Chick Boxer

I had a rather pleasent surprise while these reviews were going live. JR Bookwalter the man himself was doing a live stream Q&A for a new release for makeflix and I dropped in to ask a question about whether he’d ever consider getting back into directing (his answer was “never say never!” so here’s hoping for the SOV 12 pack in 2024!) but while watching he mentioned in passing that he’d actually been checking out a couple of these reviews as they dropped! which…well I was honestly quite beside myself as, while I have had the odd director, DOP, Cam Op or in one specific case producer drop by to tell me about how their movie sucked, or that they were grateful for my honesty. i’ve never had someone say that live, on video. TO ME.

Anyway; I mention that because this was the review he referenced specifically when he said he’d seen a couple of the reviews I’d done. and…if you’ve seen my review of this in advance of reading this post. you’ll know that I was not a fan of this movie…didnt care for it at all…hates a strong word but I do believe I said this movie was “The kind of film you take to a bad movie night when you dont like anyone in attendence.” which was then quoted in a tweet by J.R Bookwalter himself. POSITIVELY I might add!…but still. he hates this movie. I…didnt care for this movie. most people i’ve shown this film to (Because im an evil fuck) hated this movie. this is not a good movie. the poster and title is about as good as it gets.

In my minds eye I imagined Chick boxer to be a kind of gritty “Rocky” type flick. y’know, a young girl is bullied or harrassed or…I dunno SOMETHING happens. and she decides to “Get tough” cue several training montages and eventually said weedy girl is now a martial artist taking on the scum of the streets vigilante style, with the papers and police not really knowing what to make of her. almost like what was done in “Robot Ninja” but without the super hero costume and the scene where a guy removes and inserts weird tubes into his arm.

Instead we got…well I’ll let the review do the rest of the work.

This cover is the best thing about the movie. and it took nearly 30 years for it to happen.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)

I was genuinely caught off guard by just how good “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” was and is. I know thats a bit of a crap opener to a review. But it’s hard for me really to put into words at just how blown away I was by my first watch of this movie. it totally caught me off guard.

It was almost a perfect storm of emotion and circumstance that led to me being totally overwhelmed by this film. I watched this for the first time in December of 2020, after almost a year of COVID-19, isolation and detatchment from my family. My partner, who’s health continues to be an up and down issue was more or less rendered totally socially isolated for 3 months which had serious effects on her health and by December of 2020 she was very much in a low period of good health.

So after 12 months of utter world changing circumstances, where so many people had needlessly died and so much stress had been put on society at large. Watching this film at around 2am one eerily quiet night, alone. was simply too much.

Im not ashamed to admit I was openly weeping by the end of this film. by the final scene of the 3rd act I had become so invested in these characters that the ending hit HARD. and I completely lost it for the rest of the night. I immediately contacted some of my closest friends and family to check in on them, had some very lengthy and quite deep chats and after picking up the soundtrack for this film (which, in itself is amazing) I went to bed a changed person.

I’ve never quite been the same since, the film moved me in ways that other films seldom ever have. so I consider this a very VERY special work. I cant guarentee you’ll feel the film in the same way I did. but I can tell you that this film will forever hold a very special place in my heart.

The Original Poster for this film is okay. But pound for pound; I REALLY love what Arrow Academy have done with their new artwork.

Best of the Best (1989)

So; Here’s a bit of a cards on the table “Confessions” moment. a decent chunk of this season is VHS based; and the main reason for that decision is because while I was doing the writing and planning for this season I was also unpacking all my belongings into my recently refurbished room (I started writing scripts for this season in October last year) so while I was putting everything back it gave me a bit of chance to try and have a clearout and of all the formats in my collection, VHS is the most bulky and the the hardest to properly store.

So; I kinda sorta used this season to do some spring cleaning on my collection so I could thin out tapes I thought I might not keep based on the title and box art. and honestly? it’s been quite effective for most of the choices this season. a lot of what i’ve watched has either ended up being gifted on to others or found its way to refuse. but this movie? this movie right here? I was genuinely surprised at how entertaining it was. As I say in the review it really does have a lot going for it.

I initially chose it because I had 3 of the 4 films in this franchise on VHS and I figured if I did one of these a season it’d probably be a good way to get rid of 3 “Meathead” tapes from collection pretty easily. But instead the opposites ended up happening. I genuinely cant wait to watch the second one of these later in the year and I’ve been keeping my eye on a bluray collection of these movies now since I saw this one. Im hoping the sequels are as entertaining (if not as good) as this first one because if they are. I literally have no hesitation on upgrading all these to bluray quality and having the set as soon as possible.

Genuinely entertaining, fun and Eric Roberts is frankly astonishingly good in this. if you dont have the 20(ish) minutes needed to get through my full review and just want a quick caption. BUY THIS MOVIE NOW!

The poster for this ones a bit shite in all honesty. it doesnt really speak to me and it’s kind of difficult to work into marketing as it’s just a load of boxes inside boxes. Its hardly the most revolutionary jawdropping poster i’ve seen…its just…weird.

Massacre at Central High (Blackboard Massacre) (1976)

One for the “Yikes” pile, this movie even now is just…leaves me with this sense of cringing discomfort. it’s one thing to make a drama about a 35 year old teenager trying to blow up a school and killing off the students. it’s another when your sympathetic to the killer. and this film really does genuinely try to rationalise that; had our main character not gotten TOO into murdering his peers. the school probably would have been better for it.

I know theres themes around corruption present and the idea that just removing the figureheads of corruption from a system without properly planning for the transition of power, merely creates a vaccume from which even worse corruption can spring forth. I get it. but I just find it incredibly problematic that the film at no point takes the time to point out that the main character in this movie (the one doing the killing) is wrong to have even done it in the first place. instead it really just leaves the viewer with the feeling that, had David just planned better for the aftermath, the murders would have been entirely justified.

This was one of the first scripts where I actually had to cut a section of the script out in post. I had initially recorded a section in the opening of my review where I took a bit of a deep dive into school shooting statistics with the aim of trying to figure out exactly why someone in 1976 would think that this movie was in ANY way a good idea. and my initial research revealed that basically the same amount of school shootings occured between the 1920’s and mid 1970’s as occured between 1998 and 2004. I therefore came to the conclusion that the reason why this film got made was simply a case that…well; not a lot of these really happened all that often, so my guess was that the producers thought they’d be safe covering this topic in this way as (at the time) it would have been about as common as a General election and probably would have been viewed by the public as one of those “It could never really happen to me” moments.

Unfortunately; just as I was working on the edit for this episode, a school shooting happened. and I re-reviewed my data and found a TON of scope for incorrect data and missed avaneus of exploration ranging from School massacres being listed seperately from school shootings in terms of collated data. issues with classifying what actually COUNTED as a school shooting and what was classed as a School massacre or just a targeted attack. issues with what qualified as a school attack (if people get attacked en mass just outside the school grounds. does it still count as a school attack?) and even variations on the attacks themselves. such as; what if it was a teacher that committed the attack rather than a student, what if it’s an entire SCHOOL that goes to attack another school? does that count as one incident or hundreds of smaller ones? and in one bizarre case from the 1920’s if a student accidentally kills another student with a hoe on school grounds, but then kills another student to stop them covering up the first murder. is that a massacre? or just a super awful story?

In essence. what I wanted to say was “Because of how few attacks happened between 1925 and 1975 the producers probably felt comfortable presenting the film this way” but honestly? after seeing all the variables I missed out. the datas a hot mess and I honestly dont know anymore. all I do know is they definitely could have handled this film more tactfully…that being said; I guess your more likely to get butts on seats with controversy and shock than you are with just being a clean cut drama.

Anyway; this movie hasnt aged well, but there are a couple of okay points with it. so maybe check out my review and decide for yourself 🙂

This cover is SUPER misleading. however; it’s the best cover this film has.

The Night Child (What the Peeper Saw) (1972)

There really isnt a massive amount to say about this one post release honestly. My thoughts on this one have rigidly remained in line with whats said in the review. This is a very VERY strange and uncomfortable movie to sit through. But then. thats kind of the point. is it disturbing in the same way “A Serbian film” or “Cannibal Holocaust” is? No. Its just a general feeling of unease and a constant vibe of “Should I be watching this?”

Thats the joy of the “2am movie” though. your brain and body are tired. if you’ve been drinking the alcohol has no doubt at this point in the night started to really kick in. and the air is thick, heavy and the darkness wraps around you like a thick and heady blanket. I find a lot of itallian Giallo, Zombie movies and…well stuff like this REALLY suit that specific time frame. they’re not so complex that you have to really solidly keep track of everything, theres enough gore and other good stuff to keep your monkey brain on side and theres usually a pretty killer soundtrack to help smooth everything over. You never truely LOVE a 2am movie. but when you need them they’re most definitely the only thing that’ll scratch that itch.

I usually try to post some helpful information here on updates, where you can find the film or if anythings shifted on this one’s release history front. but no…it’s still never had a UK release. it’s never been released on Bluray and a trimmed copy from Europe/the US thats out of print on DVD is about as good as it gets. And while I didnt absolutely love this one. I still think if you can find it. watch it.

The Posters a bloody mess…but then in fairness all the other posters for this movie really dont capture the vibe that this film has. this posters the closest. and it’s rubbish.

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…)