Reviews written by registered user
|210 reviews in total|
Young Kim Hutchins (Pippa Scott) just out of college lands a teaching job in a jerkwater town. Traveling with her friend and colleague, the two women are harassed by some men while stopped because of car trouble. A handsome young man (Robert Harland) passing in his truck comes to their rescue, chasing off the no-good louts. After fixing the minor wiring problem, he immediately takes a shine to Ms. Hutchins and confidently begins dating her on a regular basis. Her feelings for him are equally strong and the two seem to be in love. However, on the first day in her classroom she is horrified that he is one of her senior students. He has no intention of giving her up, even though her reputation and job is at stake. Will she settle for passion or mediocrity? This film was way ahead of it's time and doesn't deserve to be relegated to obscurity. Though dated, the performances are quite good. Ty Hardin plays one of the older students, an obnoxious disrespectful jock who causes her no end of trouble. But the real standout in the cast is Robert Harland, whose sympathetic portrayal of a sincere man crossed in love who won't give up is truly memorable. It's a mystery why he didn't appear in more films as a leading man.
Anestis, the son of Demitrios, is a psychologically and emotionally crippled young man, harshly treated by his tyrannical father and bitter stepmother. Demetrios rules his family and his big wheat farm with an iron hand even though he himself reserves the right to go get drunk and take up with whores whenever it suits him. Anestis is a bit slow and socially undeveloped, the butt of the other young men in the village who taunt him for never having known a woman sexually though he is nearly 30. No one has ever been kind to him in his whole life...he has never known love or approval. Driven by his needs and unsatisfied lust aroused by his frequent voyeurism, he traps a saintly, beautiful deaf-mute hired girl who was milking the goats in the barn. Unable to control himself, he rapes her as she is deaf to his pleas. About to be discovered, he tries to calm her down but she is hysterical, so in panic he shakes her against a wall and unintentionally crushes her skull, killing her. Her fear is now his and his guilt and remorse destroy what little sense is left in him.... The stepmother soon finds the body he hid under some hay and knows that he murdered her...in contempt and hatred for him she and his father help him to dispose of the body in the nearby lake, believing that the townspeople will lynch the whole family if it's ever found out. Ridden with horror at his crime, Anestis is forced to dance at his stepsister's wedding but his eyes are full of guilt and fear of discovery. He constantly breaks into sweats and in a state of near nervous collapse. The superb acting by Anestis Vlahos is unforgettable, the portrayal of a weak and twisted man who never even thought of committing such an heinous crime is so powerful you will actually feel sympathy for the unfortunate man who became both rapist and murderer. The beautiful black and white cinematography is stark and brooding, underscoring the tragedy and the fear.
"Three Wishes for Jamie" is a charming, touching story full of well wrought characters. Young Jamie, a feisty Irish lad, has three dreams of Queen Una of the little people, which means that he will be granted his three greatest desires in life. He chooses travel, the woman of his dreams to wed, and a fine son who will speak like poetry in the ancient Gaelic tongue. With the active participation of a cousin, a well-known matchmaker full of the blarney, at every step of the way it looks like all of these if they happen at all, will not necessarily come about as expected. Despite being a Catholic, Jamie never doubts that they will occur, but he often finds himself vigorously opposing the chain of events in his life. Stevan Rimkus is just right for his role, and Jack Warden is nothing less than memorable as his ever loyal, enthusiastic, life-loving, wise old cousin. The characterizations of everyone in the film contribute to the charm and the script is delightfully realized. The frame of the beginning and end of the film featuring the Irish priest's comments on the story was a sweet touch. This film should be enjoyed by many...it is truly a rarity.
Wakefield Poole's "Bible!" is a feast for the eyes....and almost defies description. It consists of three visual interpretations of the Old Testament followed by a visual coda signifying the coming of the New Testament with a strange representation of the Annunciation. The film plays much like a musical composition as it contains no dialog. The first sequence depicting the creation of Adam is stunning in its exquisite beauty and quite probably the best depiction you will ever see of the creation of man theme on film. It eclipses even the more literal version in the big budget epic John Huston film. Unfortunately it is marred by the apple joke at the end, which serves to introduce the next and weakest sequence "Bath-Sheba" which plays in a slapstick comic vein reminiscent of silent films. The third major sequence of Samson and Delilah has a dark, sinister feel to it and has an eerie nightmarish quality of menace similar to the classic German expressionist style. "Bible!" is an interesting curio of its time, the fact of its experimental quality and frequent full frontal nudity prevented it from becoming mainstream. Like European films of the late 60's and early 70's this film was far ahead of the curve for the average American moviegoer. It has its flaws but purely from a visual standpoint it rewards the patient viewer.
Yes, much of the film is awkward, it's full of plot holes and script deficiency...but it has a persistent, understated tone of menace that keeps a viewer involved. This low-budget chiller deserves a lot more credit than it gets. There are several horrific murders of youngsters perpetrated by the vengeful witch with no-one catching on to her precisely because of the rather dull and commonplace behavior she exhibits when around other people. That's exactly how real life serial killers get on with it...they can appear quite normal most of the time. Shelby Leverington delivers this quality brilliantly, resembling a near-somnolent Shelley Long. Those heavy-lidded eyes and that sly smirk that appears on her face hint at the triumphant evil underneath the nice girl-next-door facade. Norman Parker is very good as Jake, as well. A prime target for victim-hood, you keep wondering if he's going to wind up in a dripping body bag himself. Only the fact that he's not one of the marked descendants and has sufficient machismo to nullify this female's blood urge allows him to short-circuit his vulnerability, but he still winds up being manipulated into struggling with the justifiably crazed father who comes after the witch with an axe, only to be nearly decapitated during the melee. With much of the plot involving gruesome child murders it was actually a pretty brilliant move to maintain a pedestrian feel to the film. On a bigger budget it could have been done much more effectively, but even sans slick cinematography and a coherent script it still has lingering chills, solely due to the skills of Leverington and Parker.
Lately the vampire genre has been done to death, with long-running TV
series, etc. But somehow, this fine little film has slipped through the
cracks, while infusing new blood into the tired formula. I had no
expectation of this film being anywhere near as good as it is...but now
I would rank it among the best in the genre which boasts very few good
entries beyond some of the classic tratments based on the original Bram
Stoker novel such as "Brides of Dracula", and the rarer contemporary
updates such as "Vampire at Midnight", and "Blood and Donuts"
Zak Killberg is surely the most realistic and sympathetic protagonist of any of these films...his portrayal of the confusion, fear, hesitation, and abysmal lack of self-esteem and loneliness as he struggles to cope with his "illness" and its consequences is nothing less than masterful. It is obvious that this young man is a great actor not yet discovered. His own personality as revealed in an interview extra on the DVD is nothing like the character he so brilliantly portrays in the film. Killberg is upbeat and confident. Contrast his own character with the persona he portrayed and it seems worthy of an Oscar! This is certainly a film that deserves a much greater audience and it may very likely become a treasured cult film in future. Hopefully viewers will have the opportunity to see much more of Mr. Killberg in future..
Very little is known about the famous Greek hetaera whose only rival is Pericles' Aspasia. She was the wealthiest woman in Athens of her day and the model for a Praxiteles Venus and probably his lover. She was put on trial for sacrilege, nearly convicted and executed but, due to the eloquence of her defending orator and the display of her beauty, was acquitted. Most, if not all, of the surviving history written years after her life are almost entirely apocryphal and legendary. "Phryne, Courtesan of the East" recounts the tale, piecing it together in a coherent and interesting fashion with her trial being the focal point at the end. Not your average peplum film and quite a tribute to the woman who succeeded in capturing the imagination of men of her day and still does so centuries later.
A major disappointment and a waste of a big budget....three better films could have been made instead of this clunker. Lutz was a terrible choice...his pit bull looks and dullard acting made him an unlikely hero. Even the cheaper embodiments of Hercules such as Dan Vadis and Reg Park in the 60's Italian films were far more credible. And compared to this film, Steve Reeves, the greatest Hercules of all was Oscar worthy... Only the two Liams and Adkins were memorable in their roles. The unconvincing and jerky CGI in the action sequences was very annoying and if it isn't skillful enough to be undetectable it should be reserved for cartoons only. The older films that used real actors and sets are far more realistic, naturally. I wish 300 had never been made, it was bloated and idiotic and has apparently had the undesirable effect of making shoddy, unrealistic epics acceptable. Take a look at the Richard Egan film "The Three Hundred Spartans" for a more believable treatment.
Like its predecessor, this second Hobbitt film is visually stunning,tells a good tale, but is so protracted that the enchantment inevitably becomes tedium. The original LOTR trilogy was handled much better, in that the theatrical releases were mercifully edited of at least half an hour each of running time, with the protracted lengthier versions released as extended cut for those who just can't get enough and have to beat a good thing to death. Both of these films would be improved by that method, being shorn of at least a half hour each of unnecessary footage. And it could well begin with cutting much of the dragon dialog...there isn't much point in threatening to burn all the little buggers into oblivion if you're going to talk them to death first! What nonsense! All we should hear from the dragon is the pounding of his heavy footfalls and the beating of his leathery wings or scorching breath. I rather liked the character of Tauriel and the budding attraction to the dwarf she healed. Also Richard Armitage became more important, who was so wasted in Hobbit 1.
"Vampire at Midnight" is an American horror story worthy to be ranked with British Hammer films. Most attempts at transposing Gothic material and themes of the 19th century into contemporary settings fail miserably, but this one succeeds on many levels, even invoking the eerie sense of atmosphere necessary to facilitate the chills. There is more outright gore, violence and nudity than usual, but not so much that it spoils the effect. A mature and still hunky Jason Williams is quite good as the typical macho detective, relieved of duty on the case who persists in investigating regardless. The minor characters, particularly the female cop who fancies him and the stand-up comic who pulls him into the case and becomes a victim, are well portrayed by the actors. I can't understand why this film is so downgraded by its detractors...it is far better than 90% of comparable films in the genre, with bigger names and budgets involved. A very competent film which deserves a wider audience.
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