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23 reviews in total 
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Homebodies (1974)
14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Geri-Cult, 4 August 2004

This one is truly original. A Cult film for the Geriatric crowd. It is good to see that I am not the only one who was impressed with this obscure film from when HBO was in its infancy (channel 6 anyone?) There are some very good actors associated with this project for anyone who was conscious in the 60's and 70's. From Ruth McDevitt to Ian Wolfe you have seen them before in many supporting roles, here you get to see them lead. The film almost has a strange aura similar to The Sentinel (1977) although without the supernatural aspects. Here we have a social satire which focuses on the geriatric crowd affirming their rights in the face of oppression. Coming out of the era of civil rights don't think this subject matter wasn't a projection of society in which many sub-cultures where finding ways to be empowered. This film takes that premise and twists it into some very humorous and macabre situations. The cement pouring scene is a memorable one which stands alongside any early giallo for inventiveness. Dated but still worth it if you can find it if cult is your thing.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The film, the reviews, the legend..., 24 July 2004

It is always interesting to read the reviews of others in assessing a film that touches on traditional mythos in society. There is no shortage of reviewers from the UK who feel as if their legend has been tainted. Notably this film succeeds by attempting to integrate an actual historical investigation into the origins of the Arthur legend. As the basis for the film this works and adds a fresh perspective to the well known story. However, where the film begins to fade is the interjection of all of Arthur's mythological characters and props. Merlin is now the leader of the native tribes, Guinevere a pagan warrior, etc. The scene which has Arthur recollecting about his mother and Excalibur is especially contrived. Its not that these artistic liscenses have destroyed the fabric of the film, it is simply that in attempting to de-mystify the legend all they have done is reformulate the old myth in a different era...rather unoriginal but understandable. The film's major failing is in the direction which attempts to create the sense that this new legend must be supported by Hollywood superhero tactics which are so wholly laughable as to detract from the whole film. One expressly humorous scene shows a Knight with an arrow piercing his chest throw a sword twenty odd feet perfectly into his nemesis before he expires. Schwarzeneger would be proud. The funny thing here is that most of these annoyances could be edited out to save this film's credibility if anyone cared. Finally with all of these shortcomings the film is still actually enjoyable. The knights are all cast well and likable as men driven by their sense of freedom during Roman reign. Gruffudd, Mikkelsen, and Winstone all deserve mention. Here I believe the all-Euro casting succeeds at least in the US where fresher faces add a nuance to new mythos.

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
As Interesting As They Come Dealing With 60's Politics, 1 May 2004

This is an innovative, historical, and very well acted account of the US Government's attempt to put a generation of anti-war protestors on trial. From a political standpoint this film succeeds in outlining the key issues protestors had against the Vietnam War. From a legal standpoint this film succeeds in defining what may have been the most unorthodox and legally flawed trial ever to take place in America. On the artistic side, this film combines fantastic actors who embody the spirit of the true life defendants as well as offering intertwined detailed accounts from the participants themselves.

In respect to the reviewer who stated this wasn't what he remembered, I can only say that media accounts usually do not cover events accurately and that this whole docudrama is taken from the actual court transcripts. As someone who has taught and studied this trial and accounts, I assure you will not find better.

For an understanding of what divided and still splinters our country, this truly is required viewing.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Greatest Indonesian Horror Film ever?, 4 January 2004

Seriously, how many Indonesian horror films have you come across? This one is the only one I know of and that makes it an interesting watch right off. There is some real creativity here with the flying head and transformation scenes as the story follows a Serpent and the Rainbow kind of plotline. The acting is not bad but the dialogue is hokey (my version was dubbed) but the real success is the soundtrack which varies from spooky to psychedelic rock and the witches cackle which was perfect except overdone. Havent heard a cackle like that since Margaret Hamilton. The films editing is a bit choppy as it combines elements of early 80's f/x ("Tron" style) with Asian martial arts. Overall worth the watch, but not the Indonesian Psycho...but how would I know.

27 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Camp Classic, 25 November 2003

It does amaze me at times to see what are considered camp classics and then see how so many people can miss an obvious one. This is one film that truly has it all...drunken midgets, nazi spies, princess leia, and a host of off-colour jokes sure to offend ALL. Seriously, if your a member of the PC thought police this film will give you reason to write your congressman (or is it congressperson?) but if you are intelligent enough to realize that when everyone is being poked fun at no one is stigmatized then you might just enjoy this comedic spoof which is as frantic and disjointed as the plot.

One last point regarding the "munchkins": although it might be easy to see this film as taking liberty with the rumors (and some were true) that the midgets who acted in the Wizard of Oz were wild drinking partiers, it should be noted that this notion goes just as far to show how normal this population is; just as interested in getting drunk, laid, and having a good time as the rest of society. A very human face which has not always been offered to actors who are seen primarily in fantasy films (Oz, Willy Wonka, Time Bandits, and even Tiny Town). I do know that the actors on this film were paid better than those on Oz and certainly had no problem with the script in giving their enjoyable performances.

A fun ride

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Intense, 18 September 2003

It is interesting in reading the reviews here how some people rate a film. Some disapprove of the cruelty shown here (which is mostly psychological as compared with the usual dose of Hollywood guns and bombs) and others are uncomfortable with the subject matter either being "unnecessary" or somehow irrelevant. I must admit the only drawback in this film for me was the postscript in suggesting that the characters were specifically real when they were not. However, the only true mark of a film is how well was the story told, acted, presented. Mullan excels in presenting a dark, claustrophobic film that originates with a beautifully shot intro that speaks volumes about social tradition and religion. The acting is top notch and as one reviewer so perfectly noted (I said the same thing before reading it so I don't feel bad about reiterating) Geraldine McEwan gives the best villainess performance since Nurse Ratchett. Some wonderfully shot scenes which will evoke Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc only from a different perspective. It is unfair to put down a film based on notions that either the material is too cruel or that the material isn't new or an "expose". The story may not be on the same level with Whale Rider or Dirty Pretty Things but the film succeeds as one the more memorable of the year. 8/10.

15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Historical, 22 August 2003

This is the film that started it all (in more ways than one). This was the play and subsequent film which gave rise to the career of James Whale - acclaimed director of such hits as Waterloo Bridge, Showboat, The Man in the Iron Mask, as well as being the father of horror with Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, and The Bride of Frankenstein. Without his directing this play, whose meteoric rise in England paved his way to Hollywood, we might never have been given the same treatment of Shelley's opus and the key to modern horror films.

The film itself is also a first in that it was the first major film to deal with World War I in such a way that brought it's own brand of horror to the masses. As with other filmmakers whose actual wartime experiences have brought us closer to the realities of war (Oliver Stone, Samuel Fuller, to name a couple) the material was emotional and close to Whale.

Although the first film of this type and a box office hit, Journey's End would yield to All Quiet On the Western Front as the definitive WWI film. Truthfully, All Quiet... is a much better film, however, they are two distinct films dealing with the "reality" of war from wholly different perspectives. All Quiet... gives stirring battle sequences which still stand up but also attempts to represent the common soldier's experience. Journey's End, a play written by RC Sheriff tells the story from the perspective of English officers, of which Sheriff and Whale had both been apart. In this regard, the material can be appear dated and seem more melodramatic than intended.

The film suffers more from the simplistic camera settings than from its significance as an early talkie. Whale's direction is handled perfunctorily as if recreating the stage play. There are a few scenes which go beyond this limitation but they are few in 120 minutes of film. The true success is the first film performance of Colin Clive who handled the material for Whale on stage as Captain Stanhope (after Laurence Olivier left the play after its initial run). Clive is cast perfectly as the tormented Captain (a mood he would later immortalize in Frankenstein). Ian McLaren also deserves recognition as the intelligently human face of Lt. Osbourne.

There are many reasons to seek out this rare historical film. From its place in cinematic lore and significance in the War genre to the fine performances. Either way, its a treat.

Deadline (1984)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Intriguing Little Gem, 8 August 2003

Make no mistake this is a good horror film. It has some nice chills, good amount of gore and some disturbing moments that will be with you after the film has ended. But Azzopardi has attempted not just the usual horror flick here; he has fashioned an allegorical gem based on the debate over violence in the media using a horror writer and his family as the focus. Azzopardi has also crafted a post modern film which is self-commenting, non-linear, and offers no definitive resolution for all of his characters which can tend to instill an unsatisfying or muddled ending. However, this film should be viewed as ahead of its time in its treatment of the subject matter and original way of presenting it. The style of the film owes much more to the Italian horror masters (Argento, Fulci, etc.) than it does to North American cinema as Azzopardi, made his mark in Canadian cinema. It should also be noted that while the film is allegory, it was apparent to me that Stephen King was the basis for the main character (even his name is Stephen) and pre-dates any self-referential treatment (The Dark Half) from King by almost a decade. In this regard, the film remains highly original in theme and still well worth watching. Bottom Line: good horror film that will evoke Italian cinema but you must be willing to put the pieces together on your own...a thinking person's horror film.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Interesting but weak, 9 July 2003

When you read that this a low-budget film this is an understatement. This film had to be made for under $2,000 in 1962 and that says something. About all they paid for was a truck rental, chickens, and the actors. The acting does have a few good performances (Michael Greene's first film - he went onto a fairly consistent secondary career and is still acting! The highlight is Thayer Roberts as Uncle Jacob) but the majority are first time actors and at times it hurts to watch.

All these things don't doom the 72 minute film though. An inconsistent story and logic, bad direction and editing, and ultimately unsatisfying character resolvment all work to make this rather dissapointing. The film should be commended for its attempt to highlight human reaction to nuclear annhilation during the early 60's. The film is a testament to this era as well as broaching some important questions concerning survival. However, where the film fails is that it can never muster any interesting direction for these questions and its characters.

Bottom line: this is a rarity that has some merit for such low budget fodder, just not enought to make a very worthy watch. The film also has a chicken throwing scene which may have been slightly inhumane for those PETA activists out there. 5/10

Evil Ed (1995)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
B-Horror Parody at its best, 4 July 2003

First off, to rent or watch this film you are expecting something in the B-horror range. What this film delivers for the astute fan of this genre is quite a hilarious romp via nordic flavor. At times reminding me of the humor of Jackson's Dead Alive and others of a Stuart Gordon flick this little find should have most chuckling throughout.

The f/x reach a few highs of truly spooky (the first time Ed meets his nemesis) but generally have the feel that this film was put together by a f/x team that decided to use any and all props at their disposal from other films...gremlins, devils, slasher films, etc. to pretty good effect and worked in thru the use of hallucinations.

The gem of the film is the humor. The gore works most of the time but more for laughs. At its heart its a parody and a fun one at that.

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