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)”

Giant Monster March 2022 is GO!

Some things come and go, but giant monsters are forever!

Yeah, while i’m still keeping the bi-daily posting rate, starting tomorrow for this month every posting day when there’s not a new movie EXPRESSO review there will be a full lenght giant monster movie review. Simple as that, so see ya tomorrow for the first one of this year, hoping this will become a yearly institution! 🙂

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”

Resident Evil Vendetta (2017) [REVIEW] | Remote Zombies

As Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was released in theathers earlier this week (in most countries), let’s take a look at the final Resident Evil CG animated film, Vendetta, which is also technically the last of the “CG trilogy”, as in all three movies have Leon Kennedy as the main character and are set in the same universe of the Resident Evil games, to contrast with the live action film series (as previously said).

The biggest change – but not the most noticeable – is the animation, with this film produced by Marza Animation Planet instead of Digital Frontier, the studio behind all previous Resident Evil CG movies and even the short film Biohazard 4D Executer that we started this little retrospective with.

The name might not say much, but it’s actually a studio that started by providing CGI cutscenes for the Sonic The Hedgehog games, and eventually for both anime TV series and even full lenght features, working alongside japanese animation titans like Toei for the 2012 3D CG Space Captain Harlock movies, even Lupin III The First, and more recently being one of the production companies for the new Sonic The Hedgehog movies, in a kinda poetic turn of events.

Continua a leggere “Resident Evil Vendetta (2017) [REVIEW] | Remote Zombies”

Biohazard: 4D Executer (2000) [REVIEW] | Parasite Evil

While we wait for the new Resident Evil film reboot, i’d figure we’d take a look at the other forgotten Resident Evil film series, the CG animated one that basically most people don’t remember, know or care to do any of that.

But before tackling the movies you’ve might actually vaguely heard about, we need to go deeper and unearth the first actual 3D animated Resident Evil movie, 4D Executer, so unknown and so “important” it never got the Resident Evil title, so it still uses the japanese title for the series.

Continua a leggere “Biohazard: 4D Executer (2000) [REVIEW] | Parasite Evil”

[EXPRESSO] Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021) | Inherit The Ghost

Ghostbusters is something i don’t mind but also don’t feverishly worship, i can do without new installments milking the golden nostalgia udders this franchise possesses

This one comes also to ride the nostalgia train for movies like The Goonies AND the popularity of Strangers Things, which itself feeds into that nostalgia for the 80s that Strangers Things was borne from, making for a kinda sad self-sustaining loop, as its par for the course on modern revivals of old material, doesn’t matter if there’s a reason for it or anything aside it nostalgia lucrative.

But at least this isn’t going the full remake-reboot thing, it’s actually a sequel, set 30 years after the events of Ghostbuster II, and follows the nieces of Egon, Trevor and Phoebe Spengler, moving out into the rural town of Summerville, where their grandpa left them an old farm. And more, as the two kids find out, when the odd quakes Summerville keeps experiencing break out in a supernatural pandemonium.

Here the movie has the localized subtitle of “Legacy”, which it’s way more fitting and indicative of what it wants to be, as it’s directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, famous comedy director that back in the day also helmed Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, while Jason is more known for Thank You For Smoking and Juno.

It would be better if ultimately Jason didn’t want to recreate so much his father work with the first Ghostbusters, treated as a holy scripture that MUST followed upon and passed down through the generations. BUT this one is made by someone that definitely knows his stuff and that clearly cares about the material, arguably a bit too much emotionally involved, but at least it makes for a decent movie, better than the mediocre 2016’s reboot.

It’s alright.

The Spooktacular Eight # 5: Land Of The Minotaur/The Devil’s Men (1976)

While Greek mythology is arguably the most overrepresented in media (followed closely by Norse mythology as one of the many “free idea buckets”), you don’t exactly think of horror when you think of Greek cinema, as the many monsters from that mythos often are more used in videogames.

But of course, there are exceptions, odd relics that surface when you start digging hard and long enough, and Land Of Minoutar does have the allure of starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance, which is enough to have it featured here.

Even if this isn’t the first time the two beloved actors worked together, as The Flesh And The Fiends is from 1960.

And because this is a very obscure film, it has alternate titles, like just “Minotaur” and “The Devil’s Men”, the latter being used for its UK release, and my copy as well.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight # 5: Land Of The Minotaur/The Devil’s Men (1976)”

Alice: Madness Returns PS3 [REVIEW] | Swimming The Seas Of Sanity Lost

11 years later, American MacGee brought back his flawed cult game for a direct sequel with Alice: Madness Returns, and as EA (and other publishers) were big on fighting the used game market with the “online passes”, this time they wanted to discourage from buying the game used by inserting in new copies a code to redeem the original American McGee’s Alice, basically treated as DLC.

Thankfully now the older game is free DLC on both PSN and the X-Box store, you still need a copy of Madness Returns to access it, but still, better than on PC, now available only through Origin (it was on Steam as well but got delisted), it doesn’t seem to include the original American MacGee’s Alice game. At least not anymore. I’m not throwing cash away to find out for sure.

A re-release of both titles might be in order, i guess as soon as MacGee can buy back the rights from EA or when we’ll have some news about that hypotetical Alice: Asylum, who had a tentative date of 31 October 2021… but in 3 years we didn’t hear anything aside from the fact that the title is in pre-production, meaning clearly that release date is not gonna be final, so for the meantime these are the options to visit (or revisit) the series.

Continua a leggere “Alice: Madness Returns PS3 [REVIEW] | Swimming The Seas Of Sanity Lost”

Parasite (2004) [REVIEW] | Not that one either

Not Bong Joon-ho’s. Not the Charles Band’s kind of Parasite either.

Not even the manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki, sadly.

With this one we’re reaching deep into the ass of forgotten crappy b-movies from the early 2000s, dumped among many of its brethren on streaming sites, i discovered it while browsing Amazon Prime Video, and i would wager it’s pretty much available on the service anywhere in the world.

Continua a leggere “Parasite (2004) [REVIEW] | Not that one either”

[EXPRESSO] A Quiet Place Part II (2021) | Hush Of Us

I wasn’t sure if i wanted a sequel to A Quiet Place, as i was perfectly satisfied… heck, more than that, with both the finale and the movie itself, one of the best ones i saw that year, had everything you could want from a horror thriller, from fairly original premise to great acting, excellent creature effects, tense atmosphere, great characters, etc.

But i guess the combination of it being surprising (as it came from a director that previously didn’t explore or dabble in horror), acclaimed by everyone, AND being a surprise big financial hit made John Krasinki, Platinum Dunes and 20th Centhury Fox think of making a follow up, and it’s finally in theathers, another of the many movies delayed for months-years due this goddamn pandemic.

Following the events of the first movie, the Abbott family is forced to venture outside of the house they took refuge in and in doing so confront the human survivors of this post-apocalyptic world, still thriving with the blind deadly creatures attracted by sound.

Gotta admit, my fears of this sequel being somewhat of a cash-in were quickly shattered, as it manages to move forwards the story about this family surviving in the post-apocalypse, to give more context to the events that led up to the creatures appearing, and to develop the survival aspects even more thanks to them having to face not just the monsters, while giving way for character arcs.

All still done with minimal use of dialogue and sound, with a great atmosphere, some really scary – genuinely scary – moments, good action sequences, excellent acting, likeable characters, amazing creature effects yet again, all packed extremely tight in less than 100 minutes, no minute is wasted for the sake of it, at all.

Noteworthy sequel, and great movie all around.