Catching up on posting updates…

Legend of the Tsunami Warrior

I don’t think looking for any historical background to the movie is necessary, because it’s quickly obvious that this movie has less to do with Thai history and folklore and a lot more to do with the fact that someone wanted to make a Thai version of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In look, scope, and setting it is very similar to the Pirates franchise — lead actor Ananva Everingham even gives off a sort of Orlando Bloom vibe, with all the good and bad that entails.

Rambu: The Intruder

Rambu is a gold mine of low budget action entertainment, and what it lacks in polish it certainly makes up for with enthusiasm. Indonesian trash cinema seems occupied first and foremost with giving audiences their money’s worth, and Rambu never once lets you down. From the opening showdown to the frequent fights, then on to the scene where Rambu faces down a gang of thugs by whistling to summon an army of tuk-tuk driving bad-asses who we had no idea existed at his disposal until that very minute (and who never appear again), Rambu‘s only concern is making sure there’s something entertaining on screen.

The Stabilizer

Compared to the appellations given to the protagonists of other 1980s action films — the Exterminator, the Punisher, the Executioner — the Stabilizer sounds pretty benign. You’d almost think that he was given that name only because all of those others had already been taken. But then you learn that what the Stabilizer is in charge of stabilizing is the very balance between good and evil itself. And that, it turns out, is a job that involves an awful lot of exterminating, punishing, and executing.

The Vampire Lovers

As latter-day Hammer films go, The Vampire Lovers is an entertaining, sexy romp. It relies less on the hammy scare tactics of the later Dracula series and more on the audience’s assumptions. To us it’s obvious that Carmilla is a vampire, but it isn’t explicitly stated with shots of Pitt in fangs until late on in the film. Instead the movie shows the good guys trying to figure things out while Carmilla manages to keep one step ahead each time. The movie’s biggest asset is Pitt, who looks an absolute knockout, her husky Polish accent adding a welcome dash of the exotic. There are a few amusing nods to her vampiric nature, such as a preference for red wine, and refusing breakfast because she isn’t hungry having spent the night feasting on Emma’s blood.


Anyone who knows the tropes of the sword and sorcery genre will be on familiar ground with this movie, but the fact that Wolfhound lacks originality doesn’t mean it lacks for entertainment value. It’s fantasy formula well done, with some decent performances, gorgeous location work, and a lack of the smirking irony that befouls most of the fantasy fare on SyFy. The official story is that it’s based on a novel from 1995 by Mariya Semyonova, but I think it’s pretty obvious where the true influences lie. While this film obviously got made as a Russian answer to Lord of the Rings, it has a lot more in common with Conan the Barbarian, including an opening scene and motivation for the main character that is basically plucked wholesale from the John Milius barbarian classic.

Intrusion: Cambodia

Here’s how to test whether or not you are a true resident of Teleport City: if I tell you there’s a movie starring Richard Harrison, Anthony Alonzo, and Tetchie Agbayani, do you look at me quizzically and shrug, or do you start to shake with giddy anticipation? If it’s the former, then let us soothe the wound by agreeing that you have much yet to learn, and the path before you is rich with astounding discoveries. If it’s the latter, then we are all together as one, like a rag-tag band of misfits soldiers fighting our way across ‘Nam on some mission whose objective is entirely unclear but never the less must be undertaken.

And if you are interested in asides, feel free to pick through Teleport City’s Eating and Drinking Adventure in San Diego