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!

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Talisman (1998)

talisman_1Starring Billy Parish, Walter Jones, Jason Adelman, Ilinca Goia, Constantin Barbulescu, Oana Stefanescu, Claudiu Trandafir

Directed by David DeCoteau

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Like a lot of B-Movies, the logic employed in Talisman is shaky at best. What separates Talisman from the pack, though, is how well-realized and enjoyable it is; multiple times while watching it, I thought, “Wow, this is legitimately a good movie!” I don’t think it’s quite there for straight-up mainstream people, but Talisman is far better than your average late-period Full Moon film. I’ve held off on watching this one because, for reasons I’ve forgotten, I thought it would be dumb, so it’s a nice surprise to find it’s actually a competently made picture from underrated low-budget maestro David DeCoteau.

Elias (Billy Parish) is a new student at the Gornek International School for Boys, a boarding school where troubled kids are sent when they’ve exhausted their last traditional option. Apparently, there’s only seven kids who fit this description, and judging by the dominance of Burke (Jason Adelman) over the “student body,” the school isn’t all that strict. They might have some strong disciplinary measures, like locking everyone inside their rooms at night, but the rehabilitation of these delinquent youths is obviously far from the minds of the staff. But whatever, this isn’t called Boys School, it’s called Talisman, so I don’t care if the fictional school makes sense, or is “doing the right thing for these kids.”

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Teen Knight (1999)

teenknight_2Teen Knight (1999)
AKA Medieval Park

Starring Kris Lemche, Caterina Scorsone, Benjamin Plener, Paul Soles, Kimberly Pullis, Marc Robinson, Claudiu Trandafir, Dan Fintescu, Eugen Cristea, Sandu Mihai Gruia, Mihai Verbintschi

Directed by Phil Comeau

Expectations: Moderately high.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twostar


Are you looking for lackluster, boring sword fighting? How about a story mash-up of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Jurassic Park? Wizards throwing hadoukens? Ah ha! I knew that’d get your attention. Just don’t expect many hadoukens, because if I get you all fired up for a fantasy-based Street Fighter I’ll never hear the end of the disappointment I’ve brought into the world as thousands storm their local Redboxs in search of a nonexistent hadouken-filled film. But a few hadoukens is better than no hadoukens, right?

The film opens in the year 1383, as the evil Lord Raykin is rakin’ his yard. OK, he’s not rakin’ anything (other than Lord Raykin :)), but he is being thrown into a horse-drawn prison cart along with his evil wizard buddy. As you might expect an evil lord to do, he asks his wizard to get them out of yet another fine mess that he’s gotten them into. The wizard laments that their captors have stripped him of his amulets, he’s powerless, yadda yadda yadda. But then he whips out a magical jewel says a few words and shoots green lasers out of his eyes! So I guess he just needed to vent his frustration before showing the evil lord that he still had the juice. For reasons of world domination or general conquest or whatever, Lord Raykin desires the castle of Prince William. Now here’s where it gets really crazy. The evil wizard casts a spell to change the castle’s crest to Raykin’s, thus allowing them to call the castle back in time whenever he wants so that he can make one more attempt at becoming the king of the castle. Someone get this Raykin guy a medieval Lego set and call it a day.

Continue reading Teen Knight (1999) →

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