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Arch Stanton (Cornwall, England.)

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Let Us Prey [DVD]
Let Us Prey [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liam Cunningham
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Judge Dread, 2 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Let Us Prey [DVD] (DVD)
A newly transferred, female police officer is about to have a rather interesting first night, after a mysterious stranger with some uncanny abilities is picked up and held for questioning. Soon he begins to reveal the skeletons in everyone's closets, through some sort of 'Derren Brownery', and as a result they all begin to die horribly, as supernatural forces of retribution take control of the station and it's occupants...
Is he really an angel of vengeance come to claim the souls of the wicked? And if so, who's gonna clear up all the mess..?

Sort of like a cross between Prophecy and Assault on Precinct 13, though that doesn't ring quite true now that I've said it; with plenty of action, lot's of dark humour and some nice extreme violence.
Liam Cunningham plays the avenging angel, come to claim the souls of the wicked. Pollyanna McIntosh, playing the new officer. Both looking very much the part in their given roles. Sure the plot could have a few holes in it along the way, dependent on your interpretation, and it's mostly silly nonsense, but I liked it.
It was a little different, with good energy levels and passed the time nicely.

The UK disc is bare bones, which is a shame because I fancied watching the 'making of', after seeing it, in order to gain a little insight.

4.25/5


Hyenas
Hyenas
by Joe R. Lansdale
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Giant Smoke Stacks, 28 April 2016
This review is from: Hyenas (Hardcover)
Hap and Leonard are two best friends who live in Texas. Hap is white, Leonard is black. Hap is straight, Leonard is gay. Hap was a conscientious objector during Vietnam, Leonard went to war and killed people. Oddly, Leonard is a conservative Republican, Hap is not. Both have zero ambition in the real world but sometimes make decent money as a pair of freelance badasses and private investigators, who generally take up the causes of those not strong enough to fight for themselves and beat to a pulp those who prey on them. Both are a pair of insufferable wise-asses and full time trouble-causers...

After Leonard badly beats up three men in a bar who foolishly start a fight with him, both he and Hap are then approached by one of the men for a job.
Apparently the man in question was about to hire the other two as hired muscle, until that was Leonard battered the living daylights out of them. Turns out that Kelly (the man needing the hired muscle), is concerned for his younger brother, Donny, who has fallen in with a crowd of armed robbers and potential murderers, led by a vicious man mountain of a gorilla known as 'Smoke Stack', and all he wants Hap and Leonard to do is warn them off, friendly like.
Hmm, maybe not so simple.. But with the job in question offering a tasty price - $20,000.00 - it's maybe not so simple to it turn down either...

Decent novella in the Hap and Leonard series. Some very funny dialogue and one or two juicy moments of violence. I particularly liked the hand-to-hand combat in this one.
Some moralistic moments kind of get up your nose a bit, but they're brief, so don't get in the way of the action too much.
Not as good as a full novel with these two, obviously, but still highly entertaining for what it is.

4.75/5


Games Girls Play [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Games Girls Play [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £10.37

4.0 out of 5 stars Girls on top, 22 April 2016
An American ambassador gets shipped out of office after his extremely promiscuous daughter, Bunny, poses a home security threat in the United States, when it is discovered that she has been sleeping her way through the entire top brass of the armed forces.
So the ambassador's family are posted to London in the hope that the incidents will pass and that Bunny wont be able to cause any more trouble, or at least if she does it wont be on her own doorstep! Her fed up father deciding enough is enough, packing her off to a proper English finishing school for young ladies.
Unfortunately though, Bunny's hormonal activities aren't that easily circumscribed and it is not long before her bad behaviour is rubbing off on the other girls around her!

...And so Bunny sets her three friends at the finishing school (and herself) a challenge: With dignitaries coming from all over the world to London for peace negotiations it's time for rich pickings, and the first one to bed their 'chosen' high ranking diplomat with photographic evidence wins, and so, without further a do the game is a foot and the girls set out to bed their chosen 'victim'...

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, sure it's rubbish, very politically incorrect, preposterous and packed with casual racism and dubious 1970s cultural stereotypes.. But that's where all the fun lies isn't it? Plus it's got a certain 'girls on top' zeal about it and energy, that although probably once risque, now appears to be almost sinless by comparison to what some girls get up to these days (so I've heard!).
Directed by Jack 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' Arnold and starring the odd face like, Ric Young and Ed 'UFO' Bishop (not to mention Christina Hart doing a fine job in the lead as Bunny!!), it's got a strange Americanised quality about it that you don't normally get with these British 'sex comedies', where we get all the usual London tourist sights and cliches (red double deckers, Nelson's column, Big Ben etc), mandatory for any self respecting Anglo-American picture of the era, coupled with a story that plays out like Roald Dahl's 'My Uncle Oswald' meets 'The Wildcats of St Trinians'.

Highlights include a T-Rex sounding opening theme, underwater naked swimming, topless ping pong, a jazzy lounge-act score, an evil Chinese plot to rule the world, and a massive sign at the beginning of the movie declaring 'Rothman's Welcomes You To London.'
And you gotta admit, you just don't get product placement like that nowadays!

Ultimately it's playful, escapist trash with somewhat questionable shenanigans (like a teenage girl being offered £30 to get it on with a 'bull dyke', in order to create a diversion!!), but at heart it's just air-headed fun.

The Region 1 dvd is a decent enough print.

3.5/5 for what it is.


Spawn of the Slime Beast: Volume 2 (Slime Beast Series)
Spawn of the Slime Beast: Volume 2 (Slime Beast Series)
by Guy N Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Trail of the Lonesome Slime, 22 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
40 years after he killed the tabloid nicknamed 'Slime Beast', by flame-thrower; Gavin Royle has since returned to The Wash with his now wife, Liz (girlfriend from the first book), his adult daughter Amy and her geeky boyfriend.
Reluctantly he is persuaded back there for a family holiday, in spite of the terrible memories he has of the place and the carnage that ensued when the monster decided to shamble forth from it's burrow in the mudflats, and begin to gorge itself on the fresh organs of just about anyone unfortunate enough to get in it's way!
Professor Lowson couldn't contain it and the army couldn't kill it, and it caused complete mayhem until Gavin got lucky with the aforementioned flame-thrower.
However like I said that was almost forty years ago, so what's there for Gavin to be concerned about now?...

Superb follow up to Guy N Smith's 1975, ooze dribbling opus.
This new one is very pulp in both length and style (111 pages), and fans of Guy's other work are sure to be impressed with this new one.
The characters are well drawn (I found the dialogue really well written!) and the monster itself wastes no time in decimating the human cannon fodder, written into the story purely for reasons of upping the body count and pleasing the fans.
Scoffing it's way through the locals, farmers and hunters - Guy clearly in his element here, writing about his hobby - until the climax wherein it comes up against an armed SWAT unit!!
Which as fans will know are stuffed, because bullets have no effect on the creature..!

Those of you that have read the original, will know what to expect (basically it's like a bloodthirsty, X-rated episode of Dr Who, from the Tom Baker era!!) and like me, you probably so wish it had been made into a movie back in 1975! How good would that have been?! But hey-ho, never mind, because that never happened and at least we eventually got it's 'spawn' 40 years later.
Great fun, had me laughing out loud in places (which was a bit embarrassing because I was in public at the time), with loads of goreshed.

I for one hope that GNS keeps writing pulp novels (another in the 'Werewolf' or 'Sabat' series would be brilliant!!?)

5/5


Crime Commandoes
Crime Commandoes
by Peter Cave
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Furry Jelly, 13 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crime Commandoes (Paperback)
After he is suspended from the police force for being too heavy handed with a nasty sex murderer, Detective Inspector Paul Crane is handed a single chance at redemption... Give up what's left of his old life (a broken marriage and a now broken career) and become part of an elite team of four men (and one dog) known as the Crime Commandos. A secret government unit made up of individuals that have been kicked out of their chosen field of expertise for violent misconduct.. Wherein they become a paramilitary vigilante task force, that are answerable to a single ministry of defence chief, whose aim it is to smash terrorist plots and any other anti-British pursuits.

In this one, the unit are formed and they come up against a terrorist group known as Apocalypse, who start off by indiscriminately blowing people to bits in pubs with bombs and then move on to kidnapping prominent figures and eventually try to nerve gas the whole of Plymouth!!

I rather enjoyed this.
It's clear that this was intended as a series that never actually took off, which is a shame, because it's plenty of fun.
Yes, the whole concept is a little far-fetched, and it's rather dated, but if you like 1970s men's adventure and can get over some rather politically incorrect happenings, turns of phrase and a smattering of casual racism, then you're sure to have a good time. Especially if you are a fan of things like The Sweeney, The Professionals and the movie Who Dares Wins. In fact if you took Jack Regan, partnered him up with Bodie/Skellen and pitted them against the Baader-Meinhof Gang you would be right on the button.
Plenty of action, some good violence and plenty of chase sequences. Okay it's hardly high art but it's good fun and at 173pages you'll have it done in a few hours. Shame it was never a TV series or film. If it had of been it'd of gone straight to the top of my to watch pile. Plus the cover's great!

I'd personally never heard of this, until relatively recently. I came across it by mistake whilst hunting for other books by the author, who of course wrote The New Avengers novelizations and some classic Hell's Angel and other early 70s, counter-culture literature published by N.E.L.
Those who have read some of Cave's other novels may be interested to know that he refrains from putting any hang-gliding into this one, choosing instead to opt for hot air ballooning!!

4/5


I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight [DVD]
I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight [DVD]
Dvd ~ Barry Andrews

4.0 out of 5 stars A big zapper, 10 April 2016
Poor old Jon Pigeon is a science nerd who works in a rather saucy sex clinic, as a low level janitor.
He spends his nights looking at girly mags (and I'm not talking Bunty here!) and dreams one day of finally getting his end away with his horrid boss's secretary, played by Sally Faulkner, but unfortunately his wing man helping him get a bit of how's your father in all of this mess is a bloke even worse around the ladies than he is..
So he invents a sonic sex ray in his janitor's cupboard, with a view to stunning Sally Faulkner with it, in an attempt to fulfil his dream.. But this just leads to further problems, as the clinic he works at get wind of the newfangled sex ray and attempt to steal his idea.
To further add to Pigeon's problems, passers by keep getting accidentally zapped and so orgies of naughtiness keep popping up (and out!) everywhere...

In fairness this sounds much better than it probably is, don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed it but in fairness it is rather rubbish; an acquired taste maybe.
Anyway, Barry Andrews plays our hapless hero, with James Booth as his randy, obnoxious twit of a boss. With his mental sidekick, played by Billy Hamon, who's probably the funniest thing in the film, especially the rather politically incorrect scene involving a phone call to his mother.
And although the film is as thick as two short planks and completely inoffensive, one may want to consider that this has a rather sexist, almost uncomfortable vibe to it at times, in which women are constantly man-handled, bullied, groped and objectified by the domineering men (mostly by Booth as Nutbrown..) of the show, and that the hero is a deviant, who rather than actually talking to the girl he likes, would rather invent a device that renders her unable to halt his sexual advances.
Hmmm.... bit weird.

Highlights include a snipe at Mary Whitehouse, by including an interfering old biddy character called Mary Watchtower - who gets zapped and ends up assaulting the vicar!, plenty of rather unsexy but silly nudity (provided by all the women in the sex clinic - who are endlessly groped by old men in the name of science and ride exercise bikes in the buff!) and of course the raunch inducing ray gun, which you've got to admit, is pretty cool!
Oh yeah and Sally Faulkner stays clothed...... Which in my opinion is also a highlight!

Other regular actors that make appearances are: Graham Stark, Ben Aris (unexpectedly playing an American!) and Brian Murphy.
It was directed by the same guy who brought us 'Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World', and written by David McGillivray, who was prevalent at the time writing for Pete Walker and Norman J Warren.

3.5/5


Detention Of The Dead [DVD]
Detention Of The Dead [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christa B Allen
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £2.41

3.0 out of 5 stars No Brainer, 10 April 2016
This review is from: Detention Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
A group of teenagers from different social cliques, sitting out detention, are forced to work together if they are to stay alive after it appears a localised outbreak of zombitis has hit their high school.
Whilst trapped in the desperate situation they learn a lot about the others they're with and about themselves, in between frenzied battles with their undead classmates...

I got this from a well known discount shop, where everything costs just £1. I had zero expectations for the film and bought it on a whim.
The movie is highly derivative (no doubt labelled as, and trying hard to be 'Shaun of the Dead' meets 'The Breakfast Club') but happy enough with what it's trying to achieve. Yes the movie is low budget but that doesn't really get in the way of or hamper the story.
Of course one could sit here all day and discuss unlikely and unrealistic character motives and outcomes but you'd be wasting your time and probably missing the point.
Zombie films are ten a penny at the moment, and I suppose the real question is 'does this stand out from the pack?'... Err... Well no, not really, but it is enjoyable enough for what it is. The cast (particularly the female leads) are lively and seem to be enjoying themselves too, which helps.

The zombie rat looks like the 'Sumatran rat monkey' from Jackson's far superior Braindead.

The UK dvd is bare bones but for a trailer.

3.25/5


Never Apologize [2007] [DVD]
Never Apologize [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Mike Kaplan
Offered by Leisurezone
Price: £7.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I say, I say, I say..., 10 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Never Apologize [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
Malcolm McDowell stands up (and sits down) in an auditorium of people (I suspect they were Americans) and talks humorously and candidly about his life and times, collaborating with British film auteur, Lindsay Anderson...

McDowell starred 3 times as Michael Arnold Travis for Anderson, in the films If..., O Lucky Man, and Britannia Hospital. If... being one of my favourite films of all time and OLM, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece of British cinema!

McDowell discusses his meetings whilst working with Lindsay, the creative process involved, and also talks about fellow co-stars and those involved behind the scenes. People McDowell clearly loves but has no qualms about telling it like it was, with first hand accounts taken from personal diaries and letters in order to dispel any doubters.

It's funny, witty, uplifting, scathing, enlightening and above all else entertaining. Certainly for those who know and enjoy Anderson's output.

The UK dvd has little in the way of extras (2 brief deleted scenes).
4/5


Video Night
Video Night
by Adam Cesare
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Video Nasty, 3 April 2016
This review is from: Video Night (Paperback)
1987, Long Island, America.
Billy Rile is a nerdy kid who's about to go to college and leave his high school behind him.
His best mate is his much cooler, slacker friend, Tom, who he has little in common with other than their age and the fact that Tom also likes nothing more than to sit around watching horror movies in Billy's mod conned basement bedroom.

Then one weekend Billy's parents leave him in charge of the house while they go away on holiday and despite Tom's girlfriend, Darcy, not really getting the whole Friday night 'video night' thing Billy and Tom share, she agrees to bring over her pal Rachel for a double date, and Rachel is the girl who Billy has the serious hots for.

Lucky Billy...

Well at least he would be 'lucky Billy' if his neighbourhood wasn't about to be massacred by an alien invasion!

Will Billy and Tom have seen enough bad 80s horror movies to give them ideas on how to save the day? Or are they, along with their dates, about to become hosts to the parasitic extraterrestrial force that's attempting to take over the planet?

I enjoyed this, it was quite good fun. There's loads of mentions to the Alien Monsters Vs Teens subgenre, not to forget loads of nods to 80s horror movies and music too!
Cesare's style is admittedly fanboy overload, but the novel itself isn't supposed to be taken in the slightest bit seriously. Instead opting for a pacey, humorous, action packed narrative, with an Invasion of the Body Snatchers/They Live/The Thing/Invaders From Mars type theme.
Don't get me wrong I'm not much of a fanboy myself and don't really like all that clever, self referential, know-all horror but if you liked movies like Night of the Creeps, The Faculty or The Hidden you should be onto a winner here.

Plenty of action, plenty of teen comedy and plenty of splattery 1980s horror homage. Win win.

For a book on a very similar theme try Edward Lee's 'Coven'.
4/5


The Cowboys [DVD] [1972]
The Cowboys [DVD] [1972]
Dvd ~ John Wayne
Offered by Hospiscare Shops Ltd
Price: £17.02

3.0 out of 5 stars Andersen Shelter, 26 Mar. 2016
This review is from: The Cowboys [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
Stuck without any cowboys to drive his cattle, ranch owner Will Andersen (John Wayne) is forced into hiring a bunch of kids from the local school..
At first reluctant and unsure, he soon begins to share the wealth of his years of experience with the children and a mutual respect begins to grow when he sees their determination and what they are capable of..
Unfortunately though some varmints, led by Bruce Dern, are hiding just out of sight and intend to rustle the cattle for their own gain...

I'll be honest this wasn't really for me. It's okay but no better than that as far as I am concerned. Technically it's well made, the score is excellent and Wayne actually puts in a decent performance, but the story didn't do anything for me and despite showing a few moments of brutality and an action packed finale, does little for the 'coming of age' adventure.
I don't know if it's because there are just too many kids, if they are too young, or whether the scenery just out-weighs them, but I felt nothing for the lads and how they interacted between themselves or with other adults, or for that matter for the children as individuals. The most outstanding and interesting characters by far being Dern, Browne and Wayne.
Dern stealing the show, especially during a scene in which he dunks one of the children, whilst threatening him, in a river.

Personally, I think that if you take some similar movies from the same era: Monte Walsh, Bad Company, The Spikes Gang, The Culpepper Cattle Company etc.. This falls short by comparison. Not that The Cowboys is a terrible film by any means, just not as good as the others I mentioned.

The dvd looks pretty good, widescreen. With a couple of making of/cast retrospectives, a commentary and a theatrical trailer.

3.25/5


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