Like every studio, Moonbeam and Charles Band were seeking their fortune with their own version of “Home Alone” that would bring in the big bucks. With sub-par efforts like “Remote,” there was also the “Prehysteria!” movies which always featured the owners of a foursome of miniature dinosaurs battling evil grown ups of some kind. Set immediately after the original, the foursome of dinosaurs now live with their new family The Taylors in the green house. Seeking to have their chance to feast on the family’s large crop of raisins, they’re accidentally scooped in to a large crate and sent off for shipping by local farmers. Luckily, they’re discovered by bratty but lonely rich boy Brendan, who befriends the miniature dinosaurs, and tries to keep them a secret from his mean house keeper Miss Whitney.
“Whoa! You’re beach babes from beyond.”
“You bet your ass, man.”
I’m a big fan of David DeCoteau’s early work with Charles Band and Full Moon, but with “Beach Babes from Beyond,” I might have finally found something of his I really dislike. It’s a nineties softcore skin flick (from Band’s softcore label Torchlight Entertainment) that feels like an eighties science fiction comedy. And when I say that it’s softcore, I mean soft. The sex scenes don’t really look like two people have sex so much as they resemble two naked people trying to climb over one another to get in to bed. Not that it matters, since there are only about three sex scenes and they’re not the highlight of the movie, mysteriously.
Watching “Josh Kirby” is like watching a lost series from the Action Pack stunt from television in 1995, where you almost expect it to air alongside “Hercules.” in truth, the series of six films unfolds like one short kids television adventure series, and even for a movie aimed at kids, it’s hard to catch up. There’s so much about this universe, that the movie opens with a five minute montage of scenes from the movie that’s somehow meant to keep us up to speed with what we haven’t seen yet. Really, it feels like filler and an odd place to place such a device when it’d be suited more appropriately for the second part of the film series.
Scream Factory offers movie fans a double feature on Blu-Ray with the theme of Asian culture driving the plots for both films. For folks that love Asian films, these two films offer up a helping of Asian genre entertainment with slight twists to them. The first feature is 1982’s “The House Where Evil Dwells,” a supernatural thriller that is basically “Amityville Horror” with a Japanese twist. It’s also just as goofy as the former ghost film. The Fletchers have migrated from the US to Japan in hopes of taking a long needed vacation. Writer Ted is intent on finishing his novel and is anxious to relax. The trio along with Ted’s friend Alex ends up at a small house in the woods of Kyoto where they’re told by Alex’s friend that the house’s rent is cheap due to suspected ghosts.
It’s not many movies with the alternate title of “Spy High” that doesn’t feature much spying. Of course, if you’re interested in a spy movie where the trio of heroes do nothing but sit at a computer typing over and over, then you’re going to love what “Task Force 2001” has in store for you. And just for your information, the trio of aspiring spies has a sidekick dog named Rocky that does most of the work. Because of Ethan Hunt really lacked a sidekick with fur and a tail. Of course! “Task Force 2001” has a great concept and some interesting ideas, but really none of the budget to commit to unfolding the intended action scenes.
It’s mostly known as “Ghost Warrior,” but I think I prefer the alternate title “Swordkill.” While “Ghost Warrior” is given an insightful and meaningful definition during the narrative, “Swordkill” just makes the movie sound cheap and silly. I’d love to know who thought the title “Swordkill” was a proper summary of what is a dramatic fish out of water film. J. Larry Carroll’s “Ghost Warrior” is a surprisingly straight faced tale of a warrior placed out of his time, who finds that living in mid eighties Los Angeles kind of sucks. The movie is admittedly thin on narrative, but works for the most part as a series of unfortunate events Yoshimitsu experiences. Life sure does suck for the master samurai.
Scream Factory continues to deliver for fans of the Empire Pictures and Charles Band era, with a double feature Blu-Ray set featuring two of their most entertaining titles from their heyday. While I’d be hard pressed to call these films masterpieces, they’re nonetheless entertaining and novel genre films that attempt to market on a particular trend. Charles Band was always savvy about aspiring to make films for his company that touched on current cinematic trends and the double feature here from Scream! Factory covers the gamut of pop culture trends quite well.
Yet another iteration of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” this time around Antony Anderson focuses on what happens when an out of time teen is set to become the king in place of King Arthur. Jason McSkimming gives a tolerable performance as young Zack, a teen who is angry about moving away from his home and longs to be a part of medieval times where honor and evil were easy to tell apart. Or some nonsense like that, I was never sure what he was rambling about. Zack is so anxious to go back in time he wills it thanks to the magic of the evil Morgause.