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Hooligans At War - North Vs South [DVD]
Hooligans At War - North Vs South [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ross Boatman
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.73

2.0 out of 5 stars Wow, we're scrapping the barrel 'ere son, ain't we?, 31 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Shot on your Dad's Sony and featuring a cast of hundreds (all with their own lines), the film that has given birth to the term 'Hooligangster' is as cheap as they come. Comparing it's expense to dirt would offend some rich Kentish soil, so I'll avoid. But dammit, is it not a goer? Really the Lock, Stock wannabe, taking a descent stab at having a personality with some kind of success, i think.

Hooligan's at War is the low end of the British independent commercial scene to be sure, clinging on to those gangland classics like the distant relative of a celebrity's partner whilst ignoring basic aesthetic etiquette. Seriously, the look of the film is awful. Filter's look like iMovie and the camera could not have cost more than a hundred, to own! If it did mate, your cinematographer shafted you a right nasty with 'is soft focus crapovision. Bad, bad stuff.

But, saying all that, it does give it an atmosphere, not a gritty one, an underground one if i'm feeling like a pretentious cancer, but for now i'll say home movie. But obviously the director did not take advantage and went with the locked down, stylised approach for the most part which just does not work with low-fi filmmaking. You need either film or six-seven figures to pass that off. But enough film school nonsense.

Shoddy camerawork (minus that cracking ruck mid-way) can be forgiven in part if the story is focused, which it's not here. What sinks Hooligan's at War most of all is it's overabundance of 'quirky' usual suspects badly complimented by the overly busy voice narration. Bit parts are given notification for no descent reason. It's not smart, it's not attitude, it's padding, and these clowns still could not fit 90 minutes with it.

The narrative between two friends/brothers/no name mugs is kinda engaging. The Bosnia flashbacks intercut are well executed and do succeed in giving the film scope (Even if they were obviously shot in a Bromley backwoods). The best scene of the film by far is the captured Bosnian soldier pleading for his life to the two brothers. It's dramatically dense, the monologue is well delivered, and most importantly, it serves to give a layer of humanity to the brothers that has been uncommon thus far in this contemporary wave of Asda shelve, low budget DV Britsploitation. Gives me hope for the arena, which is why i'm not giving this film one star, which overall it does deserve.

It's an unabashed amateur effort, with poor location and zero attempts at set design in the interiors (Side note: What was with the WCW Nitro memorabilia on that bedside cabinet and the Rey Rey mask during the heist? Someone's a collector ;-).). The story might hit some high notes, but with the technical and production values slumming (And i mean it seemed like throughout it was like "gotta shoot in two hours bah. Get the crew, i'll get a street corner and for chis sake, don't point at the kids school numpty, we'll get done! Ah, ha, ha, ha"), it is deserving of it's considerably low scores here and on da IMDB, or not. It had silicone lezing + skanky video quality = me very happy!

In conclusion, hooligans at war has one of the best DVD covers to ever grace one of these tax rebates, but its mind numbingly misanthropic and potentially misogynistic (Chantelle!?), although has shades of eccentricity (Crispy Pancakes?!) that save it from being a Full English Breakfast (20and i can't be f****d to remember). Sub-enthusiastically avoid!

Essex Boys Retribution [DVD]
Essex Boys Retribution [DVD]
Dvd ~ Billy Murray
Price: £5.30

2.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Less Angry About This Than I Am, 29 July 2016
This review is from: Essex Boys Retribution [DVD] (DVD)
The second in what is now a trilogy of a third retelling (Cus ow, ar, us farmhands like a bit of Essex glamour, bah) of a gang hit eighteen years ago from the date of Retribution's production and i'm bored already. Why the hell was this made!

Nonetheless, that comparatively prolific production company Press on Features did it again. Another TV movie masquerading as a feature existing only for that sweet, sweet tax break son.

The best thing about this by the numbers Essexploitation is the plot, which is the closest any of Press On's output has gotten to psychotronic. I thought when i first saw the, yeah, decent cover on my local Asda shelf that no, seriously? A sequel for a film that based (and prided) itself explicitly on a true story, no false names or nah'ing? Yes son, they even have in this one of the convicted for the murder played AGAIN by Billy Murray (Rise of the Footsoldier AND Fall of the Essex Boys, playing same REAL guy) and he's the narrative spine!

What were they playing at? A plea for parole? An awkward fix to get just that bit more of Murray's Kray inheritance pumped into this vanilla? I'm not going into more detail about this character's role because I'm not risking the ire of the keyboard warriors of the frapo table for something as non-existent as this... this. But in safely short, Murray's character's role in this is the most WTF element of the whole film and is the only thing worth seeing it for, unambiguously exploiting real life murder and turning it into some kind of brand recognition nonsense. Christ, only in South-East. At least up north with efforts such as crime/found footage joint Diary of a Bad Lad (2010), they have had the common courtesy of creating a fictional story with fictional characters and left the oh so "USP" realism at just the aesthetics. Not down 'ere, we want bloody autopsy photos.

So what's the point me harking on about the morally dubious story? Well because everything else is just a TV pilot with swears and a bit of the ol' ultra violence. Was there nudity in this? I can't be asked to remember, i honestly can't. But if there wasn't, another star down.

What really gets me about this arena of filmmaking is when these clowns get the idea that audience satisfaction is not the end all goal. Sure, ambition, go for it. But it's no social taboo why these films have any rightful claim to popularity at all. It's the violence, it's the nudity, it's the drugs. With hooligan films, maybe add a sprinkling of hawkishness and machismo to the mix, but still, DELIVER! Deliver us from reality! All reality! Not just drop us off at that ruff pate a tane and have us wait around for last orders!

Concerning the film's content, there are a gang of four who just look liked they graduated from J Wills U, oh and one of them, or all of them, are computer genius', and of course all this is somehow linked to the Rettendon murders (You remember, the real murders that has inspired this dead on arrival sub-genre). There are some cops who want to take em 'dain, cat and mouse, there's a decently improvised and edited interrogation scene, some torture, some killing, oh my, blink and you miss it, ah and that's it i think. Crap.

Gentlemen filmmakers wanting to make such efforts (and ladies, but who am i kidding), the scenes of carnage and whoopi (according to Amazon guidelines) are all. Build your story around them, cause these UK armchair critics might scoff at these efforts, but when they say "expected descent drama/acting/direction" (please loveys, you fooling no one), but are actually saying is "no blood, no nudity, no service". CARNAGE PLEASE! WHERE'S MY VIOLENT PRAGMATISM? Might as well watch mock the bloody week! Got more of a chance seeing nudity and dramatic tension there then you do in A Paul Tanter Film.

Fair dos to Tanter and all involved, as much a want to one star such a redundant and passion impoverished film, i can't comrades. Socialism is dead. Stop pretending you're a wizard and get back to work! Brexit ain't gonna work by it's... well it ain't gonna work, but u still look blady stupid in ya sandals. Why daunt u wear sneakers and beat your children like a real man an all dat. Where was i?

Retribution is not a bad film, but just a very unremarkable one. Moment's of cinema sleepwalk in and out as the great British gangster film wanders the care home hallways like as in most contemporary efforts. A good delivery here, a piffy line there, some good shots even, minus the stock that wasn't shipped over from the first film. But none of it's enough to save this film from just being no more original than the seven hundred entries into it's genre before it and technically being no more dynamic than a TV pilot. All this with the consideration of the agro a independent feature production brings and you have grim faces all around.

Cheap nothingness.

Killer Bitch [DVD]
Killer Bitch [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alex Reid
Offered by NP Entertainment
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Black Comedy Crime Insanity. MOST SINCERE EXPLOITATION! LOUD!! I AM LOUD!!! LOUD!!!! LOUD!!!!! LOUD!!!!!!, 29 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Killer Bitch [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen near enough every micro budget Brit crime film going within the past twenty years, i found Killer Bitch (or Killer Babe for its original title) to be the most entertaining, bar none. Most of them were insincere. faux-Hollywood Shi'ite in my honest opinion and Killer Bitch threw me back with its rawness and don't give a damn attitude.

It made me believe again that there was still fun to be had in the commercial British film. I sincerely wish more British filmmakers would take inspiration and stop waiting around for a seven figure budget and get off their seats and just make something or tell a story for the pure love of it.

Liam Galvin's unpretentious exploitation debut has is faults, definitely. There is no getting around facts such as the story being just a straight jacket to hold the insanity in, that no one starring is a 'professional' actor, impoverished production values and that is was shot on cheap camera equipment.

But anyone familiar with the film industry will understand that more money means less freedom. This is because it is run by gentrified carnies, fear of every medium not film, and fallible means of measuring revenue and audience approval.

Compare Killer Bitch to something like The Hooligan Wars, a lesser known film by the White Collar Hooligan guys. Better camera equipment, actors, yet boring as all hell. This was because it had to stay within genre, within a formula, to secure the amount of revenue desired by the filmmakers. I wouldn't put it pass the guys at Press on Features that their output exists more to fatten the portfolio of those involved than to be anything considered entertainment.

Killer Bitch has none of these problems. It is a film that was manufactured to be an after pub crawl screening. Other efforts attributed to this kind of lad audience have more on their mind, attempting to have a message or ponder or some other don't care at all, then balls it up because they get split personality disorder and can't decide whether to be genre or drama, and there IS a difference people.

Killer Bitch is straight genre. Exploitation. Unlike such hipster wastes of space like Zombie Hunter or Hell Ride, this film is the real deal. Genuinely offensive and somewhat misguided in places, however also intentionally funny in others and cut together with a machine gun pace, there is no reason other than prudishness that can explain why someone would be 'bored' by this film or find it a waste of people's time. It does the job it was conceived to do; coo the inebriated.

Killer Bitch is not a film for everyone. But it is film that knows what it is and displays so much personality, on and off screen that it stands out as an oasis in an otherwise dry and baron wasteland of write off tax revenue tarted up as film productions. Blame that war criminal (you know the one) for the craptitude of the UK film industry as well as the shysters that operate within it; not blue moon bursts of eccentricity such as this film.

Absurd, hilarious, outrageous, explicit and inept, both intentionally and un, if such productions like Killer Bitch are the future of British independent commercial film, i, for one, will not be complaining.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2016 5:29 PM BST

Full English Breakfast [DVD]
Full English Breakfast [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dave Courtney
Offered by Home Entertainment Online
Price: £6.82

2.0 out of 5 stars In the word's of Kermode, I can't believe the will and money to make this film existed, 16 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Full English Breakfast [DVD] (DVD)
This exemplifies the black hole of the British psyche, where one collides arrogance and self-debasement and transforms into the equivalent of a tortoise whose learnt to enjoy the smell of it's own farts. Lad's and Ladettes, i present to you the average Daily Mail reader as a film.

This is as flat and insipid as geezer cinema gets. This 18 cert makes a mockery of the BBFC. Full English Breakfast will try the patience of even the most hardcore of true crime fans. It's a cheap, passionless entertainment vacuum of a film that can serve only as ammunition for Dyer sympathisers. Flat direction, cheap locations and some of the worst sound design i've ever encountered. It's a Hackney'ed humdrum descent into the lions den that makes me consider that Dave Courtney might actually have had more to offer than what's been demanded of him here. A bunch of TV stalwarts trying to be filmmakers is what makes up most of the landscape of the British Commercial film scene and Full English typifies why this is a very bad thing, but also why it doesn't have to be this way. The film's cinematography is impressive and i totally believe that the editor/D.O.P was a comic artist as was enthusiastically pointed out in the complementary making of. I also thought the flashback sequences were executed well and inserted with care into the narrative.

It's not that the people who make these film's are not good filmmakers. It's just that there is a severe lack of ambition surrounding the whole arena of Independent Commercial British cinema. There's no money you say. Well find some! Ever heard of pre-sales? Countries that are not the UK that might want part of the scene? I'm sick of the punters who complain that these film's try to appeal too much to the Americans. Do you really prefer what we had before, which was nothing? Not a shining defence, but it's the truth.

The DV filmmaking option has only been widely available for a decade and still has quite the way to go. It's early days, but these films can be done in an interesting way.

Full English ain't interesting, in the slightest, but it shows that literally anybody can now make a film and with roughly 25 million in this country, there are some out there that can do it. I just hope that they realise that and give us something more to write about than just abuse.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2016 7:47 PM GMT

Blastfighter [Blu-ray]
Blastfighter [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Michael Sopkiw
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Blasting good time!, 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blastfighter [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Lamberto Bava's best film? Well so far from what i've seen of him, i'd say yes. Earnest actionsploitation with a great setting, an engaging story and all those other things you want from the Italians. One of those few action films that actually lives up to it's promo art.

Reckoning Day [DVD] [2002]
Reckoning Day [DVD] [2002]
Dvd ~ Julian Gilbey
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive for the budget, really impressive, but narrative is like bye bye., 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Reckoning Day [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I don't want to (big boy word) endlessly from a great height on what is pretty much a padded out student film, so i'll make this short. A hardcore gore/gunsploitation effort with an impressive and/or disturbing amount of polish put towards it. Feels more like one of those 80's-90's S.O.V types (despite being shot mostly on 16mm), only slightly slicker. Having said that, think of it as a more obnoxious and headache inducing Deadly Prey and you won't walk away too angrily.

Sin [DVD]
Sin [DVD]
Dvd ~ Reggie Bannister
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Farce people. FARCE!, 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sin [DVD] (DVD)
This ain't straight genre! It's tromaesque punk humour and of the average-good kind this time in my opinion. Damn you Metrodome and your TDA baiting artwork. You'll go the way of Revolver.

Anyway, long story short; Four Star killer guise, Four Star gore, Three Star acting, Two Star cinematography and One Star cameo by you'll predict it ten minutes in.

Cheap, but cheerful. Just like me :-)

Corruption [Blu-ray] [Region Free] [US Import]
Corruption [Blu-ray] [Region Free] [US Import]

4.0 out of 5 stars Crusher!, 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Peter Cushing, down, dirty and still respectable somehow. A manic anti-swinging 60's exploitation piece by the underrated Robert-Hartford Davis and British smut extraordinaire Derek Ford (and bro in tow). The insanity of the narrative here is awe inspiring. I wish more British genre pieces were as balls to the wall as this.

Extras? Well it's Grindhouse Releasing. Anything short of platinum casing for their time capsule re-releases would be sacrilege by this point.

Check it out now!

Education Anglaise [1982] [DVD]
Education Anglaise [1982] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Brigitte Lahaie
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Well, at least there's the lingerie, 14 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lightly philosophical S&M softcore that starts out good then meanders throughout most of the running time, punctuated though with it's fair share of effectively erotic set ups. The main problem for me was a lack of conflict in the narrative. Characterisation is constant for the key players, but there's no drive. An attempted suicide is thrown in at the 6/8 mark to keep things interesting, but apart from select moments like that it's just a lot of lacklustre fondling and wannabe risque.

Disappointing, but watchable

Nail Gun Massacre [Blu-ray]
Nail Gun Massacre [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Rocky Patterson
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Impossible Blu-Ray Release, 3 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
88 films here again competing against Arrow with releases catered to the more weathered cine-reject enthusiast. Well they have my money and after what came through my post two days ago, i see my craving for HD trash leaving a burning hole in my pocket for many a moon to come. Hot on the heels of my pre-order of the Italo action classic Blastfighter comes, the godforsaken by many a cinema snob, Nail Gun Massacre. And yes, I owe Brad Jones all the knowledge i knew of this film before investigating this release. Now coming out the other end, it's good to sum it up as better remembered than experienced.

The experience played like an Andy Milligan film, only that it was directed by a normal person. Meaning it is clear that budget and time restrictions and not severe neuroses led to such impoverished production values here. The late writer/director/producer/stuntman/SFX artist/used car salesman Terry Lofton (A parallel universe's Tobe Hooper) was evidently a giver rather than a taker if his solo effort is anything to go by. An evident love of movies, especially the genre he's operating in, flourishes in Nail Gun Massacre, like sunflowers in a drought. Because amidst the awful, awful, awful, awful pacing, the haphazard audio, the baffled acting, and the nothingness that is the death scenes (In a slasher!), there are specs of competence, of which gave me the go ahead to even try and defend what is very much a deserved contender for worst horror movie ever to receive an international release. I say it this way because comparisons with non entities such as Black Devil Doll From Hell, Las Vegas Bloodbath and Axe Em would be just plain childish.

There is enjoyment to be had from Nail Gun Massacre. What Siskel & Ebert thought slasher movies were, this was their worst nightmare manifest, kinda. Whole scenes exist only to show good ol apple pie sex and nudity whilst the narrative remains threadbare. Just a lot of killing and a lot of head scratching from authorities about why the killing is happening. Exposition and Piercings, in just two words i have explained this film. There is not a more unpretentious entry in the entire slasher genre, which was already at the time of release of Lofton's opus one the most unpretentious cannons in genre scholarship.

Thank Christ! If only all torture films were such magnificent (unaided) technical failures such as this. Who knows, i might actually give a crap about horror post 1995. The complete absence of resources found in Nail Gun Massacre leaves only on screen the distilled determination of all involved to get through whilst the production crumbles around them. It's a film about Humanity as much as it is about grinded down (and not rubber) nail stubs glued onto a face. And if a humane horror film is not for you, then so be it. I'm happy how my £8.99 was spent.

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