Gross Movie Reviews #315
By Tim Gross
The Visitor (DVD) – The crazy hippie space out film from 1979 is also known as “Stridulum” is being released by Alamo Drafthouse Films. I believe there is no sure way to describe Hippie Jesus and an old dude help alien children and they are from a different dimension or something like that. This film makes the ‘mindfuck’ film “Fight Club” like a normal boring film. Apparently, Space Jesus aka Franco Nero tells a story about an alien prisoner who escaped years ago and pretty much impregnated any woman he could on earth so there would be evil alien children! It only gets better when a 8 year old named Katie shows up at a Lance Henriksen owned Atlanta Rebels basketball game to make a basketball explode in the final seconds and no one questions it. From there Katie’s mom doesn’t want to get married or have another child as Lance’s character presses her to do so as he is being controlled by a room full of unknown men. There is an agenda somewhere but between the old dude John Huston showing up to take Katie to another dimension and some weird sexual thing in white tents on top of a building I am not sure exactly what agenda it is serving except for those of you that will take LSD when watching the film. The film also stars Sam Peckinpah, Shelley Winters, and Glenn Ford in a movie that words cannot do justice for… Which by the way did I mention Space Jesus? Good luck my weird movie watching friends as I give the film 3 stars for just being that out there.
Bounty Hunters (VHS) – Michael Dudikoff is a low end bounty hunter that needs a paycheck to his bills that month and pleads to the local police he needs something. Well, he gets a guy he is supposed to pick up that gets him $10,000 but soon realizes he might want more money as a woman bounty hunter has been camping out on the guy for five days and they just got mixed up into some mob business. Unless you are a Dudikoff fan it’s not the most exciting action film as I give it 2 stars.
This is the End (DVD) – James Franco is having his usual Hollywood party that has all the young rich stars partying like it’s the end of the world until it is. Earthquakes begin to happen; trees are falling, people getting sucked up by blue lights from the sky, people dying… Once Seth Rogen and his best friend get back from the convenience store, Franco and others board up the house and try to decide what the next move is for them, if any. The film is hilarious but for me not as good as “The World’s End” but was still glad I got to see it. I have to give the flick 3 stars.
The Art of the Steal (On Demand) – If you were awaiting Kurt Russell’s comeback like I was you will not be disappointed in this crime/action flick that has Kurt Russell as an aging thief who did 5 ½ years in a Poland prison and now retired from the life of crime after his brother put him there. Russell is a motorcycle riding stuntman who pretty much does stunts for small carnivals and so on which pales in comparison what he used to do in another life. But when an opportunity arises for Russell to not only get back in the game but be remembered for one of the biggest art heists ever he has a plan you don’t see coming until it is over. The film is well directed, well casted, and kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Loved every second of screen time Russell had and just to top it off General Zod from “Superman 2” is a former art thief who helps authorities look into criminals like Russell’s character. The film is absolutely brilliant and cannot wait to watch it again as I believe it will be one of the best films for me in 2014 as I give it 4 stars.
Machete Kills (DVD) – Danny Trejo is back to reprise his role as “Machete” this time to do a job for his new country and to help out president Carlos Estevez kill a man in Mexico who has his sights or missile aimed at Washington D.C. But when the missile is control by the madman’s heart Machete just can’t kill him he must fight to get him over the border in 24 hours and get the only other person that exists to remove the contraption. Once again lots of over the top action, blood, and famous cameos but in the end I find myself enjoying the first film more than this sequel. Maybe it was missing crazy luchadors? But if Robert Rodriguez is able to pull off a third film that takes place in space that could be even more amazing than the first film! I give the sequel 3 stars and thought it was smart casting choice in making Mel Gibson the villain “Voz”. Now go and enjoy!
Hidden (DVD) – A fun horror film about a dude that inherits a building that just happens to hold his mother’s scientific experiments where she believed she could cure addiction all together with the help of a flying insect. But once himself and friends arrive to check out the place and decide what to do with it the man finds out his mother did these experiments hidden away for good reason as strange kids begin to fucking eat his friends one by one. The film reminds me a lot of the relatively unknown horror film “The Kindred” from 1987. The horror film is worth taking a chance on as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Back Road (DVD) – Independent film producer and writer Jon Manthei with the help of writer/director Joseph Thompson is back at it again with his latest short film that in my belief could make a great 75 or 80 minute feature. The film follows Tommy and Tabaitha who are on their first date and have a flat tire on a long dirt road and its getting dark. Together they find help from a kind stranger driving by only to find they are next on the family’s menu but the film ends when it is just beginning as one of the couple have a surprise for the cannibal family. The film feels like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and 3” meets “From Dusk Till Dawn” as it lures you in with the feeling you have seen this film before until the surprise happens and makes you want more from the talented duo. What makes the film work really well is not only how well the surprise is set up but I thought the two actors playing Tommy and Tabaitha played the ‘awkward first date couple’ so well you actually feel really bad when they are first kidnapped. I give the short film 3 ½ out of 4 stars and hope the talented duo listens and fleshes out a feature of this short film with a little more darker and demonic overtone to it? To find out more about Jon Manthei, Joseph Thompson, and their future projects go check out www.facebook.com/campfirepictures . Oh by the way look for the Ted Nugent for President bumper sticker, it fits perfect in this short film.
Trancers City of Lost Angels (DVD) – Finally, the lost sequel or segment for Charles Band’s “Pulsepounders” anthology that never seen the light of day has been restored and released to DVD recently. Most people call it “Trancers 1.5” as the 25 minute film picks sometime after the first film with Jack Deth and his girlfriend Helen Hunt in 1986 running Deth’s detective agency. While during an argument between the two, McNulty knocks on the door after coming down the line to warn Jack about a criminal Edlin Shock who has escaped and wants him dead after spending five years in a prison in the future. Jack Deth springs into action again to return the futuristic criminal only to realize he misses the past and wants to spend his time in the past. It’s great seeing this film as if you are a fan of the series “1.5” fits just right into the timeline and most likely was to help new fans of Full Moon in 1988/1989 to understand the Jack Deth character more as the first film was hard to find depending where you lived. Once the sequels came out, the first film eventually became easier to find especially with the introduction of DVD in the 90s. I give the film 3 stars if you are a fan of the series, 2 stars if you are new to the whole Jack Deth story as most likely since this is one of the earlier Full Moon series that hasn’t had a sequel or reboot in years?
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