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Colonel Decker "NO CODE" (LONDON)

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The Raven [DVD]
The Raven [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bela Lugosi
Price: £7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A love letter to Poe., 27 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Raven [DVD] (DVD)
Though The Raven quotes Edgar Allen Poe's poem throughout, the movie is more based on Poe's other work The Pit and the Pendulum. Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi head the cast with roles switched. Lugosi plays the mad doctor out for revenge and Karloff plays a petty criminal on the run, who wants his face changed. I should note that Karloff comes across as a petty criminal, though off screen kills a few people to escape. But his character is no more than a slave to Lugosi, and redeems himself somewhat come the films end. The make up applied to Karloff and the way he acts through it are very good.

Bela Lugosi really dives into this one and probably gives one of his best performances as the mad Dr Viollin. He gets better and better as the movie rolls on. The first 40 minutes are fantastic, but the film can't quite keep up the pace, and the final third feels a little static (though stacked with action). It's as if the rest of the story was being written frame by frame and the actors are hanging around to find out what happens. The Raven was directed by Lew Landers, though he uses his real name here- Louis Friedlander.

This film with its violence (considered tame of course by today's standards) led to a ban on horror films in England for a short period.


The Blob [1988]
The Blob [1988]
Dvd ~ Kevin Diljon
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable remake with generous amounts of gloob!, 26 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Blob [1988] (DVD)
Remake of the much loved 50s original, but this one works as did quite a few in the 80s, think The Thing and The Fly for starters. Kevin Dillion brother of Matt heads the cast as the charming town outcast who turns good when an alien like bacteria falls to Earth. The Blob has arrived. The effects for the day are bordering on spectacular, even though in some scenes you can see clearly see its been done with a blue screen. However since CGI is so poor nowadays we're used to seeing that, right?

Shawnee Smith plays Dillons sidekick as they both try to rid the blob of their quiet town. Chuck Russell, he who directed Nightmare on Em Street 3: Dream Warriors just a year previous is behind the camera once again, and does a decent if at not sometimes hammy job. But it's all kept together so well, and has that wonderful late 80s look about it.

There are plenty of gruesome and well thought out scenes, though some deaths may remind you too much of John Carpenter's The Thing. But the movie remains fresh, and non pc. Even kids are not safe in this movie. Nice locale characters combine to make this a fun movie, though don't make the mistake of going in thinking this will be goofy- The Blob is played as a straight horror.


The Black Cat [DVD]
The Black Cat [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bela Lugosi
Price: £7.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Karloff and Lugosi's first venture into horror together., 24 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Black Cat [DVD] (DVD)
The very first pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi ensured that this was Universal's No 1 film of 1934 and 80 years on you can see why. Karloff plays a satanic worshipper who has a fetish for killing women and then keeping them preserved in the basement. Lugosi in a rare role plays the good guy who gives Karloff a visit in order to kill him after Karloff killed his wife years ago. Lugosi is paired with an American couple that he meets on his travels and with nowhere to stay they join the 'party'.

The dialogue is pretty good.Karloff: "Come, Vitus. Are we men or are we children? Of what use are all these melodramatic gestures? You say your soul was killed, that you have been dead all these years. And what of me? Did we not both die here in Marmaros 15 years ago"? for example.

The Black Cat is really about two people Karloff and Lugosi who command the screen to the point that the other characters are just a tad annoying- led by the American couple, played by David Manners and Julie Bishop. Bishop is quite forgetable especially. The sets are very daring, and Karloff's house wouldn't be out of place in the 1970s yet alone the 30s. His daunting sci fi ish haircut only adds to the futuristic take on the place.

Edgar G Ulmer directs. Though this was his final studio film after being blackballed by Hollywood over an affair. Still made many good ones after this though. As for the title, don't get confused with the 1941 movie and also don't think for a second that this film is adapted from an Edgar Allen Poe story- it isn't. Though Poes name is mentioned in the credits, to draw the audidence in one suspects. There is a black cat of which Lugosi shreiks at during the film, but other than that the cat has nothing to do with the movies plot and eventual outcome.

The Black Cat is a very good film though it isn't without its problems. We have a sluggish start and Ulmer uses too many pitch black scenes, we literally cannot see anything at times. Finally Ulmer seems to have brought that silent cinema lingering into the talkies (of which at the time of release were only 5 years old). But it can be annoying, when you have said character finish off their lines only to stare blankly for a few seconds. We could of course blame that on editing also. Perhaps it made cinema audiences back in the day wince with terror, but today it does nothing, makes the end scene look goofy. And with the way cinema developed I would hazard a guess it looked goofy a few years after this films release. Alas the film is not bogged down by this and is a very enjoyable movie.


Tales From the Crypt: Complete Fourth Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Tales From the Crypt: Complete Fourth Season [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ John Kassir
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.59

3.0 out of 5 stars It's certainly not 'brilliant as usual', 23 Sep 2014
Just wanted to get a proper review out there, as I don't regard the only review that is on here having 3 words of any value.

Season 4 is slightly better than 3 but not by much. And it gets off to an average start with None but the Lonely Heart- what is it with love stories and lusting in the Crypt universe? Now it should be mentioned that this is an all star cast- Tom Hanks, Treat Williams and a cameo by none other than Sugar Ray Leonard. It's also directed by Tom Hanks. Sure the story is neat, but in episodic form it doesn't work.

This'll Kill Ya is very predictable, but unlike the previous episode it works because of good dialogue and a sharp wit. Stars the wonderful Cleavon Little to boot.

On A Deadman's Chest is enjoyable enough, but the acting is dire- warning to some, this contains a graphic well for Crypt standards sex scene.

Seance is the first very good episode of the season, and stars John Vernon- Good twist. But Beauty Rest takes the season down again in a flash of the eye.

What's Cookin' snatches that back again, and this is a great episode, starring Christopher Reeve, Meat Loaf and Judd Nelson. Pretty gorey episode, but all round great story telling. As a bonus the Crypt keeper and a couple of producers provide additional commentary on this stand out episode.

The New Arrival stars the excellent David Warner, but I'm afraid he is wasted here, a poor episode that starts off fairly well. Next up is Showdown which is interesting as it takes place during the wild west. It feels completely different to the rest of the season and works for the most part fairly well.

King of the Road is notable for starring a young Brad Pitt, but apart from some scenes is really hit and miss, it isn't great but it isn't bad either.

Maniac at Large shows the potential of the program. A tight script, decent story, good acting all combining well and of course just who is the serial killer will keep you guessing. A good entry.

Split Personality starring the delighful Joe Pesci and Burt Young and directed by Joel Silver should have worked. But does not. Pesci is good enough, and the episode starts very well but descends into a very average piece.

Strung Along is a decent entry though- about a living puppet and stars Zach Galligan and Donald O' Connor.

I was highly impressed by Werewolf Concerto starring Timothy Dalton and a whole host of character actors, stranded in a hotel and one of them is a werewolf.

But the seasons are summed up thus, there is no consistancy, final episode Curiosity Killed, takes almost the entire episode to reveal the silly plot. The climax is fair enough- but just not good enough.

My favourite episodes here are Werewolf Concerto, Whats Cooking, Seance, Maniac at Large and Strung Along, in no order.


Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) (Region 2)
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) (Region 2)
Dvd ~ Sidney Fox
Offered by Great-DVD's
Price: £13.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid entry into the Universal horror cannon., 23 Sep 2014
Incredibly enough there doesn't seem to be an official English region 2 of this movie. My review is from the Universal Region 1.

Murders in the Rue Morgue is Universal's take on the famous Edgar Allen Poe story. Bela Lugosi just a year after donning the cape of Dracula plays a mad scientist who has the idea of mixing ape blood with human. But if the blood doesn't mix the caputured victims die. He turns his attention to the beautiful lead played by Sidney Fox, then only 20 years old. The film then becomes a race against time for her boyfriend played by Leon Ames to find Fox before she becomes another victim.

The atmosphere of the film is what really makes this worth watching. At times it is ahead of the game. The snide sexual jokes early on and the torture scene- which was originally cut by the censors are all good examples. Director Robert Florey uses a deft touch to proceedings and some scenes seem Hitchcock like. The real surprise is how for a 1932 film it doesn't seem as goofy as such others, though Ames and the police seem to get along just a few seconds after they think he is insane.

Bert Roach is great as the comic relief, though he is underused. The ape itself is a real one though for close up shots and attacks it is obviously a man in a suit. There are some decent stunts and all in all Murders in the Rue Morgue delivers. Hardly one of Universal's best films, but far from a failure.


Tucker and Dale vs. Evil [DVD] (2011)
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil [DVD] (2011)
Dvd ~ Tyler Labine
Price: £4.90

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest horror comedy movies ever., 22 Sep 2014
WARNING: I came in fresh to this movie- this review contains spoliers that may ruin the movie's fantastic plot line.

Incredibly funny and at times gory movie about two beer drinking hillbillie's and a group of self centered students who after a huge misunderstanding take battle to the death in the forest. The plot is simple yet ingenuious. How about instead of making a 1,000th movie about students getting hacked to pieces by a killer in a forest you shake that down, turn it over and sprinkle humour over it? The students think the hillbillie's are crazed psychos, the hillbillie's think the students are out to commit mass suicide, and the film must rank as one of the greatest comedy horror movies of all time. The writing is fresh and good and the acting is of a great standard. Trust Canada to get it right when so many have failed miserably. The Canadians time and again have always been able to keep the horror genre fresh and interesting, it's as if they look down at their neighbours, tweek a little and get what needs fixed, fixed.

The two hillbillie's played by Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk have so much natural chemistry, that their lines never feel forced. There is a superb homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the gore crowd will be more than pleased with what is on offer. There are dashes of charm, social commentary on class and laugh after laugh. If you know someone that despises horror but loves comedy, this is still highly recommended. An absolute standout gem in a limp era for horror.


Running Scared [DVD]
Running Scared [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gregory Hines
Price: £7.72

4.0 out of 5 stars An 80s cop buddy movie classic, 17 Sep 2014
This review is from: Running Scared [DVD] (DVD)
One of the great cop buddy movies from the 80s. Running Scared's success lies in the strong script from Gary Devore and Jimmy Huston, who deliver some fantastic dialogue between it's two main stars. Headed by Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. Both light up the camera, with their craziness and eagerness to entertain. It's as if they are doing it personally for you. That is what makes the movie a winner. A lot happens in the film also, many different locations, and you get a real feel through director Peter Hyams for Chicago.

There are many fun moments, and unlike Amazon's personal review this is not a moody picture. The chemistry between Crystal and Hines is electric.It's a film soley all about them. It's a shame a sequel never materialized, there was one in the works called Still Running. But both Hines and Crystal thought the scripts they were being shown were poor. In hindsight and with so many sequels not being able to live up to the potential they made the right decision.

The final quarter of the movie dwelves into that 80s goofy moment where everything convienatly comes together, but this is just a slight aggrivation. Running Scared is an extremely enjoyable flick.


Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art
Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art
by Gene Wilder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb from start to finish., 16 Sep 2014
Gene Wilder is personally one of my favourite actors- and he seems a very humble man in real life. This autobiography is refershingly different given that Wilder has actually penned it- no ghost writers here. It's not traditional either, though some parts are chronological, Wilder dips into his life page by page and this works a treat.

It has its laugh out loud moments as you would expect, but this book is very moving also. It is such a great read. Still puzzled that the great man's last film was Another You in 1991. But hey ho, if he's happy then that is all that counts. A very underrated actor who defined movies in the 70s and 80s. And a superb read.


Suck [DVD]
Suck [DVD]
Dvd ~ Iggy Pop
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.55

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent horror comedy laced with rock heroes, 16 Sep 2014
This review is from: Suck [DVD] (DVD)
Tongue firmly in cheek with this one. Suck is about a rock n' roll band whose sexy bassist becomes a vampire. Suddenly their loser status is vanquished and they become popular because of it. Though Suck dances close to either being very good or plain average, it comes out a winner because of the likable characters and in jokes which are aplenty. Though to get them you would have to be a fan of rock music. Director Rob Stefaniuk goes the full tilt and brings in some great names. Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins and Moby for starters. Rollins is hilarious as an out of date 80s DJ- (check out the wig). Alice Cooper is just cool. Iggy Pop plays it well too and Moby is unlike himself, all guest stars ham it up well. Malcolm McDowell plays Van Helsing, aptly named Eddie Van Helsing, genuis! There is a scene where McDowell thinks back to his younger days and actual footage of him as a youngster in 1973's O Lucky Man has been spliced into the film, a neat trick and well appreciated.

There are some good jokes all round and a little blood. But for the most part this is a comedy. And the vamperism in a rock band is of course a metaphor for drug addiction and the curses of being famous. There are some slight lows in the film and some jokes hit the wall or simply don't work as intended. But this is a good effort. Mind you it is a film loaded with rock songs and if that genre doesn't rock your boat you may be put off. Otherwise Suck is a success and definetly didn't suck like many recent vampire movies have.


The Company of Wolves (Special Edition) [DVD] [1984]
The Company of Wolves (Special Edition) [DVD] [1984]
Dvd ~ Angela Lansbury
Price: £4.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric horror fantasy- one of the finest Werewolf films made., 15 Sep 2014
Not just one of the great werewolf films but surely one of the best horror/fantasy also. Director Neil Jordan gives us something very close to our hearts, a grim fairytale amid beauty.

The movie's plot is fairly simple- there are wolves in the forest and don't stray from the path unless you want to meet your fate. The movie is a play on, of course Little Red Riding Hood. But it ends up being so much more. The stunningly beautiful and I have to be careful here, for she was only 12 years old at the time, Sarah Patterson is sublime as the lead girl. She commands your attention. Her brunette hair, pale skin and innocence blend with the films atmosphere seamlessly. There are wonderful scenes and characters aplenty. The great David Warner plays Patterson's father and Stephen Rea plays Patterson's mothers ex. Her mother played by Tusse Silberg is terrific, a method actor, but so what? And it doesn't stop there- Terence Stamp plays the Devil a role that was originally for Andy Warhol, though Warhol wouldn't travel to England so Stamp got the job. Brian Glover plays the neighbour and Angela Lansbury is just perfect as granny.

Gorehounds will not be disappointed, there are a few cracking scenes. Let's just say that the image on the cover actually happens. The haunting soundtrack is superb, and the film is laced with atmosphere and superb directional skill by Jordan. Sadly Patterson quit the acting business soon after- goodluck to her, a huge loss for us nonetheless.

The Special Edition has plenty of features including director commentary and there is a lovely booklet included which explains how the film was made. An instant classic, that there is no doubt.


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