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


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. 


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!!!


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...


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. 


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. 


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!


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...


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. 


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.