Thomm Quackenbush, author

The Sore Losers

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the movies reviewed here are crap, hence the title of the column. Occasionally, however, a movie comes along the surprises my cynicism and manages to make a good impression. It's not frequently, but it occurs just often enough to keep me from running through the streets covered in jelly calling for the head of the Antichrist. The Sore Losers is one of these films. At its core, it's the story of three friends who travel across the nation looking purpose in a black world filled with horror. In the end, they find a headless puppy, which speaks three forms of Chinese and takes the crew on a trip through dream land. Well, granted, the actual movie is not as insane, but it's close enough to make a good impression on me.

In 1954, a space alien immortal named Blackie landed on earth and killed nine people, which is a decent display of interplanetary prowess. Regrettably, the Powers That Be wanted twelve deaths. Blackie returns to space a failure, trapped in the wavelength until he escapes forty-two years later and returns to earth to pick up where he left off. From here, it gets a little strange, as Blackie assembles a motley crew of murders and manages to go over his killing limit. The Elder, being a nice guy, decides to give Blackie one last chance at redemption, the catch is that it's a victim of his choosing. Unfortunately, the final victim falls into the hands of the government and, in the shortest trial of the modern era, ends up on death row. What's an intergalactic killer to do? How about head for the hills and let humanity burn to a gentle crisp.

John Michael McCarthy both wrote and directed the film and deserves praise for, one, having the gall to do this film in the first place, and secondly putting forth a quality piece. The Sore Losers is a mixture of pulp art and cutting, stylized dialogue. Shot for about fifty dollars in recycled cans, the films holds well enough together for the patient viewer, while sending the unprepared flying backwards off a cliff into the fire pit of Idaho. The major flaw of the film itself is the audio, which has a tendency to waver from mute to deafening within scenes. Despite this minor inconvenience, the film itself is a wonder ride of comic book references and rock culture blended together and served with a salt rimmed martini. The star of the film is Jack Oblivion who plays Blackie. The guy looks and acts as though he sprung to life from a secondhand store and plays a convincing over-the-edge character. The rest of the cast runs the story forward, begging the viewer to pay attention, promising a worthwhile ending. They deliver.

A low budget dream come true, The Sore Losers is just strange enough to be an underground classic and demands the respect of every other independent film striving to offer something outside the boundaries of normalcy.

Your Moment of Insanity:

This guy walks in with a damn duck on his head. The bartender says, "Hey, guy, you got a duck on your head". Anyway, the patron says, "Yeah that might have something to do with the fact that I just fucked your mother."

Things You Should Look Out For:

  1. Mike is a Korean War veteran and a certifiable maniac who receives a blood transplant from a space alien, granting him immortality. He beats people to death with a magical cane and enjoys dressing like Prince. Mike likes classic comic books, x-ray glasses, and digging holes for dead bodies. This makes him the coolest character, ever conceived by the human mind.
  2. If ever you kill someone and hands ascend from the ground giving you a collective middle finger, chances are you screwed up your math. Next time, buy a calculator.
  3. The Men in Black, played by the excellent punk rock group Guitar Wolf, are three Asian guys who drink mystical beer and shoot lasers from their eyes. That just works on a variety of levels.
  4. Pizza delivery boys who survive a massacre go on to become stand-up comedians. This explains the career of Tom Green, who looks as if someone shot him in the face.
  5. Acoustic guitars make unique killing music, but only if you're willing to shove a rolled up independent comic down someone's throat while listening to it.

Movies About Losers:

  1. Say Anything
  2. Kids
  3. Mallrats


Stevehen J. Warren is a trained professional in dealing with the crap society churns out. If possible, do not attempt to engage any crap you may find. He mocks it so you don't have to.

If you have a movie, picture, website, friend, game, book, fan fiction, or toilet you would like me to see, or crap all over, please inform your friendly webmaster and include your name and the name of the crappee. The numbers are open and we have trained professionals waiting to receive your call.



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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On B&N
At Double Dragon