The Secret Kingdom (1998)

51TZAVR8HJL._SS500_The Secret Kingdom (1998)
AKA The Tiny Kingdom

Starring Billy O’Sullivan, Tricia Dickson, Andrew Ducote, Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Jamieson Price, Andreea Macelaru, Florin Chiriac, Constantin Barbulescu, Bogdan Voda, Eugen Cristea

Directed by David Schmoeller

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Like many Moonbeam films, The Secret Kingdom starts out with a fun premise and then drives it into the ground. Well, in this case they drive it under the sink, and I really shouldn’t be that harsh. Most of The Secret Kingdom is unadulterated WTF fun. The film opens in New Orleans, and surprise, surprise — it’s actually New Orleans! Later, the film transitions to the Romanian locales you expect from this era of Full Moon, but the series of events that opens the film would be fantastic no matter where they were shot.

The Secret Kingdom starts with a boy in his early teens, staring at his toy horseman. He compares it to the statue of the horseman in the square in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. He goes back to staring at the toy intently, and then walks around New Orleans. Some might call this the most exciting introductory scene to a movie ever, but I thought it went on for a ridiculous amount of time… long enough for me to think, “WHAT IS GOING ON?” Thankfully, it gets a lot more interesting, real fast. And by “interesting,” I mean that it dives deep into WTF territory.

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Clockmaker (1998)

51PT1708TAL._SS500_Clockmaker (1998)
AKA Timekeeper

Starring Anthony Medwetz, Katie Johnston, Zachary McLemore, Pierrino Mascarino, Daisy Nystul, Tom Gulager, Eugen Cristea, Florin Chiriac

Directed by Christopher Rémy

Expectations: Moderate. Moonbeam films are usually kind of boring, but there’s been some fun ones.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Clockmaker, Clockmaker, make me a clock! Oh boy, I loved this movie. Against all good reason, against my better judgement, no matter what this movie threw at me I ate it up like a kid eating candy on Halloween night. Hands down the best Moonbeam film I’ve seen yet, Clockmaker is actually high adventure and fun story beats from start to finish! Imagine that! No filler whatsoever. I sure don’t expect that when I kick into one of these made-for-kids Full Moon movies, but Clockmaker didn’t disappoint me in any way.

Clockmaker begins in the year 1998, as three kids hang out on their building’s landing. Mary Beth pitches pennies against the wall, Devon spews conspiracy theories about the old man living in their building and Henry feverishly studies his Commodore 64 schematics manual. Y’know… what kids in 1998 did. Anyway, when the aforementioned old man leaves the building, he mistakenly drops his key and the kids snatch it up. Instead of doing the right thing and returning it, they decide that now’s their chance to sneak in and find out what the old man’s really up to. But once inside, will they ever get out? DUH DUN DUHHHHHHHH!

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Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Sharon Lee Jones, Buck Kartalian, J.P. Hubbell, Lucian Cojocaru, Florin Chiriac, Bogdan Voda

Directed by Frank Arnold

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

Oh man, are you ready to talk about an awful film? Then get ready for Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld! Just based on the short trailer at the end of Part 2, I knew I was in for one hell of a bumpy ride. Josh Kirby Part 3 is a seemingly never-ending barrage of bad scenes on top of bad scenes, with ever so subtle bits of goodness along the way. Thankfully, the way the series is structured you could easily skip over this worthless film and not really miss a thing. OK, you’d miss the revelatory moment when Josh realizes he’s a bona fide Time Warrior and can bend the powers of time to his will, but now that you know that, feel free to skip directly to Part 4. Or continue reading for the toy-induced nightmare of a lifetime!

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