REVIEW: RELIC HUNTER

 

MAIN CAST

Tia Carrere (True Lies)
Christien Anholt (Adventures Inc)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)
Tanja Reichert (Poltergeist: The Legacy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tony Rosato (Real Gangsters)
Damon D’Oliveira (Earth: Final Conflict)
Michelle Nolden (Red)
Ron Gabriel (To Die For)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Mark Lutz (Angel)
Louis Mandylor (The Quest)
Douglas O’Keeffe (Sanctuary)
Adrian Hough (X-Men: The Last stand)
Romona Milano (Due South)
Katheryn Winnick (Vikings)
Carlo Rota (Jane The Virgin)
Anthony Lemke (Mutant X)
Malin Akerman (Watchmen)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Jane March (Clash of The Titans)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Robert Joy (Amityville 3)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)
Noam Jenkins (Earth: Final Conflict)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Andrew Gillies (Mutant X)
Peter Mensah (Sleepy Hollow)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Daniel Kash (Goosebumps)
Peter Stebbings (Never Cry Werewolf)
Peter Williams (Stargate SG.1)
Nazneen Contractor (How I Met Your Mother)
Adrian Paul (Highlander: The Series)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Dylan Neal (Arrow)
Fulvio Cecere (Valentine)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
James Callis (Battlestar Galactica)
Ian McNeice (Dune)

Sydney Fox is a professor but primarily a globe-trotting “relic hunter,” looking for ancient artifacts to return to museums and/or the ancestors of the original owner. She’s aided by her linguistic assistant Nigel, and occasionally by her somewhat air-headed secretary Claudia. She often ends up battling rival hunters seeking out artifacts for the money.

I needed to watch several episodes of this show to decide its qualities and I’m glad I waited as my initial response was not a favourable one.It takes a while to buy Tia Carrere as adventuress extraordinaire Sidney Fox but it did not take long for this beautiful and talented actress to make the role her own and she has superb chemistry with her excellent foil Christien Anholt who brings much of a Hugh Grant type persona to his part as the hapless Nigel.Their globe-trotting adventures are the stuff of 30’s serials and are highly derivative but handled in a never over-played tongue in cheek fashion which makes the series ever more enjoyable as it progresses. May not be the best show in the world, but is sure as hell fun.

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REVIEW: NIGHTMARE BOULEVARD

 

CAST

Corbin Bernsen (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
James Van Patten (Saw 3D)
Vanessa Evigan  (Sand Sharks)
Deborah Shelton (Hunk)
Nicholas Celozzi (Deep Cover)
Jack McGee (The Fighter)
Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years)
Ruta Lee (Funny Face)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Amy Shelton-White (Code Black)

bbt-guys-on-the-vanA lonely housewife unknowingly has a one nighter with her best friend’s killer. Obsession, stalking and death ensue. Before you can say that’s all there is, that’s pretty much all there really is.

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Standard story lines apply: adulterer’s guilt and fear, spouse’s anger and disbelief, killer’s mother fixation. Lead performances range from decent enough (Corbin Bernsen, Claudia Christian) to over the top (Nicholas Celozzi). TV B movie quality.

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Ron Perlman has a small role as a Detective and gives his character some nice quirks. It’s a cheap film that is entertaining enough on a rainy day.

REVIEW: THE HAUNTING OF HELL HOUSE (1999)

CAST

Michael York (Logan’s Run)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Andrew Bowen (Holidays)
Jason Cottle (Wag The Dog)

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Loosely based on Henry James’ literary works, “The Haunting of Hell House” is a ghost story directed by newcomer Mitch Marcus and produced by the legendary Roger Corman. While without a doubt this is a low-budget B-movie, surprisingly it captures the feeling of old Corman movies and manages to be very entertaining and way different than what could be expected. Marcus & Corman really put a lot of heart in this little flick.
just-hanging-outJames Farrow (Andrew Bowen) is a young college student in New England in the late 1800s, he seems to have a bright future in his father’s company after he graduates, but he has other desires. He dreams with becoming a famous artist and is in love with Sarah (Aideen O’Donnell), a woman his family would never accept. Things go wrong when Sarah announces she is pregnant; since this seems to botch James’ plans for the future, he convinces her of getting an abortion, but due to the bad medical practices of the time, she finally dies. After the tragic event, her ghost seems to haunt James’ mind to the point he is beginning to go insane.sleepyhollow3x11reviewThe movie is beautifully shot in amazing locations in Ireland. While the budget is very low, it seems that Marcus & Corman truly made the most of it as the movie is very believable for a period movie. The movie has a haunting atmosphere that works perfectly with the story it tells. truly a very good deal of work was done in this department. Andrew Bowen is at times unconvincing as lead hero, however, he manages to carry the film with the aid of veteran Michael York, in the role of an old professor who is also haunted by his own ghosts. Jason Cottle as James’ best friend Fletcher is superb and gives good intelligent comic relief, something quite unusual in the genre these days. Cottle is a natural scene stealer. The movie’s biggest flaw is probably that the story doesn’t work completely. The script feels underdeveloped and truly hurts a film that could had been a new cult classic. The story drags a bit and on a few occasions gets a bit boring, but still it works. It’s a real shame since the movie had the potential of becoming Corman’s best movie in years. The low-budget hurts the film in the effects department, as the gore looks a bit cheap and unconvincing. Fortunately, the movie focuses on atmosphere and its characters rather than on gore. To summarize, this is a sadly overlooked movie that deserves a chance,if only to realize that when movies are done with heart, they can be a very enjoyable experience. 6/10

REVIEW: HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES – SEASON 1-6

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MAIN CAST

Adrian Paul (Eyeborgs)
Alexander Vandernoot (Pret-A-Porter)
Stan Kirsch (Shallow Ground)
Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Elizabeth Gracen (Death of The Incredible Hulk)
Jim Byrnes (Sanctuary)
Philip Akin (Robocop 2014)
Michel Modo (My Father’s Glory)
Lisa Howard (Earth: Final Conflict)
Peter Wingfield (Caprica)

RECURRRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Christopher Lambert (Fortress)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Wendell Wright (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Peter Deluise (21 Jump Street)
Matthew Walker (Andromeda)
Soon-Tek Oh (Mulan)
Vincent Schiavelli (Buffy)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Garry Chalk (Dark Angel)
Joan Jett (The Sweet Life)
Gary Jones (Stargate SG.1)
Wes Studi (Mystery Men)
Marc Singer (V)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Stephen Macht (Galaxina)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
Vanity (52 Pick-Up)
J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: DS9)
Tom Butler (Freddy vs Jason)
Werner Stocker (The White Rose)
Peter Howitt (Defying Gravity)
Roland Gift (Brakes)
Dee Dee Bridgewater (Another Life)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Nigel Terry (Troy)
Anthoyn Head (Buffy)
Marion Cotillard (Contagion)
Peter Guinness (Alien 3)
Roger Daltrey (Tommy)
Peter Hudson (Hitman)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG.1)
Cameron Bancroft (Legends of Tomorrow)
Douglas Arthurs (Stargate SG.1)
J.H. Wyman (Sirens)
Geraint Wyn Davies (Cube 2)
Traci Lords (Zack & Miri Make a Porno)
Andrew Jackson (Earth: Final Conflict)
Kendall Cross (Caprica)
Sheena Easton (Young Blades)
Don S. Davis (Stargate SG.1)
Robert Wisden (Watchmen)
Mitchell Kosterman (Smallville)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Robert Ito (Quincy M.E.)
Dustin Nguyen (21 Jump Street)
Bruce A. Young (Jurassic PArk III)
Andrea Roth (Ringer)
Roddy Piper (They Live)
Bill Dow (Stargate Atlantis)
Gabrielle Miller (Down River)
Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues)
Nicholas Lea (V)
Lochlyn Munro (Little Man)
Jonathan Banks (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Ed Lauter (The Number 23)
Roark Critchlow (V)
Jeremy Brudenell (Wish Me Luck)
Peter Firth (Victoria)
Angeline Ball (My Girl 2)
Nia Peeples (Pretty Little Liars)
James Faulkner (X-Men: First Class)
Nadia Cameron-Blakey (Batman Begins)
Emile Abossolo M’bo (Hitman)
Martin Cummins (Bates Motel)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Tamlyn Tomita (Heroes)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Randall Cobb (Liar Liar)
Chandra West (White Noise)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
Alan Scarfe (Andromeda)
John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica)
Myles Ferguson (Little Criminals)
Jesse Moss (Ginger Snaps)
Sherry Miller (Bitten)
Laura Harris (Dead Like me)
Garwin Sanford (Stargate SG.1)
Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Vincent Gale (Van Helsing)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Stella Stevens (General Hospital)
Barry Pepper (The Green Mile)
Vivan Wu (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Richard Lynch (Puppet Master III)
Eugene Lipinski (Arrow)
David Robb (Downtown Abbey)
Lynda Boyd (Sanctuary)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Ben Pullen (Elizabeth I)
Paudge Behan (Veronica Guerin)
Carsten Norgaard (Alien vs Predator)
Anna Hagen (The Messengers)
Laurie Holden (the Walking Dead)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Kristin Minter (Home Alone)
Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Heroes Reborn)
Callum Keith Rennie (Flashforward)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Travis MacDonald (Warcraft)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Peter Outerbridge (Beauty and the Beast)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Molly Parker (Deadwood)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half men )
Ann Turkel (The Fear)
Ron Halder (Stargate Sg.1)
Ocean Hellman (Voyage of The Unicorn)
Rae Dawn Chong (Commando)
Carl Chase (Batman)
Michael J. Jackson (Coronation Street)
Ricco Ross (Wishmaster)
Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita)
Jamie Harris (Agents of Shield)
Crispin Bonham-Carter (Basil)
Stephen Tremblay (Unnatural Pursuits)
Jesse Joe Walsh (JCVD)
Tracy Scoggins (Lois & Clark)
Real Andrews (Born on The 4th of July)
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
April Telek (Walking Tall)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Kira Clavell (Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Peter Hanlon (Scary Movie)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Valetnine Pelka (8mm 2)
Sonja Codhant (Navarro)
Jonathan Firth (Withering Heights)
Danny Dyer (Severance)
Rachel Shelley (The L Word)
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Anita Dobson (Eastenders)
Jasper Britton (The New World)
Alice Evans (The Originals)
Andrew Bricknell (Victoria)
Justina Vail (Seven Days)
Sandra Hess (Encino Man)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Jack Ellis (Bad Girls)
Paris Jefferson (Xena)_
Martin McDougall (Batman Begins)

Few television series’ that are based on movies live up to the original version, either because they simply don’t have right qualities that made the movie great or they the people making the show just don’t give a damn. “Highlander: The Series”, however, is one of those rare exceptions.

Image result for highlander the seriesBased off of the original 1986 fan favorite and produced by same the executive producers William Panzer and Peter Davis, it continued the saga of the immortals, a race of beings destined to fight one another in sword fights in a centuries long event called the game and who can only be killed by decapitation, with the opponent taking their head and their power. In particular, the show centers around one such immortal named Duncan Macleod (Adrian Paul in his best role) of the Clan Macleod, a descendant of Connor Macleod (Christopher Lambert who reprises his role for the pilot) from the first film.Image result for highlander the seriesBorn in the highlands of Scotland in 1592, Duncan has roamed the world for 400 years, seen many different events, and has fought in many different wars and many battles with other immortals. And that last part is one of the things that made the show great. You could count on almost every episode to feature a spectacular sword fight with the villain of the week, a battle of life and death, with Duncan Macleod emerging victorious from yet another trying ordeal and even more spectacular quickening.

Image result for highlander the seriesBased on that, you might expect a show centering on such a plot to become boring or same old, same old, and the show might very well have become so. But, the truth is the show managed to constantly entertain and thrill for most of its run in large part because of the talent the show had. Adrian Paul was more than capable of carrying a show, bringing not only charm and charisma to the role of Duncan but also a strong sense of honor and chivalry, thus making Duncan Macleod one of the great television heroes.Image result for highlander the seriesBut it wasn’t just Adrian’s acting that made the show great; it was also due to the well blending of strong supporting actors, guest stars and villains, writers, and set designers and directors. You had Richie Ryan (Stan Kirsch), a young man who becomes a part of Duncan’s world in a way he never imagined. Joe Dawson (Jim Byrnes) a member of a secret society of mortals called the Watchers who dedicate themselves to watching and recording the deeds and actions of the immortals; the always enjoyable Methos (the wonderfully charismatic Peter Wingfield), a 5,000 year old immortal and the oldest living of his kind; Amanda (Elizabeth Grace), an immortal who’s had an on again, off again relationship with Duncan throughout the ages and who’s not put off by an occasional high-value heist or two to make a living, and a slew of guest stars, villains and other supporting actors that added to the show every week.Image result for highlander the seriesPlus, one must also give credit to behind the scenes people, who not only managed to make things interesting in the present, but the past as well. Every episode featured dazzling historical flashbacks, flashbacks that were so good there isn’t one where you didn’t believe the characters weren’t where the show said they were, be it World War I France or British Colonial India (these flashbacks are even more remarkable when you consider the fact that the show, because it was syndicated, had a much smaller budget than shows tied directly to a network). It was also a show that, like the original film, caused the viewer to wonder what would it be like to live indefinitely and witness the changing of the times? What kind of person would you become if you witnessed your time, your religion, possibly even your entire culture disappear into the mists of time?Image result for highlander the seriesAll this must be credited to the writers, led by creative consultant David Abramowitz, who had a lot to do with the magic of the show. Not to say, of course, that weren’t imperfections; some episodes dragged, and one or two of them were pretty bad (the episode “The Zone” is a good example of this), not to mention the fact that the show badly lost steam in the last season, a thing that tends to happen to most shows in the end. However, that being said, the show did far more for the Highlander franchise than any of the sequels ever did. For that reason, it’s a show that all fans of action and fantasy should check out.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MANIAC COP 2

CAST

Robert Davi (The Bad Pack)
Claudia Christian (Babylon 5)
Michael Lerner (Omen 4)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Laurene Landon (Airplane 2)
Robert Z’Dar (Tango & Cash)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Danny Trejo (Machete)

Image result for maniac cop 2After being impaled by a pipe and plunging into a river at the end of the previous film, the undead Maniac Cop Officer Matthew Cordell acquires a junked police cruiser and continues his killing spree through New York City. Finding a convenience store in the middle of a robbery, he kills the clerk; the thief is subsequently killed in a shootout with police. As Cordell stalks the streets, his enemies Officers Jack Forrest and Theresa Mallory are put back on duty by Deputy Commissioner Edward Doyle, who has the two undergo a psychiatric evaluation under Officer Susan Riley. While Jack is content that Cordell is long gone and wants to go on with his life, Theresa is convinced that Cordell is still alive and plotting his revenge.
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At a newsstand, Jack is stabbed through the neck by Cordell, which leaves Theresa distraught and prompts her to appear on a talk show to inform the public about Cordell, as the police have kept Cordell’s supposed return covered up, as Commissioner Doyle was involved in originally framing Cordell and sending him to Sing Sing. While en route to a hotel in a taxi, Theresa is joined by Susan, and the two are attacked by Cordell, who kills the cabbie and forces Susan and Theresa off the road. After handcuffing Susan to the steering wheel of a car and sending her into the busy streets, Cordell kills Theresa by snapping her neck. Gaining control of the car, Susan crashes and is found and given medical attention.
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Elsewhere, a stripper named Cheryl is attacked in her apartment by Steven Turkell, who has strangled at least six other exotic dancers. As Turkell brutalizes Cheryl, Cordell arrives, disposes of a pair of officers earlier called by Cheryl, and helps Turkell escape. Grateful for the help, Turkell befriends Cordell and takes him back to his apartment, where Cordell stays for a short while. After Cordell leaves, Turkell goes out to find another victim but is identified at a strip club by Cheryl. He is arrested and placed in a holding cell by Susan and Detective Lieutenant Sean McKinney. Turkell taunts Susan, telling him Cordell will break him out. Turkell’s assumption proves correct, as Cordell breaks into the police station and massacres the bulk of the police force in a hail of gunfire. Using Susan as a hostage, Turkell, Cordell, and another criminal named Joseph Blum hijack a prison bus and head to Sing Sing, where Turkell believes Cordell wants to free all the inmates and create an army of criminals. McKinney and Doyle follow, and McKinney convinces Doyle to reopen Cordell’s case and rebury his casket with full honors on the assumption that this will appease Cordell.
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Cordell bluffs his way into the prison using Blum’s paperwork, and the others kill a guard for his keys. Shortly after entering death row, Cordell is contacted over the prison PA system by Doyle, who admits to Cordell that he was set up and states that his case has been reopened. After hearing Doyle’s announcement, Cordell abandons Turkell, Blum, and Susan and heads deeper into the prison, where he is attacked with a Molotov cocktail by the three inmates who originally mutilated him. While burning, Cordell kills the three convicts and assaults the other prisoners, only to be attacked by Turkell, who realizes Cordell used him. As Cordell and Turkell fight, the two crash through a wall, fall onto the bus below, and seemingly die when the vehicle explodes.
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Sometime later, Cordell is buried with full honors alongside other fallen officers; Susan and McKinney attend his funeral. As Cordell’s casket is lowered, McKinney throws Cordell’s badge into the grave, leaves with Susan, and delivers a monologue about how there is a little bit of Cordell in every officer, and that every member of the force needs to rise above becoming a Maniac Cop. Before the credits roll, Cordell’s hand bursts through the lid of his casket and grabs his badge.Image result for maniac cop 2It’s great to see the return of Bruce Campbell, and with a Larry Cohen written story this film really is an enjoyable sequel. It may come under the horror banner, but I found the movie to be more of an action one. I was stunned to find out the film cost only 4m to make- Lustig has made good use of that money. And look out for many classic shots of New York 89/90 style. Maniac Cop 2 is a real surprise and is worth a watch.