Reviews written by registered user
|17 reviews in total|
Well I won't give the ending away folks, but you will see it coming a
Stanley Baker, in his last film performance, plays a tired, jaded under manager in a bank he's worked at for the past ten thousand years. He longs to escape the futile tedium of work, but is, on the surface at least resigned (and apparently content) to working out his days in a gold fishbowl office where his superiors can see him but he can't see them.
'I'm poor and broke' he sighs as he neatly summarises his attitude to 'work'. If we all have to do it (as most of us sadly do) we might as well acquire as much financial gain as we can. Very early on, it's clear that Baker's character is already painfully aware that he has gone as far as he is going to go, and that alternative action is required if he is not to give way to perpetual professional atrophy.
So, in comes Britt (can't think where they got that foreign sounding name or accent from, eh chaps). I disagree with some who say that Andress can't act. True, her range is limited, but so were those of luminaries like Bogart, so I feel it's a little unfair to admonish her professional credentials in this way. Also, let's not deny that there are worse things to clock within the cinematic pantheon that Andress's 'undress', and there's plenty of that here. I make this point from a purely 'cinematic' perspective, you understand.
True, the characters are all pretty unlikeable, Warner's in particular, yet it's interesting to see him turn from repellent upper class knob into Baker's whipping boy, mysteriously travelling up and down the country for no apparent reason. (What was THAT all about?) His gesture of defiance towards the end just comes across as toothless, when it's obvious to all who the real winner of the piece is going to be....
Anyway, not bad as it goes, but far from perfect. I always love films for this era (1969-72), just for the 'feel' of the piece, and the washed out yet oddly warm feel of the print itself. As one other reviewer said, there are still traces of 'swinging' London to be found here (in the feel of the film and knowing it was made in 1970), whereas by 1972, that eponymous decade had cinema well and truly contained within it's er' 'distinctive' sartorial grip. We're on the cusp here folks, and all the better for it.
Worth watching, but don't expect to remember it tomorrow.
Well, what can anyone say about this little gem! I saw it first in 1982
aged 15, and only last week came across it again.
Superlatives cannot describe this absolute, genuine classic - strong narrative, humour and a myriad of peachy one liners delivered by a posse of 'actors' who take the 'method' to its logical conclusion and genuinely look like they are enjoying themselves. There are times, my friends, when the delivery is so good you feel like you're almost in the room.
Unlike many films of this ilk, Babyface has a strong story with a fantastic twist you don't see coming till the Nutcracker's identity is finally revealed. I won't spoil it for you folks, but you'll be clinging on for dear life once you finally find out.
After a series of adventures and one serious er 'misdemeanour' our hero, Dan, finds himself at the Training Camp run by the redoubtable 'Champ' - a pint sized madam who makes Atilla the Hun look like a Red Cross volunteer. She reads Dan the Riot Act before introducing him to a small coterie of high achieving yet libidinous females who, over the course of the next ninety minutes, shag him senseless. That's about it, but watch out for the Nutcracker folks. She's heavy, really freaky....
The 'Citizen Kane' of adult entertainment, and not a zither in sight.
One of those odd moments in time where it's just as scary later. It's
old fear, folks. Many years ago they used to have Public Information
Films on TV. This concept will mean nothing to anyone born after 1975,
but to those of us unfortunate enough to have been lucid enough to
understand what was going on in the mid 70s, everyone will remember
their personal er, 'favourite'. Mine is my business.
The point is this - it's old fear. If you watch them with a clean slate, you wouldn't be affected. You'd laugh them off. This, however, you wouldn't. The sister of that Tory knob who masterfully pronounced Kevin Kline's fully made up name in 'A Fish Called Wanda' comes upstairs and....well you know the deal don't you? You watch it in 1978. You watch it in 2004. The reaction is the same, regardless of if you've seen it before. As an exercise, I tried it on someone younger. They were affected just the same way. Oh yes.
If you are are genuinely interested and have an inquiring mind, look it up...if you dare.
My abiding memory is of some chap incarcerated in his living room,
ringing into some radio show and having something nasty getting nearer
and nearer...and nearer. You never saw anything, but then again you
never had to.
Even the word 'beasts' takes us all back there doesn't it? I try and be objective. I saw this in late 1976, and never since. I was 9 years old, hardly capable of critical reasoning. Yet, across the gulf of time, images and thought processes immeasurably superior to adulthood come back to you.
I'd like to watch it now, provided it don't ruin it.
I have read partisan levels of division on this notorious short. I will
add my view to the debate.
The 'success' of the piece, if that's what garners acclaim or opprobrium depending on your perspective, is for me in the images that linger long after the film itself finishes. Most films finish and you think, just.....nothing. Nothing stays with you - nothing comes back to you, it's just THERE. Here however, for me, odd moments return to the mind's eye and can have an unsettling effect, as if the director (shackled now to being a 'cultural' stereotype of the highest order who will polarise opinion faster than you can say Melvyn Bragg) knew that these few images were what would remain, and this only - the beach and the claustrophobic room. It's appealing to childhood fears - there's someone there at the door who will help you. There's someone there...you're OK, or are you? You're on the beach. You notice it, you feign ignorance, you know, you fear, you think it's after someone else. No, it's after you. It could be Hemingway, couldn't it?
I think this is the real essence of horror. No horror film will be bedecked with 90 minutes or so of abject terror, that's not the idea. The zeitgeist is in what stays after, weeks, months, sometimes years after, moments when you have to relieve yourself in the night, walk downstairs in the dark, conjuring up some half baked idea that there's someone/thing 'in the room' - at moments like this, which, let's face it we all have and are now trying to deny, images of Hordern on the beach, with that THING behind him, will leave you wondering if it will come closer, and, more worryingly, if it will come for YOU, my friends....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If I was allowed to take only one website onto a metaphorical desert
island it would have to be this one. The reason? Simply that it allows
you to trawl your memory banks for anything from childhood and join a
small but select band of like minded individuals. So it was with me and
I think, though I may be wrong, that the sporting event in question was the 1980 World Snooker Championship, when Cliff Thorburn scored the first televised 147 break. The session went on longer than planned, and instead of starting that Saturday night's horror double bill (an event eagerly anticipated by me on a weekly basis) with a full length b/w effort (Val Lewton stuff got a regular airing, something you never get these days) and finishing off with something from the modern age, we got this instead. I too, was sat there watching that Saturday night, and can remember it very vividly.
As a 13 year old I was perhaps less able or willing to intellectualize the viewed material, preferring to just sit and watch as the horror unfolded and the sense of mild claustrophobia the viewer feels at the start snowballs into absolute panic by the end. The sense of despair, as if all hope is lost, reminds me of the conclusion of the 1978 remake of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. It's as if everyone else is colluding against that poor hapless individual who will never see the light of day again. Of course, unfashionable, esoteric material like this will probably never find its way onto a DVD, and I share the views of others here who say that, just perhaps, that's a good thing. Let it live on in the minds of us thirty somethings, preserved in aspic the way a REAL horror film should be. I think if I ever saw Karen Black's 'Trilogy of Terror' anywhere I'd think along similar lines. Nothing quite captures the moment again folks. Growing up is a real drag sometimes!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I would echo the views of many on this site and say that it's a dirty
old shame they showed the demon! Given the track record of both Lewton
and Jacques Tourneur in previous collaborations (the swimming pool
sequence in 'Cat People' for example) it would seem obvious their
collective hand was forced, which is scandalous really as it's now the
first thing everyone thinks about when this film comes up for
Leaving it to one side (and believe me, you won't be scared by the demon, folks) this is an absolute masterpiece. It's been said elsewhere that Dana Andrews acting is wooden here. I disagree. To me, the apparently stilted delivery is just what the doctor ordered. Whether he was drunk on set or not - who cares? Aside from Karswell, one of the most instantly endearing screen eccentrics committed to celluloid (a real bad 'un but you can't help rooting for him) I reckon DA is Demon's top dog. The opening sequence is worth the entrance fee alone, and the bleak moorland conjures up the late fifties nicely with just a hint of the menace to come. There are many memorable sequences - the eerie walk through the trees, the er, 'assertive' feline guarding Karswell's mansion, Maurice Denham's panic stricken 'it's in the trees, it's coming' and many others. The way Andrews cynical, non believer is converted also deserves a mention. He never feels the need for contrition at the circumspection he embraced at first, and neither do we. The atmosphere gets out of control without you realising. By the time the runes are almost cremated, and the edgy discussion on the train as Karswell tries to escape, believe me you will find yourself on the edge of your seat. They knew what they were doing alright. Today's 'show it all' directing coterie should sit and watch this, 'Cat People' and the exquisite 'I walked with a Zombie' (my personal favourite) as a bare minimum to see how it should be done. Sometimes less is more. The real 'horror' is what ISN'T said or done.
Oh yes, and there's a (veiled) spoiler ahead folks. The film also has a 'Jaws' moment - though you know it's coming it will get you every time. Chocolate bar anyone? Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Price's horror output was prodigious, but for me this is equal best,
alongside 'Theatre of Blood' in the horror oeuvre.
Comparing these two films is interesting, particularly as the part of Lionheart in TOB necessitated Price to ham it up in his own inimitable way. I have no doubt Jim Broadbent is man to the task on the London stage presently, and good luck to him, but no one could ever really imagine anyone on film doing it but VP. Broadbent deserves praise for taking it on.
Here though, Price plays it chillingly straight. Many of his other performances were, I felt, hampered by that ever so slight tongue in cheek humour that often sits uncomfortably within the horror genre, and plenty of films suffered as a result. I'm thinking of 'The House on Haunted Hill' in particular.
I've seen both of Reeves films, and this is far superior, though 'The Sorcerers' also keeps the viewer interested. The convoluted plot though lets it down. You won't find this 'un unbelievable folks. The lovely Hilary Dwyer's screams are every bit the equal of Fay Wrays and let the tension out beautifully at the denouement. Reeves knew what he was doing, and the lush, late 60s landscapes also help evoke the period nicely.
Of course everyone knows this film is largely unavailable, and pretty
much anyone who has see it (in the UK at least), in the past 20 years
has done so without the benefit of the remastering/extras etc that
would probably be on a conventional DVD. Imagine what that disc would
be like folks!
"Liking the Beatles" is to me anachronistic. Most people either love them or hate them. I doubt many really fall into the latter category, with plenty like me in the former.
Watching this, you wonder just how long the magic would, or could have gone on. Reading the book "The Beatles Get Back disaster" gives some insight, because it shows that they were running through stuff like 'Every Night' that later appeared on solo albums. So for me the most interesting this is - how would these songs have sounded if they had been Beatles songs? Pretty much all of the initial solo work is lauded in equally stellar terms as 'Abbey Road', 'white album' etc, and it's only when there was no one around with sufficient gravitas to hit the quality control button ('Sometime in New York City' anyone?) that things began to slide. Even then, there is masses of stuff (even from Ringo) that's still way up there, especially from the 1970s.
'Let it be' is I suppose a sad film, in a way. I would imagine McCartney was sad to see that there was nothing he could do to keep them interested, and certainly comes across as patronising and bossy. Being feted by hangers on isn't what any of them wanted - Paul just wanted John's attention, and looks quite indifferent to anyone else, apart from Ringo who he clearly loves. Their piano duet is a joy to behold. Interesting to see how different he is with George on the bonus disc of the Beatles Anthology, yet GH still exhibits a wariness that hides lots of stuff I daresay will never now be known.
The key thing of course is the music. I daresay there are thousand if not millions of people who would like to have been walking down Savile Row that day. The interviews are also revealing 'we grew up with them, they belong to us' etc, plus the hilarious 'you don't get much for free these days' makes you realise just how human this band actually was. They had everything, and while I would have loved to go and buy their never recorded collective oeuvre from 1970 on, it's probably best I can't. No one would have wanted a Beatles album to be a part of musical inflation - too much music chasing too little demand. Imagine a Beatles single competing with Donny Osmond, David Cassidy or er, Paper Lace? I don't think so.
They weren't meant for the 70s, as this film illustrates. Sooner or later you implode, if you're this famous and everyone wants so much from you. Look at a film from 1969, then look at one from 1974 - flowery, chintzy, all greasy and horrible. The 60s had EDGE, credibility, dignity, and so did the Fab Four, God bless 'em. I think they probably passed. We will not see their like again.
I wish, like in 'Spinal Tap', there was a voting system here that went
up to 11 for stuff like this.
I shamelessly admit I'm one of those sad, innumerable anoraks who knows every word of this film, and would readily bore the pants about it off anyone willing to listen. Still, I make no apologies, and you don't see people going around quoting French and Saunders, do you? If there is such a thing as a perfect film, this is it. Of course, it's all been said on here before, over and over, about how good this is, so I will aim for a slightly different approach.
To really appreciate the absolutely impeccable comic timing these men exude, watch the expression on Chapman's face a split second before he is 'thwown to the floor' a second time. There is a look of absolute incomprehension/fear/comic despair that I would love to have on a poster were one to exist. I would never tire of looking at it. Also, when Chapman starts saying "Thamson the Thadchuthees Thtrangler' etc to the restive crowd at the end, they know EXACTLY when to make them start laughing. Listen to it, it's EXACTLY right. Awesome.
Of course, the script itself is faultless, but I'm not one of those blind Python acolytes who says everything they ever did worked or stood the test of time; the 'Lumberjack Song' certainly doesn't stand repeated listening, and now sounds cringe worthy if people sing it in homage. I thought that when Palin did it in Himalaya recently; he sounded almost embarrassed by it.
But enough nit picking. When you do comedy, at this sort of prodigious rate, it won't all work. To me, the only bit I didn't really like was the Spaceship section, but this is redeemed by the three word response uttered by the chap who sees Brian walk away unscathed. So much of it does work, it's beyond criticism.
Sublime, and if you haven't seen it, you've settled for second best without knowing it.
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