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Inimitable Movie Reviews

Updated: 2018-03-06T11:24:07.575-05:00


Thankskilling Review


 And the Story Goes...A turkey is resurrected for the sole purpose of exacting revenge on the descendants, who happen to be college kids, of the European settlers who massacred the Natives and took their land. The youngsters must solve the mystery of the turkey's source of power, and how it can be destroyed.Hero of the Cherokee nationMy ThoughtsThanksgiving is a magical time of year for most of us living in the States because it's an extended weekend that we can spend with our friends and/or family, and indulge in preparing/eating way too much food while (presenting ourselves as) being thankful for all that we have. That is unless you happen to be a native of these lands, in which case the celebration is usually exchanged for the cursing of things like buoyancy, speakers of Indo-European languages, and opportunistic greed.Director Jordan Downey must have been privy to the feelings of the Native Americans, and he decided to create an artistic apology for the atrocities that happened. Thus we have Thankskilling!As with all things, such as hearing that free trade is good for middle class America, and the claim that forcing everybody the purchase health insurance will somehow reduce the cost of health care, a sense of humor needs to be maintained while indulging in the experience that is Thankskilling. Reason, logic, and all around good sense have no place for members of this audience, dagnabbit! Just sit back, and enjoy that which has been carefully crafted for your pleasure.Turkey in disguiseTo answer the question that is inevitably on your minds, yes there are boobs.  But not just any jugs...Pilgrim jugs! It is important to keep in mind that the scene involving said mammary(s) is shot as artistically as possible as an aging adult actress flees from a plastic evil turkey. Indeed, Downey brings to mind a young Stanley Kubrick as each frame passes before my yearning eyes. Well, maybe not Kubrick, but he at least brings to mind a young Nick Zedd...during his golden era, of course. Hannibal did it first, but Turkey makes it look goodIf I'm being honest, and I always strive to be honest, the characters actually work because they are so stereotypical. It becomes obvious after 3.41 minutes that Downey intentionally created the most unoriginal characters since Trevor Moorehouse, with the sole intention of being pseudo original. Well Mr. Downey, in the words of the immortal Tupac, I Ain't Mad at Cha. I've been making the claim that what the film industry needs is more stereotypical characters for years. It appears that somebody was listening.Folks, it's time be serious for a moment. One aspect of Thankskilling that seems to be forever ignored is the social commentary in the film. As the characters make the "joke" that Ali's legs are harder to close than the JonBonet Ramsey case, it is as if Jordan Downey is saying "hey, murder cases should never be unsolved. Cases such as JonBonet's should not be left open like Ali's legs." Make no mistake, it takes courage to come out and proclaim such a bold statement. Godspeed Jordan Downey, godspeed.Now I know what you're asking, "but Jack®, is Thankskilling a film crafted with the passion of Tennessee Williams?" Well, in a word, absolutely. Downey possesses a gift that could only be rivaled by Shakespeare, Dickens, Sun Tzu, or Seuss. I'll let you in a little secret, I achieve a literary/cinematic erection when I hear such heartfelt lines as "you just got stuffed" being uttered by a plastic turkey as he satisfies a young women. Only true genius could create such beautiful prose.Ali gets stuffing between her thighsAnd so, the beauty of film can be appreciated by even the most novice of viewers. Indeed, Thankskilling may appear to be yet another no-budget shot-on-video pile of drudge, but underneath it all, this is a film about youth, maturity, sexuality, and self-improvement. Well...maybe it's not about any of those things, but it is about a killer turkey whose presence transcends the cheap video that it was shot on. And that's the stuff that dreams [...]

Versus (2000) Review


And the Story Goes...Ok, this is kind of tough, so I'm just going to throw out the most basic premise that I can. There is a group of people who are apparently reincarnated over and over. I believe that this happens until they reach a point in time that they all come together so that they can enter the 444 portal to another dimension(?). In the process of working towards their goal, these people must fight zombies and each other in the 'forest of the dead.'It's basically just a bunch of scenes that are slapped together in order to tie fight scenes together.My ThoughtsThere are two versions of this film that are currently available: Versus, and Ultimate Versus. I'll be reviewing Ultimate Versus, and I think that the only real differences is an added fight or two, and the music is changed up. The DVD box also states that "some attitudes [are] replaced by cgi optimizer." I'm not completely sure what that means, but it probably has something to do with fake looking cgi blood being added. Whatever it means, it sure does sound "ultimate."I'll begin by saying that the Japanese are a wacky bunch. With things such as hentai, those game shows where people are maimed, and square watermelons, I've reached a point where if I see something that is incredibly weird, I usually have no issues with assuming that the Japanese had something to do with its creation. That's why I was in no way surprised when Versus turned out to be a completely strange, yet entertaining, film.The movie begins with a kinduh-helpful back story as to why this shiz is going down. After our brief introduction, it is not long before we are given our first glimpse of all of our characters in ancient times, and then present times (remember how they reincarnate?). The first aspect that stands out is writer/director Ryuhei Kitamura's attempt to try to make Versus stylish and fresh. The back of the DVD box even says that it's "super cool & no rules." In reality, the characters actually come off as more goofy and funny than cool. I'll go so far as to say that they  look more like parodies of Japanese people playing non-Japanese people trying to be cool. They're supposed to be intimidating I suppose, but I ain't buying it. These foos would have a hard time punkin' a girl scout, let alone somebody that keeps it real.*The situation isn't remedied by that fact that apparently Kitamura believes that fresh and super cool means that characters pose repeatedly throughout the movie. I love the Charlie's Angel style pose by the group of two girls and a guy who are known simply as the assassins. It lets us know not to take the experience too seriously. Funny? Yes. Fresh and Cool? Eh. In spite of all of this tom-foolery, I will admit that the director does manage to keep some energy circulating with the camera work, and this helps to offset the general corniness of the characters.Oh, and I'm not using names because I want to. I'm not using names because nobody in seems to have a name in Versus. That may be why everybody is an exaggerated version of various stereotypes. We have a prisoner, a gangster, a biker, a guy that screams continuously, a girl (no certain type of girl....just a girl), a couple of cops, a group of assassins, and the main bad guy. Strangely enough, this is all we need to know about them. After all, most of their interactions with each other are nothing more than fighting.So, I've ripped on the posing and general stupidness of the characters, but seeing as this is supposed to be an action/comedy/fantasy, I guess that this cheesiness was intentional. One of the best lines in the movie is by the armless cop as he proclaims that he has "500 times faster reflexes than Mike Tyson." That has to be a joke, right? And, who can forget about the Yakuza guy that turns into a bug type person that crawls around on trees? That's (Japanese) weird, and has to be intended for comedic relief. These are just a couple of laughs that get throughout, too.Now, I know what you're thinking: "but Jack, aren't you going to discuss the figh[...]

Prisoners of the Lost Universe Review


And the Story Goes...A scientist, Dr. Hartmann, creates a teleportation device that he, Dan, and Carrie accidentally fall in to at various points. The folks enter a parallel universe where technology is primitive, and everybody somehow speaks English (conveniently called Venyan). It is up to Dan and Carrie to find the good doctor so that they can all go home, or else they will become prisoners...of the lost universe!Unfortunately, this is the sexiest that we getMy ThoughtsI can't help but to think that writer/director Terry Marcel made Prisoners of the Lost Universe specifically for me. I mean, he took two of my favorite subjects, prisoners and lost universes, and made one complete Inimitable (Movie Reviews)© film out of them. For that I will forever be indebted to him, and his ability to turn seemingly ridiculous story-lines into actually ridiculous movies.For those familiar with cheesy 80s sci-fi, or avid fans of Jack Palance, you will undoubtably recognize Terry Marcel's work in such classics as Hawk The Slayer or The Last Seduction II. He truly is one of the unsung heroes of low budget science fiction films of the early to mid 1980s, and he will not be forgotten by yours truly (he isn't dead. I just won't forget him).Baldin's back, and lookin' for watchesIf you've seen Hawk the Slayer, then you will certainly recognize two of the standout characters from that movie as they (seem to) reprise their roles in Prisoners. Of course I'm speaking about Crow the elf, and Baldin the midget thief. Baldin the thief, played by Peter O'Farrell, is now Malachi...the thief. Crow, played by Ray Charleson, is now The Greenman, called so because he's green and a man. I really can't help but to wonder if Signor Marcel couldn't come up with different characters, or if he just didn't feel like it. Baldin wasn't bad, but he wasn't so impressively fun to watch that there was a need for O'Farrell reprise the role in Prisoners of the Lost Universe. If a recurring character was needed, then Palance's Voltan would be the way to go. That hammy bastard knew how to work a script!John Saxon, who can do no wrong (even when he does), was saddled with the responsibility of providing the villain, Kleel, to this gem. Kleel is a straight up thug who is not afraid to smack a ho. Eazy E would be proud, and as an interesting side note - sources close to the deceased rapper claim that he actually based his gangsta persona on John Saxon's Kleel. I checked for verification of these claims, but I wasn't able to find any information. Thus, I will continue to present this assertion as fact until further notice.Kleel knows how to work the ladiesAlas, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the performances of both Richard Hatch and Kay Lenz. Hatch is a Kendo master named Dan who has a habit of calling women "lady" repeatedly. Lenz is a sassy reporter named Carrie who doesn't take merda from anybody! Together they form a dynamic team that can overcome anything. Both actors give much better performances than what you would expect from such an obviously low budget movie. Actually, it's kind of weird that  Hatch, Lenz and Saxon are in this. They already had careers going, so I'm not sure why they wanted in on this movie. Maybe they all had nasty meth habits.Saying the production values of this bad boy are shoddy would be an understatement. Those of you who are not entirely familiar with the tell-tale signs of a bad movie shouldn't worry, for I will share with you a couple of indications that I personally use. Initially you will want to take a look at the set that is used. If the alternate universe looks exactly like South Africa, with absolutely no alterations to the landscape (like alien looking plants or animals), then you are probably watching a low budget movie. Keep in mind that to make it look different small people can be given goggles that light up. This is the B movie's answer to no alien costumes.South African landscape - CheckSmall people wearing glowing gogg[...]

Flashback - Morderische Ferien Review


And the Story Goes...A young girl, Jeanette, witnesses the murder of her mother and father in their home. She manages to escape from the killer, but spends her youth in a mental institution as she works to overcome the memories. Her doctor feels that she is capable of entering the real world, and he finds a job for Jeanette tutoring a family of rich kids to speak French. Strange events take place, people begin to go missing, and it is up to Jeanette to uncover the secret as to who the killer is, and why he is following her. Tutor Jeanette arrives on the scene, do you know what I mean? My Thoughts (This may contain spoilers)It's no secret that Germans can be scary people. Seriously, they have an intense love of order, they have a real penchant for Polka music, and  they seem to feel a strong desire to push sauerkraut on you when invited into their homes. In spite of all of these terrifying characteristics that the filmmakers of Flashback innately possess, this is not a scary movie. In fact, I propose that what we are seeing is a comedy with some gore thrown in for the heck of it. Comedy/horror would be a more appropriate classification. It's better that they don't show his face. Trust me To begin I'd like to proclaim that I personally love just how unlikable all of the victims are. Honestly, the kids seem to be bigger sociopaths than the killer, so we end up just watching people, who do bad things to others, die. Tormenting a person to the point that they have a mental break down is not the best way to go about drawing sympathy. Maybe that scheiße flies in Germany, but not in my hood, crackuh®! This leads me to believe that the writer intentionally made them so horrible that their deaths become comedic, rather than scary.Speaking of the victims, one thing that I was confused by is the exact age of the "kids" that Jeanette is hired to tutor. I assume that they are supposed to be high school aged, but they really do look like they would be in grad school. And, the fact that Jeanette sleeps with her male student, Leon, would suggest that he isn't a minor. However, out of curiosity I decided to take a stroll on over to the CIA World Factbook to see the age of suffrage in Germany, which is 18. However, according to Wikipedia ( I know, I know), the age of consent in Germany is only 14! This means that Jeanette could rock Leon's world without fear of prosecution as long as she isn't over 21 and in a position of control, e.g. a guardian or tutor, over him. In any respect the kids look a hell-of-a-lot older than teenagers, so I still have no idea what age group we're supposed to be dealing with. It looks like Jeanette is tutoring Leon on more than just French (wink) The dubbing is pretty much on par with 1970s chopsocky flicks, and calling the voices inappropriate would be a gross understatement. It is the opinion of us/me at Inimitable Movie Reviews© that the actor voicing Leon, and the dude voicing Chin Bo in Twin Warriors are, in fact, one and the same! I have no evidence to support this, but I'm sticking with the accusation. It's interesting to see that his ability to appropriately voice the characters that he is dubbing has not improved in a full 7 years. In his defense, the female voices every bit as tragic as his, so I'd like to believe that he may be just trying to fit in. In any respect, I feel that subtitles would be more appropriate (I'm looking in your direction Netflix).Now I know what you're thinking, "but Jack, isn't there anything that is good about Flashback?" Well, yes there is. The choice of camera angles were interesting and fresh. Also, the scenery is very nice, and I liked seeing different types of locations than what we're used to seeing  in typical American slashers. The landscapes are beautiful, and the house is amazing. I can say with a clear conscience that I have never wanted to be a rich German more than I do right now. The vibrator is mightier than the sword As t[...]

Virus or Zombie Creeping Flesh or Hell of the Living Dead (1980)


The Story Goes...A contaminated rat at a nuclear facility type building bites and turns the staff into zombies, which ultimately spreads across the entire country of New Guinea. It is up to a journalist and some commandos to destroy the zombies, and prevent the zombie virus from infecting the world's population. My Thoughts...There are three things that Italians are most known for throughout the world:1. Changing the shape of pasta and pretending that it somehow has different flavors in spite of the fact that every shape contains the exact same ingredients.2. Drinking coffee from tiny glasses whilst discussing various illegal activities, and opera.3. And, of course, specializing in exploitation films from the 1960s throughout the 70s and early 1980s. With a minor in zombie films.*Bruno Mattei specialized in two of these three concepts (I'll let you decide which two), and today we will discuss his zombie classic Virus...or Zombie Creeping Flesh...or Hell of the Living Dead. Distributors could not seem to decide what to name this gem, so it is up to old Jack to decide once and for all. And, I choose Zombie Creeping Flesh just because there is another movie titled Virus, and if I have to say "of the living dead" one more time I'm going to flip. Zantoro has more hatred for zombies than Tallahassee¹  Should you do a little research into the life and times of Bruno Mattei, you will see that his mastery ranged from zombie films like Zombie Creeping Flesh, to nunsploitation in Guardian of Hell, to rats in Rats - Notte di Terrore (Night of Terror), and of course sharks in the no-way-affiliated-with-the-original sequel to Jaws; Cruel Jaws.  IIndeed, Signor Mattei was to exploitation flicks what my morbidly obese drug dealer neighbor is cheeseburgers...a master. Assisting Mattei in this epic piece is none other than the legendary Claudio Fragasso, who you no doubt remember as the director/writer of the life changing experience known as Troll II, taking on the credit of writer. Zombies and Mattei and Fragasso, oh my! This has no choice but to be a nut busting experience for those fans of early 80s Euro-schlock.Much like many of his contemporary Italian exploitation directors of era such as Lucio Fulci, Mattei's films have a dreamlike quality that I have trouble finding the words to describe. Jack find words hard! Anyways, I suppose that surreal would be an acceptable term, but it seems to be with the film itself, and not the just the subject material. It's like there is always a light haze that covers the scene. It really does seem to set the mood for viral zombie flicks. Good job fellows. Few people are aware of the Mussolini edict that declared that zombieexploitation films must contain no less than 1 severed arm per 120 minutes.Quota filled For fans of the soundtrack of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, you will probably love the soundtrack for Zombie Creeping Flesh...if for no other reason than the fact that Mattei stole it directly from Dawn (oh those wily Italians). The music was produced by Goblin, who you may also remember as the band who composed the music for the Dario Argento classic Suspiria. Even if Mattei used the music illegally, it fits the tone of the film, and I enjoyed it. For some reason the formulaic mix of zombies and progressive rock make me all warm and tingly on the inside. A condition that only Mrs. Plissken can alleviate (wink). On a side note, I'd like to point out that Bruno was stealing music before stealing music was cool. There was no Napster, iTunes or Limewire in his day. He had to work to steal his music, and he loved it! The man truly was a trailblazer. Boy zombie  We are given a real treat with the voice acting, as it compliments the inappropriate overacting that only vintage Italian actors could provide, rather well. After all, questionable delivery decisions on the part of the actor combined with the often lethargic du[...]

Miner's Massacre (Curse of the Forty-Niner) Review


Who to KnowJohn Carl Buechler.................DirectorJohn Phillip Law.....................Sherrif Murphy - Remember John from Death Rides a Horse?Martin Kove.............................CalebAnd the Story Goes....In a nutshell, an evil miner places a curse on his beloved gold before he dies at the hands of angry villagers (one of which is the late Jeff Conaway) some time in the 1800s. Fast forward to the present, and we see a group of young-folk arriving to the town with the hopes of finding the legendary treasure. Little do they know that the 49er is willing to take any measures necessary to protect what's his. My ThoughtsMy love for all things miner, ghost town, out house, and old curmudgeon led me to Miner's Massacre, and I have to admit that I'm not upset that I took a chance. Sure, this is not a highly original attempt at redefining miner-sploitation, and it might not ever be a cult classic, but it's still an enjoyable enough movie for those who love the kids-in-the-woods style horror films. Curmudgeons love tattered maps At first I was frightened because Miner's Massacre is the only production of Wanted Entertainment LLC. That's right folks, the persons behind Wanted Entertainment had so little faith in this movie that they formed their production company as a Limited Liability Company...and bragged about it for some reason. The assumption that I got from this is that this movie was made for a quick profit in the straight to DVD market, which usually means we're about to see an extremely sub-par production. The unimpressive Wanted Entertainment CG logo was barely more detailed than the graphics from the 8-bit Nintendo system. That's scary considering that this was filmed in 2002. The intro for Wanted Entertainment LLC's logo The music is a little strange in Miner's Massacre, as it seems to range from heavy rock to adult contemporary styles of music. It's a little weird, but I didn't find it as messed up as Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill's constant barrage of crappy metal. I have a feeling that the producers just took whatever cheap unknown songs that they could afford, without regards to the type of movie that they were making. That's what the French call "keepin' it real."Speaking of Death Valley...., do you know who the 49er reminds me of? That's right, he is the spitting image of Hillary Clinton!... or I mean, he is very similar looking to Bloody Bill. I guess I should say that Bloody Bill looks like the Niner since the latter came out first. I guess I can't be too mad at similar reincarnated zombie killers. As my dear old grandpa used to say, "if it ain't broke, don't break it." I too have been accused of copying the profile of a classic horror character for my original screenplay Teddy Schmruger and the Bad Dream on Schmelm Street. Don't worry about old Jack though, folks. I'm in it to win it, and won't let the negativity of others get me down."How's the acting," you ask? Not as bad as you would think, actually. There are no Oscar winning performances, but everybody seems to know what type of film that they are in, and they act accordingly. Though sometimes the actors do get a little too into it, and it is actually pretty funny in those moments. One instance that comes to mind is when the kids first arrive to the town, and one of the girls is screaming because pigeons are in the room with her. I don't know if she was just messing around, and they left the take in the movie, or if the actress actually believes that her reaction was appropriate. The look of sheer terror continues to bring a smile to my otherwise statuesque face. The look of terror A treat for those of us who grew up in the 80s is the presence of one Martin Kove, of The Karate Kid fame. I kept hoping that Billy Zabka would make a cameo so that him and Martin could discuss sweeping the legs of 49er, then they could formulate a foolproof plan to t[...]

Do You Wanna Know a Secret? Review


And The Story Goes...A group of college kids, including multi-talented Joey "Whoa*" Lawrence, head to Florida for a luxurious spring break vacation. They soon find out that all is not well as acquaintances and friends begin to die by the hand of a mysterious masked killer. It is up to a Reese Witherspoon look-alike and her friends to find out who the killer is, and to stop him before it's too late.The typical attire of a girl on spring break at 9 in the mo'ninMy ThoughtsThe secret is that there are no real scares, blood, boobs or inventive stories involved in Do You Wanna Know a Secret?. Whoa!*In my review for Dead Above Ground I had mentioned that it was a 'by the numbers' film...and I stand by that statement! As it turns out Do You Wanna Know a Secret? is by all accounts a by the numbers movie to the tenth power. On IMDB this is listed as a horror, thriller and mystery, though if you've seen more than one typical late 90s/early 2000s teen horror flick, then you will probably have 'the secret' figured out in 7 minutes 41 seconds ± 2. Luckily for me, my tolerance for what many would consider to be painfully terrible cinema is fairly high.After learning the plot of Do You Wanna Know a Secret?, and seeing how 'want to' is spelled, it should come as no surprise that actors who could actually provide solid performances more than likely avoided this project like the plague. In fact, J-Dogg Lawrence (as he's known on the streets) is the best part of this movie. Indeed, the grown up version of the Blossom heartthrob appears to be a Laurence Olivier-esque thespian when compared to the remaining 'actors' (or as I like to call them 'the warm bodies reading lines').Unimportant character. She doesn't have money, but man does she want a taco!(fuzziness is from the movie)Let's talk death scenes for a moment. They are far and few, and tame even by 1950s standards. Some characters just don't show up for a while, and we learn later that they were screen. Personally I don't get a hard-on for huge amounts of gore, but I believe that if you intend to make a stereotypical teen slasher film, then by George you need to give the people what they want! I'd like to give a little note to the filmmakers: cutting necks isn't the only way to kill people!In essence the story line, acting, editing, death scenes, characters and even the score are all average or below average.Now, I'm sure that you're asking 'but Mr. Inimitable®, isn't there anything redeeming about this movie.' Well, seeing Joey Lawrence play the tough guy is pretty entertaining. I haven't seen such devastating whirling roundhouse kicks since the era of Norris in such classics as Lone Wolf Mcquade and The Octagon. At first glance Joey may appear to be your typical aging teen idol desperately clinging to the fame that he once knew, but I can guarantee you that this ex-Tiger Beat regular is all business.Joey Norris....I mean LawrenceAnother great character is Oz, who, in keeping with the tradition of Blacula, Blackenstein, and  The Bleature Blom the Black Blagoon, I would like to call Blercules (black Hercules, for those of you who can't put 2 and 2 together), but in the spirit of political correctness I will simply refer to him as the nondescript gent who isn't Joey Lawrence or the killer, or better yet - Oz. This guy is huge, and you would think that might come in handy at some point. However, as the movie progresses, he grows geekier and geekier until he is barely a step above Steve Urkel. At one point the battle between this giant and the killer, who is of average height, build and intelligence, is so one sided that it's laughable. As my grandpa would always say 'you can't judge a book by its cover...even if the cover is on steroids.' I always wondered what in the hell he was talking about. Now I know.Jeff Conaway (R.I.P), of Taxi and Grease fame plays a troubled detect[...]

Ghost Fever Review


The Story goes...Buford and Benny are two policemen who are sent to the possibly haunted home of two women, who are allegedly over 100 years old, in order to serve an eviction notice. Once inside the creepy house, strange things begin to happen, and the men discover that the house is actually home to two beautiful young ladies. As it turns out, the house is also haunted by the ghost of a mean slave owner, and it is up to Buford and Benny to save the women from the ghost and eviction.My ThoughtsSaying that Ghost Fever is a strange film is somewhat of an understatement. For being a comedy/horror film, it is neither funny nor scary. Though it does appear that the two stars, Sherman Hemsley and Luis Avalos, are making a real effort to keep this movie alive. I suppose that I shouldn't be too surprised at the lack of entertainment value of this movie since the director (justifiably) chose the pseudonym "Alan Smithee" as the credit for director. For those of you who don't know, Alan Smithee is a fake name that directors use when they choose to disown a film. A main reason for the use of this pseudonym is for when creative control is taken away from directors by the producers. Generally I try not to be too negative in my reviews, though I will make fun of many movies, but Ghost Fever is just a bad movie. It really isn't even worthy of earning the coveted "so bad it's good" title that has made classics out of some very poorly created films. Tommy Wiseau's The Room is probably my favorite example of incompetence documented on film.From the initial introduction of the two ghost characters in the first scene, the lack of quality special effects becomes apparent. Usually I don't find cheap effects to be terribly off-putting, but these effects aren't just cheap, they almost seem like the filmmakers were being lazy. And, we're talking your typical congressman type of lazy here.The jokes are a mix of slapstick and puns...neither of which are actually funny. For the life of me I cannot determine what audience Ghost Fever was intended for. The humor seems like it would be intended for small children (and I'm talking about Sesame Street aged kids), but when I see Sherman Hemsley in a contraption that is designed to crush a man's twig-and-berries, I can only assume that it's intended for older folks.One of the more infamous scenes in Ghost Fever (of course I mean it's infamous among the 32 people that have actually seen this movie) involves a dancing mummy. Well, it's actually the ghost of the slave owner wrapped in a sheet so that he can engage in a dance-off with Buford and Benny. This jabroni is break dancing, moon-walking, and basically just bustin' a move. I guess it just doesn't make sense because one minute this ghost wants to kill the two men, but then a moment later he's satisfied with just 'serving' them. He's more inconsistent than Lebron during the playoffs.Oh, the slave owner ghost becomes a vampire 2/3 into the movie as well. Allegedly a voodoo curse turned his cruel behind into a vampire after he died. Don't hurt yourself over-thinking this. Just except it and be glad that you only have  1/2 of 1 hour left.One of the most surreal scenes in Ghost Fever is a boxing match that takes place between Benny and none other than Joe Frazier. Benny decides to take on the champ in an effort to win money to save the women from eviction. I don't really have too much to say about this one.ConclusionGhost Fever is pretty bad. If you like to watch poorly made movies so that you can laugh at them, then you might find some redeeming aspects of this movie. I usually like schlocky films, but the jokes were just so lame that it was hard to laugh at them for being stupid.Overall, I would say to just skip this one. With the hour and a half that you would spend with this disaster, you could be watching paint dry.[...]

Double Impact Review


People to KnowSheldon Lettich...................Director/WriterJean Claude Van Damme....Chad & Alex - One is possibly gay. The other is possibly gay. But on thing is for certain....Alex hates black silk underwear.Geoffrey Lewis....................Frank - The not-unlike-Don-Quixote father figure of Chad. He's always ready for adventure because danger's his middle name.Alonna Shaw.......................Danielle - Blonde girlfriend of Alex. Much to his chagrin, Danielle actually likes black silk underwear.Bolo Yeung..........................Moon - The Ultimate steroid enhanced with HGH!And the Story Goes...Jean Claude Van Damme demonstrates his acting ability in not one, but two thrilling roles. Our hero plays a pair of twins who were separated at birth when their parents are ambushed in Hong Kong by a shady business partner. One twin, Chad, is raised by an American in France. The other twin, Alex, grows up on the mean streets of Hong Kong. They soon discover each other, as well as their history, and together (with the help of their mentor and a sweet ass abandoned hotel headquarters) they move to take out the crime boss that destroyed their lives. The twins Damme establish their command centralMy ThoughtsDouble Impact has always been one of my favorite Van Damme movies from what I consider to be his golden era. Captured is the seemingly innocent and youthful Signor Damme attempting give emotional performances, while kicking people in their faces, and doing splits at random. Sure, by normal action hero standards a split might not be the most intimidating thing on the planet, but for Jean Claude it somehow works. And, as previously mentioned, we get twin Van Dammes!Twin Van Dammes? Usually you have to pay double for that kind of action!Jean Claude had a hand in writing the story to this gem, and you can bet that there is some ultimate cheese to go along with the action. The man who I really give credit to for all this cheddar is none other than director/writer Sheldon Lettich. You may remember him as the writer of such classics as Bloodsport, Lionheart, Legionnaire, Double Impact, and, of course, Rambo III. And, with directorial efforts such as Lionheart, The Last Patrol, The Order, and Double Impact you know that this will be a fun film. I'll be the first to admit that these movies aren't art, but it's tough to make the argument that the man doesn't know how make a fun flick.I always hope a pillow fight materializes in this sceneOne of my favorite aspects of many Van Damme movies from the era is that he often plays an "American" that is in some strange place, trying to overcome some strange obstacle. His Europeaness is so overwhelmingly apparent that it usually makes for some great laughter throughout these films, and you can almost smell the lack of giving a shiz on the part of all involved. Fortunately for us, Double Impact does not break tradition, and what we are forced to settle with is an English baby that is raised by an American man living in France. Usually this would mean that this particular twin, Chad, would have an American accent when he spoke English, and a French accent when he spoke French,  but instead we are given the task of ignoring his thick French accent in all languages for the sake of the story. His twin brother, Alex, on the other hand is even more of a stretch. Alex was raised by French nuns in Hong Kong, which is supposed to explain his French accent. I suppose that it's unimportant, but it always brings a smile to my face.Moving on. Having two Van Dammes face off against Hong Kong Triads is a stroke of genius in my book. Being un Americano myself, I love the exotic locations, and the craziness that is possible in these strange worlds. Indeed, Double Impact has it all when it comes to guns, martial arts, explosions, cha[...]

Horrible Bosses Review


Though Horrible Bosses is far from the funniest movie that I have ever seen, however it does manage to provide a good amount of laughs throughout. Yes, we are subjected to scatalogical humor (as can be expected these days), which seemed to really strike a cord with the 18 - 20 year old crowd who made up the audience with us. However (and luckily), the story doesn't constantly stoop this low, and there are some genuinely funny moments.

The premise seemed to be just ok, but what made me want to see it was three of actors who were involved in it. Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey have both demonstrated their comedic abilities in past projects (such as Bateman in Arrested Development, and Spacey in Men Who Stare at Goats as examples), and I was confident that they would deliver in Horrible Bosses. Both provide their standard performances, which is not a bad thing.

What I really wanted to see was how well Charlie Day would do in something other than playing Charlie in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Being a fan of IASiP I always love to see projects that the actors of show take part in. I did see Going the Distance, and I honestly felt that the script was poor and Charlie was more or less wasted, so it's difficult to use that film as an evaluation. Anyways, Day is quite funny in Horrible Bosses. Though he is supposed to be playing a different character than Charlie, he still maintains that lovable goofball-ness, and if you like him in IASiP, then you shouldn't be disappointed here (I expected to hear some bird-law in one scene). I'd be interested to see him take on a role much different from the Charlie-type that we are used to seeing someday.

Jamie Foxx as 'Mother Fucker' Jones was hysterical as a not-that-dangerous ex-con who is helping the boys in taking out their bosses. He had just enough screen time to keep the character from getting old, but he made the most out of what was given to him.

Colin Ferrell is terrific as the balding cokehead green belt son of one of the bosses in the movie. He has one of the best comb overs that I've ever seen, and one of the doucheiest bachelor's pads in the world. His home reminds me of Jerome's from the T.V. show Martin.

Jennifer Aniston brought her A-game as the horny dentist to Horrible Bosses. Usually she isn't a reason to see a movie, but she does not hold back here. Her unrelenting attempts to force Day's character to have sex with her were very funny, and pretty hot at the same time.

All in all I was not disappointed that I paid money to see Horrible Bosses at the theater. It's one of the better comedies that I've seen in a while, and if you like crude humor, then this should not disappoint. All of the actors did a good job, and the end result is a fun film. Hopefully the producers don't get the idea of making a sequel where the boys once again will be put in situations where they want to kill their bosses...but this time it will take place in Thailand.(image)

Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill


The Story Goes...A debate team is on a trip to compete with another school. Along the way they are carjacked by Earl, a drug dealer with anger issues. They happen upon Sunset Valley, a zombie filled ghost town that is headed by Bloody Bill. Once they finally discover that something is wrong with the town, they attempt to leave, but always end up where they started Twilight Zone style. They must battle the zombies and Bill to come out alive.Our heroine My thoughts...The Asylum is well known today for its many rip-offs of summertime blockbusters that the company affectionately refers to as "mockbusters." Here are the titles to a few of their classics, just to give an idea of the quality of their films: Snakes on a Train, Transmorphers, The Da Vinci Treasure, I am Omega, and The Day the Earth Stopped (no I did not make these up).  Over the years they have found quite a niche and have become known for making these cash in movies that are usually released only days before the actual large budget films that they are based on. However, in the beginning The Asylum attempted to be just another straight to DVD studio that generated low budget "original" movies. Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill is one such movie.The title character is based off of a real person, William Anderson. To be honest though, the character really doesn't share any actual history with the real man with the exception that they wear/wore similar clothes. This is not a biopic though, so it's better to not get all worked up over stupid inconsistencies. We're here for zombies and curses after all and questionable acting.The first thing that I noticed during the opening chase scene and credits is the poor sound design. Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill has the same affliction that seems to plague both large scales and low grade films. Of course I'm talking about sudden drastic increases and decreases in volume when going back in forth between music and dialog. The choice of using heavy metal to "set the mood" doesn't do much to help the situation. In defense of Death Valley I have heard much worse examples of this problem, and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust comes to mind.Bloody Bill's sister looks just like our lead character!The acting is what I would expect from a low budget direct-to-video movie, and I have to admit that some of the performances are pretty laughable. Gregory Bastien, who plays Earl, is by and far my favorite character in the movie. His reactions often seem so out of place that I sometimes wonder if he's listening to the tone that the other actors are using. There are two great examples of his greatness. The first one is when one of the students, who apparently is a historian that specializes in the history of Bloody Bill, relates to the group that bill didn't like black people, and Earl runs up and begins threatening the boy for "having a problem with him." I can't help but to wonder if it's the actors fault for overacting way too much, or if it's just the general retardation of the script. In either case it's pretty funny. The second example is when Earl wants to correct the wrongs that he has committed in life by getting coked up and sacrificing himself by facing Bloody Bill so that the others can escape. The sight of a powered out man screaming unintelligible phrases while punching random zombies is cinematic gold in my book.The characters are your typical morons that just happen to be led by my new best buddy Earl. He is a born leader who sticks to his guns and motivates others to do the same. There is a scene where Earl's drug contact comes crawling into a building that the group is in with his throat ripped out, and he is speaking with a demonic voice. A normal person would definitely find something to be amiss if a person is missing a th[...]

The Hangover Part 2 Review


With the incredible success of The Hangover, writer/director/producer Todd Phillips decided to cash in with the appropriately titled sequel The Hangover Part II . What he ends up giving audiences is a formulaic film that really doesn't steer away in any direction from the first.

 If you are a fan of The Hangover, then you will probably really enjoy The Hangover Part II because it's pretty much the exact same movie. I can appreciate when filmmakers attempt to recreate the magic of their original film when they are creating a sequel, but there is a line between keeping true to the original stories and characters, and just re-shooting the same movie. This isn't to say that The Hangover Part II is an exact shot for shot remake, such as Michael Haneke's Funny Games, but many of the jokes and situations are the same as in the original. Think Austin Powers and its sequels.

The basic story is that Stu is getting married in Thailand, and Phil decides to get the boys together for a bachelor party even though Stu is reluctant to do so. They eventually all agree to have the bachelor party, and decide to take Teddy, Stu's 16 year old future brother in law along for the ride. Again, they all wake up hung over and unable to remember any of the events of the previous night, and they also discover that they are missing Teddy. As a team they must retrace the night in order to try to locate their lost companion. Sound familiar?

Overall the comedic talents of Zach Galifianakis, who was really the funniest character in the original, seemed to be squandered away. He had occasional funny moments, but he didn't have any lines that stand out like in the The Hangover. The remaining cast appeared to just run through the motions of trying to track down Teddy, and didn't add much comedic value. Mike Tyson makes another cameo, and it was funny seeing him in the position that he was in.

I can't help but to think that telling the same story, but in a different city is a bad idea. There really is no point in doing this other than to exploit the success of the first, but I guess that was most sequels do anyways. I am sure that many movie goers that loved the first one will find The Hangover Part II to be funny. With that said, I would still recommend to wait for it to come out on DVD instead of going to the theater. There is no sense in paying the ticket price to see a movie that you have already seen.

Perhaps for The Hangover Part III the gang will celebrate the wedding of Alan in Johannesburg, he will slip ruffies into everybody bachelor party Pepsi, they will lose Phil's dog while being unable to remember the night before, have run ins with the Chinese Triads, and Mr. Chow will be nude throughout. There is your set up Mr. Phillips. Let's get to work.


Trick 'r Treat Review


Who to Know Director...............Michael DoughertyWriter..................Michael DoughertyDylan Baker........Steven WilkinsBrian Cox.............Mr. KreegAnna Paquin.........LaurieQuinn Lord...........SamThe Story Goes...It's Halloween night in a small town, and we follow four spooky stories as they unfold throughout the evening. One common link for all of them is the presence of Sam, a supernatural enforcer of the rules and traditions of Halloween. The tales tell of those who are punished for breaking traditions, and those who are spared for following the rules.My ThoughtsTrick 'r Treat was one of my recommended DVDs in my rental queue, and it just happened to be on the watch instantly feature as well. I've always been a fan of anthology horror movies, especially those put out by Amicus in the 70s such as The House that Dripped Blood, and Tales from the Crypt, so I decided to give this one a shot. Honestly, I wasn't expecting too much out of it seeing as how this is director/writer Michael Dougherty's first shot at directing a feature length film, and it is also a direct to video release. Much to my surprise, not only does Trick 'r Treat display a more than adequate level of competence in it's production, but it is also very entertaining to watch.Unlike many horror films that use a framing device, many the characters in each of the individual stories in Trick 'r Treat encounter each other throughout the film. To get an idea of what I mean, think about how the characters in Pulp Fiction have their own separate stories, but they often run into each other as the film progresses. This isn't to say that Trick 'r Treat is anything like Pulp Fiction, but they are similar in that one aspect. Besides the characters bumping into one another, the one common link between each story is the presence of a demonic sack-headed trick-or-treater, Sam, who is forever making sure that people follow the rules of Halloween. The penalty for ignoring the traditions of Halloween is often the punishment of death, as per the Gospel according to Sam. The tools that he uses to kill his victims are customized pieces of candy, such as a sucker that has been bitten off to form a point, or a candy bar with a razor blade inside. As far as characterization goes, they are well developed, which something that can be rare in many horror movies, and they are each interesting and contribute to the story. It feels as though Dougherty actually cared about the stories and characters that he was creating, and made an effort to avoid the boring stereotypes that we've all come to know and hate. Even the seemingly played out horny college age girls add something to the story, and are not just sheep waiting for the slaughter. I personally find it more frightening when interesting people are placed in scary situations, than when stupid or tired stereotypes are.One aspect that sets Trick 'r Treat apart from many other similar films is Dougherty's willingness to have children be killed. I honestly was somewhat surprised to see this because it seems to be considered taboo by many filmmakers to have underage victims. I'm not saying that children need to start becoming the victims of psychotic killers in every slasher film, but it really did seem work for this film. After all, in many campfire stories that kids tell each other there is usually some legend about a kid falling victim to a monster or psycho as the setup. This just seems like a visual extension of those stories. If you're sensitive to that type of thing, then just be aware that children do die in this film. I could honestly see Trick 'r Treat becoming a classic, as well as a yearly tradition for those who love to watch horror movies during the Halloween sea[...]

Dead Above Ground Review


Who To KnowChuck Bowman................Director Stephen J. Cannell.............WriterStephen J. Cannell............Carl Hadden - Nerdy teacher who can't get the girl. Josh Hammond.................Jeff Lucas - Weird goth kid. Claims to be George Lucas' nephew.Don Michael Paul..............Tom Donaldson - Pot smokin' gym teacher. Antonio Sabato Jr..............Sgt. Dan DeSousa - The Barney Fife of modern homicide detectives.Lisa Anne Hadley..............Dr. Brenda Boone - She has a thing for incompetent policemen. The Story Goes...A disturbed student at a high school has a series of encounters with both students and faculty members. After one altercation he is accidentally killed when he drives off of a cliff while being chased by another student. It is one year later and students and teachers begin to die at the hands of an unknown vicious killer. Together they must discover who the killer is, and how to stop them.My ThoughtsI originally watched Dead Above Ground  because I saw that Corbin Bernsen had top billing in this. "Hmm," I thought to myself, "Corbin starring in a teen horror movie? Sounds like fun." Well, I'll be honest, I was a bit let down. Corbin only has a very small roll, and he is in the movie for about five minutes or so. However, being the trooper that I am, I decided to keep watching, and I discovered that it wasn't as bad as I had thought that it would be based on other reviews.Corbin Bersen and Cindy Margolis(?)First off, Dead Above Ground is a low budget, by the numbers, straight to video b-horror flick. There is no real originality, or even much interesting dialog being used throughout it. To give you an idea of the quality of writing that this film has, it helps to be aware of the fact that it was written by Stephen J. Cannell (who also plays the role of Carl Hadden). If you're not sure who that is, just be aware that he is responsible for writing such classics as the tv shows Renegade, 21 Jump Street, The A-Team, and The Greatest American Hero. If you prefer this level of cheesiness in your favorite productions, and consider them to be high quality entertainment, then you may enjoy Dead Above Ground. One great aspect of this film is Josh Hammond's over the top performance as the psychotic Jeff Lucas. Jeff is the goth of goths. Everything that he wears and says is about the occult, especially when he's sputtering what sounds to be total nonsense about equinoxes and things. I won't go so far as to say that Hammond's acting is on par with Eric Freeman's from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, but it's pretty darn close. Subtlety definitely isn't in this young man's vocabulary, but I have a feeling that he knew what kind of movie he was taking part in, and he just decided to go all out.Josh Hammond as Jeff LucasMost of the other actors are just playing the standard "we're just here to help drive up the body count," roles. Though, another standout is Antonio Sabato Jr. as the not-so-observant detective. This guy just throws around accusations all willy nilly, all the while never having any real proof of his claims. He likes to detain and release suspects based on the results of polygraph tests. Personally, I like Mr. Sabato because he helps prove the argument that it isn't only women that are chosen for roles based on their looks. After seeing him in this film, I can't help but get the impression that he is actually daring future casting directors to not hire him. Dude got balls(!), but not much talent.Antonio Sabato Jr. as Sgt Dan DesousaMy favorite character, and one that I would like to see in other movies, is coach Donaldson. He gets fired from his coaching position, and instead of looking for another job like a normal person would,[...]

Graduation Day Review


Who to KnowHerb Freed................DirectorAnne Marisse.............WriterHerb Freed.................WriterDavid Baughn.............WriterChristopher George.........Coach George MichaelsPatch Mckenzie.............Anne RamsteadE. Danny Murphy...........Kevin BadgerCarmen Argenziano........Insp. HallidayVanna White.................DorisThe Story Goes...A high school track runner dies from a heart attack just as she's finishing the race because her unrelenting coach continues to push her way beyond her abilities. The girl's sister, Anne, returns to their town, I assume to pay her respects, and at the same time the other members of the team are being murdered by a masked killer. He uses a stopwatch to time the murders to ensure that death occurs at 30 seconds. It's up to inspector Halliday to discover who the murderer is, and save the remaining team members.  My ThoughtsIt's no secret that the late 1970s and early 1980s were a magical period for films in the horror genre. With the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th, it was just a matter of time before any and every wanna-be film maker with a super low budget and access to a camera would make copy cat movies to feed on the success of these two classics. Graduation Day is one such film.The lack of a budget does not necessarily mean a film will be bad, and I will go so far as to say that Graduation Day is not bad at all. In fact, most fans of this period of horror films will probably enjoy the amount of cheese this movie has to offer. Actor Christopher George, who you may remember from such classics as Enter the Ninja and City of the Living Dead (god rest his soul), practically bled cheese with his "subtle" acting style. And, from the inclusion of the entire 7 minute (hit) single "Gangsters of Rock" by Felony, to the hypnotic disco music in the opening sequence, we know that we're in for a rockin' good time that many films of today cannot provide.Patch Mckenzie as AnneI admit that the killer in Graduation Day isn't nearly as imposing as champions of the genre such as Michael Meyers or Jason Voorhees, but his creativity is enough to keep the movie entertaining. He clearly enjoys coming up with interesting, and highly implausible, ways of taking out his victims. The amount of prep time that it would take to rig a pole vaulters landing mat with spikes had to have been a lot, and that shows just how committed our killer is. That's what I look for in a homicidal maniac!The overall story is probably fairly cliche for most of today's audience, but honestly, it's a slasher film, and really shouldn't be subjected to in depth scrutiny. The real reason to watch Graduation Day is for the kill scenes, and the few breasts shots that we get. Realistically, isn't that what we watch any slasher movie for?All of the actors seem to enjoying their time, and they all seem to ham it up in their own little ways. Linnea Quigley doesn't disappoint with her "assets." Hey, she needs to pass in order to graduate, and she'll do anything to make sure she does. Vanna White also has a part, and I can honestly see why she chose Wheel of Fortune over acting. ConclusionGraduation Day is a fun horror flick, especially for those who are fans of the classic slashers from the early 80s. Casual fans of horror may find the pacing somewhat slow when compared to many of the popular horror movies that came out in the later part of the decade. If you like the feel of the first Friday the 13th, then you would probably like this movie.The old blade in the football trick.If you're a hardcore fan, then this movie is a great way to spend any evening with some friends and some beer. There are plenty of good kills, and also p[...]

Your Highness Review


It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I didn't really have anything to do, so I decided to risk some of my hard earned capital on David Gordon Green's Your Highness. We typically go for matinées on Sundays, so money really wasn't a concern, and I have to admit that I went in with a fairly limited level of expectation. I do enjoy a good portion of Danny McBride's work, and I figured that it would be a stupid movie to help wear away an afternoon.I was correct on the fact that this is stupid and lowbrow comedy, but that is what Green and McBride seem to specialize in. I can't help but to think that if you went into Your Highness looking for a "smart" comedy, and you were disappointed, then part of the fault lies on you. That would be like going to see a Will Ferrel movie and expecting to see something on par with Dr. Strangelove. It just won't happen. The fact that Danny McBride wrote it, and David Gordon Green (the same guy who directed Pineapple Express) directed it should give you a slight idea of what to expect.Many of the jokes are plays on language, and by that I mean the characters often place swear words and current slang in the dialog while continuing to try to maintain the feel of the Medieval setting. Personally, I found it to be somewhat comical, and it managed to keep me grinning throughout the film.  However, I will admit that it does get somewhat predictable the more that this device is used. Also, marijuana jokes and the usual "dick jokes" that plague many of today's comedies are definitely present in Your Highness, but it really doesn't seem to be as annoying when Seth Rogan isn't on screen.The sight gags were also good enough to make me chuckle from time to time. I must admit that in spite of myself, I found the wearing of the genitals of a minotaur around the neck as a trophy after it's defeat to be fairly comical. Perhaps some may be above such crude devices, but it honestly did come across as somewhat funny to me.The actors themselves all seem to be having a good time, and all are able add something to the comedy. I even found some of Natalie Portman's lines to not be a complete waste of effort. I usually don't find her that funny, but her and the other cast members are able to play off of each other rather well. I believe that if somebody like Ashton Kutcher were to play opposite of Portman instead of McBride, the comedic ability that she does have would not have played very well. Your Highness just seemed to be a bunch of friends having a good time while making a movie.The special effects were not bad, and though "shaky-cam" (a technique that I hate) was used during the action scenes, they didn't distract enough in this case to take me out of the adventure. Also, the CG wasn't too bad, though with a budget of close to $50 million I wouldn't expect The Assylum style visuals.The evil wizard Leezar was probably my favorite character. He just seemed to be this loser who tried so hard come across as a hard-ass, but was really insecure. The corny picture that Leezar draws (with his embellished manhood) of his upcoming consummation night with the captured Belladonna is probably the funniest demonstration of his insecurities, as well as his overall excitement at the thought of being with an actual girl.Overall, I thought that Your Highness was a funny movie, and I would recommend it for those that enjoy crude humor. It was much better than Pineapple Express because the audience isn't subjected to the dastardly Seth Rogan, and the pacing felt better. Just know that this is a stupid movie, and is really nothing more than a popcorn flick, and you should find it enjoyable. If y[...]

The Company of Wolves


Sarah PattersonWho To KnowNeil Jordan................DirectorSarah Patterson.........RosaleenAngela Landsbury.....GrannyMicha Bergese..........HuntsmanDavid Warner...........FatherTusse Silberg............MotherThe Story Goes...We enter the dreams of a pubescent girl, Rosaleen, as she comes to terms with her sexuality, as well as her maturity. Inside her dreamworld she his constantly warned by her granny to beware of the beast that lives inside of all men, and to never leave the straight and narrow. Ultimately, after Rosaleen meets a suave huntsman, she must decide for herself whether or not her grandmother's warnings are true.Granny warns Rosaleen about straying from the path.My ThoughtsThe recent release of Red Riding Hood brought renewed attention to the legend of Little Red Riding Hood. Though I didn't find the premise of this particular film to be all that intriguing, it did remind me of a film that I hadn't seen in years that was also based on the Little Red Riding Hood story called The Company of Wolves. I decided to give it another watch after all these years, and was just as pleased at this viewing as I was the first time that I saw it. This is a strange and surreal take on the classic tale that is loaded with symbolism that is sure to leave a lasting impression on fans of horror-fantasy.I had first seen The Company of Wolves on Monster-vision with Joe Bob Briggs when I was a youngin', and I remember being somewhat blown away by the structure. This was a film that stuck with me because it was much stranger than the typical werewolf movie that I had seen up to that point, and I couldn't get past trying to decipher what all of the symbols meant. It was clear that sexual maturity was a theme, but figuring out all of the (sometimes confusing) symbolism is what makes films like this so interesting. Indeed, on first look it can appear that The Company of Wolves is a string of nonsensical scenes that are slapped together with little care, though the reality is that once the themes are understood, it is quite a compelling story that is incredible visually.The tale of Little Red Riding Hood has been analyzed for a number of years, and one of the more popular analyses amongst many contemporary critics is that it represents the sexual awakening of a young girl who is maturing but is still innocent, as well as the dangers of the advances of those who are also aware of her maturity and naivety. Ultimately, this is the basis that writer Angela Carter used when she wrote the original short story of the same title. Likewise, sexuality has been a major theme in many of director Neil Jordan's popular films such as The Crying Game and Interview With the Vampire, and his vision flowed well with Carters story to create a very compelling film.Rosaleen and Mother discuss the inner beast.Granny has stern views of sex and the way that all men are, and she repeatedly attempts to instill these beliefs in Rosaleen. It's true that Granny does have influence in Rosaleen's views to a certain degree, but Rosaleen's Mother has conflicting views that also seem to make an impression on the girl. At one point Rosaleen sees her parents having sex and questions her mother about whether her father was hurting her mother during the activity. To which Mother replies "if there's a beast in men, it meets it's match in women too." Clearly the mother has a different and more sympathetic view of men than Granny. To Mother, power that lies in sex is shared by both men and women, and there is no victim during the act. As you could expect, all of these conflicting influences could be very confusing for a young g[...]

Come Drink With Me - A Review of the King Hu Classic


Who To KnowDirector..................King HuPei-pei Cheng.........Golden SwallowHua Yueh...............Drunken CatHung Lieh Chen......Jade Faced TigerChih-Ching Yang....Abbot Diao Ching-tangThe Story GoesAn official is kidnapped by a gang of bandits so that they can exchange him for their leader, who has been arrested. The official's sister, Golden Swallow, arrives to free him, and ends up needing the help of a beggar/kung fu master. My ThoughtsI have been a fan of King Hu's films for a while now, and I've seen quite a bit of his work. I even bought a multi-regional DVD player so that I could buy the best versions of a couple of his movies that were not available in my region. As chance would have it Come Drink With Me was one of the last of his movies that I have seen. Perhaps this played a role in my somewhat-negative opinion since I had seen his other films, and heard so much about how great this film is before I had the chance to see it.Pei Pei Cheng / Golden SwallowFirst of all, I'll start off by saying that Come Drink With Me isn't a terrible movie. Personally, I just find it to be one of Hu's weaker films that I've seen. Of course I thought it was better than Painted Skin, again another film that still do I find very watchable, but I feel that Come Drink With Me it is somewhat overrated, at least in the States. I believe that this was King Hu's last film with Shaw Brothers, and you can actually see the "Shawness" in the film compared to his later efforts. I remember reading that Shaw Brothers were known to restrict creative control of the films that they produced, and it's possible that this may have affected the final cut of Come Drink With Me.Another thing that I would like to note is that I have only had the opportunity to see the Dragon Dynasty version of the film. If you know anything about the Weinsteins and Dragon Dynasty, then you are probably familiar with their strange desire to recut, and include alternative soundtracks to the movies that they release. The version that I saw only had the English dubtitles available at the time. I'm sure that if you purchase the DVD that you can probably choose some version of spoken Chinese and English subtitles. It just wasn't available to me at the time, however.Anyways, I'm sure that the questionable dubbing may have influenced my opinion negatively, but I believe that if I would've seen it in the original audio that I still would've found this to be a lesser film than A Touch of Zen, Dragon Gate Inn, Valiant Ones, The Fate of Lee Kahn, or the Two Mountain films.The Characters were interesting enough, but I didn't sense that tension that I usually get between the opposing characters in Hu's films. I won't say that they are generic characters, and that are running through the motions. That is actually far from true, but they definitely didn't have the playful cat-and-mouse relationship that we see in many of his films, in my opinion at least. In fact, I found both Golden Swallow and Drunken Cat to both be great heroes, and Cheng and Yueh were good in their respective roles.Likewise, the villains were all pretty good, and I especially thought Jade Face Tiger was interesting. The first villain that Golden Swallow encounters is Smiling Tiger, who for some reason always reminds me of an Asian Jack Palance. It must be the fake/sex-assaulter grin that he keeps during his entire time on screen. As with all of King Hu's films, I did enjoy the sets that were used in Come Drink With Me, and they did keep a somewhat magical feel to the film. It goes without saying that the man had a knack for visuals, and I found this[...]

Cobra Vs Ninja - A Review For the Masses


People to KnowRichard Harrison...GordonStuart Smith..........CobraOther People........SelfThe StorylineThere are ninjas who are fighting, and there's a syndicate that wants to control gambling, and they gamble on the fights, but....It doesn't really matter. We're here for ninjas!My ThoughtsMuch like many terminally ill juveniles who spent their last days on the Neverland Ranch, I have been touched. However, unlike those poor children, I was only touched by the beauty that only Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai could commit to celluloid in all of their cut-and-paste glory. Of course I speak about the Richard Harrison classic film, Cobra Vs Ninja.I'll begin by saying that if picture quality is a great concern for you, then Cobra Vs Ninja may not be the film for you. There is no digitally remastered blu-ray Criterion edition with guest commentaries featuring Bill Clinton & Kim Jong-il here. It's only two completely unrelated stories crammed into one feature length film with poor picture quality, and questionable voice acting, baby! And, that's how we like it.From the opening sequence of an aging  Richard Harrison running around fields, and climatically screaming "ninja!" from a hilltop, you should have an idea of whether this is the story for you. Indeed, Cobra Vs Ninja is for the true hard-core ninja fan out there. You'll be pressed to find Korean pop stars who have the aid of CGI to make them look like they have superhuman abilities here. Our ninjas are actually performing the moves, and in this writers opinion, it is much more effective.If there is on thing that Cobra Vs Ninja does well, it is the fight scenes between the various ninjas. As mentioned earlier there are two separate stories here, story 1 with ninjas, and story 2 with gangsters. The fight scenes between the gangsters aren't bad, but they are not nearly as good as the ninja fights.The storyline is fairly coherent, but really isn't necessary for this exploitation style movie. After all, you wouldn't watch a "Debbie Does..." movie for its emotional depth.One complaint that I would like to bring up, which is pretty much the same as my complaints from most of the Ho movies that I have seen, is that there isn't nearly enough ninja action. The gangster story takes up a good portion of the screen time. There are more ninja fights here than in other knock off style movies, such as Ninja Vs Ninja, but I would've appreciated more. Perhaps I'm just a glutton, but I know what I like.In ConclusionAll in all, I would say that Cobra Vs Ninja is not that bad. The second story is better than many of the second stories in other cut and paste films, which makes this movie a little more watchable in my opinion. If you like ninjas, and are a fan of old school martial arts action films, then I would recommend this movie. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">[...]

Black Mama, White Mama Review: Revolution, and the Women Who Struggle


If you're looking for a mild version of exploitation to get a feel for the genre of general schlock cinema, while having it not make you feel too awkward, then Black Mama, White Mama is the film that you're looking for. This is tagged as a WIP (women in prison) movie, but in reality, less than 20 minutes of this movie actually takes place in a prison, and it ends up being a women in fields movie as they run across the countryside trying to escape. We do get a shower scene, and some chick fights, but I wouldn't really consider it a WIP movie.I've also heard this referred to as a blaxploitation film. It really isn't because there is one black character in the movie (Pam Grier), and she isn't trying to "stick it to the man." She just wants to take her money and leave the island. So, I wouldn't really consider this a blaxploitation movie either. If you want a Pam Grier blaxploitation movie, then look for Coffy or Foxy Brown.Let's take a look at Black Mama, White Mama.People to KnowPam Grier - Defying theman since 1949Lee Daniels - The black mama. She's a hooker with a heart of gold, that just wants to escape from the island with the money that she stole from her pimp. She don't talk no jive.Karen Brent - The white mama. She has revolution in her blood, and will stop at nothing to achieve whatever vague goal she has.Ruben - He's a cowboy just trying to get by in whatever country they are all in. He's a pimp, a dealer, and a general badass. Ruben runs the vice in his portion of the island, and he is arch enemies with Vic.Vic - A big boss, pimp, and dealer on the island, who electrocutes his hos when they try to run. Lee stole $40000 from him, and is trying to escape with it. Vic is out to let her know that he ain't no punk.Matron Densmore - She's a strict no-nonsense guard, who has a thing for nearly all of her prisoners. Lee ain't havin that!Captain Cruz - Semi-bumbling police captain that is trying to track down Daniels and Brent. He enlists the help of Ruben.Enesto - Gee, could he be the leader of the revolutionaries?And the Story Goes...We begin our cautionary tale with our two leads being bussed in to join the dance squad at their new home...a Filipino prison! (at least it might be a Filipino prison. We never know where the movie takes place.) They're both lean, mean, authority fighting mamas who I know won't take no crap from the Warden. Oh dear, the anticipation of their interactions with each other while in prison is almost too much to bear.Prison for women is fun. I can't wait for the pillow fight! After a fight or two between the mamas, the women end up in the oven without shirts. For those of you who don't know, "the oven" is a large steel box that is barely large enough for two people, and the mamas are placed in solitary confinement together in this box to help them work out their issues. It's slightly less cruel and unusual than forcing level-headed people listen to Bill O'Reilly for hours on end. The Matron has enough of the feisty gals after one unsuccessful attempt sex with Lee, and a possible successful attempt with Karen. Since the Matron isn't getting laid, her and the Worden decide that it might be time for transfer.During our transit to the big city, Lee's freedom loving revolutionaries attack the convoy in an effort to rescue the young vixen. They ultimately fail, because if they didn't the movie would probably end. Though, our heroines are able to escape during the madness, and run off. The mamas decide that yet another unproductive chick fight is necessary before they [...]

Machete Movie Review: The Best Action Movie to be Released in September of 2010


Robert Rodriguez is a hit or miss director for me. He is capable of making really entertaining, though mostly mindless, movies that serve no other purpose than looking cool and throwing out nonstop action. Then, he is able to turn around and make some horribly mindless (in a bad way) dribble.  Machete falls somewhere between the cool and the crappy to give us a fairly forgettable modernized version of exploitation. That's not to say that Machete is horrible, because it isn't, but it just doesn't have that fresh magic that Desperado or From Dusk til Dawn had.And the Story Goes...Machete is an ex Federale whose wife was killed by Torrez, a kingpin. Machete was left for dead as Torrez's men set the house he is in on fire. He ultimately escapes, and is now living in the States as a day laborer.While Machete is looking for work for the day, he is approached and asked by a man that works with Torrez to kill a senator. He is forced into doing the job, but is double crossed. He spends the rest of the film searching for those that set him up so that he can get revenge. He ends up working with Luz, a woman that helps Mexicans cross the border, and finds them work and housing, and Sartana, an immigration and customs officer.Together, they uncover a conspiracy to get a certain anti-immigration senator elected so that a fence can be erected on the border. An it comes down to fisticuffs!The GoodMichelle Rodriguez - Missing an eyeand a shirt.As far as the actors are concerned, most good, and some are bad  (mainly one is bad one). Trejo is cool, and delivers as always. It's nice to see him get star billing after all these years of playing character bits in the background. He's a pretty charasmatic dude, and is still able to play the hardcore role at 66 years of age. It's pretty impressive. Seagal, Cheech, Fahey and De Niro were all great and clearly having fun with this one. Michelle Rodriguez is good, though she's playing the same "tough girl" role that she does in every movie that she's in.The action is pretty cool, and in true Rodriguez style, the weapons get pretty creative. There's a scene where Machete is in the hospital after being shot. Some henchmen come in to kill him, and he is forced to create some makeshift weapons from hospital surgical tools (?), and take them all out. Personally, I would have never thought of cutting a man's stomach open, and using his intestines as a rappel rope. But now, I know what to do if I'm ever in a similar situation.The BadLindsay Lohan - Ruining movies since1998.I have a distaste for Lindsay Lohan, probably because of her real life persona, and she's pretty much playing herself in this. I'm not even exaggerating. She's some skinny cracked out rich girl that apparently makes internet adult videos with her mother. Here's the kicker though, she is constantly covered with hair, or positioned so that you never see her body when she's supposed to be nude. It's just dumb to be in something where the character is supposed to be nude, but refusing toactually play it nude. Honestly, you can't tell me that she believes that she is too classy to go topless.If you're in any way concerned about Mexicans crossing the border illegally, then be prepared to be preached to. There's no question about the director's stance on the subject. Personally, I'm more concerned the baby boomer's greedy destruction of America. This wouldn't even be an issue if we didn't send our jobs everywhere in the first place. That's all for my soapbox.One [...]

Chrome and Hot Leather Review: Featuring the Nerdiest Green Berets This Side of the Mississip


Not to be mucked with. If you're down with bikersploitation, then boy I have a treat for you today. Of course I'm talking about Lee Frost's 1971s Chrome and Hot Leather! Maybe it's not a perfect movie, but it does have chrome in it, and I think one of the guys in the gang wears a leather coat (most of them wear denim)!Let's take a look at some of the least biker-ish bikers ever filmed, and how Chrome and Hot Leather contributed to cinema, and ultimately changed the bikersploitation genre.What's makes this movie different?Marvin Gaye is in this bad boy! His weapon of choice? The voice of an angel.Anyways, People To Know Mitch - A Green Beret whose fiancée was (accidentally) murdered by a (not really) vicious biker gang. He needs revenge, and he needs it now. This guy is so straight laced that Joe Friday would tell him to loosen up.This magic momentwhen I was menacing youwill last foreverforever, 'til the end of timeJim - Mitch's friend. He's not afraid to ask the question "What's going on?" T.J. - A large armed biker who often makes statements that don't seem to be true. He'll say things such as "we don't want trouble," or "I'm happy to see you," but you can't help but think that he in fact does want trouble, and is not happy to see you. Also, he does not like noise in the room when he's "menacing someone."Casey - T.J.'s fellow biker. He smashes Mitch's fiancées windshield with a chain as she's driving down the road. She ultimately drives off of a cliff in true 1970s fashion, and he claims it was an accident. That's just dumb.Mike - He's controls munitians, and in no way follows protocol. We're playing G.I.s and Vietcong(s) again? Aw, but Iwas the Vietcong last time. And the Story Goes...We begin with Mitch, Jim, and the gang watching some army guys playing the Vietnam equivalent of "Cowboys and Indians." After comparing notes and determining that they probably wouldn't win the Vietnam war, they vow to be hypocritical, and to force their children to endure the same type of situation in the Middle East based on greed, preferably during the the 00s. For the younger readers out there, it is not uncommon for baby boomers to be completely self-centered and greedy. Often you will find them exploit even friends and family to get ahead.Anyways, we move back to the States to see Mitch's fiancée and her friend being harassed by a biker gang as they are driving down the road. The two try to escape by turning down a road, but "Casey the obsessive biker" decides he will not be rejected by the young beauties, and turns back to run them off of the road, thus killing them.Look kids, a 1970s "driving off a cliff" shot. This is whenmovies were fun. Real cars, real cliffs, real hookers promiseda shot a fame. Ah, times have changed.Mitch gets word that his fiance has been killed by the vicious biker gang, and comes back to the States with his beret buddies. It's time to track down some outlaws, and to judo-chop some heads.So, what's the best way to track down and infiltrate a gang of Harley riding outlaws? Buy Kawasakis, and Village People costumes, of course. And it sort of works! Based on their research, Estonian scientist have concluded that bikers can smell a cop a mile away, except when they ride a Kawasaki and dressed as a construction worker.Eventually Mitch is discovered to be in the army by the gang, and is beat by "large-armed T.J." His Beret buddies are able to track him down, and he is ultimatel[...]

Ecino Man Review: The Comedy That Was the Voice of a Generation


Hey kids, if you ever want to see what the 90s looked like, or at least how the generation perceived themselves to be, then look no further than Encino Man. You won't find any ground breaking cinematography, or a deep story trying to say something. But, you will get pure stupid early 90s comedy geared for Gen Xers, before Pauly "The Weasel" Shore was completely shunned by both Hollywood and audiences.What sets this movie apart from all of the other fast editing, unnecessary-sound-effects laden movies of the late 80s and early 90s? Well, Ecino Man has a caveman in it, of course. Let's take a look at this wonderful character study.People To KnowDave - Dave is the typical self-absorbed nerd that is constantly seeking popularity. This not an uncommon trait for the offspring of the greedy generation that destroyed any notion of personal values and responsibilities, and ultimately ruined America by singing multiple free trade agreements and sending our jobs overseas, thus destroying our economy, and now our generation has to deal with it...the baby boomers.Link - A caveman that was frozen in ice for thousands of years, only to be dug up and exploited by Dave. He's one of the more thought provoking characters in the movie. -My career only has about 2 years left.-It's ok Weasel. You've made it this far without any real talent.Maybe you can put a show together with Screech.Stoney - Stoney is the pretty much the exact same character that Shore played in every other t.v. show and  movie that he was in. Somehow, he seems to really be on the level of a caveman, and it really works here. Kudos. Hi, my name is Matt Wilson. I will be representingthe Billy Zabka-esque character of our film.Robyn - The popular girl that Dave has been obsessing over since childhood. We know this from the picture he proudly displays of him and her in the bathtub together as children. She's either completely clueless or just a real biznitch because when Dave asks her out, she declines, then immediately request that he ask his friend to go with her instead. Seriously? Matt Wilson - The man that Robyn is kind-of dating. He hates Dave, and has a real penchant from discussing people urinating on each others gums. He would later pioneer the __ girls __ cup phenomenon.And the Story Goes... We begin with cavepeople (don't want to be sexist) stiring bowls, and trying to start fires. Suddenly an earthquake strikes, and the caveman falls out of his cave, an into a block of ice. Luckily, the human body is in no way complex, and freezing it in an uncontrolled environment will always allow the person to be revived in the future with nothing more than a couple of space heaters, almost certainly without fail. Before we move on, I would like to give a little bit of a history lesson to the younger readers out there. You see, in the early 90s, if you were considered a nerd, then you would always resort to digging swimming pools in your parent's back yard. This would help others see that you were cool. The act dates back to prehistoric times when usefulness was a virtue. (do I smell juxtaposition?)The honeys love spite of the fact that he looks like Yahoo Serious. And, that's a fact!  Moving along, Dave is demonstrating our innate prehistoric coping mechanism in his parent's backyard, whilst Stoney watches. Our two lovable ne'er do well main characters inevitably discover a caveman. So, what would the obvious decision be if you [...]

All Souls Day Review: A Testamete to the Horror Movies of the 00s


All Souls Day. The zombie genreis reborn. Or not. Few can speak of the most influential horror movies of the 00s, and not mention All Souls Day. Ok, maybe that isn't completely true, but the gospel according to Jack specifically states "All Souls Day isn't the worst-eth movie produc-ed by man." So, there you have it.Alright, I'll go into more detail. Director Jeremy Kasten, who you may know as the director of the remake of The Wizard of Gore, was given a fairly standard script, and he ultimately pushed out a fairly standard zombie movie. What's the difference with this one? The zombies are Mexican, of course!People To KnowAlicia - The only person who speaks Spanish in the whole movie, in spite of the fact that it takes place entirely in Mexico. She has an incurable condition known as "the creeps."Joss - Don't even ask. I've never hated a completely underdeveloped character the way that I hate this guy. You know that kid that warms the bench, but still thinks he's the stuff and acts like an ass because he's technically on the team? That's Joss.Erica - Cheerleader bimbo. She's rich. We know that because it's mentioned about 7,291 times. I don't want to be mean, but I think that this actress may want to learn how to type. Acting doesn't seem to be her thing.Tyler - A fairly unconvincing premed student that has to take care of things once Joss is injured. His other choice for a major was pre-law. This leads me to believe that he isn't really interested in becoming a doctor, but he instead just doesn't want to finish school. Why go for 4 years of nonstop drinking when you can go for 6 years of nonstop drinking?Martia - Enigmatic inn keeper. This Laura Harring  from Mulholland Dr! How is this possible?! Maybe David Lynch was originally signed on to direct this?Vargas Diaz - The villain, played by Danny Trejo. He's so important that he gets a surname. He's known for laying in bed and beating it while his subject is standing in the room with him. He hasn't perfected his stalking techniques, I guess.And the Story Goes...There is a prologue in the beginning, that really isn't important, about the White family who stops in this backwards little Mexican town while on vacation, and it ends with a bunch of screaming. The family is eliminated with the exception of the little crip boy for some reason.Now the real story begins! We catch our first glimpse of our main characters, an interracial couple, a Mexican girl and a white American guy, who are going to visit her family on what happens be Dia De Los Muertos...The Day of the Dead! Oh Kasten, you're always pushing the envelope.As they drive, they discuss important issues such as Mexican street name diversity, and the struggle that all interracial couples face.You know, we're all alone out here in this desert. Your emotions are probably running wild, and you know that you don't really have a choice....because of the implication.Throughout these dialogs we learn that Alicia is a sassy-streetwise Latina, who's always quick with a comeback. Oh, wait...that's a character that would've been fun to watch. Our Alicia is not really boring, but not somebody that you would want to watch for an 1.5 hours...aside from her physical appearance. She's just kind of there.Joss is annoying. I know that in my review of The Wizards of the Demon Sword review I said that Damon is extremely annoying, but Joss blows that idiot out of the w[...]

Ninja Vs Ninja


Hmm. What can be said of Ninja Vs Ninja?We clearly have a case of cut and paste cinema with movie. People that are familiar with films that came out of Hong Kong during the 1980s with the word "ninja" in the title know all to well this technique. Basically, for those of you who don't know, cut and paste cinema is where a director takes 1 or more existing movies that have never been released to the public, and combine them with some new footage that is shot by that director. You can imagine the continuity errors, and overall lack of coherence that these movies possess. Often times seeing the characters "interact" with each other is hysterical. You get nothing more than two people, in clearly different rooms, speaking in sentence fragments in a feeble attempt to push the plot along. Godfrey Ho was a major contributor to this genre, and it seemed that every movie that he churned out to the public had the word "ninja" in the title. In fact, Richard Harrison, the American actor, credits Ho with destroying his career by recycling the Harrison footage over and over again. That is why if you look at Richard Harrison's IMDB page, you will see a ton of titles that begin with "Ninja..."We begin Ninja Vs Ninja with a white ninja and a black ninja practicing some ninja stuff in a field, and then running alongside walls. The black (or white, depending upon which way you see it), Thompson, is capable of crawling underground. What a stupid ninja. His name is Thompson, and he crawls? This ninja was robbed. Modern Ninja running along side walls.The black (or white) ninja is capable of creating multiple hims, and he can throw Chinese stars. That's more like it. This ninja must have had rich parents or something, because he gets all of the cool abilities. You won't catch this dude crawling around. So many hims.Apparently they're friends because they discuss not seeing each other around. They probably don't see each other because they're ninjas. Are they seriously expecting to run into each other at TGI Friday's? We know what we're getting into with opening dialog such as:White Ninja - "I use ninjiutsu to get money. I'd do anything for money."Thompson- "You joined this international crime ring, no doubt for the money."We're only in this for 2 minutes and 52 seconds, and already it's implausible. That ends our opening sequence, and seeing as how the rest is a jumbled mess of non-linear edits, nonsensical dialog, and subplots that don't involve the ninjas, and are obviously there just take up time, I'll give you the basic story. We have a Hong Kong CIA agent(?) chasing down a drug kingpin, Fatso. There are two white men talking about some tapes that were stolen, and Fatso is involved. Bear in mind that Fatso and these men are from two completely different movies, so their only interaction is over the telephone.  Fatso has an indestructible nephew, and a psychotic son that is obsessed with a local T.V. personality. The agent has to fight the indestructible nephew, and kill Fatso's son, who is killing people, and is holding the agents son hostage. The reason that I can't give more of the story, is because it's just a series of subplots that don't develope into anything that is worth mentioning. I don't give more story because there is not possible way that I can. The acting is sub par, the story is sub parer, and [...]