9.23.2021

Malignant Film Review: When Horror Goes Bonkers


by robotGEEK

And I mean that in the best possible way. Going into Malignant, I was worried that it would ultimately be the same old thing we've seen countless times from James Wan (and that's not a dig), or rather, it looked like another Insidious movie to me simply based on it's trailer. Boy I could not have been more wrong, and I'm so fucking thankful for that. 

Malignant is batshit insane. I mean that, and that's easily one of it's greatest strengths. Malignant is a hot mess, and legitimately one of the most unpredictable horror films I've ever seen. It constantly shifts tones so often that you simply cannot predict where it's heading at any given moment. While a lot of people love to claim they "figured out the big twist", regardless, I can guarantee you that they could not predict where this was heading from one scene to the next. Completely absurd, it will literally generate audible laughs and a whole lot of WTF comments throughout, yet that's what I found so much fun. It's not a "safe" horror film. It's as if James Wan decided "I've already gotten to the top, so where else can I go? Let me blow their minds and drive them wild". Kudos to you Mr. Wan. Thank you. 

Let's not forget, James Wan has created 3 of the most successful modern horror franchises in history with Saw, The Conjuring and Insidious films. Not to mention directing one of the Fast and Furious films, along with DC's Aquaman. It was somewhat of a relief to see him go back to his horror roots, but not only go back to it, but go absolutely nuts with it, kind of in the same way Sam Raimi did with Drag Me to Hell (2009) after directing everything from superhero films to dramas and thrillers. 

With that being said, people are either going to love it or hate it. It's split so far down the middle it's been a blast hearing everyone's reaction to it. And whether you love or hate it, whatever he did is working because we can't stop talking about it. My only regret is that I didn't go to the theater to see it. And that wasn't by choice. I just couldn't get to it, so I watched it on HBO at home. But it's a gorgeous looking film and with so much homage to Argento going on, I really wish I had seen it on the big screen. Personally I fucking loved the shit out of it and had such a blast with it. I honestly can't remember the last time I was this surprised and downright dumbstruck by what I was watching. Trust me, you'll have a very clear idea of what you're getting into in the very first 10 minutes of the movie. And I have no doubt that every creative decision in here was intentional. So if you laugh, it's because he wants you to laugh at the absurdity of it all. If you scream "What the fuck?!", it's because he wants you to. 

I think I'll just leave it at that for now. Saying anything else about the film could potentially spoil it for someone. Curious to hear your thoughts on it though. Please consider leaving a comment and lets discuss. Or comment on my Instagram post. 

9.22.2021

The Cult Corner: Golgo 13: The Professional (1983)


by robotGEEK

First off, I'll admit I'm not the biggest anime fan. I would say I'm a casual anime fan, but even then, I'm so far out of the loop when it comes to titles and franchises that I usually don't bother with them unless one is highly recommended to me. And that's exactly what happened here. Someone had posted about this on Instagram, so I took the advice and added it to my watchlist. It took me a few weeks to finally get around to it, but holy fuck I'm so glad I finally did. 

Golgo 13: The Professional is an absolute kickass and killer film, animated or not. It's as if John Woo (The Killer) and Luc Besson, (The Professional), in the height of their career's, collaborated on a film about a hitman and cast Ken Takakura (Black Rain, The Yakuza) or Sonny Chiba (The Street Fighter). It's hyper-violent, hip, slick, sexy and cool as all hell. Though released in 1983, it oozes late 70's aesthetics out of every pore; from the score, costume and art design, sound design and tone. So imagine my surprise to discover that both Takakura and Chiba both starred in live action adaptations in the 70's prior to this animated film's release. I had no idea, but holy shit it makes sense. Now to track those suckers down.

As a film, it's just so fucking cool. The cinematography alone is damn impressive. Each single frame is a work of art, and it blows my mind how it was basically shot and structured like a live action film and not an anime, where they could just go nuts with everything. And I think that's what I love most about it, which is why I kept thinking this could easily be a film by Woo or Besson starring Chiba or Takakura. It's essentially like watching a film with all that talent combined and it's blissfully insane. 

You don't have to be a fan of anime, or even have to know anything about this franchise going in. It's an incredible standalone feature that blows nearly every other anime or animated film out of the water, both current and classic. This, without a doubt, is going into my Top 5 Animated Films of All Time list. 

My research afterwards provided a lot of insight. First, it's considered one of the longest running manga's ever since it's initial launch in 1968, and still running today. 2 live action films were made in the 70's, each starring Chiba and Takakura in the lead respectively, and produced an animated series (50 episodes) in 2008, along with another animated film in 1998 titled Queen Bee. Oh, and I hear it was a badass NES game as well here in the states. Definitely going to look for that soon for my collection. 

How To Watch It:

Streaming: It's currently streaming for free on Amazon (with commercials), so you don't need a Prime account, and it's also streaming for free in HD on the always reliable TubiTV

Physical Media: It has gotten a Blu-Ray release via Discotek Media, which you can pick up for generally around $30 on the seconhand market, and the old DVD for under $20, but I can't find any information that says if the DVD is in widescreen or not. You can find the full frame VHS for fairly cheap these days too. You can also find its incredibly funky score on vinyl for a pretty penny. 

9.21.2021

Transformers: The Movie Screens This Sunday in Theaters via Fathom Events

by robotGEEK

That's right! As part of it's 35th Anniversary, Fathom Events will be screening this legendary, and quite possibly one of the greatest animated films of all time, this coming Sunday, September 26th, and Tuesday, September 28th. 


Here are the details via Fathom Event's Website:

In celebration of the 35th anniversary of its release, the world-renowned 1986 animated feature film THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE returns to U.S. movie theaters for two days only, for an experience that's beyond good, beyond evil, and beyond your wildest imagination! In addition to the feature, audiences of this special event will be treated to brand-new exclusive content.

For millennia, the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), have been at war with the evil Decepticons, led by Megatron (Frank Welker). As the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons rages on Earth, an even greater threat looms. Unicron (Orson Welles,Citizen Kane), a colossal converting planet who consumes everything in his path, is heading for Cybertron to devour the Transformers homeworld and wipe the Autobots and Decepticons from existence. The only hope is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. With new enemies hunting them down and dangers lurking in every corner of the galaxy, the Autobots take on a perilous mission to save their planet that will alter their destiny forever.

An all-star cast, including Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), Eric Idle (the Monty Python films) and, Robert Stack (The Untouchables), brings this inimitable, explosively entertaining Autobot adventure to life.

While a box office bomb upon it's initial release, this landmark film has become a certified cult classic in every sense of the meaning, and has gained such a huge following that you seriously do not want to miss the chance to see this on the big screen. For me personally, it's my favorite animated film of all time and this will be my first time ever getting to see it in theaters as I never got the chance as a 10 year old back in 1986. So you can bet your ass I'll be there as a 45 years old this coming Sunday. 

You can purchase your tickets via Fathom Events website HERE.

While we're on the subject, be sure to check Toy Galaxy's excellent new video on YouTube titled Hasbro's Hubris: The Story of the Failed the Transformers: The Movie (1986) where they go deep into it's initial inception, release, backlash, negative reception and finally into it's much celebrated cult status. 

9.20.2021

Vintage 1990 Punisher Premiere Ad

by robotGEEK

Stumbled upon this excellent rare vintage ad promoting the Uncut U.S. premiere of Dolph Lundgren's The Punisher at an L.A. Comic Book & Science Fiction Convention back in 1990 via my buddy's Facebook page The Punisher 1989: The Untold Story of a Cult Classic. This ad scan comes courtesy of Greg Beville. 

According to Jeremie Damoiseau, author of the excellent French book Punisher: The Secret History (currently being translated to English for a U.S. release), the screening did not go as planned. Here are some details from Damoiseau himself:

"The screening did not go as planned since the print for WATCHERS II never arrived... Therefore it was LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS first, then HOWLING V and finally THE PUNISHER!
Although announced as a tentative guest, Lundgren did not attend, but director Mark Goldblatt was there and waved to the audience after the film got a standing ovation."

There you go. I thought it was some fascinating history regarding the release of one of my absolute favorite films ever. I wonder if those in attendance ever got those exclusive Punisher button's after all?

8.10.2021

Tubi Tuesday Presents: Robocop: The Series (1994)

 


by robotGEEK

Now this was as total surprise. This is a series I've been wanting to watch for ages, but from what I gather, this particular series has never gotten an official DVD release here in the states (but it is available on DVD in other regions), though the 2001 Mini-Series Prime Directives has. So just a heads up, be sure not to confuse the two. 

Released in 1994, Robocop: The Series has a very tumultuous relationship to the franchise fanbase. Let's be honest, most hate it. And believe me, I can understand why. It's a PG rated Robocop series. Did they learn nothing from the previous year's disastrous Robocop 3? Another failed PG attempt that still, despite some pretty cool ideas integrated into the film overall, can't seem to find an audience nearly 30 years later. I hate to admit it, but it will never become a cult classic the way Part 2 is. But I digress. 

This series ran for 21 episodes and didn't really find the audience it wanted. Primarily trying to appeal to kids and teenagers, the lack of violence and satire that really drove the first two films is lacking and it just feels...lacking. That's the general consensus because I personally have not watched them, but I'm excited to. But while the show itself wasn't a hit and didn't necessarily generate more fans, it was a pretty decent marketing machine in regards to toys. I will admit, the toys produced because of this series are pretty awesome. So it does have that going for it. 

I am one of the biggest Robocop fans there is. I still have vivid memories of going to the movie theater to see Dragnet in 1987 as an 11 year old and seeing the trailer for the first film and just having my mind blown. I hadn't even seen the film yet, but I was immediately obsessed. As I write this article, I am staring at my Robocop poster on the wall next to me, as well as my Robocop VCR Home Game sitting on my desk. I have a lot of Robocop memorabilia and collectibles and have been a die hard fan of the franchise for 34 years. I am one of the very few who genuinely love the 2001 mini-series Prime Directives. Yes its budget is obviously limited, but I'd be damned if that series wasn't badass, filled to the brim with action, violence and satire, it seemed to correct course and fix the issues that this particular series failed to get right. Don't get me wrong though, I am genuinely excited to watch this series. The PG rating doesn't turn me off, as long as it's entertaining. 

I watched about 30 minutes of the pilot episode this weekend with my breakfast, and I will say it's not quite HD quality. In fact, it's not really the best DVD quality either. It looks more like the quality of the beginning of the DVD era, and for some reason it's painfully obvious that the picture is "zoomed in" a bit. So just a warning, it's not the best quality. But for a show that is otherwise hard to get your hands on, it's here and it's FREE. 

Robocop: The Series (1994) is now streaming for FREE on TubiTV

8.09.2021

Documentary Spotlight: Val (2021)

by robotGEEK

First off, I would like to apologize for the lack of content lately. I always tend to forget how difficult my time management gets during the summer. I'm one of those people who needs a schedule, and when we have all this free time during the summer, I get thrown off considerably and it's hard for me to get things done. I definitely have way too many hobbies and juggle way too many things with work, responsibilities, life and art. But I think starting today, things will get back on track. I definitely have a lot to catch up on here, but in the meantime, if you haven't already, I encourage you to check out my Instagram page where I am my most active. Anyway, lets dig in. 

First up is this excellent documentary that I just watched yesterday afternoon on Amazon Prime. Funnily enough, I just finished his memoir and wasn't even aware his documentary was going to be hitting soon, until a few of my Instagram followers pointed out that it just hit Amazon Prime. 

Narrated by his son, who sounds shockingly just like his dad, it was every bit as entertaining as I’d hoped, and paints a much broader portrait of a very passionate man. Whereas I found his memoir to focus too much on his lost loves and heartache, I found this to be far more inclusive regarding his career.


One thing of special note is that Kilmer was an avid documentarian. He filmed so much of his life, beginning as a very young man in the early 80's to now, through various cameras and mediums as technology changed and it's really such a fascinating thing to watch. Whether it was just filming himself in a quiet moment talking to the camera in moments of reflection, filming behind the scenes of any of his more popular films, or recording typical family stuff with his kids and ex-wife, it's a lot. Decades worth of footage and it's what really drives this documentary in a way that you don't see very often, making it quite an intimate experience. 

Val is an absolute gem of a documentary. 

Now streaming on Amazon Prime. 

7.06.2021

90's Thriller Throwback: Timebomb (1991) Video Review

From the director of Mercenary comes this surprisingly solid little early 90's sci-fi/thriller starring the always great Michael Beihn in a rare starring role, with a pretty stellar supporting cast that includes Billy Blanks, Patsy Kinset and Richard Jordan to name a few. Please give it a watch, and be sure to "like" the video and subscribe to my channel if you're so inclined. Your support means so much to me. Enjoy!

6.30.2021

SideKicks is Streaming on Amazon Prime!

 


by robotGEEK

ATTENTION!! This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. The ever elusive and nostalgic 90's masterpiece is finally streaming for the first time ever in the U.S. And not only is it streaming, it's also, for the first time ever, in glorious Widescreen and in HD! 

For those of you who may not be aware, this little gem has a really strange history here in the states. It's only ever been released officially on VHS and Laserdisc. We never even got a DVD, let along a Blu Ray or anything on that level. And in both of those releases, it was released in the dreaded full frame cropped aspect ratio, which is a shame because Chuck Norris' frequent collaborator and director brother Aaron Norris really shot the hell out of this. It's a great looking film, especially with the recreated fantasy sequences of Chuck's other popular films like Missing in Action and The Hitman. So since we STILL have no plans or release of this classic in the foreseeable future, this is literally the best we're going to get. The fact that it's in both HD and Widescreen is still completely mind-blowing to me.

While I do know it has gotten an official DVD release in the past in a few regions, like France I believe, it's still a very difficult film to find on that format, even on eBay. I had actually purchased one on eBay that I believed to be a legit Australian DVD release that claimed to be digitally remastered, only to sadly discover it was just a rip off of a VHS. It was terrible. BUT, there is some decent news regarding this film on physical media here in the U.S.. I was just recently made aware of a new 5-DVD set featuring a few of Chuck Norris' films, and this film is included in that set. It's not in Widescreen or HD, but it is a decent DVD quality and far better than the shitty bootleg I got. It's called the "Chuck Norris 5 Movie Collection", and contains Braddock: Missing in Action II, The President's Man, Forest Warrior, The Hitman (also never officially released on DVD before), and of course Sidekicks. You can purchase the set for $29.99 on Amazon HERE

Just in case you've never seen it, and are wondering what to expect, it's kind of like Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero before Last Action Hero. And Joe Piscopo as the villain is pure gold 100%. You can check out my review from November of last year HERE

Sidekicks is currently streaming for free with an Amazon Prime account HERE, with options to purchase it digitally as well. 

6.29.2021

Tubi Tuesday Presents: Into the Night (1985)

 


A Brilliant, Dark, Twisted Odyssey Through The Streets of L.A.

by robotGEEK

If you're ever in the mood for a bizarre, surreal and highly entertaining under-the-radar gem, then this film is for you. Brilliantly directed by John Landis, the same year he directed Spies Like Us, Into the Night is like the L.A. version of Martin Scorsese's After Hours. It's a surreal, sometimes nightmarish, sometimes odd and sometimes hilarious odyssey through the streets of L.A. via 1985 as an insomniac (Jeff Goldblum), meets and tries to help a beautiful young woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) as she's being chased by a random assortment of people over the course of a single night. 

As you'd expect with any Landis film, it's filled to the brim with amazing cameo's, some more subtle than others, and an insanely eclectic cast, including the late-great David Bowie as a hitman. I'm telling you, it's fucking great. I happened upon this film by accident a few years ago. One day I was casually browsing the Laserdisc section on eBay, and stumbled upon this. I was immediately drawn to it because it was a John Landis and Jeff Goldblum film I had never heard of before, so that Laserdisc was a blind-buy for me. When we threw it on one lazy Sunday afternoon, we were floored by not only how entertaining it was, but how good it was too. Make no mistake, it's not your conventional film. It's so strange, but in the most delightful way possible. It takes huge risks in both it's approach to its story and structure, and John Landis shoots the hell out of this thing. It's a gorgeous film to look at. It's a shame he's kind of a terrible person in real life, an egomaniac and well, we know the rest. But he sure was one helluva director in his prime, even through his legal and personal troubles in the 80's. 

Streaming for FREE (with commercials) in HD on TubiTV

6.23.2021

Bad Movie Night Presents: Blind Date (1984)

Another Hidden Gem From Nico Mastorakis

by robotGEEK

Not to be confused with the 1987 Bruce Willis comedy of the same name, Blind Date is legendary cult filmmaker, and Bad Movie Night darling, Nico Mastorakis' take on the Italian Giallo genre. A sort of Fulci/Argento "light" if you will. Going in, we knew nothing about it, other than knowing it came from Mastorakis, who's films we have grown to love more and more these past few years, after discovering the insanely badass and Bad Movie Night classic Hired to Kill. And let me tell you, it was everything we'd hoped it would be, and more.

When a sudden freak accident leaves a man blind, a doctor and scientist gives him an experimental device that allows him to see electronic images in a sort of 8-bit way, allowing him to be able to move around without being completely blind. Meanwhile, a serial killer is targeting beautiful women around the city. 

What a wonderful gem of a film. I don't even know where to begin. While that little synopsis sounds absolutely ridiculous, believe me when I say that's nothing compared to the reality of it all. I just can't say too much more without giving away some of the plot points that come into play later, potentially ruining it for you. Let me just say that if you give it a chance, you will be handsomely rewarded with a charmingly absurd film that teeters on a sexy erotic/thriller and an Italian Giallo. Gorgeous women, random nudity, amazing 80's aesthetic, video games (???), retro technology, and an insane storyline that baffles the mind, but delivers endless laughs and plentiful audible "WTF?'s". It's a blast. 

Blind Date is so bizarre in so many different ways, but let's talk a little about some of the things that make up the film. It's a Greek production, shot in Greece, but the leads are all American actors, starting with Joseph Bottoms (The Black Hole) as the blind man, an insanely hot and young Kirstie Alley the same year she appeared in Michael Chrichton's excellent techno/thriller Runaway (1984), and 2 years after her appearance as Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Then you've got 2001: A Space Odyssey's Kier Dullea, James Daughton (Animal House) and the gorgeous Lana Clarkson (Barbarian Queen, Deathstalker). Hell, there's even a small little bit part by Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles) as a hooker with no speaking lines. Quite a cast for sure, and it all just adds to the film's richly eccentric vibe. I'm telling you, this film is so much fun. 

Up until this point I'd only seen about 3 films by Nico Mastorakis - Hired to Kill, The Zero Boys and Nightmare at Noon, all wonderful little gems in my opinion. So after this unintentionally hilarious experience, we looked up more of his filmography, and were so excited to learn that there seems to be plenty more from his insane 80's output to dig into, with a lot of them having been given the special treatment by Arrow Video. Mastorakis has quickly become one of our favorite cult film directors and we can't wait to dig into his other films soon. 

We have been deep-diving into "So Bad, It's Good" films for so many years, that finding hidden little gems like this is refreshing, because so often we feel that we've seen them all by now, or at least the good ones, and there's nothing left to discover in this niche little genre. Blind Date is an excellent reminder that there are plenty left to be discovered.

How to Watch it:

Blind Date was released on a Special Edition Blu Ray via Scorpion Releasing in 2019, which you can pick up for cheap on Amazon HERE, and it's currently streaming for FREE on Amazon Prime with a subscription.

Please remember to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel HERE. I haven't had the chance to put a lot of work into it yet, but I plan to and your support motivates me to do so. Thank you. 

robotGEEK out...

6.08.2021

Tubi Tuesday Presents: M.A.S.K. The Animated Series

 


by robotGEEK

One of the coolest cartoons and toylines to come out of the 80's is finally available to stream (for FREE!!) in all of it's glory on TubiTV. This series, or franchise rather, doesn't really need an introduction, especially if you're as old as I am and grew up on 80's cartoons. Hands-down one of the most popular cartoons to come out of that era, and still to this day one of the most popular toylines to collect, with really anything M.A.S.K.-related being some of the most sought after vintage brands and toylines for collectors today.

All 65 episodes are available in the best HD quality you will find. This series has been released officially in the U.S. before via Shout! Factory, which isn't cheap, as well as other regions for far cheaper than what you would pay for the Shout! Factory set, as long as you have a region-free player. 

Anyway, enjoy this trip down nostalgia lane and get ready to have that rockin' theme song stuck in your head for days! 

Please be sure to check out and "subscribe" to my new YouTube Channel. It would mean the world to me. It's still very much in the beginning stages and needs a lot of work, but I figured I needed to start somewhere while getting my feet wet. I've never been one to enjoy being in front of the camera, so I'm mostly trying to work through my insecurities while figuring out what equipment I will need on this new venture. You can check out my new robotGEEK channel HERE.

robotGEEK out...


6.05.2021

The Wraith Coming to Blu-Ray!


by robotGEEK

It's been a looooong road to get here, but the cult classic The Wraith is finally making it's debut on Blu-Ray for the first time in the U.S. via Vestron's Collector's Series label. 

Released in 1986, this cult classic with the killer soundtrack has been released on nearly every other format other than Blu Ray here in the states until now. It has technically already gotten the Blu Ray treatment though in other regions like Japan, Spain and Germany, with far cooler cover art I might add. But they don't have the extras that will be included in this release, so for some that, along with the low price point of just $17, will be enough for most people to either double-dip or blindly buy this new release. 

Here are the new extras included in this release:

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Mike Marvin
Audio Commentary with Actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian
“Tales from the Desert” — An Interview with Writer-Director Mike Marvin
“Rughead Speaks!” — An Interview with Actor Clint Howard
“Ride of the Future” — Interviews with Stunt Coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and Transportation Coordinator Gary Hellerstein
“The Ghost Car” — Interviews with Visual Effects Producer Peter Kuran and Effects Animator Kevin Kutchaver
Isolated Score Selections Featuring Audio Interview with Co-Composer J. Peter Robinson
“The Wraith Filming Locations: Then and Now” Featurette
Alternate Title Sequence
Still Gallery
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots

Amazon already has this up for pre-order at an insanely reasonable price, which you can find HERE. Already got mine ordered! The Wraith is set for release July 20th. 

Also, please remember to subscribe to my new YouTube Channel. I'm an amateur at it, but slowly making progress and getting there. You can subscribe HERE
It would mean the world to me. Thank you!

6.03.2021

The Cult Corner: Johnny Mnemonic (1994)


Deeply Flawed, Yet Oddly Enjoyable

by robotGEEK

Hello friends! So I finally decided to revisit this cult classic after nearly 30 years. I recently made a snarky comment online about my dislike for this film, only to realize that I was very much in the minority on that! People really seem to love this, so I thought I'd give it another chance. Maybe I was missing something upon that first viewing so many years ago? 

Here is my newest video review from my new YouTube Channel. If you'd rather see a written review instead, please drop a comment or shoot me an email. If you enjoy the video reviews, please consider "subscribing" to my new channel HERE. It would mean the world to me. Thank you!

6.02.2021

Tubi Tuesday Presents: Forever Knight (1992)


by robotGEEK

Forever Knight is a TV show that began in 1992 and ran for 3 seasons and follows the exploits of detective Nick Knight (Geraint Wyn Davies), an 800 year old vampire attempting to redeem himself by doing good in the world after centuries of killing. While I haven't actually seen this show personally, I do know it has a huge cult following and was not easy to come by for many years after it's original air date. I believe it's since been released on DVD as a Complete Series set, which you can get for under $30 from any number of your online retailers. 

The entire series is currently available for FREE on TubiTV.com.

Do you like this series? Let me know what you think. I'm debating whether to add it to my ever-growing list of shows to watch. 

5.29.2021

Bad Movie Night Presents: The Specialist (1994)

 


by robotGEEK

Boy I tell ya, the 90's keep coming back to surprise me over and over again lately, as I'm sure you've noticed! Checking out some gems from the 90's, or rediscovering them all over again after so many years has literally been one of the highlights for me this past year. I never would have thought that that particular decade would ultimately become so fucking instrumental in fleshing out my taste in films the way it has. But here we are once again with a film that blew me away. Get it? Because it's about a bomb expert. *crickets

I also thought maybe there are some of you who aren't much into video reviews, with this film marking my first journey into that new area for me a few posts back. So just in case, I thought I'd write down a few words on how much fun this ridiculous little gem of a film is.

Full disclosure. I remember giving this a shot back then, but I maybe got 15-20 minutes in and gave up. I just wasn't into it at the time. Didn't like it's genre, it's direction and I sure as hell wasn't a fan of James Woods as much as I am today back then. Much like some of you, I don't care too much for him or his politics as a person, but I sure love the shit out of him as an actor. Say what you will about him personally, but the man can deliver a performance unlike most others. And here, he shines in every goddamn second he's on screen, easily outshining every other actor in here.

The Specialist is about a former bomb expert who is an under-the-radar and off-the-grid expert for hire when a mysterious woman (Sharon Stone) convinces him to take on a hit job on the people responsible for her parents murder that she witnessed as as kid. While he still feels uneasy about the deal, he reluctantly accepts and goes about killing those for her parents murder one by one, while also having a steamy affair with her. His former commander (James Woods), now a freelance security expert, is the security pro responsible for his targets protection, which complicates matters. 

The Specialist, for all intents and purposes, is a silly, over-the-top, ridiculous and highly absurd mess. It's like a film that Joe Eszterhas would have written right smack in the middle of his early to mid 90's explosion of sleezy cult classics like Basic Instinct and Showgirls. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced he didn't. It's. So. Much. Fun. It's great for all the reasons that make it a mess and I loved every single minute of it. Stone is hot as hell as the mysterious woman at the center of everything, while James Woods is on fire as the hot head security expert who is very clearly on cocaine. Hell, maybe Woods really was on it too because this is probably the most over-the-top I've ever seen him and he's absolutely amazing in this. Eric Roberts does a helluva job as another villain, and Rod Steiger does his best Cuban accent. Stallone is solid in a role I wasn't used to seeing him in. 

To further the bizarre atmosphere, there's a surreal sequence where Stallone and Stone are both thinking of each other that will leave you dumbfounded. It's bizarre, strange, and feels totally out of place, like it's from an 80's music video, and it's spectacular. 

I also got to give it to director Luis Llosa (Sniper, Anaconda) for doing an ace job behind the camera. This is a seriously slick looking film and I was surprised as anybody to discover this. Aside from it being insanely hot with everyone either sweating or glistening, it's a gorgeous looking film with some stellar camerawork and impressive pyrotechnics. The sound design for said pyrotechnics could have been better, but that's just a minor detail. 

The Specialist is currently streaming on TubiTV right now for FREE and in HD. Give it a watch. It's a perfect Saturday Night Movie

5.27.2021

A Very Special Happy Birthday To Our Friend Breanna Whipple

I wanted to take this opportunity to not only wish my friend and fellow reviewer Breanna Whipple a very Happy Birthday, but to talk a little about what she does and how she inspires me. 

Breanna is a contributing writer over at Rue Morgue magazine and Nightmarish Conjurings, as well as the creator, owner and full-time writer at Heavy Horror, a website dedicated and influenced by her love of movies, music, events and anything that isn't lame. It's a great website and I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a follow. 

I wanted to quickly touch on how much she's inspired, motivated, encouraged and supported me here at robotGEEK'S Cult Cinema right from the very beginning. While I don't have the time I wish I had to dedicate to this, and the fact that I do tend to get discouraged from time to time, not knowing if this is something I should keep doing, she's always been there to encourage me to keep going. She inspires me constantly, whether it's landing a new writing gig for an established website or magazine (something I have yet to accomplish myself), or in how passionate she is about her craft. She's also been a huge fan of my work as a photographer and we've been talking for years about collaborating together on a project as a model and photographer. I hope the stars align someday and we find ourselves in the same part of the planet where we can actually make that happen. I know we would make magic and it would be fucking amazing. 

I also highly recommend following her on Instagram and Facebook, because she's always been incredible at recommending films to me; some I've never heard of before, and some I never thought to take a chance on. To date, she's never steered me wrong. Every suggestion she's made has been gold. Also, she's really fucking funny and so goddamn clever. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREANNA!!!

You can follow Breanna at any of these links below:

Website: www.heavyhorror.com

Instagram: @breanimator

Facebook:  Breanna Whipple

Facebook: Heavy Horror



Cobra Kai: Season 4 | Terry Silver Returns

by robotGEEK

Karate Kid III may have been a trainwreck of a movie, but at least it gave us one of the most memorable villains in film history, brilliantly played by the great Thomas Ian Griffith. Check out the new teaser below!!!

5.26.2021

First Video Review On Our New YouTube Channel - The Specialist Film Review

Here it is! Our first ever Video Review on our NEW YouTube Channel! Yes, a bit rough around the edges. Filmed with my iPhone as I wait for my new equipment to show up and get my little studio set up for a more professional quality, BUT, I really feel the need to start trying to get comfortable in front of a camera, so this was good practice. 

Please consider giving it a "like" and subscribing to my channel. It would mean the world to me.

robotGEEK out...

5.25.2021

Tubi Tuesday Presents: Alien Nation - The TV Series

 


A lot of you may or may not know that I am obsessed with TubiTV. They just continue to blow me away with their FREE content of everything from mainstream blockbusters, to hard to find classic TV shows and obscure cult classic films. I mean, I really can't get into all of what they offer because it's just so much. Low-budget 90's obscure action films? They got you covered. Incredibly hard to find and not-yet-released-on-dvd tv shows and 80's cult horror films? They got you. Classic 80's cartoons like Transformers, COPS, GI Joe and Inspector Gadget? Check. 

Anyway, I figured this would be a good way to spotlight something that I came across and immediately threw in my Watchlist. So let's begin with the Alien Nation TV series. 

This series was released in 1989, a year after the now cult classic film, and stars Gary Graham (Robot Jox). It was developed for television by Kenneth Johnson, who's most famous for creating, writing and directing the classic TV Mini-Series (and ratings behemoth) V in 1983, as well as developing and writing the original Incredible Hulk TV series with Lou Ferrigno, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. He knows his stuff, and proves that once again with this immensely immersive Alien Nation series, which really fleshes out so much more than the movie possibly could. 

He wrote and directed the pilot, as well as a bunch of the other episodes, and would go on to do the same for a few Alien Nation TV Movies that followed the series in the mid 90's. While this has easily been available on DVD for some time, as well as the TV Movies, I don't think it's ever made the leap to Blu Ray. So I'm actually curious if the quality on Tubi will be in HD, as is mostly the case, even with the hard to find stuff. 

Give it a watch and enjoy!

robotGEEK out...

Also, just a friendly reminder to check out my new YouTube Channel. There's only one review up now, but I'm focused on working on more content soon so please give it a "subscribe". Thank you. 


5.24.2021

My New YouTube Channel Is Up!

 


Hello everyone! For those of you who have followed me throughout the years, I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. While I do find it hard sometimes to find the motivation to keep going and doing these on here from time to time, your support always seems to keep me going and I thank you. 

This past year or so have been quite a rollercoaster for a lot of us, myself included. While there has certainly been a whole lot of bad, for myself, there has been just as much good, and I feel now would be the time to finally take my robotGEEK brand a little further and dive a little bit into video reviews. Now this will be hard for me because I've always been and continue to be extremely self-conscious. I rarely ever take a photo of myself (even though I'm also a photographer), let alone a video. But my amazing wife has been telling me for years to give it a shot, and after some persuading from a very dear friend, I decided to finally do just that. I have a long way to go with learning video editing, getting some new equipment to record videos for the channel and whatnot. But, I figured I have to start somewhere, and just grow from there through trial and error. 

I hope you choose to subscribe and follow me on my new journey. I will continue to post regularly here like always, but as I start getting the hang of video reviews, I may start focusing more on there than over here. I don't really know yet. But either way, your support would mean the world to me. You can check out my new robotGEEK YouTube Channel, by following the link HERE

Once again, THANK YOU. robotGEEK out. 

5.18.2021

PROMO- The Making of AVENGING FORCE Documentary


by robotGEEK

Here's a slick little promo for the excellent new feature length documentary The Making of Avenging Force by my friend Retrofiend Radio. A thoroughly comprehensive and nearly 2 hour look into this slice of 80's Badass Cinema starring the insanely killer team of Michael Dudikoff and the legendary Steve James. 

I think what makes this film stand out from their other collaborations, including with director Sam Firstenberg, is how straight-up brutal it is, especially when compared to the unintentionally cheesy classics Sam has directed both before and after this. We love you Sam!! 

Take a deep dive into everything Avenging Force by checking out this excellent documentary HERE on YouTube, and be sure to "Like" and "Subscribe" to Retrofiend Radio's channel!

5.17.2021

Documentary Spotlight: Stallone: Frank, That Is (2021)


by robotGEEK

Relatively new to Amazon Prime is this surprisingly engaging and heartfelt look at Frank Stallone, who, despite being an accomplished musician, stuntman and actor, never could emerge from the shadow of his more famous brother. And that's not a dig at all. It's something literally everyone, including Frank himself, will tell you throughout the documentary. 

I really enjoyed this and was surprised, and also not so surprised, to see how many big names they got to interview for this and talk about Frank. Frank...what a character. If you've ever wondered why he never made it bigger than he did, you'll probably understand why after watching this. A dedicated and incredibly hard-working individual, I was a bit shocked to discover that above all else, he's quite the talented musician. I mean, I always knew he sang? But I had no idea how much of a musician he really is. Despite his bit parts in big budget films, and his starring roles in low-budget action films in the 90's, he is above all else, a very talented musician. So I was a bit thrown by how much time they spent discussing his musical career rather than his film career, but hey, that was just one of many wonderful surprises found within this touching documentary. 

While I was a bit disappointed that they didn't really talk about his short stint as an action hero lead in some low-budget 90's action films, I did find his musical career far more fascinating. It's safe to say that the guy really has a talent for it, and while one of his issues is that he never could find a genre of music and stick to it, I have to say that whatever genre he tackles, he does it incredibly well. I will say this too, I am damn sure going to look for the Staying Alive soundtrack, which he is responsible for, and sounds incredible. Hell, I might even watch the movie someday too! 

Also, a quick reminder to be on the lookout for my new YouTube page coming shortly. I'll keep you posted on here about the progress, but it's something I'm both excited and extremely nervous about doing. Wish me luck. robotGEEK out...

5.14.2021

90's Thriller Throwback: Stigmata (1999)


by robotGEEK

Suddenly, I've found myself digging deep into 90's horror a lot lately. I think it's because I was a bit all over the place in the 90's. I was in my 20's, moved to a new (much bigger) city by myself, worked 2 jobs to survive, partied a lot, and really just didn't have the time to even think about movies. I know I missed out on a LOT of films during that decade, and as I finally take the time to watch them for the first time, I'm discovering that I really missed out on some serious gems. 

I could be wrong, but I feel like there was a surge in these types of religion/exorcism films during this period. That's probably why I never got around to it either. I must have just felt (at the time), that I'd already seen similar enough films being released that I easily dismissed it. Well, I'm here to tell you that THAT WAS A MISTAKE. Stigmata is awesome on so many levels. Let's dig in. 


While investigating another case for the church, Father Andrew Kiernan (Gabriel Byrne) is made aware of a separate case involving a woman believed to be afflicted by Stigmata. The church wants him to close the case and move on, even trying to reassign him to other more urgent cases, but as his connection to the young woman (Patricia Arquette) who's suffering from this becomes stronger, he realizes this may be an actual legitimate Stigmata, and one he cannot walk away from. 

I gotta tell you. If you want a hard dose of 90's nostalgia, kind of the way Mallrats does, but in a completely different way, then you need to check this gem of a film out. For starters, it's gleefully apparent that it's from a music video/commercial director. You know, the ones that really tend to throw all of their eggs into one basket in the start of their career and just kind of blow you away with aesthetics and visual eye candy? Michael Bay did it with Bad Boys and The Rock, David Fincher did it with Alien3 and Seven, and the list goes on and on. This time around we've got music video director Rupert Wainwright, who surprisingly had already done a few films prior to this, 1 TV Movie and 2 comedies, before diving into horror with this film. And I have to tell you, he directs it like it's his first film, pulling out all the stops and delivering a truly stunningly visual film experience. The fact that it was done in the 90's is just icing on top. 


One thing that immediately put a HUGE smile on our faces as we sat down for this was how obnoxiously 90's this all is right at the beginning during the opening credits. I won't spoil it for you, but holy shit, it was the "chef's kiss" of opening credit sequences in a horror film. Then you see that the score is from none other than Billy Corgin of The Smashing Pumpkins, and well, it was all just perfect. The in-your-face music, the quick-cut editing, the 90's font (!!!), and the setting. Perfect, perfect, perfect. 

For those of you who are Gabriel Byrne fans, and I'm discovering that there are actually a lot of you, especially the ladies, you'll notice that he looks a helluva lot like his character of the Devil in Arnold Schwarzenegger's End of Days. I love that film too by the way. Peter Hyams is easily my favorite filmmaker and while End of Days doesn't get a whole lot of love, I personally love it. I was surprised to learn that this film and End of Days both came out in the same year! It's like he literally stepped off of one movie set and just walked over to the other in the same exact outfit! In one film he plays the Devil, and in the other he plays a priest! In fact, I've seen several images of him online from this film wrongly attributed to his character in End of Days. Easy to do since he looks exactly the same, yet it's shocking how he can come off as so evil in one film, and so good and likable in the other. 


Visually, this is where Stigmata shines. It's just absolutely gorgeous. Rupert Wainwright's camerawork is nothing short of stunning, giving off some serious 90's David Fincher and Peter Hyams vibes. Hell, I'll even say it's more of a combo of peak John Woo and Peter Hyams. You heard me! Each shot is brilliantly and meticulously executed in a way I wasn't expecting. I mean, who would have thought a bellow-the-radar film like this would have looked so damn good? I certainly wasn't. I will tell you which film I was actually expecting this kind of lush and impressive camerawork though...The Prophecy (1995). It did look surprisingly good, I'll give it that. And the Walken and the cast was great, but goddamn was it dull. Stigmata not only offers great eye candy, but it's just so much fun from start to finish. Ridiculous, dated, with some seriously impressive set design, stuntwork and great effects work from the one and only Ve Neill, Stigmata is one helluva great time. We rented the DVD, but this seriously needs to be seen in HD, so we'll promptly be grabbing the Blu Ray soon because this needs to be in the collection permanently. To say this film was a surprise is an understatement. 

On a side note, I wanted to let you all know that I'll be starting a YouTube Channel very shortly. It's something so many people have told me to do, but my own insecurities have prevented me from doing. I don't know. This year has been crazy in a good way for me. I feel now would be the time to try it, even if it fails. So stay tuned. I hope to get that up and running within the next few weeks. Thank you for sticking around. 



5.11.2021

New Movie Monday: Nobody (2021)


 by robotGEEK

I know today is technically Tuesday, but I started working on this yesterday with every intent of posting it, but it has been a crazy couple of weeks for me. I just never seem to have the time to work on this site, or anything really. Or at least, I never seem to be able to finish anything I start. Aaaanyway...

If you had told me the best action film of the year would feature Bob Odenkirk, RZA and Christopher Lloyd kicking the living shit out of the Russian mafia, I wouldn't have believed you. But it's real, it's here, and it's fucking awesome.

I should mention that I went into this pretty cold, not knowing a thing about it, other than seeing the trailer and it looking like a John Wick clone. That's technically true, but I'll get into that in a bit. The selling point for me was seeing Odenkirk, who most will recognize from Mr. Show or Better Call Saul, but for me he's the skeezy lawyer from Breaking Bad (yes I know it's the same character in Better Call Saul). I thought the idea of him playing a badass was so fascinating, and boy does he deliver the goods. I also had no clue who was behind this. I mean, I kind of assumed it had somebody involved in the John Wick films because on the surface it's a fucking blue print for those films if I've ever seen one. So I wasn't at all surprised to learn it was written by Derek Kolstad, the writer of all three John Wick films. What did surprise me was that it was directed by Ilya Naishuller, who's only other directorial feature was Hardcore Henry, 6 years ago. But here he does such an incredible job making the film look as polished as any big budget theatrical release that you'd never know he's only had one other feature under his belt. He directs like a seasoned pro. 

It would be hard for me to say anything about the storyline without giving too much away, because despite it looking pretty straightforward, it was definitely full of surprises that I didn't see coming. I guess I can say it's about a man who lives a pretty mundane life with a job, family, sexless marriage and all that, until one day he's pushed too far. That's a simple and understated approach, but really, there's so many layers that present themselves as the film moves along. It's far more complex than you think.


 Odenkirk does a helluva job as the middle aged father, husband and committed worker who meanders through his existence without a single passion for anything. When he begins unleashing an unholy onslaught of ass-kicking to an insane amount of well-deserved thugs, he's equally as believable. He's no superhero though. He gets his ass kicked just as much as he dispenses it, but does it all so convincingly! He is a seriously understated badass in this film and I hope that he gets to explore this character some more with other films, or even lands other parts that show off his newly found ability to be a badass. 

One of the things I absolutely loved about this film, other than the frequent surprises and even the refreshingly eclectic casting choices, was how the film looked. It's slick as hell, and you won't find any of that shaky-cam/quick-edit bullshit in here. It's all shot with so much style and some seriously creative camera tricks that literally throw you right into the action. I love it when a director takes his time to not only try to show you something new, but to actually show the action well so that you can actually tell what the fuck's going on. It's a bit refreshing these days. There is some clever editing, not only in the action sequences, but in the way the film is presented overall that makes it move along at a quick pace and never slows down for a minute. I loved that. 

Ultimately, if you love the John Wick films, you're guaranteed to love this. There's no question. But there's enough of a difference between the two to walk away from this not feeling like it's "just another John Wick clone". Far from it. It's a breath of fresh air and if you haven't already seen it, you need to get on it ASAP. 

Nobody is currently playing at your local theater, or you can rent it from a number of streaming services like Amazon, Vudu and Google Play. 

4.23.2021

90's Action Attack!: Money Train (1995)


A Blast From Start To Finish And A Far More Badass Action Flick Then It Gets Credit For

by robotGEEK

Well this was one helluva surprise. I hadn't seen this or even thought of it in well over 20 years, and when I recently made a post on Instagram about some other film (I don't remember which one), a good friend of mine suggested I revisit this one, and wouldn't you know, not even a week later it was added to HBO Max's library. How perfect and serendipitous?!

I decided to throw this on on a Saturday night and honestly, it couldn't have been a more perfect Saturday night flick to be honest. One thing that I noticed right off the bat is that this is a much better and stronger film all around than I was expecting. I guess my memory of this was that it was more of a comedy, and while yes, it is quite hilarious, it's actually a pretty kickass straight-up 90's action gem that delivers everything in spades, from the aesthetics, to the insane and highly impressive stunts, to the model miniatures and of course, the action and comedy. I really don't like using the word comedy because I feel it takes away from the overall vibe of the film being a total blast as an action film. And maybe I'm not alone in thinking that? I mean, why doesn't anybody ever talk about this? Maybe people aren't even aware that it's more of a balls-to-the-wall action flick than an action/comedy? If that's the case, you need to fix that pronto because Money Train kicks an insane amount of ass. 

Wesley and Woody are such an infectious duo, and their chemistry is undeniable. I thought that White Men Can't Jump was their only other collaboration, but someone pointed out that they've actually been in a few other films together, which I was completely unaware of. I think the 80's football comedy Wildcats is one of them. And here, they play off each other so comfortably well that I'm surprised they didn't co-star in more films together. You've also got a fresh-faced and insanely hot Jennifer Lopez as the new partner/love interest, and one helluva devilish performance from Robert Blake as the asshole boss of the transit authority. He's not really the villain, but damn if he doesn't come across as it. 


While I was watching this that Saturday night just completely enthralled by it all, I posted a clip of a scene where Snipes kicks the living shit out of 2 guys using his martial arts skills, and that little clip got so much response. For starters, people were tripping that there were even fights like that in the film, and secondly, that they looked so damn brutal. Yes, Money Train is full of kickass hand-to-hand fights, chases, shootouts and there's even a subplot about a serial killer who goes around killing transit booth employees by lighting them on fire. I'm telling you, this film never skipped a beat, and is just a nonstop thrill-ride from start to finish. Another solid point that a few people made based on that clip was remembering how badass Snipes was once upon a time. Obviously it's hard to separate the guy from his personal shit, his reputation of being difficult, his prison stint on tax charges of all things, and his lack of quality roles since the early 2000's, but man. He sure as hell had a great run as an action lead in the 90's. As we speak, I'm currently revisiting the excellent Passenger 57 (his first action hero lead) as well thanks to TubiTV. He was such a badass. I will say though, he was the best thing about the new Coming 2 America if I'm to be completely honest. I know that film has people pretty divided in general (full disclosure: I actually enjoyed it once I stopped trying to compare it to the original. I feel it works better as a drama rather than a comedy), but Snipes sure steals the show in every scene he was in. 

Money Train is an absolute blast from start to finish. Maybe it's the title, or the fact that it reteams Wesley and Woody, who previously starred in a comedy together, or that it was marketed as an action/comedy (which is technically is), but goddamn it's a great action film through and through and it really needs to be recognized as one. I feel it's slipped under the radar for a lot of people, or those who have seen it don't remember it being this badass.... like me! Whatever the case may be, Money Train needs to be revisited with fresh eyes and celebrated for being a pitch perfect Saturday Night action flick. Never a dull moment, and director Joseph Ruben (The Stepfather) handles the visuals, action set pieces and frantic pace like an action pro. I'm SHOCKED he never directed more action films like this, because not only was it a damn good looking action film, full of that amazing 90's aesthetic that makes these films so recognizable, and memorable, but it was also effortlessly hilarious without feeling forced. In short, Money Train rules. 

Money Train is currently streaming in HD on HBO Max

4.22.2021

90's Action Attack!: A Lowdown Dirty Shame (1994)


A Lowdown Dirty Shame Of A Missed Opportunity

by robotGEEK

Full disclosure. I was very excited to see this. It's a film I have seen before, but remember nothing about. And as I'm knee-deep in the thick of a 90's binge, I suddenly remembered this little-talked about entry from Keenan Ivory Wayans, who while primarily a comedy director, tried his hand at action for a very brief period in the 90's, only to go back to directing comedy. 

I really wanted to love this. On the surface, it should all work, especially since Wayans proved his love for Blaxploitation with his previous directing gig I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, a hilarious love letter to the genre. Yet I didn't find that it all quite worked here. I didn't find it funny enough when it was trying to be funny (often times coming off as painfully forced), and the action never really hit as hard as it should have. There were some great setups for sure, but I don't think he's a strong enough director to handle the action unfortunately. It all comes across as a bit ham-fisted and surprisingly dull. But that's just my opinion. I know there are those out there that do like this movie. I just wish I was one of them. 

I had forgotten Jada Pinkett-Smith was in this, and it's kind of bizarre to see her play this kind of character when she's turned into such a poised and serious person as she's gotten older. Here she plays sassy like nobody's business, and while I did find it cute mostly, it can also be incredibly annoying at times. Wayans, for his part, does a serviceable job in the lead. Not entirely memorable, but not terrible either, which is partly why you probably don't see much of him in acting roles outside of the ones he writes for himself, The Glimmer Man notwithstanding. He was pretty good in that. I haven't seen Most Wanted (which he wrote) yet though, so I'm excited to dig into that one soon. 

I hate to sound so harsh, but I really was looking forward to this and honesty, I just couldn't get past the feeling that it should have been so much cooler. I could easily see this turned into a franchise, which would have been great, but it just all feels a bit flat, and that's such a shame. I mean, you don't hear people ever talking about this one, and for good reason. I feel in the hands of the right director, who could handle the action set pieces a lot better, and who was experienced enough as a filmmaker to make tough decisions in certain areas, like cutting out some of the comedy that just didn't work, and a much better soundtrack than what we were given, it could have worked really well. The opening credits are badass, and gives you a sort of false hope that it's going to be a slick homage to 70's Blaxploitation, because it definitely looked it. But that was really the only time I ever got that vibe sadly.