Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Post Apocalyptia Italianino: 2019: After the Fall of New York

Welcome back one and all to Day 2 of Post Apocalyptia Italianio. Hopefully we will have less scoring with hinted sodomy this time around. Again yesterday's bad touch addition was amazingly enough not a stripped girl being ganged on. Progress! Today's cinematic creation hails from exploitation/horror/sci-fi/giallo and sexploitation director Sergio Martino (Blade of the Ripper, Torso, High School Girl, Sex with a Smile, A Man Called Blade, The Mountain of the Cannibal God, Screamers and Craving Desire) bringing a post-doom-laden destruction of New York City after the nuclear war brought to us by writer Ernesto Gastaldi (The Case of the Bloody Iris, My Name is Nobody, A Genius, Two Friends and a Idiot,The Great Alligator, Casablanca Express and Top Model 2). This is 2019, After the Fall of New York a.k.a. New York- 2019 a.k.a. The Fall of New York and After the Fall of New York.

My God, the scale of devastation must be, about 1/16 I think.

With the terrifying devastation of scale-model New York we see the remains of the once proud city with blacken husks of skyscrapers and yet Lady Liberty not even marred. The narration explains it has been 20 years since the fallout and the world is divided into two major factions the United European Forces or Eurak and a fledgling rebellion called Federation. Thanks to the destruction, radiation in the air, soil and water there have been no children born and is looking as though humanity is finally over.

We find our would-be hero Parsifal (Michael Sopkiw of 2019: After the Fall of New York, Blastfighter, Devil Fish, Massacre in Dinosaur Valley and Bad Dog and Superhero) engaged in a death race in his armored 67 Chevy Malibu with another car of which he defeats. Hey he is the hero so that is just going to happen.  Dressed like NPC Companion Ian via Fallout, he deals with the baddies easily enough and goes to claim his prize. The prize? No, not the Highlander prize. He gets a girl Flower (Siriana Hernadez of 2019: After the Fall of New York) like he is on Fallout: Gor Edition who calls him Master. Our boy just sets her free to live a life that doesn't involve making the love to a guy she doesn't know. No sooner that good deed, Parsifal is zapped by a cheesy light ray effect and abducted to meet with...the Dean from Pieces? Yes the president of the Pan American Confederacy (Edmund Purdom of Sword of Freedom, Herod the Great, The Night Child, Deep Thoughts, Pieces, Ator, the Fighting Eagle, Verdi, Amok and Killer vs Killers) chats up Parsifal like he is Commissioner Haug chewing the fat with Snake Plissken and brother he is no Lee Van Cleef.

Sorry Plissken, no one Escapes From Cleveland.

Enlisting our roguishly handsome hero to find the one lone female Giara (Valentine Monnier of The Telephone Bar, Elle voit des nains partout!, 2019: After the Fall of New York and Devil Fish) that is not sterile, they plan to make use of her eggs after they leave the planet heading to Alpha Centauri... yeah I didn't just throw that together. So before the space race booty fest can occur, Parsifal has to sneak into the Eurak controlled region of New York but he won't be going alone. With the aid of Bronx (Paolo Maria Scalondro of The Blue-Eyed Bandit, Monsignor, Nucleo zero, Vendetta, An Eyewitness Account and Sleepless) a battered cyborg with a map of Manhattan and all its burroughs tucked away in his noggin and Rachet (Romano Puppo of Death Rides a Horse, The Great Alligator, The Commander, Secret of the Sahara, Ghoulies II and Zombi 4: After Death) the Confederate's strongest man, they will infilterate and break out Giara from her hiding place for the good of humanity. Clank was on back order. Maybe next time.

Sir? My helm just blurs my vision. You?

Oh boy, our old buddy George Eastman of New Barbarians makes an appearance as slightly mutated fellow, name of Big Ape. With the Ape Men vs the Rat Eaters, these gangs are kinda goofy. Didn't recognize him, he wasn't wearing his bad touch sodomy pants this time.  Anna Kanakis formerly Alma from New Barbarians as well is a Eurak Officer...named Ania, a power hungry, sexually aggressive woman with a lust for power and probably Parsifal.

Once again we have laser weapons but no stormtrooper blast tech armor to soak up the rays. Funny that Parsifal is packing the same blaster the Templars of New Barbarians were. I love the Confederacy have those chrome blasters from Barbarella. No seriously, I swear it looks identical to the one Jane Fonda was carrying. The mercs are dressed like Ring Wraiths at a BDSM club so not sure where the costume designer was going there. Composers Maurizio De Angelis and Guido De Angelis give some eerie organ music, electro punk and some funk going that would please George Clinton and his Parliment Funkadelic buuuuUuuuut... the score has been lifted from Yor, the Hunter from the Future. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?! Granted the same composers here but man, not even the same director, production company or even distribution. You would think heads would roll for that. Other incidental music sounds like it was used for Zombi 4: After Death much later.

What's the verdict? Well with the genocide, gore, nudity and random sex euphemism; it actually has a decent enough coherent story, we do get some character development and even backstory. It's a bit goofy and there is no real to describe this film other than it is an experience that cannot truly be fashioned into words. It is neither a good film nor is it a bad film. I think I was entertained somehow. Huh.

Georgia May found dumpster diving again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Post Apocalyptia Italianio: New Barbarians

Hey there all and welcome back to the week. Well if you read the general vibe of social media, people are either heading off to Canada and Mexico, hoarding water, gasoline and MREs and overall being insane because of the ginger demon will shortly be running the country. So with that theme in mind, it is clearly time for some post-apocalyptic films but not any old doomed region. No, no. We are heading towards Italian Post-apocalyptic films. Spaghetti Sci-Fi? Post-apocalyptic Pasta? I prefer Post-Apocalyptia Italiano of which my lady made it sound like a bistro that serves a lot of rat based meals. Starting us off down "The Road", ha slap me, is the Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Fantasy and Action exploitation director himself, Enzo G. Castellari (A Few Dollars for Django, Eagles Over London, Cold Eyes of Fear, Street Law, The Inglorious Bastards, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Escape from the Bronx, Tuareg: The Desert Warrior and Hammerhead) and the dark fiendish fate awaiting humanity. This is The New Barbarians a.k.a. Warriors of the Wasteland a.k.a. Metropolis 2000 a.k.a. The New Barbarians: Warriors of the Wasteland

Mad Max's Cousin: Snarky Sid.

The year is 2019 and the Decepticons have control of Cybertron and.. hang on a tit, that Transformers: The Movie. Sorry about that. The year is 2019, after a nuclear bombardment, humanity has been reduced to handfuls of starving groups struggling to survive from day to day. Couldn't help but notice this particular crowd had a streaming water basin by them that looks similar to Lake Havasu Arizona but I must still be in shock and awe of the world's ending.

Damn, they trying to make me look uncool.

Our paltry crowd of survivors are attacked by a gang known as the Templars, that raid, pillage and plunder whatever settlements pocketed with humanity to clean the Earth of their verminous ways. Lead by One (George Eastman of Ironmaster, Monster Hunter, Endgame- Bronx lotta finale, Blastfighter, King David and The Barbarians), they are zipping about in dune buggies, bikes and wearing hand-me-downs from either the Motion Picture or Wrath of Khan. It is hard to tell. That and lots of white plastic. Guess this is Post-Apocalyptic Endor and they just stripped the stormtroopers. Mako, his "Number One GuuuuUUuUy" (Massimo Vanni of The Inglorious Bastards, The Last Shark, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, Rats: Night of Terror, Zombi 3, Zombi 4: After Death and Body and Soul) wipes out fallout fools left and right in their souped up buggies. I think they stole Megaforce's entire patrol enforcement vehicles and removed the armament. Sadly No Persis Khambatta in or out of scanty outfits.

My hair is fabulous!

The Crazies and no not the George Romero nor its remake are wrapped in dirty white cloth like mummies, wearing welding goggles ,duct tape and a few spears. They mostly grunt, hobble and make like Sand People. 14 minutes in and the movie's bad ass is on the scene. Scorpion (Not the Mortal Kombat guy, Giancarlo Prete of Street Law, Who Breaks... Pays, The Loves and Times of Scaramouche, Messalina, Messalina, Midnight Blue and The Last Shark), a former Templar dispatches the crazies with Han Solo/Indiana Jones style with his pistol. Engaged in a long range fight with his blaster versus a sling shot I saw it was a boy. Turns out it was a mock battle then I saw the boy. Frickin' Bob from House by the Cemetery's Giovanni Frezza. KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!! Scorpion doesn't trek the wastelands in a buggy or BMX, no sir or lady. Our boy rolls in a souped up black 1967 Pontiac Firebird. The bubble dome and wing looks a bit screwy but damn if that isn't a fine piece of machinery.

Having a Templar encounter, Scorpion picks up Alma (Anna Kanakis of Sugar, Honey and Pepper, Warriors of the Wasteland, 2019: After the Fall of New York, A Season of Giants, Young Catherine, Money and The Final Contract) who wants to move her people to a safer location away from the Templars but it will take some doing. Enter Nadir (Fred Williamson of Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, Tough Guys, The Inglorious Bastards, Hell's Heroes, From Dusk 'Til Dawn, Vegas Vampires and Revamped) an explosives expert with archery skills and a disturbing leather outfit with golden shoulder pads. How the hell do you make Fred Williamson look uncool and what gives you the right, Enzo Castellari!?!

Rectum?  We're gonna kill'em!

Between the two, they figure they can fend off One's army of bad touch marauders long enough for the group to get off to where they need to start a new life with their leader Father Moses (Venantino Venantini of The Exterminators of the Year 3000, My Other Husband, Ladyhawke, The Assisi Underground, Final Justice, The Erotic Dreams of Cleopatra, The Repenter and The King's Whore)

Composer Claudio Simonetti (Deep Red, Suspiria, Demons, Opera, The House of Witchcraft, Nightmare Beach and Mother of Tears) a real electrofunk, disco electric drum beats giving it an groovy, yet funky vibe. Now with all this coolness in mind, there is a sodomy scene while not graphic is creepy enough so you have been warned. Yes fellas there is a fair degree of nudity so you won't get bored. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Screener Review: Meathook Massacre II

Hey all. I am back with a special review of Dustin Ferguson's latest tale of terror, gore and gruesome behavior! Who you may ask? Shame on you as I have done a substantial reviewing of no less than 6 of his movies and with Rotten Ramblin' On my co-host Shawn and I had a great time interviewing with him.
Yup he is staring intentionally at the breasts, hun.

Nebraska's own Dustin Ferguson of 42nd St Productions (Terror at Black Tree Forest, Silly Scaries, Doll Killer, Occult Holocaust, Cheerleader Camp: To the Death, Invitation to Die, Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival, Meathook Massacre and Blood Claws) writer/director/editor has brought back this disturbing loony from a decade's hiatus. Ten years prior, a string of murders happened in a rural region of Nebraska. No one was safe and no one was punished for the crimes. With no sign of the bodies as one crazed girl swears by and 3 months worth of manhunt, the authorities don't have clue one what really happened.  Now, the disappearances start again. This is Meathook Massacre II.

Damn those pesky kids and their dog!!!

Joining the cast is Deborah Dutch (Graduation Day, Hard to Die, Dinosaur Island, Vice Academy 4, Caged Women II and Stop It, You're Killing Me) a regular bombshell with Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski and producer/actor Dawna Lee Heising (My Science Project, Big Trouble in Little China, Forbidden Warrior, Outworld, Tales from Dark Fall, Waiting for Dracula, The Famous Joe Project and Awesome Girl Gang Street Fighter)
In this you feel a bit disturbed about the little girl character Jennii Caroline is playing as the movie unfolds, this crazy collective of cannibals are all residing in a cave along with Breana Mitchell so the "scream queens" are back in the fold.

A Craigslist casual encounter goes bad.

10 years ago, Dan's sister Dani was killed or made to disappear along with her friends disappeared with her girlfriends going to a Dragonclaw concert. The cops never found her, his folks have given up hope but Dan (Daniel Stier of Blood Claws, Camp Blood 5, Night of the Clown and Meathook Massacre II) won't accept this as fact until he sees for himself. Retracing her steps he will get at the truth. Maybe one of the girls lived that horrible night, maybe one of them like Bre (Breana Mitchell of Slumber Party Slasherthon, Black Tree Forest III, Doll Killer, Die Sister, Die!, Cheerleader Camp: To the Death, Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival and Camp Blood 5) is still alive. A trek out to Black Tree Forest yield more results that he was ever expecting as he's clocked in the coconut by Mother Dawna. Well more meat for the winter I guess. Dan wakes up to see these nuts and somehow realizes that the youngest of them is Breanna with more glazing out than a doughnut. Seriously that kid looked just gone.  Being a little playmate for Sissy (Jennii Caroline of The Legacy of Boggy Creek, Silly Scaries, Escape to Black Tree Forest, Doll Killer, Die Sister, Die!, Gloved Murderess and Silent Night Bloody Night2: Revival) who comes off as a mad goth girl similar to Sheri Moon Zombie's Baby.

Evil, twisted or Elven?  You decide.

You can really feel the influence of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a touch of Rick Roessler's Slaughterhouse and just a dash of Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses with Dawna Lee Heising's Mother Dawna feels so much like Karen Black's Mother Firefly. Yes it feels like elements of camp but there is also a creep factor in this that raises the hackles easily. This time around, Dustin pulled out some stops, got great locations and brought the bizarre to your living room. I'm only pissed because I cannot see it in a big screen.

Mongo like candy.

Obscure Superhero Week: Silverhawk

Hey all, welcome back for Day 4 of Obscure Superhero Week. Y'know it is a bit ridiculous to find a super heroine flick that isn't directly linked to a per-existing male protagonist. Supergirl, Elektra and Catwoman (technically Femme Fatale/thief/bad girl) are our prime examples?? Oh sure you could say Black Scorpion, Barb Wire and Aeon Flux IF they weren't overtly sexualized to a level I would be very uncomfortable to tell little girls to behave like that when you grow up. Christ, Tomb Raider and 1970s Wonder Woman and Isis managed to make strong willed, determined women that happened to be gorgeous as well. That was more of a bi-product or said actresses playing them. Busting my hump to find ANY super-heroine movie is a pain in the ass to begin with because the genre is either campy, insipid or just sexualized. And then... when all hope seemed lost. When frustration clouded my head. My gleaming goddess of goodness helped me out and may have restored a little faith in writing and directing. This is Silverhawk.

Hey, that's not Jet Li.

No wings of silver or nerves of steel. (Points to anyone getting that reference) Our heroine is a silver clad ass kicker for the side of good Silverhawk (Michelle Yeoh of Police Story 3: Supercop, Wing Chun, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Far North, Babylon A.D., Reign of Assasssins and Kung Fu Panda 2: The Quickening) whose secret identity is Lulu (No not the maxi dresses, atheletic wear, Lou Reed's album, the Fae Sorceress of League of Legends or the Scottish singer from the 1960s), a martial arts master/model and all around heiress to a mass conglomerate using her skills, money and being for the good of humanity. And does this with 4 minutes we have a bike chasing down a truck, a choreographed fight sequence on top of said truck, truck disabled and the baddies all terrified of her kicking their asses yet again. The precious cargo??? Um pandas. Yeah I guess black market for fur or claws? No idea. I envision an evil over-the-top British super-villain pawing one as he would a Persian cat exclaiming his insidious plan to his minions and muhahahaing the night away.

We're voguing!

Our heroine/vigilante's works have been noticed as the chief of police of Polaris City, Rich Man. Rich Man. Imagine the hell for that kid and do not wonder how he excelled at martial arts too. Okay, Rich Man (Richie Jen of Gorgeous, Fly Me to Polaris, Marry a Rich Man, Elixir of Love, 20 30 40, Seoul Raiders and The Sniper) is Lulu's childhood friend at the martial arts academy and apparently has complete and total recall of everyone, anyone and everything she has ever done or interacted with in life and recognizes Rich immediately. Rich a bit slower on the draw seems to remember but cannot quite place her. Rather than get her number, Lulu slips a tracker/bug on his phone keeping aware of the police investigations and a bit of flirting on her part. Rich makes it clear he is gonna bust Silverhawk due to the typical trope "Taking the law into one's own hands" but he is more concerned right now with the threat of a new A.I. Program that could end up in the wrong hands.

Where does she get those wonderful toys?? BMW I guess.

A quick couple of notes here. This universe operates like Marvel Comics tech. This is a virtual holographic majong game, there are sleek steel and glass buildings and mind deciphering devices but in modern day age. Lulu's auntie is constantly interfering and insistent that Lulu chase after men, marry and have healthy babies and so on. Leaving a brilliant scientist at her front door and now she must entertain Professor Chung (Daming Chen of Foreign Moon, Beverly Hills Ninja, Silverhawk, One Foot Off the Ground and What Women Want), the very same scientist developing the revolutionary plot point, I mean A. I. So yes you can do the Batman comparison because she is a talented normal with fighting skills, wonderful toys and a crusade and while that is an influence; the story arc is nowhere the dark brooding crap on a rooftop, the baddies may have some contusions and a concussion but they haven't been straight up murdered (Yeah Batman Returns, I'm looking at you) and the violence level is surprisingly low.

Hang on a sec... did I skip the villain? Yeah I did. Sorry about that. With the A. I. Demonstration well in hand, of course now is the time to abduct the prof.

Enter hench persons...well its a unisex teams so yeah. Morris (Michael Jai White of Thick as Thieves, Universal Soldier: The Return, Exit Wounds, Why Did I Get Married?, Black Dynamite, Blood and Bone, Arrow, Beyond the Game and The Asian Connection) and Jane (Bingbing Li of Purple Butterfly, Waiting Alone, Dragon Squad, Linger, The Message, Resident Evil: Retribution and Transformers: Age of Extinction) looking full on cyberpunk testing Silverhawk's skills and clearly were impressed, looking forward to that rematch. Worried about the involvement of the vigilante's time and effort, their boss/mastermind Alexander Wolfe (Luke Goss of Blade II, Love Life, Charlie, Cold and Dark, 13 Graves, Bone Dry, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Deep Winter and Tekken) schemes to best dispatch the crime-fighter as effectively as possible or perhaps win her over. It could go either way.

We have everything we need in a super-heroine. Great practical stunts, fight choreography, elaborate death traps, potential suitors panting at the door for her. In short, a beginning, a middle and an end. Personally, I liked it but I think a good hybrid of martial arts, sci-fi and super-heroine combo platter works well. Not to mention a showdown of Luke Goss, Michael Jai White, Bingbing Li all against Michelle Yeoh. Brutal scenes yet elegant violence.

Yeah I'm guy from Blade II and Hellboy II.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obscure Superhero Week: Ultraman

A hardy welcome and on to day 3 of Obscure Superhero Week. I have noticed the trend of the suffix "man" needs to added to far far too many heroes so I will look tomorrow for female heroes in film that doesn't involve them just being primarily jiggly entertainment for hetro men and I suppose lesbians that simply want eye candy to gawk at.  Today's feature is based from the 1966 creation by SFX director, producer and director Eiji Tsuburaya (The H-Man, The Last War, The Mysterians and The Three Treasures) and prior in 1954 was the series Ultra Q similar to the Outer Limits, this film was broken into 24 minute TV episodes. This is Ultraman.


The SSSP (Science Special Search Party) an international police organization with so much clearance seeks out aberrant anomalies, kaiju attacks, paranormal and extra-terrestrial goings on, have multiple headquarters around the planet ranging from New York, London to Paris, Tokyo and even Brazil. Their telephone number is apparently international as well as it is only 999.   C'mon folks, make it a bit more fun than that. Try 0118 999 881 999 119 725... 3.  Works wonders. Back to the review now, the people of the planet Nebula in the universe M-78 discovered... the power of the Ultra.

It's only a model.

Finding themselves with a conscience and conviction for justice, these people became the Space Garrison, an organization with vim and vigor to help neighboring planets in times of peril so much so, they would dispatch an Ultraman to deal with the threats against said planet and fight to the very death defending it if needs be. Lead stuntman/model for suit and actor Bin Furuya (Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Ultra Q, Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Ultraman: Monster Big Battle, The Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit and Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends- The Movie) is the man in vinyl and spandex gadding it up.

Gamera is friend to all children and...ow! Stop that!

Ultraman comes to Earth in pursuit of a kaiju Ultraman's ship crashes into Space Patrol Shin Hayata damaging him rather severely. Rather than Hayata facing um... Ultrajustice? Ultraman allows his powers to be transferred to Shin (Clearly Ultraman is a great judge of character) giving him instant costume change, martial arts, the ability to travel in the vacuum of space, density and height shifting and whatever they hadn't written down at the time. Honestly they have qualities of DC comics Green Lantern Corps or Marvel Comics Nova Corps. Take your pick. So yeah now Hayata can be 60 to 80 feet tall and do battle with men in rubber suits...I mean Kaijui!

This series is the Japanese Doctor Who, spawning multiple TV series, mini-series, TV movies and theatrical films as well ranging from 1966 to 2015. Sadly, it sort of follows the Godzilla re-imaging and branding issues of continuity being altered but general story ideas being the same. The transition retcon (retroactive continuity for new info on a per-established continuity of existing fictional work) has not be obscene as it was for Godzilla but the M-78 Universe or galaxy has altered a lot from an artificial satellite giving Ultra powers to the folks of Land of the Light to the universal spark animating armored beings solely for combat against evil.

At the end of the day, you have men of power fighting in foreign worlds and asking for no reward...which is good considering how much of the landscape, communities and buildings get smashed on a regular basis in these series. Hell there is an official trailer for a 2016 for Ultraman X- The Movie: Here it Comes! You can embrace this phenomenon for what it is. A giant space alien smacking the ever-loving crap out of kaiju that originate from space or Earth itself.

Not sure why no Ultragirl or Ultrawoman so that seems screwed up.   Guess the Ultra power is Y chromosome only??

Dammit guys, we all cosplayed an X-Wing pilot!?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Obscure Superhero Week: Condorman

Hey folks, welcome back to Obscure Superheroes Week and I have to be honest, this next title kind of left me perplexed to why I am watching it. Now you know me and I have been up to my waist in some extremely dull, boring or otherwise stupid films ranging from all genre so you can imagine when I saw this title at the request of Rotten Ramblin' On co-host Shawn, I was baffled to why I "need to see it." Then I noticed the author/ Sci-fi novelist that wrote it and it changed my opinion. Robert Sheckley (Escape from Hell Island, The 7h Victim, The Millions Game, Immortality Inc and Mindswap) became films of Escape from Hell Island, The 10th Victim, Das Millionspiel, Freejack and Mindswap. With a dark sense of views of the 1950s to a ominous take on the future, Sheckely's books have always entertained me. So let's give this a go. This is Condorman.

William Katt, eat yer heart out!

Straight from Buena Vista distribution (Walt Disney Pictures) opens with a cartoon character rotoscoped (animation technique tracing over footage frame by frame creating action as realistic as possible) into a live-action film surveying Rome. A orchestral intro and chorus singing Condorman and having Goofy sound effects added. Oh yes, this will be dignity and grace.  Possibly a comedy/action hybrid. Woody Wilkins (Michael Crawford of Two Left Feet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Jokers, How I Won the War, Hello, Dolly! And Once Upon a Forest) works as Condorman's writer and comic book artist thriving to be his own creation attempts to make a flying suit plummets off the Eiffel Tower and into the River Seine while between issues. Cause a writer/penciler has all the free time in the world...with the knocking out 45 pages then penciling each frame,caption and blocking each scene. Yeah I know a bit about the comic art aspect and frankly you would only give cover art from me if I went into the biz.

The Femme Fatale...rowr.

His buddy Harry (James Hampton of F-Troop, The China Syndrome, The Cat from Outer Space, Hangar 18, Teen Wolf, Teen Wolf Too, Sling Blade and Fire from Below) photographer, file clerk for the CIA and best buddy tries to talk Woody off his creative ledge on maybe not do everything your character would do for real...because it is inherently dangerous, stupid and likely to get him killed but Woody is eccentric (ready for the wacko basket) and sees the world in relation to films, TV and comics. You know, passionate nerd. Harry gets an assignment from his boss Russ Devlin (Dana Elcar of Dark Shadows, Guiding Light, Fireball Forward, The Bravos, Ironside, The Sting, 2010: The Year We Make Contact and MacGyver) who needs a civilian courier to exchange documents with a Russian asset at the height of the Cold War and return. Yup, so naturally give it to the goofball comic artist. Good call. Right up there with giving a bulldog a live frag grenade to chew on.


Woody is nervous but excited as he gets jumped by agents but manages to beat them off (Sixties term for knock down, you pervs. You disgust me.) and impresses the lovely, curvaceous Natalia (Barbara Carrera of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Centennial, I, the Jury, Lone Wolf McQuade, Never Say Never Again, Dallas, Point of Impact, Night of the Archer and Love Is All There Is) who plans to defect with the help of Woody, she must return to her KGB handler Krokov (Sir Olilver Reed of Dirty Weekend, The Three Musketeers, Ten Little Indians, The New Spartans, Lion of the Desert, Castaway and Gladiator) a shouty, scene chewing, bear of a man wanting to know more of this Condorman, does he work with the CIA and what his overall objectives are. Possibly his name, quest and favorite color. Woody is conned into moving with Natalia's defection and as "Condorman" Woody makes the CIA crack open their piggy bank for a suit, offensive weapons, maybe a couple of vehicles... hell might as well have a lair too.  Hmm the Aviary? The Roost??  Will Woody Wax...philosophically??? Will Natalia Defect??? Will Oliver Reed play the hell out of his role??

It's campy, slapstick and wholesome, all the while having car chases, gunfights, boat chases and some decent choreographed fights. Purest in true 1980s comedy down to prat falls, observational gags and a nutty guy doing well with the girl in a PG film and knocking off at a hour and 30 minutes, you have to hail a lot of these stunts and practical effects. Shot in Monaco, Paris and Switzerland, this is where the Disney money comes into play and didn't take the course of two years *cough Speilberg and composer Henry Mancini (Peter Gunn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pink Panther, Hatari!, Remington Steele and Newhart) taking out all the stops, this flick is another post Richard Donner Superman feel giving it fun for all ages. I may actually have to thank Shawn for this recommendation...maybe.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Obscure Superhero Movie Week: The Pumaman

Hello there and sorry for abandoning you last week. Impacted tooth that will be tended to shortly and I am back on the case. Now this week is at the behest of my Rotten Ramblin' On co-host Shawn, who suggested an obscure superhero week. What does this mean for you and me? Well for me, it will no doubt be pain to rival that of my tooth and for you the reader, you may have to endure some bile and venom spewed at what I am reviewing. So if dredging through TV movies and failed movie potential sequels sounds horrific, then it is time to move on for the week. Those of you that are stout of heart and courage, I salute you all for the pain or humor you will be subjected to.

Today's film is brought to us by Italian director Alberto De Martino (The Invincible Gladiator, Perseus Against the Monsters, The Secret Seven, Hecules vs. The Giant Warriors, Operation Kid Brother, Crime Boss, Holocaust 2000 and Miami Golem) who shares two films on the MST3K roster of with Operation Double 007 starring Sean Connery's brother Neil and this day's film. This is The Pumaman.

I went tinkles now let me back in the damn house!

Paleontologist Professor Tony Farms (Walter George Alton of The Users, 10, The Pumaman and Heavenly Bodies) has been feeling a sense of dread while working in the British Natural History Museum and it is no wonder. The papers keep exclaiming fit brunette white guys are getting chucked out of windows high up in the air and murdered. Being a fit, brunette white guy naturally he feels on edge until he is stalked by an enormous Aztec named Vadinho (not the onion, Miguel Angel Fuentes of Fitzcarraldo, Herod's Law, Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell, The Knife, Gunmen, Blow and Texas Rising) speaks of Tony's father, the space alien gods that have brought the destiny that is written in the stars, a magic disco belt er um Aztec medallion belt to give Tony his birthright, powers and just about everything else that could get you locked away in a rubber room.

A mystical Christmas ornament!?!

But wait, should our would-be hero not have a villain to combat? Look no further as towering 5'6" balding, blue eyed voice that all Carpenter's Halloween fans know and love, Kobras (Donald Pleasence of The Great Escape, Night Creature, Halloween, Dracula 1979, Escape from New York, Halloween II, Phenomena, Warrior Queen, Prince of Darkness, Django Strikes Again, The House of Usher and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) proceeds to use an ancient Aztec gold mask to... take over the minds of political officials in England. Yeah that is something I had to write. Kobras and his cronies must dispatch the only thing standing in their way to total worldwide rule is the Puma Man of which Pleasence pronounces it Pewma. Gave me a little smile.

Sir, my sweatsuit is making its own gravy.

Perhaps where pummelings and gun-play failed we throw Pumaman a sultry dame instead? So enter the girl, Miss Jane Dobson (Sydne Rome of What?, Creezy, Just a Gigolo, The Pumaman, In the Heat of the Night, Tierra de canones, Pope John XXIII and Don Matteo) who if she and Tony were to mate would provide some pretty but dopey babies. With England and soon the world to be in Kobras' pocket, the Pumaman must embrace his powers, tacky costume and a puma to do battle and save the world.

Okay due to this being a TV movie made in 1980 with ADM Film Department, it did not hit the states via CBS until 1985 so shucks I missed it. The flying scenes will make you belt out laughing due to the blue screen shots transition from day to night in a matter of a few moments, so either Pewmaman can travel through time zones like the frickin Flash with his butt in the air (harness gag wasn't set right or they had him flailing in a static pose) or they might have goofed on the screenshots. My favorite part is when Onion, I mean Vadinho tells us his people are Aztecs from the Andes plateau (WRONG!!!! That would be the Incas!!! The Aztecs hailed from Mexico, the southern regions. Look at a history book, writer!) The Casio goofy synthesizer music which is his theme song is...charming and whimsical.  Not the sound I am looking for in my superhero flick but it beats hearing that damn power chord in EVERYTHING Christopher Nolan and Zach Synder direct these days.  So honestly this is good for a chuckle as they are clearly trying to treat this film seriously in spite of the writing and lack of budget. Do yourself a favor though, watch the MST3K or Mystery Science Theater 3000 version instead. Good riffing to be had.

Oh sure, just drape me like eye candy.  Gonna slap my agent.