Mark pulls a solo shift in this one, covering a whole set of movies:
- High Anxiety
- Revenge of the Nerds
- Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise
- Hour of the Wolf
- Fantastic Voyage
- Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
- All This And World War II
- Hold the Ghost
- Heavy Metal
- Of Unknown Origin
- Four Lions
- Switchblade Sisters
Rather good comedy about something that i thought might be beyond comedy at the moment, the exploits of inept suicide bombers. I really wasn’t expecting it to be this good, and it’s a very British comedy to me, I wonder if it did well in places like America?
The first 10 minutes take a little acclimation as you get used to the dreadful acting, but they are made easier by the gogo dancing clips, but once Tura Satana goads the guy into racing, the massive energy and sheer balls to the wall bravura of this movie carries it through magnificently until the end.
Russ Meyer sure liked breasts.
Goofy “boys own” adventure involving miniaturized people in a cool submarine craft that looks like something from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, with some dated, though still cool, special effects, with a very A to B story.
Contains the magnificent Raquel Welch.
Mark covers the half-silly, half-sympathetic, half-shocking movie, Freaks
Wow, a real tour-de-force with McAvoy as a complete asshole, who we get to see as a tortured, lonely man in this Scottish comedy version of Bad Lieutenant. This film is funny, repulsive, tragic in turns, and it did feel like a Trainspotting-lite in the first 20 minutes, but then quickly shed that feel and became its own thing.
I’m not entirely sure it’s a great movie, though it had many, many memorable scenes, and I’m sure I’ll remember it for years to come, but it’s a very, very good movie.
Oh and a spectacular and glorious cameo from David Soul too.
Nicely made film that looks great, and solid script and performances. The central conceit intrigues right up until you find out exactly who is responsible, and the revelation doesn’t live up to the original promise, and as you think it through, the logical flaws start to be bothersome. In some respects, it’s a slicker version of 1997’s Cube, but that movie at least had the balls to not explain itself – and the explanation here makes the film weaker by explaining the mystery. Still, great first and second acts.
Dark reboot of the original series, which is boring when Jason isn’t around, and pretty good when he is. There’s numerous references to the ‘classic’ movies, especially the first 3 (but there are definitely other visual references to other ones), but it has very, very baggy sections throughout. I also missed the whispering breath scoring of the original series (we get it a little at the beginning). I actually liked some of the minor characters (the Asian guy and the black guy), and also how at least 1 character was deliberately written to be a tool (thus making his death more satisfying), but I wasn’t that keen on the liberal borrowing from other horror franchises. There was borrowings from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, for example.
Overall, worth a watch if you’re a horror fan, but go in with low, low expectations.
Yeah, reasonably fun, but with long sections with too little Jason or Freddy, especially in the first half. When they actually were either fighting or terrorising the kids, it was decent enough, but a little more Freddy humour would have been nice. Decent turn in a minor role by genre great Katherine Isabelle (her from the Ginger Snaps trilogy, and American Mary).
Completely bonkers Jason tale, that deviates wildly from the usual formula of kids in woods + Jason into a tale of body-jumping Jason hunting down a new body. Mixing elements of The Omen, Dog The Bounty Hunter, The Hidden and Child’s Play, this is bananas. But entertaining.
Decent entry into the Jason tales, with some creative deaths and a little tension, but needed to spend more time in Manhattan to be properly fun. Enjoyable enough though. Best kill: Jason punching a guy’s head off.
Ridiculous sequel where, even though people find corpses throughout the woods, they act as if nothing has happened and decide to get some air in the same woods. It’s not completely without charm though, as Kane Hodder’s reanimated Jason gives us a steady stream of kills, and the premise of Jason vs Carrie is a decent one, even though the film doesn’t really deliver on it.
A definite improvement on all the sequels (especially the terrible 5th one), this has some talent, wit and decent ideas going on, with some nice tension and jumpscares. I liked this Frankensteinian Jason, who walked fast, and seemed relentless.
wow this is rank. Every single character exists only to die in a usually cursory and unconvincing way, as they meander through dialogue that exists only to bridge the bodycount. Even the motivation of this new “Jason” is utterly ridiculous. A couple of the deaths had a little frisson, but that about it. The very beginning, with Corey Feldman, was maybe the only decent part.
pretty weak entry, with very little tension or decent dialogue, but bolstered by Marty McFly’s dad, and a pretty good final act where a kid takes the war to Jason – AND THAT KID IS COREY FELDMAN WITH A SHAVED HEAD!
Fear is the Key (1973)
A good, twisty, jagged little thriller based on a book by Alistair Maclean where things are not what they seem. Barry Newman is excellent in this as the protagonist that is initially quite rotten as a character, but whose better qualities eventually shine through, especially once you understand his motivations (which you may pick up in the brief, unfussy first scene that might even slip your attention, so short and downplayed as it is).
It begins with a spectacular 10-minute car chase through the bayou-swamps of somewhere (let’s guess Louisiana) – it reminded me of a similar case in speedboats in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die. And then it gets progressively more engaging and intriguing.
John Vernon (Dean Wormer of Animal House) is the main bad guy, with Ben Kingsley as his main henchman (doing a good squeaky-voiced psycho, some years before his turn as Gandhi, and many years before his full-blown psycho Donnie Logan in Sexy Beast) – sporting a full head of hair. They make excellent bad guys who don’t realise who they’re actually getting mixed up with.
In addition to this, the score is pretty good – done by Roy Budd a little time after he did the spectacular score for Get Carter. The direction is also solid, with some memorable shots – a dead man in a shallow, muddy grave is shown during a rain storm, and the shot of his still face being spattered with muddy rain is particularly memorable.
Finally the ending is both very tense and quite distinct – I can’t remember anything similar at all.
Fright Night 2
Okay Fright Night was recently made with David Tennant channelling Russell Brand as a vampire hunter, but this is a review of the sequel to the rather charming original.
This sequel suffers from a number of problems. The main antagonist is a woman, a sister to the original’s suave Chris Sarandon vampire, but she really can’t act and doesn’t have the charisma to pull this off. Secondly, we’ve lost Charlie Brewster’s original girlfriend (who was played by the woman who became Marcy in Married With Children), who was cute, likeable and believable. The new girlfriend is again not a great actress (but gets better as the film goes along), and not that likeable. Coupled with an internal logic that just doesn’t work (one vampire gets staked and just falls dead, while others immediately melt or somesuch), and not great dialogue, poor motivation and not a very good story, it’s not a patch on the original.
However, it has some merits. The practical special effects are fun, and one of the Queen Vampire’s underlings is quite good. He looks like a young James Woods with enormous and long hair. There’s also the odd shot that’s pretty memorable, such as a striking-looking black vampire skating towards the camera.
Maybe worth seeing the once for a fan of 80s horror.