Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up. Plus I was out-of-town for a month and I’m still trying to catch up on movies and that’s what this one will be about.
First up is Wolf Guy. Sonny Chiba stars as a reporter investigating some weird killings. And oh yeah, he’s sort of a werewolf. A person is screaming saying there’s a tiger out to get him. He ends up dying from scratches and Chiba soon discovers there’s a huge conspiracy about what’s causing the deaths of a musical band. There’s corrupt politicians, an organization using supernatural abilities and much more. Once they discover Chiba has powers of a werewolf they want him as well. The film is kind of ridiculous, but also kind of fun because of it. Chiba was the king of 1970s Asian martial art films and he has some decent fight sequences in this. It definitely has cult film written all over it especially the laughable phantom tiger that pops up. I’ve always enjoyed his work so I liked the movie. If you aren’t familiar with Chiba you might not like it. I consider him the Asian Charles Bronson because a lot of the fight sequences are over the top and he doesn’t loo like your standard Asian action star. It’s good for a cult watching though and I’ve told some other film nerds about it.
Next is Brain Damage. It’s a 1988 horror comedy about a guy who wakes up sick and realizes he has a creature attached to him. It gives him the most pleasure he’s ever had and he sees the world in ways he could never imagine. Unfortunately the creature wants him to kill people so it can eat them. Think of it as am even campier The Little Shop of Horrors. By today’s standards it’s pretty laughable, but I think that’s why I kinda like it. The voice of the creature is hilarious and when it first says “Hi” I laughed out loud. It’s another cult flick and the oral sex scene is also really funny. You have to have a soft spot for these types of cult/campy movies and fortunately I do. They are far from good movies, but it’s fun watching the old practical effects and what was “special” effects for the time. The acting isn’t good and the creature is kind of a joke as well, but if you can just watch it for the entertainment factor it’s worth catching especially if you remember it from the 1980s.
Third we have Evil Ed. This is about a film editor who is tasked to recut a series of horror movies for the European market. He usually edits lighter movies, but after a different editor loses control he must recut the Loose Limbs franchise for the Splatter & Gore department. Of course the violent images in the movies drive him to violence and he starts losing his mind. I don’t really know if it explains why he goes off the rails besides the violent imagery. I might have missed that part because I didn’t seem to get it. Even though I didn’t quite get that part, the film is pretty fun. It’s from the mid 1990’s but feels more like an 80s flick. A more recent film (The Editor) is way more fun and gruesome, but I’m sure there are some diehard collectors ready to add this solid box set to their collections.
Fourth is Cops vs Thugs. This is a 1970’s Asian crime drama about corrupt cops, gangs and the Yakuza. I’m a pretty big fan of recent Asian crime dramas so I like seeing the older films that inspired the genre. It’s a pretty solid film and if it didn’t look older, it would fit right in with today’s films. It’s gritty and dark and pretty easy to follow. Sometimes the older films lose me or storylines don’t connect very well, but I liked this one. It’s only about a hundred minutes which helps. Some of these films are way too long and lose my interest, but this is pretty tight all the way up until the end.
Last is another crime drama this time from Italy. It’s called The Climber and I ‘m not sure what the title means. I’m assuming it’s about climbing the gangster ladder, but he really doesn’t. He sets out on his own thing in another part of Italy and runs into the other gangsters because of a double cross. Joe Dallesandro is good as Aldo. He plays a solid wannabe gangster and looks the part. He was in fantastic shape and really looked like a 70s Italian gangster. The film isn’t great by today’s standards, but I’m sure it inspired a lot of films that followed it. It’s also around 100 minutes which helps. If it was two hours or longer it might have lost my interest.