Movie Review: Return of the Killer Shrews

IMDB, Return of the Killer ShrewsHorror, 84 Minutes, 2012: “Return of the Killer Shrews” on IMDB

There’s a long, ignoble tradition of terrible movies taking advantage of good – or at least popular – movies. A movie really can’t be considered a success unless a loosely veiled B-version (and at least one even less loosely veiled porn parody) are available within two months of release. This may be the first one to try take advantage of a mostly forgotten horrible movie.

1959’s “The Killer Shrews” [IMDB] would have likely been totally forgotten if not for the classic 1992 “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episode. Over 50 years after the movie was released, and 20 years after MST3K made it momentarily relevant, these folks decided to make a sequel. They really shouldn’t have.

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Movie Review: Hatchet

IMDB, HatchetHorror, 93 Minutes, 2006: “Hatchet” on IMDB

[Wife and kids are away visiting for the holidays. I’m staying home with movies. Just call me “Scrooge”. The silly one, with Bill Murray. ]

A group of people head out on a shady nighttime “Ghost Tour” of the New Orleans swamps. They hear the story of Victor Crowley , a deformed swamp person accidentally killed by a hatchet to the face  years earlier. Their inexperienced tour guide runs the boat aground, sinking it, near Crowley’s abandoned cabin and discover that he’s only mostly dead. In fact, he’s running around dismembering people.

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Movie Review: Raptor Ranch

IMDB, Raptor RanchHorror, 90 Minutes, 2013: “Raptor Ranch” on IMDB

This is the simple story of a small-town hottie, three friends who run out of gas, a gay soul singer and his entourage all being eaten by dinosaurs grown in silos by a crazy old man.
I think it’s based on a Dickens novella. Or maybe a morphine dream. Whatever it is it’s certainly not “Jurassic” or any kind of park.

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Turkey Day Movies!

What was Thanksgiving made for if not watching terrible movies with loved ones while eating way too much of way too much? We tried out some new turkeys this year, here are our impressions.

IMDB, Thankskilling“Thankskilling” on IMDB

Horror/Comedy, 70 Minutes, 2009

The first movie we have is holiday-appropriate but not family appropriate. We still watched it, but we did not feel good about it.  As promised by the poster there are “boobs in the first second” (for those that care, they are, in fact, the only boobs but that’s probably beside the point).

Anyway, an ancient Indian shaman summoned a demonic turkey to kill all the pilgrims and now he return every 505 years (except the movie actually takes place 400-some-odd-years after the intro) to kill the first batch of white people he finds.

The movie is a hell of lot of fun. Terribly acted, terribly realized, raunchy, family-unfriendly fun. There’s actually some clever, introspective gags here. The cast can’t deliver them but you’ll laugh at them trying either way.

IMDB, Axe Giant

“Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” on IMDB

Horror, 90 Minutes, 2013

The first scenes of this movie, set in the 1800’s, had me worried. We do see a monster-killer with an ax and he’s… maybe, 5′ 10″? The word “giant” didn’t really come to mind. But it’s okay! Turns out he was just a little baby Bunyan back then. He was afflicted with a terrible disease, you see. One that let him live for hundreds of years and grow into an invincible giant. Terrible, it was!

So now it’s 2013 and a bunch of attractive teens are in the woods. They find the remains of Bunyan’s best friend, the blue ox Babe, and steal one of his horns. This angers Bunyan. He approaches the group and shares his feelings of violation and sadness. They apologize and return the horn.  They then help the sobbing giant to rebuild his makeshift monument as modernized, but respectful, rendition of  Minnie Riperton’s classic, “Loving You” plays out the scene.

Nah, I’m just fucking with you. He axes them all. He axes them good.

IMDB, Mancation“Mancation” on IMDB

Comedy, 95 Minutes, 2013

The wife decided that all the killing wasn’t in keeping with the the spirit of a holiday celebrating the start of a genocide, so we moved on to a comedy. Or, more specifically, we thought we did. If you never laugh – I mean ever – does it still count as a comedy?

Honestly we only had this in our queue because it popped up when we saw Danica McKellar [IMDB] in the differently terrible “Tasmanian Devils” [Our Review]. Sue us, we still like her! Just because her career has ended with movies like this doesn’t mean she’s a bad person or anything!

The movie blows. It tries to be a raunchy, bromance romp but ends up just raunchy and gross for the sake of being gross . It’s slow, scattered and joyless. But, Danica, we’re still rooting for you!

IMDB, Thankskilling 3“Thankskilling 3” on IMDB

Comedy, 99 Minutes, 2012

For our last turkey we decided to give this a shot. The first one was awful but the non-existent budget and terrible acting made it exactly the kind of terrible that you share with those you love. This one isn’t.

I don’t what the fuck this was. Imagine enough mescaline to drown congress. Now imagine doing all of it while watching “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”. Now imagine that, while you’re doing that, somebody is periodically hitting you in the face with a hatchet while reading “War and Peace” in Hebrew. Now, just for shits and giggles, imagine what kind of singing voice a fax-machine made of jelly-beans would have.

It’s kind of like that. Not at all good and not bad enough to be fun. There might be drugs that would make this movie great – the people that made it clearly had them – but I’m not sure what they might be and I have desire to experiment.

So, as we wrap up, I think we have to give the non-existent “Golden Turkey” award to the original “Thankskilling”. The sequel was a huge disappointment, but the original was a hell of a lot of stupid fun.

Movie Review: Orc Wars

IMDB, Orc WarsFantasy, 100 Minutes, 2013: Orc Wars on IMDB

This was from a lot of the same people that brought you the weirdly fun “Orcs” [Our Review].  Apparently they got a good deal on the equipment because they’re back again with even more orcs.

In this cross-over fantasy a magical portal connects a land of elves, orcs and dragons with our own.  The elf princess has been chased through by a horde of orcs driven on by an evil witch.  The portal, somehow, provides itself with a heavily armed guardian on our side who, as you might guess, has to be convinced that he’s a guardian.

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Movie Review: Android Insurrection

IMDB, Android InsurrectionSci-fi, 90 Minutes, 2012: Android Insurrection on IMDB

This a terrible movie full of terrible things.  But it is damn funny.  It’s not meant to be funny, but it’s damn funny.  Hard to watch, harder to follow and ridiculously difficult to take seriously, but damn funny.

It has all the problems of z-budget sci-fi.  Terrible sets, terrible green screen and terrible integration of the, honestly, actually pretty good CGI.  The whole movie gives the impression that one guy got pretty good at making robots on the computer and his dumbass friends decided that they would make such an awesome movie!

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Movie Review: Demon Hunter

IMDB, Demon HunterHorror, 90 Minutes, 2012: Demon Hunter on IMDB

This isn’t a good movie.  In fact it’s a bad movie.  Bad movie!  Bad movie!  (Like most of the movies in the class it has an identity crisis.  It’s listed on IMBD as “Demon Hunter” but the available poster calls it “Obsidian Hearts”.)

It starts immediately with a ridiculously extended hand-to-hand fight scene that will remind you of the “Peter v Chicken” fights on family guy in that a) it goes on way too long, b) looks really stupid and c) will probably make you laugh in spite of yourself.

Most of the movie looks like an extended larping session taking place in the same section of  Sequoia National Park.  The fun part is they drive for hundreds of miles between these scenes then end up fighting directly in front of the same tree.  Those poor, poor trees.  They survive for thousands of years and are then forced to witness this.

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Movie Review: Behemoth

IMDB, BehemothSci-fi/Horror, 98 Minutes, 2011: Behemoth on IMDB

[This is the seventeenth selection in my irregular, “My Wife and Kids are Visiting Relatives and I’m Home Watching Movies” film festival.]

Another SyFy Original!  There are just so god-damned many of them it’s nearly impossible not keep running into them.  They’re the “Mr. Goodbar” of the Hershey’s Miniature assortment two days after it’s been opened.  Apparently, in fact, this is the twenty-third film in the Maneater Series!  And that’s only one series from one distributor!  Here’s a partial list of over 153 soon-to-be considered classic SyFy movies!

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Movie Review: Necessary Evil

IMDB, Neccessary EvilAdventure, 114 Minutes, 2008: Necessary Evil on IMDB

[This is the fifth selection in my irregular, “My Wife and Kids are Visiting Relatives and I’m Home Watching Movies” film festival.]

I picked this up solely on the reputations of Lance Henriksen [IMDB] and Danny Trejo [IMDB].  Neither is particularly known for their discerning tastes when picking roles but I’m a fan and figured, naïvely, “How bad could it be?”

Apparently it could be pretty bad.  Pretty god-damned bad.

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Movie Review: A Six-pack of Asylum Schlock

IMDB, Sharknado IMDB, Jack the Giant Killer IMDB, Atlantic Rim
Horror, 83 Minutes, 2013
Jack the Giant Killer
Adventure, 87 Minutes, 2013
Atlantic Rim
Sci-Fi, 83 Minutes, 2013
IMDB, Age of Dinosaurs IMDB, AE-Apocalypse Earth IMDB, 2-Headed Shark Attack
Age of Dinosaurs
Sci-Fi, 88 Minutes, 2013
AE: Apocalypse Earth
Sci-Fi, 87 Minutes, 2013
2-Headed Shark Attack
Horror, 83 Minutes, 2012

I’ve written about low budget schlock before, almost all of them produced by The Asylum, which has produced over 300 feature-length direct-to-video movies since 1997.  They focus almost exclusively on producing “Mockbusters”: terrible films with budgets under a million dollars loosely based on current blockbusters and released days before the inspiring film hits theaters.  Their films generally take less than four months from initial idea to final product.  Recently they’ve become the go-to team to produce the SyFy Channel’s steady stream of increasingly ridiculous monster/disaster films.  They’ve also slid into a weird niche producing ridiculous faith-based family films to cash in on the evangelical dollar.

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