Really Awful Movies: Ep 191 – Solarbabies

Solarbabies. A box office mega-bomb that burned out in the 80s, but which we hope to revive today, so that modern audiences can warm to its cheesy (and multi-faceted) pleasures. Made on a budget of 26-27 million, this made back a mere smidgen of that, at best. And it was critically lambasted almost universally.

However, it’s a future wasteland / post-apocalyptic movie. And we’re all about those, on the Really Awful Movies Podcast. It’s such an inane, yet fun, genre.

Solarbabies refers to a gang of good guys…roller blading good guys…who compete in a post-apocalyptic sport not unlike lacrosse, called “skateball.” And to endear them to the public, the Solarbabies are…orphans…But it’s worse than that. They’re doomed to a labor camp life, under the jack boot and watchful eye of a bunch of evil no-goodniks called, The Protectorate. These guys control all the world’s scant water resources. And they’re mean and nasty.

And it’s ultimately up to the Solarbabies, to try and get control of the water back, so that it can be more broadly distributed to what’s left of humanity. Why is this film called Solarbabies, you might ask? Good question. It’s about water. It should’ve been called Aqua Babies.

But that’s neither here nor there. Solarbabies also features a deity of sorts…a glowing orb that has mystical powers. It bears many of the genre’s hallmarks, but is highly unique in that it’s very PG, has barely any violence, and is…pretty chaste.

Really Awful Movies: Ep 190 – The Stepfather

The Stepfather is a unique horror / thriller, featuring an amazing performance by Terry O’Quinn.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a discussion of the long-lasting appeal of The Stepfather, how we came to have it cross our radar, and the phenomenon of depicting divorce and blended families on television in the 1980s.

The film, directed by Joseph Ruben (who most will know from his work behind the camera directing Sleeping with the Enemy and Money Train) is an understated, low-key flick with a few over-the-top moments of inanity. Still, there’s much going for it (solid performances and a killer score) and it inevitably spawned countless sequels.

In a suburban enclave in Washington State, we see button-up business man Henry Morrison (O’Quinn). He washes off blood in a bathroom, cleaning up the aftermath of a crime scene.

This is before changing his appearance (snipping off a ratty beard) and putting his belongings into a suitcase, and tossing them into Puget Sound.

After packing his things, Henry leaves through the front door of his house, nonchalantly passing the butchered remains of his family in the living room. One year later, Henry — now operating as an uber square real estate agent named Jerry Blake in the suburbs of Seattle — has married the widow Susan Maine. And Maine has a teen daughter, Stephanie.

The relationship between Steph (Jill Schoelen) and new dad Jerry is strained to say the least.