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I quite enjoyed it
I've gotta start by saying that I'm quite a fan of both 1984, and it's massively entertaining, sort of pseudo sequel 1999.
originally watching this film when first arriving on VHS (as I said being a big fan of 1999, the mere sniff of a sequel was all it would take to sucker me in a second time) I was hugely disappointed, where were the androids? where was the dystopian vision of the school system gone crazy, where was Stacey Keach's fantastic haircut and scary as hell eyes? where were the effects, where was the gore?
Upon a recent, beer soaked viewing of 1999 I thought why the hell not, lets wind up the old VHS player and give it another spin. And ya know what I'm glad I did.
Whilst this is by no ways a great film, in fact it's not even a good 1999 sequel, it does have some interesting ideas (most of which are thrown out the window)
It all looks very 90's in that crossworlds, warlock 2, kinda way and the point of the original is completely lost, but the idea of the substitute, fighting against positive emotions (e.g his unexpected and unwanted feelings towards Jenna) the fact that he's not even like a killer android, more just a literature spouting, psycho ex-seal suffering from a real bad case of green eyes, adds some sort of Frankenstein meets fatal attraction element.
The acting is relatively mediocre, Sasha Mitchel is as emotionless and stiff as the character he's playing, as is pretty much everybody else and the direction is as simple and uninspiring as the soundtrack.
The twist ending just adds to confuse matters I mean If he's not an android it still fails to explain how he manages to fire continuously for about five minutes without having to reload once, or how he can still throw some unruly, orange jump suited street punk student through a brick wall, I know these seals are tough, but really?
As for the very final shots of Jenna getting ready to teach a new class, loaded up with Johns knife, gun, kevlar vest and a new mission statement, massively betray her character, turning the rule abiding, war game loving belief's of the android into an ideal, instead of a malfunction.
Yet despite all of this I still quite enjoyed it, fun if you fancy a cheesy 90's, lowish budgeted sort of scfi action thriller, it deserves better than 3.8, not much better mind but fun all the same :)
Film '72 (1971)
Terrible new run
Now before I go any further, I have to point out that I actually don't mind Claudia Winkleman, I've always thought she seems like a laugh and although you would most certainly have to tell to slow down and shut up a bit, she has that, she'd be a laugh to go out on the lash with, air about her.
Now having been a longtime Film watcher, (well Barry norman years is when I started, I'm only 33) I can safely say that this current run is utterly dreadful, Why oh why oh why, or should that be how oh how oh how the sweet jebus did Claudia Winkleman get this job, her knowledge and from what I've seen so far, taste in movies is pretty dire, in fact I hate the new run so much I've actually stopped watching it, and unless I hear of a biblical style epic turn around, I wont be watching again (until a new presenter is found at least). This upsets me, because for the most part there is very little on telly for me worth watching, I just watch DVD's most of the time and for a long time one of the only highlights to an otherwise terrible week on telly, used to be Film.
I cant help but think, there were so many other better choices for presenter of Film, Mark Kermode being a personal favourite, or Kim Newman, even James King who I hate more than third world poverty could do a better job.
Oh well looks like my only source of Film news and reviews now, besides the printed pages, are podcasts, at least BBC radio 5 live see fit to give me a brilliant movie review podcast every week, and so they should, since they've destroyed Film
Jake West, the British Sam Raimi.
You know what, I'm a little tired of hearing so much crap about Jake west and his movies, give the guy a break, he makes (and its only my opinion) pretty great independent British horror movies, sure Razor Blade Smile was a movie with ideas way above its budget, Evil Aliens was the same, but lets be honest they were (yet again my opinion) gory, funny, silly and brilliant fun (if the combine harvester scene alone doesn't raise a smile from Evil Aliens, then its safe to say you are really not gonna like his movies) Doghouse falls into the same category. Now these movies are by no means high art, but they do offer a great lads (hate that word, brings to mind, nuts reading, wkd drinking morons) night in movie, Jake West knows his market and he aims well, and the guy can direct, his movies always look bigger and better than his budget allows. Having been a Horror fan for nigh on 25 years now, I can safely say that I think Jake West is probably the best in England at what he does. The biggest shame is that from such humble beginnings he does get a bigger budget to play with each time (they must make cash) yet his movies rarely find its audience (in the cinema at least) and are destined to find their market on DVD. Maybe this isn't too bad a thing as that seems to be the way horror normally finds its goal audience (been the same since the 80's and video) anyway, and look at all the criminally underrated movie's that have finally become known as cult classics now. Who knows 20 years down the line maybe his movies will be the same. If you want a very entertaining giggle whilst sinking a gallon and a half of your favourite tipple, sit at home and rent Doghouse, it will see you right, just go to the cinema and support him too, I mean who else have we got really.
El Mascarado Massacre (2006)
A great little movie, with a visual style rare for low budget horrors
Wrestlemaniac is by no means a flawless movie, hell no, it is however I reckon one of the best movies of its kind in years, it has a very low budget, the acting's of a type normally associated with Troma and the plot is pretty silly, but the direction, settings and general belief in whats being created along with the feel of the movie is absolutely spot on. Jesse Baget has made a truly fantastic directorial debut, the look, style and general feel of his film is brilliant, for a low budget movie to have the look of a bigger budget movie is something quite rare in low budget horror, man if you've seen the choke, axe or any other of the million and one monthly released crappy direct to DVD horrors you'll know exactly what I mean, this just has a style rarely seen. The bad guy is sooooo silly you just cant help but love him, the grunts and pov remind me of so many early 80's horrors, nostalgia just washed over me (I'm sure thats what they were aiming for) and if the ending promises more adventures of El Mascarado, driving around in a van, ripping faces off just about anyone he comes across, then you can count me in, because I don't think there's been a new decent horror icon in years, this movie has cult written all over it, the musics great and even the posters are utterly striking. I wish the best of luck and most prosperous of careers to everyone involved with this production, because not only can you see that it was a labour of love for all involved, but because as far as I'm concerned, technically and entertainingly this is one of the best horrors I've seen in years.
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Whatever you do, don't reject these devils.
Devils rejects is without a doubt one of the best horror/road movies ever, what Rob Zombie has accomplished is something truly remarkable, not only have you got a beautiful looking movie (the sepia tones and dusty landscapes are so great that you half expect a tumbleweed to creep across your lounge at any moment) he's given you characters that by the end of the movie, you actually start to feel for, that would normally be a good thing except that these characters are so evil you really should want them dead, besides all this you've got quite possibly one of the most brilliant soundtracks ever committed to film (only Deadman's is better I reckon) and some amazing performances from the likes of Ken Foree, Geoffrey Lewis, Bill Moseley and Sid haig, and thats without even mentioning a truly mad and bad William Forsythe. All in all The Devils Rejects, I personally believe to be one of the greatest pieces of modern genre cinema (if not one of the best pieces of cinema period) the passion for its subject matter, characters and respect for the genre is completely evident (if the opening credits don't have the hairs on the back of yer neck standing up, like wise with the freebird and terry reid ending, then you just aren't human) all combining to form one of the greatest drive-in horrors never to make it to a drive-in.
The Big Kahuna (1999)
A true underrated gem of a movie.
Only the other night whilst watching an episode of Taxi did I remember seeing a film with Kevin Spacey and Danny Devito about six years ago, there was just one problem, I couldn't remember what it was called, hours turned into days, sleepless nights became more sleepless and I still couldn't remember, but I did remember thinking it was rather great. Well imagine my surprise upon venturing into my local poundland and finding a movie called Big Kahuna featuring, you guessed it Kevin Spacey and Danny Devito, with the biggest grin on my face, the feeling that I'd achieved a minor accomplishment, a 12 pack of Dorito's and some scented bin liners I approached the checkout, paid and promptly headed home. A pound, one whole English pound for a movie I would gladly pay twenty for any day, because this is truly a great little movie, granted not much really happens and settings nothing new, but when you've got such fantastic performances from a fantastic cast there can be no complaints, Dany Devito has rarely been better, this disaffected soul is genuinely someone you can feel for and completely side with, Kevin Spacey is, well Kevin Spacey and lets face it that has never been a bad thing, every time he talks you listen, Peter Facinelli gives a very subtle but no less engrossing performance, but on the whole the real star is Roger Rueff, the script is just beautiful with great line after great line flowing from the mouths of a great cast, it really makes you want to see it on the stage. This is a great little film that any self respecting film fan should at least give a go. I'm heading down to Poundland to buy up the remaining copies and I'm gonna hand them out to my friends.
The Choke (2006)
No budget, no thrills
I watched this film not really expecting much, I got it in a pack of 5 films, all of which were pretty terrible in their own way for under a fiver so what could I expect? and you know what I was right, they were all terrible, this movie has a few (and a few is stretching it) interesting points, the occasional camcorder view is a nice touch, the drummer is very like a drummer, i.e damned annoying and, well thats about it actually, the problem is that its just so boring, in what I can only assume was an attempt to build tension, a whole lot of nothing happens and when it does its utterly tedious (I had my thumb on the fast forward button, ready to press for most of the movie, but gave it a go) and seriously is the lead singer of the band that great looking, coz they don't half mention how beautiful he is a hell of a lot, I thought he looked a bit like a meercat, all this and I haven't even mentioned the killer, I'm not even gonna go into it, its just not worth explaining. Anyway as far as I'm concerned Star and London are just about the only reason to watch this and with the exception of London (who was actually quite funny) it wasn't because of their acting talent, I've certainly seen a lot worse, but I've also seen a lot better. Best avoid unless your bored of watching paint dry.
House of the Dead (2003)
A film of epic proportions, deep and poetic.
Now I've seen my fair share of fantastic cinema in my time, Citizen Kane, the godfather, scarface, Dracula 3000, shanghai surprise and too many more to mention, but rarely has a movie come along that is as poetic and affecting as Uwe Boll's House of the dead. A movie of truly god like proportions, the cinematography is just beautiful and epic, the bold direction brings to mind Bergman or an early Hitchcock, the editing fantastic, (the way they break up scenes with screen-shots from the game is utterly mind blowing and truly original) and overall production is on par with movies such as Ben hur, then there's the acting, well if ever there was a masterclass of performances then this is surely it, including deeply moving performances from such sought after and highly respected actors like Clint Howard, this movie just couldn't get any better, plus it could quite possibly be the best movie of Jurgen Prochnow's career, from Daz boot to house of the dead, he really has come far, all I can hope is that they have a sequel in the works as I'm desperate to enter the world of this survival horror classic once again. Forget movies like 28 days later or Romero's zombie movie's this is the real deal. OK I'm lying, it's crap although the DVD does make a nice drinks coaster, my drink doesn't slip off it or anything.
What do you expect?
The thing with waxworks is that it really wants to be the sum of its parts, the cast (with the odd exception) are generally pretty good, especially warner (why oh why was his part not bigger), the effects are just fantastic for most of the time, (you can see the waxworks moving) especially bob keens creature effects, the wolfman is awesome as is the mummy, there's even a fairly good bit of erotic sadism thrown in for good measure. OK so the story is nothing new at all, and the acting can be pretty atrocious at times but its just all so bonkers you cant help but fall in love with it. i saw this movie when it had just come out on VHS back in the day when i was to young to rent it for myself and thought it was the coolest, i had not seen it for at least 10 years until i bought it the other day and you know what, its still cooler than it has any right to be.