AKA Hired to Kill, Manhunt in the City, Manhunt in Milan, Manhunt
Director: Fernando Di Leo.
Starring. Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 40m.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, Dave Catania (Silva) and Frank Webster (Strode) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A beautiful local assistant will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite a useless as everyone suspects.
Small time pimp and crazy headbutting tough guy Luca Canali (Adorfi), seems pretty low key, not the shifty character you’d expect to accidentally lose such a precious cargo. The film partially opens with him spending a pleasant day with his “girlfriend/bottom bitch”in the park then beating up two douchebags using Tekken 2 tactics.But the magic of this film is that Luca is a family man, his stunning ex and beautiful daughter get all his love and attention, and pretty soon the movie shifts from the two tough guys high tailing and it turns into the “Luca show” while he tries to keep ahead of all the mobsters who are now suddenly hot on his tail and all in his slightly comedic style. Continue reading La Mala Ordina / Italian Connection (1972)
AKA Hitler’s Wild Women
Director: Kenneth Hartford and David L Hewitt.
Starring. Robert Vaughn, Merrie Lynn Ross, Keenan Wynn, Aldo Ray. USA. 1h 31m.
After a sizable layoff, B movie genius David L Hewitt returns with this dreary espionage flick with tantalizing potential but an obscure approach. For some reason someone made a terribly poor Man from UNCLE movie with Vaughn himself but for unknown reasons the film wasn’t released, be it too short or just incomplete, but with Hewitt/Hartford to the rescue, the fearless duo added a strange futuristic wrap around a man in our distant future, seemingly a lone survivor who attends to “his garden” but in between working he stops in to consult a super computer which reveals the footage of the exploits of mankind including this twisted spy tale.
Rescue movies rarely make much sense, but they can work, take the two Cloverfield spin offs that were two separate projects entirely, but working with such a strange story and adding in something totally left field didn’t help in anyway but for all its faults this is totally unique! Continue reading The Lucifer Complex (1978)
Director: Robert Green Hall.
Starring. Nick Principle, Mimi Michaels, Danielle Harris, Owain Yeoman, Thomas Dekker, Brian Suatin Green. USA. 1h 33m.
After the pretty dismal and tiresome start to Laid to Rest (2009), the film eventually grew on me, slowly creeping up like a Carolina Reaper, to deliver some pretty amazing b movie results. As an introduction to Chromeskull, a lone slasher type figure who kills and tortures for his own amusement, it stands as a very good set up for a series of movies. Unfortunately all the good was rapidly undone but an abysmal sequel.
Chromeskull does a great job of picking up right where the first movie finished, the survivors ride off into the distance but the game changer is that Chromeskull isn’t a deranged lone ranger like we were led to believe, he has a clean up crew, a highly strung apprentice and a personal assistant back in his “base of operations” it seems as if the attempt to explain the clean up process for the chilling Chromeskull actually makes the movie less plausible and for me ruined the mystery. Continue reading Chromeskull : Laid to Rest 2 (2011)
Director : Adrián García Bogliano
Starring : Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest. USA/Spain. 1h 35m
I had been looking for this film for some time as i made it a personal mission to watch every werewolf movie when I was a creepy deathrock teenager and preferred them over vampires any day. Werewolf Order!!!
It’s an unusual set up to a lot of other horror movies with wild beasts involved, and the strange concoction of seasoned cast seems to side step the normal for a set of very unusual and slightly surreal characters, at times I wondered if this was a metaphor for something more profound?
A cantankerous veteran Ambrose (Damici) moves into a quiet and peaceful retirement home in a gated community called Crescent Bay, after the loss of his wife, the aging, blind vet and his dog are settled in by Will (Embry), Ambrose’s adoring son but it’s clear their relationship has been through the the wars there’s respect but something gloomy from the past under the surface. Ambrose’s exceptional smell and hearing leads him to his adorable neighbour who he befriends, but later on that night she’s brutalised by a hairy beast, Ambrose attempts to save her but he and his dog are injured in this unexpected animal attack. Sadly the beloved dog dies from his injuries but Ambrose goes into survival mode and begins a personal hunt for the beast. Continue reading Late Phases / Night of the Wolf (2014)
Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.
Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).
Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)
Director: Robert Green Hall.
Starring. Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Sean Whalen, Johnathon Schaech, Thomas Dekker, Nick Principle, Richard Lynch, Lena Headey. USA. 1h 30m.
A woman, only known as “The Girl” wakes up in a coffin with limited memory and bizarre memory loss, she attempts to call 911 for help making as much sense as a troubled 3 years old, when a mortician (Richard Lynch) tries to unlock the door for her, he’s brutally stabbed through the eye, the woman, now even more distraught manages to escape from the maniac with a camera strapped to his shoulder and a chilling chrome mask.
She’s picked up by a trucker called Tucker (Gage) who takes her home to his adoring wife Cindy (Headey) they try to calm the girl down as their family car is now out of petrol but they’re expecting a visitor who will help them get to the police station in the morning, but things don’t quite go to plan. The assailant from the house of rest has followed them and for the rest of the film Chromeskull, a sadistic torture fiend and deadly killer will be hot on their heels. Continue reading Laid to Rest (2009)
Director: Lance Weiler, Stefan Avalos.
Starring: David Beard, James Seward, Stefan Avalos, Lance Weller. UK. 1h 26m
The year before the Blair Witch (1999) blew us away the Last Broadcast has already been released, but there’s a lot of nay saying about which one came first, it’s certain that Blair Witch caught more media attention and was reportedly started before this film but whichever way they were produced, this $900 film grossed $4 million at the box office which makes a much bigger success by comparison.
The film deals with a documentary filmmaker named David Leigh (Beard) and his investigation of the Fact or Fiction murder, where a group of TV hosts were murdered under mysterious circumstances,. As the show was only on a mere public access channel the death didn’t make the headlines and Leigh takes it on himself to find discover the truth behind the killings while making his documentary.
Continue reading The Last Broadcast (1998)
Director: Jim Henson.
Starring. David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Brian Henson, Frank Oz, USA. 1h 47m.
It’s hard to write to about films that have been around so long, that are so wildly popular, but alas it’s a film that I’ve seen; many times and therefore it has a place on my illustrious blog, but don’t expect me to take this review all that serious, because that would be boring and this film like so many other Henson productions always suggest that you shouldn’t take life too serious.
The film is a meeting of three great talents and a lavish history of children’s fairy tales, arranged and directed by Jim Henson’s who made a range of amazing creatures in all sizes, all built around the twisted imagination of renowned Brian Froud, and with the presence of David Bowie the film already has enough credentials for perfection, and it literally all the ingredients you need for the faultless fantasy film. Continue reading Labyrinth (1986)
Starring: James Purefoy, Rachel Shelley, Christopher Adamson, Paul Brooke, Don Warrington.UK. 1h 35m
Lighthouse was a random find at the local library, without knowing much the cover and category of horror was enough for me to part with some change for the mystery DVD which turned out to be quite an impressive budget serial killer movie although while horror movies often have some infamous bad decisions this one goes overboard.
James Purefoy is Spader, one of a number of prisoners are being transported by ship to a new prison, unfortunately they run into problems and the boat sinks, a small group of survivors manage to swim to safety prisoners and guards have to band together as a much more deranged killer known as Rook is now loose, and with his tendency to be the kinda psychopath who kills anyone he sees they do everything they can to protect themselves on the lonely dark island and their only refuge is a run down lighthouse. Continue reading Lighthouse / Dead of Night (1999)
Director: Jeff Burr
Starring. Kate Hodge, William Butler, Ken Foree, Tom Hudson, Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger, RA Mihailaoff. USA. 1h 26m.
Jeff Burr is the king of terrible remakes, okay that’s unfair but he’s never really had a commercially successful one, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t adored by fans of bad horror, I find his films quite watchable but agree that they can be under par, but fun none the less.
This box office disaster was see a return to the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre family but these are more like the Beverly Hillbilliys. The opening of the film see’s Leatherface slaughtering a young girl with a sledgehammer, cutting off her face to make a new mask as her sister watches on silently, the young girl, Sara escapes into the woods. Continue reading Leatherface : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)