2007 – NR – 96 Min.
D: David Giancola
S: Lenise Soren – Gladys Jimenez – Anna Nicole Smith – Joanie Laurer
DVD courtesy of MTI Home Video
Preview disc – Edition details N/A
Three alien creatures are sent to Earth as protectors against interstellar threats. They maintain cover by morphing into scantily clad women that quickly become respected Hollywood stuntwomen. An evil alien named Rex arrives, possesses the body of Laurer and sets a plan into motion that would culminate in the destruction of the Earth and Moon. The purpose of said plan being to make room for another planet that is in jeopardy elsewhere. There aren’t enough derogatory adjectives to describe all that’s wrong with this science fiction/comedy/action hybrid. Attempts at achieving high camp fail without exception. Countless efforts to be funny fall inexorably flat. Computer effects occasionally rise to the level of painfully obvious. Perhaps some viewers will stay awake by tackling the daunting task of trying to keep track of how many other movies Illegal Aliens spoofs, mocks, rips-off, or otherwise references, but it’s doubtful. Smith’s fans will likely find that this film does her memory few favors as it features her in numerous scenes involving flatulence, dildos, over-sized suppositories, etc. For those who ignore these warnings and choose to watch their DVD player discharge this digital doo-doo all over the screen for 96 minutes, well, you can’t say we didn’t warn you. – Michael Mackie
2007 – R – 87 Min.
D: Tibor Takács
S: Patrick Muldoon, Vanessa Williams, Stephan J. Cannell
DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
So-so monster offering spins tale of secret government research project that results in a half dozen very large spiders. The creatures escape to lay siege to a nearby ski resort while generic military types try to figure out what to do next. It’s up to ex-pro turned ski-instructor Dash Dashiell (Muldoon) to save the lives of all the people trapped inside. He’ll have the help of an attractive doctor (Williams) who discovers (just a little too late) what the project heads have really been doing while burning the midnight oils. Constant insipid quips from annoying characters stink on ice, and premise is as ludicrous as it sounds. There is some fun to be had though. The scene where the spiders first attack the resort and indiscriminately eat anybody they can get their claws into is a highlight in a film where highlights are few. Takács has talent, but it’s generally not put to good use here. There’s some gore and the CG work is decent; that matters a lot considering how much of it there is on display. Ice Spiders is the kind of throwaway flick you’ll likely forget about only a few hours after it’s over. See it with friends. – Michael Mackie
I CAN SEE YOU
2008 - NR - 96 Min.
D: Graham Reznick
S: Ben Dickinson - Christopher Ford - Duncan Skiles
DVD Provided by Kino Video
Anamorphic Widescreen/Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Short 3D Film THE VIEWER - Commentaries - Featurette - Still Gallery
Three work at home city geeks start up their own ad agency. Their first big client needs great forest pictures and since the ones on the internet don't jive their needs, they pack up and head off into the woods with a few girls and friends. Once there, people start disappearing, cameras are broken, people get high, others have a singing guy in a toupee in their head and lots of transposition shots of people talking or making out with fire overlapping the screen. By the end, people are dead and one cranium is ripped open to expose an empty brain cavity with nothing but a knife inside. Don't worry, I didn't spoil anything. The whole time I was sitting through this, I got that feeling I was watching a college film student project by a director who wants to be David Lynch. Unfortunately, the images are not strong enough and symbolism for the sake of symbolism or arthouse just to be arthouse doesn't do enough without substance. 96 - Minutes and it isn't until past the half way point before anything of value happens, but by then it just doesn't matter. It feels pretentious and unoriginal. Director Reznick does show flair, so it will be nice to see what he does next, if something more original or fast paced. We'll just have to wait and see. - Mark Engle
SELL THE DEAD
The novelization of the "hopefully" soon to be released I SELL THE DEAD. A Burke and Hare tale with zombies, gore, decapitations and grave robbing thugs. Old Willie and his young apprentice Arthur Blake await their executions for murder. Once Willie hits the chopping block, a priest comes to Arthur to receive his last words and thus starts the insane tale of stealing bodies for a good old Doc who threatens to use them as stiffs if they don't come through. As times go by, it gets tougher to steal the bodies directly from the grave, so next up is the recently deceased and finally robbing shallow graves of more "unholy" bodies buried outside religious grounds. This leads to lots of gory mayhem and soon a lady of the night starts dating Arthur and pushes the two of them to start robbing directly from their competitors, a family of thugs who mean business. None of it works out to well for anyone involved, but it does make for some real fun macabre reading. Simply put, this works and even made me want to see the movie more than I did before. The humor is dark and the grand guignol feeling harks back to the days of EC Horror comics. Very well done and definitely recommended for fans of the movie and horror comics in general. - Mark Engle
O’Keeffe delivers his third (and final) turn as Ator and, under the direction of Brescia, the series veers off into decidedly unusual new territory. Ator assists Princess Janna (Gersak) in survival and revenge when evil witch Phaedra murders her father to usurp the throne. Fated to be together, Ator and Janna embark on a perilous journey to find Deeva (Peynado), a beautiful sorceress who holds the secret to destroying the powerful Phaedra. Ator must also face his demonized twin brother who was kidnapped by Phaedra as a child. Now, he’s the wicked front-line warrior leading the witch’s unholy armies of darkness. It all sounds more interesting than it is. Bizarre to the point of surreal, this installment in the Ator saga bathes itself in an 80’s music video aesthetic with hints of art-house convention. Plenty of nudity and even some bloodletting further contribute to the distance between this and the other adventures of ‘The Fighting Eagle’. So much is stolen from so many places it just isn’t possible to form a list here, but even fans of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and the ‘76 King Kong will experience déjà vu while listening to the soundtrack. This is not an original movie. Slow motion techniques are over-used, presumably, in an attempt to fluff up the running time. A plethora of these types of technical maneuverings fail to disguise the total lack of characterization. A scene depicted on the back cover is conspicuously trimmed from the film itself for reasons unknown. Strange doesn’t begin to describe this title, but even so, Iron Warrior is for die-hard Italian sword-and-sorcery completists only. - Michael Mackie