The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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--Matt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nemesis III: Prey Harder (1996)

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I managed somehow to get my hands on Nemesis 2 and this film on VHS. These suckers are a little bit harder to come by than one might think. I have a beat on part 4, so don't worry about the end of the Albert Pyun Nemesis saga ending prematurely here. Anyway, before we get to part 4, we have a little business to attend to first with part 3.

Nemesis III takes place right where the prior installment left off-- sort of. It starts 22 hours after part 2, but then goes back in the form of flashbacks and whatnot. In the future, the cyborgs have sent a whole bunch of trackers and assassins and such into the past to get our homegirl, Alex. We find her lying in the desert with a massive head wound and amnesia. She runs across Tim Thomerson, whom she thinks is a good guy, but he just wants to scan her with his laser eyes and take her back to the future-- he's a bad cyborg named Farnsworth 2, get it, because he was Farnsworth in part 1. Anyway, a struggle ensues and she stabs his eye then her memory comes back. From here, we find out somewhat how she went from taking out the Nebula in part 2, to lying on the ground with a head wound in part 3.

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And therein lies the rub, as we like to say here at the DTVC. The film starts by bombarding us with images from the previous film, which would be great if we hadn't seen it, but we have, so we're like "yes, I remember that! Give me something I haven't seen yet!" Then you get the amnesia thing, with more flashbacks, then the realization that we were watching what will now become the end. It was too awkward for me, and hurt what would have been a very fun movie-- made it more tedious than fun. It would be easy to attack the film for the low-budget special effects, but you're here at the DTVC, if you can't handle low-budget special effects, you may want to find a Tumblr account devoted to scenes from Avatar and Inception.

What I liked about this one was how it attempted to bring more in sci-fi elements, which was what part 2 lacked. I also liked that Pyun cast two of his better mainstays, Norbert Weisser and Tim Thomerson. That at least let's us know we're watching an Albert Pyun movie, and these guys seem to do Pyun films better than most actors he casts. They get what Pyun is doing, and they're good at selling it. I would have had a lot of fun with this one had it not been for the flashbacks and weird storytelling method. Simple is often the easiest way to go, and the best for us, the viewer-- and overly complicated or gimmicky often ruins what could be a potential winner.

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There's one scene with Thomerson that was so awesome. He's driving around in a jeep with some grunt cyborg, and I guess the guy says something that upset him, because he hauls off on the dude, then kicks him out of the car, and shoots him. And shoots him again. And again. And again. At some point I don't know what to make of it, I'm even like "dude, just die already!", but he still gets up, and Thomerson still shoots him. It was fantastic.

I don't know what to say about the special effects. I had fun with them, but someone else might find them tawdry or crass. One thing he does is adds in lasers and green eyes on the cyborgs. Another involves this fish-eye effect that obscures these golf cart things that the cyborgs drive. I don't know what that was-- maybe some kind of hyper speed-- but obviously it was more funny than cool. You have to ask yourself on those things what you're going into a film like Nemesis III: Prey Harder for. For me, it's just that sort of thing, so I'm good there. It's the awkward nonlinear storytelling that threw me for a loop.

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I decided to use this seventh paragraph to mention that there's a trailer for Albert Pyun's new film, Tales of an Ancient Empire, over at his site, pyunmovies.com (you can click here to check it out.) As always, for any news on Pyun's projects, you can click on the link to his site over in the "Other Great Sites" section.

As for Nemesis III, it's up to you. It is still fun, just pretty tedious due to the way the story was presented. You see the same scenes and images repeated, and the repetition becomes frustrating after a time. If you're a completist though, and can get a hold of this and it's partners cheaply, I'd say go for it.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113950/

3 comments:

  1. Tim Thomerson...Albert Pyun...my mind is exploding! I need these movies. And you aren't kidding about their scarcity either.

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  2. I should point out that Thomerson is only in parts 1 and 3. He's great here in 3, but you might like him even more in part 1. I know they're a pain in the ass to get, but part 1 is the easiest, and it's by far the best, so I'd start there, and any of them that you get after that are bonuses.

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  3. Tim Thomerson was pretty wild in this. My dad was a big Trancers fan back in the day (his love for movies like the 'Nemesis' films and stuff like the Full Moon catalog like Trancers and the Bloodstone movies- and exposure to exploitation cheese like the Planet of the Apes films-are a big reason I'm so into these dtv movies so many years later); we always got a kick out of his work. His delivery of lines here saved this from being terrible. Also dug the mentally handicapped love interest for Sue Price- "we must mate, Alex"

    I think I saw where Pyun was aiming with this, but it just seemed like they ran out of money and time. The 35 minutes of flashbacks that plague 3 and 4 seem to be the result of a studio wanting to cash in; like "here's leftover footage, let's do something with it." Of coure, I could be wrong, but it felt like that @ times. As for 4, I don't really consider that a Nemesis movie for several reasons. Too many disimilarities.

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