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

August 18th, 2019 Movie – Rajin’ Cajun Redneck Gators (a.k.a. Alligator Alley)

rajin' cajun redneck gators

Today brings us the last entry in the Shark Bait box set and the other movie I was most excited to be getting in this set. Now I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had completely missed this movie when it first debuted on Syfy. In fact, it would be 2-3 years later when I happened to see this movie on the schedule and immediately set my DVR to record it, as the name alone had my curiosity piqued. I mean, come on. How can you not be interested in seeing a movie with a title like that. Well my first thought when watching it was, “Hey, that’s Zoe from Eureka.”, which made me pretty happy to know that Syfy was trying to get actors from their original series to play roles in their original movies. Then I started laughing my ass off as I continued watching the movie. So it’s time to sit back and laugh again as I watch today’s movie, Rajin’ Cajun Redneck Gators.

The plot: Deep in the south Louisiana bayou, Dathan Robichaud has pulled up to the swamp and is dumping out a batch of bad moonshine, briefly talking to two Doucette’s that are fishing nearby. As Dathan drives off, he is unaware that the two fishermen are being attacked by an unseen creature. Meanwhile, Avery Doucette is returning home after spending the last 4 years in college and after greeting her dad, Lucien, she heads out with him and her cousin Bud, who is constantly hitting on her, as they go hunting some gators. The three end up anchoring off of the Robichaud property, they are confronted by Wade, Dathan, and Dale Robichaud. As Lucien and Wade begin arguing, Dathan and Avery subtly wave at each other when Wade suddenly shoots at the Doucette’s boat, hitting a large alligator that was underwater. As Lucien and Bud work to bring the gator on board, it comes back to life, biting Lucien’s hand before he is finally able to kill it. As the Doucettes head back to the dock to unload the gator, Avery comments about the gator’s unusual coloring and spikes on it’s tail but Lucien dismisses her concerns and heads inside the local watering hole so Avery can say hello to the rest of the Doucettes. Suddenly, the surviving fisherman bursts into the bar screaming about the gator attack and when the sheriff arrives, he tells his deputy, who is a Doucette, to go check out the area where the attack happened. As the Doucette’s family cookout commences, Avery manages to get rid of Bud and heads down to the water for a swim, where she is secretly joined by Dathan. As the two kiss, the fisherman yells at them from the bank, just as another alligator skewers him with it’s tail spikes before eating him. Avery heads back to the cookout and tells her dad what happened but her family mocks her and don’t believe what she is saying so she calls Dathan and asks him to meet her. As Dathan gets his gear together, he stops by to talk to his dad, who says his latest batch of moonshine is bad as well, and they discuss his pouring out the bad shine into the swamp, as well as why the Doucettes and Robichauds hate each other. Meanwhile, Deputy Doucette comes across a swamper who has caught a gator but the man is soon killed and as Doucette starts to radio in on what is happening, she is decapitated by another gator. The next day, Sheriff Landry is trying to get the Doucettes to calm down but Lucien and Bud are adamant that Wade, Dale, and Dathan are the ones that killed their family and go out to find them. Meanwhile, Avery and Dathan had been out all night trying to find the gators and their nest. They manage to find a likely area but when their boat stalls out, a gator starts swimming towards them and begins attacking the boat. On the shore, Lucien, Bud, and some other Doucettes are confronting Wade and Dale on the water’s edge when they hear Avery call out for help, so they quickly yell out to the gator to try and distract it. The group manage to kill the gator but when some more gators begin showing up, they quickly head for Avery and Dathan’s boat, with Landry showing up to help them escape. That night, as Avery and Lucien argue aver her being with Dathan, Lucien’s wife Candy goes out looking for her dog when a gator appears nearby. Her screams alert Avery, Lucien, and Bud, who throws the dog at the gator as a distraction so they can run back to the house. As Avery tries to console Candy, Lucien heads to the bathroom, where he notices his hand where the gator bit him is beginning to gain a scaly appearance. The next day, Landry has brought in Tristan St. Claire, a TV personality with his own show about hunting Gators, to help kill the gators. As they prepare to head out, the Doucettes are surprised to see Dathan has become Landry’s new deputy and Lucien is skeptical about the situation but chooses to stay quiet. The group heads out to the nest but as Tristan tries examining some baby gators, Bud gets impatient and starts shooting some eggs, causing the rest of the group to start shooting. When some adult gators show up, Tristan’s film crew are killed as the assembled Doucettes and Robichauds continue killing the redneck gators. Later that afternoon, the Doucettes and Robichauds are celebrating together at the bar but when Landry gives Wade and Lucien the reward money, their tempers start flaring, especially when Dathan says that Avery is going to marry him. Avery goes storming out of the bar, with Dathan chasing after her, and Lucien gets a gun from Candy and orders all of the Robichauds out of the bar but as they all leave, he suddenly doubles over in pain as he begins turning into a redneck gator. Outside, Dathan catches up to Avery and as they talk, Bud, who is also beginning to turn, pulls a gun on them and moves to shoot Dathan but Dale attacks him. As the two struggle, Bud kills Dale, then bites Dathan when he tries to stop him and as Bud runs off into the woods, Dathan manages to shoot him. The next day, Landry goes looking for Lucien to see if he knows where Bud might be but finds all of the Doucettes have vanished, while a redneck gator is inside Lucien’s home. Landry heads to Wade’s home and tells Wade, Dathan, and Avery about the missing Doucettes and they agree to help him find them. Avery, Dathan, and Wade head out in a boat when Wade and Dathan get knocked overboard by a redneck gator. As it approaches the boat to attack Avery, Avery notices the pink nail polish on the gator’s claws and realizes that it is Candy, but she is still forced to kill it. Later, Avery is continuing to look for her family when she falls into some quicksand and as she calls out for help, a redneck gator begins approaching her. Before it reaches her, a second gator attacks it and drives it off, then approaches Avery but instead of attacking her, it rescues her from the quicksand and she realizes that it is her dad when she sees the gold tooth in it’s mouth. Avery tells Dathan and Wade her theory but when they don’t believe her, she drives off on her own, killing several gators when they approach her. Meanwhile, Dathan and Wade, realizing their tainted moonshine caused the gators to mutate, are trying to get rid of the rest of the shine when Dathan suddenly starts turning into a redneck gator. Avery kills another gator that is about to kill Wade, then approaches the now transformed Dathan when another gator (Bud) appears from underneath the house. The two gators begin attacking each other and appear to kill each other but after Wade and Avery take Dathan’s body and place it in the swamp, it recovers and swims off. Avery and Wade tell Landry what is going on and  they come up with a plan to kill the redneck gators. Wade gathers the rest of the Robichauds and they call out for the Doucettes, attracting the gators to the bar, where they have some explosives planted inside. As the Robichauds lock the gators inside, Avery finds Lucien and tries to get him to leave with her but Wade stops her and as he faces off with Lucien, they end up killing each other. Landry is killed before he can set off the explosives so Avery quickly fashions a Moltov Cocktail and tosses it into the bar, setting the explosive off but the concussion knocks her out and as the bar burns to the ground, Dathan appears and drags Avery to safety. One year later, Avery is shown to have stayed in the swamp, selling alligator skins for a living while raising her daughter, with Dathan, who is still a redneck gator and living with her.

This is one of those movies that, by all accounts, should not be entertaining but turns out to be highly entertaining. Yes, this does rely on a lot of stereotypes, and yes some of them are on the negative side, so the humor can be off at times but there are still some pretty funny aspects to this movie. The acting was pretty good, with Ritchie Montgomery and Thomas Francis Murphy stealing the show as Lucien and Wade respectively. Jordan Hinson, who was supposed to be the star, did a good job as Avery, but there were several times where she would gain and lose her bayou accent that ended up being a little annoying. Christopher Berry (Bud) was also pretty good but John Chriss (Dathan) was honestly a pretty bland character. The story was pretty interesting because of the two aspects of the movie. On the one hand, you had the typical sci-fi B-movie style theme of some sort of mutating agent, in this case the chemically tainted moonshine, causing animals to mutate and turn into killers. The fact that the gators could mutate people and turn them into gators honestly made it feel a little like Black Sheep (2006) in that regard. The other aspect of the movie was the human aspect, which was a pretty decent mixture of “Romeo and Juliet” with a touch of Hatfields and McCoys thrown in. The fact that Avery and Dathan were secret high school sweethearts honestly didn’t seem too original to be honest, though the whole Bud flirting/hitting on her was a bit too creepy. The special effects were a lot better than I was expecting, with the addition of the gators able to shoot out their tail spikes being a nice touch to their design. I especially liked that they didn’t overuse that ability too much, only utilizing it a few times, but the best part was the final duel between Lucien and Wade. So a fun movie to watch and one of Syfy’s better entries over the last few years.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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

August 11th, 2019 Movie – Zombie Shark

zombie shark

A sad way to start the day as I watch the last shark movie in the Shark Bait set. Well, let me rephrase that. This is the last shark movie that I did not already review. See, this set also included Swamp Shark, but since that movie got it’s own DVD release several years ago, it has already been reviewed on my site. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie. Now this movie had debuted 4 years ago during Sharknado Week, but I missed it. In fact, I somehow managed to miss it every time Syfy aired it for the next two years. Last year I finally got a chance to watch Zombie Shark and…..the wait was not exactly worth it. Let’s see if a little bit of time, and keeping my expectations a little more even, will make it more enjoyable this time.

The plot: A woman is sitting on her kayak in the ocean, while her two friends are packing up their gear and heading back to their car, when she hears the sound of gunfire coming from a nearby abandoned base out on the water. Suddenly, a shark fin breaks the surface heading right for her but before it reaches her, a second shark attacks and kills it, then kills her. Elsewhere, Amber Steele is working at a bar with her friend Bridgette when Amber’s younger sister Sophie, who is also working there, is harassed by a drunk and when Amber goes to intercede, a fight breaks out until Bridgette quickly stops it by offering the bar free shots. Later that night, Amber’s boyfriend Jenner shows up and tells her he got a deal on an island getaway for 4 and Amber invites Sophie and Bridgette to come with them. Back on the island, Dr. Palmer is speaking with Roger and Maxwell Cage about trying to recapture the test subject that escaped from the base the day before, and both men say they will do their best on their respective tasks. The next morning, Jenner is loading up some gear in his boat, not hearing a weather report about an approaching storm, when he receives a call from Amber and Sophie’s parents, warning him to take care of their girls. The group head off for the island and are eventually greeted by Lester, the property manager, who tells them what there is to do on the island, as well as some history about the island and the abandoned base on the island’s edge. Bridgette decides to head to the beach and sees a crowd gathering by a dead shark that washed up on the beach so she quickly heads to get the others. As they stare at the shark, Jenner decides to take a picture of his head next to the shark’s mouth when the sheriff, who was working on crowd control, yells at him to get away from the shark. Suddenly, the shark comes back to life and lunges at Jenner and manages to eat him before it swims back into the sea, then killing the sheriff when the sheriff tries to shoot it. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette head to the boat to try and leave only to realize that Jenner had the keys. AS more sharks begin feeding on the sheriff’s body, one of them attacks the boat, sending the girls drifting from the marina. Amber tries to call for help on the boat’s radio, accidentally getting on the military frequency being used at the abandoned base, and when Cage hears about the shark attack, he tells Amber that they will be there soon. Amber, Sophie, and Bridgette manage to get back onto the dock and head to the bar and, after telling Lester what happened, he finds a radio for them to use to try and call for help. Amber manages to make contact with Dr. Palmer, who asks them about the shark before telling them she is sending professionals to deal with it. When they hear people screaming for help, Amber and Sophie, armed with some shotguns that Lester had on hand, head out to try and save them. They fire at a shark that is approaching some people on inner tubes but it has no effect on the shark. Suddenly, they see a large shark with harpoon sticking in it’s back swimming past the dock, just as another shark slams into the dock. Amber and Sophie try to get back onto dry land when the dock is struck again, knocking Amber into the water. As she tries to climb back on, a shark starts swimming towards her but it is blown up by Cage, who had fired a bazooka at it. After pulling her up to safety, As Amber and Sophie try to get some answers from Cage about what is happening, he hears the sounds of combat coming on the radio from the rest of his team and he quickly heads off to help them, with Amber and Sophie coming with him. They arrive at a camp site, where they find the remains of some campers and Cage’s team, as well as a severed shark’s head that is still alive. Noticing a large swarm of sharks out in the water, as well as the one with the harpoon in it’s back (which Cage calls Bruce), Cage radios Dr. Palmer and explains the situation. Palmer says that the infection could spread to humans and tells Cage to try and contain the situation while she works on a way to reverse the process. Back at the bar, Bridgette and Lester see a news team out on the dock and they head out to warn them when the reporter gets knocked into the water by a shark. As they try to pull the reporter back onto the dock, Cage, Amber , and Sophie arrive just as a shark approaches the reporter. Cage manages to throw a grenade in the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode but it’s head is blown right onto Bridgette, killing her. Amber, Sophie, Cage, and Lester head back to the bar, where Sophie is able to phone her parents and tell them what is happening. While she is on the phone, Amber explains how she had a falling out with her parents. Lester is unable to get through to the Coast Guard and demands that Cage tells him what happened to the sharks. Cage refuses at first but he eventually tells them that Palmer had been experimenting on sharks to find a way to regenerate dead tissues and organs when Bruce had escaped from it’s containment. When a homeless drunk, who has been infected by the sharks, shows up and attacks Amber, Lester kills him by shooting him in the head. Cage says that they need to get to Palmer and help her make the cure, while Lester says he will get some friend to help deal with the zombies. Back at the base, Roger tells Palmer that he has fixed the beacon and when she tells him that she is considering leaving the project after they clean up the mess they made, Roger tries to convince her to continue her research when he is killed by a shark. Cage contacts Palmer and tells her about the problem and she tells them that Roger had fixed the beacon so they can lure Bruce, and the other sharks, back to the base, where Cage says that he has enough explosives to kill them all. Palmer tells them that she might have developed a cure but she needs an infected brain to test it on. Amber suggests they get the shark’s head they found and they quickly head back to the camp site only to find the head is missing. They spread out to find it and Sophie eventually finds it, but they annoyingly attract the attention of a zombie. After collecting the head, the three head to the base but they are attacked by some sharks, with Cage being wounded in the process before they can make it inside. Once inside, they give Palmer the head, she injects her trial cure into the shark’s brain but when it doesn’t work, she says that they have to stop the infection from spreading. Palmer activates the beacon to draw the sharks towards the base. Out on the beach, Lester and his friends have been fending off the sharks and zombies when they see the sharks all swimming away and heading towards the base. As the sharks enter the enclosure, Amber and the others leave so they can blow up the base but Palmer heads back to get her vaccine, with Sophie accompanying her. Inside the lab, Palmer finds the vaccine but the shark’s head, which had fallen off the table, bites Palmer in the leg so Palmer hands the vaccine to Sophie and tells her to leave her, as she is now infected. Cage blows up the base as Sophie exits and when she tries to jump to safety, she is swallowed whole by Bruce, who had not gone into the enclosure. A hysterical Amber heads out to the water to lure Bruce to her, where she is able to pull the harpoon from his back and begins stabbing him in the head. As Bruce swims back out to sea and turns around to make another attack, Lester arrives and throws a spear gun to Amber, who uses it to finally kill Bruce. As Amber mourns for her sister, she hears something coming from Bruce’s stomach and Cage hands her his knife so she can cut the stomach open. Amber pulls Sophie from Bruce’s stomach but Sophie has become infected and attacks Amber, forcing Amber to kill her. The vaccine falls from Sophie’s hands and Cage quickly picks it up so he can get more of it manufactured, then he and Lester go to comfort Amber, who is cradling Sophie’s head in her lap.

So I gave it another shot and I have to say, I am honestly on the fence regarding this movie. There were some aspects of it that I liked and some that I didn’t. The acting was decent, with Jason London (Cage) and Roger J. Timber (Lester) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Sloane Coe (Sophie) did a good job but I was a little disappointed with Cassie Steele (Amber). It might be more due to the writing than her actual performance because her character just seemed to be overly whiny at times. The story itself was pretty decent, playing a little bit off of the plot from Deep Blue Sea, and adding a nice zombie twist to it. I do wish they actually showed more of the whole zombie aspect, because this was mainly just a normal shark movie for the most part, with only a few times where the shark’s didn’t die showcasing the zombie aspect. I will say that Lester made for some great comedic scenes, especially in the battle on the beach where he stabbed a shark through the mouth with a machete, causing the machete to stick out of it’s head, only for the shark to swim off and use it’s new machete to sever one guys arm, and later stab Cage in the leg. The special effects were about what you would expect for this type of movie, but they did add to the humor in a lot of the scenes. One thing I didn’t care for was the camera work during several of the underwater scenes. I don’t know if it was intentional but they made the water look soo murky that the sharks didn’t look very clear. So there are a couple of faults but it can still be an enjoyable movie on the whole.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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

August 4th, 2019 Movie – Santa Jaws

santa jaws

This. This right here is the reason that I bought the Shark Bait box set. When I first heard about this movie, my initial thoughts were an excited “This movie might be on par with Santa Slay for best campy Christmas movie ever.” When it debuted on Syfy during last year’s  Sharknado Week, it easily became one of my favorite entries for that year. So let’s have some early Holiday cheer as I watch today’s movie, Santa Jaws.

The plot: Cody is working on his “Santa Jaws” comic that he is making with his friend Steve and discussing it with Steve and Clark, who are excited for an upcoming Christmas party at the comic book shop. Cody heads home as his uncle Mike and his new wife Georgia arrive and as the rest of the family greeting them, Cody’s mom Caroline grounds him for posting an “offensive cartoon” concerning the talks of school uniforms on social media. That night, Cody finds a Christmas present from his grandfather, Papa Joe, on his desk. Upon opening it, he sees it contains an antique, ornate fountain pen, which Cody uses to redraw a sketch of Santa Jaws in his notebook. As Cody goes to sleep, he is unaware of a strange glow appearing in the nearby cove, and Sanra Jaws, a shark with a Santa’s hat and Christmas lights on it’s dorsal fin, begins swimming around. The next morning, Papa Joe wakes up Cody to go on their annual Christmas Eve fishing trip and as Cody reluctantly walks to the truck, he is distracted by his new neighbor, Jena, and trips over some decorations. As Cody and Papa Joe are fishing, Papa Joe tries talking to Cody about what is bothering him and Cody admits how he seems to constantly embarrass himself when he tries talking to Jena. Papa Joe comforts Cody, who starts to feel better, but when Papa Joe goes to retrieve his thermos that Cody accidentally dropped into the water, he is killed by Santa Jaws. Cody runs home and tells his family what happened but none of them believe him and his mother grounds him for another week, taking his phone away from him. As his family heads off to prepare for the annual Christmas Dinner, Cody heads to the comic shop to tell Steve and Clark what he saw, but they think he just imagined it. When Cody asks Clark where the Santa Jaws comic is, he tells them that he gave it to Jena and Cody heads off to get it back, convincing Steve to come with him. Meanwhile, after helping preparing for the dinner, Mike and Georgia head off to the harbor so they can be part of the parade of boats but as Mike works on untangling some Christmas lights that had gotten snared in his prop, Santa Jaws attacks Mike, dragging him into the water. Georgia hears the splash and calls out for Mike, only to see Santa Jaws swimming away so she runs off to get help. Georgia makes it back to the restaurant and tells everyone about Mike being gone and Josh, Cody’s brother, says that Cody was telling the truth but Caroline and Peter, Cody’s father, tell him he’s wrong and have him take Georgia back to the house while they go looking for Mike. Meanwhile, Cody and Steve arrive at Jena’s house and ask her for the comic back and she tells them she left it on her father’s boat and they head to the harbor to retrieve it. As she gives them the comic, they hear the sound of sleigh bells coming across the water and Jena comments that it is like a line from the comic. As they are walking along the docks, they see a man in an elf costume being killed by Santa Jaws. Cody, Steve, and Jena head to the comic store, where they find Josh and Georgia looking for them. After Josh tells Cody about what happened to Mike, Jena says they should just stay out of the water and they will be safe but Cody says that they have to kill Santa Jaws. As they borrow some of the replica weapons from Clark’s display case, Steve notices the pen case and asks Cody about it. When Jena reads the inscription on the case, Cody gets a strange look on his face but is forced to dismiss it as they head out, not realizing that the pen case had fallen out of his bag as he was stuffing items into it. Cody, Jena, Steve, Josh, and Georgia head to the harbor to kill Santa Jaws but it ends up killing Georgia instead. When Jena comments about how Georgia was the only one to injure Santa Jaws, when she stabbed out it’s eye with a candy cane, Cody and Jena realize that the only way to kill Santa Jaws is with Christmas items and they quickly split up to find some appropriate items to use. As Cody and Jena work on fashioning some weapons, Steve and Josh show up with some fireworks and Christmas ornaments they can use to kill Santa Jaws. They finish their weapons and try to kill Santa Jaws but only manage to wound it, and Steve is killed in the process. Meanwhile, Caroline and Peter have their own encounter with Santa Jaws and go looking for Cody and Josh and when they show up at the comic store, Clark tells them that Cody and the others went to the harbor. Back at the harbor, Jena talks with Cody and suggests using the pen against Santa Jaws, as he had used it to bring Santa Jaws to life, but when he goes to look for the pen, he realizes it is missing.  They head back to shop and are shocked to find Clark there with a woman, whom he claims is his Russian girlfriend Svetlana. When they ask about the pen, Clark says he put it in back when he was cleaning up and goes to get it, only to duck out the back and attempt to escape as Cody and the others realize that he has been using the pen. They chase after him and confront him about the pen and Clark tries to escape in a boat but Jena jumps after him, knocking them both into the water. They both surface, with Jane clutching the pen, and she tosses it to Cody just as Santa Jaws appears and kills Clark and then Jena. Cody uses the pen to try and deal with Santa Jaws but his attempts to remove it’s teeth and kill it only make it more deadly. Cody and Josh decide to find their parents and when they do, Peter and Caroline still don’t completely believe Cody but when he shows them the comic, they finally agree he was right. They come up with a plan to try and kill Santa Jaws, fashioning a catapult to launch turkeys filled with explosives at it, then having Josh shoot them. When Santa Jaws approaches, they miss on their first two attempts and when the catapult misfires the third turkey, Josh goes to get it and throw it at Santa Jaws, only to be impaled by the horn Cody accidentally gave Santa Jaws. Peter dives into the water and tries to rescue Josh only to be killed by Santa Jaws but as it swims by the turkey, Cody shoots it, seemingly killing Santa Jaws. Cody shows Caroline the pen and says he can draw his family back but as she argues with him about it, Cody drops the pen. Caroline goes down to get it and hands it back to Cody, only for Santa Jaws to leap onto the dock and kill her. Cody quickly draws in the comic that whoever kills Santa Jaws gets a Christmas Wish and he then sets the comic on fire, destroying Santa Jaws. Cody wakes up in his bed on Christmas morning and finds his family all alive, with new memories as to what happened on Christmas Eve. As the family starts opening gifts, Josh heads across the street to Jena’s house and after talking her for a bit, he gets the Santa Jaws comic back from her, then invites her to go to a new ice cream store. Returning to the house, Josh sets the Santa Jaws comic on fire then holds the pen case in his hands, staring at the pen for a minute before closing the case and walking off.

This is still such a fun movie to watch; in fact, this is my third time watching it since I bought the set. The acting was pretty decent, with Reid Miller doing a great job as Cody. I also thought that Courtney Lauren Cummings (Jena), Arthur Marroquin (Josh) and Scott Allen Perry (Clark) were good in their roles. While not completely original, as the concept of someone’s drawings coming to life has been used before (at least I am pretty sure I have seen it before). Regardless, I liked the idea of the kid’s drawing coming to life and starting it’s reign of terror, and while I also liked that his initial attempts to kill Santa Jaws only made him more dangerous, I thought the ending was a little too contrived. Then again, this is more or less a Christmas movie so a nice, holiday magic-themed happy ending does make sense. The special effects were actually a lot better than I was expecting for the most part, with only a couple of times where the shark looked too fake. A really fun movie and something new to suggest as a family movie over the holidays.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

July 14th, 2019 Movie – Ghost Shark

ghost shark

Well it has been a while since I have done this but I got some new movies in the other day so let’s get to reviewing them. So months ago, I saw a collection of movies called the Shark Bait collection and I immediately pre-ordered a copy of it. The reason for this is two fold: 1) It contains 6 movies that have not received a US release on DVD and 2) It was cheap (less than $12 for 7 movies). Now I honestly would have bought it just to get those 6 movies but the fact that it was so cheap was a nice bonus. Anyways, I now have several shark movies, and one alligator movie, to enjoy so let’s get things started with our first entry, Ghost Shark. Now I first heard about this movie on a horror movie website I used to frequent and eagerly awaited it when it debuted on Syfy. Unfortunately, I missed it’s debut so I decided to try and buy it on DVD only to find that every copy I saw was not playable in the US (I really need to get an all-region DVD/Blu-Ray player). I would eventually manage to watch it but that did not solve my problem of getting a copy on DVD, which is why this set was such a godsend in that regard.

The plot: Late one night, Brubaker and his daughter Vicky are attempting to reel in a large fish to win a local competition when a great white shark bites their fish in half before they can reel it in. Brubaker grabs a gun and starts shooting at the shark, knocking out the boat’s captain, Captain Reid, when he tries to stop them, then he and Vicky proceed to fatally wound the shark. As it dies, the shark swims into an underwater cave, where the waters cause the shark to be resurrected as a ghost. The ghost shark then quickly swims out of the cave and kills Brubaker and Vicky, then emerges from a bucket of bait to kill Captain Reid. The next day, Ava Reid, her sister Cicely, and their friends Blaise, Taylor, Cameron, and Mick head out to the beach to have some fun when Ava notices her dad’s boat drifting along the shore. Ava and Cicely swim out to the boat to look for the dad, only to find his bloody hat on board and the video camera that Vicky was using. Meanwhile, one of their friends is attacked by the ghost shark and as she tries to get away on a jet ski, it bites her in half. As the police close down the beach, Chief Martin asks Ava and her friends what they saw but doesn’t believe their description of the shark. Finch, the drunken lighthouse keeper, tells Martin that ghosts are real and the town will be punished for his sins, but Martin dismisses him as well, just as Mayor Stahl arrives and tells Martin what they should do. The next day, Ava and her friends head to the police station and Martin shows them the footage from Vicky’s camera but still won’t believe it was a ghost. That night, Cameron has a pool party at his house when the ghost shark appears in the pool, killing one of the guests as he jumps into the pool, then killing Mick as the guests run out of the pool. Cameron calls Ava the next morning to tell her what happened and when Ava and Blaise get there, they see Cameron being questioned by his father, Mayor Stahl, about what happened. In an attempt to keep things quiet, as he wants to be reelected, Stahl tells Martin to have Cameron taken to the mental hospital for evaluation but when a deputy shows them a phone with video of the ghost shark killing the boy, Cameron uses the opportunity to get away and leaves with Ava and Blaise. As the ghost shark starts killing more people all over town, Finch sees someone entering the cave and when he goes to chase them out, he finds the shark’s body. Ava, Blaise, and Cameron show up at the lighthouse looking for Finch and discover a secret basement in the lighthouse. Finch confronts them, yelling at them about the cave bringing things back to life when he passes out drunk. As Stahl and Martin decide to release the video of the shark attack, and issue an APB for Ava, Blaise, and Cameron, Cicely is attacked by the shark while she is taking a bath but Ava and Blaise are able to save her. As they tend to her wound, Blaise finds a news article online about the death of Finch’s wife and they decide to head to the town museum to see if they can get some more information about the cave. When they get there, the museum curator tells them of a legend concerning the cave, but as he goes to show them a grimoire that contains a spell to appease vengeful spirits, they find the display case empty and the curator says that Finch, who was in their earlier, must have taken it. Cameron, who was outside smoking, passes by Finch as he leaves the museum and as he watches him leave, a distracted Cameron tosses his cigarette into the trash can, accidentally starting a fire. As the sprinkler system activates and begins to flood the museum, the curator and Cameron are both killed by the shark but Ava and Blaise manage to get away. As the call the cops to alert them to the deaths, Cicely pulls up in the Reid’s truck and Ava tells her to go home, then asks Blaise to take her home while she heads to the lighthouse to see Finch. At the police station, the mayor’s aide is killed when he drinks some water and the shark burst forth from his stomach. When Martin tells him about Cameron’s death, Stahl tells him to get a boat so they can hunt down and kill the shark but they both end up getting killed by the shark. Ava shows up at the lighthouse and, not finding Finch inside, heads to the cave, where she finds Finch holding the grimoire as he stands over the shark’s body. Finch discovers the spell they need and says they can trap the spirit in the talisman of the object that killed it and Ava pulls out the crossbow bolt that was lodged in the shark’s eye. They head out onto the beach to try and stop the shark and are joined by Blaise and Cicely, who had tried to save some kids playing in the water and failed. When the shark shows up, Ava stabs it in the head with the bolt and it seems to work but as Finch approaches it, the shark recovers and swims off. Deciding the only way to kill the shark is to try and destroy the cave, Ava and the others want to get some dynamite from a nearby demo site but Finch won’t let them, explaining that he drunkenly killed his wife in the cave and doesn’t want to risk losing her again. Finch locks them in the basement, then rows his boat out to the sheriff’s boat, where he discovers the body of Stahl in the toilet. Meanwhile, Cicely is able to pick the lock and the three head out to the demo site to retrieve the dynamite. When they return and make their way to the cave, they encounter Finch, who had been contacted by his wife’s ghost, and he says he is there to help them. They set the dynamite around the body and make their way outside to light the fuse when it starts to rain, and the shark comes in on the tide to eat the fuse. Ava rushes forward to grab the rest of the fuse so she can relight it, the ghost shark falls down from the rain and kills Finch, then almost kills Blaise and Cicely. As the shark continues to try and kill them, Ava manages to make her way inside the cave and light the fuse, then make her way out of the cave before it explodes. Ava rushes out of the cave, warning Blaise and Cicely as she does, then dives into the water before the explosion hits. As she is swimming to safety, the shark starts heading towards Ava and Blaise and Cicely think it killed her when it disappears but Ava surfaces and calls out to them, and they quickly rush out to her in relief.

This is one of those movies that had a lot going for it on paper, but was kind of let down by it’s own pacing. The acting was ok, with Mackenzie Rosman doing a good job as Ava, but she was definitely overshadowed by Richard Moll, who was really good as Finch. The story was actually pretty entertaining, as the idea of a ghost shark appearing out of any source of water was a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, the movie kind of plodded along throughout the story, and every time it started to build up some steam, it would cutaway to another scene which, in spite of the fact it was supposed to build up some momentum, simply stopped the momentum in it’s place. The special effects were decent, but could have been better. I mean, I liked the translucent/transparent appearance to the ghost shark, but it was a little annoying that the victim would simply disappear during most of the shark’s attacks. It has some faults, but it is still a good movie and worth a watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

July 7th, 2019 Movie – Monster From The Ocean Floor

monster from the ocean floor

So continuing on with the few movies that were listed on my “shopping list”, I find myself watching the first movie that Roger Corman produced. That little nugget right there honestly should have had me watching this movie a lot sooner than now, but that is life. Anyways, I first came aware of this movie while watching the Attack Of The 50 Foot Monstermania DVD. At one point during the movie they showed movie posters for some of the numerous giant monster movies that came out during the 50’s and 60’s and this was one of the few movies they showed that I had not seen. Now let’s see what Mr. Corman has in store for me with today’s movie, Monster From The Ocean Floor.

The plot: Julie Blair is vacationing in a small seaside village in Mexico. While taking a break from attempting to draw the ocean, she argues with the village boy that accompanied her, about his belief that there is a sea monster in the ocean. After the boy leaves, Julie decides to go for a swim in the ocean and is surprised when a small, one-man sub surfaces right in front of her. After apologizing for scaring her, the driver of the sub introduces himself as marine biologist Steve Dunning and invites her to the boat where he and his colleagues are doing research. Julie agrees and they head to the boat, where Dr. Baldwin welcomes Julie and starts showing her some of their specimens. Suddenly, a boat pulls up saying that the diver he is with is missing so Steve goes to help look for the missing diver; finding the man’s dive suit but no sign of the man. Later that night, Julie and Steve are talking about the missing diver and Julie tells him about the boy’s story of the sea monster but Steve laughs it off. The next day, Julie convinces Steve to join her in looking for the monster and they head down into the ocean but when Julie spots a large octopus, she is scared and asks Steve to take her back to the boat. After talking with the fisherman who lost the diver, Julie goes to see a local man named Pablo, who tells her that he had seen a single giant eye in the water one night during a full moon. Julie tells Steve about Pablo’s story, as well as what some other villagers told her and asks if anything happened in the area. When Steve tells her about the Bikini Island tests, she says that maybe the radiation mutated a creature into a monster but Steve says she has been reading too much science fiction. Dr. Baldwin joins them, telling Steve that Stanford had approved their request and Steve tells Julie that they are moving to a different area for a few weeks but if anything comes up to get in touch with him. That night, Julie walking along the beach when she is frightened by a cow that had wandered onto the beach and she collapses onto the sand. Suddenly, a large, octopus-like creature appears in the ocean and starts heading towards shore and Julie sees it but, thinking it is her imagination running wild again, she collapses back into the sand. Meanwhile, Pablo is talking to an old woman, Tula, who tells him that they must perform a sacrifice to appease the monster but Pablo is reluctant to do so but finally agrees. Pablo attempts to kill Julie, first by secretly putting some blood on her while she goes diving, and then by letting the air out of her scuba tanks so she can drown. Julie manages to make it back to the boat and as she pulls the anchor back up, she snags onto something, pulling it up with the anchor. Julie sends the object to Steve and Dr. Baldwin, who examine it and determine it came from a giant amoeba and quickly head back to the village. At the village, Julie and Pablo head back into the ocean and Pablo makes one more attempt to kill Julie but can’t bring himself to do it and tells Julie of the legend, apologizing for what he has done. Julie forgives him, then dives down into the water, where she spots the monster and quickly hides against some rocks to avoid being spotted by it. Steve and Dr. Baldwin arrive next to Pablo’s boat and when he tells them that Julie should have been back by now, Steve has his mini-sub readied to launch so he can go find her. Steve spots the monster approaching Julie and pilots his sub straight at it, crashing it into the monster’s eye and killing it. Steve then swims over to Julie and carries her back to the surface and after she regains consciousness, Steve apologizes for doubting her and the two kiss.

This wasn’t a bad little giant monster movie but it did suffer from one problem; not enough giant monster. The acting was ok, with Anne Kimbell doing a good job as Julie, while Stuart Wade was equally good as Steve, though the chemistry between them was rather awkward and forced. I know that this was early in the 50’s nuclear terror but it still felt unoriginal, despite this being one of the earlier movies like this. I did think the idea of an amoeba being mutated to giant size was a pretty good idea, and I liked the design of the creature, especially the glowing eye and tentacle tips. The rest of the special effects were ok, though the times that they sped up the camera speed where it was too shaky. The sound was a little off at the beginning of the movie, as the music was overpowering the opening narrative, but it did get better as the movie progressed. A decent old movie to watch if you get the chance.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 30th, 2019 Movie – Tobor The Great

tobor the great

Man, I have been on one hell of a nostalgic kick the last month or so. I think a large part of that is due to my binge watching a lot of the classic Dr. Who episodes. Anyways, I am out of old TV movies that I remember as a kid so I decided to go back to some old Sci-Fi/B-movies that are on my list to watch that I haven;t gotten around to yet. This list is comprised of movies that were either mentioned or had clips shown in either Attack Of The 50 Foot Monstermania, or the Name that B-movie Monster video on YouTube. Both of these have essentially been used as something of a shopping list for my movie purchases so I am sure to have some fun over the next few weeks. So let’s get things started with today’s movie, Tobor The Great.

The plot: After World War II, a new agency, C.I.F.C. (Civil Interplanatery Flight Commission), was created to work on creating new fissionable materials, as well as stronger materials for construction of rockets for space flight. After seeing a volunteer pass out during the testing of G-forces, Doctor Ralph Harrison goes to see the commissioner of C.I.F.C. and resigns his post, saying that manned space flight is too dangerous for the test flights. Professor Arnold Nordstrom, who was meeting with the commissioner at the time, pays a visit to Harrison, saying he feels the same way that he does and thinks they can work together to come up with a solution to the issue. The two head to the airport lounge to discuss the situation when they are approached by Mr. Gilligan, a reporter, who tries to get an interview out of them. Nordstrom tells Gilligan that he will hold a press conference in 30 days at his home laboratory in California, where he will unveil their project. The two scientists then leave to catch their flight, unaware that a man in glasses had been listening to their conversation and follows after them. When they arrive at Nordstrom’s home, Nordstrom introduces Harrison to his daughter Janice and his grandson Brian (Gadge). before taking Harrison down to his secret lab, which Gadge has shown he can unlock. When the time for the press conference arrives, Nordstrom shows the assembled journalists Tobor (which he jokes is simply robot spelled backwards). He explains that while he can control Tobor with the control box, it is also capable of receiving commands via ESP and is also capable of feeling emotions. After giving a demonstration of how Tobor reacts to emotional stimuli, he admits that Tobor is incomplete due to the long range communications not being finished. Once the demonstration is complete, Nordstrom and Harrison escort the journalists out of the lab, allowing Gadge, who had been listening to the presentation, to sneak into the lab so he can see Tobor. Gadge messes with the control box, causing Tobor to approach him and Gadge manages to avoid him but Tobor walks past him and heads upstairs, where he begins smashing some things in the living room before Gadge is able to get him under control and back downstairs. Later, Harrison, Nordstrom, and Nordstrom’s assistant Karl are cleaning up when Harrison realizes that there are one too many chairs out, indicating that someone had snuck into the demonstration. They quickly contacted the local sheriff and ask him to check the license plates for the people that had attended the demonstration and to alert the FBI to the matter. Meanwhile, the foreign spy has met with some of his men, who have been observing Nordstrom’s home, and after noticing that there have been no guards posted, are making plans on how to obtain Tobor. Back at the lab, Nordstrom and Harrison, knowing that someone might be trying to steal Tobor, work on improving him, with Nordstrom constructing a transmitter inside a fountain pen that can be used to control him. Later, they initiate a simulation for Tobor when he goes berserk, accidentally injuring Gadge in the process, but once they regain control of him, Tobor appears to express remorse towards Gadge for injuring him. That night, the foreign agents attempt to break into the house but are repulsed by Nordstrom’s defenses. Deciding to switch tactics, they send an invitation to presentation on space flight to Nordstrom and Gadge and when the two arrive, they are kidnapped by the foreign agents. Back at the house, Pentagon officials are arriving to see a demonstration of Tobor but when Nordstrom and Gadge haven’t returned, Harrison calls the police and alerts the officials as to what is going on. Back at the foreign spies hideout, Nordstrom is forced to write down the formulas for his research or else Gadge will be hurt but he uses the opportunity to use the pen to signal Tobor. Back at the house, Tobor breaks free from the lab and heads out and Harrison, realizing that Nordstrom must be controlling him, has everyone follow him. Back at the hideout, the foreign spy realizes that Nordstrom must be using the pen to communicate with Topor and quickly breaks it, causing Tobor to stop in it’s tracks. When Harrison and the others reach the robot, Harrison decides to turn off the long range communicator and see if Nordstrom and Gadge can contact Tobor via telepathy. Gadge is able to reach Tobor, who resumes his march and eventually breaks into the hideout. Harrison and the others arrive and are able to take the spies into custody, as Tobor picks up Gadge and carries him out of the hideout. Some time later, Tobor is shown to be piloting a space ship into orbit, while Gadge watches and wishes him luck.

This was a somewhat cute little sci-fi movie, though I use that term fairly loosely. The only sci-fi aspect was the creation of Tobor, while the main style seemed to be more drama than anything else. The acting was ok, with Charles Drake (Harrison) and Taylor Holmes (Nordstrom) both doing a good job in their roles. I thought that Karin Booth was decent as Jasmine, what little time that she had on screen, but I was really annoyed with Billy Chapin (Gadge), as he was basically playing the typical annoying “Golly, gee, willikers” type of character that was prevalent in the 50’s. The story was interesting and fairly topical of the times back then. With the Space Race against Russia going on back then, I am sure there were a fair number of people expressing their concern that people were being put through those rigorous testing procedures and whether there was another way to proceed. The special effects were not that good, with Tobor looking somewhat ridiculous to be honest. Definitely worth watching if you are in the mood for one of those pick-me-up type of movies but there were better sci-fi movies that came out that year.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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

May 26th, 2019 Movie – Godzilla: The Planet Eater

godzilla the planet eater

A holiday weekend, which is a good thing because I theoretically could catch up on some sleep. Unfortunately, that has never been the case for me as I am usually fairly busy during this particular 3-day weekend. Anyways, today we are finishing up our jaunt through the Netflix Godzilla trilogy. Now I was eagerly awaiting this movie to come out, as they had pretty much set up a fight between Godzilla and his biggest nemesis, Ghidorah. However, before it debuted on Netflix, I started hearing some reviews from people that had seen it in Japan and were disappointed in it. That had me a little nervous about what I was going to be getting, but then I decided to ignore what they said and simply enjoy a brand new Godzilla movie like I always do. So let’s relax this weekend with today’s movie, Godzilla: The Planet Eater.

The plot: As the remainder of Haruo’s team recovers from Godzilla’s assault on Mechagodzilla City, Metphies muses to himself on the Exif’s having observed and influenced humanity for centuries, and how he had been waiting for someone like Haruo in order to fulfill his own plans. Meanwhile, Haruo and Martin are observing Godzilla, who has gone to sleep in order to rest and recharge his own powers. On board the Aratrum, Dolu-Do, the Bilusaludo member of the committee, argues that Haruo should be put to death for his actions in destroying Mechagodzilla but the humans argue about Haruo revealing the Bilusaludo’s real endgame towards humanity and feels that Haruo should be commended for his actions. Back on Earth, Martin tells Haruo that Yuko is completely brain-dead, with only the nanometals in her body keeping her alive. When Metphies arrives and tells him about the discussion going on in the Aratrum, some of the crew believe Haruo was spared from the nanometals by an act of God, saying it is proof that his decisions were right. As other crew members start telling their own stories of how they survived against the nanometal, more of them begin joining Metphies religion. Martin tells Haruo that all of the people that survived the nanometal had been treated for injuries by the Houtua, including Haruo, and that some antibody in the treatment is what saved them, not a miracle. Haruo confronts Metphies about his misleading people, but Metphies says that he needed to as he planned to get Haruo and the others to help him summon his god, Ghidorah, to destroy Godzilla, but he needs Haruo to help him with that. Back on the Aratrum, the Bilusaludo mutiny and take over the engine room, shutting off power to the station unless Haruo is held accountable for the destruction of Mechagodzilla City. Back on Earth, Adam leads some of the other newly converted members of the Exif religion to build a temple where they can worship. Meanwhile, Martin tells Haruo what is going on on board the Aratrum and suggest the best thing for Haruo to do is to disappear for a while until everyone has a chance to calm down. Martin had convinced Miana to hide Haruo and she takes him back to the hut that he had woken up in. The two talk, with Miana telling him that to the Houtua, winning is to survive and losing is to die and Haruo, with their help, will win. Miana then removes her clothes and attempts to sleep with Haruo but he asks that he just be allowed to rest in peace. As he is resting, he realizes that since Miana didn’t know how to remove his suit, she couldn’t have been the one to treat his injuries. He realizes that Maina was the one to save him, just as Maina shows up in the room and the two end up sleeping together. Meanwhile, Metphies communicates with his father, Endurph, on the Aratrum and they say that their plan is almost ready to commence. When he finishes, he telepathically speaks with Miana, who had eavesdropped on his plans, and the two argue over his actions before he grabs her and prepares to use her as part of his ritual. Haruo wakens from a nightmare, just as Maina shudders as she heard her sister call out to her. Metphies and Endurph preach to the humans in their respective locations and convince them to pray out to their god in order to destroy Godzilla. On Earth, a shadowy image of Ghidorah emerges and begins killing all of the worshipers except for Metphies. In space, a singularity opens up near the Aratrum, and one of Ghidorah’s heads emerges on an impossibly long neck, which it wraps around the Aratrum, crushing it out of existence. On Earth, Godzilla begins to awaken just as 3 singularities begin to emerge from the clouds. Haruo and Maina meet up with Martin, who is trying to make sense of what is happening, and when Maina hears a voice from a hilltop on the other side of the valley, Haruo heads there to stop Metphies. Ghidorah’s heads emerge from the singularities and Godzilla fires his heat ray at them but the beams curve, while Martin’s instruments are unable to get a reading on Ghidorah. Ghidorah’s heads bite onto Godzilla, and Martin is amazed to see that Godzilla is losing energy, even though his machines can get no reading on Ghidorah. Haruo confronts Metphies, and learns that Exif’s had willingly sacrificed themselves to Ghidorah, allowing only a few priests to survive to spread the word of Ghidorah and offer him more planets to destroy. Metphies begins telepathically manipulating Haruo into accepting his way of thinking, using the images of those that had died to help influence him. Meanwhile, Martin continues watching what is happening with Godzilla’s fight and realizes that Ghidorah must be coming from a different universe and since his attacks are from a different dimension, Godzilla won’t be able to affect it. Since Ghidorah is able to attack Godzilla, someone from their universe must be guiding it and he realizes it must be Metphies, just as Maina grabs him and tells him they have to help Haruo. Maina takes Martin to the egg chamber, where they use the power of Mothra’s egg to reach out to Haruo and try to tell him what is going on. Metphies blocks them and continues trying to influence Haruo but Haruo is able to see into Metphies memories and realizes he is the one that sabotaged the shuttle his grandfather was on. Remembering a memory of his parents, where he is told that his name means hope, Haruo is able to break Metphies’ hold on him and attacks him, causing the medallion in Metphies eye to break and Ghidorah to suddenly gain form in their universe. Godzilla is now able to attack Ghidorah and quickly defeats him, blowing up the singularities to ensure that he can not return. When the dust settles, Haruo recovers and sees a dying Metphies, who tells him that due to his rage and anger, Ghidorah will be watching him. The surviving humans begin to integrate themselves into the Houtua tribe, with Maina becoming pregnant with Haruo’s child. Later, Martin shows Haruo that he has managed to get the last Vulture working again, using a sample of nanometal from Yuko’s body. As Martin talks about being able to control the nanometal to rebuild past civilizations, Haruo’s eye hurts and he hears Metphies voice in his head, saying that Ghidorah can wait. Haruo takes Yuko’s body with him and enters the Vulture, piloting it towards Godzilla so that Godzilla can destroy all traces of the nanometal, as well as the hatred that Haruo carries with him. In a post credits scene, years have passed and one of the twins watches over a ceremony where Houtua children make effigies, symbolizing the things they are scared of, so that they can burn them in front of a giant effigy of the Vulture, symbolizing Haruo.

I have to admit that I see why some people complained about this movie but I honestly thought it was really good and a great way to end the trilogy. The voice acting was good, with all of the people doing good jobs voicing their respective roles. The story was pretty interesting, as I liked the concept of the Exif’s using people’s belief to bring Ghidorah to Earth. The concept of it being in a different dimension actually added some credibility to why the Exif’s believed it to be a god, and why faith was the only way to bring it about.  The ending of the movie seemed to be cause for a lot of criticism but I actually thought it was rather fitting. Haruo’s anger and hatred for Godzilla was what drove him for so much of his life that it had become a part of him. The Houtua didn’t have any concept of hatred and, aside from not wanting to give Ghidorah a pathway to return to Earth, he didn’t want to allow his hatred to begin to influence the Houtua so he decided to sacrifice himself for their sake. Miana, who only understood part of what Haruo was talking about when he was talking with her before he left, interpreted it as facing his fear so his fear wouldn’t win, even if he himself lost. She then incorporated it into a new ritual with the Houtua by havig their children burn what scares them so they won’t be afraid of it anymore, as a way to honor his sacrifice. The animation was really good in this movie, as it was in the others. I did like how Ghidorah arrived through singularities, but I will admit that I was a bit disappointed in Ghidorah itself, as he didn’t have the usual lightening-like gravity beams that he usually wielded, merely biting down on Godzilla and seemingly electrocuting him (sort of) in doing so. So it was a good way to end the series and a good movie in it’s own way, but all it did was really get me geared up for Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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