Actium Maximus: War Of The Alien Dinosaurs (2005) review

Actium Maximus posterDirector: Mark Hicks

Writer / Composer / Cinematographer / Casting Agent / Sound Effects Editor / Special Effects: Mark Hicks

Starring: Mark Hicks, John McCuin, Jennifer Hamill

“Qava! I want you to start rounding up all of the Laffrodites off the Boulevards en masse! They will become infamous in the Maximus.” (Polpox, Actium Maximus)

Many amateur filmmakers dream of making the next underground smash, the next low-budget gem that does a Night Of The Living Dead or Clerks and emerges from obscurity to take over the world.

Mark Hicks, who is seemingly some sort of real life Garth Merenghi figure, clearly had this goal in mind when he wrote, directed and acted in Actium Maximus. Unfortunately, during this process he failed to notice his complete lack of writing, directing and acting ability. Continue reading “Actium Maximus: War Of The Alien Dinosaurs (2005) review”

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Airplane vs Volcano (2014) review

Airplane vs Volcano posterDirectors: James & Jon Kondelik

Starring: Dean Cain, Robin Givens, Tamara Goodwin, Matt Mercer, Morgan West, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

VAUGHN – “My name is Private Vaughn. Can you tell me what your situation status is?”

LANDON – “Uh, sure, situation status. Uh, we lost both our pilots, we nearly crashed, we nearly blew up and there’s this guy up here who’s super close to a psychotic meltdown. Oh, and we’re flying in the middle of a ring of volcanoes.”

VAUGHN – “Okay, Roger that.”

Usually B-movie studio The Asylum is best known for its mockbuster films, capitalising on the success of big movies by churning out similar sounding imitations.

Snakes On A Train, Android Cop, Atlantic Rim – these are the typical offerings you’d expect from The Asylum, conveniently released around the same time as their big-budget soundalikes (in this case Snakes On A Plane, Robocop and Pacific Rim).

Airplane vs Volcano attempts to cash in not on a big movie, but seemingly on a big news story – namely, the volcanic ash clouds that grounded flights back in 2010. Continue reading “Airplane vs Volcano (2014) review”

Zardoz (1974) review

Zardoz posterDirector: John Boorman

Starring: Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, John Alderton, Sara Kestelman, Niall Buggy, Sally Anne Newton

ZARDOZ – “You have been raised up from brutality to kill the Brutals who multiply and are legion. To this end Zardoz, your God, gave you the gift of the gun. The gun is good!”

EXTERMINATORS – “The gun is good!”

ZARDOZ – “The penis is evil! The penis shoots seeds and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the gun shoots death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth and kill! Zardoz has spoken.”

I don’t know how I feel about John Boorman.

The English director has been responsible for both one of the most effective films I’ve seen (Deliverance), and one of the most infuriating piles of pish I’ve ever had to struggle through (Exorcist II: The Heretic).

Zardoz, his bizarre sci-fi film in which a half-naked Sean Connery tries to bring down a community of immortals in the year 2293, has me similarly conflicted. It’s both shite and incredible at the same time, but leaning slightly towards the latter. Continue reading “Zardoz (1974) review”

Contamination (1980) (Video Nasty review #11)

It is my intention to eventually watch and review all 72 movies on the ‘video nasties’ list released by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK in 1983. In a time before videos were classified by the BBFC, each of these films were considered so shocking by the DPP that any video shop owner found to be selling or renting it could have faced prosecution. To see my other video nasty reviews so far, click here.

Contamination posterDirector: Luigi Cozzi

Starring: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé, Siegfried Rauch

“Help! Let me out! There’s an egg!” (Stella, Contamination)

I’ve got a lot of time for Italian horror from the late ’70s and early ’80s. This was a fruitful period for low-budget horror, mostly thanks to the countless Italian rip-offs that were churned out in next to no time.

No film was safe from the Italian ‘homage’: when Jaws came out, a bunch of killer shark (and piranha and whale) films were released within a matter of months. Following Dawn Of The Dead, you couldn’t move in Italy for cheapo zombie flicks.

Meanwhile, Contamination – in case you couldn’t tell from the poster – was inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien.

Continue reading “Contamination (1980) (Video Nasty review #11)”

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 posterDirector: David DeCoteau

Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Brian Bremer, Christopher Wolf, Sara Suzanne Brown, Michele Matheson, Don Dowe

Also known as: Virgin Hunters

“We come from your future. Our mission here is to prevent a corporate takeover of the planet, and the banning of sex between consenting adults.” (Naldo, Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000)

Let’s face it, even if you don’t know anything about this film you already know why I decided to watch and review it.

Yes, I’m a sucker for a great film title, and if my rating at the end of each review was based on titles alone this little beauty would find itself in the Hall Of Fame with gusto.

Sadly however, the film itself doesn’t quite live up to the heady expectations set by its name – how could it ever expect to? – and as such the number of Trevor Moorhouse heads you see at the bottom is lower than one would have hoped.

Here’s another thing I didn’t expect: it turns out that rather than the comedy sci-fi film I was expecting, this is actually supposed to be a softcore porn film. Oh. Continue reading “Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review”

Troll (1986) review

Troll posterDirector: John Carl Buechler

Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Jenny Beck, June Lockhart, Phil Fondacaro, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

“Harry, your sister isn’t an alien. She’s something much worse.” (Eunice, Troll)

You may already be aware of Troll 2, the movie some claim is the worst film ever made. I’ve already reviewed it, because that’s how cutting edge and cool and shit I am.

But what about the first Troll? What was so interesting about that film that someone decided it needed a sequel? Is it just as bad as its successor? How do they link up?

Actually, Troll has nothing to do with Troll 2. The latter was originally named Goblin until it was decided that changing the name to pretend it was a sequel to Troll would gain it extra credibility. No punchline necessary. Continue reading “Troll (1986) review”

Jason X (2001) review

Jason X posterDirector: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Derwin Jordan, Melyssa Ade

“Guys, it’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!” (Professor Lowe, Jason X)

I can just imagine the conversation that potentially took place when Jason X was originally conceived.

“We need to make another Friday The 13th movie boss, but we’re running out of ideas.”

“Running out of ideas? Are you mad? It’s a slasher movie. Put gore and tits in it and you’re good.”

“Yes sir, but Friday The 13th fans expect something more, some sort of twist. We’ve already had a 3D one, a copycat killer one, a zombie one, one shot in New York and a possession one. What now?”

“I don’t care. I couldn’t give a shit if it’s fucking Jason In Space, just get tits and gore in it and have it ready by the summer.” Continue reading “Jason X (2001) review”

AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004) review

AVP Alien vs Predator posterDirector: Paul W S Anderson

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner

They’re not hunting us. We’re in the middle of a war. It’s time to pick a side.” (Alexa, AVP: Alien vs Predator)

How do you bring two of the most iconic sci-fi monsters together so they can meet and fight each other?

Hmmm. What if there was some sort of common ground they shared, something that could be used to force a meeting?

Let’s think. On one hand you’ve got the Alien, the penis-headed xenomorph that made life hell for Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies. Which lives in space.

Then there’s the Predator, the alien hunter that made life hell for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Predator movie. Which lives in space.

Right then, with that in mind it seems pretty obvious how a storyline for Alien vs Predator could come about. Yup, you guessed it, a fight to the death in an ancient underground pyramid 2000 feet below the ground. In Antarctica. Continue reading “AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004) review”

Killers From Space (1954) review

Killers From Space posterDirector: W. Lee Wilder

Starring: Peter Graves, James Seay, Steve Pendleton, Frank Gerstle

DOUG – Where do you come from?
DENEB TALA – From a planet yet unknown to you.
DOUG – You know my name. You speak English.
DENEB TALA – We speak every language.

If the title has you curious as to what this one’s about let me end your suspense – it’s about killers from space. And it’s shite.

A young Peter Graves (decades before his role as the white-haired Captain Oveur in Airplane!) plays Doctor Doug Martin, a scientist working for the US military. Continue reading “Killers From Space (1954) review”

Robocop 3 (1993) review

Robocop 3 posterDirector: Fred Dekker

Starring: Robert Burke, Remy Ryan, Rip Torn, Nancy Allen, Mako, Stephen Root, CCH Pounder

MCDAGGETT – “In twenty seconds, everything within 30 metres of where we’re standing will be atomised. We’re dead, you stupid slag!”
ROBOCOP – “Don’t count on it, chum.”

The general consensus is that Robocop 3 is a bucket of pish. Oddly, I don’t agree with this.

Maybe it’s because I appreciate the way this one tries to do something different, even if it isn’t always successful. Maybe it’s because I like the Frank Miller script.

Or maybe it’s because I have my own website dedicated to shit films. Continue reading “Robocop 3 (1993) review”