Venus Wars

June 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm (7 Heads, Venus Wars) (, , , , , )

Venus Wars – 1989 – Japan

A hundred years in the future, Venus is colonized by humans. The planet has been terraformed and has a breathable atmosphere, but it’s still a craggy wasteland wracked by acid rainstorms. The colonists live in rundown cities where they eke out a living in Venus’s faltering industrial economy. A young named Hiro and his gang of friends are professional rollerbikers. Rollerbiking is a dangerous, destructive sport resembling roller derby on single-wheeled motorcycles. When Hiro’s home city of Io is invaded by the neighboring country of Ishtar, Hiro and his gang become partisan guerrillas. They are joined by a spunky Earth journalist named Susan Sommers (who resembles the real Suzanne Sommers). They get recruited into a more organized rebel army, but their punk attitudes clash with the military leadership. Nonetheless, Hiro and his gang ride their motorized unicycles to war and destroy the Ishtar army.

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R.O.T.O.R.

May 13, 2018 at 7:48 pm (7 Heads, R.O.T.O.R.) (, , )

R.O.T.O.R. – 1987 – United States

Barrett Coldyron (pronounced “cold iron”) is a Texas rancher and robotics researcher. He is developing a robotic policeman code named R.O.T.O.R. (Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research). Coldyron seems pretty cool. He has a cool mullet and wears sunglasses all the time, but he’s sort of a fascist. He says, “Either we control society, or it destroys itself.” He believes that only an invincible robot cop can protect people from their own anti-social behavior. Nonetheless, he is this movie’s hero.

A greedy politician forces Coldyron to deploy ROTOR before it’s ready. The robot goes berserk. It kills a guy over a traffic violation and stalks the guy’s wife across the country. Coldyron says, “ROTOR would walk through a bus full of nuns to get to a jaywalker. It’s like a chainsaw set on frappe.” Coldyron races to stop ROTOR. Unfortunately for him, ROTOR is super strong, performs motorcycle stunts, and can look backward through time. Coldyron shoots and wrestles ROTOR ineffectually for a while, but eventually discovers it can be paralyzed by a loud car horn. Coldyron lassos all of ROTOR’s limbs, ties the ropes to a car, and draws and quarters the robot. In the final scene, Coldyron is shot to death by his evil boss.

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Robo Vampire

May 7, 2018 at 12:26 am (5 Heads, Robo Vampire) (, , , , , , , )

Robo Vampire – 1988 – Hong Kong/Thailand

An evil Buddhist priest and a gang of heroin dealers use Chinese hopping vampires to kill the police. The “police” wear camo fatigues, carry grenade launchers, and know martial arts. A policeman is killed and resurrected as a cyborg warrior. He looks like Robocop mixed with a samurai, but made out of pillows and duct tape. The movie has a lot of fight scenes.

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Dragon Half

May 7, 2018 at 12:20 am (5 Heads, Dragon Half) (, , , , )

Dragon Half – 1993 – Japan

Mink is a half-dragon, half-human teenager in a sword and sorcery fantasy world. She is obsessed with a celebrity dragon slayer named Dick Saucer (who “sings like an angel and fights like a devil”), and goes on a quest to see him. She is joined by a teenage elf and a little girl with a killer mouse. Along the way, she is harassed by an evil king and his half-slime, half-human teenage daughter.

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Wishbone

May 7, 2018 at 12:16 am (3 Heads, Wishbone) (, )

Wishbone – 2000 – United States

Laurie is given an antique “wishbone” as a graduation present. What is a wishbone? It’s a magical statue made of orange plastic and covered with miniature skulls. If a person holds the wishbone and makes a wish, the wish comes true but a random person dies. After Laurie’s friends make a bunch of wishes, men in black hoods drive hearses into town and start stabbing people. Laurie defeats these demonic interlopers by wishing them out of existence. It’s that easy.

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Marebito

May 7, 2018 at 12:07 am (7 Heads, Marebito) (, , , , )

Marebito – 2004 – Japan

Masuoka is a freelance news cameraman in Tokyo. He records a man stabbing his own eye out in a subway station, and obsessively watches the video. Masuoka believes the stabber is being tormented by a supernatural entity. In search of this being, he explores the complex of subway tunnels and crawlspaces beneath Tokyo. As he descends deeper, Masuoka discovers a cavern full of ancient stone ruins inhabited by a feral teenage girl. He takes her back to his apartment and names her F.

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Phantasm

April 5, 2018 at 2:20 am (9 Heads, Phantasm) (, , , )

Phantasm – 1979 – United States

A dude named Tommy has sex with a woman in a graveyard. The woman transforms into an old man and stabs Tommy. Tommy’s friends, Jody and Reggie, attend Tommy’s funeral. Inexplicably, Tommy’s death is thought to be suicide. Mike, Jody’s thirteen year old brother, watches the funeral from the bushes. He is pursued by robed dwarves that look like Jawas, and sees the undertaker lift a five hundred pound casket. Trying to make sense of it all, Mike visits a blind fortune teller. She orders Mike to stick his hand in a box. When the box burns him, she says “Fear is the killer.” This scene is a reference to the “Gom Jabbar” from the novel Dune (1965).

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Puppet Master: Axis of Evil

April 5, 2018 at 2:13 am (4 Heads, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil) (, , , , , )

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil – 2010 – United States

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is the 9th entry in the Puppet Master series. It is set in 1939, immediately following the suicide of Andre Toulon in the first Puppet Master movie. Clips from the original Puppet Master are shown.

Danny Coogan is a young man who desperately wants to enlist in the U.S. Army and kill Nazis. After suffering from polio, he has a permanent limp and cannot serve, which has made him depressed and bitter. He meets the puppet maker Andre Toulon just before Toulon’s mysterious suicide. After Toulon’s death, Danny investigates the old man’s puppets and discovers their magic secret. He also discovers a Nazi plot to blow up an American bomb factory. With the help of his girlfriend and Toulon’s living puppets, Danny busts up a Nazi and Japanese spy ring. The movie ends on a cliffhanger, setting up a sequel that I’ll probably never watch.

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The Demons of Ludlow

April 5, 2018 at 2:08 am (4 Heads, Demons of Ludlow) (, , )

The Demons of Ludlow – 1983 – United States

Ludlow is a New England village with a population of 47. During the town’s bicentennial celebration, a mysterious white piano appears in the town hall. Rumors among the townies suggest the piano is part of a curse related to Ludlow’s colonial era history. Soon, ghosts in powdered wigs, two hundred year old clothes, and grotesque pasty makeup appear and begin murdering people. Ludlow’s mayor conceals the crimes to protect the town’s tourist reputation. Meanwhile, a young investigative reporter digs into the town’s sordid past.

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Puppet Master: The Legacy

March 14, 2018 at 12:48 am (2 Heads, Puppet Master: The Legacy) (, , , , , , )

Puppet Master: The Legacy – 2003 – United States

Puppet Master: The Legacy (a.k.a. Puppet Master 8) is an especially uninspired and lazy entry in the Puppet Master series. A hitman (presumably employed by some shadowy government agency) is seeking Andre Toulon’s secret formula for immortality. She follows clues to the Bodega Bay Inn, the site of several other Puppet Master movies. There she meets and violently interrogates a man named Peter—the new controller of Toulon’s killer puppets. Peter is the same Peter who appeared as young boy in Puppet Master 3: Toulon’s Revenge, but is now an old man. The hitman and Peter debate the morality of Toulon’s actions. Illustrating their pointless dialogue are extended clips from all the other Puppet Master movies (aside from the original Puppet Master, strangely enough). In the end, Peter and the puppets kill the hitman, then the puppets turn on Peter. Maybe. It’s not really clear.

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