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B-Sides

B-Sides: The Day Will Come for the Class of 1999

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How many of you are graduates of the class of 1999? Was your school also under martial law lockdown and your teachers actually military-grade cyborgs reprogrammed for academic professorships? Was “Come the Day” played at your graduation ceremony?

If Roger Ebert put on a film festival for overlooked b-movies, Mark L. Lester’s Class of 1999 would have to be included in the inaugural line-up. Coming out in 1990 during a time in which inspirational movies about the trials and tribulations of inner city school teachers dealing with troubled urban youths (or in the case of The Principal, Jim Belushi doing a ridiculous Walking Tall riff as the badass white high school principal beating up minority drug dealers with a baseball bat), Class of 1999 put a sci-fi thriller spin on the genre by setting things in the dystopian future of 1999 (that year really didn’t turn out so bad in hindsight) and replacing the faculty with Terminator teachers on the verge of going all Skynet on the student body comprised primarily of rival street gangs and rebels without a cause.

The film’s anthem is “Come the Day” by the Scottish musician Midge Ure, his real name being James Ure. His stage name, Midge, is a phonetic reversal of Jim, the diminutive form of his first name. The song serves as a fitting post-mortem power ballad for a movie that ends with teenagers putting aside their differences to fend off an assault by cyborg teachers that have decided “No Child Left Behind” should be in reference to the body count they leave in their murderous wake.

If you haven’t seen Class of 1999 and ever intend to do so, you may not want to watch this custom music video for Midge Ure’s “Come the Day” I found on YouTube since the accompanying movie clips more or less spoil the entire film.

B-Sides:  The Day Will Come for the Class of 1999

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B-Sides

B-Sides: The Talons of the Eagle Challenge

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B-Sides: The Talons of the Eagle ChallengeThis weekend’s B-Sides is the theme song to the 1992 direct-to-video action movie Talons of the Eagle. This song is not for your listening pleasure. This song is a dare – a challenge. Can you listen to the whole thing from beginning to end?

I have never seen Talons of the Eagle. Kind of surprising given it starred Billy Blanks and I was all about those cheesy direct-to-video action movies around the time this came out. The Devil’s Rejects‘ Priscilla Barnes co-stars, and here’s the plot according to the IMDb:

After three DEA agents are killed by Mr. Li (James Hong), martial arts champion Tyler Wilson (Blanks) is sent on assignment to Toronto and teams up with Michael Reed (Jalal Merhi). Wilson and Reed enter a martial arts tournament, where they end up saving Mr. Li from being killed by a rival crime boss. Li invites the two to join his staff. As Wilson and Reed get closer to the truth about Li’s operation, they gather the needed evidence but will have to escape Li, alive.

I stumbled upon this B-Sides by complete happenstance when I went to YouTube and decided to see what would come up if I typed in “Worst Movie Theme Song.” Is this the worst movie theme song of all time as the video’s upload page proclaims? Probably not. But it certainly makes a compelling argument.

You have been warned. Do you dare listen to “Talons of the Eagle” from the motion picture Talons of the Eagle? And if so, will you last all two and a half minutes before deciding your ears have suffered enough?

B-Sides

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B-Sides

B-Sides: Sing a Song of Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century

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B-Sides: Sing a Song of Yeti, Giant of the 20th CenturyPrepare for the most indescribable theme song to a schlocky European b-movie since Yor, the Hunter from the Future! Prepare to witness more Yeti crotch than the eyes can handle! Prepare for the theme to the 1977 Italian-Canadian King Kong knock-off Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century!

One of the most entertaining bad movies of the 1970’s, Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century is an Italian production shot in Canada and then badly dubbed into English that was designed to piggyback off the success of the previous year’s King Kong remake.

Watching Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century is like watching King Kong after licking too many toads. The monster is an actor with an extremely expressive face attired in a fur suit with a head of puffy hair that would make Tina Turner proud.

Thawed out from several millennia of sleep, the Abominable Snowman bonds with a boy, develops the hots for a girl, becomes all the rage in Canada, and earns the wrath of the energy cartels after his likeness becomes a financial boondoggle for a jolly oil baron. While the “8th Wonder of the World” on film has climbed up the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, and even Tokyo Tower, when the “Giant of the 20th Century” goes berserk, he climbs down the tallest hotel in all of Toronto.

I consider it something of a travesty that Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century has been allowed to fall into the crevices of cinematic obscurity. You listening, Shout Factory? This one has everything: an old scientist who dresses like “Where’s Waldo?”, a billionaire who looks like Norm from “Cheers” dressed like old school Doctor Who, a mute kid, Lassie, highly-paid corporate assassins that seem more like small-time crooks from a Seventies cop show, giant phone booth mid-air monster defrosting, fishbone hair brushing, hotel rooftop photo ops, elevator yo-yo’ing, death by toe jam, fake monster foot fu, out of scale models, terrible green screen effects, even worse dubbing, some of the greatest movie monster facial expressions of all time, and more Yeti crotch to fill the screen than you ever thought one movie could deliver.

It also has that special something that elevates any b-movie to the upper echelon of schlock: an unforgettable theme song.

How does one even describe the Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century theme? Part of the difficulty stems from not even being entirely sure what the lyrics are much of the time. The music itself – what style of music is that? Hasidic disco? Performed by a band created specifically for the film appropriately named The Yetians; the only thing about this group I am certain of is English cannot possibly be their first language.

You can thank (or blame) me for the music video accompanying this indescribable song. I set out to string a series of scenes together to try to tell the story of the movie in order; and without even trying, somehow, some of the movie moments I chose strangely sync up with the song, even if only ironically.

B-Sides

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B-Sides: It’s Yor’s World! He’s the Man!

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B-Sides: It's Yor’s World! He’s the Man!Yor, the Hunter from the Future isn’t just a bad movie; it’s that special breed of stupendously fun bad that leaves a lasting impression, and nothing about Yor left more of an impression on me than its astounding, borderline incomprehensible, rock anthem theme song.

Reb Brown looks more like Fast Times at Ridgemont High’s Spicoli than any sort of prehistoric barbarian, running around the land before time in furry boots and loin cloth, setting out on a journey to learn the truth of his lineage.

In between romancing a sexy cave girl and a sexy space girl, Yor’s quest for fire will see him battling dinosaurs, Neanderthals, Dark Helmet look-a-like cyborgs, and futuristic spacemen living on an Atlantis-like island ruled by a goateed man in a black cloak called The Overlord, whom York eventually kills via impalement with a piece of a giant candy cane.

People always talk about how Hollywood should remake bad movies that possessed the elements needed for a good movie rather than constantly redoing great, classic movies that still hold up. Yor, the Hunter from the Future is precisely the kind of movie Hollywood should be remaking. You’ve got cavemen, spacemen, sorcery, dinosaurs, spaceships, laser guns, Vaderoids, and a hero who uses a pterodactyl as a hang glider. What more do you need?

How about one of the greatest bad movie theme songs of all time? Yep, you get that, too.

“Yor’s World”: the nearly indescribable, almost indecipherable Euro-Turkish rock anthem that opens and closes the movie as well as constantly heralding Yor’s triumph throughout the film in ways typically reserved for a b-movie soundtrack composed by Queen. What modern band could do justice to this song if ever there were a remake? Muse, perhaps? I’m drawing a blank.

Watch the video below with the lyrics included and marvel knowing those are the actual song lyrics and not the product of a new “Bad Lip Reading” video.

B-Sides

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