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

Just a Damned Soldier (1988)

JustADamnedSoldierPosterWhenever one of us lovers of Italian trash cinema talks up Mark Gregory as an icon of that world, non fans are prone to write it off as just so much irony. He’s got a big perm in his most visible roles, can’t stand, pose, or walk convincingly, has gorgeous pouty lips, and is most famous for appearing as a guy named Trash. It’s like we’re just trying to be funny about how important he is by pointing out how ill-suited he was to acting. And that’s true – something like Adam and Eve is going to be pretty challenging to sit through if you don’t go into it with the right attitude. Continue reading

Empire of the Dark (1990)

Empire of the Dark DVD CoverEmpire of the Dark is like what would happen if your fat, out-of-shape, middle-aged dad who liked to stand around in the yard on the weekends with his douche friends waving swords at each other ever decided that merely being the embarrassment of the neighborhood was insufficient when there was a whole home video market he could be humiliating his relatives in. Hopefully any family members would be smart enough to steer clear of any involvement. After all, the only thing worse than one man having delusions about a career in film is passing those delusions on to his child. In some of our more liberal states, such antics may even amount to child abuse! Continue reading

Brothers in Blood (1987)

SavageAttackBIBVHSCoverA lot of guys who kicked ass over in Nam got a dose of that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that good old sneaky Charlie was lacing their tunnels with. The severity of the PTSD varies, but it can be so bad that you turn to self-medicating yourself like Steel did in this movie, causing him to get liquored up and beat down the cowards in the bars who didn’t have the balls to go to Nam! That’s some pretty cool PTSD! Or at least it would be if we actually got to see it instead of just having Steel’s whiny wife recount it for us and Steel when she’s picking him up outside the police station. Continue reading

My Dear Killer (1972)

MyDearKillerCoverThis is an okay giallo marred chiefly by its use of convoluted red herrings that I could never even figure out what I was supposed to be thinking they pointed to. Combined with the fact that our hero, Inspector Luca Peritti, cracks the case after visiting the murder scene and having a flash of inspiration while simultaneously rendering the previous 85 minutes of investigation completely meaningless and you end up with a film that has its moments (notably a couple of well done death scenes) and is able to keep you involved, but only because you’re unaware that everything you’re seeing doesn’t matter in discovering the killer’s identity. Continue reading

Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (1961)

Samson7MiraclesPosterEnglishThis is another one of those muscleman epics that seems alternately obsessed with displaying the rippling back muscles of star Gordon Scott (Hercules Vs. The Moloch) and with the palace intrigue in old time China.

The fact that the version I saw only ran 77 minutes was both a blessing and a curse. Cursed because everything happened in a rather hasty manner with entire sequences that could have explained exactly how characters went from doing one thing to the next mysteriously missing. Blessed though since it was still 77 minutes of Gordon perpetually greased up and standing around posing like an adult baby in a red diaper whose next appearance would be on Sean Connery in Zardoz. Continue reading

Cave of the Living Dead (1964)

Cave of the Living Dead DVD CoverThe Germans get some measure of revenge on us for their thrashing in a couple of world wars by unleashing this most typical non-epic about vampires on an unsuspecting public. Much like any cheap Italian horror movie of the period, it’s characterized by stark black and white photography, spooky castles, and good looking babes who turn vampire on you. And much like those movies, Cave of the Living Dead is mostly marked by its omnipresent boredom. Continue reading

Village of the Damned (1960)

Village of the Damned PosterWhen British novelist John Wyndham wasn’t busy crafting stories about killer plants taking over the world (The Day Of The Triffids), he was busy crafting stories about killer brats taking over the world. Village of the Damned is the movie version of his novel The Midwich Cuckoos and an interesting premise is let down by an abrupt and unsatisfying ending. Continue reading

Zombie 4: After Death (1989)

Zombie 4 After Death DVD CoverHas there ever been a movie in the history of the world that was any good and had a “4” at the end of the title? Zombi 3, for those of us still in therapy and repressing most of it, is the movie that Lucio Fulci began, but quit and that Bruno Mattei finished up for him. But don’t rip your own intestines out yet! This isn’t really a sequel! Shot simply as After Death, the slapping of the zombie tag on the film was merely a marketing gimmick! No need to worry that the film won’t utterly fail because it’s trying to continue whatever was happening in the previous gooey mess. It will utterly fail on its own merits! Continue reading