Frankenstein Reborn! (1998)

Starring Jason Simmons, Ben Gould, Haven Paschall, Ethan Wilde, George Calin, Oana Stefanescu, Claudiu Trandafir, Roxana Popa

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Frankenstein Reborn! was to be the first of a multi-film series for Full Moon called Filmonsters!, with each film bringing a classic film monster into the Full Moon fold. As a huge fan of the classic monsters (who isn’t?), I would’ve loved to see this series take off. Unfortunately it died a premature death after the release of this film and its concurrently produced sibling The Werewolf Reborn!. The movie even opens with a cool series intro, featuring the Puppet Master puppets resurrecting the monsters in a spooky graveyard. It’s similar to the scene in Puppet Master II, and some of it may even be footage from Puppet Master II. It’s been too long since I saw it to be sure, but regardless it sets the tone perfectly for a short monster movie.

When I say short, I mean it: Frankenstein Reborn! runs about 46 minutes (with a few of those devoted to the intro and credits). The brevity of the movie allows it to just rip through the story and entertain constantly, but I was also left unsatisfied. I don’t think I’d have preferred an 80–90 minute version of this movie, but it barely felt like I watched a movie. Later in the day, I thought to myself, “Oh, I guess I’m not watching a movie today, it’s too late to start one,” before realizing quickly thereafter that I had already watched Frankenstein Reborn!

Continue reading Frankenstein Reborn! (1998) →

Reboot (2012)

Starring Emily Somers, Travis Aaron Wade, Martin Copping, Sonalii Castillo, Janna Bossier, Troy Vincent, Charlie Weirauch, Traci Moslenko, Justin M. Via

Directed by Joe Kawasaki

Expectations: High, the trailer was great.


In the modern age, horror films rarely scare or provide anything we haven’t seen before. The genre has moved into satiating viewers with extreme, sadistic pleasures, instead of interesting ideas and fun scares. But in Reboot, Joe Kawasaki’s Kickstarter-funded, cyberpunk short film, he sets his sights on something truly horrific: Internet terrorism. I have no idea if what is outlined in the film is actually possible, but the idea alone is frightening. Reboot isn’t truly a horror film, but its implications will haunt your thoughts for days as you log into your social media accounts and take it all for granted.

Reboot begins with an intro reminiscent of Koyaanisqatsi, showing us wonderful time-lapse photography of Los Angeles while a radio interview with a couple of hackers plays over the top of it. This intro goes on a little longer than I think it needed to, but it does set up the premise of the film incredibly well. When the title card drops at the end of the intro, and we fade into our heroine lying on the floor with an iPhone glued to her hand, we know exactly the implications of the situation she’s in.

Continue reading Reboot (2012) →

The Evil Clergyman (1988)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, David Warner, David Gale, Una Brandon-Jones

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Very high. There’s no way it can live up.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


The Full Moon archive is home to many unreleased films. Back in the VHS days (and earlier), sometimes low-budget studios needed to create a killer poster before they shot the movie in order to secure the necessary funding. Many of these advertised Full Moon films were never produced, or were later assimilated into other Full Moon projects in some altered form. But in the case of Pulsepounders, Full Moon’s 1988 unreleased anthology film, the film was actually done shooting and in the can. Its legend had grown so large that it seemed that it would never see the light of day. But if it was done shooting, why was it never released? I always assumed it was some sort of rights issue, but apparently the negative was lost, never to be found. But hark! In 2011 a workprint VHS was uncovered deep in the dark recesses of the Full Moon archive, and Band’s team went to work to ready it for release.

As an anthology film, Pulsepounders consisted of three 30-minute segments: a sequel to Trancers (now affectionately known as Trancers 1.5), a sequel to Ragewar (which is the most interesting to me because Ragewar itself was kind of an anthology film), and, of course, The Evil Clergyman. This film was to be a spiritual successor to Re-Animator, a highly successful H.P. Lovecraft adaptation directed by Stuart Gordon (as if Re-Animator needs an introduction). There were times when I thought this ambitious project was lost to time, and there were other, more hopeful times when I imagined its illustrious, remastered release, but I honestly never thought it would actually happen.

Continue reading The Evil Clergyman (1988) →

Stephen reviews: Kai Doh Maru (2001)

Kai Doh Maru [怪童丸, Kaidōmaru] (2001)

Starring Mitsuki Saiga, Shotaro Morikubo, Yurika Hino

Directed by Kanji Wakabayashi


I was drawn to this movie because of its visual style. And the promise of some samurai action. Samurai action is nothing new; making an anime inspired by ancient Japanese artwork, however, is something very unusual. Unfortunately, what I got was not as impressive as I wanted. The influence is limited to just the color schemes rather than the character designs or environments. Most of the scenery is muted and pale to give the impression of an old scroll, while vivid pastels color the characters and important objects. The contrast gives it a unique and interesting appearance, but that’s as far as it goes. In all other aspects, it looks like any other anime.

The opening scene tries to capture a scruffier look to the artwork, but it doesn’t help. I wanted it to look like a moving tapestry with all the characters looking like they had been painted centuries ago. I know that would be impossible to animate as well as I want, but they could have tried harder than they did. It doesn’t help any that most of the backgrounds are done in CG either. At least they took the time and effort to give the CG black lines so it doesn’t look totally out of place next to the standard animation, but it’s still disappointing.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: Kai Doh Maru (2001) →

Doggy Poo (2003)

Doggy Poo [강아지 똥] (2003)

Starring Fiona Stuart, Josh Smith, Anna Desmarais, Kate Yoon, Tony Ruse

Directed by Kwon Oh-sung

Expectations: High. Watch the trailer first and you’ll know what I mean. Well, if you share my sense of humor.


Stephen brought this one to my attention. Its trailer was on one of the anime DVDs he was reviewing and thankfully he sent me a YouTube link post-haste. Before the video even ended, I had it added to my Netflix queue and quickly escorted directly to the top of the list. There are some films you just can’t wait on. Before I continue, I’d just like to say my apologies now to the creators of this film. I truly respect the work that went into this, and I think you have crafted a good film, but I simply cannot write a review of a movie that has a piece of dog shit for its main character and not make fun of it.

Doggy Poo is a movie about just that. The film opens with a simulated helicopter shot flying through mountains and valleys before finally coming to rest in a small, rural village. A Jack Russell terrier scampers into frame, squats his little butt down and drops our main character onto the dirt road, complete with oh-so-cute little shit hands. A bird flies down and pecks at it, hoping for a tasty morsel. Instead she quickly realizes that Doggy Poo is a doggy poo and flies away in disgust. If only Ms. Bird had noticed that Doggy Poo’s eyes were little seeds!

Continue reading Doggy Poo (2003) →

Stephen reviews: Voices of a Distant Star (2002)

Voices of a Distant Star [ほしのこえ, Hoshi no Koe] (2002)
AKA Voices of a Star

Starring Sumi Muto, Chihiro Suzuki, Donna Burke, Mika Shinohara (original version), Makoto Shinkai (original version)

Directed by Makoto Shinkai


It’s hard to find an anime that can truly be called a low-budget film. You can’t grab a camcorder and some like-minded amateur actors and whip something up over a few weekends for a few thousand bucks. Animation is very labor-intensive work that requires some rather specific, and expensive, tools. Few anime justifiable as a film are ever made on a shoestring budget. And then you want one with an English release? Well, that basically leaves you with Voices of a Distant Star.

The entire production was done by Makoto Shinkai over a seven month period. It’s only a 25 minute film, but the amount of work it must have taken for one man to do it all is staggering. He directed it, he animated it (both the CG and hand-drawn elements), he edited it, he wrote it, he did just about everything in it except the acting. Oh, wait, he did that too for an early production version, and one of the DVD features is to watch the film with his original voice work, where he acted opposite his fiancée as the lead. So really the only thing he didn’t do himself was the music.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: Voices of a Distant Star (2002) →

Stephen reviews: Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)

Starring Youki Kudoh, Saemi Nakamura, Joe Romersa

Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo


There isn’t much in the way of rules for what movies we review here at Silver Emulsion. Nevertheless, there are certain genres that get more attention than others. Anyone familiar with this site will be aware of the plethora of horror and martial arts films, and I would feel remiss if I didn’t add anything to these categories.

Quite some time ago I saw Blood: The Last Vampire. Back then, I felt it was average at best and wholly forgettable, at which point I promptly forgot everything about it. Years later, I watched Blood+, the TV series based upon the movie, and I thought about going back and watching the original again to see if it filled in any blanks or added anything new to the story. I never got around to doing it until I started talking to Will about this site, and that led to the aforementioned desire to give it a horror anime review. Suddenly, I had another reason to get off my duff and re-watch Blood. And now that I have, I’m not quite sure why I was so dismissive of it.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) →

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