Tuesday, October 24, 2017

#23 - Stickman (2017), #24 - Howard The Duck (1986)

We're in the home stretch!  Only a week to go before All Hallow's Eve, and I hope everyone's ready for it!  Do you have enough candy for the kiddies?  Is your costume all set?  Have you watched enough scary movies?  I hope the answer to the last one is no, because there's still a week's worth left of movies to review, here on my blog!  The 2017 October Horror Movie Review-A-Thon isn't over just yet!

Stickman (2017) starts with a mental patient in a hospital, a fair beginning to a large number of horror movies.  Apparently, something called the Stickman was responsible for a number of deaths, killing kids with nightmares in their sleep.  A ten-year old girl lost her mother and sister to the Stickman, and has been in a mental institution since then.  Fortunately for this mental patient, she seems to have conquered her demons, and has been nightmare-free for almost a year now.  In a few months, she will turn 18, and the hospital is ready to release her to a transition home.  That's good news, but if she didn't really kill her family, then where's the Stickman?

Stickman seems to be a cheap knock-off of Freddy Krueger, with less character, less acting talent, and less budget, and I didn't even like the Freddy Krueger movies.  I don't know anyone in the entire cast of Stickman, and judging from the IMDB page on this movie, neither does anyone else.  There's barely a few flickers of dream-images from Stickman haunting nightmares, and then he's released into the real world where a bunch of teenage girls scream and run and get slaughtered for the duration of the movie.  There's nothing here to enjoy, remember, or take note of, but if you want to waste your time checking it out for yourself, there's always Syfy Channel.  Moving on, because Stickman isn't worth wasting time on.

Howard the Duck (1986) opens with Howard, a humanoid space-duck, coming home from work at his boring job as an advertising executive.  Howard cracks open a cold one, sits down in his favorite easy chair to watch TV, and is then sucked into a beam of energy that transports him to Earth.  Howard doesn't know how he arrived here on Earth, but he meets up with Beverly, the lead singer in an all-girls band, who are still struggling to get gigs in bars.  Beverly's friend Phil is a janitor at a museam, but he knows a few scientists, and they think they might know just exactly how Howard arrived...

Howard the Duck is Marvel's most enduring superhero movie, made long before the Thor, Hulk and Iron-Man remakes.  While those movies have long since been played out on network TV, Howard the Duck is still going strong on the premium channels, where I caught it.  Leah Thompson (Back to the Future) plays Beverly, Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption) plays Phil, and Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Who's Your Caddy?) plays Dr. Jennings, one of Phil's scientist friends.  These three veteran actors are basically the main cast, in addition to the team of actors who played Howard.  Come for an adorably cute Leah Thompson in panties, snuggling up to a three-foot tall space-duck, stay to watch a pre-Oscar-winner Tim Robbins get his head dunked into a muddy river while trying to repair the gas line on a lawn-mower-engine-powered hang glider!  :-D  Where else are you going to see all that, in one movie?  This was what George Lucas did, between Star Wars trilogies!  If that's not ample reason to check this movie out, I don't know what is.  I've watched Howard the Duck every time I've seen it on TV, since I first saw it in 1986, and I am going to keep watching it, every damn time.  It's that funny, and that good.

What qualifies this as a horror movie, and makes it eligible for a review in October, you ask?  Well, Howard is constantly mistaken for a kid in a duck costume for the entire movie, for one thing.  Two, he's a space-duck, possibly with space-rabies!  "Is that a thing?" one of the characters in the movie asks.  "I don't know, I think I heard something about that!" answers another.  Also, spoiler alert, Dr. Jennings turns into a Dark Overlord of the Universe, and intends to bring down his demonic allies from the Nexus of Sominus, a dimension in space where demons dwell, and invade the entire Earth!  If that's not scary fucking shit right there, I'm not sure what is.  Props go to the Dark Overlords of the Universe, for being the most evil and alien-looking space monster I have ever seen in any movie in my entire life.  How does a three-foot space-duck with no discernible super-powers defeat a Dark Overlord of the Universe, you ask?  Watch the movie, and find out!  Where do you find it?  Check the premium channels, or maybe Crackle.com, or even YouTube.  It's got to be playing somewhere, dammit!

One last thing I'd like to mention, when you think of Iron Man, or the Hulk, or even Thor, does their theme song play in your head?  They don't even have their own theme songs, do they?  No, they don't.  Not only does Howard have his own rockin' theme song, but it's the catchiest theme song of any superhero movie, since Spider-Man of the 1970's.  Watch Beverly and the Cherry Bombs playing it at the end of the movie, and it'll get stuck in your head forever!  It goes "Howard the Duck!  Yeah!  Ain't no way to conceal it!  And he shot an arrow, straight through my heart!"  Yes, Beverly, your heart and mine.  Your heart and mine.

That's all for tonight.  It's almost time for dinner, and I have other horror movies to check out.  I'm all caught up on my horror movie reviews now, so I'll see you guys tomorrow for another review!  :-)

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