Archive for the 'Fantasy' Category

May

posted by Doktor | May 28, 2016 | 80's b-movies, Action, Fantasy, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on The Devil’s Sword

Ermahgerd I Are Died

Indonesia: home of Sumatra coffee, the Komodo Dragon, and Ratno Timoer, the man responsible for unleashing The Devil’s Sword upon the world. The first two Indonesians are proud to claim, the latter, eh… maybe not so much. See, The Devil’s Sword is a sword and sorcery film where the action is feet slapping, the special effects are blurry and cheap, and a man’s hair is business in the front and party in the back (see the trailer below). The Devil’s Sword is such an awesomely bad film that it was begging for a Lost Highway Walk Thru, and if that’s not grounds for disowning a person I don’t know what is. I mean, that trailer is insane, right?

If you didn’t just watch it, do so now. Seriously.

Now that you have an inkling what you’re in for, let’s get started.

Laser PalmsIn the beginning the sun sets somewhere in space, Master Grandpa sits zazen in his rock garden, and a blue meteorite hurtles through the void as meteorites are wont to do.

Master Grandpa is so good at meditating, or so relaxed from the dollar sake bombs at Sushi Sushi Sushi, that he does not notice the blue meteorite as it buzzes past. The resulting explosion does, however, break his concentration, or nap, or whatever it is he is doing in the garden.

Annoyed the blue meteorite has ruined his mellow and destroyed his garden, Master Grandpa collects the damnable thing and lugs it home. There he sets the space rock on fire and forges the burning mess into The Devil’s Sword.

As he pulls the mighty weapon from the fire the blade sparkles with the glory of a thousand gay pride parades. Yet surprisingly the red hot metal does not burn his fingers as he caresses its length. Perturbed, hungover, and likely dehydrated from the events of the evening, Master Grandpa snaps. In his rampage he destroys his hut in a pity party worthy of the most spoiled of sweet 16 birthday monsters, or the Hulk, whichever is statistically more devastating at this point in time.

That confusing mess out of the way, the movie cuts to a scene of a celebration, or rite-of-passage, or something. There are barely clothed villagers decked out in extravagant head dresses carrying lots and lots of palm frowns laden with fruit. As it turns out, it is Sacrifice Day. On Sacrifice Day a young man is offered to the “invisible” Crocodile Queen of the river. The ritual involves throwing the boy into the river where he is met by a group Crocodile Mans—Crocodile Queens half-man, half-crocodile, half man-bear-pig minions—who escort him to the Crocodile Queen’s Lair.

In other words, whichever young idiot The Village is most fed up with is sent to a horrible end. The old ways really are the best ways.

Cut to the Crocodile Queen’s lair. There is some groovy reversed film footage where the Crocodile Queen’s sash floats up and out of the water. Then, a minute later, she and her wenches follow.

Note: Invisible apparently means the exact opposite in Indonesia what it means in English because she is quite visible.

Anyhow, The Crocodile Queen’s sacrificial young stud is not put to death, rather, he is used for his youthful wiles. And not just him, all the previous “sacrifices” join in. You see, Crocodile Queen is a whore and she needs to get her ménage à many on.

Back at The Village, the villagers move on to the Festival of Lurv. There’s no sense in wasting the decorations, fire breather, and fruit from Sacrifice Day, right? The Festival of Lurv is the sanctified version of Sacrifice Day. At the center is the lovely couple Princess Peter the Pure and Sanjala the Son-in-Law who are getting married. Boy is it a sight to see! The Sword Swinger is swinging his sword. The Justice of the Peace is lighting joss sticks and shimmying rhythmically in the smoke. Everyone is happy.

Everyone but Crocodile Queen.

Ride RocksDespite getting her sacrifice only minutes earlier, Crocodile Queen is not amused. She cannot stand seeing someone else have their nuptials. So she summons Bob to stop the wedding, as only he is capable of such a task. And by that she means only he has the special parkour skill of kicking a boulder and then riding it into town, not his fighting skills. No fighting skills are needed to take The Village. Gandhi, after a month long fast, could take The Village, the villagers are such wimps. They go down faster than a crackhead working for a fix.

The only person in The Village who can hold her own is Princess Peter. She uses her impressive looking, but ultimately worthless, Umbrella Attack. She twirls the umbrella in Bob’s direction, who is blown back by the force of the wind it generates. She then throws the umbrella at him, missing by a mile. Weaponless and spent, she gets her butt handed to her.

The screaming villagers flee like extras in Godzilla films. Conveniently Mandella the Lesser (note the double L, not Mandela, the former President of South Africa), the hero, happens to be out on his afternoon horsey ride. Intrigued by all the commotion, Mandella investigates. Understandably he is disappointed to find it is only Bob attacking the village and not a giant Kaiju.

In a twist straight out of the standard playbook, it turns out that Bob and Mandella were Kung Fu students under the same master, Master. Bob is the evil one (duh!). Mandella is the good one (duher!). What’s more, Bob is not intrinsically evil, he only turned evil because Master loved Mandella best.

Bob’s no match for Mandella (duhest!), so he conjures up some Crocodile Mans to fight for him. They distract Mandella by throwing special reptile hair on him, tangling him up. Mandella is out of action just long enough for Bob to pimp slap Sanjala the Son-in-Law out cold and hop away with him. Literally he hops away.

Note: Hopping is the Indonesian equivalent of tea-bagging your opponent. Get thee to a burn unit, Mandella!

Bob delivers Sanjala the Son-in-Law to the Crocodlie Queen who partakes of Sanjala the Son-in-Law’s endowments, such as they are.

Crocodile Queen is a whore.

Meanwhile, Master is crawling around on the ground outside his hut, bloody and broken. He calls telepathically to Mandella for help. Hearing Master’s call, Mandella races home. When he arrives he finds Master unconscious in a pool of his own blood. Deeply concerned for Master’s well being, Mandella proceeds to shake and sling him around like a rented, red-haired step-child. When Master tells Mandella he is dying from Poison of the Red Snake, which is really bad since it has a proper name, Mandella tosses him on the bamboo bed and makes a Taco Bell run.

In the Crocodile Lair, Crocodile Queen is getting some Hootchie Cootchie Lick ‘Em Yum Yums in the fire pit. Her lurvin’ may be hot but no one gets burned.

Crocodile Queen is a whore.

In Random Forest, Mandella gets the explosive mushroom to make tea for Master. Mandella is either trying to give Master a free life or give him one last trip before he dies. Considering that he plans to cut off Master’s legs to stop the poison from spreading, either, or more likely both, are the case. I write cut, but that’s not entirely correct. Mandella uses a hot sword to SAW off Master’s legs just below the knees. Then, as Master is shrieking in agony, Mandella scoops him up in a loving embrace determined to cuddle him back to health.

In a tender voice Master whimpers, “Mandella. Kill. Me.”

Unified Legion of EvilCut to later that evening and Master is all better now. Master recounts, i.e.has a flashback fight scene, to show what happened. In it we learn that all the evil warriors of the world, all four of them, have decided to fight together as the United Legion of All the Evil Warriors of the World.

Master tells Mandella the only way to defeat The ULAEWW is to get The Devil’s Sword from Devil’s Mountain. Also, he returns the terrible refrigerator art Mandella painted back in Kindergarten. Master is an old, legless cripple, and as such no longer has the will to pretend he values garbage. Plus he has never had, nor ever will have, a fridge to put it on anyway.

With a tear in his eye, Mandella heads off to Devil’s Mountain.

Mandella runs into Princess Peter along the way. The Village destroyed and all the villagers killed, she wants to go with Mandella. Unfortunately, Princess Peter is a woman and therefore not worthy of such exploits as Mandella has in front of him. Princess Peter does not take no for an answer. She does have to take being left in the dust as an answer because, on foot, she’s no match for Mandella on horseback. Or is she? A quick jump cut and Princess Peter’s not only caught up, but far enough ahead to cut Mandella off. Reluctantly, and because it’s in the script, he lets her join.

In the Crocodile Lair, Crocodile Queen uses her Bird Bath God Cam to track Mandella and Princess Peter. She realizes they are headed to the Mountain of Swords (previously Devil’s Mountain—whatever, it’s not like anyone is paying attention at this point). Crocodile Queen sends Bob to stop them, with her blessings. By blessings I mean they have the sexuals.

Crocodile Queen is a whore.

In a stalling tactic to draw out runtime, Mandala and Princess Peter cannot get across the lake to the Mountain of Swords. The lake is, like, 200 feet across. So they stand there looking stupid until a ferry comes. The ferry’s pilot is a Rent-a-center Charon, which explains why they could not just swim, or walk, around the perimeter. Namely, Charon is production value.

Halfway across Lake Certain Death, Crocodile Mans attack. There is more groovy reverse footage action of the Crocodile Mans jumping onto the ferry. A lame fight ensues and even Charon gets in on the action. He uses a bamboo spear to impale a Crocodile Mans, which is interesting because the ferry has NOTHING on it. So where did he get the spear? The raft itself is made of bamboo suggesting he pulled one of the rods off, carved it to a point, and threw it into the Crocodile Mans. Yet there was not enough time for him to do so, no knife for him to use, nor are there any missing bamboo planks. Eh, whatever.

EwWhile Princess Peter, Mandella, and Charon are fighting Crocodile Mans, The ULAEWW take the quick root, i.e. walked around Lake Certain Death. At the mouth of the Devil’s Mountain of Swords the fraternity disintegrates. They decide to have a final battle to see who’s going to get The Devil’s Sword.

Aw! I was so proud of them working together. Oh, well.

Boom, bip, pow! Flying Guillotine is out first. Snake Man and Old Hag team up against Bob. Or, at least, that is what Snake Man believes. Actually, Old Hag is playing Snake Man. As they form up, i.e. as Old Hag jumps on Snake Man’s shoulders, instead of becoming Voltron, Old Hag becomes Betraytron. She whips Snake Man in the face and Bob slices open his gut. And so Snake Man, like Monica Lewinsky, goes down crying.

Now the real alliance is revealed. Old Hag and Bob are going to share the Devil’s Sword. They start off into the cave. Being the first-class gentleman he is, Bob allows Old Hag to enter the cavern first. In a move Helen Keller saw coming way back in 1900, after only two steps Bob cuts Old Hag in half.

Old Hag is no fool, but more importantly, as Betraytron, she is able to join back up with any severed part. So her torso jumps back onto her legs and she continues to fight. Ultimately she is no match for Bob. Bob chops off her head and kicks a rock after it, pinning it into a crevice in the mountain face. Old Hag’s body jumps to rejoin with the severed head and in doing so she blows up. Don’t ask.

Moving on…

Bob scales the mountain face just as Mandella and Princess Peter show up. Mandella heads in to get the sword, while Bob lies in wait a la Beloc in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Death Mountain Sword Place, or whatever the hell it’s called at this point, is full of silly booby traps, bubbling water, and a cyclops Rock Monster. Mandella dispatches them all easily. He finds the Devil’s Sword and some other something wrapped in a black cloth lying randomly on the ground. Naturally, as he picks them up the mountain starts to collapse.

Cut to outside where Bob is waiting. He is holding a sword to Princess Peter’s neck. He threatens to kill Princess Peter unless Mandella gives him The Devil’s Sword, blah, blah, blah. They fight.

Pow! Whap! Smack! Bob is sent back to Crocodile Queen with his tail between his legs.

Because Bob failed to get The Devil’s Sword, Crocodile Queen has her crocodile statue use its Fire Laser Breath attack on Bob, which misses completely. It does startle Bob, so there’s that. Crocodile Queen’s top henchman, Staff Guy, attacks Bob, confusing him temporarily. Between the startling and confusion, Bob is weakened to the point where Crocodile Queen can use her Unusually Long Scarf Attack. First she uses the scarf to choke him. Then she wraps him up and throws him into the Lurv Fire Pit. Since there’s no blessing, i.e. Hootchie Cootchie Lick ‘Em Yum Yums, Bob burns to death.

Poor Bob.

Mandella and Princess Peter enter. Crocodile Queen flaunts her control of Sanjala the Son-in-Law which sends Princess Peter into a rage. Their forces divided, Princess Peter is easily captured and Mandella succumbs to Crocodile Queen’s Mesmerskank-Stare attack. With Mandella under her spell, she unleashes the Croco-Orgy! Croco-Orgy is less erotic and more a group grand mal seizure.

Crocodile Queen is a whore.

Princess Peter cannot partake. She’s locked in stocks and tied to the wall. She can only watch and pout. Actually, from the looks of the Croco-Orgy, she got the better end of the deal.

Toilet PaperElsewhere, Master Grandpa is out for his evening float. He stops over at Master’s shack. Master Grandpa informs Master that Mandella is in a most dire circumstance. That is, caught in Crocodile Queen’s Croco-Orgy with no prophylactics.

Crocodile Queen is a filthy whore.

Master knows he has to do something to help Mandala but does not know what he can do. Inwardly Master laments, “How in the hell am I supposed to help Mandella? I ain’t got no legs, man!” But before he opens his mouth and puts his stump in it he remembers his telepathic earring.

The power of the glowing earring proves to be a worthy cockblocking device, effectively ending Mandella’s good time. Mandella finished early so, whatever.

Time for the final fight.

For some reason Mandella fights the thugs hand-to-hand. It is only after fighting Staff Mans for a few minutes that Mandella remembers, “The Devil’s Sword.”

Why did he go through all the trouble of getting The Devil’s Sword? Eh, never mind.

In the course of rest of the fight with Staff Mans, Mandella accidentally gut slices the crocodile statue, which hurts Crocodile Queen. Finally, her weakness exposed! Mandella stabs the crocodile statue in the throat, which causes it to explode. Without the power of the crocodile statue to tie the lair together, Crocodile Queen reverts into the ancient hag she really is. Mortally weakened Mandella gives her a right good gut chop, causing her to turn into a crocodile, her TRUE form.

So EvilWithout the Crocodile Queen the lair blows up.

The End.

Unfortunately, no, it didn’t blow up with Mandella, Princess Peter, and Sanjala the Son-in-Law in it. They made it out fine. There’s a goodbye scene before “The End” flashes on the screen. But if you stop the movie right as the lair explodes The Devil’s Sword closes with a happy ending.

roadside attractions

  • MARVEL! at Old Hag’s toothless mouth close-ups which reveal the poor sharpie skills of the make-up effects artists!
  • SEE! things moving backwards but going forwards!
  • ENDURE!  scenes of Hootchie Cootchie Lick ‘Em Yum Yums worthy of libido killing Sexual Education films from the 1950s!
  • WITNESS! Kung Fu fighting that’s fierce as a slug reading brail!
  • BEHOLD! something as things happen, or not!
totals

10 blood  

BLOOD

Lots of Louisana Hot Sauce was  spilled to make this movie, plus some other stuff that is best left unknown.

0 blood  

BREASTS

None. There is the Croco-Orgy (but that should drop this into the negative numbers). 

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

The United Legion of All the Evil Warriors of the World, Crocodile Mans, and the Cyclops Rock Monster.

 

OVERALL 6.66
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Watch the trailer for “The Devil’s Sword”

trailers

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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
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Watch the trailer for Harbinger Down

trailers
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Jul

Comments Off on Witching & Bitching


What do you get when you cross Crank with Dusk ’til Dawn? Electric vampires! Well, now I need to search the web for a movie about electric vampires because Witching & Bitching is not that film. Instead, it’s a film about the mother goddess eating and pooping children.

Our heroes are a couple of street mascots, a taxi driver and a little boy. The film opens with a great stylized spin on a heist. I’ve never been a fan of Hot Fuzz because I think they missed the parody mark. The way that film was shot isn’t mimicking action movies, it’s exactly the same. The opening scene in Witching & Bitching has Jesus, Sponge Bob, Minnie Mouse and a little boy in a gun porn. The slo-mo scenes that are required in every action drama have a foam Sponge Bob taking bullets and Jesus hanging out a car window blowing away cop cars. Are you still reading this? Why are you not on Netflix?
Spongebob
Our intrepid, surviving thieves and the little boy find themselves jumping into a cab because of complications with the getaway car. You know what “complications” mean in a movie, right? It’s a woman. Conversation in the getaway taxi quickly moves from how things went wrong to a bitch fest about ladies. The “plastic, green army man” shares the missed getaway car with his successful girlfriend and she makes him feel like less of a man. Jesus, who is the father of the little boy complains about his ex-wife who calls to yell at him as they flee the scene. Everyone laments the fact that he took his son on a heist, but of course Jesus is doing it all for him. Sacrifice, you know?

After everyone in the car agrees that women have made their lives hell, even the kidnapped taxi driver throws his wedding ring out the window and joins the gang. Jesus is, like really convincing. Similar to Dusk ’til Dawn this Spanish horror comedy takes a turn when they offer an old woman a ride home. She’s a witch. Not like all the rest, literally. It turns out tonight is a very big ceremony and offering. Also, these gents are part of the plan. It’s all very real danger, but it’s hard for the boys to focus on living when the witch’s daughter is very attractive. Never mind that she’s evil and psychotic.

The great thing about the witches is their polite and casual attitude. It’s like the situational irony in the short play The Still Alarm by George S. Kaufman where a building is on fire and the characters inside, including the fireman are perfect gentleman and casually chatting amidst the crisis. After several failed escape attempts, it looks like the the gang is in trouble.

Hope could arrive in the form of the boy’s angry mom. She’s traced his cellphone after seeing footage at the cop shop of him robbing the “We Buy Gold” store. The police are tailing her in an effort to arrest the gang, but there’s some ridiculous personality & rank issues in this partnership that only a near death experience can fix. Hope dies quickly when the witches capture all of them and ceremony begins.

Every ceremony needs a song and it’s like the rave scene from the Matrix films, unnecessarily long. Don’t get down though because the mother goddess is naked giant with a basket head. The mother goddess statues in the opening credits cannot prepare you for busty evil that is about to eat the little boy. It would be dangerously sexist of me to say that she is the one true god because no one would ever want to be in a relationship with this CGI monstrosity. Oh. Looks like I said it. Send the hate mail to CGI me, that perfectly sculpted, sexist polygon.
goddess
Jesus escaped before the ceremony thanks to the psychotic daughter because she loves him. Can you blame her? Jesus is love. However, she is found out and punished leaving Jesus to find her putrid brother. The witch’s bro has been locked away because he’s got a penis. You know witches, they’re big on girl power. He agrees to help Jesus after being set free. Unfortunately, they’re too late to help Jesus’ son. The others and myself are in shock. Hollywood does not make movies where bad guys win and more importantly where giants with enormous, exposed, swaying jugs devour and poop children. Now the boy is the chosen one. What does that mean? He’ll be a proctologist? And why am I always watching movies with stuff coming out of people’s asses? What sort of weird fetish is that? Is there help for me or at least an internet community where I can share my shame? Check out Witching & Bitching to answer some of those questions and return to the Lost Highway to find more great films and witness my asinine adventures.

roadside attractions

  • face-sitting
  • sautéed house keys
  • finger foods
  • adult broom riding
  • delicious frog juice
  • phone call from armageddon
  • french kissing
  • dancing on the ceiling minus Lionel
  • indigestible child
  • ginormous vag
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

You can’t have all the witchy mutilation without a little blood.

2

blood

BREASTS
Well for sheer size, it started out as a 10 but -12 for them being on the beast. +4 for the very seductive, but never exposed Carolina Bang.

6.5

beast

BEASTS

The witches are great foils for our heroes, and the mother goddess brings up the rear. A whole lot of it.

7.5 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for Witching & Bitching

trailers

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Jun

Comments Off on Extraterrestrial

Welcome back to another review, folks! Ever since a certain fire happened in a certain sky alien abduction movies were hotter than Agent Scully in the 90’s. Though the premise seems to have lost it’s foothold in the movies as of late, there are still some gems that can be found. For instance; our review today: Extraterrestrial.

While this is supposed to be an alien movie it does it’s best to be a sci-fi, suspense, horror, and even a touch political. These elements in a film usually don’t blend well, but, here, they do. We start with a horror beginning: 20-somethings all in a car to go to a cabin in the woods for a few nights of partying, sex, and debauchery. Mistake #1: They’re in a cabin in the woods! Don’t these folks read my reviews? Never go in the woods!

After a quick setup, and some exposition that isn’t really needed, we begin our weekend with our victims…ahem…characters. Almost immediately stuff starts going down. While one can argue you want to know about the character’s personalities, I, for one, don’t. Let’s commence the murdering! Lights flicker, strange noises! An alien starts to walk around the house and….gets shot by a girl with a shotgun. Well. I did say let’s get to the murdering.

After E.T. goes down, making the pool his final grave, stuff REALLY hits the fan. Appropriate reactions have already been done by this point in the movie, but there are a lot of cool things yet to see. They try to flee, but there’s a tree felled in their way. Suddenly the rain stops while they ponder what could have possibly cut that tree down. These guys would trip over the laces in their velcro strapped shoes. How did they get into college? Right. Michigan State strikes again.

After some of the worst pondering, and decision making I’ve seen this side of swimming with sharks while strapped with steaks and barbecue sauce, we lose our first female to the blue light of abduction. Or as I’ve come to call it: The Bye-bye Beam. Quick! Back in the car that wasn’t functioning just a few minutes ago! We go back to meet a character, that couldn’t be more cliché if it was Jesse Ventura in a tinfoil hat, to learn more about the alien menace. After a quick break from screaming and running we get right back to screaming and running.

Jesse Ventura takes on an alien and, surprisingly, it’s a pretty good scene, ending with what you should’ve seen coming a mile away. More running! More lights! And, just for good measure, they even managed to scrounge up that ‘BWAHHH’ sound from the remake of ‘War of the Worlds’, and every Hans Zimmer soundtrack since. But that’s a tale for another time. What’s that? A would-be protagonist? Go for it, Hoss!

Enter one of the film’s side characters, who the whole movie could’ve been about, but wasn’t, Goodguy McCopDude. We established at the outset of the movie, through a very long scene that we really didn’t need, that he’s been investigating the disappearance of his daughter. How important is this plot point? Important enough to cut from the main characters and their impending deaths to go to a random RV site with a random character to get more exposition to tell us that aliens are the culprit. Which I wouldn’t mind so much if the title wasn’t EXTRATERRESTRIAL!

Goodguy McCopDude is hot on the trail of…no one. And, truth be told, I don’t even remember why he was summoned to the cabin in the woods to begin with. It goes by that quick, folks, don’t fault the viewer for losing a little interest when the action goes from high-octane to donut munching. Goodguy and his cop buddy show up at the Murder Cabin and begin to snoop around, learning the unhinged partiers are being terrorized by aliens. While the partner is skeptical, Goodguy goes full Mulder, and begins to look around.

After a brief, and somewhat fruitless, encounter in the barn Goodguy is convinced it’s those pesky grey skinned fellas causing all the commotion. After he tries to wrangle the panicked few he decides to follow suit and make equally bad decisions, taking his time to convince his partner while sitting in a lit up police car! Well, bad calls can only be called out, as the alien with a shotgun wound turns up and telekinetically forces the skeptic partner and Goodguy to do the unthinkable.

The Bye-bye Beam claims more victims! And soon even the last of the survivors is lost to that fateful blue light. Now. Here’s where the usual movie would call it quits, leaving the audience with the smoldering hole in the ground that was our female lead just a few minutes ago. But it doesn’t. It keeps going, making this movie even longer. Usually I’d say this is a detriment, but the final scenes of this movie kind of answer a few questions that we’ve had for a long time.

No spoilers here, folks! This is a good movie in the fact that it does, in most of it, fuse themes taken from so many genres. The actors do their parts, some sold it well, others not so much. The effects and some of the practical effects are worth praise. It has it’s flaws, like serious plot holes, and characters that make really bad decisions, but it’s worth the pay off. Check this one out, folks. As always, thanks for reading, and stay out of the woods.

roadside attractions

  • There’s no reason for that shot.
  • That wasn’t there before.
  • Boarding up the windows with Ikea.
  • Why did you get out of the car?
  • That was a cool rain effect.
  • Seriously. Why did you get out of the car?
  • 90’s cliche camerawork.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Not much. Butt there is that one scene.

1

blood

BREASTS

I think I saw a nip slip. Maybe not.

6

beast

BEASTS

Old design, new things done.

7.5 OVERALL
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May

Comments Off on Hellraiser: Bloodline

When we last left Pinhead n’ pals at the end of “Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth,” Pinhead had been reunited (and it felt so bad) with his ghost, Captain Elliott Spenser, in hell, and the heroine, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Jadzia Dax, plunked the Hellraiser box in the drying foundation of a building, the better to keep people’s mitts off of it. At least people who aren’t Kitty Pryde. And then we see a building with Hellraiser box décor erected on the building site. But Pinhead’s in his hell, the gate to which is literally encased in tons of concrete, and all’s right with the world, right? Right?!
Of course not.
You know how when “Jason X” came out, everyone chortled “haw haw, it’s Jason – in space!” (I love “Jason X” so much, don’t get me started.) But Pinhead did it first and he did it here. The movie opens in the plausibly-distant future with standard issue space marines storming a space facility where a mysterious man, Dr. Merchant, sets a poor innocent low-end Terminator to solving the puzzle box.

The man successfully activates the box-by-bot just as he is captured by Rimmer, the Ripley of this set of space marines, and he pleads with her to get off the station and let him finish what he started. Finish what? Hope you brought some popcorn, Rimmer. Settle in.
The previous Hellraiser movies never really got into the background of the box sketched out in the “Hellbound Heart” novella, although neeeeeeerds still picked up it’s called Lemarchand’s box or the Lament Configuration. The franchise is gonna fix that with Dr. Merchant’s Introduction to the Hellraiser Box 101, and the course materials are a couple of big-ass flashbacks. Because, you see, his bloodline is the bloodline of the title, as his ancestor was the one to create the box in the first darn place. Good one, Merchant family.
And so we’re in powdered-wigs-and-tights era France where a toymaker named Philippe Lemarchand, who looks exactly like Dr. Merchant, has whipped up the Hellraiser box to order for a wealthy client. Of course, he somehow designs it to his patron’s specifications without realizing what it does, and his wife is unimpressed when all he can get it to do is open and play tinkly music. Oh, you just wait, hon.

Lemarchand delivers the box to his client on a dark and ominous night. The client, Duc de L’Isle, looks sort of like an evil harlequin Bea Arthur, and he receives the box while a woman he and his trusty apprentice Jacques – Adam Scott’s first film role, everybody! — have just ganked cools offscreen. Then Lemarchand hangs around watching through the windows while the pair use the box to invoke a demon to possess the dead lady. The sequence is long enough to be montaged, so I have to assume Lemarchand is out there for hours. He should have brought a lawn chair.
And, kids, if you’re going to raise the dead in the front room, consider pulling the drapes.

Understandably bummed, Lemarchand relates all he witnessed to a friend, while his friend chops up a dead body for study. His friend has good advice while rib spreading a corpse – if you made a box that can summon demons, maybe you can make one that can destroy ‘em? And so Lemarchand sets to designing a box for just that purpose and goes to L’Isle’s digs to retrieve the original.
He finds the box, but he also finds L’Isle with an extra red smile bisecting his face, and the demon, Angelique, is now shtupping Jacques. Well, Jacques is a better deal, can’t blame her. They catch Lemarchand and moiderize him, but he has a pregnant wife, so the story’s not over, even though his story so is.

Hundreds of years pass, but we don’t have to watch that. What we do have to watch is brilliant architect John Merchant – same face, got some powerfully stubborn genes in that family – as he unwittingly designs a whole building’s worth of Hellraiser box. You know the box in the foundation and the Hellraiser building from the end of III? Yeah, this is that. Angelique and Jacques have been bumming around Europe, living an Anne Rice novel or summat, when she catches wind of this and wants to go do something about it. Jacques says no, and no means dead.
Angelique tries to seduce John, but he has just enough sense and foreboding ancestral dream knowledge to resist. Going with plan B, she finds the original box in the foundation and seduces a meaty partygoer into solving it, opening the portal to hell. Angelique meets Pinhead and the two do shop talk about hell for a bit, both ultimately very interested in making the building itself into a permanent gate to hell. Angelique thinks she can snuggle it out of John, but Pinhead would prefer to rip it out with serrated hooks. Their blue state/red state approaches put them at odds, but neither way looks very good for John. Good thing he also has a son.
No spoilers because you already know this thing will end where it began, back to the future, with Pinhead in space and a whole bunch of dumb, squishy space marines. They should beam over to LV-426 while they’re at it.
…Did I mention Pinhead has a dog in this one?

Overall, this is probably some of Alan Smithee’s best work. Actually Kevin Yagher directed this, and it’s seriously not bad, but the studio meddled in hell’s domain too damn much and prompted him to quit and take his name off. The elegance and intimacy of the original “Hellraiser” has been purged here and they’ve grafted on a luxurious temptation backstory with the Merchant family – none of whom are interesting enough to be tempted to do anything – and an Alien-esque space marine slasher crescendo. The Cenobites are much improved over the punchlines of III though, and that includes the Chatterer Dog Cenobite. Of course, you do get chains and graphic violence and all of that stuff, but at this point, it’s expected, so having a guy’s skin ripped off is little bit of a yawn.

This is, by the way, the last Hellraiser movie Clive Barker was at all associated with, and we’re not even halfway through the franchise.

roadside attractions

  • Piercings
  • Chainings
  • Reanimation
  • Demon possession
  • Extreme Cenobite Makeovers
  • Piiiinheeeeeaads in Spaaaaaaace!
  • Man’s Best Cenobite
  • French stuff
  • Three eras of Bruce Ramsay’s face
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Yes. Kinda boring blood by Hellraiser standards though honestly.

0

blood

BREASTS


No boobs. Well, a couple of really dumb guys, yeah, but not boob boobs.

7

beast

BEASTS New and improved Cenobites, including the Odie of the Damned, but that’s it.

7 OVERALL Crappy sequel to some, last decent sequel to others.
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Watch the trailer to “Hellraiser: Bloodline”

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