The Punisher (1989)

the_punisher_1989Starring Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto, Brian Rooney, Zoshka Mizak, Kenji Yamaki, Hirofumi Kanayama

Directed by Mark Goldblatt

Expectations: High.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

For the action movie fan, no decade delivers quite like the 1980s. Sometime in the ’90s, the fun withered away and died in a forgotten corner of Hollywood as filmmakers and audiences alike chose so-called realism over fun. But The Punisher is an exemplary ’80s action film, exhibiting everything the genre was well known for, and delivering nothing but fun throughout its entire runtime. It entertains consistently and completely, and when the credits rolled, a sense of testosterone-fueled accomplishment washed over me. I had made it out alive, through a sea of foul-mouthed mafiosos and a gauntlet of nameless foes with hidden knives, all without leaving my couch.

As you might expect, the story here is not the strong suit or the focus of the film. Frank Castle’s family was murdered by some asshole mobsters, so he took to the sewer to hone his skills. The past five years he’s racked up hundreds of kills, exacting his revenge his way, and making the city’s criminals’ lives miserable. Because this is a review, you also might expect me to cite why this threadbare story is the reason The Punisher is a failed movie, or some other such pretentious bullshit, but instead I offer the following hypothesis.

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Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy (1998)

AKA Legend of the Mummy, Bram Stoker’s The Mummy

Starring Louis Gossett Jr., Amy Locane, Eric Lutes, Mark Lindsay Chapman, Lloyd Bochner, Mary Jo Catlett, Aubrey Morris, Laura Otis, Julian Stone, Richard Karn

Directed by Jeffrey Obrow

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

I love Egyptian themes and stories. I love mummies. I love Bram Stoker’s more popular work, Dracula. And regular visitors know that I also love B-movies. But this, this abomination of a movie, I do not love. I can barely stomach the thought required to write about the movie. It’s bad. I watch a lot of bad movies, and this is truly awful. This is one of the worst movies I’ve seen while operating Silver Emulsion. Perhaps its production values and its acting weren’t especially horrid, but the storytelling is so inept and boring that no amount of Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr. and Home Improvement‘s Richard Karn could save it.

The film is based on a lesser known work of Stoker’s, The Jewel of Seven Stars. I haven’t read the novel, so I’m unsure if Stoker’s name before the title is meant to indicate a more faithful adaptation along the lines of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If it is then that book is horrible! I’m sure it’s just a marketing ploy, though. The story has been filmed three times before (plus a TV movie), and without seeing any of them I can guarantee they’re all more enjoyable than this. The first adaptation came from Hammer and it was titled Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. It was the last of Hammer’s Mummy series, and I’d rather stare at the poster for 99 minutes than sit through Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy again.

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