May

posted by admin | May 19, 2016 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies

5. Dead Rising – Inspired by Dawn of the Dead
What would be the perfect place to hold up during the zombie Apocalypse? A mall of course. Dead Rising takes it cues from Dawn of the Dead with this icon location. But it doesn’t just leave our hero to wander around in the food court looking for canned olives It gives him the ability to make weapons out of pretty much anything. Ever wanted to run over zombies with a lawnmower? You’ll get your chance.

4. The Thing – Thing
A little known game based on the legendary horror film by John Carpenter. It picks up in the middle of the movie as you discover people in your team aren’t what they appear to be. What lurks under the skin can be as scary as any alien monster. Be sure to bring your flame through.

3. Resident Evil – Night of the Living Dead
Resident Evil was one of the first horror survival games that gained critical and financial success and it’s easy to see why. It has one of the creepiest house of horror games ever including playing in Horror House slot game online only with zombies. Like in George Romero’s classic you have to contend with shambling slow zombies but that’s only the tip of the death berg. You’ll also encounter giant spiders, insect swarms and zombie dogs that run at you at full speed. Where’s the doggie snacks when you need them.

resident

2. Friday the 13th – Friday the 13th Part 3

Originally on the Super Nintendo game. This game places you in the role of a camp counselor at Crystal Lake as you have to fight through the night against Jason and his legion of mutants. Ok so it’s not exactly accurate to the movie and has some hilarious game play but you do get to chuck broken bottles at the legend in the hockey mask. Who hasn’t wanted to try that?

friday

  1. Alien Isolation – Alien (1978)
    Probably one of the creepiest games on this list. It puts you in the role of a crew member battling the original Alien from the 1978 classic. Use whatever you can as a weapon and watch out for the air ducts. This creature knows how to fit into small spaces.
Apr

Comments Off on Ash Vs Evil Dead

days

There is a certain trilogy of movies, all American made, all wonderful to behold; that opened up a new avenue of creativity for generations to come. I’m not talking about any wars that happened amongst the stars, no. I’m speaking of Evil Dead, or The Evil Dead, depending on the movie title. With four movies under it’s franchise name, a myriad of video games, comics, and a gigantic range of other mediums, it would only be fitting that we would continue to want more. Let it never be said that Sam Raimi and The Chin don’t deliver. facial

With the fate of the rebooted movie’s sequel in perpetual development hell we are given, instead, a 10 episode look into the life of the original Deadite killer, himself: Ashley J Williams. I’ve watched this series with a glee that is hardly able to be successfully described, every joke, every reference, and every gratuitous splash of blood was taken in with nothing but sheer adoration. And that is what this series does, it brings back the character of Ash, still played by none other than The Chin, himself, and puts him in all new situations. After a drunken night capped off with a little recreational self medication Ash is trying to impress a girl with “Poetry” and opens that most sacred of books: The Necronomicon. Of course, he’s too inebriated to realize what he’s doing, but that doesn’t stop our hero from reciting the same summoning spell that got his friends killed. You’d think he’d get it through his head to never open that thing again, but he doesn’t. But, I mean, who hasn’t accidentally read from an ancient, evil scripture, summoned demons, and got a whole lot of folks killed? Just me? Anyways, true to form, this is when things start going south, and in a hurry.

At his job, not S-Mart, unfortunately, we meet Ash’s new sidekicks, Pablo, and Kelly, and our adventures really begin. We get a lot of story from the man, himself, as to why he’s hiding out in a crappy trailer in a no-name town in Michigan, and it all boils down to the fact that Ash has developed a streak of yellow, choosing flight over fight. While I’d like to fault him for that, truth be told, I can’t. Every time that book and him come into some kind of contact folks die horrible deaths. But, let’s get to the fun! ENTER THE DEADITES! Exposition be damned, it’s time to go full Evil Dead ahead! Pablo and Kelly are grabbed in Ash’s trailer, and the fight for their life can be only be tipped by an act of heroism or cowardice. For a moment or two the titular hero contemplates leaving his new friends to their fate, but has a change of heart. With all the Raimi directing glory we love Ash enters the fray, flinging axes, blowing skulls into mush with his trusty Boomstick, and dismembering his sweet, old, neighbor with that signature chainsaw arm. And where there’s blood, there’s a lot of it, and I do mean a lot. Holy glorious globs of ooey-gooey, Batman! One-liners are delivered, and we speed off into the credits, ending our first episode.

manualI think it worth mentioning, at this point, that from his last appearance on screen we’ve glorified Ash, a little. And the series is hilariously aware of that, reminding us constantly that he is, indeed, a complete moron who does one thing well: killing Deadites. I’m highly grateful for this, because it would’ve been easy to write Ash into this perfect hero, developed through his years of solitude, and all the tropes we could’ve seen come with re-entering a character like this, but instead, we get that love-able screwhead we all got some of our best one-liners from. Maybe there is hope for Michigan U graduates, after all. Now, enter more characters and arcs. We get a cop, her partner, and even get to find out what happened to that girl that loved poetry. Hint: It doesn’t end well for a lot of people. Practical effects make the ‘Ick’ factor register high in these episodes as we witness that poetry lover twist her own head 180 degrees to stare down the two police officers. Amanda, the cop that will be hunting our main guy, watches in horror as she loses her partner to a set of taxidermy horns, and then proceeds to blow his head off. Literally. We watch it happen, in full HD glory.

As Ash and company head towards a man that can give them more information about the book Amanda sits in contemplation of what happened. Enter Ruby, played by the beautiful Lucy Lawless, yes, THAT Lucy Lawless. I’ll give you a second to fangasm. Okay? Moving on. Ruby starts up the motor in Amanda’s head about what’s really going on, urging her to find Ash, the cause of all of this. So we have our two main plots, folks! But it doesn’t stop there, no, no, no. This series takes us all over the place, throwing demons, Deadites, and other ghouls at us, and never, ever, not once shying away from the gore. The comedy will have you laughing, the horror is actually pretty damned good, and the characters are all highly love-able. Although the series does get a little Game of Thrones-y by killing off some titular characters later on, it is still just as awesome. We get a giant chunk of Evil Dead and all it does is leave fans wanting more. Bruce Campbell resuming the role of Ash is just as entertaining as it’s ever been, Lucy Lawless joining him on screen is just as awesome, Pablo and Kelly do an outstanding job of supporting roles, and even manage to get in on some of the action.meds

It is with no hesitation that I recommend this series, and cannot wait for the second season to release. If you’re an Evil Dead fan you’re going to absolutely love it. If you’re just a fan of horror, in general, the humor might be hit and miss, but the experience is just as fulfilling. Go give it some love, and tell them Deadman sent you. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay Tuned!

roadside attractions

  • The Classic.
  • The Chin 4.0
  • Yeah, she thought about it.
  • Why is she here?
  • Scream king and queen.
  • Oh. That’s why.
  • Give Ash a hand!
  • Of course it’s evil!
totals

10

blood  

BLOOD

All the blood. All of it.

10

blood  

BREASTS

Only one pair. But. They’re totally Lawless.

10

beast  

BEASTS

Deadites, demons, and darkness, oh my!

10.00 OVERALL
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Apr

posted by Doktor | April 15, 2016 | 70's b-movies, foreign, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Cosmos: War of the Planets

Canoodling

Have you ever been hit in the face with a brick? Cosmos: War of the Planets is exactly like that, but different.

How are they the same? First, it’s spaghetti sci fi, heavy on the cheese. That would be the brick. It was written and directed by Alfonso Brescia (Al Bradley). Brescia went on to make such classics as Battle of the Stars (1978), War of the Robots (1978), Star Odyssey (1979), and Beast in Space (1980), among others. Many of the aforementioned films reused footage, costumes, actors, and props from Cosmos: War of the Planets. Honestly, I would not be surprised to learn all five movies are the same film just recut and re-titled. Brescia would be the getting hit in the face.

Etor looking scaredThe difference? Getting hit in the face with a brick will eventually heal. Cosmos: War of the Planets will haunt you the rest of your days.

The movie opens in space, a vast blanket of darkness spotted with twinkling lights. It reminds us of how small we are, the sublimity… is interrupted by an annoying video game blip sound as one star blinks brighter and brighter.

Ho-kay.

Cut to a different shot of space. A spaceship, the MK31, floats by. Again the huge expanse dwarfs the insignificant craft. In such spanning possibilities how could these intrepid explorers make any difference? Who are these brave… Devo rejects? Inside the ship, the Devo Crewmen say vaguely science sounding words in some kind of futuristic space spell in order to pilot the ship. Or something.

Uhg.

Just as sleep was about to take me there’s a “stellar explosion.” Well, that’s what one of the Devo Crewmen calls it. What actually happens is a flash of light followed by a meteor hurtling towards them. Devo Crew jump into their seats and strap on their seat belts. They ask the computer for new coordinates in order to escape the “rays” of the explosion (i.e. the meteor). Funny thing, the computer does not register the explosion.

Wait, what?

Now Devo Crew is worried. There are lots of anxious looks. Each of the fifteen crew members gets their turn to look distressed. That is, all except for Rent-a-Center Tommy Chong, Marseille, who is more concerned with biting his nails. At this point I too was more concerned with his hangnail than the plot. Sadly, though, we never find out if he got it.

Marseille chewing his fingernailWhy stress? Just steer away, right?

Problem is the MK31 does not have a steering wheel. There are plenty of random buttons and blinky lights, but no controls. The MK31 is piloted by the computer, with no way to manually take control. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your spacecraft.) So, with nothing else to do, there are more shots of Devo Crewmen looking on helplessly. The meteor is upon them and…

Never mind, it was nothing.

Seriously. In a move that makes M. Night Shymalan wet, the whole thing is unceremoniously dropped.

“That was a refraction of a cosmic explosion occurring 10 million years ago,” says the computer. Wait a minute. A second ago there was nothing there. Now the computer not only registers the event, but registers an event that happened 10 million years ago?

Whap! Brick right to the kisser!

Amazingly it is only three minutes into the film but it feels like several hours. There is still an hour and twenty-something minutes to go. (This is why you don’t let the Italians make your sci fi movie.) I felt like Ash in the laughing room scene of Evil Dead 2.

The credits roll as space granola floats around in the background, a kind of high colonic cleansing party for our mental palate.

Next we see Captain Devo, Hamilton—Captain Ham from here on—walking into command center Orion. He strolls up and punches some guy named Miller. Having completed his mission, Captain Ham leaves.

Captain Ham is supposed to be a no-nonsense, bucks authority kinda guy that movies like this call for. He’s more of a douche but, eh, close enough. Commander Bossman gives Captain Ham a talking to as punishment, then gives him command of a ship leaving for the Vega System. Or was it Space Vegas? Whatever. Commander Bossman is harsh, but fair.

Next we get some random scenes showcasing life aboard the MK31. In other words, a bunch of idiots barely able to handle mundane tasks without killing themselves. There’s a space walk to fix a space circuit. For some reason mishandled space circuits spit acid and, conveniently, this space circuit is mishandled. Captain Ham has to go out and rescue the Devo Crewman, thus showing how awesome Captain Ham is. Then we watch a couple of the female crew talk about how dreamy Captain Ham is. There’s some space hootchie-cootchie-lick-‘em-yum-yums in the Cosmic Love room. (Cosmic Love is two single beds with a model Death Star between them. Flip a few switches, watch the groovy light show, and you are getting your freak on.)

WIZJust as I was reaching for the remote to turn off Cosmos: War of the Planets a transmission comes in. By transmission I mean the grinding sound of an old Studebaker with a bad starter filtered through a Pac Man effects pedal. The message is never translated, but I’m pretty sure it went something like, “Get on with it already!”

Somehow the signal is interfering with Earth’s radio transmissions which has put Commander Boss Man’s butt is in the fire. WIZ, Earth’s most smartest super computer ever, recognizes that the signal is being broadcast by an intelligence that “knows all.” Being way smart and stuff, WIZ advises Commander Boss Man to seek  out the intelligence and destroy it. What a great idea. Launch an attack on some being that knows all. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your super computers.)

As an unnecessary counter point, Captain Ham gives his theory about the mysterious signal, “radioactivity meeting a cosmic belt.” Take that you stupid blipping robot box. Who’s the damned fool now? Alien intelligence? Feh. In fact, Captain Ham goes so far as to say that the computer “must be drunk.”

Regardless, Earth is going to send a ship and the closest is…

The MK31!

Though Captain Ham is a terrible person, his deficiencies make him the perfect person to lead this mission. That is, if he fails no one is going to miss him or Devo Crew. Finally! The movie does something believable.

Being a jerk that bucks authority, Captain Ham refuses the mission. He’s already on his way home and he’s got a haircut appointment he just cannot miss. He’s rescheduled it twice now and if he backs out again he will loose his deposit. Because the script says otherwise, some random spaceships materialize and attack the MK31, crippling it and the oh-so-capable Captain Ham.

Somehow, despite being on their way home, this attack causes them to spin out of control and into orbit around the planet broadcasting the mysterious signals. A planet that is galaxies away. Though seemingly untenable, I have a theory. The MK31 is powered by Expositive Plot Drive. That is, in order for the MK31 to escape from the spin, Captain Ham tells the closest Devo Crewman to press the “auxiliary ignition button pump”, which makes no sense. This red herring, being another brick to the face, disorients the viewer. Some slow motion acting is mixed in to further befuddle the audience and viola, anything goes. Unicorn sphincters spitting skittles would have made as much sense as them abruptly being at the renegade planet.

The spinning gives way to another scene of no-stakes drama. The MK31 is going to crash, or blow up, or run out of Snickers bars in the cafeteria vending machine. There are looks of concern. And more looks of concern. And nothing happens. Brescia just needed stuff to happen in order to fill runtime. Captain Ham orders the separation of the command module from the body of the MK31. After which they land on the planet.

Cut to a rock quarry. You know, the planet surface. The Space Science Team (that’s actually what the call themselves) generally mill about, investigating the hell out of the first ten square feet of ground outside the ship’s door. That is, all but ONE guy.

Space StonehengeJack, the inquisitive one on Space Science Team, wanders off and discovers Space Stonehenge. It’s totally sweet because it is a teleporter to a random cavern. Well, not completely random. This particular cavern is home of Cavern Robot. Cavern Robot wobbles slowly towards anyone in its area. Jack calls for help on his wrist calcom (calculator/communicator of the HP35 variety). No one on Space Science Team pays it any mind. Yet, when he cries out, as Cavern Robot treads on his space bunion, Space Science Team hears his cry. From deep within the cavern at some remote location somewhere far away.

Pow! Another brick right in the mush!

Always on the ball, one of Space Science Team remarks, “I think I saw him go towards those rocks.” In a rock quarry. Sigh. Good job narrowing that down, Lt. Dipstick. Captain Ham must be so very proud of Space Science Team. As hard as it is to believe, they actually follow Jack’s voice, and Lt. Dipstick’s vague directions, straight to Space Stonehenge.

Once inside the cavern, instead of setting off Cavern Robot’s proximity detector, Space Science Team are jumped by a clan of Troglovulcans, bald guys in linen diapers, painted blue-black with pointy ears. Old Man Troglovucan tells the story of how his people used to be a great race. Unfortunately they used their great advances in science to make robots so they could laze about. The machines revolted, as oppressed automata are wont to do. Why the “advanced” Troglovulcans did not remove the emotion chip that allowed the robots to feel oppressed is a question the film leaves unanswered. My guess is they were jerks. Whatever the case, there was an atomic war and the Troglovulcans devolved.

There is some exposition by Etor, the only named Trogulvucan (hmm, wonder if there is any significance to that?), which boils down to the enemy of my enemy is my friend resulting in an alliance between the Troglovulcans and humans. The Space Science Team is allowed to return to MK31, but they have to leave Mila behind. The Troglovulcans may be cave-dwelling morons, but they are not chumps. Captain Ham agrees to Mila being used as collateral. Keep in mind Mila is Captain Ham’s girlfriend. Also keep in mind that Space Science Team are armed with disintegrator rays and the Troglovulcans are armed with snug fitted adult diapers. I might be reading too much into it, but I think this is Captain Ham’s ham-fisted way of saying things “just aren’t working out.”

Back on MK31 there is another scene of Cosmic Love. Normally in a 70s Italian film these scenes would have incorporated nudity. In a ballsy artistic move, Brescia makes Cosmic Love more akin to a visit to one’s therapist, except less erotic. Meanwhile, Captain Ham consults MK31’s computer—yes, Captain Ham, the one who hates computers—and it reports the enemy is a computer. To destroy it they will need to press a button. A red button. A big red button. (The computer has to break it down for them in simple terms that even a village idiot could understand, because, that’s what the Devo Crew are.) Captain Ham gets worked up into a tissy because the report is only 70% possible. What? He hates computers, even when they are 100% accurate. Why does he constantly consult them?

Ugh. Why am I even asking these questions?

While Captain Ham cleans the sand out of his crevices, outside MK31 Random Devo Crewman #89 is singing while he patrols the parameter. There are some thumps which Random Devo Crewman #89 completely ignores. Jump cut inside to more Cosmic Love. Cut back to thumping outside. At this point Random Devo Crewman #89 has noticed and is worried. There are long shots of him looking anxious. Cut back to Cosmic Love, which is interrupted by some unconvincing roaring. Back outside, Random Devo Crewman #89 is attacked by Cavern Robot, i.e. Cavern Robot wobbles at him. When the backup Devo Crewmen come out to investigate, Cavern Robot uses its Super Breath Attack to blow dust at them. Mildly irritated, the Devo Crewmen retreat to get their protective space suits.

And…

BLFNAR The Evil RobotJump to Space Science Team back in the cavern. Okay. I guess that was enough of that last scene.

There is much rejoicing to be back with Mila. Yippee. Hurray. Random Devo Crewman #193’s wristmotron goes off, reminding them that the plot needs to keep moving forward. Captain Ham and Holden head off. Somehow they know to walk over to a particular corner which houses another transporter. This one teleports them before Master Brain Machine.

Master Brain Machine delivers his villain’a monologue, the tale of  how Troglovulcans are bad and by extension so is all organic life in the universe. (Kill all humans!) Also, how he is all powerful. (Kill all humans!) And finally he commands Captain Ham and Holden to switch out a few circuits so he can initiate his final solution. (Kill all humans!)

One circuit fixes Master Brain Machine, which came as a relief, i.e. no extended looks or exposition for filler. With all his power restored, Master Brain Machine is strangely impotent when it comes to killing Captain Ham and Holden who are standing right in front of him. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your evil Master Brain Machines.) Captain Ham MacGyver’s a sling shot out of his belt, which he uses to destroy Master Brain Machine David and Goliath style. Master Brain Machine’s roots are so intricately intertwined with the planet that as it explodes the planet starts to erupt.

Back at MK31, Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 are guarding the ship. Everything is quiet and chill. Suddenly Max’s body is there. So is Gretta’s. Who are Max and Gretta? Who cares? We will just call them victims of Cavern Robot. Whatever. Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 bring the bodies into the ship and deposit them in the infirmary. It turns out Gretta isn’t dead. As Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 leave, she opens her eyes. Then a couple Random Devo Crewmen are found dead.

Yeah, it would have been cool to see how they died, but at this point the movie is ready to be done. All continuity is thrown out the window in favor of ending this farce as quickly as possible. So again, whatever.

The planet remembers it was blowing up in a previous scene. There are stock footage shots of lava and volcanic eruptions. Captain Ham and Space Science Team make it back to the ship just in time. There’s some shaky camera shots of Devo Crewmen battening down the hatches, more volcano burbling, and intense talking about full power and the generators not having power and blah, blah, blah.

Big surprise, they make it out okay.

Only one Troglovulcan is saved, Etor. Heh, who would have guessed? No mention of the others left behind. No sadness. Just jokes about Etor being an instant officer because of the uniform he borrowed. (Thankfully once they got him on board they had him put on something more than the nappy.)

The End.

Wait. It isn’t?

Alka-Seltzer foaming at the mouth.The Master Brain Machine somehow possessed Random Devo Crewman #381, and in doing so made him impervious to disintegrator rays. While that is cool, it also made Random Devo Crewman #381 foam at the mouth and break out in a nasty rosacea. As Devo Crew looks around stupidly, Etor steps up like a champ to fight Master Brain Machine Guy #381. On the other hand, Captain Ham shows his true colors by grabbing his crew mate, leaving Etor to get beat down. Once safely in another room, Captain Ham ejects both Master Brain Machine Guy #381 and Etor into space.

All of everything is promptly forgotten when a happy message comes in from Earth. It’s a FaceTime call from Peter’s wife. His baby was just born. Ah! Who is Peter? Whatever. Shut up! It is almost over.

The end.

Nope. Brescia, channelling his inner J.R.R. Tolkien and the never ending ending, has another twist of supreme stupidity. The Master Brain Machine possessed the ship’s computer before Master Brain Machine Guy #381’s body was ejected into space. We discover the switcheroo when the computer’s voice changes to that of Master Brain Machine’s. Then there are some flashback scenes of the Cavern Robot and the stock volcanic eruptions (they paid for it and they are going to use, it by God) juxtaposed with the happy crew FaceTiming with Peter’s wife and baby.

Captain Ham looks around confused.

Indeed.

Now, FINALLY, the end.


Cosmos: War of the Planets

Tagline: Robot Terror from Space!

Year: 1977          Runtime: 89 min

DirectorAlfonso Brescia

Writer: Alfonso Brescia & Aldo Crudo

StarringJohn Richardson, Yanti Somer, West Buchanan


roadside attractions

  • WATCH! people look at the camera for long periods of time with vague emotions!
  • HEAR! special sound effects sampled from a Casio wrist watch!
  • WITNESS!  first contact with an alien race and then its utter  decimation, all without the slightest bit of concern!
  • FEEL! Cosmic Love, or what counts as intercourse in the space future!
  • BE AMAZED! by logic defying space science!
totals

4 blood  

BLOOD

No blood, but did have some nasty rosacea and mouth foam.

0 blood  

BREASTS

This is a classy Italian sci fi. None of that cheap stuff here.

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Cave Robots. Super Master Robot, & Troglovulcans.

 

OVERALL 4.666
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Apr

posted by admin | April 4, 2016 | Action, B-movie Reviews, Cult Film

Comments Off on Top 10 Cult Action Movies

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.04.57 PM

For a night around the house with your friends, you can’t do much better than a movie marathon. And what type of movie marathon could be more fun for a group of friends than a look back through some of the best cult classic action flicks of recent years? These are always some of the most entertaining and amusing movies out there, and they’re great to enjoy with good company.

Defining a “cult classic” is always an imprecise exercise, so some of the movies I’m suggesting may seem more or less appropriate than others. Nevertheless, here’s my top-10 list of cult action movies since 1990, in case a movie marathon is in your near future.

Army Of Darkness (1992)

Though it’s actually the third movie in a trilogy, this Sam Raimi directed action flick also stands on its own. Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, a time-traveling badass with a chainsaw in place of one arm who gets mixed up in a 14th century conflict with, well, an army of darkness. It’s completely bonkers, and yet its 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes beats most films of a similar type. And here’s another fun tip if you happen to load this one up for a movie night: there’s actually a game by Backflip Studios that reimagined this story for mobile gamers. Try loading it up on the big screen for a tournament of some kind after you watch the movie.

Passenger 57 (1992)

Okay, at the end of the day Passenger 57 is basically just another action movie on a plane. But this one has Wesley Snipes in it, and that alone makes it more interesting than 90 percent of action movies.

Dead Man (1995)

I’m always amazed how often Dead Man is left out when people recap Johnny Depp’s best movies. It’s more of an old western gunslinger flick than a traditional ’90s action movie, but it’s a pretty wild ride nonetheless, and it’s Depp in his element (before Tim Burton and others exploited that element and turned him into a caricature of himself).

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

If you haven’t seen From Dusk Till Dawn I’m not sure you can consider yourself a legitimate action film junkie. Directed by the great Robert Rodriguez and starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (who also wrote the script), it’s still one of the best and most action-packed vampire flicks out there. And given today’s entertainment where the likes of Twilight and True Blood are massive sensations, and there are countless popular vampire games out there, this one still holds up.

Bloodsport (1998)

It’s called “Bloodsport”. It has Van Damme. And it’s about a Chinese kickboxing deathmatch tournament. If that’s not enough, I’m not sure what is.

Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale might be one of the most under appreciated action/dystopian movies of all time, at least by American movie fans. That’s pretty much because it’s a Japanese film, directed by Kinji Fukasaku. But if you haven’t seen it yet, I have a secret for you: in a way, you probably kind of have. I say this because a certain massively popular worldwide hit is a shameless ripoff of this Japanese movie. Indeed, The Hunger Games made a list at Cracked of seven classic movies that are shameless ripoffs, and while I might dispute the notion that we can call The Hunger Games a “classic,” the accusation is justified. But Battle Royale is more brutal, and probably more satisfying to real action fans.

Ghost Rider (2007)

Some people think this Nic Cage joyride is one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Fair enough, but if you love action movies specifically for their goofier qualities, you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of this one. Also, like Army Of Darkness, it has produced a game that can make for a nice, fun intermission between action movies during a marathon. Gala Bingo’s casino games actually include a few different titles based on popular comic books and films, but the Ghost Rider-based game is among the best. It’s a slot reel, but one armed with the high-energy metal and hellish imagery of the movie to keep even the most jaded players entertained.

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

Like Ghost Rider, Punisher: War Zone is often listed among the ranks of the worst, or at least the least well-known superhero movies. Produced by a failed branch of Marvel Studios called Marvel Knights (meant to showcase the darker side of their comic content), Punisher: War Zone was a brutally violent ride that’s pretty drastically underrated. Though Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of the same character in the second season of Daredevil that was uploaded to Netflix this year gives most any brutal action hero a run for his money.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

It has the feel of an indie darling more than a traditional cult classic, but one way or another Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has become shockingly overlooked. This inventive, insane, hilarious movie turns life into a video game in a way you can only really understand by watching it. It may not be as violent as a fan raised on ’80s or ’90s action wants to see, but at least it’s about as original as a movie can be.

Dredd (2012)

This is a strange distinction, but I’m going to make it anyway: Dredd is the most ’90s action movie to be made since the ’90s. Violent, darkly atmospheric, and packed with insane stunts and amusing dialogue, it’s a wild ride from start to finish. And luckily, there may soon be a sequel to add to this list in the form of a streaming series!

Feb

posted by Doktor | February 28, 2016 | 30's b-movies, 50's b-movies, 80's b-movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on How to Make Love Like a Mad Scientist: 30s, 50s, & 80s Style

The Brides of Science

“Science, like love, has myriad little surprises, as you shall see.” Dr. Pretorius, The Bride of Frankenstein

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and despite my best efforts to thwart the temporary hormonal imbalance it brings, I found Love tugging at my cholesterol caked heart strings. Love was everywhere, down the aisles at the grocery store, in the eyes of the couples holding hands in the park, I think I even caught hints of it in the air, like walking into the bathroom the morning after Oma had her stewed prune casserole. Fie! No matter how much Lysol I sprayed I could not seem to kill it. Love is a pesky bug that even the staunchest of us mad scientists cannot seem to eradicate.

They* say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” (*Whomever “they” are.). If it were only so easy. We mad scientists, while being the most virile of men, do not attract the women the way the square-jawed, muscle boys do. So how was I to get my love?

Chemicals and hypnosis? Feh. Yeah, they work, but I did not want to be that guy.

Tinder, AshleyMadison, and QualityRussianWives.com? Feh. I’m not creepy enough to be that guy.

Science! That was how. I would MAKE love. That is, literally create my special lady love.

I decided to investigate how my forefathers did it: Uropa (great grandfather) Doktor in the 30s, Opa (grandfather) Doktor in the 50s, and Vati (father) Doktor in the 80s. Since they’ve all passed on the the great laboratory in the sky, my research consisted of watching The Bride of Frankenstein, Bride of the Monster, and Bride of Re-Animator. Here is the chronicle of what I learned.

Never Happened Before

How Uropa Doktor Did It: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This movie was a disappointment. The bride is beautiful, with the most wonderful head of hair, but as perfect a woman as she is she does not show until the last five minutes of the movie. Actually, I am not sure why it is titled Bride of Frankenstein. Frist, as I wrote, she does not show up until the very end. There is precious little bride and way too much of the pointless continuing adventures of the monster. Heck, The Pointless Continuing Adventures of Frankenstien’s Monster would have been a better title. Second, she does not marry anyone. So, she is not even a bride. She is a just a woman creature who was set up on a blind marriage with the monster. In fact, when she sees the “man” she has been set up with she freaks out. I cannot say I blame her. He is a monster—literally. True to the monster boyfriend stereotype, as soon as she shuns him he decides that if he cannot have her no one will. So Love, the laboratory, and some hired help all go up in flames. The End.

Sigh.

While the castle was quite nice, and the lab was to die for, the science: dead wrong. The one thing the movie got right, and spot on at that, was the portrayal of the monster boyfriend. See, ladies, tall, dark, and strong are not all they are cracked up to be.

Arthritic

How Opa Doktor Did It: Bride of the Monster (1955)

I do not know why I thought I could get anything out of an Ed Wood, Jr. movie, but I watched it anyway. I know, shame on me. I did get a good chuckle though.

There’s no bride in this movie. There is one woman. As she is barely a plot device I cannot recall her name, so let us call her Ms. Woman (Loretta King). Naturally she wrecks her car. No good reason other than she was a woman. She proceeds to pass out when she sees a quite random boa constrictor wound around the tree she crashed into. All of this allows her to be captured by Dr. Vornoff’s (Bela Lugosi) man thug, Lobo (Tor Johnson). This is quite fortuitous because Varnoff is always looking for fresh subjects to test his Atomic Super Mutant Radiation Therapy, or ASMRT, on.

For unfathomable reasons, Varnoff dresses Ms. Woman in a wedding gown to prepare her for the procedure. Perhaps the silky materials facilitates radiation particles. Maybe that was the only dress Ed Wood, Jr. had that was clean. So, Ms. Woman is strapped to the table in a flowing wedding gown.

Oh, wait a moment. I forgot to explain what Varnoff is hoping to accomplish with ASMRT. You see, this is the time when we mad scientists were convinced that huge doses of radiation would cause fantastic mutations, transforming the recipients with incredible powers or abilities, rather than cause horribly devastating cancers. In the case of Ms. Woman specifically the ASMRT was going to make her “super strong and super beautiful” as opposed to a steamy puddle of human-goo.

Or perhaps it would do that. Up to this point he was only able to successfully atomic super mutant Nessie (some exposition had him in Loch Ness before he came to America) and a swamp octopus he keeps as a pet to guard his swamp-locked laboratory.

And then, like so many prom night dreams, everything goes horribly wrong. Lobo is in Lurv with Ms. Woman, and while he is enamored of the whippings he receives from his master, he cannot abide by the destruction of his lady love. Despite the fact that she screams and wets herself every time she Lobo, his unrequited love for her drives him to knock out Varnoff, switch Ms. Woman’s place on the table with Varnoff, and, though he can only just manage to put on his slip on shoes, he sets the controls and turns on the machine.

Mostly the ASMRT works. Mostly. Varnoff becomes Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff—with poo-smeared face. He breaks free of the puny restraints and knocks some sense into Lobo. By “knocks some sense” I mean couple super punches puts Lobo down fast as Travis Coates boom stick put down Old Yeller.

Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff takes off with Ms. Woman to do something in the swamp. Lt. Dick, Ms. Woman’s fiancé, pushes a swamp bolder at Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff knocking him into the waiting arms of his pet swamp octopus. A well placed lightning strike hits the struggling mutants setting off an atomic blast.

As the heroes look at the blast, which incidentally is only feet from where they are standing, Capt. Robbins sums up the moral morass of the story with, “He tampered in God’s domain.”

Bride of the Monster is another one that gets the science wrong. Actually, the only “science” in the movie is the wall of test tubes, Bunsen burners, and BLFNAR (blinking lights for no apparent reason). Additionally, there was nothing about brides, not how to make one or win one or even how to use one’s power of hypnosis to force one to your will (see the image for Varnoff’s sweet technique that’s totally wasted). All Bride of the Monster gave us was one test subject made up in wedding dress. That, Mr. Wood, is quite a stretch to add bride to the title.

Bride of the Monster does one thing, which is, warn us mad scientists against trusting our minions to have your back when a lady is involved. So much for mad scientist’s best friend.

Ubterwyf

How Vati Doktor Did It: Bride of Re-Animator (1989)

Now here is a movie with some substance. Firstly, there is not one, but two mad scientists, Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) and Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). I was sure this movie would have some answers for me. And lo, it did! Plus there is plenty of glowing reagent, freak abominations of living body pieces, and hubris that only Jeffrey Combs can embody: “I will not be shackled by the failures of your God.”

Hmmm! Now there’s a mad scientist, mad scientist!

If you love him so much why don’t you marry him?

Shut up, brain, or I’ll stab you with a glass stirring rod.

Anyway…

Like Bride of Frankenstein, in Bride of Re-Animator the two doctors are attempting to construct a woman. Dr. Cain and Dr. West’s creation is more than just random parts, though there are plenty of those, too. What makes her so special is that she starts with the heart of Dr. Cain’s beloved Megan Halsey. Moreover, as a kind of icing on the bridal cake, Dr. West secures the head of Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont), a patient Dr. Cain had recently become emotionally attached to but lost.

What a guy!

Also like in Bride of Frankenstein, bride of re-animator (the woman creature lacks a name) does not show up until later in the movie. Unlike Bride of Frankenstein, she is the actually part of the  plot, so Dr. Cain and Dr. West are working on her throughout the movie. Once she is re-animated she has more than 5 minutes of screen time, too.

Sadly, it turns out that as perfect as bride of re-animator may have been, exposed muscles and metal braces holding her skeleton together notwithstanding, Dr. Cain finds something far more attractive in regular old Francesca (Fabiana Udenio), a woman made the old fashioned way, the temporary hormonal imbalance culminating in the sharing of DNA fluids.

Sigh. All that work wasted. Well, there is the cat fight between bride of re-animator and Francesca for Cain’s love. It ends with bride of re-animator tearing out her heart, shrieking, “Is this what you want?” (See the middle picture in the main image.) That was sweet.

Interestingly, just like monster boyfriends, monster girlfriends suffer from homicidal jealously, or in other words, if bride of re-animator cannot have Cain, no one will.

Maybe Capt. Robbins was onto something with the not tampering in Gods blah, blah, blah stuff.

 


 

So what is the take away? One, monster boyfriends are hateful creatures. Two, never trust your minion when a woman is involved, no matter how much he says he enjoys being chained to the water heater in the basement. Three, even if one does manage to build the perfect woman, starting with the most tender part of one’s most beloved, as it turns out a good old fashioned girl will win out in the end.

What if you don’t have a good old fashioned girl to win? Well, you can do like I did. Netflix and chill, with yourself.

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>