Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

Archive for December, 2011

DEAD HEAT (1988)


Directed by Mark Goldblatt

The first time I saw this film was on TV, late at night or early in the morning, not sure which. Totally by accident I witnessed a strange mix of comedy, action and horror. There was nothing to be taken seriously  here, plotholes and, at least in the second half, a somewhat mediocre finish kept this from beeing something bigger, more memorable.

But at least the first half is dead-on fun. Joe Piscopo I knew from SNL, he did some great stuff with Eddie Murphy. Treat Williams  , also a somewhat familar face. I now remember him best from “Deep Rising”.

The director Mark Goldblatt I  guess is best-known for “Punisher” with Dolph Lundgren. And he didn`t do much more than two feature films , one tv episode of some Tv series and he was second unit director for “Robocop”. It seems he was way more active as an editor.

Sad, really. He obviously can handle extreme action very well.

Plot: The detectives Mortis and Bigelow are called to the scene of an armed robbery of a jewellery store. The robbers seem almost invincible, they take quite a few bullets, seemingly unaffected by them. They are taken down in the end with a rather drastic measure. In the morgue, the bodies show signs of an autopsy, which is, of course a bit unusual. The coroner( a friend of Mortis) finds traces of a  preservative chemical, not normally found in corpses. They investigate  a  company that just recently ordered a great amount of this said chemical.There,  they get into trouble and Mortis dies in a decompression chamber.

Bigelow, who discovered the machine that reanimates the dead, puts his friend in there, reanimating him. They explain to him what happened. After he absorbed the new situation and realizing his newly found life is very limited, he wants to hunt down the ones responsible…..

Ok, I stope here describing the plot…..

The film is full of bloody shootouts, great practical FX and humor. Yet the potential of this basic idea feels a bit wasted , since the movie plays out in a very cliched way. The humor may not be for everybody, a bit on the flat side sometimes…but it worked well enough for me. Its just not A-list humor, I dunno how to describe it. But its a nice little party film to waste 80 minutes.

And it has Vincent Price as the mad scientist, if that helps. This film has pros and cons, and I cant hate or completely love it..its somwhere inbetween. Its a medium rare piece of b-movie, not hitting the bulls eye, but leaving  huge holes on the sides of the mark.

But I can understand why they hired Goldblatt to do the Punisher after this.

Guns and squibs were close to his heart, it seems.


NEMESIS 2.0 coming soon…


Albert Pyun just announced the impending release of his Director`s Cut of Nemesis (1992) on his Facebook Account.

“Next Director’s Cut release will be NEMESIS (1992) and it will have a new beginning to the film that sets up how it was originally going to be done and a new ending. But the beginning is very telling and sets up the internal identity struggles that Alex Rain has throughout the movie. It’s quite shocking and when you see it it, you’ll better understand the story and why it was not permitted in the final shooting script. It breaks down a few major taboo barriers.”

Sounds interesting, it really does. But he is really biased and praises his stuff all the time. And God knows, I am not liking all of his work, far from it. There are just too many turds among his movies.

I am pretty ok with the normal version of Nemesis. The way I look at it, it doesn`t need no update. Just give me the correct aspect ratio and i`m happy. You are not George Lucas, that kind of tinkering with movies is the last thing the world needs. If you are so unhappy, make a new movie.  That concerns the FX mostly, because there is nothing to say against digging up old material, as he did with Cyborg and Captain America. To me, adding futuristic aircrafts and stuff destroys a bit of the experience I enjoyed with the theatrical or whatever versions that are out there. Just like Star Wars 4 to 6.

I would love a Star Wars movie that runs 30 minutes longer, but just polishing FX , and since this year even changing or adding dialogue(NOOOOOOOOooooh…) misses my approval.

I smell that kind of thing coming…cuz..what else is left for Lucas, than to find a reel or two and making the extended Star Wars?

I guess , 3D…is he planning a 3D version? I am not up to speed here..lol. Wouldn`t surprise me, at all.

But this post was originally about Nemesis.

I am not sure if I wanna spend 30 bucks on that new Nemesis. If I find work in the meantime, I might.  Just to celebrate the new job.

He also released a Director`s Cut Widescreen version of Mean Guns, which I applaud.

The whole aspect ratio thing is really pissing me off.

It is incomprehensible to me , as to why so many movies aren`t available in a correct widescreen format.

Must be about money, I guess. Funny, often TV stations   have superior versions showing on their channels , compared to what`s available to buy.Anyway…here is the teaser promo again:

http://vimeo.com/9940175

And also the promo for Mean Guns:

http://vimeo.com/9940175

If you want either one of these, you can write to:

curnanpictures@gmail.com

Nemesis 2.0 is said to be released in late January.


Leonard Cohen -Live in London 2008- released in 2009


LIVE IN LONDON -Directed and produced by Edward Sanders
(RECORDED ON JULY 17, 2008)

I am not sure when exactly I became  a real fan of Leonard Cohen, must have been around 2002, 2003, cannot say the exact date. Somehow I got interested in him, maybe with the help of some movies, like Natural Born Killers and Pump up the Volume , in which a song or two of his are featured in. His deep, smokey voice is just as easy to recognize as , let`s say Johnny Cash. It had me captured, each time I would stumble across one of these songs. I even read one of his novels-Beautiful Losers. Which was a very interesting read.

I then began buying his back catalogue, one by one. The record “Ten new songs” played every day in my household for several weeks, if not more.

I was so happy, when the 2008 Tour came to Hamburg, Germany. I paid 65 Euros,which wasn`t even near the most expensive tickets, and was rewarded with a 3 hour show, that I will never, ever forget. Just a few days later I found a bootleg of exceptional quality online, which enables me to relive that concert time and again. For a man his age, he put on an exceptional performance, his voice sounded better than it ever did. That man is like whine, getting better with age.Well over 70, and he blew me away. While the London concert is pretty similar in quality to that in Hamburg, I detected a bit more power in his songs he sang in Hamburg. But hey, I have that bootleg! The DVD is a must-have for fans, a great, great piece of history. The double CD however doesn`t contain all songs, for that, you would`ve needed a third CD, since his concerts were always close to 3 hours. Sharing the stage with him are a few of the best musicians alive today.

This man is a wellknown and celebrated poet , songwriter and musician, but to see him live you had to catch him on one of his rare tours. In 1994 , Cohen retreated to a zen center in Los Angeles, til early 1999.

After that, he slowly began working on new poems and music.

from Wikipedia:

2005 bankruptcy

On 8 October 2005, Cohen alleged that his longtime former manager, Kelley Lynch, misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen’s retirement fund leaving only $150,000.[29][30] Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates.[29] These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline “Devastated!” in Canada’s Maclean’s magazine.[30] In March 2006, Cohen won the civil suit and was awarded US $9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records.[31] As a result it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the awarded amount.[32] In 2007, US. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock dismissed a claim by Cohen for more than US $4.5 million against Colorado investment firm Agile Group, and in 2008 he dismissed a defamation suit that Agile Group filed against Cohen.[33] Cohen has been under new management since April 2005.

Ain`t life a bitch? LOL, no…in this case it was the manager, things like that make me shake my head. But sadly, there are people like that.

He went on a world tour in 2008, which lasted well into 2010. Im sure, his retirement fund is back to old numbers. That betrayal of the lawyer was a blessing for fans all over the world. Life is stranger than fiction-there you go again.

The Songs:

1. Dance Me To The End Of Love
2. The Future
3. Ain’t No Cure For Love
4. Bird On The Wire
5. Everybody Knows
6. In My Secret Life
7. Who By Fire
8. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
9. Anthem
10. Introduction
11. Tower Of Song
12. Suzanne
13. The Gypsy’s Wife
14. Boogie Street
15. Hallelujah
16. Democracy
17. I’m Your Man
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)
19. Take This Waltz
20. So Long, Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan
22. Sisters Of Mercy
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Closing Time
25 I Tried To Leave You
26. Whither Thou Goest

Songs 1-13 are on the first CD and songs 14-26 on the second. The Live DVD has all 26 songs.

The concert was recorded at O2 in London on July 17, 2008.

Directed and produced by Edward Sanders, released by Sony Music. Aspect ratio of the DVD 1.33:1, digital sound 5.1 and stereo, run time 159 minutes. Extras: song lyrics.

Musicians:

Leonard Cohen, lead vocal, guitar and keyboard
Roscoe Beck, musical director, electric bass, stand-up bass, background vocal
Rafael Bernardo Gayol, drums and percussion
Neil Larsen, keyboards
Javier Mas, banduria, laud, archilaud, and 12-string guitar
Bob Metzger, lead guitar, pedal steel guitar
Sharon Robinson, background vocals
Dino Soldo, wind instruments, harmonica, keyboard, and background vocals
Charley Webb, background vocals and guitar
Hattie Webb, background vocals and harp

Product Details- from amazon

  • Actors: Leonard Cohen
  • Directors: Edward Sanders
  • Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
  • Language: Unknown (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 159 minutes

Happy Holidays to you all!!!!


Here is me, hoping you have a bashing, crashing good time over the weekend!!

Thanks to all who came here and read my stuff. I enjoy every comment and the people I meet through this little site.

I hope to continue writing about stuff you find interesting or funny or mindboggling!


Serenity (2005) plus Firefly TV


Created by Joss Whedon (movie directed by Joss Whedon)

In the future, a spaceship called Serenity is harboring a passenger with a deadly secret. Six rebels on the run. An assassin in pursuit. When the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an awesome action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime who will destroy anything – or anyone – to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space.

For the last two days I have watched the entire 14 episodes of FIREFLY.

And i wish I had done so earlier…such a great show. A great bunch of interesting characters, humor and action, heartfelt moments and finally a rougher looking future world. The central planets are run by the Alliance, whereas the outer planets and moons are less developed and resemble the wild west to a certain degree. How I hate that clean and  self-righteous, hyperbolic , boring world of Star Trek. In Firefly, we finally have something again, that someone called “the used feature”. Like in the first Star Wars movies…used, beat up spaceships, machines  and clothes. Star Trek is clean..all the time…it feels like Steve Jobs came in and designed the whole sets, ewww. No, thank you! And that`s my biggest issue with the new Star Wars movies…they look like Star Trek on steroids!!!! Come on, that`s disgusting.

Firefly could have run 3 seasons easy. Maybe even more. The Captain of the Firefly(Nathan Fillion) reminded me somewhat of Han Solo. Another thing, that never happened-Han Solo movies. Instead we got two movies starring Ewoks,lol. The captain fought with the rebel forces against the Alliance and they lost. After that, he bought a small transporter, hired his female army buddy Zoe and the rest of the crew, a procedure, that gets shown in backflashes in the tv episodes. With more or less illegal jobs , they try to survive and evade the Alliance where possible. Another threat are the Reavers, mutants from the outskirts of the star system, who you could describe as fairly intelligent cannibal zombies….something like that. The pilot Wash is married to Zoe. Jayne is a  huge guy, simple minded, but a good shot- leaning towards treason once in a while. Then there is Inara, a beautiful “Companion”, a prostitute, but a classy one, she rented one of the two shuttles the Serenity carries, to receive her customers. The captain has a thing for her, but keeps his true feelings in check, for a looong time. Also we have a sort of priest, Shepherd Book, an older gentleman with a secret or two.The beautiful ship mechanic, Kaylee. Lastly, there are the siblings River and Simon. He rescued his sister from an  Alliance -run facility that ran experiments on River…something that proves to be a major part of the story. Her true potential is revealed in the movie..again, it all would have developed much more elegant, had the tv show run its normal , several seasons worth course. There are a lot of details, forgive me when I don`t mention them all. Just read up on it, wikipedia is a good source , if you wanna go in with a bit of background info. I just say..the swearing in chinese is due to the background of the US and China joining forces , as the two remaining superpowers on earth…which now is called “the earth that was”. It got too polluted and overpopulated in the end, so they ventured out into space and terraformed a new bunch of planets..the world Firefly here plays in.

Going in, I knew I enjoyed Serenity -the movie, very much. But what was lacking then, when I saw it on the big screen , was the background that the TV series provides. And I never saw it til now. I don`t even remember it airing on german TV, and it didn`t, until September 12, 2009, when RTL 2 started airing  all 14 episodes .  That`s well 7 years after it aired on US -TV..damn. That`s 4 years after the DVD release in Germany, as well.

What the F…? And RTL 2 isn`t exactly the greatest channel there is. More like the leftover-channel.

The early demise of Firefly is a brilliant case of Studio-execs panicking very early , over not as great as expected ratings. Despite the fact, that it was easily better than Star Trek. But Star Trek  already had a big fan-base. And while Star Trek TNG wasn`t doing well in the beginning, they didn`t cancel that, noooo.

They didn`t even air all 14 episodes, just 11.( 10, if the pilot isnt counted as two) That must`ve been some panic, dudes. So glad, I`m not a studio exec with a heart condition,lol.

I am not sure, what else showed on TV at that time, but Joss Whedon already had not one, but two hit shows with Buffy and Angel. Both I did enjoy, to a certain degree. But compared to Firefly? I´d so ditch them both for that!!!

Surprising, that Joss Whedon didn`t have more say in this, after all, he already created 2 cash cows for the network. But I guess, who`s got  the money , makes the call. Sad for us fans. And part of what`s wrong with Hollywood.

That early kill left the fans with an unfinished  show that had great potential.

2 years later, thanks to fan pressure(spell: DVD sales) a Firefly movie got greenlit for the big screen. Not really a financial success either, but it kinda gave the fans closure, or did it?

The movie starts about 6 months after the end of the last tv episode.

I wont spoil the movie for you, in case you are new to the world of Firefly.

The movie is basically the material ( I guess) that was meant to slowly evolve in a few seasons of  TV. Now we are served a buttload of storyline in a compressed form. Which makes for a lot of action

( considerably more violent) and twists and turns every ten minutes. This was enough material for four or five movies.

For somebody who knows the TV show, it`s quite an onslaught. The slow building of a story arc in the TV series gets the fast-forward treatment without giving you time to breathe. Which suffocates the nuances and atmosphere of the whole concept. Which also highlights the difference between TV and the cinema. It`s two worlds, that don`t really lie on the same wave length.

A slowly developing story arc cannot be transferred onto the cinema screen, unless you have 3 three-hour movies like LOTR.  That reminds me of the X-Files movies, which despite the fact that I like them, don`t belong on the big screen. The X-Files had the advantage of several seasons of TV, but still.

And since the masses seem to prefer the clinical world of Star Trek over something as great as Firefly, we are stuck with just that, a condensed version of the Firefly world, that with a bit less panic could have been the greatest Sci-Fi show of the early new Millennium.

The movie is top notch, since the stars aren`t Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I guess the budget was spend  on the look and FX. It reminded me of several great Sci-Fi movies during its 2 hour running time, not whole concepts, not really stealing, its just so full of stuff… I love the Firefly universe, and if you haven`t already…check out the great world of Firefly!!! If this would have gotten the several season treatment, it would have been better, but still…

You have earned yourself one more big FLAN (Firefly fan), Joss Whedon.


PROMETHEUS teaser Trailer….looks hellacool!


Damn, I have to say that looks awesome!!!  Glad it`s  Ridley Scott and not some other douchebag making this.


unexpected early X-mas present!


I just went to a church , where I used to work in 2008, to get my x-mas package I got for the last few years, as I am pretty broke and unemployed (though I was doing an education for the last 2 years, so I am not a lazy bastard). But times are tough and since I have that connection, I get my extra share of social benefit. Its a nice package full of food, surely appreciated , as this month was filled with unexpected  expenses.

But its also a place that sells books for cheap, and DVDs and VHS, when they are donated.

My eyes fell on a DVD boxset of STAR WARS from 2004. Thanks to the connections I have, plus them knowing I am broke all the time,I got it for a small donation. I never owned Star Wars on DVD, mostly cuz I didnt like the alterations they did. But for almost nothing, I am happy to grab`em.

The box is a little banged up, as it`s only cardboard, but the DVDs and the inner case is totally ok. It is the american boxset, RC 1, but thats no problem , really.

Now my fridge is stacked and I guess I will watch me some Star Wars the coming days.


sharing this, just because….


I love this pic , featuring Lance Henriksen, John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat together in one shot. More awesome stuff with Lance can be found here:

http://fuckyeahlancehenriksen.tumblr.com/

a great site dedicated to Lance Henriksen!!!


Oblivion 2: Backlash (1996)


That cover is a bit misleading, but that wouldn`t be a first, would it?

Starring: Richard Joseph Paul, Musetta Vander, Maxwell Caulfield, Julie Newmar, Jackie Swanson, Andrew Divoff, Meg Foster, Isaac Hayes, George Takei,  Carel Struycken, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Irwin Keyes, Jeff Celentano and Maxwell Caulfield as Sweeny.

Directed by Sam Irwin

Well, after I enjoyed the first one so much, it didn`t take me long to seek out this one, too. Everybody from the first one is back, even Andrew Divoff, who now plays Red Eye`s brother. The first 5 or so minutes are a rundown of the first film, which felt a bit unnecessary. Felt a bit like a move, I am familiar with from Albert Pyun. only he does it even more annoyingly.

This time, there is no real baddy here, but a bounty hunter, who is after a high-profile spy and terrorist, who sabotaged the business of Galacty-Corp(excuse me , if  I  spelled that wrong). As later revealed, that person had a good reason to do so….

Sweeney, a legendary bounty hunter, is the only real new  addition to the cast.

But more about him later.

We get introduced to the overall situation, the characters are finding them in, after the threat of Red Eye has been removed in the first film.

Marshal Zack is still trying to get closer to his love interest, Lash is still up to no good…well, we spend  some time here to set up the stage for the next menace , Oblivion has to face.

This time, it is the bounty hunter Sweeney, a legend, as is revealed..a man you should fear, at least as a fugitive.

This time,if you have seen the first one, you know the characters and if you liked the first one, you are probably happy there is a second one.

It may not be as good as the first, as a few jokes are rehashed, but recognition must not always be a bad thing…

Lash ends up the target of the bounty hunter, but Zack finds out that she is innocent and tries to protect her from Sweeney, even if he is aware that Lash is no angel. The law is there for everyone, even for evil dominatrixes as her.

Lash has a great scene, pretty much at the beginning, and if I had any doubts about the second Ovlivion movie,here  it went right outta the window .

It is about a treasure map, which is kinda encrypted, you must suck it or jerk it , in order to be able to read it….yeah…:)

With the second one, the genre mix didn`t really matter so much to me anymore, it`s a comedy. Again with  great lines and jokes, that make me forgive eventual shortcomings. Must it always be perfect? I say, no! Sometimes, the overall charme of it makes you forgiving. The best stuff comes in the second half, when all the story build up is done and the story moves towards conclusion. Not without a few nice FX and a giant tortoise monster…but I cannot spoil it all… These two movies really charmed  me, and I really could put up with  a third one, but that never happend.

I could write much more, go into detail..I could. But I am quite impatient, even with my reviews. Maybe I should do less and make  em longer…we`ll see…

Both movies are made in Romania, which is interesting, as not much studios went there in the nineties. Now it is common practice to shoot in Romania or Bulgaria, even high profile movies like THE EXPENDABLES 2 can`t help but cheapen the production this way. The US should really think about tax breaks for their movies, I am tired of seeing eastern europes ugliest places in action movies, old Dacia cars and russian hitmen. Romania has more to offer, which didn`t go unnoticed, either, but the beautiful parts of that country are reserved for epic  dark ages movies. I`ve been to Romania eleven times from 1991-2008, I know my way around there. But even with that background I am tired of Segal, Van Damme and Lundgren, running around in the ugly parts of the country. Kinda gives a very one-sided view of that area of the world.

Luckily, here we have studio settings,it doesn`t play on the streets of Bucharest, although  we get some of the romanian mountain  outdoor scenery, if only a little.

But I am sure the same thing applies to my perception of the USA. Some things they just don`t show you, it is all wrapped in cliches at the end of the day.

Before you haven`t been there yourself, you don`t know shit…

Ok, so where was I? I liked the second one…I am sure I will pop those movies into my player in the future again, and try to make my friends see them, too.

Full Moon Entertainment was responsible for these movies, and I know another series of movies, I enjoyed made by them, which would be Subspecies…I never have seen any of the Trancer movies, but maybe I close that gap shortly…


Oblivion (1994)


Directed by Sam Irvin ( Genre: Sci-Fi Western)

Actors: Richard Joseph Paul, Jackie Swanson, Andrew Divoff, Isaac Hayes, Julie Newmar
Director: Sam Irvin
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011, of course ..just shortly before the new Cowboy &Aliens..haha…
Run Time: 94 minutes

I found another gem in the overly populated world of movies.

It is so hard to choose these days, when you basically can get your hands on any movie out there. The times , when your selection was based on the offerings of your local video store, are long over. I really have to search long and hard, reading blogs and forums, to stumble on movies I haven`t seen yet and look like they`re worth checking out. Everybody has their favourite genres and actors, which can lead to not seeing or dismissing  a lot of worthwhile films.  In the end , it may just be the fact that there are much more movies out there, than you could ever, ever see. That`s why I am happy, each time I come across a movie I should`ve seen ages ago. I remember the cover of this movie, my favourite video store actually had it in its selection, but I never grabbed it.

Now I came across it again, and this time I decided to give it a chance.

It features a few well-known b-movie actors and actresses, like Andrew Divoff and Meg  Foster( Terminator on tv right now in the background..yeahh Lance..lol).

Plot: Hmmm, yeah there is one,

first, it doesn`t take place on earth, judging from one shot into the night skye…even if it says  on the cover” In the year 3013, its Cowboys & Aliens”. I dunno..who cares….

a small western town gets terrorized by RED EYE and his henchmen. The sheriff dies in a confrontation with Red Eye, leaving the town without a protector.

The sheriff`s son Zack is a pacifist and doesn`t even live in Oblivion.

Unwilling to engage the evil-doers, he eventually must return to save Oblivion from Red Eye and his gang.

During the course of the movie he befriends a sort of Indian with a metal headband , the cyborg deputy(Meg Foster) and several other colorful characters, including George Takei as  Doc Valentine. Noteworthy as well is Gaunt, the undertaker, who just happens to know when and where the next death will ocurr ( Carel Struycken).

Man, I had fun with this one! The melting of the western and sci-fi genre really works well here. It allows for cyborgs and monsters in a world of cowboys, a pretty neat mix, even if I wasn`t overly impressed with Hollywood`s latest attempt on that. Further, it is sooo funny. The in-jokes and one-liners are priceless. Some of it was improvised, but the screenplay writer Peter David did a good job, as did the actors. They must`ve had a lot of fun on the set, or so I hope. The FX are cheap, but work well , just like the costumes. You could tell there wasn`t much money to work with, but they  made the best of it. Also, all the small details…they have ATMs, outdoor ceiling fans,and much more, its  a collection of WTF moments of the best kind. Really hard to describe , how rich this movie is. Go see it, I assure you, you won`t be  dissapointed, if you happen to like inspired fantasy b-movies, and can handle a belly hurting from laughing.

There even is a second part, made in 1996, which I yet have to see.

Actually , it ends with a “to be continued…..”, even if the story itself is pretty much resolved.

I have read a few other reviews, some love it, some hate it…I for one love it.

The fact that this is more a comedy than anything else might turn off some people, who would like it to be more serious.

Judge for yourself and let me know…..