Reviews written by
Scott from Modesto

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63 reviews in total 
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Proof that German shepherds in Hong Kong are more than just ingredients., 26 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kung fu parents escape with their baby from the clutches of an evil sorceror wearing a giant sequined KKK hood, a man known as "The Devil." The Devil sends his ninjas and cheap Halloween monster mask wearing henchman to pursue the couple and when they realize they are doomed, they beat their bloody heads into the snow causing an avalanche that hides their baby from the Devil's men who are chased away by German shepherds, er, wolves. The baby girl is found and raised by the wolves and wears a stuffed German shepherd on her head.

Time goes by and two guys run into this sexy little 20 year-old minx and find out that she has eaten the thousand year ginseng they need as protection from the Devil's cold spell. Some stuff happens (including Wolf Girl eviscerating and noshing on a live chicken) and everybody ends up in a big ol' fracas at the Devil's lair with a bunch of flying, hopping wire fu zombies controlled by voodoo dolls with golden needles stuck in them. Cue the crappy animated fireball effects and the part where Wolf Girl quenches the flames on her comrades by biting chunks out of her arm and dousing them with blood spray.

Randomly interject that spaced-out theme music from Dawn of the Dead (not "The Gonk"), ultra bargain bin grue, and bad things done to rabbits and you get the idea. Take two tabs of mescaline and let me know how this movie worked out for you.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Swell, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't believe the same guy behind Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has directed this but I'm glad he did. Here it is, John McNaughton, a film which I am sure you're are ashamed of... Then again, maybe this is the cheeseball film you wanted to make all along. I think it's sort of like if Dali had suddenly started working in the medium of Colorforms.

An insectoid alien is banished to earth where he is turned into a human doomed to having a head that explodes all the time. Sometimes that head belongs to our favorite pimp Huggy Bear--aka Antonio Fargas--as a derelict. Sometimes that head belongs to a St. Bernard. And Rae Dawn Chong is trying to bring this creature to justice, natch.

This is a highly amusing film... not only that, it references the mighty Garbage Pail Kids movie!

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
They're not that crazy..., 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Several years after Ishii's film school finishing project Crazy Thunder Road hit the big screen, he unleashed this bad boy--his most critically acclaimed film at its release--on a semi-unsuspecting public. It's a slight step to the left from the hyper-kinetic Burst City, Crazy Thunder Road, or his short Shuffle, but Crazy Family doesn't eschew any the punk ethos of Ishii's earlier work. Maybe the violence is a bit wackier, but it's still there.

Dad moves the family into a nice house in the suburbs. When Gramp gets kicked out by Dad's brother, Dad takes him in and the rest of the family is ecstatic/ But Mom starts letting her inhibitions loose and stripping for the house guests. Meanwhile Little Sis is obsessed with being an actress, pop star, and wrestler and Bro is an eccentric genius who studies all the time while stabbing himself in the leg to stay awake and trying to harness the power of pyramids. Dad has long thought the family to be declining into sickness and sees this condition as being exacerbated by Grandpa's presence. So Dad decides to trash the family room to build a basement for Gramps's new bedroom, becomes obsessed with the house's termite infestation, and ultimately when all seems hopeless he decides that the family should commit suicide together by drinking insecticide. Well, no one wants to drink the poison so an all-out scrape between all family members ensue.

Wacky and intriguing? Yes, very much so. But this family, while extremely dysfunctional, didn't seem THAT dysfunctional compared to most families I know, let alone the Simpsons, the Bundys, or the Connors from the glut of late 80s/early 90s US sitcoms about messed-up family units.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Thor-oughly engrossing, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ha ha. Puns.

Our friends in the Great White North like their cheesy horror flicks and they love their hair metal. Bodybuilder and metal maniac Jon Milk Thor had me checking his biceps for needle marks throughout this film but I turned up no conclusive evidence. Maybe it was the lighting or makeup but I didn't see any muscle pimples.

What you get here is some extremely cheesy monster and gore action, some mediocre women (fives and sixes, maybe a seven for one of them) showing their racks, and plenty of Thor tunes. Nothing groundbreaking here but this is some pretty enjoyable stuff, doubly so if you partake of the 80s hair metal movement.

Death Drug (1978)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Tubbs on the love boat, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've heard of people freaking out and stabbing their own wangs off under the influence of PCP but I have never seen a guy hallucinate that his hair brush was a rubber alligator before, then Tubbs drops the thing into his bathroom sink and they show a real alligator. This may be the worst anti-drug film of all time but it's way more entertaining than that after school special where Helen Hunt got dusted and jumped out the window.

Like those "very special episodes" of TV series like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Blossom, Philip Michael Thomas breaks down the fourth wall to tell it like it is and suggest help for you or anyone you know who might enjoy the love boat a little more than your average fella. Last time I did this stuff I ended up puking in the entrance of a Taco Bell but I sure as hell didn't imagine everyone in the supermarket as horrible monsters. It's a sad day when that happens.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
possibly Van Bebber's most perfect work, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not a huge fan of Van Bebber, but "Roadkill"--which is available somewhere on some laserdisc of one of his movies, I think--is a nice surprise. This is sick, gory, claustrophobic backwoods killer type of stuff. A loner lives in a house of filth and decaying (animal and, I suppose, human) remains, screams at the television, and envisions pulsating clumps of living meat. Like Uwe Boll's unheralded short feature Amoklauf, Roadkill does in a short run what very few feature films about killers can do in an hour and a half. After he picks up two hitch-hikers to murder, our serial killer's story comes to an end in what seems all too short a time, but given its effectiveness this is not necessarily a bad thing.

This short comes well recommended over Van Bebber's crappy "My Sweet Satan" which is available on the US DVD release of Deadbeat at Dawn. "Roadkill" also goes well beyond homemade garbage like Manson Family Movies (not to be confused with Van Bebber's own The Manson Family).

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
fun otaku joint, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Kamen Rider character--a grasshopper-based superhero with a turbo-charged bike--dates back to the 60s, Kamen Rider ZO was merely the latest incarnation at the time. Feeling more like a half-fleshed out TV pilot than a full-fledged theatrical film (at about 46 minutes, Kamen Rider ZO was released as part of a double feature), this movie was produced partly by toy company Bandai--who I am certain released a line of nifty action figures to tie in.

This adventure finds Rider protecting a young boy from a creature created by the boy's own father. This creature, like the Zeiram character in Keita Amemiya's manga-based film of the same name, is a biological robot that can regenerate itself when injured. The Neo Life-Form, as the monster is called, also has two buddies--a bat monster and a spidery thing. And they're all controlled by a pulsating gooey disk with the little boy's face on it.

The action sequences are brisk, the melodramatic drivel, however, is heavy-handed, which I suppose, is fine for a kid's program. The violence also sees a bit of monster gore, which is just fine by me but seems a little rough for a kid show. Amemiya went on to direct another short movie about the superhero, Kamen Rider J, the year after this one was released.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Phenomenal, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This fantastic claymation piece tells the story in Burroughs' gravelly voice-over of dope sick Danny the Car Wiper as he finds a leather case with severed legs inside which he fences to get a couple bucks for his fix. Wandering the streets in desperation, he eventually heads to the house of an alcoholic uptown doctor who hesitantly gives him a lousy 1/4 grain in the spirit of Christmas. Danny takes what little cash he has and checks into a Skid Row room. There he sits and prepares his fix, but he hears pained moaning in the next room. A young man lying there explains how he was turned away from the hospital despite his condition. Danny, knowing this small taste of junk will help the boy more than it will him, fixes the boy and returns to his room, where his junk sick ache washes away and his kindness is rewarded with "the immaculate fix."

Another version of a reading of this short story was later recorded by Burroughs (a joint project with Kurt Cobain's feedback heavy takeoff of "Silent Night" played on guitar in the background) on 10" vinyl and CD as "The Priest They Called Him."

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Enough crack and naked white chicks to make Richard Pryor's mouth water., 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by the same man who brought us the irresistible Death Spa, Crack House is a piece of urban decay cinema right up there with Ghetto Blaster. Sleaze and stereotypes are the name of the game and we get fine performances from two classic black tough guys--Jim Brown as the head crack man and Richard Roundtree as the cop who gives a wayward Latino teen a chance to redeem himself by going undercover in the world of drug dealers. Toss in Anthony Geary and this is probably the greatest mix of actors until The Divine Enforcer had Jim Brown appearing in the same film as Erik Estrada, Jan-Michael Vincent, and Robert Z'Dar.

Aside from the riveting finale, the single best scene in the film has the lead Rick awkwardly making out with his white girlfriend in the front seat of his mother's car which is entirely decked out with tacky Jesus paraphernalia replete with a light up Virgin Mary on the center console. Seeing his woman's discomfort, Rick tells her (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Don't worry, baby, tomorrow night I'm borrowing Jesus's Nova so we can go out in style!" The rest of the film has plenty of politically incorrect moments but that there was the highlight for me.

Zeiramu (1991)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
good stuff, 23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Keita Amemiya has a body of work encompassing a good amount of sci-fi, including the 2 Zeiram films and Mechanical Violator Hakaider. Zeiram is a very decent offering with some nice fantasy fx--all practical. Be it creature costuming, prosthetics, gore, puppetry/animotronics, or even stop-motion animation, its all good in the hood, g.

A space bounty hunter, Iria and her computer Bob set a trap on earth for the artificial life form Zeiram, a sort of biological robot which can regenerate itself when damaged and feeds on living beings to create new creatures.

Despite the involvement of two annoying electricians, this is still a fun romp with plenty of action. It's certainly much better than its lackluster sequel, which boasts only Iria flying with an umbrella Mary Poppins-style.

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