Why Does It Exist?








June 2013
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Director Philippe Martinez made a pretty OK Jean-Claude van Damme movie and an awful movie where Val Kilmer locks people in a sauna, so he’d already be a shoo-in to appear on Why Does It Exist? if his very first movie wasn’t a mindbogglingly terrible semi-satire starring Jerry Springer and Armand Assante. Citizen Verdict is a dizzying, bone-headed exposé of reality television that’s kind of halfway between The Running Man and being so high that everyone in Florida suddenly sprouts garbled South African accents. I’m joined by Floridian Skyler Bing AKA Skyluur Bing AKA Jacques Lutin as we dull our senses with a nonstop barrage of yelling and yellow filters.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_059_-_Citizen_Verdict.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am EDT

The Pacific Connection is the classic tale of a man who has two sticks and an overwhelming desire to whip bad guys in the nards with them. This weirdly enthusiastic Filipino martial-arts movie is a veritable who’s-who of actors who’d do anything for a paycheck (and by that I mean mostly Dean Stockwell) furiously furrowing their brow while a shirtless guy attempts to whack them senseless. It’s almost bad enough to be fun, but also filled with repetitive and mindless fight scenes and a weird blind hippie who stumbles around giving people healing herbs (OK, that last part is pretty cool). Despite being obscure enough that I had to whip out the VCR to watch my copy, it’s actually available in full on YouTube - I’m almost certain that whoever holds the rights to this won’t mind or notice.

WDIE old-timer Michel Thiffault-O’Narey is back to witness the carnage and be extremely uncomfortable about what he perceives to be my cultural insensitivity about a movie where shots to the balls are the stuff of high drama. Although his band The Hot Showers is no more, you can get their final EP here.

Music this week provided by FRIGID. Their song ‘Flesh’ off the upcoming double album ‘Violence of the Heart’ be found here.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_058_-_The_Pacific_Connection.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

Low-budget LA-set crime movies starring also-rans and never-weres are pretty much the death and taxes of Why Does It Exist? They're plentiful (if not downright plague-like), dependable and almost always exactly as bad and soul-sucking as they look. This week's culprit is Venice Underground, a kind of Melrose-Place-meets-Miami-Vice turdburger that sees five hotshot young recruits attempt to dismantle a convoluted and poorly-sketched drug empire in Venice Beach. There's a mole, a hardass captain, Danny Trejo as a guy named Uncle Papi, a particularly haggard stripclub scene and various disorenting shootouts. The usual, basically.

Joining me this week is Cult MTL screen editor (AKA boss lady and Alex puppeteer) and comics artist Kayla Marie Hillier. You can read some her musings here, her Cult MTL material here and see her Twitter here. 

The song this week is provided by The Hydrothermal Vents. The song Inside a Movie can be found here. Keep your eyes peeled for their appearance at the POP Montreal festival as well as their upcoming full-length due out later this year.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_057_-_Venice_Underground.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28pm EDT

The summer is humid and gross in Montreal, causing hundreds of thousands of people to stop everything they’re doing in order to drink beer all the time. It’s under the influence of this disgusting, thick, sopping humidity that we soldier on, sweating profusely and hydrating irresponsibly. I’m joined by past guest David Bertrand (formerly of Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre) for a viewing of famed animator Ralph Bakshi’s only 100% live-action film, The Cool and the Crazy.

A stilted remake of a forgotton drive-in movie, The Cool and the Crazy was part of a film series called Rebel Highway that updated 50’s teen films for cable, using the talents of contemporary directors and up-and-coming casts. The Cool and the Crazy is one of the more bizarre efforts due to its unconventional talent (it remains Bakshi’s last film to this day) but is unfortunately a giant load of garbage.

Music this week by The Hot Showers. You can find the song ‘House of Games’ on the Bobby Burns 

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_056_-_The_Cool_and_the_Crazy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

Demolition University is the sneakiest kind of Why Does It Exist? movie: a covert sequel to a movie that would itself qualify for the show, wrapped in enigmatic, shape-shifting poster art that never quite gives an accurate picture of what lies beneath. Yet another half-assed would-be franchise starring a Corey, Demolition University is not about demolition or university, but rather about plucky football player slash dork Corey Haim as he foils an attempted terrorist attempt on a water plant. Laraine Newman is the harried teacher caught in the middle of it all while Robert Forster (not yet benefitting from the push of a Jackie Brown, it seems) surveys the situation world-wearily.

Past guest Arnaud Audette joins me for a viewing of a movie with a truly transcendent approach to cover art.

Music this week provided by Alligator Baby. The song Calling Confidence can be found on their new album, The Cool Side of the Pillow. They will be launching the album on July 6th at O Patro Vys in Montreal – check out their Bandcamp page for more Canadian tour dates.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_055_-_Demolition_University.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

We love unnecessary sequels here at Why Does It Exist?, and we particularly love sequels to movie we have not seen nor have any intention of seeing. Yet when my guest Lucy KiMusic parissis chose Like Mike 2 from the pile, I must admit I was a little surprised. Even in the realm of straight-to-DVD sequels to movies that no one understands, it’s the underdog. It’s also, from what I can gather, exactly the same as the first movie, except it centers on the murky concept of a kid getting magic shoes and playing STREETBALL as opposed to basketball.

Joining me this week is the aforementioned Lucy Kiparissis – you can hear her read out community announcements on CJLO 1690 every two hours, but she told me not to plug that.

Music this week by leamers. The track ‘Don’t Look Down’ off their MAGIC, YO EP can be found here. You can also catch them perform as part of Fringe on June 8th

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_054_-_Like_Mike_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08pm EDT

It sounds like it could be the perfect Why Does It Exist movie: an unholy convergence of dated post-Tarantino hipdom, a washed-up cast at various levels of career trauma and the strained comedy of a first-time open mic-er. Despite being about the bloody battle for a priceless Native American artifact waged between Elvis impersonators, crooked cops, unscrupulous casino owners and Christian Slater, Guns, Girls and Gambling is the perfect example of Why Does It Exist? flying too close to the sun. It is painful despite the presence of Gary Oldman as Elvis, whose presence is offset by Chris Kattan as a gay Elvis impersonator and Dane Cook as a cop who chews a lot of gum.

Shawn van de Peppel joins me as we sink deep into the convoluted waters of Guns, Girls and Gambling. Listen to the end for an exclusive announcement of something that may or may not happen.

Music this week by Trade Secrets. The song ‘Nocturnal’ off their EP No Relation can be found here.  

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_053_-_Girls_Guns_and_Gambling.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21am EDT

In 1973, a little movie called The Sting made a lot of Hollywood fat cats a lot of money. As with most runaway successes, it gave the fat cats a great idea:  replicate that movie’s success by giving the people more of what they had purported to like. Putting silly bowler hats and frilly dresses on the biggest stars of the time and have them cavort n big, expensive sets to jaunty piano music became a disturbing trend at the time and audiences stayed away in droves.

Possibly the most expensive and laborious of those failures is Harry and Walter Go To New York, two hours of family-friendly, old-timey entertainment that nearly sank the studio that made it even though they’re reportedly the ones that cut the jokes out of it. Regardless of who wins the blame game, Harry and Walter Go to New York is the extremely unfunny story of how two mediocre vaudeville performers (played by the notoriously rubber-limbed physical comedians Elliott Gould and James Caan) attempt to beat the world’s most prodigious bank robber (Michael Caine) at his own game with the help of a plucky dame (Diane Keaton). It’s sort of like Lucky Lady without all of the mismatched orgy sequences and the half-hour boat chase.

The result is tedious as all hell, so I am joined with Why Does It Exist?’s crown prince of tedious pedantry, Mickey O’Narey (formerly of Mickey’s Corrections). You can catch Mickey and his band, the Hot Showers, as they launch their latest EP at L’Esco on June 15th.

Music this week is provided by Bodyshakes.  The song ‘Buoyfriend’ can be found on the RRRAAH EP, available for an amount of your choosing here. You can also see them perform at Gerts Bar in Montreal on May 4th.  

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_052_-_Harry_and_Walter_Go_To_New_York.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:48pm EDT

I use highly unscientific methods to find movies for the podcast; they often entail clicking every single link on a washed-up person’s IMDB, only to discover that the choicest morsels are impossible to find. The discovery of someone like Nico Mastorakis is a true delight, then;  a man with a formidable output of hot garbage, all of which have somehow made their way to DVD (as part of the Nico Mastorakis Collection, no less) and all of whom featuring colorfully terrible casts and dubious concepts.

The Naked Truth lifts its plot from Some Like It Hot, its sense of humor from a four-year-old’s misconstrued image of Airplane! and its cast from Hollywood Squares for 93 truly dreadful minutes of minor celebrities getting hit in the balls, 90s models bopping around in neon thongs and the most belabored Casablanca parody ever put to film. Unsurprisingly, The Naked Truth was released directly to Cinemax; surprisingly, it has way less nudity than befits a film with that kind of release.

Joining me in the torture is Shawn Stenhouse, who despite his protests to the contrary is a standup comedian that people watch make jokes on a regular basis. He’ll be appearing at Burritoville on April 26th.

Café Racer’s In ‘n Out is the featured song this week. You can find on their Apollo EP here – Café Racer will be appearing at Crobar (1221 Crescent) in Montreal on April 27th.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_051_-_The_Naked_Truth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50pm EDT

When trying to find a movie that would fit in with my guest’s sensibilities this week, I came up with pretty simple criteria: it needed to have a rapper or a pro wrestler in it. Surprising, Wrong Side of Town does one better: it has both. Unfortunately, this does not make it better; evidently, the number of wrestlers and rappers is inversely proportional to the quality of the movie. Sentient ponytail Rob van Dam stars as an ex-Navy Seal who accidentally kills a non-threatening crimelord’s brother and finds himself running all over town, protecting his family from bad guys (including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him appearance by Ja Rule) with the help of tiny-machine-gun-toting military buddy David Bautista.

A whole bunch of jumping and confusing car chases ensue in this limp Taken-ish action movie for which I am joined by Navid, host of the Apartment 6 podcast and member of STK. Navid is all over the Internet in various permutations, so follow him.

The featured song this week is STK’s ‘We Good’ featuring Sius Clay off their album Status Update. You can purchase it through iTunes here. Keep your eye out for the upcoming video!

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_050_-_Wrong_Side_of_Town.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT

There are only a dozen movies that Woody Allen appears in as an actor without having any creative input behind the scenes; of that dozen, almost half are throwaway cameos and supporting roles. Picking Up the Pieces breathes pretty rareified air, being one of a handful of movies that The Bespectacled One appears in a leading role in; too bad it happens to be an enormous sack of crap, a Day-Glo hallucination of a dark comedy filled with recognizable faces and very few recognizable jokes.

David Schwimmer in various states of undress! Sacrilegious jokes! Elliott Gould doing a weird German-Mexican accent! You can’t go wrong. Or you can go very wrong, depending on the way you look at this. Film critic / boy wonder / Fantasia programmer Ariel Esteban Cayer returns for a rootin’, tootin’ good time!

Music this week by We Were Not The Savages. You can find the track Let’s Talk About Me and You at their Bandcamp page and catch them when they launch their self-titled EP at L’Esco in Montreal on April 6th.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_049_-_Picking_Up_the_Pieces.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT

A half-assed attempt to put Burt Reynolds in another iconic franchise role, Malone has The Mustachioed One traipsing around the Pacific Northwest with his shirt half-buttoned while attempting to take down a vaguely Mitt Romney-esque villain (played by Uncle Ben from the first Spider-Man movie, Cliff Robertson) with vague nefarious plans. He drives to and fro, sometimes getting into altercations. Suffice to say that this was not enough to make Malone a household name. Comedian and journalist Walter Lyng (of Go Plug Yourself) joins me for a short and sweet  analysis of a movie with very little plot, lots of hair and at least one gross underage kiss from Burt.

Music this week provided by Dany Laj & The Looks. The song Take It Away off their EP Telepathic Voices can be found here. You can catch them tonight at Barfly in Montreal and at 3030 Dundas St. W in Toronto on March 29th, 2013.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_048_-_Malone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT

The hallowed tradition of FeBURTuary seems as good as time as any to return from the will-they-won’t-they hiatus of the last few months. We are back with a rig that doesn’t sound like a lawnmower and a bevy of Burt movies for your listening pleasure. First up is Crazy Six, a post-apocalyptic (in name only) science-fiction (in name only) thriller in which a shabby junkie (played by Rob Lowe at a very confusing time in his life) is pitted between a couple of European monarch gangsters (played by Ice T and a flamboyantly pimped out Mario van Peebles, who speaks most of his lines in French).

Burt appears throughout as a good-ol’-boy cowboy/cop who’s somehow found his way to a job in bombed-out Eastern Europe. It sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Well, if you were thinking ‘I really wish that a boring junkie movie like Candy was set in a vague science-fiction dystopia’, have I got a movie for you.

Returning as a guest this week is Cult MTL’s screen editor, Malcolm Fraser.

Music this week courtesy of Karneef. The track ‘Space’ off the album In Error can be found on Karneef’s Bandcamp page. Many apologies to Karneef for taking a hiatus in the middle of saying I would play the song.

Direct download: Why_Does_It_Exist_-_047_-_Crazy_Six.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT