The Lone Star State 3

PART 3: SFX 101-PRESENT

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987)
Director:
Gary Goddard
Reviewed: SFX#107
“Long before scientists grew a human ear on the back of a mouse, Hollywood had successfully dabbled in genetic splicing with this big-screen, live-action Masters of the Universe. The blurb on the poster could well have read: ‘Not just a dog! Not just a turkey! Both combined!’“ Dave Golder

FREDDY VERSUS JASON (2003)
Director:
Ronny Yu
Reviewed: SFX#115
“Dear reader, I watched this so you will never have to. Don’t let my sacrifice be in vain.” Nick Setchfield

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003)
Director:
Marcus Nispel
Reviewed: SFX#117
“A vile, ugly and cynical film, made by gorehounds for the Ain’t it Cool crowd – the kind of film fans who use phrases like, ‘This movie kicks ass!’” Steve O’Brien

Van Helsing

VAN HELSING (2004)
Director:
Stephen Sommers
Reviewed: SFX#119
“The Mummy’s Stephen Sommers has stitched together a Frankenstein’s creature of clumsily-assembled genre parts and there’s no-one to cry, ‘It lives!’” Nick Setchfield

CATWOMAN (2004)
Director:
Pitof
Reviewed: SFX#122
“Warner Bros has re-entered the superhero fray with a blockbuster that might as well have a large ‘Kick me!’ sign attached to its back. It’s a wasted opportunity. A kitty without its claws.” Saxon Bullock

The Chronicles of Riddick

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (2004)
Director:
David Twohy
Reviewed: SFX#125
“Bloody Hell, did somebody make Andromeda: The Movie while we weren’t looking?” Dave Golder

MORONS FROM OUTER SPACE (1985)
Director:
Mike Hodges
Reviewed: SFX#127
“It’s like being stuck at Walsall bus station at 1.30 in the morning, with a drunkard who wants to tell you stories but has never cottoned onto the fact that nobody ever laughs at the end.” Steve O’Brien

RESIDENT EVIL APOCALYPSE (2004)
Director:
Alexander Witt
Reviewed: SFX#128
“Criticise a movie for being ‘like a videogame’ and overheated gamers will write in to claim that blowing people’s heads off is an emotional experience on a par with the end of Casablanca. So let’s be clear about this. This film isn’t like a videogame. It’s like sitting, bored out of your mind, watching your flatmate play one.” Ian Berriman

Species 3

SPECIES III (2004)
Director:
Brad Turner
Reviewed: SFX#129
“Species II was an okayish way to waste 90 minutes. Species III is a great way to kill a franchise.” Jason Arnopp

ZEORAIMA(1988-90) (anime)
Director:
Toshihiro Hiranoi
Reviewed: SFX#131
“It’s a classic of the medium, consistently topping fans’s Top 10 lists, despite its age. It bought us great mecha, indiscriminate destruction and characters who brimmed with existential teenage angst. Speak its name and even those rare anime fans who haven’t seen it know what it’s about and what it’s like, such is its impact on the anime world. We are, of course, talking about Neon Genesis Evangelion. Zeoraima, despite having many of the same elements, isn’t remembered nearly so fondly – because it’s a load of rubbish.” Leah Holmes

BLADE: TRINITY (2004)
Director:
David Goyer
Reviewed: SFX#131
“‘Movies are full of shit,’ the opening narration tells us, with uncanny foresight.” Dave Golder

HOUSE OF THE DEAD (2003)
Director:
Uwe Boll
Reviewed: SFX#133
“It’s a videogame adaptation. And it’s directed by Uwe Boll – oh dear… It’s the sort of film where you start ripping the piss, only to see your gags come true. ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if they ended up using big plastic Namco guns like they have in the arcade?’ ‘Shit! They have! I was only kidding!’ You’ll laugh. But only to keep from crying.” Leah Holmes

DIVERGENCE EVE (2003)
Director:
Hiroshi Negishi
Reviewed: SFX#134
“One of the many jokes in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy that was cut from the movie concerned an unreadable book where the last pages were left blank because nobody ever finished it. If distributor ADV wanted to save money, they could leave this DVD blank after the first episode, because few will be motivated to go any further.” Andrew Osmond

CODE NAME: ETERNITY (2005)
Director:
Various
Reviewed: SFX#135
“Imagine you’re not a sci-fi fan. But you’re curious. Friends who are fans have told you that lots of sci-fi series have fantastic, engaging story-lines and you want to see for yourself. So you settle down for an evening in front of the telly to watch the first episode of a new series. Hey, any series is safe, right? No. Code Name: Eternity is the kind of series your fan friends have nightmares about.” Leah Holmes

THE ADVENTURES OF SHARKBOY AND LAVAGIRL (2005)
Director:
Robert Rodriguez
Reviewed: SFX#141
“Picture a feature-length Smarties advert. Or a school play with a multi-million dollar budget. Or an LSD trip without the fun. You’re now – unfortunately – picturing The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl.” Jason Arnopp

ROBOCOP: THE PRIME DIRECTIVES (2000)
Director:
Julian Grant
Reviewed: SFX#141
“Things go rapidly downhill with these RoboCop TV movies whenever a) anyone opens their gob and attempts to act, and b) RoboCop shows up moving like Kryten with the shits.” Sam Ashurst

HELLGATE (2005)
Director:
William A Levey
Reviewed: SFX#142
“Hellgate is jawdroppingly bad in every respect; an inept mishmash of horror ideas thrown together so carelessly it can’t decide whether the undead ghouls roaming the streets are ghosts or zombies. Direction, script, acting, design and editing all compete to be the worst part of this rubbish. Frankly, it’s a five-way tie.” MJ Simpson

DOOM (2005)
Director:
Anderzej Bartowiak
Reviewed: SFX#143
“A plot so thin and corny it could be the love child of Kate Moss and the Jolly Green Giant.” Dave Golder

AN AMERICAN HAUNTING (2005)
Director:
Courtney Solomon
Reviewed: SFX#143
“The art of the scary film is cinematic alchemy in its highest form, but of all the ingredients in a chilling pie, by far the naffest is the jump scare. You know the kind of thing. Tension… tension… tension… sudden noise! Oh, it’s just a cat meowing. Imagine a film that consists solely of jump scares. And nothing else. Every two minutes or so. Seriously, the actors in An American Haunting can’t put a mug of cocoa down without a huge bloody boom on the soundtrack.” Jon Hamblin

STAY ALIVE (2006)
Director:
William Brent Bell
Reviewed: SFX#145
“Lead actor Jon Foster, who you will no doubt remember as Gas Station Cashier in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, plays Hutch O’Neill, a games enthusiast with a supremely irritating peer group of joystick-
happy bell-ends.” Jason Arnopp

ERAGON (2006)
Director:
Stefan Fangmeier
Reviewed: SFX#156
“Superficially, Eragon is Lord Of The Rings Lite, a by-the-numbers fantasy with Urgals, Razacs and other baddies whose names sound like euphemisms for testicles (well, would you want to be kicked in the razacs?). Indeed, the film’s a complete load of Urgals.” Dave Golder

STAN LEE'S THE CONDOR (2007)
Director:
Steven E Gordon
Reviewed: SFX#158
"The Condor is Stan’s first attempt at a Latino superhero. And it’s like watching a really serious Speedy Gonzales cartoon.” Jon Hamblin

THE BREED (2006)
Director:
Nicholas Mastrandrea
Reviewed: SFX#161
“The Breed is so clichéd that the surprise isn’t that the black guy dies first, but that he hangs around for so long.” Richard Cobbett

MAMMOTH (2006)
Director:
Tim Cox
Reviewed: SFX#161
“Shockingly amateurish. Tusk, tusk.” Nick Setchfield

SOUTHLAND TALES (2006)
Director:
Richard Kelly
Reviewed: SFX#165
“Kelly could edit this film forever and still not get anything coherent out of it. He’s grasping for something important about post 9/11 governmental control, but he just can’t resist collapsing on the crutch of wormholes and time-travel, destroying any point he might have. It all feels hopelessly adolescent – in its struggle to appear deep, it even resorts to quoting Jane’s Addiction lyrics verbatim.” Jon Hamblin

INFESTATION (2005)
Director:
Ed Evers-Swindell
Reviewed: SFX#165
“Humanity’s been forced underground by a virus, like in Twelve Monkeys. A pilot has to traverse the Earth’s crust, as in The Core. Topside, he’s faced with murderous muties, like in Serenity. It’s like a 90-minute version of those YouTube mash-ups that splice films together for ‘entertainment’.” Sam Ashurst

RATMAN (1988)
Director:
Giuliano Carnimeo
Reviewed: SFX#166
“In this Italian trash horror, a scientist combines the sperm of a rat with the ovum of a monkey, producing a homicidal hybrid with poisonous claws. Why? Good question. ‘I thought I would win the Nobel Prize!’ the chap declares, but he’s clearly got more chance of receiving a cease and desist order from DC Comics.” Ian Berriman

ALIEN VERSUS PREDATOR: REQUIEM (2008)
Director:
Colin & Greg Strause
Reviewed: SFX#167
“As requiems go, it’s a bit like flicking fag ash into the open grave of the franchise.” Dave Golder

THE KILLER EYE (1999)
Director:
David DeCoteau
Reviewed: SFX#169
“If you’re aroused by The Eye’s breast-fondling antics, you should perhaps invest in a copy of Razzle and some photos of Marty Feldman instead.” Jim Hall

SOCKET (2007)
Director:
Sean Abley
Reviewed: SFX#171
“Socket is the first full-frontal, gay sci-fi flick, featuring fellas who get off on electricity. There’s a chance the Who refit has made some of you straights a bit bi-sci-fi-curious, but if that’s the case, stick to Torchwood.” Sam Ashurst

WHEN EVIL CALLS (2007)
Director:
Johannes Roberts
Reviewed: SFX#171
“If tattooed 25-year-olds faking it as horny schoolgirls appeal, try the net – it’s free.” Ian Berriman

UNDERDOG (2007)
Director:
Frederik Du Chau
Reviewed: SFX#172
“This film is a dog. And if you think that’s a spectacularly unoriginal way to open a review of a film about a superpowered beagle, then bear this in mind – it’s a far wittier gag than any you’re going to find in the movie itself.” Dave Golder

FLASH GORDON: THE SERIES (2007)
Director:
Various
Reviewed: SFX#173
“This new version of Flash’s adventures is so cheap that the special effects team practically has to have a whip-round every time they need to produce something… Pitiful rubbish, watchable only because it doesn’t actively stab you in the eyes between episodes.” Richard Cobbett

THE VANGUARD (2005)
Director:
Matthew Hope
Reviewed: SFX#176
“Inept student filmmakers have failed courses with better films than this.” Dave Golder

BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD (2004)
Director:
Michael Roesch, Peter Scheerer
Reviewed: SFX#177
“Prospective filmmakers could learn a lot from this: don’t dump tons of exposition but forget to tell us who the characters are and why we should care; using Tarantino-style flashback structure doesn’t disguise poor writing; and you can only get away with lines like, ‘You will learn what true fear is!’ in a spoof.” Calvin Baxter

THE GENE GENERATION (2007)
Director:
Pearry Reginald Teo
Reviewed: SFX#181
“If you missed Bai Ling’s appearance in Playboy then The Gene Generation is here to help. Barely a second of celluloid passes without our heroine’s cleavage on camera.” Calum Waddell

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH
Director:
TJ Scott
Reviewed: SFX#181
“Don't mistake this for the big screen 3D version… though presumably the distributor’s hoping you do.” Dave Golder

For SFX's most recent one star review click HERE
To go back to the start of this feature, click HERE