Category Archives: 71-80%

Alone in the Dark (2005)

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“Evil Awakens”

Directed by Uwe Boll (dive! dive!)
Starring Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff and Tara Reid

Amnesiac PI and occult investigator Edward Carnby (Slater) discovers a relic of the Abkani civilisation. Some dude in shades tries to nick it, but after a running gun battle in the heart of Somewheresburg, he deciphers the text on the artefact and discovers… something something awakening.

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Rebourne – Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

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This poster is actually much cleverer than this film deserves.

Directed by Aleksander Bach
Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hinds

The Original

Hitman began life as a series of successful computer games, in which the player controls Agent 47, the ‘perfect assassin’; six-four of shaven-headed, barcode tattooed white beefcake with the ability to disguise himself as a Chinese waiter. Using said mastery of disguise and an arsenal of weapons, the player must plan and execute an assassination to meet the terms of a contract.  Some of the games have an ongoing plot i which a series of unconnected jobs add up to a conspiracy, but some are just a series of jobs, and their appeal is not story so much as the replay value inherent in trying various approaches to perfect each kill. The game series was first adapted into a movie in 2007. Hitman was a frankly appalling film in which 47 – played without engagement by Timothy Olyphant, fresh from critically acclaimed yet cancelled TV series Deadwood and with payments due on the mortgage – is betrayed by his superiors as part of an insanely moronic plot to seize control of Russia by treating the entire world as if they were idiots.

Rebourne

The Reboot

So, apparently someone at 20th Century Fox really believed in the potential of a Hitman movie, because despite a modest commercial success and critical mauling, and Timothy Olyphant going on record on the Nerdist podcast to confirm that bit about the mortgage, the collapse of a planned sequel, and the death of intended new Agent 47 Paul Walker, just eight years later they decided to reboot.

In this version, Agent 47 (Friend) is sent to assassinate the founder of the Agent programme, Petr Litvenko (Hinds) and his daughter, Katia Van Dees (Ware), for reasons that are never adequately explored, but possibly as part of a shadow war between two ideologically indistinguishable conspiracies. Katia is initially protected by international man of mystery John Smith (Quinto), before he is revealed as an agent for the Syndicate, the enemy of 47’s International Contracts Agency.

Continue reading Rebourne – Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Crimson Throne (2013) aka Crimson Winter

Okay; so this cover is somewhat misleading.
Okay; so this cover is somewhat misleading.

“Princes and Vampires Rise Together… Now it’s Time for Blood.”

Directed by Brian Ferriter
Starring Brian Ferriter, Nick Milodragovic and Kailey Michael Portsmouth

Elric (Ferriter), a prince among vampires, chooses to fight alongside his fellow Frenchmen in the Crusades, and later in the Hundred Years War, seeking to fulfill an animal-based prophecy about a lion, a wolf and a falcon that will bring peace between vampires and humans… And then some students (primarily Milodragovic and Portsmouth as engaged couple Dylan and Roxanne) head into rural Montana to do some research into elk mortality.

Continue reading Crimson Throne (2013) aka Crimson Winter

The Dark is Rising (2007)

My hatred of this film begins with this poster, but does not end there.
My hatred of this film begins with this poster, but does not end there. Apart from the US title change, fully half of the people in this image aren’t main cast but are put on the poster to up the sexy, and one was removed entirely from the final cut (I can only assume this is an early poster.) Alexander Ludwig’s ‘I’m running’ pose is also terrible, and a shameful attempt to make the film look more dynamic.

“Seek the Signs”

Directed by David L Cunningham
Starring Alexander Ludwig, Christopher Eccleston, Ian McShane and Frances Conroy

Will Stanton (Ludwig), the second youngest of a large family of bickering American emigres, discovers on his fourteenth birthday that he is the last of the Old Ones, a secret race of warriors in the service of the Light. With the Rider (Eccleston), embodiment of the Dark, growing in power, Will has just five days to find the six Signs of the Light which will restore its power and prevent the destruction of the world.

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Underworld: Awakening (2012)

Never mind the dialogue, check out the corsetry.
Never mind the dialogue, check out the corsetry.

“Vengeance Returns”

Directed by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein
Starring Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James and India Eisley

Following directly from the end of the previous movie, we open with a narrated montage to get rid of Scott Speedman’s character and accelerate the plot into the future, because fuck continuity; am I right?

Anyway, humanity finds out about the Lycans and the vampires and a purge begins under a militarised medical establishment led by Dr Jacob Lane (Rea). Selene (Beckinsale) and Michael are blown up and she wakes upside down in a cryonic tank twelve years later, collects her combat catsuit, battle corset and eight inch assault heels from a cupboard right beside the tank and murders her way out of the building to look for Michael. Instead, she finds a vampire named David (James) and a girl named Eve (Eisley) who turns out to be a hybrid, and her daughter.

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The Summer of Lovecraft: Necronomicon (1993)

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Directed by Brian Yuzna, Christophe Gans and Shusuke Kaneko
Starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Payne, Maria Ford and David Warner

The Story

The Necronomicon itself is one of Lovecraft’s most famous creations, a tome that serves sometimes as a grimoire, sometimes as a secret history of the universe. Lovecraft wrote a cod history of it. The short stories that appear in this anthology are based on “The Rats in the Walls,” “Cool Air” and “The Whisperer in Darkness.”

The Film

We start with a brief framing segment (‘The Library’) in which Lovecraft (Jeffrey Combs) steals the Necronomicon from a bunch of monks. He opens it up and begins to read the stories; we return to this narrative between segments.

summerattemp2

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Peacemaker (1990)

That sullen expression can not encapsulate how bad an actor Lance Edwards is.
That sullen expression can not encapsulate how bad an actor Lance Edwards is.

“Two cops. One Killer. But who on Earth can tell them apart” (This tagline comes from a poster which makes a much bigger deal of Robert Davi’s role, probably because he was in a Bond film the year before.)

Directed by Kevin Tenney
Starring Robert Forster, Lance Edwards, Robert Davi and Hilary Shepherd

A spaceship crash lands in the sea and its occupant (Edwards) is shot by police while attempting to steal a shotgun. He then wakes up on the slab and kidnaps pathologist Dori Caisson (Edwards), only for them both to be chased by a mysterious man with an enormous handgun (Forster), with Caisson’s would-be boyfriend, tough cop Ramos (Davi) in pursuit.

Continue reading Peacemaker (1990)

The Tomb (2008, or possibly 2009)

This one is going to hurt, isn't it?
This one is going to hurt, isn’t it?

“Death comes to all… but one.”

Directed by Michael Staininger
Starring Wes Bentley, Sofya Skya, Michael Madsen and Eric Roberts

The Story

So, I lined this one up for The Summer of Lovecraft, but it turns out this one isn’t based on Lovecraft’s ‘The Tomb’, but on, well…

This title is far more helpful
This title is far more helpful

The nameless narrator’s marriage to the beautiful, intelligent Ligeia ends with her tragic death. Sometime later, he marries the beautiful Lady Rowena, who also dies, then returns to life, but as Ligeia, who once told her husband that will could overcome death.

The Film

Jonathan Merrick (Bentley) is one of those independently wealthy English lit professors, with a beautiful fiancee named Rowena (Kaitlin Doubleday) and a promising career. But then in walks Ligeia (Skya), a sexy Ukrainian grad student researching the existence of the soul.

Continue reading The Tomb (2008, or possibly 2009)

Seventh Son (2015)

Now with 100% more dragons, and not in a good way.
Now with 100% more dragons, and not in a good way.

“In the face of evil, claim your destiny”

Directed by Sergei Bodrov
Starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore and Alicja Vikander

Master Gregory (Bridges), the last survivor of the knightly order known as the Falcons (or colloquially as the Spooks,) seeks out seventh son of a seventh son Tom Ward (Barnes) to be his apprentice. They have a week until the blood moon gives witch queen Mother Malkin (Moore) the power to cover all the lands in a second darkness, or some such thing.

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Ninja Apocalypse (2014)

ninja-apocalypse-poster

“Devastation. Mutation. Termination.”

Director Lloyd Lee Barnett
Starring Christian Oliver, Les Brandt, Ernie Reyes, Jr., Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

OK, it’s The Warriors, right, only it’s a post-apocalyptic world where everyone is a member of a different ninja clan with its own special magical mutation. When an enemy threatens the territory of the ninja clans, Grandmaster Fumitaka (Tagawa) calls all the ninjas together, including the mysterious Lost Clan (he calls them, word-for-word, “the mysterious Lost Clan”) led by Ryu from Street Fighter (Oliver). When Fumitaka gets murdered, Ryu (OK, his real name is “Cage,” so he’s from Mortal Kombat, not Street Fighter) and his band of misfits have to fight their way past all the other ninja clans and get out of the underground nuclear bunker and home to safety.

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