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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Drama > Wrestling > Horror > Satanism > Supernatural > Monster > Shark > Exploitation > Revenge > Zom > American Fighter (2019*)/Baphomet (2021/Cleopatra Blu-ray**)/Great White (2021/RLJ Blu-ray)/Habit (2021/*both Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Honor Killing (2018/Troma Blu-ray)/I Am Toxic (2018/DVD/**both MVD)/Mor

American Fighter (2019*)/Baphomet (2021/Cleopatra Blu-ray**)/Great White (2021/RLJ Blu-ray)/Habit (2021/*both Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Honor Killing (2018/Troma Blu-ray)/I Am Toxic (2018/DVD/**both MVD)/Mortal Kombat Legends: The Battle Of The Realms 4K (2021/animated/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B/B+/B+/B-/B/B+ Sound: B+/B/B+/B+/B-/B/B+ Extras: C/C+/C+/C-/C+/D/B Films: C/C/C/C+/C/C+/C+

Next up is a mix of action and horror for for your consideration...

If you are a fan of sports films, you might want to check out American Fighter (2019), the film is about a college wrestler who needs cash to help his dying mother and ends up boxing in the underworld fighting circle. As in the common thread with movies of this type he starts out a weak fighter but with the right trainer slowly becomes a champion.

The film stars George Kosturos, Allison Paige, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, and Montanna Gilis. The film is directed by Janell Shirtcliff.

American is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an audio mix in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The film obviously has a decent budget behind it and the overall look is pretty high budget.

Special Features include a music video by ANDRY and a Trailer.

American Fighter isn't a bad movie, but there isn't too much here we haven't seen before.

Baphomet (2021) is a modern day Satanic horror movie that is a bit too heavy on the dark arts to hit any major cineplexes. The dark film centers on a family who realize their property is on sacred satanic grounds and a family is forced to get off the sacred lands, which they have an ancestral tie to. The battle between good and evil goes deep in his deadly film that isn't for the squeamish.

The film stars Colin Ward (Mank, Criminal Minds), Giovanni Lombardo Radice (The Omen remake, City of the Living Dead, Cannibal Ferox), and Nick Principe (Laid to Rest, Chromeskull).

Baphomet is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC codec with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and an audio mixes in lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Overall, there aren't any glaring issues and the presentation looks and sounds fine.

Special Features:

Deleted and Extended Scenes


Teaser Trailer

Music Video

Behind the Scenes Pictures

Dani Filth Backstage Interview

and Storyboards by Jason Millet.

Making a decent shark movie these days is not an easy task, but Great White (2021) isn't too bad actually for a film coming from Shutter. The shark looks pretty good here and the tension is well thought out in certain sequences where we see the main characters stuck stranded at sea with the vicious shark nearby. At just about any moment the vulnerable young pretty people could be attacked and eaten alive, which isn't too bad of a spin on the killer shark movie and (mostly) stays out of mimicking Jaws.

The film stars Katrina Bowden, Aaron Jakubenko, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Tim Kano, and Jason Wilder.

Great White is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an 1080p, MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and paired with a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, both of which are of a high standard for the format and for a film that takes place mostly at night it looks pretty good.

This is also pretty well photographed and interesting genre movie. And not as cheesy or unoriginal as one might expect by looking at the cover art.

Special Features: Making of Featurette and BTS Still Gallery.

Bella Thorne (The Babysitter) is a rising star in Hollywood, although she usually falls into that sort of hot party girl gone wild character archetype. Playing to the schtick again is her role in Habit (2021), where she ends up going to L.A. in search of running away from her mother and religion and runs head first into drugs. She ends up involved in a drug deal gone wrong and dresses up as a nun along with her hair-brained friends (one of which is a trans woman) to escape being found by an evil lady drug lord. The film explores a visually wide color palette and makes several attempts to make the viewer feel like they are in a drug induced state along with the main characters. The film is pretty funny at times though and oddly watchable. There's a surprisingly gory kill at the end of the film that I won't spoil, but was pretty effective. And all in all, you feel like Bella's character might have learned something by the end even if it isn't necessarily for the better.

Habit also stars Paris Jackson, Gavin Rossdale, Libby Mintz, and Bria Vinaite.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an 1080p, MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1:85:1, and an audio mix in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The film is very nicely photographed and colorful as mentioned and the filmmaking is interesting and cinematic. The voice over by Bella Thorne is kind of a funny commentary as the film progresses that kind of shows where her mental state is at any given scene.

Special Feature is only a trailer.

Habit is shot and made well from a filmmaking perspective and Bella Thorne plays this role with realism. The commentary here is about drugs, religion, battling personal demons, overcoming addictions, and all the while along with some funny characters, Habit is worth a watch.

Troma Entertainment presents the controversial indie film, Honor Killing (2018), directed by Mercedes The Muse, who is something of a controversial figure herself. Honor Killing is a modern day revenge story that follows a young woman (played by Mercedes The Muse herself), who disobeys her highly religious family by going to a library and reading. On her way home, she gets brutally raped by two young men. Ruining her purity, the young woman's religious father is furious with her and shoots her in the head point blank. He doesn't kill her, however, and she comes back with an eye patch and appetite for bloody revenge.

As far as no budget filmmaking goes, this movie isn't half bad. Mercedes is a beautiful young lady, but not much of an actress. Her delivery is mostly horrible. Of course, I think part of this is on purpose to as the film is aiming to be a cheesy old grind house movie in terms of style.

Honor Killing is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. The film is made to have a grind house style feel with heavy grain in the image and scenes that have an effect that replicates the old film look. Even though the film was shot digitally, it has this grindhouse-style feel that is aided by old sounding music mixed with metal and other tunes. In terms of replicating this style, they did a pretty cool job. Of course, this makes it harder to score the presentation as it is bad on purpose.

Special Features:

Test Kill: Early Test Footage

Mercedes The Mop Boy

Escuela Grin Music Video

and a Troma Trailer.

A wild Spanish language post apocalyptic thriller, I Am Toxic (2018) also known as Soy toxico, lands on stateside DVD courtesy of MVD Visual. The film is a mix between the desert landscapes similar to the Mad Max films and an some zombie action you could compare to The Walking Dead, Book of Eli, or the third Resident Evil movie.

I Am Toxic stars Fini Bocchino, Gaston Cocchiarale, Esteban Pool, Horacio Fontova, and Veroinic Intile.

The themes of man vs man and man vs creature are overarching elements to the story. A deserted man wakes up in a desolate desert landscape and comes face to face with a bloodthirsty zombie. He soon comes in contact with other humans, who at first imprison and threaten him. After the zombies invade, the main character actually does get hung and dies and comes back as a kind of badass zombie human hybrid. His scenes are pretty cool!

The reveals of the zombies are pretty tasteful overall and realistic surprisingly when shown, however. In fact, the zombies are my favorite thing about this movie. They really did a great job with the look of them here and made them creepy and effective. You can tell the filmmakers took a liking to movies like Shock Waves and Lucio Fulci Zombie movies on their approach here. There's a twist towards the end that's pretty morbid and gives a different perspective when watching the film for a second time, which is always a good thing too.

The special effects are pretty good here and the tone is definitely more serious than a B-movie. Despite being a foreign film, it definitely draws inspiration from a lot of American work as mentioned above. The zombies look great and are a nice little throwback to some of the drier looking zombies seen in films such as Burial Ground. It's also worth noting that this movie has a great accidental kill involving a guy falling backwards onto a hook. Ouch!

I Am Toxic is presented in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital mix with English subtitles. This film will look far better in HD as some of the common compression issues with DVD are evident in some of the landscape shots. The score is drone-like and atmospheric and appropriate for the film.

No extras.

I Am Toxic is a surprisingly fun little zombie post apocalyptic movie with some more memorable zombies that make it stand out a bit. If you're looking for a compassionate human story you're not going to find it here. In fact, just about every human character is pretty unlikeable. This movie is more about cool zombies and action. If you want those two things then you have a winner.

Finally, from Warner Bros. Animation comes Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms 4K (2021), which is the second animated film from the Mortal Kombat universe. With a story more interesting than that of the live action 2021 film, this no holds barred action extravaganza brings your favorite video game characters to life in animated form and captures the essence of them from the game pretty well.

Kombat elite are besieged by the enemy forces of Shao Kahn - and force the powerful Raiden and his group of warriors into a deal to compete in a final Mortal Kombat that will determine the fate of the realms. Now our heroes must travel to Outworld in order to defend Earthrealm and, simultaneously, Scorpion must find the ancient Kamidogu before it's used to resurrect the One Being. Expect loads of cartoon gore and crazy fights in this video game turned cartoon!

The voice cast includes Joel McHale (Community, Stargirl) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) return to their lead roles as Hollywood star-turned-fighter Johnny Cage and all-business warrior Sonya Blade. Also returning for the sequel are Jordan Rodrigues (Lady Bird, The Fosters) as Liu Kang; Patrick Seitz (Mortal Kombat X, Aggretsuko, Naruto: Shippuden) as Scorpion & Hanzo Hasashi; Artt Butler (Her, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Shang Tsung & Cyrax; Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain, Batman: The Killing Joke) as Shinnok & Reiko; Dave B. Mitchell (Call of Duty franchise) as Raiden, Kintaro & Sektor; Ike Amadi (Mass Effect 3) as Jax Briggs & One Being; Grey Griffin (The Loud House, Young Justice, Scooby-Doo franchise) as Kitana, Satoshi Hasashi & Mileena; and Fred Tatasciore (Robot Chicken, Family Guy) as Shao Kahn.

Mortal Kombat Legends 4K is presented in 1.78 X 1, 2160p Ultra High Definition on 4K UHD disc with an HEVC / H.265 codec, HDR 10 (high dynamic range), and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix (48kHz, 16-bit). The animation looks a bit more detailed than it does in the also included 1080p high deviation Blu-ray disc that is also included. However this animation is kind of specific and the jump in quality isn't as night and day as I've seen in other animated films. Still, the 4K UHD is obviously the superior presentation.

Special Features include:

The God and the Dragon: Battling for Earthrealm Featurette

Voices of Kombat Featurette

Kombat Gags: Gag Reel Featurette

and a Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms Feature-Length Audio Commentary

If you are a Kombat fan, this is worth checking out. I do think the story here is a bit more fun than the live action movie that was released earlier this year. I hope to see more of these films in the future.

- James Lockhart



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