Due to COVID and other issues, it’s been close to three years since regular writers Justin Richards and Andrew Skeates joined me for a Weekend of Trash. Somehow the stars aligned though and the three of us were finally reunited for the 25th (recorded) weekend of explosive action, sleaze and cheese. For the uninitiated, previous write-ups can be found in the category archive.

It wasn’t one of our most movie-packed weekends (I wussed out early on the Friday night) but we didn’t get any total stinkers this time round, so it was one of the better sessions. As usual, I’ve done some brief reviews of all the movies watched and I’ve included clips and trailers when possible too.

Friday

Ironmaster

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Screenplay: Alberto Cavallone, Lea Martino, Dardano Sacchetti, Gabriel Rossini
Starring: Sam Pasco, Elvire Audray, George Eastman, Pamela Prati
Year: 1983
Country: Italy, France

This caveman romp is camp, cheesy nonsense about a power-hungry man, Vood (George Eastman) who discovers the power of iron after a volcanic eruption. One of his tribe, Ela (Sam Pasco), stands against him so is cast out but allies with a foxy lady and her tribe to stop Vood’s reign of terror.

Pasco is rather vapid (think low-rate Schwarzenegger), it’s quite repetitive and the plot is thin. However, there’s plenty of action, brilliantly awful wigs and an unusual abstract score that’s surprisingly effective. So, on the whole, it’s a fun watch, despite or possibly because of any shortcomings.

Trailer:

Saturday

One Tough Bastard (a.k.a. One Man’s Justice)

Director: Kurt Wimmer, Kurt Anderson (uncredited)
Screenplay: Steven Selling
Starring: Brian Bosworth, Bruce Payne, Jeff Kober, DeJuan Guy, M.C. Hammer
Year: 1996
Country: USA

This sees Brian Bosworth play a hardened military instructor who seeks revenge after his wife and daughter are murdered during a botched arms deal. Initially just hunting down the killer, he discovers the man was just a pawn for the ruthless crooked FBI agent, Karl Savak.

It’s a simple revenge story but it’s impressively brutal and it’s all made especially tough via a truly great bad guy, Bruce Payne. He hams things up in the best possible way, whilst remaining coldly evil. Bosworth is his usual macho self and works a charm too. MC Hammer also shows up playing a mob boss Savak is dealing with. He’s nowhere near as good as Payne but thankfully he’s not in it much.

With plenty of action and some sharp dialogue, it’s a great watch.

Trailer:


Scorpius Gigantus

Director: Tommy Withrow
Screenplay: Raly Radouloff, Terence H. Winkless
Starring: Jeff Fahey, Jo Bourne-Taylor, Hristo Mitzkov, Evgenia Vasileva
Year: 2006
Country: USA

In this low-budget Roger Corman production, a military convoy is hijacked by some terrorists, who think it’s a stash of weapons. In actual fact, it’s a secret government experiment, where ancient antibodies have been mixed with the DNA of various insects to create super-bugs. The bad guys accidentally let these loose and it’s down to a special military unit, headed by Major Nick Reynolds (Jeff Fahey), to capture them.

This starts well then gets bogged down by too much padding and some poor acting. It’s entertaining fluff overall though, so kept us watching. It picks up in the final act too, with a fairly gory and exciting, if occasionally silly, showdown on a ship.

One character talks constantly about things not being natural though, which gets rather grating after the 50th time. Plus, he has some messed up views on women.

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a ‘carnage count’!:


Alison’s Birthday

Director: Ian Coughlan
Screenplay: Ian Coughlan
Starring: Joanne Samuel, Lou Brown, Bunney Brooke, John Bluthal, Vincent Ball
Year: 1981
Country: Australia

This Aussie chiller gets off to a great start, showing us Alison (Joanne Samuel) at 16, when she took part in a seance where the supposed spirit of her father warned her not to go home for her 19th birthday. The seance ends violently, resulting in the death of one of her friends.

We then flash forward to shortly before Alison’s 19th birthday and she’s indeed been invited back home to celebrate. Initially reluctant but strong-armed into it by her aunt (Bunney Brooke), who claims her husband (John Bluthal) hasn’t long to live, Alison heads over there, accompanied by her boyfriend Peter (Lou Brown) for protection.

Things seem to be OK at first, but strange goings-on make the young couple suspicious.

This occult horror movie is a real slow burn with low-key but effective scares. These are well sold by some decent performances and natural characters who act and react fairly sensibly to all the goings on.

As with most cult/folk-horror movies it can’t end well and this too has an effectively chilling finale. Good stuff.

Trailer:


The Green Slime

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Screenplay: Charles Sinclair, Bill Finger, Tom Rowe
Starring: Robert Horton, Luciana Paluzzi, Richard Jaeckel
Year: 1968
Country: Japan

In The Green Slime, a group of astronauts, led by Robert Horton, head over to destroy an asteroid that’s heading to Earth. When on the surface of the asteroid, however, they come across the titular green substance that soon mutates into weird aliens once it gets onto their space station.

We caught the trailer for this on one of my Drive-in Delirium sets on Friday night and simply had to check it out. Unfortunately, it ended up being somewhat disappointing.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this Japanese production that’s directed by Kinji Fukasaku and features an American cast, presumably for Western sales. For instance, there’s the awesome psych-rock theme tune and the model FX, which are certainly not realistic but have a Supermarionation-esque charm to them. Overall, it’s enjoyably campy too and very 60s in style with eye-poppingly bold colours.

However, I could have done without some of the soap opera side plot elements and Horton’s Commander Jack isn’t likeable at all, which makes it hard to root for him as our hero. In general, the film took itself a bit too seriously in fact. Possibly due to this, it’s a little slow, particularly in the first half. The second half is more exciting, particularly once the aliens show up. These look daft but kind of cool in a kitschy sort of way.

Trailer:


Eye of the Eagle

Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Screenplay: Nigel Hogge, Joseph Zucchero, Catherine Santiago (story)
Starring: Brett Baxter Clark, Robert Patrick, Ed Crick, William Steis, Cec Verrell
Year: 1987
Country: USA, Philipines

This Cirio H. Santiago joint jumps right into the action with plenty of gun-toting jungle warfare, followed by a funky theme song. It rarely lets up following this, with tonnes of explosive action throughout.

The film sees an elite band of soldiers (including a very young Robert Patrick) hunting down the near-mythical “Lost Command” in Vietnam.

Though I love stripped-back, no-fluff action movies like this, it could have perhaps done with a little more plot and character development, as I often didn’t know who was fighting who or why. The action is slick and exciting though and that’s what matters. Plus, my lack of understanding was probably enhanced by the fact I knackered and kept nodding off.

I had a lot of fun with the film though. It’s unpretentious, action-packed and bad-ass.

Trailer:

Sunday

Eyes of Fire

Director: Avery Crounse
Screenplay: Avery Crounse
Starring: Dennis Lipscomb, Guy Boyd, Rebecca Stanley, Sally Klein, Karlene Crockett, Fran Ryan
Year: 1983
Country: USA

We once again dipped into my ‘All the Haunts Be Ours’ set to check out Eyes of Fire. It’s set in the 1700s and sees a group of people, led by a self-centred adultering preacher (Dennis Lipscomb) seek exile in the forest where they run afoul of native American spirits that relentlessly haunt them. Though they have the protection of the preacher’s seemingly simple-minded but mystically powerful sister Leah (Karlene Crockett), the group struggle to stay alive.

This is a handsomely mounted period piece with impressive production design and classy cinematography. It has a wonderfully moody atmosphere and feels refreshingly different from most horror movies.

The acting is often rather histrionic but it usually fits the style and period. Lipscomb is particularly hammy and quite annoying at times, though his character isn’t supposed to be particularly nice. A couple of the other leads are pretty good too.

Leah’s visions and the spiritual sequences are suitably unsettling, even if the visual effects often look rather dated. The faces in the trees are particularly effective. Overall then, it’s a cracking little folk horror movie.

Trailer:


On the Line

Director: José Luis Borau
Screenplay: José Luis Borau, Barbara Probst Solomon, David Greig (uncredited)
Starring: Jeff Delger, Scott Wilson, Victoria Abril, David Carradine, Paul Richardson
Year: 1984
Country: USA, Spain

This begins by following a pair of young buddies, Chuck (Jeff Delger) and Jonathan (Paul Richardson), as they arrive in Texas to work on border patrol like Chuck’s uncle Bryant (David Carradine). He quit a while ago though and now helps illegal immigrants across. Carradine’s rival Mitch (Scott Wilson), along with the youngsters, unknowingly track him down.

The narrative later shifts to a love triangle between Chuck, Mitch and a Mexican prostitute called Engracia (Victoria Abril). It gradually develops a political slant as it goes on too.

This border drama has quite a relaxed pace but it’s well-made. The performances are strong and the scenes with Engracia in particular feel refreshingly frank and fairly natural. I also quite liked how a lot of the characters are hard to second guess. It’s rarely clear where the film is going.

Carradine is barely in it and it wasn’t the action-packed thriller we were expecting though (check out the VHS cover), so with the slow pace and downbeat tone, it was a bit of a drag at times, though it’s a decent production overall.


Stone Cold

Director: Craig R. Baxley
Screenplay: Walter Doniger
Starring: Brian Bosworth, Lance Henriksen, William Forsythe, Arabella Holzbog, Sam McMurray, Richard Gant
Year: 1991
Country: USA

This biker action movie gets off to a great start with a fun and action-packed robbery sequence. It goes on to follow Brian Bosworth (our man of the weekend) as he goes undercover to bring down a murderous biker gang, led by Lance Henrikson.

This is heaps of fun, with plenty of action, humour, macho posturing and even a little T’n’A to keep us all happy. Henrikson makes an awesome villain too. It was the perfect end to the weekend.

Trailer:

About The Author

Editor of films and videos as well as of this site. On top of his passion for film, he also has a great love for music and his family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.