Bad Movie Review: Death Machines (Schlock Martial Arts film)


Welcome back to my Dark Corner of this Sick World ‘God I hate coming back here.’ Death Machines is a martial arts action film, based around Madame Lee’s academy of assassination. Whether you take the big bridge, the little bridge, or the stepping stones, there’s no easy way to cross running water in Madame Lee’s back garden during final exam week, and the winners will take their place in her crack squad; Asian Death Machine, Black Death Machine and White Death machine. Can’t help feeling he cheated ‘They will do nicely’ Madame Lee’s assassins are the best in the world; subtle, silent, ‘YAAAAAH!’ Leaving no trace they were ever there. Also aided by the fact they wear body armour and no one ever thinks to shoot them in the head. Just from this, the big problem with Death Machines should be evident. ‘All contract killings in this city are under our control’ The whole film hangs on them being the best assassins ever ‘Three of the deadliest men in the world’ and they suck out loud. ‘At least the insults are getting a little tamer’ Between them and a client who seems weirdly unfamiliar with pretty basic concepts. ‘What do you mean fell off a building?’ ‘What do you mean blown up?’ ‘What do you mean you don’t know?’ The first twenty minutes of the film are unfocussed, inept and great entertainment. ‘You call that entertainment? I’ve seen better entertainment in a zoo’ but… ‘I only have one question’ Who’s the hero? ‘If you don’t find them Forester, I will’ Who’s the heroine? ‘ Just call me Florence’ -cheesy love music- That happened quick. And yet in another sense very slowly because this is over half an hour in and I find myself torn ‘This guy’s weird’ The opening may have been vague nonsense but at least it was entertaining ‘Aaaarrrrrgh!’ ‘George!’ A film like this needs a hero, but it really isn’t improved by having one and he vanishes again almost immediately for another half hour. ‘I’ve been on my own for a long time now and everything is just okay’ Both hero and police get involved via another precision operation from the death machines. ‘And an oddly bloodless one.’ They were only hired to kill one person. ‘Knock it off, knock it off’ In the aftermath, one of the death machines is caught. ‘I had to aim at his head to bring him down’ The only smart man in the movie, and certainly the only one in the police station. ‘I’m going to uncuff you’ The carnage that follows is well-deserved, but I can’t decide if my favourite bit is the police shooting each other or the man in the background, nowhere near the action who just wanted to join in. Then it’s back to business for the death machines, convincing a CEO to resign ‘Without resorting to violence’ That really doesn’t play to their strengths, so they take a broad definition of the phrase by assaulting the man’s daughter and using the pictures to blackmail him. ‘She was not completely conscious at the time’ Well in that case, no harm, no fowl. ‘No’ What a great father, but now what can they do now? I really feel like they have resorted to violence. ‘Oh shit’ Back to the hero, who takes his girl to a bar for their first date. ‘Is it a nice bar?’ Weeeelll… And things go further downhill as he gets his ass handed to him… and his nose springs a leak. Fortunately the girl has low standards ‘Where do we go from here?’ How about we just drive around on the off chance we pass the bad guys on their way to a secret meeting. ‘It’s them!’ ‘Who?’ ‘The guys who cut off my hand.’ Well wasn’t that lucky. Summing up Death Machines isn’t easy because there isn’t a story, it’s a series of loosely related scenes, some funny… ‘Arrrrrgh!’ some boring ‘I’m the one who’s sorry for getting involved’ none coherent ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ I really don’t know what else to say, so here’s a pipe smoking assassin. Thanks for watching. Hit subscribe if you haven’t already. Death machines wouldn’t be a good film without the hero, but it would be a more entertaining one Can you think of any other films that should just give up trying and embrace their own crappiness? Let us know in the comments below.

34 thoughts on “Bad Movie Review: Death Machines (Schlock Martial Arts film)

  1. Another cheap , badly written , badly directed , badly acted piece of direct to video 80's Kung Fu crap. You knew that after this stinker was released it ended up in dollar bin really, really quick.

  2. can you look at this dinosaur movie called Baby Secret Of The Lost legend BS what's the biggest alien ripoff you have ever seen ?

  3. Embrace their own crappiness ? I didn't even know that was a word. I'd say Roger Corman with every movie he had made before LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

  4. Dude I love your reviews. This one was especially funny. Keep up the great work. And thanks for all the free funny, as Kevin Smith would say.

  5. Brandon Tenold's review of this was good. I now have it on my wishlist! It is odd that the protagonist isn't really a protagonist, though…

  6. With a title like "Death Machines" I was expecting something similar to"Maximum Overdrive". That was crap but at least it was entertaining crap which is more than can be said for this film.

  7. 6:07 No plot, it is just a series of happenings, like Blair Wretch Reject or Pulp Fiction.
    This is just a grade Z martial-arts action thriller like thousands of others that came out in the 1970's. They must have spent most of their budget creating that title sequence that makes you think it is some sort of sci-fi film.
    DARK CORNERS, why don't you review THE UNBORN from 1991, one of Roger Corman's worst films of all time.

  8. When are you doing a review of Roger Corman's Great Alien knockoff Forbidden World aka Mutant from 1982!!!!!! I would really appreciate it, Thanks!!!!!!

  9. Another movie that would be way better off without the "hero", would be the old biker flick Wild Rebels. The crazy bikers carry the story anyway. The lame hero just bogs it down.

  10. Greetings from Wisconsin. Love the review, and you're right, this movie has no focus. I tend to watch the actual movie after watching you, and this was spot on. If you haven't already, how about the best alien rip off produced by Roger Corman, "Forbidden World" (1982). It's cheap, gooey exploitation at it's best. Just a suggestion. Keep up the great work! Can't wait for the next one.

  11. I feel the school's requirements for passing were rather low. "Can you commit murder?" "Yes." "Can you commit A LOT of murder?" "Yes." "Congratulations, you're an assassin now." I guess I've been playing "Hitman" wrong all this time.

  12. Awesome review as always! Love your channel and have been watching it for a long time! I am actually an independent filmmaker and my little production company and I have made 10+ feature length films. We were wondering if you might be interested in reviewing one of our newest titles, "Graveyard Stories" starring Lloyd Kaufman and "Legend of Demoniac." ? Both are on our channel in their entirety. It would be stellar to hear your thoughts on these films and it would help us spread the word about the films as well! Thanks and let us know what you think. Keep up the awesome reviews!

  13. could you please review The Mephisto Waltz . I saw it once years ago. From what I remember its about a father & daughter satanist, who attempt to possess a married couple in order to become lovers without worrying about the taboo of incest.

  14. I'm not sure Dr. Phibes Rises Again really needed Inspector Trout. Trout may have been outmatched in the first Dr. Phibes movie, but at least he had Tom to play off of. In the second one, he's just there.

  15. "He gets his ass handed to him and his nose springs a leak." Definitely the highlight of the review.

    If there is one film that I know fully grabbed its B-movie greatness and ran with it, that's "Evil Dead 2". The first Evil Dead film did seem to have some horror movie seriousness in the beginning, but Sam Raimi knew that Evil Dead 2 was going to be an insane horror comedy from the first reel.

  16. the only thing worse than these movies is your foul mouth. since the uk produced the antichrist and a cup of tea and a little sharia, it's no wonder that a chipmunk sounding loser should feel qualified to school us on bad movies.

  17. God, I Love Coming Back Here! Dark Corners is a crack squad of hilarity!

    "Yes, we'll give you a flat rate for designing the logo of your film, but we get to pick the title. A kung-fu movie? Yeah, I've already lost interest, enjoy your design we made for a metal band."

    The "nose leaking" image is my new favorite thing ever.

  18. My,I thought I was an expert on bad films but so many of these Dark Corners reviews arefilms I have never heard of – I have spotted a few of the review ed movies are in full on Youtube – so I'll keep watching.Robin Bailes – thanks for the reviews…your Bailes-to-the-wall attitude keeps me in stitches.

  19. "The most enjoyable Martial Arts film since Miami Connection" is a decent summary. Death Machines isn't quite as incompetent, and isn't quite as fun, but nevertheless it is fairly solid leave-your-brain-at-the-door entertainment.

  20. Hey, that was fun. I agree with everything you said, yet the movie opened in 50 theaters in Southern California and went around the world. Yes, the first 20 'road-runner type' minutes was the best part. Amazing to think that same director has a new movie this year that's won 15 awards at film festivals. I think he's learned about pace since directing Death Machines.

  21. I didn't see the whole thing (fortunately), but one very odd scene stands out in my mind. And tell me, if I got this wrong as I only saw it once more than a decade ago. At the diner that showed the White assassin in a fight scene with the bikers the old man who owns the place thinks he's a Vietnam vet that just had a bout of PSTD and tries to lead him to Jesus.

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