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Posts Tagged ‘John Rhys-Davies’

Waxwork / Waxwork II: Lost in Time

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

“Eh, waxworks are out of date. This is the video age.”


WAXWORK (1988) is an American movie, but it’s the debut of English writer/director Anthony Hickox, the son of legendary editor Anne V. Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, OUT OF SIGHT) and director Douglas Hickox (who directed one of my favorite Vincent Prince movies, THEATRE OF BLOOD).

My first association for the younger Hickox is always HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH, but WAXWORK is what put him on the horror/cult movie map. A very small, light dot on the map, but it’s on there if you squint. WAXWORK is not quite an anthology, but it’s an odd mix of different types of movies, using the characters in a wax museum as excuses to visit different dated horror subgenres.

College students China (Michelle Johnson, BEAKS: THE MOVIE) and Sarah (Deborah Foreman, REAL GENIUS) notice a wax museum in a residential area (“Kind of a weird place to have a waxwork” – I like how this movie acts like “waxwork” is a totally normal word everybody knows and uses casually.) A strange man (David Warner, TRON) appears and invites them to return at midnight with no more than six people for “a private showing.” So they convinced their friends Gemma (Clare Carey, ZOMBIE HIGH), James (Eric Brown, Mama’s Family), Tony (Dana Ashbrook, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II) and Mark (Zach Galligan, who had only done GREMLINS and NOTHING LASTS FOREVER) to come with them. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Green Knight vs. Sword of the Valiant

Monday, September 27th, 2021

THE GREEN KNIGHT was one of my adventures in mostly-empty Covid-era theater-going, but I’m always working on a million things at once and I didn’t finish the review until after it’s left most theaters and most people’s minds. And yet I continue, undaunted. (It’s on VOD now and comes to disc October 12th.)

It’s the latest from director David Lowery (PETE’S DRAGON, A GHOST STORY, THE OLD MAN & THE GUN), and it’s his weird arty take on a fantasy knight movie, released, as you would imagine, by A24. I enjoyed this at a mostly empty matinee, just as I did with pre-pandemic movies like 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, HERCULES and KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD. But I don’t consider this to be in that same genre I call “fantasy sword guy movies,” and not just because he uses an ax. It’s different because the whole appeal of it is different. It’s more about deconstructing the things we expect from that genre, or at least finding a different angle on them, than reveling in them.

It’s based on an anonymous 14th-century poem called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And I tend to like movies based on anonymous poems, judging by the only two I can think of, BEOWULF and BEOWULF. I never heard of this one, but it has been adapted before, including as SWORD OF THE VALIANT, which I went ahead and watched afterward. And I certainly didn’t get this from the movie, but Sir Gawain (Dev Patel, CHAPPIE) is one of the members of King Arthur (Sean Harris, PROMETHEUS)’s Round Table. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bloodsport III

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Way back in 2013 I reviewed BLOODSPORT II: THE NEXT KUMITE starring Daniel Bernhardt. But I reviewed it as part of this tournament gimmick I was doing called The Super-Kumite, and the movie lost its round to BLOODFIGHT, so I never followed up with BLOODSPORTs III and IV like I normally would. Until now!

Unlike me, the filmmakers didn’t waste time. Part III (no subtitle) came out in 1996, the same year as part II. Bernhardt (or, as we call him this week, Bob Odenkirk’s fight trainer/co-fight-coordinator/“Bus Goon” on NOBODY) returns as Alex Cardo, the guy who won the sub-titular “NEXT KUMITE” after Van Damme’s Frank Dux in the original.

One odd continuity with part II is that it has a wraparound where the movie is a story being told to a kid. In part II it was Master Sun (James Wong) telling kids in his martial arts class how Alex became a good person. This time it’s Alex telling his ten year old son Jason (David Schatz, AMBROSE BIERCE: CIVIL WAR STORIES) a story about his life “living in the far east as a very successful gambler.” He notices Jason upset late at night, finds out he got suspended from school for beating up three eighth grade bullies, and decides to take him for a camping trip. So Alex figures it’s time to tell his son – who has been training in martial arts – that he was the Kumite champion (“Cool!”) and then about something that happened while he was “living in the far east as a very successful gambler.” It’s pretty cool, because most fathers, when their son gets into trouble at school, aren’t able to whip out a “the time I tried to avenge a murder” story. (read the rest of this shit…)

In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

tn_kilimanjaroYou know John-Rhys Davies? I believe he’s the dwarf in the Lords of the Rings, but he’s best remembered as Sallah, loyal friend in the Indiana Jones pictures and passionate explainer of seatbelts in the Indiana Jones Disneyland ride. IN THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO is the story of Sallah’s further adventures as a mine operator in Kenya. The credits don’t call him Sallah, they call him “Chris Tucker.” But you tell me which is more likely: John Rhys-Davies is playing Sallah again, or John Rhys-Davies is playing Chris Tucker? I rest my case.
(read the rest of this shit…)