The 5 Most Bad Ass 'Versus' Movies Ever Made
Good news everyone! With the new Ring movie coming to make you afraid of watching VHS tapes again, assuming you can find some at the flea market, word is that we're getting a U.S. release of Sadako Vs. Kayako. I didn't just have a seizure, those are real words and the characters from the popular J-Horror franchises The Ring and The Grudge. Yeah, someone Freddy Vs. Jason-ed them and made a movie. And that made me reflect on just how few VS movies we get to enjoy in this neck of the woods. In fact, aside from Freddy Vs. Jason and a few ancient Godzilla flicks, can you remember the last time you saw a VS movie? Well get out those Betamax players because I have five (six) badass versus movies you're going to want to see.
Airplane Vs. Volcano
That this is even a thing is baffling in the way that finding change in your stool is baffling. If you've never shat a nickel this might be falling on deaf ears, but if you have then you totally know what I mean. It's a method of transportation vs a static piece of geological phenomenon. This is like your cat vs. philosophy or karate vs. the sound the guy next to you in the bathroom is making. You can't just pick two nouns and have them face off.
Or can you?
Naturally this movie stars Dean Cain, because after playing Superman on TV in the '90s he was contractually obligated to play literally anything for the rest of his life. Is he the plane in this movie or the volcano? Let's watch and see!
Turns out Dean Cain is a passenger on the plane while the volcano is just a massive pile of CG smoke destroying Hawaii. Also, four minutes into the film a lady on the plane looks at another passenger and says "Hank, right?" like she recognized him, only for the other shoe to drop and reveal these characters have never met and she just decides he should be named Hank. Is that a thing that happens in real life? Or just in the volcanoverse? In any event, I like her moxie.
Ten minutes into the movie and HOLY SHIT WE'RE FLYING A COMMERCIAL JET THROUGH A GODDAMN FIRESTORM!! IT'S HELL ON EARTH PLEASE FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS! This is more intense action than you'll find at a back alley fight over a stray dollar bill. It's like if boners and Christmas joined forces in a flaming apocalypse and tossed in Dean Cain for balance. Surely they'll fly over the volcano in a matter of minutes, right? Wrong, aerospace bitches! The flight is locked in an autopilot loop because reasons and we're never leaving this ring of fire!
Wait, did that poster have the balls to tell us this was based on a true story?
This flick is chock-a-block with action -- a dude gets hit by a drink cart, Dean Cain has to force his hand into a small space, some asshole on a rope made of seatbelts gets eaten by an engine, and about 40 volcanoes appear from nowhere in about 30 seconds. Also, the same scene of a fireball falling towards the plane is used at least six different times. Not a similar scene, the exact same scene. And why not? When you have crackerjack special effects like this, no need to switch shit up.
In the end you can rest assured that plenty of planes fought plenty of volcanoes and some military guys who are really terrible at first aid rip the burned flesh off of some dude's arms by accident. A good time is had by all, except the scorched dead.
Dollman Vs. Demonic Toys/Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys
Who are you going to get to fight a bunch of toys from hell? A priest? A guy with a garbage bag to pick up the toys and throw them out? Fuck no, fool. You get a tiny man with guns and/or other tiny toys. Sometimes with guns. And, to a lesser degree, Corey Feldman. Ascension Millennium to the rescue!
These two movies should probably get some kind of Criterion Collection release or a Blu-ray loaded with special features, all of which are just the movies over and over again. Maybe with a commentary track by Feldman. Or, if I may be so bold, by me just watching the movies again and loving every minute of them. They feature a foul-mouthed baby doll and a killer jack-in-the-box. This shit is gold.
If you can't tell, that's basically the robot baby from American Sniper flipping you off.
Now you may be thrown off by the fact Dollman is only an hour long and literally half of this is background explaining the previous movies the characters appeared in, but that just means the next half hour is all very tip-top shit. A robot and a killer GI Joe fighting a tiny, alien police officer in some duct work is the kind of thing you can't get wrong. Also a lot of really off-putting sex jokes from a baby doll.
Puppet Master is just over an hour and offers up the acting chops of Corey Feldman who defies expectations by never even trying to seem plausible or believable. It's like he's daring you to continue watching him and you will, if only to get to the next fart joke, of which there are several.
Dollman has a little more salt on it than Puppet Master, which seems to have been made for TV. Dollman busts out the F-Bombs (that's "fuck" to you and me) and also dedicates considerable airtime to an attempted toy rape, which is something probably no one ever needed to see. There's also an evil little person in it. Like, all the people in it are little, but one of the handful of regular-sized people is a little person. Did that makes sense? It does in the movie.
Or maybe it was all the acid I was on. Hard to be sure.
In terms of plot we're not quite at Shakespeare level but let's just say Shakespeare-adjacent. In Dollman the toys want to resurrect a demon and a cop enlists the help of Dollman because he's short. That's actually what happens. In Puppet Master an evil toy maker plans to end the world on Christmas because why not? Lucky for the world Corey Feldman and his gargling-marbles voice have four sentient puppets who engage in a three-minute fight scene with the demonic toys at the end of the film, thus justifying the cost of admission. Also there's an iron maiden with both an automatic and manual crank. Not too shabby.
Komodo Vs. Cobra
The year is 2005. The action is made for TV. We waste no time with characters or story development as the movie leaps into the fray with people being chased by a bus-sized Komodo dragon in desperate need of a veterinary dentist. Despite being shot point blank about a dozen times, it still eats a guy. I realize this lizard is big, but it's elephant big, not Beatles big. How did it become bullet-proof? No goddamn time for questions; it's hungry for the flesh of man!
A man and a woman escape the terrible Komodo by swimming somehow down a waterfall? Anyway, that doesn't last long when one of those nefarious giant cobras surfaces and eats the son-of-a-bitch. Oh shit! Roll opening credits and clean your shorts!
Immediately vow to learn computer animation so something this terrible is never created again.
The film stars Jerri Manthey. Does that name ring a bell? Of course it does, she was on Survivor season two. Balls to the wall, this movie has it all. If only Trump made a guest appearance as some kind of giant sloth ... but why fantasize when the reality is so badass?
By ten minutes in we've met seven characters, each of whom has a unique personality trait. One is a smug asshole, one is an idiot, one is a dipshit, one is a chucklefuck, one is a bonehead, one is a moron and one is Jerri Manthey. She immediately makes a Gilligan's Island joke and that feeling you feel down south is the first stirrings of a movie boner.
Ooooooh, Jerri Manthey.
The action takes place on a forbidden military-controlled island. You know how the military likes giant reptiles. Our heroes are treehuggers who go to the island to expose ... something. They don't know what, but man, it's probably something. Genetic stuff, probably. With corn and monkeys. Just go with it.
How tough is the cobra in this? It gets shot over 50 times (from the same roomy, bullet-filled gun) and that doesn't even stop it from eating a dude at the same time. Bullets mean nothing! Reptiles are king! But more monstrous? When the boat captain says "goddamn" he's literally censored by a squawking parrot. Self-censoring jungle sounds in a movie? That's shit even Michael Bay wouldn't think of. Also, the tough-as-nails heroine has the voice of a Care Bear. Bold casting, Komodo Vs. Cobra.
Cockneys Vs. Zombies
There are a hell of a lot of zombie movies out there right now from Santa Claus Vs. The Zombies to MILFs Vs. Zombies and the only one you really want to spend your time on is Cockneys Vs. Zombies because it's the only one that pits elderly British people against the undead. It also leaps into action and then opening credits on the strength of the song "Monster" by the Automatic, which is awesome.
So what's the point here? A zombie outbreak screws up a bank robbery and also an old folks home. If you ever wanted to see an old-school slow-shamble zombie chase an old man using a walker in an even speed match, this is the movie for you. It also features old people using automatic weapons and more cussing from an Englishman than a Gordon Ramsay LARP. They have those, right?
Get the hell out of my kitchen!
The English are a fascinating people that really mirror Americans in so many ways. For instance, that upper class snooty New England accent is a lot like Heightened Received Pronunciation, which is your standard Downton Abbey sort of accent, and then your Alabama hillbilly drawl is pretty much the U.S. version of our Cockney friends, just this side of unintelligible and sounding vaguely made up. If this movie had been made with a bunch of Cumberbatches no one would have given a shit.
Helen Keller Vs. Nightwolves
This movie is a goddamn masterpiece. Why isn't this thing required viewing for schoolchildren? The true story of how Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing is way more amazing than you would have guessed and features probably the best wolf effects and needless cussing since The Monster Squad.
The story is a classic -- Keller's parents are murdered by wolves before dinner. Helen and her brother and sister survive, but the town think they're assholes because the blind and deaf are assholes. Not my opinion, just how the story goes. Barry Bostwick plays a drifter/furniture maker who knows how dangerous the Nightwolves are and knows they will come back. Who can save the townspeople who don't believe man-eating wolves are really dangerous? A deaf and blind girl, that's who. Because reasons.
Extremely over-dramatic reasons.
How badass is this movie? "Fuck me squatting gently in a rain forest" is part of a dinner conversation. Also most of the wolves are stuffed dogs that crew members are throwing from off screen at the actors. Also Helen is covered in blood for about 95 percent of the movie and there's a commercial for a law office forced into the middle of the film literally for no good reason. This is the kind of shit that would bring M. Night Shyamalan back into form if he had the balls. But he doesn't.
Think Nana and Pop-Pop's loving 60-year monogamous relationship is quaint and old-fashioned? First off, sorry for that disturbing image, but we've got some news for you: the monogamous sexual relationship is actually brand new relative to how long humans have been around. Secondly, it's about to get worse from here: monkey sex.
On this month's live podcast, Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, podcaster and author of 'Sex at Dawn', onto the show for a lively Valentine's Day discussion about love, sex, why our genitals are where they are, and why we're more like chimps and bonobos than you think.
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