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Profile for Eric D. Leach > Reviews

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Eric D. Leach "Eric D. Leach" (Manchester)

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Breaking Glass [Blu-ray] [1980] [US Import]
Breaking Glass [Blu-ray] [1980] [US Import]

1.0 out of 5 stars Great British film... shame about the 'CUT' Blu-ray edition. Purist avoid like the plague!, 5 May 2016
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Firstly I would like to state that the film is a British cult classic and a piece of cinema that shows a glimpse of its cultural time. This was my first AA certificate movie that I saw at the flicks way back in 1980. Even remembering that little piece of my personal history must mean that the film had an impact on me. I genuinely love the film a great deal, though on occasion it does now look slightly dated, preachy even. Despite this however, it still remains gritty and determined to apply its point by delving into what was (still will be doubtless) a music industry that was quick to take talent and turn it into a money making cow etc, etc. The problem I have here and also why I give this Blu-ray version one star only is simply because this lacklustre edition of the film has been butchered by at least 10 minutes, possibly more! It's very disappointing that a film that has been transferred to Blu-ray which has improved the visual quality of the film is immediately let down by the fact that the film is then cut so extensively for reasons undetermined? So until a Blu-ray Uncut edition is finally released, may I suggest that people who wish to watch this excellent film should wait until somebody releases a complete and satisfactory Blu-ray edition worthy of parting you from your cash. I also advise that unlike me whom foolishly fell for buyer scamming, you either do your homework first before purchasing a complete version of Breaking Glass by only purchasing the full uncut DVD version, which sadly is also pretty expensive as was this edited version. The edited end to this film is pretty dreadful and makes no sense to the important personal contact with the characters of the story, which again is lacking due to the edit of the film which in this case heavily suppresses and hides the original character development of the unedited version. In the case of this particular edition, It's lucky I was willing to give this version one star; only because it looks better visually, However I still feel very let down at spending my hard-earned on an inferior version of what is a far superior film when untarnished by decisions to heavily cut what was a film that was like many of its counterparts of that period, a well made British film focusing on musical culture and those who became fans of these type of 'Brit-Flicks'.


Strange Color of Your Body's Tears [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Strange Color of Your Body's Tears [Blu-ray] [2013] [US Import]
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £15.60

3.0 out of 5 stars A visual stunner but without the mystique of their debut feature, Amer (2009)., 17 Feb. 2016
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What we have here regarding Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani's second feature, Strange Color of Your Body's Tears aka L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps (2013) is a five star visual and sound feast, however unlike their début feature, Amer (2009) it lacks the richness of storytelling which Amer masterfully and descriptively impressed at offering us. The same fascinating visual mechanics of what these combined visionary directors like to offer is often mysterious, compelling even and their second offering 'Strange Color of Your Body's Tears' in that respect is again resplendent both visually and with their use of fabulous sound atmospherics that in coordination ooze from the screen in breathtaking tandem. Do not mistaken my overall reluctance to compare this piece with its predecessor as laziness but simply put, Amer as the full package worked on every experimental and conceived cinematic platform, including its evident bow to other great and influential genre directors which Cattet and Forzani seemed at pains to honour in Amer and to be fair have again lovingly maintained over their two outings thus far. What this effort lacks in its scale and duration and despite its strange intrigue, is unfortunately its larger reliance on its deep routed avant garde workmanship which becomes slightly more overpowering than its true essence in attempting to be a modern Giallo example; as Amer most certainly defined and achieved. S.C.O.Y.B.T's in large part works and the violence and the dreamscapes within the design of the story are still polished and quite splendid in brash visualisation and this watermark is now truly established regarding these two directors and their combined work. This mystery thriller/horror/whodunnit is enjoyable and at times genuinely holds the viewers emotional psyche in what is a subject matter that expands into an almost illusionary, hypnotic fuelled nightmare within a nightmare. This is what Cattet and Forzani seem supreme at being able to transfer to the screen. The depth of what made Amer such a spellbinding event and a modern homage to the traditions of horror cinema though present here i may add, doesn't quite match up with the whole fresh experience that came of Amer.
S.C.O.Y.B.T as a stand alone production is vast and again is not without a strong horror presence. The only problem with this effort is that after watching Cattet and Forzani's début we perhaps expected them to bring something even further and original to the table and again to a point this film offers that ingredient, however and despite the look and feel of this particular offering, it seemed compelled to be more of the same in creation despite only being different in context of what I myself believed to be at times a somewhat more convoluted even drawn out affair. For that reason and simply that alone instead of the five star quality I bestow of their first work Amer, I have to concede that on this particular occasion, though this film offers much, it lacks its predecessors magic touch and perhaps even our expectations of what these two directors as a unit could achieve as a follow on was perhaps our problem as the viewer and not the inventiveness of two fine visionaries of modern horror cinema. If you like unusual, slow pace film with an artistic and colourful spread then 'Strange Color of Your Body's Tears' will impress as a first viewing - the only dilemma here is these directors have already broke genre boundaries with my much preferred Amer. Eric D. Leach


Five Dolls for an August Moon [Blu-ray + DVD]
Five Dolls for an August Moon [Blu-ray + DVD]
Dvd ~ Edwige Fenech
Price: £14.99

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Dreadful Dirge!, 17 Feb. 2016
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Let me start by saying this of Mario Bava. Most of his output in cinematic terms has been glorious and Bava himself has influenced not just Italian cinema but his worldly impact is beyond doubt, especially when we touch upon his earlier career defining Giallo/Thriller/Horror cinematic extravaganzas that over many decades have either inspired, influenced or on occasion tried to be reproduced by directors who are themselves fans of Bava's undoubted influence and directing genius. In latter years of direction Bava for the most part could be hit and miss! Despite this however there is no denying that even his less than impressive work always had elements that entertained nonetheless. Sadly, Five Dolls For An August Moon (1970) in title sounds like it belongs to a Bava creation and that unfortunately is the only thing going for this absurd, incoherent nonsense. With dreadful acting by all cast members, dialogue that I assume was largely written by a pre-school infant, containing a plot (and I use the term plot figurative only... ) conceived by a fellow Pre-school infant, then you know were I am inevitably going with this review. Not even Bava's eye for detailed set-pieces or his normally colourful visual style is apparent in this dreadful film. If this was Bava's loosely based horror slant on Agatha Christie's celebrated, And Then There Were None, then not only does he miss the mark terribly but the most shocking thing regarding this effort is the fact that Bava saw this as acceptable to release upon the world. What was he thinking? I don't need to offer a synopsis regarding plot reasoning or stand out acting performances for there is none regarding either. In summation, if you are a Mario Bava fan who is merely adding to a Bava collection then all is well, however if you are adding this to your list of must see, then my unfortunate advise is save your hard-earned and either seek out one his splendid renowned true classics released in Blu-ray format and enjoy the often mystical, enjoyable ride we have come to expect and also worship at the alter that is Bava. This rubbish isn't one of those moments... 'trust me!'


He Never Died [Region 1]
He Never Died [Region 1]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £10.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest modern day indie movies to grace the horror genre... Period!, 17 Feb. 2016
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This review is from: He Never Died [Region 1] (DVD)
Arrrrrgh! Jason Krawczyk's wonderful dark humoured modern horror masterpiece (for it is). Starring the fabulous Henry Rollins whose character Jack suffers from a slight dose of eternal damnation added with a touch of purgatory thrown in for greater measure. Are we to assume the constant barrage of complaining voices inside his head are the souls of his past victims or as suggested in his marked and scared body he may even hint at being a fallen angel that is in deep sufferance, his designation to stroll through his life and suffer what outsiders may see as mental illness or just someone of an unsociable demeanour? What we soon learn of Jack is that not only does he have addictions, a history that may even stem from the beginning of early industrial mankind but as part of his character trait one of these hidden addictions even suggest that Jack may even be vampiric? most certainly cannibalistic in his nature. For those who have not yet had the good fortune to see this little gem, a basic synopsis of the main focal point is all I am willing to give away at this point in order to not spoil what is a genuine film that deals with life, loss and the unsavoury nature of the darker realities of the brutality of men of violence and associates. He Never Died is one of those unique films in as much as it's rare to see a 'horror; film have a greater depth about it, while at the same time dealing and appealing to the genre audience with an originality that has not been widely tapped for quite a considerable amount of time. If this had been a mainstream cinematic event and noted by film critics with the punch and power to stand behind this kind of independent material and not just the often regurgitated mainstream Hollywood blockbusters that promise much but deliver little and pointed an audience toward films like Jason Krawczyk's wonderful creation, then rather than yawning at what we have seen so many times before in mass apathy, then perhaps it's time to look elsewhere for a new and better kind of offering and start looking more evenly toward those of independent thought who are creating stylish and original, enjoyable cinema with little in the way of budget but in regard of vision and determination, masses of incredible ideas, of being different; then we need not look any further than Jason Krawczyk's extremely rewarding He Never Died. This is truly brilliant stuff and I highly recommend this funny, sad and violent cornucopia of rewarding cinema to all fans of the genre. E. D. Leach.


Found [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Found [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott Schirmer's Found (2012) must be considered a modern genre classic!, 11 Jan. 2015
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Scott Schirmer's independent horror movie is based on Todd Rigney's disturbing vision of violent despair and hidden psychosis. This film adaptation is one of those unique adventures that not only turns the genre on its head but manages to do so by offering up a different social perspective on what it is like to be an adolescent loner who comes from a family that on the outside looking inward seems your average hard working unit. However this so called family unit hides a disharmony that seems to be experiencing an interactive chasm between the parents and their two children, young Marty who is suffering the usual hang ups of being a bullied outcast in 5th grade and his elder brother Steve who not only seems rebellious and self absorbed but also hides a dark and terrifying side to his life choices. The brothers difficult relationship becomes the foundation for the story and the quick reveal of what lies behind Marty's discovery of his brothers dark side which unfolds in a way that causes a conflict between the two brothers. In Marty's case he has to deal not only with his brothers extreme anti social behaviour which is quite shocking but he is also having to deal with his parents obvious monotonous fragmentation facing them, in particular the increasing divide between their elder son Steve who it seems is becoming less fazed by his fathers threats and intimidation and his mothers obvious apathy and dissolution toward her eldest son. This pattern also follows Marty's growing disenfranchise with his parents take upon family respect and that of his antagonistic brother who despite his behaviour he still looks up to for inspiration despite knowing what his brother may or may not be? This film is extremely visceral and violent. It is also very graphic in its violent depictions. The coming of age process for Marty is the main core of this social imbalance and the reality of hiding away something dreadful from everyone as he tries to go about his traumatic life both in his schooling, parental interaction and ultimately his brothers extreme actions is very noteworthy. Found is one of those genre films that genuinely torments the senses and deals with many strands of social ineptitude and disenfranchise - in this case of a young pubescent struggling with his social wares and his obvious revealing talent as a comic strip designer and drawer. His passion for comic books and video nasty movies plays a key role in the process of discovery and what is Marty's reality and that of those that surround him. This film deals heavily with adolescence and bullying in a way that is thought provoking and ultimately tragic. The end of this film has to be one of the most savage endings ever shown in the genre and is as graphic as it is powerful and gruesomely disturbing. You have been warned. I purchased the US version which is fully uncut. Why the BBFC in their recent wisdom chose to edit the UK released version still puzzles me, especially when I can still purchase the uncut version direct from the States? Please be warned this film is not for those who are squeamish or easily offended and I do recommend caution. Scott Schirmer's Found will doubtless divide many regarding its substance and visual depiction, personally I found it a genuine breath of fresh air and would highly recommend this very unique independent horror film of the highest modern order. If only all genre movies could be this good? E.D. Leach.


Forbidden Zone [Blu-ray]
Forbidden Zone [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Danny Elfman
Price: £12.47

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's reputation precedes it! Don't believe the hype!, 11 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Forbidden Zone [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have always found fantasy musicals a little hit and miss, largely miss unfortunately. Sadly Richard Elfman's effort falls into the category of what I consider a very self indulgent and poor film experience. I know it has a cult following but strangely and for the life of me I cannot understand why? Though it should be taken only as a over-the-top fantasy musical; what I found myself thinking within minutes of indulging in its alleged aesthetic quality was a production that bored me beyond belief. It was also something I found tedious and very childish to the point of embarrassment but sadly - I persevered and continued to watch this film despite increasing misgivings. To suggest I was Bitterly disappointed by what I viewed due the obvious positive preconceptions I had expected of it and its noted reputation was received with nothing other than disappointment. In my personal opinion I would suggest that you do not believe the hype surrounding this movie 'or' am I just simply wide of the mark and missing the whole point? ... I think not! If you want great fantasy/musical infusion at their finest point then instead why not go seek out Brian De Palma's much more stylish and highly entertaining cult classic, Phantom of the Paradise (1974) or the more recent revelation that is Darren Lynn Bousman's, exceptional, Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008). Both these choices I guarantee are far superior and more importantly - better than this lame and clueless overrated effort! E.D.Leach.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2015 9:12 PM BST


Blood and Roses [DVD] [1981] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Blood and Roses [DVD] [1981] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars Blood and Roses (1960). Beautiful (must see) movie - Very substandard - poor dvd copy?, 20 Dec. 2014
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Please note: The five stars given for this dvd are for the film only and not the extremely poor transfer! This particular copy of a classic is a poor derivative dvd transfer of what is to all intense and purpose one of the finest and most beautiful vampire films ever to see light of day; "unless you are a vampire of course?"
I still cannot believe that someone out there in the big wide global market has not attempted to find an acceptable print for transfer to dvd or dare I dream Blu-ray sophistication. Until that day arrives we the discerning genre fan will doubtless have to spend way to much of our hard earned on varying substandard copies of a film that genuinely deserves a far better release value than is currently available. I can only imagine what this cinematic feast would look like if it was given the proper transference and treatment it most certainly deserves. Strangely this poor quality copy though very annoying; does sadly remind me of a vintage time back in the early 1980's when video had a similar passage regarding (un)-official third possibly fourth even fifth generation low-grade transference of hard to find, hard to purchase or even banned copies of videos of the day! Putting silly nostalgia of Halcyon days firmly in the memory-bank where they should remain - this copy will have to suffice until someone invests or finds a more suitable original copy source to offer up for gratifying and pleasurable consumption. Roger Vadim's, Blood and Roses is most certainly a masterful classic based (very loosely) upon Sheridan Le Fanu's timeless and reproduced 'Carmilla' which today still stands tall as one of the defining gothic pieces of wonderful melancholic literature at its highest point. IF! This Vadim film ever received the superior detailed attention of modern transference it deserves, then I like many would undoubtedly be in that very long queue that would love to own a quality copy of what is one of the all time great vampire tales of love and betrayal ever to be released. This 'Desert Island Classics' copy is very poor indeed but it is alleged - is the expanded full(er) French with English subtitles only version available. If you are willing to persist in watching a poor quality copy then at the very least you will see how wonderfully structured horror cinema should perform for those whom can handle this genre as something that does not overwrought but develops into a nice and sophisticated plot-line that tempers a splendid tale which moves at a rewarding and special filmic pace. Blood and Roses is one of the identifiable torch bearers of this kind of cinema. Finally do not be fooled by its methodical time and pacing for it also includes some genuinely original dark set-pieces and dreamscapes that take this effort beyond normal convention. This is and will always remain one of the purist and true classics of horror cinema... that simple folks! E.D. Leach.


Carnival Of Souls [1962] [DVD]
Carnival Of Souls [1962] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Candace Hilligoss

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unquestionable 60's cult gem of the highest order., 8 Jan. 2014
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A haunting and unique black & white 1960's ghostly tale that entertains many genre specifics. A precursor to modern horror traditions. It's darkly creepy, beyond standard fair. The stories main protagonist goes on an adventure she was perhaps originally destined not to make. A second chance after a fatal accident which leaves all but her dead. This close call allows a renewed Mary Henry played by Candace Hilligoss to brake the shackles of small town acceptance. Half road movie, half trip into probable paranoia and a ghostly guide that hints at other matters beyond Mary's slow but growing concern for her state of being and her spiral into perceived madness perhaps? A stunning little independent movie that offers an ending so uniquely spell-bounding with characters that hint at a time and influence that spirited one George A. Romero to create his later 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead. A superior gem on every supernatural level. Yes slightly dated but putting that aside, what a uncompromising stunner. Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls (1962) defines and offers great riches. A true genre classic.


Living Dead at Manchester Morgue [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Living Dead at Manchester Morgue [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £9.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest and original classic genre movies of all time., 27 Dec. 2012
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Living Dead at Manchester Morgue [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] is a double disc delight. Not only do you get one of the finest and most underrated zombie genre movies ever made but you get lots of additional add ons including a wonderful location feature called "Back to the Morgue" with the films delightful and insightful director Jorge Grau. This is a must for any genre fan or film buff. The film itself is the full unrated version and definitely the best available on the dvd market bar none. For its age this film I suppose must be considered one of the standard bearers along with Romero's Night of the Living Dead who the director Grau himself as admitted was his own inspiration. The difference between Romero's classic and Grau's is that this masterpiece comes at you in glorious colour and therefore for me personally as more reverence and effect than Romero's legendary classic. For me this was the zombie film that set the whole genre forward including Romero's very own Dawn of the Dead which came several years after this film. I have personal delight in watching the opening scenes when Ray Lovelock - George decides to travel to the countryside for the week for reasons explained soon after. It is the opening montage of Lovelock and his Norton motorbike as he travels through different locations in and around Manchester town centre, a place that I myself know well and even to this day I still hold dear as a fellow Mancunian who still lives in Greater Manchester. As the wonderful soundtrack composed & conducted by Giuliano Sorgini plays through the opening scenes it adds to the spice of an industrial city backdrop. Grau even takes a moment here to throw in a female streaker who leans by the doors of Manchester's famous cathedral. After a brief mishap the character Lovelock - George begins a journey with Christina Galbo - Edna that results in monsters, mayhem and American/Irish detective - Arthur Kennedy leading the British police force into a investigation that leads to addiction and murder and then eventually to the core cause and inevitable conclusion that science and nature do not always mix and as a result our unlikely hero and heroine must battle the living dead in the countryside. I would like to offer a full synopsis but for now I will just offer you this summation. To be a genre fan and not own a copy of one of the most defining zombie movies ever made is a crime frankly and if the good people at 'Blue Underground' have taken time and patience and resources and spectacularly care in re-issuing this classic and offer us the best remastered printed presentation of this zombie adventure then surely it is worthy of adding this Jorge Grau masterpiece to your collection. If you do not then be damned like the Eco created zombies in this 20th century classic. Lots of gore and lots of creepy fun to be had here folks. Even the language over dub is probably the best I have seen in any foreign dubbed movie and that's way back in the year 1974. P.S. From a biting newborn baby 'seriously' to Ray Lovelock who plays main character George is a delight in his portrayal of an initial irritating and dislikable character into an unsung hero and is quite captivating at times. Arthur Kennedy as the inspector is worth the investment of this film alone...The film is a Priceless adventure of the highest nostalgia driven order and to this day is still one of the few standout Euro classic horror movies ever to grace the genre.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2014 12:31 AM BST


Horrible Way to Die [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Horrible Way to Die [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £8.19

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adam Wingard's, A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE. A modern classic - I would suggest so!, 17 April 2012
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'A Horrible Way To Die' is the title of American director Adam Wingard's film which delves into the shocking world of a serial killer and the after effects and damage that is caused by such people. A full synopses would give away the extraordinary plot and I do mean extraordinary, (not your usual standard fare here!) The plot that runs through the core of the film is complex and therefore I would not wish to spoil what is probably one of my favourite films of recent times and without doubt is now one of my favourite movies period. This film is chilling as it is terrifying and unlike many movies in this genre, this film has a wonderful plot-line, wonderful acting performances from A.J.Bowen as Garrick Turrell whose performance as the films serial killer is one of the finest performances I have seen in many a long year. He is absolutely menacing and I would compare his performance on a par with that of Michael Rooker's in the 1986 John McNaughton classic Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Both these performances are often ignored in mainstream cinema because they were both neither Anthony Hopkins nor big budget movies which is a sad indictment because both the aforementioned are stronger and far superior movies than 'Silence' ever could be. The acting is of a realistic standard that is uncompromising and skillfully portrayed. Anyway I digress, as regard Bowen's strong performance as Turrell is both deep and thought provoking as it is terrifying and sad, especially in finding out and dealing with what creates and motivates such a monster and furthermore and strangely not often dealt with what actually keeps him in check? The backbone of the movie is a performance of equal measure to that of Bowen's by Amy Seimetz as Sarah a recovering alcoholic who also hides a dark secret that connects her to the Turrell character. Her portrayal is wonderful and again is superior too many you see these days based on people suffering from an illness and a withdrawn and suppressed trauma that can often destroy lives.
Seimetz in portrayal helps deliver this film a double the impact characterization that enhances the acting talent on show and indeed helps showcase all the talents that push this film into greater worthiness. It is pretty perfect all round and deserves greater notice. With Wingard's flashback imagery and the turmoil and aftermath is shown in a unique ambiguity and melancholy rarely captured on film and its mixing of day to day current events and the numerous complex strands that unfold and keep you gripped until the very last scene. With this thought this film beggars the question and often leaves me left wondering why such a director has not become the next 'big thing.' It surely is only a matter of time before Wingard, Bowen and Seimetz get the work and rewards that they so thoroughly deserve in recognition for their endeavours in this case. Simon Barrett who also wrote the screenplay for the very underrated Dead Birds (2004), here has brilliantly Co-written a story that easily puts this film above and beyond any horror/thriller of recent times. We should also make mention of Joe Swanberg's performance as Kevin. With brilliant direction and story-line we have here a film with a mighty powerful pull that is hard to ignore and with a unique twist that comes at the climatic end that turns everything preconceived upside down and ultimately is really the icing on a perfect movie viewing cake. If you like films that offer you great quality direction and powerful subject matter, then there is no need to look any further. Adam Wingard's,'A Horrible Way To Die' is at times graphic and extremely disturbing but for me it refuses to glamourise and instead chooses to show you the sad after effects and trauma on a scale that devastates everyone concerned? It is to all intense and purpose a modern classic that most certainly deserves a status well above the standard Hollywood blockbuster movies that churn out inferior rubbish. This movie fans: is how independent, nay films in general should be made. Easily 10 out of 10. Already a favourite of mine. E.D.Leach.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 1:53 PM BST


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