Blu Release – 4/5
Kingdom of the Vampire
Director – J.R. Bookwalter (The Dead Next Door, Ozone)
Starring – Matthew Jason Walsh (Stage Fright, Zombie Cop), Cherie Patry, and Shannon Doyle (Flashpoint, The Contract)
Release Date – 1991
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Her bark is worse than her bite!”
Back over the summer I went through makeflix.com, J.R. Bookwalter’s movie distribution site, and ordered some of his releases that I didn’t have in my collection. I had the Zombie Cop Bad Movie Police release but lost it when I left college. When I saw that all his sov films from the early 90s was in a Bad Movie Police set I decided to snag that. It was the cheapest way to get those films so I didn’t mind the set. However, just a few weeks after buying that set he revealed that those same six films would be getting a blu release.
Then he revealed his SOV Six Pack release to the world. It was absolutely amazing and I had to have it. The moment pre-orders were available I jumped on it and I’m glad I did. This set is absolutely amazing. I had to wait a few weeks but I was finally able to dig into it. The first film on the chopping block is 1991’s Kingdom of the Vampire.
**spoiler Alert** The film follows teenage Jeff (Walsh) who works night shift and then supports his mothre during the day…because she is a vampire. He has to take care of her in order to prevent her from killing the neighbors which occasionally happens. Things go from messy to chaotic when Jeff meets a beautiful young lady and the two starts dating. His bloodthirsty mother becomes jealous. To make matters worse, the town police suspects Jeff and his mother for the disappearence of his relatives who was last seen on their street trick or treating. **Spoiler Alert**
Kingdom of the Vampire is one I was not familiar with until I buy the Bad Movie Police set over the summer. I had the Brett Kelly remake I bought sometime ago but never watched. In fact, until over the summer I had no idea it was a remake. With that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this sov flick. Sure, it’s nowhere as fun as the other films I’ve seen from Bookwalter but it was still entertaining enough. In fact, I kind of liked the lowbrow nature of the film.
The acting in this one is pretty amateur but the cast is really dedicated to their role. The lack of experience, or inexperience, of the cast is overshadowed by their determination to deliver what the scene was calling for. I respect that kind of dedication. The story for this one is super simple and works but really stretches itself thin for the hour run time. A man trying to hide his evil mother from the general public in order to save her really is a solid story especially for a no-budget sov flick. However, this story does become flat as the film progresses. It would have made much more of an impact if some of the repetitive scenes were cut.
Finally, has some bloody moments but if you are looking for amazing practical effects and gore you will be very disappointed. The bloody scenes are not that impressive and easily forgettable. Overall, Kingdom of the Vampire is not going to be very everyone. However, if you dig early 90s sov horror flicks then this one may be for you. I really enjoyed it for what it was.
Director – J.R. Bookwalter (The Dead Next Door, Ozone)
Starring – Michael Kemper (Robot Ninja, Chickboxer), Ken Jarosz (Maximum Impact, Midnight 2), and James Black (Godzilla, Detention)
Release Date – 1991
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “You rights are hereby waived”
When I was in college I ordered the Skinned Alive Brentwood Home Video release that had four films in the set. I absolutely loved Skinned Alive when I was in high school so I went ahead and ordered this four film release for the bonus movies. When I placed that order I found myself down the rabbit hole of indie releases when I came across the Bad Movie Police release of Zombie Cop. I had never seen this one before but when I saw it was directed by Bookwalter under a different name I knew I had to have it.
When it arrived I decided to check it out but I found myself absolutely hammered (it was college after all) and I don’t remember shit about it. Sadly, that movie did not make the move from college to my home once I married. I did replace it over the summer with the Bad Movie Police set but I never revisited it until the SOV Six Pack release. I can see why I don’t remember it but I still enjoyed it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a police officer who is hot on the trail of a crime boss that is a practitioner of voodoo. He finds him during a drug bust but is unable to get the jump on him. Instead, he finds himself covered in a strange concoction before he is mortally shot. Later, he finds himself awakening from his grave with a bone to pick on the drug dealing voodoo priest that turned him into a zombie cop. **Spoiler Alert**
There is only one way to watch a movie titled Zombie Cop and that is to expect a lot of cheap laughs and a ridiculous story. If you toss in a movie called Zombie Cop and expect a serious film then you will be very disappointed.
The acting in this one is over dramatic and intense at times which is almost like a parody of the late 80s direct to video action flicks. The cast has some experience but their emotions and actions are very ridiculous but it makes the movie so much fun. I really enjoy the cast and how much energy they brought into the film. The story for this one is straight forward and really does parody the action films of years prior. We have a cop who dies, returns back to life, and seeks revenge on the drug pusher who killed him. This is nothing new especially by 1991 with dozens of films released with similar stories aside from the resurrection aspect. However, what makes this one so much fun is the zombie aspect along with the comedic aspects. It may not be the most memorable films of Bookwalter but it is still fun.
Finally, this one has some blood but those looking for more will be very disappointed. This one follows the action film tropes very closely and relies on the story and action more than the blood and gore. Overall, Zombie Cop is a fun one but doesn’t really have replay value. I enjoyed it and could see myself spinning it again with some friends and plenty of beer. The blu release looks alright but I think the film quality is just a little more improved than the DVD.
Director – Scott P. Plummer
Starring – Julie Suscinski, Shawna Baer (Killer Nerd, Girlfriends), and James Black (Charmed, Malcolm in the Middle)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Her naked fist will be in your face!”
When I ordered this set I did so only seeing one of the films out of the six and I didn’t remember shit about the one film that I had seen. I wanted it for my collection and because it was a very unique release. However, I didn’t have a lot of high hopes for some of the films that were included in the set. One movie I figured I would not like was the 1992 Scott P. Plummer action flick Chickboxer. However, I actually really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to any Tempe fan.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a small town girl who is obsessed with the television show Chickboxer. She takes up karate to try and become more like her idle but along the way she witnesses a crime. The police in town is being wrongfully fired so a crime organization can come in. With the police of no help, she takes matters into her own hands to bring them to justice. **Spoiler Alert**
When I was watching this I found myself really enjoying but it didn’t feel like a movie from Bookwalter. In fact, it wasn’t until I was putting together this review that I realized that this one was not directed by Bookwalter. I did some digging to see if this was another name used by Bookwalter but it looks like it’s not. This is the only directing credit under Plummer’s name which makes it even more impressive considering this was his first and only film in the director’s chair. Regardless, I really enjoyed this one.
The acting in this one is solid for the most part. Some of the cast shows their inexperience but I found myself really impressed by Suscinski in the lead role. She was great in the role and very natural in front of the camera. She does a phenomenal job and carries this film very well. The supporting cast is alright at times but there is a few scenes where they are a little underwhelming. The story for this one pretty straight forward but it’s fun. I typically don’t enjoy films with narratives but I liked the lead character so much that I didn’t mind it here. It was well done and not a buzzkill. The inclusion of the karate and organized crime is not that original but it still delivers some fun for a first time watch. The film is barely an hourly long so it’s not a difficult one to watch and follow.
Finally, this is not a bloody flick. The film is very story and character driven and follows the typical action stereotypes so no bloody bits for you sick fucks out there. Overall, Chickboxer is not your typical Tempe flick but I still enjoyed it. It’s campy as fuck but it’s still very fun. The blu is not much better than DVD quality which is alright considering. Check it out.
Director – J. R. Bookwalter (Robot Ninja, Ozone)
Starring – Ken Jarosz (Zombie Cop, Chickboxer), James Black (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5), and Michael Cagnoli (Ozone)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 2.5/5
When I ordered this SOV Six Pack there was a few movies I thought would not be for me but one that I was really excited to see was 1992’s Maximum Impact. I’m a sucker for no budget action flicks and seeing one directed by Bookwalter really excited me. Sadly, this one was a rough one to finish. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn’t get into it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a business man who travels away for a business meeting. That night he visits a friend who works with him and witnesses a woman shoot him in the head as part of a snuff film. He helps get the woman away from the man recording and goes home to until he can figure out what to do next. However, the company behind the snuff film knows about him and sends a group of hit men to kill his wife and get the girl back. What they don’t expect is the arsenal he keeps in his home. **Spoiler Alert**
I was really fucking excited to dig into this one. This is one of J.R.’s movies that I’ve wanted to see for years but never had the opportunity. Sadly, it was nowhere near as fun as his other films. He had a great start but fizzled out about mid-way through. I wish I could like this one but I couldn’t.
The acting in this one is solid but there was times where the cast really hams it up. They overreact during some scenes and underreact during others. The characters are little more entertaining than a few of the other films in this set but the acting is very inconsistent. The story for this one starts out super strong and sleazy. We have a company that specializes in child trafficking and snuff where are lead gets caught up in their illegal actions. Once this happens the film slows down drastically. The “action” scenes are pretty plain and uneventful which resulted in a difficult film to finish. If the story could have kept the energy from the first half it would have been something worth your time.
Finally, this one has some bloody moments with some fun action style kills but the practical effects are minimal. They work for the scene but they are nothing that memorable. Overall, Maximum Impact started with a bang but quickly dried out. I really liked where the story started but not where it went. The last half of this hour long film is a bit of a tough one to finish. I think this is my first negative review for a Tempe release but this one just wasn’t for me.
Humanoids from Atlantis
Director – J.R. Bookwalter (Ozone, Robot Ninja)
Starring – James L. Edwards (Her Name was Christa, Bloodletting), Sandra Wurzer (Midnight 2, Andromina: The Pleasure Planet), and Christine Morrison (Ozone, Galaxy of the Dinosaurs)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “Rising from their watery graves to fulfill their ancient hunger…”
My mind raced with all the possibilities about what this SOV Six Pack would deliver. A few of them didn’t look like they were for me but most of them looked like good cheap fun. With that being said, there was one film that I wanted to see more than the others. It was 1992’s Humanoids from Atlantis. The artwork for the original VHS release is far from perfect BUT I fucking love it. It’s simple, campy, and just looks badass in my opinion. The new artwork for the blu looks cool and all but I love the artwork for the VHS so much. It really made me want to see this one.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows an aspiring filmmaker and his girlfriend. He is hired to make a documentary about their local lake but while filming he discovers a strange aquatic humanoid and records it. It tries to attack him but they knock it out with his camera and run. The police don’t believe him but he soon finds a scientist that does. She predicts that the creature was from Atlantis and wants to use his finding, along with her research, to win the Noble Prize. However, she has a secret motive that they soon uncover. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one looking for a cheesy creature feature that only Bookwalter could do but was met with a film that starts out interesting enough before it completely flops near it’s ending. It had me sold up until the 20 or 30 minute mark but then completely drops the ball. The acting in this one is pretty solid. It’s cool seeing how young James Edwards was in this one. He always seems comfortable in front of the camera. The supporting cast is solid as well but their personalities do fall flat with the story. They easily blend into the background in most scenes.
The story for this one is incomplete. We follow what feels like the beginning to a Fred Olen Ray film with Bookwalter behind the camera. We have a creature from Atlantis and an evil scientist. A solid beginning but as the film progresses it hits a dry spell before just ending with what looks like a staged blooper. This leads me to believe that something happened and the movie couldn’t be finished. Either funding ran out, time was an issue, or something of that nature.
Finally, this is not really a bloody or gory one. We do get a pretty cheap costume but that’s about the extent of the effects in this one. Overall, Humanoids from Atlantis is a joke from Bookwalter to viewers. The movie starts out innocently enough but has no real conclusion for fans. Out of the set this is one I would skip.
Galaxy of the Dinosaurs
Director – J.R. Bookwalter (Robot Ninja, Polymorph)
Starring – James Black (The Burning Zone, Godzilla), Christine Morrison (Ozone, Chickboxer), and Tom Hoover (Dead and Rotting, Ozone)
Release Date – 1992
Rating – 3/5
It took a few days but here I am at the end of the Tempe Digital SOV Six-Pack. When filmmaker J.R. Bookwalter announced his SOV Six-Pack I couldn’t wait to have it. The unique set was the selling point but having the films as they were originally released and not part of the Bad Movie Police line was definately a plus.
After watching several awesome, and a few not so awesome, movies it’s now time for the last one in the set which is 1992’s Galaxy of the Dinosaurs. This is one I’ve heard about before from other movie fans. It’s notorious for using scenes from Planet of the Dinosuars with new footage that Bookwalter had filmed. Honestly, I was still excited to check this oddball film out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group on a space ship when they learn that their flight has been sabotaged. They are forced to crash land on a planet inhabited by dinosaurs and forced to fight to survive. That is until they learn that it was all part of an evil plan by one of their own. **Spoiler Alert**
I tossed this one in expecting a strange shit show of a film but I actually found myself liking it. Sure, it’s a cheap way to make a movie but I’m a fan of cheap movies. It’s fun for a first time watch but it’s not a memorable film experience.
The acting in this one is solid but nothing amazing. The cast is fully dedicated to their roles and gives every scene everything they have. The characters are a little underwritten and they sometimes blend in with the scene but the cast does the best they can with what they were given.
The story for this one was written around inserting those scenes from Planet of the Dinosaurs. It actually works and is heavily influences by sci-fi television shows and movies of the 60s and 70s. I really enjoyed this cheesy story even if old footage from another film was used. I know that turns some people off to it but I liked it a lot. As I stated earlier, this is not the kind of movie that will stick with you for days but it is good corny fun. Overall, Galaxy of the Dinosaurs is a cheap movie that is surprisingly fun. It’s not one that everyone will appreciate but I enjoyed it for what it was.
Six Individually Packaged Region-Free Blu-ray Discs (MOD): “Kingdom of the Vampire” (1991), “Zombie Cop,” “Chickboxer,” “Maximum Impact,” “Galaxy of the Dinosaurs,” and “Humanoids From Atlantis”
Three Restored Movies with 5.1 Surround Remixes
Original VHS Versions from Archival Edit Masters
Live Original Cast Reading of the Complete, Uncut “Humanoids From Atlantis” Screenplay
Three Commentary Tracks for Each Movie
New and Vintage Extras from the Tempe Vaults
Reversible Wraps with Original VHS Artwork
Two Bonus Soundtrack Music CDs (MOD)
Three Reversible 10” x 13” Mini-Posters
24-Page Booklet with Photos and Liner Notes
Bonus Vimeo on Demand Digital Streaming Code
Optional English Subtitles (Feature Only)
Exclusive Packaging Limited to Only 300 Units, Autographed by Producer J.R. Bookwalter