The Future World (Review)

The Future World

aka دنیای آینده aka Donyaye Ayandeh
The Future World
Directed by Ahmadreza Jaghtaei

The Future World

Why does the blue color in the toilet water stain my hands???

Iran’s film industry has a great reputation of producing killer good artistic flicks that light up international film festivals. Filmmakers work around the censorship of an oppressive regime to create amazing stories with greater allusions that slip past the censorship rules. The Future World (Donyaye Ayandehدنیای آینده) isn’t one of those films, this is a mainstream release that steals large portions of its look from Star Wars while giving it a kid-centric focus point. The resulting mishmash of cultures creates a bizarrely familiar film that is filled to the rim with cut rate shadows of the Star Wars originals. Basically, it’s ridiculous, but the slower pace puts it behind other bootleg Star Wars adventures like Turkey’s Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam. Still, there is just enough here that if you enjoy campy scifi stuff in a language you don’t understand with no subtitles (because at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!), The Future World just might be worth checking out. Everyone else can just enjoy the pictures and animated gifs, secure that they’re keeping two hours of their lives for more important things. Like looking for more animated gifs.

My mom says I’m the real Sith Lord!

As The Future World is rare and full of weird stuff, it gets the longform descriptive review treatment! As mentioned, it is without subtitles, and there is very little information about it in English. I only have the names of three of the actors and the director, everything else is a giant mystery that will probably be solved years from now when more information appears online. Until that day, we’ll do what we can.

The CGI used in The Future World would look great in 1982’s Tron, but The Future World dates from 2001, so it doesn’t look that great even in context. Sure, there was all those trade restrictions for decades, but no one is going to think about that when snarking on the CGI quality. All in all, The Future World is a perfect film for TarsTarkas.NET, as it’s something you’ve never seen before mixed with something you have. And it’s ridiculous!

The Future World

Y-Wing? Y not wing?

Original Kid (Hossein Yar Yar??) – The main character who spends much of the film being worried or complaining, even though is Dad is basically solving every problem rather quickly. Not to be confused with Knocking Kid or Third Kid. Pretty sure he’s played by Hossein Yar Yar, who seems to have no other credits in English so really, it is a mystery.
Dad – Original Kid’s dad, who has his own spaceship and wears a Han Solo vest. Very good at defeating Wampas and robots with toasters for heads.
Weird Uncle (Ghodratollah Izadi) – He probably isn’t the kid’s uncle but is just a random servant for the rich family the Original Kid belongs too, but he acts so much like a weird uncle that he is now Weird Uncle. Deal with it! He’s played by veteran actor Ghodratollah Izadi.
Black Beret (Mahshid Afsharzadeh) – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Not a big fan of Darth Toaster. Totally not Original Kid’s Mom. Totally. Mahshid Afsharzadeh is not only an award winning actress (obviously slumming here) but also a director of 2003’s The Second Start and 2014’s A 5-Star.
Blue Beret – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Wears a totally different color than Black Beret because color is in this season. Seems like the one to go along with Darth Toaster because she likes it, not out of fear.
Red Cap – Male member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Seems like the one who would collaborate with Darth Toaster the easiest, despite not liking him. Which makes him weak willed and a bad leader.
Darth Toaster – The ultimate villain, a robot who has taken command of the X2 and kills all that are in his way.
Royal Toaster Guards – Darth Toaster’s two loyal guards who are always with him. They do nothing during the one scene where Darth Toaster is actually attacked.
Wampa – A mysterious lady turns into this Wampa and attacks the heroes, because why not have a random were-person on your spaceship?

The Future World


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 9, 2016 at 9:24 am

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Erotic Karma (Review)

Erotic Karma

Erotic Karma
Written by Tina Hawthorne
Directed by Austin Brooks

Erotic Karma
Your Erotic Karma ran over my erotic dogma! Just kidding! No dog gets ran over, just some jerky human being! But he then goes on a body possessing spree, so maybe he deserved it. Erotic Karma is a title that seems to have little to do with the actual plot, except maybe the vague notion of New Age philosophies that the whole soul transferring plot device may be borrowed from. But it is also similar to just random ghost stories, so who really knows? In any event, the supernatural aspect caught me a bit off guard, because Mainline Releasing is generally more grounded in reality with their plots. It was an interesting change of pace for them, but doesn’t seem to be a genre they return to with any frequency.

Erotic Karma is written by Tina Hawthorne, the possibly real person who has written a bunch of Mainline films including Obsession, Hidden Treasures, Sex Tapes, Dark Secrets, Birthday Sex, Sexy Assassins, and Naughty Reunion. Her scripts usually don’t follow the standard softcore movie plots, and even have characters discuss things like their feelings, stuff that you just don’t find in softcore movies, and there is some of that going on here as well. The story here could easily be a horror movie topic, and is basically the plot to Fallen except instead of a demon skipping bodies, it is some horny jerk. Horny jerks are the worst jerks, especially when their name rhymes with the work “jerk”, so expect a lot of jerking.

The body changing does allow several characters to flex their acting muscles, including one side character of the type that usually shows up for a one-and-done sex scene. That was probably my favorite part of the film, the various characters suddenly acting like Southern jerk.
Erotic Karma
One thing not really addressed is the same problem I have with these films whenever people are possessed by ghosts or aliens and then begin having lots of sex, which is the fact all the sex scenes become rape scenes. Not to be a killjoy, but those scenes are a killjoy to my entertainment, so maybe I do mean to be a killjoy. Maybe I do. Three people are possessed in the course of the film, their bodies used by the notorious Professor Dirk Jordan to satisfy his supernatural urges. And also to order people to get him a beer. So few films have the evil villain include people bringing him beer as part of their master plan that it was hilarious.

Alex (Kiara Diane) – A TA for Sean at the university. She is dating Mitch and is often sexually harassed by Dirk. Unaware that Sean has feelings for her or that Mitch is cheating on her.
Sean (Rocco Reed) – Either a graduate student or a lower-ranking professor at the university that teaches some Anthropology classes. Spends most of the film reading instead of teaching. Is love lorned for Alex.
Camille Landing (India Summer) – Another graduate student at the anthropology department, she’s the student who everyone seems to want. Is opposed to people murdering people in her driveway, but not enough to actually tell the police who the murderer is.
Professor Dirk Jordan (Paul Case) – The jerk professor who must have tenure or something, and is high enough ranking in the department he can order other people to teach courses. Did his thesis on zombie culture in the Caribbean, where he also did a lot of work about souls, because the zombies were mostly people who were just possessed by local shamans. Is obsessed with Camille despite her dumping him long ago, and later becomes a free-roaming spirit possessing bodies.
Mitch (Kevin Patrick) – Dating Alex but banging Camille on the side. He refuses to break up with Alex because he thinks he’s so awesome she won’t know what to do if she’s dumped.
Lisa (Tiffany Tyler) – A masseuse who becomes the possessed Mitch’s new fling, is later possessed herself by Dirk.

Erotic Karma
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

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The Wrong Car (Review)

The Wrong Car

aka Black Car
The Wrong Car Lifetime
Written and directed by John Stimpson
The Wrong Car Lifetime
Lifetime has a long history of films explaining in graphic detail how the internet will kill you, and The Wrong Car delivers with Uber being the latest target. Not that Uber doesn’t deserve a bit of criticism, ignoring their treating their drivers like garbage, Uber has had a multitude of safety issues in the US and other countries (such as India) involving rapes and sexual assault, and The Wrong Car rips from the headlines these stories. Instead of Uber, the app is called NetCar, and our heroine is assaulted before she joins the ranks of the NetCar drivers in order to track down her attacker. It’s also a Bring It On: All or Nothing mini-reunion with Danielle Savre and Francia Raisa (sorry no Hayden Panettiere or Solange Knowles, but who needs them?) as the main characters, and Savre’s intense performance as Trudy O’Donnell carries the movie.
The Wrong Car Lifetime
Trudy is too busy studying law to do anything except study, especially since she’s trying to avoid moping over her ex. You know, I can’t tell you how many of these movies involve characters in law school who are too busy studying to have a relationship, and then immediately hit a nightmare scenario scary enough to keep you from dating forever. Trudy’s roomie Gretchen Healy (Francia Raisa) declares they are going to go out and basically drags her along.

Trudy also drops a bunch of philosophical stuff about the penal system and justice showing she is an optimist while society is more about revenge, which will of course change when she gets rapecarred and threads the needle between bringing the perpetrators to justice or maybe going Death Wish on the villains.
The Wrong Car Lifetime
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm

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Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Review)

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai

aka Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
Written by Christopher Kirkley and Jerome Fino
Directed by Christopher Kirkley

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
An African version of Purple Rain? Of course I’ve got to watch it! It helps that Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It) turns out to be an entertaining film that is pretty unique in character, though be warned it isn’t for everyone. Akounak was the dream of Christopher Kirkley, an ex-pat from Seattle who ended up in West Africa and had a dream of exporting the sounds of the region’s unique music stylings. He has done so with a record label and has become a manager of talent, so the next logical step would be to enter the movie world, and what better choice than an unofficial remake of Purple Rain?

First, some problems. Christopher Kirkley doesn’t speak Tuareg, the local language the film was shot in. But he does speak French, and so does star Mdou Moctar, so Kirkley would explain to Moctar what each scene was supposed to be about and how it was set up, then Moctar would explain that to the other actors, and they would work through the scene. Later, Kirkley had to have the whole film translated, which ended up with a few scenes not fitting in correctly. Some of this is covered up with creative editing, some of it is easy to dismiss as a first-time filmmaker just learning the ropes, and some of it makes you go “Guh?”. As an added bonus, Tuareg doesn’t have a word for “purple”, hence the long-winded title of Akounak Tedalat Taha TazoughaiRain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It, which is just to perfect to not keep as a title, Kirkley obviously agreeing with that sentiment.
Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
Overall, the effect is quite charming, and anyone familiar with African cinema will be right at home, there are multiple points where the setup and composition is nearly identical to the Nigerian and Ghanaian films I’ve watched, with a lot of talking around that seems loosely connected to the story at best. The Purple Rain plot being grafted on keeps the movie going forward and not mired in those talking scenes, which means we get plenty of rocking musical performances and plot drama.
Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm

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Dying to Be Loved is a Lifetime conspiracy!

Dying to be Loved Lifetime

What gas stations do to protect their bathroom keys is getting worse all the time

Lifetime returns to its roots with another Original Movie about Evil Men, in this case a boyfriend so evil that he convinces his teenage girlfriend to pretend to commit suicide with him so they can avoid him getting arrested for abusing him. Be he didn’t count on the fact that his girlfriend’s mom was a woman! Dun dun DUN! So this woman is now hot on the trail to take down the Evil Man! Go get him, mom! Dying to Be Loved (aka A Mother’s Suspicion) shows us the length a mom will go to to prove that her daughter didn’t kill herself, which I guess is a good thing to believe if you live in a Lifetime movie.

Jill Yates’ teenage daughter Emily starts dating bad boy Gary, whose violent behavior lands Emily and him in trouble. To avoid prison, Gary and Emily appear to commit a double suicide, but Jill sets out to prove that Gary has gone on the run… and has taken Emily with him.

Dying to Be Loved stars Lindsay Hartley, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Dan Payne, Jedidiah Goodacre, James Pizzinato, and Jay Brazeau. Its written by Stephen Lyons (Lone Star Struck) and directed by Paul Shapiro (Spring Break Shark Attack)

Dying to Be Loved premieres Saturday, April 16th on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm

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Break out the pom-poms for The Cheerleader Murders on Lifetime!

Cheerleader Murders Lifetime

What happens when you don’t be aggressive, b-e aggressive!

Save the cheerleader, save the world? What if the cheerleader needs to save herself? That’s what Ellie here needs to do, thanks to a murderer running around kidnapping and killing cheerleaders. It looks like someone has a bone to pick with the bad sequels of Bring It On, so let’s hope our spirit squad leader can track down the killer. Also her dad and sister were also murdered, so of course there is going to be a connection. Probably. It’s Lifetime, something weird has to happen! Here’s hoping we got cheerleaders in full cheer regalia beating up murderers.

Ellie lives in a cursed town with a string of tragedies— the most recent being the murder of her sister and father. She hopes the darkness is behind her, but when her fellow cheerleaders Dee and Morgan are kidnapped, Ellie knows the curse is at work again. After Morgan is found dead, Ellie becomes determined to rescue Dee and expose the killer, but it may already be too late…and she may be next. As the police struggle to find a lead, Ellie begins an investigation of her own— but each step closer to the truth is a step closer to death. “

The Cheerleader Murders (formerly known as Kill Them All) stars Samantha Boscarino(Zoe Gone), Amanda Leighton(The Fosters), Hannah Kasulka(The Fosters), Chelsea Zhang(Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Austin Lyon(Pitch Perfect 2), Tessie Santiago(The Cell 2), David Rees Snell(The Cheating Pact), Nigel Gibbs(Xtro 3: Watch the Skies), and David DeSantos (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip) It’s directed by David Jackson (Atomic Train) and written by Matt Young (his sole credit)

Kill Them All premieres Saturday, April 9th on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm

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