Showing posts from 2011

Species IV: The Awakening

Title: Species IV: The Awakening
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Drama
Starring: Edy Arellano, Helena Mattsson, Marco Bacuzzi, Marlene Favela
Director: Nick Lyon

Call it my guilty pleasure if you will, particularly if you consider im rarely one to follow a series past the first couple of films, but I do hold a soft spot for this quadrilogy. The debut cult classic hitting all the right notes; a sexy and seductive alien wanting nothing more than to bed you and procreate the alien species. The sequel then delivers much the same, and quite frankly the less said about the atrocity that was the third the better, but this one seems to have snuck under the radar. Another episode in this gory sci fi flick about beautiful women wanting to sleep around. I mean surely for the premise alone most guys would be sold.

But as the films developed, they quickly realised they couldnt just rehash old concepts, and so returning to the tale years later we find ourselves not dealing with aliens but…


Title: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Rating: 0.5/5
Genre: Action, Horror
Starring: Alan Bagh, Whitney Moore
Director: James Nguyen

“We'll need something to protect ourselves, here use these coat hangers” (despite the fact we have assault rifles lying around)

There are many people who would call themselves a fan of 'bad films,' and what they usually mean is a fan of films so bad they're amusing. Going into this film on the other hand, you don't need to prepare yourself for some chuckles as much as you do some fairly hefty masochism, as Birdemic tells two different stories. Sure, there's the core story of a budding young romance which turns into a nightmare when acid-pissing eagles begin to explode in their neighbourhood, attacking everyone for no apparent reason, but look beyond that and you'll something more. For in this day and age, anyone with the willpower and a little bit of money can make themselves a film, whether they should or not. I don't have a cl…


Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Action, Thriller, Mystery
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
Director: Joe Wright

Welcome to one of possibly the only mini reviews i'll write. Why mini you ask? Cos i'm on a motherfuckin' plane! No snakes though. Just grumpy turks. Probably for the best... And so even on my voyages abroad I cant help but be tantalised by this flick on the flight menu - you can take the reviewer away from his pc but you can't the...euhm, I guess I didn't think that one through, but you get the idea - that I have intended to watch for a long time but never got the chance. You see, this ain't our standard popcorn action flick or predictable thriller (ok, its a little predictable) but a tale of a young girl and her voyages into the world of assassins.

But before you get all 'leon' on me, hanna ain't quite done that way around. This isn't a girl entering the world of assassins as much as it is an assassin told to go pla…

Space Truckers

Title: Space Truckers
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Dennis Hopper (Waterworld, Apocalypse Now), Stephen Dorff (Blade, Felon), Debi Mazar
Director: Stuart Gordon

“I emit a low amp electrical wang pulse, designed to drive women wild”

I'm sure everyone has some similar story to this, for this film has in a sense been on my 'to watch' list longer than any other. For some reason one of my memories as a young child involve this film, and more specifically not being able to watch it; my plucky young eight year old self spotting it in the video rental store and showing it to my father, grinning ear to ear only to hear those fateful words. “You're mother would kill me if I let you watch that.” Which on reflection is a little odd, seeing as I'd already skipped my Disney phase and moved onto classics such as “Die Hard” and “The Terminator,” and this is far more family friendly than a film about robots that take over the world. Hell, this is a film a…

Hot Blood Sundae

Title: Hot Blood Sundae
Also Known As: Ice Scream: The ReMix
Rating: 2/5
Genre: Exploitation Horror/Comedy
Starring: Bobbi Billard, Akira Lane, Gelusa Zaripova
Director: John Darbonne

"I got the best broads; boobs... one on each side..."

“What sells better than sex,” the businessman utters, speaking the mind of the director responsible for delivering this cheap, low-budget schlock excuse for a horror film. It's evident from the very premise that you should expect this to be something of a theme, though I should warn you that it goes far beyond simply being an aspect of the plot; it's the main driving force for most of what is actually shot on film. For Ricky – our shop owner with daddy issues – is striving to make his ice cream venture a success when suddenly the idea hits him: sex. Taking his crew of buxom young beauties – actually just aspiring porn stars I believe – he delivers them their new uniforms to exploit their voluptuous curves. “But my boobs won't fit” …

The Breed (2001)

Title: The Breed (2001)
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery
Starring: Adrian Paul, Bokeem Woodbine, Bai Ling
Director: Michael Oblowitz

Ah the old classic crime format, taking two new cops with different attitudes to the job and slamming them together to watch the consequences as they hunt for the bad guy. Sometimes it ends up (trying to be) comical as in “Rush Hour,” and sometimes it ends up a cheese filled action classic like “Lethal Weapon.” Even rarer are the times it'll touch upon something great such as of “Se7en” or to a lesser extent “Training Day.” But this is a b-movie, so it will clearly need a far more obvious twist; here we have the big black arrogant cop partnered with the placid, cold and calculating officer, chalk and cheese, playing off one another and contrasting as the events unfold, their overt differences helping create the illusion that there are more detailed characters on display than there actually are. Oh, and the straight man also happens to be a …


Title: Hyenas
Rating: 2/5
Genre: Horror
Starring: Christa Campbell, Rudolf Martin, Costas Mandylor
Director: Eric Weston

You've heard of werewolves and probably seen at least a few of the sub-genre of horror films, but this is one that decides to give it a twist; were-hyenas. Cackling laughing men and women who transform into bloodthirsty beasts leaving behind no trace of their victims, operating from the shadows of a forest in the middle of nowhere, hiding from their prey; a clan of manipulative maniacal beasts with no remorse, hunting down their food like the rabid animals they are, using anything they have at their disposal to give them the upper hand. Which in the case of women can involve making men go “ooh tits” and... eh you get the picture. Actually, come think of it it's not really much of a twist at all, taking the pack mentality illustrated in 'The Lost Boys' and simply replacing the stock footage and groundwork laid out for them in numerous other bad werew…

Darker Than Black

Title: Darker Than Black
Rating: 3.5/5 (Kuro no Keiyakusha – 3.5/5 / Ryūsei no Gemini – 4/5)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Starring: Hidenobu Kiuchi, Christopher Sabat, Jason Liebrecht
Director: Tensai Okamura
Language: Japanese
Duration: (25mins; Season 1: 25 Episodes; Season 2: 12 Episodes; OVA: 5 Episodes)

Looking over this in passing it looked a little like an anime version of the hit US TV show “Heroes,” probably not helped by the fact that it emerged just a year after its first season. The thing is, even though both dealt with the mysterious appearance of people with extraordinary abilities; flight, possession, control over the elements and so on; following a large number of characters coming to terms with their abilities and the ensuing reactions from the public, often kept in the dark as much as possible – though in this case little is known about them anyway – this is about as far from such a show as is possible. Rather than dealing with an overarching continuous story, dri…

Death Kappa

Title: Death Kappa
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi (Comedy)
Starring: Daniel Aguilar Gutiérrez, Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Director: Tomo'o Haraguchi
Language: Japanese

Someday, we'll be together, you and me
I'm wearing panties again today
The stars above are all lucky, happy
I'm going to end up putting our secret inside a treasure chest

Sometimes I wonder just how they manage to sell films like this to potential producers; whether they simply say 'It's about a Kappa that destroys stuff' and hope they don't ask for any further details, or if they have to ask them sit down and brace themselves whilst they explain exactly what they want this film to do. At least here they sold it to the right people; the producers who gave us 'Tokyo Gore Police' and 'Machine Girl' are on board, and that for me automatically seals the deal, I'm on board for the ride too. And this is one hell of a ride; this is the sort of B-Movie that makes Troma look…


Title: Inseminoid
Rating: 2.5/5
Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror
Starring: Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley, Stephanie Beacham
Director: Norman J. Warren

One of those classic films lost to the depths of time, 'Inseminoid' is one that has travelled to me through word of mouth; my old flat-mate having heard his friend talk of it after watching it late on the 'Horror Channel,' proceeding to buy it, watch it, and then tell me of it. With a name like this how could it be bad? Combining “Insemination” with the '-oid' prefix to denote precisely what this film is about. Let's be perfectly blunt about all this, Alien – a film about an alien pregnancy – came out in 1979. This – a film about an alien pregnancy – came out in 1981. A team travelling to an alien planet to discover what happened to their previous expedition ends in some mysterious events, like people going nuts and dying from being stabbed in the hand. And it isn't long before one of their number finds their way to …