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All are listed in no particular order.
Yellow Pages (1999)
Tediously lame and rightfully unknown farce, though I did at least chuckle a few times.
Oh boy. What to say about this so-called comedy. Well, to be fair, I didn't think it was going to be that great, but I never expected it to be as lame and boring as could be. The opening scene is kinda funny, but with minor exceptions, and that's using the term loosely, it's pretty much downhill from here.
Starring a cast you've never heard of and also directed and produced by people you've never heard of, Yellow Pages deals with this one guy who's this jack of all trades kind of guy who sets up ads for his made-up companies in the yellow pages. One of his fields is working as a detective, and one night, he gets hired by a mysterious person named Mr. X to retrieve a microchip and then gets mixed up with a wedding, tourists and various crazy events. Seriously, trying to describe what little plot this movie has is almost as big as a chore as watching the movie, and I actually sat through this from beginning to very end.
About the only other funny and good part of this movie are the scenes with actor Chris Ullman as Mr. X. Ullman seems to be the only likable actor in this flick and also seems to be the only one who's aware of what's going on in the movie. The rest of the cast just tries too hard. And don't even get me started on the lead actor. He has to be the lamest, most obnoxious, and most unlikeable lead I've ever had to see on-screen. As for Ullman, he deserves to be seen in more films, but not tripe like this.
The only big name involved in this is the composer, James B. Campbell, who is probably best known for composing Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988), along with serving as an orchestrator for many big-name films such as Predator (1987) and The Abyss (1989). Campbell must have not had a lot to work on here as his score is rather wasted and rushed. Campbell has not worked on a film since then and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this was the cause.
Released directly to DVD by Simitar in 1999, this film isn't really that well known, even in the digital age and hasn't even come close to being re-released on DVD as well. Frankly, I think that's for the best. To sum it all up, avoid at all costs, unless you have to have every spoof movie/farce ever created. 2/10, and that's being generous.
DVD Extras: A surprisingly bright and watchable full screen presentation, sort of a step up from other Simitar DVDs, along with trailers for Glitch! (1988) and The Naked Truth (1993), film facts, which you could easily look up on IMDb or AllMovie.com, and a biography on cult Greek filmmaker Nico Mastorakis, despite him having nothing to with this film aside from his company, Omega Entertainment, picking it up for distribution.
You're Driving Me Crazy (1990)
Decent anthology film.
It's Creepshow meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in this Montreal-lensed anthology. We open up with an ambulance arriving at a hospital. We then meet three psychiatrists, the lead doctor is played by Norman Fell from Three's Company. The three doctors spend the night in the hospital lounge discussing three stories of various patients.
Our first story centers around a high school student named Matthew whose relationship with his girlfriend Stephanie is quite bitter, mostly due to the fact that Matthew will not introduce her to his parents. That's because in Matthew's mind, his parents aren't exactly human.
The second story deals with overworked TV producer Frank, who is really desperate for his latest sitcom to become a success. Things take a bizarre turn for the worse when Frank murders local hood Pickens during a shady business deal. This is probably my favorite story in the series due to some of the dark humor in this story. Look carefully during scenes in Frank's house for a poster for Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars.
Our third and last story, and probably the darkest story in the film, is about kind and very caring and successful photographer Michael. Michael receives a very strange L.P. record in the mail. After listening to the record one night, Michael starts to become hostile and cynical towards everyone around him, including his business partner, his girlfriend, his models, and even a local bum who he helps out frequently. It's only a matter of time before Michael really goes off the deep end.
The movie ends with an ironic twist.
This is an average anthology film that becomes rather entertaining as it progresses. Some of the acting is not great but not exactly terrible either. While Norman Fell does not do much in this film, it is nice to see him. The music is good as well.
DVD Extras: This DVD from DVD Inc., is merely a budgetary affair. It starts off with 2 logos and moves on to the film. After the film, it just simply stops. No menus, no extra features, no trailer. There are not even any chapter stops. The film seems to be taken from a VHS source, but it looks to be a decent VHS source. Sound quality is good too.
Must be seen to be believed!
I was lucky to have gotten a PAL VHS copy from the United Kingdom of this criminally underrated and obscure gem last Christmas. I do not own a PAL VCR or a multi-region VCR, but the gentleman who sold it to me was nice enough to transfer the tape to a blank DVD+R for easy viewing. I was not expecting this to be the greatest movie ever made, but let's just say that I was pleasantly surprised. That's not to say it's 100% flawless.
The film starts off with an audience watching a movie at a theatre. Afterwards, we see said audience leaving the theatre. A psychopathic misfit guns down the entire audience and takes his own life afterwards. First on the scene is ace reporter Shannon Nichols (Audrey Landers, TV's Dallas), who was previously called by the killer about his plan. During her report, however, it becomes clear that she is more concerned about ratings than the tragedy at hand, hence why she did not call the police on the killer. After being ditched by her boss and cameraman, she is left to fend for herself on the streets. That is, until she stumbles upon a Freakshow exhibit. She is then greeted by the mustached curator Dr. Caligari Borges (Peter Read, Dementia 13) and is invited to take a tour of the gallery, which allows her to imagine four gruesome tales of terror.
Our first story is not much horror and probably my least favorite story in the movie. Fidge De Sola (Dean Richards, Roadkill) is a homeless junkie. Having gone cold turkey for a certain amount of days, Fidge is desperate for a new fix. He meets The Doctor who has just what Fidge needs to get high. Unfortunately, Fidge is out of cash and kills The Doctor by microwave to get his fix. Guess what? The Doctor's poodle ends up taking the dope. After that, it's Fidge mostly chasing the poodle for his fix, tripping over things and making himself look like an idiot.
The second story, and my favorite story in the film, revolves around Wilbur, a new worker at The Al Capone Pizzeria. He is sent into action when ordered to make a delivery to a house on 1313 Bram Stoker Blvd., which is supposedly haunted. On the way, Wilbur is called chicken by his Italian co-workers and agrees to a bet with his co-workers that he'll make the delivery. When Wilbur enters the house, he meets a coven of beautiful vampire women, and after a nice eighties music video-like segment of the vampire women dancing in lingerie, Wilbur gets quite the Halloween surprise.
The third story revolves around a young drug addict named Sybil. After freaking out at a party thanks to a new street drug she has taken, she ultimately collapses and is put into a coma-like state. Everyone thinks she is dead and she is forced to undergo her own autopsy. This story plays like a Twilight Zone-episode, and comes off as the darkest story in the film. The ending, though justified, is predictable.
Our fourth and final story, and my second favorite story in the film revolves around Angie, whose husband has just died from a heart attack and left her a Mercedes and a Golf Course as her inheritance. During her husband's funeral, she meets two gravediggers, Funk and Bloater. They make a deal to bring the dirt from the graveyard to add it to the golf course. Things seem to go fine...or so they think. It soon turns into Night of the Living Dead meets Caddyshack as the zombies from the graveyard invade a carnival at the golf course, seeking their dirt. This story tends to be more on the horror comedy level. While this story is good, the ending is stupid and abrupt, although it could have been much better and more justified too. The part where the priest uses the golf clubs as a cross to repel the zombies would have made for a great plot resolution.
Originally shown at the Cannes Film Market in 1989 and given a very limited release in Canada that same year, Freakshow has never been released on VHS or DVD in the United States, apart from bootleg copies. While the film is not exactly up there with Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt or The Offspring, it is still a very fun movie to watch. The acting is not exactly top notch but for a film of this type, it is decent. The worst acting is probably in the first story and the best actor in the film is probably Peter Read, who pulls off his role as Dr. Borges quite well. Why he hasn't acted since the mid-1990s is beyond me. Great soundtrack too.
Somebody get this out on DVD, and soon.
Cold Steel (1987)
Just plain fun.
On Christmas Eve, Los Angeles police officer Johnny Modine's (The late Brad Davis, Midnight Express) father is brutally killed by ruthless cutthroat (Jonathan Banks, Pin) and his two goons, played by Adam Ant (Slam Dance) and Sy Richardson (Tripwire). As it turns out, the murder of Modine's father was part of a plan of revenge towards Modine for causing him to lose his voice and having to use an electronic talk box. On behalf of this, Modine is willing to risk his career and sanity to bring the killer down and avenge his father's death. Along the way, Modine is eventually taken off the case by his captain and meets the luring Kathy Connors (Sharon Stone, Total Recall), who hides a secret connection of her own to both the killer and Modine.
I first saw the film on television when I was 14. I felt the exact way about the film then, and I sure as heck feel the same way about it now having watched it on DVD at the age of 21.
DVD EXTRAS: Widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film, English, French, Spanish, and Chinese subtitles and trailers for xXx, The Devil's Own and Enough.
Blue Vengeance (1989)
It isn't over yet.
In 1979, N.Y.P.D. Officer Mickey McCardle (Played by the film's director, under the name of John Christian) caught the Mirror Man Killer, otherwise known as Mark Trax (John Weiner) and arrested him for several brutal murders, including that of his partner Brendan Sullivan. Trax was convicted and sentenced to a mental institution in upstate New York. Flash forward to 1989, where Trax escapes from the loony bin to resume where he left off and vows revenge against McCardle, who since then has now been promoted to detective, yet still haunted by the death of Sullivan. Trax leaves a brutal amount of blood on his trail, and not only that, his victims were killed brutally and were associated with heavy metal music. When Trax stages a car accident, the police declare Trax to be dead, but McCardle knows better. Now with no one else to turn to, except for a witness who saw Trax kill the owner of a grungy nightclub, McCardle must now stop Trax's violent reign himself. Will McCardle succeed?
Now this is the kind of film you won't find at your local video store, or even on Netflix. While I really enjoyed the film for what it was and found it to be somewhat intense in some parts, I think the film could have had a bit more gore than the ending of this film did. I was lucky to find a German DVD of the film on eBay for real cheap, as the film can, so far, be found only on DVD in Europe.
Talons of the Eagle (1992)
An overlooked martial arts flick that deserves better recognition.
Talons of the Eagle stars Billy Blanks (Back in Action) as martial arts champ Tyler Wilson. After three DEA agents are killed by crime boss Mr. Li (James Hong, Shadowzone), Tyler is sent on assignment to Toronto, where he teams up with vice detective Michael Reeds (Jalal Merhi, Tiger Claws). The two decide to enter a martial arts tournament to impress Li, but first decide to train at the academy belonging to Master Pan Qing Fu (Playing Himself), who has an experience of his own with Mr. Li. The two also learn about the eagle claw technique, hence the film's title. After saving Mr. Li's life from a rival crime boss during the tournament, Wilson and Reeds are given an opportunity to join Li's line of work, which they accept. At Li's casino, Wilson and Reeds meet up with fellow undercover agent Cassandra Hubbard (Priscilla Barnes, Traxx) who has already found info on Li's gambling and drug operations. The three agents eventually find the evidence they need, but will have to escape Li, alive.
As cheesy and somewhat low budget as the film is, I found it to be quite fun. I especially became fond of the performances of James Hong and Billy Blanks, and the film has some good lines too. "You look like your picture." "I'm sorry to hear that." The fight sequences were cool too.
Also Recommended: Tiger Claws, Back in Action, Expect No Mercy, and Tc 2000.
DVD EXTRAS: The DVD is presented in a decent full frame presentation that is probably the same as the old VHS, if not somewhat better. The DVD is also out of print, so if you find it, especially if it's around $5-$10, get it.
Alien from L.A. (1988)
Tinseltown was no comparison to the underground.
Alien from L.A. stars Kathy Ireland (National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1) as waitress/social misfit Wanda. She is dumped by her boyfriend Robbie, played by Don Michael Paul (Robot Wars), because she has no sense of adventure. She easily gets car sick and has a fear of flying. Just to debunk him, Wanda heads out to Africa to find her explorer father. Before long, she finds herself in a bizarre underground world where she meets a variety of characters, including Gus (William R. Moses), Charmin' (Thom Matthews, The Return of the Living Dead), Shank (Janet Du Plessis, who also plays General Rykov), and Mambino, the boss of bosses (Deep Roy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)
While this movie will not be receiving any Oscars, or even an MTV Movie Award, it still manages to be quite enjoyable. This was also shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and while I will eventually check out that version, since I am a fan of that show, this movie is still worth watching on its own, thanks to a groovy soundtrack, and of course, Kathy Ireland.
DVD EXTRAS: Just the trailer for the film and a full frame presentation.
Chained Heat II (1993)
Enjoyable for what it is.
To start this review off, I have never, ever seen the original Chained Heat from 1983, but I was intrigued to check this one out, mainly for Sylvester Stallone's ex/Flavor Flav's current lady friend, Brigitte Nielsen and Paul Koslo (Robot Jox)
What was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, turned out to be a complete nightmare for young student Alex Morrison (Played by Kimberly Kates.) Alex is wrongfully arrested for smuggling drugs into the Czech Republic, and is found guilty, given a 10-year sentence, and shipped to the Reznik Prison. At Reznik, she meets the sadistic Warden Magda Kassar (Played by Nielsen), her equally sadistic assistant Rosa, and Bobo, a Shakespeare-quoting transvestite. Meanwhile, Alex's sister Suzanne (Played by Kari Whitman) tries to get the charges towards her sister cleared, with the help of attorney Mr. Goff (Played by Koslo), who hides an agenda of his own.
In no way would I call this movie a masterpiece. It is cheesy, but it also manages to be entertaining in some parts, like with Bobo, who I found to be quite funny, in an unintentional way. And Kimberly Kates is hot. No lie. So if you're just looking for something to watch and have nothing better to do, give Chained Heat 2 a watch.
And for the record, I will NOT be watching Chained Heat 3: Hell Mountain anytime soon.
EXTRAS: The Canadian VHS tape, which I own, has a Cineplex Odeon Gift Card Promo and trailers for TC 2000 and Criminal Behavior.
Pledge Night (1990)
I was begging for the morning after.
Definitely not the worst movie ever made, but I still found this movie to be ridiculous. I was intrigued to buy the VHS based on the cover, which is probably the only redeeming factor of this film, either that or the soundtrack by Anthrax. By watching this, I wasted 90 minutes of my life that may never be lived again.
Sidney "Acid Sid" Snyder (Played by Anthrax's Joey Belladonna) accidentally died in a fraternity prank gone horribly wrong in the 1960s. 30 years later, new pledges are going through initiation rituals. In spite of his mother's warnings, one of the pledges, Larry Bonner still wants to join. During the weekend, Don, one of the senior pledges goes bananas and kills one of the fraternity brothers. Turns out, he was possessed by none other than Acid Sid, who later bursts out of Don's stomach. How original...not. Sid is basically a hippie version of Freddy Krueger who just goes around cracking jokes that I could tell better myself. Sid's real purpose in the movie, revealed at the end was a total joke.
I have noticed that people have a soft spot for this film, and while I respect that, I just simply cannot begin to understand why. This was director Paul Ziller's first film, and I can understand that as well. However, it does not excuse the fact that, as CritconOnline.com said, Ziller copped out and displayed the victims' bodies after the murders. Thankfully, this film has yet to receive a DVD release.
I would probably only recommend this to hardcore horror fans as well as HARDCORE (And I mean hardcore) fans of Anthrax. Otherwise, don't bother.
EXTRAS: Grow some hair on that chest as a trailer for No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers (1990) appears at the beginning of the tape. This time, it's family!
Black Eagle (1988)
A forgotten Jean-Claude Van Damme film that should stay that way 'til kingdom come.
Now don't take this into the wrong direction. I like Van Damme as well as Sho Kosugi, but even they couldn't save this film from being so boring and so abysmal. I was so bored by this film, that not only did I fall asleep during the film, I couldn't even finish the thing. I just had to eject this pile of waste from my DVD player during the middle of the film.
An F-11 holding a device that the United States government cannot afford to lose crash lands in the Mediterranean. The KGB lead by Andrei (Played by Van Damme), unfortunately, are much closer to finding the device than the CIA. The United States government decides to send in their best man, Ken Tani, The Black Eagle (Played by Kosugi). Tani decides to head to Malta with his two kids (Played by Kosugi's own children) to find the device before the KGB does.
I have nothing else to say about this crap except that even if you're a Van Damme superfan, don't bother, and just leave it in the $3 bin at BigLots! I'm actually quite surprised this didn't kill Van Damme's career.
DVD Extras: An okay full frame presentation (Take pride in the fact that I said that, by the way) along with the movie's trailer and production notes that no one really cares about, much like the movie itself.
The Brave Frog (1989)
Originally written on December 9, 2008
I just watched this on YouTube not long ago, and I agree with the majority of reviews I'm seeing here. This movie is crap. I couldn't even make it through the first part, and because of that, this review will be rather short. So here goes nothing. I'm just going to do my best.
The movie is about an orphaned Frog named Jonathan, whose family gets eaten by a monster, which leaves Jonathan to tend for himself. He meets up with a very giggle some girl Pookie, and on the topic of her, why in Rocket J. Squirrel's name is she dressed up like that? She looks like she was originally created for an all-frog version of Lolita. And then Jonathan and Pookie have to overcome obstacles, bullies, cats, and a greedy leader.
There's really no plot to actually describe. Using Microsoft 3D Movie Maker, I could have come up with something much better. This movie has landed #3 on my worst films list. I can now see why the DVD is out of print and why the IMDb page for this is pretty much incomplete. Not only that, but this abortion makes Cybernator look like friggin' Harvey. I have no understanding as to what Golden Harmony, the same folks behind Robotech, was thinking when they picked this one up.
Horrible. Just simply horrible.
Originally written on December 11, 2008.
I had gotten this at Movie Exchange just a week before thanksgiving. I saw this along with another movie, Hyperspace. I paid only $1.70 for both films....and in terms of Cybernator, I still think I paid WAY too much for this travesty. It's horrible, boring, and completely stupid and unoriginal.
Cybernator takes place in the year 2010, where the Earth has become a world where the economy has collapsed, the government has fallen, and all power has fallen under military control as military trained cyborg assassins have turned against them. It all starts off with a Crooked Senator and his hooker girlfriend entering a hotel room. They're about to start knockin' boots when the hooker is killed by cyborgs and the senator gets a similar fate. Then cut to some strip club where dumb music is playing and then it starts to focus on our main character, L.A. Police Officer Brent McCord (Whom like one reviewer said, looks like Corey Feldman crossed with John Stamos) and his partner, Jim Weaver (Our token black guy.) Unfortunately, Jim gets killed in the middle of the movie which leaves Brent to work things out himself. Brent later discovers something about his past, along with his girlfriend, who doesn't really look that pretty. The cyborgs are lead by Colonel Peck, played by William Smith from Maniac Cop, who can't even save this movie from being so awful.
Overall, the movie just plain sucks. On November 20, 2008, this film gained itself a #2 spot on my worst movies list (The first of course, being Howling II, the third being Brave Frog.) If anything the C.I.A. should use this sewage leak of a film on terrorists.
Avoid this "movie" at all costs.
Slaughter of the Innocents (1993)
A fun little thriller that knows how to deliver.
Slaughter of the Innocents stars Scott Glenn (The Keep) as FBI Agent Stephen Broderick. After witnessing the wrongful execution of a 'convict' believed to be responsible for the brutal killing of a young girl that occurred years ago. In Mohab, after the execution, a store clerk gets killed and a young child is kidnapped. Both crimes mirror the child homicide. The only person that believes Broderick is his computer-whiz of a son Jesse (Played by Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus, the director's son.) Stephen and his son later head out to Mohab to locate the real killer, who happens to be a schizophrenic who believes himself to be a new Noah, having built himself an Ark and have collected two of every living thing. And Jesse may be the next victim. Who will survive? Overall, I think the movie is actually not that bad. It is ridiculous that Jesse is displayed as being smarter than any of the federal agents shown in this movie, but it's still funny, in an unintentional away. James Glickenhaus, who also helmed the awesome Peter Weller/Sam Elliott movie Shakedown, did a good job with the direction and I also liked the score by Joe Renzetti (Child's Play, Frankenhooker.) Recommended.
DVD EXTRAS: The DVD is bare-boned but with a pretty good full frame presentation. Also, the DVD is out of print, but I was very lucky to find it for only $3 at BigLots!, so if you find this film at your local BigLots!, I would suggest buying it.
Johnny Handsome (1989)
Just like Gene Siskel (RIP) said, I'd like to see it again.
Having seen the trailer multiple times as well as seeing 2 other Walter Hill films (Red Heat and Trespass), I had come across this underrated gem at Borders for $15. And I decided, why not? For me, the movie was $15 well spent.
Mickey Rourke plays John Sedley, a small-time hood whose deformation has given him the nickname, "Johnny Handsome", who is in the midst of planning a robbery with his friend, Mikey Chalmette (Played by Scott Wilson) and 2 other criminals, Rafe and Sunny (Played by the always great Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin.) In the middle of the robbery, John and Mikey are double-crossed by Sunny and Rafe. Mikey ends up killed and Johnny is arrested. While in jail, Lt. Drones (Played by Morgan Freeman) offers Johnny a chance to participate in a rehab program. Johnny accepts the offer and while at the rehab, Johnny is stabbed and taken to a hospital. At the hospital, the sympathetic Dr. Steven Fisher (Played by Forest Whitaker) gives Johnny a new face, a new identity (Johnny is given the name Johnny Mitchell), and a new shot at life. Johnny is eventually granted parole and gets a job at a plant. Going straight isn't all that easy, however. What Johnny really intends to do is get even with Rafe and Sunny.
I found the film to be an intense and underrated revenge noir that really deserves more attention than it already has. The score by Ry Cooder (Also responsible for the equally good score for Trespass) fits the film well too. The only thing that I did not like about the film was the ending, which was pretty sad. Nevertheless, it's a fun film that will hopefully, get more recognition in the future.
DVD Extras: The movie is presented in a crisp 1.33:3 full frame format, although I really don't know why Artisan decided against showing the film in it's original 1.85 aspect ratio, but it's still a good presentation. It's also VHS sourced, as if you watch the film all the way to the end, you'll see the I.V.E. logo.
Dreams Beyond Memory (1988)
A good late night time waster that can be considered a diamond in the rough in the world of Canadian cinema.
I had originally, at first, come across this rare and forgotten gem on eBay, going up for like, $50. However, last February, I was finally able to snag up a VHS copy of this gem for $13 on Amazon.com. And when the tape finally came in, I watched it and I was amazed at how wonderful this film truly is.
The movie centers around World War II vet George (Played by George Touliatos), who lives alone in an apartment in Toronto, save for his pet parrot. George works as a horse trainer and another neighbor, Olga, often helps around his home. While messing around in an abandoned room, George meets a young girl named Jennifer (Played by Lisa Schrage from HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT 2), who reminds him of his wife, whom he lost during World War II. Romance ensues between George and Jennifer.
I consider this film to be best watched when you're up late and just want to kill some time. As I've said before, this film appears to be forgotten and the film's only availability appears to be on VHS in Canada from Cineplex Odeon/MCA. I do hope Alliance (Cineplex Odeon's successor) considers releasing a DVD of this forgotten film someday. And I do apologize if this review's rather quick, as I was up late when I wrote this.
Back in Action (1993)
One Cop. One Vigilante. Alone, they're unstoppable. Together, they're invincible!
At first, I actually had no idea that Billy Blanks was an actor, but after seeing the poster for this film, my interest had been captured. I was treated to a really amazing beat 'em up fest. Billy Blanks and Roddy Piper sure know how to kick some butt.
The movie centers around veteran police office Frank Rossi, played by Piper, who after his partner Wallace is brutally gutted by a ruthless drug gang, becomes bent on avenging his partner's death. Meanwhile, Billy (Played by Billy Blanks), an ex-Special Forces agent, is trying to protect his sister from the same gang, lead by Kasajian, played brilliantly by Nigel Bennett. Rossi and Billy eventually team up after a number of confrontations when Billy's sister and Rossi's reporter girlfriend Helen (Played by Bobbie Phillips) are kidnapped by Kasajian's gang.
This movie really knows how to deliver. It's sad that there is really not that large of a following, but we can always hope that it will gain more cult recognition in the future. I hope Universal considers releasing a DVD of this movie someday, in widescreen.
EXTRAS: The tape contains a trailer for Mr. Write (1994) before the movie starts.
Relentless 3 (1993)
2 times the fear.
The Relentless series seems to be in my opinion, a very well made series of "To catch a Killer"-type films. After watching the first movie and then watching the second one, I decided it was time to view the third one, as well as the fourth one. And thanks to the good people over at Image Entertainment, we get both movies on 1 DVD.
In part 3, Det. Sam Dietz (Once again, played by Leo Rossi, who this time around, gets top billing as well as even serving as one of this film's and part 4's producers) has returned from up north to the City of Angels, after being away for sometime. He is now divorced from Carol. This time around, Dietz agress to track yet another serial killer. The killer in this one, played by William Forsythe, finds various women and hacks them up and taunts the police by sending them the body parts. The killer is also someone Sam's arrested before. 7/10 In part 4, which is the better film, in my opinion, Sam is after yet another killer who kills women, based on their connection to therapist Dr. Sara Lee Jaffe (Played by Famke Janssen, in one of her first roles) in ritualistic-style murders. Sara herself holds the key to the case. Meanwhile, Dietz has other problems of his own, such as his teenage son Corey (Now being played by the late Christopher Pettiet), who's role in this seems to be somewhat bigger than part 1 or 2 and especially 3 combined (Watch 3 to know why). Also interesting to note that Ken Lerner, Michael Lerner's brother, who also appeared in part 1, plays a totally different character, a joke-loving coroner. 8.5/10 In closing, I believe 4 to be the superior film, mainly because of the intense ending, which I will not say how it goes. Both films recommend. I hope Cinetel Films decides to make a Relentless 5 soon, although it may never happen, we may just end up with some lame remake of the first movie, but one can dream.
EXTRAS: None, except for a good 1:85 widescreen presentation for both films.
2 times the fear.
The Relentless series seems to be in my opinion, a very well made series of "To catch a Killer"-type films. After watching the first movie and then watching the second one, I decided it was time to view the third one, as well as the fourth one. And thanks to the good people over at Image Entertainment, we get both movies on 1 DVD.
In part 3, Det. Sam Dietz (Once again, played by Leo Rossi, who this time around, gets top billing as well as even serving as one of this film's and part 4's producers) has returned from up north to the City of Angels, after being away for sometime. He is now divorced from Carol. This time around, Dietz agress to track yet another serial killer. The killer in this one, played by William Forsythe, finds various women and hacks them up and taunts the police by sending them the body parts. The killer is also someone Sam's arrested before. 7/10 In part 4, which is the better film, in my opinion, Sam is after yet another killer who kills women, based on their connection to therapist Dr. Sara Lee Jaffe (Played by Famke Janssen, in one of her first roles) in ritualistic-style murders. Sara herself holds the key to the case. Meanwhile, Dietz has other problems of his own, such as his teenage son Corey (Now being played by the late Christopher Pettiet), who's role in this seems to be somewhat bigger than part 1 or 2 and especially 3 combined (Watch 3 to know why). Also interesting to note that Ken Lerner, Michael Lerner's brother, who also appeared in part 1, plays a totally different character, a joke-loving coroner. 8.5/10. In closing, I believe 4 to be the superior film on the disc, mainly because of the intense ending, which I will not say how it goes. Both films I recommend. I hope Cinetel Films decides to make a Relentless 5 soon, although it may never happen, we may just end up with some lame remake of the first movie, but one can dream.
EXTRAS: None, except for a good 1:85 widescreen presentation for both films.
Dead On: Relentless II (1992)
Best one in the series! 10/10.
Well, after watching the first one, and surprisingly enough, declaring it as one of my favorite films, I decided to lookout for the whole series. Actually, I first came across the VHS of Relentless 2 at ABC Video and I decided to pick it up, since the tape was right in front of my eyes, and only 1 dollar. I didn't get around to watching it until the night after and as assumed, I would enjoy it. Not only did I enjoy it, but it ended up becoming my favorite one in the series. Now onto the movie.
Two years have gone by since the events of Relentless 1. Det. Sam Dietz (From the first movie, once again, played by Leo Rossi), still trying to cope with the events of the first Relentless, has been recruited by a mysterious FBI Agent, Kyle Valsone (Played by Ray Sharkey) to track down an occult serial killer by the name of Gregor (Brilliantly played by Miles O'Keefe from Waxwork and the MST3K favorite, Cave Dwellers), who has been going around the streets of Los Angeles avenging his family's death and killing those responsible. What Dietz does not know is that Valsone has a connection of his own to Gregor.
In my opinion, like someone over at IMDb said, Gregor could probably rip the first movie's killer, Buck, to shreds. The character of Gregor hardly speaks, which makes him even creepier than he seems. There is also a small sub-plot which involves Dietz's wife and son, Carol (Played by Meg Foster from the first film), now estranged from Sam, because of long working hours, and Corey (Played by Brendan Ryan, also from the first film), trying to deal with Sam's current situation and the Dietz Family's future.
Like I had said, Part 2 is my favorite in the Relentless series. I would definitely recommend this to fans of action films, thrillers, to some degree, horror films, fans of Miles O'Keefe and even fans of Sven-Ole Thorsen, who has a small role as the mechanic who is killed by Gregor in the beginning of the film.
EXTRAS: A decent full-frame presentation and trailers for "In The Cut", "Secret Window" & "Panic Room." Funny thing though, the original tagline was "The first killer was unpredictable. This one is unstoppable" but the people over at Sony goofed up the second line and instead wrote "This time, he's unstoppable." Oh well.
When Buck Taylor Comes to Call, Your Number is Up.
First time I had encountered Relentless was when I was at Hollywood Video sometime last summer, you know, since they had VHS clearances and this was one of the tapes that was up for grabs. So I decided to buy it and truth be told, I was not really expecting much, but after watching, I got a lot more than I expected.
The movie centers around Arthur "Buck" Taylor (Played by Judd Nelson in probably his best performance) who having just been rejected from the L.A.P.D. on psychological grounds, Buck decides to get even by selecting random people from the phone book with his first name in their names as well as people with his last name in their ways, as a mean of trying to kill himself, and uses his police training skills to cover his tracks. Buck begins taunts the police with torn pages from the phone book with messages. When rookie detective Sam Dietz (Played by Leo Rossi), and veteran Bill Malloy (Played by Robert Loggia) decide to take the case, the two cops are drawn in to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse which ends in a deadly fight to the finish.
Overall, I think William Lustig (MANIAC COP) did an excellent job with the direction and I liked Leo Rossi's performance of Sam Dietz (Which he would reprise in the sequels) and I especially think Judd Nelson did a excellent and very creepy performance as Buck. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys neo-noirs, serial killer movies, or even fans of Lustig.
EXTRAS: A good widescreen presentation on the DVD along with trailers for "Trapped", "Panic Room", & "Secret Window".
Ghoulies IV (1994)
Not as bad as it's reputation may suggest. Actually my favorite one in the series.
Sixth (And last) movie in the boxset. Well, looks like I've saved the best one for last. Ghoulies IV. I originally did a review for this back in like February, but I decided to do a new one. The Ghoulies series is pretty awesome. I know there are some people who don't like them, and that's fine. This happens to be my favorite one in the series. Yeah, I know the actual Ghoulies don't appear and are replaced by 2 guys in costumes, one of them being Tony Cox from Bad Santa. Now, onto the movie.
The movie centers around Jonathan Graves, the main character from the first movie, being played once again, by Peter Liapis, who is now a cop for the LAPD and has put his past of the occult behind him. During the first part of the movie, we encounter Alexandra (Played by the very hot Stacie Randall) communicating with a demon from beyond named Faust, who is the dark side of Jonathan. Faust asks Alexandra for a red jewel and something goes awry, therefore, unleashing the Ghoulies from the beyond.
I think Jim Wynorski did a good job with the directing. And the music by Chuck Cirino is funny as well. (SPOILER AHEAD) At the end of this movie, the Ghoulies say that there will be a Ghoulies IV, Part 2, or Ghoulies V. I still hope that sequel gets made and I especially hope Jim Wynorski returns to direct. I agree with GimboTheGhoulies on that.
One of the greatest baseball films I have ever seen. 10/10
Well, springtime's around the corner, and that means baseball season's around the corner as well. I had picked up a VHS copy of this film on eBay from someone in Denholm, and after watching it, it automatically became one of the best baseball films I have ever seen (THE best I've seen, is of course, Field of Dreams, which I will review at another time), maybe even one of the greatest films I've ever seen.
The movie is set in 1957, and centers around veteran minor league pitcher for the Steamers, Roy Dean Bream (Played by William Russ from Boy Meets World) whose sheer love of the game has kept him in it well past the height of his career, a three week stint in the major leagues twelve years earlier. In comes Tyrone Debray (Played by Glenn Plummer), a black (or African-American) seventeen year-old rookie, who joins the Steamers and befriends Roy. They end up challenging the racism, envy, and disbelief of the other players, one of the other players being played by Patrick O'Bryan from 976-EVIL.
I really did like Russ' character as well as the character of Tyrone. One notable moment was when Roy asked Tyrone if he wanted a drink, Tyrone tells him that he's seventeen and then Roy offers him soda instead. And how could I write this review without mentioning Jeffrey Tambor's character of Peter LaPorte, the Steamers manager, who in my opinion, made for slight comic relief. The movie also features cameos by six of the greatest major league baseball players of all time, including, Duke Snider, Bob Feller, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Bill Mazeroski, and Don Newcombe.
EXTRAS: The Cineplex Odeon logo appears at both the beginning and the end of the tape, but that's it.
City of Shadows (1987)
The Films of Damian Lee: City of Shadows (1987). He's a Good Cop Living in a Bad Dream.
I don't understand why the other reviewer's so butthurt, but I actually liked this movie. I'd been wanting to see this for some time. I won a copy in an eBay auction and it came rather fast. I watched it, and it was pretty good. I especially liked the score by Tangerine Dream, but more on that later. Now onto the movie.
The movie is about a cop named Paul (Played by Paul Coufos) who is currently investigating the crimes of a child predator named Garrett (Played by the writer/producer Damian Lee), but little does he know that Paul and Garrett are related. The movie starts off with Paul and his partner Rosie (Played by Tony Rosato from SCTV and Damian's previous Busted Up) on a stakeout. They're waiting for a henchman of Garrett, who eventually gets shot by Garrett himself. Meanwhile, Joey, the young son of Paul's girlfriend, Maria (Played by Sonja Belliveau from Lee's Circle Man) almost gets kidnapped, only to get kidnapped for real later in the movie.
I would rather not give too much away, but I will say that probably the best character in the movie is the character of Sargent Fireman (Played by screen vet John P. Ryan from classics such as It's Alive and Class of 1999.) The score by Tangerine Dream is very well done and atmospheric, and I especially like the song at the end. I even made myself an mp3 of it. As for the direction, I think David Mitchell did a decent job. This movie, like most of Damian's films, has not received a DVD release, so if you can find a VHS copy for cheap, then get it.
EXTRAS: Aside from the song and the Cineplex Odeon Logo, nothing much. No trailers, which is actually pretty surprising since so far, every Cineplex Odeon tape I own has no trailers on them.
Happy Hour (1986)
Let the Party Begin!
I actually have now owned at least 3 copies of this laugh-fest. One was a crappy Avid Home Entertainment VHS in the crappy SLP Mode, the other was an I've VHS in superior SP mode and had trailers for Free Ride and Meatballs 3 at the end, both copies I bought from ufoexpert. In November, I bought a copy from none other than Ernst Wiltmann on Amazon.ca (under the name, videoflk and also known as wiltvid on IMDb.) It was a Canadian tape that imo, was superior to the first two. Now onto the movie.
The movie is about a chemist named Blake Teegarden (Played by Richard Gilliland) who along with his assistant Meredith (Played by Debbie Gates) discovers an ingredient. And when said ingredient is added into beer, then it makes it absolutely irresistible. What Blake does not realize is that an international spy, Mr. X (Played by Rich Little) is after him to try to get the formula for himself.
Overall, the movie's pretty hilarious. I really don't want to give much away, because then I'd just spoil all the fun. However, I will say that there are some funny characters like Crummy Fred (Played by Jamie Farr), Hancock (Played by Eddie Deezen, the voice of Mandark on Dexter's Lab), and the very hot secretary and the equally hot Misty Roberts (Played by Tawny Kitaen.)
Recommended. Especially for the song "I Wouldn't Do That to You" performed by Devo.
Prehysteria! 2 (1994)
Just as good as part 1, but not as good as part 3.
Just 2 months after renting the original, I thought I'd give this one a go. Truth be told, it was actually in 1998 I started to gain interest in Charlie Band's films. Now, onto the movie. Sorry for the short intro.
This time around, the story revolves around a neglected rich boy Brendan (Played by Kevin R. Connors) whose governess is on the verge of sending him to boot camp. It isn't long though, before Brendan finds everyone's favorite miniature dinosaurs. Then, the fun begins.
There are some rather silly moments, but they can also be funny, such as Ivan the Gardner, and Hiro, the karaoke loving chef, the latter being my favorite character.
EXTRAS: At the beginning, a "Stay Tuned for Moonbeam's Videozone" bumper appears and the videozone has a behind-the-scenes, an interview with Margot Kidder about Beanstalk, and trailers for Dragonworld, Pet Shop, and Remote.