Posts Tagged ‘Michael Berryman’

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.

One of our favorites as far as restored 80’s films are involved Vinegar Syndrome are ready to take thing up another notch. They have acquired a negative of a lost 1984 Ninja movie, New York Ninja originally produced by Arthur Schweitzer (Mutant World, Night Terror). Shot in 35mm the project was abandoned during post- production and VS were forced to meticulously reconstruct the movie, edit and even dub the whole thing without the original script that was lost to time.

A telephone repair man (John Liu) unleashes his ninja roots in New York City to avenge the murder of his pregnant wife.

The lead (also the director) is very entertaining John Liu, Taiwanese Martial Arts actor, the star of such films as Secret Rivals (1976), The Invincible Armor (1977), Goddfrey Ho’s The Dragon, The Hero (1979) with Dragon Lee (+ Bolo Yeung cameo) and Made in China (1981) with another favorite Casanova Wong. This was to be his American debut.

Film was finished by producer/ editor Kurtis Spieler (The Devil’s Well). Without a script he had to figure out what he thinks actors are saying and write around that (something you don’t hear every day– maybe on some old Italian films).

Next they recruited an all-star cast of (voice) actors, all genre movie royalty. Names like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Linnea Quiqley, Vince Murdocco, Leon Issac Kennedy, Ginger Lynn, Michael Berryman and last by not least “Lady Dragon” Cynthia Rothrock.

Final touch, soundtrack was provided by the Synth/ Rock trio Voyag3r that brings authentic 80’s feel to the movie:

Can’t wait for this one, I think we all need to reconnect with our Ninja roots.

On several occasions we spoke about the Expendables of Horror: Death House and it’s imminent release into the world (mark 19. January 2018 on your calendar)- but now we have a word on  some more interesting news.

Death House‘s director B. Harrison Smith has officially started working on the prequel to flash out more of the backstory for the standout characters called 5 Evils. The 12 page treatment for the script is outlined, yet we still don’t know if Dawn of 5 Evils will follow Death House or will the proposed sequel The Farm come first. And just in case you haven’s seen Death House prepremiere at Scare-A-Con New England and you are not familiar with the Evils, you’ll find some familiar faces and old favorites among them, actors like Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Vernon Wells, Vincent Ward and Lindsay Hartley.

*Thanks to for the these news.

We spoke about the “Expendables of Horroraka Death House almost a year ago when principal photography was finished but now we finally have the first trailer (and the early release date too).

Death House staring genre luminaries like Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hensen, Barbara Crampton, Michael Berryman, Bill Moseley, Tony Todd, Wernon Wells, Sid Heig, and the talented Billy Oberst Jr. will be screened for the first time June 3rd at Scare-A-Con New England. So if you’re into that sort of thing (and you probably are if you’re a WM reader) you know the place to go.

Now enjoy!


Update: According to the latest information, movie will be released in cinemas by Regal Movies on 19. January 2018 to around 200 screens (double the originally planed number)!

In the music world you had Chinese Democracy by Guns ‘N Roses- a passion project of W. Axl Rose who trough the numerous band turmoils and line-up changes worked diligently on the project for more than a decade. When against all the odds  record finally came out in late 2008 the cost of recording was estimated at more than 13 000 000 dollars making it the single most expensive Rock album ever produced.

Similarly (but unfortunately also more tragically) in the world of film the eccentric Andrew Getty (an heir of the Getty oil fortune) worked on a single movie since his 30’s ’till his untimely death in 2015. The movie was based on his childhood nightmares and it meant so much to him that he would redo the scenes and over again until he got them just right. He even went so far as to recast most of the original actors, sometimes multiple times with exception of the boy and the actor playing the mirror demon, the under- appreciated but always brilliant Michael Berryman (Hills Have Eyes, The Guyver, Weird Scinence, The Barbarians) The lead was played by Fred Kohler who says that he has the stranger relationship with the film anyone can have.He famously started working on the movie straight out of college and is now 41 in time of the final release.

The production would start and stop for large chunks of time from 2002 to 2015 as Getty would work on new and different camera rigs, complicated animatronics and build extensive sets on his property. It is estimated that he spent 4 to 6 millions of his own money on the film which crippled him financially even though he came from such a historically rich family.

He was so obsessed we would stop eating proper meals for days opting to just eat cereals while editing. In a bizarre set of circumstances he died just as he was finally in the coloring stages of the film. He was found by his ex- girlfriend (who he filed restraining order just days before). The cause of death was proclaimed to from the ulcer- related bleeding. The movie’s producer Michael Luceri took it upon himself to finish the movie so Getty’s efforts don’t end up being in vain and it’s now after festival premiere in Fantasporto Film Festival in February finally coming out on VOD and DVD.

“The sadistic tale of a lonely, mentally handicapped boy who befriends his reflection in an antique mirror.
This demonic creature orders him to go on a murderous rampage to kill the people he loves most.”


No matter what this cover claims, Mark Hammil is NOT Guyver!

This movie starts unassumingly enough with a Japanese scientist facing a vicious gang lead by none other by the legendary Michael Berryman. Scientist does the only logical think he can do in this situation, ru… TURNS INTO A FREAKIN’ GILLMAN!? That doesn’t really help him much ’cause it seems that every single member of the gang has a “turn into a monster” switch. The poor dude never had a chance.

Little while later the detective is on the case, we know he’s the detective ’cause he is Max aka Mark Hamill with MUSTACHES! Although that makes him look a bit more like an old pervert when I think about it. He finds the daughter of the scientist in a local Martial Arts club and that’s where we meet our hero! Yes, the main character of this film is not by any means an SF/ Geek Culture legend like Hamill, nope! It’s an irritating blond highschooler called Sean who’s just this moment getting  his ass kicked five ways to Sunday by a long haired dude who strangely wears a combination of Aikido hakama and Metallica shirt (it seems some things have changed sense the last time I went into the Aikido dojo).

The girl Mizky (Vivian Wu) takes the news surprisingly well, but I believe that’s just because of the actress’s inability to display any kind of convincing emotional reaction. Hamill takes her to the murder scene hoping the girl would provide any kind of clue and Sean fallows them. Maybe he’s jealous or something? Anyway trying to eavesdrop he stumbles onto a strange metal object and decides to keep it. A bit later he decides to pay Mizky Segawa a visit ’cause she promised him a date- despite the fact that her father just died hours ago!!! Now this Sean is either an asshole or a moron… or quite possibly both! I already said that he is a terrible lead character, right?

Disappointed he heads back and he’s luck doesn’t’ get any better. He gets ambushed  by a street gang. And their leader is no one other than Aikido- Metalhead dude. He decides to continue what he started in the dojo, with a bit of backup this time. Son tries to defend himself but he’s martial arts are so pathetic that he almost gets killed but than something extraordinary happens… the alien bio- armor Guyver activates and merges with him and despite a bit dodgy effects suit is pretty cool. He of course completely destroys criminals but stays on the street dumbfounded trying to realize what the hell just happened.

Are all gangs really this retarded?

In the meantime the evil director of Kronos Corporation (David Gale who you may remember from such films as the Re-animator and Bride of the Reanimator)  is giving Berryman  a lesson for his failure to deliver the Guyver which he calls the most powerful weapon in the universe. It turns out that Lisker (Berryman) brought him a suitcase that contained no Guyver (but it did have a broken toaster in it). Having no other clues he orders him to find Sagava’s daughter and bring her to him. Also he displays his supreme evil by smashing a previously mentioned toaster!

We all know it’s all toasters fault!

Hamill is connecting the dots back to Kronos Corp. but other policeman (being stupid or corrupt) are trying to stop him. He disobeys and continues his investigation. Sean who can at this point only be described as a stalker again visits the girl again and after seeing she is completely heartbroken asks the immortal question “May is something wrong? Man, are you dense, retarded or something? You fallowed her to the murder scene last night, don’t you remember!? Of course he uses the opportunity to try to get in her pants. Unfortunately a neighbor comes barging in and he runs away seeing his opportunity for sex is gone. He returns a bit later with some food hoping for another chance with Mizky but founds Berryman and the his band of merry Zoanoids kidnapping her. Also Berryman shows that he is the hit with the ladies He offers a trip to Brazil to the muscled up lady with crazy hair and she practically jumps all over him. Sean doesn’t know what to do but then Max appears out of  nowhere and spoils everything for the mutant team. Seeing they are getting away the already pathetic rapper dude transforms into a freakin’ JAR- JAR BINKS ON STEROIDS!

Hamill asks the girl what is happening and she screams “They want the Guyver” And the Guyver is right beside her without her even knowing it- what an incredible series of coincidences! All of the goons go all Moster Squad-y and that’s the moment when you finally realize how much they dropped the ball with the monster costumes. I mean, this movie is almost exclusively based on monsters a and this is what we get? Rejects from a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show? That’s kinda’ tragic.

You Don’t Mess with the Zoanoids!

After beating the living crap out of Hammil they concentrate on the girl and Sean and finally unleashes his power. Well, not really first he fails even at that but than after getting Hulk mad he proclaims “I am the Guyver” and truly becomes one. Bio-armored Warrior vs Monster- OK, that’s something that will finally make this movies watchable, right? WRONG! Jar- Jar start rapping like a 5 year old white kid challenging Guyver to fight and at that point all I want to do is turn off this film and never speak of it again. For some strange reason we decide to soldier on and when fighting finally starts it’s half- way decent. Some fancy karate moves , some of those Aikido take downs that he failed to learn in the beginning, some unnecessary and poorly placed acrobatics but all in all fun scenes. But then when they finally have something going for them they make the scene last way too long and in the end you root for the bad guys when they finally overwhelm the Guyver and… KILL HIM? Hellyeah!

vlcsnap-2013-03-29-00h52m47s185And that’s all she wrote. At least he can hope, right?

I guess this is the end? Nope... Misky wakes up in the chambers of Cronos Corp. and the evil  and the old man, director of the Kronos Corp is touching her. This is disturbing. He then shows her a few things, mostly Zoanoids, genetically altered human beings in tubes. She seems too stupid to understand any of that.


She’s a keeper, that one!

He envisions Zoanoids ruling the world, Zoltoid in the white house and such (Obama anyone?). He demands information on Guyver and then starts touching her once again. She tries to run but he takes her to Dr. East who is strangely the same person as Dr. West (from Re-Animator). She spots Hammil in one of those tubes and starts crying.They try to blackmail her in revealing the secret to activating Guyver right there but she kicks the old pervert in the nuts, grabs the Guyver (in it’s portable form ofc) and starts running away. Some comical scenes ensue and one of the mosters swalows the Guyver. Evil director is loosing his mind again but Guyver comes out… now fully grown and regenerated- he freakin’ regenerated the whole human being! How that human being fit into the stomach of that monster we will never know…  Two of them set free Max (Hammil) and then we have some Road Runner/ Wile E Coyote runing scenes spliced with a bit more Guyver on Monsters action. Guyver finally defeats the whole Ziltoid gang but Hammil ends up turning into one himself. Just think about it, you get Star Wars alumni for your SF/ Action flick, you give him supporting rule and then you turn him into a freakin’ talking bug.., that dies immediately after transformation.

No, you are not stoned, Mark Hammil did in fact turn into a giant bug!

Their mourning is interrupted by the evil director aka  ZOALORD and after demanding Guyver armor one more time he decides to take it himself… BY TURNING INTO A GIANT RED DINOSAUR/ SPIDER HYBRID! Now this confrontation could theoretically be exciting but it mostly happens off camera because of the budget limits and it ends as B- Movies always end, with a really big explosion (those at least are not expensive. Minsky and Sean look at one another, he takes off the Guyver armor and in the process ends up butt naked. Japanese girl seems overjoyed by that*. They walk into the “sunset” but then we see two shadowy figures in the background. Those turn out to be the corrupt cop (from the beginning) and Jar- Jar Binks Rapper (why, oh why is this man still alive?). Cop decides to give a little jab to Jar- Jar and he seems exhilarated by that fact- possibly ’cause he’ll have opportunity to spill a bit more of his lame rhymes while torturing somebody. Than the move thankfully ends. Whoa, this was a hard one- I can honestly say that we barely made it.


Happy ending?

Verdict: First problem of this movie I already pointed out and that’s sub- par costumes. But just as big the problem is the main character. You should root for the hero but this  guy, this guy you want to see dead, possibly by decapitation. Good news-  of course that actually happens during this movie (unfortunately it doesn’t stay that way). This is what happens when American’s try their hand in adaptation of manga/anime 20 years before the effects for doing so were available!

Live action Guyver with it’s bloody and crazy fights scenes could have been a cool flick but this just looks like a adaptation of Power Rangers with just one Ranger and fifth of the budget! Better waste your time on the original manga/ anime, it’s leaps and bounds above this monstrosity.

Trivia: Director of this movie Steve Wang actually did end up working on Power Rangers: The Movie 4 years later.  Producers hired him due to being the only American experienced in making this type of movies but after he started suggesting various ways to “make film better” they quickly changed their minds and fired him.