movie, movie review

January 23rd, 2016 Movie – Picasso Trigger

picasso trigger

Stupid Weather. Why do you have to try and screw up my plans for today. I bought my family tickets to the Georgia Aquarium for Christmas so we could have a day out with the whole family. But now, those plans might be put on holddue to your need to bring snow and ice to Georgia once again. That does not make for a happy camper on my part. On a somewhat funny, coincidental note regarding the aquarium, today’s movie revolves around a painting of a triggerfish. So I might as well kill some time before learning if my day is cancelled by watching Picasso Trigger.

The plot: In Paris, Salazar receives a video tape from Miguel Ortiz, thanking him for his help and saying he will soon kill the agents responsible for his brother’s death. Salazar heads to a charity event, where he donates a painting called the Picasso Trigger to the city of Paris. After briefly talking to a woman in attendance, who comments on the humor that the painting’s title is also his code name, Salazar leaves the event and is almost immediately shot in the chest. The head of The Agency, L.G. Abilene, calls Travis Abilene in Hawaii and tells him the news, warning him to be careful. In Las Vegas, two cops are keeping tabs on Schiavo, who is being investigated for human trafficking, and complaining about how they are being replaced by two girls from The Agency, who happen to be undercover as dancers at the L:as Vegas hotel they are in. Glen, one of Schiavo’s henchmen, has a homing device planted on the two cops and as they are heading back to Palm Springs, he follows them in a helicopter and blows up their car with a bazooka. In Molokai, Miguel is eating at Edy’s and as he is leaving, has his bodyguard send a pair of leis over to a couple at a table. Edy talks to the couple before they leave but as they go walk on the beach, they are killed by two men, who signal Miguel to let him know they are dead. Donna and Taryn are vacationing on a boat in Maui and decide to go snorkeling. While they are swimming, the two men that killed the couple on Molokai show up and, after receiving a call from Miguel, they use a remote control plane to blow up the boat, which Donna and Taryn saw from the safety of a secluded cove. L.G. is riding his horse on his ranch in Dallas when his ranch hand is killed when his jeep explodes. Knowing the explosion was meant for him, L.G. calls Travis and tells him to head to Dallas and pick up Pantera, the agent in Paris that was watching Salazar, and meet him at a nearby lodge. Meanwhile, Donna and Taryn hitch a ride into town, where they catch a train to where their plane is parked. As they fly back to Molokai, they contact Jade and let him know what happened and he says to contact him when they land. Travis meets with Pantera, who turns out to be an old college girlfriend, and they head to a bar to reconnect, but while they are there, Travis notices two men watching them. The next day, they meet up with L.G. and show him a newpaper with a headline saying the agents involved in the Ortiz case have been murdered. When they notice the two men from the night before, L.G. and Travis use a speedboat to get them to follow them, while Pantera follows them in a barge and ends up shooting one of the pursuers, after Travis repeatedly misses, and L.G. kills the second one. L.G. heads back to Washington, while Travis assembles a team of agents to deal with the situation. Meeting in Las Vegas, Travis goes over the information they have and their suspicions that Miguel is trying to gain control of Salazar’s criminal empire. He then hands out the assignments, having Jade and Edy tackle Toshi Lum, Salazar’s Far-East contact, Kym, Patticakes, and Juan stay on Schiavo and Glen in the hopes of catching their boss, Charles Patterson, while Donna and Taryn deal with Miguel and Pantera and Travis head to Salazar’s home. Donna and Pantera argue about the assignments and , when they are alone, Donna tells Travis that she doesn’t trust Pantera. Taryn chooses to fly ahead to Molokai to meet with a friend of hers so Travis has Donna fly back with him, where they decide to join the mile-high club. As they are getting dressed, and Donna uses a lighter hidden in her watch to light a cigarette, Travis remembers something and looks at the photos of Salazar’s death, noticing that the watch was on the wrong wrist. Arriving in Honolulu, Donna and Travis head to the Professor’s house, where he gives them some custom weapons for Donna and Taryn to use. That Sunday, the agents make their move on their respective targets, with Jade and Edy taking out Toshi and his men, and Kym, Patticakes, and Juan kill Patterson, Schiavo, and Glen, but Kym is wounded during the fight. Donna and Taryn take out the two men that tried to kill them, then split up to take out Miguel. Miguel hears about his associates being killed and heads back to his house. One of Miguel’s guards sees Taryn and starts shooting at her before ducking back inside the house so Taryn uses a remote controlled car filled with explosives to blow up the house, then shoots the guard that comes out. The original guard manages to shoot Taryn but she was wearing a bullet proof vest and shoots him when he gets closer. Miguel tries to make a break for it on a dirt bike but Donna shoots a spear carrying explosives into his bike, killing him. Travis, sporting a fake cast and crutch, meets Pantera outside Salazar’s house and heads inside, where he finds Salazar still alive. Salazar explains how he set it up so that L.G. would have his agents do his dirty work for him. Using the gun hidden in the crutch, Travis tries to shoot Salazar but Salazar is protected by a sheet of bullet proof glass, and he uses a missile attached to a security camera to try and kill Travis. Pantera enters the house to see if Travis is all right but as they kiss, she attempts to kill him but Donna, who had been given some information by L.G., shows up and kills her. The two agents chase after Salazar, who attempts to escape on a hovercraft but Donna uses an explosive laced spear to blow up the hovercraft. When Donna wonders about who the man killed ion Paris was, and comments about the real Salazar being dead, Travis suspects that Salazar might still be alive and, programming a miniature rocket to track his pacemaker, he fires the rocket, which streaks back towards the house and kills the real Salazar for good.

Not as good as the last movie but this was still pretty fun to watch. The acting was ok, with the dialogue really making up for the lack of skills in some people. They tried to have a little more complex plot in this movie but while it did make for a lot of seemingly odd timed cut-aways, the attempt to make the movie more serious actually made it funnier to watch. The special effects were just as bad as the last movie, and while the explosions did look good, it was really funny watching the dummies fly apart. Yet another guilty pleasure that can be fun to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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January 22nd, 2016 Movie – Hard Ticket To Hawaii

hard ticket to hawaii

Waking up with a weather induced headache/borderline migraine is not how I wanted to start today. I took some medicine and hopefully it will kick in soon because I really don’t want to have to call out of work as I have too much to do today. Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse by watching today’s movie. While Malibu Express is considered the first movie in the series, the only direct link is one character being Cody’s cousin(and a couple of references to the movie scattered about). However, starting with this movie there would be several recurring characters that work for “The Agency”. So let’s see what happens in today’s movie, Hard Ticket To Hawaii.

The plot: Rowdy Abilene and Donna, two agents from The Agency, are saying goodbye on Rowdy’s boat, Malibu Express, as Rowdy is being transferred to Honolulu while Donna is staying on Molokai. The next day, two Molokai marshalls arrive on an island to check out a local family that grows pot and discover a large drug operation underway. They try to sneak away but are caught in a snare and are killed by one of the guards. As part of her cover for The Agency, Donna works as a small cargo pilot with Taryn, a woman in witness protection, as her co-pilot. They head to the hangar, where they learn that there only cargo is a honeymoon couple wanting to go to Molokai, and a snake going to a local wildlife preserve for study. After dropping off the honeymooners, Donna and Taryn are making there way back to the plane when they notice a remote control helicopter landing nearby. When the helicopter doors open, Taryn notices two small boxes inside and grabs them but two men show up and start shooting at them, causing Taryn to drop one of the boxes. The girls are able to get away from the men and return to their home where, after unloading the snake and placing it inside the hangar, they decide to go in the hot tub. In the hot tub, the open the box that Taryn kept and find a bag containing diamonds inside. Meanwhile, the two men that shot at Donna and Taryn go to see their boss, Seth, who recognizes the description of the plane and makes plans to have the girls taken care of and retrieve the diamonds. The girls try to send word to Rowdy but they are attacked by two masked assailants. The one holding Donna asks her where the diamonds are and she takes him to the hangar, where she briefly struggles with him before escaping, but during the struggle, the cage containing the snake is broken and the snake escapes. The other assailant questions Taryn and collects the box that she had but wants to know where the second box is. While waiting outside, Seth notices the snake and begins shooting at it, causing the assailants to leave the girls and go back to help him, with one of them tripping over a pipe lid in the process. Donna chases after them and manages to shoot Seth in the face before the three villains get away. Noticing the snake is missing, the girls start to search for it when the receive a call from the cargo manager, who tells them the wrong snake was loaded on their plane and that the snake they have is contaminated with deadly toxins. The girls go to Edys, a bar owned by Edy who is a contact for the Agency, and get in touch with Rowdy, who says he and Jade will catch the next flight in. Unknown to the girls, the bartender Michelle, who works for Seth, was listening in on the call and calls Seth to tell him what their plans are. When Rowdy and Jade arrive, they are attacked by a man on a skateboard as they head to Edys, who injures Jade before Rowdy uses a bazooka to kill him. After going to the hospital to get Jade seen too, Rowdy calls Edy to tell her what happened and she says she will go pick them up. However, Michelle, who is actually a guy named Michael, listens in and makes a call to two of Seth’s men, who pick him up and they go and kidnap Edy while she is driving. Meanwhile, Donna and Taryn are doing surveillance on Seth and see Edy being held hostage. Donna recognizes one of the men holding Edy as Michelle and realizes that he was placed at Edys to sabotage Edy’s surveillance on Seth. Back at Seth’s, Seth and his men begin torturing Edy to find out where the rest of the diamonds are. Rowdy and Jade finally arrive and they make plans to rescue Edy. Pretending to be a surfer, Rowdy heads to the beach to throw frisbee with Shades, one of Seth’s guards, and uses a frisbee covered in razor blades to kill him. While Donna uses an ultralight to drop some noise grenades around Seth’s house, Taryn, Rowdy, and Jade head inside to rescue Edy. Killing all of Seth’s men, they rescue Edy and Donna flies the ultralight back home while the others use Seth’s van to head back. As they are driving back, Edy asks them what happened to Seth and, realizing that he is still alive and would go after Donna, Rowdy uses a dirt bike in the back of the van to save her. At the house, Donna is attacked by Seth but she manages to use a spear gun to deal with him. Believing him to be dead, she is surprised when he gets up and tries to attack her again but Donna stabs him in the gut again. Inside the bathroom, Donna starts to wash off the blood from her hands when the snake suddenly burst up from the toilet and she runs out of the room. Noticing Seth starting to move, Donna quickly hides and Seth, hearing the snake making noise in the bathroom and thinking it is Donna, opens the door but is bit by the snake and finally dies. Seeing the snake leaving the bathroom, Donna tries to shoot it but it keeps coming until Rowdy, crashing through the door on the dirt bike, uses the bazooka to kill it. The next day, Donna and Rowdy go to see Chang, Seth’s partner in the drug trade, and after dealing with his body guard, Donna shoots Chang when he attacks them with a sword, knocking him out the window of his penthouse. As the group celebrates on Rowdy’s boat, Edy mentions that they should find the other box of diamonds and turn it in but Taryn claims that since she is the only one that knows where the box is, and that the others being government agents would be forced to turn it over to the authorities, as a civilian, she could keep the diamonds and share the wealth with her friends, which the others laughingly agree to with a toast.

This movie is not a good movie but it is so ridiculously over the top that it is really funny to watch. The acting is pretty decent among all the characters, with the bad dialogue actually helping them. The plot was ok but again, the writing made this a lot funnier than it was probably intended to be. The special effects were bad, with obvious dummies taking the place of some people when they were killed, but that helped up the movies enjoyability because you find yourself laughing at how bad they are at times. People may argue on whether this is a good movie but as far as B-movies go, this is definitely an entertaining one.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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January 21st, 2016 Movie – Malibu Express

malibu express

Sooooo, I have this box set of movies, which is not that uncommon on it’s own. But this particular box set is one that I did not buy and I honestly don’t know how I came to possess it. See, the box set is called Girls, Guns, and G-Strings and contains a series of films by Andy Sidaris known as the “Triple B” series or L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies series. The movies star several Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets, and are one of the reasons for calling Cinemax’s late night programming “Skinemax”. I will admit that I have seen several of these movies as a teenager but I am still curious as to how these DVDs came to be here. I guess that is a mystery to be solved at another date. Might as well get on with today’s movie, Malibu Express.

The plot: Private investigator Cody Abilene heads to the gun range for some shooting practice, but misses the target with every shot. He then goes to watch his friend June Khnockers (with an H) doing some practice laps in her race car before he heads back home to his dad’s yacht. Meanwhile, Contessa Luciana hires Cody to investigate her friend, Lady Lillian Chamberlain, to see if she is selling computer technology to the Russians. As he is about to head to Lady Chamberlain’s house, Cody is stopped by the Buffington family, who have a longstanding grudge against Cody’s dad, and challenged to a race, which Cody loses. Arriving at the Chamberlain mansion, Cody meets Lady Chamberlain, as well as the rest of her family, Lillian’s nephew Stuart, his wife Anita, and their daughter Liza, as well as Lillian’s staff, her butler/chauffeur Shane and her maid Marion. After dinner, Shane goes to the gym with his cop friend Beverly, where he watches her work out. The next day, Cody gives Liza a lift to see her friend Johnathan Harper, who runs a company that sells computers worldwide that Liza is helping fund. While they are there, three men (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) show up and Johnathan has them follow Cody when he leaves, where they warn him to stay away from the place before shooting his car and sending him walking in the desert. Managing to find a used car lot, Cody gets a new car and heads back to the house to snoop around. At the house, he learns that Shane is an ex-con, who has taken videos and pictures of him sleeping with Anita, which he shows her to try and blackmail her into giving him $30,000 to pay off his gambling debts. Shane is also trying to blackmail Stuart and expose him as a gay crossdresser. During a party the Lady Lillian hosts, Shane’s bookie shows up and threatens him if he doesn’t get the money soon. After the party is over, Shane is killed but he manages to take a picture of his killer. The next morning, Cody and Luciana discover Shane’s body and Cody tells Luciana to go ahead and leave while he handles things with the police. Seeing movement in Shane’s room, he goes in to find Anita rummaging through Shane’s furniture and he sends her to get the rest of the family and meet him by the pool. When she leaves, Shane looks through the cabinet and finds a camera with blood on it and takes the film from it. Beverly and her partner arrive and after speaking with the family, show them the pictures of Shane with Anita, which they said were delivered to the station that morning. Lillian recognizes the location in the pictures as being in her beach house and gives Cody the key to it so he and Beverly can look around. The two decide to have sex and while in the bed, Cody finds the remote control for a video camera that Shane had set up. Meanwhile, having been tipped off by Marion that Cody and Beverly would be there, two men show up to kill them but Beverly manages to shoot them both. Cody heads back to his boat, but finds Faye and May, the two girls in the slip next to him in his bed. Mathew, Mark, and Luke show up at the boat looking for the film but Cody manages to shoot Mathew in the ear and chase them off. The next day, Beverly calls Cody and tells him that they arrested Stuart after finding pictures of him with Shane and Cody admits that he has a role of film which he believes is what everyone is after. Cody calls June and to see if her photographer friend Rodney is working there, then he and Beverly go to the racetrack to have Rodney develop the film. When the film is developed, the find a picture of the killer and head back to the car, but Mathew, Mark, and Luke show up and shoot Beverly in the shoulder. Cody leads the men away and ends up getting in June’s race car and driving off, with the three men hijacking a helicopter to chase them. The three get ahead of Cody and plan on ambushing him but when the helicopter leaves, Mathew is distracted and ends up getting hit by Cody, who goes flying and accidentally pulls the pin on the grenade he was carrying, killing himself. With the car out of gas, Cody and June are forced to run, with Mark and Luke chasing after them. With only one bullet left in Cody’s gun, June flashes Luke to distract him, and Cody manages to wing him, then grab Luke’s shotgun and shoot Mark in the knee. Catching a ride back to town, Cody heads to Johnathan’s house, where he meets Beverly and her partner and they arrest Liza for Shane’s murder based on the photograph. The next day, Cody arranges for everyone involved to show up at his boat, where they are surprised to see Liza join them. Cody explains that Liza was left handed and the killer was right-handed. Since the killer was female, Cody was able to account for the whereabouts of all the females at the house that night except for Luciana. He went to her house to find some answers and finds a tape that she left him, where she explains that she was a government agent and she killed Shane not only for his blackmailing the Chamberlains, but because he was working for Johnathan, who was selling computers to the Russians. Knowing some of what she told him was confidential, Cody tells the assembled group what he can and they toast the end of the case.

For the type of movie that it is, this actually was pretty entertaining. Part of that might be because it is so over the top and ridiculous. The acting was pretty decent in this movie, with Darby Hinton doing really well in his role as the lead. The story was kind of convoluted, with a lot of different sub-plots but some of them, like the Buffingtons’ continuosly showing up to challenge Cody to a race. Another thing introduced in this movie that becomes a recurring gag in the future movies is that the male hero is a lousy shot that almost never hits anything. It’s one of those stupid movies that tends to be a guilty pleasure for watching.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 20th, 2016 Movie – Malibu Beach

malibu beach

Soooo, I was just a baby during the 70’s drive-in days and obviously didn’t experience this first hand but I just have to ask. Was the drive-in just the place to go to watch soft-core porn that the normal theaters wouldn’t show? I ask this because just about every movie on the Drive-In Cult Classics box set is basically that. I mean, I know that drive-ins were basically portrayed in movies and TV as places teenagers would go to have sex, but was that because of the type of movies being shown on some of the screens? To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It was just something I was curious about while watching today’s movie, Malibu Beach.

The plot: On the first day of summer break, new lifeguard Dina is working at Malibu Beach, where all the usual antics occur. On the beach, a bodybuilder named Dugan briefly hits on her before turning his attention to a teacher named Ms. Plickett, who he convinces to go back to his place but she leaves before they do anything. Later that night, Dina goes out with her friend Sally but when they get a flat tire, they meet Bobby and Paul as they finish changing it. The guys convince the girls to join them for a beer and the girls agree, where Sally and Bobby end up making out but Dina ducks Paul’s attempts and convinces Sally to leave with her. Bobby and Paul buy some beers and head to the beach, where a bonfire is being held. Rodney, a rookie police officer, patrols the beach and catches the kids smoking joints but one of the girls, Margie, recognizes him as a friend of her brothers and convinces him to join them for a while. Sally and Dina show up at the beach and upon seeing them, Bobby and Paul meet them; with Bobby and Sally going off to have sex while Dina and Paul go for a walk. Paul kisses Dina but realizes that she just wants to be friends. Dugan shows up and grabs Paul and is about to get into a fight with both him and Bobby but Rodney walks by and Dugan leaves. The four kids decide to go skinny dipping and while they are in the water, Paul and Sally start to hook up while Dina and Bobby start to get close. The next day at the beach, Dina watches a kid goofing off and pretend to be drowning but when  he actually starts to drown. she ends up rescuing him. As the kid is sitting on the shore, Dugan grabs him and threatens him if he ever does that again. Dugan then goes over to the lifeguard station and hits on Dina some more. Rodney and his partner show up at the beach and while his partner goes for a drink at the bar, Rodney meets up with Margie and they smoke a joint. Dina’s shift is over and she and Sally go to the women’s restroom to change but when it is too gross, they decide to sneak into the men’s room. When they get there, they find Paul coming out and he offers to stand guard while they change, but when the girls go in, Bobby grabs them. with a crowd starting to gather, Dugan pushes his way to the front and finds Bobby coming out with the girls. Dugan and Bobby are about to fight but Dina tells them there is no fighting on the beach. They decide to have a race but when Bobby’s jeep is blocked in, he steals Rodney’s cop car while Dugan borrows another kid’s (Claude) car. They race towards the entrance to the parking lot but when neither of them back down, they end up crashing the cars but both of them are okay. Bobby, Dina, Paul, and Sally go on a date, sneaking onto the boardwalk to drive the bumper cars before ending up at the local makeout point. The next day, Paul and Sally are getting gas and notice some guys in a van stealing motor oil and alert the station attendant to what is happening. They go to the beach and as they are leaving, they notice Paul’s car has a flat tire and the two guys are standing nearby with a switchblade. Paul changes the tire but then sneaks over and uses a hose to fill their van with water before he and Sally drive off. That night, there is a party at Claude’s house and Bobby and Dugan end up getting into a fight over Dina but it is broken up when the cops show up and break up the party. Dina is tired of the guys fighting over her and leaves, with Boby driving off as well. Bobby ends up going swimming at the beach and Dina finds him there, where they make up and end up having sex on the beach. The next day, Bobby goes over to Dina’s house after her parents leave, where they start to have sex but are forced to stop when her parent’s come back unexpectedly. Later, they go to the pier with Paul and Sally, but when Dugan shows up, Bobby ends up in a swimming race with him. Paul decides to play a joke by pretending to be a shark, succeeding in scaring Dugan, but when he gets out of the water a real shark shows up and almost bites Bobby before he can safely make it up the pier. Dugan feels dejected about winning the race but not Dina, but when Ms. Plickett pulls up and offers him a lift back to her place, he cheers up.

You ever hear the term “mindless drivel”? That more or less is how I feel about this movie. The acting was ok for the most part. The plot was simple, but there were a lot of random events and loose ends that just went nowhere and felt like they were included to fill time. One running gag that I did think was funny was that of a dog that kept going around and stealing girls’ bikini tops and at the end of the movie, you find out that it is Ms. Plickett’s dog. I know this is one of many of these types of movies and you really should watch one of the other ones before this one.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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January 19th, 2016 Movie – Mako: The Jaws Of Death

mako the jaws of death

Sometimes, I should not be allowed to buy movies. No, that is not entirely true. However, I should be very wary about buying box sets as they have a tendency to be disappointing to me. Take today’s movie for instance. A few years ago, I was walking through Fry’s and noticed a box set of 8 creature feature films. Since those type of movies are one of my favorites to watch, it included a movie that I planned on buying anyways, and it was cheap, I decided to go ahead and buy it. Little did I know how disappointed I would be with most of the movies. But that is the price you pay I guess. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie, Mako: The Jaws Of Death.

The plot: Three men are fishing on a boat off a Florida reef when they manage to hook a shark. As they are attempting to reel in the shark, a scuba diver is underwater and uses some wire cutters to cut the line, freeing the shark. As the men on the boat try to figure out what happened and where the shark is, the diver surfaces and climbs on board the boat. Just when the men realize that the line was cut, the diver grabs a boat hook and begins attacking the three men, knocking them into the water for the sharks to feed on them. The diver then jumps back into the water but the sharks do not attack him and even allow him to hold onto their fins as the carry him back to his boat. The diver, Sonny Stein, returns to his home, where he finds Whitney, a scientist researching sharks, waiting for him. Whitney asks that Sonny bring him a pregnant shark, as he wants to study one as it gives birth. Sonny refuses at first but when Whitney says that legislation might be passed making sharks a bounty fish, he reluctantly agrees to do it. As Whitney is leaving, he tells the two men with him, Pete and Charlie, to keep an eye on Sonny so they can learn where he is capturing the sharks. That night, Sonny stops by a strip club, where he catches the act of Karen as she swims in a glass tank behind the bar. When the sheriff comes in and talks to the bartender about the boat with the missing crew that morning, he decides to leave. Outside, Sonny is going through the trash to collect scraps of meat to feed to the sharks around his island when he notices a drunken Pete and Charlie harassing Karen as she leaves, then following her when she drives off. As Sonny leaves, he comes across Pete and Charlie trying to rape Karen on the side of the road and fights the two men off. When he notices that her tires are flat, he offers to giver her a lift but says he has to feed his friends first. Karen tries to argue that he take her home first but when he insists that he has to feed his friends by a certain time, she reluctantly agrees to go. Heading back to his house, Karen notices a cut on his arm that he got during the fight and offers to treat it. As he is taking off his shirt, Karen asks about an amulet he is wearing and Sonny tells her how he got it. When he was working on a salvage ship in the Philippines, they found some gold on a sunken ship. Bandits attacked their camp to get the gold and as he made his escape, he was forced to swim in an inlet inhabited by sharks. As his two pursuers went into the inlet after him, the sharks chose not to attack Sonny but killed the bandits instead. When Sonny reached the shore, he found a priest there, who claimed that the inlet was where his tribe made sacrifices to the shark gods and since the sharks chose to spare his life, he was made a member of the tribe and given the amulet, saying he would never have to fear from sharks. Now he considers the sharks his friends and tries to help them when he can. Sonny takes Karen home, where her husband Barney, the strip club owner, was on the phone with the police trying to find her. When she tells him what happened to her, Barney gets an idea for her act and convinces Sonny to bring him a shark to swim in a tank with Karen, with a clear, plastic divider separating the two. Sonny reluctantly agrees and says that as long as they take care of the shark, it won’t cause any problems. Sonny then delivers the pregnant shark (Matilda) to Whitney, who is excited to begin studying it during it’s pregnancy. An his way back, he notices a fisherman bragging about catching a hammerhead but when Sonny shows him that the shark was killed with a spear gun, the man admits that he bought the shark from two guys that had killed a bunch of them out near a reef. Sonny heads to the reef and finds Pete and Charlie there, with several dead sharks hanging from their boat. Sonny kills the two men, then pilots their boat, with Charlie hanging on the fish hooks and towing a hooked Pete behind it, crashing into the dock. Sonny goes to catch Karen’s act at the club but when he discovers Barney using high frequency sounds on the shark, he attacks him. Karen pulls him off and when Sonny tells her he will be taking his shark back the next day, she berates him and calls him crazy. Sonny heads to the aquarium to get Matilda back but when he goes into Whitney’s office, Whitney hurriedly closes a door in the back of his office. Sonny opens the door and discovers the bodies of Matilda and her unborn babies and he chases after Whitney and throws him into a tank wit some sharks. Sonny then heads to Barney’s house, where he cuts a whole in Barney’s shark net, allowing a shark to enter and kill Barney as he is swimming in the ocean behind his house. Heading to the club, Sonny cuts a hole in the plastic divider, allowing the shark to kill Karen during her act. As the people begin to panic, Sonny yells at the people and begs that they don’t put a bounty on the sharks. The police see him and try to arrest him for Whitney’s murder but Sonny runs and dives into the ocean as a hurricane hits the shore. The police give chase in a boat and manage to shoot Sonny as he makes his way home. Inside his house, Sonny apologizes to Sammy, another shark underneath his house, and attacks the sheriff and his deputy when they enter his house. When two more men enter the house, he cases them away with the the sheriff’s gun before jumping into the water, where Sammy and another shark proceed to attack. The sheriff comes too and wonders why the sharks attacked Sonny now, not noticing the amulet, which had broken off during his struggle with Sonny and lay on the floor.

One of many movies that tried to cash in on the popularity of Jaws. This movie was somewhat unique because it actually painted the sharks as the good guys and the people as the bad guys. The acting was pretty decent in this, with Richard Jaeckel doing a good job as Sonny. The story was pretty unique for it’s time and did a good job in trying to depict sharks as something other than man-eaters, though Sonny did basically just feed people to sharks. The camerawork was pretty good and, though I don’t know if it is entirely true, they claim that the movie was shot with out the use of cages for the cameramen. Not your average shark movie but it is worth watching for it’s unique take on them.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 18th, 2016 Movie – Flying Monkeys

flying monkeys

You have to give Syfy some credit for this one. The Wizard Of Oz has been around for over a century as a book, and almost as long in film. But in all that time, I don’t think anyone ever considered making a movie involving the Wicked Witch’s winged soldiers. Then, in 2013, someone did have such a thought and decided to make just such a movie. Granted, they did change some things as they didn’t want it to be from The Wizard Of Oz but more of an original idea, but I honestly think that this movie was influenced in some part by that classic tale. So here is to today’s movie, Flying Monkeys.

The plot: Two men are flying a cargo plane full of animals exotic animals to Wichita, Kansas when they hear a noise coming from the cargo hold. The co-pilot goes back to check and is killed by a winged monkey while the pilot, Wang, manages to lock himself in the cockpit. When the plane lands, Rudy, the smuggler that bought the animals, meets the plane at the airfield and finds all of the animals are dead except for a small monkey, which he places in a cage and tells Wang to bring him more animals. In a small Kansas town, Joan is graduating from high school but is disappointed when her dad James, misses it due to being too busy at work. Disappointed with her dad, Joan chooses not to go to a graduation party and when she gets home, her dad tries to apologize but she says that her mom wouldn’t have missed it. Meanwhile, Rudy takes the monkey to his pet store and leaves it in it’s cage for the night but when he comes in the next morning, he finds the monkey’s cage is broken and all the animals in the back are dead. Rudy is about to shoot the monkey but suddenly, James shows up at the shop looking for a pet for Joan and Rudy sells him the monkey. James takes the monkey home and surprises Joan with it, who is reluctant to accept it but eventually gets excited about the monkey and does forgive him. Later that night, Joan is up in her room with her boyfriend Jason but they have an argument when Jason claims they were supposed to have the night alone to have sex and ends up leaving. Joan makes a bed for the monkey, which she names Skippy, and leaves him the guest room but while everyone is asleep, Skippy changes into a large, flying monkey and flies off into the sky. Jason is getting ready to have sex with Chasity, the class valedictorian whose father is the town sheriff, when Skippy shows up at the Chasity’s house and kills both of them. In the morning, Joan is told the news of what happened by her best friend, Sonya, and she calls her dad, who rushes home to comfort her. Meanwhile, in the Hubei Province of China, a Chin and Yin approach the camp of some poachers, saying that they know that the poachers caught a specific monkey and hire the poachers to track the second monkey that is in the area, claiming it is a demon called a Zhigos and that they are the only people that can kill it. Heading into the woods, the two explain that if the Zhigos is killed by anything other than their blessed weapons, they will multiply. When the Zhigos kills one of the poachers, the lead poacher shoots it but the demon starts splitting into two demons but it is killed when the siblings shoot them with their crossbows. Back in Kansas, Joan is worried as Skippy hasn’t eaten anything she tries to feed him and asks her dad where he got Skippy from. Joan and Sonya go to Rudy’s shop but Rudy kicks them out when Joan notices he has a pair of endangered birds in his shop. Meanwhile. Sheriff Flemmings and his deputy are called to the Tompkins farm, where Jim Tompkins shows them what happened to his dog and one of his hogs. That night, Jim waits in the barn and when he hears something, he sees Skippy feeding on another of his animals. Jim shoots Skippy with his shotgun but as he looks for him, two flying monkeys appear and Jim manages to shoot one of them before the second one kills him. The next day, Joan goes to Jason’s funeral but afterwards, Jason’s friend Joe shows up and tries to use the situation to hook up with Joan but Skippy attacks him and when he tries to kick Skippy, Joan stops him and tells him to leave. Joe ends up drinking beer and shooting the empty cans when a monkey suddenly appears and, thinking it is Skippy, he shoots it and places the body in his cooler. That night, Joan witnesses Skippy transform and fly off and grabs her keys and follows him. Back at his house, Joe is surprised when two flying monkeys burst out of his cooler and he manages to shoot one but the second one kills him. Joan continues to follow Skippy and winds up at Sites’ gas station, where she sees several flying monkeys feeding on old man Sites. When the monkeys notice her, they start to attack but Skippy, their leader, stops them and has them fly off. Joan calls her dad, who calls the sheriff and tells him what Joan told him. Meanwhile, Chin, Yin, and Wang arrive at Rudy’s shop and after roughing him up a little, the get James address and go looking for him. In the car, Yin worries about how many Zhigos they might be facing by now. Sheriff Flemmings and his deputy arrive at the gas station and find some of the monkeys still eating the body. The shoot several of them but the deputy is killed and Sheriff Flemmings is forced to run. Joan tries calling Sonya while James calls the sheriff but getting no answer, James decides to go look for the sheriff at the gas station then swing by Sonya’s house on the way back. James gets to the gas station and finds the sheriff, who tells him what happened, and after handing James a gun, the two start to head back to James’ place but are detoured when a call comes in about a disturbance at the sugar mill. When they get there, they find evidence that the monkeys were there just before they are attacked and they start shooting the monkeys. Chin and Yin, along with Rudy and Wang, arrive and see the swarm of monkeys flying over head. When the monkeys back off for a minute, the pull up and get the sheriff to stop shooting them. They ask James to explain what has happened and seemed surprised that he and Joan are still alive but believe that their house is now the Zhigos nest. When the monkey’s attack, James and Yin head back to the house but the others are all killed by the monkeys. At the house, James and Yin wait for Skippy to come back, as Yin says if they kill him then all of the monkeys will die. However, Skippy kills Yin and almost kills James before Joan distracts him and shoots him with Yin’s crossbow. When a wounded Skippy breaks into the upstairs bedroom, James goes to try and finish it but Skippy attacks him. Joan saves her dad again and manages to shoot Skippy in the stomach, finally killing him. As the rest of the monkeys start dropping dead from the sky, James, Joan, and Sonya sit on the porch and Joan tells her dad not to bring anymore pets home.

This wasn’t that bad of a movie but it did have it’s problems. The acting was decent, with some characters doing a better job than others. I will say, it was a little weird to see Electra Avellan (Sonya) in this movie with out her sister Elise, as I have only seen them in movies together (they play the twin nurses in Machete). The story was good and there were some funny lines in the movie, such as James’ secretary being named Dorothy. I liked the special effects involved with the flying monkeys themselves but when they were shot, it looked bad. And, the “blood splatter” on the camera when they kill someone was a bit stupid. Also, when Joe shoots the monkey in the day time, it is almost impossible not to think that it is anything other than a stuffed toy that he picks up. It had it’s problems, but it wasn’t the worst way I have spent 90 minutes.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: March 22nd, 2014 Movie – Bad Taste

bad taste

The first movie of Peter Jackson’s that I watched during this endeavor of mine just happened to have been his first feature film. I have seen almost all of his movies and I used to wonder about how the man who brought Tolkien’s world to life could come up with some of the crazy ideas in his earlier movies. But it occurred to me that to you really had to have a creative imagination to bring as much detail as he did to those movies. And while his earlier movies are definitely bizarre, they do show just how much imagination the man has. So you are all familiar with his more famous works, allow me to introduce you to his first movie, Bad Taste.

The plot: After receiving a phone call for help,Barry, a government agent in the Astro Investigation and Defence Service, goes to the town of Kaihoro, New Zealand to investigate. He finds the town deserted but as he wanders the streets, an ax-wielding man suddenly appears and begins following him. Barry warns the man to stay back but he continues to get closer and Barry’s partner Derek, watching from a hidden vantage point, warns Barry to shoot the guy. Barry continues to warn the man as he leads him towards a nearby beach but when the man lunges at him, Barry is forced to shoot and blows the top of the man’s head off. Barry continues looking around the town, telling Derek to contact the rest of the team and to also keep a look out for a collector, who had left notices on all the doors stating that he would be back that day. Derek warns Barry to be careful in case the man he killed had friends, just as Derek is grabbed by several men. He manages to escape them, but loses his gun and radio in the process and is forced to hide. Derek calls Frank and Ozzy, the other two members of their team, and tells them what is going on. He also tells them that they captured an alien, who is disguised as a human wearing a blue shirt and jeans. Waiting for the others to get there, Derek proceeds to torture the captured alien, causing it to begin screaming out. Hearing the scream, the other aliens stop trying to capture Barry and head off towards Derek’s location. Barry retrieves his radio and warns Derek about the alien’s approach, and Derek stops his torture and grabs a machinegun from his bag. He manages to kill the approaching aliens, but the alien he was torturing had managed to escape and attacks him, sending him falling off a cliff. Barry heads to Derek’s location and is passed by the alien, who leaps over him and continues down the trail Reaching the hill, Barry radios Frank and Ozzy to tell them what happened and says he plans on heading in the direction the alien was heading when they captured him so they should stay put. Meanwhile, the collector, Giles, is wandering the town when he stumbles on the alien eating the brains of the alien that Barry killed. Giles runs to his car, with the alien giving chase but he manages to get away from it. When his car breaks down, Giles heads to a nearby house for help but when the door opens, the person inside proceeds to knock Giles out with a meat tenderizer and drag him inside. Barry witnesses this and tells the others to meet him at the house. Inside, Giles comes to and finds himself inside a tub filled with vegetables and herbs and an alien approaches him and says that they plan on eating him for lunch the next day. Meanwhile, Derek had managed to avoid death by landing in a bird’s nest but the fall had made part of his skull to come loose, causing some of his brains to fall out. Derek scoops up the brain matter and places it back in his head, then stumbling off to his car, where he grabs a hat to use to keep the back of his head in place before passing out. Barry, Frank, and Ozzy sneak into the house to the rescue Giles and discover a room filled with bloody cardboard boxes. After killing an alien that wandered into the room, Frank uses it’s shirt as a disguise and sneaks into the other room, where the leader, Lord Crumb, is talking about how the townspeople have been harvested for fast food. When the Robert, the alien that attacked Derek, vomits a green liquid into a bowl, the other aliens all sample it and Frank is forced to drink it himself. That night, while the aliens are asleep, they manage to sneak down and rescue Giles but when they try to leave, the find the ground patrolled by armed guards. When one of the aliens spots them, they are forced to shoot their way out of the house. Elsewhere, Derek comes too and drives to the other’s location. As Frank, Ozzy, and Barry fight with the aliens, Giles finds himself captured again but Ozzy saves him before he ends up saved by Frank. Derek arrives but his hat ends up shot off, causing him to spasm as the back of his head opens up again. He uses a belt as a headband to fasten his head closed but some of his brains leaked out again. After running over an alien, Derek grabs a chainsaw from the back of his car and heads inside the house. As Frank, Barry, and Ozzy continue killing the aliens, Lord Crumb cries out and reverts to his true form, as do the surviving aliens. The four humans manage to get to Frank’s car but as they are trying to escape, an alien shoots the car, causing it to die.  As they get out and start to head off on foot, Ozzy goes back and grabs an RPG out of the car, which he uses to blow up the car when the alien pursuers get inside it. Seeing the explosion, Lord Crumb believes that is the last of the humans but as he goes back inside the house, Ozzy fires the RPG at the house, causing part of teh house to explode. Sending Barry and Giles to call for help, Frank and Ozzy head back inside to capture Lord Crumb, killing some of the alien guards in the process. Meanwhile, Derek enters the house and after killing an alien with the chainsaw, he places part of it’s brain inside the his head. When an alien gets the jump on Frank and Ozzy, it is killed by Derek, who starts to freak out and goes after them. Frank and Ozzy head outside but Lord Crumb shoots Ozzy in the leg. Frank gets the RPG and fires it at Lord Crumb, but he dodges it, as does Derek when he opens the door, and it ends up blowing up a sheep on a nearby hill. Lord Crumb heads towards the attic, which is the control room for the disguised spaceship, and prepares to blast off, unaware that Derek is still inside. As the house/ship blasts into space on it’s way back to its home plant, Derek kills Lord Crumb and then yells into the phone that he is “coming to get you bastards” before laughing maniacally as he dons the skin of Lord Crumb. Back on Earth, Frank and Ozzy use Derek’s car to pick up Barry and Giles before they all drive off.

Bad Taste was met with mixed to favorable reviews from the critics, holding a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus is that “Peter Jackson’s early low-budget shocker boasts a disgusting premise – aliens harvesting humans for fast food – that gives the budding auteur plenty of room for gross-out visuals and absurd cleverness.” When the film was released in Australia, it was already cut but it wound up being banned in Queensland after three weeks, resulting in the dissolution of the Queensland Film Board of Review. The movie was made on a budget of about $30,000 but made $150,000 at the box office.

This was a somewhat gross, but funny movie. The acting was ok but I really thought it was funny that Peter Jackson himself played two characters, Derek and Robert, and that he had to film the different character’s scenes months apart as Robert had a beard and Derek didn’t. The story was decent and the writing definitely had some funny lines too it, but that might not have been intentional. The special effects were definitely used up most of the budget and a lot of it was probably used for the gore. There were several scenes that were pretty gruesome and definitely not intended for younger audiences. If you were to look at this movie, back in 1987, you never would have guessed that the director would become one of the most famous director’s in Hollywood, but we all have to start somewhere.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 17th, 2016 Movie – Fire And Ice

fire-and-ice

The 80’s were a fun time for kids movie-wise because there were a ton of animated movies that came out in the 80’s. Obviously, you had the couple of Disney movies (and re-releases) as well as the numerous anime movies from Japan. But there were also several movies based on popular cartoons or toys that came out. Then, you had the more adult themed movies. You know, the ones that your parents wouldn’t let you watch even though you argued that it was a cartoon. Take today’s movie for instance. An animated movie that came about as a collaboration of Ralph Bakshi (creator of Fritz The Cat and Cool World) and Frank Frazetta (a famed illustrator known for his paintings used on album covers, Edgar Rice Burrough’s novels of Tarzan, and Conan) was definitely not going to be something you take your little kid to see. A while back I started getting some of those animated movies and today’s movie was on the list but out of stock when I first tried buying it. When I finally thought about looking again, it was during my self-imposed ban on buying movies so it just sat in my cart for a while until I could finally buy it, which brings us to today’s movie, Fire And Ice.

The plot: In the far North, in the kingdom of ice, Queen Juliana gathers an army of sub-humans to achieve world domination for herself and her son, Nekron. Nekron uses his powers to cause a massive glacier to move southward, laying waste to any villages in it’s path, as they make their way south towards Firekeep, home of King Jarol. As one village is preparing to face the glacier and the oncoming army, a young warrior named Larn notices a shadowy, ax-wielding man on horseback watching from a nearby hilltop. Suddenly, the glacier collapses on top of the village wall, crushing many of the defenders and the sub-humans attack the surviving villagers. As the sub-humans begin to loot the bodies of the dead villagers, Larn, who was knocked unconscious when the wall fell, comes too and manages to kill several of the sub-humans before he makes his escape by jumping off a cliff into the jungle below. At the volcanic castle of Firekeep, King Jarol, along with his son Taro, prepare to receive Juliana’s envoys, who demand that he peacefully surrender or else their kingdom will be destroyed. Meanwhile, some of Juliana’s sub-humans sneak into the castle and kidnap Princess Teegra. Hearing Teegra’s screams, Jarol and Taro kill the envoys then send out some of their soldiers on dragon hawks to locate Teegra’s captors. When Teegra’s captors stop at a lake to rest, Teegra manages to distract her captors long enough to swim to the other side of the lake. She then runs and hides in a log while the sub-humans try to find her but leave after one of them is attacked by a giant insect. Meanwhile, Larn is resting in a tree when he catches sight of some sub-humans still pursuing him. He manages to quietly kill one of them, grab his weapon, and proceeds to head south. Teegra uses a log to travel to a nearby island and some of her her pursuers follow her to the lake’s shore but they are attacked by a large reptile. Most of the men are killed but one manages to live and makes his way to the island only for Teegra to stab him. When the rest of the sub-humans find the dead men, they make contact with Juliana, who kills their leader before telling the new leader to find Teegra. Larn continues making his way south when he is attacked by a pack of wolves. He manages to kill one and runs from the others but as they close in on him, an arrow kills one of the wolves and scares the others away. Larn looks around and discovers a nearby temple, where he decides to make camp. That night, he meets Teegra, who tried to steal some of his food, and the two decide to travel together back to her home. When a giant octopus attacks Larn, he manages to blind it but the creatures spasms sends him hurtling out of the water, rendering him unconscious. Meanwhile, Teegra weeps for Larn, believing him dead, and ends up captured by the sub-humans. Larn is rescued by Darkwolf, the mysterious figure on horseback, who says he is fighting Nekron and agrees to help Larn find Teegra. When her captors make camp for the night, Teegra is chained to one of them but as she tries to break the chain, her captor notices and tries to stop her. She kills him and with the other sub-humans still sleeping, she drags her chained captor with her but ends up falling off a cliff. Larn and Darkwolf find the camp and try to rescue her but when Larn cant find her, they lead the sub-humans away and plan to go back and look for her. Back at Firekeep, Jarol decides to send Taro to negotiate with Nekron in order to keep the glacier from getting closer to their kingdom. Meanwhile, Teegra is freed from her chains by a giant named Otwa, who takes her to the home of Roleil, who drugs Teegra and when she learns that Nekron is looking for her, she sends Otwa to bring the sub-humans. When he find them, the sub-humans kill him and then Roleil before taking Teegra and burning down the hut. Elsewhere, Larn and Darkwolf are facing the sub-humans, when Darkwolf tells Larn to escape and find Teegra. Larn sees the smoke from the burning hut and heads there, where he finds the skeletal remains of Roleil, who tells him where Teegra was taken as long as he avenges her. Larn heads to the port city of Agatta but is too late to stop the ship from leaving but he sees Prince Taro boarding a ship to Icepeak and stows away on it. At Icepeak, Juliana presents Teegra to Nekron, intending her to father his children but Nekron refuses, saying he does not need any heirs. Teegra tries to make peace with Nekron but he laughs as he refuses her as well and has her imprisoned. Reaching Icepeak, Taro and his men disembark and head inside the fortress, as the sub-humans taunt them from atop the cliffs. Meanwhile, Larn sneaks off the ship and heads up the mountain, making his way to a cave-side passage. Taro says that their kingdom will surrender so long as Nekron returns Teegra but Nekron taunts Taro into drawing his sword, then uses his powers to take control of Taro and his men and has them kill each other. He has their bodies thrown into the dungeon, where Teegra sees her brother’s body and cries out. Larn, who had witnessed all of this, tries a sneak attack on Nekron but misses. Nekron is amused by Larn and decides to fight with him but when Larn manages to wound him, Nekron uses his powers to knock Larn unconscious and have him imprisoned. Teegra manages to escape her cell and, seeing Larn, tries to free him but she ends up captured again. Larn manages to escape and is pursued by some sub-humans but he is rescued by Darkwolf. The two go to Firekeep, where they inform Nekron what happened to his children. Darkwolf asks for the use of the dragon hawks to attack the glacier and Jarol agrees, but says if the glacier passes the river, he will unleash the lava to destroy the glacier. Darkwolf and Larn lead the dragon hawks into the glacier, but the sub humans attack and manage to kill most of the warriors and their winged mounts, leaving Larn and Darkwolf to go in alone. The two make their way further inside Icepeak, but Nekron uses his magic to attack them, forcing Larn to the surface, where he finds another way inside. Darkwolf’s mount is killed but he fights his was on foot inside the fortress and faces off against Nekron. Meanwhile, Larn goes to find Teegra and after the two save each other, the embrace. Darkwolf attacks Nekron and even though Nekron tries to take control of Darkwolf’s body, Darkwolf is able to overpower him and kills Nekron. As a final act of revenge, Nekron sends the Glacier forward and Jarol releases the lava, which ends up destroying the glacier. Larn and Teegra manage to escape before the glacier collapses and as the recover, they see Darkwolf on a nearby hilltop. When a sub-human appears, Larn goes to kill it but Teegra convinces him to spare it as the war is over, which Larn does and the two walk off before they embrace and kiss.

For an animated sword and sorcery film, it was hard not to think this as merely an animated version of Conan. Still, this was a pretty good movie. The voice acting was pretty good among the cast. The story wasn’t completely original and it was a little misleading as the war between the Ice and Fire kingdoms was not the focal point of the story. Granted, you could say that since Teegra was the princess that fit into the title but honestly, the story focused more on Larn and Darkwolf’s fight with Nekron and attempts to save Teegra, as Jarol and Taro were barely in the movie. The animation was good but I will admit, I am still not a big fan of rotoscoping animation (animating over stills of live action footage), as the characters never seem as fluid as they should be. That aside, this is one of those fun 80’s fantasy films that are fun to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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January 16th, 2016 Movie – Dragonfyre

dragonfyreSo today’s movie does not have your usual tale in regards to how I first heard about it. It wasn’t a movie that I missed seeing about in theaters, or something that was suggested on Amazon due to my shopping trends. No, the first time I ever heard of this movie was during a late night Netflix binge while dealing with a bit of insomnia. A couple of years ago, I couldn’t sleep and I just started watching movies on Netflix. When one of the movies I watched ended, the list of suggested movies came up and this was one of them. Now I do enjoy a good dragon movie and decided to give it a shot. So why did I buy the DVD if it is on Netflix, you ask? The answer is simple. Netflix tends to cycle the movies that they stream and when I went to watch this again a while back, it was not on Netflix. So rather than wait for it to come back on, I decided to buy the DVD (which was cheap). Thus ends the story of how I came to own today’s movie, Dragonfyre.

The plot: On the world of Nemis, the Elven princess Aleya and her bodyguards are being pursued by an Orc hunting party. After her bodyguards are killed, Aleya makes it to a nearby cave, which becomes a portal to Edenoch (Earth) when the two moons converge, and she races through it. The Orcs hesitate to continue for fear of the wizard guarding the portal but Anathema, one of the spectral witches known as the Undead Sisters, appears and demand that they bring her the princess. The Orcs race through the portal and are met by Richard Conrad, who kills all of the approaching Orcs with his various guns. As the portal is closing, the witch motions towards Conrad and he ends up having a heart attack. Aleya tries to help him but he says that a new sentinel will be coming and he will protect her. Some time later, John Norton, a former Special Forces Operative, has just bought Conrad’s ranch in an attempt to get away from the world. After looking around the house for a while, John is relaxing on his front deck when he sees someone on a nearby hillside watching him. Using an ATV to follow the stranger, Norton comes across the cave, where he finds traces of Orc blood left on the ground. Catching sight of Aleya, he follows her, ending up at the grave of Richard Conrad. Aleya surprises him, asking if he is the worldgate sentinel but when he says he isn’t and offers to take her into town for some help, she kicks him in the face and runs off. Later that day, Norton is doing some repairs on the house and notices the moon seeming to merge with a second moon. That night, a group of Orcs show up at his house looking for Aleya and Norton is able to kill them but he was wounded by a poisoned crossbow bolt by the Orc leader, who runs back into the woods. Passing out from the poison, Norton has a fever dream in which a blinded Native American says that John Norton is the sentinel of the worldgate. When he comes to, Norton finds himself in the home of Whitefeather, the Native American he saw in his dream. Whitefeather had healed Norton and explains about the worldgates and the sentinels, as well as his role of assisting the sentinel, but Norton dismisses it and leaves. Back on Nemis, Gorejaw, the Orc leader that shot Norton, is brought before the witch and explains that a new wizard protects the girl but says another Orc, Fangmark, and his Orcs are still on Edenoch and they will capture the girl. On Earth, Fangmark and his Orcs see a trio of men (Billy, Leeroy, and Scooter) and, believing one of them to be the new wizard, follow them. That night, they kill Billy and Leeroy but before they can kill the Scooter, Aleya saves him and runs off, with the Orcs following her. Aleya makes her way to Norton’s house, where Norton reluctantly lets her in. Leaving three Orcs to watch the house, Fangmark leads the rest inside to capture Aleya. Norton renders Fangmark unconscious and kills most of his Orcs, leaving two to go back through the worldgate, but Fangmark had managed to scratch with a poisoned blade. Norton takes Aleya to Whitefeather, who treats her and tells Norton about his own history with Conrad and his grandfather, who was also a sentinel. Leaving Aleya with Whitefeather, Norton heads back home where he starts to get rid of the Orc bodies but notices that Fangmark is missing. After finding him and knocking him back out, Norton takes Fangmark down into his basement, where he discovers Conrad’s collection of firearms, as well as a sword that Norton had seen in his fever dream. Restraining Fangmark to a chair, Norton uses a taser on him as he begins to question Fangmark about why they are after Aleya. Fangmark says that Aleya is the last of her bloodline and they plan to sacrifice her in order to permanently open the worldgates. Norton says he will stop them but when he hears a horn blowing, Fangmark laughs and says his brethren are already here. At Whitefeather’s, Aleya is woken by the sound of the horn and after seeing the approaching orcs, Whitefeather helps her escape while he tries to buy her some time. When Aleya is cornered by Gorejaw and his Orcs, she is saved by Norton, who brings her back to his house. Inside, Norton is disturbed to see that Fangmark has escaped but he puts it aside as he grabs a sniper rifle and heads to his roof, where he proceeds to kill Gorejaw’s approaching men, before wounding Gorejaw and sending him running back to the portal. As Norton and Aleya are resting at Norton’s house, they are surprised when Scooter knocks on the door, bringing a wounded Whitefeather inside. As Aleya tends to Whitefeather’s wounds, Norton explains to Scooter what is going on and Scooter wants to run but Norton refuses, saying he didn’t ask for this war to be brought to him but he will end it. Back on Nemis, the Orcs are preparing to send their army through the portal, as it will soon be open for 23 minutes. The Orc high priest Bonebag asks Anathema when the other Undead Sisters will arrive but she kills him, while saying that she is the last of her kind. Back at Norton’s house, Norton is explaining his plan to the others but, not knowing how many Orcs they will be facing, he wishes they had something bigger to face them with. When Scooter finds a key labeled “Sweet Ass Juggernaut Jenny”, Norton grabs it and heads out to the barn to see what it is hiding. The next day, the portal opens and the Orcs head to Earth, where they march towards Norton’s house. Gorejaw sends an Orc bearing the head of one of Aleya’s bodyguards on a pike, which he places on the ground as a declaration of war but as he is heading back to Gorejaw, Aleya shoots him with and arrow. The Orcs prepare to use a catapult to attack the house but pause when they see Katie, the real estate agent that sold Norton the house, pull up and approach the house. As Katie knocks on the door, the Orcs fire the catapult and destroy her car, and Aleya quickly brings Katie inside the house. As Gorejaw orders the catapult readied, Norton appears from a hidden pit, quickly killing several Orcs with his machine gun while using explosives to surprise and kill even more of the Orc army. As Gorejaw tries to regroup and go after Norton, he is surprised as some of his men are killed by Katie, who is using the sniper rifle on the roof with Aleya. Norton then surprises the Orcs with Jenny, a homemade armored vehicle driven by Whitefeather. With Scooter firing a high-powered machine gun turret and Norton using an RPG to take out the catapult, the Orcs quickly start to fall into chaos. With the Orcs still getting close to the house, Norton has Aleya and Katie head inside, where they start to barricade the door but Katie is shot by Fangmark, who had grabbed one of Norton’s guns. Katie shoots back and injures Fangmark then tells Aleya to run, with Fangmark finishing off Katie and chasing after the Elf. Outside, Gorejaw decides to summon their god, a dragon named Vokbeer to deal with Norton. Facing off against the dragon, Norton manages to briefly stun it with the RPG, but it quickly comes too and uses it’s flames to destroy Jenny, killing Scooter as he helped get Whitefeather out of the vehicle. Norton heads back to the hoise and uses the sniper rifle on the dragon but it unleashes it’s flames on the house, sending Norton flying. As Gorejaw and his Orcs celebrate, Fangmark appears carrying Aleya and, after killing Gorejaw, they head back to Nemis to prepare for the sacrifice. On Nemis, Fangmark demands that Anathema release hsi clan from her servitude but she uses her magic to injure him and send him tumbling down the hill. As the Orcs prepare for the sacrifice, Whitefeather emerges from the tunnel and manages to kill several of the Orcs before he himself is killed. Back on Earth, Norton uses the ATV to head towards the tunnel, followed by Vokbeer. Inside the tunnel, he manages to use the sword from his dream to pin Vokbeer to the wall of the tunnel until the tunnel closes, severing the dragon’s neck from it’s body. Witnessing this, the Orcs flee from the area and Norton starts to free Aleya from her bonds. When Anathema attacks him, Norton stabs her with his sword but she uses her magic to break his arm. Aleya manages to free herself and notices Fangmark, who had climbed back up the hill, pointing the stolen gun at her before he chooses to hand it to her. Aleya takes the gun and shoots Anathema, who dies in a burst of flame. Noticing a large gathering of Orcs on the hillside, Norton stands ready to fight but the Orcs choose to leave, with Fangmark shouting out “Another time, Wizard” towards Norton. After being healed in Aleya’s kingdom, Norton prepares to go back home through the worldgate. Aleya asks that he stay with her but he says he can’t as he is the worldgate sentinel of Edenoch but as he walks through the tunnel, he says that she should call on him if she needs him.

This isn’t an epic film like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but this is a pretty entertaining movie. The acting was pretty decent for the most part, though there were a couple of times it seemed bad but I felt that was more a matter of bad dialogue than the actors themselves. Rusty Joiner was pretty good as the reluctant hero John Norton but I think he was eclipsed by Isaac C. Singleton Jr., who was great as Fangmark. The plot was interesting, if not original, and I did enjoy the whole “portal to a medieval realm” story. The effects were good for the most part, with the dragon looking especially good for a low budget movie. The only real problem as far as the effects went were in the blood splurts when the Orcs were shot. Those just looked terrible. Yes, there are better fantasy movies out there but this is a good way to spend 97 minutes in front of the TV.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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movie, movie review

January 15th, 2016 Movie -Dracano

dracano

About a year ago, while I was binge watching some sci-fi B-movies, I noticed how many of them had particular actors in them. One of those actors is Parker Lewis himself, Corin Nemec. I have quite a few movies that star him, and have reviewed one or two already on here, and I have always been entertained by them. So when I saw that he was starring in this movie, I knew that I would be buying it eventually. The fact that it involves dragons didn’t hurt either. So let’s see how he does in today’s movie, Dracano.

The plot: Volcanologist Simon Lowell is speaking in a college class about his new project, K.R.O.N.O.S., when his sensors start detecting an imminent eruption at a nearby volcano. With his daughter Heather and his colleague Carla Simms watching, Simon contacts his assistant Petra to confirm what’s happening and they begin to run the K.R.O.N.O.S. program to divert the lava. When K.R.O.N.O.S. is finished, Petra goes to leave but a massive tremor knocks her to the ground as dozens of large rocks are shot out of the volcano, one of them landing near her. As she gets up, she notices the rock beginning to pulse when suddenly, a dragon bursts from the rock and kills her. Some time later, Simon is preparing to talk to the school’s board of directors about K.R.O.N.O.S. but instead, he finds himself and Carla being placed on paid sabbatical as the board of directors felt that K.R.O.N.O.S. was responsible for the eruption. Outside the college, a news reporter Paige Summers is preparing to interview the university and berates her assistant/camerawoman, Brayden Adcox, when she brings her stories about Simon being used for a military cover up and large, winged carcasses being removed from the area. Later, Simon is watching the news where Paige claims he is responsible for the eruption that killed thousands and his former boss, Diana Fankhauser, lies and says that his experiment was not sanctioned by the college. After receiving threatening phone calls and people throwing things at his house, Simon and Heather pick up Carla and they head to his base camp so he can review his equipment and find out what really happened. When they get to the campsite, they find the equipment is gone but the cables are still attached to the underground sensors. Heather finds a strange, rock-like cocoon and calls her dad over when she hears something breathing inside. When some military choppers fly overhead, Simon has Carla and Heather hide as a group of soldiers show up and proceed to shoot the cocoon and the commanding officer, Col. Maxwell, tells Simon to leave. After they sneak through a military checkpoint, Simon and Carla are reviewing the data they pulled from the sensors and they figure out that there were more cocoons in the volcano, which caused the pressure changes in the volcano. When Heather says that she posted video of the soldiers killing the cocoon online, Simon has everybody turn off there cell phones. At a military base, General Hodges orders the websites showing the video to be shutdown and that an APB be put out for Simon. Maxwell believes that Simon should be brought in to help them but Hodges wants him detained for now. Paige Summers broadcasts a news report saying that the Army Corp of Engineers blames the eruption on Simon and that Simon and Carla are considered domestic terrorists. Hearing the report as they are traveling, Simon pulls over to consider there options and Heather points out an area of ground that is smoking. They investigate and Simon realizes that lava is flowing underground and that the nearby volcano is about to erupt. Two soldiers arrive and tell Simon and the others to get in their Humvee but before they can, the volcano erupts and dragons begin flying out of it. One of the soldiers is killed by the dragons before they manage to escape. At the news studio, Brayden shows Paige a video from an incident at a town fair where a dragon is seen flying overhead and she believes the military is covering it up but Paige dismisses it as they had covered the event and none of the witnesses said anything about a dragon and fires Brayden for pushing the issue. At the Army HQ, Maxwell is explaining to Simon what they know about the dragons, and how the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was a cover up as they were forced to nuke the mountain in order to seal the dragon’s nest. Hodges arrives and tells them that only a couple of dragons have made it to the surface but there are about 20,000 eggs in a lava pool under Mt. St. Helens as well as the larger cocoon which they believe to be the mother. They ask Simon to help them to seal the volcano and keep the dragons from escaping and Simon agrees but his daughter is upset about them killing the dragons. Meanwhile, Brayden is kicking herself for losing her job when she receives a mysterious message from someone online saying they have the proof she needs and tells her a place to meet them. When she gets to the meeting site, a car pulls up, throwing a folder containing top secret documents at her feet before driving off. Back at the HQ, Simon is unable to pinpoint a spot to use the bomb but when they notice the pressure building in Mt. St. Helens, he figures that using K.R.O.N.O.S. would be able to buy them some time as well as help determine a location for the bomb. Simon accompanies Maxwell and a small team into the volcano, where they begin planting the K.R.O.N.O.S. sensors. Meanwhile, Brayden calls Paige saying that she has the proof but Paige tells her the army came clean and she is doing a report about the evacuation of Portland, OR. During the news report, footage is shown of dragons attacking other cities but suddenly, dragons appear and one of them grabs Paige and flies off. Inside the volcano, the sensors are placed and Simon is able to determine where to place the bomb. Maxwell has Lt. Sparks get Simon to the surface but when a tremor occurs, Simon realizes that the tremor shifted the ground meaning the bomb is now in the wrong place. He goes back to warn Maxwell but Maxwell keeps setting the bomb and tells Sparks and Simon to leave while he and the rest of the team hold off the dragons. The nuke explodes but does not seal the chamber and the mother dragon is now hatched and beginning to make her way to the surface. Simon and Sparks make their way to the surface but another tremor causes Sparks to fall and injure his leg. Heather, hearing Simon calling out on the radio, drives back to the volcano and helps Simon save Sparks. They get back to the HQ, where they find the place surrounded by dragons and Sparks sacrifices himself to get Simon, Carla, and Heather back inside. Inside, Hodges tells them that they are planning to nuke the area to keep the mother dragon from escaping because once it does, they would have no way of being able to track or stop it. Simon comes up with a plan to use K.R.O.N.O.S. to cause an eruption and send the mother dragon flying out in a lava plume, allowing the Air Force to target it with heat seekers. The plume would also seal up the chamber and prevent any more dragons from hatching or coming out. Needing to drop the K.R.O.N.O.S. sensors into the volcano, Simon plans on using a dragon’s cocoon to drop into the volcano but he realizes that with all of the equipment, he is too big to fit in the cocoon. He tries to figure out a way to deploy K.R.O.N.O.S. remotely but Heather gets in the cocoon without telling him and is dropped into the volcano. As they wait for Heather to deploy K.R.O.N.O.S., Hodges is forced to order the nuclear strike under orders from the President. When K.R.O.N.O.S. is deployed, the pilots are able to target the mother dragon and choose to use sidewinders to kill it. As the dragon falls into the lava and dies, a cocoon is shot out and lands at the HQ. Hodges is ready to shoot the cocoon but Simon and Carla stand in front of it in order to save it. Heather’s voice is heard coming from the cocoon and they free her from it as Simon yells at Hodges for almost killing his daughter. Four months later, Brayden, now a reporter, is doing a follow up piece about the incident when a dragon appears and attacks her camerman.

This was a very entertaining movie Corin Nemec (Simon) was really good as was Victoria Pratt (Carla), Mia Faith (Heather), and Troy Evans (Hodges). The story was good and the writing had a lot of funny moments in it, such as Heather receiving a congratulatory call from the President and she asks him if he received her letter about the plight of the bird doves in Guam. There were some times where the story would go from one plot to another at odd moments, usually between what was happening with Simon and what was going on with Paige and Brayden, but that didn’t distract from the movie too much. The special effects were pretty good for a low budget movie and while there wasn’t much direct interaction between the dragons and people on screen but the dragons themselves looked really good. Definitely a movie worth watching if you are in the mood for something new.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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