Anacondas: Trail Of Blood (2009) [REVIEW] | Bone Cancer Snakes #snakesofjune

It took this series 4 movies, but this we’re actually getting an actual sequel… to Anaconda 3, but still, unlike that claimed to be a sequel to Anaconda: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, Anaconda 4/Anacondas: Trail Of Blood it’s actually a sequel to Anaconda 3: Offspring, and it has the director of that movie, Don E. Fauntleroy, returning, so let the spunk pumps go off in celebration.

As i’ve said before, you gotta treasure the small things in these movies, and a movie claiming to be a sequel actually being a sequel it’s definitely something you can’t trust/take for granted.

I’m gonna spin this into a positive note, for a change. You can’t stop me.

Continua a leggere “Anacondas: Trail Of Blood (2009) [REVIEW] | Bone Cancer Snakes #snakesofjune”

Anaconda 3: Offspring (2008) [REVIEW] | Hit That Hoff #snakesofjune

As previously discussed, the Anaconda series did prosper… ok, “continue”, as this third installment was a made for TV movie that originally aired on SciFi, instead of a theathrical release.

And to save some extra buckaroos, you film two shitty TV killer snake movies in some Eastern European country for the price of one, as both Anaconda 3 and the sequel Anaconda: Blood Trail were shot back to back in Romania. I guess Nu Image claimed their “turf” for cheap shooting in Bulgary, so Stage 6 Productions did their business in the other closest country there.

While it’s described as a sequel to The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, the only thing that provides any slim bit of continuity is the name of the pharmaceutical company, Wexel Hall, there’s no returning cast from the second one, heck, not even any returning character. Plot involves an industrialist named Murdoch – played by John Rhys-Davey looking strongly like Pavarotti here – having an anaconda captured from the Amazon River and brought to the company’s Romanian branch to experiment on it a serum made from the Blood Orchid.

Continua a leggere “Anaconda 3: Offspring (2008) [REVIEW] | Hit That Hoff #snakesofjune”

Ninety Nine Nights X360 [REVIEW] | #musoumay

In the 2000s, the Dynasty Warriors series (and most of its subseries) was not well received in western grounds, often maligned by people that never even gave the formula a real chance but eager to play them for 5 minutes, stop and write some half-baked “review”, because it was cool to bash musou games, and they’re a niche interest anyway, who cares.

But that didn’t stop various other company from having a go at the formula, often proclaiming that them alone knew how to “fix” musou games… and then churning out shit that only demonstrated how people genuinely misunderstood the formula and the appeal of these games, often thinking that they just needed to beef up the enemy IA… leading to crap like Spartan Total Warrior.

One of the “musou pretenders” from that era was definitely Ninety Nine Nights, or N3 because we’re cool like that, dawg. Drop the beets for the l33t.

A X-Box 360 exclusive launch title, developed by Q Entertaiment and Phantagram, Ninety Nine Nights also had a fairly rushed development cycle, which you can really tell from the story perspective. It’s the usual “Light VS Darkness” bullshit set in a medieval-ish looking world with all expected high fantasy races and tropes: goblin, trolls, orcs, dragons and all dat shit.

Continua a leggere “Ninety Nine Nights X360 [REVIEW] | #musoumay”

King Of The Lost World (2005) [REVIEW] | Simians & Dragons

If there’s a big blockbuster movie coming and somehow involving monsters or aliens (among others) or elements that also relate to “B-movies”, you can bet The Asylum has already launched a mockbuster of it one week earlier or after, because they’re the Zoidberg of the film industry…. well, not quite, because they have actual budgets that don’t involve papermaciè monsters and so on.

BUT WAIT, this time we have a rare example of a “mockbuster double combo”, one that ironically did better to skirt around copyright lawsuits than what the later did with mockbuster of first The Hobbit movie from 2012, where they got themselves a lawsuit as they were stupid enough to use the word “hobbit” in the title of their mockbuster movie, resulting in the movie itself being delayed.

Obviously it was released to cash into the Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake (literally released 1 day before the Peter Jackson’s movie hit theathers, classic), but cleverly didn’t use the word “kong” in the title or marketing (which got 1976’s A*P*E in trouble), which also has the benefit of making this one sneak by quietly as you won’t find it by simply searching for “king kong films”, and also attaching itself to The Lost World, as in the original novel by Conan Doyle, not “Jurassic Park 2”. But did – because it was legally fair – put on the cover of the DVD this phrase “the epic story that inspired King Kong and Jurassic Park”. Which is technically true. 🙂

So is this the mash up of both King Kong and The Lost World the title promises?

Basically, yes. Kinda. By that i mean that the basic premise it’s The Lost World, and ultimately the plot follows more the beats of that instead of King Kong’s, but eventually we have natives… not facing other more primitive ape-men, but making ritual human sacrifices to appease the creatures of the jungle. Yep, you’d think it would make sense to have them making tributes/sacrifices to their giant ape god, but i guess that way the company would seem begging to be sued again, so nope, the giant ape in question doesn’t actually have anything to do with anything else besides just existing and being feared by all creatures, he just shows up fighting some giant dragon-flying lizards and accidentally ruins the ritual.

Also, the natives aren’t actually natives (more on that later) oddly brainwash the survivors to join them, those they don’t choose as sacrifices, and since there’s no Empire State Building for “Ding King” to fall over (there are planes and jets, interestingly enough), the giant monster will have to be dealt with the only sensible solution available: nuking his ass to oblivion.

Yep, this is exactly how they dealth with the “dinosaur” in “King Dinosaur”, because when in doubt, ask yourself how Bert I. Gordon would have written the finale for your film. Then at least make your own footage for the rushed resolution.

Speaking of the monkey, it show ups early….. but it’s also hidden at the same time, because the effects are so bad and it’s shown in such quick cuts you can’t even screenshot the darn thing to see any detail of this “vague blurry giant monkey” thing that showed up on screen for a second. Even when it’s finally shown properly (in the last 10 minutes)…it still looks quite blurry.

Here’s the part where i would try to mount a legit, proper critique of the special effects… to just take the piss on them, but to be honest it’s exactly what i expected from an Asylum movie (especially a pre-2010s one), any further elaboration it’s really pointless and devoid of value for anyone.

BUT i didn’t expect them to pull off shit like “mummy mannequin” that’s supposed to be one of the guys being attacked, immediatly encased in giant spider’s webbing and dropped as a decaying mummified corpse 2 seconds later. It’s not that it looks bad, surprisingly, but its the way it’s presented that sucks, you could at least try to make the damn thing look as big as the person it’s supposed to be, or to make it look like it has some weight to it. Come on.

If nothing else, it starts pretty fast with a plane crash… as in, no pussyfooting around with establishing any of the characters or even spending some time on the plane ride itself, there’s no time or money for that, let’s get to the disaster already, we’ll figure everything else (like characters or motivations) later. Maybe.

As you could have guessed, the movie at its heart it’s a very loose adaptation of The Lost World, it’s no period piece of sorts (as it’s not set in the early 20th centhury like the original novel was), to be honest though i really didn’t expect it to be, since even their later 2009’s adaptation of The Land That Time Forgot wasn’t… totally, they at least found a way to kinda do both with the sci-fi twist of a portal/rift… but then again they did went with the Bermuda Triangle angle for that.

Here we don’t have any sci-fi elements, but we have a strange subplot that the tribal people you expect to be natives from the island (as they were in King Kong).. aren’t actually natives, but people that also crash landed there, kinda reverted back to a tribal lifestyle, and also brainwashed other survivors of plane crashes into joining them.

Well, maybe some were natives, but i’m just guessing, it’s never properly explained, and the entire subplot makes very little sense, to the point it would be better to have it cut entirely and just have the tribal people in the “lost world” just being prehistoric humans native to the island, instead of this convoluted non-sense.

But i’m inclined to believe it’s written this way to avoid the script having too many similarities to King Kong (or The Lost Word), deliberately put there to differentiate it enough so to avoid any risk of being properly sued. Or maybe i’m wrong, i could be.

acting is the kind i would like to write off as “ok” for this kind of hokum, with the bigger names delivering the best performances (and they’re names a more general audiences might actually recognize, with Boxleitner and Steves Railsback)…and i will, the bigger actors do a decent enough job to even out the moments where other actors either way over or under act their parts in a noticeable way.

The acting overall leans more to the “decent” side than most Asylum flicks, same for the characters, and you also get giant scorpions, dragons, giant spiders, some of which were not in either King Kong nor The Lost World, but yeah, more monsters it’s a good trade off, all things considered. I’ll take this instead of no monsters or a lot of padding.

So overall, King Of The Lost World….it’s alright, things happen at a decent pace, it’s not overly long, honestly it’s kinda one of the best mockbusters the Asylum spunked out over time, as it’s in itself an entertaining jungle romp, aside from being a double bootleg of two classic tales (leaning definitely more on side of The Lost World than King Kong), despite the very little on-screen presence of “Ding King”.

It doesn’t mean it’s good, it’s not, but it’s NOWHERE as bad as the reception and metascore on IDMB would lead you to believe, there’s definitely some effort, and it’s not a bad effort, considerin the tiny budget it has, i mean, even the aforementioned The Land That Time Forgot -also from the Asylum – had a noticeably bigger budget put to it.

Might be worth a look if you’re up for some low budget jungle adventure mish mash from the infamous company or having a mockbuster marathon.

Not that bad, surprisingly so.

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! 🙂

This Summer: One Piece Films Retrospective

In love with this design, holy shit!

As you might now, the new One Piece film, titled One Piece Film: Red, was announced in November 2012 set for a summer 2022 release. Which isn’t really “new” as from One Piece Film Gold in 2016 Toei makes a new movie every 3 years, but i’m finally ready to review all One Piece films… again.

As in – like i previosly told – i previously reviewed them to accompany the release of One Piece Stampede back in 2019 on the original italian version of the blog, so in the previous years i’ve reviewed the One Piece OVAs and the TV Specials, as i wanted to make some time pass, as i’m rewatching them all and writing the reviews from scratch, instead of translating, reworking, polishing the old ones.

Who knows, in time i might have changed my opinions on some…. and i mean “some”, there’s one in particular than i might have even harsher words for, but we’ll see.

Presenting 12 Days Of Dino December

Of course i had to go with this oldie, how couldn’t i?

Maybe you were looking forward to another month full of dinosaur themed movies reviews, maybe you were dreading the ideas, so laboring under both hypotheses i’d figure to make a compromise (as it’s the essence of diplomacy and the cornerstone of love), so this year we’re not having Dino Dicember Part Deux, but we’ll go the more canonical route, and have 12 reviews for each of the “12 Days Of Christmas”, starting on December 25th up to January 6 (included).

Submitted for your approval, the coming “12 Days Of Dino Dicember”.

Resident Evil Damnation (2012) [REVIEW] | Slavic Struggle

4 years after Degeneration, Capcom followed it up with Damnation (i would wager they didn’t plan the titles beforehand, at all), made mostly to promote Resident Evil 6, released in Japan roughly 3 weeks before, as it acts as a prequel to that game’s storyline.

So yeah, it’s not really a sequel to Degeneration as there are no returning characters from that movie aside from Leon S. Kennedy and Hunnigan, and the events from that film don’t really ever get brought up or serve any purpose to the story of Damnation.

They just don’t.

Which i understand from a functional standpoint, you don’t wanna have people lost if they didn’t watch Degeneration, that movies was released 4 years prior and these CG movies didn’t exactly make people and fans drool over them en masse. But you could have tried to make some fuckin connections happen and try to build an overarching plot of sorts, if nothing else to artificially make the various plots seem more important and better due to the interconnection.

In hindsight it’s not a problem, so let’s talk about the plot of Resident Evil Damnation.

Continua a leggere “Resident Evil Damnation (2012) [REVIEW] | Slavic Struggle”

Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) [REVIEW] | Airport Outbreak

While not the first CG Resident Evil movie ever (that “honor” goes to the previously feautured “Biohazard 4D Executer”), Degeneration is arguably the first proper full lenght animated feature based on the Capcom series, intended as an opposite entity to the live action movie series, as those followed the plots of the game very, very loosely, but Degeneration clearly sets itself within the universe of the games, set sometimes after Resident Evil 4 and before Resident Evil 5.

Why it is this film (and the following sequels) kinda ignored, you may ask.

The answer i feel it’s pretty much as obvious as kinda inevitable, and can be really summed up with “motion capture based 3D CG animation”, which has never been too popular among either hardcore or casual fans of the franchise, or self-proclaimed “animation lovers” for that matter.

Continua a leggere “Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) [REVIEW] | Airport Outbreak”

The Spooktacular Eight #4: Big Tits Zombie / Big Tits Dragon (2010)

Based on the manga Big Tits Dragon from Rei Mikamoto (Satanister, Reiko The Zombie Shop, Bloody Deliquent Chainsaw Girl, A Girl of The Iron Ghost), directed and written by Takao Nakano, a famous japanese satirist, or so the Wikipedia page says, in any case i never heard of him before, but giving his background in the japanese adult video market and the cast made out of famous faces from the japanese porn industry (again, so says Wikipedia, i can’t know everything), and given how he did a parody of sorts of Cronenberg’s Shivers (called Sexual Parasite: Killer Pussy, which is up there with Killer Condom as titles you can give movies)….yes, he being involved makes total sense.

It was shot in 3D, which it won’t matter to me since i can’t access a 3D version, and of course there’s no european release of any kind, home video, streaming, nada. Actually, there is a german release and there was an UK release by Terracotta Productions (even had a limited UK theathrical run), but the latter is nowhere to be found, not on their store, site, or even on most ecommerce sites.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #4: Big Tits Zombie / Big Tits Dragon (2010)”