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

December 9th, 2017 Movie – Supercroc

supercroc

What a fun time yesterday was. It’s not often that we get a nice little snow storm in Atlanta, and wake up to find it is still going on. This just makes it the perfect weather to watch a movie from my favorite company, The Asylum. Now today’s movie is one that I first saw on Syfy years ago while I was doing some random channel surfing. I then ended up buying it on DVD during the Great Blockbuster Binge. So let’s kick back and enjoy today’s movie, Supercroc.

The plot: In the Los Padres National Forest outside of Los Angeles, four soldiers are on an assignment to locate an abject that was detected in the forest. While they are walking through the woods, Pvt. Celia Perez and Pvt. Jackson are discussing their upcoming wedding and how one of them will have to transfer to another unit after they get married. When they reach a lake, the group splits up, with Perez and Jackson heading in one direction while Pvt. Forney and Major Falk head off along the lake shore. Forney is killed by a giant crocodile, with Falk being killed shortly afterwards. Perez and Jackson look for their teammates briefly before they decide to leave when they stumble upon a cluster of large eggs. Perez tries to radio their command on the situation when she hears the mother growling close by and tells Jackson to run. Back at command, General McFadden is arguing with his staff about what is happening while Dr. Leah Perrot tells him to get his men out of there, as they are not able to handle what they are facing. Back in the forest, Jackson is killed by the crocodile but Perez manages to climb a tree and escape as the crocodile passes underneath before heading back into the lake. Perez contacts command to tell them what happened and about the eggs and a helicopter drops off a second team, led by Capt. Joe Lynch, to rescue Perez and recover the bodies of the fallen soldiers. Lynch and his team eventually locate Perez but when he asks her about the bodies, she tells him there aren’t any. Lynch wants to head to the lake to check for himself but before they can leave, they are attacked by the crocodile and Lynch’s men are killed while he and Perez manage to escape. Meanwhile, a team sent in by Perrot arrives at the nest site and proceeds to grab some of the eggs to bring back for study, then destroy the remaining eggs. Meanwhile, Perez and Lynch try to reach the evac helicopter but the crocodile, attracted by the noise, gets there and destroys it. Perez and Lynch try to make their way out of the forest and reach the nest site and discover that it has been destroyed. Back at command, Perrot tells McFadden what she knows about the creature, and they make plans to evacuate the National park before hitting it with an air strike. Perez and Lynch arrive just as the evacuation is leaving and are forced to take cover as the air strike hits the crocodile but it survives the attack and makes it’s way out of the park, going after it’s surviving eggs. Back at Command, Perrot and McFadden go over possibilities to handle the crocodile and keep it out of Los Angeles. Perrot suggest using a chemical attack to kill it, and McFadden reluctantly agrees and orders the outskirts of Los Angeles to be evacuated. The attack strikes the crocodile and seemingly works so Perrot leaves Command and radios her team to prepare to move the eggs. Meanwhile, Perez and Lynch are picked up and flown to Command, where they inform McFadden about the destroyed nest and McFadden realizes Perrot had people go take some of the eggs and orders his men to go to her lab and retrieve them so they can lure the crocodile away from Los Angeles. The crocodile recovers and from the chemical attack and continues towards Los Angeles, killing Perrot as she makes her way towards her lab. McFadden decides to use the eggs as bait to attack the crocodile and Perez and Lynch head out to the trap and build a bomb to attack the crocodile’s underbelly, where it is most vulnerable. They succeed in blowing up the crocodile, and McFadden has the eggs destroyed. Perez and Lynch head out, with them each offering to buy the other a drink, but as they pass by a dumpster, where a hidden egg is starting to hatch.

An early Asylum movie that was honestly a confusing mess of a movie. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out in this movie. The story was actually confusing, with the flipping between what was going on with the crocodile and the Command center not helping clear things up at time. The special effects were actually pretty bad this go around, which is actually to be expected as this was an early movie of theirs and they have since perfected their craft. Not their best movie, which is kind of a disappointment considering the number of their movies that I enjoy.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, mystery, sci-fi

November 29th, 2017 Movie – Strange Invaders

strange invaders

Ahh, the fun times of watching sci-fi movies. When it comes to the classic sci-fi movies, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers will always be considered one of the perennial classics. It has been remade several times but it has also been to inspiration for dozens of movies as well, including today’s movie. Now I feel like I had seen this movie at some point when I was a kid but I honestly can’t remember. Now let’s see if I can jog those memories as I watch today’s movie, Strange Invaders.

The plot: In Centerville, Illinois in 1958, a teenage couple park their car near some train tracks and begin making out, not noticing the large alien ship overhead. The ship releases a flying saucer, which lands and humanoid figures disembark and head into town. After making out for a while, the couple heads back into town, with the guy dropping off his girlfriend before heading home himself. At their respective homes, they find the places seemingly empty but as the guy tries to call the police, he is attacked by something. 25 years later, at Columbia University, Professor Charles Bigelow and his girlfriend just arrive at their apartment when they are surprised by the appearance of his ex-wife Margaret. Margaret tells Charles that her mother died and she has to go to Centerville for the funeral and asks that he look after their daughter Elizabeth while she is gone. Getting worried after not hearing from Margaret in a couple of days, Charles takes Elizabeth to his mother’s house, then heads to Centerville to try and find out what happened to Margaret. When he arrives in town, Charles checks into a hotel and speaks with the manager about Margaret but the manager claims not to know anyone by that name or her family. After getting a cabin, Charles leaves his dog Louie inside while he goes looking around but none of the people seem to know Margaret or her family. While he is gone, the hotel manager approaches the cabin and stares at Louie, who starts growling before suddenly howling in terror. Charles hears the howls and heads back to find Louie has vanished and he checks out and starts looking for him. When his car breaks down, Charles heads to a diner to wait while the mechanic fixes it but when he asks the people in the diner if they saw Louie, they all get up and leave. Charles gets nervous when he sees a crowd of townsfolk standing by his car staring at him and when he hears the sound of breaking glass, he turns his head for a second only to find that the townspeople have vanished when he looks back. Suddenly, a bolt of electricity strikes his car, causing it to explode, and Charles climbs out the back window and finds a car he can take. As he is driving away, he sees an alien figure on the street, which zaps the car as he drives away. Charles continues driving as far as he can before the car falls apart, and he is picked up by the police. The next day, two aliens, disguised as humans, make their way to New York City and check into a hotel. One of the alien orders room service but as he waits, he ends up tearing off his human face, scaring the maid who had entered the room and he quickly attacks her. Meanwhile, Charles makes it back to New York only to find his apartment has been trashed. Charles calls his mother to check in on Elizabeth, then heads over to see his friend and department head Professor Hollister. Charles tells him what happened and Hollister doesn’t quite believe him but doesn’t think Charles is crazy either. He gives Charles the phone number for a government agency that handles UFO sightings and he calls them and arranges a meeting. When he gets there, Mrs. Benjamin, the woman in charge, shows him some renderings of typical aliens that people see but Charles gets annoyed that she isn’t taking him seriously and leaves. As he buys a newspaper, he notices a tabloid with a picture of the alien he saw and quickly buys it. Charles heads over to the National Informer and speaks with Betty Walker, the reporter who wrote the article, and she admits that the photo was a photo from an old article and she had made up the story and he leaves. Betty heads to her own apartment but as she is relaxing at home, she hears a knock at her door. When she opens it, an Avon woman is there attempting to sell her stuff but Betty refuses and shuts the door. Hearing a thud from behind the door, Betty opens it again to find the woman had collapsed and asks to use the restroom and Betty lets her in. As Betty is mixing a drink in her blender, her landlord Earl startles her and she tells him about the woman in the bathroom. Earl goes to check and is zapped by the psychic lightning and when Betty goes to see what happened, she finds Earl’s body but no sign of the woman. Betty calls the cops but when they get there, Earl’s body has disappeared. Betty returns to her office to try and make sense of what happened and Charles shows up, offering to buy her a drink. The two go out and end up back at Charles’ place, where they start to make out when they are interrupted by Margaret showing up. Betty gets upset and leaves, despite Charles trying to explain things to her, and Margaret asks Charles where Elizabeth is and he tells her she is at his mother’s house and Margaret starts to explain what is going on. Meanwhile, Betty leaves Charles’ apartment building but notices some strange people watching her from a park across the street. When the woman appears, Betty rushes back inside the building, with the woman following, and heads to the elevator. Getting on the elevator, Betty thinks she is safe for the moment but the woman uses her powers to stop the elevator and bring it back down to the lobby. Unable to stop the elevator, Betty pulls a gun out of her purse and when the woman opens the doors, Betty shoots her, revealing the woman to have green blood. Betty heads up to Charles apartment and tells him what happened and Margaret asks him if there is another way out of the building. Charles says the staircase and Margaret tells them to run and she will hold them off. Charles and Betty head out the window and begin climbing down the fire escape, just as the two men enter his room. As the run from the building, a cab pulls up and Benjamin yells at them to get in and they drive off. Benjamin chastises the two of them, explaining that they had an agreement with the aliens and Betty’s article and Charles’ antics had stirred things up. Meanwhile, three aliens break into Charles’ mother’s house and kidnap Elizabeth while she is sleeping and when Charles, Betty, and Benjamin get there and find out, Charles and Betty quickly leave. Benjamin orders the airports and bridges to be locked down but dismisses the trains, which is how Charles and Betty get out of the city. As they head to Centerville, Betty suggests making a detour to see Willie Collins, the man who took the photograph of the aliens. When they get to the hospital Willie is at, Willie tells them about how he had been on a trip with his family when they stopped in Centerville. That night he saw his family transformed into strange, glowing blue orbs, and had managed to kill one of the aliens but was committed when nobody would believe his story. Charles and Betty go to leave and find that Willie snuck out of the hospital and plans to go with them. As they get close to Centerville, they find the road blocked by police and government agents. Benjamin approaches their car and says that it will all be over in an hour, as the aliens will be leaving then, but Charles pulls out a gun and holds Benjamin hostage so they can get through the roadblock. After making it to the outskirts of town, Charles and Betty head forward on foot while Willie heads back. They make their way into town and see Margaret arguing with the alien leader about leaving Elizabeth there but the leader refuses. Charles and Betty try to get Elizabeth to sneak out the window but they end up being captured. As all of the aliens gather together, the receive a communication from their home world, congratulating them on the data they collected and they are especially surprised with Elizabeth and are interested to test her. As Charles distracts the guards, Betty attempts to leave with Elizabeth but as they try to run out of town, the encounter Willie, who saves them before the leader blasts them with lightning. The leader then transforms Willie and Betty into the blue orbs before taking Elizabeth with him and the aliens all remove their human disguises, except for the leader and Margaret, and head into the ship. As the ship is about to leave, Elizabeth and Charles plead with Margaret to let them go and Margaret ends up attacking their guards. When she is restrained, Margaret tells Elizabeth to use her powers and Elizabeth is able to blast the door, stalling it from opening long enough for them to escape. As the ship leaves, it sends a blast into the church and all of the orbs emerge from the church and start transforming back into the people that the aliens captured. The original townspeople have not changed at all in the last 25 years, as Benjamin and her agents arrive to help them adjust to what has happened. Willie is reunited with his family, who are surprised to find how old he has gotten, while Charles and Elizabeth find Betty in a tree and after helping her down, the two kiss and then leave town with Elizabeth, finding Louie on the way.

Strange Invaders met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics seemed to like the script but felt it was too predictable. The financing was split between two companies; Orion Pictures, who had the rights to distribute the film to North America, and England’s EMI films, who had the rights to distribute to the rest of the world. The movie was a box office bomb, earning just over $1.3 million off of a $5.5 million budget.

This was a decent movie, but definitely could have been better. The acting was ok, with Paul Le Mat (Charles) and Nancy Allen (Betty) doing a decent job in their roles and I liked Michael Lerner (Willie) but thought that Diana Scarwid (Margaret) was a little weak and too wooden in her role. The story was pretty good but I felt like it did feel a bit inconsistent at some points. The parts with the Benjamin and her agency honestly felt like they were thrown in but in actuality, they had been toned down as the financial backers toned down that scope of the movie. The special effects were a lot of flash but didn’t really have a lot of substance to them. All in all, it was a fairly average movie that didn’t quite live up to it’s potential.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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

November 24th, 2017 Movie – Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation

starship troopers 2

I got to hand it to my friends, they really know what I like. See, a couple of years ago, my friend Chad called me up and asked if I had today’s movie. Now, as you know, the original Starship Troopers is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies but I did not have any of the direct to video sequels. Chad then explained that his grandfather was getting rid of some movies that he owned, and while Chad kept the ones he wanted, he did not have any desire to keep this one. Knowing me and my love for sci-fi, and bad movies, he figured he would see if I wanted it, to which my response was “Duh”. So that is how I came to own today’s movie, Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation.

The plot: After the capture of the brain big on P, the emboldened Federation forces have pushed forward into the Arachnid Quarantine Zone to try and eradicate the bugs from the remaining planets. On one of the planets, General Jack Shepherd and his forces find themselves being overwhelmed by the bugs and call for an evac but their request is denied. Lt. Dill, their psychic soldier, has a vision of them being overrun and killed by the bugs and Shepherd orders Sgt. Rake to protect Dill and lead the evac to Hotel Delta 1-8-5 while he stays behind with 4 soldiers to cover their retreat. As the soldiers make their way across the barren planet, a sand storm picks up, blowing several of them away while Corporal Kobe, who was the only team member with a radio, is mortally wounded by a bug. As the get inside, Rake tells Pvt. Sahara to check on getting the door closed while some other men establish a defensive perimeter. As some of the men work on tending to Kobe’s wound, Dill has another vision of a swarm of bugs approaching them. Spotting a radio room, Dill orders Rake to have one of her men use it to call for an evac but she ignores him and continues to focus on Kobe. When Dill pulls rank on her, she tells him that it won’t work without power to the place and Dill orders her to get someone to fix the power. After Kobe finally passes, they check the radio room only to find that it was destroyed and begin searching the building. Hearing a banging sound coming from somewhere further in, they head down to the basement and find Captain V.J. Dax locked inside the incenerator. Sahara finds Dax’s records and starts reading out his commendations but Dill grabs the file and learns that Dax had killed his superior officer and he and Rake both decide to keep him locked inside the furnace. Rake’s men get the power restored just as the men outside detect an army of bugs heading right for them. The soldiers head outside and Dill starts spreading the men out in defensive positions but Sahara and Rake both feel like he is spreading them out too thin. As the bugs start attacking and killing off some of the men, Sahara heads back inside to the furnace and asks Dax to give her his hand. After he agrees, Sahara closes her eyes for a few minutes while she holds his hand, then lets him out of the furnace. Dax activates the perimeter defenses then heads outside and takes command of the remaining soldiers, much to Dill’s annoyance, telling them to keep firing until the defenses activate, launching several explosive barrels around the perimeter which annihilate the bugs. As the dust clears, Dax has Sahara and Private Billie Otter go with him to restore the perimeter fences, with Dax giving Billie his knife when Billie admits he lost his. While Billie works on splicing the cables, Sahara sees Sanders and 3 men coming towards them, being chased by 2 bugs, and she and Dax begin laying down cover fire until they get safely past the fence, which electrocutes the bugs. Sanders thanks them and then helps the men carry their injured companion back to the hotel, but Sahara doesn’t recognize any of the people with Sanders. Inside the hotel, Sanders tells the others how their teammates were killed and he was saved by the two soldiers and their comatose companion. Sanders introduces the new soldiers; Medical Officer Corporal Joe Griff, Technical Sergeant Ari Peck, and Private Charlie Soda, who is in an unexplained coma. When Sanders asks Dill about the evac, Dill shows him the busted radio and Sanders asks Peck if he can get it working. Peck says he will get to work on it, refusing to rest first, and Sanders then turns to Dill and questions him about his actions resulting in the deaths of several of his men. As they prepare to get some rest, Dill chastises Sahara, telling her that her actions in releasing Dax could see her court-martialed. When Sahara reveals that she tested highly as a psychic but her gift became unstable, Dill mocks her some more until Dax shows up and the two argue begin arguing over Dill’s blind loyalty to the Federation. As Rake and Griff check the mess hall for some food, Rake comments on Griff’s eating a sugar cube, not noticing him pocketing some more cubes, while Privates Jill Sandee and Duff Horton sneak off to fool around. Some time later, Soda comes out of her coma to find Sanders and some of the others checking on her and after they leave, she shares a look with Griff. When an accident in closing the doors causes the power to go out again, Dax orders everybody out on the perimeter in case of an attack but Peck manages to jury rig the power back on but says it is wonky and may cut out again. As the soldiers start to relax, Shepherd approaches Dax and offers to temporarily restore his rank if he agrees to help them get off the planet and Dax agrees, which further angers Dill. As a watch is set up on the perimeter, Soda approaches Dax and attempts to seduce him but he refuses her advances, having her do push-ups to burn off her excess energy. Later, a naked Soda wakes up Sahara and is leaning over her as she is lying in her bunk but moves away when Billie and Horton enter the room. Sahara gets up and goes to leave, questioning Horton on if he knows what he is doing, before leaving with Billie. Horton shuts the door to the room as Soda approaches him and the two embrace before Soda kisses him, but Horton has a surprised look on his face as she does. Outside the room, Sahara tries to stop Sandee but she sees Soda kissing Horton and storms off, bumping into Griff on her way out. As she stands outside, Griff approaches her and the two start talking before Griff starts kissing her. Some time later, Rake comments on the new couples to Sahara before she heads off, while Sahara heads outside to give Dax some breakfast and talks with him. Some time later, Griff relieves Private Tor from watch and as Tor heads inside, Peck asks him to give him a hand. When Tor gets on the floor under the console, Peck attacks him, revealing that his eyes are glowing red and his skin turning black. Tor fights back and bites off Peck’s fingers when he attempts to cover his mouth and rips Peck’s arm off but Griff holds him down while Peck vomits out a bug, which forces open Tor’s mouth and crawls inside. As Tor begins convulsing, Peck picks up his severed fingers and throws them away, as well as the arm that Griff hands him. Griff then gets on the intercom to inform everyone that they have comms, and Shepherd has Billie contact fleet to arrange a pick-up, then gets on the comm himself as the fleet officer refuse the request at first. In the morning, Sahara is woken up by a nightmare and proceeds to vomit before heading down to the mess hall and seeing several soldiers acting strange. When Griff goes to grab some sugar cubes, Sahara accidentally brushes his hand and has a vision of a swarm of bugs, causing her to spill some liquid. As she goes to clean it up, Rake hands her a towel and Sahara asks her advice but Rake shoots it down as her hormones being out of whack due to being pregnant, which shocks Sahara. Meanwhile, Griff and Soda stare at Shepherd before Griff leaves and heads to a locker, where Peck’s deteriorating body was being kept, and grabs Peck. Taking Peck to the men’s barracks, where Billie and Private Brick are getting dressed. Griff rips open Peck’s head and pulls out the bug inside before throwing it on the floor of the room, then locks the door as Brick kills the bug but the larvae hatch and infect the two men. Sahara goes to tell Dax about her vision and they go to tell Dill, with Sahara revealing that she is pregnant. Dill tells her that pregnancy tends to heighten psychic abilities and says he had the same vision, which affected his ability to lead the men. Dax and Dill come to an agreement and Dill goes to speak with Shepherd while Dax and Sahara return to watch. When he gets to Shepherd’s quarters, he finds a nude Soda covered in blood in Shepherd’s room. Finding Shepherd unresponsive, Dill holds his gun on Soda, as well as Sandee and Horton when they enter the room but he doesn’t see Billie coming up behind him and slitting his throat. Later, Rake arrest Dax, as he is accused of Dill’s murder, and locked back in the furnace, where Soda drops a bug inside to infect him. Meanwhile, Billie goes to infect Sahara, who is able to fend him off briefly until they are interrupted by Rake. Griff, Horton, Sandee, and Billie then gang up and infect Rake before Billie turns his attention back to Sahara, locking himself in the room with her but she fights him off and is able to kill him and the bug inside him. Meanwhile, Rake uses some drugs to keep the bug from taking over her mind, knocking out Sandee and killing Horton and his bug before heading down to save Dax. After killing the bug attempting to infect Dax, Rake shoots herself in the head so she doesn’t turn on them, as Sahara shows up and unlocks Dax’s restraints. Seeing the grub coming out of Rake’s skull, Sahara grabs it and is able to learn the bugs’ plan; to have the infected Shepherd infect the Federation’s top military commanders in order to ensure the bugs’ victory. Realizing they have to kill Shepherd, they head out, running into Soda and setting her on fire along the way. The power suddenly goes out and they encounter Sandee, who attempts to blow them up, before eventually finding Shepherd, Griff, Tor, and Brick, with Shepherd taunting them about why they will die before he heads to the roof as the others attempt to kill Dax and Shepherd. Dax tells Sahara to follow after Shepherd and he manages to kill Brick and Tor but Griff opens the door, allowing a bug to come in. Dax shoots the bug, and begins struggling with Griff before the bug impales Griff through the head and approaches Dax, who starts shooting at it. Sahara chases Shepherd to the roof, where she sees the bugs swarming to the top of the hotel. As Shepherd attacks her and starts to strangle her, the evac shuttle arrives and calls out to Shepherd. Before Shepherd can get on, Dax arrives on the roof and shoots Shepherd, knocking him off the roof. Dax then carries Sahara to the shuttle, telling the men that she has vital information and must be protected. As Dax turns to face the approaching bugs, Sahara tells him that there are too many for him to handle but Dax says murderers don’t get to go home and that she has to tell command what she saw and about the new bug. Sahara cries out as the shuttle takes off and she sees Dax fending off the bugs as long as he can before he is overrun. Some time later, Sahara is holding her baby boy and watches as Dax’s sacrifice has been turned to a recruitment video for the Mobile Infantry. As the recruiting sergeant looks at her baby, he tells him to hurry up and grow as they need more meat for the grinder, causing Sahara to stare at him in horror before running off.

This is such a letdown of a movie compared to the original. The acting was ok, with Richard Burgi (Dax) and Colleen Porch (Sahara) doing a great job in their roles. The story was honestly a little weak and look like it borrowed more from the Heinlein novel, “The Puppet Masters” than Starship Troopers; what with the whole alien bugs taking over human minds to advance their own agenda. I also think they did this movie a disservice by offering up the fan service of having Kelly Carlson walk around naked in the majority of her scenes; not that she isn’t attractive, but that it was really unnecessary for the most part. Stuff like that is what helps gives direct to video movies the bad rep they currently have. The special effects were good but definitely not to the scale that the original had, as they obviously didn’t have the budget for it. It’s a definite time suck movie but it’s one that you really should avoid.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review

November 4th, 2017 Movie – Stanley

stanley (1972)

As we get deeper into November, some of my friends are eagerly awaiting an upcoming review, while others are starting to figure out why I had to buy a bunch of movies at the beginning of the year. But that is a story, and movie, for another day. Today, I find myself watching a movie from a small box set that I bought years ago. To be honest, there are times I forget I own this box set, as most of the movies on it are on other collections that I visit on a more regular basis. In fact, I think this might be the first time I have actually had to watch a movie from this box set. Well, let’s see if my starting the day with something new works in my favor as I watch today’s movie, Stanley.

The plot: Tim Ochopee, a Seminole Indian living in the Everglades, is walking through the swamp when he is bit by a rattlesnake but the bite doesn’t faze him and he quickly catches the snake and places it in a bag before tending to his wound. Returning home, Tim says hello to his pet rattlesnake Stanley, then lets all of his other snakes out of their cages, before sitting down at his kitchen table and takes a nap until Wachula, a member of the local Seminole tribe, arrives at Tim’s place and calls out to him. Tim heads outside to speak with Wachula, who tells Tim that his friends in the village miss seeing him and he pleads with Tim to return to the village to help ensure their tribe will continue to survive but Tim says no, as he is still angry over what happened to him when he served in the Vietnam War so Wachula leaves, saying Tim is always welcome in the village. Some time later, Tim is chopping some logs when he is approached by Richard Thomkins and his employee Crail Denning. Tim is cold to the two men, as Crail had shot his father while hunting alligators, claiming it was an accident, and Thomkins tries to keep the peace between the two men. Thomkins wants to talk about a job offer and starts to go inside Tim’s house but seeing all of the snakes inside, thinks better of it. Knowing Tim’s gift for catching snakes, Thomkins wants to hire him to catch snakes for him to skin but Tim says he catches snakes for the medical center so they can make anti-venom and help people, not to kill them. Thomkins tries to offer Tim money but Tim knocks the money into the swamp and Thomkins says Tim refuses to take the job so he can claim discrimination against a minority later and leaves, with Crail saying he will see Tim again. Later, Tim heads into town and leaves Stanley in his truck as he delivers the captured snakes to the medical center but as he heads inside, Stanley crawls out of the truck. Inside, Tim watches as Dr. Everett and his assistant milk the rattlesnakes, then takes Tim into his office so that he can cut him a check. After taking the check, Tim asks Everett why he told Thomkins where he was and Everett says he figured Tim could use the extra money. When they hear a commotion outside, Tim quickly heads out and stops a security guard from shooting Stanley, who had followed Tim into the medical center and scared away the patients. Taking him back to his truck, Tim heads over to a strip club to see Gloria Calvin, a dancer who uses snakes in her act, and he delivers some more snakes for her to use and after he leaves, Gloria’s husband Sidney says he has a new idea for an act that will help put her back on top. The next day, Tim sees Crail and Bob Wilson catching snakes and while they are away from their truck, he lets all of the snakes loose. As he walks back to his truck, Crail and Bob return and discover what Tim had done so they attack him and during the course of the fight, Stanley ends up being knocked to the ground. Bob eventually gets the upper hand on Tim and as he has him pinned down, tells him that they deliberately killed his father because he was helping them poach alligators off of the reservation in order to pay for Tim’s college but after he graduated, he wanted to stop and threatened to go to the police if they didn’t let him. Stanley, who had slithered close to the men, bites Bob on the ass, allowing Tim to get free and grab his rifle, threatening to shoot them if they ever come back into the swamp again. Crail and Bob head to Thomkin’s house to tell him what happened and Thomkins tells them to head back out in the swamp to get some snakes, and kill Tim if he interferes again. Crail and Bob head back out to the swamp, bringing Marty “Psycho” Simpson with them but Psycho is messed up on drugs so they leave him in the jeep while they take the canoe out into the swamp. Tim is tending to his garden when he hears a gun shot, and takes Stanley with him as he goes to investigate. He sees Crail and Bob picking up the snake that Crail shot and he sets Stanley down, saying “You know what to do.” Crail and Bob see Stanley swimming in the swamp and, recognizing the snake, decide to capture it alive but as they follow him through the swamp, they end up falling into some quicksand that Stanley had lured them to. Crail manages to grab hold of a root to keep from sinking, while Bob holds onto Crail, as Tim approaches them and after picking up Stanley, tells him to bite Crail’s hand. Stanley heads out onto the quicksand and bites Crail, who screams out and sinks into the mud, with Bob following shortly afterwards. Tim heads back to his home and after eating lunch and feeding Stanley and Stanley’s wife Hazel, he takes Stanley with him to hunt some more mice for them while it is still light out. Psycho, realizing that Bob and Crail have been gone for a long time, decides to go looking for them and ends up at Tim’s house. Heading inside, Psycho sees the snakes in the cages, then notices Hazel’s baby snakes in their bed and clubs them to death, then sees Hazel and blows her head off with his shotgun. Tim hears the shot and heads back home just as Psycho is leaving with Hazel’s body and the two men begin fighting. Psycho gets the advantage over Tim and heads over to the boat, intending to use the prop to finish off Tim but Stanley bites Psycho in the throat and he ends up falling face first into the swamp and dies. After burying Hazel and her babies, Tim heads to the club to see Gloria, noticing how busy it is, and witnesses Gloria’s new act involves her biting the heads off of the snake she is dancing with. That night, Stanley sneaks in to the Calvin’s bedroom and confronts Gloria and Sidney over the act, then proceeds to throw a bag full of venomous snakes at them, allowing the snakes to bite and kill them. The next day, Stanley goes to Thomkins’ house and after avoiding being seen by his daughter Susie, proceeds to dump a bag full of water moccasins into Thomkins’ swimming pool. When Thomkins goes for a swim, he ends up being bitten by the snakes, causing Thomkins to drown, and When Susie returns and finds his body, Tim grabs her off the horse and kidnaps her. Tim takes Susie back to his house and tells her that he wants to keep her there so they can raise kids who love snakes more than people but she refuses and tries to run. Tim tries to get Stanley to bite her but he refuses so Tim grabs some of his other snakes and tries to get them to bite her, killing some of them in a rage when they don’t. Tim grabs a chair and prepares to kill Stanley but calms down and apologizes to Stanley and asks for his forgiveness. Stanley bites Tim in the eye, causing him to fall to the ground and knock a lantern onto the floor, which ends up setting the house on fire. Stanley repeatedly bites Tim as Susie manages to get out of the burning house and as she watches, Stanley and the other snakes leave the house, followed by a badly burned Tim, who wonders what hell will be like for him before he dies.

I don’t know what was worse about some of the low budget movies from the 70’s; the lousy music or the lousy plot. This really was a lousy movie. The acting was pretty boring; especially Tim. I have seen robots be less monotone in their delivery than he was. The story was mildly interesting, and I liked the idea that Tim had some sort of ability to communicate with snakes but let’s face it, I don’t think any place would allow a guy to walk around with a rattlesnake on their shoulders. However, the whole using snakes as methods of enacting revenge was so cliche to the point of being painful. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects outside of some scenes involving the snakes attacking people but even those looked more fake than they needed to be. As for the scenes with the live snakes, a lot of those looked pretty good. Honestly, this is just one of an infinite number of low budget 70’s movies and one that is not really worth watching.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, drama, horror, movie, movie review, Uncategorized

November 3rd, 2017 Movie – Spring Break Shark Attack

spring break shark attack

Sometimes, I wonder why it took so long for an idea to be turned into a movie. I mean, when you think of Spring Break, the beach is pretty much the first thing that comes to mind for the majority of people. So why not throw in a couple of shark with the mixture of drunken college coeds. That idea practically screams out to be a Syfy original movie. There is only one problem with that idea. As you can see from the poster above, Syfy had nothing to do with this movie, as it was a CBS production. I remember watching this when it debuted on TV and thinking it was kind of lame but let’s see if my opinion changes as I watch today’s movie, Spring Break Shark Attack.

The plot: 4 Women are out in a raft off the coast of Seagull Beach in Florida when one of them, who was hanging on to the side of the raft, is attacked by a shark and as she is thrashing about, she ends up causing the raft to flip over, spilling the other women into the water to be attacked as well. Danielle Harrison is talking with her friends Karen and Alicia, who invite her out to the beach house they are staying at in Seagull Beach. Danielle asks her parents about going but her over-protective father refuses to let her go, citing that the boys down there “are only after one thing” while her mother reminds her about her volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Colorado. The next day, Danielle’s parents say goodbye as Karen leaves, supposedly for Colorado, but she secretly changes her ticket and heads down to Florida, surprising her friends when she arrives. After getting changed into bikinis, the three girls head out onto the beach and observe some of the activities that are going on before Danielle leaves to go visit her brother Charlie, who is in graduate school down there. Alicia and Karen go looking for Alicia’s boyfriend Max, as Alicia had heard rumors that he was cheating on her, while elsewhere on the beach, Max and his friend JT are using Max’s video camera to try and get girls to flash them. At a small boat shop, Joel Gatley, owner of a club in nearby East Point, is talking with shop owner Mary Jones, who is happy about the business the new reef is bringing Seagull Beach and questions Joel’s current attitude, as he was a vocal critic of the reef and felt it would take business away from his club. Meanwhile, Charlie and his professor are out on the school’s research boat and Charlie is complaining about the reef causing ecological problems with the fish population, including the tiger shark population, but his professor want to hurry back to enjoy spring break, with neither of them noticing the large tiger shark that was circling the boat. Danielle arrives on the dock looking for Charlie and meets Shane Jones, Mary’s son, and he tells her that Charlie went out on the school boat and after talking for a while, he tells her that he will tell Charlie she was looking for her when he gets back. Danielle rejoins her friends and they eventually see Max, who introduces them to JT. JT takes an immediate liking to Danielle and starts flirting with her, convincing her to head out into the water with him but Max is upset, thinking he won’t be able to fool around if Alicia is here. Later that night, Danielle and the others are at a club, with JT trying to get close to her, and as he goes to get some beers, Shane approaches Danielle and after the talk for a bit, she convinces him to go dancing with her. Meanwhile, JT runs into a girl he met last year and asks how she is doing but she just stares at him in shock before quickly leaving with her friend while Max steps waway from dancing with Alicia to ask another girl to meet up later. JT rejoins Danielle as she is dancing with Shane and she introduces him to Shane but before they can talk, Alicia and Karen come up asking if they have seen Max and JT says he will look for him while Alicia and Karen drag Danielle away to dance with them. Shane ends up leaving the club and heading to the bookstore next door and Danielle shows up a few minutes later and the two keep talking and end up getting closer. The next day, Danielle goes to visit Charlie and Charlie is shocked to see her there and tells her about his project while warning her to stay out of the water. Later, the girls plan on going to a party and Karen invites a few people over for a pre-party cocktail but it ends up turning into a an impromptu house party. When JT shows up and puts down Max’s video camera to dance with Danielle, Alicia grabs it and watches the footage, getting angry when she sees what Max had been doing. Danielle leaves the party to get some air, heading to a nearby restaurant to get some soda and finds Shane working there. As the two start talking, JT shows up to interrupt them and buys Danielle a soda but when Shane hands him the cup, JT slips a roofie into Danielle’s drink while she is busy writing directions to the house so Shane can come later. As the party continues, Danielle starts feeling the effects of the drug and stumbles out to the beach, where Shane finds her and carries her back inside. As Alicia and Karen help him take Danielle upstairs and place her in a bed, Danielle tells Shane she is starting to have feelings for him before she passes out. After Shane leaves to get her some water, Danielle wakes up briefly and, in her drugged state, she ends up calling her dad and telling him she is in Florida before passing out again. Meanwhile, JT slips upstairs and attempts to molest the unconscious Danielle but quickly moves away when Shane comes upstairs with some water and sits down to keep an eye on her. The next morning, Danielle comes downstairs and after talking with her friends about what happened, Karen and Alicia think Danielle might have been roofied but Danielle says she doesn’t think anything happened but does remember calling her father. Meanwhile, JT goes to rent one of Shane’s boats and though Shane doesn’t want too, Mary tells him to take them out on the boat. As Danielle, Karen, Alicia, and JT go to board the boat, Danielle’s father arrives to try and take Danielle back home with him but she refuses to go with him and gets on the boat. As they head out on the ocean, JT drags Danielle into the water with him, with Karen and Alicia jumping in after them but as they are swimming, Shane notices blood coming out from underneath the boat and yells at them to get back on the boat. JT, Karen, and Alicia quickly get on but Danielle had floated further away and as she starts to swim towards them, they see a shark approaching her. Shane throws her a life preserver and tells her to stay still as the sharks start circling her and after they start swimming away, he yells at her to swim for the boat and she makes it to the boat, where Shane and JT pull her on board. When the sharks start attacking the boat, it damages the engine and Shane has to jury rig it to get it started but says they won’t be able to make it to the dock so he heads to a nearby island instead. As they unload some of their gear from the boat so they can make camp for the night, Danielle finds a pill packet with one pill missing mixed in with the towels. Later that night, Danielle asks JT about the night before, then goes to Shane and shows him the packet, saying she doesn’t think he was the one to use it. Shane gets pissed and punches JT and accuses him of trying to drug Danielle and when JT says Shane was the one to get the sodas, Shane says he handed him to JT and Danielle says that he wouldn’t have known which cup was hers. Shane walks away disgusted and Danielle follows after him, apologizing for doubting him. The next day, Shane is finishing repairing the boat so they can come back and tells Danielle that someone had been using the boat to chum the waters and left the bait well open, which is what caused the blood to appear in the water. Meanwhile, Alicia is walking along the island when she sees Max’s body and screams, bringing the others to see what happened. The group return to dock and Danielle goes to see Charlie and tell him what happened, while Shane goes to tell his mom and Karen and Alicia go to tell the police about Max’s body but JT walks out of the station and goes to get drunk. Mary, hearing what happened to Shane, finds Gately on the beach and confronts him about what he had been doing but Gately denies any wrongdoing. When people spot a swarm of tiger sharks heading towards the beach, Danielle, Shane, and Charlie grab all of the chum on the dock and load it onto the university boat and use it to lure the sharks away, but not before JT is killed by the sharks. After luring the sharks away, Shane and Charlie go to set the bait loose but the sharks grab the cage and drag it underwater, ripping the cable harness and engines free from the boat. As Charlie radios for help, the sharks start attacking the boat and Shane is injured when a spear gun accidentally goes off and shoots him in the shoulder. Danielle tells Charlie to use his project to chase off the sharks but one of the pods malfunctions so Danielle goes into the water to repair it and the sharks swim back out into the ocean depths. As a police boat picks them up, Mary confronts Gately again and tells him he got his wish and that the beach is being closed and Gately says that he was going bankrupt and only wanted to scare people, not wanting people to be killed. The boat returns to dock and Danielle reconciles with her father then approaches Shane, who is being tended to by paramedics, and the two kiss before they go walking along the beach.

Yeh, this was a bit of a let down of a movie, even now. The acting was ok, with Shannon Lucio (Danielle), Riley Smith (Shane), and Justin Baldoni (JT) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was interesting but I think they could have done more with the shark attack aspect of the movie, as they didn’t really do much with the sharks themselves until the last 30 minutes of the movie, outside of the brief attacks here and there. Instead, the movie focused more on the sleazy aspects of spring break, particularly JT’s trying to drug and rape Danielle, and implying he did the same thing to the girl he met the year before. The special effects with the sharks were pretty average and honestly didn’t really instill much of the shock effect in me. This was just an average movie that you might watch if you are bored and there is nothing better on TV.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 29th, 2017 Movie – Spiders (2000)

spiders (2000)

So it is time to take a brief pause on the superhero movies and get back to the cheesy scifi/horror B-movies that I know and love. Now I will be honest, this was not the movie I expected when I got this movie. The movie I was thinking of is actually the sequel of this movie, which I actually still need to buy now that I think about it. Anyways, so here is this movie that I had never seen before but it was from Nu Image, whose movies I have always enjoyed, so that is why I wasn’t too upset about the mix-up. Now let’s see if this mix-up pans out to be worth it as I watch today’s movie, Spiders (2000).

The plot: Marci Eyre, a reporter for a Los Angeles college newspaper, is interviewing a couple that claim to be aliens that beamed down from their home planet. Her editor thinks that the couple are crackpots and tells her to find another story but she decides to investigate a research center out in the California desert with her friends Jake and Slick. Meanwhile, a DNA experiment involving a spider, dubbed Mother-In-Law, is being conducted on board an orbiting shuttle when the shuttle is struck by a solar flare. The spider is mutated by the flare’s radiation and begins attacking the crew and NASA has the shuttle brought in remotely to the desert facility. That night, Marci and the others are watching the facility when her editor calls her and tells her that the shuttle has been reported to have burnt up during an emergency reentry and chastises her for not being there to cover it, giving the story to another reporter. As she hangs up the phone, Marci and the others see the shuttle crash land within the compound’s fenced in area and go to investigate, with Marci telling them that a cover-up story has already been put in place. Inside the shuttle, they find the bodies of several crew members with horrific injuries and one survivor who begs them for help. Suddenly, a helicopter and military vehicles arrive and the three hide as the military and government agents arrive, not noticing Mother-In-Law approaching the surviving astronaut and crawling inside his suit, where she lays an egg inside the astronaut. Marci, Slick, and Jake mane to sneak out and hide in one of the trucks, which happens to be the one that the soldiers throw the dead bodies in. They manage to watch as doctors locate the survivor and want to take him to a hospital for treatment but the agent in charge, Agent Grey, shoots one of the doctors before telling the others to get the body to the base, then throws a grenade into the shuttle’s interior to blow it up and make it look like it was destroyed on reentry like the cover story said. After descending down into the lab, the soldiers remove the bodies from the truck and Marci and the others are able to sneak out and start exploring the complex. They soon find a lab filled with jars containing strange specimens, including one with an alien, and Marci has Slick take pictures of them all. Continuing to look around, they find a room where the survivor was taken and after the two doctors leave the room, they sneak in and decide to help him leave there so they can get him some medical help. Suddenly, the man wakes up and begs them for help before he starts screaming, as a giant spider begins crawling out of his mouth. The two doctors return to the room just as the spider finishes emerging, and starts spraying it’s webbing at the female doctor. Marci, Jake, and Slick duck as the spider attacks the other doctor, sinking it’s fangs into his neck, then follows after the female doctor as she runs from the room. Marci and the others quickly decide to hide, barricading themselves back into the lab and heading down a back door that leads further into the complex. Meanwhile, the male doctor manages to hit the alarm before dying from the venom and Agent Gray, his assistant John Murphy, Colonel Dixon, and the other soldiers head down to the lab. When he sees the webbing in the room, Gray realizes that Mother-In-Law is in the building and orders the men to capture it. Back in the lower levels, Marci and the others make their way through a cryogenics area, where they find a frozen astronaut from the undocumented Apollo 18 mission, and continue through a second storage area, where they find the body of the female doctor. Making their way up a flight of stairs, they find the exit webbed shut when Mother-In-Law attacks Jake, causing him to fall off the rail. Marci and Slick manage to grab Jake to keep him from falling and Slick knocks Mother-In-Law off of him, sending her plummeting down to the floor below, but not before it bites Jake in the leg. Heading back down the stairs to a hallway, they see a door marked “Project M.I.L.” and Marci realizes that it stands for Mother-In-Law and they head inside. Looking through the area, Marci discovers that the project has pictures of the “aliens” she was interviewing and realizes that they are somehow connected. Meanwhile, Jake gets on the computer and finds out more information about how Mother-In-Law was created when he discovers that the venom has no antidote. Freaking out, Jake rushes out of the lab and decides to hunt down Mother-In-Law and kill it but he passes out from the venom before he finds anything. Marci and Slick try to find Jake but when they are unable to, they see the elevator doors are open and they quickly head inside. The elevator starts heading for the surface but stops suddenly, demanding a security code and so Slick and Marci climb up onto the roof and start climbing the emergency ladder up. When they reach the next level, they open the door when they are confronted by Mother-In-Law, who has grown even larger. The two fall down the shaft and land on a giant spider’s web, and as Mother-In-Law climbs down towards them, Marci is able to get free but Slick is trapped and yells at her to run as Mother-In-Law starts attacking him. Marci manages to get out of the elevator, avoiding Mother-In-Law’s attempt to capture her, and makes her way down into the complex, where she eventually runs into Murphy, who is shocked to see her. Murphy chases after her but she manages to catch him with a surprise attack and take his gun, firing a couple of shots at him before running again. Meanwhile, Mother-In-Law manages to capture and kill all of the soldiers, with Gray showing up to finish off Dixon, claiming he failed to follow orders. Murphy catches up to Marci again and as they struggle, they end up falling down an open shaft and into a pool of water below. As they continue to fight, Murphy is suddenly grabbed by Mother-In-Law and Marci grabs a pole and stabs her in the eye, allowing Murphy to escape. The two make their way back through the tunnels and find where Mother-In-Law has webbed up it’s victims and Murphy searches for Dixon’s body so that he can grab the keycard for the elevator. As they head for the elevator, they encounter Gray, who recognizes Marco from the stories in the newspaper and prepares to kill them both but before he can, he is webbed up by Mother-In-Law. As Marci and Murphy run for the elevator, Mother-In-Law approaches Gray and stabs him in the stomach with her ovipositor. Marci and Murphy reach the elevator and start heading up but Mother-In-Law manages to smash through the bottom of the elevator, halting their progress but Murphy hits the down button, causing the elevator to head to the bottom and crush Mother-In-Law. The pair head back to the surface and then to the newspaper office so Marci can tell her editor about what happened but when they get there, they find Gray waiting for them. Gray explains about how the alien DNA in the spider was supposed to be the ultimate weapon for world domination and prepares to shoot them when he starts convulsing and a new spider emerges from within him, ripping him to shreds in the process. As Marci and Murphy leave and evacuate the building, the spider, now grown to monstrous size, burst through the building and starts attacking the students. Murphy and Marci locate Gray’s helicopter and Murphy grabs a rocket launcher from inside and fires it at the spider but misses. As the spider heads into the city, they fly the helicopter after it and Marci goes to take the shot so that Murphy can continue flying the helicopter. Tethering herself to the helicopter, she fires one shot but it bounces off the spider’s hide. Realizing that the only way to kill it is to fire a rocket into the mouth, she has Murphy fly lower but the spider strikes the helicopter, knocking her out of the helicopter and leaving her hanging by the rope. As the spider tries to attack her, she fires the last rocket into the spider’s mouth and kills it, then yells at Murphy to land the helicopter so she can write up the story.

This was a pretty average movie on all accounts. The acting was…average, though it was interesting to see Lana Parrilla (Marci) before she became more of a household name in her role of Regina in Once Upon A Time. The story was interesting, more or less a nod to some of the 50’s & 60’s sci-fi horror movies with the blend of giant insects and aliens as the source of the horror. The special effects were reasonably bad, which is what I expected and actually enjoyed about this movie. Your usual sci-fi B-movie that might be worth watching if you are a fan of the genre but probably isn’t for everyone.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, horror, movie, movie review

October 23rd, 2017 Movie – Spawn

spawn

Today marks the beginning of almost a solid week of superhero movies. Unfortunately, we start off with one that was a real disappointment. See, back in the early 90’s, there was a breakaway from Marvel of several of their top illustrators, who had wanted to maintain the copyrights for characters they created, thus giving birth to Image comics. One of the most popular comics in that new company was “Spawn”, created by Todd McFarlane. Now Spawn was a definitely a darker, and bloodier, comic than what most fans expected (similar to the Punisher) and it made sense that someone might try to make a movie off based of the comics. Unfortunately, the end result was a little less than desired and I, having a tendency to torture myself with my movie choices at times, decided to buy it just to work on my superhero movie collection. So let’s get this headache over with as I watch today’s movie, Spawn.

The plot: In Hong Kong, Special Forces operative Al Simmons takes over an airport control tower, where he then fires a missile to take out his target before detonating the launcher to remove all traces of his being there, unaware that he is being observed by a man named Cogliostro. Back in the US, Jason Wynn, the head of the agency that Al works for, is meeting with a demon known as Violator, who has promised to give Wynn world domination in exchange of certain favors and asks for one last favor, kill Al Simmons. Some time later, Al and his friend/partner Terry Fitzgerald are heading to work and after showing Al the paper discussing the civilian deaths in the latest operation, Terry comments about how several of Wynn’s ops seem to have more civilian casualties and that he is going to keep an eye on Wynn. Al goes to Wynn’s office and tells him he wants out, causing him to be taunted by Wynn’s bodyguard/assassin Jessica Priest, and Wynn tells him he will have him transferred after completing one last mission. Al is sent to North Korea to destroy a bioweapon facility but when he gets there, he finds the place is already prepared to blow and Wynn waiting for him. Al tries to stop Wynn from releasing the gas, as there is a village nearby, but he is shot by Priest, who then pours an accelerant onto him and Wynn sets him on fire. Al calls out his wife Wanda’s name before collapsing to the ground just as the plant explodes. 5 years later, a horribly burned Al is shown to be alive and in the top of an old church, where Violator is watching him. Al climbs down from the church and finds himself in an alley where the homeless live, and Cogliostro attempts to talk to him but Al shoves him aside so Cogliostro gives him a coat to help hide his burned face and skin. Al heads to his home to find Wanda is now married to Terry and they have a daughter, Cyan. When Cyan chases after her dog Spaz, who had recognized Al, and offers Al some candy but Wanda sees them and grabs her away from him. Wanda yells for Terry, who tells Al to leave and Violator, who was dressed up to perform for the party, grabs Al and leaves with him. Returning to the alley, Violator explains that Al promised to lead the Demon Malebolgia’s army in exchange for getting to be with Wanda again, taking Al to his grave to show him that he died. The pain causes Al’s necroplasm armor to emerge and Violator dubs him Spawn. Back in the alley, Spawn realizes the usefulness of his armor in getting his revenge on Wynn and he heads for Wynn’s new company only to be confronted by Cogliostro, who tries to stop him but when Spawn continues on his path, Cogliostro summons a blade and debates on if he needs to use it. Al breaks into Wynn’s new company, A-6, and steals some of their weapons, then follows Wynn and Terry to a reception at a nearby embassy. Spawn breaks in and confronts Wynn, who is shocked to see what Al has become. Spawn then confronts Terry and asks him how he could betray him and Terry, shocked at see Al there, tells him that Wanda was devastated when Al died and he was taking care of her when they fell in love. Priest and a security team arrive and attack Spawn and though he is shot, his wounds heal and he manages to kill Priest before being blasted out of a window, where he uses his armor to escape from the police. As Wynn watches Priest’s body being taken away, he sees Violator nearby and goes to talk with him, angry at what had happened. Violator calms him down and tells him that he should get a device attached to his heart which will release the Heat-16, the new bioweapon Wynn has developed, worldwide if his heart stops beating, which will serve as a deterrent from anyone killing him. Spawn heads to where Wanda is giving a lecture about the effects of Heat 16, realizing how Wynn has been using him all this time. When Cyan runs off after Spaz and falls, Spawn helps her up and carries her to where Wanda can find her, just as Terry shows up and takes them home but Spaz ends up staying with Spawn and returns to the alley with him. In the alley, Spawn starts to befriend a homeless boy name Zack when Violator shows up and Spawn attacks him. Violator then transforms into his demonic form and easily beats Spawn, eventually throwing him into the bent spires of an iron fence. Violator changes back into the clown and taunts Spawn about going to see Wanda before he leaves. Cogliostro appears and pulls off of the fence, then threatens to kill Spawn but when Spawn seems to have calmed down, he retracts his blade. Cogliostro then starts training Spawn in how to use his armor and abilities. Spawn then goes to save Wanda and Cyan from Violator, who stalls Spawn as he makes his way there. Meanwhile, Terry had made copies of Wynn’s files and was sending them to a local news channel in order to take down Wynn when Wynn shows up and takes them hostage. When Spawn shows up, he finds Wanda held captive, with Wynn threatening to kill her unless Spawn agrees to lead Hell’s armies. When Spawn refuses, Wynn stabs Wanda and Spawn proceeds to attack Wynn, threatening to kill him. Wynn says if he dies then everyone dies, including Cyan, and Spawn uses his powers to remove the device from Wynn’s heart, preventing the Heat 16 from being dispersed. As Spawn approaches Wanda’s body, she suddenly comes to life and attacks him, slashing his throat and revealing that she was actually a disguised Violator. Cogliostro appears and saves Spawn, chasing Violator back to Hell, and after Spawn heals himself, Violator grabs them both and drags them back to Hell. Cogliostro attacks Violator but he is easily beaten and thrown aside before Spawn starts attacking him and manages to stab him in the neck, causing Violator to retreat. Spawn is then confronted by Malebolgia and his army of hellspawn, who tells Spawn to lead his army or die. Spawn refuses, then uses his powers to attack the hellspawn but when he finds himself about to be overrun, he grabs Cogliostro and returns to Earth. As the two rest form their adventures, Cogliostro explains that he had been fighting the war for centuries and was waiting for a new Hellspawn to take his place and believed Al was that one. When Violator reappears and attacks Spawn, Spawn uses his chains to cut of Violators head, who taunts them one last time before disappearing back to Hell. Outside, Terry gives an interview to the press concerning Wynn’s activities while back in the alley, Spawn has taken up residence there as the homeless’s protector.

Spawn was panned by the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Spawn is an overbearing, over-violent film that adds little to the comic book adaptation genre.” The movie originally had a budget of $20 million but due to all of the special effects needed in the movie, New Line cinemas decided to double the budget to $40 million. Despite the low ratings from the critics, the movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $87.8 million worldwide and a sequel was planned but it fell into “developmental hell” and ended up being cancelled but a reboot has been announced and is scheduled to start filming in 2018.

This was an absolute disappointment of a movie, made even more so by the fact that there was a successful animated series on HBO that was way better. The acting was ok, with Michael Jai White (Spawn) and John Leguizamo doing decent jobs in their roles. The plot was essentially an origin story and I know there were some changes compared to the comics but it has been so long since I read them that I don’t know what they all were. I do think the changes that they made to the movie to drop it from an R-rating to a PG-13 did hurt it a lot, as the HBO series did a much better job with the subject material. The special effects that they spent so much money on honestly looked terrible, which is surprising as the effects in some other movies that came out that year were much better with a smaller budget. I’m hoping that the reboot might be better but in the meantime, I will watch the animated series if I want to get my fix.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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