Profile for Spike Owen > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Spike Owen
Top Reviewer Ranking: 294
Helpful Votes: 5930

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Frozen Dead [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
The Frozen Dead [DVD] [1966] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Philip Gilbert
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £11.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ice Reich Baby!, 18 Oct. 2014
British sci-fier that's utterly mad and quite awful at times, yet for fans of "B" movie schlockers from days of yore there's enough boldness and charm to warrant a look.

In short order the plot entails a nutty scientist planning to revive frozen Nazis to kick start a new world order. Dana Andrews is the name actor in the lead role, complete with bad German accent, and Kathleen Breck is the star performer playing a head in a box; a victim of the mad scientists moving throughout the madness. It's all very silly and the fact that Andrews and company are taking it serious further induces the mirth factor. The effects work is a very mixed bag, but always fun, while there are some genuinely great scenes involving the frozen corpses, a wall of moving arms and every scene that Breck's head is involved in. None more so with the latter for the truly haunting ending. 2/10


Death Tunnel [DVD] [2006]
Death Tunnel [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Steffany Huckaby
Price: £4.93

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Death., 18 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Death Tunnel [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
1928, Kentucky. A horrific disease known as "The White Plague" claimed over 63,000 lives. A monstrous sanatorium was built to isolate the infected and play host to bizarre experiments in desperation to find a cure. Unable to cope with the large amount of corpses, a five hundred foot underground tunnel was constructed for the removal of these bodies, hiding the enormous death toll from the rest of the outside world. This was called "The Death Tunnel".

The above opening salvo from Death Tunnel and the stories doing the rounds about spooky stuff happening during filming, are significantly better than the actual film. All things are in place for a rollicking haunted building movie, a genuinely creepy location with a bleak history (The Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky), a young and pretty cast lining up to be terrified and continuing stories of real hauntings in the vicinity. What transpires, sadly, is a desperately derivative picture made worse by a group of film makers who on this occasion are out of their depth.

The writing doesn't give the characters any depth to begin with, and then they are thrust into the horrors of the sanatorium and we are supposed to invest in them. Tension is in short supply as the same old same old routine of the girls walking around scared quickly gets dull. The editing and intrusive camera work shows a rookie director (Philip Adrian Booth) let loose unsupervised, making his film seem more like an over extended rock video by some Death Metal band. There's no pausing for breath, something which makes the haphazard structure of the plotting even more baffling. While of course screeching levels of volume are over used throughout as Booth and company crib from a number of other - and better - horror movies.

IMDb ratings are rarely a true measure of quality for films, especially with a diverse genre such as horror, yet Death Tunnel's rating of 2.7/10 is very very appropriate. The brains trust behind this movie could have done no worse than learning from Brad Anderson's superb Session 9. Philip Booth and his brother Chris clearly love horror, but their subsequent genre films will need restraint and thought in equal measure. 2/10


Rabid [1977] [DVD]
Rabid [1977] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marilyn Chambers
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £9.20

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hydrophobic Induced Phallic Destroyer., 16 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Rabid [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
Rabid is written and directed by David Cronenberg and it stars Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore and Joe Silver. Cinematography is by Rene Verzier and music by Ivan Reitman.

When Rose (Chambers) is involved in a horror motorcycle accident, she undertakes experimental surgery in order to save her life. However, she develops a taste for blood and has grown a deadly orifice under her armpit. As the victims stack up and Rose grows ever more insane, the city is put on red alert.

David Cronenberg’s second full-length film continues the themes found in his smart debut Shivers from the previous year. Body horror and disease come to the fore but Cronenberg expands it out from the confines of one building, into a whole city! Once again operating with a small budget with great results, the director fills out the narrative with sweaty virus panic, intelligent barbs, addiction concerns and visceral nastiness, with the phallic destroyer under Rose’s arm a frighteningly bonkers creation. True to the director’s career peccadilloes, sex and violence also come under the microscope, while his camera work shows an inventiveness that off-sets the poor effects work. The city is suitably painted as dowdy so as to run concurrent with the diseased narrative, and porn star Chambers gives a very effective performance while others are merely adequate.

A simple story and periods of sag and drag stop it being top of the line Cronenberg, but there’s a raw energy to Rabid that is most striking. Watching it now as it heads towards being four decades old, it signals with intent a career being born of a most skilled auteur. 7/10
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2014 5:48 PM GMT


The Devil's Daughter [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
The Devil's Daughter [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Jonathan Frid

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Nick really gets around you know!, 14 Oct. 2014
Little known and under seen, this is an efficient "Devil's Spawn" movie that admittedly features stars working for food. Shelley Winters, Joseph Cotten and Diane Ladd head the cast list as a young woman comes to realise that her guardians are devil worshipping nutters!

It's all a bit "Rosemary's Baby" lite, but there's a splendid array of off-kilter characters and bizarro abodes. Director Jeannot Szwarc (Jaws 2) is clever enough to use canted angles to enhance the trippy black arts undercurrents, while Winters is having a grand old time of it. The big telegraph pole pointing the way to the finale is hard to miss, but surprisingly the denouement still packs a worthwhile punch.

You would be very angry if you based your Halloween night around this viewing, but as TV Satan Worship movies go, it's not half bad. 6/10


The Brain [VHS]
The Brain [VHS]
VHS

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Instrument of Terror!, 14 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Brain [VHS] (VHS Tape)
An adaptation of film noir legend Curt Siodmak's novel, Donovan's Brain, The Brain offers up a murder mystery narrative to go with the mad science angle. It's not particularly thrilling but it does tick along nicely and director Freddie Francis has a keen eye for scene staging. Cast features Peter Van Eyck, Anne Heywood, Cecil Parker and Bernard Lee, and they all do what is required to make the material work. Stand out moments involve some delightfully monstrous paintings, a lie detector scene and all the sequences where Van Eyck is possessed by the brain of the powerful industrialist who was murdered by person or persons unknown. Good and safe "B" schlocky fare for the so inclined. 6/10


Mother's Day [DVD]
Mother's Day [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rebecca De Mornay
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £5.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm proud of my boys, they never forget their momma., 13 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Mother's Day [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent remake of Troma's schlocky 80s original. Story has three criminal brothers on the run from a bank robbery gone wrong and they plan to hide out in their childhood home. Unfortunately it's not their home anymore, so they take the couple living there and their party guests hostage and violence becomes the order of the day; especially with the arrival of the boys' psychotic mother...

It's bloody and bloody intense as director Darren Lynn Bousman updates the original to modern times. Featuring torture and humiliation, it's not what you would call a comfortable date movie experience, but the makers manage to blend the trashy exploitation of the source with today's terrifying home invasion themes with considerable success. The narrative is not perfect, with leaps of faith required for some twists and credulity is stretched to breaking point, but with Rebecca De Mornay on fire as the mad matriarch, the flaws are easily forgiven. 8/10


Vampires [DVD] [1999]
Vampires [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ James Woods
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £4.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I killed my own father, padre. I got no trouble killing you., 13 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Vampires [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Not half as bad as some reviews in 1998 made it out to be, Vampires is worth taking a peek at these days. Without the heavy weight of expectation for a return to form for John Carpenter, it proves to be a schlocky and bloody good time.

James Woods stars as a Vatican backed vampire slayer, something he does with considerable relish. But now he is up against an uber vampire in Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), a leader with powers unbound. Daniel Baldwin and Sheryl Lee are along for the gore laden ride.

Woods is cool, with a quip on the tongue and a deadly weapon to hand, his by-play with Tim Guinee's priest provides much of the film's humour. The photography, choreography, editing and tension building are all high in quality, and while the story is weak and there's a whiff of misogyny in the mix, for a horror popcorner there's a good time to be had here. 7/10


Boo [DVD]
Boo [DVD]
Dvd ~ Trish Coren
Offered by SweetBuzzards
Price: £5.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sounds like Boo..., 12 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Boo [DVD] (DVD)
Bunch of pretty teens convene at an old abandoned mental hospital for Halloween. Things go awry.

Written and directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, Boo is either a loving homage to all things involving "haunted house" cinema? Or one of the laziest horror movies made in 2005?

Everything but the kitchen sink is thrown at the audience for this one, with the sound mix turned up to the max for, erm, max impact. The fear of this, the fear of that, what's real? What's not? And let there be blood! There will be blood!

Acting is ordinary, as is the writing, but scene setting and location filming is not half bad. In a nutshell, it's a horror film that you show to your pre-teen family members to prep them for far better horror pleasures in their up coming adult life. 4/10


The Lost Souls
The Lost Souls
VHS

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Grief., 10 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Lost Souls (VHS Tape)
Nutshell.

Patrick Bergin plays a bereaved father racked by guilt who begins to see spooky things. He seeks the help of Vanessa Redgrave's medium and the meditation of grief and the will indeed will out!

Bergin is so much better than this, why he never graduated to the bigger league is probably explained in a film like this. Where he literally is reduced to smell the fart acting, half heartedly hitting walls when his wife chastise's him for carrying such burdens on his shoulders. Redgrave literally is going through the motions, probably prompted by somebody off screen waving the cheque she is earning for this nonsense.

It looks like it was filmed 20 years earlier, but not in a good way, it's devoid of scares, suspense or even intelligence (no the Lost Soul angle doesn't compensate for anything), while the dialogue is as cheese laden as the misty lenses director John Korty thinks passes for atmosphere. UGH! 2/10


The Flesh And Blood Show [1972] [DVD]
The Flesh And Blood Show [1972] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jenny Hanley
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boobs, Butts and Blood - All Suffering Pier Pressure!, 10 Oct. 2014
Pete Walker brings us a proto-slasher that's now as cornball as can be. Is it worthy of respect in the pantheon of horror? Yes, maybe.

This is a coastal town that they forgot to close down.

A group of actors and actresses have mysteriously been lured to an end of pier theatre to star in a play. Pretty soon they start being bumped off one by one.

So it be! There's plenty of nudity, actors siting around musing on the "biz" and its perils, while the matter of fact attitude to the disappearances is almost as ludicrous as someone opening the door in the middle of the night stark naked...

It's good fun in truth, especially for British film fans like me to see the likes of Robin Askwith and Jenny Hanley in this. The run down theatre setting is a good one, while the play they are rehearsing makes no sense and is quite surreal! 5/10


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20