Sunday, October 16, 2016

I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990) and Vehicles in the Sunday "Bad" Movies

This is going to be a shorter post than normal.  The weekend that this post is coming out is a weekend where I will be going away for a wedding.  I’m not going to have the time or patience that weekend (next weekend as I’m writing this) to edit a long 2000-3000 word post.  Luckily, I have a topic that shouldn’t take too many words to discuss.  I will hammer this out in no time and I’ll be able to edit it just as quickly.  I’m sorry if you expected more, but that’s how it is going to be.

The movie I chose to watch for this post was the British horror comedy I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle.  The name basically says what happened.  Noddy (Neil Morrissey) bought a motorcycle.  It was haunted with a vampire spirit.  The motorcycle killed people.  Noddy enlisted the help of a priest (Anthony Daniels) to defeat the monstrous machine.  Meanwhile, a detective named Cleaver (Michael Elphick) was investigating the murders.

I’ve gone into a lot of topics throughout the four years that I’ve been writing these posts.  There are certain topics that pop up time and time again.  This week, the topic that came to mind was how movies are titled and what that can do to expectations.  I’ve covered that topic before.  I wrote about that exact concept when I watched Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.  The name of the move gets you excited and the movie can never live up to your own personal hype.  I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle had a similar feel, though it was much better than Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.

Due to the repetition of that topic, I had to find something else to write about.  There is a notable vehicle in I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle.  Why not write about notable vehicles in films?  That would take forever.  Again, I don’t have the time for that.  I like the topic though.  I’ll narrow it down a little bit.  There have to be some notable vehicles that I’ve seen in the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  I could go through those and examine how they affected the movies.

I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle
People like when something like a car or city feels like a character.  In this case, the movie legitimately makes the vehicle into a character.  The motorcycle is the villain.  It was a Norton Commando that drove around at night and murdered people.  That’s as important a character as a vehicle could be.  Okay, second most important.  Another movie with a killer vehicle, Christine, actually named the machine.  There was no name for the vampire motorcycle.  It was just a motorcycle possessed by the spirit of a vampire.

Attack of the Super Monsters
This was an English-language adaptation of a Japanese show, dubbing over the Japanese footage.  It was like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, without the American footage.  As such, there were monsters that needed to be defeated.  Vehicles helped in the fighting.  One vehicle was a hovercraft.  The other was a jet with a drill on the front for attacking and digging purposes.  The characters could combine the vehicles to make something more destructive, but frequently had them apart to fight the monster and help people at the same time.  The vehicles were as integral to the battles as the characters who piloted them.

Old. No 587: The Great Train Robbery
The movie is named after the vehicle, so you can be sure that the vehicle was important.  The entirety of the movie was spent getting the train from one place to another so that it didn’t get scrapped.  Nothing was more important than the train.  It was the story.  Without the train, there would be no story.  It looked like any old steam engine.  It was nice to look at.

This movie was about a driver who had to do the bidding of a villainous man on the other end of a phone connection.  Along the way, he gained a sidekick and they worked together to survive the game they were forced to play.  The car was an important part of that, as it was their connection and their weapon.  It was a Shelby Mustang, which is a pretty solid car to watch.  Getaway did well with the vehicle and the action, though the movie was not great.  The car though… That was one nice car, and one that got a lot of spotlight.

Batman and Robin
Batmobile.  Robin’s motorcycle.  Batgirl’s motorcycle.  Mr. Freeze’s whatever it was.  There were a lot of vehicles in Batman and Robin that needed to be memorable.  As Chris O’Donnell once put it, the movie felt like a toy commercial.  Everything was designed to be sold as toys.  That doesn’t mean that the vehicles weren’t important to the story.  The motorcycles were important to a Robin and Batgirl subplot about their rebellious nature, since motorcycles are rebellious.  Batman also always has a Batmobile to help him fight bad guys.

Die Another Day
There was an invisible car!  Do I need to say much more about this one?  James Bond went to see Q and was happy to find an Aston Martin Vanquish.  That’s a James Bond style of car.  But the car had sensors in its paint that could make it unseen by anyone outside.  It was an invisible car.  It was involved in chases and it could sneak up to ice palaces undetected.

The final vehicle is the car used in WolfCop.  It began as a beat up, old-style police car but got some upgrades when the main character became a werewolf.  It was painted black and with a W on the hood.  It became more of a battle car than an old, worn down junker.  It was a manifestation of the character’s change through car form.  It grew with the driver.  And it was badass to watch.

There are other vehicles that I debated adding.  Again, time won’t allow me any more depth.  I thought about putting the horse from Winter’s Tale in here, but that’s an animal, not a machine.  The boats from both Anaconda and Cabin Boy were also considered.  Above is the final list that I chose to go with, so that’s that.

Vehicles can feel like characters in movies.  Sometimes the story hinges upon the vehicles.  Sometimes the characters are attached to the vehicles in a way.  There is travel in movies and something needs to carry a person from place to place.  Without vehicles, many of the movies were know and love wouldn’t be possible.  Sometime in the future, I hope to go deeper into the idea of vehicles in movies.  Until then, I leave you with this surface level post.
Here are some notes:

  • There were a lot of movies mentioned throughout this post.  I mentioned Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, Attack of the Super Monsters, Old No. 587:The Great Train Robbery, Getaway, Batman and Robin, Die Another Day, WolfCop, Winter’s Tale, Anaconda, and Cabin Boy.
  • Have you seen any of the movies I mentioned?  Were there any vehicles from the Sunday “Bad” Movies that I forgot?  How did I forget to mention Death Race?  You can discuss any of this garbage in the comments section.
  • I am always looking to discover bad movies I don’t know.  Let me know about some.  Tell me on Twitter or in the comments.  I like being suggested movies to watch.
  • If you want to see me put clips of bad movies on snapchat, find me with the username jurassicgriffin. Sometimes there’s other stuff, but it’s mostly bad movie clips.
  • Next week’s movie is going to be something called Octaman.  I have absolutely no idea what it will be about.  I haven’t seen it yet.  I’ve never seen it.  It’s going to be a fresh viewing of a bad movie.  Come back next week and I’ll have a post for you to read, too.

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