Eliminators (2016)

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This ticks so many ISCFC boxes, it’s not even funny.

 

 

First things first, if you’ve found this site, chances are you’ve seen a dozen films with a roughly similar plot so I’ll recap the main beats, because you might be one of those weirdoes who wants originality from his B-movies. A father is bringing up his daughter on his own, but an accident brings him back into the orbit of a crime boss, and the US Government organisation that the father used to work for. The crime boss sends an assassin after the father, and he’s got to fight that guy as well as rescue his daughter.

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This rather casual dismissal of “Eliminators” is not to criticise it, at all. Simple plots are regularly used because they work, and it’s like writing a romance novel, or making a painting in the style of an old master. It’s not so much the building blocks you use, but how you use them that’s important, and such is definitely the case here. You want your fights, preferably in an unusual location (and there are some doozies), you want your stern humourless “I just want my daughter back” guy with a good past, you want the character archetypes…no love interest in this one, though there’s a woman who you think would be a good fit, but it’s like the movie just ran out of time and decided to not bother.

 

Adkins is Thomas, a guy who seems to just be going through the motions, after losing his wife. He’s a security guard in a largely empty underground car park, and seems to have nothing much in his life apart from that and his daughter. The first five minutes are quite bleak, in a way, showing a day in the life that could be any of a thousand days in the life. But this dull equilibrium is shattered when three balaclava’ed guys break into his house, beat the crap out of him and demand to know where the cocaine is. Now, it turns out that they’ve got the wrong house (it’s X Street, whereas he’s on X Avenue), but he’s seen the main villain’s face so they have to kill him. Not this random homeowner! In a blur of speed, he’s disarmed one guy and killed all three, but due to the police having a bit of a brain-fart, he’s arrested and charged with murder.

Whoops misspelled sign

Whoops misspelled sign

It’s from this monstrously enormous coincidence that our tale is spun. His face gets on the news, and it turns out he’s…sadly, not a former Special Forces guy, which was my first guess, but a federal agent who spent a staggering 5 years undercover in Mr Cooper’s criminal organisation, to the extent of falling in love with and marrying Cooper’s daughter, plus having a kid together (the wife died in a car-bomb meant for him), before being put in super-secret witness protection overseas. Cooper is told about Thomas still being alive and sends Europe’s no.1 assassin (“Bishop”, played by Barrett) to go and sort him out. Thomas calls his old friends in the US, and they dispatch their top guy Ray (Daniel Caltagirone) to go to London and help resolve the situation. The daughter is taken to a secret location by Social Services, Thomas escapes custody, Bishop pursues him through London, and Cooper finally decides to come over and meet his old friends…

 

Like I said, super-familiar, but more like a favourite meal you’re enjoying for the hundredth time than something stodgy and disappointing. And I really need to stop with the analogies for this now! Let’s talk fighting. One of the things I admired most about old Mark Dacascos movie “Drive” was the inventive nature of the fight scenes – one in an small-ish hotel room was a particular highlight. It’s as if the people behind “Eliminators” are trying to one-up Dacascos and co. The Emirates Air Line, a cable-car which crosses the River Thames in London, is the site for one particularly amazing fight, as two toughs try and beat the crap out of Thomas in an incredibly enclosed space, while a nervous businessman looks on (tell you what, if I can find a screenshot, I’ll put it below, as Scared Businessman is one of my favourite extras in movie history). When you’ve got a fighter as skilled as Scott Adkins, it increases your options because you don’t need stunt doubles and can film wherever you like.

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The fights between Adkins and Barrett are incredible because both guys can really go at it. Barrett (real name, Stu Bennett) is a former bare-knuckle boxing star with a face that tells of at least a few good shots landed, but that experience and years of wrestling have turned him into a very accomplished screen fighter. There’s MMA and pro wrestling moves mixed in with the standard punches and kicks and it flows really well. Okay, both guys take superhuman levels of punishment and stay standing, but that’s par for the course with revenge cinema. Adkins is really, really good, and absolutely deserves to be headlining bigger movies than this (but then, the bigger the movie, the more likely they’d have focus groups and testing and would stop doing the things that make his movies so awesome).

 

Which brings us to the acting. Adkins is fine in what must have been a pretty undemanding role, acting-wise; and Barrett is a completely convincing psychopathic assassin (even if some of the lines he’s given are poorly-written, he gives them his all). Caltagirone looks like a young LaPaglia brother, but sadly didn’t work for me – I wasn’t sure if he was wooden because he was about to betray Thomas, or wooden because he couldn’t act. Whether it’s just one or both is a conundrum I’ll leave you to discover by watching. Kudos to the great James Cosmo (Highlander, Braveheart) as Cooper, doing a passable American accent and giving a character he could do in his sleep a decent bit of life.

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Perhaps the most curious thing about “Eliminators” is how clean London looks. The cable-car is clearly very high end, so I can buy that looking nice, but there are no grimy surfaces at all – they really filmed in London too, so I can only imagine a legion of P.A.s whose job was to scrub everywhere before filming started. It’s amazing when a city you’ve seen on screen a million times manages to look new and interesting, and this was closer to “Drive” (the Ryan Gosling one) than “Drive” (the Mark Dacascos one). Kudos to director James Nunn (who was 1st AD on “Cockneys vs. Zombies”, a great movie) and cinematographer Luke Bryant. And everyone else. I’m not a good enough reviewer to know who really did the clever work on this movie, I just know it looks great.

 

But I’ll give you a bit of comedic mockery to close up with, or you’ll think I’ve gone soft. Near the beginning, Thomas’ daughter is taken to a social services office. My ex worked in social services, and I know very well how continually underfunded they are, crowded offices, stressed staff, and so on. This social services office is clearly a high-end investment bank that let them film for the day, as it’s beautiful and glass and all the offices are enormous (in central London! The rent must be astronomical!) and spotlessly clean and all the corridors are empty. And their computer system is amazing, and the computers themselves are brand new! I’ll take someone getting shot and recovering inside an hour, but this?

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I think this is probably the best movie yet produced by WWE Studios (a close run thing with “The Marine”, which had a much higher budget than this), and if you’re at all a fan of action cinema, it’s pretty much essential viewing.

 

Rating: thumbs up

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Christmas Movies: Santa’s Slay (2005)

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We hope you enjoyed our last season of Christmas-movie reviews – “Nixon And Hogan Smoke Christmas”, “Bikini Bloodbath Christmas”, and so on. while the pickings are possibly a little slimmer now (will we ever find a movie as entirely un-Christmassy as “Silent Night, Deadly Night 4” again?) we’ll endeavour to bring you the reviews of your holiday choices for the year, allowing you to make sensible entertainment decisions.

 

The only thing I knew about this before popping it on was that it starred Bill Goldberg. He started off as a professional American Football player, playing for the LA Rams and the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL before being forced to retire due to a serious muscle injury. Then he went into pro wrestling and from 1997 to 2001 and was probably the second-biggest star in the world (behind “Stone Cold” Steve Austin) – he wrestled a little longer after WCW folded in 2001, but moved away from that world and acted, hosted TV shows, and commentated on some MMA. As of this writing (December 2016) he’s a WWE wrestler again, but don’t expect it to last too long. He’s super-charismatic though, seems to have been smart with his money, and was always fun to watch. Thanks to the murky cinematic waters I swim in, I’ve seen a few of his movies (“Ready To Rumble”, “Half Past Dead 2”, and “The Longest Yard”) but how does he do in the “lead” role?

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Right from the off, “Santa’s Slay” wants to let you know they won’t be taking things seriously, at all. We’re introduced to a family slinging passive-aggressive insults at each other over a Christmas day, and it’s a list of weird and wonderful names – as well as former SNL star Chris Kattan, there’s Rebecca Gayheart, the great Fran Drescher and the even greater James Caan. Interrupting dinner by coming down the chimney is Santa! He slaughters this dysfunctional family with great glee, showing off a few of his pro wrestling moves as well as a few that might well have been banned, such as tearing off a limb. Caan manages to fire off some hilarious lines in his few minutes, including dismissing Kattan as “half a fag”, which while I don’t agree with the sentiment, thought was hilarious. I believe the joke is that everyone on screen is Jewish (including Goldberg himself, obviously, who would refuse to wrestle on Yom Kippur).

 

I thought this might’ve been a film-within-a-film, or a “20 years earlier”, but no, they just decided to get things going as soon as possible. Congratulations, movie! Congratulations, writer / director David Steiman! By the way, this is Steiman’s only movie in either capacity, and in fact his only other IMDB credits are as an assistant to Brett Ratner, so I’m sort of interested as to how he got this gig. Anyway.

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The weird references and jokes come thick and fast – for instance, the main guy’s name, a teenager called “Nicholas Yuleson”. Really? He’s wearing a hoodie for “SWNSDU” – South West North Dakota State University? – and their football team, the “Fighting Insurance Salesmen” (Americans have team nicknames like “The Fighting Irish” and so on). Santa just loves murder, and he makes sure to kill everyone in a different way because he must get bored easily, so folks get impaled and thrown and choked with wreaths and blown up and kicked through walls and all sorts.

 

There’s a plot of sorts, but it’s really just a bit of fun to hang the jokes and violence on. Santa is the result of a virgin birth, although via the Devil rather than God. He rampaged, until an angel challenged him to a curling match. If Santa lost, he’d have to be a nice guy and distribute presents for 1000 years – guess how long it’s been since that bet was made? So Nicholas and his Grandpa, who has an ancient Norse book of Santa legends, have to figure out a way to stop Santa from continuing his reign of terror.

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It’s a lot of fun, first and foremost. Goldberg will never win an Oscar, but he goes for the gusto with every line and fits the bill perfectly. As well as the aforementioned cast, there’s also Saul Rubinek as a deli owner, Robert Culp as Grandpa, Dave Thomas as the sleazy local Pastor, and Emilie de Ravin (“Lost”) as Nicholas’ co-worker / love interest. Nicholas himself (Douglas Smith) is…okay, I guess? A bit bland, but perhaps we need one sensible person in the sea of lunacy. It’s nice to see the occasionally blasé attitude to violent slaughter that the town has, and the way Santa goes about his business is always on the right side of camp.

 

I don’t have a ton of negative things to say about “Santa’s Slay”. Some of the special effects perhaps aren’t great (although I like the fact that Santa’s “reindeer” is really a buffalo) and it’s a rare movie that I wish was a little longer, as it’s barely 70 minutes before the credits kick in. For a first-time director (heck, an only-time director) it’s totally competently made, no glaring errors, no weird logic lapses – okay, not sure why Santa agreed to the bet the second time round, but whatever – and a very strong and quite unique sense of humour. If it can cut through the miserable weekend I had and put a smile on my face, then it’s got a lot going for it. It’s, gore and stupid one-liners aside, a pretty wholesome bit of Christmas fun.

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Definitely one for the “nice” list (can’t believe I’ve never made that joke about a Santa-themed movie before).

 

Rating: thumbs up

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Hell Comes To Frogtown (1988)

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It was with heavy heart that I learned of the death of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper last week. One of the all-time great wrestlers, without him providing Hulk Hogan with a memorable foil, allowing Wrestlemania to be the enormous event it was, pro wrestling would look very different today. His autobiography is perhaps the most “wrestling” of all of them (except Hogan’s himself) as it’s a tissue of lies from beginning to end; but one shouldn’t let that detract from the life of one of the nicest guys in the history of the sport.

Like most of his fans, I watched “They Live” almost immediately on hearing of his death. It’s one of the greatest sci-fi / conspiracy thrillers ever and Piper plays the everyman ass-kicker to a T (plus, could you imagine a 2015 movie where an honest, hard-working, homeless guy is the hero?) A couple of days later, a group of my friends congregated to watch another of his movies, the one he made at nearly the same time and that we all, with our faulty 25-year-old memories, remembered as being almost as good. So how does it hold up?

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Never trust your memories, kids (this equally applies to ex-partners when you start to think “they weren’t so bad”). Anyway, what we have here is a reverse “Handmaid’s Tale” where, after two nuclear holocausts in quick succession, mankind has been pretty much wiped out. The vast majority of who’s left is infertile, but as there are way fewer men left, fertile men are very much sought after, and luckily Sam Hell (Piper) has the strongest sperm the Government has ever seen. So, he gets given a metal chastity-belt-style protector for his groinal environs- which also has a bomb in it, in case he decides Government duty isn’t the life for him – and is sent off into the wilderness. He’s accompanied by Government rep Spangle (Sandahl Bergman, probably better known as a dancer) and soldier Centinella (Cec Verrell), and his job is to impregnate the relatively few surviving women, and to rescue a small group of women from the clutches of Frogtown.

Frogtown is a town made up mostly of mutated frog people, so not just a clever name – some of the frog-heads look quite good, most of them look absolutely awful. For no reason, Bull (the main frog baddie) has a harem of human women, and it’s up to Sam Hell and Spangle (Centinella spends most of the movie waiting outside the town for a signal to attack, also for no reason) to rescue them and do their bit to save humanity. It’s a surprisingly campy sort of comedy, as Hell deals with wearing a metal thong, horny women, old male soldiers who remember the good old days, and the post-apocalyptic wasteland. When they get to Frogtown, they uncover arms smuggling, a frog with three penises, the evil and mysterious Count Sodom, and the world’s most rubbish bar. Will they succeed? Will Sam Hell get to sleep with every woman in the movie? And just who is under Count Sodom’s mask?

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One name, as it came onto the screen at the beginning, filled me with dread. That name- writer/director/producer Donald G Jackson. Jackson has one half-decent credit to his name (the pro wrestling documentary “I Like To Hurt People”) but after that seemed to develop an odd obsession with roller-blading. Along with Scott Shaw, Jackson made “Roller Blade”, “The Roller Blade Seven,” Return of the Roller Blade Seven”, and “Legend Of The Roller Blade Seven” (plus a few other movies with “roller” in the title that look suspicious); this is on top of a couple of in-name-only sequels to this movie, with Shaw taking over the Piper role. They began calling themselves “zen filmmakers”, but unless “zen” now means “absolutely rubbish” I can’t see where that claim comes from. “The Roller Blade Seven” is in the running for worst movie of all time, with its endlessly repeated scenes, bog-standard acting and crappy meaningless plot – actually, saying “worst of all time” indicates it’s worth watching in some sort of perverse way. It’s not, so don’t blame me if you pop it on one evening expecting a few laughs. It will suck laughs from the rest of your life.

While “Hell Comes To Frogtown” isn’t quite as bad as any of the “Roller Blade Seven” movies, it’s still pretty bad. Piper is naturally great, of course, even if he’s given a lot of poor quality wacky slapstick-y comedy bits to do; but everyone else is just terrible, and I’m going to lay most of the blame on  the director. He loves shooting those empty desolate desert-scapes, but after a while it all starts to look the same, and you notice it’s just flat shots of stuff you can see if you drive an hour out of Los Angeles, with nothing interesting to add at all.

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By far the worst crime though, in a movie full of them, is sexism. A movie, written produced and directed by a man, about a world now dominated by women – first thing we see is the new Army vehicles are bright pink. Because they’re girls!!! HAHAHAHAHA!! Near the beginning, they capture a desert-dwelling woman, and realising she’s fertile and of age, drug her and get Sam to impregnate her. I guess it’s not rape because she’s super-happy the next morning? Every woman in the movie is awful and useless and is just waiting for the big strong guy to come and rescue them and it really begins to grate after a while. The last line, supposedly there to generate a laugh, is when Spangle (who’s now Sam’s girlfriend, I guess?) tells him his next job is to have sex with all the women they rescued. He looks dejected and says “a soldier’s work is never done”. Now, the saying is “a woman’s work is never done”, so do you think the director knew this and was making a “joke” or had he just heard it once, sort of remembered it and decided to bung it in the end of his garbage movie?

There’s a moderate-to-large plot hole that derails the movie the instant you think about it. Sam Hell is extremely valuable, right? So what’s the best way of utilising his ability – is it:

a. Send him off into the dangerous wilderness to impregnate women, on the off chance he finds them and that they’re at the most fertile time of the month

or

b. Keep him safe and send the women to him, testing them to make sure it’s the optimal time to procreate?

Of course, B is the most sensible choice, yet the movie chooses A (and also pretends that artificial insemination wouldn’t exist in a world where every remaining scientist would be working on fertility technology). Ah, dammit, I’ve given this garbage movie too much thought.

You don’t need to believe in female equality to hate “Hell Comes To Frogtown” though, you just need eyes, ears preferably, and to have seen other movies. It’s just terrible, boring, not funny, not dramatic, slow and stupid. A half-funny title desperately in search of a movie to attach itself to.

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Rating: thumbs down

Osaka Wrestling Restaurant (2004)

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One of many films we’ve reviewed here at the ISCFC that seems almost critic-proof – if you see that title, chances are you’ve made your mind up to watch it long before you’ve bothered finding out if it’s any good or not. But for those of you who take a more careful approach to your Japanese / Hong Kong cooking-based wrestling movies, here goes.

Timmy is a harried kitchen worker in a restaurant in Hong Kong, whose Dad dies and leaves him a ton of money. On one condition – he go to Japan, find his ne’er-do-well brother MIke and bring him back into the family fold. Mike is one of those happy chancers who’s hiding some deep dark pain, finding one of his few genuinely happy moments at the local Osaka Pro Wrestling show. This gives him an idea – a wrestling-themed restaurant, where there’s a ring in the middle of the floor and matches go on while you’re eating.

Mike steals the money from Timmy and opens the restaurant without his permission, right across the road from the evil place where Timmy used to work. So, will they be a success? Will his old boss successfully sabotage him? How about the weird subplot about some disc with some secret stuff on it?

This film stars some of the real stars of beloved (former) Japanese wrestling promotion Osaka Pro. It was home to the weird and wonderful before shutting its doors for good earlier this year, and its “ace” was Super Delfin, a high-flying masked guy. I always liked Ebessan myself, who was based on Ebisu, the Japanese god of good fortune. Anyway, their work is dotted throughout the film, and it’s good fun, and presumably was a good local advert for them all.

But sadly, and I have a very high tolerance for these things, it wasn’t very good. On a boring film-y level, the subplot involving the disc was clearly something left in from an earlier draft of the script that they couldn’t be bothered with, meaning it’s a bit of a waste of time. And the acting is pretty rotten, with the wrestlers absolutely not being the worst offenders.

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On a “hey, let’s have fun and watch a silly film” way, it still manages not to work. The comedy is incredibly broad, sub-farce level stuff, and while I’m aware that a lot of comedy from that neck of the woods bases its laughs on cultural and language differences that we in the West wouldn’t necessarily understand, it didn’t make it any funnier. Even Sammo Hung as a restaurant critic realises it’s hardly worth bothering with, and doesn’t give the film much of a lift with his performance.

And what’s worst, the wrestling’s not even that good! But seriously, I love oddball comedies, love pro wrestling, and am the absolute perfect audience for this film. But it’s like the people making it realised that a good film, with all the extra care and attention that would involve, would make them the exact same amount of money as a hastily thrown-together film like this, so decided trying was a waste of time. For an example of comedy from Hong Kong that works, Stephen Chow has been making hilarious films for decades – “God Of Cookery”, “Shaolin Soccer” and “Kung Fu Hustle” being particular favourites. So it’s not just a cultural thing, is the point I’m trying badly to make. Anyway, even if you’re in the market for a film like this, there are better choices out there.

Rating: thumbs down

Deathstalker 2: Duel of the Titans (1987)

They aren't in the film

They aren’t in the film

This is as close to a classic as the swords-and-sorcery genre has, I reckon. Better than the first film in every way, a great central performance, not quite as much unnecessary nudity as the first (which, considering the director, is a minor miracle), and real genuine laughs, both in the script and in the performances.

Deathstalker is a really weird name for a wisecracking thief-with-a-heart-of-gold (mercifully, the film acknowledges this), but the way they incorporate the name of this sequel into the film is hilarious – the baddie says “I’ll get her and Deathstalker too!” (BOOM, film title appears on screen). He’s doing his thieving thing when he happens upon the young beautiful Reena the Seer beaten up by some goons outside a bar. He doesn’t seem desperate to endear himself to us with his first line – “Normally, I don’t mind seeing a woman get beaten” but he rescues her anyway, and she spins him a tale, of being cloned by the evil wizard / super-swordsman Jarek, how she’s really called Princess Evie, and how there’s riches beyond the dreams of avarice if he can help restore her to her throne.

They pop into the same bar Reena was thrown out of, and this is where eagle-eyed viewers will start having fun. The first two Deathstalkers were made 4 years apart, so viewers at the time wouldn’t have noticed them just using a load of footage from the earlier one in this; and there are some extremely bored-looking nude dancers added to the mix. Now, if you’re a nude dancer in a bar and a massive brawl breaks out, tradition dictates you duck behind some furniture and occasionally bash someone over the head with a bottle – what you don’t do is just carry on dancing, with the same bored expression on your face. Ah well, they can’t all be winners.

"Hey, shall we bother moving those production trucks out of the back of this shot? No? Okay then"

“Hey, should we bother moving those production trucks out of the back of this shot? No? Okay then”

Deathstalker and Reena head towards the castle, with your typical medieval fun along the way, which for some reason includes zombies, some of whom didn’t bother getting dressed in medieval style clothes at all. My favourite bit is when he’s captured by a town full of women, whose menfolk have died fighting Jarek. Do they use him as a sex slave? Nope, they accuse him of crimes against womankind after his reputation preceded him, set up a wrestling ring and have him take on Queen Kong in a fight to the death. THEN the ruler of the town uses him as a sex slave.

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You don’t need me to tell you how the rest of the film goes, but that’s not why you’re here. Seeing Jim Wynorski’s name attached to a fun, well-made, cheap-and-cheerful film with jokes and a great atmosphere around it is odd, and makes me even sadder at the garbage he’s been churning out for the last decade or so. This is the film that “Your Highness” should have been, with a main cast who barely bother pretending they’re in the olden days, laughs that come from something other than insults, a lightning quick pace and a fun series of fights to keep the excitement levels up.

It’s not perfect, by any stretch. John Terlesky as Deathstalker is great; and Monique Gabrielle (making her second ISCFC appearance, after being the nude lady in “Amazon Women On The Moon”) does surprisingly good double duty, which makes her subsequent career in porn even sadder. But most of the rest of the cast is pretty wooden, even if sometimes that woodenness helps the comedy along.

If you love taint-shots, then this is the film for you. Luckily, it’s not just for taint-lovers, and this ought to be much better known than it is. The DVD is worth buying as well, for an absolutely top-drawer commentary, full of jokes and self-mockery.

Rating: thumbs up

DS2-Bananna-Required

5 Dollar Wrestling presents “Suburban Commando” (1991)

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5 Dollar Wrestling is the brainchild of two people – Chicago comedian Marty DeRosa and wrestler / occasional standup Colt Cabana, with help from wrestler / promoter / interviewer Jake Manning. They found a super-low-budget indie wrestling promotion in North Carolina (or created one, their origin story has yet to be told), renamed it 5 Dollar Wrestling and started filming shows with their own commentary on top. They deliberately hire wrestlers who are no good, and have jokingly punished guys who wrestle too well. For $5, it’s a heck of a lot of fun, and they’ve created a star of sorts in Freight Train, a huge, sweet guy who loves making the “CHOO CHOO” noise before putting his opponents away.

They’ve branched out with the 5 Dollar Wrestling brand, as well. When they know they’re going to get a lot of wrestling fans and friends in the same area (usually, the same weekend as WWE runs one of its major arena pay-per-view shows) they’ll do live shows, where Cabana and DeRosa will show footage of old, terrible wrestling from round the world and provide a live commentary on it. It’s loose and fun, although you probably have to have been a fan of wrestling at some point to appreciate it.

Their latest venture is movie commentaries. For $1.99, you can download them doing commentary for a number of films, and can either play them while you’re watching the DVD or sync the mp3 up with the Youtube video and watch them that way. They’re all wrestling related, but occasionally the link is pretty minimal, and I think you, dear reader, would enjoy them no matter your opinion on the activities of the squared circle.

Hulk Hogan was, bafflingly, in the first flush of movie fame when this came out. His great work in “Santa With Muscles”, “Thunder In Paradise” and the “Assault on Devil’s Island” franchise was ahead of him, and this was only his second starring role. And what a role it is! He’s a space hero who, while having an argument with his boss over the ol’ space-intercom, punches his controls in frustration and manages to break his ship, sending it on a collision course with a small, insignificant blue-green planet. Actually, that sounds stupid. That can’t have been the sole reason, surely? It must have been a shot from one of his enemy’s ships. Whatever, he crashes on Earth.

Suburbia! Hogan can’t stop himself from righting wrongs, so we see him help Grannies, punish minor criminals and help cats out of trees, all while the most delightful pop-reggae soundtrack and bright colours entrance us all. He rents a house with Shelley Duvall and Christopher Lloyd, and helps the family to overcome the minor obstacles in their life while a couple of space bounty hunters (one of whom is the Undertaker, one of the other most famous pro wrestlers of the last 25 years) attempt to track him down.

There’s really not a lot more to it. Without this commentary, there’s no way any reasonably sane human being would bother to watch this film in 2013, unless you were the world’s biggest Hulk Hogan fan, or you were being held at gunpoint, and even then, it’d be a toss up. Cabana and DeRosa are funny, while being completely unprepared (DeRosa admits to not having seen the film in 15 years). It’s a combination of bad Hogan impressions, incredulity at the stupid film unfolding before them, pretending every minor character in the film is a forgotten wrestler from the sport’s golden years, and some surprisingly quick wit from both men. In other words, worth every penny of $1.99. If you know a pro wrestler and a standup, invite them round for this film and you might recreate the experience, but for everyone else I highly recommend http://www.coltmerch.com – they’ve now done several other wrestling-related film commentaries.

While researching this film, I also discovered a new comedy treat – IMDB keywords. Check em out – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103003/keywords?ref_=tt_stry_kw . Can you imagine ever thinking “well, I’m going to watch every film involving surrealism…wait, what’s this? Suburban Commando? Well, I was expecting Bunuel, but if the IMDB tells me so, it can’t be wrong”. I think this is going to be a regular treat in reviews from now on.

Buy Suburban Commando [DVD] [1991] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]