ABC Film Challenge – 80s Films – Q – Red Sonja (1985)

This is being used for Q because of he evil Queen Gedren.

 

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Clive Exton, George MacDonald Fraser (Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Brigitte Nielsen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, Paul L Smith, Ernie Reyer Jr, Ronald Lacey

 

Plot: A female Redhead sets out on a killing spree to avenge her family’s murder.


Tagline – A woman and a warrior that became a legend.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure 80s Cheese

 

Story: Red Sonja starts in a wasteland of a world, Red Sonja (Nielsen) has seen her family butchered and been left for dead by the evil Queen Gedren (Bergman), who has gone onto rule the land with terror including take a relic which will be able to control the land.

With Queen Gedren’s rule continuing to grow, Red Sonja joins forces with fearless warrior Kalidor (Schwarzenegger) and abandoned Prince Tarn (Reyes Jr) to fight back and free the land from her terror.

 

Thoughts on Red Sonja

 

Characters – Red Sonja is a fearless warrior, her rebellious nature has seen the Queen turn on her, murdering her family, seeing her left brutally attacked. She rides the land in search of the Queen, where she leads a small group in battle to show how tough she is in battle. Kalidor follows before helping Sonja on her quest, he too in a fierce warrior roaming the lands fighting for the good of the people. Queen Gedren is the evil ruler that kills anybody that doesn’t follow her beliefs, using her newly acquired relic that can bring destruction unlike anything seen before.

PerformancesBrigitte Nielsen is the star of the movie bring us a strong action heavy female character, sadly this movie is overly marketed on Arnold Schwarzenegger who is nothing more than just a strong support character in the film, it was an early role that showed just what we were going to be getting from him. Sandahl Bergman in the villainous queen role does everything needing to make her feel in control and not like her character.

StoryThe story brings us to a world of warriors where one woman warrior is going on a revenge quest against the evil ruler that killed her family. This is one of the easiest styles of stories to tell, we just need a lead character we support, a villain we hate and a series of quests which will become more challenging the closer they get to their target. This does everything right without being a complete edge of your seat film because we focus on moments of comedy that don’t always work, as well as looking to show off the muscles involved from both the leads. This is easy to watch and can be enjoyed by the fans of the 80s action fantasy genre.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy The action involved in the film comes with the sword wielding fights which are watchable without being edge of the seat, which become bigger as the adventure continues on, going hand in hand together in the genre side of things, with the fantasy world showing how the different creatures can come from the world.

SettingsThe world feels big and baron like it would be completely under control by an evil ruler, with candle room look beautiful for the closing fight.


Scene of the Movie –
Candle room.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It isn’t the most standout in the genre.

Final ThoughtsThis is an 80s movie you can easily watch and enjoy, everything is basic, so just enjoy it without expecting anything ground breaking.

 

Overall: Enjoyable 80s film.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Amityville 3-D (1983)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: William Wales (Screenplay)

Starring: Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark, John Beal, Leora Dana, John Harkins, Meg Ryan

 

Plot: A reporter moves into the ominous Long Island house to debunk the recent supernatural events, and finds himself besieged by the evil manifestations which are connected to a hell-spawn demon lurking in the basement.


Tagline – Inside these walls, nothing is impossible …except survival.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Confusing & Messy

 

Story: Amityville 3-D starts when journalist John Baxter (Roberts) and his team Melanie (Clark), Elliot (Joy) expose the truth of the hoaxes going on inside the Amityville home, learning it is for sale, John who is going through a divorce from his wife Nancy (Harper) agrees to purchase the house, knowing there is no such thing as ghosts or demons.

It isn’t long until strange events start happening in the house again, with John needing to get to the bottom of the mystery about the Amityville horror when his daughter starts getting targeted by the spirits of the house.

 

Thoughts on Amityville 3-D

 

Characters – John Baxter has made a career debunking paranormal events, exposing frauds and this time he proves people are using the Amityville house for profit, he buys the house with plans to move in and write his book, he soon learns that the house inn hiding a paranormal spirit which he must escape from before it takes his daughter. Nancy is the soon to be ex-wife of John’s she doesn’t like his choice to move into that house believing in the events which have caused the home to have the reputation is has. Elliot is the man that can search through the photos that are not being developed in the way they should, he is the best in his field and can’t explain the events shown in the photos. Melanie is the partner of John’s she helps expose the truths only she has now become targeted by the spirits of the house too.

PerformancesTony Roberts is the strongest of a weak cast, he is solid enough with the rest of the leads being weak throughout the film. This film does have one of Meg Ryan’s first roles in film which is amazing when you see how bad this film is to how far she has gone.

StoryThe story here is, we are back in the Amityville house and with an original story that is about a journalist that wants to prove there is nothing haunting in the house. The problems mount up quickly in this film, mostly surrounding the deaths of characters which seem to have no consequences to our main characters, the idea is just lets do the same again, person along spooky goings on, with no scares about them. It is a rinse repeat formulaic story that bring nothing to the film and ends up feeling flat and uninspiring for the audience to get through.

HorrorThe horror in the film is mostly dream sequences, or just blasting the cast with what seems to be a leaf blower, it is slow and not interesting for the horror stand point of the film.

SettingsSet in the same house, we know by now what the haunting is, but for some reason we just keep getting characters who don’t believe, the house still looks scary but that is about it.

Special EffectsRemember when 3D was going to be a thing, well this is a result of those terrible effects that were being bought into movies in the 80s.


Scene of the Movie –
Debunking opening scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is a boring horror film that just seems to bring the same story to the big screen with those terrible 3D effects that simply don’t work, it has only one strong point and that is giving Meg Ryan an early film role.

 

Overall: Poor and messy franchise killer.

Rating

 

 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Earl Felton (Screenplay)

Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Robert J Wilke, Ted de Corsia

 

Plot: A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.


Tagline – Walt Disney’s Mighty, Magnificent, Memorable 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Classic

 

Story: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when scientist professor Pierre Aronnax (Lukas) gets assigned to investigate a large number of sinkings in the open ocean, joined by his trusted sidekick Conseil (Lorre). When the ship they are travelling on gets sunk by the creature, Peirre, Conseil and sailor Ned Land (Douglas) go in search of rescue finding the Nautilus seemingly abandoned on the ocean.

The Nautilus captained by Nemo (Mason) tests the men before letting them stay aboard learning the wonders from beneath the ocean and taking on the creatures that have been lurking in the deep.

 

Thoughts on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

 

Characters – Captain Nemo is the mysterious captain of the Nautilus, he doesn’t follow any over the rules of the ocean as he plans his own way to clean it up with his loyal men, he reluctantly lets the three survivors onboard knowing Professor Aronnax could help his work. He does get frustratingly tired of Ned’s behaviour which puts his crew in danger at times. Ned Land is a sailor that is one of the few survivors from the shipwreck, he doesn’t like Nemo and wants to focus on collecting treasure over learning from the ocean. Professor Pierre Aronnax is one of the most famous scientist in the world, he is welcomed on board the ship because of his reputation which impress Nemo, he jumps at the chance to make huge waves in science onboard the ship. Conseil is the assistant to the professor who quickly starts to side with ned when it comes to the methods being shown onboard the vessel.

PerformancesThis is a strange way to bill the cast, because James Mason is the main character and he is great to watch when it comes to his speeches and ideas for what his character wants. Kirk Douglas is mostly the comic relief which is fun to see for the most part. Paul Lukas fits the posh scientist role in the film which is the one that can simplify things for the audience. Peter Lorre makes for a good sidekick figure for whoever his character helps.

StoryThe story here follows the character of Captain Nemo that must educate three new crew members of the wonders of the ocean, showing them the answers are here instead of in how the world is acting. This is one that shows us science need exploring rather than questioning which takes out characters across the world to see things never imagined for the 1800s. While the story does give us entertainment, it would have been nice to see them ship take on a real creature for more than five minutes instead of going into the science versus sailing talk we most explore.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-Fi The adventure side of this film takes our crew around the world to places they would have never seen to see places only few would have, make new discoveries. The fantasy mixes into the sci-fi because of the films setting in the 1800s where the technology isn’t like anything imaginable.

SettingsThe film keep sus out at sea for most of the film, it is the interior of the Nautilus which is fantastic creation here show us just what was in the minds of the people.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were great, they show us what could have been achieved with practical effects and clever camera work.


Scene of the Movie –
Squid battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not much creature action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch classic of cinema, it reaches levels you might not have expected for the time only to become something you need to admire.

 

Overall: Must watch classic.

Rating

 

 

Soylent Green (1973)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Stanley R Greenberg (Screenplay) Harry Harrison (Novel)

Starring: Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors, Joseph Cotton, Brock Peters, Paula Kelly

 

Plot: In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shocking

 

Story: Soylent Green starts in the year 2022 where Soylent Red and Yellow have been the main food source for the over-populated New York City that has people sleeping in stairs, barely any space to move and huge unemployment. There is now a new product called Soylent Green from the deepest part of the ocean offering everything the human body needs for an affordable price.

When the rich socialite William Simonson (Cotten) is murdered, Detective Thorn (Heston) is assigned to solve the murder with the Furniture a woman that comes with the apartment named Shirl (Taylor-Young) being one of the main suspects, along with the bodyguard Tab Fielding (Connors).

As Thorn continues his investigation he learns that this murder seems to be more of an assassination and the deeper he digs the more shocking the truth is that he discovers.

 

Thoughts on Soylent Green

 

Characters/PerformanceDetective Thorn is assigned to solve the murder of one of the richest men in New York City. He is poor but does just about have his own apartment, whenever he visits one of the high sociality people he takes the luxuries he doesn’t have, he won’t give up on solving the case however big the cover up he is taking on. Shirl is the ‘Furniture’ that lives in the apartment of the victim, she services the owners needs whenever the desire and come as part of the apartment, she becomes the love interest for Thorn. The rest of the characters are involved in what could be the cover-up, work with Thorn or know it is better to keep their mouths shut.

Performance wise, Charlton Heston is great in the leading role, we all know he was a dominating force for the time and this is no different. Leigh Taylor-Young is good as Shirl but mostly is just used for bit of eye candy. The rest of the cast are all good even if there are a couple of overacted fight sequences.

StoryThe story focuses on the future where people have over-populated the world, food supplies run low and the rich still stay well above the poor. The social side of the film is brilliant seeing how the rich believe they can get away with anything to make sure they stay rich even stepping on the poor. The ending is one most people will know now but must be considered as one of the most shocking of the time as well as playing out as a warning to the ever-increasing number people living on the planet.

Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiThe crime side of the film is the murder and potential cover up being exposed, this also plays into the mystery of the film. the sci-fi side of everything shows us just how bleak a potential future could become.

SettingsNew York City is always known for the crowds of people, this film uses this as the setting to show us just how bad it could get it the population boom never slowed down.

Final ThoughtsThe ending is what made this film so famous even today, you can see why too because this does have a shocking ending that will leave in shock even to this day.

 

Overall: One of the most shocking sci-fi films ever made.

Rating