Reviews

555 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
4/10
A Fabulously Shitty Film!
29 December 2014
Really, one wonderfully flimsy effort, this film, which in my country was released on DVD under the title 'A Killing Obsession'. And I might add that fans of John Savage and John Saxon will have some terrible fun with it (although I can't guarantee you won't shake your head in shame on several occasions). John Savage plays Albert, a mentally deranged thirty-something who spent most of his adult life in a mental health hospital. Released - as in: proclaimed "cured" - at the beginning of the story, because of the government cutting budgets, John Saxon repeats himself from the start to everyone (not) willing to listen that Albert is not sane after all and will kill again. And again. And again. Saxon is simply so funny, taking his role very serious while going through the motions (often also sporting tremendously over-sized glasses).

But the real star, of course, is John Savage. Within the first ten minutes, he already manages to stab two people to death, steal a whole bunch of cash and a getaway car. And he's clearly not going to stop, because he's got a killing obsession. We know from the get-go that he's determined to find a certain Annie Smith, a girl he once sickly loved when she was a mere nubile teenager. The thought that she's now a fully matured woman in her early thirties, doesn't cross his mind, of course.

What does he do? He picks up a phone book and heads off to pay a visit to every single Annie Smith listed in it. So, this film is pretty much 'Terminator' with John Savage replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course, this modus operandi will have Albert encountering many disappointments on his path, so he mostly ends up killing the Annie Smiths that don't fit the bill. I don't think I've ever seen John Savage act so weird in a film before. He pulls off some exquisite berserk grimaces throughout the film and his dialogue mainly consists of repeating the lines "You are not my Annie" and "You're a whore."

While Savage is already on a roll within the first ten minutes of the film, we're also treated to at least two women bearing their breasts in the following twenty minutes (attractive leading lady Kimberly Chase included). And just like Albert, writer/director Paul Leder isn't going to stop repeating this whole cocktail we're treated to in the first act already. Plus, during the last twenty minutes or so, Albert suddenly decides to take the plot of the film into a different direction, leading us towards a laughably underwhelming finale.

Add to that some lousy sound design and incompetent audio recording (the cuts between scenes with phone calls on different locations will have you noticing zooming refrigerators all of the sudden, and other scenes feature annoyingly squeaky stairs or shuffling sofas). The cheap synthesizer score is an entertaining hoot as well and the cinematography and directing, while perhaps not the worst you'll ever encounter, is as bland as it gets. But, surprisingly so, I would be lying if I'd say I didn't have fun watching this ridiculous attempt at a 'psychological thriller' for the various reasons mentioned above.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Bella Mafia (1997 TV Movie)
7/10
Women. Can't live with them, can't die without them.
21 August 2013
Apparently, I must have seen the cut-down version of 'Bella Mafia' - running time: 113 minutes - because like every fifteen minutes there was a time leap into the future (sometimes only months, sometimes years). I just didn't have time to get into the story that way. Also, it had this artificial drama feel to it and the same sappy score to go with it. Now, I understand this way of film making, but I don't exactly approve of it. But than, at the 1-hour mark, a lot of people suddenly get killed in two simultaneous scenes and this made-for-TV movie promptly becomes very, very interesting. And during the next 50 minutes, it totally redeems itself from the flaws of the first half. The ending is marvelous, especially when you've come to learn a lot about the characters' background. Nastassja Kinski's role is the pillar of all the drama & intrigues in 'Bella Maffia' and the best part of it all is that nobody knows about it (except for one person at the very end). There seems to be a two-part mini-series of this film (with a lot of extra scenes, I imagine - 2x105 minutes). So if you're interested in seeing 'Bella Mafia', I could advice you to watch the full mini-series. You'll probably get more out of it. Oh, and there's quite a few shocking scenes in this movie, especially considering it was made for TV. Not bad at all. Just be sure to be persistent biting your way through that first hour.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
The Haunting of Lisa (1996 TV Movie)
4/10
Not much in terms of haunting
21 March 2013
Not exactly recommendable for die-hard horror fans, since the film offers a tame mixture of drama & thriller, with only the added supernatural element occasionally venturing into horror territory. Little Lisa (Aemilia Robinson) has, just like her mother Ellen Downey (Cheryl Ladd), psychic abilities. We're talking communication with the dead here. Her contacts with the other side will lead the good guys onto the trail of a very bad serial killer. Performances aren't too bad, but the whole film is just unremarkable, boosted by some very cheap special (editing) effects. A by-the-numbers supernatural-tinted affair for bored housewives from the nineties as its target audience.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Satan's School for Girls (1973 TV Movie)
5/10
Some chilling moments without much else going on
21 March 2013
'Satan's School For Girls' really looks like a cool vintage seventies satanic horror-thriller, but regardless its über-cool title, that doesn't necessarily make it a great movie. When Elizabeth Sayer's (Pamela Franklin, delivering a decent performance) sister commits suicide, she works her way into the private school her sister went to. It doesn't take too long for her to discover other girls have been dying too. The concept is nice and it's not a boring watch, but the mystery is a little weak and the denouement is underwhelming. Features a bunch of good-looking seventies beauties, but no skin and no blood. Some ladies do die, and those scenes are pretty much the only shocks this film has to offer.

Interesting trivia: during the '70s, legendary producer Aaron Spelling ('The Love Boat', 'Dynasty', 'Beverly Hills 90210', 'Melrose Place',...) produced several made-for-TV horror movies, and with having watched at least one more of them (the amusing 'Cruise Into Terror', 1978), I strongly suspect they all might be enjoyable watches. So is 'Satan's School For Girls' to some extent, even if it's a quite forgettable film. Makes me curious to see what the remake from 2000 (also made-for-TV and produced by Spelling) might have turned into.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Deviation (1971)
7/10
The Last House In The Woods
26 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
For his early films, José Ramón Larraz moved to England and delivered the sort of psycho-sexually flavored genre efforts many British directors seemed incapable of conceiving (except for people like Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell at the start of their career, with 'Performance' being a fine example). A film like 'Vampyres' (1974), at the time, even earned Larraz a reputation of being a feminist filmmaker, which is a fairly odd side-effect when essentially creating an on-screen lesbian vampire bloodbath. His second feature, 'Deviation' dates back to 1971 and turned out a strange and unsettling little film, very much worthy mentioning as an early entry in thrilling '70s Euro-exploitation cinema. Larraz, directing under his pseudonym J. R. Larrath, manages to concoct a mildly surreal and fairly unnerving atmosphere without either reverting to more typical & meaningless dream-like imagery (like his fellow Euro-colleagues Jess Franco and Jean Rollin often tried their hand at; with what I've seen from him so far, I place Larraz on a higher pedestal as a filmmaker) or blood-soaked stagings (like exploitation movies in general were starting to dictate). 'Deviation' does contain a fair amount of weirdness, nudity and bloodshed, but in a somewhat more subtle manner. Not seldom so would Larraz's visual flair often lean more towards the Italian giallo films from the '70s than it would be in sync with the at the time prevailing British horror cinema. 'Deviation' can easily be placed between movies like Wes Craven's 'Last House On The Left' (1972) and Don Gronquist's 'Unhinged' (1982), coincidentally two American films, yet it still has that tangible European flavor to it (not in the least shaped by Stelvio Cipriani's splendid original soundtrack compositions).

The plot (spoilers): One dark night, Olivia and Paul are driving home when a deviation sign leads them onto a road into the woods. When they have an accident, they are invited by Julian and his sister Rebecca to spend the night in their mansion. Paul is convinced he hit someone on the road, while Olivia doesn't believe him. Julian is a taxidermist in his spare time and he, uhm, doesn't exactly stick to animals. Paul will soon learn he did run someone over, but won't live long enough to tell anybody about it. Meanwhile Olivia is kept drugged & dazed and because of her state willingly participates in psychedelic, nightly orgies organized by Rebecca and Julian. When things go from bad to worse and Olivia finds out they murdered and skinned her lover Paul, she manages to fight back and kill the two siblings.
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
Delivers the Hammer goods
11 February 2013
As I watched it, 'Vampire Circus' makes up for a fun double bill with Hammer's 'Lust For A Vampire' (1971). Equally seasoned with a fair amount of nudity and a tad bit gorier than 'Lust For A Vampire', Hammer's 'Vampire Circus' doesn't fail to entertain. A plague-ridden town witnesses the arrival of a circus. Yes, it's the titular circus, so naturally blood will flow. And for a particular reason too: some prominent townsmen managed to slay Count Mitterhaus fifteen years prior to the events about to unfold. The vampire circus folks are descendants of the count and are here to exact revenge and resurrect their master, whose remains are still taking up residence in the caves beneath the hilltop castle. It all adds up to some fun Hammer horror pulp, delivering the goods that fans had grown accustomed to by that time.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
6/10
Not as disappointed as I expected it to be
11 February 2013
Quite amusing latter-day Hammer outing, loosely based on the novella 'Carmilla' by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Featuring an enjoyable amount of lovage, including the female/female kind of affection-sharing. Mark Raven is no Christopher Lee, so fortunately his role as Count Karnstein is limited. Yutte Stensgaard, however, is very pleasing on the eyes, taking on the role of Mircalla/Carmilla, the freshly arrived nubile student of a boarding school for girls. Jimmy Sangster in general might be considered as not being on par with some of his fellow Hammer directors, but he does manage to concoct a couple of fairly atmospheric scenes (like the nightly encounter between Mircalla and teacher-turned-servant-of-the-occult Barton). The amusing goings-on make up for an entertaining intrigue, leading up to a suitably satisfying fiery climax.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
The Galaxy Invader (1985 Video)
2/10
The Crap Invader
30 January 2013
Back in the avid rental days, Dohler's 'Nightbeast' already made it as an abominable cult trash hit. Man, was that horrid piece of alien terror a hoot or not? A truly wonderful bad movie with a capital "B". Virtually a laugh riot all the way through. It's definitely worth it, if you dig a little celluloid craptasticism from time to time. Some time ago I finally got my hands on a copy of 'The Galaxy Invader', which is pretty much, more or less, give or take a little, completely the same movie, in a subgenre I like to dub "clueless aliens loose on earth". At least 'Predator' was here on earth for a good reason, right? Sports! As good as any reason, for most people. But 'The Galaxy Invader'...? Perhaps my mood just wasn't right for this flick. There's some pretty hilarious bad filmmaking at display here (on all levels), but it just doesn't make you laugh as hard as 'Nightbeast' did. 'Night Beast' was tremendously entertaining. 'The Galaxy Invader' not really. At best, you can giggle every now and then with some (very) bad acting. Halfway through I suddenly had the luminous idea to switch on the audio-commentary (because the on-screen madness was starting to turn into a bore-fest, honestly). Instantly the film became much more entertaining, and that's how I managed to sit through it. Those who don't drink alcohol, shouldn't watch this film. I watched it completely sober, so I know. The damned thing doesn't go down well in a sober fashion. Then again, alcohol + this film? Take care of your brain, folks. Might not be that good of an idea either.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
8/10
A whole lot of gore and a couple of laughs
29 January 2013
Thankfully, there are now quite a few uncut releases of 'A Cat In The Brain' on DVD. Not surprisingly this film suffered a great deal from the censors back in the days; just watch it for yourself and you'll get the picture. So I re-watched an uncut version recently, and boy, this still is such a 'fun' film. Whatever Mr. Fulci's intentions were at the time - must have been more than one, that's for sure - I'm still strongly convinced (more than ever, actually) that 'A Cat In The Brain' was partly intended to be a comedy. The movie is virtually plot less, or instead of a plot, it basically has only plot holes (think the size of Nebraska) tied together with hints at a plot. There's a hint at a murder mystery here, about a deranged murderer killing random people, though it's merely reduced to a background story. And as you all have probably read by now, it stars Fulci playing himself. It's also one of Fulci's most incoherent films. It also is quite ridiculous. And it all feels like it was meant to be this way. Literally stuffed with gore footage (both new and some lifted from his previous films), it's undoubtedly Fulci's most insane movie. Good stuff!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
The Sight (2000 TV Movie)
6/10
Too bad that series never happened
20 January 2013
A movie made for TV that was clearly meant to be a pilot for an on-going series. But as it often goes with made-for-TV pilots, the series never happened. A shame, really, as 'The Sight' shows good potential and the film is well-executed on all levels. 'The Sight' offers a bit of a strange mixture of mystery, thriller, horror & a touch of comedy. But somehow it works quite well. Pretty stylish too. Maybe nothing too special in general and it feels a bit too artificial at times. But as it hints at, a TV-series could have taken an interesting route with the material offered. The protagonist is a guy who inherits the ability to communicate with ghosts. Him and the ghosts end up working together to identify (and possibly defeat?) a serial killer. Just seek out a copy and watch the rest for yourself. Director at the helm of this project is Paul W.S. Anderson, who has a nice track record when it comes to science fiction & horror movies. On his filmography you'll find some quality genre entertainment like 'Event Horizon', 'Soldier' and some of the 'Resident Evil' films. 'The Sight' makes up for a nice addition and somewhat of a different kind of movie than what we're used to coming from Mr. Anderson.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Cyclone (1978)
4/10
Good potential turning into a fairly boring mess
20 January 2013
Now this one had some damn good ideas. A cyclone reeks havoc, and we follow the struggle for survival of not one, but three groups of people (initially on a plane, a tourist boat and a fishing boat), all afloat in the vast ocean waters. But somehow director René Cardona Jr manages to mess up everything he possibly can and turns it into a pretty damn bad movie. The acting is downright hilarious. And some people speaking with their mouths closed due to bad dubbing, does not help things either. But it does make it funnier. The dialogues are close to being the most stupid, idiotic and plain ridiculous things I've ever heard in a movie. Yes, there's a bit of cannibalism. Yes there's a couple of shark attacks. But nothing too explicit. And that's okay, really. Doesn't have to be. When the rest of the movie's good, at least. But it's not. It's bland and uninspired with just plain retarded characters. Too many of them, even. And learning that there's even a version of this film running no less than 118 minutes, I wonder now how redundant a movie can actually get.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
6/10
An equally amusing second outing in the series
20 January 2013
With 'Eko Eko Azarak II', we're offered a prequel this time, learning us (in a subplot) how Misa got acquainted with witchcraft and developed her powers. The rest of the plot is *very* much inspired by the first 'The Terminator' movie. Only replace Arnold Schwarzenegger by an ancient evil witch, jumping from body to body, constantly chasing the young Misa and her protector. The pace of events is higher this time than was the case with the first film. The occasional blood & splatter is still there. The story is interesting enough. And the effects are about as good as they could get for a 1996 modest-budget Japanese horror effort. It does slow down a bit too much just before the third act, but other than that, it's pretty much a fun ride with a great climax. Worth hunting down a copy of it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
6/10
Fine first outing of the series
20 January 2013
I had seen this first 'Eko Eko Azarak' movie at a festival when it came out at the time. I remember being enthusiastic about it. I planned on re-visiting it together with the next 3 installments of this series. Only watched the first two so far. And re-watching this one, was a bit disappointing, sadly. I remembered it to be a bit better. Or maybe that first-time-viewing impact that many movies have, was simply gone now. There's a few moments were the story just doesn't seem to move on. But other than that, it's still a fun flick. High school kids trapped in the school building overnight. Satanic rituals going on. Someone out to inherit all evil powers of Lucifer. A good teenage witch out to stop her. Lots of magic. Possession. A handful of nice gore and very bloody killings. A couple of really hot lesbian scenes. And all-in-all it's not even some trashy Japanese exploit-effort, so the production values are pretty decent. A fun enough watch, worth seeking out.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
Interesting.
18 January 2013
About 10 people from the pack Ferrara used to work with, are interviewed. They run down and comment on the director's complete (almost) filmography. As a visually attractive documentary, the film falls short. It's not a fancy, well-photographed piece of documentary. But with its 47 minutes running time, you get plenty of information, insightful anecdotes and fun trivia out of it. So it's a worthwhile watch for anyone interested in the works of this controversial New York-based director. This documentary was featured on the 2-disc special edition of Ferrara's 'King of New York', released on DVD in 2004. To my knowledge it has not received any other DVD release yet.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Nu ji xie ren (1991)
7/10
Quite hilarious
18 January 2013
I finally sat myself down to see 'Robotrix' in its entirety. Having previously skipped a few chapters already to see what it looked like, I knew what I was in for. And the time was ripe now, since I felt in the mood for it. 'Robotrix' is a pretty damn hilarious kungfu-cyborg cheese-fest with lots of nudity, rapes (robots apparently do love to rape, and the female victims don't even seem to mind it that much), over the top violence & bloodshed and incredible idiotic attempts at humor. All this in a plot that doesn't seem to make the slightest bit of sense and is unaware of the fact that a conclusion of some sort always helps to wrap things up. Pretty insane flick, crappy special effects included. I liked it. But let me remind you that it's a bad movie: 3/10... Oh wait,... I just checked its page on here. It's supposed to be a comedy??? That changes things: 7/10! Haha.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
2/10
An abomination!
18 January 2013
Okay, this I just can't believe... Whomever had the balls to take a stupid script about some idiots in a mental institute who do nothing else but nag to each other and then near the end of the movie mess around with some extras in bad zombie-make-up and slap it with the title 'Day of the Dead 2: Contagium'... should just be castrated! The zombie genre will be better off without balls like these. This flick is embarrassing. And it's a goddamn insult to Romero's complete franchise. I'll give this poor attempt at a zombie-movie two worthy points for that one orderly guy turning into a walking, talking, gut-munching, red-blooded, infected steak haché. He's one of the most wonderfully retarded zombies I've ever seen in a movie. But if you don't fancy seeing that, then please, whatever you do... do *not* give this movie a chance. Not even out of curiosity.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Desert Heat (II) (1999)
4/10
So-so, yet amusing enough.
18 January 2013
Oh well, why not wrap up a perfectly bad-movie-week in the company of the Muscles from Brussels? 'Inferno' (aka 'Desert Heat') wasn't exactly as bad as I hoped it would be. Loner-hero J.C. Van Damme, tormented by ghosts from the past, has a severe alcohol problem. Well, it's not really a problem, but actually a solution: Whenever he's drunk, he's not killing people. Naturally, he ends up killing a whole lot more of them in this movie. They even managed to cram Danny Trejo, Larry drake, Vincent Schiavelli and Pat Morita in this movie (well, actually, Morita ain't that big, so he fits in easily). Cutie-bonus goes to Jaime Pressly (who once again keeps her cloths on, *sigh* -- can anybody finally recommend me a movie were she does take something off?). Little bit of fighting, little bit of shooting, little bit of sex (loved those blond bimbos -- yes, there actually is female nudity in this flick), a little bit of killing... And all this in a movie that's got some sort of revenge-western vibe to it. Stupid attempts at humor, predictable 'til the last frame. Well maybe not exactly the last shots, because those kind of took me by surprise and really had me laughing, thinking "Sh!t, man, have I just been watching a ghost movie?". Oh well, JC might have seen better days, but I'm sure he's seen some worse too.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Man Outside (1987)
5/10
Peculiar affair
11 January 2013
'Man Outside' (aka 'Hidden Fear') is quite the odd duck, mixing drama with a bit of romance before ultimately venturing into thriller territory. It tells the story of a man (who used to be a lawyer) living like a hermit in the woods (following the unexpected death of his wife). A female anthropologist takes an interest in the man, and the feelings seem mutual. Around the same time, kids are being abducted by a nerdy pervert with some serious mommy-issues. The local sheriff suspects our friendly hermit being the culprit, so him and his new-found love-interest must now flee from the authorities while at the same time trying to catch up with our nerdy villain. Somehow this all turns into a pretty okay movie. The opening sequence with the car is quite unique and a fine way to start the movie (since you don't really have an idea what's going on yet). All things considered, it's a little tame for its own good, but worth a watch nonetheless.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Sworn to Silence (1987 TV Movie)
4/10
Kind of pointless
11 January 2013
It may very well be that 'Sworn To Silence' was based on true events, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to result in a good movie. Lack of excitement can very well be forgiven, if the story compensates on other levels. Sadly, this is not really the case here. It was fun seeing a young Liam Neeson playing a somewhat dim-witted murderer. Being pretty much caught red-handed, it's up to Peter Coyote to defend him in court. Nothing really significant happens throughout the film, aside from Coyote & his partner discovering the bodies of two previously murdered girls. The production values are very cheap (even for a made-for-TV movie) and, I can't put it any other way, the whole film comes off as fairly boring most of the time. The only merits 'Sworn To Silence' has, are above standard dialogues and the dilemmas Coyote is faced with throughout the film. You can sit through it, but it's not really worth bothering.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Mirrors 2 (2010 Video)
6/10
Standard scary movie entertainment
12 June 2012
"Mirrors 2" is pretty okay as a stand-alone feature, but it pales in comparison with Alexandre Aja's first film (which on its term was a re-make of an Asain film). This time, the film isn't exactly what the first one was about. Instead they turned it into a 'vengeful ghost' story. Not bad, really, but pretty standard stuff. Nevertheless, we get a couple of bloody death scenes, a bit of nice atmosphere, a dash of mystery (which isn't too hard to figure out) and some okay performances (though no Oscar worthy material, naturally). The over-all end result is just about decent enough. You could do a lot worse with other stuff that's being cranked out on DVD nowadays, especially when it comes to (loose) sequels. Teaming up "Mirrors 2" as a double bill with something like "White Noise 2: The Light" wouldn't be a bad way to spend a straight-to-DVD horror sequel night with your girlfriend.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
7/10
Packs about the same amount of punches as the other installments
12 June 2012
Paul W.S. Anderson is pretty much sticking to the formula here. It's the same zombie game, only on a different location. The two main locations this time being a towering building and a massive ship. And we get the usual adrenaline rushing zombie action. Somehow it feels a little less epic than the dusty, apocalyptic third installment, "Extinction" (2007), which is still my favorite in the series, closely followed by the first movie. So it's simple: If you you're a fan of the "Resident Evil" series, you'll have the same amount of fun with "Afterlife" as you did with the previous outings. Amongst the highlights this time are Mila Jovovich crash-landing a plane on top of a building and a cool & wet big zombie-mutant boss fight in the industrial showers. The whole series is up there with the more entertaining & better executed zombie movies we've had coming out in recent years. And we've had many of those. For a 4th installment, it ain't bad at all. So keep 'em coming as long as Mila Jovovich is game; I'll be watching 'em.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
House IV (1992 Video)
5/10
House of Origins
8 March 2012
I recall from back in my teen days that I actually liked this sequel. And guess what? Having just re-watched it, I still kind of like it! Oh sure, the plot feels like incoherent rubbish, the humor is infantile, the drama is pretty lame (and way too much focused on in the first half of the film) and the horror is ridiculous. But "House IV" does make an effort to tie in with Steve Miner's original from 1986. Not only by starring William Katt playing Roger Cobb again (thereby somewhat serving up a story that could be a continuation - after several years - of the first film, ignoring the franchise's two other stand-alone installments), but also the tone of this 4th film and the nature of the events pretty much try to be in sync with what the original was all about (basically mixing horror & comedy with an anecdotal result). If you've enjoyed the first 'House', then 'House IV' almost feels right. Almost, as it just doesn't work as well as the first one. You'll still get a film rigged together with some amusing moments, most of the time involving fun SFX (the pizza-face man, the silly snake vs insect villain shout-out, the 'watery climax'). And I suspect they threw in that irrelevant Indian mumbo-jumbo sub-plot because a film like "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" got away with it too (or well, maybe it didn't, but they threw it in anyway). Whether you'll find "House IV" stupid or amusing, it's certainly stuff they're not making anymore these days. So I'd say it's worth a peek for that alone.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
6/10
You'll get what you want out of it.
8 March 2012
For more than one reason the first "Decoys" movie managed to entertain sci-fi/horror audiences, much to everybody's surprise. A bunch of aliens, disguised as hot female college babes, wreak havoc on a campus. There mission is simple: seduce and mate with male students to ensure that their race will live on. It's a horror-comedy mixture aimed at teenagers mostly, but it's decent enough, fresh & spirited and was made on a comfortable budget. It's fun and that's about it. Nothing to complain about. Now, the sequel did it right too. The budget looked the same, so at least production values weren't a step backwards. But what the filmmakers understood, was giving us more of the same highlights that made the first film work: Same plot, more creature effects, a higher bodycount and last but not least, more luscious babes going topless. You can't ask much else from a flick like this than to keep a decent pace & entertain. And this sequel did.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
Monolith (1993)
6/10
Solidly paced and gibberishly amusing genre hybrid
29 February 2012
Very likely John Eyres' most ambitious movie to date. A sci-fi/action/horror/thriller hybrid populated with good folks like Bill Paxton, John Hurt, Louis Gosset Jr., gorgeous B-vamp Musetta Vander and Lindsay Frost (who somewhat comes across as the wisecracking tough blonde acting equivalent of Yancy Butler). A secret government agency has been fooling around with an alien entity. Of course, the thing gets loose and starts to run amok in the city. Well, "running" isn't exactly the right word, since it's more like some form of alien energy that possesses the bodies of humans (that eventually do all the running). It's up to Paxton, Frost & Gosset to figure out what is loose in their city and try to stop it. The plot kind of looses itself along the way, not really knowing where to aim things and eventually not bothering to explain itself anymore. The film ends ridiculously, but before that we do get to see some nifty alien set designs. The SFX are pretty decent at times. For fans of Jack Sholder's "The Hidden" (1987), this might be another amusing watch (though Sholder's film is much tighter & better).
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
4/10
Cool humanoid creature and... uhm, that's about it.
29 February 2012
William Malone didn't exactly deliver a good movie here. Far from, actually, but heck, it was his first one. Still, you'll have to tolerate some atrocious 'chop-chop' editing, some bad acting and a plot way too basic for its own good. All the events in this film move at the pace of a snail that's stuck in the mud. The whole story is played by the book, and it's one with not many pages in it (just enough to write down the premise: a murderous creature is loose in the city and two people must stop it). Surprisingly, things do remain watchable most of the time, somehow. The creature design is pretty cool, but also nothing more than a man in a rubber suit. A bit of full frontal female nudity during the opening-scene and a lack of gore throughout the entire film is what we get. But my guess is that it's still worth a watch for lovers of obscure creature features (honestly, I myself didn't mind watching it). "Scared To Death" always seemed to me a bit of a stupid, unsuitable title for this kind of film though. Given the place where the creature resides, why not dub it... "The Sewer Dweller"? Malone's first outing even got some sort of a semi-(un)official sequel nine years later, called "Syngenor" (1990). Would have been much easier if they had called that one "Syngenor 2" and this one simply "Syngenor". Aw, what the hell am I talking about.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote!
Copied to clipboardCopy link
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed