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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.