Double Down (2005)
Directed by: Neil Breen
Starring: Neil Breen, Laura Hale, Mike Brady, Robert Di Francesco, Bonnie Carmalt, George Kerr, Maynard Mahler, Ruth Mahler, Marry Taylor, Alan Rogers, Huel Washington, Bill Frid
Don’t push it or I’ll give you a film you won’t believe.
Among stock footage of clouds, the title card “Double Down” comes up, then the name “Neil Breen” and then a few moments later “Produced, Written, & Directed by Neil Breen.” That’s it – no other references to the rest of the (limited) cast and crew, communicating to us that this is a vanity project – real estate agent-turned-actor/director Neil Breen’s baby all the way. Lengthy shots of the American southwest evoke a Manos/Birdemic vibe, and then we meet Neil Breen himself, playing “Aaron Brand”, a super secret agent with big time hacking skills (first in his class in college in computer science, fighter pilot with lots of medals, the top agent of the “Defense Intelligent Agency”, able to control any government computer or satellite from a laptop and some cell phones in the desert). When he is recounting his life story through voice-over (pretty much the entire length of the film), you could swear he was reading his resume. But the government assassinated his fiancée and so now he works as a terrorist. What a guy! Folks, watching Double Down, I was truly floored. I had seen some trailers for Breen’s “movies” but nothing prepared me for what I was to experience. After I watched it I learned an important lesson – never say out loud that a particular film is the worst movie ever made. Something else will soon surface that will make you eat those words.
Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998)
Directed by: Rod Hardy
Starring: David Hasselhoff, Lisa Rinna, Sandra Hess, Neil Roberts, Garry Chalk, Tracy Waterhouse, Tom McBeath, Ron Canada, Bill Croft, Roger R. Cross, Peter Haworth, Scott Heindl, Adrian G. Griffiths, Campbell Lane
Eye am very excited to be working for Shield again!
I don’t read comics. Never read Superman, Batman, X-Men, or Spiderman. The Avengers? Don’t know a thing about them other than what the recent crop of Marvel movies tells me. In those movies there’s a guy called Nick Fury, Agent of Shield. The mysterious eye-patch wearing operative, played by Samuel L. Jackson, kinda hangs out in the shadows, running a secret government organization and keeping watch over our heroes. Jackson as Fury was given a much bigger part in The Avengers, but did you know that before the recent Marvel stuff there already was a movie made about Nick Fury, Agent of Shield? And in that movie, the part of Nick Fury was played by David Hasselhoff, former driver of a sentient black Pontiac Trans Am, father figure to hot lifeguard babes, and darling of Germans everywhere?
Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987)
Director: Andy Sidaris
Stars: Ronn Moss, Dona Speir, Hope Marie Carlton, Harold Diamond, Rodrigo Obregón, Cynthia Brimhall, Patty Duffek, Wolf Larson, Lory Green, Rustam Branaman, David DeShay, Michael A. Andrews, Kwan Hi Lim, Joseph Hieu, Peter Bromilow
Hard Ticket to Hawaii is a film with true WTF moments, the funniest being a scene where two dudes in a jeep get shot at by a kid with a skateboard and a blow-up doll. Their response to the threat might be deemed by some as overkill – the driver hits him with the jeep, knocking him 20 feet into the air, then the other guy blows him up real good with a bazooka he happens to keep around for situations like this one. But the scene’s not done – the love doll was also thrown into the air, so the guy also blows it to smithereens (“Blow Up Doll” – Get It?!) Hey, you never know, that love doll might have given somebody a disease! It’s all part of the film’s “charm,” I guess, and by the way – the movie doesn’t answer the question of why the bad guy had an inflatable doll in the first place. But you should know better than to ask; after all, this is an “Andy Sidaris Film.”
Directed by: Warren A. Stevens
Starring: Paul Coufos, Robert Z’Dar, Alexa Hamilton, George ‘Buck’ Flower, Charles Napier, James Hong, Michael Paré, Fawna MacLaren, Joe Cortese, Tom Magee
Man, I love Ren-Fest!
In the old days, when men lived by codes of honor, there was Dragonfight. You know, gladiator battles or something or other. At least that’s what the Warren Stevens-directed “film” Dragonfight suggests, when a pony-tail wearing Michael Paré (from Eddie and the Cruisers) talks about it to his boss Asawa (the immortal James Hong). But Asawa laments “This is the 1990s .. we’re businessmen. We compete through corporate acquisitions!” However, Paré’s character already has put plans in motion for a modern day “Dragonfight” and Hong gets a chuckle out of it, finally giving the plan a greenlight. Cut to a bar where a mullet-wearing “Falchion” (Paul Coufos) is sulking over drinks before being drawn into a fight with some pumped up asshole (played by Canadian strongman Tom Magee). Paré’s shady businessman sets it up by having his bartender/girlfriend drop drugs into Magee’s drink. The drugs….well, I have no idea what they were intended to do. The movie kinda forgets about that little plot point. Anyway, Falchion is victorious in the back alley fight (actually, the other guy gets accidentally stabbed in the back by his idiot friend), so he’s recruited for Dragonfight. Similarly, some dirtbag named Lochaber (played by Robert Z’Dar … and his chin) beats up his own group of thugs and is brought in as well. So these two guys are dropped into the Arizona desert to battle one another, and a couple of major corporations have bet hundreds of millions of dollars on the fight. Now, if you’re wondering why mega-corporations would bet all this dough on something so illegal, well, let Mr. Jericho (played by George “Buck” Flower) narrate it for you in his throaty hillbilly voice:
It was the end of the century and the human race was tired. That’s probably how come they let it happen. You see, just as the world’s governments had learned to get along with each other, the mega-corporations stepped in and spoiled it all… threw down the gauntlet at each other. Dug up some sort of ancient Japanese rite of battle. They called it “Dragonfight.”
Robowar aka Robot da guerra (1989)
Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Starring: Reb Brown, Catherine Hickland, Massimo Vanni, Romano Puppo, Claudio Fragasso, Max Laurel, Jim Gaines, John P. Dulaney, Mel Davidson
Pretty sure this situation calls for lots of machine gun fire.
Here’s the setup to Bruno Mattei’s Robowar: a bunch of melodramatic helicopter pilots are talking nonsense to their base command about some kind of malfunction, which is intercut with an opening title sequence over a red pixelated haze. Eventually we figure out that they have lost control of something called Omega-1, a robot/weapon that mumbles out electronic gobbledegook before blowing up the chopper. I know what you’re thinking – this calls for Reb Brown!