The Dragon Lives Again
THE DRAGON LIVES AGAIN (1977) – Category: Brucesploitation with an enjoyably absurd twist
Even for the bizarre sub-genre of Brucesploitation films this movie is out there! The film starts with the recently – deceased Bruce Lee arriving in the afterlife, where the concubines of the King of the Dead gather around to gawk at the bulge in the pants of the late martial arts superstar. (Just in case you thought NO opening could be more tasteless than the one in The Clones Of Bruce Lee ) In a bit of alleged comic relief the bulge turns out to be caused by a weapon, not Lee’s organ. (Corpse schlong jokes! Who doesn’t love them?)
As head-shaking as that bit is at least it’s coherent, unlike virtually everything else that happens from this point on in the movie. And the time-honored tradition of Brucesploitation films having leading men who don’t even look like Bruce Lee is well-represented in this flick, but at least here they try to explain it away by talking about how a person’s face and body change after death. Which, of course, makes no sense since this is supposed to be Lee’s soul, not his body.
Anyway, Bruce somehow persuades the King Of The Dead to grant him a chance to return to the world of the living, and is told he can return if he outfights all the other inhabitants of this odd netherworld.
You see, this isn’t just any bland version of the afterlife our hero finds himself in. It’s kind of a Valhalla of cult movie characters and Bruce spends the rest of the movie fighting all of them in various combinations. Continue reading
FRIDAY THE 13th: THE ORPHAN (1977) – H.H. Munro must have turned over in his grave at this adaptation of one of his short stories. This quasi-horror film was re-released in 1979 as just The Orphan and despite the original title it has no connection to the Friday the 13th series of slasher flicks. At least, no REAL connection. I’m surprised some unscrupulous distributor never tried sneaking this into theaters in the 1980s as a “prequel” to the slasher movies by presenting the insane young boy in the movie as the grandfather of Jason Voorhees.
Even so the title makes it hard not to think of our wealthy young protagonist “David” (Mark Owens) as an ancestor of the hockey- masked slice and dice man from Crystal Lake. In the 1920s David’s mother accidentally shoots his African Big Game Hunter father Kevin to death during an argument about his frequent overseas trips. David not only witnesses this but sees his mother put the gun in her mouth and kill herself immediately afterward.
Next David gets VERY disturbed when a presumed family member (an uncredited Christopher Lloyd in a “blink-and-you’ll- miss- him” appearance) forces him to kiss his dead father as he lies in his coffin.
The young man’s Aunt Martha arrives to take care of him (and yes, obscure movie buffs, she sometimes does dreadful things). Turns out Martha was dating David’s father before he callously dumped her to marry her sister. Martha takes her resentment of the father out on David and even chews him out about a cough he inherited from dear dead Dad. I’m sure you can tell where all this is headed. Continue reading
FATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.
Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.
It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable. Continue reading
Scream Factory has announced that on September 11th it will be releasing its edition of the 1990 cult movie Brain Dead, with Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton.
It’s an enjoyable little head-trip of a movie that tries to keep you guessing about what’s really going on. Extras for the release will be announced at a later date.
I’m not sure if even I would want to own this movie but it’s at least nice for a one-time viewing. Once you know what’s really going on subsequent viewings lack any real oomph.
For Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the horrible yet hilarious spy movie The Man From S.E.X. click HERE
For this edition of Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead here’s the song Love Is A Fine Thing from that film – which was also released under the title Licensed to Love and Kill. Doreen Chanter sings it.
Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday April 19th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
EXTRAS: This episode featured footage of our Film Vault Technicians First Class Randy and Richard’s promotional appearance at Six Flags Mall in nearby Arlington, TX.
HOST SEGMENTS: One particular Host Segment featured one of the show’s behind-the- scenes people portraying Commando Cody complete with helmet and rocket pack. He was portraying the character because the Commando Cody serial Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown before the movie each week on The Texas 27 Film Vault.
Since Randy Clower still outranked his co-host Richard Malmos (at least until a few episodes later) in the fictional Film Vault Corps (“The few, the proud, the sarcastic”) their relationship often featured the type of abusive “Host and Second Banana” dynamic like that between Dr Morgus and his lab assistant Chopsley or Zacherle and his wife My Dear or Dr Forester and TV’s Frank.
At any rate this Host Segment featured “Commando Cody” befriending Randy and setting out with him for a night of partying on the town while the two leave Richard behind to do all the grub work in their barracks.
SERIAL: As noted above Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown. This episode featured Chapter Ten titled Mass Execution.
THE MOVIE: Continue reading