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Showing posts from May, 2011

Nemesis (1992)

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In the future, cybernetic beings are replacing humans with perfectly duplicated cyborgs which mimic human behavior and look the part. Oliver Grunner is an LA cop, Alex Raine, who is a human with cybernetic parts, who hunts terrorists for his department, under Commissioner Farnsworth (Tim Thomerson). What Alex doesn’t realize is that Farnsworth has been “replaced” with a state-of-the-art cybernetic recreation who is to lead a revolution with a plan to wipe out humankind.

There are characters like Angie-liv (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), Max Impact (Merle Kennedy, who moves like a monkey), Jared (Marjorie Monaghan, a “good cyborg” and once Alex’s lover before he discovered she was in fact an “it”), and Julian (Deborah Shelton, Jared’s cybernetic ally whose naked body actually looks synthetic) who are trying to stop the evil cyborg’s from the planned human holocaust.

The plot, with a lot of technical mumbo jumbo as dialogue to explain facets of the story play second fiddle to the non-stop …

Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

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The city in Hobo with a Shotgun is a cesspool of crime and brutality because a powerful monster rules it. The citizenry of this hellhole are scared to death because “The Drake” is a crazed sadist who loves the fear his rule brings, with two sons (who dress in Starter jackets and wear ray bans mimicking 80s Tom Cruise; they also drive a car similar to the Delorean from Back to the Future, the closing song very much an 80s pop tune you might hear at the end of a song from that particular decade) who are just as ruthless as he is. These three laugh and celebrate when they destroy people and bask in the glory of their terror. The rugged pauper known as “Hobo” becomes fed up with the violence and horror that he sees on a daily basis, packs a shotgun he lifts from a store and starts ridding the streets of the vermin who have brought nothing but evil and cruelty to innocent people.

Before the Hobo goes vigilante, he tries the right way. Slick, Drake’s volatile younger son, snaps a teen…

Dark Age (1987)

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What I like about the Australian killer croc movie, Dark Age, is that the giant crocodile of this movie is not presented just as a dangerous animal, but as a god-like beast, the Aboriginals in the movie, always a spiritual culture with a shroud of mystery around them, further emphasizing the creature’s mythos.

Numanwari is the Aboriginal name for the crocodile of Dark Age, a humongous specimen who seems to cooperate with the “blacks” while the “whites”—that is those who poach and kill crocs and are racist towards the Aboriginals—seem to irritate it quite a bit.

John Jarrett is a crocodile conservationist who is at peace with the Aboriginals, good friends with the “blacks” while certain “whites”, such as a loathsome bastard named John Besser, treat his love for these animals with scorn.

“No white fellow can kill Numanwari, we go now.”

I did mention above that the Numanwari of this film seems to *cooperate* with Aboriginals, but this is somewhat of a misnomer, as evident in one horrify…

Teenage Zombies (1959)


A South American scientist, experimenting on a gas capsule which will turn Americans into mindless zombies to control, has an island laboratory with test subjects. Four teenagers find the island while on a boating trip, stumbling upon zombies and the scientist, with a hulking slave named Ivan who obeys her every command and subdues the kids, imprisoning them. The teenagers’ friends and their local law enforcement will conduct a search for them.

Producer/director Jerry Warren probably gathered together some actors and friends from the local Playhouse theater to star in this corny, no-budget horror/sci-fi schlock using mad science, mind-controlled human zombies, and the commie threat as themes for his movie.

The “golly, gee whiz!” acting style, with all the heightened melodramatics, from the “teenagers” (they all look like they are in their twenties) can become tiresome, unless you get a kick out of these sorts of performances—instead of talking to each other, we get a lot of “loud” co…

She Freak (1967)

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Jade Cochran(Claire Brennan), a sexpot stuck in a dead-in job at some nondescript café in the middle of nowhere Texas, desires more out of life than her tired mama who had nine kids, didn’t graduate high school, worn out at 42, life unfulfilled, opportunities nil. Jade vows to herself in a monologue heard by her café owner slob(Claude Earl Jones, familiar to many because he was in lots of television and the made for tv horror classic, Dark Night of the Scarecrow) that she will do whatever it takes—cheat and steal if she has to—in order to escape a mundane existence where expectations weren’t reached.

“From here it’s all the way up.”

Jude leaves her waitress job at the diner with designs on *higher livin’*, winding up waiting tables at the traveling carnival. Jade makes friends fast—the “ferris wheel foreman"(Lee Raymond), a stripper(Lynn Courtney), and specifically St. John(Bill McKinney, whose notoriety derives from making Ned Beatty squeal like a pig before raping him in the …

Indestructible Man (1956)

* * ½

“Just remember what I said. I’m gonna kill ya..all three of ya.”

“Butcher” Benton has a reason to be bitter and pissed off. Sentenced to die for his role in an armored truck heist, Benton burns to get revenge for those who framed him. While not completely innocent (he was part of a criminal gang, wanting $600,000 of the money caused the other two, including his attorney, to turn state’s evidence against him), Benton is sentenced to die, but knows where the money is and will not tell the one who orchestrated the job, Paul Lowe, swearing to get even with the three who sent him to the gas chamber, including “Squeamy” Ellis and Joe Marcelli.

That money is somewhere and the police have given up on finding it, while Detective Richard, despite being reassigned, decides to continue working on the case during his off-duty hours. It was an armored car heist, Benton keeping all the money to himself, never relinquishing the whereabouts of that cache to those who were part of the gang. Eva Ma…

Vigilante (1982)

* * ½

Following Maniac, director William Lustig had crossed disturbing boundaries and shocked audiences with his repulsive psychopath and the human monster’s violent activities. It was violence made even more potent due to Tom Savini’s exceptional make-up which elaborated the explicit nature of the crimes. It was about smaller females caught by a real sick individual who unleashed the savage on them. How could he possibly follow up such a film whose notoriety continues to this day? Interesting enough, Vigilante has lingered in relative obscurity while Lustig’s Relentless with Judd Nelson has acquired a cult following over the years. Vigilante is a *message movie*, announcing to us that the police and other law enforcement aren’t successful in maintaining law and order; that the scum and lowlifes polluting the streets are alive, that it might take vigilantism for any sort of order to be restored.

What makes this film so sickening and distasteful is what happens to Robert Forster’s wife …

Carson City (1952)

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Lots of plot complications in this solid little Randolph Scott western.
Sure Scott might've been considered an imitation western hero alongside
John Wayne, but I haven't found a dull movie of his out of the bunch
I've seen.

In this film Scott portrays a charming roughneck engineer named Jeff
Kincaid, hired to create a railroad system through a tough mountainous
territory located near a small town named Carson City, his home town.
Screen veteran Raymond Massey, as AJ Jack Davis, is the new villain
Scott will have to contend with, the leader of a group of thieves known
in the papers as the "Champagne Bandits", using an old mine as a front
for his nefarious activities.

What started out as robbing stagecoaches for loot results later in the
murder of a driver carrying parts for an automatic drill to assist the
railroad. Zeke(Don Beddoe), in charge of the Carson Clarion newspaper,
discovers that Davis' partner in crime, Squires (James Millican), was
the one responsible for t…

Midnight Phantom (1935)

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To say that the Chief of Police, James A Sullivan, is intimidating would be an understatement—everyone who enters his office does so with hesitation, expecting to get their ass chewed out. He’s frustrated because of the criminal element in his city, and nobody on the force seems to know how to apprehend those responsible. The opening scene, after an edited series of events such as crime and the police pursuing suspects in the Big City are presented to us, has consecutive visits to the Sullivan’s office, almost everyone he has a bone to pick with. Whether it be an officer eyeing political office to steal his job (rubbing noses with the kind of people he despises), a policeman under his command unable to catch a murderer plaguing the streets, or his captain over the Vice squad, from Paris, who might be receiving inappropriate funds to support a lavish existence, each person poses an annoyance or aggravation which fuels his temper. Chief Sullivan understands that those under his comma…

Hell High

* * ½

We are introduced to a jerk-off troublemaker named Dickins who throws biology papers in the air after his exhausted teacher, Ms. Storm, asks the prick to file them once he has taken the tests from the other students. He’s part of a group of rejects, misfits who accept their unpopular reputations in school with pride and live it up much to the chagrin of the faculty and other students who find them obnoxious and burdensome. To disrupt and cause anarchy seem to be their mantra, and soon an ex-football player (who loses his girl to the star jock after quitting the team) is “commissioned” to join them.

Jon-Jon has a bright future but is not exactly the kind who normally associates with Dickens kind of crowd, a bunch of loud, abrasive teens who yearn to raise hell while he has folks who expect great things out of him. Yet Jon-Jon decides to hang with them and this slasher film documents the repercussions. Dickens is obsessed with biology teacher Ms. Storm, particularly after seein…