Category: Movies

Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest Scared Stupid


Having already applied his bumbling shenanigans to one holiday in 1988’s Ernest Saves Christmas, slapstick neighborhood doofus Ernest P. Worrell set his sights on Halloween in 1991’s Ernest Scared Stupid. Purring singer/actress Eartha Kitt joined in the spooky/goofy shenanigans, as did an army of slimy trolls.

This time around, Ernest is in suburban Missouri, working as a garbage collector. As always, he’s a friend to kids everywhere, so when a group of neighborhood preteens asks for his help building a treehouse, Ernest naturally obliges. But this particular oak tree happens to hold Trantor, a 200-year-old evil troll, and as local crone Old Lady Hackmore warns, the troll will be released if a Worrell puts his hand on the tree the night before Halloween and says, “Trantor, I call thee forth.” Well, stupid is as stupid does…

Once Trantor is released, the mean, mucous-covered munchkin sets out to capture the souls of Ernest’s young pals by turning them into wooden dolls. That’s bad enough, but when Trantor tries to pull his wooden magic on Ernest’s pet dog Rimshot, the little snotface has crossed the line. Ernest is out to kick some troll tushie, and this time, it’s personal.

The Halloween season wasn’t as good to Ernest as Christmas had been three years earlier. Ernest’s “human cartoon” slapstick still brought in fans, but not as many as previous films had. Ernest Scared Stupid was the last Ernest movie made in partnership with Disney subsidiary Touchstone, but director John Cherry and actor Jim Varney plugged ahead without the corporate backing, turning out Ernest Rides Again in 1993 and four more direct-to-video Ernest films over the following five years.

Midnight Drive-In: Night of the Comet

Midnight Drive-In


Welcome to the Retro Rambling’s Midnight Drive-In…a place created for all you retro lovin’ night owls.  Our first presentation for Spooktober 2018 takes us back to the year 1984 for a special screening of Night of the Comet.  A quasi-horror flick in which a comet wipes out most of life on Earth, leaving two Valley Girls fighting against cannibal zombies and a sinister group of scientists.  Enjoy.


Looking Back at the Jaws Franchise


The era of the modern summer blockbuster came riding in on the fins of a great white shark. Jaws was not only the most successful film of 1975, it was the most successful film the world had yet seen. With an unforgettable theme and two hours of white-knuckled suspense, Jaws did for the beach what Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho had done for showers 15 years earlier.

The shark claims its first victim in the opening scene, as a young woman runs off from a beach party for a late-night skinny dipping session. When her body (what’s left of it) washes ashore, the small, coastal New England town of Amity has a crisis on its hands. Police Chief Martin Brody wants the beaches shut down until they know what’s out there, but Amity’s Mayor Vaughn frets over losing the lucrative summer season. When another attack makes it clear a shark’s involved, the mayor offers a reward to whomever brings in the beast. A group of local fishermen capture a shark, but recently-arrived shark expert Matt Hooper is convinced they’ve got the wrong fish.

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Recreating and Reviewing the Diablo Sandwich from Smokey and the Bandit

Diablo Sandwich

This past Friday marked the 41st anniversary of the release date of one of my favorite movies, Smokey and the Bandit!  To celebrate this fact, my daughter and I decided to do a video on her food review YouTube channel where we would take a look at The Diablo Sandwich.  Check out this classic scene from the movie:

The problem was, I had no idea just what the heck a Diablo sandwich actually was.  After doing some digging around on the internet, I found an awesome post on a message board where a user had broken the scene down frame by frame to try and solve the mystery of the Diablo Sandwich.  If you have time, it’s a very fascinating read.  Check out the thread:  Diablo & Doc

So armed with that knowledge, we set out to make this iconic mystery sandwich, and I think we had pretty good luck with it.  CHeck out our YouTube video review of it, and if you enjoy the vibe of the video, consider subscribing to our channel.  We have a lot of reviews up, with more coming on a mostly daily basis.


Body Slam Is Rock N’ Roll Wrestling – Movie Review

A few months back, The Rambler had me take my first look at GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie from 1985 and share my thoughts on that gritty, grappling mockumentary in this review. Spoilers, it wasn’t my favorite piece of attempted comedy.

Body Slam Movie

So when I was booked for a rematch with obscure cult cinema focused on the squared circle, this time in the form of Body Slam from 1986, it took a little more bribery. The promise of few old comics and some vintage trading cards can make a man do some crazy things, but I’m happy to report that the experience of watching Body Slam was a real hoot.

The film stars TV pretty boy Dirk Benedict who kids of the 80’s will remember most from his roles as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica or Face Man on the A-Team, who in this story plays M. Harry Smilac a sleazy, but affable con-man who finds himself managing a wrestling tag team on the rise. Their partnership results in a musical money-making innovation to the business that catapults them to superstardom by the film’s end.

Before we get deep into my thoughts on the film, I thought it would be worth citing a few bits of history about the making of Body Slam.

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The Bad News Bears

Bad News Bears

Written by Bill Lancaster (Burt’s son) and directed by Michael Ritchie (who had helmed adult fare like The Candidate and Smile), this winning 1976 film worked on a lot of levels—and not just the “hey, those naughty kids are cussing” level either. There was the underdog triumph story at the movie’s core; there was the satire of the uniquely American institution of Little League and its overly-involved bench parents (in the year of our country’s bicentennial, no less). There was also a redemptive character piece at work, as Buttermaker, via his group of misfits, tried to get his shambled life together once and for all.

Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) is a former minor league baseball player, and currently, a disheveled drunk and a not-so-devoted pool-cleaner. And if you think he’s mastered the fine art of uncouth and offensive language, wait until you meet the kids on his future Little League Team.

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