Blu-ray Review: The Dungeonmaster / Eliminators | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, June 30th, 2022  

The Dungeonmaster / Eliminators

Studio: Scream Factory

Dec 15, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Scream Factory pairs up two Charles Band-produced b-movies from the mid-80s for a double feature. Looking at each film individually:

The Dungeonmaster – A nerdy computer programmer’s girlfriend is kidnapped by an immortal, demonic wizard (played by Bull from Night Court) and he’s forced to prove himself via seven trials in order to win back her soul. This pseudo-anthology film had seven directors, each helming one of the programmer’s trials, which include a sword fight in the halls of the dead, a Road Warrior-esque post-Apocalyptic car chase, and a music video for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. (No kidding.) Given the title, it’s not surprising that the movie feels like a re-hash of several teenage roleplaying sessions rolled into one, but the special effects really hold up. (The highlights are a Harryhausen-lite duel with a stop-motion rock giant and several gruesome zombie warriors.) This b-movie is an admirable effort, but it’s not quite as fun as…

Eliminators – The movie’s tagline, “Mandroid. Mercenary. Scientist. Ninja. Each one a specialist. Together, they are… Eliminators,” is a tad misleading, as the ninja doesn’t even show up until an hour into the movie, when the heroine is kidnapped by a tribe of ape men… oh, never mind. These four specialists team up on a mission that takes them deep into the rain forest to defeat a mad scientist before he uses time travel to go back in time and rule Ancient Rome. The movie is a little silly, and sometimes seems as if it were intended for children—the characters look like they were designed to be a toy line—but it’s good fun. And, in typical Empire fashion, it’s full of well-done practical effects that would have looked good in a bigger-budget movie. (Well, except for the mandroid’s goofy-looking tank treads—they look more ridiculous than intimidating.) The film’s even nuttier than the trailer makes it look, but if it appears to be the type of thing you might enjoy, by all means sully forth. You won’t be disappointed.

Both movies boast pretty strong transfers, which are welcome with all of the zany FX work on display in both movies. There’s only one notable extra feature, but it’s a nice look behind the scenes of both movies: a half hour-long interview with writer-director Peter Manoogian, who directed Eliminators and one of the segments in Dungeonmaster, where he speaks candidly about the many difficulties they faced making these movies on such low budgets. As a package, it’s an enjoyable pair of cheesy sci-fi features which should have extra appeal to fans of Charles Band or Empire Pictures.

Author rating: 7/10

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