Monthly Archives: June 2014

Nate’s Penance: Air Boss II Preemptive Strike

By Nathanael Griffis

On buried cinema we have a simple pick and pair movie system. In order to deter one from picking atrociously bad movies we grade the movies, and at the end of the year the loser incurs the wrath of his fellow pod casters in some embarrassing plight. I have that unfortunate privilege and so must pay my penance. The chosen punishment is simple. I had to purchase one of those ubiquitous Walmart $5 dollar action packs  (which meant I also had to suffer the cashier’s nosey comment of ‘I’ve never seen anyone buy one of these.’), and then in a classic revenge move the podcasters each choose one for me to watch, and they explain what egregious act I did to deserve such chastisement. So, I hand it over to Steve to explain to you his poison.

Steve's Villanelle

And so, I watched Air Boss II Preemptive Strike. It was a professed action movies, starring a supposed actor, directed by a person with a name and camera. It follows the exploits of one Frank White, who’s apparently troubled by some sordid past where he had a Top-Gun-esque training exercise whoopsie. Our hero Mr. White gets tasked with a mission to fly to space and…well launch a TV satellite, because that’s what NASA does. Oh and while he’s doing that behind him in a secret space shuttle  laboratory a bunch of scientist are creating an airborne version of the Ebola virus, because NASA is evil now.  Yep that’s right the only nice branch of the government was jealous that the NSA, CIA, FBI, DOJ, IRS, and any other frightening acronym were getting all the attention, so why not try to break into the biological weapons business.  Then after this is established the baddies sell the virus,  put it on a plane, and threaten stock footage of New York with it. Don’t worry though Frank White and his terrifying flat top won’t stand for this.

Flat Top/High Fade mighty names for mighty hair

Flat Top/High Fade mighty names for mighty hair

Anyways going into this film…hmm I need another word…I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt. Who am I, after such a horrible year of choosing movies, to judge a films caliber. Instead I should assume that since this is the second movie in a four movie series, why they must have gotten something right? It only makes sense, so I decided instead to note what the filmakers do in this movie, and draw the logical conclusion that this is what you need to make a good movie.

So without further ado here is what it takes to make a good movie according to Air Boss II Preemptive Strike

  1. High Top Fades!
  2. Sleeves are clearly the shackles of the bourgeois. Cut them off and free yourselves from tyranny.
  3. Strippers should always quote Nietzsche.
  4. Nietzsche quotes should fly over the lead actors head.
  5. Lead actors should spend 6 visible seconds starring blankly at Nietzsche quoting stripper. This creates a sense of realism. You can really watch him think.
  6. Then disregard Nietzsche quote, and hope your audiences doesn’t check your sources.
  7. Promise zero gravity sex scene constantly.
  8. Parade around host of possible zero gravity sex partners to create a will-they-won’t-they vibe.
  9. Never name possible zero gravity sex partners.
  10. Never show zero gravity sex scene. This will create mystery and in no way be the most disappointing aspect of the film.
  11. Stock footage can be repeated if the audience is distracted by massive high top fades, and promises of zero gravity sex scenes.
  12. Don’t worry about reading a book, watching Apollo 13, or even visiting the Air and Space Museum, you’re a director just make up what the inside of a space shuttle look like. No one really knows.
  13. It takes exactly two people to fly a space shuttle, and one should be a blond woman with no lines, so you think of zero gravity sex.
  14. Slow Mo= Zero Gravity
  15. Wobbly Camera=Zero Gravity
  16. David Bowie Impressions=Zero Gravity
  17. French Miming=Zero Gravity
  18. Place your best music over a button pushing montage.
  19. Buy your uniforms directly from the NASA Visitor center.

    The lower right hand corner is interesting.

    The lower right hand corner is interesting.

  20. Have your protagonist dish out rude sexist jokes constantly, but threaten to shove someone out an airlock when  they call him a jock, because you don’t mess with the high top fade!
  21. All space shuttles should have a secret biochemical warfare lab that you can walk … I mean David Bowie shuffle around in.
  22. Your space mission doesn’t need to take more than 10 minutes. It’s a shuttle, so you know there’s probably a few more trips they have to make. Head home quick now.
  23. Mention laser disk  collection unironically.
  24. NASA security must be the German S.S. Also NASA should have  non military security.
  25. All doctors must cut their sleeves from their scrubs, don’t want them feeling left out.

    Sleeves are for wussies, not fake doctors.

    Sleeves are for wussies, not fake doctors.

  26. Jeeps are not faster than tanks.
  27. Feel free to use the same explosion 3 times in a row directly after the other. No need to change angles the repetition will really sink the point in.
  28. Cardboard dummies with sharpie drawn on faces look real when burning.
  29. Swiss bank accounts can be hacked with by a simple click of  the back slash button and F12.
  30. Use grappling hooks to climb single story structures.
  31. Standard Navy Seal gear means a bullet proof corset and bank robbery ski mask.
  32. Ladies and gentlemen...your Navy Seals.

    Ladies and gentlemen…your Navy Seals.

  33. When you find deadly chemicals, don’t try to remove them yourself. Leave them to professionals. (Huh…that sounds like reasonable smart writing.)
  34. Then after stating that, get in chemical suits and release deadly pathogens on bad guys negating your one smart decision.
  35. While committing atrocities decried by the Geneva Convention, downplay your war crimes by blasting rock music and shooting AK47’s (standard U.S. Navy issue).
  36. As a bad guy always carry belaying equipment, so you can make a speedy getaway three flights up, because if there’s one thing that stops Navy Seals in their tracks it’s stairs.
  37. Show numerous scenes of your lead actor cowering near the only real explosions your movie has. This will create pathos and make him seem more human since the high top fade has made us feel he is somewhat mythic in nature.
  38. If you flip a stretch of frames horizontally and run them again you can double a scenes run-time, neat!
  39. Salt water, i.e. the ocean, which they carefully and clearly explain is mostly salty, will kill, sorry neutralize, or maybe splash, the Ebola virus. Hopefully, splash means destroy, but that’s just part of the mystery like the whole no space sex.
  40. Always do a barrel roll when chasing a bad guy. (Wait that might have been STAR FOX).
  41. A barrel roll can stop a missile from locking on to you, not block lasers like STAR FOX claims, so there’s the difference.
  42. A barrel roll may not actually stop the missile, but is should slow it down, so it takes 3 minutes to hit you.
  43. A barrel roll is the only stock footage you need.

So inconclusion, one barrel roll to rule them all, no zero G sex, David Bowie+Mime+Wobbly Slow Mo = Space, salt water kills all diseases, and flat tops reign supreme. That is Air Boss II Preemptive Strike. 

A Buried Cinema Quick Critique — The Deadly Companions (1961)

By Tom Kapr


This first feature film from Sam Peckinpah shows a director focused on patient storytelling and complex, broken characters, before he fell in love with gratuitous slow-motion, sadistic ultra-violence, and despicable protagonists. Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith, and Chill Wills all give excellent performances. The characters are compelling, Albert Sidney Fleischman’s dialogue is nearly perfect, the story is surprising, and the themes are challenging. Well worth 90 minutes of your time, and a must-see for Western aficionados.


Tom was once a mere temp worker until he was kidnapped by mad scientists and imprisoned on a satellite in outer space where he was forced to watch bad movies with a couple of sarcastic sentient robots. He escaped over a decade ago, yet still he sits alone in a darkened room watching bad movies, whispering wisecracks into the dark. His favorite films include City Lights, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Amélie, Stagecoach, and the Toy Story trilogy. He edits the Rant Pad and the Buried Cinema podcast.