The Giallo, the one genre of film that is completely hit or miss with me. I like a few, dislike most. For those unaware a Giallo is a mystery film more or less with a heavy gore emphasis when the murders are committed. The term comes from the old Italian mystery books when the covers were yellow. Giallo means yellow in Italian. Dario Argento perfected them in the late 70’s always focusing on the killers hands which were usually dressed in black leather gloves. The haunting score would set the tone and you who have a “Who Done It” with an ample amount of blood and nudity. Sergio Martino was another director who did a good amount of these as well. His most famous of this genre is called The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh aka Blade of the Ripper. Made in 1971 this is actually one of the most celebrated films of the Giallo genre.
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh centers on, you guessed it Mrs. Wardh, Judy is her first name. She is the wife of Neil, a Diplomate who has just moved to Vienna. It’s a beautiful place to live but unfortunately a black gloved serial killer is running around killing women with a straight razor. When Julie and Neil arrive we learn that Julie is essentially a bit off. She is turned on by blood, and actually enjoys being sexually degraded. She’s also not really a stellar wife as when they arrive she meets up with Jean, an ex-boyfriend of hers from years past. He stars sending her roses. You would find that sweet but we learn he used to whip her with rose stems when they were a couple. She enjoyed it very much. She also hooks up with a new lover named George who romances her around the town
Now during her escapades more and more women begin getting murdered. And during a late night rendezvous with George a masked man spots her and begins blackmailing her. Now is where the mystery kicks in full gear. Is the mysterious blackmailer also the black gloved killer? Is it her husband? A lover? You have to watch as it all unfolds. As everyone is essentially a suspect it does make it hard to figure it all out.
This film boast very good practical effects. The murders are all well done. In fact he POV shots are all perfectly framed to add to the tension. The film boast an ample amount of nudity, and with the heavy sexual overtones it plays out more like an erotic thriller than a standard Giallo film. In fact if it wasn’t for the black gloved killer I wouldn’t even consider this a Giallo. To me it really is a sleazy thriller. Its masterfully directed and the score used only adds to the tension and suspense throughout the film.
For as well regarded as this is it never really had a proper release until now. The fine folks at Severin have done it again with this uncut and immaculate transfer. The video is as crisp as you can get. Everything is bright and colorful for day scenes, and the night shots look amazing as well. Severin is very good when it comes to the transfers for the dark scenes as they never get that horrible blue tinit that plagues a lot of transfers. I mentioned how well the score is, and it sounds fantastic in this print. This is a about as clean a print from a 70’s film I have ever seen. To top it off Severin is even including the soundtrack with this
· Of Vice and Virtue: Interview with Director
· Cold As Ice: Interview with Screenwriter
· Vienna Vice: Interview with Actor and Italian Genre Historian
· Archive Interview with Actress
· Introduction by Actor
· Audio Commentary with , Author of ‘All The Colors Of Sergio Martino’
· The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh Comic Book
This really is different that any other Giallo film out there. If you’re a horror fan, mystery fan, erotic fan, it’s a must own for sure. Great directing and special effects combined with a great score and acting really set this one apart. Order this one today.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
Scream Factory is at it again in terms of their Universal Horror Collections. I love these so much as I absolutely adore these old Universal horror films. It still to this day shocks me that people only think of the classic monsters when they hear Universal Horror and forget about the insane amount of other horror films they made. Scream Factory has been doing a great job with these collections that each feature 4 great classic horror films. This is the 5rd volume and it contains The Monster and the Girl, Captive Wild Woman, Jungle Woman, and Jungle Captive
The Monster and the Girl: This is a fun film to say the least. It’s a great combination gangster mad scientist film. Its about a mobster named Scott Webster. His sister Susan has been forced into working for a rival gangster named W. Bruhl. Scott vows to save her from a life a crime and one night he and one of his men break into Bruhl’s office to rub him out. Unfortunately Bruhl’s men get the drop on them and kill Scotts partner. They dump the gun and frame Scott for the murder. In what is a hell of a quick trail he is found guilty and sent to the chair. Luckily for Scott a mad scientist is needing a brain for an experiment he is doing. He gets a hold of Scotts and transplants it into a gorilla. So now armed with gorilla strength Scott heads out for revenge. I have to say this is a great flick. The transition from gangster film to monster movie is about as close to perfect as you can get. This truly was my favorite film in this set.
The Captive Wild Woman: This one follows the Mad Scientist formula as well as it centers around a gorilla named Cheela. She has been brought back for a local circus by Fred Mason, a trainer who found her on safari searching for other animals. She’s a very sweet animal, in fact she has almost human like traits of affection. Fred’s fiancée, Beth is there to greet him and tells him while he was gone her sister Dorothy became sick and is now in a psychiatric unit under the care of a doctor (Man Scientist) named Dr Walters (John Carradine, yes David’s father). Dr Walters meets with them and immediately takes an interest in Cheela. When he is unable to buy her he pays a man to go a steal her from the circus she has been sold to. He wants her for gland experiments he is performing. He takes Dorothy’s glands and transplants them in Cheela. This turns the gorilla into a beautiful woman but now with gorilla brain. But that’s ok as he kills his assistant and transplants her brain into the body. Luckily she has no memory when she awakens. Problem though is she slowly regains her animalistic instincts and kills some people. This is a really weird film, but its actually very fun. And you can see when watching how much it influenced other monster films from the 50’s-80’s.
Jungle Woman: This is actually the sequel to Captive Wild Woman it picks up right where the first film ended with (spoiler) the death of Cheela. Dr Fletcher tells the tale of how he witnessed the human for Cheela save Fred at the circus in the previous film then saw her die. He manages to get his hands on the body and brings her back to life. He gets Dr Walters notes (heck he buys the guys entire estate) so he can continue the experiments. She regains her full body movements and when the Dr’s daughter Joan and her fiancé Bob arrive she even gets her voice and part of her memory back. She says her name is Paula. Unfortunate she becomes crazy jealous when she’s meets Bob and decides to kill Paula, and basically anyone who gets in her way of having Bob. As she is part gorilla she has the strength and agility to stop anyone in her path. Not as good as Captive Wild Woman tis is still a fun film to watch.
Jungle Captive: The third film in the Captive Wild Woman series this time finds the once again dead Cheela aka Paula in the county morgue. A mad scientist names Dr Stendahl send one of his assistants to steal the body so he can experiment with it. The body is stolen and delivered and the good Dr decides he needs a woman for the experiment. He finds it in the form of one of his assistants, Ann. He kidnaps her and uses her blood to bring the gorilla woman back to life. Luckily he has also managed to steal the previous doctors notes so he performs the gland transplant as well. Problem her is that when she awakens she has the mind of a wild animal. But that’s ok as Stendahl just figures he can also take Ann’s brain and transplant it. Unfortunately Cheela escapes and the police are closing in fast. This is the least exciting of the three Gorilla Woman but it does offer a good ending to the trilogy that ties everything up nicely.
As I said in the beginning Scream Factory has put this set out, its actually volume 5 in the series. It’s another great set. And let me tell you I hope they keep pumping them out. The video transfer is astounding. Everything looks so crisp and clear. It’s the best looking black and white prints I have ever seen. The audio is remarkable. Everything is crisp and flows out of your speakers. And, as its Scream Factory it’s got a good amount of extras.
DISC ONE: THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL
· NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
· NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historians Tom Weaver And Steve Kronenberg
DISC TWO: CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN
· NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian/Author Tom Weaver
· Theatrical Trailer
· Still Gallery
DISC THREE: JUNGLE WOMAN
· NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
· NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Gregory William Mank
· Still Gallery
DISC FOUR: THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE
· NEW 2K Scan Of A Fine Grain Film Element
· NEW Audio Commentary By Film Historian Scott Gallinghouse
· Theatrical Trailer
Another great set of classic horror that all fans should watch. It’s definitely yet another must have addition to your collection. Pick this one up right away. 4 great, good looking films that you should have a blast with.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
In 1980 a small little Indonesian film called Satan’s Slave was released. Over the years it became a cult hit and was incredibly hard to find. It became so popular over the years it was remade in 2017 and was very well received. Directed by Sisworo Gautama Putra (who helped write the screenplay as well) the film is definitely something to see. Well now thanks to the fine folks over at Severin you can watch this beauty uncut on Blu-ray, and let me say you should watch it.
Satan’s Slave centers around a family whose mother, Mawart has just passed away. She had left behind her husband Munarto, Daughter Rita, and son Tomi. One the day after her death Tomi begins seeing her. He of course freaks out and decides rather than talk to her that he should go and consult a fortune teller who tells him his entire family is in danger and the only thing that can help them is the use of good old fashioned witchcraft. Let me point out before I go further that this film has a very deep religious overtone. The family in question are Muslims who have all but abandoned their faith. The father cares only about work, the daughter about having fun, and now the son who is using black magic to solve his haunting. But don’t worry Rita has a boyfriend who advises they also use black magic to counter the evil spirt, as he believes a spirit can torment the family for 40 days. If this was not bad enough the dad gets advice to use a Shaman to perform protection rituals.
While all of this is happening a new housekeeper shows up named Darminah. She says she was hired to look after the house. Problem here being, you guessed it she is evil. And shortly after her appearance people begin dying, and the family starts seeing Kuntilanak’s which is essentially a ghost. To make matters worse the people that have mysteriously started dying are now coming back to life. The climax essentially features the family battling the evil beings while trying to reconnect with their faith.
Satan’s Slave is a unique film to say the least. The religious nature is very different from the standard family under attack from evil. Focusing on how a person’s religious beliefs can turn disastrous when they go towards evil religions are not something you see in a normal film. Yes there is blood, and gore, and hauntings, and jump scares, but the main theme of this picture is faith, and not abandoning yours. Its definitely a film to watch if you’re a horror fan, as I can guarantee you have not seen anything like it before. It moves slow, almost methodical but its never dull. Throw in a creepy score and good acting and you have a unique atmospheric piece that is something to see.
Presented remastered and fully uncut from Severin this looks great. They do such a masterful job with these transfers they are quickly becoming the go to company for obscure horror films. The audio is amazing. The score sounds fantastic as is bellows from your surround sound. Plus they once again outdid themselves with special features.
· Satan’s Box Office: Interview with Producer
· Indonesian Atmosphere: Interview with Screenwriter
· Satan’s Slave Obsession: Audio Interview with Remake Director
· Short Films Inspired By SATAN’S SLAVE By Remake Director : Jenny (2016)/Don’t Blink (2016)
Although not for everyone this is definitely a must watch for horror fans and just for people looking for something different. I recommend checking this one out.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!
I hate spiders. I mean I hate them. They terrify me. I have arachnophobia for real, so when everyone was laughing at the film Arachnophobia I was shaking with my eyes closed. Eight Legged Freaks, wont watch. None of that stuff is amusing to me, it scars me and leaves me checking my legs for spiders crawling on them. But as I love the fine folks at Severin I made it a point to sit down and watch The Horrors of Spider Island. Its an older black & white film from Germany that has the notoriety of being banned in the UK due primarily to nudity. I figured as its black and white I should be ok. I was wrong.
Horrors of Spider Island is an interesting film to say the least. It involves a man named Gary who is a talent agent of sorts. He’s auditioning a group of beautiful women for a club he owns. He meets with each one and has them spread their legs, checks them out in bikinis, the usual sort of thing. Its actually a long sequence but that was fine as women are beautiful even in black and white. Gary likes what he sees and takes the girls he likes to his club in Singapore. Everything is looking great until the plane crashes into the ocean. Luckily though Gary and the ladies have a raft and make it to a deserted island. They find fresh water, and even come across a cabin. Unfortunately that’s when things go south. Inside the cabin is a body stuck on a giant spider web. Turns out that body hanging there is a professor who was doing research on the island. They read his journal and also find a nice stockpile of food and rations. I wont lie the web freaked me out.
Now even though they found a body in a giant spider web Gary decides to go alone at night into the jungle by himself. He stumbles across a giant killer spider that, I wont lie, freaked me out pretty bad. It bites Gary and turns him into a spiderman type creature. Actually he looks kind of like the wolf mad with less hair and bigger teeth. He takes off into the night and is overtaken with rage and manages to grab one of the girls and kill her. As the women are clearly not bright they never out two and two together and assume Gary is the killer. I say that because he disappeared and they don’t know he was bit by anything.
Luckily for them a ship sails past and they appear to be rescued. But not right away, first they must have a party. Yes for some reason they must have enjoyed being trapped on an island so they decide to throw a party to celebrate leaving. Problem is Gary is still wandering the island and now is his chance to kill more people.
I dug the film, sure the giant spider freaked me out but as old time monster movies go this is actually quiet a bit of fun. It has a good score and its filmed very well. The girls are beautiful and they have a great chemistry together. The makeup work for Gary is well done for its time, and the transfer that Severin has done is amazing. Severin was able to restore this film uncut for the first time and it is as clean a print as you can get. Their transfers are fantastic in terms of video as well as audio They even packaged this with a slip cover that boast fantastic artwork to say the least. It really captures that old “Creature Feature” look and feel. And if that’s not enough they even loaded it up with special features.
· Alternate US Release Version:
· The History of Spider Island With Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger
· Audio Interview with Actor by Horror Historian
· Alternate Clothed Scenes
· Comic Book [ ]
Fans of old monster films will enjoy this one, as well as horror fans in general. It’s a great throwback film with a good creepy atmosphere, good effects, and lots of beautiful women. Throw in the fact your getting it uncut, and it’s a gorgeous transfer and you have a must own title on your hands. Pre order this one today.
Overall 3 out of 5 stars!
Escape From New York is one of my favorite films of all time. It was the first R-Rated film I saw. I was just a kid (6 I think) and I was mesmerized. I watched it on HBO during the Saturday premier. I wanted to be like Snake Plissken, minus the eye patch that is. I vowed at that age I would get a big snake tattooed on my stomach. Flash forward, I don’t have a snake, but I have a big dragon tatted on my abdomen now. I own the original poster, framed in all its glory. I have the comic books, novelizations, shirts, board game, you name it. So naturally when a sequel was announced almost 15 years later I was excited. John Carpenter was re-teaming with Debra Hill to write, score, and direct Kurt Russell in Escape From LA the long awaited further adventures of Snake Plissken. I was there opening night and loved it. I cared less what critics and fan boys thought. I got to see Snake on the big screen. And now thanks to the great folks at Scream Factory I can see him on the small screen in a special collectors set to go along with their amazing Escape From New York Set.
Staring out in 1998 Escape From LA finds Los Angeles has become a crime ridden cesspool that is patrolled by the United States Police Force. We flash forward to the year 2000 when a massive earthquake hits LA causing massive flooding and actually splits the state into a separate island. The President tells the world it happened because LA is being punished by God for what it has become. He becomes so popular he ends up being elected President for Life and creates “Moral America”. Turning the United States into a Christian nation he bans tobacco, alcohol, drugs, red meat, guns, even sex before marriage. If you break the law you are shipped off to LA to live or you can choose to be electrocuted. Once sent to LA you can never return. The island is guarded and patrolled night and day. You try to leave you are killed.
Los Angeles is run by a crime lord named Cuervo Jones. He manages to contact the presidents daughter via a holo message and starts romancing her. He convinces her to steal the control unit for a weapon known as “The Sword of Damocles” It’s a satellite weapon that can basically black out the planet. It makes anything electronic dead. The presidents daughter, Utopia steals the control and when traveling on Aire Force One takes an escape pod to LA to deliver it to Cuervo. He plans on storming the US with the help of not only all the criminals of LA but with various third world countries as well. He tells the president if he tries to stop him he will black out the planet.
Well as luck would have it Snake Plissken has just been arrested for gunfighting and is set to be shipped off to LA. The president learns of this and gives him an offer. Go to LA, find the control device and bring it back. If Snake can do that he gets a full presidential pardon for all crimes. The present even stresses that he cares less if his daughter is killed as she is a traitor to the country. Much like in the first film snake is injected with a virus that will kill him in 10 hours. Snake agrees to the terms and takes a submarine to LA to find the device.
Once there we are introduced to a cavalcade of action and characters. In fact the cast is truly amazing. Steve Buscemi as Map to the Stars Eddie, Peter Fonda as Pipeline, Bruce Campbell as The Surgeon General of Beverly Hills, and last but certainly not least Pam Grier as Carjack Malone. The acting is top notch as is the action. A basketball game to the death being a highlight, as is Snake surfing a giant wave with Peter Fonda. Hang gliding, gunfighting, car chases, this has it all. Sure it’s a stylized version of Escape From New York but who cares? It’s a great movie from Top to Bottom! I had a blast watching it 20 plus years ago and I had fun this afternoon as well. Unfortunately all it had was a bare bones release. Well now thanks to Scream Factory that has all changed.
Scream Factory gives Escape from LA the full treatment. The picture is stunning. In fact it looks better than not only the bare bones release from another company, but better than when I saw it on the big screen. The sound is amazing. Not only do all the effects and gunfire bellow out of your speakers. But the soundtrack, which is amazing might I add sounds fantastic. This is the release we have all wanted and needed. Scream Factory has done an amazing job with this one, and not only is the transfer spectacular but its loaded with special features as well.
· NEW 4K Film Scan From The Original Negative
· NEW A Little Bit Off Beat – An Interview With Actor Stacy Keach
· NEW Beverly Hills Workshed – An Audio Interview With Actor Bruce Campbell
· NEW Part of the Family – An Interview With Peter Jason
· NEW Miss A Shot, Get A Shot – An Interview With George Corraface
· NEW One Eye Is Better Than None – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Jim McPherson
· NEW The Renderman – An Interview With Visual Effects Artist David Jones
· Theatrical Trailer
· TV Spots
· Still Gallery
The film is great fun, always has been. It’s a worth sequel to Escape From New York and now thanks to Scream Factory you can experience it the way you always should have. It’s a fun movie that has held up perfectly over time. Do yourself a favor and pick it up right away.
Overall 4out of 5 Stars!
The following 4K was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I must stress just how much I love the DC Animated films. They are, simply out, amazing. Great stories, great voice acting, gorgeous animation, just a total package in terms of animated movies. In fact, in my opinion they rival the Marvel Live Action Films, Everything about them is perfect or darn close to it. For those of you that have been paying attention they run a tight continuity. Starting in Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox all the way back in 2013, the films all exist in the same universe created by the Flashpoint outcome. Well after 7 years and 38 films here comes the payoff, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. The final film in the DC Animated Series (Boy I hope not) and it’s a slam bang great one.
Having been defeated during the events of Justice League War Darkseid has been planning his revenge. He and his Fury army have laid waste to countless planets and now he is looking to regroup and take over earth once and for all. The Justice League plan to stop him before he gets to earth however and enlist the help of Zantanna and John Constantine (a favorite of mine) to stop him. The plan is to travel to Apokolips and defeat him before he has a chance to even come to earth. The Justice League will invade and attack while the Teen Titans stay to guard our planet. It seems foolproof except for the fact the Darkseid using his Apokolips technology is watching their every move through Cyborg.
Because of this Darkseid is able to easily defeat the Justice League as he has his created an army of Paradooms (Combination of Parademons and Doomsday) to stop them. He injects Superman with Liquid Kryptonite making him powerless, takes over Batman’s mind replaces Cyborgs tech with Apokolips tech and enslaves the Flash to run for eternity on a treadmill to power the planet. He turns the rest of the team into robot Furies and murders Zantanna. Constantine and Robin manage to escape during this battle and return back to earth.
We flash forward two years and find Darkseid in total control of Earth. He and his army, now lead by Batman are mining the earths core. Lex Luthor is working with them as well. They are doing permanent damage to the planet. Luckily Constantine, Raven, Robin, and the remaining heroes have a plan to stop him. Teaming with the Suicide Squad they must unite to try and not only stop Darkseid but save their friends as well.
This is an amazing film. Not just an animated film, but an amazing film in general. It’s a true testament to what the DC Animated Universe has become. Every thing is tied together, and irreversible damages are done. While everything wraps up its not all for the better. I was hooked from the beginning all the way to the final battle. This is without a doubt the best DC has done. The animation, voice acting, story, everything is as close to perfect as you can get. And having Tony Todd voice Darkseid was just a stroke of genius. It was so amazing I can hardly describe it.
Warner Brothers has done an amazing job with this transfer. Its one of the best looking 4K’s I have ever seen. Its bright and crisp and dark all at the same time. The sound is amazing and is just blares from your speakers. This really and truly comes to life in your home.
Throwing in everyone from Shazam, to Speedy, to even Steel, this was about as grand as you get. As I stated it’s the final animated film in the universe, but I for one am praying that they continue to make stand alone films as there are so many stories to tell and DC can do these better than anyone. If you love the DC Animated films this is the sendoff, and if you are just a fan of superheroes you need to add this to your collection today.
Overall 4.5 out of 5 Stars!
Who doesn’t love a good exploitation film? Better yet how about a “Nunsploitation” film? Yes there were/are films like that. One of the most notable was 1975’s Santanico Pandemonium. And yes before you ask, the film, or at the least the character was the basis for the character Santanico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s a very atmospheric little shocker that’s definitely worth watching.
Santanico Pandemonium is all about the battle between good and evil. Sister Maria is the most religious and pure nuns in her convent. One day she is approached by a naked man offering her an apple to which after some great shock refuses. The problem here is the guy offers her one again, and again, he even follows her back to the convent to offer it to her. She starts going a little Waco at this point seeing Satan everywhere she turns. She decides she should cleanse herself of these evil visions and puts a barb wire crown of thorns around her waist and starts whipping herself. Thank God that a couple of nuns some to her room to tell here one of their cows is sick (Maria used to be a vet). She goes to treat it and again Satan is there with an apple.
Things go even crazier as a nun begins seducing Maria only to be revealed as Satan. After this weird encounter she figures to hell with it and just gives in. She stars raping and killing a few nuns, a villager, the works. She goes full on possessed and seems to love every minute of it. As rough as it sounds its actually tamer than some of the other nunsploitation films out there. Not saying this is not a vile film, with a very horrifying final act because it is.
The film moves at a very slow and methodical pace which helps to elevate the tension and turn this into part psychological drama which is not something you usually find in these types of films. Don’t worry though it still has ample amounts of blood and nudity. The score is haunting to say the least and really helps to set the tone for the film.
Mondo Macabro has done an amazing job on this transfer. This is by far and away the cleanest print I have ever seen of this film. The dark night scenes look gorgeous and do not suffer from that dreaded blue tint you can find in a lot of transfers. The art work is fantastic and the audio sounds great coming through your surround sound. This is a great film that’s only better with this transfer. Its even got a nice amount of special features
Two different HD presentations of the film
In Spanish with optional English subtitles
Brand new audio commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan
Filmed interview with co-director & writer
Mondo Macabro is definitely a label to watch as they put out some really great titles, and there transfers are out of this world. This is a must watch films for fans of horror and exploitation so the combination of the two definitely make this a must have addition to your collection.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Plot Synopsis: After his family is killed in Japan by ninjas, Cho and his son Kane come to America to start a new life. He opens a doll shop but is unwittingly importing heroin in the dolls. When he finds out that his friend has betrayed him, Cho must prepare for the ultimate battle he has ever been involved in
Revenge of the Ninja was made in 1983, back when I was a young tender age of nine. I always watched Kung Fu theater when I was little and stumbled upon this classic film around 2 in the morning on Cinemax one night. I fell in love with it. It was my favorite film until Robo Cop came along. Funny thing though I've seen Robo Cop maybe 3 times in my life, and I own the Criterion DVD, but I've seen this hundreds. I watched it this morning. I wanted to be a Ninja, I bought a ninja costume and some throwing stars. My parents didn't give a shit what I did so I soon had a sword, chain, and nunchiks, and a sweet ass belt buckle that was really a throwing star. Cool toys for a nine year old.
Ninjas are awesome, they run up walls, disappear in smoke, wear neat costumes, and know a bad ass form of martial arts. Sho Kosugi was the man to me, he could kick Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris's ass at the same time then disappear in a cloud of smoke. He was the ninja master. And during the 80's he was in more ninja movies they you could count. Ninjas were everywhere. And it was awesome!
In Revenge of the Ninja Sho stars as Cho, wonder why they just didn't call him Sho, he could have been the Japanese answer to Joey Lawrence. You know because he's always a character named Joey. Anyway, Cho's family,with the exception of his mother, and newborn son are slaughtered by ninjas. See Cho is in a different ninja gang and they kill each other. I think, it's really never explained, but it gives him a chance to go to America with his friend Braden to open an art gallery that will feature Japanese dolls. Problem is Braden works for the mob, and he going to smuggle heroine in the dolls. That's a really bad way to smuggle drugs, wont customs check all packages from Hong Kong? Also, if Cho and Braden are lifelong friends wouldn't Cho know hes a drug dealer? And shouldn't Braden just open his own Gallery, rather then get some guy all set up from overseas? Sounds like he's spending a lot of capitol here. And come to think of it maybe it was Braden who had the other ninjas kill Cho's family. That way it would be easy to get him to want to come to America. But that is too much plot. This is a Ninja movie damn it!
Anyway the mob double crosses Braden, but wait, Braden is really an American Ninja. Not too be confused with the also fantastic ninja film American Ninja, but he's a real American Ninja. He wears a demon mask under his ninja hood and kills the mobsters who double crossed him. He even send's a gang of thugs, complete with the most stereotypical Indian in film history complete with tomahawk's, pigtails, and yellow fringe boots to steal the dolls but Cho beats the crap out of them. Along the way he also kills Cho's mom, and kidnaps his kid. So Cho has to put on the ninja outfit and go fight Braden on a rooftop in the middle of town. I always wondered why they both put on there mask's before they fought. They both new who each other was. Oh well. The more I think about this who taught Braden the way of the ninja? They reference the fact it is an ancient secret! You think Cho would have know his friend is a ninja too. Don't ninjas hang out? In a part that makes no real sense. Braden kidnaps Cho's hot American girlfriend and son. He strips her naked and keeps her tied up by a hot tub! Yes a hot tub, naked. Not that I am complaining, I just dont see why he didnt lock her in a closet.
This film has it all, violence, blood, nudity, and ninjas. Man I love ninjas. This was hardcore violent action, not like that pansy Bruce Lee who just kicks people. No, these ninjas break necks, stab people, poke out eyes, throw spikes, they mean business, ninja business. Even Cho's kid beats the crap out of kiddie street gang who try to take his bike. This is not a family to mess with.
This film was basically remade a few years later as Pray For Death, which I will review soon. I cant recommend this enough. It holds up year after year. I showed it too my wife once, she watched it without falling asleep, so I guess that counts as a female recommendation. Check it out now!
Overall 5 out of 5 stars PERFECT REVIEW!!!
Plot Synopsis: A new kid at school must battle a vicious gang when he falls for the leaders girlfriend
Tuff Turf! Forget that Sixteen Candles, and Weird Science crap, this is where its at. Sex, violence, sleaze, and a bad guy who looks like David Hess's son. Oh yea, it stars James Spader, and Robert Downey Jr.
Tuff Turf centers around Morgan Hiller, played by James Spader. He comes from a rich family, who for one reason or another, are now poor. See his dad lost his job, and they had to move to the hood. They never said what his dad used to do, but now he's a cab driver. Which brings me to wonder, could his dad not have gotten a cab driver job back where they lived before? So Spader rides around the seedy parts of town at night on his 10 speed bike, guess his dad sold his car, when he stumbles across Little David Hess's gang robbing some old guy. Morgan breaks it up and peddles off, so he can go home and get some sleep before his first day at a new school. See where this is going yet?
Well when he peddles into his new school, who do we see also attends? Yes David Hess Jr.'s gang. Hess Jr. is actually Nick, the leader of a tough street gang that runs the school. Not much of a gang. he just has three other members, and his smoking hot 80's slut style girlfriend. So Morgan meets Robert Downey Jr in class and the two become best friends. Downey even invites Morgan to see his band play later that night. As the two BFF's are leaving Nick and his gang spray paint Morgan, and smash his bike. Morgan doesn't seem to care as he's busy staring at Nicks slut Frankie. Bad choice in names. I went to school with a girl named Frankie. She was a fat bag of yeast. Ugly as a CHUD. But this chick is hot.
So later Morgan steals a car and drives off to see Downey's band play. In a cool twist, all the music is from Jim Carrol Band. Can you guess who shows up as well? That's right Nicks gang. They don't see Morgan at first, as hes busy dancing with Frankie. 80's dancing baby. You know where everyone is dancing completely in sync. Well they grab Morgan, beat him down, and steal his car. Problem is, he stole the car in the first place, so Nick and his gang get pulled over and arrested for car theft. This was just a dumb scene though, as nick and his boys already had a car.
Seeing as how Nick and his boys are sitting in jail, Morgan decides to start romancing Frankie. He picks her up in Nicks car, see the guy never should have left it parked by that club, and takes her to a country club, then a jazz bar. I have to say this was a huge slow down to the film. It goes on for like 20minutes, and is just very boring. But the action picks up when Nick and boys trap Morgan in the locker room at school, and beat the shit out of him. Its actually a cool scene. they take towels and load then up with locks, then just whip the shit out of him.
Later that night Nick proposes to Frankie, and as he looks like David Hess, she has no choice but to say yes. So when Morgan finds out about this, he does what any man would do. He asks her to have dinner with him at his parents house. Yea, sounds dumb, but its going somewhere, See Nick and his guys see her there, and when she leaves they ask he to help them rob some shmuck, like they were doing in the opening scene. She says yes, until the shmuck in question is Morgan's dad. She freaks out, so Nick and his guys attack. Well, its not much of an attack. Morgan's dad actually beats the shit out of all of them until Nick shoots him. Which makes me wonder, if a 50 year old fat guy can beat the crap out of all of these guys, why was everyone afraid of them?
She calls Morgan from the hospital to tell him what happened, and rather then stay by his dads bedside he takes her home to have sex with her. 80's sex. You know where you hear the slow music as the girl gets naked, then you see a few random sex scene shots before it fades out and you have to uses your imagination. Well Nick sees this, which proves he has no life and just sits outside Morgans house and watches him, and flips out. He beats down Frankie's dad, and smacks the shit out of her as well. Then he calls Morgan, and tells him to meet him at the warehouse in 20 minutes. I wonder how Morgan knew what warehouse to go to.
Anyway Morgan shows up, and the 80's fight ensues, with Morgan holding his own until Nicks gang grabs him. Just as Nick is going to shoot him, Robert Downey Jr. shows up with two doberman pincher's and evens the odds. So Nick, and Morgan have, what is actually a cool fight scene that features, swinging from a rope, a board with nails, an axe, a gun, and a fair amount of blood. Not only does Morgan win, he actually kills Nick, then takes Frankie to the jazz club as the credits play.
Great film. Spader was a bad ass pretty boy. Robert Downey is fantastic in everything. Kim Richards, as Frankie cant act, but who cares. She was hot. And Paul Mones as Nick was effective, based on the fact he looked like David Hess's son. The soundtrack is good, and I love that fact its not your typical 80's high school film. Its pretty hardcore in spots. Highly recommended.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Titans, the second best show on the DC Streaming Service (sorry but Doom Patrol is tops in my book) had an amazing first season and now its back with a vengeance for its second season. Can it possibly live up to where the first season began. In short yes. DC has done a masterful job casting and creating these characters and with top notch action sequences blended with humor it’s a cant miss show for comic book fans, or simply fans or action shows. It appeals to very broad audience much like the Arrowverse shows they have on the CW.
Titans Season 2 pick up immediately where season two ended with Trigon having Dick under his control and ready to take over the world. Luckily the Titans are able to take care of this and wrap it all up with time to spare in episode one. I have to say that was the only thing that disappointed me this season. It was such a short wrap up it didn’t need to be a cliffhanger pick up. Season one could have had a longer last episode to simply end the story if it was not planned to go through season two.
That’s ok though because season 2 sees Dick visit Bruce Wayne and head back with Raven, Jason Todd, and Garr to Seattle and reform the Titans team. We flash forward 3 months and Dick and his group rescue a young girl named Rose Wilson, who as it turns out tis Deathstrokes daughter. Meanwhile Dr Light has escaped prison and is going after the Titans for revenge leading to Hawk, Dove, and Donna and Kory return to Seattle to help the rest of the group. Thus forming an almost larger that life group of Titans both Past and present.
The season then follows Deathstroke as he plans on getting his revenge against the Titans, Dick in particular as he blames them for the death of his son Jericho. Through this story we are not only introduced to Deathstroke, and his children Jericho and Rose but we also meet Superboy, Krypto, Blackfire and more. The Storyline is a bit convoluted at times in the sense it has a few too many twists that end up making it seem like its contradicting itself, but I can say if you stick with it, it all does manage to come together in the end. And yes, the only spoiler I will give you Dick does finally become Nightwing towards the end of the season.
The action is fantastic. Its on par with a big budget movie, as are the special effects. This may technically be a television show but its leaps and bounds better looking than any network or even Netflix show out there. This is just a great action packed ride from the first episode to the last. I cannot stress how well its made, and how great the chemistry is between all the actors. DC has got a winning formula with their live action shows and animated films. I really hope as the streaming service grows they start making more original shows as the ones they have are so great.
If you don’t have the streaming service fear not as Warner Brother has released Titans Season 2 on Blu-ray. I have to say the transfer is remarkable. The show is for the most part dark and the picture is incredible. The score for this show is very well done and fits the pace of each episode to a “T” and I must say it sounds amazing coming from your surround sound. Everything is put together great and this is a great way to sit down and binge watch a show that you need to see.
I loved Season 2 as much as I did Season 1, Probably more in fact. For that reason I must stress that even if your not familiar with these characters pick this one up today. You will love it.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!