Netherworld (1992)

Starring Michael Bendetti, Denise Gentile, Anjanette Comer, Holly Floria, Robert Sampson, Holly Butler, Alex Datcher, Robert Burr, George Kelly, Mark Kemble

Directed by David Schmoeller

Expectations: Fairly high. Schmoeller has a good enough track record with Tourist Trap and Puppet Master.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Sometimes when a film is able to capture the vibe of a place it creates a film worth talking about. Other times this backfires and we’re left with a film like Netherworld. Shot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, the film definitely takes on the slow-paced New Orleans vibe, but in a film about a cult turning people into manbirds, a degree of urgency should inform the film. OK, OK, it’s not exactly about manbirds, but Full Moon and director David Schmoeller do try to make you think it is within the first few minutes, when a stone hand adorned with Egyptian runes flies out of a crypt and onto the face of a violent rapist of a man and quickly transforms him into a crude man-sized bird (Think dude with giant cardinal head).

Now, I’d love to tell you that the rest of the film is about the stone hand rampaging around, turning men into hybrid manbirds; the flock eventually rising up against their evil creators. Or maybe an elder manbird taking a newly hatched manbird under his wing and showing him the ropes, training him for his ultimate finale against the evil creator. Nope, sorry. Instead, right after the massive manbird bomb (or egg, if you prefer) is dropped, the film completely, and I mean completely, drops that line of the plot and starts up a brand new one involving a son inheriting his father’s incredible New Orleans mansion.

Continue reading Netherworld (1992) →

Uncle Jasper reviews: Robot Jox (1990)

Robot Jox (1990)

Starring Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo, Robert Sampson, Danny Kamekona, Hilary Mason, Michael Alldredge

Directed By Stuart Gordon


 

My scarce memories of Robot Jox stem more from the trailer than from my first (and only) viewing of the film way back in the early 90s. When Will and I were scheduling reviews for the remainder of 2010, I plopped Robot Jox on there as an excuse to revisit this long forgotten gem after all of these years. Imagine my surprise when Will got back to me with the news that it was an Empire film! …Doh! Being only about 11 years old at the time, I obviously had no idea. Since Will is our resident expert on all things Charles Band, I was a little wary about taking the reigns, but he has given his blessing and I’m proud to contribute my first entry into the long running Empire / Full Moon series here at Silver Emulsion!

Any movie fan who even occasionally dips their feet into the waters of Science Fiction no doubt has seen their share of dystopian futures. You have heavy-handed, big-brother police states like 1984, rain-slicked neon cyberpunk slums ala Blade Runner, and the savage survival world of Mad Max. That’s all fine and dandy, but all we really need to solve the serious problems of the future are gigantic fucking robots stomping the balls off of each other out in the arid hills of Death Valley.

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Robot Jox (1990) →

Re-Animator (1985)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson, Gerry Black

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Expectations: High. I’ve been building this movie up in my head for years.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
fourstar


Distributed by Empire International, Re-Animator is one of the hallmarks of 1980s horror cinema. Finally watching it after all these years of build up was something of an event and one that I truly enjoyed, even with my high expectations. Based on a little known story called Herbert West–Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft, the film is so much more than the simple Frankenstein re-telling I expected it to be. Apparently Lovecraft wrote the story as a parody of Mary Shelley’s classic tale and while the filmed story differs quite a bit from the original, it can still be seen as a slight parody re-telling.

Continue reading Re-Animator (1985) →

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