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.

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Retro Puppet Master (1999)

Starring Greg Sestero, Brigitta Dau, Stephen Blackehart, Jack Donner, Guy Rolfe, Robert Radoveanu, Vitalie Bantas, Sando Teodor, George Calin, Juliano Doman, Vlad Dulea, Dan Fintescu

Puppet Cast: Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Tunneler, Leech Woman, Doctor Death, Drill Sergeant, Cyclops, Retro Blade, Retro Pinhead, Retro Six Shooter

Directed by David DeCoteau (as Joseph Tennent)

Expectations: Low, this is Puppet Master 7…if I have high expectations I’m just setting myself up for disaster.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


“Let’s begin!”

After an extended prologue, it is with this line that Retro Puppet Master truly begins and boy I never could have predicted just what an incredible journey it turned out to be. Followers of truly awful cinema know that Troll 2 holds the distinction of having some of the worst line delivery in film history. Retro Puppet Master comes close to that level of quality here, specifically the actors dubbing some of the character’s lines.

Lots of movie utilize ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) to fix a flubbed line or make a key change to a sentence. Perhaps the actor’s voice wasn’t quite captured on the recording. ADR is used in virtually every movie but in the case of Retro Puppet Master, it’s more of a first line of defense instead of a fine tuning post-production tool. The finished film ends up being something of a midway point between a traditional film and a spaghetti western, which were shot without sound and later had everything dubbed in after photography. The work here is so bad and careless that I’m positive I could do a better job despite never working a single day doing ADR. Not only do the actor’s deliver the lines stilted and without emotion, all the ambient noise drops out of the soundtrack when a dubbed voice speaks. It’s really quite comical and actually adds lots of enjoyment to what is otherwise a very slow-moving and boring film.

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