You have to appreciate the giant balls on Gravitas Ventures and their release of (long thought lost, but now completed) 1983’s “Grizzly II: Revenge” (aka “Grizzly II: The Concert”). Not only have they centered their marketing on the fact that the movie features a very young George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern, but the aforementioned trio even get top billing in the opening (and closing) credits. As expected, the trio is in the movie, sure. But for about four minutes, tops, and then we’re thrown in to the silly narrative.
Director Jason Axinn’s animated gore fest is “Funny Games,” meets “Saw” meets Twilight Zone’s “The Masks” wrapped up in one sick sadistic mutant. It’s gory, and vicious and mean spirited and occasionally baffling, but damned if I didn’t have a good time with it. There’s just something about watching the wealthy tear each other apart that hits a nerve, and “To Your Last Death” is a movie that has fun with its own concept. Not only does Jason Axinn break the conventional narrative, but he uses it as a means of bringing the ugliest sides out of his characters.
Movies that are based on or around youtube personalities usually, for lack of a better word: suck. They’re awful, they’re terrible, and only mostly just vanity projects for the creators. So imagine what a shock it was to see “Ashens and the Polybius Heist” and find out that it’s actually quite good. I genuinely giggled during most of the film and loved how it all felt like a hilarious mutant amalgam of “Spaced,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “The Hot Rock,” in the end.
Chris De Pretis’ indie horror scifi film has its heart in the right place, but at the end of the day, I can’t say he re-invents the wheel here. I was never quite sure if “Death Blood 4” was intended as a meta-horror movie or not, as it puts up this gimmick of it being a sequel to three movies that never quite existed. It goes about this “Grindhouse” novelty until the introduction of the actual narrative where it’s played fairly straight faced and with a stern tone bereft of any notable satirical content.
If you want to know how much of a tedious experience “Giant from the Unknown” is, it clocks in at barely an hour and twenty minutes, and the monster doesn’t show up until forty minutes in (!). Before that it’s an absolute slog to sit through. When the monster is not on screen there’s the vapid romance between characters Janet (Sally Fraser is absolutely wooden) and Wayne, one of whom is always a damsel in distress. For a movie that advertises a giant, it’s disappointing when it does rear its head, as it tends to look a lot more like a muscle bound Bela Lugosi from “Son of Frankenstein.”
“Tremors” is a movie that’s well worth being restored and given the deluxe edition. It’s been one of the longest running monster movie series’ even including a short lived TV show. It’s great that Ron Underwood’s action horror movie finally gets the credit it deserves, as “Tremors” hasn’t aged much at all since 1990. And shockingly, neither has Kevin Bacon. How the hell does he do it?
When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.
It’s shocking how punk the background of The Go-Go’s is and ended up being. For a band that is known as one of the biggest pop acts of the 1980’s, their roots are deeply embedded in punk rock and heavy metal. Whether or not you think it was homogenized is up to you, but The Go-Gos have a great story, even if you were more of a Bangles or Banana Rama fan.