Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '88 - Troy Anderson ""

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Underrated '88 - Troy Anderson

Troy Anderson is a veteran movie reviewer who has been doing his thing online for many years. Currently, his reviews can be found at
He's @AVCentral on Twitter.

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II – The Metal Years
Dir: Penelope Spheeris
There comes a time when it’s hard to call something underrated. Especially, after it’s a cult film that has had a major restoration in the last few years. If you’re a metal head, you know most of the scenes like they are the Holy Gospel. The staged sequence with Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Stanley in bed and Chris Holmes in the swimming pool are all classic metal moments. What Spheeris did here feels criminal to call underrated, but here we are now.

But, there was a time in the 60s where people didn’t take Linda Eastman’s Rolling Stone photography as seriously as they do now. Even Lemmy took shots at Spheeris’ directing style, as he said she barely tried to discuss things with him in the interview. Yet, most music historians pin this film as being the death of Glam Metal. I didn’t find that entirely fair.

If anything, Decline of Western Civilization Part II was the swan song of the most glorious movement of the 1980s. This was the last time that grim dark flunkies, neckbeards and gross monsters could get pretty and rock out for Riki Rachtman’s approval. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
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The Rescue
Dir: Ferdinand Fairfax
A team of four Navy SEALS have been taken prisoner by North Korea. The US Navy is doing what they can, but it’s up to the SEALS’ kids to save them. Mark Price (aka Skippy from Family Ties) is the electronics whiz who bugs military men to learn the rescue plan. Then, he enlists local bad boy Kevin Dillion to help assemble the impacted teens. While the plan goes smoother than expect, the teens’ survival is dependent on a well-placed Bruce Springsteen t-shirt. If you’re lucky, you’ll find VHS copies for sale on Amazon Marketplace.
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The Telephone
Dir: Rip Torn
Rip Torn made his directorial debut with “The Telephone”. The film stars Whoopi Goldberg in quite possibly one of her best dramatic roles. She plays a slightly unstable lady who loves pranking and generally shit-talking people she calls. When the phone company comes to confiscate her phone due to delinquent payments, the audience starts to realize something. If she’s been late on her bills for months, the phone company more than likely turned off her phone. So, who has Whoopi been talking to all this time? The film won’t end the way you expect.

The film was originally developed by Terry Southern and Harry Nilsson for Robin Williams to star in the lead. However, things changed hands and Goldberg got the part. Whoopi fought hard with Rip Torn, as she improvised most of the performance. These fights lead to a lawsuit and a hasty theatrical release in early 1988.
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The Wrong Guys
Dir: Danny Bilson
The Wrong Guys had a run where it was every fourth film on HBO. Naturally, when you get tired of “Benji: The Hunted”, you move onto other cinematic masterworks. The film features future Flash (1990) showrunners Bilson and De Meo working together to create a funny tale about scouting. Growing up as a merit badge obsessive nerd, this was like hitting pay dirt. John Goodman, Louie Anderson and Winston Zeddmore all were starring in a movie about scouting. It was tits.

Basically, Louie Anderson and company play semi-fictional versions of themselves. They never got the merit badge they wanted as kids and 30 years later, they’re going to get it as adults. This leads to shenanigans featuring a crazed John Goodman and a possible maniac in the woods stalking them. A lot of the same talent from “Zone Troopers” made its way over to this movie and it shows.
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Track 29
Dir: Nicolas Roeg
Roeg made the filthiest films for intellectuals. Christopher Lloyd is a small town doctor who is obsessed with his toy trains. Theresa Russell is his wife and she wants a baby. She gave a way a child she had as a lusty 15 year-old and dreams about what happened to that kid. When Gary Oldman shows up in town, she believes this might be her long-lost son.

When Christopher Lloyd turns his affection to Nurse Sandra Bernhard, Theresa Russell decides to play mommy with Gary Oldman. What comes next are sensual spankings and some bizarre Oedipal issues between Oldman and Russell. All the while, Oldman spends half of the movie begging for the chance to kill Lloyd to prove his love.

Even talking about the movie makes me want to find Nicolas Roeg’s old bones and give him a high five. I would give Track 29 screenwriter Dennis Potter a high five, but he’s dead and I don’t have a shovel. Also, the film is produced by that Rick McCallum. The guy that helped the Prequels come into existence cut his teeth on this movie.
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Dir: Bill Hinzman
Bill Hinzman fascinates the hell out of me. He was the first featured zombie in a Romero flick and he rode that bit of stardom into a career. Hinzman would star in and direct many horror films in the decades following “Night of the Living Dead”. But, his best film would have to be 1988’s “Flesheater”. The movie is a ridiculous romp about a farmer taking a bunch of horny college kids into the woods for them to screw around.

But, said farmer finds a tree stump that is just bothering the hell out of him. When he removes it, he finds an ancient tomb that ends up releasing the Flesheater. This monster played by Hinzman eats the farmer and then begins making zombies for a new era. What makes the movie so hilarious is that Hinzman is still in a working copy of his NOTLD make-up.

It’s the horror equivalent of your dad putting on his old football uniform and trying to relive the glory days. Shriek Show has been great about keeping this movie in circulation. The last I heard, there was a Blu-ray that dropped about 5 years ago. Pick it up.

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