Ninja the Protector (1986)


Richard Harrison (Ninja Dragon)
David Bowles (The Gathering)
Warren Chan (Crackdown Mission))
Morna Lee (Bionic Niunja)

Ninja the Protector (1986)The late-80s/early-90s was the golden era of the action hero: Sly and Arnie were tops at the box office, whilst second-tier stars like Chuck, Dolph, Van Damme and Seagal cleaned up on VHS. Even Speakman and Dudikoff became recognisable names, not just amongst die-hard fans of fight flicks, but with normal folk who arrived too late at the video shop to rent out the newest releases but didn’t want to go home empty handed.Ninja the Protector (1986)Richard Harrison, on the other hand, is a name that will probably only be familiar to those who weren’t afraid to delve into the darkest depths of the dreaded bottom shelf (reserved for only the lowest budgeted Z-grade garbage). Sporting an ultra-macho Selleck-style ‘tache and often seen clad from head to toe in a crap camouflage suit, Harrison was the star of many a Ninja film from legendary director Godfrey Ho, who would cobble his films together with little regard for logic or narrative cohesion.Ninja Protector is a fairly unexceptional example of such a movie: the plot is typically all over the place, the result of Harrison’s Ninja footage having been clumsily spliced together with an old Hong Kong film; ninjas materialise out of nowhere to do battle with each other, resulting in the usual frenetic sword-based martial arts mayhem; and the action is regularly punctuated by soft-core sex scenes featuring a selection of nubile Asian honeys. Those familiar with this type of junk may find it mildly entertaining for the duration, but the film sadly lacks any of the truly bizarre stuff that occasionally qualifies such ninja nonsense as unmissable.



Private Wars (1993)


Steve Railsback (The Stunt Man)
Michael Champion (Total recall)
Stuart Whitman (Superboy)
Michael DeLano (Commando)
James Lew (Big Trouble In Little China)
Holly Floria (Netherworld)
Ken Davitian (Borat)
Scott Leva (Changeling)


Jack Manning (Railsback) is a cop who works the seedy streets of Hollywood. Because he plays by his own rules, he is kicked off the force for insubordination. After eight years, he has hit the skids and has become a raging alcoholic. He’s also a private investigator. When the local ‘hood starts being terrorized by the local hoods, Manning’s old cop buddy Mo (Tullis Jr.) seeks his services. It turns out these aren’t random street assaults, but a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. The top being the prerequisite evil land developer Winters (Whitman). He’s sending the aforementioned punks to drive out the locals because he wants the property. But can Manning clean up the community – and his own life – before it’s too late? Private Wars is pure PM enjoyability at its finest. It has all the classic PM stuntwork we all know and love – whether the action scene in question has to be there or not. At the flimsiest setup, action ensues. You gotta love it. And the fact that it’s all spearheaded by Steve Railsback makes it all the more interesting. Whether oddly cast as an action hero or not, try to imagine Anthony Perkins as a “I’m gonna clean up this town” – style sheriff who drinks heavily and inexplicably has almost superhuman fighting abilities and you might get the picture.mia-sara-any-man's-death-3Throw in a huge dose of The Annihilators (1985) and you have a comic-booky staple of the Fighting Back (1982)-style “Take the Neighborhood Back!” movie that was so prevalent at the time. And while Ronnie is the love interest with the Christina Applegate-like good looks, special marks must go to Dan Tullis Jr. as Mo. His wonderful performance steals the movie. It should also be noted that Michael Delano and Vince Murdocco are on board as well, which adds to the fun. But the baddies are great too. Especially James Lew as Winters’ bodyguard. But the street punks are so great – they strut around town with their boomboxes against their ear (I guess iPods have eliminated this practice) and listen to NWA-like rap music. It’s important to point out that there is a large dose of humor in Private Wars, as exemplified by the “mercenary casting” scene. You’ll know it when you see it. It’s definitely a highlight of not only this movie, but of the whole PM canon that we’ve seen to date. What’s great is that, whether by accident or design, this movie is so outrageously unrealistic it’s hilarious and a genuine treat to watch.goldenninjawarrior1Private Wars deserves better recognition. It’s entertaining, funny, and a good time will be had by all who see it.



Golden Ninja Warrior (1986)


Donald Owen
Richard Harrison  (Ninja Dragon)
Huei-Chie Yang (Thunder Cat Woman)


Two ninjas, Michael and Sherri are on two seperate missions but always team up to find the same Ninja attacking them. Sheeri is out to find her father’s murderer and Michael must protect the Golden Ninja Warrior statue for a ceremony in China.goldenninjawarrior1GOLDEN NINJA WARRIOR has to be seen to be believed. It’s so bad that it’s a thing of beauty. There’s a fight scene in it which was one of the most surreal bits ever captured on film. I need to see this again. It’s just too much. The final fight scene in and around colorful apartments buildings which look like they were designed for the Teletubbies is also unforgettable. A must see for cheap, sleazy kung-fu films and lovers of really “so bad it’s good” movies.




Any Man's Death (1990)



John Savage (Dark Angel)
William Hickey (Puppet Master)
Mia Sara (Birds of Prey)
Michael Lerner (Elf)
Ernest Borgnine (Marty)

mia-sara-any-man's-death-4A veteran reporter is investigating the disappearance of a photo-journalist who was covering a civil war in Africa. The only clue is a roll of film he left behind. The reporter soon realizes he may have bitten more than he can chew. mia-sara-any-man's-death-3Despite the presence of such thespic heavyweights as Hickey and Borgnine, Any Man’s Death comes nowhere near to living up to its potential



David Anders (Izombie)
Chris Wylde (Space Cowboys)
Louise Griffiths (Lovesick)
Jacy King (Drop Dead Gorgeous)
Eric Payne (Malcolm X)

David Anders in The Revenant (2009)The film focuses on Second Lieutenant Bart Gregory (David Anders) who has been killed under mysterious circumstances in Iraq. After his friends and girlfriend Janet (Louise Griffiths) attend his funeral, Bart awakens in his grave. Enlisting the help of his best friend, Joey Leubner (Chris Wylde), Bart begins to understand and learn how to deal with his new undead state; mainly, the fact that Bart needs blood to hold back decomposition and that he returns to a state of in-animation during daylight hours. Joey does research online to find out what Bart is and seems to be stuck between a Zombie and Vampire, finally stating that Bart is a Revenant. While buying beer from a small store in Koreatown, Bart and Joey become vigilantes when Bart both kills and feeds off of a gangster who is holding up the store. They enjoy the media coverage of the incident, and Joey asks Bart to bestow him with the “dark gift”. Bart refuses to do so and laughs the idea off. However, after a subsequent attempt at vigilantism goes wrong and Joey is fatally wounded, Bart is forced to drink Joey’s blood in order to save him.David Anders in The Revenant (2009)The two continue their vigilante killing spree for a while, until Mathilda (Jacy King), a friend of Janet who dislikes both Bart and Joey, follows them and threatens to reveal their activities to the world, especially Janet. Joey shoots Mathilda through the chest, but before she dies, she is able to send the information to Janet. Fearing they will be caught, Joey tells Bart to meet him back at the apartment with a packed bag in half an hour, then drives away mysteriously. Bart meets a teary Janet at the apartment, who forces him to explain the fact that he requires blood to stay stable. She then begs him to feed off of her instead, so that he will no longer need to kill. Bart loses control and drains her until she dies.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)Joey returns to the apartment with a “pimped out” hearse for the two to use, and suggests that they go to Las Vegas to continue their reign. However, after Bart shows him Janet’s corpse, the two begin to fight, and proceed to shoot each other repeatedly, although this is insufficient to kill either of them. Joey storms out and states that he will continue on to Vegas alone. Bart decapitates Janet in order to ensure her death, then drops her remains over the bridge where he and Joey usually disposed of their corpses. Bart is captured by SWAT teams and taken to jail, where, come dawn, he collapses in his cell. Upon nightfall, Bart reawakens in the morgue and escapes, returning to the apartment. Inside is a package containing Joey’s severed head. Since he was decapitated at night, Joey is still “alive”, and Bart uses a vibrating dildo to enable Joey’s head to talk. Joey warns Bart that a gangbanger who was their first kill is after him for revenge, and then requests that Bart kill him for good. Bart crushes Joey’s head underneath a bulldozer, and then tries to find a way to kill himself.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)Against normal convention, a bullet through the brain does not have the desired effect, and neither does hanging himself with Christmas lights. He even throws himself in front of the subway train, but only succeeds in severing his arm. Bart then boards a train, where he finds and reads a letter that Janet left in his uniform’s pocket at his funeral. He breaks down and attacks the only other passenger. He is caught and flees into the station where more SWAT teams attempt to catch him. He finally escapes to a hilltop and at dawn collapses once more, while he is being surrounded by men in hazmat suits. The film then cuts to a tour of sorts, where various military personnel are being shown revenants in glass containers, including Bart. A General asks Bart if he was a soldier, and then states that this fact may give him an advantage. Bart is then shown in a large canister being airdropped into Khūzestān Province, Iran, along with the other revenants, where the canister opens upon landing, releasing him on the country.Chris Wylde and David Anders in The Revenant (2009)While we get bombarded with plenty of low budget junk it seems we can still miss something with real genius in it. This is one of the missed ones it seems. Well acted, well scripted, keeps the story moving, and gives us a new and interesting take on a tired genre. The special effects were also top notch and although you were aware this was a movie done on a tight low budget when the fx kicked in they went above and beyond the call. Top notch stuff.




Olivia DeJonge (Better Watch Out)
Ed Oxenbould (Wildlife)
Deanna Dunagan (The Pages)
Peter McRobbie (World Trade Center)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Celia Keenan-Bolger (Breakable You)
Benjamin Kanes (Birdman)

Deanna Dunagan and Olivia DeJonge in The Visit (2015)Two siblings from Philadelphia, 15-year-old Becca and 13-year-old Tyler, prepare for a five-day visit with their grandparents while their divorced mother Loretta goes on a cruise with her boyfriend. Loretta reveals that she has not spoken to her parents in 15 years after marrying her high school teacher, of whom her parents disapproved. Having never met their grandparents, the teenagers intend to record a documentary film about their visit using a camcorder.Deanna Dunagan and Olivia DeJonge in The Visit (2015)Becca and Tyler meet their grandparents, referred to as “Nana” and “Pop Pop”, at a train station. When they arrive at their isolated farmhouse, Becca and Tyler are instructed to never go into the basement because it contains mold, and that bedtime is at 9:30 every evening, after which they shouldn’t leave their room. The first night, an hour past curfew, Becca ventures downstairs for something to eat and sees Nana projectile vomiting all over the house, which frightens her. She tells Pop Pop, who dismisses it as Nana having the stomach flu. He then reminds her not to leave their bedroom after 9:30 pm.Kathryn Hahn and Olivia DeJonge in The Visit (2015)Over the next few days, Becca and Tyler notice their grandparents exhibiting more strange and disturbing behavior. Tyler walks into Pop Pop’s shed and finds a huge pile of soiled adult diapers. Becca asks Nana about the day Loretta left home, and Nana begins to shake and scream. Later, Pop Pop and Nana are confronted by a woman they helped in counseling, and she goes into the backyard with them but is never seen leaving. Concerned about the events, Tyler decides to secretly film what happens downstairs at night, but Nana discovers the hidden camera, retrieves a large knife, and tries unsuccessfully to break into the children’s locked bedroom.Deanna Dunagan in The Visit (2015)When Becca and Tyler view the camera footage of Nana with the knife, they contact Loretta and beg her to come get them. They show her images of her parents, and she panics and says they are not her parents. Realizing that they have been with strangers all week, the teenagers try to leave the house, but Nana and Pop Pop trap them inside and force them to play Yahtzee. Later, Becca sneaks into the basement and finds the corpses of her real grandparents, along with uniforms from the mental hospital at which they worked, revealing the impostors as escaped patients. Pop Pop grabs Becca and imprisons her in his bedroom with Nana, who tries to eat her. He then starts to torment Tyler psychologically by smearing his face with his dirty diaper. Becca fatally stabs Nana with a glass shard from a broken mirror, then runs into the kitchen and attacks Pop Pop. As Pop Pop starts to gain the upper hand, Tyler knocks him to the floor and kills him by repeatedly slamming the refrigerator door onto his head. The teens escape outside unharmed, where they are met by their mother and police officers.Olivia DeJonge in The Visit (2015)In the aftermath, Becca asks Loretta about what happened the day she left home. Loretta states that she had a major argument with her parents, during which she hit her mother and was then struck by her father. Loretta then left home and ignored their attempts to contact her. Loretta concludes that reconciliation was always possible had she wanted it. She then tells Becca not to hold on to anger over her father’s abandonment.Deanna Dunagan in The Visit (2015)On an overall scale, The Visit is a welcome return to form for M. Night Shyamalan after his lengthy string of critical & commercial failures and is a strange mix of horror & comedy that is able to balance the elements of both genres quite nicely. It does create a friction at times but for the most part, the narration is smooth. The few bad decisions taken in the picture lie within the characterisation range and as a whole, The Visit succeeds in delivering a thrilling movie experience, that comes loaded with odd laughs in between.



Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Taylor Kitsch (Battleship)
Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Eric Bana (Hulk)
Ali Suliman (Body of Lies)
Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games)
Jerry Ferrara (Sully)

Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Taylor Kitsch in Lone Survivor (2013)In Afghanistan, Taliban leader Ahmad Shah is responsible for killing over twenty United States Marines, as well as villagers and refugees who were aiding American forces. In response to these killings, a United States Navy SEALs unit is ordered to execute a counter-insurgent mission to capture Shah. As part of the mission, a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team is tasked with locating Shah. These four SEALs include team leader Michael P. “Murph” Murphy; snipers Marcus Luttrell and Matthew Axelson; and communications specialist Danny Dietz.The team is inserted into the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, where they make a trek through the mountains. Here, they begin to encounter communications problems, which will play a critical role in the following events. Upon arriving at their designated location, the SEALs are accidentally discovered by an elderly shepherd and two teenage goat herders. Knowing that if they release them, the herders will likely alert Taliban to their presence, the team is split about whether to kill the herders or not. After a brief debate, Luttrell convinces the others that they will incite backlash if they kill the three herders. The team decides to release them and abort the mission, but before they can escape, they are discovered by Taliban forces. Although they manage to kill several Taliban gunmen, they find themselves heavily outnumbered and at a significant tactical disadvantage. Each of the men suffers serious injuries during the firefight and, in an attempt to flee from the insurgents, they jump off the edge of a precipitous ridge and into a large ravine.Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch in Lone Survivor (2013)Despite their injuries, the SEALs made a defensive retreat through the steep woods. Dietz begins to lose consciousness and shouts questions to Luttrell, unwittingly revealing the team’s position to the Taliban. Murphy and Axelson jump off another ridge to flee from the Taliban fighters. Luttrell tries to carry Dietz down the mountain, but Dietz is shot in the shoulder; the impact forces Luttrell to lose his grip and fall forward off the cliff. A dying Dietz remains at the top of the cliff and is killed by the Taliban insurgents. Murphy decides to try climbing back up the cliff to get a phone signal in order to call in support forces via satellite phone. Axelson and Luttrell shoot at the Taliban fighters to provide Murphy with cover. When he finally reaches higher ground, Murphy is able to alert the SEAL base of his team’s location and request emergency assistance right before he is shot dead by Taliban fighters.Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch in Lone Survivor (2013)In response to Murphy’s distress call, a quick reaction force team assembles, boards two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, and heads toward the location without gunship escort seeking to extract the remaining members of the reconnaissance and surveillance team. During an attempt to insert the arriving forces, the Taliban insurgents shoot down one of the helicopters, killing eight Navy SEALs and eight Special Operations aviators who were on board. The second helicopter is forced to turn back. After witnessing the attack, Luttrell and a badly injured Axelson are left behind. Axelson attempts to find cover, but is killed when he leaves his hiding spot to attack several approaching insurgents. When Luttrell is discovered by the Taliban, one of the insurgents fires a rocket-propelled grenade, and its impact causes him to land at the bottom of a rock crevice where he is able to hide from the Taliban fighters.Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch in Lone Survivor (2013)Luttrell stumbles upon a small body of water and submerges himself, only to find upon surfacing that a local Pashtun villager, Mohammad Gulab, has discovered his location. Gulab takes Luttrell into his care, returning to his village, where he attempts to hide Luttrell in his home. Gulab then sends a mountain man to the nearest American air base to alert military forces to Luttrell’s location. The Taliban fighters arrive at the village to capture and kill Luttrell, but Gulab and the villagers intervene, threatening to kill the fighters if they harm Luttrell. The fighters leave, but later return to punish the villagers for protecting Luttrell. Gulab and his fellow militia are able to fend off several fighters during the ensuing attack. American forces, arriving via helicopters, shatter the advancing Taliban and, in the process, kill the bulk of the insurgents with concentrated weaponry fire. The American forces evacuate Luttrell back to base. Photos of the real-life Marcus Luttrell, Mohammad Gulab and the fallen service members who died during the mission are shown during a four-minute montage, and an epilogue reveals that the Pashtun villagers agreed to help Luttrell as part of a traditional code of honor known as the Pashtunwali.Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, and Taylor Kitsch in Lone Survivor (2013)The film was executive produced by Whalberg, who also stars as the “Lone Survivor”, and you can see in his performance and from the credits that roll at the end of the film, that he was very invested in this story. While it is a sort of “classic” Hollywood soldier story, the film has many surprises. It is incredibly effective at showing us, using dramatic events, the stress and trauma a modern soldier fighting the “war on terror” endures over a short period of time in their lives, one that leads to suicides and many other problems for our returning veterans; not to mention the villages and lives changed forever in Afghanistan and the other locations where this kind of warfare continues to this day. I think this film does a much better job at showing this dangerous stress than most other films; but this also makes the film hard to watch. This is a very mature film, very violent. The violence is showed inside of an honest context, but viewers should be prepared for a highly emotional and violent film experience.