Thursday, March 31, 2016

Enter the Ninja

Hiyas boys and girls. Welcome back to the week and pulling out a rarity for me. A Golan-Globus movie. Yes most folk attribute most Golan-Globus films as lesser action, horror and sci-fi movies and yet they brought us all Hospital Massacre, Death Wish II, 10 to Midnight, Revenge of the Ninja, Invasion U.S.A., King Solomon's Mines and Masters of the Universe. True they did also give us Death Wish 3 and 4: The Crackdown, Cyborg and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace but that is just splitting hairs. Clearly you need the faithful helping hand that is ninja.

This is Enter the Ninja.

I'm not sure if I can find that master of shadows.

Training hard in ninja school and yes that is apparently a thing, for war vet (some scrumming in Africa Congo and not Nam for a change) Cole (Franco Nero of Django, Force 10 from Navarone, The Shark Hunter, The Last Days of Pompeii, Django Strikes Again, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, The Dragon Ring and Django Unchained) achives the rank of ninja as his nifty scroll is his diploma...apparently that is also a thing that happened. After a slight wrinkle of words exchanged between Cole and Hasegawa (Sho Kosugi of Revenge of the Ninja, The Master, Ninja III: The Domination, Pray for Death, Rage of Honor, Blind Fury, Black Eagle and Ninja Assassin) at whether or not Cole is a legit ninja or not and he stomps off like a spoiled brat leaving Cole to reflect.

Cole leaves Japan (No real actual location) to the Phillipines to visit his friend Frank who looks like a hybrid of Andy Gibb and James Caan. Picture that for a moment. Upon arriving, he doesn't shout out, ring a bell or wait for someone to pass by this massive gate. Nope, best to use those vaulted ninja skills and scale over the wall but all the while he didn't even dirty his tight white pant suit. Did I mention this is 1981? Disco wear still available. Susan George meets Cole with a twelve gauge and hell I don't blame her given she had a difficult time with the Straw Dogs and Mandingo. Our gentleman hero tricks her, tosses her shotgun and puts her in a groping hold??
Frank greets his manhandling buddy and introduces his wife to Cole.

Dark Ninja attack!!

Frank has changed quite a bit since the war. His three loves is his wife, booze and apparently cockfights. Yeah can't get enough of roosters beating the crap out of each other. He is being squeezed by a land developer in Manila, hounded by packs of thugs constantly making his life miserable. Cole proceeds to beat the crap out of most of these men and we even get to see a man impaled with a bench. Ninja trick no doubt. Our inspiring land developer Mr. Venarius (Christopher George of El Dorado, The Rat Patrol, Chisum, The Train Robbers, Grizzly, City of the Living Dead, Graduation Day and Pieces) sends his best yes man to Japan to acquire a ninja of his own to do battle with Cole and shock of shocks or plenty of foreshadow it is Hasegawa that takes the contract. After defending Frank's plantation, watching him drink himself in a stupor, he does what any good friend does...plow Frank's wife. Well, that marriage was rocky at best.

Will Venarius get the land? Will Frank find out Cole porked his wife? Will battle with Hasegawa bring their feud to an end?

This is the right amount of action and over the top Ninja nonsense of the 80s and 90s. The craze that caused most of our parents to buy up a lot of plastic throwing stars and katana swords. Franco Nero was an unusual casting as the lead given the fact he had no martial arts background at all.

Writer/stuntman Mike Stone a martial arts expert was initially supposed to be Cole but his acting was painful that he was replaced by Franco Nero and yet, Franco didn't have a Texan accent or American at all thus needed to be dubbed. Just how crappy was Mike Stone's acting? The fight scenes are pretty good, the writing is fair and Will Hare of The Electric Horseman, Fire on the Mountain and of course Grandpa in Silent Night, Deadly Night. I just thought of his lines creeping out little Billy and started laughing.

Ninja and amateur mammogram specialist.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Hey folks. I am guessing you are no worse for wear with being subjected to Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance...mostly because you did not have to sit through that stinkburger. With that in mind I will bring you a film that gets overlooked as being pretty decent. No I am not subjecting you to some obscure 80s slasher movie that you may have passed in a now defunct concept like a video store but rather a blockbuster film that occurred in 2004 with a budget of no less than 70 million in the hopes it would rocket to the stars with the opening weekend. An ambitious flick that showcased enough talent, actors and decent writing some folks are still either embrace it for what it is or just outright sneer at it. This is Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Yes I am that pretty, world. Get over it.

Directoral debut Kerry Conran (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The World of Tomorrow and Gumdrop) we open with an alternative timeline of 1939 in which the zeppelin dubbed Hindenburg II arrives at the Empire State building carrying Dr. Jorge Vargas (Julian Curry of Rumpole of the Bailey, Rasputin, Mysteries of Egypt, Uncle Adolf and The Queen's Sister) delivering two vials to for a Dr. Walter Jennings (Trevor Baxter of Cold Comfort Farm. The Politician's Wife. The Hunchback, Parting Shots, Doctors and My Family), when moments later Dr. Vargas disappears.

Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow of Jefferson in Paris, Se7en, Great Expectations, Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man, Glee, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers) is a hustle and bustle newspaper reporter on the story of Varga and five other world renowned scientists are missing. After meeting Dr, Jennings at a showing of the Wizard of Oz he tells her that Dr. Totenkopf is coming for him. Taking that in, the air raid sirens go off immense giant robots start attacking the city. The police feeling overwhelmed summon Sky Captain (Jude Law of Gattaca, Final Cut, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, The Aviator, All the King's Men, Sherlock Holmes, Repo Men and Side Effects) and his Flying Legion, a private air force based in New York and... no one seems to question that. Must be that Commisoner Gordon/Batman relationship I guess. With one of the robots dismantled, Sky Captain Joe Sullivan takes the monstrosity to their tech guy Dex (Giovanni Ribsi of Saving Private Ryan, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Avatar and Ted) to figure who made it and what makes it tick. 

Tony Stark mad with power, strikes again!

 Dex tracks the signal of this massive automaton to Tibet and our heroes head for that direction only to run into Commander Franky Cook commanding a FLYING AIRCRAFT CARRIER!!! YUP! A friggin' Helicarrier pre-S.H.I.E.L.D. Commanded by Angelia Jolie in all her fiestiness. FYI, both ladies are Sky Captain's exes so "Awkward," is an understatement. With figuring out what Dr. Totenkopf is up to and why there seems to be such an uproar from a scientist is paramount...(not New Line Cinema.)

Folks I really have no problem with this film. It is kind of a throwback to Doc Savage with the amazing inventions and some of the older comic strips like Terry and the Pirates. Good action scenes, decent character development and enough digital artists, modelers and animators busting their butts I don't understand why folks crap all over it.

It has its flaws as does any movie and admittedly there are a few plotholes but overall I was impressed with it and would recommend it for a sit-in with the family as GIANT FRICKIN' ROBOTS get used! Feels a bit similar to the Max Fleischer Studios Superman and a bit of the Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials. I had fun watching this.

My fedora senses danger!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Sequel Like No Other: Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance

Well hello there my little lamby lambs and welcome back for the week here at Rotten Reelz Reviews. Now we have a few announcements for the week but that will all have to wait because...I have the sequel! What sequel you may find yourself asking? Why, only the sequel you yourself didn't even know you wanted. Yes the sequel to follow 25 years later from all the hard hitting action, paint balls for blood, the tactical wisdom of Shoot, shoot shoot, shoot them, man! I speak of none other than Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance.

Kawasu e no ikō o chūshi! or Abort move to dodge!

25 years later and the streets of L.A.have not improved. Technology and communications run at an all-time high and the Yakuza are in full swing. Joe Marshall (Matt Karedas of American Revenge, Samurai Cop and JAG)has all but disappeared after the death of Jennifer (now played by adult film star Kayden Kross of Escort, The Turn On. The Con Job, Nurses 2. Orgasm and My Sister's Husband)

Frank (Mark Frazer of Another World, Hunter, Samurai Cop and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) has a life, a good woman and a new partner Detective Higgins (Laurene Landon of Airplane II: The Sequel, Hundra, Maniac Cop, Wicked Stepmother, Maniac Cop 2, Drive and Knife to a Gunfight) whose plastic surgery is kinda frightening to look at. Seriously, I can barely understand her given her jaw has been reconstructed and her flesh pulled taunt. It's really scary. Frank knows a gang war is about to go down with the bodies piling up on either side but his captain, Joe Harmon (Joe Estevez of Soultaker, Werewolf, Cyber Seeker, Fatal Justice, Toad Warrior, Rollergator, Demolition Highway and Guns of El Chupacabra) is a bit of a prick and doesn't care for cops with instinct only by the book. At least 3 tsuba (hilt for a wakasashi or katana) have been left at the murder scenes.

Bai Ling's late afternoon wear.

 Frank tracks down the shipping address only to find Joe, alive and well, hiding out in the desert making duplicates based on the 8 tsuba of virtue for swords living the life of peace when Katanas strike! Agreeing to work with Frank again, Joe meets Milena ( Again adult film star Kayden Kross of Escort, The Turn On. The Con Job, Nurses 2. Orgasm and My Sister's Husband) the spitting image of his dead wife Jennifer and a hokey romance ensues.

3 semi-nude girls and you can't see a thing in this shot! muahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Joe drug into the middle of this potential power keg must do battle with the Katana clan against former mullet Fujiyama (Cranston Komuro of Samurai Cop and Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance) and his three deadliest specialists: Dogge' (Bai Ling of The Crow, Anna and the King, Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow, Blood Shed, The Key and 6 Ways to Die), Hera (Adult film actress Lexi Belle of Trouble Youth 3, Sweet Petite, The Ring, Girls Love Girls 3 and Lusty Young Lesbians Vol. 6) and Tessa (Adult film star Zoey Monroe of Slut Puppies 7, Buttsex Nymphos 2, Bitter Sweet. Young & Glamorous 5, Lil' Gaping Lesbians 5, and the classic P.O.V. Pervert 16) . Can Joe and Frank put aside their differences to handle Katana again? Will Joe have another lovely lady wig? Will Frank STOP mugging for the camera?

Originally pitched as Marshall's partner Frank would team up with Joe's daughter to avenge dear old Joe Matt Karedas turns out to be alive after years off the grid. Whoops. Better make him a producer.  Dear sweet lord why??? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US ALL???!!! Okay, that bit of overacting is courtesy of The Room's Tommy Wiseau appearing and having a part. The horror... the horror. YOU'RE SLICING ME APART, SAMURAI!!! Yup, got it out of my system now.

That's not my gun digging into your hip, baby.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Hiya folks!  Happy Easter from Rotten Reelz Reviews.  Glad we have had all this time bringing you reviews on films, TV and Video Games.  We will be branching into everything but romantic comedies of current standing.  I seriously cannot stand that trope of zany guy that gets the stable girl and yet the reverse makes the woman in question look like she belongs in a rubber room.

More episodes of Rotten Ramblin' On will on the way and again feel free to contact us at or on Facebook.   For suggestions for movies, TV and video games feel free to contact me at and of course Facebook .

Give us some suggestions, comments and complaints.

Take it easy!

Likes my bacon fresh!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shows Across the Pond: The Sweeney

Hey folks. Back again. Just to mention again Rotten Reelz can be reached at for comments, critiques, queries and even suggestions. That being said I found a show from across the pond on parallel with Starsky &Hutch here. Giving all the levels of clashing classes, police and official corruption, bribery and oh so close links to criminal elements. The Flying Squad, a division of the Metropolitan Police tended to the scum of armed robbery and violent crimes. Watched like a hawk by their Detective Chief Superintedent, DI Jack Regan and DS George Carter are on the case. This is The Sweeney.

Gonna plug ya with my Roscoe, see?

Created in 1975 by writer Ian Kennedy Martin (The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Capone Investment, Mitchell, The Sweeney, The Chinese Detective, The Fourth Floor and King & Castle) mirroring the actual corruption of the real-life Flying Squad in which actual commander of the Flying Squad, our heroes Detective Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw of Inspector Morse, Mitch, Cry Freedom, Bomber Harris, Home to Roost, Into the Blue and Goodnight, Mister Tom) and Detective Sergeant George Carter (Dennis Waterman of Scars of Dracula, Sextet, Alices's Adventures in Wonderland, Sweeney!, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, Tube Mice, Minder and Cold Justice) working the streets and being the thief takers. (Detective Chief Superintendent Kenneth Dury in 1977 up for five counts of corruption and set to the hoosegow for 8 years.)

Regan, the chief "thief-taker" is a hard ass cop annoyed with Scotland Yard procedures and red tape constantly complaining about it. Clearly from Manchester he attempts to muddle his accent poorer upbringing is a seat of ridicule for his Londoner partner George Carter. A bit of a womanizer, quick to a fist fight, divorced with a daughter offers a working class dynamic. Carter is a force unto himself. The man drinks like a fish whilst smoking like a chimney. A former boxer, lover of football (Soccer for us Yanks) after the death of his wife he chased many a skirt but not as successful as Regan he is constantly more a good cop to Regan's bad cop.

Give us the dirt or it's lights out for you, me old son.

Both have a casual relationship with their chief DCI Frank Haskins (Garfield Morgan of Albert!, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Z Cars, The Man Was Hunting Himself, The Odessa File, Crown Court, George and Mildred, Shelly and Jenny's War) who they refer by first name rather than by rank. Of the three he is married with three children all attending boarding schools (probably Hogwarts) is the only one with a stable background having a former service in Royal Corps of Signals (ran radio during the War) and is constantly at lager heads with Regan on procedures and conventional police work.

This show has that same gritty dark feel that the original Get Carter and brings a seedy underbelly of London showing rampant crime and cops coming down on them like a ton of bricks. Laughed myself sick seeing more than a handful of guest stars I immediately recognized. Such as: Patrick Troughton, John Rhy-Davies, Brian Blessed, Joss Ackland, Prunella Gee, Geraldine James and Stuart Wilson. It's sinister, cleverly-written and well cast. One for those that loved the grimy, 
nebulous vibe of the cop drama films and TV of the seventies. Highly recommend this for folks enjoying something tenebrous and redeeming at the same time.

Oh that's the face of a man losing his temper.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The T & A Team: Day of the Warrior

Salutation readers! Well I am already on a cheeseball 90s action films so why stop at Samurai Cop?

Instead we will start taking a look at T&A and Guns master Andy Sidaris (Malibu Express, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Savage Beach, Guns, Do or Die, Hard Hunted and Fit to Kill), a director of the triple b or BBB (Bullets, Bombs and Babes) as he had a rotating company of actors made up of Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets. A fourth b added to this should be Buxom because while I have seen a handful (tee hee) of these flicks, none of these girls are flat chested. The plots are trope ridden, the girls are less than believable walking around let alone martial art masters and marksmen. This is Day of the Warrior.

Psst!  Eyes up here please. Not a piece of meat you know.

The Legion to Ensure Total Harmony and Law or L.E.T.H.A.L. Are the go to agency to handling terrorists, smugglers, drug dealers and even syndicate organizations. Hell, I won't be surprised if they kick Cobra's butt too. Take that G.I. Joe! Our crack team of professionals are in hot pursuit of a criminal dubbed the Warrior (Marcus "Buff" Bagwell of WCW Mayhem, WCW Souled Out, L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach, Charmed and WCW Monday Nitro), former Olympic gold medalist, pro wrestler and ex-CIA agent...cause that all blends well together. He now smuggles diamonds, contraband bootleg porn and fine art dealership. With him his assistant Kym (Ray "Zap" Hollitt of American Gladiators, Skin Deep, The Immortalizer, The Last Hour, Baywatch, Cyborg 3: The Recycler. JAG, Manhunt and Revamped) a lethal lovely of with appetites of carnal and destruction.

Clearly a tactical genius.

With the ladies of LETHAL hot on the case they are lead by field commander Willow Black (Former Penthouse Pet Julie Strain of The Dallas Connection, Play Time, Sorceress, Guns of El Chupacabra, Sorceress II: The Temptress, Heavy Metal 2000, Battle Queen 2020 and Zombiegeddon) and her D cup deadly darlings Cobra (Former Penthouse Pet Julie K Smith of The Bare Wench Project, Survivors Exposed, The Bare Wench Project 3: Nymphs of Mystery Mountain, The Hills Have Thighs and Dirty Dead Con Men) and Tiger (Former Playboy Playmate Shae Marks of Cover Me, Scoring, Playboy's Really Naked Truth, Blue Heat: The Case of the Cover Girl Murders, Viper, Love Stinks and Black Scorpion) must match their brains and brawn against Warrior and stop his organization. Where to even begin how shallow every guy, bi-sexual and lesbian should feel watching these particular films? You watching for the jiggly girls for crying out loud. This is not a Peckinpaw flick nor is it Hitchcock.

I mean for God's sake the minuscule outfits they put the girls in for starters. They would have no range of movement in a fraction of these Fredrick's of Hollywood BDSM outfits to pull off a decent side snap kick let alone in three to four inch heels while balancing. Elektra and Psylocke couldn't roll in half of these outfits but that's okay because they are fictional bad asses. The explosions and gunfights are mindless violence and hey that was one of the things that attracted you to this in the first place.

Filmed primarily around Sidaris's hometown of Shreveport Louisana, I have to give credit where it is due. Everyone is blocked, continuity is not an issue, all our actors are miked and even the soundtrack by composer Ron Di Iulio (Mountaintop Motel Massacre, Through the Fire, Armed for Action, Enemy Gold and Repligator) is quite impressive.   I wasn't suffering from Samurai Cop flashbacks in spite of seeing Gerald Okamura (Big Trouble in Little China, The Shadow, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Blade Runner video game, Blade, Redemption, Vampire Assassin and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) again but no Matt Karedas wig wearing pseudo martial arts thankfully.

So if you are looking for a bit of T&A, some explosions, a laughable plot and several topless and full nude scenes...well Andy Sidaris's collection is the way to go.

Just shake your cans then a right cross to the chops.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reader's Request: Samurai Cop

Okay after a few weeks of prying ideas out of my readers I finally got a request. Let me say offhand I was probably better off reviewing the Barely Legal Zombi Sequel Zombie 7. Yup the turd waffle I have been asked to give the once over was directed by Amir Shervan (The Owner of Hell, Young Rebels, Hollywood Cop, Killing American Style and Gypsy) so clearly if these titles are to go on, we are in good hands. This is Samurai Cop.

Leave my wig alone!!!!!

Meet Joe Marshall (Matt Karedas of American Revenge, Samurai Cop and JAG) a bad ass cop from San Diego brought in especially to rid the streets of the Yakuza in L.A. His partner Frank Washington (Mark Frazer of Another World, Hunter, Samurai Cop and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) who is clearly only two day from retirement working side by side against the Japanese underworld. Our oyabun, Fujuyama (Cranston Komuro of Samurai Cop) feathers his mullet with cocaine distribution, racketeering and protection. And any of you Segal fans out there will love the bad guy discussion/exposition about Joe as apparently he studied under the sword masters (or kengou) in Japan(didn't bother to give a location in Japan so we will say Tokyo for lazy writing's sake) and he is deemed a samurai.  Main henchman or Wakagashira Yamashita (Robert Z'Dar of Maniac Cop, Tango & Cash, Maniac Cop 2, Soultaker, The Final Sanction, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, American Chinatown, Future War and Hollywood Cops) feels threatened by Joe's mere existence and vows to Mullet oyabun he will dispatch Joe.

Being a samurai cop does take it out of you but fortunately Joe is no slacker. With his tactical genius of yelling at his partner to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot during a high speed chase to his ability to inform anything with a vagina to will herself to “keep it warm” and to wait for him, it is no wonder the ladies love him. Traffic cop/helicopter spotter/patrol cop/love interest Peggy (Melissa Moore of Sorrority House Massacre II, Vice Academy 2, Vampire Cop, Hard to Die, Angelfist, Bikini Drive-In and Hellborn) frickin' one dimensional I think the writer forgot to give her a motivation or back story. I know how she looks topless and in a thong but not much else. Seriously, other than her physical attributes, I know next to nothing about this character.

Uh-oh, that three bean salad is repeating...

Racist to Costa Ricans and Japanese a plenty, with cheeseball lines and music that sounds like it was lifted from Mega Man 2 or Jan Hammer's Miami Vice soundtracks. It varied to a degree. A degree is something our heroes seem to lack, along with procedures, basic Miranda rights and extreme use of violence on the job. Frank just straight clips a guy in the shoulder while Joe lops the arm off another guy holding a gun on them. Who needs pesky crap like search warrants, search and seizure when you can simply apologize for entering a house without just cause. Just on their shots fired forms in less than a week they would still be looking at those stacks.

I kinda got the vibe that Amir rented Lethal Weapon 2, decided to duplicate it and dropped the ball. Paintballs work just as good when you don't have squibs, right? I imagine they hurt about the same. Composer Alan DerMarderosian chimes with a background like: (Hobgoblins,Vice Academy, Mind Trap, Devil Rider, Red Room, High Kicks and Good Girls Don't) so his tunes are...very motley. The dubbing was the most painful as some actors were not able to come in for ADR (automated dialogue replacement) so at least 4 cops had the same voice. Not even a different inflection of the voice or alternative take, just that one voice. As many guys went flying through glass I expected to hear either a Goofy or a Whilhelm scream (stock sound effect used in more than 220 film and TV).   The most painful thing about this movie is the exposure.  Not noticing that lighting looks different throughout the day, this car chase started at 8 in the morning and apparently finished at 5 in the afternoon.  Also our bad guys only operate during the day.  Cause they are nine to fivers or someone didn't have access to some basic portable flood lamps at night.  60 bucks a pop, dude!  Hell borrow my lantern flood lamp, at least you could shoot AT NIGHT!!!!

Matt's line delivery felt awkward until you find out he got called in 6 months later to shoot additional scenes later on with his hideous wig. It turns out he was staring at a couple of lamps, they were not well-synced and he looks like a doofus spouting his dialogue attempting to be suave sounding confused. The lovely lady wig they gave him bounces through several times you can play a drinking game on his wig or real hair shots. I caution you, your liver may get pissed at you.

So this is Lethal Weapon on a nickel and dime budget, with no real retakes, time or money to consider. We are in the barren lands of indy film that paid as they went. The best part of this movie is they are taking it so seriously with the horrific dialogue, locations and car chases. The police department looks like a telemarketing center and the boss's digs looks like a split level house my aunt and uncle bought complete with the thick baize carpeting.   The only legitimate Hollywood stable is Carlos and Charlie's a restaurant on Sunset Blvd.  Ahh, Sunset Boulevard, something else I could be watching.   Remember kids, Katana means Japanese Sword (no it doesn't. That is nihonto).

Not Michael Winslow.

Happy St. Paddy's!!!

Hey folks, just wanted to say Happy St. Patrick's day to all you out there.  Try to use the buddy system (Without Richard Dreyfuss or Wil Wheaton), drink responsibly and avoid all car accidents.

Rotten Reelz Reviews have been a little slow so I will see about putting up an e-mail account specifically for Rotten Reelz Reviews and you can drop comments, critiques, questions, requested films to review or just say hey.  Naturally you can get ahold of us on Rotten Reelz Reviews so just a thought.  

Rotten Ramblin' On is stuck on a topic for the week so sorry on that.  Hey!  Why not toss a suggestion or two to Shawn and myself at Rotten Ramblin' On via Facebook or even Rotten Ramblin' On and On so we can get all your question, bereavements, statements and snotty comments.  

And remember, if you pass a rainbow this fine day, AVOID IT or it will mean Warwick Davis will claw your eyes out for lookin' at his gold and possibly for eyein' his lemon drink.

Chilling, aren't I?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Barely Legal Zombie Sequel: Zombie 6: Monster Hunter

Okay we are back and...y'know you can send requests, ideas or even hints to both the page here and the Rotten Reelz Reviews page on Facebook. See, if I know what you would like reviewed rather than just winging it as I go, it could put out better material. Maybe there is a specific genre that captivates you so. Perhaps you have a TV show you cannot get enough of and feel you would like my input or is there a video game series I have not given a fair shake to. I WOULDN'T KNOW!!!

So please toss me a message or five and let me know what is actually interesting to you folk so I can accommodate you. Sadly, the only thing I have on the dockets in another Barely Legal Zombie Sequel. Hey! Speak up or this crap filters into the writing again. I will be doing audio reviews of said movies I have seen via YouTube so hope you enjoy those as well and no, my co-host via Rotten Ramblin' On won't have to be subjected to those flicks if he doesn't want them. This is Zombie 6: Monster Hunter.

Not sure I like my new barber.

Brought to use by Italian exploitation director Joe D' Amato ( Heroes in Hell, Emanuelle in Bangkok, Emanuelle in America, Anthropophagus, Beyond the Darkness, The Blade Master a.k.a. Cave Dwellers and House of Pleasure) We can almost immediately expect gore or some good old T&A floating about. This is the story of Mikos (George Eastman of 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Warriors of the Wasteland, Endgame, Hands of Steel and StageFright: Aquarius) a disturbed individual with a nasty notion of leaving a trail of bodies broken and bloody all the while not staying wounded. We will call him our zombie for the time being. There are no other candidates at this time to say otherwise. I'm looking at you, Helicopter prop zombie from Dawn of the Dead.

This is supposed to be a follow-up or sequel to Anthropophagus and given it has George Eastman and it is directed by D' Amato I guess that makes sense. Sure's hell makes more sense than calling it a sequel to Zombi. This film was released in 1981 under the official title of Absurd and I quite agree that calling this movie Zombie 6 is as absurd as Killing Birds made into Zombie 5. For crying out loud, there is at least 9 alternative titles in English alone and Killing Birds came out 6 years later after this title. Thank you Foreign post-production and redistribution!!! Thanks a heap!

AHH!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!  AHH..oh wait it's a little boy.

So Mikos volunteered for an medical experiment that allows his body to regenerate rapidly from almost any wound (Insert Wolverine and Deadpool jokes here) but it also made him bat shit crazy in the process. Our liaison of exposition a priest played by the dean in Pieces (Edmund Purdom of Herod the Great, Sword of Freedom, Don't Open Till Christmas and Pieces) relies all this information in true Dr. Loomis style via Halloween. He hooks up with the local constable, Italian Sheriff Brackett and the two go of to Mikos as the only way to bring him down is a bullet to the head. Not sure how they came to that information during this secret experiment but fine. Most of the second act is revolving around this house with a girl recovering from a spinal operation (you thought I was going to say Spinal Tap), her nurse and bratty little brother Italian Tommy Doyle.

Now you might have noticed my references to John Carpenter's Halloween and well you would be right. We have a neigh-invulnerable killer, a priest rather than a shrink toting a gun and a clueless constable a'la Sheriff Brackett. If that wasn't enough the bratty kid get multiple Boogeyman comments in his dialogue and even the soundtrack sounds like a sped up version of Carpenter's theme music. Some of the kills are impressive as we see a table-saw through the head, a drill and even death by oven. Yeah, death by oven. It all feels like we skipped over Halloween and moved into Halloween II with the elaborate death scenes and no real coherent story arc.

The movie is professionally done with some great POV handheld, everyone is blocked well and even the dubbing is pretty spot on, I just would rather see the first two Halloweens rather than its conjoined twin via Italy.

Now you get back in that oven and clean it right this time!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Barely Legal Zombi Sequel: Zombie 5: Killing Birds

Whelp, I am back for another helping of Barely Legal Zombi Sequel. Really rolls off the tongue, right? Taste that arsenic! Where do we even start with this next film? If IMDB is to be believed this film was completed before Zombi 4: After Death two years prior so that's confusing. For you pervs, this flick is far removed from its jiggly girl roots now and just seems focused on NOT explaining zombie appearances, let alone why they are manifesting this time around. So slap on your rubber gloves, have a mop handy and for God's sake don't get any on your skin. This is Zombie 5: Killing Birds.

Look what you did to me, Illya!!!

Won't lie folks, this is pretty about as connected to the Zombi series as I am to award winning writing but at least I am not watching Zombi 4. This is the first of this "collection" that goes on for 45 minutes without one prime ingredient. Oh yeah, zombies!!! Seriously, the plot drags, the acting is vapid more so than a mall-rat and the pace can only be described as a slow trot or amble.

So our oeuvre opens with Vietnam vet returning home from the war only to find the less than faithful wife getting her pipes cleaned by another guy. Rational as always, our vet draws his knife and starts slashing throats left and right and even neighbors that were minding their own business. Guess they should have given him the heads up of "Dude, wife's cheatin' on you." That could have also ended bloody as well. The wife's pet birds attack him and claw his eyes out. Vengeance??

Death by pulley system is...well kinda slow and boring.

Years later the vet is visited by these students and I guess they are ornithologists but that is never truly stated and they are searching for the ivory billed woodpecker (Insert penis joke. Tee hee I'm 12.) and it is plot convenient that it may be nesting along his property. By the way, no mention if Rambo was hospitalized, dropped in the wacko basket or even put in jail. Nope, who would want to know things like that, movie? The vet is now blind and played by Robert Vaughn (To Trap a Spy, Man From U.N.C.L.E. Bullit, The Towering Inferno, Hangar 18, The A-Team, Buried Alive and Hustle) who is apparently an expert on rare indigenous birds, grabs a few books (That are not in Braille), gives a few hints and suggests where they should head off to.

No sooner are the students deep in the bayou, it starts to rain. MacGuffin leaves the former house of the vet abandoned but structurally sound so of course they go poking around in there as they dry off. It's called a poncho you twits! You can get them at any sporting goods store that has camping equipment! Also I get that you do not want to live in the same house that would be shameful and painful memories but the guy moved maybe a quarter to a half mile from it. NOT A LOT OF DISTANCE!!! Vaughn looks constantly baffled in this picture and I don't blame him. If I read the script to Zombie 5: Killing Birds, I would most likely pluck my actual eyes out so I never read anything that dumb again...or just yell at my agent for submitting it to me.

Strange noises and effects like doors and windows open tormenting our collective heads of knuckle as it looks like the Kandarian demons from Evil Dead are messing with them. Almost every death scene is a throat being slit or slashed. It just screams out, "Hey! This is the only gore gag we really understand and we are piss poorly budget based!" Vaughn shows up for a few more scenes and we see the students are being attacked by creatures zombiesque and frankly given they took their damn time showing up for the film or lurking in the unknown shadows for too long, I couldn't be bothered to care. I understand not wanting to reveal your killer or creatures right away but the spoiler is in the frickin' title! Do the kids live? Will Vaughn fire his agent? Do you give a crap at all?

This the first and last directorial of Claudio Lattanzi as he was better known for being a second unit or assistant director on Michele Soavi's StageFright: Aquarius and Umberto Lenzi's Ghosthouse. He was also assistant to Michele Soavi on The Church but there wasn't a description of the technical he did on that so I am going to guess he fetched hookers, blow and coffee for that movie. While Zombie 4 was gory and dull, at least the effects looked impressive and they were weeding out the cast in an impressive fashion. In this movie it just looks like they played "Spin the Bottle" to decide who has contributed enough to the film and now we gotta gack them. The zombies are not even explained why they are there, who they are or how they came to be. Is it a curse? Toxic waste in the waters? Swamp Thing learned some necromancy?? Who the hell knows or for that matter, who the hell cares??    Bitter? Oh, just a touch.

Craigslist threesome goes awry!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Barely Legal Zombi Sequel: Zombi 4: After Death

Heya folks and welcome back to Rotten Reelz Reviews. Quick question... are some of you completely and utterly crackers or just without souls? I got messages begging me to review more of the unofficial sequels to Zombi and I have decided from this day forth they will be referred as Barely Legal Zombi Sequels. Catchy, right? I can just envision some horny guy snapping onto this blog only to NOT find full frontal nudity. Awww poor guy I made up but probably exists. With that in mind, the last one I reviewed was the befuddling, slapped together mismatch that was Zombi 3 or Flesh Eaters 2. Hell pick a title and roll with it.  That film was when director Lucio Fulchi had a minor then a major stroke and could no longer work on it. They claim he did 70 minutes of the film, then exploitation director Bruno Mattei stepped in, sliced it down to about 50 minutes off the original footage and he and writer Claudio Fargasso made 40 minutes of their own. Yup, nothing replaces the man that brought us The Gates of Hell trilogy like the guys behind Strike Commando, Shocking Dark a.k.a. Terminator 2, Cop Game and Troll 2. At least I had fun teasing the film about its many plot sinkholes but now I am supposed to watch this??!!! This is Zombi 4: After Death.

Dude, stop farting on the boat!!

Without any real assistance, this is Claudio Fargasso's baby and boy does it look like a turd from one of the mutants from either The Hills Have Eyes or possibly Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. Opening credits? Well okay but first cave shot lit up like either a 70s porno or an 80s music video. Pick one, they're probably using the same stock of film. Our cavern is lit by a few candles with this funky New Wave music as background with a Voodoo Priest that looks like Marvel Comics Brother Voodoo let himself go. Cut to shrieking black woman that resemble Chakka Khan as she twist and cavorts in what I believe to be interpretative dance or possibly a jazzercise video.

A group of scientists came to this remote island of who the hell knows where (maybe Haiti but really the Phillipines) to come up with a cure for cancer. Somehow whitey scientist offended Voodoo priest and he sicked his pet zombies on them and they sort look like deadites on some level. The lead scientists are killed but for the grace of plot convenience their little girl makes it off the island. Twenty years later, (And given the lack of music, slang and clothes change you really believe that) Jenny (Candice Daly of Hell Hunters, Cop Game, Heart of Darkness and The Young and the Restless) is leading a team of scientists to the SAME DAMN ISLAND her parents were eaten and devoured like so many chicken wings during the Final Four!


To be at the ready, the scientists hired some mercenaries probably burned out from Vietnam but apparently they couldn't afford The Expendables, so they got The Cannon Fodders. We got Rod (Nick Nicholson of American Ninja, Platoon, The House of Pleasure, Vulcan and Birds of Passage), David a.k.a. Italian Chuck Norris (Massimo Vanni ofThe Last Shark, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Warriors of the Wasteland, Escape from the Bronx, Strike Commando, Zombi 3 and Shocking Dark), Chuck (Adult film actor Jeff Stryker of Powertool, Dirty Love, Jamie Loves Jeff, Ladies' Man and Every Which Way) and cruelly placed token black guy only known as Mad (Jim Moss of Eye of the Eagle, Saigon Commandos, Trigon Fire, The Hunted, Blood Ring, Kill Zone and Angelfist). Yessir, bunch of fine lookin' badasses we have.

Predictably they find the book the Voodoo priest was using and start reading out loud from the book. Folks, did Evil Dead not teach these knuckle knobs anything? Or Fraiser's The Mummy?? YOU MUST NOT READ FROM THE BOOK!!!!

Of course this disturbs the dead yet again and they are engulfing the island in sheer numbers. Some are fast, others shamble, Hell we even have some talking zombies Reasons.

Will our collective ninny hammers find the cure? Will the mercs "GIT SOME!!"???

A few questions for anyone left with a brain stem. How did young Jenny ever get off the island on a raft? She had adequate food, water and protection from the sun's rays to avoid heat stroke, all the while paddled everyday into a major shipping lane? Why wouldn't she just direct people to the island rather than visit it? If you were going to visit this island, shouldn't this be a military operation with back up, support and serious boots on the ground?

The camera work is irritating, the soundtrack fades in and out at times and our characters are more dull than a wooden spoon. The gore effects are substantial and our loopier mercs kinda look like Dennis Hopper and Kris Kristofferson ,so that was fun. Yup, had me a few Blade riffs thrown in. Sorry guys, but no ridiculous out of place nudity in this film which stunned me to no end.

Tussin with remove even the Devil!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Good Action: Nighthawks

Well hello there! I bet you were expecting some Obscure Italian Horror movie. Nah, I think I got my point across but dammit I do need input on the flow of reviews, what you think I should be tackling and what really makes for good TV, Movie and Video Games. That being said, the story we are about to take on what intended to be the third in the French Connection that would have teamed up Gene Hackman's Popeye Doyle with a wisecracking smart ass cop probably played by Richard Pryor. Hackman showed next to no interest in doing a third movie so writer David Shaber (Such Good Friends, The Warriors, Last Embrace, Rollover and Flight of the Intruder) bought the rights to it, tinkered with it and released it under the title it is better known for. This is Nighthawks.

We in the club!..  I'll slap myself for that one.

There are approximately 2 major stories as well as 3 sub-stories in our films so if you get lost, I will toss you a Marty McFly life jacket. Our main story revolves around the ruthless terrorist Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer of LadyHawke, Bladerunner, The Hitcher, Blind Fury, Split Second, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Batman Begins) a marksman and demolition expert whose only cause is himself and striking fear into those that wronged him. After a department store bombing in London goes awry, Wulfgar needs a new identity, papers and even a new face to stay off the grid.

In the streets of New York, two street crime cops pull stings to rid of muggers, rapists and gangers as Detective Sergeants DaSilva (Slyvester Stallone of Rocky, First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Cliffhanger, Daylight, Copland and The Expendables) and Fox (Billy Dee Williams of Carter's Army, Hit!, The Take, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Fear City, Batman, Mask of Death and Steel Sharks) pull up the scum off the ground like so much chewing gum and toss it in the trash...or jail if you prefer. No sooner are they serving a high-risk warrant, our boys discover there are corrupt cops in with the dealers and all Hell breaks loose. 

Why yes, I was in The Hitcher.

Wulfgar meets with his contacts for papers and cash when the delivery man takes too long and sweats. Wulfgar senses a trap and smokes him along with three constables from London Metro. Chief Inspector Hartman (Nigel Davenport of Play Dirty, A Man for All Seasons, Phase IV, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Chariots of Fire and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes) knows Wulfgar in and out and finds from his documents he is making his way to New York.

With the brewing storm of NYPD corruption going to be proved in what the fellas saw, their lieutenant sends them to Hartman as a division of an counter-terrorist task force given their experience in Vietnam. What you call Hell, Rambo calls New York. With their street savvy, knowledge of the fences, middlemen and weapons dealers, they hope to capture Wulfgar once and for all.

But hey we haven't had any ladies in this thus far. Enter DaSilva's estranged ex-wife Irene (Lindsay Wagner of The Paper Chase, The Bionic Woman, Ricochet, Thicker Than Water and Warehouse 13) attempts to deal with her ex-hubby's high-risk work and the fear of him dying on the streets broke them up in the first place but they both want to try to put things back together.

Meanwhile, Wulfgar's partner, in every sense of the word, Shakka (Persis Khambatta of Conduct Unbecoming, The Man with the Power, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Megaforce and Warrior of the Lost World) tells Wulfgar his methods that slaughtered children were just too risque for his fellow terrorists so they wash their hands of him. In case that did read a bit wacky, HIS METHODS DID NOT WORK WELL WITH TERRORISTS.

Hartman and DaSilva seem to be on the same page with Wulfgar and they want him dead or alive at this point. Will they succeed? Will Wulfgar escape and get to plow Shakka?

The film had a "Rocky" start to begin with when director Gary Nelson (Get Smart, Freaky Friday, The Black Hole, Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold and Early Edition) was let go from the project after a week's production to be replaced by Bruce Malmuth, who at the time only been a second unit director for a couple of scenes of Foreplay, was unable to shoot the first day after Nelson was canned, so Stallone stepped up to shoot a scene for the day, being the chase in the subway. Yes they got fined for it by the Directors Guild of America due to "burning daylight" is not considered an emergency.

Rutger Hauer was injured on the set thanks to a malfunctioning squib (bullet wound triggered by remote control with a blood pack) burned him and getting yanked on a harness line through a window (with spun sugar glass) that jacked his back. Hauer and Stallone apparently had shouting matches that would have made Christian Bale blush at the choice metaphors.

Nothing more vicious in this flick than the damn MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) that gave the original cut of the movie an X rating due to its gore and graphic content that is actually nowhere near as bloody as say Dirty Harry, The Mechanic or even The French Connection. Re-editing and new submission was still deemed too violent for even an R rating. 


Friday, March 4, 2016

Obscure Italian Horror: The Beyond

Welcome back everyone for another helping of Obscure Italian Horror. Once again I am most annoyed as this is another Lucio Fulchi film, the second in the unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy and it really steams my clams when...I really have nothing to bitch and complain about. I simply refer to this trilogy as Messing with Actress Katherine MacColl. Because she was in all three movies as different characters and...I'm thinking you didn't need this review to be that meta. Yeah this flick is warped, demented and damn creepy so no complaints about special effects, acting or camera angles. This is The Beyond.

Hey buddy, this hand smell rotten to you?

So we have a mob off for a lynching and you know it's supposed to be a flashback because it is filmed in sepia filter. Also the villagers are dressed in later 1800s attire with pitchforks and honest to God torches. No one screamed, "Kill the monster!" so that was a bit disappointing. We get a voice over establishing there are seven gateways it seven cursed places...two of which I am guessing is in The City of the Living Dead and House by the Cemetery but that is also speculation. Our angry mob of 1927 does not heed the words of the warlock Schweick (Antoine Saint-John of Duck, You Sucker. My Name is Nobody, The Beyond, Ginger and Fred and Cross) that the hotel he lives at is built on one of the seven gates to damnation, Hell um take your pick and that his unnatural death may bring about destruction, brimstone and the dead rising from the grave. Pretty heavy stuff to consider, right? Eh, screw it. Let's kill him anyway.

Cut to 1981 as we go on a road trip with Liza (Katherine MacColl of City of the Living Dead, House By the Cemetery, Man Eaters, Afraid of the Dark and Mafiosa), a plucky gal all the way from New York City (NEW YORK CITY??!!!) who has inhereted the hotel and decides to turn it into a charming bed and breakfast. I can't fault her there, it is a lovely house with spacious windows, good hardwood floors and a charming atmosphere...that may open a portal to Hell.

Well, beats playing an organ and staring at Utah...(Carnival of Souls reference)

No sooner does Liza get some work done on the house, one of the painters plummets off a scaffolding causing him to spit up fake blood. Seriously though, he was less than 30 feet up and landed on his back, hitting no rocks or piping so not sure what happened. Dr. McCabe (David Warbeck of Trog, Journey to Murder, Twins of Evil, Duck, You Sucker, Sex Thief and Sudden Fury) has painter move as he mumbled something about her eyes.

Liza actually got a plumber name of Joe (Giovanni De Nava of The Beyond, The House by the Cemetery, Murder-Rock:Dancing Death and Un foro nel parabrezza)on time to deal with the flooding and strange happenings when a evil hand pops out of the dirt and gouges his eye out. The creeper maid discovers Joe's body and everyone views it as an accidental death. Even his poor wife and kid viewing his body in the morgue think so..until his wife is treated to an hydrochloric acid facial and his daughter attacked by zombies. The police seem to think there may be a pattern to this violence and bug the crap out of Liza. Typical small-town lazy cop gotta blame the newcomer to these here parts. Liza meets a blind woman with the funkiest contacts, Emily (Cinzia Monreale of Beyond the Darkness, Flatfoot on the Nile, The Beyond, The Sweet House of Horrors, Madre come te and Dark Signal) who tells her to never re-open the hotel, how Schwieck died and very cryptic on the whole Gate of Hell aspect. Personally that would be the opening argument, followed by detailed charts, graphs and testimony of spirits. Ignoring Emily's warnings, Liza investigates Schwieck's room and discovers an ancient book right out of Lovecraft, The Book of Eibon (Tales of the demented wizard claiming he plane walked other worlds, met his deity Zhothaqquah and other such crazy.), also Schwieck's nailed corpse is on the neighboring wall. She is calmed by John, who appears for whatever reason and she takes him upstairs only to find the book and Schwieck to not be there. Will the gate open? Will more have to die for the Devil's B &B?

Shot in Lazio Italy the location scouts stateside got that huge two lane stretch bridge in Lake Charles Louisiana shot about 5 in the evening giving an eerie appearance. The hotel was actually the Otis House in Madisonville, LA and it is clearly a house of the latter 1800's with gorgous staircase, double pane glass and some of the finer oak floors. Yeah I like older houses. They have character.

Deemed a Video Nasty in the day, there are about 3 different cuts to this movie. The original runs at 87 minutes but its audio is in mono, the R-rated version is 80 mins and the 82 minute version is Dolby sound but has several key scene removed because it would scare the panties off the Americans...or some such. Bottom line, get the 87 min version and just tune your stereo quad to 5.1 and you will enjoy the creepy score and hear all the screams you want. That being said, the spoilers are eye gouging and spiders crawling across bodies. Hey, I don't want you folks watching it and having an issue I didn't warn you. It's suspenseful, odd, dark and beautifully shot.

Geez, these frat initiations are rough!