Archive for the 'B-movie Reviews' Category

Apr

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

Comments Off on Top 10 Cult Action Movies

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.04.57 PM

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

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

Army Of Darkness (1992)

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

Passenger 57 (1992)

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

Dead Man (1995)

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

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

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

Bloodsport (1998)

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

Battle Royale (2000)

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

Ghost Rider (2007)

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

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

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

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

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

Dredd (2012)

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

Jan

Comments Off on Evil Dead (2013)

weapons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another review, folks. Since I did the original series of Evil Dead, it only seems appropriate that I finish off the quadrology. So, like the time elapsed between movies, it’s now time to get to the last of the films that helped define my love for horror. Let’s get to Evil Dead, the reboot.

So we start this film up on a far different note than the other three. A girl is being chased through the woods. Okay, kind of like the other three, but not really, as her pursuers are people of a…red necked nature. And with no shocker, she’s captured. The next time we see the poor girl she’s tied up, doused in gasoline, and her father is pouring out niceties while leveling a double barreled shotgun at her head. Either this is an extreme form of family counseling, or something is seriously amiss. Oh, look, a voodoo witch. Always good when there’s one of those around. Suddenly the sweet little girl is spewing obscenities that’d make a sailor blush. So with an apology, a lit match, and a shotgun blast we begin our movie.doom

After shaking off that little bit of ‘What in the hell was that about?’ we finally begin to meet the appetizers, I mean cast…..I totally meant cast. This time around, however, instead of the usual two or three teens at a haunted cabin in the woods, we have five, count ’em, five warm bodies to put through the meat grinder; Evil Dead style. The five are gathered there to help Mia kick her drug habit, once and for all. Of course, horror movie tropes aside, it has to be pointed out: Best place to kick a drug habit? Rehab Clinic with medical staff? Nope. Hospital with trained doctors? Absurd. Abandoned cabin in the woods, cut off from all modern technology, emergency services, and any help? Perfect!

Now, that we’ve set the stage…wait. Wait a minute, there, nerd guy! What are you doing? Don’t read from that! Don’t say-And it’s too late. We have our demon, folks. Yes, thanks to an overtly curious nerd, our movie can now become a full-on gorefest! Maya steals a car in a withdrawal fueled rage, crashes it, and meets up with the summoned thing from the book. Like all horror films before, she panics, and makes the classic mistake of GOING IN THE WOODS! A bad situation turns much worse and the movie gives us a hi-def re-imagining of a scene that nearly got the first film banned in a lot of countries. Old alumni of the series cringe, new comers to the series cringe, as well. It’s just cringe worthy. Don’t worry, folks, nobody blames you.

gothAfter being rescued by her brother Mia is returned to the house, gets checked out by their nurse friend, and thus the rest of the freaky truly begins. Possessions, dismemberment, and that basement. Oh, that basement. Now. THIS is where I’d usually detail all the gruesome death scenes, the ooey-gooeys, and even the spewtastic moments of this well-loved film. But, I must not go further, because it’s all just too good to describe via text, it must be seen. Even my most shining string of words would not be able to capture just how amazing the experience truly is. However, I must put my highest seal of approval on this movie, recommend it with no issue, and above all else, beg for more! Wonderful practical effects combined with minimalist CGI give us great scares, wonderful gore, and a really fresh take on a classic piece of horror cinema.

This film takes me back to another time in movie history: When people cared about their work. And that care howmondays through every frame, second, and squish that we experience while watching Evil Dead. While Sam Raimi and The Chin were not behind the camera, they were definitely on the sidelines coaching the new players. Evil Dead is a fantastic remake filled with respect and love for the original material, as well as updating a lot of different aspects, such as making the gore and the characters a little more realistic. It gets scary because the hokey-ness of the tried and true horror characters are gone, instead replaced with more grit and grime. Watch this movie, folks. And as always, Stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • I know that car.
  • Why would you open that?
  • Don’t go in the woods!
  • That’s why you don’t go in the woods.
  • There’s a health violation!
  • Wait until after the credits.
totals

10

blood  

BLOOD

50,000 gallons in just the final scene.

1

blood  

BREASTS

Those…uh…I don’t…They’re there. 

 

10

beast  

BEASTS

While not Deadites, you won’t miss them.

10.00 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for Evil Dead

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Jan

posted by Doktor | January 25, 2016 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, Horror movies, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Project: Metalbeast

Project Metalbeast Main

Tagline: DNA Overload

Year: 1995                 Runtime: 93 min

Director: Alessandro De Gaetano

Writer: Alessandro De Gaetano, Timothy E. Sabo

Starring: Kim Delaney, Barry Bostwick, Kane Hodder

Is This Normal 01Kane Hodder. Metal Werewolf. Barry “Commander Ace Hunter” Bostwick. Yes, please!

Ah, but like so many b-movies in the 90s, the cover promised more than the movie delivered. Don’t get me wrong, Project: Metalbeast has its moments, when the credit roll ends. Problem is, it doesn’t thrill so much as it talks at you.

Take the opening scene. Stormy sky. Night. Teletype titles:

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) 1974

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) U.S. Military Intelligence

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Operation Lycanthropus

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Carpathian Mountains, Hungary

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Objective: Sample werewolf blood.

(tacka-tacka-tacka-tacka) Purpose: To make an awesome 90s horror flick create a superior combat agent.

Zzzzzzzz

Master Sergeant “Way Too Serious” Butler and his idiot sidekick Private “Lackey Bait” Greg break into a random castle. As all Hungarian castles are infested with werewolves, any old castle will do. Butler’s armed to the teeth, i.e. a single 45. No wonder he’s so somber. Lackey is secured with a bulging pack of gear, a bulky metal case, and a camera. Whomever packed his gear completely misunderstood what he was going to be shooting.

Still, Lackey performs his role perfectly, blindly blundering around, always out front, until attacked and killed. Butler, the consummate commander, watches idly as Lackey’s throat is ripped out. He’s more concerned with the dirt under his fingernails. It’s ruined his manicure. Lacky’s camera, not wanting to miss it’s big shot in the “movies,” decides to take a burst of pictures. What’s surprising is, despite being pointed at the ceiling, it manages to capture several in focus and nicely composed pictures of Lackey’s death. Each shot is from a slightly different perspective to boot.

Can your fancy DSLR do that? Don’t think so.

Though still deeply pained by his dirty nails, Butler pulls himself together enough to shot the hulking werewolf a couple times. “Hmm, what do you know, it works,” his look says. I admit I was surprised. I had no idea that a 45 has werewolf stopping power. He extracts some of the werewolf blood with an unnecessary suction device in one of Lackey’s cases. I’m sure a syringe would have worked just fine, but this is 1974. All secret government agents had excessively high tech gear. It’s a thing. Look it up.

With the blood collected, Butler grabs the camera and does Lackey a favor and shoots him in the face. Good job, boy. You’ll go far in this world.

Cut to: U.S. Secret Operations Center.

It looks like a mid-sized high school building, and from what we’ve seen so far this is where the writer spends his weekdays. Nah, I’m just kiddin’. Really the location is all about being broke. They spent all $13.68 of budget on the special effects makeup.

Butler, man of action, is getting antsy. The science tests on the blood are taking too long. Time to introduce some class, some level headed leadership. Enter Miller, Barry “Cool as a Cucumber” Bostwick, to put Butler in his place. Miller’s got this under control and Butler is not going to screw this one up. Sit, Butler, sit! Good dog.

Come to find out, while the tests are not complete, the doctor does know that if they were to use the blood on someone, said someone’s immune system would reject it. Their blood would turn into puss. Their body would swell. They’d suffer an intense fever. Eventually they’d die. Butler and Miller have one track minds, so they ask “That is all fine and good but is the blood diseased?”

Oh, it’s going to be so much fun watching the pair of them die.

Being the MENSA candidate he is, Butler isn’t going to wait for another week. He’s just going to take the blood. So, he sneaks into the lab after hours, because nothing is locked down in a Secret U.S. Operations Center, steals a half syringe, and sneaks off to the bathroom to shoot up.

Hmmm. Maybe this really is a high school after all.

Before he shoots up, Butler taste tests a couple drops. Not bad. A bit gamey. That’s all the science test needed so, yippee ki-yay. After a few moments of twitching like he shot molten iron, he goes all Emo. He returns to his office to reminisce by looking through the slides of Lackey’s final moments.

As he contemplates black, Butler’s sense of hearing starts improving. He hears some of the other doctors making fun of him and his werewolf blood. Why can’t the world just leave him alone!

With all the swirling passions and the icky hair sprouting in unusual places, this would be a terrible time for Miller to bust in and—

PewCue the exposition/Mexican stand off.

Butler, his sack having descended, sneers about smelling fear, living forever, and the $20 Miller still owes him from a couple weeks back. Not ready to become Butler’s victim just yet, Miller slips off to… uhm… turn off his stove. He forgot to turn it off when he left home that morning.

Fun Fact: when you shoot up werewolf infection, as opposed to getting it by being bitten, you can change by will, or as it’s known in show biz, through the “power of plot.”

In one of the labs, a lady doctor cuts her hand. Butler smells the blood. It brings out the beast in him. The Lurvwolf. He doesn’t always hump a lady’s leg on the first date, but when he does he returns to his office to lick his… pride. Or something.

One of the man doctors busts in, ready to save lady doctor’s virtue. Ooooo, bad timing there, chief. Butler has gone full werewolf. Mr. Doctor gets his throat ripped out. So much for chivalry. As WereBulter is chomping on his jugular, the slide projector decides to click through the slideshow of Lackey’s death.

I’d like an order of killing, with a side order of killing, and supersize that for me.

Miller, having thought of a snappy comeback finally, returns to find WereButler still chowing down on Mr. Doctor. That dog will not hunt, sir. Miller shoots WereButler and they put him, as well as the project, on ice. Literally.

Cut to: 1994. NEW U.S. Secret Operations Center.

Now the operations are housed in a mid-sized warehouse. How did this happen you ask? Well, they injected some Hungarian warehouse blood into the high school building and voila, new operations warehouse!

Inside we’re shown Dr. Anna de Carlo’s office. We see her Dermatology degree from the University of Michigan, her humanitarian of the year diploma (That’s right, diploma. It reads diploma in big bold letters at the bottom.), a cute Kangaroo doll on her desk, and her name plate which reads, “Synthetic Tissues Project.” Then a cross fade to her busy at work. Meanwhile all her co-workers are playing pool, poker, and drinking beers.

Cut to next day. Dr. Anna sleeping on her desk. Lt. “Don’t Touch the Hair, Man” Ferraro, one of her co-workers who took the evening off, comes in. He gives her the loving look which says, “Poor kid. Here all night. Again.” He wakes her gently.

This is a perfect time for exposition about what she does.

She’s growing new skin from a mixture of synthetic tissue and metal. Well, kinda. So far all she’s made is stuff that’s hardened to steel. But, poke gooey stuff with an electric prod enough and surely you’ll get synthetic skin that can be transplanted onto humans, right? So, night after night after night, she spends her time poking gooey stuff with an electric prod rather than have a life.

Having enough exposition to explain things for the moment, the movie returns to the plot. Ferraro tells Dr. Anna that some big-shot named Miller is coming on board. There’s a meeting to introduce him at eleventy-hundred hours. Oh, and there’s a little crust in the corner of her mouth.

At the meeting, Miller gives them the old “stink eye” and some “what for” to establish himself as the new head honcho. This doesn’t go over well, but what can they do? Quit and let someone else take all the glory. Well, yeah, but… Anyway, Miller tells the scientists they’ll be moving on to testing their synthetic skin on a cadaver he’ll deliver sometime next week.

Why he’s taking a week to deliver is a mystery? WereBulter is in the basement. Remember in the old U.S. Secret Operations Center and the New U.S. Secret Operations Center are one and the same.

Here we get a touching moment between Miller and WereButler. Miller’s bragging about giving him steel skin. He’ll be indestructible. No worries though, because this time everything is under control.

Behind MeHow? Because.

In spite of their moral reservations and the questionable legality, Dr. Anna and team start grafting synthetic skin onto WereButler. Part way through the operation the notice the three bullets in his chest. Dr. Anna removes them. When she does he comes back to life.

Second Fun Fact: silver bullets don’t kill injection infected werewolves, it just puts them in a coma.

At first WereButler has no brain activity. Granted, that’s because they forgot to plug in the EEG machine. I think his thrashing about, moaning and groaning in pain, and that his eyes were wide open should have indicated conscious, which in itself suggests LOTS of brain activity, but what do I know? I’m no dermatologist.

Dr. Anna confronts Miller, but he’s all, “Feh, it’s not a person anymore. Get back to work.” Who can argue with logic like that. So they return to work. They do call Miller Mr. Poo-Poo Head behind his back from there on out.

You might be wondering why no one, even the base commander, General Hammond, calls someone higher up about all this tom foolery?

Because.

All the while WereButler is in pain on the operating table. In her office, Dr. Anna is having a bout with her conscience. You know what that means. Perfect time for exposition about what kind of person Dr. Anna is.

Early in her career as a trauma dermatologist, there was this little girl who came into her ER. Ninety percent of her body was scorched away. Ninety percent of her body was gone and she was still alive? Amazining. Surprisingly, all Dr. Anna could do was watch her die. If there were only some synthetic skin with which to replace 90% of her body!

When the little girl died Dr. Anna believed there was something that left her body. Now though, after what she experienced with WereButler, she’s not sure. All she does know is that something momentous happened, but she’s not sure what.

Well, I’m no philosopher, but a person who was dead for 20 years came back to life. And he is writing in agony as you wallow in your exposition. There’s that.

Being all alone and in pain, Miller takes a moment to evil gloat over WereButler. Miller shows him pictures of Lackey’s death, blurts out that WereButler has been frozen for 20 years, and delights in the fact that he will NEVER pay the $20 he owes.

Tender moment over, Dr. Anna returns to work. Dr. Anna finally moves past her blasé attitude and gives WereButler a shot some Demerol. For some reason this causes him to have an accident. Exhausted by all the work, it’s time for a break, during which time Larry “the black guy” is sent to get surgical tubing to make a catheter.

Dr. Anna uses her break to get a code key from Hacker Chick, the operations center’s IT department, to Miller’s office. Miller uses his break to call his mommy. WereButler uses his to transform and kill Larry.

Looks like he wanted a catheter even less than Larry wanted to put it in.

Finally, time for some well deserved killing.

Is This Normal 02Sadly, now that he’s finally free, the first thing WereButler takes his rage out on is a dipping bird novelty toy. Really? He couldn’t punch a wall? Maybe kick through a door? I suppose not. Those things cost money and there just wasn’t enough in the budget. Thankfully a hapless guard wanders across his path, and feeling silly at wasting all his AWE-some, WereButler dispatches him, but good.

Unluckily for WereButler the other guards that show up are armed with fire extinguishers.

Third Fun Fact: fire extinguisher spray causes injection infected werewolves to partially transform back and go into nap mode.

Back in the lab, Dr. Anna’s idiot assistant, Weenie Intern Guy, keeps trying to pierce WereButler’s steel skin with a syringe of sedative. There is plenty of his body that’s not covered, but why go there? That’d be too easy. Defeated, they give up. Instead, they hook him up to electrodes and fry him. Why?

Because. And science.

While he’s getting juiced, Dr. Anna has to go see how Larry died.

Seriously. I’m not making this up. She has to see how Larry died. The stupidity boggles the mind.

I normally don’t talk to my television, but it helped me fight back the urge to get violent, “WereButler, you know, the steel skinned werewolf you only moments ago hooked up to electrodes? Yeah, him. He attacked Larry. Hulking metal werewolf attacks ‘Kan be pretti nasti.’ In this case it killed him. Also, remember how everyone just finished telling you how he, WereButler, you know, the steel skinned werewolf, attacked Larry? Remember that? Well, that’s how he died.”

Just as I was about to pop a brain infarction the answer hit me. The reason she had to see what killed Larry was the filmmaker spent money on some special effects makeup. That’s why he didn’t have WereButler smashing up the place. Some nasti cuts and a severed arm have more production value than a smashed door.

My bad for ever doubting.

When she returns to the lab she unilaterally decides the best thing to do is put WereButler out of their misery. Finally. She would do the deed herself but first she, ehrm… has some stuff to do. Ferraro, too. In the meantime, they instruct Weenie Intern Guy to inject sedative in WereButler’s eye. Really. In his eye. First they fry him because they can’t sedate him. Now they’re going to inject him in his eye. Poor bastard.

Thing is, this whole time WereButler’s been awake, with enhanced werewolf hearing. He heard the whole conversation.

Goodbye, Weenie Intern Guy.

Dr. Anna goes to get the gun and silver bullets she saw in Miller’s desk drawer earlier. Too bad, Dr. Anna. Miller has already grabbed them. Miller is 99 things, but a sucker isn’t one of them.

Ferraro steals all of General Hammond’s silver coin collection, which oddly enough, he keeps lying out on his desk, only half in protective cases. Ferraro takes them to his lab to make some special silver bullets. Special silver bazooka bullets.

While they are running their errands, WereButler kills Weenie Intern Guy and sets out on the killing spree we’ve been waiting for.

Sort of.

For an emergency situation this base is incredibly laissez-faire. No alarm. No guards sweeping the parameter. Miller and General Hammond are casually walking through the building. That’s when they come upon the dead body, i.e. WereButler’s rampage. Miller is not impressed with the kill count so he shoots General Hammond’s knees to leave him as bait. No sooner does Miller leave the room than WereButler is creeping up on Hammond. WereButler picks Hammond up and…

We get to watch Hammond’s feet twitch as his neck snaps, or his head is crushed, or something happens up higher where we can’t see.

Miller happens into Ferraro, Dr. Anna, and Hacker Chick. Ferraro runs interference for the ladies so they can get away and takes a bullet for his trouble. Considering he only has 6 bullets, Miller is being incredibly generous shooting people.

Cute ShoesDr. Anna and Hacker Chick end up in the freezer room in the basement, i.e. the cryo-lab where Miller was storing WereButler all these years. Leaving the door wide open behind them, Miller easily deduces where to go.

Just when I thought the movie was out of exposition, there is some villain monologuing. Thankfully it is cut short by WereButler.

In the “fight” that ensues, WereButler stomps a mud hole in Miller. Yet Miller takes it with style. With each blow he gets up and puts things right—fixing his tie or straightening his hair. He couldn’t quite fix the disemboweling, because he was dead, but he did what he could. Now that’s class.

At last, final boss fight. Dr. Anna and Hacker Chick versus WereButler. Dr. Anna has the bazooka and a couple of Ferraro’s Special Silver Shells. With the first shot, Dr. Anna misses WereButler all together. The missile hits the wall behind him, sending debris down on all three. Hacker Chick is out. Dr. Anna gets rebar through the ankle. WereButler is, of course, just knocked out until Dr. Anna walks close enough to grab at her.

This cures her ankle and leads to some exciting basement hallway hobbling/chasing. There are lots of metal stairways, steaming pipes, locked fire doors, and concrete walls.  Just when Dr. Anna is cornered Hacker Chick is back. She hands Dr. Anna the last Special Silver Shell. This time the rocket hits, but only penetrates WereButler’s leg. No explosion.

Fail.

The ladies run but there’s nowhere to hide. They look around but there’s no where to escape. WereBulter slowly closes in for the kill. Dr. Anna goes for the bazooka but it’s empty. This is it.

But wait, it isn’t!

Ferraro isn’t dead, he’s just been waiting for the last possible moment. He’s got the last Special Silver Shell. For reals last. He hands it to Dr. Anna. She loads. She fires.

His everything a splode!

The End.

Or is it? There is a bit of burbling metal skin stuff.

No. It’s the end. That’s quite enough of that.

roadside attractions

  • Hear! the “pop” as WereButler pulls the silver bazooka burlet from his leg!
  • Witness! the majesty of The Bostwick fixing his hair before being run through!
  • Listen! in horror as Chef Ramon goes full Ricky Richardo as only a white boy can!
  • Be Amazed! by the laser-precision level to Butler’s flat top!
  • Observe! as Miller completely blows his chance at a punny one-liner as he monologues WereButler into cryogenic freeze!
totals

3 blood  

BLOOD

On par with what you get when you nick yourself shaving.

0 blood  

BREASTS

None. Dermatologists don’t show off skin!

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Steel-skinned Werewolf!

 

OVERALL 4.3
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Watch the entire film “Project: Metalbeast”

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Dec

Comments Off on Harbinger Down

Welcome back to another review, folks! Today we’ll be taking in a low budget little masterpiece that I thoroughly enjoyed. What makes it special? Aliens? Nope. Zombies? No. This little piece of film is about the adorable little microbe known as the waterbear. Let’s take a look at Harbinger Down.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it as long as I remember how to: Practical effects will always trump CGI. And I must give kudos to the makers for understanding this. Let’s begin the setup this odd tale of frozen horror. We start off in 1982 with a Russian cosmonaut falling to earth, calling for help, I presume, and having pink yogurt leaked onto his face. I don’t blame him, yogurt on my face would upset me, too. He disappears into the clouds above the arctic circle and we have our very first scene of the movie. Way to make it vague, guys.

Next up our buffet of people start to introduce themselves, names don’t matter, of course, because they’re all just human sized happy meals. Our title gives us a Hans Zimmer “BWOM” on to the screen and we’re into the ship of the movie title: The Harbinger. The crew is introduced, bad accents and all. Everyone say ‘Hi’ Lance Henrikson! Or as he will always be known to the Sci-Fi world: Bishop! Exposition is the name of the game as things are explained and you’re simply cringing at some of the attempts at acting. And, just for safety, let’s throw in a fart joke. More exposition and B-roll of ‘Deadliest Catch’ try to convince us that we’re really on a ship. We’re not, and the crabs are only mentioned once more. That’s not a plot point, it’s a plot afterthought.

The plot rears its ugly head! Just as the view of the CGI whales was getting good, too. Something in the ice caught the attention of Main Character Girl, and they grab it. And I do love the switching of camera angles to the discovery channel type narrative. The line “Some things should stay frozen.” could’ve been a great omen, but it’s passed over like a sneeze in the wind. We find out what happened to our Russian cosmonaut: He’s the chunk of ice they just grabbed. And I do have to admire the fact that the captain can look at the helmet of said cosmonaut and instantly tell it’s been frozen since the ’80’s. Maybe Soviet Identification-101 was a requisite of his captain schooling. I, once more, blame Michigan State.

After more exposition, and the main love interest whispering his every line, and I mean every line. We finally get to the autopsy of the fallen astronaut. Or, rather, the bad wax statue that is supposed to represent him. DUN DUN DUNNN!!! Russian McBadchick reveals that the yogurt that leaked on our space guys face was actually waterbears. To which we all responded with an unenthusiastic, “Okay.” Which is followed up with the subtle foreshadowing through the “Double Cross” vodka brand. After retrieving a sample from the mansicle, spouting puns bad enough to make even the punniest person groan, we get the plot moving along. Finally. We’re a good chunk of time into this movie and no one has died a horrible, grizzly death yet!

There we go! Tentacles come to the rescue and squish the head of the mechanic, marking the first death. And we’re back to explaining stuff. Oh, come on, guys! You can’t start up the mayhem and have it just cut off! If you’re gonna start the party, and the killing, keep it going! No amount of brooding music can make up for poor pacing. After some unnecessary yelling our resident jerk professor becomes infected with waterbears, and turns red, sprouts four huge flesh tubes on his back and spews out more death yogurt. Still cringing from that bit of ick, we get a few little homages to what probably inspired this movie: The Thing. And like The Thing, lines are drawn, and sides are chosen. Then all of that is instantly forgotten.

Ladies, and gentlemen! Let’s meet our creature! Attached to the ceiling, and the cosmonaut, it instantly eats the Inuit of the movie. Bishop steals a line from “Jaws” and we continue on, trying to figure out who’s infected and who’s not. Someone asks just how smart the thing is, and before you can say ‘How could they cut the power, man, they’re animals!’ it cuts the power. They go after the creature with liquid nitrogen, freeze it, and continue to advance the plot, which also seems to be frozen. Russian McBadchick reveals her true purpose, and an infected crew member burns on the deck. We find out that Main Character Girls mother died, to what end, I have no idea. A random tentacle eats the black girl and we finally start the murder spree…..I hope.

The Cosmonauts reanimated lower torso sprouts a head of its own and takes down Russian McBadchick. I retyped that sentence three times, but they all came out just as bad. And now we take another break from our monsters to bring you some plot device involving explosives. You don’t care, I don’t care. Main Character Girl goes for a dip in waterbear sludge for the explosives. More tentacles! Another creature appears and we lose Bishop, uh, the captain; who instructs the crew to stay away from him, but has them all join him on the deck two minutes later. Russian McBadchick comes back for one last scare as an infected, and we move into the final scenes.

No spoilers, here, folks, but I will recommend to keep watching. Is it a bad movie, is it a good movie? Well, it’s a creature movie with a lot of charm. Mostly practical effects, and the old school charm of older movies like “The Thing” and even “Tremors” earns this creature feature major bonus points. It has some major pacing problems, and some of the acting can be hokey, but all in in all, you can tell the entire crew is invested and wants it to succeed, and it’s that little touch of passion that makes movies like this gold. Cons aside, it’s a fun romp with some surprises up its sleeve, and I recommend checking it out on Netflix to relive some classic monster magic without having to resort to classic monster movies. Thanks for reading, folks! Stay Tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Blue ice balls.
  • Kill it with…ice?
  • Aw. It’s kind of cute.
  • Legs don’t fail me now!
  • Bishop has aged.
  • No longer cute!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Good amounts of blood, guts, and gross icky-ness.

0

blood

BREASTS

None. None at all.

10

beast

BEASTS

Who knew bears were so terrifying?

8.5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for Harbinger Down

trailers
dripper
Nov

posted by admin | November 15, 2015 | B-movie Reviews

Comments Off on The Coolest Cult Film Costume Ideas

Films join the category of “cult classics” for a reason: they inspire a fanatical following. Whether you find yourself at a cinematic theme party, a midnight viewing, or just want to get dressed up for the heck of it, here are a few cult film-inspired costume ideas to help you show off your movie knowledge!

Barbarella

Have you been invited to a comic theme party? You could choose to wear the usual Spiderman costume, or you could get a bit funkier. One of the cheesiest yet most entertaining comic book movies ever, “Barbarella” stars Jane Fonda as a spy who seems to get herself tangled up in all sorts of intergalactic trouble. When she’s dressed, she’s typically in knee-high go-go boots and plenty of metallic. Her hair seems to get bigger and bigger throughout the film, so don’t forget the hairspray.

Labyrinth

Do you want to go all out with glam hair and makeup? Dress as Jareth the Goblin King from cult favourite “Labyrinth.” Jareth, played of course by David Bowie, wears clothing very similar to a pirate costume, mixed with plenty of makeup and a spiked mullet. Capture his style with a rocker wig, pirate costume, silvery makeup and lip gloss. If you browse the funny fancy dress at Funidelia, you’ll probably be able to put the pieces together for this classic cult look.

Shaun of the Dead

Zombies are always popular costume ideas, but you can give it a cult film twist by dressing up as a character from “Shaun of the Dead.” Shaun is an easy enough costume to put together. You just need a blood-spattered white dress shirt, red tie, and cricket bat as an accessory.

Warriors

Going to a party in a group? Some of the best cult film-inspired costumes come from “The Warriors,” which features all of the gangs in New York dressed in easily identifiable costumes. Perhaps the most sinister are the Baseball Furies, but all of the gangs are great costume fodder.

Eraserhead

Characters from David Lynch productions are always top choices for film-based costumes. If you don’t want to go the usual Twin Peaks route you could opt to use the surreal looks of “Eraserhead” as the basis for your outfit.

Easy Rider

One cult classic that’s had an undeniable influence is “Easy Rider,” starring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, and Dennis Hopper as a gang of stoned bikers. Get out your paisley, leather, and fringe to embrace the psychedelic style.

The Big Lebowski

An instant classic when it was released, “The Big Lebowski” is only growing in popularity and its fans host a number of theme nights, typically at bowling alleys. Dress up as The Dude and you’ll be able to attend your theme party in both comfort and style. You’ll need a white V-neck shirt, sunglasses, bathrobe, plaid shorts, and leather sandals. Don’t forget the White Russian in hand.

The Craft

You could dress up like the witches from “Hocus Pocus,” or you could look a little cooler by going out with your friends dressed as the ladies from “The Craft.” Both are winning ideas, but the Craft teenage witches are easier looks to put together at the last minute. These ladies rock basic school girl outfits, mixed with 90’s flair like spiked chokers, witchy boots, and dark lipstick.

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