This review marks the first Olympiad or thereabouts since I started reviewing flicks for Joe Bob, and so it has me reflecting on stuff, wondering about my accomplishments and the ongoing degree of personal growth such an opportunity has brought.
One thing I can tell you is that if you are going for web views and shares on social media is that you have to review flicks about Yetis attacking American students in the Ural Mountains so that all the Russian bots pick your reviews up on Facebook.
The other thing is that if you do write a review about a flick in which Yetis attacking people in the Ural Mountains and it gets picked up by the Russian bots, then you’ll also get the attention of people whose social media profiles indicate that they used to be Wal-Mart cashiers in Texas before the self-checkouts took their jobs and they’ll be more than happy to criticize your grammar and sentence structure.
And that’s just what I learned in the past year.
So that begs the question: What the heck did I learn when I was reviewing movies the other three years?
It hasn’t been time wasted.
I’ve been DISCOVERING things.
Case in point, I’m wrapping up reviewing my first honest-to-goodness TRILOGY of flicks, chronologically, as released, from start to finish, and I have Pittsburgh Filmmaker of the Year (meaning that he’s following in the footsteps of George A. Romero), professional Peter Parker Impersonator (meaning he gets PAID for it) and also professional Thirst Trap (meaning that if you invite him over to your place he likely will steal all the liquid refreshments out of your refrigerators – including the secret one in the garage) Steve Rudzinski to thank.
Email in if I got the concept of a Thirst Trap wrong, but I realize that some people do get dehydrated quicker than others and the best fix is to drink something.
Of course, Steve, the reigning king of Pittsburgh filmmaking, gets to thank me too, because undoubtedly the amazing success that his CarousHELL flicks have achieved with blockbuster festival showings in Brazil is due in part because of the massive crossover achieved when I name-dropped series protagonist Duke the Unicorn’s name in an unpublished online interview with the respected publication Brazilian Wax & Nuts Quarterly that was leaked out in a Reddit GIF train (and if you haven’t been caught up in a GIF train, you haven’t lived). People down there went wild.
And, speaking of wild, if you aren’t familiar with the CarousHELL flicks, Duke the carousel unicorn is the bad guy in the first one and a better guy in the second one. Fatherhood sometimes does that. He’s sentient, gets around in more ways than one and can shoot face-melting rainbow lasers out of his horn, automatically making him
superior in any combat situation to any iteration of the My Little Ponies.
First step — callbacks to the prior flicks.
The flick opens with a new menace — a power-mad brown bunny named Usagi that decides to go slaughter a party. You have to establish the antagonist as the antagonist, so the rabbit punches bystanders heads off, splits people’s heads open with a long-poled kama, stabs them in the neck with the kama, stabs em below the chin with the kama, yanks out someone’s eyeball, stabs two people through the crown of their heads, cuts somebody’s throat with a naginata, slices a woman’s throat with a hook and then pulls another woman’s heart out of her chest.
The pizza delivery lady from Pete’s Pizza is stranded there too, much like Joe (Rudzinski’s memorable character was in the first CarousHELL waiting for her $42.39 payment for delivery. Much like Joe, she does not get the money and gets an eyeball extracted as well.
So like 10 dead bodies in four minutes and then a three-way sex scene involving two bunny-obsessed furries that results in six baby bunnies coming out of Usagi that go ahead and possess and reanimate the corpses.
Plus there’s a talking purple vibrator named Richard (that’s long for Dick) and he gets his spiritual essence sucked out of him by Usagi. Then a Detective Duck shows up and gets stabbed in the back.
After all that excitement, our hero unicorn Duke comes back home to visit his unicorn son Robbie, but they encounter Joe, who was left for dead and has gone full Snake Plissken with an eyepatch, a scowl and a 0.875 on the Christian Bale Growl-o-Meter and might not be the most stable guy to get help from.
You’d be that way if your treasured dog, Otis, died too.
There’s a kung-fu fight between Joe and Duke, a wrestling match, some non-linear flashbacks that fill in the blanks, and, as befitting the plot structure set forth by Shakespeare himself, a dream sequence/flash forward that shows one of the characters beefed up carrying a big gun and raiding a spaceship to fight aliens.
Best One-Liner: Joe — “That’s a bad hare day. Because hare is a different name for rabbit.
Second-best one-liner: Usagi — “I have four rabbits’ feet. Luck is always on my side.”
Best Combat Strategy: Joe, again — “I don’t need any bullets for the bunnies. I can probably punch them to death.”
Best Melee: Joe happens to find himself in a wrestling ring so he can fight five Pittsburgh indy wrestlers, including giving a Stone Cold stunner to one.
Second-best Melee: Duke decapitates a dude with a Psycho Ape shirt with a katana, spears a possessed woman in the guts with his horn and pops a dude’s face off with a machete.
Best Argument Against Home-Schooling: Ben (Paul Bilbo), the hot dog vendor, who was lied to by Nazi operative Klaus ends up on a misguided mission of vengeance because his dad hung up a giant Nazi flag in the living room “for educational purposes.”
Three and a half stars. A fitting and happy conclusion for Duke, Robbie and Joe the pizza guy.