Wanting to Roar, Even Though Much of Lion-Girl is Simply a Mew

Westernized live-action takes on the sentai genre can be a mixed bag, and Lion-Girl needs to distinguish herself if she’s to be wild and be that avenger if she’s to succeed!

Lion-Girl Movie PosterCleopatra Entertainment
VOD/Home Release Date: Nov 7, 2023

Kurando Mitsutake is no stranger to budget cinema. He’s carved himself a niche that’s more or less has the look of films made in the past century. While a lot of marketing says Lion-Girl is inspired by Go Nagai’s manga styling, I’m seeing more than just one creator’s influence and they forgot to say it’s inspired by many a sentai series.

Also, what this filmmaker made isn’t 100% Japanese. This talent set up shop in Los Angeles and I found the setting of Neo Japan very tough to believe–especially when I recognise the Sierra Nevada in the background. The use of American actors isn’t too much of distraction when considering the information prefaced in the movie trailer. However, what’s presented feels more like a cowboy sentai style western than anything else.

Also, I wondered which heroine led manga from this artist was the primary influence. The protagonist here isn’t like Cutie Honey or Kekko Kamen. The closest parallel might be with Cinderella Kishi, but I’d have to read this series to say for certain. While this film honours Nagai’s works, like Devilman with its nudity and Violence Jack for the off the wall blood, at least the full-frontal bits of genitalia does not differ from what’s depicted on paper. They tend to appear as though they are victims after being kidnapped by aliens rather than put into sexual situations.

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[Victoria Fringe 2023] Is it Bad There’s New Earth Bandits? Welcome to the Future, If You’re Brave!

You’ll get plenty of exercise walking up and down the hills around Macauly Point Park to discover where the New Earth Bandits are hiding in SNAFU’s latest.

New Earth Bandits SNAFUFrom Interstellar Elder to Kitt and Jane (both shows I’ve seen and reviewed), The SNAFU Society of Unexpected Spectacles has an all new show! I’m not sure if they’ll tour this because it’s very site specific, but for anyone visiting Victoria, BC‘s Macaulay Point Park, they’ll be in for a treat! Here, their latest, New Earth Bandits, sends visitors (theatre attendees) to the future where a colony of humans, mutants, and animals kind of belligerently live together.

Also, I found space aliens! They didn’t join the visitors (theatre attendees) to figure out what’s going on. Instead, we’re told the year is 7023. In where we started, the portal to which everyone steps through takes us there and what’s presented is a glimpse of what may be this planet’s last dance, if we don’t change our ways.

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When a Digital Collectable Card Game Strikes a Power Chord for Rockers

You’re playing Power Chord more to admire the love and attention put into the concept than anything else. 

Power ChordNow Available on Steam (PC)

Fans of online deck-building games should find something to like in Big Blue Bubble‘s Power Chord. It’s a heavy metal roguelike game where you play as a group of punk rockers out to save the Midverse from demons who weren’t tossed back to their dimension. Those who remained must be tracked down!

Here, you’re already an axe wielding musical superstar, and I imagine the developers got a few ideas from the movie, Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery to put into this game. Although we don’t have direct connections to Starchild, The Demon, Space Ace and the Catman, I suspect some incarnation of them exists. There are characters I have yet to unlock, so I’ll be continuing to play just to find them!

I’m loving this game moreso for the fantastic character designs. There’s a lot of costume and artistic tropes used for those who know the genre well, and as a punk rocker, I’m really digging it! (please see below for a video)

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Finch’s Hope for the Future

Craig Luck and Ivor Powell crafted a wonderfully complex and sad tale about what it means to be alive.

Finch (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Apple TV Plus
Spoiler Alert

Finch (Tom Hanks) may well be the last man on Earth. After a solar flare razed the Earth, the planet is devastated. He has Goodyear, his pet dog, to be his companion, but it’s not enough to give him hope. At first, he built a simple droid to assist in his day to day living, but he knew he needed another companion. The bot he builds combines traits and a look between Number 5, Wall*E and C3P0. But its programming could not be uploaded fast enough as the old man and his ensemble have to flee. There’s an approaching electrical storm.

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Facing Mutant Pigs in Bullets of Justice!

This trip through the looking glass in Bullets of Justice is crazy. It’s not just an exploitation movie from the mind of the creator Valeri Milev, but also a potential for a new kind of grindhouse from his native country of Bulgaria.

Bullets of Justice Movie PosterAvailable on iTunes, Microsoft, Amazon (UK), Amazon (US), Google Play

Danny Trejo is the Gravedigger in Bullets of Justice (formerly known as Mutant Pig Soldiers), and he’s a father-figure (of all things) to Rob Justice (Timur Turisbekov). The youngin is trying to survive the post-apocalyptic world with Raksha (Doroteya Toleva) and if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear the universe is right out of Palladium’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. This RPG game has a supplement, After the Bomb, which pits man against mutant in a game of survival.

There’s blood, guts, violence, sex (yes, this movie is not for the kiddies), and mutant pigs. I’d get a kick if there were other animal experiments let loose, but I imagine this Eastern European made film had its limits and a tight budget. It also sets up Trejo as a possible recurring character to introduce other saviours to humanity in this dog eat dog world.

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