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Because we haven’t suffered enough: “Hitman: Agent 47”

August 25, 2015

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So, this is really happening, huh? We actually have a remake/reboot/further installment of the Hitman, uh, franchise (please God tell me we don’t have to call it a franchise). This despite the fact that the first Hitman movie was a critical and financial flop that no one really wanted in the first place. But, Hollywood being Hollywood, a couple of railed-to-the-gills-on-coke movie execs decided, what the hell. I mean, just because the movie failed once maybe it’ll fail less badly this time. And that’s how we got Hitman: Agent 47. At least I assume that’s what happened. It really doesn’t matter. Like chlamydia or a tornado it’s here and we have to deal with it.

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Proof that in the ’90s anything could get green-lit: “Destiny Turns on the Radio”

August 8, 2015

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1995’s Destiny Turns on the Radio is one of those movies that, for a long time, I just assumed I’d imagined. After all, there couldn’t possibly be a movie in which Quentin Tarantino plays a supernatural agent of fate that comes out of a swimming pool, right? Hallucinogens weren’t all that popular in ‘90s, so why would anyone think that was a good idea? The movie’s near-total absence from the home video market seemed to support my theory that this was just a product of my fevered imagination, fueled by heroic amounts of Mountain Dew and endless rewatchings of Pulp Fiction.

Yeah, but nope, it’s real. And now it’s on iTunes. And holy god, it’s so bad.
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From the mists of time: “Wolfen”

August 3, 2015

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1981 was a banner year for werewolf movies. I’m sure there’s a perfectly fascinating thesis to be written about why this was the case—maybe it was a reaction to beard-friendly ‘70s, maybe it had something to do with cocaine or Vietnam or Reagan or something—whatever the case, 1981 gave us The Howling and An American Werewolf in London released within a few weeks of each other. Both films cannily married cutting-edge special effects and social commentary, and reinvigorated the werewolf genre like nothing else since Lon Chaney Jr. donned the yak-hair 40 years earlier. Also released that summer was Wolfen. You can’t hear things on a blog, but let me assure you, crickets are chirping right now.
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Humanity’s greatest artistic achievement? Maybe. “Mega Shark Versus Kolossus”

July 23, 2015

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Well, it seems rumors of the Mega Shark’s demise were greatly exaggerated, as the good folks at The Asylum Pictures have dusted him off for yet another outing. Either these god-awful movies are more lucrative than I imagined or they really want to get their 150 bucks worth out of the CGI shark rendering they bought (probably online). Whatever the case, now I feel pretty silly getting all sentimental at the end of Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. I swear I wouldn’t have gone on a three-day bender and sent all those weepy texts to Deborah Gibson if I knew that a scant year later the big guy would be back to battle its greatest foe yet: a massive Russian humanoid robot-bomb. Yes, just let that sink in a bit.
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Repost: “Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark”

July 23, 2015

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So we come to it at last: the final chapter in the Mega Shark trilogy. It’s been a long, emotionally-wrought journey, as we followed this cartilage-framed anti-hero from the ice of the Arctic ocean to the wild, vibrant nightlife of Panama (the shark didn’t do any partying—he mostly just ate people). He confronted such nemesis’s (nemesi?) as Giant Octopuses, the US Navy, Crocasauruses, the US Navy again, and Deborah Gibson. But like all great series’—Breaking Bad, The Shield, Mystery Science Theater 3000—this one too must come to an end. And you gotta give The Asylum this much: with Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark they did indeed save the best for last.

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The machine apocalypse is…not so bad, really: “Robot Overlords”

July 13, 2015

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Robot Overlords is the kind of movie that makes you look twice at the poster to assure yourself that, yes, this is a thing. This is a thing that exists right now. Someone made a low-budget movie about giant robots attacking a small British town and got Gillian Anderson and Sir Ben Kinsley to star it, and it is a thing in the world. As bizarre as that may seem.
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From the mists of time: “I, the Jury”

July 5, 2015

 

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It’s tempting to call 1982’s I, the Jury a sleazy, pulpy , mercenary adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s 1947 novel, but that would ignore just how sleazy and pulpy Spillane’s novel is in the first place. Sure, the movie basically jettisons big chunks of Spillane’s plot and fills it in with crap about mind-control and the CIA, but Spillane probably would have done that if he’d thought of it at the time (and who knows, he might have used it in later novels—he wrote, like, a million of them). No, this I, the Jury is just as trashy and lurid as its source material (which courted controversy upon its release for its violence and sex), adjusted, of course, for for 1982 sensibilities, and that amounts to very lurid and trashy. I mean, there’s a reason that during my childhood, this movie was the Holy Grail of HBO’s early offerings, and it’s not the snazzy soundtrack.
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