Tag Archives: 80’s

First Blood

Published by:

Every single movie fan has probably seen First Blood (1982) aka Rambo at least once in their life. Personally speaking, First Blood is one of these films which has been on my to-watch list for ages and which, either because of lack of time or because of lack of interest, I saw now for the first time at the age of 28.

As there is not much to say about the movie this review will be a rather short one. Basically, the film is about an ex-green beret, physically and psychologically marked by Vietnam war, who goes on a GTA-like rampage in and around a small American town after he was mobbed and maltreated by the local police.

The movie is fantastic. I even claim that it is the best 80’s action movie I have seen until now but, to be honest, I had one problem with the movie, or let’s rather say with the main character. I am not sure if it was on purpose or not but I never really felt any sympathy for the reticent anti-hero, John Rambo.

There may be some people who claim that First Blood is an (attempt at an) anti-war movie about an American hero who gets completely lost in the real world after the atrocities he experienced during war. That the traumatized John Rambo actually is the real victim (of the brutalized American war-past) and that his excessive brutality is actually his personal form of dealing with problems, just as he learnt it from war. First Blood then can be seen as a film about a mentally broken hero prisoner of war whose mind is still confined in it and who is not able to handle his traumatizing experiences.

I am not sure if I can agree with the above or if the movie simply is nothing more than a perfect example of a well-staged, brutal and thrilling action movie with great dialogues, lots of explosions, guns and gore. In the end I really don’t give a damn because Rambo is entertaining, a classic which set new standards and if you, just like me, are one of the few people who haven’t seen it, you should do it. Rambo is without question one of the best popcorn movies I have ever seen. A must!

Miami Connection

Published by:

Last week I finally found some time to watch a movie and while I was thinking about what to watch I came across the Miami Connection trailer. I loved it and still do. There is a 80s rock band (with a pretty front woman) playing, there are motorcycle ninjas, gang fights, there is fire, cocaine and even some gore. You can’t go wrong with that, right? Well, you can. As much as I love the trailer and the fantastic movie poster, the movie is absolutely disastrous in its entirety.

Miami Connection (1987) is an indie martial arts film which was ignored and basically remained unseen for years, until Drafthouse Films decided to restore the movie in 2012 in order to give it a release.

Writer, producer and co-director Y.K. Kim, who is a taekwondo martial artist, clearly had no idea what he was doing and neither did the rest of his team. Film director Richard Park discovered Y.K. Kim when he was on a Korean talk show to promote a book about taekwondo. Park thought it was a good idea to convince a man who had no previous experience in the field to bring to life one of his storylines, and that’s how Miami Connection was born.

So, as I said, it’s painfully obvious that Y.K. Kim has no cinematographic knowledge or skill at all. The story is confusing as is (“A martial arts rock band goes up against a band of motorcycle ninjas who have tightened their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade“???), but on top of that, there are too many superfluous subplots which don’t add anything to the movie. The chronological order of the scenes is all over the place, there is no structure behind it. The whole movie is like a trailer: it doesn’t want to reveal too much about the actual plot, which is obviously suboptimal for a feature length film.

All in all, what I took away from this viewing experience was, once again, that the term “cult film” can be misleading. Many people don’t understand that even trash films can be inspirational and worthy of respect. Miami Connection, however, does not fit the bill.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZu69OB2KM]

Werewolves In Siberia – The Rising

Published by:

As your blog manages to get bigger and more popular, it happens that people request you to review their masterworks or how they like to call it. Which is a good thing, actually. Thanks to social media we get in touch with new artists and never despair to write new reviews as new material drops by on an almost daily basis. But at what price?

Werewolves in Siberia play, what they call, 70’s and 80’s inspired synth rock. As I never heard of them before, I did my obligatory online researches, checked their bandcamp and twitter profiles but couldn’t get any further informations. Last.fm confirmed my fears, as this band / collective / project only has 2 listeners and 14 scrobbles. Oh boy, what was I getting myself into?

If The Rising is supposed to be a horror soundtrack, it does not fail its task completely. The soundpalette is cheesy and well chosen at least. But that’s it. The opener Introduction to a nightmare and the last track Return to the nightmare could give you the impression that The Rising actually is a concept album, but no it’s not. It’s not that I do not like sterile soundscapes and repetitivity; that’s what made Kraftwerk the most recognized electronic band ever, but one has to put a lot of effort into creating his own sound and identity instead of selecting the most annoying and cheesy instrument in Magix Music Maker and calling it your own creation. It’s all about compromising!

The Rising is not catastrophic, the production is clean; there are even some pleasant moments in it, like Return to the nightmarewhich could sound colossal if only the artist had put more time into his composition and tried to implement real instruments into the track instead of going full MIDI. This album is supposed to be a horror soundtrack but plashes into insignificance and boredom. The only thing my mental cinema could imagine was a group of Ewoks hunting mushrooms in planet Gutter on a real bad Meth trip. And that’s not even as funny as it sounds. But if you’re still into this kind of music (why not?), get it on bandcamp.