Saturday, 29 May 2010

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper


Sad news indeed, but after a long term of illness....Dennis Hopper has succumbed to the perils of Prostate Cancer.
Don't really know what to say (Hell, we all know everyone has to die) it just knocks the shit out of you more, when it's someone so enigmatic (and likable) as Hopper was.
Hopper started his career as a jobbing extra and bagged many a supporting role in some (major) movies (Rebel Without A Cause, Giant, Cool Hand Luke, Gunfight At The OK Corral) before coming into his own with Easy Rider.
Hopper, now an established star, directed and starred in some great movies, The Last Movie, Mad Dog Morgan, Tracks, Out Of The Blue, Apocalypse Now, Rumble Fish, Blue Velvet, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Colors, The Hot Spot, Paris Trout, Waterworld (And on a more recent DTV level) Nails, Top Of The World, Ticker, Unspeakable, The Keeper and Land Of The Dead (Sorry guys.....never cared too much for Speed)

It's Hard to come up with a fitting tribute for such a unique actor....all i can say is this:
Many actors would have to punish themselves mentaly and physically, to achieve the effortless persona, that Hopper brought to the screen. He never had to act it...he lived it.


(Just watched NAILS tonight as a tribute, and had to explain to my nephew....why i chose such an obscure 1992 movie over the likes of (more classic fare, like) Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now........I simply wanted to watch a fun movie with Hopper as the main star....plus i'm a unrepentant John Flynn junkie) Sure Blue Velvet wipes the floor with Nails (as does Out Of The Blue) but i couldn't bear seeing Dennis Hopper die onscreen (not tonight, at least) The news of his actual passing, has left me sad enough.

R.I.P Dennis....miss you already

Monday, 24 May 2010

COLD FISH (2001) Jon Paul Gates




From the blurb on the cover: WARNING! "A pack of seasoned film buyers and distributors yesterday stormed out of the screening of a British film that includes real shootings and hangings" The Times


Now, that may be...(but trust me, the only shocking aspect, is the acting) I'm just glad that someone finally had the balls to make a film that combines the fierce intensity of Christopher Biggins alongside the dangerous allure of (busty Irish songstress) Rose Marie (making it the UK answer to Michael Mann's HEAT, as far as I'm concerned)

COLD FISH, stars Jon Paul Gates (of BBC's ELDORADO fame) as Alex, a would-be cameraman, itching for that (all important) big break. However, his 'craft' involves little more than pointing his camera and twisting it upside down (at shit rock bands) as if 'ZOOM' had never been invented. His colleagues hate him, including one smarmy bitch newsreader (who makes Anthea Turner look non-punchable) Harsh treatment for the errand cameraman, but just before you start to weep openly, observe the following picture of Alex:

(Alex......journo......lover....fighter......ugly bastard!)

Now his physical deformity aside, he's also cursed with the worst accent and line delivery known to man or beast. He takes (the many justifiable) snotty remarks (about his many imperfections) on his (cleft) chin. But his face of mould, reveals a heart of gold, as Alex supports his ex-junkie girlfriend Jo, by escorting her to rehab, and showering her with glitter-filled umbrella (wtf?) awwww!
When a chance occurs to film a news story at the site of a fatal explosion, Alex meets 'controversial art-house luvvies'* Jon & Marta Henley (who are there to make 'art' of death and carnage) Alex lies to the Henleys and claims he's a reporter, and he managed to bag a one and only interview with the two 'enfant terribles'.

(Jon & Marta Henley...twisted perverts of the art world)

Our hero is accosted by Marta Henley in a cab, and there she performs (what Alex's friend later refers to as) a "Taxi-Wank" to a gurning pig-faced Alex (trust me ladies, his 'fuck-face' makes his normal features, look like George Clooney) and disgusted with himself (and probably in need of a handy wipe) Alex (wisely) mentions nothing of this, to Jo. But he invites her to a party the Henleys are throwing (which probably isn't too wise an idea) Alex is granted his interview, but must stay with the Henleys in their mansion. But Alex is about to find out, the true meaning of 'Editorial Control' as the Henleys draw our luckless reporter further and further into their twisted depraved lifestyles of extreme art. No-one is safe (not even Jo)

("Is it in yet?.....shouldn't think so, you being a woman, and all")

Now (if you were actually reading this crap) you'd be well within your rights to shout "Where the FUCK is Biggins...you promised us Biggins!" Let me say that CB excels in his role as the Henley's press agent, Roland. And the chameleon-like Biggins puts an unusual and unique twist on his usual 'hard-drinking, whore-fucking, brawling sonofabitch' persona (that we witness week-in, week-out, on the 'National Lottery' draws)....by playing a 'jolly rotund gay mirth-maker' (for a change)

As for Rose Marie, she makes a Cameo near the end, as a (obviously desperate) milf-type, that tries to pick up Alex in a bar, just before seeing the 'Wanted By The Police' picture of him on the TV. To be fair, Alex ('Taxi-Wank' aside) only has (sunken) eyes for his ex-junkie girlfriend, and isn't bothered at all about the (many) charms of the Irish songstress. But it's good to know the makers of Cold Fish had an extra £20 in the kitty, to (over) pay Miss Marie for her troubles (and let's face it, as long as she's making movies, it keeps her from overpopulating BOYES stores, with her endless stream of '30 Golden Hits' cassettes)

(Acting asside, Please quit your day-job also, Miss Marie)

Anyhow, as the 'Hitchcockarian' hunt continues, Alex convinces his friend at the studio to help him hijack the Henleys latest show (a show that consists of the same old tired out 'Mushroom clouds and firing squad' footage as before) so that he can expose the Henleys as the murderous perverts they are, to their sophistico guest list. After a (not-so) nail biting build up, Alex's friend runs VT just in time, to show video footage of Martha finishing off a tramp (that she'd recently ran over) to a suddenly sickened crowd (which is funny, because 2 minutes prior, the same crowd had been going gaga over images of nuclear destruction, and firing squads?) This gives (not only) Alex (but actor Jon Paul Gates) his 'Glengary GlenRoss' speech moment...as he rips the art establishment a new one' (replete with lancashire accent)

(The deeply ugly, Jon Paul Gates, turns the tables.....when quite frankly he should be 'waiting' them)

The crowd have turned on the Henleys, which in turn, forces them to run away (and for Biggins to consider which panto he'll be returning to afterwards) Alex gives chase....but not in time to stop Jon Henley push martha onto the tracks (and to her death)

(Martha, already fallen from the art-establishment...now does likewise to some railway bridge)

Alex and Jon have a brutal fight (that would make Charles Hawtrey wince) before Henley (realising that the game is up, and that he could make a semi-successful 'Graham from the Jeremy Kyle Aftercare team' lookalike) throws himself off the same bridge, and lands alongside his perverted wife. Oh, the symbolism.......

Oh well, a happy ending (or "So shines a good deed in a weary world" as Willy Wonka would say) Alex is then seen filming (still without the basic grasp of how to hold a camera) his twice recovering addict girlfriend Jo (remember her?) in the park. For the benefit of the viewer (who to be honest, would probably prefer to read about our Hero & heroin(e) imminent appointment with the 'Ebola' virus) we are instead treat to this baffling epilogue (as the titles roll)

(Trust an ex-junkie, to be back on the 'horse'...ho-ho!)

Watch COLD FISH, and YOUR life will never be the same again.

Movie Highlights

Too many to mention, but if 'Crimewatch re-enactment' level acting, mixed with poverty row characters and plot devices, wrapped up with the incendiary (never fulfilled) promise of Biggins and Rose Marie together in one shit-stained 91 minute extravaganza doesn't float your boat...then nothing will.

Although, the following screen-shot may be a notable highlight in any movie


(* = Talentless hacks, merely content to show atrocity footage, no worse than stuff you can see on the regular news bulletins)

Friday, 14 May 2010

CYBER TRACKER (1994) Don 'The Dragon' Wilson


PM ENTERTAINMENT (Richard Pepin & Joseph Merhi) are responsible for some of the best low-budget movies out there. These guys are savvy enough, to know that it's not always about De nIro-like performances, coupled with Mamet-esque dialogue. PM give you non-stop, rough and ready action, and in 1994 at their height of power, they knocked out a b-movie classic, with more than a passing nod to The Terminator and Robocop (and Pepin directed it also)

(Don 'The Dragon' Wilson in action)

Don 'The Dragon' Wilson stars as Eric Phillips(1) a secret service agent(2) protecting Senator Dilly, who's attempting to pass a law, allowing unstoppable(3) Cyborg policemen to assume responsibility from the regular human variety. A anti-Cyborg fraction, The UHR (United Human Rights) attempt to stop this law (and resorting to terrorism to do such) which makes Phillips job more dangerous with every new attack. Dilly's second in command, Ross, doesn't like Phillips, and the two trade insults, and 'thousand yard stares' aplenty, until Phillips turns against his employers, after they cold-bloodedly murder a UHR member. Framed for the murder, Phillips finds himself on the run from the merciless Cyber-tracker policemen, who'll let nothing or no-one stand in their way.

CYBER TRACKER has similar elements to CYBORG COP, but seems a little less goofy. As usual PM start proceedings with a car chase/explosion, and continue throughout, til the 90 minute mark) Wheras CYBORG COP, did contain a few more lulls (but is genuienelly funnier and lighthearted, throughout)
Don 'The Dragon' Wilson(4) (never understood why his 'nickname' made it on the actual credit roll?) gives one of his better performances here (in what was his 13th film, in a 5 year period) and despite the 'hokey' dialogue, and hand-me-down plot, he (and the rest of the cast) keep a straight face, and deliver a solid action flick. Oh, did i mention that Richard Norton plays second in command, Ross (and let's face it, Richard Norton is much better value for money, than the terminaly boring and highly overrated Edward Norton, any day) so you just know he and Wilson are gonna 'trade punches' before this movies finished (to be fair, with a good guy/bad guy combo like this, the cyborgs come a pale third, in the packing order of excitement)

Anyhow, enough of the niceties, let's get to the 'ropey' elements (the sort that make you spit your cheap cider out, upon initial viewing) CYBER TRACKER may aspire to be Terminator-esque. But doesn't have the budget...resulting in some rather tacky FX, and garbled logic (befitting of a STV release)

The Cyborgs

These 'Trackers' are 'Right-Said Fred' lookalikes, who have morphing qualities that defy logic (let alone, rational sense). For instance, they can produce a (badly morphed CGI) 'police badge' from the palm of their hand, before arresting someone...But (and this is the real pisser) they can produce a side-arm from their legs. Sounds cool doesn't it? (so far, so Robocop) but whereas Peter Weller had a nifty opening and shutting leg compartment to administor his weapon, the Trackers have to tear away a strip of their black 501's to produce a gun which morphs out of the leg itself. A good job these Cyborgs are indistructable, otherwise they'd catch a cold, with all these torn trousers and exposed thighs?

(WTF! part I)


(WTF! part II)

As for the Cyborg FX, whenever things threaten to get technical (and animatronic, hence: expensive) the Cyborgs have a self healing 'green-ready-brek' glow that emits from there hands, that flattens out any busted circuits (reducing them to 'stuck on, tin-foil attachments)


You won't need to be Russell Grant(5) to figure that somewhere in this movies plot, Wilson is a hard-drinking divorcee. But this movie has one original idea up it's sleeve, in that Wilson has an A.I computer system (named AGNES) in his appartment (replete with asinine 'shelly Long-style accent) Don likes nothing more than after a hard days 'killing terrorists', to kick up his feet, open some booze, and indulge in the sadomasocistic self-recrimination of watching (and re-watching) the fateful day his wife left him (on CCTV) and even getting 'AGNES' drunk(?)

And it's during the 'drunk' computer scene, that CYBER TRACKER has one unique scene (admist the car flips and explosions) that's quite touching
(yep, I said it!) Phillips causes AGNES to be drunk by keying in a 50% 'perception loss' (when he promised only a 5% loss) to her memory bank.

(A genuinelly 'Touching Scene' from Cyber Tracker)

Agnes "Eric, i said five percent, this is too much (slurs) What was i going to say?"
Phillips "You love me"
Agnes (in completely gargled computer-speak) "I loovee youu Erricc"

Phillips smiles, but averts his attention from his artifical computer-love, long enough to notice a picture of his ex-wife. His smile turns sour in his realisation.

It truly is a great scene, lost in a sea of Car-flipping, and morphing cyborgs.

Oh yes, and whilst the
cliché-meter is running, let's not forget that, whilst on the run, phillips joins up with the UHR (who turn out to be ok, if a little inexperienced) but of course, the leader is a statuesque blonde, who takes a shining to 'The Dragon' (as per usual)

(DON Juan)

Anyhow, to cut a long story short......THE END (only joking!) But the Trackers (despite being billed as indestructable', are anything but) three of the buggers are sent out to kill Phillips (can you guess who wins in the end?) and thankfuly the fight between Phillips and Ross is pretty good showcase of why you hire Norton for an action flick (take note ROADHOUSE 2, i'm talking to you!!)

('Housewifes favourite' Richard Norton)

All in all, CYBER TRACKER does what it says on the tin (or be it, 'tin-foil' with this budget) It's no TERMINATOR, but miles better than the morose po-faced TERMINATOR SALVATION (a movie with a catering budget, bigger than the combined budgets and revenues of Don 'The Dragon' Wilsons entire career)
And to quote
Admiral Bates: "You'd think we'd learn something from that?"


Movie Highlights

04:09 (The Tracker, comes across a huge oversized model of a robot, in a nightclub he's just shot the shit out of. Upon scanning the model, with his Terminator-style on screen graphics, his memory banks try to identify the model and comes up with names of former 'screen' robots, like 'GORT' or 'T1000'' and 'THX1138' in it's fruitless search)

04:50 (A car explodes)

12:23 (A helicopter explodes)

13:30 (A van flips in mid air....................before exploding)

16:55 (Ross - "Phillips is nothing more than an impulsive, hot-headed ametuer")

18:32 (Phillips gets his home computer drunk)

22.37 (Awesome sleep device, that would also be beneficial to rapists)

25:55 (Don kicks mucho ass)

28:56 (And then proceeds to kick some more)

30:45 (A police car explodes)

31:41 (Send in a 'Tracker')

32:47 (Don stops everything, for a hot-dog)

36:52 (A fire engine explodes, in a rare automotive case of "Physician Heal Thyself")

45:20
(Send in another 'Tracker')

60:03
(Send in 'Richard Norton')

69:34 (Richard Norton captures Don 'The Dragon Wilson', in
a record 9:30 mins)

72:56 (Phillips removes his shirt)

74:24 (Ross Vs Phillips)

78:15 (Another 'Tracker')

80:42 (A cyber-Tracker AND a car....explode)

(A car flips, in a rare-one off scene from Cyber Tracker)


(
1 = not an overtly 'tough-guy' name like Frank Shatter for example?)

(
2 = But, in true Weng-Weng style, announces his confidential status, to all and sundry)

(
3 = Anything but)

(
4 = Who is not John Cho from the 'Harold & Kumar' movies, either)

(
5 = Rotund, Camp TV asstrologer, readily available when Christopher Biggins is 'elsewhere')

Sunday, 9 May 2010

MY LOVE FOR FIGHT FACTORY DVDS


Any self-respecting connoisseur of straight-to-DVD releases, can't help to have noticed Sony's FIGHT FACTORY range of action DVDs?
The label releases both old and new titles. Stars such as Seagal, Van Damme, Lundgren are alongside new productions with Val Kilmer, Cuba Gooding Jr and Wesley Snipes. STAGE 6 FILMS seem to be releasing most (if not all) of their stuff via this label in the UK.

They come in lovely 'Orange' keep cases, that match the orange border on the artwork. And to be fair, they've racked up some pretty impressive releases since they formed in 2008 (Felon, The Shepherd and Alien Agent, to name a few)
Boondock Saints II has just been released last week, via FIGHT FACTORY, and seems to doing well in the retail charts, as i type this.

FIGHT FACTORY is a pretty diverse collection of Genres, ranging from Drama, Sci-Fi, action to straight-forward thrillers, they look great on your DVD shelves. I've got 29 of them, and look forward to purchasing more (see below)


And if you visit their website at http://www.fightfactoryfilms.co.uk/ you can keep up to date with new and old releases, view various 'fight of the month' clips, and add your own ugly mug (and name) to existing DVD covers, then save them to your pc, and post them up online (looking slightly foolish, and not befitting to what a 37 year old guy should be doing with his spare time*)

(*= As if this blogs very existence, wasn't ample proof, of my legendary 'spare time?)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

SHOTGUN (1989) Stuart Chapin


Ian 'Shotgun' Jones & Max Billings are two of LA's toughest cops (although Ian is slightly tougher, hence the nickname) These cops casually spend their nightshifts chatting to prostitutes (hell, Ian's sister IS a prostitute) and can be usually found sat in their patrol car, shooting the shit. Whilst right under their noses, a sadistic lawyer, Fletcher Rivington (who's a dead ringer for Simon Le Bon) is using his friend, Rocker (no, i'm not making these names up) to lure prostitutes to seedy motels (actually, the same motel is used throughout the movie) and then perform a switch-a-roo, so that Rivington (dressed up in full bondage gear) can sadisticly beat them up (in fact the first victim, Rhonda, doesn't seem to mind, just as long as she's paid accordingly.)

Things get personal, however when Ians sister is murdered by the perverted lawyer, and Ian is not going to let his suspension for beating up an Internal Affairs investigator, nor his newfound job as a 'Bounty Hunter' (or 'Skip Tracer', as they like to be called nowadays) or Max's attempted murder, get in the way of 'Deadly-Justice'. So Jones tracks down his old army buddy, makes an armoured car, and heads down to Mexico, to find Rivington, and bring the 'Ruckas to all y'all muthaphuckaz'


SHOTGUN
is without a doubt, one of the most laugh-out loud movies ever made. The dialogue is ripe, the acting is resistible and the camerawork
attrocious, resulting in what looks like out-takes from a porno flick. PM Entertainment (who went on to do bigger, but not alltogether 'better' pictures) have spared every expense, and it actually works in their favour. For starters, you need only look at the lead actor:

(Ian 'Shotgun' Jones)

Stuart Chapin looks like
a cross bewtween Graham Chapman in 'Yellowbeard' and Mike Lackey (from 'Street Trash') than a tough guy (let alone, any kind of leading man) He tops off the whole 'derelict' look, with 'three-quarter length overcoats', vomitt-inducing jumpers, and 'large brimmed hats'. And Chapins acting range compliments his appearence. Note his (semi-drunken) lament, at his sisters murder:

Jones - "It's not supposed to go down like this (pause) I'm the one that's supposed to end up dead (pause) I'm a cop (pause) You don't kill a cops family (pause) You kill the cop (pause) She was the only blood relative i had (pause) She was a rebel and I was always getting her out of shit (pause) First year on the force, i roughed up a guy who's arrested her (pause) Figured he was too rough (pause) She kicked him in the nuts (sobs) I hated what she did (pause) But i loved who she was (pause) And more than anything else, i just wanted to be proud of her (pause) Sometimes, I'd come home from the shift and she'd make me some food, and i could tell she's been working all night (pause) and they'd always be a fight....... (looks up) Bartender, another!"


Max Billings (black sidekick, and slightly less crazier partner) fares little better in the acting stakes, his 'method' moment comes at 27:34, as he utters the line "OH I NEED A DRINK...OH CHRIST I NEED A DRINK!" (which easily surpasses Ryan O'Neals "Oh Man, Oh God, Oh Man, Oh God, Oh Man, Oh God!" line from TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE, as the worst overacting of all time)

(Billings looks on, as Shotgun gives his captain the 'Hershey Squirts')

(Fletcher Rivington, Lawyer, Pervert, Kinko and Basher and lead singer with Duran Duran)

The character of Fletcher Rivington is (however) a classic. Apart from looking like Simon LeBon, he also has a camp British accent (rounded off with a lisp) and his drawn out hokey "I'm rich, the law can't stop me" dialogue is a must for lovers of B-movies everwhere. James Cameron should spend $400m of his own money, and build a franchise around this character (he's that good)


Other secondary characters (who am I kidding, the primary characters rarely rise above secondary status, in this movie) are also a laughable hodge-podge of hoary old clichés, starting with a bizarre (one-off) cameo of a guy (with little else in life, but an amazing beard) sat in a bar 'droppin-a-dime' on Rivington (or 'The Basher' as he's affectionately known)
Referred to, only as Dooley, this pudgy Kenny Rodgers wannabe, gives our two heroes the most useless information ever, about a prostitute who'd been bashed by 'The Kinko'

Dooley -
"You know Rhonda may be a hooker, but nobody deserves treatment like that....nobody......You nail that son of a bitch!"


Then there's Jones 'Skip Tracer' boss, Barbara Devlin (a slutty 80's 'Dynasty-wannabe' blonde who, like most women in this movie, are all over Shotgun like flies on shit.) After Shotgun completes the most informal (not to mention quickest) job interview ever, there are hints at a possible relationship between Shotgun and his boss. Sadly, nothing comes from it, but we can all enjoy the incendiary passion that emits from the screen (so hot, it threatens to burn it's viewers bedsit down!) in the few scenes they're together.

And not forgetting, sex boutique owner (and leather waistcoat wearing, crooked-teeth having, 'child pornographer') Joey. His lovable antics and cheery demeanor, add a lighter dimension to paedophillia (that you just don't get in George Clooney movies) He (like Dooley) is completely useless in the old 'Information' department. But Joey does however get TWO scenes in this movie*
(so three cheers for 'purveyours of the prepubescent')


At the climax, Shotgun runs off to the desert, and finds his old survivalist pal Sam (who you wouldn't expect to favour 'sandy' surroundings, as he looks more like a 'Village Person'.....if you get my drift?) and the two guys build an armoured veichle to take on Rivingtons mexican army. And after mucho catering for the boys (with it's non-stop action, acting and large brimmed hats) the movie decides to give the 'Female' viewers something back (for their enduring patience) in the form of a montage of Shotgun and Sam drilling, welding and (basically) sweating into their grubby vests. Short of gyrating their hips, this sequence is everthing a hot-blooded woman should need. Below is Sam (looking like a reject from Frankie Goes To Hollywood...if such a standard exists?)

And now it's Shotguns turn, to get in on the act, in this 'teasing' montage (for the 'Lady' folk)

(Shotgun has a brain for business...and a Bod for sin!)

And yet, despite the movies many (many) shortcomings, it's one of the most consistantly entertaining (unintentionally funny) movies ever.
It will rape your senses.

Oh yeah, and the faux-heavy metal signiture tune for this movie is (Benny) Hill(arious) Here's the lyrics, music lovers:

"Nothing is sacred from those with power"
"Destroying the lives of those they devour"
"They throw their hands up overlooking the law"
"As if they exist without a flaw"

(Chorus)
"You never burn out from being busted"
"Cause the shotgun of jones....Is deadly justice"
"Shot...Gun.....Shotgun........Jones!"

Movie Highlights


Too numerous to mention, although the chase sequence at 68:49 (Between Shotgun and Rocker) is a doozy (with Stuart Chapin exhibiting all the athletic prowess of a diarrhetic wino)

("How many stars out of ten, guys?")

(*= Although he is murdered in his second scene...so congratulations to 'The Daily Mail')

Friday, 7 May 2010

CYBORG COP (1993) David Bradley


The 80's spawned the TERMINATOR and ROBOCOP franchise. But it wasn't til the 90's (and the success of T2) that low budget film-makers jumped on the 'Cyborg' genre with gusto.
Nu-Image (just as PM Entertainment before them) were experts at getting as much 'Bang-for-your-buck' as their meagre budgets would allow, and swamped the video shelves with lurid action flicks, Erotic thrillers, Martial Arts Mash-ups and Futuristic Sci-Fi.

Their 1993 action/martial arts/sci-fi flick CYBORG COP (replete with token 'erotic scene' as standard) has to be seen (preferrably conscious) to be disbelieved (oh yeah, and laughed at)
Back in 1993, this probably seemed a cool concept, and if the budget had only stretched beyond it's $300 limit, then SCHINDLERS LIST might* have had some serious competition at the oscars.

David (American Ninja 3, 4 & 5) Bradley plays disgraced Ex DEA agent 'Jack' (no complicatd surnames required) Jack's been suspended, since he shot a psycho who'd taken a hostage (don't ask......okay then, if you insist....turns out the psycho was the son of a infuential millionaire, who got Jack kicked off the force...three cheers for the American justice system!) Down, but not out, Jack is soon sprung back into action when he gets word that his 'Special Forces' brother 'Phillip', has not returned from a covert operation on the Caribbean island of St. Keith. However we, the (desperate) viewer know only too well, that Phillip has been captured and re-built as a (dramatic pause........wait for it....) CYBORG!!

(ouch!)

It seems that the island of St. Keith is run by an evil meglomaniac scientist, called Kessel (played in full-tilt 'Lancashirian' mode, by John Rhys Davies) who not only posseses the "Ee, bah gum" and "Ecky Thump" accent, but also has a penchant for dressing like 'The Man From Del Monte' in a series of (rather unflattering) white suits.

("Ecky Thump, Sarborg Warriah")

David Bradley (who's actually a half decent martial artist) proves that you don't need muscles like Schwarzenegger to defeat a 'Tetley Tea-drinking-meglomaniac-scientist' like Kessel..... Because Jack has the ultimate weapon in this movie. Jack has a (once seen, never forgotten) FANNYPACK!

("Tickets please?")

Not just any old common-garden dayglo green 'nylon' fannypack...but a badass black Leather one (which matches his belt, replete with gold medalion trinkets, that rounds off his whole Alannah Miles look to a treat) and what's even worse is:

A) It hangs down, just enough to look like a codpiece.
B) He never takes it off, throughout the movie (i shit thee not!)

Anyhow, back to the plot (or lack of?)
Upon arriving at St. Keith, Jack teams up with nosey (busty, blonde) reporter Cathy, and the two begin a 'love-hate' realationship (leading to the inevitable 'soft-focus-love-scene)

Amidst your yawns, I hear you cry "What about the Cyborgs?"
Let me tell you, Stan Winston and ILM should have called it quits, the day this movie hit the shelves (check out the 'cyborg' designs below)


Kessel has invented a new form of metalic substance (so flexible, it resembles cheapo 'silver-painted' rubber) to adorn his prized creations. These badboys don't need T2 morphing FX, these guys have 'Freddy Kruger' style fingernails, tin-foil headgear and rubber chest-plates.

Meanwhile, after various scrapes in the Caribbean (a'la ROMANCING THE STONE) the scene is set for an all out war between Jack and his Cyborg brother (will Phillip shun his Cyborg programming, team up with Jack, kill Kessel and fight off another super human Cyborg assassin, only to die, saving his brother, leaving the fannypacked crusader to decapitate the Cyborg assassin with a motorbike?.........Well, that would be telling!)

CYBORG COP is a masterpiece of trash movie-making. It's a shame it bypassed cinemas*, because when watched with a bunch of friends (if only?) the film is a hoot (and alcohol only makes it funnier.) From Bradleys histronic performance (and hair) Rhys Davies' camp-Brian Glover impersonation, and the ropey looking rubber/metal cyborgs.......this movie has it all (and even spawned a sequel, which i'll get round to reviewing in the near future)

Movie Highlights

01:37 (Psychopathic hostage taker "I want my mommmy...or I'll blow her fucking head off!")

25:24 (Jack - "You sonaffabitch!")

26:36 (Jacks hilarious fight scene with his ex boss, who's cockney accent keeps shining through)

27:57 (Kessel's pointless 'wall-installed-robot-arm' called Michael, that hangs up the phone)

30:00 (Kessels hilarious interogation of Cyborg Cop Phillip)

40:27 (Kessel - "Allow me t'present...The K3 prototype Sarborg Assassin")

42:46 (Kessel looks at rival bosses henchman - "He's a big lad, isn't he?........My word, a big lad!")

44:40 (Kessel seals a $25m deal with - "Right then, how bout a nice cup o'tea?")

56:28 (Rastafarian "Yeah boi, he one gud whyte boi fighter!")

58:24 (Token love-making sequence)

60:21 (Kessel affectionately taps henchman on cheek - "Oooh, i could smack you sometimes" then blows him a kiss)

77:41 (Kessel - "And with all due modesty my dear Captain Callan, I may say that I am the greatest scientist on Earth!!")

85:22 (Kessel - "Phillip...I command you..... kill your brother!")


(*= Not really)
(*= Would be a great double-bill with Castellari's HAMMERHEAD)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

THE PATRIOT (1998) Steven Seagal


Forget 'straight to video' release, this actually premiered on SKY MOVIES in the UK, before limping to VHS a year or so later. Despite a healthy budget ($25m) and a solid cast, it's UK terrestrial premier, sent tiny alarm bells in my (then) 26 year old head..........what had gone wrong, why no hype, why no cinema release? Undeterred by this, my nephew and myself (and several cans of 'Electric Soup') headed round my brothers house (why?.......because he had SKY TV....posh bastard!) to watch, what i thought would be a non stop action fest.

How wrong i was.

Granted, the cinematography was awesome, but the 'action' was like an Ethiopian Paraplegic (i.e....'Thin On The Ground')

Seagal was fine (if a bit too stationary for my liking, as i was used to seeing him play cops, etc) but as it creaked to the 60 minute mark....everyone watching it, developed that kind of 'apologetic silence' (a sort of "let's STFU and hope it ends soon?" vibe lingered) The 'Stout Sensei' had given us too much change, too soon, too much plot and too much beauty, for us mere (slightly mortalled) mortals to take.

("Doctor, doctor, i've got terrible migraine")

Seagal plays Dr Wesley McClaren, tending to a small town in Montana. He is respected in this small community, and alternates bewtween healing the townsfolk, recieving pies (don't ask!) and spending time with his young daughter, Holly, on their ranch.
Of course, any Seagal movie needs a bad guy, and this is in the form of a 'militia' group, looking to spread a deadly airbourne virus (a'la OUTBREAK, except that neither Dustin Hoffman or Kevin Spacey could flip a drug-dealing rastafarian through a window, by his broken wrist)
Of course, with the townsfolk dropping like flies, it's up to our intrepid doctor and (expendable sidekick) Frank (played by seasoned veteran L.Q. Jones) to save the day. The Militia (dying themselves....nice plan guys!) kidnapp Holly because of her immunity (why not kidnapp McClaren?.......he's bigger, and in true Seagal bravado, probably houses11 pints of blood, unlike mere '10 pint' mortals) So McClaren (who turns out to be Ex-Cia) must come up with a cure (utilizing 'Indian Medicine') and save his daughter from becoming a 'haemoglobic-Teabag' to the crazed militia group.

("Doctor, doctor, i've got stomach pains")


Seagal (sadly) only flips a few bad guys in this one. But gets extra bonus points for kicking a guy into a snack machine (i guess that's Dr Seagals extreme way of getting patients to cut down on sugar?)

Looking at The Patriot now with older eyes (less hair and a beer-gut) it's a masterpiece. I can take the lack of action (which however small, is galaxies ahead of Seagals later 'stunt-doubled Romanian dub-fests') and appreciate the cinematography, scope and drama of it all (WTF...Seagal and Drama...gasp!)

All in all The Patriot is a slow moving, but involving Seagal movie (with 'Western' elements) free of the preaching that befuddled average action audiences (a'la On Deadly Ground or Fire Down Below)

And at (very) least, it's not that terrible Mel Gibson movie

(Steven Seagal is OUT FOR JUSTICE, Snack Machine is OUT OF ORDER)


Movie Highlights


10:36 (Seagals 'hilarious' gag to his daughter about frank "in the outhouse" after too much Tabasco sauce on his eggs)

44:41 (Seagal finally snaps into action)

69:30 (a montage of Seagal 'acting' anger....throwing some chairs, tables, etc)

76:26 (Stop W(h)ining...ha-ha!)

Steven Seagal - The Stout Sensei


Now 'The Stout Sensei' is about as 'name-calling' as i'm gonna get towards one of the baddest men (on 'Planet Action') So if you're expecting jokes about Seagals Weight, ponytail or jackets...then i suggest you get your (13 year old) ass to the IMDB boards, and join the rest of the restless virgins (who constantly rag on the guy)

What more can you say about Steven Seagal?

What other actor debuts with the title role in a studio movie?

Steven Seagal is the man....Period!

Only Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson (R.I.P) can/could sleep sound at night NOT fearing the Aikido Master, Actor, Singer, Writer, Director, Cop, Energy Drink Creator and Buddhist.

Vern (from 'Aint-It-Cool-News') wrote a witty, insightful book for the Seagal fan (SEAGALOGY:THE FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL) in 2008. I remember Vern, from his brief visit to 'unofficial-steven seagal' website many years ago, when I deffended him, from some of Seagals more (hardline, obssessed) fans. He probably won't remember it, but fear not amigo, i knew where you were coming from.

I can only hope to possess an ounce of the genuine praise AND critique, that Vern invests when reviewing the (many, many) movies of Steven Seagal.

Many of the 20+ movies he's made (in the last 7 or so years) have been ropey (and i'll gladly call it as i see it) But thankfuly, Seagal is beyond criticism, in his valliant attempt to keep REAL action movies alive.




Plus, i don't want him reading this, kicking down my door (probably in colourless Romania?) throwing me around, before snapping my arm

Cinema, eh....who needs it? (An Introduction)


Cinemas are usually full of giggling students (laughing at retarded Adam Sandler 'fall-over' movies) or chattery Dorris-types, or annoying kids (that feel the need to laugh, chat AND walk up and down the stairs in the full knowledge, that they're ruining any enjoyment, for an average joe-cinema-goer at the multiplex)

This blog is created to give humble (and badly spelt) praise to the movies (that sadly) bypass a cinema release, usually because, they are cack.......But probably because they're not:
A) A sequel
B) A remake
C) In 3-D
D) A remade sequel in 3-D

But fear not, bored reader....
Not all 'Straight-To-Dvd movies are devoid of big name stars, budgets and quality

But sadly, most of the films i'll be reviewing here ARE Catshit from a Dogs arse!