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Reviews

Superzan y el niño del espacio
(1973)

Campy, cheap and fun sci-fi flick from Latin America.
At this point in lucha libre cinema several Agrasanchez pictures were shot in Guatemala to lower production costs and some of them were held by a director from said country: Rafael Lanuza. Lanuza was a Guatemalan director who began his career in 1952 with Una corona para mi madre and would continue to direct other films that include some well-known luchador movies from the era. Although most of his independent Guatemalan filmography seems to be lost or straight up neglected.

Superzan and the Space Boy is a cheesy low budget joint in the same vein as some of the previous Agrasanchez films but with cool visuals, cheap but nice looking special effects and an intriguing plot involving a benevolent alien that is used by an evil scientist to fufill his plans of world domination. A fun and colorful ride with very little action but the kooky story and characters make up for it. Oddly enough, the Superzan movies seem to be slightly more thoughtful and less action driven than other flicks of the genre, almost subversive even, since most of the alien beings presented are often well-intentioned and humans are always the bad guys.

Quite a silly piece of Latin American sci-fi from the seventies. Recommended for cult film fans and those who enjoy Santo movies as well, but make sure you know spanish or have subtitles.

Santo contra el doctor Muerte
(1973)

Spain does a Santo movie.
A refreshing Santo picture since it was mostly produced in Spain, and it shows, the execution its mostly the generic action crime film from the time with a few slightly horror-like elements that arent too dissimilar from a Mexican Santo film.

Going from a third world country with barely any money or resources to a first world country with a far bigger film industry really did a lot to change the overall feel and production value of the series with this one (even if this is still low budget). Its not as great as some of the best Santo entries done in the wrestler´s home country, but it is a welcome addition, specially since some of the last few movies were nothing spectacular or new.

A very serviceable european action spy movie that just so happens to have Santo in a leading role. Not amazing but entertaining enough.

Mostly recommended for Santo and wrestling movie fans.

'Santo' contra los secuestradores
(1973)

Underwhelming Santo entry with lots of filler and unfunny comedic scenes.
Subpar Santo flick. The fights are well shot and exciting enough but the filler and the comedic shenanigans by Evaristo (Ecuatorian comedian) really hurt the movie. A lot of plot elements are also derivative as we saw them in other Santo entries so theres nothing new here.

An overall flawed movie with decent moments here and there.

Mostly recommended for Santo and wrestling movie completists.

Las bestias del terror
(1973)

Probably the worst Santo movie. A dull mess of a picture.
Utterly uneventful, slow and borderline incoherent. The cheapest and most nonsensical Santo and Blue Demon adventure yet. Probably among the worst of the bunch.

The wrestling movie aspects are decently executed, the few sprinkled scenes with the luchadores are fun but the plot and characters are incredibly lackluster. About 90% of this movie consists of seemingly unrelated vignettes that never go anywhere or end abruptly, it feels like there are scenes from other movies thrown in randomly. A messy script mixed with disjointed editing and uninspired direction.

A rather dull experience without any real story or hook. It completely botches the basics and never offers anything in return.

For Santo or wrestling movie completists ONLY.

El asesino invisible
(1965)

A Santo copy, but a fun one.
Producer Alberto Lopez cut ties with lucha libre star Santo after Santo contra el espectro del estrangulador (1965) was finished, but the producer decided to cash-in on the success of his previous films by making a Santo rip-off named El enmascarado de Oro (Man in the Golden Mask) played by Jorge Rivero, who would go on to co-star in two Santo films: Operación 67 and El tesoro de Moctezuma.

It is unknown wether this film was supposed to be a Santo movie or an original production but it doesnt seem like a far fetched idea. Its mostly an average entry in the genre with the usual filler and dancing numbers that take a good amount of screentime in these Alberto Lopez productions. The Man in the Golden Mask could easily be replaced with Santo and the generic villain and storyline are also very derivative but its decently executed and with satisfying effects for the time and budget.

Recommended for fans of wrestling sci-fi and horror movies. Its nothing new and theres a lot of filler, but its mostly entertaining and it will give you the comic-book and serial inspired Mexican superhero experience you are looking for.

Also, contrary to what the american alternate title suggests, this is not a Neutron movie. While there are some plot similarities between the first three Neutron movies and this one, the movie isnt connected to the Neutron films in any way.

Hollywood Cop
(1987)

Flaw and disjointed but with enough merit to be watchable.
Satisfying as a generic low budget actionsploitation flick from the time. Amir's direction is as stilted as always, most scenes consist of long shots with the actors a few feet away from the camera, bits of awkward acting, odd dubbing, somewhat disjointed editing and some rather silly writing. However, there are some fun action sequences, enjoyable performances and a rather amusing plot to keep you entertained. Its also kind of a sleazy film.

Not as off-beat or cheap as Samurai Cop but it has its weird moments. Not awful but very flawed and too long for its own good.

The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr.
(1995)

A heavily flawed but entertaining documentary, not on Ed Wood but about the people around him.
Odd documentary by Wade Williams and Crawford J. Thomas. I guess it attempted to be the definitive Ed Wood documentary but with its shoddy recreations and the way the interviews are put together it just comes off as unfocused and needlessly exagerated.

One can argue that its not about making an accurate piece on Ed's life but rather about the interesting people surrounding him, their perception of the man and the legend they helped to shape that made Wood such an interesting figure.

Watchable but not particulary insightful or truthful.

Programado para morir
(1989)

A very generic mexploitation flick from the 80s but nothing special or good.
Its kind of a perfectly bad movie. Nothing too awful but nothing truly good about it either. Dull characters, uninteresting storyline and generic action sequences (somewhat entertaining ones but nothing particularly clever or imaginative). Very much influenced by American B-grade action flicks but with no real hook and mostly weak acting.

Lackluster but not a trainwreck.

Foodfight!
(2012)

Just as awful as everyone says. Pure animated dreck.
Genre film producer and Vestron Pictures producer Lawrence Kasanoff tried to cash-in on the success of animated movies made by Pixar and Dreamworks in the mid 90's and early 2000's but he did it in the laziest possible way a kids film can turn out to be.

If it would have been released in 2003 as it was planned, it would probably be considered a bad, strange and awkward hack job but fate had different plans for this piece of garbage. It wasnt enough to be a bad product of its time, fate wanted it to be one of the worst films ever made by delaying the already flawed production for years and releasing this trash into the world.

When you mix a pandering producer who doesnt have much experience at directing, let alone animated features, with a bunch of annoyed underpaid animators, several production difficulties and straight up bad decisions you get... Foodfight.

The film was originally going to be animated to resemble a Looney Tunes cartoon but Kasanoff decided the film would use motion capture, a technique that clashes with the cartoony animation style he wanted. The result is the worst of both worlds. Characters are stiff with their movements but this is often interrupted with more flexible stretchy movements that arent executed properly because of the bad animation and feel completely out of place. Thats not taking into account the awful art direction, ugly 3D models, disgusting textures and generic designs.

When you try to make a project like this, you should at least be familiar with how the medium works, instead of making arbitrary decisions that will inevitably create troubles for you and your crew; there doesnt seem to be a consistent idea or vision for the film besides making it a commercial family picture for the lowest common denominator.

Aventuras de las hermanas X
(1963)

Entertaining female zorro adventure.
Delightful adventure western with two zorro-like female heroines. The best part its certainly the origin story but the film manages to be interesting all the way through, even if the action takes a step back to let the melodramatic story be front and center.

Darna at ang Babaing Tuod
(1965)

Fun Darna entry but somewhat lacking.
A woman makes a deal with the devil in order to bring back to life her dead child, but since the girl is a spawn of the devil, she turns into a tree monster once she grows up and superheroine Darna must stop the menace.

Fifth Darna movie. Darna only has a small role but she shows up once in a while to fight the tree demon. Its low budget Wonder Woman vs Tabonga from From Hell It Came. Fun stuff.

Cant say much about it since there were no subtitles but Cirio is good enough to have my attention through most of it.

Curucu, Beast of the Amazon
(1956)

Generic and dated "monster" jungle flick.
Curt Siodmak's anti-fantastical approach to horror/creature features doesnt really work here. Its too dry and witless to throw away the monster element. We are then left with an average pulpy jungle adventure B-flick that goes almost completely off the rails by the end. Not awful but far from a classic.

For jungle/monster movie completists only.

The Bees
(1978)

Great schlocky low budget horror.
Anti-imperialist/anti-capitalist killer bee movie by Roger Corman, Jack Hill and Alfredo Zacarias. Its deranged and engaging to the max but like in many films by Zacarias the comedy is hit or miss but its highs are pretty hilarious.

Great killer animal movie even if it is ultra cheap.

Entropy
(2022)

Mostly amateur production with brief decent moments.
While it does suffer from faulty direction, amateur acting and a stale script, this low budget horror movie uses color in a creative way to represent sadness, frustation, mourning, romance, power, death and so on. The story itself also has a bit of potential, but overall, its a shoddy and uneffective film thats interesting enough to make parts of it somewhat watchable but its far from decent.

Amityville Uprising
(2022)

A subpar low budget zombie flick with a few positives.
Its mostly a generic micro-budget zombie movie thats slaps the Amityville title to it. There are some positive aspects to the movie but the biggest problem with the film is that it doesnt truly commit to the B-movie feel it has from time to time.

It could have been a potential splatterfest since the performances arent awful, production values arent too poor, the make up effects are decent enough to work and the direction can be briefly effective at times, but instead, it relies on cliche drama and a bland script.

The Curse of La Patasola
(2022)

A very flawed horror movie but with a lot of merit to it.
For a first time director, AJ Jones actually delivers a competent low budget horror experience with some refreshing concepts, even if it is irregular.

The film has a very rough start, exemplified by the obnoxious discussions between two seemingly annoying characters early on, but it picks up after some time and you actually warm up a little bit to these people. A lot of the conflict comes out of nowhere while some other elements are too obvious and in-your-face to take seriously, it certainly doesnt handle romance or interactions perfectly but theres an effort by the part of the actors and the director to make the material as effective as possible and while it doesnt fully work, I believe it is a worthwhile attempt that has redeeming values.

It mostly focuses on the characters relationships but the horror concepts are properly implemented into the story. While the horror element isnt missing, it is rather sparse and underplayed. The cinematography, special effects and production values are of quality for a limited production of this kind. Its not deficient when it comes to its technical aspects but it really needed a better script, or at least a more polished one.

Lets hope Jones makes more movies, as this was a somewhat riveting picture.

Nightshade
(2022)

A very lackluster film featuring a few decent visuals but with a terrible story and mostly dull.
This crime thriller has some relatively decent aspects to it but it never truly works and it quickly becomes a tedious experience. It has stilted acting, little to no originality and a generic, yet competent, music score. In fact, one could describe the film as well funded and with some creative cinematography sprinkled throughout but the story is empty and theres nothing to be engaged by. Overall, its a worthless movie.

Golden Ivory
(1954)

Uninteresting British production.
Dull "safari adventure" with no thrills, no excitement and no white huntress anywhere to be seen. It has competent action sequences but its overall a lackluster and disposable hack job.

Just a low budget B-flick released by American International with more lurid and interesting marketing that has nothing to do with the picture. It pales in comparison to other AIP productions and even other movies by the same director (The Manster is a much better film).

Enigma de muerte
(1969)

A good entry in lucha libre cinema.
Surprisingly works quite well.

Mil Mascaras fights evil nazis on a carnival lead by John Carradine and its just as fun as it sounds. Lots of enjoyable fighting and chase sequences and an exciting climax. Theres a little too much padding at the beginning but its otherwise a solid lucha libre film.

Absurd but riveting.

Misión suicida
(1973)

Secret agent Santo saves the day once again!
Another secret agent Santo flick that contains many preposterous elements that make it entertaining such as female martial artists that shoot harpoons, nazi plastic surgery, Santo stabbing a shark in a pool and constant fight scenes.

It doesnt quite come together as a whole but it makes for a really fun experience.

Don't Look Up
(2021)

Childish attempt at satire.
While there are brief moments that show Mckay's talent, this is just another awful addition to the director's deficient career, the only exception being The Big Short from 2015 which is quite excellent.

Theres no trace of subtlety or intelligence in this picture, this inept mess replaced all that with witless social and political commentary and the discordant juvenile sense of humor that plagues the filmmaker's filmography.

This piece of corporate product pretends to be rebellious by insulting the sector of the american people that they disagree with but ultimately it only insults the intelligence of reasonable people.

Spider-Man: No Way Home
(2021)

Generic MCU product but this time they ruined characters from past films as well.
Well... at least it made me appreciate the Sam Raimi movies a bit more.

Every character from past movies is done badly (in the case of the Raimi characters) or even worse (since The Amazing Spider-Man was terrible to begin with). They try to give Hollands Spider-Man a bit more development and growth but too little, too late.

Utter garbage. Typical of Hollywood and the MCU.

Santa Inc.
(2021)

General overview: Its garbage.
Theres no other way to put it. This is a terrible show. Possibly one of the worst ever made. I gotta give it to these "haters", this is a painfully annoying series. The sad thing is that it could have been decent. I will start by pointing out the two good aspects of the show:

1- It has decent voice acting: Not the best, just competent.

2- The animation is also alright.

And thats about it. There isnt much to like here. You probably know the plot. Santa has to name his successor and theres an elf named Candy who wants to be the first female Santa. The show is about "sexism" in the workplace and about taking a bunch of jabs at people who dont share the writers ideas. Its quite lacking when it comes to story, every episode only advances the plot slightly and it feels too streched out. It really could have been a movie, it had no reason to be a series because it only has about 40 minutes worth of content.

The characters are all awful people, not only do you not care about them, but you grow to despise those hideous creatures. The main character is as obnoxious as a grown up Lisa Simpson would have been, her friends are all common archetypes in bad shows or movies. We have the young mom whose entire personality is that she is a millennial mom that hates her husband and work, as well as having to deal with a child. The other friend is the raunchy sex addict that is "crazy" and curses a lot. None of them have any likable or sympathetic moments in the entirety of the show, they really dont have much of a presence and they come off as irrelevant.

The jokes are mostly the typical gross out gags involving high amounts of sex jokes, puke, blood, and the most disgusting thing of all, leftist politics without restrain or subtlety. Really, this would just be a mediocre bad show if it wasnt for the idiotic agenda they try to shove down your throat, thats what makes it a legendary awful piece of trash. This is the type of show only hardcore brainwashed hypocritical nutjobs obsessed with left wing ideas can enjoy. There isnt one scene that doesnt annoy the hell out of you with some buzzword or joke about "sexism", "racism" or something in the vain of "screw people who dont think like me", the typical "SJW" stuff from modern Hollywood shows and movies but doubled.

Not an ounce of creativity, lacking any genuine vision or interesting ideas. Santa Inc. Appeals to the Lowest common denominator that lurks in the depths of twitter or tumblr. If a concept like this would have been developed by a clever writer or showrunner, then they could have relied on metaphors or analogies instead of blatantly mentioning sex, race or modern politics. Everything bad that its said about it its true. It really didnt work well for them and now we have a horrendous series that people will crap on, as long as they dont forget that it even exists.

Krampus: Origins
(2018)

A very poor Krampus picture.
Making this a period piece was really ambitious and its take on the Krampus story is certainly creative but it ultimately falls flat and becomes a shore to get through because of its flawed execution.

Decent production values and cinematography for what it is but lacking on almost every other aspect including the writing, pacing and directing.

Scream of the Blind Dead
(2021)

Chris Alexander delivers a surreal experience using the Blind Dead.
This no-budget quickie may sit comfortably among Chris Alexander's line up of abstract genre films but it probably wont be what most audiences are looking for, not even Blind Dead fans because of its strange surreal nature and low production values.

Its still a very worthwhile work when it comes to modern horror.

For digital experimental horror film fans ONLY.

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