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Mark G. (East Anglia)

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Welcome To The Jungle [DVD]
Welcome To The Jungle [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sandy Gardiner
Price: 2.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No, not the one with The Rock., 12 Sep 2012
This review is from: Welcome To The Jungle [DVD] (DVD)
In 1961, Michael Rockefeller son of the US Vice President disappeared.

A group of four friends holidaying in Fiji hear a rumour that an old man of around 70 years old was spotted in the company of a New Guinean tribe. Believing that it may be Michael Rockefeller, the group convince themselves to set off in search of him.

The film is shot in a hand-held first person style as the group document their journey and although that style has been overused of late it works quite well here and doesn't come across as gimmicky. It does though have the problem that a few other films have when they shoot in this documentary style in where it appears as though as an audience we are watching some footage that has been found but with no explanation as to how or where it was found.

Now, anyone hoping for a gore fest along the lines of Cannibal Ferox - Fully Uncut or CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST..2 DISC DELUXE UNCUT probably going to be disappointed. It takes a long time until any blood is seen here as it's more about the characters and their journey as they travel through the jungle. Although, that being said; when the bloody moments do inevitably appear they are quite well done.
Fortunately the characters are fairly well written and remain reasonably interesting throughout and the eventual arguments that begin to split the group feel like a natural progression of events rather than a cheap plot device.

Overall the film works quite well and despite the ending not quite working for me the film is still worth taking a look at. It's not an amazing film or an essential purchase but it is certainly worth a rental or picking up if you find it cheap; I found it for 1 at a car boot and am more than happy with that price.

The running time is reasonable coming in at close to 80 minutes and the picture and sound quality are all good. There are minimal extras on the disc with a deleted scene and trailer being the only things present.

The Hike [DVD]
The Hike [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tamer Hassan
Price: 6.23

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, 10 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Hike [DVD] (DVD)
After a terrible opening sequence we are then introduced to a group of girls who have decided to get together and head off into the woods for a hiking trip.
At first I thought this was going to be a poor version of The Descent [DVD] [2005] but it wasn't even that.

The film is very boring and really dragged along. Dialogue is stilted and the characters are very one dimensional and poorly conceived.
The whole thing is very badly written and really is a waste of time. Every thing you've ever seen in a horror film that's made you roll your eyes at the stupidity of the characters happens here. Every bad horror cliché you've ever seen, that's here too.

There is a slight plus side in that the film is well shot and looks very nice and that was probably the only thing that kept me watching. That one plus factor pales into insignificance though when compared to how bad the film is as a whole.

Save your money and avoid this one.

Yakuza Weapon (2011) (DVD) [NTSC]
Yakuza Weapon (2011) (DVD) [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Shingo Tsurumi
Offered by bestmediagroup
Price: 5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sushi Typhoon get the mix wrong., 26 July 2012
If you're like me then seeing a film is being produced by Sushi Typhoon and has been made by Tak Sakaguchi is enough to have you reaching for your wallet to part with some cash ready for their unique brand of hilarious, ultra-gory entertainment.

Initially during the opening sequence this seems to be a lot lighter on the gore than previous titles, as rather than starting with the usual over-the-top set piece, this opens with a montage that shows just what a bad-ass Shozo (Tak Sakaguchi) really is as he fights soldiers is an unnamed jungle.
Things soon get to the usual levels of ridiculousness though once Shozo uses a landmine for transportation and demonstrates the power of his spiked shoes and it looks like all is going to be as expected.

After learning of the death of his Yakuza boss father, Shozo heads back to Japan.
Whilst trying to track down the ones responsible for his father's death Shozo ends up getting a few injuries. Still not too worry, a bit of surgery and Shozo is the proud owner of some new appendages.

I really wanted to like this film, I am a big fan of all the other Sushi Typhoon productions but somehow this one just didn't hit the spot with me. The character of Shozo got a bit boring at times, he's a bit of a one trick pony and a show off who shouts that he's the best but doesn't really do anything to make me want to root for him.
It's one of those films where I really did not care who wins at the end.
It also feels a bit too drawn out in places with some scenes going on for longer than was necessary and the whole thing felt like it needed some tighter editing.

There are a few funny moments and some over the top gore, but they are spread out too thinly. In fact other than the odd moment here and there this doesn't really ratchet things up until the final part when it ramps up the ridiculous meter a sufficient level but even then it still skimps on the expected blood and gore that the other titles do so well.

It's not a terrible film but it is a disappointing one when due to its lineage I can help but compare it to the likes of The Machine Girl [DVD], Tokyo Gore Police (2 Disc Collectors Edition) [DVD] [2008], Helldriver (DVD) etc, all of which are so much better than this.

The DVD itself is a nice 2 disc set with plenty of extras but that's not enough to warrant paying full price.
Definitely one to rent, as opposed to a purchase.

Django [1966] [DVD]
Django [1966] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Franco Nero

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genre defining., 20 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Django [1966] [DVD] (DVD)
Opening with a really memorable and iconic theme tune (that was even mimicked in the animated film Rango [DVD]) the film starts with a shot of Django (Franco Nero) making his way through the mud and filth, dragging his trademark coffin behind him.

On his travels Django encounters a woman in a spot of bother. After helping the lady Django heads to a nearby town where he has some business to attend to. The town is a squalid looking ramshackle place with a wealth of mud and not much else.

The town also happens to be in the middle of a feud between a group of Mexicans and one Major Jackson and his gang. On top of all that it sounds as if the woman that Django just rescued has also managed to upset both sides.

Although being dangerously outnumbered, Django might just have a trick up his sleeve (or in his coffin) that may even the odds.

The film stock is showing its age but on the whole the quality is really good and the only really noticeable thing that I'm surprised hasn't been tidied up is the sound which is slightly out of synch at times; the lip synching being particularly noticeable. Fortunately that doesn't deter from the enjoyment that's to be had watching this film and for me it all just adds to the experience.

The film has its faults but still manages to be enjoyable despite them.

The film spawned countless sequels (and even a Japanese prequel Sukiyaki Western Django [DVD]) of varying quality but this one is the best of the bunch. There are few nice extras on the DVD but not as many or as much as one would hope for with such an iconic film, although it does boast a nice reversible sleeve.

If anyone is a fan of Westerns, especially Spaghetti Westerns, then this is an essential purchase
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2012 5:06 PM BST

The Midnight Meat Train [DVD]
The Midnight Meat Train [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bradley Cooper
Price: 7.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good adaptation., 19 July 2012
As with my review of Dread [DVD], this is another film that is based on a short story by Clive Barker from the Books of Blood Omnibus, 3 Volumes: v. 1 and once more, this is one that I have not read for a long time. I have read it quite a few times however and quite enjoyed it so the plot is still easy for me to recall. Of course the downside of this (as with any film based on a book that you've read) is that I viewed this knowing the story and therefore not really expecting to get any surprises from it.

Anyway, on with the plot synopsis...

Oh sorry one more thing. The film is directed by Ryuhei Kitamura whom I am a fan of and is probably best known for directing films such as Versus [DVD] [2000]and Azumi [DVD].

Ok, I'll try again.

People are disappearing on the New York subway. You see there's a killer stalking the night, a mute killer named Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) who is a dab hand at bashing skulls with a hammer.

Struggling photographer Leon (Bradley Cooper) is trying to capture the darker, dirtier side of the city on film and in doing so inevitably crosses paths with Mahogany. As Leon begins investigating he finds himself drawn ever deeper into Mahogany's world, which may have roots a lot deeper than he could ever have expected.

Overall I quite like this film, sure it's not perfect and it certainly isn't the film that springs to mind when you're thinking on what to recommend your friends but, it does have a certain something about it. Vinnie Jones looks suitably sinister as Mahogany and the acting throughout does the job well. The story is well told and has done a good job of expanding on Clive Barker's original short while still keeping it's core elements in place.

The film is well shot and Kitamura does a good job with the look throughout.

There are some good visceral moments that work well and are most likely going to produce a wince from people and the fx as a whole does a pretty good job. Unfortunately this does lead to my biggest complaint with the movie. The cgi gore fx.

Okay, there's the odd moment that ignores the plot such as a scene towards the end when a victim is hung up still alive when it has already been shown that they are dead and `prepared' at this point and the only reason this one isn't is just to add a bit of tension which wasn't really necessary. But, that doesn't really detract or take you out of the film in any way, whereas the cgi is just too obvious especially when the practical effects work really well. One case in point being a scene featuring fan favourite Ted Raimi. The cgi make sit look like something out of an episode of Itchy and Scratchy from The Simpsons.

Personal issues with cgi gore aside, this is a still a good blood soaked horror that (thanks to the Clive Barker short story) manages to be something different rather than the typical slasher film that it may appear to be at first glance.

Trauma (Dario Argento) [DVD]
Trauma (Dario Argento) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brad Dourif
Price: 12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rain, rain, go away., 18 July 2012
This review is from: Trauma (Dario Argento) [DVD] (DVD)
A murderer is on the loose and this one seems to have a thing for decapitations. Nicknamed The Head-hunter due to not only the fact that the victims are found decapitated but also because the killer takes the heads away from the crime scene.

Caught up in the middle of all this is an anorexic girl named Aura (Asia Argento) and her friend David (Christopher Rydell) who seem to be getting more entangled in events as the story progresses.

What you basically have here is a bloody murder mystery that may not be Dario Argento's best film but is certainly worth watching.

This is a movie that can be enjoyed by not only horror fans but by fans of `whodunit' style mysteries as well as long as they're not too squeamish although saying that, the film is bloody in places but it isn't in an overly excessive way.

I've been a fan of Dario Argento's work ever since I first saw Suspiria which I consider to be his best film and even though his movies have dipped in quality occasionally I still think that Trauma is an enjoyable film that is worth watching and not just for hardcore Argento fans either.

Death Proof [DVD]
Death Proof [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 3.73

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film with some jaw dropping stunts., 17 July 2012
This review is from: Death Proof [DVD] (DVD)
Kurt Russell is Stuntman Mike, a guy with an eye for the ladies and a penchant for vehicular homicide. In fact, there's nothing that Stuntman Mike enjoys more than using his 'deathproof' car to wreak a little havoc and take a few lives.

The girls are sexy, the music is great and the stunts are fantastic.

About 45 minutes in everything ramps up for the most gratuitous and amazing crash sequence in the whole film and it is certainly impressive, not to mention voyeuristic with its multiple camera shots showing each victims demise in bloody detail.

The first half of the movie contains the most gratuitous death scene but the second half is the one with the most memorable stunts, particularly the one involving real life stunt woman Zoe Bell on the bonnet of a white Dodge Challenger. It's one of those rare moments that you get in a film where you are just watching in a stunned silence completely focused on what is enfolding on the screen. There is also a really well done motorcycle stunt in the second half that is almost a throwaway moment, which passes by so quickly that it's almost a case of blink and you'll miss it and yet it is a fantastic looking stunt.

Tarantino displays his flair for long scenes in which the characters just talk about nothing in particular and often nothing that's relevant to the plot in a style that isn't always realistic but works so well cinematically that somehow you just can't help but listen and become engrossed in what is being said.
Anyone familiar with the movies partner film Planet Terror will recognise a few characters from the hospital scene, and Tarantino/Rodrigez regular Michael Parks once again reprises his role as Sherriff Earl McGraw.

Stylistically the two halves of the film are different, with the second half being the cleaner image of the two. Almost making it appear like a different movie.

You could argue that a lot of time and money has gone into making a film that is homage to a genre of movies that were made quickly and cheaply. You could also argue that the scratchy film stock and jumps in editing are more artistic than a result of the low budget nature of grind house movies. The thing is, despite its flaws, this is still a really good and entertaining film. Anyone who is a fan of the old `car chase' movies from the 70's will get a kick out of this.

I'm a fan of the movies and style that Deathproof is referencing, so I guess my opinion is a little coloured by that fact but I would recommend this to anyone that hasn't seen it before and then recommend that once it's over, go out and watch the films that are mentioned in this movie.

Annoyingly the single disc edition still has `disc 1' printed on it, somehow mocking you for having bought that version. As the two are(at the time of writing) identically priced and as expected the single disc edition is minimal on the extras, then the two disc version is the one to go for.

Babysitter Wanted [DVD]
Babysitter Wanted [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tina Houtz
Price: 7.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as clever as it thinks it is., 16 July 2012
This review is from: Babysitter Wanted [DVD] (DVD)
Angie is a religious (Catholic) girl who has just moved to a new town in order to go to the college there. Having spotted an advert for a babysitter she decides to give the number a call and soon ends up spending her Friday night looking after a very quiet little boy called Sam whilst his parents are out for the evening.

As expected her evening is not going to go well.

What really lets this film down initially is its over reliance on 'scare chords' to try and create a jump moment. There's a discordant piece of music nearly every time anything happens. There's no need for it at all and it just feels cheap. To make matters worse Angie's character comes across as dull at times and really managed to just seem a little thick when after seeing that someone had been watching her to the extent that she looked directly at the person, when someone asks her why she is so jumpy she replies that she doesn't know, she just gets the feeling that someone's watching her.

As the night of babysitting progresses Angie feels more uneasy, so much so that we now get a scare chord when she takes a mug from a shelf.

Eventually the stalker makes his appearance and finally after 50 minutes the film looks like it might actually be good, and for 15 minutes it is. Unfortunately it descends into mediocrity again and just doesn't really do anything that makes it really stand out.

There are some good gore effects, but they all happen in that 15 minute part of the film that is actually enjoyable and after that it all just seems a bit silly.

It isn't a completely unwatchable film but it does feel tiresome and the first 50 minutes are a real chore to get through. More of a rental than a purchase as it isn't really worth repeat viewings. Shame really as there are hints of a good film in there somewhere.

Chanbara Beauty [DVD]
Chanbara Beauty [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yhei Fukuda
Price: 6.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 10 July 2012
This review is from: Chanbara Beauty [DVD] (DVD)
Based on the Onechanbara video game, which I'll admit I've not played. Chanbara Beauty tells of how the whole world is now zombie infested and the man responsible for this mess is one, Dr Sugita.

In this zombie infested world is a woman named Aya, who armed only with a sword, a portly sidekick and a rather fetching overcoat and bikini combo is out to slay the undead. Aya is looking for her missing sister Saki and no zombie is going to get in her way.
On her journey she meets the leather-clad, gun-wielding Reiko, who is searching for Dr Sugita and believes that Saki may be with him.

Cgi blood flies and splatters onto the screen as Aya slices up the zombie hordes but once the first sequence is done with the whole thing just becomes a little tiresome. The fight scenes are ok but other than that I found myself getting bored with the whole thing.

At first I found myself enjoying this as it looked like it was going to fall into the `so bad it's good' category as I was getting a kick out of the cheapness of it and some of the low budget moments were kind of fun. Aya's arm tattoo was on obviously fake adhesive that had started to come loose and Dr Sugita's `syringe' was one of the cheapest, most poorly made props I've seen in a long while.

The problem is that somehow the film just isn't that enjoyable. I love low budget films, Japanese cinema and of course (as I've mentioned) this is about an attractive, bikini-clad swordswoman chopping up zombies. I mean what's not to love? Yet somehow this doesn't work.
There's no major flaws with the film as such but it doesn't feel like any passion went into making it and all its little failings combine to make the movie just feel tired.

It's a real shame as all the ingredients are there for a great, fun little film and yet I just didn't enjoy watching it. I think part of the problem with it was that it just reminded me of better zombie or Japanese splatter films I would rather be watching instead.

I'm sure some people will enjoy it but I think that this is a definite `try before you buy' as it won't be to everyone's taste.

Offered by rightpricediscs
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell hath no fury like a woman decapitated., 9 July 2012
This review is from: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (DVD)
I've always been a fan of these old B-movies from the 50's and 60's. Not that I'm old enough to have seen them first time around, I just remember watching them on the TV as kid in the 80's and they are most likely to blame for why I am such a big horror fan today.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die borrows ideas from Frankenstein, only this time around it's a surgeon by the name of Dr. Bill Cortner who's doing the experimenting. Bill proves that his experiments are successful by restoring life to a man who just died on an operating table but his real dream is to be able to replace damaged or diseased limbs with new ones, thanks to his `special compound.' Although at this point I did wonder if he'd just invented really good glue.

On his way to his country house (which doubles as his secret lab) he loses control of his car and crashes. Although he gets out fairly unscathed, his fiancée isn't so lucky but that's not going to stop the good Dr as hetakes her decapitated head back to his lab' in order to keep it alive via the aforementioned special compound.
Bills fiancée isn't best pleased with being an experiment and almost her first thought upon awakening is to vow revenge, with the help of...whatever that mysterious thing is in the laboratory closet.

There is a fault on the DVD (this is on the Cayman Classics release) where there's no picture or sound for around a minute but otherwise everything else appears fine (don't know if this happens on all of them or just mine) and I don't think there's actually anything missing from the film despite the fault. In addition the DVD is about as `bare bones' as you can possibly get as the only option on the menu screen is to play the movie, not even a chapter select. Still, I can't really complain as I did only pay 1 for it and everything else (picture/sound quality) are acceptable.

On the whole I really like this movie and think that it is a notch above a lot of the other of this type of film that were made in this era.

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