The Mole People Review

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It’s time to look at a really old film featuring everyone’s least favorite retro monster…The Mole People. I’ve never really found these guys to be all that interesting to be honest. Their designs aren’t much better than the average human’s and they don’t seem to pose much of a threat. Still, a film around them could prove promising I suppose but they better be cleaning shop and wrecking the humans.

The film starts off with a 9 minute intro of an old man trying to lay down the hard facts about how the Earth is layered. He explains about the heat and volcanoes but does so in an incredibly bored voice. This whole segment is definitely not necessary in the film and only serves to curb your enthusiasm going into it. This preview just had no sense of direction or energy at all and I can imagine people slowly connecting the dots in the theatre at this point that they had just wasted their money.

We then get the actual start to the movie as the three diggers find some ancient ruins thanks to a local kid. There was a 4th digger but he wasn’t watching where he was going as ends up falling to his death. The others hurry after him but then realize that they are stuck as well. The caves seem man made though which makes the main characters a little suspicious. It turns out that an ancient civilization of humans live down here where they have enslaved the Mole Men. They are quickly convinced that the main characters are agents of their god but know this myth cracks the main characters will be in grave danger. They’ve got to get out of here!

As these humans have never seen light before, the flashlight is incredibly useful against them. Just a quick flash will blind them and cause their whole army to retreat. The tough part is that the flashlight will run out of battery soon and the heroes like keeping it on to comfort themselves. It’s a dangerous move but if they are confident about it then so I will be as well.

One thing that definitely doesn’t help the movie’s case from the start is the fact that the Mole Men have actually been enslaved and must do the bidding of the humans. That takes away from them being the main villains completely. Thanks to the climax we also learn that they have super strength and can easily destroy the humans with a single blow. We also see them easily drag some humans into the ground throughout the film. It’s just hard to believe that they would be turned into slaves like this and it’s a poor direction for the film to go into.

This is where the film is just mean spirited as we see them beaten repeatedly. The main characters show up to help them once in a while but naturally when they are not there you can imagine that the beatings continue. Even the ending is rather mean spirited as one of the main characters gets crushed by a rock. Keep in mind that this is at the very end of the film once they were past the danger. What’s the point of letting this character die and effectively giving the villains a win? I certainly don’t think that was a good idea and just makes the ending a downer.

From the 3 main characters at the beginning, the old man was definitely very annoying. He was constantly panicking and running around. The guy was a liability the whole time and how did he not realize that one of the Mole Men has scratched 3 large gashes through his chest? It was hard to feel bad for him when the villains inevitably found him because he nearly destroyed the whole party. While the other 2 characters were better, they weren’t all that smarter. They were quick to eat the mushrooms which they should have suspected were probably drugged since the villagers really didn’t like them. They didn’t have a whole lot of eating options of course, but another such moment is when they put down the flashlight all by itself instead of holding on to it. Rookie move. At least they could fight though.

Naturally the cave also makes for a very boring backdrop. There’s just not much to actually look at since the film is so dark and it’s just an excuse for the film to get away with a minimal amount of sets. Well, there are definitely worse backdrops than a cave so this isn’t a serious complaint or anything. As far as negatives go it is certainly all the way at the bottom of the list.

Overall, This is definitely a very weak movie and not one that you are very likely going to remember. The Mole Men are incredibly weak and the human villains are not particularly distinct in any way. The human characters are generic but not in a good way and the really boring intro doesn’t do the film any favors. I don’t think anyone is watching this film for a chance to see the humans enslaving more populations so this movie just doesn’t give us the story that we want. It is also worth mentioning that the romance is very tacked on for this film. I would advise skipping this movie and checking out one of the many better monster films out there like Gamera.

Overall 3/10

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Ninja Gaiden Review

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It’s time to look at another classic NES game thanks to the MyNintendo Rewards. This one is a clear step up from City Connection and actually feels like a real game. Right away I can tell you that this is a good thing. The game has a plot, solid gameplay, and could be mistaken for a more modern game. It wouldn’t be out of place on the Super Nintendo. I won’t say that the game was amazing, but I would call it one of the better games on the console. The game’s difficulty also lives up to its reputation as you will have a very difficult time trying to beat it without a good save option.

The game starts with Ryu getting knocked out by a mysterious lady. She explains that he has to fight and survive while dodging the enemies. He is understandably confused, but has no time to ponder this as the CIA arrives and they also knock him out. They task him with finding two statues and saving the world or they will destroy him. Ryu will do that, but along the way he also has to find his father as well as rescue the agent who knocked him out in the beginning. It’s going to be a long day, but that’s nothing new for the warrior known as Ryu.

The gameplay is that of your typical 2D platformer. It’s almost like a beat em up as well, but the game technically doesn’t force you to fight the enemies. I would recommend it though as otherwise they will get sneak attacks on you. A single fall means doom and there are a bunch of places where you can fall. Some enemies will respawn infinitely though and keep in mind that if you turn back for whatever reason any enemies in front of you will reappear as well. That’s why you must never backtrack. You can run, jump, and swing your sword. Additionally by holding up and pressing the slash button you can use whatever super attack you have at the ready. The fire balls are really good as well as the boomerang ninja star.

There are 20 levels but you only get 3 lives. If you don’t use the super save feature then I imagine that you will die around world 2. The game is super challenging, but rarely does it feel unfair. At most some of the enemies could seem a little like they are luck based in regard to hitting them before they hit you, but I think with perfect timing you can probably get around that. I can’t really say one way or the other there, but it seems possible. There isn’t any replay value after beating the game, but that along should take you quite a while.

The graphics are pretty solid and have aged very well. The character designs are good and the game even has images and text like a more modern game. The illustrations are quite good and we even get a number of solid plot twists. It really makes the whole game a lot more personal for Ryu. There is a soundtrack as well even if I can’t recall any of the themes. They all sound a little similar plus you will be far too busy trying to survive to actually listen to what the music sounds like.

Overall, This game was actually fun. Ninja Gaiden is a title that I would certainly recommend to others. It gets the fundamentals right so then everything after that is a nice bonus. This game is just the complete package and it might have the best plot for any NES game. That could be a stretch, but at the moment I can’t think of any that are better. If you’re looking for a good game on the E-shop then look no further. This is the kind of game that you want to check out and you will also be able to appreciate a part of gaming history!

Overall 7/10

City Connection Review

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I realized that I had a ton of coins on MyNintendo Rewards and they were all about to go to waste so it was time to make a move. I don’t buy digital games all that often, but when I do you can bet that they will be quality titles. Well, City Connection isn’t all that good to be honest and it’s not very well known for a good reason, but the actual gameplay is fairly unique. With modern tech it probably could have even been very good. As it stands, the game is very forgettable and won’t be remembered as well as something like Mario or Legend of Zelda.

The game starts you off right away as you drive through town. The levels are all on what is essentially 3 screens worth of ground to cover. You have to drive on everything to make the stage all white which clears the level. The stages typically have 3-4 levels of height to go through and you will have to dodge the cops and an evil cat as you do this. All you can do is drive back and forth as well as jumping. Once you master the controls you will also find that jumping and then changing directions is incredibly handy. The game is rather fast so it is very difficult not to bump into anything. One bump costs a life though so be careful as 3 bumps means that you are out.

The game has roughly 5 levels before it starts looping back to the beginning forever and ever. There is no story or ending to be found so watch out or you’ll be playing old levels. I was nearly done with beating the game a second time before I realized this. It’s rather disheartening since it means that the game was really slapped together without a care in the world. I only made it through the game because of the save points that you can exploit with the Wii U. Prepare to save it every other second here as cars will teleport out of nowhere and the cat likes to move around as well. The cat is invincible so just don’t mess with him. He will chase you if you stay on any layer of the stage too long so do a lot of jumping. Of course, when you jump you are vulnerable as a car can easily jump out of nowhere to intercept you so watch out for that.

You only counter to the cars is that you can fire back with some oil bullets. This won’t work on cars that teleport though so watch out for that as they aren’t fully materialized into this plane of existence. Again, I like the concept of having to paint a whole town. It’s sort of like De Blob, the execution just wasn’t on point. The Police Cars just seem unfair with how they teleport around and there is almost no way you can win without the extra save points. There isn’t any incentive to win either since the game has absolutely no replay value or even a real ending to congratulate you on a job well done.

There isn’t much to say about the graphics either. They are just really old and I suppose you can’t fault the game for that. It’s all right I guess, but probably one of the worst animated games that I have seen in a while. The little screencaps after each level are okay if not for the fact that they reuse them very quickly. Those couldn’t have been very expensive so I think the game could have added many more of them. There is really only one theme in the game so you better enjoy it or that will hurt the game as well. It’s not bad, but there isn’t any real personality to the theme either so it’s just there. It’s kind of like elevator music in that respect. This game needs a modern reboot to help restart the franchise.

Overall, I can’t say that the game is very fun. It’s unique and is good to play for a few minutes, but it’s not a game that I would recommend spending money on. It just isn’t worth that kind of attention and I’ve seen free games that had a lot more heart and depth to them. If you really want a good challenge then I guess this could be the ticket for you, but there are better options out there like Ninja Gaiden. I’d never heard of this game before I bought it and I can now see why.

Overall 5/10

The Mysterians Review

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It’s time to look at a really old school Sci-Fi film. This one came out back in the Godzilla days during the late 50s. It’s even made by some of the same people from that title so you could be sure to expect quality confirmed. It plays out just like you would expect it to and is certainly an entertaining movie. You’re sure to enjoy it as the film is quite fast paced with a lot of fun dialogue.

The plot of the movie starts off by showing us some people not getting along too well at a parade/event of sorts. We don’t have time for this drama though as a large alien kaiju (Moguera) shows up to decimate the planet. The government manages to destroy this Kaiju as expected, but then aliens show up and say that this is the first of many. Unless we surrender land and people to them they will destroy us all. Naturally Earth won’t go down without a fight so we gather our tanks and planes as we prep a counter attack. It’s hype time!

I fortunately saw the dub version. The film is definitely played off as a comedy here as the actors have a lot of fun voicing the characters. You can tell that these guys had a lot of passion in the project as they would say things very directly. It was like a google translate version of the script. Everyone sounds a little off and naturally none of the voices seem to match, but that’s part of the film’s charm. It should have you cackling and chuckling throughout the entire movie. Even aside from the dub the movie plays out like a comedy at times with the monster getting destroyed simply by falling while on a bridge and then by trying to rise from the ground only for the rocket to squash him. It’s easy to poke fun at the robot’s design as well, but he tries very hard. I did like the robot and actually felt bad for him since the humans were simply too persistent. Moguera didn’t ask for this!

One issue with the film though is that they made the aliens a little too strong. As a result, it’s hard to believe it when thy actually lose to the humans at the end. They were shown to be able to spy on the humans and listen in to their conversations at will. How did they not notice when the humans built two death ray weapons (In the span of a day) and when they were transporting it over. Even once it arrived it should have been easy to shoot it down but they didn’t until it was too late. Apparently they can create flash floods at the push of a button so why didn’t they do so right away? At times you will just be wondering what they were thinking. I guess we have to assume that the aliens weren’t very smart and honestly that is probably a good bet, but even so they should have won this round.

The humans aren’t very interesting in comparison. The two heroines definitely look really bad here as they allow the villains to kidnap them without even yelling in protest. They don’t struggle and simply faint at the sight of the villains. It’s not as if the bad guys were grotesque aliens either. They looked like normal aliens in Power Ranger esque costumes. Nothing scary about that and the heroines could have easily escaped. Allowing themselves to be held hostage like that wasn’t very smart and it also made them a liability to the army. Well….lets be honest, the army barely cared and didn’t stop their assault, but that’s not the point. The heroines couldn’t really redeem themselves from that.

The main guy wasn’t bad though. At least he was smart enough to rush into the enemy base to blast them. The base shouldn’t have been so easy to breech but maybe the bad guys were so intent on building high tech weapons that they skipped on the basics like installing cameras and the like. If so that was a big mistake. I definitely didn’t like the traitor though. He acts as if he was tricked by the end, but I definitely don’t buy that. He simply wanted to make sure that he was on the winning side in the end and that’s not a great reason to switch sides. You can’t just betray the Human race and then decide to come back. It’s simply way too late by that point and there wasn’t much that the character could do to come back from that. It was simply all over for him by then.

I certainly enjoyed the government here though. Sure, they may not have had much of a plan at first as they just kept grabbing more tanks to fire at the enemy, but at least they didn’t even entertain the thought of co-operating with the aliens. The Aliens shot first so of course we have to respond in kind. America also looked really good here as they showed up and started taking names. We even came up with the plans for the death ray or at the very least the guy who brought the plans in certainly sounded American. Again, I have to give the dub credit for the voices here. They were hilarious throughout and show what a difference a good dub can do. It just makes the film flow that much better.

Overall, There really aren’t any weaknesses to point out in the film. The Mysterians manages to be solid all the way through. It’s a fun film with good pacing that really flies by. Moguera looks good while he is around. The design may not be scary or anything like that, but I’m always up for a giant robot to appear as it just makes the film more exciting. The ending leaves a little room for a sequel, but at this point we know that the aliens are doomed and they likely wouldn’t be able to even put up as good of a fight in a 2nd bout. They showed us their limits while we can reverse engineer their tech and get even better. Humanity wins once again. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I highly recommend doing so. You don’t want to miss out on the hype.

Overall 7/10

Night Monster Review

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It’s time for another retro film with monster in the title, but no actual creature to be found. That’s never a good sign and this is another film that’s not all that great. It tries its best to be spooky and intense, but annoying characters and sad moments end up making this another film with a lot that is left to be desired. Ah well, at least you can take solace in the fact that this proves an old guy really just needs some magic in order to get back into the world. Don’t look at that line too closely for spoiler purposes though.

The premise starts with three doctors visiting an old guy (Curt) that they were unable to help a while back. He is now crippled and may blame the doctors for his current condition. Nevertheless, he has invited them to his mansion in the middle of nowhere for some reason. These three men suspect nothing, but maybe they should. A psychiatrist by the name of Lynn also shows up as she was called by Margaret, Curt’s sister to prove that Margaret isn’t actually crazy. The girl knows more than she lets on, but the house maid tries to prevent Lynn from finding anything out.

Curt’s big revelation is that he has a mystic by the name of Agar who is able to summon bleeding skeletons back to life to do all sorts of things. They can create objects out of nothing, but these objects only last for a limited period of time. The plot thickens when one of the scientists die and then the body count starts to rise. Who is behind these deaths. Could it be one of the Doctors? Is it the mystery writer, Dick, or is it maybe the Butler? There is no shortage of suspects to be found here.

The whole thing could have been pretty interesting. The concept certainly isn’t bad and I do like a good murder mystery. This film just tried too hard to be edgy instead and digs its own grave. For starters, we have Lawrie. He’s your classic sexist character from the old days and he goes after a lady who doesn’t live past the first 20-30 minutes. She wants to get out of the house because it has gotten a little too dangerous, but she makes the mistake of heading back there after dark. The monster was ready by then along with the fact that her taxi driver was gullible and deserted her after he was told that she was going to spend the night. Did he really think that she would after she had gone to such lengths to escape?

Her dying isn’t really the terrible part. It was rather tragic, but it was handled all right. The main sad part is that initially Lawrie gave her a drive, but then quickly has his way with her before another guy happened to show up and get her out of the tough spot. Lawrie spends the rest of the film flirting with other characters and also attempts to get physical again when he is interrupted by Dick. Some of the characters know about his antics, but nobody speaks up about it. Lawrie eventually bites the dust, but his presence severely hurt the film.

Curt’s not a bad old man. He’s passive aggressive with the 3 scientists quite a lot and also tries to boss around his sister. I don’t think she should have gone for that since as siblings they should be roughly equal, but she is far too timid the whole time. She also knows a great deal about who the culprit is, but doesn’t help until it is far too late and at least 50% of the cast has already been bumped off. As you can tell, I didn’t care much for Margaret. Curt was fairly average. I didn’t really find him to be unreasonable. He can be a little generic, but that’s not too bad I suppose.

Rolf’s a fairly mean butler, but I’d expect nothing less. He should have certainly had Lawrie fired ages ago though so I doubt his credibility as a professional. He’s not really a bad character so you should definitely peg him as a suspect. There’s also Agar, the mystical fellow who can summon the skeletons. I found him to mostly just be annoying and he’s also someone that knows a lot about what is going on. He’s super suspicious and even if he is not guilty, you can really call him an accomplice.

Lynn was the “tough” female lead who talks back to Curt and tries not to get bossed around, but her attempts do not always work. Her romance with Dick is certainly pretty awful and considering that she seems to realize that everyone is trying to keep her away from Margaret, she should have made more of an effort to stay with her. By the time she acts, Margaret has already started to get a split personality and cracks in her memory. Lynn took way too long.

Dick’s the classic tough guy and you could call him the main character. His role isn’t as big as you would expect based on that title, but he’s completely full of confidence and that sets him apart from the rest. He’s your stereotypical lead in basically every way. He tries to be heroic and sees to it that justice is served. There’s not much to him, but that’s okay I suppose.

Finally, we actually do have a character that’s not just good, but great. This is Captain Beggs, the only character who talks tough to the whole cast. They passive aggressively try to get him to leave many times, but he just insults them and keeps on going. This guy isn’t having any of that and just about every one of his lines is hardcore. Even when he’s threatened with lines like “You and what army?” he always has a response ready. “Just me” Beggs doesn’t back down to anyone and while he may be a little slow to pick up on the clues sometimes, he’s always brave. He heads into shadowy closets without hesitation and since he is picking a fight with a rich guy who has influence, Beggs clearly doesn’t care about that either. He was a silver lining in a film that was rather dreadful otherwise.

At the very least, the film really tries its best to throw in a lot of red herrings so that the culprit isn’t too obvious. The ploys fail and you will probably guess who the main villain is within the first 10 minutes. The motive is simply too rich for the writers to pass up on even if the film does its best to try and make you doubt it. The film, while not overly long, also does a decent job of spreading time out between each murder so you can have the characters all show up again as you try to guess who is guilty. Tension is always crucial in these kinds of films so you want them to have time to run around and try to figure things out.

Overall, This film simply couldn’t stay classy. Lawrie single handily destroyed the film so blame him on its low score. If you can get past him then maybe you’ll enjoy this film, but I recommend checking out another classic murder mystery like And Then There Were None instead. Even if this film was all right, there are simply better options to choose from in the same genre so there is no point for you to be desperate enough to choose this one. The title is also just super misleading. I guess some films want to be “cool” by making the term monster rather figurative like in the new Cloverfield film, but it just doesn’t work for me. If you mention the word monster, then I’m going to be expecting something a little more epic. Also, the final scuffle should have not been so close, the heroes simply got sloppy. Finally, there was no real reason for the skeletons to bleed. That seemed to only be around so the characters could have clues to run with. There’s no logical reason for that to happen…it’s like the film just needed an excuse for it to occur so the film would have a gimmick. The problem is that the supernatural angle never transforms from a gimmick into something meaningful.

Overall 1/10