It’s the Liz Tells Frank Very Special Guest Star Anniversary Contest Spectacular!

Dear Frank,

It was upon this day, one year ago, that I first told you about a movie, TV show or book you didn’t want to watch. (It was Tron! Aw, Tron. Good times.)

To commemorate this auspicious anniversary, I reached out to some friends of LTF to help me out with the first ever Liz Tells Frank Contest/Giveaway/Whatever Language Keeps Me From Running Afoul of California Lottery Laws! These fine folk volunteered to tell me about a movie or video game I myself haven’t seen or played: Here’s the twist — our readers don’t get to know what I’m being told about. They instead have to deduce it themselves using only the provided summaries! And the first reader to successfully guess all three will win $20 in Amazon money!

UPDATE: The winner of the contest is none other than Jill Weinberger! Congrats Jill! This post has been updated to include the names of the things being discussed.

So, Frank, please enjoy the efforts of our friends — and here’s to at least one more year of this ridiculous, ridiculous blog.


1. Ben Tells Liz What Happened In Starship Troopers 2

Ben Waters is a writer/director/comedian/editor who also hosts the podcast L.A. Foodie, which is about food and is therefore awesome. You can find episodes featuring, among other things, LA County Fair food and Liz herself here.

Dear Liz,

Let me just give you a big hint straightaway — this movie is a sequel. A sequel that I had high hopes for until I heard it basically went straight to Crackle. What went wrong? Well, let me give you an easily digestible running commentary…

0:00:02 — The opening is a such a half-assed imitation of the original movie, they literally reuse footage from the first one and set it to a ripoff Backdraft score. It’s the kind of opening that makes you go “Oh great. Well, sorry I’m gonna have to do this to you, next hour and a half of my life.”

0:03:00 — Wait, Liz, one of the female leads in this film also played an unrelated character (that literally had her own death scene) in the first movie? There’s a reason they didn’t cast the part of Lando Calrissian with the guy that played Biggs, people.

0:05:44 — The creatures in this movie kind of look like the filmmakers got the graphics files from the first movie, but had to render them on their mom’s old Dell.

0:19:00 — So, this military hero is found in the brig of an abandoned base by some soldiers seeking shelter from a sandstorm (say that 5 times fast). He murdered his superior officer, so they’re not too keen on releasing him… until they’re overrun by monsters and the Kinda-Psychic Girl decides he’s cool. The Hero is such a badass, he almost shoots the Chickenshit Lieutenant for screwing with him, then immediately blows up all the invading creatures.

0:23:00 — The movie’s biggest problem – it traded the original film’s sharp cultural satire for a D-movie monster-onslaught plot. Great move.

0:34:00 — Now suddenly we introduce a stuttering Creepy Bald Guy and a Hot Blonde who just awoke from a coma. They’re up to something.

0:39:00 — Hot Blonde tries to seduce The Hero. He makes her do pushups instead. NO DICE, HOT BLONDE. So instead she gets naked and seduces some other soldier. He convulses and his eyes roll back in his head when they kiss, which I’m assuming means she’s taking over his brain or something (it’s that kinda movie). Then some other guy takes over a girl’s mind with some more smooth making out. Maybe this movie’s just an educational metaphor about how VD is our enemy’s greatest ally.

0:49:40 — Creepy Bald Guy traps another soldier and forcibly vomits a giant spider-beetle into his mouth. I guess CBG wasn’t hot enough to make out with.

0:54:30 — The Kinda-Psychic Girl finally has a vision that some of her co-workers are being controlled by spider-beetles. Sergeant I Died In The Last Movie does not believe her disgraced-psychic ass, however, because 4 real, girl did not even know she was PREGNANT!!

0:57:00 — Creepy Bald Guy’s skull is pulled in half and out comes a big bug. It then dissolves into a bunch of smaller bugs that get into other soldiers’ bodies. Why did they decide to make the sequel into a really shitty creature-horror movie? I’m gonna say there’s a reason the director went back to his career as a famous effects artist after this (HINT, Y’ALL).

0:59:00 — The Kinda-Psychic Pregnant Girl meets with the Chickenshit Lieutenant and The Hero. For some reason, now she appears to be the protagonist. Pregnancy heightens psychic abilities (obvs), so these two dudes believe the girl I will now rechristen the Pregnant Psychic Protagonist (PPP). Regardless, Chickenshit Lieutenant is immediately captured and murdered by the spider-beetle people.

1:06:00 — Sarge IDITLM finally dies in this movie as well, but not before she gets “the bug” which one guy likens to finding god. Here’s an ad for this disaster — IF YOU WANT TO SEE PEOPLE VOMITING BUGS INTO EACH OTHER’S MOUTHS, THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU!

1:17:45 — Even though he was clearly left for dead in the previous scene, somehow it is not surprising when The Hero shows up to save the PPP, nay ALL MANKIND, from the now-controlled-by-spider-beetles-General. After killing another superior officer in the line of duty, The Hero passes up the rescue squad and decides to stay behind and go out fighting an endless monster horde while the PPP escapes to tell his tale.

1:21:00 — Little-known fact, but one of the performers in this movie (a pale imitation of the amazing guy in the original movie), was also involved in the first movie, but in the effects department. Apparently, this guy used his role in this movie to springboard from VFX work into a massive voice-acting career, including a ton of roles in video games based on films where his role was, again, to be a pale imitation of the amazing guy in the original movie.

So really Liz, that’s what it boils down to — the only successful thing about this movie was that, from it, a guy was able to build a successful career being a pale imitation of awesome things. I just made a more effective metaphor about this terrible movie than the movie itself even attempted. KABLAM.


2. Kate Tells Liz What Happened In The Secret of Monkey Island

Kate Cox is one of the web’s smartest video game critics, blogging primarily at Your Critic Is In Another Castle. She helped Liz tell Frank about Mass Effect that one time, remember? That was great.

Dear Liz,

Our hero is a young man, dwelling on a small island deep in the Caribbean, who needs to seek his fortune. This hapless but plucky fellow has a career in mind. He’s a little young, a little confused, and a little rough around the edges (in every sense). His future employers, unfortunately, do not take kindly to his optimism and laugh squarely in his face. Eventually they set him some implausible tasks, with the assurance that should he manage to finish them, they’ll consider bringing him on board.

Our hero is dauntless! He tackles his tasks and along the way meets a very special lady. His high-class lady love is, indeed, quite the catch and attracts the attention of some pirates. Undead pirates. Undead ghost pirates. It’s a problem.

However, love conquers all! Through the judicious application of cannibals, bananas, voodoo root beer, and specious approaches to the laws of physics, evil is vanquished, good survives, and our heroes sail off into the sunset and into the sequel.


3. Miss Scorpion Tells Liz What Happened In Hounddog

Miss Scorpion is a lady of mystery and an actress who has put Hollywood on notice with her cutting reviews of casting breakdowns. Read and learn from Really, Indie Hollywood.

Liz, my dear,

I hope you appreciate what I’ve done for you today. I’m probably flagged on several federal watch lists for having streamed this film.

A scruffy little girl and a little boy run into a clearing in the woods where they negotiate for her to kiss him. We all know how much little boys desire kisses from little girls. She demands to see his penis. Fair trade, right? Little girls love seeing penises. I guess now they are girlfriend/boyfriend?

The girl takes a swig of beer and then performs an Elvis song accompanied by a fairly seductive dance. Later, the girl’s dog attacks a turkey — it’s intercut with her dad and his girlfriend screwing. Is that some sort of metaphor?

In the morning Dad has to shoot the dog, like immediately. To deal with her grief, the girl reprises her Elvis performance alone in a tree. Obviously. Her adult black friend comes up and tells her she should try singing another song, like the blues. But she points out that she is a white person and therefore can’t sing the blues. Obviously. Black Friend is very insightful and points out Elvis sings black music.

Black Friend is basically the most likable and intelligent person in the film by the way. I guess he’s the Magical Black Man in this feature. He tells her that she might have to bury her dreams down sometimes, but to never give up on them. It’s like he knows where this movie is going!

The girl is in the bathtub. I know, pedophiles, this one is special for you. Grammy reminds the girl that boys are evil and she’ll do evil things when she’s older. Then she has the girl stand up in the bath – for inspection? Once again, it makes non-pedos feel really really gross. Thanks director!

When the girl comes to her dad’s with a pile of lemons, the girlfriend is there, with a black eye. When the girl asks where her dad is, the girlfriend says he left the girl and isn’t coming back. The girlfriend invites the girl to bed with her — in a motherly way, pervs. The girlfriend promises she’ll take the girl with her when she leaves. The girl sings her a different Elvis song. She knows two, I guess.

In the morning there is a new milk man — really, a teenage kid. The girl says she’s going to perform for Elvis and proceeds to writhe in the bed singing and flashing her underwear.

Despite her promises, the girlfriend leaves anyway. The girl returns to her moping tree and her black friend comes with more cryptic advice. Something about magical snake people? Whatever, they go back to his barn and see his friends’ band. Girl loves black lady singing!

The kids return to the water. There was way too much time since the last inappropriate image of a minor, so here we are. They kids have a heart to heart about what will happen if Elvis takes her with him. She’s like, ‘I don’t know if you can come with.’ Honest, but cold! Boy understands.

Oh hey, Dad returned. He did bring her back a record, so maybe he’s not awful? But then lightning strikes Dad on his tractor! He’s alive, just really thirsty. And possibly brain damaged.

The girl’s black friend tells her that people struck by lightning drink a lot. He is also milking a snake for venom. It gets loose, but he catches it. Apparently the girl has been misinformed about snake bites. Turns out you should not drink whiskey to cure a snake bite. It will, in fact, speed up the process. She asks Black Friend about sinning and God and Black Friend is full of logic and insight. Thanks Black Friend!

So I guess Dad forgot his name. He’s all sad. So she catches him some lightning bugs. Then he is happy. We can see he’s no longer a jerk because his hair is not slick anymore.

The girl tries to steal money from Grammy for Elvis tickets and lies about it. Grammy slaps her on the wrist.

Walking home, Elvis drives by the girl and blows a kiss. She flips the fuck out. When she gets home, Dad is all sad and makes her promise to stay with her. Buzzkill, dude.

The girl starts withholding playtime until the boy comes up with the Elvis ticket he promised her. Cold!

Oh shit, the boy got her a ticket somehow! Through the milk man/teenaged boy? Ok, awesome! They meet up in the shack in the rain again. The milk boy says he will give her a ticket if she does the Elvis dance. She obliges. Oh, but she has to do it in her underwear? Wait, nope. Naked. Wow. This movie.

And so, she does it. And then she gets raped. And instead of being tasteful and just cutting away, they stay in the scene and see this girl being victimized while the boy looks on. Yeah, so necessary. Thanks again, director.

Here is where the pedophiles turn the movie off, by the way, since they’ve gotten what they came for.

The girl sneaks out to hang out by the Elvis show and watch everyone leave. Oh, now the boy is hangin’ with the older boys. I guess when you are an accomplice to a rape, it wins you shitbird points. But then Dad shows up at the pool hall they hang at looking for the girl. She gets Dad because the boys are picking on him. Well, he did show up yelling without a shirt.

Dad puts on Elvis and dances around, but the girl is pissed and turns it off. This is followed by an exchange where she shrieks that he’s stupid and he shrieks that he can’t stand it anymore. Can’t stand what? I’m not sure. It degrades into indecipherable noises.

The girlfriend comes back to town! Turns out she is Grammy’s daughter! She was in love with Dad, but he knocked up her sister! The girl should be her daughter! She wants to take her away because she “needs something to take care of.” Best reason ever to adopt a kid. Grammy hates her because…? Oh, she’s probably evil. The girlfriend accuses Grammy of wanting Dad for herself. This is a messed up family.

Various scenes of Girl being lethargic and sickly. She throws up, etc. But then her black friend takes her to his barn, because obviously the solution to her problem is… to sing. Yep. But she refuses! No means no, Black Friend!

But he says he’s gotta help her fill her… hole? Oh, like her emptiness. The girl drops the N bomb, but he isn’t fazed and keeps trying to tell her to fight back. Black friend is the best. She’s flipping out, but then she’s crying it out.

They go upstairs so she can sing. But she can’t dance? Oh, wait, she doesn’t have to! She can just stand still and sing. Science! Oh man, is she really singing that same song again? I know she knows at least one more.

The next day Black Friend gives her a rattle necklace, and she finds a puppy on her way home! Oh, and the girlfriend invites the girl to come away with her. The girl goes to tell her dad she loves him. Then she leaves. But we don’t know if she goes with her aunt or not because THE END.

I hope you appreciate my attention to detail here. I wanted to make sure you and your readers could really experience just how gross this movie will make you feel while watching it.

Miss Scorpion


Thanks to our special guests! Now, are you ready to play? If you think you know what all three of these are, email me quickly! To make sure there are no spoilers, I’m going to keep comments locked until a winner has been declared. Happy guessing!

About Liz Shannon Miller

Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor, and has been talking about television on the Internet since the very beginnings of the Internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider, and her work has also been published by the New York Times, Vulture, Variety, the AV Club, the Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She is also a produced playwright, a host of podcasts, and a repository of "X-Files" trivia.

Posted on September 27, 2011, in Movies, Video Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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