Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy (2018)

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Tony Giglio, Don Michael Paul (Screenplay) Paul W.S. Anderson, Tony Giglio (Story)

Starring: Zach McGowan, Danny Glover, Danny Trejo, Velislav Pavlov, Lucy Aarden, Frederick Koehler

 

Plot: After an attack on inmate Frankenstein fails a Black Ops specialist enters the maximum prison to join the illegal Death Race and take down Frankenstein.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Action We Expect, The Thin Story We Expect

 

Story: Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy starts as America has completely broken down, the one former hope Death Race is deemed illegal and has taken the dark web by storm as the prisoners have free roam of the arena formerly used as the prison. Frankenstein (Pavlov, voiced by Nolan North) runs this world, he isn’t like the Frank we have met before, he runs the city and the race.

The government are getting sick of the Death Race and want to bring it down, Baltimore Bob (Glover) runs the races and when new prisoner Connor Gibson (McGowan) is searching to be part of the race, in an attempt to bring down Frankenstein.

 

Thoughts on Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy

 

Characters – Frankenstein rules the death race circuit from behind his mask, this is made clear that he can be replaced with ease and isn’t the same man that we have met in the previous film, this version of Frankenstein isn’t as good-natured or innocent as the previous ones, he is a killer, he will execute people who try to cross him and has created the chaos in the world they are living in. Connor Gibson is the man sent to the prison, he is sent there to take down Frankenstein in an attempt to regain control of the prison, he uses his skills to rise up the ranks to put himself in the position to race Frankenstein. Carley is the seductive and navigator that is on Frankenstein’s arm. Baltimore Bob runs the Death Race operation, he has the connections outside to the outside world and is willing to use them to create the most buzz about the event.

PerformancesZach McGowan gets the action sequences done well through the film, though when it comes to some of the talking moments he does struggle in places, though the script isn’t exactly anything notable. Danny Glover is getting too old for this shit now, he gives us the supporting role you would have come to expect from him now. Velislav Pavlov brings the physical look for Frankenstein, though Nolan North voice work makes the character feel more sinister.

StoryThe story here follows the now illegal death race which has become a dark web sensation in a crumbling American economy, one man gets sent into the prison to eliminate Frankenstein. Now this might be the first actual sequel in the franchise, I kind of got lost after 2 and 3, but if this is a sequel it does show us just how the world changed after what happened with Frankenstein’s escape, how the world continued to fall into disorder. When it comes to the Frankenstein figure, we know he can be replaced, which does explain the evil nature behind this version, though it goes against the need we have to support the underdog wrongfully placed in the prison system. The story is filled with unworthy showdowns with characters we barely know, we do also just resort to too many party scenes which are unrealistic and just want to show off nudity for no reason. The script is also poorly written just turning to explicit swearing insults which are here to sound edgy rather than making sense.

ActionThe action in the racing sequences is the highlight of the film, the final race being the best part of the movie, even if we have plenty of jump cuts.

SettingsThe film is set in the prison locations, the land might be larger now which does make sense for an ever growing environment that has become overrun.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film come from the explosion we see caused during the race itself.


Scene of the Movie –
The race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the pointless parties.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another sequel that just doesn’t reach the levels of the previous films, it does have a fun race, though it does fall into the generic filler leading up to the race though.

 

Overall: Fun & Simple

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – J – Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word (2016)

Director: Simon Rumley

Writer: Ben Katai, Marc Haimes (Screenplay) Tony Giglio, Ben Ketai (Story)

Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Erin Cummings, Mike Doyle, Dodge Prince, Mike Gassaway, Sue Rock

 

Plot: When a young man is executed for committing murder, he leaves behind a curse letter, promising vengeance for all those connected to his unfair trial.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Revenge Horror

 

Story: Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word starts with the trial of Johnny that leads to a guilty verdict, which leads to his execution, where his final words are ‘Kiss my ever-loving ass’.

Soon after his execution the people involved in the trial start getting visions, strange feelings and the feeling they are being watched by a spirit that seems to be out for revenge from beyond the grave. This leads Adam Redman (Doyle) one of the jurors to investigate what happened with the crime.

 

Thoughts on Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word

 

Characters – Adam Redman is one of the jurors on the trial, he is the only one that wasn’t going with an instant guilty verdict, but had to fold to the pressure of the rest of the jury. After the execution his son gets targeted by the spirit and he goes to investigate who really committed the crime. Danny Hill is the district attorney that took the case, getting the result, he wanted a guilty verdict.

PerformancesMike Doyle takes the leading role in this film, he is the best of the performers as you believe he descent into madness as he finds himself haunted. The rest of the cast are fine, but just don’t get a chance to shine on the levels they can reach.

StoryThe story follows a wrongfully committed man that is executed for a crime he never committed, coming back from the head to haunt the people who were involved in the trial to get his own revenge. Everything plays into the ideas that the execution might not be the best thing because not all crimes are as clear cut as they need to be to go through with it, but only following one man trying to solve the case doesn’t seem to be the most entertaining as we only see a couple of people from the trial face the wrath of Johnny.

Crime/HorrorThe idea behind the crime shows how the justice system can be flawed, the horror plays into the idea that a spirit can come back and get revenge for the crime he gets executed for.

SettingsThe settings show that certain states in America still use the death penalty in a time where it is no longer considered an option.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine when needed but never get overused when it comes to the scares.


Scene of the Movie –
Teacher time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We only follow a couple of potential victims when a lot more people were involved.

Final ThoughtsThis plays well into the idea of person coming back from dead to get revenge for a crime they never committed, it has by the book scares, jumpy vision sequences, but never reaches any peek levels of tension, suspense or conclusion.

 

Overall: Not strong enough.

Rating

 

 

Death Race 3 Inferno (2012)

logoDirector: Roel Reine

Writer: Tony Giglio (Screenplay) Paul W.S.Anderson, Tony Giglio (Story)

Starring: Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Dougray Scott, Fred Koehler, Tanit Phoenix, Robin Shou

 

Story: Following on from the events in Death Race 2, Frankenstein is back, but after Weyland (Rhames) sells the rights to the Death Race to Niles York (Scott) things are about to change. The Death Race is going global and so is Frankenstein’s team Carl ‘Luke’ Lucas (Goss), Goldberg (Trejo) Lists (Koehler) and Katrina (Phoenix). The first race is set in the South African dessert, who will survive the Death Race?

 team

Verdict: The race for life has never been so intense.

Story: Changing the location of the previous two films is the only real change in the story; giving it a chance to explore new areas, types of vehicles and types of racing. There is a very good story running parallel to the main race side of events. One big thing I noticed was a couple of well places parts that pay homage to the original Death Race 2000 film. (8/10)

Actor Review: Luke Goss – Carl Lucas returns as Frankenstein the best driver in the Death Race, he is also one tough son of a bitch who will never let anyone beat him in a fight. Goss continues to do a good job developing a character that Jason Statham started with, even if he is only a different version of Frankenstein. Luke is better than these straight to DVD titles and you can tell. Star Performance Award, Action Star Award, Kick Ass Award, Lesley’s Stud Muffin Award (9/10)

 goss

Actor Review: Ving Rhames – Is the boss who sales the Death Race to the cocky billionaire. Has limited scene time but always makes sure he is the centre of attention when he is on it. (8/10)

ving

Actor Review: Danny Trejo – Returning as Frankenstein’s pit expert who is a tough guy who also provides mentorship to Lists. Typical Trejo performance where he talks very little and when he does with an angry tone. Favourite Character Award (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Dougray Scott – The billionaire who takes Death Race worldwide using his power and money to get everyone to do what he wants. Creates a power hunger villain but doesn’t offer anything original in his performance and is easily eclipsed by the villain in the Death Race film. (6/10)

scott

Actor Review: Fred Koehler – Lists the guy who has never fitted in but is accepted by Frankenstein’s team. Needs things a certain way to stay with it, as well as being the smartest person on the crew. A performance that matches his in all three films, now it is time to break out of these roles and prove how good an actor he is. (8/10)

Actor Review: Tanit Phoenix – Girlfriend of Carl who also believes he is dead after the previous film. Doesn’t add anything but eye candy to the film which is disappointing as the side driver could be used to do so much more. Poor Performance Award, Babe Watch Award (5/10)

 

Director Review: Roel Reine – With a string of cheaply made sequels this guy does know how to make a good budgeted sequel and this is no different. (8/10)

Action: Plenty of action in the car racing department, as well as a couple of good fights. (9/10)

 

Frankenstein's car

Frankenstein’s car

Thriller: The races are not as edge of the seat as they should be, as too much focus on the racer who is about to crash rather than mixing it up and keeping you guessing on who the victim will be. (5/10)

 

Believability: Feeding on our love of reality TV that is about as far as it goes, proving we would watch anything about ‘real’ people on these shows. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: NONE (0/10)

Settings: Good setting, nice track, great locational scenery and brave for taking it out of the secure location previously seen. (9/10)
Oscar Chances
: NONE

Chances of Sequel: Yes good chance of sequel with the story but maybe not on its money success.

Suggestion: I would be suggesting this to any of the fans of the previous films as well as the car fanatics. It may be too violent for the casual action fan. (Enjoy The Ride)

 

Best Part: The twist.

Worst Part: Not enough racing

Kill Of The Film: Olga has a great show down.

Similar Too: Death Race Series

 

Overall: Good racing film

Lesley’s Rating 55%

Rating72