Reviews

11 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Vampyres (1974)
7/10
The film you WANT them to make
12 August 2003
Have you ever been bored of either the pathetic shot-on-video goth fantasies that seem to clog up the shelves, or even good old Jess Franco's cool but boring sleaze epics? This film is pretty much alone in the Lesbian Vampire genre in that it has real zeal - the girls really seem to get into their roles and the result is the most erotic non-porn feature I've ever seen. Excellent stuff.
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9/10
Undiscovered classic!!!
12 August 2003
OK, I've known I've wanted to see this for years, but had no idea how great it would be!!! Price is as ace as usual, but the scene is well and truly stolen by the little dwarf girl. Some more things that make the film great - The fact that all the Orientals talk in broken English, while Price fills every line with overblown emotion and literate philosophical asides, the record number of secret passages and lifts, the incredible opium trip/dream sequence (and the resulting slow-motion escape is even better)and the fact that the whole thing plays like a 30's adventure film mixed with a 60's drug film! Perfect.

Highly recommended, naturally.
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David Frost Presents: How to Irritate People (1969)
Season Unknown, Episode Unknown
5/10
Pre-Pythonisms
11 August 2003
Here's an oddity - made the year before Python with most of the cast and the assorted Goodie. Truth be told it's not all that funny, and features an extremely offensive scene with Palin as an Indian waiter, but there are moments of interest, such as seeing an extended range of Cleese's acting abilities, the extremely funny airline sketch, and noting how Connie Booth hardly aged between this and Fawlty Towers...
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A film of three thirds
22 July 2003
We'll get this out of the way first - I'm a huge Woody fan, and will fight anyone who disses...

HOWEVER,

This is one of his minor works (see also - Manhattan Murder Mystery, Everyone Says I Love You), and as such comes as a bit of a disappointment if you are intimate with such masterpieces of cinema as Annie Hall, Manhattan and Hannah and her Sisters.

Woody seems to have faxed in his performance (a little hazy like Robin Williams in Deconstructing Harry, perhaps?) and the character is totally wrong for him. Tracey Ullman, however, is just just perfect.

Oddly, the film changes styles every half hour - the first starts like a golden-age caper comedy, then switches to a comedy of manners (very french) and ends up with a traditional Woody 'love lives falling to pieces' plot. Of course, the final third is the most satisfying.

So, a must for Woody fans to stick to the end with, but the question has to be asked -

Is he not too old for this now?
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Sacrifice! (1972)
6/10
boring, then disgusting, then depressing
22 July 2003
OK, I'll start off by admitting that I am a fan of the cannibal genre, something I'm not proud of, but there you go. I was looking forward to this one as it is generally credited with being the film that started the whole cycle off (after inspiration from A Man Called Horse).

Well, what can I say? It's possibly the most racist of all Italian cannibal/jungle films (although I haven't seen Mandingo Manhunter!), and quite possibly the dullest for most of it's length. In fact the first and only scene of cannibalism occurs around the twenty minute mark (it's a good 'un, though). From then, believe it or not, the film goes for sentimentality! It all ends up very uneven and leaving a bad taste in the mouth.

So, possibly the weakest of the Italian cannibal flicks (I'm not counting Cannibal Terror (French) or Jess Franco's German/Spanish flicks), certainly doesn't have the splatterpunk attitude of Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox, or the Boy's Own Adventure feel of Mountain of the Cannibal God or (my favourite) Last Cannibal World/Jungle Holocaust.

Be warned - animals were harmed during the making of this film....
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2/10
eh?
22 July 2003
OK, This might actually qualify as one of the worst filsm I have ever seen - and I was SO looking forward to it, too, being as huge a fan of the thirties' Oz and also Return to Oz...

God no. Leave it alone. Awful sets, awful acting, a papier-mache cow (believe it or not - not a reason to watch it!!!) and unlistenable sound add up to something less than the sum of it's parts.

The only remotely interesting part is General Jinjur and her army of short-skirted chicks. But even those aren't worth the admission price. Even if the admission price is free.

Water your plants instead.
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my brain just fell out
9 June 2003
One of the strangest things I have ever had the pleasure to watch... It starts with some footage of an interview with Roman Polanski, presumably post-manson tragedy, talking out of context about snuff. This seems to have been bolted on to a fake documentary about the porn industry, which in itself is an intriguing piece of film - highly comic one minute and serious the next, but never paticularily salacious or graphic considering the year of release and subject matter, although a brief snippet of hardcore is visible near the end, this may well be an insert judging by the obviously faked nature of the rest of the film. When the original film should have ended (although it kind of just peters out) there is a short segment where a 'snuff' film-maker (with a very pretty paper bag over his head!) is interviewed The most amazing thing about this segment is that the 'snuff' film shown consists of gore shots that were cut from the classic 'last House on the Left'! Amazing stuff, I'm sure you'll agree...

Bad film fans really need to see this. I was given a dupe from what looked like a very old video release but could have come from the print itself.

Enjoy!
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Secretary (2002)
3/10
Most over-rated film of the year?
21 May 2003
I honestly can't see what the fuss about this film is. It's quite nicely shot, but the whole thing plays out like a bad TV movie. James Spader goes through the whole film looking like he's got a red hot poker up his bum and to be honest, he probably deserves one for this performance. I can appreciate that people might have been crying out for a mainstream film about S&M which isn't about sex (rather it's about the need for submission/domination in day-to-day life) but it did leave me shaking my head in disbelief.

A lot of critics have praised the feminist angle of the film, but, boy, if this is what counts for female empowerment now, have we got a looong way to go.

But, hey, like I said, it's nicely shot. I suppose.
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Dog Soldiers (2002)
7/10
Woof!
26 May 2002
British werewolf movies seem to have a strong pedigree (pun not intended), what with Company of Wolves, An American Werewolf in London (sort of British, anyway) and the 70's oddity The Beast Must Die. All of the above have a sivable twist on the genre, and Dog Soldiers is no exception.

Sadly it doesn't really live up to it's promise fully, It's got it's share of amusing lines (mostly down to the British slang, which I'm hoping will introduce the word 'Tw*t' to a wider audience), decent gore, and some half-decent monsters. Despite this it really does go on for too long when the protagonists reach an abandoned farmhouse, and unkillable werewolves, despite the non-stop shooting and screaming, do wear a little thin after a while.

Still, it's always nice to see a well-made British genre film, albeit one with no real horror.
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6/10
Come on, guys......
12 December 1999
Let's face it - watch any more euro-explo fl;icks and this just don't stand up - sure, there's some great nightclub scenes, but the film as a whole is almost too much like 'art' - it's turgid in places, and lacks the balls one would expect from a film called 'Vampyros Lesbos'. If you need sex, Vampires and true art direction, I'd instead point you towards the films of Jean Rollin - specifically 'Les Frisson Des Vampires'. Happy Hunting.
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7/10
Franco's first horror film
12 December 1999
Jess Franco's breakthrough film is a straight retelling of Yeux San Visage, albeit with some of the poetry removed and a more straightforward 'thriller' structure added. It's probably Franco's most 'normal' film, with only only a few of the the sleaze diversions that became the raison d'etre of his work from then until the present day. However, look closer and you can trace his obsession with nightclubs and mirrors (put to best effect in one scene in Vampyros Lesbos!) back to this film. Overall, a little on the long side for today's audiences, but a very important taboo-busting film at the time, and contains some very good cinematography, occasionally in an almost bava-esque style.
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