Monday, September 30, 2013

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (Older Than Old School)

Score: 7 Out Of 10

         It is no secret that "Flash Gordon (1980)" is one of my favorite movies (I even have Queen's "Battle Theme" as my ring tone) so when I got a chance to sit down and watch the 1936 "Space Soldiers" serial I was pretty excited. "Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers" was directed by Fredrick Stephani and Ray Taylor. It stars Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers and Charles Middleton. The plot plays out over thirteen episodes and the gist of it is that a planet is about to crash into the Earth and our hero (Flash, as if I should have to tell you) is shot off into space with Dr. Zarkoff and his lady friend to save us all from impending doom (That really is the simplest explanation I can give). Right off the bat the audience is treated to action (and stock footage) that runs nonstop through out the entire thirteen episodes. Literally until the last few minutes of the final episode. Watching them, I honestly felt as if I was six years old again watching old science fiction shows on a Sunday morning (if only there was a Super Nintendo to turn on after I was finished watching).

        The problem with content like this is that it is very difficult to review. I (like many other fans) feel very nostalgic over things like this, so you have to take my "7 Out Of 10" score with a grain of salt. There is a lot to dislike here for most of the younger science fiction fans. The special effects are terrible (even for their time), the acting is hit or miss, the dialogue and writing are often laughable and the whole thing as a whole seems very silly. On the other hand, It is just so damn cool! I mean, all of it! There is rocket ships shooting at each other and Flash gets into fist fights with men, monsters and mutants alike at an almost constant pace. To add to the mix there is also giant monsters, cool costumes and all kinds of outrageous (and fun) characters. To sum it up, a lot of these old movie serials are lost on audiences today. They are held in the same regard, if not a lower regard, than "Sy Fy Channel Originals." But I promise, If you just throw on a couple of episodes and pop some popcorn and really let yourself get lost in Flash's world, than there really is a strong chance that you too will find a lot to love about these old science fiction movie serials.

   The B-Movie Guy.
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To prove my point, instead of a trailer, I'm giving you the first two episodes in their entirety. Why? Because I love you.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dinosaur Island (A New Low... Even For Me)

Score: 1 Out Of  10

       Well, I have finally found something worse than all those god awful Sy-Fy Channel originals. This movie is so bad I considered not even blogging about it because I did not want to admit to people that I actually watched it. "Dinosaur Island (1994) was directed by Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski (Really? Two directors and it was still this bad?!). It stars Ross Hagen, Richard Gabai and Antonia Dorian. The film tells the story of five commandos who wash up on an uncharted island and are forced to deal with busty tribal women, busty cave women and not so busty dinosaurs. There is absolutely nothing to like about this movie. Every aspect of this movie is just down right bad. The overall film leaves me wondering if maybe one director wanted to make an action film about dinosaurs and the other wanted to make a late night cable porn movie. In fairness, late night cable porn movies are more enjoyable than this stinker. I only thing I actually enjoy about this movie is the Frank Frazetta style art work that graces the DVDs cover (seriously, that is a really cool painting).

     What annoyed me the most about this movie is the main character. He spends the majority of the movie making one liners that are no where near funny and they come at a constant pace. It feels like this guy was making me role my eyes every thirty seconds or so. Also, it really bothers me that all these women who are completely isolated from society can speak perfect English, are reading a porn mag (because why would an uncharted island full of dinosaurs not have porn?), yet they do not know what a kiss is. But honestly, when it comes to stupidity, in this movie, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The only enjoyment any one is going to get out of this movie is teen aged boys fast forwarding to the nude scenes.

   The B-Movie Guy.
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Hellgate (A Little Too Familiar)

Score: 4 Out Of 10

   Remember that old ghost story about the guy driving by the grave yard and he picks up a strange girl who does not say much and he drives her home only to return the next day looking for her and an old woman tells him that was her daughter and she died years ago (I think I remember seing an epsiode of "Unsolved Mysteries" that did a segment about it)? Now imagine if someone decided to give that story a ninety minute backstory. "Hellgate (1990)" was directed by William A. Levey. It stars Ron Palillo (from "Welcome Back, Kotter," ask your parents), Abigail Wolcott and Carol Trichardt. The film tells the story of a girl killed by a motorcycle gang and her father who finds this crystal that bring things back from the dead. He (obviously) uses the crystal to bring the girl back to life and she, in turn,seduces travelers and brings them to their small town so her father can murder them. To be perfectly honest this film does have its high points. The overall look is really cool and for the vast majority of the movie it is genuinely creepy.

   Unfortunately, every other aspect of this movie is garbage. The actors and actresses are just just terrible and the dialogue is unbelievably bad (seriously, who talks like that?). The movie was shot in 1989 but the special effects are straight out of the 1970's. The scenes that are supposed to take place in 1955 (most of the film is set in its current time) do not look like the 1950's at all. The only indication I got that it was the 50's was the soundtrack changed. Overall this was just a boring and forgettable movie. I almost completely lost interest half way through. In retrospect, I should have just watched "Unsolved Mysteries."

   The B-Movie Guy.
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