Deadly End (2005)

Deadly End (2005)
AKA Neighborhood Watch

Starring Jack Huston, Pell James, Nick Searcy, Terry Becker, Anina Lincoln, Meredith Morton, John Ennis, De Anna Joy Brooks, Irwin Keyes, Randall Bosley, Gil Glasgow, Janice Davies, Tim Devitt

Directed by Graeme Whifler

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Like Vengeance of the Dead, Full Moon picked up Deadly End for distribution and re-titled it. The original title was Neighborhood Watch, and it is much more fitting than whatever Deadly End is supposed to signify. Regardless which title you prefer, Deadly End is probably the strongest film to be released by Full Moon during the 2000s. I know that isn’t saying much because of Full Moon’s relatively lackluster offerings during that time, but I’m confident that Deadly End would shine in any of Full Moon’s eras. The film’s budget is minimal, but the ingenuity and the craft on display is anything but. It’s really a shame that director Graeme Whifler — who also wrote Sonny Boy and co-wrote Dr. Giggles — didn’t go on to make any other features, as Deadly End is a strong, memorable debut.

Bob Petersen (Jack Huston) and his wife Wendy (Pell James) have moved across the country to a seemingly normal neighborhood in the Californian desert. One house has multiple “Keep Out” signs and barricades, and another has derelict appliances in the front yard, but as someone who lived in that area for about 30 years, I can attest to this not being too far outside the norm. But nothing is normal or innocent in this particular film, and things get dark fairly quickly. Before that turn, though, we meet Bob and Wendy during their first night in their new home. In their underwear, they crawl on the floor around a maze of boxes, flirtatiously meowing to each other. Not your average foreplay, but hey, it’s their house and they can do what they want. When they’re done playing cat and mouse cat, the couple passionately makes love. In these moments, the precious, deep love they have for one another is tangible. The scene is surprisingly affecting and erotic, not so much in a titillating way, but in accurately replicating the reality of a moment’s passion between two loving people. It is undeniable, and it is pure, and for the remainder of the film, this innocence will be systematically attacked and tested.

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Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong (2011)

Starring Peter Stickles, John Patrick Jordan, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Sonny Carl Davis, Michelle Mais, Circus-Szalewski, Irwin Keyes, Jacob Witkin, Robin Sydney

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High. Part 2 was great.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


After the wonderful follow-up to the surprisingly enjoyable Evil Bong, I eagerly awaited the third film in the series. Perhaps the fact that I was disappointed is directly connected to these unrealistic expectations, or maybe it’s because I was unable to see the movie in the theater in glorious 3D and scratch-n-sniff aided Sniff-O-Rama! In any case, I was expecting some quality comedy and instead I got what amounts to a couple of good jokes and a lot of filler.

In one of the most epic opening scenes Full Moon has ever done, an alien meteorite/spaceship hurtles through the infinite cosmos on a collision course for Earth. Don’t worry, it’s small. The world isn’t in danger… or is it? This scene evokes a feeling of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with its space-faring visuals and haunting choral music, but this is where the similarities end. Inside this ship is an alien bong, hell-bent on controlling the Earth! So far, so good, but as soon as the bong makes its way to Brett and Bachman’s head shop, the movie starts to take a downward turn.

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Oblivion 2: Backlash (1996)

Starring Richard Joseph Paul, Musetta Vander, Maxwell Caulfield, Julie Newmar, Jackie Swanson, Andrew Divoff, Meg Foster, Isaac Hayes, George Takei,  Carel Struycken, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Irwin Keyes, Jeff Celentano

Directed by Sam Irwin

Expectations: Moderate, I enjoyed the first one. Hopefully this will live up to it.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


Oblivion 2: Backlash starts out pretty slow for a movie with an eighty-three minute runtime. The first ten minutes are filled with a fairly detailed recap of the first film for those who either didn’t see it or weren’t paying attention. This does set the stage rather well for this film, but it goes on a little long. This leads into roughly ten minutes of lazy exposition explaining where everyone is and what they’re doing following the calamitous events of Oblivion. Really? The first quarter of the runtime is padding? This can’t be a good sign for the rest of Oblivion 2.

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Oblivion (1994)

Starring Richard Joseph Paul, Jackie Swanson, Andrew Divoff, Meg Foster, Musetta Vander, George Takei, Julie Newmar, Carel Struycken, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Isaac Hayes, Jeff Moldovan, Mike Genovese, Frank Roman, Irwin Keyes

Directed by Sam Irvin

Expectations: High, this looks awesome.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


For fans of science fiction westerns, there aren’t a lot of options. You’ve got Westworld, Back to the Future III and a few others, including the soon to be released Cowboys and Aliens. There’s also Oblivion, Full Moon’s entry into the genre, which also manages to wrangle some horror and comedy elements into a hoot of a genre-bending time waster. When the evil alien Red Eye kills the Marshall of the town of Oblivion, the settlers can do nothing to stop his pillaging ways. What Red Eye didn’t count on was the Marshall’s coward son Zack coming back into town. Along for the ride is Zack’s native friend, whom he rescued from a badass twin-tailed stop-motion scorpion about fifteen minutes in.

The world of Oblivion is interesting unto itself. It’s a mixture of future-tech, Old West, post-apocalyptica and varied alien creatures, resulting in a very unique and engrossing world. Grisled prospectors might wear calculator watches to compute their earnings, but revolvers are still the guns of choice. They never seem to reload said revolvers though, which may be a technical advancement of this mash-up world, or simply an oversight during production. As this is a Full Moon movie and they need every imaginative element working in their favor, I’ll go with the former.

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