chaosfan's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
½

As Sam and Frodo enter Mordor, the final battle for Middle Earth begins.

The third part of the epic Lord Of The Rings trilogy. But unfortunately for me, this movie just isn't as good as the preceding two chapters. All facets of the production have been taken to their limits yet again . The story is very strong for the first half of the movie, but as things progress, the CGI takes over and the battle sequences just get silly. The plot itself does move away a little from the original text towards the end, but it is quite understandable why certain parts was not filmed. Plus, there a moments that you think the the films has ended, and then it carries on which does get quite annoying the third time it happens as things just begin to drag on. In the end, the Lord Of The Rings trilogy is an amazing piece of cinema that will remain a classic piece of work, but I will always feel that this entry is nowhere as strong as the proceeding two, which is a shame for the finale.

Bloodstone: Subspecies II
½

After being re-animated by his demon minions, Radu chases after newly-turned vampire Michelle as she escapes to Bucharest with the Bloodstone.

Taking place directly after the events of the first movie, 'Bloodstone' is just as good as (if not slightly better than) it's predecessor. The story, acting and production values are improved, but the movie still keeps it's classical feel. As the single returning cast member, Anders Hove reprises his role as Radu well, and the rest of the characters (especially the creepy 'Mother') help the story move along nicely. The 'next chapter' style works just as well, and the abrupt ending makes you want to know what happens next. A fine sequel that shows how good low-budget horror film-making was in the 90's.

Friday the 13th

When a bunch of kids plan on re-opening summer camp several years after the death of two camp counselors, they soon discover that certain legacies are never laid to rest.

The first entry in quite possibly the longest running horror franchise of all-time, this movie plays on the premise that a simple storyline can hit all the right buttons when handled correctly. The plot is pretty non-existent, but the direction, acting, locations and music all make this a modern classic, even though it is now beginning to look a little dated in places. This is one of those movies that had a massive impact on the horrror genre, and has often been imitated. And although it is very well known, a lot of people have incorrect thoughts as to what actually happens during it. A great movie, that every self-respecting horror fan should have seen.

Warlords of Atlantis

When a group of adventurers drop to the depths of the ocean and discover a mythical civilization, they soon realise that things are not safe as they thought.

This is one of those movies that a certain generation of people have grown up with, and when you watch it now it really isn't as bad as you remember. The story takes hokum to a whole new level and mixes every genre cliche possible, but somehow it comes up with a quite enjoyable story. The acting manages to take cheesy to whole new levels, and Doug McClure chews the scenery whenever he possibly can. The special effects are spectacularly bad, with some amazing 'men in rubber suits' monsters and liberal usage of poor blue screening - but in an odd way it just adds to the overall tone. All in all, this is not really a good movie, but if you are of a certain age, it will always have a special place on your heart.

The Gate
The Gate(1987)
½

Two kids unleash a torrent of demonic forces when they disturb a hole left by the removal of a storm-damaged tree.

Here we have a bit of a weird film that really doesn't know where it is going as it tries so hard to be a monster laden horror movie, but as you watch it you can't help but have the feeling that you are in fact watching a kid's fantasy movie. The story (even though well written) is pretty bulk standard and offers no surprises. The acting is more than competent, and it is good to see how talented Stephen Dorff was , even at an early age. The special effects are well handled , but do look quite dated now. The gore is incredibly minimal, but the little you do see is very well executed. As i have said earlier, though a good film, The Gate just seems to find trouble working out what genre it wants to be in, the gore and monster tells the viewer that it is a horror film, but it just feels too nicey-nicey in a lot of places.

The House That Dripped Blood

When a police investigation takes place investigating a missing actor, the inspector in charge soon discovers that the house where the actor lived may be to blame.

I do love a good horror anthology movie, and The House That Dripped Blood is a fine example comprising of four stories and a linking plot. The first three stories are all very well made, all with excellent plots (that include madmen, wax museums and freaky children) that are all pure old school British horror, and star some of the genre greats. The fourth story is a bit of a let down as it's campiness does not suit the tone of the movie, and (even though he was a great actor) Jon Pertwee makes the most unconvincing vampire ever. The blood-letting is non-existent, but it suits the old school feel of the film which prefers to be more eerie than gory. All in all this is a great movie, and a majority of the stories still hold up well today, and if you like a good retro feeling anthology movie that stars some of the greats of the industry, then this is a good example to watch.

At the Earth's Core
½

when two adventurers test a mining device, it goes off course and they discover a whole new world.

This is one of those movies that a certain generation of people have grown up with and loved, but when you watch it now it really isn't as good as you remember. The story is your classic adventure complete with heroes, villains, monsters and love interest and even though it doesn't make sense at certain points, it moves along very well. The acting is as cheesy as you would imagine, with Peter Cushing and Doug McClure chewing the scenery at every given moment, and there is always the added bonus of Caroline Munro wearing animal skins. The special effects are spectacularly bad, with some amazing 'men in rubber suits' monsters and liberal usage of poor blue screening - but in an odd way it just adds to the overall tone. All in all, this is not really a good movie, but if you are of a certain age, it will always have a special place on your heart.

Mazes and Monsters
½

When four friends start playing a fantasy role-playing game they soon realise that one of their number is getting far too involved

Made during the early days of Dungeons & Dragons, this drama acts as a cautionary tale of how role-playing games can become an unhealthy obsession for certain people. The story moves along quite well, but as this movie is more of a character study, there are times where you are wishing for something to happen. The actors all play their roles well, and Tom Hanks' portrayal of the emotionally scarred Robbie shows what a good actor he was destined to become. As this is a character based drama, there is no gore and really no action as it follows the kids and how they deal when one of their friends becomes ill. All in all this is an ok movie, but as this was made when there were a lot of people afraid of the effects of playing Dungeons & Dragons, it really doesn't have the same effect now, and is viewed more as a curiosity.

From Hell
From Hell(2001)
½

When a group of London prostitutes begin to be murdered one by one, the inspector on the case soon realises that the link to their deaths is more far reaching than could have been imagined.

Here we have a movie that is loosely based on Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore's graphic novel of the same name which deals with one of the theories explaining the infamous Jack The Ripper murders in London in the 1800's. The plot moves along quite well and (though a bit pedestrian in places ) is quite an entertaining watch, even though the story has been changed from the source material making the movie more of a traditional whodunit. The cast of incredibly well known actors all play their roles well, even though Johnny Depp's accent does get a little bit odd in places. Both the direction and production are very handled, but the movie does tend to fall in to the trap of being a bit artificial looking and you can tell it is an American's idea of what Victorian London would look like. Even though a lot of the gore takes place off-screen, what you do see is incredibly well handled and would appear to be quite faithful to how some of the murders were actually committed. All in all this is a quite a good little horror / thriller even though the story does not present any surprises, but as with all movies that based on real life events, one does get the feeling that this version of the Jack The Ripper story has been overly glamorised.

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men
½

When a dedication ceremony for James Kirk is interrupted by a character from the crew's past, the whole time-line on the galaxy is altered and only Uhura is aware what has happened.

This unofficial production contains many cast members from the Star Trek TV and movie series, and was described as a 40th anniversary gift from the Star trek actors to their fans. The story takes place twelve years after the events of Star Trek : Generations and centres around several plots and characters created by the original TV series. The story movies along at a good pace, and seems to encapsulate all the elements Star Trek is best known for. The acting is as good as you would expect taking into consideration that a majority of the cast is comprised of returning actors from all facets of the franchise. The special effects are as nowhere as big budget or as polished as the ones you would normally see in an official Star Trek production, but they are still pretty good. All in all, this is a good movie, and even though the storyline is really for fans of the show, and the production values do look a little amateurish in places, it is still an entertaining watch.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
½

After saving one of his old shipmates from the gallows, Captain Jack Sparrow reunites with someone from his past and begins a new fantastical journey into the unknown.

With this movie not a continuing storyline, it was always going to be very hit or miss, but luckily it hits all the right buttons. Johnny Depp returns to the role of Jack Sparrow with his trademark humour and shows that he was born to be a pirate. The storyline is just as over-the-top as you would expect and is it one of those movies where you just can disengage your brain and enjoy the ride. The inclusion of a few returning characters is a great touch (especially Barbossa) and hat's off to Ian McShane as Edward Teach, even though he is incredibly watered down compared to his real life counterpart. Even though there are a few dodgy CGI shots, this a good instalment, and it is great to see the franchise return to the same tongue-in-cheek adventure that made the first movie such a great piece of viewing.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
½

After being rescued by his shipmates, Captain Jack Sparrow and the rest of the pirate nation fight for their very survival.

The third entry in the Pirates franchise that completes the storyline set by the previous two entries, and it is as over-the-top as you would expect it to be. The feel of the film is even more darker, and the story has more fantasy elements than the first two put together. The action feels a little muted compared to the first two entries, and the climax is pretty run-of-the-mill, but it is still a fun roller-coaster ride all the same. Johnny Depp is even more outrageous, and Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy play the roles to the max. Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom successfully prove (yet again) that acting talent isn't always everything! But, it is the cameo by Keith Richards that completely makes the film! This is still the weakest entry in the franchise and you can tell that they only envisaged it to be a trilogy as this movie completely finishes off all the storylines, but all in all it is still very entertaining and goes to prove how cool it would be to be a pirate!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Captain Jack Sparrow and his companions return as they search for the key and the chest that will bring to an end the debt owed to Davy Jones.

The second entry in the Pirates franchise and like Star Wars it goes to prove that when it is done right, a sequel can actually be better than the original. The story is just as fantastic and comical as it's predecessor, but the addition of the dark feel brought by the wonderful Davy Jones character (masterfully voiced by the great Bill Nighy) makes a much more rounded movie. The characters are just as good, and the acting is just as first rate as before, and in certain actor's cases, nowhere as wooden. All in all this is a fine sequel that tops it's predecessor in every way, and shows how good a pirate film can really be.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
½

Captain Jack Sparrow begins his adventures with his new companions as he battles an old foe to get back his ship.

You would think that a pirate film based on a Disney ride just would not work, but this goes to prove how wrong you would have been, as this movie is a veritable swashbuckler of a roller-coaster ride. The storyline is completely cheesy and works on every level, and the direction and production levels are all worked to the max making it a joy to watch. Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are superb in their respective roles, but it is a pity the same can not be said for Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom, who are are both about as wooden as the ships they are sailing in. This is one of those movie's that harkens back to the classic days of Hollywood, and if it had been made 'back in the day', it would have been a perfect starring vehicle for the likes of Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

After the events of New York, Tony Stark finds that he gets no rest before he faces another foe, but the rigours of being a hero are taking their toll on him

This is the final entry in the Iron Man trilogy, which follows events take place directly after The Avengers. The story is good, but it just doesn't seem to have the flare of the previous two entries. It is good to see all the returning characters, but they do feel a little played down compared to the over the topness of how they have been portrayed before. The action is just a frantic as you would expect, but there does seem to be a bit of a lack of Iron Man himself, and when he does appear you do feel a little cheated. All in all, this is still a good movie, but it does have a completely different feel from the previous two entries, and it is nowhere as comic book as we have come to expect from the franchise. Also, there are a lot of references to the The Avengers, and if you haven't seen the movie, one feels that you are missing out on some of the more important nuances in the storyline.

Paranormal Activity

After moving in to a 'starter' home, a young US couple become aware that they are not alone, and as the night's progress, they become increasingly more disturbed.

I have a great love for the 'found footage' and 'cinema verite' techniques, and this movie caused quite a stir when it was originally released, so I thought it was about time that I checked it out. What we are presented with feels just like it has been taped by a worried couple trying to get to the bottom of a problem. The sense of realism is kept going throughout, as there are no opening credits, no story set-up and things unfold just as they would in real life. There are long periods of Katie and Micah just going about their daily business, and this does not get boring, as it off-sets what happens when they are asleep. And of course this is what we are all here to see, and these are handled very well, from the subtle movements early on to the full on paranormal attacks later. The acting is pretty wooden but again this fits perfectly, as the main couple are always just meant to be normal people. There is no gore to speak of, but this is more than made up with the impending sense of dread that the viewer feels as things progress. This is of course not a perfect movie, and this reviewer felt that a couple of the sequences were just too over the top. And unfortunately the finale is one of them, as it could have been handled in a more understated way that would have preserved the chilling sensation that the rest of the story has. All in all, this is a great little movie that does have the power to make certain viewers feel genuinely uncomfortable, and it will be interesting to see in what direction the rest of the franchise heads

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)

As Tony Stark embraces the role of being an over the top super-hero more and more, a legacy from his father's past surfaces with revenge on his mind.

As those who read my review know, I felt that the first 'Iron Man' movie was the best Marvel adaptation made, but I can now happily say that this sequel tops it in every way. The story and acting are all top-notch, and the blend of humour and action is handled perfectly. The addition of Mickey Rourke (a personal fave) as Whiplash, and with the birth of the War Machine character all makes for a great roller-coaster of movie.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

Billionaire and weapons creator Tony Stark goes through a crisis of conscience when he is kidnapped by terrorists, and a new hero is born.

Marvel's history of movies adapted from their comics heroes has always been a bit chequered, with some excellent entries (Blade) to some complete abortions (Fantastic Four). But, I am happy to report that Iron Man probably one of the best Marvel adaptations that I have ever seen. The story is pretty faithful to the comics and is a complete roller-coaster of action and comedy. The acting is fantastic, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is inspired. The special effects are incredibly well handled, and I especially like liked the evolution of the Iron Man suit. As I said before, this is probably one of the best Marvel adaptations that I have ever seen, and it has set a new level on how comic book heroes should be portrayed on screen.

The Fog
The Fog(1979)

When Antonio Bay celebrates it's one hundredth birthday, the residents soon discover that the small resort town hides a terrible secret from it's past.

Anyone who knows me is fully aware that John Carpenter is my favourite director and how much I love his work. The Fog was John's next theatrical release after Halloween and is a lot more understated than it's predecessor, with a simple plot that is your classic ghost story and deals with the themes of betrayal and vengeance. The story does not take a lot of thinking about and because of this it flows along very well, and allows for the director to focus on the sense of impeding dread that the titular fog brings with it. The small cast is made up of genre greats and they are all perfectly cast for the roles they play (and keep an eye out for John having a 'Hitchcock moment'). The cinematography is incredibly well handled and even though the fog effects do look a little bit dated by today's standards, you still get the feeling that it is an entity in it's own right. The gore is pretty non-existent and the body count is very low, but the (mainly) off-screen deaths are handled very well and leave a lot to the viewer's imagination and this also suits the tone of the film perfectly. John Carpenter's score is as good as you would expect and the ethereal synthesized tones really add to the ghostly feel. All in all this is another classic movie from the great director, and even though the story isn't the best and it could have benefited from having a slightly longer running time, this is still a classic movie that any self-respecting horror fan should have in their collection.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk
½

When four friends discover the body of a dead hooker in the boot of their car and decide to bury her, they soon find out it isn't going to be easy as they thought

Here we have an ultra low budget grindhouse movie written, produced, directed and starring twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska. The plot is very high octane, never taking itself too seriously as it runs from one encounter to another, and even though there are a few moments where it doesn't quite make sense, it is still a fun watch. The small cast all play their roles with glee and though a little wooden in places, really bring their characters to life. The gore is plentiful, and the amateurish feel really adds to the overall tone of the movie, All in all this is not a movie without it's problems, and at times it feels like it does not have the budget or technique to bring all it's ideas convincingly to the screen. But saying that, it is still a fun watch and this reviewer feels that the twin Soska sisters have a very bright future ahead.

Grave Encounters 2
½

When Grave Encounters is released on DVD and marketed as a horror movie, a group of film students travel back to the hospital to prove that the events actually happened.

Anyone who knows me knows my love of the 'found footage' style of horror movie making. But the trouble is, a lot of them just aren't very good. The characters in this movie are all pretty distasteful, and are so generic that you don't care whether they live or die. The story starts well and does a very good job of introducing the characters and laying out the plot, and things bounce along quite nicely until the story moves back to the hospital, and it is here that things start to go downhill. Whereas in the first movie, the scares started quite subtly, this time the ghosts begin appearing straight away, and this is a shame as you lose the build-up. Things just get more and more over the top as things progress, and even though the idea of the returning character is a good one, it all becomes quite silly, and even the sense of it being 'found footage' is lost towards the end and it just becomes a straight horror movie. All in all this is an ok horror movie that has quite a promising start, but without the subtle scares and slow build up it is nowhere as good as it's predecessor and the very silly storyline towards the end does not help either

Grave Encounters
½

The crew of the TV ghost hunting show 'Grave Encounters' visit an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a terrible past to investigate the supposed supernatural events that happen there.

Anyone who knows me knows my love of the 'found footage' style of horror movie making. But the trouble is, a lot of them just aren't very good. Grave Encounters opening does not bode very well, but things soon get better as the viewer is introduced the 'cast' of the show. The characters are all pretty distasteful, and the pastiche of the real life ghost hunting shows that are very popular is very well handled by the cast of unknowns. The story starts slowly as the ghost hunters set up in the hospital for the evening but things soon heat up as the weird happenings ensue. As the story progresses things get stranger and stranger, and this is where the story is let down slightly as the subtle scares soon give way to more and more monsters, and the ending tries to be a shocker but really is a bit of a let-down compared to what has come before. Things have moved a long forward in the 'found footage' genre since the days of The Blair Witch Project and it was the likes of (the first) Paranormal Activity that really re-invented things, and in the end Grave Encounters is still a very good movie, but one feels that it would have benefited from the school of thought that 'less is more'.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

The Rebellion faces it's greatest challenge as it finally faces the might of The Emperor.

The last entry in the mighty Star Wars franchise The plot takes everything that proceeds it and neatly ties it up, whilst treating the viewers to some incredibly good space battles. The returning cast slip into their characters with the same kind of ease that one slips a comfortable pair of shoes. The special effects are excellent, and show the advances in technology at the time. But again, this movie is not without it's problems. All the viewers were expecting a mighty roller-coaster ride of a film, but it could have just been that little bit better. With another Death Star, it kind of feels like a rehash of the first film. Then we come to the Ewoks, which are only slightly less annoying than Jar-Jar Binks. But in the end the cheesiness of this entry does kind of make for a satisfying conclusion to the greatest soap opera in galactic history.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

The struggle against The Empire continues and Darth Vader focuses his attention on Luke.

The best film in the series by a long-shot. The mood change between this and A New Hope is amazing, giving it a much more 'adult' feel. The opening sequence on Hoth, and the pure psychosis of Darth Vader as he tortures Han Solo without asking him any questions are just joys to behold. Unfortunately though (if you watch all the six films in order), the climatic fight sequence loses a little of it's impact compared to when it was originally viewed. My wife pointed out to me, that spending so many years in self-imposed exile has made Yoda go senile!!! I hadn't thought of this before, but if you compare him to his appearances in the first 'trilogy', his slightly comedic demeanour fits this idea perfectly. All in all, this entry in the Star Wars mythology has it all going for itself.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Two robots carrying important plans escaping the Empire end up being bought by a certain moisture farmer, and so the epic begins.

And here we have the movie that started the legend, and it is still amazing to this day. The plot, though still your classic western, takes you on a roller-coaster of a ride as you follow the heroes on their fight for freedom. The acting by the majority of the actors is top notch, even though Mark Hamill is particularly whiny. But special mention has to go to the great Peter Cushing who plays Tarkin with a gleam in his eye. The special effects are very well handled and still look good even to this day. All in all this is a classic movie, which has inspired sequels, prequels and in fact shaped the entire SF genre. There is not a lot I can say that hasn't already been written before, but if you are one of those few people that has not seen this movie, I urge you to rush out today and purchase a copy.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

The galactic struggle continues after the events of Attack Of The Clones. The Empire is born and so is Darth Vader.

The last film in the 'new' trilogy was always going to be a bit tricky, seeing that we all knew what happens in the end. It was just a matter of how well George Lucas could make the transition from the new series to the old series. The plot is every well handled and the adult feel set up in the previous installments is carried on. The acting keeps getting better, and special mention has to go to Ian McDiarmid who really knows how to steal each scene. The special effects are incredibly well handled, especially the space battles, which are epic. Like the previous entries, this movie still has its problems. General Grievous is a fantastic character, but is totally under-used, but the real down-side is the birth of Darth Vader. This is THE moment in Star Wars history that everyone was waiting to see, but it is no where near as good as it could have been. It was great to hear the booming tones of James Earl Jones, but Hayden Christensen neither has the body mass nor the acting ability to carry it off and it all ends being a little bit laughable. All in all this is still a great movie and it is a fitting end to the 'new' trilogy, and as good as the story arc is, it just isn't as good as episodes IV, V & VI.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
½

10 years after the events of Phantom Menace, the universe sinks deeper and deeper into disarray. Could the Clone warriors be the only answer?

This is my favourite movie of the 'new' trilogy, as here we have the entry that really hits it's stride, and just like Empire Strikes Back, proves that second installments are always the best. The plot is much darker and adult than it's predecessor, and the sequences where you see the early formation of the Empire are very well handled. The acting is again a mixed bag but the returning actors seem to fit into their characters a lot better. The special effects are still as expertly handled, and the arena sequence is a joy to behold. But again this entry does have it's flaws, such as the long drawn out love story between Anakin and Padme and the fleeting appearance by Jar-Jar Binks! On the positive side, there is a lot more action in this installment, as the story-line bounces you from one planet to another, and the references to characters and storylines in the 'original' trilogy are incredibly well thought out. All in all, this is a great movie, and really has the feel of what a Star Wars movie should be about, but it is still does not have the gusto that made the episodes IV, V & VI the classics they are.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Two Jedi knights travel to a distant planet and discover a little slave boy that may well be the saviour of the universe.

It was great when you knew that George Lucas had made another Star Wars film. The plot is not the greatest ever, and it is definitely just there to start the ball rolling for what is to follow. The acting is a mixed bag, and has some distinctly wooden acting from Jake Lloyd,and some great scene chewing from Ian Diarmid.. The special effects are top notch, and the pod race is the movie's greatest sequence. But this entry does have it's flaws, such as Midichlorians, the ramming in of C-3PO and of course Jar-Jar Binks!!!!!! All in all, this is still a good movie and it did introduce a whole new generation of fans to the Star Wars universe, but it not a patch on any of the original entries.

Saw 3D
Saw 3D(2010)
½

After escaping from Jill's trap, Hoffman continues to set games for people he thinks deserves them, but little does he know that he is being watched.

The seventh movie in the hugely popular horror franchise which follows on directly from the events of Saw VI. Taking into account that this is the final movie in the Saw franchise, the plot is not the firecracker that you would expect, and in fact it is actually particularly weak in places, and even the mind-bender finale will not be a great surprise if you are a fan of the series. The cast all play their roles well, but a majority of the characters are either unlikeable or have no impact, so it rapidly gets to the point where you really don't care about them. But, it is Costas Mandylor who really steals the show, as he chews up the scenery every time he is on screen, and you finally get to see how much of a complete psychopath Hoffman really is. There is plenty of gore, but is it just not as good as any of the previous entries, and because it was filmed for a 3D release you get those rubbishy shots where blood and organs deliberately fly out of the screen. The traps are nowhere as intricate, and at times look as if they have been though up five minutes before they were needed before camera. The production values are just as a high as the previous movies, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. All in all, this is a good movie in places, but it is a huge let-down when you take into consideration that it is the final entry in a franchise that had presented some classic stories and scenes and what had become a ground-breaking milestone of modern horror.

Saw VI
Saw VI(2009)
½

After killing Agent Straum, Hoffman continues to make sure know one knows that he is Jigsaw's successor, whilst ensuring that the games continue.

The sixth movie in the hugely popular horror franchise which follows on directly from the events of Saw V. The plot is just as good, if not better than the previous entry as it continues to show how much of a psychopath Hoffman really is. It is not just the ending that is a total mind-bender, but it really plays with your head as plot threads are explained throughout the entire plot, and it ties together a majority of the questions that were posed by previous entries. The cast all play their characters incredibly well, especially Costas Mandylor who really steals the show. The gore is more prevalent in this entry even though the traps are not as intricate, but you feel at times that certain victims have no right to be a part of the games. The production values are just as a high as the previous movies, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. All in all, this is a good movie that feels a lot more fluid compared to Saw V, but taking into account that (at the time) it was supposed to be the final chapter, the ending is still a bit of a let-down, and it is a little annoying that all the loose ends were not neatly tied up.

Saw V
Saw V(2008)
½

John is still dead, but his legacy continues as Hoffman makes sure that he can never be blamed.

The fifth movie in the hugely popular horror franchise which follows on from the events of Saw IV. The plot is slightly more cerebral than the past few entries as it is more about how Hoffman had been involved, and though it does tie up a lot of loose ends left from Saw IV, it again leaves the viewer with a lot more questions. The ending is a bit of a let-down as it is nowhere near the calibre of mind-bender that we are used to seeing, but it is incredibly reminiscent of The Abominable Dr Phibes, and that did make me smile. The cast all play their characters incredibly well, even though Tobin Bell is just becoming the master of the flashback, it is really Costas Mandylor that steals the show. The gore is not as prevalent in this entry, as it is more character driven. The traps are nowhere near as intricate, and do feel a little forced at times as the victims are really not integral to the events in any way. The production values are just as a high as the previous movies, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. All in all, this movie does have quite a muted feel compared to the excess of the previous few entries, and one could say it is more of an origin story, and though it is a good story, it is a bit of a let-down compared to Saw III & IV.

Saw IV
Saw IV(2007)

Even though John Kramer is dead, the games continue, and a police officer is forced to follow the twisted clues.

The fourth movie in the hugely popular horror franchise which begins by directly following on from the events of the third movie. The plot is a little thin in places and seems to end up posing more questions than answers, and of course the finale is a complete mind-bender. The cast all play their characters incredibly well, and yet again it is good to see Tobin Bell reprising his role. The gore is plentiful and incredibly well portrayed, and even though the traps are not as intricate, their design and execution are a joy to behold. The production values are just as a high as the previous movies, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. Every fan of the franchise must have been wondering how the story was going to continue after the events of Saw III and what we are presented with is another classic story, which further cemented the franchise as a milestone in the modern horror genre.

Saw III
Saw III(2006)

As the cancer ravages his body John devises one last set of traps to to test the people who he feels require it.

The third movie in the hugely popular horror franchise which takes place at some identified time close after the events of the second movie. The plot is a little thin on the ground in places, and even though there is another mind-bender of an ending, the main draw is the portrayal of the relationship between John and Amanda. The small cast all play their characters incredibly well, and again it is good to see returning cast members Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith reprising their roles with glee. The gore is plentiful and incredibly well portrayed, and the design and execution of the traps just keeps getting better and better. The production values are just as a high as the previous movies, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. All in all this is a great film that feels more akin to the original than Saw II, and it is with this entry that the franchise really establishes itself as a milestone in the modern horror genre.

Saw II
Saw II(2005)

When a group of strangers awake in a ruined house, they have to fight their way through a set of deadly traps to gain their freedom.

The second movie in the hugely popular horror franchise. The story takes place at some identified time close after the events of the first movie, and starts the trend for multiple ingenious traps and obscured time frames which sets the tone for all the other entries in the series. The plot is a bit of a let down compared to it's predecessor even though it does have one hell of an ending, as the majority of it is populated with a group of generic, unlikeable characters that the viewer will really not care about, as opposed the more character driven plot of the first.. The cast all play their characters incredibly well, and it is good to see returning cast members Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith reprising their roles with glee. The gore is plentiful and incredibly well portrayed for the most part, even though a few of the deaths do feel a little bit of a second thought. The production values are as a high as the first movie, and it is still shot in such a way that the red colours really stand out. All in all this is still a good film, but it does fall into the trap like most direct sequels, where it tries to be better than it's predecessor, but just doesn't quite make it.

The Hunger Games
½

In a post-apocalyptic North America, civil war has been ended and The Hunger Games are started to remind the districts of what has happened and ensure that it never happens again.

Adapting the first instalment in the popular series of young adult SF books. Not having read the book, I cannot comment on how close an adaptation the storyline is, but what is presented is (for the most part) an enjoyable watch. The story takes place in an dystopian future where the poor are poor and the rich are rich and is very well visualised, and does remind you of some of the ideas that George Orwell put across in 1984 with a little dash of Battle Royale. But there are times where the plot does drag a little and all you want to see are the kids trying to off one another, and you really don't' care about them as people. Also, things do go over the top towards the end and the use of some particularly badly CGI creatures spoils the subtleties of what has come before. The cast of actors all handle their roles very well, and special mention has to go to the child actors and actresses who all played their roles of Tributes with glee. The design is very handled mainly, and the differences between the Sectors and the Capitol shows how one small part of society lives in comfort while the majority struggle to survive, and this is a nicely handled allegory on how certain countries function in today's world. But, the costume design of the inhabitants of Capitol is so over the top that is just ridiculous looking at times, and makes me feel that the citizens are dressed by the same people that deal with the aliens in Star Trek or Buck Rogers. All in all this is an ok movie that has some very good ideas, but one cannot help but feel that some parts have been changed from the original novel, and made a little more cinema friendly.

Saw
Saw(2004)

When two men awake to find themselves chained together in a ruined bathroom, they discover the escaping could cost them everything.

The original movie in the hugely popular franchise is a great example of the 'less is more; school of movie making. The plot is deliberately thin and a majority of the movie is based around the two characters that are locked together and it is through their recent activities that you learn about the people around them. The characters are incredibly well visualised and special mentions have to go to Cary Elwes and Leigh Whannell, as they work so well together in the lead roles. The story movies along incredibly well, and you can really feel the desperation growing in all the characters as things progress, right up to the climax that left a lot of the movie's audiences reeling in their seats. The gore is actually quite minimal, but when it does happen it is handled excellently, and the way the movie is shot the bloodred hues really stand out against the washed-out backgrounds. The production values are very high especially when you take into consideration that it had a relatively low budget, and the fusion of fast editing, visual style, and music score all seem to go naturally hand in hand. This is one of those movies where you look back and actually think you have seen more than is actually shown on screen, and it proves that even the simplest story, when handled correctly can pack a huge punch. Saw is a true classic of modern horror and it went on not only to spawn 6 sequels, but to also become the inspiration for a lot other movies that followed it.

The Watermen
The Watermen(2012)

A group of kids on a fishing trip find themselves stranded when they boat breaks down, but they think they are saved when a fishing trawler arrives, but how wrong they are

Any movie that has a group of 20 somethings on a boat trip being menaced by sadistic fishermen and has Jason Mewes as top billing does sound pretty bad on paper, but this little horror movie isn't actually as bad as you think it is going to be. The characters are generic and like most other horror movies you do not care whether they survive or not. The acting is nothing to write home about and even Jason Mewes plays his character in a particularly wooden way. The basic plot is pretty non-existent, and when things are kind of explained nothing really makes any sense, and the 'seen it all before' ending does feel like the makers are on their knees begging that they will be given the green light to make a sequel. The villains are actually quite a nasty concept, but the way they mumble their lines makes them completely unintelligible in places. Now, everything I have said so far is not painting this movie in a particularly good light, and you may wander why I have given it a middle of the road rating. And I have to say it was the overall feel of the movie that made it actually quite watchable. It starts off like any other generic horror movie, with a few laughs, some annoying teens, a half naked girl, and a couple of weirdos thrown in for good measure, but when things heat up then the whole tone of the movie changes and suddenly you are presented with quite a nasty, gory piece of torture porn, the likes of which I haven't seen since the original Hostel, and I must say it kept me quite happily entertained. If you like a bit of nasty in your horror movies, then this is an ok watch, but if you are not a fan then there is really nothing in this that you are going to like.

Sharknado
Sharknado(2013)
½

When a huge storm comes off sea and devastates Los Angeles, it deposits hundreds of sharks on the streets that add to the havoc.

SyFy Channel original movies are not good, in fact they have become well known and actually well liked because of the cheesiness of the acting, directing and effects. But Sharknado takes it all to a completely new level. This movie is beyond cheesy, and not in a good way. The story is completely ludicrous, and that is during the good bits. The acting is about as wooden as it gets, and it makes for light relief when characters get killed. The direction is really bad, and I do mean bad, as the movie uses a lot of stock footage of sharks, sea, surfers, etc. and at times they do not even match the basic surroundings that they are mean to be. With this being a SyFy movie, you already know the low level CGI that you are going to get, and this is the one point of the movie that does not let you down. All in all this movie would be bearable if it was played for laughs, but unfortunately this is not the case, as Sharknado actually tries to take itself seriously, and this just makes it even more stupid and unintentionally funny, and because it had me giggling (for all the wrong reasons) i am being very generous giving it the score I have.

Sand Sharks
Sand Sharks(2011)
½

When a small beach resort is terrorised by a group of prehistoric sharks that have the ability to use the sand as if it was water, it is up to the local Police Chief and a scientist to save the day.

We all are aware that SyFy Channel makes it's own movies featuring mutant creatures gone wild, and we are also aware of how bad they are. But they must have a group of fans, as they keep getting made. Sand Sharks is a wonder to behold. The story is so thin, that is almost see through, the ideas are so fantastical that you have got to give the writers points for having the balls for trying to make any of it believable. The acting is a mixed bag that runs from completely wooden to actually not that bad, and the film's two name actors (Brooke Hogan and Corin Nemec) both have extensive acting experience,and both approach the tongue in cheek script with a the suitable amount of ham. The special effects are again a mixed bag, as the physical effects are pretty good and the shark victims look pretty well torn up, but the shark effects themselves suck, as the CGI looks like it was created on an etch a sketch. BUT this is movie does have a certain something and it is the kind of movie that you will watch to the end just to see how bad it can get, and secretly you will probably quite enjoy it.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy(2010)

After being missing for years a message is received from Flynn, and it is up to his son Sam to try and find him.

Anyone who knows me knows my love affair with the fist Tron movie, and when I heard they were finally making a sequel, I was overjoyed, but I also had a certain amount of scepticism that what I was going to be presented with would destroy the original. And then, I saw the presentation trailer, and the light cycle sequence blew me away. The finished story, which takes place 20 years later and is a direct sequel, is a joy to behold. The plot follows the very simple idea of good vs evil idea, and it flows incredibly well, and doesn't make the view have to think too much, which means they can give all their attention to the mind blowing visuals. The casting a incredibly well handled, and for the returning cast members it is looks like that they have never been away. The original Tron movie had ground-breaking special effects that really pushed the technological envelope back in 1982, and the 2010 sequel is no different. The effects are (in one word) amazing, and the quality of the facial digitisation used for Jeff Bridges will stand out for years to come. There is no question that the original Tron was incredibly ground-breaking and influenced many film-makers (just look at some of the sequences and ideas used in The Matrix), and Tron : Legacy takes back some of those ideas and uses them itself. All in all Tron : Legacy is a great movie, and though it is a worthy successor to the original, it will be an immensely enjoyable view for someone that is new to the franchise.

TRON
TRON(1982)

When a video game creator hacks into the system of a multinational corporation to find the evidence that his game creations were stolen, he ends up in a world he never imagined existed.

Here we have a movie released by Disney in the early 80's that was completely different from anything they had made previously. The story is actually a simple story of the fight for justice and good against evil, but the backdrop of an electronic world takes it to another level that gave the creators free reign to do whatever they wanted, and the result is actually quite surreal in places. The mix of action ad comedy is perfectly handled, which makes it a great feel-good movie. The use of computer effects was ground-breaking at the time, and even though the blue screening looks a little dodgy by today's standards, the rest still look as breathtaking as they did on it's original release and fits the mood of the movie perfectly. The actors all play their roles perfectly and the differences between the human and electronic counterparts is very subtly handled that makes them different yet the same. Upon it's original release, Tron did incredibly well, and has gone from strength to strength as time has gone by, and rightly so is now classed a classic movie.

The Mangler
The Mangler(1994)

A series of gruesome accidents leads a police officer to believe that something demonic is taking place at a laundry factory.

Here we have a movie with a lot of genre greats attached to it that should be an absolute masterpiece, but unfortunately isn't. The plot is closely adapted from a short story by Stephen King, and though it has very good ideas at the beginning, it just starts to get more outlandish as it progresses, and the climatic battle is very silly indeed. The directing by Tobe Hooper is solid enough, and in places has an almost otherworldly feel about it, as even though it is set in modern day, the sequences within the laundry factory have a look and feel that they are taking place in the past. The acting is mixed bag and has everything from completely wooden to quite believable, and special mention must go to the great Robert Englund who is totally over the top and steals every scene he is in. The gore is not particularly widespread, but the few deaths that happen are incredibly well handled and the corpses look suitably mangled. All in all, this isn't a bad film and it does have some quite good parts, but with the likes of King, Hooper and Englund attached to it, one feels that it should have been a lot better.

Exterminator 2

After the events from the first movie, John has now managed to start a new life with a new friend and a new love. But, when he is targeted by a violent young street gang, he must once again become the Exterminator.

The original Exterminator has always been classed as a bit of a classic and second only to Death Wish when the vigilante genre is talked about, and a sequel was inevitable. The basic premise of these types of movie is simple enough, and you think that it is something that can never go wrong - but Exterminator 2 manages to go wrong to epic proportions. No elements are brought forward from it's predecessor, which makes all the angst the main character suffers just laughable as there no points of reference. The first movie dealt with some very gritty issues, but the plot of the sequel is pure schlock, and the gang of young villains look and feel like they are trying out for a part in a Mad Max movie. The action is ok, but there really isn't' just enough of it, and when it does happen it just becomes more over the top and unbelievable, and some of the end battle sequences look like they would fit better into an episode of The A-Team. The acting is incredibly wooden, but it kind of worked in the first movie, but not in this one as some humour and love interest are also injected which just makes it all very messy. All in all this is a pretty poor sequel and a very bad movie, which really should have never been made, an this reviewer is only giving it one star, because it will actually make any viewer giggle in places at how ridiculous the whole thing is.

The Exterminator
½

After his war buddy is left paralysed by a New York gang, a Vietnam vet takes his revenge and decides to clean the streets.

In the late 70's and early 80's the genre of vigilante films appeared and though the 'Death Wish' series are the most popular, 'The Exterminator' should also be remembered as another good example. This is not a happy film in the slightest and it seems to take pride in showing how sleazy it's world really is. The story starts off with a very depressing tone, and this sets the mood for the rest of the plot and even what few lighter moments there are seem to have all positivity sucked out of them. The characters are all very well played by the cast, and you really feel the futility of their lives. Upon it's release, this movie was notorious for the exploitative feel of the violence and though not particularly shocking by today's standards, a lot of the set pieces still pack quite a punch. It may seem that this reviewer has not been painting this movie in a particularly good light, but in the end, this is a very good example of the genre, and though it does look incredibly dated and the story does feel quite fractured in places, it should still be viewed as an example of how different movies were 30+ years ago.

Kill Zombie! (Zombibi)
½

When the streets of Amsterdam become clogged with flesh hungry zombies following the crash of a Russian space station, a group of survivors attempt to fight their way through to the Army safe zone.

It would appear that the current fashion for zombie movies shows no sign of stopping, and here we have a Dutch take on the genre. The resulting movie is an incredibly funny spoof that is full of action, gore and comedy. The storyline really doesn't bring anything new or ground-breaking, but it proves that it doesn't matter if you have seen it all before, if it is handled well then you are going to enjoy it - and this movie lives up to that all the way through. The plot keeps moving along at a very fast pace and had me giggling all the way through, but one does feel that certain nuances are lost if you can't speak Dutch. The actors all play their roles incredibly well, and give the viewer the feel that they really enjoyed making the movie. The effects are handled very well for the main, but there are a couple of dodgy CGI shots towards the end. This is not a bloodless movie in any shape or form, and the gore is plentiful and incredibly creative, with enough biting, tearing, shooting and blowing off of heads to keep any horror fan happy. All in all this is a great movie that has plenty going for it, and even if you are a horror fan that isn't really fond of foreign language movies, you should still sit down and enjoy the roller-coaster ride it provides, and trust me, you will love the ending.

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie

Ron, Veronica and the rest of the KVWN News Team investigate an extremist organization known as The Alarm Clock who are robbing banks while trying to convey a message they haven't figured out yet.

Here we have the spiritual sequel to 'Anchorman' but it isn't really a true movie at all, as it is assembled from unused footage, abandoned sub-plots and alternate takes that never ended up being used first time around. Though it has some incredibly funny moments, most of which centre around Steve Carell's character, you can see why it all ended up on the cutting room floor. The story is cobbled together and the alternate takes used to pad it out are only minisculely different from the ones used in the final movie, so you do get a strong sense of deja vu in places, which make things feel even more disjointed. All in all, this 'movie' does have it's moments, but it is for serious 'Anchorman' fans only.

Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

when top rated anchorman Ron Burgundy is told that he is going to be co-hosting his news programme with a woman, things soon move from bad to worse

There was a time not so long ago when Will Ferrell could do no wrong, and here we have probably the best movie he has ever made. The story is standard comedy material, but the way it is handled sets it out from the rest. The comedy is a mix of many different styles from the subtle to the bizarre to the hilarious, and even though are a couple of sequences that fall a little flat, a greater majority of this movie will have any viewer chuckling away. The cast all play their roles to the max and an extra mention must go to Steve Carell, who portrayal of Brick is one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. All in all, this is a very funny movie, which is one of Will Ferrell's best, and a cult classic in the making

Devil
Devil(2010)

When the Police is called to rescue a group of strangers trapped in an office building lift, events soon take a horrific turn.

When I found out that this movie was produced by and based on a story by M Night Shyamalan, I was less than excited at the prospect. But I thought I would give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a view. The movie is very well made and the small set is very well presented and gives the viewer a real sense of claustrophobia. The story starts off quite weak as you are not quite sure on whom the movie is focusing, but things soon pick up and the sequences set in the lift are very tense and the scares are very well handled. But, as things head towards the climax, the movie does become far too generic and religiously preachy for it's own good, and the constant voice-over is particularly unneeded. All in all this isn't a bad movie but one can't help but think that it would have been better if it had been written as a thriller.

Deep Blue Sea

When a marine research station breeding genetically modified sharks is caught in a tropical storm, all hell breaks loose and so do the sharks.

Now, we all know that killer shark movies do have a habit of being a bit silly, and not particularly good, but there are a few exceptions to the rule. It is given that Jaws is a complete classic, but 'Deep Blue Sea' isn't that bad either. The story is suitably cheesy and completely over the top, but it is handled incredibly well, and the topnotch directing and design all make it that little bit more plausible. The actors play their roles with glee, and actually give the generic characters some added dimension. The shark effects are very well handled, even though the cgi looks incredibly dated by today's standards. The gore is plentiful and there are enough bodies getting ripped apart and eaten to keep everyone happy. All in all, even though this movie is still pretty cheesy, it is still a lot better than a majority of the other killer shark movies out there and it is well worth a viewing.

The Blues Brothers

When the Blues Brothers discover that the orphanage where they were raised will be closed down unless back taxes are paid, they decide to raise the money by putting their band back together and staging their biggest gig ever.

Here we have a movie that can only be classed as a classic! The plot, though simple, is a roller-coaster ride and captures the comedy, music, action, pathos and fantasy elements perfectly and presents the viewer with a story that never grows old. The acting by all the cast is amazing, and hats have to go off to Belushi and Ackroyd, who's iconic performances have gone down in history. Fans of soul and blues music will love the musical segments, especially with the guest appearances by some of the greats of the industry, and in the end the choice of tracks can be completely enjoyed by any fan of music - and I would be surprised to find someone who hasn't seen this movie and not felt the urge to 'shake their tail feather'! All in all this is a fabulous movie, and I can honestly say that I think this is probably one of the best musicals ever made.

Walk the Line
½

Biography telling about the early years of Johnny Cash's career and his battle with drugs and how he meets and falls in love with June Carter.

I don't know that much about Johnny Cash, but decided to watch this movie as I know how well it was received on it's release. We are presented with a story following Johnny Cash's rise to stardom, his relationships and the demons he battled along the way. The story is very well written, and moves a long at a good pace. Both Joaquin Phoenix and Reece Witherspoon plays their roles well, and they really put across the bond and love that formed between the two people. But, the story did seem to focus a lot on Johnny's addiction to pills, and at times this does seem to overshadow all the other things that were going on in his life, and it would have been nice to see what else he was going through. But, this is still a good movie, and will appeal to viewers that aren't familiar with the singing star.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider(2007)

When Johnny Blaze makes a deal with The Devil to save the life of his father, he discovers that the payback will change his life forever.

Ghost Rider is one of Marvel's most underrated characters, and I had a certain amount of trepidation when I heard that they were bringing him to big screen, but I became a lot happier when I found that Nic Cage was spearheading it, as I knew that it is his favourite comic book character. What we are presented is a good take on the character with a fast moving story-line. The characters are all as over the top as you would imagine and are are played to the max, and special credit has to go to Peter Fonda, who would seem to have been born to play Mephistopheles. The special effects are the real driving force behind this movie, and they handled incredibly well, and real breathe life into the title character. All in all, this is actually quite a cheesy movie that won't be to everyone's taste, but I thought it hit all the right buttons and totally enjoyed it and would recommend it fully to anyone.

Aaah! Zombies!!

When a group of four friends come into contact with a dumped barrel containing a failed military experiment to create super-soldiers their lives change forever.

Here we have a zombie film that tries to do things a little differently, and succeeds quite well. The beginning of the story uses every cliche in the book for deliberate effect, but things are turned on their heads very quickly and the viewer is presented with a unique point of view for the rest of the movie. The plot moves along at a very good pace and the addition of comedy and a bit pathos makes for a fun watch, but the story does run out of steam a little towards the end. The small cast all play their roles with glee, and the dual interpretation of the events gives them a chance to actually act which is unusual for actors that take on zombie roles. The special effects are well handled, but there a re a couple of dodgy CGI shots in places. The gore is minimal, and what is seen is handled more for comedy effect. All in all this is a great little movie, that takes the well-worn genre in a new direction and gives it a breath of life.

Death Racers
Death Racers(2008)
½

In a grim future where a terrorist plans to poison the entire planet's water supply, the local Governor enlists the aid of some of the worse criminals by offering them the chance of freedom if they can save the day.

Here we have a low budget SF romp that tries so hard to be more than the sum of it's parts. The story is very thin and has been told before in many different guises. The acting is a as wooden as you would expect, but you have to praise the Director, as there isn't that many people that would even consider letting ex-ECW wrestler Raven and underground horror-core legends Insane Clown Posse on the set, let alone giving them all starring roles! The production values are a mixed bag, as the set locations are minimal as the entire movie looks like it was shot in an abandoned factory complex that has had some fake signs put on the walls for effect. But, the CGI and physical special effects shots are all quite well handled and there are plenty of squished bodies and decapitations to keep any gore-hound happy. In the end, this is really is not a particularly good movie (not even by low budget, direct to DVD standards), but you have to give it points for the pure stupidity and cheesiness of the entire thing and the inspired casting choices.

Shark Night 3D

When a group of school friends visit the Louisiana bayous for a weekend party, they discover that the water is the most dangerous place to be.

The killer shark genre are a weird breed of movies that, apart from Jaws, invariably end up being very, very bad, but they never seem to go away. Shark Night is an odd entry as (to it's credit) it tries to do something different from the usual story lines that you have seen it the past. The plot moves along at a healthy rate and even though the beginning is a pretty standard affair, things take a bit of a twist about three quarters of the way in, and though it is all becomes quite unbelievable, and not very well explained, it is still quite a fun story. The cast of unknowns all play their roles very well, and you actually kind of care for the generic characters as they are not as distasteful as a lot of other movies out there. The CGI is plentiful and range from the very good Cookie Cutter Sharks to some pretty abysmal blue screen sequences, but the mechanical shark effects are very well handled. All in all, this is still quite a flawed movie, but it is a lot better than a majority of entries in the killer shark genre, and with it's above average production values, it ends up quite a fun way to spend 85 minutes.

Doghouse
Doghouse(2009)
½

When a group of friends decide to get away to the country for a beer-filled weekend, the village in which they decide to stay greets them with a blood-soaked surprise.

Having thoroughly enjoyed some of Jake West's previous directorial efforts (Razor Blade Smile & Evil Aliens), I was expecting another movie filled with action, black comedy and gore - and I got exactly what I bargained for. This is a great movie that balances acting, story and effects perfectly. Imagine your favourite zombie movies mixed with the sensibility of 'Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels' and you'll get the idea of what you can expect

Star Trek Into Darkness

When an explosion rips through a Starfleet Archive Office, the crew of the USS Enterprise become involved in a plot that could bring the Federation to it's knees.

Here we have the second alternative universe tale in the ever popular rebooted franchise. All the cast return and play their roles the fullest and even Simon Pegg's portrayal of Scotty is bearable. The production is as high as you would imagine and the special effects sequences are a joy to behold. The story starts off strongly and the idea of terrorism is handled particularly well, but as the movie progresses holes begin to appear. Without giving any spoilers, the grand reveal of the villain is done very well, but any
fan of the franchise would have seen it a mile off (if they didn't already know), and you have to applaud Benedict Cumberbatch who steals every scene he is in. My minor problems with the movie is the constant nods to scenes and ideas from the original series. Now, I understand that this is Star Trek and it is set in an alternative universe, where things can happen slightly differently, but it is starting to get on my nerves a little, as certain characters were shoe-horned in with a crowbar, and the cameo appearance was completely uncalled for. With the wealth of possible story lines, I feel that for the trilogy's third entry, the writers should take a chance and tell a completely original story. All in all though this is still a great film that is a pure roller-coaster ride, but there is that little part of me that didn't enjoy it as much as it's predecessor.

Cube Zero
Cube Zero(2004)
½

Whilst a group of strangers try to escape the cube maze, their attempts are viewed by technicians on the outside.

Here we have the second sequel to the highly successful low budget horror / SF movie. Some of the basic plot is similar to the other entries, but there are a lot of elements that suggest this is a prequel to the original, but there are a lot of elements that show that technology is in fact superior, and it could be set after, and the viewer is not really shown whether this is a deliberate touch, or if the story is just badly handled. It is nice to see a return to the old fashioned style of traps and the industrial look of the cube works quite well. The small cast of characters are incredibly annoying and are just way too over the top for the movie's own good. The gore is limited, but what you do get to see, is as well handled as the other two entries in the franchise, and the traps are designed with quite a sadistic glee. But the real let-down in this movie is the plot, as in the original not knowing who was in control added a real sense of fear and paranoia, but the addition of the characters 'on the outside' just breaks any tension that may have been generated, especially taking into consideration how almost pantomime some of them are. Also, the ending of the movie would been quite good if you hadn't seen the original, and the reviewer can understand what was trying to be put across, but the almost carbon copying was actually quite annoying. All in all, this is a pretty average movie that feels like it is a SyFy original movie, and it would have been ok to watch as a standalone film, but compared to the other entries in the Cube franchise, it is a very poor cousin.

Cube 2 - Hypercube
½

A group of strangers must band together for survival in a new version of the maze where time is distorted and gives deadly results.

Here we have the sequel to the highly successful low budget horror / SF movie. This time around the production values and special effects are a lot greater, and the viewer is presented with a bigger and slicker movie - but it also goes to prove that bigger is not always better. Gone are the ingenious traps and the sense of fear of the unknown and paranoia, and is replaced with stark white walls, CGI and a lot of SF mumbo-jumbo whilst the story only has a modicum of an explanation. The basic plot is very similar to it's predecessor, and though still very good, it does not add anything major to the franchise. The slightly larger cast all play their characters with zeal, but are more one dimensional than the first movie, and you really don't care if they live or die. The set design is as simple as before, but with the loss of coloured rooms and the usage of stark whiteness, the viewer may find it all a bit bland. The gore is even more limited, and there is only one really good death sequence in the whole movie. All in all, this is still a good movie, but with the stripped down set design, unbelievable SF explanation and a quite annoyingly abstract ending, this sequel is just not as good as it's predecessor

Cube
Cube(1998)

Six strangers must band together for survival in a bizarre maze where deadly surprises lurk around every corner.

Here we have a low budget horror / SF movie that explores the ideas of fear of the unknown and paranoia in a story that has no explanation. The plot is very simple, but don't let that fool you, as it is handled incredibly well and even though all the action takes place in one set you get the feeling of the characters moving through like rats caught in a maze. The (small) cast all play their characters incredibly well, and all portray the feelings of paranoia, suspicion and madness to the max, and it is a nice touch that they are all named after prison complexes. The set design is simple as all the action takes place in one cube that is given a different colors to represent movement into different rooms, but one down-side with this is that the viewer does tend to lose interest in the surroundings because they never change. The gore is limited, but when deaths do occur, they are very inventive and even though the CGI is looking a little dated by today's standards, it is well handled. All in all this is a great little movie, with some brilliant Kafkaesque ideas that have inspired later genre films such as Saw, and even though the ending does make the viewer feel "Oh, is that it then?", it is still a riveting watch that stands up to repeated viewing.

The Italian Job

A group of British criminals travel to Italy to pull off the biggest caper ever.

Here we have what can only be classed as one of the classic British movies of all time. Upon it's release in the late 60's, with it's fantastic story-line, inspired casting and amazing production values, this movie was always destined for greatness, There is not much more I can add that hasn't already been said in countless reviews, articles and retrospectives, but as a piece of viewing pleasure this presses all the right buttons. The story never grows dull, the mix of action and comedy is perfectly handled. The casting choices are inspired and THAT line uttered by Michael Caine has now become the stuff of legend, and if you haven't mimicked it at some point, I am sure you know someone who has. But for this reviewer, the casting of Noel Coward as Mr Bridger is a work of pure genius. As I have said before, this movie is a complete classic, and if you have been living in a cave for most of your life and have never seen it, then I strongly suggest that you chastise yourself and then rush out and obtain it on blu-ray immediately

Return of the Aliens: The Deadly Spawn

When a meteorite crashes it contents are released and begins to terrorise a small US town, it is up to a young horror film fanatic to save the day.

Here we have a low budget movie from the early 80's that paved the way for a lot of later releases. The story is simple and the feel harkens back to some of the classics from the 40's and 50's with the addition of the (then) modern ideas of a bizarre monster and lots of graphic gore. The plot does not take a lot of thinking about, but is incredibly well handled and moves along very nicely, but the ending happens just at the wrong time and you are left wanting to see that little bit more. Though a bit wooden, the characters are all likable, but are no great loss when they get eaten. Primitive by today's standards, the special effects are incredibly well handled with the monster being an anatomically bizarre joy to behold, and with enough gore to satiate any horror fan's appetite. All in all, this is a fun movie that has enough to keep any genre fan happy to the end, and is now classed as a bit of a retro classic.

Hell Comes to Frogtown

In a world ravaged by nuclear war, Sam Hell works for the government rescuing fertile women from mutants so he can impregnate them and keep the human race alive.

This low budget SF / comedy movie sneaked out on video in the late 80's and still gets shown on late night channels. The story is thin but has a great mix of action, comedy and oddness that still makes it a little different from the rest of the movies released at the time. The small cast play their roles well and special mention has to go to (then) WWF star Roddy Piper who takes the main role of the anti-hero Sam Hell and really chews things up. The special effects were created in a world that was pre CGI, and though they are looking a little dated in places, still work on the whole. In the end this is one of those movies that you either love of hate, but still goes to prove that the little gems of weirdness from 20+ years ago still work well today. Plus, you have got to love giant mutant frogs that can walk and talk!

Nude Nuns With Big Guns
½

After being drugged and abused by the church she loved, Sister Sarah returns to seek vengeance on the people who wronged her.

This is one of those movies that you see advertised on late night TV and choose to watch purely based on the title and you have no idea if it is going to be any good or not, but it is actually quite enjoyable. With a very low budget and an improbable plot, this movie has all the trappings of a 70's Italian grindhouse flick with the sensibilities of a spaghetti western thrown in as well, and you know that the creators are playing homage to genres that they love to watch. The cast all play their totally over the top characters with glee, and you get the feel that a fun time was had by all. The gore is mainly comprised of copious bullet wounds, and is handled very well. With a high sense of silliness and a gratuitous amount of female nudity, this movie is no classic by any means, but it does have a certain something.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)
½

When an explosion virtually destroys a entire race, one of the few survivors plots revenge, but does not count on going up against James T. Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew.

Love it or hate it Star Trek is one of the icons of the SF genre. But, the last few lacklustre entries had all but retired the franchise. So, interest and trepidation were raised when this 'reboot' was announced. The result is a joy to watch being a kind of sequel and also a kind of reinvention. The story is typical Star Trek and is very enjoyable even though it doesn't really do anything ground-breaking, and has all the action and adventure you would expect. The acting is very good on the whole with a majority of the characters being incredibly well cast, apart from one that just didn't work in this reviewer's opinion. The inclusion of one of the 'classic' actors was not really needed as (to it's detriment) it no longer makes it a 'new start' to the series that we all thought was going to happen. In the end, this is a very fun movie to watch and perfectly evokes the feel of the series when it was at it'd best and though it may not be the saviour of the Star Trek franchise, it is a pretty good entry. I also strongly suggest you watch this on blu-ray, as the HD picture quality makes it a joy to watch.

Terror Trap
Terror Trap(2010)
½

When a couple are involved in a crash and their car is wrecked, and the local Police officer takes them to a local motel to stay the night, they soon discover that things are not as they seem.

Here we have a low budget horror movie that would appear to have spent most of it's cash on two B-List actors and left nothing for any other part of the movie. The story steals a majority of it's plot elements from all the other torture porn movies you have seen (Vacancy, Hostel, etc.) and the original ideas that are there make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The production values are mixed, as the sequences with the main couple are very well handled, but the sequences of the 'audience' watching look like they were added in at the last moment and shot on a home video with a few mates. A majority of the gore is off-screen and all you get to see is a couple of cuts and a few naked chicks. The acting is all over the place, from the completely wooden to they totally overt the top, but it was good to see Jeff Fahey being quite psychotic, and a special mention must go to Michael Madsen as I could not actually work out what is what actually doing in the film, but he did it very well. All in all this is a film that tried to have some good ideas, but seemed to fall at every hurdle. There are many other similar movies out there and all of them are a lot better.

The Princess Bride

After being missing for five years Westley returns to claim his love, only to discover that a lot has changed.

Every so often we all need to watch a movie that is nice, where good beats evil and everyone lives happily ever after - and this is one of those film's that fits the bill perfectly. The story is just a classic of storytelling, and the movie adaptation is incredibly well done by the original author. The casting is very well handled, and you have got to love the faint sarcasm that Cary Elwes manages to inject into his character. The action is pure fairy-story, and there are enough sword fights and to keep anyone happy. All in all this is one of those movie's that you either love or hate, as it's 'feel good; feeling is not to everyone's taste, but I saw this in my teens and it has kind of stuck with me all these years, and I know that if I want a nice little movie to watch, I know which blu-ray to reach for.

Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass(2010)

When Dave Lizewski, an ordinary teenager sets out to be the hero named Kick-Ass, he soon discovers that he is not the only hero in town,and also there villains out there too.

Based on the Icon comic book series by Mark Miller and John Romita, 'Kick-Ass' is a satirical look at the world of super-heroes and what would they do if they had no special powers. The story is a work of genius as it follows Dave's ordinary life as a school kid, and his extraordinary life as a hero, and all the people he meets along the way. The mix between comedy, pathos and action is fantastically handled, and the direction, soundtrack and production all make this an engrossing watch. The cast all play their roles to the max and and the characters they portray have an unexpected depth, so you actually care what happens to them. The gore is plentiful as this movie is actually quite violent in places, and is all the more hard hitting as a majority of it is inflicted by the 10 year old Hit-Girl in a manner that would rival even the most hardened assassin. As a part of super-hero genre, this movie pretty much stands in a field of it's own, as there are none of the usual trappings of loss, guilt and depression that you associate with other well known masked heroes, and depicts real people in a real world trying to make a difference. All in all, 'Kick-Ass' is an amazing movie that I would recommend anyone to watch, and even if you are not a fan of the comic book genre, this movie should still press all the right buttons. Screw you Batman and Spider-Man, these people are what all super-heroes should be like!!

Paranormal Activity 4
½

When their new neighbour is taken into hospital, a suburban family agree to look after her young boy, and soon weird and terrifying events begin to take over their lives.

Here we have the fourth entry in the 'found footage' franchise, which comes in the form of a sequel that takes place several years after the events depicted at the end of the second movie. The 'plot' is probably the weakest of the series and it meanders along and just when you think you have worked things out, it throws you a curve ball towards end that makes absolutely no sense and then goes rapidly downhill from there. The supernatural set pieces are still there in abundance, but even they seem to be nothing more than re-hashes of ones you have already seen, apart from a couple which were still incredibly eerie. The story feels more and more contrived and one feels that the franchise is rapidly losing the stark realism of the first movie that made it quite engrossing to watch. The case play their roles very well, and it is good to see the return of Katie, even though she is now is just becoming nothing more than the movie's monster. The special effects are very good, and the use of the Xbox Kinect is inspired. All in all this is a mediocre entry in the franchise that is just getting too silly for its own good and is only saved by the better supernatural sequences.

Paranormal Activity 3

A malignant supernatural force surrounds Katie and Kristi, and it seems that it first came into their lives when they were both young girls.

Here we have the third entry in the 'found footage' horror franchise, and yet again we have another prequel. This story is set 18 years prior to the events of the first and second film and deals with the two sisters when they were young children. The story is good, but is still weaker than it's predecessors, as there is very little supernatural horror, and it relies a lot more on the inherent creepiness of a young girl with long hair wearing an ankle length white nightdress doing odd things (the Japanese have built an entire horror genre using this form of image). As always, there are still a couple of stand-out sequences that manage to put a chill up your spine, but on the whole the story feels a lot more like a movie plot. The final portion, though quite nasty, does start to make things a little silly, and detracts from the subtle creepiness that was at the core of the first movie. Also, there is that same problem with a prequel that is made after the first installment, where it leaves a lot of nagging questions as to why the sisters do not know more of what is going on when they are haunted in later years. All in all, this is an enjoyable movie, but as the franchise continues, the story does seem to be getting incrementally weaker and less about the 'real life' happenings that made the first movie such a hit when it was initially released. It will be interesting to see how things progress with part four.

Paranormal Activity 2
½

Just after returning home after having their fist boy, Kristi and Daniel and teenage daughter Ali begin to experience terrifying occurrences in their family home.

Here we have another 'found footage' movie that takes place sixty days before the events of the first story. Katie and Micah are both present as you soon find out that Kirsti and Katie are sisters. The events unfold in a very similar way to the first movie, but it has a slightly more contrived feel and the use of security camera footage does detract from the tone as you have entire rooms to look at to see what subtle scariness is happening, which does lose the personal feel that the hand-held video camera had before. The story does not flow as well in this entry, and things do start to become a little repetitive in places, but saying that there are a couple of sequences that will make certain viewers jump. As is the problem with prequels that are made after the initial entry, they do tend to make you wonder why certain plot elements were not mentioned in later movies, but in this case, the story does manage to tie everything up, and does go some of the way towards explaining some of the initial events in 'Paranormal Activity'. As we reach the finale, the movie becomes a sequel, and things do go a little over the top which is a shame as you lose the understated feel of what came before. Let us hope that the third entry goes even further into explaining the events surrounding both the families. In the end this entry in the franchise is another interesting exercise in the 'found footage' genre with some very good scenes, but it does feel a bit more like a movie and does not have the rawness of its predecessor.

The Thing
The Thing(1982)

When the crew of an Antarctic research station discover that a neighbouring Norwegian base has been destroyed, the soon find out that the cause is something they could have never imagined.

Anyone who knows me is fully aware that John Carpenter is my favourite director and this movie has got to be one of the finest examples of his work. The story (based on a 1938 short story) is a masterpiece of SF, horror, action with a tiny amount of humour just in the right places. The cast all play their roles to the max and Kurt Russell really embraces the lead character of MacReady. The production values are immense and the cinematography of the surrounding snow really gives the viewer the feeling of isolation of the US base, and the usage of painted backdrops really adds to the overall look and feel. Rob Bottin's special effects are the stuff of legend and even though the monsters are completely insane creations, they never lose their sense of realism, but towards the end things do tend to go a little over the top. All in all this is a classic movie that any serious movie fan should have in their collection, and if you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend that you go out and purchase a copy today, especially on blu-ray as it looks amazing!!

V for Vendetta

In a dark future where the government completely rules the UK, a girl is rescued by a masked terrorist,and is shown that the future can be shaped by an idea.

Inspired by the 1980's comics series created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, 'V For Vendetta' presents the viewer with a dystopian future where the country is completely controlled by the state and people are told what to read, watch and think, and is almost an allegory of Nazi Germany at it's height. But then there is V, the masked hero that strives to return to the country to the masses, and does everything in his power to open their eyes to the possibility of freedom. Even though it is only very loosely based on the source material, the story is incredibly well written and keeps the viewer entertained without being completely depressing. The stellar cast all play their roles to the max, and special mention must go to Hugo Weaving who manages to give the main character a deep life, even though you never actually see his face. The production values are all incredibly high, and the shots of London at night are amazing. As this is more of a cerebral movie, the action is sporadic, but when it does occur, the sequences are handled with an almost Hong Kong cinema style, which completely fits the overall tone. All in all, this is a phenomenal movie, but if you are expecting a literal translation of the original source material, you will be disappointed. But even if you are fan of the original work, and can be relaxed enough to expect a few liberties to be taken with the plot, you can expect a great watch with visuals that have now become entwined with real life events, that still manages to encompass the story's original idea ... And we all know everything starts with an idea.

Dark City
Dark City(1998)
½

When a young man awakens in a hotel room with no memories of his life, he finds himself hunted by the police and a group of dark clothed strangers.

Here we have a a dark fantasy movie that takes lots of elements from other movies and mixes them all together with varying degrees of success. The story is intriguing in the beginning, with an almost Kafka sense of dark claustrophobia, but this soon gives way a quite run of the mill SF story, and the ending is really quite silly. The acting runs from the completely over the top (Kiefer Sutherland) to the almost catatonic (Jennifer Connelly), but you have got to love Richard O'Brien's slightly twisted portrayal of Mr Hand. The effects are numerous and even though the CGI looks a little dated by today's standards, it all fits the feel of the film very, very well. The gore is non-existent, but this is not one of those blood-laden movies. In the end, this is one of those film's that when it was originally released you either loved or hated, and luckily enough I was a bit of a fan, and even though it hasn't stood up particularly well to the test of time, it is still very engaging.

Book of Blood
½

A young man recounts the happenings in a Scottish haunted house and how come they have led to him having bloody writing all of his flesh.

This indie British horror film is based on two of Clive Barker's early short stories and the author co-produced the movie. The story starts off promising enough with a creepy back-story and the usual weirdness that any fan of Clive's work has come to expect and with the look and feel of the movie I half expected a Cenobite to appear in the background. But as things progress the story becomes more and more lacklustre and the earlier creepiness is replaced with a very boring haunted house tale that never really goes anywhere and the ending is a complete anti-climax. The acting by the small cast is solid enough and the cameo by fan favourite Doug Bradley is a nice touch. The production values are incredibly high, and the special effects are incredibly well handled. Apart from one short sequence (that is really quite squishy) the gore is quite underplayed, but the look of the ghosts is very nicely done. All in all this started off as a very promising film that should have kept it's earlier sense of uneasiness all the way through.

Dread
Dread(2009)

When three friends undertake a school video project exploring how dread manifests itself in other people, things are taken to a level that is far beyond what was intended.

Here we have a indie horror movie based on a short story by Clive Barker dealing with his trademark vision of the darker side of human psyche. The storyline starts off very strongly as it investigates the three main characters and the people they come in contact with, but as the movie comes to it's finale it begins to become quite 'in your face' and reminded this viewer of the short lived torture porn genre of a few years back, which is a shame as a lot of the unsettling atmosphere was lost. The young actors all play their roles well, but it is all the other people being interviewed that end up being the most interesting characters. The production values are high, and small main cast and limited use of sets work well together. The gore is saved until the last part of the movie, and as I mentioned above, even though it is well produced (and quite nasty in some places), it does detract a little from the more psychological feel of the the first part of the movie. All in all this is quite an enjoyable film, but one feels that it could have had a little more substance.

The Belles of St. Trinian's

When a racehorse is stolen it is up to the 4th year of Britain's most infamous school to save the day.

The first movie in the St Trinians series and this is undoubtedly a classic of British comedy. The story is fantastic and the humour is timed perfectly. The cast is an amazing ensemble of comedy greats and a special mention needs to go to Alastair Sim who plays both his roles magnificently. If you have never seen a St Trinians movie, then I strongly recommend you watch this entry as it is one of those rare examples of a perfectly made movie.

Clive Barker Presents Saint Sinner

In the year 1815, a monk accidentally releases two succubi and then he must travel to the mit wpiodern day to track them down and destroy them.

Produced by Clive Barker and based one of his short stories, this TV movie has the look and feel of some of his earlier work with all the religious and sexual overtones the are present. The story is good, but does tend to lack a little when dealing with the interaction between the human characters, but this offset by a very good dynamic between the two female demons. The action is frequent and engaging enough to keep the viewer entertained throughout, though the climax happens too quickly and makes you feel that all the build up was for nothing. The gore is frequent, bloody and the the use of altered bodies makes for something a little different and is reminiscent the author at his best. It would have been so easy to make a standard horror product that looked and felt like a failed TV pilot, but even though it is not perfect, this movie stands apart and is worth viewing.

2-Headed Shark Attack
½

When a group of school kids go on a summer semester about a boat, they are stalked by a genetic impossibility.

We all have a soft spot for killer shark movies and SyFy channel has latched on to this and has been making them (and other killer animal) movies for quite some time now. But of course, there is only so far you can go, and sooner of later you have to find a new angle - and what an angle this is!!!! The plot is ridiculous, the acting is wooden and the special effects are laughable and those are the best parts of the movie, but there is something about it that actually made me quite enjoy it. Watch this movie at your peril!!!

Rawhead Rex
Rawhead Rex(1987)

When a farmer decides to move a giant stone in his field, he unleashes an ancient evil that terrorises the local Irish countryside.

An adaptation from Clive Barker's Books Of Blood, which a screenplay written by the author himself, 'Rawhead Rex' should be a great film, but what we have is a mixed bag. The story is engaging enough and is steeped in Irish mysticism, but it just never seems to get going, and one feels that major changes were made to the story during the shooting without consulting the author . The acting is not fantastic, and though it is not particularly wooden, it falls foul of strong Irish accents that just end up sounding like comedy impersonations. The special effects are good where it comes to the gore, but the title creature itself is not very well visualised, and looks like some kind of giant ape. In the end this movie is ok, but could have been a lot better and really hasn't stood the test of time.

Botched
Botched(2008)
½

When a group of thieves are sent to a Russian penthouse to steal a golden cross, they soon find out that getting out is going to be a lot harder then getting in.

Caught this movie purely on a whim as it sounded quite fun, but I wasn't expecting anything special - but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised as this movie proved to be a little gem. The story starts off quite serious, but gets sillier and sillier as things go on, and there are a couple of sequences that made me laugh out loud. All the actors play their roles very, very well and a special thumbs up goes to Jamie Foreman who kept me giggling all the way through. The gore is plentiful with enough shootings and various limbs being chopped off to keep everyone happy. On the down side there was certain elements of the story that were a little bit thin and could have done with a bit of expansion and the end dis feel a little rushed. But all in all this is a great little movie with plenty of going on it that I would recommend that anyone watches, and I love the end title song by Red Elvises!!!!

Chopper
Chopper(2001)
½

After being released from prison, Chopper returns back to his home town, only to find out that there is a contract out on him.

This movie is based on the first book written by Australian criminal Mark "Chopper" Read, but also has a liberal dose of fiction put into it as well. The film follows a period in his life from he being released from prison, to him returning a short while later, and though the storyline is not particularly action driven, the array of bizarre happenings and characters keeps the viewer entertained. The title role is expertly played by Eric Bana, and the supporting cast all play the lowlife denizens incredibly well. The gore is minimal, but when something does happen, there is plenty of blood involved. All in all this is an odd little movie, as I was expecting a biography, and the deliberate blurring between fact and fiction does detract as you er know if what you are watching actually happened or not. Still, this is an enjoyable movie that had parts that made me giggle and other parts that made me wince.

Zombie Women of Satan

A troupe of new-wave nightclub performers are invited to a remote farm to take part in an internet talk-show, but when they get there they discover that things are not what they seem.

With it's obvious micro-budget, this UK horror / comedy takes what little it has and tries to give as much as it can. The plot is virtually non-existent, and what little there is never really explained, and it just seems to be an excuse for a lot of red-headed women to run around topless. The cast play their characters with such gusto that you get the feeling that they are all friends having a good time together. The special effects (though simple) are plentiful and there is enough blood to keep any horror fan happy. All in all this is not a great movie by any shape, size or form as it looks amateurish, and has many plot holes and continuity errors, but it is strangely enjoyable in places. Plus, any film that has a topless female zombie in a wheelchair that can fire acid from her nipples gets a thumbs up from me.

Hatfields & McCoys
½

Mini-series depicting the events around two warring families who lived along the West Virginia and Kentucky border in the late 1800's USA.

Recounting the events of the famous Hatfield / McCoy feud, this mini-series is a lavish production with some big name actors in it. The look and feel rivals some of the recent Hollywood movies in it's depth, location and camera work. All the actors do a fine job of their roles, and this proves once again that Kevin Costner was born to be in westerns. The real problem with this series though is the story itself, and though the first two episodes are very well handled and have a great mix of story and action, the final episode seems to lose steam half way through and the final hour just meanders along. The ending is abrupt and made this viewer feel like the film-makers did not not know how to bring the story to a proper conclusion. In the end, I am not familiar with this part of US history, so I cannot say if any liberties have been taken with the actual events, but this is a good mini-series that would have probably benefited from having a slightly shortened running time, to allow the story to be tightened up.

The Girl
The Girl(2012)

Drama telling the story of the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren.

This is a great little tv drama telling the story of the tempestuous relationship between the two stars. The story has been deeply researched by conducting interviews with the staff that were around at the time and with Tippi Hedren herself. The casting is very well handled - Sienna Miller gives a stunning performance and Toby Jones plays the role to the max (even though he does make Hitch seem slightly creepy). Being a character study, the plot was never going to be exciting, so this may not be for everyone, but if you are a fan of either of the two subjects, this is a must watch.

Attack the Block

A gang of youths defend their tower block against the most unlikely of enemy.

Here we have a great little UK movie that harkens back to those great SF / horror movies of the 80's. The cast of young actors all play their roles to the max, and at times you can actually believe that they are a gang living in the block. The aliens are very well designed and remind me of the monster from 'An American Werewolf In London', with added glowing teeth. The plot is very well written and even though it is an allegory on how the poorest of locations have the strongest sense of community, the great mix of humour and action keeps the viewer entertained all the way through. The ending does get a little silly, and the hoards of chanting people really doesn't seem to fit in with the tone and feel of the rest of the movie. All in all, this is a great little movie, that I would recommend to anyone.

Doom
Doom(2005)

When a group of marines are sent to a Mars colony to rescue a group of trapped scientists, they soon discover that the base is overrun by vicious monsters.

This movie is very, very loosely based on some of the plot elements of the Doom video game, but it is really a brand new story. The plot is incredibly cheesy and you have seen all the elements in many other SF / horror movies, but this was never going to be a masterpiece. The production values are all quite high and the special effects are very well handled,with plenty of monsters and blood to keep everyone happy. The acting is pretty wooden, and all the characters are just there as cannon fodder and you really don't care if they live or die. All in all this is isn't actually a very good movie, and really has nothing to do with the source material that it is supposedly 'based on', but you gotta love the BFG and any movie that goes first person gets a thumbs up in my opinion.

The Expendables 2
½

The band of mercenaries return as they are commissioned to return some weapons-grade plutonium that has been stolen from a disused mine.

With any second movie there is always a worry that the sequel will just be a poor imitation of the original - but luckily this cannot be said for Expendables 2. This is another testosterone fuelled romp and again makes for the perfect beer and pizza movie. The plot is actually better than it's predecessor and the story moves nicely along from one battle to another. The production values are again all very high, but there are still some incredibly dodgy CGI shots that you would have hoped would have been sorted out. The absence of Mickey Rourke's character is very noticeable, but it well replaced with the addition of the new character played by (the God himself) Chuck Norris, and it is just worth watching just to see the sequence where he first appears - just pure class!! All in all, this is another great movie that I urge everyone to watch, and with all the stars attached to it, you really cant go wrong again!!!

Jennifer's Body

After surviving a horrific fire in a local bar, Jennifer is spirited away by the band that was playing, but when she returns back she is not the same girl, and only her best friend Needy can remedy the situation.

Here we have a modern teen movie that tries to be on one hand horrific, and on the other a black comedy, but it never really excels in either. The plot is very thin and has been done before in many different guises in the past, and as it revolves around the two main characters, it is a shame that neither of them are strong enough actresses for the viewer to feel any empathy for either of them. The rest of the cast are all pretty disposable, but there was a nice little surprise at the end with the (uncredited) cameo of a genre great. The special effects are handled well, and even though the kills are mainly off-screen there is still a fair amount of blood to keep you happy. With it's look and feel, I feel that this movie is more aimed at the twenty-something audience, and as a seasoned horror fan, I was left with a feeling that though it was enjoyable, much better examples of this type of horror / black comedy have been made before - for example Ginger Snaps, and some of the stronger episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But this of course is just my take on things, and there will be many people out there that disagree with me.

The Expendables
½

A band of mercenaries are commissioned to overthrow the corrupt government of a small South America island.

Here we have what can be only classed as a dream movie - comprising all the stars of the action flicks that we all watched and loved during the 80's and 90's!!! This testosterone fuelled cheese fest is one of those movies that is perfect when you have just ordered a pizza. The plot is pedestrian at best, but that is just secondary as all you want to see are the wise cracking heroes dispatching the villains in a multitude of different ways. The production values are all very high, apart from the use of some very dodgy CGI sequences for the plane flight and the less that is said about the blood from the bullet wounds the better. On a personal note, i feel that Mickey Rourke needed to be in the movie much, much more than he was! All in all, this is a great movie that I urge everyone to watch, and with all the stars attached to it, you really cant go wrong!!!

Hulk
Hulk(2003)
½

After being over-exposed to gamma radiation,scientist Bruce Banner battles to find a cure for before his life is transformed forever.

Here we have another high budget comic adaptation, and though it shows that Marvel leads the field where it comes to transferring it's characters to the big screen, sometimes they just don't get things completely right. In my opinion, The Hulk isn't one of the company's most in-depth characters, and there is only so much that could be done before it gets completely stupid. This movie does feel overly long and would have probably been a lot better if it was half an hour shorter. The characters are completely two dimensional and you feel no empathy with any of them. The story meanders along, and just when it starts to get interesting, it ends in what can only be described as a blink of an eye. The special effects are incredibly cartoony (and not in a good way), but you have got to have a sneaking admiration for a movie that includes a mutated French Poodle!!! All in all this isnt a bad movie, it just isnt very good either.

Max Payne
Max Payne(2008)
½

A police detective avenging his family and a female assassin avenging her sister join forces to break a drugs cartel.

This action movie is very loosely based on the 2001 video game of the same name. The story, though entertaining, is nothing new or ground-breaking. The acting is as over the top as you would expect for this type of movie. The production is all very high, and the effects enhanced shooting style, does give the movie a 'Sin City' feel in paces. But the usage of CGI does more become and more ridiculous as the movie progresses (especially the large amount of angelic visions for really no apparent reason). And of course there is the obligatory "we could make a sequel" epilogue after the end titles have rolled. This is a fun movie to watch if you are looking for a bit of action that you really don't have to think about, but don't expect a masterpiece.

The A-Team
The A-Team(2010)

A group of Iraq War veterans seek to clear their name after being framed for a crime they did not commit.

I was very wary of watching this movie, as I am a huge fan of the original TV series, and I was very worried that they were going to take it and completely screw it up. But, what I was presented was by no means perfect, but was actually very enjoyable. The story is as over the top as you can possibly imagine, and has no basis in reality whatsoever, but then again neither did the TV show. The casting is all very well handled, but for me all the actors were just pale imitations of the originals. The big production values were very well handled, and there are a suitably large amount of things going "BANG" to keep anyone happy. I particularly liked the bit with the sky-falling tank - just pure cheese!! In the end this is an enjoyable film, but it could have been any group of heroes, and they will never be The A-Team that we all know and love.

The Punisher
The Punisher(2004)

When he crosses a high powered crime lord, ex FBI agent Frank Castle pays the ultimate price, and as an act of revenge he goes outside the law and takes on a new persona.

This Marvel character was an odd choice to bring to the big screen, as he is not your normal comic book hero, and as a result the finished movie is a mixed bag. The movie starts off quite solidly, but as things progress the story loses it's way with the addition of humorous side characters and ends with a pretty run of the mill lacklustre "ready for a sequel" ending. The eclectic mix of actors all pay their roles with a range of zeal to woodenness, but it always good to see the late, great Roy Scheider. The production values are all very good and there are enough fights, bullets and blood to keep anyone happy. All in all this is isn't a bad movie, it tries to be big, but ends feeling like a failed pilot episode for a proposed TV series.

Hot Tub Time Machine
½

When a group of friends go for a weekend in the ski resort they used to hang out in the 80's, a spilt can of energy drink on the hot tub's electrics lead them back to their teen years.

I wasn't too sure when I started watching this, as the plot started to get very silly very early on, but as soon as the characters were transported back to the 80's, this became a great movie with some stand-out comedy scenes that had me laughing out loud. The actors all play their roles with such gusto, that I get the feeling that they had a fun time during filming. The production values are all very high, and there is a killer soundtrack comprising of period music. On the downside, Chevy Chase's character (though funny) was not particularly well explained, and the film would not have lost anything by him not being there. Also, things did become a little moralistic and saccharine towards the end. All in all, this is a great movie, and it reminded me why I enjoy this kind of feel-good comedy film so much.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

As the journey towards Mordor continues, the heroes encounter more battles and adventures.

The second part of the epic Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and here we have another movie that redefines the fantasy genre. The story keeps going from strength to strength and with it's much darker feel, this movie is a joy to watch. Again, all facets of this production have been taken to their limits and you can the time and effort that was taken to bring this classic portion of the story to the big screen. My only quibble was the overly CGI'd Ents which do seem incredibly jerky and cartoony in places. In the end, this is another amazing piece of work and will always be my favourite chapter in the trilogy

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

When the One Ring is passed on to Frodo, he soon finds himself beginning a quest that will change Middle Earth and him forever.

This is first part of the epic Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and what can I say that hasn't already been said in multiple interviews, articles, specials, etc. This is an epic movie, the likes of which haven't been seen since the glory days of Hollywood, but with the magnitude of this story, there was no way that anything less than an epic could be attempted. All facets of this movie have been taken to their limits - with top-notch acting, direction, effects and production, and even though I am a fan of the 1978 animated movie, this just takes things to a whole other level. If I was going to find something to quibble, it would be that there are certain sequences and characters that do not follow the original text implicitly, but this happens with any form of adaptation, and I am just picking holes. In the end, this is an amazing piece of work and a worthy first entry into the trilogy of (in my mind) one of the greatest story's ever written

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

When he is invited on an adventure, Bilbo Baggins' discovers a world he never knew existed, and his life changes forever.

Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth as he brings the first part of The Hobbit to the big screen. And after Lord Of The Rings, you would expect a lavish epic with a captivating storyline, breath-taking visuals, top-notch acting and amazing production values - and of course you get all these in bucketfuls, and with all the hype surrounding this new trilogy, there isn't a lot I can say about the technical side of the movie itself that hasn't already been covered in article after article. So, this is going to be a very brief review. The story is amazing, the acting is brilliant, and the production values are amazing, (apart from one CGI heavy effects sequence that just didn't work for me). I think the best thing for me is the fact that it has been so long since I read the book, i cant remember a lot of the story - which means (unlike the previous trilogy) I wasn't sat watching it looking for the bits changed, added and not filmed, and to be truthful I enjoyed it more than 'The Fellowship Of The Ring'. This is a great initial entry in what looks to be a great .trilogy

The Day the Earth Stood Still

When an alien lands in America, the human race soon finds out that the message he has come to deliver could mean the end of everything.

Here we have another example of when the Hollywood movie machine decides to remake a classic movie, and the viewers are presented with a high budget failure. The original version is a seminal classic of the SF genre, and is one of those films that really, really didn't need remaking, but (of course) this didn't stop someone from deciding that it needed updating. The plot follows the same basic idea, but the changes become more and more noticeable as the movie progresses, and none seem to add anything new or memorable. The movie starts off slowly, then picks up a little in the middle, becomes a complete CGI fest towards the end and the climax is abrupt to say the least. The major change for this viewer was the character of Gort, and though he does slightly more in this version, he just feels like a complete cartoon and has lost the mystique of the original incarnation. The acting is nothing more than standard and even Keanu Reeves seems slightly more wooden than normal. All in all this is substandard remake that should have never been considered, and though it is viewable, it should really only be watched if you have never seen, or have no love for the original version.

Watchmen
Watchmen(2009)

After the death of The Comedian, a group of disbanded superheroes join back together and discover that the reasons behind the murder go deeper than they ever imagined.

'Watchmen' is one of the greatest graphic novels ever written, in fact I would go as far as to say that it re-defined the genre upon it's release in 1986. There had been rumours of a movie adaptation over the years, but no-one was brave enough to ever bring it to life. And when it was finally announced that Zack "300" Snyder was helming, I was both excited that it was finally being made and nervous that it would not be done the justice it deserves. The result what much better then I could have ever expected, and is as close to the original as you are ever going to get. The original story is not a pleasant read, and likewise the movie keeps the gritty, depressing feel and still retains all the story elements. The acting is top-rate and special mention definitely need to go Jackie Earle Haley for his tortured portrayal of Rorschach. The production values are amazing, as so are the special effects, but it does get a little too CGI in places. All in all, this is an amazing movie that anyone can enjoy, but if you have ever read the original source material, you will understand how good an adaptation it really is.

Babylon A.D.
Babylon A.D.(2008)

When a veteran mercenary is asked to escort a young girl and her nun guardian to America, he soon discovers that she hides much more than he could imagine.

This is a dark type SF film that has subtle nods to lots of other similar movies - Blade Runner, Total Recall and Johnny Mnemonic to name a few. The cast play their roles well, and it is always good to see Vin Diesel and Michelle Yeoh acting, even though these roles do not really push them to any new heights. The special effects are well handled (though pedestrian) and there are enough fights and explosions to keep most people happy. But the views of future New York are a little too 'Blade Runner' for their own good. The story is quite well handled at the beginning and keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen next. But what really lets the movie down is the ending, as the story becomes more and more disjointed as things go along, and the finale explains nothing and is actually quite lame. All in all this is quite a fun movie, but it would have been a hell of a lot better if it had been a little more visually original and if it had a completely different climax.

The Monster Club

After helping out a starving vampire, a horror author is repaid by being taken to 'The Monster Club' and told stories of three different types of monsters.

I have a real soft spot for this movie - it is the highest form of camp horror done perfectly. The three stories are all entertaining in different ways and are a good mix of sad, funny and horrific, with my favourite being the hilarious second entry starring Donald Pleasence. The framing sequences in 'The Monster Club' itself are all very silly and amusing with a mix of comedy, people in rubber masks and several musical numbers. The cast is a great mix of horror stalwarts and other famous faces from the time who all play their roles to the max, with a special mention going to the legendary Vincent Price (and one of the only times he has played a vampire methinks). I remember seeing this movie way back in the day and it really appealed to my love of camp horror, and it a film that I can happily watch again and again. But, in the scheme of things, it really hasn't stood up to the test of time, and one thinks that it isn't going to appeal to the modern horror fan. But, I will always urge people to check it out if they haven't seen it and enjoy this great movie that shows why the British have always been the best at making horror anthology films.

High Plains Invaders (Alien Attack)(Alien Western)

When a small western town is invaded by alien bugs, convicted train robber Sam Phoenix becomes an unlikely hero.

Well, this was a first for me - a Syfy original movie that actually wasn't horrendous to watch! The story is no masterpiece by any shape, size or form, but it is not that badly written compared to some of the other offerings from the TV channel. The acting is not as wooden as I expected, and it is always good to see James 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Marsters ham it up in a movie. The CGI is well handled and apart from a couple of dodgy shots, doesn't look like it was created using an etch-a-sketch. The gore is minimal and all you get is a bit of blood when someone is shot. All in all, this is no work of art - the story has a quite a few holes in it and the ending is one of those 'blink and you'll miss it' types, but if you are looking for something to take up 90 minutes that really doesn't take any thinking about, I have yet to come across a better Syfy original movie.

Sex Addict
Sex Addict(2008)
½

Jennifer goes through life from one sexual encounter to another, but having a mutated bodily part does make finding love difficult. But when she discovers a young man named Batz, who has a similar problem, she thinks she can finally be happy.

Directed by the same twisted genius that created the 'Basket Case' trilogy, 'Brain Damage' and 'Frankenhooker', this is Frank Henlotter's first movie in over 15 years, and it is nice to see that he has not lost his flare for the bizarre and grotesque. This love story defies a full explanation, and the only way to do it justice is to actually see it. The cast all seem to get into the spirit of things, and one wonders if they actually knew what they were letting themselves in for when they signed up for the project. The special effects only really come into their own towards the end of the movie, and as there is no cgi to be seen, everything has an oddly retro look that fits the tone of the movie perfectly. Compared to his earlier works, 'Bad Biology' is not as raw, and is a little slow to get going, but it rapidly loses it's sanity as things progress. This is definitely not a movie for everyone to watch, but if you have seen any of Frank's previous movies, you will definitely know what kind of thing you are letting yourself in for.

Zone of the Dead

When a pair of Interpol agents are sent to transport a supposadely dangerous prisoner, they are attacked by hoards of the living dead, and only the prisoner knows the reason why.

As a point of trivia, this movie is known as 'Apocalypse Of The Dead' in the UK, but this alternate title seems to work a lot better. Filmed in Serbia, this movie has every zombie plot element you could wish for - a cop with a haunted past, a villain that turns good, guns, swords, deadly toxins, and lots and lots of zombies. The plot is pretty thin and loses coherency as the movie progresses, but it doesn't really matter. The cast of generic characters are made up of (mainly) European actors and a majority of them are only on screen to act as a zombie fodder. But, it is great to see Ken 'Dawn Of The Dead' Foree back on screen doing what he does best, and he even has a Producer credit. The gore looks a little amateurish in places, but there are enough head shots, decapitations, bites, rips and internal organs to keep any horror viewer happy. All in all, this European entry is not the best zombie ever made, but has enough going on to give any horror fan a bit of a giggle.

The Simpsons Movie

When Homer breaks a 'no dumping' order in Lake Springfield, he causes the breakdown of the entire town.

After nearly 20 years on the small screen, The Simpsons finally makes its big screen dbut. The story is a what you would expect from the show, and though very funny in places, it does feel a bit thin in places. The animation is no better or worse then you see in the newer TV episodes and the voice acting is just as good as you would expect it to be. All in all this is a fun watch, but it does goes on a bit, and at times it does feel like an overly long episode.

Bubba Ho-Tep
Bubba Ho-Tep(2003)

When their Texan nursing home is threatened by an ancient Egyptian evil, it is up to 'The King' and an 'ex-president' to save the day.

Best known for the 'Phantasm' series of films, director Don Coscarelli returned with this adaptation of a Joe R Lansdale short story, and what a fantastically off-beat movie it is. The story really defies description and when it was announced, no-one really knew how this story could ever be brought to the screen giving it the justice it deserved - but an amazing job has been done and it really needs to be seen to be believed. The choice of characters is bizarre to say the least, but they are all expertly played, and special mentions have to go to the greats Ossie Davis and Bruce Campbell for their amazing portrayals of the leads. The look and feel of the movie is just as quirky as you would expect from the director, and the black comedy works perfectly. The special effects are scarce but are all handled perfectly. And just to top things off, mention has to be made about the soundtrack, with it's mix of pseudo Egyptian and rock 'n' roll themes, it adds that final layer to make this a classic movie, Now, I know that every movie out there is not to everyone's tastes, and 'Bubba Ho-Tep' is no ordinary movie, but if you have a love of the bizarre and have yet to see it, I strongly recommend you purchase a copy and give yourself a treat.

Umbrage
Umbrage(2009)

As a family spend their first night tin their new farm, they are disturbed by a camper who swears that his friend has just been killed by shadows.

This low budget horror is a mix bag of results. The title is really not good at all, and it wasn't until I looked up the word 'Umbrage' that I worked out what it actually had to do with the movie. Next, it did come as a bit of a shock when I realised that this is a British movie, as the look and sound of the first five minutes had me convinced that is was American made. The plot has it's ups and down, and the core story is nothing new and does meander a little in places. The underlying black comedy works quite nicely and there are solid performances by the entire cast, but the climatic sequence between the two vampires is a little odd and does not fit into the rest of the movie and feels like just an excuse to show quite a magnificent pair of breasts on screen. The actual finale to the film (though not original) is handled quite nicely and the final sequence with the country song playing over the top is very nicely put together. The claustrophobic feel of the limited sets fits the overall tone, but the constantly dark lighting does make it a little difficult to make things out at times. There isn't massive amounts of gore, but what you do see is very well done and all quite red and sticky. All in all, this isn't a bad movie, and it has some interesting ideas that could have just done with some polishing in places.

The Cook
The Cook(2008)
½

When the rest of the sorority sisters go on a short break, the few that are left behind decide to spend the weekend partying, but little do they know that their new cook is about to serve them up something horrific.

What we have here is a little low budget horror comedy with a handful of unknown actors and actresses and a standard plot - but it actually works really well. The (mainly female) characters all the play their roles with their tongues firmly placed in their cheeks, and extra credit goes to Mark Hengst who plays the title role to the max. The storyline is really nothing you haven't seen before countless times, but with the mix of horror and black comedy it moves along at a good pace. The special effects are well handled and the slightly amateurish look suits the tone of the overall film. Even with all the similarities to many other sorority horror flicks, if you are looking for a fun bit of horror to take up 90 minutes, then this maybe the choice for you.

Resurrecting the Street Walker
½

Shocking mocumentary following an aspiring film-maker who sets about finishing an abandoned horror film, that soon become an obsession.

This low budget cinema verite shocker ended up being quite a pleasant surprise. The production values, direction and performances are all top-notch, and if you had switched it on half way through, you may have actually thought you were watching a real documentary. The story is quite entertaining as it follows the lead character's descent into madness, but the climax was a bit abrupt and a little formulaic and this reviewer had a sneaking suspicion what was going to happen way before it actually did. But, all in all this is a nice little movie, and if you like this style of film making, then you will enjoy watching it.

Spirit Trap
Spirit Trap(2006)
½

When a group of college teens all decide to share the same house, they discover that it has a terrible secret that puts all their lives in danger

Here we have a low budget British / Romanian horror movie that tries to be something special, but isn't anything you haven't seen before. The story moves along quite nicely, but the plot ideas have all been regurgitated from many other haunted house flicks. The cast all play their roles very well, but again you have seen the characters in countless other movies. This isn't blood and gore heavy and the limited special effects are nicely done and suits the tone of things quite well. All in all this isn't a bad movie, but it just isn't anything outstanding.

Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story

Documentary telling the story of comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, which follows him from his childhood right up to the 2003 Sexie tour.

Eddie Izzard has got to be one of the best stand up comedians out there, and this documentary is a very affectionate look at his life story. Charting his childhood, school days and rise to stardom, it follows him right up to his 'workshop' shows for the Sexie Tour. It is jam packed with interviews with family, friends and the man himself, and the chance to see some archival footage of his early days doing street performing is worth the ticket price alone. This is a very interesting, funny and (at times) emotional documentary which is perfect for the rabid fan, or anyone who has heard of him and wants to know more.

La Chiesa (The Church) (Cathedral of Demons)

When two restorers discover a demonic seal in the basement floor of a cathedral in Rome, one of them decides to open it, and all hell literally breaks loose.

Produced by Dario Argento and directed by Michele Soavi, 'The Church' is a great example of late 80's European horror. The plot is convoluted, hard to follow and pretty outrageous in places, but is exactly what you have come to expect if you are a fan of Italian movies. The special effects are a joy to behold, from the mechanical designs to the monsters, and the gore (though infrequent) is good and bloody. But the real appeal with all Italian horror movies are the beautifully framed shots, and 'The Church' is a great example, from the lighting, to the gothic feel of the cathedral itself, right the way the way through to the frantic neo-classical soundtrack (that includes contributions from Goblin, Philip Glass and Simon Boswell), this movie hits all the right buttons. Now, I know this branch of the horror genre is not to everyone's taste, but if you have any interest in euro-horror, and have never seen 'The Church', I strongly recommend you give yourself a treat and check it out.

Dorian Gray
Dorian Gray(2009)

When a young man moves to London to claim his family inheritance, he soon becomes the centre of the hedonistic lifestyle that comes with it, but at what price?

I am a great fan of Oscar Wilde's story and also the original movie adaptation, and when i saw the trailer for this remake, I was a little worried that it was being handled in the same style as a lot of the recent teen horror movies. But luckily, the trailer does not do the movie justice. The story is a very good adaptation, and elements of loss of innocence, vanity, sex and corruption are all handled very well. The acting is first class and none of the characters become too over the top. The special effects are all very subtly handled throughout the majority of the movie, but things do go a little overboard when it reaches the climax. All in all, this a very good movie, and if you are looking for something that is well made, well acted and a little different compared to the recent crop of horror movies, you should definitely check it out.

Demonic Toys 2

After being repaired, two of the toys end up in the hands of a collector as he travels the globe. When they arrive they arrive at an Italian castle, all hell literally breaks loose.

I do like films with possessed toys in them, but even with my love of the genre, I found it hard to really enjoy this movie. The story is very weak indeed, and there is no real explanation to how and why the toys return, and the rest of the story blunders along until it reaches the 'blink and you'll miss it' ending. The very small cast of characters are all particularly tasteless, and it is a bit of light relief when they are killed. The doll designs are ok, but they do begin to resemble Chucky's looks from his later movies. The special effects are mix of adequate and cheesy as the movie relies on a lot of CGI gore, and it all looks quite false. In the end this movie is no where as good as it's predecessor, and though it is nice to see the toys return, there are plenty of other movies out there you can watch instead of this one.

Ultimate Avengers: The Movie

When aliens threaten Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a group of the planet's strongest heroes to fight against the danger.

Based on the 'The Ultimates' comic book, this animated movie, isn't one of the best that Marvel has released. The story is a bit lackluster and the aliens are completely forgettable. The characterizations are very good, and some of the scenes showing the tension between members of the team are handled very well. The stand out character is Bruce Banner and you really get an insight into how much of a tortured person he really is. The animation is pretty good and completely up to the standards that you would expect from a modern Marvel cartoon. As I have said before, this is not the best of the crop, but is still fun to watch.

Demonic Toys (Dangerous Toys)

After watching her partner being gunned down, a female police officer chases two gun dealers into a toy factory, and she soon realises that there is something else in the building with her.

Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I have a soft spot for anything that comes from Charles Band's Full Moon company, and this is another 'fine' example of the kind of movie he is famous for. The basic story idea is very simple, but the use of location and the idea of possessed toys though quite silly, is also a little creepy at the same time. The characters all work well and the acting is suitably over the top. The gore and special effects are handled with a low budget glee that make them very fun to watch. All in all this movie is a little off the wall, even by Full Moon's standards, and though it looks and feels very amateurish now, it still has that certain something that makes it a fun way to spend 90 minutes if you are looking for a bit of retro, cheesy fun.

Oneechanbara: The Movie (Chanbara Beauty)

In a world overrun by zombies, a master female assassin, her male companion and a mysterious gun toting leather clad woman seek revenge against an evil scientist

This is a live action movie based on a popular video game, and with all things Japanese it is a unique thing to watch. The story is your basic honour and revenge movie, with the three heroes searching out the villain to right the wrongs done against their various families, and it doesn't really go any further than that. The cast all seem to have fun, but with it being presented in it's native language, it is a little difficult to tell if they are being completely over the top or not. The high points of this movie are undoubtedly the action sequences that the Japanese love and do like no other. The sword fights are incredibly well choreographed, and the wire work has the lead character flipping around the scenes like you would not believe. The special effects are good on the whole, and even the totally fake looking cgi blood adds to the overall feel of the film. This is in no way a masterpiece of Japanese cinema, but if you want a quick movie with an easy storyline and plenty of action, you can't go far wrong. And who out there doesn't like movies where a sword wielding woman in a bikini and a cowboy hat battles countless zombies!!!

Friday the 13th

Years after the famous slaughter at Camp Crystal Lake, a bunch of teenagers meet to party at a friend's house. But they soon realise that all is not as safe as they imagined.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of the Friday The 13th franchise, and I approached this re-imagination with a certain amount of trepidation. The result is a mixed bag - some good, some bad. The movie starts by re-telling the end of the original movie, then has a bit of the sequel, and then goes off totally by itself. The characters are just as unlikable as you have to come to imagine with this kid of movie, and I didn't really care if they survived or not. The creators tried to give Jason a little bit of depth, but after you have watched 11 other movies of him killing people, you get to the point that you really don't care what his motivations are. The deaths were just as over-the-top as you would come to expect from this franchise, but then trying to make the rest of the movie a dark, gritty horror movie just didn't work - the campness (no pun intended) is sorely needed. Then there is the biggest mistake of the lot - no Kane Hodder!! This man has added so much to the series, and his love of the Jason character is the stuff of legend. All in all, this wasn't a bad movie, but I feel that it hasn't done the series any justice at all.

Jason X
Jason X(2002)

Even when captured Jason proves that he cannot be caged for very long. But things go from bad to worse when he and a female scientist are caught in a cryonic chamber and then defrosted over 400 years in the future.

So, here we have New Line's second foray into the 'Friday The 13th' franchise, and what a corker it is. It is a perfect movie to watch if you have never seen any of the previous entries as it only briefly mentions past events and the story doesn't really follow on from any of the previous movies. Jason has changed as well, and is no longer referred to as a zombie and now is classed as a man with super regenerative powers! The story is just so outlandish that it borders on the ridiculous, but it is so well acted and directed that it becomes a huge piece of cheese in all the right ways with a prefect mix of action, horror and comedy. The characters all stand out and finally veer away from the generic slackers that have featured in a lot of the previous entries, and it is always a pleasure to see Kane Hodder returning as Jason. The special effects are top notch and the deaths are as over the top as you have come to expect. When all is said and done, this is a great little 'beer and popcorn' movie and a worthy entry in the much loved franchise.

Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday
½

As Jason chases after a lone female teen through the woods of Crystal Lake, he is surrounded by armed law enforcement officers and completely taken down, but is he finally dead?

After the debacle of 'Jason Takes Manhattan', it looked like the 'Friday The 13th' franchise had been finally put to rest. So much so that Paramount even sold the rights to New Line (famous for another immensely popular long running horror franchise), but luckily they had their own ideas on where the series should go. What we are presented with is a radically new take on things, and even though it only thinly follows on from anything we have seen before, and then go off in it's own direction, it still feels a part of the franchise. The story is nothing you would have expected, and keeps you totally entertained, even though it is does get a little mystical and silly towards the end. The cast all play their characters incredibly well, and it is nice to see Kane Hodder return as the title character, even though he only really 'pops' up occasionally through the movie. The special effects are as over the top as you would expect and there is more gore in this entry than the previous two put together. Even though some would argue if this is actually a true entry in the series, it is still a worth successor and it was great to see the franchise find a home that wanted to treat it with a little respect.

Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan

When a class of local high school graduates hire a boat from Crystal Lake to travel to Manhattan, they soon realise that they have the deadliest form of stowaway aboard.

Now, as any fan of the horror genre knows, the 'Friday The 13th' franchise doesn't comprise of the greatest made movies, but they do have a certain appeal. But in my opinion this has got to be the worse entry in the series. The plot is miniscule, and only barely takes any notice of the history of the preceding movies, and in one respect completely changes a physical character trait that dates right back to the first installment! The cast of characters are all completely disregardable and even their (particularly bloodless) demises are forgotten as soon as they have happened, but Kane Hodder still manages to bring some welcome animation to the main character. Even the movie's title is misleading as when the action (finally) moves to Manhattan, Jason not so much "takes" it, but more wanders right past hundreds of potential victims to chase after the remaining kids, for what is really no apparent reason. And then there is the finale that really makes no sense whatsoever! But when is all said and done, even though this movie really has nothing going for it, there is that tiny little spark that makes me enjoy seeing Jason have another outing.

Friday the 13th Part VII - The New Blood

As a child Tina exhibited psychic abilities and as a result caused the death of her abusive father at Crystal Lake. Now, many years after she returns with her mother and Doctor as a part of her treatment, and she finds out that the lake holds other secrets as well.

With the introduction of zombie Jason in the previous installment, this pretty much gave the filmmakers carte blanche to do what ever they want with the character, but with that in mind, this entry actually feels a little pedestrian. The story has a very promising start, but as things go along, the story becomes weaker and weaker and only picks up again at the end. All the characters are pretty generic (even for a horror movie) and only serve as fodder for Jason. But, a special mention must go to Kane Hodder who really manages to bring some character in his portrayal of Jason which isn't the easiest thing to do. As this is a pretty bloodless movie, the special effects are well done, even though they are only seen fleetingly. There is still a feel of tongue in cheek and the idea of Jason finding the tool shed did make me giggle, especially as he then offs his victims with a slightly more outrageous weapon each time. All in all, this entry does not add anything new to the franchise and even though it is enjoyable, the ideas it has could have been utilized much, much better.

Friday the 13th, Part VI - Jason Lives

After many years of treatment, Tommy Jarvis still cannot rid himself of the visions of Jason Vorhees, so he decides to return to Crystal Lake (now renamed Forest Green) to finally rid himself of the spirits from his past.

After the negative reviews of 'A New Beginning', but unable to leave the franchise alone, the filmmakers decided that the only way forward was to bring Jason back, but how was the question? And here we have 'Jason Lives' and what an idea they came up with - zombie Jason resurrected by several bolts of lightning! This is one of those horror movie's where all aspects are done to the max. The story is very tongue in cheek and the mix of horror, comedy and action is done perfectly. The actors all play their roles very well, and you're not actually sat there wishing them to die. Though not a complete bloodbath, the special effects are done very well, and there is still plenty of blood. The depiction of Jason as undead force of evil is just a joy to behold, and as a step forward this takes the franchise to all new heights. And with the added bonus of songs by Alice Cooper, this all adds up to what i feel is the best entry in the series and makes the perfect stepping on point (as it did with me at the time) if you have never seen a 'Friday The 13th' movie before.

Friday the 13th, Part V - A New Beginning

Several years have passed since Tommy Jarvis killed Jason Vorhees and he is now staying at a halfway house for disturbed children, but as the other residents begin to die, he wanders if Jason is really dead after all.

Even though Part 4 of the franchise was supposed to be 'The Final Chapter', its popularity with the fans gave Paramount Pictures enough impetus to make another entry. But in following the previous events, a new approach had to be taken. The movie still follows the same basic 'massacre a collection of teens' storyline, and the murders are quite inventive, but the characters are probably the least likeable of the entire series and a majority of the time you are just hoping that they all die. The story was always going to be a little bit thin on the creative front, but it is particularly non-existent in this entry's case. The real trouble is this is a 'Friday The 13th' movie without it's signature villain and even though it tried to go in a new direction, and the deaths are good and plenty, you lose that feeling of familiarity that you come to expect. In the end, this movie has36 some promise, but is no where as enjoyable as some of the other entries in the franchise.

Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter
½

After being mistaken for dead, Jason is taken to a hospital morgue, and when he revives himself, his killing spree continues as he finds a new group of teens to terrorize.

Even though the previous installment in the long running franchise was supposed to be the final entry, it proved so popular with the fans that another sequel just had to be made. The plot (or lack of it) follows the same basic idea as it's predecessors - Jason stalks around the forest until he finds a group of partying teens and he then kills them one by one using whatever implements he can find. The teens are the usual bunch of generic characters that you have come to expect, and are played very well by some of the young (but soon to become famous) cast. Jason of course, is portrayed as the same soulless monster that we have all come to love. The special effects are as good as you would expect, with large amounts of bloodshed, and it is a nice touch that Jason still keeps the wounds he has received in previous chapters. All in all, this again is nothing groundbreaking, but if you are a fan of the franchise up to this point, you know exactly what you are going to get, and immensely enjoyable it is as well.

Friday the 13th Part 3
½

Immediately following the massacre of the trainee camp counselors, Jason moves on through Crystal Lake and eventually his path crosses a bunch of teens having a party at a farm belonging to one of their parents.

The franchise returns with it's third entry and again the makers decide that if the idea isn't broke, don't fix it. The story is just as transparent, but it is now that the plot resumes from the previous movies begin to re-write themselves slightly, and the history starts to get a little blurred. The kids are just as obnoxious and only serve to increase Jason's body-count, as he manages to dispatch them in a variety of different ways. This entry was made when 3D movies were popular in the 80's and it has every gimmick you can think, with all manner of things coming directly towards the camera. Now at the time this was probably a giggle to watch, but it does lose a lot when you are watching a 2D print 30 years later. The special effects get better with every entry, and this movie stands out as the first time Jason dons the now famous hockey mask. As with a majority of the 'Friday The 13th' movies, this is by no means a classic of the horror genre, but they do have a certain charm that make them a joy to watch.

Friday the 13th Part 2
½

Five years after the events at Camp Crystal Lake, a group of trainee counselors meet at another site on the same lake and they discover that local legends never die.

After becoming a massive hit, a sequel to 'Friday The 13th' was inevitable. The filmmakers also decided that the formula from the first movie was so good, that there was no real need to do anything new. The plot is even thinner, and it is just an excuse to have a bunch of kids murdered even more creative ways, this time with addition of Jason himself (who does look like a demented scarecrow). The special effects are all very good, and the blood flows quite freely. In the end this movie does seem to be much of the same, right down to the inclusion of a 'shock ending', not that I am saying that is a bad thing.

Stargate: Continuum
½

When the SG-1 team think they have caught the last Ba'al clone, he tells them that the original is still alive and has a plan to stop the Stargate team once and for all.

This is the final movie following the Stargate SG-1 team, and since all the plots were finished in the previous movie, we are now presented with a brand new standalone adventure. The story is by no means unique, and isn't anything you haven't seen before, but it is very well crafted. Again, all the cast return and it does help if you have a working knowledge of their histories, to understand where they fit into this story. Although this is not a s good as the previous installment, 'Continuum' is still a fun watch and makes you feel like you are watching one of the better double length episodes.

Stargate: The Ark of Truth

The SG-1 team travel to a distant galaxy in search of an ancient artifact that is fabled to have the power to destroy the Ori once and for all.

After 10 seasons, the Stargate SG-1 TV show finally came to an end, but there were some plots there were never resolved and this movie seeks to bring them all to a logical conclusion. With a running time that is slightly longer than a double length episode, you are presented with a very solid and enjoyable storyline that keeps you interested all the way through. There is no sense of the story dragging and the return of one of their older foes is welcome, even though at times it does feel like it has been shoehorned in to give the story a little bit of action to counterpoint the more character driven thrust of the main plot. All the final season's cast return to reprise their roles and there is no hint of jadedness in their portrayals. All in all this is a fine movie and it makes a very good job of completing the final story arc

Hellboy
Hellboy(2004)

As the Nazis begin to experiment with occult powers during World War II, a demonic child is pulled through the void and a new hero is born.

I must admit that I really didn't get this film the first time I watched it. But being a fan of Guilermo Del Toro's previous movies, I decided to stick with it and give it another view. Then it all made sense to me, and I became a huge fan. I have watched this movie close on ten times now, and each time I love it a little bit more. The story is just amazing, with comedy action, drama all interwoven in. All the characters are fantastic (with Kroenen being my favourite). It is just a shame that Doug Jones didn't get to voice Abe himself. Ron Perlman was born to play Hellboy, there is just no-one else that could have done it!!!! I aso suggest you read Mike Mignola's excellent graphic novels, as it shows how much care was taken with this movie.

Captain Clegg (Night Creatures)
½

Local parishoner Dr Bliss looks after his flock with all his heart and soul, but little do they know the secret he hides.

This is Hammer's take on the Dr Syn story, but seeing that did not have the rights, there are some radical changes. The location is the same, as is the basic story about smugglers. Dr Syn now becomes Dr Bliss with a completely different back story, and the Scarecrow character is hardly there. So, in all this is a completely different movie from it's Disney counterpart and has a slightly more adult feel. The acting is top notch, but Peter Cushing is a little less believable in the lead role. The story meanders a little and ends up being more of a love story with Hammer's signature gothic feel. All in all this is a fun movie to watch, but is not a patch on the Disney version.

Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow

The adventures of local vicar Dr Syn, who, unknown to his parishioners, is actually the notorious smuggler The Scarecrow who uses his ill gotten gains to aid the poor people of the region.

This is the cut-down feature version of the three-part serial shown originally on US TV as a part of 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color'. The editing was down in-house and an amazing job was done, and if you have not seen the original version you wouldn't know the difference. The story is an amazing mix of period drama, action and adventure and the cast of expert english actors all play their roles to the max, especially Patrick McGoohan who plays the two radically different lead roles with his usual flare. The sets and locations are incredibly well thought out and gives everything a quite dreamlike ethereal feel that add to the story. This is quite easily my favourite Disney movie of all time, and if you are partial to be a bit of swashbuckling then this is a a classic that you cannot afford to miss in either of it's versions.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

When various different ancient Earth civilizations all have a common trait in their histories, a group of scientists travel to a distant planet in hopes of discovering the secrets of humanity.

Right then, anyone who knows me will be fully aware how much of a fan I am of the 'Alien' franchise, and when I heard about this film along with the fact the Ridley Scott was directing, to say that I actually salivated is putting it lightly. And now I have actually seen it, I must admit that my reaction is mixed to say the least. What we are presented with is a gorgeous looking movie that has some amazing locations and designs and the beginning has the hard edged SF feel that we have come to expect from Ridley's work. But the movie begins to slip a bit when we get into the actual story. The characters are all quite two dimensional and the storyline (though good) is a little confusing in places, and actually ends up being quite formulaic. Now down to the meat of things, this movie has certain elements of the 'Alien' universe that are handled very well, especially with inclusion of Weyland Corporation and the way that the Prometheus interior design harkens back to the Nostromo. But, this movie then radically departs from what I was hoping to see, and the finale feels very shoehorned in, and may as well not been there. In the end, this is a good SF film, but is it the 'prequel' I was hoping for?

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (AVP 2)
½

When the Predator ship crash lands back on Earth, the Aliens are released, and head towards the nearest town, but another Predator ship is on route to finish them off for good.

This movie follows on directly from the end of the previous 'AVP' entry and this time the showdown takes place in a small US community. The plot is a pretty standard affair, and it is there to give the Aliens something to do before they meet the Predator. The characters are standard and it really doesn't aid anything if they live or die. The action sequences are just as frantic as you have come to expect, but the dark settings does tend to make things a little difficult to make out at times. As with a majority of sequels, this one tries to make things different, but with the title characters coming from two such well established franchises, it is very difficult to make any form of mark without radically changing things, and this is where a lot of the faults lie. This movie suffers from being set in a 'real world' urban setting and the creatures just don't' seem to fit in (which was the same problem with 'Predator 2'). The PredAlien itself is a joy to behold, but it feels like the creators really didn't know what to do with it, and making it into a kind of Queen raises a lot of questions with fundamental Alien biological laws set down in all the other movies. The finale of the movie is a little bit "Boom, and it's all over", but the epilogue is a nice little touch for any fan. All in all this is an OK entry in the joint franchise, but seems a little lackluster compared to all it's predecessors.

AVP - Alien Vs. Predator
½

When a satellite discovers a unknown heat source in Antarctica, a group of scientists visit to explore. What they discover is more fantastic and deadly than they could have ever imagined.

The 'Aliens' and 'Predator' franchises are two of my favourites and they had long been woven together thanks to the various series published by Dark Horse Comics. And now for the first time, they appear in the same movie together. Now, this was either going to be very good or very bad and personally I think it is very, very good. The storyline kind of re-writes the title characters a little bit, but not enough to cause any major annoyances, and the plot (which is set more in the 'Aliens' universe) is a thin excuse just to them battling, and there is a very large amount of that. The human characters are pretty disposable, but they do increase the kill count, so you can't really complain. The action is constant and the fight sequences are all undertaken with a large amount of energy. The Alien designs are very good, but there is something about the Predator design that just doesn't seem right, and I think that it is because the face is completely CGI, and this just seems to lose a little realism. All in all, this is going to be one of those movies that the fans either love or hate, and luckily, I was one that loved it.

Predators
Predators(2010)

When a group of strangers wake up, they find themselves hurtling towards a mysterious jungle on parachutes. Upon landing they team up to find a way back to civilization, but they soon discover that they are in a lot more danger than they could have ever imagined.

The long awaited third entry in the 'Predator' franchise finally materializes and takes things in a completely new direction. The storyline is quite thin and really doesn't explain a majority of what is happening, but this does not detract from things. The eclectic mix of characters are well portrayed by the cast and the deliberate lack of background adds to the whole mysteriousness of things. The sets are glorious as the franchise returns to where it should, and we all do love a good jungle. The action is frequent with a lot of subtle nods to the original movie and there is plenty of gore to keep you happy. Now, down to monsters, and I can truly say that it is great to see them on the big screen again, and the retro feel (not completely CGI) is welcome and adds a sense of reality to them. The different designs of the clan members is excellently handled and the inclusion of a 'classic' design is a nice touch. All in all this is a lot better than I thought it would be, and apart from the thinness of certain parts of the storyline is a welcome addition to the franchise.

Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked)
½

During the late 60's in the UK, a boat full of pirate disc jockeys take over the airways playing rock 'n' roll music 24 hours a day. And there is noone that is going to stop them.

British comedies are some of the finest movies in the world, and it is all to do with the perfect mix of story, comedy, pathos and the general feel good factor that they produce, and 'The Boat That Rocked' is another example of how good the genre can be. The story is a bit thin but is engaging and the cast of genius actors are a joy to be behold. The film has some stand-out sequences and had me giggling for a majority of the running time. But what makes the movie for me is the sound-scape. The choices of tracks are just outstanding and if you are any kind of music fan then you will be tapping your feet along with all of the soundtrack. If you are looking for a great movie that you don't have to think too heavily enough, then I fully recommend you check out this movie.

Predator 2
Predator 2(1990)

As a maverick cop tries to clean up the streets of a drug riddled LA, he soon discovers that there is another hunter in the city who is there for a completely different reason.

The 'Predator' franchise returns for it's second entry and this time relocates to the urban jungle. Now, there is a rule of thumb that sequels usually carry the curse of not being as good as the originals, and unfortunately 'Predator 2' falls into this trap as well. The plot is even thinner than it's predecessor, and the drug gangs storyline is soon forgotten about and ends up just being a game of cat and mouse with the no real direction. Danny Glover plays his obsessive character well and the inclusion of Bill Paxton playing a wise-cracking cop (not dissimilar to the character he plays in another famous franchise) makes for good comedy relief. The rest of the characters are all pretty unlikeable and you really don't care whether they live or die. Even the returning Kevin Peter Hall as the new Predator just doesn't seem to have the same flare as before. There are a lot more special effects in this movie, and there is unfortunately quite a bit of dodgy blue-screening. There are no radical departures in the creature effects, and they are all handled well. The movie really heats up towards the climax, where there are some real nice touches. All in all, this entry in the franchise is still enjoyable but is nowhere as good at the original, but I still have a soft spot for it

Predator
Predator(1987)

When a team of commandos are sent into the jungle of Latin America on a rescue mission they discover that the enemy they face is nothing they could have expected.

Even after all this time, 'Predator' is one of those movies that I truly love. Yes, the plot is nothing groundbreaking. Yes, the acting is a little wooden. Yes, some of the optical effects are looking a little dated. But, this is one of those classics that just never grows dull even after multiple viewings. The story is quite thin, but is fast paced and when the action does happen, it happens with bells and whistles on! The characters are all well defined and likeable in a macho "muscles and guns" kind of way. And of course there is the Predator itself, which is a true classic of monster design. The creature effects are just outstanding, especially the unmasking sequence which is going to be one of those movie clips that will be shown in many years to come. Even though this is an Arnie vehicle, he just plays second string to the title character, and it does make a change to see him get the absolute crap kicked out of him. All in all, this is a stand-out movie, and if by some small reason you have never seen it, you really need to go and buy it on DVD now!

Stargate
Stargate(1994)

When an ancient artifact is discovered in Egypt with mysterious markings, the US government calls in a specialist in languages to decipher them, little knowing the adventure that lies ahead.

The idea of mixing Egyptian mythology and science-fiction is not new and has been done in books for years, but it is a subject matter that has only been touched a few times by the Hollywood machine, and 'Stargate' is probably the best known example. With the cast, effects and obvious budget of a blockbuster, this movie still stands out from the rest as it has a slightly more grown-up feel with it's storyline and characterizations. The plot is quite engaging, but does tend to drag a bit in places, but the action (though sporadic) does keep the viewer involved. The characters are all well written (especially Kurt Russell's), and are all played to the max by the cast. The gore is virtually non-existent, but it is one of those movies where you do not expect any graphic violence. I have always been a bit of a sucker for Egyptian mythology, and the sets and costume design are incredibly well handled. All in all, this a great movie that jump-started an entire franchise, and it still stands out today as being one of the only 90's summer SF blockbusters that didn't have a completely generic story, and is more story driven then explosion after explosion.

The Inbetweeners

As school finishes for the last time, Will, Simon, Jay & Neil decide to go on a lad's holiday to Crete.

Coming-of-age comedies are all pretty similar, and this movie follows the same kind of basic ideas. But, what makes it that little bit different is the pedigree associated with it. Spawned from a very good TV series that had some incredibly funny stand-out moments, 'The Inbetweeners' movie is much more of what you would expect and then that little more on top. If you are already a fan, then the lack of character building is not a problem, as you already know what to expect from the four leads and the movie can just straight on with the misadventures that they have. And even if you have never seen the series before, you really don't need to know that much to get into the swing of things. The jokes are frequent, and though they do tend to get a tad repetitious, still had me laughing away in places and cringing in others. There is a mix of bittersweet that runs all the way through the movie, which is handled very well, and you do feel sorry for the guy's ineptitude's, but as with the TV series, everything always seems to sort itself out in the end. This is a very good British comedy film that continues things on from a very good British comedy series. But I do feel that a certain amount of it's charm and nuances would be lost if you are not already a fan.

Man-Thing
Man-Thing(2005)

When a corrupt company begins to drill for oil in a swamp in the middle of native American ceremonial lands, it raises a guardian that will stop at nothing to regain the land.

This was an odd choice for Marvel to adapt into a movie as the character is no where as well known as X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc. But this isn't a problem as all they have really done is to take the character name, the location and then craft an entirely new monster story with some native American mythology thrown in for good measure. The movie itself isn't that bad, but the story is pretty cheesy and isn't anything new, has a 'blink and you'll miss it' ending and the characters are about as wooden as it gets. The Man-Thing itself is pretty impressive looking, but seeing that a majority of the movie takes place at night in a misty swamp, you really don't get to see a lot of what is going on. This is in no way a gore-fest, but the few killings you do get to see are pretty well handled. As I have mentioned above, If you are a comics fan, please don't watch this movie expecting a faithful recreation of the character as it is about as far removed from the original source material as possible. But if you are looking for no-brainer monster movie to put on in the background one afternoon, then you can't really go far wrong.

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones

Documentary charting the history of the seminal punk band.

This is an amazing documentary that follows the formation and career of the greatest punk band of all time and is made up of interviews and performance footage. Right from the earliest days, it shows how The Ramones influenced the music world and how they never managed to gain the critical success that they well and truly deserved. The archive concert footage shows their raw power on stage and interviews with the band and their associates tell of how they soldiered on through the highs and lows, and how the constant touring and member's problems took it's toll. I fully recommended this documentary, and even if you are not familiar with The Ramones, it shows what a history making band they were and is a delight to watch for anybody interested in music history.

Alien Resurrection
½

Two hundred years after the events of Fiorina 161, and the universe has been free of the xenomorphs. But when some scientists discover some of Ripley's DNA, they start an experiment that has horrific results.

After the problems with 'Alien 3', it was a long five years before studio executives decide to add another entry to the franchise, and especially one that took things in such a new direction. What we have here is a radical departure from the look and feel of what had come before. If you have seen any of the director's previous work (especially the excellent 'The City Of The Lost Children') then you will be familiar with the slightly twisted, dream-like spin he puts on all his movies, and to inject this into the classic SF franchise was a brave move. The results though, are great for the most part. The plot is shaky at the start and one certain key plot element just doesn't seem to make any sense, but when the action starts, then you know you are in familiar territory. The setting is reminiscent of 'Alien' and the feel of the ending reminds me slightly of 'Aliens'. The characters are all larger than life and some of the casting choices (especially Ron Perlman and Brad Dourif) are just inspired. The xenomorphs themselves look very familiar, and this is the first time that you see one completely rendered in CGI, and though a little of the realism is lost, they look good for the most part. The blood flows pretty well, with plenty of people getting bitten and burnt, and there is plenty of action to keep anyone happy. But, as the movie reaches the end, then this is where things start to get a little out of control, and you lose the grittiness that the franchise is known for, and the final shot was really, really not needed in the slightest. All in all, this is an entry in the series that you either love or hate. Luckily, I am one of those people that loved it. Was it a 'resurrection' to the franchise, and as good as the first two entries? The answer there is a distinct "No", but this is still a great piece of SF / Action.

Alien3
Alien3(1992)

After escaping from LV-426, the ship encounters a problem and Ripley's pod is jettisoned and lands on prison planet. She soon discovers that inmates and her are not alone.

All fans of the franchise know the problems that 'Alien 3' had during it making, with it's multiple re-writes and direction problems, and the final result is a mixed bag. The story is very basic and tries to harken back to 'Alien' with it's dirty interiors, air ducts and claustrophobic feel, and though nowhere near groundbreaking it still has some very good parts in it. This entry has the largest cast assembled, and though the characters are pretty generic and forgettable, the well known actors bring them to life. The action is often, but with most the kills being just off screen the gore is not massive. The alien design has been changed again, and this time is more reminiscent of the original. The problems with this entry is that it feels like not so much love and effort were put into making it unlike the previous two entries. As I have said before, the story is good in parts, but with the larger cast there is a lot more characters to follow and that detracts a little from the single character driven pieces we are used to seeing. The special effects are not in the same league either, and though the change in creature design is very nicely undertaken, there are some really dodgy blue screen sequences, and at times things just don't look right. The real problem that this movie has is trying to follow on from, and live up to the masterpieces that are 'Alien' and 'Aliens', and to be truthful I don't think it ever could. But, as a movie it is still pretty good, and didn't deserve all the negative press it got at the time. I also urge and viewer to watch the "Director's Cut" if they have the chance as a majority of the major sequences have been re-cut and extended makes for a better flowing story

Aliens
Aliens(1986)

After drifting in space for over 50 years, Ripley is picked up and returned to Earth. But when she is told that LV-426 is now inhabited by terraformers and that contact has been lost, she has to make the decision whether to return or not.

There are not many sequels out there that equal or even surpass the original, but it is true to say that 'Aliens' quite easily falls into that category. This is another masterpiece of film making that just keeps getting better every time it is viewed. The story is no masterpiece and is actually quite cliched in places, but the way it is brought to screen is excellently handled, and every minute is a pure roller-coaster ride. The look and feel is a lot sleeker compared to 'Alien' and this works well with the more action based plot. The characters are all excellently played by the eclectic cast (with special note going to the returning Signourney Weaver) and the inclusion of Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton and (genre great) Lance Henriksen just goes to show how casting should be handled. The alien designs are radically different from the original and even though it is still guys in rubber suits the more active feel works well, and you just can't beat having a whole army of them on screen. And of course this movie's classic creation is the "Queen", and what more could I possibly say about her, apart from the fact that she has now become a classic creature that puts virtually any other killer alien into the shade. The action is constant all the way through the movie and all leads up to the amazing finale, which quite simply is mother against mother. 'Alien' is still a classic of SF / Horror cinema and 'Aliens' is a a classic of SF / Action, and there are no other movies in the genre that have even come close.

Alien
Alien(1979)

When a mining ship is diverted to a tiny planet to investigate a mysterious distress signal, the crew soon make a discovery that threatens all their lives.

This is one of those few movies that literally redefined it's genre, and there is not a lot I can really say that hasn't already been covered in countless books, magazine articles and documentaries. From the opening sequences of the Nostromo meandering it's way through space, to the hell of the LV-426, and then the claustrophobic hunt sequences with the xenomorph, 'Alien' hits all the right buttons at the right times. This was one of the first SF movies that really showed how gritty and dirty life aboard a spaceship could be, and was not all bright, coloured and high tec like a majority of movies had depicted things before. The story is simple, but is gripping and never has a dull moment. Attention has been paid to the characters, and this is a nice change as you actually have a chance to connect with each of them and there little idiosyncrasies. And now to the meat of the film, the Alien itself - Even though it is just a guy in a rubber suit, the design is just classic and still slightly unnerving to this day. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the look has never been beaten. In summing up, 'Alien' is one of those movies that is nothing short of a classic!

Pray for Morning
½

A gang of inquisitive teens break into an abonded hotel with a bloody past. But when they find a severed mummified hand, the wake an evil that will stop at nothing to kill them all.

This is your generic 'teens spend a night in a haunted building' type of movie that you have seen countless times before with a couple of ideas from The Shining thrown in for good measure. The characters and acting are bulk standard, but the inclusion of genre great Udo Kier in the cast does bring a bit of class to the proceedings. The sets are very well designed and really brings the idea of the rotting hotel to mind. The gore is minimal, and at most is a few broken bones and a lot of people covered in varying amounts of blood. The story is very hackneyed, and tries hard to be more than the sum of it;s parts. In the end this is nothing new, and not a bad movie if you are looking to watch something that you really don't have to think about.

The Perfect Witness

A young film-maker catches a murder on film and blackmails the killer into starring in a true crime documentary. But in reality, who is directing who?

This thriller is one of those movies that has it's ups and downs. Starting off with a quite a indie feel it is more of a study of the dynamics between the two lead characters and less about the action. As the movie progresses, the story begins to change and become more and more interesting and it makes the viewer wonder which of the two is really in control. This keeps progressing nicely and the introduction of the 'mothers' subplot is a nice touch. But as the movie reaches it's finale, it unfortunately becomes more and more predictable and begins to borrow bits from lots of other serial killer movies that you have seen before. The ending is actually a little bit over the top (compared to the gritty and underplayed feeling of the rest movie) and it ends without any real closure which is a bit of a disappointment. The main two protagonists are well played, with a special mention going to Mark Borkowski who gives a quite chilling performance as James, the serial killer. The gore is minimal but the few deaths have quite a raw feel, which is totally in keeping with the style of movie. All in all this would have been an excellent movie if the ending had not felt as cliched as it did, but is still worth a watch just to see how well a character based murderer can be played.

Boltneck
Boltneck(1998)

After a fatal accident happens at a party and a boy is killed, a genius science student resurrects him by transplanting a brain into his skull. But by the time he discovers who the brain once belonged to, things have already started to get out of hand.

This is an odd movie to review. It tries to be a teen horror comedy, but it definitely struggles to find a home in any genre. The plot is quite thin and is just there to lead the characters into one comedy situation after another. The cast (including a very young Ryan Reynolds) all play their characters well, and the whole thing reminds you of those great teen comedies of the 90's (Encino Man, Bio-Dome, etc.), but it is just not as good. The horror and gore is completely non-existent to the point where the really good ideas (like the reanimated mouse) are completely underplayed, and even the sequences that are a little 'darker' in tone are soon over and never really exploited. But with all that said, this innocent little movie still struck a cord in me, and I actually quite enjoyed the lightweight fun of it all, and I have to admit that there were bits in it that made me giggle to myself.

Days of Darkness

The dead have risen and taken over the planet, and a small mismatched group of survivors living in a disused army base discover the truth behind the zombie plague.

This another one those films that airs late night on the Horror Channel and sounded so bad that I thought it might be a bit of a giggle. But the result was actually a bit of a surprise, and I was presented with quite a good film. The storyline is a bit of a mishmash of several other movies (Night Of The Living Dead, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Creepozoids, etc), and even though it does not explain itself particularly well in places, it is handled quite competently and made me want to watch it all the way through. The acting ranges from OK to pretty wooden, but this does add a little bit of charm to the quirky characters. The gore is frequent and quite bloody with a fair amount of body parts flying around. Even though the movie is far from perfect, the sum of its parts makes for quite entertaining viewing.

The Shadow
The Shadow(1994)
½

To repent for his past sins Lamont Cranston uses his psychic powers to become The Shadow and soon he becomes embroiled in a plot to stop a super criminal from conquering the world.

Made at a time when superhero movies were very popular, this was an odd choice to bring to the movies, but a great job has been made. The Shadow was an incredibly popular book and radio character from the 1930's and this is the first time that it was brought to the screen. Luckily no update was done and the movie still remains set in it's proper time-frame. The gothic noir look is incredibly well done, and to a certain degree is better looking than any Batman movie. The actors all do their job well, and even the slightly wooden performance given by Alec Baldwin seems to fit very well with the character he is portraying. The action is nowhere as much as you would expect from this type of movie, but that is the way of The Shadow, as he relies more on his guile and powers than brute force. The special effects are looking a little dated in places as CGI was still relatively knew,but it is still passable. Where the movie is let down slightly is the plot - not that I am saying that there is really anything wrong with it, it just seems a little disjointed. The movie drags in parts, the ending is over too quickly and certain portions of the film that could have done with a slight expansion and explanation just don't seem to get it. But with all that said, though not perfect, this is still a damn good super hero movie and deserves more recognition than it got at the time.

Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone

In the 22nd century, an ex-mercenary meets up with a loner girl and they set out to rescue three space maidens from the ruler of a planet who happens to be a murderous cyborg.

There was a glut of low budget SF and fantasy movies made during the 80's and luckily 'Spacehunter' is one of the slightly better entries. Even though it doesn't have a particularly strong story and you are left feeling that a lot was either cut out or just never shot, it still is a fun movie to watch. The acting is competent and Michael Ironside is suitable over the top as the villain even though he gets very little screen time. The special effects are a bit hokey by today's standards, and were designed for then 'brand new' 3D technology. The gore is non-existent, but there is some good make-up effects to keep you going. As I have said before, the story is a bit slow at the beginning and is over just as you feel it is getting started, but is entertaining and feels a little more adult than some of it's competitors of the time. On a personal level, I find it quite silly when movies create their own languages, and this is no exception, but I am willing to forgive it, as this is one of those movies that I grew up with, and it brings back some very nice memories.

Blood Car
Blood Car(2007)
½

In the not too distant future the gas prices have risen so much that no normal person can afford to run a car. But while working on his own engine design, high school teacher Archie discovers an alternative fuel source that puts him on a murderous road.

What we have here is another good example of what happens when low budget film makers do something right. The story is suitably over the top and the satirical black comedy is done very well, with a few moments that made me giggle. As the story progresses it just becomes sillier and the ending does leave you with a smile on your face. The characters are all generic, but they are strong enough for you to take notice. The gore is very limited and quite primitive, but there is still enough blood sprays to keep you happy. Obviously with all low budget movies there are limitations and this is no different. The direction is a little sloppy at times, and the acting is a quite wooden in places. You can also tell that the locations were either free or borrowed from friends. In the end, this is a little movie that is quite fun to watch and with it's homemade feel reminds me of some of the shoestring classics directed by Roger Corman back in the 50's and 60's.

Mum & Dad
Mum & Dad(2008)
½

When Lena, a young Polish office cleaner misses the last bus home after finishing her job, she is invited back to a workmate's house. Little does she realise that this family is anything but ordinary.

This low budget UK movie does all the things for the torture porn genre that a lot of bigger budget US releases have failed to do. The plot, though not groundbreaking, is completely unbelievable, but you really don't care, as the twisted storyline washes over you and at times leaves you with quite a bad taste in your mouth. The characters are played amazingly well, and you end up routing for Lena, and hating the rest. The gore is very well handled, and even though some of the killings happen off-camera, you get to see so much of the aftermath that it doesn't take much work for your brain to work out what actually happened, and what you do see on on-screen does make you wince at all the right times. The only thing that lets the movie down is that it does seem to run out of steam a little towards the end, and the finale feels a little rushed and generic after the rawness of the proceeding events. This is one of those little gems that any hardcore horror fan will enjoy, but it is one that you would probably only watch once, as any repeated viewing would lose the intended impact and it's moments of incredibly black comedy.

The Rage
The Rage(2007)
½

A crazy scientist creates a virus that induces mutation and uncrontrolabe violent rage, and when one of his test subjects escapes all hell breaks loose.

I wasn't expecting too much from this movie as the plot sounded completely generic, but seeing it was directed by special effect wizard Robert Kurtzman and starred Andrew 'Wishmaster' Divoff, I thought I would give it a go. The result is a mixed bag of over the top insanity. The cast are all throw away characters and whether they survive or not is unimportant. Where the movie wins or fails (depending on what you want from a horror movie) is the plot, as it starts off sane enough, but soon degenerates into a complete monster mash with some of the stupidist ideas i have ever seen. The gore is plenty with people mutating, being eaten and having various implements shoved in them. The physical special effects are all very good, but the CGI is all particularly dodgy - but in my eyes this all adds to the madness of the film. If you are expecting a thinking man's horror movie, then you should avoid this like the plague. But if you are looking for a pure bit of comic book hokum that has mutant vultures in it, then this is just the film for you.

Virus
Virus(1999)
½

When the members of a tugboat crew discovers an abandoned Russian science ship in the heart of a violent storm, they soon discover that it is not as empty as they first thought with fatal consequences.

With a semi-engaging premise and a couple of big name actors in the cast, this movie promises so much, but just fails to be something new and different. The plot ends up just being generic and borrows little ideas from lots of different movies (Aliens, Deep Rising, etc.) and the cast play the same unlikeable characters you have seen time and time before. The special effects are pretty good, but there just isn't enough diversity in the creatures. The gore is infrequent with a majority of the kills being off screen but the robot designs are quite quirky and all have some form of body parts attached or hanging off. The action is big with plenty of explosions, and is precisely what you would expect. The film climaxes with (quite literally) a bang, but just seems to end too quickly. All in all this big budget SF movie is just a schlocky b movie with delusions of grandeur.

Tamara
Tamara(2006)

Tamara is the most unpopular girl in school. But when some of the other kids pull a prank on her they could not have imagined what would happen, and what would follow.

This is one of those movies that I should not have enjoyed as much as I did. The basic storyline is cobbled together from several other sources (Carrie, The Craft, etc.) and the characters are all bland and distasteful. But, with it's retro feel, subtle special effects and some pretty decent acting (especially Jenna Dewan in the title role) this is just a fun little horror movie that has no pretensions and doesn't take too much thinking about. As I have said before the special effects are underplayed, and things are saved up for the gore which is all quite realistic and very well handled. The characters are pretty generic and you really don't care if they live or die, even the 'heroine'. The finale was nicely built up to, but with no great surprises, it just seemed to be over very quickly. In the end this is a beer and popcorn movie that should be watched if you are looking for something that is easy on the eye and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Shuttle
Shuttle(2009)

Two young girls returning to LA from a holiday catch the last shuttle bus downtown. But little do they realise that they and the rest of the passengers are in for a horrific journey.

This is one of those horror / thriller movies that tries to be so much more than it actually is. The direction is nicely done with everything being shot in a realism style stark washed-out colour scheme, and the small cast all play their characters well. The gore in minimal, but what little happens is all very well handled. But where the movie really falls down is the plot. The beginning starts off in a promising way, and it is all quite believable, but as things progress the story degenerates and it just become more and more fantastical. I worked out a couple of the plot twists well before they happened as they were nothing that I hadn't seen before. As the movie draws to an end, things become incredibly more confusing and the the finale (though it has a couple of clever touches) just left me wondering "what the hell was that all about?". In the end this movie was just below average, and I have seen many better examples of 'women in peril' movies.

The Thirst
The Thirst(2007)

When Lisa is diagnosed with the terminal cancer, she decides to take her own life, and her boyfriend discovers her dead in the bath tub. But he soon finds out that things are not always what they seem.

The story starts off with quite an arty feel, and then soon begins to borrow ideas from other 'vampire clan' movies, and then ends up in a whole good versus evil bloodbath. The cast all play their characters with glee, especially Clare Kramer who seems to have got mania down to a fine art. The direction is solid, but the use of red lighting in places makes things a little hard to make out and the sound can be a little muffled at times. The gore is frequent, bloody, and there are enough torn out veins and arteries to keep any horror fan happy. This is one of those vampire films that tries to have an epic storyline, but the limitations of the the budget just gets in the way. The story seems to want to get virtually every vampire cliche it possibly can in to one movie, and though it is fun to watch, it does have a habit of running a little wild in places. This would have just been all sorted out if the budget was a little bit bigger and the story was a little more tightly written.

Voodoo Asesino
½

When a suspended Doctor looks for a non-qualified job, she applies for a position in Jamaica looking after the sick brother of am American landowner. She soon discovers that the idyllic country has more deadly secrets than she thought possible.

This is the third and final entry in the 'Tales From The Crypt' movie franchise, and gone are the days of the big budget movie extravaganza, as what we are presented here is a little direct to DVD release. In fact this can barely even be classed as an entry in the franchise, as the Crypt Keeper sequences are poorly handled and just feel tacked on. In fact if it wasn't for the book-ending sequences, you would even realise it was part of the franchise. No mention is made in the title, and the now famous theme tune isn't used. The movie itself, isn't actually that bad, the story is quite well written and it moves along at an ok pace (even though it does drag slightly in places). Even with the subject matter, classing it as a horror movie is a little bit of misleading as it more of a mystery drama that would have felt could have quite happily had Columbo feature in it.. The gore is pretty non existent, but there are a couple of scenes that did have a bit of a squishy nature. All in all, this isn't a bad movie, but you would be best fast-forwarding through both of the Crypt Keeper sequences as they do not enhance things and just make you wish you were back when the franchise was at it's peak

Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood
½

When a private investigator is hired by a worried girl to find her missing brother, the trail ends up at a funeral home that holds a deadly secret.

This is the second entry in the 'Tales From The Crypt' movie franchise, and unfortunately the level of output is beginning to slip. The story is much more tongue in cheek than its predecessor and just nowhere near as good, as it is lacking all the little elements of great story telling that made 'Demon Knight' such a fab movie. There are a few fair number of famous faces that any horror fan will recognise from other movies of the time, and there are some subtle nods to the original EC comic that made me giggle. The gore is plentiful and all done in a comedy style, so there should be enough exploding vampires on screen to keep anyone happy. In the end this is just an average vampire film, that even having the 'Tales From The Crypt' moniker on cannot make it any better.

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight
½

When a mysterious stranger turns up at a hotel for down and outs, the residents soon realise that he has secrets that they could have never imagined, some of which prove deadly.

The first spin-off movie from the incredibly popular 'Tales From The Crypt' TV series, and what a explosive start it is. This movie has it going on in aces! The storyline is a great mix of horror, comedy, action and cheese which fits the lurid ideals started by the series perfectly. The characters (though all generic) are well visualized and the cast play them to the max. Special mention has to go to Billy Zane who plays his role with what can be only described as 'demonic glee' - pun completely intended!!! The effects are looking a little dated now, but at the time fitted the style of movie perfectly, and you cannot argue at the amount of monsters, slime and blood that are given screen time. The finale is just pure comic-book, and was the perfect set-up for the sequel that never was. The only problem I have with the movie are the book-ending Crypt Keeper sequences - even though they are still full of the cheesy humour that you have come to expect, they are just too long, and they seem to lose the quaintness that the quick hits in the TV series gave the viewer. All in all this is still a great movie, and it really harkened back to the ideas and storylines of the original EC Comic of the same name.

Final Destination 5

When Sam has a vision of a bridge collapsing, he stops a group of people from dying. But they soon discover that Death doesn't give up that easily.

Even though 'The Final Destination' was supposed to be the final entry, the franchise returns for a fifth outing. Firstly Tony Todd is back in his signature role, and that alone is a great sight for any fan of the series, after he was greatly missed in the previous installment. The plot idea still follows the same basic formula as the rest of the series, but this entry is far more believable then some of the others, and the ending has a great little twist. The characters are much less generic than we are used to, and the viewer actually can care whether they survive or not. Now, down to the gore - the ingenious deaths that the franchise is famous for are back in full effect, and there is enough blood to make any gore-hound wince and giggle in equal amounts. In the end, what we have here is a great little shocker, and it is great to see the franchise return to the heights and similarity of the first two entries.

The Final Destination

When Nick has a vision of a speedway crash, he stops a group of people from dying. But they soon discover that Death doesn't give up that easily.

The fourth entry in the movie franchise and there is really no difference from the rest. The storyline still follows the exact same formula, and the characters are still generic and forgettable. What this series is all about are the complex and outrageous death scenes - and 'The Final Destination' does the job just as good as it's predecessors. But, the series is looking a bit tired, and the movie really loses momentum as it goes along, and the ending is a complete let-down. There are some subtle nods to the previous movies that only a fan would notice (as did my wife), but the movie breaks THE one golden rule - no Tony Todd!!!!!!! All in all, it is an ok movie that makes you giggle with morbid glee in places, but don't expect a groundbreaking entry in the franchise.

Final Destination 3
½

When Wendy has a vision of a roller coaster crash, she stops a lot of people from getting involved. But they soon discover that Death doesn't give up that easily.

The franchise returns with a third entry that is just more of the same, but just that bit bigger again. With another massive opening sequence, the movie follows pretty much the same formula as it's predecessors, and the story is even more cheesy than you would expect, plus the 'return' of one of the original characters is again a nice touch. As with all sequels, the deaths are bigger and incrementally more ingenious, and the gore factor is that much bigger as well. But this time around all the gore seems to have a slightly 'tongue in cheek' feel. The characters are even more generic and unlikable, but that just means that the deaths are really welcome when they happen. This movie proves that you don't have to change a formula when the audience knows what to expect. But this entry doesn't really bring anything new to the franchise, and isn't as enjoyable as Parts 1 and 2.

Final Destination 2

When Kimberley has a vision of an interstate pile-up, she stops a lot of people from getting involved. But they soon discover that Death doesn't give up that easily.

The franchise returns with a second entry that is just as good as the original, but just that bit bigger. With an amazing opening sequence, the movie follows pretty much the same formula as it's predecessor, and the story is just as cheesy and fun, plus the return of two of the characters is always a nice touch. As with all sequels the deaths are bigger and incrementally more ingenious, and the gore factor is that much bigger as well. The characters are still as generic and unlikable, but that just means that the deaths are more welcome when they do eventually happen. This movie proves that sequels can be just as good as the original and it is another where the viewer should have some beer and pizza at the ready.

Final Destination

When Alex and some of his classmates are dismissed from a plane prior to a trip to France, they survive a suspicious explosion. But they soon discover that Death doesn't give up that easily.

This first entry in the popular franchise, is also a quite a stand-out movie, as it was one of the first of the new-wave horror movies of the time. The story is simple, the acting is suitably over the top and it is very well directed. Where the movie stands out (and has become a staple of the series) is the deaths, with each one becoming more inventive and outrageous. The other major highlight of this movie is the inclusion of (the great) Tony Todd who plays a small but pivotal role. This is a great little movie that doesn't lose any of it's impact even after multiple viewings and the deaths will give any gore hound a great amount of glee. Of course the movie is not perfect and as with most horror movies, it has a cast of unlikable characters and the plot is quite cheesy and doesn't really take too much thinking about. But with all that said, it is still a great little 'beer and pizza' movie,

Bikini Girls On Ice
½

When a female soccer team's bus breaks down at a gas station on route to a fundraiser, they decide to hold the bikini car wash there until their ride is repaired. But, they soon find out that it is not as abandoned as they thought it was.

This is one of those little low budget horror movies that has a title that promises a lot more than it actually delivers. The story is pretty formulaic and even having a majority of the cast in bikinis does nothing to make it particularly different. A majority of the deaths are off camera, and the gore is really only shown as blood splashes up the wall, on the floor, etc. Also, with most films of this type, the finale is nothing that you haven't already seen before. Though it is made competently and the cast give good performances, it falls into the same traps that a lot of other slasher movies do - "Why is it happening?", "Who actually is the villain?" and "Why didn't they just drive away when they had the chance?". In the end, this has absolutely nothing new to add to the genre, but is still marginally better than some others that are out there.

The Hamiltons
½

Following their parent's death, four siblings have to fend for themselves and they disciver that they have to take care procurring their special needs.

This low budget movie started off really well with a good mix of dark humour and uneasiness, and as the story grows the characters become more and more eerie. There is a sense of torture porn, but the onscreen violence is minimal and a lot is implied. The acting by the small cast is very good and all the characters compliment each other nicely. What lets the movie down though is the twist at the end, as it completely turns the film on it's head and takes away all the dread and nastiness that has built up and kind of explains it all away in a 'conventional' manner. As a first movie, it is incredibly good, as a serial killer film it is very good, but it is just an ok example of the genre it ended up being.

Murder Party
Murder Party(2007)
½

A man gets a random invitation to a Halloween party, and when he arrives he finds that he is the guest of honour, but this is not the kind of party that he expected it to be,

This low budget slasher movie has some interesting ideas and entertaining characters, and is made very competently. It starts off quite slowly, but things pick up during the last half an hour. The story is very thin, and unfortunately falls into the trap of not really explaining anything that is going on particularly well, The gore is infrequent but is handled very well when it happens, and the metal soundtrack matches everything perfectly. An interesting idea that could have been handled a lot better with a slight story tweaking and a bigger budget. It will be interesting to see what [the director] Jeremy Saulnier will move onto in the future.

Black Scorpion II
½

The karate- kicking super heroine returns to battle two villains intent on destroying Los Angeles.

As the second entry in the franchise, you pretty much know what to expect from the storyline and characters and this movie doesn't really let you down and in fact is even more camper than the original. The characters are all completely over the top, and the storyline is just so sketchy, that it has you feeling that huge chunks are missing throughout. But with all said, this movie still has a certain something that kept me watching to the end, and actually quite enjoying what I saw. As I said in my review of it's predecessor, if you are looking for a groundbreaking superheroine movie, then you have come to the wrong place. But if you just want a piece of fun cheese with a leading lady that runs around in a tiny leather outfit, then look no further.

The Barber
The Barber(2002)
½

When series of women are brutally killed in a wintery Alaskan town, the FB| are called in to solve the case. But is it possible that a member of the town's community knows more about the slayings then he is letting on?

This is another example of how enjoyable black comedies can be when they are made well. Malcolm McDowell plays the title role with his usual quiet mania, and the rest of the small cast all play the dark humour and pathos excellently. The story is not original and has a few holes in it, but the viewer can happily wave these away as the cast all play the mix of dark humor, pathos and slight oddness excellently, and compliment the setting of the small town in the middle of nowhere perfectly. The lack of any on-screen killing and gore is no great loss, as it adds to the whole sense of "did he do it or not". The only gripe I have is the ending feels a little rushed and certain things are not explained particularly well. All in all this is a good little black comedy that had me giggling in places and I would recommend you check it out.

The Tripper
The Tripper(2007)

When a group of neo-hippy friends travel to an open air festival in a forest they discover that amoungst the drugs, music and free love there is a deadly force that has a fixation with a certain former president.

Directed by David Arquette, this comedy slasher movie is a mixed bag of results. The basic storyline is nothing new, the characters are generic, and the ending screams sequel just like many other entries in the genre. The sound scape is a tad too loud in places, which made it hard to follow the dialogue. The gore is very well handled, but there isn't much variety when it comes to the methods of death. But, even after mentioning all those negatives, you have got to love the idea of a maniac dressed as Robert Reagan running around killing stoned teenagers, and that just keeps you watching it to the end and giggling to yourself at times.

Frankenhooker

A scientist's plans to reassemble his dead girlfriend goes awry when he gathers replacement parts from the local prostitutes.

Anyone who is a fan of classic low budget horror will recognise Frank Henenlotter, the director of this movie, as the genius who created the 'Basket Case' trilogy, and this movie is another visit into his off the wall ideas. This irrelevant take on the Frankenstein myth takes the idea the to the nth degree as it mixes in drugs, hookers, mad scientists and a killer lawnmower. The story does take a little while to get going and the creature doesn't really get enough screen time, but when she does appear it makes the wait worth while. The characters are all as mad as you would expect them to be, and there is a great mix of humour, gore, nudity, drugs and mutated body parts. Unfortunately, this movie hasn't really survived the test of time like some of it's counterparts from the same decade, but if you have already seen it, then a re-watch is always good, and if you have never seen this movie then you should check it to see what the underground horror movie scene was like back in the 90's,

The Gravedancers

After attending a funeral, three friends' night of drunkenness ends with them dancing in a graveyard and they soon discover that dead do not rest easily.

When I read the banner for this movie, I thought it was going to be a complete piece of cheese, and the only reason I watched it were for the two names in the cast I recognised - Clare Kramer (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Dominic Purcell (Blade : Trinity). What I ended up with was actually a great little horror black comedy that is cheesy for all the right reasons. The storyline starts of pretty weak, then turns into a 'Poltergeist' story, then an homage to 'Evil Dead' and ends up going completely over the top. The small cast all play the characters to the max, and there was enough screaming and silly lines to make me giggle a few times by the end of the movie. The gore is pretty non existent and there are just a couple of wounds, burnings and zombies to be seen - but this all works with the nature of the story. The only detraction I can come up with is the reasoning behind the events in the film are really not explained, though this was not enough to spoil my viewing, it would have just been nice to know. If you are looking for a fun horror movie that you really don't have to think about too much, then check out 'The Gravedancers', you won't be disappointed.

Timber Falls
Timber Falls(2007)
½

When a young couple go hiking in the woods that soon discover that the beautiful surroundings hide a horrific and deadly secret.

This is one of those 'victims get caught by maniacs and have to fight for survival' movies that has been done many times before. Just think 'Wrong Turn' and 'The Hills Have Eyes' and you get the general idea, but this film does have a couple of nice little plot ideas that keep the viewer entertained throughout. The characters are as generic and over the top as you would expect, and are all played well by the cast. The direction is solid, and the locations used are stunning to say the least. The gore is quite gooey in places, and apart from a couple of dodgy CGI shots, is very well handled. The major let down is the "epilogue" that just screams that crew are hoping for a sequel, and unfortunately really does not fit in with rest of the movie, which had quite a nice self-contained storyline. To sum up, this is not a groundbreaking movie in any shape, but just reinforces my idea that if a movie is well made, then it doesn't really matter if you have seem the same idea countless times before.

Puppet Master: Axis of Evil
½

After the death of Andre Toulon, Danny discovers the puppets and takes them back home with him. But little does he know that the Nazis and the Japanese will stop at nothing to learn their secret.

Finally, the first decent 'Puppet Master' movie since part 4!! And can't you just tell that Charles Band is not pulling any punches and putting as much as he can back into the series that launched Full Moon. This movie takes place directly after the opening sequence of the first movie, and the way that the original footage is interwoven with new material is very well handled. The rest of the story is a quite pleasant spy story, that isn't too taxing on the brain. The small cast all play their roles well, and there is only overacting for the characters that deserve them. The gore effects are minimal, and the puppet effects are up to the standard you have come to expect, and it was still nice to see that no cheesy CGI has been used. If I have to find fault, the plot is a little slow moving in places, and it would have been nice to see the puppets get a little more involved. But there is one tiny little sequence that answers a question that has always bugged me regarding Six Shooter, and the movie was worth watching just for that. This is a good old fashioned entry in the franchise that had been seriously lacking in the last few entries, and let's hope that future sequels will keep going in the same vein.

Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys
½

When Robert Toulon finds a way to reanimate the puppets, he soon discovers that there are other people that will stop at nothing to gain his secret.

OK, so this not recognized as an official part of the Puppet Master franchise as it was not made by Full Moon. But it still has some of the puppets in, so I thought it would be worth a review. As a movie, this is not the greatest, but is marginally better than a couple of the previous entries. All the horrific elements have all but disappeared and the movie now reminds me more of tongue in cheek, kids Xmas Troma movie. The storyline is very cheesy, and the actors ham it up to the max. The puppets really dont have a lot to do until the end, and it is all over too quickly. All in all , as a standalone movie this is a bit of harmless trash, but all ties to any of the 'Puppet Master' univers have been severed and this entry writes all it's own history.

Puppet Master: The Legacy

When the new Puppet Master returns to the Bodega Bay Inn he is followed by a mysterious woman who will stop at nothing to get the secret of the puppets.

OK, this isn't really a new installment in the franchise, as it is really just a compilation movie with a couple of new framing scenes thrown in. So there isn't really anything i can say about the clips that I haven't already covered in previous reviews. The new scenes do clear up one answered piece of storyline relating to 'Puppet Master III' and 'Retro Puppet Master', but apart form that are just there as linking devices, and the finale just makes no sense whatsoever!! The clips used from the previous entries are of varying quality and the director has tried to put them in chronological order, but due to the meandering nature of the 'Puppet Master' universe, this proves to be very difficult and just serves to highlight some of the problems the franchise has on the whole. So, trying to rate this 'movie' does prove to be difficult and even though I would not really recommend it to anyone (except for die hard fans of the series) I have given the score I have as it is a kind of 'greatest hits' of the franchise and there were a lot of sequences that I did enjoy when I watched them in their respective movies.

Retro Puppet Master (Puppet Master 7)
½

Whilst continuing his escape from Nazi Germany, Andre Toulon stops for a night's rest in a deserted hotel. While waiting for the morning, he tells his puppets the story of how he became the Puppet Master.


The seventh entry in the 'Puppet Master' franchise actually follows on from part three, and also borrows ideas from parts four and five. This is a prequel movie that unfortunately falls into the trap of retelling parts of the history that have has been already set up in previous entries. The story is quite good, and the lack of horror and blood is replaced with slightly fantasy elements (as in parts four and five) and has it's tongue firmly placed in it's cheek. It was nice to see Guy Rolfe reprising the role of Andre Toulon for the book-ending sequences, and the inclusion of all new puppets makes a welcome change, The acting is a bit wooden (no pun intended), there are some particularly dodgy accents and the puppet effects are not the best. But the main loss with this entry, is the lack of the iconic main title theme. In the end, this is a bit of a departure for the franchise, but is watchable and a lot better than the previous entry.

Curse of the Puppet Master
½

When the puppets find a new master, they soon discover that he will stop at nothing to create his own masterpiece.

I had a horrible feeling this wasn't going to a particularly good entry in the franchise, when I noticed that the opening titles were completely made up of clips from the previous five entries, and I wasn't far wrong. This movie completely disregards all the history that has been built, and give us a bland little horror story that just happens to have the puppets in, and they get to do something occasionally, and the majority of the movie is more like a poor Frankenstein impersonation. The basic story ideas start off well enough, but with the gaping continuity errors and wooden acting soon becomes a bit of a mish-mash and the cliff-hanger ending is just very, very bad. A majority of the special effects are OK, but the puppetry is average to say the least. The gore is very limited, and the same ideas are used each time. All in all, this is a below average entry in the series, and I am only giving this score as I have a soft spot for the franchise.

Puppet Master V (Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter)
½

The puppets soon realise that the war with Sutec is not over, as he sends his greatest creation to destroy them.

This entry was made back to back with 'Puppet Master 4', but for some reason does not have the same quality or feel as it's predecessor. Though still quite good, the plot has nothing to new to offer and is seems to be full of people walking round corridors and rehashes of previous ideas. The puppets are still the real stars of the film and have a much more comedy feel than before. Torch makes a welcome return in this movie, but the reason is never explained, and none of the returning characters seem surprised to see him. All in all this is not the greatest sequel in the franchise and though it still has it's charm, it is a bit of a let down compared to the ideas set up in 'Puppet Master 4'

Puppet Master 4
½

When a group of young scientists meet at the Bodega Bay Inn they discover Toulon's legacy. But little do they know the demonic forces that are out to kill the puppets.

OK, this is where the 'Puppet Master' movies started to get a little odd! The plot line is nothing like any of the previous entries, with the addition of demons and monsters, and it does take a little getting used to. And as a viewer, the franchise universe also starts to get a little muddled, as this entry partly follows on from Part II (minus a large amount of the storyline) and also takes bits from Part III. Also, certain characters are absent and others are featured without any real explanation. But with all that said, this is still a fun movie to watch and the storyline, though a little slow going is engaging. The special effects are still mainly old school and it works perfectly as it gives the puppets a certain amount of jerkiness that you would expect. The gore is pretty non-existent, but it is more than made up for with the puppet / demon battles. All in all, this is another fine entry in a great series of movies.

Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge

In a war torn Germany, Andre Toulon's life is torn apart by the Nazis, and with the aid of his puppets he seeks revenge.

With the slight disappointment of 'Puppet Master II' and also knowing this was a prequel movie, I approached it with a certain amount of trepidation. But to my surprise and utter glee, this entry in the franchise is an excellent movie and my favourite by far. The story is well paced and has a good mix of action and drama. The production values are top-notch and the special effects make the previous entries look amateurish in comparison. There is also a lot more deaths in this entry and the gore (though not excessive) looks phenomenal. On the puppet side, this movie marks the first appearance of Six Shooter and also explains the genesis of a lot of the diminutive characters. The only problems I have with his entry are the same that you usually get when a prequel is made several films into a franchise - and one can only wonder what happens to certain characters in the time between, and one feels that certain nuances just don't seem quite right. All in all this is the best entry in the franchise, and should be a definite view for anyone that wants to learn more about the 'Puppet Master' universe.

Puppet Master II
½

When their energy begins to fail, the puppets decide to reanimate their creator for help, but things do not go as they plan.

The second entry in the 'Puppet Master' franchise is still a great film, but as with all direct sequels, it loses a little something compared to the original. I was not expecting a masterpiece of movie making, but the storyline just seems to have a little less to keep you occupied and it even drags a little in places. But the main problem is the fact that there is an even smaller cast, and this means that puppets have less to do, which is one of the main reasons the fans watch these movies. As with the previous entry, the puppets do have their moment at the end which is always good to see, and it also marks the first appearance of Torch. If you are a 'Puppet Master' fan, this is still a worthy entry, but it is just shy of being as good as the first.

Puppet Master

When a group of scientists travel to a deserted hotel to pay respects to a dead friend, they discover that things are not what they expected, and the hotel is far from empty.

OK, anyone out there who knows me is fully aware that 'Puppet Master' is my favourite film franchise of all time. I remember watching this initial entry when it debuted on video and I have been hooked ever since. This is far from a great movie, with it's wooden acting and plot holes that you could drive a truck through, but there is something about it that just keeps me coming back for repeated viewings. The story istelf is very simple, and is actually half decent, but in the end it has to be the puppets. It is a good testament to the creators and special effects guys, that they can give these little critters their own personalities that you actually fall in love with. For a low budget movie that is over 20 years old and still has entries being made, it just shows that you don't need all the money or the greatest actors or writers to make a series movies that endure and are loved by the fans.

Autumn
Autumn(2009)

When a mystery virus gruesomely kills millions and the corpses reanimate, The survivors soon come to realise that quietness is the only way to survive.

Though this is quite a well made little movie, and the idea of the zombies slowly evolving is an interesting one, the bulk of the film is a complete let down. The little storyline seems to be entirely made of the the three main cast members running or driving somewhere, waiting around, fighting some zombies, talking and then going somewhere else to do the same thing, and it gets really boring, really quickly. The zombies are all pretty basic, and the gore is just made up of a few blood smeared faces. The end of the movie is quick and unsatisfying but is quite welcome. As any horror fan will know, there are a plethora of zombie movies out there, and there are a lot of them that are much better than this movie.

Suffering Man's Charity (Ghost Writer)
½

When a music teacher takes in a struggling writer as a house guest, he soon finds out that his charity is taken for granted, and things come to an explosive end.

This is a pleasant, but odd little film that really doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It starts off feeling like a drama, then changes into black comedy, then changes into a ghost story, and finishes up being a drama again. It is also feels very drawn out, and just when it starts to get really interesting, it ends, which just left me feeling a little confused to what it was trying to achieve. The small cast all act their roles very well, with Alan Cumming being at his best over the top. But David Boreanaz has the best part that really shows off his comedic talents. You may want to catch this movie just for the black comedy sequences, which are quite amusing, but it is not the horror film that the Horror Channel led me to believe it would be.

The Monster Squad

When all five of the classic monsters unite to recover an amulet of ultimate power, it is up to The Monster Squad to stop them.

This film came out two years after The Goonies, but unfortunately is nowhere as well remembered. I mean what is not to like when a movie has Dracula, The Creature, The Wolfman, The Mummy and Gill-Man all in it together!!! The plot is of course suitably cheesy and nothing more than a bit of comedy fun with really no horror or bloodletting. The creature effects are outstanding, as this was in the days before CGI, and you just cant beat latex and animatronics, and the slight changes in creature design (due to copyright) do no dis-service. As you can tell, I have always had an incredibly large soft spot for this film and I still enjoy as much now as when I first saw it. If you want a great bit of 80's nostalgic fun, then I suggest you go out and check this movie out straight away.

Frontier(s)
Frontier(s)(2007)
½

A gang of young criminals flee Paris, only to find themselves ensnared by a crazed family when they stop in a backwoods hotel.

It has been a while since I have watched a bit of euro horror, and after hearing good things about this French movie, I thought I would give it a go. While this plot is nothing new at all and is as far away from reality as you can get (think Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Live Feed, Hostel, etc.), it definitely reinforces my theory that if it made well, it doesn't matter if you have seen the story countless times before. The direction is all very modern and does have a torture porn feel in places, but on the whole it all looks very good. The acting all seems very competent, but not being in English, I felt that i did lose some of the finer nuances of the (limited) dialogue. The gore is plentiful and is a mix of old school and CGI, that give it a good raw look. On the whole this movie is nothing groundbreaking, but it is good to see what other countries are creating in the horror genre, and well worth a watch.

Ticks
Ticks(1994)
½

When a group of troubled teens are sent on a weekend rehabilitation trip to the country, they discover that the forest has some giant unwanted guests.

'Ticks' is a great reminder of how cheesy low budget, direct to video movies were back in the day. The plot is suitably silly, and gets odder as the movie progresses, the characters are as obnoxious as you expect them to be, and the monsters have a certain slimy cuteness about them. The gore is minimal, but there is still a fair amount of blood thrown around. It is one of those movies, that is not a classic in any shape, size or form, but it quite entertaining in a tongue in cheek kind of way.

Wizard of Gore

When the editor of an underground newspaper stumbles across a performance by a magician with an incredibly violent act, he soon discovers that there is more to the performance than anyone could have guessed.

Here we have a film that is more inspired by the HG Lewis original than a direct remake. The same basic idea is there, but the story has been seriously tweaked, and towards the end bares no relation whatsoever. Being presented in a very dream like way and you are never quite sure if everything that is happening is real or not, and things become more surreal as the movie progress. All the cast give fine performances with Crispin Glover giving a wonderfully manic interpretation of the title character. The gore is all very well handled but the camera angles and set design does make it a little difficult to see what is happening to the 'victims'. In the end this is a well made movie with some very interesting ideas, even though the basic plot has been done before. But the surreal visual tone could have been sacrificed a little to make the events on screen a little easier to follow.

Feast 3: The Happy Finish
½

As a small town is continued to be attacked by a group of unknown creatures, The rag tag mix of residents continue to fight for survival.

If you have read my two previous reviews you will know that I really enjoyed 'Feast' and was slightly disappointed with 'Feast II'. So, I was hoping that the final part of the trilogy would go out with a bang - but I got more of a whimper. The monsters and outrageous gore is in plentiful supply, but the plot just becomes more lost as the movie progresses and not even the black humour can save the incoherent ending. The introduction of new characters, only to have them killed quite quickly actually becomes annoying, and the lack of explanation for the monster outbreak is a complete let-down. In the end, I feel this would have been a much better movie series, if it had been left at only one entry.

Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds

When a small town is attacked by a group of unknown creatures, it is up to the the rag tag mix of residents to defend themselves.

I really enjoyed the first 'Feast' movie, as I thought it was a great mix of horror, action and black comedy. And I was hoping that the sequel would be just as good seeing that the same creative team were on board. What I got was a mixed bag of results. Though still good, I found that 'Feast II' was lacking a certain something. Maybe it was that the film was set in an entire town, maybe it was that the characters (apart from the returners) were all way too vile for me to care about, or maybe that it just seemed to go on for too long without much actually happening. But whatever the reason, second entry in this trilogy was just not as fun. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it and am looking forward to watching the final movie, but I think that the director just tried a little too hard to out produce, out story, out monster and out gore it's predecessor. But it still had a couple of stand-out moments, and you just can't beat a duo of Mexican midget wrestlers with unfeasibly large penises!!!!

Feast
Feast(2006)

When a small town bar is attacked by a group of unknown creatures, it is up to the the rag tag mix of patrons to defend themselves.

Had heard really good things about this movie, so decided to finally check it out, and what I saw completely lived up to expectations. This is one those rare movies that successfully mixes a good story with humour, gore and solid direction. The inclusion of some very good special effects and a few well known actors, really added to the overall package. The use of the one location was a brave choice, but works perfectly. All the characters are suitably over the top and the monsters have the right amount of tooth and claw. I usually have problems with plots that give no reason or back story, but in this case you really didn't need to know anything about the characters or the creatures, as you know that a majority of them are going to die. The only quibble I have is that the monster shots were handled in a jerky way that made it difficult to see what they were up to, but this was probably deliberately done so you didn't see them properly until the end, but it was still a little annoying on the eye.

Alone in the Dark
½

An otherworldly investigator learns that an ancient tribe are poised to return and take over the world.

I thought it was about time that I sampled an Uwe Boll movie, and seeing this was on the Horror Channel, I thought I would give it a go. This is a competently directed movie with some decent acting and pretty good special effects, but what ultimately let's it down is the plot. I say plot, but that would be overly gracious. What little storyline there is, is stretched out to fill the running time, but is so badly created, that at times it becomes unintelligible. To be truthful, it was only when I read the description on Flixster that I actually understood what was supposed to be going on. For any gamers out there have played an installment in the "Alone In The Dark" series, please, please do not expect a movie that will come anywhere close to what you would expect. The only reason I have given it the rating I have, is the fact that (as I mentioned above) the production values were quite high, and at times the visuals look very slick.

Jesus Camp
Jesus Camp(2006)

An Oscar nominated documentary that explores the summer camps in the United States that are geared towards teaching children how to promote Evangelical Christianity.

I do enjoy watching a good documentary, but I always seem to pick the ones that I know will annoy me, and again, I have picked well. This is not the most 'in your face' piece covering religion that I have seen, but I think the subtly of the whole thing just got made it get under my collar even more. I fully understand that religion is a personal choice, and if it get's you through the day, then that is your business. But, to my sensibilities, teaching kids of 8+ years old that things like abortion, homosexuality and Harry Potter (I kid you not) are all works of the devil is nothing more than indoctrination and brain-washing. The major trouble is that it just follows the Evangelicals, and only very, very lightly touches on any form of other views, so in the end it actually begins to feel one-sided and does not promote a rounded view that I expect from a good documentary and left me wondering what the film-makers were trying to get across. Still, with that said, it was an interesting subject that got a reaction out of me.

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

An office worker is given a relic by a strange old man who tells him he must save the world.

Anyone out there that really knows me is fully aware how much of a fan of HP Lovecraft I really am, so I approached this movie with a lot of trepidation. The result was not perfect, but ok. The initial stoyline was actually quite well handled and the comedy style reminded of a very watered down version of "The Hangover". But as the film progresses the the plot doesn't really grow and unfortunately there isn't enough laughs to keep it going. The acting, direction and effects are all great saving graces and I particularly liked the comic book style scenes. The climax was over way too quickly and then the finale makes you feel that you are watching a pilot for a TV show. All in all this is an ok movie, but there are several other serious horror movies based on Lovecraft's works that are a lot better.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

Harry and his friends conclude their final year of adventure.

The second installment of the final entry and did I get the rollercoaster ride that I was expecting? In a word "no". Even though this a far better than it's predecessor, it still left me feeling that it could have been a lot better. The action sequences were enjoyable, but were few and far between, and on the whole the movie still felt very long winded in places. The final battle was a bit of a let down, and seemed to be over very quickly, and the fiinale just didn't work at all, and I feel it would have ended a lot better if it had been left out entirely. As I have said before, I would have probably enjoyed the Harry Potter movies a lot more if I was a fan of the novels, and so this movie was just ok and I have seen a lot better and a lot worse.

Family Guy Presents: It's a Trap

During yet another power-cut Peter gives his family a rendition of the third part of his favourite story.

Family Guy goes on and does The Return Of The Jedi!!! All the major Family Guy characters take on roles from the third entry entry in the 'Star Wars' trilogy in another faithful retelling of the classic movie. The jokes are are beginning to get a little bit familiar, but there are some purely classic moments. And of course, the use of perfectly placed swear words at key moments in the script is the funniest thing ever. This is another treat for both Family Guy and Star Wars fans alike, and is the show at it's best.

Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side

During another power-cut Peter gives his family a rendition of the second part of his favourite story.

Family Guy goes on and does The Empire Strikes Back!!! All the major Family Guy characters take on roles from the second entry in the 'Star Wars' trilogy in another faithful retelling of the classic movie. The jokes are a lot better in this entry and sporadic use of swear words at key moments in the script in the funniest thing ever. This is another treat for both Family Guy and Star Wars fans alike, and is the show at it's best.

Fright Night 2
½

Three years on and after constant therapy Charlie now believes that vampires do not exist and Jerry was in fact a serial killer. But then Jerry's sister arrives and things take a turn for the worse.

'Fright Night' is a classic movie for any horror fan growing up in the 80's, and it was one of those film's that didn't really need a sequel - but seeing it was so popular at the time, one came about. What we are presented with is not a patch on the original in any shape, size or form. The plot meanders along and the running time is way too long for what little story there is. The mix of comedy, horror and action from the first movie is sadly lacking here as 'Fright Night Part 2' tries to be more adult and a bit arty. There are too many villains and none of them really stands out (even the roller-skating vampire). Even though it is great to see Roddy McDowall reprising the role of Peter Vincent, he just seems to going through the motions to collect his pay check. This would have been a mediocre movie at best, but having the 'Fright Night' moniker on it just makes you wish that the franchise had stayed as a standalone movie.

Fright Night
Fright Night(1985)

Things are going for well Charlie and his friends until the house next door is bought and Jerry moves in. Charlie soon discovers that Jerry is not quite what he seems and is in fact something a lot more dangerous.

'Fright Night' is one of those few movies that I saw when it when it first came out and it has stuck with me ever since. Though it is not as good as 'The Lost Boys', it is still a cracking watch to this day. Even though the story has nothing that you haven't seen in many other vampire movies, it is handled so well by the director and actors that it is still a must-see. The casting of the late great Roddy McDowall as the tv vampire hunter is inspired as he takes on the role to the max. If you have never seen this film, I strongly urge that you hunt it down, and if you are a fan of 80's horror/action/comedy movies then you should already have this in your DVD collection.

Innocent Blood

When vampire Marie is disturbed whilst feeding on the local Italian crime boss, she does not have a chance to ensure he his fully dead, and then she has to team up with a cop to finish the job.

This is probably John Landis' second finest film, and although it does not share the perfect mix of horror and comedy that 'An American Werewolf In London' does, it is still one hell of a movie. The story moves along at a great pace and the mix of action, comedy and romance is done just right. The casting of the beautiful Anne Pariillaud as the lead vampire is a joy to behold, and her less than perfect english does not detract. The rest of the cast is comprised a lot of well known faces and they are all play their parts to the max. Another great touch are all the the bit parts played by other greats from the horror genre - Tom Savini and Dario Argento to name but two. The one detraction is the fact that vampire lore is played around making the monsters a lot easier to kill, and this reviewer thinks there would have been a lot more action if all the undead rules had been stuck to. In the end, this is a great movie from a great director, and if you are in the mood for a lightweight romp, then this is always a film to consider.

Plague Town
Plague Town(2009)

An American family's trip to Ireland becomes a nightmare when they get lost and discover that the surrounding countryside holds a horrific secret that forces them to fight for survival.

Starting off with a lacklustre "seen it all before" opening and characters, I didn't really hold out much hope for this low budget shocker. But it ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be. The plot intricacies are pretty much secondary and it focuses more on scares and the feeling of impending doom all aided with an off the wall soundtrack. The 'monsters' are well handled and even though a lot are in the background, the ones that are seen properly are all quite disturbing. Because of the small cast, the gore is limited, but when it does happen, it happens with a bang. The finale is probably the film's weakest part, as it only partially explains what is going on, and then leaves the viewer with an ending that, though original to the film, is not something that you haven't seen in one form or another in a lot of other horror movies. As a whole 'Plague Town' isn't a bad entry in the 'people go on holiday and nasty stuff ensues' genre of horror movies, and if you are looking for something that is a bit eerie to watch and doesn't take a lot of thinking about, then this is a movie that you should check out.

Zombie Beach Party (Enter... Zombie King!)

In a world where some zombies are domesticated, an evil genius creates new, improved killer zombies, and it is up to a group of spandex-clad masked hero wrestlers to get together to pummel the undead hoardes.

Don't let the title of this movie mislead you, when you actually watch it, the title "Zombie King And The Legion Of Doom" is used, which I think should have been kept. This is probably one of the weirdest films that I have seen recently, and writing a review is going to prove a bit of a challenge. With a plot that is as mad as it gets and the low budget style this movie reminded me of the great 'mondo' movies from the 50's. The acting is ultra cheesy, and not being able to see a majority of the main cast's faces just adds to the campness. The basic story is nothing new, but the addition of the mad comic book characters and random wrestling, all set in a beach front setting really made this fun to watch. The gore is quite frequent and though low tech you can never grow tired of seeing heads being ripped off. I think this is one of those movies that you will either love or hate. I am definately in the 'loved it' camp, and I recommend you give it a try if you like something a little different.

Crazy Eights
Crazy Eights(2007)
½

Six school friends are reunited at a funeral where they are left instructions that uncovers a deadly secret from their past.

Another entry in the new-wave school of horror movie making that as with a lot of others is very pleasing to the eye, but is sadly lacking in substance. The story is a mish-mash of elements that you have seen in other movies that leads up to a very abrupt, confusing and ultimately unsatisfying finale. The gore is particularly bloodless and a majority is done 'off screen'. The acting is quite good with some solid performances from the cast. The production values are very high and the small cast and locations are all shot incredibly well. The plot has some interesting ideas that could have been explored further, making for something that could have been quite disturbing, but instead it veers into (as mentioned above) familiar territory. In the end, this movie is ok, but there are better examples out there.

Dark Corners
Dark Corners(2006)
½

A disturbed young woman suffers with with reoccurring nightmares where she is a different person who is being stalked by a demon. As the nightmares get worse the lines between reality and dream begin to blur.

This movie has some good ideas and is almost quite arty in places, but falls into the familar trap of having a soryline that runs out of steam before the movie ends. The idea of the dual lives is quite well handled and the lead-up to the finale begins to quite interesting as realities start to merge, but the movie's last couple of minutes are a complete let down and left me feeling quite unrewarded as no firm explanation is given to the reason behind things. The direction, production and acting are all sound, and it is a shame that the writing is not as strong.

Alice Cooper - Prime Cuts

Selected moments from the career of the king of shock rock are highlighted in this documentary featuring many clips from live concerts and tv performances.

Have had this on DVD for years and thought it was about time that I dusted it off and gave it another viewing. Even though this is not a true biography of Alice's rock career, it is a fascinating insight into the mind of the famous rocker. It deals more with how he approached the touring side of things and it demonstrates how much live performances mean to him. There are many clips of concert and tv footage from throughout the years and these are intersperced with interviews with Alice and others that give a great insight in to what went into each phase of the Alice Cooper stageshow. This documentary is really aimed at existing fans, but new listeners would also find it a great source of information.

Red Riding Hood
½

After her father dies and her mother abandons her, Jenny spends her time in Rome ridding the streets of people she thinks are bad with the help of her friend George.

I saw this listed on the Horror Channel late one night and decided to give it a go. This story (which bares no resemblance to the classic fairy story) is quite good and the ideas were odd enough to keep me interested all the way through. But, I must admit that I had worked out the identity of George well before it was revealed. There are parts that drag and the movie could probably benefit ftom a bit of a trim just to keep up momentum. The final few minutes of the movie are what let it down, as you get to the point where the finale takes an unexoected weird turn that just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the movie. All in all if you are looking for something a little odd that is still quite easy to watch, you may want to give this a try.

Trailer Park of Terror
½

When a group of troubled teens and their chaparone take refuge in a creepy trailer park after their bus crashes on route to camp, they come to realise that the inhabitants are not what they seem.

This movie is full of good ideas - I mean who wouldn't like the idea of wise-cracking trailer park trash zombies torturing worthless students in a tribute to the classic gore movies of HG Lewis. The trouble is that it just takes too long to get going and then it just doesn't go anywhere. The first half drags as it sets up the very loose storyline which could have been done a lot quicker. The second half heats up but it ends all too quickly with a very unrewarding and annoyingly incomplete finale. The kids are all incredibly bulk standard and the viewer really won't care whether they live or die and the monsters are given too depth without really going anywhere. The gore and make-up effects are all excellent, but because it takes so long to get to them interest had already been lost. As stated earlier, this movie is full of good ideas and is competently handled, but needs to be reworked to turn it into the decent little black horror comedy it could so easily be.

Boo
Boo(2005)
½

A group of friends spend Halloween in a dilapidated hospital and come across a psychotic spirit.

A group of obnoxious kids decide to party in a hospital with a dark past, and meet a cop who is looking for a lost family member - stop me if you have heard this one before. As you can tell, 'Boo' is not a groundbreaking movie with an innovative storyline, and it is nothing that you haven't seen in countless movies in the past. The characters are all the standard kind that we know and hate, and the story is not even particularly well told and leaves it all until the last act. But, the direction, set design and special effects do make up for what it lacks in the other departments. There are better ghost stories out there, but if you haven't got anything to do for 90 minutes and this is showing on tv, then grab yourself a coke and some popcorn and accept it for what it is.

Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield

A series of murders shocks a small American town. Based on the true story of one of the most notorious serial killers in history.

Any self-respecting horror fan knows the twisted story of Ed Gein. In fact, he has been the subject of many programmes, movies, books, etc. and even if they don't know the full story, most people know enough facts to get them by. There have also been a lot of horror movies that have been inspired by portions of his life - 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre', 'Psycho' and 'The Silence Of The Lambs' to name a few. But this movie porports to be based on the true story of Ed Gein's life - and this is where it falls down. Firstly, the casting of genre favourite Kane Hodder in the lead role doesn't really work as (even though he is an excellent actor) he bares no physical resemblance to Ed, and the fact that he was so ordinary looking was the thing that scared most people. The plot of the movie meanders along and actually doesn't really explain Ed's reasoning at all and focusses more on the life of the town's Deputy Sheriff, which does get a little boring after a while. The killings are few and you really don't get to see what Ed is doing to his victims and only the corpses at the end. The skin suit idea is used, but because of the lack of back-story it really does not have the intended impact, and just makes Kane Hodder look a bit silly. Even though this movie is very well directed and acted, the historical inaccuracies just make you wish that it had been about a fictional serial killer and not such a well reported figure in American history.

Zombies Anonymous

When Angela re-awakens from being fatally shot by her boyfriend, she discovers that the zombie population she is now a part of causes her as many problems as the human population did when she was alive.


Starting off with a kind of mocumentary feel, this movie is slow to get going, but as it progresses the plot becomes more black comedy and easy to watch and by the end had me giggling a few times. The characters are all as over the top as you would expect, and the actors play their parts with a large amount of gusto. The gore though a little amateurish at times, is frequent there are enough body parts flying around to keep any horror fan happy. On the whole this is a good movie that even though feels a little too long in places takes the zombie genre in right direction that certain other recent entries have failed to do.

Monster Island
½

When a bunch of kids win an MTV competition to have a party on a remote island hosted by a star, they soon realise that their troubles have reached monsterous proportions.

This MTV original movie is a pastiche of all the great monster movies of the 1950's, and though it has good intentions, it falls flat in a lot of places. The actors all play their roles with the required amount of ham, especially Adam West who is his normal mad self. The deliberate cheesiness of the effects is quite cute to start with, but ends up becoming a little annoying as the movie progresses. The plot and direction leaves you feeling like you are watching a 1990's kid's adventure movie that would have been perfect vehicle for Pauly Shore when he was at the height of his fame. This movie ends trying to be too cute for it's own good, and is a perfect distraction for an older child, but any adult viewing it will find it an empty experience

Haunted Prison

When a documentary crew head to an abandoned prison with a dark history, they meet up with a group of jewel thieves in hiding, and they all discover that the ghosts of the building's past are not as quiet as they should be.

Even though it doesn't have a particularly strong plot, this movie was a lot better than I thought it would be. The characters are all what you would expect to see, but the cast all play them well (especially Jake Busey who always seems to have a manic glee), and the cameos by Stacy Keach and Danny Trejo, though brief, are a welcome addition. The special effects are incredibly well handled and the gore, apart from a couple of dodgy CGI shots, are good and bloody. As I mentioned above, the plot is the movie's weakest part as it presents nothing you haven't already seen, and seems to run out of steam about 15 minutes from the end. But, taking all things into account, this is a fun little movie that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Frankenfish
Frankenfish(2004)
½

A group of inhabitants in the Louisiana swamps are terrorised by a group of fish that have been gentically modified to horrorfying proportions.

Mutated creature movies have been around for a long time and some of them are classics, but unfortunately 'Frankenfish' does not fall into this category. The story is weak to say the least, and with the stock characters, lack of action and the seen it all before ending, this movie doesn't have a lot going for it. I would go as far to say that even with the shortish running time, it is long and boring. The fish themselves are probably the only redeeming feature as the over the top design and hokey animation give them a comedic feel that suits them perfectly. There are many better examples of this type of film out there, and I urge you to go and fish them out.

Triloquist
Triloquist(2007)

Two psychopathic children embark upon a kidnap and killing spree with their best friend, a ventriloquist dummy, as they travel to Las Vegas.

This is an odd little black comedy that has some good ideas, but does get a little bit confused towards the end. The story at it's core is quite formulaic, but the addition of Dummy is a nice twist and definately leaves you wondering if things are quite what they seem. The comedy elements are good and black, and the young characters are quite refreshing and very well acted. As mentioned above, the ending is quite confusing and leaves you feeling that the events leading up to it have just been forgotten. This is in no way the best of example of the sub-genre of ventriloquist related horror movies, but it is quite polished and fun to watch.

Doctor Mordrid
½

Whilst working for the local police force, a researcher becomes entangled in the eternal battle between good and bad sorcerors from another dimension.

Another piece of gem from Charles Band's Full Moon Pictures during their heyday in the 90's. The plot is pretty non-existant and makes you feel you are watching the sequel to either a tv series or another movie, as the set-up is miniscual and makes you feel that you already expected to know the characters. The acting is as camp as it get's, especially Jeff Combs who steals every scene. The special effects are the best bit and the use of stop-motion animation is the movie's high-spot. On the whole (with a little suspension of belief) this is a fun little movie and reminded the viewer of how over the top and care-free genre movies were back in the day.

Lurking Fear
Lurking Fear(1994)

After being relased from prison, John travels to a small town in search of his is inheritance, only to end up in the middle of a battle between the townsfolk and a terrifying evil.

All the through this movie I felt like I was missing something, and by the end I was convinced that I had been watching a sequel that just happened to contain no flashbacks to the previous entry. But after checking, I found that this movie is in fact stand alone, which means that it had a very confusing and badly written plot. There are places where you feel that massive chunks are missing, as the characters and situations seem already set-up and certain parts of the plot are not explained. The acting is a mixture of over the top and woodern and the special effects are the 'rubber suit' variety. The gore, though sporadic is handled with a glee that that you would expect from a low budget 90's horror movie. As much as I love them, features made by Full Moon are never to be classed as classics, but with the plot problems I have mentioned above, this is not one of their better products. But as always, it has a certain charm that kept me watching to the end.

The Gingerdead Man

After witnessing the murder of her father and brother and sending the killer to the electric chair, a girl spends a night of terror in her bakery as she is terrorised by a possessed cake product.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the movies of Charles Band and Full Moon Pictures. The trouble is that when Charles works for other companies, he tends to lose some of his flare and creativity. 'The Gingerdead Man' is a case in point. The idea, though completely stupid, sounds like the perfect camp, comedy horror movie. The trouble is that the execution does not live up to what you would expect. The movie is very low on ideas and drags, even at just over an hour in length. The acting is completely woodern and even the brief cameo by Gary Busey is forgettable. The special effects are low and the monster just looks like a glove puppet on a bad day. But still, it has a certain charm that Charles brings to all his projects.

Surviving Evil
½

A documentary crew filming on a remote island in the Philippines are totally unprepared for the terrifying horror that awaits them.

After watching the first few minutes of this movie, I was convinced that I was going to be subjected to another low budget piece of direct to DVD rubbish. But surprisingly enough I found 'Surviving Evil' quite an enjoyable watch. The story is slow, and full of the standard cheese you would expect in a monster movie, but as a whole it all comes together quite nicely. At times the style and storytelling reminded me of the classic monster movies like 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' and the like. The actors all play their parts very well, and it always a pleasure to see Billy Zane in any movie. The monsters are as over the top as you would expect, but could have done with a bit more fleshing out. Seeing that there is only a smalll cast, the gore is not gratuitous, but when it does happen is good and squishy. All in all this is an above average movie, and worth a watch.

Dead & Deader (Dead and Deader)
½

When a military mission in Cambodia goes very wrong, the only survivor wakes up in a US base, only to find himself in the morgue. He soon finds out that his life has changed forever.

This is a zombie movie that has it's undead tongue firmly in it's undead cheek. The plot is totally cheesy and would be completely unwatchable if it was trying to take itself seriously. Even though it stars Dean Cain, the acting was not a woodern as I thought it was going to be, and everyone looked like they were having a bit of fun. The whole thing feels like it was made for tv, and the more I watched it, the more I felt that I was watching a pilot for a series that was never going to be made. Even though this is is no way a classic, it is a lot more fun then some of the other zombie comedies that are out there.

Autopsy
Autopsy(2009)
½

When a group of friends on holiday in Louisiana get involved in a car crash, they are picked up by an ambulance and taken to hospital, only to discover that it houses a terrible secret.

The trend of new-wave horror movies are a mixed bag. Some really work, like the earlier entries in the 'Saw' franchise, and some really don't, like the 'Hostel' franchise, and unfortunately this movie ain't no 'Saw'!! It tries so hard to be odd, scary, gory and modern, but although it is fun to watch, it fails on many levels. The meagre storyline is badly told and leaving all the answers to the end just makes for a bit of boring lead-up where you don't so much have to suspend belief, more lock it away in a box and throw away the key while you watch a bunch of people run around corridors. The acting is solid, but there is little that any of the cast can do to enhance the stock, unlikeable characters that this kind of movie always seems to have. Now we come to the fun part - the gore. Anyone who has read my previous horror reviews will know that I do love large amounts of blood and internal organs being thrown around, but if you are going to make it completely over the top, then the movie needs to either have it's tongue firmly in it's cheek or be a complete unrelenting torture porn fest. And because this movie isn't that funny or that screwed up, the gore set-pieces just become a little more comical as each one comes along, all leading up to the finale that even though was incredibly well executed, had me giggling to myself. All in all, this is a silly little movie that thinks it is more cutting edge than it actually is, and is perfect if you want a quick bit of fun.

Zombie Dearest
½

When a couple with marital problems move back to the country to renevate the wife's family home, they dig up more than weeds in the back yard.

This slow-moving movie has a decent enough idea behind it, but the meandering unfocused script detracts from what could have been a nice little black comedy. The story doesn't really go anywhere for the first 20 minutes, and when it is does, it does not really explain any of Quinto's back-story. The humour falls flat in most places, but did bring a smile a couple of times. The characters are all likeable but felt like they had a lack of development. The horror is non-existent, and what little gore there is, did not feel like it belonged alongside the rest of the movie. The final 20 minutes were pretty good but ultimately let down with a complete 'cop-out' ending. All in all, this is an ok movie, but is full of missed opportunities.

Necromentia
Necromentia(2009)

The tales of three men that all want to get back something they have lost are brought together in a very twisted part of hell.

This is one of those movies that I recorded off the Horror Channel that had a crappy title, but description sounded marginally interesting. I wasn't expecting much, but the result was not what I bargained for at all. This is quite a twisted little movie that hides it's low budget origins well. The story is an anthology of seperate characters that are all linked, but it is told in a non-linear fashion that makes for quite interesting viewing, even though it gets a little confusing in places. The look and feel is all very modern and the use of a blistering heavy metal soundtrack helps. The visuals are where the movie really shows it's strong points. The set designs are all dark and dingy and remind me of the likes of 'Hostel' and 'Saw' but have a kind of twisted carnival sideshow feel about them. The make-up effects are topnotch, and the creatures are quite possibly the most well designed I have seen in a low budget movie in quite a while (think of a 'Hellraiser' / 'Silent Hill' mix on some industrial strength mind-altering drugs and you will get the general idea). The gore effects are all handled well and really add to the twisted feel of the movie. The torture porn elements are not sleazy and add to the storyline, unlike certain other movies that have had much more positive reviews in the past. As I mentioned earlier, the story is possibly the weakest part of the movie, as it doesn't really explain itself and gets a bit muddled and self-obsessed in places. The ending is very abrupt and open-ended and made me feel that I had only watched the opening part of a larger story. If you are looking for something a bit nasty, grimy and different, then you should consider giving 'Necromentia' a watch.

Zombies Zombies Zombies: Strippers vs. Zombies

When a lowlife steals some drugs from a laboratory, he does not realise that they have been mixed with an experimental cancer cure, that has some deadly side effects.

This movie has a great premise - who out there doesn't like the idea of zombies and strippers!!! But unfortunately the result is not the cheesy classic that I hoped for. The storyline is slow moving and amateurish, and it's not until the final 30 minutes that the zombie bashing really begins. The acting is is not the greatest, but the cast try their best and at times are quite amusing. The special effects, though low budget, are the best thing and the tongue in cheek gore works quite well. The whole zombies versus stripppers idea was a very short-lived sub-genre, and if you want to see a better example, you would be better off checking out 'Zombie Strippers'.

Undead or Alive

When a couple of cowboys bust out of jail they are chased across the desert by the town's posse who have their own problems of an undead nature.

There aren't that many comedy westerns out there and one's that also have zombies in are even rarer. This movie isn't a classic in any genres it takes on, but it is a pleasant enough and doesn't take much thinking about. The jokes do fall flat a lot of the time, and the plot has holes big enough to ride a horse through, but it did have me giggling in places. What little gore there was was handled very well, and even the cheesy CGI worked. If you are looking for something lightweight to take up 90 minutes, then put your brain in neutral and enjoy this movie for what it is.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
½

Harry and his friends begin their final year of adventure.

As you are all aware, I am not the world's biggest Harry Potter fan, and have gone to see the last few movies with my wife (who is a big fan). So, I have always had the feeling, that not having read the books, I am missing out on a lot of plot. The true is the same again with this movie, and at times I had to ask "what was going on?" or "who is he?". But I must admit that I did find this movie a lot more enjoyable than I thought I would. The film had a lot more of a darker tone, which is more to my liking, and the special effects (though plentiful) were a lot more subtle. I did find that the middle dragged quite a bit, but the build up to the cliffhanger ending was well handled. In the end, this was a lot better than some of the other installments, and I am quite interested to see how the second half completes the story.

Mutants
Mutants(2008)

When a corporation begins experimentation of a new, more addictive form of sugar, the results are more deadly than they could have ever expected.

This movie has no new plots elements that you haven't already seen a hundred times before, but it does have the distinction of handling everything really badly. The plot meanders from boring to plain silly, and at times makes no sense whatsoever. The characters are so one dimensional that calling them wooden would be a compliment. Even the inclusion of genre great Michael Ironside can do nothing to save this, and it surprised me that he would even agree to be part of something so amateurish. If you want to watch something more entertaining, I fully suggest that you turn your tv off and watch the black screen for 90 minutes, as you will find it much more rewarding.

666: The Beast

As a husband and father to be rises in the ranks of his organisation, he soon realises that everything is happening for a reason.

When I watched this on the Horror Channel, I didn't realise that it was a sequel, but it does explain why I felt that I had come in part way through the story. As a horror buff, there is no way that I can review this low budget movie without likening it to the magnificent 'Omen' franchise (remake not included). The characters and story all feel that they have been borrowed from 'Omen : The Final Conflict', but have lost all their finary during the transposition. The movie takes a very long time to get moving, and when the action does pick up in the last 20 minutes, the lack of decent production values and acting abilities does not make it a pleasant viewing experience. I can see that the cast and crew were trying to make something decent, but the similarities to the 'Omen' franchise show what a classic set of movies they are, and sadly, this is not.

Dangerous Worry Dolls

When an incarcerated mother is given a set of worry dolls by her daughter to help her through the final few months of her prison sentance, she could never expect them to help her in the way they do.

When you see a Full Moon movie with the word "dolls" in the title, you automatically expect a 'tiny terrors' fest that the studio has become well-known for - unfortunately not in this case. The story is hokey (even by b movie standards) and the ending is so abrupt that it makes no sense whatsoever. The effects are minimal and not particularly well handled, and the title creatures only appear briefly. Even though it still has the odd charm that Charles Band brings to his projects, I can't help but feel a little let down by this poorly made movie.

Black Scorpion
½

When her father is murdered in front of her, cop Darcy becomes a superheroine to avenge his death and save the city.

Superheroine movies are few and far between, and this b movie effort is in no way a classic, but is still quite fun to watch. All the actors seem to take their roles quite seriously, and the non-sensical campy storyline is something that you really don't have to think that much about. If you are looking for a groundbreaking movie that will change the comic book genre forever, then you have come to the wrong place. But, if you are willing to not take things too seriously, ignore plot holes large enough to drive a truck through and are happy watching the leading lady wear a tiny leather outfit, then this is the movie for you.

Buried Alive
Buried Alive(2007)

When two cousins vist the desert family home accompanied by a few college friends for a sorority initiation, they unearth a family secret and the past comes back to haunt them.

This generic straight to DVD release regurgitates all of it's ideas and characters from many other horror films that you have seen before. Even having Tobin Bell in the cast is not enough to make it stand out. With only a small cast, the few gore sequences, though handled well, always follow the same repetitve idea, and the conclusion is nothing but underwhelming. Not worth paying the money to rent, and only watch it on TV if there is really nothing else on.

Meridian
Meridian(1990)

When a young sculptress returns to her family castle in Italy, she is is visited by a travelling sideshow, and her life is changed forever.

Anybody that knows me is fully aware that I have a soft spot for movies by Full Moon Pictures. They always remind me of my teenage years savouring low budget horror flicks, but somehow 'Meridian' had escaped my notice. This is a typical Charles Band movie when he is in one of his gothic fantasy moods. Forbidding castles, ghosts, monsters and other such hokum are the flavour, along with the usual dose of partial nudity and only a very small amount of gore. The storyline and acting are as wooden as you would expect, but anyone who is familiar with the genre knows exactly what they are going to get. 'Meridian' is not one of the best of Charles Band's movies, but it still has the same charm that has kept me a fan of his work for all these years.

Colin
Colin(2009)

After being bitten by a zombie, Colin returns from the dead and wanders the streets of London as the world around him falls to pieces.

This is probably the lowest budget movie I have ever seen - apparently costing somewhere in the region of £40 to make. The filmaker tries his best to take a new spin on the zombie genre, and though it does have a couple of very good sequences, it would have worked better as a short. The story is very fractured with Colin wandering around encountering different locations and characters and there is no real plot to keep the viewer enthralled. It is only right at the end that you realise what a lot of the movie is actually about, and by that point, the incredibly long running time had already beaten this reviewer. The acting, production and gore all show the lack of money, but you have to credit the love that was taken by everyone involved. As stated earlier, this movie would greatly benefit by being totally re-cut down to about two thirds it's current length.

One-Eyed Monster

When a crew visit an isolated mountain cabin to shoot a porn film, a strange light frmo outer space causes death and mayhem from a source that no-one could imagine.

This is a fine example of when reviews can make a movie sound a hell of a lot better than it actually is. The storyline is just a mad as it sounds, but the zero character development and plot progression make the whole thing laughable (and not in a good way). The jokes are few and not very funny when they occur. The special effects are very seldom seen, which is a shame taking into account the subject matter. It always great to see icon Ron Jeremy in a movie, but even his presence is not enough to save this from being a hugely missed opportunity to make a camp horror movie that would have been a truly special first.

Deadgirl
Deadgirl(2008)
½

When a pair of outsiders ditch school for the afternoon, they decide to break into an abandoned hospital. What they find in the basement is something that they could have never imagined.

This is a very odd zombie movie with a storyline that I can truthfully say I have never seen before. The subject matter is handled very well taking into account that it could have become very tasteless very quickly. The cast of deliberately unlikable characters are all played incredibly well by the young cast. The movie does take a little while to get going, and the action in the last 30 minutes (though not unenjoyable) feels is a bit out of place as the movie is a more character-driven piece. But if you are looking for something a little different, then I suggest you give 'Deadgirl' a go.

StagKnight
StagKnight(2007)

When a groupo of friends go on a paintballing stag weekend they find more thab they bargained for.

This little english horror movie tries to emulate the low budget shockers from the 70's and 80's, but never quite reaches the mark. Even though it contains all the generic characters and situations you would expect, the lack of acting and film making talent detracts enough that, apart form a few midly entertaining moments, it falls quite flat. You would be better off watching one of the originals that it tries so hard to be like.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)

A group of friends go on a stag night in Las Vegas. But, when they wake up the following morning they have no recollection of the previous night's antics, and one of them is missing.

This comedy film is a great movie, with a good mix of comedy and drama that keeps you engaged all the way through. The storyline is a bit over the top in places, but the sequences with Mike Tyson made me giiggle for quite a while after. The cast connect on-screen well and they all seem to be having a really good time during shooting. It is not the balls out comedy that the trailer would have you think, but the movie holds it own, and at times gave me feel of the great feel good buddy comedy movies from the 80's.

Maniacts
Maniacts(2003)

Two serial killers meet and fall in love at an insane asylum. After escaping, the pair begin a delusional new life in the country.

When it is done right, a black comedy movie is a joy to watch, but when it is done badly, the results can be incredibly painful. Luckily, this movie makes a good attempt in it's own little odd way. The movie takes a little while to get going, but when it does, it carries you on an engaging story that keeps you entertained with it's twists and an undercurrent of weirdness that run all the way through. The ending is a bit obvious, but it is handled very well and the superb acting from the two lead actors really adds to the twisted love story. If you are looking for a blood-filled psycho movie then you have come to the wrong place. But, if you are looking for something a little different, then this may be a movie that you really enjoy.

The Pumpkin Karver
½

One year after an accidental death, a brother and sister move to a different town and attend the annual Halloween party. As the night goes on, they discover that they are linked to the gruseome deaths of their friends.

This movie was advertised on The Horror Channel as a "comedy horror". Where they got discription from is anybody's idea. The story has it's high and low moments, as it seems to lurch from psychological to slasher styles throughout. The characters are caricatures of all the types of kid you see in a lot of horror movies (jock, tramp, geek, hero, etc.), and the whole movie has quite a retro feel to it. But, the story really let's it down in the end, as (I have already mentioned) it can't seem to make it's mind up what kind of horror genre it wants to be. All in all this movie has some good ideas, that with a little bit of work could be a really great little shocker.

Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain

When a group of US students travel to Ireland to study, they discover that the festival of Samhain is more real and gruesome than they ever could have imagined.

This is one of those movie's that just regurgitates a load of ideas from many other horror films and then does absolutely nothing new with them. The acting is cliched and the characters are the same bunch of stereotypes that you have seen countless times before. The monster (though quite cool in design) is never really explained and is there just to kill the next person in an occasionally gory, fun way. The finale is a real 'head scratcher', and just reinforces the fact that to make a shock ending work it has to make some form of sense. Even the inclusion of several porn stars in the cast is not enough to redeem this movie in any way. There are a lot better low-budget gore fests out there, so take some time and find something else to watch.

Santa's Slay
Santa's Slay(2004)
½

When Christmas arrives at a small American township, the people soon realise that Santa Claus isn't as jolly as they expected.

This is a pleasant little comedy that could have been realeased at Christmas by Disney - if it wasn't for the swearing and gore. The story is particularly hokey, and the idea of a norse demon being forced to be Santa Claus for 1000 years is as cheesy as it gets. The comedy tries to be slapstick in places, but doesn't quite make it, but still had me giggling in places. The cast (which has a few surprise guest stars) all seem to have a real fun time, and WCW wrestler Goldberg plays the monster with a particular B-movie gusto.

Decadent Evil
½

Two vampires pose as strippers to lure victims to their home so the Mistress can feast and finally become the strongest of all the undead.

This is another movie with Charles Band at the helm, but this time, not under his Full Moon company. And because of that, this horror film seems to lose some of the fun that we all associate with Full Moon's output. The story is not strong, and drags (even with the short running time). The acting is standard by this type of movie, and with only a small budget, the make-up and special effects do the best they can. Even with inclusion of one of Charles Band's signature monster puppets, this movie is not one of the best he has ever made. But, as with all his movies, you will still watch it to the end, and strangely quite enjoy it.

Jackass: Number Two
½

The antics get worse from Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the 'Jackass' crew as they return for their second movie outing.

As I have said in a previous review, I have always found 'Dirty Sanchez' funnier, and this second entry in to the movie franchise proves how hit and miss the gags can be. Though it makes you giggle in places, the majority of it, seems completely scipted and false. The musical ending proves how commercialised the 'Jackass' product actually is. But, if you are a fan of all their other stuff, then I am sure you will enjoy this too.

Dirty Sanchez: The Movie
½

The mad Welsh boys from 'Dirty Sanchez' reinact the seven deadly sins in their special, anarchic way.

I always have preferred this show over Jackass, and the fact that the guys are from the UK, makes it all that funnier. So, it is no surprise that this movie takes their brand of stunts to the maddest level ever. If you like the TV show, then you are guaranteed to enjoy the mayhem. But, if you are not a fan, then you probably won't enjoy watching this either.

Bruiser
Bruiser(2000)
½

As Henry's life gets worse and worse, he awakes one morning to find that his face has been replaced be a featureless white mask. It is only then he discovers who he really is.

George A Romero diects this odd little (non-zombie related) movie, and it a mixed bag of results. Whilst the initial idea of the main character's literal loss of identity is intriguing, nothing exciting is really done with the idea, and the movie becomes a 'kind of' revenge with a weak ending. The limited make-up effects are well handled, and the mask is particularly unsettling. The acting is quite good, and it is good to see genre great Tom Atkins, even he is typecast yet again. All in all, this is a good idea that could have been made into something quite freaky.

Midnight Movie
½

Five years after a hospital massacre and the escape of a deranged film-maker, a run-down cinema shows a late night horror movie the terror is unleashed again.

I sat down to view this with a lot of interest as I haven't seen a cinema-based horror movie since the classic 'Demons' - the result are a mixed bag. The story starts off with some interesting ideas, but nothing is really explained and it all just makes less and less sense until it reaches it's abrupt and formulaic ending. The characters are the usual bunch of victims and do not stand out from any other horror movie you have seen, but they are played well by the group of no-name performers. The villain has no real depth, and the deaths are good, but in no way inventive. This movie shows a lot of potential, but could have been handled so much better.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
½

Jack Brooks is a loser plumber with anger management issues. But, when his night-school teacher digs up a box in his back yard, Jack's life changes for ever.

This low budget horror movie reminds me of all the great schlocky movies from the 1980's. The storyline is completely over the top, with some very decent monsters, a fair amount of blood, some very annoying characters and Robert Englund showing how good his comedic acting skills really are. The set-up takes a bit too long (taking into account the short running time), and it is only in the last 20 minutes that the action really kicks in. The ending is a little abrupt and the whole thing feels like a pilot for a tv show. But, if you want a fun movie that you don't have to think about, then this might just be the choice for you.

Heartstopper
Heartstopper(2006)

After a failed suicide attempt, a young girl is picked up off the road by an ambulance which is also carrying the body of a recently executed psychopath. But even death is not enough to stop the killer from causing a night of carnage.

This is a very silly horror movie indeed. The villain is not explained in the slightest, and you have absolutely idea why he is doing the things he does. The rest of the characters only have the slightest of back-story, and you really don't care if they live or die. The ending just left this reviewer thinking "meh"! The acting is hammy to say the least, and even the presence of the great Robert Englund is not enough to save this hokum. The gore is infrequent, but there are a couple of good set pieces. There a lot better horror movies out there that have the same idea, and even the some of the bad ones are better than this.

The Chair
The Chair(2007)

When Danielle moves into her new house, she discovers the horrifying truth about it's past - a past that then returns to haunt her.

This indie horror film starts off really well as you are never quite sure if it is all real or the product of Danielle's damaged psyche. The sense of dread is very well handled and certain scenes are actually quite eerie. But, when you get to the last half hour, the storyline suddenly becomes a little too fantastical for it's own good and the 'shock' ending is something that we have all seen before. The (small) cast all handle their roles very well, especiallly the two leading ladies. The idea of a woman being at the centre of this kind of story is refreshing and a quite a brave direction to take. If you are looking for something a little different, then 'The Chair' may well be a horror film worth checking out.

Shadow: Dead Riot
½

When a female prison opens on the site where brutal murderer, Shadow was executed 20 years earlier, the inmates and warders soon discover that evil never rests.

This is an odd little low budget horror movie. It starts off as an homage to the grindhouse women in prison movies from the 70's (with all the shower scenes that you would expect), and then the next thing you know,you have kung-fu, an evil doctor, visions, zombies and a mutant baby. The storyline is a bit formulaic, and with all the that I have mentioned previously going on, does become muddled the deeper you get into the movie. Genre God Tony Todd plays the villain in the over-the-top, snarling way that only he can, and the rest of the cast of unknowns all ham their roles. This is by no means one of the best horror movies that I have seen, but it is a fun 90 minutes, and if you are looking for a no-brainer, you could do a lot worse.

Detention
Detention(2010)

When a group of kids attend an evening school detention, a storm breaks out, and a secret from the past returns with revenge on it's mind.

Another low budget horror movie that is full of every cliche that you can possilbly imagine and a stroyline that you have seen countless times before. The no-name cast (except for b movie favourite David Carradine) all play their roles with varying success. The visual effects are nicely handled, and you can see where a majority of the movie's meagre budget was used. There are a lot better ghostly revenge movies out there to be watched.

Cemetery Gates
½

When a couple of activists release a creature they rescue from a labatory, they and the rest of locals get more than they bargained for.

If this was a serious movie, it would have been very, very bad. But when you realise that it has it's tongue firmly in it's cheek, it only becomes quite bad. The story is completely over the top, and it the first time that I have seen a marsupial used as a monster. The gore is frequent, excessive, bloody and incredibly fun. The acting is pretty poor and even having Reggie Bannister star only just saves it. This is one of those movies that is quite fun on a Saturday night with a pizza and several beers. But if you expecting a groundbreaking monster movie, look somewhere ekse.

The Zombie Diaries

As a strange virus infects the UK and the dead are reanimated, the stories of several groups of survivors are told through handheld camera footage.

My love of cinema verite style horror movies is well known, and over the course of my Flixster reviews I have found some real gems ('Home Movie', 'The Poughkeepsie Tapes', etc.). But sadly 'The Zombie Diaries' is not one of them. This 'film' starts off ok but just as you are starting to get interested in what happens to the characters, the story shifts to a different group of people. Each subsequent diary deals less and less with zombies, and more with the dynamics of the characters. The final few sets of footage, do not fit the movie at all, and without the luxury of any set-up really don't make any sense. The film feels retro even for this style of movie making, and the production values remind this reviewer of 'The Blair Witch Project'. If you are looking for a decent example of horror cinema verite, I suggest you hunt around and find a different movie to watch.

Trancers 6
Trancers 6(2004)

The Trancers return one more time and Jack Deth travels back down the line to stop them. But this time he jumps in to the body of his own daughter.

The flagging 'Trancers' franchise returns for a sixth and final installment, and this is the worst of the lot. The storyline is amateurish when it is at it's best moments and the acting and special effects are substandard (even in low budget movie terms). But the thing that spoils this the most is the lack of Tim Thomerson - he briefly 'appears' at the beginning using what looks to be clips from the previous movies, and then a body double is used that bears no resemblance to him whatsoever ('Plan 9 From Outer Space' anyone?). The movie's only redeeming feature is good performance by Zette Sullivan as Josephine Deth, as she manages to capture a few of Jack's mannerisms. If you are a fan of the 'Trancers' franchise, I strongly recommend you stick with the first three installments, when it was at it's best.

Trancers 5: Sudden Deth

Still trapped on an alien world, Jack Deth finds a possible way back home. But in the meantime, an old foe returns.

Set one month after the events of the last movie (both obviously filmed at the same time), this entry in gthe franchise continues the story in the same kind of style. The story is slightly better than the previous, and all the more confusing elements removed. Tim Thomerson still has some good comedic lines. With another short running time time (73 minutes), this movie is just about makes it to a bulk standard concluson. In the end, this reviewer feels that it was ok, but not a patch on earlier entries.

Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (Trancers 4: Journeys Through the Darkzone)

As he embarks on a routine mission, Jack Deth is attacked and his craft lands in an unknown land and time. But soon to his horror, Jack discovers that a form of Trancer still lives.

As we enter this entry in the 'Trancers' franchise, the plot lines from the previous three entries have all been tied up, and so this movie takes us off in a totally different direction. With a very large fantasy element, it drops Jack in a medieval setting, and adds vampires to the mix (that call themselves Trancers - just enough plot to keep it part of the series), and on the whole this is not a good thing. The plots for these movies are not classics by any means, but 'Trancers 4' is really thin on the ground in the story department, and even at a lowly 74 minutes, it feels drawn out. Certain main plot points are never explained, and by the time you reach the finale, the whole thing is a bit of a mess, and the cliff-hanger ending just makes you wonder how they could stretch this out in to another movie. On the plus side, the lighthearted approach does make Tim Thomerson's comedic acting abilities shine through, and did have this reviewer giggling quite a few times. In the end this is not the best entry in the franchise, and one wonders if 'Trancers 5' will be any better.

Trancers III: Deth Lives

In the Los Angeles of the future, the Trancer army is winning the war, and only one man can travel back in time to destroy them at their source. That man is Jack Deth.

This, in the third entry in the 'Trancers' franchise is just as silly and camp as you would expect. At a very short running time of just over 70 minutes, the plot is very lightweight and there are plot holes big enough to drive Jack's Corvette through, but it is still an immensly enjoyable watch. Tim Thomerson plays Jack with his usual gumshoe gusto, but is actually out-hammed by Andrew Robinson as the movie's villain. Another great entry in this low-budget SF series.

Trancers II
Trancers II(1991)

Life has been quiet for six years and then the Trancers return led by a new evil genius, hellbent on changing the future. And only one man can stop them - Jack Deth.

Set (and made) six years after the events of the first 'Trancers' movie, this sequel is not as good, but still very entertaining. The storyline feels a lot slower, as it takes time re-introducing characters and setting up the plot. But when things get going, the movie returns to the low-budget vibe that made the original so much fun. Tim Thomerson steps back into the role of Jack Deth as if he has never been away, and it is nice to see so many returning cast members. Cult actors Jeffrey Combs and Richard Lynch are welcome additions and play their parts in their signature over the top manner.

Trancers
Trancers(1985)

In the Los Angeles of the future, the criminal mastermind Whistler controls weak minded people with the power of his mind, and only one man can stop him, Jack Deth.

This SF movie by low-budget genius Charles Band is an absolute retro classic. The story has all the cliches you would expect (wisecracking hero, comedy side-kick, over-the-top villain, attractive love interest and a unbelievable storyline), but everything fits together perfectly. The result, though not a masterpiece by any means, is a fun romp that still stands up well 25 years after it was made. A cult hero was born when Tim Thomerson first entered the screen as Jack Deth! For all of you out there that want to see a great movie from the golden days of direct to video releases, you can't go far wrong in picking 'Trancers'.

Perkins' 14
Perkins' 14(2009)
½

Ten years after 14 children were abducted in Stone Cove, a local law officer learns the terrible truth about what happened.

This low budget horror movie starts off very slowly, but 45 minutes in, all hell breaks loose. The plot tries to do something different, but as the movie progresses it becomes another 'people trapped in a building' movie with monsters that remind me slightly of '28 Days Later'. The ending is a little rushed and the final line of dialogue makes no sense whatsoever. The production values and acting all do the movie great justice, and the gore is very well handled. All in all this movie isn't anything groundbreaking, but if you are looking for 95 minutes of death and violence, you can't go far wrong.

Dead Snow (Dd sn)

When a group of friends decide to take a holiday in a snowy mountain retreat, they discover that for some of the inhabitants, World War II never ended.

This film from Norway is a great piece of fun that starts off as straight horror and becomes more tongue in cheek as it goes on. Owing a lot of it's style to early efforts by Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi it blends gore, horror and humour incredibly well, and nothing is lost to the viewer watching it subtitled. The zombies are more agile and self-aware than their normal shanmbling counterparts, which adds to their screen presence. The ending was a little abrupt, but the whole movie was very enjoyable, and left this reviewer with a smile on his face.

Home Movie
Home Movie(2008)
½

The Poe family seem to be a happy family that like to document their lives with their home video camera. But as time goes on, the horror that they suffer comes from the unlikeliest of sources.

Another great entry in the 'cinema verite' style of filmaking that I am so fond of. The story starts innocently enough, but as the movie progesses it becomes more and more unsettling. Even though there are no huge shock sequences, each little piece adds to the greater whole. The small cast all give great performances, especially from the child actors. The only quibble I have is that the ending was a little too over the top, which detracted from the character actiing that had carried the rest of the film.

Socket
Socket(2007)

After surviving a lightning strike, a surgeon discovers that he not the man he used to be. When he discovers a group of like-minded people, his life begins to fall apart.

This movie did quite well on the festival circuit, and after reading a favourable review, I thought I would give it a go. What I was presented with was a low budget movie with an intriguing idea. The acting is a bit wooden, but a good story keeps you interested. This is my first foray into the genre of gay art-house horror, and even though I am sure that I lost a lot of the subtext, I enjoyed it a lot more than a quite a few middle of the road horror movies that I have watched recently.

American Zombie

Whilst making a documentary, group of filmakers travel around Los Angeles and interview various members of the zombie population.

I am quite a lover of the cinema verite 'mokumentary' style of movie making, and when you add in zombies, it is bound to make me interested. What you get with 'American Zombie' is a good little low budget movie that starts off with a lot of humour and slowly gets darker as it progresses. It completely changes tone in the last 30 minutes, and becomes more of a traditional movie, which does detract a little. The idea of walking and talking zombies will not be to everyone's taste, but I found it a refreshing change that was handled incredibly well. All in all, a fun little movie, and if you are looking for a different take on the tired zombie genre, then you should definately check it out.

Live Feed
Live Feed(2006)

When a group of friends visit Asia, they discover that under the bright lights runs a horrific underbelly of violence.

We all remember those fun days of 80's low-budget direct to video horror and this movie harkens back to those times. This ultra low budget gore fest tries so hard to be cutting edge and out do 'Hostel', but in the end it is a bit of a mess. The plot is makes less sense the further you get in to the movie, and along with the bad acting and low-rate special effects makes for a movie that isn't easy to watch. But, this reviewer must admit that he really quite enjoyed it, and gives respect to the makers and actors who made this movie with enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment that you feel that many big budget projects lack.

The Ruins
The Ruins(2008)

Whilst on holiday in Mexico, a group of friends visit an ancient temple in the jungle and discover it's horrific secret.

This is a movie that starts out with an average group of teen characters, and justs gets blander as it goes along. Even though the basic story is a semi-interesting idea, it is handled in a 'seen it all before' lacklustre way and in places it reminds this reviewer of a low budget 70's creature feature. The finale (if you can call it that) has been used in countless other movies, and has been done a lot better. The special effects are quite well handled, and the scenery is fantastic, but all in all, this is a generic b-movie that breaks no boundaries and leaves you feeling quite unsatisfied.

Daybreakers
Daybreakers(2010)

In a world where vampires are the dominant species and human blood is becoming scarce, a group of people seek to rid the bloodsucking disease.

A highly enjoyable movie that is nothing like what I expected. The story is a great idea where the world suffers all the problems that we suffer today (food shortage, vagrancy, corporate power struggles, etc.), just with the added vampiric factor. Fine acting and a good story adds 'new blood' to what was becoming a tired genre. If you think you are going too see another high octane Blade-type movie think again.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

For two years the Autobots have been protecting the planet Earth, but now they face their biggest challenge as Megatron returns - bringing an even bigger threat with him.

When I watched the first live action 'Transformers' movie, I wasn't expecting a piece of classic cinema, and I got everything I expected (and I really quite enjoyed it). So, I expecting more of the same when I sat down to watch the sequel. Unfortunately, what I got was a complete let-down. The story-line is a mish-mash of ideas that is presented in a completely muddled way (and it wasn't until I read some of the synopsis on Flixster that I worked out what had happened). As you would expect, the effects are bigger, but this is not a good thing, as it becomes difficult at times to work out actually what is happening on screen. The human characters are still as two-dimensional, and the new robot characters introduced all seem to be there for comedy effect. Bigger is not always better, and if you want to watch a decent bit of 'Transformers', I suggest you go back and watch the 1986 animated feature.

Black Sheep
Black Sheep(2006)

15 years after losing his father in a accident, Henry returns back to the family sheep farm, only to find that his brother's idea of breeding isn't the traditional way.

An interesting idea that reminds you of some of classic independant horror movies (Bad Taste, Braindead, Undead, etc.). The story is a bit weak in places and even though it is only 86 minutes long, it drags. The lack of CGI effects is very welcome and gives the movie a great feel. The humour is sporadic, and even though there are some very amusing set-pieces, I feel that the movie actually takes itself a little too seriously in places. In the end, I came to the conclusion that this style of horror film doesn't work as well these days compared to when the classics I mentioned before were released on an unsuspecting world. With the retro feel, it kinds of reminds me of a Troma movie with slicker production values and a much bigger budget.

Captivity
Captivity(2007)

After a model stumbles out of a club, she awakens to find herself the prisoner of madman, but she finds a glimmer of hope when she discovers another prisoner in the room next to her.

This movie borrows quite a bit in from other horror flicks in style and story (Saw, Hostel, Scream, etc.) and even though it is incredibly well made, the story is formulaic and offers the viewer nothing that he/she hasn't already seen. The (small) cast all play their roles well, but given the limited scenario it takes place in, they really don't get a chance to stretch themselves. The climax is nothing special, and if you are a horror movie fan, you'll see it coming from a mile off. In conclusion, I'm not saying that this is a bad movie, it just blends in with a lot of other movies out there.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

When Freddy begins to prey on a group of troubled teens in a hospital, a foe from his past returns to help them fight.

After the mistakes of it's predecessor, the franchise comes back bigger, badder and better. Freddy returns to being what he is best at - a wise-cracking dream demon, and in fact the events of the second movie are never even mentioned. The story is (of course) formulaic, but that is not important, as the effects and set-pieces are all top-notch. The movie feels less horror and more fantasy, but don't let put you off, as it all works really well and does the series proud.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

Five years later, and a new family movies in to the Thompson house, and Freddy finds a new way to cause havoc in the real world.

It's an age old philosophy that horror sequels are never as good as the original, and unfortunately 'A Nightmare On Elm Street 2' follows that trend. What starts off as an interesting, darker psychological horror movie of whether Freddy actually exists or not, slowly disintergrates in to a mish-mash of unintelligent ideas. Freddy just does not belong in the real world, and should always be kept as a dream demon. The "love conquers all" followed by a "shock" ending has been seen countless times before. Not a patch on it's predecessor, but luckily they learnt by their mistakes.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Atfer being burned alive at the hands of some justice-seeking parents, child killer Freddy Krueger finds a way to return and wreak havoc on the childen of his neighbourhood.

One of THE movies of the 80's horror generation!!! There is nothing I can say about this movie that hasn't already been covered in retrospectives, interviews and documentaries. This movie spawned a villain so popular that there was nowhere you could turn without seeing a picture of Robert Englund in all his crispy glory. The movie itself is a little low-budget gem, with a great story and plenty of action. Sure, the acting and effects are a little basic by today's standards, but that just adds to the whole package. If you believe you are any form of horror fan, and have not seen 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' then hang you head in shame, and then go straight out and buy yourself a copy. Accept no imitations (or remake), this is a true classic.

Fido
Fido(2007)
½

In an alternate 1950's, the Americans have won the zombie war and thanks to the wonderment of science have found a way to turn the undead into a cheap form of labour.

When I started viewing this, I was expecting an American version of 'Shaun Of The Dead', but how wrong could I possible be. This has to be one of the oddest zombie movies I have ever seen, and I can't even class it as a horror film. It is more of a social commentary on life, love and family life with the added wrinkle of the undead. The story starts out well enough and the cast all play there roles admirably (especially Billy Connolly in the title role who has absolutely no dialogue), but as the movie goes on it slowly begins to lose the sparkle it began with, and by the end it has lost it's way a little. This not an action movie by any standards and the climax feels very out of place with the whole tone that has gone before. The last few minutes make no real sense, and it kind of feels that the story just runs out of steam. But, if you want to see a zombie movie that totally breaks all conventions, I urge you check out 'Fido'.

The Fearless Vampire Killers

Whilst travelling through Europe, a bumbling professor and his cowardly companion stay in a remote village and discover that vampires are more than legend.

Even though starting to look a little dated in places, this movie is still an absolute gem. The beautiful scenery, engaging story-line and quirky characters all add up to a bit a piece of great cinema that isn't remembered as much as it should be. The comedy really shows when Roman Polanski takes a normal horror character and tweaks it slightly (the jewish vampire being a prime example). All actors play their roles with real joy, and Sharon Tate looks absolutely gorgeous. As far as I know, this is one of the first movies to deconstruct the vampire genre, and it is still probably one of the best of it's kind.

My Neighbor Totoro
½

A family move to a new house in the country and the two daughters meet the local forest spirits.

As you can tell by the choice of movies I review, anime is not something I watch on a regular basis. But, the girlfriend wanted to watch it while we having tea, so I thought I would give it a go. This is a real cute little movie, which can be quite surreal in places (the cat bus!?!?!?!). The characters are well-defined and even thought the depth of the story is a bit thin, it is really quite engaging. The 20 year old animation is amazing and the music is beautiful. No giant robots to be seen at all.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry and his friends return to Hogwart's for a sixth year of adventure.

As I have said before, I am not really a Harry Potter fan, and was 'told' by my wife that I was going to visit the cinema for this cinematic treat. Also, it has been a while since I watched the last installment, so I had really forgotten the whole storyline. This entry continues with the dark themes set in the previous entry, and is more story-line driven then an action fest. I am reliably informed by my wife, that the book isn't the best in the series, and is all set-up for the final novel, and this also shows in the movie. The intrigue is interesting enough, but the long-running time suffers a bit with the lack of any real action. Also, the whole 'Half-Blood Prince' is only brifely touched on, and one wonders why it is used in the title at all. All in all, not the most enjoyable entry, but is good at whetting the viewer's appetite for the finale.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes
½

A 'documentary' about an uncaptured serial killer, which culminates with the police breaking into a house and discovering boxes of video tapes and their contents show images that show what a monster he really is.

Director John Dowdle's initial attempt at horror 'cinema verite' before making 'Quarantine' is probably the best of the genre that I have seen. The 'storyline', 'acting' and 'production' all give you a sense that you are actually watching a documentary on the Crime & Investigation Channel. The only thing that lets it down are certain parts of the serial killer's video tape footage. At times some of these scenes just don't feel right (staged and over-the-top) and they detract from the believability of the whole piece. But in the end this is a good little movie, and if you were to catch it half way through, you would find it hard to tell that it wasn't real.

Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm

During the her escape Michelle is the only 'survivor' of a horrific car crash. She is discovered and taken to a clinic to help cure her vampirism, but her location is discovered by a reanimated Radu and he travels to get her back.

This is the last movie in the 'Subspecies' series, but the events actually take place before 'Vampire Journals'. The appearance of a younger looking Ash is a little confusing and initailly made me think that I had watched the films in the wrong order. But after watching the making of feature, all became clear. The rest of the storyline is unfortunately pretty generic for the series, and the inclusion of an evil doctor as a bit of plot padding doesn't really work. Radu's twisted love for Michelle is more apparent in this movie, and he almost becomes sympathetic character in places. The finale is over too quick, and a bit of a let-down for the last installment. Anders Hove and Denice Duff return yet again as the main characters and (as always) work very well together. On the whole the movie is well made, but does not go out with the bang that a final entry should.

The Vampire Journals
½

While hunting down the bloodline that turned him, Zachary (a vampire with a concience) tries to save a beautiful concert pianist from vampire master Ash.

Released inbetween 'Subspecies' 3 & 4, this spin-off has nothing really to do with the series at all. In fact, one sentance from Ash 45 minutes in to the movie is the only link you get. Directed by the aforementioned series' Ted Nicolaou, 'Vampire Journals' has the same classic feel, and the vampires move in the same kind of shadowy way, but there is more gore and bare breasts on show. The story is slow, the finale is quick and uninspiring, and the epilogue is depressing and screams sequel. A competently made gothic vampire movie, but just not as good as 'Subspecies'.

Bloodlust: Subspecies III
½

As the vampirism takes hold, Michelle accompanies Radu and Mother back to the family castle to learn more. Meanwhile, Rebecca and Mel are in close pursuit.

In the 'Subspecies' tradition, this movie follows on directly from it's predecessor, and looks likes like it was shot back-to-back with 'Bloodstone'. The story has a slightly different feel, by following the Michelle / Radu relationship, it becomes less horror and more soap opera. But as the finale approaches, the movie becomes more like a traditional vampire flick, and it ends leaving just enough for a sequel. Virtually all the cast reprise their roles, and do an admirable job - especially Anders Hove and Denice Duff in the movie's lead roles. A little bit slow at the start, but by the end 'Bloodlust' proves to be another good installment of this retro low-budget horror series.

Subspecies
Subspecies(1991)
½

When three students studying culture and superstition travel to a small village in Romania, they discover that some legends are more real and terrifying than they could ever have imagined.

In the 80's and 90's direct-to-video low budget horror film-making was at it's peak and Full Moon Pictures were (and still are) the best production house. In a bit of a swerve from the gore-filled vampire movies of the time, this movie takes the classical approach with a story filled with castles, superstition, tiny demons and a bit of fog. The story and production values are not the greatest, but the crew and cast endeavour to create a movie that goes beyond it's humble routes, and the ending makes you feel that you have only watched the first chapter in a much longer story (as the three sequels and one spin-off prove). A good piece of retro horror that is better than some of the modern genre movies being made today.

Mirrors
Mirrors(2008)

When an ex cop with a chequered past gets a night security job at a burned out department store he discovers that you can't always trust what you see.

I used to be quite a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, but now after about four million seasons of '24' all I can think is "It's Jack Bauer in a horror film"!!!! And not even an original horror film at that, as 'Mirrors' is a remake of a 2003 K-Horror movie. The characters are pretty generic, but the story is quite engrossing and (in places) uses some quite funky camera work. The real let-down was the last 15 minutes of the movie, as when (in my opinion) it should have ended, you suddenly get a 'monster' battle and then a final twist that just leaves you wondering "why?". Perhaps, I will seek out the original and see how much it differs.

Man on the Moon

The life story of comic genius and madman Andy Kaufman.

Didn't know that much about Andy Kaufman before watching this film, so I had no preconceptions of what it should be like. Jim Carrey gives a heart-warming performance and is always at his best when he is not being completely over-the-top. A very well made film that was unfortunately let down by the 'enigmatic' ending. Have been reading about Andy Kaufman, and have now found out that the movie takes quite a few liberties with his life-story, so whether it can be classed as a biopic or not is questionable.

Seed of Chucky

Chucky and Tiffany are brought back to life once again, and discover that they are more anatomically correct than they thought.

If you thought that 'Bride Of Chucky' was a bit mental, just wait until you watch 'Seed Of Chucky'!!!!!! The plot really defies description, and all sense of logic and cognitive story-telling are just thrown out of the window (in a good way). This is probably the least horrific entry in the franchise, but it is more than made up with some of subversive set-pieces that the movie offers. A review cannot really do the movie justice, so you should really just watch it and marvel!!!!

Bride of Chucky

Chucky's back for another dose of mayhem and death - and this time he isn't alone!!!!

After the let-down that was 'Child's Play 3' it seeemed that the franchise was dead, but after a seven year break we are served up 'The Bride Of Chucky', and what a treat it is too!! What could have been just another dreary sequel, is instead a delightful romp through madness, mayhem and murder. This film cannot be classed as a horror film, as it has it's tongue firmly placed in it's mouth - in fact I find it really difficult to pin it to one genre (horror / comedy / romance / fantasy). Brad Dourif returns as Chucky and really throws himself into the role, and the introduction of Jennifer Tilly as Tiffany is a work of genius. The story is a bit run-of-the-mill, but viewers will be glued to the chemistry between the two villains. This movie re-invented the 'Child's Play' franchise and I strongy urge you to watch it!!!!

Child's Play 3
½

Chucky is reborn and goes back on the hunt for (a now teenage) Andy with his own special brand of mayhem and death.

The third entry in the 'Child's Play' series and unfortunately it has nothing really special to add to the franchise. The story-line is lacklustre and having it centre on a bunch of obnoxious teenagers resembles too many other horror films made in the same period. The rebirth of Chucky is badly done and (even for a horror film) has no real logic. Brad Dourif still voices the serial killer doll with a manic glee, but this is the movie's only real redeeming feature.

Child's Play 2

After being repaired at the Good Guys toy factory, Chucky continues his search for Andy leaving a path of death and mayhem behind him.

Chucky's back and more violent than ever in this fun-filled sequel. The production and acting are all just as good as the original, and the story-line is even more outrageous and played a litle more for laughs. Brad Dourif voices Chucky with his own special maniacal glee, and really gives life to the little plastic serial killer. A worthy continuation to the 'Child's Play' franchise.

Child's Play
Child's Play(1988)

After being shot in a toy store by a cop, murderer Charles Lee Ray finds a ingenious method of escape, and vows revenge on the people who wronged him.

This is one of the first in the 'possessed doll' genre of horror movies that were popular in the 80's and 90's - and even today it is still one of the best. The story is suitably over-the-top (given the subject matter) and the acting is hammy in all the right places. Not particuarly scary, but some of the scenes with Chucky are genuinely unnerving. If you are a fan of retro horror and you haven't seen 'Child's Play', then hang your head in shame. If you have seen it, then you will know what a little gem it is.

P2
P2(2007)
½

After working late on Xmas Eve, a woman goes to the company car park and walks in to more trouble than she could have possibly imagined.

A good little thriler movie that is well acted and is quite tense in places. The story is a very predictable for the genre of movie, but unfortunately the whole 'we won't tell you why all this happened' idea that this and a lot of other movies are using these days is starting to annoy me. A great movie to watch while you eat your tea.

Dark Floors
Dark Floors(2008)

Whilst a father checks his autistic daughter out of hospital, they enter a lift with a small group of people which breaks down on route. When they manage to get out, the hospital is not as they left it.

This film stars campy Finnish horror rockers Lordi (winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest), so I was not sure what to expect. The plot is nothing you haven't seen before - deserted hospital, dead bodies, monsters, etc. - and that is about as far as it goes. The acting, direction and effects are what you would expect from this kind of movie. Whilst pretty to watch, nothing really special happens. The monsters appear briefly, someone dies, and then the monsters disappear again. The story meanders along, building up to a 'blink and you will miss it' climax, and then the epilogue takes an all too familiar route, whilst not really explaining why any of the events took place. There are plenty of other similar movies out there that do a better job.

The Last Winter

While trying to set up a new drilling operation in North Alaska, the workers at an oil company are subjected to weird and fatal events.

This started off as a nice little movie, which kind of felt like "The Thing", but became more and more muddled as it progressed sacrificing lucid story-telling for artsy pretention. The shambles of a conclusion left me wondering why I had bothered sticking with it until the end. On the technical side, the acting was very good and the photography of the austere snowy landscape was amazing.

Quarantine
Quarantine(2008)
½

When a TV reporter and her cameraman follow a fire crew for the night, they are called to a medical emergency in an apartment block, and nothing could prepare them for the horror that follows.

I haven't seen a 'cinema verite' style movie since 'The Blair Witch Project', amd though they are an interesting idea, I do tend to find them hard to follow. The movie itself starts off with a good solid idea, and the initial slow descent into chaos works incredibly well. But as the movie goes on, the story just becomes comprised of a lot of out of focus running and screaming. The under explained climax is very cliched and can be totally compared to the other movie I have mentioned above. All the actors play their roles in the realistic way you would imagine for the style of film making employed, and the lack of music helps the atmosphere greatly. If you haven't seen a 'cinema verite' movie before, it is a unique viewing experience, but if you have seen one, then you have seen them all.

Awaken the Dead
½

A group of strangers are thrown together and must fight for survival as a small town is overrun by zombies.

Low budget, independent horror films - like them or loathe them they are a way for any budding director to get his or her ideas out to the viewing audience. Some of them are good, some of them are deliberately bad, but some of them are bad and think that they are good. With it's sepia tone camera work, slow motion scenes and weird dream sequences, 'Awaken The Dead' tries so hard to be arty, but due to it's acting and budget limitations, it unfortunately fails. The storyline is nothing new, but has a few interesting ideas, but with a running time of 101 minutes, it is just far too long. The effects are primitive, and there is only one major gore scene in the entire movie. If it didn't take itself so seriously I would say it would have been a perfect movie for Troma to distribute, but it's high aspirations are ultimately it's undoing.

Dead Heist
Dead Heist(2007)
½

When a group of friends decide to rob a bank in a small American town they get trapped and have to fight for survival as monsters invade.

Horror movies have many sub-genres, but for me the oddest are the 'Brother' movies, and this film is no different. The mix of ghetto, rap, bling, guns and monsters does take a little getting used to, but this example 'kind of' works. The acting is not too bad, but the excessive swearing even gets a little too much for this reviewer. The story moves along quite well, but the 'zombies' only appearing in the last 30 minutes is just not enough, and with a running time of 75 miniutes, the film feels rushed to say the least. The special effects are minimal with only a few cloudy contact lenses and some torn flesh. All in all, an 'ok' movie, but is still better than some of it's higher budget, named actor counterparts.

28 Weeks Later...
½

After containing the Rage virus, parts of London are slowly being re-populated. But, when a 'Typhoid Mary' arrives at a US medical base, the virus is given a new lease of life.

I loved "28 Days Later" because of the fact that it was so understated, but this sequel tries to retain the feel whilst being bigger and better at the same time. It starts of in a promising fashion, but the inclusion of the gung-ho US soldiers just does not work. Robert Carlyle feels underused, and turning him into an almost intelligent infected is just not believable. The last third of the movie is probably the closest to the original, but on the whole this movie just feels like a bulk standard SF / horror movie and loses all the features that made the original so special.

28 Days Later

After being road-crash induced coma, Jim wakes up to find a world that has been infected with a deadly virus and must fight to find safety.

Let me get this off my chest - many people think this is a zombie film - it has no members of the iving dead in it at all!! The monsters are alive, just infected with a deadly virus called Rage. Right, I feel a lot better for that, and now on to my review. The British do not do big budget horror films, we like our movies small and understated - and "28 Days Later" hits the nail completely on the head!! With an almost documentary feel, this little gem leads from one depressing moment to another and even the happy ending leaves you with a bittersweet taste in your mouth that makes you just know that all will not be well for the 'heroes'. Probably Danny Boyle's best movie to date, all facets of this movie are brilliantly handled, and makes for engrossing viewing. The shots of a deserted London during the day are one of the most striking things I have seen in a movie for a long time.

Silent Hill
Silent Hill(2006)
½

In an effort to cure her daughter's sleep-walking, Rose travels to a town that features in her drawings, and plunges the pair of them into a nightmare that they must fight to escape.

As a rule, movies based on video games did not work, but then came along "Resident Evil" and that changed everything. So, you would expect great things from a movie based on the only other game franchise as popular. Where "Resident Evil" was a complete monster-basher, "Silent Hill" goes down the more weird and ethereal route, and the photography, sets, and music all add to the feeling of oddness that oozes from nearly every scene. This does not mean that the movie does not have it's problems ..... Sean Bean's character need not be in the movie and only ends up being a distraction from the main female orientated story-line. The mixture of monsters and ghost child revenge themes do seem to be a little at odds, and made this viewer feel he was watching clips from two different movies at times. In the end,"Silent Hill" took the best of the games and then added it's own originiality to make a enjoyable horror film, and anything with monster nurses in it always gets my thumbs up!!!!

The Hills Have Eyes 2
½

A platoon of National Guard trainees are sent on a supply run in the desert. But when they meet up with the local population it becomes a fight for survival.

Where it comes to the horror genre, the rule of thumb is to always make sequels more outrageous - but this doesn't always make for a good film. And unfortunately, this is where "The Hills Have Eyes II" falls down. The storyline had degraded down to a basic teens against monsters idea. The characters have got to be the stupidist set of Army trainees in the world - they might have just well walked out of the cast of "Stripes"!! The production values on the whole are good, but seeing a majority of the movie is set in a mine, it is shot so dark that you have trouble making out what is going on at times. The ending of the film is abrupt to say the least, and leaves you feeling a little unfulfilled, using the old-fashioned 'let's leave it wide for another sequel' technique. In the end, this is just a bulk standard horror movie, that regurgitates idea after idea after idea.

The Hills Have Eyes

Whilst travelling through the desert, a family stop at a petrol station where they are directed to a short cut through the mountains, but run into more than they could have bargained for.

The Hollywood engine rumbles on with yet another horror remake, and this time they do a half decent job. The characters and set-up remain pretty faithful to the original with only a few minor changes, and the only major update are making the cannibals the legacy of the American's original nuclear tests. This version is a lot more action and violence than the original and at times reminds me of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" redux. If you have seen the original, don't expect any surprises, as the story is pretty much followed scene for scene, but it is a lot easier to watch.

The Hills Have Eyes, Part 2

On the way to a race meet, a bunch of kids get stranded in the middle of the desert and meet up with the local population which leads to deadly results.

Unfortunately this sequel is lacking the originality and flare that made it's predecessor one of the first of it's kind. The script is terribly formulaic and falls back on all the same-old ingredients (stranded kids, deranged killer, sex and the occasional shower scene) of the slasher films of the day. In fact this movie is more like watching the bastard cousin of "Friday The 13th", but is just nowhere as good.

The Hills Have Eyes

Whilst travelling through the desert, a family decides to visit an old silver mine they have just inherited, but runs into more than they could have bargained for.

Wes Craven is one of the genre's classic directors, and in this (his second) movie he really finds his feet. For a low budget feature, it is technically fantastic, with great acting and story-line. But, compared to other movies of the time (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, etc.), it just isn't that scary any more!! In fact, it now feels more like an almost Mad Max type fantasy film than a horror movie. Notably, this is Dee Wallace's first genre movie and it shows what a fine horror actress she was going to be when moving on to later efforts. Still a great movie, but watch it now more as a curio piece.

Doctor Strange
½

Renowned surgeon Doctor Stephen Strange's world is turned upside down when his hands are damaged in a car accident. When he travels to Tibet to find a cure, he enters a world of magic and adventure that could have never considered possible.

I am a bit of a comic fan, but never really followed the Marvel characters, so watching adaptations of their characters has always been a voyage of adventure for me. This animated movie has a great mix of story-telling and adventure that makes for very enjoyable watching. The animation is very well handled and does not fall into the drab static trap that a lot of kid's shows seem to. The voice actors all give great performances, and only ham it when the story dictates it. The short runnning time (71 minutes) is the perfect length to keep the plot moving along nicely. If you like super-hero movies, this is a perfect time-filler even if you have no idea who Doctor Strange is.

Highlander: Endgame

After an explosion rips his antique store apart, Connor reunites with Duncan to face an Immortal more powerful than any they have fought before.

The Highlander universe just keeps getting more and more convoluted (and confusing) with each new entry!!! With the events of this installment we can pretty much disregard the end of "Highlander" and the entirety of "Highlander II"!!!! I think it would also help immensly if you have watched all the episodes of the TV series (which I have not), as characters turn up with no explanation that must have appeared there. Christopher Lambert plays his role with his own special 'flare', and Adrian Paul makes an admirable job of the movie's main character. As with all other entries in the series we have an over-the-top villain with a name starting with a 'K', and some very well choreograhed sword battles. The thin storyline feels a little stetched in places to fill the 96 minute running time, and the whole movie feels like an double-length TV episode. But apart from that, this is a much better entry than "Highlander III", and turns the franchise back in the right direction.

Highlander III: The Sorcerer (Highlander: The Final Dimension)

Eight years after the events of "Highlander", Connor MacLeod is travelling the world, but a foe he thought was dead returns to threaten his life.

This film is set back in the 'real world' eight years after the events of the first movie, and therefore totally wipes out all aspects of the second film. This is not a good thing, as all the explanations used are totally ignored, and we are left with a complete WTF situation!!! The idea of another immortal stuck in a cave just does not make any sense, as if that was the case Connor was never 'the one' and would have never won The Prize!!!! Whether Connor was actually mortal or not is not even mentioned, and he just picks up his sword and starts lopping heads off as if no time had passed. Christopher Lambert lack of acting abilities really shows here, as all he is doing is reguritating lines and facial expressions from the previous two outings. Mario Van Peebles role as Kane is nothing more than a watered down version of Clancy Brown's wise-cracking Kurgan, and should learn that just growling your dialogue does not make for a good villain. All-in-all, a downward turn for a good franchise.

Highlander 2: The Quickening

After 40 years of being a mortal Connor MacLeod is visited by someone from his past, and the fight to the death begins again.

In a complete reversal to my review of Highlander, this was a movie that I hated the first time that I saw it, but now it is growing on me. I think it helps that I have just watched the 'Renegade' version which adds about 10 minutes of previously unseen footage, and re-orders certain other sequences to leave you with a movie that makes a lot more sense. Christopher Lambert plays the role with same woodiness, and the return of Sean Connery is both welcome and has it's tongue firmly placed in it's cheek. If you thought the villain from the first movie was over-the-top, just wait until you see Michael Ironside ham it up as Katana!!!! This is a film that loves the fact that it really doesn't take itself seriously, but I urge you to hunt down the 'Renegade' version.

Highlander
Highlander(1986)
½

Living in hiding within the rest of the human race, a race of 'immortals' fight to the death to win a mythical prize.

I remember seeing this film when it was fiirst released, and thinking what a masterpiece it was. It is such a shame that it really hasn't stood up to the test of time. The story is still pretty intriguing and has some good moments of action and comedy. The acting is particularly hammy, and the special effects are looking incredibly dated. If you were a viewer watching it for the first time now, you probably wouldn't enjoy it, as it is one of those movies that you really need to have grown up with.

City of Rott
City of Rott(2006)
½

In a city of worm-ridden zombies, an old man is on a mission .... to find a new pair of slippers.

This gore filled cartoon that follows the adventures of an old man as he travels around killing zombies and looking for some new footwear is an interesting idea. The animation is simplistic and does the job, but gets a little to much on the eyes by the end. Even at only 77 minutes, the story drags and the finale is a long-time coming. This is only film of it's knd, and should be viewed as a curiosity piece.

Hatchet
Hatchet(2006)
½

When a tour boat runs aground in a New Orleans swamp, the patrons try and find a road back to civilistation, but are chased by a disfigured man.

I took one look at this plot for this movie and automatically thought "a bunch of loser kids being chased by a monster" AGAIN!!! I wasn't wrong about the premise, but this movie is so deliberately tongue in cheek that it had me giggling all the way through. As a movie it isn't anything new and refreshing, but the cast of unknowns play their roles to the max, and the deaths just keep getting more and more outrageous!! Think of it as Friday The 13th played for laughs and you will get the general idea. Also, you can't go far wrong with a movie that has cameos from Robert Englund, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder!!! If you are looking for 80 minutes of fun mindless violence, then you can't go far wrong with Hatchet.

The Dark Knight

Batman's never-ending struggle to protect Gotham City is put to the test by a new clown-faced villain.

As controversial as it may sound, I am not a big fan of the new Batman re-invention. Batman Begins was just not a particularly good film, and unfortunately neither is The Dark Knight. Christian Bale plays an ok Bruce Wayne (I think Michael Keaton did it better), but his Batman is just laughable. Being a good hero is not solely based upon how much you can growl your words, but Bale seems even more gutteral than his last outing. The Joker is a complete mess (and not in a good way), as the character is not given any depth of backstory, and just becomes a run of the mill psychopath - just wearing make-up. Heath Ledger's (final) performance is incredibly good given the little he had to work with, but was it really worth an Oscar? If it hadn't been his last role, would the 'people in charge' looked at it through such rose-tinted glasses? I think not. Two-Face is probably the closest to it's comic routes, and Aaron Eckhart plays the role well. But for me the greatest let-down was the 'blink and you'll miss him' cameo by Cillian Murphy as The Scarecrow - a great villian that was sadly, sadly, SADLY underused. This reviewer is thinking that while other comic book characters are being visualised so well, Batman is taking a definate turn for the worse.

Gutterballs
Gutterballs(2008)

During an after-hours bowling competition, a bunch of loser kids are brutally killed one at a time by a murderer wearing a bowling bag for a mask.

If you are any sort of horror fan, you will remember the 80's as the glory days for low budget, gory shocker films that found their outlet through direct to video releases - and this movie pays homage in every way possibe. The cast of unknowns give life to characters that fulfill every sterotype imaginable and with the lack of any form of 'hero' leaves you waiting to see how the next is going to be despatched. The killer has no real screen presence, and is just a means to kill the characters in as gruesome a way as the budget will allow. The gore is low-tech and works perfectly in keeping with the style of the movie. The 'shock' ending has been done before. As a retro horror film, it is naive and not a bad way to spend 95 minutes if you want to see some obnoxious kids have sex and then die.

Tremors 4 - The Legend Begins

Before it became Perfection, the mining town of Rejection is attacked by Graboids, and it is up to another member of the Gummer family to save the day.

With the third movie acting as an introduction to the great (but short lived) Tremors TV series, there was now a limit to what the fourth movie in this great franchise could possibly do. So, like many other movies in the past, why bother with another sequel wen we can do a prequel!!! The idea is pretty similar to the first movie, but setting it in the 'Old West' works very well. Gone are the big trucks and big weapons, and the characters are left to deal with things in even more unbelievable ways. The introduction of Burt Gummer's ancestor (who happens to have no idea how to shoot a gun) is great, and the rest of the cast play their roles to the maximum. Did I forget to mention that genre favourite Billy Drago also has a supporting role!!! A great final entry to a great movie series.

Tremors 3 - Back to Perfection

After travelling abroad to kill a hoard of Shriekers, Burt returns back to Perfection and runs in to a whole new kind of threat.

Tremors returns for it's third installment, and follows that famous saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Michael Gross is back playing Burt Gummer with an obvious joy, and a few of the cast members from the first movie also make welcome returns. The Graboids and Shriekers are back in all their glory, and are now joined by a new member of the family that needs to be seen to be believed!! The budget seems to have been more for this installement, as there is an increased amount of CG effects. As much as it is great to see more monster action, I always feel that CG monsers are as never as good as their latex counterparts. All-in-all another great entry in a great movie series.

Tremors 2: Aftershocks

When a Mexican oilfield gets attacked by Graboids, two citizens of Perfection are drafted in to solve the problem.

A very pleasing sequel that has it's ups and downs compared to the original. The loss of Kevin Bacon's character is very noticable, and the replacement is sub-standard and at times incredibly annoying. But, this gives Fred Ward to shine as he builds upon his character, and the return of Michael Gross' totally over-the-top Burt Gummer is just wonderful. The addition of the Shriekers is great and stops the movie just being a re-hash of the original.

Tremors
Tremors(1990)

A backwater town is attacked by underground creatures, and only a handful of inhabitants are left to save the day.

A fabulous little film that completely encapsulates what the 80's monster movie were all about. Simple (yet great) storyline, slightly over-the-top acting and great monsters. What more could you ask for?!?!? It reminds me of the fabulous b-movies that were made in the US during the 50's. I think this one of Kevin Bacon's best movies, and he plays his role with a gusto that is sadly missing from his more recent genre choices. But standing miles out in front is Michael Gross, who plays survivalist Burt Gummer to the absolute maximum.

Family Guy - Blue Harvest

During a power-cut Peter gives his family a rendition of his favourite story.

Family Guy does Star Wars!!! This was either going to be really good or totally crap - and luckily it was the former. All the major Family Guy characters take on roles from 'A New Hope' in a (surprisingly) faithful retelling of the classic movie. You can tell that Seth MacFarlane is a real fan as he blends original music and live-action sequences in to his space farce. At 48 minutes, the story feels rushed and could quite happily been 15 minutes longer. This is a treat for both Family Guy and Star Wars fans alike, and is the show at it's best.

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (Plane Dead)

When a passenger airplane is caught in a storm, a secret cargo is inadvertently opened, and disaster of the undead kind is let loose.

When a movie carries this kind of title, I was not expecting a ground-breaking, Oscar winning film that was going to change my life forever (not that I look for those kinds of films anyways) - I got exactly what I expected and wanted. The first 20 minutes of the movie are very slow, building up characters that you really don't care if they live or die. Then all hell breaks loose and this film turns in a tongue-in-cheek piece of horror cheese with every cliche you can imagine. Imagine 'Snakes On A Plane' with a little less storyline and a lot more zombies and you will get the general idea. It made me laugh, it made me cry and I really quite enjoyed it.

Con Air
Con Air(1997)
½

On the day of his release from prison, Cameron is transported aboard a plane with a bunch of hardened criminals. When they take over the flight, it is up to him to save day.

Made back in the day when Nicolas Cage could do no wrong, this is another role that epitomised him as an action hero. But unlike Face/Off and The Rock, one feels that this film has not really stood up to the test of time. Even by 90's action film standards, the plot is completely over-the-top which grows and grows until it reaches a completely unbelievable climax. The actors all make superb jobs of their characters, and they all fit perfectly into the fantastical world that has been created. Con Air is still an enjoyable action romp as long as you watch it with your tongue firmly in your cheek.

Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story

After seeing a man on TV that Stewie is convinced is his real father, he and Brian set out to travel across America to see him.

Ths movie is comprised on three interconnected stories that were too adult to show on TV. The humour is just as subversive as ever, but now with added swearing for your viewing pleasure. A little long in places and would have probably been a lot funnier if it had been shortened by about 20 minutes. But apart from that, it is Seth MacFarlane doing what he is good at, and that is good enough for me.

The Rock
The Rock(1996)

When a band of renegade soliders take over Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco with a deadly toxin, an FBI chemist and an ex SAS specialist must team up to save the day.

This probably one of the best 'beer and pizza' movies ever made. It has got everything going for it - great acting, great action and a really cheesy story-line. Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery make a great duo, and the rest of the cast is made up of some of the 90's best 'A' and 'B' list actors. A great movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon after you have had a big lunch.

The Omen
The Omen(2006)
½

When the newborn child of an American diplomat dies, the child they adopt turns out to be more than they expect.

I am quite a big fan of the original Omen, and had really classed this under the "movies that should never be remade" banner, but the result isn't as big a mess as I thought it would be. The acting is just as restrained as the original, the direction is just as restrained as the original, and the story is just as restrained as the original - in fact this remake of The Omen IS the original!!!!! The movie pretty much runs scene-for-scene (apart for a few updates for current world events) as the original. The majority of the dialogue is pretty much word-for-word. The climax is also exactly the same as the original. In fact, the major death scenes are the only things to be re-imagined!!!! I would have scored this movie higher if I hadn't seen the original version of The Omen, but I just can't help comparing and contrasting!!!!!

Omen IV - The Awakening

A childless couple adopt a baby girl and as horrific things begin to happen, they make a demonic discovery.

This TV movie is actually a lot better then I thought it would be. In fact, I will quite happily say that it is a better movie than 'The Final Conflict'. The storyline is undeniably similar to the first movie, but has enough kinks in it to make it fresh, and the climax has a twist that I really didn't see coming. Thankfully, all the religious garbage that the third movie had does not rear it's head anywhere near as much. With the limited budget, the movie goes back to being underplayed, and the effects are nice and subtle. All the acting is suitably over the top, with several faces that you have seen in many other TV series. All in all, a highly enjoyable bit of satanic hokum.

Omen III: The Final Conflict
½

Damien reaches adulthood and nears ultimate power, until a heavenly alignment of stars leads to the final battle between good and evil.

The final entry in The Omen trilogy, and it is the weakest of the series. The has some good ideas, but the sloppy direction leaves much to be deisred. The effects are even more over the top compared to the second film. The acting is ok, and Sam Neill plays the lead with a devilish (pun definately intended) relish. Having the story set mostly in England is a nice touch, and harkens back to the first movie. The climax is a moumental let-down as there is no 'Final Conflict' between good and evil to speak of, as the movie just kind of ends!!! Where as the preceding two movies were deliberately under-played, this entry hits the viewer with religion from every angle. All in all, a very disappointing entry in an otherwise good series.

Damien---Omen II

As Damien gets older, his powers get stronger and his enemies feel his wrath.

As sequels go this isn't too bad. Of course it is not as good as the original, but the story, directing and acting keep the feel alive. The movie tries to be underplayed, but (as is the Hollywood way) the stunts are bigger and make the product feel more like a traditional horror film. The finale is also far too abrupt, leaving the viewers feeling like they have missed a portion of the movie. All in all, it is not such a classic as the original, but is a competent progression of the story.

The Omen
The Omen(1976)
½

When the newborn child of an American diplomat dies, the child they adopt turns out to be more than they expect.

With an evocative story-line, a beautiful score and top-notch acting (especially Gregory Peck in his first role of this type), this atmospheric movie still stands out even after all these years. But it is so underplayed that when all is said and done, it isn't actually that scary! Also, can it really be called 'horror'? True it has some horrific moments, but as a whole I think it fits the 'thriller' genre a whole lot better. A classic film that is the best exhibit of it's type.

Mars Attacks!

When martians visit Earth, the first contact does not go as well as everybody wants it to.

Based on Topps famous 60's trading card set, Tim Burton's movie sees him directing at his campest best. With a cast comprised of some of Hollywood's A-List, this movie just becomes more outrageous as it goes along. The CGI is a little jerky (by today's standards), but this just adds to the almost comic-book like feel that this little gem has.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker continue their heroic fight against the Galactic Republic as part of The Clone Wars.

This CGI Star Wars feature takes place in between Episodes II & III, and follows more events of The Clone Wars. The animation is quite good with all the characters having a very styalised look. All the main characters are present, with a couple of new ones thrown in for good measure. It was quite disappointing that only a couple of the actors returned to voice their characters, but the replacements do a good enough job. The storyline is well paced with plenty of action - and typically Star Wars. This is (of course) the pilot for the new TV series, and it felt exactly like one.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

After being found guilty for a crime he did not commit, Benjamin Barker returns to London and takes on a demonic persona to get his revenge.

Even though they can be a bit lacking in the story department, Tim Burton's films are always a joy to watch, and the idea of him undertaking a musical was intriguing to say the least. I am not familiar with the source material, so I had no preconceptions while watching. The story is well crafted and the acting is first rate. The songs are all fantastic, and Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter both give sterling performances. Tim Burton's gothic direction works perfectly, and there is enough blood letting to keep one happy.

Sin City
Sin City(2005)

Turn the right corner in Sin City, and you can find anything...

I am a pure devotee of comics as an artform, and without argument Frank Miller's 'Sin City' is the greatest representation of the medium ever produced. No need for spandex clad superheroes, as the film noir series tells stories that no other comic even comes close to. So, I was worried to hear that a movie was being made, but then I heard that Frank Miller was co-creating and even co-directing!!! The result is just pure genius - It is like the pages of the graphic novels have come alive and luckily someone was around to film it. The three directors have each made a masterful job of the stories, and the use of black and white (with the occasional hint of colour) adds so much to the overall feel of the movie. The casting is perfect, with each person being the only logial choice for the role. Respect to Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood and Clive Owen - but Mickey Rourke's portrayal of Marv is just a joy to behold. I can not tell you enough times to see this film - SO JUST WATCH IT!!!!!!

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

A burnt out cop is ordered to hunt down and kill four escaped replicants that have come to earth to extend their lives.

This is probably one of the best SF movies made. Ridley Scott's masterly vision shows just how good a director he really is. The story (though simple) is compelling and keeps the viewer glued for the entire running time. The entire cast (especially Rutger Hauer) all make a wonderful job of their roles. This movie is already been classed as a 'classic' and as more time passses (I feel) it will be ranked in the top five influential movies made.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
½

Harry and his friends return to Hogwart's for a fifth year of adventure.

The movies move back to the realms of adult fantasy in this installment, and this time they get it right. Like the third film, the storyline is quite dark, but there is enough action to keep things moving on at a nice pace. The character of Professor Umbridge is delightfully nasty and truly had me disliking them. The climatic fight sequence is a joy to behold.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
½

Harry and his friends return to Hogwart's for a fourth year of adventure.

With a solid storyline and a nice mix of action and drama,this is a much better movie than the previous offering. The movie really falls on it's feet, as the story carries you along from one set piece to another with humour in all the right places. The climax is incredibly well paced,and leaves you wanting to watch the next installment.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry and his friends return to Hogwart's for a third year of adventure.

The Harry Potter jugganaut keeps rolling as we enter the third film in the series. This movie has a totally different feel and look from previous entries. Gone are the extraordinary visuals and the director tries for a more adult feel, which (in my eyes) doesn't quite work. The thin storyline is stretched to fill the long running time, and the lack of exciting set pieces makes the movie drag in a lot of places. The acting keeps getting better, and the addition of Gary Oldman and Michael Gambon are very welcome. Let's see if the fourth film returns to the original formula.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
½

Harry and his friends return to Hogwart's for a second year of adventure.

The second film in the Harry Potter series, and they would appear to be getting better. As all the major characters have been introduced, there is a much better story-line and more excitement in his movie. A new character in the shape of Lucius Malfoy (wonderfully played by Jason Isaacs) is added to great effect. You can still play 'spot the star' as more and more a-list actors have bit parts. The climax of the movie does tend to degenerate into a typical fantasy moive, but what do you expect. Let's hope the third film is even better.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

After discovering that he is a wizard, Harry Potter enrolls at Hogwart's School and has his first year of adventures.

I really have no interest in the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter. But, my wife is a bit of a fan, so when she said that she would like to watch the movies with me, I wasn't really holding much hope of cinematic quality. But to be absoutely truthful, the movie wasn't as dire as I thought it was going to be. The characters are pleasant enough, the acting from the children is completely wooden, and you can play a game of 'spot the star' through the adult cast. The story is nothing groundbreaking and meanders along slowly setting the story up. Apparently, the movies get better as they go along - I will let you know.

Hellboy: Blood and Iron

An enemy from Professor Bruttenholm's past returns and the BPRD fight for their lives.

The second Hellboy Animated feature is a much better than the first. The film has a lot more action in it this time out, and relies and more traditional monsters that everyone can relate to. All the regular cast members are back, along with the John Hurt reprising his Professor role. Still not as good as the live-action feature, but a very enjoyable watch.

Hellboy: Sword of Storms

A sword containing two evil Japanese spirits is the focus of unwanted attention, and only Hellboy can save the world.

The first of the Hellboy Animated movies. All the stars from the movie return to voice their characters (and even Doug Jones gets to be Abe). The story relies heavily on Japanese mythology, which though fun to watch, isn't filled with a lot of action until the last twenty minutes of the movie. The animation is ok, but would have been a lot better if Mike Mignola's definitive style and design had been re-created. In the end, it is an interesting watch, but no where near as good as it's live-action counterpart.

The Butterfly Effect 2
½

A group of friends are returning home from a celebration when their vehicle has a puncture causing loss of lives. The lone survivor discovers he can change the past by looking deeply at photographs, and sets out to make things right again.

This movie follows pretty much the same idea as the first, and only has the smallest story link to it. There is no real explanation to how the main character can travel through time, and it just keeps the flagging story going on for that little bt longer. The cast of unknowns do an ok job with the little they are given to work with. The climax of the film is non-existant, and you are left with a feeling that this was just a cash-in on the popularity of the first movie.

The Butterfly Effect
½

After suffering from a series of blackouts at important times in his life, Evan unlocks the mysteries of how to remember these lost memories, which lead to results he couldn't possibly imagine.

An interesting little film, which works quite well. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me interested, but the end was a little bit of a let-down. The cast all carry their characters very well, and I was particularly surprised at how well Ashton Kutcher did with a straight role.

Resident Evil: Degeneration
½

A number of years after the destruction of Raccoon City, Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield reunite to battle a new outbreak of the deadly T-Virus.

Finally, a Resident Evil movie that has actually been made by Capcom!!!!! This movie is for die hard RE fans only, as it mentions events that happened in the console games and nothing from the three live-action outings. The storyline is a little weak in places (you kind of get a bit of a deja-vu feeling when you have played as many RE games as I have), but on the whole keeps you interested throughout. The CG animation is outstanding, and the action sequences are amazing. It was kind of like watching someone else play an RE game!!!

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

Sweet and innocent Mandy Lane joins her friends for a party on a ranch, and suddenly things take a fatal twist.

Technically, this is a nicely put together little film. The acting from the cast of unknowns is believable, breathng life to a set of generic characters. The shooting style is akin to Texas Chainsaw Massacre (redux) and See No Evil. What kind of lets the whole movie is the storyline. It starts off quite well, and then degenerates into a formulaic teen thriller. The final twist is quite nice, but the lack of explanation left me wanting more.

Resident Evil: Extinction
½

As the zombie infestitation reaches global proportions, Alice takes her battle directly to Umbrella.

This is totally unheard of!!! I thought the second Resident Evil film was better than the first, and I think that this film is the best of the trilogy!!! When it first started I thought it was going to be a little too 'Mad Max' for my liking, but luckily that all changes and we end up with a good old-fashioned monster bash!!! This film also takes even more ideas from the games (Claire, Wesker and Tyrant), and even throws in some new ones (zombie birds). The climax could have quite easily set up for a fourth movie, but also finishes the series very nicely. All in all these are probably the best game adaptation movies out there.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer(2008)

In the world's most exciting sport, Speed Racer proves he is a force to be reckoned with, as he takes on racers and corruption to prove he is the best.

What would you expect the next project from the creators of 'The Matrix' trilogy to be like? This was the exact question I was asking myself as I sat down to view this movie - The result is nothing I could have expected (and not in a good way)!!! I am not familiar with the source material, but I hope it is nothing like the mish-mash that presented itself to me. The storyline is weak at it's best, using cliche after cliche. The acting is virtually non-existant, as most of the actors seem to sleepwalk their way through. Then we come to the special effects ... Technically they are marvellous, but the sheer amount mixed with the frantic camera movements make for an almost nausea inducing bad acid trip. I now firmly believe that the Wachowski brothers have completely lost the plot!!!!!

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

As the T-Virus caused events in Raccoon City spiral out of control, Alice fights to save the life of a little girl.

This is one of the few times that I will say that a sequal is better than the original. The film actually feels like it belongs in the Resident Evil universe (in fact it takes a lot from the RE3 console game). The action is a lot bigger, and the special effects are so extreme that it becomes just plain ridiculous (I haven't seen so much 'bullet time' used since The Matrix). As with the first movie, the storyline is a little lacking, but when you have a couple of women running around shooting as many zombies as they possibly can - who really cares.

Resident Evil
½

A girl with temporary loss of memory wakes in a mansion and is soon plunged in a fight for survival against zombies and genetically created monsters.

As you may have noticed, I am a 'bit' of a Resident Evil fan. So,the first time I watched this movie I really didn't enjoy it at all. The only references to the game are Raccoon City, Umbrella, viruses and a lot of undead monsters. But I have found that it does get better with repeated viewing. The story is a bit formulaic, and the acting goes from ok to pretty hammy. But as a survival horror film, it works pretty well. Just don't expect a literal translation of the amazement that is the Resident Evil gaming franchise.

The Redsin Tower
½

A group of kids have a party in a deserted tower with a murky past.

Independant films have a habit of suffering from lack of budget, bad acting and weak storylines. But this is probably one of the better ones that I have seen in a while. The storyline is hardly original (just look at 99% of horror movies made in the 80's for proof). The characters are formulaic, but the acting was competent enough that it gave me a slight interest in what happened to them. The majority of the movie was given over to set-up though, and the horror only really kicked in during the last 20 minutes. I would have been majorly disappointed if this had come from a major studio, but as an independant feature it wasn't too bad.

TMNT
TMNT(2007)

The band of heroes return in a all new adventure fighting 3000 year old warriors.

I have a bit of a soft spot for the original live action movie, and was quite looking forward to watching this new incarnation of the TMNT franchise. But unfortunately I was quite disappointed. When you start watching this short (under 90 minutes) movie some much has already happened, you get the feeling that you have missed a huge amount of storyline. In fact, the whole things feels like watching an edited pilot to a new tv show. The voice acting is ok, and all the heroes sound like they have always done. The animation is very rich and detailed but as most of the plot and action take place at night it does become a bit 'blurred' at lot of the time. Could have done a lot better.

Dogma
Dogma(1999)

Two exiled angels find a loophole in Catholic dogma that will allow them to return to heaven.

Probaby Kevin Smith's most accomplished film to date. the storyline, acting and direction are all first rate. Not as gritty as his earlier films, but it still managed to outrage quite a few US Catholics!!! Matt Damon is great and even Ben Affleck is no where near as annoying as normal. But, I must admit that Alan Rickman's fantastically funny character is my personal favourite. Jay and Silent Bob rule!!!!!

Lost Boys: The Tribe

A brother and sister moves to a coastal town and get mixed with a gang of the undead.

My love of the first film is legendary (just see my review if you want proof)!!! So, I appoached the sequel with a little trepidation. The story-line is incredibly weak, so much so that it is almost a semi-remake of the first movie. The acting from the two main characters is nothing to write home about. BUT after saying all that, I must say that I really quite enjoyed it. There are a lot of subtle nods it's predecessor, such as same lines, music, props, etc. that it can keep a Lost Boys geek really quite happy. And of course Corey Feldman is back!!! They guy has stopped aging, and it would appear that his voice just seems to have got a lot deeper. Particularly enjoyed the final scene with Sam during the end credits sequence. All in all, not the greatest film in the world, but I found it had a certain allure.

The Lost Boys

A family moves to a coastal town and get mixed with a gang of the undead.

When I say that I like this film, I mean that I REALLY like this film. When I say that I really like this film, I mean that I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this film!!! I would go as far to say that it is probably my favourite vampire film of all time. It really has everything going for it - action, adventure, comedy, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim!!! Kiefer Sutherland plays his character with so much gusto you get the feeling that he was really enjoying himself. Then of course there is the Frog Brothers - comedy genius!!!! My wife and I have seen this film so many times it is getting ridiculous - do not try and out-quote us!!!! All I can say is "Death By Stereo"!!!!!!

Blood - The Last Vampire

A sword-wielding child poses as a school-girl on an American base to track down three vampires.

As you all know, I am quite thinly watched where it comes to anime. But luckily, my wife is getting me to watch stuff, and I am slowly getting a taste for the genre. I knew absolutely nothing about this prior to viewing, but it has the word 'vampire' in the title, which always works for me. The story-line is very understated, and large parts of the plot aren't even explained. The action is incredibly well animated and almost poetic in places. The trouble is, I had just started to get really into it, and it finished!!!!! The running time is way too short, and makes it feel like a pilot for a tv series. Apart from that, I found it an incredibly good piece of animation.

Live Free or Die Hard

John McClane has another bad day, when he receives a call to bring in a young hacker, he becomes involved in a massive case of computer crime.

The length of time since the release of the last Die Hard and Bruce Willis' advancing age did not bode well for this film. But I must admit that I was totally surprised and completely enjoyed this piece of action -adventure cheese. The story-line is 'kind of' believable, and the acting was suitable over the top. Timothy Olyphant played a good villain (although I did prefer him in Hitman). Stand out moments for me were John McClane hanging off the tail of a jet fighter and (the great) Kevin Smith cameoing as the master hacker 'Warlock'. If you are a fan of Die Hard movies, grab a Coke and a large popcorn and prepare yourself for a worthy entry in the series.

The Matrix Revolutions

The battle machine the machines and humans reaches it's climax, and Neo and Agent Smith meet for the final time.

And so we arrive at the final film in the The Matrix trilogy. Again, everything about this movie is a bigger. But, it is so much better than the previous entry. A lot of the pseudo-religeous postering is gone, and the film feels a lot more like a good old SF action romp. The battle sequence for the Zion dock is amazing, and the final confrontation between Neo and Agent Smith is just plain outrageous. A fine end to an iconic trilogy.

The Matrix Reloaded
½

Neo and the last remenants of the human race continue the battle against the machines both in the real world and The Matrix.

As I stated in my earlier review, The Matrix is a classic film of it's time, and the sequel had a lot to follow on from. Did it manage it or not? The film is massive in scope. The landscape is bigger, the stunts are bigger, the special effects are bigger, and the budget is huge!!!! But does this make for a better film? In my humble opinion - no. The religious fixation that the Wachowski Brothers have is even more apparent, with a major character being brought back from the dead (again), and the citizens of Zion getting almost cult-like during their celebrations. The are some totally unwarrented sequences - the chocolate cake springs immediately to mind. And, the 'To Be Concluded' ending is just plain annoying. But I must admit, that there are some incredibly good battles and chases as well. Agent Smith is always fun, but my personal favourite is the Merovingian.

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

Neo meets with Morpheus and Trinity and discovers that what he thinks is life is not all that it appears.

Like it or hate it, there is no denying that The Matrix is a ground-breaking film. From story telling through direction, and (especially) through special effects this is one of THE films that defined the 90's. As with all science-fiction movies though, it does have it's problems, and the whole Wachowski Brothers' Christ fixation gets a little much as the film progresses. But all in all a top-rated roller coaster of a ride.

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
½

JB and Kyle Glass meet up and the historic Tenacious D is born.

I am a sight fan of Tenacious D. I own there first album, and have listened to it a couple of times. So, I wasn't quite sure how this movie was going to play out. It surprised me!!! It is actually quite funny, with a fantastical story-line and solid acting. I am only going to say - you really have to be some form of fan to enjoy this movie. I feel that if you hadn't heard of Tenacious D before seeing this, you might find it a little stupid, but for those who know of them previously, you would find it a fun transition from music to film.

Stripes
Stripes(1981)

A bunch of misfits join an American Army Training Camp and end up saving the day.

I haven't seen this movie for years. And guess what, it's still as great as I remember. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis give a great 'double-act' performance (which is just as a good as the duo in Ghostbusters). A hilarious story-line and a marvellous supporting cast make for a memorable piece of comedic cinema.

Howl's Moving Castle

A young girl is cursed by a witch and joins a group of magical characters on a journey in a castle with legs.

This anime is a strange mix of steampunk and fantasy which starts off very well, but loses itself as the movie progresses. With a running time of nearly 2 hours, it also feels overly long. The animation is a mix of traditional and CGI which works very well,and the soundtrack is (again) beautiful. From the same director as My Neighbour Totoro

Super Size Me

See what happens when a journalist decides to spend an entire month eating nothing but McDonalds!!!

Have seen this so many times, but I love it so much that I keep coming back for more!!! An eye opening documentary that makes you think again about the fast-food giant. A little bit out of date now, as it was filmed just before McDonalds 're-invented' itself (I wonder if this had anything to do with it), but it still packs a hell of a punch.

Boy Eats Girl
½

A boy in love with a girl gets one drunk one night when he thinks she is with someone else. He wakes the following morning 'a little different'.

A good little Irish horror / comedy. The humour is a little like 'Shaun Of The Dead' and 'Evil Aliens', so if you like those films, you'll enjoy this one too. The story line is a little thin - but with only a 75 minute running time what do you expect. The effects are basic looking, but this suits the tone of the film. All in all, a fun little zombie romp!!!

Revamped
Revamped(2007)

A vampire with a soul awakens after 5 years of 'death' in to a world where a war between blood-suckers and humans rages.

Didn't really expect a lot from this low budget movie. I read a review and it just seemed interest me. But I was surprised by just how good it is. The production is pretty low key and the story is formulaic, but on the whole it is a fun little movie. It has a fine mix of action, drama and humour. Plus, it has Billy Drago in it, so you can't go far wrong.

Kataude mashin gru (The Machine Girl)

Japanese school girl with an amputated arm gets revenge for her dead brother with the help of strap-on weapons.

This movie is totally outrageous! The Japanese really know how to take things to the limit. The killings are wonderfully gory, and the plot-line is so insane that it needs to be seen to be believed. The only problem I had was that at times the plot took up a little too much time as I was itching to get to the next kill scene!

Teeth
Teeth(2007)
½

A young student who believes in sexual abstinence before marriage discovers she has an added bite.

Right then, I really don't know what to make of this film. It is one half 'teen drama' and one half 'horror', but unfortunately neither seem to do too well. I didn't feel any empathy with any of the characters, and didn't really care what happened to them. The horror followed quite an inventive route, but again was not strong enough to save this movie.

The Mist
The Mist(2007)
½

A town is covered in a mysterious fog, and a group of inhabitants fight to survive.

Not what I expected from this latest Stephen King / Frank Darabont collaboration. Starts slowly and doesn't seem to go anywhere. By the middle of the film, it takes a whole different direction and becomes a study in madness. The movie ends on what I can only describe as an uncharacteristic (for Stephen King) low-point. I was really quite enjoyed the last third of the movie, but the ending left me feeling quite unsatisfied.

Headless Horseman
½

Seven disposable teens battle the titular creature.

This is a Sci Fi Channel Original Movie, which automatically means that it has substandard directing, acting and special effects. But, if you put all that aside and expect a 'beer and pizza' movie, you won't be disappointed. Plus, it has a headless horseman, which (to me) is a much underused monster.

Night Junkies
½

Vampire lovers fight to survive in London, with only the possibilities of escape and a cure keeping them from their blood addiction.

Low budget english film that takes a different slant on the genre. Vampirism is depicted as something akin to drug addiction, and with the back-drop of London's seedier side makes for an intersting watch. Don't expect fangs, capes or anything gothic in this little gem.

The Ferryman
The Ferryman(2007)
½

A group of holiday makers on a hired boat stumble upon demonic happenings when they enter a fog bank to answer a distress call from another boat.

A low biudget horror film with nice some nice tense touches. Unfortunately it is let down when the titular character appears in a "did we really need to see the monster" moment, and then is followed by an even more formulaic epilogue.