Scream Factory is once again dipping into the Empire Pictures / Charles Band line of films, this time with a double feature of The Dungeonmaster and Eliminators; two films that looked like they would be a drag to get through, but it ended up being a hoot and a half instead. I know, I was as surprised as you are right now. Anyway, let’s hop in our mobile unit (you need to read on to see what the heck I’m talking about) and get on with this review of both movies…
RUN-TIME: 77 min / 95 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.78:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1984 / 1986
RELEASE DATE: Dec 15, 2015
A Double Dose Of Science-Fiction Fun!
THE DUNGEONMASTER (aka RAGEWAR)
1985 / Unrated Version
Paul, a young computer ace, is forced to pit his physical and mental skills against unimaginable odds when a hulking wizard looking for formidable opponents picks Paul as his next challenger. Paul faces a series of seven spectacular and death-defying challenges and must survive not only to save his life but that of his girlfriend’s too! Jeffrey Byron (Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn) and Richard Moll (Night Court) star in this eye-popping thriller featuring an appearance by W.A.S.P.!
This version of THE DUNGEONMASTER is Unrated and different from the PG-13 version shown theatrically. It includes an additional scene with some nudity. Parental discretion is advised.
1986 / Rated PG / NEW High-Definition Transfer
A mandroid – part man and part machine – seeks revenge on the evil scientist who created him. Enlisting the help of a beautiful woman and a mysterious ninja, he pursues the scientist in hopes of stopping him before he can further harm humanity. Andrew Prine (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) and Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation) star.
First up in this double feature is the anthologyesque The Dungeonmaster, also known as RageWar. The plot for this movie is the standard computer nerd, Paul, who wants to marry his out of his league girlfriend, Gwen, but she doesn’t want to share him with his super smart computer named X-CaliBR8, which results in the both of them getting sucked into a world run by the Devil, who goes by the name Mestema and is played by Richard Moll (Evilspeak). The Devil brands Paul as Xcalibrate and challenges him to save his girlfriend by going through a bunch of “way too easy and the devil should be ashamed of himself” challenges, with only the aid of his computer on his arm (early smart watch technology) to help him. Each challenge is broken down into separate stories directed by different directors.
“Ice Gallery” is directed by Rosemarie Turko and has Paul and his girlfriend Gwen wandering around an ice cave filled with frozen statues of evil people from the past (and Albert Einstein for some odd reason). The statues come alive and Paul must fight to survive.
“Demons of the Dead” is directed by John Carl Buechler (Garbage Pail Kids) and is a quick and sweet little video about Paul fighting some undead monsters and a weird cave troll creature named Ratspit. Cool effects, strange story.
“Heavy Metal” is directed by Charles Band and is pretty short, with not much happening, save for the band W.A.S.P. rocking it out on stage and Paul’s girlfriend about to be slashed up by the band. Cue green computer lasers!!!
“Stone Canyon Giant” is directed by David Allen and is one scene way from being a soft core Indian Jones porn parody. The music, the glossy look, the bathing woman in a waterfall, I would’ve swore I was watching Cinemax for a second. The story for this one has our hero Paul fighting a big giant statue. The goal of the challenge is for him to figure out what he needs to do to defeat the monster and it usually once again involves him waving his computer arm around and shooting green lasers out of it. The Devil needs to work on his challenges.
“Slasher” is directed by Steven Ford and is arguably the best of the bunch. Paul must save his girlfriend (again) before she is sliced up by a killer on the loose, but at the same time, he is wrongly convicted of another murder. He must race to save her life, but first he must escape the police! GREEN LASERS!!
“Cave Beast” is directed by Peter Manoogian, who is interviewed on the special features and directs the other movie on the disc Eliminators. The story is basically the same as the others, save for him not having to save his girlfriend for the umpteenth time, instead having Paul fighting a creature and bouncing green lasers all over the place. We do get a nice bit of nipple through some clothes action at the end (not from Paul, but instead from some random Angel.) Anywhoot…
“Desert Pursuit” is directed by Ted Nicolaou and is basically a Mad Max ripoff, but less Mad Max and more Exterminators of the Year 3000.
The wraparound story has Paul facing off with the Devil, who grows more and more frustrated until the end where they agree to fight hand to hand with each other. The Devil is pretty weak at hand to hand combat. The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the opening of the movie, which has Paul chasing a random girl (oddly enough, not his girlfriend) around a factory, until she is gets fully nude and they start to make sweet love, that is until some weird goblin people show up and take her away. Yeah, I didn’t get it either.
Overall, The Dungeonmaster was a fun flick, with enough variety to keep you entertained, even if all of it doesn’t make a lick of sense come the end.
Next on the list is Eliminators, a B-movie that is just a blast to sit through. Featuring a Mandroid, named Mandroid; a mercenary (okay, he’s a riverboat captain, not a mercenary, but the tagline says he is, so go with it); a scientist, who is hot; a random ninja, who is random; cavemen, who are never properly explained; an evil man, who wants to rule ancient Rome, and most importantly, Denise Crosby in a wet white t-shirt. If none of this appeals to you, you must be soooo boring to hang out with.
The plot for the movie is what you would call paper thin, nonsensical and hilariously disjointed, but I love it anyway. We start with our Mandroid coming back from the past and an evil scientist, Dr. Reeves (Roy Dotrice) wants to dismantle him now that his mission is done. A totally different scientist who is warm-hearted doesn’t want to “kill” him, so he lets him escape in his wicked mobile unit (basically a tank he hooks himself up to, which can only run over flat ground, so, pretty much useless). Mandroid heads to the creator of the technology, the hot Col. Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby), who is for some reason a Colonel of something, I assume of science, who agrees to help him get revenge on Dr. Reeves, as he has stolen her technology and is using it for nefarious uses. First, though, they must seek out Mandroid’s past. This involves hitting up the rivers of Mexico and hanging out with a boat captain (The Town that Dreaded Sundown Andrew Prine), a couple of neanderthals, a random ninja and most importantly, S.P.O.T., the pesky robot with an unhealthy attachment to Mandroid. Cue an epic showdown of 80s special effects, a dose of comedy and Denise Crosby sideboob. Fun for the whole freaking family!
Eliminators knows exactly what kind of movie it is, and it never takes itself seriously. This flick just wants to have some fun, and that’s exactly what you get. You’ll be laughing, cheering, ogling and giggling, mostly at the same time. The effects for the time are well done, the cyborg Mandroid is pretty neat to look at, with him always showing up with new features (such as motorboat feet), and the ending gives you a sudden freeze frame at the wrong time. Roll credits! What’s not to love folks?
Both movies are looking perfectly fine in my bespectacled eyes. Eliminators started off a little rough at first but quickly cleaned up and was smooth sailing from there on. The audio for both is also fine, with no issue of having to crank up the sound to hear people talking, or lowering because booms are too loud. No issues from me.
The special features are just two, with the first being an interview with director Peter Manoogian, who goes into a bit of detail with his role in The Dungeonmaster and his time spent directing Eliminators. It’s a pretty lengthy interview, clocking in at roughly 32 minutes, so it’s a nice little sit-down with plenty of information. The other feature is a trailer for The Dungeonmaster. Both features are accessible through The Dungeonmaster menu, even though the list below would have you think the interview is on the Eliminators menu.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- Theatrical Trailer
- NEW Interview With Director Peter Manoogian
The Dungeonmaster / Eliminators Double Feature from Scream Factory surprised me in that it was a fun time spent watching some B-movies that just wanted to have some fun. You’ll definitely get a kick of out these two flicks, and it has something for everyone. The Blu-ray is a bit light on features, but that is too be expected for these two types of movies. Pick it up if you are the least bit interested in having cheesy 80s joy in your life.