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Monthly Archives: August 2013

A terrible film that actually is a lot of fun to watch…and listen to.


Jon Mikl Thor having a bad hair day in “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare”!


I am a bad movie fan, but not all bad films. Some bad films are dreadfully boring and I hate them (such as “The Conqueror” or “Cracking Up”). However, a small group of film are bad but hilariously bad–so bad, so silly, so unbelievably stupid that you can’t help but like them. I love films like “The Apple” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare” because they don’t take themselves seriously–and they revel in their badness! Now this isn’t to say the film is all bad–the music, for 80s hair band tunes, is great stuff and made a wonderful soundtrack to an apocalyptically bad film.

This film is basically like taking “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th” and injecting them with great tunes–along with taking about about 98% of their budget! It’s hard to imagine, but the film was made in only seven days and cost a paltry $53,000 to produce. This budget, adjusted to inflation, makes it even cheaper to make than Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space”! The film begins with the slaughter of some family. Then, many years later, a rock band goes on a retreat in the middle of no where (Canada) to work on their music and cut their next album. However, the place is infested with demonic hand puppets who wipe out the cast one by one until their is a final climactic battle between a large-breasted guy and a giant Satan puppet that throws evil starfish at him! You really have to see it to believe how bad it is–but also how incredibly funny it is.

By all means watch the film–it’s horrible and funny. But be prepared–like so many slasher films of the day, there is LOTS of nudity. But, considering that the movie is all about Satan and his hand puppets butchering rock stars, you wouldn’t think to show this to kids or your mother! So amazingly bad AND cool at the same time, you just have to see it. And, if you can’t stand the film (because it is dumb), just listen to the songs–they really are awfully good.  And, fortunately, it IS available from Netflix!



One thing I love about Jon Mikl Thor is that he does not take himself too seriously.  Watch the special features on the DVD–you’ll see what I mean.  Plus, he seems like he really is a pretty nice guy and keeps it all in perspective.

The internet keeps alive some of the best and most forgotten work of Jim Henson.

henson  Henson and his wife circa 1960


While my site is about movies, I am going to stretch it a bit here–just because I can.  Although everyone knows who Jim Henson was and loves his work, most folks don’t know about his early work.  Long before “Sesame Street” and even longer before “The Muppet Show”,  and even longer before all the Muppet movies, Henson had many projects–some dating back to when he was going to high school (if you care,  it was Northwestern High School in the DC suburbs).  Yes, as a young man, he was on TV–or at least his puppets were on TV.   Sometimes they were on TV shows like “Sam and Friends” and “Afternoon” but even more often he was seen on television commercials–most of which had very, very weird sensibilities.  My favorites among the ads were among his earliest–such as the rather sadistic Wilkens Coffee ads.  But, he also made ads for LaChoy, Potato Chips, Kern’s Bread and many, many others.


In addition to making ads, Henson and his employees also made some industrial films–films made for sales meetings and to bolster the employees of various companies.  Believe it or not, some of these are the best thing Henson EVER did.  Don’t believe me?  Try clicking the two links below for Wilson’s Meats.  They are INSANE.  In addition, there are a couple other links to some of his ads.  Try watching them all–you’ll be glad you did.




Wilson’s Meats #1

Wilson’s Meats #2

A variety of Henson commercials and short projects

Wilkens Coffee

I have my first fan…..sort of….

Guillame Filion and Martin the Penguin 001



A few months ago, I did a Google search on my IMDB name, planktonrules.  Wow, was I surprised.  I found that there was a website in Barcelona that was talking about me!  Strange….very strange.  Fortunately, the site was in English and I saw that a Microbiologist, Guillaume Filion, had posted a blog entry about me….or at least about my posts on IMDB!  That’s kind of weird…and I was intrigued–especially since the posts were about a statistical analysis of my entries!


In his first post, Guillaume compares the style of my reviews to the average review.  He found that mine differed in a few interesting ways.  In general, the more I disliked a movie, the longer the review.  That came as no surprise to me, as warning folks about a horrible film is like a civic duty to me!  Besides, a bad movie can be so bad that it is actually fun to dissect it!  He also noticed that I tended to avoid doing what most reviews did–I did not get bubbly and excited over a good film and talk about it using teen-speak (such as OMG, or using multiple exclamation points).  Finally, I tended to use the word ‘film’ much more than ‘movie’.  That last one I didn’t realize…but I sure do now when I write a review!


In his second post about planktonrules, which came a few months later, he tried to answer a question I had no idea was buzzing around the internet–‘Is planktonrules a single person or actually a group of people who pretend to be just one person?’.  When I thought about it, I realized that this IS a valid question.  After all, I have about 14,500 reviews on IMDB and that DOES sound impossible.  So, using statistics, he was looking for internal consistency to determine if the style varies–which he found did not.  Still, his blog did not sound 100% convinced.  So, I contacted Guillaume….and suggested we meet!  After all, I would be in Barcelona in June and wouldn’t mind meeting him.  Plus, I was really intrigued.  Why would he write about me in his blog?!


Above is a picture of Guillaume.  I took it at the bar in the hotel where we were staying back in June.  He does not look like a serial killer or nut…and I hope he did not think the same about me!  Overall, it was a delightful get together and I am happy to have met my one and only fan!  We chatted and I learned that Guillaume is absolutely in love with his work–he adores math, statistics and microbiology.  And, he learned that I DO have a life beyond just writing IMDB reviews!  I’ll keep you posted in case he does any more blogs about me, though I really think he’s exhausted this topic!