Tag Archives: Cerina Vincent

B Movie Glory: toXic

In the endless sea of direct to video output, sometimes you find one that although is rough as all hell around the edges, has potential and moments that shine, even if they’re stuck in a muddled, overcrowded narrative. Toxic is one such film, a psychological horror/crime hybrid that is so full of B level movie legends, rappers and porn stars that some are only around for a second, a whole galaxy of fringe talent caught up in a story that needs complete attention to be understood, not because it’s any kind of genius labyrinthine story, but simply because it’s edited with a chainsaw and has more dangling plot threads than an entire season of CSI. There’s two timelines it takes place in, a setup that already isn’t explained well enough off the bat, but such is the level of commotion. In one, nervous mobster Tom Sizemore (nuttier than usual as this was his first gig after a stint in jail) hires two henchman (Corey Large and Danny Trejo) to find his daughter (Charity Shea) who is apparently very dangerous, but he won’t say how or why. She ends up at a strip club run by rapper Master P and her presence seems to cause nothing but trouble for everyone there including a severely depressed hooker (Dominique Swain), an ill fated homeless man (C. Thomas Howell) and others. In another timeline we see another strip club run by pimp-with-a-heart-of-gold Costas Mandylor, in which Corey Large shows up again as a mysterious bartender and the whole berserk plot hinges on his two characters, but they really should have let him stick to producing duties and hired another actor because he’s in desperate need of some acting classes. All manner of other famous faces make cameos too including Bai Ling as Sizemore’s weird clairvoyant girlfriend, scene stealer Susan Ward as a sympathetic bartender, Steven Bauer, Lochlyn Munro in dual roles, Paul Johansson, Ron Jeremy, James Duval, Johann Urb, Holt McCallany, Cerina Vincent, Shar Jackson, Nick Chinlund and the list goes until you start to wonder if these prolific people were just hanging around the studio lot and needed extra work. Here’s the thing: there *is* actually a discernible story here that’s interesting and engaging, and upon reflection it does all in fact make sense. *But*…in a ninety minute film with this many cameos and random stuff, it’s too much to feel coherent. I will say that the final twist/revelation is handled in a top tier, musically visceral way that’s quality stuff, but so much else was kind of incomprehensible that several people I’ve watched it with could tell there was a twist by the tropes being used, but not what it actually was. With a new angle on editing, sharpening up the script and whatnot this could have been something more accessible, but I still really like it for effort put into a neat storyline, the laundry list of cool cast members, that final scene that’s done so well and the obvious, endearing homages to Tarantino and Tony Scott in style and tone. Interesting, pulpy, lurid, scattershot stuff.

-Nate Hill

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B Movie Glory: Intermedio

Everyone has their career peak, and unfortunately for Edward Furlong it was right out of the gate with James Cameron’s Terminator 2. After that it was a long slow slump of B movies leading up until the present, one of which is the dingy cave set horror flick Intermedio, which is mostly trash save for a few artistic flourishes in ghost design, and a spooky villain performance from genre icon Steve Railsback. Furlong leads a hopeless troupe of American tourists who attempt to smuggle drugs back to the states through a complex underground catacomb, and fall prey to many tortured souls who have become vengeful phantasms down there. It’s dark, noisy, dimly lit and cluttered, with Railsback providing class and creep factor, but beyond that it’s not much. The obligatory scream queens are played by Cerina Vincent and Amber Benson, who have enough presence to get by alright. I did enjoy some of the ghostly special effects though, trippy apparitions that almost look like cave paintings come to life. This is nothing more than an extended X Files style gig, with a few notes that land, but mostly gets swept away in the dust. That title is neat though hey, representing an ancient word for the space between the world of the living and that of the dead. If only the film could have been that effectively mystic.

-Nate Hill

B Movie Glory: Seven Mummies

Seven Mummies is so bad it plays like something that From Dusk Till Dawn shat out along the highway. There’s not even one mummy in the thing, let alone seven, instead it’s a dull, shoddily acted piece of bargain bin garbage and the plastic used to make DVD copies would have been put to better use elsewhere. It concerns a bus full of convicts who escape somewhere in the remote southwest, and head for the Mexican border. On the way they stumble across Aztec treasure that has some vague curse, and soon an even vaguer evil is after them all, but none of it makes much sense. Danny Trejo is in it as a mysterious old weirdo called Apache (never mind that he’s so obviously, visibly Mexican), who sits on a dilapidated desert porch and ominously laughs to himself while staring out at the horizon for at least a whole scene. Seriously. No actual lines at all, just laughing and staring, it’s so odd. The one saving grace is veteran villain actor Billy Drago as the evil ghost of an old west outlaw who shows up to cackle and terrorize everyone in a classically hammy bit of theatricality, it’s always great to see him. Other than that there’s really no signs of life to this one, from crappy low rent CGI monsters to lazy filmmaking all round. You’re better off pulling up a chair next to Trejo on that dusty porch and joining him as he chuckles at the tumbleweed dumpster fire of a film he agreed to d just for a few bucks. Amazingly though, it’s still better than that Tom Cruise Mummy flick from last year. Ugh.

-Nate Hill