• Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: STRIKER

    STRIKER (1988)
    Showing Tuesday 2/2/2016 at The Hollywood Theatre

    STRIKER is a movie that’s been waiting around in our VHS hoard for around two years. At first, we thought it was just a pretty box, featuring an oiled-up Frank Zagarino wielding a large machine gun. We figured since most jungle-extraction plots are boring, that this movie would probably be a long, dark slog through a rain forest, with bamboo cages and dripping sweat. We were wrong!

    When we finally watched it, we were immediately curious about the credit sequence: Italian names flashed on screen. “Directed by Stephen M. Andrews.” We deemed it odd that so much of the crew had Italian names, and sure enough, the director’s name was a pseudonym. It was actually directed by Italian director Enzo G. Castellari (STREET LAW, THE HEROIN BUSTERS), who in the 1970s had great success making Italian “tough cop” movies that dominated Italian cinema. It was co-written by Umberto Lenzi (THE CYNIC THE RAT AND THE FIST, ALMOST HUMAN), another maestro of the genre. Known as “Poliziotteschi”, this subgenre of Italian cinema churned out copies of American movies like DIRTY HARRY and THE FRENCH CONNECTION. By the late 70s, Castellari had made a JAWS clone (THE LAST SHARK), and by the early 80s, a MAD MAX a rip-off (THE NEW BARBARIANS). So, it follows that by the late 80s, Castellari would be making his own Italian version of RAMBO, which was STRIKER.

    The movie features wooden, blonde beefcake Frank Zagarino as John “Striker” Slade, who is “best in extraction from hostile territories”. His weapon of choice is a slingshot with a brass knuckle grip—no wonder he’s considered the best! He’s called upon by the US government when his old war buddy turned journalist, Frank Miller, is kidnapped by the truth-silencing Nicaragua crime lord “Kariasin”. Guided by a beautiful but deadly local woman named Marta, Striker infiltrates the jungle hideout of Kariasin… and beyond!

    Frank is played by John Phillip Law (DANGER: DIABOLIK, DEATH RIDES A HORSE), who is no stranger to Italian B-movies. He’s Diabolik! Surely Striker and Diabolik would make a formidable team.

    Note: every movie we mentioned in this article is awesome. Directed by Enzo G. Castellari.

    Trailer:

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: ROBOT JOX

    ROBOT JOX (1990)
    Showing Tuesday 1/19/2016 at The Hollywood Theatre

    ROBOT JOX takes place in a time far in the distant future, after World War III. It’s been fifty years since the nuclear holocaust that obliterated civilization, and open war is forbidden—nations can no longer wage war against one another using armies. Instead, they send their top warriors to battle each other inside giant stop-motion robots.

    In this awesome future world, the surviving nations merged into two opposing factions: Market, which is pretty much America, and the Confederation, which is modeled after Russia. It seems that in this distant warless world, Alaska is no longer seen as a folly (see: Seward’s Folly, 1867), but as a valuable piece of land that warrants a robot battle.

    When the Confederation wants to claim Alaska as its own, it’s up to Market’s hero Achilles (Gary Graham, “Star Trek: Voyager”), who is oddly illiterate, to fight his robot against the Confederation’s number one comrade, Alexander. If Achilles can win, he would be allowed to retire undefeated. If he loses… Market loses Alaska!

    Directed by Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND).

    Trailer:

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: SPACE RAGE

    SPACE RAGE (1985)
    Showing Tuesday 10/6/2015 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Two hundred years in the future, the worst criminals on Earth are sent to a prison called Botany Bay on a planet called Proxima Centauri 3. From this space hell there is no hope of escape.

    In SPACE RAGE, Michael Paré (LUNARCOP, RAGING ANGELS) portrays Grange, a bank-robbing, pony-tailed lunatic sent to Botany Bay to pay for his crimes. He immediately tries to escape, but his attempt is thwarted by Walker…

    Oh, nevermind. Here’s what the back of the VHS box says:

    Richard Farnsworth (THE NATURAL, THE GREY FOX), Michael Paré (STREETS OF FIRE, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS), and John Laughlin (CRIMES OF PASSION) star in this thrilling action-adventure set in the future where survival is only for those who know how to fight.

    In this futuristic world, the most ruthless criminals are all transported to the planet Botany Bay to work in the mines–there, they are guarded and escapees hunted down.

    Sentenced to life on the penitentiary planet of Botany Bay, Grange (Michael Paré), leads a ruthless bunch of depraved work colony convicts in a terrorizing upheaval against the innocent inhabitants. Defending Botany Bay are highly skilled weapons specialists known as Trackers. John Laughlin portrays their fearless leader who fends off the prisoners’ breakout attempts with a futuristic arsenal of machines and manpower. Farnsworth is The Colonel, a retired LAPD officer brought in from Earth to help. The evil Grange devises a plan that will wipe out Botany Bay and make him self-imposed leader of a new civilization. In an action-packed finale, the criminals execute their plan… SPACE RAGE… a world gone mad! Directed by Conrad E. Palmisano (Stunt coordinator for RUSH HOUR 2, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE).

    Trailer:

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: TIMECOP

    TIMECOP (1994)
    Showing Tuesday 9/1/2015 at The Hollywood Theatre

    This has been a year of future-plot movies, and in keeping with that theme, we present to you Jean-Claude Van Damme’s masterpiece TIMECOP.

    Imagine it’s 2004 and time travel has become a reality. JCVD stars as Max Walker, an officer for the Time Enforcement Commission, or TEC. The TEC goes after people who try to use time travel for their own gain—guys like Senator Aaron McComb, who will stop at nothing to be come President. McComb is portrayed with sleazy zeal by the late, great Ron Silver (HEAT VISION AND JACK, DEADLY OUTBREAK). McComb has the TEC in his pocket, and has been in the habit of sending his henchmen back in time to cash in on the past to fund his Presidential campaign.

    One of those henchman is Walker’s partner, and when Walker sticks his nose into McComb’s business, his wife (Mia Sara, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF) pays the ultimate price. Will Walker violate his own principles to go back in time and save her? Will there be two Ron Silvers and two Jean-Claude Van Dammes multiple times in this movie? Yes, and yes. Directed by Peter Hyams (END OF DAYS, SUDDEN DEATH).

    Trailer

     

  • Hot!

    B-MOVIE BINGO: MARTIAL LAW

    MARTIAL LAW (1990)
    Showing Tuesday 8/4/2015 at The Hollywood Theatre

    Keeping in line with our tradition of bringing you movies starring relatives, friends and employees of big movie stars, we present MARTIAL LAW. It stars Chad McQueen (DEATH RING, NEW YORK COP), whose father was screen legend and racing enthusiast Steve McQueen. The younger McQueen was in the first two KARATE KID movies, and was trained by Chuck Norris. His pedigree is unimpeachable.

    Also starring is Cynthia Rothrock (CHINA O’BRIEN, UNDEFEATABLE), one of our all-time favorite martial arts ladies. McQueen and Rothrock are teamed up as cops Sean Thompson and Billie Blake, who together fight back the rising tide of crime in Los Angeles. They’re also lovers and martial arts champions. When Thompson’s estranged younger brother shows up and starts getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, it’s up to him to bail him out. Enter Dalton Rhodes, played by a scenery-chewing David Carradine (FUTURE FORCE, FUTURE ZONE), who takes him under his wing as a henchman in training. Rhodes is not only the biggest crime boss in Los Angeles, but also a Martial Arts Grand Master. You know where this is going… not even big brother can save him now!

    Directed by Steve Cohen (TOUGH AND DEADLY, LAW & ORDER).

    Cool fight scene: