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Monster Island (2019)

Director: Mark Atkins
Starring: Adrian Bouchet, Jonathan Pienaar, Natalie Robbie, Donna Cormack Thomson, Chris Fisher, Eric Roberts, Toshi Toda .USA/South Africa. 1h 29m

Trying to blend ancient folklore monsters into a modern sci-fi story just makes for a really poor Godzilla rip off seem like goldust in comparison. But coming from Mark Atkins, the B Movie god who made a slew of strange shark movies, it’s interesting to see some attempt to add in a backstory for once.

Using a mediterrainan style setting (although filmed in South Africa) there’s an attempt to make things seem exotic and distant, tropical and mysterious, but the research team who had enough warnings makes a terrible set of decisions and set themselves on a path of destruction in order to chase a giant critter that they witnessed crushing their expensive equipment, just because.

Adrian Bouchet stars as Billy Ford, who’s in charge of an advanced remote deep sea diving team, but when they witness a giant tentacle crush one of their remote machines, while setting up a demonstration for a rich backer, they decide to go in deep and investigate. Billy and his team seem to have access to everything, private choppers, boats, subs, both robotic and remote controlled but not much common sense. When they notice that the top of Reveen has vanished and is in fact a living lava blooded monster, they decide to fight back. This strange crustacean/octopus monster manages to kill a nuclear armed Russian sub but they get away and then luckily the government inspector who forced her way on board to make sure they are all working to strict guidelines, remembers that high university professor tried to teach her about these legendary monsters but she thought her tutor was talking shit, so they fly over and pick her up.. Sometimes I wish my life was this simple. Either way they awake a giant “Guardian” who isn’t Godzilla so the movie begins to not only let its audience down but things are now depressing as well.

Bouchet comes across like a cub scout leader, the tutor seems a bit away with her meds and Eric Roberts pops up from time to time as some admiral or something but all he does is shout down a phone with Toshi Toda wandering around in the background (maybe they skyped in their performances?) The special effects are terrible, when you don’t have money for good or intelligently lead CGI then just don’t go there, for a production like this I’d have been more impressed with a man in a suit, I’m an advocate for more monster men in suits if you didn’t guess.

Like all of those “terrible sharknado movies” this one is a switch off and drink a beer to make it interesting kidna popcorn flick, at times it has a few interesting links to a fake mythos but the usual abysmal rubbish that often gets served up on syfy, why i don’t know…

Rating: 2/10

R: Planet of the Sharks (2016), Sand Sharks (2012), Jack the Giant Killer (2013)
L: 20 Wonderful Made-for-television sci-fi disaster movies
5s: Mark Atkins
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Trailer

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Bigfoot (2019)

Director: Robert D. Krzykowski .
Starring.Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Bigfoot, Larry Miller, Caitlin Fitzgerald. USA. 1h m.

So we have a film with the title but seems to pluck headlines from clickbait news titles and you’d be forgiven for believing that this was going to be some fanciful psychotropic romp, but instead in Robert D krzykowski slightly downtrodden epic we find a very down to earth and grounded adventure/drama, but without pop characters, huge explosions and superhero’s there’s a lot of cinema gold here and it seems to work purely because of Sam Elliott’s total coolness.

You’ll also be forgiven for believing that this film is set in an alternate reality, but the movie is set in our reality, but back in 1987, where we find the now aged Calvin Barr played by he panty dropping silver fox and his infamous mustache, which should get as much credit as whatever David Bowie was hiding in his pants in Labyrinth (1986). Continue reading The Man Who Killed Hitler and Bigfoot (2019)

Motorrad / Motorbike (2017)

Director: Vicente Amorim
Starring: Carla Salle, Pablo Sanábio, Juliana Lohmann, Emílio de Mello, Guilherme Prates .Brazil . 1h 32m

The wonderful set up for this movie is filled with mysterious characters and a mythical folkloric wonderment that builds up Amorim’s film into a pensive dark thriller just to be doused by blood and sinew by the final scenes in what could have been the premiere gore soaked Brazilian thriller of the year.

Starting out with a strange sequence that see’s a young man creep into what seems to be an abandoned workshop, he finds a rare and valuable component on a bike being worked on and attempts to steal it, it burns a pattern into his hand as he’s literally caught red handed, a wisen old man rambles on about a fabled curse on those who are willing to steal for vanity and selfish reasons but a beautiful young woman eventually takes pity on him. But is it too late for him or is this a question of the soul. Continue reading Motorrad / Motorbike (2017)

Mortal Engines (2018)

Director: Christian Rivers.
Starring.Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, Stephen Lang. USA. 2h 8m.

This majestic story of the fight for freedom in a world where cities hunt each other, has no shortage of outstanding special effects and dazzling action scenes but it lacks in having a matching narrative, something as compelling and hard worked to really make this apocalyptic fantasy enough power to be a fulfilling and compelling movie, however I’m sure that I am not the target audience as I no longer have homework.

Christian Rivers has worked so closely with the writer, Peter Jackson on many of his epic blockbusters but it seems that being in the driving seat took Rivers out of his comfort zone as he struggled to keep this meaty beast under control. So much attention was directed in this film looking so specific but in reflection it’s hard not to see it as a Frankenstein of so many other projects but in reality it just feels like a live action Ghibli story but without much feeling applied to it. Rivers does achieve a consistent theme but that’s about it in terms of accomplishments. Continue reading Mortal Engines (2018)

Million Million (2020)

Director:??
Starring: Yul Edochie, Prince Iyke Olisa, Adanna Luke, Stella Udm, Akanchawa Okolo, Stan Edubka, Chuck Etikomeni .Nigeria. 4h 20m

Sometimes the desire to have an expensive lifestyle and to flash extravagance is more powerful than any learned common sense. This seems to be the moral of the story in this Nigerian drama that centres around a young man who is happy to squander his uncle’s cash to impress random women and to upgrade how his village sees him.

Prince Ikye Olisa plays Uwaebuka the main catalyst in this turbulent movie the film opens with him running home and threatening to kill himself, his long suffering mother takes away his rope and immediately goes to visit her brother Orimiri, (Edochie) for money to help her son. It’s here that we learn what a waste of space the boy is, constantly getting handouts and instantly squanders the money, each time the uncle threatens to cut him off. Continue reading Million Million (2020)

Monkeys Paw (2013)

Director: Brett Simmons.
Starring: Stephen Lang , CJ Thomason, Michelle Pierce. USA. 1h 31m

I love when an old classic story gets a boost into a modern film, although there is always a need to be sensitive in the approach of modernising any aged tale, some stories seem to thrive as costume dramas, being so heavily strung in their own time that it’s almost impossible to shift elsewhere, such as Witchfinder General, while it could be updated, it relies on the mass hysteria of the age to really boil up some trouble. Timeless classics can be shifted back and forwards through time effortlessly, Lifepod by Alfred Hitchcock became a pretty interesting Sci Fi piece in 1993 by the talented Ron Silver (RIP) a ship lost at sea can easily become a ship lost in space.

The Monkey’s Paw was a story which filled me with marvel as a child, the moralistic side is deeply devastating but the horror aspect usually boils down to the concept of the evil dead returning, in the original story they simply come knocking but this presence has been resurrected many times now and death takes a gory step closer each time. The charming segment “Wish you were here” of Tales from the Crypt, the screaming dead are resurrected at the wrong time and face an everlasting life of pain.. ooops! Continue reading Monkeys Paw (2013)

The Maus (2017)

Director: Yayo Herrero
Starring: Alma Terzic, August Wittgenstein, Spain. 1h 30m

The Maus seems to want to be something dark and creepy with a character that is experiencing alternative timelines something like The Jacket (2005) blended with Silent Hill (2006), but with a deeper supernatural twist, but while it becomes evident as the movie progresses, it often falls short of its own thesis which is a tremendous shame as the story has a lot of prospects. Continue reading The Maus (2017)

Meet the Feebles (1989)

Director: Peter Jackson.
Starring.Mark Hadlow, Peter Vere Jones, Donna Akerten, Stuart Dasent. New Zealand. 1h 37m.

This is one of the few titles I use to gauge someone’s personality, sense of humour and to find out if they can be left alone with small children and animals, it can also be used in a test to see if they can keep food down in a crisis. The video was originally passed around at school as a dare, a test of a teens measure, can you get through this without being sick!? I was up for it and passed the test with flying colours!

Meet the Feebles is a sort of psychotropic; meth fueled GG Allin styled Muppets show, that often sinks below the gutter, and it’s attempts to be funny and overly sick for sick’s sake has divided movie fans for years. It’s never going to active much acclaim for its efforts but I feel it helped to kick start a lot of subversive comedy which deserves it’s own platform even if only a handful of people like it. Continue reading Meet the Feebles (1989)

Missing 411 (2004)

Director: Michael DeGrazier, Benjamin Paulides
Starring. Jaryd Atadero, DeOrr Kunz Jr., Nate Eaton .USA. 1h m.

I was slightly on the wrong track with this movie, no pun intended.

After listening to the Mysterious Universe Podcast (since season 5 check out the awesome podcast here https://mysteriousuniverse.org ) I’ve heard/read a lot about Missing 411 persons, but obviously with the theme of the podcast these tales go into high strangeness often involving Bigfoot and UFOs etc etc. I was expecting to see some crazy trail camera footage and maybe some abandoned staircases in the woods, or even recounts of historical unsolved cases. In contrast this documentary movie is more about a handful of cases which represent the tip of the iceberg of Missing 411’s but with a slight connection, all cases involve young children often with hearing impairments. Continue reading Missing 411 (2004)

Monkey Farm (2017)

Director: Ian Messenger
Starring: Justin Celani, Tim Christie, ach Etter, Austin Messenger, Ian Messenger, Jake Pigman .USA. 1h 16m

A slightly unusual found footage, mockumentary movie, which sees a young group of film makers divert from their original movie as they discover a myth of a animal testing site which may or may not still be operation. Ian Messenger’s quirky film, tries to achieve something only very slightly different from the average found footage movie but it fails to really strike fear and hides it’s biggest asset, luckily it’s only just over an hour long so it’s not too painful to check out.

Initially the group are making a film about animal testing, it’s unclear what the motives really are, after interviewing a few professionals they collect testomonies for and against the testing but one Doctor invites them to visit a place known as the Monkey Farm, and after a bit of Googling the head out to see what’s left of the site which was once used for animal testing but is now a Sanctuary. Continue reading Monkey Farm (2017)