Dark Walker (2003)

darkwalker_1Starring Kathleen Taylor, Michael Sage, Rick Irvin, Brenda Matthews, David DeWitt, Emily VanSonnenberg, Clive Hawkins, Jill Small, Ali Taylor, Brad Potts, Ivan Glenn Hill, James Inch

Directed by Danny Draven

Expectations: Not much.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twostar


I’m having a hard time solidifying my thoughts on Dark Walker. On one hand, it is in desperate need of a story for most of the movie, it’s shot on low-quality video, and it’s a slasher without the charm of the genre’s inventive kills and gore. On the other hand, it achieves a lot with its meager budget, including an interesting monster with great makeup, better acting than these films usually showcase, and some impressive & effective sound design. Both the faults and the ingenuity are a product of the film’s budget; in most B-Movies one side of this equation is usually in charge, but in Dark Walker both sides are about equal.

One night in 1878, a man sneaks into the Hobb’s Grove pumpkin patch. He cuts a pumpkin from the vine, ignoring (or not seeing) the sign that ominously warns, “Take not of this earth.” The earth means business, too, as shortly thereafter the pumpkin bleeds when cut and the Dark Walker, a hulking Swamp Thing-looking dude, busts in and kills the wrongdoing man and his entire family.

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Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012)

Starring Kip Canyon, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Brad Potts, Scott King, Stephanie Sanditz, Oto Brezina

Puppet Cast: Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Tunneler, Leech Women, Six Shooter, Blitzkrieg, Bombshell, Weremacht, Kamikaze

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderately high. I enjoy the Puppet Master movies.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


If there’s one thing I love about the Puppet Master films, it’s Tunneler tunneling into people. The budgets on the modern Full Moon films ain’t what they used to be, so I’ve learned to set my expectations accordingly and I was not prepared to see Tunneler going full bore into a Nazi’s forehead within the opening five minutes of the film. I called for this in the review of the last Puppet Master film, and damn if Full Moon didn’t deliver!

In this tenth Puppet Master film (or eleventh if we’re counting the horrible, non-Full Moon Sci-Fi channel entry, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys), we pick up just the next day after the close of the last film, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil. It’s been over a year since I saw that one, so I don’t remember the finer details of where it ends. I recall everyone fighting on a stage and the good guys triumphing. Anyway, in this film Tunneler is quickly lost into Nazi hands and they set their resident puppet master to the task of reverse engineering him so that he can build a machine to resurrect people from the dead. How one leads to the other I don’t know, but whatever, it’s Part 10, what do you want? Anyway, the good guys Danny & Beth (here played by new, better actors) band together with an Army sergeant played by Brad Potts to take out the Nazi threat. That’s overly reductive, but it gives you the gist.

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Zombies vs. Strippers (2012)

Starring Circus-Szalewski, Eve Mauro, Victoria Levine, Adriana Sephora, J. Scott, Don Baldaramos, Tanner Horn, Brittany Gael Vaughn, Adam Brooks, Patrick Lazzara, Brad Potts, Jonathan Erickson Eisley, Paul Vinson, Chance A. Rearden, William Thomas Jones

Directed by Alex Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate, the trailer was good, but I’m still apprehensive. It is called Zombies vs. Strippers.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


When Full Moon announced the film Zombies vs. Strippers, I expected two thing from it: strippers and zombies. I didn’t really expect them to fight as I assumed that Full Moon was just creating a flashy title for their next pseudo-softcore movie. To my surprise, Zombies vs. Strippers is much more reserved with its nudity than you’d expect (not that it doesn’t have its share of titties), but unfortunately it’s also somewhat reserved with its use of the zombies. There are many problems here, but the main one is a question of the budget. One location is fine if you’re innovative, but most of the time Full Moon is never clever enough to keep your mind engaged so that you won’t notice.

The Tough Titty is a strip joint in a shit part of LA run by Spider (Circus-Szalewski). He’s in love with the tiki aesthetic and flower-print shirts and his titty bar is a reflection of that personal style. It’s not the most modern decor, but it is unique. The zombie apocalypse is happening throughout the city, but everyone in the bar is completely oblivious to it. When the only two (zombie) patrons in the bar don’t raise anything more than a tired groan when one of the dancers shakes her thing for them, no one thinks anything is amiss. Even when one starts eating the other’s fingers, they just shrug it off as two crazy dudes. I suppose that’s not a crazy response to that situation; if I saw two guys eating each other’s hands at my workplace I might think of zombies, but I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that the apocalypse was upon us. For once it seems that Full Moon has provided us with a realism in the characters we never knew we wanted. It doesn’t really work for a zombie movie, but the character’s reactions do lead us down some good paths that the quick-thinking, self-aware yahoos of some zombie films would have never let us see. Things like a stripper giving a man turning into a zombie a lap dance and thinking he’s complementing her when he groans “Brains!” after she asks him why he likes her so much.

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