To paraphrase Blade Runner‘s Roy Batty, I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe – a generic Michael Dudikoff movie remade as an even more generic Steven Seagal movie. Unlike Roy Batty though, my replicant ass didn’t drop dead all dramatically in the pouring rain after realizing this. And as a continuously relapsing Seagaloholic, my thankfulness for that hit Mach 5 as I watched Steve show the Dude how it is freaking done! Continue reading
“Evil exists in every man. While some wrestle to contain it, I find it easier to embrace it.” When Steven Seagal unleashes this mumbled voice over at the very beginning of Born to Raise Hell, you would be right to question whether the Man in 4XL Black is deadlier with his guns, fists, or the bizarre dialogue (which is at once amusing and absurd) that he is prone to spew unintelligibly throughout films that usually find him in some crud hole whose only cinematic advantage is the readily available tax breaks and/or cheap foreign crews. Continue reading
Steven Seagal is one the great treasures of the cinema because no matter how terrible, low rent, dull and inept one of his films may be, he can be counted on to be completely nonplussed by it and to deliver at least a few classic moments you’ll never see anywhere else.
For instance, in The Foreigner, a muddled nonthriller as dreary as all the perpetually overcast Polish locations featured in the film, Steve somehow blows up a train station while pretending to take a whiz at a urinal while the bad guy is just standing around gawking. Damn Bad Guy, just be glad Big Steve didn’t have to go number two! Continue reading
How did I know that Steven Seagal‘s Jake Hopper is the most coolly professional of all ex-CIA kick fu bad asses infesting Thailand? Was it because when he was informed that his daughter was kidnapped that his trademark catatonic squint never even wavered or threatened to slip into an indifferent squint? Was it because when his old friend betrayed him and was about kill him, Seagal’s response was “you’re just a trailer park bitch.”
Or maybe it was that when he was arrested after killing half of Thailand at a shoot out in a train yard, he resisted arrest by beating up the entire police station. But it also certainly could have been when he killed his old buddy after debating whether to kill him with his partner and Seagal practically yawned saying “he sealed his own fate” and then used every ounce of energy in his mountainous torso to almost shrug. Continue reading
Are you tired of gearing up for your bi-monthly dose of Steven Seagal straight-to-video action movie mayhem only to find it an ugly, muddled mess about Steve being an ex-CIA agent who is forced to wreck a foreign country (which one depends on what country is offering tax incentives to shoot the film there) while dispatching various thugs, arms dealers, drug pushers, and rogue military elements as quickly as possible? With all the rapid fire headshots, neck snappings and stabbings, it’s like Steve is being forced by the ACLU or the Humane Society to put these guys out of their misery with a minimum of deadly force. It’s something akin to hiring Vincent Van Gogh to paint your house beige. Continue reading
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A cop gets trapped in a large building battling a gang of thieves all by himself! And his wife is one of their hostages! And it’s freaking Christmas time! Wait – don’t stop me! Because another entry in the cinema’s best genre of film, the Die Hard genre, is always welcome!
Christmas Rush (also known by the generic action title Breakaway which just screams “cable TV movie no one will ever remember 5 minutes after it airs on TBS”) wisely lifts everything that made the original Die Hard not only the greasiest movie ever made, but frankly one of the crowning achievements of 50,000 years of human civilization, and adds the few cool things that somehow didn’t make it into it – a little religion and go karts! And a forklift! And a kid needing a bone marrow transplant! And most fantastically of all, an insurance company handing out a $200,000 check as a reward for Dean Cain helping to destroy their mall! Continue reading
Headless Horseman is a success in the sense that several heads are chopped off. Since this is a simply a slasher movie dressed up in a dark cloak and jack-o-lantern, it isn’t just the Headless Horseman whacking away with a sword or an axe. There’s also a person who falls into a bear trap headfirst as well as a guy hiding in the trunk of a car and the Horseman just jumps on the hatch while the guy’s head is sticking out of it. And if that sounds like an improvement over the musty old folk tale we all know, just wait until you see Headless cruising around on a motorcycle! Continue reading
The Hollow asks the viewer to swallow any number of silly-assed things over the course of its admittedly mostly painless 83 minutes: Former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter as a jock so obsessed with his town being recognized for its connection to Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” story that he almost abuses a girl for not being into it enough. Nicholas Turturo as a sheriff. Stacey Keach as filthy, drunken groundskeeper Claus Van Ripper, affecting a strange accent for no real reason and who knows all the ins and outs of the Headless Horseman. A Headless Horseman who may be pranking our hero’s dad by ringing his doorbell and then running away. Twice. Continue reading
The police ruled it a justified homicide. It was a Halloween prank gone horribly wrong, Alec pretending to be a masked killer attacking his girlfriend before her brother intervened and stopped him! With a knife! Again and again! How was Jonathan to know that on Halloween night, it wasn’t really a movie-style slasher who just randomly came into the house to murder his sister only a few minutes after her prick boyfriend Alec just left? Who would have thought it was all a joke?
Well sure, you or I or pretty much anyone with half a brain wouldn’t come rampaging at a guy in a costume on Halloween, stabbing him over and over like we were Norman Bates after too many cups of coffee, but Jonathan was still amped from a brutal night of carving pumpkins! Continue reading
Perhaps All Hallows’ Eve was meant to be the ultimate meta experience for fans of trashy low budget horror movies. Is there any greater commentary on the genre than making a bad horror movie about a woman who is sitting at home watching bad horror movies? Or maybe writer and director Damien Leone had a couple of cheesy short films he previously shot and just repurposed that footage to make a feature length film. Continue reading