movie review

Movie: Teen Witch [1989]

This movie is an hour and a half time capsule of everything that was amazingly stupid about the late ‘80s. Its most notable accomplishment, however, is spawning the most glorious rap-off of all time:

Teen Witch belongs to the sub-genre of ‘80s teen movies that spice things up by involving spooky powers. Movies like Weird Science, Once Bitten, Zapped!, The Heavenly Kid, and Teen Wolf. In fact, Teen Witch was originally pitched as a sort of spiritual sequel to Teen Wolf—basically, Teen Wolf for girls.

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Movie Review - Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [1984]

1984 Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sword of the Valiant is a medieval fantasy quest movie that’s loosely based on a collection of Arthurian legends, most notably the tale about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The film’s director, Stephen Weeks, had such a hard-on for this source material that he adapted it into a movie twice (his first attempt was in ’73, and had the much briefer title Gawain and the Green Knight).

Apparently, Sean Connery wanted to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of his amazing portrayal of a post-apocalyptic barbarian in Zardoz by taking on another role that made him look completely ridiculous.

If you haven’t seen the 1974 John Boorman film, Zardoz (which is actually the first movie Jessica showed me when we started hanging out), this is what I’m referring to:

Sean Connery Zardoz

And this is Sean Connery as the magical Green Knight in Sword of the Valiant:

Sean Connery Green Knight Sword of the Valiant

Sean Connery Green Knight Sword of the Valiant

As if that’s not enough reason to see this movie, it also stars Miles O’Keeffe as Sir Gawain, sporting a pageboy cut that would put He-Man to shame.

Miles O'Keeffe Sword of the Valiant pageboy hair

'80s barbarian movie fans should know Miles as the star of the first three Ator movies, the second of which was lampooned on an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 under its alternate title, Cave Dwellers.

I’ll be honest. I rented this one mostly because I caught the trailer and wanted to see more of that hair. But it ended up being more entertaining than I expected. It’s certainly not a good movie, but it helps that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I’m a sucker for fantasy quests. It also has a stronger supernatural element than I was expecting, which I dig. I’d place the tone of this movie somewhere between Monty Python and the Holy Grail and John Boorman’s Excalibur. It’s not nearly as good as either of those classics, but it’s a fun watch.

Satan Factor: I suppose the Green Knight is sort of a satanic figure. He’s a mysterious supernatural dude who comes out of nowhere to challenge a mortal to an unfair game of life and death. There’s also an evil witch.

Ninja Factor: Uh … there’s swordplay. Oh! And a black knight. That's sort of ninja-like.

Boob Factor: Sadly, the only flesh on display in this movie is Miles O’Keefe’s ripped abs and chest.

‘80s Factor: It’s a medieval period piece, but it does have some rad low-budget ‘80s special effects.

Pageboy Haircut Factor: As Jem would say, this factor is so high it’s totally outrageous!

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 pentastars. (Someday I’ll edit all these to include little pentastar icons, once Jessica gets a chance to make ‘em for me.)

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Movie Review - Sorceress [1982]

Sorceress 1982

As I mentioned in my last movie review, the success of Conan the Barbarian paved the way (in blood!) for a slew of low-budget barbarian movies looking to cash in with muscular heroes, busty babes, scant clothing all around, and cheap sets. Perhaps the first of these to make it out the gate was the Roger Corman produced film Sorceress.

For those of you not familiar with Roger Corman, the guy’s produced like a million sci-fi, fantasy, and horror b-movies since the 50s. He’s known for cutting costs whenever he can (such as reusing film scores and special effects from one movie to the next, over and over again), not being shy with the T&A, and for helping to launch a lot of Hollywood careers. Dudes like James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola all got their start working on Corman productions.

So as soon as Corman noticed that Conan the Barbarian got a good reception, he tasked one of his writers with churning out a barbarian script in one week so they could rush it into production. The end result was Sorceress, and it’s fucking glorious.

Sorceress 1982 Title Screen

Now, I don’t want to spoil everything this amazing movie has to offer, so I’m just going to walk you through the opening scenes.

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Movie Review - Conquest [1983]

Conquest 1983 Poster

When Conan the Barbarian came out in 1982, it schooled us on what was best in life and introduced the world to one of the biggest icons of the ‘80s (and beyond). It also kickstarted the golden age of the barbarian movie genre. Unfortunately, none of the barbarian films that followed came close to matching the masterpiece that is Conan the Barbarian (including its own sequel), but a lot of them are awesome because of just how campy or fucking weird they are.

Take Conquest for instance. It’s definitely the most fucked-up of all the barbarian films I’ve seen, and that’s a genre with no shortage of fucked-upness. Conquest is sort of an odd mix between Conan the Barbarian, Quest for Fire (an awesome 1981 epic about Neanderthals and early humans which featured Ron Perlman in the role he was born to play), and one of John Boorman’s more surreal films, like Zardoz. Oh, and Conquest is directed by Lucio Fulci.

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Movie Review - Deadly Friend [1986]

Deadly Friend logo 1986

Deadly Friend, directed by horror icon Wes Craven, is a really fucking weird movie.

Warning: Lots of spoilers ahead.

It's about a teen genius who moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and his silly yellow robot, BB.

BB & Paul Deadly Friend 1986

Teen Genius soon discovers that he has the good fortune to live next door to the busty chick who played Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the original movie (who was only 16 at the time this was filmed). 

Deadly Friend 1986 Sam, Paul & BB

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Movie Review - Ninja III: The Domination [1984]

Ninja III: The Domination 1984 Poster

Finally, we get to the last of the thematic “ninja trilogy.” Being the followup to Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja, you’d think it’d be titled something like Curse of the Ninja (which would actually be super fitting, as you’ll soon see), but instead they fuck up the naming scheme and call it Ninja III: The Domination.

Ninja III is the black sheep of the trilogy, often regarded as the worst, but it’s actually my favorite. Why? Because this is the basic premise: a cute aerobics instructor is periodically possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja, causing her to go out and kill cops, slasher movie style.

If that doesn't sound rad as hell to you, you need to check your rad-o-meter.

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Movie Review - Revenge of the Ninja [1983]

1983. The year the third Star Wars movie pussed out and changed its title from Revenge of the Jedi to Return of the Jedi. It was also the year that the second part of the thematic “Ninja Trilogy” flipped into theaters (you can read my review of the first movie here). Did the ninja return? Fuck no. The ninja came back for revenge.

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Our First Satan Ninja Review ... and Driller [1984]

Driller 1984 Michael Jackson Thriller porn parody poster

Tuesday was a bit of a milestone day for us: it marked the first time that we discovered an article about our comic out in the wild of the Internet.

Over at Strange Kid's Club (a site that revels in nostalgic geekery), the Editor-in-Chief reviewed issue one, rightly declaring Satan Ninja 198X  "one of the raddest webcomics you should be reading right now." You can read the article here. He even pointed out a couple references that no one else has called us on yet, although he was a little off the mark with Archie and Duke Nukem (but I could totally see why he'd draw those comparisons). Anyway, for being the first dude bad enough to write an article about our comic, he totally deserves a mega high-five.

In other news, Jessica and I managed to catch Ghostbusters in the theater this weekend. Quick Review: It fucking ruled.

We're currently scrambling to have everything ready for Medoricon this weekend. Since we don't know what our Internet situation will be, we're going to post the next page tomorrow.

Finally, I didn't want to go two weeks without doing a review or featuring something, so I'm gonna quickly shine the spotlight on Driller [NSFW].


Movie Review - Enter the Ninja [1981]

Enter the Ninja Poster

The Octagon came first, but Enter the Ninja usually gets the credit for truly (jump)kickstarting the '80’s ninja craze. Or maybe people just think that because of its title. Whatever. At least it was smart enough to know that when you make a movie all about ninjas, you should have the word “Ninja” in the fucking title. Seriously, "The Octagon" has to be the worst name for a ninja movie, ever. But fuck that, this review is about Enter the Ninja (my review of The Octagon can be read here).

Enter the Ninja is the first in a trilogy of movies, followed by Revenge of the Ninja, and Ninja III: The Domination. The movies in this “Ninja Trilogy” share absolutely no plot continuity, but they’re all ninja movies starring Sho Kasugi and were produced by the same company, so good enough. In fact, this company, Cannon Films, then went on to produce the American Ninja franchise, so Cannon is basically the king of ‘80s ninja films.

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