M – “Mac and Me” to “Mystery Train”

MAC AND ME ( 1988 )

MACHINIST, THE ( 2005 )

MALIBU HIGH (1979)

“MANOS” THE HANDS OF FATE

MAY

MEAN GIRLS ( 2004 )
Busty ex-child star Lindsay Lohan (formerly of Disney’s The Parent Trap remake) is a home-schooled misfit returning to civilization after an upbringing in darkest Africa with her crunchy granola adventurer parents. Transplanted to a suburban high school, her looks quickly land her a roll with the popular clique. Unbeknownst to them she’s a turncoat in cahoots with the school queers. What starts as a nasty revenge movie loses its teeth in the last reel. Writer, Tina Fey (who also plays a sympathetic math teacher) is definitely pushing an agenda here, but it works and it’s pretty right-on besides. The entire cast seems to get it and the dialogue is sharp and mostly hilarious. There’s no nudity to speak of but there’s truckloads of double-scoop teen cleavage on display. Mean Girls has more resonate observations about the hell of high school than all of John Hughes’ movies combined.
***

MEATBALLS ( 1979 )

MITCHELL ( 1975 )
Mitchell is no Walking Tall but it has a theme song by Hoyt Axton and a pre-Dynasty Linda Evans doing the nasty with the nap-taking, snack-eating, tough-talking Joe Don Baker as the titular tough cop. Mitchell is like a white shlubby Shaft. The TV cop-drama story revolves around hi-so drug lord, John Saxon, and Baker’s “unconventional” detective who accepts a “date” with whore, Evans, spills beer on her, goes to bed with her and then busts her for pot. Now that’s my kind of movie hero. Father Murphy star and FTD spokesman, Merle Olsen, has a small role as a chauffer.
**

MONDO FRUEDO ( 1966 )
Totally bogus as a mondo movie but it’s still a pretty fun slice of 60s nostalgia. The theme obviously is sex and the filmmakers have really scoured the globe for some wonderful (mostly staged) examples of universal sexuality. Some of the locations are real but could be stock footage. The narration is unobtrusive and straight. There are couples fucking on a beach at night – supposedly caught on secret hidden infrared cameras, but it looks like sepia tones and panning spotlights to me. There is a white slave auction and a black mass complete with a topless sacrifice. Japanese couples enjoy an onstage beating at what looks like an S&M dinner theater. Staged or not, the nudity is real and plentiful. Trivia note: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult has taken lots of audio samples from this movie.
**1/2

MONDO TOPLESS ( 1966 )
Who needs a story when you can run hyper-spastic narration over full-color footage of multiple well-endowed beauties jiggling around to generic surf music? This is probably Russ Meyer’s least ambitious film, but far from his worst (see Blacksnake!). What’s essentially a Playboy home video prototype, MT makes good on the promise of its title. The hilarious narration, all double entendres and illiteration, includes a few words from the featured beauties who wax philosophical on not wearing any clothes. A movie that is strictly wall-to-wall tits certainly has its place and who could be more qualified for the task than Meyer and his sharp eye for shapeliness?
** ½

MONSTER ( 2004 )
A serial killer movie this sympathetic could never be made about a male killer. That said, this is still a pretty great movie. Bassinger-esque Oscar aside, Charlize Theron is good as Aileen Wornov, the john-killing interstate hooker slash serial killer. But she got a Bassinger-style Oscar for a performance that’s good but still vaguely reminiscent of Dennis Quaid’s portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis. Christina Ricci gives the real top-shelf performance. An early rape scene is painful to watch and all of the kill scenes are pretty violent in a really not-fun way. Its explicitness gives it an edge of exploitation, but it feels sincere.
***

MONSTER OF CAMP SUNSHINE (  )

MONSTERS CRASH THE PAJAMA PARTY ( 1965 )
A classic example of the lost art of the “spook show” when industrious movie distributors would road-show gimmicky theatrics to accompany their low-rent cinematic offerings. Often action on-screen would be integrated with planted “actors” in the audience. MCTPP is actually a product of the waning period of this phenom but it’s still a perfect case study for the time capsule. All of that aside, it’s certainly not scary or funny. It’s roughly akin to watching a filmed community theater project, but I doubt that quality was a top priority. Still, there’s enough mad-scientist-man-in-a-gorilla-suit action to help it retain some scrappy charm. For historical significance alone:
**

MOTEL HELL ( 1980 )

MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN

MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: THE MOVIE (1996)


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