Uncle Jasper reviews: Hard Target (1993)

Starring Jean Claude Van-Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Wilford Brimley, Kasi Lemmons, Arnold Vosloo, Willie C. Carpenter

Directed by John Woo


To the seasoned viewer of early 90s action films there are only two things wrong with Hard Target. One, there are like twenty dudes trying to kill Van Damme at any given moment and Al Leong is not one of them. Two, the painfully obvious musical selection “Born on the Bayou”, which could have made any scene in this film infinitely more awesome, is not played until the end credits. Despite these two obvious flaws, the movie was a pleasant experience to return to since I had last viewed it over 15 years ago.

Hard Target is forever cemented in history as the film that brought John Woo to Hollywood. Language barriers as well as unfamiliarity with the Hollywood system were obvious concerns. The brass over at Universal Pictures were apparently shitting themselves so badly over letting John Woo take the reins of this film that they hired producer Sam Raimi to babysit the production. Woo was working in horrendously stifling conditions, being given only two months to shoot the film, and was relentlessly hounded by studio execs to go easy on the violence, which ironically is the very reason he became such a desired Hollywood import in the first place.

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Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993)

Starring Tim Thomerson, Tracy Scoggins, Melissa Behr, Phillip Brock, Phil Fondacaro, R.C. Bates, Willie C. Carpenter, Peter Chen

Directed by Charles Band

Featured Toys: Baby Oopsy Daisy, Jack Attack, Mr. Static, Zombietoid, Grizzly Teddy (flashback)

Expectations: Moderate. I liked Dollman. I liked Demonic Toys.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


Dollman vs. Demonic Toys serves as a sequel to three Full Moon films, the two in the title and Bad Channels. Following the events of Bad Channels, where an alien took over a radio station and shrunk beautiful women down to Dollman size, Dollman finds himself heading down the road to see if he can meet up with the girl who didn’t get restored to full-size. The scene that opens the film is the same as the one that follows the credits of Bad Channels. Meanwhile, Tracy Scoggins from Demonic Toys is staking out the toy warehouse where all the demonic shit went down. A bum dies and his blood gives life anew to the toys, who flee into an air duct before Scoggins can blast them like she did towards the end of Demonic Toys. Got all that?

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