Liquid Dreams (1991)

WAIT! STOP! IT’S NOT PORN! well…not really porn…theres some VERY brief nudity and a lot of “Girating” but honestly. for a film thats so determined to ride the “Steamy erotica” train. it’s surprisingly tame. The first time I saw Liquid Dreams, It wasnt really for me. I found it a bit too into it’s “Homages” and lacking in clear substance. and while subsiquent rewatches have definitely softened my views on this (I now think it’s actually a pretty fun, maybe even good little popcorn thriller) I still kind of feel a bit like it’s a film thats missing something. I dunno; I think sex would cheapen this film. I think that making it more of a thriller would make it more boring. it just kind of…rides the line between the erotic and thriller genres to the such a restrictive extreme that it’s ultimatley neither. and as such, while it’s good at both genres. it never really achieves either.

What we have here is a bit of an anomoly. a film that’s memorable for it’s imagery. but very little else. I still think this is prime VS fodder because it’s most definitely working with that kind of cult vibe. and I feel with a little bit more love and attention it could almost be a well respected classic in the vein of “Cherry 2000” that’s why I chose to review this film. I really REALLY hope to raise it’s profile at least a little bit, and who knows!? maybe if the right people see this it’ll finally get dug out of it’s “Out of print” hell and get the re-release that it DEFINITELY deserves.

The Posters just kind of…a mess…but weirdly its the BEST poster they ever made for this film. the DVD versions obscenely awful.

Earth Alien (Endangered Species) (2002)

So once again we take a deep dive into my pile of cheap 50p -£1 finds that i’ve pulled out of Charity shops, discount stores and 2nd hand film shops. Earth Alien (Known in the US as “Endangered Species”) is ultimately; a film that exists. thats about as good as it gets. it’s definitley not the best movie in the world, but it’s not bad enough to be infamous. Eric Roberts is phoning it in and doesnt really give much to the role. The whole thing is kind of pass over-ey.

and y’know what? thats fine. you cant be lucky every time and this season I managed to get a definite line of winners while hunting about, so it’s okay that this movie wasnt the best in the world. that it’s pretty unmemorable and that ultimately I dont really care about it all that much. the important thing is that i’ve seen it and I can warn other people that it’s pretty “Meh”

In the past some people who’ve seen my reviews wonder why I bother to cover the “Meh” films. and thats a fair ask, if I dont really dig it, other people arnt really bothered and the film doesnt really deserve the coverage; why bother? I think about this sometimes. But the best answer I can give is that “THE PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW!” the people need to know of mediocrity. I’d rather save someone 90 minutes by explaining in 20 minutes why a movie isnt worth bothering with. they can then use the remaining 70 minutes to…I dunno. Watch “Nutbag” or something.

Anyway. Earth Alien isn’t unwatchable…but if you have it on your “To Watch” pile. maybe knock it down a few spaces…it’s just kind of…eh.

This is a fine example of: “POSTER DOES NOT MATCH FILM”

Deathrow Gameshow (1987)

Deathrow Gameshow is one of those movies that was forever a part of my “Oooh I’ll pick it up next time” lists. Anyone who lives outside of the US or Canada will probably no doubt appreciate that importing films is an expensive game. In fact at the time of writing with the pandemic in full swing and Brexit flossing it’s teeth ready for the big chomp the costs of importing are already beginning to show themselves. With even light items such as single discs without cases or even a single disc light weight DVD costing anywhere between $35 and $85 in just the cost of shipping alone.

As such; I have to be choosey on films I choose to get from Vinegar Syndrome or Severin Films or AGFA purely because; picking up a bad film I dont like stops being mildly inconvenient and starts being financially unviable as a game.

And so we have the “I’ll get it next time” culture. During sales I’ll fill my basket with all manner of goodies and then inevitably see the cost of shipping, lose my shit, and have to put things back. Deathrow Gameshow is a film I’ve probably put back about 4 times before finally picking it up in 2019…and even then it just…sat on my shelf for the best part of a year and a half being overlooked by what I at the time considered better movies or for films that were time sensitive and could only be seen within a certain window of time.

And in many ways I really regret not checking in on this one sooner. I mainly put it down to the poster/cover art which; to me? I find quite ugly. Thats not to say the original VHS artwork was exactly “Dazzling” but I dunno; something about the poster art (see below in the thumbnail) just…doesnt sell this movie to me. it feels cheap. it feels like it’s going to be attempting to ape existing movies (I personally get real Shock Treatment vibes off it) it just doesnt feel like the kind of movie thats worth $55+ when shippings factored in (there or there abouts).

But Y’know what? if you can look past the garish and uninteresting promotional material for this one, theres quite a bit to have fun with! it’s an easy going film that relies on quite well written “Stupid/Manic” comedy to get the job done. and while the miss rate is noticeable on gags. the hits are really solid! but…I’ve probably said too much here. Check out my full review below if you want the deep dive!

Ugh…that poster…like I say; neither the VHS artwork or this are particularly great. but I just…REALLY dont get on with this one.

Nutbag (2000)

Well! We’re back at it again! and oh BOY! this weeks episode made me a happy boy last year! lets be honest; 2020 was a bit rubbish, I mean, I enjoyed lockdown because im an introvert masochist who enjoys quiet rooms, comfy chairs and the occasional appearence of matron with the tea and busicuits. but for a TON of people lockdown was essentially a “Forgotten year” a time that most people will deeply miss and some people will never retake.

even I admit that there were times (particularly around summer) where I got a bit longful for ocean breezes, cheap ice cream and driving through the hills and valleys with a pleasent summer heat in the air, my sunglasses stuck firmly to my face and nothing to do and nowhere in particular to go except cruising to my hearts content.

Thrifting is something I’ve missed particularly, I used to have 3-4 shops I would visit monthly if not fortnightly to see what new stuff had come in. but the only thing worse than having to go to the shop in a pandemic is going to a 2nd hand shop in a pandemic. you dont know WHAT the previous owner of that copy of “Swamp Shark” did with it! could have coughed on it and rubbed it up his bum for all you know! So unfortunately it’s been over a year since I last went out and dug through bargain bins, ruffled through rummage sales or cherry picked from charity shops.

I have however found partial relief in stores like Music Magpie or CEX who’ve been sort of satiating my flea market cravings with their online services. they sell all manner of cheap and nasty movies for as little as 50p a film. and before all this business kicked off I used to go to my local CEX fairly regularly to try and score cheap films with big thrills like “Cyborg Cop” or “Darkbreed” now I can cherry pick exactly what tat I want for the same low low prices and get them delivered straight to my door! result!

I mean; it’s not the same as finding some genuine tat out in the wild. But it’s better than nothing. and thats how I ended up with todays film. “Nutbag” was one of 6 movies I picked up from Music Magpie in early autumn last year. and within minutes of putting it on it very quickly became apparent that something was very VERY wrong with it.

I go into detail in the review itself about how the dramatic cuts in the UK release have effected this movies viability. but there was one thing I feel I missed out mentioning in the review that I would like to clarify. I dont think anyone will call me out on this, but im putting this here as a rebuttle just on the off chance that this ever does comes up. Inevitably I feel someones going to ask me “Why did you review and trash this incomplete version of the movie!?” or “It isnt fair to review this cut version, you should review the work as the director intended.” but; the reality is. the BBFC are an advisory board. they cant force anyone to make any cuts to their work that they dont want to make. they can only suggest cuts in order to make it more likely that your film will be released over here in Britain. Director Nick Polumbo agreed to the cuts suggested to this movie, either he did or the distributors did. either or both of them thought that what the BBFC suggested were fine enough recommendations to still leave a presentable end product.

So; from my perspective. This version is approved by the director. I can find absolutely ZERO evidence to the contrary. and he’s made a profit off the sale of this cut version over here, so while the US version is probably the “Defacto” cut of Nutbag. the UK version is just as valid an offering in terms of legitimacy. and as a critic I can only judge what is presented to me. and what was presented to me here was a hilarious farce of a movie. I highly HIGHLY recommend if you can find the UK cut of this film, you do so at the next convenience. its created a gutteral reaction from almost everyone i’ve shown this to. it barely breaks an hour and what it does in that hour is SO hilariously rubbish and naff I honestly think this should be seen as a B-movie on the level with the likes of “The Room” or “Birdemic” for just…how bizarre it actually is.

And the best part of all this? I got this film for 50p. and there are TONS of copies available. so this year. if you need cheering up or a laugh. go buy the UK cut of Nutbag. genuinely; one of the funniest best worst movies i’ve seen in at least the last 10 years.

The poster for this ones a bit…”Meh…” but trust me. it comes up with the goods!