Evil Bong: High-5! (2016)

evilbong5Starring John Patrick Jordan, Sonny Carl Davis, Robin Sydney, Amy Paffrath, Mindy Robinson, Jacob Witkin, Chance A. Rearden, Rorie Moon, Circus-Szalewski, K. Harrison Sweeney, Noelle Ann Mabry, David DeCoteau, David Del Valle, Luke Hutchie, Skin Diamond, Adriana Sephora

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Zero. I hope to enjoy myself, though.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


Reviewing the Evil Bong films seems kind of pointless; if you don’t know on your own whether you want to watch the sixth movie in this franchise, you’re probably too high to operate any kind of machinery, heavy or otherwise. Yes, this latest Charles Band joint is another one that will only appeal to their most ardent fans, although I’m sure more than a few bros and doods will stumble upon it on Hulu (where it is available for free!), while looking for a movie to go with their 420 festivities.

Starting my review with, “Hey, this review is pointless!” probably isn’t one of my better decisions, but in the case of Evil Bong: High 5, it’s kind of representative of the experience. I’ll assume you’ve seen all the previous incarnations of this franchise, and therefore will be aware that multiple films in the series have used the “We’re selling stuff in a shop” script formula. Even if you haven’t seen the films, you’ve been to a store and you know the drill. Customer comes in, converses with the clerk and leaves. Repeat. I didn’t like it in Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong, I put up with it in Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong, I grinned and bore it in Evil Bong 420, but with Evil Bong: High 5 I’m drawing the line. What’s even more annoying is that many of the same customers from the other movies come in and have slight variations on their previous encounters. Sigh. I just hope Band doesn’t make the “Evil Bong Retail Quartet” into a quintet, but honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Evil Bong: 666 is going to be. I gotta be honest, these movies are so similar to one another that they all kinda run together for me. If not for my reviews to refer back to, this review would seem a lot less informed! Thanks, former self!

Continue reading Evil Bong: High-5! (2016) →

Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain (2004)

drmoreau_1Starring John Patrick Jordan, Jessica Lancaster, Jacob Witkin, Peter Donald Badalamenti II, Lorielle New, Ling Aum, B.J. Smith, Debra Mayer, Laura Petersen

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau is a classic of horror literature. It’s been adapted into many film versions, starting all the way back in 1913 with The Island of Terror. But for fans looking for stories that go beyond the scope of the original novel, your options are far more limited. Enter Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain, a sequel of sorts to the original novel, telling the story of how the good doctor set up shop in a Hollywood mansion in the 1940s after leaving his island behind. Oh, what’s that? Dr. Moreau died in the novel? Oh… well… uh… no he didn’t!

Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain opens with boxer Eric Carson (John Patrick Jordan), journalist Mary Anne (Debra Mayer), and their friend Judith (Jessica Lancaster) in a car talking about how Eric’s brother Roy has gone missing. He frequented the bar they’re parked in front of, so I guess the plan is to go in and gather information. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention. I know, I know, the movie just started and my attention shouldn’t be wavering, but hear me out. Eric is played by the same guy that plays the lead in the Evil Bong films, so all I could do was theorize about how this 1940s John Patrick Jordan was somehow the grandfather of Evil Bong‘s Larnell. Which then led me down the mental path of trying to connect the creepy kids show host Hambo, who is featured in most of Full Moon’s recent films, and surmising that he could actually be one of Moreau’s creations. Perhaps the next Evil Bong sequel will also be a sequel to this film!

Continue reading Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain (2004) →

Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong (2011)

Starring Peter Stickles, John Patrick Jordan, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Sonny Carl Davis, Michelle Mais, Circus-Szalewski, Irwin Keyes, Jacob Witkin, Robin Sydney

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High. Part 2 was great.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


After the wonderful follow-up to the surprisingly enjoyable Evil Bong, I eagerly awaited the third film in the series. Perhaps the fact that I was disappointed is directly connected to these unrealistic expectations, or maybe it’s because I was unable to see the movie in the theater in glorious 3D and scratch-n-sniff aided Sniff-O-Rama! In any case, I was expecting some quality comedy and instead I got what amounts to a couple of good jokes and a lot of filler.

In one of the most epic opening scenes Full Moon has ever done, an alien meteorite/spaceship hurtles through the infinite cosmos on a collision course for Earth. Don’t worry, it’s small. The world isn’t in danger… or is it? This scene evokes a feeling of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with its space-faring visuals and haunting choral music, but this is where the similarities end. Inside this ship is an alien bong, hell-bent on controlling the Earth! So far, so good, but as soon as the bong makes its way to Brett and Bachman’s head shop, the movie starts to take a downward turn.

Continue reading Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong (2011) →

Mini-Review: Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

Starring (New Footage): Jacob Witkin, Kate Orsini

Starring (Stock Footage): William Hickey, Charlie Spradling, Sage Allen, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Guy Rolfe, Richard Lynch, Ian Abercrombie, Aron Eisenberg, Gordon Currie, Chandra West, George Peck, Emily Harrison, Josh Green, Greg Sestero, Brigitta Dau, Stephen Blackehart, Jack Donner

Puppet Cast (New Footage): Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Six Shooter, Tunneler

Puppet Cast (Stock Footage): Egyptian Goblin, Leech Woman, Doctor Death, Drill Sergeant, Cyclops, Retro Blade, Retro Pinhead, Retro Six Shooter, Torch, Decapitron, Tank

Directed by Charles Band (as Robert Talbot)

Expectations: Extremely low, this is Puppet Master 8 and it’s mostly stock footage.

On the general scale:
halfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
onehalfstar


Okay, so this film is about 90-95% stock footage from the previous films in the series. This should discredit Puppet Master: The Legacy almost immediately, but wait! Don’t write it off just yet! There are two reasons why you might want to give this one a chance. First, if you’re a big fan you’ll want to see it for Full Moon’s somewhat noble attempt to place all the Puppet Master films in some sort of proper, epic order. Why make the films in your most popular series make sense chronologically the first time around, when you can produce a completely separate compilation film later on to “set things right”? There’s also a small framing storyline that actually ties into the series mythology in a fun, minor way for the hardcore fans, while technically serving this film as a bridge between the sections of stock footage. The other reason to watch this would be if you’ve never seen any of the Puppet Master films, and you have no intention of rooting through seven whole films before getting to this one. The film actually sums up the entirety of the series in a slim runtime just over 70 minutes! That’s either a very impressive editing job or a sad commentary on the amount of interesting story within the Puppet Master series, but I’ll go with the former.

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot more to say about this one. It’s a bunch of stock footage. What else is there to say? The framing story is shaky, but it’s cool to see Evil Bong‘s Jacob Witkin get roped into the Puppet Master franchise in such a fun story twist. Nevermind that they never really explain anything that happens in between the previous films, so even with an entire film devoted to setting things right, there’s still a degree of mystery. I would expect no less from my friends at Full Moon. They also completely avoid any recap or footage from the awful Puppet Master 5, much to my delight.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite moments. During the flashback to Curse of the Puppet Master, they show one of the kills that features some stock footage from Puppet Master II. And then later in this film, they showed the scene from Puppet Master II that contained the shot that was aped for the later sequence in Curse of the Puppet Master. Puppet Master nerd laughs ahoy!

Dumb jokes aside, unless you’re really hardcore for Puppet Master or you want a quick rundown of the series’ greatest hits, watch something other than Puppet Master: The Legacy.

Next week, the Puppet Master-a-thon continues with the made for TV film starring Corey Feldman, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys!

Evil Bong 2: King Bong (2009)

Starring John Patrick Jordan, Amy Paffrath, Sonny Carl Davis, Brett Chukerman, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Jacob Witkin, Robin Sydney, Michele Mais, Michael A. Shepard

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate, I enjoyed the first.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
threehalfstar


Evil Bong 2 starts off with a short recap of the entire first film for those that didn’t see it or have pot-induced selective memory. In a low-budget film, this is usually a bad sign that the rest of the film’s runtime will be padded out as much as possible with stock footage and a general lack of imagination. It is a sequel after all. Evil Bong 2 goes the complete opposite direction after this opening though, delivering more laughs, more fun and more awesome Evil Bong action that you can shake a shitty tribal spear at!

Time has passed and the guys have moved into a new apartment, but not everything is coming up roses for our heroes. It seems the Evil Bong’s pot fantasies have had a lasting impact on their daily lives. They are afflicted with extreme versions of marijuana’s side effects: the munchies, loss of inhibition and narcolepsy. With nowhere left to turn, they call the delivery man who brought them the Evil Bong in the first film and then venture into the Amazon to find the birthplace of the Evil Bong itself! Only in a B-movie could a story take as many ridiculous twists and turns and still come out on top, but Evil Bong 2 does just that and succeeds remarkably at keeping the interest level high throughout.

Continue reading Evil Bong 2: King Bong (2009) →

Evil Bong (2006)

Starring David Weidoff, John Patrick Jordan, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Robin Sydney, Kristyn Green, Tommy Chong, Michelle Mais, Jacob Witkin, Kristen Caldwell, Phil Fondacaro, Tim Thomerson, Bill Moseley, Brandi Cunningham, Dana Danes, Gina-Raye Carter, Sonny Carl Davis

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Low, subterranean even. I expect nothing.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


Bro, just the fact that I can write anything positive about a movie called Evil Bong is something of a miracle. As much as I love Full Moon movies, what I’ve seen of their recent output hasn’t been their best by any means, so I went into Evil Bong with a distinct trepidation. I’m sure the lowered expectations helped me in the long run, but after watching Evil Bong, it seems like all the pile-of-shit movie dread wasn’t warranted. Against the odds, Evil Bong is actually pretty enjoyable.

Continue reading Evil Bong (2006) →

The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

Starring K-von Moezzi, Kelsey Sanders, Joseph Porter, Frank Nicotero, Jon Southwell, Jacob Witkin, Michelle Bauer, John Carl Buechler, David DeCoteau, Greg Nicotero, John Vulich, Adam Green

Directed by Silvia St. Croix

Expectations: Low. The first one was abysmal.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


The Gingerdead Man 2, despite featuring a storybook opening detailing the events of the first film, disregards everything from its predecessor except the titular character and chooses to forge ahead into unknown territory. Well, maybe unknown is a bit extreme, but you get the point. The Gingerdead Man 2 instead goes for the Full Moon jugular, aiming itself squarely at Charles Band and the Full Moon filmmaking mentality, as well as the overarching genre of low-budget horror pictures. Surprisingly, it actually succeeds a lot more than it fails at this and winds up being an okay movie.

Continue reading The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008) →

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