Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quick Movie Review: Vol 24 (Special B-Grade Trash Edition)


It’s funny how I started this blog with the intention of reviewing really old genre based movies, but it turned into just general movies. While I’m not upset at that fact; because let’s face it a lot of those old genre movies are god awful; I do feel the need to get back in touch with what started me down this blogging road.

Thankfully I was afforded an opportunity recently to go to a midnight movie like showing of some classic b-grade trash. While they were both bad, I still had fun laughing along with the audience, and I guess that’s the most I could have really hoped for. I’ve decided to honour this night with a very special Quick Movie Review Volume (I’m so excited).

Starcrash (1978)

“I only have logic and emotion circuits. No room for craziness.”

An Italian movie trying to cash in of Star Wars, it shamelessly gets to the ripping off right from the first scene. Among a under a Space Ship opening shot, and text crawl, we also get a similar climatic battle against the enemies base and a light sabre like technology. Actually I could probably put together several pages of similarities but then what the fun in that.

I don’t think I have to tell you the horror that is the acting in this movie with the main actor Caroline Munro (Stella Star in the movie) needing to do nothing more than look pretty and smile. In fact she has the disturbing habit of smiling at the worst news. But talking about Munro isn’t doing justice to the very young David Hasselhoff showing up. Yes the Hoff is there to not really do much other than force a stagnant friendship. But the highlight of the movie is the awesome robot Elle, as voiced by Hamilton Camp. He plays the robot with a southern drawl that is just a hoot and a half.

Other than that, the plot is ridiculous, the pacing choppy with character developments that are just ridiculous, and the special effect are kind of laughable considering this was made after Star Wars. But honestly you don’t come to this type of movie to watch a classic, instead you come to laugh, and there is the right amount of cheese to be able to enjoy this, as long as you have a few good friends to laugh at the movie with.

Hands of Steel (1986)

Like a lot of the movies of the 80’s, Hands of Steel as most of the goofy cheese at the end, which doesn’t help the audience member as they have to put up with the robotic acting of Daniel Greene. There is still some stuff to enjoy in this movie but unlike Starcrash I wouldn’t call this a laugh riot.

Basically this movie tries to hook the audience in with the thinnest of connection to the Terminator. Paco (Greene) is a cyborg killer who is sent by the evil Francis Turner (John Saxon) to kill a scientist for some reason or other. I say some reason because the movie doesn’t really care about the plot; it’s more interested in having a cyborg arm wrestle. I’m not sure how it fits, or what coked up movie exec thought arm wrestling was the way to go, but the movie has two ‘action’ set pieces that revolve around that most noblest of sports.

Now I’ll give Green one thing, he looks the part of a stoned cold killer cyborg, shame his acting is beyond wooden. It’s hard to describe how bad it is, but the man no only doesn’t have charisma but manages to suck other people’s charisma into the void. Thank goodness John Saxon is there to evil it up even if he’s not in the movie much.

One thing I was impressed with was the helicopter action scenes in the late part of the movie. Sometimes old movies just had a way of disregarding safety in order to get great shots; this kind of reckless abandonment is not seen these days. Unfortunately despite the end I was more bored with this movie than Starcrash, even the audience I was with was fading fast. Still if you’re an 80’s killer robot movie lover then this certainly isn’t the worst movie out there.

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