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Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong (2013)
The Meaning Of Guilty Pleasure
The first thing to ask yourself when thinking about watching a movie titled Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong is this: Are you able to switch off your brain and embrace some mildly entertaining, low budget lunacy from the good folks at Full Moon? The titular characters from the Gingerdead Man and Evil Bong series meet in a movie which should, at the very least, satisfy fans of either franchise. The film might service the Evil Bong series slightly more, but there's enough foul mouthed dough-boy Gingerdead man to go around. Larnell is the only one of the stoner quad to return along with Rabbitt, the friend/foil of the series. Larnell and his height-challenged head-shop employee String find themselves in the path of destruction when Gingerdead man decides to take out Sarah Leigh (from the original Gingerdead Man) once and for all! It ain't high art, folk. But if you're in the market for something light and stupid from Full Moon, have at 'er. And at least it isn't as awful as Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys.
Force of Execution (2013)
Don't Break The Code
From Keoni Waxman, director of Maximum Conviction and A Dangerous Man, returns with Seagal to bring you Force of Execution, an action/crime movie showcasing several interesting performances with a lot of tepid dialogue and clichés.
The movie follows, mostly, Bren Foster as he portrays the protégé of sorts to crime boss Mr. Alexander (Seagal), who is pulled out of premature retirement when a sadistic up-and-comer (Ving Rhames) begins killing his way to the top.
The Pros: Steven Seagal turns in an enigmatic performance as Mr. Alexander as he sports, for the first time, a mean goatee. His fights are well choreographed as are Bren Fosters', who is also fun to watch. Ving Rhames and Danny Trejo are, as always, reliably efficient.
The Cons: As a Seagal fan, it's a bit of a drag to see him almost take a backseat to somebody else. The entire plot is also quite predictable.
Final Verdict: Seagal fans be sure to watch but prepare to miss the big guy for around half the movie.
Maximum Conviction (2012)
Two Steves are Better than One
It's hard not to feel elated and highly anticipatory when one sees the DVD cover for Maximum Conviction, but how does the movie itself hold up? The Plot: Two ex-special forces commandos (Austin and Seagal)are hired to decommission a military prison only to find themselves under siege by a squadron of baddies trying to abduct a certain female inmate.
The Pros: After the first half hour, the action is frequent and plentiful. Both stars perform admirably, especially Austin who is slowly but surely earning his acting chops. Minimal to no doubling for Seagal and a complete lack of dubbing! Michael Pare is a decent villain, as well.
The Cons: The Stars have very little screen time together, oddly enough. Steven Seagal truly does need to try and shed some weight (and this is coming from a jaded fan). The two stars didn't quite need their younger teammates as all they did was provide cover and hog up screen time.
I would say, definitely worth a watch if you're a fan of either or both but I might hesitate on a purchase as this entertaining film is fun but flawed.
Death and Cremation (2010)
Starring Brad Dourif...I"m in!
Death and Cremation is the story of a embittered teenage outcast who finds an unlikely friend in the owner and operator of Stanley Cremations. Stanley, it would seem, likes to heat up his oven to rid the town of bullies.
The movie, made for cable, is quite well made. As with any movie you'll be asked to excuse a few logic gaps and enjoy the ride. It isn't a new thing for a movie to ask you to sympathize with a killer but this one, at least from this reviewer's point of view, does well in that respect.
Brad Dourif, a veteran character actor with an impressive resume, is given the starring role and hits it out of the park! Dourif has never been insincere in his performances and this is no exception. The young actor playing his protégé was quite good, as well.
Try to catch this one! If you're a purist, however, the DVD is pan and scan.
Alien Opponent (2010)
Hope You Like Cheese
From the Chiller network comes Alien Opponent! The movie's loose plot follows a bunch of bumpkins and wackos as they attempt to earn the 100,000 dollar bounty that the junk yard owner is offering for the elimination of the alien who just crash landed in the middle of all the junk.
But if you're watching a movie called Alien Opponent, plot isn't one of your biggest concerns. So step one to having a great time: Turn off your brain! That being said, this movie is good, trashy fun. The blood, at least in the uncut DVD, is plentiful and the body count is through the roof. The movie seems to take an approach toward the value of human life that is, well, non-existent. It has the comedy of a Troma film without going so over the top. The characters are colorful and the pace is fluid.
The only recognizable faces present are Jeremy London (Mallrats) and Roddy Piper. Now, this movie is worth watching just to see Piper in action again as the tough-as-nails priest. Everyone else is relatively new but most perform admirably.
This low-budget gem will never win any awards or show up on your top-ten any time soon but I'll be honest with you: I was never bored, I had no idea what would happen next, and I had fun. When all is said and done, what else do you want?
Die-ner (Get It?) (2009)
Microbudget horror delivers
Die(ner) is a simple little horror film made for very, very little money. When accepting that, one can find quite a lot of enjoyment out of it.
It's about a serial killer who murders a waitress and short-order cook during the graveyard shift of a roadside diner, only to run into some problems. The first is an arguing couple who come in and want to be served and the second is that his victims are about to come back to life as zombies. Throw in an old sheriff, some wry dialogue, and some originality and you have the recipe for a fun little microbudget horror movie.
The only drawback is, as with most low budget films, the action is low and some of the performances are stiff, but the lead playing the serial killer is quite charismatic. Just give it a chance, especially if you're disillusioned by Hollywood horror movies.
The Midnight Movie Is Alive And Well
From some of this generations most innovative filmmakers comes a film that pushes the boundaries of good taste and endeavors to bring the good ol' style of the drive-in right into your living room. Does it succeed? For the most part, yes! Segment One, Wadzilla, features star/director Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City)as a timid businessman who is given experimental medicine to increase his sperm count, only to unleash a monster of immeasurable horror! The effects are charmingly horrible but it is quite a funny ride.
Segment Two, I Was a Teenage Werebear is, unfortunately, the proverbial black sheep of the family. Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs) is a real talent but the short's taboo pressing plot line only serves to alienate this movie's target demographic (straight males). It is a rousing musical about a sexually confused young man who is bitten by a were-bear (long story) and struggles to keep his morality.
Segment Three, Adam Green's (Hatchet, Frozen)The Diary of Anne Frankenstien, is a real treat. Although admittedly a little short on the horror aspect, it is actually quite funny. The Nazi's, led by Joel David Moore as Hitler, attempt to use Anne Frankenstien's journal to build a monster to help in the war effort. This segment is shot in a sublime old fashioned style and is subtitled as everyone speaks authentic German except for Hitler himself, who comes off as quite a bumbling fool.
Segment Four, Joe Lynch's (Wrong Turn 2) Zom-B-Movie, serves as the wraparound story and as the finale and it is just righteously over the top fun enough to completely win over this reviewer. A zombie outbreak threatens the people who had to sit through the last three shorts only to be threatened by a pack of sexually charged zombies. The real highlight is character actor Richard Riehle who gets to brandish a shotgun and quote more movies then any character in history.
For this reviewer's money, this movie succeeded at becoming exploitation without falling prey to insincerity like the similarly themed Grindhouse.
That's a Really Weird Idea...
Comedic actor Harry Anderson plays Korman, a put-upon comic book artist whose art is about to become a little too interactive. Forced to take experimental potency pills by his cruel wife, Korman's horror illustrations have begun to come to life...and terrorize people in the city. This one is played for laughs, don't look for complex characters or any real horror in this one. The humor works well and the monsters on display here are old-school and very aesthetically pleasing. Collen Camp is delightfully over the top as Korman's demanding wife. This episode is also significant for being sublimely self-referential. It's not for everyone, surely, but it's just camp enough to be a hit.
The Lord Helps Those...Who Help Themselves
After losing his parents in a car accident, a teenage boy is forced to live with his penny-pinching, cruel uncle Ezra. Ezra is a mortician who quickly puts the young man to work in his mortuary. But after an accident resulting in an unneeded coffin, Ezra paralyzes the boy from the waist down. So, waste not, want not, Ezra arranges for young Bobby to meet his untimely demise...but the bothersome dead boy won't fit! Truly EC style, all the way. Moses Gunn is divinely evil as the morally corrupt Uncle Ezra, bringing to the screen one of the most evil characters in Crypt history. My only gripe is that the show's finale is spoiled by the opening comic page in the cryptkeeper segment...just like Carrion Death.
Unique Little Episode
Judy, You're Not Yourself Today may stand as one of the most provocative, unique offerings from the crypt. It's eccentric style and over the top performances make for a highly unusual experience. Is it good? Well, that's up for debate.
A kooky, pretentious couple find their relationship tested by a body-switching witch. One can't blame the actors as they're all immensely watchable and take the show to maniacal levels. There are actually a few laughs to be had here, folks.
But it's just quite uneven, jarringly so. It feels like one of the more obscure Tales from the Darkside episodes...and thats not a compliment. It's still better than most of today's television, at least.