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Cell (2016, USA)

Cell (2016) Theatrical Poster

Those who might shift the blame for Cell’s shortcomings onto a writer with a feeble understanding of the source book should be aware that Stephen King himself had a hand in composing the screenplay. Not only that, he also warned admirers of said novel that some changes that might rub them the wrong way would be imminent. King wasn’t lying, having willingly helped turn a visceral and harrowing work like Cell into a limp-wristed 28 Days Later riff with too many cut corners to freak out seasoned horror buffs.

“When everyone is connected, no one is safe…”

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The Sky Has Fallen (2009, 2015, USA)

The Sky Has Fallen (2009, 2015)

Doug Roos’ independently produced, feature-length, post-apocalyptic horror film was promoted primarily on it’s practical special effects, make-up and lack of computer-generated imagery (CGI). In this respect The Sky Has Fallen does not disappoint. Shot in Missouri and clearly influenced by Ryuhei Kitamura’s Yakuza/Zombie splatter-fest Versus (2000), The Sky Has Fallen combines elements from various horror subgenres and, whereas most would fail, Roos’ somehow manages to make everything work cohesively with only a few missteps.

“All practical FX. No CGI.”

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Endgame (1983, Italy)

Endgame (1983) Theatrical PosterLet’s get right to it; is this movie the final installment of The Bronx Warriors trilogy that includes 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, or not? The short answer in my opinion is no, it most definitely is not. It bears no resemblance, nor any connection to the previous films that I could detect; though it is supposedly set in New York, I don’t recall any reference to it in the dialogue.

“For an ENDGAME champion in the year 2025, there’s only one way to live. Dangerously.”

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America 3000 (1986, USA)

America 3000 (1986)

Let me just preface this article with the acknowledgement that I loved this movie way out of proportion to what it probably deserves. If you’ve seen it or do so in the near future, it’s a tossup as to whether or not you’ll feel the same way about it that I do. You might gag and roll around on the floor foaming at the mouth miming, “My eyes, my eyes!” But seriously, have you seen it yet?

Another movie that’s so good at being bad that it surpasses all expectations, America 3000 is the work of writer-director David Engelbach. You’ll join me if that name doesn’t ring a bell, as this movie was his single directorial credit.

“An outrageous post-nuke adventure!”

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Turbo Kid (2015, Canada / New Zealand)

Is Turbo Kid really a B-movie? Can a film be considered that grade if it’s an intentional and very aware homage? Or must it be classified something else? Ah, but it does the homage thing so very, very well…literally to a level that it exceeds the films that inspired it. What’s additionally amazing is that the makers of Turbo Kid are clearly aware of what they’re doing…

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Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon (February 2010)

Kim Newman's Video Dungeon (February 2010)

It’s retro month in Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon. One the highlights from his selection this month is the 80’s flick Night of the Comet involving valley girl, Catherine Mary Stewart, fighting off zombies and mad scientists between shopping trips to the mall. The [Region 1] DVD cover just set’s the film up perfectly, with zombies, uzi’s and shopping. What more could a girl want?

Also in his pick from the 80’s comes three futuristic films (set in the 1990s!) from Enzo G. Castellari: The Bronx Warriors, Escape from the Bronx and The New Barbarians.

“It was the last thing on earth they ever expected.”

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