Tagged: review

A COBRA KAI Theory: Will KREESE Meet DUTCH in the Slammer?

Ok so first off, Cobra Kai ‘Season 4′ was my second favorite of the series and I’m a HUGE Karate Kid fan. That means somehow the damn show is still fully on the right ass kickin’ track! So I ‘ve been thinking quite a bit lately about just where it’s plot might go, particularly wondering about it’s iconic villain John Kreese (played by the legendary Martin Kove) who has ****SPOILER ALERT**** just been arrested! 

 Of course this has led me down the wild rabbit hole of Cobra Kai plot ideas, as we heard in an earlier season that former Cobra Kai bad-ass bully “Dutch” was reportedly in prison. The show’s creators originally of course wanted to feature Dutch (Chad Mcqueen) in the reunion episode where Johnny and the rest of the old Cobra Kai gang went on their raucous booze-laden motorcycle road trip. However McQueen was not available to film any of the scenes due to prior engagements from his moto racing company which occupies the majority of his days these days.

However, from what they’ve said, it still sounded to me like a Dutch appearance is NOT out of the question for possibly a future installment/season of the show. This would be the perfect opportunity for Kreese to enter the slammer to meet his former student Dutch for his official appearance on Cobra Kai?!

 How cool would it be for the fans to finally see Dutch again and even stranger witness the reunion between him and his former sensei in the flesh within the walls of dangerous prison life? I think this just might be a real possibility and I’m certain in my gut that the creators of the show might indeed have this planned out for a sweet surprise in season 5 (hey just throwing it out there!). There’s quite an interesting tale to be told if indeed Kreese gets locked up and even more so if his former Cobra Kai student is there with him!  It’s anyone’s guess at this point how that would go down..but you tell me, what do you think about this possible story arc?!  A season side story of Kreese in prison with Dutch would surely be a treat for us die hard Karate Kid fanatics!

A Corey Feldman Christmas: Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys!

Are you in the market to find something different to watch THIS Christmas season? Well if you’re like me you’re likely a bit cautious on all of these new holiday horror movies they churn out every year. None of them seem to be all that entertaining! Well don’t fret because I’m here to do the dirty work for you and hunt down the weirdest recommendations this holiday season anywhere on the Internet.

Today’s pick is an unlikely 2004 Christmas horror flick featuring Corey Feldman & a bunch of nasty pissed off puppets! ‘Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys’ the Full Moon features horror crossover is in my opinion is a pretty damn good moronic time!

Corey Feldman stars as the descendant of the legendary toymaker who brought the deadly “Toulon” puppets alive from the iconic ‘Puppet Master’ franchise. He and his daughter together perfect the legendary serum using their blood to bring them back to the world of the living on Christmas eve. However, unbeknownst to him, Vanessa Angel who stars as the sexy but villainous corporate bombshell is also hell bent on getting her grimy hands on the serum for her own evil intentions. To make matters worse she’s also in control of the ‘Demonic Toys’ and has a wicked deal with a demon to unleash evil living toys to the population on Christmas Day.

Yeah, so there you have it, not necessarily the most intelligent plot to a movie but I think it makes for a pretty good albeit stupid little holiday movie that’s largely flown under the radar over the years. Corey Feldman is ridiculous, as he plays the toy makin’ father of a teenage girl and sports the most ridiculously stupid spray on grey hair I’ve ever seen in a damn movie. He also teams up with a sexy cop who helps the two of them along with the “Puppet Master” puppets to infiltrate the corporate headquarters were the Demonic Toys roam. In this one the Puppet Master dolls are clearly the good guys with Feldman as their “fearless” leader.

This one also holds some street cred in the genre because it’s not just merely set at Christmas time but features the holiday front and center throughout the entire movie.  It’s just a bunch of idiotic holiday fun but to be honest calling this movie ‘Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys’ you might expect some insane bloody doll battles throughout the movie to occur, sadly that never really happens until the film’s final 5 minutes where we get a bit of a lackluster “show down”. So don’t go into this expecting a big bloody puppet battle.

That all being said I find it to be oddly charming and a worthy addition to the holiday horror cinematic experience, especially for people who like stupid shit. The inclusion of Corey Feldman into this production makes the whole experience a lot more fun and Vanessa Angel as well is a treat to see in this type of low grade trash.

The special effects aren’t anything to write home about either and frankly were done better in the earlier movies but still this installment has a degree of Xmas charisma that’s perfect for the holiday season.

I definitely recommend tracking this one down and giving it a shot if you’re looking for something new and are a fan of cheezy bad holiday horror!

Ditch ‘Die Hard’ This Xmas & Check out Hong Kong’s 80s Ass Kicker THE ICEMAN COMETH Instead!

Christmas is creeping up quickly and it’s time to get list of cool shit ready to view for the holidays! So I’m here to throw a few largely unseen gems at you to mix things up this year that have the Xmas vibes oozing from them. Let’s waste no time, because ‘The Iceman Cometh’ from 1989 is not only one of the coolest kick ass Hong Kong action flicks, it also takes place during Christmas! Ho ho ho!

Yeah, If you’re looking for an Holiday action flick this year and are burnt out on ‘Die Hard’,  then look no further than the ‘Iceman Cometh’. Leading dude Yuen Biao has just as much charisma and 10 times the damn moves of Bruce Willis anyday. Add the beautifully charming Maggie Cheung and the devilishly evil villain Yuen Wah and you’ve got yourself a bonafide blast of action, Christmas spirit, romance and supernatural shenanigans.

Long story short, we’ve got two highly skilled, super powered  swordsmen hell bent on destroying each other, facing off in ancient China. In the midst of battle they become frozen in ice when falling off the edge of a snowy mountain- only to thaw out in 1980s Hong-Kong 300 years later! There they try and fit in while preparing for one final confrontation that could take them back to their own time. 

 I find this one particularly intriguing since most of the Hong-Kong movies I’ve seen never take place during the holidays and feature Christmas as a prominent set piece. The Iceman Cometh however has this going forward and then some! Yuen Biao has quickly become one of my all time favorite action stars and here all of his ass-kickin’, back flipping martial arts are on full jaw dropping display. Bone breaking stunts and a bad guy who’s so damn evil you’ll be cheering for someone to beat his ass to smithereens! Yuen Wah really shines as the ultimate villainous murderer.

Things only get worse too once he discovers how much evil he can Is accomplished in the 1980s with a wide array of firepower! Easily one of my favorite Hong-Kong productions it simply should not be missed. It’s got a ton of heart, a great story, incredibly likable colorful characters, wild action sequences, sharp comedy and even some sweet romance. It most definitely needs a wider US audience and an official blu ray release here in the states.

The fight sequences are truly stunning and even better there’s plenty of that hand drawn eighties lightning / electricity FX here that I love so much to go around to fully please any fan of the era. Count me so IN!  It’s also a spectacle to see how amazing the city of Hong Kong looks in the 1980s, with neon a plenty & loads of cool fashion sported by Maggie Cheung and both of the Yuens. Everyone looks so cool and you can tell a lot of care went into making this one an unforgettable cinematic spectacle.

Make sure to watch for the rooftop scene with the 747 flying past, incredible detail in so many scenes. This is the classic fish out of water scenario done right and it still amazes me that Yuen Biao did not become just as big as Jackie Chan or Chow Yun Fat In the United States. So if you’re looking for something different this year to watch this Christmas don’t sleep on The Iceman Cometh!  It’s got all the right moves for the holiday and then some! I recently bought a copy of this on blue ray but it can only be shipped from Hong Kong. Do a little poking around and I’m sure you must be able to stream it somewhere…

 

 

Movie Review: The Gooey Gory Greedy Horror of ‘BLACK FRIDAY’!

A good Thanksgiving horror movie has always been quite hard to come by, sure there are few out there but aside of something like 1987’s ‘Blood Rage’ the pickens are slim. Well I decided to take a chance yesterday on a brand new one called ‘Black Friday’ and was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this comedically gory and ultra gooey little horror flick. To be honest I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot even though it co-stars Bruce Campbell as the manager of a lame ass modern toy mart on Thanksgiving evening. I wasn’t particularly 100% sold on the trailer but I really wanted to see something different this year that brought some possible holiday horror cheer.

I’d at first thought this might be just another trashy low level zombie movie but right from the get go it’s clear this one’s got something more sinister going on which was immediately a relief. We start off with the discovery of a strange small glowing pulsating blob like creature discovered inside of the store by a late night maintenance man. My assumption: it must be some sort of alien, whatever it is, I’m in!

We quickly turn to our rather diverse cast of characters (whom I think are all pretty interesting) as they ready themselves for Black Friday of course!  As the ravenous line of impatient shoppers grows outside of the toy mart we can see a few of them are definitely not looking too fucking healthy & the employees on the inside are gonna encounter something a lot more challenging than the average filthy greedy shoppers this year.

The plot here is about as simple as it gets, gang of ridiculous employees has to survive the night against a horde of monsters. But that’s not to say this movie doesn’t have a bit more going for it. I guess the best way to describe this one would be almost like if you took ‘The Breakfast Club’, mashed it up with ‘Evil Dead 2’ and set it inside a modern  department store. There’s a lot of great character development too that adds some sweet charm & heart to the experience as well as upping the stakes for survival. Plus like I said, we get the treat of Bruce Campbell arriving to add that extra bit of b-movie legitimacy to it all.

One of the best aspects here are the monsters and the slimey, gorey effects on display. From what I could tell, almost entirely done via practical effects. It’s also got a nice lean run time of around 80 minutes, with a brisk pace, plenty of action, funny characters, gore and some pretty well done comedy. Also it’s really anyone’s guess who’s gonna survive this thing.

Yet, that’s not to say this is a perfect film, the actual toy store that it takes place in is a pretty ugly generic looking set piece. Even less fun to look at than a freakin’ Walmart. A more interesting environment could have really added a lot, a uniquely spooky looking toy store to add that extra layer of creepiness to the atmosphere. And although some of the effects towards the final standoff were pretty cool in regards to the creature, the general execution of it all felt quite clunky and a bit lazy. It could have really wowed in those final moments but fell a bit short of the mark for what  had been executed quite well before, for me personally.  However these are small qualms in the larger scheme of a relatively high grade creature feature. For me my favorite genre of horror.

Doubling as a Thanksgiving horror movie as well as a Christmas one ‘Black Friday’definitely delivers on many of its promises and if you’re looking for something that might be a nice double feature with say ‘Gremlins’ or ‘Krampus’ then I think there’s a decent amount here to fully enjoy. Definitely check it out if you’re feeling frisky this holiday season for surprisingly fun holiday themed horror flick jam packed with monster mayhem..

Halloween 2021: Who Won? CHUCKY or MICHAEL MYERS?!

It’s been a bit of a “David & Goliath” horror showdown in 2021, two iconic slashers went head to head this Halloween and as far as I’m concerned the little guy has emerged as the clear victor! ‘Chucky’ stomped ‘Halloween Kills’, continuing the horror saga with no need to cancel ANY of it’s sequels, no matter how ridiculous they may have been! Not an easy feat, but Don Mancini has stuck to his guns and once again breathed some fresh air into the fanchise.

 Mancini also deserves a lot of credit for clearly how much love he still has for Chucky. He clearly doesn’t need to erase the sequels, keeping everything cannon, something I really respect that oddly works in his favor here with the new Syfy series. He’s built an entire world within his sequels and it becomes even more interesting as some of the most ludicrous plot points of the earlier ones remain intact with this darker toned series that feels much more akin to the original.

 ‘Halloween Kills’ however is clearly being pushed imo for a different reason, what I believe to be more of an IP “cash grab” reboot thing. ‘The Pineapple Express’ director doesn’t bring much new or interesting to the table for someone who’s erased all of the sequels and replaced them with basically the “Terminator: Dark Fate” of the Halloween franchise. Hey, If you’re going to revise the existing lore, that is beloved by a lot of fans, you better have something bad ass planned for your new time line. ‘Halloween Kills’ personally left me completely underwhelmed & unexcited for whatever comes next. At this point who gives a shit about yet another Halloween timeline?

‘Chucky’ however has introduced us to a whole new cast of (so far) interesting characters, Don Mancini has finally brought us a gay horror protagonist to root for that doesn’t feel forced. ‘Cult of Chucky’ left us with also quite a fresh twist on things, Tuesday night we hit mid season with episode 4, though I’m at the moment starting to slightly feel some padding in the series, I’m hoping that the final 4 episodes will increase the mayhem as they introduce Tiffany and whoever else mysteriously pops in for the story.

Looking at the end of the last Chucky film there’s a lot of interesting directions this current story could now go in. I really hope they take some chances here like they were doing in the last Chucky film rather than trying to just stick to the original basic slasher formula. ‘Chucky’ now has the chance to go completely bonkers and throw the fans a bloody curve ball they’ll never forget. If they continue to incorporate some wild voodoo rituals, human possessions, multiple Chucky’s and one mean mysterious motive for the mayhem, the first season will be off to a sweet start. As it stands Chucky has cut Michael down to size with the authenticity of the original creator at it’s helm who’s clearly hungry to tell a new fresh story. Let’s see if he can deliver a home run in the last four episodes or if it’s flame fizzles into the realm of the tired reboots and bland cash grab “sequels”. Fingers crossed!

 

‘HALLOWEEN: H20’ Holds Up Even Better after ‘HALLOWEEN KILLS’!

Ok so here we are again, doing the whole John Carpenter Halloween “sequel” reboot hype machine again! But to be honest I’m not at all that hyped yet again this time around. As I stated In 2018, I found ‘Halloween: H20’ to be my favorite finale of the Laurie Strode vs Michael Myers saga.

It was exciting way back in 1998 to witness their epic familial final confrontation unfold on the big screen. It was a big deal for horror fans. Sure the movie was made during the hype of the “Scream” phenomenon and is a bit of a sign of the times of what horror was back then stylistically. The same could be said of horror movies set in the 1970s and 80s really, so I can’t really fault it for that. What it did bring was its own uniquely original story and wasn’t a basic retread of things we had already seen in the very first film. I like to refer to ‘H40’ as the “Force Awakens” of the franchise. I don’t consider that a big positive either, rather a sign of Hollywood’s continual laziness.

 So now we get the supposed long awaited sequel to the “sequel”, of an amazing movie that in my opinion ALREADY had an amazing sequel directed by John Carpenter himself. So already it seemed a bit pointless to me. Watching ‘Halloween Kills’ I continuously found myself wondering what really is the point of this all? What was this movie actually adding to the mythos of the Halloween franchise? To me it just seemed like more backtracking for no real reason and began to remind me of recent tired Hollywood retreads like ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’.

If you simply came to observe Michael Myers back in action, hacking and slashing random people to bits, then you were likely somewhat satisfied. To me though, my level of engagement started to quickly wane to the lows of the Rob Zombie era Halloween which ends up just being a boring flat downer. I also don’t think that this current sequel reboot features any real likable characters at this point either.  Sure it was cool to see Anthony Michael Hall back in a movie again, and I guess it was exciting(?) to see Jamie Lee Curtis again? Not sure if I give a damn anymore. Basically I feel like this movie simply took all of the most unique elements of Halloween 2 & Halloween 4 and squashed them into one bleak, brutal somewhat generic package. Nothing new to see here. If you’re going to go through this much trouble to re-tell a sequel series you’d better damn well make sure you’ve got something interesting and fresh going on in the plot.

To me ‘Halloween Kills’ offers nothing really. Just a collection of brutal kills, most feeling completely random and senseless. It left me completely underwhelmed for what was to come in the supposed final installment. However it also again completely improves the staying power, charm & heart of ‘Halloween H20’ as it ages like a fine bloody red wine.

I already got my Laurie vs Michael finale when it was a fresh idea, now it just feels like ‘Halloween: Ressurection’,  completely unnecessary….then again not surprising when a horror movie franchise is rebooted by the guy who directed ‘The Pineapple Express’ I guess. Well that being said if you dig H20 check out this new sweet video that really puts into perspective how much Hollywood screws with good ideas from Jamie Lee Curtis herself! 

Movie Review: Classical Thai Horror of ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’!

I’m a big fan of the 1989 cult horror flick ‘The Laughing Dead’, If you’ve never heard of it and are a1980’s gore horror fiend, well I’ve a feeling that it’s gonna be your new favorite “lost” 80s gem. Rumor has it that it just might be getting a fancy blu ray release?! I hope that’s true! Well it’s director/cult horror novelist/composer extraordinaire S.P. Somtow is back after a long hiatus starring in and writing the latest creepy outing all the way from Thailand with ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’.

The tale of a musical genius haunted by his past and pushed into a state of pure insanity, The Maestro tells the story of a mentally unstable man named Arun (S.P. Somtow), a dedicated composer who attempted a run for fame in Europe but ultimately finds himself deeply depressed, back in Thailand teaching rich kids music at a local shopping mall. Behind the scenes though, he’s been secretly planning a wildly dark magnum opus called ‘The Tongues of Angels’, his ultimate goal: premiering it to the entire world on a livestream during the Covid 19 pandemic. His wildly demented ambition however may induce a lot more than musical madness but also death to those who threaten his journey.

So yeah I’ve been quite excited to check this out, but also had hoped Somtow would be at the mantle as director on the project. I really enjoyed his campy approach on ‘The Laughing Dead’ and the comedic elements incorporated with the heavy effects work of legend John Carl Buechler made it a total blast. That all being said ‘The Maestro’ does definitely deliver some of Somtow’s signature tones, but perhaps with a more artistic approach. Director Paul Spurrier does a decent job behind the camera, giving the movie at times a more slick approach then what I’d ultimately prefered. It combines lighter elements of horror with tense hypnotic dark classical music but also has a few more deeply disturbing psychological aspects at hand here as well that at times made me a bit uncomfortable. The lush locales of Thailand combined with Somtow’s intensely creepy musical compositions sonically assault in a truly unique way.


To be quite honest, his beautifully dark score is probably the biggest star of the entire movie. I’d been expecting something quite a bit different, with more old school fx leaning in on much more on the horror side of things. Instead this one plays out more a psychological thriller and is the first movie I’ve seen that takes place actually during the Covid 19 era. We finally see people on screen irritated with and fussing with their masks as well as trying to navigate life through these current bizarre times. But that doesn’t stop the shamed Maestro from seeking out his pawns, a crew of young musicians gathered from his mall class and the even from the streets.

Most of the madness takes place at a stunningly creepy decrepit mansion In the countryside where the symphony of horror begins to take shape. The Maestro has one thing on his mind: his music and will let nothing get in his way of composing the ultimate dark symphony.

This one’s definitely worth a watch, it’s got a great cast of young actors and Somtow shines again as the villain in a similar way he did back in ‘The Laughing Dead’.

I’m glad that S.P. has again returned to his horror roots, overall I think this is a pretty solid return to form. Going forward I’d like to encourage him to get back behind the camera again, I think he’s got the chops that the people thirst for today with the 80s cult camp fanatics. If anything ‘The Maestro: Symphony of Terror’ must be watched for it’s incredible musical finale, which blew me away. I’ll be hunting down the soundtrack for sure!!

U-Dork on The MOVIE MELT Podcast: The Horror of ‘PROM NIGHT 3’!

So in preparation for the Halloween season I joined the Movie Melt podcast to yet again discuss another cinematic oddity! This time we covered the largely forgotten 1989 cult horror gem ‘Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss’.

This one’s even better than the original Jamie Lee Curtis slasher classic! A great sequel to the Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, which is also a MUST see this ‘Ween season.

Anyway this episode though covers sooo much more than just ‘Prom Night 3’ take a listen to find out what flicks you should be checking out right now and learn even more useless, but epically awesome movie info you can share with everyone and your cat. Listen here for the scoop on the horror cult comedy and melt your mind with cinematic mayhem! LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE!

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Comic Cover of the Week: HULK Immortalized by Alex Ross!

I’m a HUGE Hulk fan, but I’ll admit I don’t really ready many new comic books anymore, especially stuff by Marvel. I’ve been told by friends that I need to really get into The Immortal Hulk, I’ve read the first trade and found it to be pretty good. However in the landscape of sooooo much media to consume I was just not blown away enough to continue reading. Who knows though, maybe some day? Whatever the case I have seen many of the series brilliant covers and now as it comes to an end with issue #50 I’ve spotted one of my favorites: a brilliant one by none other than Alex Ross! This is easily one of the most epic covers I’ve seen in recent years that features the Jade Giant and his co-stars in ALL of their glory! Continue reading

A RETURN TO SALEM’S LOT: Is Bill Burr Secretly Michael Moriarty’s SON?!

I have a new favorite vampire flick: Return to Salem’s Lot!  It’s surely no secret that Larry Cohen has made some amazing movies, ‘The Stuff’, ‘Q The Winged Serpent’, ‘God Told Me Too’ & ‘It’s Alive’  are considered among his best. However, recently I viewed his 1990 totally underrated & under-seen gem ‘The Ambulance’. It luckily inspired me to go back to check out some of his movies I might have missed out on and the sequel to ‘Salem’s Lot’ from 1987 is in my opinion is one of the best vampire movies of that decade! What took me so long to finally see it?!  The only thing I can think of is that is that I’d watched the Tobe Hooper ‘Salem’s Lot’ Mini series from ’79 and found it good but also a bit slow moving.  I simply figured for so long long that the sequel was yet just another mediocre TV mini series, well that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

So yet again Larry Cohen is at the top of his game in an incredibly colorful tale of ravenous small town bloodsuckers, jam packed with witty dialog, sweet 1980s special effects and of course some totally memorable heroes to cheer for as well as vampirous villains to hate! Michael Moriarty like in The Stuff, leads the cast, and after watching both of these movies basically back-to-back I came to a startling conclusion. Is it possible Michael Moriarty Is actually Bill Burr’s dad?! 

The similarities are stunning! Am I the only person who’s ever thought of this? They look like father and son to me & even speak and sound like the blood relatives! Throughout the movie I couldn’t help but picture Burr  in the role speaking all of the lines, in fact, even though I’m normally against remakes, if they ever do one I would love to see Burr in the role.

Hey next time YOU watch either The Stuff or Return to Salem’s Lot, make sure to  Keep this in mind and you tell me if I’m crazy. I think the similarities are at the very least quite hilarious.

 OK so now that I got that off my chest, I wanna at least mention how awesome the foul mouthed teen son played by Ricky Addison was, only to be rivaled by the potty mouthed pre-teen kid in the 1989 wildly unseen gem ‘The Laughing Dead’! He’s also got some great Corey Haim/Don Johnson-esque “Miami Vice” style as well, this kid is quite the spectacle I’d say.

But that’s not all, the movie’s secret weapon is the old but surprisingly spry, Jewish, Nazi hunter played by Samuel Fuller. He joins the gang, setting his sights on the wicked undead inhabitants of Salem’s Lot! He’s a cool classic horror hero that quite frankly needs a lot more love and that’s one thing Cohen really excels at is bringing memorable characters to the big screen.

Yes there is plenty to love here for eighties horror fanatics, A wildly unpredictable albeit ridiculous plot, a sweet spooky setting and some awesome vamps! Don’t believe me check this dude out!

The kind of vampires who don’t just sport the fake teeth, nope we get some bonafide monster vamps with animatronic faces to amp up the mayhem. I’m not sure what took me so long to finally check this out but I’m glad I did as it’s now become one of my favorites standing above most vampire movies of the 1980s. But most impressively featuring Bill Burr’s father?! Hey you never know right? I got it on a sweet blu ray via Shout Factory that looks beautifully bloody!