A Man Called Rage (1984)

It’s really like any other post-apocalypse. It begins with all manner of stock footage depicting modern life and mushroom clouds right down to the same shots of houses being blown away in an atomic blast we’ve seen since they were first shot in the 1960s by the US government.

And then it’s time for Director Tonino Ricci to bring his uniquely personal vision to the aftermath! A personal vision that looks like a Cirio H. Santiago movie (think endless shots of rock strewn desert), but without all the colorful mutants, midgets, and guys dressed up like they were into Mad Max cosplay. In short, the terrifying unimaginative (and by extension, quite budget friendly) vision we saw from Tonino the year before in his film Rush! But now we’ve upgraded our hero from a bad ass named Rush to a raging bad ass named Rage! Continue reading “A Man Called Rage (1984)”

Rush (1983)

This post-apocalypse is brought to you by big ass belt buckles! Foregoing the usual Italian Mad Max ripoff accoutrements such as spiked shoulder pads and metal studded codpieces, Rush takes a less ostentatious approach by having Rush’s wasteland edition leather pants sturdily secured by a belt buckle roughly the size of the bloody mutant rat Rush cringes at upon seeing.

Initially you admire this subtle approach the film takes versus more flamboyant Italian dishes such as Exterminators of the Year 3000, The New Barbarians, 2020 Texas Gladiators and 2019: After the Fall of New York. As the film progresses though, you begin to suspect that what’s happening isn’t because of a sudden attack of artistic restraint on the part of director Tonino Ricci (Raiders of the Magic Ivory, Days of Hell so much as the grim reality of financial constraint.

Continue reading “Rush (1983)”

The Raiders of Atlantis (1983)

I worry about Atlantis. A lot. In all the discussions about all the cool ways civilization will end (gamma ray burst, nuclear war, plague, cows farting too much), there is a strange, unsettling silence about the possibility of the reemergence of Atlantis ending life as we know it!

And it isn’t like Atlantis is some brand new threat just thought up by liberals trying to raise your taxes. It’s been around for 2400 years since Plato invented it to make some political/philosophical point no one cares about!

So how come we aren’t seeing a bunch of specials on the PsuedoHistory Channel about the danger of Atlantis to Mankind? It’s always alien invasions when the deadliest invasion of them all is going to come right out of the ocean (and stinking to high heaven, no doubt!) with all their superior technology and angry antipathy toward us dimwitted surface dwellers! Continue reading “The Raiders of Atlantis (1983)”

Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land (1983)

Mission Control to Starflight One, you are cleared for… disaster! It was of course inevitable what with the ominous mix of cutting edge technology, the misgivings of the designer and the presence of several minor league celebrities aboard. (If I ever notice I am a flight with Gavin MacLeod, Charo and Alfonso Ribaro, I am deplaning immediately as that’s clearly a Final Destination situation!) Continue reading “Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land (1983)”

The Berenstain Bears’ Easter Surprise (1981)

Leave it to the Berenstain Bears to take a grizzly-sized dump all over our most holy of holidays. It isn’t bad enough that they make only the vaguest, most passing of references to the religious aspect of Easter, mentioning something about spring being a time for miracles, but then they have to slander the Easter Bunny, turning him into a disgruntled boss, ranting about all the benefits his employees want! And what kid doesn’t want to watch a holiday special with a constipated-looking rabbit singing “Who Cares About Easter”? Continue reading “The Berenstain Bears’ Easter Surprise (1981)”

When Time Ran Out… (1980)

Along with Meteor and The Concorde… Airport ’79, When Time Ran Out… is often as listed as one of the reasons that time ran out on the star studded 70s disaster film.

While it unfortunately hewed to all the worst conventions of the genre (multiple one note characters each with a personal issue we care nothing about combined with large scale disaster that utilizes decidedly low scale special effects), it further tormented the audience with a villain who was moronically stubborn and a lengthy climax involving Burgess Meredith breaking out his ancient tight rope walking skills to ferry a child across a destroyed foot bridge. (That doesn’t count as a spoiler since it was randomly revealed early in the movie that William Holden’s Shelby Gilmore saw the high wire act years ago in Vienna thus alerting the audience that a sweaty-faced Meredith would surely be dramatically putting one foot in front of the other on a narrow beam near the end of the film while the rest of the cast worked on their tense and gasping reaction shots.) Continue reading “When Time Ran Out… (1980)”

Deadly Weapon (1989)

When Zeke finds a crate marked “office supplies” floating in the local river, takes it back to his dump of a house and opens it to find an advanced, highly destructive anti-matter ray gun, the audience’s excitement builds in anticipation of the entire hick town of King Bee, Arizona being zapped into the Negative Zone, along with the abusive family, bullying kids, and cruel school officials who make his life hell.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the rampage as Zeke spends much of the film holed up in a cafe, holding the mayor, sheriff, and town pastor hostage. And then anonymous Saturday Night Live alum Gary Kroeger shows up as a smarmy TV personality to interview the troubled Zeke. Didn’t director Michael Miner know that whenever Kroeger came on SNL, that meant it was time for a bathroom break? Continue reading “Deadly Weapon (1989)”