Friday, October 31, 2008

"The Machine Girl" review

The Machine Girl (2008)
AKA Kataude mashin gâru

Director: Noboru Iguchi
Writer: Noboru Iguchi

Minase Yashiro ... Ami Hyuga
Asami ... Miki
Kentaro Shimazu ... Ryuji Kimura (as Kentarô Shimazu)
Honoka ... Violet Kimura
Nobuhiro Nishihara ... Sho Kimura
Yûya Ishikawa ... Suguru Sugihara
Ryôsuke Kawamura ... Yu Hyuga

A hot schoolgirl in a sailor outfit tries to look out for her wayward brother. She goes mad with rage when her brother is killed for upsetting the local Yakusa brat. She tries to get revenge but instead ends up getting her arm hacked off. But as Rose McGowan and Long Jeanne Silver once showed us, even though you are an amputee, you can still have some fun. The schoolgirl's new friends attach a machine gun, (with never ending ammo), to her arm stub. Now she is Machine Girl. Ready to blow away ninjas, yakusas and crazy women with drill bras.
A girl and her gun. It's truly all you need for a successful movie. If it's one thing "Grindhouse" taught us, it's that when life takes a limb away, replace it with a heavy caliber machine gun. Once Machine Girl is locked and loaded, the heads start exploding. She tears her way through many bodies and the blood spray is plentiful. It was quite gratifying to see a movie embrace this level of over the top gore. The CGI effects were weak but the buckets of blood made up for it.

"Machine Girl" is a fun movie. It's a simple little diversion about the pleasures of watching a young woman blast her way through her many enemies. Her most entertaining opponent would have to be the woman wearing a drill bra. She embraces you and your breasts are turned into pulp. This was a fine exploitation scene that captures all that is good in B-movie insanity. "Machine Girl" is worth a look.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 machine bras

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Saw V" review

Saw V (2008)

Director: David Hackl
Writers: Patrick Melton Marcus Dunstan

Tobin Bell ... Jigsaw/ John
Costas Mandylor ... Mark Hoffman
Scott Patterson ... Agent Strahm
Betsy Russell ... Jill
Julie Benz ... Brit
Meagan Good ... Luba

Jigsaw is dead but the "Saw" movies live on. Tobin Bell and his legacy of psychotic life affirming lessons continue because there is never a shortage of loyal disciples to carry on his sadistic work. Thankfully there are plenty of morally flawed people out there who need to be taught the value of life by subjecting them to hideous torture and pain. It's for their own good mind you. Nothing makes people see the errors of their ways better than threatening them with decapitation or disembowelment.

There's also no shortage of people who will watch this carnage as I find myself back in the movie theater every Halloween to see what new traps Jigsaw and his band of devoted fiends dream up next. There seems to be no end in sight for the "Saw" movies. It's unique brand of socially redeeming slaughter and twist endings make for a fun and wholesome night at the movies.

"Saw V" focuses on two survivors of Jigsaw's mayhem from "Saw IV". The FBI agent is convinced that the "hero" cop is one of Jigsaw's true believers. He investigates the cop as a new set of people are put through another deadly cycle of traps for our enjoyment. Tobin Bell keeps showing up in flashbacks so we can relive his greatest kills and learn how he recruited his Jigsaw Padawan.

While "Saw V" is clearly the weakest in the series, I still liked it. There's a twisted mind set in these movies that gives them an authentic horror vibe. The "Saw" franchise is the only active horror series that continually delivers the shocks and gore for horror fans. The other monsters are in hibernation as Jigsaw and friends live on to torture people for prosperity.

Although I'm not sure how many more secrets they can reveal about Tobin Bell's past as this installment revels a little too much in old glory. The movie started to feel like a rush job, (which it is), after seeing the eighth or ninth scene from a previous "Saw" flick. But then the movie went back to the people fighting the traps and all was right with the world.

So Tobin Bell seems to have made an endless supply of cassette tapes and a whole warehouse full of traps for people to be taught a lesson with. His list of flawed humans must be immense. He'll probably need a few dozen more devotees to finish his work. It'll be hard work but I have no doubt that the filmmakers will find a way to keep Jigsaw's twisted legacy alive.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 trapped heads

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Vipers" review

Vipers (2008)

Director: Bill Corcoran
Writer: Brian Katkin

Tara Reid ... Nicky Swift
Jonathan Scarfe ... Cal Taylor
Corbin Bernsen ... Burton
Genevieve Buechner ... Maggie Martin
Jessica Steen ... Dr. Collins
Claire Rankin ... Ellie Martin
Mercedes McNab ... Georgie
Edwina Cheer ... Jen

Tara Reid is being attacked by vipers. The greedy corporation has mutated vipers to help Corbin Bernsen raise his company's stock price. Because as you know, flesh eating vipers always lead to massive profits. The vipers escape the lab and proceed to attack a small town. Will the townspeople survive a night of viper attacks? Will Corbin's stock portfolio be able to sustain the damage caused by an outbreak of vipers? Can Tara Reid learn to love herself again after losing her boyfriend and getting menaced by hostile vipers? And how many times can I write the word vipers in this review? Vipers, vipers everywhere.

Vipers. Why did it have to be Vipers? Yet another mutated animal escaping from a lab movie. "Vipers" is a part of an ongoing series of films called "The Maneater Series". You'll be happy to know that the vipers do in fact eat some men in this movie. And some women too for that matter. I don't think I've ever seen a movie where the snakes actually took the time to devour a body. The beast from "Anaconda" would swallow you whole but the vipers actually take the time to nibble away at your body until there's nothing left.

But since the vipers are ridiculously cheap special effects, the shock from watching these cartoons attack people is almost non-existent. "Vipers" is pure B-movie product designed to be as efficiently terrifying as their $500 budget allows. It exists to fill a time slot on the Sci-fi channel or as background noise while you chug a few beers. There is nothing scary, suspenseful or interesting about it. "Vipers" is watchable in it's own vipers on the rampage way, but there's not much reason to do so. If you need a killer snake movie, try "Anaconda". If that's out, try "Snakes on a Plane". If that's out, you must live in a town that loves killer snake movies. Then and only then, I would pick up "Vipers" for a night out with Tara Reid and her viper friends.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 beware of B-viper attacks

Although this may look like a picture of a rattlesnake, don't be fooled. That evil genius Bernsen has mutated another viper to give it a rattler. Only Tara Reid can save us now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!" review

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! (2008)

Director: Jason Murphy
Writers: Anthony Steven Giordano

Jessica Barton ... Dakota
Hollie Winnard ... Harley
Lyanna Tumaneng ... Dallas
Sean Harriman ... Chris
Anthony Headen ... Johnny 'BackHand' Vegas
Tiffany Shepis ... Tiffany
Juliet Reeves ... Pandora

A mad scientist creates a batch of zombie crack which will cure disease and turn hookers into the undead. A bunch of strippers head over to the all night diner after work only to run into a group of surly prostitutes. As they debate who are the bigger sluts, some of the working girls take a hit off of the zombie crack pipe. It doesn't take long before the hookers break out with a case of the munchies and start chomping on people's jugular veins. The rest of the movie has the strippers running back to hide at the strip club, (The Grind House), and battling zombies zombies zombies.

Zombies and strippers. That pretty much sums up the commercial appeal of "Zombies Zombies Zombies". It worked on me. I also knew that Tiffany Shepis was in it which is another automatic draw for me. But her role lasted for less than five minutes and there was no Shepis nudity. This was slightly disappointing but not completely surprising. Shepis is now getting to that stage where she can crank out a B-movie star cameo whenever she wants. Five minutes of Shepis will sell any zombie movie. Of this there can be no doubt.

"Zombies Zombies Zombies" has all of the B-movie elements I love. It has strippers, zombies, nudity, blood and guts. So why don't I like the movie more than I do? This movie should have been a lot more fun than it was. Half of the movie is spent listening to the denizens of the strip club argue and yell at each other. Nothing brings a B-movie party to a halt faster than listening to pointless bickering between the hot women. Why not have a scene where one stripper is giving a lap dance to a zombie and then grinds straight through his rotting corpse lap? Or how about a scene where the stripper swings around the stage pole and performs stripper jujitsu on any zombie who climbs on stage? Anything would be preferable than listening to these people screech back and forth at each other.

But any movie set in a strip club has to be good on some level. This is a movie law which cannot be broken. There are a couple of topless scenes and some zombie hooker gore scenes. The best stripper would have to be Hollie Winnard who had the naughty schoolgirl, (with pigtails), routine for her stripping set. She also should be singled out because she was one of the few strippers who actually lost any clothes! The star of the show, Dallas, did not bother to strip which irks me to no end.

That's what stops "Zombies Zombies Zombies" from becoming a classic B-flick. It doesn't have the guts to go all the way with the sleazy subject matter. It's content to just plod along and do the bare minimum of what's expected from a zombie vs stripper movie. It also doesn't help their cause that the great exploitation flick "Zombie Strippers" just came out in theaters. Jenna Jameson and friends blow this movie away. But if you're in desperate need for another helping of zombies and strippers battling it out, it may be worth a look.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 girls girls girls