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Jack Smith - The King Of Horror

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35 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One Of The Greatest Vampire Movies Ever!!!, 1 June 2001

It is very hard to imagine a remake actually improving upon the original film, impossible even. But Werner Herzog's remake of the silent classic "Nosferatu" is the exception to this rule. The film is everything you could dream of. Scary, surreal, touching, atmospheric and breathtaking with all these elements in almost perfect harmony.

Lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to the castle of Count Dracula in the Carpathian Mountains, despite the warnings of his beloved wife Mina. Despite the warnings of the locals living in the shadow of the castle, he continues on his journey. When he arrives at the castle he disturbed and terrorised by the grotesque, rat-like Count Dracula. Having driven Harker insane the Count falls in love with his wife Mina and travels across the sea to claim her bringing hordes of rats, plague and pestilence with him. Distraught at the condition of her beloved husband, Mina deceides to put pay to the Counts evil once and for all.

This film drastically re-invents the whole Dracula story, which has been choked by countless campy Hammer Horror films restoring fear and loathing to the character. This is boosted by the amazing performance of Klaus Kinski as the count infusing the character with a great sense of pity as well as revulsion. Kinski will always be to my mind the greatest of all screen Dracula's and this will always be to my mind one of the most accomplished vampire films ever.

If there is one fault of the film it is that Herzog tends to make the film a bit too visual for its own good, undermining the brilliance of the performances.

Overall though this is a terrific film.

My Rating: 8 Out Of 10

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Legendary Stuff!!!! Pure Gold!!!!, 14 March 2001

I had never really been `in' to BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD so to speak; I had seen the movie BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD DO AMERICA during 1997 on its UK cinema run. It was a funny film. Three years passed and I totally forgot about it, then last summer a very good friend of mine taped an episode of the re-runs on cable. We sat down and watched it and our sides almost split! It was hysterical. The program reminded me of what it was like to laugh so much you almost passed out from exhaustion. Together we watched more and more and more episodes, taping them off cable and buying cheap videos of the show and re-visiting the movie. BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD is truly the most outlandish TV show ever, you can always bet that every episode will feature at least one moment that will make you cry with laughter. The actions of the two protagonists are so moronic you are left open mouthed with laughter, shock and dismay. All-time highlights include.

1) The duo sits drawing dead people in the classroom. Beavis has a trademark maniac fit screaming, `Massacre!!! Massacre!!! Maaaaaaaasssaaaacrrreeee!!!!!!!!'

2) Beavis puts his hand in the cage of a mad dog (inevitable outcome)

3) Butthead plays with the telephone creating a bleep then bellows `Kirk To Scotty! Kirk To Scotty! I need more speed … Bunghole!'

4) Beavis informs Butthead he left `a surprise' in the bed

5) His computer starts over heating so Beavis throws a glass of water over it.

6) The Christmas Special – Beavis working at a homeless centre (wearing a hairnet)

7) Any bit involving `Cornholio'.

There are many more that I will not list here, as it would spoil the show. I'll just keep it simple. BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD is the greatest cartoon show of its era. A classic mixture of stupidity, vile toilet humour, bungholes, sly digs at MTV Generation culture and total hilarity. A winner!!! Huh Huh Huh Huh!!!



Sorry I just had to get that out of my system. My rating – 10 out of 10 (of course)!!!

Pretty Damm .... Average!, 8 March 2001

For years I have wanted to see this film. It is very difficult to find on video in England, which is surprising considering the cult status of the film. When I finally obtained the film in mint condition I was quite disappointed. The plot concerns a clean cut All-American family who leave the road and trek across the desert in search of a Silver mine (as if rational people would do something this idiotic). They find themselves on a bomb testing range which happens to be inhabited by a wild family of cannibals who attack the family once it goes dark. With half of the family dead the family resort to the same savagery as their cannibal counterparts in order to stay alive. THE HILLS HAVE EYES is a very well made film, with a doubtful but imaginative premise. Just one problem - it's simply not very scary. The cannibal villains are pretty crap and are often more funny than anything else. The film eventually resorts to typical Seventies exploitation tactics as people get burned, shot, blown up and raped, plus a dog gets dismembered, but even scenes seem tame after all this time. Infact the film seems like a commercialised, toned down variation of the director - Wes Craven's debut feature, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Overall THE HILLS HAVE remains one of the key horror movies of the late seventies, but in my view it is either vastly over-rated or has aged VERY badly. The final verdict? THE HILLS HAVE EYES is just another average horror movie, no more, no less. My Rating - 6 Out Of 10.

Scream (1996)
7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A Cancer!!!, 7 March 2001

SCREAM is a cancer, a cancer that has spread and infected nearly all those who have watched it, a cancer that has killed the Horror Genre. The catch is that SCREAM in itself is not an awful film, it is actually quite good. The problem is not the film itself it is the way that people have embraced it. Jaded horror fans who have OD'd on lousy horror movies have been so refreshed and blinded by this movie that they have proclaimed it as the new king, the greatest Horror movie ever. In a word - bull****. Anyone who says this needs shooting, SCREAM is not even in the Top 100 Greatest Horror Movies. Even the director, Wes Craven has made several superior movies. In my view a good comic-horror should not attain glory by ridiculing REAL horror classics like this film ends up doing. Now all Horror Movies are just blatant imitations of this. Parodies of a Parody, no thanks. On its own merits SCREAM is a good film but in terms of the effect it has had it is the worst thing ever to have happened to Horror. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, DAWN OF THE DEAD and the Italian shockers of Directors such as Fulci and Argento are classic horror movies, SCREAM should never be included in the same league.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Crow With Broken Wings., 6 March 2001

CROW – CITY OF ANGELS is the inevitable follow up to the classic 1994 gothic thriller THE CROW. The laws that state all sequels must be inferior to their predecessors are faithfully obeyed here and the result is a rather mundane and disappointing motion picture that flat lines the whole franchise. Here Vincent Perez (badly miscast) gives a weak performance as the doting single father returning from his watery grave to wreak bloody vengeance upon the gang who killed him and his son. He is aided, in his quest by Sarah; a doe-eyed tattoo artist who fans of the series will note is actually the little girl who was befriended by the central character in the original movie. The film manages to be watchable; the apocalyptic cityscapes work quite well, however a maker of music videos directs CROW – CITY OF ANGELS and it shows in every frame. The film totally lacks the edge of raw emotion and inner pain that made the original movie so effective. All you are left with in the end is a gothic re-working of the DEATH WISH movies with nothing to redeem it once you get tired of the garish purple, yellow and green colour schemes. The main merit of this poor film is the raw performance of legendary rocker Iggy Pop as a cocaine-snorting villain. My rating – 5 out of 10.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Strange Film., 6 March 2001

This has to be the strangest of all Dracula movies. A camp, terminally ill Count Dracula goes to Italy to find virgins, whom he needs to feed from if he is to survive. He targets a family with three young daughters He arouses the suspicions of a randy servant who is having an affair with the two eldest sisters. The emphasis is on ridicule of the whole Dracula legend rather than scares and the film is loaded with kinky sex and features perhaps the nastiest axe killing is cinema history. The cast barely keep a straight face, especially Udo Kier who goes barmy as Dracula. This stomach-turning brew is an acquired taste and in way too long but Horror Fans with a sense of humour may enjoy it. A bit weary but worthwhile. Not for the squemish. My Rating - 6 Out Of 10.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Truly Terrible Film., 2 March 2001

This must be one of the most boring Horror films I have ever seen. Even by modern Horror Sequel standards this is a total stinker. A gang of posh misfits gather at an old castle and are soon attacked by a `mighty' werewolf. It's a bland exercise in no-budget film making with a lot of bad acting, a barely glimpsed werewolf the size of a pony and sets made out of cardboard that you expect to blow down at any second. To be honest this is the sort of movie where you wonder about the mentality of the people who actually pay to see it. Fans of THE HOWLING series, if any exist after the torrent of awful sequels, will also be disappointed to find that this film is taken totally serious, all the warped comedy of the previous films is completely exorcised in favour of a stone faced tale of werewolf killings. It is worth pointing out that there is not really any blood or violence in HOWLING V. If you are silly enough to enjoy this cheap crap then may I recommend that you buy a tin of paint, throw it up a wall and sit and watch it dry, because you are obviously very easily entertained. Shoot this one with a Silver Bullet! My Rating – 2 Out Of 10.

The Keep (1983)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
An overlooked horror gem!, 22 February 2001

THE KEEP is quite possibly the most underrated horror movie in the history of the genre. A platoon of Nazi soldiers are sent to guard an ancient keep in the Romania. After a few days the Nazi's awake Molasar, the evil demon living within the keep, as soldiers corpses pile up a Jewish academic and his daughter are shipped in to solve the mystery. The events also effect an ageless warrior who finds himself drawn to the keep. The crippled academic is confronted by Molasar who agree's to eliminate all the Nazi's and cure him of his affliction if he will carry a talisman out of the keep thus freeing Molasar upon the world. But is Molasar an even greater evil than the Nazi regime itself? I have never seen a more thoughtful and intelligent film than THE KEEP. It is a tremendous film which while not terrifying is constantly chilling , I do not remember any other film with such a feeling of impending doom. THE KEEP is a truly superb film that fully deserves to be re-discovered. My rating - 8 out of 10.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Original And Entertaining, 20 February 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! First things first. Fans of John Carpenter's seminal original HALLOWEEN should stay well away from this movie. Hulking, masked psychopath Michael Myers plays no part in HALLOWEEN III – SEASON OF THE WITCH which is a grisly re-working of the INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS theme. This time round the plot concerns an evil Irish toy maker who with the agency of sinister masks intends to return Halloween to its witchcraft origins by killing every child in America. As Halloween draws near a doctor, himself a stay away dad (oh the irony) is drawn into the depraved plot when workers at the mask factory are being admitted to hospital and later dying. He teams up with the sexy daughter of one of the plants victims and heads to the town where the mask factory is based and gradually discovers the fiendish plot. This is no horror classic because it is simply not scary but it is well made and acted (Tom Atkins is great) and gets full marks for originality. However it is the highly creative gore scenes that marked this film out for me. People die horribly as eyeballs are gouged out, heads are torn off, power drills are rammed through skulls and Halloween masks and commercials reduce kids heads to a writhing mass of bugs, snakes and centipedes that then kill their parents all culminating in one of the most downbeat endings ever. It is all shot through with a truly wicked sense of black humour and maintains a relentless intensity from start to finish. This film does not deserve to be a part of the awful HALLOWEEN series. As I have said this is no horror classic but it is still very entertaining and is truly one of a kind. Seek it out if you're a horror fan needing a break from the norm (like me). My Rating – 7 out of 10

23 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Terrifying Fulci Classic, 20 February 2001

Another terrifying Italian shocker from the legendary Lucio Fulci. A family move into a creepy old house and are unaware that living in the cellar is the flesh-eating zombie of a 19th Century surgeon. The little boy is soon a friend with the ghost of the late doctors daughter who warns them to stay away but to little effect. The creature gruesomely kills and dismembers a variety of Estate Agents, Copulating teenagers and Babysitters leading to a terrifying finale in the corpse-strewn cellar. The Lucio Fulci trademark of graphic gore is abundant as ever but it is the atmosphere that makes this movie stand out. Bumps in the night and the ominous crying of children coming from the cellar are just some of the factors that assault and disturb the viewer. This is a truly amazing movie that relies on shock and terror rather than revulsion. The gore just adds to what is already a truly chilling little tale of cannibalism and depravity that will linger in the mind long after you've forgotten about the illogical plot and poor dubbing. One of Fulci's best films. Deserves its cult reputation. My Rating – 9 out of 10.

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