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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mandroid. Mercenary. Scientist. Ninja. Each one a specialist. Together they are ELIMINATORS!
Arena - In the year 4038, Steve Armstrong is working as a short order cook on a space station. It's on this same space station that a competition called The Arena takes place, where creatures from all over the galaxy fight each other to become champion. Steve gets into a fight with a customer called Fang, leaving him injured. Fang was an Arena fighter, so Quinn, Fang's...
Published 11 months ago by West25

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Substandard
Purchased this release solely for the inclusion of the Empire Pictures double header of Eliminators/Arena, and has been noted through many sources that I have spoken to, both are substandard releases, utilising a master from MGM, both are pretty much VHS quality, especially Eliminators, which at times is very dark. But in saying that, despite being very annoying to watch,...
Published 11 months ago by James Bourke


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mandroid. Mercenary. Scientist. Ninja. Each one a specialist. Together they are ELIMINATORS!, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Sci-Fi Movie Marathon [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Arena - In the year 4038, Steve Armstrong is working as a short order cook on a space station. It's on this same space station that a competition called The Arena takes place, where creatures from all over the galaxy fight each other to become champion. Steve gets into a fight with a customer called Fang, leaving him injured. Fang was an Arena fighter, so Quinn, Fang's manager confronts Steve and asks him to fight in his place. Steve refuses as no human fighter has won the competition in 50 years, and he doesn't believe humans should even compete. When his friend, Shorty, steals some money to pay for Steve to return home to Earth, Shorty is threatened by Rogor, an underworld boss, casino owner and manager of Horn, the current Arena champion. In order to get the money to pay back Rogor, Steve approaches Quinn and agrees to fight.

Paul Satterfield makes for a pretty charismatic lead as Steve, helped by the fact he looks remarkably like Christopher Reeve. Hamilton Camp is quite fun as Shorty, Claudia Christian is good as Quinn, she's best known for her role as Susan Ivanova on Babylon 5. One of the standout performances comes from Armin Shimerman, he plays a rat/man creature called Weezil, Shimerman later went on to wear make-up again in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing Quark. Marc Alaimo is suitably evil as Rogor, he also later found himself in Deep Space Nine playing Gul Dukat. The film is essentially Star Wars and Rocky thrown together, and for the most part it works. It is very cheesy at times, but it's always fun and entertaining. The creatures that Steve fights look better than expected, some of the fights are surprisingly dramatic and the women all look good. It was produced by the prolific Charles Band, and directed by Peter Manoogian. Sadly the picture quality is only a little better than VHS quality, no extras.

Eliminators - An evil scientist called Abbot Reeves orders the death of a Mandroid, but Reeves' assistant, Takada, instead helps the Mandroid to escape. Takada is killed during the escape, but not before telling him to find Col. Hunter who can help him. He eventually finds Col. Hunter who turns out to be a woman, she designed all the parts that were used to make the Mandroid and is shocked that her designs were used for this reason. Hunter believed Reeves was dead, so insists on accompanying the Mandroid when he tells her that he's going back to stop him. They hire a riverboat captain called Harry Fontana, and set off down the river. After fighting off some of Reeves' men and other riverboat captains, they eventually meet Takada's son, Kuji, who is also a ninja, and the four set out to put an end to Reeves' dastardly plans.

Patrick Reynolds is really wooden as the Mandroid, but it somehow works quite well. Denise Crosby is actually quite good as Hunter, probably better than she needed to be and comes across as a bit too serious. Crosby later appeared in the horror films Pet Sematary and Dolly Dearest but is best known for her role as Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Roy Dotrice seems to be having a blast hamming it up as the evil Reeves, but the glue that really holds the film together is the fantastic Andrew Prine who is great as Harry Fontana. He's charming and funny, and really gives the film a touch of class. He starred in several cult classics throughout the '70s such as Simon: King Of The Witches, Nightmare Circus, The Centerfold Girls, Grizzly and The House That Dreaded Sundown. I still can't figure out why he didn't become a big star. Eliminators is pure B movie and it never pretends to be anything else, it's ridiculous, cheesy and a whole lot of fun. It certainly isn't well made, but does have some really good sequences, especially the scenes on the river. Basically it's a movie about androids, ninjas, a riverboat captain, an evil time travelling scientist, cavemen and an R2D2 knock-off, if that doesn't sound great, the film isn't for you. It's once again produced by Charles Band and directed by Peter Manoogian. The picture quality is pretty good, no extras.

America 3000 - Nearly a thousand years in the future in Colorado, men have been reduced to stone age conditions where they communicate by grunting and look like cavemen. Amazon type women now rule, and capture the men to either put them to work or use them as seeders. Korvis and Gruss escaped the women when they were boys, and over the years they have become intelligent and started a clan of their own. Can Korvis and the leader of the women called Vena find a way of bringing man and woman together, before one sex completely wipes the other out for good?

After about ten minutes I was dreading what was to come, the annoying narration, the awful and silly dialogue the people were using, the really poor acting, but then something strange happened, I actually began to enjoy it, especially the things that initially annoyed me. By the time I'd watched about half an hour of America 3000 I was having a great time, the acting is cheesy, the dialogue is dreadful, the production values are very poor, the story itself is very silly but it's all done so tongue in cheek, I couldn't help but fall for its charm. Everyone involved is clearly having a great time doing it, and it's hard not to join in and go along with it. It even has a giant hair covered creature in it called Aargh the Awful, he doesn't do much but he is quite funny. Strangely the ending was even a little poignant which caught me off guard, but it's well done before we're given one last laugh by Aargh the Awful. Chuck Wagner really grew on me as Korvis, he once even had his own TV show called Automan which I've never seen. Laurene Landon is good as Vena, despite some of the dialogue she's given. Landon is the most recognisable face in the film, she later appeared in It's Alive III: Island of the Alive and played Bruce Campbell's love interest Theresa Mallory in Maniac Cop and Maniac Cop 2. There's not much plot to speak of, but it's all done in a really fun way. It was written and directed by David Engelbach, this was his only credit as director but he did write Death Wish 2 and the Stallone film Over the Top, he now apparently works as a screenwriting teacher. It's a really fun film if you don't go into it with the wrong expectations, and you make it past the first ten minutes. Picture quality is pretty good, no extras.

The Time Guardian - The plot is something about a spinning city that travels through time while trying to avoid being destroyed by a race of robot/men creatures called the Jen-Diki that live underground and only come out at night. Two warriors called Ballard and Petra travel back in time to the Australian outback in 1988 to prepare for the landing of the city, but a group of Jen-Diki have also arrived. Petra is injured, so Ballard finds a geologist called Annie who agrees to help.

Tom Burlinson, best known for The Man from Snowy River isn't a great lead as Ballard, he isn't that bad but I never really found myself rooting for him and he was far too boyish for the role. Nikki Coghill is better, helped by the fact I already liked her from a criminally underrated and under seen crocodile animal attack film called Dark Age from '87. The two big names in the film are Carrie Fisher who plays Petra, and Dean Stockwell who is simply called Boss. Fisher's character of Petra is almost instantly wounded when they arrive in Australia and is only rarely seen again when Ballard and Annie return from their travels, Stockwell's Boss is back in the future on the time travelling city and is only seen briefly in the film. The Jen-Diki look quite cool, especially from a distance when it's dark. The problem is that our hero Ballard seems to have more trouble in the film from an idiot sheriff than the Jen-Diki, and far too much time passes where very little happens. I think the main problem with the film is that it's played far more straight than the other three films in this set, there's far less humour and it's obvious that they were trying to make a genuinely serious film. It was very poorly received on release, I think it was because it wasn't anywhere near well written enough to appeal to mainstream fans, and it wasn't silly or fun enough to appeal to B movie fans. It sits somewhere uncomfortably between the two, and it is the worst film in this set. It was directed and co-written by Brian Hannant who also co-wrote Mad Max 2, this is nowhere near as good as that film. The picture quality is pretty good in the day scenes, it's VHS quality in the night time scenes, no extras.

This is another really good set from Shout Factory, even if it isn't as good as the action-packed set they previously released. The picture quality on these films isn't as impressive as on the other set, but I'm going to assume that's more to do with the films themselves rather than Shout Factory's efforts during the transfers. There's no extras at all on this set, the action set only had a commentary on one of the films but it still added something more than just the films. Just like on the other set, there's three really fun films and then one that lets it down a little, but even that film is entertaining. I mainly ordered the set for Arena which I saw late one night on TV years ago and enjoyed, but I'm delighted that Eliminators and America 3000 were so much fun. This set is currently going at a very cheap price as well, so it's great value. It's not as impressive as the action-packed set, but at the current price and just how fun these films are, it's a bargain and well worth picking up. It's a region 1 set and will not play on UK region 2 players.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Substandard, 13 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sci-Fi Movie Marathon [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Purchased this release solely for the inclusion of the Empire Pictures double header of Eliminators/Arena, and has been noted through many sources that I have spoken to, both are substandard releases, utilising a master from MGM, both are pretty much VHS quality, especially Eliminators, which at times is very dark. But in saying that, despite being very annoying to watch, the mere fact that Shout factory have actually managed to put these two titles out on DVD is a major feat and for that I do applaude.

If only shout could raise their collective game for any such releases that are forthcoming.
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