Sam Hawken

writer-guy with blog

[REVIEW] Silent Rage (RiffTrax)

Silent Rage (RiffTrax)Way back in 1982, when I was just a young lad and not even a teen, I had already become something of a Chuck Norris fan. I’d seen almost everything he’d been in up to that point, and those movies were largely so-so, but the thing that really got me was The Octagon. I loved that movie and still do, despite the fact that it’s really, really bad. I own a copy and watch it at least once a year when my Norris/ninja batteries need recharging. It really is wonderful.

Anyway, 1982 rolled around and Chuck was still a couple of years away from his big break in Missing in Action. He appeared in a film called Silent Rage, and the trailer for this movie set my world on fire.

I had already seen Halloween, of course. And Halloween II. When you were a suburban kid whose parents had cable, you saw all sorts of age-inappropriate movies. And the trailer for Silent Rage pretty much promised us a movie where Michael Myers gets roundhouse-kicked in the face. I was sold.


[REVIEW] Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys

Puppet Master vs. Demonic ToysOkay, Sam, you can do this. Deep breath. Don’t cry. You’re the man.

So… Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys. This is a bad, bad, bad, bad movie. I know I said Curse of the Puppet Master was pretty rotten. I know I said the series truly scraped the bottom of the barrel with Puppet Master: The Legacy, such that I might never know love or laughter again. I know it seemed like the Puppet Master series had already experienced its nadir and it couldn’t possibly get any worse. And I was right, it doesn’t get any worse. It just doesn’t get much better.

When Full Moon Pictures was still making movies under the Paramount umbrella, they had ambitious plans. They wanted to put out a movie a month, just like a comic book, and they wanted to create a shared universe for their properties that had no parallel at the time. With the success of the Marvel Comics pictures we now understand exactly what Full Moon was going for, but in the ’90s this was pretty much virgin territory. They wanted to do crossovers all over the place, and one of the things they planned was something called Puppet Wars, which would pit the Puppet Master puppets against various enemies, including the less-than-inspiring monsters of the movie, Demonic Toys.


[REVIEW] Puppet Master: The Legacy

Puppet Master: The LegacySome people like to watch bad movies. I will admit to a certain degree of this predilection myself, having willingly exposed myself to bad films on more than one occasion, even knowing ahead of time that the movies were going to be bad. I am not, however, someone who takes pleasure in deliberately seeking out and enduring trash. I find life to be a bit too short for that, especially since there are so many good movies out there to watch instead.

This said, I started this Puppet Master series of reviews five years ago with the intention I always have when I begin these things: to watch all the movies in the series and report back to you, the reader. I did it with Universal Soldier, no matter how bad those movies got, and I’ve done it with everything from Jaws to a series of POW/MIA men’s adventure novels. When I commit to watching something, I follow through. It might take me years, but I do it.

Which brings us to Puppet Master: The Legacy, a movie so unbelievably bad that it makes me feel sorry for the people involved. It’s a pathetic excuse for a film, running just 77 minutes and feeling like an eternity. I have no idea what happened, but I’ll try to piece things together from here.