Archive for the 'Action' Category

Jul

Comments Off on Street Trash

arcade

At a simple glance or even a guess, Street Trash may seem like a horror flick about melting bums. Well, that’s only about twenty percent of the film. Although you may not know without having seen it, Street Trash is a busy little film, combining several plots together. It’s actually quite a complicated film, but manages to intertwine all these plots together while keeping it nice and tidy… and packing it with plenty of gross out moments and gore.

The homeless run wild like Hulkamaniacs led by the sociopathic Vietnam vet, Bronson. His gang of misfits that he calls ‘soldiers’ create chaos and terrorize civilians as well as other hobos, especially Freddy and his younger brother. His younger brother has taken a liken to the secretary at the junkyard, where the bums take refuge and beneath all that filth and grime, she has taken a liken to him too. But as fate would have it, local liquor store owner Ed finds a crate of expired booze called Tenafly Viper. Rather than aging like a fine wine, this nasty, foul liquid boils, bubbles and melts whoever drinks it into a glorious, gory, multi-colored florescent puddles of goop. All of this catches the attention of gritty, action cop Bill who wants to nail Bronson for these atrocities and clean up the streets. Hell, there is even a small sub plot going on involving James Lorinz (Jeffrey from Frankenhooker) as a Doorman who is ratting on his mafia boss after failing to see Freddy take his boss’s date back to junkyard and now he’s gonna get whacked! Believe it or not, it’s actually a pretty easy to follow, never distracting you and keeping you entertained the entire duration with the help of the cruel humor and gore.

ArcadeIt cuts back and forth between these stories for the major duration of the film, filling in the rest with bizarre antics of the derelicts, most of which is spent cursing and mumbling filth at Ed while they try to rip off bottles of booze. Other times, they are playing ‘Catch the Wiener’ with another vagrant’s… wiener or they are shoplifting at local grocery mart. The homeless are downright dirty in every meaning of the definition. Not only are they caked in dirt and probably feces (most definitely urine), but they are also mean and obnoxious toward each other and let me tell you… Street Trash reaches cruel levels of humor if you are sensitive to that kind of thing (luckily, we here are not and welcome it). Playing much like a Troma film, there are all sorts of racial and sexist humor as well as jabs at the elderly. Further pushing the offensiveness, they include a rape scene in which later, the woman’s corpse is found and with some comical music, the owner of the junkyard defiles it… after he was just trying to rape his secretary. It’s a classy movie, but it’s our kind of class.

The Special Meltdown Edition from Synapse presents all these nasty, but loveable pranks in an uncanny high definition transfer. All the carnage, all the gore and colors look beautiful and clean. It’s amazing how crisp a low budget film can look. The edges are so sharp, every fine little detail pops right out at you and this especially showcases the special effects. The audio has a 5.1 mix and it’s as decent as they get, although it’s obviously not like the surround mixes we are use to today. I say stick with the 2.0 mono it was recorded in. It sounds more natural and keeps that old school charm to it.

ArcadeAnd if you’re a fan of special features, hold on to your butts. This disc is crammed with ‘em. The Meltdown Memoirs is a two hour doc, showcasing everything and anything about the making of one of the 80’s best gross out films. Production, casting, special effects, behind the scenes stories… it’s all here and it’s like being a part of it. It’s that in depth. What really blew my mind about this is future X-Men series director Bryan Singer was a Production Assistant on the film! Who knew? I guess we all have to start somewhere. It just blows my mind. It’s like when I found out that J.J. Abrams did the soundtrack for Nightbeast. Of course you get the interviews, which are always interesting to hear, you also get bloopers and outtakes (which I love), and so you get to see what actually didn’t make it into the Special Meltdown Edition. But probably my favorite bonus feature on here is the original 16mm short the film. It’s definitely the backbone of what the movie was based from, although it wasn’t called Tenafly Viper in this. This all rounded off with some trailers and promo stuff, making all this worth any value.

See what I mean? A lot, and I mean A LOT, is going on in Street Trash and you never would have guessed given it’s just a low budget action/cop/horror/Vietnam drama/romance/retrospect look at the homeless movie, but give props where props are due. Director J. Michael Muro and writer Roy Frumkes fit all the pieces together to make it a solid, entertainingly disgusting, wild watch. This is like the Tetris of the film world. Its elements are odd shaped pieces that when put together correctly, form a solid line. This film literally has something for everyone and if you can’t find one thing to like about it, then there is something seriously wrong with you and your eyes and Bronson will find you and poke them out.

Save them pennies and buy a copy from the Synapse Website!

roadside attractions

  • Melting Hobos!
  • Adult take on ‘Hot Potato’.
  • Bulimic Justice.
  • Air Canister Torpedo Decapitation!
  • Filth, flarn, filth.
  • You know what, the entire 100 minute runtime.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Red goop, green goop, blue goop to purple and yellow You get it all as well as some guts and other body parts.

8

blood

BREASTS

Bush, boobs, butts and wieners. A lot of it.

9

beast

BEASTS

Whether it’s a gloppy puddle of vagabond mess, tough cops or crazy homeless Vietnam Vets, there is enough to make you pee your pants.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Street Trash”

trailers

dripper
Jul

Comments Off on The Ghastly Love of Johnny X

suspiria

Ready for a far out science fiction adventure? Well, here’s something groovy you may want to check out, dig it? Ok, I promise I’ll lighten up on the all the hepcat slang. In the spirit of the 1950’s, The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is homage to the black and white beatnik flicks, absurdly silly sci-fi films like Plan 9 from Outer Space and even musicals, like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Normally mixing this many genres can make a film incoherent or confusing, but here it seems to all blends together… like nice, old fashioned milkshake.

Beginning in the science fiction element, our title character Johnny X, full name Jonathan Xavier, is banished from his home world for being too wild and reckless, like his role model, the reckless rock star (possibly in the vein of Elvis) Mickey O’Flynn, played by, in the oddest casting choice, Creed Bratton from The Office. So as a punishment from the head councilman (played by Kevin McCarthy in his final role), Johnny is sent to Earth, until he can do a selfless act. But with an attitude like Johnny’s, what do think is going to happen next?

One year later, a drop dead gorgeous woman named Bliss abruptly enters a diner in literally the middle of nowhere and seduces the young man behind the counter, Chip and the two are about to take off… that is, until Johnny and his gang, The Ghastly Ones, crash the party. This is where the film jumps genres from beatnik to musical, but does it casually. You go along with the musical number, snapping along, as the singing provides exposition, as Johnny uses what he calls the ‘Resurrection Suit’. This suit gives him the ability to control others, but Chip manages to pull off some heroics and saves Bliss as they flee into the desert.

HBTMOverhearing what is going on, a patron at the diner by the name of King Clayton (played by the always favorable Reggie Bannister) who just so happens to be the manager of Mickey O’Flynn, offers a deal with Johnny: Help him with his ‘situation’ with Mickey and in return, he will bring back the soda jerk Chip and Bliss. And what situation would that be? Well, it’s not that he didn’t show up for rehearsal as the news previously had reported… turns out, King Clayton is in deep with loan sharks to keep his theater open and Mickey was gonna pack the house and pay the debt, except that he croaked the night before the rehearsal. So the idea is to get the Resurrection Suit back to reanimate the recently departed Mickey to put on the show. Could this be that selfless act that gives Johnny the ticket to go home?

Well as luck would have it, King Clayton is Chip’s uncle and along with Bliss, they walk right into the lion’s den, so to speak. Putting all grudges aside, leaving Bliss for his new girl (and gang member) Bobbi Socks, Johnny gets ready for the show. However, the sluggishly oaf and appropriately named Sluggo, in an act of independence, sabotages the suit and flees with the now reanimated Mickey and kidnapping Bliss along the way. Recruiting Chip into the gang, baptizing him as ‘Soda’, the two put their differences aside and head off to save Bliss, who Sluggo is demanding in exchange for the Resurrection Suit. And so begins the final battle. Will Johnny defeat Sluggo and save the girl? Will he get home? Don’t worry. All of these questions are answered in the final act.

Overall, the movie is an entertaining romp that those with love of retro cinema and serials will love. It also has some silliness that brings the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra to mind. It not only has a sense of humor, but you a splash of love for everything that is the 50’s. Director Paul Bunnell brings all together fantastically to bring you something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a throwback to those beatnik romps with greasers, gangs, dames, slime balls, dweebs, thugs, Martians and weirdoes… all in the name of love. It’s an adventure, it’s a musical, and it’s groovy. Check this one out. Dig, Daddy-O (Oh come on, I had to end on some cool slang)?

You can purchase The Ghastly Love of Johnny X here!

roadside attractions

  • Devo hat.
  • Soda shake romp.
  • Hepcats and dames.
  • Rock-a-billy zombie Creed.
  • World domination… with science!
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Nothing to really see hear, but that’s not what it’s about.

7

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of busty dames to oogle at.

8

beast

BEASTS

Sluggo and a zombie Mickey O’Flynn. Even the girls are deadly.

6.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer here!

trailers

dripper
Jun

Comments Off on Hard Target

hard target snake eating

Take Road House, mix with Hard Boiled, add a ladle of gumbo, and you pretty much have 1993’s mullet-tastic Hard Target. Starring the ‘Muscles from Brussels’ himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hard Target is 97 minutes of Cajun-flavored insanity.

But, unlike my twin brother we don’t talk about, this is the good kind of insanity.

Hard Target is a John Woo film, so toss all concepts of reality and physics out the window. Which is fine. The action in Hard Target is so insane, it touches on brilliance. Like most Woo films, there is plenty of gunplay—but there is also upside down gunplay. Yes, Van Damme fires a handgun upside down at one point. It is jaw-droppingly crazy.

Let’s rewind a bit though. Hard Target is a ‘man hunts man for sport’ story, or to be more specific, ‘the rich hunt the poor and homeless for sport.’ It makes one wonder why they don’t reboot this for today, ’cause I’m sure the 1% would eat this up like caviar at a yacht club ho-down.

hard target motorcycle

Representing the poor and the homeless is Van Damme, as Cajun street fightin’ man, Chance. So named because ‘his mama took one.’ The hunters are Lance Hendrickson, the guy who played The Mummy in The Mummy, and a bunch of other toughs, including frequent Arnold Schwarzenegger foil, Sven Thorsen.

While there is plenty of gunplay, including a few crazy guns (even one what shoots arrows), Van Damme’s martial arts skills are given loads of screen time. In fact, one could play a drinking game based on Van Damme knocking cigarettes out of mouths and sunglasses off of faces.

There are three shining jewels in Hard Target, which make it worth a watch alone. First, Van Damme’s mullet. It is the stuff of legends. If you looked up ‘Kentucky Waterfall‘ in the hair dictionary, there would be a screen capture of Hard Target. Second, the infamous ‘snake-punching’ scene. Van Damme shows he has a way with nature—by beating the ever-living crap out of a snake puppet. The cherry on top is Van Damme doing the bayou version of St. Patrick, and biting off the snake’s rattle (Van Damme has his reasons).

brimley hard target

The last jewel in Hard Target‘s triple crown is Wilfred Brimley. Yes. Mr. Oatmeal plays Van Damme’s moonshiner, swamp dwelling uncle—complete with a Cajun accent. I like to think Brimley was the inspiration for Katniss in The Hunger Games, because he is an ace with the bow, and if you squint real hard, he kinda looks like [what’s her face].

An’ don’t go thinking Hard Target is all snake-punching and fancy kickin’ neither. There is plenty of motorcycle action too—mostly EXPLODING motorcycles (it is a John Woo movie after all), the best of which is the scene where Van Damme STANDS UP on a moving motorcycle to shoot bad guys.

If you have an itch for an over-the-top, physics ignoring action film, then Hard Target is the scratch you need. Tiger says, Hard Target is a must watch.


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

  • Arrow Guns
  • Upside Down Guns
  • Snake Punching
  • Snake Biting
  • Kicked Off Sunglasses
  • Crazy Guns
  • Hands Free Motorcycles
  • Cajun Moonshiners
  • Creepy Parade Floats
  • Kicking
  • Mullets
  • Exploding Motorcycles
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

People get shot, kicked, stabbed, blown up, and bit by snakes.

2

blood

BREASTS

You see a pair on an ad for an adult business. That’s it.

9

beast

BEASTS

Van Damme and those hunting him count as beasts, because why not?

7 OVERALL
dripper

Now here’s a helpful b-movie survival tip from Hard Target!

trailers

dripper
May

posted by Barry Goodall | May 23, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Brainstorm

brainstorm

What if you could record all your brain activity on tape for anyone in the world to experience? The same smells, tastes, even emotions just as you felt them. Sure you could experience things like skydiving without ever having to leave your couch. Or scale the Himalayans while riding the bus. But then there’s that stench filled cab ride you had last week where your friend threw up on your docker pants. Now a total stranger can enjoy that too. You could even eat a glazed donut burger and still technically be Vegan thus keeping your hipster street creed… because much like your hipster street cred, it’s all in your mind.

brainstorm In 1983’s Brainstorm, Christopher Walken plays Dr. Michael Brace an eccentric scientist who hangs out with his Chain smoking lab partner Lillian (Louise Fletcher.) Most of their day is spent poking monkeys and wearing wired up space helmets while playing with robots. Normally this is where government grants go to die but one day they discover they can actually record a persons memories on laser tape. It’s the Facebook of the future.They decide to take the invention on the road and record everything they can find with a lab tech wearing a recording helmet. There’s racing cars, going down a waterside, having sex, trying out some equestrian (not necessarily in that order.) Things you could have never experienced yourself without the aide of “TECHONOLOGY!” Their boss loves the demo tape but then boots from the project so it can be packaged up and sold as a home console and to military contractors.

Michael with some free time on his hands uses the new invention for some couples therapy. His wife Karen, played by Natalie Woods is just about to sign the divorce papers until he makes a memory tape for her showing all the good times from their marriage. Scrapbookers eat your heart out. Meanwhile Lillian has a heart attack back at the lab but records her death for scientific study and likely some smut sections at a Thailandese video store. The tape is put under lock and key while the government also takes over the technology to use it for “peaceful military purpose.” Peaceful in that they’ll peacefully torture and brainwash any suspecting commies they can hook it up to. Michael’s son accidentally tries one of these brainwash tapes making him wacko so Michael goes on a crusade to destroy the project once and for all. His robot war knowledge comes in handy as he hacks into the lab computer causing the robots to go on a rampage smashing the brainstorm assembly line. He then gets access to his lab partners death tape so that he can experience some extreme chest pains and the ending to 2001: A space odyssey. While plugged into the death tape at a pay phone, his wife shows up, they hug and he mumbles something about the stars, the Wright Brothers and needing more cowbell. Wow, the hippies were out in full force on this one folks. Barry Goodall says get plugged in with Brainstorm so that you too can experience a couple hours of brainwashing torture.  Let’s just hope that Apple or Google doesn’t make one of these things anytime soon.

roadside attractions

  • DOS Intrigue
  • interactive all you can eat buffets
  • giant brain helmets
  • virtual ardvarking
  • interactive chimpanzees
  • multiple heart attacks
  • Lost IMAX footage
  • chainsmoking lab technicians
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

just a nose bleed

5

blood

BREASTS

Virtual nookie stuck on loop

2

beast

BEASTS

Just a chimpanzee

2.7 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer for “Brainstorm”

trailers

dripper
May

Comments Off on Sins of the Dragon

Usually I get swamped with short horror films, gore-fests and Troma wannabe’s and most recently, Asian erotic thrillers (don’t get me wrong, these are good things and I love stuff like that). Then out of nowhere, I received something a little different: A martial arts film that wasn’t a Godfrey Ho cut and paste movie or a Bruce-sploitation flick. So I got curious and checked out the trailer for a little short indy flick called Sins of the Dragon and let me tell you something… I was not expecting to see the awesomeness that I saw. (Editor’s note: I’m totally surprised to see that awesomeness is a word. That squiggly red line didn’t appear under it when I typed it)

Sins of the Dragon isn’t your straight forward martial arts flick. It’s also a fantasy film, so it doesn’t take place at any specific time in history or in the future. Hell, maybe not even this world. But where and when never come into question. Right from the get-go, they explain what you need to know: There are four separate territories and each is ruled by a dragon. Well, the dragon is actually a martial arts master that possesses superhuman abilities. So what do you think if, for example, someone decides they are going to kill the other dragons and gain their powers? They would rule the world, duh!

And it just so happens that someone is doing exactly that. He goes by the name Caligo and wears like this half Jason mask on the bottom half of his face. This is where the movie opens up at actually. We see Caligo fighting Master Sozen, who looks kinda like Raiden from Mortal Kombat (well, actually he is wearing the same hat, but to be honest, I forgot what those were called, so I knew you would be able to follow along if I made that reference). Caligo informs the Master Sozen, and the audience, that he has already killed two of the dragons and is about to make it three.

sotdSins of the Dragon does actually build up their characters and makes sympathetic. Cunri lives with an almost uncontrollable rage, due to his village being slaughtered by Caligo during his quest to kill the other dragons. Thus, it orphaned Cunri, but as fate would have it, he is trained by Master Shaw and met Kaia. See, not all bad, right? Lose your family, gain awesome martial arts skills. Even Steven?

All of this boils down to the final showdown between Cunri and Caligo, after he and Kaia are attacked and exhausted by a group of ninjas. Cunri must use all of his skill to defeat the now almost invincible Caligo. But what of Kaia? What about her fate? Everything rests on this battle!

You’ve probably been seeing the phrase ‘martial arts’ a bit in this review and you must be wondering, “Is there actually any martial arts and is it any good?” To answer it simply: Yes. Oh lord, yes. Sins of the Dragon has more impressive fight choreography than any other big budget movie in the past few years. It’s actually very impressive.

The plot itself is also quite impressive. The characters have an anime vibe to them; Cunri being the brooding protagonist with his smart-arse she-sidekick as they encounter a group of buffoonish thieves; one who is the ‘brain’, one who gets lost in his own metaphors and the third is the silent type all on a quest to stop an evil villain. Sins of the Dragon definitely sets up a fantasy world and invites you in without overwhelming you with complicated mythos or an overabundance of unnecessary back story. It also has its share of special effects that are pretty decent considering the budget and type of film it is, but it’s not what it’s about and you won’t be paying any attention to it once they start roundhouse kicking everyone. It’s an easy film to sit down, watch and enjoy some major butt kicking!

Running in at just under half an hour, everything is well developed and fleshed out, you’ll feel like you watched an episode of some new anime and you want to see what happens next to these characters and you want to see where they go. In a short amount of time, you do feel attached to these characters and at times, you’ll wish there was a more fortunate path for them.

Sins of the Dragon shouldn’t be missed, whether you are looking for a martial arts film or something with some fantasy, it shows how far you can go with a little imagination. Now, run away to Platypus Underground’s website to watch it (there is also an extended cut available)… before Caligo destroys you!

roadside attractions

  • -Ninja Overload!
  • -Ken Masters Stunt Double.
  • -Everyone really does want Kung-fu fighting.
  • -Half Jason/Half Vader
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Sprays, splatters and even a decapitation!.

5

blood

BREASTS

In its place, I offer you ninjas.

9

beast

BEASTS

Did I mention ninjas? Oh and an evil ninja?

7 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Sins of the Dragon”

trailers

dripper

About the Highway

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