• Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: TOP DOG

     Top DogTOP DOG (1995)
    Showing Tuesday 3/6/2012 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 rarely always a good thing.

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

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: ANGEL OF FURY

    B-Movie Bingo: Angel of FuryANGEL OF FURY (1992)
    Showing Tuesday 2/7/2012 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Hell has no fury… like a security firm courier scorned!   International martial arts star Cynthia Rothrock is Nancy Bolan, whose sole mission is to deliver a top-secret computer for a large security organization.  Housed within a silver briefcase, the computer’s purpose is unknown.  Enter “Bolt” (aka “Zartan”), who is referred to as “The Terrorist Who Strikes Like Lightning“.  He also happens to be a master of disguise and a beefcake.  It turns out that he wants the computer too, and is hot on Nancy’s trail, intercepting her multiple ingenious, and yet failure-prone delivery attempts.  The venerable Peter O’Brian, best known for his career-defining roles as The Stabilizer and Rambu, chews up the scenery as Bolt, in his sixth and final film role before returning to his previous life as an English teacher.

    Rothrock is in top form as a tough, “I’m gonna kill you”, no-nonsense agent.  Things to watch out for include: a post-computer delivery failure shopping spree, Rothrock’s insane, indescribable kick from a dirt bike through a van’s windshield (and then back again), bizarre editing and dialogue, guys who don’t know how to hold guns, and Peter O’Brian’s face.  This movie is PURE BINGO!!!!

    One thing that we like about this movie is that the screenplay was written by Chris Mitchum, son of Robert Mitchum!

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: BULLETPROOF

    BulletproofBULLETPROOF (1988)
    Shows Tuesday 1/10/2012 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Imagine this: It’s the mid 1980s.  Cold War paranoia is at its breaking point; secrets wait to be discovered under every rock.  While the western world sleeps in its cocoon of false security, the scales tip to the Dark Side when a secret super-tank, the NBT-90 Thunderblast, is stolen from the US military and taken to …Mexico.  There a grab-bag of assorted Soviet-inspired international terrorists await its arrival and their virtually unstoppable ascent to world domination.  But wait: Enter Frank “BULLETPROOF” McBain!

    Gary Busey stars as Frank “I’M YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE, BUTTHORN!” McBain, an ex-military virtuoso who has “retired” into police work.  His main skill is getting shot and removing the bullets, keeping them in a jar in his bathroom.  The rest of skills can be added up into one large, more complex, intangible web of skills, called a Hive Skill.  This Hive Skill is his use of the word BUTTHORN as an insult, which happens at least three times in the film.  Note: this is the only movie that has the word BUTTHORN in it.  When Uncle Sam calls McBain back for one last mission, he teams up with his ex-girlfriend, Army officer Devon Shepard, to get the tank back from the evil tantrum-thrower Colonel Kartiff (Henry Silva!!) and …play saxophone on the beach!   Because it’s true that while McBain may be bulletproof, he’s not love proof.  Directed by Steve Carver.

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: FIRST ACTION HERO

    First Action HeroFIRST ACTION HERO (1994)
    Showing Tuesday 12/6/2011 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Shit hits the fan when lone wolf veteran cop Mark Fierro (Fabio Testi) is transfered from Tampa back to his old precinct in Miami in order to prevent the local mafia gangs from engaging a full blown gang war.  Fierro and his flamboyant golden-locked partner Hoagy O’Toole (Ron Nummi) stop at nothing to get the job done.  Whether it’s killing everything in their path or spending hours in Fierro’s bare white office containing nothing but a desk and a photo of Bill Clinton on the wall, these two mean business!  To complicate things, Fierro’s teenage daughter from his failed marriage is dumped in his lap unexpectedly and he is suddenly forced to be a father, while simultaneously trying to juggle his relationship with his D.A. girlfriend Lori (played by Marina Giulia Cavalli, who does nothing but protect the people he is after) and deal with his Mafioso Uncle Ben  (Gabriele Ferzetti).

    Packed to the brim with action and boring scenes all set to the same music that sounds like it could have been a contestant for the Wheel of Fortune theme, this film has it all: acting, cinematography and at least two songs. Although this film obviously has nothing in common with Last Action Hero from 1993, you may notice that Mark Fierro is using the same handgun that Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) used.  So this is like that movie, but FIRST instead!

    This movie has the best theme song.

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: NIGHTBEAST

    NightbeastNIGHTBEAST (1982)
    Showing Tuesday 11/01/2011 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Somewhere in the heavens, an out-of-control spaceship careens toward Earth, plunking an asteroid on the way down. It ricochets toward Maryland and crash lands somewhere in the woods. A wet-looking abomination in a shiny silver suit emerges, fully-automatic laser gun in hand. A handful of hicks with guns confront the being and are immediately vaporized. This scene sets up Nightbeast, in which a backwoods cop and his friends fight an alien that terrorizes their small town. Super lo-fi, but in a star-filtered early 80s kind of way. Awesome synth music, a romantic love scene, and tons of lasers and gore. Also vaporizing and mauling. And gore. Directed by Don Dohler.

    Trivia: The musical score on this movie was done by 16-year-old J.J. Abrams, who later went on to create the TV show LOST and direct the excellent film SUPER 8.