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Reviews Written by
Mr. Kenneth J. Hodges "kenvisions" (United Kingdom)

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The House By The Cemetery [DVD]
The House By The Cemetery [DVD]
Dvd ~ Catriona MacColl

2.0 out of 5 stars but there are cases where if something is really bad, you need to come out and say so, 17 Oct 2014
I much prefer to write about films I feel positive about, rather than slag a film off, but there are cases where if something is really bad, you need to come out and say so! OK. it normally matters, whether a film has been digitally remastered, or whether or not it is uncut, but I have to say that in this case the film itself is so bad, that nothing can redeem it. However, lest I should be accused of destructive criticism, let me spell out exactly what is wrong with it. For a start, the acting is wooden, the music is awful, and adds nothing to the film, and despite it being a named director, it is badly directed. The story is weak and lacks conviction and consequently there is no suspense. Gore yes!, but what is the point of showing someone being stabbed through the back of the neck and the knife come out of the mouth, when it is solely done for affect and adds nothing to the film. When will people learn that sometimes the real horror in a film is what you don't see rather than what is thrown in your face, and that gore for gore's sake is totally without substance!

Phantom of the Opera (1962) DVD
Phantom of the Opera (1962) DVD
Dvd ~ Herbert Lom
Price: £14.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return of an under-rated Hammer Film!, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
'Final Cut' are to be congratulated for issuing this film and giving it a second lease of life. When it was first issued in 1962 my only reservation was that is was toned down because of the need to give it an 'A' certificate instead of an 'X', but despite this, it has proved to be a film that has stood the test of time.

Along with 'Shadow of the Cat' (also from 'Final Cut'), this is the first time this film has been released on DVD in the UK, and both releases are to be thoroughly welcomed. Any chance, of 'The Snorkel' another under-rated gem of a 'Hammer' film being released? Currently this is only available as part of a six 'Hammer Icons of Suspense' set from the States.

I note that some reviewers have moaned about the 'Blue Ray' disc not being very good. I can't comment on this since I bought the ordinary DVD which I found to be a very acceptable print. This film is 53 years old for God sake, and I am left feeling that some people don't make any allowances, and expect things to be as pristine as something that was made yesterday. To anyone seeking this film therefore, I would recommend buying it without any hesitation whatsoever. It's the best copy I have ever had, and far superior to any legit VHS copies or any bootleg DVD's that have been through my hands over the years!

Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A pianist who deserves wider recognition!, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Threeflow (MP3 Download)
Craig Milverton has begun to make a name for himself at long last, although his fame could well do with spreading further than just the South West of England. The CD'Three Flow' benefits from a good piano and a splendid rhythm section in the shape of Andrew Cleyndert bass and Bobby Worth drums, who both solo effectively, and as for Craig himself he is in fine form and seems to be enjoying every moment!

There are some fine renditions of 'Come Sunday','I will wait for you, and Ray Brown's 'Gravy Waltz', but there are also seven of Craig's compositions, and if I am honest I don't find all of them strong enough to stay in the mind. The exceptions though are the opening track 'Carrot Cruncher' and 'Harassed Genes' which seems to be nod in the direction of pianist Gene Harris. I enjoyed both of the tracks!

Despite any reservations, I have to commend this CD as being one of the best that Craig has done, and all his supporters, as well as fans of jazz piano in particular, should seriously consider buying what is on offer here!

Tomorrow At Ten [DVD]
Tomorrow At Ten [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Shaw
Price: £12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lacked a vital ingredient!, 2 Nov 2013
This review is from: Tomorrow At Ten [DVD] (DVD)
This film is badly let down by the child actor, who having been locked in a room in a strange house should have displayed some kind of fear and anxiety about the situation that he found himself in, as well as what was going to happen to him. This robbed the film of any suspense, especially when all you saw was a boy prancing around the room with a doll, as if it was some kind of game. Even when he finally got around to pounding on the door, it was all done mechanically and unconvincingly with no degree of panic! Pity really, because the film otherwise had a good cast, even although it has to be said that the idea of a kidnapper giving himself over to police to strike a deal, was somewhat implausible

Matt Monro: The Singers Singer
Matt Monro: The Singers Singer
by Michele Monro
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.29

3.0 out of 5 stars An extensive but exhaustive biography of a Fine Singer, 27 Feb 2013
I am two thirds of the way through reading this rather lengthy biography, which I feel would have made for a better read had it been more condensed. The problem is that because it is so thorough, it reads more like a diary of events rather than a true biography. It will neverthless be of interest to all those who admired Matt, and like me, considered that he was probably the finest singer this country ever produced! Moreover, there proabably won't be another biography that comes close to this, so if no other reason, it should be read. I doubt though whether once filed, this is a book I will want to read again!

Icons of Horror: Hammer Films [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Icons of Horror: Hammer Films [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Susan Strasberg
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £9.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Good Ones Here!, 24 Mar 2010
It is inevitable with a selection of films in one package, that some will be better than others. This collection comes out pretty well. Let's deal with them in order of merit.

The best of the bunch is 'Scream of Fear' or to give it it's English title 'Taste of Fear'. This was the best of the psychological thrillers that 'Hammer' produced. There is an excellent cast with Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd, Ronald Lewis and Christopher Lee. It has a twist ending and is also shot in black and white.

Then we have 'The Gorgon'. The only thing wrong with the Gorgon, is the Gorgon itself, which could have been improved upon by the make-up department, otherwise it is a very atmospheric film with Peter Cushing and Barbara Shelley.

Christopher Lee pops up again in 'The Two Faces of Dr Jekyll' and steals the film from Paul Massie. This film got short shrift from the critics, but I found it very watchable.

Last and least, the only dud, 'The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, which I found to be a yawn, but with three good films out of 4, there is no real cause for complaint here.

Torture Garden [DVD] [2005]
Torture Garden [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Jack Palance

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Below par portmanteau, 2 Sep 2009
This review is from: Torture Garden [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Mr West is right to say that this is not one of the best 'Amicus' offerings. It is not however the worst, that is reserved for 'Dr Terror's House of Horrors' which didn't deserve to be good, because apart from weak stories, to put Roy Castle and Alan Freeman in a horror film, was miscasting of the highest order. Completists will want both Dr Terror and 'Torture Garden', but for the best of 'Amicus' go to 'Asylum' 'Tales from the Crypt' and 'From Beyond the Grave', or for one of their full length movies try 'The Skull'. I have been generous in giving 'Torture Garden' three stars, only because I am not able to award two and a half!

The Gorgon [VHS] [1964]
The Gorgon [VHS] [1964]

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric but lacked momentum!, 21 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Gorgon [VHS] [1964] (VHS Tape)
Christopher Lee summed it up perfectly, when he said 'The only thing wrong with The Gorgon is The Gorgon!

Tales That Witness Madness [VHS]
Tales That Witness Madness [VHS]

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Pits, 26 Jun 2009
If like me, you have an appetite for these portmanteau horror movies, you will want to see this film. Whether you enjoy it though, will be another matter. I watched it once and that was enough. It was positively awful! I find it difficult to say a kind word about it, and it was a complete waste of the talent of those who had the misfortune to have starred in it.

I normally prefer to write reviews that have something positive to say, but on this occasion I feel compelled to say, you have been warned, and to recommend other compendium movies instead, like 'Asylum' or 'Tales from the Crypt, which are vastly superior in every way.

Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008]
Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Sally Hawkins
Offered by Lifes Essentials
Price: £4.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Lighter Side of Mike Leigh, 19 Aug 2008
This review is from: Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I'm a great fan of Mike Leigh, and rate 'Secrets and Lies' as one of my all time great movies. Many people have said that Mike's films are bleak, and one gets the impression here, that an attempt has been made to try and get away from this image. The question remains, has this been successful? I am not so sure that it has, and I am left with reservations. It's as if sometimes, the humour is self conscious and forced. Of one thing, I have no doubt, it all depends on how you relate to Poppy. If you find her endearing, you will get something from this film, but if you find her irritating or at worst, a pain in the neck, you will be left wondering what all the fuss is about.

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