Bloodlust: Subspecies III (1994)

Starring Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner, Pamela Gordon, Ion Haiduc, Michael Dellafemina

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate, the last two were very enjoyable.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


Another week, another Subspecies film, another ridiculous Radu resurrection! Yes, that’s right folks, being stabbed with a dagger in the face repeatedly and finished off with a stake through the mid-section is mere child’s play for vampires like Radu. This time around his Mummy uses Michelle’s sumptuous blood to resurrect Radu, by first slitting Michelle’s wrist, dribbling the blood on Radu’s forehead, licking the blood off the knife and then stabbing Radu in the hole left by the dagger in part two. Wha?!?!? This is a dark ritual for sure, and if it’s powerful enough to raise this bad motherfucker from the grave again, I’m glad I know nothing of it.

Upon resurrection, Radu moves quickly into the role of teacher, doing his best to foster Michelle into the good, lustful life of the vampire. Meanwhile, Michelle’s sister Rebecca refuses to leave her slowly changing sister to her inevitable death, so she once again teams up with the forgettable white dude from the embassy and the funny Romanian cop, Lt. Marin. Over the next hour, the film just retreads these two plot points over and over, without really moving forward. It still features the same beautiful Romanian locales and the same Gothic atmosphere, but this one is seriously lacking in story and thrills.

Continue reading Bloodlust: Subspecies III (1994) →

Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993)

Starring Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Melanie Shatner, Michael Denish, Pamela Gordon, Ion Haiduc

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate. The first was good.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threehalfstar


Coming off the somewhat slow, but very entertaining Subspecies, Ted Nicolaou and Full Moon pick up right where they left off with the sequel. Literally starting at the same moment Subspecies ends, Bloodstone: Subspecies II finds Radu in a predicament. Due to a disagreement in the first film, his head got separated from his body and a nasty stake was driven through his heart. That’s apparently what the subspecies are for though, as they cleverly remove the stake and push Radu’s head just close enough for the bloody tentacles and his spine to reach out and reattach his head. I’m not making it up, I swear! Like the subspecies in the first film, Radu continues to impress by possessing all kinds of cool vampire traits you won’t hear about in the schoolyard in between turns on the swing set. This is one of my favorite horror movie openings in recent memory, and with that, Bloodstone: Subspecies II starts off with one hell of an over-the-top, gory bang.

Besides Radu’s resurrection, the plot mainly follows the heroine of the first film Michelle (played here by Denise Duff), a recently bitten female who’s slowly adjusting to her newfound lust for human blood. When she awakes in the aftermath of the carnage that ended Subspecies, she quickly yoinks the bloodstone and runs off to Bucharest with it. When Radu returns to claim his prize and he finds it missing, he does the only logical thing given the circumstance; he grabs his recently deceased brother’s skeleton and furiously rips and stomps it to hell. He then runs off in chase, but is only quick enough to see Michelle board the train to Bucharest. Shoulda ate your Wheaties, Radu! I’m sure you can guess what happens from here. This sequel wisely does not seek to retread the ground of the original, instead mostly leaving behind the majestic but creepy ruins of the Eastern European countryside, for the urban environment of Bucharest. This instantly gives the film a distinctly different feel and look to the first film, while still retaining the clever shooting style and the star of the show, Radu.

Continue reading Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993) →

Subspecies (1991)

Starring Anders Hove, Laura Tate, Irina Movila, Michelle McBride, Michael Watson, Mara Grigore, Adrian Valcu, Ivan J. Rado, Angus Scrimm

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
threehalfstar


It had to happen at some point. With all the horror films coming out of Full Moon, it was inevitable that they’d pump out a vampire flick sooner or later. Subspecies came around fairly early in their life cycle and ended up being one of their most popular series, spawning three sequels and side story spin-off film. I’m getting ahead of myself though, as today I’m only here to answer the question, “Is the original Subspecies worth all that fuss?”

Subspecies opens with a great scene between the evil exiled vampire Radu (Anders Hove) and his father, The King (Angus Scrimm). The King tries to imprison Radu by dropping a metal cage on him, but Radu has a trick up his sleeve in his fingers. Radu is no joke; he fuckin’ breaks off his fingertips, dropping them to the ground. They wriggle and ooze blood, slowly transforming into three-inch high demons called Subspecies! It’s fuckin’ awesome! From here, Radu gains control of his father’s bloodstone, a red crystal that eternally oozes life-giving blood for the vampire that doesn’t get out much. Meanwhile, three college students come to Romania to study the local folklore. They soon find themselves wrapped up in a struggle to stay alive against the evil that is Radu!

Continue reading Subspecies (1991) →

Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)

Starring Corey Feldman, Vanessa Angel, Danielle Keaton, Silvia Suvadova, Nikoli Sotirov, Dessislava Maicheva, Velizar Binev, Angelina Hadjimitova, Anton Falk

Puppet Cast: Blade, Jester, Pinhead, Six Shooter, Baby Oopsy Daisy, Jack Attack, Grizzly Teddy

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Extremely low, this is a knock-off Puppet Master movie made for the Sci-Fi channel. There’s no way it’s good.

On the general scale:
halfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
onestar


Finally, the moment Full Moon fans have waited for! Two giant Full Moon franchises collide in an epic tale of good vs. evil! Except instead of Full Moon, the Sci-Fi Channel produced it and it’s awful? Yep, sad but true. It does have Corey Feldman if that sweetens the deal any… yeah, didn’t think it would. Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is a non-canon tale of the two groups meeting up, aping a bit of both series’ mythology and combining everything into a jumbled mess. Corey Feldman is Robert Toulon, a descendant of the puppet master who is trying to perfect the puppet animation formula. Meanwhile the head of Sharpe Toys wants to capture the toys for some reason that isn’t entirely clear (even after watching the entire film), and she also has made a deal with Bael to handover Toulon’s blood to fulfill some ancient pact.

Continue reading Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004) →

Bad Channels (1992)

Starring Paul Hipp, Martha Quinn, Aaron Lustig, Michael Huddleston, Sonny Carl Davis, Rodney Ueno, Roumel Reaux, Robert Factor, Charlie Spradling, Daryl Strauss, Victor Rogers, Melissa Behr, Tim Thomerson

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate, it sounds like a cool idea.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
onehalfstar


Bad Channels tells the story of the radio station, KDUL, an “All Polka, All-the-time” station that has recently discovered it is eligible to broadcast nationwide because it uses a frequency used by no other radio station in the country, 666 AM. They hire a star DJ, who chains himself into the chair and plays one polka album-side on repeat until someone guesses the combo to the Master lock around his neck. Some aliens show up and have other plans for the broadcast though!

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TerrorVision (1986)

Starring Chad Allen, Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham, Bert Remsen, Jon Gries, Jennifer Richards, Alejandro Rey, Randi Brooks, Frank Welker

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


If you’re looking for a serious injection of the 1980s into your life, then look no further than this morally questionable little film, Terrorvision. Everything in this movie is dripping with the kind of Velveeta that only the 1980s could produce. The thing is, this only goes so far and unfortunately it ends up working against itself. After the initial laughs have passed, it all gets really tiring because at the heart of the matter, this really would have worked a lot better as a short.

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Ragewar (1985)

Ragewar (1985)
AKA Ragewar: The Challenges of Excalibrate, The Dungeonmaster

Starring Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll, Leslie Wing, Phil Fondacaro, Anthony T. Genova III, Lonnie Hashimoto, Michael Steve Jones, Peter Kent, Paul Pape, Randy Popplewell, Felix Silla, W.A.S.P.

Directed by Dave Allen, Charles Band, John Carl Buechler, Steven Ford, Peter Manoogian, Ted Nicolaou, Rosemarie Turko

Expectations: High. With a title like Ragewar, it’s hard not to have high hopes.

On the general scale:
threestar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Did you ever wear an NES Power Glove when you were a kid and pretend you were pushing buttons on it, affecting the real world? Me too, and boy have I got a movie for you!

The film opens with a short dream sequence in which our hero finds himself slowly chasing after a woman in a red dress. He follows her into a room where she has disrobed and lies on a spotlighted bed. He goes in for a kiss, but shortly after, a bunch of Tusken Raider-like mutants bust through the door, punch him out and take the girl! This has no real bearing on the main story but it sets up the film nicely. Upon US release this scene was removed in order to secure a PG-13 rating and the title was changed to The Dungeonmaster to capitalize on the success of Dungeons and Dragons, despite having zero relation to the classic pen-and-paper RPG.

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