Sunday, November 28, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Resonnances (2006)


STUDIO: Synapse Films
YEAR: 2006
RATED: Unrated
GENRE: Horror, Sci-Fi
DIRECTOR: Philippe Robert
CAST: Johanna Andraos, Marjorie Dubesset, Vincent Lecompte, Sophie Michard, Franck Monsigny, Patrick Mons, Romain Ogerau, Livane Revel, Yann Sundberg, Thomas Vallegeas
RELEASE DATE: December 14th 2010
TAGLINE: Watch Your Step!

PLOT: A perfect getaway for a group of friends turns into a nightmare in this amazing French micro-budget horror/sci-fi film! Thomas, Yann, Vincent and three female friends hop into their cars and travel to the French mountains for a relaxing weekend trip. On their way, a dangerous psychopath escapes from prison and there’s even talk of a ghostly female apparition haunting the area. After picking up a suspicious hitchhiker, a thick fog envelops their cars and sends them all over a steep cliff! Barely surviving the fall, they soon discover something even more horrifying. An ancient creature lives under the ground… listening and waiting. It’s ready to devour anyone and anything in its path and this group of friends is very much on tonight’s menu! (from

FILM: Every so often we're treated to the indie film that despite (or because of) it's meager beginnings transcends it's micro-budget and slaps you upside the head with it's great writing, good acting, surprising visuals and winning indie-spirit ...enter RESONNANCES (2006) from French filmmaker Philippe Robert. There have been a good number of great horror titles coming outta France this past decade including HIGH TENSION (2003), INSIDE (2007) and LA HORDE (2009), all stylish and unflinching stuff. RESONNANCES is not as polished as nor as bloody as these films but what the filmmakers have been able to put to film is truly fantastic stuff.

The film opens in the French countryside in the year 1663 as a young woman is walking through a wooded she witnesses a meteor slam into the earth. She's knocked unconscious by the impact. When she awakens the ground swells beneath her, something is stirring. Startled she runs for her life through the wood pursued by creature which travels underground in a way that disturbs the soil a'la TREMORS (1990) by way of  CADDYSHACK (1980). Stumbling terrified through the woods she comes to a stone wall, clawing and scrambling she is unable to climb the facade. The thing violently slams into the wall and the ground erupts in a shower of dirt and stone. We don't see it but we know she's a goner for sure.

Present day we're introduced to three friends - Yann, Thomas and Vincent. Three pretty average late-20's dudes 'cept for Vincent who's the most hardcore gamer I've ever seen. He comes quipped with a Gameboy holster at his side and festooned with a kick-ass Elektra t-shirt he's a bit of a smart-ass and sarcastic as hell. The three are on on their way to a BBQ with Yann's girlfriend Karine, Elodie and Tina. The latter having a bit of an unrequited crush on gamer Vincent who jerkily refers to her as "Tuna" and explains he'd rather jerk-off to Lara Croft than stick his dick in "Tuna". I really enjoyed the interactions of the characters, the dialogue is light and fun with good natured ribbing between the guys, very snarky and natural. After dinner the  group hit the road en route to a mountaintop getaway. The guys lose sight of the girl's car and end up running out of gas on a forested route known as The Road of the White Lady, a place of legend where for years there have been reports of a ghostly white apparition and missing travelers. The trio push the car to a gas station that appears unattended and when Thomas goes inside to leave payment he is startled by a mysterious stranger who tags along with them (bad idea). Back on the road the foursome see what appears to be the fabled White Lady and lose control of the car careening off a steep embankment only to be conveniently saved by a tree. From there a passenger is extracted by the creature and the shit hits the fan, let the fun begin. 

The story itself is hardly original. There are elements of EVIL DEAD (1981), the aforementioned TREMORS (1990) and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1986). Lack of originality aside what makes RESONNANCES so much fun is it's winning spirit and loving homage to genre films.

The creature itself is digitally rendered with Syfy grade effects that more or less work without drawing attention to themselves. I'd put this on the level of a kindred-spirited indie horror film called INFESTATION (2008). There's very little gore here, but great use of miniature sets and decently rendered lo-fi digital effects, good stuff. What Writer-Director-Editor-Cinematographer Phillipe Robert has been able to muster here is pretty miraculous and a hell of a lotta fun.

DVD: The SYNAPSE FILMS DVD release of RESONNANCES (2006) comes with a non- anamorphic 1.85:1 letterboxed transfer stemming from the fact the the film was shot on non-anamorphic standard definition video. The film definitely shows it's limitations during the night scenes (i.e. 95% of the film) but the film is engrossing and it works despite it's technical shortcomings.  Two audio options are included; a French language Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo soundtrack with optional English subtitles. The only supplemental material being a Theatrical Trailer. I would have enjoyed a commentary, this is an indie horror feature that has a lot of love put into it and a commentary would have been appreciated.

VERDICT: RESONNANCES is a fantastically satisfying sci-fi horror romp that oozes passion project from  start to finish. It's funny without being stupid and it's tense without taking itself too seriously. If you're a fan of TREMORS, THE THING, or INFESTATION I know you're gonna enjoy this. A high recommend from me, if you're in my area look me up and we'll watch it together, bring some beers and we'll have a blast...or pick-it up when it comes to DVD from Synapse Film on December 14th 2010. ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Friday, November 26, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives (2010)


STUDIO: Breaking Glass Pictures
YEAR: 2010
RATED: Unrated
GENRE: Exploitation, Revenge-Thriller
DIRECTOR: Israel Luna

PLOT: When the innocent and likable Bubbles Cliquot shows up for her nightly stage performance with a black eye, her transgender sisters suspect foul play from her latest boy toy. In an attempt to get Bubbles back to her bubbly self, the girls take her out for a relaxed night of cocktails at a local gay bar. After a few drinks, the ladies’ troubles seem far away, and Bubbles’ friends Emma Grashun and Rachel Slurr convince her to join them for a triple date with a pair of charming boys. Sadly, not even three tough-as-nails vixens could be prepared for the ambush that comes next. It turns out the blind date is set up by Boner, the baseball-bat-wielding, tranny-hating rapist who gave Bubbles her shiner. After luring them into an abandoned warehouse, Boner and his two beefy minions unleash all their hatred on the unsuspecting ladies, leaving them bashed and bruised, but not broken. After waking from her coma, Bubbles enlists the aid of her friends – the sharp-tongued Rachel and the fiercely protective Pinky La’Trimm – to bring her attackers to bloody justice.The ladies get in touch with their inner Zen before arming up with an assortment of bladed weapons and dressing in their finest dominatrix gear (if their knives don’t kill, their looks surely will). Not even a man as psychotic as Boner could imagine the well crafted and ingeniously planned bloodbath that ensues. (from

FILM: With a name like TICKED-OFF TRANNIES WITH KNIVES it's gotta be good, right? Enter a new sub-genre of exploitation cinema - TRANSPLOITATION. The film begins as we meet tranny go-go dancer BubbleCliquot (Krystal Summers) and her transgender friends, all of whom have awesome stage name: Rachel Slurr, Pinky La'Trimm, Tipper Somore, Emma Grashun, fun stuff. They're a group of fun living trannies who are out to just have a  night out on the town but all that abruptly comes to an end when they're confronted by a murderous trio of homophobes lead by Boner (Tom Zembrod). From this point the film is a throwback to the  70's-era rape/revenge-thrillers not unlike I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) or LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) ...only with trannies.

There's some Tarantino influence fully on display with plenty of tasty dialogue as well as a strong John Waters influence. The films is heavy on campy humor including a bit of a tribute to the infamous 70's porn DEEP THROAT that takes place at a hospital when Dr. Phil Latio arrives on scene delivering some deliciously lewd puns, fun stuff and obviously a film with it's tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Fun though it may be don't forget this a revenge thriller and there's a nasty bit o' violence perpetrated against this fun loving bunch of trannies. While most of it takes place off screen it is well shot and you feel it. I think the final third of the film is a bit weak when compared to what came before it mostly because the tone feels off when trying to transition from campy comedy and taking some well-deserved revenge against the perpetrators. The story feels a bit threadbare but when one comes to a film titled TICKED-OFF TRANNIES WITH KNIVES what do you expect!

DVD: TICKED-OFF TRANNIES WITH KNIVES (2010) comes to DVD by way of BREAKING GLASS PICTURES. The film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with 2.0 stereo audio. Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives is a good looking indie feature with a vibrant color palate, it's been digitally manipulated to give it the grindhouse look of a well-worn print similar to PLANET TERROR (2007) - missing reels, artificial print damage, scratchy audio - you know, that old chestnut. I was sent is a screener of the film that contained none of the special features which appear on the final DVD which was a damn shame as after viewing the film I had questions.

Special Features:
- Bloopers
- Nacho and Chuey Show
- Chapter 4: The Red Pen
- Behind The Scenes Featurette
- Commentary with Director Israel Luna and Stars Willam Belli and Krystal Summers

VERDICT: A fun, campy and excessive film that sends-up the revenge-thriller exploitation flicks of the 70's/80's and is mostly successful. I think film is definitely front-loaded and the final act of the film drags on a bit but still a tasty b-movie blast. The DVD is available now from Breaking Glass Pictures.

 *** (3 out of 5 stars)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Stiff (2010)

STIFF (2010)
STUDIO: Cinema Epoch
YEAR: 2010
RATED: Unrated
GENRE: Drama
DIRECTOR: Mike McKown and Jim Towns
CAST: Bill Scott (Troy), Lulu Benton (Lori), Melissa Troughtzmantz (Ms. Chapman)
TAGLINE: "I Want You to Help Me Die...."
PLOT: Troy (Bill Scott), a suicidal office employee, forms a bond with Lorri (Lulu Benton), a crisis counselor with a secret necrophiliac obsession. The two make a secret pact: Lorri will help Troy kill himself, if she can have her way with him afterward. But, as they prepare to go through with the deed, Troy's feelings for Lorri begin to grow, putting a strain on their seemingly ideal arrangement, as Troy wonders if he really does want to give his life (and Lorri) up. (from

FILM: Well here's a quaint indie drama that's not your typical boy meets girl love story. In this instance a suicidal office worker named Troy (Bill Scott) frequents the suicide hotline so often that not only do they know him by name but he's got his favorite operator at the crisis center, Lori (Lulu Benton). Lori is your average mid-20's necrophiliac ...oh yeah, that's right ...she's a real corpse grinder, truly. What better place to meet a stiff than at the suicide crisis hot line, right? The two strike up an unlikely friendship over the phone to the point that Lori gives the depressed loner her home phone number. Not a day later Troy's ringing Lori looking for a sympathetic ear while he half-heatedly contemplates jumping off a bridge. That's his deal, he has no follow-through to fully commit to suicide. Lori reaches out to him and arranges to meet him at his home. Troy's home is a pathetic sight with a shoddily constructed noose hanging from his sparsely furnished kitchen. So, what's Lori's deal, why is she so altruistic? She's into screwing corpses and is there to convince Troy to let her help him kill himself so that she can gratify her morbid desires after his death. Sounds like a sweet deal for both of 'em, right? Well, after spending a few days together Troy starts to feel the pangs of love for the 1st time and begins to question his resolve, and this is where the film excels, when it's exploring the tricky emotional interplay between Lori and Troy.  

The film is carried by the two main performances and they are definitely up to the task. While not Oscar-caliber they are both strong and tap into the dark emotional struggles that have brought them to this point in their lives. Both are socially and emotionally awkward individuals, most obviously Troy whose life of solitude has driven him to a state of suicidal despair. Lori is more socially adept but is deeply emotionally twisted stemming from witnessing her 1st love's death under the wheels of a school bus which has lead her down the path of death fetish and necrophilia. The film could have easily slipped into darker waters with themes of suicide and necrophilia but somehow manages to maintain it's edge as drama without devolving in DEADGIRL (2008) or NEKROMANTIK (1987) type body-horror territory but it straddles the line. Reportedly this film was shot in 7 days on a $1,000 micro-budget, that is true independent spirit. If I were complelled to nit pick I might say that the camera shots were pretty static and shot on the cheap, well no shit, right?  

DVD: STIFF comes to DVD courtesy of Cinema Epoch. The film is presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen with stereo audio. It's a good looking transfer with good image qaulity and crisp detail. The film is dialogue driven and the stereo audio is more than adequate. A good variety of supplemental materials including an informative behind-the-scenes featurette and an audio commentary with Directors Mike McKown and Jim Towns, first assistant camera/sound Christopher Nickelson and actors Lulu Benton and Bill Scott.

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary (80:00)
- Trailer (2:58)
- Alternate Ending (2:56)
- Featurette (40:33)
- Still Gallery

VERDICT: A decent entry into the pantheon of quirky indie-dramas. An off-kilter chronicling of the fateful meeting of two lonely souls working together towards a mutual morbid end. **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DVD REVIEW: Killjoy 3 (2010)

KILLJOY 3 (2010)

STUDIO: Full Moon Features
YEAR: 2010
RATED: Unrated
DIRECTOR: John Lechago
CAST: Trent Haaga, Voctoria De Mare, Jessica Whitaker, Michael Rupnow, Spiral Jackson, Olivia Dawn York, Al Burke, Tai Chan Ngo, Darrow Igus
TAGLINE: You Can't Keep a Bad Clown Down

SUMMARY: Four College students on Spring Break are house sitting for their professor. Meanwhile the professor is involved in a conjuring ceremony trying to raise the demon clown Killjoy for revenge. Killjoy (Trent Haaga) is not going at it alone this time and raises three other demon clowns. The behemoth hobo clown Punchy. The conjoined twins mime, Freakshow. Sandy (Jessica Whitney) and her classmates, Erica, Robert, Rojer and Zilla discover a mysterious package that was left overnight at the doorstep. Inside is a strange ornate mirror that transports the students into Killjoy's demon realm one by one where they have to survive the twisted diaboloical trials that Killjoy has for them.

FILM: There have been some great horror films featuring clowns, a few that come immediately to mind are the 80's classic KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988) and Stephen King's IT (1990) mini-series featuring a great turn from Tim Curry as  Pennywise, the killer clown. Then came the INSANE CLOWN POSSE who have stained the reputations of clowns everywhere with their bullshit juggalo stupidity. If you're one of those jackasses who enjoy ICP I want you to know thatI think you're an asshole, sorry (but it's true, you're an asshole). With that in mind I didn't necessarily come to KILLJOY 3 with rose colored spectacles and combined with the fact that I've not seen KILLJOY (2000) or KILLJOY 2: DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL (2002) it had a few strikes against it.
Right from the start Killjoy 3 cinematically looks very stylish and well shot which are 2 things that don't immediately come to mind when one ponders a Full Moon film, let's be honest. At the beginning of the film the Professor (Darrow Igus) conjures the demon clown Killjoy, a demon of vengeance who once summoned must be given sacrifice in the form of a soul of an intended victim as named by he who summons him. This time out Killjoy  brings a posse of demon clowns with him; Punchy (Al Burke), Batty Boop (Victoria De Mare) and Freakshow (Tai Chan Ngo). Before the intended victim can be named the incantation is interrupted when the Professor abruptly disappears and the vengeful clowns are returned to their demonic realm.

Killjoy is angered by the fact that he's been cheated his due sacrifice and is somehow able to transport an ornate magical mirror to the Prof's doorstep where it's discovered by 4 of his students who are house sitting. They bring the mirror into the house and hang it on the wall, who does that? I know you pay me to house sit but I thought it'd be cool to redecorate. Turns out the mirror is a portal of sorts and one by one the students are drawn to it and transported to the demon realm where they must face off against Killjoy and his minions.

The effects work is pretty standard for a current Full Moon production, meaning they aren't Industrial Light and Magic but they ain't terrible either. No real gore to speak off which was dissapointing but the Full Moon stuff has never been about the gore. Killjoy's clown make-up is well done but the other 3 don't fair. Batty Boop, the squeaky voiced succubus girlfriend of Killjoy is played by scream queen Victoria De Mare who is an attractive woman and her costume really plays to her curvacious strengths. Trent Haaga performance as the titular Killjoy is fun but the puns are truly terrible, is this a Killjoy trademark? That aside he can be very menacing and creepy. The demon realm set pieces are minimal but effective with good shadowy atmosphere and most of the performances are pretty solid as well.

DVD: The KILLJOY 3 DVD from Full Moon Features is presented in anamorphic widescreen with 2.0 stereo audio. The Killjoy 3 featurette takes us behind the scenes during production of K3 in China where Full Moon also filmed PUPPET MASTER: AXIS OF EVIL (2010). The highlight of which is Trent Haaga in full Killjoy attire giving us a tour of the ACE Studios.

Special Features:
- Killjoy - Vintage Behind the Scenes Featurette
- Killjoy 3 - Behind the Scenes from China Featurette
- Full Moon Trailers

 VERDICT: KILLJOY 3 is an entertaining film, if you're a Killjoy or Full Moon completest this is an easy buy, if not it's definitely worth a rental. From what I can tell Killjoy 3 is exclusively available as part of the Killjoy - The Diabolical Trilogy Boxset available from
. **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)

DVD REVIEW: Trancers (1985)

"His name is Deth. He hunts Trancers. Even in the 20th Century"

DIRECTOR: Charles Band

CAST: Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani, Art LaFleur, Biff Manard, Telma Hopkins, Megan Ward, Martine Beswick, Jeffrey Combs, Alyson Croft, Barbara Crampton, Melanie Smith, Andrew Robinson, Tony Pierce, Dawn Ann Billings, Ed Beecher

SUMMARY: Angel City, 2247. Trooper Jack Deth is battling the last disciples of Whistler, who used his psychic powers to trance and control his army. Though he'd been thought dead, he's very much alive…in the year 1985. Whistler's master plan—kill the ancestors of the City Council. With the Council disbanded, nothing can stop him from controlling the city. Jack Deth is sent back in time to inhabit his ancestor's body and dismantle Whistler's mission.

FILM: Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson, DOLLMAN) is a grizzled, chain-smoking Trooper from the year 2247. Troopers are a specialized police force tasked with tracking down Trancers who are weak willed people that have been "tranced" by master-criminal Martin Whister (Michael Stefani) who "trances" victims into zombie-like slaves to his will. It is assumed that Whistler has died. Trancers appear normal until they are triggered and then they become violent killers. Deth has encounters a Trancer at the start of the film in a greasy spoon diner and his loose cannon tactics have angered his superiors. He quits only to be summonsed back into service after it is discovered that Whistler has traveled through time to the year 1985. It's a pretty unique idea of how time travel is achieved. A serum is ingested that allows the conscious mind to travel back through one's own bloodline and inhabit the body of an ancestor. In Whistler's case he has traveled "down the line" and into the body of Weisling a Lt. in the LAPD circa 1985. Whistler plans to systematically eliminate the blood relatives of the 2247 City Council members and he's succeeding as only one Council member survives, Chairman Ash. The Chairman gives Deth a baseball card of their 1985 ancestor Hap Ashby (Biff Manard) - a down on his luck former baseball player living on skid row. Deth agrees to also travel "down the line" and into the body of ancestor Phil Denton, a journalist but only after he destroys the body of Whistler in the year 2247 so he has no body to return to.

Deth arrives in 1985 and meets Lena (Helen Hunt) a woman Phil has just had a one night stand with. I've never thought of Hunt as a very attractive woman but she's not without her charm here. While at the Mall with Lena is attacked by the Mall Santa who just happens to be a Trancer ("What's wrong with Murray?"). Jack kills the trancer and he and Lena flee the scene. Whistler as Lt. Weisler arrives on the scene and sends out an APB on Jack for the murder of the store Santa. Definitely a film that will forevermore be on my Christmas to-watch list, great stuff. "Security, we've got trouble at the North Pole."

Trancers is definitely more a sci-fi action film than horror and while the budget is low I admired the films futuristic elements. When jack is sent to 1985 he brings with him vials of the serum that will enable him to return Whistler and himself to the future as well as a "long second" wrist watch which enables him to slow down time for a very brief period. Let me just say the scenes of slow-mo are definitely not MATRIX-style "bullet-time". It's decidedly more low-budget but effective in that peculiar late-80's Full Moon way.

Trancers has a great cast that is topped off by the awesome Tim Thomerson who comes off as a funnier Tom Atkins, he just so likable and his one-liner puns are great. The effects are dated, this is a super-80's movie for sure, like totally, and I loved it. A bit of trivia - apparently this is a Empire Pictures production and pre-dates Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment.

DVD: The TRANCERS - THE CULT CLASSIC TRILOGY collects Trancers 1-3 on a dual sided flipper-disc. The films are presented in 1.33:1 fullframe transfers with 2.0 stereo audio. Pretty typical for the early Full Moon releases the transfers are pretty soft and lacking  fine detail but are sufficient.

VERDICT: TRANCERS (1985) is an entertaining film that is pure-80's awesome. It combines the bounty hunter aspect of BLADERUNNER with the time-travel action of the  TERMINATOR but on a budget of that wouldn't cover the catering cost of either. Echo Bridge Home Entertainment has collected the 1st three installments of the series on a single flipper disc in the TRANCERS - THE CULT CLASSIC TRILOGY DVD. 
*** (3 out of 5 stars)


DVD Review: Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! (2006)


STUDIO: Vicious Cirlce Films
RATING: Not Rated
GENRE:  Slasher, Dark Comedy, Holiday Horror
RUN TIME: 90 Min.
DIRECTOR: Chad Ferrin
CAST: Timothy Muskatell (Remington), Charlotee Marie (Mindy), Ricardo Grey (Nicholas), David Z. Stamp (Ray Mann), Trant Haaga (Bum/Donald)
TAGLINE: This Year There Will Be No Resurrection

PLOT: From Chad Ferrin, the acclaimed director of the cult hit Someone's Knocking At The Door, comes this twisted and frightening low-budget shocker, a stylish and totally original confection where gore, violence, suspense and humor all intersect for a creepy and shocking good time. It's Easter, sixteen-year-old Nicholas' favorite holiday. When the mentally and physically disabled youth's mother, Mindy, begins a relationship with a psycho killer, bizarre events begin to unfold - especially  after Nicholas takes a seemingly normal rabbit into the house. But when home intruders, prostitutes and street trash are murdered in bizarre gruesome ways, just who is the bunny-masked killer committing these horrendous crimes?

FILM: Every holiday and cause for celebration seems to have it's own series of slasher films, Christmas has BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) and SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984), Halloween of course gets HALLOWEEN (1978) and TRICK R TREAT (2007), THANKSKILLING (2009), MOTHER'S DAY (1980), APRIL FOOLS DAY (1986), MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981), HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981) and so on, there's a ton. The awesomely titled EASTER BUNNY, KILL! KILL! gives us one more reason to celebrate the resurrection of the saviour. The film is directed by Chad Ferrin (SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR) and this is the first time I've viewed one of his films. I've since seen THE GHOULS (2003) and that is also a fun watch.

The film begins as lowlife drug abuser Remington  (Timothy Muskatell) is knocking over a convenience store at gunpoint on Easter's eve, he's also wearing a bunny mask. The teller hands over the cash and begs for his life but being the sick fuck that he is Remington sticks the gun in the clerk's mouth and blows his brains out all over the counter. He then casually grabs a chocolate Easter bunny and a bottle of cheap champagne and heads off to the girlfriends house. When Remington arrives at his girlfriend Mindy's (Charlotee Marie) door he discovers that she has a 15 year-old son Nicholas with special needs. Remington is none too pleased by this revelation but he plays nice with Nicholas while Mindy's around but as soon as she leaves the room he torments the kid to no end. It's despicably delicious the way he turns from sweet to nasty on the turn of a dime, he's such an unpleasant guy but a great character.

Remy stays the night and on Easter morning Mindy asks him to watch the kid while she goes to work. Remington obliges but as soon as the door closes behind her Remington calls a pedophile friend Ray to come over where the two exchange drugs and money in exchange for some alone time with Nic while Remy goes out whoring. The pedophile Ray is one of the creepiest characters I've seen in a quite while; a wheezing, overweight invalid who arrives with a briefcase full of drugs, sex toys and a camera. My skin was crawling as Remington explained there were to be no-marks and no-memories, stomach churning stuff. An agreement is reached and Remy leaves the boy alone with Ray as he hits the streets in search of hookers. At this point I'm thinking I have no interest in seeing this, but thankfully a mysterious rabbit masked avenger arrives on scene and brutally kills the child-rapist with a drill to the head.

Eventually Remington makes his way back to the house along with two coked-out whores he's picked-up as do a couple of disgruntled day laborers out for revenge against Remington. All are dispatched in a variety of awesome kills, not super original stuff but bloody awesome just the same. The film teeters from nightmarishly vile to grotesque dark comedy, it's a fine balance and extremely well done.

One of my few gripes is that Ricardo Grey as Nicholas takes it "full retard" and the performance is a bit too much. Muskatell steals the show as the sleazy boyfriend Remington, you just can't take your eyes off the guy, a ton o' fun. David Z. Stamp as the pedophile also give a strong but brief performance, you'll need a bath after his scenes. The gore in the film is great, very bloody and gruesome - a lil' bit of everything for the gore inclined.

DVD: The EASTER BUNNY, KILL! KILL! DVD from VICIOUS CIRCLE FILMS is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen with 2.0 stereo surround sound. A good looking film on DVD, a bit of grain during the darker night scenes but no real complaints, good stuff. Unfortunately my DVD was a screener and contained none of the special features.

Special Features:
- 15 Minute Making Of Featurette
- F%@& UP Featurette
- The Casting Woes
- Director's Commentary
- Chad Ferrin Trailer Gallery

VERDICT: If you're making a indie-horror film please take note - this is how you do it. EASTER BUNNY, KILL! KILL! is a blast of sickening fun. Chad Ferrin's next project is a horror-western DANCES WITH WEREWOLVES and is slated for a 2012 release, definitely a talent to keep an eye out for. **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DVD Review: Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (2002)

Arrow Video

RATING: 18 Certificate
RUN TIME: 96 Min.

DIRECTOR: Takashi Miike
CAST: Riki Takeuchi (Kunisada), Sonny Chiba, Joe Yamanaka, Yuy Ichida

SYNOPSIS: Following the death of his boss, crazed killer Kunisada (Riki Takeuchi) embarks on a violent quest for revenge, one that takes him on a deadly and surreal road trip as he searches for those responsible for the killing. Driven by madness and a volatile temper, he soon finds himself up against both his enemies and his own Yakuza allies. Pursued by a pair of hitmen, Kunisada is at once the hunter and the hunted, a pawn in a complex game being played out by a cast of double-crossing villains. With his situation spiralling out of control, he realizes that to be the winner will require him to take matters to furthest extreme.

FILM: Five minutes into Takashi Miike's Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (2002) I was hooked. It starts of all guns blazing and is unrelenting 'til the end. Takashi Miike is one of the more prolific filmmakers working todayand one could spend a lifetime delving into his filmography but as is stands I've only seen a handful of his works, so pitiful are they in number I'll share them with you...  Audition (1999), the "Box" segment of the Three... Extremes (2004) anthology film, the "Imprint" episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror and Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) ...pitiful, I told you.
At the start of Deadly Outlaw: Rekka we get some kick-ass Japanese rock n' roll from a band called Flower Travellin' Band, a very raucous proto-metal band and their Satori album comprises the entire soundtrack for the film, great stuff. The acid-tinged Black Sabbath-esque music announces a flurry of action as two hit-men take out the elderly Yakuza boss Uchida and his entourage in a bloody hail of adrenalized gunfire, it's complete non-stop bad assery. The elder boss of the clan is the last to go but not before he gets a death-grasp on the assassin's neck. So firm in fact that even in death he will not relinquish his mighty grip. Despite being severed at the forearm they remain clung to the man's neck. This is when it struck me that the film was going to be darkly humorous. It turns out that the elder Yakuza boss was the father of Kunisama - a Korean blooded hot head of epic proportions. Enraged he swears vengeance but the Yakuza families see his death as a natural restructuring of the crime families and tell Kunisama not to not take it personally. Forget it, this guy is out for blood and sets out on a journey to kill the Otaki bosses who paid the assassins even as the families conspire to elimate Kunisama who they see as a threat. Kunisama is nearly insane and is a force of nature when he loses his cool. When confronted on the street by members of the Otaki clan he snaps and takes-on all 5 members with a crowbar.  The scene is masterfuly shot and edited, frenetic and completely brutal. The crazed look in his eye is disturbing and says a lot about his state of mind. He's clearly over the edge and decimates them all single-handedly.  

As the remainder of the film plays out Kunisama joined by his best-friend mow through Yakuza conspirators dispatching them in bloody-fashion. He even going as far to use a rocket-launcher (which was awesome, darkly comic and awesome) until they finally come face to face with the two enigmatic assassins responsible for his Uchido's death. In typical Miike fashion the film is weird, gratuitous and top heavy with surreal moments of over-the-top ultra-violence and gore, so much so that the camera lense itself is splattered with blood several times.

DVD: The Deadly Outlaw: Rekka will be released on DVD for the first time by Arrow Video on November 22nd 2010. The film receives a brand new transfer with new and improved English subtitle translation. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with a Japanese language 5.1 soundtrack. The special features are not particularly plentiful but the 48 minutes of interviews with Miike are illuminating as he discusses key scenes in the film, the actors and collaborator, filmscore and the ending and it's interpretations. Sadly, my screener of the DVD did not include Arrow Video's usually awesome artwork or the booklet (sigh) but the interviews with Miike were fantastic and insightful. Good stuff.
Special Features...
- Original Trailer (1:19)
- Video Interview with director Takashi Miike (18:12)
- Deadly Outlaw: Miike (30:25)
- Booklet featuring stills and an essay on the film by Tom Mes, author of ‘Agitator: The Cinema of Takashi Miike’
-  Notes on prog rockers Flower Travellin’ Band written by Sam Jones.

VERDICT: This film is completely batshit-nuts and a must-see in my opinion. I've seen but a handfiul of Miike's many, many film but thus far this is my favorite. I'm not well-versed in the workld of Yakuza Cinema and this one has me piqued my interest in the genre.  This is Arrow Video's first foray into Asian Cinema and good on 'em, next up is the cult Japanese film Battle Royale from director Kinji Fukasaku on Blu-ray and DVD.
**** (4 out of 5 stars)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DVD Review: Oblivion (1994)

Full Moon Features

RATING: Unrated
RUN TIME: 94 Min.
CAST: Richard Joseph Paul (Zack Stone), Jackie Swanson (Mattie Chase), Andrew Divoff (Red Eye), Meg Foster (Stell Barr), Issac Hayes (Buster), Julie Newmar (Miss Kitty), Carrel Struyken (Gaunt), George Takei (Doc Valentine), Musetta Vander (Lash), Jimme F. Skaggs (Buteo)

SYNOPSIS: On a frontier light years from OK Corral, a bizarre gang of futuristic desperados have their sights set on turning the tumbleweed town of Oblivion into their own private playground. Their lizard-like leader REDEYE (Andrew Divoff), pumps lawman MARSHALL STONE (Michael Genovese) full of lead in a deadly shootout just outside of MISS KITTY’S (Julie Newmar) Kat House and begins terrorizing the town’s inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Stone’s long –lost pacifist son ZACK (Richard Joseph Paul) and his “native” sidekick BUTEO (Jimmy F. Skaggs) are escorted into town by the eerie undertaker GAUNT (Carrel Struycken) to pay their respects at the Marshall’s funeral. Rendered helpless by Redeye, the tough as nails Cyborg Deputy (Meg Foster) and the Marshall’s old friend DOC VALENTINE (George Takei) team up with Zack to take back the troubled town in a final unearthly showdown… (from

FILM: Full Moon's Sci-Fi/Western/Comedy mash-up Oblivion (1994) caught me by surprise. First the casting is nutty, check it out. Andrew Divoff (Djiin from the Wishmaster series) is the reptilian outlaw Redeye. George Takei better know as Mr. Sulu from the 60's-era run of Star Trek as the town drunk Doc Valentine. Julie Newmar who played Catwoman in the '66 Batman series is brothel madame Miss Kitty, and Meg Foster the pale-eyed Holly from John Carpenter's They Live (1988) is the cyborg deputy Stell Barr to Marshall Stone (Michael Genovese). We also get Issac Hayes (Escape from New York, South Park) and Carrel Struycken who appeared in Twin Peaks and The Witches of Eastwick (1987) as the town's eerie undertaker Gaunt.  On just a "who is that?" level I found Oblivion a fun watch.

The year is 3031 in a town called Oblivion on a distant frontier planet with a population of 459 it looks an awful lot like the American Old West only populated with gigantic stop-motion Scorps and aliens that look like extras from the Cantina scene in Star Wars. I have to believe that this was intended as a tongue-in-cheek homage to both sci-fi and western because this is so eye-rollingly campy you gotta laugh. The story is a typical western revenge flick, the dialogue is cliched but enjoyable for what it is. George Takei utters some of the worst Star Trek puns ever, just awful stuff. Divoff as the villainous outlaw Redeye looks good and I enjoyed his reptilian look but he displays none of the charm we've seen from him in the Wishmaster series, which weren't great films but fun nonetheless. A lot of that has to do with the stilted scripted dialogue. Jimmy F. Skaggs as the Zack Stone's "native" friend Buteo was painful to watch. He's stereotypically stoic and full of Yoda type nonsense. It's a very Lone Ranger-esque dynamic. Speaking of painful, the cyborg-deputy Stell Barr is an obvious attempt to mirror Star Trak: The Next Generation's Data. One character that really popped for me though was Musetta Vander's baddie Lash, RedEye's leather-clad right-hand. She looked mighty familiar to me and after some research I realized she is one of the gorgeous Siren's from the Cohen Bros. O Brother, Where Art Though? (2000), good stuff and a deliciously villainous character. The worst aspect of the film in my opinion is that Richard Joseph Paul as the empathic son (don't ask) of the deceased Marshall Zach Stone gives a thoroughly wooden performance as does Jackie Swanson as Mattie Chase. A lot of the acting in the film is campy but their performances are lifeless and they're the focus of the film. Every other character in the film is more interesting than these two.

Featured far to briefly in the film were the awesome  stop-motion creatures created by the late David Allen who also animated the puppets of the Puppet Master 1-5 and did a lot of work on the early Full Moon film, really enjoyable stuff. They play heavily into the finale of the film but I would have loved to seen more. Also enjoyable is Redeye's band of outlaws, a typical bunch of all muscle no-brainers found in westerns.

I can see how this was designed as a campy comic homage mixing genre cliches from both western and sci-fi with a healthy dose of comedy but it's a bit of a jumbled mess. The sci-fi western is a rare mash-up indeed and I can't recall too many off the top of my head. There's Westworld (1973), Back to the Future 3 (1990), The Adventures of Brisco County,  Jr. TV show starring Bruce Campbell and more recently Joss Whedon's Firefly series and the post-series Serenity film, all of which I loved. It's been done and done well, but it is not attempted often. While Oblivion is a fun and I give it points for effort it truly is a lesser entry in the sci-fi western genre.

DVD: Oblivion is advertised as being first-time ever on DVD but I recall seeing an edition online from Artisan, not sure what that's about. Regardless, this edition is less than prestigious in it's presentation. A full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio transfer with 2.0 stereo audio. The image is watchablebut marred by ghosting and artifacting. On the plus side there are quite a few vintage Full Moon trailers included: Oblivion, Oblivion 2: Blacklash, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil, Dollman, Skull Heads, Demonic Toys, Arcade, Bad Channels, Crash and Burn, Laserblast, Meridian, Netherworld, Robot Wars, Seed People, Shadowzone and Subspecies. That's a lot of trailers and it really whetted my appetite for some classic Full Moon films.

VERDICT: A fun but wildly uneven film populated by a crazy cast of characters. The story is a typical western revenge flick, the dialogue is cliched but the film is enjoyable for what it is -  pure Full Moon cheese.  ** (2 out of 5 stars)


Monday, November 15, 2010

DVD Review: Scream Dream (1989)

SRS Video

RUN TIME: 69 Min.
DIRECTOR: Donald Farmer
CAST: Carol Carr, Melissa Moore, Nikki Riggins, Jesse Raye

SYNOPSIS: A heavy metal singer's satanic worshiping reputation turns out to be more than just a rumor in his shot-on-video cult classic! Michelle Shocked (Carol Carr) is a lead singer of a red hot heavy metal band. Her image as the new queen of rock is feed by rumors that she's involved with witchcraft and Satan worship. There are even stories of disappearances of fans at her shows! But her manager Lou Sharkey has grown tried of dealing with media outrage, so he fires her & replaces her with Jamie Summers (Melissa Moore), a sexy blonde with a strong voice and less ego. However, when the band visits Shocked to tell her they had nothing to do with her firing, they discover the rumors are true - Shocked is a demon and the band is forced to kill her. But later that day, Jamie visits Shocked's apartment to pick up some of her old stage clothes and finds the body. Drawn to it, she becomes possessed by Shocked's spirit. With this fresh young body, Shocked will get the revenge she craves!

FILM: The 80's were full of fun, schlocky rock 'n' roll horror films and some of my favorites were Trick or Treat (1986) and Black Roses (1988), both films featured rock 'n' rollers who've given their souls to Satan as was the popular thing to do back in the 80's. The practice survives to this day and even the shitty emo bands have jumped on the Satanic bandwagon. For proof you need only check out Jennifer's Body (2009) and the success of the Jonas Brothers, you would have a difficult time convincing me Old Scratch didn't have a hand in that one.  

Scream Dream is a film so ineptly bad that you gotta kinda admire it, y'know? This looks no-budget from the top to bottom. Nowadays anyone can grab an inexpensive digital video camera and free editing software off the web to create something very watchable, it's done all the time. But back in '89 they had the video recorder. Sure, it was a marvel at the time but by today's viewing standards it's almost unwatchable, but watch it I did.

We get some mediocre late-80's metal from Rikk-O-Shay, attractive 80's ladies with great 80's hair, it's all very 80's and I kinda liked that. Back in '89 I was totally into the metal scene(and metal sluts in particular) so this film brought back a lot of nostalgic memories for me of catching the local bands at the clubs and drooling over big haired and tight jeans metal chics. 

It painfully obvious that set design was an after thought in this one as a lot of these scenes are shot with a black background kinda like a community theatre production so there's not a lot to look at other than the characters on screen. When "props" were required it mostly consisted of gothy incense burning paraphernalia that looks like it was purchased at Spencer Gifts. The effects are mighty cheesy, but there's some fun to be had here. When the Satanic metal chic is in demonic mode it's complete with horns and claws and recalled the demonic Bobbie Bresse  character from Mausoleum (1983). I recall reading online that the demon costume was designed by Rick Gonazalez who worked in the make-up dept. on George A. Romero's Day of the Dead (1985), whattya know, a fun fact. But not all the effects are as enjoyable, such as the demon entity portrayed by a rubber hand-puppet which was terrible. So, there's some fun low-budget-gore and like most cheapie horror flick it's slightly spruced-up with the inclusion of female nudity. These few windfalls however cannot make up for the poor production values, terrible acting and awful dialogue.

DVD: Scream Dream makes it way to the digital format via SRS Cinema. It's a full frame and mono presentation taken straight from a VHS source. This was a shot-on-video flick and there's no remastering that format so it looks pretty abysmal. The only supplemental contents is an assortment of SRS Cinema trailers.

VERDICT: I cannot recommend this unless you're a bad cinema connoisseur or just really into obscure rock 'n' roll horror films. I'll be looking for other titles from director Donald Farmer who's made quite a few other films including Chainsaw Cheerleaders (2008). Perhaps it's just morbid curiosity but I just wanna see if he's evolved as a filmmaker over the years *1/2 (1.5 out of 5 stars)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

DVD Review: The Haunted Casino (2007)

Full Moon Features

RATING: Unrated
RUN TIME: 80 Min.
DIRECTOR: Charles Band
CAST: Sid Haig (Roy), Michael Berryman (Gil), Robin Sydney (J.J.), Scott White (Mathew), Kristyn Green (Paige), Wes Armstrong (Jimbo), Lily Rains (Emily), Jessica Morris (Melissa), Bob Rumncock (Sam), Kavan Reece (Skeeter)
TAGLINE: Sheer Terror! Bet On It!

SYNOPSIS: After inheriting the casino from his dead uncle, Matthew Dragna (Scott White),  his girl friend J.J (Robin Sydeny) and a group of friends take a road trip to the outskirts of Las Vegas where they find the run-down Mysteria Casino . But the trip takes a frightening turn when the kids discover that the casino is haunted by the ghost of Vegas mobster Roy "The Word" Donahue (Sid Haig) and his goon Gil Wachetta (Michael Berryman), looking to settle an old score. Matthew and J.J. must fight for their very souls as the ghost seek their gruesome vengeance, and in the vein of "The Shining, this horrifying tale builds to a bloody and surprising climax. (from

FILM: The Haunted Casino is a pretty straight-forward ghost story right out of the 1950's. Matt is a young guy who's inherited a casino from his uncle and he a group of annoying friends arrive on scene with intentions of restoring the place to its original glory. The film is fairly slow paced after some initial gory ghost action right up front. The problem is that Matt and his friends are truly a bunch of unlikeable caricatures of 20-somethings and it's not until the 40 minute mark that Sid Haig (Spiderbaby) and Michael Berryman (Hills Have Eyes) mercifully appear as the vengeful mobster spirits Roy and Gil that the film finally picks up a bit. We get a lot of tiresome exposition as the group separates and wander around the casino and are killed off one at a time by several casino-themed spirits including a sexy slot machine spirit, vengeful roulette wheel dealer and a cheating black jack dealer. The slot-machine spirit was definitely the highlight of the flick for me, good stuff, but it's one and done - that's all we get! So, the deaths are nothing special and pretty cheesy t'boot, but hey this is a Full Moon film, right? Seeing genre legends Haig and Barryman together on screen was fun even if the movie is no classic. This is one of those $500k Full Moon Features and despite this fact the feature looked good and suitably eerie.

DVD: The Haunted Casino from Full Moon Features is presented in non-anamorphic  widescreen with 2.0 stereo audio. The bonus features include the fun Making of The Haunted Casino and an assortment of Full Moon trailers. Be forewarned that this DVD is a re-packaging of Dead Man's Hand - Casino of the Damned so don't double-dip you Full Moon fanatics out there.

VERDICT: The Shining this film is not but it is a spirited lil' b-movie and was a fun watch if not overly impressive. Seeing Haig and Berryman together was a lot of fun and the effects while cheese-tastic were not without their charm. **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blu-ray Review: Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010)

Full Moon Features

RATING: Unrated
DIRECTOR: David DeCoteau
CAST: Levi Fiehler (Danny Coogan), Jenna Gallaher (Beth), Taylor Graham (Don Coogan), Tom Sandoval (Max/Ben), Erica Schaffer (Elma Coogan), Jerry Hoffman (Uncle Len), Ada Chow (Ozu), Aaron Riber (Klaus)

TAGLINE: The Blade is Back.

SYNOPSIS: In a stateside hotel during the height of WW2 young Danny Coogan
(Levi Fiehler) dreams of joining the war effort. Following the murder of hotel guest Mr. Toulon by Nazi assassins, Danny finds the old man's crate of mysterious Puppets and is suddenly thrust into a battle all his own. He discovers that Nazis Max (Tom Sandoval) and Klaus (Aaron Riber), along with beautiful Japanese saboteur Ozu (Ada Chow), plan to attack a secret American manufacturing plant. After his family is attacked and his girlfriend Beth (Jenna Gallaher) is kidnapped, it is up to Danny and the living deadly Puppets to stop this Axis of Evil.... (from FullMoonDirect.Com)

FILM: I've only just seen the first three installments of the Puppet Master series within the last month and when this Blu-ray of the long-awaited 9th installment of the series floated across the McBastard's Mausoleum HQ desk this reviewer was mighty excited. I think perhaps only seeing the first three films worked in my favor as Axis of Evil takes place following the events of my personal favorite installment of the series - Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge (1991) and seemingly dismisses everything else.

A lengthy pre-credit sequence takes place (where else?) at the Bodega Bay Inn, the year is 1939. We even get that same exterior shot of the Bodega Bay Inn full of dirt and grain as seen in PM1-3, nice. We meet Danny who is a carpenter's apprentice at the Bodega Bay Inn. He's a patriotic young man eager to fight the "krauts" and "japs" in good ol' WW2 but he's stricken with polio and has been rejected. This is taking place the same day as the beginning of PM 1 and we're treated to footage from that film as series-icon Blade makes his way to Toulon's room right up to the point that Toulon's blows his brains out and the Nazi's bust-in. This is where we diverge from the 1st film and meet Klause and Max, the two Nazi's  ransack the room looking for Toulon's reanimating serum but leave empty handed. Soon after Danny arrives and discovers Toulon's corpse. Knowing of Toulon's secret panel he removes the trunk and returns to his home in Chinatown where he lives with his mother Elma (Erica Schaffer) and enlisted older brother Dan (Taylor Graham). Opening credit roll as we are treated  to a re-working of Richard Band's awesome Puppet Master theme. I won't spoil any more of the film other than to say it involves the Nazi's teaming-up with a Japanese conspirator in an effort to strike a blow against the American war effort.

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is a good looking film - more so than any Full Moon Features I can recall though I haven't seen a lot. Having Decoteau back in the directing chair was a great decision as he creates an effective and nostalgic late-30's period look on a budget. The scenes of the Nazi's walking through the fog-laden streets of Chinatown looks great. The film was shot in a scope aspect ratio which must be a 1st for Full Moon who are not known for their extravagant budgets and presentation. The characters are well developed and the acting is pretty decent, particularly that of Danny, his girlfriend Beth and the Nazi Max, good stuff. And let me just say that Jenna Gallaher (Nightfall) who plays Beth is a gorgeous woman.

What didn't work for me was the actual iconic Puppets themselves. We get Blade, Jester, Ms. Leech, Tunneler, Pinhead, the Asian puppet from the 1st film and Six Shooter makes an underwhelming appearance, I don't recall seeing Torch. Something I've long heard about the PM films is that Six Shooter and Torch were under utilized in the latter films due to budgetary constraints which is a bummer. I think Six Shooter may be the best of the bunch  and to continue a series and omit these iconic characters is a real shame. This film introduces a new character to that cast of  stringless marionettes but it is uninspired and a letdown. The design of the character just feels lazy. Sorely missing is the stop-motion artistry of visual effects maestro Dave Allen whom did the effects for PM 1-5. I really enjoyed his work in PM 1-3 and especially Puppet Master 2 (1991) - which he directed - which while having it's fair share of flaws I cannot deny that the puppets movements were fluid and looked amazing. Here the puppets are under utilized and rather poorly articulated.  Another sore spot for me would be that the kills are lackluster and almost completely without gore. When the best kill is Toulon's death which itself was recycled from PM 1 you know there's a problem. I get the feeling that so much thought went into the production design and storytelling that the Puppets and the more visceral elements of the franchise suffered for it. The Nazi saboteur storyline is interesting and well-done but the film is not creepy or horrific in the least and for a Puppet Master film this I cannot abide.

BLU-RAY: To celebrate Puppet Master's 20th Anniversary Full Moon have given both Puppet Master (1989) and Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010) the high definition Blu-ray treatment. Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is presented in 1080p HD 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen  with 5.1 surround. While not reference material by any means its definitely the best looking of the series, by far. It's a good looking clean print with crisp detailed picture. The 5.1 surround is not overly active but Richard Band's score sounds great, I've always been a fan of his scores and the Puppet Master series is one of his best. There are 3 bonus features included, none of which are presented in HD. Of the two featurettes the original No String Attached featurette is my favorite. The Making of Evil is non-essential but I really enjoyed the 9 Puppet Master trailers as I've not seen PM 4-8.

- The Making of Evil! 13 Vidcasts from China! (75:18)
- No String Attached - The Original Making of from the First Puppet Master (7:19)
- Trailers for all 9 Full Moon Puppet Master Film

VERDICT: Fans of the Full Moon and the Puppet Master franchise will enjoy Puppet Master: Axis of Evil to varying degrees. In terms of production quality and screen image this is heads and shoulders above the previous entries but I cannot help but lament that the Puppets themselves are not well respected or properly represented. The setting and saboteur storyline is intriguing stuff but the lack of nudity, gore effects and proper puppet articulation really dampened my viewing experience on this one. I really hope that Charles Band and Full Moon Features, if they decide to continue the series, maintain the production standards of this film but bring back the spirit of the earlier entries. Puppet Master: Axis of Evil is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD from FullMoonDirect.Com
*** (3 out of 5 stars)