Elsa Fraulein SS (1977)

elsafrauleincoverThe opening credits paraded by over a bunch of black and white newsreel footage of Nazis doing stuff like marching around and saluting one another. I thought some practical joker at the DVD plant had pulled a fast one on me and snuck a History Channel documentary in there. The only thing missing was a slightly bored narrator droning on about “the German war machine” and “France immediately surrendered.” Continue reading

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

pitandthependulumposterVincent Price, Roger Corman, and Edgar Allan Poe rebound nicely in their second teaming after the deadly dull House Of Usher that came out the year before with a picture that finally delivers on the whole “haunted castle” gimmick. It isn’t really haunted of course, but you’ve got deception, betrayal, madness, secret passages, and most importantly of all, a working torture chamber down in the basement! Continue reading

Dead Reckoning (1947)

dead-reckoning-posterHumphrey Bogart plays recently returned war vet Rip Murdock. He’s searching for the truth behind the death of Johnny, his best friend from the service. Rip knows that Johnny was a damn good paratrooper and he deserves his Congressional Medal of Honor, even if it has to be awarded posthumously. That’s not so much to ask for a guy who gave everything he had to kick the Ratzis in their Teutonic nads, is it? Continue reading

Soldier of Fortune (1990)

soldier-of-fortune-vhs-coverWar Bus Commando is obviously the most famous Johnny Hondo adventure, mainly because it features Johnny Hondo. Soldier Of Fortune is the less famous Johnny Hondo entry in the series though it contains many of the same elements we loved from War Bus Commando: rocky Balkan locations substituting for Afghanistan, stuff blowing up, a funny-looking star, and evil Russians. Unfortunately, it seems destined to never receive the recognition as a great Johnny Hondo movie just because it features a guy named Vincent Miles instead of Johnny Hondo! Continue reading

Hunt for the Golden Scorpion (1991)

HuntForTheGoldenScorpionCoverIn the deepest, most remote part of the Amazon, a treasure is hidden! A treasure so valuable that men would kill for it, women would almost have to undress for it, and entire armies would be destroyed by four people, including a Lebanese treasure hunter, for it! It is an object so chock full of golden awesomeness that an elaborate death trap guards its resting place! Wait a minute, this is an Umberto Lenzi movie starring Andy Forest. Scratch “elaborate death trap” and substitute “one poisonous snake” in its place! Continue reading

Return of the Kickfighter (1987)

Return of the Kickfighter PosterAt long last an action movie that articulates why its climax is taking place at the old abandoned cement factory outside of town. Too often, it seems like everyone just magically teleports to the docks for a final shootout (lots of shipping containers can get blown up and bad guys can end up dramatically floating in the water) or mindlessly cruises over to a power plant because all the catwalks can provide a lot of suspenseful chasing (and bad guys falling to their deaths) and steam valves can get ruptured, filling the area with smoke (and burn bad guys in the face), but without any logical explanation why the action had to shift from where it was happening to these locales. Continue reading

Wartime (1987)

Wartime VHS CoverFollowing the collapse of the cannibals and barbarian film genres in the early 1980s, director Umberto Lenzi took a brief detour before finishing off the decade with a bounty of no less than six cheap and cheesy horror movies. A detour right into the heart of war-torn Yugoslavia!

Was Umberto documenting the ethnic cleansing that wracked the region following the fall of the Soviet empire? Was he leading a campaign of underemployed Italian exploitation movie directors to provide aid and comfort to displaced refugees by holding charity screenings of Nightmare City and Eaten Alive?

Are you nuts? Who cares about that war? I’m talking about a real war! World War II! The one where a handful of Johnny Yanks could take on the entire German army and carry out impossible suicide missions on an almost weekly basis! Continue reading

Pieces (1982)

Pieces PosterI’m sorry but this film lost me right at the beginning when a scene taking place in a child’s bedroom, supposedly in Boston back in 1942, had a pennant for the New England Patriots hanging on the wall. The Patriots didn’t even exist until 1960 and then they weren’t even called the New England Patriots until 1971!

Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon falls into the same trap as Italians like Fabreizio de Angelis, making embarrassing errors in American sports in a feeble attempt to trick the audience into thinking their foreign film was made by Americans. Nothing ruins an otherwise crappy slasher film for real Americans like a botched football reference. Continue reading

Cellar Dweller (1988)

Cellar Dweller PosterIt’s hard to have much sympathy for budding horror comic book artist Whitney when she enrolls in an art institute which looks like its located in the cabin from The Evil Dead. But then again, maybe I’m being too hard on her because how could she have known that reading the incantations in the ancient book she finds there would help summon a monster? Okay, so maybe it was The Evil Dead house after all!

Surely though, having Lily Munster herself Yvonne DeCarlo as Mrs. Briggs, the bitter director of the art colony, is a total upgrade from Bruce Campbell fighting deadites especially since she’s so much more evil than anything Ash ever faced! Because she craps all over comic books as a legitimate artform! Continue reading

Ten Zan – Ultimate Mission (1988)

Ten Zan PosterLet’s say you’re a closed off society. Due to minimal contacts with the outside world, you end up quite backward in most areas. Your economy sucks. Technological advance is stymied. Millions of your people starve because your agricultural efforts can’t feed the populace. Worst of all, your action movie industry is non-existent!

What’s a totalitarian government desiring to show the rest of the world that it’s a force to be reckoned with in the arena of kick ass movies to do? You assemble the greatest array of talent that ration coupons and promises of a week’s worth of work in beautiful North Korea can buy! Continue reading