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The Final Destination (2009)
fun but... the innovation is gone
just back from seeing this. what do i think.... hmmmm.....
well, it doesn't really veer from the established template - someone sees a horrible accident - this time during a car race - one of those silly American nascar type things. lots of people get squished, smashed etc etc, last guy to die wakes up before the accident, pulls his friends and some assorted strangers out, they survive, they start to die one by one.
the opening credits feature cgi wire frame recreations of deaths from previous entries in the series which is kind of nice. what isn't nice is that ( and this isn't really a spoiler at all ), the final deaths in the film - which surely should be the best, the flashiest, the goriest, are also done in this way for no reason that i can make out.
also, death seems to cheat in this one - during the setup of the opening race crash we see screws mysteriously undoing. what was good about the first film was that you could put everything down to coincidence - the deaths could all be natural accidents for the most part.
as to the deaths in this one, some are rather gory yet in other ways tame - in part 2 one of the highlights of the film was the part where the fat kid had a giant pane of glass fall on him, causing him to splatter everywhere. in this one, when people have heavy items fall on them that doesn't happen - they are just gone. there is a gratuitous topless shot in this - but the makers didn't take the advice i offered after seeing my bloody valentine 3d and use someone with comedy breasts - they are totally normal ones.
and then onto the 3d effects... they are impressive in part but the problem is, after about 15 minutes you tend to not notice the 3d anymore - you forget that you are watching it except in certain bits - often subtle ones like a safety plaster floating in the foreground while in a swimming pool.
some of the deaths here are inventive, others less so - i still don't think they top what we saw in part 2 which for me remains the best of the series.
overall it's worth watching, good fun but any attempt at innovation seems to be gone from the series.
Ekkusu bonbâ (1980)
Japanese madness !
Lots of memories on this one! - from the perspective of someone who was a young kid at the time....
This show really appealed to me at the time as it was somehow more brutal than other series of it's ilk - thunderbirds, terrahawks etc. in this series people got blown up - done with, they didn't survive, the bad guys wore bandages as the series went forwards (!), main characters were killed off - this was not the usual! i also have strong memories of the evil guy's catfish shaped spaceship - the series built up it's showdown with the red robot in the same way a pro wrestling show would build up an upcoming match! - so when the showdown finally came.. what an adrenalin rush for a 10 year old boy!
i dare say if i were to view it today i'd be less forgiving of technical qualities - plus the undoubted fact that the series was re-cut and edited on it's journey from japan to england - but even so, great memories!
Breaking Point (1975)
art/ exploitation /sex
a bizarre film for sure! I feel the director certainly had artful intentions despite the lurid happenings. whenever we see the protagonist at work he is doing the most boring job imaginable - fold a sheet of paper, stamp it, sign it, move on to the next. in comparison to his work, his extra curricular activities are based around sexual violence and indeed violence in general. perhaps the director was trying to show that people leading boring everyday lives wish they could do something, anything to relieve the tedium, desperate to break the rules of their society just for once... as if to convince themselves that they really do matter and can make a difference.
Anthropophagous 2000 (1999)
totally inept fun
this really shouldn't work. it's shot on video which is always a bad thing, the acting is bad - especially when the actors try speaking English. the sex scenes are laughable - the type where characters bonk away without removing their underwear apparently.
the gore is badly done too - it makes blood feast look professional! people having their insides pulled out by the villain just seem to be standing there and allowing him to do it!
despite this, it's good fun - the gore (despite it's low quality) is yucky and even funny and there's lots to see in the film - it's made with enthusiasm.
worth a watch with pre knowledge of how bad it all is.
Alone in the Dark (2005)
in what way is this alone in the dark.... !?
my memories of the computer game alone in the dark were.... a man, in a big old haunted house, trying to solve a mystery while ghosts and strange creatures abound...
how on earth did the film become ' military types with large guns shoot monsters '
you can only assume that they took the name 'alone in the dark' to cash in - except that it's an ancient game, that few people will have even heard of.
so Mr boll, this is a real mystery - and the fact that it's a bad film really doesn't help.
so bad it's good!
unlike the other reviewers,i am of the age where the later tacky episodes are the ones i remember and love. sure it got sillier as time went on,but that was the charm -all manner of daft jokes and comedy chases -and it stands the test of time! i actually saw an episode last week and as an adult it still made me chuckle -the nonense of it all is infectious -i'm smiling just thinking about it. so check it out -currently on satelite tv on sundays.
Gong fu da pai mai (1979)
nobody famous,nothing too original. the son of a wealthy man cares nothing for business -he just wants to learn kung fu. he finds the stereotypical kung fu movie old man with martial arts skills who teaches him 'sleepy crane style'. the father hires a kung fu expert to dissuade his son by outclassing him -but the expert decides to try and kill him instead leading to the big showdown. there's a lot of entertainment in this film even though it's nothing too special -worth seeing and it even features the hawai 5 o theme in a comedy scene -of which this film has quite a few.
L'ultimo treno della notte (1975)
last train on the left!
basically a remake of last house but set on a train. it starts out with an ear bending demis roussos song 'a flower is all you need' which is worryingly catchy. we see 2 girls going home for christmas on a train but they didn't count on there being a depraved macha merrill and 2 psycho guys sharing the train. inevitably after doing their dirty business the bad guys end up at the home of the 2 girls as guests of their parents. this film has a nasty line in violence and is actually well worth checking out.
Tai ji: Zhang San Feng (1993)
phenomenal martial arts
purists may not like the fact that some of the fighting would be physically impossible due to the use of wires etc but who cares! all that matters is that we are given almost non stop 90 minutes of some of the most amazing looking martial arts ever filmed. jet li and his co stars perform marvellous scenes in which all the characters appear to be superhuman-they quite literally destroy everything around them as they throw pieces of structures at one another. if you enjoyed jet li in lethal weapon 4 or romeo must die then check out what he is really capable of. you will also see michelle yeoh from the james bond film 'the world is not enough'.
Actors are stalked by a madman in locked theatre
first time effort for italian director michaeli soavi and produced by joe d'amato's filmirage. a group of actors rehearsing a play about a nameless killer find a new name attatched to the character-irving wallace when mr wallace escapes from the local mental hospital and kills a wardrobe mistress. the director locks everybody in the theatre overnight to rehearse the play so it can be brought forward to cash in on the murder publicity. but oh wouldn't you just know it,irving wallace gets locked in too and he wants to continue his killing spree. and wouldn't you just know it-the key was hidden by his first victim. despite the apparently cliche ridden plot this film really manages to shine. it has a bit of everything-strong gore,nice music,great style and surprise surrprise,some real moments of tension and suspense. for my money this is better than any of soavi's later efforts which may be in some way due to the involvement of joe d'amato. shortly before his death joe announced a stagefright 2-a return to horror after spending a while doing nothing but his successful line of hardcore porn films. this film is well worth seeking out but sadly the only version available on dvd right now is a german release with only german audio. hopefully a company such as anchor bay will sort this out in the near future. for now seek out the tape!