Teen Knight (1999)

teenknight_2Teen Knight (1999)
AKA Medieval Park

Starring Kris Lemche, Caterina Scorsone, Benjamin Plener, Paul Soles, Kimberly Pullis, Marc Robinson, Claudiu Trandafir, Dan Fintescu, Eugen Cristea, Sandu Mihai Gruia, Mihai Verbintschi

Directed by Phil Comeau

Expectations: Moderately high.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twostar


Are you looking for lackluster, boring sword fighting? How about a story mash-up of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Jurassic Park? Wizards throwing hadoukens? Ah ha! I knew that’d get your attention. Just don’t expect many hadoukens, because if I get you all fired up for a fantasy-based Street Fighter I’ll never hear the end of the disappointment I’ve brought into the world as thousands storm their local Redboxs in search of a nonexistent hadouken-filled film. But a few hadoukens is better than no hadoukens, right?

The film opens in the year 1383, as the evil Lord Raykin is rakin’ his yard. OK, he’s not rakin’ anything (other than Lord Raykin :)), but he is being thrown into a horse-drawn prison cart along with his evil wizard buddy. As you might expect an evil lord to do, he asks his wizard to get them out of yet another fine mess that he’s gotten them into. The wizard laments that their captors have stripped him of his amulets, he’s powerless, yadda yadda yadda. But then he whips out a magical jewel says a few words and shoots green lasers out of his eyes! So I guess he just needed to vent his frustration before showing the evil lord that he still had the juice. For reasons of world domination or general conquest or whatever, Lord Raykin desires the castle of Prince William. Now here’s where it gets really crazy. The evil wizard casts a spell to change the castle’s crest to Raykin’s, thus allowing them to call the castle back in time whenever he wants so that he can make one more attempt at becoming the king of the castle. Someone get this Raykin guy a medieval Lego set and call it a day.

Continue reading Teen Knight (1999) →

Clockmaker (1998)

51PT1708TAL._SS500_Clockmaker (1998)
AKA Timekeeper

Starring Anthony Medwetz, Katie Johnston, Zachary McLemore, Pierrino Mascarino, Daisy Nystul, Tom Gulager, Eugen Cristea, Florin Chiriac

Directed by Christopher Rémy

Expectations: Moderate. Moonbeam films are usually kind of boring, but there’s been some fun ones.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


Clockmaker, Clockmaker, make me a clock! Oh boy, I loved this movie. Against all good reason, against my better judgement, no matter what this movie threw at me I ate it up like a kid eating candy on Halloween night. Hands down the best Moonbeam film I’ve seen yet, Clockmaker is actually high adventure and fun story beats from start to finish! Imagine that! No filler whatsoever. I sure don’t expect that when I kick into one of these made-for-kids Full Moon movies, but Clockmaker didn’t disappoint me in any way.

Clockmaker begins in the year 1998, as three kids hang out on their building’s landing. Mary Beth pitches pennies against the wall, Devon spews conspiracy theories about the old man living in their building and Henry feverishly studies his Commodore 64 schematics manual. Y’know… what kids in 1998 did. Anyway, when the aforementioned old man leaves the building, he mistakenly drops his key and the kids snatch it up. Instead of doing the right thing and returning it, they decide that now’s their chance to sneak in and find out what the old man’s really up to. But once inside, will they ever get out? DUH DUN DUHHHHHHHH!

Continue reading Clockmaker (1998) →

Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 6, Last Battle for the Universe (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Jonathan Charles Kaplan, Michael C. Mahon, Stacy Sullivan, Helen Siff, Charisma Carpenter, Johnny Green

Directed by Frank Arnold

Expectations: Low, but very much excited to be done with these!

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


At long last I find myself at the end of the lengthy Josh Kirby film sextet. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always enjoyable, but damn if I didn’t get a few quality moments of WTF joy. I’m happy to report that one of the best of these comes in this film, the aptly titled entry: Last Battle for the Universe. While it is the last film, and there is a battle contained within, don’t get your hopes up for an epic confrontation between good and evil that will shake the pillars of the Earth. Nope, here it’s more along the lines of Josh Kirby wearing a thimble/bucket helmet and trading laborious blows with the evil villain contained in the time armor.

Once again, a Josh Kirby film is fairly unintelligible. I always get through the first few minutes following these pretty well, but as boredom and exhaustion sets in, I’m unable to keep up with all the lengthy jargon-driven dialogue exchanges. What I was able to decode was this: after finally retrieving the final Nullifier component, Josh’s time buddy Irwin 1138 reveals himself to be the true villain! As I suspected a couple of films ago (I think it was hinted at in Trapped on Toyworld), the evil Dr. Zoetrope is actually a nice guy. This is a change for the better, as I always thought his character was far more interesting and likable than Irwin’s. Anyway, Irwin steals Zoetrope’s time armor and whisks himself away. Where he goes is for later, as first Josh Kirby must probe the mind of Zoetrope to prove that he’s telling the truth (Read: Full Moon gets lazy once again and shows us a few minutes of footage from the previous films). It is after this blatant offering of stock footage that we finally find out where Irwin got off to, and it is here that the film hits an absolute high of insane, mind-boggling proportions.

Continue reading Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 6, Last Battle for the Universe (1996) →

Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 5, Journey to the Magic Cavern (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Matt Winston, Nick De Gruccio, Cindy Sorenson, Michael Hagiwara, Lomax Study, Mihai Niculescu

Directed by Ernest D. Farino

Expectations: Low. I kinda just want to be done with these, so anything more than absolute shit will be a win in my book.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Once again I find myself before my computer wondering just what I can write about a Josh Kirby film. I can say that at least this film is a definite improvement from the poor results of Part 3 and Part 4, but it’s still incredibly slow-paced and boring. That’s pretty much the Full Moon modus operandi though, stretching out every dialogue sequence and adding in about twice as many expository exchanges than there needs to be. Whatever, by this point in my trek through every one of the Empire International/Full Moon films I’m no longer surprised by this, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to sit through.

So at the end of Part 4 (and replayed here for our “enjoyment”), Josh Kirby and his buddies mysteriously transport to an unknown location because one of them puts the Nullifier back together in the wrong order. This leads them to another piece of the Nullifier, but soon after they fall through a crevice in the Earth. Once they get up and dust themselves off, they see a bunch of human size mushrooms all around them and Asabeth, claiming these are delicacies on in her homeland, quickly bites off a piece of one and enjoys. These aren’t your average six-foot mushrooms though, they’re alive! And poisonous! So Asabeth is pretty much out of commission for the movie and our heroes must venture to into the lair of The Muncher with the help of the mushroom people in order to rescue Puffball, the mushroom with the spores which act as antidote for the poison. Get all that?

Continue reading Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 5, Journey to the Magic Cavern (1996) →

Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 4, Eggs from 70 Million B.C. (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Steve Wilder, Gary Kasper, Ilinca Goia

Directed by Mark S. Manos

Expectations: Low, these are really trying my patience as they wear on.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


OK, I’m barely going to be able to gather the necessary energy to write about this one. It’s definitely better and more tolerable than Part 3, but only slightly. So slightly in fact that those not paying close attention might not even notice! In some ways, I actually think Part 3 was better, if for nothing else than it allowed me enough ridiculous occurrences during its runtime to make for a good review. I can’t exactly say the same for Eggs from 70 Million B.C., so perhaps this is the lesser film. Oh what the fuck am I saying? Am I actually trying to convince myself that the goddamned toy movie was better? Trapped in Toyworld was clearly the harder film to slog through.

In this one Josh Kirby and the gang are rocketing through time in the time pod. They start to slow for no reason and they discover some eggs that have attached themselves to the pod’s intake vent. The doctor wisely decides that they should bring the alien eggs inside to investigate them. Good idea, Doc. Thanks for all the help. The eggs quickly crack open revealing cartoonish worms, but it’s OK because they’re cute and cuddly. Look, he’s tickling me! Oh, but it was all a clever ruse by the lead worm, as before our heroes can realize what’s happened his wormy friends have eaten their way through every duct, vent and shielded cable the pod has to offer. Thankfully in this world all that means is that they drop out of the time stream and into the Earth inhabited by the Asabeth’s half-human people. Convenient.

Continue reading Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 4, Eggs from 70 Million B.C. (1996) →

Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Sharon Lee Jones, Buck Kartalian, J.P. Hubbell, Lucian Cojocaru, Florin Chiriac, Bogdan Voda

Directed by Frank Arnold

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Oh man, are you ready to talk about an awful film? Then get ready for Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld! Just based on the short trailer at the end of Part 2, I knew I was in for one hell of a bumpy ride. Josh Kirby Part 3 is a seemingly never-ending barrage of bad scenes on top of bad scenes, with ever so subtle bits of goodness along the way. Thankfully, the way the series is structured you could easily skip over this worthless film and not really miss a thing. OK, you’d miss the revelatory moment when Josh realizes he’s a bona fide Time Warrior and can bend the powers of time to his will, but now that you know that, feel free to skip directly to Part 4. Or continue reading for the toy-induced nightmare of a lifetime!

Continue reading Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 3, Trapped on Toyworld (1996) →

Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 2, Human Pets (1995)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, John DeMita, Richard Lineback, Spencer Rochfort, Sandra Guibord, Jonathan Charles Kaplan, Heinrich James, Dimitrii Bogomaz, Time Winters, Robert Louis Kempf

Directed by Frank Arnold

Expectations: Low. I expect the series to get less fun as they move on.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


The first Josh Kirby film was something special. It wasn’t especially great or anything, but it’s notable for packing in a veritable smorgasbord of special effects and general good times. I wish I could say that the sequel contains the same amount of fun as the original, but it just ain’t so. It doesn’t even pick up at the same moment as the cliffhanger ending of Part 1! Instead it opens with the requisite “Previously on Josh Kirby…” section, followed by the last couple of scenes of the first film. Except they never show the final scene again, the one with Josh Kirby riding the triceratops into town like some sort of warped version of Palm Sunday.

Continue reading Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 2, Human Pets (1995) →

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