Savage Dog (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

In 1959 Indochina, a legend is born.  A man fights his way out of jail and to make money until he is forced to fight for revenge.  Through this, he learns a lot about himself and what he is ready to do.

Written and directed by Jesse V. Johnson, Savage Dog is a decent fight film with a bit of story created with the purpose of setting up fights for star Scott Adkins and co-star Marko Zaror.  The story is decent enough but not exactly fascinating, something that should not bother fans of fight films as this one has a few very good fights and some side ones that are also interesting.  The dialogue is decent while the setting is interesting, but not used to its full potential.  The characters are almost all created with a purpose relating to Adkins’ character, making him the center of just about everything.  The story is not bad as it develops in ways that keep the attention and introduces fights in a manner that makes sense.

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Blade of the Immortal (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A talented samurai is cursed by a witch to live forever following a battle for the ages.  Haunted by the past, he accepts to assist a young girl with her quest for revenge.  As he goes through with his mission, he discovers a few things about the world and himself.

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The Fate of the Furious (2017) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

With the death of Paul Walker and the unstoppable ego of Vin Diesel, “The Fate of the Furious” signals a rock bottom point in the movie series that we haven’t seen since “Fast and Furious.” As the series runs on fumes, the writers and producers are working over time to introduce us to dynamic new anti-heroes, all of whom can’t make “Fate of the Furious” worth watching. Unless you’re a completionist, or a hardcore Kurt Russell fanatic, “Fate of the Furious” is a convoluted and painfully long follow up that tries very hard to fill the void Paul Walker left when he died.

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Boyka: Undisputed (2016) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

Following the death of an opponent, Boyka questions why he is doing this sport and what he wants from it. As a means of atoning for the death, he goes to visit the deceased’s wife to try and help her as best he can to in turn be able to forgive himself.

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Horror Shorts from the 2nd Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2017: Part 2

This list is long overdue mainly because I spent the last week sick as a dog, but from June 9th to June 11th, the 2nd Final Girls Berlin Film Festival was held. It’s a great film festival to provide a voice for female horror filmmakers, and writers of all kinds from all over the world. This year I was allowed the opportunity to partake in a lot of their shorts and found some surprises.

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Ricco the Mean Machine (1973)

Ricco_the_Mean_Machine“Ricco the Mean Machine” is a gruesome but unusual revenge picture, and it’s rare you can see a movie where two thugs are driving on a road and get a strip tease by a stranded woman who straddles the hood. It’s every bit as exploitative, sleazy, and weird as you’d expect from a movie made in 1973, and that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much. Demicheli’s action thriller is very unlike what you’d expect from a revenge movie. Sure, its hero is out for blood but not because of the reasons you’d expect. Ricco is released from prison to discover that his mob boss father was killed, but upon this discovery he really holds not malice about it. Continue reading

The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999)

Karl Thomasson is back and is still tortured by his days serving in the military. After flashing back to his old days with a military buddy named Macy who made him swear an oath before he died while imprisoned, he visits his Macy’s daughter. She so happens to be a teacher at a fictitious college where the dominant force is the school football team, all of whom are juicing up on some kind of experimental steroids. After she’s attacked by local drug dealers, Thomasson takes it upon himself to go undercover as a professor and begin investigating who attacked her. While trying to figure out the identity of her attackers, he uncovers a drug ring and begins learning about the dangers of steroids as players slowly either turn up dead or become increasingly violent.

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