Archive for the 'Action' Category

Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 11, 2012 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Review, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Steel Dawn: A Guest Review by General Relativity

General Relativity is a visitor from the 31st Century.  As a Level III Chrononaut, the General is a mid-level civil servant in the Time Enforcement Commission, which basically means he has to fill out a million forms every time one of you tries to go back to hunt a dinosaur or give AK-47s to the Confederates or whatever.   And no, he can not explain to you why John Connor looks completely different in every single Terminator movie, so don’t ask.

Aristotle.  Plato.  Confucius.  Descartes.  Swayze.  These philosophers laid the foundation for all modern thought.  At least that is what we learned in the Preston-Logan Spacetime Academy.  From Red Dawn to Road House to the indomitable Point Break (which in 3020 was named the greatest movie ever made by the Lundgren Council for the Arts), Swayze’s streak of profundity was unmatched by any 80s star.  In these mystical masterworks, Patrick Swayze was committed to the principles of an undefined and vague Tao of manly badassedness.  Unlike the others on the list of Great Minds, Swayze could nail a bodacious roundhouse kick.

Steel Dawn” is unfortunately not a sequel to Swayze’s 1984 classic “Red Dawn.”  Rather, Steel Dawn is one of those post-apocalyptic westerns released in the wake of the success of “Road Warrior.”  It has most of the touchstones for that genre: mutants, primitive weaponry, lots and lots of desert, and hairstyles out of an 80’s hair metal music video.  The hair in this movie is a special effect.

We begin with the nameless Nomad (Swayze) performing a headstand at the top of a dune in the middle of a desert.  He is communing, because that’s what Swayze does.  Cthulhu-faced mutants emerge from the sand wielding car maintenance equipment and attack him.  Swayze kills them all using a fighting style I can only describe as “Dirty Dance Fighting.”  The principal technique associated with this obscure martial art is to execute a number of unnecessary somersaults and pirouettes before you spin your aluminum foil sword a few times.

From this promising beginning, I hoped that mutants would be the main villain of the film, just as they are in real life.  Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is pitifully lacking in mutants.  The real bad guys are humans rejected from a Mötley Crüe casting call and banished to a Pat Benatar music video.  After the members of Faster Pussycat kill Swayze’s master, Swayze wanders the desert looking generally irritated.  Or maybe he’s just tortured.  Or constipated.  Or tortured by constipation.


Not that he lacks a reason to be irritated, especially after he meets a woman named Ke$ha ( played in amazing crimped hair by Swayze’s real life wife Lisa Niemi).  Swayze befriends her son who is played by Jake Lloyd from “The Phantom Menace” and who gains an alarming amount of weight as the movie goes on.  Water is premium in the desert, and Ke$ha wants to build an aquaduct.  This is basically “Chinatown” but with characters named “Tark” and swords made of silver plastic.  The bad guys are after the water.  But Swayze, using somersaults and head-kicking, will teach them, and us, important lessons about man’s search for faith….

No Swayze film would be complete without his signature esoteric analects.  In this regard, “Steel Dawn” is an undiscovered treasure.  Now, presented without context, the lessons from “Steel Dawn”:

“Promise never to misuse this knowledge.  Before you fight you must first learn to meditate.”
“What’s the matter, never seen a grown man naked?”
“You shouldnt play with sharp objects.”
“A man needs his exercise.”
“I attract violence!”  (That is not the only thing you attract, dude.)
“You talk too much.”

roadside attractions

  • Patrick Freakin’ Swayze
  • Cthulhu Sapiens Mutants
  • Somersaults
  • Pirouettes
  • Tinfoil Swords
  • Sand
  • More Sand
  • Obscene Aquanet Abuse
  • Proto-Jake Lloyd
  • Wind-Powered Go-Carts
  • Fighting with Staves
  • Water Politics
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Although Swayze wields a menacing tinfoil sword, he mostly prefers to kick people in the face.

4

blood

BREASTS

There is a little tease of Swayze pecs while he’s bathing, but I was underwhelmed. Swayze and Brion James (of Blade Runner) stumble into some groupies while they are raiding the hair metal bad guys’ hideout, which is an abandoned Guns ‘n Roses concert stage, but no one seals the deal.

2

beast

BEASTS

Needz moar mutants!

3.0 OVERALL
dripper
Mar

posted by Doktor | March 11, 2012 | 70's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Kung-fu, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection

Tagline: Jim Kelly is back and tougher than ever!

Year: 1978      Runtime: 88 min

Director: Tso Nam Lee

Writer: Hsin Yi Chang (screenplay), Pai Sheng Lu (screenplay)

Starring: Jim Kelly, Sing Chen and Tao-liang Tan

How do you say “beat down” in Cantonese?

“Black Belt Jones!!”

Normally the extra exclamation point is superfluous, but this is Jim “Stomp a Mud Hole in You” Kelly. Not being gratuitous is criminal.

One might ask, “When would you need this phrase?” Because in Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection some Hong Kong gangsters have stolen the North Pole Star diamond. Black Belt Jones’ twin fists, Punch & Punch, are on a mission to connect with some faces.

Now, Black Belt Jones would normally care less about such mess, but this time it’s personal. Oh, no, wait a minute. It’s not. He just happens to work for the insurance company that’s covering the diamond. Still, someone’s got to pay. His ire was raised by the chairman of the board’s impassioned plea:

CotB: “Mr. Lucas [i.e. Black Belt Jones], the board of directors have given their approval for you to take any action necessary for the recovery of the North Pole Star.”

BBJ: “I’ve been known to be called the black 6 million dollar man.”

What kind of response is that? One of a man so enraged that he can’t even make no sense. Without delay he’s on his way.

Side Note: Even though he speaks English, Black Belt Jones delivers his lines like the English dubbing. “I’ve been… known to be called… the black $6 million man.” The filmmakers didn’t want his dialogue to stand out  too much from the rest of the acting.

Because this film takes place in Hong Kong, one of the “not America” countries you hear about on the PBS,  you expect things to be  a little different, but these people are way out there. For instance, take Black Belt Jones’ first outing with his friend on the police force; they visit a local whore house. Good a place as any to start the search, as prostitution is run by gangsters and gangsters are who he’s looking for. Thing is, the Madam knows the cop by name, and the particular girl he fancies.

Whoa! Say what?!

Better still, Black Belt Jones orders up some women. He may be ready to kick ass, but there’s no need to rush.

A film can’t be blaxploitation without some racialistic hatred. It’s not just the white man that slings the Uncle Tom discrimination. Take this exchange, between Nana, the strip club’s hottest act and Black Belt Jones:

BBJ: “That’s one thing I really admire about you, Nana, your oriental nature. Shall we make friends?”

Nana: “Let me tell you, I don’t want to because I don’t know you, and because you are black.”

Damn, oriental cracker! We’re all pink and juicy on the inside.

But where Nana might not be racially sensitive, she is a brilliant logician. When she is trying to get her boyfriend, Tin-hao, the boss’s right-hand man, out of the gang, she argues, “What’s the difference between a beggar and a robber? One gets his money illegally, one does not.”

Valid. Sound. A perfect argument. Advantage, and point, Nana.

Speaking of the boss, Mr. Lu, he’s not a very nice man. The big boss usually isn’t. One evening his manly needs require attention, and he chooses Nana. Problem is, she’s Tin-hao’s girl. Even though she’s turned away his advances before, this time no means yes.

So, she starts crying and… there’s tender music playing. Huh?! I was completely confused. Then, as Mr. Lu connects, there are sounds of race cars racing and flashes of a still picture of the Marlboro F-1 car. Huh!? I know that cigarettes are bad for you, deadly even, and racing is dangerous, but I don’t think either ever raped anyone? Although, truth be told, when I sat on the Marlboro Man’s lap one Xmas, he did rest his hand on my thigh for an uncomfortable amount of time, but that’s something totally different.

Tin-hao hands out relentless beatings worse than those received by a 16 year old’s wee-wee. Yet, he’s got a soft heart. After his girlfriend is raped, his heart starts to harden, particularly towards Mr. Lu. This sets up the final boss fight scene, Mr. Lu vs Tin-hao and Black Belt Jones. I’ll not spoil the explosive ending, but I will say that Tin-hao promises that when he’s out of jail, in a year and a half (life is very cheap in Hong Kong), he’s going to the States to hang with his new best friend, Black Belt Jones.

In closing I’d be remiss if I failed to give you one bit of warning: there is so much polyester my nipples got sympathy chafing just watching it. Before you fire up this movie, slather on a dollop of Vaseline, runner’s nipples is no joke.

roadside attractions

  • Pastel Credits to Stroke Out To
  • Bolo Yeung Crooning
  • The World Standard for AWE-some Fro
  • Kung Fu
  • Groin Hit Combo Breaker
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

They went light on the Louisiana Hot Sauce Blurd™, but there was plenty of internal hemmoraging from the beat downs.

7

blood

BREASTS

At least three different scenes with bare breasts to carry the film through the non-fighting parts.

10

beast

BEASTS

Bolo Yeung, ’nuff said!

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection”

trailers

dripper
Jan

posted by admin | January 30, 2012 | 80's movies, Action, Horror movies, Kung-fu, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Devil’s Dynamite

If you’re going to watch one dubbed Asian film about vampires, gamblers, ninja, and tinfoil clad warriors, it may as well be Devil’s Dynamite. Why? Because I doubt another film does as much justice to these subjects. Or even puts them together.

Devil’s Dynamite is a “You got peanut butter in my chocolate/You got chocolate in my peanut butter” situation: it feels like two different films were edited together to form one wacky cinematic cocktail. Film A is about a baddie using vampires to do his evil deeds. Said vampires even do some of these wicked deeds in the day time. And they hop. Yes, hop. In unison. They also have blue skin, and can be kept in check by sticky-notes on their foreheads.

And where is our street walking Hercules to fight these vampires? We find him in, as the film so excellently puts it, “That damn Futuristic Warrior!” Yes, the Futuristic Warrior appears at first to be just an Average Joe. But, in the blink of an eye (or to be more specific, a jump cut) Average Joe can change into the tinfoil covered, motorcycle helmet wearing Futuristic Warrior (who also has the ability to burn children with his touch. Yep). Besides his goofy helmet, the Futuristic Warrior sports a kickin’ neckerchief, too. 90% of fighting vampires is style. The other half is just showin’ up.

Devil’s Dynamite also teaches us, if you punch a vampire hard enough, they disappear in a cloud of smoke. Now you tell me! All that money wasted on hand-carved, artisan stakes.

Film Two in Devil’s Dynamite is some kinda gangster revenge flick. A fallen from grace “gambling king,” just got out of the slammer and is looking for his secret cache of gold. I think. There is something about a kidnapping, and his ex-wife marrying a new boyfriend, but my brain had melted after the Futuristic Warrior/blue vampire sitch. An hour into the 80+ minute film, and I had no idea what was going on.

Was this a bad thing? Nah. The confusion and “What the French toast?” moments made Devil’s Dynamite quite a hoot. In the waning minutes of the film, there is an attempt to marrying Film A and Film Two with a bit of short dialogue, but it really didn’t matter. In a film with a guy in tinfoil suit punching blue vampires (during the day), who cares about plot?

While Devil’s Dynamite is more confusing than trying to read War and Peace upside down, it is highly entertaining and will stick to your ribs: “Why do the vampires hop?” “What’s the Futuristic Warrior’s story?” “Is that little girl actually a ghost?” Tiger says, call the gang over and give this one a watch, you are in for a treat.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • plastic vampire teeth
  • gang fights
  • knife eye-poking
  • body painting
  • ninja
  • UNDEAD ninja
  • bloody swords
  • blue vampires
  • hopping vampires
  • evaporating vampires
  • tinfoil suits
  • crazy martial arts
  • creepy kids
  • anti-sorcery mirrors
  • bad ass priests
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

As expected in any vampire flick, there is plenty of neck biting. Throw in a few ninja and some gangster brutality, and you have a blood bath on yer hands.

2

blood

BREASTS

We see one lady in a bathing suit, but that is it.

10

beast

BEASTS

Hopping, blue faced vampires and undead ninja (I think). What more could you want? Besides a plot, that is.

7.3 OVERALL
dripper
Dec

Comments Off on Night of the Comet

Night of the Comet

As Pa Sixon used to say, “Does this look infected?” Wait. I mean, “Christmas ain’t about bein’ with people ya like. It’s about bein’ with family.” And bein’ with family is a main theme of the 1984 post-apocalyptic-zombie-horror-romance-comedy, Night of the Comet.

Christmas is around the corner for sunny California and Santa, or perhaps maybe the Krampus, is bringin’ one heck o’ a gift: a comet. We learn it is, more or less, the same comet what knocked out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Shoot, ya don’t a comet for that—just feed ‘em some of Ma Sixon’s tuna surprise served at room temperature. While everyone is partying about the comet (because I guess that is what you do in California when home owners and mortgage insurance liabilities don’t matter because the Apocalypse is coming), Regina (Catherine Mary Stewart) is stuck workin’ at the local movie theater—which involves beating a mysterious high score on Tempest and scoring with the projectionist in the booth (to use the film’s vernacular, “making it”). Ah, to be an 18 year old girl in the 80’s again.

Night of the Comet

Back home, Regina’s mouthy little sis, Sam (Kelli Maroney), gets slapped around by her step mom—who is throwin’ a comet party of her own. One problem: once the comet arrives, everyone outside is turned to dust. And those what ain’t turned to dust, are turned into zombies. Regina wakes up after a night o’ lovin’ to find the streets filled with piles of dust, and a dash of occasional zombie. A tender moment ensues when Regina finds Sam, now (thankfully) clad in a cheerleader outfit. In an effort to find survivors, the pair goes to the local radio station (which has more neon lights than a Blade Runner convention in Las Vegas). At the station, they meet future Star Trek Voyager regular, Hector (Robert Beltran). That’s right, Commander Chakotay comes to the rescue.

Uh, sort of. As we learn, the girls’ dad is in the military–he trained the pair how to fight and use guns, so they can handle themselves (although Sam wishes Hector would handle her).

Night of the Comet

Because the film was made in the ‘80s, we are treated to a shopping montage set to a non-Lauper version of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, while Regina and Sam have the run of the mall. This was a requirement for most ‘80s films, along with Steve Gutenberg. Meanwhile, there is a secret underground group, with a maze for a logo, keeping tabs on survivors. They decide to bring a few back to the base, and hilarity ensues. By which I mean, stuff gets blown up.

Deep down, Night of the Comet is about family: two sisters are on their own and realize, despite pissin’ each other off from time to time, they are all they have. The girls also realize they need to stick together with Hector if they want to survive (and Regina hopes her and Hector really stick together), and form a new family o’ sorts.

While fairly tame by today’s standards, there is enough blood and violence to go around, and Night of the Comet leans heavily toward the goofy side of the post-apocalyptic meter. Night of the Comet, like any quality b-movie, is a campy, blood-soaked hoot. Give this one a watch–just don’t forget yer hairspray and leotard.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • neon lights
  • leotards
  • cheerleading outfit
  • sunglasses at night
  • shopping montage
  • zombies
  • future star trek actors
  • retro video games
  • exploding cars
  • blood stealing
  • keyboard whacking
  • big hair
  • bloody wrenches
  • secret bases
  • MAC-10s
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Not too bloody, but plenty it when it counts.

5

blood

BREASTS

While we never see Sam totally topless, she gets down to a bra in one scene, and jumps up and down in a nighty in another.

10

beast

BEASTS

Lots of zombie action, including kid zombies.

7.00 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Night of the Comet”

trailers

dripper
Dec

posted by Barry Goodall | December 4, 2011 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Rest stop, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Total Recall: Rest Stop Review Edition

Before Arnold was flexing his muscle with his maid service and blowing up state budgets as governor, he was blowing up bad guys on the big screen. In Total Recall Arnie plays Doug Quaid, a guy who seems to have a great life jack hammering concrete during the day and hammerin’ Sharon Stone at night. Despite the daily grind, Doug is looking for more out of life and has been having reoccurring dreams about trips to Mars and getting his eyes sucked out of their sockets from decompression. Sounds like fun, so instead of taking a vacation he decides to have the memories of a fake trip to Mars implanted into his giant noggin’ by Rekall, Inc. Things go wrong when the implant doesn’t take and the company has to dump Doug in a robot taxi. Unfortunately his co-workers show up and try to kill him with some post-modern uzis but Arnie snaps their necks like they’re democrat fund raisers. Back at his house, he has a knife fight with his wife for not bringing home eggs and milk and narrowly escapes from a group of thugs led by Michael Ironside. After a brief nasal probing, Doug takes a ship to Mars to find out the secrets of his identity. In the planet’s red light district he teams up with a hooker turned martian revolutionary who likes slapping him around like Ike Turner and she leads him to Kuato, a munchkin martian attached to some slouches stomach. Kuato reads Doug’s memories learning he can free Mars and it’s colonists by activating a mysterious reactor inside a martian temple. It’s theorized it will melt a giant glacier inside a mountain resulting in the planet’s biggest slushy. Doug uses holograms and semi automatics against the evil corporate baron and his goon squad who have cut off oxygen to the mutants. If only he tried the same thing with California. Barry Goodall reminds you to check it out and always wrap a wet towel around your head before getting your butt to Mars.

Roadside Attractions:

– exploding heads
– extreme nasal probes
– triple-breasted martians
– eye bulging
– dwarf with machine guns
– robot cab drivers
– rat shooting
– multiple head shots
– tummy baby mutants
– drill to the gut
– hologram shooting

trailers

dripper

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