Serpents Lair (1995)

Its amazing really how the memory can cheat when it comes to things from your childhood, I mention in this review that this was one of my first exposures to pornographic material and honestly; when I think back to my memory of seeing this movie nearly 25 years ago now, I remember it being almost as strong as most of the hardcore flicks that now plague the net.

despite not really knowing/understanding what was going on at the time, the tameness of this film 25 years on actually transformed what I remembered as a pretty gritty and erotically charged picture into something laughable. I go into more detail in my actual review. But while I cant really “technically” fault the film. the fact that it sets up SO much promise and delivers on literally almost non of it is frankly insane.

I mean…with the best will in the world, most erotic softcore films at LEAST have the decency to show a little T&A. this film (if memory serves) has one or two blink and you’ll miss it shots of ass, and an sound barrier smashingly brief glimpse of some boobs. Its at this point I feel the need to remind you dear reader. that this is a film about a demon who shags people to death…

As a closing note, I recently managed to uncover the title of another softcore flick I saw a clip from back when I was younger. my entire memory of the film was a scene of a woman being screwed through a partition in a wall with the intent on getting pregnant by the mysterious sperm doner. after that image sat in my head for decades AND with a variety of film buffs being asked about the scene (which I described in vivid detail, to which they had no clue), last year I finally put it to rest. I had in fact seen a clip from the 1999 art house porn film “Romance” which…is probably not a film that a small child should have been watching. but; these are life lessons I guess…

The poster for this movie is in no way reflective of the movie itself.

A Karate Christmas Miracle (2019)

This was my first experience with a Ken Del Vecchio production. and by GOD i’ve never been so conflicted as to whether I want that experience to happen again. On the one hand, this films SO rediculous but aiming to be sincere that I kind of feel obliged to at least see what on EARTH this guys on about. On the other hand; this was quite possibly one of the worst christmas films i’ve ever seen in my life. it makes “We Wish You a Turtles Christmas” look like “White Christmas”, it makes “Alphas Magical Christmas ” look like “A Christmas Story” it’s about as close to a christmas film as I am to being a millionair playboy (not very…)

Im just…astounded by this thing. and while I dont really have a lot more to say about it than what my review covers. Im even MORE astounded that it hasnt been picked up more intensly. you’d think with a bait title like this, it’d have filmies like myself swarming over it…but at the time of writing, im the only critics review submitted for this on IMDB and ratings remain at a relative low…I kind of want more critics to cover this thing, just so it can be outed as the piece of garbage (in my opinion) that it is.

As i’ve always said, ideally; you DONT want to be featured on my show, because being featured on my show is seldom good news. and MAN if this film doesnt live up to that…

Merry christmas.

I want this poster, full size, as part of my christmass decorations. hot damn!

The Driller Killer (1979)

Of all the film I covered this season, probably the film that surprised me the most was “Driller Killer”. Generally when I go into a film with established expectations I usually come away either dissapointed or bitterly angry that a films been missold to me. But “Driller Killer” actually had the opposite effect on me.

After being told by at LEAST half a dozen people that this film was a “Slog”, was “Unremarkable”, was “A one watch film” my expectations were VERY low for this thing. I was expecting 80-90 minutes of unrelenting gore, little to no plot, sub part direction. just a gory trash film designed to shock for the sake of shock.

But what I actually found was quite a nuanced film that, while not shying away from gore, manages it in a very effective way. Using it sparingly and instead preferring to focus on psychodrama and the relationship structure between our core characters. this was actually a pretty decent little drama/thriller and had it had literally ANYTHING ELSE as a VHS cover in 1984, it’d probably have flown completely under the radar and gone unnoticed.

A raw and quite powerful watch. while I think the theatrical cut is about as much of this film as I can stomach. having an extrended cut on the Arrow Bluray is a very nice touch. If your coming to this film for horror, you’ll probably be dissapointed. but if your looking for a drama with bloodier elements I’d say this is actually a pretty solid watch.

I had to use Arrows newly commissioned artwork for the thumbnail on this review. Personally I vastly prefer the original artwork. But youtube frown on thumbnails that feature a guy literally getting drilled through the head.

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

I’ve gotta be honest, I dont gel with the Corman/Price films as much as i’d like to. In principle, their collaborative works should have everything i’d want in a movie. Campy Macarbre, stunning direction and visuals, interesting and engaging scripts that quite often use the original source material as a launching pad rather than a dogmatically rigid “Sacred text” that must be abided to. and Vincent Price AND! for even more bang for your buck, Peter Lorre. Whats not to like!?

Well; this is the question I ask myself. I just…dunno. I kind of feel like the end result of mixing such amazing ingrediants together should be something quite mindblowing. but I just end up feeling a bit underwhelmed. Now I cant say that for EVERY Price/Corman film. I really enjoyed “The Pit and the Pendulum” and I also like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Masque of the Red Death”. But I havent seen ALL of their works together and most of the ones I have seen (The Raven, Tales of Terror, The Haunted Palace) just…dont do much if anything for me.

Thats not to say they dont have decent moments, or even just scenes that are entertaining. and thats DEFINITELY not to say the quality isnt there, because it very much is. I just find myself kind of sighing and clock watching with some of these films when I should be on the edge of my seat praying the films nowhere near over. I think, to me at least, I just feel like the films dont deliver on their pitch. Which made choosing which film of the Corman/Price/Poe series quite difficult. it was a literal coin toss that decided whether to talk about this movie or “Fall of the House of Usher” and on reflection. I think I chose the right movie. I prefer “Fall” of these two. but this film I think has infinitely more to talk about and is a MUCH more visually interesting treat.

This poster answers the problems I had with “House of Wax’s” poster. but now the problem is the focal point of the poster isnt clear and the name of the film obscures way too much. it’s an acceptable poster, I just dont much care for it.

Finishing the Complete Ninth Season (2021)

Season 9 was one of those seasons that feels “Right” to me. I mean that very much in a spiritual sense. theres no real metric that can be used to measure whether something is objectively “good” or “bad” but what I mean is that to me, it feels like all the pieces fit together perfectly, it feels like each review contrasts or compliments the other. with every season I do I often feel like there’ll be at least 1 or 2 episodes out of the two(ish) dozen I make where I either dont feel I got a grip on exactly HOW I wanted to present the review, or I’ll feel like technically I was a bit off the mark.

But this season, every review I feel like I got exactly what I wanted out of it, we had some stinkers, we had some hidden gems. but, to me, it feels like the work I’ve put in to slowly reshaping the series somewhat (Work that first began waaaaay back in Season six) has finally matured into a format that, for now at least, im pretty happy with. I feel a lot more confident about this run of reviews than I have with any other previous run, and I feel a lot happier with my work load management and attitude towards how I run the process. genuinely, the last 12 months worth of writing and releases have been some of the most enjoyable I’ve done in the 4 and a bit years of working on the channel.

Personal highlights of this season for me were “Nutbag” a film that genuinely caught me off guard for just how amazingly bad it was. this is one of the few times where BBFC suggested edits have actually massively enhanced what would otherwise be a fairly drab affair, Deathrow Gameshow a film that totally surpassed my expectations, and I feel utter remorse that I didnt crack this one open much MUCH sooner as it’d been sat on my “To Watch” pile for WAY too long. My special video essay on a recent Bootleg Video Nasty haul was a definite highlight for the year and got quite a few people talking about their own experiences with Nasty’s which was nice. and the opportunity to collaborate with old friends like Raymond and new faces like G.G Graham were frankly an absolute delight.

This season for me will probably be fondly remembered as a time capsule of a 6-8 month period where things, while still rather grim beyond the walls of my house, were alright. and I hope that comes across in these reviews.

Living Nightmare (Echoes) (1982)

Finally! the middle classes answer to “Driller Killer” in all it’s mundane dullness. I feel like such a stooge in hindsight after releasing this review. A little context (And a mild spoiler about whats coming up on this channel in future months.) I hadnt seen “Driller Killer” before reviewing this movie. and, for all intents and purposes I hadnt really planned to watch it for a while because the majority of people i’d spoken to about it told me that Driller killer was a bit boring and the kind of movie that you’d only watch once and move on.

Anyway; decided for the upcoming 10th season of my reviews that I was going to watch “Driller Killer” to get it over and done with. and apart from the fact that I really enjoyed it WAY more than the people who told me it was rubbish made out. I was mortified to discover that “Driller Killer” appears to more or less be the groundwork for this movie. as in; the themes, narrative and a decent chunk of the plot seem to more or less be copy/pasted from “Driller Killer” into “Living nightmare” the only significant difference is whereas “Living Nightmare” follows a bunch of middle class yuppies as they deal with the day to day issues of owning an apartment the size of a bowling ally. “Driller Killer” aims more to cover people in poverty and on skid row.

In fact; the only significant difference other than the class in this film and Driller is that in this film the madness is put more down to ghosts/the paranormal, whereas in driller killer the madness is based on the circumstancial rot that poverty induces. other than that they follow eerily similar beats, and I really wish i’d known that going into this one.

As it stands I wrote this review back in Jan/Feb of 2021 and then didnt see Driller killer until June 2021 at least a week or two after this review dropped, it took me till about 50 minutes into Driller to very quickly realise i’d totally missed a trick with this review.

So. to clarify, not only is this film generally rubbish and not worth watching, it’s also a little bit theivey and you should go and watch “Driller Killer” if you want a similar experience thats actually much much better than this film.

The official poster art for this (under the title “Echoes”) is rubbish. while the VHS art lies to you, at least it lies to fein looking interesting.

Celia (1989)

I dont really have a tremendous amount to say about this movie. Thats not me skimping out on juicy gossip about my “Amazing” history with this film. Rather; everything I really had to say about this movie is in the review and my opinions on it (at the time of writing this at least) havent changed a dot.

I originally got this in a haul of tapes, I thought it looked good and originally I intended to cover it back in Season Six But for time constraints I just couldnt fit it in. and Honestly? having finally watched it…Im kind of glad it didnt go in that season. I think It would have put me in a foul mood for the rest of the writing season to be honest…This was another one of the last scripts that I worked on (I believe this was 3rd to last…with the final one being the last episodes of this season) and I spent a good chunk of the credits swearing and pacing up and down because I couldnt quite believe what I’d just sat through.

As a Drama it’s middling and not really worth your time. As a Horror it’s downright awful. Dont bother with this movie. Next week…well; we get to have a LOT of fun 🙂

(All the posters for this movie are either SUUUUUUPER misleading or way too arty for what this film actually is…)

Tunnel Vision (1995)

Im going to be honest here, in hindsight I was very dissapointed with Tunnel Vision. I’d reviewed 1 or 2 Hollywood DVD releases in the past (Like Cyborg Cop 2 and The Bogey man) but this was the moment that I fully realised that Hollywood DVD was not to be trusted. I assume these were the kind of fodder you’d find in service stations or poundlands. They’re the cheapest of the cheap movies, given a slightly glossy box art and shoved out the door at a discount.

Its a clever tactic and there are hundreds of titles to choose from. The problem is all of these films range from “They’re okay” to “My eyes the goggles they do nothing!” Tunnel vision lands in the latter of this catagory and the sheer cynicism on display in putting the Lovely Patsy Kensit (Who’s genuinely lovely) on the box in an attempt to make it look like she’s going to be a major leading force in this (When in reality she plays the sidekick…and even then she doesnt really come into her own till the final act) is pure bull in my opinion. It totally soured my experience of this film (Which could have been probably quite reasonable had they just been honest with me and ran with the main male cop on the front of the box) I cant even really say this was a “HollywoodDVD” thing because the original film poster for this film (Which looks awful) also had Kensit front and center in some vein attempt to make it look like she’s the hero/star.

This isnt the absolute pits. but in all honesty I’ve seen much better. Though based on some of the reviews I have coming up I’ve also seen much much worse from HollywoodDVD.

(Theres something oddly satsfying about this poster…the UK DVD box art is atrocious…)

Francesca (2015)

This ones going to be a short one sadly, just simply because I dont have a whole lot to say about this one. it’s a bad movie. It’s not terrible., it’s competent. but it’s trying harder than it needs to to impress the audience with a “Look how clever I am” attitude. And it completely fails to capitalise on exactly why Giallo cinema is as enjoyable as it can be when in the right hands.

Giallo is all about suspense, all about tension. its about creating the illusion of peril on an almost constant basis. Movies like “Deep Red” or “Tenebre” thrive on being able to create an almost “Slow cooker” esq build of terror and thrills (And it looks damn fine while doing it) that reward the audience in spades. I dont often get surprised by the reveal in Giallo movies. But I appreciate the journey all the same.

Francesca by contrast isnt a slow building, bubbling pot of intreague. it’s a fairly tepid affair that im sure comes from a place of love to the genre but just comes across as a poor photocopy.

It’s a type of film that I catagorize as “Nice video, Shame about the song” (Made famous by the cast of “Not the nine oclock news”) its the idea that the film looks pretty (Which this one sort of does) but that it says nothing, has a poor script or is just flat out badly written. Francesca may have some fantastic advertising designs and some nice cine but its not worth a damn if the plots rubbish to begin with.

I also feel the need to somewhat apologise for this review as theres a glaring error towards the end where I forgot to drop the backing track at a couple of places and I also forgot to add in the “Where to skip to” point in order to avoid spoilers. I only noticed this well after the fact and short of re-uploading and losing all the views and comments associated with the video there wasnt a lot that could have been done. So my sincerest apologies and I hope it doesnt detrimentally effect your viewing experience.

(The “Twist” at the end of this film had me reaching for the Tylonol…bloody rubbish!)

Kill Keith (2011)

Life can be a funny thing sometimes. Im not really one who believes in fate. But even I’ll conceed that its too coincidental that “Sods law” happens as often as it does. For those unfamiliar with this film or Keith Chegwin specifically the the short story is that he was a childrens entertainer on UK television in the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s who sadly died in 2017 at the age of 60.

Why do I bring his death up in talking about this film? Well because 2 months earlier I’d sat down to watch “Kill Keith” for the first time. And I did not care for it…I didnt care for it at all. Keiths pretty much fine in this film…He actually has quite a good acting presence about him and shows a really good range. It’s literally almost everything else about this film thats dire. naturally I wrote my honest opinions on the film, edited it and stored it away ready for upload (At the time) in Late November/Early January…However scheduling conflicts meant I had to rearrange a few episodes so Kill Keith got jostled out of season 2 and into season 3…and then Keith Chegwin Dies and my review of this bad film is due up pretty much a week after his funeral.

That made things feel a bit difficult for me. in fact at one point I was legitimately considering just holding onto the review and releasing it later down the line. But ultimately I decided that whether this sad incident had happened or not I dont really have anything bad to say about Keith Chegwins performance in this movie…I really dont. So I decided to upload it anyway…

While it is hardly the most successful review on my channel It has been the talking point for a few people. I’ve had at least 3 people privately message me just to ask firstly if “Kill Keith” is a real movie and secondly from people who’ve usually seen the film who want to talk about it because they cant believe someone thought this was a good idea either. So in many respects I kind of have to hand it to the makers of this film…it may not be the best movie in the world but you have united people with a common ground feeling of total bewilderment.

As a closing anecdote I’d also like to say that after watching this film for the first time I posted my thoughts on facebook in a veild way (I said something like “I’ve just sat through the worst film I’ve seen in a long time! EEEESH!”) a few minutes later a friend of mine left a comment saying “I thought you liked bad movies?” I said I did like them but that “Kill Keith” was just insufferable and I went through each section of the film making process and why it was no good…there was a very long pause and my friend responded “…My best mate worked as a camera operator and an extra on that film…” … The Pain was real ladies and gents…the conversation ended very shortly thereafter.

 

(Also full credit to Stephen Chance! a very underrated actor who does a cracking job in this movie.)