• Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: ESCAPE FROM L.A.

    ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)
    Showing Tuesday 5/2/2017 at The Hollywood Theatre

    The man with the patch is back. Call him Snake. Kurt Russell rejoins filmmakers John Carpenter and Debra Hill to do to the Big Orange what they did to the Big Apple in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK — with even more futuristic thrills and slam-bang action!
     
    Into the 9.6-quaked Los Angeles of 2013 comes Snake Plissken (Russell). His job: wade through L.A.’s ruined landmarks to retrieve a doomsday device. Don’t miss the excitement as Snake surfs Wilshire Blvd., shoots hoops at the Coliseum, dive bombs the Happy Kingdom theme park, and mixes it up with a wild assortment of friends, fiends and foes (Stacy Keach, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, George Corraface, Cliff Robertson, Pam Grier and more). 
     
    Directed by John Carpenter (THEY LIVE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA)
     

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: TOP DOG

    TOP DOG (1995)
    Showing Tuesday 4/4/2017 at The Hollywood Theatre

    After zany police dog Reno’s partner gets killed doing surveillance at the docks, he is teamed up with tough cop Jake Wilder (Chuck Norris of FOREST WARRIOR).  Why are they teamed up?  Because they have the same police record, of course!  Indeed, they have the same amount of arrests, the same amount of hero medals, and they’ve each been shot in the line of duty four times.  After this unlikely pairing, the film escalates into the zaniest white supremacy action thriller ever committed to film.  Basically, an underground group of neo-nazis have plans to blow up some kind of important racial unity gathering in order to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.  This seems kind of extreme for a dog-genre movie, but once Jake and Reno catch wind of their plans, they unite to become a two-fisted, four-pawed death squad!  You can expect to see some warehouse fights, a montage of Reno wearing different clothes and sunglasses, shipments of illegal weapons and C4, a gang of assassin clowns and more!  Directed by Aaron Norris (Chuck’s brother).

    COMMENTARY

    TOP DOG was the last Chuck Norris movie to be released in theaters.  By the time this came out in April 1995, the 2nd season of Walker, Texas Ranger was nearing completion, and Norris couldn’t have been less cool to moviegoers.  This film bears the stamp of the team of people that helped him make the Walker series, most notably his brother Aaron who directed numerous episodes.  Thus, it’s made-for-TV look begins to make sense.  Norris’ next movie, FOREST WARRIOR, went straight to video, as did the rest of his films through 2005 (he also did a few TV movies for CBS).  He announced his retirement from movie making after THE CUTTER in 2005, to spend time with his family and write books.  Later this year Chuck will be back on the big screen for his first wide-release movie since TOP DOG in the second installment of THE EXPENDABLES franchise.  Rumor has it that he refused to be in the movie unless the producers of the film agreed to tone down its vulgar, R-rated language (link to article).  The producers agreed, which is weird because who knew that Chuck still pulled so much weight after all these years?

    Footnote: While trying to find out how many episodes of Walker Aaron Norris directed, I saw a trend in his career that I could correlate directly to Chuck’s.  I discovered that Aaron’s directorial debut was BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III from 1988.  He went on to direct every Chuck Norris film after that, and with each we saw Chuck’s career slide closer and closer to the dreaded direct-to-video bin.  The lesson: Hollywood nepotism is always a good thing.

    But enough stuffy analysis.  Here’s the action-packed trailer for the superb film TOP DOG!

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: TIGER CLAWS 2

    TIGER CLAWS 2
    Showing Tuesday 3/7/17 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Jalal Merhi (TIGER CLAWS, FEARLESS TIGER) was a successful Toronto jeweler and amateur martial artist who sold his business in the late 80s… and used the money to finance a string of movies he starred in and produced. TIGER CLAWS 2 was one of those movies, with Cynthia Rothrock (LADY DRAGON, MAGIC CRYSTAL) and Bolo Yeung (BLOODSPORT, TC 2000) reprising their roles. This time around, Merhi and Rothrock are called upon to take down the evil gangster Dai Lo Fu, who is attempting to smuggle weapons back in time through a portal underneath San Francisco. Directed by J. Stephen Maunder (TC 2000, TIGER CLAWS).

    From the back of the VHS box:

    New York detectives Richards (Jalal Merhi) and Masterson (Cynthia Rothrock) reunite to pursue escaped serial killer Chong (Bolo Yeung) into the ancient caverns beneath San Francisco’s Chinatown on the eve of the Chinese New Year.

    In a deadly race against time, Richards and Masterson find themselves captured by Chong and his brother, the nefarious underground Chinatown leader Dai Lo Fu (Han Soo Ong), as they prepare for a ritual that will bring forth deadly consequences. 

    Escaping through secret halls built by the ancients, Richards and Masterson confront their enemies in a battle filled with spectacular gunfights and breath-taking martial arts. 

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: TRAXX

    TRAXX (1988)
    Showing Tuesday 2/7/17 at The Hollywood Theatre

    There are two things Traxx loves–baking cookies… and killing bad guys.  His dream is to have his own cookie business, but the problem is he’s only good at one of those things (and it’s not the cookies).  This is where the light-hearted cookie-baker-with-a-dream plot turns kind of dark.

    Blonde-maned beefcake Shadoe Stevens is Traxx, an ex-cop, former mercenary who wants to settle down and live the cookie life.  Needing cash to make his cookie dreams a reality, he offers a small, crime-infested town a deal they can’t refuse: hire him to be their “Town Tamer” and he’ll take out their trash… forever (garbage you dump, trash you kill).  His motto is “Be good, be gone, or be dead.”  After teaming up with a rookie and killing about 300 low-lifes, Traxx gets the attention of local crime boss Aldo Palucci (played by Robert Davi, one of the Fratellis who put Chunk’s hand in the blender in The Goonies).  There’s a great scene where he tries one of Traxx’s awful cookies, with explosive results.  He puts out a hit on Traxx, bringing in the Uzi-toting, limo-driving Guzik Brothers, who have been in self-imposed exile in Mexico.  They kidnap the little league baseball team, trying to draw out Traxx, who by this time was living in the woods and wearing a Traxx t-shirt that his partner made for him.  The final showdown ends the only way it could: in an explosion that segues to fireworks and dancing in the streets, under the neon glow of a sign that says “Snaxx by Traxx”.  Directed by Jerome Gary.

    Some Traxx Snaxx

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: DOUBLECROSS ON COSTA’S ISLAND


    DOUBLECROSS ON COSTA’S ISLAND (1997)

    Showing Tuesday 1/3/2017 at The Hollywood Theatre

    From the back of the VHS box:

    Six years after stopping a multi-national arms deal that would have wiped out Los Angeles, secret agent Costa (Franco Columbu) is tracked down at his home halfway around the world. From Sardinia to Beverly Hills, Costa must be ready for a final showdown while meeting up with old friends and enemies. Directed by Franco Columbu.

    The brain child of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best real-life friend, body builder Franco Columbu, DOUBLE CROSS ON COSTA’S ISLAND (1997) is mash-up between a 1995 Columbu film called TAKEN ALIVE and new footage shot in 1996. Here’s the trailer for the very similar-looking film: