HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Dungeonmaster/Eliminators
HTS Overall Score:64
WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW
It’s been a while but this is the first time in quite some time that I’ve seen SCREAM! Factory step outside the horror genre and dip into the Sci-fi/fantasy subgenre. What better way to make that leap than with two totally ridiculous and hysterically bad films. One goes fantasy with wizard’s, Warlocks and computer programmers, while the other makes you feel as if you just had a nasty dose of LSD as we mix cyborg soldiers, roman legionnaire armor that shoot lightning, cavemen, rednecks AND ninjas (no kidding). I feel as if there was more cheese in the nearly 3 hours of runtime than Walmart has on their entire shelf! Sometimes it’s bad, but sometimes it’s just plain BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD to the point that I was having an incredible blast!
The Dungeonmaster :2stars:
As much as one would think it is, “The Dungeonmaster” has NOTHING to do with Dungeons and Dragons. In fact there’s no real dungeons or dungeon master’s as well! Instead we have a series of vignettes, written and directed by 7 different directors to tell a myriad of tales pertaining to the evil Mestema (Richard Moll). A warlock by trade and evil psychopath…well.. all the time, Mestema draws out a nerdy (and moronic) computer programmer named Paul (Jeffrey Byron) into a series of 7 trials. There he fights differing sets of zombies, demons and other beasties from the pit of hell all the while trying to make it out in one piece.
“The Dungeonmaster” is really one consecutive story, but really feels convoluted and chunky due to having each separate trial directed by different directors etc. having to many hands in the cookie jar really brings the momentum to a screeching halt after each and every trial. The film tries but jolts backwards as new hands and new talents try something completely different. The sets are horrible, the stop motion is actually pretty good thanks to the talents of David Allen, and we even have hand puppets playing some of the monster. Oh boy, and to top it all off we get a short cameo by the 80’s metal band WASP… They aren’t exactly great actors but their 80s metal infuses some tempo to the movie and keeps it from being as bad as it could be. Veteran actor Richard Moll is the only spark of sanity and talent in the entire acting pool, and his energy makes Mestema quite a bit of fun. I wouldn’t say that it’s a good movie, but there are some redeemable factors in the cheesy horror/fantasy that allows me to give it a recommendation for the lover of low budget horror.
If you thought “The Dungeonmaster” was bizarre and crazy, “Elimantors” just takes it to a whole other level. The bizarre, the crazy and the level of drugs that must have been consumed during the filming. The basic plotline is that a fighter pilot is captured by the evil megalomaniac Dr. Reeves (Roy Dotrice) and turned into a cyborg creature dubbed “Mandroid” (yes, you read that right). After barely escaping with his life, Mandroid acquires the help of Dr. Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby, best known as Tasha Yar from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) who teams up with Mandroid after discovering that Dr. Reeves has used HER technology to create this abomination. Not able to carry out their revenge/punishment of Dr. Reeves by themselves, the pair teams up with guide and adventurer Harry Fontana (Andrew Prine) to help them get to the hidden fortress of the crazed Dr.
While you think you’ve seen it all with Mandroid, the movie has just STARTED to get weird. Hunted by redneck guides who are angry at Fontana poaching “their” contract, the team barely skitters out of danger only to be attacked by indigenous cave men from the Cro Magnum era, as well as flesh eating humans, and of course a Ninja. Yes, a full blown ninja complete with wire fu . At this point NOTHING surprises me, and as the movie gets weirder and weird you realize that what you saw prior to this was nothing but a warmup. It seems that Dr. Reeves is more than just obsessed with tech, he’s obsessed with the past and has created a cyborg Roman Legionnaire in order to travel back in time to the time of the Roman Empire and take over as king of the known world. That is, unless Fontana, Mandroid and Dr. Hunter can put a stop to his plans.
Oh boy. I don’t know where to even start. “Elminators” is one of the most whacked out and crazy flicks I’ve seen in YEARS. The level of insanity starts out high and just keeps going up and up to the point where I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I mean, who doesn’t completely accept a film with cyborgs, cavemen, rednecks, ninja assassins, killer beasts in the river and time travel to ancient Rome? At least the creators certainly believe so.
There really isn’t much to accept in the way of plot, but there are quite a few plot devices that go nowhere, or are just plain accepted as fact despite the reality that no one has a clue what’s going on. By the time I was 30 minutes in I was rolling on the floor with laughter and it didn’t let up till the credits rolled. I won’t say that “Eliminators” is a GOOD movie, but it is so crazy and out in left field that the movie is just a ball to watch. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it doesn’t try to ham it up either. The movie just accepts the plot devices as they are and lets the craziness unfold without blinking.
Not Rated by the MPAA / Rated PG by the MPAA, Parental Guidance Suggested
The Dungeonmaster :3stars:
“The Dungeonmaster” comes to Blu-ray with a fairly mediocre looking transfer in 1.78:1 AVC. Colors are nice and warm and well saturated, but the detail is a bit iffy, as the transfer looks like it’s been beat up a little bit. There is flickering here and there combined with some heavy grain and layer of dirt and grime covering the original print. Blacks are mushy and sometimes get pretty heavily washed out, while there are a few instances of macroblocking to make it a bit more controversial. Still, the movie is a beat up old horror flick from the 1980’s and that heavy grainy look is pretty common for movies of its time period and budget.
“Eliminators” comes to Blu-ray with a very similar looking 1080p encode, but one that looks ever so slightly better. Colors are nice and warm, and don’t look faded in the least, while contrast tends to be fairly balanced. The detail is of course a tad compromised as it has some print damage, and some lines running across the screen at times, but what detail remains is quite satisfactory. Blacks are solid, albeit a bit washed out and shadow detail is hit or miss. What makes this so fun is that it really LOOKS like the old 80s transfers I used to watch as a kid, and despite some of the flaws and issues with the old master, it looks a lot better than the mushy mushy DVD I used to wear out.
The Dungeonmaster :3.5stars:
The DTS-HD MA mono track for “The Dungeonmaster” is about on par with its vide encode, giving a fairly pleasing, but flawed, presentation. Dialog is crisp and strong, locked up front in the two mains in a stereo presentation, but there is some occasional scratchiness and old recording issues that crop up every once in a while. The mains are fairly dynamic with some good crash/bang/whiz moments when the wizard gets battling with our titular hero. LFE is constrained and just really has a bit baked into the mix (being that there is no dedicated LFE or surround channels. It’s a good track comparatively, but limited by a cheap budget and older recording issues related to the original budget.
“Elimnators” is very similar in that it has its flaws, but also has quite a lot good going for it. The 2.0 track is fairly dynamic and vibrant for only a 2 channel mix, and the battles between Man-droid (John Doe) and his copious lunacy inspired enemies light up the front stage quite a bit. LFE is limited, but expectedly so, and the dialog is perfectly acceptable for what it is. There is some issues of dialog fading as the actor’s turn away from the mic’s, and the high end feels a bit scratchy, but it’s not overly problematic.
• Theatrical Trailer
• NEW Interview With Director Peter Manoogian
“The Dungeonmaster/Elimators” is one of the most stupidly fun double features to come out of SCREAM! Factory’s vault for quite some time. Not really horror (which is their niche), and not really sci-fi/fantasy, both films skate an invisible line between the two genres which leads for some ludicrously entertaining times. “The Dungeonmaster” is a bit rough and hard to swallow at times, especially considering the 7 different directors involved in the film, but “Eliminators” is so much insane fun that it alone makes up for any shortcomings of the first movie. There really isn’t any special features to port over onto the DVD, but there IS a brand new commentary by the director of “Eliminators” which has some cool little tidbits contained within. I have to say that as a lover of niche/bizarre movies “The Dungeonmaster/Eliminators” is actually quite high on my recommended list, as the entertainment level far surpasses the meager production values contained within.
Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Tia Leoni, Gabrielle Union, Joe Pantoliano
Directed by: David Allen, Charles Band eter Manoogian
Written by: Charles Band, Allen Actor : Paul De Meo, Danny Bilson
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono/Stereo
Studio: SCREAM! Factory
Rated: NR : PG
Runtime: 77 minutes : 95 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: December 15th, 2015
Buy The Dungeonmaster/Eliminators Blu-ray on Amazon
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