“Metalstorm” is another one of the Not Brand X movies from the eighties where fans of “Mad Max” were treated to a long list of movies that desperately emulated its formula and aesthetic. If you survey most of the late seventies and eighties, you could probably build a whole sub-genre of post-apocalyptic movies that emulate “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York.” There’s a whole library from various studios who aimed to capture the same success and pop culture momentum as the aforementioned. “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn” is by no means a bad movie. It is a hokey but fun movie, though. It has all the hallmarks with films of this ilk including a desert wasteland, a hot rod driving “road warrior,” and his blonde babe.
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.
As we saw from the chronological mythology that unfolded in the first half of the “Puppet Master” series, the puppets owned by Toulon were once kind and heroic. The puppets were the products of a man kind at heart, whose own lust for vengeance and hatred for the Nazis turned him evil. And in effect, he transformed his puppets in to evil beings that did his bidding. Toulon was once a nice man, and evil transformed him in to the villain we eventually met in “Puppet Master 2.” The third film, which is my favorite by far, features the origin of the puppets and how they were just beings living and doing their own thing until they found an inherent purpose in snuffing out the ugliness in humanity.
I’m not sure I understand Charles Band’s obsession with tiny terrors, other than they’re much more cost effective to film. I’m assuming. “Dolls” is a fun precursor to the “Puppet Master” movies that mixes fantasy, comedy, and horror altogether to compose some kind of twisted meta-horror film about a little girl whose daily monsters begin turning in to actual monsters without her realization. Director Stuart Gordon’s horror fantasy moves along at a brisk pacing, making the best out of its minuscule budget, and transforming its house of dolls in to a house of terrors. Continue reading
“The Final Chapter” of the Puppet Master series isn’t the final Puppet Master movie, but it’s definitely the final installment of the true series for me. I consider the rest of the installments nothing but filler and greatest hit clip compilations. In the first two films, we watched the evil puppets and their master Toulon wreak havoc, part three was the origin of how Toulon became evil and how the puppets were once capable of good, and the final two installments are Toulon and his puppets redeeming themselves by saving the world from interdimensional demons.
Full Moon Entertainment get in to the Netflix on Demand business by building an online library of Full Moon films, and Charles Band headed films. The service is now in its infancy, and will be available to all subscribers who want nothing but Full Moon and Charles Band on their computer. Right now most of their library is comprised of rare and out of print films that Full Moon buffs might appreciate. I took in about a half hour of “Shrunken Heads” and also watched a little of “Puppet Master 5.” The viewing quality is quite good, as you’re able to vary in your picture quality from low-res right up to High Definition. Much like NetFlix, you’re able to scroll sideways through a gallery of Full Moon, and Empire pictures, with titles going as far back as “Castle Freak” to recent horror fare like “Reel Evil.”