Announcing: Movies that Suck!

by Mark Ramsey
Published April 13th, 2013

Yes I have been a bit slow on the MovieJuice updates lately, and I thought I would finally explain to you why.

Over the past few months I have been helming a TV project that has sucked up lots of my MovieJuice time. For a long time I have wanted to host a late-night movie show and my pitch was finally met with welcoming ears last fall when San Diego’s U-T TV agreed to produce 24 episodes.

Episodes of what, you ask?

It’s called Movies that Suck, and it’s a cinematic excursion into Horror’s public domain with your humble host, Brad the Impaler.

Brace yourself, then watch the promotional trailer:

Here’s my bio from the U-T TV site:

Brad the Impaler is the host of U-T TV’s new late-­night show, Movies that Suck, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It is San Diego’s only locally hosted movies show with what can only be described as some of the worst movies you will ever see. Brad’s home is the dungeon of the Union Tribune, and it’s there he stows under-­appreciated cinematic also-­rans like ‘Destroy All Planets’, ‘Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks’, ‘Feast of Satan’, ‘Horror of the Zombies’ and so many more. Surprise guests include familiar Hollywood names like Wes Craven, Corey Feldman, and Kevin Smith. Regular segments include “Crap for Sale in your Neighborhood,” “Fun with Wikipedia,” and lots more. So tune in, turn on, and drop out to a show you will most certainly live to regret.

U-T TV is the TV channel of the esteemed journalistic icon the San Diego Union-Tribune a.k.a. UTSanDiego. Hey what local media company wouldn’t be improved by having Brad the Impaler on their staff?

Here’s how to dive in to the show: You can…

Tune in to the show on TV if you live in the San Diego area – it airs Fri at 11pm / Sat/Sun at 10pm on Cox 114 and U-Verse 17 / 1017. And yes, please do that, because sweeps are coming!

Watch the show stream live if you don’t live in San Diego. But if you tune in now it’s not on, so don’t bother.

Watch some trailers for the show’s various exciting episodes.

Watch a few clips from the show.

“Like” the show on Facebook.  Come on, at least you can do that, right? I have only 15 likes – give me a break.

Follow the show on Twitter. Definitely do that, will ya? I do all my Vine videos there!

Follow the Tumblr for the show.

If you’re observant you’ll notice that MovieJuice rants make their way into the show – usually from the lips of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Ahmadine- and a Movie) or – in season two taping soon – everyone’s favorite fanatical film critic, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un!



Evil Dead

by Mark Ramsey
Published April 12th, 2013

Who isn’t a fan of the original Evil Dead, and who hasn’t been looking forward to the Sam Raimi-approved remake?

We begin with a dad who must burn alive his daughter-demon, something my dad wanted to do to my sister-demon on many occasions.

This is a movie about an Evil Book! Read the words aloud – or silently while moving your lips the way Matthew McConaughey does – and an Eternal Evil is unleashed on a remote cabin where the cellar leads to Hell – or the Charlie Sheen DVD archive, in the unlikely event of a difference.

Utter the words and Evil on a steadicam comes racing through the woods to the sound of a Formula 1 racer.

What’s that coming near?

It’s the sound of evil! Or we’re on the final lap of the Indy 500!

Listen, when a book is wrapped in plastic and barbed wire and the opening page says “leave this book alone,” only a fool or a long-haired member of the Doobie Brothers circa 1978 would read it.

Unfortunately at least one member of the vintage Doobies is on hand and knows how to read, even if it takes him 90 minutes to read a book that’s all pictures.

But first we have to explore a complicated brother / sister / mother relationship that will have you yelling at the screen, “What’s next on Lifetime, Jennifer Love Hewitt?”

Bring on the Evil Dead! Or the soul-obsessed dead! Or the irascible dead! Or the cliché-prone dead! Or the dermatologically-challenged dead! Because all of them are in this movie. And most of these actors were born to play dead, if you know what I mean.

Mia is the sister. She is a lover of nature quite literally, as a branch crawls up her skirt most likely in search of a bush. The resulting cunnilimbus will make even the most heroic landscaper blush.

“I just had sex with a tree!” Mia told her friends, lighting up a smoke. “Stuff that in your gold tooth and suck on it, Kei$ha.”

Our heroes, such as they are, are pretty people who cut off their own limbs like so many feckless boyfriends.

“And I thought a Brazilian wax was painful,” said the blondest of our heroes, the one with so little dialogue that if she had a switch and a lampshade you could use her for illumination were not her bulb so very dim.

“Under normal circumstances I would never cut off my own arm unless Kim Kardashian made it a style statement first,” she said, remarking on one of her housemates now morphed into what is obviously Satan’s spawn:

“Does this mean I can have her cute shoes?”

Yes, this is the caliber of acting that is accustomed to answering the phrase “I will feast on your soul!” with “and would you like any fries with that?”

The best line in the movie was uttered by the Evil Dead herself: “I can smell your filthy soul!”

I don’t know what a filthy soul smells like – is it anything like the smell of your future cameo role as Tiffani Amber Thiessen’s forgettable neighbor on the ABC Family Channel?

Cut to the Book of Evil, which reveals a drawing of the real threat: A demon with a candle on its head!

A demon with a candle on its head?! Where is this demon from, anyway, Who-ville?

Fortunately our heroes have some defense because one among them was wise enough to bring a nail gun on their vacation. I don’t know about you, but my nail gun hasn’t missed a camping holiday in years. Nail gun, Revolutionary War re-enactment costume – they all come with me when I go camping.

“Why does my face hurt,” says the Evil Blonde who evidently missed the presence of a dozen nails in her head, which is surprising since it means something was finally in her head.

All in all, Evil Dead wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great. There are only so many degrees of freedom in this concept, let’s face it. And lightning is not likely to strike twice.

But if it did, I hope it homes in on one particular blonde.


Oz the Great and Powerful

by Mark Ramsey
Published March 17th, 2013

So the publicist for Oz the Great and Powerful wrote “Please note that this movie stands alone and shouldn’t be compared to any other versions of the Oz films.”

Gosh, any one in particular?!

Want to avoid comparisons? Then you should have called it Chad the Great and Powerful!

This movie is directed by Sam Raimi, and there are four Raimis in the cast!  Who would have guessed four members of one director’s family would be the best actors for their respective roles! Holy Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton!

In what must be Oz author L. Frank Baum’s go-to move, former Oscar host James Franco is carried out of Kansas in a tornado only to land in the magical land of Oz, where licensing rights to Over the Rainbow are evidently unavailable and the iTunes store has yet to install an outpost.

“No buds in their ears, but plenty in their pipes,” explains a buzzed Franco, for whom every call sheet reads 4:20. I don’t know what Franco’s smoking, but he appears to be baked at 350 degrees for two hours and ten minutes.

“How can it be that I awaken in a magical place where everyone looks like Perez Hilton and yet is undiscovered by any Kardashian?” asks Franco, from just beyond the closest rainbow.

Just then, big bright flowers blossom around a bronze statue of Louis B. Mayer followed by a song-and-dance from Dick Van Dyke.

“Let’s just stop down the dialogue for about ten minutes while we worship all this expensive CG scenery,” says Franco.

And who is there to meet him? No, not munchkins – they are now a registered trademark of the Dunkin Donuts corporation and can only work on non-union pictures.  “That’s what happens when your negotiations are done by the Lollipop Guild rather than CAA,” chides Franco.

It’s Mila Kunis! And she’s dressed like she took the wrong tornado on the way to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Two minutes in Oz and already Franco’s got a girlfriend and a winged monkey man-servant dressed as a bellman. Personally, I’ve always wanted my bellmen to have wings but instead they just have hands out.

Just as in that other Oz story I’m not supposed to reference, all the folks Franco meets in this magic land are echoes of folks back in that “no place like home” called home.

“It’s cheaper to get folks to play multiple roles,” explains Raimi, “although not as cheap as getting your relatives to do it for nothing.”

By my count, Franco has three different love interests in the first thirty minutes of this movie – that’s as many as I had in my first thirty years!

It’s about this point in the movie you realize that L. Frank Baum must have discovered the peyote poppies in the emerald forest. “I know!” Baum was rumored to have said, “I’ll use a tornado as a form of rapid transit to a place where all the townsfolk work crew for RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Of course, what would an Oz movie be without a yellow brick road – apparently the yellow cobblestone road presented insurmountable infrastructure challenges.

Franco encounters a city of porcelein teacups in shambles. Within one broken teacup sits a china girl who is so happy for Franco to fix her legs that she gives him a big hug, whereupon he proceeds to rub her ass.  Franco, stop! She’s just an innocent collectible figurine! “Oh baby, just you shut your mouth,” he tells his China Girl.

So Franco falls for Glinda the Good Witch, thus making Mila the Original Witch jealous, which makes her ugly enough for a featured role on Bravo’s new Housewives of Oz County. And so goes Oz the Great and Powerful – driven by the same emotions that causes 14-year-olds to exclaim, “I don’t like him anymore because he likes another girl better.”

So now we have the Good Witch of the North, the Wicked Witch of the West, and her sister, the Witch from either East or South, depending on which way the crow flies. “At least there can be only four witches,” reasons Franco, “unless you have Witches for SE, SW, NW, and NE, too, just like Bravo does.”

Franco and Glinda jump off a cliff only to reappear in floating bubbles. Floating bubbles? “I was going to have them pop up in a horse-drawn carriage, but you really have to try this peyote!” said L. Frank Baum, who was drinking it out of some flapper’s ruby slipper.

The bubbles pass through a magic wall where only good-hearted souls may pass.

And anyone with a bong.

“We have arrived in that portion of Oz where all the townsfolk sport elaborately curled facial hair,” says Glinda.

“Ding-dong, the Philips Norelco razor is dead!” says Franco.

When Mila goes all Wicked Witch, Margaret Hamilton she ain’t. Making the “hottest woman on the planet” into an ugly crone is an insult to all the ugly crones in the Screen Actors Guild, if you ask me. And her eyebrows are so high they could photograph alleged Iranian nuclear sites.

Although evil Mila does know how to handle balls of fire. “My boyfriend Ashton Kutcher is usually battling one STD or another,” she explains.

Oz the Great and Powerful is fun enough, although it could be both greater and more powerful.



Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

by Mark Ramsey
Published January 29th, 2013

So Hansel and Gretel are now witch hunters?

What’s next, The Old Woman who lives in the Shoe – with Shoulder-Fired Rocket Launchers?

Snow White and the Seven Jihadis?

The Three Little Ninja Pigs?

Goldilocks and the Three Improvised Explosive Devices?

Come to think of it, I’d like to see all four of those movies. Much more than Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which not only hunted witches but also laid siege to my will to live.

Produced by funnymen Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, anything funny evidently had to be checked at the studio door along with anything worth watching.  It’s from MTV films, which leads to the obvious question: Where are all the Teen Moms?!  WHERE ARE THE TEEN MOMS?!

Jeremy Renner pouts his way through this movie as if it’s a favor to his agent who needs a new Porsche by hook or by crook, and Jeremy was the one on the hook. “After Hurt Locker, there’s only one direction a career can go, and that’s the direction of a co-starring role with talking dogs,” says Renner, who was reviewing a pile of dog-centric scripts at the time.

“My name is Gretel, this is my brother Hansel,” says Gemma Arterton, who is taking all of this much more seriously than Renner.  And I would too if I was best known for the big budget stinker Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. “It was either this or play a teen mom on MTV,” explains Arterton. Indeed, this is the greatest thing Gemma has been in since Sliced Bread: The Movie.

“Grab the rapid-fire crossbow and your pained expression, Hansel, and let’s go kill some witches!”

“I had envisioned Johnny Depp’s career, and instead I’m living Richard Grieco’s,” says Renner, as years of CG wireframed his expression into a momentary smile.

I’d say Renner was sleepwalking through this movie, but that would imply he was actually walking.

Holy God in Heaven this is a horrible movie!  Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters makes the Twilight saga look like Downton Abbey!

And the producers made the peculiar decision to add enough F-words and nudity for an R-rating, which most assuredly stands for “Rotten.” Such mind-numbing, spirit-sapping, crushing badness usually requires a Rob Schneider cameo.

Famke Janssen is the head witch – Famke is the B-movie Nicole Kidman, when Nicole Kidman isn’t the B-movie Nicole Kidman. Her witch face is cracked and white as if she’s mid-facial or what people in Hollywood terrifyingly refer to as “old.”

Hey, I saw Famke at an awards ceremony recently, and she looked less like she was ready to ride a broom and more like she was ready to ride George Clooney.

She gets to deliver unforgettable and un-memorizable dialogue like “the end is near, witch-hunter!”  Would that it were true, Famke!

So witches steal the town’s children to fatten them up on sweets.  Hey kids, aren’t your parents doing a perfectly fine job of that already?

As the climax approaches the witches gather in what appears to be a tribute to rocker Alice Cooper.  But no, it’s time to be slaughtered by Hansel & Gretel, and let’s make it fast because Planet of the Talking Dogs, starring Jeremy Renner starts shooting at the end of the week!

By all means go see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.  Just make sure to stop by the concession stand for a complimentary cyanide tablet first.




by Mark Ramsey
Published January 21st, 2013

Hey, it’s the Zero Dark Thirty lady as a disaffected, pissed-off, guitarist in a disaffected, pissed-off rock band.

“I have a cool t-shirt for every mood, and they’re all black,” says Jessica Chastain, who puts the “dark” in “Zero Dark” and the 35 in “Thirty.”

Hey, there’s some guy named Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who goes by “Skip” in the U.S. and is desperately trying to keep his foreign accent locked in a cabin to be raised by wolves and nurtured by spirits.  He plays brothers who are either twins or conveniently similar-looking and infinitely economical from a cost standpoint.

Daddy has flipped out and taken his girls to the middle of nowhere to do them all in.

“Daddy, there’s a woman outside – she’s not touching the floor.”

“Depending on the woman, sweetie, she can touch whatever she wants.  Just alert me if she has wild hair, absurdly long fingers, and an expressionless CG face,” says daddy.


Too late!  Daddy has been carried away to the depths of Hell or wherever actors who can’t get arrested outside of Game of Thrones go. And the daughters are left to crawl around like animals or people trying to sneak out of an Adam Sandler movie.

They must survive on a diet of cherries.

“Do these cherries come in a Happy Meal?” asked little Lilly.  “Ideally I’d prefer my cherries with cherries on top.”

Cue the twin brother who spends five years looking for the kids, all the while tolerating the attitude and the tat-titude of Jessica Chastain who has never seen a shade of black that wouldn’t look great over her eyes and in her closet.

“They’ve found the girls,” says Uncle Nikolaj!

“Terrific!” says Jessica.  “I have a MISFITS t-shirt that would go great with this moment.”

Uncle Nikolaj can adopt the girls, but only if he moves them and Jessica into a big new house for free.  Hmm.  No, that’s asking too much!  You mean, you want me to adopt the girls AND move into a big new house for free?  No way, Jose!

But Nikolaj has his hands full, and not just with English as a second language.  The wall turns black, moths fly out, and tentacles emerge to throw him down the stairs and into a hospital bed where he will stay for most of the rest of this movie.

“Here’s my prescription,” says Jessica.  “Take two cool t-shirts and call me in the morning.”

As Jessica gradually decides the girls are lovely examples of childhood in full bloom rather than cootie-carrying carpet vermin, the ghostly CG manifestation called “Mama” gets jealous.  And Hell hath no fury like a CG manifestation scorned!

“This movie really needs a psychiatrist character who gets offed when he gets too close to the truth,” says Jessica.

“Check!” says Mama.

“Climax on a cliff?” asks Jessica.


“Dark room lit only by camera flashes?”

“Check!  Like all CG manifestations I’m one step ahead of you and storyboarded up to three years in advance.”

“My app says there’s a t-shirt for that,” says Jessica.

When you see a pile of hair crawling along the ground, it’s either a tumble-wig or it’s Mama, about to emerge from below like Hell’s own elevator just arrived from the garage.

“Is that a CG manifestation of Helena Bonham Carter?” asks Jessica.

“No,” says Nikolaj, “because that would REALLY be scary.”

Mama should stay in the closet with Jessica’s vintage Nirvana tee from 1991.



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“This is where we would kiss if I was attracted to girls”