Tag Archives: usa

Assassin (1986)

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.

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The House on Pine Street (2015)

Director: Aaron KeelingAustin Keeling Starring: Cathy Barnett, Emily Goss, Taylor Bottles, Jim Korinke. USA. 1h 51m

There’s something provocative about a haunted house tale, many directors have used this eternal additional character to emphasise the dark natures within its occupants or at times it’s a portal into a darkness that we neer want to look into. And while there’s some admiration in what Aaron KeelingAustin Keeling as directors have achieved in the bitter ending, there’s a boring tropey slog to get to the good bits.

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The Cellar (1988)

Director: Kevin Tenney Starring:Patrick Kilpatrick, Chris Miller, Suzane Savoy, Dannt Mora. USA. 1h 25m

From a story that would be dissected for its cultural appropriation and questionable demonising, back in the late 80’s it was part of a movement of creepy Native American legend based horrors, from Wolfen (1980) to Scalps (1983) the idea of a spiritual bankhander from sacred lands, through wooden states, curses and the wendigo began to spring out of Hollywood and this is one of those low level leaks.

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The Exorcism of God (2021)

Director: Alejandro Hidalgo Starring: Joseph Marcell, Will Beinbrink. México/Venezuela/USA. 1h 38m

Every few years there’s another game changing exorcism movie, and these stand out to the weekly releases of the same old tripe. But what makes this heavily laced CGI movie stand out from the rest? First it challenges religious scripture with a bit of cray logic but unfortunately it takes an ice age to get to the fun bits but audiences are entertained with shock moments, jump scares and lots of grisly CGI faces, sometimes with some familiarity to his previous gothic house masterpiece The House at the End of Time (2013). Having grown as a director since then he’s developed his eye but leaves behind the suspense for full out vile visuals but it won’t distract from the silliness that keeps corrupting this horror.

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Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Director: Jacob Gentry
Starring: Harry Shum Jr, Kelley Mack, Chris Sullivan, Anthony E Cabral .USA. 1h 44m

Jacobs Gentry’s uncanny valley neon lit thriller is a great diversion for horror fans, but unlike other broadcast horrors it fails to give a satisfactory conclusion to its own question but will raise eyebrows though it’s stunning display of solid drama and a deep dive investigation.

While logging tapes of retro TV Broadcasts, a video archivist, James (Shum Jr.) discovers a disturbing clip that he believes is a sign of early hacking, out of his armchair investigation, James is innocently trying to track down the source but it turns into a deadly cat and mouse chair that night lead to solving a slew of murders.

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Resurrection (1999)

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Starring: Christopher Lambert, Robert Joy, David Cronenberg, Leland Orser .USA. 1h 48m

With a recognisable cast and no budget, there’s a clear distinction between Resurrection and the movies it’s imitating, but despite its imilations it’s still a fun watch, but one which could have been extraordinarily gruesome and chilling if put in the right hands.

Christopher Lambert and Leland Orser team up as a bmovie Mills and Somerset as they hunt a deranged killer who’s emabring on a pet project to construct the body of christ, much like John Doe in Se7en this twisted mastermind is incredibly intelligent and masterfully deviant. There’s a huge strive to match the dark oppressing cityscape that Se7en is based in, but having the main officer, John Prudhomme (Lambert) painted as a superstitious cajun there’s a lot of hoops to jump through for a mainstream audience.

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The Exterminator (1980)

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.

A one man army. A new kind of soldier in a new kind of war

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.

TLDR:

Rating: 7/10

Related: Exterminator 2 (1984), Stone (1991), The Soldier (1982), Shakedown (1988), Defiance (1980), Deathwish (1974), Punisher (1989)

Lists: Best Friends Revenge

Trailer

Black Rain (1989)

Director: Ridley Scott Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, Kate Capshaw, Tomisaburo Wakayama. USA. 2h 5m

Michael Douglas travels to Japan with a deadly crazy Yakuza criminal, accidently releases him to his gang but then proceeds to school the Japanese Police department!? Only in the 80’s would this have worked and only Ridley Scott would have been able to make it work so well.

It can’t be ignored that the film feels half homage to at least 3 of the greatest names in Japanese Cinema, as the two cultures class, , Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, and the badass Tomisaburo Wakayama, who play both good and evil characters throughout the film. Ken is the attentive Asst. Insp. Matsumoto, who spends his time chasing around a fiesty Douglas and Garcia, partly babysitting them and taking a lot of flak from them. There is one beautiful drunken scene in a karaoke bar when the three men finally let their guards down and realise they are on the same side but cultural differences and career prospects are all that are keeping them on slightly different paths throughout this cat and mouse chase. The legend who was the Lone Wolf and Zatiochi respectively is just a highly respected gangster but his inclusion in this stylistic movie can’t go unnoticed, and most heartbreakingly this would be the final film of cult classic actor Yusake Matsuda, who knowingly went into the project with a serious cancer diagnosis, and in order to be ferocious for his role, refused to take any medication, shortening his chances of recovering even more.

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Wrong Turn (2021)

Director: Mike P Nelson
Starring: Matthew Modine, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Charlotte Vega .USA. 1h 30m

Wrong Turn is a franchise that, in my opinion, kinda did what it needed to do, gross out audiences in a blood soaked adventure that ends when there are no more young people to carve up. After the ultimate mutant hillbilly interaction, it took the inevitable path of destruction with numerous sequels getting cheaper as the madness carried on, but for some reason during the height of lockdown, we needed a reboot! Director Mike P Nelson decided to take his off road story further off the beaten track, and attempts to make a high functioning and credible horror from something that’s often watched purely for the body count, made the entire concept weary more than hardcore.

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Catch Hell (2014)

Director: Ryan Phillippe
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Tig Notaro, Joyful Drake, Stephen Luis Grush. USA. 1h 38m.

Ryan Phillippe owns everything in his directorial debut, written, directed and playing the lead in this bizarre and sentimental kidnapping drama. As much as the film could be sized down to a massive ego trip, as everything revolves around Ryan, it’s also a testament to the art of one man making an independent movie, and it’s a great attempt as a debut but it does seem to drag out a pretty simple story, it still delivers something unique and different to a traditionally tough genre.

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