Youtube Film Club – Danger Island (1992)

That tag line is 100% meaningless, by the way

That tag line is 100% meaningless, by the way

Our long-dormant Joe Lara season continues! For those of you who aren’t regular readers, Joe Lara played Tarzan on TV and film in the 90s before retiring from acting to concentrate on country music. Throughout the 90s, he also made a large number of surprisingly decent sci-fi and action movies, and we’ve reviewed some of them here. Check out “Steel Frontier”, “Hologram Man”, “Final Equinox”, and “American Cyborg: Steel Warrior”, both our brilliant and insightful reviews and the films themselves.

A beautiful tropical country, never referred to by name, is a holiday idyll for many Westerners. We’re treated to some magnificent 1990s bikini modelling before bombs start dropping and military vehicles start rolling up (you know how that part of the world was for coups), but luckily a handful of Americans are able to get on an old plane, piloted by Gary Graham – most famous for the “Alien Nation” TV series. They have to ditch in the middle of the ocean but, after a liferaft scene, wash up on the shore of a mysterious island. There’s a weird poisonous octopus-thing, humans mutating after a bite from the weird poisonous octopus-thing, fruit that turns a non-fruit colour then explodes, and a half-buried US Army jeep which leads them to a gigantic abandoned scientific research station.

In film and TV history, there are weird outliers, films that appear to be influences on later, more famous works, even though their obscurity may well mean the creators of the bigger films or shows never even heard of them; or, if you’re feeling less kind, giving the bigger films plausible deniability. The ur-example is 1976’s “Massacre At Central High” being mined for plot ideas by the 1988 classic “Heathers”; but there’s a decent case to be made for “Danger Island” having some very close similarities to “Lost”. Mysterious unnamed island, odd science experiments, conspiracies, “Project Naomi” (Dharma Institute, basically), an unusual flashback structure, people who seem to have some prior history with the island being drawn there…when one of the characters made a reference to them all possibly being dead already and it being the afterlife, I realised the chance of it being accidental was pretty small.


An even stronger case for “Lost” borrowing from it is the fact it was designed as a pilot for a TV series that was never picked up. Credit to the editors for making it feel like a real film, but near the end you start noticing stuff like none of the main characters have died yet, no-one bothers fixing the radio until way too long into the movie, and there’s a heck of a lot of potential storylines which haven’t really been resolved. We get clips from what I assume would have been material from the TV show itself (perhaps they shot a few episodes on spec?) over the end credits too. It’s certainly safe to say that if this show had made it to series, we’d never have had all that nonsense with the Others, the hatch, “we have to go back” and so on.

The film is a who’s-who of B-level 90s TV stars. As well as Gary Graham, we have of course Joe Lara (who’s the Sawyer-equivalent here), Kathy Ireland (the supermodel turned “actress”), Richard Beymer (best known as Mr. Horne from “Twin Peaks”) and, among a surprisingly smart and resourceful group of kids, a very young Nikki Cox.

Nikki Cox could have and should have been a star on an Aniston or Heigl level. She had great comic timing, and was almost unfairly talented as well as being strikingly beautiful. She had long runs on “Unhappily Ever After” and Norm Macdonald’s vanity sitcom, before being given a sitcom of her own. Sadly, this wasn’t the starmaker it could have been (not down to her), and even though she worked regularly after that, she never got the shot she deserved. Throughout the 2000s, she had cosmetic surgery, and a 2008 lip job was very badly botched which completely ruined her career, and just leaves you sad at the Hollywood machine and the pressures on young women. Watch “Norm” to see her in her prime.

This is actually a pretty strong film, and for a TV movie pilot, it’s excellent. Beautiful locations, (for the budget) decent effects, strong cast, offputting and effective music, and plenty of stuff is going on at all times. Our boy Joe Lara shows a hitherto-unexplored knack for comedy, and while you’re wondering about stuff like “how did the generator at that base keep going for 16 years, and who’s been dusting?” you can regret that “Lost” made it and, with its labyrinthine plots and terrible ending, ruined TV drama for years; whereas this, which would have made a great (if fairly lightweight) TV show, didn’t.

Rating: thumbs up


Locke (2013)

Tom Hardy in Locke

Directed by: Steven Knight

If you’ve ever driven along the motorway for a few hours at night then you’ll probably have experienced that strange tipping point between alert euphoria and the beginning of disorientation which leads to the fall of tired eyelids.

‘Locke’ is a drama of domestic despair, as during the course of a two hour drive Ivan Locke’s whole life falls apart. During the course of the film he loses his job and his family. ‘Locke’ is also a film that is deceptively and simply executed by director and lead actor, and could be summed up in this Twitter friendly summary – Tom Hardy, speaking in a Welsh accent, uses hands free technology in a car.

There will be some debate about Hardy’s accent; it is reminiscent of Sir Anthony Hopkins, or perhaps Rob Brydon doing an impression of Anthony Hopkins. I suppose at least Hardy has a go at sounding like he was born in the valleys, but perhaps accents, upon reflection of his career to date, aren’t really his strong point. I mean we all still do Bane impressions precisely because his voice is so damn ridiculous. Hardy’s Welsh effort is certainly not the worst accent in cinema history (Hello Russell Crowe in ‘Robin Hood’) but it takes a little bit of time for the chuckle to subside after first hearing it.

I suppose the premise for ‘Locke’ is a hard sell if you take away the one man show element. Building constructor has one night stand; he is informed seven months later that the lady is going to give birth. He must decide between attending an important concrete pour or the birth of his new son. Gosh, that sounds like a gripping drama.

Somehow Hardy is able to turn the story into a thrilling race against time, where everything is at stake. He acts alone sat in the front seat of a car, taking calls from a variety of characters who we never even see – His wife, his sons, his panicked pregnant mistress, his angry boss, he Irish co-worker, a few Doctors and Nurses from a hospital in London.

Ivan Locke is a complex character; he tries to remain ice cool and in control throughout the drive. There are times when he appears almost sociopathic, at other times mad, as he talks to himself, looking deeply into the interior mirror addressing his own absent Father. There’s a naïve side to Locke, he seems almost oblivious to the damage that he has done, especially after he reveals the affair and news of his imminent son to his wife. Locke just sees the situation as another problem that can be fixed.

‘Locke’ is a lesson to aspiring filmmakers and actors about capturing minimalism. You don’t need a big budget, or star packed ensemble cast. The film is a reminder of acting as an art form. How a sparse setting and strong performance is enough to captivate an audience.


Locke on IMDB

Nighthawks (1978)


Directed by: Ron Peck

‘Nighthawks’ is considered to be one of the most important films in the history of British LGBT cinema. It is also one of those films which appear to be horrifically dated, although I don’t think its datedness takes away how ‘brave’ or ‘daring’ the film must’ve been when initially released.

The film opens with some jarring synth; a creepy tune which sounds like the kind of music which might accompany an rum drunk overweight clown as he enters the circus tent. The director drives us through London at night. We arrive at a night club, which features more atrocious nagging synth. I need to pause and address this because we’ve been told how pioneering gay culture was in relation to the early electro and house music scenes, but from the evidence of this film I can only assume that this was post-’78 because by Christ the soundtrack to ‘Nighthawks’ is bloody unbearable. It’s like listening to Iggy Pop’s ‘Nightclubbing’ after spending six hours spinning around in a cement mixer. They seem to use the same song every time we are taken to the night club. It causes my ears to leak blood.

So, the night club scenes. They occur frequently as the main character Jim keeps returning for hook-ups. There’s awkwardness in the air inside the club. Early on, there’s not a lot of conversation at the club, or even checking out of talent. Men mostly dance alone; they seem to be looking at the floor. Was this what it was really like? Or is it a London thing? Similarly to the vibe you get today in the capital’s unsocial hipster bars.

‘Nighthawks’ is about Jim, a closeted Geography teacher, who balances his rather straight job with his night time gallivanting. The film provides a glimpse of how difficult it was for gay men back in the late seventies to be open about their sexuality. Arguably they couldn’t have picked a worst profession to demonstrate this, because even in 2014 teachers don’t disclose all that much about their private lives. Why couldn’t Jim have worked in a factory in Dagenham alongside a group of uber-masculine cockney geezers?

A lot of the film is bleak, as Jim lives this Work, Work, Work (Pub, Club, Sleep) lifestyle. Towards the end of the film his incongruent personal life begins to catch up with him. He’s late for class after an encounter. Then when having to share his classroom with another class whose teacher was absent, the rowdy pupils from the other class out him in front of his own class. Jim then holds an inpromtu open forum discussion about his sexuality which gets him in hot water with the school’s headmaster. It’s a fascinating scene, which is one of the most politically loaded in the film, expressing the conflicting views of those who don’t really understand homosexuality. The subject is broached initially after an acne scarred youth asks “Is it true that you’re bent?”

The film has amazing depth to how it deals with shame. Jim’s struggle isn’t necessarily all about his sexuality, but his inability to actually form any lasting relationships. Jim even lies about being in a steady relationship to his supply teacher friend. It seems he doesn’t want to be judged for what he gets up to, despite his ‘honorable’ intentions to find that special someone. In a sense, the director seems to be saying that straight or gay when you’re single, you’re constantly overwhelmed by the weight of this heavy anchor of existential loneliness which you have to drag around with you.

I think when viewing ‘Nighthawks’ today you have to ignore the clunky dialogue, and generally poor acting. The film is a social study, a glimpse into the reality of London’s gay scene. It was unchartered territory on screen, and it took a determined director to make it happen.


Nighthawks on IMDB

Ferocious Planet (2011)


A film about inter-dimensional travel with John Rhys-Davies in it? Yes! As a long-term fan of TV show “Sliders”, I always have a little smile when I see one of the cast members in something else, on the off chance they slip a little reference in. Even though I was disappointed in JRD’s fairly speedy demise, we did get a little “this feels like…sliding” mention from one of the other cast members, which is good enough for me.


Science, senators and soldiers is the way this film rolls. A couple of scientists have invented two different and amazing things at once – cold fusion, and a viewing screen that can see into other dimensions. Just one would have been enough, surely? The handful of army guys there is commanded by Colonel Sam Synn – Joe Flanigan, formerly of “Stargate Atlantis”. He’s far too good for nonsense like this, he should be the authority figure / love interest in some sci-fi TV show. He’s easily the equal of the guys from “Defiance”, “Eureka” and “Haven”.


This film gets going quickly, by beaming the lab and a few bits and pieces from near the lab (a parking meter, for one) to an alternate dimension, where some sort of weird egg-laying gigantic ultraviolent Alien/Predator mix is in charge. Some of them want to go straight back, some of them want to explore, and a few of them (the sort of low-level admin people you rarely see in films) want to snag an alien and use it to get on the Fox News show “Fox and Friends”.



That last bit is an indicator of a fairly healthy sense of humour running through this film. It’s not perfect – one grunt goes “for those of us without PhDs?” to a bit of science, when it was really bloody simple in the first place – but you may find yourself laughing with the film, rather than at it. I hope John Rhys Davies’ bizarre, intermittent, Deep South accent was a joke, too, because otherwise it was just rubbish.


The inevitable disasters that befall our crew are thoroughly signposted, which gave me the idea to write a sitcom, where there are insanely high stakes every episode, but everything always goes fine. Like, someone will say “doctor, don’t overload the Flux Nega-Ion Regenerator!! We could all die!”  and the doctor will do it with one hand behind his back, or something. Then some unhappy wife will storm into a room expecting to see her husband cheating, but he’s always doing something really nice for her, like knitting or washing the pots. Anyway, back to the film!


Most of the film is a forest-based chase film, known and loved by all us people who realise SyFy Channel movies can’t afford to film indoors. The small groups go off on their own missions,  and we wait and see if the machine will be fixed and everyone will be able to get home.


The weird thing is, this film is pretty good. Flanigan is a well above average leading man, there are good strong female characters, the special effects aren’t terrible, the sense of humour is decent and it doesn’t waste its time. For a SyFy movie, this is about as strong praise as you can manage! There’s the odd weird moment – the President’s science adviser pulls two of the soldiers out of quicksand, while saying “Pilates 6 times a week”. So she’s strong, right? Then, near the end, climbing a hill, her ankle gets trapped under a fairly small rock, and she’s almost completely unable to move it. It seems like they forgot, or filmed the earlier scene afterwards and improv-ed the line about pilates?



This is perfect Sunday afternoon fare. If it’s too hot or too cold to venture outside, and you’re comfortable on the sofa when this film comes on, you’ll have a good time. I maybe wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to find it, but you could do a heck of a lot worse.


Rating: thumbs up

Trailer Trash: 50 Shades of Grey

I remember a couple of years ago, during the heat and fervour of the E.L. James phenomenon, glimpsing a copy of ’50 Shades of Grey’ that was sat on the desk of my dentist. My dentist was a polite, plain looking Indian woman in her early thirties. Lying prone on the dentist’s chair I feared for my modesty and what on earth she’d get up to with those sharp looking implements that were about to prod and probe inside my gob.

Though I never read any of James’ erotic novels I got the gist of what they were about – Mills & Boon for a uptight sexually repressed generation, a pulp equivalent to D.H. Lawrence’s highbrow smut. Many wondered how ‘50 Shades of Grey’ would be adapted on screen, the dirtiest of minds predicted that pornstar James Deen would play Christian Grey, building on from his role in ‘The Canyons’ alongside Lindsay Lohan. Initially actors were cast and then some dropped out after having second thoughts, most likely doubting the quality of the source material. Now we have the trailer for Sam Taylor-Johnson’s movie version starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dorman.

The vibe of the trailer suggests an ‘American Psycho’ stroke ‘Great Gatsby’ adaptation, as Anastasia Steele, a naïve journalist interviews Christian Grey, this hotshot albeit mysterious businessman who shies away from media attention. At first it looks like a conventional love story, icy businessman melts, and begins to show a softer side before he opens the door to his S&M dungeon.

Yes, the sexy payoff is at the end. Before that in nearly two minutes hardly anything is given away; we are titillated just enough to wonder what this is all about. The problem I have with the film’s trailer is that it’s all so cold and serious. I suppose the emphasizes Christian Grey’s bland control in the boardroom as opposed to whatever the hell he does in the bedroom with all those chains and whips, but contrast it to I don’t know, something like the trailer for the mildly controversial ‘Secretary’ which had a similar S&M theme.

The dominance and submission content in the ‘Secretary’ trailer is delivered humourlessly. The early signs of ’50 Shades of Grey’ is that they probably could’ve released a sixty second sound clip of orgasmic groaning on a blank (or grey) screen and it would have generated excitement to the hundred million strong baying mob of punters waiting to see Christian Grey brought to life on screen.

This trailer doesn’t exactly get my porridge oats boiling. Thumbs down from me.


Joe (2013)

joe-movie-posterNearly 20 years since he won an Oscar for Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance [subs plz check] Nic Cage is probably more infamous for chain-buying castles and a hairline more unstable than the Middle East than his undoubted acting chops. Bar the brief Recagessance of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans and Kick-Ass, the combination of a crippling tax bill and the world’s least discerning agent have seen Nic mired in the bargain bin of despair in 5USA fare like Stolen, Trespass and Justice.

And after a promising early career in which film festival favourites like All The Real Girls launched a pre-fringe Zooey Deschanel on a career path where she has consistently charmed moviegoers and critics alike (SHUT UP), David Gordon Green’s C.V. has taken a similarly dispiriting turn into tiresome stoner comedies (Pineapple Express, Your Highness) and championing the fathomless comic appeal of Danny McBride. But with Joe, the two wayward talents have combined to create a dark, nuanced, thoughtful mini masterpiece.

Cage stars as the titular Joe. A rugged, brooding, outdoorsman with a drink problem, a plaid problem, a Brillo pad beard and the haunted expression of a man just back from a paintballing weekend that went south – he’s essentially Ray Mears without the sense of whimsy. Joe makes his living in deforestation – filling trees with poison so they can later be cleared. But is it just the trees that are filled with poison or is it also Joe? Throughout his career Nic has never shied away from a sledgehammer metaphor, reasoning that subtlety is like a Levellers fan: it won’t wash. And just to clear up any ambiguity he goes on to add ‘These trees are weak. They’re not good for anything’ before wrestling a snake because he’s not afraid to grab life, or his enemies, by the throat.


He takes under his wing 15 year old drifter Gary – the son of an abusive father with anger issues of his own, he becomes a surrogate son to Joe and the two immediately form a strong if slightly uncomfortable bond. Now a partially reformed ex-con, Joe is basically a decent man constantly battling to suppress the bubbling volcanic rage within, which could erupt at any moment like Mount ACTOR. Whilst trying to mentor Gary down the right path, events, and a local hick, inevitably conspire against him. Though the calm and monotony of everyday rural working life is punctuated with moments of sudden, shocking violence Joe counsels Gary that violence is the problem, not the solution, and that ‘restraint is the only thing that keeps me alive.’

It’s the relationship between these two leads which is the heartbeat of the film – Cage’s natural world-weary, curiously equine sorrowfulness being the perfect counterpoint to Tye Sheridan’s more idealistic dreamer. And Gary Poulter as Gary’s father Wade is terrific – a wretched and deplorable man, he flits effortlessly between extreme weakness and sickening aggression.


This being a Cage joint there are plenty of weird tonal shifts, baffling subplots, and disturbing psychosexual interludes. For instance Joe has a running vendetta against the dog at the local cathouse because, like Poochie in the Simpsons, he’s too proactive and totally in his face (’that dog is an asshole’). So naturally he chooses to set his own dog on it and kill it, whilst he directs a prostitute to fellate him with all the eroticism and sexual intensity of Ed Miliband reading aloud the cooking instructions on a bag of Quorn mince. This is then somewhat incongruously followed by a soft rock soundtracked montage in which Joe and Gary go on a drink-fuelled, laugh riot of a road-trip in search of the escaped Cujo, during which Cage riffs amusingly on his own Method skills by teaching Gary how to look troubled and mysterious in order to attract girls. And of course the bizarre career-long theme of Nic Cage Being Sexually Irresistible To Women continues unabated.

Otherwise though, the film switches seamlessly between illustrating the unrelenting drudgery, simmering ultraviolence and stifling masculine air of life in the Deep South, and isolated lighter moments of camaraderie and kindness.

An uncompromising, unsentimental, slow-burn character study, with a tough, unusually understated central performance and brilliant support, Joe looks set to herald the beginning of The Second Recagessance (until his next straight-to-DVD steamer).

TL;DR: he’s a lumberjack and it’s okay. 8/10.

Nemesis 4: Death Angel (1996)

That tag line is completely meaningless, by the way

That tag line is completely meaningless, by the way

This movie has left me genuinely stumped. I have no idea why it exists, who it was made for, and how it got from the pen of the scriptwriter to the screen in the format it did. It’s a movie that almost entirely takes place in a 100-yard radius…there’s a lot to talk about here.

This is Sue Price’s last ever movie, and she decided to go out with a bang. She’s naked approximately two-thirds of the time she’s on screen, and given her day job as a pro bodybuilder, she’s a different sort of naked to what we fans of trashy cinema have grown accustomed to – which is as much a good thing as excessive female nudity can be, I suppose. Clearly, director Albert Pyun has a type, and he’s not afraid to let the world know with these movies.

We’re now back in 2080. The opening info-dump tells us that the war between androids and humans is over and an uneasy peace is maintained. Soldiers on both sides now work for criminal enterprises, and for Alex (Price) this is no different, as she’s an assassin for a group represented by the face of Andrew Divoff (known for the “Wishmaster” movies and a recurring character on “Lost”).


Wait, what? When we left Alex, she was still in East Africa in 1998 thinking about going back to the future, without any obvious means of doing so – and, more to the point, her DNA was the key to ending the war. But all that is completely ignored, which, if you were the sort of person who cared about stuff like continuity and not treating any fans of your previous movies like morons, would be a pretty stupid thing to do. Do you think the director gave a damn? Did he just have access to a derelict town square somewhere in Eastern Europe for a weekend and decided to knock out the first thing that came into his head? So, Alex is in the future now, the war that occupied the last three films is over, and she’s an assassin, just because.

To say the plot of this film is thin would be an insult to thin things. Alex kills a bunch of people at the beginning (with one of her boobs out, for no reason I could place) but is told by her boss (Divoff) that she’s getting sloppy and old, and should retire. Seemed okay to me! Anyway, she’s given one last job, it turns out that it’s the son of a powerful crime boss, he’s not best thrilled about his son being murdered, and this possible case of mistaken identity means that every bounty hunter in the world is after Alex to collect on the $100,000,000 bounty. In the film, this translates to three guys and a helicopter, but you get the drift.

Over half of this film is Alex talking to her victim or potential assassins, inside cars. She’ll be naked for some of them, but there is so much talking, and it’s not like the conversations are particularly interesting or enlightening either. During the all-too-rare fighting, at one point she’s naked, stood over her incapacitated opponent, and starts lifting weights. I feel like this is straight from the director’s subconscious and perhaps would be better in a straight fetish video than this weird hybrid? If it served a purpose in the film, I could understand, but it’s like she’s going “well, best keep my muscles in shape, there’s no gym on this set so I’ll just sneak it into the actual film”.


So, it turns out there’s been a double-cross, and there’s a mysterious “Angel of Death” following Alex around, and she gets a love interest who isn’t mentioned or introduced until there’s about 10 minutes to go. So I’m going to run down the things that happened in this movie, from most often to least often:
1. Nude Alex
2. Talking
3. Nude Alex talking
4. Standing around either puzzled or lifting weights
5. Standing around either puzzled or lifting weights while naked
6. Fighting
7. Plot

The guy she kills to set this whole chain of events off seems quite nice. He says that Alex is a pure human, so he’s not sexually attracted to her (she’s pretending to be a prostitute). He says he’ll pay and apologises, and asks to go back to the hotel he was at. Now, killing a decent-seeming character like this is a weird choice for a film, but Alex does it anyway, and she just carries on the rest of the film as if we’re supposed to be rooting for her survival. Then, later in the film, she has weird cyber-sex with one of her potential assassins, and then a bit later than that, some weird things come out of her boobs and kill another baddie. So, is she a pure human or not? There was no reason for the film to confuse us this way.

This film is absolutely rotten, and is therefore a fitting end to this series. From the not-bad-but-a-bit-complicated world of part 1 to a part 4 where it is almost physically impossible for any less to have happened, it’s been a strange journey. I think this series, post part 1, should win an award…for the amount of contempt it shows to its audience. Films don’t need to be this bad.

Rating: thumbs down

"Hey, is that my agent? I quit, forever"

“Hey, is that my agent? I quit, forever”

The ISCFC vs. Sci-Fi and Fantasy franchises

We’re not only lovers of bad horror franchises, but we can turn our hands to reviewing sci-fi and fantasy film series too. Expect series that are short on budget and long on aliens, androids, and massive plot holes. And for some reason, are often made up of four films.


Marc Singer and a revolving cast of B-movie superstars make a bunch of fun swords-and-sorcery films. They go to present day LA and stop several evil wizards along the way.

Beastmaster (1982)
Beastmaster 2: Through The Portal Of Time (1991)
Beastmaster 3: The Eye Of Braxus (1996)



Starting with Jean Claude Van Damme and giving a first starring role to a 22 year old Angelina Jolie…are the only two interesting things to say about this franchise. Saved the best for last, though, which is nice.

Cyborg (1989) 
Cyborg 2 (1993)
Cyborg 3: The Recycler (1995)


Deathstalker IIC

A series with basically no continuity, where wisecracking hero Deathstalker, either a fighter or a thief depending on which film you’re asking, mainly saves Princesses from people who’ve stolen castles or kingdoms or whatever. Part 2 is genuinely hilarious and loads of fun to watch, the rest, not so much.

Deathstalker (1983)
Deathstalker 2: Duel of the Titans (1987)
Deathstalker 3: The Warriors From Hell (1988)
Deathstalker 4: Match of Titans (1991)



The first film is a decent sci-fi thriller, then director Albert Pyun decided to ignore all that and make three films around bodybuilder Sue Price, who had never appeared in a film before and never would again. Ignorant of continuity, and of the sort of stuff that makes films enjoyable to watch.

Nemesis (1992)
Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)
Nemesis 3: Time Lapse (1996)
Nemesis 4: Death Angel (1996)
Nemesis 5: The New Model (2017)


Project Shadowchaser

Okay, it's not from this film, but damn do I love this image

The great Frank Zagarino plays four completely different characters over the course of this series. I have no idea whatsoever what the link between them is, or even if there is one, but they’re loads of fun. Part 2 is probably the best of the bunch, but you won’t be disappointed with any of them.

Project Shadowchaser (1992)
Project Shadowchaser 2: Night Siege (1994)
Project Shadowchaser 3: Edge of Darkness (1995)
Project Shadowchaser 4: The Gates Of Time (1996)


Robot Jox

This isn’t really a series, if we’re being honest. “Robot Jox” was a surprise hit for Full Moon Pictures (or whatever they were calling themselves back then) so a bunch of other people-piloting-giant-fighting-robots movies were made – but for some reason, even though they’ve all been listed as official sequels elsewhere in the world, when it came to releasing them in the US and UK, they went with other titles, and there’s no carrying over of people or plotlines (although the last of the four has a “characters by” credit for the guy who wrote the original).

Robot Jox (1989)
Crash and Burn (1990)
Robot Wars (1993)
Robo-Warriors (1996)



A weird franchise, featuring one gem from David Cronenberg about people who have been experimented on to give them psychic powers, then ten years later a film studio realised there was profit to be made from the name. It sort of spun-off into “Scanner Cop” after a while, and those movies sucked, but the first three were fun.

Scanners (1981)
Scanners 2: The New Order (1991)
Scanners 3: The Takeover (1992)
Scanner Cop (1994)
Scanner Cop 2 (1995)




Three films that have nothing in common but a director (who kept the rights to the name but not the story), pretty miserable from beginning to end if we’re being honest.

Xtro (1982)
Xtro 2: The Second Encounter (1990)
Xtro 3: Watch The Skies (1995)