Category Archives: 90’s movies

FTMN Quickie/Almost Super: P.U.N.K.S.

Almost Super: P.U.N.K.S. 1999

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to write something about this film here on this site, but since I had gone almost two weeks without writing anything here, I figured I might as well get something out of the time I spent watching this movie. Since this is a niche movie site, I have certain criteria on what films I review for this site, but the definition of “superhero movie” is nebulous at best so sometimes a short description of a movie sounds like it could fit this site, but when I watch it, it actually doesn’t. I was trying to start watching some kids movies based on a Twitter poll I posted a week or so ago gauging what I should watch next for this site, and P.U.N.K.S. is on YouTube so that’s what I went for. Needless to say, it’s a pretty bad film even if it does have the likes of Randy Quaid, Henry Winkler, and a young Jessica Alba.
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Doctor Mordrid

Doctor Mordrid 1992

In many ways, the early days of Marvel movies are quite fascinating with all the goings on when they were selling rights to characters to anyone who would give them a chunk of change it would seem. And Doctor Strange happened to be one of those properties. But where other companies would fight the deadline to go into production before losing the rights and win, this film fought the deadline and lost. But instead of scrapping all the work and whatever pre-production they had done, if any, they decided to simply retool a few names and plot elements and continue on with the completely “original” story that became Doctor Mordrid. While I still don’t know all that much about Doctor Strange as a whole, Doctor Mordrid is a very close approximation, in that he’s essentially an arrogant magician fighting demons in modern times with his cape and amulet. As for the quality of the film, it doesn’t rise too much higher than the 70’s TV film which is literally my least favorite Marvel movie, but there is some fun to be had with the performances and all of the glorious 90’s mullets.
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Robocop 2

Robocop 2 1990

It’s true that I don’t always go with the flow the way it was meant to be, though the last time I really remember doing this in terms of this site was way back during the first year when I watched the three Spider-Man films backwards so I could compare the original Spider-Man right against the reboot Amazing Spider-Man. This time is was mostly a case of laziness considering that I already owned Robocop 3 and it was sitting right in front of me even though I hadn’t seen Robocop 2 before. And I was completely right in thinking that it didn’t matter as the three movies have very little to do with each other in terms of continuity, they merely tell three different stories with several of the same characters. The original is important to have seen to set up the characters, but once you’ve got that, you’re gravy. This is also notable to have been directed by Ivan Kirshner who is most well known as the director of the Empire Strikes Back, widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie. The film itself falls somewhere between the ultra-violence and satire of the original and the pandering-to-the-audience comedy and low budget of the third.
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Robocop 3

Robocop 3 1993

I’ve been feeling rather indecisive as to what direction I wanted to take next on this site. I still have a small handful of relatively good, or at least mediocre and well known comic book movies that I still need to get around to and a whole lot of dreck. So I decided to make a little Twitter poll with a couple good movies, a bad movie, and an oddity to see what won out. It shouldn’t have come to much surprise that this is the film that won. And despite the fact that I have yet to see Robocop 2, I was certain that it didn’t matter. It also helped that I had the DVD sitting in front of me from a clearance bin I picked up months ago. I am a big fan of the original Robocop, but I’ve never really given much thought to the sequels. I was a little surprised to see that this was rated PG-13, and even more surprised considering it still had a fair amount of blood and swearing, just toned down from the levels seen in the original. It had a scant few impressive moments, and notably more laughably bad moments. It really just lost sight of what made Robocop an interesting property in the first place in return for a failed attempt at marketing towards a younger audience. But one of the more interesting things about this film, especially coming from this site, is that comic book writer Frank Miller co-wrote this film (as well as the second).
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Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero

Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero 1998

We’re moving right along in this animation month and it’s time once again for one of the animated films for the younger folks. This was really the first straight to video project for DC Animation. Yes, technically Mask of the Phantasm came before this, but that also had a brief theatrical release so it’s not quite the same since it likely had a bit of a larger budget. I don’t think I had ever seen this one, and for whatever reasons it didn’t quite bring up the same memories from the show like Batman Beyond did, oddly enough. There were a few holes that I poked through the plot line here and there, but overall it was a decent movie. I think its biggest flaw is just that it pales in comparison to most of DC’s better work, and even though I hadn’t watched it in years, I felt like Freeze’s episodes in the Animated Series themselves packed a bigger punch than this film did.
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Justice League of America

Justice League of America 1997

While I’ve delved through the entire depths of the Marvel film catalogue including their awful TV movie roots, I have yet to do the same for DC. I have seen nearly all of their films, but there are a handful of early animated movies from the 90’s and a couple TV movies including this one that was initially intended to be the pilot of a new TV series coming hot off the heels of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. But they also took a page out of the popularity of MTV’s the Real World which would have been on season 4 or 5 when this went into production and also would be near the height of the show’s popularity. So this show combines the superheroics with the daily life of the heroes alongside several “confessional” segments where the heroes talk directly to the TV audience. It’s bizarre how this managed to even make it to the pilot movie stage, the costumes and effects were lackluster, the characters were unlikable and barely resembled their comic book counterparts, and overall it feels roughly five years behind even 1997.
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Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie 1997

When I was watching the original Power Rangers movie I was coming at it from a place of half-remembered nostalgia. Even though I didn’t remember it, I still remembered a large portion of the cast. And even though Turbo follows the format of the show much more closely, it suffered from a severe lack of fight scenes and had it even worse with the lack of connection or explanation of the new villainess. It served as essentially the pilot episode of the new season of the show as they transitioned out some more of the cast and a new set of costumes and robots likely pulled from a completely different Japanese series. And yet, even though it mirrored the actual television episodes more closely, it was even less satisfying than the first movie as an actual film.
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie 1995

This is a film that I’m certain that I saw when I was younger, quite possibly in theaters. In fact as I was tweeting about this movie while watching it, my longtime friend reminded me that we actually watched it together back in ’95. I do remember watching those first few seasons of the Power Rangers, probably up until Amy Jo Johnson left as the Pink Ranger. But watching this movie again, on a DVD I rented from an actual video store no less, I remembered absolutely nothing about it. Not the villain aside from a few recent meme comparisons to the forthcoming Apocalypse, I didn’t even remember that three of the Rangers had been replaced. Heck, I didn’t even remember the name of the big red villain with the exposed brain and I’m pretty sure they never actually mentioned it during the entire course of the movie. It was essentially what I expected it to be: a bunch of cheesy one-liners with some 90’s teenage style and a little bit of good martial arts action mixed in.
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Graphic Horror: Vampirella

Vampirella 1996

Continuing on into Graphic Horror March, I decided to go a little ways back and check out this 90’s B-movie based on a comic that I know very little about except for the very iconic-and-barely-there costume that the main character wears. This was a Roger Corman production two years after his only unreleased movie the Fantastic Four and directed by Jim Wynorski. The film is more or less what you might expect from a Roger Corman production, it was made on the cheap, the acting is passable, there’s a couple explosions, and there’s a couple moments of gratuitous nudity. For the most part the plot was nonsensical as was the costume design. It never devolved into the so-bad-it’s-good territory, but there wasn’t much in the film that was good enough to latch onto. It was a bizarre mix of a space movie, a revenge story, a vampire movie, and cop movie all rolled into one, but all of the elements of the film were just half-assed and unmemorable.
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The Heroic Trio

The Heroic Trio 1993

I’m continuing my journey through the superhero and comic book movies on Netflix that I have yet to review which are mostly foreign and kids films. This was one that I really knew nothing at all about aside from the fact that one of the stars was Michelle Yeoh, but it was highly recommended to me on Twitter when I was trying to decide what film to watch next so I gave it a go. I will say that it was a lot funnier than I expected, but at the same time it tends to hop around all over the place, narratively speaking. And even though I generally watch dubs over subtitles, the original Cantonese language option wasn’t available on Netflix. It’s one of those movies that feels like it has a lot of backstory to the characters, but we only get to see a snippet of what’s fully going on.

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