The Brotherhood II: Young Warlocks (2001)

Starring Forrest Cochran, Sean Faris, Stacey Scowley, Jennifer Capo, Justin Allen, C.J. Thomason, Noah Frank, Greg Lyczkowski, Julie Briggs, Ari Welkom, Holly Sampson

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Moderately high. The first was pretty good and I like David DeCoteau.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


I thoroughly enjoyed the first Brotherhood film, so my internal hype set me up to be somewhat disappointed with The Brotherhood II: Young Warlocks. Regardless of this, there’s no denying that the sequel is very entertaining. Anyone who enjoyed the first film is likely to enjoy this one as well. Both films follow similar structures, and I don’t know if the differences are distinct enough to build a sequel on, but both films are entertaining in their own ways and that’s what really matters, right?

The first Brotherhood is about vampires, so I honestly expected the whole series to be vampire-based. I don’t watch trailers or think too much about these movies before I watch them, but I guess I should have taken that Young Warlocks subtitle a little more seriously. The sequel’s mythology delves into witches and warlocks (but mostly just warlocks), and this is both brilliant and somewhat frustrating. I loved the secret society of the first film and I had hoped to go a little deeper into that. At the same time, the idea of a low-budget horror franchise based around a variety of college secret societies and their unique mythologies is wonderfully inspired and respectable.

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Demonicus (2001)

Starring Gregory Lee Kenyon, Venesa Talor, Brannon Gould, Kyle Tracy, Jennifer Capo, Allen Nabors, Candace Kroslak, Dominic Joseph, Val Perez, Todd Rex

Directed by Jay Woelfel

Expectations: Low. Look at that cover art and tell me you’d expect anything more.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Demonicus has many things working against it: it’s shot on video, its script is definitely lacking, its characters are mere cutouts of real people, its budget is noticeably small. Despite these things that could easily be deal breakers, Demonicus is ridiculously entertaining, as well as having the distinction of being pretty much the only traditional slasher in the Full Moon catalog. The film opens with a nice selection of mountain vistas. This is supposed to be the Italian Alps, and while you might fool a country boy from Iowa, I instantly recognized them as the Angeles National Forest just north of Los Angeles. You don’t grow up around them for over 25 years and not notice that stuff. Anyway, besides my brain killing their illusions, the filmmakers actually do a good job of selling these mountains as somewhere other than California, as there’s snow on the ground in patches and the shot selection is careful enough to not make it too obvious.

But enough digressions about the mountains, let’s get to the story. James and his girlfriend are hiking around, doing their best to beat their friends to the campsite and win the challenge. James is ever the competition-minded dude, so he had everyone split up and start up the mountain at different spots to see who could make it to the campsite first. Of course, he wants to win so he’s pushing his city-loving girlfriend much too hard. She receives a welcome rest when James discovers a large cave, but I bet she didn’t expect her boyfriend to emerge from the mountain fully clothed in Roman armor and a demonic helmet. She probably also didn’t see that sword to the gut coming either.

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Trancers 6: Life After Deth (2002)

Starring Zette Sullivan, Jennifer Capo, Robert Donavan, Timothy Prindle, Jere Jon, Jennifer Cantrell, Ben Bar, James R. Hilton, Kyle O. Ingleman, Gregory Lee Kenyon, Douglas Smith

Directed by Jay Woelfel

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


Trancers 6 is quite the surprising little movie. Instead of simply being the cash-in I expected it to be, it was pretty damn entertaining and loosely fits into the Trancers time line fairly well. Let’s not mince words here though, Trancers 6 is not for the average viewer. Most people will look at this film with disgust and hurl an endless stream of insults at it. This film is not for them though. It is for the tired, the hungry, the huddled masses of Trancer fans who waited eight long years between installments. By all accounts, the series was over and should have never been resurrected, but thanks to Zette Sullivan’s fun performance, a ridiculous story and some incredibly funny special FX, we’ve got a mostly fun movie on our hands.

In the future, a TCL chamber operator sees into the past and witnesses Jack Deth’s daughter getting murdered. Jack Deth has a daughter? Yes, apparently the kid Helen Hunt has with her in Trancers III was Jack’s. Who knew? Anyway, just like in the first couple of Trancer films, the technician sends Jack Deth down the line to inhabit the body of his ancestor/offspring and save her/his life in the process. Tim Thomerson does not reprise his role, but in one of the most audacious scenes in recent memory, the TCL technician converses with Jack via a television screen playing scenes from the previous Trancers films. What makes this so funny is that Jack’s hair noticeably changed throughout the series, so each response from Jack features a new hairstyle and setting. Boy, that Jack Deth sure gets around. It’s shameless, but I loved it.

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