HDTGM Triple Feature: Jingle All The Way (1996), Street Fighter (1994) & Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)

jingle all the way poster One of the highlights of my podcast-listening week is seeing a new episode of How Did This Get Made pop up. I’m a huge fan of this show about wacky movies hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas. Sometimes I watch the movie before the episode goes live, sometimes I’m pretty familiar with them already and other times, I just go along for the ride and check it out later. In the past few weeks, I’ve actually watched a trio of films inspired by the podcast and figured I’d group them all together. I also just realized that these three movies feature three of my favorite action stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone in some of their most bonkers movies ever.

The gang covered the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sinbad holiday comedy Jingle All The Way on their first Christmas episode back in 2011. I watched this one a few weeks back, but thankfully took notes to help jog my memory. The movie finds workaholic dad Schwarzenegger going crazy trying to find an action figure for his son, played by future Anakin Skywalker Jake Lloyd. Sinbad moves in an out of the movie doing the same thing. Meanwhile, it seems like Phil Hartmann is moving in on Arnie’s wife Rita Wilson and this is all leading towards a huge holiday parade in what’s supposed to be a snow-covered town, but is clearly a side street in LA in the spring.

I thought I had this movie figured out for the first 20 minutes or so. That part is basically a movie for kids with over-the-top, cartoony style gags. Heck, there’s all kinds of talk in the first 10 minutes that set up the entire film (toy, parade, snow, etc.). Cool, I got it, let’s roll. And then things start getting weird and dark. The whole Hartman thing was pretty crazy, plus Sinbad is a nutso postal worker (remember when that was a thing?) who actually hands a cop a bomb that explodes! Luckily, he’s okay because he’s apparently facing off against the Road Runner. The whole thing culminates in a big parade where Arnie dresses up as the action figure hero and has a pretty epic fight with Sinbad. I feel like I could use the word “bonkers” to describe roughly everything in this movie. I wound up watching the end with my kid and I’m pretty sure she didn’t pick up on any of the insanity, so maybe you can get away with this one with a tyke if you have one. Maybe just cover their eyes when Arnie punches a reindeer in the face. That might be damaging.

Before moving on, if you’re looking for any kind of message, don’t. The obvious and seemingly intended point is that commercialism is not the point of Christmas, but that being with people is. And yet, the ENTIRE MOVIE is actually about commercialism, getting things, taking them away from other people and keeping them. You can’t just tack on a nice moment from Lloyd at the end and flip the whole script, you know? Ah well, moving on…

street-fighter-the-movie-poster This spring, HDTGM covered one of the greatest bad video game movies around when they did Street Fighter starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen (who’s as wooden here as she is on S.H.I.E.L.D., zing!), Kylie Minogue and Miguel A. Núñez Jr. who was in both Return Of The Living Dead AND Friday The 13th: A New Beginning. I’ve probably only played a Street Fighter game for about an hour in my whole life and know next to nothing about the franchise, but it’s still clear from watching this movie that the writers didn’t really care about any of that as far as plot goes and instead decided to just shoehorn in nods to the games.

Basically, Julia plays a guy who wants to not so much rule the world, but his own country. JCVD isn’t down with that, especially after Julia captures one of his pals. Thankfully, JCVD leads some kind of UN-type military group that wears bright blue camouflage for no reason. I honestly can’t remember many of the details beyond that because every single character in this movie is lying about what they want or why they’re there. So many of them switch sides that you practically need a score card. Actually, that’s an overstatement as the good guys are clearly good and the bad guys, well, usually wear masks, hats or have crazy blades on their hands.

The funny thing about this movie is that, I was pretty sure I’d seen this back in my high school days or maybe when I lived with my buddy Rickey and we watched a ton of JCVD movies. When I went to Netflix to give it watch, I laughed because it asked if I wanted to watch again and the screen capture was of the end credits. Guys, I can’t stay away from a good-bad JCVD movie and this is one of the best-worst. If you do watch this movie, please do yourself a favor and listen to the episode. They point out so many awesome bits of craziness that I kind of want to listen to it again right now.

stop or my mom will shoot I realized yesterday that Netflix Instant is about to cut a ton of titles on January 1st. Turns out there are 25 of those soon-to-be-gone flicks in my queue so I figured I’d watch a few when I can. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot popped out from the batch because of one thing: How Did This Get Made (episode 61 to be exact). Since Lu had laid claim to the big TV, I actually broke out the Kindle Fire and watched that way which worked pretty well.

Sylvester Stallone plays a supercop in this one whose mom — Estelle Getty — comes for a visit only to witness a murder that she teams up with her son to solve. This movie is so all-over-the-place that it’s really hard to get a handle on. It starts off with a solid action scene which eventually leads into an airport scene where a group of stewardesses comment on his physique based on pictures — many of them baby pics — that Estelle showed them. One of them even says something about him being attractive in a diaper which is just so weird and gross that it’s hard to handle. In fact, there’s a lot of awkward sex jokes that leave you off balance.

Keeping you further off balance is a scene where Estelle — who is super annoying in that way that moms of this time were on TV and film — actually washes his gun with soap and water in the sink. Up to that point she was just overbearing, but at this point she’s dumb verging on insane. That gets compounded by the fact that she brought an entire suitcase of canned pineapple as well as another one with cleaning products. That’s obviously pre-intense airline security, but I’m fairly certain you can make something terrible with at least one of those cases.

Oh, I forgot to mention that his house is kind of crazy too. He’s got a ton of random stuff all over the place from a ceramic pumpkin and a rubber ducky to a bunch of board games and a tiny red gumball machine. And there’s a dream sequence where Stallone’s in a diaper. And Estelle Getty shoots a guy. And there’s a henchman thrown out a window. And, and, and. None of this is actually about story so much as the crazytown things thrown in to launch an admittedly silly plot over-the-top into bonkersville.

Again, do yourself the service of listening to this episode if you decided to watch the movie (or even if you don’t, it’s that good). They point out a lot of the elements I noticed but also so many more. And remember, while you’re watching this one, remind yourself that Stallone has an Oscar for writing.

Live Blogging Mannequin (1987)

I’m not even sure if I’m doing this right, but what the hell? I’ve started taking notes while watching movies to then use for posting on the site, but sometimes a movie isn’t good enough to rank a full-on post. Well, I know you ravenous readers can’t get enough of my content, so I figured I’d “live blog” some flicks. First up on the list? The 1987 epic fantasy (I guess) flick starring Andrew McCarthy, Porky’s star Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty and James Spader.

So, the basic idea of the movie is that Kim was an Egyptian (yes EGYPTIAN) princess back in ancient times. Somehow she ended up not dying when she should have and has appeared to different people throughout history, kind of like a muse. So, who does she pick in the late 80s? Hard on his luck Andrew McCarthy who ends up becoming an inspired window display designer for Estelle Getty’s NYC store after he saves her life from a falling sign. It turns out that Kim’s spirit is inside of a mannequin that only comes to life when no one else is looking (in theory). Andrew’s displays really get people excited and business is booming, which makes the rival store angry. The rival store employs James Spader as a buttoned-up 80s business guy and the mean sergenat from the Police Academy movies plays a paranoid security guard who knows something’s up. Meshach Taylor also plays an artsy over-the-top gay fellow window designer. I think. He’s Andrew’s friend. It’s a weird movie to say the least. Anyway, here’s my notes:

*Haha, white Egyptians.

*Animated opening![kind of like Grease.]

*Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty AND James Spader? SOLD!

*Wow, that is a YOUNG Spader. [I mistook McCarthy for Spader for the first 10-15 minutes as you’ll see in a few more notes.]

*This dude [McCarthy] has it ROUGH. Yet, this is still less heavy handed than Spider-Man 2. [Yeah, I’m the one guy who doesn’t like Spidey 2]

*Wow, Estelle Getty looks young too.

*That’s a hell of a way to get a job, catching a sign.

*Haha, woops, THAT is Spader. The main guy is Andrew McCarthy, makes sense.

*Lamar Burton, interesting. [Lamar Burton had nothing to do with this movie, I thought Meshach Taylor was Reading Rainbow’s Burton.]

*Felix Maxwell looks and sounds familiar.

*Hey, he’s from Ohio!

*Oh wow, this was shot in Boscov’s, I’d never heard of them before moving out here. [And now I can’t even remember where the Boscov around here is. Nanuet maybe?]

*Estelle looks like a younger version of the rappin granny from Wedding Singer.

*I think Felix is from the Police Academy movies. [I got this one right.]

*Hahaha, she says “Where do they hide all the musicians?” just before they music really kicks in. [I have no idea what this refers to.]

*Dress up dance number! It would take a really long time to actually do this. [Kim and Andrew are hanging out in the store after hours when no one is around and doing this huge dance number with tons of costume changes reflecting different eras. It’s both kind of impressive and ridiculous.]

*Haha, can you imagine being one of these people so excited about a window display? OMG, they’re f**king riding f**king bikes!!! ahhh!!!! [I know people like the window displays at Christmas, but you’d think Andrew had Whitesnake AND Poison in these displays.]

*Rambo the bulldog is super cute.

*”Tonight we nail that little fart blossom.”

*Haha, hang gliding inside! [Yup, in the store. Happened.]

*I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for your co workers to think you’re banging a mannequin. [Andrew keeps carrying this mannequin around and his coworkers are starting to think he’s weird. I guess they’re right, actually.]

*Can other people hear her? [This isn’t really addressed in the movie. There’s a scene where Andrew takes mannequin Kim behind closed doors and they apparently have sex. So, can they hear her? I’m not sure. Either way, let’s hope Andrew isn’t too loud when in the throws of passion.]

*”You know I would never bother you when you’re getting a piece of wood” – Lamar [Still didn’t realize it’s really Meshach Taylor.]

*Sure creepy foreign guy, I’ll have sex with you. Hahaha he can’t get it up. [Andrew has this ex who works at the evil store. While she’s tasked with figuring out the secret to his window success, she’s teamed with this sleazy guy with a generic accent who keeps trying to have sex with her. Eventually, she sees Andrew with someone (I think Kim in mannequin form) and decides to finally do the accent guy. It doesn’t go as planned.]

*They’re passing dozens of people who could be looking at her, yet she’s still human. [Andrew’s got Kim riding on the back of his motorcycle. When one of the other main characters sees them, she looks like a mannequin, but when they’re just driving down the street she’s alive. SO, you’re trying to tell me that NO ONE is looking out their windows and seeing her? Plot hole!]

*What would happen if they were having sex and someone walked in? [Consider this my Brody moment while watching this crazy movie and drinking mojitos.]

*I love that they think they can ruin an essential nobody by showing pictures of him rolling around with a mannequin even though it clearly looks like he just fell on her, if it was Tom Cruise I could understand, but it’s just some dude.

*Woah, awesome slide move by McCarthy, it’s like calculator bowling. [Andrew’s getting chased by the bad guy’s goons and slides right into one of them on his knees.]

*How did this movie get made? [And I don’t mean the special effects.]

*Why is there a conveyor belt for mannequin destruction leading to a wood chipper? More importantly, why can’t he lift a freaking mannequin out of the shredder? [Sorry, I’m trying to think logically. And, hey, maybe department stores do have these kinds of things, I have no idea.]

*Holy shit, that guy saw her! She’s human around other people!!!! [Yeah, I was excited that it finally happened, I’m a sucker for happy endings.]

*Hahahahaha, they got married?! [They’ve only known each other for a few months at best. Oh and she’s magic.]

*”We can build this dream together…” love that song “Nothing’s gonna stop us nowwwwwwww!” [I looked it up, it’s called, unsurprisingly “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship. As a bonus, here’s the video, with Mannequin footage!]