The Occultist (1989)

occultist_2The Occultist (1989)
AKA Maximum Thrust, Waldo Warren: Private Dick Without a Brain

Starring Rick Gianasi, Joe Derrig, Richard Mooney, Jennifer Kanter, Mizan Kirby, Matt Mitler, Anibal O. Lleras, Betty Vaughn, Kate Goldsborough, Doug Delauder

Directed by Tim Kincaid

Expectations: Moderate, but hopeful.

On the general scale:
halfstar

On the B-movie scale:
onestar


The Occultist was Tim Kincaid’s final film for Empire, and to be honest I held back on reviewing it for a while. It was the film Kincaid made after the wonderfully bad Mutant Hunt, so I guess I assumed it would be of a similar quality. The Occultist even features the star of Mutant Hunt, Rick Gianasi, who went on to later star as the title character in Troma’s Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD. What could go wrong? Apparently everything! Or nearly everything… as bad as The Occultist is, it is not without a couple of truly memorable charms.

The plot didn’t make a lot of sense. Perhaps I missed some key dialogue or something else along the way, but honestly I was confused from the first moments. The film opens with a group of men on a pier overlooking the ocean. This scene cross-cuts with a scene inside an industrial warehouse of a “voodoo dance/skinning an innocent man alive” party. Here’s where I got confused: the guys on the pier are apparently watching the voodoo get-together from where they are… and they don’t like what they see! What? How are they looking inside? Are we to believe that this dark, dingy locale is actually an open-faced building on some island? I just — I don’t even know what to think. But whatever, it’s a B-Movie so I gave them the benefit of the doubt that maybe these guys could see these voodoo shenanigans from their vantage point.

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Mutant Hunt (1987)

Starring Rick Gianasi, Mary Fahey, Ron Reynaldi, Taunie Vrenon, Bill Peterson, Mark Umile, Stormy Spill, Doug Devos, Warren Ulaner, Mark Legan, Asie Kid, LeeAnne Baker

Directed by Tim Kinciad

Expectations: Low, but I hope for some good B-Movie fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Mutant Hunt is another Tim Kincaid joint that delivers on the promise his previous films Breeders and Robot Holocaust built up: shitty plots with shitty acting. Where Breeders had little to redeem itself (unless ridiculously gratuitous nudity or women bathing in alien cum is your thing), Robot Holocaust was actually enjoyable in its shittiness. Thankfully, Mutant Hunt continues the upward trend and is easily the most enjoyable Tim Kincaid movie I’ve seen yet. That’s not to say it isn’t a piece of shit though.

I’m really not capable of summarizing the plot of Mutant Hunt. I seriously zoned out every time the characters spoke; my mind compelled me to think of something else every time they started speaking, something of a fail-safe system I guess. What I was able to pick up between battles with my mind dealt with an evil genius with a bunch of cyborg mutants that have been given a drug that makes them find pleasure in killing a human every six hours. After one robot mutant rips the head off of another (the movie has my full attention at this point), the fleet of mutants goes out on the street to kill some mortals. Somehow a few people band together to hunt said mutants, but I was unable to grasp why or how they were connected to the story overall. I know they were at some level, but like I said, I couldn’t fight that fail-safe on my brain.

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Robot Holocaust (1987)

Starring Norris Culf, Nadine Hartstein, J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner, Jennifer Delora, Andrew Howarth, Angelika Jager, Michael Downend, Rick Gianasi, George Grey, Nicholas Reiner, Michael Azzolina, John Blaylock

Directed by Tim Kincaid

Expectations: Super low. The previous Tim Kincaid movie I saw, Breeders, was pretty awful with virtually no redeeming qualities.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


The line between science fiction and fantasy is one that very few stories dare to cross. This trepidation is with good reason, as the two nerd camps don’t usually have a lot of crossover. Sometimes though, a film comes along that has real balls. These films usually go with the kitchen sink approach, such as last week’s Eliminators, and Robot Holocaust is a film that features a very similar philosophy. The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where robots rebelled and almost destroyed society. It is now controlled by the evil “Dark One” and his minions Valeria and Torque, who take a mysterious man hostage. His daughter hooks up with the nomad Neo and a bunch of other dudes and they go on a quest across the barren wasteland to vanquish the Dark One and rescue the kidnapped man.

This might make Robot Holocaust sound like an interesting, enjoyable movie. And it is in its way, but a true appreciation of shit movies is needed for the film to ascend to this level. Chances are if you’re watching a movie called Robot Holocaust, you’re pretty well dialed in to the mindset needed though. The acting is ridiculously bad from everyone except maybe Norris Culf who plays Neo, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that his acting is good. Robot Holocaust also features a robot sidekick named Klyton, who is basically C-3PO. It’s interesting to me that last week’s film Eliminators featured a rip-off R2-D2, and this one features a budget version of his wordy companion. I honestly didn’t know going in, but it definitely added something to the experience.

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Uncle Jasper reviews: Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1991)

Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1991)
AKA Kabukiman

Starring Rick Gianasi, Susan Byun, Bill Weeden, Thomas Crnkovich, Larry Robinson, Noble Lee Lester, Brick Bronsky, Pamela Alster, Fumio Furuya

Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz


Baby murders! Disembowelment! Cocaine! Gratuitous sex! …all within the first three minutes! You guessed it. It’s time for another classic from our friends at Troma Entertainment.

Don’t let that fool you though. Sgt. Kabukiman is actually a pretty mild shot from the Troma cannon. If you want your gore, titties, and trademark tasteless imagery, you’ll get it here. Just don’t go in expecting a stomach-churning, gender-bending workout on the scale of Poultrygeist or Terror Firmer. This is why I nominate Sgt. Kabukiman as an excellent choice for those seeking a decent entry-level Troma film. Trust me, after this one you’ll know if you want to dive deeper into this stuff.

Sgt. Kabukiman obviously derives its influence from campy, ham-fisted superhero action like the Adam West Batman series of the 1960s. There’s a lot of goofy-ass cartoon humor littered throughout, and while that’s usually the thing I look forward to least from the folks at Troma, it actually seems to serve the material a little better here. Fans shouldn’t worry too much though. You’ll still get moments of silly and disgusting over the top gore, as well as the complete lack of social consciousness you laid your hard-earned bucks down for.

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1991) →

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