Only five months after our long-awaited reunion following the COVID-fuelled three-year drought, Justin Richards and Andrew Skeates joined me for yet another Weekend of Trash. This time we were also joined by another Blueprint: Review contributor, our good friend Bill Old.

We meant business this time around, managing to match our 7 films in a day record and watching a decent 11 films in total for what was our 26th (recorded) weekend of action, horror, sleaze and cheese. For the uninitiated, previous write-ups can be found in the category archive.

As usual, I’ve done some brief reviews of all the movies watched and I’ve included clips and trailers when possible too.


Terror Train

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Screenplay: T.Y. Drake, Daniel Grodnik, Judith Rascoe
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield
Year: 1980
Country: Canada

Terror Train follows a bunch of college fraternity students partying on a train they’ve booked over New Year’s Eve. Little do they know, however, that a killer is on there with them and begins picking them off one by one.

This was an enjoyable early slasher, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, that came after Halloween but before Friday the 13th, which meant the kills weren’t as elaborate or gory as later examples of the genre, instead relying on tension and jump scares. It rides on some decent young performances and looks nice, with fairly handsome cinematography. There was a lot of padding though, with more aimless banter than some horror fans might look for, as well as a lot of magic! Yes, a young David Copperfield features heavily, making for some cool tricks but I’m not sure they were vital to the narrative.



Director: William Fruet
Screenplay: Don Enright, William Fruet
Based on a Novel by: Michael Maryk, Brent Monahan
Starring: Peter Fonda, Oliver Reed, Kerrie Keane
Year: 1983
Country: Canada

Spasms sees Dr. Tom Brasilian (Peter Fonda) called up by millionaire Jason Kincaid (Oliver Reed) to examine a giant snake that has been brought to the US from a remote island. Kincaid, after having a run-in with the creature, has a psychic link with it and Brasilian is an expert who might be able to explain it. However, when the snake escapes the lab, the pair find themselves trying to hunt it down and kill it.

I’m going to be honest, I was half asleep whilst watching this and I nodded off occasionally, so I can’t rightly review it, but the bits I remember were cheesily enjoyable, even if the ending was a little underwhelming.



City Ninja (a.k.a. Ninja Holocaust)

Director: Choi Young-chul, Chun Bang Yang
Screenplay: Chun Bang Yang
Starring: Michael Chan, Elaine Jin, David Lo Dai-Wai, Casanova Wang Ho
Year: 1985
Country: Hong Kong

In City Ninja (a.k.a. Ninja Holocaust), the plot circles around two gangs trying to get their hands on two parts of a necklace. Two martial artists, one of which is supposed to be training for a big tournament, become embroiled in it all and both have a habit of shacking up with women they’re not supposed to.

City Ninja made very little sense and we got the impression it was 2 films spliced together. However, it delivered the exploitation goods in spades with barely a minute going by without a fight or sex scene. The fights are pretty good too. So we may not have had a clue what was going on but we enjoyed the hell out of it.


Mind Ripper (a.k.a. The Outpost)

Director: Joe Gayton
Screenplay: Jonathan Craven, Peter Shepherd
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Claire Stansfield, John Diehl, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Giovanni Ribisi
Year: 1995
Country: USA

Mind Ripper sees Lance Henriksen play Jim Stockton, a scientist who was working on trying to reanimate a corpse but left the project for moral reasons. However, he’s called back when things start to go wrong and he arrives at the secret lab just after the reanimated subject has begun a murderous rampage.

Written and produced by Wes Craven’s son, Jonathan Craven, Mind Ripper is a rather generic sci-fi slasher that takes itself a little too seriously but it’s solidly put together and pretty intense, with some grisly FX. I wished the lead villain would stop screaming though, as it got a bit silly after a while.


2019: After the Fall of New York

Director: Sergio Martino
Screenplay: Sergio Martino, Ernesto Gastaldi, Gabriel Rossini
Starring: Michael Sopkiw, Valentine Monnier, Anna Kanakis, George Eastman, Romano Puppo, Paolo Maria Scalondro
Year: 1983
Country: Italy

2019: After the Fall of New York is set in the future (or at least was when it was made), after nuclear war has made the world’s inhabitants infertile and split it into warring factions. Badass dude Parsifal (Michael Sopkiw) is called up by the president of the Federation to find a fertile woman reportedly seen in New York. He’s the only man for the job as the city is extremely dangerous and overrun with violent gangs.

This is a fun Road Warrior and Escape From New York rip-off. Michael Sopkiw makes for a bit of a dull leading man (he’s certainly no Kurt Russell) but there’s enough action and wonderfully campy production design to keep you interested.


Invitation to Hell

Director: Michael J. Murphy
Screenplay: Michael J. Murphy
Starring: Becky Simpson, Joseph Sheahan, Colin Efford, Steven Longhurst, Russell Hall
Year: 1982
Country: UK

We cracked open Indicator’s massive Michael J. Murphy box set in a short time slot we wanted to fill. The 45-minute semi-feature Invitation to Hell (which was made available on VHS alongside Murphy’s The Last Night on its initial release) sees Becky Simpson play Jacky, a young woman who arrives at a costume party out in the country. After being drugged and left at an altar that night, she wakes up to find herself trapped in the house and its grounds. The other inhabitants won’t fully explain what’s in store for her but it doesn’t seem good.

Though bogged down by awful acting and ropey dialogue, I found myself strangely drawn to this short, creepy little low-budget horror movie. It works best in the first half when it keeps its hand close to its chest but I thought it had a peculiar charm, even if it was more than a little rough around the edges.


Ewoks: The Battle For Endor

Director: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat
Screenplay: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, George Lucas (story)
Starring: Wilford Brimley, Warwick Davis, Aubree Miller, Siân Phillips, Carel Struycken
Year: 1985
Country: USA

I had to pop back home for a few hours to keep an eye on my kids whilst my wife went out, but we refused to slacken our movie-watching pace, so the guys came with me and we stuck on something family-friendly. My youngest loves Star Wars, so we opted for one of the largely swept-under-the-carpet Ewoks TV movies.

The Battle For Endor surprisingly sees most of the family from its predecessor Caravan of Courage massacred in the opening scenes by Terak (Carel Struycken) and his band of marauders. Only the young Cindel (Aubree Miller) survives and she disappears into the woods with her Ewok friend Wicket (Warwick Davis). There she meets the grumpy but good-hearted Noa (Wilford Brimley) and his speedy buddy Teek (Niki Botelho). Terak is still on Cindel’s tail though, believing she can help unlock the mystery of space travel, so he sends out the sorceress Charal (Siân Phillips) to find her.

This is a cheesy but enjoyable fantasy adventure. It’s not quite original trilogy standard Star Wars but fits the universe and has its own simple charms. The masks were a bit ropey though and the cutesy kid star won’t be for everyone.


A Return to Salem’s Lot

Director: Larry Cohen
Screenplay: Larry Cohen, James Dixon
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Ricky Addison Reed, Samuel Fuller, Andrew Duggan, Ronee Blakley, Evelyn Keyes
Year: 1987
Country: USA

A Return to Salem’s Lot sees Joe Weber (Michael Moriarty) head back to his home town of Salem with his estranged son Jeremy (Ricky Addison Reed), of whom he now has custody. However, they soon discover the inhabitants are actually vampires and their drones. The creatures don’t kill them though, as, due to Joe’s status as a renowned anthropologist, they believe he’s the perfect man to document their existence and help them be accepted by society. As for Jeremy, they want to make him one of their own.

Writer-director Larry Cohen gives this Salem’s Lot sequel his own distinctly strange and satirical spin. It’s pretty hammy and a little clumsily constructed but enjoyably bizarre. Sam Fuller was fun to watch too in a rare and fairly substantial acting performance as a badass vampire hunter!


Hustler Squad

Director: Cesar Gallardo
Starring: John Ericson, Karen Ericson, Crystin Sinclaire, Nory Wright, Liza Lorena, Johanna Raunio, Ramon Revilla
Year: 1976
Country: Philipines

During WWII, the Allies learn that a group of important Japanese generals will be attending a party at a bordello on an island in the Philippines. With the venue difficult for any standard army forces to infiltrate, Major Stonewell (John Ericson) decides to train a group of women to pose as prostitutes for the night and take out four key targets before guerrilla leader Paco (Ramon Revilla) swoops in with his own soldiers.

This Filipino action movie, produced by the great Cirio H. Santiago, was surprisingly well made. Most notably, its central characters were well-developed, which is most unusual for one of these exploding hut war movie cheapies. Thankfully we do still get some explosive carnage too, alongside a fair amount of gratuitous nudity.



The Seventh Curse

Director: Lam Nai-Choi
Screenplay: Kai-Chi Yuen, Wong Jing
Based on Novels by: Ni Kuang
Starring: Chui Sau-Lai, Chin Siu-ho, Maggie Cheung, Dick Wei, Chow Yun-fat, Elvis Tsui, Sibelle Hu
Year: 1986
Country: Hong Kong

The Seventh Curse is based on Ni Kuang’s series of Dr. Yuen novels. In the film, the story tells of how the doctor (Chin Siu-ho) has a blood curse put on him after saving Betsy (Chui Sau-lai) from an evil witch doctor. She manages to stop the curse for a year but after this time is up, he must find a permanent cure, as well as help Betsy, who now has a curse put on herself. This sounds simple on paper, but the film goes in some pretty wild directions.

My expectations were high for this film from Story of Ricky’s Lam Nai-Choi, after hearing a lot of good things, but boy did it deliver. It’s sheer insanity from start to finish, with never a dull second. My only slight disappointment was the fact that Chow Yun-fat’s role was rather minor. However, with awesome kung fu fights, explosive action scenes, extreme gore and even a bit of gratuitous nudity, it’s genre movie-making at its pinnacle.


Regenerator (a.k.a. Metamorphosis)

Director: George Eastman
Screenplay: George Eastman
Starring: Gene LeBrock, Catherine Baranov, Harry Cason, David Wicker, Jason Arnold
Year: 1990
Country: USA, Italy

Regenerator (a.k.a. Metamorphosis) sees Gene LeBrock play Dr. Peter Houseman, an ambitious, headstrong scientist who’s trying to find a serum to halt the ageing process. When his bosses threaten to cut his funding or at least put his work under direct scrutiny, he takes the drastic measure of injecting himself with his not-fully-tested serum. This, as you might imagine, doesn’t go to plan.

Directed by the Italian genre movie acting legend, George Eastman, Regenerator plays out like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde meets The Fly. I say that, but the writers seem to give up on the Jekyll and Hyde side of things two-thirds of the way through. Regenerator has its moments, most notably a ludicrous final transformation, but overall I found it a little po-faced and repetitive. Plus the lead character is too much of an arsehole from the offset to care about. It’s an engaging enough watch though.


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.

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