By: Justin Hopkins
Continuing on our B-Movie journey, and this time into the zombie plagued world of Dead Rising. Kind of gets the double whammy of being a B-Movie and a video game. A game that is actually a real blast to those who have never played. Played through the second game more times then one should, both with Frank and Chuck. So, I was kind of excited to see this one pop up on the suggestion list. Lets jump in and see if it was worth while or another failed game-to-movie release.
The movie starts out, with the zombie infestation already in progress. Getting the zombie herd, boss clown with an ax, and a zombie cop with a gun. With your main character trying to use whatever is laying in the alley to try and fight them off, and when things look there bleakest; you jump back to the start to see how he got to to the alley. Opens up with Chase Carter and his camera woman Jordan. Cutting a story at a site of a suspected zombie outbreak and talking to those who had been infected in previous outbreaks and getting their Zombrex shots. Which fail and kick start the outbreak. An interesting way to get this going. Fans of the game know the importance know the importance of Zombrex, and seeing it fail kind of throws you off guard. Something that was always reliable and now bites matter again. Leaving Chase and Crystal and later, Maggie on the run from zombies and a crazy biker gang. Weaving together compelling stories with plenty of twists and turns and of course, crazy weapon creations. A must for Dead Rising. Great example of foreshadowing and a shock ending to boot. All of which was well done and huge positives.
You can tell the writers and Directors were fans of the Dead Rising Games. A lot of things that occur throughout are shout outs to the games. Such as Lucky Loans, some of the weapons, zombie wearing Chuck Green’s coat and all the conspiracies. The long shot they had of Chase trying to cross the street, and how quickly he is swarmed by zombies shows exactly how it is in the game every time you dare step outside. They make you believe that FEZA is behind this, but rip the rug out from under you and turn things on its head. A big reason this worked, was the magnificent work of one Dennis Haysbert. He is such a good villain. Voice of his just lulls you into a false sense of comfort till the trap is sprung. Couldn’t have gotten a better cast for the role of General Lyons.
Sticking in the vein of casting. I really enjoyed most of them. Meghan Ory blew the part of Crystal away. Victim of the Fortune City outbreak, who grew a thick shell since all of her friends, families and co-workers abandoned her in fear of her turning. Playing both sympathetic and a force to be taken serious due to how resourceful she is. Kicking Chase into gear and kind of leading the way in the early-to-mid parts of the movie. Then you get Alek Paunovic’s Logan. Playing the crazy who is right at home in the zombie filled town. Being the only real crazy boss, he had am important role and he delivered nicely. Keegan Connor Tracy played played a very key role as Jordan. Reporter on the outside. Trying her best to make people listen and send in help. Unaware of the fact she was being played and did enough to where when you get to the end. Are outraged and need to see more.
Before we get to the negatives, lets go over the ending, because it was so good. You are following these characters and they set the stage almost just right for the happy ending, but slowly things start to occur, and Chase finds Jordan’s camera and phone. Truth dawning on him that the military was behind it all along and it ends with the firebombing, and you don’t know what is about to happen now that Watchtower is in affect and what happened to Jordan and it ends without telling you anything! Was so upset till I saw they did make a sequel. I haven’t watched, but am excited to see it. Which kind of tells you how good of a job they did on the ending alone.
Now on to the negatives, which are kind of big, like almost damning big. First, I did enjoy Chase, who was played by Jesse Metcalfe. He was enjoyable. He played a rather modest reporter. He was all for ratings, but he wanted both ratings and desire to do good by the people. Sought out truth and was likable because of that, but feel they messed up by casting a Frank West on top of it. Now, they have had a wide variety of main characters in the game, but the fact is, Frank West is the best of the bunch. They even remade part two to have Frank in it, because of the love the fans have for him. He even came back in part four. The fact they cast him perfectly with Robert Riggle and still just used him as a guy behind a news desk. Breaking up the action with stupid comments. Just feels like a slap in the face to the fans. If they weren’t going to use him as the main. Shouldn’t have had him at all.
Next was the run time. This movie clocked in at a whopping, hour and fifty eight minutes. Which may not sound like much, but for this movie it’s nearly thirty minutes too long. There is quite a bit of filler to pad out the time which ends up just dragging it out. More then a fair bit should have been cut to allow for a faster pace. Whis would have made it so much better.
In the end, despite it’s long run time and misuse of Frank, I am going to suggest watching it. Especially, if you are a fan of the game. Carnage candy that was fun and creative. Villains and heroes that had depth and a wild story with excellent ending save it. Along with a group of people who clearly have played and enjoyed the games. Wanting to craft their own tale, while keeping the spirit of the game alive. They did that quite well.
By: Justin Hopkins
Welcome to Classic 13! A little monthly blog where we take a look back on a classic. Whether or be a Cult Classic or regular one. Where we take a moment and reflect on some great films. To be honest, when we decided to run with this. My mind made the immediate jump to a more personal favorites, Ginger Snaps. So much so, I nearly forgot that the next 13th, was in fact Friday The 13th and well, Ginger Snaps will just have to wait, because we can’t just ignore the obvious. Especially, when we owe so much to the success of a small film from 1980. So, lets take a camping trip to Camp Crystal Lake, and see how well Friday The 13th still holds up today.
The story was a very simple tale, but crafted and framed very well. You open up with counselors at a summer camp, and two of them are killed. A fast start, which is always a good way to get the ball rolling, and since you don’t see the killer. Mind begins to run on who could it be as a new wave of counselors are introduced a little less then thirty years after the first killings. Starting with Annie. This is where they do something really smart. They give you the quick rundown of Camp “Blood’s” history. A scene that could have been boring, but weaved expertly in building Annie’s character that it becomes a fun back and forth with her and Enos. So much so, on first viewing. Kind of think she could be your main character and feel bad when she dies rather quickly after. You are then trying to find which one of the counselors will be left standing, as they each fall from there. All leading to a frantic cat and mouse chase through the camp, between Pamela and Alice, and the only slow motion moment that I will probably ever give a thumbs up to.
Casting was pretty much spot on for this. Like I mentioned above. Robbi Morgan did so well, in such a little time with the character of Alice that on first viewing, believe she is the main. From her chatting up a dog, back and forth with Enos, and opening up about wanting to help kids. She made every moment of screen time count. A trait shared by everyone really. Had a young Kevin Bacon, Jeannine Taylor, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, and Mark Nelson all delivered fantastically. They were not trying to play stereotypical, cliched characters and that made them special. They all felt like older teens to young adults who are trying to fix up a summer camp. They are doing the usual stuff you’d see in a movie like this, like pot and sex, but it wasn’t overdone or beating you over the head with it. Had they opened the camp, bet they would have been awesome counselors. The two big roles though, were brought to use by Adrienne King playing Alice, and Betsy Palmer, playing Pamela Voorhees.
Feel like Alice doesn’t quite get the love she deserves at times, due to how many strong female leads there have been in the Friday The 13th series alone, but Alice should definitely be high up there. She does a lot of hitting and running, but character wise, kind of makes sense, as she is not a killer. Even with her life on the line, still can’t bring herself to kill Pamela until she is pushed beyond the limit, and it has a visible effect on her. While Betsy Palmer was perfectly cast. Her mannerism and ticks are spot on for a mother who has snapped. Losing her son created such a hatred that it has become her duty to make sure the camp is never opened again. In her mind, every counselor who steps foot inside, are responsible for Jason’s death and must be punished. Together, these two were such good foils and had strong chemistry together.
Friday the 13th also gave us early looks at what the genius that is Tom Savini. A name that is synonymous with horror. Giving us some great kill shots, the one delivered to Kevin Bacon’s character still ranking among the best on the series or when Pamela gets her head lobbed off and they stay on it just long enough to get the gory aftermath of neck bones and blood spurting off the top. They all feel so fresh and unique, because it’s the first ones in the franchise and helped all with the characters all being so likable. Even if you don’t see the blow. The aftermath is so telling that it’s great.
To end the pros. Have to talk about the score. You hear all about Freddy’s lullaby or Michael Myers music, but Friday’s might just be a little bit better. The orchestra is flows between low and soothing to loud and in your face. With the iconic Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma added in. Great way to kick the movie off. When they finally do make a new one, hope they bring it back.
Being the first, it was actually fun to see where cliches got started. Such as the super serious cop, deranged old man trying to warn them away, and them trying to get the last jump scare. Tempted to throw blame at them for the nightmare these would later become, but they do these things so well I can understand why they keep going back to the well, and I can’t bring myself to make Ralph a negative. That would be sacrilegious.
Now on to some negatives and this does have several. They go out of their way to kind of play Steve Christy as a red herring. Creating a little bit of tension between him and Alice. He’s very hectic at the start and drives a similar jeeps to the killers. Wanting to create a who done it, but they failed, because they never introduced Pamela till the unveiling. It was like giving us puzzle pieces to put together, but only giving us a border. Which does give us the feeling of success from piecing it together before the end. Second is you have always of these young people, and besides Alice none fight back. Sure most are stealth kills, but a few have ample opportunity to resist. I get that it is minor. She is suppose to be unassuming and I am being a little to critical, but to have none even try bothered me throughout.
Friday the 13th has earned it’s place as an all-time classic. Halloween, Black Christmas, and Phantasm may be considered the first slashers, but Friday the 13th is what jump started the franchise. Showing that there is a massive audience for this genre and the 80’s are stuffed full, with movies chasing it’s success. It may not be considered the best the franchise has to offer, but the horror genre would be vastly different without it. Final Grade – A minus
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
Spent a lot of time thinking about what to go with for this round. There is plenty to pick from. If you listen, all Hollywood can do anymore is remakes. Having nothing original to come up with. Surely though, the remake trend couldn’t have been a 1988’s cult classic, The Blob. A personal favorite of mine, staring young up-comer Shawnee Smith with some of the best and goriest deaths that put some of this decade’s horror to shame and, surprise, surprise; it is a remake of an other cult classic from 1958, also known as The Blob. A movie staring a young Steve McQueen, about an all devouring mass from Outer Space. So, we have our contestants, now which Blob will eat the other and slither away to take over the world as the one true alien substance. Lets delve in and find out shall we. As always, we start with the original.
THE BLOB 1958
The Blob Directed by Irvin Yeaworth and Russell Doughten opens up at a regular night in a small town. With a guy, Steve (Steve McQueen), out on a date with Jane (Aneta Corseaut). After a little bit of a misunderstanding on why they were parked. A shooting star got their attention and raced off to find where it landed. While an old man beat them to it though. Getting his hand covered in the mysterious goo that came out of the rock. In his panicked flee, runs into Steve and Jane. Who proceed to rush him to the town Doctor. After a little bit of a distraction, Steve and Jane, along with his friends, return to where they found the old man. Attempting to find something that will explain what the growth on his hand is. finding the shooting star and the old man’s puppy, but nothing else. Deciding to return to the doctors. Unaware that The Blob has been busy. Devouring the old man entirely and Nurse Kate, and then the Doctor. Steve made it in time to see it happen, and race to the police for help. When they come back though, they don’t find any signs of the monster, or the Doctor, and an old lady there to give the Doctor a reasonable excuse for not being there, and the mess must have been an act of vandalism and here is where things begin to roll. Steve and Jane start out on a mad adventure through town trying to find and make people believe them and then try to find a way to stop it before there is no town left to save.
I thought this would be hard movie to review. Being one of the oldest movies I have seen ( Fifty one years old, in two days) I tried to take myself back toward that time. Where things I would think are cliche are not so much and back to that style of filming, but fortunately this movie has really stood up against the test of time. The acting, could be a bit cheesy at times, but pretty solid. They had a pretty solid line-up held up by a good performance from Steve McQueen. He was twenty seven, and may not have been the most believable of teens, but definitely played up the heroic type well. Carried the audience along with the ride, of fear, doubt, and heroism a long the way. Aneta Corsaut made for the perfect supporting character as Jane. She may not have had much to do, but was endearing enough to make her likable. Bert, Richie and Dave made up the police force. Pretty much good cop and bad cop, in Dave and Bert, Bert being bad, but by the end, he stopped dragging his feet and got fully invested. Tony, Mooch, and Al ( I believe was the third) were solid as Steve’s friend’s who I will talk more about during the end scene.
I was actually dreading what the special effects may have been for this film, but wow was that the shocking surprise. It wasn’t the best, but it was really good. They did the best they could with what they had and the final product was both fun and worked for what they were going for. Now, lets talk a bit about the ending. I loved this ending. Where all of the characters you have meet and volunteers throughout the town come together to try and stop the blob. Tony, Mooch, and Al showing their best work here, and wish we would come back to this style a little bit more. You get one or two at the most fighting off an impossibly strong entity, and seeing a town unite to do it in this, just gave me a good feeling inside, and kind of wish we had one end like that today. Big points to them.
This movie was not without it’s flaws however. Not a lot of it is their fault but still works against them. A lot of the kills were not shown. Dave makes a comment that it must have taken out 40 to 50, but doesn’t feel like it could have been nearly as much. Wished we could have seen more of The Blob. I get that it was probably difficult to do, but a little more would have gone a long way. Could only take them reacting to something off screen so much. In the same radio conversation Dave had. He is talking to the military about it being to big, meanwhile, they are in the process of shrinking it to get it off the diner and free those trapped inside and this goes to the time a little, but had Aneta had more to do. Would have added a lot more to her character. Final Grade – B
THE BLOB 1988
This movie had a lot of similarities to its predecessor. Directed by Chuck Russel. From the movie theater scene, freezer and diner, but walked it’s own path as well. Starting from the beginning. We have scenes blending where we see Paul playing football and Meg is a cheerleader. While Flagg is a troubled outcast. Attempting to jump his bike over a broken bridge and homeless old man clapping his wreck, but in a joking way. We meet the mechanic and Sheriff Herb and the owner of the Diner. We get to know them so their pending deaths will matter and that is important. The Blob still comes from space, but this time, is a government creation and it is so much more viscous then ’58. Changing from them trying to warn people to survival and danger around every corner, pipe, and everywhere else it could squeeze into. Ramping up on the suspense. Enjoyed the foreshadowing they did at the start. With the Snowmaker and her brother’s jacket. Giving us a redemption story on top, as Flagg has to do a bit of soul searching and step up to the plate and be a hero, and the condom joke is still hilarious.
Casting wise was again, spot on. Shawnee Smith was stellar in her rule her. Being more then a damsel in distress. She really takes the reign her and was involved heavily throughout. Her trying to save her brother and brother’s friend in the sewer and right in the middle of the finale, perked on a truck and firing at the blob to get its attention. Sight that should be a GIF immediately. Kevin Dillion as Brian Flagg was memorable. He was coy and cocky, but blended him with a heart of gold expertly. Wondering how much of his real self was on display. Could just go down the list on everyone. They all shone, and made themselves standout in some way. Will add one more though, and that being Joe Seneca’s Dr. Meadows. Hard to play a villain opposite of The Blob, but he was such a heinous, evil man. Look on his face as he is trying to get the town to kill Flagg was more then enough to cheer on his demise.
Carnage Candy fans can rejoice, cause this movie had your fill. Right away you get the have mutilated corpse of the homeless man that is immediately trumped by The Blob devouring poor Paul right down in a bloody over the top way sets the tone for things to come and doesn’t ever let up. Everyone who worked in props and special effects deserves the highest of praise because they knocked it right out of the park on this movie. It was amazing, just simply amazing the work and effort and looked outstanding. The eighties did gory the best and this should always be a top contender for the best.
The ending is kind of the same. Where you get the town together still kind of happened, but not quite the same effect. As they were trying to barricade City Hall, leaving Meg and Flagg to fight it with their new found knowledge of using cold. It’s going to get docked slightly, but not much because Shawnee shined so brightly in this part that she saved it.
Now for the negatives, and I only got one. Was not a fan of the government stuff. Only because I really liked the unknown factor. That it came from somewhere in space and who knows what else could be out there. Giving it a background story just seemed bland. Especially, a government weapon. Would have been better had they been tracking it via satellite and that is how they reacted so quickly. Small nitpick that didn’t effect my immersion. Final Grade – A
WINNER – The remake
This came down to a few variables. One their abilities with special effects were so much better in 1988. They were able to do so much more and go so much more gory then they were back then and it helped tremendously. Another was judging between actors. Steve McQueen is a legend, but the tandem of Shawnee Smith and Kevin Dillion was better. They had great onscreen chemistry. Both shined throughout and felt like they were in this situation together. By no means does this make the original inferior. If you haven’t seen it give it a watch. You’ll have a good time, but between the actors and the special effects, winner had to go to the remake.
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
The big movie release this weekend is obviously, It Chapter Two, which was excellent go and watch it, which got the wheels rolling a bit. What B-Movie could be paired with the frightening Pennywise. Okay, so it didn’t take much time to think about the 1988 classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space. I was a little hesitant, because I have been trying to stick to movies that never went to theaters, but surprisingly, I have not found any evidence that it had a theater stint, if it did, tell me about it in the comments, but for now. I am celebrating their mistake, and running with it, so here is my review on the Classic, Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
In one night, a shooting star touchdown in the woods, just outside of a small town, Crescent Cove. However, this was no normal shooting star, but a Carnival Tent Spaceship, full of Aliens in the forms of the creepiest clowns. Set out to kidnap and use the citizens of the town for snacks on their trip. Discovered first by a farmer, then our two of our main characters, Debbie and boyfriend Mike. Who stumble up their cotton candy cocoons full of their human victims. Just managing to make it out, and race to town, with the Klowns in pursuit. Seeking the help of her old boyfriend, Officer Dave. Kick starting a wild adventure as Dave and Mike tried to find out what was happening and how to stop them. While the Klowns laid waste to the town in insane high jinks. From puppet kills, shadow attacks and many, many more. Leading up to fast paced finale.
This movie was so good, on a lot of levels. If you have a fear of clowns, they will definitely add to it. The designs of their prosthetic were creepy and haunting. Side-to-side movements were unnerving, particularly when they ran. The jokes on this hit the mark almost every time. From the clown car to the guard who was pied to death. Short Klown with boxing gloves. My favorite was the shadow dinosaur, but so many good, creative kills. The characters were endearing. I liked the fact they kept the love triangle between Mike, Danny, and Debbie to a minimum. Their focus was on survival and didn’t stop to argue over who was better for Debbie. Which allowed them to focus on the plot. Time well spent. Had a solid secondary villain, as well, in the character of Mooney, who refused to believe in any of this, to a frustrating degree. Then the Terenzi Brothers, who drove around in an Ice Cream Truck, believing that it would help them get laid. I wasn’t a fan of the brothers, to be honest, but they were alright in their rules. Fact they were used seldom was a big perk. Wished they had died at the end. Would have added a little bit of emotional weight to Mike a little, but small nitpick. This isn’t that kind of movie.
Really liked the actors they got. None of them stood out to much, but the chemistry between everyone was firing on all cylinders, especially with your main crop, Grant Cramer, Suzanne, Snyder, and Josh Allen Nelson. Played off each other and made them all look good in the process. Hats off to all of those who played Klowns, cause they are the reason we watched for, and they all delivered. Like I said earlier, they were creepy and funny at the same time, and must have been difficult to work in the costumes, but they made this so much more enjoyable. Bravo to them all.
Another big round of applause to those who worked behind the scenes. They did not have a huge budget, but every penny was spent so well, and made it all work for them. Cotton Candy Cocoons were creative. There weapons were thought out. Utilizing what clowns would use to their advantage. Background settings and stages were a interesting mix of fun house and space ship. Showed good use of what little they had.
Since I don’t have any negatives worth mentioning, will just go right into the finale, this movie gets high praise, that it definitely deserves. If you haven’t this gem, shake yourself, and go buy it. Replay value through the roof, and needs to be apart of everyone’s library.
Blogger Note, If you have a B-Movie that you hold near and dear to your heart. Drop it in the comments below, and I will give it a watch, and review.
Thanks for reading.
By Justin Hopkins
When you start looking into villains, you start to realize how deep the pool is for different styles of villains there are. From cartoonish to silly. Bullies and Supernatural and cliched. Can go on and on, but prefer to keep things simple whenever possible and only one has kind of irked me and that is the sympathetic villain. Know you are thinking I am crazy for having an issue with what is considered the most popular kind, but give me a few minutes to explain.
Firstly, I don’t hate sympathetic villains. When done right, it’s a beautiful thing, and goes back a long way. From Frankenstein, to Mister Freeze, Poison Ivy, and The Huntress from Dead By Daylight. All suffered in there lives that turned them into a villain. These are just four that I have grabbed off the top of my head. There is so many, many more. Many, many more, and the list is ever growing. Think through all of the villains in Marvel Movies. Killmonger, Thanos, Zemo, Loki to name a few. Sarah Bellows in Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark. Chucky in Child’s Play. They all work really well. Each put on great performances, but after awhile it begins to get old always feeling bad for the character I am suppose to hate. Just becomes redundant and loses what makes a Sympathetic Villain special.
When a true diabolical character puts in a truly evil performance whose only motivation is to achieve their goal at all costs; their is nothing like it, and it raises the movie exponentially. William Atherton was was heinous as Walter Peck in Ghostbusters that he was heckled in real life, and the movie was better for it. Giving them a human foil out to shut them down and proved a hurdle to the group. The Matrix movies may have dropped in quality as they went, but Mr. Smith was always a joy to watch, because of the calm, collected and disturbing performance played by Hugo Weaving. Any time he was on screen, we were in suspense knowing at any moment, he had the power and will, to wipe out everyone. Freiza still holds firm to Dragon Balls most terrifying, big bad due to how just evil he is. Seeks out power and domination at no cost, and his name alone brings the Z fighters to a stop, and John McClane is a beloved hero, because of how great of a villain Hans Gruber was.
Now these are top notch villains for me to choose from, but there is more to this. As great as it is, to feel bad for a misunderstood villain. An evil villain does raise more then just the stakes for our hero, but can even make a less popular movie better. Dark Tower didn’t quite live up to expectations, but would watch it again due to how well Mathew McConaughey played the Man in Black and if they ever do a Constantine 2, can’t tell me you don’t want Peter Stormare to have a bigger role as Satan.
I know I didn’t count Vader. Technically, he is a Sympathetic Villain, but pretty sure I can say we all got psyched to see him wiping out rebels in Rogue One, and when we see a movie about him. We want full blown, villain Vader and not sympathetic one. So, that is why I didn’t bring him up before.
There is still a bit to go in 2019, but three movies jump to mind as the big movies on everyone’s list. Star Wars, Joker, and It Chapter 2. While I hope they all do well and be several people’s favorites for one reason or another. I am a little sad that Pennywise seems to be the only one who is an evil villain, and the only one I am excited for. That’s just me though. Feel free to drop a comment below and tell me who some of your favorite villains are and why. Tell me if you think I am wrong about Sympathetic Villains. Always open to other’s opinions on the topic. In the mean time…
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
Last Monday, I was clicking through the guide for SYFY. Not expecting to find anything. Just curious as to what was coming up. When I stumbled across the movie called; Ghost Shark, and how on earth could I even think to do anything else after that. Having so many thoughts of how terrible this must be, and all of the cheesy CGI and bad acting. Surely had to be so bad it’s good, and you know what.. It surpassed all expectations, by not needing to go that route and proved to be a pretty good movie…. Before you think I am crazy, let me explain.
The story opened up, with three people out on a boat. A couple and the captain. Participating in some sort of fishing contest. Just before they could win though, a Great White Shark ate his fish. Enraged the couple attacks the shark. Opening fire with a revolver, crossbow, and even a grenade. Before the shark could die, swims into a cave, and dies before some vigils. That brings his spirit from beyond and he kills the three and sets his sights on Smallport. Able to travel through any kind of running water.
One of the things this movie does well, is keep you guessing. My first assumption was that he would be targeting those who killed him, but that theory died in the opening act. The crazy guy who everyone thinks killed his wife, who in any other movie, would have just been a sad loner struggling to get over his loss; really did kill his wife here. Would think he would sacrifice to make up for his sins, but nope. Killed by the shark in the rain. Any time you think you know where this movie is going, you are entirely wrong, and I love that. To often it’s just a cliched story that doesn’t bother. The people here all really tried hard to give us something unique and different with Ghost Shark, and it’s greatly appreciated. Makes it feel like a found gem.
The actors and actresses all did a decent job. Richard Moll was probably the most standout as Lighthouse Keeper; Finch. Did a good job keeping an air of danger and mystique about the angry, drunken man. He was entertaining to boot. Jaren Mitchell, Mackenzie Rosman, and Shawn C. Phillips to name a few. They did fine. Nothing mind blowing, but enough to get you to care for them and that was good enough.
My final pros, was special effects were pretty solid. They weren’t the greatest, but A plus standards for a B movie. All but a few scenes were kept lightning fast. Would get a good look at the shark, then he attacked from all sorts of crazy angles. From pools, hot tubs, car wash, the rain, a slip ‘n slide. The attacks were creative, good use of CGI and prosthetic. The carnage candy was front in center and one kill in particular is nearly a must see. You’ll either think it’s the dumbest thing, or the greatest; I am on the greatest side. They really went big on this stuff… which brings me to one of its biggest problems.
I don’t know what the budget was, but some of these scenes were in desperate need of being re-shot. Between shots that aren’t quite centered and audio quality is bad at some points, especially with Mayor Stahl. He is clearly being dubbed and it is very off putting. He plays a pretty important role of a red herring of sorts, but the dubbing is so bad, that you don’t want him on the screen. Don’t know why they couldn’t re-shot a few of those scenes, but perhaps they should have.
On a minor note, this movie has some logic issues. You get that even in A-movies, but Ghost Shark does it to much. There was a fight between two of the characters, started because Cameron started a fire, but there was no way that they could have known he was behind the fire. They just assumed and it was important scene, cause it lead to a death. They should have just killed him and not had the fight. One of the characters survived a vicious attack from the Ghost shark, but is ready to go a moment later. No, she needs to go to the hospital. She was attacked big time. Just having her walk it off did nothing, but prove to just be a waste of time. Like I said, it was minor, but happens to many times to simply ignore.
Ghost Shark gets a huge round of applause from me. Didn’t expect to find this movie to be nearly as enjoyable and good as it was. Even if you are not a fan of B Movies, would still suggest it and if you are a fan of B Movies, then there is no excuse. Get your friends and drinks of choice and check it out.
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
Going into last week’s expo, Disney really needed to deliver big, after the loss of Spider-man. A character that has quickly grown in to a fan favorite, and boy did they deliver in a big way. It seemed every time I picked up my phone there was a new batch of news that had me simply elated. Heard that Mulan tore it up, which I was glad to hear. The Disney Princess movies are not my cup of tea, but a lot of people find them enjoyable, and glad they are keeping up the live action train. Announced that Lizzy McGuire would return, which was really out of the blue, but can think of a few who would love this, and sure they are not alone, and then there was five. There were five specific announcements that got me psyched for Disney Plus. From things that I have been waiting for, for a long, long time and some that just look like they’ll be fun. With that said, lets take a look at what they are and go over why.5 – Ms. MarvelKamala Khan is a character that I am not the most read up on, but from what I have read of Ms. Marvel has usually always been unique and have enjoyed her books quite a bit, and I am glad to see her getting a show of her own. She brings a slew of powers to put on display, and brings quite a few interesting routes they can explore with the time a show can give. She is a young Super hero who struggles to find her place in the world and doing her family and religion proud, and I look forward to see how it plays out. As well, as being announced that she’ll be going to the Big Screen as well. Am curious to see if those on the big screen or how interwoven these shows are going to be. Most importantly, really believe this has the potential to be really fun show. With Moon Knight probably going for a darker tone. Ms. Marvel can bring a fun and hopeful atmosphere to it.4 – The World According to Jeff GoldblumThis just look like it’s going to be a blast. A part of the National Geographic run, this is going to be a running travel series featuring the man himself, Jeff Goldblum. Pretty much has him traveling the world, and just going off on whatever catches his eye, and the trailer shows a wide collection of random things, that feels like the most important thing in the whole world at that moment. Which is pretty much his greatest super power as a human being. This show is just going to be something that will be fun to watch. Get to learn things we may not have known and be entertained by the crazy, genius that is known as Jeff Goldblum. Can’t see where one can go wrong.3 – Marvel What If ?This is just exciting. We got a few examples shown, What if Peggy Carter was the Super Soldier? The animated images of her dressed as what appears to be Captain Britain. What if Star Lord was black? Marvel Zombies!!!! Those are just really scratching the surface. Marvel What ifs are a vast library and if they want, doesn’t take much to think up another scenario, and with it being an animated run, can get away with a lot more. Also, majority of the actor we have grown to love in the MCU, are going to be behind the voices as well. This show is just beaming of possibilities and can get real weird and that can make for compelling TV.2 – Clone Wars.I am not a fan of Star Wars. Seriously, Find all of the movies to be rather dull and never really see what people see in them. A few years back and kind of scoffed when an animated show popped up on my Netflix recommendation list. For laughs though, I tuned in, and was blown away by how good it was. Cad Bane was a great villain. Using his cunning wit and abilities to take down Jedi on multiple occasions. Kit Fisto and Plo Koon were given character development and some great fights. Darth Maul is the epic level antagonist that he should have been and Ahsoka Tano is just a badass Padawan with a heart of gold. Watching her grow up and when the Jedi turned their back on her was devastating and seeing her walk away…. This was not suppose to be an emotional show for me damn it haha. Was stoked to hear it was coming back, and that trailer was everything I wanted. Especially the end, when you hear Darth Maul say, Was looking for Obi-Wan. You’ll do.. and it cuts to him having a Light Saber Duel with Ahsoka had me jumping out of my seat demanding it to be February.1. She HulkIt had to be She Hulk. This might sound a bit blasphemous, but I think she is more enjoyable then her Big Green cousin. She has more emotional depth and drive to her character, since she not only regains her personality and intelligence in her hulk form, but at times prefers to stay there. Jennifer has a fair amount of psychological issues pertaining to confidence and belief in herself. Along with some bad habits, that would make her a bit of a sympathetic character. A lot of people seem to want Savage She-Hulk, and while I would gladly take it. Want them to delve more into her stint with Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holliway. You get a lot of zanier characters coming through the office, while it would create a good balance of She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters. Along with Villain Titania and many others, but would be happy which ever way they choose to go. However, while I would understand having Bruce around for the first episode. I want him to make a quick exit and kept to random cameos and keep the show, on Shulkie.While the Spider-Man situation is a rather big let down. The D23 was far from that. These are just a handful of awesome and spectacular things we have to look forward to and the future is bright going from here.Thank you for reading.
By Justin Hopkins:
I have been on a recent Werewolf kick as of late. They don’t get as move love as some of the rest of the monsters, despite having a great movie line-up, with the likes of Ginger Snaps, The Howling, and Cursed, and so much more. So, I trekked across a few platforms in search of more I haven’t seen, and stumbled across 2013’s Battledogs. Coming with a surprisingly strong cast of actors Dennis Haysbert, Ariana Richards, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Duke as The President. What more can one ask for; as it turns out, a better movie, cause this one missed the mark by a mile. Let me explain why.
This movie started out somewhat promising. With a woman, Donna Voorhees having an anxiety attack at JFK Airport, causing herself to turn into a werewolf and began to infect or flat out murder everyone in her path. Becoming pretty clear early on that they really didn’t care to much about the lore here. When they turned back to humans though, kind of had me curious on where this was going, but after a few minutes in the quarantine zone, you pretty much figure out where they are going and how this is going to end. Lt. General Christopher Monning and his men want to weaponize the wolves. Major Brian Hoffman and Doctor Gordon want to find cure, and Voorhees has the key to said cure. Mooning makes Hoffman untrustworthy in the eyes of superior and president. Send wolf and men to kill Hoffman. Wolves escape quarantine, and take Manhattan. President orders bombing of Manhattan. They find cure but not fast enough and barely survive the blast. Donna however did not survive, being the only surprise in this movie.
It really seemed like wanted to make a zombie movie, or had a script laying around and just decided to slap werewolves in here to try and be different, but couldn’t be bothered to even try and adapt for what werewolves are. You have a movie that takes place mostly in the day with werewolves that are dropped by numerous tranq darts, single bullet, or even a regular knife. Soldiers who constantly stresses out those infected knowing that will cause a transformation let acts shocked when they transform. They are in Manhattan let the streets are almost entirely empty at nearly every moment. Meanwhile this all could have been avoided had the Doctor, who is honestly there to help, listened to Donna instead of constantly cutting her off. No good reason to ignore her. Dr. Gordon was on the side of the cure and aiding the hero. Just did it because they needed it to happen. This had some potential to be good, but it just lazily written from start to end. Literally have centuries of Werewolf Lore to utilize. Had they taken a little bit of time to take the idea of a werewolf virus spreading across New York and applied some of the lore and used night time to hide the terrible CGI and bite wounds. This would have been drastically better.
I don’t go into a B-Movie expecting top notch special effect. Hammy effects can actually aide a B-Movie, but not in this case. There are times where you will see a group of White Wolves that are all the same wolf, just copy and pasted. They do this constantly. If you are not going to build wolves, at least get creative on the CG at least. They did have a good scene a sparse few times, but not nearly enough to make up for the bad.
This movie wasn’t even a so bad it’s fun. It’s just bad, and that is quite a shame. Dennis Haybert put in a great performance as a villain, and Ariana Richard’s played her role as sympathetic female lead pretty well. Ernie Hudson was fun in his role. Small part but he was fun. In the end, I wouldn’t suggest seeing Battledogs any time soon. I wasn’t expecting to see some awesome Werewolf movie, but I did expect a fun one, and they failed at even that. So, save your time and keep away from this one.
Thanks for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I was a little late to the party, when it came to reading Batman’s Hush. Only reading it a few years ago, but quickly became a favorite of mine. Full line-up of Batman’s best foes, all of which, under the puppet strings, of a much more deadlier foe, Hush.Taking you on a dark ride of a personal vendetta not one against Batman, but Bruce Wayne himself. There was a lot of buzz when it came of that Ben Affleck was working on a script to adapt it to the theaters. So, when things fell apart on that end. Was not surprised to see it be picked up on the animation side. Which was even more exciting. D.C and Warner have been the gold standard of animated movies as far as Superhero movies go. Having real high hopes, but maybe I should have tempered them just a smidgen. Let me explain.
Starting with what I liked. The animation was of course spot on, but normally always is. A dressed up version of the animated series, with modernized takes of the characters. Looked beautiful and fight sequences were great. Always love seeing Poison Ivy being used. Being my favorite Comic Book Character, always glad to see her being utilized. It’s not the best take, but good enough. Jason O’Mara is his usual great performance as Batman, but the star of this one, in my opinion, has to go to Jennifer Morrison’s rendition of Selina Kyle’s Catwoman. She did excellent at bringing her to life. Showing this established criminal try her best to change, and the inevitable realization that Batman was not going to change in the end. Almost all of the scenes she was in, she was holding the scenes together or stealing them all together. Would love to see her come back for future Batman Animated Movies, or spin-off of her own. She can lead an animated version of the Gotham City Sirens, or even a movie of her own. Plenty of Catwoman stories more then capable of seeing a movie.
With that all said and done, I was really not a fan of this one. While I liked the fact they made some changes, like dropping Krypto the super dog. I don’t understand why they made some of the changes they did. Thomas Elliot no longer playing Hush was a big one. Not only does it take away the personal story of the battle between Bruce and his long time friend, Thomas. Making it just another ploy by a super charged Riddler. Robbing us of a great back and forth between them Riddler and Batman, where Batman points out that he may know who he is, but it doesn’t matter because if he tells anyone. He loses his greatest riddle and no one would care. The quote they did keep, of deep down, Superman was good and Batman was not was said to quickly to matter, and I am pretty sure that Batman actually did order Catwoman to throw Lois off the roof. Some of the jokes were painfully flat. The pacing was slow and the movie dragged at times, and the montage was more laughable then anything else. While Jason O’Mara and Jennifer Morrison were standouts. Peyton List as Poison Ivy and Batgirl and Sean Maher were just alright. While the Joker was awful. Didn’t fit him at all. If it was just the one scene would have been fine, since it was a quick little scene, but his commentary during the Clayface fight was bad. Like almost turned it off to make it stop level bad. So many voice actors have played the Joker well. Could have gotten any one of them to play the role, but Jason Spisak was the wrong way to go.
Going to give it a generous C Plus. On the grounds, that I liked the Catwoman story arc, Poison Ivy, and animation. Along with the fighting sequences. The story direction and the voice acting choices weigh this down heavily. It may not be right, but when their greatest hits contain the likes of Mask of the Phantasm, Under the Red Hood, and Bad Blood. They set the bar high, and this just failed to come close. If you are a fan of Hush or Batman Animated Movies, would suggest checking it on DC Universe Streaming. You may have a better take on it, otherwise, would skip it, and wait for the Harley Quinn Animated Series.
Thanks for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
What better way to kick-off B-Movie Sunday then with a brand new movie, SYFY’s Zombie Tidal Wave. Brought to us by director Anthony C. Ferrante and led by actor Ian Ziering. Fresh from the surprise hit series, Sharknado. As much as I think they played that series out, long before the official ending. Was looking forward to seeing them come back and take a stab at a new idea. The trailers looked like another fun romp, with zombies thrown into the mix. Only question to ask today, did they deliver? Lets review and find out shall we.
After a quick start, of two love birds, being killed after a little proposal. We jump to Hunter Shaw, his friend Ray, and Ray’s niece Jada. Surveying if there was any damage from an Earthquake, while Ray sneaks in a bit of fishing. Kind of celebrating, before Hunter leaves town. Setting him up as a man who doesn’t like to stay in one place for to long. A brief encounter later, Ray fishes up a body, that comes back to life and bites his niece. During the investigation, where the boat is swarmed by zombies, a tsunami happens. Bringing them all on to land. Kick starting a fight through the town, containing over the top gore, and creative kills, on Hunter and Sheriff Kameo trek try to save everyone they can and get to their loved ones.
Zombie Tidal Wave did quite a few things right. Going to start with the zombies themselves, cause they were one of my favorite parts, and they changed a good bit about them. While the origin was a bit cliche, loved the design of the blue zombies. We have seen hundred of variations of zombies at this point, but the blue skin, veiny, barnacle covered zombies was a great tough. Making even their death scenes better with blue splatters instead of the red. Just gave everything a really nice touch. Making it so head shots did nothing was genius. Forcing the characters to get creative in order to take them down, and they got real creative. From graphic propeller shots to the face, to dual bladed knives, and wood chippers. To when they discover electricity keeps them down. All the ways found to utilize it to the best of their abilities. Plenty of gore and money shots to go around. A little bit of CG parts bothered me. Mainly the explosions, but complaining about CG in a B-Movie is dumb, and a minor little nitpick.
Most of the actors did a very good job. Knowing what this movie was, but kept from hamming it up to much. Knowing when to have fun with it vs when to play it serious. Ian Ziering was his usual awesome self. You can tell he has a blast with playing Hunter and is down with just about anything as long as it gets a reaction out of it. Fair bit of one-liners, that are not usually my thing, but didn’t wear on my nerves to much. Erich Chikashi Linzbichler did a great job, as caring sheriff, with a shady secret that comes out later on, as he knows about the pharmaceutical company’s involvement all along. Tatum Chinquy, Angie Teodora, and Cheree Cassidy all did fantastic in their characters roles. Making you care about each of them, and really wanting them to survive to the end, or see what creative kill they perform next. The characters you are suppose to hate, you really despise. Including one, that we not only get treated to one death, but gets what is coming twice. Was so close as to make Randy Charach’s Driscoll the stand out character, but I can’t. They set him up as this crazy guy with all these tricks up his sleeve, but when his time comes. He just dies, in such a disappointing way. Expected so much more.
They do a really nice job at keeping you guessing. You expect the pharmaceutical company to have a bigger role, but keep it to a slight blip. Driscoll looks like he may have had a hand in everything, but turns out to be extremely helpful. Just a creepy, anti-social kind of guy. Once the plan to go lead them back toward the water. You figure out that someone will blow up with the boat, but they keep you guessing as to who it will be, and your first guess will probably be wrong. The problem lies with the character that did the noble sacrifice, was Ray. I get why, to avenge his niece and all, but I didn’t really get all that invested in his character all to much. He was to extreme. Going from goofy to to serious and nerve really finding a balance. He did have one great line, where he called out Hunter and Kenzie for stopping to have a tender moment. Something that happens in horror movies all the time, and loved the fact they called it out here, but was not enough to care about his sacrifice in the end.
All things considered, Zombie Tidal Wave was a brilliant, fun movie. Which is exactly, what you want out of a movie like this. Didn’t take itself too serious, but had the actors to pull it off like they were in a serious situation, with a bit of emotional moments sewn in as well. Plus, more blood and creative kills to make this a perfect movie to kick back and enjoy with good food and friends. If these are your kind of movies, would strongly suggest you check it out, if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading.