Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy (1998)

AKA Legend of the Mummy, Bram Stoker’s The Mummy

Starring Louis Gossett Jr., Amy Locane, Eric Lutes, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Lloyd Bochner, Mary Jo Catlett, Aubrey Morris, Laura Otis, Julian Stone, Richard Karn

Directed by Jeffrey Obrow

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
(NO STARS)

On the B-Movie scale:
(NO STARS)


I love Egyptian themes and stories. I love mummies. I love Bram Stoker’s more popular work, Dracula. And regular visitors know that I also love B-movies. But this, this abomination of a movie, I do not love. I can barely stomach the thought required to write about the movie. It’s bad. I watch a lot of bad movies, and this is truly awful. This is one of the worst movies I’ve seen while operating Silver Emulsion. Perhaps its production values and its acting weren’t especially horrid, but the storytelling is so inept and boring that no amount of Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr. and Home Improvement‘s Richard Karn could save it.

The film is based on a lesser known work of Stoker’s, The Jewel of Seven Stars. I haven’t read the novel, so I’m unsure if Stoker’s name before the title is meant to indicate a more faithful adaptation along the lines of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If it is then that book is horrible! I’m sure it’s just a marketing ploy, though. The story has been filmed three times before (plus a TV movie), and without seeing any of them I can guarantee they’re all more enjoyable than this. The first adaptation came from Hammer and it was titled Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. It was the last of Hammer’s Mummy series, and I’d rather stare at the poster for 99 minutes than sit through Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy again.

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The Return of Shanghai Joe (1975)

The Return of Shanghai Joe [Il ritorno di Shanghai Joe] (1975)
AKA Che botte, ragazzi! & Zwei durch dick und dünn

Starring Klaus Kinski, Cheen Lie, Tommy Polgár, Karin Field, Claudio Giorgi, Tom Felleghy, Paolo Casella, Fortunato Arena

Directed by Bitto Albertini

Expectations: Low. It can’t live up to the first one.

On the general scale:
(NO STARS)

On the B-Movie scale:


For those expecting a film on the level of My Name is Shanghai Joe, you should look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you’re in the mood for a total and utter piece of shit, then The Return of Shanghai Joe is the movie for you! It’s offensive in its sheer audacity to take boredom to new heights. And to think I had some expectations that this would only be half as good a movie as the original. It’s not even fit to be in the same state as that film; it’s literally so boring and pointless that I’m having a hard time staying focused enough to get my thoughts down.

The plot, if you could call it that, involves a tonic salesman who falls into a bad crowd when a dying bandit hides out in his wagon. I honestly can’t remember what happened next, because there’s literally no reason to. The plot moves from point to point alright, but without any sense of what a story is or should be, so it’s incredibly hard to re-tell. I forget exactly how, but at some point the salesman gets duped out into the wilderness where some evil fuckers are planning to rob and hang him. Shanghai Joe happens to be taking a nap behind a tree and saves the salesman’s life, so now they’re pretty much buddies for the rest of the film. That might sound like it has potential or is perhaps vaguely intriguing. It’s not, and lest you be fooled by the title, Shanghai Joe is barely in the film.

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Dreamaniac (1986)

Starring Thomas Bern, Ashlyn Gere (as Kim McKamy), Sylvia Summers, Brent Black, Cynthia Crass, Lisa Emery, Brad Laughlin, Linda Denise Martin, Bob Pelham, Lauren Peterson, Matthew Phelps, Michael Warren

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low. I have a bad feeling about this one.

On the general scale:
nostar (NO STARS)

On the B-Movie scale:
halfstar


Now this is what I’m talking about when I talk about a piece-of-shit movie. Dreamaniac makes Troll 2 look like a Lawrence of Arabia style epic in comparison. Where Troll 2 backs up its poor execution with tons of fun, Dreamanic is an absolute chore to sit through whilst retaining your sanity. One of the worst knocks against a low-level horror movie is boredom and let me tell you, Snoremaniac would be a more apt title. Having to recall and write about this film may end up being more painful than actually viewing it.

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Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College (1991)

Starring Kevin McCarthy, Evan Mackenzie, Eva La Rue, Patrick Labyorteaux, John Johnston, Billy Morrissette, Hope Marie Carlton, Marcia Wallace, Stephen Lee, Jason Scott Lee, Andrew Barach, Matthew Lillard

Directed by John Carl Buechler

Expectations: High. The first two are horror comedy gold.

On the general scale:
 (No Stars)

On the B-movie scale:
onestar


Ghoulies III is a film that offends me on a deep level because it takes something I genuinely love and completely trashes it. It reminds me of the Star Wars prequels in that way, and if there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s remind me of the Star Wars prequels. Ugh. As soon as I’m done with this review I’m going to disregard that this film ever existed. On that cheery note, let’s get down to business!

First off, this is a direct-to-video sequel that was not produced by a Charles Band company. As far as I can tell he had nothing to do with this film, although the director, John Carl Buechler, did make a few films with Empire International and did the FX for a ton more. He definitely has the cred to be respectable, so I can’t imagine why he agreed to make this, other than needing quick cash to pay off a loan shark or something. Realistically, there’s nothing terribly wrong here with the FX or the directing, but more with the writing choices and the direction they decided to take the series. After watching this, it isn’t hard to imagine why this is screenwriter Brent Olson’s only credit on IMDB.

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