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May 212014
 

In the Sci-Fi Channel original movie Alien Apocalypse, aliens invaded Earth and captured and enslaved the human race. Four astronauts return from a 40-year space mission to find that civilization had completely changed, only to end up captured by human bounty hunters that work for the aliens.

alienapocalypse

Two of the astronauts get killed quickly, so that only leaves Dr. Ivan Hood (Bruce Campbell) and Lt. Kelly Lanaman (Renee O’Connor). They work together to escape, but any slaves who try to escape and get caught end up losing a finger and the aliens eat them. Talk about finger food.

I don’t understand why the slaves have to wear masks while being forced to work. I guess the aliens don’t like to hear any complaining?

Ivan soon manages to kill one of the aliens with a drill bit, which proves that they can die as easily as any human. However, the aliens don’t go down easily, especially when they use their powerful mini tank, which is like a clown car. How many aliens do you think could’ve fit in there?

Bruce Campbell and me

I met Bruce Campbell at Spooky Empire MAY-HEM 2011.

Ivan and Kelly try to inspire hope and freedom to the other slaves, but the only one who goes along with it is Alex (Remington Franklin). Ivan and Alex manage to get away, but Kelly gets recaptured. That’s too bad. I would have liked to see more of her.

After that Ivan and Alex go in search of President Demsky (Peter Jason), who is rumored to have a fighting force ready to fight for freedom. As they travel, they find other escaped slaves to join them. Ivan mends their wounds and cracks their backs. Well, that’s one way to make friends.

Ivan likes to think of himself as the great healer, which is very inspiring to the others because no one seems to know what a doctor is. It’s strange that they don’t even understand a handshake.

This is a good film that really shows that freedom is worth fighting for. I’ve also got to admit, Ivan sure loves that potato liquor.

Oct 222012
 

Mindwarp is yet another sci-fi film taking place in a post-apocalyptic future. It’s the year 2037 and most of the world’s population lives out their lives in a virtual reality program called Infinisynth, where they can be in a fantasy world of their choosing and shielded away from the harsh outside world.

A young woman named Judy (Marta Martin) is against this way of life and wants to travel in search of her missing father, but no matter what, Judy’s mother Pamela (Mary Becker) keeps telling her not to, despite Judy’s unhappiness.

Part of the hookups to the Infinisynth contraptions includes a metal attachment on the back of their necks in order to connect with their psyches. I find it a little creepy. I mean, how would anyone get something like that installed?

In a desperate attempt to violate the system, Judy gets her wish, but it’s more than she bargained for. Judy finds her mother dead. Then the authorities capture Judy and exile her to the middle of nowhere. All she finds is desert, quicksand, and subterranean cannibals called crawlers.

Luckily, Judy gets rescued by Stover (Bruce Campbell), who is one of the only surviving humans living in the outside world. Because Judy is completely clueless to the outside world, Stover explains to her that the poisons of the world stripped a layer off the sky, which is why it’s always cold all year round and worse during the winter. There are also chemicals all over the sand that causes brain sickness and it spreads easily.

I met Bruce Campbell at Spooky Empire’s MAY-HEM 2011.

At first, Stover is bitter toward Judy as one of the people living on the Infinisynth system, but after awhile he warms up to her while showing her the ways of the wild. Heck, Judy has never seen a real book before. Infinisynth may give you anything imaginable, but it denies real life experiences.

Just when Stover and Judy really start to enjoy each other’s company, the crawlers capture them both. Stover is put with the slaves and Judy gets brought to Cornelia (Elizabeth Kent) and her mute assistant Claude (Wendy Sandow), who are humans that serve the crawlers. They try to make Judy a servant also, but she resists.

Soon Judy, Cornelia, and Claude are brought to the crawlers’ leader, simply called the Seer (Angus Scrimm). He runs the underground like a sacrificial cult that uses a creepy grinding contraption on victims and the crawlers drink the blood out of their skulls, which is really disgusting.

This was a good movie. I admit, it’s gross at points, but still adventurous.

Jun 182012
 

 

As you can see, horror films are not the only genre Bruce Campbell is known for. On The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: The Complete Series (1993-1994), which takes place during the old west, he stars as Brisco the bounty hunter.

Lord Bowler (Julius Carry) is hilarious as a rival bounty hunter, who later becomes Brisco’s sidekick. It had to happen sooner or later since they keep running into each other in the most unlikely situations.

It’s also an unlikely partnership because they go after master criminal John Bly (Billy Drago) and his gang for different reasons. Brisco wants justice for his father’s murder and Bowler merely wants the bounties, since they are big time criminals.

One of the more comedic villains in this series is Pete Hutter (John Pyper-Ferguson). He gets killed, but keeps mysteriously coming back… several times. And of course, Pete is always so overprotective of his gun. Isn’t that just nutty?

Brisco’s love interest is Dixie Cousins (Kelly Rutherford) the famous dance hall girl. She’s a bit of a tease, but still respects him.

I think it has much to do with how close Brisco is with Dixie’s father, Professor Albert Wickwire (John Astin). The professor has always come through for Brisco with his many brilliant inventions.

The only thing that puts this show near the sci-fi genre is the orb. It heals wounds and gives people super strength when it’s not misused. The orb isn’t featured very often, but when it is, the mysteries behind it slowly unfold.

When the show is not focused on the orb, the story lines go in a witty direction about the Wild West, whether it’s about new trends being invented, or spoofs on films like Psycho.

Although I’m not much into westerns, I think this series was very creative. One of my favorite highlights includes why you should never drink coffee while taking a shower.

One last item: It was a real pleasure that I got to meet two of the stars from The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Bruce Campbell from Spooky Empire’s MAY-HEM 2011 and John Astin from Spooky Empire’s MAY-HEM 2012.

Apr 042012
 

Congo is an adventure story, which takes place in the jungles of Africa. Professor Peter Elliott (Dylan Walsh), a primatologist, teaches a gorilla named Amy to talk with an electronic glove. Amy misses the jungle so he’s taking her back with the help of a safari expedition led by Captain Munro Kelly (Ernie Hudson). I think I saw the classic Doom game on Professor Elliott’s computer.

Joining him on the expedition is electronics expert Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney) because she is on the search for her fiancé Charles Travis (Bruce Campbell), who was lost in that same jungle.

Tim Curry is funny in this film as Herkermer Homolka. Although his purpose is to help Professor Elliott return Amy to the jungle, his true intention is to find the lost city of Zinj, which is only a myth, or is it. The most memorable scene was when the safari had to jump out of the plane as it flies over the jungle. “Push me, please.” Then it’s Dr. Elliot’s turn. “You want me to push you too?”

The other safari members like to sing while they prepare for travel. It’s good to see that they’re a cheerful group, despite that they keep running off or getting killed, a couple at a time.

During the night while the safari travels by raft, hippos attack them. This was when I first learned that hippos are very dangerous and territorial.

The safari continues to reduce as the expedition continues forward and they soon discover that the lost city of Zinj is real and so are the legendary killer apes. Those apes sure are brutal. They can actually take out a man’s brain and throw it like a ball. Whoa, dude! Not even a baboon is that dangerous.

This is an exciting film. Even though the killer apes are monstrous, I don’t think this is any more of a “scary” movie than Jurassic Park or Men in Black.

Mar 212012
 

As Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess were well-made takes on Greek Mythology, Jack of All Trades (2000-2001) has a well-made take on 17th century world history with Bruce Campbell starring as the heroic and comedic American spy, Jack Styles.

Jack is sent to the French-controlled island in the East Indies called Pulau Pulau, where he partners up with British spy Emilia Rothschild (Angela Dotchin) to keep the world safe from various threats based on historical figures, which includes reoccurring arch nemesis Napoleon Bonaparte (Verne Troyer).

Jack and Emilia are a very resourceful team. Emilia is an inventive beauty while Jack is the witty masked hero known as the Daring Dragoon that’s based on local folklore. However, they must be careful not to reveal their secret to anyone, especially to Governor Croque (Stuart Devenie) and Captain Brogard (Stephen Papps) who run Pulau Pulau.

When Jack sword fights as the Dragoon, I noticed something peculiar. He always holds his sword in his left hand. Nothing else Jack does indicates that he’s a lefty. The Dragoon also has a steed named Nutcracker. It’s easily indicated that the horse got his name by what happens when the Dragoon jumps onto the saddle. Ouch!

It’s very clever how each of the various historical figures are portrayed on this show. Let’s take Blackbeard the pirate (Hori Ahipene) for example. He not only has the foulest mouth, but he could also breathe fire after drinking whiskey. It’s an unusual skill, but Blackbeard sure knows how to use it, as well as that nasty tongue. Blecch!

I met Bruce Campbell at Spooky Empire Mayhem 2011

I enjoyed this show, but was surprised when it ended so abruptly. I thought it was a terrific show to follow Cleopatra 2525.