In 1989, a movie so so abysmal was made in Oregon that writer and film critic David Walked dubbed it “The Curse of ‘Homer and Eddie.'” Essentially he said that “Homer and Eddie” was the point where Portland cinema went from 80’s independent cool to Hollywood tax shelter garbage. So does it deserve that criticism? Join us as we finally sit down to experience this pile of cinematic nonsense, starring Jim (oops…I mean “James”) Belushi as a mentally enfeebled man and Whoopi Goldberg as a mentally ill woman (?) on a cross-country trip to our very own Oregon City. “A chore to watch!” – some Amazon reviewer
Fresh off the heels of the Portland Tonya Harding Film Festival, we invited John-Ryan Griggs (the director of the festival) to talk about the two movies shown: a 1986 documentary about a then 15-year-old Harding working toward her first Nationals, and then a 1996 “action/thriller” called “Breakaway,” which features Tonya in a smaller role. One of these movies was really good; the other was a flaming pile of garbage. Can you guess which is which? Let’s do a triple axle into the cinematic world of Portland’s own Tonya Harding.
Going into this podcast about movies made in Portland, we knew that there would be more bad than good. But never could we imagine just how bad it could be. Insulting, joyless, trite, inexplicable, nonsensical, indefensible, and a slap in the face to art and humanity. Siskel & Ebert called it the worst comedy they had ever seen. So what happened? What’s going on? Who is this movie even for? Join us as we demand answers.
Don’t forget to check out our map, where I’ve added 7 locations from this movie, and a bunch more from “The Hunted.”
We had high hopes for this kung-fu action movie, from the same director as Bruce Lee’s classic “Enter the Dragon” and the so-bad-it’s-good classic “Gymkata,” and starring Bruce Lee’s cousin Britton Lee and martial arts movie hall-of-famer Bolo Yeung. So did we discover a cult classic diamond in the rough? Or is it another victim of the “Portland Movie Curse”? Join us as we get to the heart of this filmed-in-Portland movie.
Portland locations in the movie (see their locations on the master map):
Recorded live at the Hawthorne Theater at the First Annual Portland Podcast Festival, we take a mini-look at the 1996 Chuck Norris masterpiece “Forest Warrior,” filmed around Mt. Hood and Hood River. It’s a crazy movie in which Chuck Norris is a literal, eternal shape-shifting forest spirit protecting Native American land. It’s Goonies meets Animorphs meets Captain Planet meets Chuck Norris stopping a chainsaw with his bare hands, and it’s pretty amazing. (The whole movie is up on YouTube), and it’s definitely worth a watch!” Thanks to Jason Lamb and Greg & Sarah of Funemployment Radio for putting on the festival. It was amazing, and the crowd was fantastic. Enjoy!
“The Devil’s Keep” is writer/director Don Gronquist’s 1995 follow up to “Unhinged” (see previous episode), and if you love real-time YouTube how-to videos, mixed with mute, albino, geriatric, female Nazis, then this is the movie for you. Filmed in Portland, it’s the story of two high schoolers following a series of puzzles leading to “The Devil’s Keep” — hidden Nazi gold. So is this movie gold? Find out on this episode of “Portland at the Movies.”
Portland location screen caps. See full intereactive map at PortlandAtTheMovies.com/map.
It’s a Halloween Double Feature as we sit down to watch two horror movies filmed entirely on location at Portland’s Pittock Mansion. “Unhinged” is a D-Grade 1982 slasher flick (with very little slashing, and a lot of people taking naps), and the 1989 made-for-TV-movie “The Haunting of Sarah Hardy,” starring Sela Ward and Morgan Fairchild, and Morgan Fairchild’s shoulder pads. Join us as we dissect these would-be thrillers.
MOVIES WE HAVE ALREADY DONE (link goes to episode): Halloweentown The Hunted Dr. Giggles Free Willy Breaking In Fatal Revenge Total Reality Extraordinary Measures Kansas City Bomber Portland Expose Haunting of Sarah Hardy Unhinged CURRENT…
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of “Portland at the Movies,” we watched all 3 sequels to the movie that started it all: “Halloweentown.” Join us as we slog through these terrible Disney Channel movies. Join Todd, Mark, and Brian “The Unipiper” Kidd as we try to make sense out of 3 movies that make no sense. Trick or treat!
Travel back to a time when men were wiseguys, women were “B-girls,” and vice came in the form of flipperless pinball machines. In the mostly forgotten noir film “Portland Exposé,” based on a pictorial spread about true-life vice in Portland’s in a 1957 issue of LIFE Magazine, you get all of that, plus Frank Gorshin (“The Riddler” in the 60s Batman TV series) as a child predator, and some amazing shots of Portland in the late 1950s. Don’t be a hophead – take a listen.
Filming locations for the movies covered on “Portland at the Movies.” Continually updated with each new episode. Click each marker to see a photo of that location from the movie, and expand the map to…
In 1972, Raquel Welch came to Portland and made a movie in which she played a “Jammer” on the Portland Loggers Roller Derby Team. So naturally they called the film “Kansas City Bomber.” Anyway, join us as we take a look at the first major motion picture filmed completely in Portland. Spoilers: there’s a reason you’ve probably never heard of this movie.
How did the city look? Here are some screen shots:
“Extraordinary Measures,” the 2010 Portland-filmed movie starring Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, and Keri Russell, works on several levels: a dull one, a tedious one, and a crotchety one. “Inspired by true events,” this movie is like overhearing someone mumbling a conversation about the exiting world of bringing a new drug to market. That being said, talking about the movie is infinitely more funny and interesting than actually watching it, so join us as we discuss just what “Extraordinary Measures” measures up to.
Be sure to visit www.PortlandAtTheMovies.com for the visuals of how Portland looks in the movie.
“Total Reality” is a bottom-shelf cocktail made from the discarded parts of a SyFy channel movie, Back to the Future, Terminator, and clown makeup. Written, produced, and directed by the same guy who did last month’s movie (the bonkers “Fatal Revenge”), “Total Reality” has some great parts (the space battles looked good; the lead actress was great!), but in the end, it feels like a slapdash and incomprehensible slurry of ideas from other, better movies.
You can watch the trailer and full movie for free on YouTube (link after visual aids).
“Fatal Revenge” is a wonderfully terrible action/taekwando/b-movie wonder filmed in 1989 in Portland. Never released in the US (for good reason), we tracked down a copy in German, and it was well worth the effort. The film also features Portland writer/author David Walker (find his fantastic comics and novels here), who gave us lots of behind-the-scenes info about this gloriously terrible romp through the seemingly unregulated world of making movies in Portland in the 1980s. The 5-minute promotional clip below is a great start, and if you want more, you can search for “Fatal Revenge German” on YouTube. It is 100% worth it.
“Breaking In,” a 1989 filmed-in-Portland movie starring Burt Reynolds, is technically about robbery, but in reality it’s just a complete mystery. Siskel & Ebert loved it. So did “Rolling Stone.” And it currently has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. All of which is completely befuddling, considering that this is a movie in which nothing happens, the characters don’t learn or grow, and there is a seemingly purposeful deflation of any and all tension throughout the entire movie. It’s also the reason that nobody has ever heard of this movie, filmed in various parts of Portland. Join us as we search laughter, larceny, and loot in this 1989 movie starring Reynolds and Casey Seizmesko.
Ah, the early 1990s: when foster children roamed free, Michael Jackson still inspired us, and a whale named Keiko swam into our collective consciousness and became a temporary resident of the Northwest (before we kicked him out to sea and he died, but that’s a different story). Join us as we dive deep into 1993’s “Free Willy,” a surprising amount of which was filmed in Portland proper, as well as Astoria, Oregon, and starring Michael Madsen’s furrowed brow. [insert Willy’s crying noise here]
And don’t forget – Portland at the Movies is now a part of the fantastic Funemployment Radio Network, featuring such great podcasts as Funemployment Radio (voted Best Podcast in Portland in 2016), Geek in the City, and more. Check them out – they’re awesome!
Is it possible to write a movie whose dialogue consists solely of ham-fisted doctor puns? Is it necessary to film an entire movie in a tiny park in unincorporated SW Portland even though it mostly takes place indoors, and Oregon is never even mentioned or seen? Why does this movie even exist? Join us as we demand answers from the 1992 horror/slasher film “Dr. Giggles,” the first movie production of Portland’s own Dark Horse Comics. [Insert medical pun here]
What do you get when you mix 3 respected Oscar winners and one of the most beautiful cities in America? In the case of “The Hunted,” sadly, you get crap. But boy was the crap fun to talk about! Join us as we discuss this 2003 made-in-Portland movie, starring two main characters who hate to talk, emote, or follow the rules of actual time. Come for the stick smelling, stay for the smelting! Enjoy!
Portland at the Movies is a hilarious new podcast that takes an in-depth look at some of the questionable movies made in and around Portland (think How Did This Get Made with movies filmed in Portland). Our first episode centers on the made-for-TV Disney Channel movie Halloweentown, filmed in St. Helens, Oregon. Join us for a funny look at a deeply confusing Halloween classic, where we discuss everything from a little town’s inherent cruelty towards children to the nonsensical monsters and characters that inhabit Halloweentown.