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Colonel Decker "NO CODE" (LONDON)

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Don't Go in the Woods [1981] (Region 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import]
Don't Go in the Woods [1981] (Region 1) (NTSC) [DVD] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Tom Drury

2.0 out of 5 stars Don't go looking for a good slasher- you won't find it here., 26 Jan. 2015
Diabolical script and awful acting and yet maybe there is 'something' about Don't Go in the Woods that works. What that something is, is hard to pinpoint. The whole movie takes place in the woods and if you want to see many streams, trees and shrubs then you have come to the right place. If you want to see a great slasher movie then look elsewhere. Remember all those people you know who hate Friday the 13th movies and tell you they are all the same? Give them this movie- and then they will realise just how great the Friday the 13th movies were.

Nothing much happens- we are landed with some teenage hikers, there's an argument over who stepped on the wrong bark - something to that nature and one walks off. He's the good looking one, so he may survive until the end. The others get despatched and there are numerous faces introduced to us for the sole purpose of having a statistical bodycount.

The director probably has more of a fondness for nature than horror movies- and it shows here. Rarely does the camera care about our characters, they are either in the distance, side faced or turning their backs on us while speaking. Flatout this is a bad one. This 25th anniversary edition has a 1hr featurette with the cast and director shot on low grade VHS tape and there are some commentaries for the movie. But why bother? This certainly is not a movie you will be coming back too anytime soon.

The one highlight is that the movie is filmed almost entirely in daylight.

Basket Case - The Trilogy [DVD]
Basket Case - The Trilogy [DVD]
Dvd ~ Frank Henenlotter
Price: £29.81

4.0 out of 5 stars All three movies in a great box set, 26 Jan. 2015
The Basket Case trilogy is all about the first sleazy cult movie from the 80s. Genuis from director Frank Henelotter. Over the top, great storyline, some originality going on in there and of course lots of gore. It's a great fun movie.

Unfortunetly the sequels pale in comparison, Part 2 isn't too bad but Part 3 is just silly. OK it probably works better watching with a few friends and some beers. But the movie otherwise doesn't work.

The extras are great- lots of behind the scenes stuff and director commentary- even the box set the movies come in is very good and looks great on the shelf- some neat artwork too. However nothing will ever beat the original Basket Case VHS for artwork. This box set should be picked up if you need/want the films- the whole package is here and it's very cheap.

Basket Case 3 - The Progeny [DVD]
Basket Case 3 - The Progeny [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Van Hentenryck
Offered by SAS MUSIC & DVDS
Price: £1.73

2.0 out of 5 stars This one jumps the basket case, 26 Jan. 2015
Presumably this third and final installment of Basket Case was shot back to back with Part 2. All main characters return and look exactly as they did at the end of the sequel. This time Belail and Duane along with Granny and the freaks head off to another retreat home via a school bus. There is more goofy comedy here than horror, and almost no gore. Director Frank Henelotter admitted that the studio wanted a more cleaner version of the franchise, however that didn't stop the movie getting an R rating and an oddly 18 certificate in England- this is easy a 15 movie.

Basket Case 3's main plot line is that Belial has kids and a litter of them. The birth scene is oddly lookaway stuff- well make sure your not eating with all that squelching going on. But the film is damned the moment you realise that it will be dominated again by Granny and the freaks- they are both a bore after ten minutes. The franchise had to end here, one thinks most fans would not have returned for a 4th outing. The film is so far removed from the first one, that it feels as though you are not watching a Basket Case movie. This movie is a task to get through.

Basket Case 2 [DVD]
Basket Case 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Van Hentenryck
Offered by gillandtonic
Price: £9.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Weird and weird- Basket Case 2 in a nutshell, 23 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Basket Case 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Not a great sequel but at least the movie picks up from where the original ended. There is also some continuity in the fact we have lead actor Kevin Van Hentenryck back and Frank Henelotter is once again behind the lens.

Unfortunetly the original movie really lived off the sleaziness of New York City- and here the action takes place somewhere Upstate in the countryside, mostly confined to one house, which is very boring. However residing in that house is a host of freaks and that is where Duane and his brother hide out and recuperate.

The make up on the freaks is simply superb and this is a major plus, with the advent of CGI this has to be underlined given that the make up was all done by actual humans on set, kudos!

The story is a little flat and seems too distant from the original. You really have to take the sequel as a comedy otherwise you will hit the off button within 10 minutes. Gorehounds should be pleased and the ending is a knockout.

Basket Case [1982] [DVD]
Basket Case [1982] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kevin Van Hentenryck

5.0 out of 5 stars What's in the basket? Why, my brother, 23 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Basket Case [1982] [DVD] (DVD)
Frank Henelotters cult classic and by far his best film. Duane Bradley is a likable student type kid who makes his first visit to sleazy New York City, except everywhere he goes he has a basket with him. And everyone wants to know what's in the basket? Residing there of course is his mutated brother and both are out for revenge on the doctors who separted them.

OK so it's over the top and bizarre in nature but the movie works for what it is. Sleazy, gorey and a well rounded told movie- we even have some character developement and a nice backstory.

Those of you that yearn for the old 'deuce' on 42nd street with the pimps and grindhouse cinemas will not be disappointed by this one- some wonderful historical footage. Basket Case would yield another 2 sequels- but this original movie stands head and shoulders above and could quite rightly be in a horror top 10 list of the 1980s.

Repo Man [DVD] [2003]
Repo Man [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Harry Dean Stanton
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Punks, Emilio Estevez, stolen cars and aliens- Welcome to cult cinema at its finest, 22 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Repo Man [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Repo Man was always a little odd, but it was always brilliant and still is 30 years on from its release. Estevez is hired by Harry Dean Stanton a cynical straight to the point guy to be part of his Repo Man- repossessing cars and making money from it all. Everyone in the movie is on the slide. But the one car they all want- inlcluding the Rodriguez brothers is the Chevy. Unknown to them there appears to be an alien force hidden in the trunk!

The movie is a great one for the era of the 80s. It's fast moving and through it all paints a picture of punk loser society perfectly. Repo Man simply could not be made today- if it were producers would ask for more emotional character development for modern expectations- yuk!

Repo Man will catch you out- it has everyone else as the film goes on it gets weirder and weirder. Estevez becomes more likable too. It is a very special movie, alas not for everyone.

There is a great Punk soundtrack throughout- and Repo Man is the type of movie you could watch 10 tens and still notice something new. The finale in a nutshell is mad!

Dropping Evil [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dropping Evil [DVD] [2012] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Armin Shimerman
Price: £7.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough indie horror but not for everyone, 21 Jan. 2015
Dropping Evil gets off to a predictable 'slasher movie start'. Where we have 2 obnoxious teens who invite a bible bashing good guy for a small vacation away in the woods to prep up his confidence. Once in the car going to their destination they realise what a pain in the neck he is and drop him some LSD. The drug turns him crazy and he decides to slaughter everyone in his sight. However this is only a small proportion of the actual story. Intercut with teens running for their lives we are taken into a high tech office where all these shenanigans are being monitored. I'll stop right there so you can come into the movie fresh.

Obviously this is a very low budget, though the production values aren't too bad and the acting is better than you'd think. The major problem with this movie is the first half hour which seems like half a day to get through. Trigger happy scriptwriters were at their laptops here. Nothing much happens apart that we learn that the characters that we will probably have to care for later in the movie are a real turn off.

But the second half of the movie gets going and all is pretty much good. There are some interesting kill scenes, check out the 'catching a fish one'! Don't be too fooled by the cover- there is a cabin for all of 3 minutes. The plot idea does remind one of Cabin in the Woods. The thinking outside of the box theory is magnified when in the extras we get the choice to basically watch Dropping Evil 2 in three 15 min segments, yes you read that right. Watch out for Fred Williamson who cameos towards the end.

All in all a decent enough effort, not nearly as good as some sites were suggesting- but certainly rewatchable.

Mad Love-Devil Doll
Mad Love-Devil Doll
Dvd ~ Colin Clive

4.0 out of 5 stars Two excellent horrors from a golden age of cinema, 21 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Mad Love-Devil Doll (DVD)
Two movies from the 1930s on one disc. Well presented by Warners and stacked with some nice extras including commentary by film historians- the wealth of information is just sublime for anyone interested in the genre and indeed Hollywood at this time.

We start with MAD LOVE- Peter Lorres first proper English venture movie. Lorre plays a brilliant surgeon who has fallen in love with an actress who is already engaged to a successful pianist. He is outraged and bespoken by her. Her finace is involved in a train crash and must have his hands amputated. Enter Lorre who amputates then replaces his hands with the hands of a dead murderer. Now the hands seem possessed......

Lorre at times is spellbinding but and it has to be said at other times he comes over in an amateur way. He would learn and get much better- though many including Charlie Chaplin believed this to be Lorre's finest role. Mad Love is directed by the legendary Karl Freund, his movie has nods to everything from Frankenstein to The Mummy. Freund decided after this movie to retire from directing and concentrate on cinematography instead. The sets are a huge stand out in this movie too- and Freund directs with aplomb! Witness the scene with the womans sillohuette whilst on the phone. Censors were put in a frenzy also- tame by todays standards, but we get to see strangulation by a woman's own ponytail. Titulation indeed. A very well and accomplished film.

THE DEVIL DOLL stars the great Lionel Barrymore- I have a longer review elsewhere. Plot involves Barrymore gaining revenge on those that wronged him. He disguises himself as a sweet old woman and has the tonic to make people and objects small. A very entertaning film. It would be a stretch to call these movies two masterpieces of the 30s, because on personal opinion I would not come to that conclusion. However they are 2 very good horror movies for the genre and very important movies at that- would not look out of place in a Top 10 horrors of the 30s.

Seinfeld: Complete Series Box Set [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Seinfeld: Complete Series Box Set [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Michael Richards
Price: £71.15

5.0 out of 5 stars A show about nothing and everything!, 21 Jan. 2015
Seinfeld is one of the very best TV sitcoms ever. A show about nothing perhaps but the characters gel so well. Led by real life comedian Jerry Seinfeld who lives in a dingy flat despite landing some good gigs he hangs out with the lovable loser George Costanza. He is best friends also with his ex Elaine and he has a neighbour in Kramer who is happy to pop into Jerry's flat unannounced and take food from his fridge! Larry David is behind the writing and Seinfeld is simply magic, incredibly funny and the timing is perfect. It remains a stain on British television that one of the great TV comedies was resigned to late nights on BBC 2. But those of us that knew and made the effort to watch knew we were onto a great thing.

Now available on DVD all of the episodes. Sure the last 2 seasons did drop off, but those first 6 seasons in particular are simply priceless.

Twilight Zone - Season 5 [DVD]
Twilight Zone - Season 5 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rod Serling
Price: £11.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and brooding- Season 5 is a real surprise., 19 Jan. 2015
And so Season 5 which aired in 1964 was to be the very final season of this spectacular show. Rod Serling felt that the show had to end given the studios hint that the show would be cancelled unless it took on a 100% horror theme. Serling rightly disagreed given that the show was much more than just horror, social commentary was high on Serlings list- and Season 5 shows this. The final season asked about the Vietnam war, talked about racial equality and even had a few major roles for black people- literally unheard of in television in the early 60s.

It's easy to think that because this was the last season that this had to be the worst one. Far from it- this season took many risks and is perhaps the best season of the show. It may not be filled with genuine classics- though they are here. But what Season 5 does have is a high consistancy of very good episodes, episodes that you will be happy to return to again and again. Here is a rundown:

We kick off in spectacular style with the tearjerker In Praise of Pip. Jack Klugman plays an estranged father whose son has been killed in Vietnam. He has memories of his son when he was a child and feels he neglected him and wants one more chance to reconcile with him, this is one of the most moving stories ever on The Twilight Zone. Bill Mumy the evil kid from It's a Good Life plays the son.

Steel is another great episode, told from the future where boxers are now robots as it has become illegal for humans to box. Lee Marvin stars. The make up is very good. Next up is one of the most talked about and infamous episodes- Nightmare At 20,000 Feet starring William Shatner as a nervous businessman aboard a plane. His trip gets worse when in a storm he appears to see a monster on the wing- but is it just his imagination? So famous is this episode that the plot line even in comedy shows has been repeated and still is repeated several times. Nightamare at 20,000 Feet is directed by Richard Donner who would go on to direct another five episodes this season.

A Kind of a Stopwatch is classic Zone material. It's one of those 'out there' episodes with a nasty ending, think Time Enough at Last. The episode is about a hapless loser that is given a stopwatch and every time he uses it the world stops..... Just imagine! This one if followed up by The Last Night of a Jockey, notable for starring Mickey Rooney who is the only actor in this episode. Serling himself wrote the story with Rooney in mind. The acting is great, but unfortunetly this episode just can't grip you, Rooney whining for 20 odd minutes on his own just doesn't work.

Living Doll is next and this one is another fondly remembered epsiode about a doll that wants to kill. Telly Savalas stars as the angry dad who pays no attention to his family or his daughters toys, so things go awry for him. The doll's catchphrase "I am Talking Tina and I'm going to kill you" was an obvious inspiration for Chucky in Child's Play movies some 2 decades later. The Old Man in the Cave is a delightful story about peoples faith and lack of it after an explosion has wiped out most of the world- and what is inside the cave, anyway?

Uncle Simon is a little silly if not just plain goofy- about a woman who lives with her uncle Simon and he rules with an iron fist- she wishes death on him, but what has uncle been making downstairs? Not too bad an episode. Directed by Don Siegel. Probe 7 and Out is about a man who has landed on a distant planet and finds only one more human a woman that is naturally terrified of him- you may guess the ending way before it happens. The 7th is Made up of Phantoms doesn't really go anywhere and along with one more episode (noted later on) is among the worst of the season.

A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain is about an old man who is with a beautiful if shallow younger partner, he takes a speial serum to look younger. And it works, however the serum just keeps on working and you can guess the rest, average at best story. Ninety Years Without Slumbering is extremely well acted even if the plot is so so- about an old man who believes that when his grandfather clock stops working, he will! Ed Wynn stars and this episode marked Bernard Herrmann's final score for the show.

Ring-a-Ding-Girl is one of the most eeriest stories from the show- concerning a movie actress that drops in to see her normal family in her home town. But she keeps getting messages- could it be that she is already dead? Pretty effective episode. You Drive is about a car that is seemingly possesesed who wants to convict its driver of homicide. An interesting if carefree look at cars that drive on their own- something Hollywood would repeat again and again from everything to Knight Rider to the horror movie The Car.

The Long Morrow is a great story involivng two lovers who click- but the man must go on a space mission which could see him gone for years- superb climax and Mariette Hartley has to be one of the most gorgeous actresses to appear on the show. The Self Improvement of Salvadore Ross hardly has a title that could inspire- but this is a great episode. Don Gordon plays an obnoxious man who wants to marry a well to do woman. He realises after breaking his hand that if he wishes for something it can happen, he goes from being young to being old to being young again and becomes a millionaire- but he is still the loud mouthed obnoxious man- so he has one more plan. Great episode and well acted with free flowing story, directed once again by Don Siegel.

Number 12 Looks Just Like You is a bonafide classic episode from the show. Serling gives us his divine social commentary here. In the future at a certain age the transformation takes place, everyone has a choice to be beautiful with 3 different models to choose from. But one girl doesn't want to have the operation, a great episode. Black Leather Jackets is a little out of time and goofy- three bad men wearing leather jackets in 60s America, however the episode succeeds in unintentionally showing us a slice of 60s Americana, and for that this episode is at, the very least of historical interest.

Night Call is an eerie one about an old woman who keeps receiving phone calls in the middle of the night, things take a dark turn once we find out that the calls are coming from a near by cemetery, directed by the legendary Jacques Tourneur. For note this was the episode scheduled to air on November 22nd, 1963 the night of JFK's assassination. This was rescheduled and debuted in early 1964. From Agnes With Love is a real goofy episode, the Zone seemed to have a few of these each season, and this one is no different. May remind you of the 80s movie Electric Dreams. Spur of the Moment is strangley effective about a woman who sees herself as a youngster as tries to stop herself making the same mistakes- episode comes across as a feverish like dream- and the acting is very solid especially by lead actress Diana Hyland.

An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge is unlike any Twilight Zone episode aired and the reason for this is that techinally it is not a Twilight Zone episode. Originally a French short movie that won an Oscar- this one was slightly modified and the shows producers were able to buy the episode and fit it well within budget for the show. It is a superb tale of a man about to be hanged and his final thoughts on life, well directed by Robert Enrico- the episode was bought for $25,000 a snip considering each regular episode cost $65,000 at the time.

Quuen of the Nile follows about an actress who has a power to stay young, so a young reporter decides to investigate- good episode that has a gorish moment for TV standards. What's in the Box is about a brooding man who can suddenly see the future from his TV signal- and the future says he will kill his nagging wife, an episode easily forgotten. The Masks brings us back to Zone territory where a dying millionaire summons his horrible money grabbing family to his bedside for last night- but there's a catch they must all wear hideous masks, with hideous consequences. Very intersting to note that this was directed by Ida Lupino the only female to ever direct an episode of The Twilight Zone she is also the only actor/actress to ever star in an episode- The Sixteen Milimeter Shrine from Season 2 and direct an episode.

I am the Night- Color Me Black is a very powerful episode that deals with small town racism and the death penalty in America. This is controversial stuff at least for the time it was made in. Serling wrote this as a reference to the then recent assassination of JFK. A great episode. Sounds and Silences had a good premise but isn't able to deliver as it should do. Masters of Horror TV series did a better telling of the same story called Sounds Like, 40 odd years later. Caesar and Me brings back the ventriloquists tale that we had seen in Season 3- done better too in the episode called The Dummy. This is still a very good and at times eerie piece. The Jeopardy Room is another effective story about a KGB spy trapped in a room- if he tries to escape a bomb will go off- tense and flows very well.

Stopover in a Quiet Town is hailed as one of the classics- the sort of story that you have heard of about the show with the neat bizarre twist ending. In short a couple wake up after a boozy night in a house they do not recognize- once they sober up they realise that nothing around them seems real. Remade though never offically recognized by Hammer in their 1980s short lived series Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense under the episode title, Child's Play. The Encounter is the 'banned' episode of The Twilight Zone- it was shown once in the States before being omitted in the syndication of the show. It stars 2 characters, one a racially agrivated all American played by Neville Brand and the other a Japanese American played by George Takei- they are stuck together in a loft, talk have a beer and inevitably through race, religion and war realise they hate each other. Great acting throughout makes this a memorable episode.

Mr Garrity and the Graves is a fun episode, set in the Wild West where Mr Garrity ventures into and claims to the townsfolk that he can ressurect the dead. But is all that it seems, great acting and drawn out long scenes, special mention to the bar man, a fine actor played by Stanley Adams- shines here. The Brain at Whipples may leave you with your jaw hitting the floor about how it sees the future. A manager of a factory decides to sack his staff after accepting a machine that can do all of the mens work- a machine that doesn't come into work late, claim holidays, get sick- from his words. Oh my how we see now how this is happening around us 50 years after this episodes airing. Seen how many people work in a bank now? How many people are on the assembly line at the car depot? Or how many self service tills are there in a supermarket compared to tills with REAL PEOPLE working? This is a great episode that sadly rings true today. Acting is very good all round and convincing.

Come Wander With Me is a curate's egg- personally I thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season. It has deep South atmosphere and is a terrific little ghost story. It feels grown up and has a nice tune throughout the run. Come Wander With Me was also the very final episode of the show filmed. The Fear is a goofy but ultimately a homage to 50s camp Sci Fi- starring Peter Mark Richman as a cop who comforts a woman at her secluded house because she believes there to be a UFO above her home, is she right? And if so what will the pair find? Not a bad episode, but could have been better.

Finally to what is regarded as the final episode of the show- The Bewitchin' Pool- deals with two kids who get no love from their rich parents. They find a portal in their swimming pool and are seemingly thrust into a new dimension a forest with a lake and an old woman in a cottage who looks after frightened abandoned children. On an emotional level this falls flat- it could really have been a sucker punch. Instead we are left with terrible acting all round- especially the parents, and an old woman who expects lots of hard labor from her children in return for some cake. I don't buy that at all.

So there it is, Season 5. All in all I found 24 episodes from 36 to be great with only 12 not meeting the mark and only 2 being of a poor standard. It turns out that Season 5 is a great season indeed, perhaps the best. Below are my TOP 10 personal episodes from this season.


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