SHOCKING DARK
1989, AGFA, 90 min, Italy, Dir: Bruno Mattei

For writers Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi (TROLL 2) and director Bruno Mattei (ZOMBI 3, CRUEL JAWS), their final and most notorious collaboration went beyond brazen plagiarism to become a fearless act of deranged genius. In this bravura dual rip-off of ALIENS and TERMINATOR, a team of badass marines ... a tough female civilian ... and an orphaned girl battle monsters beneath the Venice canals while chased by an indestructible killer cyborg ... with everything careening towards one of the ultimate WTF twist endings. Geretta Geretta (DEMONS) and Tony Lombardo (RATS: NIGHTS OF TERROR) star in this “schlockfest of awesome” (Cool Target), which was released internationally in the late ‘80s as both TERMINATOR II and ALIENATORS.


DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE
2018, Summit Entertainment, 158 min, USA/Canada, Dir: S. Craig Zahler

Hot on the heels of the spectacular pugilism of BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, S. Craig Zahler closes out a triptych of blunt-force trauma that hasn’t been witnessed since the sweaty grit of Peckinpah and Schrader at their muscular peaks. Here suspended cops Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) attempt to subvert a bank heist for private gain - but best-made plans don’t transpire as they should, resulting in murder, mutilation and a script that divides, conquers and challenges from the opening shot. Zahler expertly immerses us in a toxic environment where right and wrong are indistinguishable, and Gibson and Vaughn give him all the ammunition he needs with flawless performances as iconic antiheroes out of place and out of time - bad men doing bad things whom we willfully embrace as the lesser of the evils presented.


DOBERMAN COP
DOBERUMAN DEKA
1977, 90 min, Japan, Dir: Kinji Fukasaku

Based on the manga by Buronson and Shinji Hiramatsu, DOBERMAN COP is a one-of-a-kind cop movie featuring Sonny Chiba as tough-as-nails Joji Kano from Okinawa, who is investigating a savage murder in Tokyo’s nightlife scene. Settling between Fukasaku’s masterful “Battles Without Honor and Humanity” series, this is the yakuza genre elevated to art form, as Joji takes on all kinds of bikers, drug pushers and lowlifes - none of whom suspect that this seemingly naive man will never relinquish his bear-trap grip. With Fukasaku regulars filling out the secondary cast and Chiba at a charismatic peak, it’s a pure shot of adrenaline to the heart, delivered with the force of a chest kick.


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