Who are the Battle Beasts? Let’s get to know each and every one personally!
Series 3, Part I!
Categories: Battle Beasts Tags:
aka Cui hua kuang mo
Cynthia Rothrock as Kristi Jones
Don Niam as Stingray
John Miller as Nick DiMarco
Donna Jason as Jennifer Simmons
Sunny David as Karen
Emille Davazac as Anna
Hang Yip Yim as Hank
Linn Thai as Eagle Lee
Shelton Lee as Diablo
Scott Shelton as Bear
Directed by Godfrey Ho (as Godfrey Hall)
You burden me with your questions
You’d have me tell no lies
You’re always asking what it’s all about
Now listen to my replies
You say to me I don’t talk enough
But when I do I’m a fool
Baby, you’re so Undefeatable! The horror of Godfrey Ho is once again unleashed upon an unsuspecting world! Mr. Ho proves that not only can you not keep a good director down, you can’t keep the bad ones down, either! Godfrey Ho’s messes of movies involve filming lots of nonsensical scenes, splicing them into half a dozen uncompleted or cheap Asian films, and dubbing them in a futile attempt to make the stories integrated. Godfrey Ho made the occasional larger budget film, where he only filmed one film at a time and was unable to use stock movies. Undefeatable is one of those movies, but even though it was made for a larger company, he still made two films with most of the same case, though the Honor and Glory wasn’t intended to be interspliced (as far as I know.) This was near the end of the career of Godfrey Ho, as he since moved on to teaching a whole generation of Hong Kong film students how to make terrible films. And people wonder why Hong Kong cinema is in a decline… Godfrey Ho’s previous films include such winners as Ninja Commandments, Zombie vs. Ninja, Ninja Terminator, Ninja Operation: Licensed to Terminate, Catman in Lethal Track, and Thunder Ninja Kids: The Hunt for the Devil Boxer. With such a wonderful pedigree, this film can be nothing but gold!
Starring in Undefeatable is the unbeatable Cynthia Rothrock, in the role that didn’t make her famous. In fact, she was pretty much already famous, so this is the role that made her less famous! Most of the other cast went on to obscurity, though a high percentage also have roles in Honor and Glory. It looks suspiciously like Mr. Ho was up to his old tricks again, but got taken down in the final release stage. The villain of the piece is Stingray, played by Don Niam, in one of his few roles. He hams this one up perfectly, with crazy rape-eyes bugged out all the time, and a genuine creepy tone that can set the most relaxed person on Earth into unnerved fits. He goes over the top and it’s fairly entertaining. Luckily for us, as much of the rest of the picture isn’t. There is a procession of fights as Rothrock earns money for her sister’s schooling and later is trying to avenge her death, some of which are okay, and a few have gimmicky opponents. The main problem is everything between the fights and Stingray’s craziness. It’s whale barf of the slimiest order. Heck, there are people who would gladly eat that whale vomit instead of watch parts of this film. And I don’t blame them.
The final fight has made the rounds on the internet, giving this film a sort of cult buzz it never had before. It does serve as one of Rothrock’s crazier films, which is different from her trend of being in bad, boring movies with few action sequences, which seemed to plague the last ten years of her career. Thankfully, the choreography is in good use, even if it’s not the high-quality stuff we are looking forward too. The whole film is a mess, but like all messes, there is some good things hidden beneath the piles of crap. Let’s get to digging, as these piles are Mt. Everest size. Maybe even Mt. Vesuvius, as it’s gonna blow!
Valley of the Wolves: Iraq
aka Kurtlar vadisi – Irak
Necati Sasmaz as Polat Alemdar
Billy Zane as Sam William Marshall
Ghassan Massoud as Sheikh Abdurrahman Halis Karuki
Gürkan Uygun as Memati Bas
Bergüzar Korel as Leyla
Kenan Çoban as Abdülhey Çoban
Erhan Ufak as Erhan Ufak
Diego Serrano as Dante, Sam’s assistant (aka Fauxhawk)
Gary Busey as Doctor
Directed by Serdar Akar
Now THIS is a controversial film!! It’s very existence lead to a flurry of fury on the blogosphere, which quickly sped to the TV pundits looking for things to scream about. The movie became super-hyped for three reasons: The US is portrayed as villains, a Jewish doctor steals organs, and actual American actors are involved. This quickly gained the film notoriety in the US, however it was already generating a huge buzz in Turkey. Besides being the most expensive Turkish movie ever made (though that’s kind of like being the tallest midget), it was a follow-up to one of the most popular TV programs in Turkey, Valley of the Wolves (Kurtlar vadisi), a Turkish drama about undercover cops in the mafia (which had notable American Guest Stars Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia.) It was confusing in the US press at the time what the connection actually was, but it turns out several of the main characters then make their way to Iraq to deal with insolent Americans. Make no mistake, the “Americans” in this film are a big pack of bad. Think of it as Muslim’s revenge for film after film with Muslim villains, such as True Lies and Midnight Express (which had a whole prison of Turkish horrors.)
American actors Billy Zane and Gary Busey are in this film. Zane stars as the villain Sam William Marshall, who dresses like he was on the way to be a villain in an Indiana Jones film who thinks he’s a Bond villain. As the main evil character, he helps organize the Americans’ in their shenanigans in Iraq, from putting Turkish troops in hoods to pumping hot lead into wedding parties. Gary Busey plays the most over the top character (well, of those too, there’s another American who’s even crazier!), a Jewish doctor who spends the movie removing organs from healthy innocent Iraqis picked up in raiding parties, for quick delivery to New York, Israel, and other places where Jewish people are. Busey’s concern for his victims exists only because he wants them alive when he chops them open. Several scenes happen where he’s yelling at people about the mistreatment of the captives, but it turns out only so he can have better victims. One may wonder why these two Americans are playing such ridiculous roles. Well, Billy Zane is hot of BloodRayne, while Busey actually moved up from work such as Gingerdead Man. Regardless, these controversial roles could backfire on them, but neither actor is such a box office draw that their name will decline sales. Most of their films are either direct to video, or should be. Turkish actor Necati Sasmaz is Polat Alemdar, the hero of Valley of the Wolves TV show. Originally, he was planning to move to the US< but his flight on September 11th ended up being canceled for obvious reasons, so he stayed in Turkey and then became a huge star. Ghassan Massoud plays the Sheikh Abdurrahman Halis Karuki, and is probably best know for playing Saladin in Kingdom of Heaven.
The film itself presents several ideas, and is more complicated than simply a hit piece against America. In fact, the film seems to take a decidedly anti-violence tone. Several scenes attack radical Muslims just as other attack American occupiers. In the recap, we shall address such themes when they pop up, as well as trying to give an overall picture of what is going on. The film is very long, around two hours, and is full of incidents both based on reality and far from the realm of fiction. Well, we won’t get anywhere rattling on about the film, let’s experience it…
Who are the Battle Beasts? Let’s get to know each and every one personally!
Series 2, Part II!
Categories: Battle Beasts Tags:
Brazilian Star Wars
aka Os Trapalhões na Guerra dos Planetas aka The Tramps in the War of the Planets
Renato Aragão as Didi (Hat Guy)
Dedé Santana as Dedé (Dirty Guy)
Zacarias as Zacarias (Black Guy)
Mussum as Mussum (Moe Guy)
Carlos Kurt as Zucco (Vader)
Pedro Aguinaga as Prince Flick (Luke)
Emil Rached as Bonzo (Chewie)
It’s Brazilian Star Wars! Yes, just like Turkish Star Wars, only much much worse. In fact, as Turkish Star Wars becomes a fun film after a spell, Brazilian Star Wars just becomes more and more painful. Noticeably, Brazil does not have a Cunyet Arkin. They don’t have a Harrison Ford, or even a Jabba the Hutt puppeteer. Not even the Wookiee Soft-core Porn and Bea Arthur of The Star Wars Holiday Special. They do have four annoying losers known as Os Trapalhões (aka The Tramps.) The problem with Os Trapalhões is Os Trapalhões. Os Trapalhões just plain sucks. The Tramps are like the Three Stooges, if the Three Stooges never made a funny film, did worse slapstick than a Fatty Arbuckle trial, and used “funny” video editing techniques to speed up or slow down their performance. The Tramps entertained a generation of young people in Brazil, and if you want to know how they turned out, just watch City of God. TarsTarkas.NET takes a brave stand by entering into this world of hopelessness, because we feel it’s our duty to guide you to the promised land on the other side. Our one true hope is this site doesn’t denigrate into a gang-ridden slum.
This film follows in the tradition of Turkish Wizard of Oz and Turkish Star Trek by inserting characters into a popular story. In this case, four characters are dropped into the middle of a “Star Wars”. The Tramps did several films like this, including versions of The Planet of the Apes and The Wizard of Oz. Sadly, we are dragged along for the ride. Os Trapalhões are four members: The one that has Moe’s haircut (Moe Guy), the one that’s a black guy (Black Guy), the one that’s dirty-looking (Dirty Guy), and the one that’s wearing a biker hat (Hat Guy, the main character). Hat Guy is the leader in this film. What are their real names? I could look that information up, but these guys are terrible and after finishing this recap I will be huffing several gallons of gasoline in order to damage my brain enough to forget this experience. I no longer trust repressed memories after Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life. Okay, I lied, I looked up some of it. Hat Guy is really Didi, played by Renato Aragão, who’s second wife grew up watching him on TV. Dirty Guy is played by Dedé Santana (and is known as Dedé.) Black Guy is played by the actor Mussum. Moe Guy is Zacarias. The one good thing about this film is it’s lack of dialogue, which keeps you from having to try to decipher a complicated plot. The version I watched was subtitle-free, but the story is easy to figure out, even though most of the rest of the film is confusing beyond all means of describing. Brazil compensated by adding a revolting disco soundtrack, so the same few beats will repeat over and over again, increasing the torture. We won’t get anywhere by complaining, so let’s get cracking and enter the world of Os Trapalhões na Guerra dos Planetas. Break out your lightsabers, it’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy ahead…