Thursday, February 2, 2012

VHS Memories XVIII: Action International Pictures

In the upcoming months, I will be looking at some of the best covers from different companies.I won't necessarily be seeing every movie (time, money and practicality have to be taken into consideration here), but you can be damn sure I will have an opinion.

My recent examination of Deadly Prey piqued my interest in the company that produced it, Action International Pictures.   Founded by David Winters, David Prior and Peter Yuval in 1986, it primarily churned out low budget action and sci-fi movies with the occasional dip into horror and for the most part, their output was uniformly terrible with some exceptions like Deadly Prey which is hilarious and Space Mutiny which is also hilarious but for none of the right reasons.

Let's begin...

The Prior brothers start us off with this flick they wrote and Ted starred in (David also produced) about a pair of demented ex-cons who menace a bunch of survivalists on a paintball expedition.  Just a guess, but I'm willing to bet that based on the cover, Ted is one of the killers and he spends a good portion of the movie with no shirt on.

This is a pick-up from Italy starring genre fave David Warbeck in a typically insane action/horror movie about DNA cloning, aliens, mental telepathy and Warbeck as a reporter investigating the whole mess.  Haven't seen it but I have read the Fangoria article on it and it sounds pretty decent.

Back to David Prior as Dan (Grizzly Adams) Haggerty stars in this bizarre horror/action movie about a couple of Vietnam vets who are having nightmares about the war so vivid that they are actually sustaining real life injuries as a result.  They end up going in some sort of rescue mission in the dream and while it would seem Prior was trying for something serious, it just comes off as a typically silly A.I.P. flick.  Still, the cover looks cool.

Speaking of silly...Haggerty is back in this gonzo horror movie about a mall Santa (Big Dan) who must stop a group of old Nazis from creating an elf (Yep, only one elf in the movie called Elves!) that will mate with a woman and start the Fourth Reich.  I swear this is the plot, honest.  You know what, let me just direct you to Scott Foy's review, he can describe the movie better than I ever could hope to.  Needless to say, this is something that needs to be on DVD right now.

Next up are two David Carradine flicks, once again proving that some actors have never heard of the word "no" when it comes to scripts.

Future Force stars Carradine as a cop with a robotic glove and an alarming tendency to punch the bad guys in the groin.  The general consensus says this is a fairly lame movie and going on what I have read, I can't find it in me to disagree.  Still, I'd like to see it at some point as anything with David Carradine can't be all bad...more or less.

And here is the sequel which I couldn't find much info on but given that Ted Prior is in it, I'm willing to bet that he spends at least part of the movie shirtless.  Also, given how the first film went, probably more punches to the groin.

 This is an interesting variation on the standard low budget war movie with soldiers going up against vampires.  A neat concept that would work better with a larger budget.

Another bout of silliness (that Scott Foy has also covered much better than I will), this is a hilariously bad action movie that has a title better suited for a horror film, horrible acting and one of the worst fight scenes in film history.

Believe it or not, the scrawny looking sack of meat on the cover is John Wayne's son, Michael who stars in this bog-standard flick that sounds really, really horrible from what I've read.

To wind things up, here's the cover for the MSTd classic Soultaker starring The Maniac Cop (Robert Z'Dar) and Charlie Sheen's uncle (Joe Estevez).  The MST3K episode is great and to be honest, the uncut version of the movie isn't the worst thing in the world.  It's silly, dumb in some parts and probably too ambitious for its own good but I feel one should never knock a person for aiming high.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.