Archives for posts with tag: Martin Sheen

Cannibal Mercenary

Mercenary aka Cannibal Mercenary (1983) ****

This Thai film, titled to capitalize on the success of then-recent Italian gut-munching horrors Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and Cannibal Ferox (1981), finds a ragtag team of sleazy and mentally damaged mercenaries venturing into VC-infested territory to assassinate a drug kingpin who commands an army of “Draculas”, cannibal tribesmen sort of like Indochinese hillbillies.

Clearly inspired by Apocalypse Now (1979), Mercenary opens with post-traumatic battle flashbacks intermingled with a shot of a ceiling fan like the one that transfixes Martin Sheen. After a little hokey, English-dubbed melodrama to set the plot in motion, Mercenary gets down to business – and brutal, nasty business it is, with the outnumbered protagonists encountering the Viet Cong, quicksand, booby traps, and (speaking of booby traps) a treacherous, manipulative jungle bitch who threatens the cohesiveness of the group.

Idiosyncratically edited, Mercenary has scenes of high-stress, noisy, tension-ratcheting quick cuts that appear to be designed to strain the viewer’s nerves to the breaking point, such as when a henchman threatens to waste a whining kid and initiates a death countdown. Standout imagery includes a beheading, eye-gouging, maggot-eating, face-urinating, a skull being split open by a spike, and subsequent hungry brain-gobbling. Horror watchers will also enjoy the tacky, uncredited appropriation of Goblin’s music from Dawn of the Dead (1978). Recommended to cannibal movie videovores and other perverts, who, however, should not get their hopes up about seeing the pictured Aryan super soldier spring into battle, as no such figure appears in Mercenary, an all-Asian affair, alas.

4 out of 5 stars.

Devastator

The Devastator (1986) ****

Directed by low-budget action specialist Cirio H. Santiago, a master of what Joe Bob Briggs has termed the “exploding bamboo” subgenre, The Devastator is yet another generic 80s ‘Nam vet vigilante movie – or, in other words, a classic! Richard Hill, better known for playing the title part in Deathstalker (1983), stars as Deacon Porter, a vet who just wants to get on with his life, but finds himself thrust back into the fray when his old commanding officer is murdered. In the rural California community of King’s Ransom, drug lord Carey (Crofton Hardester) rules his roost with a hell-raising paramilitary force and even has the sheriff (Kaz Garas) on his payroll. When Deacon and a few of his ex-soldier buddies assemble in town, however, Carey’s days of 80s drug tyranny are numbered.

Not much in the way of plot, The Devastator is primarily wall-to-wall action – largely set to chintzy synthesizer music – with some truly impressive stunt work along the way. The most fun, however, is probably to be had from Deacon’s burly compatriot Ox (Jack Daniels!), a growling party animal who greets his old teammate by punching a hole through his door (!) and who clearly delights in over-the-top mayhem for the kicks. The villain has a healthy, thriving marijuana field, which, when Ox assaults it and sets it on fire, results in an even more humongous marijuana holocaust than the one in Up in Smoke (1978) – that, and a funny variation on Duvall’s famous line from Apocalypse Now (1979), with Ox taking big, deep breaths of the stuff and exulting like some victorious barbarian.

Rock-jawed Hill is only so-so in the charisma department, but with his muscular build the actor definitely has the look of the all-American action hero. Jack Daniels, as noted, is quite the hoot as Ox, while foxy item Katt Shea, who co-stars as Hill’s love interest, spunky gas pump attendant Audrey, would go on shortly after The Devastator to become a director of some note, creating stylish thrillers like Stripped to Kill (1987) and Streets (1990). The Devastator would make a perfect double feature with funky Gary Busey actioner Eye of the Tiger (1986), an entry to which this programmer bears a thematic resemblance. 

4 stars. Check it out!

Dislike Ideological Content Analysis on Facebook.

This film, which examines human behavior in the face of impending extinction, has an intriguing first half hour, particularly as it surveys society’s general response: rampant promiscuity, orgies, drug use, and rioting. Some moments are so shocking and uncompromising that I wish these could be salvaged as part of a better film yet to be made on the same subject.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is less interesting as it abandons the apocalyptic tableau and focuses on the individual concerns of effeminized, self-pitying wimp and non-leading man Steve Carell, whose cheating wife has abandoned him at the news that humanity is doomed, and his new friend, annoying neighbor Keira Knightley. Specifically, the movie goes into an irrevocably accelerating nosedive from the pointless moment the pair drops in to visit Knightley’s black survivalist ex-boyfriend.

As for the cast, Carell is fun to watch when the material is good, but I’ve learned that I have only a limited tolerance for Knightley’s endless cutesy facial posing. Patton Oswalt appears briefly as a character named Roache and delivers some embarrassingly obscene dialogue, and Martin Sheen wastes a few minutes of what remains of his life as Carell’s estranged father.

Ultimately too self-consciously quirky, uneventful, and self-important, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is at best a high-potential but squandered opportunity. Carell’s dying world and his interactions with friends and with Knightley hold out the promise of something new and unique in cinema – apocalyptic films tending to be uniformly grim or action-oriented, whereas this could have been an apocalyptic romantic black comedy – but it ends up feeling more like 30 minutes of serious thought and 60 minutes of mopey, superficial navel-gazing and disposable tongue-in-cheek humor and sentimentality. Just an average 3 of 5 stars.

My advice: see the imperfect and frustrating but conversation-sparking film The Rapture (1991) instead.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is:

3. (Arguably) anti-Occupier, as Knightley’s lazy, arrogantly jobless live-in boyfriend fits the bill and cops out when things get scary, and because riots and looting come across as realistically frightening.

2. Pro-miscegenation, from the standpoint that any publicity is good publicity (accounts for half-star deduction; they really need to start putting this stuff in the trailer as a service to moviegoers)

1. Pro-slut/anti-marriage (though some hope may be held out for unconventional, new age unions)

I’m impressed with Andrew Garfield, who has exactly the geeky charm and wiry physique I remember Spidey having in the Marvel comic books.  The action sequences in this franchise reboot are adequate, but the Lizard, though played capably in human form by Rhys Ifans, is never quite convincing in full computerized mutation.  For the most part, though, The Amazing Spider-Man is as fun and exciting as might be hoped.  The casting of Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May is inspired, and a 2012 Miniskirt Queen of Aryan Purity Award goes to Emma Stone as irresistibly cute love interest Gwen Stacy.  Denis Leary, meanwhile, seems to have made a graceful transition to playing grumpy, older authority figures.  4 of 5 stars.

The Amazing Spider-Man is mostly politics-free fun.  Ideological Content Analysis, however, indicates that this film is:

7. Multiculturalist.  A diverse team of crane operators helps Spidey at the end.  Also, we learn that his famous mask was in fact inspired by a Mexican luchador’s.

6. Antiwar.  An executive at the unscrupulous Oscorp, which is an arms manufacturer in addition to its medical interests, intends to utilize a veterans’ hospital’s patients as guinea pigs for limb regeneration experiments – a reminder of the many mutilated bodies coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq.

5. Persistent in perpetuating the idea that angry white males pose a terrorist threat.

4. Anti-gun.  Guns, even when employed responsibly by police (which is not usually the case in this film), are ineffective.  One innocent character dies from a gunshot.

3. Genetic research-ambivalent.

2. Pro-vigilante/anti-police.

1. Leftist.  Uncle Ben, explaining to Peter his absent father’s moral philosophy, sums it up as, “Not choice – responsibility,” which captures the liberal mentality in a nutshell.

This has been a public service announcement of the Committee for Raising Emma Stone to a Pedestal for a Better View.

IRRUSSIANALITY

Russia, the West, and the world

Muunyayo

Farawaysick for a High Trust Society...

Fear of Blogging

"With enough courage, you can do without a reputation."

Alt of Center

Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit of Beauty

The Alternative Right

Giving My Alt-Right perspective

Logos

| literature |

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

parallelplace

Just another WordPress.com site

NotPoliticallyCorrect

Human Biodiversity, IQ, Evolutionary Psychology, Epigenetics and Evolution

Christopher Othen

Bad People, Strange Times, Good Books

Historical Tribune

The Factual Review

Economic & Multicultural Terrorism

Delves into the socioeconomic & political forces destroying our Country: White & Christian Genocide.

Ashraf Ezzat

Author and Filmmaker

ProphetPX on WordPress

Jesus-believing U.S. Constitutionalist EXPOSING Satanic globalist SCAMS & TRAITORS in Kansas, America, and the World at-large. Jesus and BIBLE Truth SHALL PREVAIL!