Monday, August 24, 2015

Capsule Reviews Volume I

A.P.E.X.
Directed by Phillip J. Roth, Screenplay by Phillip J. Roth and Ron Schmidt, Story by Phillip J. Roth and Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi, Cast: Richard Keats, Mitchell Cox, Lisa Ann Russell, Marcus Aurelius
(1994) feature film (* *) out of five stars
I did like this movie on one level- the hero is not a rippled Hollywood pretty boy. He is just a normal looking guy. The story is not half bad, but did we have to employ every special effects guy in Southern California to set off every explosion they had? I literally tired of the fireballs after the tenth one, and yet they kept on coming! Space Maggot uses his laser guided grading system and seeks out a 4 on this one.

Alien Chaser
Directed by Mark Roper, Screenplay by B.J. Nelson, Story by Mark Roper, Boaz Davidson, and Danny Lerner, Cast: Frank Zagarino, Todd Jensen, Jennifer MacDonald, Greg Melvill-Smith
(1997) feature film (*) out of five stars
I saw this as "Alien Chaser," (not "Orion's Key"), but it is still pretty bad. Some interesting direction and good African locations are negated by an amateur cast that must SAY EVERY WORD LIKE IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THE FILM. The scene where the lead actress talks to herself after her truck gets a flat should go down in B-film history as one of the most ridiculous episodes ever. Space Maggot spews forth a 1 on this.

Biohazard: The Alien Force
Directed by Steve Latshaw, Written by Steve Latshaw and Patrick Moran, Cast: Christopher Mitchum, John Alexander, James L. Miles, Susan Fronsoe
(1994) feature film (*) out of five stars
Very well may be one of the worst sci-fi films of all-time! The cast is ridiculously stupid. The effects are laughable. Cool nudity, but I can buy magazines for that. Has anyone noticed the monster here is a genetic mutation, thereby negating the title? Space Maggot forces a 1, and prays there are no sequels.

The Blood of Heroes
Written and directed by David Webb Peoples, Cast: Rutger Hauer, Joan Chen, Delroy Lindo, Vincent D'Onofrio
(1990) feature film (*) out of five stars
It is good to see sports movie cliches will survive the coming nuclear apocalypse. The "game" resembles American Gladiators and rugby played by extras from a "Mad Max" film. The cast just plays and plays, the viewer is just bored and bored. Space Maggot grabs a vote of 1, heads for the sharpened stake, and impales this movie on it.

Caged Heat 3000
Directed by Aaron Osborne, Written by Emile Dupont, Cast: Lisa Boyle, Kena Land, Zaneta Polard, Don Yanan
(1995) feature film (*) out of five stars
This is just dumb guy entertainment. The thing is, I'm a guy, and I can look at this kind of stuff in magazines and porn without being bothered by the thin story and hilariously bad set design. I have seen better acting by toddlers covering up a poopy diaper. Space Maggot rattles the cage and votes a 1.

Carnosaur
Directed by Adam Simon, Screenplay by Adam Simon based on the novel by John Brosnan, Cast: Diane Ladd, Raphael Sbarge, Jennifer Runyon, Clint Howard
(1993) feature film (*) out of five stars
And "Jurassic Park" wasn't all that great, either. This is dumb entertainment, with the funniest dinosaur effects ever put on film. It is literally a hand puppet held up to the camera to make it look larger than the actors. Do not waste your time here, I cannot wait until I get to review the sequels. Space Maggot cracks an egg and finds a vote of 1.

Chameleon
Directed by Stuart Cooper, Written by Bennett Cohen, Cast: Bobbie Phillips, Eric Lloyd, John Adam, Jerome Ehlers
(1998) TV movie (* *) out of five stars
Bobbie Phillips is fine as the cyborg/killer who also seduces strange men. You can tell she has some integrity, she will not do any nudity on camera. Too bad, it might have jazzed up the proceedings. The story has been done to death, and the film makers cannot decide which audience they want to go for- switching sex scenes with cutesy scenes between the killer cyborg and the adorable kid that are lifted right out of "Terminator 2." Space Maggot applauds Phillips, and shoots a vote of 3.

Circuitry Man
Directed by Steven Lovy, Written by Robert Lovy and Steven Lovy, Cast: Vernon Wells, Jim Metzler, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Dennis Christopher
(1990) feature film (* *) out of five stars
This is a really mediocre film in the vein of "Buckaroo Banzai." The cast runs around like "Mad Max" wannabes, and they seem to be sharing a joke that they do not want to share with the audience. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson is one of the those guilty pleasure actresses you are delighted to stumble across in films, but she isn't worth the price of rental. Space Maggot starts an electrical fire, and burns a vote of 4.

Deranged
Directed by Chuck Vincent, Written by Craig Horrall, Cast: Veronica Hart, Jerry Butler, Jennifer Delora, Jamie Gillis
(1987) feature film (* * * *) out of five stars
I have no quibble with porn directors going mainstream, especially when it is a good effort like this. Although this might have worked better as a short film or stage play, I appreciated what the cast and crew did on an obviously limited budget. Many roles were miscast, but the actors did their best in a disturbing little flick. I vote this a 7.

Disconnected
Directed by Gorman Bechard, Written by Gorman Bechard and Virginia Gilroy, Cast: Frances Raines, Mark Walker, Carl Koch, Professor Morono
(1983) feature film (*) out of five stars
Weird low budgeter is like a cross between "Repulsion" and "Sisters" (the De Palma film, not the TV show). This movie is so poor, I did not figure out the sisters were being played by the same actress until half way through. Lots of fake blood and some nudity keep things interesting, but this should have been better.

Family Blessings
Directed by Deborah Raffin and Nina Foch, Teleplay by Robert Inman based on the novel by LaVyrle Spencer, Cast: Lynda Carter, Steven Eckholdt, Ari Meyers, Brendan Fletcher
(1998) TV movie (* *) out of five stars.
My wife is a LaVyrle Spencer fan, so I good-heartedly sat down to watch this with her. Two hours later, I needed a moment alone to collect my wits. What is Pam Grier doing in this? After "Morning Glory" and that Lee Horsley thing, why can't anyone make a decent Spencer movie? I know she retired from writing, maybe she could concentrate on screenplays. I gave this a kind 3.

Hey Good Lookin'
Written and directed by Ralph Bakshi, Cast: Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jesse Welles, Tina Romanus
(1982) feature film (* *) out of five stars
I liked this better than both "Heavy Traffic" and "Fritz the Cat," but this was still pretty mediocre. Once again, I have to wonder why Bakshi chose to animate this instead of filming it live action. The story just is not compelling enough to be drawn. The soundtrack is also one of the most UN-50's soundtracks I have ever heard. Space Maggot has chalked his outline on the carpet and inked this film a 4.

Horror Hospital
Directed by Antony Balch, Screenplay by Antony Balch and Alan Watson, Cast: Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw, Ellen Pollock
(1975) feature film (* *) out of five stars
The only reason this film is famous is because of the black humor, which really does not work here. There are some funny moments, but the cast spends most of the film running around some old lodge, and running from the beheading car, which defies most laws of basic physics. The people who lose their heads would have to be about three feet tall!

Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II
Written and directed by Steven Lovy and Robert Lovy, Cast: Vernon Wells, Deborah Shelton, Jim Metzler, Dennis Christopher
(1994) feature film (*) out of five stars
While the first film was pretty bland, this one is downright bad. Obviously unable to get Dana Wheeler-Nicholson back, the film makers dump her and get the cyborg a new girlfriend who is willing to show boobies onscreen. The story is pretty terrible, sad when the only decent performance is given by Traci Lords. Space Maggot crosses his wires and powers a vote of 1.

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