With the Avatar: The Way of Water in the news for hitting two billion dollars (and on the verge of unseating Avengers: Infinity War as the 5th highest grossing movie of all time) I think its about time we go all the way back to the beginning of James Cameron‘s illustrious directing career and no I’m not talking about the Terminator(1984).

You see Cameron originally began his career as a poster illustrator and the miniature model builder for non other than B-movie legend Roger Corman. He graduated to being an art director for Corman‘s probably most expensive movie at a time (still pretty modest by regular standards) Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and more notably did special effects for John Carpenter’s Escape from New York (1981).

He continued working for Corman on movies like Galaxy of Terror but his first opportunity do direct opened up when the director for Piranha (another Corman production) sequel Piranha II: The Spawning (love the title) left the production after clashing with the producer Ovidio Assonitis. Cameron would then be upgraded from special effect director to regular director and the rest is history. Well, not quite yet- we’ll get back to you on that…

Cameron’s sketch via Icollector.com

So, the movie starts with we kid you not- an underwater sex scene. Young couple decided that it would be a good idea to do it close to a sunken US ship. As you can presume- it doesn’t end well. They get attacked by the mysterious creatures and soon there’s blood in the water.

Then we cut back to a black man called Gabbi and his son fishing using dynamite. Steve, the police officer catches them but let’s them go with a warning.

Diving instructor Anne‘s student is one of the victims, but her estranged husband Steve (Lance Henricksen) who’s a police officer refuses to let her see the body. So, naturally she decides to ignore him and break into a morgue? That’s not rational thinking, quite the opposite. Tyler Sherman, tourist who can’t stop hitting on her also tags along.

They actually manage to enter the morgue but the nurse catches them and throws them out. Unfortunately she not knowingly seals her own fate- turns out one of the piranhas was hiding inside the body!? I mean, who’s really prepared for that. It bursts from the corpse like a damn Alien and the nurse is toast.

I love how the piranha just escapes trough the window when it’s done!

Anne on the other side gets a bit more lucky. She finally accepts Tyler’s advances and has a one night stand with him. Unfortunately her estranged husband shows up, turns out she lost her credit card in the morgue/ scene of the crime.

She tries to warn him about her suspicions but he is too angry (with her having another man in her bed) to really listen.

Anne desperately tries to cancel all the diving lessons but that only gets her fired. Tyler finally confesses that he isn’t here just as tourist, he is actually a biochemist who was on the team that developed a genetically modified piranhas, capable of flying (although actual flying fish glide- not fly like the birds but that’s B-movie logic for you). He suspected the cylinder of the fish they lost is the reason for the killings and he is proven right.

Gabby’s son ends up being the victim of the piranhas too and he decides that the only way to stop them is with dynamite. Anne tries to dissuade him but there’s no changing his mind.

To make things worse the manager Raul insist annual fish fry must go on- with disastrous results.

Anne and Tyler decide that the only way to end this is of course- take all that Gabby’s dynamite (Gabby also unfortunately met his son’s fate) and blow up the ship wreckage and all the piranhas with it.

In the meantime Steve (in a police helicopter) keeps searching for their son with the who in a completely unrelated and unnecessary plot point ends up stranded with a young, hot daughter of a rich British boat owner Dumont. I mean he probably got a better deal than most of the folks in this movie.

Anne and Tyler manage to dive to the wreckage and plant the device but they end up attacked by piranhas and end u stuck in the boat with a timer on a bomb still running.Tyler doesn’t make it out and ends up eaten alive but Anne manages to reach the surface just in time. There she is helped by Steve who found the young couple so I guess- family reunited (if only Tyler didn’t have to die for that to happen)!

Verdict: this movie suffers (for better or worse) from the usual 80’s syndrome, so expect lots of crude sexual jokes, idiotic characters and nonsensical plot points that go absolutely nowhere. On the other hand they are moments where Cameron’s potential shines through, the scenes of underwater photography are masterfully done and it’s pretty incredible that we can still see some of those elements in his movies some 40 years later.

Virtually Identical!

Epilogue: After an apparent food poising in Rome and struck with a high fever, Cameron had a vivid nightmare about a chrome skeleton burning in a fire – the rest is history.

So many horror sequels get announced every day yet never come into fruition. So when Buddy Cooper announced a sequel to his 80’s cult favorite slasher Mutilator aka Fall Break (1984) after almost 40 years (!!!) we had every right to be skeptical, but by golly he promised us a Mutilator 2 and that’s what we got!

New movie features a returning cast of Ruth Martinez and Bill Hitchcock and some new fresh faces like Terry Kiser (Friday The 13th, Part VII), Damian Maffei  (The Strangers: Prey at Night) and Eva Hamilton (Death Kiss).

And now we have the first (surprisingly meta) trailer for you here via Fangoria, enjoy!

Trivia: Cooper seemingly want to keep the sequel streak going because he is producing another sequel, this time to a revived 70s franchiseSilent Night , Bloody Night 3 (not to be confused with a sequel to the awesome Silent Night Deadly Night 2).

As we all may know Christmas is pretty stressful holiday for huge number of people. There are many traditions, like ripping a bottle of wine and arguing with your shitty cousin about inane things, hostility over the course of family dinner, followed by watching holiday themed horror movies while ignoring the rest of your family and so on. So this really sets you in the mood for a really depressingly wonderful Christmas Movie. If so then look no further than Christmas Evil.

This one’s pretty straightforward so I’ll get right to it. The year is 1947. It is Christmas eve. A kid named Harry is traumatized when he sees his mom and dad getting it on whilst his dad is in full Santa garb (Santa performing oral on Mommy). Really ruined it for him. Also it doesn’t help that his brother did not believe in Santa. So Harry runs away to the attic where he intentionally cuts himself on piece of broken snow globe. I guess this is intended to represent his rebelion towards Santa. Flash forward takes us to present day (aka 1980) and adult Harry (played by Brandon Maggart) is in some middle management role at a toy company that makes Christmas toys. He’s also obsessed with Santa. Like really obsessed. Like spies on the neighborhood children and keeps a Santa-esque book of who’s naughty and nice, crazy. He even sleeps in Santa pajamas. You can sort of see where this is going.

She has been very naughty

While Harry takes great pride in his workmanship, wanting to make toys that some girl or boy will love for years, he finds his co-workers to be lazy wage slaves who think he is a fool and a sucker for working so hard. When he is promoted off the assembly line to a desk job, he finds the management is more concerned about the bottom line than the quality of the toys. Thats when he snaps. Harry dons his Santa suit, paints his van to look more like slay and makes the rounds of the city, distributing toys to deserving people.

Ive never felt better!

As good people get presents so naughty people get punishment. And where can you find wrong doers on Christmas eve? In church, of course! So Harry dispense some justice with sharp toys and an axe! Next, he comes back to his company Christmas party dressed as a Santa where he dances and sings and has a time of his lifetime like he hasn’t had killed bunch of people 10 minutes ago. He distributes some presents and leaves the place. Of course, none of his coworkers recognized neither Harry nor the toys he had stolen from the very same factory.

Christmas is not over yet so Harry visits home of his greedy coworker Frank (played by Joe Jamrog). He couldn’t quite fit through the chimney so he had to resort to other of Santa’s many feats – lockpicking. He leaves presents for Frank’s children while Frank himself receives death from decorational star from Christmas tree, all next to sleeping wife who doesn’t suspect anything. The police, meanwhile, based on eyewitness accounts, are also making the rounds of the city arresting every Santa they find. Why not play safe?

Meanwhile, Harry’s brother Philip (played by Jeffrey DeMunn) suspects something is wrong since Harry has never ditched him for Christmas before. His doubts arouse even more after watching news regarding church massacre. Harry comes by Philip’s house later that evening and confronts him, blaming his brother for everything because Philip said he didn’t believe in Santa when he was 6. Things get out of control and Philip strangles Harry. Believing he killed his brother he drags his corpse and place it into the van. Harry wakes up, notably angry, and gives pedal to the metal. Just in that moment angry lynch mob shows up and, while avoiding them, Harry drives off the bridge. But that’s not all! Instead of falling to his death his van flies off towards the Moon while Christmas music is playing in background in one of the most confusing endings in cinema history.

Conclusion: While the movie is considered a slasher flick (which it is to an extent) I think that it is more appropriate to call it a psychological thriller as it is more focused on Harry going crazy and that is where we can see Brandon Maggart’s brilliant performance. Director Lewis Jackson has to thanks only him that the movie wasn’t pissed on the moment it premiered. I really don’t agree with John Waters on Christmas Evil being “The best Christmas Movie ever made” (we all know it is Die Hard). I mean, there are almost no dialogues, most of the movie we listen to Harry talking to himself and humming Christmas carol. The sound design is shitty, especially at the beginning of this film. As for the effects it looks and sounds horrible for most of the film’s runtime. Still, I recommend seeing this movie if you’ve exhausted your other holiday-themed options.

By this time you probably heard about the lost 1984 Ninja movie- New York Ninja (featuring John Liu) that Vinegar Syndrome painstakingly restored and completed. But did you hear about an equally old- school comicbook sequel that followed it? Well, that’s why you have us.

Our favorite White Ninja recently returned in a 44 page magazine super- special by Charles Forsman of “The End of the Fucking World” and “I Am Not Okay With This” fame. Comic is on sale from November 30th and you can find your copy right here on Floating World Comics website.

As a fan of the 80s Ninja comics– I hope this special is just the first of the many.

This might not be a comeback movie role we expected but man- it’s equally as fun. Never expected to say this but Chuck Norris is officially a part of Crime Boss: Rockay City video game, first-person shooter/ heist with plethora of our favorites 80s and 90s A- listers.Czech developer Ingame Studios decided to go all the way with 90s style (which I fully support) for their debut game and they cast accordingly. In fact it’s such a cast that it almost rivals the Expendables 2 (also featuring Chuck) and that just might be the greatest ensemble in an Action Movie ever.

The game follows Travis Baker (Michael Madsen) a man with his sights set on becoming the new King of Rockay City, one crime at a time. Then we have Michael Rooker as Touchdown, Kim Basinger as Casey, Danny Trejo as The Dragon, Danny Glover as Glove and of course Chuck Norris as- you guessed it Sheriff Norris. Not need to change the winning formula.

Now, there’s no way for me to know how good the gameplay will be (we’ll have to wait ’till March for that) but I have to give the shot-out for nailing the esthetics and this pitch perfect casting. And if things weren’t 90’s enough they even threw in Vanilla Ice as a crime boss Hielo! He’s finally gonna earn that street reputation that he lacked the first go around.

WORD TO YOUR MOTHER!

Now without further ado, here’s the announce trailer:

Crime Boss: Rockay City will be launching on Epic Games March 28th, 2023 and coming soon to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

You can pre-purchase from the Epic Games Store by clicking HERE.

SHERIFF NORRIS IN PURSUIT!

As you might have noticed, Tubi has been ramping up their production of genre originals and just in time for this Halloween Season. And one of the more interesting titles is the fact that they actually remade an early Jamie Lee Curtis hit Terror Train (1980).

I mean- you can’t go wrong with clowns!

Made originally as a Canadian production with Curtis fresh off the heels of Halloween (1978) Terror Train was a who-dun-it with a masked slasher on the moving train. Twist was- it was a masked party and the slasher was constantly changing his disguise. And it even had a famed magician David Copperfield in it!

*you can read the more in-depth review here.

Even though the movie had it’s share of super- goofy moments it’s a fun concept to revisit, and I’m for one interested to see what the new director Philippe Gagnon do with it. Movie is written by Ian Carpenter and Aron Martin of the Shudder’s Slasher fame- so they definitely have the experience in the genre.

The new leading lady is Robyn Alomar (Utopia Falls) and movie also features Tim Rozon, Max Laferriere Romy Weltman, Corteon Moore and Kenny Wong. A very Candadian cast-as it should be. Now, without any further ado here’s the trailer and let’s see what others horrors does Terror on Tubi brings us this year!

PS Movie will be out on October 21st, for those who don’t want to wait ’till Halloween!

Despite all odds James Nguyen (Birdemic: Shock and Terror) is back!

I still remember people trying to turn him away from further Birdemic movies an try to help him start a more reputable movie career but he would not be deterred. This is a man with a vision.

Close to seven years ago now- he said he plans to (first) film Birdemic 3: The Sea Eagle (and then sell the reboot rights) and by Golly he did it! After the second movie that leaned more into self- parody territory this finally looks to be a classic, earnest Nguyen doing his damnedest to save the world (mostly from the CGI birds but still). And it even has the original Birdemic alum Alan Bagh (now sporting a more hippie, bearded look).

“We have to do something about this damn global warming”

With distribution by Severin Films it seems like this one will get a surprisingly solid release– well, for this type of a movie. And the world premiere is just around the corner, it will be on this year’s Fantastic Fest (22-29 September). I for one missed these (exploding) CGI birds, it’s been a while.

You can say whatever you want about Mr. Nguyen but he’s a prime example that passion and blind determination can take you places.

According to the Ultimate BOLO YEUNG page the long- awaited documentary Chinese Hercules- The Bolo Yeung Story will be finished in time for the Enter The Dragon 50th anniversary on July, 2023!

After a long delay caused by COVID we are overjoyed to finally get confirmation that the documentary is back on track and on it’s way. You can check the page here for more updates as they come in.

In the other Bolo related news Jean-Claude Van Damme is preparing for his big Martial Arts movie swan song What’s My Name? and if the sources are to believed he is supposed to re-enact some of the biggest fights from his career like the ones with Bolo, Qissi and Lundgren (Bloodsport, Kickboxer and Universal Soldier).

Will this be enough to entice Mr. Yeung from his retirement for one last dance? I don’t know but I sure hope so. After all they say third time is the charm, and we already had them go at it in Bloodsport and Double Impact before. That would be a really great way to cap off both of their careers.

First thing first- I have nothing against the different remakes and re-imaginings (as long as they have something new and interesting to offer) but some movies should just never be remade. Near the top of that list is Alex Proyas’s The Crow (1994), adaptation of James O’Barr‘s cult comicbook and the last staring role of Brandon Lee who tragically lost his life during the filming.

Just that fact alone (combined with his iconic performance that can’t be duplicated) should be enough but unfortunately Hollywood producers can’t be expected to show even an ounce of human decency.

Hell, if they decided to do a fifth sequel, last one being The Crow: Wicked Prayer (staring Edward Furlong) they could only go up but the role of Eric Draven should never be recast. Here we go:

2008, December- Stephen Norington announced that he is to write and direct a “reinvention” of The Crow. “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style.” Sounds bad already.

2011, April- After Norrington stepped away from the project, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has signed to direct. Bradley Cooper was inexplicably it talks to play the lead.

Bradley Cooper, fine actor but he looks more like an Owl to me.

2011, August- Cooper drops out due to scheduling issues and Mark Wahlberg is in talks for a lead. That doesn’t sound much better.

2012, January- F. Javier Gutierrez (Before The Fall, Rings) signs on as a director.

“We’re thrilled to have teamed with director Javier Gutierrez and screenwriter Jesse Wigutow on this story, which remains true to the core of Eric Draven’s plight for revenge,” he said. “Giving too much away wouldn’t be any fun. ‘Disorder, chaos, anarchy — now that’s fun!'” (producer) Edward R. Pressman

2012, December- Gutierrez is scouting shooting locations for The Crow, start of filming seems imminent. (Of course we now know it’s at least a decade away.)

2013, February It’s reported that James McAvoy is in talks to play Eric but it’s seemingly pure speculation with no basis in reality.

2013, April- after a talk with Tom Hiddleston (Loki) doesn’t pen out Alexander Skarsgard seems to be the next forerunner for the role. Interesting choice seeing where we’ll end up with this.

2013, May- Welsh actor Luke Evans is finally cast in the lead role. (They finally got someone who looks like a character from the comicbook). He is full of praise for the original movie: “The Crow was a very poignant film from my childhood, which I remember vividly. The soundtrack, also. It was such a solid performance that Brandon Lee gave. It was a very tragic end for somebody that probably would have had a very promising career… I’m Eric Draven. I’m the same character. Obviously, he’s been refreshed and brought up to date. We’re reimagining it to a certain extent, but the story and the plot is mostly the same.”

If this movie had to happen- Evans was a solid choice

2013, July- author of the original comic series James O’Barr finally sells out and joins the project as a consultant. Was it worth it?

“It is important for ‘Crow’ fans to understand that Relativity, Javier, Luke and the entire team are working on a new adaptation of the book itself.”

2014, December- after a long silence Corin Hardy (The Nun) replaces F. Javier Gutierrez as the director of The Crow. The reason given is Gutierrez‘ choice to direct The Rings for Paramount. He remains an Executive Producer on the film. O’Barr supposedly persuaded Gutierrez to move on from the film after multiple delays.

Next day Luke Evans confirmed he was dropping out of the film too, saying; “It’s not, no. No at the minute The Crow is not, not for me, I think it’s a little… I mean I’m sure it’s going to go ahead at some point, but I have other projects that are greenlit and ready to go and projects that I’m very interested in and you know, I can’t wait much longer!”

2015, February, James O’Barr gave an interview stating that Evans exit was partially due to the studio being unwilling to pay him an A-Lister fee due to his success with hits such as Fast and Furious 6, The Hobbit films and Dracula Untold.

2015, March- James O’Barr announces that Jack Huston and Jessica Findley Brown have been cast as Eric and Shelly. The film will be shot in Summer 2015, with a nearly all English cast including a Game of Thrones veteran.

2016, August- Mashable post exclusive that Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman) is cast as
Eric Draven. Momoa confirms it with a photo of himself and Hardy toasting with pint of black beauty. Things seem to finally be back on track. At least for a moment.

2018, March Sony announces that The Crow would be released in theaters on October 11, 2019.Things go sideways almost immediately after that.

2018, May- Jason Momoa talks about project’s demise and apologizes to fans on Instagram. Deadline reports pair cited “creative and financial differences” with producer Samuel Hadida, who was responsible for financing the film. That happened just 5 weeks before the filming was about to start in Budapest, Hungary.

2022, April- On April’ Fools day Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman, ) is announced as the new director with Bill Skarsgård (IT) cast as Eric. Later it’s confirmed that English singer FKA Twigs is cast too. Unfortunately, turns out it’s not a joke.

Verdict: As of writing this FilmNation are marching on with Sanders and Skarsgard and filming is about to start any day now in Germany and Czech Republic. Will it actually happen- let’s wait and see.

Movie is currently 20 million dollars behind without a single shot being filmed and will lose a whole lot of more even if they by some miracle manage to start the principal photography. But, so far the curse continues, and I can’t help but think that- that is for the best.

The original director Alex Proyas said it best: “If it wasn’t for Brandon you may never have even heard of this poignant little underground comic. It is Brandon’s movie. I believe it is a special case where Hollywood should just let it remain a testament to a man’s immense talent and ultimate sacrifice – and not have others re-write that story or add to it.

“I know sequels were made, and TV shows, and what have you, but the notion of ‘rebooting’ this story, and the original character – a character Brandon gave life to at too high a cost – seems wrong to me. Please let this remain Brandon’s film.

Unfortunately the comicbook community lost one of all- time greats recently- Neal Adams, legendary artist on everything from Batman (where he co- created Ra’s al Ghul & Man-Bat) to X-Men, famous for his dynamism and photo- realism as well as his fight for artist’s rights (most notably for Superman creator’s Siegel & Shuster).

But there’s a part of his career that’s not spoken about that often and that is his prolific movie poster work in the 70s. There’s been a number of times that after finding an obscure B-movie I thought to myself- that looks like a Neal Adams cover. And sure it was just that.

Through his Continuity Studio he did some of the best poster of the Kung Fu craze era (and also great cover for the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine) and honestly- sometimes those posters were more impressive than the movies themselves! That’s definitely true for the Bruceploitation one. Beside Martial Arts movies he also did a number of Horror and SF posters that are almost as good.

So here’s our little list of best Neal Adams movie posters with a little bit of trivia thrown in:

05: BLACK DRAGON’S REVENGE (1975)

Released right at the beginning of a Bruceploitation craze Black Dragon’s Revenge aka Death of Bruce Lee (1975) features three rivals factions fighting for a secret manual left over by Bruce Lee ( secret manuals were all the rage back in those days).

Movie features the legendary American Martial Artist “Black Dragon” himself- Ron Van Clief as a detective trying to solve Lee’s murder, Philip Ko (The Boxer’s Omen, The Invincible Armour) and another name we’ll talk about very shortly “La Pantera” Charles Bonet. Hell, it even has a young Yuen Qiu (landlady from Kung Fu Hustle)!

Poster nicely captures both the explosive action and the exotic Hong Kong setting.

04: ENTER THREE DRAGONS (1978)

Enter Three Dragons aka The Dragon on Fire (1978) is a Bruceploitation as it gets. It has not only Godfrey Ho staple Bruce Lai in it- but it has a distinction of being a debut of our favorite Bruce Lee- cloneDragon Lee who plays his brother. Confusingly Lai is called Dragon Hong in this and Dragon Lee is called Bruce Hong so try to keep that straight.

Even thou the poster is monochromatic it still has a powerful triangular composition that works like a charm!

03: DEATH PROMISE (1977)

Death Promise (1977) was an American response to Hong Kong Martial Art flicks of the day with an interesting “evil landlords” gentrification theme. Despite a lot of silly story beats and the obvious low budget– it’s lead, Charles Bonet is great and charismatic action hero and he definitely should have done more!

Adams captures all the crazy energy and I especially like the combination of blood splattered lettering and a rat wandering in front of it. Great detail!

02: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE

Phantom Of The Paradise (1974) is one of the more eclectic movies Adams illustrated. Combination of horror, comedy and rock music written and directed by young De Palma and scored by Paul Williams.

Poster also has a distinction of being a collaboration of two comicbook legends being drawn by Adams and painted by underground comic legend Richard Corben (DEN,Mutant World)!

01: WESTWORLD

Without a doubt the most legendary movie Adams worked on (although Grizzly has it’s fans too) is Yul Brynner’s Westworld (1973). There’s actually two different versions of this poster but this is my favorite- it shows you all you need to know about the movie.

Bonafide SF classic about amusement park full of cowboy robots (what could go wrong with that) was written/ directed by writer Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Twister). It spawned the sequel movie Futureworld (1976) , sequel series Beyond Westworld (1980) and even contemporary HBO reboot series (2016) that’s still ongoing.