Director: Johannes Roberts Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine .USA/UK. 1h 25m
There seems to be a modern push to make a shark film that’s more frightening than Jaws (1975) and 47 Meters Down attempts to put a couple of holidaying party girls in the driving seat against a deadly toothy beast resulting in a laughable popcorn “thriller”. Initially there’s no real build up as with the classic Jaws so really the connection should stop being made? It seems that after being jilted by her lover for being boring, a young girl is talked into going on an adventure swimming with sharks. “Think of the pictures’ ‘ It’s never clear if this is supposed to win her ex back or just make him jealous but think about all the other health implications too Karen!?
Director: Jesse V Johnson Starring: Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbass, Thomas Turgoose, Leo Gregory, Nick Moran. UK. 1h 30m
Scott Adkins breaks away from Boyka for a moment to seamlessly blend in with the leftover cast from the Rise of the Footsoldier series to take on a slightly different London Gangster/ Prison flick. Casting a few Kung fu kicks into the story of a young gym owner who finds himself slammed into an overly oppressed prisons situation but why?
Director: Sandor Stern Starring: Robert Conrad, Karen Austin, Richard Young, Jonathan Banks, Robert Webber, Ben Frank. USA. 1h 09m
There’s something charming about a story of a retired agent coming back into the fold to help fight an advanced robot with a kill list. Coming out 2 years after the original Terminator movie where everyone is young and pretty, a much more mature cast is set for the TV movie version and a less fancy, more down to earth robot is generated for this thriller.
Director: James Glickenhaus Starring: Robert Ginty, Christopher George, Samantha Eggar, Steve James. USA. 1h 39m
Sometimes a bit of vigilante justice is glorious to watch and you don’t need to be Charlie B or Van Michael to wake a city up. In Glickenhaus’s blood action thriller, a once kind and quiet man turns full on Rambo when his friend is attacked and crippled by a bunch of goons, but getting revenge on them just isn’t enough; he’s not going to give up until all the streets are clean.
John Eastman (Ginty) doesn’t look like the human terminator that he turns out to be, the retro Russell Crow is all about the good things in life, years after being exposed to the horrors of Nam he’s just the average Joe, until provoked and he brings Nam to NYC.
The film isn’t a commentary of mindless violence, but when it gets gritty it really does swing an ugly and dangerous bat, there’s people being fed into meat grinders, and the trademark flamethrower crispy death scenes. It’s something that could have gotten real video nasty in the right hands. But exterminator it way more than just another exploitation film, and being one of the early voices to the damaging effects of the war without the moniker of PTSD being uttered, it spread a message which is still relevant today.
If you’re lying, I’ll be back.
– John Eastman
We have to assume that once the blood has been shed and the tables levelled that our hero bad guy killer is just going to go back to a peaceful life, but there’s a sequel and in my honest opinion there should have been a lot more.
Related: Exterminator 2 (1984), Stone (1991), The Soldier (1982), Shakedown (1988), Defiance (1980), Deathwish (1974), Punisher (1989)
Director: Simon McQuoid Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanad, Chin Han, Nathan Jones, Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamara, Josh Lawson, Joe Taslim, Mechad Brooks, .USA. 1h 50m
Despite the long running time, just shy of 2 hours, McQuoid and his team didn’t managed to fill in enough story to fully rewrite the Mortal Kombat universe, however they did manage to cobble together a film just entertaining and intriguing enough to keep a viewer or two entertained for the duration.
Director: John K.D. Graham Starring: Alexandra Boylan, Raquel Cantu, Christopehr Dempset, Lorena Segura York, USA. 1h 19m
While looking like a dishevelled mess, having lost her job, parents and apartment, Gwen has to try and regain some control but the bottom of the bottle keeps finding her. Returning to her childhood home after the death of her parents, she intends to confront her past and find a new direction.
AKA Mortal Kombat, The Return of the Five Deadly Venoms
Director: Chang Cheh Starring: Philip Kwok, Chen Kuan Tai, Chiang Sheng, Kuo Chui, Lo Mang, Lu Feng, Wang Lung Wei .Hong Kong. 1h 40m
Just when I was positive that the Five Deadly Venoms was the best 70’s martial arts film, it turns out that the (lose) sequel actually outdoes the cult classic. In a similar vein the film runs through a deadly storyline featuring a diabolical jaded kung fu master and a group of unlikely heroes.
When a brilliant wealthy fighter’s family is brutally attacked, his wife left slaine and his son now armless, the Tiger expert finds a way to restore his son’s arms with mechanical extensions but now with a blackened heart he bullies and terrifies his hometown. Finding pleasure in crippling those to cross his pat, Four of his latest victis form a bond and seek revenge, A hawer, who has been blinded, a blacksmith, made mude and deaf and a drifter whose legs are cut off all attempt to band together with a fighter who is known as tier “idiot friend”. While finding ingenious ways to overcome their disabilities they conjure a cunning plan to take on the evil gang and the four are tested time and time again and demonstrate strengths and abilities.
Director: Fred Olen Ray Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m
I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark(1979), and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth(1981)
Director: Juan Piquer Simón Starring: Jack Scalia, R. Lee Ermey, Ray Wise, Ely Pouget, Deborah Adair,John Toles-Bey. Spain/USA. 1h 19m
If you’re a fan of underwater horrors such as The Abyss, Leviathan, DeepStar Six etc, then this film will feel really familiar to you. Often seen as a BMovie version of the movies mentioned above due to its lack of originality in the plot, the film is often praised for providing a decent entertaining sucker punch for it’s limitations. Considering that 1989 was the sterling breakthrough for deep sea thrillers involving a host of alien and mutant creatures, it’s a strange step backwards to watch Endless Descent ride on their back 2 years later, but for all its flaws it’s incredibly watchable.
Director: Fernando Di Leo Starring: Gastone Moschin, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bouchet. .UK. 1h 42m
Well famed for being the ultimate super cool, cult hit, this is the first of a trio of virtuoso politicization films, the following movies, La Mala ordina/The Italian Connection and Il Boss/The Boss, are all based on a short story collection all using the original names by Giorgio Scerbanenco. Each film stands out for their own powerful impact with straight forward stories harnessing beautiful women, treachery and tons of gratuitous violence.