain killers why I painfully endured in sobriety. 'Nice Cats' and "Dingo Pictures" in general  is a personal journey you must decided if you want to take. God help you if you're as masochistic as me.