Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Catwoman - 2002

250 calls for something special right?  This movie was a thorough mistake.  I'll say that, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed behind my back too.

Remember back when I liked Mortal Kombat: Annihilation?  That movie and this one are sort of blood brothers.  They're the bastard children of a craze that bred them then denied their existence.  Catwoman was born from a newly revamped interest in all things comic book brought on of course, by Spiderman, and the upcoming Batman Begins.  Of course they'd do a Catwoman movie!

I remember people giving this movie shit because Halle Berry was black and was gonna play Catwoman.  As if her fucking racial background matters.  I did notice though that because the main star was black there was significantly more R&B and rap in the soundtrack.  If it was say Nicole Kidman, the soundtrack would've been way damn different.

There's a perverse side of me that enjoyed this movie.  You know, it's pure early 2000's bliss.  The flash editing that is juxtaposed against the ridiculous "dramatic" plot.  Like, if you're going to have all this supposed "realism" why is everything flash edited?  Those two things do not go together.  Okay, I'll admit it, I've had a couple'a cocktails.

Have you ever watched a movie for the first time, yet you inexplicably knew the next piece of dialogue, called what would happen next, or known exactly how the movie would go?  I think we've all been there once or twice.  The thing is, some movies are so simple and so average we know what we're getting from ten minutes, five minutes, one minute in.  This is one of those.  This movie, I seriously just predicted a quote from it and I'm only half paying attention since I'm writing this review as I watch it.

This movie has everything:  the typically full of himself male bad-guy.  The faux feminist agenda main characters that only talk about the men they're fucking.  The "breaking boundaries" action star that's female, but kept in line by being a male fantasy: wears skimpy clothing, acts like a seductress, and even makes regular references to kinky sex and submission.  In short, the dialogue is fucking terrible.  There's also the collection of hollow secondary characters, and even a hollow villain.  Sharon Stone fills out the cast as a aging woman who is ignored by her husband.  Typical Hollywood bullshit or searing indictment against all men everywhere?  I leave it to the viewer to judge.

The worst sin this movie committed in my eye was the CGI cats though.  Now, you know, I get it.  There's a phrase that goes "herding cats" meaning that cats are difficult to control and having them in movies is hard.  But seriously, they looked like goddamn cartoons.  Just rework the script or something to where they were in smaller roles, or spend some of your Halle Berry money on a good looking cat.  Jesus fucking christ.

This movie had me in good spirits for the first part of it, but ultimately it was also too long.  The fun factor wears thin and pretty soon you're just staring at it, waiting.  It's obvious how it's gonna go, so you're just staring at the clock as scene after scene goes just as predicted.  So I would highly recommend the fast forward button at times.  But that aside, 2 2000's era stars.

The Naked Witch - 1961

Welcome back and a warm round of applause to Larry Buchanan, a man who I simply cannot decide if he is talented or not.  This is my third Larry Buchanan film after It's Alive and Curse of the Swamp Creature.  This was also an early nudie film, one where the big appeal was to see a actual real live topless girl!  Oooh!  Flock commence!  That was rare in the day though, and this movie was successful.

A student is driving out in rural Texas, researching some German communities that have settled there, as part of his college synopsis.  Wow, what a fucking boring synopsis?!  Study of German settlers in Texas?  Jesus fuck, that there is some good insomnia cure.  Anyhow, he goes to this tiny town and talks to a family.  They have a young girl about his age named Kirska, and she is attracted to him and wants to help him.  He specifically is asking about witches, which is a big hush hush in the eyes of the parents, so the student (he didn't have a name to my memory) has to figure out a lot on his own and from Kirska.

Soon enough, Student man stumbles upon a grave of a witch.  She is buried with a stone dagger of some sort dug into her, and obviously the guy takes the dagger out.  The witch rises from the grave, he runs away, and she is out seducing and killing people.  She is, as the title says, naked.  Leer away, young men, as the shots show next to nothing for the next 45 minutes!  That's right, you don't see anything for a super long time.

Finally, we get to the topless swimming scene about 10 minutes away from the end.  It does go on for quite a length of time, I will say that.  Here's an extremely bad photo of some nudity:
The girl has a nice body, and it's only a tad creepy to think this was shot 55 years ago, and this woman is either dead or extremely old.  *One minute of research goes by* She was apparently in a film in 2015, so my guess is that she is still alive.  Say she was in hear early 20's here, 22, that makes her 77 now.  I wonder how those titties are looking these days?

Movies like this led to Hollywood changing their rating systems time and time again, and honestly this is a very early example of a real film (not a short, not a exploitation thingy, not a nudist film, etc) where nudity was involved.  In that way you could say it was progressive, even though it's not like this film was really "known" then or now.  The Hays Code was enforced and was not allowing any real nudity until 1968, so this was a under the radar little exploitation flick that got away with it by being independently made and shown.

Other than that piece of info on this film, it was a pretty traditional early horror film.  There is some tension, the characters are okay, and the film flows with a decent amount of timing.  Without the nudity it's still watchable, and it would have to be because the nudity is only there for about 5 minutes.  The actors are okay, and the film doesn't look that shitty.  It's minimal, about 4 main characters, and nothing really noteworthy about it.  Which, for Larry Buchanan, is slightly disappointing.  But still, I'll recommend it.  3 stars.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Mighty Peking Man - 1977

In 1976 King Kong was released in the US, starring Jeff Bridges, and it was a success.  It didn't get the awesomest reviews, but it was popular enough to spawn this Chinese rip off which was produced by the Shaw Brothers.  They had recently gained a lot of success in their release of Infra Man, which you may remember did not do a ton for me as a movie.  Anyhow, the Shaw brothers rushed out a fairly awful Kong ripoff, and here we go.  This will join Konga and Queen Kong in my King Kong ripoffs alumni.

I did not plan this out, either.  It's not like I said to myself, you know it's been a while since I saw a King Kong ripoff.  Actually, I was going to begin this blog talking about how, even if you're a really big fan of kaiju films like I am, there are always the ones out there that have escaped you and you haven't seen.  I use the term kaiju loosely here to describe basically any giant monster film, not just those made in Japan.

I discovered this on my endless hunt for giant monster films that are unknown of and not filmed in the US.  This is a relatively short list, honestly.  There's a few random ass films that are newer, and a tiny bit more that are older like this one.  There is a list I should make, random ass giant monster films that are non-Japanese and non-US.  However, there are also the lesser known Japanese giant monster films which are passed over as well.  One of these days.  Yep, one of them that's not today.

Mighty Peking Man is only slightly modified from King Kong.  In it, a Chinese group comes to an island, where Peking Man lives with his regular sized white girl Samantha.  She got to the island via a crashed airplane and thus grew up there, she doesn't speak English at first, but still falls in love with Chinese expedition man Johnnie.  Ah Pi is the name of the monster in this, and soon enough Johnnie wants to take Ah Pi back to society where he can be exploited for mooooonay.  Samantha just wants to be with Johnnie so she lets this happen, in the mean time the guys Johnnie sells Ah Pi to take advantage of the both of them, and soon enough Ah Pi sees Samantha in trouble and goes on his rampage.

Ah Pi looks pretty shitty, let's get that out of the way.  Much worse than Konga, more like Queen Kong really.  It's a pretty bad costume, especially the face.
"I like jello."

There is a tiny bit of nudity from Samantha once, but generally this plays out as an almost PG movie.  Which, coincidentally, did not do much for me in my extremely tired, slightly irritated mood.  I really feel in the mood right now for something that's bloody, intense, filled with lots of full frontal nudity, and the word "cunt" should be used at least 30 times.  I need something extreme!!!  But that's just how I am right now.  As a cheapy sci fi, this gets a whatever rating of 2.5 stars.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Just Before Dawn - 1981

So I checked out Just Before Dawn on youtube the other day, in my effort to actually get shit that is on my watch list crossed off.  This film was done by Blue Sunshine director Jeff Lieberman, who also did Squirm and Satan's Little Helper.  And I write this review while heavily under the influence of early 80's pop band Level 42!!!!!

This movie had the ingredients all right.  You could tell by watching it that it wasn't just a carbon copy of something else.  Okay, it had some elements of Friday the 13th and or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Whatev.  Did I mention I rewatched Texas Chainsaw Massacre on this blog yet? I dunno if I did.  Hm.  That was a fucking groundbreaking film right there.  Number one, the thing people might not think about, what the camera work and the sounds.  It's shot in a extremely stylistic, very nauseating way.  Extreme close ups, shaky cam before it was cool, that movie broke some fucking ground.

Back to Just Before Dawn.  JBD has that typical beginning, a group of 5 friend are piled into an RV on their way to visit the mountain land.  On their way they encounter the helpful stranger that warns them against it (George Kennedy), then the crazed local who has seen the threat ahead of them but can't simply choke out the words "there is a crazed fucking killer up there, don't go."  So the horny 5 friends drive on up, and head out to see the land.  They're just doing their thing, camping, hooking up, wandering around.  But then they discover an old church with a dead guy in it, and start hearing weird sounds all over, and soon enough there's a huge lumbering dude who's hacking peeps with a machete, as well as some crazy hillbillies who want the 5 of them outta there.

The music is done by Terminator guy Brad Fiedel. It's one of the best parts of the film, perhaps non-coincidentally.  Things like that help the movie along, as well as the early presence of the killer.  Although, this does do the "classic" of having a kill early on, then having plot for like 45 minutes before the killer comes a-swinging back for more.

(spoilers)
I will say they did some interesting, and not seen anywhere else innovations with the killer guy.  There's a cool little subplot about twins, which I think should have been mentioned more, but the crazed twist in the end is that there are in fact two killers, and they're twins.  It's interesting enough of a twist, and I can't say that I've seen a movie with killer twins much, besides that movie Bloody Birthday.

Wow.  I was just on IMDb, look at how many horror movies (most of them slashers) came out in 1981, to capitalize on the craze:
My Bloody Valentine (February)
Bloody Birthday (April)
Graduation Day (May)
Happy Birthday to Me (May)
The Burning (May)  great little film right here, probably 4 stars
Final Exam (June)
Don't Go in the Woods (September)
Night School (September)
Just Before Dawn (October)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow (October)
Nightmare (October)
The Prowler (November)

That took way too long to look up.  Anyways.  This movie was good, but I think I'd built up a lot of anticipation for it.  The pacing isn't the best, and the kills are pretty bland for the most part.  The atmosphere is very meh too.  The killer is okay, but not a lot of presence besides cutting people.  There's a brief topless scene.  The kill fodder, the 5 friends, are pretty weak and you won't care about them.  So basically, it's very average, so 3 stars.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Impossible Kid - 1982

I've written in the past about my hatred for the portmanteau of words in exploitation.  Just because it involves nuns, Canadians, Bruce Lee, etc, does not mean it needs to be called nunsploitation, Canuxploitation, or Bruceploitation.  And yet, I don't know of a term for exploitation of midgets?  Well Im'a google it.  Let's see.  Midgetsploitation.  What do you know, jack shit.  See, my point exactly, wha-bam.

This movie is not abashed with the shit it rips off either.  Whether it's the Pink Panther theme, James Bond, or just about any other spy movie.  It also features a villain who looks like a KKK member.  But the real, for real attraction here is Weng Weng, the midget actor and main star of this film.  Standing at 2'9" tall, Weng Weng was a popular star in the Philippians during the late 70's, early 80's.  Again, we're on familiarly known cult film territory here.

And just like a lot of these ones, it deserves it.  It's just so weird!  There's a part where Agent 00 (nice name huh?) dives into a pool from like 8 stories up.  Some hairy fat guy scoops him up, calling him "little boy" and telling him he's "pretty...and handsome too!"  It's a moment of pure bliss wherein if you're like a good ol' beer or 6 deep you're gonna be laughing.

Weng Weng isn't a great actor per say.  He's not a terrible martial artist, though, so the fights are fun.  They obviously spent some time making each one fun and worked his height into it somehow.  But the guy has few lines and it's apparent why, he is pretty much emotive-less and better at doing than saying or acting.  The others in the movie are fine and passable.  There's not a ton of screen time among the others in the flick, and they aren't asked to do much so it's hard to judge.

The basic idea in the movie is that the KKK member crime boss named Mr. X kidnaps some guys and holds them ransom for one million dollars.  They want to pay and be done with it, but Interpol knows better and sends their top agent, Agent 00 in to stop Mr. X.  Weng Weng as Agent 00 is in fight after fight, and along the way you'll probably forget what exactly he's doing and why, and how it fits into the Mr. X thing, but you'll still have fun and possibly get a laugh.

The comedy isn't exactly funny, but if it catches you by surprise you might let out a chortle.  The gags are few, mostly it's the "funniness" of watching 00's antics, like when he jumps his bike across a gap, or when he parachutes with a bed-sheet. etc etc.  No written comedy really.  Or maybe just none I found funny.  At one point Weng Weng is trapped in a bird cage, that was mildly amusing.

Definitely smoke a ton of bowls for this one, with some friends, if you get my drift.  That will lift it from a pretty "ehh whatever 2 star experience" to "the best fuckin movie ever".  I do have one cool story, I watched the other Weng Weng movie "For Y'ur Height Only" about 6 years ago while on vacation with the wife (then girlfriend).  I made her watch some lame midget themed foreign action movie and that night I still got laid.  That's when you know, she's the one.  3 average whatever stars.
Um, why is showering with underwear on, and also without a shower curtain?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hospital Massacre - 1982

Also known as "X-Ray" which is the title I saw it under.

Boaz Davidson is a name I knew already before seeing this movie, from his production days.  The dude does have like 150+ production credits.  And like 25 directorial credits.  So we have a known director, what else do we have?  Stars a Playboy model, Barbi Benton.  Has nudity, blood, and lots of death.  Simple hack and slash style that would be enjoyable by most horror fans.

I liked this movie, that should be apparent already.  I'm not going to keep you in suspense on that one.  It was classic, and it was a return to that slasher genre that I love.  I don't know a ton of legit slashers.  I was only into the "big" entries of the series, like Halloween and Friday the 13th and Chucky and whatever.  I wasn't into the unknown spin offs that came out.  I'm referring here to when I was younger.  Now is when I'm finally getting interested in these.  I've seen a few Friday the 13th rip offs and a few Halloween rip offs, but this is perhaps one of the "original" movies that got regarded as just another ripoff, when in fact it's much more.

To match the power behind the director, we also have good cinematography.  Does it seem to anyone else that I've been on a small kick of actually, legitimately decent movies lately?  Weird right?  The fuck is up with that?  A decent music score and a tense atmosphere fills the movie out, and in all it succeeds in what could be seen as a logical brother-from-another-mother of Halloween 2.

What's that?  The plot?  Sure!  Allow me:  Susan Jeremy goes to a hospital for a seemingly simple enough reason: she has to get some results of a blood test she recently took.  At the hospital, there is a crazy doctor who is going around killing people.  In addition to this, someone switched Susan's test results with someone else's, prompting the doctors to keep her at the hospital.  While Susan goes through the stress of not knowing why the doctors seem concerned, we see the maniac killer offing more and more of the hospital staff.

Now, I must say that there are a few WTF elements to this movie.  In an attempt to say "the killer could be any one of these guys" type thing, they have a lot of people acting vaguely weird and unhelpful.  Such as, spoiler here, the seemingly disturbed Doctor Saxon.  Doctor Saxon refuses to tell Susan what's wrong, he acts all bizarre and unhelpful, but in the end he's not the killer...  So was he just being a huge dick then?  Like, why is he being such a fucking jerk?  It's the same with some of the other doctors, and some nurses.  There is no legitimate reason they should be so unhelpful and creepy.

Then again, it does build to the general "who knows what's going on" atmosphere.  We follow Susan (close enough to see her ample chesticles) as she is scared out of her mind in the hopsital, until the mad killer has finally killed off most the other people around.  Then she finds a body or two, sees a kill happen, etc.  Of course no one believes her, and soon it's really only her left against this homicidal maniac.  And who the hell is this guy anyway?

Multiple solid deaths in this movie, a truly creepy killer who never says a word for most the film, cool lighting and solid atmosphere.  What else do you really fuckin need?!  It's great!  I would see this again, I'd recommend it, I'd drink or smoke to it.  You could say it's a rip off of Halloween 2, which could be true, but if so it's a damn good one.  I might say it rivals Halloween 2.  Seriously, Halloween 2 was cool up to the part where they shot Michael Myers in both eyes, exploded him, etc, and he keeps coming.  They have an equally cool way to kill the villain in this, but this movie also kept it realistic.
Look at this great lighting here.  This movie was very well shot.

Wrapping things up, I keep giving high reviews.  So another 4 star horror movie.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Flesh Eaters - 1964

WHAT'S THIS?  A rare, no Invasion themed movie review?  I heard these were only legend.  But lo, here comes one now.  Actually I wanted to start this review with a venerable list of ways this film was super ahead of it's time.  Here, let's do the list now:
1) Erotic themes and sexual imagery that was well done and ahead of it's time
2) Depiction of alcoholism and it's detriments, and especially having the alcoholic be a woman
3) Multiple strong female characters that don't become stereotypes until the last 30 or so minutes of the film
4) Great cinematography, as a minor thing to mention
5) Fantastic pacing, and great suspense right till the last 10 minutes
6) Use of a foreigner in a large role, and a strong character at that
7) Great original special effects

This list could go on, but it's been a few days since I saw it, and I lost track about this movie a little bit ago.  But it was still great and still deserves a review.

Peter Bartell is hired by two women at the beginning of the film to fly them to a remote island.  The women are actress Laura and her assistant Jan.  Laura is a full blown alcoholic, barely kept functioning by her friend and helper Jan.  They are flying away in an attempt to escape for a fun little vacation.  But when something goes wrong with the plane, they are forced to make a desperate landing near a unknown island.  On the island is Grant Murdoch, a scientist who knows more then he lets on, especially after the new arrivals find a skeleton on the beach.

This movie was way ahead of it's time, and if was in color I have to think it could easily be mistaken for a movie of a different era.  Sure, the end would have to be reworked a little too, the females rewritten.  But not a whole ton would have to change.  They did a damn high amount of right things in this movie, and they did it in an effective and creative way.  Everything that happens in this makes sense, comes to fruition, and every scene is necessary.

It's actually very rare to have a movie where the scenes are all purposeful, and where you would not need to edit anything out.  If you edited anything out of this, it would feel incomplete.  That's the sign of a good film.  Especially since this is the sole directorial feature of director Jack Curtis.  He died just 6 years after this film, in 1970 at the young age of 44.

This felt really good up to the final payoff, which regrettably showed it's 1964 age by being pretty cut-short, predictable, and not too innovative.  Up to that, the monster shots in this were cool and pretty unique.  I have to say this was an easy favorite movie, it's appeal is very wide.  This movie could be viewed by just about anyone.  It's scenes of near nudity and hot thin girls was nice too.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge - 2003-2007

A little while back, my wife and I were at one of those used CD/DVD stores and found the first season of  Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (also known as just MXC) on DVD.  That's when shit got real.  Turns out we were both big fans, having watched it when it was originally on Spike TV back in 2003.  That's pretty cool, man, and that's one of those reasons I married this girl.  She watched and liked MXC.

TNN became Spike and reinvented themselves with new shows and bizarre shit in the early 2000's. I was hella on board with MXC, Hey Spring of Trivia, and a bunch of other random nonsense shows. This show has more replay value than just about anything else.  This show is so fucking weird!!!  Why haven't these guys done anything else?  I partially don't understand it, and this is coming from someone who has watched it for.........13 years???!  Holy shit I have seen this for 13 years.

And the English dubbing.  Who the fuck thought of this??  Sometimes it's just going for comedy with fart or sex jokes.  Sometimes it's surprisingly smart.  It was super, super ahead of it's time.  These days the comedy would be so different.  In those days we didn't have Japanese shows that had been accurately translated.  Ripping on Japan is like a "thing" now, and I think widely spread because of the internet getting ahold of facts like those vending machines that sell used panties.  When I was younger, when I first discovered this show, it wasn't really like that.

But yeah, the dubbing.  It's so strange, like why did they do it like this?  They go for like an extreme sports angle, calling the action and all.  I think a modern incarnation, they'd be making fun of it.  They'd be riffing on it.  But the dubbing they did kind of makes you feel like the guys who did this show really liked the Japanese original.  And who wouldn't?  It's charming and bizarre, it's got Takeshi Kitano in it, it does have great falls, etc.

Then it's the things they added to the show.  The Ken-o-Tron.  Kenny Blankenship's Painful Eliminations of the Day.  The names.  Oh fuck the names!  What the hell, again?!  I love how NONE of them are even close to Asian.  Babaganoosh is one of their most common names!  WHY?!  I want to know!!!  Did I mention they invented the entire this team versus that team thing with the score and whatnot?  Yeah!  Originally, this was not a competition among the people on the show, it was the hosts (Takeshi Kitano and another guy) against all the people on the courses.  So they made up and added a lot to this show.

This might not make sense if you haven't seen it.  It's on YouTube, look it up.  Basically, it's an obstacle course type show that random contestants have to pass through.  Made in Japan, it features mostly Japanese contestants, and an all Japanese cast.  It was created by legendary Japanese actor "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, and is super, super fuckin weird.

The obstacle courses are classic, there's a mix of traditional ideas and really out there ideas in terms of the course, some of them look really physically challenging and some of them look more of a mind game.  But all feature lots of mud, water, and difficulty to get through.

I highly recommend this for drinking and smoking and friends.  The dubbing is funny, the show is fun to watch set apart from the dubbing, and there's 5 awesome seasons worth to watch online.  Don't get eliminated!

Slipstream - 1989

I put this movie on again last night.  Again because I have watched it before.  Like any good movie viewer, I like to track movies that good actors and or good directors have done, and sometimes that involves renting a movie like Slipstream because of the people involved.  But seriously: Mark Hamill, Bill Paxton, Bob Peck, F. Murray Abraham, Ben Kingsley, and directed by Tron director Steven Lisberger.  What is not to like right there?  That's like a lot of great actors, and Tron was fucking awesome.  I really, really thought I reviewed Tron.  Guess not.

However, one must admit that this movie....was not that great.  Sure, the ingredients are there.  Great cast, and cool shooting locations.  Good enough effects, minimal plot line, pretty linear.  To me the real reason this movie wasn't great was that it felt very incomplete.  Like perhaps it was never fleshed out enough, or someone came along and cut the shit out of it to fit it to 90 minutes.

Bill Paxton stars as Matt Owens, a free range drifter who stumbles onto a fleeing convict, Bob Peck as Byron.  Byron is trying to escape merciless cop Tasker (Mark Hamill) and his partner Belitski.  Matt rescues Byron, and Matt learns there is a large price on Byron's head.  At first Matt keeps Byron around to try and turn him in for the price, but the two eventually become friends.  Meanwhile they are pursued by Tasker.  Byron, it turns out, is an android who has superhuman abilities like healing people.  Matt learns from Byron, Byron learns from Matt, and everything goes mostly how you'd expect from there.

Like I said it felt incomplete.  First of all, we're never really told what the deal was with Byron's price on his head.  He supposedly murdered a guy, but there's like 3 times it's mentioned, and it never truly gets explained.  Also, Hamill's cop tough guy doesn't seem like he'd really be a cop, but again, that's never explained and doesn't come up more than once.  Paxton's character is a stereotype, but at least he's a complete character: he's the fun loving simpleton who lives his typical nomadic life much like the main character in Waterworld.

I compared this to Waterworld a lot when I watched it.  In Waterworld, it's post-apocalypse, everything is on the water, people have these mini-societies and the main character is an outcast.  The cool boats are fun to see, and that's like half the appeal.  Similar in plot, they also both involve seemingly innocent people being chased by ominous baddies, and the nomad main character eventually becoming drawn into the story by helping the innocents.
Versus.....
Slipstream is post-apocalypse, everything is in the air, people have similar mini-societies that main character Matt is not a part of.  Everyone has these neat personal planes that are like half the appeal.  Hmmm, gee I wonder why I compared these two in my mind?  Also, again like Waterworld, a lack of explanation about the how/why of the post-apocalypse.  What happened?  Aw, who cares, watch the movie.  Not that I have a problem there.  That's fine.  But just another similarity.  Since this one came out before Waterworld, could say this was a precursor to it.  But Waterworld was simply a "wetter" rip off of Mad Max, so, you know.

Kingsley and Abraham fill out a few small roles, along with Robbie Coltrane and Roshan Seth.  It's pretty cool to see a bunch of familiar faces in this, and that's practically half the fun.  This movie was produced by Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz.  Hence the casting.  This was his big follow up to Empire after he'd parted ways with George Lucas.  It was unsuccessful, a commercial and critical failure, and that's why it's on the Sci-Fi Invasion boxset.

I didn't hate it.  It felt like an odd mix of Blade Runner and Waterworld.  Which, two good movies right there in my opinion.  I liked Waterworld, I give Waterworld like 3.5 stars probably.  This one is not as fun.  Much more dialogue heavy, barely any real action, and a lot more philosophical in feel.  That's why I bring Blade Runner up.  But the similarities to Blade Runner are minimal.  If they added more development and action, cut some of the downtime, and made Tasker a bigger threat who was around more, it might'a been successful.  But as it is, probably 2 stars.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Raiders of Atlantis - 1983

Returning to the sci-fi boxset seems to be one of the only ways to actually get me to cough up a review these days.  I guess slowing down has been a neat experiment.  Now I went and got a second job too.  So if you live in Berkeley and buy groceries, come visit me at Whole Foods on Gilman.  I may bag your groceries or something and you won't even know it.  But the point is, I'm kinda busy dawg, quit yer bitching.

The Raiders of Atlantis is also known as The Atlantis Interceptors, and it's directed by Cannibal Holocaust director Ruggero Deodato.  I saw Cannibal Holocaust like a dozen or so years ago, and I remember parts of it, but I don't know it enough to compare these two.  However, I'm sure they were similarly budgeted and stylized.  This movie is pure, cocaine snorting 80's gold.  I loved this movie, almost enough to wish I would have sat through the whole thing in one sitting.  I didn't, cause I'm kinda busy dawg, quit yer bitching.

In this one, there is a Russian submarine that has active nuclear warheads on it, and of course the sub somehow gets lost.  Mike, Kathy, Washington, and a few other guys I don't remember the names of all head down to find out what the freak-a-frack is going on.  Somehow a bubble raises from the ocean, a giant encapsulated bubble that has the lost land of Atlantis inside of it.  So that's where it's been this whole time!  That's where the sub is now, too.  So they all go to the island.

The island of Atlantis, it turns out, is a desolate wasteland where they used to be a regular type society.  Now there is blasted out bombshells of houses, and it's the revisiting of the post-apocalypse theme we know so well and love.  There is obviously a badass motorcycle gang (there has to be at least one) and it's led by awesomely dressed and named Klaus Nemnez.  Klaus is some extremely vague villain, in fact I'm pretty sure he's unnamed in the film, I just see that's what they call him on IMDb.  He finds this badass clear skull type thing (?) he wears and that makes him the leader of the gang.
I'm down with bondage, but this is just a little extreme.

I have to think that if you spoke while you wore that thing, you'd have that awful echo/bounce-back of sound hurt your ears.  Forget yelling, you would never yell again.  The motorcycle villains chase and kill a few of the good guys, the good guys try and get to the sub, while in the meantime the threat of the nuclear weapons looms over everything.  

It was actually, I have to say, really fucking awesome.  This is why I watch bad movies.  This movie right fucking here.  Unknown, very cult feeling, fast paced, weird, extreme in terms of violence and design, and overall just pure mindless entertainment.  I challenge anyone to watch this movie and not be entertained.  Sure, it's got some slow parts and it doesn't "make sense" in the traditional way where you know 1) who these guys are 2) what they're doing 3) why....  But you don't need to know that dawg, quit yer bitching.

And even, I would go so far as to say, see it with someone.  Perhaps with a beer or two.  Not too many drinks.  No smoking.  Enjoy it for the sense it makes.  It does make sense.  It's a fun, awesome movie.  I was about to say something....Oh yeah.  It was partially filmed in the Philippines, that's kinda cool right?  I give this movie 4 stars.