Posts Tagged ‘DTV’

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

“Montani semper liberi (Latin, “Mountaineers are Always Free”)”

–West Virginia state motto

I’m always searching for DTV gems and this one has gotten some talk so it’s about time I got to it. But the truth is I didn’t like the first WRONG TURN. I know a few people who like it, but to me it was a big bag of mediocrity, forgettable enough that I apparently forgot to ever review it. So now I can’t read my review to refresh my memory about it. But I do remember that it took one of my favorite horror setups (tourists intrude on crazy backwoods inbred/mutant/cannibals, savagery ensues) and then hardly bothered to riff on it. Too slick, not enough mayhem, not enough imagination. THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake has problems and nobody besides me seems to like it, and I hated the sequel to it. But even in that one you at least get a couple OH SHIT adrenaline moments, some uncomfortable laughs. You don’t know what that ugly crazy fucker is gonna do next. WRONG TURN was the clean studio version of that. TV stars in some Ontario woods running from guys in monster makeup. Just no rush, no grit, no nothin. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Scorpion King 2: The Rise of a Warrior

Monday, August 18th, 2008

THE SCORPION KING 2 RISE OF A WARRIOR is the story of a warrior who rises. In movies we’ve seen many people and things rise, including The Machines, Carlito’s Way, The Silver Surfer, Leslie Vernon, Taj, Cobra, the Lycans, Gator, Jack Johnson, and Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. But never before have we seen the RISE OF A WARRIOR.

In this movie there are actually a bunch of different warriors but in my opinion the specific warrior who is rising is the one who will later be called the Scorpion King, not in this movie but in the very end of a different, better movie called THE SCORPION KING. What I’m trying to say is that this is the prequel to the prequel to the sequel to THE MUMMY, a movie I thought sucked. So the fact that this one is above average for DTV is pretty impressive. If you met a guy whose great, great uncle by marriage was a Nazi or a serial killer, but the guy you met wasn’t that big of a dick or anything, you would think “Good for him.” Same goes for THE SCORPION KING 2 RISE OF A WARRIOR. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN Reviews KILL SWITCH!

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Well, shit. I’ve had this review done, but I was letting it sit and simmer or something. Or being too lazy to send it in. But now poor Isaac Hayes has died, so I better address that. Black Moses isn’t shown on the cover or in the trailer for this upcoming Steven Seagal DTV event, and that’s fair because he’s barely in it. But Hayes does in fact appear in a few scenes as “Coroner.” Seagal’s homicide detective character is buddies with Isaac, so Isaac is pretty liberal with letting him check the dead bodies for clues. I call him Isaac because that appears to be his name – Seagal’s character refers to him as “Is” (or “Eyes”). My theory was that Hayes was playing himself and that this is what he’s been doing in Memphis since quitting that snot-nosed cartoon you guys are so fanatic about. But maybe not.

At the time I thought it was cool to see Isaac Hayes in a Seagal movie. He did so many types of B-movies, from TRUCK TURNER to UNCLE SAM, it was about time he showed up in a Seagal picture. But now it’s kind of sad because really he doesn’t do anything in the movie, it’s too bad they didn’t give him a better role. I hope Seagal at least got out the guitar on set and got Isaac to sing “Walk On By” or something. (read the rest of this shit…)

The DoubleHeader You’ve All Been Waiting For! Vern Reviews STARSHIP TROOPERS 3 And ROGUE!!

Monday, August 4th, 2008

I’ve been sort of looking forward to this new STARSHIP TROOPERS, and if you got a problem with that too bad because I’ve gotten enough “are you gonna review Starship Troopers 3?” emails to know that we can take you. Ed Neumeier takes over as director this time, which means the satirical tone remains since this is the guy who wrote all three STARSHIP TROOPERS as well as ROBOCOP. And, uh, ANACONDAS: THE HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID. I didn’t know that, I just found that out on IMDB. Hmmm. I had not considered watching that one. This changes everything. This could be the big one.

If you saw STARSHIP TROOPERS 2: HERO OF THE FEDERATION you may or may not remember that it was pretty different from the first one. They scaled it down for DTV, making it into mostly a one-location siege kind of story and incorporating smaller bugs that implant themselves in people’s brains or something. The good part is it was directed by the effects legend Phil Tippett so it ended up having the best effects I’ve seen in a DTV movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Army of One

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Recently I was discussing the upcoming James Bond movie with some buddies. I was joking that the trailer should say “from the director of FINDING NEVERLAND.” That dude’s movies are all over the map, but nothing ever hinted that he would end up directing a 007 movie. One of my buddies said that it didn’t really matter that he didn’t do action because usually the action in Bond movies is shot by a second unit guy named Vic Armstrong.

(I looked it up, and Armstrong actually hasn’t worked on the Daniel Craig ones, but he was stunt coordinator and/or 2nd unit director for DIE ANOTHER DAY, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, TOMORROW NEVER DIES and NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and stunt double for 3 other Bond movies.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern asks Why Watch Dark Knight when you could be watching…

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Well it looks like this week is Nerd Hanukkah, when everybody freaks out about the new Batman movie and then they go to San Diego and they seem to open presents every day. I’m not clear what exactly it is they do there but it apparently involves comic books and occasionally Halle Berry or Charlize Theron or somebody. There will be alot of exciting posters passed out or something and lots of exciting news will be broken about some movie or other. You’ll be hearing about your star treks and your hobbits and your Iron Man part 2s and what not. But there is one sequel that you won’t be hearing jack shit about there unless you are currently sitting there reading this article. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to announce that I got the exclusive inside scoop on a movie and the title alone is gonna knock your god damn socks off. Your socks are gonna tear right through your fuckin Captain America boots, fly across the room and land on a table where somebody from some Dr. Who spinoff is signing autographs.

There’s only one thing to do, I gotta spit it out: THE ART OF WAR II: BETRAYAL. Starring WESLEY GOD DAMN SNIPES. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Peels THE ONION MOVIE!!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

I know what you’re thinking. THE ONION MOVIE? Are you fucking kidding me? They’ve run out of ’70s slasher movies, TV series, action figures, video games and board games to turn into movies, now they’re moving on to the fucking produce department? Well to be fair onions are a vegetable with a rich history. In Caananite Bronze Age settlements, traces of onion remains were found dating back to 5000 BC. There is Biblical evidence (specifically the Book of Numbers) indicating that onions were grown in Ancient Egypt. In fact, to the ancient Egyptians (SPOILER) their concentric rings represented eternal life. So I think with a visionary artistic team behind the camera and a decent budget an onion movie could be a real eye-opener. Unfortunately this movie has nothing to do with vegetables at all, it is based on that websight The Onion with the fake news articles and the movie reviews and what not.

I watch more direct-to-video crap than the average citizen, but even I usually draw the line at direct-to-video comedy. If MEET THE SPARTANS can get a theatrical release and you can’t then I’m not sure I trust you, even if a renowned institution such as a National Lampoon’s or an American Pie Presents is willing to put its name on the line on your behalf. In this case The Onion is only putting its name on the line due to contractual obligation. Some of their former editors wrote this thing back in 2003 but they and the directors disowned it years ago and it was sitting on the shelf until recently when somebody was moving some boxes around trying to find some of their old yearbooks or something and their ass bumped it off the shelf and it lands in stores Tuesday. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s DTV Triple Header: LUNDGREN vs. SNIPES/STATHAM vs. SOME DUDE FROM TV I NEVER HEARD OF!!!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

I try to watch alot of DTV movies, but I don’t always succeed. Most of you have probaly never watched them, and you may assume that they are very good and enjoyable, and capable of adding meaning to one’s life. However, this is almost never the case. In the world of DTV filmmaking it seems pretty clear that nobody gives a shit. Most of them are trying to just reach 90 minutes and throw the shit on a shelf. You could argue that more effort goes into pornography, since some poor girl has to take it in the ass. That’s elbow grease.

So this is an unusual couple of days because I’ve managed to watch a bunch of DTVs and all of them were actually okay. So okay, in fact, that I was able to watch them in two or less sittings. In this world that’s almost a miracle. Either that or I have somehow increased my attention span overnight. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Shepherd: Border Patrol

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

I don’t know if Sylvester Stallone forced them to step up their game, or if they all got together and had a meeting and decided to start putting more effort into this shit or what but lately all the old ’80s and ’90s action stars who are in exile on the small screen have started doing a better job. Seagal’s had a couple good ones in a row, Dolph’s have been watchable, Van Damme had that movie where he was a heroin junkie. None of these are yet matching the full potential of DTV, but at least they’re getting there. The latest in the trend is Van Damme’s double-titled THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL.

I will go ahead and give the credit for this one not to Van Damme but to the director Isaac Florentine. I will have to investigate the guy’s works further but if he has anymore as good as this one and UNDISPUTED II then I think he must be one of the top DTV directors. He’s an Israeli martial artist who came to the U.S. and directed POWER RANGERS shows for years and then got into DTV movies like US SEALS II. And as far as the DTV directors go he has a real good style. His movies have hard-hitting martial arts scenes that are well staged, he uses some energetic but not hyperactive editing and camera angles to keep things moving and he has some odd touches here that suggest a sense of humor. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s Been PISTOL WHIPPED By Seagal!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Vern’s my hero. If I could be anybody I wanted to be when I grow up, I’d choose to be Vern. His new book is one reason. This review is another.

This April marks (for death) the 20th anniversary of ABOVE THE LAW. Can you believe we’re that old? Two decades since Steven Seagal’s debut, arriving on the action movie scene fully-formed, already a star, already with his iconic look (well, he didn’t have the ponytail quite yet), already with his shadowy CIA past, his intense knowledge of Asian tradition, and his drive to take on the corrupt and throw them through panes of glass.

Alot has stayed the same in those 20 years, but alot has changed. He got bigger. His movies got bigger (UNDER SIEGE), then smaller (THE PATRIOT). He moved from the big screen to the DVD. By my way of thinking he’s gone through three major periods of his career and is now late in the DTV Era. (read the rest of this shit…)