The Spooktacular Eight #6: Dominator: The Movie (2003)

Are you ready to rock and roll with the most unknown Spawn-rip off you never heard?

Are you ever heard of “brit-manga”? Me neither, but apparently Dominator was the “new wave of brit manga animation”, according to what the front cover of the UK DVD release claims.

Yeah, this is some rare shit indeed, an animated movie that involves familiar names in the horror sphere like Doug Bradley, Ingrid Pitt, and metal bands like Cradle Of Filth providing not only the music but the voice acting, based on a series of british comics by Tony Luke, one that was still ongoing in 2006, but has since then been in hiatus.

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Eight Legged Freaks AKA Arac Attack (2002) [REVIEW] | Barrel O’ Fun

While it’s one of the more famous B-movie about spiders and most of you it’s most likely quite familiar with it, i wanted to feature a good, fun one about giant spiders, and i feel it’s worth talking about it again, especially for newer generations, as this still holds up in hindsight.

The fundamental value it’s that Eight Legged Freaks it’s a homage to the 50’s monster movies made with affection, deep affection, and unlike some of the modern b-movies that are shit at the core and try to pass off their own cynical uninspired slob as “comedic”, this is an actual horror comedy that fully embraces, understands and playfully uses the many cliches of giant monster movies.

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Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal PS4 [REVIEW] | Godfrey Hoppai

Expect to see more Senran Kagura reviews in the future, for now we’ll talk about the remake-port of the first game in the series, arriving in the west on 3DS alongside the extra campaign added in the “Burst” version, and later remade for PS4 and PC. I choose the PS4 version, but it’s also on Steam.

Having played the 3DS version throughly, i wasn’t opposed to a remake like this, unlike many fans that didn’t want to accept the fact the game was crap. It was. It had something to it, but like most of the Oneechanbara games (and overall a lot of Tamsoft’s output), too many flaws and a lot of repetition harmed the experience, and in the case of the first SK game, it didn’t help it tried to pull off a 3D style beat em up while having the set-up of a 2D beat em up. And being really long just to be long, without any variation and the 5/6 stages backdrops re-used again and again.

One thing that didn’t change is the story or it’s presentation, they just upscaled and used better polished assets, models and sprite from the more recent main Senran Kagura games, but even so most of the visual novel segments and illustrations are preserved, alongside the anime opening. Which is fine.

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Don’t expect a review of Godzilla Battle Line

I planned to play and review this one like i did for the other mobile Godzilla titles Toho unleashed on us this year, as in via the EXPRESSO format, but the game just refuses to work on my iPhone, regardless if i reset the device, uninstall and reinstall it, remove other apps to make space in the phone’s memory storage, i have tried for 2 weeks by now to make this damn thing working on my device, but it ALWAYS, without fail, immediatly crashes after being launched.

Despite the app being constantly up to date and my device being compatible with it.

I have no clue why, the updates didn’t change a fuckin thing, and unless the next one magically fixes the issues (which seems to affect other uses with more advanced iPhones), i’m never gonna be able to play the damn thing, and hence i will never be able to review it. And i kinda wanted to do that, for completition’s sake if nothing else.

The review might happen, and they might just update the game to make it work immediatly after i post this, and tomorrow i will be able to play with no issues at all.

But until that happens, the review isn’t either.

Sorry, but that’s the situation, so expect other EXPRESSO reviews coming from tomorrow onwards, today is a forced review-less day.

[EXPRESSO] Godzilla VS Kong (2021) | MONSTERS, FIGHT!

This review is out only now because we didn’t fuckin get the movie (officially, anyway) here in Italy until now. Streaming only, due to cinemas just now preparing to re-open in some capacity.

So, after some delays and a wait that consumed me, the monster RE-match of the millennium has finally happened, as part of Legendary’s Monsterverse.

And it delivers, it does, even though there are caveats, ones that most people already know and are willing to ignore, especially because Godzilla II: King of The Monsters already had these issues.

Plot sees Godzilla rampage in New York for unknown reasons, and the Monarch company is basically engaged to use Kong as a guide to reach his ancestral home located inside the “Hollow Earth”, supposedly common origin to all the giant monsters. This because they sensed a huge energy source there and plan to use it in order to power up a weapon capable of stopping Godzilla.

The effects are top notch, the monster fights incredibly satisfying, there’s actually a bit of personality to the monsters (even if Godzilla – by Toho’s strict decree – doesn’t talk in any way) the Hollow Earth scenario is actually quite a spectacle and interesting, even if the plot is a bit there to justify the monster fighting and not the other way around, combined with the human characters really being… just kinda there to be there, mostly coming off as annoying, stupid or a bit douchy.

And i’m “sorry”, but we spend a lot of time with them as well, they’re played by good actors, we can have better scripts and better human characters for monster movies, even by just looking at MonsterVerse’s own Kong: Skull Island.

Could have been better, but overall it’s still a blast to see, especially on the big screen.

[EXPRESSO] Godzilla Destruction iOS | Now BACK to Early Access!

Had to take this from the site because this fucking shit game doesn’t even have a splash screen. I’m NOT kidding.

The third and final mobile Godzilla game promised by Toho for this year, and the only one of the bunch that lets you actually control the Big G itself.

And because of some cosmic monkey paw’s doing, it’s also the worst of the bunch… actually, it’s shockingly bad, even without comparing to other two smarthphone titles in the same batch, it’s an impressive specimen of videogame dookie, so much i would rather play the shit Godzilla PS3/PS4 game Namco dared publishing some years back.

AGAIN.

Gameplay is pretty simple… scratch that, gameplay is just insanely primitive: you use a virtual stick to control Godzilla’s movement, and touch an enemy to either use your beam or a close range melee attack to defeat the enemy waves. Problem is, the virtual stick isn’t fixed, and it gets in the way when you attack, and you can’t do both at the same time, so you’ll inevitably get hit and will have to keep choosing the health recovery when given the option, as the levels are just insanely repetitive waves after waves of the same handful of enemies, able to do any kind of damage because of the shit controls and the lousy range of your beam attacks.

Eventually you’ll fight bosses that are also cheap as well, but i honestly got already bored sick in the first 10 minutes, it doesn’t help this one also sports no story or setting, it looks embarassingly cheap, on top of its abysmal presentation and glaring errors like english text clearly – and badly – overlaid over the japanese one, typos, obvious & bad machine translation, leading to odd word choices.

I almost expected the intro be an actual joke… but nope, it’s just THAT bad.

Waste of data, let alone time, even for free…..just don’t bother.

[EXPRESSO] Godzilla Defense Force iOS | ♫ To protect Mother Earth… ♫

The second of the three mobile Godzilla games promised by Toho for 2021, advertised a month ago as Godzilla Battle Line, published by Nexon and co-developed by Neople and Studio 42.

After the odd but cute stats raising-pet simulator of Run Godzilla, now we have a more traditional offering for a mobile licensed spin-off game. It’s not exactly a proper tower defense, but more of a tapper with RTS elements: units despatch and attack automatically the enemy waves from building you can upgrade, but you can also tap on them for extra damage (especially when their weak points show up), or use the various Kaiju Cards left by fallen monsters and/or obtained via card packs, of course available to purchase for real money.

It’s a decent little timewaster, a little more engaging than the usual tapper, but it’s aggressively monetized, even if it’s oddly pushy in making you watch ads to boost stats like production speed or to get resources, instead of just saying “cough up the cash to save time”, and i feel it’s the lesser evil of the options they could have gone with. BUT it still feeds into the same objective: to get you spending real money on the card packs and batches of premium currency, especially since the game remembers you revenge can be had easier by wiewing ads, etc.

Presentation is good, the story is what you’d expect, as an EDF commander you organize a defense line to repel kaijus attacking Earth, often sent and/or resurrected by the evil aliens called Xilliens. By progressing you get new locations to build bases, the ability to summon new allies with passive abilities, new monsters (some obscure references to Toho’s non-Godzilla material), making for a decent and entertaining loop, even if you’d wish for a bit more depth to it.

[EXPRESSO] Run Godzilla iOS | Tamakaiju

Toho plans to release not one, not two, but THREE Godzilla mobile games this year worlwide, and the first one is the already available Run Godzilla, which isn’t an endless runner (despite the title kinda implying it), but more a simulator-raising game where you take care of your very own kaiju in order to… make it run like a horse.

I’ve seen people describe it as basically Uma Musume but with kaijus instead of horse girls… and it’s not that far off. And by that i mean it’s basically a stat building game where you increase the stats of the monster before taking on races, where you can just tap a button to encourage the monster to go faster, but that’s about it, you don’t control the kaiju directly.

Strenghtening the monster is done via a typical idle game setup, as you juggle resources to have enough people praying for the monster to grow, extend the time they will stay in the group, pick up apples and gems to recruit more people, and change weather to influence the growth of a some stats over others. The kaiju itself has an “expiration date” which can’t be extended, but the following generation/monster will inherit some experience points, and the loop repeats.

It’s more complex to look at than to actually play, just a thing you’re supposed to tinker with on a somewhat regular base, as timers keep running regardless, so you might come back to find the your digital “pet kaiju” (one you don’t have to feed or “poopscoop”) already dead/expired.

It’s a thing to thinker with more than play, and while it’s very honest about it, outside of the initial novelty it’s hard to care for long if you have at least another free-to-play game/app you keep coming back to regularly.

Gappa The Triphibian Monsters (1967) [REVIEW] | ♫ It’s The True Mystery of The Universe ♫

Yes, with a “G”.

One of the minor, less known giant monster, and the only kaiju eiga ever made by Nikkatsu (which almost went bankrupt after releasing it), also known under the mystifing title “Monster From Another Planet” in the US, and directed by Hiroshi Noguchi, better known for the Cat Girls Gambler yakuza series and the Ginza Mighty Guy/Ginza Whirlwind series.

Oddly, the plot is virtually identical to the one seen in Gorgo (hi again), with a grouple of people (in this case a group of reporters and scientists instead of a salvage crew) capturing and bringing a monster from its island (here a place called Obelisk Island) to “civilization” in order to become a media attraction. But this also angers the natives of the island and – more importantly – the parents of the infant Gappa monster, who head to Japan and cause huge havoc in their wake.

If japanese monster movies taught me anything, it’s to never steal children, especially those of literal giant monsters. Just don’t. Or stop.

Continua a leggere “Gappa The Triphibian Monsters (1967) [REVIEW] | ♫ It’s The True Mystery of The Universe ♫”

Varan The Giant Monster/ Varan The Unbelievable (1958) [REVIEW] | Kaiju In The Middle

Sorry, i wasn’t able to find a copy that didn’t have the hardsubbed american title.

Godzilla is, has been and probably will be in secula secularum the greatest legacy of Toho and its empire of weird monsters. But of course, if the Big G sits at the top of “kaiju mountain”, and other monsters from their own movies have become inscindible part of the Godzilla series, some of them don’t dine at the court at all, and just get called back as jesters for the big monster mashes.

Varan is sadly one of them, and it’s a bit sad when they decide a frigging giant shrimph like Ebirah was worth doing new effects when Godzilla Final Wars came around, instead of just re-using old footage from Destroy All Monsters, like they did for Varan’s (among others) cameo, just happy to be there and cheer from the sidelines, even when Minilla is frigging more useful. Poor Varan.

But of course he did debut in its own movie, Varan The Giant Monster, and yes i’m talking about the original version, not the americanized one that does go under the title of Varan The Unbelievable, and alters the plot to include the american army… because America, that’s the reason. Sighs

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