Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kick or Die (1987)

aka No Hard Feelings, aka The Expert

In this film, people with decided South African accents play Californians at a college where women are getting raped. A guy is brought in to teach the women self-defense, but if you're expecting a rape revenge film, it ends up with our hero fighting the bad guy in the end, with poor choreography. There's a love triangle and an unneeded subplot about an aspiring singer and our hero of course has a past. The dialogue is stilted, some of the line deliveries are even more stilted and there's a boom mike in a lot of the film (it looks like it was meant to be reformatted to then-TV dimensions, but wasn't, so it's probably not the cinematographer's fault). It's not exactly engrossing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Kara Simsek (1985)

aka Turkish Rocky

This isn't so bad. Turkish remakes range from the bizarrely good (Wizard of Oz) to the terrible because of budget (Star Wars) and this falls squarely into the "okay" category. Sure, the music is stolen and sometimes inappropriate and the crowd shots are meager, but the story is solid and the acting doesn't detract much from that. The way the story is adapted to Turkish culture is even interesting. The same director made "Korkusuz" which is far worse.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Jan-Gel, the Beast from the East (1999)

Holy crap, this crap is crap. And it even had two sequels. Conrad Brooks, who was in a few Ed Wood Jr. films, stars (and wrote and directed) as the hero opposite a caveman found in a block of ice in the arctic, who gets shipped, lost and then thaws and ends up in a murderous rampage somewhere around Maryland or West Virginia. There's little explanation of how or why this happens. Jan-Gel wears part of an animal skin (imitation ocelot maybe), which also makes no sense, given his being from the arctic... or the east, as the title says. None of his kills are shown - people scream and then the camera cuts to the next scene. The acting... well, there is none. The scenes go on forever, aimlessly, mostly people moving from place to place pointlessly. Obviously shot on camcorder, there appears to have been no editing nor thought to continuity. It's terrible, but not enjoyably so.

Friday, April 13, 2018

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman! (1975)

A Broadway musical that had a deservedly short run got the TV treatment, eliminating the few interesting moments, but adding some parts and keeping most, if not all, the songs. The main character of the play is not Superman/Clark Kent, but a rival reporter. The villain is Lex Luthor-like, but not him and there's a lot of Chinese henchmen played by Caucasians. The supporting cast is remarkable: Loretta Swit, Lesley Ann Warren, David Wayne, Phil Leeds, Harvey Lembeck, Allen Ludden, Al Molinaro and has Gary Owens narrating. There's a cute inside joke about the original cartoonists of the comic strips, but the performances are weak musically (Warren and the main - forgotten - actor excepted) and the songs aren't memorable, which leaves the plot and characters, which are barely there.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Infestation (2005)

I hate drawn on muzzle flashes, if you hadn't heard.
I was tempted to make my review in its entirety: "Meh." In the not too distant future of a few years ago, mankind has gone underground to avoid zombies. They have flying cars, too. Unfortunately, they also have terrorists. So for reasons not worth going into, a troop heads to the surface to encounter zombies about half-way through the film. The special effects are mostly poor even for the low budget (getting machine gunned in front of a white wall leaves no blood splatter), the acting and dialogue are weak and the plot is standard after a promising start. Meh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Image of the Beast (1980)

aka A Thief in the Night III: Image of the Beast

This is the third of a series of four films about the Biblical apocalypse and is generally considered the one to see; it might be better out of context, as the heroine who died in part 2 is back here and looks completely different as it was filmed years later, though is supposed to be immediately following that film. There's a ton of bad facial hair and weird clothes, even given the year it was released. The antichrist establishes a world government and a few who refuse to follow him are the heroes. The technology shone is quite laughable by today's standards, though it's supposed to be enough to take over the world. There's a TON of preachiness that will test your willingness to sit through the film before people are attacked by a giant locust. It's a small pay-off, I think.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Illegal Aliens (2007)

Anna Nicole Smith and wrestler Joanie Laurer (Chyna) together - that's high-concept, right there. Smith and two unknowns named Lenise and Gladise (I never found out which was which and it doesn't much matter) play extraterrestrials that take on human form and end up battling bad alien Chyna. There's a lot of explosions and chases, some fart jokes, a giant insect and some skimpy costumes, though surprisingly no nudity. There's also not one laugh, though this is meant to be a parody of both cheap science fiction and anything else recently filmed; the aliens are named for the actresses that starred in "Charlie's Angels" for example. Smith does an annoying baby voice that just might be worse than the one Kathy Ireland did in "Alien from L.A." This has a somewhat professional decent budget look, but it's all squandered. It's like a rough draft for a skit drawn out to feature length time.