Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Munchie

Munchie (1990)/ Munchie Strikes Back(1992) Jim Wynorski director

Review by William Wheaton




What do you get when you use a producer best known for horror (Roger Corman) a director best known for soft-core pornography and horror (Jim Wynerski) and an actor best known in recent years for being caught in the whole Pellicano wiretapping scandal (Andrew Stevens), and have them do a family film?
Munchie and its sequel Munchie Strikes Back Are these two of the worst films of all time? It could be someone’s opinion, but they have a definite curiosity value. The 80’s saw an incredible wave of monster movies featuring small monsters- Critters, Ghoulies, Gremlins, and even Hobgoblins. I am a huge fan of this genre, but I have never made it through legendary b-film producer Roger Corman's Munchies form this period. In the early 90’s, soft core and horror super director was tapped to put together Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back, which are only in some vague sense sequels to Munchies. Munchie is more about a single creature with magical powers and more so a good guy. That puppet sucks. The crappiness of the puppet used in Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back makes these films. The original Munchie has Don DeLouise, a terrible actor you’ve at least heard of. Munchie Strikes Back not even. Actor Andrew Stevens, who later became a producer, is near and dear to my heart, as I saw him testify at Pellicano where he admitted to using Pellicano to tap his business enemies phones. In Munchie Strikes Back he plays an evil business man, oddly enough. He plays unrelated villain characters in these two films.
That wacky Munchie, magical powers, and he loves pizza. He started all the great civilizations in human history, but he’s more then happy to help a growing boy in need, which is the basic plotline of both Munchie films. Pre-adoloscent male, learning about girls, family problems, little league in the second one, and Munchie is on the case of helping the boy with his problems. Munchie is wish fulfillment. That wacky Munchie just waves his hand, and magically makes the pizza fly. Trouble with girls? Family problems? Munchie to the rescue! On the topic of wish fulfillment, director Jim Wynorski is famous for his unbelievable fetish for large breasts, which is even evident with the actresses in the Munchie films he did. But what really stands out to me about these films is the shitty puppet. When they try and make that thing dance or move it just looks wrong. No budget special effects on these. Then of course like many family films there are over sentimental heart-to-heart sequences with Munchie offering advice on the problems of growing up to the young boy. This is car wreck cinema- you won’t be able to take your eyes of the mutilation. But my faithful readers may ask, why Munchie now? Is Munchie the allegorical figure of the desperate idealism of Williamsburg hipsters fueled on brown Puerto Rican cocaine, electro clash and expensive MFAs from Cologne and lower east side douchebag artists, writers and curators? Isn't that what you all pay for? Well, I myself am a libertarian conservative connected more strongly with the Libertarian Party or Ron Paul then to the Constitution Party or the Evangelical end of the Republican party., but I did find this intriguing interpretation of Munchie on a Christian website, which argues surprisingly well that Munchie is satanic:

http://www.movieguide.org/reviews/movie/munchie.html

Munchie Strikes Back has become hard to find and expensive when you do. There is a version on YouTube with Russian cheaply dubbed over it but if you turn up the speakers you can still hear the original English. The alternative would be to spend a lot of money in order to see Munchie Strikes Back, something I can’t be held accountable for encouraging. If you get a kick at all out of watching bad movies and laughing at them, then Munchie is not to be missed. Munchie Strikes Back is very similar. In that inverse way Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back are good movies.

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