Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Seed of Chucky

What a stupid movie. When I wasn’t loving it, I was hating it, but never so much that I ever stopped enjoying myself. Even when the spirit-possessed Chucky doll (Brad Dourif, as ever) runs Britney Spears (Nadia Dina Ariqat) off of the road and her car explodes in a pique pop culture moment, there was but the briefest moment of doubt before buying into this ridiculous flick once more. This isn’t a good movie, but writer/director, and series creator, Don Mancini, along with producer David Kirschner, were right to go all-in on absurdity. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Seed of Chucky”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Bride of Chucky

By the time Bride of Chucky was released, in 1998, it had been seven years since the last entry in the Child’s Play franchise. That movie, Child’s Play 3, had made a profit, and it was a better film than the first sequel, but it was clear that things were beginning to slip. Franchise fatigue was setting in. Series creator Don Mancini and producer David Kirschner must have recognized this. Their series was a contemporary of franchise slasher giants Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Surely Mancini and Kirschner saw the depths these franchises sank to in search of a cheap buck, and perhaps they decided that wasn’t for them. Whatever the thinking behind the fourth film in the Child’s Play franchise, Mancini and Kirschner did a brave thing when they decided to pivot and embrace the black comedic elements of the possessed killer doll Chucky, and make a film unlike the previous films. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Bride of Chucky”

October Horrorshow: Bornless Ones

“Today is the day you pay for your consequences.”

That is the line from Bornless Ones, the magnum opus from writer/director Alexander Babaev, that I think about whenever I’m about to give this flick too much praise. It’s not as if mangled idioms aren’t commonplace in film, but it’s a useful reminder that this flick ain’t The Exorcist.

From 2016, Bornless Ones is a neat take on the cabin in the woods subgenre of horror. It’s not great, though. At times it’s not even that good. It’s one of those films that improves on a well-worn idea, but finds itself weighed down by some bad dialogue and weak reads. The second half is awash in blood and gore, so it has that going for it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Bornless Ones”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

There wasn’t much hope here at Missile Test for Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest. While we did enjoy the previous film in the series, barely, Urban Harvest marks a transition for the franchise, as the films moved from theatrical releases to productions made specifically for the home video market. As any shitty movie veteran can tell you, they don’t send Oscar contenders direct to video. Director James D.R. Hickox seemed to know this (thank goodness), so what viewers lose in quality, Hickox makes up for in gore. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest”

October Horrorshow: Army of the Dead

I liked Zack Snyder’s 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. I thought it was a fine modern entry in the zombie subgenre of horror, helping make the creatures scary again. The heavy lifting may have been done by 28 Days Later a few years earlier, but it can’t be denied that Snyder’s film is one of the reasons zombie films and television shows remain popular today. Dawn of the Dead was also the last Zack Snyder film I’ve enjoyed. Every subsequent film he’s made since then, from 300 to this year’s Army of the Dead, has been a joyless slog — the knock from critics, and even fans, being that Snyder makes visually interesting, even gorgeous, films, but they suffer from too much length. The consensus is that Snyder’s lack of storytelling discipline is an issue, but not one that is fatal to his vision. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Army of the Dead”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice movie posterIt was a bold decision by the producers of the second Children of the Corn movie to place the word “Final” in the subtitle. Most horror series defer that kind of certitude until the fourth movie, at least. Perhaps they never envisioned that their property would ramble on as a direct-to-video franchise, and this flick was supposed to be a one-shot deal. After all, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice was released in 1992, eight years after the first film. That pace is a little sluggish if one is looking to spawn a franchise of shitty horror movies. Anyway…

Final Sacrifice, despite that wide gap in release dates, takes place in the aftermath of the first film. Apparently, after the protagonists of that film made good their escape from the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska, they did the right thing and called the cops. Authorities swarming over Gatlin is how this film opens. With the baddies of the first film, Isaac and Malachai, done away with, everyone thinks that the evil influence they had on the children of Gatlin is gone, as well. The remaining children are taken into the homes of adults in nearby Hemingford, while they await permanent placement with surviving relatives, should any be found. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom: Annihilation

The first Doom flick has the distinction of being the first film to ever carry the Shitty Movie Sundays moniker here at Missile Test. That movie was cheap as all get out, despite starring Dwayne Johnson during his first run at movie stardom, and an up-and-comer named Karl Urban. 2019’s Doom: Annihilation establishes a tradition of cheapness for the franchise. Despite that, this is a far more entertaining film than any direct-to-video sci-fi/action flick has any business being.

The first Doom film paid homage to its video game source material here and there, but it was never a faithful adaptation. That’s understandable, as that source material is kind of thin. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Doom: Annihilation”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Attack Force

According to the internet (so it must be true), director Michael Keusch delivered a completed film called Harvester to his producers, only they weren’t happy with the final product. The screenplay was reworked, minor players were called back for reshoots, and other scenes had dialogue overdubbed. The result is Attack Force, a movie that is hopelessly discombobulated. Whatever Keusch’s competency as a storyteller, or lack thereof, it has been erased in this Frankenstein’s monster of a movie. I’m sure that Harvester was never going to be a good flick, but it couldn’t possibly have been worse than the shitfest that is Attack Force, could it? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Attack Force”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Blackout, aka The Blackout: Invasion Earth

Just to prove that the United States and China aren’t the only nations that can produce a jingoistic alien invasion flick, Russia has given us The Blackout, wherein an alien invasion blacks out power over the entire planet, except for a circle centered around Moscow.

From screenwriter Ilya Kulikov and director Egor Baranov, The Blackout follows a small group of Russian soldiers as they try to stave off the invasion and keep Moscow safe. This flick didn’t have much of a budget, but Baranov and company still managed to put together a film with an expansive plot and some decent explosions here and there. Look closely, and one will notice how few real locations there really are, but that’s not worth bothering about, especially with all the other shit thrown a viewer’s way. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Blackout, aka The Blackout: Invasion Earth”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Speed Kills

Last week Missile Test heaped praise upon William Shatner, for his lifetime contribution to shitty cinema. This week features a different flavor of shitty movie actor — one whose star shined brightly in Hollywood, but whose latter career has been spent in direct-to-video schlock. Who could it be? Bruce Willis? Mel Gibson? Samuel L. Jackson? Morgan Freeman? Denzel Washington? All of those men, some with Academy hardware, have seen their careers drift away from the type of blockbusters that made them famous, but they are not the star of today’s reviewed film. Today’s film stars John Travolta, the one and only 21st century shitty movie actor who can give Nicolas Cage a run for his money. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Speed Kills”