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Santo y Blue Demon contra Doctor Frankestein

Santo y Blue Demon contra Doctor Frankestein 1974

It’s time to finish out Hispanic Heritage Month with the last Santo movie from my local library. Now I only have like 49 more of these movies to go if I ever want to completely finish them. It’s been an interesting trek, none of them are really that great. I’ve fallen asleep (albeit watching late at night) twice out of the four movies. But each one is different enough from the other to keep things interesting. The fights were interesting to a point and I’m glad to be taking a long break from the movies but each one had something interesting about it to make it different from the rest of the movies while still having the same Santo charm.

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Santo vs la Hija de Frankestein

Santo vs la Hija de Frankestein 1972

I’m still going through the four different Santo movies that I’ve found at my local library to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I’ve actually been quite surprised by the variations of the three titles I’ve watched so far despite the fact that I’m jumping around in chronology. Not that it matters as each movie is completely disconnected from the next as far as I can tell. There may be a connection to this one and the last Santo movie I have with him and Blue Demon vs Doctor Frankenstein, but I suppose I’ll have to wait to find out. This one was actually the most enjoyable of these movies so far with an interesting cast of villains and a nice little twist on the wrestling matches.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #42: The Incredible Hulk

Who’d have thought that only one name from that poster would return to the MCU!

#42: The Incredible Hulk

Or

Wait, was that the Ang Lee one or the other one? You know, it’s just so confusing…

And now to write the entire review attempting to draw as few comparisons to the other Hulk films as possible…

First Impressions

I’ll be honest, I did not enjoy this film the first time I watched it. I recall being bored, I recall having a lot of trouble getting any satisfaction with the final battle and I also recall not enjoying Norton’s take on Banner. So going into this re-watch I sat down fully intending to re-evaluate my stance and cast a more critical eye over the film than the personal lens that I originally used. Let’s see how that went!

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Santo en la Venganza de la Momia

Santo en la Venganza de la Momia 1971

This is the third Santo movie that I’ve watched and the second one that I’m reviewing for Hispanic Heritage Month. They have been an interesting series of movies to showcase a popular Mexican luchador who transitioned to comics before starring in movies all while being popular for several decades. They all follow the same basic premise: Santo has a wrestling match and then he gets involved in some sort of mystery involving something supernatural. This one has a unique distinction of being more like Scooby Doo because of the ending, but it still follows the same overall structure. There’s more comic relief and a little bit of heart added to the narrative, but overall it was just more of the same.

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Santo y Blue Demon Contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo

Santo y Blue Demon Contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo 1973

A few weeks ago when I was at the library, I noticed that they had four of the classic Santo movies. And while there are 53 different Santo movies that came out between the 60’s and 80’s I’ve currently only watched the most famous one that was also featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. After I borrowed this title, I happened to notice that there’s a blogathon going on that coincides with this movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve joined in a blogathon so I thought this would be the perfect timing, especially as it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. If you’d like more information, head over to Once Upon a Screen to see more about the blogathon. I hope to cover at least one more of the films in the next two weeks, but we’ll see about that. As for the film itself, it was more or less what I expected based on my previous experience, though the production values were slightly higher as it came out ten years later. It wasn’t that deep, it was weird but not over the top campy, and I had fun with it for the most part.

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Mutafukaz

Mutafukaz aka M*F*K*Z 2018

Every once in a while a movie catches my eye for whatever reason, either at a store or at the library. I don’t really know anything about it except for what it says on the back of the box. And every once in a while, I just happen to see those magic words “based on the comic” which is what happened with this movie. I have vague memories of seeing posters of this movie when it made the rounds last year, but for whatever reason I didn’t pay too much attention to it. And that’s despite the fact that it was distributed by GKIDS who have handled some of my favorite animated films that I’ve covered on this site. This is from a very popular French comic that was produced by a Japanese animation studio, released with an English dub (which was the version I watched), and takes place in a city with a primarily Hispanic population so it’s oddly multicultural. There are plenty of adult themes, violence, humor, and all sorts of different genres mashed up in a generally pleasing manner.

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Top 10 Aliens in the Men in Black Movies

With the recent home video release of Men in Black International, I thought it was a perfect time for me to revisit the original trilogy as well as the rebootquel and come up with a list of my 10 favorite aliens in the series. Plus, aside from the second one, I do enjoy watching all of these movies and the first and third are some of my favorite movies. I liked the rebootquel more than most, but I’m not too broken up that it doesn’t seem like it will continue into its own franchise. Also, this is part of my Patreon rewards program, for just $1 a month, you could get early access to articles like these and help decide on a movie that I review each month. So click right here and help support this site and help it continue to grow.

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Avengers Grimm: Time Wars

Avengers Grimm: Time Wars 2018

One of the biggest challenges with a niche site like this is that with such a big movie marketplace, it’s easy to overlook smaller titles because they don’t have the marketing behind them. I’m always keeping my eye out for new titles, but I don’t always catch them until a year or more later. That’s the case with the latest superhero-esque mockbuster from the Asylum. I had previously watched and reviewed the first Avengers Grimm and the spin-off/sequel Sinister Squad, but I completely missed the fact that they made a third movie in this loosely connected series of movies last year to coincide with Avengers: Infinity War. They have long since passed using any sort of celebrity but did bring back the actress who played Snow White in Avengers Grimm as well as the actors who played Alice and Hatter from Sinister Squad. It did feel like it had a slightly more coherent plot, but all sense of campiness was lost and what was left was just a mediocre movie.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #92: Howard The Duck

So strange, we had to use a poster from another country to do it justice!

#92: Howard The Duck

Or

How Did This EVER Get Made?

Uuuhhhhhhhhhh…….

First Impressions

…… Right. This film was one that I’d heard of before but had never bothered trying to watch. And when I say I’d heard of it, my entire knowledge of it is that:

1) The Nostalgia Critic did a review of it.
2) There are female duck breasts on screen. I’m not joking.
3) It’s based on a loved but obscure Marvel comic character.

That’s it. That’s my entire previous knowledge of this film. I didn’t even look anything up about it before I watched it because I wanted to go in blind. I’m fairly sure I made the right call, so if you also haven’t seen it yet, I would suggest doing so before reading this review (unless you don’t mind spoilers or just want to prove me wrong).

So I hit play, I watched it and now I need to talk about it. Be prepared, this review is going to some weird places.

The Characters

  • Howard The Duck (Ed Gale/Chip Zien)

    There’s honestly way too much to unpack here for me to not make this the longest review I’ll ever write. So here’s what you need to know. He’s brought from a duck planet to ours by Deus Ex Machina, he’s supposedly a master fighter but manages to not really show that at all, he effectively forgets that he has a girlfriend from the moment he meets Lea Thompson and his jokes don’t land. However, for a product of its time, he actually works quite well. And compared to the live action TMNT of the 90’s, it’s astounding how well the duck costume works! But this character was definitely one that should have been on the back burner for a while before being brought forward, not the first Marvel live action film main star!
  • Beverly (Lea Thompson)

    So remember when Lea Thompson played Lorraine in BTTF? Well, take the young version of that, imagine her as a punk rocker who spends a fairly long scene in her underwear and then accept that she’s the love interest of the film. Yeah, you’ve got this character down. She’s fun, she’s very odd and she works really well. The only issue I had was that the bed scene (yep, there’s a bed scene) kinda looked like she was attempting to canoodle with a large kid’s toy. And that I just had to write that last sentence…
  • Phil Blumburtt (Tim Robbins)

    I….. honestly don’t know how to describe this guy. He’s insane, he’s very annoying and he’s kinda hard to watch. At least until the demon arrives. Then it’s as if Tim Robbins simply said “Screw it, I’m just going to have fun here!” and he hits the right level of snarky and over-the-top. And anyone who hasn’t seen the film is probably more interested in the demon bit. Don’t worry, he’s next! But seriously, this film has two very different versions of this character, with the latter half making up for the former half. So an overall “ok” grade then.
  • Dr Walter Jennings (Jeffrey Jones)

    And in this film about space ducks and a very odd 80’s Cleveland, OH, we reach the strangest character in the film. He starts off just fine. And then he’s possessed by an ancient evil from outer space (just roll with it) and starts to talk as if Judge Doom (the REAL JD) had a total laryngectomy. And he stays just like that for about 80% of his screen-time. This was a VERY odd choice. And I don’t know if it was the right one. It really is difficult to get used to. I’m sure many people love this guy, but it really didn’t work for me.

The Setting

I’m going to simply type out how this film is set and let you do the jokes in your own head.

“A 27-year old Howard from Duckworld gets sucked into space and lands in 1980’s Cleveland, Ohio. He meets (in chronological order) the front lady for an all-female rock band, a scientist who’s actually a janitor and a scientist who becomes a demon. He then saves the world.”

Yeah, there’s nothing I can say that could poke more fun at that premise than the premise itself. So, moving on!

Who Is This Film For?

I’m honestly not sure who this was made for. Clearly the people involved were passionate about the project, since it’s just so odd that anyone not invested would have just given up or underperformed. I’ve done a little research into Howard and it seems like there’s quite a huge lore and rich history there. He even fights a Hellcow. I bet you wish they’d put that in this film! But anyway, back to the question at hand. I feel like everyone involved had an idea in their heads, but it never lined up. This also feels kinda like a first draft that nobody ever bothered to go back to before filming started. It’s definitely not one of the worst films of all time, but it’s nowhere near good cinema!

Anyway, on to Bubba’s thoughts on the whole thing.

I’ve actually seen this a few times now and I think the more I see it, the more I appreciate it although I would never in my right mind call this a good movie. There’s a lot to appreciate here, front and center is Lea Thompson’s Beverly. One of the most talked about scenes in this movie is when she is coming on to Howard, but I think it’s actually a more subtle performance and it’s more like they are joking around with each other and she is calling Howard’s bluff. You can see it in her face right before she starts going at him. Most of the rest of the movie just plain doesn’t make sense though. There’s nearly adult humor, like how Howard gets a job as a mop boy at what appears to be a sex motel. There’s an odd chase scene with an ultralight plane. Nearly every person in the film reacts differently to the fact that Howard is a duck, they either scream or act like it’s completely normal. And the rest of the acting is way over the top. It’s tough to know if they were really going for action, comedy, love story, or adventure and it fails at most of them.

Without going too much farther, it’s an odd thing to say but this is the first theatrical adaptation of a Marvel comic. Instead of going with one of their A-list characters, or even their B or C list characters, they go with the adult satirical non-superhero Howard the Duck. Not only that, but they get a pedigree behind it, George Lucas helped push to get this film made. And while it was originally considered as an animated film, they pushed up the release date and decided to make it live action to shorten the production time. This caused plenty of headaches with the duck suit and ultimately it became a box office bomb. It only grossed $37M worldwide on a $36M budget. In 1986. Nowadays it’s a bit of a cult film but overall it’s still considered one of the worst comic book movies ever made. But even so, nothing can take away from the fact that this was the first theatrically released Marvel movie.

Thanks once again Mr Wheat! So, let’s dive right into the last part. It’s time to ask those three important questions:

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does this film deserve to be on the list?
  3. If so, where does it appear on the list?

And before a Dark Overlord turns up, let’s get those answered!

1) Yeeeeeeeesssss? It’s something that a few of my friends would find fascinating. However I’d never suggest that someone who isn’t fully prepped. So make sure you adequately prepare anyone you suggest this to.

2) Yes it does. Despite any particular feelings you may have about this film, it is the first proper Marvel Live Action film (if you don’t count the 1944 Captain America B&W serial, which you shouldn’t) and as such should have a place on the list. And speaking of that…

3) Well, here it is:

  1. Hellboy
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger
  3. The Crow
  4. Dr Strange
  5. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  6. Batman: The Killing Joke
  7. Superman 3
  8. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  9. Supergirl
  10. Howard The Duck
  11. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  12. The Punisher
  13. Batman & Robin
  14. The Amazing Spider-Man
  15. BvS: Dawn Of Justice

Potential Substitutions:

Wonder Woman (replacing The Death Of The Hulk)
X-Men: The Last Stand (replacing Catwoman)

I’m sure you guessed where it would go. It wasn’t quite the earliest Superhero film, but it was obscure and an attempt to bring a more interesting character to the masses. And possibly with more care and attention (and just better effects overall), we can get a remake/reboot that will do the character justice in the not-too-distant future.

And so, with all that being said, I better get out of here before I have to lay some Quack Fu on a local band manager!

Bulletproof Monk

Bulletproof Monk 2003

I believe that this is the last movie on my list of relatively well known comic book movies that I never got around to before now. It’s still relatively obscure enough that it was more or less a bomb with poor reviews, but I had heard of this film before starting this site so that’s saying something. I didn’t really know anything about it except for the two leads. Apparently it’s basically a chosen one story with some wire work martial arts where Chow Yun-Fat teaches Stifler from American Pie to become a mini-Neo. Ultimately it fares quite a bit better than the other martial arts movie with an American Pie alum Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, but the special effects, direction and plot left much to be desired.

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