Reviews written by registered user
|15 reviews in total|
Miami Golem aka Miami Horror is a saucy little mish mash of adventure. It's not horror, action or sci-fi; it's really a tacky combo of Hollywood elements &cliches sort of strung together logically. Stars David Warbeck and Laura Trotter put together solid performances. And the rest of the cast is up to task as well. At the end of his career, Albert DeMartino directs what is essentially a cornball script quite well. Some great photography of Miami is exploited by the filmmakers, in order to hammer home the concept that, this is indeed Miami. Which brings us to the issue of the other word in the title; golem/horror. Now, this little fella is ridiculously silly in appearance, yes. But so was Miami in the 80's and did I mention the script? Hilarious. As for the music, other reviewers have noted the obvious borrowing of Beverly Hills Cop motifs. But this happens only during the opening credits montage. The rest of the score works very well for helping to propel the corny script. Why the composer Detto Mariano so blatantly "borrowed" Axel's Theme is anybody's guess, but again, this is only during the very beginning of the freaking movie, so its not as big a deal as other reviewers have noted. Other musical passages are very dramatic and/or intense. Miami Golem is worth a look if you enjoyed such films as Devil Fish, Pod People or Puma Man. It is a charming little action movie that has ambitions which are reached for with endearing failure. Also I think it is interesting to note that Warbeck & Trotter each appeared in perhaps the 2 most special of all the Italian Horror films released in 1981, The Beyond & Nightmare City, respectively. In my mind these films represent the pinnacle of Italian Horror during the final part of its most amazing era. Although Miami Golem does not come near the level of visceral engagement those films create, it is nonetheless solid, this may almost be top notch entertainment.
The back of the box did not lie- "an adventure that mixes justice with
revenge for explosive results" -BOOM! I just watched this hidden gem of
a movie. Hasselhoff stars as Will Colton, an ex-marine who returns to
his hometown in Texas. A gang of weapons dealing biker creeps killed
Hasselhoff's family years back and he is back for revenge. He gets help
from a local lady who has also been terrorized by these thugs. The gang
includes the police chief, played by Bo Hopkins, which gives the movie
some redneck credibility to the rural Texas setting. Actually, I would
guess that this film is Italian or South African. The dubbing involved
is of the 80's Italian style. Also it stars John Saxon, who is in a lot
of the Italian action movies of this time. Also, it has an Italian
director. One thing is for sure, it was not made in Texas. But anyways,
this movie has some very good action sequences, a good cast, and an
unintentionally hilarious script. Hasselhoff has some great
conversations with his pet cougar that are awesomely cheesy. And John
Saxon as the leader of the pack seems kind of embarrassed to be wearing
such a lame looking wig, but he puts together a menacing portrayal of
There is a some good motorcycle violence, a cougar, a short love scene featuring Jeannie Moore, a load of European synthesizers futile mimicking honkytonk boogie music, and an Albino Motorcycle . If you happen upon this thing, give it a try. This is a lost classic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Toolbox Murders is one of the top 3 American Horror films of the
1970's (along with The Hills Have Eyes, and The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre) IMHO. Like the other films I just mentioned, 'toolbox' has a
gritty low budget realism that helps the general atmosphere of the
picture to no end. All of these movies deal with ordinary people
besieged unexpectedly by deranged psychopaths, whose motives only
become apparent as the stories unfold.
What makes 'toolbox' special is an absolutely masterful performance by Cameron Mitchell. Although the highly original death scenes are shocking and horrific, it is Cameron's portrayal of a crazed madman that is really unsettling. He really gets behind his motivation to create a flawed man living in an imperfect world. Without giving too much away, I should also note that the plot is very clever, with all kinds of unexpected turns toward the end. Sure, there are some bad scenes here and there, a lame disco lounge, plot holes, and unnecessary characters, but these are all pre requisites of low budget 70's cinema. The Toolbox Murders is recommended for anyone who likes great gore, or even fans of psychological drama.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A great obscure B movie of the late 70's, Zoltan The Hound of Dracula
is actually very well made. The music (which is practically constant)
is very creepy, and the eeriness of the cinematography is super cool. I
gotta tell the world about this masterpiece of cheese. The real laughs
are not only experienced during the hilarious scenes of Zoltan sucking
the blood of humans and dogs (and of the bat turning Zoltan into a
vampire), but also with Michael Pataki's overblown delivery. The guy
has probably got a bad temper in reality. Also, you gotta love the
major padding that takes place when the family sets out on their
camping trip "dogs and all" in their groovy motor home. Actually their
are a couple scenes like this, where people are just driving from one
location to another, dominated by happy synth pop that sounds really
cool. You can't help but chuckle at how easily the people let their
little puppy wander off, and how quickly they give up when the adult
dogs get lost. "Oh well" our pure bred German shepherds are out there
somewhere. "Oh Well" our prized puppy just bit the dust, we'll just
bury the thing and continue with our fun vacation sitting around in a
ugly looking vacant field just off the highway (some camping trip)
These are just minor plot details that add to the ridiculousness that
other writers have already noted. Other favorite scenes of mine include
the rising of the vampire puppy from its fresh grave, and the gory
mauling of a 70's hiking dweeb.
Anyways, thought I should also mention the top notch job Anchor Bay did with remastering this thing. The picture is exceptionally clear, and the sound is immaculate. It should also be mentioned that everything is played totally straight, as if this was a very important film. Reggie Nadler is one creepy looking dude. This movie should appeal to anyone who likes horror movies that take themselves all serious when the scripts are completely hokey to begin with. I won't give away the ending, but it very far fetched and ridiculous. Whoever trained all the numerous dogs did a damn good job! A classic!
First off, if you are interested in the title and/or premise, seek out
the newest version of the original Toolbox Murders, put out by Blue
Underground. It is a grisly low budget 70's gore fest, in the tradition
of Tobe Hooper's own Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Speaking of which, that
movie was remade just before this one came out. What is ironic is that
although reviled by some longtime fans of the original "Chainsaw", the
remake of that film is much more true to its source material than this
bizarre little thriller.
Like the "Chainsaw", the original Toolbox Murders was loosely based on real events. Both of those movies have a minimalist, almost documentary cinematography and production design shot in real locations. Both movies are also profoundly disturbing. This movie makes the mistake of straying from that approach, adding supernatural elements and multiple plot twists and plenty of unnecessary characters that have nothing to do with the original. Furthermore, the lead actress is unappealing. But the score is solid and Tobe Hooper knows how to direct gore though, and this movie has just enough of that to earn it 5 stars. Fans of any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films will definitely enjoy the original more.
Had this movie been titled something else, I wouldn't have judged it a rip off of the Toolbox Murders. Being a Tobe Hooper film, and given the somewhat obscure status of the 1978 movie, I don't think it helped much by calling this the Toolbox Murders. It really does have a completely different plot and characters.
The 9 stars may seem excessive, but I am a big pt 3 fan (watched it a
dozen times at least), and in some ways this is a better film. It is
kind of funny how fellow Freddy followers all seem to be in agreement
about the great ones (pt 1, pt 3, new nightmare) and the bad ones (pt
2, freddy's dead). This one falls into a third category along with pt
5, and freddy vs. jason where it seems to be very objective. Some
people love those movies, some people can't stand 'em. I put this up
there with pt 3 and 1 for sheer watchability, so maybe I am a little
I hadn't seen this for a couple years, and that was on DVD. I just got an old VHS copy, and I must say that it is more enjoyable on this format. When it's all cleaned up and remastered it kind of loses some of the magic for me. Anyways, just had to comment on the great direction from Renny Harlin. He had a very stylish flair. There are some great camera angles, quick cuts, odd close ups, and kind of a kinetic feeling throughout. The film is very fast paced. He was trying to emulate the music video style, but that is not the result. The result is a very engaging, relentless visual display that almost seems like an art film, because scenes that would have been shot more traditionally most of the time take on a very bizarre character in this movie. There are great sfx throughout, and all of Freddy's many kills are well choreographed and original. The grand finale of the film is possibly the best use of sfx ever IMHO.
The detractors of this film usually point to the weak acting, and the more comedic Freddy. Let's not forget though, Freddy had some pretty comedic moments back in pt 3 ("Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!"). The acting is a little amateurish, and definitely on par with pt 3, but that may have been down to the focus being on sfx.
In summary, Nightmare On Elm Street pt 4 is excellent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow, where do I begin?. I had to give this 8 stars because it is a VERY
good bad movie. In other words, it is so bad that it is extremely
entertaining in its earnest ineptitude.
The plot involves a sadistically evil paperboy who just wants to be loved. He kills his elderly next door neighbor because he thinks that her daughter, Melissa is hot, and he just happens to need a new mommy. He knows that she will have to come to her mother's house for the funeral. All of that is revealed in the opening scene where the paperboy kills the old lady by covering her head with a plastic bag. The daughter comes back to town, brining with her her own daughter, the bubbly young Cammie, and the paperboy proceeds to worm his way into their lives with hilarious results. He soon wears out his welcome, meanwhile Melissa and Cammie are getting acquainted with the one and only Greatest American Hero, William Katt. The paperboy continues to kill various people in the neighborhood, including his own dad. Will his bloodthirsty behaviour take lives of Melissa and Cammie too? The production style is what makes this especially hilarious. It has the feel of a lifetime network movie. You know the type, very serious, soft focus camera work, emotionally ripe music throughout, solid if heavy handed acting, and a psychologically probing tone overall. It seems like these movies are made very quickly by well trained casts & crews that just want to get them over with. But this movie was not made for TV, because there is a little bit of nudity (Cammie's horny babysitter, who is of course murdered by the paperboy).
Some of the dialog is just hilarious, and much of it delivered in a heavy Canadian accent. As I said, it is all done completely straight, without a hint of irony or satire. William Katt seems embarrassed to be walking around in a sleeveless v neck sweater. And don't forget about the old lady from Seinfeld, you know the one who gets her bread stolen by Jerry, she's even more mistreated here. She dies of a heart attack when she thinks that she sees the paperboy beat her little dog to death with a baseball bat, but really he was just beating up a giant side of beef with glass jars placed inside it. (another reviewer failed to notice that the dog was NOT murdered even though the paperboy pets it and feeds it after the old lady passes on!).
There are many more scenes in this thing that are supposed to be disturbing, but come off as just being goofy. The movie is entertaining all the way through, which is sort of uncommon for Good Bad Movies. In summary, The Paperboy is a hilarious piece of film making that should not be missed.
Def Con 4 is one of those movies that is pretty much unique in the world of B grade cinema. First off, why do so many imdbers dislike this? There are thousands, perhaps millions of movies far worse off. The acting and special fx are actually pretty good for such a low budget film. The beginning of the film has a great sense of dread. The music by Christopher Young is awesome! There is some over top emoting from the lead actors that is slightly lame, but overall a good relic from the cold war. This may be one of the more underrated Canadian sci fi movies of the 80s, although much of the plot and characterizations goes way lame in the second half. In summary, it's a good bad movie that is more good than bad.
Like another reviewer said, this one is actually better the second time
around. Ulli Lommel and Susana Love are much better known for the Bogey
Man, but I like this one a little better. It is charming little witch
story, with some truly unintentional laughs thrown in (i.e. the
Convenience Store Guy). It is crudely produced, but it manages to work
up an understated feeling of mystery and tension.
The supporting actors, I assume many of them are local rural Wisconsin folk, manage pretty good, in earnest amateur way. Were there ever supposed to be witches in Wisconsin? In the town of Rhinelander there is a legend of a prehistoric dragon like creature called a hodag which has nothing to do with this movie, but when I saw that this was made in Wisconsin, it reminded me of a vacation from long ago. Anyway, this movie is about the curse of Devonsville, where a few hundred years ago some townsfolk slayed some witches in mildly horrific manner (cue Rush's Witchcraft from Moving Pictures 1981). Fast forward to 1982 and some outsiders come to Devonsville and are perceived by the local intolerant inbred as evil/sexy/a threat to their collective blandness. Menace ensues, followed by an awkwardness. Will they also meet their doom in ways that mirror the earlier deaths, or will they triumph over these dullard yokels?
Susanna Love is great as the confused outsider. As is the case with The Bogeyman, she exudes a certain naive warmth. Donald Pleasance is pleasing as always. Like Ms. Love he has a very mannered way of delivering his lines that is kind of fun. And the aforementioned towns people are obviously dedicated to the project, if a little green. Say what you will about Ulli Lommell, at least he made a solid effort with this little picture. Solid entertainment if you like this kind of thing.
Going back to the Rush song, is it possible that the filmmakers heard the song and thought it would make a good movie? Probably not.
I am very confused as to whether this thing deserves 1 or 10 stars, so
I guess I'll "crash" down with 5. Like many IMDb reviewers have noted,
it is a shameless rip off of Star Wars, no doubt. For an Italian movie
of the golden age of their exploitation movie industry, i.e. 70s-80s,
it actually has a pretty substantial budget. Relatively speaking, you
needed a lot of money back in the late 70s to make a sci fi epic like
this. I would guess that the producers could have made 5 or 6 average
horror movies for the price of this. I read an interview with director
Luigi Cozzi who basically said the budget still wasn't enough.
So what is good about it? The special effects are ambitious, but they fail to deliver. For instance, the stop motion golems, spaceships, slow motion laser explosions, and opticals are very fake. But by overextending their grasp with so much frequency, the sfx become almost hypnotic. The music is really effective. The great John Barry added a score that is very derivative of Star Wars, but very well orchestrated, and it runs almost continuously through the whole film. Also, as another reviewer pointed out, the beautiful actress Caroline Monroe is easy on the eyes, and is seen in a variety of attractive costumes. The sets and costume design is really top notch, with that distinctive Italian flair. The story is not all that bad, although very derivative and hokey. L the robot is a lot cooler than C3PO, basically he is a stupid redneck most of the time. His friendship with Caroline is believable. Finally, the pace is jacked up pretty high; a lot of stuff happens in a lot of weird locations.
If you enjoy this check out Luigi Cozzi's Contamination (AKA Alien Contamination)
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