action, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

Flashback Review: May 27th, 2014 Movie – Boa (a.k.a. New Alcatraz)

boa

Well, it is Dragoncon time again and what better way to start the day off than with some B-movie goodness. Now I remember catching this movie on Sci-fi (yes, Sci-fi back before the name change) during a batch of snake movies one weekend and to be honest, my first thought was, “Is…Is that…. Dean Cain in a giant snake movie?” This honestly caught me by surprise and it would not be the last time that he would appear in a B-movie, several of which I now own and enjoy watching. For now, let’s just sit back and enjoy the craziness that is Boa (a.k.a. New Alcatraz).

The plot: In the middle of Antarctica, a secret super-max prison is being built, funded by the world’s nations. The hopes are that the advanced design and brutal conditions outside will make it virtually inescapable for the world’s worst criminals and terrorists. As construction has fallen behind schedule, Warden Fred Riley and his chief of security, Sgt. Quinn, goes to speak with the head of the construction crew, Scott Poluso, to find out what the delay is in getting heat and power to all of the building and is told that they have a hollow space in the ice sheet they were drilling in. Ignoring the crews concerns, Riley tells the men to drill though it but when an explosion occurs, they unknowingly awaken a giant boa that had been in hibernation in the hollow space and it begins making it’s way up through the tunnel. Elsewhere, Dr. Robert Trenton is teaching his last paleontology class before heading off on a research trip with his wife, Dr. Jessica Platt-Trenton. As they leave the campus, Robert asks if they are making a mistake in walking away from tenure and Jessica tells him that she isn’t ready to settle down and have a baby just yet. Meanwhile, Yuri Breshcov, a known arms dealer, is flying in his plane over the Indian Ocean when 2 fighter jets use an EMP missile to force his plane to land at Diego Garcia, the largest U.S. military base in the region. After his plane lands, Yuri is transferred to New Alcatraz, where Riley tells him that he is there due to his purchasing two nuclear missiles. After finishing talking to Yuri, Riley is contacted by Poluso to come check out something. When Riley and Quinn get there, Poluso shows them a tunnel that was seemingly dug overnight but they have no explanation as to how it was done. Noticing that it heads to the heat exchange pipe and could serve as a way out, Riley orders a guard placed there and Poluso and his crew to seal it back up. A few days later, Jenkins is standing guard by the hole when he hears something and reports it to Quinn. Quinn tells him to head into the tunnel to investigate while he wakes up Poluso and Goodman to join him. As Jenkins examines the tunnel, Quinn sees something entering the tunnel on the monitors and tries to warn Jenkins but Jenkins is killed by the Boa. When Poluso and Goodman get there, they ask Quinn where Jenkins is and he tells them he is in the tunnel and but he lost communication with him and asks them to check on him. Poluso refuses and as he turns to Goodman to complain, he feels something drip down on his head and when he checks to see what it is, he finds it is blood. Looking up., he sees the boa coiled around the pipes in the ceiling just before it drops down and kills him and then Goodman. Some time later, Robert and Jessica are at their dig site arguing over their possibly losing their grant when they are approached by the military and told of the situation in Antarctica and that they are requested to assist them. Jessica jumps at the chance and a reluctant Robert agrees to go with her. On the flight to Antarctica, Robert talks with Major Larsten, who is leading the military team there, about the situation and he tells them about the princess and the supposed snake that is killing people. After a rough landing, they prepare to disembark and the pilot tells them that the plane will be there for 12 hour and after that, it has to leave or else the wheels will be frozen and unable to move. Larsten leads his team, as well as Robert and Jessica, out and uses a tracker to find the door to the prison and when they reach the door, they are forced to override the lock. Heading inside, they are confronted by Quinn and his men and Riley shows up to ease the standoff. He then explains the situation to Larsten, Robert, and Jessica, saying that the snake has killed 6 people so far and wants to make sure Larsten and his men are able to kill it. Larsten leads his team out into the tunnels and Riley guides them to where the snake was seen, using the monitors to help them try and locate the snake. When one of Larsten’s men is killed, he asks Quinn to gather his guards and join him in the tunnels and Robert and Jessica decide to go with them. As they head down the tunnel, Robert tells Quinn to stop the cart they are on, saying that the snake would be able to sense the vibrations from the cart, and that they should go on foot but Quinn refuses to walk and leaves Robert and Jessica there while he and his men drive away. Larsten and his men accidentally shoot one of their own when Riley mistakenly says the snake is coming towards them and when the snake does appear, it kills the rest of his men. Larsten shoots at the snake but ends up startign a fire and releasing some gas in the chamber. As he runs for safety, he tries to warn Quinn to turn back but Quinn and his men, as well as Larsten, are killed in the blast. Robert and Jessica reach the chamber and see the boa eating the bodies and as Jessica takes some pictures, Robert grabs her and leads her away. The try to escape up a ladder but the snake attacks them and traps Jessica on the lower level. Robert tries to save her but the snake snaps at him before eventually slithering away and when Robert drops back down, he finds no sign of Jessica anywhere and believes she is dead. Robert returns to the control room and tells Riley that the only chance they have of getting out of there is with the prisoners’ help and convinces him to let them out. When Riley speaks to the prisoners and gets them to swear not to harm them if he lets them out, Yuri agrees to it and keeps his word when some of the prisoners attempt to hurt Riley. As the group try to figure out their best way out of their, Yuri suggests splitting up into two teams and heading for the tunnel the snake had made, as each route is through an area that the snake is known to frequent. Riley and Robert take Kelly Mitch and Patricia O’Boyle with them while Yuri leads the other prisoners. Kelly constantly provokes Patricia and as Robert and Riley try to calm her down, Kelly finds one of the motorized carts and drives off with it. Riley chases after them when he sees the snake ahead and as the snake kills Kelly, Riley begins shooting at it and causes another explosion that kills himself. Robert and Patricia turn back and Robert contacts Yuri to tell him what happened but the signal is weak. Yuri and his team lose one member to the snake and as they reach the large central chamber, they encounter Jessica, who had survived by crawling through the air vents. Yuri and his men take her with them and as they make their way to the tunnel, two of the prisoners are killed, leaving Yuri and Jessica as the only ones left in the group. Reaching the tunnel, Jessica wants to wait for Robert but Yuri tells her that he will come back for him and they have to get on the plane now so he heads up the tunnel and places a charge to open the ice sheet so they can make their way to the surface and board the plane. Robert and Patricia reach the tunnel and, seeing that it has been opened, they start making their way towards the outside but the boa follows after them and grabs Patricia. As the snake starts dragging her back down the tunnel, Robert tries to help her and shoots at the snake but when that is to no avail, he shoots and kills Patricia to put her out of her misery. Robert manages to make it onto the plane, where he is surprised to see Jessica alive and on board, and Robert thanks Yuri for saving her. The plane takes off but the boa manages to get on board, killing the co-pilot before bursting up into the cargo hold. Robert, Yuri, and Jessica try to get off the plane, with Yuri tying some rope around it’s neck, then tying it to a parachute. As Robert opens the cargo doors, Yuri deploys the parachute and the snake is sucked out of the plane but manages to snag Yuri with it’s tail and take him out with it. Robert and Jessica close the cargo doors and ask the pilot if he can still fly the plane and when he is told the snake is gone, the pilot says he can still fly it and they make their way home.

This movie was a decent movie but it could have been better. The acting was good, with Dean Cain (Robert) and Mark Sheppard (Yuri) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Grand L. Bush (Quinn), Craig Wasson (Riley), and Elizabeth Lackey (Jessica) also did good jobs, though there were times that Jessica’s character was kind of annoying. The story was pretty good but the pacing was incredibly slow. They spent close to an hour setting up the movie and it felt like they had to kind of rush the rest of it to fit the run time. The special effects were pretty good in regards to the snake, though the “snake vision” was a bit much and honestly not really necessary. A fun movie to watch once you make it through all of the set-up.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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drama, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 26th, 2014 Movie – Blue Money

blue money

Well, the Drive-In Cult Classics box set was pretty much set up to be nothing but some low budget T&A movies. So it only makes since that one of these movies would be a movie about porn. However, that is not the thing that I remember about this movie. No, what I remember is that on the outside of the box, this movie is listed as Blue Monday, while it is listed as Blue Money on the DVD. This led to a slight bit of confusion as I tried to look it up but I basically went by the actors to find the right movie. So let’s see how a movie about the hardships of the 70’s porn business turns out.

The plot: Jim DeSalle is putting some film equipment into his car, unaware that he is being watched by the Los Angeles Vice Squad for suspicion of making pornographic films. After kissing his wife Lisa and their baby goodbye, Jim heads to the studio to start filming their latest picture, and after shooting some scenes, they call a lunch. Later that day, Jim and his partner meet with the Fatman, who was buying their films, but the Fatman shorts them $1000, claiming that the economy is tough on him. The next day, Jim and Lisa are cleaning their boat and Lisa gets upset at his attitude, feeling like he isn’t being completely honest with her about his work. Later, Jim heads back into the studio to film some more and Lisa decides to surprise him with lunch but is uncomfortable watching him work and after a tense exchange, she quickly leaves. When one of the “models” is unable to continue filming, Jim’s producer friend Mike calls a model that has worked for them before and she agrees to come in, saying she has a friend as well. Jim and Mike interview a couple of women for the part when Mike’s friend Michelle comes in with her friend Ingrid. As Mike and Michelle talk, Jim starts interviewing Ingrid and ends up feeling a connection with her and tells her that he will call her if they have something for her and after they leave, Mike teases Jim about his wanting to sleep with her. The next day, Ingrid ends up calling Jim at his house, much to Lisa’s displeasure, and after begging him for some work, Jim tells her to come by the studio and he will find something for her. The next day, Jim films a scene with Ingrid having sex and afterwards, they end up heading to a motel together, where they fool around in the shower. Jim sneaks back home and gets into bed with Lisa, who comments about his wet neck and he tells her he took a shower at Mike’s place after they finished up late at the studio. The next day, Jim, Lisa, and their baby are riding bicycles and find Mike waiting for them at their house. He tells them there was a big announcement from the President that seemed to indicate that he was on their side in the issue, but almost gives away that Jim wasn’t with him the night before. Mike tells them that he is throwing a party and invites them there but Lisa ends up getting drunk and so they leave early. Returning home, Jim talks with Lisa some before she heads up to bed and as he starts watching TV, he sees a news report about the police making some more raids on some theaters. As more theater owners are getting scared off from buying their movies, Jim ends up leaving the studio early and heading down to the boat, where Ingrid shows up. Meanwhile, Mike calls the house looking for Jim and Lisa answers the phone and figures he is on the boat and heads there to deliver the message. When she gets there, she sees Jim with Ingrid and quickly heads back to the home unseen. When Jim comes home, Lisa confronts him about Ingrid but Jim swears that he didn’t sleep with her. Suddenly, Mike bursts in and says that the police busted another owner and Ingrid gets scared and decides to leave with the baby. Mike says that they need to close the studio and Jim agrees so they rush to the studio that night and clean it out of all of their films and equipment. Mike decides to skip town but Jim can’t, as he owes too much money. He decides to try and sell some of their last films to the Fatman, who cheats him another $1000, saying that pretty soon, the theater owners will be making their own movies and won’t need them anymore. As the creditors close in on Jim and he he receives a notice at the house, he decides to movie his boat, with plans on sailing it out to sea with Lisa and the baby, leaving all of the troubles behind them. After having the boat moved, Jim heads home and receives a call from Lisa that night, saying she has sorted her own problems out and misses him. Jim tells her to meet him the next day and they will sail out on their boat and leave town. Jim works on filming one last movie but ends up being busted by the police in a raid. The Vice Cops tell him they have plenty of film on him and warn him to stay in the area to make his arraignment hearing but Jim walks out of the station, where Lisa and their baby are waiting for him, and they quickly get onto their boat and sail away, just like they planned on doing.

This was an interesting subject but a pretty boring movie to be honest. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out in their performance. The story was interesting and while I can’t say how much of it was based on real events/situations, they way they played it up gave it a sense of realism. The drama in the movie was ok but felt overly scripted and too fake to really suck you in. Let’s face it, sometimes the movies that used to be shown in drive-ins are not exactly worth going back to re-watch.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

Flashback Review: May 25th, 2014 Movie – Blue Demon

blue demon

Tonight is going to be a long night, and an even longer day tomorrow. See, Dragoncon is tomorrow and I am already getting excited to have some fun. Of course, it is only fitting that on the eve of Dragoncon, I find myself watching a sci-fi B-movie. Now I bought this movie years ago because I was going through a shark movie buying phase. Honestly, you can never have enough shark movies so what is one more movie to add to the pile. Now I had never heard of Blue Demon before I picked it up, I just bought it on a whim. The question remains, was it worth the cost?

The plot: Late one night, 4 college girls break into a government complex on the beach in order to force the girl pledging the sorority to take a challenge. The pledge gets into the water and starts swimming out to the buoy but she says that something is in the water and quickly climbs up onto the buoy platform. As the sorority girls debate on leaving her, the military police show up and two of the girls try to escape in a nearby boat but as they push it out into the water and start to get in, one of the girls is suddenly dragged underwater. She surfaces close to the buoy and the pledge tries to help her up but as the girl is repeatedly dragged underwater, the pledge ends up pulling up her severed arm, causing her to start screaming. The next day, Dr. Marla and Dr. Nathan Collins, head researchers for the Blue Demon project, are called into Lawrence Van Allen’s, their boss, office, where he tells them that their project is being terminated due to the girl’s death. As Marla and Nathan argue about how that wasn’t possible, it is revealed that the sharks had chewed a hole in the wire net around their enclosure and that the electric fence had been turned off due to budget shortfalls. He then says that if they had brought him something he could bring to the Oversight Committee, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. Marla contacts Avery, their computer technician, and has him drive out to the pier with a chunk of meat to show Van Allen what they have accomplished with the project. As Lawrence watches, the 6 sharks, Red Dog, Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo, move towards the meat but at a command from Marla, Avery activates the system that causes them to avoid it. Van Allen is impressed and asks if it can be made to have them target something instead of avoid it and Nathan says it’s possible but Marla argues against it. When Red Dog ignores the command and grabs the meat, Marla admits that for some reason, it is 50/50 with Red Dog and they haven’t figured out why. Van Allen tells them their is a budget review in 90 days and they need something concrete or else they will be unemployed. As they leave, Nathan receives a package from a courier, containing the divorce papers from Marla’s attorney and he signs them and hands them back to Marla. Nathan tells her that he wants the wedding ring back, as it was a family heirloom, and Marla tries taking it off but when she can’t, she leaves the room. Marla heads to the pier, where she comments to the sharks swimming nearby, and uses some soap to get the ring off but it ends up slipping off her hand and rolling onto the dock. When Marla goes to pick it up, she slips on the soap and ends up falling on the deck, knocking herself out in the process, then falls into the water. Nathan and Avery are talking when they notice Marla’s body in the water and they rush out to the dock, where Avery begins shooting at the shark that is approaching her. Avery misses and Nathan quickly heads to the computer and successfully turns the shark around, then they quickly grab Marla and drag her back onto the dock. 6 weeks later, three workers, Edd, Jimmy, and Katie, head out to repair the hole in the shark fence as part of their general maintenance. Meanwhile, Van Allen hosts a meeting where General Remora is introduced and informs everyone that he has taken command of the project. Remora explains that a terrorist organization has gotten a hold of a Soviet suitcase nuke and that they apparently plan on smuggling it into the country by sea. Van Allen then explains the purpose of Blue Demon and moves to show the assembled crowd their genetically altered sharks but when he opens the curtain, the sharks are nowhere to be seen. Marla, Nathan, Avery, and Van Allen head out to the dock and discover that the gate is open and they are unable to get the sharks to respond to their commands. Nathan pulls up the sonar and sees two blips on the far end of the lagoon and Avery says mentions the maintenance workers so Nathan tries contacting them but gets no response. Nathan and Avery and finally get a hold of Katie, who tries to warn Ed and Jimmy but they ignore her and dive into the water, where they end up being killed by the sharks. Nathan and Avery return to the lab and check the systems to find nothing wrong but they can’t explain why they aren’t able to regain control of the sharks. As the sharks head towards populated areas, Nathan wants to call the Coast Guard to warn people on the lake but Remora, who had entered the lab, stops him from making the call, as he doesn’t want people to learn that the military was involved in the sharks. Nathan disregards Remora and leaves the lab, starting to call the Coast Guard but Remora has his men arrest Nathan and charges him with a terrorist attack. When Van Allen asks what proof he has, Remora tells him that he pulled the logs and Nathan’s codes were the last ones used to open the gate. Out on the lake, a father and daughter are fishing on the lake when the daughter catches a large bass. As the father goes to take a picture, one of the shark leaps out of the water and almost lands on the dock. The daughter drops the fish and tells her dad about the shark, as he didn’t see it, but as he tells her to pick her fish back up so he can take the picture, he ends up falling off the dock and into the lake. The daughter and another fisherman rush to help him out as the sharks swim towards him and the daughter is able to save him by throwing her fish back into the lake away from her father, causing the sharks to chase after it. Back at the lab, Marla leaves the lab, telling Avery that she is going to the ladies room, and sneaks out to the holding area, where she shoots the guard watching Nathan with a tranquilizer dart. As Nathan asks what she is doing, Marla tells him that the program to control the sharks was actually a shadow program built on top of their system, allowing someone to hijack the program while they were unaware of losing control. When she says that the program was initiated from someone on the inside, Nathan suspects Avery but she tells him Avery wouldn’t risk his job and she believes Van Allen is behind it. Meanwhile, Van Allen discovers that Marla is missing and when he can’t reach the holding cell, he goes there and finds the unconscious guard. Van Allen calls security and orders them to stop both Dr. Collins but they manage to make it off the site. Back on the lake, a teenage couple go swimming in the lake when they spot a shark swimming towards them. As the rush back to the shore, the fisherman that helped save the girl’s father pulls up in a boat and starts shooting at the shark with a spear gun, eventually killing it. Nathan has Marla stop so he can use a pay phone to call the Coast Guard to warn them about the sharks but they don’t believe him and hang up. As he heads back to the car, Marla tells him that she might be able to use her cellphone and laptop, plus a prototype system disk, to track and control the sharks just as they hear about the manhunt that has been put out about them. Back at the lab, Avery is working on rebooting the system when he detects a second signal and Van Allen says it is them and orders him to try and track them. On the road, Marla and Nathan are talking when Marla gets a signal and sees the sharks heading towards the beach. When they get there and see the beach is packed, Nathan tells Marla to keep trying to get the program working while he goes to try and warn people off the beach. As Marla is working, a beach patrol officer approaches the car and asks her to step outside. Meanwhile, Nathan isn’t having much luck but when a surfer is attacked by a shark, the people start to panic. Nathan heads into the water to help get people out of there but as he gets knocked over by a wave, Marla has full signal strength on her computer and uses it to fry the chips in the sharks’ brains, killing them all. Nathan wakes up in the hospital to find Marla standing next to him and when Van Allen shows up asking about the sharks, Nathan tells him that there were only 4 sharks on the beach. Van Allen calls to check the number of shark carcasses recovered and confirms that there were 4 on the beach and 1 by the fisherman. Realizing that they were duped, the three head back to the lab to confront Avery and discover that he has a fake program running to make it look like all 6 sharks were together. When they ask him where the last shark is, Remora shows up, holding a gun on them. When they ask why they are doing this, Avery says the money while Remora says it is to keep the country from getting soft on terrorism and to stop wasting money on social programs like schools and the poor. Remora then explains that he has Red Dog programmed to deliver a bomb so as to keep the war on terror at the fore front of the government’s mind. Marla manages to throw a life preserver around Remora, knocking the gun from his hands, and Avery chooses to run, with Marla and Nathan following after him. Avery tries to escape in a truck but when Nathan chases him out of it, they discover that Avery has built a lab in the back of the truck. The two begin to access his computers and find Red Dog but notice he has something in his mouth. When they detect plutonium, they realize that Remora was the one to buy the Russian nuke, to use on the US and blame terrorists for it. Avery leaves the truck to let the authorities know but Avery hits him in the head with a shovel, then locks the back of the truck and drives off, with Marla still inside. As Nathan chases after them, Marla continues working on the computer and manages to access Red Dogs command files. Nathan manages to force Avery off the road, and after checking to make sure Avery is unconscious, Nathan heads to the back to check on Marla. Marla says she is fine, then rushes back to the computer to cancel Red Dog’s program. Red Dog, which had been heading to the Golden Gate Bridge, turns away and heads back to the facility. Van Allen is keeping watch over Remora in the viewing room when they see Red Dog approaching and Van Allen quickly leaps out of the room and seals the door, leaving Remora to be killed in the blast. Some time later, as the nuclear blast is being labeled as an accident by the press, Marla and Nathan are heading to testify in front of a Senate Commission. Before the enter the building, Nathan asks Marla what she had been trying to tell him earlier and she admits that she didn’t file the divorce papers. Smiling, Nathan holds out the wedding ring and Marla holds out her hand, letting Nathan put it back on her and the two kiss before Van Allen interrupts them and tells them they have to go, and the couple join Van Allen and head inside to give their testimony about what happened.

This was kind of a ridiculous movie that had it’s entertaining moments, but that wasn’t enough to make it a really good movie. The acting was ok among the main 5 characters but all of the minor characters were just terrible. Of the main characters, my favorites were honestly Josh Hammond (Avery) and Jeff Fahey (Remora), who went somewhat overboard with their characters which made them better. The story was interesting, though there was nothing about it that felt original except for the original intent of the Blue Demon project. That was actually somewhat original. The special effects in this movie were actually kind of laughable. The CGI with the sharks was pretty cheap looking while there were a couple of times where the fins/tails that were used for the surface water shots looked like they had fallen flat, making me laugh. Meanwhile, the comedy that the put in this movie did help make it a little less generic but there were times where it killed any sort of serious mood they were going for. It’s a time suck movie when you want to veg with some mindless entertainment, but it’s not worth searching for.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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crime, drama, movie, movie review, thriller

Flashback Review: May 24th, 2014 Movie – The Bloody Brood

the bloody brood

So we have ourselves another movie from the Chilling Classics box set but for once, I am actually excited to rewatch a movie from that set. The reason for this is because the movie stars Peter Falk, best known as Columbo. I honestly remember some of this movie and remember it being a pretty decent movie. However, the thing about memory is that sometimes your memory might have a rose-tinted hue to it. Well, the only thing to do about that is to see if my memory of The Bloody Brood holds up to a more recent viewing.

The plot: At a beatnik hang-out, a man named Nico is telling his friends about everything going wrong with the world. When a man at the bar has a heart attack, Nico has everyone simply watch as he dies, saying it’s the greatest show on Earth as there is only one performance. The next night, Nico and his friends party at their friend Curtis’ house while he is away, telling their other friends about the old man’s death, and Nico comments about how cool it would be if the got to see one person a day die. As the party continues, Nico pulls his friend Francis aside and comments about how they should try to kill a person a day, as that would be real power, and Francis asks him about the police but Nico says he isn’t worried about the police. When a delivery boy, Roy, shows up with a telegram for Curtis, Nico realizes that he would be the perfect first victim and invites him in to have some fun with them. Some time later, Roy calls his brother Cliff, complaining about his stomach hurting but before Cliff can get any information out of him, he ends up dying in the phone booth. Later, Cliff is talking with the Detective McLeod about his brother’s death and when McLeod says that Roy was apparently given a hamburger laced with ground up glass, Cliff says it is murder and asks what they are going to do about it but McLeod doesn’t seem to quick, to investigate. The next day, Francis is working on directing a commercial but doesn’t like any of the girls that were sent for the shoot. As he is taking a break, he reads the paper and learns about the Roy’s death and goes to talk to Nico about it but Nico is unapologetic about the matter. Meanwhile, McLeod goes to Cliff’s apartment to talk to him about Roy,asking if he had any enemies or if someone would have wanted to hurt him. McLeod then comments about Roy’s life insurance policy that pays out to him but Cliff says he has a similar one that pays out to Roy. Cliff vows to find out who killed Roy if it takes him the rest of his life but McLeod tells him to let the professionals handle it. When Cliff tells him he doesn’t care, McLeod tries to talk him out of it but realizing that he can’t be swayed, gives him some tips on how to do a proper investigation, then tells him if he does find any information to call him, not to be a hero. Deciding that the best place to start is with Roy’s deliveries the night he died, Cliff heads to Curtis’ apartment but when he gets no answer there, he tries the apartment next door but the woman there tells him Curtis isn’t there and she doesn’t know when he will be back. As Cliff sits down to wait for Curtis, one of Nico’s beatnik friends, Dave, shows up and talks with Cliff, telling him about the party they had there and that Nico has the key. When nobody answers, Dave says Nico might be at the hang-out still and Cliff says they should go check. When they get there, Cliff asks around about Nico and is told to talk to a girl nicknamed Brook. Cliff heads over to talk to Brook, who kisses him but doesn’t answer his questions about Nico. Francis shows up and asks what is going on and Cliff says he met Nico at a party a while back and wanted to hang out with him but Brook says he is a square and they both walk away. As Cliff goes to leave, he talks to Dave and another man, who invites him to a party at his place tomorrow for a better chance to find Nico. After Cliff leaves, Nico shows up and Brook and Francis tell him about Cliff looking for him, which piques Nico’s interest. The next night, Cliff arrives at the party just as Dave is harassing Brook and he quickly separates the two of them. Following Brook out into the hallway, Brook tells him that he didn’t have to make a scene and Cliff apologizes. The two talk some more, with Brook telling him her name is Ellie. She tells him about the party she was at last week and a delivery boy that showed up and Cliff starts to press her for more information when suddenly everyone leaves the party, saying they are going to the hangout where Nico is and Dave drags Ellie with him, leaving Cliff standing there. Meanwhile, Nico is meeting with a drug dealer named Studs at the back of the hang out, collecting his share of the money they make when they say they want a new deal. Nico decides to give them a new deal, splitting the proceeds 50/50 when Francis knocks on the door, telling him that Cliff is there, and Nico asks Studs and his friend Weasel to stick around in case he needs them. Nico heads out and Ellie introduces him to Cliff, and Cliff bluffs his way by saying they met at a party Curtis had before he left. Nico decides to head to the bar to get some drinks and as he returns, Studs and Weasel walk over and go to pick a fight with Cliff over an imagined slight but Nico breaks it up. After escorting them out of there, Nico tells Cliff that they had picked someone’s wallet and asks if it is his. When Cliff says it is, Nico looks through it and notices that Cliff’s last name on his license is different from what they told him. Ellie gets upset and storms off and Nico asks him why he is there and when Cliff says he wants to know when Curtis is coming home, Nico says he will be back tomorrow and they are throwing a house warming party for him and invites him there. After Cliff leaves, Francis tells Nico that Cliff is the delivery boy’s brother and is scared that Cliff knows something and might go to the cops but Nico says that he worries too much and that he already has things in hand. Outside, Cliff is jumped by Studs and Weasel, who beat him up and are about to kill him when the police show up, chasing them off. The next day, Cliff is talking to McLeod about his suspicions that Nico was the one to kill his brother but McLeod says his theory sounds possible but without any proof, there is nothing he can do. When someone knocks on the door, McLeod answers it to find Ellie there and Cliff introduces them before McLeod leaves. Ellie says that she brought him some fruit and Cliff is rather curt with her, thinking that Nico might have sent her there to pump him for information. Ellie tells him that she came on her lunch break and as they continue talking, Cliff tells her that he was attacked by the same two men that picked a fight at The Digs and he believes Nico put them up to it. He then tells Ellie that Nico killed her brother and she doesn’t want to believe it but when he shows her Roy’s photo, she recognizes him. Cliff presses her for what she knows and she isn’t sure of everything that she saw but she did remember him being there for a while and eating the hamburger. Cliff asks when Nico arrives at The Digs and asks her to meet him there and if he can get Nico to admit he killed Roy, she talks to McLeod and tells him what she saw. Ellie agrees and the two kiss before she heads back to work and Cliff calls McLeod. Elsewhere, Nico is meeting with his boss, Stephanex, and he tells him that he is having a problem with Studs and Weasel, and Stephanex tells him that he will take care of them. That night at The Digs, Ellie is surprised to see Nico there early, who tells her something came up and he has to go plan a party somewhere. Ellie relays the information to Cliff, who was talking to a beatnik named Paul the Poet, and he tells her to stick with Nico while he calls McLeod. As Ellie sits with Nico and Francis, Paul gets up and recites the poem that Cliff helped him right, mentioning the glass filled burger and a telegram. Nico and Francis both react to the poem and when it is finished, Ellie goes to leave, having seen their reactions and realizing that Cliff was right, but Nico grabs her and takes her into the back room. Once there, Nico slaps Ellie, then prepares to giver her an overdose in order to kill her but Cliff, noticing that they had left, starts pounding on the door. Nico tells Francis to open it and Cliff punches Francis but stops when he sees Nico holding a broken bottle to Ellie’s throat. Suddenly, the back door to the club opens and a severely wounded Studs and Weasel stand there, blaming Nico for what happened to them. Studs grabs Nico but then throws him to Cliff, allowing Cliff to beat him up while Weasel slashes at Francis with his knife to keep him from leaving. Ellie tries to stop Cliff from killing Nico and when Studs grabs her, Cliff tells him to leave her alone. As Cliff tends to Ellie, Nico makes a run for it but Studs and Weasel chase after him and kill him just as the police arrive. McLeod tells Cliff and Ellie to leave while they arrest Studs, Weasel, and Francis, who tells them that it was all Nico’s idea and he forced him to do it.

So the movie was just like I remembered, which is a good thing. The acting was pretty good, with Peter Falk doing a great job as Nico, while Jack Betts (Cliff) and Barbara Lord (Ellie) were also good. The story wasn’t exactly original, with Cliff’s determination to find out who killed his brother being pretty basic, but the beatnik background did help to make it a little more interesting. I will say that the whole sub plot with Nico and the drug dealers was kind of unnecessary but did make for an interesting way to end the movie, having Studs and Weasel actually kill Nico instead of Cliff. The movie did move at a pretty slow pace but that actually did kind of help set the stage with the tension and mood of the movie. This is a nice little thriller that is definitely worth giving a shot if you get the chance.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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adventure, horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 23rd, 2014 Movie – Blood Tide

blood tide

Ahh, a movie from the Sci-Fi Classics with the surprise bonus of starring James Earl Jones. How’s that for a bit of a shocker. Now I think I might have seen this before on some sort of spoof show but it wasn’t on Elvira’s Movie Macabre or MST3K so apparently that was not the case. I guess I just watched it on TV late one night. Anyways, I remember this to be a rather odd movie that didn’t seem to make much sense when I watched it a few years ago. Let’s see if my opinion stays the same as I rewatch Blood Tide.

The plot: In Ancient Greece, an island village would initiate a virgin sacrifice in order to appease the monster that lurked beneath the ocean’s waves, sending the victim out on a raft into a cave where the creature lives. In the present day, Neil Grice and his new wife Sherry have come to a Greece island to look for Neil’s sister Madeline, who has gone missing for the past 4 months. After a brief scare when some children throw a cat at them, they encounter Nereus, the mayor of the island village, who invites them to the local inn. As they talk, Neil shows him a picture of Madeline but Nereus tells them that he hasn’t seen her. As Dionysis, the inn keeper, pours them some wine, Neil asks him if he had seen Madeline and Dionysis spills some wine as he looks up in shock but Nereus chastises him, then offers them a toast before telling them it would be best that they leave in the morning. As they walk to their boat, Neil tells Barbara that he doesn’t believe what they said when they see someone that looks like Madeline. Neil tells Sherry to wait by the boat while he goes looking for the girl and eventually finds Madeline with a man named Frye, who holds a knife to Neil’s throat until Madeline tells Frye that Neil is her brother. As the 4 of them return to the inn, Frye speaks in some rather cryptic sentences until Madeline tells him to cut it out, and he starts talking normal. Neil then asks Madeline what is going on but she tells him she is fine, though Frye says that she has gone somewhat native. The group is joined by a woman named Barbara, who works as Frye’s assistant and he tells them that he is something of an amateur archaeologist. Barbara tells them to be careful if they go diving, as the natives get rather cross if they remove anything from the ocean. When Frye comments about the hillside and tells Madeline that she should tell them about it, as the nuns would love it, but Madeline tells Frye to be quiet, then leaves. That night, Neil and Sherry are in their boat when Neil notices that everything has gotten quiet but Sherry tells him he is worrying too much. Meanwhile, Frye is preparing to go on another dive and Barbara tries to talk him out of it but he tells her that everything he is looking for is down below, then reminds her not to turn on any lights or make a sound before he falls back into the water. Frye surfaces in an underwater cave, where he has already placed a generator and some lights to help him see. As he moves around some old coins he found and places them in a bag, he grabs some plastique and uses it to blow open a sealed doorway right at the waterline. The explosions shakes the island, waking Madeline, who had been watching Frye’s boat from the monastery that she had been staying at, as well as Nereus. Madeline goes back to sleep, where she dreams about virgin sacrifices of old and sees herself being offered up as one. The next day, Neil, Sherry, Frye, Barbara, and Madeline head to a secluded cove to hang out, and as Neil goes out for a swim, Sherry attempts to talk to Madeline and hands her a present that Neil and her got for her but Madeline pours the entire bottle on herself, then heads into the water, acting as if she is in a trance. A little while later, they all head out on Neil’s boat but as they go across the water, they end up hitting something. Frye dives down to check the bottom of the boat and says that the one of the props is cracked but says he doesn’t know what they hit and as Neil heads back to the pilot’s deck, Frye looks at the sludge on his hand that he found on the prop. They make their way back to the dock to find Nereus and some other men there, who tell them a young girl has gone missing in the water and that no boats will sail in their waters until further notice. Madeline returns to the monastery and is told that Sister Anna wants to see her and when she goes to see her, she tells Sister Anna about the missing girl and how the villagers are trying to blame her brother for he disappearance. Madeline and Sister Anna then discuss the paintings that Madeline has been restoring and Sister Anna says she is worried that Madeline has stopped attending mass and begs her to start taking communion again. Meanwhile, Barbara heads back out to her cove to go swimming, startled when she notice a couple of guys watching her as she swims topless, when she is suddenly dragged underwater, as blood billows out in the water. The men head back to the village and tell everyone of her disappearance and as Neil, Sherry, and Frye ask what is going on, Nereus shows them Barbara’s radio and bag and tell them she was killed by a shark attack. Frye doesn’t believe it and when they notice a boat coming back to the dock, they asks if they had Barbara with them but they had the missing girl’s body. Frye stumbles down to the cove calling out for Barbara when he sees some kids staring at something on the shore and when he heads over there, he finds Barbara’s body, in several pieces, covered in the same sludge he pulled from Neil’s boat. The village has a funeral for the girl and Barbara and a drunken Frye yells at them for doing their “voodoo” on her but Nereus simply places a coin in her mouth to pay Charon. Later, Neil and Sherry take their boat out to Frye’s boat but don’t see him on board and they wonder what he is doing down there. Frye has gone back to the cave, and as he moves around the newly opened area, collecting the treasure he found, he hears a roar coming from further in the cave and decides to investigate. Back on Frye’s boat, Neil is contemplating using his tanks to go search for Frye and Sherry is trying to talk him out of it but he goes ahead and heads down anyways. Neil finds the cave and as he surfaces and looks around, he finds Frye pointing a spear gun at him. Frye accuses Neil of sabotaging his gear but Neil says that this is the first time he had dove and been in the cave. Frye is spooked and begins filling bags with the coins he had discovered and as Neil asks what is going on between him and Madeline, Frye tells him that Madeline was the one that brought him here but something happened to change her. He then tells Neil that he and Sherry should leave, just as he is going to be leaving. Neil and Sherry head up to the monastery to confront Madeline and as they look through her room, Sister Anna confronts them and tells them they need to leave as they have brought nothing but death since they showed up. Sherry wants to leave but Neil tells her he won’t leave without his sister and yells out for Madeline that they will be waiting for her, not noticing her hiding behind a wall. Meanwhile, Frye returns to his boat and notices some kids on the cliffs mark the lone girl in the group’s forehead, then begin dancing around in a circle. As the girl’s mother shows up on the rocks below and screams out for her daughter, the boys let go of her hand and the daughter ends up falling off the cliff into the water below. The mother screams out and heads into the water to look for her daughter but is attacked and killed by the creature while Frye gets into a dinghy tethered to his boat and rescues the girl. As he looks for the mother, he dives back underwater to search for her only to see the creature being savaged by the creature. Frye returns to the dock to find Nereus waiting for him and as Nereus stares at the coins without comment, Frye hands over the girl and tells him that the mother is dead and Nereus tells him that he has seen his own death. That night, Neil and Sherry find Frye drunk at the inn and he tries to tell them what he saw but passes out drunk. Meanwhile, Madeline is continuing to restore the paintings and Sister Anna tells her to stop for the night but Madeline tells her that she must finish what she started. Back in the village, Nereus approaches Neil and Sherry and tells them not to interfere, as they do a ceremony where the girl that Frye saved is marked with a symbol on her forehead and a man wearing a monster’s mask jumps down to grab her, symbolizing the virgin sacrifice. Frye wakes up from his stupor as Sherry screams and Nereus then explains the ceremony to Neil and Sherry. Back at the monastery, Madeline finishes the painting and is shocked at what she sees and screams out while the nuns continue praying. Back at the village, Sister Anna shows up at the inn wounded and tells them that Madeline has gone crazy and Neil and Frye rush out to find her. When They arrives at the monastery, Neil is shocked to see the nuns have all been killed and Frye sees the painting and realizes what Madeline is going to do. Madeline heads out into the ocean and makes her way to the underwater cave, where she lays down on the rocks in the cave. Neil and Frye head out to the ocean and then dive down into the cave to rescue Madeline. When they find her, Frye tells Neil to get her out of there and he forces her to use the regulator and they swim away. Meanwhile, Frye dives down to confront the creature and as it moves towards him, he detonates the explosives he was carrying, killing himself and the creature while sealing the cave for good. In the village, Nereus tells Sherry it is over while Neil comforts Madeline, who is shaken by what transpired. The next day, Nereus and the girl watch as Neil, Sherry, and Madeline leave the island and as they sail away, Neil takes the bag of coins that Frye gave him and dumps it into the water, not wanting to take any part of the island with them.

This would be a decent movie if it actually made more sense. Of course, I had a handicap while watching it today as I had my two year old niece vying for my attention. Anyways, the acting was pretty good, with James Earl Jones doing a good job as the somewhat mad Frye, while Martin Kove (Neil), Jose Ferrer (Nereus), and Deborah Shelton (Madeline) also did a good job in their roles. The story was honestly still a little confusing in the details, but the basic gist was easy to follow. Frye accidentally unleashes a monster that had been sealed up in ancient times and it begins killing people in the village. The thing that I still don’t really get is the deal with Madeline and how she kind of goes psychotic while working on the paintings. The monster looked pretty ridiculous the brief times that you see it while some of the camera work underwater when it was featured looked a little cheap. Confusing plot elements aside, it’s a decent movie that is good for some late night mindless vegging.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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action, horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 22nd, 2014 Movie – Blood Surf

blood surf

Every now and then, you will come across one of those movies that seems to be your go-to movie on TV, as it seems to be on all the time. I’m not talking about Beastmaster levels of replay here, as that really was on ALL THE TIME (and it was awesome). However, there seemed to be a time in the early 2000’s where everytime I turned on the Sci-Fi channel over the weekend, this movie would be playing. Now before that had happened, I had actually rented Blood Surf from the video store and found it to be a fairly entertaining movie so I had no problem watching it whenever it came on, which of course would lead to my buying the movie on DVD as you can obviously tell.

The plot: Surfers Bog Hall and Jeremy, along with documentary filmer Cecily Herrold and her producer/boyfriend Zack Jardine, have arrived on the Pacific Isle called Palm Island in order to film Bog and Jeremy surfing with sharks. When their seaplane lands, Zack and Cecily take the canoe onto the island but Bog and Jeremy choose not to wait and surf out to shore but as they get close to shore, Cecily sees a shadow passing underneath Bog but dismisses it. When they all arrive on the dock, they are greeted by Sonny LoFranco and his wife Melba, the owners of the boat that they hired but when Sonny learns of the island they wish to go to, he tells Zack that he doesn’t know the safe route through the reefs to get there. That night, Zack tries to talk to John Dirks, a former tour boat captain and the only man to know how to get to Leelo Kai, but while Zack is willing to pay a lot of cash for the information, Dirks refuses. After Zack heads back to his table, Arti, Dirks girlfriend, tells him they could have used the money but Dirks tells her to sit down and forget about them. Ignoring Dirks, Arti heads over to the bar’s radio and turns it on, then proceeds to seductively dance in front of the table that Bog, Jeremy, Cecily, and Zack are sitting at. Annoyed with her antics, Dirks turns off the music and tells Zack that he has reconsidered his offer, telling Zack to follow him and he will tell him how to get there. As Cecily follows after Zack, Arti heads over to the table and talks with Bog, who tries flirting with him but she laughingly turns him down. Jeremy jokes with Bog about his failure and later, as the two drunkenly stumble to the boat, they fall on the dock and Bog sees Arti and Dirks having sex on their boat before he passes out. The next morning, Jeremy is woken up by Sonny and Melba’s daughter Lemmya, who flirts with him, and as Bog, Cecily, and Zack show up, they head off to Leelo Kai. When they arrive on Leelo Kai, Melba has them link hands while she says a quick prayer, then Bog starts chumming the waters to attract some sharks while Cecily puts on a protective suit so she can head into the water to film them. Lemmya gives Jeremy her medallion, saying nothing can hurt him now but as they move to kiss, Sonny comments “Not quite nothing”, causing them to move back some. When the sharks start to appear, Bog tells Cecily that it would be safer for her to be on shore and use a telephoto lens but Cecily refuses and argues with him to let her do her job. Bog and Jeremy cut their feet so that they can get more blood to attract the sharks near them, then head out into the water. Bog and Jeremy begin surfing as the sharks swim all around them, with Cecily filming from the water while Zack and Lemmya cheer them on. As Bog and Jeremy reach the shore, cheering their successful run, Cecily gets bumped by the sharks and starts to panic when she sees herself surrounded by them. Bog heads back out to rescue her while Zack has Sonny steer the boat to a nearby dock so he can make sure she is ok. When Bog and Cecily get back to shore, Cecily is berating herself for panicking but Bog tries to calm her down and says he needs her and the footage she took and wants to make sure they are both ok. When Zack and Lemmya arrive and make sure everyone is ok, Zack wants them to head back out but Bog senses something isn’t right out on the water, just as they see an eruption and a geyser of blood burst out of the water, as something large just killed one of the sharks. Deciding it’s best for them all to take a break and resume their efforts in the morning, Jeremy and Lemmya head off to some nearby ruins, where they proceed to fool around and have sex. Bog heads back out onto the water to surf and Cecily and Zack take the opportunity to fool around themselves but are forced to stop when Bog returns. Meanwhile, Melba goes for a swim while Sonny takes a nap on the boat but when something attacks the boat, they both end up being killed and the boat destroyed, while Dirks can be heard trying to contact them over the radio. As night falls, Lemmya goes to rinse off her top but ends up being killed by a giant crocodile and when Jeremy goes looking for her, he finds her dress and a giant foot print in the ground near the water. Jeremy goes to show the others and as he yells out for Lemmya, they head back to the dock to discover it sunk and Sonny’s bloody clothes floating in the water. Cecily and Jeremy want to leave but when Zack asks about the film they shot, Cecily admits it was on the boat and Bog reluctantly dives in to retrieve it. As he finds the bag, he also sees Melba’s partially eaten corpse and quickly gets out of the water. Tossing the camera bag to Zack and Cecily, Bog spends a minute to recover when the crocodile attacks the dock, knocking him and Jeremy into the water. Zack runs off with the camera while Cecily helps Bog and Jeremy, then they all run as the crocodile destroys the dock and chases after them. The eventually reach a clearing and catch their breaths but as they start to move out, they are captured by some pirates, who reveal that they almost set off one of their punji stick traps they have on the island. The pirates take them to their boat, where the captain’s brother tries to rape Cecily but the crocodile leaps out of the water and grabs him in it’s jaws, dragging him into the water. As the pirates look on in shock, Bog, Jeremy, and Zack use the opportunity to push their captives into the water, then they all try to escape as the boat catches fire in the commotion and explodes. As Zack treads water and calls out for the others, he is surprised to see Dirks show up, as he had been concerned when they didn’t respond and decided to head out to see if they needed help. Getting them all safely aboard his boat, Dirks has Arti take them below so they can rest and find a change of clothes but Bog stays behind. Bog thanks Dirks for saving them and, noticing his reaction when they were talking about what happened, correctly guesses that Dirks has encountered the crocodile before and wants to make sure Dirks isn’t looking for revenge but Dirks tells him he never wants to see that crocodile again. Down in the bunks, Zack is celebrating their good fortune in surviving and toats themselves but the others shame him by toasting Lemmya, Sonny, and Melba. Later that night, Zack wakes up and wanders around the cabin, where Arti catches him trying to open a barrel. Handing him a knife to use, Zack is shocked to see it contains goat heads and Arti motions for him to look out the window, where Zack sees Dirks baiting a hook with a goat’s head before tossing it off the side of the boat. Art explains that Dirks has been seeking revenge on the crocodile since it destroyed his tour boat and ate all his passengers and now he has the perfect chance to do it, and Arti convinces Zack that it would make for a great TV special to see the capture and death of the largest saltwater crocodile alive. The next morning, Bog, Jeremy, and Cecily are shocked to see that they are still on Leelo Kai and Bog goes to confront Dirks about the matter. As Zack talks about filming this, Dirks’ hooks suddenly go taut as the crocodile takes the bait and he has Bog and Jeremy help him with the winch while Arti mans the boat’s controls. Dirks shoots a harpoon into the crocodile and goes to help Bog and Jeremy while Zack convinces Cecily to get in the water to get some footage. The crocodile manages to shake the harpoon free and Bog spears a life preserver and shoots it towards Cecily so they can pull her back on board. As they get her on board, the crocodile attacks the boat and Jeremy ends up falling next to it. Dirks hands him a knife to defend himself and Jeremy starts stabbing at it, shouting that it is for Lemmya, but the crocodile flips him into the air and grabs him in it’s jaws, killing him. Dirks goes to pilot the boat away from the island but when his engine starts to fail, he instead turns and runs the boat up onto the nearby reef. After they all recover from the crash, Dirks tells Bogs to take the others over the reef and make for the ruins, as they are surrounded by alkaline filled fresh water, which saltwater crocodiles hate, while he is going to rig the boat to explode and hopefully take the crocodile with it. As Bog and the others head over the reef, Zack sees Bog’s surfboard and decides to grab it and surf to shore but ends up being killed by the crocodile. Meanwhile, Dirk is working on rigging up the explosives when the crocodile bursts through the side of the boat and attacks him, eventually ripping him in half as he tries to avoid it. Bog, Cecily, and Arti reach the shore and, having not heard the explosion, Bog tells them to go to the ruins while he goes back to check on Dirks and grab the explosives if he didn’t make it. As Arti and Cecily make their way to the ruins, Arti is attacked by the pirate captain, who had managed to survive, but Cecily manages to lure him into the path of one of his own punji stick traps, killing him. Arti and Cecily make it to the ruins, just as the crocodile appears, but Dirks was right and it doesn’t appear to want to cross the river to come after them so they taunt it some before sitting down to wait. Bog eventually shows up with the explosives, telling Arti that Dirks is dead, and they proceed to set a trap to kill the crocodile. Bog knocks down a pillar to form a bridge across the water and then taunts the crocodile into chasing him, where they use the explosives to blow up some of the ruins and bury the crocodile under the debris. Believing the crocodile is dead, Arti goes over and starts kicking it, venting her anger over it killing Dirks, but the crocodile was simply unconscious and it wakes up and immediately grabs her in it’s jaws and kills her. Bog and Cecily run, with the crocodile chasing after them, and as they use a vine to swing out into the river below, the crocodile leaps after them and ends up impaling itself on the rocks below. With the crocodile finally dead, Bog heads to shore and collapses in exhaustion and as Cecily rushes over to tend to him, Bog kisses her and as they make out, they wonder about how they are going to get off the island.

This is just what you want out of a B-movie; some mindless entertainment that is accented by some ridiculous plot points and sub par special effects. The acting was ok in this movie, with Duncan Regher doing a decent job playing the Quint-type character Dirks, while Dax Miller (Bog), Kate Fischer (Cecily), and Matt Borlenghi (Zack) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was pretty typical of these types of movies; a larger than normal animal is killing people and an obsessed hunter with previous experience against the creature tries to kill it no matter what. The addition of the pirates was a humorous bit of a subplot but honestly wasn’t really needed. The special effects with the crocodile were a mixture between good at times and really cheap looking. The scene where the crocodile was chasing after Bog towards the ruins was one of the cheaper, and funnier scenes, as you could tell it was a model but it’s legs weren’t even moving as it chased after him. It is some a bit of ridiculous fun and makes for some mindless entertainment if you want to just sit back and veg in front of the TV.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 21st, 2014 Movie – Blood Of Dracula’s Castle

blood of draculas castle

The weekend is the perfect time to watch an old Grindhouse horror movie. Now this is one of those movies that I honestly don’t remember much about, which makes me believe that it was not that good of a movie the first time I watched it. Since this came from the Gorehouse Greats collection, Odds are that it really was a pile of crap of a movie. The only reason that I got it was because it was a cheap way to get 12 new movies back in the day (I think I got it for $3). So let’s see if Blood Of Dracula’s Castle is as forgettable as I obviously feel it is.

The plot: A woman is driving along in the Arizona desert when her car breaks down near some woods so she decides to take advantage of the shade and walk through the trees to try and find some help. As she is walking, she is suddenly confronted by a strange, disfigured man called Mango, causing her to scream and faint, and Mango picks her up and carries her off to a nearby castle. Some time later, Glen Cannon is taking pictures of his fiance/model Liz Arden for publication when he receives a telegram that his uncle had died. As he discusses the situation with Liz, he says that he has inherited the castle that his uncle owned and knows that it was being rented by a couple called the Townsends but they must be as old as his uncle was if they are still alive. Meanwhile, the Townsends are discussing the situation with the new owner and wondering if he would allow them to continue with their lease or possible want to sell the castle to them outright, though the Countess also says that they could die of shock and it might solve their problems as well. Meanwhile, George, their butler, is downstairs in the cellar, where the woman that Mango had captured is seen chained to a wall. George takes a sample of her blood from her arm then walks off, revealing that there are other girls chained to the walls as well. Returning upstairs, George hands the Count a bloody mary that was made with the woman’s blood and the count says it is good. The Countess says she doesn’t trust Mango and worries that he might end up leading the police to their doorstep. They then tell George that they have arranged for the release of their friend Johnny, who will arrive the next day, and comment on how with Johnny there, they won’t have to keep so many young women in the cellar. Deciding to go down and take a look at their new guest, the Townsends head down to the cellar with George and as they look at the girl, they notice one of the other girls looking particularly weak and tell Mango he can have her. As Mango unchains the girl and carries her away, the newly captured woman asks what they want with her and the Townsends answer and say they want her blood, as they are vampires. They then head off to their coffins to retire for the day while the girl Mango had carried off is heard screaming. Meanwhile, Johnny is shown to have been helped out of prison by one of the guards, who was paid off by the Count, and is making his way through the woods. As authorities use bloodhounds to track him, he starts running through a river and as he makes his way down a small waterfall, he spies a woman sunbathing on a nearby rock. Grabbing the girl so she can’t tell the authorities where he went, he hides underneath the waterfall as the authorities pass by him, drowning the girl in the process. Johnny then makes his way to the road, where he spots a man changing the tire on his car and he quickly knocks the man out and steals his car, driving off towards the Townsends’ castle, killing a hitchhiker and stealing his clothes in the process. After driving a while, he then lets the car roll off a cliff, killing the owner in the crash, and he eventually makes his way to the castle, When he arrives, he and George discuss their differing opinion on how best to serve the Townsends’ blood needs, while discussing his issue with the full moon. Some time later, Greg and Liz arrive at the castle and are greeted by George, who tells them that the Townsends are not awake at the moment but offers to show them around the castle before going to wake them. As they wait for the Townsends to arrive, Greg and Liz discuss the castle and their possibly living there. When the Townsends arrive, Greg and Liz are shocked as they expected a much older couple and the Count explains that he has the same name as his father and when his father passed, he simply forgot to update the lease. The Count asks if he should simply send the checks to Greg in the future but Greg tells him that he and Liz have decided to live in the castle. The Count and Countess try to discourage them from living there, mentioning bats, rats, and drafts that afflict the castle, and offer to buy it from them but Greg is unswayed by their comments. Later, the Townsends are talking to Johnny and discussing their lifestyle and how he might enjoy becoming a vampire as well. That night, Liz is woken by the sound of a scream coming from outside and she goes to wake Greg, who hears a second scream and decides to investigate and Liz accompanies him. As they walk around, the head into the cellar and are shocked by the appearance of Mango but when they race back upstairs, they run into George, who explains that Mango is the grounds caretaker and is quite harmless despite his appearance. The next day, Greg and Liz go for a swim at the nearby lake and when they return, talk with Johnny by the stables. When Liz asks why Johnny keeps looking up at the sky, he tells them that you can sometimes see the moon during the day and that he expects a full moon that night. Johnny then comments about the Townsends having a dinner party in their honor, which surprises Greg and Liz as they were planning on leaving that night, but Johnny tells them that George had noticed something wrong with their car when he was putting it up the night before and the mechanic won’t be able to get there until the next morning. Stuck at the castle for another day, Greg and Liz decide to go look for the toucan, which George had said was responsible for the screams they heard, but as they enter the cellar, they see the women chained to the wall. The woman who had just been brought there tells them what is going on and say that the Townsends are in the next room. When Greg and Liz enter the room, they are shocked to see the Townsends in coffins and start to realize what is going on. Exiting the Townsends’ room, they encounter George, Johnny, and Mango and though Greg tries to fight through them, both he and Liz are quickly captured and shackled to the wall themselves. Some time later, Johnny shows up and releases the girl whose car broke down, taking her into the other room and saying he could help her escape but is merely toying with her until George shows up and puts a stop to it. The girl is led outside and tied to a stake, where the Townsends, Johnny, George, Mango, and begin a ceremony to the moon, sacrificing the girl by burning her at the stake, while a reluctant Greg and Liz are brought along to watch. When they return to the castle, George brings drinks to the others as the Count explains that he wants to keep Greg and Liz alive and let them stay in the castle. As the Count makes a toast, Johnny starts to drink his glass but Liz throws her glass in his face, allowing Greg to grab Johnny’s gun from him. Johnny struggles with Greg but ends up being shot, then Greg points the gun at the Count and Countess, while George makes a hasty retreat. Passing the gun to Liz, Greg ties up the Townsends, then heads off to find George and free the other girls. When he enters the cellar, George attacks him but As the struggle, George tries to hit him with a morning star but ends up falling off the top of the stairs, breaking his neck. After freeing the girls and heading back upstairs, Greg takes the gun back as the Townsends plead with them to let them back into their coffins. Greg refuses and as they watch in shock, the Townsends soon turn to dust, with a pair of bats flying off from their clothes. Down in the cellar, Mango sees George’s body and, grabbing the morning star, heads upstairs and moves towards Greg and the others. Greg shoots him but when he doesn’t stop, they all run outside. The girls take off in a different direction while Mango chases after Greg and Liz. He eventually catches up to them and after knocking Greg down the hill, he grabs Liz and carries her up to the sacrificial pole and ties her up, preparing to burn her alive. Greg recovers and races up there to stop Mango, striking him in the back with an axe before setting him on fire. As Mango finally dies, Greg frees Liz and the two embrace before leaving the castle, choosing not to live there.

Yeh, this is not a good movie by any stretch. The acting was pretty bad all around and felt kind of wooden at times. The plot was pretty weak and didn’t make a whole lot of sense at times. For instance, when Greg was holding a gun on the Townsends, they could have easily recaptured them as the gun would have no effect on them, nor could the scraps of cloth held them with any real difficulty. Also, they kept making references that Johnny might be a werewolf, with the repeated comments on his actions during the full moon, but you never actually see him change, even when the moon is actually full. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects and the video quality on the DVD was pretty terrible, with the opening scenes featuring lines all over the screen. Not something that is really worth watching

Rating: 1 out of 5

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action, adventure, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 20th, 2014 Movie – Blood Monkeyaz

blood monkey

Everything has a beginning and for the Maneater Series of movies, this was it. Now I remember seeing this movie on Syfy years ago and honestly, not being too impressed with it. The only reason I got it on DVD is because it was part of a 3 disk set of movies from the Maneater series back when I first started collecting the movies in the series. Now lets see if time will make me think better of the first movie in the series, Blood Monkey.

The plot: Deep in the jungles of Thailand, a group of men manage to capture a new species of primate. As the leader tries contacting Professor Conrad Hamilton, the leader of the expedition, the primate escapes from the cage and proceeds to kill the men, leaving Hamilton and his assistant/bodyguard Chenne to head out to see what happened but all they find is the broken cage and bodies of the team. Meanwhile, a group of anthropology students (Seth, Amy, Greg, Josh, Sydney, and Dani) arrive in Thailand for their own research expedition into the jungle, with Dani documenting everything on her video camera. After being flown to the outskirts, a guide shows up to take them deeper into the jungle but when they reach a certain point, the guide stops the truck, telling them that he will go no further as bad things are in there. When the students ask him what they are supposed to do, he tells them to follow the trail, then quickly turns around and drives away. Seth leads the others down the trail, with all of them feeling a little nervous about the situation they are in. When they reach the end of the trail, Seth says they should just wait for whoever is supposed to meet them and as it gets dark, Josh tries making a fire. When a strange creature is seen in the brush, the kids get scared but Chenne suddenly appears and frightens the creature away with a flare, then leads the students to the base camp. The next day, Hamilton introduces himself to the students and tells them that they will be doing something different than what they signed up for. As they prepare to leave, they Sydney and some of the others notice that their cell phones are missing and realize Chenne must have taken them when she tries to take Dani’s camera. Hamilton explains that she had done it on his orders, saying that he doesn’t want anything they discover leaking out, but promises to explain his reasons why. After giving them all ID bracelets that he says contains all their necessary information for being out there, such as blood type, Hamilton leads them out into the jungle and they soon reach a cliff overlooking a hidden valley, which Hamilton says is completely uncharted and theirs to explore for the first time. When Chenne appears with rappelling gear for them to descend into the valley, Sydney and some of the other students don’t wish to continue but Hamilton motivates them to head down, choosing to go first so Dani can document it. The others head down but when Josh and Chenne make their descent, Josh panics and freezes up on the rope, prompting Chenne to kick him to try and get him to keep moving before continuing down herself in disgust. Josh eventually makes it down, falling the last couple of feet, and Hamilton tells them to pick him up and keep moving, much to Seth and the other’s shock. They soon arrive at a camp site and Seth and the others question what is going on, as Hamilton had said that they were the first people down there. Hamilton tries to pass it off the claim that he and Chenne had gone down previously to make the base camp but refuses to explain the additional backpacks. That night, Hamilton pulls out a large skull and asks if any of them can identify it. Sydney studies it and says it is not quite a primate skull but also not quite human. As the students pass around the skull, they are shocked when the badly wounded leader of the first expedition appears in camp. Hamilton and Chenne rush over to him and lead him to the main tent, telling the students to stay by the fire and not leave. Later that night, Seth and Amy see Hamilton and Chenne digging a grave for the now dead man, and they discuss how Sydney and Josh both want to head back and they discuss their options on staying or going. As they head back to their tents, they don’t hear Hamilton telling Chenne that the primates let the man go on purpose to serve as a warning. Later that night, Sydney goes to use the restroom when she hears someone moving around the latrine tent and as she finishes, something grabs her from under the tent and drags her away. The next morning, Amy tells Seth that Sydney is missing and he goes to talk to Hamilton about it, only for Hamilton to tell him that he had Chenne take her back to the plateau. As Hamilton tells them to get ready to leave, Amy asks Seth what they should do and he tells her he will think of something but for now they should just keep following Hamilton. Meanwhile, Chenne is shown to be dragging Sydney through the jungle before kicking her into the river, throwing her pack after her. As Chenne heads back to rejoin the others, Sydney manages to make it to the other side, where she ends up being killed by something in the remains of the broken cage. Elsewhere, Hamilton leads the others further into the valley but Seth is using scraps of a shirt to tie around trees, intending to use them as markers to find their way back if needed. When Chenne returns, Seth and the others question how she was able to get back so quick but Hamilton dismisses their concerns and wants them to keep moving. Hamilton and Chenne then check a tracking device they have and seeing a signal moving, they tell the students to start moving. When they finally stop, Josh goes to sit next to a tree where they see a chunk of meat and ribs stuck onto the tree and when Hamilton knocks it down and Chenne removes it, a necklace falls from the carcass. Seth and Amy help Josh move and Seth tells them it is a warning meant for them but doesn’t say anything about the necklace, which he had picked up. Seth then confronts Hamilton about why they are there and Hamilton reveals that there is a creature in the valley that is the bridge between the two species and it is still alive in the valley. He tells them that he wanted to get indisputable proof that the creatures not only had lived, but were still living and thriving in the valley but couldn’t risk having any academic help him as they would want to share the glory, which is why he chose to have students help him. Huddling together, Seth and the others discuss what to do and Seth says that he is going to try and grab Chenne’s gun that night when she goes to sleep, then they can get out of there without Hamilton stopping them. Greg wants to help him but Seth tells him to let him go alone, as he won’t be able to carry Josh by himself if something goes wrong. That night, Amy asks Seth if she can stay in his tent for the night while Josh, Greg, and Dani stay together in another tent. During the night, everyone is startled by the sound of water hitting the tents and they think it is a sudden freak rain storm but when the smell hits them, Greg says it is urine, telling Dani that some animals urinate on their prey. Suddenly, Josh, who had stuck his injured foot out of the tent, is grabbed by one of the primates and dragged up into the trees. As Greg goes chasing after him, Dani goes to tell Seth and Amy while Hamilton and Chenne head out to try and capture on of the apes. As Hamilton and Chenne separate, Chenne hears something moving in the brush and fires at it, inadvertently hitting Greg, who had seen Josh getting killed and was searching for the others. Chenne then ties the wounded Greg up and uses him as bait to try and kill one of the primates. Seth, Amy, and Dani see what is happening and Seth tells them to hide while he goes to help Greg but Hamilton stops him, refusing to let him interfere. As she waits for a primate to show up in her trap, Chenne ends up getting killed instead, followed by Greg. Hearing Chenne cry out, Hamilton goes to look for her and finds her body lying on the ground. Seth confronts Hamilton about his using them as bait and his obsession with proving his discovery and Hamilton knocks him down into a cave, then heads out after the girls. Hamilton locates them and after forcing Dani to film him explaining the attack and deaths that occurred, he leads them away. Hamilton tells them that they are trying to locate Sydney and AMy realizes the bracelets were tracking chips so he could use them as bait. They soon find Sydney’s arm dangling forma  vine and as Hamilton goes to pull it down, he is impaled by a trap that the primates set, telling Dani to film his final words. Seth joins them and they head off back to the camp site only to find it has disappeared. When they discover that Seth’s markers have also been removed, they try making their way in the direction they think they came from but Dani is suddenly grabbed as they make their way through the jungle. Noticing that she is missing, Seth and AMy go back to look for her and find her camera on the ground, and when blood drips down onto the camera, they see Dani’s body up in a tree. They start running through the jungle, with Seth lighting some flares and throwing them behind them to keep the primates at bay. They eventually discover a cave and find all of Seth’s cloth markers adorning the stalactites at the entrance. Heading inside, they see Josh’s light further inside and go looking for him, with Amy using the night vision mode on the camera to help see. As they reach an open chamber, AMy notices something moving along the walls and tells Seth, who takes the camera from her to get a look for himself. Seth tells Amy there is nothing there but he is suddenly attacked from behind and killed, dropping the camera in the process, and the primate then approached Amy and kills her.

Giving it some time and another viewing, this movie actually isn’t as bad as I first thought it was. The acting was ok, with F. Murray Abraham doing a great job as the almost Ahab like obsessed Hamilton while Matt Ryan (honestly didn’t realize this was my first time seeing him on screen) doing a good job as Seth. Unfortunately, the other actors and actresses honestly weren’t that good. The story was interesting but the whole idea of the evolved primates attacking the group like that honestly felt like it was ripped off from Congo. One thing that I did think was a good idea is that they didn’t really show what the primates looked like for almost the entire movie, which added a pretty good amount of suspense to the movie. However, they absolutly ruined one of the best things they had going for it at the very end of the movie, as right when Amy was about to be killed, they cut away to show the primate, which was honestly just a decent looking gorilla at best. The special effects were pretty decent and I liked the kind of tunnel-vision they used when they were looking through the primates eyes. So yes, a second viewing sometimes can change my opinion on a movie and while this still isn’t one of my favorite entries in the series, it is a pretty decent movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: May 19th, 2014 Movie – Blood Mania

blood mania

 

Another movie from the Drive-In Cult Classic box set makes for some interesting viewing tonight. Unlike yesterday’s movie, I don’t really recall much about this movie from the first time I saw it. I will say that the movie poster above certainly makes the movie seem interesting. I mean, you have a naked woman carrying a skeleton. That is definitely an eye catching piece of advertising there. Well, let’s just see what Blood Mania has to offer as far as entertainment.

The plot: Ridgeley Waterman, a wealthy but bed-ridden old man, signals for his daughter Victoria to bring him his breakfast but when she gets there, he constantly belittles her. Victoria tries to be nice to him but his insults continue, then he begins insulting his doctor, Dr. Craig Cooper, and comments about how the fact that Craig has yet to respond to any of Victoria’s attempts to seduce him is one of the few joys he has left. Meanwhile, Craig is lying in bed at his home before he is roused from his sleep by his girlfriend Cheryl, who invites him into the bath with her. As he is finishing, he answers a phone call and tells the person on the other end that they are not supposed to call him at home and says he doesn’t care if he needs the money, but then relents and says he will see what he can do. Back at the Waterman’s home, Victoria, who is a nymphomaniac, makes a pass at the pool boy but as he races off, Craig arrives and she quickly gets her clothes back on so she can greet him. When he enters, he asks why Nurse Turner isn’t there, then chastises her when she tells him she sent her home as she is there with her father. Craig begins his check up on Ridgeley, who is angry that he can’t get the results from his tests, but Craig finishes his exam and tells Ridgeley that he wants Nurse Turner to be there at all times. As Craig goes to leave, Victoria attempts to seduce him again but he turns her down again, as he has work to do. Returning home early, Craig and Cheryl start kissing and undressing when someone knocks on the door. After they get dressed, Craig opens the door and a man named Larry walks in. After introducing him to Cheryl, Craig asks her to go upstairs so he can talk to Larry in private. Larry tells Craig that he wants $50,000 in two weeks or else he will go talk to the district attorney about what he had done. Craig tells him that he doesn’t have that kind of money but Larry tells him that isn’t his concern and he should use his new connections to try and get it. Later, Cheryl talks to Craig about what Larry is blackmailing him over and Craig tells her that while he was in med school, he had performed some illegal abortions to some people that Larry had introduced him too and that is what he is being blackmailed over. The next day, Craig finishes his check up on Ridgeley and then gives Nurse Turner a prescription to pick up. As he goes to leave, Victoria asks to speak with him, showing him her latest painting. Victoria then asks if he is really having tax problems and offers to help him pay them off and Craig tries to refuse at first but when she begins kissing him, he gives in and they end up having sex. As they lay in bed afterwards, Craig tells her that he needs $50,000 and Victoria tells him that she doesn’t have that much money but knows how to get it, refusing to go into details about it. Meanwhile, Cheryl invites Larry over to try and convince him to leave Craig alone and he tells her he will if she sleeps with him but after raping her, he goes back on his word. That night, Victoria slips into her father’s room and uses some of her drugs to poison him, reveling in the fact that she will soon be rid of her father. Craig and Nurse Turner discuss Ridgeley’s death and when Craig goes to talk to her about it, he is shocked to learn that she killed her father for him. Craig goes to call the police but changes his mind and calls the coroner to list the cause of death as a stroke. Later, Victoria goes to meet with her father’s lawyer to discuss the funeral and reading of the will and the lawyer says everything has been arranged but the will can’t be read until two weeks, as her sister Gail must be present for the reading, much to Victoria’s displeasure. Some time later, Gail arrives at the house with Kate, an older woman that she is friends with, and Victoria introduces them to Craig and then goes to escort Craig out, inviting him to dinner and telling him not to make plans afterwards. Later that night, Craig and Victoria talk and she tells him when she would be able to get the money to him and Craig says he will pay her back but Victoria says she doesn’t want the money as she has him and the two embrace and kiss before having sex again. At the reading of the will, Ridgeley has left Nurse Turner some money, set up a trust for Craig to spend on medical research, but leaves the bulk of his estate to Gail, with a stipulation that Victoria has exclusive use of the house and money for it’s upkeep and a living allowance but can not sell the house in her lifetime. Hearing what the will states, Victoria cries out that it isn’t fair, as she was the one to care for their father while Gail left, and begins screaming out in rage and grief at the turn of events before Craig takes her to her room and lays her down in her bed to rest. After giving Nurse Turner some instructions for dealing with Victoria, Craig goes to leave but is stopped by Kate, who is concerned for Gail’s safety. Craig says that she has nothing to worry about but Kate, who has her own relationship with Gail, says that she knows Craig is involved with Victoria and warns him not to try and go after Gail now that she has the money instead of Victoria. The next day, Craig invites Gail to come with him on a few house calls and she accepts, much to Kate’s displeasure. After the house calls, Craig and Gail spend the afternoon at a medieval fair before walking along the beach, where they start kissing. When they return to the house, Victoria sees them fooling around by the pool before they head inside, where they continue kissing before they end up having sex. Later, Gail returns to her room to find Kate packing and when she asks why she is leaving, Kate tells her that a woman like her needs to be with people that are like her and she can’t see herself staying here anymore. After she leaves, Gail goes to see Victoria and talks to her about the will, offering to split the money with her. When Victoria refuses, she comments on how nobody seems to want the money, and Victoria correctly guesses that she had offered to help Craig with his money problems but he refused. Gail tells Victoria that she wants to take care of her and tells Nurse Turner she can leave but after Gail heads up to bed, Victoria kills her. Later, Victoria calls Craig and when he asks for Gail, she tells him that she went back to New York and when he asks what is going on over there, she hangs up on him. Craig rushes over to find Victoria painting and when he asks where Gail is, she tells him she is gone. He decides to check for himself and soon discovers Gail’s body, and realizes Victoria was using her blood to paint with. Deciding to cover up the murder, Craig carries Gail’s body out to his car, wrapping it up before placing it in the back. He then tells Victoria that not to answer the door or phone until he returns. Victoria kisses and hugs him but then suddenly starts screaming and as Craig looks where she is looking, he sees Gail’s body leaning against the wall. When the body falls to the ground, Victoria keeps screaming but Craig is shocked to see Larry enter the room, grinning wildly at Craig. Craig sadly looks over at Victoria’s painting, which shows him carrying a skeleton, and he realizes his life is now over.

This was a decent attempt at a thriller but pretty much fell flat on it’s face. The acting was ok at best, with Maria De Aragon (Victoria) putting in the best performance among everyone there. Peter Carpenter (Craig), Leslie Simms (Nurse Turner), and Eric Allison (Ridgeley) were also good but everyone else honestly felt a little stiff and robotic in some of their deliveries. The story was actually good, with a lot of scheming going on between several characters; Craig trying to pay off his blackmailer, Victoria trying to get Craig, Kate trying to get Gail, and Victoria trying to get her inheritance. The drama and tension were decent but they couldn’t really do much to save it from the acting. It’s a decent time suck movie or worth watching if you are curious but not necessarily worth hunting down to watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, thriller

Flashback Review: May 18th, 2014 Movie – Bloodlust!

bloodlust

Ahh, another movie from the Drive-In Cult Classics box set. Now, most of these movies tend to be on the verge of being soft-core porn but every now and then, you get a different type of movie that is actually pretty decent. I actually recall this movie from the first time I watched it and remember it being a pretty decent movie. Now let’s see if Bloodlust! is as good as I remember or if I was confused by it.

The plot: Two couples (Betty and Johnny and Jeanne and Pete) are taking a cruise on a ship but are concerned about the ship’s captain, Captain Tony, and his drinking. As Tony passes out drunk on the bridge, Pete spots an island nearby and thinks that they might find some buried pirate treasure on their and the others agree to the adventure. Unable to rouse Tony from his drunken slumber, they all decide to get in the boat’s dinghy and head to shore but as they cast off, Tony rouses from his stupor and yells out to them not to go there before passing out again. Johnny and the others reach shore and start exploring the island but as they leave the dinghy, a man that was watching from some nearby rocks quickly rushes out and steals it. Finding some debris and some clams on the beach, they head into the interior of the island to find something to cook the clams on when Johnny stumbles into a pit. Pete finds some vines to use to help get Johnny out and Betty goes down to help him but as Pete and Jeanne start pulling on the vines, they are startled to see some men on the other side of the pit, with the leader telling his men to help them. The man, Dr. Albert Balleau, invites them to his home and explains that after the war, he decided to settle on the island and indulge in his passion for hunting. As they are talking, they are interrupted by Balleau’s houseguest Dean Gerrard. After Balleau sends him on his way, Johnny says they should head back to their ship but Balleau says they can’t leave, as their are dangerous wild animals in the jungle at night. As Balleau leaves the room, Johnny and the others discuss the situation and worry about Tony leaving them but Pete says that he disabled the ship so that he won’t be able to leave. When the door opens, a woman steps in, followed by Balleau, who introduces them to his wife Sandra and asks her to show Betty and Jeanne to a room for the night. After they leave, his sevant Jondor enters, who happens to be the man that stole their dinghy, and has him show Pete and Johnny to their room. Later, it is revealed that Dean and Sandra are lovers and are making plans to escape Balleau and the island but Balleau enters and after talking to them for a bit, he asks Dean to escort to her room and warns that the 4 kids presence on the island changes nothing. Meanwhile, Johnny and Pete head to Betty and Jeanne’s room and as they discuss how uncomfortable Balleau makes them, they decide to explore the house and see what is going on. The couples split up but as Johnny and Betty walk down the hall, they are grabbed by Sandra and Dean, who tell them not to scream and say they need to speak with them in private. Meanwhile, Pete and Jeanne find a staircase to a lower portion of the house and as they investigate, they quickly hide when they see Jondor enter the room. Jondor places a skull he was carrying on a shelf then pulls up the drape on a display case and Pete and Jeanne fight off making a sound when they see it contains the body of a woman inside. Pulling the drapes back down, Jondor then goes to work on the skin from another victim before heading back upstairs and after he leaves, the two quickly make their way back upstairs. Dean and Sandra tell Johnny and Betty what is going on and how Balleau spends his time hunting humans when Pete and Jeanne return to the girls’ room, indicating the horror they saw without going into detail. Dean tells them that by now Balleau has taken their boat to the hidden cove on the other side of the island and that is their only chance of escape. Johnny suggests that they all leave now but Dean warns that Balleau and his men hunt at night and it would be too dangerous for them all to leave. He suggests that he and Sandra leave and get help from the mainland and the others reluctantly agree to the plan. Dean and Sandra manage to make it out of the house and once past the gate, they embrace and kiss before making their way into the jungle towards the cove, unaware that Balleau is following behind them with a spear. Two days later, Johnny and Betty are discussing the fact that they haven’t heard from Dean or Sandra and start to fear the worst. Hearing someone approaching the room, they quickly hide and watch as a servant enters the room and enters a secret passage on the wall. Getting curious, the two decide to explore  and find Balleau sitting in a large chamber. Greeting them, he proceeds to show them his trophy room, where they see various people that Balleau has hunted and killed on the island. He then explains how he came to begin hunting people and finishes by showing them the bodies of Dean and Sandra. Telling them that they can leave now, he shows them one last trophy case, which has room for 3 or 4 people, and says that they can guess what it is meant for. Returning up to the main house, Balleau explains what is going to happen to Johnny and Pete, as he plans on hunting them, and they are shocked to see Jondor bring Tony in the room. Balleau says that Tony will be joining Johnny and Pete, explaining that Balleau paid Tony to only bring people to his island to hunt but Tony chose to take a side job of bring the kids out, costing them their lives. When Betty says she and Jeanne won’t stand for this, Balleau says that they will come to enjoy the island and since his wife is now dead, he plans to get to know them better. Johnny and Pete argue the unfairness of being sent out unarmed and Balleau tells them that it won’t be completely one sided. He tosses Tony a pistol and tells them that the ammo is in the Tree of Death, then sends them out, giving them a head start. In the tree, they find the ammo box and discover that it holds only one bullet. Johnny realizes that it makes since to Balleau, as he is only bringing three crossbow bolts, one for each of them, but he left them only one shot at them. Tony convinces Johnny to give him the bullet but once he does, Tony takes off on his own, leaving them to fend for themselves. After he leaves, Johnny tells Pete that they need to head back to the house to try and rescue the girls, as he doesn’t trust Balleau’s men with them. Back at the house, Betty and Jeanne are trying to figure out their own plan of escape and, using the sound of Jeanne breaking a vase to cover the sound of Betty breaking the window, they climb out and make their way along the ledge to another window. Back in the jungle, Tony is wandering through the jungle when he spots Balleau and Jondor hunting him. Seeing Jondor move off down the side where Tony had tossed his trail, Tony goes to shoot Balleau but the gun misfires. Balleau faces Tony and tells him that he had removed the firing pin from the gun and Tony begins begging for his life. Balleau says that he will reconsider and tells Tony to head back to the house but as Tony starts to walk away, Balleau says that he has reconsidered and shoots Tony in the gut, killing him. Elsewhere in the jungle, Johnny and Pete heard Tony’s screams and Johnny says that they have to go back for the girls before they can escape. At the house, Betty and Jeanne make their way down to the trophy preparation room, where Betty hopes to use the knives in the rooms as weapons. Suddenly, the guard enters the room and attempts to grab and kiss Betty but, using the judo skills her father taught her, manages to flip him in the vat of acid, where he dies screaming in agony. Back in the jungle, Johnny and Pete continue making their way back to the house when they see a crazed man wandering the jungle, screaming out at random. As they hide from him, Pete finds himself sinking into a leech-filled pit of quicksand and Johnny rescues him, then helps him remove the leeches, then they continue on their way, knowing Balleau is close behind them. Balleau and Jondor continue tracking them, with Balleau cursing Jondor for losing the trail, and when Jondor ends up sinking in the quicksand, Balleau taunts him for his stupidity. Meanwhile, Betty and Jeanne go into the jungle looking for Johnny and Pete when they encounter the crazed man. Johnny and Pete hear the screams and rescue them, then make their way back to the house to try and get some weapons to defend themselves with. When Balleau shows up, he is surprised to see the crazed man and decides to kill him for ruining his sport. The two couples quickly reach the house and begin looking for weapons but though they find Balleau’s rifles, they can’t find the ammo. Balleau returns to the house, finding one of his guard’s neck broken outside the gate, and as he makes his way to his trophy room, he comments that nobody has ever been there a second time, alive. Telling them that the chamber has a peculiar effect of his being able to hear every sound that is made in the room, he quickly finds them when Pete accidentally coughs. Turning on the light for the display room they are hiding in, Balleau tells them that he knows their rifles are not loaded and taunts them by having them pose for how he will arrange them as trophies. When Johnny says he promised the girls would live, Balleau says he did originally but since the girls obviously helped them kill the guard outside, they must pay the price. Betty and Jeanne swear they didn’t kill any guard and Balleau has Pete turn on the light for the final chamber, revealing Jondor still alive and covered in leeches. Jondor approaches Balleau, who shoots him but Jondor is able to grab Balleau and impale him on a display rack, killing him before he dies from his own wounds. Johnny, Betty, Pete, and Jeanne turn away from the sight, remarking on how Balleau probably never expected to be displayed in his own trophy room, then head off to find a ship so they can leave.

Yep, this is still a surprisingly decent movie to watch. The acting was pretty good, with Wilton Graff doing an excellent job as Balleau, though I will admit that at times his voice and inflection reminded me a lot of Vincent Price. Robert Reed (Johnny) and June Kenney (Betty) were good in their roles but I honestly felt like Eugene Presson (Pete) and Joan Lora (Jeanne) honestly didn’t seem to add much except to make Johnny and Betty appear as stronger characters to be honest. The story was pretty good, with Balleau basically secluding himself so that he can kill people as he desires. Part of me seems to feel like this is familiar somehow and I know the concept has been used since this movie came out, which might be why it seems familiar. The special effects were ok for the time but there was one part that I did have some fault with. When Betty did the judo throw on the guard into the acid, a fair amount of acid splashed up onto her arm, and possibly other parts of her body, but while she did react to the splash, there were no effects shown on her body and she was perfectly fine when she approached Jeanne shortly after. I’m sorry bit this was just really sloppy work in editing there. Still, this is a good movie and something that is worth giving a shot if you want to try an older movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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