Maniac Cop Trilogy German Big Box VHS Clamshell

Special thanks to Ingo over at Hellford667 Movie Reviews for helping me get my hands on these rad bookstyle (part 2 & 3 respectively, part 1 is a standard big box clamshell case) clamshell VHS. 
Beautiful addition to my collection. Thanks bud!


Badass Buy - Original Star Wars Trilogy Modern Poster Prints

Artist: Christian Peterson
Shop: The Geekerie

I came across this amazing artist on ETSY recently while browsing for alternative movie posters. The second I saw these, I immediately fell in love and knew that I just "had" to have them. Not one single one, but "all" of them. 

For me, Christian Petersons's style immediately speaks to me. Simple, modern, but with an intense geek flare. I immediately got my hands on this set and literally 10 minutes after I picked them up from my PO Box, they were framed and mounted on my wall and they look simply stunning. 

Along with a few other Star Wars prints, he also has everything from Dr. Who, Harry Potter, The Avengers, X-Men, The Fifth Element, Dark City, The Abyss as well as various other television shows and films. One of which is an amazing print he did for District 9, which I fully intend to add to my collection of wall art. I could list them all, but the guy has 256 items listed so that could take a while. 

I urge you to check out his ETSY shop The Geekerie and browse his amazing selection of Modern, Vintage and Retro inspired Science Fiction and Fantasy art prints that come amazingly priced at $18 for a single 11 x 17 print or even cheaper if you buy a set. 

To view the specific listing from his shop that offers these particular prints just click here

German, Greek & U.K. Raiders of Atlantis VHS Covers

Atlantis Inferno AKA Raiders of Atlantis German Clamshell VHS. 
Thanks to my good buddy Ingo over at Hellford667 Movie Reviews for helping me feed my German VHS obsession with this nice addition to my Raiders of Atlantis collection. 

Les Predateurs Du Futur AKA Raiders of Atlantis Greek Big Box Clamshell VHS.
Found this surprising find on eBay some time back and for a really good deal. The beauty about this one is that it's the only Letterbox version that I'm aware of on VHS. But, for all I know there "could" be other widescreen or Letterboxed versions out there too. Too bad I don't have a SECAM player so that I could actually watch this in Letterbox. 

Last, but not least, 
The Atlantis Interceptors AKA Raiders of Atlantis U.K. Big Box Clamshell VHS. 
This one was actually hard to come by and I've been on the lookout for one of these for a very long time. Whenever I find it, it's usually going for a ridiculous sum, but I just so happened to find an insanely cheap copy on eBay a while back during one of my routine searches. One of those "Right place at the right time" moments. I had to replace the clamshell case though because the original was so fucked up, torn and faded that I actually thought the cover was like that until I took it out and realized it was just the clamshell itself. In a new black big box clamshell, it's just stunning. 

So this brings the total of my Raiders of Atlantis VHS covers to 5. You can check out both the U.S. and Australian covers here

Yea, I'm slightly obsessed with this fun and insanely over the top 80's piece of Trash Cinema. It's just such a blast to watch and I still can't believe it's never been released on DVD or Blu-ray. It's just one of those films that's just begging to. What's also interesting is that most people forget or are completely unaware that Rugerro Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust) directed this. You never would have guessed that simply by watching C.H. or this, but it's true. If only he made more films as insane and fun as this. 


Review: Bad Lieutenant

Directed by: Abel Ferrara

I never got around to watching this one when it first came out. Even with all the press it got for how graphic and gritty it was, I still never felt the need to make an effort to seek it out. I think a lot of it has to do with writer/director Abel Ferara. I still haven't found a film of his that I am particular fond of and have never warmed up to his style of filmmaking. Which is just as well since I can't remember the last time I was as bored as I was while watching this.

I should also mention that it wasn't until "after" I finished watching this that I realized I was watching a severely edited R-rated version, even though on Netflix it stated it was NC-17. And I guess that can go into a whole other discussion about Netflix too. I love it, and if it wasn't for Netflix, I wouldn't be able to see most of the films that I love. But, it's also like a catch 22. When it comes to certain films that are offered in different cuts or different ratings, you never know which version you get with them, much like Scott Spiegel's Intruder. I was excited to finally get a chance to see it when it was available on Netflix Instant, only to be let down after half way through I realized it was a severely edited version almost completely devoid of all the famous gratuitous gore that it's so famous for. Right off the bat in Bad Lieutenant, the rape sequence (a key plot point - or so I though - in an almost nonexistent storyline) was merely a 5 second scene and a few other key sequences that garnered so much attention were also missing. Like the sequence where he pulls over the two girls for driving there dads car without a licenese and a full frontal nude scene of Keitel that I heard so much about. But I don't think having had them in here would have changed my overall feelings about it because in the end, ultimately I was just bored out of my skull.

Bad Lieutenant does have it's points though. It's got a cool title, a great lead and performance from Harvey Keitel and a realistic and gritty atmosphere. That I will give them. What it's missing is a cohesive plot or storyline and one main ingredient that could easily have saved this thing, violence. Yes, I think maybe 2 or 3 scenes of action, gunplay or just a few brutal sequences of gratuitous violence would have made a world of difference. In the version I saw, he literally fires his gun once, and it's only to scare two thugs and not actually hurt anybody. After everything I'd read about this film and Keitel's character (who I'm sure isn't even given a name in here) and how violent, vile and horrible he was, I thought I'd in the least see him throw down a couple of beat downs or even kill someone in one of his drug induced stupors. But that's not the case. What we get instead is a day to day showcase of a very bad cops self indulgent tendencies on a day to day basis. Basically, doing an insane amount of drugs like every 5 minutes, hooking up with his prostitutes, gambling up a storm and falling deeper and deeper into debt and stealing cocaine from the job to sell back onto the street. Somewhere in there they work in a small little subplot about a nun getting raped in a church, a storyline I thought would take center stage in the film, but that was not the case. It's brought up here and there but shockingly never becomes the focus of the film.

All in all, an ok film from an independant auteur with a stellar performance from Harvey Keitel. Too slow for my taste and not the kind of film I was expecting to see. I'm sure that was the whole point from the filmmakers from the beginning, which is fine. I'm sure they made the exact kind of film they set out to make, but just not my kinda film.

Never Too Young To Die AKA Lance German Big Box VHS

Lance AKA Never Too Young To Die German VHS. Another great addition to my German VHS collection courtesy of Ingo over at Hellford667 Movie Reviews. Honestly, since my German VHS collecting has become slightly obsessive, I think I owe a good half of my entire VHS collection to my good man Ingo. Thanks man!

I think it's funny how this insanely awesome piece of 80's Trash is simply known as Lance over in Germany. I often scratch my head at there choice of alternate titles for a lot of films, with a "lot" obviously getting lost in the translation. But whatever. Cool cover (though not as "80's" as the more striking and simplified U.S. cover) and awesomely dated. 

To check out my review from last year, go here.
To check out the U.S. VHS cover, go here.


Mini Review: Green Lantern

Directed by: Martin Campbell
Category: Superheros

You know, this wasn't nearly as awful as I was expecting based on all the negative press it received. It's not great, but it wasn't horrible either. It's just kind of........there. I think that's the same reaction most people are having with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance right now, which I still haven't seen.

I've always been a comic book fan, nearly my whole life, but Green Lantern was not a title I was ever drawn to or interested in, so I'm pretty much like the average moviegoer with this one, not really knowing the whole mythology of the Green Lantern Corps. So I know they made some major changes to the story and some characters and all that, but I couldn't tell you what they are.

First and foremost, I hate the suits. I mean, they just look ridiculous. And the fact that they are CGI only makes it a thousand times worse. And the mask, the fact that it can appear and disappear at will, which makes "that" CGI as well, lame. And I know I'm not alone on that train of thought. Come on, the whole getup just looks silly. Since the Green Lantern gets his power from a ring, which he can use to "will" up anything he wants you know there's going to be an insane amount of CGI, but the suit? Bad move. And while I'm on the subject of CGI, though as I mentioned before, I don't know the whole story about the Green Lantern Corps or Oa (there home planet), I just didn't dig the look or style of there planet, of which Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern, only spends a tiny fraction on in the course of the film.

But you know, it had a decent pace, some good effects (Oa and the Green Lantern suit not withstanding) and stunt work, a couple of cool action sequences and a cool subplot involving Hal Jordan's old childhood friend Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), who gets infected by an alien virus after examining the body of Abin Sur, the Green Lantern who crash landed on Earth looking for a new replacement. I actually wish that was the bulk of the story and not the whole thing with the all consuming Parallax. Watching Hector slowly transform from mild mannered and timid Hector to an alien superhuman was pretty badass and I felt that they didn't dedicate enough of the story to that little subplot. But hey, this is the first with a planned second already in development so maybe they'll learn from there mistakes, especially regarding the suit. My god.

Though the trailers never hinted at it, I thought director Martin Campbell did a decent job with the visuals and look of the film and keeping the film moving along, not really letting it slow down long enough where you start to get bored, as some origin stories often do. But it always felt like it was missing "something". That something that would have elevated this thing to about a 7 or even an 8 on a scale from 1 to 10. But as it is, I'd give it maybe a 6, and that's being slightly generous because that ridiculous CGI suit is such a fucking distraction. Let's hope with the sequel they'll produce something more organic both in terms of the suit and effects. There was so much of it in here that half the time you'd think you were watching an animated film. That's all for now, robotGEEK out.

A 4th Maniac Cop film coming from Nicolas Winding Refn!

According to Empire Magazine, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn is producing a 4th Maniac Cop film with original writer of all 3 Larry Cohen on board. This is such exciting news! I love this series, and part 2 is without a doubt one my favorite films, as well as the best in the series. Cohen states that it will be more of a prequel than anything, which is fine with me. With Refn on board, you know it's going to be good, bloody and violent. That's all I want. Now my question is who are they going to get to play a young Matt Cordell?

Here's the article from Owen Williams via Empire Online:

Some successful and acclaimed filmmakers use their clout to take deep sea submersibles where no one has gone before, for the enlightenment of all mankind. Others like to revive moribund horror franchises. Nicolas Winding Refn belongs to that latter camp, and is apparently planning on being instrumental in reviving the Maniac Cop.
The gleefully scuzzy Maniac Cop series, should it have passed you by, belongs to the Larry Cohen school of genre exploitation, and is about an undead police officer on a killing spree (three of them, ultimately). The 1988 original stars two famous chins in Bruce Campbell and Robert Z'Dar. Z'dar continued on his maniacal path through both sequels; Robert Davi did the investigating in the second and third instalments; and part three (Badge Of Silence) has Jackie Earl Haley in it. All three were produced by Cohen and directed by William Lustig (with help on the third from Joel Soisson).
Nicolas Winding Refn (who dropped a clip from Lustig's Vigilante into Drive) has, according to Cohen, been "talking to us about [a fourth Maniac Cop] for a while now," and will be using his post-Drive muscle to get the film going, joining Cohen and Lustig as a producer.
"It's going to be more a prequel than anything else," Cohen reveals, "with a bigger budget than the others have had. I'm really excited to come back to this world, especially since Nick is going to be a part of it." Lustig meanwhile, cautions that the film "isn't 100% signed off on, but it's pretty close."
There's no announced director yet, and the likelihood of Refn taking his fandom quite that far is extremely low, we'd imagine. Lustig could be a possibility, but hasn't directed anything since 1996. Will there be new blood behind, as well as in front of the camera? We'll keep you posted...


Masters of the Universe Featurette

Dug this up from Dolph Lundgren's Facebook page. An interesting little featurette regarding the ill-fated Masters of the Universe film starring Dolph from 1987. Not long at 11 minutes and 38 seconds, but gives you great insight into what went wrong with that lackluster film. 


Review: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

Directed by: Troy Duffy
Category: Badass Cinema

I've never been a die hard fan of The Boondock Saints. Sure, I like it as much as the next guy, but I don't love it and certainly don't feel it's the game-changer that writer/director Troy Duffy repeatedly claims it to be in the fascinating documentary Overnight, which chronicles Duffy's trainwreck story from bartender to filmmaker to outcast because of his big mouth and overbearing attitude. If you've never seen it, I strongly suggest you do so, it's incredibly fascinating. But in that documentary, Duffy is seen and heard saying over and over that his film The Boondock Saints will change the way films are made forever. Uh, sorry buddy, not the case. Pulp Fiction accomplished that feat 7 years earlier, but not The Boondock Saints. Truth is, I've never understood the fascination with that first film. It had a couple of cool sequences, but for the most part it's so all over the place and utilizes the flashback sequence technique to an annoying degree that you start getting tired of it halfway through the film. It's a cool little film, but not great by any means. And certainly not a game-changer. 

I know it sounds like an asshole thing to say, but I really, really, really did not want to like this film. If you've ever seen Overnight, you'll probably feel the same way. Frankly, I'm shocked that writer/director Troy Duffy was even allowed to make a sequel to be honest. I mean, who the hell would want to work with that guy again? Or give him money to make another film considering he burned every single one of his bridges? But then again, maybe he's chilled out to some degree in the 10 years since the original? Regardless, hell or high water, I actually enjoyed this one for many reasons, and probably more so than the first. 

Part 2: All Saints Day, though just as ridiculous as the first (if not more), plays out a little more cohesive and much more polished than the first one. Duffy utilizes the flashback sequences again, but not nearly as much as he did in the first one which is such a relief. Duffy also seems to nix the overstylized camerawork he used the first time around and tries the slightly more subdued approach with this one, another plus. Unfortunately he still gives us an insane amount of slow-motion shots as with the first one. 

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is basically a revenge film. The MacManus brothers are living in hiding with there father (Billy Connelly) in Ireland, living off the land and tending cattle and shit. News reaches them that there favorite priest has been killed back home with there M.O. all over it and so they head back to Boston with there new friend and partner in crime wannabe Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.) to find this killer, avenge the death of there good friend, as well as clear there name. Enter FBI agent Eunice (Julie Benz), a hard ass agent with a set of brass balls bigger than the detectives she's been assigned to work on the case with who seems to have as much quirkiness as her mentor, FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe), who stole the show in the first film. Hot on the trail of the MacManus brothers, agent Eunice also has a mafia war to deal with, which also ties into the killing of the priest in an attempt to bring the brothers out of hiding. 

I've actually had this film ever since it first hit DVD, but have put off watching it for 3 years for various reasons. But I'm glad I finally did the other night because it's actually a pretty good film. It had a shaky start, and about 15 minutes in I started to worry what kind of film I was getting into because you immediately see the difference in tone and structure from the first film. I think it was a little slower than I was expecting it to be in that first half, but that didn't make it any less entertaining. About half way through though things start kicking into gear, the pace starts picking up and only gets better and better. 

Besides the overuse of slow-motion, I had a few other gripes. Like the techno music in the flashback action sequences. Is it just me or does it just seem completely out of place? I mean, when I think Boondock Saints I don't think of techno music, yet that's exactly what they play in here several times during the action sequences. I also found Judd Nelson as one of the main bad guys to just not be convincing at all. He certainly tried, but no matter how much screaming he did or no matter how crazy he acted, he just didn't convince me that he was or could be a big mafia head. And FBI agent Eunice's annoying southern accent. Annoying, just annoying and unnecessary. I've seen her in a lot of other stuff and she's a very beautiful and talented actress, but trying to do a southern accent is not one of her strong points and found it hard at times to understand what the hell she was saying, but then again that could just be me. 

I found this entry to be slightly more funny than the first one, but not overbearing. Clifton Collins Jr. as Romeo, the Hispanic and slightly stereotypical sidekick was awesome casting. The guy's just a natural talent, whether he's doing drama, action or comedy and here he provides a lot of genuine laughs. As funny as Collins Jr. was in this, I think the guy who steals the most laughs has gotta be Bob Rubin, who plays Gorgeous George, a kind of gofer type character to the mafia. He was so fucking hilarious in almost every scene he was in. He looks funny, he talks funny and for someone who's overweight and hairy as fuck, doesn't seem to be bothered by full on and unnecessary nudity. He reminded me a lot of Will Ferrell. Someone who's just shameless, and he was just plain hilarious. Another bit of genius casting was that they were able to get virtually the entire principle cast from the original film 10 years ago to return for this one, even Rocco (David Della Rocco), who'll you'll remember died in the first one. They still found a way to bring him back for this one. It also had a nice little twist at the end that I did not see coming, which ended up being a nice surprise. 

As much as I did not want to like it, it ultimately won me over by the end. Not because it's a genius piece of filmmaking or anything like that, but because it was funny in all the right places, cool in all the right places with just enough action and creativity to keep me entertained to the very last frame. And sometimes, that's what counts. 


Hands of Steel AKA Paco German VHS Cover

This is the German Big Box VHS of Paco (German title) 
Hands of Steel (U.S. title)
Fists of Steel (U.K. title)

This was actually a birthday gift from the ever awesome Ingo over at Hellford667 Movie Reviews last month. This was the best birthday gift I received this year hands down. Thanks man! 

As you know, I fucking love this ridiculously over the top Italian Trash film as evident in my review, my U.S. VHS cover, and my U.K. VHS cover. Such an awesome cover for an awesome film. 


Badass Buy - Malone Japanese Laserdisc

I only recently saw this film for the first time a short time ago (review found here), and then stumbled upon this sweet Japanese Laserdisc! What a cover! 


Review: Lethal Weapon

Directed by: Richard Donner
Category: Badass Cinema

Man, I really wish I was the age I am now back in the mid to late 80's. This was my most favorite era of "Badass Cinema". Lethal Weapon, Black Rain, Die Hard, Action Jackson, Tango & Cash, Predator, these were all films released in this incredible era that defined the way action films were made, resulting in an amazing selection of copy cats left and right. But this was the era man, the era of the action film.

By now, especially if you're an action fan, you've probably seen Lethal Weapon and even maybe it's sequels at least a dozen times or so. Even when they show it on cable, I never change the channel. It's just one of those films that even whether you love or hate Richard Donner at the helm, it's an impeccably written hard-edged action film. You also have to remember, this one has the least amount of comedy and the most amount of action compared to it's 3 sequels. Speaking of Donner, just like with most people when this first came out, I was shocked he was behind the camera for this one. Nothing he did beforehand suggested he could handle a film of this genre, but despite a few scenes that just didn't work for me, he pulls it off pretty damn well, giving it the most gritty look and feel out of the entire series. But that might also have to do with "when" this film was made, because it certainly has that 80's action film look. Yea, Part 2 was technically an 80's entry also (1989 to be exact), but had such a different look and feel to me compared to this one. It had a more polished look to it, but less stylized than this one.

Newly paired mismatched partners Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are working there first case together. Riggs is suicidal and maybe even crazy, but get's the job done. Murtaugh is older, wiser, more experienced and a lot less willing to put his life on the line for the job. What initially seems to be the death of a prostitute as a result of an overdose quickly turns into a much bigger case of illegal drug smuggling at the hands of a hard hitting and major drug ring. 

I remember when this first came out and how huge it was. An action fans dream. Screenwriter Shane Black seemed to come out of nowhere to deliver this hard hitting detective film full of action and wit, the same year another one of his screenplays was turned into a film in the form of 80's cult classic The Monster Squad, another one of my favorites. This was 1987, before the internet hit. I remember reading in every movie magazine I could get my hands on back then how he was the talk of the town and with every other film that he wrote after this, only got bigger and bigger paychecks with The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. Up until that point no screenplay had ever been sold for the kind of figures he got for those two films. Unfortunately, as much as I love both of those films, they didn't produce the numbers at the box office to justify those paychecks. It wasn't until 2005's awesome and highly enjoyable Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that he made another impression leading into next years Iron Man 3, which he's been hired to write and direct. I can't wait for that one for two reasons. One, I feel Black can deliver a solid action film, and two, I felt the severely rushed Iron Man 2 let a lot of us Iron Man fans down for many reasons.

One of the best things about Lethal Weapon is that no matter how many times you've seen it before, it "never" loses it's entertainment value. For a hard-edged gritty detective thriller, it's as good as it gets. Sure, I might not agree with some of Donner's stylistic choices here and there, but for the most part he keeps the action clean and the look of the film consistent. I still can't help but think how the rest of the series would have turned out with someone else at the helm, like a different director for each picture. I think that was a hugely missed opportunity on the studio's part. I know, I know. Lethal Weapon was a monster hit so naturally they'd keep going the same route and not fuck up the magic, but just imagine a different talent behind the camera for every entry, like the Alien series. That could have been amazing. Not to say the rest of the series doesn't have anything to offer. I actually love every single one of them for various reasons, just not as much as this one. Like with part 2, you'll immediately notice they've upped the comedy right from the opening sequence (not to mention the casting of Joe Pesci), and maybe a little more so with each entry after. But they still deliver tremendously with the action and entertainment value with part 3 being my favorite after the original. I mean, like it or not, the series redefined the cop buddy movie.

Who would have ever thought that Danny Glover would costar in one of the biggest action franchises in the last 30 years? But then again, I never thought he'd star in a Predator sequel either. Because you know, when thinking of an Arnold Schwarzenegger replacement for an action/sci-fi sequel your mind automatically goes to Danny Glover. But it's really Mel Gibson's portrayal of Martin Riggs who really makes the film. Ok, so he's had a questionable reputation these past 10 years but shit man, this is Mad fuckin' Max we're talking about. He owns this series! And who else can rock a serious mullet like Detective Martin Riggs?! Speaking of which, did the filmmakers think that we wouldn't notice that his hair is clearly gray in this first one and jet black by the time part 4 came around? Who are they kidding!? Gary Busey was also really fun in this as the albino henchman Joshua. Big, intimidating and such a badass in here it makes me forget how crazy he's become recently.

If you've never seen the "Director's Cut", I would strongly suggest you do so. It's not going to change the way you feel about the movie or anything, but seeing new sequences integrated back into the film gives you a pretty good look at how hard it can be for the filmmakers to put a film together and have to painfully leave a lot of it on the cutting room floor. We all know how when we're introduced to Riggs right? He's doing a drug bust at a Christmas tree stand when it all goes to hell. This is where the filmmakers want to introduce us to Riggs and to show us right off the bat that this guy might be slightly insane. It was a good way to introduce the viewer to this character and more importantly, to show us he has a death wish. But in the "Director's Cut", the first time we're introduced to Riggs is when he shows up at an elementary school where a gunman has taken shelter by a second floor window with a rifle picking people off one by one. Riggs, obviously not caring whether he lives or dies, walks right into the line of fire out in the open and unloads a clip bringing the gunman down from a distance. It was a cool introduction and a lot more brutal than the drug bust sequence, but I think the film works better with that drug bust sequence in introducing us to Martin Riggs. Both show us that he could care less if he lived or died, but watching him have a bonafide freakout with a suspect, almost nearly blowing his head off was so cool to see. But with that "Mr. Sniper Sir" sequence, it shows us he's one helluva shot.

You can check out that sequence here:

If Lethal Weapon has proven anything, it's that it has withstood the test of time. It single handedly revitalized a dying genre, the cop buddy movie, and set the standard for 80's action films until a year later when Die Hard was released. But that's another story.


Help Get Clive Barker's Restored and Uncut Nightbreed Released on DVD! Read how you can help below!

This is a project that I'm extremely passionate about ever since I heard this thing existed about a year ago. I mean, I already love this film to death, but the thought of a much longer extended cut that clocks in at an impressive 155 minutes makes me extremely giddy. Please, if you are a fan of Nightbreed, you owe it to yourself to read this article by the good folks over at Geeks of Doom along with the link to the petition page with even more info on this amazing cut, dubbed The Cabal Cut.

Here is the article via Geeks of Doom: 
On February 16, 1990, Nightbreed, British horror author and filmmaker Clive Barker‘s second feature as a director, opened in theaters across the country after having its release delayed for months to allow for extensive re-editing and the creation of elaborate visual effects. Barker based the script on Cabal, his 1988 novella about a tormented man named Aaron Boone who is framed as a serial killer by his maniacal psychiatrist Dr. Decker and finds acceptance and amazing powers in an underground tribe of benevolent but frightening creatures known as the Nightbreed. The young director had planned for Nightbreed to be the “Star Wars of horror” and was given an $11 million budget – his biggest yet – to realize his vision.

The film was shot on location in Calgary, Canada, and at England’s historic Pinewood Studios, the facility which has hosted the productions of nearly every James Bond adventure as well as various Superman and Batman films, Aliens and Alien 3, and most recently Captain America: The First Avenger and the upcoming two-part adaptation of The HobbitRalph McQuarrie, the late conceptual artist who helped George Lucas sell 20th Century Fox (the studio that would eventually distribute Nightbreed theatrically) on the first Star Wars, was brought in by Barker to provide important matte paintings and a mural that would depict the dark and twisted history of the Breed during a key sequence in the film.

Once the film was completed executives at Fox demanded extensive cuts, bringing the running time down from two-and-a-half hours to two hours and finally to 102 minutes. Many integral scenes hit the cutting room and were consigned to the scrap heap of film history. The studio’s marketing department was aghast at how best to sell Nightbreed to the American moviegoing public since it featured no major movie stars and it blended genres – in this case, fantasy and horror – instead of confining itself to something more easily definable that could be summed up in a brief trailer or television spot. The Motion Picture Association of America rejected the film’s trailer twelve times and decreed that no footage of the monsters were to be shown, forcing Fox to market Nightbreed as another low-rent slasher flick in the television and print portion of its campaign.

The film was also not screened for critics, as the studio, in the infinite wisdom that cost them the Star Wars franchise, decided that horror fans didn’t read reviews anyway. The combination of a heavily compromised cut of the film and a misguided marketing campaign led to Nightbreed only grossing $3.3 million in its opening weekend and a total domestic haul of $8.8 million at the box office.

When the movie was released to video and later DVD, it was in its truncated 102-minute form but still managed to build a cult following. The deleted footage was believed to be lost for years in the vaults ofNightbreed‘s financier, Morgan Creek. In 2009, Mark Miller, the co-head of Clive Barker’s production company Seraphim Films, began an exhaustive search for the missing scenes with the intention of restoring Nightbreed to its original running time. Discussing the matter with an executive at Morgan Creek, Miller discovered that the footage wasn’t lost at all; in fact, the elements were available to finally restore and release the uncut Nightbreedon DVD and Blu-ray.

Unfortunately, Miller was also told that the studio had no interest in financing a full restoration of Barker’s original vision as they believed there wouldn’t be a big enough audience for the release to justify the cost and effort the project would entail. Since then a grass roots effort to get Barker’s intended cut of Nightbreed released has emerged online and the results have been astounding.

In the summer of 2009, shortly after Miller’s search began, VHS copies of two workprints of the film with varying lengths – one running almost an hour longer than the theatrical release – were discovered, and in 2010 the 159-minute version was screened to a rapturous response at the HorrorHound Weekend convention. In July of that year, Morgan Creek Productions reversed its earlier position and revealed that their own search of their archives did not lead to the unearthing of the fabled deleted Nightbreed footage, telling the official Clive Barker website Revelations:

“So I have a bit of sad news to relay. After MUCH digging, hunting and trying our best to unearth where (if at all) the missing Nightbreed footage might be, we’ve come up empty handed. Therefore, that VHS that was screened at the convention is the ONLY footage that exists of a director’s cut.”

Most recently a composite version called the Cabal Cut was pieced together by Russell Cherrington, a senior lecturer in film and video production at the University of Derby, using the theatrical release cut and deleted scenes shown in the two VHS workprints to create the longest version ofNightbreed. The Cabal Cut was screened on March 24, 2012 at the Mad Monster Party convention.

Now there is a growing movement online to restore and release Barker’s original cut on DVD and Blu-ray and it has been given the name Occupy Midian. Some restoration work has already been done by Seraphim Films, including allowing actor Doug Bradley (best known for playing Pinhead in the Hellraiser movies) to re-dub the dialogue spoken by his character Lylesberg, the leader of the Breed, as his performance had been overdubbed by another actor prior to the film’s theatrical release.

You can watch the video of Bradley’s recent ADR session here below.

There is more information about the restoration effort at the Occupy Midian Facebook page. You can go here to sign a petition if you want to see Nightbreed finally released as its director originally intended on a fully restored Blu-ray.

Personally I would love nothing more than to see this wonderful and visionary film restored to its original running time so that Clive Barker’s creation can take on new life and become the epic of fantastic horror it was meant to be. I fully intend to support Occupy Midian and I hope you will too. This is a cause worth fighting for.

Total Recall (2012) trailer hits the net! What do you think?

I know this is a week old, but thought I'd start a dialogue here in regards to Len Wiseman's remake of the Paul Verhoeven directed Arnie classic Total Recall. I recently posted this new trailer of the remake that hit the internet last Sunday on my Facebook page and got a "lot" of response, with the majority of the opinion swinging towards indifference. What do you think?


I'm actually really curious to see the remake. In a lot of respects, you just can't touch Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 original. In that films case it seems like all the right talent came together at just the right time. You have director Verhoeven at the height of his career after knocking our socks off with Robocop. Then you also have Schwarzenegger reigning supreme at the box office with one monster hit after another. He hadn't made Last Action Hero (which I actually like, to some degree) or Junior yet. But wait! There's also makeup wiz Rob Bottin handling the physical makeup effects and it being 1990, the minimal use of CGI and an awesome amount of old fashioned model and effects work. In the writing department you have a couple of my favorite old school pro's in Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett.

But Philip K. Dicks "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale"  is such an interesting story and I'm curious to see someone else's interpretation, even if that person "is" Len Wiseman who didn't impress me at all with his entry in the Die Hard series. Don't even get me started with that one. I can go on and on. I just might have to do an entirely separate post one day on Live Free or Die Hard on all the things I find wrong with it. But who knows? Maybe he can make something out of this story, something fresh. In any case, Total Recall (1990) will always be an awesome untouchable piece of 90's Sci-Fi Cinema. 


The Terminator Original Japanese Poster

Just came across this browsing eBay recently and thought it was too badass "not" to share. 
While I LOVE this movie, at $325 on a "buy it now" listing, it's just way too steep for my blood. 
But hey, it really is a badass poster. 
You can check out the listing over on eBay by going here
This same seller also seems to be selling two other posters of the same image, but of lesser quality with one having a light tri-fold and the other with a full blown tri-fold and both going for less than $325, but still not cheap by any means. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with this seller, eBay or the film. Just a badass product I wanted to pass along. Enjoy!

Synapse Films Red Scorpion US Blu-ray/DVD combo pack gets a release date! Dolph Lundgren fans rejoice!

Synapse Films officially announces there release date for this Dolph Lundgren 80's classic. June 12th to be exact, so mark it on your calendar or to just get a jump start, place your pre-order directly through there website at www.Synapse-Films.com. I, for one, cannot wait! Is that cover just not completely badass?! You just don't see painted covers like that anymore as every cover nowadays are boring as hell with a simple photograph or just a collection of images photoshoped together looking like some high school did it while in art class. There's just no art to covers anymore. This is old school and in keeping with it's 80's vibe through and through. Kudos to the guys over at Synapse Films for keeping it real. 

Here are the technical specs:

Director: Joseph Zito
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh, Brion James

Run Time: 106 minutes
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Format: DVD/Blu-ray combo
Region: All Regions


  • All-New 2K High-Definition Digital Restoration of the Uncensored Version
  • Audio Commentary with Director Joseph Zito and Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson
  • All-New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Soundtrack Mixed Specifically for This Release
  • ASSIGNMENT: AFRICA – Video Interview with Producer Jack Abramoff
  • SCORPION TALES – Video Interview with Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
  • Rare Original On-Set Behind-the-Scenes Video Footage
  • Animated Still Gallery
  • Liner Notes on the Making of RED SCORPION by Jérémie Damoiseau
  • Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
  • Reversible Cover Design


Review: Drive

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Category: Badass Cinema

You know how it is? You really, really want to see a film when it hits theaters and then when the festival circuits and even the damn critics praise it you want to see it even more but for one reason or another you just never get to that damn theater? Well that was me with this film. I never got a chance to check this out when initially released and even though it's been out on DVD for some time here in the states, I only just now got a chance to finally sit down and watch it.

Drive really surprised the hell out of me in the best way possible. What surprised me most about this is that it's not the film I was expecting to see at all based on the trailers. It actually ended up being much slower in pace than I had imagined, yet still retained an incredible aura of badassery. And what really sets this film apart from a lot of the others is it's immense style. From director Nicolas Winding Refn's impressive and fluid camera work to Gosling's hip 80's inspired threads to the outstanding supporting cast. It all comes together so damn well that though there wasn't nearly as much action as I was expecting, I was instantly submerged in this world of Hollywood stunt drivers and Jewish gangsters right from it's opening frame.

While I'm throwing accolades all around I really need to give it to Ryan Gosling. He was the last person I would have ever expected to star in a film like this and the guy didn't disappoint. He hardly utters a word in the entire film, but his sense of self assuredness and quiet bravado explode out of every pore of his body, his stare and his mannerisms and the film is a thousand times better for it. The same can be said for Ron Perlman, the always great Bryan Cranston and another shocker for me, Albert Brooks who plays a gangland heavy. I just couldn't believe I was watching "the" Albert Brooks stabbing a guy in the eye and throat with a knife just to prove a point to his partner in crime. Against-type casting. Gotta love it!

Driver (Gosling); can't remember if they even give him a name in here other than his boss calling him "kid", is a Hollywood stunt driver and mechanic by day, who moonlights as a getaway driver with a strict set of rules by night. His boss in the garage (Cranston) has bigger dreams for him though. He wants to set him up as a race car driver but needs the funds to get that operation started. Enter gangsters Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his partner Nino (Ron Perlman) who agree to fund his racing operation in exchange for a big chunk of the action. In the meantime Driver has also recently taken an interest in his single neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and her little boy. Things start looking good for them and he even starts to break out of his shell somewhat until he finds out she's actually married and her convict husband is soon to be released from jail. What follows is a tragic series of events and incredibly bad choices on everyone's part that leads to a bloody climax of revenge and redemption. 

Though the film lacks the copious amounts of violence and car chases that I was expecting, what violence there is on display is fucking intense and amazingly executed. Dido for the two "getaway" sequences in the film. On a technical and visual level, they simply outdo any of the other sequences of the film. But that's not to say that the quiet scenes in the film aren't just as entertaining. Though not quite on par with the exciting sequences in the film, they are what glue the film together. Sure, any scene with Gosling in it won't have but a few words of dialogue, but seeing him watching cartoons with his cute neighbors kid was somehow enjoyable as well. But in that weird semi-psychotic way where you think or hope that something bad is going to happen at any minute. Or is that just me?

There are a few minor issues I had with it though, the main one being the casting of Carey Mulligan. I don't know, she just didn't do anything for me and isn't really offered much to do at all in here other than to look like she's high half the time with her constant mopey stares, which she does "a lot" of in here. She's always "staring". You also wonder what it is about her that Driver finds so fascinating. I mean, he's gone this long living by his strict set of rules lying below the radar obviously hiding from something from his past but for some reason he's head over heels for this chick and her kid that you probably wouldn't give a second thought of if you passed her in the supermarket. Another would be the character of Driver. He's tough, quiet, strict and seemingly not afraid of anything. Yet he makes some truly horrible decisions in here that ultimately affect "everyone's" lives. So he's not nearly as awesome as you begin to think and you realize that he's just not very good in the decision making department.

Nicolas Winding Refn is a force to be reckoned with as a director. The Denmark native would seem an odd choice to direct this kind of film on the surface, but after watching it I couldn't imagine anyone else doing it or giving it that special "something" Refn was able to. If they had gone with a standard Hollywood action director I think they probably woulda gone with someone like Tony Scott, who I love dearly from some of his earlier films, but has left me so dissatisfied with all of his recent output by changing up his trademark visuals and beautiful imagery and switching to handheld kinetic camerawork. Come on man! But anyway, I never saw Refn's Pusher trilogy, but I did see Bronson with a very imposing Tom Hardy in a tour de force performance. It had a weird structure, but stylistically it was pretty damn impressive and on par with the visuals of Drive. And I've heard mixed reviews on Valhalla Rising, but as Netflix currently has it streaming I'll definitely give it a shot now that Drive impressed me so much.

Drive manages to cram action, nail biting suspense, intense violence, expertly choreographed getaway sequences, a quiet stranger falls for his cute neighbor and her kid story and hard edged gangster drama all into one for an immensely satisfying 100 minutes of your life.


Maniac Cop 2 German Big Box VHS Clamshell

Thanks to my buddy Ingo over at Hellford667 Movie Reviews for once again hooking me up with one of these German beauties.

Yes, I know I'm a little obsessed with this overlooked gem right now, but that's only because I was lucky enough to stumble upon the awesome Widescreen Laserdisc recently, which just simply ruled! 

On a side note, I'm finally coming out of my little hiatus and coming back to robotGEEK'S Cult Cinema. I had a lot of things going on in my personal life with some really big unwanted changes that took up every second of my life. But things have settled down and I'm back! So to all my readers I thank you for your patience and to every single one of you badass reviewers who I currently have on my "blog roll" and "badass sites" sections, I apologize for not having had any time for the better part of a month to read or comment on any of your posts and reviews. I have a lot of make-up reading to do!