Monday, 30 June 2014

Cheapo DVD Review: Warrioress (2011)

Which Warrior will Fulfil The Sacred Prophecy?
"Once in every generation, two female warriros must travel across a post-apocalyptic land ruled by the malevolent Falonex Empire, to a mystical stone circle where they must fight a ritual duel with Sacred Swords. If the two warriors are of equal skill, they will fulfil an ancient Prophecy, unite their people in revolution, and fight for their freedom against the overwhelming forces of the Falonex Empire.

The time has come once again for the duel to be fought, and two brave female warriors wil mett at the predestined place.
 But will they meet as friend or foe?" 

Let me get a couple of things off my chest before we go any further. Firstly...

Warrioress is NOT A WORD. 
It just isn't. That's like saying "Astronautess" or "Mechanicette".  The English language suffers enough abuse. Don't kick it in the ribs like this. 

 Secondly, whoever did the cover art does star Cecily Fay no favours. Contrary to what the cover pic might suggest, she's neither undead or psychotic. 
  And weirdly enough, in the film she wears less clothing than on the cover. That's got to be a first for a fantasy film. 
  On the subject of the cover, d'you see the blonde just behind Cecily's right shoulder? Not actually in the film. Now look over to the left hand side. The Roman-looking bloke? Not in it either. 
 Neither is the army behind them. Or the really big birds. Or the mountains.
Do you people even watch the films you're promoting?  

 Now on to the movie itself.  High-budget it isn't.  My initial thought was that a group of LARPers got together to make their own flick.  I think the most people you ever see onscreen  is about twenty and usually it's down in low, single figures.
 Bad CGI is the ruination of many fantasy films so rather wisely, the producers don't make any attempt at dragons, trolls, whatever.  Smart move, kiddies.  There is one shot right at the end that looks like it came straight out of a computer game and I'm not even sure why it was there. It's the payoff to a sub-plot that has sod all to do with the rest of the film. If this was the pilot to a tv series then I might understand but as is? Redundant.

 Acting is, to put it mildly, clearly not a strong point for anybody involved. It doesn't help that the dialogue is clunky, stiff Fantasy-Speak, usually.... delivered ...very...slowly.
 And the "twist" at the climax won't surprise anybody.

  Now let's take a moment to talk about what "Warrioress" (ugh..really?) got right.

 The fights.

  By and large they aren't bad at all. Star Cecily Fay has a background in martial arts & dance and it shows in action scenes that are fluid,sometimes quite creative and always fun to watch.  Not only does Ms. Fay chew up mooks in fine style but she gets a pair of  mini martial-arts epics against bad girl Helen Steinway Bailey.
Mind you, I did think it a bit weird that the climactic duel - the one the film has been building towards all this time - looks pretty but seems a bit rushed.
 How much did I pay for this: £7
Was It Worth it? Yes, I think so.  "Warrioress" tries hard with what it has to work with and the result was flawed but watchable enough. If you like films with swordswomen in them, you may like this.

I still think "Warrioress" is a rubbish title though.

 And now some screeenshots.

Cecily is ready to rumble. 

... And enthusiastically chokes one of the bad guys gals.
A little too enthusiastically, perhaps.

One of the tribal elders does...tribal-elder stuff...


What the fuck is that on your head? 

Why are you wearing a hat made of astroturf?  

The head of the Falonex empire.
Spends the entire film in a darkened room glowering.
If I had my own empire I can promise you I'd do something more fun - 
drinking, wenching and finding creative ways to kill people who annoyed me, for instance. 

 Falonex minion #1
I liked this guy. I'm convinced that he thought he was in a parody. 

Our heroine rocking the Iron Bra ensemble.
You don't see that much these days. Shame.

 The pictures don't really show it but this young lady is only tiny. 
Then again, so was Buffy Summers and she used to punch demons in the face.

Here's the trailer. 

That's all, folks. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

The Metal Project: There's an awful lot of Metal in Brazil

The Metal Project: The Internet's biggest collection of Metal songs about Metal 

Apparently there's some sports thing going on in Brazil right about now. Not that I actually give a monkeys but it seems to be a big deal so, how about I bring you a selection of songs from Brazilian artists? 

 As always, I hope you find something you like.  

Clenched Fist - Speed Metal Attack (2012)

(Rapid-fire stuff with a mid 80s Speed Metal feel. Naturally)
Honour to: NERGAL135

Neverchrist- AntiNazi Black Metal (2007)

(Harsh, ugly Black Metal)
Honour to: NekroMonty

The next three are all variations on old-school Heavy Metal

Stress - Heavy Metal (1985)

Honour to: videofae

Azul Limao - Sata Clama Metal (1986)


Avenger - Misao Metalica (1986)

Honour to: videofae

Metalmorphose - Mina Drogha E O Metal (2009)

(More recent but still carrying the flag of the Classic 80s sound.
Duelling guitars too, which is always nice)
Honour to: Uska23

And getting a bit more up to date, not to mention faster...

Nuclear Decimation - Sex, Metal & Beer (2011)

(Cheerfully unpretentious Thrash.)
Honour to: Nuclear Decimation

Headhunter D.C - Hail The Metal Of Death (2012)

(Pounding Death Metal)
Honour to: Sergio Baloff

I hope you enjoy the World Cup, boys and girls, but I'd rather you didn't try talking to me about it. 
I don't do sport. 

That's all folks. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Fistful Of Comics: June 2014

  Last weekend saw me returning from London with a medium-sized stack of comics. I thought it was about time I put up some scans and a few thoughts on each.

 B.A.R Maid Vol.1 (Zenescope)

Collects issues 1-5
Cassidy O'Hara BAR Maid.
Manchuria 1934. Cassidy O'Hara runs a saloon by day. By night she's part of a small group trying to fight back against the occupying Japanese.  Who seem to be working on something very big...

Thursday, 19 June 2014

How About A Museum For British Comics?

  Last Saturday I popped up to London, just for the hell of it, and I'm happy to report that I had a fun day out.  I had a poke about the delightful gardens along the embankment, ate Okonomiyaki for the first time in about 15 years and bought an enormous pile of comics before finishing  the evening in a dingy Rock Pub chatting to random strangers about music and comics, while drunk people sang along to Metallica.

  I found out later that the Trooping Of the Colour was on. 

Well that explains all the people hanging about Whitehall. 

 As it happens, the main reason I went up to London was to see this exhibition:

Featuring such iconic names as Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum) and Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe), this exhibition traces the British comics tradition back through classic 1970s titles including 2000AD, Action and Misty to 19th-century illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper and even medieval manuscripts.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: Bombshells

 Back in WW2 USAAF bomber crews were famous for decorating their aircraft with pinup art. Given the nature of the profession, it's not too surprising that sneaking a bomb into the picture was quite common.
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

   Heavy Metal/Hard Rock bands love sexy women and love stuff that goes bang. Does it surprise anybody that they continue the artistic tradition? 
 Or if you want to put it another way: Certain bands saw the idea, thought "Cool" and nicked it.

 Tora Tora -Bombs Away (USA 2010)

sexy woman riding a bomb

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Metal Project: The Can-Am Metal Connection

The Metal Project is my ongoing quest to see how many Heavy Metal songs I can find with "Metal" in the title. I can't see myself running out of material any time soon. 

  After the Eurovision theme I used last time, I thought it only right and proper that I pop over the Atlantic for a seelction of  North American bands.  All songs are from the last few years or so. Enjoy.

The Americans are up to bat first. 

Exmortus - Metal Is King (2014)

(USPM with a thunderous bottom end.)
Honour to: Prosthetic Records

Desoulment - Legions Of Metal (2011)

(Unfussy Death/Thrash)
Honour to: Jaydee Naus

Seax- Heavy Metal Seax (2012)

(A band that worship at the altar of 80s Speed Metal . I approve)
Honour to: panzerhel

Cage - Metal Empire (2011)

(Enthusiastic USPM - proper old-school fist in the air stuff.)
Honour to: Pudooza The Conquer

Now the Canadians.

Brutal Wulfsex - Eternal Fires Of Metal (2013)

(If this band don't own a well-worn copy of Venom's "Black Metal" album,
I will eat my own underpants. The ones I'm wearing right now.)
Honour to: civilisationsdead

Iron Kingdom - Legions of Metal (2011)

(Trad metal - vocals a bit of an acquired taste but there's some nice Maidenesque guitar runs)
Honour to: Iron Kingdom

Gatekrashor - Speed Metal Hammer (2013)

(Another...interesting... vocal style)
Honour to: KK Warslut

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Cheapo DVD Review: Orc Wars (2013)

AKA: "Dragonfyre"  

Traumatised ex-soldier John Norton just wanted a patch of land to call his own and a peaceful new life.
  Unfortunately for him, John's new farm came complete with its own portal to another world and he started getting trespassers.
  The elven princess wasn't too much of a problem. It was the horde of large, angry Orcs that came after her...

  If I were to sum up this film in one sentence it would be "Orcs v Mid-West Gun Nuts"

 The end result isn't high-end cinema by any means. Thanks to budget issues, you only ever see  a handful of Orcs at any one time and they mostly come across as too stupid for their own good.   A tendency to stand there gawping does make life easier for our motley collection of heroes. As it turns out, fantasy armour does jack shit against a .50 cal sniper rifle.
  The writers also couldn't seem to make up their minds whether Princess Aleya is a badass warrior or a panicked damsel so she skips back and forth between the two depending on what  the scene requires.

  On the plus side, the Orc makeup is top-notch, the cast are halfway decent  and the whole thing moves along in a satisfying, if occasionally daft, manner. Suffice it to say, John and co. have a secret weapon and it's a doozy.
 There's a lot of fantasy out there where the hero gets dumped into the middle of  an AD&D campaign, so it is a refreshing change to see the bad guys having to deal with our world for a change.

 If you like low-budget fantasy and ever wondered what might happen if Aragorn had access to machine-guns, it is entirely possible you could enjoy this.
  Watch with a few beers and the understanding that this isn't Tolkien.

Trailer here.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A Fistful Of Graphic Novels - June 2014

  I treated myself recently to a small pile of comicbook Trade Paperbacks. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts on each plus a selection of carefully chosen scans.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Film Review: Murderdrome (Australia 2012)

" Roller Derby sensation Cherry Skye loves nothing better than competing in her favorite sport. When Skye catches Brad's eye the sparks fly. Unfortunately, she also catches the ire of Brad's ex, her Roller Derby nemesis Hell Grazer! If that isn't bad enough, the heat generated by this romantic rivalry arouses a malevolent demon-spirit, hungry for human souls - especially Skye's! Trapped between the wrath of Hell Grazer and damnation at the Gates of Hell, she has no option but to throw down and sort this mess out the only way she knows. Welcome to the Murderdome."

  It's few films indeed that manage to create their own sub-genre. Welcome to the world's first ever Indie- Roller Derby-Slasher-Horror movie.

  "Murderdrome"  never really gets up to take-off speed, which is a shame because there are some decent moments.
  One particular bit has heroine Skye trailing the creepy-as-hell Janitor through an alley, while around her the paintwork is falling away from the walls  to reveal the menacing murals underneath. It's an understated effect that quite impressed me.
  Making the marauding slasher a female roller-derby star from hell is also a novel touch. She is legitimately disturbing, with  her "kills" tending to be short, fast and brutal. Then you get to see what's under the mask...
 The soundtrack is effective - suitably hip garage-punk at first, metal and Horror Film synths later on - the acting is more than decent and although there are a few loose ends that are never really explained, the story flows easily enough. Although if you ever wanted to know what Australian back alleys look like at 3am, great - you get to see lots of them.

   Skye and her girls are easy to like, all know how to skate and have that Aussie snarkiness going for them. Having said that, the comedy doesn't always work - it can be a bit heavy-handed  sometimes.  One character is there mainly to be random and spout her catchphrase. It doesn't work as well as expected.
  Weirdly enough, her fate is not amusing in any way, shape or form. I found it one of the most chilling moments in the film, in fact.
  The problem I have is this. "Murderdrome"wants to be a comedy and wants to be a horror but while you can do the two together, in this case the ingredients don't combine too well. Maybe it's because this is an Indie Comedy ramming into an Indie Horror.
 The result is a film about Roller Derby  that doesn't really have geat track scenes, a romantic comedy that isn't wildly funny and a Slasher Horror that...ok, they got those bits right but it's not exactly a seamless blend with the rest.

  I'm not saying "Murderdrome" is without merit. If you like Indie movies, you'll find something to like here.
 But I think the world will have to wait for the definitive Roller-Derby/Horror movie just a little longer.

Trailer here so you can make up your own mind.

And now, the ever popular ...Screenshots!

Cherry  Skye and arch-rival Hell-Grazer do...something.
Somebody tried to explain Roller Derby rules to me once 
and I had to run away. My head was hurting.
Hell-Grazer decides to establish her "Bitch" credentials.
In any movie this just guarantees that you're going to get humiliated later on, but in a Horror movie...yep, you're screwed honey. 

Just for fun, try and come up with your own contest for this. 

Remember, at first this film looked like a comedy.
Anybody still think that?

"Hey. Let's go poking about the creepy building."
Survivable only if you're the heroine.

"I've got to the middle of the film and I'm not dead yet. Brilliant!"
Yeah...about that..(Tchunk)...Oh never mind.
Skye tries to work what sort of film she's actually in.
That's all folks. 
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