Archive for the 'Fantasy' Category

May

Comments Off on Sins of the Dragon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

roadside attractions

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

7

blood

BLOOD

Sprays, splatters and even a decapitation!.

5

blood

BREASTS

In its place, I offer you ninjas.

9

beast

BEASTS

Did I mention ninjas? Oh and an evil ninja?

7 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Sins of the Dragon”

trailers

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Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 11, 2012 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Review, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Steel Dawn: A Guest Review by General Relativity

General Relativity is a visitor from the 31st Century.  As a Level III Chrononaut, the General is a mid-level civil servant in the Time Enforcement Commission, which basically means he has to fill out a million forms every time one of you tries to go back to hunt a dinosaur or give AK-47s to the Confederates or whatever.   And no, he can not explain to you why John Connor looks completely different in every single Terminator movie, so don’t ask.

Aristotle.  Plato.  Confucius.  Descartes.  Swayze.  These philosophers laid the foundation for all modern thought.  At least that is what we learned in the Preston-Logan Spacetime Academy.  From Red Dawn to Road House to the indomitable Point Break (which in 3020 was named the greatest movie ever made by the Lundgren Council for the Arts), Swayze’s streak of profundity was unmatched by any 80s star.  In these mystical masterworks, Patrick Swayze was committed to the principles of an undefined and vague Tao of manly badassedness.  Unlike the others on the list of Great Minds, Swayze could nail a bodacious roundhouse kick.

Steel Dawn” is unfortunately not a sequel to Swayze’s 1984 classic “Red Dawn.”  Rather, Steel Dawn is one of those post-apocalyptic westerns released in the wake of the success of “Road Warrior.”  It has most of the touchstones for that genre: mutants, primitive weaponry, lots and lots of desert, and hairstyles out of an 80’s hair metal music video.  The hair in this movie is a special effect.

We begin with the nameless Nomad (Swayze) performing a headstand at the top of a dune in the middle of a desert.  He is communing, because that’s what Swayze does.  Cthulhu-faced mutants emerge from the sand wielding car maintenance equipment and attack him.  Swayze kills them all using a fighting style I can only describe as “Dirty Dance Fighting.”  The principal technique associated with this obscure martial art is to execute a number of unnecessary somersaults and pirouettes before you spin your aluminum foil sword a few times.

From this promising beginning, I hoped that mutants would be the main villain of the film, just as they are in real life.  Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is pitifully lacking in mutants.  The real bad guys are humans rejected from a Mötley Crüe casting call and banished to a Pat Benatar music video.  After the members of Faster Pussycat kill Swayze’s master, Swayze wanders the desert looking generally irritated.  Or maybe he’s just tortured.  Or constipated.  Or tortured by constipation.


Not that he lacks a reason to be irritated, especially after he meets a woman named Ke$ha ( played in amazing crimped hair by Swayze’s real life wife Lisa Niemi).  Swayze befriends her son who is played by Jake Lloyd from “The Phantom Menace” and who gains an alarming amount of weight as the movie goes on.  Water is premium in the desert, and Ke$ha wants to build an aquaduct.  This is basically “Chinatown” but with characters named “Tark” and swords made of silver plastic.  The bad guys are after the water.  But Swayze, using somersaults and head-kicking, will teach them, and us, important lessons about man’s search for faith….

No Swayze film would be complete without his signature esoteric analects.  In this regard, “Steel Dawn” is an undiscovered treasure.  Now, presented without context, the lessons from “Steel Dawn”:

“Promise never to misuse this knowledge.  Before you fight you must first learn to meditate.”
“What’s the matter, never seen a grown man naked?”
“You shouldnt play with sharp objects.”
“A man needs his exercise.”
“I attract violence!”  (That is not the only thing you attract, dude.)
“You talk too much.”

roadside attractions

  • Patrick Freakin’ Swayze
  • Cthulhu Sapiens Mutants
  • Somersaults
  • Pirouettes
  • Tinfoil Swords
  • Sand
  • More Sand
  • Obscene Aquanet Abuse
  • Proto-Jake Lloyd
  • Wind-Powered Go-Carts
  • Fighting with Staves
  • Water Politics
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Although Swayze wields a menacing tinfoil sword, he mostly prefers to kick people in the face.

4

blood

BREASTS

There is a little tease of Swayze pecs while he’s bathing, but I was underwhelmed. Swayze and Brion James (of Blade Runner) stumble into some groupies while they are raiding the hair metal bad guys’ hideout, which is an abandoned Guns ‘n Roses concert stage, but no one seals the deal.

2

beast

BEASTS

Needz moar mutants!

3.0 OVERALL
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Nov

Comments Off on A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell

I’ll say one thing about A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell: it delivers on its promise. There is a titular nymphoid. Dinosaurs abound. There are barbarians. And there is no shortage of Hell. It is worth notin’ that the title says Nymphoid, not Nymphomaniac, which is what I thought it said. Big difference between the two, and as a result, my Tuesday morning.

Accordin’ to Prof. Wikipedias, nymphoid refers to a nymph, meanin’: A young girl, especially one who inspires lustful feelings.

Makes sense. Lea, said nymphoid, is young and just about every guy in the flick wants to give her saddle a rattle.

Now, compare to nymphomaniac: A woman with excessive sexual desire.

If the flick were A Nymphomaniac Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, the plot probably wouldn’t move too far. Lea would be lovin’ everythin’ in sight, just like Ma Sixon after her Thanksgivin’ gallon of Wild Turkey.

Nymphoid Barbarian In dinosaur HellBut sadly, there is very little lovin’ in this flick. In fact, more uglies were bumped in Forrest Gump.

This here post-apocalyptic flick opens with Lea explainin’ how the world came to an end over a montage (a “capitalist conspiracy” is mentioned–some thing never change, eh?). Most of the footage in the montage looks like it came from a bunch of other flicks, and that ain’t surprisin’, as Nymphoid was a Troma release. They reuse more old footage than a rerun of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

To sum up: bad stuff happened in the past (see: Nukes), and now the ravaged world is filled with mutants and dinosaur-like beasties. Items of note: Lea claims to be from Tromaville, and she starts her narration with “Dear Diary,” even though, as we learn later, she can barely read.

Tryin’ to survive in this Dinosaur Hell are our nymphoid and her boyfriend, Marn. Yes, when you get right down to it, this flick is a love story. A love story with some road bumps, mind you. Seems like everyone is after Lea. In the first few minutes of the flick, a gang, who looks like a Manowar cosplay, tries to capture and have their way with Lea.

Marn saves Lea, but later on, she gets captured by a pack of reptoids and their master, a poor man’s Kurgan. The group of baddies beat the tar out of Marn, but he is nursed back to health by an old man, who is learned in the ways of public domain literature (he recites the Jabberwocky poem from Through the Looking Glass). After he’s healed up, Marn goes searchin’ for Lea. What we have here is a ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl meets mutants, boy fights mutants’ kinda love story.

And dinosaurs. Lots of dinosaurs. The effects are classic stop-motion animation, and pretty dang good for a low-budget flick. While there is a fair amount of action, the combat is about as fierce as a third grade stage version of Braveheart: punches and kicks barely connect, and weapons are swung with hesitation. Given that most of the cast played multiple parts, I guess the director didn’t want anyone gettin’ hurt.

Now, this don’t mean the flick is lacking in blood. Nope. Limbs are severed. Baddies are chomped to bits by dinos. Heck, there’s even a bit of cannibalism—just in time for Thanksgivin’!

The acting in A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell is its weakest link, but it only adds to the charm and if you are worried ‘bout the actin’ in a film called A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, then you are probably watchin’ the wrong movie, friend.

Tiger says, give this one a watch for the stop-motion animation alone, but bring a few beers–or a gallon of Wild Turkey.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Nukes
  • Ear biting
  • Tromaville Sign
  • Axe swinging
  • Sword whirling
  • Hesitant combat
  • Cameraman Shadows
  • Reptoid abuse
  • Swamp Men
  • Laundry stealing
  • Leather bikinis
  • Severed limbs
  • Sandworms
  • Stop motion dinosaurs
  • Dinosaur fights
  • Reptoids
  • Public Domain Literature
  • Groping
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

severed limbs and hungry dinos supply plenty of blood. Plus: cannibalism!

2

blood

BREASTS

we see Lea’s mosquito bites for about 39 frames in the final five minutes.

10

beast

BEASTS

A variety of dinos, reptoids, mutants and more.

6.00 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell”

trailers

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