Monday, March 31, 2014

Phantasm II (1988)

After some scenes from the first movie to provide some back story (and I'm not sure how much sense they'll make if you haven't already seen the first film), Phantasm II picks up right where the first movie left off, and then jumps eight years into the future. Mike has been in a psychiatric institute because he won't accept that everything that happened was in his mind, not in real life.  So Mike finally figures out that if he plays the game and goes along with what the psychiatrist says, he can get out of this place.

Once Mike is out, he starts digging up graves to prove that the Tall Man really does exist. Reggie doesn't believe him until Mike foresees an accident that kills Reggie's family, at which point the two go on a road trip to find Liz, who he's never met.  Though not explained, Mike has a psychic connection to Liz, who is around his age and is believes the Tall Man is coming to get her.  Mike and Reggie are out to save Liz and stop the Tall Man who is roaming the country causing destruction
  
Phantasm is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can't remember which of the sequels I've seen, but remember being disappointed in them.  But this DVD is a Scream Factory release (part of Shout Factory who are one of my favorite labels), plus a friend of mine said this was his favorite Phantasm film.  So I figured I'd give it a chance.

This one doesn't have the charm of the first Phantasm, or the creepiness. When I first saw Phantasm, I was really creeped out, but this one didn't really break any new ground. They've got the flying spheres, the Tall Man, the little hooded creatures, and Reggie, but a different actor plays Mike. James Le Gros does a great job, but it's not the same. Also the movie veers off at one point to focus on Liz for awhile, leaving Mike and Reggie behind.

Perhaps if Phantasm weren't one of my favorite movies, I'd like this one more.  It's fairly thin on plot, but it's not a bad movie and it keeps you entertained.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wishmaster 3 : Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001)

College student Diana is a research assistant for her professor and while waiting for him in the museum lab, opens a package which contains an artifact.  Examining it, Diana finds a secret compartment containing a gem. Unfortunately for Diana she has just released the Djinn, who will give the person who freed him three wishes.

For some reason the Djinn doesn't appear immediately, and the professor ramps up the awkward by getting all pissy after Diana rebuffs his advances and leaves. Shortly after this, the Djinn randomly shows up asking for her and when the Professor can't help, the Djinn threatens him and then grants his wish, which backfires terribly.  Unfortunately for the viewer, the death isn't clever and makes no sense.  Where's the clever twist? Where's the bad pun? It's just here's your great wish, oh now you're dead, let me steal your face, now everyone will think I'm you and I can do evil.

Diana is a pretty good student so she figures out quickly that the Djinn is not her friend and his wishes aren't something to use. Legend has it that when the third wish is granted, the gates of hell will open up and unleash evil on Earth.  Since Diana won't succumb to his threats, the Djinn starts killing anyone close to her. This leads Diana to wish for help from arch angel Michael who proves to be incredibly inept and is a waste of a wish as he's apparently the least competent angel since all he tends to do is get beaten up.

This is a movie all right, and that's about all you can say. People do stupid things and so does the Djinn.  Since Diana never leaves campus, why can't he ever locate her?  And why doesn't anyone ever wish the djinn would drop dead, or cease to exist?  Or why doesn't anyone ask for a wish for something good and add a caveat that the wish can't be twisted into something bad?  Or why not just wish the Djinn into a rock that he can never escape from and no one will ever find, and then shoot it into outer space?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Attila (2013)

The military grab a box containing the riches of Attila the Hun,  and trouble comes a-knocking at their door in the form of an invincible growling son of Attila.  Hijinks ensue.

Things go terribly wrong when the box is brought to a military lab staffed by a man with no concept of how to handle ancient artifacts. The man and his supervisor open the box without benefit of masks, respirators, or  gloves.  There could be toxic mold or fungi, and you don't want to touch or breathe that stuff.

Our idiot lab guy examines the item, which appears to have a face (although no one notices this), and makes the even bigger mistake of poking and prodding the thing with his bare fingers.  Sigh, he's putting his fingers into the pointy teeth area of the face and trying to pry the thing open... oh, there we go!  He's cut himself and the blood is dripping into the things mouth.  That's a sure fire way to bring something evil to life and you can guarantee whatever it is will try to kill everything it sees.

Soon the raging son of Attila, in a cheap mask, is walking and running all over the place, while the military tries to kill him. But bullets can't harm this supernatural creature so they've got their work cut out for them.  Listen as the Attila monster screams "Rarrrrr" repeatedly, and the leader of the military unit throws out cliches such as, "I didn't sign up for this."

The film consists mostly of the military chasing the monster Attila and failing. The end involves a secret government project gone wrong, (doesn't it always).  It's another Asylum production which follows the formula of great concept but boring execution.  The biggest question I have about this movie is how does ancient son of Attila monster man know to cut the gas line and brake line on the Hummer to disable it?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Parasite (1997)

Incredibly bland and bearded Professor Richard Austin teaches a college class that is never defined, but involves him showing slides of elephantiasis. We know he's got a good reputation since he has a published textbook in this mystery field, and the Dean wants him to write a proposal for a grant the college just received.  He's also engaged to Aubrey, a woman who looks much younger than him, so he's got that going for him.

John Wilson,who appears to be the resident Professor of Paranormal Studies, invites Richard over for a dinner party where he's going to show off his newest paranormal find.  When Richard arrives, he's introduced to Helena Voyich, a bland middle aged woman with orthopaedic shoes and a quad cane, who claims to practice mesmerism, a lesser known offshoot of hypnotism. Richard is not impressed.

However the next day Helena proves her powers of mind control  by getting Aubrey to visit Richard to break their engagement (and then have no memory of their meeting). Skeptical no more, Richard meets with Wilson to see if they can work with Helena to research this new, exciting, unexplored, upcoming field of paranormal study - unlike Richard's undefined boring old area of study which has something to do with parasites and ballooning body parts.

In need of an unbiased subject, Richard nominates himself and Wilson agrees.  This doesn't seem to be the best way to collaborate on research. If Richard is the subject then there's no way for him to observe the experiment, make sure it follows scientific protocol, or provide unbiased observations or conclusions, but what the hell.  I'm sure everything will be fine. It's not like Helena might fall in love with you, try to take over your mind, and make you do horrible things if you reject her.

The study proves to be a touchy subject when another professor whose had interactions with Helena  says, 'I hear you're being experimented upon by Ms. Voyich," to which Richard flips and states that he is in fact doing the experiment, not being a guinea pig.  Oh poor deluded Richard, something must be broken in your brain.

Oh yeah, this experiments about to get all bent out of shape when Helena goes rogue and does her own mind control, which crazy Professor Charles has tried to warn Richard about, but it's too late now.  Richard's starting to act strange, has vacant eyes, sings Itsy Bitsy Spider during class, and ignores his fiance. And Wilson's out of town for a week, so what kind of valid data collection process do they have when the Mesmerist is running the experiments? Sounds like a 1800s seances and ectoplasm is right around the corner.

So many questions..... why would Richard allow himself to be Helena's subject when he knows she can control others minds?  If he's trying to get the grant, then why did he volunteer to be a subject since grants aren't awarded to participants?  Why is he so willing to jump into the paranormal research field at the expense of his own experiments, especially since he scoffed at the field up until a short time ago?  Why didn't Wilson include Richard's name on his proposal? And what the hell is Richard's actual field of study?    

Awkwardest of all colleagues
Doesn't every college have a major in Paranormal Studies?
Nothing unnerving about this look.
Cross? Candles? Why does this seem so evil?
Do they really need to shoot up his nose for research?
Well that isn't how this was supposed to end.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ashes (2011)

Little Jesus is wandering along the beach when he decides to play with a washed up jellyfish. Not a good idea since those things can mess you up.  His illegal immigrant family drops him off at the emergency room where he collapses in front of all round good guy Dr. Stanton.

Stanton tries to help Jesus, but can't figure out what is wrong with him.  I'm not sure how easy it is to diagnose a jellyfish sting, but  I guess it must be difficult since Stanton decides the only way to cure Jesus's mystery ailment is to inject him with the experimental vaccine he's been working on.  Granted the vaccine is for Aids and it's still in the trial stage with one patient, but what the heck, may as well see if it can save the kid with the unknown illness.

This proves to be a bad move since the injection causes an  immediate reaction when Jesus clamps his teeth down on the Doc's forearm. Jesus needs to be forcibly removed from Doc's arm and begins to convulse while Stanton rethinks giving Jesus the shot.  The next day the nurse lets the Stanton know Jesus passed away during the night.

Stanton's not down with that, since now he's got to worry that someone will discover he gave the kid  an experimental Aids vaccine which is sure to figure into his demise.  Stanton's already overworked and ignoring his family due to long work hours, plus the experimental research.   And it doesn't help that he's starting to feel woozy from the bite on his arm, which is looking worse and worse. Oh yeah, and he's starting to hallucinate and have nightmares about the kid.

This is a zombie movie in name only.  Stanton keeps getting worse and bodily fluids can spread the virus. So as people get sick, they bite each other and it spreads further. There's also a subplot about the government and their interest in Stanton's research, which as you can imagine is not in the public's best interest.  Dr. Stanton is played by Brian Krause, who I always think of as the guy from the 1992 Stephen King movie, Sleepwalkers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Leeches (2003)

The swim team are riding high on their most recent times at practice and head off to hang out at the pond with their girlfriends. Someone mentions that the pond has leeches but no one seems very concerned about it, which is kind of strange.  Steve-o, who talks about himself in the third person, has been supplying some of the guys on the team with steroids.  So those in the know are certain they can win the upcoming meet.

When Steve-o and Jason notice they have leeches on their backs, they knock the bloodsuckers onto the shower floor, where the creatures sit until someone shoves them down the shower drain. Yuck.

Later one of their teammates slips in the shower and hits his head, knocking him out cold.  The drain cover rattles and a giant leech makes it's way from the drain into his pliable, unconscious mouth. There's certainly nothing gay about that, or about giant leeches crawling over your buttocks, up your legs, or touching your face.  Turns out the leeches from the pond have grown to the size of hand puppets due to the steroid laden blood of the swimmers.

With the swim meet coming up the next day, Steve-o goads Tony into downing a bag full of steroids to catch up to those who started using earlier.  Since it's hard to swallow all at once, he has Tony wash the pills down with alcohol. This doesn't seem to be in anyone's best interest, and wouldn't you know it, Tony ends up dead after being attacked by leeches.  No one shall ask how his cause of death was drowning when he was found splayed on dry land.

Like most of David Decoteau's films, this one has a lot of lingering shots of guys in tiny swimsuits, shirtless, or in their underwear. The difference with this film is there is actually a reason for them to be wearing swim suits.  The leeches appear to be puppets, sort of like leech oven mitts, and there is an unnecessary twist ending.  Also at one point someone bites into a leech and chews a big hunk of it while grimacing. If it's so bad, then why not spit it out? No one said you had to eat it, ya dolt.

Ridiculous dialogue:

"Trust Steve-o, okay?"  Steve-o's catch phrase

"Your grandfather could even do better than that ,and he's dead." - swim coach

"I am the President of the United States of your ass." - swim coach

No one notices the leeches hanging from their backs
giant leech + guy on floor = oh christ
the reason for this movie
What the hell is that?
Leech puppets want to exfoliate you
Holding leeches to his face is right out of Ed Wood
It's so obvious that he drowned
Those wacky leeches.. what will they do next?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch (2005)

aka The Unknown

When three poachers are killed on Echo Mountain, the Sheriff holds a town meeting to discuss what might have ripped the men to shreds.  The Sheriff reports that since Ed, the only survivor, saw what he thought was a grizzly, everyone should stay out of the woods and make sure they're in their homes after dark.  This sends the towns folk up in arms, which you'd think would be about their safety but is summed up by the man who states, "What about the tourists?"

Since Mayor Johnson has already broached the upcoming tourist season with him, the Sheriff is prepared for this question. He  assures the simpletons that the the press won't be digging up anymore monster stories and the tourists will flock to town.  Ahhh, the days before the preponderance of reality TV shows and the resulting tourist boon that comes from the sighting of a ghost or Bigfoot.  If this film was made now, the plot would need to take the opposite tact of keeping the story quiet so tourists stay out of their sleepy little town.

Meanwhile in the local high school, brainy nerd Richard and lunkhead jock Jay are forced to work together on a class project about endangered species.  This seems unfair since no one else has to work together and Mr. Vancamp comes off as kind of a dick when threatening that both will fail if they don't turn in stellar work.  It ought to be a difficult project since the report is due the day after spring break and the two teens hate each other.  The oddest thing about this scene is that suddenly some kid runs up to the door to inform Mr. Vancamp about the slaughter of the poachers.  No idea why that's relevant to the teacher, and apparently it isn't since this revelation goes nowhere.

So what else would two teens who need to do an endangered species project do, but go camping in the woods for the weekend with two girls. Yes, camping in the very woods where three people were ripped to pieces by a grizzly and the Sheriff has forbade anyone from entering.  When Jay's mom hears where they're heading, she nonchalantly tells them to stay away from bears. Oh yeah, good parenting here.

Heading into the woods at the same time are survivor Ed and a few of his other poaching pals who are game to kill the grizzly. Although in reality, Ed's purpose is to kill Ranger Johnny Eagleheart, who saved his life after the beating by Bigfoot.  It makes no sense, and there's never an explanation for why Ed thinks Eagleheart killed his friends, especially when he saw a hairy creature that looked nothing like the small, non fur bearing Eagleheart.

Meanwhile the Mayor is eating Twinkies and harassing the Sheriff to make sure nothing interferes with the tourist season.  This is the only reason the Mayor appears in the film.

The film is totally average. It's got enough of a budget so that it's not embarrassing - although the bigfoot suit leaves a lot to be desired - but it's just not that great.  Also the score at the beginning when Richard is riding his bike to school is way too orchestral to be in this type of movie and it's distracting.

Ridiculous dialogue-

Sheriff - "Kill the bear. Kill the Mayor.... No, save the bear. Kill the Mayor."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Our Robocop Remake (2103)

I'd never heard of this but one of my friends said we have to watch it.  The official synopis explains it better than I could:

‘Our RoboCop Remake’ is a crowd-sourced film project based on the 1987 Paul Verhoeven classic. Connected through various filmmaking channels (including Channel 101) we’re 50 filmmakers (amateur and professional) from Los Angeles and New York who have split the original RoboCop into individual pieces and have remade the movie ourselves. Not necessarily a shot-for-shot remake, but a scene-for-scene retelling. As big fans of the original RoboCop, and as filmmakers and film fans admittedly rolling our eyes at the Hollywood remake machine, we’ve elected to do this remake thing our own way.

I haven't seen Robocop in years so can't remember the details, but I'm guessing this remake would be even better if you are more familiar with the film.  Our Robocop Remake runs the gamut from hilariously funny to brilliantly original to meh.  The good news about this is since different filmmakers made each section, if one piece doesn't work for you a new one will be along shortly. 

Each filmmaker decided on the format of their piece. So we've got cartoons, live action, dance numbers, video game simulations, and puppets. There's also the most memorable scene where Robocop stops a sexual assault by shooting the  rapist in the genitals. A second later, there's another rapist getting ready to assault a woman.  Then another, and another, and soon rapists are jumping over fences to come to this isolated spot to be shot in the junk by Robocop.  It's so over the top, disgusting and ridiculous that it's funny.

There are some great props, silly  mustaches, ridiculous wigs, and some tin foil.  Even though there are some scenes that aren't that great, there are other scenes that work more than make up for it.  Definitely worth a watch.










You can find this on Vimeo and Youtube.  If you want to check it out, below is the one on youtube. Also here's a link to an article on making the movie:  We Talked to the Guys Who Made a Robocop Remake That's Full of Exploding Dicks

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012)

A crew making a documentary go into the woods to meet Drybeck, an old guy who has a dead Bigfoot.  The deal is they give him $75,000 and he'll show them the body. They also need to leave their van behind, get in his jeep, put bags over their heads, and drive deep into the woods to his cabin. Well I don't see how anything could possibly go wrong here.

Leader and documentary host Sean, who ponied up the money,  thinks the whole thing is a hoax. No one shall ask why Sean paid $75,000 to a man he thinks is committing a hoax when he could have given $25 and a clean suit to a wino and gotten the same result.

Drybeck cautions everyone that they shouldn't be outside after dark.  Yet the group convinces him to film at a camp fire outside the cabin on the first night.  Noises in the woods force them inside and are followed by thumping on the cabin and something at the door.  Sean thinks this is all part of the hoax, and is even more skeptical when he asks to see the dead Bigfoot and Drybeck says they don't keep the body at the cabin. Sean may want to consider that if they did, it would stink in there.

The next day everything falls apart, which I would bet is fairly common on Bigfoot expeditions. People freak out. People disappear.  Someone is grabbed by something in the woods.  There's panic, shouting, and strange noises, plus a couple of injuries and general disintegration of all common sense.

It's your typical not so great found footage movie so you just know things won't turn out well for our intrepid youngish Bigfoot documentary skeptics.  The coolest thing about this movie is that Drybeck is played by Frank Ashmore, who was in Airplane, V, and The Clonus Horror.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Star Knight (1985)

aka El caballero del dragon

When the peasants are terrorized by a dragon, they refuse to pay the local tax collector until the King gets rid of the menace. Klever, a knight played by Harvey Keitel, is all for fighting dragons or doing anything that will get him a better position and the hand of the Princess.  Unfortunately for him, the Princess thinks he's a dunce and the King isn't too fond of him either.

With no likely suitors and boredom setting in, the Princess slips outside the castle and past the bridge guarded by the Green Knight, who is right out of Monty Python.  When she goes for a swim in the lake, she's pulled under water by what her maid in waiting believes is a dragon.

While the kingdom mourns her passing, the King's alchemist, played by Klaus Kinski, investigates the disappearance and discovers that there is a spaceship in the lake and an alien has fallen in love with the Princess. Gak! That's right, the dragon is actually a spaceship.  Sounds pretty funny, but it's really boring.

I expected too much from the movie since Kinski and Keitel are in this.  I don't know if Keitel was just phoning this in, but this this performance would kill a lesser mans career.  Plus his New York accent sounds so awkward when using old English.

Since it's called Star Knight, you'd expect the title figure to show up prior to half way through the film and that this would have a huge impact.  But it doesn't and I kept drifting off since it didn't hold my interest.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Haunting at Silver Falls (2013)

After the death of her father, high school student Jordan moves to a small town to live with her Aunt Anne and Uncle Kevin.  She starts dating nerdy good guy Larry, whose glasses take up half his face, and who tells her about the legend of Silver Falls being haunted.

After finding a ring in the woods and getting it stuck on her finger, Jordan starts having terrible nightmares, which isn't surprising since the ring belongs to a dead, gooey, ghost girl.  The girl tries to pull the ring off Jordan's finger and even resorts to putting Jordan's finger in her mouth, leaving a bunch of slime on it.  Bleech!

Anne and Kevin start thinking Jordan is a trouble maker after finding some of their things hidden in Jordan's room and pictures knocked over in the house.  Then they prove to be the worst guardians ever when they lock her in the bathroom while they go out on their date night.  At first they seemed awkward, which is understandable when becoming a guardian of a relative you don't know. But now that the awkwardness has worn off, they're just jerks.

Soon Jordan is seeing the ghost and everyone thinks she's crazy.  Larry's dad is a psychiatrist, and Anne sends her to see him. Nothing awkward about that.  And we haven't even delved into the strange things that have happened in town over the years including other ghost sightings.

This started off slow, got more interesting towards the middle, and then changed genres near the end, which was annoying.  There were a number of red herrings and some standard cliches, such as discarding your weapon when you're confronted by the killer. Overall it was entertaining, although it doesn't have the scares you'd expect from the DVD cover.  But it will leave you with questions such as, if the ghost was working at getting the ring off Jordan's finger then why did it go back on once Larry got it off?  Or what did Robbie know about what was going on, and why did she have to meet at Silver Falls?  Did he really know something or was he just a creepy teen setting up a creepy assault?  Why didn't Larry buy smaller glasses?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood (2012)

The description of this movie said "While battling the Nottingham Sheriff, Robin Hood and his band of merry men are slain. Distraught over these horrific turn of events Marian and Little John attempt to resurrect Robin and his comrades. In doing so they inadvertently turned the one-time heroes into the living dead."  Now a zombie Robin Hood sounds pretty awesome.  It's so ridiculous.  But as with so many movies that just add zombies to pre-existing stories, this was not a good idea.

As you'd expect, the movie begins in a forest, but it's just repeated shots of trees and horses accompanied by a voice over that is so boring that I didn't hear a word they said.  My friends, who were listening to the voice drone on, questioned what the words had to do with the images they were showing us since it didn't seem related.

Not the most exciting opening so when men started fighting, it seemed like things would be picking up.  Unfortunately the  soldiers clanged swords by sound effect only (since visually their weapons didn't connect), and did poorly choreographed fights which ended with all the knights dead. I guess Maid Marion should have picked some better guards since she was a better fighter than they were, and if I remember correctly, she didn't even have a sword.  So the fight ends with Maid Marion and Robin Hood as the lone survivors. Hurrah?

Robin, who looks like a hippie, has a conversation with Marion that is so boring that the words eventually turned into an unintelligible drone of white noise.  The gist of it is that Robin invites her to his camp. But Marion wants to stay alone in the woods since she is rightfully uncomfortable going to a camp full of men who haven't seen a women in ages. Lucky for her, Robin has a camp full of men, women, and children, so off they go.

When they arrive, the camp is partying it up, accompanied by music which would be appropriate for a dancing dwarf at a Renaissance Festival.  In another scene that is severely lacking in anything of interest happening, the hippie clan talks which I heard as blah blah blah because they're all so freaking boring.

At this point, we were about twenty minutes into it and so bored that we couldn't take it anymore. I suggested we fast forward through it to see when the zombies showed up, and  I'm glad we did because there were no zombies until at least 70 minutes into the film. Even then the zombies were just guys with dirty faces, so whatever.  We also zoomed by Tom Savini as the Sheriff.

We did stop once we saw Kane Hodder as Little John, since he and Marion were the ones to bring the men back from the dead.  Looking emotionless, Marion and Little John have a deadly dull discussion where they basically say, "Oops, that wasn't a good idea."
Robin Hood or hippie? You make the call.
Another exciting fight scene comes to an end.
One of the many talking scenes that go on forever 
in this film, zombie = drooling toothpaste and a dirty face


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thundering Ninja (1987)

Oh boy, if you're looking for a ninja movie where the ninjas wear brightly colored outfits and have names like Sidney, then Thundering Ninja is the movie for you.  This is one of the Caucasian ninja movies  where an unfinished Asian film is intercut with unrelated, newly filmed scenes of Caucasian ninjas and dubbed to be an entirely different story. Unfortunately these movies were made to capitalize on the ninja craze and make no sense at all.  Wait, that's why I like them.

The bad ninja boss wants to conquer the world so he sends his ninja goons to get the K16 missile, which is the ultimate weapon.  But the K16 files have been stolen and they need to get them back because it means total control of the world. Yay!  

The dialogue is just ridiculous.  "You know our organization's policy.  We don't allow a second failure."  So failure is okay as long as you don't do it twice?  Hey, when you try to get those files, don't worry if you fail the first time.  

The ninjas aren't all that bright either.  One of the ninjas is standing on a walkway when a stranger taps him on the shoulder and asks "Hey, what are you doing here?"  Then to make things even more ridiculous, the ninja stabs the guy and it looks like he put the sword between the guys far arm and side, just like you'd do when you were a little kid pretending to be stabbed.

The deadly ninja runs away, informs his boss that he ran off because he was afraid and that he had to "waste" the guy.  The ninja boss growls, "You should know what the price of failure is for a ninja."  I can only assume that it must not be this ninjas first failure, since they previously stated was it was the second failure that's not allowed. 

At this point, we find out that a remarkable new agent is going to be sent to deal with the bad ninjas.  Yes, a remarkable new agent called Sidney.  And boy, is Sidney ever remarkable.  Because this ninja  wears track shoes and answers his phone by saying "Yeah, I'm Sidney." That's pretty remarkable since most ninjas don't have a listed phone number. 

Along with the hilarious Caucasian ninja segments, there is an Asian film interwoven with this where a man named David gets involved with some criminals led by Boss Buck.  When David was a child, his mother was murdered. Through a series of flashbacks, we get to see this murder over and over again.  His middle aged mother gets hit on the head, says "oh" and slowly sits down against a wall.  It's the most undramatic murder ever. Why we need to see it repeatedly, other than to pad the film, I have no idea. 

It's definitely a strange film. At one point, the background music is an old Genesis song, and as you would expect the Asian movie and Caucasian ninja scenes do not mesh well. There are a lot of these movies because they were cheap to make and didn't require much effort since they only shot scenes to fit into an unfinished film.  Actually I would love to have someone release just the newly shot ninja scenes as a collection of short films.  They'd be hilariously fantastic.

Questionable Dialogue, especially for a Ninja movie:

"The victim was proved to be killed by a ninja."

"Why that's me?! I'm a witness!"

"He thinks he's the bees knees."

"The ninjas are to blame for everything."

"...they're soon going to be sending a remarkable agent to deal with us, called Sidney."    
Orange headband? Caucasian? Yup, that's a ninja
Remarkable agent/ninja Sidney works out

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Slipstream (1989)

Matt, a lame ass Lothario hanging out in a dive cafe, steals an android from a couple of police so he can collect the reward money for the murdering robot. He loads the android into his two seater and flies off  into the slipstream which blows through the barren lands of the post apocalyptic planet Earth.

The police don't cotton to some mullet haired loser taking their prisoner and chase after Matt, which sums up the rest of the movie.  Matt and the android make some stops, meet some people, bond, and fight off the police.  Then the police catch up, Matt flirts with the female officer,  Matt sleeps with a girl in the underground hidden society of rich people, and all hell breaks loose when the police catch up with them again.

You'd think an android, bounty hunter and police running around after the apocalypse would be interesting, but you'd be wrong.  It's all sort of dull and the characters have no charm.  The music is an often triumphant score such that you'd hear in a much better movie, and is totally inappropriate at the times it's used.  Music from the 1960s plays in the background every time they're in a strange bars (can't have a future movie without a strange bar).  Mark Hamill plays one of the police and Bill Paxton is mulleted Matt, our carefree penniless hero who is actually kind of annoying, due to his being smitten by his own charm.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cyborg Cop II (1994)

Jack Ryan and his ever present black leather fanny pack freak the hell out when his partner is killed by nutcase villain Starkraven.  So when Starkraven escapes from deathrow, Jack vows to track him down.

Little does Jack know that Starkraven has been sprung by the ATG, aka Anti Terrorist Group, which is part of the governments secret project to build a cyborg army. Oh yeah, here we go again.

The scientists have Starkraven and some other killers under control via wristbands. So all the scientists need to do to shut down the cyborgs is to press a button. That's good since the cyborgs are armed with flame throwers, lasers, and Gatling guns.  Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Except that it does because prior to the cyborgs being revived in  their resting chambers, Starkraven wakes up.  Then he takes control of the lab and in his stupid cyborg voice states that the cyborgs will be slaves no more. Well since he just woke up, that's a pretty quick revolution.

Now the cyborgs are on the loose and out of control. Good thing Jack and his black leather fanny pack are on the case.  Now if only someone would explain why he always wears that thing since he never takes anything out of it, and never puts anything into it.

Wearing denim chaps? Nope, it's a fanny pack.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cyborg Cop (1993)

Jack's brother Philip has good news. Philip's  adoption of little orphan Frankie has been approved and the kid will be all his once Philip gets back from his top secret DEA mission in the Caribbean.  In other words, Philip is doomed.

When Philip doesn't return, Jack grabs his black leather fanny pack (which he wears everywhere he goes) and heads down to the Caribbean to find his brother.  While investigating he literally runs into Cathy, a newspaper reporter looking for a story.  They hate each other at first sight so it's obvious that they're going to get stuck working together and fall in love.

What Jack doesn't know is that local scientist Kessel has a secret cyborg project and Philip is now part of his cyborg army.  Well that ought to cause some emotional issues when Jack winds up trading blows with the evil cyborgs under Kessel's command.

This is a pretty silly movie.  Jack always wears a black leather fanny pack, has lots of opportunity to spout his catchphrase "I got a bad feeling about this" and is a big idiot.  Philip sent Jack some evidence prior to his disappearance, which turned out to be heroin. Jack brought it with him because it's his only clue to finding out what happened to Philip.  Yes, it's always a good idea to take illicit drugs with you when traveling.  Also there is an Achilles heel for the cyborgs, because if not, how the heck would anyone defeat them?


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pinocchio's Revenge (1996)

What can I say about a movie whose main character is a lawyer who lets her daughter keep a life size Pinocchio doll that was buried with a dead child and is evidence in a murder case?  This woman has not only got to be the worst lawyer, but the worst mother.  

For some reason that I either missed or made no sense, lawyer Jennifer Garrick has the Pinocchio doll in the back seat of her car when she goes home to celebrate her daughter Zoe's birthday. Jennifer's boyfriend goes to the car to bring in the gifts and next thing you know Pinocchio is sitting in the living room.  Zoe squeals with glee at the sight of this wooden monstrosity.

When Jennifer tells her it isn't a gift, Zoe says she can't have it back.  But does Jennifer say "I'm sorry but you can't keep it. It's evidence in a murder trial.  My boyfriend accidentally it brought into the house."  No, instead she proves to be a mother without a backbone as lets Zoe take it into her room to sleep with, and grow even more attached to the creepy death puppet.  


That night Pinocchio tells Zoe if she cuts his strings he'll become a real boy and be her brother.  Stupid little Zoe follows his bidding and then Pinocchio starts doing bad things to especially to people who are mean to Zoe or try to take him away from her.  

When a little girl at school continually torments Zoe, Pinnochio fixes it so that the little girl is run over by a school bus. Don't worry, she manages to walk it off.  Then Jennifer's boyfriend gets pushed down the stairs and ends up in a coma.  Zoe says her puppet did it.

When Jennifer takes her to a psychiatrist, Zoe is filmed having a loud argument with her puppet.  From Zoe's point of view, we hear the puppet talking back, but when the doc shows Zoe's mom the video, all we see and hear is Zoe screaming at a wooden puppet.   

So is the puppet alive or is Zoe insane?  The psychiatrist says that perhaps Jennifer needs to accept that her child is crazy, as well as dangerous, since she talks to and sleeps with a life size wooden puppet which she blames for pushing Jennifer's boyfriend down the stairs. 

Jennifer refuses to even contemplate that her child has a problem, which begs the question why was she already seeing a psychiatrist? Jennifer defends her daughter with an impromptu speech to the doctor about people who hear voices which ends with her saying, "What if they aren't crazy? What if they really do hear voices in their heads?"  Um... isn't that by definition one of the signs of mental illness?

Soooo we're left with multiple questions. Is it actually possible for a lawyer to take a life size wooden puppet home when it is evidence in a murder trial?  Would no one notice such a large and unique hand carved doll was missing?  Was Pinnocchio actually a murderous puppet or is Zoe crazy?  Has Zoe developed the ability to morph into Pinnocchio or is Mom now crazy?  And most importantly, why didn't anyone notice a large wooden puppet pulling the lifeline on a coma patient?   

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grey Skies (2010)

Why the hell do I keep buying these horror packs? Oh yeah, it's 20 movies for five bucks, that's why. Unfortunately you get what you pay for, and sometimes it's a bit of a stretch to include them on a horror collection.

A group of friends get together for the weekend at an isolated cabin.  Robert and Jenny are recently engaged, although they aren't getting along that well. This is because Robert disappeared after a big fight they had, and Jenny didn't hear from him for a week.    So it ought to be an awkward weekend for everyone.

The second night a bright light knocks out the power in the house, one person is acting strange, another has disappeared, and it seems like something is in the woods.  As you'd expect, the weekend does not go well.

This is more of a drama about friends with some aliens thrown in to mix it up. None of the characters are particularly appealing, and most are downright annoying, so it's not like you're going to care when they get in trouble


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All God's Creatures (2011)

When not working as a barista at the local coffee shop, Jon spends his free time methodically planning how he'll kill his next victim.  He's got serious issues with women and enjoys strangling women he picks up at bars and hookers.  In his apartment, there is a trophy room where he keeps souvenirs from each kill, including a collection of hands in jars.

In another story soon to collide with our first story arc, Delia moves out of her stepfathers house vowing to come back for her underage sister after finding an apartment and job.  But there's not much work for a high school drop out with no resume, so Delia resorts to answering ads on Craigslist placed by lonely men looking for fun.

Originally I thought Delia said she was 18, but when her sister wants to run away I thought I heard Delia say she was 25.  I'm not sure which is correct, but if she's 25, then it's pretty odd that she's living at home and doesn't have a resume.  The actresses playing Delia and Lydia are too old to be playing teenagers so the whole thing is confusing.

I almost stopped watching this. Delia's annoying and Jon's a psycho. Both are doing things that are disturbing and the film is filled with cliches that you can see coming a mile away.  But at a certain point, I did become curious about how the relationship between Delia and Jon would progress.

Delia's got issues with men due to her abusive step dad, as well as the desperation for money causing her to resort to prostitution.  She's definitely a little off, but is she as deranged as Jon?  Jon daydreamed about killing her when they first met, and even when killing other women. Can he resist his compulsion?  Will their relationship develop into one of those dysfunctional, us against the world mentalities, or are they so damaged that they can't trust each anyone?


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Class of 1999 (1990)

In the future (ahem),  there are areas referred to as free fire zones where teenage gangs have taken over and the police refuse to go.  The Department of Education and Defense have been tasked with re-opening schools in these areas. So DED representative Dr. Forrest (played by Stacey Keach with white spiky hair and a rat tail)  works with school principal Dr. Langford to provide new teachers who are adept at handling troublemakers.  The new teachers are robots who appear to be human, and will do what's necessary to keep the peace.  Oh, nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan.

Meanwhile teen gangbanger Cody Culp is released from prison with instructions to stay out of trouble and go to school, or he'll be locked up again.  This proves to be difficult since Cody's younger brother is ready to join his gang the Blackhearts, and everyone expects Cody to pick up where he left off, which is fighting against rival gang the Razorheads.  Needless to say Cody is going to have to put up with a lot of crap from both gangs and no ones going to be happy with Cody's new crime free demeanor.

To complicate matters, Cody falls for good girl Christi, the principals daughter. This is not a popular decision with his old friends. When he gets into a fight to protect Christi, Cody comes under the gaze of the new teachers, who have started taking discipline to a new level due to some sort of malfunction, as all robots tend to do. When another student tries to intervene as the gym teacher is beating the hell out of Cody, he's killed. Now Cody just needs to convince the others that the new teachers are not what they appear to be.
Teenagers... of 1999
I love watching films about the future, especially when the projected future is in the past.  It seems strange that a film that came out in 1990 would have this Mad Max styled vision of only nine years in the future.   And any film with killer robots is worth a watch, especially when Pam Grier is one of them.  

Wardrobes.... of 1999
Haircuts... of 1999
Our hero and this little brother