Archive for the 'Review by Doktor' 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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Apr

posted by Doktor | April 15, 2016 | 70's b-movies, foreign, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Cosmos: War of the Planets

Canoodling

Have you ever been hit in the face with a brick? Cosmos: War of the Planets is exactly like that, but different.

How are they the same? First, it’s spaghetti sci fi, heavy on the cheese. That would be the brick. It was written and directed by Alfonso Brescia (Al Bradley). Brescia went on to make such classics as Battle of the Stars (1978), War of the Robots (1978), Star Odyssey (1979), and Beast in Space (1980), among others. Many of the aforementioned films reused footage, costumes, actors, and props from Cosmos: War of the Planets. Honestly, I would not be surprised to learn all five movies are the same film just recut and re-titled. Brescia would be the getting hit in the face.

Etor looking scaredThe difference? Getting hit in the face with a brick will eventually heal. Cosmos: War of the Planets will haunt you the rest of your days.

The movie opens in space, a vast blanket of darkness spotted with twinkling lights. It reminds us of how small we are, the sublimity… is interrupted by an annoying video game blip sound as one star blinks brighter and brighter.

Ho-kay.

Cut to a different shot of space. A spaceship, the MK31, floats by. Again the huge expanse dwarfs the insignificant craft. In such spanning possibilities how could these intrepid explorers make any difference? Who are these brave… Devo rejects? Inside the ship, the Devo Crewmen say vaguely science sounding words in some kind of futuristic space spell in order to pilot the ship. Or something.

Uhg.

Just as sleep was about to take me there’s a “stellar explosion.” Well, that’s what one of the Devo Crewmen calls it. What actually happens is a flash of light followed by a meteor hurtling towards them. Devo Crew jump into their seats and strap on their seat belts. They ask the computer for new coordinates in order to escape the “rays” of the explosion (i.e. the meteor). Funny thing, the computer does not register the explosion.

Wait, what?

Now Devo Crew is worried. There are lots of anxious looks. Each of the fifteen crew members gets their turn to look distressed. That is, all except for Rent-a-Center Tommy Chong, Marseille, who is more concerned with biting his nails. At this point I too was more concerned with his hangnail than the plot. Sadly, though, we never find out if he got it.

Marseille chewing his fingernailWhy stress? Just steer away, right?

Problem is the MK31 does not have a steering wheel. There are plenty of random buttons and blinky lights, but no controls. The MK31 is piloted by the computer, with no way to manually take control. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your spacecraft.) So, with nothing else to do, there are more shots of Devo Crewmen looking on helplessly. The meteor is upon them and…

Never mind, it was nothing.

Seriously. In a move that makes M. Night Shymalan wet, the whole thing is unceremoniously dropped.

“That was a refraction of a cosmic explosion occurring 10 million years ago,” says the computer. Wait a minute. A second ago there was nothing there. Now the computer not only registers the event, but registers an event that happened 10 million years ago?

Whap! Brick right to the kisser!

Amazingly it is only three minutes into the film but it feels like several hours. There is still an hour and twenty-something minutes to go. (This is why you don’t let the Italians make your sci fi movie.) I felt like Ash in the laughing room scene of Evil Dead 2.

The credits roll as space granola floats around in the background, a kind of high colonic cleansing party for our mental palate.

Next we see Captain Devo, Hamilton—Captain Ham from here on—walking into command center Orion. He strolls up and punches some guy named Miller. Having completed his mission, Captain Ham leaves.

Captain Ham is supposed to be a no-nonsense, bucks authority kinda guy that movies like this call for. He’s more of a douche but, eh, close enough. Commander Bossman gives Captain Ham a talking to as punishment, then gives him command of a ship leaving for the Vega System. Or was it Space Vegas? Whatever. Commander Bossman is harsh, but fair.

Next we get some random scenes showcasing life aboard the MK31. In other words, a bunch of idiots barely able to handle mundane tasks without killing themselves. There’s a space walk to fix a space circuit. For some reason mishandled space circuits spit acid and, conveniently, this space circuit is mishandled. Captain Ham has to go out and rescue the Devo Crewman, thus showing how awesome Captain Ham is. Then we watch a couple of the female crew talk about how dreamy Captain Ham is. There’s some space hootchie-cootchie-lick-‘em-yum-yums in the Cosmic Love room. (Cosmic Love is two single beds with a model Death Star between them. Flip a few switches, watch the groovy light show, and you are getting your freak on.)

WIZJust as I was reaching for the remote to turn off Cosmos: War of the Planets a transmission comes in. By transmission I mean the grinding sound of an old Studebaker with a bad starter filtered through a Pac Man effects pedal. The message is never translated, but I’m pretty sure it went something like, “Get on with it already!”

Somehow the signal is interfering with Earth’s radio transmissions which has put Commander Boss Man’s butt is in the fire. WIZ, Earth’s most smartest super computer ever, recognizes that the signal is being broadcast by an intelligence that “knows all.” Being way smart and stuff, WIZ advises Commander Boss Man to seek  out the intelligence and destroy it. What a great idea. Launch an attack on some being that knows all. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your super computers.)

As an unnecessary counter point, Captain Ham gives his theory about the mysterious signal, “radioactivity meeting a cosmic belt.” Take that you stupid blipping robot box. Who’s the damned fool now? Alien intelligence? Feh. In fact, Captain Ham goes so far as to say that the computer “must be drunk.”

Regardless, Earth is going to send a ship and the closest is…

The MK31!

Though Captain Ham is a terrible person, his deficiencies make him the perfect person to lead this mission. That is, if he fails no one is going to miss him or Devo Crew. Finally! The movie does something believable.

Being a jerk that bucks authority, Captain Ham refuses the mission. He’s already on his way home and he’s got a haircut appointment he just cannot miss. He’s rescheduled it twice now and if he backs out again he will loose his deposit. Because the script says otherwise, some random spaceships materialize and attack the MK31, crippling it and the oh-so-capable Captain Ham.

Somehow, despite being on their way home, this attack causes them to spin out of control and into orbit around the planet broadcasting the mysterious signals. A planet that is galaxies away. Though seemingly untenable, I have a theory. The MK31 is powered by Expositive Plot Drive. That is, in order for the MK31 to escape from the spin, Captain Ham tells the closest Devo Crewman to press the “auxiliary ignition button pump”, which makes no sense. This red herring, being another brick to the face, disorients the viewer. Some slow motion acting is mixed in to further befuddle the audience and viola, anything goes. Unicorn sphincters spitting skittles would have made as much sense as them abruptly being at the renegade planet.

The spinning gives way to another scene of no-stakes drama. The MK31 is going to crash, or blow up, or run out of Snickers bars in the cafeteria vending machine. There are looks of concern. And more looks of concern. And nothing happens. Brescia just needed stuff to happen in order to fill runtime. Captain Ham orders the separation of the command module from the body of the MK31. After which they land on the planet.

Cut to a rock quarry. You know, the planet surface. The Space Science Team (that’s actually what the call themselves) generally mill about, investigating the hell out of the first ten square feet of ground outside the ship’s door. That is, all but ONE guy.

Space StonehengeJack, the inquisitive one on Space Science Team, wanders off and discovers Space Stonehenge. It’s totally sweet because it is a teleporter to a random cavern. Well, not completely random. This particular cavern is home of Cavern Robot. Cavern Robot wobbles slowly towards anyone in its area. Jack calls for help on his wrist calcom (calculator/communicator of the HP35 variety). No one on Space Science Team pays it any mind. Yet, when he cries out, as Cavern Robot treads on his space bunion, Space Science Team hears his cry. From deep within the cavern at some remote location somewhere far away.

Pow! Another brick right in the mush!

Always on the ball, one of Space Science Team remarks, “I think I saw him go towards those rocks.” In a rock quarry. Sigh. Good job narrowing that down, Lt. Dipstick. Captain Ham must be so very proud of Space Science Team. As hard as it is to believe, they actually follow Jack’s voice, and Lt. Dipstick’s vague directions, straight to Space Stonehenge.

Once inside the cavern, instead of setting off Cavern Robot’s proximity detector, Space Science Team are jumped by a clan of Troglovulcans, bald guys in linen diapers, painted blue-black with pointy ears. Old Man Troglovucan tells the story of how his people used to be a great race. Unfortunately they used their great advances in science to make robots so they could laze about. The machines revolted, as oppressed automata are wont to do. Why the “advanced” Troglovulcans did not remove the emotion chip that allowed the robots to feel oppressed is a question the film leaves unanswered. My guess is they were jerks. Whatever the case, there was an atomic war and the Troglovulcans devolved.

There is some exposition by Etor, the only named Trogulvucan (hmm, wonder if there is any significance to that?), which boils down to the enemy of my enemy is my friend resulting in an alliance between the Troglovulcans and humans. The Space Science Team is allowed to return to MK31, but they have to leave Mila behind. The Troglovulcans may be cave-dwelling morons, but they are not chumps. Captain Ham agrees to Mila being used as collateral. Keep in mind Mila is Captain Ham’s girlfriend. Also keep in mind that Space Science Team are armed with disintegrator rays and the Troglovulcans are armed with snug fitted adult diapers. I might be reading too much into it, but I think this is Captain Ham’s ham-fisted way of saying things “just aren’t working out.”

Back on MK31 there is another scene of Cosmic Love. Normally in a 70s Italian film these scenes would have incorporated nudity. In a ballsy artistic move, Brescia makes Cosmic Love more akin to a visit to one’s therapist, except less erotic. Meanwhile, Captain Ham consults MK31’s computer—yes, Captain Ham, the one who hates computers—and it reports the enemy is a computer. To destroy it they will need to press a button. A red button. A big red button. (The computer has to break it down for them in simple terms that even a village idiot could understand, because, that’s what the Devo Crew are.) Captain Ham gets worked up into a tissy because the report is only 70% possible. What? He hates computers, even when they are 100% accurate. Why does he constantly consult them?

Ugh. Why am I even asking these questions?

While Captain Ham cleans the sand out of his crevices, outside MK31 Random Devo Crewman #89 is singing while he patrols the parameter. There are some thumps which Random Devo Crewman #89 completely ignores. Jump cut inside to more Cosmic Love. Cut back to thumping outside. At this point Random Devo Crewman #89 has noticed and is worried. There are long shots of him looking anxious. Cut back to Cosmic Love, which is interrupted by some unconvincing roaring. Back outside, Random Devo Crewman #89 is attacked by Cavern Robot, i.e. Cavern Robot wobbles at him. When the backup Devo Crewmen come out to investigate, Cavern Robot uses its Super Breath Attack to blow dust at them. Mildly irritated, the Devo Crewmen retreat to get their protective space suits.

And…

BLFNAR The Evil RobotJump to Space Science Team back in the cavern. Okay. I guess that was enough of that last scene.

There is much rejoicing to be back with Mila. Yippee. Hurray. Random Devo Crewman #193’s wristmotron goes off, reminding them that the plot needs to keep moving forward. Captain Ham and Holden head off. Somehow they know to walk over to a particular corner which houses another transporter. This one teleports them before Master Brain Machine.

Master Brain Machine delivers his villain’a monologue, the tale of  how Troglovulcans are bad and by extension so is all organic life in the universe. (Kill all humans!) Also, how he is all powerful. (Kill all humans!) And finally he commands Captain Ham and Holden to switch out a few circuits so he can initiate his final solution. (Kill all humans!)

One circuit fixes Master Brain Machine, which came as a relief, i.e. no extended looks or exposition for filler. With all his power restored, Master Brain Machine is strangely impotent when it comes to killing Captain Ham and Holden who are standing right in front of him. (This is why you don’t let the Italians design your evil Master Brain Machines.) Captain Ham MacGyver’s a sling shot out of his belt, which he uses to destroy Master Brain Machine David and Goliath style. Master Brain Machine’s roots are so intricately intertwined with the planet that as it explodes the planet starts to erupt.

Back at MK31, Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 are guarding the ship. Everything is quiet and chill. Suddenly Max’s body is there. So is Gretta’s. Who are Max and Gretta? Who cares? We will just call them victims of Cavern Robot. Whatever. Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 bring the bodies into the ship and deposit them in the infirmary. It turns out Gretta isn’t dead. As Marseille and Random Devo Crewman #43 leave, she opens her eyes. Then a couple Random Devo Crewmen are found dead.

Yeah, it would have been cool to see how they died, but at this point the movie is ready to be done. All continuity is thrown out the window in favor of ending this farce as quickly as possible. So again, whatever.

The planet remembers it was blowing up in a previous scene. There are stock footage shots of lava and volcanic eruptions. Captain Ham and Space Science Team make it back to the ship just in time. There’s some shaky camera shots of Devo Crewmen battening down the hatches, more volcano burbling, and intense talking about full power and the generators not having power and blah, blah, blah.

Big surprise, they make it out okay.

Only one Troglovulcan is saved, Etor. Heh, who would have guessed? No mention of the others left behind. No sadness. Just jokes about Etor being an instant officer because of the uniform he borrowed. (Thankfully once they got him on board they had him put on something more than the nappy.)

The End.

Wait. It isn’t?

Alka-Seltzer foaming at the mouth.The Master Brain Machine somehow possessed Random Devo Crewman #381, and in doing so made him impervious to disintegrator rays. While that is cool, it also made Random Devo Crewman #381 foam at the mouth and break out in a nasty rosacea. As Devo Crew looks around stupidly, Etor steps up like a champ to fight Master Brain Machine Guy #381. On the other hand, Captain Ham shows his true colors by grabbing his crew mate, leaving Etor to get beat down. Once safely in another room, Captain Ham ejects both Master Brain Machine Guy #381 and Etor into space.

All of everything is promptly forgotten when a happy message comes in from Earth. It’s a FaceTime call from Peter’s wife. His baby was just born. Ah! Who is Peter? Whatever. Shut up! It is almost over.

The end.

Nope. Brescia, channelling his inner J.R.R. Tolkien and the never ending ending, has another twist of supreme stupidity. The Master Brain Machine possessed the ship’s computer before Master Brain Machine Guy #381’s body was ejected into space. We discover the switcheroo when the computer’s voice changes to that of Master Brain Machine’s. Then there are some flashback scenes of the Cavern Robot and the stock volcanic eruptions (they paid for it and they are going to use, it by God) juxtaposed with the happy crew FaceTiming with Peter’s wife and baby.

Captain Ham looks around confused.

Indeed.

Now, FINALLY, the end.


Cosmos: War of the Planets

Tagline: Robot Terror from Space!

Year: 1977          Runtime: 89 min

DirectorAlfonso Brescia

Writer: Alfonso Brescia & Aldo Crudo

StarringJohn Richardson, Yanti Somer, West Buchanan


roadside attractions

  • WATCH! people look at the camera for long periods of time with vague emotions!
  • HEAR! special sound effects sampled from a Casio wrist watch!
  • WITNESS!  first contact with an alien race and then its utter  decimation, all without the slightest bit of concern!
  • FEEL! Cosmic Love, or what counts as intercourse in the space future!
  • BE AMAZED! by logic defying space science!
totals

4 blood  

BLOOD

No blood, but did have some nasty rosacea and mouth foam.

0 blood  

BREASTS

This is a classy Italian sci fi. None of that cheap stuff here.

 

10 beast  

BEASTS

Cave Robots. Super Master Robot, & Troglovulcans.

 

OVERALL 4.666
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Watch the entire film “Cosmos: War of the Planets”

trailers

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Feb

posted by Doktor | February 28, 2016 | 30's b-movies, 50's b-movies, 80's b-movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on How to Make Love Like a Mad Scientist: 30s, 50s, & 80s Style

The Brides of Science

“Science, like love, has myriad little surprises, as you shall see.” Dr. Pretorius, The Bride of Frankenstein

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and despite my best efforts to thwart the temporary hormonal imbalance it brings, I found Love tugging at my cholesterol caked heart strings . Love was everywhere, down the aisles at the grocery store, in the eyes of the couples holding hands in the park, I think I even caught hints of it in the air, like walking into the bathroom the morning after Oma had her stewed prune casserole. Fie! No matter how much Lysol I sprayed I could not seem to kill it. Love is a pesky bug that even the staunchest of us mad scientists cannot seem to eradicate.

They* say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” (*Whomever “they” are.). If it were only so easy. We mad scientists, while being the most virile of men, do not attract the women the way the square-jawed, muscle boys do. So how was I to get my love?

Chemicals and hypnosis? Feh. Yeah, they work, but I did not want to be that guy.

Tinder, AshleyMadison, and QualityRussianWives.com? Feh. I’m not creepy enough to be that guy.

Science! That was how. I would MAKE love. That is, literally create my special lady love.

I decided to investigate how my forefathers did it: Uropa (great grandfather) Doktor in the 30s, Opa (grandfather) Doktor in the 50s, and Vati (father) Doktor in the 80s. Since they’ve all passed on the the great laboratory in the sky, my research consisted of watching The Bride of Frankenstein, Bride of the Monster, and Bride of Re-Animator. Here is the chronicle of what I learned.

Never Happened Before

How Uropa Doktor Did It: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This movie was a disappointment. The bride is beautiful, with the most wonderful head of hair, but as perfect a woman as she is she does not show until the last five minutes of the movie. Actually, I am not sure why it is titled Bride of Frankenstein. Frist, as I wrote, she does not show up until the very end. There is precious little bride and way too much of the pointless continuing adventures of the monster. Heck, The Pointless Continuing Adventures of Frankenstien’s Monster would have been a better title. Second, she does not marry anyone. So, she is not even a bride. She is a just a woman creature who was set up on a blind marriage with the monster. In fact, when she sees the “man” she has been set up with she freaks out. I cannot say I blame her. He is a monster—literally. True to the monster boyfriend stereotype, as soon as she shuns him he decides that if he cannot have her no one will. So Love, the laboratory, and some hired help all go up in flames. The End.

Sigh.

While the castle was quite nice, and the lab was to die for, the science: dead wrong. The one thing the movie got right, and spot on at that, was the portrayal of the monster boyfriend. See, ladies, tall, dark, and strong are not all they are cracked up to be.

Arthritic

How Opa Doktor Did It: Bride of the Monster (1955)

I do not know why I thought I could get anything out of an Ed Wood, Jr. movie, but I watched it anyway. I know, shame on me. I did get a good chuckle though.

There’s no bride in this movie. There is one woman. As she is barely a plot device I cannot recall her name, so let us call her Ms. Woman (Loretta King). Naturally she wrecks her car. No good reason other than she was a woman. She proceeds to pass out when she sees a quite random boa constrictor wound around the tree she crashed into. All of this allows her to be captured by Dr. Vornoff’s (Bela Lugosi) man thug, Lobo (Tor Johnson). This is quite fortuitous because Varnoff is always looking for fresh subjects to test his Atomic Super Mutant Radiation Therapy, or ASMRT, on.

For unfathomable reasons, Varnoff dresses Ms. Woman in a wedding gown to prepare her for the procedure. Perhaps the silky materials facilitates radiation particles. Maybe that was the only dress Ed Wood, Jr. had that was clean. So, Ms. Woman is strapped to the table in a flowing wedding gown.

Oh, wait a moment. I forgot to explain what Varnoff is hoping to accomplish with ASMRT. You see, this is the time when we mad scientists were convinced that huge doses of radiation would cause fantastic mutations, transforming the recipients with incredible powers or abilities, rather than cause horribly devastating cancers. In the case of Ms. Woman specifically the ASMRT was going to make her “super strong and super beautiful” as opposed to a steamy puddle of human-goo.

Or perhaps it would do that. Up to this point he was only able to successfully atomic super mutant Nessie (some exposition had him in Loch Ness before he came to America) and a swamp octopus he keeps as a pet to guard his swamp-locked laboratory.

And then, like so many prom night dreams, everything goes horribly wrong. Lobo is in Lurv with Ms. Woman, and while he is enamored of the whippings he receives from his master, he cannot abide by the destruction of his lady love. Despite the fact that she screams and wets herself every time she Lobo, his unrequited love for her drives him to knock out Varnoff, switch Ms. Woman’s place on the table with Varnoff, and, though he can only just manage to put on his slip on shoes, he sets the controls and turns on the machine.

Mostly the ASMRT works. Mostly. Varnoff becomes Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff—with poo-smeared face. He breaks free of the puny restraints and knocks some sense into Lobo. By “knocks some sense” I mean couple super punches puts Lobo down fast as Travis Coates boom stick put down Old Yeller.

Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff takes off with Ms. Woman to do something in the swamp. Lt. Dick, Ms. Woman’s fiancé, pushes a swamp bolder at Atomic Super Mutant Varnoff knocking him into the waiting arms of his pet swamp octopus. A well placed lightning strike hits the struggling mutants setting off an atomic blast.

As the heroes look at the blast, which incidentally is only feet from where they are standing, Capt. Robbins sums up the moral morass of the story with, “He tampered in God’s domain.”

Bride of the Monster is another one that gets the science wrong. Actually, the only “science” in the movie is the wall of test tubes, Bunsen burners, and BLFNAR (blinking lights for no apparent reason). Additionally, there was nothing about brides, not how to make one or win one or even how to use one’s power of hypnosis to force one to your will (see the image for Varnoff’s sweet technique that’s totally wasted). All Bride of the Monster gave us was one test subject made up in wedding dress. That, Mr. Wood, is quite a stretch to add bride to the title.

Bride of the Monster does one thing, which is, warn us mad scientists against trusting our minions to have your back when a lady is involved. So much for mad scientist’s best friend.

Ubterwyf

How Vati Doktor Did It: Bride of Re-Animator (1989)

Now here is a movie with some substance. Firstly, there is not one, but two mad scientists, Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) and Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). I was sure this movie would have some answers for me. And lo, it did! Plus there is plenty of glowing reagent, freak abominations of living body pieces, and hubris that only Jeffrey Combs can embody: “I will not be shackled by the failures of your God.”

Hmmm! Now there’s a mad scientist, mad scientist!

If you love him so much why don’t you marry him?

Shut up, brain, or I’ll stab you with a glass stirring rod.

Anyway…

Like Bride of Frankenstein, in Bride of Re-Animator the two doctors are attempting to construct a woman. Dr. Cain and Dr. West’s creation is more than just random parts, though there are plenty of those, too. What makes her so special is that she starts with the heart of Dr. Cain’s beloved Megan Halsey. Moreover, as a kind of icing on the bridal cake, Dr. West secures the head of Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont), a patient Dr. Cain had recently become emotionally attached to but lost.

What a guy!

Also like in Bride of Frankenstein, bride of re-animator (the woman creature lacks a name) does not show up until later in the movie. Unlike Bride of Frankenstein, she is the actually part of the  plot, so Dr. Cain and Dr. West are working on her throughout the movie. Once she is re-animated she has more than 5 minutes of screen time, too.

Sadly, it turns out that as perfect as bride of re-animator may have been, exposed muscles and metal braces holding her skeleton together notwithstanding, Dr. Cain finds something far more attractive in regular old Francesca (Fabiana Udenio), a woman made the old fashioned way, the temporary hormonal imbalance culminating in the sharing of DNA fluids.

Sigh. All that work wasted. Well, there is the cat fight between bride of re-animator and Francesca for Cain’s love. It ends with bride of re-animator tearing out her heart, shrieking, “Is this what you want?” (See the middle picture in the main image.) That was sweet.

Interestingly, just like monster boyfriends, monster girlfriends suffer from homicidal jealously, or in other words, if bride of re-animator cannot have Cain, no one will.

Maybe Capt. Robbins was onto something with the not tampering in Gods blah, blah, blah stuff.

 


 

So what is the take away? One, monster boyfriends are hateful creatures. Two, never trust your minion when a woman is involved, no matter how much he says he enjoys being chained to the water heater in the basement. Three, even if one does manage to build the perfect woman, starting with the most tender part of one’s most beloved, as it turns out a good old fashioned girl will win out in the end.

What if you don’t have a good old fashioned girl to win? Well, you can do like I did. Netflix and chill, with yourself.

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”

trailers

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Apr

posted by Doktor | April 13, 2015 | 90's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Kung-fu, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Samurai Cop

Tagline: You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Dead Silent

Year: 1991          Runtime: 96 min

Director: Amir Shervan

Writer: Amir Shervan

Starring: Robert Z’Dar, Matt Hannon, Jannis Farley

Note: Samurai Cop is a tough movie, from a very rough time in American history—the 90s. This roughness manifests itself in some explicit language. It’s not drunken sailor level but enough to be offensive to innocent ears. We’re family friendly here at The Lost Highway and therefore have taken the liberty of substituting more appropriate language, [in brackets like this], to keep things PG.

On with the show.

First and foremost let me say Samurai Cop sets the bar for entertaining b-movies in a way not achieved since Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Doktor is nothing if not hyperbolic, and you’re right. This time I’m serious. Serious as waking up to find a pool of blood on your pillow. And you’re in the middle of downtown’s main square. And you’re stark naked. Yeah. Samurai Cop is that good. I mean bad. Whatever.

Here’s the one-sentence pitch: Miami Vice meets Miami Connection set in Los Angeles.

Not sure exactly what that means, where here’s the long and long of it:

[Warning: Because Samurai Cop is so AWE-some This Review is One TL;DR Spoiler]

The movie opens with a Katana gang strategy meeting. Nothing gets an audience excited like a gang working on their mission statement. It grounds the movie in the staleness of the everyday. Everyone can relate to the dreaded Monday Morning Meeting, right? Filmmakers would later learn that it’s gritty reality that really gets audiences’ juices flowing, but we’re talking 1991 here. Having guys who look like they were picked up at Stop n Go passing around a Mad Dog 20/20 discus how to grow their gang’s brand was edge-of-your-seat story-telling.

According to the minutes, the Katanas need to befriend other gangs, except the Japanese. It’s war on the Japanese. So says Fujiyama, Katana leader. It’s heart-breaking. Self-hating Japanese. They’re their own worst enemies.

First item on their agenda is have another meeting. This time with the Chinese. Fujiyama sends his best man, Z’Dar-san on this delicate diplomatic mission. Mr. Lee, the Chinese leader, decides is no good. Z’Dar-san and minions kill the fool. If the Katanas can’t have you as their friend, no one will.

But enough of that, jump cut to: our heroes, Samurai Joe and Frank the Black Guy. Samurai is a highly trained martial artist, fluent in Japanese, and has a man mane that makes first season Full House star John Stamos look like Sir Patrick Stewart. Frank is black.

They’re cops, i.e. a Value Brand X version Crockett and Tubbs, but less creepy. Frank brought Samurai to help bust the Katana gang. Or is it Samurai is there because he has some information on a Katana gang drug deal? It’s confusing. Regardless, Samurai is in from San Diego. Is that important? Not really. Samurai Cop is chocked full of not important exposition.

The drug deal is going down at the marina. Frank calls in helicopter support for production value, and to help tail the Katana’s blue van. And watch the boat in the marina. Luckily Whirlybird Wench Peggy is on duty. She has eyes that move independent of one another like a chameleon, which is great in this situation. Not so much at parties. At parties she just freaks people out. Because there’s some confusion about where the cocaine is, in the boat or in van, Frank wants her to watch the boat, Samurai the van.

Unfortunately everyone is inept, and they lose sight of both. And what’s really important in life. It’s a right proper cluster jam.

In the resulting confusion, the sale is made. This segues nicely into the need for a pathetic chase scene. Pathetic in that the footage is sped up to give the illusion the cars are moving faster than 10 mph. Moreover, the villians can’t hit Samurai and Frank’s car, with a shotgun, out the wide open back of the van, despite there being less than a car length between them. All the while Samurai’s coaching Frank, “Shoot. Shoot. Shoot him.” Add awesome coach to Samurai’s impressive skill set above because, sigh, it works.

Then the van comes to a soft stop by driving into a dirt pile and explodes. Because.

Having accomplished something, Samurai and Officer Peggy Harlot do celebration Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums.

Note: I’m not being misogynistic with the name calling. I’m trying to capture the Shervan’s portrayal of his female characters which is informed by his understanding of women which stopped when he was 13. Peggy is a one dimensional nymphomaniac wrapped in a sexual harassment joke. And she shows her ta-tas. Te he he!

Back at Katana HQ, Fujiyama is pissed. He orders Z’Dar-san to behead the captured Katana thug and place the head on his piano. That’ll show him. Or something.

At the hospital, the hood’s room is exactly next door to the dentist office. This raises a question: what kind of government funded halfway hospital is this? Anyway, Samurai and Frank want to question their suspect but can’t because his back was badly burned in the ‘splosion. Needless to say, his lips won’t work for a  couple months.

There’s some prepubescent flirting with a nurse after which Samurai instructs the guard to only allow doctors and nurses into room. So when Ginger, Z’Dar-san’s main squeeze and all around evil gal, comes disguised as a cleaning crew person to change the garbage, wheeling in a big, covered cart, she’s allowed right in. Some people are so weak minded not even Jedi Mind Tricks are necessary. A completely convincing decapitation ensues, which turns into a lame chase through the hospital. Z’Dar-san and Ginger escape through the back exit, which is an apartment complex. Add a farmer’s market, tax assistance, and furniture and tire sales to this hospital and you’d have a ghetto swap meet.

Enter Captain Oscar Grouch. Samurai and Frank get the business from their uptight commanding officer. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Dead bodies piling up. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Loose cannon. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Yeah, like somebody stuck a big club up my [tail pipe] and it hurts. I’ve got to figure out a way to get it out of there.” Whoa! Not a proportionate escalation there, Captain.

Samurai and Frank extract themselves to follow up a lead at the Blue Lagoon. Fujiyama is meeting with his lawyer and seducing Chickie, the young, blonde daughter of the owner of the restaurant. There’s some apathetic looks and then Samurai erupts with a mind numbing speech about selling destruction to the children. He’s gonna put a stop to it by putting Fujiyama and the Katanas in the ground. To put a point on it he concludes with a little flirting with Chickie.

Oooo. Burn, Fujiyama. Burn!

Z’Dar-san’s doesn’t allow that insult to to pass quietly. He sends in the goons for some poorly choreographed slow-fighting with Samurai and Frank in the parking lot. One goon grabs a katana from a random Datsun, failing to understand this is a gun fight. Frank guns him down as a lesson. Samurai seizes the opportunity to add some more production value by severing another goon’s arm. Z’Dar-san, following the “Code of Silence,” kills all the fallen goons to keep them from talking.

Later, back at the Blue Lagoon, Samurai puts on the Old Spice charm. Lion Head, Girlie’s magical wall ornamentation is not impressed. Lion Head grants Girlie the power of chastity +3 against cheesy pickup lines. This allows her to make her saving throws verses Samurai’s charms. What’s more, she has to go to church, so…

Maybe next time, Samurai.

Before Samurai can even make it to the front door some punks stop him for more poorly choreographed slow-fighting. Samurai takes them out with a couple hi-ya chops. Steven Hawkins could’ve taken them, but a fight scene’s a fight scene, amirite? One punks runs, but after a stilted Horror Ingenue Trip and Fall, Samurai catches him. A twist of the arm and he’s wagging his tongue prettier than a $3 prostitute.

Samurai learns that Okamura, Fujiyama’s number 2, hired the assassins to kill him. If he and Frank catch Okamura they can bring down Fujiyama. Why can’t they do so for Z’Dar-san sending in the boys to kill them in the Blue Lagoon’s parking lot? Again, because.

At Okamura’s house Police Hooker Peggy throws herself at everyone present. Seriously, it’s anything that moves with her. This has nothing to do with anything of course, but it does pad out the runtime. Still, there’s a job to do, and no one has money for penicillin, so back to the action. Or whatever. Samurai and Frank bust in on Okamura’s Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. A pulse slowing chase scene develops, followed by some Kung Fool fighting. Just when we think Okamura is down, his ruse works allowing him to disarm Frank. And Samurai has to kill Okamura which sends them back to the drawing board.

Uhm. Hello! Z’Dar-san killed several people, and attempted murder of police officers.

Cut to a second Katana meeting. The topic this time is their police problem. They can’t kill the cops, that would obviously be connected to them. Solution: call in the New York bruisers to break Samurai and Frank’s legs. Why this is less likely to be traced back to them, when they haven’t been arrested for killing their own guys and attempted murder of police—

Okay, fine. You get it. There’s a huge plot hole. I’ll move on. I’m just saying. Doesn’t anyone pay attention?

The next scene is a real head scratcher. Samurai is at movie studio, specifically in the editing room. Not surprising there’s no explanation. No context. Nothing. My guess is Samurai’s watching dailies of the film so far. Enter the New York Bruisers. Cue another gimpy fight. The bruisers, like their LA couterparts, are terrible shots, even up close with shotguns. This is laughable because Samurai moves slower than trying to pass a bowel movement composed of six pounds of steak.

But enough of that, the movie needs some lurvin’. Cut to Z’Dar-san and Ginger doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. If Okamura can get some strange why not number one Z’Dar-san? Sadly, like Okamura’s, his is interrupted. By a call from the boss. No time for tomfoolery. Fujiyama’s mullet may suggest there’s a party going on, but he is all bidness.

Now we’re at the Episcopal Church. Remember, Girlie couldn’t go on a date because she had church. Well, ever the smooth operator, and knowing Lions Head won’t be there to negatively affect his vibrations, Samurai catches her on the way out to her car. He uses the old, “I’ve got some police questions for you. They’re over here in my windowless van.” line.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Fujiyama’s man, who was there to pull the same ambush, witnesses the whole affair and runs home to tell on Samurai. All bets are off. Fujiyama wants Samurai dead.

At Samurai’s house we learn what Shervan considers a little romantic lunch: a stolen neighbor’s pet chicken, killed, de-feathered, and fried, a bag of wine, and some wax fruit. This starts a Samarai’s Gonna Get Some and The Bad Guys Are Closing In montage:

  • Z’Dar-san and hoodlums start at Sargent One-Line’s house to get Samurai’s address. No good. They kill Sargent One-Line and his wife. Z’Dar-san and gang split into two teams. One for Frank. The other for Pegboard Peggy.
  • Meanwhile, hot speedo action on the beach with Samurai and Girlie.
  • Hoodlums at Franks threaten to cut off his “black gift”. Frank’s too smooth for all that jive. Besides, someone’s got to warn Samurai.
  • Meanwhile, swimming in Samurai’s pool. Girlie shows her diving skills that lost her last place in the Special Olympics 1990. Awe-struck, Samurai doesn’t hear his phone ringing.
  • At Doozy Floozy’s, Trollop Peggy is frying up some ice cubes. She thwarts the hoodlums initial attacks on her. Goes for her gun, but they overpower her. They hold her down while Z’Dar-san pours hot grease on her bathing suit area. Knowing the Humped Strumpet’s proclivities, a deep-fried bologna curtain is worse than death, so he leaves her alive. Mostly. If you call a fried Pacman living.
  • Meanwhile, Samurai sings happy birthday to Girlie in his speedo. Ugh. I don’t know which is worse, the singing or the speedo. (Be warned, seeing both will burn the accursed images into your mind. FOREVER!) This sets things up for Samurai’s second helping of Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. Frank is good enough to wait postcoitus to call back.

Z’Dar-san and hoodlums show up just as Frank warns Samurai. Samurai and Girlie try to escape out the back window, only to be chased around the house Yakety Sax style. When all looks lost, Samurai gets the bright idea to go back inside, wait a moment, and then leave out the front. Samurai’s sweet Honda is in the driveway. Duh! They jump in and zoom off to safety.

Samurai drops Girlie off at the Blue Lagoon. Girlie’s mom has been worried sick about her. Girlie always comes straight home after church. And Mr. Fujiyama has been looking for her. How careless of Girlie. What about all the things Fujiyama’s done to help them out. But Girlie doesn’t care, the ungrateful jezebel. She’s in LURV. With Samurai!

Fujiyama was behind the door. He overheard. Duhn Duhn Duhn!

Samurai and Frank return to Captain Oscar Grouch for a final counsel. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Lose my job. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Breathing down my neck. Grumble, grumble grumble. All I care about is getting Fujiyama. Go on a killing spree. Burn his house into a blood bath. When it’s done we’ll all turn in our badges.”

Wait. What? Seriously?

At Fujiyama’s. Seriously. Can you guess what happens? Can’t shoot gun fight. Where does Fujiyama find these guys? As a last defense, Fujiyama uses Girlie as human shield. Samurai and Frank disarm and Fujiyama shoots Frank. He villain monologues before shooting Samurai, which gives Frank time to get his gun and shoot Fujiyama first.

But wait a minute. He shot Frank. We saw him fall. Well, yes and no. Sadly, this is the only time a bad guy’s bullet hits the mark, but, wait for it, Frank was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Insert Price Is Right Fail Dramatic Sting.

Finally, the final boss fight. Z’Dar-san vs Samurai. Z’Dar-san drives up in his Suzuki Samurai. Shervan just couldn’t help himself. There’s a long, dark walk of shame as Samurai and Z’Dar-san show off their Star Wars Kid style, that is, they flail their katanas around destroying the landscaping and a passing pigeon. Samurai wins, natch. As Samurai is about to finish Z’Dar-san off Frank stops him. “No, Samurai. Your a cop.”

‘Cos killing him would be wrong. Never mind the sponsored killing spree you were both just partaking of.

One final Sexy Sexy Speedo moment with Samurai and Girlie before fading to black.

This movie is the quintessential “so bad it’s good” movie. It is a must see for any MYSTie type, and will even go over well with those who are not necessarily fans of b-movies. I cannot stress it hard enough that you run to your favorite DVD seller and get your copy. AND, better still, according to Cinema Epoch, Samurai Cop is going on the Midnight Movie Circuit, so look for it in an art house theater near, or far, from you starting May 31, 2015.

roadside attractions

  • Hear! Samurai’s fluent Japanese when he translates words like Katana (“It means Japanese sword”)!
  • See! The unbelievable mansion, on the beach, in Los Angeles, that Samurai is renting while working on the Katana gang case. Consulting gigs are SUH-weet!
  • Thrill! At Good-to-Go Peggy’s magic drawer. At first it only contains an automatic pistol. Jump cut and it’s full of miscellaneous debris. Jump cut and she’s pulling out an old-time western revolver. David Copperfielderific!
  • Experience! The lack of continuity (AGAIN) in the final battle scene as Samurai’s gun changes from an automatic to a revolver to an automatic!
  • Feel! The stomach churning passion of hideous men doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums on actresses who didn’t sign up for this [puppy]!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

This movie is slathered in the old Louisiana Hot Sauce!

10

blood

BREASTS

The men are hi-deous. The womerns de-lovely and de-licious!

10

beast

BEASTS

Robert Z’Dar!

10 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Samurai Cop”

trailers

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