I have 498 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday or Tuesday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Interzone (1987)
What’s it rated? Rated R for pansexual hip gyration, more misogyny than you can shake a lady at and an unspoken, emotional romance for the ages.
Did people make it? Written by Claudio Fragasso and Deran Serafian. Directed by Deran Serafian. Acted by Bruce Abbott, Beatrice Ring, Teagan Clive, Kiro Wehara, John Armstead, Alain Smith and Franco Diogene.
What’s it like in one sentence? Deran Serafian wanted to make a post-apocalyptic adventure in Italy, but he had more influences than ideas, so he made Mad Max starring a mash-up of Han Solo (complete with the attitude), Indiana Jones (complete with the bullwhip), Remo Williams (complete with the Asian sidekick) and English as a second language (complete with being made in Italy).
Why did you watch it? RCA recommended it and, not only do I owe him a blood debt, but so do all of you!
What’s it about in one paragraph? Thief, vagabond and overall man of adventure Swan (Abbott) gets himself hired by a grip of monks to protect an ancient treasure from a gang of evil warlords led by female bodybuilder/sex fiend Mantis (Clive). With the help of sexy slave/love interest, Tera (Ring), and deceptively badass (and deeply in love) warrior monk, Panasonic (Wehara), Swan will still single-handedly take on the gang for not only the future of all mankind, but for the sake of all Italian Mad Max rip-offs evermore. Will Swan get the girl (or elderly Asian man)? Will Mantis squeeze the life from someone with her thighs of steely wrath? Will Panasonic have the courage to give Swan the friendship bracelet he made or will his eternal love wither and die like so many grapes in the dust? If you want the answers to these and other questions, then you have a date all up inside the Interzone!
Play or remove from my queue? Let me put it this way: There are no other movies inside your queue anymore. There is only Interzone. If you have access to friends, lovers, alcohol or joints laced in psilocybin, then you must bring them all together under your roof and let fly the funniest b-movie I’ve seen since Birdemic. Yeah, I even had more fun with this than with Miami Connection. Whether it’s the solid three minutes of watching a bubbling pool of water over the opening credits, or Bruce Abbott (the boring one from Re-Animator) doing his best impression of “masculine” or even Panasonic’s brief but violent spurts of jealousy, Interzone will have a place in your heart from this day forth. Or whenever.
The butt-nuttiest aspect of Interzone is that it’s simultaneously unintentionally funny and purposefully funny. There’s some moments in the film that got genuine belly laughs out of me, while other times I was laughing at the sheer amount of failure wiped over almost every frame of this film. For one thing, you will have to watch this film with the subtitles on, but not because of the sometimes thick Italian accents, but because all the dialogue is whisper quiet unless a character is yelling or just acting with their hands to get across the meaning of the subtext and thematic content (there’s also none of those things). There’s poor Panasonic, a monk who just wants to help his people, and his doomed, one-sided love with Swan. I’m sure there wasn’t supposed to be any homo-erotic subtext, but every moment Swan tries to get a moment alone with his 80′s hot slave girl, Panasonic either pops up over their shoulders leering creepily or FIRES AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN THEIR DIRECTION TO “HURRY THEM UP”! When Swan is grievously injured towards the end of the film (trust me, this film can’t be spoiled), Panasonic cradles him with a tenderness only true love can provide. Yet there are also some genuinely funny moments as well, especially when one of the villains tells Swan he’s going to kill him by crushing his throat, only when Swan crushes his throat first, the villain gives him this look like “ohhhhhhh, I see what you did there, cheeky monkey”.
If unbridled misogyny is your deal then look no further. Swan saves Tera from slavers and instead of it being a Han Solo/Princess Leia type relationship, she just instantly wants to have greasy, futuristic sex against a tree. Seriously, like the minute they stop running she tells him she loves him and “oh look at this tree, let’s sex on it” . Everything Swan says is horrible and she always follows up one of his hurtful, insensitive remarks with a laugh and “Oh Swan, never change”. That is an actual line of dialogue. The fact that Swan and Panasonic have much more chemistry together adds to this being the most fun I’ve had watching a movie so far this year. Also, the sexiest.
Car chases where you can see the vehicles are going 5-10 miles an hour…CHECK! A deep v-neck that goes all the way below the belly button…CHECK! The inspiration for the Ash Vs. Pit Creature scene from Army of Darkness (I think Raimi’s seen Interzone, as well)…CHECK! Fist fights that almost last as long as the one in They Live…CHECK! Me laughing so hard I spilled my 22 of Busch all over my crotchal region…(sigh) Check.
Do you have a favorite line? There’s no way I can choose between these two: After Swan helpfully offers some advice to a villain, the bad guy says ”Wait a minute! I don’t like fuzzy faced foreigners! Especially ones with ideas.” Also, after Tera tells Swan how much she loves him, he rubs her head like a puppy and says “You. You…nut.” Oh shit, I have another! When Tera thinks she’s saying goodbye to Swan forever she says “I will never forget your bullwhip”.
How’s the music? Harold Faltermeyer would be proud.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Land of Doom (oh my god! It’s another Interzone!), Warrior of the Lost World (oh my god! It’s another Interzone), Metal Storm- The Destruction of Jared-Syn (This movie blows. And rules), Terminal Force (oh my god! It’s another Interzone!) and She (oh my god! It’s another Barbarella!)
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? Deran Serefian shouldn’t have been allowed to make another film after this (or he should have been allowed to make all the films. I haven’t decided yet), but he did. He made my seventh favorite Charlie Sheen movie (Terminal Velocity), my eighth favorite Van Damme movie (Death Warrant) and my second favorite Christopher Lambert movie (Gunmen). He also directed the fourth worst Buffy episode of all time (Killed by Death), the twenty third best Fringe (What Lies Below) and the twenty eighth best Lost (?). I bring this up because he’s also directing six episodes of Hemlock Grove, the next grand Netflix experiment. The show is based off of one of the best books I read last year and I really don’t want them to fuck it up. So, with that said, am I excited that Deran Serafian is directing six episodes…or has it already killed all hope inside my easily broken heart? I have no answer, but I will say that the inclusion of Dougray Scott into the cast is testing my thin little ribbon of hope.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 2.2
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 0.0-5.0
Can you link to the movie? It’s all I ever wan-ted!
Any last thoughts? I think you should stop reading this and go watch Interzone after procuring all the items stated above.
Did you watch anything else this week? I watched Death Race 2 and Death Race 3-Inferno in a fever induced haze and loved every second of them! Somehow I slowed down on House of Cards (like I swore I wouldn’t), but I will watch the final 2 eps tonight and let you know my thoughts next week.
Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Sleepwalk With Me? I stand by all my original thoughts. It really would have been a stronger movie if it had either left out the romance and focused on the sleepwalking and stand-up more, or if it had dedicated a little more running time to the romance in order to make the character motivations have meaning. With an 80 minute running time, that doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Next Week? Doomsday Book followed by Cleanflix!