Archive for the 'Review by Drive-in Dan' Category

Jul

Comments Off on “The Manster” a.k.a. “The Split” Rest Stop Edition

Tokyo is being terrorized by a crazed beast. But this time it’s not Gojira, he needed to use up some vacation time and took the day off.

A deranged scientist (aren’t they all that way in these movies) has finally run out of family members to do experiments on and he really needs a new lab rat to continue his “important” work. Conveniently, a “dumb as a stick” writer shows up at his house to do an article about him. Not long after arriving, the mad scientist who’s also known as Dr. Suzuki offers him a drink that’s been laced with a “ruffie” and after a couple of sips he passes out. Jeez! What a lightweight. While Larry (that’s the guy’s name) is unconscious Mr. “I can give you a great deal on a boat, atv, car or motorcycle” Suzuki shoots him up with some kind of genetic experiment, similar to those govt. flu vaccinations.

The mad scientist, who also earns extra cash as a pimp on the side doesn’t want his petri dish on two legs to leave Tokyo, so he keeps him busy by serving up plenty of ho’s and Saki. He even offers Larry his prized egg roll, an assistant named Tara. A day or so after the injection strange things begin happening to Larry. He goes from being a mild mannered Professor Klump type of person to an abusive womanizer who runs around assaulting random women. I think he’s been hanging around Charlie Sheen too much. Then late one night after getting his fill of the Geisha buffet, Larry goes home and discovers a nasty looking rash on his shoulder. That what he gets for not using some kind of protection. Luckily, for him the rash goes away but then an eyeball sprouts out of his shoulder. Hey, aren’t “third eyes” supposed to appear in the middle of the head? Well, it probably got lost trying follow Map Quest directions. Anyway, things continue to get worst when other symptoms start showing up like a hairy palm and finger nails that grow as long as Wolverine’s claws. Now, I just checked out Larry’s symptoms on Web MD and I was wrong, it’s not an STD. Maybe, he’s going through puberty again???

Well, I’m not to sure what’s goin’ on here, but the movie starts to get Tom Cruise jumpin’ on Oprah’s couch freaky when a little shrunken head sporting some bad looking teeth (must be British) pops outta Larry’s shoulder like a stripper bursting from a big birthday cake. And before you can say double trouble, the crazed duo are destroying public property Chris Brown style and murdering various people on the street using the Ripper’s as in Jack the Ripper’s MO. Soon the police are hot on their trail like Wynona Ryder after a shop lifting spree. But after awhile Larry tires of the freakshow life style and decides to call it quits with his new BBF. Apparently, two heads aren’t better than one. That’s a real shame. They seemed so happy together. Counseling isn’t an option as Larry quickly splits with his other half using a tree trunk like a crowbar to pry himself apart. Well, at least they won’t have to pay for divorce attorneys. A newly single, and back on the market Larry watches from a distance as the Trog wannabe steals his girlfriend Tara and they both take the Nestea plunge into a volcano. Then the credits immediately roll for what has to be the fastest ending that I’ve ever seen in a movie that still has me wondering if the director ran outta film?

Half Man, Half Monster, a 100% pure B-movie cheese.

Roadside Attractions:

– A double-header villian
– Random murders
– 1 crazy scientist
– 1 scorned wife
– Extreme Saki drinking
– Supersized lee press on nails
– Plenty of DIY make-up effects
– 1 eyeball on the shoulder gag
– 1 hairy palm
– Creepy Thermin music
– Geisha girl bloodbath
– A head sprouts out of a shoulder
– A guy wearing a hokey gorilla costume


Unfortunately, a trailer isn’t available even though this movie is in the public domain.

Feb

Comments Off on Shocker

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“Well, she warned Horace to stop staring at her chest”

Once again, Wes fails to impress with his 1989 Nightmare on Elm Street knock-off called “Shocker.”

While showing off some Deon Sanders style moves during football practice, future Heisman trophy winner Jonathan Parker hits his head on a goal post harder than a K.O. punch from Mike Tyson and suddenly without any explanation at all becomes a crime-solving clairvoyant. Could it be one of those famous Craven plot holes? Or, maybe Jonboy suffered temporary amnesia after hitting his head… Anyway, Jonathan uses a kind of psychic GPS in his dreams to track down and help catch a serial killer who’s been eluding the entire police department in his hometown.

Later that evening, Horace arrives at the “big house” for the prison BBQ they’re having in his honor the next morning. Man, that was fast. No trial, no courthouse hearing or any kind of legal proceedings… Even suspected witches in Salem got a trial. And we all know how those witch trials usually turned out ( the ol’ burned at the stake routine), but at least they got a trial. Well, time is running out for Pinker just like retail chain Circuit City and he better do something fast before he becomes fuel for that big furnace down below because he sure isn’t visiting that big antenna in the sky. So, Horace does what any Death Row inmate who’s about to be executed would do, he decides to catch up on his soaps which seems harmless enough, right? However, when the prison guards arrive to escort Horace to his date with death they see him getting the shock of his life from a television set. Could it be a Poltergeist from the netherworld who got angry after finding out he really wasn’t Carol Anne? Is it a possible suicide attempt? Or, did he get caught stealing cable from cable provider Comcraptic? Hey, wait a second… Why is he kneeling in front of what appears to be a makeshift altar with buring candles and several open books scattered on the floor? Hmmm… I’m not really sure what’s going on here, but something doesn’t seem right.

So, after finishing up his farewell tour and grabbing a quick bite to eat (two fingers and a lip) from the guards, Horace gets strapped in and prepares for ignition. And just as the festivities are about to get under way, Pinker reveals a truly shocking revelation like something from one of his favorite daytime soaps. That he is…”Dun, da, Dun” Jonathan’s father. Sadly, though the heart-warming reunion doesn’t last very long as the executioner pulls the lever and Horace rides the lightning which causes his body to convulse like a bobble head figure sitting on a rodeo bull during an earthquake. Not surprisingly, in true horror movie fashion it appears that the execution attempt has failed after only a few seconds. Immediately, the prison doctor goes to check his vital signs. Little does she know that Horace was only warming up and is about to do his own version of Shock n’ Awe. He quickly knocks the doc out and then vanishes under a shocktacular cover of electrical flashes and thick smoke like a ninja who has watched one too many David Copperfield television specials. But, before you can say free jelly doughnuts, every available law enforcement officer at the prison charges into the execution chamber room looking for the deep-fried demon. When Pinker is finally discovered, he bursts into flames and leaves behind an extra crispy meat suit in a scene that’ll remind you of Freddy’s exit at the end of Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Apparently, hothead Horace couldn’t handle being in the hot seat.

Thanks to some black magic shenanigans via a telecast from the Darkside, Pinker has returned from the dead after a short commercial break. Now, you didn’t really think that Horace was using those candles and books for aromatherapy or mediation, did you? We soon find out that during the confusion of the botched execution, Horace possessed the injured prison doctor and left the “Slammer” undetected as she was put in the back of a police car and taken to a hospital for treatment. While chilling out in the doc’s body and recharging his batteries, Pinker/Doc suddenly lurches forward, killing the other officer who’s riding shotgun, and then forces Officer Pastori to crash into a fuel tanker which causes a huge Michael Bay style explosion that nearly knocked me out of my seat. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for emergency and law enforcement personnel on the scene to find Pastori alive, not too far away from the smoldering wreckage. Amazingly, he has sustained very little physical damage to his body, not even a flash burn. It’s a good thing that he remembered to put on his fire retardant gel that morning before leaving for work because you never know when an electrically charged up psycho is going to take over your body and crash the car your driving into a tanker filled with flammable fuel. Soon, the movie short-circuits into supernatural silliness as Pinker body-jacks (an idea he got after watching the Hidden) bodies left and right in his quest to re-connect with Jonathan and make up for all of those missed birthdays and holidays. Will Father and Son meet again? To be continued…

Well, I would be “Sleepless on Lost Highway” if I left you guys and gals with a cliffhanger like that. So, here it is… Father Horace and Son Jonathan do reunite for a final time in a clever EFX sequence that has them battling it out WWE style (but I won’t say who gets canceled) as they channel surf through old television reruns that plays like a kid with ADD who got their hands on a TV remote after drinking a six pack of Jolt Cola. And while this TV Land action spectacle won’t make your heart race with suspense, it will give you a good laugh, and showed that Wes did have a brief creative spark during the filming process. The rest of the visual effects are so bad that if the effects saw their own reflections, they would immediately pull the plug on themselves. Also, don’t expect any scares in this one. The only way you would jump during any part of this movie is if you accidentally sat on a “live wire.”

And since Craven doesn’t give us any memorable screen exits or T & A, (not even a pair of perky nipples poking through a t-shirt) the best part of this movie is without a doubt the soundtrack that has bands like Megadeth who do a respectable cover of Alice Cooper’s rock classic, “No More Mr. Nice Guy. So, if you’re a fan of music from the 80’s seek out a copy of this high voltage, bang your head until snaps off soundtrack. If you want to see Craven when his movies were a nightmare scarier or a scream louder than the competition, then check out horror gems like “Last House on the Left”, “The Hills Have Eyes”(original) or his mainstream horror classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

In the end Wes just carried too much cinematic baggage from his earlier efforts into this production which prevented Shocker from being it’s own movie.



– 1 Seriously wet dream
– 1 Plug n’ Slay serial killer
– 1 Mother and Daughter demonic possession
– 1 Foul-mouthed kid
– 2 Kicks in the gnads
– 1 Botched execution
– 1 Power of love punch
– 1 Faked heart attack

Rated 2.0 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Shocker



Nov

posted by admin | November 29, 2008 | 80's movies, Horror movies, Review by Drive-in Dan

Comments Off on 976-Evil


“Demonic possession is good for boosting low self-esteem and settling scores with old enemies, but unfortunately, it’s bad for your skin.”

With psychic, chat, and sex hotlines gaining popularity in the late 80’s, it wasn’t long before the “for entertainment purposes only” trend inspired a horror movie involving a 976 number. And that’s exactly what we get with “976-Evil.” Though the movie should’ve been titled “976-Awful.” This was a huge directorial dud from Springwood’s resident nightmare man, Robert Englund, who took a brief break from harvesting the souls of sleeping Elm Street children to helm this crappy little horror flick.

Things get started when a dweeb named Hoax (Stephen Geoffreys) starts playing a deadly game of Satan Says after calling what appears to be a harmless horoscope hotline. And with the help of his spiritual advisor from Hell, it isn’t long before he’s dialing up some good ol’ supernatural revenge against his abusers.

The mostly mid-twenties cast looks like audition rejects from any number of 80’s movies. First up we have a bathroom bully and amateur card shark who thinks he is “Duckie” from “Pretty in Pink.” Another guy at the poker game reminded me of Ivan Drago from “Rocky 4” without the Russian accent, and about 65 lbs lighter, like he went on some kind of crazy all grapefruit diet. Spike (Patrick O’Bryan) is an “Eddie and the Cruisers” greaser-type and has a full-time job defending his wimpy cousin, Hoax, from the bathroom bullies at school. When this soft-hearted bad boy isn’t saving helpless geeks from being humiliated, he enjoys toying with his girlfriend’s, Suzie’s, emotions, and spends late nights gambling away his self-respect and personal belongings at high-stakes poker games. Suzie is a short-haired blonde cutie who dresses like she raided Cindy Lauper’s closet. This fashion-trendy girl just wants to have fun two-timing her boyfriend, Spike, and teasing us movie viewers by barely showing her little half-pints for the camera. Even though these characters had about as much appeal and depth as a scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker, the film does provide one colorful personality, an amped-up Bible-beater named Aunt Lucy (Sandy Dennis), who looks like a cross between “Mimi” from “The Drew Carey Show” and the demented cafeteria lady from high school, who worked or still works the lunch line. Her onscreen performance is so campy, you’ll want to stake a tent and roast some marshmallows.

Many of the deaths, like the one involving a neon pitchfork sign, had all the excitement and visual flare of an Amish fashion show. Kevin Yagher (“Sleepy Hollow”, “Mission Impossible 2″) was the effects supervisor on this production, but it didn’t look like he was doing much supervising. Unfortunately, we get several lame kills that had the energy of a weak cell phone signal, and were in desperate need of a blood transfusion. Next are a couple of failed cheesy poker humor gags involving a deadman’s hand and a pair of human hearts that were about as funny as being awakened at 3 in the morning by a drunk person calling the wrong number. The film’s only decent curtain call occurs at the very beginning, with a guy bursting into flames like the Hindenburg, after making the fatal mistake of not returning the Dark Master’s phone calls. Sadly, there were kills that felt tacked on in order to beef-up a skinny running time. An example is the death of a lady walking down a street who gets julienned by some flying glass shards after finding out that when you’re on the Devil’s calling plan, roaming charges are killer. Although the film has several misses in the kill department, there is one curtain call involving Suzie’s deadly dinner date with a group of spiders that almost hits the target. However it ended up being about as effective as using a toy cap gun at a skeet shoot competition. It’s a real shame, too, because if the scene had been handled by a director who understood how to film scenes of terror, the sequence could have caused a”heebie jeebee’s” reaction similar to the cockroaches segment, “They’re creeping up on you,” from the movie “Creepshow.” But, instead of grabbing a can of Raid, I was reaching for a Red Bull so I could stay awake during this mess of a bore-fest. And while we’re on the subject of misses and near misses, the film does have one truly cringe-worthy scene. It involves the newly possessed “Hell Geek”, a.k.a. Hoax, having a Freddy Krueger moment as he gives a bathroom bully a close shave using his supersized demon claw. Now, maybe director Robert Englund thought he was being clever but, the Krueger homage was so stale it would make a dinner roll from the Last Supper found today seem fresh.

Also, this movie has absolutely no scares or suspense whatsoever. The only scary thing worth mentioning is where director Englund and crew filmed the crack house interior shots for the movie theater and high school bathroom. The locations looked so disgusting that I wanted to pause the movie and visit a free clinic to make sure that I didn’t catch anything. Seriously, a sewer pipe would think twice before backing up in any of these places. Then there is the issue of the film’s dial-up-connection-like pacing. I could be watching this movie, go into a coma for 5 years, wake up, and I’d still only be half-way through the movie. Unfortunately, what started out as a cool movie title and premise, quickly turned into an incoherent disaster of throw-away scenes, piss-poor acting, and amateur looking visual effects. And when the end credits began marching on screen, I was wishing that this number had been disconnected.

Don’t expect to find Miss Cleo, or anyone from the Psychic Frauds Network, manning the phones when you dial this number.

Roadside Attractions

– Killer icicle chandler
– Robo-caller from hell
– Hell actually does freeze over
– Supersized demon hands
– Reckless use of a moped
– Raining fish from the sky
– Electrifying death by neon pitchfork sign
– A severed hand
– A pair of human hearts
– Wheels of death Camaro

Rated 3.0 out of 10


Check out the trailer for 976-Evil

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Jun

posted by admin | June 20, 2008 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Drive-in Dan

Comments Off on Drive-In Dan brings you his premiere review of “Blood Dolls”

Blood Doll

No, this isn’t an exclusive never-before-seen photo from the new “Honey, I Shrunk My Head” movie. It’s Virgil Travis who was shaken, not stirred as a test tube baby.

Head puppeteer Charles Band of Full Moon Pictures (now Full Moon Features) brings us yet another unnecessary killer doll movie with 1999’s “Blood Dolls.”

This is your typical out-for-revenge billion-are genetic freak who falls in love with his rival’s power-hungry dominatrix wife story, along with a supporting cast of deadly dolls and sideshow rejects that would make even P.T. Barnum feel at home.

The movie opens as software magnate Virgil Travis (Jack Maturin, a.k.a. “Chris”), who wears a latex mask that looks like “Destro” from G.I Joe with a bad case of the chicken pox, has just gotten the short end of an anti-trust ruling.  He seeks retribution with the help of his mini-slaughter squad against those who have double-crossed him (including the judge and prosecutor on the case).  The film suffers from “CGD” (Confused Genre Disorder).  It doesn’t know what it wants to be, and plays like a series of poorly-edited movie clips from a miscellaneous genre compilation DVD.  My gut feeling (not the bad burrito I ate) tells me that this film was thrown together using cannibalized parts from different scripts in order to make a quick buck and launch a new line of toy figures.

There really aren’t a lot of notable action scenes involving the “trio of terror”, except for a “Triple-Doll Dare” that goes horribly wrong, leaving Pimp (a 70’s Blaxploitation-style doll) with a barbecued noggin’, courtesy of a flame-throwing lawn ornament, in a scene reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Pepsi commerical accident.  The Blood Dolls, designed by Mark Williams, look great and each character is an overblown racial stereotype that will no doubt  have the PC Police in a tizzy.  Unfortunately, the dolls take a backseat to the human dummies in the film with a screen time of less than 5 minutes.  In most cases if you blink you’ll miss them, kinda like Mike Tyson’s 90-second annihilation of Michael Spinks.

One of the brief highlights in the film comes from veteran actor Nicholas Worth (George Warbeck), who delivers some of the best and funniest lines in the movie. The bad news is that Warbeck’s personal security team is so inept  they would make Barney Fife and Gomer from “The Andy Griffith Show” look like trained assassins.   “Squires”, the lead guard, couldn’t hit a target if it was attached to the barrel of his gun, and second-in-command “Security Guy” (actual name) is a comic-book-reading rookie guard who is so dumb, he’d trip over a wireless connection.  In the movie they’re hired to “protect” a multi-million dollar mansion, but I wouldn’t let either one of these losers guard a cheap pack of chewing gum.

As if things weren’t already weird enough with a Bible-thumpin’ clown-faced assassin, an eye-patch-wearing “guard dwarf” with anger management issues, an S&M couple (Harrison and Moira Yullin), and killer dolls, director Band adds an imprisoned all-girl house band to the mix, which is forced (by electrical shock) to perform music selections at the request of their demented master.   When the girls (a slutty version of the Spice Girls) aren’t doing a mean Milli Vanilli lip-synching impersonation, or having extreme wet towel fights while fully clothed, they spend most of their time being trapped in bad music videos.  I’m pretty sure that Venesa  Talor as “Cotton Baby” had a “show boobs” clause in her contract (which wasn’t a problem, being that she is a former stripper) because at 3 minutes 57 seconds into the film, she has a spontaneous “boob-bustion” for no apparent reason, other than to fill a nudity quota of some kind.  It happens so fast it makes Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” look like a full-length feature.

From the first time we meet the Yullins it’s very obvious that Moira (Debra Mayer) is the one pulling all the strings in their relationship, and Harrison is merely a figurehead to his malevolent wife’s ambitions of world domination.  When this oddest of couples isn’t engaged in fetish role play, Mistress Moira sells her soft-core dominatrix videos online, and  Harrison teaches “Creepy Laughing 101” at the local college, and also practices the fine art of goofy facial ticks.  Although actress Debra Mayer does an absolutely terrific job at modeling a variety of sexy-looking S&M outfits throughout the movie, most of her scenes and dialog with Virgil are so painful you’ll be begging for a morphine drip.

If you’re a fan of films from Full Moon’s glory days, then revisit some of their earlier classics like “Trancers 2”, “Puppet Master”, or “Subspecies” and avoid this shoddy mess of ridiculous subplots and bad directing.

Keep an eye out for….

– Terrifying use of flexible metallic conduit
– Soul-powered dolls
– Jack Attack’s clown makeup from “Demonic Toys”
– Spontaneous boobustion
– Robo-Rotary Tool of Death
– Creepy Laughing 101
– S&M Web of Death
– Song about a killer female sex organ
– Extreme wet towel fights
– Appearance by a Sith probe droid
– Daredevil stunt dwarf
– Dollman comic book cameo
– Dominatrix fashion show
– Jaw-dropping twist ending
– Falling dumbbells
– Surprise appearances by film crew and equipment


rated 2.5 out of 10 for the movie

Watch the trailer for Blood Dolls.

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