Film Review: Rage to Kill (1987)

Also known as: Battle Wars (Japanese English title), Guerilla Force (Germany)
Release Date: December, 1987
Directed by: David Winters
Written by: David Winters, Ian Yule
Music by: Tim James, Mark Mancina, Steve McClintock
Cast: James Ryan, Oliver Reed, Cameron Mitchell, Henry Cele, Maxine John, Ian Yule

93 Minutes

Review:

“[while torturing Blaine Striker] Let’s see how tough you really are.” – Slade

This is a film that has been in my queue just about as long as I’ve been using Prime Video, which is forever. I’ve set off on a mission, though, to clear out the oldest stuff on all my queues, so why not start at the bottom with a film I’ve let languish there for years.

What sucks about this is that I really enjoy Oliver Reed and I think that James Ryan is sort of cool in a South African David Carradine sort of way. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me but my mind is mush after having to force myself through this 93 minute turd.

I will say that I didn’t mind the opening sequence where the bad guys showed up and murdered the shit out of everyone, even a toddler at a party. I also thought that the big action finale was pretty decent for what it was. However, it’s the middle 70 minutes or so that really sucked the air out of what could’ve been a passable, mindless, ’80s action flick.

The plot surrounds a crazy military general, played by Reed, who leads a coup to overtake a small Caribbean island nation. An “American” racecar driver then flies down there to rescue his brother because racing cars means that you can lead a resistance army against a madman with superior weapons and a complete lack of morals at his disposal.

I’m not gonna lie, though, the premise sounds incredible but with lackluster execution, the best setup will still lead to shit results.

Rage to Kill is a dumb movie. It’s also a really bad movie. I usually don’t mind dumb or bad but when they come together in a certain way, you end up with a cold, lifeless turkey.

Anyway, I hope Oliver Reed got paid, took home a few of the babes from the movie and blew all his earnings living the over-the-top, party life he was famous for.

Rating: 3.5/10
Pairs well with: other extremely low budget ’80s action flicks, as well as other movies with James Ryan.

Film Review: The Last Horror Film (1982)

Also known as: The Fanatic (UK), Love to Kill (Germany), Fanatico (Spain), Fanatismo Letal (Venezuela), Fanatical Extreme (US video title)
Release Date: October 9th, 1982 (Spain – Sitges Film Festival)
Directed by: David Winters
Written by: Judd Hamilton, Tom Klassen, David Winters
Music by: Jeff Koz, Jesse Frederick
Cast: Caroline Munro, Joe Spinell, Judd Hamilton, Filomena Spagnuolo, David Winters, Susanne Benton

Shere Productions, Winters Hollywood Entertainment Holdings Corporation, Troma Entertainment, 87 Minutes

Review:

“I’ve seen enough fake blood to know the real thing when I see it.” – Jana Bates

I recently revisited Maniac, which starred Joe Spinell and Caroline Munro. I knew about this movie, which also starred both of them and came out just two years later. I’ve never seen it but since I cherish both actors, I figured that seeing this was long overdue.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, I just knew that a New York City cab driver goes to the Cannes Film Festival in France due to his obsession over a film starlet.

One thing I didn’t expect from this was the comedy element. But I actually enjoy it quite a bit, as it lets Spinell really ham it up. The scenes between him and his mother, who is played by his real life mom, were funny as hell and their personal chemistry comes through in a very charming way.

Side note: For those that don’t know, Spinell was really close to his mom and despite his life as a character actor and party animal, he always kept his mom close. Little did I know that he actually included her in one of his films.

Beyond that, I really like Spinell and Caroline Munro when they’re together. This is the third time they’ve been in the same movie after Maniac and the cheap Italian Star Wars ripoff, Starcrash.

The really cool thing about this movie, is that like Maniac, it almost has giallo notes to it. Plus, setting it in Cannes and filming it during the festival created an awesome and unique atmosphere for something so dark, violent, gory and borderline slasher-y.

Additionally, the filmmakers rely on your knowledge of Spinell’s past characters, specifically his role in Maniac, to play off of and to set up a really good twist ending that you won’t see coming.

Seeing this, I was surprised to find out that I actually prefer it to Maniac, even though it’s nowhere near as well known and was sort of lost to time for a few decades before Troma decided to dust it off and distribute it on DVD.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: Maniac, which also stars Joe Spinell and Caroline Munro, as well as other late ’70s and early ’80s horror and slasher films.

Film Review: Space Mutiny (1988)

Also known as: Mutiny In Space, Southern Son (South Africa)
Release Date: August, 1988 (US theatrical release)
Directed by: David Winters, Neal Sundstrom
Written by: Maria Dante, Ian Yule
Music by: Tim James, Mark Mancina, Steve McClintock
Cast: Reb Brown, Cisse Cameron, Cameron Mitchell, James Ryan, John Phillip Law, Graham Clark, Billy Second, Rufus Swart

Action International Pictures, 93 Minutes

spacemutinyReview:

There is shit… and then there is Space Mutiny.

I kind of love Reb Brown, even though he is synonymous for starring in awful movies. Granted, I kind of love awful movies. I must be a sick and twisted person. But there is just something about films that are so flawed that they go beyond being just bad and into the realm of filmmaking insanity.

Space Mutiny is one of those pictures, where it is baffling to try and understand how it got made or why. Did the people working on this see this as quality work? I’m not saying that 100 percent effort wasn’t given but one would have to assume that the people behind this picture are completely devoid of talent and possibly delusional.

The costumes were horrendous. This film came out in 1988 yet the characters were dressed like something out of a 1950s sci-fi B-movie. Ed Wood may have provided his cast with better costumes three decades prior to this picture.

There are only two sets in this film. One is a warehouse and the other is an office building.

The warehouse stands in for just about every action sequence, whether it is the multiple snail-paced security cart chases or the endlessly running around catwalks and railing. It also stands in for the spaceship’s nightclub, which provided the film with a terribly strange sequence.

The office building is used for corridors on the ship, as well as the bridge – a bridge where they use large telephones with cords and bulky keyboards glued to the drywall.

Then you have the space battles. Luckily there are few of those. And to be honest, you might think the effects are somewhat passable for a South African sci-fi film with no budget. The problem, is that those sequences were taken from the original Battlestar Galactica. It is completely disorienting, as I was watching the film and immediately, I knew it was Battlestar Galactica.

Did I mention that there are the dancing space witches that sexually slither around plasma globes like sexy drunk girls Halloween shopping at Spencer Gifts?

Space Mutiny also has atrocious acting but that should probably go without saying.

The film is so awful, that the director claims he left the production before filming began and left those duties in the hands of his assistant. He also claims that he was unable to get an Alan Smithee credit, which is the film industry’s recognized pseudonym used by directors that disown their own work – usually because something happened to destroy their vision for the project.

If you like analyzing the worst films in history, this should probably be on the list of things you need to see. If you hate bad movies and want to avoid them at all costs, wipe this thing’s existence from your memory banks.

Space Mutiny is beyond bad. However, you can watch it in the eighth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it ended up being one of the best episodes of Mike Nelson’s run.

Rating: 3.5/10