Incognito Cinema Warriors XP – Episode 1 – Bride of the Gorilla
Directed by Brandon Scott, Ryan P. Davis, and Rikk Wolf
Created by Rikk Wolf, Rob Atwell, and Kyle Chestnut
A dual review! Yes, TarsTarkas.NET attempts to get creative and review both a fantastic fan-series episode of Incognito cinema Warriors XP and the movie they riff on, Bride of the Gorilla! Will we succeed? Or will we just alienate our audience because there are no boobs in this movie? And what role will former President Taft serve? Find out all of this in the Dual Review, starting……NOW!
Incognito Cinema Warriors XP is a fan series produced in Kansas City, Missouri, that launched in 2008. For the two of you who read bad movie websites and have no idea, there was a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000 that riffed on bad movies, thus Incognito Cinema Warriors XP tries to follow in the footsteps of the greatest show that was ever made. No, not Salute Your Shorts! MST3K! Why else would I bring it up? Geez… So we have the same formula (one dude, two bots, evil scientist, awful movies, zombies) Okay, the zombies are different, because the plot is slightly altered. ICWXP has produced several episodes (three have been released as of this writing, with a few shorts and two more episodes in various stages of productions.) The production values are top notch, the kinds of things you want to see from a fan film. Their official site has downloads and wallpapers and images and stuff. There is also a secret section that will mail you 50 pounds of gold if you find it! Except that secret section probably doesn’t exist.
So the basic run-down of the show’s plot is: In an undisclosed Midwestern city (Kansas City), CORPS (Command of Re-Animate Processing and Suppression) fights zombies, but they all die except Commander Rikk Wolf, who ducks into the Cine-A-Sorrow Theater to hide out. There, he encounters two wise-cracking worker droids – Topsy-Bot 5000 and Johnny Cylon – and the trio is soon being threatened by the theater’s mad scientist owner Dr. Harrison Blackwood, who traps them in Theater 6 and forces them to watch his crappy movies. Because otherwise, Dr. Blackwood will open the doors and in come the zombies! So the riffing begins as the movies roll, mixed in with the required host segments. ICWXP promises that there will be a larger post-apocalyptic plot as the series continues, but as this is a fan series it can go in any direction. Looking ahead, they already have cast changes like most fan productions.
But first the Roll Call!
Sukeban Fighter Misaki
Directed by Masayoshi Shiki
So this entry will require a bit of background, because Japan is weird. As you are probably aware of as you are an avid reader of TarsTarkas.NET and similar site that regularly go over the massive volume of cinema to be released from Japan. The vast majority of these films are low-budget direct to video affairs produced for a very limited audience. Thus, the videos usually cost close to $50 when first dropped, though they’ll soon end up as bargain basement packages as the parade of young actresses featured in the films rotates onwards. Many of the films are targeted at those who love low-budget action/crime/blood/gore films, and some of the select audiences are those who subscribe to specific fetishes. These range from harmless affairs like costumed chicks or fighting chicks, to more screwed up stuff that requires liberal use of the censor mosaic. As we like to pretend that we have a PG-13 rating here on TarsTarkas.NET, Sukeban Fighter Misaki falls strictly into the Fighting Schoolgirl genre. These affairs are basically involving tough schoolgirl fighters, secret agency people, evil masterminds, at least one evil schoolgirl, and a bunch of dudes in masks who will harass and capture the schoolgirl fighters.
Sukeban Fighter Misaki looks like it is one of a set of four films that were all made at the same time. Without having seen the other three, I am not sure what order they are intended to be watched in. The other three films are Sukeban Fighter Ayaka, Sukeban Fighter 2nd Intrigue, and Sukeban Fighter 2nd Struggle. I think it is produced by Zen Pictures, which is a production company that specializes in costume fighting women films. Their company website has literally hundreds of Power Rangers-ish films. They also have a sister company that does lots of horror stuff called Babel (the films are oddly called “New challenge movies”) You can also get a job doing voiceover work in the films for English dubs.
It’s time for some Bollywood Peplum with Dara Singh! Wait, you ask, Bollywood made Peplum and who is Dara Singh? Where the crap have you been, reader? Bollywood pumped out a few Peplum films because Bollywood does that stuff. And Dara Singh is only the greatest Indian wrestler who ever lived. He did tons of awesome films where he wrestles dudes. And he fights dinosaurs! What more do you want?
So Samson is a Bollywood feature disguised to look very much the part of a 1960s Italian Peplum movie. If they didn’t break into song every twenty minutes or so you might be fooled into thinking this was just another crazy Peplum film. It has all the same tropes as the genre it is copying, including funky awesome costumes, giant army battles, evil kings, genies, magic midgets, and fake-looking monsters. It’s available on unsubtitled vcd, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinkin’ subtitles! What we also don’t need are stupid watermarks on the vcd, but practically every Indian vcd has them (and also Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Pakistani, and several other countries vcds as well.)
Oh, there will be spoilers. So don’t read if you don’t like them.
Defendor - “Fight Back!”
When I first heard of Defendor, it was word of mouth describing Woody Harrelson running around as a super-hero with a duck taped “D” on his shirt. But the film is much more than just some guy as a low-rent superhero. It is a twist on the superhero mythos as well as a semi-realistic take on what a real life “superhero” would be. A guy who isn’t all there upstairs but has his heart in the right place. Most comic inspired films don’t have the same sweet sadness feel of Defendor.
Oh, let’s get this out of the way…