Monday, March 2, 2009

The Battle of the Bootleg E.T.s

Last weekend, by chance, or divine intervention if you're like me and view such things as positive, I basked in the sheer awfulness of a forgotten '80s piece-of-shit film, Ghoulies 2 (1987). Yes, that much-needed, plothole-filling sequel to 1985's Ghoulies, that for some odd reason took place at some cheap-ass local carnival and neglected the cardinal rule of a horror film: at least attempt to create some tension.

Never before, or after, has a movie's poster image been so metaphorical.

My friends who were also watching knew all about the film, yet ironically enough I, Mr. Movie Junkie, knew nothing other than a basic knowledge gained by having seen its predecessor. As Ghoulies 2 plodded forward, though, I realized just how fortunate I'd been. Truly one of the worst movies I've ever seen. One of those flicks that has me wondering throughout, "How in all that's mighty did this even get made?" Of course, the bar was set much lower for genre cinema back in the glorious 1980s, but still. I wish Youtube had the entire carnival-set climax, one of the most overlong, tension-free, all-around-botches setpieces imaginable, 15 minutes of the ghoulies (who are more cuddly than creepy) causing little more than slapsticky mischief throughout the premises. Making people fall off of rides, have refreshments splatter all over their clothes. Stuff that'd make you laugh, not shriek. It turns into a Farrelly Brothers horror film, and, yes, that's as horrible as it sounds written out.

That hungover afternoon, Ghoulies 2 was a total fuck-off of time. An hour and a half I shouldve dedicated to reading, or eating, or bashing my head into a wall. Now, though, a full two weeks removed from that debacle, I see the fateful purpose of that viewing nightmare. Earlier today at work, I brought Ghoulies 2 up to a co-worker who also appreciates a good piece of schlock moviemaking, in hopes that he'd share my angry sentiment. Much to my shock, he actually sang the film's praises; apparently, he has a higher tolerance for feces than I. But right as I was about to toss insults and bile his way for such an unjustifiable opinion, he hit me with the nostalgic A-bomb: "That reminds me, have you ever seen Muchies, or Munchie Strikes Back?"


My mind was blown. No, I thought, I've never even heard of those. Do tell. Rather than depending on his gift of gab to do his dude Munchie justice, he kept it at, "The first one was a Gremlins ripoff, but then the sequel brought it into some shitty E.T. ripoff territory for no apparent rhyme or reason. But the sequel is awesome." He then expressed his love of all things Gremlins-esque, meaning those Ghoulies flicks, the Critters series, and the Munch. "Those movies are all great, but Munchie is still the ultimate badass."


And then he advised that I consult Youtube for some clips of Munchie in action. After watching these following two clips, I realized the divine reason behind that Ghoulies 2 experience:

Leather jacket and a varsity sweater? Munchie had style, son. How was he not a bigger genre icon back in the '90s? Oh, right, because his movies were atrocious abortions. Yet, I can't deny the power of Munchie, and how badly I need to see Munchie Strikes Back (1994) while drunk and/or stoned. Do they even sell it on DVD? If so, should I buy it right now, or wait 'til tomorrow?

After meeting Munchie, I figured I'd try putting my co-working friend on to another E.T. jackoff that I watched whenever on cable back in the day: Meathead, that Big Mac-loving alien who charmed his way through Meatballs 2 (1984), another sequel that, like Munchie Strikes Back, totally diregarded anything and everything about its namesake original.


Check Meathead out in live action, and decide which extraterrestrial/creature BFF you'd rather chase some tail with....Munchie, or this guy---Meathead:

The Arrival and Discovery of Meathead

I'm going with Munchie, only because he'd be much better for my rap. Meathead is more the dude you confide in after Munchie's arrogant, smooth-talking ways grind your gears thin.

In conclusion ..... Munchie > Meathead (but only by a slim margin)


Congrats, Munch.

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