Simplistic Reviews

February 17, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Malibu Express

FLAT – but not flat chested

February has a lot going on. There is Valentines Day, Black History Month, Women In Horror Month, American Hearth Month, as well as about two-dozen other days devoted to nonsense like eating ice cream for breakfast. Also during this minimal month of made-up celebrations is the birthday of notable filmmaker Andy Sidaris. Every February 20th we at Slaughter Film try to sit down and watch a few of his films, Malibu Express being his fist independent feature. Before that Sidaris worked in television mostly, and since, he has developed quite the reputation of making films that showcase some of America’s finest “Bullets, Bombs & Babes”.

The year is 1985. Dairy Queen invents the “Blizzard”, Nintendo give birth to the Mario Brothers, Dr. Herbert West re-animates the dead in “Re-Animator” and Rock Hudson dies of AIDS.

THE SKINNY
Things kick off with Cody Abilene, Darby Hinton, a private investigator who lives on a boat, drives a red DeLorean and carries a .44 Magnum, even though he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with it. Cody is a native Texan who has moved to Malibu for work and along the way he has made friends of some pretty colorful characters. Some of which include his boat neighbors May and Faye, a big breasted stock car driver June Khnockers, all three of which are Playboy Playmates and Sexy Sally, a phone sex operator among others. Are you starting to notice a theme here?

 

As Cody investigates, he discovers that Lady Chamerlain’s nephew Stuart is secretly a cross dresser who has been sleeping with Sean the butler. Stuart’s wife, Anita, is also sleeping with Sean and so is Stuart’s sister Liza. Sean is an ex-con who owes a loan shark thirty thousand dollars and he also has a nasty habit of secretly recording and photographing the sex he is having with this family. Soon Sean winds up dead and the rest of the film becomes a “who-done-it?” with Sean being the keeper of everyone’s dirty laundry.
While Cody is trying to piece together the murder he manages to sleep with Contessa, his two hot boat neighbors, a local lady officer who Cody brings in for help, some random girl he borrows a car from, and, maybe a few others that I forgot about. I kinda lost count. There is also a sub-plot about a family a backwoods bumpkins who keep challenging Cody to a street race.
Cody finally gets close to the computer smuggling ring when he learns that Liza is good friends with Johnathan Harper, a computer salesman and exporter, and she plans to invest in his business. Cody apprehends Liza and Harper, but not before Harper’s men – Peter, Paul & Luke – try to rub out Cody.
With some quick help from June Khnockers, the stock car driver, she and Cody manage to lose the hired muscle in the desert.

The film ends with Cody throwing a party on his boat – named the “Malibu Express” by the way — to celebrate a job well done. He is accompanied by all the other major players, the various women he plowed and even Liza. Cody then tells them that Contessa wrote him a letter explaining to him that Sean was the person selling the computers to the smugglers and that she was the one who murdered him. She then planted evidence to frame Liza and even wore a mask to look like Liza when she did it. While Cody was perusing Sean’s killer, Contessa would be able to freely escape the country and no one would be the wiser that his death was an assassination.
The problem with this explanation is that Cody just told everyone, so all the cloak and dagger was for nothing. I assume what happens next is that the party turns into a giant boat orgy. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Malibu Express” isn’t one of Andy’s best. I attribute this to it being the first he both wrote and directed. It seems like he didn’t know if he wanted to make a spy movie, a murder mystery, a sex comedy or rip off “Smokey & the Bandit”. The action falls flat, as does the comedy and most of the plot. There are so many characters involved that it’s easy to forget who is doing what or why I should even care. The film starts with the notion that Soviet Russians are stealing computer secrets and by the end of the film the Russians have been brought up once, maybe. Not to mention the terrible ending where everything literally needs to be explained to the audience. In the medium of cinema, you mustn’t tell the audience what happened. You have to show them.
There is also a strange amount of jokes made at the expense of homosexuals. And not just characters in the film, but homosexuals in general. Not sure why these jokes were an important to the film but they stood out like a sore thumb.
The only thing that works in this movie, I’m sorry to say, are the topless women. Who am I kidding, I’m not sorry. These women are amazing!
The Playmates and the porn-stars in “Malibu Express” were all filmed during a time when breast implants weren’t yet popular, like they became in the ’90s, and before the terrible fashion sense of the later ’80s had taken hold. To compare these women to those of  the “Friday the 13th” franchise, they most resemble the women from the first four films. Happy-go-lucky, naturally cute, girl next good types. Where in the later “Friday” films the women were all big hair, terrible fashion and became generic unlikeable character types.
These women all had a great attitude and were not only fun to watch, but they seemed like they were having fun during the making of the film. Especially Lynda Wiesmeier, aka June Khnockers.
So in the end, we all learned that Andy Sidaris likes to make action movies that are teeming with titties and I learned, that I like that… If you’re interested in other boobie-action movies, check out my review of “The Lost Empire” by Jim Wynorski.
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!
February 6, 2015

SR Announcements

Dear You,

We wanted to take this time and say a few things. We have been very busy in our free time updating and expanding the Simplistic Reviews Network. As you may have seen we’re now available on Stitcher, Tunein, Pocketcast and of course iTunes. The Android App has been updated with a ton of new features and some design changes (A whole new design is in the works for the future 😉 The Mobile App also has been updated and will be rolling out this weekend with a built in Podcast Player (if your browser supports it).

And now for the Big Announcement…

Today we have hit a milestone. Out with the old and in with the new!

Since September I have been tinkering with a new look for Simplistic Reviews. Simplistic Reviews now has a fresher, cleaner look but will still be the same old SR we love. It’s not just a complete visual change. The new site is also speedier by 30% and you will also have a direct stream at top right of the our current Podcast. Also you can now subscribe to receive reviews via email. Oh and Julie is our new search engine, its a hell a lot better then the old one.

I could list a log of changes but you will see soon for yourself.
For a lack of a better word the new site is, Simplistic!  

And a big Thanks to You! Because without you we couldn’t have made it this far!

http://SimplisticReviews.net/

Enjoy!

January 15, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Cobra

EXTREME

Welcome back to another “Action Movie Time Machine”. As we continue our trek into the realm of action films that have a flair for the more macabre, “Horror Movie Killers”, we will be looking closely at Sylvester Stallone and a Danish model who teach a killer cult how to love again in “Cobra”. All aboard! The “Action Movie Time Machine” is now departing.
The year is 1986. RUN DMC made Aerosmith popular again with “Walk This Way”, everyone learned not to take soap-operas so seriously when “Dallas” had all been a dream and “The REAL Ghostbusters” started kickin’ ass and takin’ names.
THE SKINNY
Cobra” begins with a nameless mad man, armed to the teeth, who has strolled into the local supermarket and begun blowing people away. All in the name of something called “The New World”. The local police call in their special weapon, Marion Cobretti, aka Cobra, Sylvester Stallone. Cobra isn’t one to take it easy on a violent perp. And in moments the mad man is stabbed in the chest and unloaded on. Cobra and his partner are what the police force affectionately call “The Zombie Squad”. They’re the guys who take cases no one else wants. The bottom line.
 
As the crime-scene is being cleaned up and the dead loaded into meat wagons, Cobra is harassed by the media – questioning his often deadly tactics. This is recurring theme of the film. That, and the idea that a revolving door policy keeps criminals on the streets and peaceful citizens in terror.
Aside from this days events, the city has been shaking in it’s boots. There is a serial killer on the lose known as the “Night Slasher”, who has been slashing and stabbing his victims for weeks now. Cobra and his partner Gonzales, Reni Santoni, have been brought in to help find the killer. Maybe their unique brand of gun-slinging detective work are sure to make the case break wide open.

While Cobra and Gonzales hit the streets to rattle some cages, the killer…or killers strike. Late one night as young Ingrid, Brigitte Nielsen, is on her way home from a photo shoot, she witnesses a woman being murdered and gets a clear look at the face of one of the killers. The leader of the group, who is unnamed but we learn is the Night Slasher, Brian Thompson, instructs one of his underlings, who is a cop, to find Ingrid’s identity by using her license plate. This group of killers is a cult, bent on ushering in their order of “The New World”. Whatever the hell that is.
Why is it a cult? Well there are several scenes that show the group of killers in black performing some sort of ceremony held in what looks like a parking garage. They are chanting and clanking axes and other bladed weapons together. It’s no Stone Cutters, but it’ll have to do.
 
Once the Night Slasher and friends learn who Ingrid is they set out to kill her, but she narrowly escapes and reports the attack to the police. This is where Ingrid and Cobra meet, bump uglies and Cobra promises to protect her from the maniac cult.
The Night Stalker uses his police resources to find out who is working on the case and this results in several more attacks on the life of Ingrid, Cobra and Gonzales. One of these attacks involves the Night Slasher going after Ingrid while she’s being looked after at the hospital. A 20 something woman being attacked by a silent stalker with a big knife. Nothing has reminded me more of Halloween 2. Just another reason “Cobra” is getting the “Horror Movie Killers” treatment.
One of these attacks involves the cult converging on our protagonists as a biker gang. This becomes a chase, with Cobra and Ingrid running for their lives. They end up at a near by refinery. After the cult is dispatched, one by one at the hands of Cobra, Cobra and the Night Slasher go head to head. The Night Stalker eggs Cobra on, in typical 80s bad guy fashion and the two throw down in a round of fisticuffs that ends with the Night Stalker being impaled on a giant hook. Cobra operated the hook like a crane and directs the Night Stalker into some sort of industrial furnace until he is no more.
 
The film ends with Cobra and Ingrid riding off into the sunset on one of the cultists motorcycles. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Cobra” is the spiritual successor to films like “Dirty Hairy”. What both “Cobra” and “Dirty Hairy” share is a cop forced to push the envelope in order to do his job. A cop who struggles against the limitations of the bureaucracy he works for, in a city that is getting more violent every day.
But in this case, “Cobra” is more extreme. Instead of Hairy, who kills to protect himself while protecting  citizens, Cobretti kills because his world is kill or be killed and the citizens just get in the way. Instead of a lone killer, there is an entire cult of killers. And the same it true with the underlying social commentary. The police work of Dirty Hairy is handicapped by scrutinizing reporters, policy makers and the city itself who vilify Hairy for not being politically correct, and of course, using excessive force.
“Cobra” paints a world were criminals are so common, even Granny has to shoot two or three hoods on her way home from bingo. The criminals has banded together in some lose organization, or cult, to further spread murder and mayhem without any clear goal. How someone might take notice of crime getting worse year after year by looking at faceless, nameless statistics. Oh, and there is also excessive force.
Over all, “Cobra” isn’t a terrible movie. Stallone is fine. The action is fine. The underlying message is fine, albeit overly sensationalized in a way that only a mid-80s Reagan voter could concoct, but otherwise fine.
I guess my problem with this movie is it’s villain. Who us this cult? Why is it a cult? Other than general mayhem, what do they want? What is their goal? I understand the idea of crime being looked at as a statistic and how it seems to middle America that the boogey man is around every corner, but this wasn’t developed well enough. I like the idea and maybe it was just lost in translation between the Stallone, the writer, and George Cosmatos, the director.
A much better depiction of America being terrified of itself can be found in “The Purge”, or even better yet “The Purge: Anarchy”. Everyone who has the urge to kill is set lose upon the city to do what they will with little or no explanation as to why they are doing the things they are doing. Just danger around every corner for the protagonist. This is the world that “Cobra” lives in.
  As the 80s continued, action films got more and more bleak and this is a fair example of that. I love how the 80s flicks became filled with doom and dread. “Cobra”s dark nature can be entertaining and watching a lesser known Stallone flick is a lot of fun. But for my money “Dirty Hairy” is the cop for me. Next time, we’ll be paying ol’ Chuck Norris another visit as he kicks the ass of a supernatural killer.
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!
January 5, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Hero and the Terror

MISFIRE

An odd thing happened recently as I was milling through my movie database. I noticed a strange similarity. During the ’80s, there were a handful of action flicks that didn’t just have a villain bent on revenge or world domination. These villains were all formed out of horror chiches. So, all aboard the “Action Movie Time Machine” as we travel to the ’80s to find slashers and murderous cults in the genre of action.
The year is 1988. Michael Jackson wasn’t yet the butt of a joke and instead was in his own anthology film “Moonwalker”. A group of teenagers were “Saved By the Bell”, and Stephen Hawking becomes a bestselling author with his book “A Brief History of Time”.
THE SKINNY
Hero and the Terror” is about detective Danny O’Brien, Chuck Norris, who has become a bit of a celebrity since he captured Simon Moon – a man who has committed a series of vicious murders in which he stalks women, snaps their necks and keeps them as rag doll trophies. It’s explained in passing conversation that Moon was abused as a child and has grown up deranged. No, this isn’t a Slaughter Film review, even though we’re in horror movie territory.

O’Brien has since been given the nickname “Hero” by the local media. A name that he laments. O’Brien is the type of guy who’s too modest to accept the praise and would rather avoid it all in place of some hard detective work.
Things aren’t all rainbows and lollipops for O’Brien. Since he apprehended Moon, he has been terrorized by reoccurring nightmares of Moon on his killing spree. He reaches out to a psychologist to help interpret and overcome his dreams, who he later develops a relationship with and even knocks up. Between his night terrors and his pregnant girlfriend, Kay, we get to see a just how complicated and caring O’Brien is… But I just wanna see Chuck Norris deliver some justice to the skulls of mindless thugs in the form of a roundhouse kick. Am I right?
O’Brien’s nightmares become reality when Moon escapes from his prison cell and disappears into the rural wilderness. Actually, he steals a van, rams it through the facilities guard gate, then off a cliff and into the ocean. LOL He escaped only to, seemingly, kill himself in a car accident. Oh, but Moon lives to kill more women.
Once the bodies of young women start turning up in Los Angeles, the media explodes with theories that Moon has returned. The Mayor, played by Ron O’Neil – aka “Superfly” himself, calls in the chief of police and O’Brien to take a look at the evidence and re-assure the public that these recent killings are not the work of Moon. Of course O’Brien can’t do that.
Things spice up when one young woman turns up missing and another is found dead outside the town’s recently renovated historic theater.
O’Brien orders a search of the theater – from top to bottom – suspecting that Moon, injured and weak from his car ride over the cliff, made his way to the vacated theater. The search reveals nothing, but O’Brien takes it upon himself to investigate further. In the attic above the theater, O’Brien discovers a series of catacombs. This doesn’t make much sense to me. These catacombs look more like sewer tunnels. Why would these be above a theater? I don’t know, I’m just along for the ride.
O’Brien follows the tunnels for a while before he finds Moon’s roost. A room willed with candles and several more dead women that Moon was saving as his trophies. Moon appears from the shadows and a firght breaks out that leads through the attic of the theater and onto the roof.
O’Brien delivers some sweet kung-fu justice before he manages to get behind Moon to choke him out. In classic slasher movie tradition the killer comes back to life for one last scare. O’Brien throws Moon through the theaters skylight, and he falls to his death.
The film ends with O’Brien visiting his girlfriend in the hospital — she just gave birth to their child. He hobbles through the hospital halls, broken and beaten by Moon, as he grabs a priest to wed the them there in the hospital. The End.
I guess O’Brien didn’t need a shrink to cure him of his nightmares. Just a healthy dose of murder.
THE VERDICT
“Hero and the Terror” has potential, but it lacks in story telling. The direction and/or editing leave something to be desired. The plot and characters are just fine, but my god, everything this film has in it’s favor is completely avoided. As if it were on purpose.
My first problem is with the killer who isn’t developed enough to be a true “terror”. Even though Moon follows in the footsteps of other silent killers like Jason, “Friday the 13th, and Michael Myers, “Halloween”, there isn’t enough suspense to make him, or his actions terrifying. The fact that Moon never speaks is a bit of a missed opportunity to expand the idea that he’s deranged. We should get a glimpse into the mind of the man behind all the killings. Unfortunately, Moon exists only for O’Brien to have something to do.
O’Brien’s girlfriend, Kay, being pregnant and having second thoughts about her life isn’t important and too much time is spent on it. The pregnancy is a just a way to show that there is more to O’Brien than the other, more action packed characters portrayed by Norris. The problem with this is that people don’t watch Chuck Norris flicks to watch him share his emotions.
Speaking of emotions, Norris isn’t the best actor, but by no means is he a BAD actor. However, in this movie, he seems stiff and uninteresting. Again, I point my finger at the director. As if no one explained to the actors how they should act, and many of them deliver their lines devoid of emotions.
 It’s a shame Chuck Norris wasn’t in more better movies. Some aren’t bad, but largely they go unnoticed or forgotten. But not anymore! Lets see what other Chuck Norris flicks I can uncover with the “Action Movie Time Machine”.
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!
December 8, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Spider-Man (1977)

SSLLOOWW


First, Reb Brown as Captain America, and now “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Don’t get your hopes up, there is no Emma Stone to be found here.
The year is 1977. A sensation known as “Star Wars” is storming the galaxy. The “Atari 2600” leaves “Pong” in the dust. The “Son of Sam” killer is captured and a young man from New York gets exposed to a radioactive spider in “The Amazing Spider-Man”.
THE SKINNY
The film begins, as you would expect, with college student and amateur photographer Peter Parker. One day while performing some experiment, a radioactive spider bites young Peter on the hand, and soon, he notices a change. He can climb walls and even has super human strength. Soon he invents himself a “web-slinger” device to, yadda yadda yadda. We all know the origin by now. Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man. Spider-Man saves some little old ladies and all of New York erupts into spider fever.

While this is happening, a Tony Robbins style guru named Edward Byron has been selecting prominent New Yorkers, bankers, lawyers and the like, from his life coach seminars to be his mind controlled puppets. Once under his control, Byron uses them to carry out bank robberies. To guarantee they don‘t lead the police back to him, he has them drive their get away car into the side of a building, killing themselves. 

Byron also uses these robberies/deaths as examples when he makes a fifty million dollar demand from the city. If his demand isn’t met, he will force ten citizens to kill themselves. How is he doing it? It’s a combination of hypnosis that takes place during his classes, making the subjects vulnerable. Later Byron transmits a radio signal that is picked up by a lapel pin receiver, given to them by Byron when they join the group.
Peter is assigned to photograph the remains of one of the car crash victims, Professor Noah Tyler. On location he meets Noah’s daughter, Judy Tyler, and a romance begins. As they get to know each other, Judy mentions to Peter that her father has been attending the classes of Byron. They even sit in during one of his classes. It isn’t overtly suspicious, but Peter still has his suspicions.

Things take a turn for Byron when Peter accidentally discovers how he has been transmitting the radio waves. Spider-Man follows the signal to it’s source, destroys the radio tower, apprehends Byron and saves the day for ten unlucky New Yorkers.

The film ends with Peter and Judy  walking off into the sunset together. The End.
THE VERDICT
Before I share my thoughts on “The Amazing Spider-Man”, I would like to cover a little Spider-Man television history.
This was the first live action Spider-Man with any substance. Before this there was an animated series in the late ‘60s and the occasional appearance on the children’s show “The Electric Company” during the early ‘70s.
This TV film was a “backdoor” pilot for the “Spider-Man” television show that lasted only thirteen episodes, stretched over two years. Critics, kids especially, complained that the show didn’t involve any established villains or storyline, and that the production values were lousy. Soon CBS thought they may soon be referred to as the “superhero station”, as it already had two successful series; “The Incredible Hulk” and “Wonder Woman”. In addition, they also aired two “Captain America” TV films, as well as a “Dr. Strange” TV film. Because of all this, CBS pulled the plug on “Spider-Man”.
While this was going on in the states, Toei, a Japanese production company, was producing a “Spider-Man” show of their own. We all know how things in Japan can get a little strange. Well, the Japanese “Spider-Man” is a motorcycle racer who gets his spider powers from a special suit that alters him genetically when he wears it. This ran for a total of forty-one episodes and came complete with giant robots and the hit song “Spider-Man Boogie”. That’s Japan for ya.
So, what do I think about “The Amazing Spider-Man”? It’s not very good. I find that my complains about the film are the same complaints fans had back in the ‘70s. There aren’t enough comic based characters and the special effects are cheap and unimpressive. Instead of Byron, the villain could easily have been The King Pin who employs some hypnotist lackey to carry out a similar plan. This could have been an easy way to shoehorn more Marvel Universe into the film.
Peter Parker never became comfortable in his spider skin. I miss the cocky, wise cracking Peter from the comics, cartoons and later films.

I understand there was no CGI in the ‘70s. Cheap special effects are something that I could otherwise overlook. Especially when they are forty years old. But, there is just SO MUCH of these effects. So much of the film is Spider-Man’s origin and him wall crawling. It makes the films drag on. “The Amazing Spider-Man” is an exorcise in patience. It has it’s charm, but it’s no wonder it was canceled after thirteen episodes.
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 18, 2014

Yet Another 31 Nights of Halloween: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama

TRASH

Sorority Babes – Trash

I’ve brought this up before in the past, but trash cinema and my childhood are very closely linked. Between “USA’s Up All Night” and “Monstervision” my formidable years between the ages of 8-13 were spent staying up until around 3 am when the TV would finally turn to color bars, watching horror, exploitation, and other trashy films all night. Rhonda Sheer and Joe Bob Briggs were my TV aunt and uncle who would come over ever Saturday night and show me the films from their private selection, and while that sounds creepy and borderline grounds for starting a police investigation, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. This brings me to this review, and a film I’ve been talking about reviewing forever. It’s the cult “cult” classic from 1988, “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama.”

“Sorority Babes” is the classic yarn about horny teens who just want to see some naked sorority girls. On this night, The Delta Delta Delta Sorority are having their initiation, and you know what that means; whip cream and paddles of course. Babs, the house mistress of Tri Delta, along with Frankie and Rhonda are putting their new initiates, Lisa and Taffy, through the ringer. This brings us to frat boys, Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith who decide to crash the party, but are caught by Babs. Seizing the opportunity to further embarrass Lisa and Taffy, Babs suggests that they have to go to the local mall with the boys and steal a bowling trophy to complete their initiation.

Upon arrival at the mall, the group meets Spider, a punk rock chick with a propensity for profanity. Unbeknownst to the group, Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda have followed them to the mall and look on in the security room. Having finally found the trophy, the deed is done, but with a little bad luck, the trophy falls and unleashes a horrific entity; an imp with a soulful voice willing to grant wishes. Of course these wishes come with a price as the imp transforms Frankie and Rhonda into his demon brood and orders them to kill the rest of the group. After hiding and hearing some exposition from the mall janitor, Calvin and Spider devise a plan to capture the imp and save the day.

This film is by no means to be taken seriously, hell it’s barely a horror film, it’s pure 80s trash at it’s best. The lighting is shoddy, the effects are iffy, the camera work is sub-par, the acting is laughable, the premise is ridiculous, the nudity is well……great, and that is what makes this film so much fun. It’s the epitome of “so bad, it’s good” and it’s one of those guilty pleasure flicks that I’ll never forget. It’s like Saturday Morning Cartoons; some people grow up on different things in life, I happened to grow up on trashy 80s films that aired in the wee hours of the evening.

Aside from being ironic in my last paragraph, there are a few things to point out in this film. One, the lead, Calvin, played by Andras Jones, looks surprisingly like River Cuomo from the band Weezer. The resemblance is uncanny, and looking further into the film, namely it’s soundtrack, I find it spooky that in the credits there is a song called Killer Love by Kurt Cuomo. Just an odd coincidence that likely means nothing, but I find it funny. The other thing is that this film stars Linnea Quigley, one of the premier B-movie Scream Queens of the 1980s. Quigley plays Spider, the hardcore punk rock chick. Not sure why I’m throwing that out there, but while she is billed as one of the stars, and if you like her in this film, you’ll love her in “Return of the Living Dead” as Trash. It’s okay…..I’ll wait.

Moving on, all in all, this film is great fun if you are open-minded enough to giving “Sorority Babes” a chance. I feel like this is a film trapped in time, and would be lost to a generation that is looking for torture porn and found footage horror. There are slick odes to other films throughout, and while it’s cheesy and otherwise pretty cheap looking, its nonetheless a fun time and a trip down memory lane.

Fun Fact: The trophy, although appearing to be metallic, is actually made of balsa wood.

October 17, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – The Assignment

DOUBLE INTRIGUE

Alright, enough goofy action comedies about twin brothers separated at birth, weight lifting, JVCD splits and taking bubble baths together. This time we’re visiting a film featuring real life spy stuff and espionage, “The Assignment“. I first heard about this flick back around ‘99 when I was staying up late to watch “skin-emax”, and instead stumbled upon this. Oh how those were the days… All aboard! The Action Movie Time Machine is now departing.
The year is 1997. Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match. The world mourns the loss of both Princess Diana, Mother Teresa & Notorious B.I.G.. The “Titanic” sails again, this time at the box office and “Batman & Robin” proved to be the worst Batman film of all time. All this and “Carlos the Jackal” was brought to justice in “The Assignment”,
THE SKINNY
“The Assignment” begins with Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez, Aidan Quinn, who is spending his shore leave traversing the narrow streets of Israel when he notices that he is being followed. He ditches his things and makes a break for it, but as it turns out, the person following him isn’t the only one. There is a group of people working together to track and capture him. Once he is captured, he is brought to a dank and dirty apartment where he is beaten and interrogated by an unnamed man, Ben Kingsley, who keeps calling him Carlos and “The Jackal”.
 
At first Annibal pretends to be a tourist, as are his military instructions if he were to ever be detained in a hostile environment, but after a while he understands that he has been captured by some form of Israeli military and starts to explain who he is and how they can contact a naval liaison to corroborate his story. He is detained for several more days before he is set free.
Weeks later Annibal returns home from a long stint at sea when he is visited by Jack Shaw, Donald Sutherland, from the CIA. Jack has come to recruit Annibal for some highly sensitive spy work. Why Annibal? After all there must be scores of highly trained special ops types ready and willing to take on this assignment, right? Well none of them share the face of a notorious terrorist for hire, Carlos “The Jackal”. Somehow Annibal and Carlos are doppelgangers.
After some convincing, Annibal travels to a remote facility in Montreal, Canada. Here he takes on the alias Miguel, begins learning all that he can about Carlos and receives a crash course in spying from Amos, the very same man who interrogated Annibal in Israel. Amos and Jack have been tracking Carlos for years, but have never been able to apprehend him. Now with “Miguel” on their side, perhaps they can get the drop on him.
Miguel’s training consists of memorizing the names on tombstones, counting condiments in a refrigerator, breathing in cheap cigar smoke and eating gallons of oatmeal a day until it gives him the shits. I don’t know about you, but it all sounds like high tech spy stuff to me.
As a child Carlos’s father, who he hates, smoked the cigars and now as an adult when he smells the same cigars it drives him nuts. The same goes for the oatmeal. As a child he and his mother were poor and there was little else to eat. This is all an attempt to get Miguel inside the head of Carlos. He had to endure as a child, and now as an adult he can be selfish and impose his will on others. This sort of personality trait is the sort of thing that will make him a believable Carlos to the people who know him best. As for the condiments and tombstones, these are tactics used to get Miguel to be more observant of his surroundings. To be able to piece together the whos, whats & wheres from his environment.
There is a scene in which Miguel’s “mock wife”, Jack, told him that she is spending the week out of town with family and now Miguel has two minutes to casually look around a mock kitchen and living room, and report his findings after time expires. He drinks from the milk carton, looks in the trash and has a seat on the couch. Miguel’s learns from this that the milk is fresh so it must have been purchased recently. Too recently for her to have been out of town. There was a book of matches in the trash from a bar down the street. The couch has a cushion turned over and smells of cheap aftershave. Miguel explains that she never left town. She also met a man at a bar and brought him home, then had sex on the couch. After which Miguel smiles and asks Jack, “…are you fucking my wife?”.

The training continues with Miguel learning how to fuck from a spurned lover of Carlos. Let it be known — this lady is a freak. Miguel has reservations about cheating on his wife, but ol’ Jack always knows just what to say; “Don‘t think of it as cheating on your wife. Think of it as fucking for your flag”. Lol I love this movie.
As the film approaches the final act, the plan is finally explained to Miguel. Since assassinating Carlos outright will result in retaliatory attacks from his fellow terrorists, Miguel will pretend to be Carlos to discredit him with his Soviet connections and in turn let them take him out. He, as Carlos, will sleep with one of the real Carlos’ mistresses and convince her to do some banking for him. The banking involves accepting a wire transfer from the CIA into her account and then out of her’s and into Carlos/Miguel’s. This is something that will get the attention of Soviet Intelligence. This combined with a public meeting between Carlos/Miguel and Jack solidifies the counter intelligence story that Carlos is being paid off by the CIA to share with them what he might know about the Soviets.
You pretty much know how this is going to end, but because I think you should give this flick a watch, if you get a chance, I’ll try to save some juicy details about the finale. Just know that there is a face to face fight between Carlos & Miguel, some secret spy code words, as well as double lives are lived.
THE VERDICT
“The Assignment” is tame by the standards of ‘80s action movies. However its real life esthetic has always been something that I’ve enjoyed. The way Annibal is trained in Canada has always fascinated me. How he was pushed to his limits — forced to remember seemingly unimportant information and taught how to interpret it. And of course how Jack and Amos teach Annibal to react to the smell of cheap cigars and oatmeal the same way Carlos would, but forcing him to smell and eat it constantly.
This is the sort of thing I imagine real life spies might have to do in order to blend in and survive.
Released right around the same time as “Goldeneye”, “Mission Impossible” and “The Saint”, I was introduced to a new brand of action movie. Sure, Bond had been around for thirty or so years but most of those films leaned more toward traditional action fare than what I was now getting familiar with. Besides, Bond always had fun but unrealistic gadgets and one-liners that I’ve grown to expect and love in Bond films, but I can’t take them all together seriously.
This films story is as entertaining as it is interesting. I was surprised to lean in recent years that “Carlos the Jackal” is a real person who was arrested and convicted in ‘97 for killing several French police. The Carlos from “The Assignment” is a little more colorful, and I don’t think there was ever a plot to discredit him by using a double. But oh well. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the real Carlos here.
The acting is great, and with Ben Kingsley and Donald Sutherland, how could it not be? The special effects are mostly good but from time to time they show their age. There are a several explosions that are super-imposed. While they do look obvious, they also don’t look awful. It was the ‘90s after all. Even space aliens hell-bent on blowing up the white house super-imposed their laser blasts [“Independence Day“].
 
If you are at all interested in spy/espionage thrillers then “The Assignment” is for you. I highly recommend It.
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes our ride on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, “Awfully warm for this time of year.”
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor

October 14, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Double Trouble

DOUBLE ENJOYMENT

Man, the action movies of this vintage were really reaching with this gimmicky subject matter. All the straight forward stories about alien hunters in the jungle and war vets returning to NAM to “take pictures” had all run dry and Hollywood writers must have been looking to cartoons for inspiration. All aboard! Out destination today is 1992…AGAIN! If I’m not careful the year 1992 is going to get stuck in the internal memory of the time machine and I’ll never be able to escape the early ‘90s.
The year is 1992. Peter and David Paul, aka “The Barbarian Brothers“, are identical twins who spent most of the ‘80s body building in Southern California before making the jump into acting. They had a gig driving a “D.C. Cab“, they hung out with “The Flamingo Kid” and even starred in a film that seems to have been titled after then, “The Barbarians”. As the ‘90s began things were really looking promising for the Barbarian Brothers and they even landed a role in the film we‘ll be visiting today, “Double Trouble“.
THE SKINNY
This films begins with Peter, Peter Paul, making a phone call to the police from a plush high-rise apartment in the dead of night. Who is he calling? The police. Why is he calling them? The apartment has been robbed…by him. I’ll admit this isn’t the smartest thing I’ve seen a criminal do, but much like the “Wet Bandits”, this is his calling card.
 
Moments later he is apprehended on the roof by detective…umm… David, David Paul, Peter‘s twin brother. He isn’t so much apprehended as he is shot by David. The two start bickering about how Peter can’t stay out of trouble and how David takes life too seriously. David gets frustrated and shoots Peter in the arm. Peter stumbles, falls off the roof and makes his escape.
This doesn’t matter much because a day or two later Peter is up to his old cat burglary tricks when he heists a collection of valuable diamonds. Again, Peter calls the police but this time he asks them to send David. Peter tries to get even with his bro for shooting him by setting a booby-trap but instead gets caught in it himself.
 
After spending the night in the jail house, Peter cuts a deal with O’Brien, the chief of police, played by James Doohan of Star Trek fame. Apparently Peter overheard some juicy information the last time he was in prison, some of which helped him find the diamonds he tried to steal. The rest involved Philip Chamberlin, Roddy McDowall, a diamond exporter who the police suspect is using his exporting connections as a way to traffic drug money. O’Brien decides to team Peter up with David and let them work together to dig up dirt on Chamberlin.
 
As the brothers investigate they learn that Chamberlin has paid off all the right people, including city council who approved the plan to build a subway underneath the nearby diamond exchange. He then made friends with Kent, the man in charge of the subways construction. The plan is to use the unfinished subway to blow a hole in the wall of the diamond exchange’s underground vault. It’s just an old fashioned robbery. I guess the police shouldn’t have been so concerned with Chamberlin’s drug money trafficking.
Once the brothers are hip to Chamberlin’s plot they rush to the diamond exchange, but it’s already too late. The diamonds have been stolen and Chamberlin and his goons are headed to the airport to skip town. The twins follow.
Once Chamberlin and the rest arrive he shares a celebratory toast with his criminal cohorts. The funny thing about criminals thou, they are greedy and can’t be trusted. Chamberlin poisoned the champagne so he could wouldn‘t have to share the booty.

Chamberlin grabs the diamonds and heads to his private plane but surprise, the brothers beat him to the punch in a way that only Barbarian Brothers or a Mentos commercial could. The plane is upside down.
Now the typical cat and mouse chase ensues before David corners Chamberlin and blows him away. The blast from David’s shotgun throws Chamberlin’s body through a plate glass window in a display of true detective work that would make Dirty Hairy proud.
With another case closed, David stops to wonder where his brother is. And that’s when he notices, the diamonds are gone. As the credits roll David chases Peter into the early morning sunrise. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Double Trouble” plays better as a comedy than a straight action movie. Hmm, am I experiencing déjà vu? Didn’t I just say that about “Twin Dragons“? The sheer absurdity of these two walking behemoth twin brothers pitted against each other in typical odd couple fashion doesn’t do much to help the poor acting and less than amazing plot that was later stolen for “ Die Hard with a Vengeance“.
But I have to admit, it’s pretty entertaining all things considered. The Barbarian Brothers share good comedic timing and some of the humor isn’t half bad. The jokes are low hanging fruit in most cases but it was enough to get a few genuine laughs out of me.
I also enjoyed all the familiar faces. James Doohan and Roddy McDowall are great. Even David Carradine was kind enough to make an appearance as an old prison friend of Peter’s. Here is someone I bet you forgot existed, Bill Mumy. He plays one of Chamberlin’s enforcers, but you might remember him as the little boy from the “Lost in Space” television show or the episode of “The Twilight Zone”, “It‘s a Good Life”.
 
So, in the end I can’t say “Double Trouble” isn’t all that bad, even though I expected it to be. In fact I had more fun watching this than I did watching both “Twin Dragons” and “Double Impact“. Go figure. I guess you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover even if it’s cover is a muscle-bound pair of twins who probably shouldn’t have been actors.
Now I bet you‘re wondering what happened to the Barbarian Brothers right?.. Right?! Well they went on to star in a few other films, their last being “Twin Sitters” from 1994 in which they play baby sitters who get caught up in all sorts of hilarious hijinks. Oh but that’s not all! They also recorded the “Twin Sitters” soundtrack and on four of those songs they rap. LOL Why? WHY, DID EVERYONE RAP BACK THEN?! I guess there weren’t many good ideas in the early ‘90s. I blame everyone’s struggle to kick their cocaine habit — a remnant of the ‘80s.
 I’m Cory Carr and this concludes our ride 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!

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