McG’s “Family Switch” is a movie we’ve seen a thousand times before. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel and doesn’t really seek to, at that. It makes it abundantly clear in the big turn of events involving the body switch as the four central characters make blatant references to “Freaky Friday,” “13 Going on 30,” “17 Again,” and “Big.” It’s tough to really judge a movie like this because it’s an easy slam dunk. It’s an easy paycheck for Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms, and current teen star Emma Meyers (off her debut on Netflix’s “Wednesday”) is allowed her own vehicle.
The best way to summarize “Shredder Orpheus” is if “Gleaming the Cube” and “Videodrome” had a torrid violent, sexual love affair while high on shrooms that projected new wave music videos in to their brains, all the while the pair ended their rendezvous with a round of skateboarding. Courtesy of Boom! Cult and AGFA, Robert McGinley’s VHS SOV genre film is simultaneously oddly entertaining but also incredibly mind numbing. It’s a dystopian tale that seems to be working toward some kind of coherency at times, but occasionally gives up in exchange of using the budget to showcase skateboarding. In lieu of story there are just aimless scenes of people skateboarding.
Oh lord, I had no idea this even existed. Back in 1965, the Munsters characters were commissioned to do a TV special where they crash a performance at Marineland. Despite some cut aways to the Munsters, there is no plot, no side adventures, and the Munsters are genuinely just glorified mascots for this attraction. And boy it is awful. The mercifully hour long special was lost for a long time before being restored and revived for fans, and it’s probably a good thing. Despite a fairly spotless record of Television Specials, “Marineland” is a terrible utilization of these characters.
In 2020’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2,” heroine Addison spent a lot of her arc trying to figure out if she was perhaps the “Great Alpha” werewolf. When that was a bust, we were left on a cliffhanger as Addison was left pondering on her origins. And we were given a clue—from outer space. The idea of Addison perhaps being an alien makes a ton of sense considering the character guidelines the movies follow, and with the final movie in Disney’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S,” Disney works fast to seal up any and all lingering questions about Addison and Zed.
The follow up to the surprise 2018 hit musical is a superior movie in every way possible. Although there didn’t seem to be much that they could do with a follow up, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2” does a darn good job in amplifying what was so great about the first one; the writers are great at adding on to the whole mythos of the town of Seabrook offering even more characters, more potential for more monsters, and give cheerleader Addison her own arc. While in the original she sought to fit in with the zombies, now she’s looking for her own group, unsure of where she really belongs after her experiences with Zed and Zombietown.
It’s an allegory for class divide. That’s basically all “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie, but once you can get past the clumsy symbolism of the way the zombies are supposed to be the more impoverished individuals, while the humans are meant to be the upper echelon, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is actually kind of a fun horror comedy musical. You wouldn’t think that they could really pull off a zombie horror comedy for kids, but Disney and director Paul Hoen do a pretty darn good job of it. Even if 2013’s “Bunks” is better.
It’s surprising that “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t” has managed to become something of a mini-cult classic over the years. It was a TV movie that was almost lost to time, and once reclaimed, has survived thanks to nostalgia. The TV movie was much before my time, so I don’t have any real sentimentality directed toward it. In either case, ”The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t” isn’t the best Halloween special, but it has its heart in the right place, even through the cheesy final scene.
Before they became hacking and slashing horror movie characters (?), “The Banana Splits” were a niche kids program from the seventies. They were performers dressed in animal outfits that performed original pop rock like “The Monkees” and got in to various misadventures. They’d also show various animated shorts during the program. While I was never personally a fan, “The Banana Splits” were so much more interesting than “The Monkees” ever were. Their animated Halloween special is also one of the highlights of their television life, even if you’re not a fan.