Movie Recommendations and Discussion

I think it would have been better with a lower budget and a cheesier look/feel. Put the budget effort into the war rigs and skip all the sweeping vista stuff. Even if the CGI had been great, it just doesn’t fit with the MM world, IMO.

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As foretold, I watched Warrioress (2013).

I don’t think any of the people on the poster are in the film. But… the fighting is incredible. The star / co-writer / co-scorer / co-vocalist (!) Cecily Fay is some kind of superdervish of handspringing roundhousing. I can’t describe what it looks like better than this other person did on IMDB: “She moves gracefully and powerfully with absolutely no wires or CGI, scampering from one killing to another like a human black widow.”

You see a pile of clearly directed feats of combat and gymnastics. From an average 3 rating on IMDB I was not expecting this by any stretch.

This fighting is in the context of a shot on video movie which otherwise has almost no budget. There’s hoke, vagueness (I missed what her quest was originally about), silly scenes with a villain who never arrives. Video just multiplies all weaknesses, especially performance. I mean this is directed pretty well, aesthetically, and hits a few classic sword and sorcery beats, but it’s a poorly developed script. It drops about five balls at once when it ends.

All I was expecting was a movie based on grammatical abuse and instead I got a surprise. It was obviously a feat to make and I’m moved by filmmaking feats, but the 3/10 IMDB rating shows that the audience that can suspend disbelief for production values at this level is tiny.

Warrioress Trailer:

Summary

Includes fighting, stabbing, a sex scene/nudity, someone saying ‘A dark empire is rising’ at the same time as those words appear on the screen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kO-718et1M

-Wade

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As foretold, I watched Warrioress (2013).

I assume “Warioress” with just one ‘r’ is a female version of Wario.

(I guess there are still two 'r’s but you get my point).

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That would be an exciting naming scheme for Nintendo! Based on precedent, they’re more likely to go Warioette.

-Wade

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I recently watched “Late Night with the Devil”. Very cool horror if You are OK with slow development of action.

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Have you seen Pig, though? I think it’s great! The premise is clearly intentionally silly (pig lost, go get pig), but the movie does a 180 on you by seemingly taking itself seriously, with a gritty insider look into the big city underworld, and inserting actually good character drama. I enjoyed it a lot. Speaking of Nic Cage, I think Vampire’s Kiss is so much silly fun and should be watched by everyone.

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Ugh, I made a mistake today. Continuing my sword and sorcery Tubi jag, I watched Ator The Fighting Eagle (1982). It’s a really dull, Italian Conan knockoff, and it took me an hour to realise I’d already seen it. I should have checked my IMDB history first.

-Wade

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Strange. Italian knockoffs are usually anything but dull. They are many things but not dull.

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Italian cinema is my favourite overall, and a large portion of that is 80s knockoffs of overseas successes. The Conan knockoffs, the Dawn of the Dead knockoffs. A lot have their charms, but I think as many came out flat because they were soulless or brainless copies. Or maybe it’s just Joe D’Amato’s films, like Ator… the only film of his I like is Anthropophagus.

Ator is definitely a brainless copy of each major beat of Conan. They have a Spider cult instead of a Snake cult. They have a tomb where Ator gets his weapon, but it’s super cheap. They have the wise teacher but he has no charisma. They have the seductive witch scene, etc etc. The cinematography is bleachy and overlit. Visual direction really uninspired. Combat ponderous. Dialogue dumb. There’s not much characterisation and as little reason.

The outro song is a pastiche of then-popular For Your Eyes Only from the James Bond film. And when two important characters die, they just use the ‘Luke’s parents just died’ cues from Star Wars. I mean they reorchestrate them, note for note!

They definitely don’t make 'em like Ator anymore.

-Wade

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Have you seen Italian Spider-Man??? Watch it if you haven’t! It’s a crazy flic, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

The Italian produced but English language predator knockoff is also worth a watch. Reb Brown really knocks it out of the park with his action hero scream!

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Thanks, I’ll add it to the list!

-Wade

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For anyone who likes D&D type fantasy, 1980’s Hawk the Slayer is one of my all-time favorites. It’s got decent story, catchy music, interesting characters, and Jack Palance.

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On Tubi, I revisited The Sword And The Sorcerer (1982). Wow, I haven’t seen this in probably 35 years. It had a big effect on me as a kid. I remember this monster sorcerer making people bleed from the eyes and mouth, or making them explode, and people squirming with spikes driven through them and such.

My memories were all correct. The sorcerer is still a scary figure, rising out of ichor with effective lizard-like makeup and yucky powers.

This is in the upper production echelon of films in the wake of Conan. They skip some major battles at the start that you feel you maybe should have seen, but otherwise it’s got moody cinematography, solid and effective sets, quality gore and two affecting villains, the monster sorcerer, and Richard Lynch as the human usurper king. And a plot that I couldn’t follow as a kid.

The hero played by Lee Horsley is a brawler, but also a smartarse like Chris Pine plays in the recent D+D film. Somehow he doesn’t have the presence needed, even though the other characters in the film are constantly building him up by yelling about how they owe him for great deeds not seen in this film.

S+S is a strange brew of smartarsery, derring do and medieval ugliness. Random peasant death, torture, people killing themselves to avoid torture, crucifixions, threat of crucifixion, and you wouldn’t want to be a woman here… Apparently the film was a big commercial success.

-Wade

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I recently watched it too. It’s easy to digest. Campy. Fun. I thought Bull from Night Court did a great job. Good makeup on him, almost “Tim Curry from Legend” quality. I even found a copy of it at the local thrift store.

Still on the lookout for Krull though. That cyclops’ makeup was damn near perfect.

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Oh, I am a total!.. Krullmonger. Krullian. Krullite? I don’t know what the word should be since Krull’s a clunky word to start with. But it’s one of my favourite films.

I’ve got a framed poster. The card game from back in the day. A great Blu-ray. The Marvel Comics adaptation (it’s prosaic). A lobby card with Lysette Anthony’s autograph. I’ve played the coin-op game and the computer games. I’ve researched the pinball machine and the Krull wedding promotion:

“On a hot summer day in 1983, a dozen couples gathered in a soundstage in Burbank to take part in a group wedding. One after another, they walked past a pair of futuristic soldiers in fanciful armor, down a red carpet flanked by strangers in folding chairs, and up to an altar made of faux stone. These were the lucky winners of a national contest sponsored by Columbia Pictures. They had penned the winning statements describing, as the studio’s press release states, “why their ‘Fantasy Come True’ would be to have a ‘Krull’ wedding in Hollywood.”

Here’s the completely withering article describing this and various other promotional strategies executed or suggested for Krull. We can thank the studio’s mistaken belief the film was going to make tens of millions for the volume of tie-ins that were created that we can enjoy today.

Here’s a bit of the 1983 pamphlet tellling you why you should install a Krull coin-op in your arcade:

-Wade

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That’s awesome, man! I just remember being in awe of Krull. It’s been so long since I’ve seen it, but I remember the truly amazing sets they had. Fantastic designs.

I don’t know if you like the old fantasy animated movies, but there was a movie called The Spine of Night that I watched a couple of years ago that was a pretty good homage to the 70s rotoscoping style. It has a pretty original story. Plus, it has Xena Warrior Princess in it so can you really go wrong?

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I do, and this looks like a good halfway point between rotoscoping and the current computer media that pretends to be paint & lines.

-Wade

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He’s also in The Dungeonmaster from 1984. I saw it in the theater.

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Krull is great. I remember playing the arcade game. I wonder how many people who watched Ready Player One didn’t recognize the Glaive.

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I just filled in another gap from childhood.

When I was about seven, video recorders were pretty new and video rental stores were brand new. Before VHS won the format war, half the rental shop had films in the Betamax format and half had them the VHS. The film Laserblast was only in the Betamax half of our local shop. The cover was hectic and I pined to see it.

Laserblast

Now it’s forty plus years later and I finally saw it on Tubi.

Laserblast is weird and pretty bad. An outsider-ish kid (read: someone older than eighteen playing a kid) finds a laser gun left in the desert by stupid aliens, who shot its previous owner in the opening scenes.

The kid becomes possessed by the gun. It make his face ugly and green and weird, and his demeanour destructive, and he then has to lope around with his shirt permanently open so we can all see an alien necklace dangling on his chest.

He uses the laser gun to take revenge on local idiots, usually by blowing up their cars, but also he just goes around torching random stuff. From phone booths to mailboxes, all must feel the wrath of his slowmo exploding inferno-maker.

I believe IMDB when it says this made a lot of money. It came right after Star Wars and people were hot for material they hoped would be similar. Presumably they found this did not cut the mustard, hence the 2.8 out of 10 average rating. 2.8!!!

This film has a shot in it in which the hero/villain laserblasts a road sign proclaiming that Star Wars is coming soon. I assumed the purpose of this would be so they could put this shot in the trailer with a voiceover saying, ‘If Star Wars blew you away, get ready for… Laserblast!’ But they didn’t. Weird…

The lead is unappealing before his transformations, and obviously, unappealing after, too. The end of the film is a total downer. Read this if you’re never going to watch this: The aliens just come back to Earth and raygun the kid. His girlfriend holds his corpse. The end.

People seem to really hate Laserblast. I can see why. Yet I found enough here to go 4/10.

-Wade

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