Saturday, May 24, 2014

1994: Guilty Pleasures

Oh, there's some good crap here.

We begin with this amusingly bad action movie about a crook and a DEA agent who really can't stand each other but need each other in order to find a ton of money hidden by the criminal's dead brother.  Good cast (for both the right and wrong reasons) and some fun action highlight this cheesy flick.

A marked improvement over the first one, Leprechaun 2 sees Warwick Davis returning as the title fiend, now in search of a bride he was promised 1,000 years previous.  Tons of cheesy puns, some nice kills and a spirited performance from Davis make this an enjoyable way to kill 85 minutes.  Granted, as I noted in my 1993 stuff, I am a sucker for mid-90's horror franchises.

The pacing is off, the second half is cheesy and Mike Nichols doesn't really do horror well but I still find myself entertained by this one.  Jack Nicholson plays an employee of a publishing firm who is bitten by a wolf and finds himself gradually turning into one himself.  This take on the werewolf mythos is pretty neat in that it's seen as more of a positive thing to a certain degree.  Nicholson is great as usual and Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful as ever... Which should tell you exactly how much she has to work with in her role.  James Spader is also fun as the bad guy, a smarmy little weasel who eventually goes wolf as well.  It's not great cinema but it's worth seeing for Jack alone.

Man is the deadliest prey again in the second version of The Most Dangerous Game in as many years.  While Hard Target had Jean-Claude van Damme fending off Lance Henriksen and a bunch of goons in New Orleans, Surviving the Game has Ice-T in a forest running from Rutger Hauer and a bunch of characters actors including Gary Busey and F. Murray Abraham in full on "scream madly whenever I damn well feel its called for" mode.  Hauer is good, there are some fun action beats and Ice-T is a perfectly serviceable action hero.

Sylvester Stallone is a former bomb expert who now does freelance jobs on the side after being betrayed by Army buddy James Woods.  He hooks up with vengeance-seeking Sharon Stone to take on two Cuban gangsters played by Rod Steiger and Eric Roberts... Two of the whitest actors you are likely to find.  The acting is hilariously over the top, especially Roberts and Steiger; Stallone and Stone have some chemistry but not enough, the action is solid and James Woods single-handedly makes the movie worth seeing just by casually giving his usual performance.  It's cheesy as hell and quite enjoyable if you're in the right frame of mind.  If you're not, it's sort of a slog but really, that;s what 2 AM viewings when you;re tying to get to sleep are for.

Steven Seagal's lone directorial effort is quite a thing to behold.  Endlessly proud of how good it thinks it is; hopelessly pompous and sporting one of the most unlikable heroes since the 70's, On Deadly Ground is a miracle of ego on Seagal's part.  Seagal is Forrest Taft (always struck me as funny that two movies released in the same year had a lead character with that first name), a man who finds he actually does have a conscience when he turns on boss Michael Caine who took a break from acting after this one.  Can't say I blame him.  The unintentional humor in this film is just off the charts, especially the climax which has our eco-friendly hero blowing up an oil rig on the ocean.  It's a real hoot.

Coming Soon: The Worst of 1994

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About Me

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