Charles Band’s ‘Puppet Master 8: The Legacy’

I really cannot express my disappointment when watching this movie and realising that it is essentially a series of clips from the previous films. I really cannot justify reviewing this as a film, if you wanted to see everything that is shown here you probably would have watched the previous films in this series.

Kiss me you FOOL!

ROMANCE!

The “story” revolves around Peter Hertz (Jacob Whitkin) who was the young boy saved by Andre Toulon in the third film. Peter is now the Puppet Master and has been cornered by the mysterious Maclain (Kate Orsini) who is seeking a way to destroy the nefarious marionettes and save the souls trapped inside. Eventually she kills him or something along those lines, many clips of other films are shown in between.

Shoot him you FOOL!

ACTION!

It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for Charles Band to create this film using mostly footage previously seen. On one hand it could have been that he wished to show the journey the puppets have gone on but if that was the case you would pick scenes of emotional depth and not just murdering. This intention could have been for this to just be a kill compilation but then you have to question the book ending segments involving Maclain and Peter.

Cat eyes!

SUSPENCE!

All in all this really shouldn’t be classed as a separate film, it feels more like a DVD extra that would come in a box set more than a piece deserving any narrative. I recommend avoiding this and give it an Adam Sandler, you know it’s going to be shit but it depends on your tolerance for that sort of thing.

A Thankless Thank You

Thank you for all the monies!

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Edward D. Murphy’s ‘Raw Force AKA Kung Fu Cannibals’

Look at that title! Who needs marketing when you have a name like Kung Fu Cannibals! I found this film by chance, my friend was trying to find something to watch and emerged with this classic on a blank DVD (We had reservations after recently watching Ringu but braved the possibility of death via media). Hastily scribbled on the label was the name and nothing else, we salivated that the prospect of the spectacular idea of martial arts man eaters (I beg someone to use that title for a movie). I sat and as the film blared into life I gave my time willingly (The beer helped me lavishly lay down my precious minutes). Let’s get into this tale of high kicking cannibal chaos.

Warrior Island Leaflet

Glossy leaflets welcome people to Warrior Island which means they must have some sort of marketing department.

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Cameron Mitchell appears to love boats and topless martial artists.

So we open up on 3 women being flown to an island by 3 lecherous young men and 1 Hitler impersonator, upon arriving at the island the women are offered to some monks who trade them for a large quantity of jade. One of the women is not to the monks liking and she is rejected (This appears to upset her greatly) which causes her to panic, run off into some bushes and subsequently get killed by a blue zombie samurai. Cut to Capt. Harry Dodds (Cameron Mitchell) bitching about the cruise ship owner Hazel Buck (Hope Holiday) to the resident cook and martial arts expert Go Chin (Rey Malonzo). Soon enough it is all hands on deck as they set sail for Warrior Island but not before doing some shopping in town (Which seems to consist of bar’s, brothels and the Jade goods equivalent of Walmart). After encountering the lecherous bastards and one man Adolf fan club they find themselves being chased on the high seas as the boat comes ever closer to reaching Warriors Island. Will they meet the mad manic monks masticating maidens? Is the price of murder really just some green rocks? Who is doing the marketing for Warriors Island because the leaflets are excellent.

SinnerMan

This man is simply called Religious Freak in the credits and is fucking insane.

Bowie and Arrow

This guys name is now Bowie and arrow.

This movie is amazing so there is no bad this review! Between the poor acting, broken dialogue and terrible ADR there are moments of true brilliance but the parts that are bad still manage to entertain. This film has entered my collection of so bad it’s good right next to the insane Miami Connection (Both films back to back would be a great double bill) and seeing this brought a sense of people really enjoyed making something with every intention of creating greatness.

Shitler and his gang of idiots.

Here is Shitler and his henchmen.

More good! So the actors all seem to be in this film to make something great, this is evidence by several scenes that contain a gleeful energy as people jump into shot with a smile ready to take down bad guys. Cameron Mitchell plays it straight but every so often you get the sense that even he is having a laugh. One of my favourite lines comes from one of the final scenes in which Mr Mitchell screams “I saw Clint Eastwood do this once!” to which he turns and corner and just fires at the enemy making the line completely irrelevant. One women explains that she is on the run from the Mafia for around 20 minutes before entirely disappearing from the film never to return again (I think we are to assume she perishes on the boat but this is never confirmed).

Poor man's axe

Bandit plus axe equals murder.

This isn’t a problem but the romantic sub-plots are entirely pointless as everyone seems hell-bent on getting naked regardless the occasion but I think that the massive amounts of nudity may have stemmed from an attempt at pleasing several audiences at once.

Fucking zombies

Spoiler: Zombies!

If you are looking for a film that contains Horror, Action, Adventure, Drama and masses of bewbs you cannot do much better than this underrated classic. I highly recommend it and give the film a brilliant Tom Atkins, you will never feel like you have wasted your time viewing this little known masterpiece.

Monks

These monks love their job.

Christopher Hart’s ‘Eat and Run’

Continuing my journey into the weird I decided today that I would watch the film Eat and Run which I recently liberated from Poundland. I usually have zero expectations from these movies but this one starred an actor from the fantastic Timecop and I was immediately intrigued. So lets get into the meat and potatoes of this fucking movie picture.

This lady is also in the movie. SPOILERS she plays a judge.

An alien lands on earth and appears humanoid in form, shortly after arriving a kindly Italian man offers this creature a lift assuming it is just another person but it turns out the alien has a taste for flesh! He proceeds to steal the car and travel to New York to continue his killing spree, it also turns out after eating one he has developed a taste for Italian. Enter Mickey McSorely (Ron Silver) A down on his luck cop who is looking to make a bust and hungry to solve the case, he soon tracks down the alien, drugs him and arrests him. It would seem justice has been served but a loathsome lawyer works his devil magic and has the newly named alien released under the name Murray Creature (Pat Ryan). McSorely has his badge taken away due to the embarrassment of the whole court case and is forced to go it alone and hopefully stop the creature from striking again.

Do you think this guy puts Eat and Run on his CV?

Plot wise there is a bit more too it but really the whole things is redundant as this is actually a parody. I’m not against parody films in general it just seems that the genre has recently received some hate due to the often terrible Movie Movies (Date, Scary, Disaster etc). This is actually not a bad comedy, some jokes actually made me laugh but occassionaly the jokes fall on the more racist side of things. The sets are cheap and often nothing happens for stretches, the main character and his father narrate the story vocally (Which other characters can hear) which is a slightly different way of delivering exposition but still there is A LOT of exposition.

Captain Exposition.

Sound is nothing of note and often ADR is evident but sometimes music from the shoot can be heard at a higher volume than the sound mix. The music is almost non-existent but occasionally there is something that sounds vaguely like Spanish music for some reason. The scene in the beginning with the alien discovering his penchant for Italian people has one of the most cartoonish eating noises you will ever hear which is the first hint that this is a parody.

The first of many hints during this movie.

This film despite being sometimes offensive is not entirely bad, it beats everything Adam Sandler has done for the last 5 years and could be worse. This film was actually listed as Horror which made it all the more suprising to watch. I would probably recommend it as a curiosity, not something I would actively recommend seeking out. I give it a Mad Mel Gibson, maybe if it was less racist and more focused it could be a new Sci Fi Airplane but it really falls short.

Dulyasit Niyomgul’s ‘Cadaver/Sop’

Sadly I have been away from my site for a while now, although most people probably didn’t notice I still felt like I was letting down my imaginary audience. Well now I am back to review more films for you all. The first in a long line of weird movies I have seen lately is the film Cadaver/Sop which is a strange Thai horror that crept its way into my DVD player. Lets talk about it shall we?

Why are these bodies filled with Fanta?

Our hero is Mai (Natthamonkarn Srinikornchot) A young medical student who has reached the point in her education where she must operate on cadavers. The teacher of the class Dr. Prakit (Nirut Sirichanya) does his best to help Mai but it seems she is struggling since the cadavers have been introduced. It is revealed that the entire class have been having visions of the people they have now been assigned to dissect, visions that seem to pre-empt moments of intense misfortune. Can Mai solve the mystery before it is too late? Are the visions attempting to tell her something? Why are all adults creepy bastards?

This look of concern is actually his evil stare of doom he is just really good at hiding it.

This is a strange movie, if that wasn’t already evident from the summary above it is immediately evident from the first 5 minutes. There is a slow pace to everything and all the misfortune caused by the ghosts is not evidently a consequence of the haunting. Some characters act evil and seem to have evil motivations but no one reacts to it, I can only assume that this is normal behaviour for the character but we never have enough back story to know.

She is probably evil. Not sure because most characters are not fleshed out (Pun intended).

Sound is OK and there is the usual combination of chimes that have come to be the norm in these movies. The ghosts do not click or do the contortionist waltz instead choosing to do the jump scare scream that is usually reserved for slamming doors in Paranormal Activity. Disappointingly there is not a really villain until the end of the movie but the reveal is well done.

These 3 men all have the same haircut. Suspicious.

This film is not a new Ringu series waiting to happen, it’s a nice little segway into some not often used combination of higher education and horror. I would recommend this to anyone interested in horror form the East but it really is not for everyone. I will give it a Mad Mel Gibson, a hidden gem for the Thai horror curious.

SCARY FACE!

BTW I am back and will make sure I write you a few more reviews shortly.

Robert Rodriguez’s ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’

VAMPIRE WEEK! As with earlier this week we are currently celebrating the end of The Strain by reviewing vampire films. Today we are getting into the seminal 1996 Crime-Drama-Action-Horror film directed by Robert Rodriguez starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. If you haven’t seen it yet I would recommend doing so before getting into this review, the whole vampire things is kind of a spoiler so please check it out. Lets get into the sausage and mash.

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George Clooney taking a moment to hypnotise all the women.

Our story opens with 2 brothers Seth Gecko (George Clooney) and Richie Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) on the run from the law and blazing a trail across America with hopes of breaking through the border to safety. Meanwhile a family are going on a RV trip across America attempting to forget a recent loss, Pastor Dad Jacob (Harvey Keitel), Daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu). The 2 groups collide and before you can say Hallelujah they are in Mexico waiting for Seth’s contact at the infamous Titty Twister. Before long the stunning Santanico Pandemonium (Selma Hayek) begins her dance and the patrons of the bar reveal their true nature. Will our heroes make it through the night? What lies in wait for Seth once they meet the contact? What is Tom Savini’s secret to immortality?

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I always wandered why people don’t use pencils as weapons in vampire films.

This film is a testament to the character writing of Robert Rodríguez, you want to know more but they reveal just enough, never spoiling the air of mystery or telling you more than you need to know. The story goes along following the standard beats of the crime film then flips completely and becomes a horror film. The director juggles everything expertly, making deplorable assholes people we actually want to survive and brings us holy water condoms.

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It’s like the last scene in the adventures except with more blood and less Robert Downey Jr.

Its a gleeful celebration of action and horror but it is not without it’s issues. Characters like Richie, although short lived, just don’t need to be so evil, you can make a character bad but when you create a character without restrain or relatable traits the audience is unable to sympathise when he dies. There is also no sense of urgency until the finale, time just happens and most of what happens is within a 24 hour period but that is really just a small issue.

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Thank you Salma Hayek for just being you. Awesome.

I love this film and highly recommend watching it, there is also a documentary called Full Tilt Boogie the making of From Dusk Till Dawn which is decent. Anyway check this film out, I give it a Tom Atkins – Man of Action. Classic, chaotic cinema from Mr Rodriguez.

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Do people like having their nipples twisted?

Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’

Going to have a bit of a vampire week here at Cinemageddon since The Strain will be airing it’s season finale on Sunday. In a semi celebration of all the nibbling blood lovers we will review as many films as possible. We are starting today with Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ directed by the legend Francis Ford Coppola. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes.

vlcsnap-2014-09-30-23h33m04s215Genuine love of the subject matter crafted this shot.

The story opens with Vlad Dracula fighting the Turks and winning, sadly the news of victory has not reached home and Vlad’s wife commits suicide after false news of his death. Grief of his loss causes Dracula to renounce God, stab a cross and drink the mystery juice that drips down his sword (Sexy?). Many years later a lawyer named Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) travels to Transylvania to meet with Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) attempting to finalise an estate sale. Count Dracula takes interest in young Harker after seeing a picture of his fiance and decides to travels back to London to meet the Harpers, leaving Jonathan trapped in the castle. The Harpers take to Dracula even accepting the strange customs of the visitor but soon they start to feel something is off. When one of the Harper family member falls victim to a mysterious illness they become suspicious of the Count. Are there darker forces at work? What is up with Dracula hair? Why are we still asking questions about a film that we should all have seen?

vlcsnap-2014-09-30-23h37m48s248Remember when vampires were scary AND sexy?

This film is incredibly lavish, everything is dripping with detail and no expense is spared. Francis Ford Coppola shoots everything as if he had dreamed of directing this story, no minute is wasted and Dracula is treated as the force of nature his powers make him. The quality is not just in the sets and cinematography but also in the cast, Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing, Gary Oldman as Dracula, Billy Campbell as Quincey Morris and Keanu Reeves trying his hardest to play Jonathan Harker. Everyone brings their A game to each scene and despite some shoddy accents this is a great production of the original novel.

vlcsnap-2014-09-30-23h34m17s150Yes Tom Waits is in this movie, cast as Renfield. Genius casting.

The key point in this whole thing though is how are the vampires? Dracula is truly powerful, equalled by none and able to influence the cattle of man without breaking a sweat. Sunlight is still a weakness along with religious iconography but you’d be hard pressed to harness the awesome power of a solar body back then. His powers are standard vampire stuff: Super strength, communing with the creatures of the night, hypnosis and shapeshifting. The victims who fall under his curse are mindless horny women and mad people who feel the need to eat small animals for sustenance. Despite his awesome power we have a treatment of the monster that is tinged with sadness and loss, everything was taken from him so he blamed the only person he could in the case of suicide; God.

vlcsnap-2014-09-30-23h39m26s176Holy shit this thing is squaring off against Neo, Rocketeer, Dread Pirate Roberts, Withnail and the guy from The Edge? Fuuuuuuuuck!

This film feels very complete but at times it does seem to drift into the more erotic territory but who cares. I give this a Mad Mel Gibson. Great film but some small elements could do with refining.

Michael J. Bassett’s ‘Silent Hill: Revelation’

Ugh, why? What is the reason behind films like this coming into existence, who really thinks it is a good idea to make them? So after the lacklustre box office returns of the initial Silent Hill movie (If you didn’t know, both are based on a video game series) someone wrote a treatment for a new film based on the property and instead of following the plot of one of the games, made a direct sequel. Lets get into the plot of this abomination.

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The lady on the left is Queen Exposition and the lady on the right is Heather.

Heather (Adelaide Clemens) is having vivid nightmares revolving around a place called Silent Hill and a funfair. Harry (Sean Bean) is Heathers adopted father and attempts to protect his daughter from the evils of Silent Hill by moving her around the country. Heather is starting her new school (Which appears to be an awkward process as she immediately begins clashing with other students) after her introduction Vincent (Kit Harington) enters and instantly catches her eye. When Harry is taken by some of the apparitions that inhabit Heathers nightmares, she enlists Vincent to drive her to Silent Hill and unravel the mystery of her past.

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So. Very. Bland.

So this film is loosely based on the third Silent Hill game which was the first in the series to have a female protagonist and gave you a weapon immediately (Female empowerment!). Unlike previous games the monsters were not based on the characters fears and fetishes (Which is good because you play as a 15 year old girl) but instead rehashed some of the monsters from Silent Hill 2 with a couple of new ghoulies thrown in. The game was good but failed to meet the expectation of the previous entry which is widely considered one of the greatest survival horror games of all time. I like the series of games and watched the first film with the hope of a B-movie horror with some familiar characters and a very original setting, what I got was pretty shit.

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3D! It’s like the bad CGI is coming out of the screen!

The film itself is badly acted, plotted, edited and shot. There really isn’t a good thing that can be said for it, ambition could be but only in the sense that they shoe horn in some small cameos at the end (Trevor is the truck driving protagonist from Silent Hill: The Book of Memories and the prison bus is a reference to Silent Hill: Downpour) but it would be hard to believe another film would come of this pile of putrid, boring shit. Sean Bean and Kit Harington are both brilliant actors wasted by being forced to put on some terrible American accents. The lead does her best but is fucking atrocious which could be the fault of her or the script. Carrie Anne Moss appears from nowhere dressed as a snow elf from Skyrim and Malcolm McDowell shows some side boob because well, you got to give the ladies something.

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You’d think that Malcolm McDowell would have learnt to avoid shit films after TankGirl.

I detest this movie and really have no basis to recommend it. I would post spoilers to try and deter people from buying it, but at this point its 2 years old and flopped miserably so fate has worked in my favour. I give this film Adam Sandler, it really could have him shouting every 5 minutes and possibly meet the lofty cinematic heights of Grown Ups 2 or Jack and Jill. Avoid.