Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Powers


Hiya folks, I'm back. So with the trend of superhero shows massing from ABC to CW to Netflix you wonder if any are allowed to show any form of adult theme or interaction. Oh Agents of SHIELD have eluded to but the restrictions of the channel's by-laws forbid any nudity of any such. What about powered beings that think, act and talk like humans? Daredevil and Jessica Jones have given a more realistic stance in that and I imagine The Defenders and Luke Cage will do the same. Keeping that in mind, we never see them at their vulnerable state. Do they go clubbing? Are they at the library checking out books and DVDs? We do not see the level of true arrogance and drunk on their own victories. They are flawed humans with abilities that exceed our own and none of that happening? What if I told you of a show sponsored by Playstation creating an entire world loaded with super beings of all different ages, backgrounds and cultures? With the amazing distribution of Playstation Network, Circle of Confusion and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes a show that gives many a point of view on superhumans and normals. This is Powers.


Meh, I gave up smoking.














Created by comic book writer/producer Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Jessica Jones and Powers) and novelist/writer Charlie Huston (All Signs of Death, Powers and Caught Stealing) comes a take on L.A.primarily dealing with heroes, villains and the collateral damage of in-between. Our story focuses around Detective Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley of District 9, The A-Team, Europa Report, Elysium, Payday 2 and Oldboy) a former power known as Diamond, Walker has been stripped of his powers and is now developing a true detective's mind and instincts. The City council nor the federal government are putting real money into the Powers Division, a gathering of cops trained to deal with superhumans and superhumans homicides. Kinda like Special Crimes Unit in Metropolis. Understaffed, underfunded and undermanned, this team relies heavily on what they have learned about power sets from Walker.

Breaking in a new partner from Sheriff's department, Detective Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward of 30 Rock, 666 Park Avenue, Mother of George, The Following, Poltergeist, Powers and Vinyl) grew up with cartoons and following of Diamond and his super hero team-ups, so she feels a bit let down of this bitter and cynical cop busting his tail trying to make the same difference he did in costume. Walker's biggest accomplishment was busting his former mentor Wolfe (Eddie Izzard of Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill, The Avengers, Mystery Men, Shadow of the Vampire, Five Children and It, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Ocean's Thirteen, The Riches and Valkyrie) a man that can absorb powers, heals like Wolverine and oh yeah shucks and devours people like so many oysters. Yup, you have not lived until you have seen Eddie Izzard buck bare, with ratty long hair, a beard and a ravenous appetite.


Hey, this is all real ya pervs.














Several of the supers avoid Walker like the plague as if he is a walking, talking moral lesson that anyone can be taken down. A mishap with a wannabe powers Callista (Olesya Rulin of Urband Legends: Bloody Mary, High School Musical, Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws, The Dance, High School Musical 2, Forever Strong, High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Greek) puts Walker in the path of his ex-partner/love interest/friend Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Swimming with Sharks, Battlestar Galatica, True Blood, In Treatment, The Killing and Berlin Station) a seasoned crime fighter/poster girl/endorser does her level best to aid and help but realizes as much power as she has, she cannot save everyone and it eats at her. Ghosts from Walker's past arrive in the form of his old teleporting friend Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor of Dogs in Space, Lover Boy, A Country Practice, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Vanilla Sky, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Peaky Blinders) which everyone swears by died by Wolfe's hands and teeth is back juicing the kids of powers, any potential powers and existing heroes and villains feeling like their powers are waning.

With homicides, mishaps, team-ups and general city wide destruction occurring constantly, Walker gets why normal humans are terrified, envious or amazed by what they see and hear. Will the Big, Bad Wolfe come out to huff and puff? Will there be a mass of lunacy needed to be stopped? Will Walker ever get his powers back?





This is very adult, folks. If you wanted to watch this with the kiddies, there is graphic violence, swearing like sailors and some sexual content in dialogue and a few visuals. It's raw and unfiltered how characters feel about this and that and the stories encompass all characters about it. I mean how would you respond to seeing three blocks engulfed in green fire? Maybe a 200 foot high being threatening to eat your planet? It gives us a more human view to a superhuman world.


Black Lightning got hot?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Marvel's Iron Man: The Animated Series


Howdydoodleedoo!!! And for those of you that got that reference, yer aces, baby. With that in mind, hello and welcome back to Rotten Reelz Reviews. I am plucking series, movies and even games at random this week so it should be fun for all to read... but it is less than what you were hoping for, again rottenreelzreviews@gmail.com and of course I can be reached at the Facebook page as well at https://www.facebook.com/RottenReelzReviews/ so please reach out, make a suggestion or even a comment on the general flow of the reviews. Well this time around we are back to the land of the rising sun for another Marvel anime. Yup when you get contracted to make Marvel characters look awesome, you better bring your "A" game and that is exactly what Madhouse Productions (Hunter x Hunter, Death Paradise, "My Love Story", Overlord and Prince of Stride) brought and did. So how do you represent an egotistical billionaire playboy with about a million dollars of tech in his battle armor? With style of course. This is Iron Man: Anime.


Oh Stark, beside yourself again?














No stranger to acting or voice acting, Adrian Pasdar (Judging Amy, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, The Lying Game, Burn Notice, Avengers Assemble and Agents of SHIELD) has been tasked to put a voice to the brilliant yet reckless avenger Iron Man as he is in Japan bringing an arc reactor to power the nation. The concept to world peace it to provide clean and efficient energy without relying heavily on fossil fuels. Guess he better get started on arc reactors in cars, trucks and bikes as well. Well demonstrating his latest armor for Japan, Tony announces he will be stepping down as Iron Man and devoting his time to research...so no more Avengers picnics? Say it ain't so, Tony!


Damn import jobs never hold up.














But the demonstration goes a bit wonky which Tony took as a glitch in the new suit so off to run diagnostics and find out what all the hubbub is bub, when the armor with pilot takes off on its own, blasting any obstacle in its way. Stark must don his armor once more and find out what is going on. A young reporter Nanami (Eden Riegel of Prince of Egypt, American Pie, Young and the Restless and All My Children) has to chase Stark down for an interview and doesn't really think much of him. As she has adventures and near misses with death around him, she sees there is actually depth to Stark and his agendas. Circulated rumors about Stark bringing weapons construction follow adamantly and Stark attempts to defuse this with charm and grace... well as graceful as Stark can be. Is someone out to smear his company's name? Are there really WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) being smuggled into Japan?



As I mentioned in the Blade Anime review, this process was a 12 episode story arc with some fair and clever conclusion. It's actual sad that there was not a renewal of contract because the art work is very impressive, the CG spliced with the hand drawn looks natural together and both Japanese and English voice cast bust their collective humps to bring life into the characters. It makes total sense to use existing storylines from the source material as Stark did set up a branch in Japan in the comics.

Award-winning graphic novelist Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Fell, Minstry of Space, RED and Planetary) wrote outlines for each of the 12 episodes and given his mind, you already know it to be odd, clever and entertaining. Hey if you saw the flick RED, you are in good hands here.

Yeah, I know Thor.  Man why does everyone ask me that?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

House of the Dead


Back again my loyal readers...by the by, I thank you for that. This time around I want to do another video game adaptation to film. Yes I know that most of these are quite painful to sit through. When we have had such examples as Super Mario Brothers, Double Dragon and Van Dumb's Street Fighter, it is understandable that this subgenre of film can be considered a turd in a punch bowl at a prestigious party. That being said, Paul W.S. Anderson's Mortal Combat, Jan de Bont's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Corey Yuen's DOA: Dead or Alive and even Michael J. Bassett's Silent Hill: Revelation are all extremely close to the original source material. With some of these games there was not a lot of character and story development and the story that was there may have been too far fetched for causal gamers to appreciate. With that in mind, I wish to discuss the diaper stain that is Uwe Boll's work. This is House of the Dead.


Icky, there's dust and bodies.  So not cool.














As a first person shooter game from the original arcade created by Sega, the story of two agents of AMS and all boss creatures are named after the Major Arcana of tarot cards created by the mad scientist Dr. Curien dabbling in biotech, the occult and even alchemy. Nifty and easy enough to follow, right? Whelp, screw all that mildly clever story telling. Instead let's have the patented Uwe Boll main character narrative over several chunks of the movie or I have been calling it "The Expositioner". No need for complicated story arc, character building or even agents of AMS or even Dr. Curien. Huh? Then you ask, "Well Jake, if this has no direct connection to the original source material, what is left?" Well let me enlighten you all. Boobs and zombies.

Yup, scantily clad jiggly girls and zombies that I suppose are close to Curien's creatures but no doctor on the scene. This is all supposed to be a rave on a remote island near Seattle. So no agents Thomas Rogan or G. Nope instead a gaggle of twenty somethings drinking, screwing and dancing the night away. 5 twenty somethings need to get to the island ASAP before all the booze and loose people are napping. They approach Clint Howard making yet another regular link-up with Boll via character actor alongside Jurgen Prochnow of Da Boot, Judge Dredd, The Replacement Killers and NCIS: Los Angeles as Captain Kirk. Yup Uwe Boll must be a huge Shatner fan. With an offer of a thousand clams, Kirk takes them to La isla de los muertos ( Island of the Dead, Gringos!) for the “Rave of the Century” but apparently no one does their homework like: mapping the area, safely having the dock set aside for incoming boats or here's something nutty, knowing the name of the island you are raving at.


MANGA LEAP!!!!














Our quintet of cannon fodder makes their way on the island to see the place is thrashed and no one appears to be around when a film freak and few of his red shirts tell them about the roving zombies shucking and devouring party goers like so many oysters on the half shell. Kirk's ship is under attack by the zombies and he is smoking a cigar to techno music for some reason...kinda pictured something of classical or opera like The Flying Dutchman as he one hands them with a 44. Desert Eagle. He makes his way back to the island with enough firepower to occupy France for the next two weeks. Will our collective heads of knuckle make it out? If they survive, will they skip raves again?




Aside from the creatures i.e. Zombies, there is nothing that resembles House of the Dead at all. Boll just made "Rave On the Island of the Dead", pocketed money on the back end and moved on to his next bastardization of a video game adaptation. The practical effects are on the cheap as you see plenty of rubber masks on the zombie extras, this damn 360 pan is done far too many times and they splice scenes from the arcade game as if that is to remind you that there is a link from the game to the film. The actors' performance feels stilted as if they are reading from cue cards and didn't have a script to consult so everything uttered sounds off and unnatural.  The lack of a stabilizer in the camera gives the patented shaky cam view that Boll thinks is awesome...for making viewers to puke from jarring zooms and pans.

Oh FYI, Takashi Oda the creator of The House of the Dead never bothered to give this acronym an actual title. They're just an international organization. Picture INTERPOL with X-Files.

Those guys kicked me out of the cemetery...sniffle.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Zombies: The Beginning

Well I am back. Back with even more Bruno Mattei. Oh don't pass out on me now. You are not even watching it. So remember when I said Island of the Living Dead felt like a rip off of Ridley Scott's Alien and you were probably thinking, "Well it is not likely that it gets worse than that." You weren't thinking that? Seriously? Wow. Okay well it does actually continue to suck as this time around we bring our pathetic, lifted story idea and make a sequel to it. Will it be a bug hunt? This is Zombies: The Beginning.


Rule #1: Don't taunt the critters.














SPOILERS INBOUND! Not that any of you give a fetid pair of dingoes' kidneys but the lone survivor of Island of the Living Dead was found adrift and was rescued. Yes plucky Sharon (YvetteYzon of Hustler, The Dark Side of a Woman, Secrets of Women, The Jail: The Women's Hell, Island of the Living Dead and My Lai Four), has horrible slow motion HDCAM shots for dreams about footage that was NOT even part of the original film. After some rest and a probably much needed shower (of which we didn't get to see), Sharon re-accounts all the events of the island issues, why the Dark Star blew up and what happened to the rest of the crew. Tyler Inc. Doesn't seem to take her word for it and wants to send an expedition out to it. Also Sharon is now a doctor rather than just treasure hunter because....um...reasons??

Sharon retreats to a monastery to cleanse her soul and look cute in a toga? Tyler Inc.'s mouthpiece and drug company rep Paul Barker (Paul Holmes of Drop Dead Fred, Rizal in Dapitan, La visa loca, Foster Child and Water Wars) tells Sharon that Tyler Inc sent a medical ship over to observe these "undead" and get samples of which that brought to another island that Tyler Inc bought. They had to compete with InGen over it but settled out of court. Sharon flat out refuses to go to it but the company promises she is going merely as an observer, protected by a platoon of mercs and will see what really happened and....hey this sounds familiar. Yup and if you were pissed about that notion you will love loads of the musical from Aliens is lifted, scenes from Crimson Tide used for the "submarine" travel because Los Angeles class Naval nuclear subs are a dime a dozen. Pretty sure corporate can just buy those outright.


Hold up!  Found my golf ball, everyone!















Sgt. Zamura (Robert B. Johnson of Zombies: The Beginning) has his work cut out for him while leading his fine collection of bad asses against the shambling dead. The base is completely deserted and yet somehow almost completely intact. Our marines er um mercs find test cages with zombies, a warehouse filled with parts and chunks of flesh and some sort of aborted baby fetuses via baby zombies. What in the good gravy was the Umbrella Corp...I mean Tyler Inc paying these people to do??? Sharon channels Ripley for most of the rest of the film and goes in to fight alongside the mercs. Yes there is even a queen zombie and yup zombabies. Will "Doctor" Sharon be able to escape this one? Will she get an even fancier title in the next sequel?




The only reasons that Mattei didn't get sued for blatant knock off of Aliens is international film law covered under a pseudonym and I don't think James Cameron knows his former nemesis zinged him again. Years ago, Bruno bought the rights to the title Terminator 2 a year prior to T2: Judgement Day's release. Amusingly enough, they screwed up and got an Aliens story from that as well.

Lifted footage from Hell of the Living Dead again, Predator and Tie Fight sound effects used for the APC driving scenes, a ton of Romero references and even some music taken directly from the Resident Evil 2 video game. This marks as Bruno Mattei's final entry into film as he passed away in 2007.


Eww...unibrow.



Monday, May 23, 2016

Island of the Living Dead


Hey there folks. So I am forcing a bad movie on you brought to us from our old exploitation/blockbuster knock off maestro Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Women's Prison Massacre, Rats: Night of Terror, Strike Commando, Double Target, Robowar, Cop Game, Zombi 3, Shocking Dark and Cruel Jaws). Yeah I know you recognize the name and the titles so that being saying, we have a fun filled adventure that basically spits in the face of Ridley Scott's Alien with a theme of treasure hunters and a desert island not previously mapped. This is Island of the Living Dead.


EXTRAS! Forward!!














Blowing off the dust from an old pseudonym Vincent Dawn to head back into the subgenre of zombies. As they were supposed to film in Argentina they found it too be too expensive, they decided to head to the Philippines to bring the evils.

Our opus opens with Conquistadors to toss natives infected in a dungeon while a voodoo ceremony raises them from the dead with so much fog from projectors and dry ice. Umm at least the costumes fit the extras?? 300 years later, our treasure hunters hit the high seas, our crew of the Dark Star (John Carpenter homage, perhaps?) are hit by a mysterious fog bank on a dark and stormy night only to wake the next morning to be in front of an island that is not on any map they can find. With the ship conveniently needing repairs, our crew go to shore for looting purposes.


Fred, did you notice a rotting smell?













The intrepid team consisting of Captain Kirk (Ronald Russo of Trhauma, Ladyhawke, Detective Malone, Caged Women and Intimate Crimes), Snoopy (Jim Gaines of Black Fire, War Without End, Zombi 4 and Faster) Fred (Alvin Anson of Terrorist Hunter, Rome & Juliet, Black Market Love, Baler, My Lai Four and Flames of Love), Victoria (Ydalia Suarez of In the Land of the Cannibals, La bambina dalle mani sporche, Island of the Living Dead and La grande Rabbia) and Sharon (Yvette Yzon of The Dark Side of a Woman, Secrets of Women, A Shudder on the Skin, The Jail: The Women's Hell, Island of the Living Dead, Zombies: The Beginning and My Lai Four) all heading for the mainland exploring split into three teams of two. Cover more ground and get your party killed off! Kirk observes some antiquated parchment to find this is the resting place of a Spanish Galleon filled gold. Fred and Sharon found a monk in robes who happened to be a zombie and Fred takes his head off with a boomstick. With greed and stupidity, the cast tries to make off the gold and blood thirsty hordes of zombies appear. Is the gold worth it? Will the crew make it out alive?



When he is not lifting scenes from previously existing films like Night of the Living Dead remake, Fulci's Zombi several times, his own flick Hell of the Living Dead and even Lenzi's Nightmare City , Mattei shoots the whole flick on HDCAM. The dubbing is so horrible making it hard to understand half of the male cast. Alas ladies that might actually watch this stink nugget, there is no real eye candy for ya. Mattei likes to cover the fellas in that regard. Soundtracks lifted are Coppola's Dracula and Friday the 13th and my favorite annoyance was some exterior shots from Mask of Zorro. The lawsuits avoided thanks to pseudonym. So yes if you enjoy over the top zombie stories, campy extras and a lack of direction, this is the flick for you.

Jeepers teen gang, I smell a mystery.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sci-fantasy B Movie: Deathstalker


Hiya gang! Back again with what could be an episodic, powerful sci-fi fantasy storyline or complete and utter dreck attempting to compete with director John Milus' take of Robert E. Howard's creation: Conan the Barbarian. Written by exploitation, sci-fi fantasy and children's cartoons, Howard R. Cohen (The Unholy Rollers. The Young Nurses, Vampire Hookers, Barbarian Queen, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, The Care Bears Family and Emmanuelle 5) that this particular flick could go either way. So don aloft your sword! This is Deathstalker.


Oh, you're her father.  Akward.














Our director James Sbardellati (Under the Gun and Deathstalker) seems more comfortable as Second Unit Director so that gives off a positive vibe for the movie right away. 2 minutes in we see pseudo cavemen walk up on a man binding a girl in creeper vine. Maybe she is a sacrifice, sport or dinner. Who can really say? I know thus far after 45 seconds of a leaping montage that the cave guys can bound through the air. Shockingly enough this is not for the kiddies, parents. 3 minutes in and we already have a topless scene.

Deathstalker (Rick Hill of The Dukes of Hazzard, The Devastator, Warrior Queen, Fast Gun, Dune Warriors, Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow, Eyes of the Widow and The Custodian) skinned a badger, dyed it blond and put it on his head. That could also be a fetching ladies wig too. His wing is worse that Bridgette Nielsen's wig in Red Sonja and that was a dead raccoon they dyed red. He guts the guy who abandoned his victim/human sacrifice/girlfriend for trying to take his horse. A powerful wizard Munkar (Bernard Erhard of Satan's Touch, Challenge of the GoBots, Say Yes, Solarman, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo) tossed the rightful king and most of his court and guards out of the castle. The king begs for Deathstalker's help only to get shot down. Dubious to his hero status, he rides on and we see what is now Munkar's harem with, yup you guessed it. Topless or sheer clothed girls. Sense a pattern?

A cunning warrior wears next to no clothes.













Munkar's lackey Kang is sent to claim magical artifacts so Munkar can expand his holdings and slap other kingdoms about. An old witch sends Deathstalker out to search for the 3 powers ( No, not the Charmed ones) a sword, amulet and a chalice (from the palace!). When the three are united, the wielder will be able to conqueror or rule wisely. A giant and an imp covet the sword. Some more questy jibber jabber, a subplot that wasn't going to convince anyone Deathstalker is a nice guy and...okay at 20 minutes I was confused with the story, the music cues and the lack of action between such. Hate to say this, but bring on the boobs again. At least I got that. Enlisting in the aid of a warrior name of Oghris (Richard Booker of Friday the 13th Part III, Deathstalker and Deep Sea Conspiracy) the grateful lad speaks of a tournament to win Munkar's kingdom...and to me that is actually a decent plan. Rein in the warriors that want to rule and wipe them all out.

Our warriors encounter Kaira (Lana Clarkson of Scarface, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Barbarian Queen and Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back) a warrior maiden garbed in and I kid you not, a loin cloth, boots and a red cloak. Yup guess the topless swordfighting really works in her advantage when she flashes her double Ds at them. Worry not Kaira of the roving band of molesting marauders, I thought of low hanging branches, tangle root and thorn bushes to get prodded and poked by. Yes, this is a straight guy saying put on some frickin armor on. Oh good even more semi-naked wenches. I swear this is all T&A and some sword-fighting scenes. Look, nothing against nudity but dammit at least have it plot related!!!!  

The first transgender occurs in the dark ages with the use of black magic. See? You don't need to go to Sweden, just get a warlock! Think of the money you have saved. Okay Munkar actually transformed his henchman into a large breasted girl to sneak up on Deathstalker and do him in. Boobs are magic and confuse all that see them.




I recommend this film for chimpanzees that need to masturbate and 12 year old boys. Kinda hard to tell the difference at times. Those with functioning brain cells, the lack of a coherent story will offend you on grand scales, cattle get treated better any of the female cast and our hero is a pig who does nothing out of the kindness of his heart. I am hard pressed to even speculate if he has a heart to begin with.

Sci-fi fantasy artist Boris Vallejo was commissioned for all four Deathstalker films bringing his astounding artwork for the covers that tricked your ass into watching this.


Annual model gorging after the runway.

Monday, May 16, 2016

B-Movies in Spaaaaace!: Prison Ship


Hi all! This week I am crawling through the Z grade films of science fiction. What's Z grade, you ask? Well this is a film that has next to no budget, original concept and resort to T&A to sell their product. So how about a nice women in prison film? Not enough? How about women in prison on a starship? Aha! I knew I got your attention now. Brought to you by Roger Corman protege, sleaze exploitation director of sci-fi and horror, the schlockmeister himself, Fred Olen Ray (The Alien Dead, The Tomb, Commando Squad, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Deep Space, Bad Girls from Mars, Wizards of the Demon Sword, Evil Toons and Dinosaur Island), so you know it will sting but there is a shampoo for that. This is Prison Ship a.k.a. Star Slammer, Prison Ship: 2005, Starslammer: The Escape and The Adventures of Taura: Prison Ship Star Slammer.


Leeches: best treatment for back acne.














So as you can imagine my expectations on this flick were not high in the least, which is more than I can say for the writers who were clearly high as kites on blow, chicken scratching this opus out. Our movie opens with a girl being tortured with leeches??? Because...reasons. You step out of line and we go medieval on your ass. Oh no. Marsellus Wallace owns this ship! Far into the future (ahem, 2005) on a distant planet, war rages on.

Taura (Sandy Brooke of They Call Me Bruce?, Bits and Pieces, Consider It All Joy, One Way Out, Terror on Alcatraz, Deep Space and Nightmare Sisters) is weighing a battle against the forces of evil (um, just take my word for it. Never really good at determining sides unless there is a deep music score) when she is captured by the evil forces of Ross Hagen..? Er um I mean Bantor (Ross Hagen of Sidehackers, Hellcats, Avenging Angel, Armed Response, Commando Squad, The Phantom Empire, Warlords, Alienator, Blood Games and Dinosaur Island) a insane political tyrant that sentences Taura to "hard labor" (insert WIP joke here) aboard the prison ship Star Slammer... yeah it does sound like a bad porno title. I agree. Dealing with her crazed, sex starved Warden Exene (Marya Gant of A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Prison Ship, Cannibal Hookers and Halloween Night) and her badly permed lesbian guards. Oh FYI, the guard uniforms look like bad vinyl numbers from Fredrick's of Hollywood and our prisoner outfits are tank tops and velour shorty shorts. Yup really here to sell the "plot" and I am certain they cranked the a/c.


Eric Idle as Father Guido Sarducci as Gandalf in The Two Towers.














No sooner does Taura gain support from the rest of our teen gang I mean devious and deadly prison population, that a plan to overthrow the warden and guards is moving into action, but first we need some cat fights and food fights. I have no idea who this film is geared towards. Emotionally repressed twelve years residing in adult bodies would be my guess.

Our musical score sounds like a octave higher than John Williams Star Wars theme but yeah no one would be fooled and our credit sequence looks like it was cut with Windows 98 Movie Maker with actor names in Veranda and Comic Sans MS.   Chilling.  While our space ship scenes are shot in Melrose Stage in L.A. The damn planet shots are fricking Griffith Park using Bronson Canyon YET AGAIN!!! Damn right I am sick of this location and no I do not care how much money it saves the location scouts! I have seen this place in almost every B-movie flick from 1950s and on!

Sadly, I do recognize a lot of the cast but that is only due to watching schlocky films for the defunct epinions.com movie review. Aside from Ross Hagen and Richard Hench, I spotted none other than Vivian Schilling (writer/actress of Soultaker as Natalie) and for that I do regal that MST3K episode of Soultaker so I had a good laugh. Most of the space sequences are brought to you bought or stolen exterior space footage of John Carpenter's Dark Star and Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars. Well at least they left classics like Space Mutiny alone. There is only so much Reb Brown screeching you can listen to.


Coming at us at 86 minutes, jiggly girls fight other jiggly girls and Ross Hagen is seriously hamming it up in front of the camera. So no this is not related to the novel The Prison Ship via Peter Tonkin about Maritime laws nor is it linked to Michael Bowers Sci-fi novel Prison Ship. That is just a coincidence of title changes over and over again.  My favorite part of the flick is John Carradine shot in blue screen as "The Justice" looking baffled in front of the camera like they just woke him up and asked him to read from a cue card.

So if you have a jiggly girl need that has to be fixed, no need for character development and you like blasters...I guess watch this.

Wow Ross, that is a lot of EVA foam you are wearing.
 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Beyond The Door


Hiya folks! Yeah I know you have had a dry week for reviews which is a tad ironic considering how much rain we got here. Admittedly I have had a couple of days of just no idea to write about so I am preparing to get a P.O. Box for movie submissions, suggestions and I guess punishment for getting even with me for not writing every work day of the week. So why not dive into an Italian Horror film? From director/produce Ovidio G. Assonitis (Tentacles, And When She Was Bad, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, Forever Emmanuelle, Steigler and Steigler, Iron Warror and The Curse) comes a combo knock-off of Rosemary's Baby and the Exorcist. This is Beyond the Door.


WHAT ABOUT MY PMS??!!!














Okay off the bat, this flick is creepy on many levels. A young woman Jessica Barrett (Juliett Mills of Nanny and the Professor, Avanti!, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Passions and Hot in Cleveland) a young mother in San Francisco is pregnant with her third child and she begins to exhibit strange behavior. Her friends and family become concerned but don't know what proper intervention is needed. A priest flinging holy water, maybe some Gregorian chants, possibly a sit-in. Clueless music producer husband Robert (Gabriele Lavia of Deep Red, The Legend of 1900, Sleepless and Remember Me, My Love) discovers the fetus is growing within Jessica at an alarming rate and thinks that speaking in a demonic voice, vulgar comments and pea soup spewing may be a problem as he doesn't recall this level of mood swings.


And that Doctor, is why I like pudding.















A strange bearded man who seems to be following her husband about and introduces himself to Robert as a former lover of Jessica, Dimitri (Richard Johnson of Aces High, The Message, Origins of the Mafia, The Four Feathers, Screamers, Zombi, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, MI-5 and Silent Witness) tells the couple he is a cultist attempting to locate the Antichrist and several parties are interested but only Dimitri got a leg up finding them first. With examples of telekinetic powers manifesting, speaking with the demonic voice and loads of green bile, Robert is out of his element with Jessica and goes to Dimitri for help and answers but he only had demands establishing no doctors allowed and the child must be born. Some of the creepier scenes is our pregnant woman devouring a steak tartar at dinner after picking up a rotten banana peel from the street and eating it. I would take this more seriously if the eldest girl wasn't dubbed by a 20 something woman. I had flashbacks from House by the Cemetery with frickin Bob.



The narrations are hinted at being voiced by Satan. It was clever and disturbing.

With the budget of half a million, they cleared $15 million in the box office causing film critic Roger Ebert to give it no more than 1 out of 4 stars calling the film scary trash. With the gorgeous cinematography shot on 35mm anamorphic lens give a horizontal flare versus the clean blue line of the given 70mm process, makes a curved scope to the film. The same process was adopted by Panavision, Cinerama and Eastman. Shockingly enough, attempting to cash in on the success of Beyond The Door two unofficial sequels was to be expected.

While the film was predominately in San Francisco, most of the interior filming was done in Incir De Paolis Studios in Rome.  Rolling in at 109 minutes, this is a bizarre and terrible subject matter and yes Juliet Mills is sister to Hayley.

Your day might be weird when Richard Johnson just roams into your bedroom.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Friday the 13th: The Lost Tales of Camp Blood


Hey gang. Quick question. What do you know about Friday the 13th? Now I am sure most of you know about the undead, mongoloid hillbilly, Jason Vorhees but what do you know of Crystal Lake? For more than 3 decades we have stories linked directly to this small body of water and the Jason murders but did Jason just start right after Part 1? Many writers that love the slasher subgenre speculated since they went with him witnessing his mommy's death, that he just roamed the forest, living off vegetation and animals but what about any witnesses to his existence?

In 2009, Paramount Productions released the 8 films of the franchise on what they called the Ultimate Collection with statistics on the victims, body count, whether the kids were getting drunk, high or just sexing it up, trivia facts and even weapons used. What interested me overall of this set was a series of short stories and links to the original source material. This is Lost Tales from Camp Blood.

This chiropractor is very hands on.














Starting as a special feature, these stories are all based around the news clippings referenced around all the latter films giving an air of eerie to this region of the country...when logically the townsfolk should just move and get the Ghostfinders in to exorcise the hell out of that lake. These tales of dread are suppose to happen prior to the second or possibly the third film but the clothes, sets, haircuts really don't reflect that well enough. Harry Manfreni's theme and original scores are heard throughout the six-part story arc and the film looks like it was shot on Hi-Def camcorder. The Cannon XLH1 mini 35 with the Optar Super-Speed Prime Lenses giving it almost 35mm look translated from HDV. So for the sake of everyone's sanity let's put this around th 7th film, The New Blood so Telekinetic Tina can have a business moving furniture.


Bleh, no more whiskey shots and darts again!













Our first part of the series is simply a couple sleeping peacefully in a cabin around the region only to get visited by a be-jumpsuited psycho that disembowels them and just wanders out of said home. Not a lot of dialogue needed written there aside from, "Is someone there?" "Billy, what was that noise?" and popular trope "This isn't funny". Our horrific assailant's face is never shown and kept in the shadows but exhibits terrifying amounts of almost supernatural strength. Hmm, Michael Myers perhaps? Nah, that would mean having to leave Illinois/California. Our second story catches right up with the previous the next morning with blood spatters all over the walls and puddles of the victims' fluids drained into the carpet. Camp Counselors Sarah and Eric try calling Mark and Amy but no answer. They're dead tired, kids. Yeah I slapped myself for the bad joke.

Naturally since the car was McGuffined, we have to go hiking to Mark and Amy's place. That's just common sense. No need to backtrack down the road you were driving from, hit a gas station, get the car towed and looked at. Nosirree. That's just crazy talk! Hell I was just stunned California still had payphones. Our actors play the parts and offer a decent performance of the type cast cookie cutter personifications of humans because...well that is all they are usually given in a slasher flick. Quality production from blocking to practical FX. Well done from cast and crew.

The theme continues the anthology of the Killer chasing after the Survivor story that has been in the slasher subgenre since it was conceived. I think the slight drawback to this is you can pretty much predict when the Killer will strike and it does throw off your viewing a bit but if you just allow yourself to view it as though you have never seen a slasher flick then you will enjoy it.




Your six-parter got so much love from the fan base that Ceperley cut it as a full-length short film in case you didn't want the original Paramount special edition collection with the two pairs of 3-D glasses (Screw your other friends and family I guess) and detailed 8 page booklet explaining nuances about the films.

Written and directed by Andrew Ceperley (known primarly as a cinematographer and visual effects supervisor for Football Is a Way of Life: The Making of Varsity Blues, Villains of Star Trek, Bing Crosby Christmas Crooner, The Crystal Lake Massacre Revisted and Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy) puts him in the path as a research nut for Horror and makes him a prime candidate to directing short stories of Jason's mayhem. An amusing bit of trivia here. Principal photography was in a canyon above Pasadena California but most of it was shot in Palo Verdes and then to Redono Beach for the practical makeup FX shots.

It's bloody, no ridiculous amounts of jiggly girl nudity and really meshes well with the Vorhees mythos establishing kills the locals don't even know about...presumably Jason discards their collective clothes and hides the vehicles they travel in. Like a one man Wrong Turn super mutant inbred hillbilly. Sorry Wrong Turn, but Jason is the original undead mongoloid hillbilly.


Miss, you dropped your keys a mile back.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Easter Bunny Bloodbath


Howdy all! Well Free Comic Book Day was a tad insane and Mother's Day managed to send traffic all over town. That being said, what I am about to write up is one of the goofier, convoluted creations ever to come out of Canada. Well there is The Final Sacrifice and this flick. The young director in question is Richard Mogg (Bangin' Vengeance!, Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare and Massage Parlor of Death) and from this collection of titles you sense a pattern. This is Easter Bunny Blood Bath.

No truer words written!
















1967 a young Peter McKay witnesses his sister decapitated by a lunatic decked out as the Easter Bunny. Shocking enough, Peter never celebrates the Easter holiday...20 years later, I know this because of the title card, we flash ahead to an isolated cabin in the woods. Hmm, this doesn't sound trope at all. Peter (Shayan Bayat of Sanctuary, Rain Down, Mayan Calendar: The True Story of the Apocalypse, Bangin' Vengeance! And The Arrangement) and his five friends, Lisa (Meghan Kinsley of Steve's Blind Date, Stenwyken, The Acting Teacher and Legends of Chima), Steve (Scars, Snow Tramp, Caprica, Reise, Confined, Fairly Legal, Supernatural, Marley & Me: The Puppy Years, A Princess for Christmas, Level Up, Trading Christmas and A Fairly Odd Christmas) Justine (Adrian Daniels of Estelle, Easter Bunny Bloodbath, Baby Weight and The Takeover) the oddly named Mike (Laura Hope of Toad Face, Estelle, Rasa, Easter Bunny Bloodbath, Baby Weight, Bangin' Vengeance and The Business of Acting) and Carol (Jessica Hill of Henchin', Resurrection, Easter Bunny Bloodbath and Rain Down) all looking for a good time. Yeah that means some reefers, booze and boning. I know, I too was surprised. Our "lesbians" were as believable as flying against the blue screen in Pumaman. With clothed shower scenes and even the death scenes are pretty hokey.


Impending doom?  Eh, let's get blazed and drunk!

















With the fast pace zoom of getting our characters established, a nu metal tune blares out "Bastard Son" we zip our cast out to the most gaudy neon green cabin I have ever seen. You know if you don't want hunters to get drunk and shoot your place up, you could easily have gone with neon orange as well.
10 minutes in the kids tell a scary story with with some colored drawings as the narration continues. This crap was so painful to stare at as it looked like a kid played with paintbrush.
Our gore practical effects aren't bad and the CGI was decent but body parts looks like something you would pick up from a Halloween store.




With a paltry $3600 CAD or loony or whatever our director was camera operator, sound editing, production and film editing, this has a professional vibe to it, the actors are solid, the camera was properly blocking its actors and general finished creation is actually not bad. With all that in mind, our opus was shot on a Sony HVR-Z1U a broadcast video camera good for interviews and documentaries but I have never viewed it as a means to shoot a movie. When compressed for DVD or Blu-Ray it looks a teensy bit cheesy. Still more of a story than Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws...mind you that is not saying much.

Okay, punished the paper boy.  Who's next??!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Friday the 13th Part III


Howdy all. Well I went through the archives of moi and didn't find this particular sequel in the mix. Our favorite antagonist that ran about with a potato sack slicing and squashing twenty somethings playing teenagers as a bloodbath ensues. How will this pan out? This is Friday the 13th Part III.


I sense impeding doom...hmm, oh well.















Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part II, Night of the Creeps, House, Warlock, Elvis, Forever Young, Against the Grain, My Father the Hero, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and Lake Placid) this film is literally the next day thus being Saturday the 14th and that is a crappy movie. A new group of co-eds on vacation off to a cabin by Crystal Lake...where they past cops, ambulances and city workers of that nature. No bells in the head going off? Spidey senses ringing a bit?

Jason injured profusely by the previous encounters and not the zombie/mongoloid/hillbilly resurrection that we have come to know and love. Sneaking into a crappy lakefront store for some clothes and a replacement mask via potato sack. Richard Brooker now the third man to pick up the machete/pitchfork/bare hands whatever played Oghris in Deathstalker is best known for. With the flashbacks of Ginny and Paul recapping the film prior do give content and credibility.

One of our soon-to-be victims is a jokester Shelly (Larry Zerner of Fame, New Love,American Style, Hadley's Rebellion, Knights of Badassdom, Found and The Epidemic) has wacky gags, props and some masks. Of these is the iconic hockey mask claimed from his victim and used to hide his ridiculous mongoloid face that morphs into a zombified state for years to come but forever hidden away. 


Hey folks, I'm yer next-door neighbor.














Slaughtering hippies, bikers and teeny boppers brings about some of the same goodness of the original two also bringing a bit of depth into Chris (Dana Kimmell of Days of Our Lives, Sweet 16, Lone Wolf McQuade and Night Angel) and a connection to Jason prior but yes it is a bit trope ridden but this was the 80s is allowed as they are the building blocks of the slasher subgenre. What makes this stands out of the series this was part of the 3-D franchise prevalent in the early 80s. Will Chris and her friends survive this nightmare? How many bodies will pile up?




A few points of trivia with this film. The house, barn, and lake were made on location. The lake wasn't properly sealed so the water damaged the soil of the first week of filming. This flick cleared $36 million against a budget of 4 million. With a body count of 12 and the fact this was Paramount's first 3-D flick since Ulysses (in 1954) 28 years prior, this is one of the few films that did not address him as Jason at all. NOT...ONCE...

Initially there was a call for the script draft they were going to have Ginny in a psychiatric hospital confined there awaiting Jason to get her murdering the staff and other patients in the hospital but it was too close to Halloween II being too similar.


I SAID I NEED A RIDE UPSTATE!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Public Domain Flick: Grave of the Vampire


Hello there again everyone. Well I have been checking my Rotten Reelz Reviews Facebook page and the gmail account, (rottenreelzreviews@gmail.com) and I haven't seen a complaint, compliment or crass comment. So I suppose I can just take down all the above and just review whatever the hell I feel like. Let me know either way, people.

Now then I decided to hit up some good old fashioned public domain movies. Why you may ask? 1.) I am not required to hit up more than archives.org to find a copy. 2.) It is less hassle than dealing with commericals of Hulu and broadband issues of Netflix and Amazon. 3.) There is almost certainly a title that makes me blink more than twice after reading it. So howzabout a vengeful vampire searching the Earth for the one that killed his mother and made him into this abomination in the eyes of man and God? No I am not talking about Saya from Blood, D from Vampire Hunter D or even the Daywalker Blade. This is a precursor to all the above. This is Seed of Terror a.k.a. Grave of the Vampire a.k.a. The Tomb of the Vampire.

Sorry but I had to flap away a 400 year old fart.















Created in 1972 ( A whole year before writers Gene Nolan and Marv Wolfman pushed Blade into the Tomb of Dracula comics) and based on the novel The Still Life, writer/novelist David Chase (The Magician, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Switch, The Rockford Files, Moonlight and Almost Grown) and writer/director John Hayes (The Kiss, Shell Shock, The Cut-Throats, Sweet Trash, Dream No Evil, Jailbait Babysitter and Pleasure Zone) concoct a delightful tale of a day walking hybrid of human and vampire searching for his father...to drive a stake through his heart or maybe to do a father/son potato sack race. Who can truly say.

Our story begins in a cemetery, with a young couple making out by the headstones. Yeah that always goes well after dark. The grave of 1930s rapist/murderer Caleb Croft rumbles the ground so and the murderer has risen from beyond the grave attacking the lad defending his lady's honor and well the rape is implied. Caleb (Michael Pataki of Star Trek, Easy Rider, Side Hackers, The Cut-Throats, The Flying Nun, The Amazing Spider-Man TV series, Zoltan, Hound of Dracula and Rocky IV) is kinda scum, folks. Also hot on Caleb's trail is a detective that took Vampires 101 I guess who seems to have seen too many Bela Lugosi movies (Seriously, this is a line) Lieutenant Panzer (Eric Mason of Days of Our Lives, Scream Blacula Scream, Kiss of the Tarantula and The Love Boat) thinks the impossible is happened and the dead have returned from the grave and then...yeah he gets gacked and there doesn't seem to be any follow-up. Guess Panzer was not loved at the station. Tank jokes a plenty left in his locker, the wife is seeing the milkman on the sly and the family dog pees in his slippers.


Scrawny and Chunky.  They're cops.














The girl carries the child to term, believing it is her boyfriend's offspring...until she has to bottle feed him blood to strengthen him to manhood. That by the way we commonly call, a clue. 30 years later the infant is a man name of James (William Smith of Laredo, Gunsmoke, The Ultimate Warrior, Blood & Guts, The Frisco Kid, Hawaii Five-O, B.J. And the Bear, Hell Comes to Frogtown, Platoon Leader and Warriors of the Apocolypse) who has one mission, to avenge his mother (Kitty Vallacher of Deathmaster, To Hell You Preach, Savage Abduction, Soul Hustler and The Legend of Frank Woods) and slaughter pappy. A bit myopic I grant you but it keeps him going. James is also a vampire but can easily move around during the day without a lethal tan.

Hmm, like that Blade guy. Yeah, I figured that was still a comparison. James is convinced the deaths around the campus that Caleb under the guise of Professor Lockwood is no boating accident. The tox screens point out that all victims have died of extreme blood loss whether or not their throats were slashed or not and it isn't on the ground where they lay. The killer could have just propped the bodies too but hell I'm no detective with Vampire 101 training. Stake or be staked was a good chapter.

Will James get his revenge? Will he be no better than his father? Will Tiny Tim be allowed to walk again?





Well the overall vibe is commercial 1970s showing mild hedonism, flat partying and hints at sex. The cinematography is very precise, very little handheld and a bit static. The rumble between Caleb and James looks damn impressive. Think Roddy Piper and Keith David in They Live without so many shots to the balls of course. There really isn't explicit gore, sex or even that much blood in our vampire movie which was kind of surprising really. With a budget under a half a million, this give a decent feel to a film in spite of some of the content. I think it would have gotten a wider audience with a bit of the old T &A with some blood but all in all not a bad film. This marks the second vampire movie I have seen Michael Pataki in. The other being Zoltan: Hound of Dracula. I just wanted Pataki to quote from Sidehackers. You think I didn't love the boy??!! MY OWN FLESH I DON'T LOVE AS MUCH!!!

Anyone else get a laugh the sound editor is a guy named James Cheap? I just envision the foley stage made up in someone's garage but he has to hurry because the wife wants to park the station wagon and bring in groceries.

I don't have ADD, in fact I...Look a bunny!