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

February 24th, 2019 Movie – Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV

the toxic avenger 4

Now that we have the bad sequels out of the way, let’s move on to the official sequel. Don’t believe me, just ask Stan Lee (R.I.P.). As a matter of fact, he says it himself that the first two sequels were shitty (I don’t know if he was apologizing for the sequels or saying the word “shitty”) and that this was the real sequel. Anyways, I first saw this movie a couple of years ago on Hulu when it was available to stream on there. Needless to say, I loved it much better than the other two sequels, so let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV.

The plot: 15 years after Melvin fell into a vat and became The Toxic Avenger, a criminal group called “The Diaper Mafia” enter Tromaville’s School for the Very Special and hold the students and their teacher, Mrs. Weiner, hostage. After killing two of the students, and threatening to kill more unless their demands are met, The Diaper Mafia ask that Bikini Anchor Samantha Chambers be allowed to interview them and when she and her cameraman arrive, their leader, Tex Diaper, begins explaining their reasons for their attack. When Tex goes to attack the pregnant Mrs. Weiner, Samantha Chambers reveals that she is actually Toxie in disguise, while the camerman is Toxie’s sidekick Lardass. As Toxie and Lardass begin fighting with the Diaper Mafia, Tex reveals that his father, Tromaville Police Sgt. Kazinski, had helped supply them with the weapons for their assault, including a bomb. When Toxie kills Tex, the bomb is armed but before he can try to defuse it, Toxie’s alarm goes off and he rushes back to his home to impregnate his wife Sarah. After they have sex, Sarah argues with Toxie about his wanting to rush back to the school instead of staying with her. When Toxie returns to the school, the bomb is about to explode and Lardass attempts to eat it while Toxie tries to save some of the students but the bomb explodes, with Toxie only able to rescue two students, Tito and Sweetie Honey. As Toxie mourns the death of Lardass, the police begin shooting at him and he is forced to run from them. When a car pulls up, Toxie is surprised to see Sgt. Kabukiman driving the car, and Kabukiman keeps calling him Noxie. Back at the school, another Toxic Avenger appears and as the crowd cheers his survival, he rips the arms off of Chief Newman and begins attacking the crowd. As Toxie and Noxie both try to figure out what is going on, a scientist explains that Tromaville has an alternate dimensional duplicate called Amortville, and the explosion somehow caused Toxie (along with Sweetie Honey and Tito) and Noxie to end up in the other dimension. Back in Tromaville, Noxie encounters Sgt. Kazinski, who is happy about “Toxie’s” sudden change of heart and wants to help him, while the mayor assembles a team of super heroes, led by Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. to capture Noxie. Back in Amortville, Toxie rescues Sweetie Honey and Tito from some drug dealers, then takes them back to his home only to discover his shack is not at the junkyard. Toxie tries to find a way back to their home and tells them to stay there, but Tito, who is a self proclaimed rebel, leaves and reluctantly lets Sweetie Honey come with him when she complains about being left alone. After saving the head of a man who had been dragged behind a truck, Toxie encounters Lardass’ doppelganger, a disgraced scientist named Chester. When Chester tells Toxie about how Noxie stole his daughter Claire, causing him to give up his work on interdimensional travel, and shows Toxie a picture of her, Toxie remarks that Claire looks like Sarah and goes to rescue her. Arriving at Noxie’s sex dungeon, Toxie finds Claire and is surprised to see that she can see, but is deaf. After convincing Claire that he is not there to harm her, Toxie tries to take her out of the dungeon but is stopped by Evil Kabukiman. Toxie tells Claire to run while he fights with Evil Kabukiman, with their fight carrying them to the hot dog factory, where Evil Mad Cowboy joins in. As Toxie fights with the two villians, he sees that Tito, Sweetie Honey, and Pompey (the head) have been captured and he works to help them escape after killing Evil Mad Cowboy. Back in Tromaville, Noxie finds Toxie’s shack and ends up sleeping with Sarah when Kazinski shows up and tells him what is going on. Noxie then kills the mayor and takes over Tomaville, killing all of the superheroes that were assigned to deal with him. Kabukiman managed to escape the slaughter and in a drunken stumble, ends up at Toxie’s home and passes out on the tied up Sarah. Later, Sarah learns that she is pregnant with twins but they are from two different fathers and she is told that she should get an abortion or else the two warring fetuses will cause her to explode. Claire heads to a family planning center but the nature of Toxie and Noxie’s sperm causes her pregnancy to accelerate and she ends up going into labor and is rushed to the hospital. Back in Amortville, Chester and Claire find Toxie, Sweetie Honey, Tito, and Pompey at the dump and Chester tells Toxie he will help him get back to his own dimension. After going through his colleague’s notes, he hands Toxie a pair of ruby slippers and Toxie grabs Sweetie Honey but Tito refuses to leave, deciding to stay in Amortville and help the citizens against Evil Kabukiman, with Pompey acting as his sidekick. After traveling into a 70’s porno film and Heaven, Toxie and Sweetie Honey finally make it back to Tromaville, where Kabukiman tells them about what has happened. Toxie heads to the hospital and begins fighting with Kazinski’s police force, confronting and killing Kazinski in the process. Toxie eventually finds Sarah’s room and sees Noxie standing over her and the two men start fighting, with their respective babies fighting inside Sarah’s womb. Toxie manages to defeat Noxie, tearing him apart to revel the Melvin within him but when the evil Melvin attacks him, Toxie throws Melvin out the window, where he lands in a vat of toxic waste and as he becomes engulfed in flames, Melvin runs off and swears he will return. Back in the hospital room, Sarah is handed her newborn baby as Mrs. Weiner and Sweetie Honey show up to hand Toxie some awards. Kabukiman shows up just as a doctor shows up with Sarah’s second baby and Sarah thinks it is the evil baby but when the doctor moves the blanket, it is revealed to look like Kabukiman. An angry Toxie turns to face Kabukiman, who tries to explain he was drunk when it happened before running off while everyone else laughs.

This is about as gross and raunchy of a B-movie that you could hope to find and while I will admit that there are some scenes that can be a bit much, this is a fun movie to watch. The acting was pretty good, with David Mattey doing a good job playing both Toxie and Noxie, while Clyde Lewis did a great job voicing the differing versions. I also liked Paul Kyrmse (Kabukiman) and Joe Fleishaker (Lardass/Chester) but was kind of indifferent to Heidi Sjursen’s portrayal of Sarah/Claire, but I will admit that some of that might be due to the limited time she was on screen. The story was pretty good, especially how they acknowledged the previous sequels but chose not to use anything from them. Well, I say that but there was one little bit of inconsistency that did annoy me. In the opening narration, Stan Lee says that Melvin’s last name is Ferd, from the original movie, but when they are in the hospital, the name on Sarah’s room says Sarah Junko, which was the last name from the previous sequels. I did like the alternate dimension aspect and how they had Noxie have a little tuft of hair on his head. I guess they decided to use that instead of a moustache to indicate he was an evil doppelganger. The special effects did look on the cheap side at times, and I will say that there was a lot more toilet humor than was really necessary, but overall, they had a nice blend of cheesy goodness that you would expect from this sort of movie. A nice, disgusting end to the series and a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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February 17th, 2019 Movie – The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie

the toxic avenger 3

So here is a question I must ask myself. Since I am basically free to pick whatever movie I want to watch for this blog now, why am I still choosing to do today’s movie. I mean, I hated the first sequel in the series so why would I go ahead and watch the next movie, when it is nothing more than the second half of the sequel. Unfortunately, I am somewhat of a completionist and tend to go through with such endeavors to the end. So let’s go ahead and get today’s movie over with as I watch The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie.

The plot: In Tromaville, NJ, a group of thugs working for Apocalypse Inc. enter the local video store and proceed to take the people inside hostage. Saying that there is too much variety in the store, the goons proceed to tell the hostages that they will only be allowed to watch the “Top 20” videos, including Apocalypse Inc’s self help videos, and proceed to destroy the other videos, including the Troma movies, and kill one of the hostages. While the goons are trashing the place, the Toxic Avenger arrives at the store and proceeds to kill the goons and as the hostages thank Toxie, he tells them he is back. A few months earlier, Toxie was feeling depressed as he had cleaned up all of the crime in Tromaville but was unable to do anything else. As he returns to his home with his fiance Claire, he receives a flyer for a surgery that could restore Claire’s eyesight but it cost $347,000. Toxie decides to get a job so he Claire can have the surgery but all of his attempts failed, causing him to become even more depressed and insecure. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc is still upset that Toxie managed to force them out of Tromaville but comes up with a new way to gain control of Tromaville, then take over the world. He sends a letter to Toxie, offering him a job with enough money to afford Claire’s surgery and Toxie accepts the job, with his blood mixing into his signature on the contract. Toxie happily shows his mom that he has a job and pays for Claire’s surgery. Meanwhile, Apocalypse Inc proceeds to take over Tromaville and after the Chairman speaks to the crowd, Toxie talks to the crowd to try and convince the townsfolk that this was for the best, but notes that the crowd, including his mother, don’t seem happy with what he is doing. Meanwhile, Claire’s surgery is a success and when she finally sees Toxie, she says he is beautiful and falls even more in love with him. However, Claire’s newfound sight allows her to see what has become of Tromaville and how Toxie has become “yuppified”. Claire tries to talk to Toxie and tell him that what he is doing is wrong and he argues that he signed the contract for her and leaves. After seeing some kids tearing down a poster of him and calling him a traitor, Toxie goes to his favorite place to think and realizes that he has been duped by the Chairman. Toxie returns to his trailer and apologizes to Claire, telling her that he will make things right. Back in the present, Toxie works on regaining the people’s trust again and taking the fight to the Chairman. Toxie heads to the church, which the Chairman has converted into his new headquarters, and confronts the Chairman but the Chairman suddenly changes into a green skinned demon and reveals that he is really The Devil. The Devil then challenges Toxie to his favorite game, The 5 Levels of Doom, in order to save Tromaville. The first level, Earth, causes Melvin to sink down into the ground and as hemanages to push his head back above the surface, Malfaire pays a man to run over Toxie with a lawn mower but Toxie catches the blade in his mouth and spits it back at an Apocalypse Inc. goon. The second level, Fire, has The Devil engulfed in flames and he proceeds to set Toxie on fire as well. The citizens of Tromaville help extinguish Toxie but with The Devil still on fire, and no water available, Toxie is forced to urinate on him to put him out. For the third level, Wind, The Devil has a bus full of children drive towards a cliff and perch on the edge. He then summons winds to blow the bus off the cliff but Toxie is able to get the kids out of the back of the bus before it falls, where it lands on Malfaire and kills her. The Devil repairs the bus and for the next level, Water, he drives off, with Toxie clinging to the hood, and crashes into a massive puddle of water in order to drown Toxie but Toxie uses a sumo trick he learned in Japan to save himself. For the final level, The Devil changes Toxie back into Melvin Junko and the Apocalypse Inc employees proceed to bully him. Claire attempts to help Melvin but The Devil causes her to become blind again and everyone takes cover as she begins blindly shooting around. As The Devil proceeds to taunt Melvin some more, Claire makes her way back to the trailer and finds the contract Melvin had signed and proceeds to find an escape clause in it, saying that the contract would be rendered null and void by an Act of God. As The Devil mocks that God isn’t there, a messenger named Angel arrives with a message for Melvin. As Melvin receives the letter, it suddenly starts raining and he is turned back into the Toxic Avenger. Toxie then proceeds to rip The Devil’s skin off, revealing a mass of rats and bugs covering his body. Toxie then decapitates The Devil and tosses the head into the air, where it ends up landing in Japan. In Tokyo, the TV announcer that kept running into Toxie is doing a broadcast about a hair growth product when The Devil’s head lands on his test subject, and the announcer excitedly keeps spraying the man. Back in Tromaville, Toxie and Claire celebrate his victory by getting married.

Yeh, this is just as bad as Part II, which makes perfect sense considering the circumstances regarding the movie. The acting was as bad as the first one, with Phoebe Legere almost seeming worst than she was in Part II, while the narration continued to be absolutely annoying. The story honestly didn’t feel all that original, and that is not just because of their playing up a Biblical aspect in the plot. I meant the whole aspect of the hero selling out to the bad guys for what he feels is a good cause just seemed completely played out so the whole movie just felt boring. The special effects regarding some of the blood and gore did seem a little better in this movie than the previous one, but was still not as good as the original movie. So it is a lot of the same with nothing new added to it, which does not make for a very good movie.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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action, comedy, horror, sci-fi

February 10th, 2019 Movie – The Toxic Avenger Part II

the toxic avenger 2

Back in the day, I could always count on Troma for my dose of B-movie goodness. That being said, as much as I like B-movies I can admit that there are times where the movies are not as good. That is the case with today’s movie. See, I have always enjoyed The Toxic Avenger but when I first watched the sequel, I honestly thought it was cheaper than the original. Granted, that has been several years since I watched it so it is possible that my opinion will have changed. Only way to find out is to go ahead and watch today’s movie, The Toxic Avenger Part II and find out.

The plot: Having killed the corrupt mayor and other criminals in Tromaville, Melvin, The Toxic Avenger, has made the city safe for the citizens. However, with no more evil to destroy, Melvin is at a loss for what to do so he takes a job at a Home for the Blind so he can spend more time with his girlfriend Claire (Sara in The Toxic Avenger), but he still finds himself depressed. One day, the Chairman of Apocalypse Inc. arrives in his limo and sends one of his underlings to deliver a bomb to Melvin while he is inside the Home. When the house explodes, some of the Chairman’s underlings begin putting a property development sign on the lot but Melvin emerges from the rubble and kills them. The Chairman sends out some more thugs to kill Melvin but Melvin easily kills them all, except for one that leaves to go to his piano lessons, and the Chairman drives away in disgust. At Apocalypse Incs corporate headquarters, the Chairman berates his underlings for losing Tromaville and failing to kill the Toxic Avenger, as it disrupts his plans for the company. The Chairman’s assistant Malfaire says that she has come up with a plan to remove Melvin from the equation. Malfaire tells the assembly that the Tromatons created when Melvin fell into the barrel of toxic waste are what causes him to seek out and destroy evil but their scientists in Japan have created an anti-Tromaton formula which will remove his strength. However, since they are unable to transport the formula to them, they will use Melvin’s psychiatrist, who is employed by Apocalypse Inc., to send Melvin to Japan instead. Melvin’s psychiatrist tells him that his problems are due to his father abandoning him and that he should go to Japan, where she says his father now lives, and confront him. Melvin is hesitant to leave Claire and his mother but Claire tells him that he should go so he hops onto a windboard and sails off to Japan, entering the country “Godzilla-style”. Unable to speak Japanese, Melvin had one of the workers at a Japanese restaurant from home write out his father’s name on a napkin so he can show it to people but doesn’t have any luck. One day, his Tromatons act up when a woman named Masami is attacked by a gang and he pursues and kills her attackers. Masami thanks Melvin for saving her and helps him to try and locate his dad but they have no luck. Meanwhile, Apocalypse Inc. has taken advantage of Melvin’s absence by taking over Tromaville and every aspect of the city, even changing the name of the town to Apocalypseville. The citizens tried to fight back against Apocalypse Inc. but they were powerless against the Chairman’s goons. Back in Japan, Melvin and Masami finally locate Melvin’s father, Big Mac Junko, at a fish market but Melvin is shocked to learn that his father is a drug smuggler and white slave trader. Big Mac shows Melvin that he has a bottle of Anti-Tromatons and dares him to come after him, allowing his men to attack Melvin and Masami. Melvin is able to defeat Big Mac’s men and the ends up fighting Big MAc, who dons a sumo outfit to battle his son. When Big Mac pulls out the bottle of anti-Tromatons, Melvin kicks it out of his hands, then throws Big Mac onto a chopping block, where a distracted worker chops him into pieces, but the bottle falls to the ground and breaks open, exposing Melvin to the anti-Tromatons. Masami takes Melvin to a sumo dojo, where Melvin is restored to health and after thanking Masami, he heads back home to Tromaville. When he arrives back in Tromaville, Melvin is shocked to see what has become of Tromaville and quickly races home, where he rescues Claire from being attacked by Malfaire and her “Bad Girls”. Melvin then begins cleaning up the city and removing Apocalypse Inc’s influence so the Chairman decides to simply destroy the city. Carrying 300 lbs of nitroglycerin, the Black Rider rides into town with the intention of crashing into city hall so Melvin gets into a cab and chases after him. Melvin is able to stop the Black Rider’s plan, making him crash into a house and explode. Later, as the people celebrate Melvin saving the city, Big Mac Junko appears and greets his son and wife. When Melvin asks who the guy was in Japan, his father explains that that was Big Mac Bunko, and that he had been mistaken for him for years. With his father back in his life and the city safe, Melvin is able to feel good about himself, while the Chairman and Malfaire are seen trying to hitch a ride away from the city.

The Toxic Avenger Part II was absolutely panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics felt that the movie lacked the energy of the original but did admit that the cheese factor would appeal to fans of that type of movie. The original edit of the movie was over 4 hours long so Troma decided to cut the film into two separate movies. John Altamura, who was hired to play The Toxic Avenger, was fired during production and Rick Fazio, who was asked to serve as a distant shot double, ended up taking over the role. Since John Altamura’s footage was used in the movie, as well as Part III, both men’s names are listed in the credits as paying The Toxic Avenger. The movie was a box office dud, earning $792,966 off of a $2.3 million budget.

Nope, I am going to stand by my original opinion. This movie is definitely a step down from the original movie. The acting was so over the top bad at times that it honestly made the movie less enjoyable for me. Having the voice over of Melvin serving as the narrator didn’t help matters, as it honestly just started irritating the hell out of me. The story honestly felt a little weak, which I admit might be due to the fact that the movie was basically cut in half due to it’s length. One thing that did annoy me was the name changes that occurred between the first movie and the second one. I can kind of understand the reason for changing Melvin’s last name from Ferd to Junko, as it made it easier to utilize the mistaken identity of his father for Big Mac Bunko in Japan. However, I don’t understand why they changed Melvin’s girlfriend’s name from Sara to Claire. I mean, how hard is it to look up what the character’s name was in the first movie and simply continue using it. The special effects were ok but I felt like they did a lot more in the first movie with a lot less money. All told, this is a let down of a sequel and not really worth watching unless you want to watch all of The Toxic Avenger movies.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review

February 3rd, 2019 Movie -The Toxic Avenger

the toxic avenger

A few weeks ago, I started watching this series of movies again and decided, what the heck, why not review them as well. So let’s get right to it as I rewatch my first introduction to the Troma Universe. I remember seeing the video case for this movie at video stores all the time but was never able to convince my parents to rent it for me. When we got cable TV, I remember catching this one night during some late night TV binge watching and thoroughly enjoying it. So lets have a bot of fun with today’s movie, The Toxic Avenger.

The plot: In the small New Jersey town of Tromaville, the toxic waste capital of the world, a young nerd named Melvin Ferd works at the local health club but is mocked by everyone there, especially Bozo, Slug, Wanda, and Julie. One day, the 4 bullies pull a prank on Melvin, with Julie seducing him into wearing a pink tutu and having him meet her in the pool area, where Melvin is tricked into kissing a sheep. As the bullies, as well as the other health club patrons, laugh and taunt him, Melvin runs from them and ends up jumping out a window, landing in a barrel of toxic waste that was in a truck parked outside. A crowd forms as Melvin reacts in pain from the toxic waste and as two police officers try to disperse the crowd, one of them touches Melvin and his hands catch on fire, while Melvin, now on fire himself, runs down the road and out of sight. Melvin makes it home and douses the flames in his bath tub but the toxic waste has caused his body to start mutating into a “hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength.” That night, a drug dealer named Cigar Face and his 2 flunkies attempt to bribe Officer O’Clancy but O’Clancy, one of the few honest cops in the town, refuses. The drug dealers then attack him and prepare to shoot him when Melvin appears and attacks them. Melvin kills Cigar Face’s two flunkies, shoving mops in their faces when he is done, and chases Cigar Face away, then helps O’Clancy to his feet, apologizing for his actions as he does. Later, O’Clancy tells reporters what happened, dubbing the monster a hero, but as the mayor hears of the incident, he is upset as Cigar Face works for him. Melvin attempts to go home but when his mom sees his appearance, she screams and slams the door in his face so Melvin begins making a home for himself in the local junkyard. The next day, three men (Frank, Leroy, and Rico) rob a Mexican restaurant; killing one of the patrons when he tries to stand up to them. Seeing a blind girl named Sara sitting there, Frank has Leroy kill her guide dog, then attempts to rape her when Melvin shows up to stop them. Melvin kills the three robbers then goes to check on Sara, who asks him to help her home, where Sara invites him inside and offers him a sandwich. During a press briefing, a scientist theorizes that the monster is somehow drawn to criminals due to some need to destroy evil. Melvin heads back to the Health Club and kills a drug dealer that works for the mayor, then later attacks Wanda in the sauna, burning her butt on the hot rocks. As Melvin continues to help people and stop criminals, he begins to become beloved by the citizens but the mayor, afraid Melvin will eventually attack him, decides to try and have him killed but his men fail. Meanwhile, Melvin also continues his relationship with Sara, with the two becoming more romantically involved and Sara moving into his home. Melvin returns to the Health Club to get revenge on Julie, chasing her down into the basement and cutting all of her hair off. The next day, Bozo and Slug steal a car so they can go on a hit & run spree but Melvin shows up and attacks them, throwing Slug from the car as it is moving and causes Bozo to drive off a cliff. Some time later, Melvin kills a little old woman and, feeling guilty over the incident, decides to head out to his private spot with Sara so he can avoid killing anyone else. In town, the mayor is happy to hear about the incident, as he feels he can use the attack to ensure Melvin is killed but when the chief of police tells him that the woman was the head of a white trafficking, the mayor covers up the story to ensure the people don’t learn the truth. The chief of police conducts a search for the monster and when his men spot Melvin and Sara in a field, the report back to the mayor, and the mayor calls the governor for assistance, who sends out the National Guard. As the National Guard surround the camp site, several of the citizens, including Melvin’s mom, and people that Melvin saved stand in front of Melvin, begging with the mayor to spare him. The mayor tells the National Guard and police to get the children out of there and fire but the refuse to do so. The Mayor attempts to kill Melvin but when he fails, he begs for his life and offers to cut Melvin in on his criminal business but Melvin kills him. Melvin then rejoins Sara and as the crowd cheer them, they head back to their home in the junkyard, with Melvin continuing to protect the citizens of Tromaville as the Toxic Avenger.

The Toxic Avenger met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.” The monster Melvin turns into was never actually referred to as the Toxic Avenger by any actor in the film besides the narrator. They did not have a name for the character as the film was being made. This is proved further by the kids in the film wearing t-shirts that say “I love the monster hero”. The movie was minimally successful in theaters, earning $800,000 off of a $500,000 budget, but it would gain cult classic status due to late night showings and home video rentals, resulting in 3 sequels and a short lived cartoon series.

This movie is still as ridiculously 80’s as I remember it, and just as fun to watch. The acting was pretty decent, with Mitch Coheen doing a good job as the Toxic Avenger, with Andree Maranda and Pat Ryan doing equally good as Sara and the mayor respectively. The story was pretty much a spoof of some of the more popular comic book super heroes, where someone is accidentally exposed to radiation, in this case toxic waste, and mutates into a super strong being as a result. While making him a crime fighter was obviously the logical process, adding the part about his being drawn to and seeking out evil was a nice twist, almost making him like Ghost Rider in a sense. The special effects were pretty graphic at times, such as the kid’s head being squashed by Bozo when he runs him over, and at other times they are so totally cheesy that they make you laugh, but that blended together for a nice but of fun. An absolute staple of 80’s B-movie goodness that everyone should watch at least once.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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