5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The good, the bad and the even worse,
This review is from: The Norman Warren Collection [DVD] (DVD)
A distinctly average collection of films in my opinion. The first film 'Satan's Slave' and the best by a country mile in this box-set is good in its own right and worth consideration as a stand alone purchase. A young woman who experiences a traumatic event in which her parents are killed is taken in by her Uncle in a story of satanism, brutal slayings, betrayal and intrigue! It does feature probably the worst executed stabbing I've ever seen, within the opening couple of minutes, the standard improves after this but why such a staggeringly bad portrayal made it into the final cut is mistifying. Satan's Slave is otherwise quite effective, creepy and a good example of a 70's British 'exploitation' horror film.
It is unfortunately all down hill from here. Prey is about an alien who comes to earth and shacks up with a couple of lesbians in the countryside until he sussess us out. For me there were too many implausable set pieces allied with poor special effects and questionable acting. The chap who is the alien is like an automoton, no personality, unnatural behaviour and responses but the two women despite their widely viewed apprehensions regarding this stranger have little hesitation in initially inviting him back for tea, then to stay the night and then to just seemingly live there. They talk continuously in private about how weird he is whilst all he does is stand staring menancingly in silence at their budgie in its cage but don't ever stop to ponder why a complete stranger and a bizarre one at that, is now inexplicably a housemate of theirs. On occasion the alien transforms when he gets the urge but just looks a bit daft as he has a kind of a rubber pigs snout and pointy teeth. He also reports back regularly to his spaceship in a 'Mork from Ork' way. The women are too 'shrieky' for me and don't be seduced by the 'beautiful lesbians' tag, they are not. It has a nice sinister ending though.
Inseminoid is next. Filmed at Chiselhurst caves doubling for an alien landscape, not altogether unsuccessfully. Judy Geeson is the space crew member who has been inseminated by a bug eyed piece of rubber with a 2 metre perspex appendage. She spends the rest of the film either crying or attacking the other crew members whose strategies for survival revolve around them splitting up and individually leaving the safety of the control room at the vaguest whim. I don't like the kind of films that are so-called 'so bad they're good' but there are a couple of laugh out loud slapstick bits. No stunt people were used so the actors are doing all their own fight scenes etc. Judy trying to pretend she is banging someones head off the sink in that really 'slow right down when the head is 3 inches away and then stop hoping it'll look ok if the camera angle is right' way and the comical armpit body slam the last male gives Judy in a marvellous piece of improv, aware that he is attacking a vicious alien on film but a small blonde girl in real life. I watched the interview on disc with Judy Geeson after, she never watched Inseminoid after making it and hardly referred to it in the interview. She was mortified to learn she was naked in it and was adament it wasn't her as she wouldn't have agreed to that. She has clearly erased Inseminoid from her memory and put it down to an embarrassing mistake and who can blame her.
Lastly 'Terror' which is a witch's curse poor effort. I hate films where characters act indifferently to extraordinary events such as in 'Terror' when the lead character witnesses someone being killed on a film set (due to sabotage) the directors way of conveying to the audience that he might be the killer - look at how indifferent he acts to these shocking events. Lazy and contrived. There are some more scenes of poorly presented stabbings in this and little else.
There is a whole disc of extras including 'making of...' documentaries of all these films. I haven't watched them as I just didn't rate most of the films. This box-set is only for real fans of NJW and is incomparable to Pete Walkers films which make these efforts look crass and amateurish in comparison.