Category Archives: Science Fiction

Moon 44 (1990)

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Moon 44 (Sci Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Action 1990) (15) D: Ronald Emmerich W: Dean Heyde (Screenplay) Roland Emmerich (story) +: C: Michael Pare, Lisa Eichhorn, Dean Devlin, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys, Leon Rippy, Jochen Nickle 1h 38m. Germany.

TAGLINE : In the Outer Zone.. You need a friend.

Synopsis: Year 2038. The mineral resources of the earth are drained, in speace there are fights for the last deposits on other planets and satellites. This is the situation when one of the bigger mining corporations has lost all but one mineral moons and many of their fully automatic mining robots are disappearing on their flight home.

Moon 44 is one the more memorable Sci Fi films, and deserves to be remembered for the authentic atmosphere and style, it permeates 80’s style futuristic realism pulling (almost literally) excellent set designs and styles from Blade Runner (1982) and dazzling space ship scenes akin to the likes of Outland (1981) and Alien (1979) although I’m unsure why the pilots opted for helicopters in the year 2038…

When the unruly cop Stone (Michael Pare) is sent to an off world mining colony to investigate the source of stolen mining ships, he has to go undercover as a convict and while he has a contact on the inside he has to navigate through the prisoner code and the mining politics and the dodgy dealings going on in the industrial landscape of Moon 44.

This was one of Ronald Emmerich’s early science fiction attempts before Independence day (1996) and similarly the thin plot is full of holes and lacking in decent dialogue, but it makes up for that with some very interesting characters, wild interactions between the pilots and their navigators all at a very cheesy level of bravado, but if you can hold down your lunch and stop cringing it happens to be some damn fine drama. There are a lot of questions raised during the movie, mostly about the plot and why shit is going down the way it is. Why employ prisoners to protect such an expensive hoard, why if you were a pilot who has to rely on a navigator would you treat them so badly? And why would you fly a chopper and need a navigator in the future? I don’t feel that we’re progressing in intelligence or technology,

Moon441

The main assets of the film are the visuals and effects they make for a believable mining colony in the “outlands”, although what I still don’t understand are any of the mechanics of how the mining ships are being stolen and going missing, but if you put this behind you and go with the flow it’s still a good film to watch. With some refinement to the story and maybe with some long shots, and proper space battles in ships and not choppers his could defiantly be one of the best retro sci-fi movies, rather than a stunning movie, lacking a gripping in-depth story line.

It is a guilty pleasure and I’m still rating it high as I adore this level of cheesy muscle-bound bravado which doesn’t make it a great film but one that I thoroughly enjoy. The film is heaving with all the retro elements of future expectations, the chiselled face cop, the computer geek donned with a baseball cap and who is no match for the less intelligent gym bunny prisoners who have lots of issues and big chips on shoulders.

 

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Rating : 6/10

R: Outland (1981), Blade Runner (1982), Silent Running (1972)
Q: Scooter “Oh yes I like to go fast!”
TIL: You don’t need to have a solid story to make a good film.
BS: The intro scene is quite good, it really gives the viewer an idea of the type of character the cop is. Also look out for the recycled Blade Runner (1982) sets!
L: Selected 90’s sci fi, German Movies,
5B: Michael Pare, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys.
DGI: Chug a beer until you know what’s actually going on.

Kisha

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the Thaw (2009)

The_Thaw_(2009)_R1_CUSTOM-[Front]-[www.FreeCovers.net]

TAGLINE: This spring the sacrifice begins…

Synopsis: A Research expedition to the arctic discovered that a melting polar ice cap has released deadly prehistoric parasite.

This is a psychological thriller from the budding director Mark A Lewis (Ill Fated), blending ecology, science, history and horror together is bound to leave a movie open for judgement, but sadly The Thaw manages to fall flat..

A research team headed by Dr Kruipen (Kilmer) ttranquilizea polar bear then discover the frozen remains of a Woolly Mammoth. As the polar bear thaws out it’s soon realised that it is a carrier of a prehistoric infestation of insects and the crew soon succumb, in the final scenes Kruipen is seen asking his daughter to come to the station. Cut Scene, Kripien’s estranged and intellectual science type daughter Evelyn (Macisaac – Last house on the left (2009)) heads up a team to go an visit her father with a few bright infection fodder teens and that’s when things start to go wrong and the team start to realize what dangers have been unleashed.

Despite Kilmer headlining the cast the film is held together by Macisaac and Ashmore, There were a lot of missed opportunities and very little sense of direction in the plot in this film, what is it trying to say? The older actors seemed to have had better reactions to the what was going on around them, I’d imagined a lot of this was green screened, but generally the scenes were simply strolled through like a walk in the park.

I was hoping for a few homage’s to the great ice station films from the past, especially in the horror categories but no tributes here, can anyone make a scene as eerie as finding the abandoned Norwegian station in The Thing (1982) Some of the highlights did include a fairly entertaining amputation scene (every infection movie has to have one). But it’s nothing on Dead Snow – Dod Sno (2009). The insects are OK, a good quality GCI but I can’t say they freaked me out in anyway.

Fundamentally it’s nothing to write home about, it has an underlying poignant message about global warming and over population but sadly no boobs and moderate amounts of gore. But it’s just not all that scary. My personal advice is to avoid and watch Blutgietscher (2013) instead.

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Rating : 4/10.

R: Blutgietscher (Blood Glacier) (2013) Squirm (1976), Growth(2009), The Thing (1982) Cabin Fever (2002)

TIL: Despite your girlfriend being perfectly healthy, then contracting lots of insect bites and falling ill, there is no chance that you have the same infection it’s gotta be a STD.

BS: Amputation scene.. It’s not the most gory but it’s a highlight in this chiller of a film.

L: Infection Films, Type of Infections in films

DGI: Chug a beer every time someone gets taken out by the bugs..

5B: Val Kilmer

Outlander (2008)

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Outlander (2008)

TAGLINE : It destroyed his world. He won’t let it destroy ours.

During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking’s Iron Age weaponry.

A debut science fiction thriller from Howard McCain, succumbs to a poor GCI monster and goofy plot. I appreaicate that a lot was done to explain the newcomer and his role and how he can seelesly meld into the viking age but apart from the costumes evrrything is very much a happy holywood story with very little grasp on reality. There is a concept underneath the Tolkienesque bravado but it comes across as an on the spot made up campfire tale. Ultimately it’s stereotypical gibberish. A strong chiefs daughter called freya, the alpha male who is abandoned by a newcomer, an angry clan chief. give us something differnent especailly with such a great cast and we will honestly lap this up. Potential for a sequel but it would have to go a long way to make up for this gibberish.

Rating –  4/10

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R: Pathfinder (2007), The Time Machine (2002) The Time Machine (1960), Pitch Black (2000), Battlefield Earth (2000).

L : Dragon films,
R: Pathfinder
5 Best : Ron Perlamn : John Hurt : Terrifying space visitors

Kisha

Scintilla (2012)

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An elite team of mercenaries is hired for a covert operation, deep inside a former Soviet state. Arriving at an underground laboratory, their mission is to secure specimens of genetically engineered human and alien hybrids. Battling with a ferocious armed militia as well as dark, menacing creatures, the odds of survival are stacked against them.

Mutants in a bunker, what could possibly go wrong!?

This unique brit flick, directed by Bill O’Brien who is not shy when it comes to cross breeding alien species or using John Lynch to deal with them, brings together an seemly unplanned trilogy Isolation (2005) Ferocious Planet (2011) and now Scintilla (2014) . The mercenaries are led by Powell (Lynch), have to infiltrate a bunker and bring back mutant samples from deep inside a war torn Russia.

The film is well acted but lacking in excitement, there is little expansion in some of the stranger aspects, such as why is Powel being tortured at the beginning of the film, the mutant hand that opens a door near the end, probably aimed at getting the film needs talking about sequels. The unique selling point are the two unique mutants test subjects,  I’ve never seen anything like them before. If you’re into raincoats and retro fashion, Dr. Irvine (Winslet) delivers the goods. It’s interesting to say the least, probably a little too subtle, there is a great story to be told here it just needed a bit more depth to wet the whistle.

Rating –  5/10
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R: Outpost (2007), Creep (2004), Doom (2005)

L : Bunker Movies

Kisha

Upcoming movie nonsense: Ant-man

Ant-man (2015)

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Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas to star in Ant-man! Biochemist Hank Pym obtains the ability to communicate and control insects!! Director Edgar Wright and producer Joe Cornish are aiming to roll this one out next July.

Edgar is well known for Shawn of the dead (2004), Hot fuzz (2007) and World’s end (2013) etc, all films I’ll never bother watching… Joe had a level of success with Attack the block (2011) but I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to see this one but I think it will do well, with a level of comedy,  big names, being another hero movie and out around the summer holidays it’s gonna do ok!

I can’t think of many clichés I’d expect to see..to be brutally honest I would like the movie to be like the Tick I’m live action, oh wait that’s been done… This one is hard to.predict as I’ve not read the comics, I’m just thankful Simon Smeg isn’t in it… Yet!

I’ll await to see what unfolds! Then probably avoid it 😦

 

Altered (2006)

Altered

(Horror, Sci Fi, Comedy,  2006) (18) D: Eduardo Sánchez W: C: Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, Brad William Henke 1h 28m. USA

TAGLINE : They will find you…

Fifteen years ago, a group of men’s lives were forever changed by a strange occurrence. Now, the same group of men will spend a night together … in terror.

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I went into this one totally blind, a friend, The Gavster recommended it, I’m not quite sure why, heck I can’t remember how it got mentioned but I have to admit that it’s not a movie I would have normally picked up in the Rental Shop. I would have guessed it was a movie about Red Neck mutants, something between Wrong Turn and Cabin Fever (2000).. maybe?

Instead I get an alien abduction movie, but the major difference is that the alien is being abducted. I love it when a cliché gets turned around.

So the movie starts with a bunch of red necks running around a field, at first I thought there moonshine bootleggers but it turns out they are alien hunters!! After being abducted by aliens and returned to earth slightly altered, a group of pissed off young men seek revenge.

From the snippets of conversation and interactions give a pretty clear indication that one of the party died on board the ship, this no doubt was the fuel for this attack. So they hatch a (drunken) plan to kidnap and torture their abductor, or possibly just an alien in the wrong goddamed corn field. YEEE HAA!

 

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The guys are pretty clued up on how crazy ass shit the alien is gonna be once captured and no doubt from their previous encounters they know how to capture and hurt the pissed off little guy. Much to everyone’s enjoyment things get crazier and stranger as the movie progresses.

The acting is great, I do believe the characters have a good level of depth and are very believable . I did like hot they tied in with the characters from Fire in the Sky (1993) and from the impression you get from their life after the abduction stories this movie could be the black comedy sequel. Yes I said Comedy.. this is the kind of movie I put in the comedy box… tongue firmly in a dark cheek.

Don’t let the comedy tag deter you, it’s not all shits and giggled, there is a dose of gore, some intestine tug of war, explosions of the cranium and some cute and bizarre alien schit, the lil green guy is a cross between a Gremlin (1984) with a big chip on his shoulder and the mask from Satan’s Little Helper (2004) toss in a can of Monster and away he goes.

All in all I actually liked the movie, there isn’t much to it, but it’s fun while it lasts, the story is pretty original and has a dose of everything you need for a entertaining movie. There is a lot of jumps, scares and tension but it’s loaded with a few sick jokes. I do admire when a movie doesn’t rely on a prequel or hundreds of dreamy flash backs to illustrate past events.

T: Was originally planned as a horror/comedy with the title “Probed”.

Q: a lengthy one…

 

Cody: [wielding harpoon] Let’s do it!

Otis: Hey, I think we oughta wait a minute.

Duke: Don’t go pussy on me.

[cocks his gun]

Otis: I’m not man, I just think…

Duke: Don’t!

Otis: This is the stupidest goddamn thing I’ve ever done.

BS: I really did like the guts tug of war. it was lacking some blood but totally hilarious and scary.

RGremlins (1984), Fire in the Sky (1993)

 

6/10

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Dark Skies (2013)

DARK SKIES
(Horror, Thriller, Supernatural, Sci Fi, 2013) (15) D/W:Scott Stewart  1h 37m. USA.

TAGLINE : Once you’ve been chosen, you belong to them.

As the Barret family peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

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I did kinda go into this one utterly blind,  I should have guessed it was going to be about aliens but I had hoped with all the hype that it would have entertained me for a few minutes at least. Nothing new learnt no scares and little to be interested about. I spent most of the time yelling at the TV like an old person. Who didn’t see all the cliché’s coming!? Pan back to view a huge open window.. of course something is gonna fly into it.. make it dramatic though, think Hitchcock and the Birds (1968) add some real scares in there!! Go on.. PLEASE. I got a bigger thrill from Fire in the Sky (1993), The Fourth Kind (2009) or even Signs (2002) For F*ck Sake!!

I know a lot of people really enjoyed this and it scared them but I would wager this is a new subject to the little teen generation, I dunno… I really don’t. This whole new wave of horror has been so piss poor, Insidious (2010), Dead Silence (2007) etc. were all terrible, like a bunch of After Dark Movies.

I guess growing up with a mother who reads von Däniken and devotedly listening to UFO podcasts etc. I have been exposed to a lot of these tales and this is the lamest.

Truly disappointed…

The final emo scene with the kids going through a pseudo silent hill reality check thing was annoying more than scary.

I think the Alien segment in VHS or VHS2 was more thrilling and shorter and had more plot and scares.. I dunno I guess someone people got together and made a movie, well done but next time make sure your firing on all cylinders first.

3/10

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Man Borg (2011)

MANBORG

(Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi, 2011) (15) D : Steven Kostanski W : Jeremy Gillespie. 1h. Canada.

A Soldier, brought back to life as a cyborg, fights alongside a band of adventurers against demon hordes in a dystopian future.

TAGLINE : Revenge is Back.

Basic plot is this.. in the not so distant future there is a war between man kind and hell!! Our lead is killed… cut scene, in a the future he awakens and Hell have won the war, there are monsters and hell beasts everywhere terrorising mankind in every way, out hero has been spliced with machine and must fight in an arena with his new found friends to conquer Lord Draculon…

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When I saw the preview for this film it looked like a low budget version of Hardware (1990) mixed with claymation work… which would work for me.. When I started watching it became apparent I was watching the boyhood dream film made by a bunch of 7 year old kids from the 80’s high on meths… and that works for me.

If you could imagine a few kids with a couple of manga toys, a robot toy melted to a GI Joe doll, a generic kung fu toy and a modified skeletor figure.. playing a game and making things up as they go along and filming it.. that is this movie! I think you can hear them making light saber and kapow noises in the sound effects!?

If you love pulp films, Troma or just inventive comic stuff,  if  you watched Liquid Television, or listened to Gwar you’ll understand how great this film is. Big budgets and expensive effects don’t tell a story. It’s the personality and character of the cast that can carry a great film.

After the initial shock sets in.. You gotta love Manborg! It’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good. Not to be taken seriously, settle back, drink some beers, have a smoke and enjoy this with your friends, it’s only an hour long, you can watch it twice!

Q : “You dick!”

 

“Shall we finish cooking this delicious meal?”

“I just wanna die”

“We have so much in common”

R: Mutant Chronicles (2008), Lexx (1997), Power Rangers, Liquid Television (www.liquidtelevision.com)  

TIL : No matter how evil a “thing” is, it can still fall in love.

BS : Any scene with the Kung Fu guy  who’s actually called “#1 Man” who had a strange dubbed voice which makes me giggle like a kid every time.. I need help.

9/10

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Fortress (1992)

FORTRESS

(Thriller, Sci Fi, Action, 1992) (18) D: Stuart Gordon W :Troy Neighbors/Steven Feinberg S: Christopher Lambert, Kurtwood Smith and Jeffrey Combs. 1h 35m. Australia USA

A Futuristic prison movie, Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control.

Fortress (2)

This is probably one of best movies by Gordon, who has a Jeffrey Combs fetish, he’s directed him in Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986).

This film is based around a futuristic computer-automated underground American prison that uses robots and lasers to control the inmates, who also have “instestinators” installed that cause pain or death depending on the which line to cross..  A married couple Brennick and Mrs Brennick (Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin) are imprisoned because she became pregnant with a second child (a felony). The prison is run by Director Poe (Kutwood Smith) who is a genetic human who can’t handle his drink. Jeffrey Combs is a radical computer whiz and Maddox and Stiggs (Vernon Wells and Tom Towels) run around being general ass raping douchbags.

Fortress

It’s quite typical of the age but it’s that area of sci fi that I really love, I prefer the doomed mankind theme in my futuristic movies and even though the subject of human population control has been covered it never looked so good. You know a good 1980’s 1990’s sci fi movie when you hear the phrases Mainframe, Corporation and Fucking A, this movie overdoses in them!

Fortress (1)

There isn’t anything outstanding about the movie, it’s just cool!! REALLY COOL, I just get so psyched with dodgy retro sci fi..

BS :  The fight scene between Lambert and Wells is pretty cool. It starts out with a kick in the face and ends up a bloody mess!

T: The lead role was originally case for Arnie.

Q : “Rise and fucking shine sweetheart” This film also uses a lot of “fucking a”, “mainframe” and “corporation” phrases.

R: Fortress 2 (2000) The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) , Death Machine (1994)

8/10

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Cyborg (1989)

CYBORG
(Action, Sci Fi 1989) (18D : Albert Pyun W : Kitty Chalmers : JCVD 1h 26m USA.

A Martial artist hunts a killer in a plague-infested urban dump of the future.

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Holy fuck JVCD to the rescue all of man kind.

We’re screwed if we had to depend on him now; the only people who can rely on him are the canines of the world.

really liked this movie, it’s not the most complex or involved movie of all time but it has it’s charms. You soon learn that some brutish thug and his gang murdered JCVD family which forces the splits champion into a revenge road trip across America. Nothing new about that, chuck in a dying world and a skin job (yes a reference to Blade Runner (1982)) and we have many excuses to kung fu everyone to death! There is a little side story going along with it involving a cure to save the worlds population but that’s the general idea. If you don’t mind a bit of dated futuristic ass kicking then this should please, you’ll need to look past the bad hair and retro Mad max (1979) clothes to see the beauty of the movie. Hold on… No need, this is Mad max! Its just on the disgarded set of Masters of the universe II

OK it’s not the best movie ever, it’s not aged as well as other older sci fi movies but then it wasn’t the biggest budget movie ever but its one that I am fond of from my childhood.

As much as I hate wanky guitar solos that go on too long I also really hate the battered hero finding amazing strength to beat the bad guy only because good must conquer bad.. but the final fight scene is pretty epic in the rain and all the slow mo repeated shots you can wish for..

Q: “I like this world”. RThe Quick and the Dead (1995), Android (1982), Mad max (1979)

6/10

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