"I'll just get my gear."

Posts Tagged ‘Johnathon Schaech’

The Legend of Hercules

Monday, May 31st, 2021

Recently I was a guest on the Adkins Undisputed podcast and the subject of the episode was THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, the 2014 movie in which Scott Adkins plays the villain. Somehow I had never gotten around to seeing it, despite knowing about Adkins’ participation, and that it was directed by Renny Harlin (between DEVIL’S PASS and SKIPTRACE, but I haven’t seen those either), and that I tend to go to these F.S.G. (Fantasy Sword Guy) movies and at least somewhat enjoy them. For example I saw the other Hercules movie starring The Rock that came out the same year. I didn’t understand why they made it a world where there was no magic, and I still liked it.

This is the Hercules played by Kellan Lutz, who you may know as one of the young guys in THE EXPENDABLES 3, if not from TWILIGHT. He also starred in a DTV action movie I reviewed called ARENA. And it looks like he played William Shatner in Michael Almereyda’s EXPERIMENTER? His thing is I guess he’s a uniquely babyfaced burly guy. He looks young and doesn’t try to macho up with a beard or something but is also very, like… wide-headed. I guess he’s tall, but he always looks to me like a comics-Wolverine, Ram Man type guy. (read the rest of this shit…)

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

First of all, kudos to CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2 for getting so close to the RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II naming scheme. If it only used Roman numerals it would match BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III. Or I guess LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III.

Despite that titelistical swagger, I found the sequel pretty disappointing. The pacing, limited locations and somewhat grimmer tone make it way less entertaining than the first one, but it’s at least admirable that it’s not at all a rehash and that it adds a bunch of weird new stuff to the mythology. I respect that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Laid to Rest

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

You know I love the slasher movies, but I admit that part of their magic is that most of them are transmissions from a bygone era. The ineffable chemistry of eager Hollywood outsiders trying to jump onto a specific bandwagon, either with great passion or comically overconfident cynicism, sometimes in some obscure neck of the woods we’ve never seen in a movie before, often with the freshness/awkwardness of beginners who don’t necessarily know the cinematic rules they’re breaking, is frozen in time on beautiful (or beautifully ugly) 35mm (or even 16mm) film. Most of that can’t be re-created in a computer lab. Usually when they try it looks too clean, also too cheap, they try to avoid needing many makeup FX, they’re too self conscious, or too gloomy, or too fucking boring. I’m generally suspicious of the new shit. This is all to explain why it took me eleven years to get around to LAID TO REST. In my defense it was released in 2009, the twilight of the nu metal era, with a metal skull on the cover. It was easy to make assumptions.

During the opening credits I was ready to write it off. It has the ingredients of a cool NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET style montage of the film’s wannabe-slasher-icon ChromeSkull (Nick Principe, “Slick,” AGENT CODY BARKS) preparing his implements (a shiny skull mask, a bunch of surgical tools, a camcorder), but it’s annoyingly smothered in corny fake glitches, Avid farts and shaky video of screaming and torture and shit. It lists the bands that are gonna be featured on the soundtrack before a naked lady gets graphically cut open. (read the rest of this shit…)

Prom Night (2008 remake), + closing thoughts on the PROM NIGHT series

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

At a glance the PROM NIGHT of 2008 doesn’t seem like a remake at all, but more of a re-use of the title. It doesn’t take any major elements of the original or its unrelated sequels – there’s no children’s game turned deadly, no principal’s son or masked killer or prom queen burned alive and back as a ghost or evil priest, no Hamilton High or Brock Simpson or even ambiguity about which North American country it takes place in (it’s in Bridgeport, Oregon, though filmed mostly in L.A.). It does take place on prom night, though, so I totally get why they wanted that title.

If you look closely it is arguably based on a somewhat forgotten plot point of the original 1980 PROM NIGHT, but if so that detail is now a xerox of a xerox of a xerox of the fifth revision of the 13th draft. The part in question is the original’s red herring about the pedophile who was blamed for the sister’s death and now has escaped and the police are trying to make sure he doesn’t come to the prom for revenge. The remake/”remake” uses a similar escaped lunatic template, but in this one it’s ex-teacher turned stalker Richard Fenton (Johnathon Schaech, ACTS OF VENGEANCE) who, three years ago, became delusionally obsessed with his student Donna (Brittany Snow, PITCH PERFECT, BUSHWICK) and murdered her family in front of her. Unlike PROM NIGHT (but like PROM NIGHT IV and their original inspiration, HALLOWEEN) there’s no whodunit mystery in this one. He definitely did it, he really is here, he for sure is killing a bunch of people, and we’re seeing it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Acts of Vengeance

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Instead of thinking of ACTS OF VENGEANCE as the new one from DTV action master Isaac Florentine, I recommend viwing it as the new Antonio Banderas, and oh shit Isaac Florentine directed this! Held to the standards of Florentine’s amazing UNDISPUTED 2, 3 and 4, NINJA 1 and 2 or other Scott Adkins vehicles it can’t really compete. But for a non-martial artist Banderas has some good fights, and it has a nice, weird revenge story for him to sink his actor teeth into.

He plays Frank Valera, a successful defense attorney who, like all workaholic dads in movies, promises to be at his daughter (Lillian Blankenship, SECURITY)’s talent show where she’s singing a song specifically for him but he stays at work too long and gets there after it’s over and feels like a piece of shit and emotionally watches the cell phone video of her singing and tries to call to apologize to his wife (Cristina Serafini, DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE) but man did he fuck up, this guy.

(For what it’s worth, most of the delay was caused by gridlock, and he was honking his horn alot. It was mostly out of his control.) (read the rest of this shit…)