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June 30th, 2015 Movie – Grizzly Rage

grizzly rage

Two days in a row that I get to watch a movie from the Maneater Series. How did I manage to get this lucky? Heh, oh yeh. I bought a bunch of movies from the series recently. I vaguely remember seeing parts of this movie when it first premiered on Syfy. Mainly I remember the scene with the bear climbing up and trashing the car. Since all I saw was that scene, I really wanted to watch the whole movie to see how things lead up to that part. It would be a few years later before I managed to watch the entire movie that is Grizzly Rage.

The plot: 4 college friends (Lauren, Ritch, Sean, and Wes) have just graduated college and are celebrating by going on an offroading trip. During the drive, they decide to detour from their original destination and drive through the Saranoc Grotto, ignoring the “No Trespassing” signs surrounding the place. As they drive through the trails, the accidentally run over a grizzly cub and crash into some trees. Realizing what they have done, and hearing the mother grizzly roaring in the distance, the four friends get back in the car and attempt to drive away. Before they get too far, the jeep, suffering from a cracked radiator, begins to overheat and they are forced to stop. Ritch and Wes go searching for some water but the bear attacks them, killing Ritch and injuring Wes before Sean and Lauren manage to get him back in the jeep. They drive off again but Wes, somewhat in shock, tries to force them to turn around, causing the jeep to roll over an embankment. They manage to get the jeep back on the trail and then Sean tries running back to the highway to get some help. A little ways down the trail, he comes across some rundown buildings and discovers some hunting equipment as well as some dead animals. Hearing the bear approaching, Sean tries to escape but ends up running into the bear, which attacks Sean and knocks him onto the roof of a building, where he rolls off into a chicken coop. Sean manages to make it back to the jeep before passing out from the pain and Wes tries climbing up a nearby ledge to see if he can get a signal on the cell phone, but the bear shows up and almost gets him. Wes gets back to the jeep and is hiding inside with Lauren and Sean when the bear attacks and smashes the jeep before backing away. That night, Sean wakes up long enough to tell them about the bear trap before he dies. Wes and LAuren manage to push/coast the jeep towards the cabin and Lauren goes looking for the bear trap. The bear smashes the window trying to get her and causes Lauren to fall and impale her back on the bear trap. Lauren heads back to the jeep but the bear follows and while Wes and Lauren hide inside, the bear rips the tailgate off and takes Sean’s body. Wes uses some gasoline to set a trap and, luring the bear back to the jeep, sets a fire which causes the jeep to explode but the bear is unharmed. Wes then tries to use his bloody clothes to distract the bear, allowing Lauren to escape. He manages to hide in a tree but when he drops the tire iron he was carrying, the bear sees him and shakes him out of the tree. Wes heads back to the cabin where Lauren manages to trap the bear in one of the cabins. Wes and Lauren start walking off but the bear manages to knock the cabin door down and kills them.

This was a pretty disappointing movie. The acting was tolerable….ok, that might be a bit of a stretch. The plot was very simplistic and if done right, it could have made for a decent movie. The action scenes…..now here is where my biggest problem lies with this movie. See they had a real bear for scenes just featuring the bear. But you never see a scene with the bear and the actors together. You would only see an arm. You also don’t really see the bear actually attacking the kids. Just cut aways to make it look like it had attacked them, while at points, some red “blood” was splattered across the camera. I expected much more from this film and was left so unsatisfied. Not really a recommended film.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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June 29th, 2015 Movie – Ferocious Planet

ferocious planet

Let’s see what we got here. Syfy original movie. Part of the Maneater series. Yup, I am going to like this one. Surprisingly, I remember watching this movie on TV, which is odd because I did not have cable at the time. So obviously, I was either at someones house, or I was out of town and saw it at where I was staying. Problem is, I can’t remember where I watched it. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that I am watching it today. So without further ado, let me present to you today’s movie, Ferocious Planet. 

The plot: Col. Sam Synn, head of security for the Federal Science Institute, is guarding a number of guests, including Senator Jackson Crenshaw and his staff, during a demonstration of a device that allows people to see into other dimensions. During the demonstration, there is a power surge and a burst of light from the device knocks out everyone in the room. Sam comes too and, after failing to get in radio contact with anyone, discovers a strange creature ripping off the arm of one of the nearby bodies. He gives chase and manages to kill the creature in a nearby supply room. Bringing the creature back to the room with him, he sees that, including himself, only 9 other people survived whatever happened. When a sudden tremor shakes the lab, one of the survivors has a heart attack and the senator decides to leave but when he steps outside, he is killed by a large creature. After seeing the creature and a forest where downtown DC should be, everyone realizes that they have somehow been transported to a parallel dimension. Sam, along with his security team, Lt. Rivers and Pvt. Reid, decide to explore their surroundings, accompanied by Presidential Science Advisor Dr. Karen Fast, while Dr. Jillian O’hara and her assistant, Brian Murphy, attempt to fix the machine. While they work, the senators aide, Josh Burke, and the remaining survivor, Al Icia, discuss taking the remains of the creature back to Earth with them when they return. Josh pokes the body and a stream of it’s blood hits Al in the face, burning him like acid and killing him. Meanwhile, Sam and his group are attacked by the large creature and Pvt. Reid is killed and the rest run back to the lab. Once there, they learn that though the machine has been repaired, they need 50 gallons of water to power it and if they can’t find it within 6 hours, they will be stuck in that dimension. When the creature destroys the lab, the group heads out looking for water when they see what looks like a building in the distance. Dr. Fast argues that the building is a sign of intelligent life and decides to head in that direction, accompanied by Josh and Sam. Lt. Rivers, along with Dr. Jillian and Brian, head in a different direction and discover a stream but find a creature drinking from it. Meanwhile, Sam’s group also run into a creature guarding a nest of eggs. When the creature leaves, they explore the nest and Josh takes an egg before, hearing the creature returning, they leave but are soon cornered by the mother creature. Josh accidentally drops the egg and the creature kills him, while Sam and Dr. Fast escape but while Sam heads back to the others, Dr. Fast refuses to break from her desire to get to the alien structure. Back at the stream, Lt. Rivers attempts to use a spear tipped with an I.E.D. to kill the creature but the fuse goes out and he is forced to run. He meets up with Sam but the creature attacks and impales him to a tree. Rivers grabs the I.E.D. from the spear and lights it, wounding the creature in the explosion. Sam joins Dr. Jillian and Brian, who got the water for the machine but have discovered the coolant has leaked out. Figuring they can use ammonia as a coolant, Sam leads them back to the nest to try and get some ammonia from the eggs. While trying to figure out a plan, Brian panics and runs off with the machine but the mother creature kills him and drags him back to her nest. Sam manages to lure the creature away from the nest and into a sinkhole, allowing Dr. Jillian to get the machine out of the nest. Meanwhile, Dr. Fast manages to make it to the building, only to realize that it is actually a portion of the IRS building that was next door to the institute before the wounded creature attacks and kills her. Sam and Dr. Jillian manage to use the eggs to get the device to work but when they return to their dimension, the sirens going off let them know that something had happened while they were gone.

This was a pretty decent movie. The acting was a lot better than I expected although I was sad that John Rhys-Davies didn’t have a bigger part. The story and writing were both really good and I liked the couple of references to other movies that were thrown in. There was also a fair amount of humor mixed in with the action/death scenes so it was not a complete gore fest which I know throws some people off. There were not many action scenes so much as several chase scenes where the creatures would chase people down and then kill them. The creatures themselves were pretty unique looking and among some of the better monsters to come out of a Syfy original movie. Definitely a fun way to kill 90 minutes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Flashback Review: February 21st, 2014 Movie – The Amazing Transparent Man

the amazing transparent man

Ahh, a classic science fiction movie. It has been ages since I watched one of those. Heh, I’m kidding. It was just the other day. Now this is one of those movies that I first watched on MST3K, which I am sure many people were introduced to some of these classic gems from the 50’s and 60’s. I never bought the movie in itself, but it was a part of two different collections of movies. This isn’t the first movie to be in multiple collections, and every time I see a movie that is in several collections, I always take it as a sign that I am supposed to watch that movie. So here is today’s movie, The Amazing Transparent Man.

The plot: Expert safecracker Joey Faust breaks out of prison and is aided in his escape by a woman named Laura Matson. Laura takes Faust to the home of Major Paul Krenner, a former U.S. army officer that wants Joey’s help in stealing radioactive materials for an experiment. To help persuade Faust to help, Krenner introduces him to Dr. Peter Ulof, a scientist that has developed a machine which can make people invisible, but requires the radioactive materials that Krenner needs. Even though he saw a test with a guinea pig, Faust is still somewhat suspicious and that night, sneaks back up to Ulof’s lab. Once there he finds out that Ulof’s daughter is being held prisoner in a locked room next to the lab and that Krenner is forcing Ulof to work for him. Laura stops Faust from freeing Ulof’s daughter and Faust tries to make a deal with her but Krenner’s henchman, Julian, knocks Faust out and Laura carries him back to his room. The next day, Krenner smacks Laura and warns her not to double cross him. He then goes upstairs to help prepare Faust for the experiment. They succeed in turning Faust invisible but Faust then attacks Krenner and forces him to pay more money for his services. Faust then heads out to the first location and after knocking out a nearby guard, steals the required material and then leaves. As Faust celebrates with a drink downstairs, Ulof warns Krenner of the side effects of the machine and that Faust is risking his life. Forced to rush his time table, Krenner has Faust turned invisible again and go to the second location. Faust convinces Laura to help him rob a bank on their way, but as Faust makes his way out with the money, he turns visible again. Heading back to Krenner’s place, Faust turns invisible again and goes after Krenner. Meanwhile, Krenner is arguing with Ulof and threatens to take Ulof’s daughter with him but Faust manages to lock Krenner up and make a deal with Ulof to fix him if he helps Ulof and his daughter escape. Krenner managed to shoot out the lock and then shoots Laura before escaping up to the lab. Faust follows and during the course of their fight, Krenner starts the machine in an attempt to kill Faust but ends up blowing up the house. Some time later, two agents arrive at the sight of the explosion and, after surveying the damage, go back to the car and speak with Dr. Ulof, who tells them that what he did was not by choice and asks the two agents what they would do if in his shoes.

One thing about these old movies is that they are short. This wasn’t that terrible of a movie but it did have it’s shortcomings, mostly due to the limited budget. The acting was decent and the story, while a bit hokey, actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I will say that there did seem to be some plot points that were not only unnecessary but seemed unresolved at the end. The effects were pretty bad as far as the invisibility went, It really seemed like nothing more than some pulling a sheet up over Faust. Not the worst way to kill an hour but also not for everyone.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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June 27th, 2015 Movie – The Dinosaur Experiment (a.k.a. Raptor Ranch)

the dinosaur experiment

Have you ever watched a movie and found one of the characters to be so annoying that you wanted to reach through the TV and just strangle them. On rare occasions, the character’s annoyance makes the character more memorable, and actually help with the movie, such as Chris Tucker’s character Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element. But most of the times, you spend the majority of the movie rooting for these guys to die. With that being said, allow me to introduce you to Sheldon Macabeach, one of the characters in today’s movie, The Dinosaur Experiment, and judge for yourself which type of character he is.

The plot: Abbi Whitecloud is forced to pay off a debt to Billy Wayne by working at his restaraunt/gas station. When her truck breaks down on the way to work, she is given a ride by her neighbor, Dr. Cane, a reclusive scientist that has been doing research on bird DNA. Later that day, Dr. Cane returns and buys out all of the gas at the gas station but when he gets back to his ranch, he winds up having a heart attack. Meanwhile, two FBI agents have been called in to investigate some strange murders that have occurred in the area. That night, while Abby is waiting for Billy Wayne to close the store, two cars pull up; a station wagon containing three college kids (Sheldon, Lucas, and Manbeast) and a tour bus containing Little Willie and his backup singers Kolin and Josie. After Billy Wayne informs the new arrivals that he is out of gas, he leaves and has Abbi lock up the store. When Abbi starts walking back to her truck, Sheldon, Manbeast, and Kolin go with her in the hopes they will be able to borrow some gas from Dr. Cane. When they get to Dr. Cane’s ranch, they find him on the ground and manage to get him inside but he dies before they can get his medicine to him. Manbeast, who was looking around outside, discovers some baby dinosaurs and when he shows them to the others, he accidentally sets them a group of raptors and a pair of megalosaurs free. Manbeast is killed by a blue Megalosaurus named Beth and the rest of the group run into the woods. They make their way to Abbi’s house to discover Billy Wayne is there waiting for Abbi, but a T-rex followed them and burst through the roof of the house and kills Billy Wayne before proceeding to trash the rest of the house in an attempt to get the others. Back at the gas station, Lucas and Josie go off to Willy’s tour bus to have sex while Willie uses the restroom but a group of raptors show up and kill Willie and Josie. When Abbi, Kolin, and Sheldon get there, they find Lucas and get on the tour bus and leave, but the bus ends up breaking down in the middle of town. When the T-rex appears and attacks the bus, Abbi, Kolin, and Lucas manage to get out and make it to a nearby store but Sheldon is trapped on the bus. Sheldon is able to use a piece of remains to distract the T-rex and enable him to make it to the store. but the megalosaurs and raptors show up and the dinosaurs begin fighting each other. By the end of the night, the only dinosaurs left is a raptor, that managed to make it into the store, and Beth, the blue Megalosaurus. Abbi, Kolin, and Sheldon are chased by Beth to an abandoned warehouse, where Beth managed to kill Kolin and Sheldon before Abbi is finally able to use an explosion to kill Beth. In the end, Abbi is able to achieve her dream of becoming a cabaret singer but the surviving raptor is shown just outside of the bar.

Holy crap was I glad when Sheldon died. I was worried that he was going to either be the lone survivor or both he and Abbi survive and they would hook up. Now this was a pretty entertaining movie. The acting was decent with most people playing somewhat stereotypical roles. I do think that Rowdy Arroyo (Manbeast) spent a little too much time studying at the “Keanu Reeves School of Acting.” But Little Willie was really funny and I was actually a little sad they didn’t let his character stick around longer. The story was about as good as any blatant Jurassic Park rip off is going to be although I did think the FBI plot line was really completely unnecessary. It just seemed to be there to take up time. The dinosaurs were actually pretty decent. I’m not saying they were Spielberg style dinosaurs but they were a step up from some other B-movies, like Carnosaur. So if you are bored and in the mood for a decent sci-fi movie, give this a shot and root for the dinosaurs as they try to kill Sheldon.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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June 27th, 2015 Movie – The Cremators

the cremators

It is always nice when you get a nice surprise out from a DVD. Case in point, I bought a bunch of movies with some gift cards. One of those movies was an old sci-fi B-movie that I have always enjoyed. So I watched that movie and afterwards, started looking through the special features on the DVD. Lo and behold, I discover that there is a second movie on this disk, and it is one that I have never seen before. I call that a win. So let’s get right into today’s movie, The Cremators.

The plot: Three hundred years ago, a meteor falls to earth, incinerating an “Indian brave” as it falls. Fast forward to present day, Dr. Iane Thorne discovers a crystallized rock in a tidal pool and decides to send it out for further testing. However, as the mailman is driving that night, both he and his car are engulfed in a ball of flame, reducing them both to ashes. The next day, a hippie named Mason brings in a dying cat, and Iane discovers the mailman’s dying dog near his house, both of which had a similar stone that had burned through their stomachs. The next night, a man is walking down a dirt road when he stops for a rest and lights a match off a nearby stone, when the stone starts to pulsate with energy and a fireball appears and reduces the man to ash. Iane discovers the ash-body and takes the stone back to his lab to study it. The next day, he returns to where he found the stone and tries smashing it with a tire iron, but the impact knocks him down and forces the tire iron from his hand while the stone remains unharmed. He reports the body to the sheriff but both the sheriff and the medical examiner think the body was killed by a lightning strike. Iane’s friend that he sent the sample to, Dr. Willy Seppel, tells him that the rocks give off low level infrared heat. That night, Iane is plagued by strange dreams and when he wakes up, he discovers that the stone samples he had have burned through the container and appeared to have left the house on their own. The next night, Iane’s girlfriend, Jeanne, is attacked on the lake by the ball of fire but manages to throw the piece of rock off her boat, preventing her from being killed. At the hospital, Iane is confronted by Mason, who shows him that his hands pulse with the same light that the rocks have, and Iane realizes that anyone who has had contact with the rocks has had some of the particles rubbed off onto their skin, including himself, Jeanne, and Willy. Willy takes the remaining samples of rock out on a boat and tries shooting the fireball with a shotgun, but the fireball keeps coming and kills Willy. Iane takes the recovered stones and sets a trap for the fireball, blowing it up when it reaches the stones.

This was a good example of a 70’s B-movie. The acting was somewhat bland. The plot was confusing. The scenes kept jumping around and did not help in making things less confusing. I did like the fireball and thought the effects with it were pretty good, especially the scenes of it coming out of the lake, Still, if you like these types of films, like me, this is a great way to kill 80 minutes on a stormy day and your internet is down.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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June 26th, 2015 Movie – Chupacabra Vs The Alamo

chupacabra-vs.-the-alamo

So this most likely will become one of those dates that goes down in history for this country. Unless you have been completely cutoff from all form of communication the past couple of hours, SCOTUS (or, for those that don’t know what an acronym is, Supreme Court Of The United States) has ruled that same-sex marriages are legal in the United States. Now I have several friends and family members that this decision directly affects and I am glad that they are now able to enjoy the same rights as everyone else, rights that they should have already been able to enjoy. Ok, now that we have that out of the way, on to today’s movie, Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo.

The plot: A group of drug smugglers are using a tunnel to bring drugs into the U.S. from Mexico when they are attacked and killed. D.E.A. Agent Carlos Seguin and his new partner, Tracy Taylor, investigate the scene and come across one victim, who is barely alive, that claims “Diablo” did this. Tracy continues down the tunnel and discovers a large pile of bones and a strange creature which, when it attacks her, she kills and has the body taken back to the lab to study. Meanwhile, a large pack of Chupacabras go through the tunnel and begin making their way towards San Antonio, killing another D.E.A. agent and some travelers along the way. Arriving in San Antonio, the pack of Chupacabras attack a high school party, killing several teenagers and forcing Carlos’ daughter, Sienna, and her friend Brooke, to hide in the high school. Sienna calls her father, who manages to rescue the girls and take them to his house for safety. However, another pack of Chupacabras attack the house and manage to kill Brooke and injure Sienna. After being denied any backup, Carlos goes to see his estranged son, Tommy, and gets Tommy and his gang to help kill the creatures. They are joined by a tactical squad led by Commander Wilcox, a friend of Carlos, and the group heads towards a warehouse where the Chupacabras are hiding. Although they manage to kill several of the beasts, the group soon realizes that they are outnumbered and are forced to escape, but the tactical squad is killed, as well as Shorty, a member of Tommy’s gang. The remaining group decides to make a last stand at the Alamo, but when the rest of Tommy’s gang is killed, they instead decide to lure all the creatures into one spot and blow up the Alamo to kill them all. While everyone else manages to escape through a tunnel, Carlos and Tommy plant explosives around the fort and, after getting to safety, set off the explosives, blowing up the Alamo and the rest of the Chupacabras.

Yeh, this was not as good as the other movie. The acting was decent but there were a couple of times where I just wanted to smack some of the characters. The story was a little weak and had a lot of loopholes in it. I did like the creature design in this one better than the other movie, although sometimes the Chupacabras looked like an emaciated greyhound and other times they looked like a creeped out hyena. The action was good with a bit more blood and guts than I was expecting but I didn’t find it to offsetting. There were some scenes that were just laughable. One was anytime they had the obligatory shot of Erik Estrada’s character riding his motorcycle. The green screen during the close ups was pretty bad. I’m not saying it was 60’s-70’s sci-fi bad….but it was close. The second was during the attack on the high school party. As Sienna was talking to Brooke, you see a Chupacabra attack a kid in the background and NOBODY FREAKIN REACTS. Then when nothing is going on, suddenly a kid yells that there are Chupacabras and everyone panics. I really did laugh out loud at that. Anyways, not the greatest movie out there but it can pass the time on a stormy night like tonight is turning out to be.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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June 25th, 2015 Movie – Chupacabra Terror (a.k.a. Chupacabra: Dark Seas)

chupacabra terror

Wow. I remember watching this movie when it debuted on Sci-Fi (yes, back when it was the Sci-Fi channel). This was the first movie I saw John Rhys-Davies in after The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. One thing I like about him is that he doesn’t seem to have a problem with the movies he will make. I mean, one minute he is filming an Indiana Jones movie, the next he is filming a movie called Sabertooth. Anyways, today’s movie, Chupacabra Terror, definitely falls into the latter category as far as his filmography goes.

The plot: Cryptozoologist Dr. Pena leads a mercenary team to a remote island in the Caribbeans, where they manage to capture a chupacabra. He smuggles his prize on board the cruise ship Regent Queen at the same time that the ship’s captain, Captain Randolph, has asked Federal Marshal Lance Thompson to help investigate a rash of burglaries that have been occurring on the ship. As the ship sets sail, two crew members get curious about the crate and open it, allowing the chupacabra to escape. The chupacabra kills the two men, as well as two more crew members who were looking for the missing men. Captain Randolph organizes a security detail to accompany Lance and himself to try and kill the creature, but after it kills several members of the detail, Captain Randolph tries to trap it in the cargo hold. However, Dr. Pena keeps one of the doors from closing and the creature makes it’s way onto the upper levels, where it begins killing some of the passengers. Captain Randolph radios in an S.O.S. and a Navy Seal team is sent out to the boat to help but their weapons prove ineffective against the creature. Dr. Pena, knocks out Lance and captures Randolph’s daughter, Jenny, to use as bait in an attempt to recapture the creature, but Lance manages to rescue Jenny while the chupacabra kills Dr. Pena. Figuring that Dr. Pena had to have some notes about the creature, Randolph, Lance, and Jenny search his cabin and discover a serum that is intended as a sedative but can kill the creature if given in a high enough dose. While the ship is being evacuated, they go after the creature and Lance manages to inject the serum in the creature and then electrocute it. They then jump off the ship before the ship’s boilers explode, causing the ship to sink.

This was a pretty good movie with only one real drawback. The acting was pretty good among the major players. John-Rhys-Davies did a great job in his role, as did Giancarlo Esposito (Dr. Pena). The plot was good and the writing was actually a good mix of horror with a few laughs mixed in. I did like David Millbern’s character of Rick McGraw being a bit of comedy relief in the movie. The action in the movie was pretty good. In fact, the only bad thing about the movie was the chupacabra itself. This was one of the worst looking monsters I have seen, and I have watched all of the Pumpkinhead movies. It was especially bad when there was the scene with it crawling along the ceiling as the CGI just looked really bad. Bad monster design aside, this is a fun horror movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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