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Dave "42ndStreetFreak" (UK)

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The Phantom of the Opera (1962)  [Region 2] [import] (Hammer) [DVD]
The Phantom of the Opera (1962) [Region 2] [import] (Hammer) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Herbert Lom
Price: £8.18

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Hammer., 14 Aug. 2009
'Hammer's' adaptation is very flat, has far too much opera footage during the finale and contains a really 'what the hell happened?' moment where the fate of nasty Michael Gough is concerned (shame).
A far too sympathetic Phantom too, resulting in a Phantom that is not remotely threatening.

But it looked nice, with suitably well crafted studio sets and it had a couple of 'Hammer jolts' in the form of a swinging hanged man ripping through the stage scenery and a vicious knife in the eye demise.

There was an all too brief but good turn by Patrick Troughton as a wonderfully grubby rat catcher and a superbly nasty, sleazy, arrogant and generally mad turn by Michael Gough.
Very flat finale though and generally only 'ho hum'.

Out For Justice [DVD] [1991]
Out For Justice [DVD] [1991]
Dvd ~ Steven Seagal
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Top class Seagal, 14 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Out For Justice [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
We could have done without the long 'how it used to be in the old neighbourhood' morality speeches Stevie Seagal gives, but away from these this film was a lot of fun!

Loved all the Bronx/Italian-American accents spewing out endless (wonderful) insults, the violence was brutal and totally gratuitous (hooray!) and the ever welcome William Forsythe was delightfully over the top as the psycho bad guy.
Plus Seagal's character was outragously ruthless...blatantly murdering bad guys even when he had unarmed them!

Cheesy as all hell, but damn entertained!

New Kids [DVD] [1985] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
New Kids [DVD] [1985] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.0 out of 5 stars Versitile Spader, 14 Aug. 2009
Badly dated musically in a big way, but overall this slice of rough 80's 'bad teens' movie making is good stuff.

Only a year after his wonderfully likable turn as the High School hero in the excellent "Tuff Turf", James Spader does a superb about-turn and morphs into one of the most vile and nasty High School villains around!
And with his gang of vicious hick thugs he also makes for a formidable opponent for the Tom Atkins (a nice cameo) trained hero Brother and Sister.
Some violent action (including a great, and very chunky, bit of head destruction) and surprisingly harsh language and sexual threat ensures it also delivers the essential nastiness.

Mother's Day [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]
Mother's Day [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss, 14 Aug. 2009
It's a shame the slow start (after the initial kills) and typically stupid 'Troma' humour held this film back, as when it was in your face, disturbing and deadly serious it was a very good example of this type of film.
And coming at the very start of the 80's meant it owed more to the great days of 70's Grindhouse cinema than any 80's Slasher trend.

Some of the humour was okay and suitably black, but all too often it was just silly and took away the power from the film.
"TCM" did the (mild) black humour moments much better.
It was also padded out with too many fights/arguments.

But like I said, when it played it straight it truly delivered.
The scene with the main two women's friend in the woods was played totally straight and was genuinely powerful and emotive and very well acted.
As was the final death scene in the basement, before the ending, which gave us a very effective scene of mania and pent up madness.

The twist was perhaps a move too far though and shot in a way that made it look more comical than anything else.

Flawed by too much silly humour and too much padding (you could lose a good 7 minutes here) but still an effective Exploitation shocker, when it plays it straight, that delivers the nasty content, as well as a few powerful moments, with a welcome if fading 70's aesthetic.

The Medusa Touch [DVD]
The Medusa Touch [DVD]
Dvd ~ Richard Burton
Price: £7.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More respect please!, 14 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Medusa Touch [DVD] (DVD)
Stupendously underrated!
The late and oh so great Richard Burton could read a phone book and it would be heaven, here though he has some great apocalyptic dialogue and some fine acidic, barbed insults.
Some excellent set-pieces and a fantastic support cast round it off.
Truly excellent.

This new and improved DVD transfer is very welcome too.

Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane [DVD] [1976] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane [DVD] [1976] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £49.13

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well worth revisiting., 14 Aug. 2009
A real trip down
As always the young Jodie Foster does an amazing job, and is more appealing (and in better films) than the older Jodie Foster.
Martin Sheen (just before "Apocalypse Now") is superb as the sleazy, sexual predator and all in all this has aged very well and makes for compulsive viewing.

A very well crafted, low key 70's thriller full of excellent performances.

Land of the Dead (2005) [DVD]
Land of the Dead (2005) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dennis Hopper
Price: £2.68

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, not the worst Romero., 14 Aug. 2009
This is much better than some of the negative remarks spewed around, but it somehow felt a little empty and it was far too short!
It had some choice moments though, some nicely messy flesh ripping and gut munching in the unrated print (there was no need for lazy CGI blood though!), and a pretty good cast do a pretty good job.

Not the ground shaker it should have been given the long wait and the 'evolved' zombies sit badly with me, but it was generally a good romp and easily Romero's best film since the excellent "Day of the Dead".

In The Cut [DVD] [2003]
In The Cut [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Meg Ryan
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £3.79

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better then you have been led to believe., 14 Aug. 2009
This review is from: In The Cut [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Jane Campion's erotic drama/thriller is a very strange, but interesting, beast.

More of a character/relationship study than a thriller (the psycho plot is purely there to propel the characters along) it's an engrossing mix of the rough, the dark, and the raw with the sureal and the dream-like.

It looks great, sounds great, is well acted and is surprisingly frank, open and explicit. Not just in the blood and body parts, or the nudity and the sex (Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo both bare all for the cause) but also in the shockingly honest and raw dialoge where the sex is concerned. If the sex itself is not actually hardcore it's verbal description is.

The finale is a bit simple and rushed given the build-up and the style that has gone before, but all in all this is a solid, serious, well made, well acted, beautifully raw and open example of film-making for adults.

The In-Laws [DVD]
The In-Laws [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Falk
Offered by *Rare-Film-Finders*
Price: £18.64

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a joy., 14 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The In-Laws [DVD] (DVD)
Peter Falk and Alan Arkin are in top form in this mix of typically smart and funny 70's dialogue and slapstick.

Falk and Arkin play off each other wonderfully, there's a good support cast of characters (the barmy South American general with his painted on hand puppet is a gem and James Hong's airplane safety routine speech that he gives to the almost catatonic Arkin in the tiny private jet, all done in frenzied Chinese and mime, is a blast!), it's fast moving and just plain out and out fun in that unique 70's way.
Which of course meant it got yet another pointless re-make recently.

Impulse [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Impulse [DVD] [1983] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cult item worth uncovering., 14 Aug. 2009
Very good, well acted little horror/sci-fi thriller with a nice support cast (including Hume Cronyn, John Karlen and a young Bill Paxton) for Meg Tilly and Tim Matheson to play off, and an interesting set-up.

With a film like this the set-pieces are vital and this has some memorable moments of the respectable townsfolk going nuts.
It's all played deadly serious as well which is nice to see.
It's a dark, bleak but entertaining little movie and deserves a higher profile.

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