1982

October 31, 2015

SR Podcast (Ep. 57) “Happy” Halloween 3: Season of the Witch: October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Today is Halloween and to celebrate we figured what would be a better way then with the very unappreciated but great…

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
98 mins | Horror | 1982
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES


The gang gathers around for this Halloween film that doesn’t feature Micheal Myers but does feature but not limited to, Killer Halloween Masks! Commercialization of the Halloween! Witchcraft! Androids! Shamrocks! and Tom mofo Atkins! It’s a spooky film for a spooky day…now if only we could drink a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake with a hit of whiskey that would make this day even better!

February 3, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Silent Rage

SUPERHUMAN

The year is 1982. While the world was dancing to “Pac-Man Fever”, they were also mourning the loss of funny man John Belushi. Legendary rock guitarist Randy Rhodes also passed away, people were better off NOT taking Tylenol for their headache and Chuck Norris continued to roundhouse kick for justice.
THE SKINNY
Silent Rage” begins with John Kirby, Brian Libby, who is having trouble dealing with the day to day stresses of life. He is renting a room from a single mother who’s adolescent boys constantly run through the house screaming, followed by their mother who exacerbates the situation by yelling at them.
All the noise and the summer heat starts to get the best of John, he starts to experience a psychological episode. John doesn’t think he’s going to be able to control of himself, so he calls his long time shrink, Dr. Halman, for advice which, doesn’t help.
John then does what any sensible, able-bodied grown man would do when their woman and kids start to drive ’em nuts. He goes out to the shed, picks up his axe and starts to work over the family. A nearby mailman hears her screams and calls the police, and soon after Sheriff Dan Stevens, Chuck Norris, arrives with his trusty partner Charlie, Steven Furst.
Everything that happens for the next thirty minutes or so, is completely questionable.
In response to the domestic disturbance involving a woman screaming, Sheriff Stevens begins by slowly walking through the house looking for signs of murder…I guess. Before long the two men cross paths and a fight breaks out that leads from the killer’s home to a near by field. This is where Stevens takes Kirby into custody with the use of Kung-Fu.
Simultaneously, Dr. Halman, Ron Silver, arrives to talk down his patient while Kirby breaks free from his handcuffs. A few other police gun Kirby down and he’s loaded into the meat wagon.
Once at the hospital, doctors try to revive Kirby but are unsuccessful. One of the doctors being Halman. So wait a minute, you mean to tell me that the psychologist is ALSO a surgeon? Who is this guy, House? When all seems lost, Halman’s fellow doctors illegally administer an experimental serum that saves Kirby’s life.
This serum was designed to accelerate a humans ability to heal itself. And there it is. We all know what’s going to happen now. Once the serum is pumping through Kirby’s blood, he becomes nearly indestructible. Every wound his body endures heals in seconds. Kirby is transformed into an unstoppable killing machine with a Wolverine like “Healing Factor”, all in the name of science.
Before Kirby breaks loose and starts to run amok, Stevens and Charlie have a run-in with a gang of hippie-bikers at a local bar. Charlie runs out to call for backup while Stevens contends with the dirty hippies. One by one he chops, punches and kicks the law into them, in one of the more entertaining Chuck Norris fights I’ve seen in resent memory. Nothing over the top for a martial arts action flick, but it’s satisfying.
Meanwhile, from his hospital bead, Kirby overhears Halman telling his partners in science that what they have done to Kirby is unethical and he must be terminated. Kirby, in an act of self-preservation, later pays the kind doctor a visit at his home. Dressed in a gray jumpsuit, with his hair slicked back and brandishing a kitchen knife, Kirby takes on the look and mannerisms of Michael Myers. – Silently stalking his prey with a slashing weapon and is seemingly unable to be killed, “Silent Rage” now becomes a horror movie.
The bodies of Hallman and his wife are found by Halman’s sister, Nancy, who just so happens to be Steven’s girlfriend. An otherwise unimportant fact, until now.
Kirby returns to the hospital and with him comes new that he murdered Hallman. The doctors talk it over and decide that Kirby is too dangerous to keep alive, but when they try to terminate him, he heals and then heads out on a rampage. Kirby kills the doctors, Deputy Charles and a handful of nameless hospital goers before he sets his sights on Nancy for no other reason than she happens to be there. The disturbance attracts the attention of the police and Stevens, who is now out for blood.
Stevens first unloads on Kirby – knocking him through a window – causing him to fall to what should be his death. Then Stevens and Nancy try to make a getaway but Kirby grabs onto the bumper of his truck. He climbs inside and runs it off a cliff, not before Stevens and Nancy escape. Much like falling through a window onto asphalt, the burning wreckage does nothing to slow Kirby down. “How on Earth can this man be stopped” you ask? Kung Fu! Stevens lets loose a barrage of punches and kicks, allowing him to get the upper hand. Stevens throws Kirby over his shoulder and from there into a well.
So Stevens never ends up killing Kirby, he just relocates him to a watery prison in the middle of nowhere. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Silent Rage” was very much inspired by the newly popular trend in cinema lovingly referred to as the “slasher” film. Yeah, this movie is an odd idea. But inside that idea is a pretty good movie. During the horror scenes there is some descent suspense and during the action scenes I felt myself rooting for Norris to kick some ass. While horror and action should often be pared, the two are balanced well enough here that the final product is one that left me surprised.
“Silent Rage” has it’s moments where the film gets goofy, but over all is a better film than say… “Hero and the Terror“. The script and direction helps draw a better performance out of Chuck Norris while still giving him an opportunity to put his martial arts background to good use. Also Ron Silver is a pretty strong actor and he really adds weight to the film.
Speaking of Ron Silver, he played nearly the same character in this as he did in “The Entity“, released the same year. Instead of an unstoppable killer created by science, “The Entity” had Silver trying to disprove a rapist ghost. Yep, the ghost was raping the protagonist. Believe me, it’s a better movie than it sounds and it’s supposedly based on a true story.
In the end, “Silent Rage” isn’t the best but it’s worth a watch for Norris fans. It was much better than I expected. If you survive the goofiness that is the first thirty or so minutes you’ll be treated to a suspenseful slasher with a roundhouse kicking Chuck Norris. That alone would have sold this movie back in the ‘80s. They should have just put that on the poster…maybe they did…
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes another trip on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi Punk!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
October 24, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Warlords of the 21st Century

TEXTBOOK

Well I hope you enjoyed last weeks look at real life spy stuff which concluded our “Double Vision“ series. And believe me, those weren‘t the only or the strangest action movies featuring doppelgangers. At least “Double Trouble” had actual twins. Not like that 1988 flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Speaking of which, I hear there will be a “Twins 2” in the not too distant future… so… there’s that.
This week we shall be doing something out of the ordinary. We will be traveling through both time AND space to explore the alternate timelines of humanity. Timelines that haven’t been as fortunate as ours. All aboard the “Action Movie Time Machine”. I have locked onto the time stream of “Warlords of the 21stCentury”, aka “Battletruck“.
The year is 1982. A wave of terrorist attacks are committed in France by Carlos the Jackal [see The Assignment], Michael Jackson Moonwalks into children’s hearts with “Thriller” and “E.T.” & “Tootsie” battle it out to be the top grossing film of the year.
THE SYNOPSIS
Our film begins in 1994, “the near future”, after the fallout of what is called the Oil Wars or World War III. The “Battletruck”, a futuristic armored personnel carrier/semi thing,
is barreling down some forgotten country road in middle America, even though it was filmed in New Zealand, when it comes upon a horse drawn pickup truck with two men transporting fifty gallon drums of diesel. The Battletruck runs the pickup off the road before Straker and his soldiers file out and begin interrogating the men, asking them were they found the diesel. Much like the “Mad Max” films, gasoline is rare and is often fought over.
 
Straker kills one of the men outright to teach the other a lesson, and with the lesson learned he agrees to show them where the gas is located. As they travel, the nameless man explains that his father was in the military and as a child he learned where there was a secret military refueling station and that station is where he and his friend retrieved the diesel. Once they arrive, Straker kills the nameless man and has his men begin fortifying the military encampment.

Corlie, a young and attractive captive of Straker, makes a break for it during the night. But come morning Straker’s men have tracked her and are closing in. Never fear, Hunter is near! Hunter, Michael Beck from “The Warriors”, comes to the rescue and on a steel horse he rides. He pulls his motorcycle around and picks up Corlie just in time to escape Straker’s men. Seeing that she has been injured, Hunter takes the young lady to a village called Clearwater, where she is brought into the fold and put to work in the orchards

Meanwhile, Straker has regrouped with his men and has followed in the direction where Hunter was last seen, which also happens to be in the direction of Clearwater. Once in Clearwater, Straker kills those who resist, strips the men of their weapons, loots the villagers possessions and conscripts them all into his fighting force. For a long time now Straker has been traveling and looting, while growing his numbers by force. As Straker barks orders, Corlie quietly escapes the village by horse and seeks out her moto-protector Hunter.
  Again Straker engages in hot pursuit and arrives at Hunter’s farm house just as the lovemaking of Hunter and Corlie comes to an end — I bet you didn‘t see that coming. Straker and his men attack but Hunter and his bitty manage to escape. A lengthy motor chase ensues through the “American” forests before Straker and company give up and return to his military diesel base camp.
Back at Clearwater one of the villagers has a change of heart and captures Corlie himself to give to Straker as a peace offering. Hunter knows that he is now the only one who can save the village as well as Corlie from the evil grip of Straker.
With the help of the villagers, one of which is John Ratzenberger from “Cheers”, Hunter builds some armored rat buggy over night which he uses to attack and destroy the diesel depot. AGAIN, a chase ensues with Hunter racing to the second stage of his plan with Straker following in the Battletruck. I know I’m not the only one who thinks “Battletruck” is a stupid name for anything right?
Hunter hops onto his motorcycle, loops around behind the Battletruck and with a homemade rocket launcher, blows a hole in the side of the Battletruck. Hunter then climbs into the gaping hole, fights Straker and his men one by one before escaping with Corlie. The now unmanned Battletruck careens off a cliff and explodes into a fiery wreck when it hits bottom.
The film ends with the people of Clearwater rebuilding their village and Hunter riding off into the sunset. The End.
THE VERDICT
So, “Warlords of the 21st Century” isn’t exactly bad. It has an evil bad guy, a heroic loner and a damsel in distress, which are all set in a post World War III apocalypse. It follows the traditional three act story. The acting isn’t great, but again it isn’t exactly bad and the film doesn’t rely heavily on special effects that would otherwise look cheep due to the films low budget.
Ya see, all that stuff I just mentioned is fine and well, but none of it makes this movie anything more than derivative and textbook. Not only is this film inspired by, influenced by or just a plain rip-off of “Mad Max”, and to some degree “Escape From New York”, it also spiritually rips off countless fantasy pictures. If it weren’t for all the cars and modern weapons “Warlords of the 21stCentury” could have easily taken place in the ancient past and been about a man trying to save a village from marauders and rescue the princess from an evil sorcerer. Whether it takes place in the future or in the past, this story is one that has been told in hundreds of films, and honestly, manages to keep from standing out against any of them.
“Warlords of the 21st Century” isn’t the only one. Allow me to illustrate how unoriginal many of these post apocalyptic films are by sharing descriptions of similar films found on IMDB;
Robot Holocaust
A highly unlikely band of heroes traverses a post-apocalyptic wasteland to rescue a scientist from the tyrannical Dark One and his army of robots.
The Book of Eli
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
Steel Dawn
In a post-apocalyptic world, a warrior wandering through the desert comes upon a group of settlers who are being menaced by a murderous gang that is after the water they control.
Cyborg
A hired fighter living in a plague-ravaged apocalyptic America sets out to rescue a young girl from a murderous gang called the “Pirates”, and exact his revenge against their leader who killed his family.
What do they all have in common? A lone survivor, or small group of survivors, defends a village or small community from marauders before venturing out to save the princess, scientist, book or water. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all, even if it has robots or a plague.
I never quite figured out why Straker was so interested in Corlie. I guess he was in love with her or something. I kept waiting for there to be a reveal that she was the daughter of the President — captured as a trophy during the Oil Wars or something. But no. Just a pretty girl and nothing more.
“Warlords of the 21st Century” isn’t original, and because of that, it isn’t worth viewing unless you’re a sucker for this sort of low rent fare. Again, it isn’t exactly bad. But you will be able to predict what is about to happen next, every step of the way.
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes our trip on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!

October 2, 2012

31 Nights of Halloween, Creepshow

Creepshow – Effective

*Let me preface before I get into the actual review.  The next 31 reviews will not be in any discernible order, they will simply be 31 horror/suspense/thriller movies that I enjoy and I think deserve to be reviewed.*

October is here and that means horror, horror, and more horror, and no Marlo Brando isn’t invited.  As a kid growing up I always looked forward to October for all the horror movie marathons and the “money shot(s)” at the end was Halloween, free candy, go home and sort the candy, eat some candy, and watch more horror movies.  One of the earliest horror movies I remember, and remember scaring the living shit out of me, was the Stephen King/George Romero collaboration from 1982, “Creepshow.”

Before “Creepshow” there were several horror anthologies including “Tales From the Crypt” (not that one, this one), “The House that Dripped Blood” in 1970 and “Trilogy of Terror” in 1975.  While these were all well and good, they lacked the blood-spilling, gut-wrenching horror that I desired, that is why “Creepshow” holds such a special place in my heart.

As with many anthologies, the premise is simple; there are anywhere from three to five stories with a wrap around that either begins and ends the film, and/or is used as a buffer in-between each story.  “Creepshow” features five stories ranging from zombies, plant growth that takes over the world, a monster in a crate, and of course, roaches.  There are highs and lows in the storytelling with the third story “Something to Tide You Over” being the weakest and the fourth story, “The Crate” being the standout, not just from a gore perspective, but also having the strongest characters/actors, including Adrienne Barbeau as a nagging drunk of a wife and Hal Holbrook as her long suffering husband.  The premise is simple, yet effective, just like the entire movie.

Other standouts include the creature effects, all done by Tom Savini.  You might know him from a few things, as well as the score by John Harrison, which is tits, the highlight being the main theme for “The Crate” segment.

I might be as bold as calling “Creepshow” one of my favorite horror movies of all time because it made such an impression on me as a kid, and its an old standby that I keep coming back to every Halloween season.

Fun Fact:  Billy, the son in the wrap-around story is actually Joe King, Stephen King’s son.

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