“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for April, 2012

Snake Eater III… His Law

Monday, April 30th, 2012
tn_snakeeateriii“I come for the girl. Now kindly dismount and offer her your most sincere apology.”

Part 3 came in 1992, but was not as emblematic of its times as part 2 was. So the best graffiti I could read said “PISS ON MY FACE.” Timeless.

One of the best things about SNAKE EATER III… HIS LAW is that it’s called SNAKE EATER III… HIS LAW. I’m not sure how many movies there are with an elipses in the official title, but whatever ones are out there I’m sure SNAKE EATER III… HIS LAW is in the upper percentile. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster

Friday, April 27th, 2012

tn_snakeeateriiPart 2 in the SNAKE EATER saga came a couple years later, in 1991, and has a definite early ’90s vibe. In part 1 the goofiest obviously-painted-by-Canadian-production-assistants graffiti I noticed was the one that said “SUPER RAD,” in this one it was “RAP HEADS.” So times are a changin’. It opens in a school gym full of African-American youths in Nike “Just Do It” t-shirts doing double dutch while others practice kung fu nearby. All the kids are being overseen by a paroled ex-troublemaker named Speedboat, played by Larry B. Scott (he played Lamar, the gay guy in REVENGE OF THE NERDS). Speedboat tells all the kids they gotta get ready for “the tournament,” and we never find out if it’s a fighting tournament, a jump-roping tournament, or some combination of the two. Two of them suddenly fall down and die from some bad coke, and the shit is on. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

EL GRINGO trailer

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Since we all enjoy the works of Scott Adkins let’s take a look at the trailer for EL GRINGO, his entry in the After Dark Action playing some theaters and VOD May 11th. Vlad M., who sent me the link (thanks bud), says that Isaac Florentine was brought in to help out with some of the action scenes, which seems believable considering some of the stuff in this trailer. And no, it is not a prequel to GET THE GRINGO, it is a re-imagining of EL CID.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Snake Eater

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

tn_snakeeaterIn SNAKE EATER, Lorenzo Lamas plays a cop named Soldier Kelly. And it seems like that’s his given name, because even his sister calls him that. I don’t know if having that name subconsciously affected him or not, but he did grow up to become a soldier in the elite “Snake Eater” unit of the Marines. And he must be proud of this ’cause he always wears a belt buckle with a snake on it. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Innkeepers

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

tn_innkeepersTHE INNKEEPERS is the new one from Ti West, the guy that did HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. This one doesn’t have the same retro trappings (I still believe if I came across HOUSE on cable and didn’t know what it was I would think it really was made around 1980) but it has a similar attitude about taking its sweet time getting to the horror part. In this one I really appreciated that because I almost preferred just hanging out with the characters to watching them get scared. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dragon Eyes

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

tn_dragoneyes2DRAGON EYES could’ve been my most anticipated DTV movie of the year, but After Dark Films had to go ruin it by releasing it theatrically. A little bit, anyway, as part of their After Dark Action thing next month. I hope it does well.

In the UK, though, it came out on DVD and blu-ray this month, so I ordered it. The cover says it’s “FROM THE PRODUCER OF THE MATRIX AND SHERLOCK HOLMES,” because it’s co-presented by Joel Silver (I didn’t notice his name in the actual credits), but to our people it’s FROM THE DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION, the reigning champeen of DTV action. So it’s a big compliment to say that for most of its running time it lives up to my hopes for the next John Hyams movie. It has many seriously hard-hitting fight scenes, strong atmosphere and continues to show Hyams’ strength for finding the best ways to cinematically showcase non-actors. It turns out he’s also good with the real actors. Go figure.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Savate

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

tn_savateIsaac Florentine’s third movie (after FAREWELL TERMINATOR and DESERT KICKBOXER) is a western starring Olivier Gruner as Joseph Charlegrand, a Frenchman trailing somebody through the American west. The box claims it’s a true story, but the internet disagrees.

In the grand spaghetti tradition, Charlegrand is a mysterious stranger wandering through the desert on his horse. Some cowboy assholes knock him off his horse and he drops his gun, so he busts out the kickboxing. They know all about punching, of course, but this shit blows their minds. It’s like he came down from space. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Cabin in the Woods

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

tn_cabininthewoodsWARNING: This review contains major GRUMPINESS

I liked THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, but it’s the kind of movie that people who don’t like horror movies say is THE BEST HORROR MOVIE IN YEARS. Of course it seems that way to them because 1) they don’t have that much to compare it to, they just have a hunch about what those other ones are like, those bad ones, and 2) since they don’t like horror movies that much they prefer one that’s not really that much of a horror movie.

If you say that I hope you’ve seen THE WOMAN, MARTYRS, INSIDE, maybe THE LOVED ONES, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, HILLS HAVE EYES, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. Throw on FRONTIER(S) maybe for good measure. Maybe P2. Hell, HALLOWEEN II. Not saying you’ll like all of these better than CABIN, but you gotta have something more to compare it to than PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and SHAUN OF THE DEAD.

Sorry to rant, but as a proud Fangorian-American I take this kinda shit personally. To me, CABIN IN THE WOODS isn’t a horror movie. It’s horror-once-removed, but an enjoyable example of that, like TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL. It has a clever way of playing with some of the more obvious horror cliches. It has a good cast, likable characters and alot of laughs. But I call bullshit on the idea that it also works as a legit horror movie. And you know how I am. I prefer the real deal.

Look, all I’m saying is that horror comedy is to real horror as smooth jazz is to actual jazz. That’s all. Nothing wrong with that. Real horror is an acquired taste, it isn’t for everybody. Alot of people prefer something gentle, like a songbird. I don’t look down on you for that. Freedom to, you know– pursuing liberty, or whatever.

Good, we all agree. Now, The Internet has decreed that the premise of this movie is a spoiler. If so I’m not gonna try to write a spoilerless review, because that would be a pointless review. So from here on out I’m assuming you’ve seen the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Green Lantern

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

tn_greenlanternGREEN LANTERN stands out among comic book movies for its combination of crappiness and expensive-looking-ness. The details that flesh out the classical super hero arc are dumb and juvenile, and the effects often look ridiculous, but it never seems like it’s due to a lack of resources. Just a lack of taste.

Very sophisticated, expensive animation of weird aliens who only ever stand on dark, rocky spacescapes. Motion capture used to create a corny green glow from the sinews of Ryan Reynolds’s muscles. I guess it’s hard to get around with this character, but some day filmatists gotta learn that green glowing energy is not really that cool looking. Call it the METEOR MAN rule. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Required reading: Movie Studios Are Forcing Hollywood to Abandon 35mm Film. But the Consequences of Going Digital Are Vast, and Troubling

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

digital-projectionYou gotta read this LA Weekly article. It explains in fascinating detail how the conversion to digital projection is yet another area where technology threatens to wipe out an entire chunk of our culture forever in exchange for some convenience.

For old time’s sake I dug up this logo I made back when Seattle’s historic Cinerama theater first converted to digital for ATTACK OF THE CLONES. It looked like shit, but they realized it and switched back to 35 mm. For years we were safe, until the 3D boom left them as the #1 choice only for people who insist on seeing the 2D version of AVATAR. After struggling for a while they changed management and remodelled so they could start playing 3D movies. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.