Archive for the 'Action' Category

May

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Welcome back, folks. Know those instances when the stars align and all the good things in the universe let forth a movie to satisfy your most inner B-movie aficionado? Well. Look no further than today’s review! It has everything you could ever want in, not only a horror movie, but a raunchy comedy, a bad superhero flick, and lastly, a gore-fest. Oh, yeah. This movie has all of that, and more! So let’s dive right in.

The movie begins in a backwater port town filled with degenerates and law breakers on almost every conceivable corner. No, really, it’s illustrated often enough. Our main character, whose name is irrelevant, because all you’ll call him is ‘Wolf Cop’, wakes up, hungover and late for work. As a sheriff. The next few minutes are spent with him as we watch his drive to work, passing by several crimes on the way, ranging from assault to public intoxication. The next scene or two establishes something we’ve already figured out: The town sucks, the three person police force sucks, and our main guy is an alcoholic. Yup. I think they hammered that nail home hard enough.

Well, after several scenes of continuing alcohol libation and police work that makes a school crossing guard look like the entire SWAT team, we come to the first plot point of the movie: a murder, most foul! And our less than sober hero was involved. With badly shot flashbacks plaguing him, and a new scar, that seems more decorative than menacing, and a hangover to match it all; we begin another day with our hero. This is the first time anything is actually being let on about the supernatural aspect of this movie. Yeah, I know, this is slow going, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. Behold the second plot point! The town’s drink and shoot event is mysteriously canceled! Oh…no?

All the commotion and ‘who-dun-it’ type questions that keep coming up get our main character to actually do something about it! What’s surprising is that this is supposed to be a horror comedy, but these few minutes of detective work actually feel like a cop movie for just a moment. But, it IS a horror comedy, so shenanigans must be at foot! Wolf Cop begins to feel a little sick, throws up on the hot girl in the movie, goes down stairs to the bathroom, and begins probably the most painful werewolf transformation of all time. Go ahead, ask why it’s so painful. Since you asked so nicely I’ll iterate.

While the rest of the movie is off-kilter, there is one aspect that remains true: The transformation of the wolf by shedding the human skin. Only what makes this particular change so incredibly hard to bear is simple: It starts with a very clear, dynamically framed shot of the main character’s penis, which, after secreting blood, promptly explodes. You read that right. Explodes. It’s like a car crash. It’s horrifying, you wince every time, but you can’t help but watch. My current count is three. Okay, five. After some less than hospitable men follow him down to the bathroom the gratuitous violence finally starts.

Or, rather, we can cut away after some very teasing shots of what the werewolf looks like. Yeah, we don’t get to see it, just yet. More things happen! More characters are introduced! Funny dialogue! No, really, some of the lines are hilarious, most I can’t post here, but all worth a listen. We get to see more cop work and the main guy cope with his new heightened senses, and resisting the want to rip apart a guy kicking a dog. I can sympathize. Human wolf cop goes back to the bathroom where he made a mess, trying to figure out what happened. Yeah, I know.

A couple of scenes later we get to finally meet the wolf. While the design is nothing original, it is used to it’s utmost hilarity. An over sized wolf man stuffed inside a cop uniform two sizes too small. He responds to a robbery in progress and delivers the line that I was hoping to use in this review. Great minds and their thinking, I guess. After that scene and all the laughs that go with it we get some more violence! And I mean violence! But we can’t have a superhero wolfcop without a superhero wolfcop vehicle! Cue the heavy metal car building montage!

We burn down the rural road number 9,230 to drug barn number 2,412 to fight bad guys! And this is where gratuity becomes the norm. In the midst of a raging gunfight set to the backdrop of a burning barn we have limbs torn off, heads severed from shoulders, all sorts of blood spilled in all sorts of ways, and probably my favorite moments of this entire movie: A man with his face ripped off, clean to the skull, running around screaming at the top of his lungs. I don’t feel bad for guffawing at the entire thing, and neither should you.

One of the only problems I had with this movie, in the beginning, was the slow progression of the plot. Yes, folks, there is one. But as the movie goes on the plot points come one after another, and at one point, so many at one point that you just have to throw your hands up and go ‘Okay, sure!’ But, it’s still all highly entertaining. There is some more who-dun-it type stuff, and a lot more drinking, humor, and violence left to go in the movie, as it seems the drink and hunt event wasn’t exactly ‘canceled’, but rather goes through a change of venue. You’ll see.

The last scenes of this beautiful, blood filled, cornucopia begin to creep up on us, and all the oddball antics begin to make sense. But, you know me, folks. No spoilers, here. This movie is a great watch. It has all the stereotypes, all the tropes, and every single bit of over-the-top ridiculousness that makes B-movies wonderful. This gore/comedy/schlock-fest gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from this Deadman. Give it a watch, folks, and thank me later. Thanks for coming, don’t forget the speakers, and, as always, stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Breakfast of champions.
  • Fuzzy Handcuffs.
  • Is this band the entire soundtrack?
  • Keep an eye out.
  • This band is the entire soundtrack.
  • Sequel bait much?
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Buckets upon buckets upon body parts.

7

blood

BREASTS

While not many, they are top shelf.

10

beast

BEASTS

Not a single complaint.

9.3 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for WolfCop

trailers

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Apr

posted by Doktor | April 13, 2015 | 90's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Kung-fu, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Samurai Cop

Tagline: You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Dead Silent

Year: 1991          Runtime: 96 min

Director: Amir Shervan

Writer: Amir Shervan

Starring: Robert Z’Dar, Matt Hannon, Jannis Farley

Note: Samurai Cop is a tough movie, from a very rough time in American history—the 90s. This roughness manifests itself in some explicit language. It’s not drunken sailor level but enough to be offensive to innocent ears. We’re family friendly here at The Lost Highway and therefore have taken the liberty of substituting more appropriate language, [in brackets like this], to keep things PG.

On with the show.

First and foremost let me say Samurai Cop sets the bar for entertaining b-movies in a way not achieved since Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Doktor is nothing if not hyperbolic, and you’re right. This time I’m serious. Serious as waking up to find a pool of blood on your pillow. And you’re in the middle of downtown’s main square. And you’re stark naked. Yeah. Samurai Cop is that good. I mean bad. Whatever.

Here’s the one-sentence pitch: Miami Vice meets Miami Connection set in Los Angeles.

Not sure exactly what that means, where here’s the long and long of it:

[Warning: Because Samurai Cop is so AWE-some This Review is One TL;DR Spoiler]

The movie opens with a Katana gang strategy meeting. Nothing gets an audience excited like a gang working on their mission statement. It grounds the movie in the staleness of the everyday. Everyone can relate to the dreaded Monday Morning Meeting, right? Filmmakers would later learn that it’s gritty reality that really gets audiences’ juices flowing, but we’re talking 1991 here. Having guys who look like they were picked up at Stop n Go passing around a Mad Dog 20/20 discus how to grow their gang’s brand was edge-of-your-seat story-telling.

According to the minutes, the Katanas need to befriend other gangs, except the Japanese. It’s war on the Japanese. So says Fujiyama, Katana leader. It’s heart-breaking. Self-hating Japanese. They’re their own worst enemies.

First item on their agenda is have another meeting. This time with the Chinese. Fujiyama sends his best man, Z’Dar-san on this delicate diplomatic mission. Mr. Lee, the Chinese leader, decides is no good. Z’Dar-san and minions kill the fool. If the Katanas can’t have you as their friend, no one will.

But enough of that, jump cut to: our heroes, Samurai Joe and Frank the Black Guy. Samurai is a highly trained martial artist, fluent in Japanese, and has a man mane that makes first season Full House star John Stamos look like Sir Patrick Stewart. Frank is black.

They’re cops, i.e. a Value Brand X version Crockett and Tubbs, but less creepy. Frank brought Samurai to help bust the Katana gang. Or is it Samurai is there because he has some information on a Katana gang drug deal? It’s confusing. Regardless, Samurai is in from San Diego. Is that important? Not really. Samurai Cop is chocked full of not important exposition.

The drug deal is going down at the marina. Frank calls in helicopter support for production value, and to help tail the Katana’s blue van. And watch the boat in the marina. Luckily Whirlybird Wench Peggy is on duty. She has eyes that move independent of one another like a chameleon, which is great in this situation. Not so much at parties. At parties she just freaks people out. Because there’s some confusion about where the cocaine is, in the boat or in van, Frank wants her to watch the boat, Samurai the van.

Unfortunately everyone is inept, and they lose sight of both. And what’s really important in life. It’s a right proper cluster jam.

In the resulting confusion, the sale is made. This segues nicely into the need for a pathetic chase scene. Pathetic in that the footage is sped up to give the illusion the cars are moving faster than 10 mph. Moreover, the villians can’t hit Samurai and Frank’s car, with a shotgun, out the wide open back of the van, despite there being less than a car length between them. All the while Samurai’s coaching Frank, “Shoot. Shoot. Shoot him.” Add awesome coach to Samurai’s impressive skill set above because, sigh, it works.

Then the van comes to a soft stop by driving into a dirt pile and explodes. Because.

Having accomplished something, Samurai and Officer Peggy Harlot do celebration Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums.

Note: I’m not being misogynistic with the name calling. I’m trying to capture the Shervan’s portrayal of his female characters which is informed by his understanding of women which stopped when he was 13. Peggy is a one dimensional nymphomaniac wrapped in a sexual harassment joke. And she shows her ta-tas. Te he he!

Back at Katana HQ, Fujiyama is pissed. He orders Z’Dar-san to behead the captured Katana thug and place the head on his piano. That’ll show him. Or something.

At the hospital, the hood’s room is exactly next door to the dentist office. This raises a question: what kind of government funded halfway hospital is this? Anyway, Samurai and Frank want to question their suspect but can’t because his back was badly burned in the ‘splosion. Needless to say, his lips won’t work for a  couple months.

There’s some prepubescent flirting with a nurse after which Samurai instructs the guard to only allow doctors and nurses into room. So when Ginger, Z’Dar-san’s main squeeze and all around evil gal, comes disguised as a cleaning crew person to change the garbage, wheeling in a big, covered cart, she’s allowed right in. Some people are so weak minded not even Jedi Mind Tricks are necessary. A completely convincing decapitation ensues, which turns into a lame chase through the hospital. Z’Dar-san and Ginger escape through the back exit, which is an apartment complex. Add a farmer’s market, tax assistance, and furniture and tire sales to this hospital and you’d have a ghetto swap meet.

Enter Captain Oscar Grouch. Samurai and Frank get the business from their uptight commanding officer. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Dead bodies piling up. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Loose cannon. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Yeah, like somebody stuck a big club up my [tail pipe] and it hurts. I’ve got to figure out a way to get it out of there.” Whoa! Not a proportionate escalation there, Captain.

Samurai and Frank extract themselves to follow up a lead at the Blue Lagoon. Fujiyama is meeting with his lawyer and seducing Chickie, the young, blonde daughter of the owner of the restaurant. There’s some apathetic looks and then Samurai erupts with a mind numbing speech about selling destruction to the children. He’s gonna put a stop to it by putting Fujiyama and the Katanas in the ground. To put a point on it he concludes with a little flirting with Chickie.

Oooo. Burn, Fujiyama. Burn!

Z’Dar-san’s doesn’t allow that insult to to pass quietly. He sends in the goons for some poorly choreographed slow-fighting with Samurai and Frank in the parking lot. One goon grabs a katana from a random Datsun, failing to understand this is a gun fight. Frank guns him down as a lesson. Samurai seizes the opportunity to add some more production value by severing another goon’s arm. Z’Dar-san, following the “Code of Silence,” kills all the fallen goons to keep them from talking.

Later, back at the Blue Lagoon, Samurai puts on the Old Spice charm. Lion Head, Girlie’s magical wall ornamentation is not impressed. Lion Head grants Girlie the power of chastity +3 against cheesy pickup lines. This allows her to make her saving throws verses Samurai’s charms. What’s more, she has to go to church, so…

Maybe next time, Samurai.

Before Samurai can even make it to the front door some punks stop him for more poorly choreographed slow-fighting. Samurai takes them out with a couple hi-ya chops. Steven Hawkins could’ve taken them, but a fight scene’s a fight scene, amirite? One punks runs, but after a stilted Horror Ingenue Trip and Fall, Samurai catches him. A twist of the arm and he’s wagging his tongue prettier than a $3 prostitute.

Samurai learns that Okamura, Fujiyama’s number 2, hired the assassins to kill him. If he and Frank catch Okamura they can bring down Fujiyama. Why can’t they do so for Z’Dar-san sending in the boys to kill them in the Blue Lagoon’s parking lot? Again, because.

At Okamura’s house Police Hooker Peggy throws herself at everyone present. Seriously, it’s anything that moves with her. This has nothing to do with anything of course, but it does pad out the runtime. Still, there’s a job to do, and no one has money for penicillin, so back to the action. Or whatever. Samurai and Frank bust in on Okamura’s Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. A pulse slowing chase scene develops, followed by some Kung Fool fighting. Just when we think Okamura is down, his ruse works allowing him to disarm Frank. And Samurai has to kill Okamura which sends them back to the drawing board.

Uhm. Hello! Z’Dar-san killed several people, and attempted murder of police officers.

Cut to a second Katana meeting. The topic this time is their police problem. They can’t kill the cops, that would obviously be connected to them. Solution: call in the New York bruisers to break Samurai and Frank’s legs. Why this is less likely to be traced back to them, when they haven’t been arrested for killing their own guys and attempted murder of police—

Okay, fine. You get it. There’s a huge plot hole. I’ll move on. I’m just saying. Doesn’t anyone pay attention?

The next scene is a real head scratcher. Samurai is at movie studio, specifically in the editing room. Not surprising there’s no explanation. No context. Nothing. My guess is Samurai’s watching dailies of the film so far. Enter the New York Bruisers. Cue another gimpy fight. The bruisers, like their LA couterparts, are terrible shots, even up close with shotguns. This is laughable because Samurai moves slower than trying to pass a bowel movement composed of six pounds of steak.

But enough of that, the movie needs some lurvin’. Cut to Z’Dar-san and Ginger doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. If Okamura can get some strange why not number one Z’Dar-san? Sadly, like Okamura’s, his is interrupted. By a call from the boss. No time for tomfoolery. Fujiyama’s mullet may suggest there’s a party going on, but he is all bidness.

Now we’re at the Episcopal Church. Remember, Girlie couldn’t go on a date because she had church. Well, ever the smooth operator, and knowing Lions Head won’t be there to negatively affect his vibrations, Samurai catches her on the way out to her car. He uses the old, “I’ve got some police questions for you. They’re over here in my windowless van.” line.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Fujiyama’s man, who was there to pull the same ambush, witnesses the whole affair and runs home to tell on Samurai. All bets are off. Fujiyama wants Samurai dead.

At Samurai’s house we learn what Shervan considers a little romantic lunch: a stolen neighbor’s pet chicken, killed, de-feathered, and fried, a bag of wine, and some wax fruit. This starts a Samarai’s Gonna Get Some and The Bad Guys Are Closing In montage:

  • Z’Dar-san and hoodlums start at Sargent One-Line’s house to get Samurai’s address. No good. They kill Sargent One-Line and his wife. Z’Dar-san and gang split into two teams. One for Frank. The other for Pegboard Peggy.
  • Meanwhile, hot speedo action on the beach with Samurai and Girlie.
  • Hoodlums at Franks threaten to cut off his “black gift”. Frank’s too smooth for all that jive. Besides, someone’s got to warn Samurai.
  • Meanwhile, swimming in Samurai’s pool. Girlie shows her diving skills that lost her last place in the Special Olympics 1990. Awe-struck, Samurai doesn’t hear his phone ringing.
  • At Doozy Floozy’s, Trollop Peggy is frying up some ice cubes. She thwarts the hoodlums initial attacks on her. Goes for her gun, but they overpower her. They hold her down while Z’Dar-san pours hot grease on her bathing suit area. Knowing the Humped Strumpet’s proclivities, a deep-fried bologna curtain is worse than death, so he leaves her alive. Mostly. If you call a fried Pacman living.
  • Meanwhile, Samurai sings happy birthday to Girlie in his speedo. Ugh. I don’t know which is worse, the singing or the speedo. (Be warned, seeing both will burn the accursed images into your mind. FOREVER!) This sets things up for Samurai’s second helping of Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. Frank is good enough to wait postcoitus to call back.

Z’Dar-san and hoodlums show up just as Frank warns Samurai. Samurai and Girlie try to escape out the back window, only to be chased around the house Yakety Sax style. When all looks lost, Samurai gets the bright idea to go back inside, wait a moment, and then leave out the front. Samurai’s sweet Honda is in the driveway. Duh! They jump in and zoom off to safety.

Samurai drops Girlie off at the Blue Lagoon. Girlie’s mom has been worried sick about her. Girlie always comes straight home after church. And Mr. Fujiyama has been looking for her. How careless of Girlie. What about all the things Fujiyama’s done to help them out. But Girlie doesn’t care, the ungrateful jezebel. She’s in LURV. With Samurai!

Fujiyama was behind the door. He overheard. Duhn Duhn Duhn!

Samurai and Frank return to Captain Oscar Grouch for a final counsel. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Lose my job. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Breathing down my neck. Grumble, grumble grumble. All I care about is getting Fujiyama. Go on a killing spree. Burn his house into a blood bath. When it’s done we’ll all turn in our badges.”

Wait. What? Seriously?

At Fujiyama’s. Seriously. Can you guess what happens? Can’t shoot gun fight. Where does Fujiyama find these guys? As a last defense, Fujiyama uses Girlie as human shield. Samurai and Frank disarm and Fujiyama shoots Frank. He villain monologues before shooting Samurai, which gives Frank time to get his gun and shoot Fujiyama first.

But wait a minute. He shot Frank. We saw him fall. Well, yes and no. Sadly, this is the only time a bad guy’s bullet hits the mark, but, wait for it, Frank was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Insert Price Is Right Fail Dramatic Sting.

Finally, the final boss fight. Z’Dar-san vs Samurai. Z’Dar-san drives up in his Suzuki Samurai. Shervan just couldn’t help himself. There’s a long, dark walk of shame as Samurai and Z’Dar-san show off their Star Wars Kid style, that is, they flail their katanas around destroying the landscaping and a passing pigeon. Samurai wins, natch. As Samurai is about to finish Z’Dar-san off Frank stops him. “No, Samurai. Your a cop.”

‘Cos killing him would be wrong. Never mind the sponsored killing spree you were both just partaking of.

One final Sexy Sexy Speedo moment with Samurai and Girlie before fading to black.

This movie is the quintessential “so bad it’s good” movie. It is a must see for any MYSTie type, and will even go over well with those who are not necessarily fans of b-movies. I cannot stress it hard enough that you run to your favorite DVD seller and get your copy. AND, better still, according to Cinema Epoch, Samurai Cop is going on the Midnight Movie Circuit, so look for it in an art house theater near, or far, from you starting May 31, 2015.

roadside attractions

  • Hear! Samurai’s fluent Japanese when he translates words like Katana (“It means Japanese sword”)!
  • See! The unbelievable mansion, on the beach, in Los Angeles, that Samurai is renting while working on the Katana gang case. Consulting gigs are SUH-weet!
  • Thrill! At Good-to-Go Peggy’s magic drawer. At first it only contains an automatic pistol. Jump cut and it’s full of miscellaneous debris. Jump cut and she’s pulling out an old-time western revolver. David Copperfielderific!
  • Experience! The lack of continuity (AGAIN) in the final battle scene as Samurai’s gun changes from an automatic to a revolver to an automatic!
  • Feel! The stomach churning passion of hideous men doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums on actresses who didn’t sign up for this [puppy]!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

This movie is slathered in the old Louisiana Hot Sauce!

10

blood

BREASTS

The men are hi-deous. The womerns de-lovely and de-licious!

10

beast

BEASTS

Robert Z’Dar!

10 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Samurai Cop”

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Jan

posted by deadman | January 6, 2015 | Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, modern horror, Reviews by Deadman, Sci-Fi

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Ragnarok
Don’t you love being pleasantly surprised when you go into a movie expecting to be in pain the entire time and end up with a good experience? Me too! Oh my dear B-movie makers, you never cease to surprise me. What I thought was going to be a CGI-laden, generic-screaming-girl, dude-with-bad-catchphrase-saves-the-day attempt at a would-be monster movie, turned into a cool romp into Norse legends and a decent creature flick.

Ragnarok is a foreign movie about an archaeologist who has been studying runes, boats, coins and shells all in an attempt to prove that a certain tribe of Vikings sailed to a certain point in geography. Cool idea, but the best evidence he has is a few shells stuck to a boat that sank. I don’t know if I’d cut funding at that point, but I’d definitely have some second thoughts when all I’m given shells. What’s that? Foreshadowing so heavy that the viewer is practically bludgeoned over the head with it is missing? Say no more! Runes and their meanings, ho! And while we’re at it, let’s verify the title. The end of the world might not be figurative, but a literal incident that the Vikings were trying to document and warn the rest of the world about. Duh. Funding pulled. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to the next plot point.

rk_2Character development is now flying at us so fast that a snail on a salt trail could finish a 2K marathon first. Single dad? Check! Bratty spoiled teenager? Check! Enthusiastic young son? Check! Wait. We’re missing a trope. Oh. There it is! Best friend with the perfect piece of evidence to force the main character to do something stupid and endanger himself and his family? Checkity check! After chartering a boat with a guide and a survival expert to another part of the country, they begin their quest for the end of the world event. This whole time I’m asking where the money came from if his funding got pulled? And how did they put this all together in less than 24 hours? Seriously! I can barely go out to eat fast food without a three-day reservation! Also, if you’re going to go spelunking in dangerous caves in a part of the country you’ve never been and know nothing about, bring the kids! It’ll be fun!

After a short trek through generic woods number 4,612, our characters reach their destination: an island surrounded by a supposed ‘bottom-less lake’ where the event Ragnarok happened. With several camera shots that establish that there is indeed a monster looming in said lake, they set out to explore said island and find nothing! These guys are the worst archaeologists in history! Why do I say that? Because the young son finds the secret of the island, then the daughter finds remnants of previous inhabitants. Both of those finds aren’t that far from the camp they set up. Pulled funding now justified! After playing in the cave and finding some items, they’re robbed at gunpoint by the guide. Raise your hand if you saw that coming, folks. Yeah, me too. But wait, this is supposed to be a monster movie. Where’s the monster? Well, we get a rrreeeeaaaaallllllyyyy far away shot of the monster attacking said guide trying to get away. Now, back to that salt trail.

rk_3If horror movies have taught me anything, it’s not to go in the woods. The second thing they’ve taught me is never touch things that look like eggs! Seriously. Ask Sigourney Weaver what I’m talking about. Of course, the young boy takes one of the monster’s eggs that conveniently hatches shortly after and now we have the reason for the monster to chase everyone. Here’s where the movie gets kind of good.

We’re given glimpses of the monster, dramatic camera angles and bubbling water which all keep the thing off the screen, but the threat real. I happen to enjoy this method of using the threat of a monster. It builds a fear that the unknown is still out there and hunting the characters. It keeps the monster hidden for most of the movie, helping create a suspense most popularized by Jaws. By the time we see the monster, we’re more impressed and this movie follows that old formula very, very well. Kudos to the writer and director for successfully pulling this off.

rk_4It was established earlier on that Soviets inhabited the island and a lot of their stuff is still lying around, giving us our next set piece: an underground bunker. With the monster now revealed as a giant dinosaur snake… thing… we have several chase scenes, close calls and the final scenes of the movie. No spoilers, folks. But I will say, this little gem is worth a watch. With decent pacing, an easy-to-follow plot and an impressive use of a monster, I’d happily recommend this to anyone looking for old school formulas used with modern technology. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Everyone likes fries.
  • Don’t touch that.
  • How many times can you say ‘Duh’?
  • Bad tantrum timing.
  • Never yell.
  • That’s why you never yell.
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

A lot of tension, but almost no gore.

2

blood

BREASTS

None exposed, yet the ones there are ruggedly sexy.

9

beast

BEASTS

THAT is an original design.

4.3 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer forTucker and Dale Vs. Evil

trailers

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Dec

Comments Off on Bermuda Tentacles

Bermuda Tentacles
One of the reasons I love horror movies is that you can pretty much turn any scenario into a horror one. Bought a creepy doll at a second hand store? Boom. Haunted murder doll. Fixed up a car from a salvage yard? Boom. Haunted murder car. Got that house cheap on the market? Boom. Haunted murder house. You know, I’m starting to see a trend there. So let’s go a little more extreme, shall we? Flying the President of the United States to a summit meeting in who-cares-ville? Throw in the Bermuda Triangle, tentacles, and Linda Hamilton and you got yourself a genuine SyFy flick!

Oh you read that right, folks, the Bermuda Triangle, tentacles, and Linda Hamilton. So our scenario goes by the numbers; President’s plane goes down, some rouge-ish type soldiers are called in to rescue him and tentacles attack. But wait! There’s more! Let’s add a submarine that pilots like an airplane for some reason, plus a boneyard of planes and ships and all the bad CGI you can handle. There you have it, your very own terrible movie. No easy payment plan needed.

bt_2So after our opening scene and the entire setup, which is honestly so badly scripted I wonder if the writers were every sober, we get to meet our cast. Enter soldiers one through six and Linda Hamilton. Seriously. You’re not going to remember their names. I tried! But all I could think was, “Wow. I don’t care about a single one of you.” Linda Hamilton’s character gives us the short and also badly scripted set of orders to rescue the president. But oh, no! Translucent tentacles reach up from the depths of what looks like San Francisco Bay to terrorize the ships that have come to aid!

What’s truly entertaining about this nondescript monster is how it changes it’s mode of attack from full on impalement to dragging folks around by their ankles. But what’s even more entertaining than watching that is watching the soldiers aboard the ships try to fight it. I know folks work on a budget and all, but maybe you could demonstrate what it looks like to fire a real weapon. The actors and extras stand there shaking their obvious airsoft guns like they’re trying to get a stubborn picture off an etch-a-sketch! Not to mention the entire crew is on a battle carrier with cannons and they all stand on the side of the boat with guns. Logic!

Well now that we’ve heard about these “Sea worms” from a marine biologist. Cause, you know, every naval fleet has at least one or two of those in their emergency kit. We finally get to watch the cast do their best impressions of the original Star Trek show by fumbling around a small set whilst piloting some top secret submarine to go and fetch the leader of the free world, who conveniently is in a life support pod that has been sucked to some impossible number of feet below the surface. Why the President’s pod can traverse these depths with no issue while a billion dollar submersible has more trouble than Jean Claude Van Damme faking a country accent is a question I’d like answered.

bt_3After a sequence that lasts way too long we finally get to the set piece that ate up most of the budget: the inside of some underwater cavern littered with remnants of sunken ships and planes. Funny how that place looks just like the airplane graveyard that the Mythbusters used to go to acquire parts. While soldiers 1-6 try to find the fallen President we go back to the surface for more exposition, Linda Hamilton, who apparently ran from the Terminator so hard she wound up in a SyFy flick, gets news that the “sea worms” are attached to a bigger creature and are actually just tentacles. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming. Yeah. Thought so.

Back underwater, we get more surprises that don’t surprise. More tentacle attacks! More gun shaking! Oh, hey, they found the President. But what’s this? It’s not an underwater cave after all? Well what could it be? You guessed it folks: Aliens! Which for some reason has laid dormant this entire time trying to repair itself and has just finished those pesky malfunctions right as the soldiers are trying to rescue the Chief of Staff. Don’t that beat all? Quick! Back to the bad CGI sub and into another overly extended sequence. While I am not an expert in marine terminology, I’m fairly certain most of the dialogue that takes place during this sequence was either made up or taken from Airplane.

bt_4Back to the surface to do battle with the fully repaired alien ship! Trust me folks, if you’ve made it this far into the movie you’re a trooper and deserve to laugh at the final scene of this flick. No spoilers here! Oh SyFy, you brilliantly bad movie factory, you. I’m never disappointed when I need to watch bad CGI, horrible scripted scenes and actors or actresses that are in dire need of a paycheck. This movie is another gem that is ripe for a drinking game or a sequel. Either way, I’ll be watching for both. Thanks for reading! And as always, stay tuned.

roadside attractions

  • Shells. No shells. Shells.
  • Leftover props from Megashark.
  • Leftover actors from Megashark.
  • Leftover Submarine cockpit from Megashark.
  • Leftovers.
  • Extras that die twice.
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

CGI and bad effects make it almost comedic.

0

blood

BREASTS

It’s made for TV. Even cursing isn’t allowed.

4

beast

BEASTS

Recycled animations and unoriginal ideas.

2.3 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer forTucker and Dale Vs. Evil

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Sep

Comments Off on Army of Darkness

It’s 1991, director Sam Raimi now has the approval for a third movie in The Evil Dead series. So how does he capitalize on the cult success of the previous two films? Change the name to Army of Darkness and make it a horror-comedy. Because that’s worked out for so many franchises before it! See any of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels, if you don’t know what I mean. Now does that mean it’s a bad movie? No, absolutely not. This movie brought a lot of folks into the fold of The Chin, Sam Raimi, and the fact that practical effects and good acting will always beat out CGI.
The movie starts out with Bruce Campbell as Ash narrating his current situation. There’s really no need for the narration, as it’s pretty apparent what’s going on. However, Bruce Campbell narrating anything is epic. We find out a little back story and why Ash is in the situation he’s in, flashback style, though the cuts and bruises he receives later in the movie are on his face. That’s why the right side of his face is filmed in this scene, to hide actual cuts and bruises sustained during filming. Just like the last movie, Evil Dead 2, we get a quick recap with some scenes redone to save on time. Ash is sucked into the vortex and now we begin our medieval escapade.
Through that awesome narration we now know that the movie takes place in 1200 AD and our hero has landed smack dab in the middle of not only a war, but a cursed land befouled by the evil that came from the book. Talk about bad luck. Some camera play and exposition, we come to the first real action of the movie: Ash versus the Pit Witch (and her bloated friend). Even up to this point, with lines such as “Well hello, Mister Fancypants!” to his fellow captor Henry the Red, who leads the other guys, this could still work as a horror movie. However, the next particular scene, is where we get the tone for the rest of the film.
If you never knew that the director was a fan of The Three Stooges, you will, now. Ash’s fight with the Pit Witch, while somewhat violent, is packed with goofy angles, over the top screams, and comedic timing. Escaping said pit Ash proceeds to establish himself as the alpha dog amongst these people, giving us one of his most quoted lines ever. “This is my…BOOMSTICK!” as well as some helpful information about what said boomstick is made of, where it’s made, and how much it retails for. Say it with me, kids, “Shop smart. Shop S-Mart! Ya got that?!?” Why do I keep involving children saying lines from horror movies in my reviews?
After Ash gets the only rest and relaxation he’s gotten in the last 72 hours interrupted by a deadite witch and the plot, we now get some classic Raimi montage footage. And let’s add in a ‘Groovy.’ for good measure. With the magic words ‘Klatu verata nictu’ (See The Day The Earth Stood Still) in hand Ash begins his quest for the book, and a stuntman that can pull of that chin. A chase scene and a really wide camera shot later we come to what might be either the most hilarious or most disturbing scenes the dream team has ever put to celluloid. And they filmed a woman biting her own hand off, mind you.
Our hero finds himself in familiar surroundings as he locks himself inside a windmill in the woods to hide from the evil chasing him. Because it worked so well the last time he barricaded himself in a wood shack in the woods with evil chasing him. However, I’m pretty sure if some looming force of darkness was on my heels making that howling sound I’d suddenly develop the ability to swim up a mountain side. A smashed mirror leads us to some Stooges type comedy and miniature cannibalism. Which results in an eyeball poking through the flesh on Ash’s shoulder, complete with a muffled voice to let us know it’s alive. Told you it was disturbing. But it doesn’t stop there, folks, oh no.
The thing begins to grow. First into another head, then into another person from the waist up, then into another person entirely. And here, about the half way mark of the movie, we have our antagonist. Seems the writing team figured they couldn’t have a movie with a hero and no villain. More disturbing imagery! Ash shoots then dismembers his evil twin, in one of the darkest Raimi montages, ever, and proceeds to bury the remains, and the doubt that we’ll never see that character again. After receiving a warning about the book he quests for, The Chin presses on.
Can’t have a medieval movie without a medieval graveyard filled with gothic, medieval tombstones. Ash finds the book, and a twist, to both lengthen the movie and torture Bruce Campbell with special effects makeup. Right before getting the book, however, Ash channels every person that’s ever had to remember something, ever. The humor in this scene is simple, and in that, hilarious. My favorite line being the final one when Ash decides a cough with an ‘N’ sound in front of it would suffice for ancient, evil magic. Again. Ash not so big in the brains department.
The equivalent of ‘Password not accepted’ turns the graveyard into a fireworks factory and awakens the dead, giving us another chance to witness another slapstick tribute to the stooges. We see Evil Ash resurrected, and soon afterwards, his army of the dead. Or darkness, you know, given the movie title and all. But all is not well when The Chin returns and delivers the news that he may have upset some folks back in the medieval graveyard. I couldn’t help one more ‘medieval’, sorry. Things happen! The love interest is taken away! Ash vows to stand and fight! Enter the final scenes!
The men of the castle send word to Henry the Red, the big brute earlier in the movie, that they need help. They also take part in a training montage, because reasons. Ash, being from the future and all, arms them with gunpowder. The formula which he found in a physics book which just happened to be in his trunk. For extra points try to find the issue of Fangoria. When all is said and done we enter what has to be some of the most epic battle scenes since Clash of the Titans. Or Jason and the Argonauts. Depends on your preference.
The army of the dead attack and go after the book! The men at the castle try to defend! Things aren’t going so well for our heroes, who seem to be dropping like flies. Now we see the Ashmobile! The classic that has been made over to be a steam powered (I’m guessing) contraption of death. The Chin meets up with former love interest now turned deadite, which he ends up tossing over the side of a wall like yesterday’s leftovers. And now, an exercise in duality. Evil Ash and Ash face off to fight for the book and the fate of all involved.
I will, once again, skip the ending because I don’t believe in spoilers. So let’s wrap up. This movie set a tone that Sam Raimi would reuse in other movies like Darkman and even further up like Spider-Man. It’s filled with flaws and production fails, try to count the air-rams badly hidden behind scenery, and some big plot holes. And where I’d usually pick apart a movie for them, this time I’m able to overlook them. Not because of fanboy-ism, okay, partly because of fanboy-ism, but mainly because the movie is just plain fun! Big sets, big action, big actor, and big one liners all add up for a horror comedy that is still just as fun today.

Thanks for reading, folks! Also check out the alternate ending and the extended windmill scene in various rereleases of the movie. So I have a question for all our loyal readers: Should I review the reboot of the series? Head to our Facebook or Twitter page to vote! Thanks again, folks. Stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • The chin 3.0?
  • Hail to the King?
  • Wires and air-rams Galore
  • ?Ash’s Changing Hair Lengths
  • ?Xena’s war cry
  • ?Evil Ash Muppet
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

A lot of action, not a lot of gore.

3

blood

BREASTS

One full pair and a couple covered with hair. Not much to howl about.

10

beast

BEASTS

An entire army of the dead. Nuff said.

9.2 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer to Army of Darkness

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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 >>