The Zombie Army (Blu-ray) – This shiny SOV turd was directed by Betty Stapleford and was considered legendary at my favorite video store “ISV”. We literally had a running bet on who would actually rent this film as it had a label on it “Worst Movie in the Store”, yet no one would rent it except us dumb asses who watched it a couple times in the store over 20 years ago. Well movie nerds apparently ‘Future Video’ thought it was time to bring it to HD! So how to explain the clarity… Okay imagine if you are old… like me, and you are watching a movie on the old black and white TV set with rabbit ears? That was the VHS version. Now imagine if that VHS was dying and played on your new 60 inch thin ROKU TV thingy and you know that was an upgrade. Anyhow besides this wonderful clarity there are some trailers, different music, and footage of a writer/producer talking about their experience in getting the movie made. So the government has bought an insane asylum because you know that is a wonderful idea. After a couple dumb military personnel open a radioactive shelter door looking for drugs this of course allows two psychos to be released and wander the halls again. These psychos are not your ordinary psychos as they want to experiment on the military privates and turn them into their zombies. It was released in 1991 and some fun effects to enjoy as I give this Blu-ray 3 stars.
African Kung Fu Nazis (DVD) – So this falls under “what in the bizarre hell am I watching?” as Hitler survives for no apparent reason with the leader of Japan. Again not exactly explained but these two make a tag team who find themselves in Guyana (I think) who begin to build their German/Japanese army out of the native African folk that live there. Hitler helps train these folk for a world tournament that they are going to put on. Oh did I mention if you are black and touch the new German/Japanese flag you go ‘white face’! So of course once they build a force they bother the local dojo to pay tribute to them and force setting up a revenge story in this racist mix of “Bloodsport”, “Fist of Fury”, and “Mortal Kombat” where you won’t know if you should laugh, cry, or both when it is done as I give this film 3 stars.
Legion of the Night (YouTube) – An independent film from Matt Jaissle that is also known as “Dead City” gives off wonderful “The Dead Next Door” vibes so you know you are in for a treat. Out of Detroit a couple of scientists are forced by some mob boss Francis to come up with zombie assassins. Not exactly expecting the research to pan out as well as it did they were able to give Francis the ultimate crew to do his bidding. Of course the scientists are considered expendable and thought to be completely killed off by some of the underlings? But assistant Russell survives and explains to Taylor who is back in town wondering what happen to his father. The two plot a tale of revenge with the new CZAs (Cybernetic Zombie Assassins) to seek revenge against Francis. All seems to go to plan until Francis has also partake in the forbidden formula and combat just got a lot more interesting. Love the premise of the film, love the look even for 1995, love the vibe, some great effects, the only flaw might be the story gets a little confusing or overcomplicated but if you are an Indy fan you need to have this in your collection as I give it 3 out of 4 stars.
Green Hell: A Jay Crimson Film (YouTube/Troma Now) – The film opens with filmmaker Jay Crimson where this content comes from and why? But you get two sketchy looking friends who accidentally find a liquid in a cough syrup bottle dropped by a random individual. Trying to get all kinds of fucked up believe it would be a great idea to drink it? Not much time passes before they begin to trip balls, see zombies, party again, more zombie gut munching, more weird visions, get quickly addicted to it, then kill a friend’s girlfriend. It is a lewd, crude, quick take, rough style kind of filmmaking style that was featured in other independent titles “The Wet Ones” and “Magnum Opus” to name two. I know there is a small niche audience for this project I just don’t think I am it… I more of a “Street Team Massacre” movie weirdo as I give this film 2 out of 4 stars.
After Presence (DVD) – A found footage flick of a Ghost Hunting dude who disappeared in 2017 while filming with his partner their latest special at a cemetery. Jamie Rice and Pat Donovan are all about getting content for their fans. The two separate for investigation purposes during filming and Pat slowly gets very deep into something that could be considered disturbing. Pat ignores the possible warning signs and weird shit going around him until it is too late. Everyone knows I am not a huge paranormal movie fan but kudos to these guys as they kept it basic, had a complete serious tone throughout, and had a good storyline they stray from as I give this flick 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
Alphabet Soup (DVD) – Another project from Broaden Torture Productions as this is more of a mish mash of four short films that feel like experiments, never fully fleshed out projects, or something they tried and will possibly remake in the future when the funds dictate. Creature from the Deep is a cheeseball corny short that I enjoyed the most. A great combo DVD or perfect starter thing for an independent movie fan who may want to check out more from these guys as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
To Love Again (Blu-ray) – Another feature out of the long lost collection of filmmaker Dan Komarek that was shot in 2008 and a far departure from horror, fantasy, and kids believing they are some kind of Ninja Masters. Two unlikely friends in Zack and Sarah who are all about the drugs strangely find love for each other as they try to figure out their lives together. Happiness is short lived when Sarah’s live-in boyfriend/roommate Tony decides this needs to stop and the two accidentally kill Tony. Again a huge departure from what you would use to seeing from this filmmaker but it does have its kinks and corks for such a serious tone film like the weird fake box waterbed (I cannot get my mind around it, sorry) and the barking dog at all times in the background of filming this love story. Dan shows a different side of his talent here and well worth the watch I just don’t think this will resonate with Indy fans as much as his other work as I give it 2 out of 4 stars.
Video Nasty Productions: The Early Years Volume II (Blu-ray) – This time around it isn’t just some early unfinished projects from Dan Komarek but his brother Mike Komarek and it is clear who is doing what project! But before you sink your eyeballs into nearly three hours of short films Dan supplies you with twenty minutes of trailers and an interview with me Tim Gross talking about Dan Komarek and his career so far. The shorts: The Cleveland Haunting is where a young man is haunted by himself and controlled by another. Crime Story (2008) is about two dudes arguing over money. Then Crime Story (2012) completely unrelated to the other four years before but has the random barking dog returning, incoherent dialogue, machine gun sound effects for a pistol, a crochet clock hanging on a wall instead of a real clock, a hallway of a home that I think is supposed to be an office, and it has no ending… Which I was entertained by this absurdity! Into the Mystic which is more feature length than short film features a random dude in girl jeans stalking individuals in a national park where a fat young version of Dan Komarek eats cigarettes off the ground and still believes he knows kung fu! Nail Biter is a short that will possibly make you puke after the three minutes of shaky-cam and goes into a story of a newspaper reporter going back to an abandoned home to investigate murders and the legend that happened several years before. (This short film was done by Mike Komarek and the biggest example of the filming differences between the brothers.) The Entity is a short film with a Blair Witch feel as a lonely man goes slowly insane. (Nevermind the odd Nazi flag in the background as not sure why it’s there but it has nothing to do with the story?) The Road is a short where something strange happens to two best friends as soft music plays at all times. And Disinformation is a quick found footage thing that felt much unfinished. Another look into the young mind of Dan Komarek that is very entertaining and fun if you enjoy checking out stuff from independent filmmakers before they got the legs under in what they want to do as I give it 2 out of 4 stars.
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