I want to begin by saying I LOVE X-Strike Studios. These fellas make great low-budget movies. They are all gamers, and most of them have degrees related to acting, film production, theatre, or other related fields. River City Rumble, their first film, was made while they were attending college at Fredonia University in New York. At the time, many of the crew lived in Buffalo and some local areas are recognizable ( so I am told). This movie is available for $10.00 plus shipping at www.x-strikestudios.com
. I recommend purchasing it.
So to begin my review proper (Who are we kiddin', a PROPER review?).
Alex, Ryan, and their friend whose name escapes me cut class at Crosstown High and are walking away from the parking lot to plan what they will do with their time. Ryan goes to meet hisgirlfriend Cyndi who had a short day and was released early from River City High and plan to go shopping. Friend (played brilliantly by Chad Williams) goes to meet with his girlfriend also and makes some sexual jokes before declaring that he is "Out like the gout!". Alex, crestfallen and angry, goes to a video game store to find something that tickles his fancy, in a "Not a metaphor for masturbation" kind of way. He finds a fun NES game that very clearly resembles their town! Ryan gets beaten up by Randy and Andy, who are twins (I promise). Randy-or was it Andy?-puts a ransom note in Ryan's mouth as he and his brother leave with unconscious Cyndi over Andy's shoulder(Randy?). Ryan immediately calls Alex, who based on the music in the background, is playing River City Ransom, a game made by the same company that made Double Dragon, Technos Japan. Together they fight their way through River City to reach River City High to rescue Cyndi and stop the mysterious and nefarious Slick, who is not a ninja, but wearing a mask to build suspense. They must make their way through gangs like the Generic Dudes, the Frat Guys (who are high school students...and wear pink), the Internationals, the Plague, all four Zombies, and the Home Boys to name just a few. And no, those gang members don't look like other gang members, they are completely different people, not the same actors wearing different colored t-shirts...okay, some of them are the same actors...
This film is a lot of fun. It's got some great laughs and nods to the game, gaming in general, and other geeky topics (Favorite line by David Autovino who played Ryan: BITCH! I AM the prince of all Saiyans!). Give it a watch. The trailer is on Youtube, as well as other X-Strike Studios projects. Also worth note is the small role Benny, by Brett Vanderbrook-that's right, Captain S is in this movie- who actually had people wondering if he was Latino from his outrageous accent. Many X-Strikers went on to form PBC Productions, makers of Little Miss Gamer, The New Adventures of Captain S, and other fine internet-based programming.
The camera work leaves a little to be desired and the dialogue is kinda lame at times, but the fight choreography is great and the acting is pretty darn good. I give it 4.5 out of 5. The bonus half a point is for the OODLES of bonus features on the DVD. Highlight is a music video by DJ Potato himself, Eric Ruth (Yes, THE Eric Ruth. Creator of 8-Bit Left 4 Dead and the AVGN Angry Video Game).
"They came for Fighting. They also came for eating burger".
The World of Madness is gaining new residents daily.