Tagged: Army of Darkness

Let’s Get Phantasm’s Reggie Bannister to Appear on ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’!!

Bruce Campbell is horror icon & ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ is definitely here to stay now with season three announced recently. Heck, season two was even BETTER than the first and gave a more detailed look at just who Ash really is as we hung out in his hometown for the majority of the show. This all got me thinking about other horror franchises and their unique heroes who haven’t quite gotten the level of respect that Bruce has gotten over the years. I recently re-watched the entire ‘Phantasm’ series and found myself drawing parallels between Bruce’s ‘Ash Williams’ and Reggie Bannister. Heck I’d say that Reggie from ‘Phantasm’ is just as badass as Ash and that the two of them would likely end up being good buddies if they ever met up to kick some evil monster booty.

Interestingly enough I ran across a petition online that someone had made that actually proposes the idea of getting the Phantasm’s Reggie into the ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ series on Starz. It hasn’t gotten much publicity yet but I actually think it’d be an incredible idea to incorporate characters from other similar franchises into the series. I guess it’d be a little bit like an ‘Expendables’ of horror with some grizzled, aged heroes teaming up together. I think a cool place to start would actually be introducing ‘Reggie’ into the series to give Ash a hand. Both have a lot in common and it’d be comic gold to have these two older ass kickin’ dudes team up and let’s face it, I think fans would eat something like this up. To be clear I’m not just proposing that the actor Reggie Bannister makes a small cameo, I’m saying he should appear as the character ‘Reggie’ from the ‘Phantasm’ series.

Reggie’s got the attitude and even in the somewhat lackluster “Phantasm: Ravager” he proved he’s still got what it takes to kick evil right in the ass. Ash may have his boomstick but Reggie’s got his signature quadruple barrel shotgun and can use a chainsaw like the best of ’em. Yep this retired ice cream man still’s got the moves & the charm with the ladies (or so he likes to believe). Another thing him and Ash have in common. He’d be a perfect addition to the Starz series and Ash could pay him a visit hearing lore about another older dude who’s spent his life fighting evil while hopping into different dimensions. It might take some convincing from Ash, Pablo & Kelly to get him on board but I could see the four of them teaming up being quite a incredible little slice of horror history in the making.

How likely is this idea? Probably slim to none, but let’s consider at least that Don Coscarelli (The mastermind behind Phantasm) has already worked with Bruce Campbell, giving him one of his best roles of his career in ‘Bubba Ho-tep’. To my knowledge the two of them are friends despite not ever being able to agree on how to proceed with ‘Bubba Ho-tep 2’ which for a while was going under the title of ‘Bubba Nosferatu’. It’d be amazing to see Don Coscarelli direct a couple episodes of ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ as well wouldn’t it? We also saw a cameo in ‘Bubba Ho-tep’ from Reggie Bannister so it’s very likely the two of them already know each other. Bannister is also still working in horror, in 2016 he starred in Phantasm: Ravager, The Obsidian Curse & Bonejangles. I’ve gotta check out the latter two.

I even took a moment to send Reggie a message on Facebook about the possibility of an appearance on ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ and got a response saying “Anything could happen but no one has approached us”. So it sounds like he’d be open to it but really fans have to make a stir in order for anything like this to actually ever materialize. What do you think? Would you like to see Reggie and Ash team up? Are there any other horror icons you think would fit nicely on the series? Share this post if you wanna see Reggie & Ash together!

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Movie Review: ‘Mosquito’ the Proper Sequel to ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’!

I finally hooked myself up with a copy of ‘Mosquito’ from 1994 and was quite pleased to find it was worth the effort tracking down. I’d been curious about this movie for a long time, I actually have owned a ‘region 2’ dvd for years but never could get it to play on any player. So recently I found a proper American copy of the movie, which boasts a couple interesting people in major roles. Ron Asheton (R.I.P.), legendary guitarist for The Stooges as a heroic but bumbling park ranger & Gunnar Hansen (R.I.P.), the original Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a tuff guy military dude. What a random combo huh?  That alone was enough to peak my interest.

Being that this movie was released in 1994 I was always a bit skeptical on whether this one would rely on some horrendously shoddy amateur CGI for it’s pesky monster insects. Boy was I wrong, Mosquito ended up being a comically inspiring practical effects creature feature that could have easily been released in 1984. It feels like it’s an 80’s flick in every way imaginable. We get some nifty fx here done by way of puppetry, animatronics, cartoons and full on stop motion animation. Talk about utiltilizing all aspects of the fx spectrum, Mosquito goes the distance or at least tries it’s hardest with the budget it had. That’s not to say the special effects are amazing, quite the contrary, however the movie has some serious charm for the effort it goes to try an make this as epic as possible. This is clearly because the film’s director Gary Jones has been an fx who’s worked on films like Evil Dead II & Army of Darkness. There’s also cool RV crash and a real exploding house too. So yeah they were trying to cover their bases here on the action.

The plot is your basic ‘ufo crashes near a small town and pesky monsters attack the locals’ and that’s a good thing because it’s trying it’s best to be on par with movies like Critters or The Blob. It’s pretty heavy on comedy but at the same time really tries it’s damnedest to be fully bad ass. I really dig Gunnar Hansen in this movie too, he’s a total asset and they make sure to give you exactly what you want from him. A wise choice to give Gunnar his trusty signature chainsaw to do battle with the blood sucking beasts. There’s a line where he comes busting out with his chainsaw and says something like “Man, I haven’t handled one of these babies in 20 years”.

As Hansen never reprised his Leatherface role in a sequel you might be able to say perhaps the man behind the mask made good and helped fight off some killer mosquitos 20 years later! Hey maybe this is cannon in the Texas Chainsaw universe?! The further adventures of Leatherface…Anyway This is a super fun, totally cheezy 90’s monster movie if you are looking for a good party movie ‘Mosquito’ delivers the goods and then some!  

Review: Ash Vs Evil Dead Season Two Debut!

I checked out the first episode last night of season two of Ash vs Evil Dead that’s streaming for FREE on Starz website. I’ve gotta say I think this episode might be one of the best ones thus far in the whole series. I really enjoyed season one, it did exactly what it set out to do which was bring us a fully over the top adventure featuring everyone’s favorite iconic cult horror anti-hero Ash. Did it have it’s flaws? Certainly. Some of the FX work relied too much on some questionable CG and at times there were a couple episodes that were just a little bit flat. Overall though, it packed the punch it promised and it was truly incredible to finally see Bruce back in the role. I gotta say I really never thought it would actually happen.

So season two comes around and part of me wonders if this whole formula will grow tired? Well the first episode did NOT disappoint! I couldn’t help but smile during it, Bruce is just so damn lovable and his two sidekicks have definitely grown on me, In fact someday I could see these two continue on the Evil Dead franchise without Bruce if he someday decided to hang up the chainsaw. I also loved the opening, having lived in Jacksonville Florida myself, the whole idea that THAT city is Ash’s personal view of paradise makes the idea that much more comedically potent.

I’m totally diggin’ where the show is going and we get to meet Ash’s very non PC dad (Lee Majors) which is a total treat. I do wish they’d have stayed a bit longer in Jacksonville, but I love how we’re getting some of Ash’s backstory in his home town in Michigan. What really do we know about the character otherwise? This begins to really flesh him out. Also someone must have been listening to fans reaction to the CG FX because the season two debut is almost entirely done with gory ass practical effects. It really looks great and feels more like the original movies than any of the other episodes. Well done. This show is pretty damn awesome and it’s the perfect thing to get you into a good mood if you’re feeling blue. I’ve just gotta catch this season weekly, it really is a show that makes me smile. In the meantime I’m going to watch this episode again, yeah it’s that good…  

Here’s the teaser for the next episode:

Ash vs Evil Dead: Was it Worth the 23 Year Wait?!

Well last night was the night, the wait was finally over, twenty three years after the release of “Army of Darkness” we were given the first episode of the sequel television series “Ash vs. Evil Dead”! It seemed like an eternity and to be quite honest I was never fully convinced we’d ever see Bruce Campbell return as his iconic character Ash Williams. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy, this was a bit like seeing Harrison Ford return as Indiana Jones back in 2008-it kinda gave me the chills. Yeah Ash is that legendary to me and countless others. So after a rip roaring near perfect trailer for the show the question must be asked was it indeed worth the wait?!

The answer is a solid you betcha! The first episode was awesome and it was truly an incredible moment really seeing Bruce return to his legendary role. He didn’t miss a beat and I’ve gotta say Sam Raimi did quite a nice job directing the pilot episode. We even got a longer run time as well clocking in at around 40 minutes or so. This first episode “El Jefe” didn’t have one dull moment and did a excellent job of giving a bit of Ash’s history once again with the Book of the Dead, while oddly not mentioning any of the events from ‘Army of Darkness’. This is only due to the fact they don’t have the rights to that movie as it stands, and can’t make mention to it in the show because of legal issues. But still that’s fine, us fans all know it clearly happened and the version of Ash we’re getting here is a direct continuation of the Ash we all fell in love with in Army of Darkness.

We notice he no longer works at “S-mart” and instead a similar place called “Value Stop” but after 23 years it’s totally plausible that he made a serious career move(in reality another problem with legal issues from AoD). What made this all even better though is now we really get to know just who the hell he really is. He’s not just simply some smart ass with a chainsaw hand, we get to see what a normal night in the life of Ash is really like. We get to see where he lives (surprisingly similar to My Name is Bruce), where he hangs out, his work life and just how much the guy  likes to party down. This tv series idea was the perfect way to really humanize Ash and I’m pumped to see how this all plays out for him and his new companions.

The episode wasted no time with any B.S. and really jumped head first in the blood, guts and comedy galore. We get a nice introduction to several interesting supporting characters and subplots as well, all so far played pretty straight and serious. We also got some scares, most delivered with real fright behind them. We’ve got a pretty seriously freaky world with our bumbling anti-hero smack dab in the middle of the mayhem. Well done. As far as action and gore go the first episode gloriously delivers that classic frantic 80’s Raimi style. Bruce is definitely giving it his all and it’s clear he knows it’s finally his time to shine in the spotlight again! So we’ve got a neat, simple plot that’s turning into one hell of a road trip adventure. Perfect. I can’t wait to see the next episode!

The special effects were also pretty fucking awesome, we got a ton of blood and some really excellent make up for the new Deadites that appeared. Much of it really did feel like an extension of the original movies. However I was bit surprised to see the amount of CG used on the show. My only real gripe with it was the shoddy digital effects used. The doll scene in particular had some downright horrible CG and we got more digital blood and gore than I would ever want near anything Evil Dead related. I just knew Raimi wouldn’t be able to resist.

Give me puppet or some stop motion animation instead any day of the week. I only say this because it detracts a bit from the tone of the original and honestly if you’re going to CG some shit in 2015 it better look good. But alas, in the end though it delivered on all cylinders and then some proving the charm of Bruce Campbell just cant be contended with. Here’s a series that I’m gonna find a way to see every week, it was a bit of a dream come true. Nice work Mr. Raimi I honestly didn’t think you had it in you….   

‘Ash vs The Evil Dead’ Trailer Looks Totally Groovy!!!!

Wow!! It looks like Sam Raimi just might have finally gone and done it right!! I’ve been so skeptical and at the same time so excited about Ash vs The Evil Dead tv series from Starz for the longest time. But today my fears were firmly put to rest by the brand new full trailer for the series and folks it seems that we just may have a full on home run here for all who love the Evil Dead as much as I do!

The first trailer is so damn good I can’t even find one thing I don’t like about it. It’s production quality looks like a movie and the special effects look pretty gosh darn incredible. Tons of old school practical gore, blood and creatures here make this so far blend pretty seamlessly with the movies. Bruce looks great, I love the comedy and the frantic action in the trailer is full on fucking awesome. Count me seriously in for this series! So I stand corrected Mr. Raimi, maybe like Bruce you still got it! Universal Dork approves!!! 

And lots more info in this Comic Con interview!

 

Knights of Badassdom: The Most Bad ASS Movie of 2014?!

I finally saw Knights of Badassdom last night, a movie that I’ve been waiting to be released for years. It first started filming iway back in 2010. So the question remains, was it worth the long, long wait? You Betcha!! I’ll go ahead right now and say that  this flick will easily be taking ranks in my top ten list in 2014. It’s really too bad that this one is getting such a limited release theatrically, because it’s better than half the comedies that are coming out these days and it works incredibly well as a horror movie too. When I first checked it out I wasn’t aware of how much the movie truly dabbled in the horror, genre I thought it was pretty much a straight up comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised when the heads started rolling. Luckily I was able to catch it here in Portland, Oregon in the theater. I tried to see twice over the weekend but both times it was sold out. Finally we bough our tickets online! I was determined!

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First though let me say the movie has a great cast, Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau and Steve Zahn who I always love, serve up nonstop laughs from beginning to end. Dinklage has got to be the movie’s main draw and without him I really wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I did. I almost wonder if they’ve been waiting to release the movie because of how popular Dinklage has gotten in last few years with Game of Thrones and his upcoming role as the main bad guy in X-men: Days of Future Past?

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The plot is ridiculously simple, metal head Joe, True blood’s  Ryan Kwanten is dumped by his girlfriend and to cheer him up his friends get him ridiculously wasted and bring him along to their weekend LARPing outing. Joe’s a bit resistant until he notices his guild has the incredibly cute Gwen (Summer Glau) playing as well. To get the games started the Wizard of the group played By Steve Zahn chants a spell from a strange mystic book he found on Ebay and somehow awakens a succubus that greatly resembles Joe’s ex. She doesn’t show up til later though and in between we get a full on play by play from Dinklage of how to kick ass in the game of Live Action Role Playing that’s one of the movie’s finest moments as he continues throughout to steal the show.

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The fun really begins once the succubus emerges from the shadows of the forest. Suddenly the movie starts feeling more like The Army of Darkness than a straight forward comedy. Something that I really enjoyed was all of the old school special effects. The movie features a little bit of well placed CG but by the end of the movie you’ll be cheering in your seat as the evil succubus becomes seriously a little less than human!

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The movie is all out fun, the perfect Saturday night popcorn flick and it also delivers one hell of an ending that’s more than worth waiting for. It’s jam packed with, laughs, action, monsters, heavy metal and plenty of surprises! This one was directed by Joel Lynch who also did the awesome Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.  If you see this playing near you check it out, it’s got a limited theatrical run before it’s released on Feb. 11th via VOD. I also hear this version may have been heavily edited so that’s just a little more incentive to check out the DVD when it drops!

 

Evil Dead 4: Less Talk More Rock Mr. Raimi!

Here we go again and again….So it seems the big news is that Sam Raimi has mentioned that he’s going to write the script this summer for Evil Dead 4 with his brother. Apparently he mentioned this in an interview promoting his new “Oz the Great & Powerful” movie opening soon. First I really can’t say I am excited for this new Wizard of Oz prequel, Raimi to me seems like the new Tim Burton and unfortunately that’s not a compliment. Aside from his sorta return to form film “Drag Me to Hell” it’s been a while since he’s put out anything too stellar. This Oz film reminds me of more of the same “Alice in Wonderland” style glittery forgettable Hollywood schlock. I just don’t have any interest in sitting through more of that type of stuff anymore. However a piece of me got excited about this Evil Dead script thing and then I remembered he promised back in 2008 that part 4 was in the works back at the San Diego Comic-Con and then I remember he’s been making these promises since the early 2000’s!

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So what we all need now is less talk. Let’s see some REAL progress! I would love to see one last adventure with an older, wiser, grumpier Ash. Bruce is not too old for the role either he’s only 54, I am certain if he spent a little time getting into shape (or not) he could bring us all the performance we’ve been hoping for. My question is if Raimi get’s his ass in gear and makes this happen is it going to be a glittery pile of Hollywood shit? Is he going to go for an Army of Darkness style plot where it’s Bruce in front of a green screen for an hour and a half? Or will this new Evil Dead reboot “boasting no CG” set the bar for the way this fourth movie is filmed? We can only hope!  Drag Me to Hell showed a glimmer of promise for a fourth installment, yet if Ash would have been the lead character in that movie I would have been sorely disappointed. If  Evil Dead 4 is to work it’s got to push the bar real high, pushing the Horror Comedy genre to a new level and set a new standard. With all the money Raimi has now from Spider-man we had better see a movie that outshines it’s two predecessors. It’s one thing for Raimi to be a “Tim Burton” but if he becomes a modern day “George Lucas” then Evil Dead 4 (if it ever really sees the light of day) it could be a tough stain to erase from our minds for a nearly pitch perfect horror franchise….Raimi I’ll be watching you!

P.S. Hey Sam if you know what the true fans want, it’s not special effects like this!