12 Days Of Dino Dicember #14: Triassic Attack (2010)

To give us a breather from an apparently endless strain of incredibly stupid scientists who would resurrect Hitler and put his brain in a T-Rex for the lulz… this time no one is cloning anything, or tampering in god’s domain without a rubber octopus on strings.

None of that shit.

Sorry for the screenshots “salvage fest”, but despite IMDB listing it having an italian release date (which is true since it was aired on tv here… i guess once), i couldn’t even find images of the apparent UK release, let alone a UK DVD, it’s not even one of those dino flicks gated off to non-UK Amazon Prime Video users. And apparently none of the major streaming services has it.

I’m not paying extra to import it from the US or get a Japanese copy, sorry, not for Triassic Attack.

Continua a leggere “12 Days Of Dino Dicember #14: Triassic Attack (2010)”

[EXPRESSO] Violent Night (2022) | Santa Hard

Tommy Wirkola is back after last year’s The Trip (available on Netflix) to the snow tinted realm of horror…. but not quite.

This time around he cooked up a christmas black comedy that has been described as “Die Hard but with Santa Claus instead of John McClain”… because it’s pretty much that, set in a rich family’s villa where a group of terrorists (with the leader played by John Leguizamo) lies in wait to get their hands on a big chunk of million money.

It just happens that by accident the real, factual Santa Claus finds himself in that very house when shit goes down, and decides to fight them to save the family, especially as the younger child earnestly believes in him, by way of some magic, a warhammer and a lot of gruesome violence.

Yeah, it isn’t strictly a horror movie, it’s definitely heavy on action and comedy as you would expect from this deliberate pastiche of Die Hard and christmas movie, but again, it’s a Tommy Wirkola film, so it doesn’t really matter that this isn’t a new installment of Dead Snow or a christmas slasher, because we also get to see Santa pile up a more than respectable bodycount, using everything from ornaments to shovel to woodchippers and even a warhammer (tied to his backstory/lore here)

Heck, for good measure there is a straight up Home Alone “trap scene” and even that provides a lot of gore effects played for laughs that will still make you go “OW”.

There’s also the “Bad Santa” angle to the main character, but not quite, since he IS real here, and otherwise the surprisingly decent emotional moments would lose any kind of weight.

Violent Night it’s a pastiche of familiar elements indeed, but it’s a bloody fun holiday romp, too.

The Spooktacular Eight #10: Robo Vampire (1988)

Oh boy. THIS one.

Quite the legendary trash film from Godfrey Ho (credited as Thomas Tang, once again), one that definitely lives up to its status as one of the most bonkers heaps of garbage to ever come out of the 80s never ending cauldron of action-xploitation movies.

It’s definitely quite infamous and rightfully so, because even if you’re acquainted with Godfrey Ho, Joseph Lai, their companies like Filmark International and IFD Arts, this is still absolute hokum of majestic proportions, downright unbelievable and baffling.

I can’t even imagine how much cocaine did Ho and his unnamed writers snort up for this one in particular, because it makes their cut n paste ninja flicks look downright sensible and composed.

The main reason it’s because Ho (or Lai, or whoever supervised the scripts, hard to say when Ho is credited for many films he didn’t even direct) didn’t bother to say no to anything proposed, i refuse to believe anything got cut from the script since it’s all a non-sensical demented mish mash.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #10: Robo Vampire (1988)”

[EXPRESSO] Doctor Strange in The Multiverse Madness (2022) | Mystics From NY

FIY: I’m one of those that didn’t watch Wandavision before heading into this for many reasons (including not really caring nor intending to pay or use Disney +), and i was right in assuming that i didn’t need to… as they give you just enough info to follow the plot of this movie without spoiling that show or anything. It’s a perfected science of its own at this point.

THAT out of the way, i was honestly looking forward to this one, having liked a lot the first Dr. Strange movie, and having Sam Raimi on board as director for the sequel did please me indeed.

The plot sees Dr. Strange deal further with the concept of the multiverse, as a girl with the power to travel to different parallel universes appears in NY being followed by an eldritch monster, sent by Wanda The Scarlet Witch to kidnap the girl. Helped by his fellow mystics and the new girl, Strange will have to find a way to stop Wanda while traversing various realities in the multiverse…

While it starts a bit ho-hum, it does “gear up” and delivers on the expected package of magic, mystical brawls, multiverse jumping (used for what could or could be not “cameos”, let’s just put it like that), wizard duels, and i’m glad Raimi was allowed – to the extent a Marvel movie will find comfortable – to lean more on the horror elements and how he likes to handle them, which helps this entry in standing out a bit more.

Overall, Dr Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, does deliver on the title, it’s pretty fun, and it thankfully not bloated as some other Marvel movies in terms of runtime.

Nothing “great”, but i quite liked it.

Mileage might and will vary, as usual.

Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon (1994) [REVIEW] | Tsukuyomi Endless (Endless)

Ah yes, the classic go-to monster of japanese folklore for when a regular hydra just won’t cut it, and a name that will be immediatly recognized by anyone with some dedication to videogames, manga and cinema, especially if they involve the classic mediaval fantasy japanese settings, as he’s often the big bad monster like in Okami, or has an entire subseries of Warriors crossover titles with him as the catalyst of chaos. Or more close to the bone, being the ispiration for the classic Godzilla monster, King Ghidorah, since we’re going into the Toho territory of giant monsters once again.

But it’s not quite that, as this one isn’t a science fiction film as many giant monsters from the Godzilla series were, but instead is a straigh-foward old fashioned magical fantasy film that picks various mythological characters and story pieces from the ones about the formation of the Shinto religion, in this case being the tale of Yamato Takeru, his encounter with the Yamato-hime priestess, receiving the holy sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi, the Tree Treasures, Susano’o, the fight with the god Tsukuyomi….

…and a lot more names that most likely don’t mean jack if you’re not familiar with japanese mythology, like at all, so it makes a bit more sense that they didn’t release it overseas under its original title of “Yamato Takeru”, despite it being more apt.

Continua a leggere “Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon (1994) [REVIEW] | Tsukuyomi Endless (Endless)”

Snowmageddon (2011) [REVIEW] | Promise (NOT featuring Kohmi Hirose)

If you’re like me, you don’t need to be told that there is a deluge of disaster movies up on Amazon Prime Video, often looking so easy to review that makes you feel bad, so low hanging and free (as in, included with Prime, i’m not paying extra subscription) the fruits of this “tree” are.

So i often end up browsing, looking at the description, just adding to the watchlist and moving on, forgot i’ve even added them, etc.

This one does break the mold and managed to make me kinda intrigued, as the premise made Snowmageddon (E- for the title, btw, it could have been way more stupidier and tortured) sounded very fuckin stupid, cheesy but slightly different.

And it’s still fairly cold here, so before springtime hits proper let’s indulge in more icy TV trash, the review for the Uncharted movie it’s coming later, so please, join me in this mystical garbage dive.

Continua a leggere “Snowmageddon (2011) [REVIEW] | Promise (NOT featuring Kohmi Hirose)”

The Spooktacular Eight #7: The House On Skull Mountain (1974)

Blaxploitation isn’t my forte, but there’s a lot of horror movies in this vague “category-label”.

I like to not go for the obvious choice (when possible), and we didn’t spotlight an “old dark house movie” with the more typical murder mystery set-up of always: reading of the will of long distant relative that recently croaked in presence of his nephews, many not having ever seen the old lady or the other cousins before this very occasion.

It just happens the deceased was a voodoo priestess living in her southern estate, and her relatives that stay to hear the will are being killed off one by one with voodoo magic, with the survivors trying to figure out who is the killer before it gets to them as well.

And i guess it worked a bit too well as this was the final film for Mike Evans (Good Times, The Jeffersons, All In The Family), not his final acting role, thought.

As you could guess from the plot and the title, it’s a blackploitation horror film with a somewhat gothic theme, due to the mansion and it taking place on “Skull Mountain”, which means some real estate did Skeletor dirty, so to speak. I say “somewhat” due to voodoo being involved, but it’s magical, supernatural stuff regardless, and it looking at a different tradition makes it less trite.

And as one of the characters puts it “one doesn’t exclude the other”.

In case you disagree, there’s the costant thunder cracking outside the mansion (yes, done in the exact same fashion you expect) that sets the gothic mood, the nearly costant rain and some fog. And “tribal drumming”.

An irksome point is that i feel the characters called there to the house were made cousins and thus related way late into scripting to avoid the very notion of afroamerican and white people (as one of the cousins it’s played by Victor French) having a relationship, which it’s fuckin racist as hell, but even odder since they didn’t change some of the music during the “date” montage to fit this.

It’s iffy, to say the least, but it’s also a sign of the decade it was made, i guess.

Despite what you may think, the “blaxploitation” label it’s kinda ill fitting, as this doesn’t have gratituous gore, nudity or harsh language (it barely has blood), it’s indeed a old dark house type of horror thriller that focuses on the atmosphere, the supernatural events and magic, and it’s fairly effective, a bit on the cheesy side (as there are skull shaped door knockers) but spooky indeed.

It’s a bit slow at times since it’s not a mystery who’s actually causing the murder and how, so you wait for a twist, and after a ritual tribal dance scene that goes on a little longer than i liked (to be honest i had enough of rhytmic african drumming solos for a good 6 months)… you don’t really get it either, as the situation it’s pretty much what you thought was shaping up to be.

But you get a pretty spectacular finale, so it’s definitely more than “fine”.

I honestly don’t have much else to say or to complain about, it’s good.

Solid production values, good atmosphere, good acting, and not really exploitative, so i can conclude i’d recommend giving The House On Skull Mountain a good watch however you can.

And remember, blood and magic are thicker than water or skin pigmentation.

Seriously, it’s a good one not deserving its relative obscurity.

Medievil PS4 [REVIEW] | Re-re-remaking The Past

While not what you would call a system seller, if you ask anyone growing up in the 90s, Medievil will probably come up in the discussion, so ingrained this little, beloved series of action platformers in the Playstation brand and overall legacy, despite remaining a cult/nostalgia sensation.

Though, when i say series, i mean the PS1 original (still available as digital PS1 Classic release on PS3 and Vita), Medievil 2 exists, but it’s mostly forgotten by the internet hivemind/consciousness, and this isn’t even the first remake of Medievil, as there’s a PSP port, Medievil Resurrection, with upgraded graphics that also changes some of the story, adds new features and remove others.

This is more of a remaster than an actual remake, a complete technical re-built but with minimal changes to gameplay and controls, very few modern concessions, all in order to offer a faithful recreation, for best or worst. Because as much as i like Medievil, this remaster/remake also works as an interesting litmus test of where bringing back the 90s, and – expanding the question – appealing to the nostalgia market eventually leads.

At least without going into the unholy effects of meming fuckin Bubsy (and Shaq Fu) unto life again, we’ll visit these forsaken lands of excrement and death, but not today.

Continua a leggere “Medievil PS4 [REVIEW] | Re-re-remaking The Past”

[EXPRESSO] Sol Levante (2020) | 4K Anime Fireworks

Sol Levante 2020 poster

Ok, apparently this arrived at the beginning of April on Netflix (Netflix Exclusive), and more than wonder how i missed hearing anything about it despite being quarantined at home, this just shows how much i use Netflix overall. I never even saw even a mention of this one on social media, so i’m gonna do what i can to help.

And yes, this is more of an announcement than a review, because Sol Levante (italian for “rising sun”, despite being a japanese production) isn’t or wasn’t meant to create an interesting story or world, but to test what exactly can you do with animation designed for 4K and HDR displays, with detailed hand-drawn animation produced by Netflix in collaboration with Production I.G, directed and conceived by Akira Saitou.

So the plot is vague at best, concerning a young female warrior (with fantasy ninja outfit) on a quest to reach a sacred place that is said to fulfill any wish, but she has to fight off the mystical and magical guardians of the Sanctuary, who vary from magma dragons, magic trees, sea monsters, etc. It’s good the summary tells you that, because there is no dialogue or text to explain anything, because the budget was already astronomical and the workload (2 years of work) insane, so you don’t get any context, even if the narrative is mostly self-explanatory, despite being bland and barely there.

But – again- Sol Levant was made to be a huge technical exercise, and it delivers with great animation, really detailed and incredibly colorful visuals, spectacle at its finest. It is truly impressive, while it lasts, but even so, this 4 minute short does sells you on the idea that this could be a new starting point for the future of animation overall.

Definitely interesting and worth a watch, regardless.


Magical Senpai (2019) Anime First Impressions | Magashi Kashi

Magical Senpai 2019 anime.jpg

I feel like getting some use of my Crunchyroll subscription (which in Italy isn’t a great deal like it is for the States), so let’s talk about the first 3 episodes of Magical Senpai, let’s do a “first impression sorta thing”.

The premise is quite simple: non-Hotaru Shidare of Dagashi Kashi is not a publicity stunt weirdo obsessed with candy products, but a girl that opened a Magic Club in the school, and wants to recruit other members by just being obsessed about magic instead of candy. But as a random freshman finds out when deciding to see what the club was like…. she is awful at doing magic tricks. She tries her best, but she’s still awful, really, really catastrophically awful at it.

The freshman is basically strung along her well meant but failing attempts at magic and excessively talkative behaviour, and their hijinxs (eventually, going by the opening and the mediocre song used for it) attract other weird characters to the club.. Continua a leggere “Magical Senpai (2019) Anime First Impressions | Magashi Kashi”