Category Archives: Creature Feature

El Rey Network’s Kaiju Christmas – The destructive gift that keeps on giving…

via: Comingsoon.net

El Rey unleashes third annual 96 hour ‘Kaiju Christmas’ Godzilla movie marathon

Add some wanton, rubber-suit destruction to your holiday celebrations as El Rey Network trots out its third annual “Kaiju Christmas” marathon, bringing you over 96 hours of roaring action featuring the one and only giant Japanese atomic dinosaur, Godzilla. The marathon crashes into your home with the original film that started it all, the original 1954 Japanese flick Gojira (the U.S. cut, Godzilla: King of the Monsters will also screen) on Friday, December 23rd at 6AM ET/PT and culminates with Godzilla Raids Again (aka Gigantis The Fire Monster) on Monday, December 26th at 6AM ET/PT.

Check out the full schedule of Godzilla flicks below!

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23RD

6:00 AM ET/PT           “GOJIRA”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS”

9:30 AM ET/PT           “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

11:30 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE”

1:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

3:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO”

5:00 PM ET/PT           “MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA”

7:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

8:30 PM ET/PT           “TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA”

10:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

1:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA”

3:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

4:30AM ET/PT            “RODAN”

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH

10:00 AM ET/ PT        “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

12:00 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK

2:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DETOROYAH”

4:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

6:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

8:30 PM ET/ PT          “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

10:30 PM ET/ PT        “GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS”

12:30 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

1:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

4:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA, MOTHRA, AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA”

8:00 AM ET/PT           “TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA”

10:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

12:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA: FINAL WARS”

3:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

5:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA”

7:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

9:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH”

11:30 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH”

1:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE”

4:00 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26th

6:00 AM ET/PT           “RODAN”

7:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

10:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLAS REVENGE”

11:30 AM ET/PT         “GHIDORRAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER”

1:30 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II”

4:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH”

6:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS: THE G ANNIHILATION STRATEGY”

8:00 PM ET/PT           “GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA”

10:00 PM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA

12:00 AM ET/PT         “GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA”

2:30 AM ET/PT           “GODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

4:30 AM ET/ PT          “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”

To find El Rey Network in your area check out the channel finder here

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 27: Deep Rising (1998)

It was a choice between the Deep Rising DVD artwork or the theatrical poster. The '90s was a decade full of bad promotional artwork.
It was a choice between the Deep Rising DVD artwork or the theatrical poster. The ’90s was the absolute worst decade for promotional artwork

Synopsis: A group of heavily armed hijackers board a luxury ocean liner in the South Pacific Ocean to loot it, only to do battle with a series of large-sized, tentacled, man-eating sea creatures who have taken over the ship first.

What defines a seminal creature feature? Two of the biggest qualities that will stand out for a lot of people are overall impact and longevity.  Each and everyone of us remember the days of sitting on the couch at our grandparents’ house drawn to the television screen to the point where if something freakishly weird happened such as the sky opening up and it raining down 100  dollar bills even that wouldn’t be enough to draw us away.  Part of the longevity factor is how well the special effects hold up over time from the impressionable moments of youthful innocence up till full fledged adulthood where we can sit and look back at childhood nostalgia and go was this something that was released at a point in time where certain fads and phenomenons were impacting pop culture to a point where they couldn’t be ignored.  Or was it simply high quality  film making at its very finest, nothing less and nothing more? Go ahead and pull up Jaws or Jurassic Park or Tremors even then go back further and explore the original King Kong or The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms or Japan’s response to both those classics in 1954 with Gojira. All the effects work in every one of those films that I just mentioned are what critics and average movie goers alike refer to as setting the standard.  Of the six listed only one took the mold and shattered the industry standard beyond repair where Hollywood began their journey into the unknown thanks to the advent of digital effects. Jurassic Park made us stare up at the silver screen in awe and wonder however once the mid-90s hit every major film studio was cashing in on the easier way to produce eye catching visuals to the point where what once was considered a special attraction in 1993 was relegated to the freak show a mere five years later.

In what will be the final creature feature to be included as part of Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Deep Rising hasn’t aged like a fine wine to be frank most wouldn’t compare it to bottle of Mumms. And let me set the record straight this is solely from a digital effects perspective as there are still a wide range of elements that drove the production above and beyond what any other science fiction/horror/action/comedy film of that era did. Take a competent director the likes of Stephen Sommers (before cinematic suicide attempts the likes of Van Helsing and GI Joe: Rise of Cobra) and let him loose with a fun script, genuine chuckle inducing one liners and some underrated casting the likes of the always bad ass Treat Williams, the stunningly gorgeous Famke Jannsen, the ever reliable and deeply missed Trevor Goddard and you get something that in many regards shouldn’t work. As the film continues to push forward at break neck speed one can’t help but get wrapped up in the fun popcorn flick style that Deep Rising has its tentacles tightly wrapped around. One thing I can’t figure out is how Sommers was able to write and direct this film and then immediately switching gears to work on The Mummy which was filmed and released almost a full year later. In many regards Deep Rising and The Mummy share the same DNA despite taking place in completely two different time periods and using the polar opposites in terms of movie monsters. Treat Williams’ Finnegan could be the distant relative of Brendan Frasier’s O’Connell as both have an affinity for firearms and equally explosive one liners. Frequent Sommers collaborator Kevin J. O’Connor slips into the role of a sniveling side kick although he’s not as weaselly as Beni was in The Mummy. Alright I sort of got off course somewhat so let’s wrap this up Deep Rising goes beyond a guilty pleasure or cult classic it was released during the beginning of 1998 which was a horrible decision because even to this very day this has summer blockbuster written all over it. Stephen Sommers reached his zenith in the span of two years and in the blink of an eye hasn’t been able to  get back on that same level of creativity again. I know you’re still out there Stephen. Want some friendly advice? Reinvent yourself, strip away the corporate side of the industry and get back to basics. A Deep Rising sequel most likely isn’t in the cards but a similar idea can go a long ways.

Final Grade: A

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 26: 2 Headed Shark Attack (2012)

It's not an extreme sport unless you're surfing 2 headed shark induced waves.
It’s not an extreme sport unless you’re surfing a 2 headed shark induced wave.

Synopsis: Survivors escape to a deserted atoll after a Semester at Sea ship is sunk by a mutated two-headed shark. But when the atoll starts flooding, no one is safe from the double jaws of the monster as it eats fresh delicious women and men.

Every so often the appetizer that is served before a main course isn’t very appealing and in the case of Megashark vs. Giant Octopus while it helped The Asylum break out into a larger spectrum the film was marred with excessive pacing issues and a plot that withered and died not even a quarter of the way through. Despite these gaping flaws MSvGO is proud to walk that line between insanity and sheer genius fifty times over and in the years following its conception it has found a loyal following from creature feature fanatics. Now if you weren’t satisfied with little to no blood or gore or even less of Megashark and Giant Octopus laying the smackdown on one another today we’re focusing on a much more savage predator born into this world with two heads attached to the same body and according to the DVD/Blu-ray tagline it has 6,000 teeth between the both of them. It couldn’t be a true shark movie without a bevy of bikini clad women and several dumb jocks and thankfully 2 Headed Shark Attack takes these two stereotypes and meshes them together better than peanut butter and jelly. The only thing worth questioning about the plot here is how Calvin Klein catalog models were able to get passing grades in their college courses in order to qualify for a semester at sea aboard a scientific research vessel but than again maybe its best to throw all logic off the port bow considering if you try and devote more than 5 minutes to dismantling an Asylum production you deserve to get ripped to shreds by a 2 headed terror.

One has to wonder what the person who coined the phrase two heads are better than one would think of a schlocky horror flick the likes of 2 Headed Shark Attack? Would they sit and watch in awe as this awesome creation goes through hordes of college students faster than Leatherface and Michael Meyers could do in a weekend fueled by binge drinking,  ruthless chainsaw swinging, and competition kitchen knife throwing. While Megashark vs. Giant Octopus takes multiple viewings to live up to its namesake 2 Headed Shark Attack is near flawless in its overall execution wasting no time by killing a group of wake boarders within the first two minutes of the film. Why go for dull plot exposition? Bring on the shark ravaging goodness and that’s exactly what The Asylum promises and delivers upon in spades. If you’re a bad movie aficionado, like me, then you’ve probably built up sort of a immunity to watching trash cinema and in doing so you now actually encourage the film to kill off all the irritating characters with stone cold precision. 2 Headed Shark Attack wipes the floor with 99.999% of the cast and it does it so quickly that you’ll get an adrenaline high that lasts until the next victim bites the big one. The funny thing is that this never becomes overly cliched either you get someone dropping a horribly quipped one liner one moment and then quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious they’re in the belly of the beast trying to read Louisiana license plates realizing that they forgot to pack a flashlight. This is another Asylum feature where there are some spectacular locations to take in plus I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the spontaneity that the filmmakers took here where they didn’t keep everyone fighting for survival on just a broken down boat. Moving the action to an atoll made for a great change of pace because it gives the group what they think is a safe haven but when sudden earthquakes begin to rip everything apart all the survivors know that they are now royally screwed. Looking at the acting both Brooke Hogan and Carmen Electra were able to hit their marks respectively more so than any of the other actors featured but in many regards there isn’t anything that they add to the movie as a whole. Electra is well past her prime looking like she had to trim down quite a bit to fit into a swim suit and even when viewers get a scene of her tanning its nothing like almost two decades earlier when posters of her were selling like hotcakes. Brooke Hogan, on the other hand, is a Jill of all trades including a pop singer, a model, has followed in her father’s footsteps by being a professional wrestling personality of sorts, and now with her trying to become a respectable actress the only thing she does in 2 Headed Shark Attack (way too much I might add) is flaunt herself in a bikini top. Charlie O’Connell proves that he can handle any part that his brother would most likely pass on without a second thought. It was such a blast watching this guy all the while thinking to myself ‘Hmmm, I wonder how Jerry would deliver that line???’ Witnessing a 2 headed shark devour everything in its sight is the main reason to drop rental money down on this and in doing so I have to ask – is it weird that I secretly obsess over wanting to see a major network pick up a sitcom with both the 2 headed shark and Charlie O’Connell working together to solve bizarre crimes on the high seas? Personally I think that has the words smash hit written all over it.

Final Grade: C+

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 25: Revisiting Breeders (1997) Stream It Completely Free!

This evening history will be written as the Chicago Cubs enter their first World Series in 71 years.  I like so many others am a devoted fan of those lovable losers and will be away from the computer as I soak in every moment hoping that the Cubs will be one step closer to attaining their first World Series championship in over 100 years.

For those of you who are not baseball fans you’ll most likely remember Breeders 1997 from last year’s Schlocktoberfest. Popcornflix.com has  the entire film up for streaming so if you’re willing to risk killing a few brain cells maybe you’ll manage to gain more entertainment value from it than I originally did. I’d highly suggest having some form of alcoholic beverage on hand to immobilize any pain you might suffer. Somehow I managed to get through Breeders ’97 in one viewing without having to enter a drunken stupor so I wish everyone who’s up to the challenge the very best of luck!

If this is the picture our Extraterrestrial friend used on an intergalactic eHarmony I can see why he decided to pay Earth a visit.

Embedding the video directly into this blog post didn’t work as I had hoped. Instead please click on the artwork which will open a new tab where you can sit back and enjoy this headache inducing mess. In the words of former professional wrestler Perry Saturn – You’re welcome!

Schlocktoberfest 2K15 Day 22: Return of Godzilla – Godzilla 1985 (1984/1985)

For a terrifying destroyer of cities Godzilla sure knows how to flash the pearly whites during the poster photo shoot.
For a terrifying destroyer of civilization Godzilla sure knows how to flash the pearly whites during the poster photo shoot.

Synopsis: Thirty years after the original monster’s rampage, a new Godzilla emerges and attacks Japan.

Last year’s monstrous celebration for Godzilla’s 60th anniversary was a event like no other topped off by the King of the Monsters finally receiving a faithful Hollywood treatment. Even with a few weeks left until Godzilla’s 61st birthday the electricity from these last 524 days since the king made landfall has yet to dissipate. Godzilla’s creators at Toho were so happy with how the property was treated they decided to jump back into the game making the announcement that a brand new Godzilla film of their own creation is slated to hit Japanese cinemas in 2016. That news alone would have the entire earth shaking with excitement as kaiju’s from Godzilla’s past were most likely on the phone to their agents trying to get double billing on the marquee when another gargantuan press release came crashing into shore. Besides the Godzilla sequel that Warner Brothers and Legendary were developing for 2018 the two companies were also planning to reintroduce King Kong with his own film – Kong: Skull Island slated for 2017. Now if you’re thinking the next three years are going to require a lot of prep work as Ray Arnold eloquently put it in Jurassic Park ‘Hold on to your butts!’ because the countdown isn’t over yet 2020 will have Godzilla and King Kong squaring off against one another. Watching from the sidelines the momentum shifting over this time period is going to feel almost surreal since Toho will be looking to redefine the genre once more after a lengthy twelve year hiatus. As this is taking place Legendary and Warner Bros have started to move ideas around for Godzilla 2 now that they’re able to license the likenesses of Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah from Toho. Two very distinctive movie studios working on the same iconic property in a rapid span of time you ask me there are no losers in this equation so move on over Charlie Sheen by the end of 2020 everyone will be winning.

When it comes to Godzilla I’m like Peter Pan the boy who never wants to grow up well okay well that’s not entirely true as a guy in my mid-30s believe me I’ve tried to step away but that’s like telling art lovers to stop wasting their time looking at Monet’s or Picasso’s. In many ways six decades worth of Godzilla has painted countless destructive landscapes that I could spend an eternity staring at. Of all the incarnations of the iconic king my favorite portraits of him are where he is represented as a harbinger of death and destruction. As a kid growing up you never really caught on to the nuclear undertones captured in the 1954 original because by the time North America got a severe case of kaiju fever in 1956 they re-cut the Japanese masterpiece to feature segments with Raymond Burr as an American reporter on a stopover in Tokyo basically interpreting what Godzilla’s wrath meant for the rest of the world. Over the course of the next three decades Godzilla would go from being a symbol of the dangers of atomic energy to an environmentalist to a super hero (all that was missing was a cape and tights… good luck getting Godzilla in a pair of tights though). It wouldn’t be until 1984 on Godzilla’s 30th anniversary where Toho would bring their creation roaring back to life in the most threatening manner possible. The Return of Godzilla lives up to its title painting a very bleak landscape where real life cold war tensions were brought to the forefront of the story. Japan has been very observant over six decades and for them to send a similar message in two contrasting films set 30 years apart proves that despite all that we’ve accomplished in terms of technology, medicine, and sciences we really haven’t come far enough when trying to coexist with one another.

Godzilla 1985, on the other hand, is dumber than a sack of hammers like Godzilla King of the Monsters its a hack and slash job where Raymond Burr reprises his role from the first film and does another narrative since North American film companies refused to understand that Godzilla had been in the public eye for decades and during that time they thought audiences still hadn’t figured out the creature is an archetype for nuclear disaster instead lets make our version corny as hell and play it up as a guy stomping around in a rubber suit (since that’s all these films are right?). Besides who needs a monster movie with a message when you have a corporate sponsorship with Dr. Pepper to plaster vending machines all over the American scenes. ‘Hey look Godzilla is destroying Japan then he’s going to come for the rest of the world. Might as well have a cool refreshing Dr. Pepper before we’re thrown six feet under!’

The Return of Godzilla Final Grade: A-

Godzilla 1985 Final Grade: F

Final Grade Together: C+

After two decades a copyright finally lapsed with Toho striking a deal with Kraken Releasing to bring the original Japanese cut of The Return of Godzilla to the shores of North America. Please head on over to Amazon.com to order your copy and support one of the most underrated kaiju films ever made.

Schlocktoberfest 2K15 Day 20: The Dark (1993)

Go ahead call the Orkin man. He's not going to be able to help you with this problem...
Go ahead call the Orkin man. He’s not going to be able to help you with this problem…

Synopsis: Something is alive beneath the surface of the graveyard. Something with the power to destroy and the power to heal. One man, a cop, is determined to kill this mysterious creature. Another, a scientist, is determined to capture and save this miraculous being. Stalking the creature in it’s subterranean habitat, neither man is aware of the battle they are about to start. A battle for science, survival and revenge.

Graveyards can invoke all sorts of fear and paranoia as most people don’t like entering them for fear of upsetting the dead’s eternal slumber. Well that and the other reason which is an unknown breed of giant prehistoric rat keep nesting grounds underneath them to feast on recently buried corpses. Before you go calling the men in white coats why not contact Mulder and Scully instead. The Dark is one of those rare occurrences that could only take place during the early 1990s and how this didn’t end up catching the attention of The X-Files is a mystery in itself. A little variety makes the world go round I don’t think anyone would disagree that its eerie enough stumbling around a foggy graveyard in the middle of night throwing a curve ball into the mix in the form of a six foot carnivorous rat burrowing tunnels below ground will leave any normal person with a beyond puzzled look on their face. What reason would they give The Dark the time of day? As absurd as the premise is its a well written, directed, and produced mix of superstition blending with the thing directly responsible for the sounds going bump in the night.

This could very well be the surprise hit of Schlocktoberfest season thus far falling into the commonplace didn’t know what to expect type of labeling but went beyond entertaining which is hard enough to do when watching any home video feature. It tends to feel like diving into the deeper end of a swimming pool not knowing whether or not you’re going to sink or swim. What could’ve of been a disastrous viewing can’t get enough high praise from me and if that’s not enough to get you to track this one down you’ll be surprised to find out that this was Neve Campbell’s first movie. That’s right before she faced off against Ghostface she was playing the David Arquette role of a inexperienced sheriff’s deputy and in my opinion she did had a much better run at it than Arquette ever did (not to mention what teen aged guy didn’t have a crush on her back in the day? she definitely fills out her deputy’s uniform very nicely). The beginning is a little clunky nonetheless the entire cast has a great chemistry together mainly because they probably knew that The Dark wasn’t going to win the praises of Siskel and Ebert so why not put everything they had into it and at least give viewers their money’s worth.

Final Grade: A

Schlocktoberfest 2K15 Day 19: Popcorn (1991)

Its another one of those movie posters where a pair of eyes is trying to burn a hole through my soul.
Its another one of those movie posters where a pair of eyes is trying to burn a hole through my soul.

Synopsis: A group of teenagers preparing an old horror movie show in an abandoned theatre discover a recording made by an actual murderer who died long ago. Very soon a shadowy figure resembling the killer starts stalking them one by one.

There was a point in time when going to the movies left entire families with a better sense of fulfillment. While the magical aromas of buttered popcorn and licorice whips are still as enticing as ever a night out at the nearest multiplex can put a major dent in Dad and Mom’s wallet. Another factor to take into consideration is the pure entertainment value of the films that major studios are churning out. With the advent of CGI and creating every visual effect in the computer many see this tool as both a blessing and a curse. The upside is having the ability to dream up anything in our imaginations and witnessing those fantasies being fleshed out right in front of us. Unfortunately we live in an era of film making where directors have overly relied on this technology and thus the storytelling aspect (or lack thereof) suffers immensely. It’s becoming more and more difficult to capture an audience’s imagination anymore when they can spot dodgy looking CG or are cringing when an actor is desperately trying to gauge a full range of emotions knowing that they’re just looking up at a tennis ball in front of a blue or green screen. The world is getting less and less E.T. – The Extraterrestrials, original Star Wars trilogies, the first three Indiana Jones, and Back to the Futures. Instead Hollywood thinks the key to success is one reboot and re-imaging after another in a cold/heartless assembly line fashion. The days where families walk out of a theater awe-struck asking one another how ambitious story tellers and (actual) special effect wizards are able to successfully pull off such tricks are sadly becoming numbered.

Its funny how sometimes an obscure little horror comedy can reignite your passion for the classic movie going experience. Granted it doesn’t really do anything too memorable the acting is pretty hit or miss and the comedy itself goes beyond the Velveeta or Kraft form of cheesy. Still even after a couple stumbling missteps anyone who grew up watching B-movie marathons on TNT or WGN (before large corporations took them over) will have an absolute hoot with this. I thought the general premise where a group of college film students and their professor holding a one night horror/sci-fiction marathon to raise money to work on their own projects was a promising lead in. Having the whole horror movie within a horror movie idea being forcibly thrown over Popcorn is where things once again began to falter. If the writers would of polished the script another couple times I think the outcome would have been a lot more worthwhile. What really grabbed my attention was the mock B-movies that were being showed during the horror marathon. The creators of Popcorn actually filmed full scenes and one part that kept me laughing is where a giant mosquito (with the support wires blatantly in full view) attacks an escaping car. It was a loving tribute to the creature features of the mid-1950s and unquestionably remains a scene worth rewinding over and over again because all the extras playing the audience members taking part in this marathon react to that scene in a naturally comedic manner. A lot of the smaller independent theaters that are still in business do their own classic horror marathons every year at this time and after a viewing of Popcorn my only regret is that I wish there was one closer to my neck of the woods where I could go and get some old fashion small time movie theater escapism.

Final Grade: C