Ring of Terror (1962)

This is quite easily one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. In fact had I not Let’s ruin dads day this would probably have been THE worst film I’ve ever seen. As it stands it occupies a very tight 3rd place position with the movie “Bikini Model Accademy”.

The biggest problem with this one is that it’s just so dull. It literally looks and feels like a teen comedy movie thats bookended by a horror movie. and the film seemingly forgets that it’s a horror movie about 10 minutes in. I’ve never seen such a blatant disregard for an audience before. This films going to tell the narrative it wants to tell and to hell with anyone who thinks that a film should be interesting or actually have a point.

I rag on this film throughout my review so I’ll save you effectively re-reading my thoughts on this one but since I made this review I can certainly say that my opinion on this one hasnt changed a bit. I still recall it being as dull, boring and a dredge of a watch as it most likely was when I first watched it.

The Mill creek Multipack DVD sets seem like relatively good value for money on paper (I paid £5 for 50 films which included this movie) but unless (Like me) your using these sets for your own personal amusement or for the benefit of a review/analysis series you do end up with a hell of a lot of duds. There are a few gems thrown into the mix (Gammera and Night of the living dead being good examples of this) but on the whole these sets are very spotty affairs.

I didnt know what to expect when watching this movie, I’d not seen or heard anything about it before watching it, and it surprised me in a terrifically bad way. only emphisisng that was when I finally went on IMDB and wikipedia to find terrible promotional material and somehow even worse prints of this movie than the one included on my set (which was pretty ropey to begin with) A disaster of a film that caught me completely off guard. watch it at your peril!

 

(The film poster in this thumbnail is literally the best thing about this movie…)

Fade to Black (1980)

This entire review came about entirely by chance and I was very grateful for it. I love old TV ad’s not even english adverts strictly, US ones were my thing for the longest time. theres a youtube channel called “80’scommercialvault” and from about 2011 to 2017 I’d spend most evenings or lunch breaks just cycling through dozens of there videos, having them run in the background or just playing for laughs really…its amazing to see how a different country was handling things from a commercial perspective in the 80’s and 90’s.

It was on this channel that I first saw a trailer for “Fade to Black” and until that point i’d never heard of this film. it took nearly 5 years for me to finally get round to watching it but I’ll tell you this. I didnt half enjoy it!

The films effectively “Scream” before “Scream” was “Scream” its well written, eloquent and quite well put together…apart from 1 or 2 overly padded shots and a random masturbation scene this movies got a very broad and impressive knowlege about it.

Now it’s by no means a perfect movie. but it’s a fun little film that im very glad I’d had the privilage of landing upon. While I dont tend to watch US ad’s as often as I used to  (It’s all about 80’s and 90’s Itallian Adverts these days Home boy!) Its one of the few gems I’ve found during my trecks through the swamps of bad movies. it’s most definately shelf worthy 🙂

(His Dracula sequence is my personal favourite of this movie…though I also liked his “White heat” finale)

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!)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990)

I “Ummed” and “Ahh’d” about doing this one for months. Im really not kidding. This review was originally going to be in my second season but I put it off when I realised the kind of scale I was dealing with in terms of just how broad the “Turtles” fandom actually is. there are comic books, many many cartoon series that are both directly and indirectly linked, TV specials, live action TV series, music videos, reams and reams of merchendise and even obscure stuff like the Ninja turtles anime series.

Because researching for this film basically led me down a massive rabbit hole I decided to put it off till my third season, and with the help of a very dear friend of mine (Who’s also a massive Ninja turtles fan) I slowly but surely pieced together the backstory for how this movie came to be.

As a kid I was into the Ninja turtles, while I did watch the later UK broadcasts on CBBC in the 90’s my strongest memory of watching the turtles came in the form of the VHS series:

(This one specifically)

I watched this tape quite literally to death, while I never quite wore the reels down to nothing I watched it enough that the picture deteriorated to a blurry mess that my machine eventually ate. I loved the animated kids series from this time, from the unbelieveably ultra cool intro sequence (With the “Hero” in tact becase the BBFC were terrified even the mention of the word “Ninja” in a kids show would turn us all into corrupted Rambo-esq murderers) to there affinity with pizza (An affinity I completely understand) through to the surreal and wonderful images of the technodrome and Kang. There was just something so tonally unusual about the series that kept me always coming back for more.

The confession I have here is that I never actually saw the live action movies at the time. I watched the original cartoon series, “The Next mutation” and the 2000’s cartoon series (I have very faded memories of pawing through one of the comic books as well at some point) but until this review I’d never seen the live action movie series. here’s a mild spoiler though for this year; literally yesterday I started editing together my review for TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze and I was quite stunned by just how tonally different these two films are, and just how much darker the first film is when compared to its sequels.

The first ninja turtles movie is  amazingly bleak by comparison to the rest of the turtles franchise…and while it isnt quite as dark as the comic books, I’d feel quite confident in saying it’s probably the darkest iteration of the turtles that I’ve seen to date. I dont think I’d have appreciated this movie as a kid, but as an adult I can absolutely appreciate it. it’s a well written, well produced movie in its own right. hell I almost feel bad calling it a kids film.

 

(Ending aside I really did enjoy this one. now Im craving pizza…)