Posts Tagged ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’

When I discovered A-Pix entertainment for the first time I didn’t know by then how blessed I am. While rummaging through a list of their titles I noticed quite few we have already watched (such as Jack Frost, Werewolf). With my eyes sparkling with glee at the assortment of nefarious titles in front of me, my gaze fell upon the one with Malcolm McDowell’s name on the cover and smile appeared on my sweaty visage. I present you my treasure of the day: The Surgeon!

The story begins in the 1950s in a sequence filmed in beautiful, crisp, black and white. A family has rushed their son to a doctor’s home, where the doctordecides that the boy is in need of emergency surgery, which he performs in a back room. The doctor doesn’t take necessary precautions and he botches the surgery and “accidentally” kills the boy. The boy’s brother is nearby and sees his brother dead on the cold, metal table. There’s also a bit of poeticimagery here involving an actual lollipop while the song “Lollipop” plays in the background, silly as that may be in the grand scheme of things.

That’s our prologue, and it quickly cuts to the present, where we see a beautiful physician Dr. Theresa McCann (played by Isabel Glasser) begin a very bad day as she arrives for work at a hospital. She runs late to a lecture by Dr. Stein (played by Malcolm McDowell), who is demonstrating an experimental technique on a baboon. The baboon goes nuts in the middle of the lecture then dies. We find out Dr. McCann has been protesting Dr. Stein’s experiments with hospital administration, but we soon learn that something much more sinister is going on.

It is funny because it is true

After this incident Dr. Theresa went to check out the patients with her medicine students. We notice there are a lot of black people among sick ones. There are young Whoopi Goldberg (though it is not actually she, this girl here is hot) and some old fat black lady. While Theresa and students were on entourage some mysterious doctor sneaked into one of the patient’s room and injected her some sort of toxin which made poor woman’s body melt down. And here is the clue for the viewers: He left a lollipop on the desk next to patient’s bed. Dr. Theresa couldn’t be there in time to save her so she went back to her officewhere she found a note left for her by one of her top students Dr. Hendricks (played by James Remar, known for his role of gay Rayden in awful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). Even despite being a witness of horrible and painful death of the one of her patients Dr. Theresa smiled when she saw a drawing of bare ass in the note. See, even doctors are not immune so such kind of low-brow jokes.

A Valentine card

Theresa went to meeting hospital director Dr. Ed Mittlesnay (played by Charles Dance, best known for his role of Tywin Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones) who gave her suspension because of tempering with other doctor’s patient. Knowing that something odd is happening there Theresa and Dr. Hendricks sneak into hospital. There they find Dr. Stein’s corpse. There goes their top suspect. Malcolm McDowell surely looks like a murderer, especially with that deranged look of his. But if he isn’t the killer, then who it is? We found out that soon since killer got into the fight and ended up incapacitated by Dr. Hendricks.
Later we find out that he is Dr. Julian Matar (played by Sean Haberle). Apparently he got fired 3 years ago because he was conducting unauthorized procedures on patients. Back then, he ended up paralyzed after trying to escape by jumping through the window. And now he is back! Somehow.

 

Julian manages to escape this time again. And now he is heading to the hospital, dressed like a doctor, to take what he came for (whatever that might be). Remember fat black lady Milly (played by Mother Love) from the beginning? Well, she is our good doctor’s next target. Being cranky as she is she saw through
his mask and went out looking for the help. As it is custom in such kind of movies they searched the room but no one could be found. And of course head nurse wouldn’t believe her. But the moment Milly went back to bed Julian, who btw has much resemblance to Serbian actor Ivan Bosiljcic (though Ivan Bosiljcic is a pathetic looking guy), jumped down onto her from the ceiling. The rest of the scene is left out for our imagination.

 

Now do you remember young Whoopi Goldberg? Thats right, she is the next victim. Her name is Lisa (played by Juliette Jeffers) and she ended up in the hospital with the broken leg after car accident. But broken leg doesn’t stop her from having a sex with her boyfriend in her own hospital bed while
surrounded with candles! What kind of hospital is this? Patients are being murdered every now and then while some other patients are turning their room into a brothel! Anyway, Lisa’s boyfriend needed refreshment after hard work so he went to the bathroom. And thats Julian’s time to strike. At first, it looked like boyfriend is going to overpower him but eventually Julian gave him enough injections to put him down for good. She moved onto Lisa, and not in a way her now late boyfriend did couple of minutes before. Julian poisoned her with gas and then injected her the same substance he gave to his first victim.
Meanwhile, Theresa and Hendricks were having some naked fun in the pool when they received a call from Lt. McEllwaine (played by Peter Boyle, who needs no special introduction). They arrived just in time to find Dr. Ed being killed by Julian. We learn that Julian is blaming Ed for loosing his license so he
stapled Ed’s mouth shut. Poetic justice. In the meantime, Julian is tasting his own medicine. What he is up to now?

 

The hospital is now under full police protection and they are using Dr. Theresa as a bait. Of course, that didn’t stop Julian from dispatching them all, one by one, and pinning Theresa to where it all started – the surgery table. He wanted Theresa to be the last ingredient for his cure – a substance that regenerates tissue even after you die. They had some sweet talk giving her enough time to shock him using a defibrillator. And that was the cue for the entire police force to bust in and shower Julian with rain of bullets while Theresa was still behind him! Yup they made a Swiss cheese out of poor Julian, who just needed to be loved. What a stupid ending!

 

Or is it? As you can see in the scene above, Julian has taken the advantage of their moment of carelessness to inject himself some more of his juice. He woke up in the mortuary and killed fat pathologist. And now he is going to finish what he had started. Surprisingly he manages to kill Dr. Hendricks while he was in bed with Theresa. Theresa then finished him in a more stupid way then a previous one. I am tired of bullshit and don’t want to waste any more words on this plot so you can check for yourself below.

 

Conclusion: Directed by Carl Schenkel, The Surgeon aka Exquisite Tenderness is a film with German roots (to add to the confusion, it is also known as The Beast in the White Smock and Infernal Torments in German, although it was filmed in English). I will try to watch this again because I still can’t believe a movie with Malcolm McDowell, James Remar, Peter Boyle and Charles Dance in it could be this bad but it’s bland and uninteresting despite their competent performances. Were all of them totally broke? That must be it right? I don’t know. Another thing that’s very noticeable about this movie is its above-average use of make-up effects. The blood and gore effects were done right and might even cause some viewers to cringe. AS for the plot itself, many films have explored the uses of the Pituitary region of the brain for its possible regenerative properties. Yeah this is very funny movie to watch but personally I would rather always recommend you this and this. To me Jeffrey Combs is the only true mad scientist.

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Next up, a magical journey to the past to save the future! No wait, that actually makes sense.

Continuing our long ( possibly never-ending?) quest of watch all the Barbarian films we encountered an oddity- yes, a time traveling barbarian movie! Generally not a lot of those exist (possibly because Sword and Sorcery and the City doesn’t really go together all that well ) Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal of Time being one of the only notable exemptions from that rule. Also, the movie is directed by B- movie writer Joseph John Barmettler (of Skyscraper fame), and the lead is none other than Deron McBee aka Malibu of American Gladiators (1989).

Our Barbarian King Doran (McBee) likes spending his time strolling the woods, fighting an occasional masked savage(yes, there are different levels of savagery) and scaring his woman with a masked he stole from said savage. So generally good times. He is also the last in long line of Kings (we use this term very broadly ’cause his kingdom is like 10-15 men) entrusted with a mystical amulet with inamaginable powers (including but not limited to space/ time manipulation).  The sacred amulet was originally gifted to his ancestor by a powerful Sorceress for non- disclosed reason.

Ill-advisedly he decides to leave on a hunting trip with his pal while all the barbarian woman engage in some skinny dipping in the river along with some nude gossiping too. Just at that time the evil wizard Mandrak (yes, not really an original name, is it?) decides to strike. Now, Mandrak attacks with his three or four men – he really should have invested in more henchman,  instead of his (limited) magic arsenal. I mean I can find more henchman right now and I have no delusions of world domination or wish to raid any barbarian villages.

Now the protective powers of the amulet are nowhere to be found because Madrak crusifies Lystra between the two trees and then rapes her repeatedly. Probably because he lost a hand in his raid against nude women! Dorin arrives (predictably) too late with Mandrak and his mini- horde all gone along with the amylet. Then he vows vengeance and begins his quest to find the mystical sorceress and right the wrong. Unfortunately at the first step of his “epic” journey he and his friend end up ambushed and his friend pays with his life. I wouldn’t want to be Dorin‘s friend given his recent track record.

Dorin ends up being captured by the savages who sacrifice people to the Lovecraftian deity but eventually Sorcerers show up pretty pissed that he lost her amulet. Now ,Sorceress has a bit of that passive/ aggressive thing going on ’cause she frees him in the end and gifts him with the magic sword from the stone (where have I seen this before?) to help him on his quest of recapturing the sacred amylet?

I wonder what kind of magic is she using for that hair?

And as we all now the only place where a mystical artifact can take you is the Los Angeles in the 90’s Magic simply works that way. Now we see a reporter named Penny who’s just trying to report on rising street violence (kinda like April O’Neil in TMNT), but she becomes a victim of the said violence  in no time. She gets viciously attacked even loosing her shirt in the process (as is mandatory in B-Movies). But our hero shows up just in time, and starts throwing gang members left and right (it seems people have gone soft during the centuries). Reporters deduce that he is from some Nordic country because yeah, in those countries people walk around half naked with swords like it’s the middle ages.

Ok, this dude is the exception.

Now, having a bit of a head start in our brave new world you would expect the Evil Wizard to be ruling L.A. by now. Ok, maybe not the whole city but surely he had taken control of numerous street gangs and made them into his own private army of terror! Nope, not really, he and his only remaining henchman (now sporting a punk rock haircut) are robing random people of the street and spending their money in a seedy bar (with a single hooker). That bar also has probably the ugliest bartender in all the history of cinema

Man this dude is ugly, I still can’t get my head around it

Fascinated by his size the reporter Penny (bearing uncanny resemblance to his dead wife) takes him home and shows him the wonders of modern technology, and also the wonders of modern sex (ok, it hasn’t really progressed that much). Now,  Mandrak’s sees his nemesis on the TV (throwing people around like a crazed WWE wrestler) a spark lights inside him finally lights up. Will his genius finally shine again?  In mere moments he develops a devious plan to defeat the foul Barbarian– to attack him first! To attack him first? Man, he sure is rusty in this plotting evil schemes thing. Well, at least he decides to even the odds by using FIREARMS! Yeah, pure genius. No way he can block the bullets with his magic sword (only he can).

He threatens the goon as seeks the location of Mandrak’s and manages to kill him before he speaks. Thankfully cameraman dude shows up, and somehow they figure out Mandrak’s locations. That location is shockingly just a random warehouse (I guess that’s the only thing crew had available) and the otherwise pathetic finish out to be hell of a lot of a fun because of a simple thing- a hand! You see Dorin was wearing Mandrak’s severed hand on his belt for like a whole hour of the movie and now we know why- to pimp slap the Wizard with his own hand!!! He might act like an idiot in every other scene but here he is comical genius.

Now, after finally defeating the Wizard, reclaiming the amulet and finding the love of his life against all odds, across  the whole space and time what does our hero do? He activates the power of the amulet and strolls back home, walking down the railway too- he is just that stupid. Penny continues her best April O’Neil impersonation by narrating about Dorin’s heroic deeds on camera. And that is all.


Verdict I absolutely understand all the budget constraints (first part of the movie is mostly just forest + a smoke machine) and some thing you can chalk off to 80’s clichess but other things- not so much. For example in the case of Conan the Barbarian Arnold was never given too many lines and that coupled with his incredible physique sold him as formidable and even menacing. On the other hand when you have McBee with his California blonde hair and horse-like teeth (actually quite useful in another role *see Trivia) just blabbing along like a schoolgirl, all of that muscle can’t save him from looking ridiculous. Now, to his credit MbBee sticked to acting even to this day and he actually got a LOT better (see his guest spot on Veronica Mars, episode You Think You Know Somebody if you want proof.)

Trivia: Daron McBee (as if American Gladiators and Time Barbarians weren’t enough) went on to star  in another movie worthy of the WM Crew list. Yes,he appeared in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as Montaro. Dont’ tell me you’ve forgoten all about this- I mean he is really hard to miss!

“Without your weapons, you are no match for Motaro.”