Sunday, February 28, 2010

'80s Trash: Slugs- The Movie

This title really speaks for itself, doesn't it?  I mean, it's called Slugs.  Not only that, but they insisted on putting 'The Movie' in the title as well.  Why?  In case you accidentally thought you were watching the audio tape of Slugs: The Book.  Seriously, there's a book called that!  All of you Diary of A Young Girl fans can suck it!  Like the book, this movie is about killer slugs.  That's basically it.  Oh and the lead character is named Mike Brady.  This film was made in 1988, so this is not some sort of coincidence like Black Sunday featuring a guy named Homer Simpson.  It's also not made out to be a joke, so I'm not sure what to think.  Anyhow, enjoy my sticky review of...
This film has almost no real plot to speak of.  I mean, we get a bunch of random characters that are introduced, but most of them are just there to die.  Let me show you...
* An elderly couple gets killed one of the slugs hides in the man's work gloves and latches onto his finger.  Rather than take off the glove, he cuts his own hand off.  Unfortunately, he still manages to blow up the house and kill his wife.  Damn!
* A friend of the wife accidentally cooks a slug in her salad after it crawls into her lettuce.  Eating this, causes her husband to get parasites and his eyes explode in a restaurant! 
* A horny couple is killed when a swarm of slugs cover their floor while they are having sex.  This would take hours, which means that they put Sting to shame!
* The city's sanitation commissioner ignores Brady's warnings about the threat and is killed (off-screen) by some slugs that come up through his toilet.
That's the basic set-up.  Slugs wander around in ancillary scenes, Brady tries to figure out what is going on and someone is killed.  It is a pretty simple formula, with a couple of odd quirks to it.  For example, a young girl is chased by a potential date-rapist and falls into a sewer.  The slugs kill her, but the attacker is spared.  What kind of '80s horror film moral is that, guys?!?  There's also a scene where the sewer worker who helps Brady stop the slugs- if I tell you why, you'll think I'm joking- tells his wife to wait up for him.  Why?  Because when he gets back, he wants to 'get naked and do something freaky.'  Eww.  I just hope that this movie never follows up on this scene.  Oh good, they kill him off in the big finale.  Thanks, movie.
This movie is stupid, but fun.  I mean, it's about killer slugs.  There is one scene where they explain that the things grew bigger and carnivorous due to toxic waste being dumped in the water reservoir.  That doesn't work.  Putting toxic waste into the water either makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or that Alien-style monster from The Being!  Never mind the fact that ones they actually show are not really any bigger than a normal slug.  To the movie's credit, I've never seen a real slug attack and kill a hamster though.  The whole thing is just ridiculous, from the one-off characters to the overly-gore and long killing scenes.  They are pure '80s trash at it's stupidest and finest.  The whole thing is worth a rental for fans of crap like this.  Anyone who rents a movie called Slugs: The Movie knows what they are getting.
Up next, I kick off George A. Romero Week with his most recent non-zombie film.  Be honest- you've never heard of it.  Stay tuned...

Year In Review: Top 10 Weirdest Japanese Movies

I won't lie- I love Japanese movies!  So many of them are simply weird beyond compare & others are just absurdly-violent.  When I get lucky, they're both!  About 30 of the reviews done here are from the Land of the Rising Sun and more are to come.  In the meantime, here is a look at some of the weirdest films from that country to grace my site.

10. Tokyo Zombie: We begin with a movie that has a serious identity crisis!  This is an adaptation of a manga series, which explains the oddly-erratic plot.  The plot revolves around a pair of lazy warehouse workers who spend their time practicing judo instead of working.  When a zombie outbreak occurs, they finally decide to leave, but one of them is bitten by a zombie and infected.  One cartoon segue later and the movie jumps ten years!  The remaining cast lead is forced to fight zombies for the joy of rich people in walled-up cities right out of Land of the Dead.  This movie is not scary, not funny and not interesting- but it is weird as hell!

9. Eko Eko Azarak II/III: This series has brought me a lot of annoyance and entertainment, but more of the former than the latter.  The second film is a prequel that sets up how Misa became a powerful witch who wanders around vanquishing evil.  The majority of the film has her being pursued by zombies until she confronts a fellow witch.  Her key to victory: summoning Satan himself to kill her foe.  The third film involves her infiltrating a female drama troupe to uncover an attempt to summon ancient magic- don't ask.  The whole thing ends with a big battle between the evil girl and Misa, the former of which reveals herself to be an Homunculus!  Our heroine proves so powerful that she can come back from the dead and make the evil witch appear dead in the past!  How does...why, screw it!

8. Izo: This movie is just damn weird.  I could really stop there, but I won't.  The film is apparently supposed to show a disgraced samurai's descent into madness.  What the film is actually about is a series of random fight scenes and disturbing moments in a variety of weird locations.  Any film where a man jumps into a lake and appears in a classroom full of students is screwed up.  When said students turn into demons and attack him, the deal is sealed.  The movie even includes a cameo by big, black man Bob Sapp as...a Buddhist Monk.  Yeah, I don't get it either.  It's weird, ridiculous and ends suddenly.  It's a Takashi Miike film, which really explains.  This is probably the weirdest film by him that I will ever see until I watch Visitor Q.

7. The Star of David- Hunting For Beautiful Girls: This one is the most recent induction into my love of Japanese cinema is not as weird as a whole, but manages to wrap up in a crazy way.  The film is about a man who realizes that he is the son of a rapist and decides to become one himself.  His quest drives him to commit horrible acts of depravity towards women who offend him for one reason, but his real focus is on love.  Throughout the film, he pines for a woman from his past, all the while molesting strangers.  In the end, he finds love, only for her to commit suicide and reveal a series of incestual flings with her father!  The film wraps up in a way that is supposed to make us mourn for the man.  Um, what movie were you watching, guys?

6. Assault!  Jack the Ripper: This is the kind of movie that only Mondo Macabro could bring you.  A pair of coworkers at a restaurant ride home one night, but pick up a crazy hitchhiker.  They accidentally run her over & learn that this really turns them on.  Unfortunately, that's the only thing that turns them on towards each other.  Naturally, there is only one option: become a serial-killing couple.  Things turn sour when the man decides to start killing people and not have sex with her afterward.  It all ends in a bloody climax that you had to know was coming.  Freaky- yes.  Disturbing- yes.  Logical- not in the slightest.

5. The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai: This was my first introduction to the genre of Pink Films (see Star of David and Assault) & it's a wonder that I watched anymore.  Basically, a hooker gets shot in the head and becomes super-smart...but is still a whore.  She has the cloned finger of George W. Bush in her purse, which makes her the target of mobsters.  It's freaky as hell, but chooses to focus more on the sex than the insanity.  Your plot involves a woman being molested by the re-animated finger of a U.S. President, but would rather have 600 screwing scenes?  Really, guys?!?

4. Attack Girls' Swim Team vs. the Undead: This- alongside with my #3 film- is one of the earliest reviews on the site and is actually a film that I watched on Christmas Eve.  In a nutshell, a new girl shows up at a school around the same time that a zombie plague breaks out.  The movie has about 600 plot twists in it and manages to stop the entire story dead for a five minute long hump-fest between our two female leads.  Never mind that they 'think that they are sisters' or that 'people are being horribly-killed.'  The whole thing ends up being a bizarre mix of sex film, horror film and whatever plot threads were left over when Alias got canceled.  It's an interesting film, but it makes no damn sense.

3. Executive Koala: I won't lie- I don't get this movie.  The story involves our titular hero as a business man who is troubled by his past.  When it comes out that he was an abusive husband & the woman ends up dead, the law comes after him.  On top of that, a business vendor reveals that he had a past affair with his wife.  What will he do?  Will he become crazy?  This all sounds dramatic and sincere...until you realize that the lead is a humanoid koala, his boss is a humanoid frog and we only get three monster men.  Everyone else is human, but only person ever has a problem with this.  Not to mention that the movie throws in several late-story plot twists and an explanation of our protagonist's actions that makes no damn sense.

2. Tokyo Gore Police: Is it any wonder that this movie made the list?  Anyone who is familiar with my reviews and lists knows that I love this movie.  If you don't know the plot, it involves a lady who must stop a guerrilla group of criminals known as Engineers.  Their ace in the hole: the ability to turn disabilities into weapons.  This movie was shot in two weeks, which is an impressive feat considering how many prosthetic shots on our display here.  You don't care about that, though?  You want to see the woman spraying acid from her nipples or the guy who gets his eyes replaced with tiny machine guns that fire brain matter out.  Seriously- watch this movie.  You will be all the weirder for it.

1. Entrails of A Virgin/Entrails of a Beautiful Woman: These two movies are actually part of a trilogy, although the third film is out-of-print and missing.  Considering how these movies turned out- I'm not sad!  One of them is about a group of criminals who rape a nurse and cause her to OD on a form of Angel Dust.  She does not die, however, and comes back for revenge as a male monster. Sure, that sense.  The other film is about a group of models who go out to the mountains for a photo shoot, but just end up being molested.  Comeuppance is given to the men by a crazed mountain man...who rapes and assaults the women too.  I'm sorry, but what is the moral here?  I guess any film that has a woman's guts ripped out through her, um, honey pot has no moral, does it?

That's just a taste of it, mind you.  Let's not forget the entire Godzilla Millenium series, plus some great films coming down the pipe.  When such great films as Yoroi: The Samurai Zombie and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl come to our shores, you know I'll snatch those ones up!

Up next, the conclusion to my Year In Review Top 10 Lists.  These are the Worst Films of Mondo Bizarro (Year 1).  Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: Alone in the Dark II

Indulge me for a moment as I state the obvious: Uwe Boll is a terrible director.  His body of work speaks for itself, really.  When one of your films can be summed up by an internet reviewer in these four words- Dave Foley- full frontal- you are not someone to be admired.  Hell, I've sat through In the Name of the King- "Nearly three hours- really?!?"- and House of the Dead- "Clint Howard = best actor"- for this site.  I mention all this to set-up the fact that Mr. Boll did not direct this movie.  When even Uwe refuses to dignify this movie with his 'talent,' what does that say?  Mind you, he is still the producer, although that could just stand for 'the guy who paid $50 for this license six years ago' for all I know.  You want more proof that you should not expect much?  How about the fact that this film was made in 2008 and only came out this year?  Yeah, that should do it.  This is...
The film begins with a man (Postal's Zack Ward) doing drugs in the Central Park bathroom, only to get interrupted by a bunch of armed people in coats.  Man, who hasn't been there?!?  These folks, it seems, are being chased by the 'Evil Dead' cam.  Man, people love to rip that off, don't they?  They know it's just a man holding a camera mounted to a board, right?  This monster comes in the form of a bunch of CG wisps of smoke- apparently it's the love-child of Lost's Smog Monster.  To combat this monster, our heroes are equipped with...automatic weapons.  Is there a logic to this or did Uwe just say 'more guns!  more guns!'  They all get killed as the title card appears in it barely-visible form.  A bit later, we see the lone survivor was the man in the bathroom stall and he is looking for some help.  Dressed up in his best inFamous cos-play outfit, he hires a paranormal investigator (The Fifth Commandment's Rick Yune) to help him out.  They return to the scene of the crime (good re-use of the set, Uwe) and retrieve a mysterious knife that is apparently the key to everything.  Before much explanation is given, we see that the drug-user was infected with the black ooze from The X-Files and stabs our new hero with the knife.  Another group of people show up and finish off the dying Ward, while deciding to take Yune with them.  More heroes?  Really?
Yes, really.  These people are the real heroes of the movie and pretty much just drag our hapless Asian man along for the ride.  The villain of this picture, you see, is a witch.  Gee, I guess Boll saw Argento's The Third Mother and said 'I can do that!'  They explain that she is evil and all that jazz.  Apparently, being infected by the knife's magical power via stabbing makes you relive the witch's final moments.  Oh yeah, don't look at the mirror in your dream or the witch will know where you are.  Instead of explaining this, I want to focus on the group of heroes.  It's a who's who of people who can't do any better.  You've got Ralph Moeller (Boll alumni and star TV's Conan), Bill Moseley, Danny Trejo (future star of Machete) & Sean Connery's son Jason.  Fun fact: Jason's biggest credit was playing Robin Hood on television...25 years ago!  The first dumb thing our heroes do is leave the wounded Yune alone with the gun while Moeller goes out for a smoke break.  His escape attempt does not go to well and he decides to stay after everything is explained to him.  Unfortunately, he looks in the mirror and alerts the witch. This sets up a ludicrous action/suspense scene that pads the run time by about ten minutes.  A group of them stay in a cage, while the witch kills Trejo, Moseley and a few others.  The high point: the woman trying to gun down the witch with a mounted machine gun!
After this attempt ends so badly, our heroes finally recruit witch-killer and veterinarian Lance Henriksen.  Keep an eye out for how quickly the death of her father (Moseley) is lost on our heroine.  Anyhow, she tries to contact the witch to deal with her personally...for some reason, which gives us a pointless effects shot.  It also sets up the idea of having to kill the witch with bullets dipped in some sort of magical goo.  We get another long sequence where Yune and Henriksen have to decode some mystery of how to locate the witch (see my Third Mother comparison earlier).  Eventually, they figure out that her burial ground is in...Central Park.  In case you didn't get it, this is supposed to be like the next-gen console game & not the last movie...or the other games.  They wander around, find the way in and battle the witch.  Sadly, Moeller bites the dust in an off-camera exchange.  The fight is mostly chasing, but does end in the watch being killed back in the park.  The point of them going in the cavern was what again?  Back at Henriksen's place, it's revealed that the young woman was possessed by the witch and shoots Henriksen twice, but does not kill him.  After a fake-out, our hero drowns the girl in a bucket of water, which destroys the witch.  Of course, we also get the sequel bait ending with the blade flashing.  Who cares?
This movie is bad for a lot of reasons.  For starters, why the hell is it called Alone in the Dark II.  It's not related to the first film and has no recurring cast members.  I get that they wanted to market it around the game- good job, since your movie came out two years later- but why this title?  How about Alone in the Dark: Season of the Witch or Alone in the Dark II: This Time It's Not Alone in the Dark 1?!?  The acting ranges from dull and wooden to hammy and over-the-top.  Basically, if they are talking, they have no personality.  If they are firing a gun, they think that they are Rambo.  The special effects are not bad, but they are also clearly CG effects.  Is it any wonder why this movie was put on the shelf for two years?  Thanks for pulling it from the vault to torture me, guys.  I could have spent 90 minutes doing something constructive.  I mean, I wouldn't have, but that's not the point!
Next up, I close February out with a film about killer annelids.  How often do I get to say that?  Stay tuned...

Mondo Trivia: She-Creature (2001)

* She-Creature was originally billed on television performances as Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She-Creature.  However, no other films in the series were made.  Has there ever been an official reason given?  Nope.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rare Flix: Amityville 4- The Evil Escapes

For those who have followed the page for a while, you would know that I have love/hate relationship with the Amityville Horror series.  I managed to watch the 3rd, 6th and 8th films in the series last year, but boy was it hard.  Incidentally, if you are wondering why I picked those ones: because, that's why!  Anyhow, I skipped the 4th film because it was out-of-print via Netflix.  Checking out my local MovieStop, I found this movie on the shelf and quickly picked it up.  Considering that the last DVD print was made in 2003, I had to get the one copy that they had.  The movie claims to be a separate beast from the first three films, but actually ends up setting the plot ideas used for Parts 5-8.  Never mind the fact that Part 3 ends with the house being blown up!  The movie also credits the book of the same name with the screenplay, but that's mostly a lie.  The books are based on the real legend of what happened at the house- the family murder- and is about the Lutz family being pursued by evil forces.  This movie..not so much.  This is...

The film begins with a 'clown car' full of priests arriving at the infamous house.  Why do you need this many priests?  Is Electronic Arts trying to release another game that's sacrilegious?  No, they are actually here to exorcise the entire house!  This does not go well, ending when a young priest is taken out by a killer lamp that projects the face of Kibakichi (it's a dead-ringer) and knocks him across the room.  While he is in the hospital, the estate's owner sells all of the ornaments and furniture, including the lamp.  Um, did you guys skip a step here?  You can't go 'we must exorcise the house' and 'let's sell everything' in the span of two days.  It takes longer than that to get rid of termites!  A woman buys the big, ugly lamp for her sister (Patty Duke) in California, but not before she cuts her finger on the thing.  Our narrative jumps to said sister, whose house is invaded by the evil spirit via the 'Evil Dead' Cam and a light wind.  By the way, if you needed proof that this movie was made post-Evil Dead, this is it!  The house is invaded by something else though: family.  Our trouble-ridden family includes a now-single mother, an awkward teen, an ugly boy (sorry, but you are!) and a little girl pulled right out of Poltergeist.  After the death of her husband, the woman takes her family to live there for a bit of financial security.  Start some trouble, Satan!
The evil spirit has entered the house via the lamp.  It takes on a variety of powers right out of Poltergeist and 1988's Pulse.  Here's a sample:
* The lamp opens the door to the bird's cage and chases it into a toaster oven.  Still want Quizno's?
* It blocks all incoming calls from getting through to the house.
* The force blows incoming mail behind couches.
* It causes a food processor to turn on, cutting up a young man's hand.
* The power turns on a chainsaw and nearly causes the boy to kill grandma.  Another Evil Dead reference?
* The lamp causes black sludge to come out through the pipes.  Not only that, but it causes a board to break, which blocks in the plumber, and drowns the man in said sludge.
* To cover that offense, it controls the truck outside of the house and makes it drive away.
After all of this chaos, the woman dies from the cut on her finger (don't ask), which prompts the now-healthy young priest to try and call her.  This angers the spirit, which calls him back and melts his phone!  How does this work across phone lines and over 2,700 miles?!?  He goes there in person, which is something that angers the demon all the more.  The family finally figures out that something is up when the youngest daughter talks to her dead father and the maid ends up dead.  They finally confront the evil lamp in the attic and bring the priest for back-up.  Unfortunately, the evil appliance has possessed the girl and causes her to fly across the room like Cathy Rigby and stab the priest.  Obvious wires for the win!  They hold the girl down- why is that hard?- while the grandmother tries to stop the lamp.  One flash of light puts her down though.  What is this, Everquest?  Finally, they manage to stop the lamp by tossing out the window, causing it to crash into a bed of rocks.  By the way, how close is your house to the shore again?  It explodes like a Ford Pinto, making everything alright.  Unfortunately, we get a twist ending that would show up again in Fallen- possessed cat.
This movie is good to a point, but fails as time goes by.  Much like Amityville 1992: It's About Time, it goes way over-the-top when it comes to the spirit's powers.  They set up that it controls the house by plugging into the breaker.  I can buy that- as a movie idea, not reality- but they can't be content with that.  Consider that Pulse did this same premise a year earlier (1988) and managed to not pull this crap.  It wasn't good, but it played by the rules.  If you want to set-up that the house can control anything in itself, I can sort of buy that.  They don't do that though.  Like Amityville 3-D and 1992, the force can attack in any way that it feels like it should.  On a side note, they don't overdo the bit with the flies, which is a great improvement over 3-D.  Does the movie ever explain how the power controls a chainsaw (it's not plugged into anything) or creates sludge in the pipes?  No.  If you can't be bothered to explain your own plot events, why should I care?  As far as Amityville films go, this is decent.  As far as the standard for any other film series, it sucks.
Next up, Blockbuster Trash brings you the sequel to an Uwe Boll anti-classic.  Can it suck as hard as the first movie?  It will find a way.  Stay tuned...

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: Red Sonja (2009?)

Anyone remembering seeing this stuff leaked online and getting excited?  Remember the anticipation that built and built?  Remember how it's 2010 and there is zero word on this film getting made?  Yeah, check this out.
Okay, that looks good.  I'd probably go see that.
That's even better.  I'm on board now.

Yeah, too bad that Robert Rodriguez spent his time making a kid's film called Shorts instead.  I can't hate the guy who made Planet Terror, Sin City and From Dusk Til Dawn, but you're pushing it, mister!  Either make this or the remake of Barbarella.  After all, you left your wife for this lady- why not make her damn movie?!?

Up next, a killer shark movie that couldn't possibly live up to its poster.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rare Flix: Castle Freak

Stuart Gordon is not the biggest name in horror, but he deserves a much higher ranking than he has.  The man brought us the Re-Animator films, From Beyond, The Black Cat from Showtime's Masters of Horror, not to mention the highly-underrated Stuck from 2007.  His work with veteran character actor has defined him in the same way that Dario Argento's work with his daughter has defined him- for better or for worse.  Today's film is a movie made for everyone's favorite direct-to-video source for low-budget horror: Full Moon.  For some reason, this DVD is very hard to come by, despite the film coming out in 1995.  I can buy a box set of every Demonic Toys crossover film, but this is hard to find?  This movie is interesting, because the Gordon/Combs films are usually notable for their dark humor, but this film is played 100% straight.  Does a change of formula work?  Find out my review of...

The film begins with an old woman walking to the dungeon area of her castle and whipping an unseen creature.  Damn, that's bad...unless that's Uwe Boll.  If so, put your hips into it, woman!  Unfortunately for her, she goes to her bedroom and dies of heart failure.  After a long title sequence of white text on black screen- no budget for title work, huh guys?- we get introduced to our heroes: a family.  The father is Combs and his wife is played by Barbara Crampton, another Gordon alumni.  The family is not happy due to a rough tragedy that took place less than a year earlier.  In a nutshell, Combs was driving the car drunk and got in an accident that killed their son and blinded their daughter.  By the way, I would have thought that you would have been above the 'blind girl in a horror film' cliche, Stuart.  Anyhow, the dad just wants to take an account of what the castle has in it in order to be able to sell it.  While out checking the place with his daughter, the girl wanders off near the dungeon while following the cat from earlier.  She heads back when the dad calls her, but the feline becomes freak food.  What?  It's what they call him!  Seriously though, the monster frees himself by biting off one of his thumbs and pulling the chains loose.  That's commitment, people!
The daughter insists that there is someone else in the castle, but nobody believes.  Not believing the youngest cast member about an obvious threat- add that to the cliche count.  The freak wanders around and smashes up a mirror, a result that does not interest the police.  After another night of rejection and being told that his wife is going to punish him 'because God didn't,' Combs goes to a bar and gets drunk.  Being the smart guy that he is, he takes her to the castle, but decides to break it off.  Unfortunately, the loose freak captures her.  The next day, the police question Combs about her disappearance & want to investigate the castle, something that angers our hero.  Meanwhile, the monsters puts his Radu-like paws all over the woman, before she tries to break free by stabbing him.  Unfortunately, this does not work and the monster bites her nipples off.  Oh and he kills her too.  The lady who works at the castle stumbles across this and gets a face full of chain for her troubles.  When the police find this scene, it naturally looks bad for Combs.  This is where the movie's lone joke comes in as the inspector tells Combs to consult his lawyer, who proceeds to choke him.  Why?  The woman was his sister.  For a Gordon joke, it's actually quite light.
The movie gets really weird in its wrap-up, but stays just as bleak.  We eventually learn that the so-called freak is actually the long-tortured son of the former-owner.  You see, her husband left her after she had the kid, so she takes it all out on him.  Forty-plus years of torture and malnourishment turns you into a ugly monster with no privates apparently.  He's supposed to have them, mind you, but they never put them on the suit...not that I wanted to see that.  Combs figures this out, but is too busy being beaten up by the police officer to help.  The man takes it badly because the prostitute had his child.  The monster finally makes his move on the daughter, waiting until she takes her shirt off- classy, movie.  He brings her down to the dungeon, but the mom rescues her.  A nice bit of running and hiding takes place before our heroines break the cardinal rule of fleeing a killer- they go upstairs.  In fact, they run to the roof during a rainstorm.  Really, ladies?!?  Combs makes his way to the castle in record time and actually kicks the monster's ass.  It turns bad when he starts to get whipped, leaving him no option but to jump off the roof and take the monster with him.  Um, why not just push him?  As the film ends, the girls are alone, the cop is going to raise the kid and all is not well.  Hurray?
This movie is not bad, but is definitely what I expected from a Stuart Gordon film.  If anything, this more resembles a Ted Nicolau film that is just done more competently.  On one hand, I can admire Gordon's attempt to branch out and do straight horror.  On the other hand, this movie is extremely bleak and downbeat.  He wanted to play the threats as real, not realizing that the whole plot is a bit on the far-fetched side.  That's ignoring the fact that they have Combs playing someone of Italian descent!  The make-up work is well-done, although they do make smart use of a blanket to cover the creature.  The blood work is on par with most Gordon films and Combs does a commendable job of playing a deep, dark character.  He shows that he can play a character unlike Herbert West, although he is damn good at that role!  If you like your horror dark and gritty, give this one a look.  If you prefer classic Gordon, check out the Re-Animator films again.
Next up, a long-lost Amityville Horror film.  When there are 8 films and this one is hard to find, what does that say?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WTF France?!?: The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak

I won't lie- this thing is weird.  First, a little background.  This 1984 film is based on the Sweet Gwendoline comics done by John Willie in the '50s and '60s.  They revolve around the title character constantly being captured and tied up by enemies, only to be saved by some big, strong man.  These were made to compete with the real-life works of Betty Page.  Of course, that was then and this is now...of 26 years ago.  Who do you get to turn this weird shit into a movie?  How about Just Jaeckin- the guy responsible for Emmanuelle (only the first one, apparently), The Story of O and Lady Chatterley's Lover?  Yeah, that sounds about right.  This was a big opus too & proved to be the swan song of Mr. Jaeckin.  Well, if you're going to go, while not go out with a movie featuring woman fighting to the death to have sex with a man?  Before I reveal any of my future plans, let's jump right into my review of...
The film begins in Hong Kong, a city bustling with life.  In fact, it even has grown women (Tawny Kitaen) hiding out in boxes.  Our heroine is kidnapped by some cruel people and taken off to be traded.  Her companion (famous French actress Zabou) rushes to her aid, but that goes about as well as you might think it would  Note to 98 lb women out there- don't try to take down trained thugs by yourself.  Fortunately for our heroine, a big, muscular man (Strike Commando 2's Brent Huff) shows up to save the day...or just to get his money.  When she begs, he unties her and runs off, leaving her to possibly be captured again.  The two women reunite and try to recruit the man to help them.  He's not that willing to oblige, especially when their interference costs him some money at the table.  He tries to get rid of them again, but it does not work.  They are insistent that he helps them travel to the unexplored jungle and rescue Gwendoline's father.  After they show up on his boat, he tosses them off into the water.  An excuse to show the two women topless- why not?!?
Finally, he relents when the people who want to kill him show up and he does not have time to check them off the boat for the 600th time.  He still relents on the actual mission- we get it, movie!- but does take them to the site where her father is.  Unfortunately, the man is dying when they get there, but manages to send his daughter on the magical quest to retrieve a butterfly.  Yeah, that's what this is all about, people!  He agrees to take them on their journey when he is offered $2,000, failing to realize where the money is coming from.  It is coming from Gwendoline selling the drugs that he was supposed to traffic, plus a little bit for supplies.  Their journey takes them through both a desert and a jungle, because that's totally realistic.  One bit has the woman taking their tops off to collect rainwater necessary to refill their canteens.  These women are clearly not that bright.  Sadly, they get captured by some African-looking tribesmen.  Remind again where they are actualy at, please.  This leads to a real trippy scene where the man describes what it would be like to have sex with Gwendoline, causing both her and her companion to, um, enjoy it a lot.  After this, they start laughing...for some reason.  Eventually, they break free and go into another section of desert where the men won't go.  Ruh roh.
The place ends up being occupied by the warrior women of the Yik-Yak tribe.  They are tough, deadly and usually topless.  It turns out that the whole village is built underground (don't ask) around a diamond mine, which is run by the lone male- an old scientist.  He hangs around for the eventual money, although he is treated like crap.  A series of escapes and recaptures ensue, which also set-up our male lead wearing a thong for the entire third act.  Thanks, movie- now I can't floss anymore!  At one point, Gwendoline rescues her lady friend who is tied to a wall with a giant spike in front of her, only a long rope tied to a bit in her mouth keeping her alive.  Don't ask what that string is made of BTW- it will hurt your brain.  Gwendoline goes undercover as a warrior and competes in a tournament to earn the right to screw our male lead.  Gwendoline- progressive Feminist cinema.  Part of the tournament involves a fight between our heroine and the lone competitor, both of whom have tied up woman with shields attached to them.  The evil man sets off the volcano- damn you, red button- but is killed by the debris.  I would be remiss to ignore the chase scene involving our heroines and the Queen, both of whom are pulled by chariots of women.  In the end, the bad guys dies and our heroes escape, complete with the butterfly.
This movie is really not that good, but it is fun.  Nothing about this movie is all that original or unique- just oddly mixed together.  The acting is terrible, the set design is bizarre and the plot is ridiculous.  Then again, nothing in this movie is meant to be taken seriously.  It is meant to look like a big comic book come to life, albeit one with pointless T&A shots and Amazon women.  The best comparison for this movie tone-wise would be something like Danger: Diabolik.  It's a ridiculous movie that will only appeal to ridiculous people.  So yeah, I had a good time with it.  Is it all that memorable?  Not really.  Fans of pulp and silliness will like it though.  If nothing else, the DVD comes packed with a topless photo shoot for a French magazine made as cross promotion.  It also contains an audio interview with Mr. Willie that was taken by the Kinsey Institute.  How many action films do you know with that?  Incidentally, there is a British counterpoint to this- Jane and the Lost City.  Will it be next on the list?

Next up, a hard to find Jeffrey Combs film with a title that just sells itself.  What's it about?  Just read the title.  Stay tuned...

Forgotten Toons: Flash Gordon (1979)

Who doesn't love Flash Gordon?  Seriously, I'm asking you.  Give me a good reason why you shouldn't!  Flash is a big, tough American man who goes to Planet Mongo and kicks ass.  What's not to like?

The show was made by Filmation and was designed to emulate the serial nature of the series.  Of course, it saves on money to replay the endings at the beginning of every episode & play them again as stingers.  That's simple economics, boys and girls.

As a Filmation show, the series used rotoscoping a lot and it generally looks quite good.  Some of the shots of ships flying about look on par with any animation done before CG rendering became commonplace.  The story is pretty much the same- Flash goes to Mongo, fights aliens and saves the day.  It introduces a lot more locations and characters that served as places to fear or look forward to.  He also has a cadre of allies that you know, including Prince Barin (it always sounds like he has two titles), Thun the Lion Man and the King of the Hawkmen.

It's a good show, but does not try to be much more than an animated series.  There is a lack of epic scale here, but it's fun.

Next up, a look at the 'new' adventures of an animated icon from the 1980s.  He forgoes the past and the future!  Stay tuned...

Buy the DVD!: Mansion of the Living Dead

We're back with another Franco film & boy is it bad!  The film is about a bunch of unattractive lesbians in an empty hotel run by crazed cultists.  There is one redeeming part in the Special Feature section...

The disc features a long interview with Franco himself, in which he answers a lot of the questions that have come up about him.  Why did he change his name to Jess Franco?  Why did he have so many pseudonyms?  Where did all of those names come from?  There's only one way to find out...

Seriously though, the actual movie is awful.  Just watch the interview and be done with it.

Next up, a long-forgotten Rankin-Bass film offers up a very unique special feature.  Basically, it explains a long-forgotten process that begs definition!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Copland: Cyborg Cop 2 (aka Cyborg Soldier)

Let's address some serious confusion: Cyborg Cop 2 is actually an unrelated film starring two new cops who have to battle a cyborg menace.  That movie is mostly known by the title Terminal Impact.  This film, however, features the return of David Bradley to his role as the man who defeats killer cyborgs.  However, this film is also known as Cyborg Cop III in some circuits.  In the closest to an official DVD release the film has, Terminal Impact is billed in parenthesis as Cyborg Cop III and Cyborg Soldier is known as Cyborg Cop II.  Confused yet?  Good.  After much consideration (about two minutes), I'm going to stick with II for this film, as it is at least the same lead actor and character.  This is...
The film begins with a long, dumb action sequence over the opening credits- big surprise.  It is also billed as Cyborg Cop III, which is confusing because...yeah, I already did that part.  A bunch of men drive around in a truck and lazily shoot a bunch of other people.  So, you know, any given Tuesday in Texas.  All of this builds to a showdown between a man who looks like an evil Kurt Angle and a drug dealer who hides behind a sheet of glass.  By the way, pointless breast shot to up the Rating to R.  Fortunately, a bunch of cops from the DEA show up.  Hey, how did Bradley get back in the DEA after quitting in disgrace again?  You won't tell me, huh?  Okay then.  Bradley and his token black partner show up to take down the bad guys.  Wait- token black guy surrounded by gunmen?  Quick- put on a vest!  This proves too late, however, as he is shot to death by the villain.  This leads to even more shooting and a silly showdown between Bradley and the villain.  Naturally, our hero wins and the bad guy ends up in jail.  However, a government program recruits him- alongside other Death Row inmates- to become cyborgs.  We get a flimsy explanation for why the government is doing this, considering that it was done last time by a crazy arms dealer!  The cyborgs also get ball caps that double as circuitry.  Lazy prop design- check.

When the man he put behind bar vanishes, Bradley gets right to work...ignoring his superiors.  Why did you rehire him again, guys?  He finds that the secret government agency is keeping tabs on him, which is something he does not like.  He proceeds to harass and attack the guys, clearly copying his own behavior from Cyborg Cop 1.  You do realize that these are government employees and not lackeys for a gun runner, right?  He also breaks into a government building and steals some files about the group.  Of course, this proves to be the right thing to do as the now-cyborg killer throws off the shackles of his creators within minutes of being given life.  With a group of armed cyborgs, he begins to kill anyone that gets in his way.  He crosses paths with Bradley at a gas station where they do battle.  It's all completely silly and ends in a giant explosion.  Watch for Bradley's dive away from a big fireball and see if you can spot his suddenly-wet hair for one shot.  Can you spot the fire-retardant gel?  The battle ends inconclusively and the cyborg gets fixed up.  Thanks- that served...nothing.
The bad guys recruit a bunch of new cyborgs since, apparently, the organization decided to make 100 cyborg soldiers in the first, trial batch.  Meanwhile, Bradley finally meets up with the head of the government organization who is, of course, a hot woman.  They flirt, she blows him off and they flirt some more.  Between recruitment, the cyborgs find time to kill Bradley's crotchety Sheriff buddy, who is the fill-in for Norris' pal in Lone Wolf McQuade.    On top of that, they kidnap Bradley's kid.  Actually, if you recall, this is actually the kid that his brother/partner adopted before his death in the first film.  Apparently, he just kept the kid, but dumped the lady from that movie.  This leads up to a big battle where Bradley and the government lady break into the cyborg facility & blowing up the guys.  It's all ridiculous, but great fun if you like to see dime store mannequins be blown up.  Seriously, you get about six shots of the stand-ins being exploded- good fun!  The lead cyborg holds the kid hostage until Bradley would fight him.  It ends with the kid grabbing the cyborg with a giant magnet- wouldn't they get rid of those- and dropping him into a pit of fire.  The day is saved...thanks to the kid.  The End.
Honestly, this movie is good fun, but it is also terrible.  I won't lie to you and tell that this is a good movie- it's not.  That said, Bradley is the weird combination of both wooden and over-the-top.  Picture a dull actor playing Andrew "Dice" Clay and you get the picture.  The acting is all bad and the writing is just silly.  On top of that, the cyborgs are men in green jumpsuits and metal arm-coverings.  When you see them for the first time, they also have Optimus Prime-style chest plates.  Silly- very much so.  If you like stupid movies, you can do far worse than this movie.  If you like good movie...why are you even reading this?  Go watch The 400 Blows and move on.
Next up, an 80s adaptation of a French comic strip starring the chick from the Whitesnake videos.  This...will be something.  Stay tuned...

Syndicated Incorporated: Robocop- Meltdown

We're back with the delayed Part 2 of the series.  For those new readers, here is what you need to know:

* It's 10 years later and Robocop is considered obsolete.
* OCP has become a mainstream company that bought out the police.
* A whole slew of complex relationships are here, including Robocop's son being an executive at OCP & his former partner being the ex-husband of another OCP executive.
* At the end of the episode, Robocop's friend has died, but has been taken into the Robocop program himself!
Now, on to the action...

* A group of female cyber-thieves break into OCP to steal some files.  The cops bust in, so the women turn on the company security.  This leads to a man being cut in half by lasers.  This part is looking up now!
* Robocop beats up the women, but loses in the end.  This is part of the whole 'Robocop is not advanced enough' storyline.  This is not aided by the new Robocop (aka Robo-Cable) being sent to hassle the head of OCP, leading him to be an outlaw.

* All of this leads to a face-off between Robocop and Robo-Cable which...well, does not end well for our hero.
* This pushes our hero underground and away from what he feels comfortable.  Meanwhile, the program to computer control the OCP building- as the start of a citywide program- keeps going.

* After a disastrous second battle, our hero manages to turn Robo-Cable to his side by accessing his remaining memories.  They become buddies and shoot up the corrupt police officers.  Don't worry- they're wearing vests.  Oh yeah, the lead officer is played by the partner from the Tekwar series.
* All is not well, however, as the corrupt executive at OCP (well, the one they focus on) kills all of the CEOs in their office.  Dun dun dun!

Up next, the series continues.  Who will live?  Who will die?  Stay tuned...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Copland: Maniac Cop 3

Let's get this out of the way: I have a good reason for not doing Maniac Cop 2.  Well, I'll tell you.  You see, that film has Bruce Campbell as one of the leads- carrying over his role from the first film- but kills him off about thirty minutes in.  Why?  There is no good reason.  Why would I give this film a chance then?  Because it has voodoo!  It also stars sub-par actor turned arch-conservative Robert Davi and Robert Z'Dar...not like he had anything better to do.  If your career includes Soultaker, Samurai Cop and three Maniac Cop films, you have no better options!  Another carryover is Larry Cohen, who again wrote the screenplay.  What can I say- he's a quirky guy!  Series director William Lustig is also on board to finish out the series...until he just walked off the set one day.  Considering his last real film work was directing Uncle Sam in 1997, I'm going to go ahead and say that he made a bad call.  Speaking of bad calls, shine up your billy club for my review of...

The film begins with the titular character walking down the street and revealing the knife that is hidden in his billy club.  As my friend- and unofficial co-reviewer for the film- said at the time 'it's not exactly a hidden weapon if you have it out all the time!'  He kills a random guy and gets off his head, leading to the introduction of Davi's character.  He takes the whole 'headless corpse' thing pretty well, although one rookie does vomit at the site.  Back at the precinct, he bonds with a lady cop over at the shooting gallery.  This is Robert Davi, of course, so this scene is bereft of passion and chemistry.  We are treated to the site of a weird voodoo man showing how he brought back the undead cop to life.  Thanks, but I don't really care.  A bit later, a crazy man robs a convenience store and it's...Jackie Earl Haley!  Holy crap, this movie just got good!  Haley plays a crazed, bearded man who is robbing the store to get the drugs.  A crazy, unbalanced guy- man, Haley has range!  One highlight involves a man flying upwards into the air after Haley fires a shotgun blast at the ground.  Good-bye, physics.  
 The lady cop from before shows up and comes up with the brilliant plan of climbing onto the roof, dropping through a glass skylight and...failing to do anything before the bad guy sees her.  Yeah, she gets shot, but not before wounding Haley and killing the attendant, who was apparently in on the thing.  Our hero is struck by this personal blow to...this woman he talked to in that one scene and hit on.  He gets over it pretty quickly, though and starts hitting on the lady doctor at the hospital where the woman is staying.  For some reason, the villainous cop has taken a shine to her after hearing about how she was gunned down in the line of duty and wants himself a lady.  We're taking plot points from Frankenstein Created Woman now, huh?  By the way, random cameo from Ted Raimi as a news reporter covering the story.  He shows his devotion to her by killing a random car jacker in sensational fashion.  He tosses the guy into the air and shoots him like skeet.  That's... sure something.  He also kills some random people in the hospital, including the jerk doctor who gives up on helping the lady doctor.  He kills him by over-using the defibrillator pads on him- ha ha ha irony.

Our hero does not take the news about them giving up on helping the lady cop.  That does not stop him from starting a romance with the doctor still, nor does it really cause him to raise his voice all that much.  Incidentally, the robber is kept in the same hospital.  Yeah, that's a bad idea.  Speaking of bad ideas, Robert Forster shows up for one scene as the replacement doctor, but is killed mere minutes later by the undead cop via exposure to an x-ray machine...for about five minutes.  The cop also sets Haley free and arms him, setting up a pointless action scene.  Sadly, the man is killed while hiding in a toilet stall.  Great- now I'm just stuck with Davi.  Anyhow, our hero and the lady follow the cop after he steals the lady cop's body & heads into the tunnels under the hospital.  Apparently, they connect all the way to an abandoned church now occupied by the voodoo man.  The ritual to resurrect the woman ends in defeat, so the priest gets a stomach full of lead.  This leads to a big, fiery climax involving the titular cop being lit on fire!  As our heroes drive away, however, he shows up again & chases them...while still on fire!  He does the entire chase scene while on fire, in fact!  It ends after he gets his flaming arm cut off and he crashes into a parked van.  The End.

This movie is...well, not that good.  The story is stupid, the acting is not that great and even the maniac cop is barely shown in full-screen.  Clearly, the budget was lower here as he is often shown in silhouette or in shadows.  How can you make a film about a mutilated Robert Z'Dar and not show me the goods?!?  Even so, this film has a pulpy air to it that makes it hard to stay mad at.  It's like that weird-looking puppy that breaks everything- part of you just has to love it!  Haley is great fun in the role and Z'Dar does what little the script asks of him just fine.  It's fitting that we get a Ted Raimi cameo, since the first film has Sam Raimi in those duties.  In fact, that actually is a good symbol of this movie.  We start out with Sam and Bruce Campbell, lose both of them and end up with just Ted.  Sorry, buddy- you're still the best victim in Midnight Meat Train.

Up next, I close out another Cop series with the third film in the Cyborg Cop series.  More robots!  More kung-fu action!  More fanny pack action!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

VHS For The Win: Slashdance

First off, I swear that this is a real movie.  Here is the IMDB page to prove it.  So yeah, this is the poster...

Holy crap, I have no idea what to think!!  A dominatrix with a shotgun?  A busty (no offense) version of Amanda Bynes in a piece of cotton pretending to be a shirt?  Low-rent Julian Sands standing behind them in an over-dramatic pose?  I want this movie!

Next up, a pair of boxes that try to disguise a shitty Al Adamson movie as something great.  If only this were true.  Stay tuned...

'80s Trash: The Unseen

Does Barbara Bach make anything better?  After watching Jaguar Lives, The Big Alligator River & The Black Belly of the Tarantula, I can say this: usually.  Even so, her starring role in this 1980 horror film does not make the film good.  Don't get me wrong- the movie has promise.  It has decent characters, pretty good production values and a great set-up for the events.  Where the movie falters is when it explains the reasons for these events and you feel really insulted.  The movie is actually quite good in the build-up too, which is a shame.  It many ways, it is like The Last Broadcast, which just screws everything up with its stupid, final reveal.  This film, however, does this about thirty minutes before the finale, making it all the worse in many ways.  The pacing is also very curious, as you will soon find out.  The real shame is that this movie has a decent directorial name behind it: Danny Steinmann, the man behind Savage Streets and Friday the 13th, Part 5.  Not the best resume, but he did what he could.  Anyhow, this is...

The film begins in a city and cuts to a man working out.  His lady (Bach) gets upset at him for no clear reason and leaves.  Hey guys, want to explain that?  Okay, just get back to me in like 45 minutes.  Anyhow, our heroine is going over with two other women to film a German festival in a small town in California.  Unfortunately, their reservations were lost and they have no place to go- damn you, Priceline!  Negotiate your Hell!  After stopping at numerous places, they stumble across an empty hotel...only to find out that it is really a museum.   Swing and a miss, ladies!  The man agrees, however, to call around for places for them to say.  One awkward jump cut later, he says that they are all booked, save for one place outside of town.  Guess who owns that place, people.  They don't hang around the place too long and instead opt to go film the festival.  Meanwhile, a mysterious something wanders around under the floorboards.  Oh and the guy from earlier shows up.  Maybe you could finally explain all of this now...
As it turns out, the man used to be a pro football player, but hurt his leg- hence the scar we saw earlier.  Bach is upset with him because all he wants to do is get back into the sport.  Wow, that was...anti-climactic.  Fortunately, they spice this up by having one of the women attacked by a mysterious...something.  It chokes her in pretty quick succession and drags the body through a grate.  After all of her talk, Bach's character instantly forgives the man for his actions and they go to dinner.  While all of this happens, her other companion is killed by a hand through a grate.  Hey guys, you know what pacing is?  We learn that the man who owns the place and his older wife about hiding the bodies and keeping the secret.  What secret, you ask?  Just wait.  A bit later, the Bach's character gets to the place and is confused about the absence of her friends.  It is covered by the man with the crap explanation of them 'going out for a while.'  He lures her down to the basement to help him with an errand, but actually locks her down there with the killer.  Are you ready for the big reveal?  Okay then.
That's right- it's "Sloth" from The Goonies.  UPDATE: The man that Co-Wrote the Film did actually make the Sloth make-up later, so...yeah, nailed it.  All of that was building up to this, huh?  On top of that, the movie just sort of drags at this point, where it should get- you know- interesting.  The 'child' is that of the older couple, who are actually brother and sister.  This does explain the five minute scene where the man has an audio flashback to a confrontation with his father and kills him.  Incidentally, an audio flashback- how lazy are you guys?!?  The killer just sort of wanders around, looks at her and touches her.  What happened to the sudden, dramatic killer from the rest of the movie?  Did you just replace him with a giant version of Trigg?  Hey, I want to cash in while the controversy is still ripe.  So yeah, the killer mutant guy turns on his dad, gets stabbed and lays there, while the father chases our constantly-wet and crying heroine.  Her attempt at hiding in the chicken coop does not work, but her boyfriend is there to save the day.  Oops, he just blew his knee out while running two feet.  Great- you failed to save the girl and you can't walk...dumb-ass.  After all of this build-up, the wife just shoots the man and the movie ends.

Wow, what a waste of potential here.  I mean, this could have been a lot of things.  They could have a demon dog, a minotaur or even those dumb-ass monsters from Alone in the Dark.  Instead, we get giant, inbred man who does not kill our heroine, although he does pointlessly-kill her friends.  Did they just offend him or something?  Even the dad seems confused by this turn of events, yelling at the kid to kill her.  To make matters worse, there is not the obvious pay-off.  The dad kills the big doofus off and still finds time to beat up his wife and terrorize Bach.  Aside from the abuse, what does the wife have has a reason for vengeance.  Clearly, she had no problem with the incest, since she was still with the guy.  Hell, she served as a maid for him, showing loyalty to him in spite of everything.  She just up and kills him when he lays out his own son.  In summary, the kid killing people = alright.  The dad killing the kid = worthy of death.  Whatever, movie.  Come back when you get something better.
Next up, a killer cop series comes to end in a bloody, burning fashion.  If you want to talk about not ruining an ending, check out this insanity.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

One Year Anniversary!: Time Barbarians

After one full year and 559 posts, what else can I cover?  A lot, actually, but that's not the point.  To celebrate this once-a-year event, I need a film that symbolizes everything that Mondo Bizarro is about.  I need a weird movie- one whose plot is bizarre.  I need a funny movie- one whose production values are equal to that of a school play.  I need an obscure movie- something that most people would not even bother trying to track down.  Then it hit me: Time Barbarians!  This obscure little film from 1992 stars a former American Gladiator as a warrior who seeks vengeance wherever it takes him- even to the future!  Do I even need to say any more?  I mean, the movie is practically a rip-off of Beastmaster 2- a movie that was pretty bad to begin with.  Break out your Deloreans for my review of...
The film begins with pretty much zero explanation.  We have some woods, a muscular guy and a different muscular guy in a mask.  The latter is supposed to be crazy- as evidenced by his constant laughing.  Well, it's either that or he's the long-lost son of the crazy boat captain from Frankenstein Island.  The two of them fight and boy is it...average at best.  They sword fight like men who just learned it for the movie and toss it some halfhearted judo moves to 'spice things up.'  Guys, when your fight choreography is something me and my friends could pull off for our failed movie (Highlander: Heritage), you should feel bad.  The good, bulky guy wins and takes the man's mask.  While walking back, he sees a pretty woman in a two-piece lady barbarian outfit and decides to stalk her.  After about five minutes of this, they fight and he knocks her down...only to take off his mask and reveal that it was his wife.  That's weirder foreplay than the couple who fake UFC-fought as foreplay in 2001 Maniacs.  I have to stop and mention the use of dry ice here which is rampant.  The shit is all over these woods for some reason & are actually seen more often than lens flares in the recent Star Trek films!  Our hero is the King of a small tribe of villager who seem to number about twenty people strong.  Geez, even I have more followers than that!  All is not well, however, as an evil villain named Mandrak lurks in the shadows.  When our hero and his friend go off to hunt, he attacks a group of woman at the river- two of which are randomly topless.  They kill all of them save for the Queen, who gets captured.

Right before the end of the fight, our hero feels a shard pain with that of his wife.  Why?  Good question.  He says that he has to help her and runs back home.  While he does this, our heroine is raped (they show nothing) and killed by the villain after she spits on him.  Yes, taunt the man with a knife to your throat, honey!  He leaves and our hero arrives the next morning.  Despite being wounded during the day, the other woman lives long enough to tell him what happened and die instantly.  She also gives them the cut-off hand of the villain, which proves useful later.  At the Queen's funeral, he vows to never rest until he kills Mandrak.  After a nice rest, he goes out the next morning to see the only wizard in the county.  He has to see her, you see, because the wife lost the magical amulet that apparently protects its wearer and their people.  In case you were wondering, she did not stop to put it on for the fight.  While they are out, a group of people attack him and his companion.  This is revenge for that pointless sword fight in the beginning.  Outnumbered, the man's companion is killed and he is captured.  That night, the wizard appears before our tied up hero and she is pissed.  She explains that she held the amulet for centuries- despite a story earlier about it being in his family since his grandfather- and that she will curse his tribe if he does not return it.  She sets him free after her speech and gives him a sword that allows him to travel forward in time to catch our villain.  Well, it worked in Darkest Knight 3!

In the present day...of 1992, a lady reporter (played by the same actress who played the Queen) is attacked during the taping of a story about rampant gang violence.  Thanks for the subtle irony, movie!  Our hero pops out of...well, nothing and saves the day.  All of this is caught on tape by the lady's cameraman who pines after the lady.  Yeah, good luck with that, now that Malibu is in town.  Faster than you can say 'steroids,' he beds the woman due to her similarity to his dead Queen.  His heroics make the news and alert his two time-strewn enemies to his presence.  Since these guys are complete wusses, their first act is to buy guns from a man who foolishly sells loaded weapons to people he does not know.  Guess what happens to him?  The villains attack the station owner and shoot him in the head, although he lives long enough to warn the cameraman who shows up too late to help...again.  They show up at her apartment and get their asses kicked until they shoot the hero in the shoulder.  Don't worry- he gets better.  Before they can kill him, he pulls out his film-edit/magical sword, but they kidnap the woman.  He leaves his henchman behind, however, who feels when he learns that our muscular hero can block bullets with a broadsword!  They figure out where the bad guy is due to some matchsticks in his pocket- sigh.  At his base, the villain shoots at our hero, who does  the same trick again.  After a short fight, the man is killed and our hero returns to his past.  The End.

Yeah, this movie is not good.  It's a low-budget action movie with bad acting, bad writing and a silly premise.  On top of that, the whole time-travel aspect really only takes place in the third act.  At least Beastmaster 2 got to the point a little bit quicker!  Our star- Deron McBee- never broke out of the action movie mold he was placed in.  The reason for this is obvious when you watch the movie.  On the plus side, he did get roles in both Anna-Nicole Smith's Skyscraper and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.  Our villains, on the other hand, are no match for the hero.  Hell, they barely manage to take out the barbarian women!  The whole thing is very anti-climactic and could have served a dozen or so people to serve as fodder.  Our villain barely has enough henchmen to help him move into a small apartment, let alone rule a kingdom.  This movie is stupid and worthy of its obscurity.  That said- if you like stupid films, this is pretty fun to laugh at.

Up next, an obscure horror film about a creepy hotel, a German festival and Barbara Bach.  It's...something.  Stay tuned...