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:
Sometimes life just kind of happens, and for the past few weeks I have been completely unable to dedicate any time to watching awful movies. As a result I felt I should come back with a bang and chose the spectacular sounding Hookers in a Haunted House. Now, while it is the only movie I’ve reviewed so far that has managed to match Witch’s Sabbath‘s Breast-O-Meter reading, unlike the previous breast fest Hookers in a Haunted House barely makes any attempt at actually being a movie. It’s a very thinly veiled softcore porno with horrendous jokes thrown in to pad the time out a bit. If you ever feel the sudden urge to watch this movie, consider yourself warned.
In what really is the setup to a poorly conceived joke, a blonde, brunette and red-headed hooker are about to spend an evening in a haunted house. IMDB swears blindly that these women have names but I don’t recall any of them being used in the actual movie. All the ‘action’ has already taken place and we are being told what happened through a series of flash backs from the blonde hooker as she details her harrowing evening to a rather strange TV journalist. The girls landed up in their frightening predicament when they decided to sell their wares out on a country road, the idea being that there would be less competition here from the other inner-city hookers. As luck would have it a group of Trekkies just happened to be driving by at that point and are more than happy for the girls to raise their shields to full power (or some pun along those lines).
The evening starts off with the nerdiest of the Trekkies trying to impress the hookers with his collection of human eyes in a jar and other bizarre paraphernalia. Perhaps as a result of this the girls don’t really take much of a shining to him, choosing instead to play around with his two friends. What follows is a slow strip tease, a lot of breast action and some ass shots that reveal some truly horrible thighs. The ego dented from the lack of attention the head Trekkie decides to whip out a Ouija board and play around with demons from another dimension. By randomly waving his hands over the board and muttering some old school song lyrics he manages to invoke, and I quote, “hideous, vile, ill-tempered and excessively butch spirits from beyond the grave”. This is actually misleading as he only summons one spirit, the ghost of a deranged bag packing boy, and nothing about this spirit suggests in any way that he is particularly butch.
Obviously terrified by the presence of this hideous, vile, ill-tempered and excessively butch spirit from beyond the grave the girls do the only logical thing you can do in these kinds of situations: have more sex and look for food. While they’re doing this and a smoke machine mysteriously puffs away the bag boy goes about killing people with boxes of Corn Flakes and a pricing gun. It will take the blonde hooker a trip into hell to visit her long-deceased ancestor to discover the powers she has hidden deep within her that will help them escape from the clutches of this terrifying spirit. It will also take her posing topless for the camera for the news crew’s ratings to stay high enough for her to finish telling her terrible tale.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Credits should contain as many breasts as humanly possible.
- B-movies hinder a hooker’s ability to make money.
- Smeared makeup is a traumatic thing for a hooker to go through.
- Female journalists and hookers share a deep, spiritual bond.
- Ouija boards can double up as a crystal ball in the event of emergency incantations.
- Evil spirits are known to return hookers to their fully clothed states.
- A good nipple licking and pinching will resuscitate a fainted hooker.
- A family sized box of Corn Flakes can be used as a brutal and effective weapon.
- Terrified hookers will often do a strip tease for the malevolent spirits stalking them.
- Professional hookers should, in the interest of political correctness, be referred to as Pleasure Oriented Care Givers.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In my humble opinion there just aren’t enough killer scarecrow movies out there. Like clowns there’s just something very off-putting about a scarecrow, so the horror movie opportunities to use them are virtually endless. I dug this movie out for that exact reason – scarecrows are scary and deserve their place in the long list of seemingly harmless things that can and will kill you when the opportunity arises. As an added bonus I get to throw the collective ‘murder of crows’ around in this review 🙂 All in all Hallowed Ground isn’t a bad movie and there are certainly far worse ways for a person to kill 90 minutes of their time. It just isn’t an amazing movie; it never really gets to the point where you’re on edge waiting for what might be coming round the corner.
Our story begins back in the day (late 1800s-ish) in the ironically named little town of Hope. It’s a bustling little community of hard-working farmers tending to their cornfields day and night to ensure a good harvest. Hope is renowned for the quality of its corn and the townsfolk’s ability to grow their corn no matter what the weather; even droughts can’t keep these people without corn. As well as being hard-working corn farmers Hope’s inhabitants are also a sizeable body of religious nut cases headed up by the equally insane but charismatic Jonas Hathaway. It’s from him that the locals have learned how to grow amazing corn: you gather up any sinners you might have running around town, you dress them up like a scarecrow and then you crucify them in the middle of the cornfields. The exact scientific reasons for the corn liking this so much was never fully explained to the audience, but that corn’s growing like it’s nobody’s business so something’s working. Unfortunately for the town news of their dear preacher’s unorthodox corn-growing methods make it to Liberty, the next town over, and the locals their proceed to storm the cornfields and crucify Hathaway and then burn him.
Flash forward to the present day and Hope’s still standing and the people there are still growing corn. Our leading lady Liz Chambers literally rolls into town one day when her car begins to break down while she’s out on a scenic drive to wherever the hell she feels like going. The car’s gonna take a day to fix so she needs to get comfortable and pops off to the diner to grab a bite to eat and be stared at by anyone who walks past her. At the diner she meets Sarah, a lovely tabloid reporter who fills her in on Hope’s back story. With nothing better to do Liz decides to go with Sarah out into the cornfields to get a look at Hathaway’s old farmhouse and take some photos that can be later used in Sarah’s newspaper. For full effect they decide to make a creepy scarecrow, stick it up on a crucifix and hang it in the cornfield. Hathaway’s ghost takes this as his opportunity and possesses the scarecrow and proceeds to brutally murder Sarah before going after Liz, who manages to escape and make it back into town.
Of course all is not well in the little town of Hope. Many years have passed but the locals have never quite managed to shake that Religious Sect of the Corn vibe that they’ve cultivated so well. Liz gets back to town only to be hunted down by the scarecrow and learn that bullets have very little effect against a stuffed bag of straw and decides to seek sanctity in the local church. From here things become even more bizarre when she’s informed that she is at the centre of a 100-year-old prophecy made by Hathaway. He foretold of her arrival just before he died and now needs the new priest to have sex with her, get her pregnant and when the baby’s born Hathaway can possess it. Sounds to me like the priest is a bit desperate, but I decided to run with it anyway. What happens afterwards is a combination of running, some fire, some more running, a crucifix, some hiding followed by some running, some corn, a murder of crows, some more running, some more crows and then some more corn. Oh yeah, and there’s an ending thrown in there as well. An ending that includes corn.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The best way to ensure a bumper crop is to offer a human sacrifice.
- Reporters often walk around with scarecrow- and crucifix-making kits.
- Despite being made of straw scarecrows have remarkable upper body strength.
- There’s no kind of police business that should take more than 20 minutes to sort out.
- Scarecrows are particularly fanatical in their religious devotion.
- Boys get over excited during crucifixions and tend to do more harm than is necessary.
- It’s easy enough to massacre an entire town and hang them from telephone wires.
HALLOWED GROUND TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Action / Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 1.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Critiquing a rip-off movie made by The Asylum is a little bit like picking on the village idiot but I would like to start off by saying that there was some method to my madness. Not being a fan of either the Alien or Predator franchises I never took the time to watch either of the Alien VS Predator movies, so my logic behind watching Alien VS Hunter was that I could go into it with a clear mind and not be constantly comparing it to movies that had access to a budget and real actors. Sadly this decision was misguided as I sat, constantly confused, for 85 minutes desperately trying to figure out what was going on.
We start off on a very yellow morning (everything in this movie is tinted yellow for reasons unknown) with Lee Custler, a journalist, out jogging in the middle of a deserted highway. Lee is so engrossed with his jogging that he doesn’t notice a comet burning through the atmosphere and crashing into a nearby hill. Sheriff Joel Armstrong, however, has seen the comet and picks up Lee by bribing him with doughnuts so that the two of them can go and investigate the crash. After driving in the complete opposite direction to the crash site but somehow landing up at it anyway they realise that the meteor isn’t a meteor at all but rather the remains of an alien spaceship. Said alien quickly emerges from the spacecraft and ‘eats’ the sheriff (i.e. wiggles its head over his chest while fake blood oozes from his pocket). Sometime when all of this is happening a girl named Tammy, whose mother is missing, finds Lee and the two run off to go look for help.
Help, sadly, is hard to find in a town with a population of 11 people. At a little café / police station we are introduced to Hilary, Javier, Figgus and Marcy who, unsurprisingly, do not believe that giant spider-aliens are running around in the woods. Being from a small town and not having much else to do they decide to go off with Lee and Tammy anyway to look for the survivors of a car crash that Lee and Tammy saw when the alien attacked. The group finds a man named Garrison who survived the crash but Marcy lands up being killed because the alien can climb trees and what follows is a ridiculously long run through the woods as the survivors attempt to find anyone else who might be able to help them.
Now somewhere along the line, and he really just appears out of nowhere, we are introduced to the second main character in our movie’s title: the Hunter. To anyone who’s played Mortal Kombat the hunter really just looks like a rejected form of Raiden with a red jar on his face and a big gun. For unknown reasons once again the hunter and the alien are out to get one another while our little gang, now joined by a normal hunter named Valentine and his daughter Freckles, constantly manage to get in their way. To be fair they can’t really run away all that well because the sets are too small to allow for it and all that really happens is they run in circles while the cameraman tries to get different angle shots to create the illusion of a bigger set.
The rest of the movie is mainly made up of the survivors either running (slowly, EVER SO SLOWLY) through the woods, the sewers, the water pipes, the hunter’s spaceship, the alien’s spaceship (it may be one ship, I’m not sure), several failed attempts at sub-plots that have nothing to do with the movie and dialogue that is in no way cohesive. The effects are terrible, the actors can’t act, an escaped chimp from a USA government lab could have written a better script and the attempt at a twist in the ending will make you want to throw yourself and your TV out the window. For all these reasons I have decided to place Alien VS Hunter in the ‘Requires Post-Film Lobotomy’ level of awful. In fact, having seen this mind-numbing piece of cheese, I’m not sure if Arachnia or even Terror Toons deserve such a rating.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- An iPod’s volume can be turned up high enough to block out the sound of a comet crashing into the Earth.
- Contrary to accepted scientific theory comets do not send up dust or shock waves when they hit the Earth.
- Aliens can change their size at will. Common sizes range from human-size to tree-size.
- Aliens have honeycomb vision.
- Extraterrestrial laser guns make ‘pew pew’ noises when shooting.
- The actual shots and the sounds from the shots on extraterrestrial laser guns are not in sync with one another.
- Alien claws can slice through human flesh but can’t cut through rope nets.
- Small-town hunters have an animal-like fear of military personnel that are properly equipped to handle an alien invasion.
- Black women become fearful of a journalist’s writing abilities during an alien invasion.
AVH: Alien VS Hunter Trailer