Archive for the 'B-movie Reviews' Category

Feb

Comments Off on Carnosaur 2

Carnosaur 2
1995 – R – New Horizon
83 minutes – Starring John Savage, Cliff De Young – Directed by Louis Morneau

Remember the movie Aliens, that awesome movie about a crew of misfit Colonial Marines that go to a far off planet after communications were lost with them and they battle waves of xenomorphs that bleed acid? Wouldn’t it be great if they remade that, but with dinosaurs? Really cheap ones too! Like, so cheap you’ll laugh until you’re on the floor rolling, holding your ribs in pain, wishing for it to stop. Throw in some one dimensional knock offs of each character and set designs so cheap, it looks like the movie was shot at a children’s carnival spooky house attraction and you have Carnosaur 2! It’s described as a “low budget sequel,” but I think it should have been described as a “much, much lower budget sequel.”

You could argue that the movie doesn’t exactly begin like Aliens, but that it begins like some of the deleted scenes from Aliens, but this is as about as far as the movie stretches its originality. It’s like those scenes with the colonists and Newt with her family. Actually to be fair, the beginning of this film doesn’t rip off Aliens. No, it flat out rips off that other successful James Cameron sequel, Terminator 2. In particular, the scene where John Conner is hacking an ATM machine for money, only here, the Eddie Furlong clone and friend are hacking into some storage unit in an underground super secret mine/lab to steal some dynamite or as this young Keanu Reeves inspired actor puts it, “Industrial strength blammo, dude.” Now I have to ask… why is he stealing it? What the hell is he planning (maybe it would have been better than this movie)? Anyway, the kid’s name is Jesse and his uncle who works for this facility catches them. Rather than being completely shocked as to how they broke in and why they are stealing dynamite, he just sends Jesse’s friend home and scoffs. Leaving work, Uncle Whatever-his-name-is tells Jesse not to wonder off and of course, the little creep does just that (and he has the whole 90’s grunge look to prove he doesn’t care!) only to be offered to drive a forklift for a moment and is told never to press a certain lever because IT OPENS A METAL DOOR WITH 150 FOOT DROP STRAIGHT DOWN. I’m sure this will in no way come back later in the film. Especially not the climax.

c2_2Jesse and his uncle stop at the mess hall for some grub, because it’s cheap to shoot there. We’re introduced to some cook who works there whose purpose is to hear a noise, which he thinks is coyotes. Once outside, he likes to taunt these coyotes we can’t see to provide suspense, when suddenly he hears… that clicking sound the Predator makes? Yeah, it sounds just like it, making for something else this movie rips off. As the poor guy is having his face eaten off, all I can do is sit here and ponder how the filmmakers couldn’t even have enough originality to make a dinosaur sound (hell, the trailer even rips off Jurassic Park sounds). Back inside, the dinosaurs are throwing garbage (why?) in a fit of rage and tossing people around like pro wrestlers.

After a cross dissolve, we see John Savage roll up in a jeep to another unknown location, hungover, no doubt trying to drink away the thoughts of falling not so gracefully since The Deer Hunter. Another character named Monk is introduced with the elegant line of dialogue, “So, I’m hammering this girl…” then proceeds to talk about cheating on his wife like it’s the most casual conversation. I know the intention of the writers was to provide him as comic relief, but if my first reaction is to smash this man’s esophagus, it’s not a good thing. Moving along, we are introduced to our rag tag bunch of Colonial Marines, I mean… Mercs? What are these guys supposed to be anyway? They look like janitors in their one piece, patchless uniforms. Each one of them represents a one dimensional character trait of a Colonial Marine, so when you think of these characters, you’ll be thinking of others characters from another movie. It’s a collection of D-List actors, although the only one I recognize is Miguel A Nunez Jr from Return of the Living Dead And Friday the 13th Part V, making him the only actor I can tolerate on screen. Being the film’s only ethnic person though, he doesn’t seem to have a high survival rate.

c2_3After they are woken up… ’cause they can’t call it hypersleep. This is a more realistic movie, you know… with genetically engineered killer dinosaurs. Anyway, they are debriefed on the situation by this movie’s Paul Reiser, McQuade, a pudgy, frizzled hair guy who’s even dressed like Carter Burke, bubble vest over flannel and all. Well gee, wouldn’t you know it, turns out the company lost communications with the workers inside the secret mine… just kinda like how that other movie lost communications with a planet. With no time to waste, the crew hop in their chopper, but instead of going the homo-bashing helicopter scene from Predator route (which I actually thought they were going to do), they instead play ‘Flight of The Valkyries’ on a boombox, ripping off Apocalypse Now, only here it’s not very good and makes no sense.

Once inside the facility, we get the usual “searching the perimeter” scene, until the stumble upon Newt, I mean Jesse, who is traumatized. After claiming to have searched the facility (although this is literally the only room we see them search), the team thinks they should bail, but McQuade tells them otherwise. They bicker and argue and are about to leave, but for some reason change their minds and stay, which makes the whole ten or so minutes you just sat through with them arguing completely pointless.

c2_4By now, you’re probably catching on to the beat of the movie, especially if you’ve seen Aliens: Setting up a coms room, looking at destroyed architecture, the Newt and Ripley bond… just to stretch out that moment until you finally see the dinosaurs, except when you do eventually get to see them here, it’s like looking at rubber puppets. The dinosaurs start to kill the Mercs, forcing the remaining others to flee like the cowards they are, calling for an immediate evac and this is where the film leaves me in shock. They do a shot for shot remake of the evac crashing scene, but to be honest, they got me. I didn’t see that coming. I thought, “Surely the filmmakers aren’t this lazy and stupid to copy EXACTLY every little scene that happened in Aliens,” but they got me! I was expecting Monk to cite the famous, “Game over, man!” line. So yeah, their obviously toy helicopter being blown up with firecrackers crashes, so they head back inside for the film’s exposition scene where we learn all about the dinosaurs and what McQuade is actually up to. This would have been a shocking reveal if they weren’t obviously ripping off a character from the movie they are ripping off who was revealed to have a secret agenda for the company he worked for. Bottom line, IT’S NOT A SECRET IF IT’S OBVIOUS BECAUSE YOUR AUDIENCE IS AWARE OF WHAT FILM YOU ARE KNOCKING OFF.

No more screwing around, it’s time to escape! Jesse hacks the mainframe (it’s what all kids knew how to do in the 90’s), the team goes off to collect the dynamite, McQuade tries to stop them… I really shouldn’t have to be explaining this. We’ve all seen Aliens. Speaking of, isn’t there a real crucial scene where they discover that the planets reactor is melting down? So how do they do it here? Turns out, this facility was used as a place to store nuclear warheads after the Cold War and the dinosaurs damaged it… you know, because it happened in Aliens, okay!? By now, the curtains are coming to a close and there are only a few scenes left to reenact, so I’m going to finish this up by saying once more, LITERALLY the exact same things that happened in Aliens, happen here. You do get to see the movies only moment of gore, as one of the Mercs gets their arm ripped off and then guts ripped out, so that’s worth at least a couple of rewinds. I should also mention that in place of a Queen Alien, you get a T-Rex, which to be fair, I guess would be the equivalent of that. Oh and take a guess if that forklift and the 150 foot drop make a return…

Carnosaur 2
Wow, there are rip offs, then there are blatant rip off photocopies and Carnosaur 2 goes above and beyond that. It’s so cheap, it even rips off the first movie! This movie makes films by Bruno Mattei look subtle and that guy made a career out of ripping off films. Even for a Roger Corman produced movie this is shameful. I mean, my god… it’s literally Aliens with velocioraptors… and bad acting… and crappy effects, bad music… It’s just bad, but not too unwatchably bad, since it’s worth watching for the unintentional laughs alone. It fun to see what feels like a film student’s reenactment of Aliens as a dinosaur puppet show. Since there isn’t much in the way of boobs or gore, a lot of horror fans will find it hard to sit through, even with the cheese factor going through the roof. This is a film I’m really in the middle of the road about. On one hand, it’s a piss poor excuse of a knockoff, but it’s so incredibly bad, it’s as if it makes you stupid while you watch it, so you can sit through the entire movie. But you know what the worst part is? There are three more entries in the series. We’re all doomed… DOOMED!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Do not play a drinking game to this where you take a shot every time it rips off Aliens… you will die!
  • Jesse is if Eddie Furlong and Keanu Reeves had a baby.
  • Janitor Mercs!
  • Attack of the killer toy dinosaurs!
  • Give ’em a hand… or they spilled their guts. I don’t know which joke to go with.
  • Forklift VS. T-Rex is the poor man’s Power loader VS. Queen Alien.
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

The film usually cuts away to splash blood on the wall, but seeing a Merc get their arm torn off was pretty awesome.

0

blood

BREASTS

None boobs or cleavage. Everyone is covered up like it’s a sacred thing.

3

beast

BEASTS

These dinos are about as threatening as the plastic toys they look like. Probably only dangerous to kids 3 and under for swallowing reasons.

2.6 OVERALL
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Jan

Comments Off on Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer

Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer
2012 – Not Rated – Bizjack Flemco

Finally, a zombie movie that offers something different for a change! A zombie movie that dares to go against the boring blandness of the undisputed king of unoriginality in today’s pop culture that is the zombie genre. A film that literally takes the rules and throws them out the window and how do they accomplish this? By not having zombies in the film! Well, technically there are some zombies in the film, but we’ll get to that. Directors Richard Taylor and Zack Beins serve up a fresh, funny love letter to Troma films, complete with lots of unbridled gore and nudity.

So if there are no zombies in the film, then why call it “The Amazing Zombie Killer”? Aside from being the name of the catchy pop-punk song during an animated intro, it also just so happens that’s the name of Atom and his pals bowling team and you bet your buns they’re the best in the league! Atom and his gang are going head to head with The Slashers, run by the mohawked, sun shaded and ruthless Dario to qualify for a tournament in Hawaii. But after some treachery from The Slashers and shady bowling alley business from the owner Jeb, The Amazing Zombie Killers are barred, thus disqualifying them from participating in the tournament! Bogus! Jeb’s niece, Allie,
expresses her apologies to Atom and for a brief moment, there is a glance that may be foreshadowing, shall I say, romance?

atak_2Perhaps a quick romp with his horn-dog girlfriend Emily (the babe-licious Lindy Starr) will change his mood. Unfortunately, she’s already “taken care of business” with a bowling pin, leaving Atom to his own vices (masturbation… I’m talking about masturbation). She’s a cold calculating, bitter minx who constantly berates Atom for never paying attention to her and other, “ME! ME! ME! GIMMIE! GIMMIE! GIMMIES!” She’s the kind of girl you look at and wonder, “Who would put up with that?” and then it quickly becomes obvious why. However, Atom is far too occupied with thoughts of his grandfather and living up to his legacy. You see, Atom’s grandfather (played by none other than Lloyd Kaufman) was the best bowler back in his day and was on a team with other top notch bowlers, such as Jeb and Dario’s uncle, Ernie. Speaking of Dario and Ernie, these two are up to no good. Ernie is the sleazy owner of a used car lot (come to think of it, have you ever heard of an honest used car lot owner?) that sponsors The Slashers. This trip to Hawaii sure could be good for business, but something sinister lies beneath their motives…

Meanwhile, when he’s not up all hours of the night watching cheesy horror flicks (something I’m sure we all can relate to), Atom tries to make amends with Emily by promising her a date night with the classic choice of dinner and a movie, which goes over about as well as you think it would when Atom’s friends show up and they all watch “Dr. Chaotica’s House of Toxic Zombies,” which I have to say that I hope one day becomes a real film. This is where the gore starts, showcasing a pregnant zombie giving birth in a disgusting manner (think of a catcher’s mitt full of green Jell-O and lasagna). This causes Emily to reasonably vomit all over herself, forcing Atom to take her home where the two have a fight. Even after proving he cares about her by licking the vomit off her bosom, she leaves him for good. She slams the door shut which knocks his grandpa’s bowling trophy off a shelf, smacking him on the forehead leaving a large, oozing bump and rendering him unconscious.

atak_3This is when the movie turns up the raunchiness, unloads buckets of gore and piles on the gross out gags, revealing its true nature. While Emily is “burying the bone” in the graveyard with Dario, Atom is in a daze and hallucinating that everyone is a zombie (oh, so that’s where zombies come in)! I blame all those horror movies. He does what any lunatic having psychotic hallucinations that the dead are walking the Earth would do; go on a killing spree, just as a pair of unsuspecting Jehovah’s Witnesses come to his door (director cameos!). Atom disembowels one and smashes the head of the other with his bowling ball, resulting in rain of chunky blood and bone. Carnage continues as Atom butchers a gardener for his weed whacker and tears an outdoor yoga class to shreds, runs over a construction who explodes like Emil from Robocop and even guns down a few pallbearers… and the corpse in the coffin they are carrying, which just so happens to fall on Atom! Now he believes he is bit and turning into one of the undead creatures.

Amidst the chaos, The Amazing Zombie Killers have been invited back to the bowling alley, thanks to Allie convincing her uncle to give them another chance, to rematch The Slashers for another chance to go to Hawaii. However, Atom never received this message because he was out slaughtering people… plus, Dario deleted Allie’s phone message she left on his answering machine (do people still have those?)! The diabolical scum! With the bumbling cops hot on his trail and the rematch only moments away, Atom will need to snap out of his daze in order to help his friends win that trip to Hawaii and while he’s at it, maybe learn the dark secret behind his grandfather’s death.

Here’s a movie that says, “Let’s have fun!” It reminds me of something like a WB sitcom or bizarro Hanna Barbera cartoon amalgamate, blending copious amounts of gore and gag humor in true Troma-like inspired fashion. As silly, boppy music noodled along to the antics of these outlandish characters, often their gestures cued with over the top sound effects, I was always expecting a laugh track. Stating the obvious, it’s a movie that’s self aware and uses all of the regular b-movie charms; hammy acting, gore and nudity, to their fullest extent, playing them off for laughs or to make your stomach turn and it works.

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Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer
Rather than make a zombie movie to cash in on the sub-genre’s popularity (which seems to be the thing to do these days), Richard Taylor and Zack Beins made a genuine film, did something very diverse with it and it comes off as a genuine homage to what it’s trying to do. That’s mostly due because the filmmakers are legitimate fans of these types of films and it shows. I was laughing the entire time watching the film with a genuine smile, because what they set out to accomplish was shining through. Unfortunately, this type of movie isn’t for everyone, but if you dig the repugnant high jinks of Troma-esque films, then Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer is for you! And I would also like to be the first person to quote, “It’s a strike!” Get it? Bowling pun.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Rock and Bowl!
  • Emily shows you there is more than one use for a bowling pin…
  • Zombie birth.
  • Vomit licking.
  • Pilates of death!
  • Road work a-head.
  • Picking up a spare.
totals

9

blood  

BLOOD

It may take a little time to get to it, but when it does, you’ll wish you brought a rain coat!

7

blood  

BREASTS

The promiscuous Emily will titillate you (emphasis on the first half of that word).

 

7

beast  

BEASTS

 

As if Atom’s hands weren’t full of the undead, he also has to deal with that scumbag Ernie, Dario and the rest of The Slashers.

7.6 OVERALL
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Jan

posted by Barry Goodall | January 25, 2014 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Leprechaun 2

leprechaun2


Just when you thought it was safe to eat Lucky Charms again, along comes Leprechaun 2. This time the leprechaun is in love and will stop at nothing to get his bride. It’s the equivalent of a midget psychopath with an E-harmony account. In medieval Ireland when people weren’t dying of the black death, they’re usually dealing with leprechaun infestations. Warwick Davis plays one such magical irishman whose been hankering for a little dwarf love on his 1000th birthday. He’s got his eyes set a local peasant girl. She’s a fair maiden who enjoys nighttime laundry cleaning. Fortunately her dad whose been a forced slave of the Leprechaun puts the kibosh on the wedding plans when he breaks up it’s spell of sneezes. Yes, many Irish spells revolve around chronic outdoor allergies. This ticks of the little green guy who ends up sulking in a magic tree trunk for a few more centuries and work on growing out his mullet.


Flash forward to the 1990’s and a con artist, Cody and his drunk uncle Morty have been touring around in a hearse taking tourists money and creeping out the old folks at the senior center. Cody’s girlfriend Bridget, a descendent of the peasant girl comes along for the ride hoping to play a bit of putt-putt later with Cody (not a euphemism.) Meanwhile, A hobo’s gold filling lures the old Leprechaun out of hiding and starts stalking Bridget hoping to make her his new bride and baby mama. He puts her in a choke collar and teleports her back to his tree cave prison for a shotgun wedding but before he can perform the ceremony he discover one of his precious gold coins was snatched away by Cody. He must “have his gold” so he leaves Bridget chained to a rock and heads back to town to track him down.


leprechaun2Cody has been trying to convince Morty of the Leprechaun, but he doesn’t believe him until they both go to the local bar and the Leprechaun shows up for a St. Patty’s day drinking showdown. Even a leprechaun can’t out drink an alcoholic. Before he can claim victory, the leprechaun smashes Morty on the head with a whiskey bottle and hides out in a hipster coffee shop to sober up and face melt a snarky barista. Cody and Morty trick the leprechaun into a iron safe but Morty can’t resist the lure of 3 free wishes and locks Cody in the closet while he ends up with a stomach full of gold coins instead. That’s a heck of lot harder to pass than a kidney stone. With his last wishes, Morty accidentally frees the leprechaun who then slices him open like a sunday ham. and somewhere a bartender decides to close early.

Cody tracks down the leprechauns secret love lair and has to do fight with the little guy through a battle of wits which can hopefully can save Bridget from a life of leprehacuan diaper changing once and for all. L2 is not really on par with the first Leprechaun film which had Jennifer Aniston, but this one did have a brief cameo by Clint Howard which is about as good as it gts. Barry Goodall says check out Leprechaun 2, it’s magically malicious.

roadside attractions

  • Levitating and neck snapping
  • Homeless dental surgery
  • Glowing trees
  • Tree-fu
  • Finger rippin’ good
  • Propeller to the face
  • Remote choke collar
  • Snuggie blackets
  • Leprechaun drool
  • Irish go-carting
  • Espresso of death
  • Hit and run leprechaun
  • Skeleton wrestling
  • Exploding midgets
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

A finger gets chopped, a stomach sliced, but it’s surprisingly light on the red stuff. There’s a lot of high blood alcohol levels though if that counts for anything.

7

blood

BREASTS

Stunt Double breasts? sure, we don’t discriminate but wish they’d jump through a flaming hoop over some buses.

7

beast

BEASTS

One little leprechaun who can’t stop rhyming like a midget vanilla ice with more talent.

7.9 OVERALL
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Jan

Comments Off on Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher
2012 – Not Rated – Sledgehammer Films

Gather ’round these here parts and mosey on up to the campfire to hear the legend! There’s something people don’t seem to do anymore; tell ghastly stories and fabled legends around a burning campfire, trying to scare the mud out of each other’s britches. With how constantly connected we are now, the equivalent to camping would be watching a movie on your iPad, sitting around a campfire Blu-ray from your couch. But enough of about my unbridled hatred for the 21st century and all your precious modern technology; let’s be reminded of a more simple time, when chilling stories were told and hear the tale of a time when people were proud to live off the land, provide for themselves with what the Earth gives them and forage for their own food… even if it’s trespassers! Let’s hear the tale of Carl Henry Jessup… Let’s hear The Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher!

lothb_2The set up makes it appear to be a cut and paste slasher, but I assure you, Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher is anything but. It’s easy to get that impression from the start, as an old man tells three wide eyed children this probably not so age appropriate spooky tale about a butcher and his meat, long pig (would you like to take a guess as to what that could be?). This scene reminds me of the opening to Madman, which is a good thing. When Carl isn’t stating is political propaganda or scaring local whippersnappers off of his property (which you do not want to trespass on), he’s passing the time by cooking his meat (no, that’s not an innuendo) with his half-sister, Rae Lynn (Theresa Holly here does a stellar job), or taking swigs of moonshine out of the jug with his friend Billy Wayne, who’s about as trust worthy as he appears to be. This guy seems like he’s just one strangled hooker away from making the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Yup, Carl sure knows how to live.

lothb_3Of course, his life isn’t all gravy. Speaking of gravy, he sure does miss his Pop’s gravy (again, not an innuendo) ever since he killed his wife then himself back when Carl was a boy, passing on his butcher knife. Rae Lynn does her best to fill in the lonely void by cooking and cleaning, but it’s just not enough. Haunting visions of a demon (called Sam Bakoo, but I can’t recall if this if ever mentioned) in his sleep wake Carl up that not even his decaying, skeletal girlfriends can help him get back to sleep. He decides to take drastic measures to bring back his parents by offering his blood and soul to the Devil, but that soul ain’t worth no damn. What is a man with a worthless soul to do?

Well, killing trespassers is one thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s stabbing young lovers or disemboweling the director dressed up as a drunk hick, they have no right being on his property! And besides, a man’s gotta eat. Each victim meets (or should I say “meats”) their end by Carl’s knife, as he guts them and cuts them up for meat and stringing it up from the ceiling in the basement, which his darling half-sister Rae Lynn cooks for them and Billy Wayne on occasion. Speaking of Billy Wayne, he is one available bachelor if you can believe it. He takes an interest in Rae Lynn and even asks her out on a date ever so elegantly. After one of the most sexiest montages I have ever seen of Rae Lynn trying on different dresses, they spend some time… somewhere in the woods (it doesn’t have to be specific), but the date quickly goes sour after Billy Wayne sucker punches poor Rae Lynn. But hey, she shouldn’t tease a man like that!

lothb_4While this is going on, Carl is seeing the ghost of an unknown young girl, Jesse, who tells him that his blood line is cursed and urges him to bury the knife. Could she mean that literally or is this one of them metaphors? Carl looks at this as a second chance and possibly a way to stop these haunting visions that look like they are out of a goth band’s music video. If I thought I was constantly envisioning Prodigy music videos, I would do anything to make them go away too. It’s also at about this time Rae Lynn stumbles across all Leatherface like decorations in the house, asking the burning question… how did it take her so long to see any of this?

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher reeks of 70’s and 80’s exploitation drive-in films and it smells wonderful. It has that certain atmosphere of dread in the wilderness, secluded in the open, yet there is a false state of serenity as you here the nearby creek babble and the insect population sings like a choir. The sometimes out of focus, fuzzy look, complete with dirt and scratches over the film gives it an aged look without making it too faux. However, there were times when I found the filters to be overbearing. For example, on occasion, there will be an orange burn mark in the upper left corner of the screen, varying in intensity, but at times it seems to be too intense and going on a bit too long (this never took away from my enjoyment of the movie though), which I did find to be a tiny bit distracting. Even the audio sometimes has a muffled sound to it at times. It’s these elements that remind me of films like Don’t Go in the Woods and The Forest. There’s a reason this won six awards, some from a genre new to me, Hixploitation and the enchanting actress Theresa Holly gets a well deserved award for Best Actress and I would even call her the Independent Movie Scream Queen.

Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher
Best Retrosploiation Film? You betcha! It’s been awhile since we’ve seen something like this (or at least done well) and it’s welcoming to be reminded of cult camp movies that remind you of warm summer nights with possible terror lurking somewhere in the woods. Legend of the Hillbilly Butcher is an alluring, gory bio pic. Joaquin Montalvan certainly is a man who can do it all; writing, producing, directing and even doing the cinematography. This man is the reason this movie looks so damn good, so credit where credit is due. Of course, the rest of the cast and crew is great as well. This is one of the most engrossing independent films I have scene in a long time, so I would highly recommend giving this a watch, ya hear?

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Ghost stories ’round the campfire.
  • Swigging out of moonshine jugs.
  • Like father, like son.
  • A lover’s spat.
  • Sandwich wrapped fresh demon.
  • Ask a restaurant if they serve ‘long pig’.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

You get that there pretty red stuff and sum guts slopping ’round.

6

blood

BREASTS

Theresa Holly’s montage is something for the guys to oogle at, while Billy Wayne competes by walking around with his shirt unbuttoned most of the time.

9

beast

BEASTS

I would not recommend trespassing on the Jessup’s place!

7.6 OVERALL
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Jan

posted by admin | January 13, 2014 | 90's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Reviews by the Goon

Comments Off on Martial Law

Martial Law
1990 – R – CBS/FOX

There isn’t a problem in this world that can’t be solved with a roundhouse kick, that’s what I always say. Oily faced waiter that screwed up your order? Roundhouse kick him so that he crashes onto the table next to you, sending the plate of spaghetti that snooty rich man was eating flying into the air and plopping right on his head. Jerk on his cellphone while driving cut you off? Follow him home, roundhouse kick him through his front door and then mutter a cool one liner like, “Long distance fees… applied!” as his family stares at you wide eyed in shock. If any film has taught me that, it’s Martial Law. No, not the TV series starring overweight action star Sammo Hung, I’m talking the balls to wall, star studded cast early 90’s movie!

Chad McQueen (Yes, the douche bag from The Karate Kid) “stars” as Sean Thompson, a cop who doesn’t play by the rules! As if there is another kind of cop in a 90’s action movie. Actually, he plays fairly close to the rules, but with a spin of his own. So I guess you could say he’s a cop who respects the boundaries he’s been giving, but will occasionally slightly walk abroad to the fine line of right and wrong without making it too questionable, but there was probably a more tasteful approach to resolving the situation.

ml_2Right when the movie starts, a hostage situation or a robbery… some sort of crime, has already taken place. I have to be honest, I kinda zoned out within the first few seconds. Two minutes without a martial arts fighting and you expect me to pay attention? Blasphemy! The bad guys start getting hungry and crave cheap, mediocre take out pizza from the local product placement, Domino’s. The delivery boy expects a tip, which the bad guys decide to pay… in bullets! But before they can fire any rounds off, the delivery boy proves he is a delivery man by round-housing all their weapons out of their hands and dropping these scumbags to the floor. Turns out this delivery man was none other than before mentioned Sean Thompson, enforcing justice through the L.A.P.D.’s new unit, simply called Martial Law (Hey, that’s the title of the movie!). This unit is so badarse, they are authorized to use their martial arts skills on all perps who so much as even blink at them.

Joining him on the team is Billie, played by none other than 80’s/90’s karate babe, Cynthia Rothrock and also, um… I think that’s it and quite frankly, I don’t think you need anyone else on this team. These two take on the seedy underbelly of dirty… probably Los Angeles after Sean’s lil’ bro-bro gets in cahoots with the crime kingpin of the city, Dalton Rhodes, played by David Carradine who is apparently trying to make amends for starring in Future Force. Dalton runs a “Cartel for Hire” business (and I have to wonder what his business cards look like) and when he’s not loving crime and doing crime stuff, he’s boosting cars more sophisticated than Nic Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds. And to round off how diabolically evil he is, Dalton is the last known practitioner of dim-mak, better known as the touch of death technique! Come to think of it, wasn’t there another David Carradine movie and something about the touch of death? Hmm, must be escaping my mind. Anyway, the most genius part about this whole thing is that Dalton is running his operation out of a dojo that he also uses to recruit thugs! That is almost a Bond level evil crime lord stint. This way, either all of your hired goons are going to be enthusiastic punks who can twirl some nunchucks or forth grades, so nobody would punch them.

And from here you can fill every scene with 90’s thugs (mesh tees, sleeveless jean jackets, high top sneakers… you know the kind) as they try to stop our crime fighting duo and fail miserably. But not before spewing out lines that they are going to “rough them up.” I’m sure you’re aware of this formula; Bad guy spews tough line, hero spin kicks bad guy and finally hero regurgitates a cringing one-liner so cheesy, it’s fermented. But really, would you have it any other way? Sean tries to help out his brother Michael, but the two have a meltdown in one of my favorite movie cliches of that time, the “Stay out of my life!” cliche. Sure, every movie in the 90’s did it, but when it happens, you’re always glad it did. Once Dalton is informed that Michael’s brother is a cop, he’s put to a test of loyalty and it ends pretty much how you think it would…

ml_2It’s a 90’s Martial Arts/cop movie, so of course boils down to a battle between “that guy from Kung-Fu” and Steve McQueen’s son. We all know good always triumphs over evil in these flicks, but let’s face it; we’re not watching these movies for their plots. We want to see some damn fine quality martial arts! And if there so happens to be a babe in the film, then that makes it even better and nobody delivered both of those features better than Cynthia Rothrock. And let’s be honest. That’s why we are watching this movie. The martial arts and stunt work is actually very well done and quite impressive and the plot was like someone pushed the cop movie cliche button, only falling short of the always favorite “guy-who-dies-with-only-two-days-left-to-retire” cliche. It’s a great little action flick that’ll get you up out of your seat and screaming at your television when baddies are kicked around by our two stars. I was generally rooting for them throughout the duration and wanted them to continue branding their justice!

It’s always great to revisit an era where everyone knew some sweet Ninja moves and it was the way to solve every problem. If you feel like being nostalgic for the early 90’s, in a land where violence and one-liners were the answer to every problem, then order some take out and rent Martial Law from Blockbuster (I don’t foresee those closing anytime soon…). It’ll make you think twice before stiffing the pizza delivery guy on his tip.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Large pizza with sausage and drop kicks.
  • Cynthia Rothrock rocking.
  • David Carradine touching fools to death.
  • You mad, bro?
  • I think we can all agree that everyone does indeed want Kung-Fu fighting.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

It’s no gore fest, but if you say that to this movie’s face, it will drop kick you in the jaw.

3

blood

BREASTS

No boobies, but Cynthia Rothrock is hot as ever.

7

beast

BEASTS

You couldn’t pack more martial arts into this film if you had the jaws of life.

5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Martial Law”!

trailers

dripper

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