ABC Film Challenge – Horror – M – Megalodon (2018)

Director: James Thomas

Writer: Koichi Petetsky (Screenplay) Thunder Levin (Story)

Starring: Michael Madsen, Dominic Pace, Caroline Harris, Ego Mikitas, Aimee Stolte, Scott C Roe, Sebastien Charmant

 

Plot: A military vessel on the search for an unidentified submersible finds themselves face to face with a giant shark, forced to use only what they have on board to defend themselves from the monstrous beast.


Tagline – You can bet she won’t eat just one.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Run Away Fast

 

Story: Megalodon starts when a Russian submarine captained by Ivanov (Mikitas) unleashes a megalodon in American waters, the US Navy is monitoring the location discovers the sunken submarine, with Captain Streeper (Pace) letting Commander Lynch (Harris) conduct a rescue mission.

When the rescue attempt goes wrong Streeper wants to save his team, while Admiral King (Madsen) refuses to let military personal risked to save people that are more than likely dead. The military battle on the surface conflicts with the one under the ocean as the race against time from the megalodon is on.

 

Thoughts on Megalodon

 

Characters – Admiral King is visiting one of his ships, he is welcomed with open arms, but when the push comes to the shove, he will let people die instead of protecting the men in his fleet. Captain Streeper will do anything to try and save the people of his ship even if it goes against the orders of the Admiral. Commander Lynch is the one that will risk her life to try and save the people on the submarine, she will go against orders to achieve the right thing for people in need of help. Captain Ivanov is the captain of the Russian submarine, he will not give up the secrets of his country despite being put through the questions by the US Navy.

PerformancesMichael Madsen is in this film, he was in Reservoir Dogs, how the mighty have fallen, what is this guy thinking. He however is the best of what is a terrible group of acting, which mostly just follows the actors wobbling like a Star Trek Tv Show and putting on generically week accents.

StoryThe story is US Navy versus Russian submarine and a megalodon, this is all we see, the Americans trying to kill the creature while the Russians try to escape. Trying to put a boring military angle into a basic monster movie only sucks the life out of everything, we spend more time fighting each other than deal with the megalodon which will eat them with ease. This could well be the most boring monster movie story I have ever seen. There are no redeem aspects in this story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is mostly laughable the shark attacks are a CGI mess, the rest is just shooting guns. The horror is meant to be a monster movie, the fact this is just from watching is being the scariest thing about this. The sci-fi idea about the long thought of dead creature does make sense only for it to be something we see way too often.

SettingsThe film is set in a random ocean with military vessel being under attack from the shark.

Special EffectsThe effects are the normal terrible CGI rubbish we are used to seeing in the syfy world of movies.


Scene of the Movie –
Drunks meet the shark.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI attacks are beyond laughable.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst outings that the world of syfy has given us, this is terrible from start to finish and fails to even be a bad monster movie.

 

Overall: Absolutely rubbish.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror -L – Landmine Goes Click (2015)

Director: Levan Bakhia

Writer: Adrian Colussi (Screenplay) Levan Bakhia, Adrian Colussi, Lloyd S Wagner (Story)

Starring: Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer, Kote Tolordava, Giorgi Tsaava

 

Plot: Trapped standing on an armed landmine, an American tourist is forced to watch helplessly while his girlfriend is terrorized and brutally assaulted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Horror

 

Story: Landmine goes Click starts as three friends Chris (Knight), Alicia (Locke) and Daniel (Geyer) head off into the Georgian wilderness for a weekend away before Daniel and Alicia’s wedding. When the three are having a photo taken Chris accidently stands on a landmine but this is just revenge plot by Daniel on his friends that have been having an affair behind his back.

Chris and Alicia must get help but this is just the beginning of the nightmare as Ilya (Tolordava) a local that puts Alicia through a sexual assault with Chris have no way of helping.

 

Thoughts on Landmine Goes Click

 

Characters – Chris starts as the third wheel on the trip but it soon turns out he has been involved with Alicia leading to the revenge where he finds himself trapped on a landmine helpless to help Alicia when she gets assaulted. Alicia is the fiancé of Daniel that has been cheating on him with Chris and in the revenge, must go through a brutal assault. Daniel is the friend that gets betrayed and sets up the revenge before abandoning his friends. Ilya is the main assaulter that takes advantage of Alicia but must face the reality of what he did in the future. The characters don’t feel overly original and the love triangle is an easy aspect to use in horror to create a divide.

PerformanceThe performances here are mixed because Locke must go through a lot but doesn’t convince to the levels needed, Sterling Knight does seem to struggle to be convincing in his role in both chapters of the story, at times it does just feel like he is on a film set over a real life situation which is needed for the role. The rest are both fine too through the film without being great.

StoryThe story can be broken into three parts, the first is the trapped on the landmine for revenge which seems to get skimmed over in places, then we have the assault side which does crank up the tension but does seem to go on slightly too long, the third side of the film is the revenge on the attacker which again doesn’t reach the tension levels. This mix tries to show us something new but in the end it does come off flat in places as we can predict where things will go.

Action/Crime/ThrillerThe action is mostly down to the potential of what could happen to the characters with the crime being the ordeals that Alicia and Chris must go through. The film does try to keep us on edge but ends up either going on too long or not long enough.

SettingsThe film has two main settings, the first is where the landmine is which does work if it was the only location but the second location makes the film feel like it has dragged on at times.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just felt long when it didn’t need to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting thriller that could have reached new heights but gets the timings of the three main scenes all over the place.

 

Overall: A lot of potential just missed.

Rating

 

 

Mandy (2018)

Director: Panos Cosmatos

Writer: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouere, Richard Brake, Bill Duke

 

Plot: Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Craziest Film of the Year

 

Story: Mandy starts as we meet Red Miller (Cage) a lumberjack who lives with the love of his life Mandy (Riseborough) living in the woods away from the world. religious cult led by Jeremiah Sand (Roache) sees Mandy and wants to make her the connection to his higher power, taking her and forcing Red through a traumatic night.

With Mandy murdered on front of Red, the cult leaves, but when Red gets free, he sets out on a revenge mission which will show that he is a deadly hunter with weapons that will give the most damage to anyone who was involved in Mandy’s murder.

 

Thoughts on Mandy

 

Characters – Red Miller is a lumberjack who lives a quiet life with the love of his life, this is shattered when she is murdered, causing him to go on a bloody revenge mission, he will not stop until he has killed everyone involved in his loves death. Mandy is the love of Red’s life, she is a dreamer and perfect for how Red sees life. Jeremiah Sand is the leader of the religious cult, he goes to the extremes for his belief searching for the higher power he believes he has made contact with, he followers will give their life for his. The rest of the characters we meet fill up the quota for the religious cult showing their devotion to their leader.

PerformancesNicolas Cage has been known for taking stranger roles in recent years, this is by far the craziest one yet and it is one that he shines in, you just can’t keep you eyes of his characters behaviour in this film. Andrea Riseborough does add the mystery to her character early one, which would make us understand her draw. Linus Roache gives us one of the more disturbing performances as the religious cult leader, one that is as unsettling as it should be.

StoryThe story her can be bottled down to a revenge thriller as we follow one man whose love of his life is murdered and he goes after the religious cult behind the murder. This is the simple side of the story, what we get sends us down roads we never imagine seeing as we focus on just how obsessive the cult truly is and how the one man will use anything and everything he can get his hands on to get his revenge. There are a few questions about how religious cults can be misleading to anyone that falls into one, while this does balance the line between what could be and what is very finely before we see the explosive bloody end.

Action/HorrorThe action in this film takes place once the revenge angle starts, we see Red go into battle with any weapons he can, with fight sequences that are as bloody as the are entertaining. The horror comes from seeing just what the cult will do, what the cult are doing and what the cult believe in.

SettingsThe film takes place in the 80’s in the woods which takes us away from people, making us understand just isolated both sides of the battle want to be.

Special EffectsThe effects are a perfect blend of practical bloody effects and well used CGI moments that don’t take away from the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Nicolas Cage’s crazy being used to perfection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest films you will ever see, it does something many directors haven’t been able to do, use Nicolas Cage crazy performance correctly. You will see some of the strangest images that you brain will not be able to take everything in.

 

Overall: Just bonkers fun.

Rating

 

 

Bleeding Steel (2018)

Director: Leo Zhang

Writer: Erica Xia-Hou, Siwei Cui (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Show Lo, Na-Na OuYang, Eric Xia-Hou, Callan Mulvey, Tess Haubrich

 

Plot: A special force agent is assigned to protect a scientist and his creation from a sinister gang.


Tagline – One man must unravel the past to save the future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple, Fun Chan Movie

 

Story: Bleeding Steel starts as we see special forces agent Lin Dong (Chan) face a difficult decision when it comes to protecting a high-profile witness in protection or having his remaining time with his dying daughter, when the mission goes wrong Lin learns about sinister gang that want this man dead and his invention for their own.

13 years later Lin Dong is still searching for members of the gang, with Leeson (Lo) a computer wizard who is trying to unlock the secrets of the Steel Heart with the gang still searching for it and Nancy (OuYang) being the key to everything.

 

Thoughts on Bleeding Steel

 

Characters – Lin Dong is a special forces agent who deals in the highest cases in the department, his latest assignment puts his tragic personal life behind him to save a doctor with a secret that could change the world, he faces a losing battle when he comes up against a technological advanced unit. He gives everything and spends his time searching for the group before they do anymore evil in the world. Leeson is the computer tech guy that has uncovered the truth about Nancy, he wants to save her from the danger she has found herself in and must work with Lin even though their styles don’t work together. Nancy is the young woman that becomes the target for all sides, she has her own personal problems with nightmares she can’t explain which is making her life difficult, now she might get to learn the truth. Andre and the Woman in Black are the ones after the device which would make them even more powerful than they are now.

PerformancesJackie Chan is Mr reliable when it comes to action, we know what we can get and that he can handle everything thrown at him, he is easily the star of the show. Show Lo handles the comedy his character offers well though due to the dubbing it is hard to see him shine. This goes for most of the performers in the film they handle most of the material well.

StoryThe story does come off confusing in places because it doesn’t go full sci-fi, but it is too sci-fi to not embrace this element of the film. the story does have twists along the way, though they can get telegraphed before being revealed to us. The ideas being put together in the story are interesting though, because seeing a world where science can be used for good in life saving procedures being hunted for by villainous gangs is something we can all believe. This however does feel like Jackie Chan is in a Star Trek movie at times, which only adds to the outlandish ideas in the film.

Action/Sci-FiThe action when hand to hand is what we come to see and Jackie Chan and the team don’t fail to entertain on this front, it’s the sci-fi shoot outs which do become weak because of the quality of the laser beams being shot with the future weapons.

SettingsThe film is shot in Australia which is one location we haven’t seen Jackie Chan fight in, we sci-fi locations do look weak, but watching Jackie Chan fight on the Sydney Opera House, yes please.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are not the strongest when it comes to dealing with gun fights, the best parts come from the stunt work in the fight scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
The Sydney Opera House fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dubbing is really poor.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film you would enjoy watching if you are a Jackie Chan fan, it does keep things simple enough even if they can be wildly over the top at times.

 

Overall: Jackie Chan 101

Rating

 

 

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Director: Kieran Parker

Writer: Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Ivan Kamaras, Velibor Topic, Laurence Possa, Alec Utgoff, Johnny Meres, Michael McKell

 

Plot: In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ferocious gladiatorial battle against the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sloppy and Poor Sequel

 

Story: Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz starts in 1945 as we follow a Russian special forces unit led by Dolokhov (Larkin) navigating the German forest looking for the secret base which has rumours of special experiments.

The plan doesn’t go the way they hoped, they find themselves captured or killed, waking in an underground bunker where they must find a way out joined by American spy Rogers (Lambert), they will learn the truth about the German experiments.

 

Thoughts on Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

 

Characters – Dolokhov is the leader of the Russian military unit searching for the secrets to the German’s work during World War II, he is loyal to his men and when he starts seeing them killed he will fight back no matter what the odds. Captured he goes through the experiments proving to be the best candidate for the Germans. When we reach the rest of the characters, we hit the weaknesses here, we have the rest of the unit which gets picked off bit by bit, the German soldiers and scientist with only one standing out, that being the man running the outpost.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must face the facts here, the characters are not that interesting which doesn’t give the actors must to work with, Bryan Larkin in the lead role is fine with the combat side of everything, but when it comes to the deep fake accent we see the weakness coming through too often. This is a problem for most of the stars of the film.

StoryThe story here tries to continue to build on the legacy behind this mysterious bunker which was the focal point of the very first Outpost movie, this time we follow Russians that are searching for the bunker only to become the latest victims. Now this has many problems early on, the first film we know this place is abandoned which makes the story interesting, this film tries to explain what happened in the bunker before the English unit finds the location, well I think that is what I saw. The idea that the German’s were doing experiments has been done too much which only leaves us thinking we have seen this before because of the lack of shock behind anything we see. This is a story which doesn’t give us enough investment in the characters to make us care about what is happening through the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is war based, with gun shots through the woods, fighting in the bunker and genre hordes of zombie fighting, certain scenes are shot badly with too many cuts and the action does feel clunky. The horror side of the film comes from seeing what the experiments were about and how the zombie like soldiers will not stop, this does play into the sci-fi elements of the film too as we see how far the Nazi’s were going in the war.

SettingsThe film mostly takes place in the bunker, or outpost if you like, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as the first film and the lighting makes this a harder watch too.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic and with the editing we lose the moments of gore we would like to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Unleash for the fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing is exciting.

Final ThoughtsThis feels more like a pointless sequel in a franchise which has already gone on too long for its own good.

 

Overall: Dull and lifeless.

Rating