Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The Bermuda Depths




Title: The Bermuda Depths
Director: Shusei Kotani
Released: 1978
Staring: Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers, Connie Sellecca, Burl Ives
Rating: 5 / 5

Plot: As a kid growing up in Bermuda, Magnus (McCloskey) has a pretty rough time of things, first when his childhood friend Jenny is carried out to sea by a turtle and when later that night his scientist father is killed by a cave in while working in his underground lab. Years later Magnus returns to Bermuda to find out more about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his father’s death, were he finds Eric (Weathers) and Dr. Paulis (Ives) continuing his fathers research into Gigantism, as they try to track down The giant sea turtle referred to by the locals as “The Devil”. Meanwhile Magnus is reunited once again with Jenny (Sellecca) who may also be linked to the “The Devil”.

Review: I shud start by pointing out that, I originally stumbled across this film by accident, while looking up “Orca” (1977) which was one of many cash ins upon the release of “Jaws” (1975) and to be honest when I saw this film being mentioned on the IMDB boards I was expecting pretty much the same as Orca in that it would be just another giant animal of some description feeding off the local population, which of course is the complete opposite of what this films turned out to be, with it being more of a supernatural love story, which is what I discovered when I finally sat down to watch it, which in turn is thanks largely to Youtube, as right now outside of grainy VHS to DVD transfers your going to have a hard time finding this film anywhere else.
Opening with B movie style opening music as the title shakes onto screen, this music is suddenly replaced by the haunting theme music “Jennie” by Claude Carmichael, as the camera moves through the sea bed, giving the audience that any moment your going to catch a glimpse of the giant sea turtle, or see some expendable extra being killed off suddenly which off course you don’t, instead we get opening of Young Magnus playing with Jenny on the beach, as they find a turtle egg, which they then proceed to raise, into a full grown turtle as Magnus falls for his childhood friend, even carving their initials into the shell of the turtle, which I’m guessing the turtle kinda objected to seeing how in the next scene, its taking Jennie out to sea, as Young Magnus can only stand on the shore and watch. With the young Magnus now without a friend in the world which is rough enough, if not for the next scene being that of his father being killed as the roof of his underground lab collapses, so with all these happy moments from his childhood witnessed we now skip forward to present day were Magnus has now grown up, having spent the last few years wandering the globe and shock horror hanging out in hippie communes (this was no doubt scarier back in the 70's, judging by Eric's wifes reaction) trying to find himself, before returning to his childhood home. From this moment onwards we are thrown straight into the pursuit of the giant turtle, as we are teased with several moments, in which we think that we will see something only to be denied being shown everything, bar torn nets, which it seems, is the great plan that the scientific genius that is Dr. Paulis has come up with for capturing the giant turtle, which makes me wonder why in these kinds of films, when it comes down to capturing giant creatures that the plan for capturing the creature is always kinda ropey, I mean seriously what exactly made them think that a flimsy net will be able to stop a giant turtle? Still figuring that they just need a stronger net, rather than perhaps a better plan they call it a day.


Now the story could just stick with the capturing the turtle angle, but instead we now get reintroduced to the now full grown Jennie, whose name it seems much like the turtle is surrounded with much myth which one of the locals explains to Magnus, as we are shown a flashback to Jenny offering her life to The devil ( The turtle that is not the red guy with hooves ) long ago in the past when the ship she was travelling on was threatened with being sunk….but could this Jennie and the one from Magnus’s childhood be the same person??? Well no doubt you’ve already figured that part out for yourself, as the story turns into a supernatural romance, which the devil becomes more background element, until towards the end when Eric now suffering from Ahab syndrome is obsessed with capturing the devil, setting out with Magnus on a do or die mission to capture the creature, which is when the story starts baring a lot of similarities to the ending of Jaws, but manages at the end to at least give us an ending that is unexpected and in many ways kind of shocking and sad.
Carl Weathers is great in this movie; especially the more obsessed his character Eric becomes with capturing the turtle and it’s good to see one of his older roles before he started playing his action hero past for laughs. It is also worth noting the incredibly gay wardrobe that Eric wears throughout and which Weathers manages somehow to make seem completely straight, even while wearing probably one of the smallest pair of shorts ever captured on film!
The effects through out are mainly on the budget side of things, with some ropey miniature works, which is made all the more apparent in the scene, in which the Helicopter crashes into the devil, coming off slightly more humorous than what was no doubt originally intended. The giant turtle effects though are satisfying even if it sounds like a humpback whale as well as the glowing eyes feel slightly unneeded and were no doubt added to give the creature a supernatural edge to it.

True it might seem a bit of a cheat to give the audience this idea of seeing a giant turtle, only for it to appear briefly at the end, but despite this I never felt cheated by instead being given a love story of sorts between Jenny and Magnus, with Jenny being torn between her duty to serve the devil and her feelings for Magnus.

For a film that was originally released as a made for TV feature, it has over years gained a large following, taking it beyond what was no doubt it’s originally lifespan and is defiantly worth giving it a look, while we continue to wait for that ever illusive DVD edition, as the song “Jenny” continues to haunt your dreams long after the film has finished.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Final Girl Film Club - Friday the 13th




Today is kind of a chance of pace, as this review is being written as part of the “Final Girl Film Club” which is of course part of the fantastic Final Girl blog run by Stacie Ponder, who quite rightfully in the midst of the remake of this months pick, has given us a chance to look back at the original, a film that I’m personally a huge fan of and is which is the first entry in one of the longest running horror franchises at 10 entries not including a spin off movie and TV series, something that few horror films manage to achieve outside of “Nightmare on Elm Street”. I am of course if you have for some strange reason, not guessed that I'm of course referring to the legendry “Friday the 13th”!!


So let’s not dwell on the fact that they have had the audacity to remake a true horror classic (aswell a 15 rated flick none the less) and instead, join me as we take a trip back to Crystal Lake to see were it all began.



Title: Friday The 13th

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Released: 1980

Staring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Walt Gorney

Rating: 5 / 5


Plot: Originally closed back in the late 50’s, after two camp councillors are butchered by an unknown assailant, Camp Crystal Lake is preparing to be reopened once more several years later, as a new group of councillors arrive at the camp, only soon to find themselves the target of the same killer who once more has some real nasty intentions.

Review: “Friday The 13th” it is safe to say a true horror classic and has been for many horror fans been a right of passage, aswell prime sleepover fodder since it’s release and like all classic horror films it still retains it’s ability to shock even now in these times when most of the films released around the same time have lost thier edge, Friday the 13th along with a few select others still maintains the shocks.
Following hot on the heels of John Carpenters equally classic “Halloween” which had started the slasher craze in 1978, it wouldn’t be until the release of Friday the 13th that the slasher genre would be come an integral part of the horror genre, spawning numerous copycat’s eager to cash in on the success of this new genre, with few coming close to matching the genius of this first film in the series and without a doubt certainly one of the most strongest entries, setting the foundations for which the series would build upon with future instalments, by giving us our first views of the now notorious camp site, which itself at the time was a new and original setting with most similar films at the time being set in suburbia, here in this setting the characters were going to the evil, rather than the evil coming to them, which until this point had been the traditional setup, with evil coming to the peaceful streets of suburbia, by having them going to the evil, it opened up a whole new wealth of posibilities, as now no one is safe, somthing that part three in perticular would be keen to enforce, when in the trailer the narator refers to these woods as "Jasons Woods"
So after the opening slaying of the two horny councillors, in a scene which bares more than a slight similarity to that of “Halloween” with the killer remaining firmly off screen, an idea which is continued as the new batch of councillors are killed off, with occasionally the audience getting to see an arm or a hand, but never enough to give away who the mystery loon is, which brings up a slight grumble, when you have the big final revel to find out its a character whose only just appeared and which thanks to “Scream” is now one of the worst kept surprise endings ever rivalled only by “The Sixth Sense” but even knowing this the film still manages to throw out a fair amount of red herrings that will have you guessing till the final revel, who the killer is before finishing off with one of the all time great horror endings, which thanks to some rather misguiding music, has on more than one viewing caught me off guard and feeling the sudden need for an underwear change.
The tense atmosphere slowly builds as the film progresses and the bodies begin to stack up, with the councillors being dispatched in increasingly gory ways, thanks largely to some great FX work by Tom Savini, with the most memorable of course being the famous arrow through the throat, as suffered by a young Kevin Bacon and it’s safe to say, that these death scenes, are probably the reason that the film has lasted as long as it has, with the whole script being built around the various death scenes. I still remember the first time I saw this film, being completely blown away by how you actually got to see the payoff, which is usually cut away from at the last second, in most horror films, but Friday the 13th would finally give the gore hounds what they all had longed to see, which again is thanks largely to Savini, who was egar to see just how far he could push the limits of Special FX at the time, with each death scene constantly trying to outdo the last.
Admittedly the acting is less special, with most of the cast’s acting being nothing to really report on, but is not so horrible to detract from the film, though special mention of course being Betsy Palmer who stars as Mrs Voorhees and manages to act everyone else off the screen, in her brief screen time as she turns from a friendly homemaker to full blown psycho in a matter of minutes, as her true madness is slowly revealed. It's really a credit to her performance that this change works as well as it does, seeing how when she first appears, she appears to be the kind of motherly figure you’d appreciate a hug from and no doubt enjoys making apple pie, an illusion shattered to pieces when, she revels her real grudge against horny camp councillors, which is definatly made clear as she snaps in front of Alice, adding even more creepyness by taking moments out of the chase with Alice to talk to herself, channeling her deformed son Jason, while staring into the camera with a genuinely creepy smile on her face. It’s interesting to note that Betsy Palmer would have turned down the role, had she not been in such desperate need for a new car, calling the film “a piece of shit” after reading the script. Another popular piece of fanboy history, also says that she originally won the role, due to being able to drive out to the set, still even if this is true it is hard to imagine any other actress being able to make the role as memorable as she did, even if the series is remembered more for the later antics of Jason, it would be his mother that paved the way for what is still one of my favourite horror series.

Studio bosses may be adding Friday the 13th to the ever increasing list of remakes and with decent remakes of these classic films few (Rob Zombie’s Halloween being a notable exception) and with all reports at the moments currently not showing this latest addition, as the one remake that will be break the chain of bad remakes that audiences have so far been forced to endure, but at least on the positive side, the fans will always have the classic original to return to.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Condemned



Title: The Condemned
Director: Scott Wiper
Released: 2007
Staring: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Robert Mammone, Madeleine West and Rick Hoffman
Rating: 2 / 5

Plot: Jack Conrad (Austin) is a convict awaiting execution in a Salvadoran prison. "Purchased" by a wealthy television producer and transported to a deserted island in the South Pacific along with nine other condemned criminals (similarly purchased from prisons around the world), they are "offered" the opportunity to avoid capital punishment and win back their freedom by fighting to the death in an illegal game to be filmed and broadcast live over the Internet.

Review: Since the release of “Battle Royale” it’s been followed by a whole host of assorted clones, each giving their own spin to the death match setup and since it’s release it’s also been hard not draw comparisons between that film and any other film, which bares even the slightest of similarities. Sadly the condemned fails to bring anything new to the table and instead gives us nothing but a below par action flick and a vehicle for one of the biggest and certainly most popular of WWE names “Stone Cold Steve Austin”.
The third film to be released by “WWE Films” following the enjoyable horror romp “See No Evil” (With Kane taking on monster duties) and the daft popcorn action flick, as well as direct to DVD feature “The Marine” (with John Cena & which already has a sequel in the works at the time of writing), The Condemned much like “The Marine” has a simple enough setup though one which sadly never lives up to its full potential, as our group of convicts, who the majority of which we never discover their reasons for their imprisonment are dropped off (literally in this case as they are thrown from the helicopter carrying them) on the island to hunt and kill each other off, with the story from this point quickly dissolving into what amounts to mainly filler between fight scenes, as we watch members of the production crew have doubts about the program, while arguing about how moral it is to have people fighting each other to the death in the name of entertainment??? Surely they should have thought about these kinds of things earlier you can’t help but wonder really. As well as this we get some lazy character development for Jack, revolving around his girlfriend watching the show in a bar and two FBI agents who are trying to locate the island, yet failing at the same time to achieve anything outside of having a stupidly large amount of meetings, to the point that I’m sure they are challenging “Star Trek – The Next Generation” for the title of the most pointless amount of meetings ever.
The fights sequences which after all are main selling point of the film, however frustratingly are often hard to follow thanks to the shaky close up way in which they are filmed with only a couple of fights escaping this style of shooting, which is even more of a shame when one of those fights isn’t the confrontation between Jack and “The Russian” (Played by big hulking guy for hire Nathan Jones) seeing how Nathan Jones has shown on several occasions in films such as “Warrior King” and “Fearless” that he can put on a decent fight scene, which would make it all the more exciting when you remember that Austin is after all a professional wrestler and more than capable of faking a fight sequence, but this is again ruined by the bizarre fighting style which they lumber Austin with, which see’s him fighting more like a boxer than his usual brawler style, which director Scott Wiper is quick to comment on in the special features on the disc, attributing this style to the fact his character is ex special forces, while meanwhile the groans of Stone Cold fans can be heard throughout the land.
The next real gripe with the condemned is Vinnie Jones, whose performance is nothing new and further adds to the opinion that like Danny Dyer, the only thing which changes with each of his roles is the scenery, with him once again in sweary yobbo mob mode, which might have worked the first couple of times the audience is exposed to it, but the more often I see him recycling the same style the more tiresome it becomes, much like when ever a character is ex military and British, they have to be Ex SAS, which surprise surprise is exactly what the character of Ewan McStarley is. Seriously why even have him as ex military, why not just make him a Mercenary or a killer or something alittle more original than just the Brit version of Austin’s character! As for the rest of the assembled convicts we are left to draw our own conclusions, as to who they are and what they did, with the few bits we are told being patchy at best, as they are pushed to the background, further adding to the opinion that their sole purpose is to add to the body count.

Looking at the Condemned now that I have bared witness to the hasty battle royale knock off it is, I am less than surprised that this film almost bankrupted WWE films and is a disappointing stumble, after two perfectly expectable films and makes me hope that future titles will keep Austin off the screen and in the ring were he works best, or at least give us the Stone Cold we all love and adore, rather than some hindered knockoff were as the less that we see of Vinnie Jones in this genre the better really.


On a final note this film was almost as painful to write about as to sit through and at various points I considered giving up on it, but that would have then meaning finding another film to watch in it's place and true this kind of movie is what I expected to find when I choose to hunt out bad movies, but The Condemned sadly enough fails on far to many labels to even be redeemable enough to recommend even to WWE fans.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Shark Swarm



Title: Shark Swarm
Director: James A. Contner
Released: 2008
Staring: Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, F. Murray Abraham
Rating: 2 / 5

Plot: A greedy real estate developer has been dumping illegal toxins into the sea around Full Moon Bay in an attempt to kill off the fishing trade and force people to sell up to him. However the toxins do have another effect on the marine life as they make the sharks more aggressive and hungrier. With the sea almost devoid of fish, the sharks turn their attention to human prey.

Review: Ever since Steven Spielberg made "Jaws" the majority of people have had an everlasting (and slightly misguided) fear of sharks aswell as setting foot in the ocean, while the movie exec's have also since then constantly attempted to recreate the formula, which made Jaws such an insanely popular movie

Ie: Giant Shark + Gruesome deaths + Decent shocks = Box Office Gold

Sadly enough all this so far has resulted in a whole heap of clones, none of which managing to capture the spirit of that original movie and while it's true some movies like it's imaginatively titled sequel "Jaws 2" and Joe Dante's "Piranha" which was more a cash in by producer Roger Corman and is already set for a 3D remake this year with "Switchblade Romance" director Alexandre Aja at the helm, but as you've probably guessed by now "Shark Swarm" is not one of these select few.Originally released as a Mini series by Hallmark, it has since been edited into a full length feature, much like fellow creature feature "The Beast" which was penned by Jaws author Peter Benchley, who ironically became a Conservationist after Jaws saw it's initial big screen release and upon seeing the public mass hysteria, choose to dedicate the rest of his life to protecting sharks, which he'd manage to demonise. "Shark Swarm" however chooses to concentrate on the usual general opinion of sharks, though atleast bothers taking a more unusual tact by having the sharks swarming, rather than turn into supersized predators which are the usual outcomes when animals come into contact with chemicals, if I've learned anything from the movies it's that much. Sadly though this is were the originality ends for the script, which after an initial bloody attack, as we bare witness to a shark tearing lumps out of another shark, the movie then quickly spirals downhill.The cast it's obvious from the get go are mainly were the budget has been spent, as well as some slightly repetitive footage of the CGI sharks, which look decent enough and aren't so shoddy that they detract from the film, unlike many low budget entries in the creature feature genre, which you can't say for Daryl Hannah who spends a lot of the film looking, as if she's has the emotion botox'd out of her face, as she struggles to perform even the simplest of emotions and no also providing us with the scariest moments of the film, when we are forced to endure a close up of her face, leaving it up to Smallville's John Scheider to hold everything together, as the hero fisherman of the piece, whose currently refusing to sell his property and the one thing standing in the way of the evil real estate developer played by Armand Assante, who for some strange reason towards the end, turns into more of a second rate bond villain, even choosing to despatch of Scheider's and Hannah's characters by lowering them slowly into shark infested water. all of which means that the actual sharks are shunted way into the background, to a point were they are fairly non existentent outside of numerous filler scenes of bloodless shark attacks, which are after all the main selling point of the feature, but when you have nothing but a bunch of death scenes, that are dryer than a kitty litter tray, with the camera often cutting away at the last second, you can't help but feel slightly cheated and not really giving much of a toss about what's happening elsewhere. The other main downside to the shark attacks being that, despite the fact that there are numerous shark attacks, nearly all the characters have only just been introduced before they are suddenly being killed off, none of which are missed much by the small town population, who don't even seem to realise that they are missing, even when it's characters like the cranky fisherman or the swimming teacher. Jaws might have only had a handful of attacks but each one added to and furthered the plot, while in "Shark Swarm" they are nothing but filler and seeing how around thirty people get eaten, that amounts to a lot of filler and just another way of reminding you that you are watching a movie with killer sharks and not some made for TV Thriller.Meanwhile I guess we must continue to wait for "Meg" to finally surface, which based on the cult series of books by Steve Alten has been stuck in production hell since 2007 with a release date for 2010, so until then we must continue to tease ourselves with the promotional artwork, which currently only tantalises us further, while the fans of his books have a slightly shorter wait for the forth book in the series "Hell's Aquarium" which currently is set to be released on May 19th this year, but no matter how desperate you are for your shark attack fix, why not try "Piranha" as although it's budget only really streched to a few plastic fish and some bubbling red water, it was alot more effective than this wash out.



Promo art from the long delayed "MEG"

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Doomed



Title: Doomed
Director: Michael SuReleased: 2007Staring: Mary Christina Brown, Steve Cryen, Sarah Diaz, Aaron Gaffey, Andre McCoy, Ward Roberts, Drew Russell, Kara Schaaf, Edwin Villa, Heidi Marie Wanser
Rating: 4 / 5

Plot: In the near future and with society's thirst for reality TV forever increasing and being pushed to its limits a new show has been created "Doomed". Gathering together ten criminals looking to end their sentences by taking part in the show were all they have to do is make it from one side of the island to the other, gathering supplies and weapons that are have been placed at various points of the island, little realising that the island is also the home of a failed military experiment and with the contestants now being pursed by these rabid soldiers, they soon find out that they haven't been sent there to compete but to die for the entertainment of the viewers.

Review: It's always kinda worrying when the cover bares a heading like "In the tradition of "30 Days Later" and "Dawn of the Dead" "on the cover let alone the fact, that the film your about to watch, cost you a grand total of one British pound! Still surely this is the type of film that I shud be seeing as a prime target for reviewing as part of this resolution and funnily enough this film ticks both of the boxes mentioned above, but thankfully it manages to rise above these things, which might put off your regular movie goer, who no doubt over looked this title instead choosing something slightly less risqué and no doubt more mainstream, which is a real shame as "Doomed" is in fact the type of movie which justifies the whole point of this years resolution by proving that not all bad movies are necessarily bad.Ok first off it's no doubt best to ignore that whole tradition tagline, as although "Doomed" does infact have zombies in it, it really is more in tune with the show "Survivor" & cult movie "Series 7 - The Contenders" another frequently overlooked title, especially with the film being show completely in a game show format, which is a change from what could have just been another cookie cutter bargain horror. So right from the opening credits the budget restraints are clear with the non to polished opening credits which reminded me of so many bad Aussie teen dramas like "Ocean Odyssey" that used to plague my childhood and that you only watched because there was no good cartoons on some other channel and it's something that continues throughout the film, none so more than with the few CGI elements, that the film does feature, mainly with the host who provides show commentary for the viewer, a gimmick that surprisingly enough doesn't verge on annoying, as it so could easily have especially when you consider how cornball the character of the show host is played, as he appears at various moments in the film to update the audience on the contestants progress and shooting off cheesy one liners and never once seeming to care what has happened to the contestants, as long as its making for good entertainment. The cast as to be expected are a bunch of unknowns, with the majority bit part actors; they all seem to relish the opportunity for the extended screen time, especially Michael Kehoe as the holographic host, who's more known for working on sets, as crew than for being in front of the camera. Still this choice of using unknowns also gives the film an element of surprise, which most big budget horror productions lose out on, by having big named stars, as by using no name stars, it potentially means that any character can become zombie chowder at any time, which is another great things about "Doomed" as at various points at the movie I found myself being caught off guard, when a character I thought was going to make it to the closing credits, was suddenly killed off and while the audience is not necessarily supposed to care for these characters, seeing how they are all convicted criminals, you still care about their bid to beat the game, overlooking the fact that most of them might just be the nicest criminals you ever saw.Despite being a zombie movie, "Doomed" doesn't rely heavily on gore like so many of it's Zombie forefathers of the late 70's, which again may be down to budgetary issues, but surprisingly enough doesn't take anything away from the film, in the same way that it did for the "Resident Evil" movies and true this does mean that a lot of the characters meet a similar fate as each other somthing that will no doubt, get most horror fans backs up, but personally it didn't feel as if I was being cheated, even with the screen cutting to static when another contestant, suffers a grizzly end, it still had the same sense of satisfaction that I could have got from seeing a more gory death scene.Sadly though "Doomed" is not without some niggling issues, the majority of them coming from using the Reality TV format, in which it's chosen to be shot, which for the most part helps keep the story fast paced as we move from one group to the other, but has an annoying habit of pausing the screen every time someone throws a punch or kills a zombie, flashing up with a certain amount of points, which seems kind of pointless when you consider the objective of the game is to just make it to the other side of the island, making a points system obsolete and really just an excuse to add a filler recap scene at the end of the first day. I could pick holes in the various plot points such as how an island which was supposedly nuked, is still full of dense, lush vegetation and no real signs of radioactivity, unless however it's using the same science that made Godzilla and a whole host of 50's B-Movies work, where radioactivity only helps things grown...hmmm I wonder.

"Doomed" might not be a smart satire on reality TV and liberally borrow ideas at times, but for a film which is destined to go straight to DVD it instead provides the audience with a fun escape, especially for the more open minded viewer, willing to look past the lack of gore, which is more and more being used to replace genuine shocks in horror, something that "Doomed" is also lacking but at the very least tires to bring a sense of mindless fun back to the genre

Wrecking Crew

 
A more appropiate tag line would no doubt be "Time to kiss 90 mins of your life goodbye"
Title: The Wrecking Crew
Director: Albert Pyun
Released: 1999
Staring: Ice T, Snoop Dog, Ernie Hudson Jr., T.J Storm, David Askew
Rating: 1.5 / 5


Plot: The Wrecking Crew are a government funded, special branch of the police force, lead by the ruthless "Menace" (Ice T) and who are brought in to solve the gang problem, when the regular police fail to handle. Meanwhile two Detroit street gangs "The 111" and "the Locs", have decided to call a truce, in order to fight against "the Cartel", who are currently moving in on both gangs territory, unaware that the Cartel have been tipped off about the meeting which the two gang leaders have arranged and have planned an ambush much like the Wrecking crew who are now also moving in on the gangs





Review: Recently it seems, more and more rappers are moving into acting, often using the films as the promotional platform for their latest album release and "The Wrecking Crew" is basically another of these glorified album promos, which in this case is for Ice T's "7th Deady Sin" which provides the majority of the films soundtrack.The Wrecking crew was the first of three movies (the other two being "Urban Menace" & "Corrupt") directed by Pyun and scripted by Pyun's occasional collaborator Hannah Blue, who also wrote scripts for three of Pyun's other films including the early Van Dame flick "Cyborg" which she wrote under the name Kitty Chalmers. Unsurprising I guess that she stopped writing (or changed name again) after the third and final entry of this trilogy of sorts "Corupt" which along with "Urban Menace" and this film were all released in the same year, which is kind of a warning sign to begin with about the quality you shud expect with this movie, as lets face it Pyun is not Takashi Miike, who like Pyun is reknown for his phenomenal work rate but unlike Pyun manages to maintain a level of quality with the majority of his work.As to be expected Wrecking crew is by no means a great movie and perfectly defines what is no doubt for most people, their opinion of what a bad movie is and from the outset it is...actually no it really is what it looks like and that is a bad movie! So where to begin? Hmmm well I guess the best place to start is with the unknowns who make up the cast, who thankfully the majority of which are handily wiped out pretty quick by the wrecking crew who outside of Ice T are also just another bunch of unknowns, with Pyun often reusing the same actors, by using that old trick of just having the actor wear a balaclava! See now we have twice as many actors at before and at no extra cost...genius!The three gang leaders played by Ernie Hudson Jr. (yes he's the son of Ernie Hudson, better known as Winston in Ghostbusters) , T.J Storm, David Askew, don't give too much of bad a performance, despite not being helped by some pretty horrible dialogue, which does however provide the audience with a fun game of counting the number of times the word "Motherfucker" is used, which again is another example of lazy screen writing much like the title cards which pop up telling the audience which gang is which. This is kind of handy, especially seeing how everyone, dresses the same in Detroit's gangland it would seem.Plot wise this film is all over the place, as we open with stock footage of Snoop Dog, as "Dra-Man" as he's known for the whole ten seconds of screen time he has, which consists of little more than performance and interview footage intercut with footage of Snoop firing two pistols and looking like he's having some kind of seizure while a bunch of stock extras fire wildly at each other, which is kind of disappointing to the Snoop fans especially seeing how on the cover he gets such a big billing, for what is nothing more than a cameo (if that). From here we now cut to the actual story and the setup to the meeting, which soon becomes a series of shots of people getting shot or characters mumbling dialogue while trying to look cool or perhaps shud that be gangsta? I couldn't tell either way and with all the characters being so unlikable, it's also pretty hard to care either.Now looking at DVD case, which worrying enough looks like it has been photocopied it gives the impression that the viewer is to expect Hong-Kong Style action and Martial Arts, which was pretty much extras firing wildly into doorways or at the camera, with most of the carnage being merely implied, were as the martial arts part which basically boils down to one guy getting a roundhouse kick to the face, with a lot of the actions scenes coming off more like a poor John Woo movie, as extras flail about like corpses plugged into the mains, as they die (much like what was left of their careers) in a fog of fake shotgun blasts.Now like with all bad movies, there is usually that one glimmer of hope that pulls you through, which unsurprisingly especially for us fans of "Law and Order SUV" comes in the form of Ice T, who really is the penny in the pile of shit for this movie as he can clearly act and it seems obvious in many of the scenes that he see's this movie for what it really is, which is promotion for his latest album, which sadly judging by the soundtrack which it provides is far from the good ole days of "Bodycount".In many ways this film makes me question the audience that it's aimed at, which it seems is clearly for fans of Snoop Dog and Ice T, especially as it has them playing up their gangster personas, they portray in their music but surely not even their fans are as dumb as this film seems to think they are, or perhaps this is just further evidence that the youth of today really have shit for brains, especially if they rate this movie. As a final thought, I have to wonder why the only movies that rappers seem to make are these "Boyz N' The Hood" and "Menace 2 Society" knock off's. I'm sure you like myself would defiantly be up for watching "Jurassic 5" on some Scooby Doo Style mystery or "Cypress Hill" battling Zombies, but I guess until that happens, we the audience will continue to be force fed this kind of garbage.

Let The Madness begin

I guess for the first entry it's probably best to explain the reason for this blog which came about, as a by product of my new years resolution and what did I choose for my 2009 Resolution?? Well originally I had planned to give up passive chain smoking, but I had to admit early on that, it was never really going to happen, so the next I thought how about watching one musical a week for the year, seeing how I've never seen the appeal of musicals outside of the few decent ones like "Calamity Jane" & "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" but this then put me in the position of going slowly insane, as I'm sure that it's not healthy to watch that many musicals in anyone persons lifetime let alone a year!
Finally how ever I came up with my resolution which for this year will be

"To Watch One Bad Movie A Week"


That's right I will be watching 52 bad movies over the course of this year and posting the review for each one as part of this blog, a challenge that like watching too many musicals could very much drive me insane.So what defines what a "Bad Movie" is? Quite simply what I will be classing as bad movies are the films, which saw limited cinema release if any at all and are more than likely straight to DVD efforts, the kind that fill the gaps in the rental racks of your local Blockbuster (or where ever you happen to rent from), those cheaply and often badly made movies that most people avoid like the plague and strange homeless folks who want to sell you some dog they've found and the same kind of movies adored by sites like "Cold Fusion Video" & "Badmovies.com".

What is the point you might ask? Well how many times have you come in late (no doubt from a heavy night of drinking), or been flicking through the channels to find some obscure movie, that turns out to be a really great movie and no doubt it's been one of those B movie style movies were the plot is non existent, the effects are dodgy as hell and the scenery almost as shaky as the acting, yet some how it manages to rise above all of this and be better than alot of the mainstream movies, that you often waste your hard earn bucks on seeing, only for them to turn out to be a major disappointment.


So from Zombies, badly dubbed kung fu and men in monster suits I will be hunting down the most obscure and bizarre titles I can find and all in the name of my new years resolution......so let the crapfest begin!!


P.s: If you want to recommend any titles for my watchlist please feel free, as I'm more than open to ideas.
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