Trophy Heads (2014)

trophyheads_1Starring Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Linnea Quigley, Jacqueline Lovell, Denice Duff, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Darcy DeMoss, Irena Murphy, Jessica Morris, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Amy Paffrath, Robin Sydney, Carel Struycken, Kristine DeBell, Gregory Niebel, Stuart Gordon, David DeCoteau, J. Scott

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: As long as it’s fun I’ll be satisfied, and with this many classic scream queens I don’t see how it won’t be fun.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


For many years now, Full Moon has made movies that a mainstream viewer, or even an old fan from the glory days who missed Full Moon’s last 15 years of questionable movies, wouldn’t hesitate to call “strange” or “out there” or “shit.” For those that stumble upon the movies unaware of what they’re getting themselves into (like the Redbox patrons), I’m sure the general reaction is something close to, “Who would watch this?” Hardcore Full Moon fans, that’s who! Throughout changing video landscapes and formats, Full Moon continues to pump out films for their fans (and pretty much no one else). So it makes perfect sense that their latest venture, Trophy Heads (which debuted in June as a five-part web series exclusively on Full Moon Streaming), is not just a film for their fans, but a film about those very fans.

Well… perhaps that’s a little too broad, as I doubt most Full Moon aficionados would kidnap our favorite stars, murder them, and mount their heads on the wall, but you get the idea. Anyway, yes, Trophy Heads is about a fan who rounds up six of his favorite ’80s scream queens, keeps them in his home-built basement dungeon, and then murders them while making them recreate situations from one of the Full Moon movies they were in way back when. There’s not really any depth beyond that, but as this is something directly for Full Moon fans, I don’t think anyone really cares. I certainly didn’t.

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The Big Brawl (1980)

bigbrawl_8The Big Brawl (1980)
AKA Battle Creek Brawl

Starring Jackie Chan, José Ferrer, Kristine DeBell, Mako, Ron Max, David Sheiner, Rosalind Chao, Lenny Montana, Pat E. Johnson, Mary Ellen O’Neill, H.B. Haggerty, Chao Li Chi, Joycelyne Lew

Directed by Robert Clouse

Expectations: Moderate.

twostar


It’s ironic that Golden Harvest would send Jackie Chan to America in an attempt to recreate Bruce Lee’s success with Enter the Dragon, just as Jackie was finally gaining major notoriety on his own terms with films like The Fearless Hyena and The Young Master. After fighting to break free from Lo Wei’s control and desire to make him the next Bruce Lee, he landed in a more well-funded version of the same dream. Unfortunately, this was never Jackie’s dream. The Big Brawl is the resulting film and it’s definitely not the best way to introduce Jackie Chan to the American audience.

The story casts Jackie as Jerry Kwan, the son of a restaurant owner who is being bullied by some mobsters. Jerry knows kung fu and wants to show ’em what for, but his father forbids him from fighting. The mobsters catch wind of Jerry’s martial prowess, though, and they hatch a plan to force him into fighting for them in the Battle Creek Brawl in Texas. Why? I don’t honestly know, but that’s the plot. It’s not much of one, but that’s all you get. Oh, and just because there weren’t enough clichés, the mobsters also use kidnapping Jerry’s loved ones to force him into doing these things he otherwise wouldn’t be doing.

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