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Best enjoyed in a group
This movie shall forever go down as having featured a post-James Bond Sean Connery running around in a red loin cloth and worshipping a giant flying stonehead. That's only the first five minutes of the movie (and some agonizing flashbacks). Soon, Zed (Connery) ends up, like John in Brave New World, a savage in an empty world of controlled life. It means something. There's some deep messages here. But you'll be too distracted by Sean Connery in a wedding dress and an over-abundance of seemingly drug-induced camera tricks to really care. This is a pretentious art film with little rhyme or reason. You really only get the message (the human spirit is incompatible with a sterile life or something like that) because you've seen it so many times in so many better films and books (see: 1984, Brave New World, The Matrix). Hell, even the first episode of Futurama plays up this angle.
I just watched this movie with a group of friends, two of whom had seen it before. It was hard to make it through the last twenty minutes because the movie just wore itself so thin. If it hadn't been for everybody else, I probably would have turned it off and forgotten about it. The cheese level is entertaining for most of the movie, but near the end it just becomes too much of an absurdist statement to be really worthwhile.
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)
I wanted to like this movie so much...
I feel betrayed. Here we have Jesus Christ engaging in martial arts combat. With vampires. Lesbian vampires. While teaming with El Santo. How can you miss!? Well, you can miss when you have no talent to back the thing up. The acting just hurt, the fight scenes were slow and dully choreographed, and the rendition of Santo was just depressing. It shows that some times a small budget can really hurt a movie.
The pacing is terrible--there is no sense of urgency at all and many actions aren't explained at all. Like I said, the plot is fantastic, I could barely contain my excitement, and yet it somehow managed to do everything wrong. I'm so sorry to give this movie a bad review, but I have to say it's only worth it for the morbidly curious.
Wo hu cang long (2000)
Hypocrisy in the movie? No. Let's hooray hypocrisy in the movie going public! Harry Potter--nobody cares that you've got a kid flying around on a broom stick. Lord of the Rings--I haven't heard a complaint about the use of magic and monsters. Crouching Tiger--People run on air!? That must not be tolerated!
People don't seem to understand that this movie could fall just as easily into the fantasy category as martial arts or drama. People running on air, or on water, or across roofs shouldn't be too unusual, since their incredible abilities are supposed to be the results of training to beat their human limits. But this may not be the important thing.
Crouching Tiger is very much a drama first and a martial arts movie second, but with what I think is a fairly good balance. However, anybody going in for one or the other will probably be disappointed. Martial arts fans may not like the slow, deliberate pace or the 45-minute flashback (hey, Citizen Kane didn't have a linear structure either) and drama (and action) fans will be confused with the fighting styles in this film. But if you realize you're going in there for a balance, you've got it made.
The cinematography in this film is wonderful, as are the dynamic characters. If you want a fun little kung-fu movie, get Wing Chun. Otherwise, this movie has what it takes to break out of the "chop sockey" genre to make it big. Really should have received more than that Spartacus-wannabe Gladiator at the Academy Awards.
Siu Lam juk kau (2001)
If you don't enjoy this movie, you are a bad person
Throughout the nearly two hour running time of this movie, the room was a glow with merriment, excitement, and remarks of "Holy crap, that is the coolest thing ever!" Indeed, for this movie is filled with amazing visuals, fantastic fun, and all around goodness. Shaolin Soccer is a harmless movie, the type that mentions the normal morals you might find in a children's movie (work in teams, don't let success go to your head, cheating is bad, etc.), without preaching them.
Some Shaolin-trained, but for the most part poor and unhappy men get organized in a soccer team with a coach who was crippled in a soccer riot after losing the big game twenty years ago. You've got a variety of misfits--the spunky young'n with the steel leg, the obese convenience store clerk who can nearly fly, the plutocratic salary man who uses a style reminiscent of Flying Chimpanzee's Cotton Belly in Wing Chun. It's an odd little band, stretching from barely-post adolescent to nearly retirement age. This rag-tag band is quite endearing and it works so well.
Sure, there are a few instances of cheap humor, but you've got to expect this. The visuals are fantastic, the characterization competent (even if you probably have seen the archetypes before), and it's a lot of fun, whether it's the parody of a war movie (which my friend called scant instants before it happened) or the somewhat unusual tribute to Bruce Lee (hint: it's all in the sunglasses).
Should you see this movie? Yes. I'd say this movie deserves 4 1/2 stars out of five based on technical merits, etc. But on fun? That's right, it gets a million billion stars. Now let's see what Miramax cut out--25 minutes? Crap.
Wow...that was ridiculously confusing
Okay, so there's this meteor, right? Then it crashes into Tokyo Bay, right. This causes green gas to be released into the atmosphere. So far, so good, right? And the authorities want to cover it up. That makes the sense, right? Now, after the first three minutes, it makes no sense.
From there, we transition to what is apparently a few weeks or a few months later (there is no indication that time has passed, we can only guess) as we are now in a poorly lit, post-Apocalyptic Tokyo with a largely zombified population (from the green gas). There are a few humans, like the heroine (as played by female wrestler Cutie Suzuki) left fighting the zombie menace. Or driving around. Or walking about in a daze. Yeah, that's what they do. Eventually, the heroine gets a leather suit from her father that is apparently imbued with special powers (that's never addressed and very poorly implied). She starts fighting these zombies and some random government agents that are inexplicably turning people into super half man, half zombie combos that perform...very...slow...martial arts.
There are some cool scenes in this movie. However, most of the film will result in much yelling of "What the heck is going on?" There is much that is unclear and just never explained. The few explanations there are are fairly stupid and the climax is non-existant. It can be entertaining, but for the most part this movie is rather useless. I can only recommend it for completists.
On a side note, I was surprised, pleasantly, that they didn't have Suzuki do a lot of wrestling. In fact, I can only seem to recall two or three wrestling moves. She mostly uses a one shot Uzi (?) or lifts people in impossible manners thanks to wires.
Di yu wu men (1980)
"I told you to fix him, not to kill him!"
Now this is a really fun black comedy. Super secret Agent 999 and an unnamed thief/tourist (we think his name might be Harry, but we also may have misread the subtitle 'Hurry', since the subs were pretty small) stumble upon a village of cannibals in the backwaters of a Chinese jungle. 999 is on the trail of (Violent) Rodent/Rat/Ratface/Rolex (his name seems to change throughout the film), a big-time international criminal of indeterminable evil that is supposedly hiding out in the area.
Of course, we find out this township is filled with cannibals long before "Harry" and especially 999 do. Both are treated as major attractions when they walk into town separately (999 got caught in a trap, so "Harry" robbed him) and are assaulted...though in different manners. "Harry" finds himself on the wrong end of some amorous advances by a huge ugly woman (seriously, she's at least a foot taller than anybody else in the film) with syphilis. 999 is attacked by whooping cannibal butchers wearing odd green masks.
Anyhow, the film follows a fairly logical progression up until the climactic battle between 999 and the Chief (of police), the dictatorial ruler of the village who refuses to give out fair shares of meat. As another reviewer has mentioned here, there is quiet a bit of communist thought in this movie (critcising its abuses and, SPOILER******showing it going off the best when the system is returned to the people******SPOILER) and some philosophic though ("If you don't eat people, they'll eat you" is symbolic), but you can also just enjoy it. This is a wonderful black comedy, with a lot of physical comedy routines mixed in with the martial arts, as well as some verbal jokes. This is a very enjoyable experience if you can see it. If you enjoyed Dead Alive, Story of Ricky, or Seventh Curse, and don't mind trying to make out the smallest subtitles ever, this movie is for you.
This is the second movie that the legendary Tsui Hark directed. You may remember his work from the Zu movies, A Chinese Ghost Story, Once Upon a Time in China, and Time and Tide. There's also Norman Choi (AKA Norman Tsui Siu-Keung) appearing as 999, two years before his role as Hashimoto in the monumental Duel to the Death. Eddy Ko, who was the Chief in this movie, was also in Duel to the Death as Kenji, Rumble in the Bronx, and Lethal Weapon 4 (!) as Hong. This is interesting to see where some of the people ended up. It seems this was the only movie half of the cast/crew was in, but the other half went on to great things. If you're just a completist, this is certainly a must-have curiosity. If you just want some fun with the occaisonal gore, this should also be up your alley.
I just wish I knew who did choreography. When watching this movie with friends, they were slack-jawed, though it often wasn't amazing by comparison to other films I've seen. Not to say it was bad--no, the martial arts were at the very least on the level and probably on the upside, though wouldn't distinguish this film from any other myriad kung-fu flicks out there on its own (unless you count the comedy in the fights). If you're a conneseur, it won't be excellent, but it'll be competent. If you're not used to the intricacies of martial art movie fights, you should be impressed.
Now to stop ranting. You shall purchase this, now!
Shu shan zheng zhuan (2001)
Wicked neat movie
So, I've been reading the comments on this movie, about how its got a poor plot and bad acting and puts you to sleep. Let's take a look at these criticisms.
Legend of Zu is about the cosmic war between Good and Evil, here with a battle in the Zu mountain range between the Ohmei school (along with the help of King of Sky, the last remaining student of another school who's name escapes me) and Insomnia, a being of immense evil. There is an opening battle scene, a stalemate as Insomnia powers up in Blood Cave, and then a frantic attempt to stop the seemingly invincible threat after it's beaten up on everyone.
Plot synopsis out of the way. Time for criticism A, poor plot. Having seen the movie, I can say that there is only one part that makes no sense to me. But I can also see where people would get hung up. You need a sense of suspended disbelief of background in fantasy, so you can say "Ah, the Blood Cave must be a really bad place because that's what the heroes say." For the most part, I thought, Zu doesn't give a lot of time to explain some plot points, but it moves at a breakneck speed and has a lot of area to cover in its journeys, so most of the make-shift "trust me on this" works for the most part.
Poor acting? Hmmmm...that's one that may be too easy to dismiss. I could just say "Oh, that wasn't a lack of acting, that was the stern and somewhat emotionless style of people relegated to a warrior's life in the Orient." In fact, much of it seemed more Japanese than Chinese. But that may be superficial. Anyhow, I will say there is a cultural difference and, while nobody here will be winning any laurels, the acting certainly wasn't terrible.
Boring? Ah hells no. With a relative few examples of necessary plot advancement, this movie is the antithesis of boring. Sure, some better music choices would have spiced it up even more, but still, I can not see the way this movie can put people to sleep. It is, easily, the single most beautiful and visually magnificient movie I have ever seen. To compare it to a contemporary American movie, it beats Lord of the Rings into the gorund from a visual perspective--and that's no knock on Lord of the Rings. This movie is all about the special effects--it's not pretentious to have high moral meanings stuck in at the end, but it's also not a self-referencing dolt.
So does this make the movie good? From a critic's standpoint, I'd say it's better than a lot of people are making it out to be. The special effects are among the best I've ever seen. A week after seeing it, I can't think of a single effect that was bad. And that's coming from a person who normally can't stand CGI.
It's not nearly as fluffy and a heck of a lot more enjoyable. An epic fantasy which shouldn't be seen as anything but. I highly recommend it. You may have to just go with some of the plot flow, but it's not stupid or anything. Just...different.
3 dev adam (1973)
Spider Man is killing people with his fantastic superpowers! Er, switchblade.
So here's an odd movie. Spider Man is a bad guy. And his mask is radically different. And he has these massive eyebrows--or maybe they were antenna? Anyhow, this has nothing to do with everybody's favorite webslinger. Technically, he is called Spider Man and kinda dresses like him, but instead uses the awesome powers of a switchblade to kill people and steal statues. Oh, and I think he can clone himself whenever he dies. Maybe. Didn't make much sense at the time.
Come to combat this villain are the awesome duo of Captain America and El Santo. For those of you not up on your lucha libre, El Santo is the most famous Mexican wrestler of all time, having starred in approximately 100 movies in his forty-year career. The silver-masked man revealed his identity only a month before he died and was laid to rest in his cloak and cowl. Anyhow, they're fighting Spider Man. At least Captain America (not an American by any means) is, since El Santo isn't in this too much. After a few rumbles, good is triumphant.
Worth a see? Definitely, if you like your cheese thick and incomprehensible (as detailed previously, there are no English dubbed or subtitled prints). It's no classic, but it is fun if you've got a wad of meat in each shoe (I never did understand that saying). Don't look too hard, but if you're in the back of a small, locally owned video store and this falls off a shelf onto your head, rent it.
Fails through comparison.
Hey, it's Hellraiser. I'll assume you're familiar with the premises. If not--there's this evil box. This box summons some celestial entities that really aren't bad in the conventional sense, they just really, really like pain, and they want to show you this pain they really, really like. Pain so great that it is "indivisable" from pleasure. And there's this dead guy who somehow got away after they ripped him up with hooks. Now he's a bad guy because he's eating peoples skins and stuff so that he stops looking so icky (he was only partially resurrected, so he starts off as an emaciated, dehydrated, skinless corpse. With each victim, he gets more juicy and filled out). His neice accidentally triggers the Cenobites (those entities that like pain) and they get on his case.
As you may be able to surmise from the summary, this movie is a lot more concentrated on the skinless uncle than the actual Cenobites. This is quite a bit disappointing, since he's not an especially interesting character, just your normal over-bearing sadistic type. The Cenobites are an interesting concept, but not nearly as disturbing as people pass them off to be. Twisted nether beings have invaded literature for a while, though this was likely the first time the idea has so well been committed to film. Wish they'd shown us the Hell from which these beings came from--that would have been interesting.
For being a horror classic, there are surprisingly few scares. In fact, the entire movie builds up to a climax that never happens. You have buildup, retreat, and denouement, but no real showdown. I can only think of one moment that was designed to make the audience jump. Other than that, the gore was probably the biggest horror aspect, and even that is not too extreme. I watched this back to back with the Story of Rikki and the only thing this film had going for it by comparison was a skinless chap. Indeed, the entire movie seems impressive mostly to people who haven't delved terribly deep into the cinematic outer reaches. Hellraiser is probably at the edge of mainstream and as far as many people are wont to travel in their cinematic voyages. The connection between pain and pleasure isn't as strong as in such films as Ichi the Killer (I'm sorry, but it's far more thematically relevant to see a regular man mutilate himself for pleasure than a demon with an exposed trachea) and is probably the most "disturbing" aspect that relies the most on audiences not venturing too far away from Hollywood's glistening spires.
Oh well, I'm about to see Hellraiser 2, which supposedly solves many of the first's problems. Let's find out.
Le pacte des loups (2001)
The criticisms are irrelevant.
I do not understand the criticisms of this film. It is well done, the characters are sympathetic and easy to identify with (except perhaps the martial arts use that I wish would have been explained), people react realistically, there are few--if any--plot holes. I can only think of one continuity error myself (at one point the narrator's wrong arm is in the sling).
Everybody has already established this movie has incredible cinematography, camera work and direction. Reminded me of Gamera 3. The special effects are, for the most part, as good as you're going to get CGI. The creature is quite a site to behold and, surprisingly, looks better at day than at night.
The movie plays for the first half like a land-bound period Jaws. Not in a bad way (except for the first death is aped from Jaws's first death), but in finding the better parts from Jaws and the parts that fit and using those--the political and interpersonal parts. This seems to have thrown some people, that a horror movie could concievably concentrate on the characters and how they must deal with it.
The second half has bursts of rousing action, but stays within its bounds and works hard to keep the audience guessing and on its toes. The most suspensful part of this film doesn't even involve the monster.
Somebody complained that this movie is "disgusting" because parts of it take part in a brothel, there is gore and death, and there is an incestuous rape. Welcome to the real world, France, circa 1772. All of these things contribute to the story and, above all, are realistic. These things happened in actuallity. To ignore such would be folly and a lie.
I must recommend this movie based on the first watch. I have a feeling that should I watching it again, I'll pick up quite a bit more (there is one scene were the beast is nonchalantly stalking a man on horseback in the background--I didn't pick it out at first, but a friend of mine watching saw it).
When I heard some people didn't like this movie, I figured it would be because the movie takes a very slow burn, letting the viewer see the various tribulations the characters had to go through in the course of the expedition. However, I was not expecting people to be thrown by the showing of these scenes themselves, these characterizations and the realism of it all. But so be it. Like Jaws, much of the power in this movie comes from the characters dealing with each other and with those in charge. The political edge of this movie is necessary and only adds to it. This deserves a 9/10, at the least.
Koroshiya 1 (2001)
Sex + Violence--for real this time.
You can sit in on Ichi the Killer and enjoy a spiralling violent ride into nihilism. You can dissect it for all the hidden meanings, find the thematic closure to another Miike film, Audition, in Kakihara. Either way you can enjoy the film, provided movie violence doesn't bother you (and then it still probably will).
Every other review will say this movie is stylish. There we go. Now that I've got that out of the way, I must say that this film, especially coupled with Audition, would make for a fascinating psychological study of sadism, masochism, and Takeshi Miike. The most striking part of this movie, I thought, was the deeply sexual connection it made between love and violence. Sure, other films have talked about the darkness of man, but few, if any, have made it so Freudian or tied it in so tighly with sexuality. Killing for pleasure and sex for pleasure are decidedly unique among humans. This movie is courageous in that it is unafraid to throw both of these at us.
This movie is highly recommended. Wear your thinking cap or don't. You can marvel about the implications of Kakihara cutting his own tongue out or your can gaze in awe at the incredible outfits he wears. The choice is yours and, if you can view it with an open mind, you will enjoy.
Wild Zero (1999)
The great psycho of them all!!
Wild Zero is not a perfect movie. It is beyond perfection. It has transcended into a realm of unbelievable excellence. If I rated things on a scale of stars, 1-10, it would receive a million billion.
Weak acting? Goofy special effects? These comments are probably from people who thought Braveheart and Gladiator were good movies. Wild Zero is the type of movie that is impossible to criticise. You watch Wild Zero and your blood will pump, your adrenaline will ransack your brain, your tender--I have said too much.
After all, this is rock 'n' roll jet movie. Guitar Wolf, the group, prove themselves to be inhuman in their sheer ability to be cool. With trash and chaosssssss!!!!, the last twenty minutes will blow your mind. This is the feel good movie of eternity. There is thrill, speed and stupid zombies. There are exploding heads, random alien encounters, and even more sudden and inexplicable gaining of superpowers.
There is no adrenaline rush that is more rush than this film once it kicks into motion. But don't think it is all brutality of screen, as the movie has poignant moments and an important message on love and growing up. Of course, you could also sit back and be terrified by the Captain's draw-string shorts (pejoratively nicknamed "the junk trunk" by my group of friends).
Watch this movie with friends or watch it alone. It's just more fun when you can see your friends' minds be blown. But if you see a Guitar Wolf movie this year--nay, if you see a movie in this lifetime, see Wild Zero! Rock 'n' roll!!
(Note: Some phrases in this review were lifted from the video box. See if you can go through and pick them out)
Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
A film that makes you create your own message.
"Kids, don't worry aobut the R-15. Just rush into the theater! I made this just for you, kids! I hope you guys have enough guts and wits to make it in!"--Kinji Fukasaku, director.
Somewhere down in the comments I read somebody say this movie is without a message. Fukasaku has repeatedly said that he wants to convey to his youthful audience war. But no regular war would fit this new generation who has lived their lives without conflict. No, to really get across the horrors of a government that handed children weapons and told them to die for their country, Fukasaku needed something more terrifying, something skittering the line between seriousness and satire.
Enter Koushun Takami in 1998, with his acclaimed and persecuted novel Battle Royale. Toei and Fukasaku decided to make this into a movie, with the controversy surrounding it helping to promote said film. The movie had its detractors in politicians and PTAs from get go.
But what does this say about the quality of the movie? The movie is well done. It's violence is realistic and done without compassion or hatred. The violence in Battle Royale is. It is unavoidable, it plays no favorites, its forgets conventions. When the students turn on each other with varying degrees of vigor, the audience is horrified and then looks into itself. How would I react? Could I kill other people? The movie itself is no more disturbing than war footage. The viewer is the one that makes the film so unsettling by putting him or herself in the position of the teens fighting each other. Would I fight or would I kill myself?
Battle Royale does not tell you to do anything. What you take away from it is your fault. The movie begins by blaming the very people who detract from it for its existence.
At least until the game is over. Then the movie kind of falls apart. But let's not speak of that.
Attack of the Super Monsters (1982)
Much maligned and deserving. BUT...
I'm not here to say this movie is good. When inflicting it on my friends, I have found they often experience physical pain. And while this is not the worst of all Japanese giant monster sojourns (Redman, I'm looking at you), it generally isn't worth it even for a kaiju enthusiast.
BUT...there is something to be told about this movie that people need to know when they go in to see this. When giant monster movies were all the rage in Japan in the mid-60s to mid-70s, dozens of superheroes sprung up to combat this rubbery menace. Some, like Ultraman or Spectreman, had staying power and would later prove to be cultural icons. Others, like Silver Kamen and Fireman, would fade into obscurity.
Enter Tsuburaya Productions. Eiji Tsuburaya's company, the owners of Ultraman and the special effects producers behind Godzilla, decided to continue with the trend that had netted them so much money and also jump on the embiggening anime bandwagon. Hence the new TV series Izenborg. It combined live action giant monsters, miniatures, and fairly primitive anime.
Enter Quality Video. They cut four of these episodes together into one movie. That's why it is "episodic" and "formulaic."
That doesn't explain why Jim hits his sister (which drew laughter), or the line "I'll get you, you ratty rat rat!"
I'll make this commentary short. "So what?" is my reaction to this movie. The film made absolutely no attempt to make me care about any of the characters except for...Chris? The independent thug with a son. Other than that character, I couldn't identify or care about anybody. They were cardboard. The humor was droll and not particularly clever. I laughed approximately five times in this dark comedy.
Which is depressing, because I am likely their target audience. I love dark comedies and B-films. I've endured cardboard characters in such films as Robot Monster, Crocodile (the Thailand one), and Troma's War. I have nothing against foriegn movies--they're usually better than American films. But no, not here.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels just sits there. You just sit there. You look at it. It continues to sit there. This movie doesn't achieve anything. The denouement is annoying and took too long, with an especially wretched deus ex machina. This movie just fails to be of any merit. Top 250...yeah right.
The Sore Losers (1997)
So much potential...
Wow, this was disappointing. The movie starts off all right and the backstory is acceptably goofy. The movie is fun until Kerine-a shows up. Then it just gets annoying. The problem is that Kerine-a is a completely unlikable character and soon becomes the main one. If the movie had been devoid of her, it would have been better.
The other characters are interesting, but are eclipsed in dialogue and screen time by Kerine-a. Fortunately, this movie has the ultimate saving grace and the greatest trump card for making something automatically cool--GUITAR WOLF!!! Yes, the Japanese punk rockers made famous by their sound and Wild Zero (the greatest movie ever) appear twice and somehow manage to completely steal the movie with something like seven minutes of screen time total.
Sore Losers has some amusing bits and some great ideas. Then Kerine-a shows up and it goes down the drain. Really disappointing, too. It had so much promise...
Sun faa sau si (1998)
Don't expect horror...
Should this movie be described as a Hong Kong take on Dawn of the Dead? No. Return of the Living Dead? No, certainly not. Mallrats with zombies? Sounds better.
The point of this movie is not to provide stark raving terror, deep social commentary, or five gallons of blood per second. This movie is fun. Follow the lives of a pair of small-time punks running a VCD shop, the likable Crazy Bee and the incredibly named Woody Invincible, as they try to get their boss's car and end up accidentally unleashing a zombie plague. Oops. But even before the first zombie shows up, the duo has gotten into some amusing scrapes and got out of them with bluster that for once is not unlikable. They may be jerks, but at least their the kind of jerks you can see yourself hanging out with.
When the zombies show up, the movie stays focused on Woody and Bee. It seems so wrong to say that this movie is character driven, but it is. Not it a dramatic sense, but in the sense that the characters and not the zombies are the main focus of the movie. That surprisingly doesn't hurt the film, as the interactions are definetly between our heroic duo and the zombies are generally amusing.
But the movie knows when to get serious. The last ten minutes or so switch from humor to seriousness (save one speech from Bee) suddenly and yet without missing a step. The last ten minutes seem to come from a "real" zombie movie and are filled with emotion and pathos. It's kind of startling, but it also fits.
All in all, I definetly recommend this movie. It is one of my favorites. Just go in expecting humor. Heck, it's best to go into the movie not knowing anything about it.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Shiva in a Buddhist temple
It was thusly I entered the theatre, a feeling of doom nibbling on my entrails. As I took my ticket from the neandrethal at the booth, I nearly asked "Does this make me a bad person?" The answer, I learned, was yes.
A truly detestable summer movie of the worst type. Looking over the comments, I see most people pass it off as a fun movie making no attempt to be anything else. No. Mummy Returns was a fun movie and made no bones about it. Tomb Raider hurt.
Case in point; there was a statue of SHIVA (a very Hindu god for you proletarians) in a temple occupied by decidedly Buddhist monks. Upon this realization, I screamed. Nobody in the theatre noticed; they were either too busy pounding in their heads, entertaining sexual fantasy of Angelina Jolie, or absorbing themselves to the point of salivial excretions in the action.
Lesbians, sex...oh yeah, and a death cult
So, I get this movie on the basis that it's supposedly a remake of Tombs of the Blind Dead, a good movie. It's all in Spanish and the closest thing to Spanish I can speak is a little Latin. No problem, I'll fast forward to the Templars.
Yeah, right, what Templars? The movie starts out with some eeeeeevil cultists meandering around a ruined church, carrying torches. For all the world they look like Ku Klux Klansmen. Then, onto something completely different, as four female friends check into a rather large resort that seems to have no guests and only one guy staffing it.
I'd be alarmed, wouldn't you? They apparently aren't, as they start having all sorts of graphic (for a movie of this calibre) lesbian sex. Quite a bit of nudity. Easy on the eyes, as well. Anyhow, some other mysterious guy shows up, has sex with two of the four women, then has a couple discussions with them. Is the the one that threw a meat cleaver at them when they were doing some nude sunbathing? What's with that creepy little guy spying on them? All negated, as one of the women (who was hiking around some church ruins) is killed by a death cult of some sort that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the promised Templars. More chicanery occurs before the main character is raped and...something. She shows up, offs the other two females. The Klan is defeated (?) by a giant cross, then walks off as the movie ends. I think my copy is missing a minute or two, because the ending as such is terrible, there are no credits, yadda yadda.
The movie itself is dull. There're none of the promised Templar knights, just some Klansmen with really dry skin. There's no gore, no violence, and the film-making is inept. Several scenes last entirely too long, several close-ups are impossible to make out, the absence of any type of music in many parts is annoying, and the death cult appears from nowhere.
Since the nudity and lesbianism is the only reason a male would want to watch this film, it'd be more recommended to pick up some sort of porn. Recommendation to avoid this film, even from a completist point of view.
Killing Birds: Raptors (1987)
This movie is possessed by an agonisingly slow pace, unlikable characters, and an annoying plot involving a bunch of college students looking for a rare species of cardinal in the Louisiana bayou. The film is ambitious, I'll give it that. The screen writers throw in a bunch of horror cliche c*** that goes nowhere (hero the son of...that guy, some "historical" stuff pertaining to murders, facts about birds), you know, the kind of stuff that's supposed to come together at the end to prove something.
The conclusion is especially terrible. It wraps up no loose ends and you are left wondering what the hell happened and why the hell the entire movie happened at all. It is a wholly unsatisfying experience with no redeeming qualities.
I fully recommend avoiding The Killing Birds.
Sangue negli abissi (1990)
So bad it's...well...rancid.
I like to think of myself as a bad movie connoisseur. I like to think that the films most people label as the worst of all time I can easily withstand.
But...there are exceptions. I can only recall three movies I have had the misfortune to see that I have repeatedly used the fast-forward button for large chunks of the story. Those movies are The Mighty Gorga, Night of the Seagulls, and this little crap, Deep Blood.
In the world of Jaws ripoffs, this falls off the scale. Deep Blood doesn't have the realistic storyline of the original Crocodile, nor the incredible effects of The Sea Serpent, nor the commentary of Tintorera. No, instead we are treated to a handful of teens from any random failed '80s public access sitcom battling bullies and the local sheriff.
Shark attacks are realized by quick cuts of documentary footage with actors thrashing about in the water, occasionally with a bit of what appears to be orange-ish paint thrown into the water. Not a minute of original shark footage exists in this celluloid waste dump.
Normally, I, or somebody like me, would read a dismal review like this one and say "cool, I gotta find a copy of this!" That's the same thought I had when I read another viewer's review on this very site. How wrong I was.
So...from one bad movie fan to another...let this collect dust on the shelf...grab Up From the Depths or The Great Alligator instead to satisfy your need for something evil lurking in the water.
Il fiume del grande caimano (1979)
The GREAT Alligator? Uhm....no.
Very bad film. Very, very, very bad film. It's a rarity, but it defenitly is not worth hunting down. This Italian Jaws rip-off makes little sense most of the time, and no sense the rest. The "alligator" is not at all convincing, and many of the sub-plots go nowhere. If it's at the local video store, you may want to watch it if you're a fan of monster movies, but it's not worth hunting down.
Tobor the Great (1954)
Forgettable children's film
Made during the 1950s, Tobor the Great tries to deal with many of the decade's hot topics. Space travel is represented as evil for humans in several scenes (though for no apparent reason), science is given the chance to go wrong, and those evil Russians are trying to steal Tobor (roboT spelled backwards). Forgettable.
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)
My brain tried to jump from my skull...
This movie hurts. Bad. If you watch it without the sound, it will remind you of a high school film. If you pay attention to the dialogue, you will wonder who's retarded parrot threw these words together. As I watched this film, I slowly felt my brain trying to tear itself from my head. As the movie progressively burnt my flesh, I came to realize that there is no movie worse than Leprechaun 4. Save yourselves and don't see this movie!! Even the "Behold my breasts and tremble" scene doesn't make this movie worth it. Not so bad it's good, but so bad it is excrutiatingly painful to watch.
We're No Angels (1955)
Family fun; comedy for all ages.
"We're No Angels" is certainly a relief from the mindless comedies of modern times. This 1955 masterpiece is well-written, hilarious, and totally clean. Certainly a welcome change of pace from today's reliance on sex and bodily functions for jokes. "We're No Angels" has few weak points, but they are easily overlooked by the witty dialogue, the strong screen presences of the actors, and by the situations themselves.