Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ghostbusters II


Back again with a new review. Hey that rhymed. After the events of the previous movie, a certain sect of paranormal investigators damn near sued for the explosion of an expensive building, the boys in brown had to make ends meet through alternative means. Not far too long, spooks and spirits make their way into NYC and get restless. This is Ghostbusters II.


At least they're not crossing the streams.












5 years after the Gozer incident, Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd of Spies Like Us, The Blue Brothers, Ghostbusters, Nothing But Trouble, The Great Outdoors, War, Inc. And According to Jim) and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson of Dolemite II: Human Tornado, St. Elsewhere, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, Sugar Hill, No Escape, The Crow, Shark Attack and The Family Business) are regularly entertaining kids' birthday parties.

Egon Spengler (Writer/actor Harold Ramis of Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Baby Boom, Groundhog Day, As Good as It Gets and High Fidelity) has thrown himself into research and studies while Peter Venkman (Bill Murray of Saturdy Night Live, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Rushmore, Lost in Translation and The Life Aquatic)hosts a budgeted show about the physic phenomenon.


Ungrateful Yuppie Larva.












Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver of Alien, Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, Dave, Copycat, Galaxy Quest and The Defenders) becomes concerned for her son Oscar after a few spiritual encounters and she seeks Egon's help. She and Peter apparently didn't part on the best of terms and she has no interest in pursuing any interaction with him. Dana left the conservatory and music to becoming a restorator at the Manhattan Museum of Art and a curious portrait of Vigo of Carpathia seems to be a center attraction piece of a conqueror, tyrant and fabulous trend setter. Dana's boss Dr. Janosz Poha (Peter MacNicol of Sophie's Choice, Dragonslayer, Ally McBeal, 24, The Batman, Agents of SHIELD, Tangled: The Series and All Rise) is infatuated with this painting and frankly feels like the comic relief that Rick Moranis was in the first film.

Upon investigating Dana's supernatural encounter, Ray, Egon and Peter find an ectoplasmic river in the sewers. I'd point out at this time, the city, county and state forbid them to use any of their paranormal equipment due to the MASSIVE lawsuit of exploding more than 5 stories of the building from the first flick. Also they impersonated construction workers so yeah it doesn't look good for the boys. Poor Winston wasn't involved, so he wasn't brought before the court. After containing with a pair of executed ghosts, the boys zap and trap, the judge rescinding the order allowing a music montage and they're back in business. So they kept the building, rebuilt the containment center that burst in the original flick and brought everything up to code via EPA and OSHA??? Right, right. Disbelieve.


Hmm Science Fair's not going well.












With the tremendous amount of slime absorbed negative energy, combined with mass turbulence of full roaming vapors, combined with Vigo's influence; the boys' work is really cut out for them. The mayor is once again not a huge fan of the Ghostbusters agrees they are the only ones that can deal with this massive hysteria and ghost uprising.


Um something something more immigrants joke.












What can be said about this sequel that countless critics haven't already covered? 
 Well it doesn't surpass the original but does compliment it. It's great to see the guys back in harness blasting the undead. The overall tone of the film became more family friendly due to the popularity of the cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters. With a budget of 37 million the overall gross was over $112 million in spite of the opening weekend only managing $29 million. Keep in mind, Batman was opened at the same time too. Imagine the hell for Weird Al's UHF was. Given the actor Wilhelm von Homburg portrayed Vigo, his lines were dubbed by Max Von Sydow. This apparently pissed off Homburg and he left the premiere in a huff.



Bill Murray and Harold Ramis had a few issues with one another and future projects were not happening. A third film was always on the books and never came to light, however the 2009 video game where the quartet voiced, along with Aykroyd and Ramis wrote incorporated gags and story ideas of a previous script where the guys was supposed to end up in Hell. More near H.P. Lovecraft creatures and stories went into the game as well as a boss battle of a giant Sluur, the beast possessed Louis Tully a.k.a.Vince Chlortho the Keymaster (Rick Moranis) spoke of.

Suffice to say, this game is essential to Ghostbusters fans. Brian Doyle Murray is added to the cast as the new mayor and reprising his EPA dickless character Walter Peck (William Atherton) and Alyssa Milano as curator of the Manhattan Museum.

Will Afterlife capture the same magic as the previous films? I cannot say. After the 2016 all-female cast that DIDN'T bother to acknowledge the original source material, but who knows? It may cash in on nostalgia or might stand on its own.

Think we gonna get more screen time?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

House of Pain


Hello my vivacious readers! I have returned! The Brazilian bombshell singer/musician/actress Daiane Azura (Big Trouble, Hate, Home Videos, Nemesis 5: The New Model, 2 Die For, Horndogs Beach Party and Conjuring Curse) pointed out some films of hers on TubiTv so I decided to take a peek, low and behold a Dustin Ferguson (Camp Blood 4, Camp Blood 5, The Amityville Legacy, Nemesis 5:The New Model, 2 Die Fore, Robowoman and Moon of the Blood Beast) flick and penned by writer Mike Reeb (Nemesis 5: The New Model, Horndogs Beach Party, Conjuring Curse and Robowoman). This is House of Pain.


Stevie Nicks' Cult of Satan.

 










Under a moon shrouded in clouds, SoCal Cinema Studios opens our film with a young black couple terrified out of their minds and a slow-paced stalker brandishing an axe, wearing what I thought was a bondage mask (I've lead a sheltered life) but I'm pretty sure it's more luchador. As Michelle (actress/dancer/stuntperson Carrie Bernans of Single Ladies, The Rich & the Ruthless, Lawd Have Mercy, Black Panther, Cage, SEAL Team, and Ballers)and Randy (actor/director/writer Phillip Trickey of House of Pain, Clown Motel Massacre and Axemas 2: Blood Slay) pleas for mercy and logic, it's a good bet this crew doesn't operate on either...at all.

The killer quartet draw and quarter these victims in order to adhere to a pact made long ago. Almost sounds like that won't be the last people butchered in their homes, right?

With our credits intro we get a bit of industrial tunes again courtesy of Velvet Acid Christ a tride and true of the Ferguson alumni for awesome soundtracks. Man, wish I had a flick for them to do a soundtrack to. Moving on we see a pleasant suburban area of Southern California and a somber musical intro. A couple drives up to this warm and inviting house with a lovely Daiane waiting to greet them. Quick question, do SoCal homes come automatically with a gorgeous girl waiting at the doorstep, because I may want to move back to Cali.


Today on American Pickers...












Worry not Ferguson fans, we can expect a few of the regulars to make their way into the picture. Our couple Miguel (Mark Popejoy of Die Sister, Die!, Gloved Murderess, Poet, Flat Waters Terror Volume 1 and Amityville Legacy and Camilla (the lovely Dawna Lee Heising of Blade Runner, Kung Fu: The Movie, Forbidden Warrior, Waiting for Dracula, Legend of the Red Reaper, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, Meathook Massacre II and Garden Party Massacre) and their two boys Marco (Edwin Garcia of Nemesis 5: The New Model, Stuck, A Taset of Phobia, House of Pain, Level Up, and 5G Zombies) and Javier are moving to this area and the boys are a bit annoyed leaving the city but for the sake of the folks and probably avoiding screaming matches, they're gonna give it a shot.

What's that, boys? An creepy clock on the mantle piece? Well you're not in a cabin in the woods, so I wouldn't worry about it. It's not like creepy and supernatural things occur in the suburbs. Well there was Poltergeist. Meh, probably just a fluke. Well the moving truck hasn't arrived and I guess the family may have to rough it for a few days.

At the swap meet, Camilla and Marco bump into...Sue Price(Nemesis 2: Nebula, Nemesis 3: Time Lapse, Nemesis 4: Death Angel, Nemesis 5: The New Model, House of Pain and Robowoman) and Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre, Nightmare Sisters, Warlords, Munchie, Cheerleader Massacre, Die Sister, Die!, 666: Teen Warlock and Horndogs Beach Party)?

The mother and son duo are warned by Jose (Ken May of Welcome to Grindhaus!, Travisty, Grindsploitation 666, Tales from the Grave, Meathook Massacre 4, Robowoman and It Wants Blood!) in a vague exposition like way, that neighborhood they just moved into is dangerous. Tend to your produce, pally and leave the creepy old man warnings of blood to Crazy Ralph.


Ms. Stevens, I'm out of peaches. Please, don't beat me.












Miguel gets ambushed with a greeting by Dan (Robert Lankford of Meathook Massacre, Meathook Massacre II, Meathook Massacre 3: First Hunt, Nemesis 5: The New Model, Conjuring Curse, Meathook Massacre 4 and Meathook Massacre: The Final Chapter) who give warm invites and vague commentary on the house and the neighborhood. Ordinarily I don't lose my crap over a guy with some sick ink but dude kind of towers over you, you freak out.

Daiane comes over for dinner and I would point out this seems like the smallest gathering of family. Keep in mind, I have a lot of extended family and know many of varied Catholic households so perhaps it's everyone else is still in Phoenix. Normally you hit one of these houses and it's 25 to 50 people and you almost always hear, "A few of us had to work today."

Could the bad vibe you are feeling the work of the minions of the fallen angel? Most vile. That Lucy...fer guy. Yeah me and John Constantine live dangerously.


With the quick cut edits and camera work I am reminded of The Strangers and a hint of Robert Fuest's The Devil's Rain but with a more eerie industrial music and some nice handheld and tripod shots. 

Ferguson gives a nice lull period allowing everything to be nice and collective and then gets right into the terror factor. This neighborhood seems to almost be self-governing so no idea if local PD is even an option. Maybe the State Troopers? With a fantastic cast, solid script and patented directing, the mysterious story unfolds at its own pace and I for one can appreciate that.

Again another low budget indie that had plenty of creepy moments and clearly the cast had some fun. 

Time to beat up them weird furries up the block, baby.



Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Forbidden World


Hey gang! Back again! Aren't you thrilled to your very core? So apparently I need to widen the variety of cheesy movies, so we are taking in a Corman produced flick. Imagine Alien if it had wall to wall nudity, sex and less than satisfactory editing? Chuck in some Jim Wynorksi penmanship, SFX exploitation gore and monster creation and we have a recipe that is a few alternative titles. This is Forbidden World a.k.a. Mutant a.k.a. Subject 20


What is that, Galaxia in the background?












In the not-too-distant future, (where have I heard that? Huh.)at a research center in the far and remote desert moon of Xarbia (sounds like a floor wax), a crack research team has created an artificial life-form they have dubbed "Subject 20". They weren't really good at naming things.

The concept behind this creation, this Proto B is to end galactic hunger! Which admittedly that is kind of awesome. HOWEVER!.. Subject 20 takes on a life of its own,undergoes extensive mutations and proceeds to snatch up all the lab animals before undergoing further metamorphose.

Fortunately we've got professional troubleshooter Mike Colby (Jesse Vint of Centennial, Hometown U.S.A., Belle Starr, On the Line, Another Chance, Dark Angel, The Temp, Dreamers and Monkey Love) and his droid SAM-104 (Don Olivera of Android and Forbidden World) are on the case and know their cheese. Colby? See what I did there? Oh fine. Please yourselves.


Escape From..the steam vents.












Not sure why Dr. Glaser (June Chadwick of The Last Horror Film, This Is Spinal Tap, Magnum, PI., V, The A-Team, Riptide, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Headhunter and Going to Extremes) and lab assistant Tracy (Dawn Dunlap of Liar's Moon, Forbidden World, Night Shift and Heartbreaker) needed to shower and canoodle other than nudity clause but I am certain it was integral to the plot. Possibly. Maybe. Hell I don't know.

My biggest concern was the state of Dr. Cal Timbergen's (Fox Harris of Hammett, Human Highway, My Favorite Year, Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, Armed Response, Straight to Hell, Walker, Warlords, Terror Eyes and Alienator) lab coat looking like an extra in Evil Dead 2. Seriously it is spattered with fluids the crux of the film. It's called fluff and fold, dude!

Some film facts now but first, a slight warning. For the photophobic fans, there is some strobing lights in throughout the film, it kind of hurt my eyes so anyone seizure prone might want to skip the flick.


Previously, on The Mandalorian...












Shockingly enough the same film sets for Galaxy of Terror also were used for Battle Beyond the Stars and our own Mutant here. Hey if you can light it differently and get a new blocking on the preexisting work, I say do it! Hell, I'm in favor of us repositioning the set and making the corridors appear the same. Saving on the budget.

The Mutant a.k.a. Subject 20 is just enough of a change up that Giger wouldn't have sued for intellectual property rights. It looks different enough that people wouldn't lose their minds. Well that's not true. Probably a gaggle of hardcore Ripley Scott fans easily aggravated about that but again, pleasing everyone is more of a BeeGees vibe. Always be Zeppelin instead.

Director/editor Allan Holzman (Forbidden World, Out of Control, Programmed to Kill, Intimate Stranger, Sounds of Memphis, My Marilyn, The Art of Directin: Frank Capra, The Art of Directing: John Huston and The Art of Directing: David Lean) also used existing footage of Battle Beyond the Stars for filler and expansive star battle.

Writer Tim Curnen (Forbidden World, Ghost Warrior and Supreme Warrior) and Writer/Director/Producer/Actor Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Big Bad Momma II, Not of This Earth, The Return of Swamp Thing, Sorority House Massacre II, Dinosaur Island, Demolition High, Raptor, Cheerleader Massacre, Vampire in Vegas and Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre) co-wrote this little space opera and honestly, I had fun with it. Sure there's a touch of camp to it, yes there is a fair degree of sex and nudity but this was going to happen.

What feels like a hybrid of Alien, Leviathan and Emannuelle in Space, this film has its entertaining moments. I was just laughing at seeing the use of clipboards, RCA TV screens as viewing monitors and ultimately this is a splatter fest Sci-Fi Horror film.

It just happens to have a substantial amount of nudity in it. Go figure. All in all, it's not going to please everyone but for those feeling there's a few plot holes, there's tits. So much so I could not find a single trailer that didn't flash cans on the screen. Go look it up yerselves, pervs. This here is a more PG-13 kind of blog.

Clipboards...OF THE FUTURE!!!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Sin Reaper


Hey there, gang! I'm back with a horror film to review. Yes I know, I do lapse into this a little too often but this particular flick is produced and distributed by the one and only, Fangoria Magazine

For those that aren't warped and eerie from so many slasher films or whatever fits the holy rollers' current criteria, Fangoria Magazine has been in print since 1979, started as a quarterly issue and it wasn't until the 7th issue did it venture solely into Horror genre. In 2015, the magazine was ceased and unlikely to be back in print but had a huge internet following and the fans spoke out. Film producer Dallas Sonnier of Cinestate acquired the magazine in 2018 and also sunk fangs into podcasting, film production and novelization under the Fangoria flag.

FYI, films produced by Fangoria is as far back as 1990 with Bruce and Bill Campbell's Mindwarp so the magazine is no stranger to Horror distribution. Back to the movie now.

Today's flick is about a young woman with continuous nightmares or visions of a past she isn't certain is hers. After consulting with her shrink, she takes his advise and makes her way to Germany, seeking her ancestral roots. This is Sin Reaper.


Did I get top billing? Damn straight I did!












Heeeeeyyyy...her shrink looks an awful lot like an android. Yup that's Lance Henriksen, character actor extraordinaire!

The young woman is Samantha Walker (Helen Mutch of Lunar Girl, All in the Game, You're Fired!! Lycanthropy Gardens with Red Roses, The Village and Sin Reaper 3D) whose nightmares are about a disturbing cowled monk with a four sided ax? Maybe a flail? A mace? Need a SCA member to wage a guess. She converses with Frank Black there and sees what can be done. While Samantha has been with a loving family, she is adopted and knows next to nothing about her birth parents. Her artwork is vivid and she has a few medications but not quite the bevy I have seen. Doesn't seem to be on any anti-psychotics, her artwork is still being channeled.  Using her own drawings, Lance find Wallhausen monastery and sets her on her path to this remote, isolated area of Germany and find out if there is any truth to her dreams and must confront them head on. How very Dr. Phil. Hope she's paid up for sessions.


MICHELLE!!! FLEDGLING!!!












Among ze Germans, most of the cast sounds like they learned their English lines phonetically and I am having Troll 2 flashbacks already. You don't piss on hospitality, boy!

We find the garb of said monk is reminiscent of ones found with the Crusades and I am immediately wondering if he or she is connected to the Knights Templar. It is a popular connection for Horror. Amando de Ossorio's Tombs of the Blind Dead quadrilogy is prime examples of such. The music score is reminding me of Ted Nicolau's Vampire Journals. Prep the vampire orgy scenes!  No?  Huh, I mean that's fine. Didn't wanna see those anyway, whatever. Instead our killer monk seems to be gacking men and women of the Roman Catholic faith. So the Protestants can breathe easy I guess.

Okay before I go further, I must warn you that you are not getting your Lance Henriksen fix from this film. His shrink character has about three scenes and then he's out of the flick. I know, I would have loved it if he went with Samantha on this intrepid journey into her bloodlines' past but it was not meant to be. Or they simply couldn't afford him. Low budget has to put their money where they can in all of the project.


Got a little grape jelly on your neck there.












Moving on, Samantha finds herself at the very monastery of her dreams of bloody murder. That's..uh that's not necessarily a good thing. The monastery itself is vast and a character all to its own. Provides great atmosphere and frankly I'd shoot a flick horror wise here as well. Proper mood and darkness spreads over the courtyard and you will be easily creeped out.

Samantha almost immediately bonds with another tourist Sasha (Patrick J. Thomas of Son of Morning, Going Global, Sin Reaper 3D, Million Dollar Matchmaker and Megan Nicole: Checklist) and I think it may be due to her dreams of blood or possibly she just doesn't get out in the dating scene that often. Hell I don't understand women enough to psychoanalyze them. Just felt rather sudden. The guy's pretty enough but Samantha is practically salivating.

The caretaker of the monastery gets all shady and foreshadow like hinting this may not be the safest idea, so naturally our gaggle of one-dimensional teens have to go back in the night and start screwing around or screwing each other. When will these pesky teens to twenty somethings ever learn?!


Lord be praised!  *WHACK!












Interesting enough, one of the tourists Jenny (Hazuki Kato of Ballistica, The Forest, The League, Sin Reaper 3D, Shi, Muppets Most Wanted, Falcon Rising, Atomic Eden and Grisse) speaks perfect English buuuuuut has done something her voice that either sounds like nails on a chalkboard or a Yoko Ono album. Whichever is more painful for you. I think it was the director's choice, I will look further into young Kato's filmography and make a more informed decision.

So one by one they are stalked and now we have slasher elements and for this film, that's okay. What puzzles me is the whole 3-D angle because our kills didn't get the graphic edge I was expecting. Figured innards and entrails would fly at the screen or a head would bounce down a flight of stairs but yeah it was really wasted. Loved how the staff of the tourist spot there attempts to be nonchalant but FAILS at even a hint of subtlety. The performances were workable and decent. Camera, lighting and sound all quality and just again shows that low budget can create just as easily as the A-List.

Not a bad concept using a religious persecution as the basis of your Horror movie, it has been done before but this was executed well. Director Sebastian Bartolitius (Another Slice of Life, Die Reise des Jacob Crane, Coppelius and Passage 33) made this unfold well but some of the less than subtle responses made it feel awkward in scenes. At the end of the day it is good work.



Few observations at this time. Lot of handheld work. While that can create suspense if done right I guess they didn't have the ability for a dolly track from scene to scene. Some real jarring zoom up shots and weird pans, made me wonder how much work these cameramen had prior but overall some solid work. Not trashing the cinematography. Just made me start thinking of early 90s Charles Band flicks like Subspecies. Again not a bad thing and easy enough to get used to.

STOP MENTIONING THE WAR!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Crazies


Okay I'm back and yes we are finally on an outbreak movie. I just thought it was in poor taste to have done such last month. So as we are under quarantine we may as well get on with this so I went with a master of horror, George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Season of the Witch, Martin, Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, Creepshow, Day of the Dead and Monkey Shines) and naturally as this is one of his earlier films, we are back to Pennsylvania. This is The Crazies a.k.a. The Mad People and Code Name: Trixie


Virus can't touch you in flavor country.












Evans City has a crisis on its hands with a military plane downed in the mountains and its cargo leaks into the city's main water supply. DUN DUN DUN!!!! Oh you know the score here. Plausible deniability, military attempting to get a handle on it and it's gone completely pear shaped or tits up if you prefer. Naturally we discover our virulent affliction is man made, code name of Trixie. Nothing good with come of Trixie. Keep that in mind.

Firefighters David (Will MacMillan of The Enforcer Salvador, Bad Girls, NYPD Blue, Las Vegas, The West Wing, Raising the Bar and Jada) and Clank (Harold Wayne Jones of The Crazies, Knightriders, The Paper Chase, Fantasy Island, Hunter and Provoked) get the call to a blazing inferno formally a house as the husband/father killed his wife and set his house alight! Meanwhile, David's pregnant girlfriend Judy (Lane Carroll of Hercules in New York and The Crazies) is assisting Dr. Brookmyre (Will Disney of The Crazies) to the children of said arsonist. Shockingly enough, they suffered from some burns.


Clarice Starling?












A massive military police action with soldiers donning gas masks and hazmat suits are blocking the town. The obvious joke er um named officer in charge, Major Ryder (Harry Spillman of Dirtymouth,The Crazies, Born Again, All My Children, The Sex O' Clock and Comfortably Numb) uses the hospital as base command and they're here to help with the virus. They claim the virus either outright kills them or drives the subject completely bonkers.

Ryder's higher-up Colonel Peckem (Lloyd Hollar of The Crazies, Good Times, Siege, Lou Grant, The Jeffersons, Boardwalk, Rage of Angels and Kiss of Death) and his pet scientist Dr. Watts (Richard France of There's Always Vanilla, The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead, Vortex, Dreams Come True, The Sorrows of Dolores and Graveyard Shift) have an experimental cure they can unleash. I had to rewind to that scene because Dr. Watts is the same man that plan the scientists calling officials and journalists dummies in Dawn of the Dead. So yeah I missed that whole exposition plot dump due to laughing.


Dammit, left the coffee pot on.












With quarantine being issued about the town, the soldiers are doing house to house searches trying to help folk and have to shoot the loonies. It's part of the Midwest, how will you know the difference?

As a box office bomb, this film hit cult status with the VHS generation and well because the director is George A Romero.




Some fun film facts now!

Most of the bit characters including the white hazmat soldiers were paid local high school students.
The massive house fire was actually the local fire department destroying an abandoned house, so Romero and crew set up cameras and was allowed to film the whole event, creating a great effect on a ridiculously low budget.

Most of the screams, gunfire, soldier and townsfolk dialogue and sound effects had to be added in post-production ADR in Romero's basement of the Latent Image Studio.

It's eerie, relevant and frankly will ennerve the right folk like it was intended to do. Romero's concern about the control the government has over the country worried him constantly.


Because of its cult status, in 2010 a remake was released shot primarily in Lennox, Springwood Lake and Panorama Iowa. Thanks to TubiTV, I got to watch this and several other older horror films. A quick update for parents. The big spoiler is kids do get shot in this flick. I myself have no children but I am an uncle and it creeped me out.   So yes I give this spoiler out due to its disturbing aspect of the film.

And yes today's film has titty in it.  Sorry lady readers, the man children were going to ask me anyway.

Premarital sex?  Heavens!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread


Hey all. Back from my much requested "Outbreak" demands and I plan to review one tomorrow.
I am hoping it won't be insanely depressing. How about a karate film with a heroine up to her shapely hips in a gaggle of smugglers, gangsters and prostitutes? Now while that was setup sounds filthy as it was intended; it makes it no less accurate.  From the Dragon Princess and Sister Street Fighter, comes "Sue" Etsuko Shihomi back in action with the following sequel.  This is Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread a.k.a. Sister Street Fighter in Danger a.k.a. Female Killing Fist- Crisis Resolved a.k.a. Return of the Female Killing Fist a.k.a. Sister Streetfighter 2


Hey she took Elvis's shades!












Yes the multiple titles means several foreign re-releases from those 20 to 200 Karate movie packs so yes this could be a concern on the quality of the film. Let us not forget Dragon Princess and Sister Street Fighter are both in Public Domain so take your small comfort. Let's check this out, shall we?

We have our Toei Company logo of waves smacking the rocks below and right into a three minute fight choreography intro. This is not uncommon with the Karate and Kung Fu flicks of the 1970s. So we see Sue in full form, whipping nun-chucks and snap kicks looking fearless.

Etsuko Shihomi(The Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter, Karate Inferno, The Great Chase, Bullet Train, Karate Bear Fighter, Return of the Sister Street Fighter, Dragon Princess and Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist) reprises her Koryu Li character in this sequel and this time around she searching for Birei (Hisako Tanaka of Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread and The Great Chase), a former schoolmate of Li's has gotten into trouble.

Her friend's uncle asks Koryu to look in on Birei because he is convinced she is mixed up with some shady cats and that's no good. It seems Birei was kidnapped by some gangsters. They specialize in smuggling and prostitution, so these guys are clearly easy going and fun loving. Oh wait; that's hippies and not gangsters. My apologies. They're hightailing it to Tokyo for their ill-gotten gains.

Not Sonny Chiba!













No sooner does Koryu get to Tokyo she has a turbulent taxi ride. Apparently the gang was ready for her. She defeats crooked Cabbie's Kung Fu in the train yard only to square off with a swarmy nun-chuck hitter and his ninja nerds four. Sorry but these guys don't exactly put the fear of God in you like the Hand via Daredevil, Iron Fist or The Defenders.

The fight choreography on the train tops was fun and clever and probably dangerous as Hell. While Koryu's Karate is true and solid, she needs to level up if she is to defeat the boss and his evil gang. The prostitute's hinders are being used to smuggle diamonds. Surgically implanted in their buttocks, not jammed up them.  Sheesh, you sickos.  One can only assume their man whores have to balloon black tar heroin or get it shoved into their collective wangs.


By the power of GRAYSKULL!!!












Koryu meets up with her sister, (Tamayo Mitsukawa of Hoshi no flamenco, Hibotan bakuto: Jingi tooshimasu, Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread and Kozure okami)Hakuran and tells her what is going on and sis won't have anything to do with it but offers her apartment for a place to crash while she is on vacation. Yet as Koryu sleeps, the bad guys send another assassin after her. Um they just follow her around Tokyo or is this gang that connected? Seriously, what kind of spotters and surveillance are they doing around town?

And she does team up but not with Sonny Chiba this time. I know, I thought it blasphemy as well.

Instead she has a questionable guy Tsubaki (Yasyaki Kurata of The Fists of Vengeance, The Godfather Squad, Fight! Dragon, Return of the Sister Street Fighter, Challenge Me Dragon and Secret of the Shaolin Poles) that has his own motives for assisting her.

This is standard martial arts exploitation 101, protagonist given a quest, fights a ton of bad guys, deals with the boss battle and saves the day.

As Koryu fends off each weapon bound nutter butter we get to find out each assailant's name and fighting style. That's handy when I need to pick them out in a line up for the cops. Yes officer, that man right there. He was using Korean Kung Fu. No doubt in my mind.




Biggest pet peeves is the storyline isn't anything really different or that clever and the fricking handheld camera work for most of the fight scenes gets a little nauseating. Not sure what veteran director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Sister Street Fighter, Wolf Guy, Karate Bullfighter, Karate Bear Fighter, Karate Warriors, Return of the Sister Street Fighter) was thinking with all the handheld. Surely a crane shot or a dolly cam would have been reasonable. I am amazed I haven't had a migraine from this handheld nonsense.

The original poster was very misleading as Etsuko Shihomi is posed in shorty shorts and go-go boots. How dare you, movie poster!  Is it a decent follow-up from Sister Street Fighter?  Not really.  The story is lack luster, Etsuko is amazing as always but the fights drag on or are very abrupt. Tempo, movie tempo. The evil boss cackles way too often and his whole underworld connections tend to stand out in a crowd a bit too easily.  The way Koryu is able to track these guys down so quickly without resorting to Batman level of interrogation of thugs?  C'mon!

Here's hoping the next sequel is better. 

Shhh, Sue beefed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Conquest


What's this? A Sword and Sorcery movie made by that "Horror mogul" Lucio Fulci? But all he does is Horror...and some child movies, Westerns and it's almost like no one researches this director worth a damn. Predominately Fulci is known for his Gates of Hell Trilogy (City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House By the Cemetery) and folks seem to forget how versatile Italian directors had to be from the 70s to 80s. But really a guy with a magical bow that can rid the world of its evil? That man has made enemies he doesn't even know exists. This is Conquest a.k.a. Mace the Outcast.


Femme Arrow.












Let's address the biggest issue of this movie. FOG!   Yeah throughout this whole movie is a fog-like effect around the screen, whether it is a veil over the camera or a ton of foggers, it dominates the movie. Yes it hurt my photophobic eyes something fierce.

A young warrior in training, Ilias (Andrea Occhipinti of Augh! Augh!, Priest of Love, The New York Ripper, A Blade in the Dark, The Sun Also Rises, Miranda, The Family, Control, The Jeweller's Shop, Running Away, Love of Man and Queens) is on a quest to deal with evil and then it dawns on me that I recognize him from The New York Ripper and started laughing. Better known to being sensitive and complex characters rather than heroic figures. He has been charged with a quest to end the corruption of Ocron. The god Chronos bequeath Ilias a magical bow which is his ascend to manhood??  Okay.


All of the sudden, it's Cave Dwellers now.












Our villainess of this piece, Ocron (Sabrina Siani of White Cannibal Queen, Cannibal Terror, College Girl on Vacation, Blue Island, Daughter of the Jungle, Gunan, King of the Barbarians, Ator,the Fighting Eagle, 2020 Texas Gladiators and The Throne of Fire)and yes she is almost completely nude through the entire film.  A sorceress that charmed her legions of darkness...by sleeping with them.  .Spider-Men, Dog-Men, zombies and various other animal men.  Yeah she's filled with darkness...and animal men.  She claims to the people that she is responsible to rising and setting of the sun and they believe her. That she is in league with the sun goddess and hold her audience. Methinks the village isn't particularly bright. I mean they sent one guy out to deal with this so yeah I am baffled.


Whatchu mean I gotta star in Werewolf?












Our protagonist is a mere man that only skill set really is uncanny accuracy with his bow. He needs help. Enter Mace (Jorge Rivero of Rio Lobo, The Two Brothers, Guns and Guts, The Bullfighters, The Last Hard Men, Erotica, Priest of Love, Killing Machice and Counterforce) a muscle bound ranger that talks to the animals. Think less Dar of The Beastmaster and more Kronk of The Emperor's New Groove. Mace's wig is pretty awful. Looks like they grabbed a beaver pelt and plunked it on his head. Maybe got around to scooping organs and bones out of it, maybe.

Given the time this was released we can have our outrage of Conan the Barbarian rip-off; or we could also point out such films like Iron Master, The Beastmaster and Ator, the Fighting Eagle and realize these Sword and Sorcery stories pretty commonplace in the 1980s and prone to a fair amount of nudity and violence. That being said a lot of creativity in some of these Sci-Fi Fantasy jiggle fests IF they could ratchet in how much T&A they drop into film to film. Not gonna lie ladies, there's pillaging in this film. No I was blissfully unaware of that UNTIL I laid eyes on it. Yeah I'm not thrilled.

Loved Mace has stone nunchuks but what was disturbing is Mace wore the mark of Eibon from The Beyond on his forehead so I am wondering if they simply wanted to link the two movies or was this a story of Eibon before The Beyond establishing the ancient mythos being fact. Mace and Ilias' quest seems primarily based around fighting the werewolf men, shooting pervy old men and porking their fill of cave women. Don't worry, our heroes do get their asses handed to them several times, have the manly embraces and do not dally from their goal.

For some reason we need fricking zombies. Yeah that seems to be a staple for Fulci. I was waiting for zombies in his western flicks too. Hmm actually the Zombi of the Old West actually sounds awesome. Nudity and gore gags aside, something about this film compels you to keep watching it to the end.



Okay so this wasn't Shakespeare. Neither was Conan the Barbarian, The Beastmaster or Ator, the Fighting Eagle. This is a popcorn movie with sci-fi fantasy about two mortal men facing ridiculous odds for a bunch of unseen or unnamed peasants. They suffer the slings and arrows of mass pummeling in order to dive into the struggle of the light and the darkness.

Yes fellas reading this, this is chock full of titty. You can relax now. I have plenty of spoilers that utterly baffled me on this movie but you will have to read someone else's blog because I don't do spoilers as a rule.

Dessstro!!!