Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Death Stalker's Devastating Form In ...

The Destroyers

‘‘Now let’s kill some sons of bitches’’

Vietnam war veteran Deacon Porter (Rick Hill) receives a telephone call from the wife of a friend, and fellow ‘Nam war buddy, informing of his death in a car accident. The grieving wife tells Porter that she believes it was murder !.

In a back hills Californian town crooked business man John Carey operates a marijuana trade. The surrounding lands are the perfect plantation spot for cultivation of the illegal substance, and with the local police sheriff on his payroll Carey’s production schedule is in full force.

Carey has a large stable of armed men under his leadership, all tasked with keeping the marijuana fields guarded at any cost. Trespassers aren’t just frightened off, they are hunted down and killed !. Anyone that may directly attract attention to them meets with a more subtle form of accidental death. Deacon Porter’s ‘Nam buddy uncovered the operation, and his transgression led to Carey staging his death to look like it was accidental.

Porter drives into the same town to ask questions about his friend. Word of his investigations soon reach Carey and it is not long before he too is set upon by the drug barons goons. Beaten, bloodied, shot and then having his car forced off the road by pursuit vehicles, careening into a ditch and exploding into a plume of flames, Porter just about gets out in time. Believed dead, and so not attracting any more concern from the aggressor Carey, he retreats back home to dress his wounds and formulate a plan of retaliation.

Anther ex ‘Nam war friend, and explosives expert, comes to Porter’s aid, offering his assistance in bringing the war to John Carey and his illicit operation. Whilst Porter rejuvenates, and forms a plan of action, his good buddy sets about calling upon a couple of former Vietnam war brothers in arms. Weapons and tactics soldiers, still alert of mind, and fleet of foot and fist. Bringing together a formidable small strike force of four Deacon Porter, and his three dogs of war, return to the backwoods Californian town to serve notice of hostile intent upon Carey !.

Guns, grenade launchers and plenty of explosive devices, bring proceedings into the high octane Action percentage column in the final third of the movie. Vietnam vets against drug running animals. The only way for Porter and his men to cull the rabid beasts is to put them down. Outnumbered, but out smarting such overwhelming odds, the battle seasoned pros bring a war to Carey that raises all hell, and his Marijuana operation to the ground.

Rick Hill steps out of ye old world Deathstalker (1982) mode, and muscles right on into modern Action hero mould pretty seamlessly. Crofton Hardester plays the mean spirited and avarice hungering bad guy role of John Carey well enough, ably assisted by Cirio H. Santiago recognisable regulars Nick Nicholson and Don Gordon Bell, amongst others, as his heavy handed henchmen.

Left to team Porter the bad baggage gets taken down, toe tagged and sent packing care of lethal Vietcong man traps and bad ass bravado. The Destroyers is a low budget, high value Action fest that delivers the goods.

Movie Rating: 6/10

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

The Destroyers (1986)
Director Cirio H. Santiago
With Rick Hill, Katt Shea, Crofton Hardester,
Kaz Garas, Terrence O’Hara & Bill McLaughlin

Monday, 23 May 2011

Japanese VHS / DVD Deals On Ebay ...

Ebay Auction Listings
May 2011

Gargantuan Japanese goodies abound on the 'Bay. Back with more Bruno Mattei Hut Annihilation's with Strike Commando 2, starring Brent Huff & Richard Harris, and Born To Fight, again with Brent Huff this time squaring up to Werner Pochath.

Throw in some Cannibals from Jess Franco, mix up with Luigi Cozzi's Contamination, while spicing up with some icky gooiness in Breeders & a Creature feature aka Titan Find, in a glorious Wide Screen print, with Klaus Kinski, and there's a whole heap of Action, Sci-Fi, Carniverous capers to feast thine eye's upon.

In with the Japanese Tapes this time out is a very nice Japanese DVD Original of Franco Prosperi's The Last House On The Beach. This infamous grisly home invasion thriller stars Florinda Bolkan & Ray Lovelock. This is an Unopened, unplayed Japanese DVD Original in its proper aspect ratio & Uncut. Very, Very Nice collectable.

Pre Lord Of The Rings raw talent Peter Jackson's Braindead aka Dead Alive explodes onto the 'Bay here with a double, reversable Big Fun graphic insert art card. Roger Corman's awesome Forbidden World, big horror Fun with Dead Heat & there's even some horror schlock from Fred Olen Ray with Biohazard !. Rounded all off nicely with a vibrant metal effect insert cover art for William Lustig's Bruce Campbell featured Maniac Cop.

Please do check out all these first time listings from me over at Ebay now.

As always the copy cover inserts as displayed below, and as shown on Ebay, are scans of the actual VHS / DVD covers themselves, from the items offered for sale.

Thank you for checking out the Auctions & thank you to anyone taking the time and trouble to consider or make a winning bid.

Happy viewing & hoping these go to good homes.

Thank you

Friday, 13 May 2011

Cirio H. Santiago's Post Nuke Carnage ...

Wheels Of Fire

In a post apocalyptic future, where fuel is precious, those that rule the roads set the rules. A despotic bandit known as Scourge terrorises the desolate landscape, taking what he wants from those that stray from the protective umbrella of the last remnants of societies liberal governors. With a small army of barbaric men at his command there is little resistance left to oppose his reign of terror, and high on his agenda is illicit regulation of the regions fuel reserves. The fight for the future rests with Mad Max makeover macho man Trace (Gary Watkins), and a gutsy gung ho girl named Stinger (Laura Banks), to stand up to the Scourge and bring hope to a post nuke nightmare !.

A Filipino filmed fuel injected futuristic flick, made on a micro budget for Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures production company. Polish is applied to proceedings by director Cirio H. Santiago, who knows how to deliver Action entertainment. Ably squeezing all the thrills and spills, along with mighty explosions and car stunt arrangements, into his predominantly exterior locations shot frames.

Tough guy Trace looks out for himself and his own, avoiding unnecessary run ins with the Scourge and his anarchic army of followers. That self imposed law is revoked when Trace’s sister Arlie (Lynda Weismeier) is chased down, beaten, raped and taken captive by the lawless lackeys of the Scourge. Trace weapons up and revs up his super charged super car, engaged for Action and hell bent on getting his sister back !.

The desert backdrop landscape is the perfect canvas for Cirio H. Santiago to adorn his Action laden picture with multitudes of speeding motorcycles and automobiles, racing around, smashing and crashing all over the place. Trace tears up his tires in relentless pursuit of Scourge’s hideout, and in his destructive wake he gives aid to a female soldier of fortune, caught in the crossfire of a Scourge attack. Together they take out the trash, and Trace has a new ally in the shape of Stinger (Laura Banks), one tough tigress of a girl who it just so happens also has a score to settle with the Scourge.

It’s an inevitability that Trace and Stinger will come face to face with Scourge, and in that respect the Action filled finale does not disappoint. Their journey together on route throws up a few tricky encounters along the way, including a run in with an underground race of flesh eating beings known as The Sandmen. Pulled into the caverns of The Sandmen, beneath the surface of the shifting sands, Trace and Stinger have to fight their way out against a daylight affected race akin to the Morlocks from The Time Machine (1960). Here they meet and rescue a young woman named Spike, a feisty girl who can look out for herself and who also has the gift of E.S.P. Her ability to read thoughts proves invaluable and immediately gives her and her two new friends the advantage they need to make good their escape from the frenzied cannibals !.

Plenty of gun Action, fist fights and pretty well staged car chase sequences, and crash stunts, keep viewers nicely preoccupied with what is front and centre, cleverly detracting from what is otherwise a flimsy script and bare bones set up. It is easy to forgive any shortfalls here though as Wheels Of Fire never once pretends to be anything other than what it is, and that is low budget ‘B’ movie hokum, with an accentuation on Action. A bare bones, bare breasted, bare knuckle ride along the highway to hell, in a post apocalyptic world where each new day is a fight for survival !.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

Wheels Of Fire (1985)

Director Cirio H. Santiago
With Gary Watkins, Laura Banks, Lynda Weismeier,
Linda Grovenor & Joe Mari Avellana 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Horror Of Scream Queen Quigley ...

Treasure Of The Moon Goddess
(1987 / USA / Mexico)

‘‘Tell the monkey to back off’’

American / Mexican jungle Action adventure production that tries to emulate the style of the Eighties made Euro flicks. Four adventurers and two Mexican bandits become embroiled in the acquirement of a legendary treasure. Deep within the South American jungle lives a hidden tribe, who worship the memory of their goddess, and protect their idols fabulous riches of jewels in her honour. Word of the tribe and their capacious cache has leaked to the outside world, bringing deceit and treachery to the natives harmonious sanctuary, in the form of the avaricious Mr. Diaz !.

Harold Grand (Don Calfa) is a talent manager who runs up bad debt and is beholden to Mr. Diaz. On his talent books is rock singer Lu De Belle (Linnea Quigley), an attractive blonde star in the making. In order for Harold Grand to pay off his tab Mr. Diaz tells him to hand over Lu De Belle to him. Unbeknownst to Grand is that Lu is the personification of the Moon Goddess, and with her in his possession Mr. Diaz intends to trick the hidden South American tribe out of their treasure.

Both Harold and Lu set off with instruction to meet Mr. Diaz at a remote destination. They hire a small boat owned by Sam Kid (Asher Brauner) and his attractive partner Brandy (Jo Ann Ayres), in order to best get to the location given. On route they are set upon by another boat, filled with marauding Mexican bandits, out to abduct Lu De Belle. Sam Kid is not one to be unprepared for any situation and fends off the attempt with gun power. He and his small compliment are way outnumbered however. The barrage of bullets and heavier fire power takes its toll upon Sam’s boat and all abandon ship just in time before it blows up.

Sam Kid, Brandy and their two new acquaintances swim to shore and make their way through the coastal jungle to an inland ramshackle town. They barely have time to catch their breath before Mr. Diaz sends his goons out to collect his prize in the form of Lu. Sam springs into Action man hero mode and its not long before fisticuffs and a bar fight, with a snake pit, breaks out.

It’s almost like The Perils Of Pauline (1967) for poor Lu as she is sought after not only by Mr. Diaz but it turns out that the Mexican bandits were acting at the behest of their boss, who just so happens to be the cousin of Mr. Diaz, whom just so happens to be on to his relatives scurrilous intensions.
An inept attempt at blending humour with Action, along the lines of a bargain basement Indiana Jones adventure, all too often falls flat. The script would have been far better handled by Italian 'B' movie maestro Bruno Mattei, who undoubtedly would have livened things up and had Brent Huff in the lead, chewing up the scenery and delivering the one liners as only he could.

There are a few entertaining Action escapades, but sadly they are all too short and ultimately unconvincing. With a tribe of South American natives about as threatening as vegetarian cannibals there really is little to get your teeth into. The absurdity upon revealing the true connection between Mr. Diaz and the tribe is about as glib as it gets. If you can stick with this until the test of strength within the sacred temple, where at least some Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) traps liven things up a bit, then you’ll make it through till the let’s leave this open for a sequel ending.

Treasure Of The Moon Goddess really is a bottom of the bargain bin pick up only, and not the rough diamond hoped for. This type of Action adventure movie is best laid at the door of big budgeted Hollywood blockbusters, and the far more accomplished low budget genius of the Euro Action film makers from the same decade.

Movie Rating: 1/5

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

Treasure Of The Moon Goddess (1987)

Director Joseph Louis Graz
With Asher Brauner, Don Calfa,
Jo Ann Ayres & Linnea Quigley