Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: St. Ides High Gravity Malt Liquor

“Beware the Ides of March” is about as sound advice as I’ve ever heard, but it’s that bullshit kind of advice that no one in mythology or Shakespearean plays ever heeds.  Should one also “beware the St. Ides of High Gravity Malt Liquor?”  That’s the question I’m going to attempt to answer, but based on conversations I’ve had with people that read my previous beer reviews (e.g. Big Flats 1901) the advice will go unheeded.   In fact it seems like the more I rip on a beer, the more people “just have to try it” for themselves.  Look, these reviews aren’t gospel or anything, but I drink a lot of this stuff so you don’t have to.  Do yourself a favor.

Heavy metal and Catholicism together at last
Speaking of gospel, I’m a practicing Catholic and I don’t remember very much about St. Ides.  I did a little research and I was literally shocked to discover that St. Ides was a real Saint from around 570 AD and not just made up by some ad execs.  St. Ides is credited with several miracles including the gift of prophecy and her feast day is the 15th of January.  The Ides of January!  Actually the Ides of January falls on the 13th, but still I think the prophecy angle and “Ides of January” thing ties in pretty well with the themes I established before I even looked at wikipedia.  What I still can’t figure out is what St. Ides has to do with High Gravity Malt Liquor or the big angry Rottweiler on the can.

Notice the infinity
The dog looks pretty angry.  Mad even.  I wonder if Pabst Brewery was trying to cash in on the Mad Dog 20/20 craze.  I don’t know if it’s a craze exactly, but when I went to a gas station in East St. Louis they had every flavor of Mad Dog a man could want (except for BLT flavor goddamnit!)  The Rottweiler has a can of St. Ides in his mouth, which unfortunately features the old St. Ides’ artwork.  I think it would have been pretty cool if the can in the dog’s mouth had a picture of a dog with a can in his mouth that had a picture of a dog with a can in his mouth and so on and so on to infinity.  The can also says “Hold It Down!” in big red letters with an exclamation point, which has to be one of the stupider catchphrases ascribed to a malt liquor, and that’s saying something.

Ice Cube would never sell out!
If you go to the St. Ides official webpage you won’t find a damn thing.  Either massive internet traffic overloaded the servers, or Pabst didn’t feel like spending the $20 a year in hosting fees.  Although, they have spent money promoting St. Ides in the past.  Over the years St. Ides has been endorsed by a number of famous rappers, including Ice Cube, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, the Wu-Tang Clan, the Notorious B.I.G., Eric B & Rakim, Cypress Hill, Method Man, Redman, and many more.   If they could get Ice Cube to give up Olde English for St. Ides this stuff must be really good, or maybe they just paid him a lot of money. 
In the movie Troy Rose Byrne played Briseis, cousin of Paris and Hector.  The next reference ties in with the classic Greek epic and not that terrible movie.

Beware of rappers bearing strange gifts.  St. Ides has kind of gross fruity smell.  One whiff and I immediately regretted buying a whole 4-pack of tall boys.  It tasted similar to Coqui 900 with a stronger fruit flavor, and a slighltly weaker greasy fried chicken aftertaste.  It tasted kind of gross even cold, but as it warmed up it got to be gag inducing.  Overall I think it tasted slightly better than Coqui 900, it certainly sat better.  I didn’t feel like I was going to puke when I got done.  It might not be that much better than Coqui, but at 8.2% ABV you don’t have to drink as much to get drunk.  It’s certainly head and shoulders above Steel Reserve and if I was a homeless wino St. Ides would definitely be my “high gravity” malt liquor of choice; however as a landowner I will never touch this shit again and I’m not looking forward to finishing what I have.
Now you know what happens when you google "sexy hobo"

As Nostradamus said, “the great one will cause it to be dragged in iron cage, when the German child will observe nothing.”  This is clearly a warning that Obama is the anti-Christ* and that you should also avoid the St. Ides of High Gravity Malt Liquor.  You probably won’t get stabbed by a bunch of dudes in togas, but after drinking St. Ides you might wish that you did.  Heed the words of the soothsayer (me) or you might get a really bad headache.
This image might not give you a headache but it's certainly kind of unsettling

*I’d like to welcome all the members of the John Birch Society that stumbled on my blog googling “Obama anti-Christ.”  Rest assured I hate commies too, and witches.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Top 10 Video Game Movies: Part II

The long awaited sequel to my Top 10 Video Game Movies Part I.  Sorry about that, I've been working like crazy lately.

5. Streetfighter

Kylie Minogue, star of Streetfighter the Movie and many impure thoughts
I can still remember going to the movies to see Streetfighter and melting Starbursts on the theater’s floodlights while I waited for my mom to pick me up.  Streetfighter came out in 1994 which made me 11 years old, their target demographic: old enough to love violent action movies but too young to see rated R movies.  The fact that I saw this movie twice in the theater is all the move impressive considering I made like $5 a week at the time.  Years later I saw this movie for $5 on DVD and bought it for my future wife as part of her birthday present, she was less than thrilled.  Streetfighter is about Raul Julia trying to take over the world, leading a mercenary army of stupid henchmen.  The only man that thwart these dark designs is, you guessed it: Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Jean-Claude plays Guile: an American soldier with an American flag tattoo, and Jean-Claude speaks English like old people fuck.  It’s kind of a stretch.  The rest of the characters are taken from the 30 or so iterations of Street Fighter II, even Cammy (played by Kyle Minogue in some awesome short shorts) has a fairly sizable role.  My only real beef with the movie, once you get past all the stupid implausible parts was Blanka.  Blanka was always my favorite character; with his green skin, electricity, and ability to bite someone’s fucking face.  Blanka spends the entirety of Streetfighter watching a different movie on some VR goggles, which were all the rage at the time.  He doesn’t bite nary a face or even bust a bunch of barrels.  Lame.
Defender of world peace or as Guile would say, "whirl-ed piss."

4. Doom  
Second best actor from the WWF after Rowdy Roddy Piper

Why don’t they port Doom to the PSN and X-Box Live?  I don’t think it would be hard to do and I would totally buy it.  This has nothing to do with the movie, but goddamn I love that game.  I guess that’s part of the reason Doom the movie is so high on the list.  They do make some drastic and unnecessary changes to the plot of the game.  In the game, humans discover warp pads on one of the moons of Mars.  As humans experiment on these pads they accidentally open a gateway to hell.  A lone Space Marine must fight Cacodemons and save Earth.  The movie added a bunch of scientific gobblity gook in an attempt to make a sophisticated horror/action/sci-fi movie like Aliens.  They should have just stuck to the original plot (dudes killing hell monsters) and made a sweet straightforward action movie like Predator.  It was still a pretty sweet movie.
My favorite part of the movie

3.  Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Different movie same idea
I decided when I started this list that I would include only one movie per franchise, lest the list fill up with Resident Evil movies.  Cradle of Life is better that the original Tomb Raider for a myriad of reasons.  The first of which being that Angelina Jolie doesn’t stuff her bra in this one.  I have no problem with actresses getting fake tits, but a padded bra?  How old are we? (Personally I haven’t stuffed my bra in years.) The first Tomb Raider movie included Lara Croft building and fighting robots in her own house for no goddamned reason while listening to one of U2’s worst songs.  Taking that into consideration the second movie still manages to be ten times sillier and therefore better.  Consider the part when Lara Croft gets trapped fathoms deep under the sea with no oxygen tank.  She does the only logical thing: cuts her hand to attract a CGI shark, punch said shark in the face and grab on to its dorsal fin as it races to the surface for some reason.  She doesn’t get the bends or anything.  Plot wise it’s pretty similar to the first movie; Jon Voight’s daughter must jet set around the globe with her huge boobies to find a magical treasure.  Shit writes itself.  Watch out for snakes.
If you don't want to see the movie after looking at this promo pic I guess I should mention that Gerrard Butler is also in the movie, because you probably aren't into the ladies.

2. Resident Evil
"Exactly what it looks like."

I describe this movie as “exactly what it looks like.”  Most people say to this, “well I think it looks stupid.”  You know what?  You’re stupid.  To me Resident Evil looks like a movie about a supermodel killing zombies, and I was not disappointed.  I never played any of the games, so I have no idea how close the movie follows the source material.  The plot was kind of convoluted and goofy, and Resident Evil is a Japanese game to it might be very similar.  On the other hand, there are no schoolgirls getting tortured to death by perverted old men so it might have nothing to do with its Japanese roots.  I had a tough time deciding which Resident Evil movie to put on this list.  In the end I decided to pick the one where Milla Jovovich shows her lady parts.  I’ve had a huge thing for her since I saw the Fifth Element in the theater at the age of 14, so I was able to get past her hospital gown and shaved head and concentrate on her nakedness.  That kind of mentality is what separates men and women, and separates Resident Evil from the other movies in the series.
This was the closest I ever came to buying a copy of Maxim

1. The Last Starfighter

The game that never was
I realize this movie wasn’t actually based on a video game, but it should have been.  The movie was practically a commercial for “The Last Starfighter Videogame.”  The credits even promised a forthcoming game produced by Atari.  Sadly, it never came to pass.  If you’ve never seen the film it’s about a guy in a trailer park that gets the all time high score on a spaceship arcade game, but it turns out that aliens made the game to find someone that could be a really kickass starfighter pilot.  Every nerd’s gamer’s fantasy, right?  The characters were great, especially Robert Preston as the Centuari; the guy who invented the videogame as a get rich quick scheme.  Lance Guest was also good as both the protagonist Alex, and the protagonist’s robot decoy.  The dialog was pretty awesome too:
When I saw this as a kid I was like, “holy shit that was awesome.”  Rewatching this movie in my late 20’s I concur with my earlier sentiment.  The movie also features some early CGI, alien bounty hunters (Sweet!) and flying cars.  A really enjoyed this movie. 

I guess that’s a pretty good way to wrap this list up, with a movie that isn’t actually based on a videogame.  But what does it all mean?  I guess if this list proves anything it proves that there’s a serious lack of good movies based on videogames.  If this list proves anything else I guess it proves that I’m a sucker for hot babes.  I mean, House of the Dead?  That movie sucked.  Oh well, back to the shitty beer.
Goddamn you House of the Dead, and your sexy ladies!