Sunday, February 25, 2018

The IIIA 2018 State of The Union Address Report!

Missed Trump's inaugural SOTU address (or just so damned lazy it's taken you almost three months to look into it?) No worries - the first ever IIIA guest article fills you in all the details ...

By: Alex Steele

Hola, amigos - it's your  proprietor of The Internet Is In America, Jimbo X. As you've probably noticed, I haven't been updating the site as regularly as of late. Long story short, it's because I'm one busy motherfucker and between working 12 hours a day, six days a week, taking care of my puppy and trying to keep my significant other sexually satisfied (all while still finding the time to do basic human functions like sleep, shower and cram Reese's cups down my throat at 11:34 at night as my first meal of the day), I simply don't have the time nor the impetus to spend a good two or three hours a day waxing philosophically on such grave topics as the BonziBuddy and Little Debbie's arsenal of L-T-O Easter products from five years ago.

Of course, I still plan on writing for the site, but for the foreseeable future, expect my posts to be a little sparser, a little shorter and a little less frequent. And since I can't run the site full-time anymore, I decided to do the most democratic thing I could - I'm turning the reins over to you, the people.

That's right - today, I'm proud to announce, formally, the launch of THE INTERNET IS IN AMERICA WRITERS APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM. It's real simple, kids. All you have to do is send me an email to this here address, let me know what you want to write about (or already have written about), and as long as it's a.) funny, b.) entertaining and c.) not stark-raving agitprop, odds are I'll probably publish it.

Now, I ain't paying any of you assholes, so don't even think about trying to bilk my out of my money. But what I WILL promise you, however, is that your shit will get published, it'll get promoted and you'll get a full byline and everything to accompany your article, complete with complementary plugs to your websites or social media profiles or whatever the hell else you people are doing on the Internet nowadays. And for no extra cost, your kindly Jimbo X - a ten-year professional writer with a wealth of journalism and P.R. experience, by the way - will teach you the tricks of the trade, and maybe even give you a recommendation when a "real" website comes a lookin' to procure your services.

In fact, we've already got one reader turned writer aboard - one Alex Steele, who recently sent along the following article highlighting the ups and downs of President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address. Without further ado, Let's take a gander at what "The Condor" has to say about POTUS' SOTUA, why don't we?

Every start of the year, the President of the United States meets with both houses of Congress to discuss where we’ve been as a country, and where we’re going as a country. This, of course, is the State of the Union address. This year, I wanted to simply watch the speech and write down my thoughts as it happened. And so, presented to you in the bullet points below, are my cliffs notes, taken down LIVE as Trump spoke to both houses. (It was fairly simple to keep up in between the massive amounts of clapping after almost EVERY PAUSE; historically, a recurring annoyance during this speech.)

- One of the first people I see walking in tonight is former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. Let’s hope she doesn’t break a hip (or a castor) getting to her seat.

- Mostly curious to hear about Trump’s comments on immigration, the economy and what’s on the horizon.

- Who can forget the time he shaved Mr. McMahon bald in Detroit at WrestleMania 23? I was live to witness the proceedings.

- Trump not getting as much applause as Obama; Congress is split so far down the middle on the DACA issue (and many others, quite frankly) that it’s like the Grand Canyon.

- Taking bets on whether or not the word “shithole” comes up during tonight’s speech.

- The coif is looking good tonight; props on the makeup department.

- It always amazes me how these guys in Congress clap so damn much when, deep down, we all know at least one of them wants to do a run-in with a steel chair.

- Wearing black to show unity for victims of sexual assault; my stomach just churned.

- Paul Ryan starts to say “prevented”, but then corrects himself; gonna chalk that up as a goof, nothing more. Y’all take that for what it’s worth.

- Swift action already taken during the first months of the Administration; can’t argue with him there.

- Stand and applause; duck-face.

- Mentions of Hurricane Harvey, the Las Vegas Shooting; veteran in the house tonight, one of the first responders during Harvey.

- Firefighter David Dolberg gets a shout-out for his efforts fighting the California wildfires.

- Now, what are you boneheads gonna do to make sure first responders like Ashley and David continue to get paid?

- Congressman Steve Scalise from Louisiana took a bullet and came back to work 3 months later; I would’ve filed for workman’s comp.

- “I think they like you, Steve.” Trump’s attempt at a quick joke. No problem here.

- Trump seeking Dems and Reps to come together not only in times of tragedy, but here and now ... good luck.

- Nancy Pelosi stone-faced and not clapping at all. Good to know where her loyalties lie.

- The state of our union is strong because our people are maybe THEY should start running things.

- 2.4 million new jobs created (OK, what kinds of jobs, and where?)

- 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone (again, where?)

- Rising wages after years as stagnation.

- Unemployment claims have hit a 45 year low.

- Black unemployment is the lowest ever recorded.

- Mexican unemployment have also reached the lowest levels in history.

- So what about all the homeless people?

- Small business confidence is as high as ever (and I wonder how Linda McMahon is involved?)

- Propping himself for the big tax reform bill passed before the start of the year ... gotta' admit, I’m kinda stunned they did WHY can’t they figure out immigration?!

- Standard deduction doubled for everyone.

- $24,000 earned by a married couple is tax-free.

- Doubled child tax credit.

- $2,000 less for $75K yearly salary cuts tax bill in half……..maybe I’m not that good at math, but I can’t see it.

But the best part was when he leapt off the balcony and conked John McCain over the head like he was New Jack or something.

- Individual mandate for health insurance gone from Obamacare.

- Bernie Sanders is also stone-faced; somehow, socialism still seems to be the answer.

- $4,000 increase a year is pretty good if you want something to hold your dick with...I’ll have to do some research

- Must be hard being the only black man within a two-mile radius; he seems unfazed.

- $350 billion to be invested by Apple in America, and more workers to be hired.

- More duck face.

- Exxon Mobil $50 billion investment; maybe to finish cleaning off the Alaska coastline?

- If you work hard, and believe in yourself, you can dream anything, and be anything ... lot of people have said that over the years, but many people still work hard for nothing.

- We all share the same American flag ... you mean the one that some people try to burn in front of veterans in this country?

- Faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of America ... I beg to differ.

- Shout out to police and veterans, who deserve our support ... SO PUT THE AMVETS AD IN THE SUPER BOWL!

- Preston Sharp noticed veterans' graves were not adorned with American flags ... I didn’t know that was supposed to be standard protocol. Who was sleeping at the wheel?

- He’s sitting RIGHT NEXT to Melania … nope, not gonna make that joke.

- Stand for the National Anthem; shots fired on the NFL and the protesters.

- HALF of Congress remained seated during that wide pan ... holy shit.

- And ANOTHER wide pan with a 50/50 stand/sit ratio.

- OK, there’s more clapping going on than I care for at this point; it’s starting to get old.

- 1,500 people lost their jobs for being shitty to our veterans, gonna hire better ones; that’s pretty scary; so, what does it mean to fail, exactly?

- Remove federal employees that undermine trust ... maybe they’re getting behind removing Trump?

- Regulation rollback ... the last time that happened, Bush Jr. and friends put the economy in the shitter.

- There was a war on American energy and coal? Must have missed the memo.

- Chrysler is moving back to Michigan and Toyota and Mazda are opening plants in Alabama ... so there will be opportunities abound to steal resources for Alabama’s many trailers.

- Bets on whose knees blow out first by standing and sitting so much, being taken now!

- Terminally ill people need access to experimental treatments immediately; OK, but how are you gonna do it?

- Reduce the price of prescription drugs; gooooood luck with that shit, holmes.

- Stabenow stands up; guess Dems want to lower drug prices, too (HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)

- Carmella apparently knocked out the ref when trying to cash in her WMITB contract; somehow, this is more important than what’s happening in real life (it’s certainly more interesting, admittedly.)

- At least Sanders seems to agree with Trump’s desire to get people out of poverty; he just wants to share wealth with everyone.

- Open vocational schools!

- Support paid family leave...don’t they already do this with the FMLA?

- Now we get to the good shit...immigration; let’s see where this goes.

- Families of slain girls, murdered by illegals, are here tonight.

- MS-13 gang called out by name.

- Full house stands for the victims; all right, all right, but what will Dems response be in regards to DACA?

The ultimate liberal dilemma - when clapping for black people means also condemning the actions of illegal immigrants.

- 320 million hearts are breaking; last I checked, we had a hell of a lot more people in America.

- Trump claims his new legislation will ensure this will never happen again ... I highly doubt it.

- I want our American kids to grow up and do great things ... so get them damn Mexicans out of our country!

- Americans are "Dreamers," too! SHOTS FIRED!

- Thousands of MS-13 gang members have either been deported ... or are being fed three square meals in our fabulous prisons.

- Trump urging Congress to send CJ reinforcements.

- Four pillars: path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegals brought to America as children to become citizens over a 12 year period.

- Fully secures the border (Gonna' build the wall? And get the Mexicans to pay for it?)

- Close loopholes, and ends program of catch and release (horrible, dangerous practice.)

- Ends the visa lottery; not too many people happy about that.

- Merit-based immigration system; skilled, who want to work, and contribute to society.

- End chain-migration; a single immigrant can bring in distant relatives (boos and hisses); focus on immediate family (spouses and minor children.)

- Get the job done! And more duck face.

- Much tougher on drug dealers and pushers to curb the opioid epidemic (does that mean the crooked doctors, too?!)

- End dangerous defense sequester; otherwise known as keeping the government open.

- ISIS on its heels; apparently he, too, disagreed with the Ted Cruz approach, and thank God for that.

- Justin Peck is a goddamn hero; let’s hope he don’t have any skeletons in the closet!

- Terrorists are UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANTS. Don’t quite remember Obama making that claim.

- He’s keeping Guantanamo Bay open; not sure what to think about that, since Obama wanted it closed.

- We no longer tell our enemies our plans ... so that shit was happening before?!

- Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel.

- Tough sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela.

- And now we’re on to North Korea.

- Story about that one dumbass that got arrested in North Korea; I don’t feel sorry for Otto; he should have known that those people don’t fuck around.

- Story of the North Korean defector; you know he’s shitting his pants knowing Kim Jong Un is watching and plotting his revenge.

- Light up the entire world? I wouldn’t have used that phrase ...

- USA chants breaking out! But some dude walked out ... communist.

- Overall, I think he did a good job; surprising to hear he has one of the lowest approval ratings of any president in his first year; I wonder who’s to blame for that?

- No mention of the Russia investigation or the memo; he’s supposed to release the memoas soon as his speech is done.

- Let’s just keep following his Twitter ... THERE’S the real source of truth! *eye roll*

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Comic Review: 'Black Panther & The Crew' (2017)

In which we celebrate Black History Month by taking a look at one of the biggest flops in recent comic book history (P.S.: come for the tie-in to the new Black Panther movie, but stay for Ta-Nehisi Coates' incredible anti-Semitism sneaking past Marvel's radar.) 

By: Jimbo X

Anybody who says comic books have only recently started injecting SJW-flavored politics into their stories clearly haven't been paying attention to the medium over the last 50 years. Just take a look at Marvel's work in the 1970s, which definitely sided with the progressive liberals on issues like civil rights (X-Men) black identity politics (Black Panther, Luke Cage) environmentalism (Man-Thing) and gender equality (Ms. Marvel), and D.C.'s work in the 1980s, which was championing gay rights in books like Hellblazer and Swamp Thing years before the mainstream media declared its own jihad against whatever they thought "homophobia" consisted of that particular afternoon.

Alas, in the 2000s, the industry decided to go full retard with the leftist politics, to the point comics stopped being low-culture, instant gratification juvenile junk and turned into full-fledged, foaming, anti-white, anti-male, anti-conservative and anti-Christian agitprop. Over the course of a decade nearly half of the X-Men roster was turned homosexual, Spider-Man turned into a half black/half Puerto Rican 12-year-old, Superman boldly declared his endorsement of open border governance, G.I. Joe have been turned into morbidly obese Hispanic lesbians who hate guns, and Archie - perhaps the ultimate emblem of apolitical junk culture - was literally gunned down by a racist Republican NRA member during a botched attempt to assassinate a gay black politician and his white male lover.

Not that you really need me to tell you this, but despite all of the back-patting that surely arose from turning Captain Marvel into a Muslim woman, M.O.D.O.K. into Donald Trump and Iron Man into a black teenage girl, none of these SJW-enthused works have translated into commercial successes. As it turns out, hardcore comic readers are actually in it for decent stories that expound about the decades of their favorite character's back stories, not identitarian dreck pandering to the latest leftist outrage du jour. That's kind of the inherent problem of propaganda - you spend so much time trying to fellate the base that you often forget to make your agitprop, you know, entertaining

And that is VERY much the case with the (in)famous Black Panther & The Crew mini-series from 2017. Originally meant to be an ongoing series, the project got cancelled two issues into its run and ultimately crapped out after six issues. The big hook for the ill-fated comic was that it was written by Ta-Nehesi Coates, a longtime The Atlantic columnist who - outside of writing articles ranting and raving against Bernie Sanders for not supporting reparations and berating Daniel Moynihan for being 100 percent right about father absenteeism being the single most important factor behind black underachievement - is probably most famous for penning Between the World and Me, an astonishingly popular tirade against contemporary racism in which the only two examples of "racism" the author could pinpoint was a time a white person told him "come on" to get on an elevator and when one of his friends was killed by a cop ... who was actually black

Anyway, Coates - who gets paid $1,000 a minute to harangue almost entirely white audiences about how their very skin tone automatically makes them perpetrators of hate crimes by biological default - actually wrote a couple of issues of Black Panther back in 2016, so you really can't say he doesn't have any comic book writing experience. But by that same token, I also think it's safe to say we ain't exactly dealing with an Alan Moore or a Howard Chaykin here, either. Fuck, the guy can barely make a 1,600-word diatribe on The Atlantic sound coherent, so I guess it's not really a surprise the guy isn't any more more deft with the sequential art medium.

But the big problem, as you will soon see, is that Black Panther & the Crew tried to make a "serious" political statement inside the framework of the single most ludicrous low-culture art form this side of pro wrestling and monster trucking. The series' Black Lives Matter pandering already made it dated as soon it hit news stands, but the fact Coates tried to insert that real world polemic inside a comic book world filled with super powerful God-like beings and robotic martial law death squads just made the thing a big, fat muddled mess of a "social commentary," one that's too stuck up its own ass to be fun and too fantastically absurd to be taken as a sincere statement about anything.

But hey - why don't we let this spectacular failure of a series speak for itself, why don't we?

Issue one is titled "Double Consciousness." Get it, because it's a reference to W.E.B. DuBois and shit? Anyway, it's 1957. There's this black dude named Ezra (aka, The Lynx) and he runs the Harlem version of The Avengers, alongside his super-powered crew Flare, Brawl, The Gates and Glass. He looks a lot like Malcolm X, which I'm sure is 100 percent totally coincidental. Anyhoo, he roughs up a drug dealer and tells him if he doesn't vamoose, next time he's going to incinerate his intestines or something.

Well, fast forward to today's Harlem, and Misty Knight is walking through a #BLM protest over the death of Ezra, presumably at the hands of the local po-po. So for those of you wondering just how long it would take the series before it devolved into shameless black power identity politics propaganda - well, it wound up being page nine of the very first issue.

Oh, and since this is a Marvel comic, the cops in the comic also include a unit of Robocop-wannabes called the Americops, which were created by PRIVATE INDUSTRY and therefore evil as all fuck by default. Just figured you folks needed to know that.

So Misty Knight has breakfast with Ezra's family and they refer to cops as "pigs" about half a dozen times. Then she investigates Ezra's jail cell and of COURSE there's video missing from the time of his death and then Knight and this other black chick have a discussion about mayonnaise and that's when the AMERICOPS attack them for breaking curfew, which, obviously, is codeword for "being black." Knight uses her metal arm to kill a couple of robot cops, and just when she's about to get fucked up, here comes Storm out of the blue to make the save.

We resume the "story" in issue two, titled "Afro-Blue." You'll see why in just a few. 

It's 1955 in Indonesia and Ezra is at the Bandung Asian-African Conference. He talks about Africans, Asians and Harlemites having "the same enemy" but never explicitly stating who (hint: it's Whitey.) Zip to the modern day and Misty and Storm walk into a crack house in Little Mogadishu and fuck up a bunch of ruffians. Then We learn Storm grew up in Harlem (now THAT's what I call a retcon!) and Misty is almost blown up on a train and she goes back to Storm's apartment and tells her to not give her any "intersectional privilege crap."And then Black Panther shows up on the very last page.

Oh, and by the way - the title is a reference to Storm's "beautiful blue black skin." No, that's literally what Coates tells the readers himself.

Issue three is titled "Black Against the Empire," so you just KNOW it's not going to be a bunch of paranoid, hysterical preaching-to-the-choir nonsense.

We travel back to Harlem, circa 1956. Ezra is in an underground bunker, staring at a bunch of "people of color" who might be candidates for some genetic experiments to make 'em into Wakanda super soldiers or some such shit. Then we jump to modern day and this old black woman named Marla tells Black Panther to stick it where the sun don't shine because of his bad manners.

Then Black Panther walks around Harlem, looking at all the gentrification going on and says "an empire is a plague - insidious and relentless" while looking DIRECTLY at two Jewish characters. And no, I am NOT making that up, as evident by the photographic evidence below ...

What the? Blacks, being openly and unapologetically anti-Semitic? Who'd thought such to be the case in a million, billion years?

Anyhoo, Storm is still pissed at Black Panther and they talk about their divorce for a bit. Wait, where they ever canonically married in the regular Marvel universe? 'Cause last time I checked, she was getting boned by Forge from X-Factor. I mean, not that it really matters, I guess, but stillThen they get a hotel in a place literally called "The Renaissance" and read a dossier on the property manager, whom Black Panther assumes killed Ezra. Hey, isn't Donald Trump famous for being a property manager and a multi-billionaire entrepreneur, too? What a funny coincidence.

Anyway, Black Panther wipes off some dirt and, yep, there's a HYDRA logo, right there in plain sight, in the basement of the apartment. Then a dude bazookas a condo and Luke Cage walks out unharmed, because he's Luke Cage, damn it, and being hard to kill is like his gimmick or something.

Issue four is called "Nothing But A Man," which isn't really applicable to Storm or Misty Knight, but asides, motherfucker, asides. We flash back to 1964, where Ezra is basically written into the real-life Mississippi Burning caseHe brings his crew of  super-powered black people with him and they unironically use violence to force a bunch of white cops and bureaucrats to confess to murdering a bunch of civil rights workers.

Fast forward to modern day Harlem, where Luke Cage is literally punching Hydra helicopters out of the sky. Then he and Misty talk to this one black dude who was in the holding cell when Ezra mysteriously died. But he's not really much help, because all really wants to do is play pinball. Then they visit the CEO of Paragon Industries, the manufacturers of the Americops. Then its revealed that it's a subsidiary of Paragon Properties, which is uprooting all of the black people in Harlem for rich white Jews and their ilk.

Issue five is titled "Down These Mean Streets," which, unfortunately, isn't a thinly veiled reference to the theme music of the Fabulous Freebirds

Now it's 1969 in Harlem, and all of the Black Avengers look blaxploitation-tastic. Then we hop to present day, and some black dude in a robe with billy clubs destroys some Americops while they're trying to apprehend this Puerto Rican kid. Anyway, he's some half black/half Aborigine mutant I've never heard of before called Manifold. He talks about being mentored by Ezra, and how Ezra's black super soldier experiments were actually being bankrolled by Hydra, because they were trying to start a race war or something.

And that brings us to our sixth and final issue, rather optimistically titled "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," which to me, sounds extremely prejudiced against the thousands of white people on the planet who are deathly allergic to sunlight. But hey, fuck those ultra-honkies, ain't that right, Ta-Nehisi? 

It's 1972 and Ezra finds out he's been double crossed so he shoots his partner who was actually a Hydra informant and also looked a LOT like John Shaft.

Then we return to modern day Harlem. There's a big protest over Ezra's death, and of course, it isn't long before the fists start flying and Storm has to make it rain to keep everybody from rioting. The crew deduce that Whitey is using some sort of experimental mind control weapon to make everybody go bananas, but it's actually the work of this black dissident named Malik, who is secretly a double agent for Hydra. You know, Marvel's neo-Nazi, super racist terrorist network that has no real world analogue. Now, as to why the Fourth Reich would want to hire a black dude, or why a hardcore black identitarian would even think about aligning himself with people trying to clone Hitler, though, Coates gives us the following explanation: absolutely fucking nothing at all, whatsoever. 

And then the comic just ends with the crew declaring themselves "the streets," with no final battle, no resolution about Malik or the Americops or the Paragon subplot, nor Hydra or even who really killed Ezra. We get four pages of fan letters, then the editors talk about the comic getting cancelled earlier than they'd like, and that is it for the whole god-dang experiment.

But seriously ... why is that bad advice, exactly?

Boy, did that end on an anti-climactic note or what? It's obvious that Coates had planned out a much larger story, as evident by the mountains of loose ends left unresolved at the end of issue six. For example, we never even scratched the surface of who Ezra's super-P.O.C. were, whom seemed pretty rife for a spin-off at some point. And it seems like that Malik guy was being positioned as a Kingpin-like uber-villain, who probably would've commandeered scores of his own super-powered negroes  to do battle with Black Panther's all-Melanin Avengers. Now, I'm not saying the series had potential, per se, but it seems like the thing could've gone on for another 12 or so issues, easy. Hell, if you had a real comic writer at the helm, it might have even turned into a pretty fun little series. Alas, with Coates calling the shots, it's pretty much a guarantee the thing would've crashed into the ground in a hurry; shit, just half a dozen issues in and it was already running on fumes.

As for the rest of the creative team, the series was penciled by Butch Guice (the same guy who drew Micronauts back in the day), inked by Scott Hanna (who has inked pretty much everything) and (people of) colored by Dan Brown, who, ironically enough, is not brown, but white. Aesthetically, I've got nothing bad to say about the series. I mean, it's not the most amazing art you'll see in a comic book, but it's still pretty crisp and clean and never really devolves into that oh-so pretentious abstractionism that so many modern series wind up falling into. Tis a pity they weren't given a decent story to wrap their drawings around, though.

If you're looking for some painfully unaware, crypto-reverse-racist agitprop, you'll probably be disappointed here. That's not to say the series is devoid of some heavy-handed and clumsily ham-fisted lecturing (because lord knows, it isn't) but it seems like Coates never really had the momentum nor the space to really start hammering home the political message he wanted. Maybe if he had another five or six issues to work with he would've gone completely overboard, but as is, Black Panther & The Crew is hardly anything more than a crappy superhero ensemble origin yarn, with some woefully inarticulate "social commentary" wedged in there. So it's propaganda that's too pussy to come out and announce itself as propaganda, which I think we can all agree is pretty much the most insufferable kinda of propaganda there is.

All in all Black Panther & The Crew is pretty much what you'd expect it to be. It's bad, but it's not brain-breakingly bad, which makes the whole package all the more disappointing. It's such a horribly uneventful series, that doesn't excel at anything - or, really, rise above mediocrity whatsoever. Instead of being an all-time, monumental dud, it's just another boring, unremarkable Marvel offering with hardly any distinguishing characteristics.

Which, yeah, I suppose makes it the epitome of late 2010s, multiculturalism-uber-alles comic books, now that I think about it ...

Monday, February 5, 2018

PROPAGANDA REVIEW: MTV's 'Hate Rock' Special from 1993!

Yes, even back then MTV was trying to warn the masses about the scourge of white supremacy ... and in the clumsiest way possible, to boot.

By: Jimbo X

Anybody who thinks MTV is just now rallying the SJW troops for a culture war against whatever the higher-ups at Viacom deem a "far right threat" really haven't been paying attention. The reality is that MTV has been bangin' the social justice battle gong for more than a quarter century, and nothing demonstrates that as well as the 1993 "special report" Hate Rock from 1993.

Yes, a full 25 years ago - LONG before Charlottesville and Andrew Anglin and Black Lives Matter and President Trump and Pepe the Frog - MTV was hellbent on convincing the same masses who unironically liked bands like Green Jelly and Ugly Kid Joe that, within their own communities, there was an insidious, underground menace a bubblin' that - if left unchecked and unconquered - would inevitably result in the Day of the Rope coming to fruition and scores of Jews and blacks and Hispanics and gays and Indians getting massacred by the Fourth Reich. And, as we are all keenly aware, such wouldn't start with the slow degradation of civil liberties in the name of amorphous multiculturalism, nor government policies that nonconsensually hoist globalization on the front lawns of largely homogeneous cultures economically and socially incapable of assuring its peaceful assimilation into the local fabric. Nope, it begins, naturally, with a bunch of shitty guitar players with bald heads screaming "nigger" into a microphone in front of crowds of literally dozens of rancorous racist fans, and it's up to MTV - the great cultural taste-maker it is - to enlighten and indoctrinate us all into stamping this stuff out BEFORE it gets too big (read: economically sustainable) and the Holocaust 2.0 happens.

You know, some readers have asked me what my favorite kind of propaganda is, and it HAS to be stuff like this - hardcore, ideologically-biased, fact-and-reason-resistant agitprop built solely to discredit and disgrace a competing flavor of hardcore, ideologically-biased, fact-and-reason-resistant agitprop. This thing isn't even really meant to be entertaining, as much as it is 30-minute secular worship service, kinda' like the politically correct version of the world's least articulate Sunday school teacher mumbling his way through the story of Lucifer's fall.

But really, we ought to let MTV speak for themselves, shouldn't we? Let's push this sumbitch in the old VCR player and take a trip down memory lane, why don't we?

Kurt Loder lets us know the following is a "Free Your Mind" special report, which, of course, is marketing-speak for "let us tell you how you ought to feel about things for the next 30 minutes." From there, we throw it to a concert in Canada, where the creatively-named band Aryan is singing some song about Jews or race-mixing or what the hell ever. Then there's a quick, totally context-less clip where a dude with a Nazi eagle tattoo on his forehead talks about shooting somebody and here comes Kurt Loder - apparently, strolling past though the set of the first Candyman movie - ambling into the frame and to say something to the effect of "boy howdy, I bet you sure have noticed the sudden surge in 'race-baiting skinheads' wreaking havoc in the underground 'oi' scene, and goddamn, isn't it terrible, folks?" That's our cue for some black and white footage of people getting hit with baseball bats transposed over Hitler speeches as we cut to stock footage of skinheads and Confederate flag-waving marchers looking all vicious and whatnot while Aerosmith's "Livin' on the Edge" loops around it.

Loder says the fall of communism IMMEDIATELY sparked a resurgence of far-right politics in Europe, which in turn began influencing racist dissidents in the U.S. We then get to briefly meet two skinheads named Sean and Mike - obviously meant to draw parallels to Beavis and Butt-Head - and Loder describes them as "beer-swilling thugs" before throwing it to archival footage of this Mexican guy talking about this time he got roughed up by some Skrewdriver fans, with the onscreen caption sure to note he was attacked by "racist skinheads," as opposed to the TOLERANT skinheads dotting our fine chemotherapy centers from coast-to-shining-coast. And that's the perfect excuse to take a look at the world of NON-RACIST skinheads, which does indeed exist ... in Canada. Well, WHERE else would you expect to find that kind of shit? Loder then explains how "real" skinheads love black people and their music, especially ska and "the working class sounds" of non-Hitler-inspired "oi."

Time to sample some of that insidious white power music, why dont' we? Here's a few lines of prose from some band called No Remorse - "Nigger, face to face don't try and mess with the master race." Well, that's still less uses of the word "nigger" than in the aggregate Kendrick Lamar song, so what's the rub, MTV? Kurt then goes on to say that the National Front basically INVENTED racist music by co-opting the oi scene in England back in the late 1970s. Then we meet a chap named Warren Miekle, lead singer of the New Jersey-based outfit Aggravated Assault, who says his music has a "political message." And because the aggregate MTV viewer in 1993 STILL needed helps filling in the gaps, this is immediately followed by another Hitler speech quip where Die Fuhrer is talking about white superiority or some such mess. Then a bespectacled Nazi nerd named Todd shows a banner  reading "Adolf Hitler Was Right" while another 'un shows off a tatoo of a Jew hanging from a tree, to represent what he believes DIDN'T happen during the Holocaust. Which, in one of the most surreal things I've ever seen in my life, devolves into Loder talking about the "Final Solution" over stock footage of Auschwitz skeletons while fucking George Michaels plays in the background." Then this Holocaust survivor is wheeled out so he can say it's not like 1933 in Germany no more, because THIS time they have a chance to defend themselves against the intolerant.

I don't know about you, but I think naming your group "Unidentified German Oi Band" is just painfully pretentious.

We return from commercial break and Kurt Loder is walking around Berlin while "Winds of Change" by The Scorpions play because fuck it, subtlety is for pussies. There's this great transition shot where footage of people being all happy during the fall of the Berlin Wall is interrupted by scenes of skinheads throwing Molotov cocktails into buildings. Loder then talks about "economic paranoia" and "anti-immigrant sentiment" fueling far right ideologies in post-reunification Germany, which culminates with a clip of skinheads singing a song about giving Elie Wiesel cups of tea laced with Zyklon B. This ultimately leads to Loder stating that kids are turning to white power music because they feel as if their governments are sacrificing THEIR economic futures in favor of their own liberal social policies ... which, yeah, certainly couldn't explain why kids TODAY are into all of that "alt-right" Pepe the Frog stuff or anything like that. The narrator then explains how 1.5 million migrants from war-torn, former Soviet-controlled states have flooded into Germany since 1988, and that's making neo-Nazi skinheads ANGRY as all get-out. To demonstrate this, we get this one unintentionally hilarious scene where an Indian guy points to graffiti showing a swastika and carefully explains that it probably means "hey, these guys might be Nazis, be careful fucking with them." Then we get footage of a 1992 "anti-fascist" concert headlined by The Scorpions before another commercial break whisks us away.

Now we turn our attention to North American skinhead music, and it doesn't take Kurt long to start decrying outfits like "The Church of the Creator" and the "Hammerskins" as vile, reprehensible pieces of dookie who "hate all people different from themselves," all while praising "non-racist" skinhead groups like the Sharps, who - irony of ironies - hate everybody who thinks differently from themselves. That segues into the lead singer of RAHOWA talking about how important the Internet is to building the skinhead music fanbase, which leads to a scene in which a hacker acting on MTV's behalf infiltrates a BBS board that offers homemade explosives recipes and asks its users to send in the addresses of "queers" for some kind of database. This leads Loder to ask what is it about this kind of music that goads Americans into believing such incredibly "anti-American ideals?" One detective says it's probably because the kids are getting abused and neglected at home and they're probably longing for any kind of camaraderie that doesn't include their parents yelling at 'em or the cool kids at school referring to 'em as "weirdo faggots." 

Apparently, 1993's neo-Nazis looked like 2016's Bernie Sanders supporters.

Time to hear from the lead singer of RAHOWA again (who, of course, has renounced his Nazi ways over the last few decades, in case you forgot it.) He says some inconsequential shit, and now it's time for Kurt Loder to hit the mean streets of Orlando, wearing a gaudy red floral shirt and sunglasses as part of some "undercover" assignment.

Oh shit, he's there to interview the imperial wizard of the KKK, who is apparently a 16-year-old kid with four or five developmental disorders named Archie Johnston. Meanwhile, this dude in a Beastie Boys shirt makes fun of him for being into Hitler. He shows Kurt a noose in his bedroom and says the Klan is about "Christian Identity" and they argue about what the biblical definition of "neighbor" is. Anyway, they try their damnedest to make Archie look mentally retarded, which, yeah, he probably is. Then they show him talking on the phone trying to get a bunch of guys together to go scare some homosexuals while "Take The Skinheads Bowling" plays in the background. Loder than asks whether or not Archie and his ilk ought to be censored which - after citing the First Amendment - he begrudgingly says no. But that doesn't mean he doesn't think they shouldn't be under a constant state of surveillance, which Loder never addresses as a violation of the FIFTH Amendment, but what the hell ever. 

By the way, that Archie kid was later arrested for assaulting an interracial couple. And the special ends with him getting taken into custody while "The KKK Took My Baby Away" by The Ramones plays. Yeah - I can't imagine TODAY'S MTV being so tongue-in-cheek when it comes to TODAY'S skinheads, for sure.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Gomer Pyle, S.S.

You know, this kind of stuff is getting harder and harder to get a hold of. In fact, the only way I could even screen this special was a secondhand copy of a copy taken from fucking Veoh, so it's probably safe to assume that within another five or ten years or so, this thing's gonna' be all but erased from the Web. And since YouTube and Dailymotion are getting so insanely Nazi-esque about both copyright protected material and "offensive" content (even if it's framed in a way to make fun of and demean people with radical viewpoints) getting posted on their respective platforms, unless somebody is ripping this shit to the Internet Archive en mass we could be on the verge of a multimedia purge the likes of which haven't been seen since the great MGM vault fire of 1967.

The whole thing, from start to finish, is barely 22 minutes long and once you've caught it once there's not really anything noteworthy enough to inspire you to rewind the cassette. It definitely has a weird late '80s, early '90s vibe going on, meaning it doesn't really feel like it belongs in either decade, but still has enough aesthetic imprints from both to kinda feel familiar.

While MTV today hosts entire awards show anchored around white guilt, I suppose it's safe to say they weren't nearly as deft with their counter-propaganda back in '93. It's obvious that Viacom was trying to posit the emerging neo-Nazi skinhead music culture as a major cultural concern, but at the same time it's presented in such a hokey package that it's hard to take the program seriously. That's evident from the goofy Beavis and Butt-Head onscreen font and the downright bizarre musical interludes (I'm STILL not over the whole Auschwitz-set-to-George Michael music video), not to mention the depiction of Archie Johnston as a dude literally too retarded to answer basic questions about the U.S. Constitution, let alone usher in an ethnic purge of millions of people.

Eventually, Viacom would get significantly better at using the Music Television format to push sociopolitical agendas, but Hate Rock is certainly evidence that the powers-that-are at MTV have been trying to use their platform to engineer culture for decades. As an anti-white supremacist spiel, it's pretty weak and flaccid, and as a random abstraction of its time, it's not all that entertaining nor enlightening. Indeed, I think we'd all rather have watched the commercials that originally ran on the program than the program itself - and if that isn't a testament to the fact we've become a truly post-racial society (if not a colorless, mass-marketer-tested, consumerism-uber-alles Valhalla) I don't know what is

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Double Review: 'Kickboxer: Retaliation' / 'Mom and Dad'

In which we give you the skinny on all nine Best Picture nominees before puttin' a spotlight on two low-budget, limited-release genre movies well worth going out of your way to experience.

By: Jimbo X

Alright, I might as well give you my abridged take on this year's Oscars - not that either you or me really give a shit about what those self-righteous turds in Hollywood think about anything, naturally, especially their own damned movies. Come to think of it, just why are there so many damned movie awards show, anyway? You've got the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors' Guild Awards, the MTV Movie Awards - goddamn, these people are literally spending half the year publicly fellating one another. Can you even think of another industry so utterly obsessed with in-group affirmation? 'Cause I sure as hell can't. 

Anyhoo, the nominees for this year's Best Picture are pretty much what we all expected. Now, you might be tempted to go out there and watch all nine of 'em, but trust me, you really only need to see one, maybe two of them. Let's run down the list real quick, why don't we?

Call Me By Your Name - It's literally a movie about a 30-year-old Italian fruit who has sex with a 17-year-old Jewish boy, and the filmmakers have the gall to call us "perverts" for not celebrating it as a human rights triumph. It's pretty much the same thing as Moonlight, except with far less black people in it, and as we all know, the identity politics pyramid clearly values African-American homos more than your boring, garden-variety Caucasian rectal sojourner, so there ain't no way in hell this one's gonna' win.

Darkest Hour - Gary Oldman turns in a good performance as Winston Churchill, but that's pretty much all this one has going for it. I'm convinced the AMPAAS has some kind of unstated bylaw where at least one movie featuring nothing but people with British accents in it has to get nominated, and apparently this was this year's token selection.

Dunkirk - Fuck it, this was the best movie of 2017 and it wasn't even close. Alas, the Academy Awards don't select the Best Picture winner by choosing the best movie no more, only how much the directors piss and moan about being "discriminated against," so yeah, don't expect it to take the home statuette.

Get Out - The most overrated movie of the decade. You already know my thoughts on this one - as long as identity politics-obsessed black elitists are more pissy heading into the broadcast than identity politics-obsessed female elitists, it'll probably win.

Lady Bird - Holy hell, this was the most boring critically acclaimed movie I've seen since Boyhood. It's literally a glorified Lifetime movie about this lunk-headed 18-year-old girl that has no idea what she wants out of existence and she yells at her mom a lot and doesn't even get mad at her boyfriend for cheating on her with another dude because, really, aren't all gay people the real "victims" here? God, fuck this movie, hard.

Phantom Thread - This one is a huge disappointment. After There Will Be Blood, you'd think Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson re-teaming would be a recipe for cinematic greatness, but this movie is just a snoozer. Basically, it's just DDL chewing the scenery as this hard-assed fashion designer back in the 1950s, and this one waitress tries to poison him with wild fungi and he starts having visions of his dead mother and then she tries to poison him again and DDL decides to eat the tainted food anyway because he kinda' likes being treated like shit. So basically, it's a two-hour long endorsement of cuckoldery, in which a woman who tries to murder her husband several times is depicted as the "hero" - all I can say is "thanks a lot, Hillary."

The Post - Long suspected pedophile Steven Spielberg brings us this heavy-handed political potboiler about the Pentagon Papers and Richard Nixon, although it's obviously trying to be some sort of allegory for Donald Trump's war on "fake news." It's physically impossible to watch more than 20 minutes of the movie before lapsing into a coma, so I'm assuming they nominated this one simply to make a social statement

The Shape of Water - The most nominated film of the 2018 Oscars is a ripoff of the sequel to The Creature from the Black Lagoon and features a sex scene between an anorexic broad with an Adam's apple and a fish monster. Yeah, I don't know why box office revenue is declining either.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Next to Dunkirk, this is the only nominated movie I'd recommend spending money to watch in an actual theater. It's about that bitch from Fargo who declares jihad on the local police chief for not doing anything about her daughter's rape and murder, and it ends with her throwing a goddamn Molotov cocktail through the sheriff's department front window and vowing to drive to Idaho to kill a guy she thinks may have raped another woman without having any substantial evidence because that's just the way people in the #MeToo era think nowadays. It ain't a great movie by any stretch, but it's still a decent rainy day, dollar theater candidate if you ain't got nothing else going on on Sundays 'cause the pro football season is over. Shit, it's better than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, at least.

So you got nine movies nominated for Best Picture, and only one of 'em is legitimately and objectively great while the rest of 'em are mediocre or worse, but because they're driving home some sort of pro-black or pro-gay or pro-woman agenda, of COURSE the Academy was going to give 'em a nod. Unfortunately, this looks like it's going to be standard operating procedure from now on when it comes to the Oscars, to the point they might as well just rechristen the whole shindig as the Annual Affirmative Action Awards.

Let's face it, the Oscars are nothing more than a glorified circle jerk for rich white liberals and their underpaid minority pawns they befriend and support only as a means of sticking it to their ideological white rivals. The Academy doesn't know dookie about what makes a movie objectively and empirically good any more, and there's absolutely no reason whatsoever for any of us to give a damn about the overhyped festivities. So instead of watching that shameless four-hour-long cock suck-a-thon, you know what I'll be doing come Awards night? 

That's right, I'll be doing what all REAL Americans ought to be doing - watching Stand Alone TWICE, maybe even three times if I can stay awake long enough.

Surprisingly, he doesn't eat a single child throughout the entire movie.

But if you're sick and tired of Oscar bait claptrap (and you most certainly should be), boy, do I have the cure for what ails you - the finest no-budget MMA-sploitation ass-kick-a-thon to come down the pipes in years, none other than Kickboxer: Retaliation, which for those of you trying to keep count at home, is the seventh installment in the series

Oddly enough, the movie starts off in the LEAST manly way possible - with these two froths doing a sexy dance on a train, only for this one guy to come in there with a gun (and another dude with an ax!) to have a perfume commercial interrupting kung fu battle. Then this 120 pound Chinese chick dressed like she's in The Matrix shows up and our leading man has to ram her head into the side of the train 15 times, then they have ANOTHER karate battle on top of the train in the pouring rain, except THIS time she's wearing some kind of leather bondage gear. And then he gets yanked off the train at the last second and drowned in a lake below, and then it's time for the opening credits that let us ALL relive the highlights of Kickboxer parts one through six.

Then we cut to RENZO GRACIE calling a fake UFC match in a high school gym somewhere where this dude called Kurt Sloane finishes of Renato Sobral with his patented "hurricane armbar." And hey, it's the same guy from the opening train scene, but he's not dead after all because NOW we're finding out the first ten minutes of the movie was a dream sequence. Then some U.S. marshals show up and say they know about the time he killed this one tattooed guy in Thailand but he swears up and down it was self-defense and then the "marshals" taze him because they aren't really marshals but guys working for some international kung-fu heroin cartel or something. Then he wakes up nekkid in a cage somewhere in Cambodia with Christopher Lambert lording over him and telling him he's gotta' have ONE MORE karate death fight for his pleasure or else he's gonna' kill his girlfriend. Oh, and by the way, the guy he wants Sloane to fight is this 400 pound Australian guy that looks like Zangief from Street Fighter II, if you duck taped two of 'em together.

So Sloane winds up getting locked up in a Thai prison island where he has to pick rice 12 hours a day and spin kick Laotians in the face before they can rape him behind a bamboo hut. But that don't stop the guards from chaining him up and whipping him with a cat o' nine tails like he was Kunta Kinte, though. So Sloane beats up a couple of 'em while they're playing Candy Crush, steals their phone, calls his girlfriend to let her know he's been Shanghaied and then he gets into a nunchaku fight with this one guy for no real reason whatsoever. And that's when he runs into his new cellmate - MIKE FUCKIN' TYSON. Yes, the real one, and they immediately have the closest thing we've ever seen to a Ken vs. Balrog fight in real life and it is SUPERB.

Then Sloane's wife shows up and talks to the three or four police in Bangkok who aren't corrupt, and then Sloane and Mike bond after getting dual lashings and he shows him how to make Fentanyl out of some green beans growing in the prison yard. And then Sloane finds JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME hanging out next to a picnic table and he tells him about how Lambert blowtorched his eyeballs off and he's not even that mad about being blind now. So JCVD teaches him how to fight by smell, but it's taking him a while to get the hang of it. And just when you think this movie can't get anymore awesome, goddamn ROY NELSON shows up and teaches Sloane how to bust cinder blocks with his forehead like Super Mario. Then JCVD and Mike Tyson START to have a karate battle, but Sloane breaks it up before things start getting really good. Then we learn the guy Lambert wants Sloane to fight is actually a HALF RHINO GENETICALLY MODIFIED STEROID MONSTER and JCVD offers to fight him instead but Sloane keeps practicing for the fight by having Ronaldinho (yes, that Ronaldinho) kick soccer balls at him. Then they sneak out of prison so Sloane can have a tune-up fight against this one guy who looks JUST like Sloane, except a little bit more 'roided up. Then JCVD calls up his hitherto unacknowledged son to help them kidnap a Yakuza boss' nephew or something like that and that's our cue for a donnybrook at the local fish market, complete with a ninja getting his face melted off by hot grease while "Wipeout" plays in the background. And then Sloane chases the dude on top of a train (just like in his premonition at the beginning of the movie) and they both jump off it at the same time and Sloane punches the dude once and that's it.

Then Sloane makes it to Lambert's high-rise and he has to fight these two Cambodian chicks wearing neon orange lipstick in a hall of mirrors and after a while he gets bored so he just kicks a wall on top of 'em and then this one guy starts stalking him with a handgun but the rest of the crew bails him out and Sloane kicks a knife into a dude's throat and rescues his wife but then that giant steroid monster shows up, kicks his ass, and punches his wife so hard she immediately has a heart attack and falls into a coma. So now Sloane HAS to fight the steroid monster for the sweetest nectar of all, REVENGE. And if you're wondering whether or not the climactic showdown lives up to the hype, I assure you it most certainly DOES. Not only does it go on for HALF AN HOUR, it's got just about every kind of "fu" in it you can think of, from scimitar fu to throwing star fu to metal chain fu to the oft-spoken-about-but-rarely-seen "one fighter's been declared legally dead but then gets resurrected by a dose of nuclear adrenaline zombie Muay Thai while blindfolded just for the hell of it fu." Needless to say, if we see a cinematic brawl more awesome than this in 2018, we're DEFINITELY in store for a banner year at the multiplex.

We've got nine dead bodies. Zero breasts. Two exposed buttocks (both male, in case you were wondering.) 12 kung fu sequences, including the grand finale that takes about 30 minutes. One MMA fight. Four sword fights. One bicycle chase. One strangulation. One attempted drowning. Shiv to the kidneys. Gratuitous slow mo effects. Gratuitous "Wipeout." Gratuitous prisoner whippings. Gratuitous Wanderlei Silva cameos (complete with him swinging an ax - get it?) Fire extinguisher fu. Potted plant fu. Grease trap fu. Adrenaline needle fu. And the thing more or less responsible for this movie existing in the first place - some serious Dr. Scholls fu.

Starring Alan Moussi, the world's greatest Gabonese Savate expert cum stunt coordinator as Kurt Sloane; Christopher Lambert as Thomas Moore, the evil fight promoter who says "you have such a great spirit - I'd hate to waste it"; the inimitable Mike Tyson as Briggs, who stops to sip tea during a prison fight and says "you're interrupting my meditation"; Jean-Claude Van Damme as Master Durand, the blind kickboxing guru who says "you mention Mongkut one more time and I'll smash your big face"; and Icelandic basketball player/Game of Thrones star Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Mongkut, the seven-foot-tall, 400-pound steroid monster with a surprisingly weak chin.

Written and directed by Dimitri Logothetis, quite possibly the greatest Greek kung fu exploitation movie kingpin of the 2010s, who gets all the props in the world for setting up one of the best sequel hooks in recent memory - if the post-credits stinger ain't misleading us, apparently, Kickboxer 8 is going to feature SHOGUN RUA as the lead villain.

All I can say is hot damn, is this one entertaining as all hell. After watching so many damn movies TRY to imitate the karate B-movies of the 1980s, finally somebody came along and made the first TRULY great SINCERE karate B-movie of our generation. I have no problem giving a flick this unpretentiously fun three and a half stars out of four. Jimbo says check it out, and if it don't make you want to jumping roundhouse kick the usher on the way out of the theater, you better check your damned pulse.

If you think that's bad, you ought to see what he did to the foosball table!

But just you wait - we've got another great holdover from 2017 finally making its way around postage-stamp sized indie theaters near you called Mom and Dad that you DEFINITELY need to check out if you're afforded the opportunity.

The flick doesn't waste any time at all getting into the good stuff, with this one MILF parking her SUV on the middle of a train track and letting a locomotive cream it while her kids are still trapped in the backseat within the first three minutes of the movie. Then after this 1970s-inspired intro (complete with a song that sounds like it was an unused holdover from The Stepford Wives or The Demon Seed), we cut to Selma Blair and Nic Cage eating fried eggs prepared by their Chinese maid while their teen daughter chides them for being racist because they don't want her fucking her black boyfriend.

Then Nic Cage - looking more and more like Al Bundy every movie - has a tickle fight with his son then he has flashbacks to when he was in his 20s and used to cut donuts in a Trans-Am while some random skank shoved her titties in his face. Then the high school econ teacher starts talking about "planned obsolesce" and the teenage daughter and her best friend vape in the bathroom and buy Molly from an angry goth chick and then a HORDE of angry parents show up outside the school, apparently trying to yank their kids out of class at the exact same time. Then a freshman gets pulled over the gate and his momma stabs him to death with a set of car keys, and from there, the teenage shish-ka-bob festival is an all-go. We've got dads smothering their daughters with trash bags, cops ground and pounding soccer moms like Brock Lesnar did to Frank Mir that one time and 300 pound dads grabbing first down markers and trying to poke their neighbor's lower intestines out, and it is GLORIOUS.

Then the black kid - who looks like he's played by a 31-year-old actor - goes home and his daddy backhands him for no reason whatsoever and then he breaks a bottle of Jim Beam over the coffee table but accidentally winds up severing his own jugular. Then the two teen girls smoke weed and flip it over to CNN and learn that parents across the country have all of a sudden gone psycho and started killing their own children en masse. And then, of all people, DR. OZ makes a cameo to explain to the viewer what "savaging" is and then Selma Blair's kid's best friend gets strangled to death with a pair of nylon socks by her own momma. Then we have a TREMENDOUS scene where a mother gives birth at the hospital and all of a sudden she gets parental psychosis and she tries to stab her newborn to death with a scalpel while "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette plays in the background. Then we cut to Nic Cage, who has fallen asleep at work watching Latina shemale porn. Then a whole bunch of parents start standing outside the nursery like they're eyeing a Golden Corral buffet. Then the teen girl and her black 31-year-old boyfriend find out her maid murdered her own child and has been mopping up her blood in the kitchen for the last two hours. Then Nic Cage comes home and yells at his daughter's black boyfriend about anal beads and then he beats him unconscious and we cut to a flashback from several weeks ago of Cage building his own pool table and his wife yelling at him for spending so much money on a man-cave so he grabs a sledgehammer and DESTROYS it while singing "The Hokey Pokey."

Then it's time for mom to come home, and for the next 30 minutes they try to break into the basement so they can chew on their children's brains. Except it's the first time they've really had time to BOND with one another as husband and wife in years so they're actually SAVING THEIR MARRIAGE by working in tandem to commit pedocide. And without giving away the rest of the movie, let's just say the conclusion involves ALL of the following: the black kid getting a coathanger shoved through his face, Selma Blair swinging a meat mallet around like Leatherface in too much lipgloss and Nicolas Cage getting set on fire, only to emerge 15 minutes later with Froot Loops matted in his burn wounds and looking to tear his kids' spleen out with a tree trimmer.

And just when you think things can't get any better - that's when Nic's MOM AND DAD show up to try and kill him with pepper spray and meat cleavers. Trust me - watching Nic Cag and Lance Henriksen have a knife fight is something you NEVER knew you needed in your life until you actually see it with your own two eyes.

Granted, the ending is a bit of a letdown, but good golly, is it a fun ride getting there. This *MIGHT* just be the best zombie movie since the original [REC] from 2007, even if it IS a total and complete ripoff of the Stephen King novel "Cell" (needless to say, this is STILL a much better adaptation than the official tie-in movie we got back in 2016, though.)

We've got nine dead bodies. Two breasts. One dead billiards table. One dead Trans-Am. Car keys to the eyeball. Mace to the face. Throat slitting. Attempted fetus mutilating. Mother-in-law head crushing. One exploding booby trap. Gratuitous yoga workouts. Gratuitous on-screen text messaging (boy, is that an overused and trite special effect?) Gratuitous close-ups of Selma Blair's crows' feet. Gratuitous middle-aged woman beating. Gratuitous Grant Morrison cameos (yep, that Grant Morrison.) Sledgehammer fu. Power saw fu. Meat tenderizer fu. Shovel fu. And the thing more or less responsible for this movie existing in the first place - some serious generation gap fu.

Starring Nic Cage as Brent, the father figure going through a particularly nasty case of mid-life crisis who says "I was gonna' grab the world by the balls and SQUEEZE 'em, man"; Selma Blair as Kendall, the MILF-tastic mom with bangs like Zooey Deschanel who cries because her ex-boyfriend from 15 years ago won't give her a job at his graphic design company and winds up karate chopping her daughter's boyfriend over a banister to his death; Anne Winters as Carly, the teenage daughter who watches her best friend get strangled with a pair of Spanx and has surprisingly deep knowledge of how to turn a heating vent into a makeshift flamethrower; Robert T. Cunningham as Damon, the high school junior boyfriend who looks like he's 35; and Lance Henriksen, who doesn't show up until the last ten minutes of the movie, which is still just enough time to call his son a pussy and try to knife him to death in a knock-down, drag-down kung fu battle. 

Written and directed by Brian Taylor, the same guy who gave us the Crank movies and the second Ghost Rider flick. Yeah, it blows my mind knowing there's two of those fucking things, too

All you Academy clods sucking Get Out's dick ought to give this one a gander - this is how you do sociocultural subtext in a horror movie RIGHT. I give it three and a half stars out of four - Jimbo says check it out, and not just because Nic Cage desperately and direly needs the money to pay off his back taxes, neither.