action, comedy, horror, sci-fi, The Asylum

January 13th, 2019 Movie – The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

sharknado 6

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and that includes the phenomenon known as Sharknado. Yes, when it was announced that the latest Sharknado movie would be the end of the series, I will admit that I was pretty sad to hear about it. I mean, ever since the first movie took the world by storm (pun somewhat intended), Every summer I would get a week of brand new shark themed movies to go along with the latest installment in the series. It is going to be very hard to let go of something that awesome. Anyways, after the last movie, and learning that the next installment would be the end, I was curious to see exactly how The Asylum was going to close out this franchise. Let’s see how they did with today’s movie, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time.

The plot: During the Cretaceous period, a velociraptor is curious about a large, shark fin shaped rock but it quickly runs off when the rock explodes as a jeep drives through it. Inside the jeep, Fin Shepard turns to talk to his adult son Gil but notices that Gil has vanished. Suddenly, a hologram recording of Gil appears and tells Fin that due to the energy involved in time travel, a person can only go back in time once or else they vanish. Telling Fin that the time travel device is built into the pilot wings that Gil threw to Fin, Gil explains that Fin has to go through time and stop all of the past sharknado’s from happening if he wants to prevent the world’s destruction. When the recording ends, Fin goes looking for the bag that contains the cyborg head of his wife April only to see a dinosaur grab it in it’s mouth and run off. Fin drives the jeep after it and finds himself in a stampede, slamming on the brakes before he joins the dinosaurs in going over the cliff into the sea below. As Fin looks down the cliff, a megalodon breaches out of the water, causing Fin to step back from the cliff’s edge. A tyrannosaurus appears and Fin manages to avoid it and when it turns to attack him, the megalodon leaps out of the water and grabs the tyrannosaurus, dragging it into the sea. Fin then turns and faces the dinosaur that grabbed the bad and attempts to get it back when a masked figure suddenly leaps down from a nearby cliff, attacking the dinosaur with knives and forcing it to drop the bag and run off. As Fin grabs the bag, he is shocked to see that the masked figure is Nova, and she if joined by Bryan and a non-cyborg April, who rides in on a pteranodon. Fin is shocked as everybody had supposedly died and they explain that Gil had saved them all before they died and brought them there to help Fin stop the first sharknado. A meteor storm occurs just as the first sharknado appears and the group decide to use the meteors to destroy the sharknado but they aren’t powerful enough. Fin jumps onto the back of a megalodon caught in the vortex and as he forces it to swallow some of the meteors, he spots Gil riding on another shark and calls out to him but Gil disappears through time. Fin jumps back onto the pteranodon and Bryan hits a meteor into the megalodon, causing an explosion that destroys the sharknado. When a time vortex appears, they fly through it, thinking that they are returning to the present day but find themselves in the medieval kingdom of Camelot, and that Bryan has suddenly become a woman. The sorceress Morgana shoots down the pteranodon and attempts to take them prisoner but she is called off by Winter, who escorts them all to the castle, saying their arrival has been foretold. Winter introduces them to Merlin, who tells them that Gil had been studying with them for 10 years and Winter goes to fetch him only to see him sail off into an approaching sharknado. When she reports what happened, Fin and April want to try and save him but Nova tells them if they stop Gil from traveling through time to search for his parents, he won’t grow up and pull the others out of time to help Fin stop the sharknados from occurring. When an alert sounds from the bag containing the cyborg April’s head, everyone is curious about what is in the bag and Nova tries to grab it from Fin, only for the bag to open and the head rolls along the floor and lands at April’s feet. Fin explains to April that it was the only thing left of her when the world is destroyed and April tells Fin she forgives him but decides to hold onto the head. Fin and the others go to stop the sharknado but are stopped by Morgana, who tells them she has a potion that will destroy the sharknado but will use it only if Merlin agrees to remove the spell around Excalibur. Merlin agrees and Morgana uses an arrow to send the potion into the sharknado but instead of destroying it, it causes the sharks to start breathing fire. Fin and the others rush to defend the castle and Fin decides to try and use Excalibur, pulling it from the stone and revealing it to be a chainsaw sword. Fin uses Excalibur’s magic to stop the sharknado, with Morgana being killed in the process, and they then seal themselves into a large cauldron and are fired from a catapult so they can go fast enough to travel through time. They arrive in colonial America, with Bryan returning to being a man again, and they begin to wonder if their attempts to stop the sharknados might do more harm than good but when they see a sharknado approaching the colonial fleet, they decide to stop it before America ceases to exist, only to be captured by colonial soldiers. They are taken to General Washington’s camp and after explaining to Benjamin Franklin that they are there to help save the colonies from the sharknado, they are allowed inside to speak to Washington. Fin and Bryan explain their plan and after Washington allows them to proceed, Fin has the army fire their cannons into the sharknado, timing their attack to coincide with the lightning strikes to cause the cannonballs to become electrified. After destroying the sharknado and sending the British fleet retreating, Fin and the others try to figure out a way to get home but Nova, having encountered her ancestor, rushes off to talk to him. Nova hands her ancestor a note to be passed down to her grandfather but Fin takes it from her ancestor, causing an argument between him and Nova on her desire to change her past and save her grandfather. Fin and Nova rejoin April and Bryan so they can leave but Bryan, due to his being a history teacher, decides to stay behind and ensure America is put on the right path. With Franklin’s help, the three head off to the time vortex, where they end up landing in the Old West, where they come between a stand off between Billy the Kid and the town sheriff. Surprised at the arrival of the carriage, Billy is disarmed by the sheriff and runs off and the sheriff arrests Fin for his role in helping Billy escape. As Fin is taken to jail, April and Nova hide in the carriage and are shocked to see Skye appear. In jail, Fin speaks to another prisoner, who was supposed to be rescued by Billy the Kid, and as the prisoner is taken from his cell to be hung, Fin realizes that the prisoner is a grown up Gil. Nova and Skye break Fin out of jail and Fin explains that they screwed up and Gil is about to be killed and Skye goes to rescue him, just as a sharknado approaches. Fin and Skye rescue Gil, who races off into the vortex, while April and Nova use cyborg April’s head to destroy the sharknado. After a standoff with Billy the Kid, who wants to go to the future, Fin, April, Nova, and Skye get onto a train and use it to travel through the time vortex. They end up on the Santa Monica beach in the 1950’s and as a sharknado approaches the beach, they rush to save the people on the beach only to be shocked when they see Fin’s parents, Gilly Shepard and Raye Martin, working to stop the sharknado. After the adult Gil makes it through the vortex and the sharknado is destroyed, Nova sees the prototype capacitor that Gil had left behind and shows it to Fin. They see the date on it is the date of the first sharknado that hit Santa Monica and realize that that is their next destination and borrow Gil’s Cadillac to make the trup but Nova reprograms the capacitor to take them to 1997 San Francisco so she can try to save her grandfather. Fin tries to talk her out of changing her past but Nova refuses to listen to him and heads off. Nova reaches the charter boat that her grandfather owns and heads on board, with Fin and the others getting on board as well. The group head out into the ocean and as Nova watches her grandfather interact with her younger self, Fin again talks to Nova about what she is planning on doing. Nova argues her reasons for saving him, and after noticing the ripped up note she gave her ancestor framed and mounted on a wall, she rushes to warn the captain, inadvertently causing the boat to crash on some rocks. Realizing that she is the reason her grandfather died, Nova starts to freak out but Fin helps Nova’s grandfather and younger self escape on a raft. Nova attacks some sharks to give them time to escape and ends up falling overboard, with the cyborg April’s head falling with her. As a shark attacks Nova, April tries to save her and ends up getting dragged overboard, where both her and Nova are killed. Realizing that the only way to save them is to keep stopping the sharknados, Skye grabs the capacitor while Fin hooks a shark and the are dragged behind it, allowing them to warp to the future but instead of the year 2013, a malfunction causes them to end up in the year 20013. They find themselves attacked by a robotic flying shark and once Fin kills it, they are captured by an army of April clones. The clones take them to their base, where they are confronted by the repaired cyborg April, who reveals that she had perfected time travel and rescued April to use her DNA for cloning her army. As Fin rushes to April, Skye confronts the cyborg April and ends up encased in carbonite, then tells Fin that she brought him there to be her queen. Fin tries to attack the cyborg April, who tries to stop him by showing him robotic versions of his children Matt and Claudia, as well as a robotic Nova, but Fin continues his attack, killing the replicas. Cyborg April attacks Fin but her attack also disables the stasis chamber that April is in, who leaves the chamber and begins attacking her cyborg doppelganger. The cyborg April easily overpowers the original but as she attempts to kill her, her power strikes the capacitor just as Fin grabs it, sending him back to 2013. Fin lands on the boat owned by Captain Santiago, whose crew has just brought cyborg April’s head back to the surface. When Santiago orders his men to throw it overboard, Fin convinces them not to and the cyborg April is happy to see that Fin came back for her. Santiago goes to kill Fin but as the sharks on the edge of the sharknado begin killing his crew, as well as his traitorous business partner, Fin convinces him to work together to destroy the sharknado. Santiago and Fin use Santiago’s weapons to attack the sharks but Santiago is swept up by the storm and killed. Cyborg April’s head says that her lasers are recharged and they have to destroy the sharknado or else time will unravel but before Fin can aim her at the sharknado, Gil appears. Fin is happy to see his son and embraces him and Gil tells him that he can fix everything but he needs the capacitor. Fin moves to hand it to him but when Gil messes up the Shepard family motto, Fin realizes he is an imposter. Gil is revealed to be the future cyborg April, who tries to get the capacitor from Fin so that he can’t destroy the sharknado. Fin and cyborg April’s head are sucked up into the storm, with cyborg April’s head being swallowed by a shark. Fin and future cyborg April struggle for control of the capacitor and when Fin is knocked away by some debris, future cyborg April laughs as time begins unraveling. Suddenly, the shark with cyborg April’s head appears and destroys future cyborg April, then tells Fin they have one shot; activating her self destruct button in her head which will either destroy the sharknado and restore time or wipe out the universe. Fin kisses the cyborg head, activating the self destruct and April’s head explodes, restoring time. In a sharknado free 2013, an explosion is heard off the coast of Santa Monica and the patron’s of Fin’s bar wonder what it could be. As Nova, Matt, and Fin’s brother-in-law Martin Brody stare out the window, a shark suddenly slams against the glass and Nova feels sorry for it, as she loves sharks now. Fin and April, who is pregnant with Gil, are planning to retire to Kansas and are turning over the bar to Martin, who tries to convince Nova to stay but she is going to college thanks to a loan from Fin. Bryan tells everyone to check out the TV, where the see a political add for Skye, who is running for President. As Gemini enters the bar, and Wilford and May Wexler talk with April about the baby, Claudia hands Fin a letter from The Colonel, which contains his flight wings, in case he doesn’t make it back from space in time for Gil’s birth. Fin offers a last round on him to everyone at the bar and giving a heartfelt speech about how much they all mean to him. Just as he finishes, April’s water breaks and the Shepards, as well as Wilford, May, Nova, and George (a regular bar patron of Fin’s), head out the door to go to the hospital, while a TV weather report has Al Roker telling the audience that there is not a cloud in the sky anywhere in the world so people should go out and enjoy it as there won’t be another like it ever again.

So I had a lot of expectations going into this movie and while it did hit several things that I wanted it to, I was honestly a little disappointed and felt like they could have done more. The movie was the same ridiculous fun that all of the others have been, and all the returning characters did great in their roles. Ian Ziering was great finishing off his role as Fin Shepard, while Tara Reid and Cassandra Scerbo were just as good reprising their roles of April and Nova respectively. I actually think April was written a little better in this movie, as she did more than just scream all the time. I liked that they brought Judah Friedlander (Bryan) and Vivica A. Fox (Skye) back and the interaction with the other characters was pretty good. Some of the cameos were pretty funny, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson playing Merlin and Dee Snider playing a sheriff, but most of the cameos felt a little flat, as if they were running out of ideas on how to make the most of them. I will say that I was kind of glad that they used some archive footage from the first movie to have John Heard’s character George show up at the end. The story was ok but the way they brought up time travel into things actually made the story feel rather disjointed. I did think it was funny how they tried to reference Back To The Future a couple of times during the movie, such as the capacitor looking like the flux capacitor as well as Gil telling Fin he has to be going 88 mph to start the time travel. The special effects were ok for the most part, though there were times where they honestly were a little worse than I was expecting, but that makes these movies that much more fun to watch. So it was a good way to end the series but I still think that they could have done a better job with it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review

October 18th, 2018 Movie – The Gingerdead Man

the gingerdead man

Ahhh, my friends really do love me…..and keep adding to my collection of Campy movies. Take today’s movie for instance. Now this is one of those movies that I had heard about, and seen online a few times, but never thought to buy. Luckily, my friends decided that I needed the trilogy of movies for my birthday and bought them for me. Well who am I to turn down such a thoughtful gift so let’s dive right in and watch The Gingerdead Man.

The plot: At the Cadillac Jack’s diner in Waco, Texas, a man named Millard Findlemeyer kills several people inside, including Jeremy and James Leigh. Willard sees Sarah Leigh cowering on the floor behind a booth and tells her to come out, then taunts her some before the police show up and arrest him. Two years later, Sarah is tending to her family’s bakery, Belly’s Bakery, and thinking about how the day should of been her brother’s 21st birthday. Suddenly, she hears a knock on the back door and when she goes there, she sees a box labeled “Grandma’s Gingerbread Seasoning”, and a cloaked figure turning the corner of the alley. Sarah brings it in as Brick Fields, an employee, brings in some other supplies that were delivered and he excitedly tells her about Wrestlepalooza, where he hopes to compete as an amateur wrestler called “The Butcher Baker”. Sarah goes to try the gingerbread seasoning but as Brick cuts his arm opening some more boxes and when Sarah goes to tend to it, some of his blood gets in the seasoning. Brick says he is fine when Sarah hears a scream coming from the front of the store and goes to check it out. She finds Julia, another employee, reading a news article saying that Findlemeyer had been executed, then cremated and his ashes sent to his mother, and Julia says this should be good news for Sarah. As Sarah watches Julia make a birthday cake when they hear shooting coming from outside. They find Sarah’s alcoholic mother, Betty, shooting at a banner for Jimmy Dean’s new store, as he had been trying to buy out the bakery and Sarah asks Julia to take Betty home. Meanwhile, Brick mixes in some of the seasoning into the dough, and as he turns away, he doesn’t notice the dough moving around and forming a hand. Outside, Sarah goes to head back inside when Jimmy Dean, and his daughter Lorna, show up and Jimmy Dean is upset about his banner being shot down. He then tells Sarah that his place is still opening and he doesn’t want his customers seeing the “eyesore” that is their bakery so he wants her to consider his offer to buy them out but Sarah refuses to sell. After they leave, Sarah heads inside and confides to Brick that Jimmy’s offer is tempting, as she feels like everything has fallen apart since her dad and brother died. Brick tries to cheer him up and she thanks him, then tells him he can leave early to go to Wrestlepalooza while she tries the new gingerbread mixture. Sarah grabs some of the dough and makes a gingerbread man, then places it in the oven to bake. Hearing something up front, she finds Lorna placing a rat among the baked goods, as she is hoping to get them shut down by the Health Department as she feels the $50,000 her father offered them was too good for them. Sarah and Lorna start fighting and during the course of the fight, they cause a power surge to head into the oven, bringing the gingerbread man to life. Amos, Lorna’s boyfriend enters the shop and asks what is taking Lorna so long, and when Sarah tells him what happened, he tells her he had no idea she was going to do that. Suddenly, a noise is heard in the oven and as Sarah and Amos try to turn it off, Lorna sees the Gingerdead Man’s face appear in the window and screams out. When the oven is finally open, the Gingerdead Man runs out and as it insults them, Sarah says the voice is familiar but can’t place it. Amos thinks that it’s a prank that Brick is pulling on them but Lorna says it is black magic and that the Gingerdead Man is bad news. They go looking for it and attempt to capture it in the freezer but it gets away. Sarah goes to call the police only to find that the phone is dead and Lorna calls her dad but her cell phone dies as well. Meanwhile, Betty returns to the store and encounters the Gingerdead Man, and as she gets closer to it, the Gingerdead Man cuts her finger off. Betty faints from shock and when she recovers, the Gingerdead Man taunts her and she recognizes his voice as belonging to Findlemeyer. Julia enters the back area, having gone looking for Betty, and Betty tries to warn her about the Gingerdead Man but Julia thinks she is just drunk and the Gingerdead Man is able to knock Julia out with a frying pan. Meanwhile, Lorna continues making snide remarks to Sarah while Amos goes to get his phone from his car, grabbing his gun while he is out there. When he returns to the store, he shows that his phone is dead as well, just as the Gingerdead Man shuts off the power. While Sarah shows Amos where the generator is, Jimmy Dean pulls up outside and wonders what Lorna is doing there but the Gingerdead Man gets into his car and uses it to kill Jimmy Dean, pinning him between the store and the car. Inside, Sarah and Amos talk as Amos tries to get the generator started but he is unable to get it running. As they leave the generator room, Lorna complains about their staying there and when Sarah defends Amos, Lorna accuses them of trying to hook up when Amos notices a blood trail on the ground. While Sarah and Amos follow it, Lorna decides to wait outside for her dad and finds his body still pinned to the store. Inside, Sarah and Amos find Julia in the freezer, decorated like a dessert, and drag her out of there. As they do, Sarah tells Amos she thinks the Gingerdead Man is Findlemeyer, somehow come back from the dead, and Amos thinks she is crazy. Lorna comes back into the shop and is attacked by the Gingerdead Man, who slashes her face. She heads to the back and Amos and Sarah try to calm her down but she gets upset again and goes to leave but ends up setting off a trap the Gingerdead Man had set and is killed when a knife is launched into her head. As Sarah yells out at the Gingerdead Man to leave the others alone, she sees her mother’s finger on a scale and cries out, then demands to know where she is. When Amos says the finger seems to be pointing, Sarah realizes it is pointing at the oven and they rush to open it and save Betty. As Amos drags Betty out of the oven, the Gingerdead Man pushes Sarah in and locks the door, then knocks Amos out. The Gingerdead Man taunts Sarah but Amos comes to an is able to shoot at the Gingerdead Man, chasing him away from the door. Sarah manages to get out of the oven just as Brick shows up and as the Gingerdead Man taunts him, Julia, having recovered from being nearly frozen, hits him with a frying pan and Brick proceeds to bite the Gingerdead Man’s head off. Thinking the ordeal is over, Sarah checks on Betty, then has Julia and Amos take her outside but when Sarah goes to check on Brick, she finds that he has been possessed by Findlemeyer. Findlemeyer grabs Sarah and attempts to finish what he started at the diner but Amos, having heard Sarah scream, pulls him away from her. Amos tries shooting Findlemeyer but the magic manages to keep him alive but when he taunts Sarah, Julia rushes forward and shoves him into the oven that Sarah had secretly opened and they proceed to lock it, cooking Findlemeyer alive. Some time later, Sarah, Amos (her boyfriend now), and Betty are hosting a bake sale outside the bakery to raise money for the hospital. When two kids come up and ask if they have any gingerbread men, Sarah says no but one of the nurses helping with the event says that an old lady brought a box of gingerbread men by the hospital. The nurse opens the box to show 5 gingerbread men, which suddenly open their eyes.

This is a short, but silly movie that is pretty fun to watch if you love B-movies. The acting was ok, with Gary Busey (Findlemeyer/Gingerdead Man) actually seeming somewhat more subdued than I expected him to be. Robin Sydney (Sarah) and Ryan Locke (Amos) were also good, while Alexia Aleman had the “bitch” character down pat in this movie but her acting could have been better. The story was interesting but it really didn’t have any originality to it. I mean, a dead killer comes back as an inanimate object due to black magic. That is basically what Child’s Play was about, not to mention any movie that featured a golem. Making him a cookie was an interesting twist but that didn’t make up for the lack of originality. The special effects were on the cheap side but that made the movie more entertaining for me. It’s some stupid, mindless entertainment that is perfect if you in the mood for such a movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review

September 8th, 2017 Movie – Silver Bullet

silver bullet

If I can be completely honest for a moment, I have to admit that I don’t think I ever saw today’s movie in it’s entirety until I bought it on DVD. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen the movie, but in buts and pieces. Most times, I would come in about half way through the movie and watch it to the end but there were a couple of times where I would watch the beginning of it, but then have to stop and do something else or go somewhere, preventing me from a complete viewing. In spite of this, I had some fond memories of the the times I watched this movie, and laughing at it, so when I saw a DVD on sale for cheap, I quickly picked it up. Now let’s see if that was a mistake as I watch today’s movie, Silver Bullet.

The plot: In the town of Tarker’s Mills, Maine during the Spring of 1976, a railroad worker named Arnie Westrum is working on clearing some debris from the tracks when he notices some tracks in the dirt just before he is decapitated. The townsfolk consider it an accidental death, as Arnie was the town drunk and they believe that he just passed out on the tracks and was decapitated by a train. The next day, there is a town picnic and Jane Coslaw goes to check on her brother Marty, who is a parapalegic, but she falls victim to a prank by Marty’s friend Brady, who scares her with a snake and causes her to fall in the mud. After yelling at them, Jane goes off and hides in some bushes to cry when she overhears an argument between Stella Randolph and another man about Stella being pregnant but the man refuses to believe the baby is his. That night, Marty goes into Jane’s room and gives her some money to replace her pantyhose that were ruined and apologizes for Brady’s prank. Jane accepts the apology and the two then talk about their Uncle Red, who had just gotten a divorce. Meanwhile, Stella is about to commit suicide by overdosing on pills but a werewolf crashes through her window and kills her, leaving her mother to find the body. The next day, Marty is riding his gas powered wheelchair and accompanies his girlfriend Tammy to her house. On the way, they pass by Stella’s house and see all of the police there and Tammy thanks Marty for accompanying her as she was scared to go by there herself. When they get to her house, Tammy mentions that she is afraid of the shed by their house, as she has been hearing noises coming from it but before they can talk anymore, Tammy’s father Milt yells at her to help her mother with the laundry. That night, Red stops by the house and is playing cards with Marty but after Marty’s mom, Nan, sends Marty to bed, she argues with Red about his drinking in front of Marty and the effect he has on him. Meanwhile, Milt is watching wrestling when he hears a noise coming from his shed so he goes to investigate it. Seeing nothing in the shed, he heads into the greenhouse connected to it and ends up being killed by the werewolf. The townsfolk are starting to get worried about the killings, as the police are unable to find any clues about the killings. Marty is flying kites with Brady when Jane comes to get him, as he is late for dinner, and Marty asks if Brady is coming but Brady chooses to stay and keep flying his kite for a while. That night, as tensions flare at the local bar, Brady’s father Herb comes in and asks if anyone there had seen Brady. Sheriff Joe Haller discovers the body and tries to keep Herb from seeing it but Herb shoves him aside, then screams out in anguish at seeing Brady’s body. After Brady’s funeral, Red takes Marty home and they talk about the killer, with Marty thinking that it isn’t a man but it could be a monster like a werewolf. Meanwhile, Andy Fairton, who owns the local hunting store, is organizing the townsfolk into a vigilante mob to find the killer. Sheriff Haller tries to talk them out of it but Herb speaks out and says that he is going to get some private justice and Andy and the others head out after him. As they are leaving, Reverend Lowe tries to stop them but they ignore him, and head out into the woods. As the fog rolls in, Andy and his group hear the monster crying out and realize it is in the fog with them, just as several of the group are killed by the werewolf, while Andy and some of the others escape. Reverend Lowe is woken up from a nightmare, in which he is giving a funeral for the dead townsfolk but the attendees all turn into werewolves and attack him. The next day, Marty is upset that the town has cancelled the fair and fireworks and complains to Red about it. Red cheers him up by showing him The Silver Bullet, the custom wheelchair he built for him. Marty takes the Silver Bullet out for a test drive and is shocked by how fast it goes and Red warns him not to let his mother know how fast it goes. After dinner with the family, Red gives Marty some fireworks as he knows how upset he was that the fireworks display was cancelled and tells him not to leave the house that night but Marty sneaks out anyways. Marty heads to an old bridge and starts setting off the fireworks when he hears something and sees the werewolf at the end of the bridge. As the werewolf approaches him, Marty lights a bottle rocket and shoots the werewolf in the eye, then races back home and climbs into bed, where he huddles up into the corner. Marty tries calling Red and telling him what happened but Red doesn’t believe him. The next day, Marty tells Jane and she believes him and as she goes out collecting bottles and cans for recycling, she looks to see if anyone has a missing eye. After going about town and not seeing anyone missing an eye, she finds herself upset at believing Marty’s story. She heads to the church to turn in her recycling and doesn’t notice that Reverend Lowe is missing his eye. When she places her recycling in the garage, she is scared by a mouse and falls into a stack of cans, where she finds the remains of the barkeeper’s bat “Peacemaker”. When Lowe goes to check on her, she notices his damaged eye and quickly makes an excuse to leave, then tells Marty what she saw. Marty decides to send Lowe an anonymous note, saying he knows who and what he is and that he should commit suicide in order to prevent more killings. After a few days, Marty and Jane tell Red what they had been doing and he is upset about their actions and still doesn’t believe that Lowe is a werewolf. One day, as Marty is riding the Silver Bullet home, Lowe tries to run him off the road but Marty manages to escape. As Lowe continues to chase him, Marty attempts to cross over an old covered bridge but the Silver Bullet runs out of gas. Lowe gets out of his car and approaches Marty, rationalizing his actions as being the work of God and his saving people from committing further sins. Lowe plans on killing Marty but when they see a farmer on his tractor, Marty yells out for help and Lowe is forced to leave the scene. Back at Marty’s house, Marty is telling Jane and Red his story and Red still doesn’t believe him about Lowe being a werewolf but when he sees the damage done to the Silver Bullet and Jane confirms that the paint from the damage matches Lowe’s car, Red believes Marty about Lowe trying to kill him. Red goes to speak with Haller, who thinks it is far fetched but decides to check out Lowe that night. He checks out Lowe’s car and sees the impact damage on it where he hit Marty’s wheelchair, then finds Lowe but as Haller tries to arrest him, Lowe transforms into a werewolf and kills him. The next day, Marty and Jane are telling Red that Haller had disappeared after saying he would check out Lowe, then give him their medallion and crucifix respectively and ask him to make a silver bullet out of them. Red agrees to do it and goes to an old gunsmith to have the bullet fashioned. On the next full moon, Marty’s parents go out of town and Red agrees to watch the kids. He stays up waiting for the werewolf to come but when it doesn’t show up, he starts to feel like an idiot. Jane sees the werewolf in the window, and tries to convince Red what she saw when the lights go out, due to Lowe pulling out the cable to the house. The werewolf breaks through the wall and begins to attack Red, causing him to drop the gun and the silver bullet falls down the air duct. Marty goes after the bullet and has Jane hand him the gun and he shoots the werewolf in the other eye. Marty, Jane, and Red watch as the werewolf transforms back into Lowe and the all sit on the floor next to Marty as the shock of what happened wears off.

Silver Bullet met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics felt that it was a decent werewolf movie, though some felt that it was on the tame side for a horror movie. Gary Busey did all of his own stunts in the movie, particularly the ones in the final fight at the end of the movie, which involved him jumping on to an (off camera) air-compressed catapult, which would send him flying across the room. The movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $12.3 million off of a $7 million budget.

This still has some entertaining parts to it, but on the whole I think this movie is best remembered as a fond childhood memory. The acting was ok, with Corey Haim (Marty), Gary Busey (Red) and Megan Follows (Jane) did good job in their roles, but Everett McGill (Lowe) just seemed too stiff and stilted in his performance. The story was good, if toned down from the original book, but there were times it felt like they tried to make the movie too much of a family friendly horror movie. There were a couple of funny moments during the movie, my favorite occurring during the scene where the mob is hunting for the killer. As the bartender is being dragged into the fog by the werewolf, you see him striking out at the werewolf with his bat, then you see the werewolf’s hand holding the bat and hitting him back with it. The special effects regarding the werewolf were actually a little weak and looked a lot cheaper than what I expected out of a big budget picture, even if it was from the 80’s. I mean, the werewolves in The Howling looked better than this and that movie came out 4 years earlier. Not a bad movie, and could be useful as a bridge from PG-13 to R rated horror movies, but the more hardcore horror fans will be left wanting more.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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

August 18th, 2017 Movie – Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens

sharknado 4

I have to admit, I am having a hard time focusing on writing today’s blog. Marvel’s The Defenders just debuted on Netflix today and I really want to start watching that. But that will be my reward so let’s finish the task at hand. It has been a whole year since the cliffhanger ending of Sharknado 3, and I don’t know about everyone else but I have been dying to find out if April lived or died. So when the time came, I did what I normally do in these situations and

The plot: Since Fin Shepard stopped the last sharknado that threatened the East Coast, a company called Astro-X has risen to prominence, using their space ship to rescue Colonel Gil Shepard from the moon while also preventing sharknadoes from forming by using their weather control pods to disperse tornadoes before they form. Fin Shepard now lives on a farm in Kansas called April’s Acres with his son Gil and his mom Raye. Fin’s cousin Gemini picks Fin up to go to Vegas, where they are meeting Fin’s son Matt, who is on leave from the military. At the same time, Astro-X founder Aston Reynolds is in Vegas for the grand opening of his new shark-themed hotel. As they wait for Matt in their hotel, Matt calls them from a plane overhead, where he is in the process of marrying his fiance Gabrielle before they parachute onto the hotel roof. As the plane flies over Las Vegas, a sand storm forms and the Astro-X pods are unable to stop it. Matt and Gabrielle jump out of the plane but are caught by the twister and separated. As the sand storm hits Aston’s hotel and sucks the sharks into it, forming a “sandnado”, Fin rescues Gabrielle while Gemini rescues some of the other guests. They make their way to the street and go looking for Matt but when they encounter a flood, they quickly hop onto a hotel’s pirate ship and use it to navigate the flood towards Matt. Matt is eventually able to make it onto the ship, where he hugs Fin and then kisses Gabrielle, while the sandnado leaves the city. As the news comments about the incident and Astro-X’s failure to stop it, Aston contacts his headquarters in San Francisco to have them tell Colonel Shepard that he needs to finish work on his mech suit. In San Francisco, Gil, or Colonel as he prefers to be called, is testing a flight suit for Wilford, a scientist working for Astro-X who also happens to be April’s father, when he is approached by Claudia, who also works there, and is told Aston’s message. Back in Vegas, Fin refuses to give an interview, wanting to hurry back to Kansas to be with Gil but the only way Gemini could find out of the city was by train so they all board the train and head out. Unknown to anyone else, April is still alive, having been remade into a cyborg by her father, who comments on the results on her latest tests as she is recharging. The sandnado makes it’s way through the desert and destroys Hoover Dam, picking up the boulders and debris into it and becoming a “bouldernado”. Gemini sees the bouldernado approaching the train and they work to save as many people as they can while Fin makes his way to the engine and stops the train. Meanwhile, Aston blows up part of the Grand Canyon in order to stop the flood from the Hoover Dam destroying the nearby cities. Aston has Fin and the others brought to see him and asks Fin for his help in reassuring the American public but Fin refuses to be Aston’s mouthpiece. They get a car and make their way to Texas but the bouldernado follows them, where it hits an oil field and becomes an “oilnado”, which quickly becomes a “firenado” when the oil ignites. Fin uses a trencher loaded with fire extinguishers to get close to the firenado, then blows it up in the hopes of putting out the fire. The plan works  and the sharknado changes course but it hits a power plant and becomes a “lightningnado”. Meanwhile, another Sharnado appears in San Francisco while a “lavanado” forms in Yellowstone. As Aston works out a way to take out these new sharknados, April sees a news report and learns that Fin is still alive. She confronts Wilford as to why he lied to her about her family, and Wilford tries to keep her in the lab but she breaks down the door and leaves. The sharknado in San Francisco is heading towards Astro-X, having transformed into a “hailnado”, and as the Colonel and Claudia try to escape, their car is picked up by the storm but they are rescued by April, and they are all surprised to see each other alive. The three head to Wilford’s lab to confront him about what he did, and he claims to have done it to protect them all, then shows the Colonel a completed Mech Suit to use against the sharknado. Meanwhile, Fin’s car gets a flat as they enter Kansas and he calls his friend Colton, who loans him a car named Christine. As they head towards the farm, the lightningnado follows after them and they quickly abandon Christine before it is run over by a shark infested ball of twine. With only a mile to go to the farm, the make a run for it, while Gil and Raye head into the storm shelter. The lightningnado picks up a herd of cows, becoming a “cownado”. Fin and the others reach the farm, where they head to the barn to get some weapons. Matt and Gabrielle head to the shelter but Gabrielle is killed before she can make it in while Gil runs out of the shelter to find his dad. With the storm fast approaching, Fin and Gil head back into the house, while Gemini holds onto the outside as the house is picked up by the storm. Fin is able to rescue Gil and Gemini makes it inside before the house crash lands in Chicago, landing on the mayor who had blamed Fin for the disasters. April, Claudia, and the Colonel learn about Fin’s location and they head there, where April rescues Fin and Gil from the debris, and Fin is shocked to see his wife is still alive. Meanwhile, Astro-X uses their new isotopes to destroy the hailnado and lavanado, but the lightningnado proves resistant and hits a nuclear power plant, becoming a nuclearnado. In  their plane, Fin and April are talking about what happened and April tells him that what her father did was temporary, and they have no idea how long she will live. Fin says he doesn’t care and hugs her, then goes to introduce her to Gil, but Gil says April isn’t his mom. Aston talks with Fin and Gil about the nuclearnado and, along with Wilford’s help, they come up with a plan to stop it. They head towards Niagara Falls, where Aston uses a squirrel suit to fly down to a camp that is set up there and set off a quantum box that will turn the nuclearnado back to a normal sharknado, so the pods can disperse it. Aston turns on the box but it isn’t powerful enough to work and he ends up falling off the cliff when the weakened ground collapses into the falls. When Fin tells the others what happened, the Colonel says that they have another battery in the mech suit they can use so they head to Niagara Falls with it. As the Colonel gets ready to use the mech suit to reach the quantum box, he is swallowed by a shark and the suit ends up falling down the cliff. Fin goes to retrieve it, and he and April head to the quantum box, telling the others to get to safety but Matt and Claudia get swallowed by sharks while Gil, who was placed in a barrel for safe keeping, ends up getting sucked up by the storm and falling into the falls. Fin is able to reach the quantum box and use the mech suit to power it enough to change the nuclearnado back into a regular sharknado but before they are able to disperse it, Fin is knocked off the cliff and swallowed by a shark, which is then swallowed by three more sharks before being swallowed by a blue whale. April manages to rescue Gil, who pulls his little chainsaw out of a rock and proceeds to climb into the whale and cut open the shark inside, rescuing Claudia, then repeating the process with the other sharks, freeing Matt and the Colonel but Fin is unresponsive, April cuts an opening into the whale so she can free the others and then attaches some cables from her power supply to a pair of small shark to serve as a makeshift defibrillator in order to revive Fin. Aston had managed to survive his fall and is alive at the bottom of the falls while the Shepards celebrate surviving another storm when they suddenly see the Eiffel Tower fly through the air before landing nearby, with Nova, who had been vacationing in Paris, standing atop it.

Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens met was pretty much panned by the critics, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens loses the ridiculous charm of its predecessors, leaving only clumsy social commentary and monotonous schtick that’s lost its bite.” While the previous movies had a lot of references to Jaws in them, this movie had numerous references to the Star Wars franchise, with the title itself being a spoof of the recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. While The Asylum and Syfy never made public the results of the twitter poll, the trailer for the movie kind of spoiled it by showing April in her training montage while the post credits scene set up a fifth movie, which was announced shortly after the 4th one premiered.

Every time I watch this movie, I find myself going back and forth on how much I like it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie as much as the others, but it’s hard to tell if it was just that I liked certain parts as compared to the movie as a whole. The acting was good, with Ian Zeiring (Fin) and Tara Reid (April) doing good jobs in their roles. David Hasslehoff (Colonel) and Ryan Newman (Claudia) did a good job reprising their roles, while I loved the addition of Gary Busey as April’s dad and Masiela Lusha as Fin’s cousin Gemini. The story was interesting and I loved the fact that they set it 5 years after the last movie, to help explain whether April lived or died, but I honestly felt like there were other aspects of the plot that felt like they used various cultural references to joke about the fact that the main plot was pretty weak. The special effects were pretty good and they did have some very funny scenes in it, with the scene where Fin gets swallowed by a shark and the whole shark swallowing shark aspect until one gets swallowed by a whale still makes me laugh. All told, this is fun to watch but the sum of the various parts don’t quite add up to a great movie.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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