Category Archives: 90’s movies

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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Graphic Horror: Bordello Of Blood

Tales From the Crypt: Bordello of Blood 1996

Even though I haven’t managed to catch as many horror movies this month as I would have liked to, since I am going through several seasons of the Tales From the Crypt television show I thought it was only fitting to finish out watching the final movie. Even though it’s actually the second movie that was released just a year after Demon Knight, it even features the return of a couple elements from Demon Knight including the key and William Sadler, though the latter returned covered in mummy wraps to talk with the Cryptkeeper. Out of the three movies, this one is definitely the most comedic as noted by fact that it stars Dennis Miller. It also has the most nudity of the three as there are several scenes that take place within the bordello even though they are all vampire women, they are often mostly naked vampire women. And even though I hadn’t seen this film probably since it first came out on home video/aired on cable I still remembered the final twist so that wasn’t a surprise.
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The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant 1999

I don’t remember the first time I found out about the Iron Giant. I know it wasn’t in theaters, I wasn’t one of those lucky few that caught it during its brief and relatively unsuccessful theatrical run. I don’t remember if I went back to it after watching Brad Bird’s later feature the Incredibles or if I just happened across it on TV or a random video rental trip. I always thought it was an interesting look that called up the retro 50’s style and the film itself is actually set during that time as well. It was also a movie that I didn’t initially consider as a superhero movie, but when I did my final poll for the 100 Essential Superhero Movies I included it and it nabbed the second spot, which is likely more a testament to the quality of the movie than to its place as a superhero movie. There are definitely superhero elements; this is an origin story of sorts, the Iron Giant himself has more than enough super powers, and at the end of the day he uses Superman himself as inspiration to save an entire town. I will do my best for this to not just be a gush fest, but it will be tough as this is one of my favorite movies and it’s a shame that it has taken me this long to get around to reviewing it here.
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Orgazmo 1997

This is one of the very few movies that I included in my 100 Essential Superhero Movies that I hadn’t seen before, but enough people voted for it in the poll that I included it sight unseen. It came from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creative types behind the juggernaut that is South Park which I was a fan of. I say was not because I no longer like it, but I just haven’t watched it in years. So with the recommendation of my readers and my enjoyment of South Park I went in expecting to really enjoy this movie. Unfortunately, most of the comedy did not make me laugh at all, and when you take the humor away from this movie, there’s not a whole lot left to grasp onto. Not to mention that it’s a somewhat of a movie about the porn industry without any female nudity aside from the occasional sideboob though I suppose that’s supposed to be part of the joke and I knew about that wrinkle going into the movie as well. And underlying the plot line about this clean cut Mormon entering into the seedy porn underworld is the side story about him actually becoming this crimefighter Orgazmo. It just never added up for me.
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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 1993

This is one of the very few superhero movies left that I had not yet seen before that I really felt like I was missing out on an important and/or great movie. There’s still plenty out there for me to watch, but most of the rest of them are more obscure and/or pretty bad. When I ask the question “What’s your favorite superhero movie?” this movie has come up on more than one occasion so it’s got to be a pretty good movie, and it’s more or less a spin-off of the amazing 90’s Batman: The Animated Series which I watched and loved back when it was coming out with new episodes, and I’ve also seen and enjoyed every one of DC Animation’s home video Batman movies so I was looking forward to finally watching this one and I’m pleased to say that for the most part it didn’t disappoint. My only qualms come from the fact that I did watch this one out of chronological order and so many story elements that were used in this movie were done as well if not better in later movies that I was already familiar with. But aside from that, it was great to finally see this movie and the nostalgia from the animation and music style from the animated series.
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The Phantom

The Phantom 1996

I vaguely remember when this movie was coming out back in 96. It was during that second comparatively small wave of superhero movies after Tim Burton’s Batman, and when the movies were still trying to stay true to the look of the comic book heroes but not always everything else, and while there was a minor change to the Phantom’s typical striped shorts making them solid purple it looked almost exactly like how the Phantom looks in the comic books, and in my opinion it looked completely ridiculous, and purple is my favorite color. While it’s billed as a superhero movie, it plays much more like a much lesser Indiana Jones adventure movie as it is set in the late 30’s, takes place mostly in the jungle, and they are even going after some skulls with crystals in them. I remember hearing about how bad of a movie this is, but it ended up being a lot more fun than I expected. It’s quite cheesy at times and has plenty of silly dialogue and plot elements, but I went in expecting a flop and came up with a halfway decent pulp adventure.
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Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1998

This is one of those movies that I’ve heard about since the start of this site, and not in a good way. This was a TV movie made for the Fox network starring Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury and written by prolific superhero screenwriter David Goyer with as many hits to his name as misses. It has a very 90’s generic action feel to it with a ratio of pithy one-liners to actual action scenes at around 20:1. Everyone on screen really hams it up from the Hoff himself pretending to be the hardest hardass that ever lived, his ex-girlfriend Val who’s just as tough as he is, the over-confident fledgling British recruit, to the always-angry executive who thinks Nick Fury is the biggest mistake that S.H.I.E.L.D. Has ever made. And I haven’t even gotten to the villains yet! The special effects look 90’s TV cheap, the fights look like they were done by actors who have never taken a martial arts lesson in their lives, there is more talk about the threats than there is actual action against any threats, but as usual with these kinds of movies, there is plenty of laughable cheesiness to get some enjoyment out of watching this movie.
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Graphic Horror: Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight

Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight 1995

The Graphic (Novel) Horror blogathon is coming to a close, but not before I manage to eke out a couple more horror movies here in March. Also, if you haven’t checked the main page for the blogathon recently, there are a couple updates with folks out on different blogs who have contributed their own articles so be sure to check them out. I was a big fan of the television show Tales From the Crypt, and even though it was around the time when this movie came out, I probably didn’t catch it in theaters, instead finding it when it came to home video and agreeing with the general consensus that the movie wasn’t nearly as good as most of the episodes made for HBO. I especially found it interesting in this viewing that I had a hard time finding good screenshots to take as there is rarely anything interesting happening on screen and the creature effects are mediocre at best. The movie eschews the show’s typical morbid twist and instead relies on a macabre fantasy/action plot with demons and a fun wraparound with the Cryptkeeper tying it in with the television show. There are moments of fun in this movie but they are few and far between.
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Tank Girl

Tank Girl 1995

It’s really hard to know where to start with this movie. I was originally going to do a month of female superhero movies back during the first year of this site, that is until I realized that there’s only like 5 of them, I had already reviewed 2, and they are all horrible movies except for this one. Kinda. This is also much more of a sci-fi movie than a superhero movie, except for the fact that it’s impossible not to realize that this was based on a comic book as there are comic book images and animation thrown at you at almost every scene change. The plot of this movie is all over the place and so is the tone, there’s even a musical sequence in the middle of the movie that comes out of nowhere. Really the only thing that holds this entire movie is the performance of Lori Petty as Rebecca, the Tank Girl herself, which was enough for me and my wife to enjoy this movie, but only just.
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