American Ninja (1985)

Michael Dudikoff wasn’t much of a ninja. Come to think of it, he wasn’t much of an actor either. But for a brief period during the mid-1980’s he became a hero to kids the world over, and he owes it all to American Ninja.

For me, American Ninja is the defining movie of the oft memorable Cannon Group, who churned out ultra-violent schlock by the bucket load. This was cheap production, nonsensical storytelling, and some of the stiffest, most unmemorable acting of a generation, but there was something there; there had to be…

Read Article →

Chopping Mall (1986)

Long before Amazon and Facebook turned us all into hermits, shopping malls were our cultural epicentre.

Each weekend teenagers would flock in their legions, hanging out at their favourite arcades or fast food restaurants and marvelling at the colourful array of consumer products that were not yet accessible at the click of a touchpad. Inevitably, these monuments to consumerism became schoolyards away from home…

Read Article →

The Immortalizer (1989)

Move over, Dr Frankenstein, there’s a new re-animator in town.

His name is Dr Devine, and in his business a mishmash of body parts will not suffice. Everybody has dreamed of eternal youth, but for those who are uninterested in being turned into a plastic zombie, our crazed innovator has dreamed up a mind-boggling alternative – providing you are hideously wealthy and bereft of all human emotion…

Read Article →

976-Evil (1988)

After mainstream success as the fritter-faced Fred Krueger, Robert Englund swapped his razor-fingered glove for the camera, taking his directorial bow with supernatural horror 976-Evil.

Thankfully, Englund’s was a short-lived career.

That’s not to say the movie was terrible. It was adequate. Unspectacular. Banished to mediocrity by cheap sets, bad special effects, and a screenplay lacking even a speck of originality…

Read Article →

Double Team (1997)

By 1997 the Buddy Action Movie had become so diluted it had begun to resemble a thin, tasteless gruel.

Gone were the aromatic days of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, of Riggs and Murtaugh, of John McClane and the black cop from Die Hard whose name I can never remember. Unconcerned with onscreen chemistry, relatable characterisation, and the kind of wry, acerbic wit that made the genre so successful, money-obsessed producers had begun to overlook traditional recipes in favour of flavour of the month celebrities…

Read Article →