Uncle G’s FUN Movie Reviews
Spotlight: Blade – The Iron Cross (2020)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
So, Blade – The Iron Cross, a new Puppet Master film directed by John Lechago, was released on the 26th of June. I was aware and pretty excited about watching it, especially because I already subscribe to the film studios streaming service in which it premiered on. All I needed was a few things to have by my side as I viewed it; a cold fruity beverage or sports drink, candy (frozen Mounds bars), my weed bubbler, and in this example, some outstanding cannabis (hybrid) that I recently purchased from a place nearby me; Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary. Frankly, I just wanted to chill, and in a major way. For a long time now, a new Full Moon Features movie is like a major event for me. This one’s a guilty pleasure for it centers around a favorite character of mine.
Long story short, and I told it more than once, was that I found out about Full Moon Features, back in a time we called; the 1990s. The Betamax I had in marriage number one, was replaced by a VHS machine in marriage number two. Now it’s Blu-rays, streaming, and I’m single. During the videotape days, I most likely was married and was renting VHS tapes from a nearby Mom and Pop business that carried a few Full Moon Pictures titles. I ended up over time, renting them all. Not only were the movies entertaining, but the VHS tapes were usually filled with behind the scene stuff and in house commercials. All you needed was popcorn, a beverage, and you were set and ready to go. A couple/few hours of being freaked out, spooked, and laughing your ass off. Titillating as well. So the visuals were like…seeing a monster; Oh wow! And then later on seeing actress Jacqueline Lovell and going; Oh WOW!!!
“Uncle G” FYI Moment
The President of Full Moon Features is a lifelong filmmaker; Charles Band. He comes up with a lot of story ideas, produces, directs, and makes sure that everyone under the Full Moon Features roof is happy. I assume. The man runs a popular independent film studio. Does a little of everything, I imagine to keep the doors open. Includes in his life some very creative people. Blade: The Iron Cross, will be Mr. Band’s third film release during the COVID-19 crisis. That in itself is fucking amazing. While practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. Top that, Michael Bay.
And that was an “Uncle G” FYI Moment.
Where was I? Oh yeah…
Looking at the credits for Full Moon Features productions, one will notice a lot of the same names that they saw in previous Full Moon Features movies. Sometimes doing the same thing, or totally something else. As if being good at one thing, isn’t enough. Pardon me. In Blade: The Iron Cross, I spotted names in the credits that I’ve seen before. Experienced and knowledgeable people when it comes to putting out an entertaining product.
One does not have to know shit about anything Charles Band or Full Moon Features to kick back and enjoy, what could be considered the 12th official tale in the Puppet Master franchise. The first to feature, a spin-off with just one puppet character. Note…pay close attention and you might see other puppets that you might recognize (briefly).
The motion picture Blade: The Iron Cross is a part of a daring motion picture experiment called; Charles Band’s Deadly Ten. Where movies are made, right in front of you. A few flicks from this very ambitious project are already in the can. I watched all of them. Some wild shit has happened, so far. In the very beginning, like on the first day, this chick totally freaks the fuck out, while in the process of getting a body cast. Walked away. Called her boyfriend, and got a ride home. Played out live on the Deadly Ten website. Jaw-dropping shit! Check the website for details and clips.
Blade: The Iron Cross’ principal shooting was finished in five days. No shit! These folks know their craft. Again, I’ll mention that all this was broadcast live via the world wide web while in production. Another…wow!
Having knowledge of all this, and also knowing some of the names who I knew were involved in the making of Blade: The Iron Cross, I decided for pure FUN, to brush up on the previous Puppet Master movies that I thought would improve my experience when seeing the new ‘Blade’ flick, that pertained to the storyline. If interested, here are the titles. I viewed all these on the Full Moon Features streaming channel, which is very affordable and has a wonderful catalog of heart-pounding entertainment. And boobies. I’ll expanse on that subject, at another time. In two nights, I watched these 4 well-done Puppet Master movies…
01.) Puppet Master 3: Toulon’s Revenge (1991 – directed by David DeCoteau)
02.) Puppet Master 9: Axis Of Evil (2010- directed by David DeCoteau)
03.) Puppet Master 10: Axis Rising (2012 – directed by Charles Band)
04.) Puppet Master 11: Axis Termination (2017 – directed by Charles Band)
“Uncle G” DISCUSSES…Blade: The Iron Cross (2020 – directed by John Lechago)
Blade: The Iron Cross starts off brilliantly! A dream sequence. You see Blade and an already established human character from Puppet Master 11: Axis Termination. A beautiful young lady named Elisa Ivanov. She’s a Russian who traveled to the States with her father, to help the United States, win the war. This is a period piece. We’re looking at the end of World War II (1944 – 1945). America is winning but has not yet won. Victory against the Nazi’s is soon to come. But not before the Third Reich tries to release the ultimate fighting weapon; Zombie Soldiers. “Mad dogs”, says one character. The corpses they leave behind in failed experiments are the things that dreams are made of. Elisa’s nightmarish thoughts, the premonitions that consume her waking moments. Yet she has a beautiful smile and is a flirt with a certain detective. All awhile fighting a mad scientist who has wet dreams about creating an army of the dead. With a little help from her friend; Blade. It’s good vs. evil. Done extremely well; storywise, sound-wise, and visually. As hard as it is to do lately especially, Blade: The Iron Cross held my full attention. All one hour and almost 11 minutes.
Here are some things that I liked about, Blade: The Iron Cross (2020)
I mentioned the opening sequence with the main characters Blade (puppet) and Elisa (human). Next, comes the opening credits for the movie. The graphics/visuals stand out. What you hear meanwhile is a variation of Richard Band’s original Puppet Master theme. Incorporates the sound of a sharp knife, a blade cutting the air. Nicely done! Additional music throughout by Robert Douglas. Did a swell job! Another cool merchandise item for Blade: The Iron Cross, would be the score for this movie; wax – CD. It’s very worthy! I enjoyed what I heard, the background throughout – opening/closing credit music, that much. Would be nice to hear every once in a while. I’m sure other music enthusiasts like myself, would also be interested.
Writing credit goes to; Roger Barron. The man has a ton of credits on the IMDb website. Under the name Benjamin Carr, as well. Active in the entertainment industry since the early 1990s. And it just so happens that I saw many of the Full Moon Pictures/Full Moon Features titles that Mr. Neal Marshall Stevens was involved in.
Look at all this! Includes cool kills!!! The kind that makes you want to rewind what you just saw, so you could watch it again. Yeah, it’s gross, sometimes ultra-violent, done in an almost cartoonish-like way. Zombies! Nazi’s! Scumbag villains. Die!!! And they do, in Blade: The Iron Cross. In the most painful of ways. Good characters are tortured and killed as well. You win some. You lose some.
Puppet Master: Joke of the Day
Why does Tunneler drill into a person’s head? Think about it. Why go around, when you can travel straight through.
Okay…got that out of me.
The special effects for Blade: The Iron Cross were done expertly by; Tom Devlin’s 1313FX. I would compare what I see here to any of the classic Puppet Masters. The early Puppet Master flicks, the special effects were done by the late David W. Allen. To be able to create anything that looks anything as well as what David did is saying something.
Great performances by all actors in front of the camera. Even the extras in the background. Y’all looked the part. Of course, regarding the whole movie, I have favorites; actress Tania Fox (Elisa), and actors Roy Abramsohn (Ingenieur Erich Hauser), and Bobby Reed (Prok). These three were a part of a wonderful cast that made Blade: The Iron Cross, a totally cool viewing experience.
Photo: Characters Prok and Hauser (2020 Full Moon Features)
“Uncle G” RATES…Blade: The Iron Cross (2020 Full Moon Features)
Using a one to ten-star rating system whereas one star means to completely avoid, to ten stars which means for multiple reasons that the ones involved who made the movie, did a seriously fantastic job. And that I as a reviewer was recommending that you as a viewer should drop everything, and watch whatever it was that was being rated, as soon as humanly possible.
Without further delay and to the sound of a Neal Smith drum roll…Blade: The Iron Cross receives (a hush forms over the crowd): 10 stars! Damn right! For a little over an hour, while watching, I forgot all about COVID-19. Hooray! I am typing this in the middle of a Pandemic. It’s a weird world in which we live.
Regarding my assessment, sure, the adults who routinely sniff their farts and call themselves movie buffs may disagree with me. I love the escapism that popcorn flicks like this can offer. Pure fantasy. Not like the ones I have occasionally in the middle of the night about Jacqueline Lovell.
And just because a motion picture contains puppets, it doesn’t mean it’s for children. This one’s certainly not. Made for older teens and fun-loving adults. I never really cared what those so-called movie connoisseurs thought, anyway. Butt…they are correct in some respects. Face it, some puppet movies suck harder than a desperate want-to-be star on a Hollywood casting couch; The Happytime Murders (2018).
Charles Band and his film company Full Moon Features, in my opinion routinely go the extra mile, always thinking of the fanbase and what they would enjoy seeing. Always seeking new viewers. I’ve turned on many, over the decades.
I’ll conclude by saying that no movie studio hits a home run every time at-bat. Full Moon Features #324…Blade: The Iron Cross, is a good example of when an indie B Hollywood film studio, slugs it out of the park.
OH…Charles Band’s Deadly Ten. Keep an eye on that! More to come!
Helpful Full Moon Features Websites
Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum – http://www.tomdevlinsmonstermuseum.com/
BONUS – Blade: The Iron Cross – Official Trailer