Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Critters 3

I’m willing to believe claims that screenwriter Dominic Muir wrote Critters before Gremlins was released in 1984, but as the franchise reached this third installment, all pretense is washed away. Critters 3 is a Gremlins ripoff — and also the launching point for one of Hollywood’s most successful actors.

No more theatrical releases for this franchise. By 1991, it was direct-to-video only. Written by David J. Schow and directed by Kristine Peterson, Critters 3 leaves the cozy confines of Grover’s Bend, Kansas, for the big city of Topeka. A family returning from a vacation — father Clifford (John Calvin), daughter Annie (Aimee Brooks), and young son Johnny (played by twins Christian and Joseph Cousins) — unknowingly pick up a critter infestation when they have to stop to change a tire. A couple of eggs are left in a wheel well, and they hatch just as the family returns to their rundown apartment building. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Critters 3″

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Child’s Play 3

Chucky is at it again! Despite making sure that Chucky was mutilated beyond all recognition at the end of the previous film, Don Mancini found a way to bring his baby back to life for another payday.

Released just ten months after the previous entry, in 1991, Child’s Play 3 picks up eight years after the events of Child’s Play 2. Only in fictional worlds is that kind of timeline possible.

Once more, young Andy Barclay is the protagonist. But, since Alex Vincent was selfishly incapable of aging eight years in time for filming, his part went to Justin Whalin, whom viewers might remember from his regular role on Lois & Clark. Brad Dourif returned to voice Chucky, Don Mancini returned to write the screenplay, while directing duties were handled by Jack Bender. This was his first feature film, but by 1991 he had been directing in television for the past decade. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Child’s Play 3″

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

I may have been slightly concussed while writing the review for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. But, there is no confusion or fogginess in regards to this travesty of a movie. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is a terrible film. It’s quite possibly the worst movie I’ve seen this year, and that’s saying something, considering I seek out bad movies. Billed as having “Saved the Best for Last,” this was the film meant to send the character of Freddy Krueger out with a bang — a grand finale that audiences would remember for all time. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”

October Horrorshow: Brain Twisters

Brain Twisters movie posterDr. Phillip Rothman (Terry Londeree) has a problem. The electronics company backing his neurological research isn’t happy with its pace, so they’re pulling his funding. The research involves showing flashing images to people to stimulate certain areas of the brain. The idea is that the company will incorporate the fruits of this research into its videogames, to give players a mental kick while playing, or possibly to get them hooked on it. The whys of the research are less important than the fact the experiments are turning Rothman’s student test subjects into murderous lunatics.

From way back in 1991, Brain Twisters is a horror/sci-fi cheapie from writer/director Jerry Sangiuliano. Potential viewers won’t find much in his IMDb page, and that’s common for just about everyone involved in this dog. This was Londeree’s first credit, and he wasn’t in another feature film until 2004. The only member of the cast who went on to have a career is Farrah Forke, who plays Laurie Stevens, one of Rothman’s students and work-study assistants. But, just because most of the people involved in a flick are rookies, doesn’t mean it will be bad. A general lack of talent and competence is enough. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Brain Twisters”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Samurai Cop

Samurai Cop, the 1991 stinker from writer/director/producer/editor Amir Shervan, has more shitty filmmaking moments than are possible to recount in any review of reasonable length. Here’s a sample:

  • Fight scenes and car chases have sped up footage to simulate quickness. It’s not subtle, either — approaching Benny Hill Show levels of speed.
  • A great deal of dialogue was recorded in post. That’s not unusual. But Shervan did many of the voices himself, dubbing the voices of stars and bit players, alike. That is unusual.
  • There are a lot of cops in this flick. Many of them wear uniforms. Some of those uniforms don’t have badges.
  • Star Mathew Karedas cut his glorious locks after principal shooting wrapped, but was called back months later for reshoots. Shervan put a ridiculous wig on his head with little regard to whether or not it looked right. It does not look right. In at least one scene, it briefly popped off of Karedas’s head.

Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Samurai Cop”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon

What a gloriously stupid movie. Fans of either Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even Michael Dudikoff, will probably turn their noses up at the mere mention of Jeff Speakman. But, I say that type of closemindedness is unwelcome here at Shitty Movie Sundays. We welcome almost all comers. The only discrimination we abide is that directed against high-quality pictures, and the occasional rapist character. Who needs any of that, really? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Perfect Weapon”

October Horrorshow: Steel and Lace

An injustice has been done in the shitfest that is Steel and Lace. A title like that, coupled with knowledge that this film is an early 1990s straight-to-video b-movie, raises all sorts of possibilities in the mind of the discerning shitty movie fan. There should be guns, gratuitous nudity, men wearing sport coats with shoulder pads (still a thing in 1991, when this film was released), business mullets, and statuesque women with big hair — something along the lines of a Shannon Tweed. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Steel and Lace”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Killers Edge, aka Blood Money

What a gloriously stupid movie. The Killers Edge, from writer/director Joseph Mehri, has everything I’ve ever wanted out of a 1980s-90s-era straight-to-video action flick. A hunky leading man called from the lower depths of Hollywood, a screenplay that could double as a McBain sequence from The Simpsons, a soundtrack made by one guy with a synthesizer, and plenty of casual gunplay. Sure, fans of hoity-toity cinema will turn their noses up at such trash as this, but we shitty movie fans, we know better. There’s something they will never see in a film like The Killers Edge, and that’s their loss. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Killers Edge, aka Blood Money”

Empty Balcony: Point Break

It’s somewhat amazing, but Point Break, the 1991 action flick from director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter W. Peter Iliff, has become a classic. It’s a film that’s loaded with contemporary action tropes. It’s also one of the flicks that, despite its success, can be pointed to as partly responsible for the downfall of 1980s-style action films. It has aged well over time, but when it came out it was an eye-roller. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Point Break”

Schwarzenegger Month: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

There cannot be a Terminator movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s just silly talk to pretend otherwise. But, by the time Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released, in 1991, Arnold was no longer a semi-anonymous hulkster who could believably play a robot. Audiences were too familiar with him. Said another way, in the original Terminator, we viewers saw the character of the terminator. In the sequel, we see Arnold. This factor set up a delicate dance for director James Cameron, one he did not execute perfectly. Continue readingSchwarzenegger Month: Terminator 2: Judgment Day”