Posts Tagged ‘post-apocalypse’
Monday, January 23rd, 2023
VESPER is a unique 2022 sci-fi movie that just came out on video. I never heard of it before but it looked cool, so I rented it. And my hunch was right – it was cool, so now I’m telling you about it. That’s how it works.
It’s a gloomy but hopeful small scale post-apocalyptic tale in an interesting reality. It features dystopian wealth disparity in the tradition of LAND OF THE DEAD, ELYSIUM or FURY ROAD, but in a world that seems a little more influenced by NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND. At some point in the past there was an ecological crisis, and scientists tried to stave it off with genetic modification, but that backfired. Man-made viruses and plant species spread across the world, wiped out many people and animals, and made the earth useless for growing edible crops.
No problem. Word is oligarchs get to live comfortably in strange structures called citadels, even having manufactured clones called “Jugs” as their loyal servants. But we stay with the poor as they try to survive out in the mud, trading scarce commodities to the citadels for seeds that the fuckers genetically modified to only yield one harvest. Like copy protection. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brian Clark, Bruno Samper, Eddie Marsan, Kristina Buozyte, post-apocalypse, Rafiella Chapman, Richard Brake, Rosy McEwen
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 3 Comments »
Tuesday, December 13th, 2022
At the end of last month we lost Albert Pyun, prolific and perhaps infamous b-movie auteur, chronicler of kickboxing cyborgs, mounter of simultaneous productions, and occasional blurrer of lines between drive-in exploitation and abstruse art movie.
I did not always have generous things to say about his films, but something about them kept me coming back, so over the years I’ve reviewed DANGEROUSLY CLOSE, CYBORG, CAPTAIN AMERICA, KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD BACK, NEMESIS, KICKBOXER 4: THE AGGRESSOR, and MEAN GUNS, and of course I have chapter in Seagalogy about his Seagal movie, TICKER.
When I reviewed KICKBOXER 2 back in 2009 the man himself showed up in the comments and thanked me for the review, even though it included the line, “The director is Albert Pyun, but I never would’ve guessed that because it’s both watchable and kind of good.” He had a very gracious and self-deprecating attitude, promising “I hope I am improving to at least an almost semi-coherent level of competence,” and he came back a few times responding to questions and comments. Too bad he dodged my question about how he made it look like a dead Van Damme in KICKBOXER 2 (claiming it was someone who died from watching the beginning of ALIEN FROM L.A.). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Albert Pyun, cyborg, Gary Daniels, Kathy Long, Kris Kristofferson, Lance Henriksen, post-apocalypse, Scott Paulin
Posted in Reviews, Action, Martial Arts, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 5 Comments »
Friday, May 20th, 2022
WYRMWOOD: APOCALYPSE is a very fun Australian zombie movie that just came out here on blu-ray and DVD. It’s the long-awaited sequel to the 2014 film WYRMWOOD (released here as WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD), once again directed by Kiah Roache-Turner and written by Kiah & Tristan Roache-Turner. I don’t think you’d have that much of a problem understanding it without the first one, but I recommend watching both.
When I caught on to ROAD OF THE DEAD it was one of those situations where I assume I’ve run out of reasons to watch new zombie movies and then I see it and think “Okay, never mind. That’s a good reason.” The main gimmick that differentiates this apocalypse from others is that the meteor that caused the zombie outbreak also changed the earth in such a way that combustible engines no longer work. But then some guys figure out that the green fumes exhaled by the zombies can be harnessed as fuel. So this is a world where road warriors attach tubes to zombies’ mouths, strap them onto the back of their vehicles and burn rubber (or dirt). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Australian cinema, Bianca Bradey, Jake Ryan, Jay Gallagher, Kiah Roache-Turner, Luke McKenzie, Nicholas Boshier, post-apocalypse, Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Tasia Zalar, Tristan McKinnon, Tristan Roache-Turner, zombies
Posted in Action, Horror, Reviews | 2 Comments »
Monday, April 13th, 2020
THE OMEGA MAN has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it on cable as a teenager. I would later read the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (love it) and see the first adapation LAST MAN ON EARTH (pretty good) and third one I AM LEGEND (in some ways the best adaptation, despite its flaws). The story of all these versions is of a scientist (usually named Robert Neville) who is immune to a plague that wipes out most of the population and turns the rest into vampires/ghouls/mutants.
So during daylight he’s alone in the city, at night he hides in his well-stocked home, holding off the attacking hordes, as he searches for a cure. It’s the holing up, of course, that kept coming to my mind a few weeks into Washington state’s shelter-in-place order for the Covid-19 pandemic (if I read that sentence six months ago I would’ve thought it was a reference to some sci-fi movie). I’ve mostly been looking for escapist entertainment – I’m definitely not planning on watching CONTAGION again, as seems to be popular – but I’m doing okay with genre movies that have parallels to the situation. So I watched THE OMEGA MAN again. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Zerbe, Boris Ssagal, Charlton Heston, Eric Laneuville, last man on earth, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Paul Koslo, post-apocalypse, Richard Matheson, Rosalind Cash
Posted in Action, Horror, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 11 Comments »
Thursday, March 21st, 2019
You might’ve figured a new sci-fi/fantasy produced and written by Peter Jackson and his fellowship (Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens), and directed by his storyboard artist/effects guy since DEAD ALIVE Christian Rivers, would be a pretty big deal. I had hoped to see it in 3D, but it came out the same week as THE MULE and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE and then the next week I wanted to see AQUAMAN, MARY POPPINS RETURNS and BUMBLEBEE and since the movie flopped the showtimes dropped precipitously and it was gone before I got to it. Plus, everybody said it sucked.
Wrong! I am happy to report that MORTAL ENGINES is pretty fuckin cool! It’s based on a young adult book, and there are some costumes and characters that follow a sort of steampunk or HUNGER GAMES city dweller style that I’m not into it, but it’s an adventure in an interesting world with cool characters and the spectacular effects of Weta at their best.
The movie centers around futuristic London, which is a “predator city,” meaning the whole fucking thing drives around the wastelands like a giant tank looking for resources, which they get by “ingesting” smaller cities to steal their machines and citizens. In the opening scene they chase down a small mining town and swallow it up. When I saw the Londoners on the fancy top deck watching the chase and cheering I fell in love with the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Christian Rivers, Fran Walsh, Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Junkie XL, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, post-apocalypse, Robert Sheehan, Stephen Lang, Weta
Posted in Fantasy/Swords, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 30 Comments »
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
STEEL DAWN takes the post-apocalyptic world of George Miller, pumps up the samurai and western influences, adds a little martial arts, replaces the internal combustion engine with wind power, and invents the Patrick Swayze action vehicle. He’d already made a name for himself in ensembles – THE OUTSIDERS, UNCOMMON VALOR, RED DAWN – but this was released only three months after his breakout role in DIRTY DANCING. It didn’t catch on in the same way, and it doesn’t play on cable nearly as much. But this last time I watched it was a profound experience.
It opens with Swayze balancing on his head in the middle of a desert. That’s how he meditates. But then a bunch of shrieking, masked mutants climb out of the sand to attack him. He uses martial arts to fight them off, pulling a sword out of his bag when he gets too outnumbered.
He’s a nomad. In fact, he’s credited as Nomad. Heading for a tavern, he gets attacked by an old warrior who turns out to be Cord (John Fujioka, AMERICAN NINJA, AMERICAN SAMURAI, AMERICAN YAKUZA), an old war comrade just fucking with him. They catch up over drinks but suddenly a bunch of brutes led by a guy named Sho (Christopher Neame, LUST FOR A VAMPIRE, DRACULA A.D. 1972, SPECIES III) in a ridiculous hair metal wig attack them and kill Cord. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anthony Zerbe, Brion James, Christopher Neame, John Fujioka, Lance Hool, Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze, post-apocalypse
Posted in Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 11 Comments »
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
A BOY AND HIS DOG is a strange, scrappy post-apocalypse tale directed by character actor L.Q. Jones (HANG ‘EM HIGH, LONE WOLF MCQUADE), based on a 1969 novella by Harlan Ellison. Don Johnson (COLD IN JULY) is the boy, Vic; a dog is the dog, Blood. Blood talks but his mouth doesn’t move, we just hear his tired, tinny voice, so at first I thought he had a machine attached that broadcast his thoughts. But actually they communicate telepathically, so that when other people are around he Vic seems like a crazy person talking to his dog. Blood reminds me of Teddy in A.I., but meaner and more cynical. And they do a good job of matching up the dog footage to imply attitude and emotion in his body language that probly isn’t really there.
It’s a dangerous world, and they’re constantly on the run. Blood’s job is to sniff for approaching enemies. Vic’s is apparently to find a woman to rape. He has a hard time getting up the nerve to go through with it, though, and Blood nags him about it. I thought the worst thing about dogs was that they eat cat poop out of the litter box and then jump up in your lap and lick your face and try to pass that off as affection. It turns out it goes deeper. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Don Johnson, Harlan Ellison, Jason Robards, L.Q. Jones, post-apocalypse, Susanne Benton, talking dog
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 8 Comments »
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
I seriously have been meaning to see THE POSTMAN ever since 1997 when it came out. I thought it sounded like a cool idea, and I seem to remember first hearing of it as an upcoming George Romero movie in a Fangoria Terror Teletype. But then Kevin Costner made it and I guess everybody saying such bad things about it kept pushing it down my list.
Well, I would like to thank everybody for that, because 19 years was exactly the right amount of time to wait – all the sudden there is upheaval in our country that makes this particular dystopia weirdly appropriate. Yes, it’s very corny, with slow motion images of triumph made all the more syrupy by a James Newton Howard score. And yes, it is three hours long, but still seems rushed at times, with odd time-passage issues and major scenes that fade in and out like a “previously on THE POSTMAN” highlight reel. But it has a uniquely optimistic spin on post-apocalyptic fiction, and man does it speak to me right now.
Kevin Costner (who directed from a script by Eric Roth [MUNICH, ALI], then rewritten by Brian Helgeland [PAYBACK, BLOOD WORK, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER, LEGEND]) plays a nameless wanderer in post-Doomwar 2013. The oceans have dried up (reverse WATERWORLD), civilization has collapsed and you gotta do a chemical test on water before you drink it. He’s traveling the Utah salt flats with his load-carrying mule Bill, looking for settlements where he can perform Shakespeare scenes in exchange for food. But he’s in one of these towns when the Negan-from-The-Walking-Dead-esque tyrannical warlord General Bethlehem (Will Patton, BROOKLYN’S FINEST, ROAD HOUSE 2: LAST CALL) comes through with an army on horseback conscripting ten men from each town. And they choose him. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brian Helgeland, Eric Roth, Kevin Costner, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, post-apocalypse, Will Patton
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 75 Comments »
Thursday, December 15th, 2016
Fangoria Magazine is important to me. I’ve been reading it since some time in the ’80s. It covered not only all the great horror movies that have come out during all those years, but also the less great ones. I like that you could read detailed coverage of, like, DOLLY DEAREST or some shit when it came out. I have boxes of old issues and sometimes I’ll remember to go back and see their interviews about, say, HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE, or something and find more details than I could find browsing the internet. It’s great.
Back when people read magazines and loved horror movies enough to read about how they were made, Fangoria had enough money to try crossing over and making some movies of their own, including MINDWARP. To be honest I don’t remember ever hearing of it until I came across it recently on a nice Twilight Time blu-ray. I remember Fangoria Films as a distributor of low budget movies (don’t think I ever watched any of them) but I didn’t realize that before that they had tried to finance one movie per year, starting with this in 1990 (not released until ’92 though), followed by CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (vampire movie from HELLRAISER II director Tony Randel) and SEVERED TIES (horror comedy with Oliver Reed, Elke Sommer and Garrett Morris in the cast). (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Angus Scrimm, Bruce Campbell, post-apocalypse, virtual reality
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 9 Comments »
Friday, October 28th, 2016
“I remember everybody, kid. Most of ’em are dead.”
After finally watching STAKE LAND six years after the fact I looked it up on IMDb and was surprised to learn that they already made a sequel that just premiered on SyFy last week and was free on-demand through the 30th. Pretty good timing.
It’s directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, who wrote the upcoming Dolph Lundgren picture DON’T KILL IT. Don’t worry. Part 1’s Jim Mickle did produce it along with Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix, and Nick Damici returns as screenwriter and starring as Mister, as does Connor Paolo as Martin. It’s not some bullshit TV exploitation of the title, it’s a legit sequel that they made and then must’ve gotten more money from SyFy than they would’ve going the normal VOD-then-video route. So more power to them.
(On the other hand, there seem to be virtually no reviews of it and not even poster art available online. Does anyone even know it came out?) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: A.C. Peterson, Connor Paolo, Larry Fessenden, Laura Abramsen, Nick Damici, post-apocalypse, Steven Williams, vampires
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 4 Comments »