WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If I’m being totally honest, after AE: Apocalypse Earth, I was feeling a little fragile. My inner sci-fi geek can take a lot, but that movie gave me a fair beating. Nevertheless, I’m not one to turn down an epic mockbuster, and Atlantic Rim was just too great an opportunity to pass up. So, with Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, The Occult Specialist, and our new friend Ms Misery in attendance, we sat down to watch this movie. My my my my my. I don’t know anything about Pacific Rim, so this movie had to sell me with only what it had to offer. What might that be, you ask? Well, it has the usual terrible CGI, atrocious acting and cheap sets that one would expect from an Asylum production, but it also has some of the most ADD-ridden editing I’ve ever seen in a film. I know it’s sci-fi, but good God not everything can teleport that quickly! Needless to say, though, this movie is a ton of fun, although I would recommend watching it on the tail-end of a movie night so you have the benefit of mild delirium to cover up some of its not-so-great moments.
Deep at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean lurks one of mankind’s greatest threats: giant amphibious dinosaurs with backwards knees! No seriously, how these things can walk is a marvel in itself. No one knows where they’ve come from or how they’ve managed to survive down there for so long without any of us noticing, but they’re about to start wreaking all kinds of havoc. The first sign of their existence that we experience is when one of them, with no provocation and unknown intent, leaps up from the sea floor to destroy an oil rig. Apart from a quick and somewhat greasy lunch we don’t know why they are suddenly deciding to attack now, and no one back on land knows what happened to the oil rig / ate its crew, so it’s up to the military to fall back on some half-baked, untested battle plan to solve this maritime mystery.
The plan? Send 3 gigantic robots worth $500 billion down to the ocean floor to see where the hell the oil rig went and what the hell may have dragged it down there. These robots will be piloted by the best pilots the program’s remaining $15 worth of budget could find. Decked out in what appear to be wetsuits held together by pieces of coloured duct tape, White Douche, Token Black Guy (aka TYREESE!) and Generic Blonde descend to the bottom of the Atlantic to check things out. The mission is plagued with problems – the control room in the bots becomes sweltering after descending more than 3 feet into the ocean, they’re controlled using what appears to be joysticks from old arcade machines, and they tend to shut down at random (this, for some reason, also sucks all of the available oxygen out of the robot’s interior), so it’s all rather slow going. Oh yeah, and there’s that giant monster floating in the background trying to eat them.
The violence quickly escalates from this point – the monster appears on land, we’re treated to half-a-dozen shots of the monster looped and mirrored maybe 20 times, and suddenly there are dead people everywhere. Why? We’re not really sure. Now, it becomes obvious that the American Government can’t just allow these beasts to run around Manhattan, but the team’s divided. Admiral Hadley, the head of some-or-other division, throws his full support behind the robots. The opposing faction, headed up by a man with an eye-patch whose speech patterns clearly indicate that he has recently recovered from a stroke, proposes nuking the monsters (although the word, when he says it, ranges anywhere from ‘puke the monsters’ to ‘fluke the monsters’). With these two factions at war, Generic Blonde and TYREESE! being innately useless, White Douche being super douchey, and the robots themselves leaving a bit to be desired, does mankind really stand a chance against these backward-kneed behemoths? Watch and be completely whelmed by the whole experience!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It is possible for oil rigs to become dislodged from their bases, float around in the ocean, and crash into Iraq.
- You should always wear self-tan to a review board meeting.
- The best mankind-protecting-robot is one that’s commanded by someone with a lot of experience in Tae Bo.
- Every secret military base should be equipped with at least 100 horns.
- The more squint the monster, the greater the threat it poses to us all.
- No matter what the emergency, a woman’s eye-shadow should always be unfaltering.
- Nothing says ‘time for a drink’ more than blowing up $500 billion worth of military equipment.
ATLANTIC RIM TRAILER
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There are few things in life that can guarantee as much fun as an early 2000s movie with cheap animatronic dinosaurs brought back to life by a mad scientist, Eric Roberts and all of his self-importance in the lead role, and a sex scene that we could have sworn was on a perpetual loop. I present to you, dear reader, Raptor, perhaps one of the most glorious achievements of b-cinema I’ve seen yet. I gathered my most of my elite team of movie watchers for this one: Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, and our newest recruit, Plaas Meisie. There are no words to describe the sheer awesomeness and cheesiness of this movie, but if you’re a fan of b-horror you absolutely NEED to watch this as soon as is humanly possible.
As is often the case in these movies, we’re thrown into the middle of some little town in the middle of absolutely nowhere where the most thrilling crime that probably takes place is a little old lady having her dentures stolen. Eric Roberts is the local sheriff, and this gives him the right to practically smear himself with smarmy and then roll around in a vat of self-produced and bottled egotism. Armed with two belts, a pair of mom jeans and a token black deputy, Eric’s ready to find out what happened to those poor drunken teenagers out the middle of the desert – because something ate them up good. Thinking that it was something reasonably standard, like a bear, a cougar or a shark, he’s joined on the investigation by Busty Blonde Animal Control Lady (hereafter referred to simply as ‘Busty’), but she’ll be damned if she knows what killed the kids. Maybe it has something to do with the recent spate of mass-chicken murders happening all along the county’s various highways?
Over at the Eunice corporation (nominally a chicken manufacturing plant, whatever that may be, and which is still running blue-screen DOS computers by the looks of things), something’s more than a little amiss. There are far too many crazy scientists in would-be berets pushing far too many flashing buttons on control panels for this to be a simple chicken farm. Of course, for the omnivident viewer, we know that the trucks transporting enormous numbers of chickens is simply a cover up – that’s how Eunice Corp. is transporting all of its raptor and t-rex eggs between its different facilities after one of the raptors escaped into the desert. Being a team of maybe four people, however, means that the people at this particular facility aren’t doing a great job keeping track of their genetically re-created little monsters, and more and more are starting to wreak havoc on the little town.
For Officer Mom Jeans the problem becomes personal after his sweet, innocent little girl is attacked by one of the raptors after getting it on with a man twice her age and squealing like a little pig while they did it on the back of his pickup truck. But how exactly does one small town sheriff take on a giant company like Eunice Corp.? Infiltration and a Busty sidekick – that’s how. The two of them are determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on, but there’s a little more going on behind the scenes that they don’t know about. Apparently this whole dinosaur resurrection process originally began as a government military operation for fighting overseas, so they also want in on the action when they realise that their supposedly cancelled project is back online. Can Eric Roberts’ seemingly infinite supply of self-satisfaction conquer the might of an angry, resurrected mother T-Rex? Do silicone boobs move at all? Why are everyone’s intestines in this movie brown? Watch, dear reader, and have all of these questions answered.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- ‘Whatever happened, happened here’ is usually how most police investigations start.
- Deserts can be right quirky creatures sometimes.
- Character enhancement is best done with copious amounts of silicone.
- Surprised raptors shed their toenails like geckos shed their tails.
- If it’s not as intense as black ops, and at least 2 black guys are involved, it classes as dark ops.
- Most companies have emergency spaceship entrances installed in their elevators.
- Clones can be pulled out of thin air and given all the memories of the original person.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Alright, by this stage pretty much every b-movie fan and their dog has reviewed this movie. That said, every b-movie fan and their dog doesn’t come with the crack team of Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole and the Occult Specialist like I do. Anything made by the Asylum is virtually guaranteed to blow your mind (although rarely in a good way), but throw some Nazis into the mix and we were all very excited. And it didn’t, in any way, disappoint. If you love watching stupid horror movies that defy good taste, racial sensibilities, logic or the art of movie making in general then this is the movie for you!
We begin our tale of mystery, intrigue and a secret coven of Nazis in the middle of Antarctica. There’s a research centre there (whose name escapes me because we kept calling it Nippleheim) where Dr Adrian Reistad has brought a few dozen grad students to do a little research on various things in petri dishes. Things are going perfectly well (except for that one incident where the entire research centre was nearly exposed to flesh-eating bacteria) until two members of the team are abducted by strange men in gas masks (our Occult Specialist informs me that they are in fact Soviet gas masks and not German ones). The rest of the team pile into their clown car snow mobile and go out to try and find their lost companions.
After a short expedition in the snow the group comes across a gigantic hole in the ice. Being the highly qualified individuals they are they decide that the best thing to do is effectively throw themselves down the hole with gay abandon and hope for the best. What they find is astonishing: the centre of the Earth is surprisingly lush, full of trees and mountains and a giant light bulb functioning as a sun. The downside to this lush paradise is that it’s swarming with Nazis led by Josef Mengele. Back in 1945 when the Allies were on the approach Mengele and some of his star scientists managed to escape and made their way here where they have been keeping themselves alive by grafting bones, organs and virtually anything else they can find onto themselves. The shocking betrayal comes in when Mengele informs the group that they have been getting their new body parts from grad students provided by Dr Reistad over the years. Some of the transplants haven’t been as successful as others, however, and this group has been brought in to help the Nazis perfect their techniques before they can go about reconquering the world!
Up until this point things have been relatively normal (if a little gruesome), but of course all this Nazi experimentation has to serve some kind of greater purpose. After some inventive stem cell extraction and the use of what looks like the most amazing coffee maker ever we learn what this purpose is: Mengele somehow also managed to escape with Hitler’s head and they plan on bringing him back to life. The head will be placed in, and control, an enormous robot with more manly weapons than you could ever think possible. Mecha-Hitler and his army (that appeared out of nowhere) will then board their Nazi spaceship (yes you read that right: Nazi spaceship), drill their way back to the surface and begin taking over the world. It’s now up to the few remaining survivors of our little group to bring this spaceship down and kill Hitler once and for all!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can lose about 10 grad students a year in the Antarctic without anybody ever asking any questions.
- Gloves from a hair dye box are perfectly suitable for performing major surgery (Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Mengele).
- The centre of the earth is roughly 50 feet below the surface.
- The Germans occupied Antarctica back in World War II.
- You cannot extract stem cells from a brain.
- A vacuum cleaner is an effective tool for performing a quick abortion.
- You can rip all the skin off a person without having to worry about them succumbing to infection or massive blood loss.
NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As any of you who follow me on Twitter may know I’ve been suffering from a terrible craving for a cheesy sci-fi movie lately. Many people suggested Galaxy of Terror, but I couldn’t wait for my copy to arrive (I promise to watch it soon). When I came across Robotropolis I was immediately captivated by its cover with an almost toy-like android and decided to take a chance on it. With below average acting, a wafer thin plot and CGI that lies somewhere between The Asylum and SyFy Originals you really can’t go wrong with this movie. Robotropolis is a b-movie at its finest that’s daft enough to be a very enjoyable 80 minutes but not painful enough that you’d want to wash your brain off with bleach afterwards. It also does gooey body parts remarkably well.
You are watching GNN and reporting live from New Town in the south China Sea is star reporter Christiane Nouveau. New Town is a bustling new city on an island owned solely by MegaNational Industries and this is the first time reporters are being allowed in to film and document the amazing technological developments going on here. While New Town has been built up around an enormous oil refinery the main thing the teams of scientists and groups of cheap labour have managed to accomplish is the development of robots to help out with all the different kinds of labour we humans just don’t feel like doing. This can range from manual labour to raising our children. Of course, what can possibly go wrong when we place our safety and future in the mechanical hands of humanoid constructs incapable of experiencing an emotion?
Christiane has been absolutely enthralled with the robots up until this point, thanks in no small part to the fact that they know how to mix a decent cocktail. This opinion and perception changes a little, however, when she’s reporting on a little soccer game where one of the players is a robot. At one point, and seemingly unprovoked, the robot decides to shoot one of the players. After that the robot simply walks off, leaving everyone else utterly baffled as to what just happened. Since the only way to differentiate the robots from one another is by the printing on it that designates their job, it’s gonna be very difficult to find that one particular robot in this big city. Before a decent search can get underway reports start to stream in about robots attacking people. The problem here is the fact that the entire security force is comprised of robots as well…
I would like to raise the point that, despite the failure of the programmers to stop the robots from going on a blood thirsty rampage in the first place, the robots come with a more serious design flaw. These robots are meant to fulfill basic functions in society such as police, medics, construction workers and the like. Why then do all the robots come with built-in guns, drills, saws and flamethrowers? While this does make the killing spree much easier (and juicier) it would appear that the robots are a little over armed in my humble opinion. While trying to escape from the robots Christiane’s also going to try and keep reporting the news so that her boyfriend can earn himself a nice big pay cheque by dominating the 5pm news. After all, being in a relationship means having to make sacrifices. When the robots learn how to throw helicopters around and leave the humans with no way of getting off the island it’s up to Christiane and the two or three surviving tech junkies to devise a plan to bring the robots down and have them permanently decommissioned.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Men are always ready for a little girl-on-robot action.
- Robots are always moving the candy, gum and chips around in shops.
- Billionaires get to where they are by giving in to boyish whims and fancies.
- When the robot says ‘halt’, you best halt.
- The robot revolution will be televised.
- You don’t need functional satellites to beam footage around the world.
- Being hunted down by murderous robots isn’t overly different to visiting a Turkish bathhouse.
- Camera phones have video quality on par with the most sophisticated video cameras.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When myself and Tropical Mary get together for a movie night you know we’re gonna go hard hard h-h-h-hard. Throw in a Stygian Mole and the party’s never gonna stop! Since we were in such a hardcore partying mood Rave to the Grave was just a logical choice for the evening’s first movie 😉 Admittedly I haven’t seen the other Return of the Living Dead movies for about 10 years so, if there was any link to the earlier movies floating around in here, I didn’t know about it. I doubt that this is important since this movie has enough of its own daft silliness to distract you. Prepare yourself for brain-hungry zombies, zombie juice, zombie drugs and Krispy Kreme obsessed Interpol agents!
It’s good to see that the black market is still alive and thriving, and now’s as good a time as any to invest in barrels of Trioxin 5. The particularly powerful toxic agent turns people into zombies hungry for brains and there are a number of (presumably) Russians who want to get their hands on it to make sure that no one else is accidentally turned into a member of the walking dead. Thankfully an Eric Roberts look-alike just happens to have a few in his possession and is happy to sell them off if the price is right. The Russians, of course, are a practical people and have acquired the use of a morgue to do a little test run to see if the Trioxin is the genuine product. Four corpses later it turns out that the Trioxin really does work and one of the Russians, the Eric Roberts look-alike and a doctor of questionable morals lands up being broken open for brain snacks.
But too many Russians can make a movie a bit too serious, so we need to take this in a different direction. Off at college Jenny, Julian, Cody and Becky are planning a little rave for Halloween. Julian’s the nephew of the Eric Roberts look-alike and suffers from 3 and a half minutes of intense grief when he finds out about his dear uncle’s untimely death. While raiding the attic at the uncle’s house he discovers a very poorly concealed room behind a very poorly constructed false wall. In the room he comes across the barrels of Trioxin and takes it to Cody to be tested. When our DJ of the Asian persuasion samples a little of the strange contents and goes on a little trip Cody decides to drain the barrel and turn it into a drug to make a little extra cash. This, despite the fact that they have no idea what’s in the barrel, the barrel is military issue, it has a biohazard sign on it and a digital lock. These can’t possibly be warning signs after all…
Admittedly the Trioxin tablets, known as ‘Z’ to the hip druggie kids on the street, do send people on quite a trip when taken in small doses. Unfortunately, in the long run, it has the unpleasant side effect of turning the user into a walking corpse with a taste for brains. The transformation happens faster when the dosage is increased. Since raves are not the drug-free and safe-sex haven that some of us believe them to be a rather sizeable portion of the assembled party goers begins to turn and start looking for their next batch of brain noms. Human skulls seem to be reasonably simple to open so the zombies just go nuts and, since its Halloween, everyone else just thinks it’s awesome makeup until it’s too late. It’ll take everything Julian, Jenny and two Interpol agents dressed as lady vikings have in them to bring this terrible outbreak to an end.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Women are prone to driving their cars into their swimming pools.
- Drunk college kids are not overly different to lemmings running off a cliff.
- Fivety-five is now considered a legitimate number.
- If you can’t trust you’re drug dealer you can’t trust anyone.
- Dragons are getting tighter.
- Brains are now located in the penis.
- Pieces of skull and a clump of hair counts as zombie roughage.
- The brain and the ear have major arteries running through them.
- The human skull has a little trapdoor at the back for easy brain access.
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: RAVE TO THE GRAVE TRAILER
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