Posts Tagged ‘Mad Max’

The movie formerly know as Star Warfare Rangers and the Cyborg Witch of Endor, now Interstellar Civil War (that Pyun fellow has a way with words) is finally nearing it’s release date.

Despite his ongoing health issues over the last couple of years Albert Pyun managed to finish his 54th film, a crazy mix of Star Wars, Dune, Cyborg, Mad Max and his trademark Kickboxing action with a help of excellent cinematographer Michael Su and a score by his long time collaborator Tony Rippareti. I’ll always have a soft spot for Pyun trademark Cyborg/ Kickboxing action and I hope this could be a bit of return to form of our old favorite.

 

 It stars Brad Thornton, Ellie Church, Kelsey Carlisle, Paul Gunn, Clare Hoak, Tommie Vegas, Jennie Carroll, Ashley Campbell, Nathan Ferrier, Nick Rush, Fulvia Santoni and Cat Cakmis as Leah C6 and you can enjoy the new extended trailer right here!

In the late 80’s and the early 90’s many fine Kickboxers made the switch from the ring to an acting gig and there was always a steep learning curve there. For every Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren able to make a solid leap from Karate (or Full Contact Karate/ Kickboxing) almost straight to mainstream roles you had a fair share of people who needed years and years to get their acting chops up there, people like Jerry Trimble for example (these days an extremely capable actor- but originally someone able to do the talking only with his fists/ kicks).

“…  de la violence!” Who could resist?

 

Don “The Dragon” Wilson, a Kickboxer of a highest caliber is even below that comparison. His presence and acting capabilities seems completely at odds with his abilities in the ring. Where in the ring he was able to be relaxed and get his timing right in the movies he seems constantly tense, performing not only his lines but his specialty- kicks with such nervousness and stiffens that he looks incredibly lika  a Robocop trying to imitate Bruce Lee.

 

Movie starts with our hero (see Ring of Fire 1)  John Woo (Wilson) buying a ring for his pretty redhead girlfriend Julie (Maria Ford). She accepts the marriage proposal way to easy but they get interrupted- by a band of muscled up, biker looking thieves! Man, not a single boring day in the Don “Dragon” land. After killing an innocent man for no reason whatsoever the he good doctor Woo (yes, Wilson is a doctor in this series) jumps in to fight them with his bare hands! Police breaks in but Julie still ends up wounded, and we also get a bonus bizarre car chase (I mean the tire gets shot and the whole car goes up in flames)!

 

Now in the hospital Wilson and his retarded friends visit Jullie but he runs into the same goons trying to wheel out their compatriot in the freakin’ middle of the day (what are the odds)!  As always the fight ensues and Dragon accidentally manages to finish what he started by  accidentally shooting  the already crippled thug straight in his face!!! Doctor killing a patient- man this is dude is crazy!

Kalin (Ian Jacklin) gets arrested but quickly escapes and his second in command Predator (Evan Lurie) kidnaps Jullie. Then, what started as a by the numbers action thriller suddenly goes completely left field-in all improbably it turns into a Martial Arts remake of Mad Max series and Walter Hill’s The Warriors.

“You know that shit when they build new buildings on top of old ones? Well that shit still underneath is the Underground! Yes, the random street dude clues Wilson in and he finds the entrance to the Underground. It even has an ENTER TO DIE sign on the entrance, so this should be fun.

 

Also, somehow in the Underground there’s an agreement that guns are prohibited so the world devolved into crazy hand to hand fighting post- apocalyptic community. Not a bad idea when you thing about it. Going trough underground passageways Woo destroys everything in his path, led by a  guide- an old black Vietnam vet with a bum leg. Maybe they could have added a mystical powers too? He keeps  fighting different underground fractions one by one as he goes towards the center, the Trashcan Samurai (notice an old favorite Gerald Okamura), the Afro- Ninjas… he even fights the Skateboard Gang with Kali sticks and  flashlights!

 

Yes,  Dragon VS an evil skateboard gang! With the appropriate soundtrack,too…

His retarded (also Martial Arts friends) go after him, and mostly just kick the people already down from the Dragon beating.  Yet they manage to lose sight of what they came here for (like I said they are a bit retarded ) and end up in an underground hooker bar. Whore gang of course drugs them and deliver them straight to the villain. The only one who gets out is a small Chinese dude who gets into a fight with a disgusting bodybuilder chick.

“You are really sexy when you throw one of those spining kicks!” WORST. PICK- UP LINE. EVER.

Now Woo has to save the friends who came to save him. But don’t worry- no problem in the world that can’t be solved with some cagefighting! He goes against the Predator and deafeats him and you know what else happens- more explosions! The old veteran vet did his magic with rigging the armory. Sadly the final fight happens in the daylight so it looses some of the surreal, dream like quality other fight had. Also the main villain is just not very good.

 

Verdict: Even thou you can’t really call this a good movie it is a crazy good time, I mean it has explosions, over the top fighting,  90’s music and  (for no reason whatsoever) Road Warrior esthetics! But the truth is- this would work even better if it was an old school arcade fighting  game.

 

Imagine this- just with Don “Dragon” Wilson!

 

 

 

The_New_Barbarians_I_Nuovi_Barbari_1982https_www.facebook.com_exploitationmovie_ref_hl[(004065)02-07-54]

To celebrate the release of the new Black and Chrome edition of the fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road we take a look at the seemingly endless number of films it inspired: the good, the bad and the ugly!

05.  1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)

Directed by “Italian George Miller” Enzo Castellari this movie takes a peek into distant future (8 years later) where  war is raging between street gangs in post-apocalyptic New York. Amidst all of that is the gayest anti-hero Mark Gregory (who mysteriously disappeared from the face of the Earth) who manages to reunite street gangs and win against evil government agent Hammer (played by Vic Morrow). Fred Williamson also takes roll in this battle.

04. The New Barbarians (1983)

Another feature from mastermind of The Bronx Warriors Enzo Castellari only one year later. This time two mercenaries Scorpion (played by Giancarlo Prete) and Nadir (played by Fred Williamson) help wandering caravans fight off an evil band of white-clad bikers after the nuclear holocaust. In order to achieve this they had to go through a living hell, including Scorpion’s ass being penetrated by gang of gay Templars in this hilarious scene:

 

03. Made by a Pinoy c- movie maestro Cirio H. Santiago and staring our favorite Aussie bad-ass Richard Norton and eponymous. Equalizer 2000 (1987) the movie doesn’t offer much in the way of story but makes it all up with a whole lotta bullets and bombs (one babe too). Also Norton swears that the damned thing could actually work and I’m not going to question him for sure.

 

02. Steel Dawn (1987)

Swayze is most popular when dancing (), or fighting people in bars but in the late 80’s Swayze decided to take a post-apocalyptic vacation of sorts. In this career left turn Road Warrior meets Martial Arts as Swayze plays. Also it’s worth noting that new regions like China are just discovering the Mad Max franchise as evident recent rip- off , the Chinese Mad Shiella. So, I guess post- apocalyptic wasteland won’t stop being a popular destination any time soon.

01. Steel Frontier (1995) places Joe Lara (Legends of Tarzan) in a post- apocalyptic Western wasteland and surprisingly- it works! Actually it’s a good candidate for my favorite Lara film. The plot is your basic Yojimbo/ Fistfull of Dollars thing but if it works why fix it. General is played by always super entertaining Brion James (…) and Lara even goes mano- a- mano with Kane Hodder aka Jason Varhees himself!

We enthusiastically talked about the first post- Expendables 2 movie for Chuck Norris- The Finisher.  Unfortunately that project never came into fruition (even though they were talks of it shooting in Australia with out favorite Aussie badass Richard Norton directing) but now we finally have some good news for all you Norris fans out there!

15056431_1137649649646235_6784295093935268070_n  Just a cool photo of Chuck stretching Norton from our friends at Action Elite

Chuck has signed to appear in African (Botswanan to be precise) movie with some B- movie heavy hitters like Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite) and previously mentioned Richard Norton, now a famed choreographer having worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad and Ghost in a Shell).  The writer is Motswana- born Edward Sebati and on the directing duties we have none other than the action maestro Isaac Florentine of Undisputed and Ninja fame! I see him as a sort of heir to the Menahem Golan of the legendary Cannon Films (just better).

943363_360839514037845_1477549880_nMcDaniels brothers, only their mother can tell them apart!

Movie centers around the two brothers Sasha McDaniels and  Dumisani McDaniels who end up caught up in a net of poaching, robbery, murder and even a serious political conspiracy. Chuck is of course playing their cool uncle Sean Kane. Pre- production is well on the way and filming should beginning early 2017 and I’m sure I speak for all of us- it was about damn time!

320350_361977167257413_1249151529_nDeadly villain Sahili played by Aurelien Henry Obama,much deadlier than the regular Obama!


To conclude our pretty sweet Post- Apocalyptic month we have a special treat for you. Preview for After The Harvest, a new gem of B movie film-making that we can all look forward to. And it features some legends of the Action and SF cinema like the Renegade himself Lorenzo Lamas, Martina Sirtis (Star Trek) and the main man Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2: Road Warrior, Commando)!

after-the-harvest-4  You all know what this means- we’re gonna see Wells ride the motorcycle again!

Enjoy the preview and tell us what you think!

For more information proceed to the official page right here.  http://www.aftertheharvestmovie.com

 steel-frontier-affiche_396242_2059

One of the uncommon combos of genre fiction is a Western/ SF combination. Probably because it’s still to be shown profitable for the big companies (see Outland, Firefly or BraveStarr cartoon)
Yet that doesn’t stop the occasional filmmaker from trying and in this case use it as a twist on the tried and true Road Warrior post- apocalyptic genre.

esfrsocyqrabbigHowdy, people!

Long haired lone gunman Joe Lara (Tarzan: The Epic Adventures) finds a dying man in the desert. Inquiring him about his predicament he finds out that he was shot by “Death Riders” (good name for a metal band). He finishes the man off (so he doesn’t have to suffer any more) and sets on his way. On a cool steam-punkish bike of course.

In the meantime we have Death Riders led by General Quantrill ( played by legendary B actor Brion James) pillaging a New Hope settlement (something horrible has to happen when you name it that way). After a massacre General claims New Hope as a United Regime post. No one complains.

Steel  General gets a bit emotional!

Yuma eventually crosses paths with some of the United Regime and it results in some awesome Mad Max racing. They eventually do catch him but he impresses them with his gun-slinging skills enough to get himself hired. He then goes through a grueling initiation process in which he is branded like a cattle and beaten to a bloody pulp.

That same night he saves a young and beautiful blonde widow from a dirty redneck with his fantastic poker skills (almost good as his shooting). That doesn’t stop the redneck for trying to rape her the next day but that’s where things get a little crazy. Her kid shoots redneck’s friend disturbed John Lennon looking-dude and he completely loses it. Thankfully Yuma appears and engages in a fistfight that lasts long enough for a widow to grab a gun a shoot the man herself. Yuma doesn’t seem to happy about it but he prepares for the inevitable.

Death riders figure out that Yuma is responsible for their dead compatriots and after a short staring contest all hell brakes lose. Some of the townspeople embrace this as an opportunity to rebel  against the Union and join up. Giant Death rider played by Kane Hodder (best known as Jason Vorhees) even snaps a random woman’s neck. Using his robot bike (also equiped with Gatling gun) and his uncanny prowess with a revolver Yuma menages to turn the tide in his favor but he still ends up in a fist fight with Hodder and that’s not an easy task for any man.

Beaten and bruised Yuma is dragged to the airplane(!?) where the widow lives and there he heals himself with a screwdriver-looking thing.  General Quantrill completely loses his shit when he hears what happened organizes an all out attack on New Hope. In normal case they would burn the town to the ground but Yuma organizes the townspeople and menages to surprise them.It all ends with a drag out chase featuring a school bus!!! After a nasty crash both of them reach of their guns and it ends something like this…

STEEL_FRONTIER_1995.mp4_005725986We’ll all miss you Brion James!

Yuma finally reveals that he is a bounty hunter, he takes Quantrill’s corpse on his bike and rides off leaving his love interest and her son all alone and confused. I guess loner’s got to be alone, right?

Verdict: Like the many movies before it Steel Frontier fallows the blueprint of A Fistful of Dollars/ Yojimbo to a T and this does get boring at times. Still the cool characteristics of Spaghetti Western are all there- wide shots, dramatic close ups and atmospheric soundtrack too (with a distinct mile-eastern flavor for good measure) and for a B movie it’s tight, fast moving and filled with  action and in truth that’s all you can expect.

So if you’re a fan of Mad Max and/ or Clint Eastwood flicks you should give it a shot.

Trivia: Beside being a model and an actor Joe Lara is also a singer/ songwriter and he published his first album album in 2009. You can see the video right here.

Yeah we are still at post-apocalypse. At least for some more time. Why, you might ask. Well, we decided to explore all of sub-genres of such movies. Not that there are many of those. Not more than one, to be precise. By sub-genre we are referring to a reason for butchering whatever has left of humanity and civilized world (the word “civilized” should be taken with as much reserve as it is possible in human nature). Basic plot is always the same. Ok, now when we got things cleared let’s take a look at this.

 STEEL_DAWN_1987.mp4_000110480Sticking head into a sand

Patrick Swayze excels as Nomad, martial arts specialist, adept swordsman, ex-soldier and God knows what else, who spends his time roaming through the Wasteland (an ordinary desert, just like you would see in any other low budget Mad Max 2 rip off) created after futuristic nuclear war. Also, standing on his head and meditating deeply in sand (and shooting it occasionally) is his favorite way for wasting time in Wasteland. During one of those sessions he meets his old army/secret service/FBI/CIA/mason mentor and spiritual guide Cord (played by John Fujioka). In the middle of a desert. Just like that! Boy, what are the chances for such thing to happen? And what’s the better way of celebrating “long time no see” than having a drink in nuclear shelter while surrounded with thousands and thousands miles of sand? So Cord, who really looks like Mako from “Conan the Barbarian”, invites over Nomad to chill out a bit at his place. And not only because of that. Cord wants Nomad to protect a small group of post-apocalyptic settlers terrorized by wandering post-apocalyptic gang. And why would anyone give a shit about small group of post-apocalyptic settlers? Because that particular group of post-apocalyptic settlers controls a huge amount of ost-apocalyptic water. Ok, now I will stop naming post-apocalyptic things. Anyway, where was I? Oh! You see, after the nuclear holocaust humanity has been reduced to agriculture only. And you can’t have agriculture without the water. Plain and simple. Nomad doesn’t look very interested in role of peacemaker at first. That is going to change couple of moments later when he gets poisoned with his drink. But it isn’t the Cord who has poisoned him nor he got alcohol poisoning (well, at least not in traditional manner). As soon as Swayze bites the dust several members of post-apocalyptic gang storms in. Cord engages in sword fight with their leader who looks like Carlos Blanca from Street Fighter before going green from food poisoning. We see some decent choreographed fight in which Cord has shown us why he is the sword master. That didn’t help him much, tho, since Blanca has a secret weapon – a spike coming out from his knee. You can guess where that spike is going to end up. So, Cord ends up dead, gang leaves with exact location of settlement, Nomad burns the corpse of his guru and decides to accept the offer. Just to mention that a single word hasn’t been spoken since the moment when Nomad hits the ground.

No kicking in family jewels thats what girls doNo kicking in family jewels! That’s what girls do!

Nomad makes his way across the desert to the settlement. There he meets their leader Kasha (played by Lisa Niemi), her son Jux (played by Brett Hool) and her right hand Tark (played by Brion James), who looks like a version of post-apocalyptic Hulk Hoggan. He didn’t like Swayze from a first minute which is going to change later after Nomad helps him in 1vs4 fight. After a short conversation with Kasha Nomad accepts to work on water purification and agriculture in exchange for food and shelter. Kasha receives a letter from the Council of Order delivered by Cali (played by Joe Ribeiro), who I believe should represent some sort of new wave of post-apocalyptic gays (looks like just an ordinary fagot to me). That letter states that a Peacemaker (whatever that could be) has been appointed to Kasha’s settlement. Seems it is a good news as it turns out that settlement is now under the protection of Council (whoever they may be). Of course, what kind of post-apocalypse it would be if everything was going well all the time? By default there must be some selfish villain who wants to claim everything for himself, don’t you agree? In this movie his name is Damnil (played by none other than Anthony Zerbe himself), a local gang leader who pillages water and hard work of peasants, as he likes to put it, in order to survive and satisfy his megalomania. But more of him later. For now, everything is going as it should be and Nomad uses those moments of harmony to plant agricultural seeds and teach Jux ways of meditation while standing on head.

Since Nomad helped defending a farm Kasha reveals him a secret. There is a huge spring of pure, clear water under the settlement. She plans to build aqueducts that will supply attached farms with water. Soon it would be a huge city since hordes of people from all sides of Valley would like to join. Works on building aqueducts have been already put to motion. In the meantime Nomad gets approached by Damnil with an offer to work for him and steal the water from Kasha. He has given a time to think about his answer. As a reply, Nomad sneaks into Damnil’s settlement and steals one of his water pumps. Partly because he is no traitor and partly because he has already managed to water Kasha with his own can. I guess she doesn’t believe in playing hard to get.

swayzedPatrick Swayze has swayzed this girl

Nomad’s latest action brought him quite popularity rise. That doesn’t suits Tark at all. He feels he is not needed anymore so he decides to leave the settlement. Nomad goes in search for him and finds him drunken of his boots in some post-apocalyptic bar. There Tark opens his heart in a style of 15 years old girl who has just been used and dumped by her boyfriend, after which he tries to engage in post-apocalyptic bar fight with Nomad. That fight is shameful for both actors and viewers. It is pretty painful to watch so here it is for your own displeasure:

Stealing a water pump from Damnil was pretty dumb idea. He sent his best henchman to deal with Nomad. I guess you already know who that man may be. That’s right, Blanca. Blanca’s actual name is Sho (played by Cristopher Neame). He is also an ex-soldier, now working as Damnil’s assassin. He engages in spade fight with Nomad and would kill him for sure if Tark didn’t decide to come back and help. Stupid decision it seems, since Sho killed him with one move. That’s what you get when you try to help a guy who ruined your position. At least Sho got fed up with that murder and decided to spare Nomad’s life. For now.

As I have already wrote on the beginning the basic plot is plain, simple and same as in other Mad Max 2 rip-offs. All elements needed for cliche are there: A lone hero, damsel in distress, an evil villain who would do anything to achieve hisgoal, helpless kid, romance, villain’s best henchman who is the only competent mercenary… As expected, Damnil kidnaps Jux and Kasha goes to rescue him. Of course, she is offering info about endless spring of water in exchange for her son’s life. After a short thinking over Danmil decides that he would rather stick with child slaughter. On our big disappointment this didn’t happen and Kasha somehow manages to save her son. On the other side, Nomad fights alone against gang members who are driving tin cans (even worse ones than in The New Barbarians), dressed as ninjas and armed with nunchakus for some reason. After killing them one by one he faces Sho and kills him as well after in sword fight. Not even a knee-spike could have helped Sho. In the final confrontation with Damnil, who was holding a knife under Kasha’s neck, Nomad kills him by throwing a knife from a large distance precisely into Damnil’s throat. The ending is a bit different with Nomad walking away to continue his loner life instead of staying with Kasha. I guess he didn’t want a chick with a child. Smart choice.

My throat is soreMy throat is sore.

Conclusion: In the sea of “Road Warrior” rip-offs “Steel Dawn” stands among better ones if we exclude terrible camera which was shaking during the entire movie. It looks like this wasn’t filmed by a regular cameraman but by a drunken one-eyed chimp with camera in his teeth. This might be better than some other nuclear holocaust B production movies but it is also more dull and boring. Patrick Swayze is so young here and I guess he wasn’t in position to choose his roles at that time. While other motion pictures of this genre tried to combine western and post-apocalypse, director Lance Hool has tried to combine samurai genre with post-apocalypse. And he failed miserably. My opinion: You can watch this movie if you wish, it doesn’t hurt your brain so much, but do not expect any amount of fun, thrill and excitement. Such expectations would have as much point as meditating while standing on your head deeply in radioactive sand.