Kraa! The Sea Monster (1998) [REVIEW] | Pizza Sentai Aliens To The Rescue!!!

Last year we ended Giant Monster March with Zarkorr!! The Invader, so it’s only right to end this year’s run with the other direct-to-video giant monster movie produced by Full Moon Entertaiment (under their Monster Island Entertaiment label) and directed by Aaron Osborne, Kraa! The Sea Monster.

Always gotta scream your title, to be sure.

The plot sees the intergalactic overlord Lord Doom, master of the Dark Planet, Proyas (likely still salty over Gods of Egypt’s reception), send the giant monster known as Kraa on Earth in order to destroy and conquer it. A squad of the intergalactic teen guardians known as Planet Patrol tries to intervene, but it’s attacked by Lord Doom and so they enlist the only available agent, Mogyar, to reach Earth and destroy Kraa at all cost, even with the help of the planet’s inhabitants if need be.

Continua a leggere “Kraa! The Sea Monster (1998) [REVIEW] | Pizza Sentai Aliens To The Rescue!!!”

The Iced Hunter (2018) [REVIEW] | Mozgus Chaser

Welcome to another installment of “no, you never heard of this one before, and i haven’t either”, with The Iced Hunter, an italian horror fantasy action film directed by Davide Cancila and about the titular “iced hunter” (you can tell his namesake was never intended to be translated in english, because it sounds like a fancy non-IBA approved cocktail or a Blooborne collaboration cafè item), a mysterious non-human warrior with fittingly mysterious origins and with memories not of his own, being trailed by the “Domini Lupi” sect, hellbent of getting rid of him at any cost.

Does this feel like a werewolf spiced live action “redo/reinterpretation” of the “Holy Iron Chain Order” arc in Berserk?

Continua a leggere “The Iced Hunter (2018) [REVIEW] | Mozgus Chaser”

[EXPRESSO] In The Trap (2019) | Spineless Haunting

Given the horror heritage Italy has, it may sound strange how nowadays the genre it’s basically extincty here, and the few attempts made by italian productions are often better forgotten.

Still, i wanted to try my luck with this one in theathers… before the first wave of COVID-19 here killed it’s planned 2020 theathrical release. I recently found out it was eventually licensed for streaming on Amazon Prime Video, so let’s go.

Directed by Alessio Liquori, In The Trap it’s a movie sold on lies, because both the synopsis for the expected cinema release and the one on Amazon Prime Video are quite deceptive, this is about a guy being haunted by a demon that killed his sister years ago, and later possessed his fianceè.

What the summary says it’s that the guy, Philip, it’s trapped in his own house for 2 years by a sinister force that doesn’t let him escape. One day he meets the girl living in the apartment above his, Sonia, and she tries to convince him that’s all in his head.

Problem is that synopsis actually refers only to the second act, and that’s there no doubt about the nature of the entity. The plot it’s senseless anyway, because the second act doesn’t even connect with the first one until the very end, and the last act “twist” are the very definition of not committing to anything, just throwing shit into the pot to have a positive ending.

I could forgive this deception, but the movie it’s another crappy & cliched exorcism-haunting film, with shitty dialogue and it’s just unsufferably boring and tiresome. It has a decent international cast and production values, but it’s part of “trojan horsing” audiences into watching this waste of time.

Quite glad i didn’t get to see it in theathers.

[EXPRESSO] Freaks Out (2021) | Freaks VS Nazis

I usually don’t feature italian movies here for fairly logical or obvious reason, but this is quite “the something”, as in it’s one of those batshit weird movies we’re still capable of putting out, like 2019’s Creators – The Past, but this has already quite the hook for italian viewers, as its from Gabriele Mainetti, the director of an italian superhero thriller called They Called Him Jeeg Robot, that yes, dips from the well of old mecha anime for its monicker and theme.

Not that it needed that to stand out, as this is about a group of circus freaks with various quirks (not quite that kind) and abilities that have become a dysfunctional family of sorts after they started living and working in Israel’s cirucs. But as this is set in 1943 Rome, as an explosion destroys the circus, so they find themselves without a home-refuge, thrown into the horrors WW II.

And yes, this means they’ll have to face the Nazis, as the ringmaster of the Berlin Zircus it’s looking for people with special abilities in order to weaponize them for the Fuhrer.

Even more amazing, it’s not billed as a tongue-in-cheek romp, but as a drama, which isn’t that surprising considering the director and this being “foreign cinema” for most of you, and isn’t exactly wrong, since it a movie about the frigging Holocaust, drama is important and has quite the punch, perfectly balanced with the superhero movie elements and the offbeat abundant comedy.

It’s a pretty funny movie when it wants to, same for when it indulges in its “exploitation cinema” side, like the random full nudity bits or the deliberately off-beat anachronisms, with some really fuckin wild and weird visuals, for sure.

It’s a bit long, but it’s pretty good, a blast even. Recommended.

Arachnicide (2014) [REVIEW] | Going Digital On Yo Ass

This one is a bit special to me as an italian, as it fills a niche of monster movies that basically went extinct over time: the italian b-movie made for the international market.

Yeah, as you could ascertain from the poster (and the cast list) having almost exclusively italian actors on it, this is an italian movie, and if the look of the actors didn’t give it away (i’d argue it does, at the very least it’s obvious that these are not American), the english dub ABSOLUTELY will make that clear as day, and sadly you can’t watch it in italian with english subs, not only on the UK DVD release i imported, but apparently in all english languages releases on streaming as well.

Continua a leggere “Arachnicide (2014) [REVIEW] | Going Digital On Yo Ass”

[EXPRESSO] Waiting For The Barbarians (2019) | Attila, Scourge Of Odd

Based on the novel of the same by J. M. Coetzee, Waiting For The Barbarians is one of the recent italian productions made with the international market in mind, with Robert Pattinson….but also Johnny Depp, who is still getting work, despite everything.

Let’s leave it at that for the sake of the review, ok?

Taking place in an indefined frontier outpost near the border of an unknown empire (even though they look like british frontier soldiers), the movie follows the story of the Magister, who is close to retirement as Colonel Joll arrives, tasked with security and gathering intel on the “barbarians”. But as he outrights searches these people to capture and torture them in public,tries to stir a full-out war, the Magister has second thoughts, gets accused of treason, etc.

And it’s a frustrating one to review, because there is ambition, the cast is good (mostly), but the movie isn’t as “deep” as it thinks, it’s a story about “the horrors of war and the monstrous need for an enemy to exist”, that is obvious right away, for every character in the movie… beside the protagonist, the Magistrate, who seems to be surprised by anything that happens, and makes you wonder how he can possibly be so absurdly naive.

Way more than he’s intended to be, to the point of it being laughably cartoonish and dissonant with the otherwise more realistic scenes of torture, corruption and.. well anything. And the movie is also slowly paced, like its main protagonist it spends ages yet again re-iterating on the beyond obvious messages and themes. Doesn’t help that Depp also plays a cartoonish “nazi frontier general” villain, even more caricatural than usual.

Shame, because it has some inspired moments, it really does, but in the end it’s kind of a mess.