Apr

posted by General Relativity | April 19, 2013 | Action, New Releases, Reviews by General Relativity

Comments Off on Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

universal Solider Day of Reckoning

One of the weirdest action movies of the 2010s is an obscure almost-straight-to-dvd sequel to a little-loved 90s Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren conflagration. There have been five sequels to “Universal Soldier,” and outside of the original, which is mostly notable for being one of the few JCVD movies where our hero does not sport a mullet, I have only seen this one, and its not what you think…

universal Solider Day of ReckoningIt is true I saw this movie on altering substances, probably Tek or Snow Crash (it was a crazy night), but either way it was a grim experience that lingered for days. The best one sentence description would be: David Lynch and David Cronenberg decide to co-direct Philip K. Dick’s “The Bourne Identity,” as adapted by Ingmar Bergman, after a weekend of binge-watching “Last Year at Marienbad” on mushrooms and peyote. Obviously this movie is mandatory for all you knuckleheads.

It is strange that it took so long for the direct-to-dvd action genre, with its limited budgets and limited revenue potential, to turn out something this experimental and pretentious. And yet here we are presented with artist John Hyams, son of 80s b-giant Peter Hyams (he of “2010: The Year We Make Contact” and “The Relic” fame), who through some twisted genius and ambition decided to make a pulp horror film with nigh-unrivaled action sequences for our on-demand age.

Although JCVD and Dolph get top billing, the main character is Australian upstart Scott Adkins. Scott wakes from a sleep to witness his family slaughtered and his brains beat in. Did I mention that this sequence is filmed in the first-person perspective? Did I mention the seizure-inducing strobes? Scott emerges from a coma and decides to avenge his universal Solider Day of Reckoningfamily, descending into a Hieronymus Bosch netherworld governed by a psychotic Dolph Lundgren and some kind of Bizarro Van Damme from Hell. Both heroes have never been more deranged, perhaps because in spite of their top billing they obviously spent 2 hours filming their scenes before cashing out and rolling over for brunch at Spago.

This movie has visceral action. This is not the place for wimpy dance-fighting where actors flutter like delightful sprites while barely grazing each other with soft slaps. The fight scene in the sporting goods store must be seen to be believed.

The Lessons from “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning”:

-Are you an automaton or do you have free will?
-Is religion the path to truth or the means of control?
-Is the ideal goal of humanity an Übermensch or “die Letzte Mensch”? And if I am a “last man” what is so wrong with that, sometimes it gets cold and I like to cuddle in a quilt with my dog and watch Point Break, and who cares what some syphilitic German thinks about that anyway?
-What is even going on in this movie?
-WTF?!?!

roadside attractions

  • Pretentious art films starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Dolph Lundgren, Renaissance Man
  • Kabuki warpaint
  • Baseball bat swordfights
  • Nausea
  • Strobelights
  • Incoherent non-linear narrative
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Um. Don’t worry about that.

8

blood

BREASTS

Yeah, that happens, but I didn’t feel very clean about it.

10

beast

BEASTS

Jean Claude Van Damme as Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Bald, insane, babbling, sweaty. Also, whoever that dude with the beard is, he is pretty awesome

9 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoninge”

trailers

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Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 9, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Cult Film, Cult films, Podcast

Comments Off on Lost Highway Podcast 004 – Evil Dead (1981)

Join the Lost Highway mutant gang ( Giallo Goon,Barry Goodall, The Doktor, and Tiger Sixon) and our guest reviewer Sarah Erwin as they discuss the 1981 horror classic Evil Dead. Listen with the player below, or use the Download link to save a copy of the MP3 to your computer.

Download the Podcast
Subscribe to the podcast Feedburner Feed

Available in iTunes Soon

Apr

posted by The Goon | April 8, 2013 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, New Releases, Reviews by the Goon

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Fondue

I don’t understand all this hate for Canada. I’ve been there a few times and it’s a nice, quiet place and I always have a good time. After all, they have given us wonderful things like Bacon, Rush and poutine. Well now I would like to add another thing to that list: The films of young filmmaker Torin Langen. Usually when we think of Canadian films, The Final Sacrifice comes to mind, but I’m here to erase that memory from your mind and fill it with a pleasant one.

This memory in particular is a short I was fortunate enough to see entitled Fondue from Candle Flame Films. I wasn’t sure what Fondue was about, but having seen some of Torin’s previous work, such as Trash, I was pretty excited to view this. And let me tell you… I was blown away.

The film starts off with a young woman sitting quietly by herself on sidewalk of a busy city. A young man comes to meet her and the two frolic off to a department store where they pick up some creepy masks and some cheerful looking pumpkin buckets for Trick or Treating, giving you the indication that it’s probably for Halloween. However, the streets seem to be lacking any children, dressed as ghouls or goblins out and about haggling for candy door to door. It’s here that the pair dons there masks and walk side by side down some railroad tracks as they mark their hands with an ‘F’. They make their way to a house that looks like it should be in a Rob Zombie film as they bump into another young woman, also in a mask holding a bucket, as she is skipping away from the house. The three stare at each other for a moment and it’s at this moment when you realize how quiet the town seems and that something terrible could happen at any moment. The young girl just scoots pass them as they make their way up to the door.

Once at the house, someone in a mask invites the girl in as the boy waits outside. The interior of the house, desperately needing some interior decoration (maybe someone should call the guys from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). The girl is instructed to go upstairs after being handed an intense looking knife, hooked and bearing teeth similar to a saw. Once upstairs, she hesitates for a moment and stands in a doorway, very reminiscent of slasher villains Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Then we see what she was staring at: A young man, bound and gagged in a rusted, filthy bathtub, hooked up to some homemade IV. She advances with the knife and the film reveals its true nature.

Fondue was truly unnerving for the right reasons. For starters, the film’s muted color bring out the grey sky, the orange and brown of the dead leaves and the dried blood red house make you feel uncomfortable in your own surroundings, leaving you with a sense of dread that you are in constant danger. The only time we see the characters faces is at the beginning. These kids look innocent and harmless, but once they don their monster masks, which seem to fit their faces and personality, they turn into soulless beings capable of macabre things. Fondue is also void of any dialogue and the actors are forced to show emotion through masks, which is no easy task when no one speaks and is hiding their faces, but their eyes, peering beyond the masks (especially actress Raven Cousens) shakes you to your core.

Aside from the wind whipping dead tree branches, the sound or gravel and hardwood floors beneath their shoes and the occasional passing train, Fondue’s only soundtrack are very rusty guitar strings, reminding me of Neil Young, matches the tone, both visually and viscerally.

Overall, the film was an eerie experience and had sort of a Jim Jarmusch vibe to it, mixed with a little bit of Hitchcock tension. Fondue is respectually getting the recognition it deserves and turning heads (and stomachs) at film festivals all over. Keep your eye for this one and on the director/writer Torin Langen. That kid is going places, I tell ya.

roadside attractions

  • Monster Mask Mania
  • Homemade IV Goodness
  • Fondue Dipping Fun
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

Everyone, everything… except the dude in the tub.

7

blood

BREASTS

If you count that one boob in the bathtub.

9

beast

BEASTS

Everyone, everything… except the dude in the tub.

8.1 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Fondue”

trailers

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Apr

posted by admin | April 1, 2013 | Action

Comments Off on Popular movie casino scenes

When it comes to casinos in movies, there is a clear distinction between those films – such as the 1995 movie Casino, and the 1998 one Croupier – which are all about these establishments and gambling, and those which simply feature a single key scene set in a casino. When it comes to the latter there is no question that one of the most famous examples would be Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. This scene is famous because of the spectacular card counting abilities of Hoffman’s autistic character, as well as his adverse reaction the flashing lights and noises of the casino environment, and it provides key insight into both his character and that of his selfish brother (Cruise).
The remake of Ocean’s Eleven which was directed by Stephen Soderbergh on the other hand, is set almost entirely in the casinos of Las Vegas, but the film is not really about casino gambling. Instead it is about a gamble to rob one of these casinos, and the poker scene which takes place early in the film, establishes the character qualities of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) which will lead him to attempt a lunatic stunt of this kind. Like other famous movie casino scenes – such as the one from the James Bond film Casino Royale – it is not especially realistic from an actual gambling point of view, but it is certainly cinematic.
The scene in Casino Royale is absolutely pivotal to the plot, as the villain Le Chiffre that Bond is playing against plans to use his winnings to fund terrorist activities. This scene has been greeted by some scepticism amongst enthusiastic online casino gamblers, but Bond films have never really had anything to do with reality. The purpose of the scene is not to provide poker instruction, but to create a sense of tension and excitement in the movie, and in that it succeeds brilliantly.

Mar

posted by Tiger Sixon | March 29, 2013 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon

Comments Off on Sssssss

sssssss

You gotta love any film with a title consisting of just one repeated letter. Sssssss (1973) is on that list, along with XXX and…uh…AAA: The Movie (the towing scenes are GREAT).

That’s seven S’s, kids and don’t you forget it. As the row of S’s suggests, Sssssss is about, you guessed it, snakes. Now, y’all might think a b-movie about snakes like this would be just chuck full of puppets, garden hoses with googly eyes, or toy snakes. Wrong. Sssssss prides itself on using real snakes. Real venomous snakes no less, like the Black Mamba and the King Cobra. In fact, there is a big disclaimer at the front of the film stating the use of real snakes—and you can tell they are real. This film was shot in the 1970s, and fake snakes looked like fake snakes back then.

Fans of The A-Team and the original Battlestar Galactica, take note: Dirk Benedict is the young star of this here feature. And I do mean young—he looks straight outta high school. Benedict gets the gig as crazy snake doctor Strother Martin’s assistant (only three S’s? Lame). Martin has a filmography longer than an anaconda, and is perhaps best remembered as the “Failure to communicate” guy from Cool Hand Luke (he’s also in Slap Shot and The Wild Bunch).

snake milking sssssssMartin has other companions too, mainly his daughter, played by Sound of Music‘s Heather Menzies, and his “obedient serpent” Harry. Yes, obedient serpent. Harry is prone to drinking whiskey throughout the film, which is worth a watch on its own, and I’m sure inspired Nickolas Cage’s performance in Leaving Las Vegas.

The awkward snake lingo doesn’t stop with obedient serpent, either. Lines like, “I’ll milk you tomorrow,” and “Put your finger in there,” slither throughout the film. In addition to Martin’s hilarious snake-speak, Benedict suffers through a few crazy hallucinations scenes—complete with stock footage of volcanos and other weird stuff.

sssssss

Two scenes really stand out, however. Actually. Three. First, is a scene where Martin has a duel with a King Cobra. A real King Cobra, no less. Sure, there’s some creative shooting and editing going on, and probably a puppet shot or two, but it is still impressive. Second, there is a scene involving an alleged ‘snake-man’ at a freak show. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say it is down right creepy. Third, and this is something really special, is the skinny dipping scene with Benedict and Menzies.

Don’t get your hopes up. Instead of seeing what nature gave the pair, laughable graphics of huge leaves are superimposed over anything questionable. It is a sight to behold.

Sssssss is a hoot and insanely entertaining, so give it a watch—but ya might wanna pass if’n ya suffer from a fear of snakes. I’m lookin’ at you, Dr. Jones.


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

roadside attractions

  • Toothless Mechanics
  • Creepy Profs Hitting on Students
  • Killer Snakes
  • Transformations
  • Hallucinations
  • Green Skin
  • Sideshow Freaks
  • Slo-mo Snake-shower-scene
  • Snakes Drinking Whiskey
  • Dancing Girls
  • Leaves Covering Naughty Bits
  • Squeaky Snakes
  • Real Snakes
  • Confusing Venomous and Poisonous
  • Dirk Benedict Biting People
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

There isn’t too much blood throughout the whole film, but things do get nasty here and there, especially with the snakebites.

2

blood

BREASTS

The carnival scene features a top heavy dancer in a skimpy outfit, but she keeps covered up. There is implied nudity in the skinny dipping scene.

10

beast

BEASTS

Snakes, snakes, and more snakes. There are snakes everywhere. It is like Showgirls, but with snakes instead of dancing girls.

6.66 OVERALL
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About the Highway

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