action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 31st, 2019 Movie – Battletruck (a.k.a Warlords Of The 21st Century)

battletruck

It’s the end of the month and that brings us to the last movie from Shout Factory TV, at least for a little while. Now a few weeks ago, I reviewed a movie called Deathsport on here. If you were to try and buy it on DVD, it usually comes as part of a double feature with another movie called Battletruck, which I had never seen before. Luckily for me, it is available to watch on Shout Factory TV so I decided this was the perfect time to rectify that mistake. Now let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, Battletruck.

The plot: As the Earth’s fuel supplies began dwindling, the “Oil Wars” occurred, with the end result being the Earth becoming a wasteland. Now, bandits roam the land in search of fuel, with the most dangerous of them being Straker, who drives around in a giant armored truck. One day, Straker and his crew come across two men carrying some drums of diesel in a horse-drawn wagon. When Straker asks where they found the drums, one of the men tries to lie so Straker kills him, which convinces the second man to show them where they found the drums. The man leads them to a facility that has radioactive signs on it but the man says that it is safe and the signs are just to keep people away. After the man shows them the hidden tank, which holds 50,000 liters, Straker tells his men to set up camp, then summons his daughter Corlie. Straker tells Corlie to shoot the man, saying he is now a liability, and when she refuses, he forces her to do it. That night, as Straker and Bone, the truck’s driver, discuss security for their new base of operations, Corlie sneaks out of the truck and runs away, but Straker sees her leave. The next day, Corlie is making her way through the desert, with Straker’s men chasing after her, when she is rescued by Hunter, a former soldier who drives a high-tech motorcycle. After escaping the pursuers, Hunter takes Corlie to his farm, where he takes a look at her wounded leg. Despite Corlie’s begging to let her stay with him, Hunter takes her to Clearwater Farm so she can get proper treatment for her leg, and because he prefers to be alone. Hunter drops Corlie off at the gate, telling her to ask for Rusty, the local blacksmith. and he takes off, just as Rusty comes outside and tries to call out to him. Rusty introduces himself and brings her inside the farm, explaining the rules of the place and she is voted in to stay at the farm. The next day, Corlie is out working in the field when she hears the Straker’s truck approaching and tries to run away again but is dragged back inside the village. The men attempt to defend the village but are easily overpowered and as Straker orders them to surrender, Corlie manages to escape on a horse. As Straker rounds up the prisoners, he notices a young girl wearing a necklace that Corlie had given her and takes the necklace back. Straker questions Judd, a villager that doesn’t trust Hunter, and he tells him that Corlie was there and probably ran back to Hunter, saying that Rusty is the only one that knows where his farm is. Meanwhile, Corlie manages to make it back to Hunter’s farm and tells him what happened, admitting that she was part of Straker’s group. That night, Straker’s men show up at Hunter’s farm and attempt to recapture Corlie but Hunter and Corlie manage to get away so Straker destroys Hunter’s house in retaliation. Making their way back towards Clearwater Farm, Hunter and Corlie are confronted by Judd and Charlene, with Judd wanting to turn Corlie over to Straker to appease him and Charlene saying that Corlie can’t stay there, as it’s not worth risking the entire community over one girl. Hunter tells them that they are going to have to make a choice on if they want to fight  or not, then rides off with Corlie to see Rusty. Inside Rusty’s shop, Rusty is glad to see his friend alive and apologizes for telling Straker where Hunter lives, showing Hunter his hand where he had been tortured, and Hunter forgives him and says they need to build an armored car to take on Straker’s truck. With another villager offering to help, the 4 begin working on building the car, with Judd coming over to help after a while. That night, Rusty and Hunter head back to Hunter’s home and grab an old bazooka that he had hidden there. Meanwhile, Judd grabs Corlie and leaves the village, setting fire to the shop in the process. When Hunter and Rusty return, Hunter asks what happened and takes off after them but Judd, knowing Hunter would chase after them, sets up an ambush and shoots Hunter with a crossbow bolt. Judd continues on to Straker’s base, and uses his bringing Corlie as an attempt to join Straker’s gang but Straker is upset about Judd attacking Corlie and warns him about touching her again. Meanwhile, Hunter, who had been rendered unconscious from his wound, recovers and makes his way back to Clearwater Farm, where Charlene works on tending to his wound. The next day, Hunter takes the armored car out to face Straker, telling Rusty and the others to be where they are supposed to be when he needs them. Hunter heads to Straker’s camp and starts running through the tents, killing Judd in the process, then blows up the fuel tank before racing back out of the valley. Straker and his men follow after him in the truck, With Straker ordering Bones to push the truck faster than it should, causing some tension between Bones and Straker over pushing it too hard and causing the turbines to start overheating. Hunter reaches the rendezvous with Rusty and the others and uses the bazooka to attack the truck, blowing a hole in the roof at the back of the truck. Hunter then jumps onto his motorcycle and races off after Straker, who tells Bones to head towards Clearwater Farm so they can destroy it. Hunter manages to catch up to the truck and jump inside the hole in the roof, then begins dealing with Straker’s men. As Straker turns to go deal with Hunter, Bones gets fed up with him and attempts to kill him but Straker kills Bones instead, causing the truck to begin weaving out of control. As Corlie tries to take control of the wheel, Hunter and Straker begin fighting and when Corlie goes to help Hunter, the truck goes off the road. Hunter and Corlie manage to jump to safety before the truck goes over a cliff and crashes to the ground below, killing Straker as it explodes. Some time later, Hunter is leaving Clearwater Farm on a horse and Corlie is sad to see him leave but he tells her that he will be back sometime, then kisses her goodbye before riding off.

This wasn’t a bad movie but there honestly wasn’t much worth remembering about it. The acting was ok, with Michael Beck (Hunter) and James Wainwright (Straker) doing good jobs in their roles. Annie McEnroe (Corlie) was ok, but it seemed like it took a while to figure out how to play her character. The story felt kind of like a Mad Max rip off, but a lot of the post-apocalyptic B-movies that came out in the early 80’s had that feel to it. Still, this movie felt really boring and bland, with no real excitement showing up during the entire movie. The special effects were about average though I will say that the design for Straker’s truck was pretty decent. So another one of the multitude of 80’s B-movies that appeared and wound up being quickly forgotten.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, adventure, fantasy, martial arts, movie, movie review

March 24th, 2019 Movie – Circle Of Iron

circle of iron

Another Sunday morning, another movie to watch from Shout Factory TV. Lucky for me, they have plenty of movies to choose from. Now I chose today’s movie because of the history behind it. See, today’s movie was originally co-written by Bruce Lee, who had intended to star in it but was unfortunately killed before he could start working on it. A couple of years after his death, Stirling Silliphant, one of the other co-writers, completed the screenplay and David Carradine was cast to play the role intended for Bruce Lee. So let’s see what kind of movie we have on out hands as I watch Circle Of Iron.

The plot: In a distant land, a martial arts tournament is held; with the final match coming down to Cord and Morthond. Cord ends up defeating Morthond but due to his dirty fighting tactics, he is disqualified and Morthond is declared the victor. After Morthond is awarded the medallion and the right to seek the Book of Knowledge from Zetan, Cord argues with the judge about why Morthond was chosen. The judge tells Cord that he had broken almost every rule in the tournament and is not worthy of going on the quest. Cord says that everyone they have sent to face Zetan has failed to return but he will defeat him and look into the Book of Enlightenment himself, then follows after Morthond when he leaves the city. Morthond is upset about Cord’s following him, breaking his vow of silence to challenge Cord to another fight, but Cord refuses, saying he wants to help him, not kill him. After travelling for most of the day, the two warriors stop to rest and notice a blind man, whom Cord had seen earlier in the city, making his way into some ruins. When loud voices are heard from the ruins, Cord decides to go and investigate while Morthond uses the opportunity to continue on his quest without Cord. Inside the ruins, Cord sees the blind man fighting with some bandits and easily defeats them, though Cord does kill one that was about to throw a knife at the blind man. Cord approaches the blind man and asks him to be his teacher and when the blind man refuses, Cord says he will follow him and learn by watching him. When the two men encounter a monkeyman, Cord doesn’t see the wisdom in how the blind man handles the encounter, arguing he will never need to fight a monkey, but when he turns to gether his gear, he finds the blind man has vanished. Suddenly, he sees a wounded Morthond stumble against some rocks and when Cord approaches him, Morthond tells him he had failed the first trial and asks Cord to help give him a warrior’s death, then take the medallion and finish the quest. Cord does as Morthond asks and after Morthond’s death, he takes the medallion and heads into the nearby caves. Inside, he finds a tribe of monkeymen and watches as their leader defeats another warrior. Recalling the words of the blind man, Cord heads down and confronts the monkeymen’s leader, eventually defeating him and learning the way to Zetan. After traveling for a while, Cord comes across a man in a giant cauldron of oil. Cord asks the man if he needs help but the man says no, as he had done this himself so that he can dissolve the lower half of his body as a way of ridding himself of his sexual urges and offers to let Cord join him but Cord refuses, saying his vow of celibacy is enough. Cord continues across the desert and eventually comes to an oasis, where he sees a group of travelers have set up camp and are holding a festival. As Cord makes his way into the camp and watches the festivities, he is invited to sit next to the travelers leader Chang-Sha inside his tent. The two men talk for a bit before Chang-Sha steps outside and battles another traveler who had sought to test his strength against him. After Chang-Sha defeats the warrior, Cord asks when they will fight but Chang-Sha tells him that they will fight in the morning. That night, one of Chang-Sha’s wives, Tara enters his tent and says that Chang-Sha sent her there to give him a rose, symbolizing his second trial, and after talking for a bit, the two end up having sex, after which Cord asks Tara to go with him. The next morning, Cord wakes up to find the camp has gone and Tara had been left crucified on the outskirts of the oasis. Cord goes looking for Chang-Sha and as he stops for the night, he has a vision of Death approaching him but Cord is able to dispel the vision by showing that he doesn’t fear Death. The next day, Cord comes to another oasis and encounters the blind man again, and after Cord asks again for him to teach him, the blind man agrees. As they continue on their way, the blind man asks a fisherman if they can use his boat to cross the river, but after they do so, the blind man kicks out the sides of the boat, damaging it. They then encounter some bandits and attempt to run from them, fighting them when they have to, and after dealing with the bandits, the blind man stops to repair a stone wall. As they continue on their way, the blind man strikes a young boy, breaking his nose. Cord tells the blind man that he is leaving him but demands answers for the things he did. When the blind man answers, Cord questions how he knew the things he did and realizes that the blind man had been through there before, which gave him the knowledge about things that Cord didn’t. Cord eventually comes across Chang-Sha and after admitting that he doesn’t hold Chang-Sha responsible for Tara’s death, he challenges him to a fight. Chang-Sha agrees and after the two men fight to a draw, Chang-Sha tells Cord where to find Zetan. Cord makes his way on a ferry to an island, where he finds the religious sect that protects the Book of Enlightenment. Cord is taken to see Zetan and Cord goes to fight him but Zetan says there is no need for violence. He tells Cord that he has passed the trials and is entitled to look at the Book of Enlightenment but as Cord turns the pages, he finds that they are nothing more than mirrors. Zetan explains that many have come to seek the book only to find that enlightenment comes from themselves. As Cord laughs at the result of his quest, Zetan says that otwhile most of those who looked in the book have stayed there, some have left to become part of the challenges or teachers in their own ways, and Cord realizes the blind man was one of those people. Zetan offers Cord his job as protector of the book but Cord continues laughing as he leaves the island. Cord eventually finds the blind man and after talking for a bit, they embrace and the blind man hands Cord his flute, passing on his role of teacher to Cord.

When Circle Of Iron first came out, it received mainly negative reviews but has since garnered a cult following, causing some critics to reassess the movie, hence it’s current ranking of 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, several critics felt that the lack of Bruce Lee’s charisma and guidance caused the movie to not reach it’s true potential. Bruce Lee envisioned Circle Of Iron to be an introduction for Western audiences to Eastern philosophy and the movie was originally supposed to be shot in 1969, with Steve McQueen offered the role of Cord but he turned it down. The flute that David Carradine plays throughout the movie is the same flute he plays in Kill Bill: Vol. 2. The movie made $1 million, but most of that was through video rentals and not the box office.

Well, the movie is definitely slow enough to fit being a philosophical movie, but didn’t exactly keep the interest peaked enough to make it good. I will be honest, even if Bruce Lee was in it, I don’t know if this movie would have been any better. The acting was good, with David Carradine doing a great job playing the multiple roles of the blind man, Monkeyman, Death, and Chang-Sha. I honestly think he had some fun playing the different roles. Jeff Cooper was also good as Cord and but I thought that Christopher Lee was a little wasted as Zetan, as his presence honestly felt a little anti-climactic to me. The plot was pretty slow paced and even the few fight scenes were pretty slow, making this movie a little boring and hard to pay attention too. The fight scenes were pretty well choreographed but the slow pacing just didn’t make them exciting at all. I know that the focus was supposed to be on the philosophical aspects but they still could have made the few fights that were included to be a little more exciting. It’s a decent intellectual movie but the slow pace is not going to attract to many people to watch it.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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action, drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 17th, 2019 Movie – Deathsport

 

 

deathsport

Continuing on with our trip through Shout Factory TV, I decided to take a stop on today’s movie. Now even though David Carradine had done some stuff before hand, pretty much everyone knows him from the TV show Kung-Fu. When the show ended, he had done Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000 to get back into the movie business. Following the cult success of that movie, a somewhat sequel was made and David Carradine would return to star in it. Now I will admit that I had never seen this movie until a few years ago, when I was watching movies Shout Factory TV during a bout of insomnia. Needless to say, I immediately recognized Corman’s style and absolutely enjoyed the ridiculous of it. So let’s strap in for today’s  movie, Deathsport.

The plot: A thousand years in the future, the Neutron Wars have decimated the Earth, leaving the planet with scattered city/states surrounded by vast desert wastelands. The few remaining machines are controlled by the people within the city/states, while the wastelands are home to cannibalistic mutants and Range Guides, nomadic warriors that hold no allegiance to any city/state. One day, a Range Guide, Kaz Oshay, is attacked by some soldiers led by Ankar Moor and after his capture, he is taken to Helix City. As Kaz is placed in a cell, Ankar Moor reports to Lord Ziporla, who chastises Ankar Moor for losing two of their valuable Death Machines, motorcycles armed with lasers, then tells him that he needs one more Range Guide, a female, to put into the Death Sport. Some time later, a caravan is being led through the wastelands by two female Range Guides, Denner and Adriann. When they hear the approaching Death Machines, Denner orders the caravan to dismount, telling her daughter Tara to stay with them. Denner and Adriann ride off to face the Death Machines but Adriann is killed and Denner is captured, while Tara, who had gone to help them, is captured by a group of mutants. Back in Helix City, Kay awakens in his cell and rages out at his unseen captors, receiving a shock from the door as punishment. Calming down, Kay sees Denner in her cell across the hall and after telepathically seeing Tara being captured, Kay says that he will help her find her once they escape. Denner thanks him and after saying that they have met before, she tells Kay that she was with his mother when she died. Meanwhile, Zirpola begins suffering from headaches and is told by Dr. Karl that he is suffering from a brain disease caused by radiation poisoning but Zirpola refuses to believe him and has Karl imprisoned in order to silence him. Karl is placed in the cell with Kay and Karl tells Kay why he is there and how Zirpola plans on going to war with Tritan, another city/state, for their fuel. At the same time, Karl’s son Marcus, who was part of the caravan Denner was leading, had been sent back to Helix by Ankar Moor’s men and when he learns of his father’s imprisonment, goes off to try and free him. Ankar Moor makes his way to the cells and questions Denner and Kay, who reveal that they know Ankar Moor as a disgraced Range Guide who lost his way and he taunts Kaz over the fact that he killed his mother. Sometime later, Marcus, disguised as a guard, attempts to free his father and is knocked out by Kaz, who kills the other guards and tries to escape with the other prisoners, only to be gassed by Ankar Moor. Kaz is taken away by Ankar Moor and tortured before being told he will die in the Deathsport in the morning, then thrown back into a cell with Denner, Karl, and Marcus. The next day, Kaz and Denner are sent out to face other prisoners, who are riding Death Machines, but they are able to kill most of their attackers, then grab to of the Death Machines to use in their escape. Zirpola orders more guards after them while he activates the mines on the battle field but an explosion ends up knocking out the force field around the arena, allowing Kaz and Denner to escape, with Karl and Marcus following them. Zirpola berates Ankar Moor for allowing them to escape and after Ankar Moor threatens him before agreeing to go after Kaz and the others for his own pleasure. After Ankar Moor leaves, Zirpola goes to torture one of his concubines but ends up being killed when she drags him into the stun rods he was using on her. When Ankar Moor learns of Zirpola’s death, he tells his men that he will assume control of Helix but they must first recapture Kaz and the others to show the rest of the citizens that there is no escaping from Deathsport. Kaz and the others manage to shake their pursuers and after discussing with Denner where Tara was taken, they tell Karl and Marcus that they will guide them to Tritan after they find the girl, then find a spot to take refuge for the night. The next day, they make their way to the cliffs where T was taken only to be ambushed by Ankar Moor and his men, who manage to kill Karl but Kaz and the others escape. Reaching the sand cliffs, Denner is able to sense what happened to Tara and leads the others to the mutants’ cave, unaware that Ankar Moor and his men have spotted them and are waiting for them to return. Inside the cave, Kaz and Denner are able to locate Tara and rescue her, fighting their way past the mutants as they make their escape. Outside, Kaz tells Denner to take Tara and Marcus, who was wounded by the mutants helping them escape, to Tritan while he deals with Ankar Moor and Denner tells him she will be waiting for him in Tritan. Kaz heads to a nearby fuel station, with Ankar Moor and his men following him, and once inside, Kaz uses the natural labyrinth to deal with Ankar Moor’s men, killing most of them. AS Denner and the others reach Tritan, Ankar Moor sends his remaining soldier back to Helix while he chooses to face Kaz on his own. The two men duel and Kaz wins by decapitating Ankar Moor, after which Denner and Tara ride up on horses, bringing one for Kaz, and say that they want to stay with him. Kaz agrees and after mounting his horse, the Range Guides ride off together.

This lacked a lot of the charm that Death Race 2000 had, which might be why this is not an official sequel, but it still had some entertaining moments to it. The acting was ok, with David Carradine doing a decent job as Kaz, while Claudia Jennings, who tragically died shortly after the movie was released, was just as good as Denner. I also like Richard Lynch (Ankar Moor), but honestly felt like he was nothing more than a poor man’s Rutger Hauer during the entire movie. The story was interesting but honestly felt somewhat incomplete, with a lot of plot lines thrown in to try and explain people’s motivations but half the time they didn’t seem necessary. Case in point, the whole aspect of Zirpola’s brain disease didn’t really seem necessary, as he could have simply had Karl thrown in prison just for disagreeing with him about the war with Tritan. The special effects were kind of laughable, which is what adds to the enjoyment of this type of movie. It’s not a great movie but is a fun watch for anyone that is a fan of B-movies.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, thriller

March 10th, 2019 Movie – Lords Of The Deep

lords of the deep

There are times, that I hate Daylight Savings Time. Mainly it is in the spring, where we “jump forward an hour”, as it really tends to throw me off my day. Anyways, I have decided to continue reviewing some of the movies offered on Shout Factory TV that I do not own. I chose today’s movie because it happened to also be featured on the latest season of MST3K, so you know it is most likely to be ridiculously bad. In the late 80’s, there seemed to be a ton of movies that focused on alien life forms at the bottom of the ocean. I mean, we had The Abyss, Leviathan, and Deepstar Six to name a few. So it makes sense that Roger Corman would produce his own movie on the subject. So let’s see what is in store for us with today’s movie, Lords Of The Deep.

The plot: In the near future, large corporations have begun developing undersea habitats in the hope of conquering and developing a new frontier under the oceans. As a submersible vehicle heads towards a habitat, it’s crew discuss how one of the scientists at the habitat has discovered something that has frightened one of the company backers, who wants her dealt with. At the habitat, Claire, the biologist in question, is studying the strange gelatinous mass she discovered when she suddenly decides to touch it with her bare hands, resulting in her receiving strange, psychic visions. Meanwhile, Commander Dobler is talking with a corporate executive about the replacement sub’s failure to arrive yet and the crews’ mixed reactions to being replaced. Later, Dopler makes contact with the sub and is talking with the sub’s commander when a quake occurs and the sub loses contact with the habitat as it’s systems go down. Inside the habitat, Claire had been talking with her lover, Jack O’Neill, when the quake happened and as she heads back to her lab to protect her work, the beaker with the substance falls and breaks, cutting her arm in the process and the substance gets into her bloodstream, resulting in more visions. When the quake subsides, Dopler asks for a status report and after hearing of the damages to the station, has a repairman, Chadwick, head out to make repairs. Dobler then tells the rest of the crew about losing contact with the replacement sub and Fernandez goes out in a sub to see if he can find them. Fernandez locates the sub and tells Dobler that it’s hatches are blown open and there is no sign of the crew and Dobler orders him to come back. Meanwhile, Chadwick continues making repairs when he is attacked by something and he makes his way back into the dive pool. When medical officer Barbara goes to examine him, she discovers that he has mutated into something that resembles the sample that Claire had been studying. Claire and Barbara have the “body” taken to the lab so they can run some tests to try and figure out what has happened to Chadwick, overriding Dobler’s orders to destroy it, and Dobler tries to deal with the crews’ reactions to learning that the replacement crew has vanished. Dobler tells his second in command, Engel, to make sure Fernandez is ok before sending him back out to retrieve the other sub so they can all escape the station, then uses the intercom system to listen in to Claire and Barbara’s discussions on the creature. Later, Claire goes to speak with Dobler about the creature, which has changed shape into a stingray like appearance, and tells Dobler that the creature is intelligent but he is skeptical about it. That night, Claire has some more visions and hears a voice telling her that she has to trust them and she will understand. When another quake hits the station, Dobler checks to make sure everyone is ok and finds them all in the lab staring at the specimen tank, where the creature has changed into a more humanoid/ray appearance. Dobler orders Fernandez to retrieve the other sub so they can all leave but Fernandez finds himself attacked by more of the ray-like creatures and disappears. Back at the station, Dobler orders the computer, Trilby, to terminate the creature while he tries to get the rest of the crew to sign a non-disclosure agreement but Engel is the only one to sign the form, as Claire and the others say the discovery is too big to keep quiet. When they discover the creature has escaped the tank, Dobler has Trilby try and track the creature so they can destroy it, then heads to the control room so he can monitor the situation. As Claire and Seaver search the station, Trilby tells Claire to head to the specimen room, as movement was detected there, but Seaver chooses to go there in her place. When Seaver gets there, the doors shut behind him and he is unable to get them open; while inside the control room, Dobler watches the computer screen as the dot he believes is Claire expires. Meanwhile, Claire continues checking the washroom, where she discovers the creature hiding in the drains, and she begins having the visions again. Trilby orders the crew to head to the specimen room, where they all discover Seaver’s body inside while Claire is missing. Jack and Engel go to try and find Claire while Barbara moves to start an autopsy on Seaver’s body but Dobler tells her not to, as he doesn’t want her to discover the truth on how he died, and says they need to find Claire. Meanwhile, Jack finds Claire and the two lovers embrace before he tells her about Seaver’s death. Claire tells him that the creatures have established a colony on the ocean floor and she has to go there and asks for his help, with Jack agreeing so long as she comes back. Claire leaves, and Jack fakes being attacked by the creature to cause a distraction for her to leave unnoticed. Jack is carried to his room and Barbara watches over him, knowing he was faking, and once they are alone, she asks what is going on. Jack tells her to examine Seaver’s body, as they have to know what happened to him, then meet him in the computer annex, as he is going to try and unlock a secret file that he and Claire had discovered earlier. The two go their separate ways but Dobler, back in the control room, notices their movement on the monitor and gets suspicious. Meanwhile, Claire makes her way in the sub, escorted by the creatures that had attacked Fernandez, and discovers the alien colony, where she is shocked to find Chadwick is there and still alive. Chadwick explains that the aliens are all one being and are there to teach them balance but warns that a massive quake is about to occur which will destroy the lab, and Claire has to go back and get everyone out of there. Back at the station, Barbara discovers that Seaver died of asphyxiation and that Dobler had ordered the room to be sealed and the oxygen from the room removed, only to have Dobler to do the same thing to her. Meanwhile, Jack discovers the truth about what is going on there only to have Dobler confront him and as they struggle, Dobler knocks Jack out. Dobler then tells Engel to go out and locate Claire and Engel reluctantly does so but ends up being attacked by the creatures. Dobler then contacts the executive, who chastises Dobler for his actions and tells him that he is being replaced. Claire arrives back at the station and tells Dobler about the colony and how the quake will destroy the lab and they have to escape. Claire goes to look for the others, finding Barbara’s dead body and and injured Jack but as she tries to help Jack back to the sub, Dobler has the corridor sealed and begins removing the air. Jack manages to knock the cover off the air duct and goes to shut down Trilby but Claire passes out due to lack of oxygen and is saved by the creature. As the quake hits the lab, Jack and Claire reunite and make their way to the sub, but Dobler tries to stop them. Jack and Dobler struggle, with Dobler getting the upper hand over the injured Jack, but Claire helps Jack and they manage to escape, leaving Dobler to die in the lab. As they make their way back to the colony, they experience a vision that explains what happened to the alien’s planet and how it came to it’s end. The voice then tells about how they traveled to Earth, whose habitat was similar to theirs, and as they saw humans going down the same path they did, they said they want to help the humans avoid making the same mistake. Claire and Jack arrive at the colony and Jack is surprised to see not just Chadwick, but Fernandez, Engel, and the replacement crew their as well.

Ok, this wasn’t the greatest movie ever but it actually wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was fairly decent, with Priscilla Barnes doing a good job as Claire, while Bradford Dillman was equally good as Dobler. I also liked Mey Rayne (Barbara) but the rest of the cast really felt too wooden, especially Daryl Haney (Jack). As far as the plot goes, it really didn’t feel all that original. I mean, yes there were a lot of aspects that made it seem like nothing more than a ripoff of The Abyss, but then you throw in the whole social commentary about humanity destroying the world by over-exploiting the planet’s resources, which has also been done plenty of times before this movie came out. Adding those two aspects together did not exactly make a unique story telling experience. The special effects in the movie were honestly a mix of being good and bad. I did like the aliens design and at times they were done very well. However, some of the camera work felt extremely shaky at times which didn’t help with the movie any. All in all, it’s a decent time killer of a sci-fi movie but it is not one that will be especially memorable.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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crime, horror, movie, movie review, thriller

March 3rd, 2019 Movie – Beast From Haunted Cave

beast from haunted cave

With more and more streaming sites becoming the norm, it is always fun to see what titles are available on these sites. One of my favorite sites that I stumbled across is Shout Factory TV. My first experience with them was years ago when they were doing a Godzilla marathon, which most of you reading this should know is a great way to get my attention. Since then, I have gone on there and watched episodes of MST3K, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, and other movies that you don’t normally see on the bigger sites. So for the month of March, I decided to watch and review several movies that are on this site, and what a doozy did I pick for you guys. When I first watched today’s movie, I honestly thought that I was watching another Roger Corman movie, as it was similar to Corman’s Creature From The Haunted Sea. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it was actually produced by his brother Gene. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Beast From Haunted Cave.

The plot: In the mountains of Deadwood, South Dakota, businessman Alexander (Alex) Wolf and his secretary Gypsy Boulet are taking some ski lessons from local guide Gil Jackson. As Gypsy flirts with Gil, the group are joined by Alex’s two underlings, Marty Jones and Byron Smith, who tell Alex about the pictures they took while looking through the town. Saying he will look at them later, Alex leaves the two of them to take some lessons from Gil while he leaves with Gypsy, chastising her for he antics with Gil when they are away from the others. That night, Alex tells Marty and Byron that their plan is still on, telling Marty to go place a timed explosive in a nearby mine to lure the authorities away while they rob the nearby bank in the morning. They will then have Gil lead them to his cabin, where Alex has arranged for a plane to show up and pick them up. As they finish their plans, Gil shows up to get some money for the supplies they will need and tries to convince Alex and the others not to go on the cross country trek but Alex insists on going. A short time later, Alex and the others head to the local bar for some drinks, where Gypsy tells Alex that she is getting tired of his plans and is considering wanting out. Seeing Gil at the bar, Gypsy decides to go dance with him, making Alex jealous. Meanwhile, Marty hooks up with Natalie, the barmaid, and they drive off to the mine. Natalie has some reservations about being there, saying that there was a cougar around the area, but Marty pulls out a gun, telling her that Gil had warned him about the cougar, and convinces her to go with him. The two go inside and Marty leaves her alone for a few minutes so he can plant the bomb without her seeing it. As he rejoins her and they go to leave, they are attacked by a strange, spider-like creature, which grabs Natalie but Marty manages to get away. Marty makes his way back to the bar in a state of shock and when Alex asks him what happened, he is furious about Marty taking Natalie with him and getting her killed. The next morning, Gil meets Gypsy and Alex in the lobby of the lodge, with Alex feigning not being ready and Marty and Byron not showing up yet. Noticing the state patrol outside, Alex asks Gil about them and after Gil tells him about Natalie having disappeared last night, Alex tells Gil to go ahead and take Gypsy up the ski lift while he wakes up the others and says they will join them after they eat breakfast. At 9 a.m., the bomb goes off, killing a worker that was in the mine searching for Natalie, and as the police head off towards the mine, Alex, Marty, and Byron head to the bank and rob it, stealing 6 gold bars that were held inside the vault, as Alex says they wouldn’t be able to handle carrying more cross country. Alex, Marty, and Byron head up the ski lift and meet with Gil and Gypsy, and, after making sure they are ready, Gil leads them on the cross country trek. After making their way across the snow covered mountain, Gil finds a place for them to make camp that night. As Marty takes a turn at keeping watch, he hears some strange noises coming from the woods and goes to investigate, only to find Natalie tied up to a tree by some web. As Natalie opens her eyes, the creature appears and Marty fires at it before running back to camp, telling everyone that nothing is wrong when they ask what happened. In the morning, Gil sees some strange tracks in the snow and questions Marty on if he saw anything but Marty swears he didn’t see anything. The group finally arrive at Gil’s cabin and Gil wants to go ahead and head back but Alex convinces him that they should stay the night and leave in the morning. After introducing them to his housekeeper, a Native American woman named “Small Dog”(?), they get ready to stay the night in the cabin. As they listen to the radio during dinner, they hear a news report about the bank robbery and the watchman’s death and Alex and the others feign surprise about the events. When the weather mentions a snowstorm heading towards town, Alex asks Gil if it will hit the cabin and Gil says it probably will, causing Alex to worry about their plans. Later that night, Gypsy continues flirting with Gil and ends up kissing him, causing Alex to break them up and punch Gil. Gil ends up fighting with Alex and then Marty when he tries to stab him, but is forced to stop when Byron holds a gun on him. Alex apologizes for his temper, then slaps Gypsy for causing problems and after she storms off, Gil reminds Alex that they are guests in his cabin and tells Alex to leave Gypsy alone before he heads off after her. Later that night, Byron is fixing a late night snack when he hears a strange noise outside and goes to investigate, with Small Dog accompanying him. As they walk outside, they see Marty, who had also heard the noise, race outside and begin firing into the nearby woods, as he knows it is the creature. Racing into the woods, Marty is attacked by the creature but Byron manages to rescue him and get him back into the cabin, where Gypsy tends to his wounds. The next day, Marty decides to head out into the woods and search for the creature. Meanwhile, Gypsy is watching Gil chop some firewood and tells him that Alex and the others are planning to kill him. Gil doesn’t act surprised and as Gypsy explains what their plan was and how she wants out, he tells her that he plans on sending Small Dog back to her tribe while he goes back into town and says that if she is serious about staying with him, to meet him on the ridge. At the cabin, Alex is talking to Byron about killing Gil, Small Dog, and Marty, who he feels has become to unhinged and dangerous, when Marty returns and says that he found the beast’s lair. Early the next morning, Gypsy and Alex get into an argument and Gypsy decides to leave and go with Gil, who had already left under the pretense of going hunting. Alex tells Byron to follow her but he is held up by Small Dog and as he finally gets free from her, the creature appears and attacks them and Byron manages to chase it off by throwing a shovel full of hot coals at it but it takes Small Dog with it. Meanwhile, Gypsy meets up with Gil and after they share a kiss, they head towards town but as the storm starts to build up around them, they are forced to take shelter in a nearby cave. Back at the cabin, Byron tells Alex and Marty about what happened and Alex decides to wait out the storm, as the creature hasn’t tried to get into the cabin after them, but Byron decides to head out and try to save Small Dog. Byron makes his way to the cave and finds Small Dog and Natalie tied up in webs inside and tries to save Small Dog but he is captured by the creature, who proceeds to kill the three of them. Back at the cabin, Marty finds some very pistols and convinces Alex that they should go after the creature before it comes after them. Gil and Gypsy reach the cave and Gil tells Gypsy to stay back while he looks inside. He sees the creature killing Byron and the others and shoots at it but his bullets have no effect on the creature. When Gypsy tries to distract the creature, Gil yells at her to get away and she runs off, only to be grabbed by Alex and Marty. Alex tells Gypsy to lead them to where Gil is and she reluctantly does so but when Alex goes to shoot Gil, she warns him and Gil is able to avoid being shot. The creature attacks and kills Alex, then goes after Marty, who manages to shoot it with the flare gun before he dies and as the creature succumbs to the flames, Gil and Gypsy quickly move towards each other and make their way out of the cave.

I guess it doesn’t matter which brother it is, if your last name is Corman than you will have a certain style to your movie. Seriously, if you didn’t know it was Gene Corman, you would swear that this was a Roger Corman movie. With all that being said, this was a pretty entertaining movie all around. The acting was ok, with Michael Forest (Gil), Frank Wolff (Alex), and Sheila Noonan (Gypsy) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Wally Campo (Byron) as he made for some entertaining comedy relief at times. The basic plot of the story was kind of interesting, with the bank robbers accidentally waking a monster and it following after them when they destroyed it’s home. I also thought that the crime thriller aspect of the movie was a lot better than the horror aspect of the movie. However, there were several scenes that really didn’t seem to go with the movie and honestly felt like they were nothing more than some filler material to pad out the movie length, such as Marty’s talking to Gil’s sister Jill at the lodge or Marty and Gil’s conversation at the cabin. The special effects were practically non existent, while the monster itself looked rather cheap, somewhat transparent at times which did not add to the scare factor at all. Still, this was the type of B-movie that is great for killing time with some mindless vegging.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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