Fine, Nikki Leigh. I’ll marry you. You don’t have to seduce me with your eyes. Surely, no one can replace Mistress Elvira, but Full Moon Grindhouse puts up a good argument for it, by bringing along Playboy Playmate Nikki Leigh to host their newest compilation. Now available for fans of Grindhouse and exploitation cinema, “Blood of 1,000 Virgins” is a fun and hilarious trailer compilation of some of the most iconic and dumbest films ever made. And they’re all about virgins, losing your virginity, and rape.
I’m not sure why, but “Ooga Booga” is apparently in the same universe as “Zombies vs. Strippers.” Not only is the strip club mentioned in passing, but Charles Band shoe horns the woefully unfunny and poorly created recurring character Hambo, a dysfunctional children’s show host in to the movie for reasons I can’t possibly fathom. Perhaps these last two films have been produced by the same person who feels the need to jump start their own Hambo movie somewhere in the future, I can only imagine. This isn’t the first time Charles Band has indicated these movies are all in the same universe, but I’m shocked that Band and Full Moon would rely on a recurring character like Hambo. I’d far more expect Full Moon to create a more enigmatic and interesting character to appear in their films to bridge stories from time to time than a perverted clown with a pig nose who hosts a kids’ show. But lo and behold, that’s what “Ooga Booga” feeds us.
Charles Band’s “Arena” is a blast. And for a movie with such a small budget that is dated beyond belief, that’s quite an endorsement. There’s something about the imagination and creativity behind “Arena” that makes it such a treat to sit through. It’s such a simple and straight forward science fiction action film that it doesn’t even try for anything complicated or adult. If there’s ever a film that could use the remake treatment and become a fantastic action genre picture it’s this 1989 film from director Charles Band that sets down on an intergalactic wasteland where aliens do battle in a ring for sport and money amidst crowds of onlookers and fanatics.
I’m yelling! I’m yelling very loudly and at the same time as everyone else thus creating the facade that there is conflict in a boring movie! I am angry for some reason! I am lost in a labyrinth of an abandoned insane asylum and am yelling louder for some reason! Watch me yell some more proving there is conflict where there is none! Loud noises! My temper is inexplicably short! It is very scary when people are lost in dark halls for almost eighty minutes only to hear the occasional whisper and no pay off!
“Toulon’s Revenge” is by far the best of the “Puppet Master” movies and the peak of the series. After the third installment, the series pretty much spiraled in to abysmal depths. “Toulon’s Revenge” is a smartly crafted revenge tale that takes a step back in the mythos and discovers Toulon’s life. Where parts one and two explored the evil of the puppets and madness of Toulon, “Toulon’s Revenge” is a prequel that explores a time where Toulon was a noble genius, and his puppets an innocent group of anti-heroes. With “Toulon’s Revenge,” director David Couteau manages to comprise a strong back story for Toulon, whose entire hatred toward humanity and lunacy is given a rhyme and a reason, thanks to his battle with the Nazis, and the officer that takes the life of his wise.
For reasons I can’t possibly understand, the subtitle “His Unholy Creations” has been taken off the title for “Puppet Master II,” and now it’s just “Puppet Master II.” Which is a shame, considering “His Unholy Creations” is a fine summary of the film’s entire premise. A direct follow-up to the first film, “His Unholy Creations” is a notch above the first film with a better story, thicker tension, and much more interesting grue. The characters of Toulon’s puppets are also given a clearer definition and motive. As well, they’re given a larger screen time, allowing them to wreak pure havoc on all kinds of hapless humans and really causing intense pain.
For once, a new “Puppet Master” movie has a plot all on its own and offers little to no clips from the previous films as filler. I was certain there’d be a segue in to a clip show, but thankfully “Axis Rising” presents something of a plot and events. As well as mythos evolution. Taking place directly after “Axis of Evil,” the villainous Ozu is caught by the Nazis and killed once her puppets are discovered in her bag. Poor Tunneler is caught by the Nazis after he murders one of the officers, and hoping to figure out Toulon’s formula, they bring him to master scientist Freuhoffer, who hopes to use the formula for his own benefit. Evil Nazi officer Moebius plans to turn rebels in to his own army of puppet soldiers, but is finding little success with gory results. With Tunneler dissected and the scientist learning the secrets, the Nazi’s just may be able to form their own army of deadly puppets.
In 1988, Empire Pictures sought to create an anthology of films that would act as sequels to their big hits. There was a planned “Trancers 1.5,” a sequel to “The Dungeonmaster,” and the HP Lovecraft short film “The Evil Clergyman.” Re-uniting the legendary Jeffery Combs, and the gorgeous Barbara Crampton, the film was never released, and for many years it was thought to have been lost. After being discovered on a low quality VHS, the print of “The Evil Clergyman” was restored as best as possible by Full Moon and given a new opening title and brand new music to accompany a fairly twisted story.