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Category Archives: 90’s movies

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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Model By Day

Model By Day 1993

Every once in a while I run across a movie that I don’t really know anything about aside from the title, the year it came out, and the fact that it’s related to superheroes or based on a comic book. That’s all I knew about this film, and after watching it, I suddenly wanted to know a lot more about it, but couldn’t find anything else. All I know is that it’s supposedly a TV movie and the only air date I could find was on the Fox channel March 21, 1994, as well as vague (USA) release date of October 11, 1993 via IMDB. But the kicker is that this is very much an R rated film with a not-insignificant amount of nudity, some swearing, and noted Cinemax queen Shannon Tweed in a minor role. This would lead me to believe that it originally aired on Cinemax or a similar station, but I can’t find confirmation of that anywhere. This film is also noteworthy as the lead is an early role for Famke Janssen who would later go on to play Jean Grey in the X-Men films. I went in expecting a pretty bad film, and it was actually a lot more enjoyable than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a cheezy, slightly sleazy, made-for-TV movie made in the 90’s, but I had a lot of fun watching it, and Famke Janssen had a lot of charisma even back then.
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The Death of the Incredible Hulk

The Death of the Incredible Hulk 1990

As is usually the case, life tends to get in the way of plans. And while I was planning on moving on into some comic book adaptations that weren’t superhero movies, I have yet to watch any of those. And instead, I ended up watching this made for TV pseudo series finale for the old Incredible Hulk TV show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno for the return of Filmwhys here in a week or two. This film falls in a really weird space in time. It came out the year after Tim Burton’s Batman, but since it was still tied into the television series it retained all of the 70’s and 80’s style of special effects which make it look a lot more dated than a 1990 movie should look. And even though I haven’t watched the original episodes of the show, it really felt like just an extended episode with a tacked on ending to give it some finality.
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Graphic Horror: Dr. Giggles

Dr. Giggles 1992

It’s tough for me to decide which of the two recent films I watched are better: Virus or Dr. Giggles. I think I would give the edge to Virus, only slightly due to some of the innovative special effects. Dr. Giggles is very much just a standard psychopath killer horror movie overloaded with as many doctor puns as they could fit in. The most entertaining part of the film was picking out actors that I recognized from their later work, like Larry Drake who went on to play Durant in Darkman, Holly Marie Combs who played the sister no one remembers from Charmed, Doug E. Doug from Cool Runnings, and Glenn Quinn from Angel. It’s filled with plenty of horror tropes, some weird doctor-like contraptions, and not really much else in the way of plot or scares. It was produced in part by Dark Horse Entertainment and also had a tie-in two part comic book that came out right around the same time as the film.
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Graphic Horror: Virus

Virus 1999

Moving my way down in quality for this year’s Graphic Horror before hitting the planned high point at the end comes this lovely gem that came out the same year as the Matrix but with a wholly different interpretation of special effects. It actually started its life as a movie script, but was considered to be too special effects intensive at the time and so it was first made into a comic book from Dark Horse. John Bruno was cutting his teeth working on special effects under James Cameron before getting this film as a director, and unfortunately it really shows that he was more of a special effects guy than a full director. There are many issues with this film, but the special effects work really is not one of them. While there are a couple name actors with Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Sutherland, they are definitely not bringing their A games. It’s a horror film with a small cast that doesn’t know whether it wants to be a slow burn thriller, a gore fest, or a survival action film, and the blending of these genres do not work very well at all. It has some fun moments here and there, but for the most part, it’s a rather boring slog-fest.
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Men in Black

Men in Black 1997

I’m down to the last few films left on my 100 Essential Superhero Movies list and the perfect excuse came for me to revisit the Men in Black trilogy when I was offered to guest on the As You Watch Podcast. Or you could say, offered to make my triumphant return considering that I am one of the founding members of the podcast. But as for the movie, I initially questioned whether or not to even classify Men in Black as a superhero movie vs. a comic book movie, considering the fact that it is based on an indie comic book that was later published under the Marvel label before the movie was made. It does follow enough of my own qualifications for me to include it: It’s set in the modern day, the heroes have superhuman abilities via the alien technology, they also have a costume of sorts, they also have a secret identity of sorts considering that they lose their normal identity when joining, and they are fighting something that is superhuman. I’m certain that I had seen this in theaters back when it was released and the song is ubiquitous with the movie as well. It was a lot of fun revisiting this film even though there were a few moments that definitely felt a bit dated this time around.
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Guyver: Dark Hero

Guyver: Dark Hero 1994

After watching the first Guyver movie and seeing how campy it was, I was very curious to see how the follow up would be considering that it is one of the very rare cases where it goes from PG-13 to R instead of vice-versa and completely loses the comedy angle. Unfortunately, when you take out the comedy angle of the Guyver, what’s left is the same amount of poor acting but without nearly as much camp to make it as enjoyable as it was. There is still some laughs to be had at the cheesiness of it all, but it ends up being a lot more boring than the first one and the small handful of really interesting practical special effects have been replaced with really crappy looking first generation digital effects. It aims at being a more serious story, and yet it also tosses in a large number of cliched and soap opera-ish plotlines that don’t make it any more interesting. Which is disappointing, because there is the seed of a good story that could be told within all of this greater mythology, it’s just being presented in one of the poorest ways possible.
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The Guyver

The Guyver 1991

I was always a relatively big fan of anime. I watched a lot of the anime films shown on cable in the 90’s as well as the cartoons and shows inspired by anime and Japanese shows. This movie reminded me a lot of those types of kids shows with a mix of Ultraman, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Sailor Moon, and whatever else got in the mix. It also has a couple icons of TV and cinema, albeit for completely different reasons, as well as a small stable of horror regulars from both behind the camera and in front. The one thing this movie does well is a large number of creature effects including a small handful of amazing transformation. On the other hand, even though there are a few noted actors, there are plenty of amateurs and it definitely shows. There’s not a Troll 2 or the Room level of bad acting, but no one is winning any awards for their delivery here. There’s an overly complicated setup that makes very little sense when you get right down to it, and yet the whole thing is more or less supposed to be a comedy. While it did make me laugh out loud a small handful of times, it was often for the wrong reasons.
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