Terminator Woman (1993)

So We have a bit of an oddity here today. Way back in Season 4 I ended up doing a collaboration with a fellow youtuber Raymond Smith. Ray was in the process of doing a month on “Terminator” Knock off movies and we decided it would be pretty cool if he ended his series of Terminator movies and I ended my 4th Season with a cross over collaboration. The first one I’d ever done non the less!

It was huge fun working with Raymond and I really hope we get the chance to work together again in the future 🙂 He’s a fun reviewer and his channels heaving with movie reviews of every possible shape and size! I highly recommend checking him out some time (You can head straight to his youtube channel by clicking Here)

Unfortunately due to copyright issues half of our collaboration was removed from youtube by a company called “Lasso Entertainment”. Naturally this was most heinous and simply would not stand. So while I’ve been backlogging my reviews over on Breach.tv  I decided it was time to dust this one off and give it a proper home on this site. Breach arnt quite as anal about upholding the whims and wishes of companies who have little or nothing to do with the movies we talk about and actually seems to understand what “Fair Use” is…so they’re an ace company in my books! anyway; before this turns into a mini rant; I hope you enjoy this not as often seen review! You can get to it by either clicking the link below the picture or by clicking the picture itself! Oh! and before I forget! you can check out the second part of this review for the other film we collaborated on 1989’s “Lady Terminator” By clicking Here

TW

This Poster…man…this bloody poster…

https://www.breach.tv/video/6268/terminator-woman-1993-raymond-reviews-ft-tytd-reviews

So You’ve Ruined Your Life: A Guide to Terrible Cinema And How You Can Avoid It (By Embracing It) – Part 2: The Atomic Age

So…the 1930’s happened. It was a relatively quiet year…not much happened…there was a little bit of tension in Europe but things quietened down quite quickly (Some things never change)…World War 2 pretty much decimated the European film industry at the time. What at one point was an incredibly flourishing experimental and creative industry lost almost 50% of its resources over the course of the 2nd world war and countless movies were either destroyed for being deemed “Obscene” by both sides of the battlefield or halted due to the ongoing conflict. The result of the conflict had only one “Winner” from a filmmaking perspective really. The US, who used their several years not being involved in the war growing and firmly rooting their time into an industry they had started some 20 years prior. Hollywood is a small section of Los Angeles, no longer than16 blocks wide and five blocks high, this tiny piece of land was established in the name of film and film production some time around 1910 and over the following 20 years it would go on to grow one of the most substantial film industries in the world. America hadn’t been directly affected by World war 1. In fact quite the contrary quite a few creatives most likely immigrated into the US around this time to escape the conflict. And through the 20’s this industry would grow and grow and grow. By 1925 American movies were making up to 50% of all foreign film rentals and by the 1930’s Eight studios basically owned Hollywood. Universal, Fox, Paramount, RKO, Loews Incorporated (Part of MGM), Warner Brother, United Artists and Columbia Pictures.

(The “Land” bit fell down…so they took it away…the rest is history.)

All of these studios were fairly well known for each having a genre that they excelled at and largely stuck to. Universal for example was seen as a Horror Studio, RKO was known initially for musicals before branching out more into fantasy and Sci-fi and so on. There was however a growing issue. The film industry was running the risk of becoming quite insular and there was a growing concern that there may come a time where noone outside of those 8 film studios would be able to successfully market their film. While it wasn’t quite an anti-competitive environment…if you weren’t one of the “Big Eight” and were planning on having any success outside of your town in filmmaking…you’d might as well not bother at this time. There was equally an even bigger concern that through various backroom dealings, these big companies may eventually merge. Effectively creating one “Super company” that would have complete and total power and influence over the market. And while the US loves them some capitalism. They’re generally petrified of the idea of a single company owning close to 100% of all assets in one particular industry (As well they should).

(Theres a love for Capitalism…but not TOO much capitalism…and a hatred for sharing…I dont get it either…)

Equally their was a growing call for more regulation around the content of films themselves as the industry had slowly been edging closer and closer to more and more edgier content designed to shock, disgust or nauseate audiences. because of this in 1930 “The Hays Code” was introduced to predominantly stop the possible intervention of the government in enforcing their own brand of regulation on the industry. It was technically entirely voluntary but the oligopoly of studios quickly adapted the code as a means of keeping those reactionary pressure groups and the government at bay. The code was pretty broad and unclear. There wasn’t anything specifically “Banned” but it was effectively a set of guidelines that covered the basics (No on screen sex, no drug use on screen, no gore or heavy blood, no profanity etc…) the code was in effect until 1966 and quite nicely cuts across the decades we’ll be covering today.

Both the 1940’s and 1950’s would effectively be dominated by 2 major events, the strict regulation on competition laws within cinema itself and the rise of science fiction/horror films. And the former is probably the best place to start. As mentioned earlier from the mid 20’s to the mid 30’s the Hollywood system was basically “If you arnt part of the Big 8, don’t bother”. You might think that’s a bit of a defeatist attitude but the reality is that even if you made your film in this time, there wasn’t any way outside of being incredibly chummy with someone who owned a cinema for your film to ever be screened anywhere because of a practice largely known as “Block Booking”. Y’see a few of these big 8 owned the cinemas that their films played in. So only their films played there. And the studios that didn’t own their own cinemas? (Or didn’t own a lot of cinemas) they’d simply “Block book” out a cinema almost indefinitely with their films to stop other companies taking their patch. Effectively they’d pay up front to book out every screen of every cinema sometimes taking entire chains. Just to screen their own movies for infinite periods of time. Had MGM not owned a cinema chain they would realistically just pay all the cinemas within a certain strategic distance to only play their movies sight unseen. Blocking out any competition and keeping their movies more profitable over the competitions. You might see this as being a bit unfair…and so did the US department of Justice.  In 1938 the issue became so bad that the department of justice sued all 8 major studios for the practice which was settled on a “Gentlemens agreement” in 1940…the studios did what all studios do the moment something isnt hard legislated though and threw that “Gentlemens agreement” straight into the trash. And while they did sort of reduce their amount of block booking, the agreement suggested that no block booking should take place at all…it would be a bit like promising your flatmate you weren’t going to eat his food anymore, eating all his food. But when he confronts you about it claiming “Well hay! I left you some milk for your cereal!…assuming you had any cereal left…”

(You cant like…OWN food that grew in the ground man…)

 

This weakening of guidelines did have the benefit of allowing some films to finally start slipping through the cracks. Some re-edited in the form of serialisations and others in an actual full length feature format. As you can well imagine this slight creaking open of the door inevitably cause the splurge of more “Independent” features shoot through the cracks…some pretty decent…others…not so much. The so called “Poverty Row” were the groups best suited to come out of this agreement in the best light. They we’re a small conglomerate of B-movie and lower budget production studios desperately trying to make big money but forever held back by the studio system of the time and the general fact that the majority of their crews and castings were misfits. Wannabe scriptwriters, directors with a “Vision” actors who thought they were Betty davis when in reality they were more Weird Al. Poverty row was a fairly shortlived concept but in that moment between 1938 and 1948 they were in their element. Producing such classics as “The Mad Monster” which was basically a poundland rip off of the wolfman with non of the charm and about 1/10th of the visual creativity. Or “White zombie” a film starring Bela Lugosi only 1 year after he defined the vampire Genre with Dracula playing a Haitian zombie master who can resurrect the dead, who decides he wants to kill a woman and bring her back to life to be his forever alive wife…yeh things got a bit weird sometimes on Poverty row.

(An Example of Poverty Row…Small and mighty)

These films were usually personified by cheap sets, bad actors and ropey editing, cheap and quick filmmaking where studios were constantly in a state of Pop-up and decline. But for that 10 year gap they were making serious cash. But that all came to an end when paramount (a long time member of the now rechristened “Big Five”) was sued formally by the USDJ for once again flouting the rules on block booking. And in a historic ruling it was finally written into law that film studios were now not allowed to just blind block book out entire chains of cinemas solely for the screening of their movies. That any cinema screening films must have at least 2 distributors under there books at any one time, that discrimination against smaller film companies was to be outlawed, and that screening schedules must be uniform so as not to allow some theatres to be bribed with premiers over others.

(And 8 became 5…)

This was both the make and break of Poverty row. On the one hand it effectively gave them free reign to put any of there content into cinemas. On the other it quickly bought the success of these schlocky B-movies to the attention of the Big Five who realised they could make a small fortune in producing smaller, better quality horror/scifi films in the vein of these B-movies for a fraction of the effort and cost. This in turn birthed what is probably the most famous era of B-movie filmmaking in the history of cinema. The age of the Creature Feature.

While the term “Creature Feature” wouldn’t be coined for at least 2 decades beyond when the era actually started (It was also referred to “The Atomic Age” because of the overuse of Nuclear materials as a means of creating said creatures) it came to stand for a swathe of films released in the 1940’s and 50’s that ranged from supersized animals, to abominations, to people transforming into creatures. (What would later morph into the Cronenbergian nightmare subgenre of Body horror). this included films like; “Man Made monster”, “The Wolf Man”, “Them!”, “The Thing from another world”,  “The Blob”, “Tarantula”, “The Deadly Mantis”, “The Fly”, “The Crawling eye”, “The Black Scorpion” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches” the list literally runs into the hundreds of titles. And about 90% of them could be summed up as follows. “A scientist has a plan to make the world a better place by developing a chemical or technology that in theory will solve a major ecological crisis. Something goes wrong with the chemical/machine and an animal or human cells are caught in the crossfire resulting in either a giant or mutated version of said animal/human destroying everything in it’s path until it’s either taken down by the army of dies of it’s own self inflicted injuries”. This also usually involved a hell of a lot of back projection to make these creature look massive, or in the case of a human prosthetics to make them look hideously mutated. If it isnt a scientist working for the benefit of mankind, then it’s a mad scientist looking for revenge on mankind of shunning his idea of wanting to create a 90 foot spider or a half man half Wotsit hybrid.

(Sort of…)

Its important to appreciate that there was a very narrow window of a few years where these movies transitioned very quickly from “Genuinely impressive must see cinema” to “Oh jesus how bad can these films get!?” nightmares. And it was simply due to repetition. Too many people making exactly the same film but with varying effects budgets and different types of animals. It’s an important takeaway in the film industry. I always try to live by the motto of scriptwriter Terrance Dicks who said “You can have an original idea; but it need’nt be YOUR original idea” but you also need to be aware of your surroundings when living by that rule. It’s fine to make an action movie, or a mafia film, or an emotional experimental black and white art housefilm dubbed onto tape for realism…but if your doing that at a time when those genres are being made by literally absolutely everyone else (And yes. I am talking everyone outside of this university campus as well) then your touching attempt at making a powerful impact on your audience will land about as well as an egg to the face of a minister. I always encourage film makers to look out beyond there “Clicks” their friend circles and actually explore what other university film makers, what other indie film makers are making. And then avoid that stuff like the plague unless you can genuinely improve on those ideas. Because if you cant (And it’s typically very unlikely that you can) your film will be utterly defanged and it just wont land the way you think it will.

(I guarentee one of you at some point in your film making career will make a varient of this)

Poverty Row ended for a mixture of reasons, in part because the big studios realised they could make more money by just making marginally better versions of films that were originally made by the starving artists of the Hollywood system and in part through syndication the row would all but cease to exist by the mid 1960’s due mainly to the films being screened in syndication on television. The row moved into TV and TV movies became the new poverty row of cinema. Something that’s only really started to be corrected in the last 10-15 years really. But we’ll get to TV movies another time because we’re already pushing our luck here and I haven’t even got round to talking yet about what is arguably the best and worst thing that Poverty Row birthed in it’s time.

(This handsome mother lover!)

Edward D. Wood Jr is a name synonymous with bad and cult film making. A poster boy for the age, his movies regularly chart as some of the worst ever made. I would happen to disagree with those polls but hey; everyones a critic these days…Mainstream audiences will probably best know him as the subject of Tim Burtons biopic “Ed Wood”, being played rather eccentrically by Johnny Depp. Now I should be clear; their are much MUCH worse film makers out there. Not just in the modern day but in the past as well. The likes of Coleman Francis, Clark Paylow and even Harold P. Warren would give Wood a run for his money. But Ed was an auteur. And the one thing he had going for him was a ruthless drive to get his films out there to as wide an audience as possible no matter what. Whether it was via exploitation cinema and the likes of his gender identity crisis spectacular “Glen or Glenda” or whether it was marketing his magnum opus “Plan 9 From outer Space” as being the last feature film of Bela Lugosi (Only a half truth as Lugosi is only in the opening minute and a half so of the movie and is then played by doubles for the rest of the film…what a way to go….). If there was an angle that could be taken for low to no money, Ed was the man to take it.

Set’s were mainly cheap wood or cardboard, there was little to no set dressing (A plane cockpit was literally just bowed cardboard, a curtain and 2 bog standard plastic chairs. Not even desk chairs. Just cheap garden chairs.) Let it never be said by anyone (student or otherwise) that you dont have the budget to realise your vision. Ed was doing octopus fights and graveyard based alien invasions with nothing but a few pie plates and a few good people who were genuinely captivated by the enthusiasm of this man.

(While not an “Official” set photo…I’d be surprised if the real Ed wood Didnt pull this face while filming his masterpieces at some point)

I think thats an important lesson to take away from this period of film making if nothing else. Have passion for your film. Genuine passion. If it isnt keeping you awake at night and making you dance between thinking its the best idea in the world and making you a nervous wreck, it’s not worth making. If you develop an idea and your half hearted about it; Bin it. It’ll never be great and by the time you get to shooting you’ll want to cave your skull in out of hatred for it. But if you really truly love something. Even if it’s just the seedling of an idea, it’ll carry you the whole 9 yards and then some. From experience filmmaking has taught me that the best films are made with 2 kinds of energy, absolute enthusiasm, or hatred sought from vengeance. These are the only two energies that seemingly get the job done (And done well) you’re either making your film because you genuinely believe it’s worth it’s existence. Or because you want to prove to someone or something who’s been negative towards you that it’s worth existing and has meaning and value.

Some of the best films I’ve seen have come from those two places, and Ed wood was definitely in the former of those camps. All his films are corney, laughably bad and bordering on the unwatchable in places. But because he genuinely thought these films were worth their existence they possess a quality that half loved or unloved films can never achieve. That kind of positive energy resonates through the film in the direction, the cinematography and the performances. You can almost hear Ed in the background radiating a “This will be the shot they remember me for!” attitude. And thats why his films have lasted in the public consciousness for so long, they’re fun goofy little movies that have a charm all of their own accord.

Rather unfortunately Ed would never experience the adoration that was bestowed to him by cult cinema fans. After Plan 9 he made 2 further mainstream features “The Violent Years” and “Night of the Ghouls” both slightly more grindhousey than his previous works. As if marking the end of an era “Night of the ghouls” was released in 1960 and it was his last attempt at mainstream success in B-movies. While he would try on and off over the next 2 decades to get another chance. It would never come.

(Truely it was the end of an era.)

After “Ghouls” he slowly began to sink into a tide of pornographic direction to make ends meet and alcoholism. Ed died in 1978 due to a heart attack, he was 54 years old. Less than 2 years later Woods “Magnum Opus” “Plan 9 from Outer space” would be voted the “Worst movie ever made” by the founders of what would go on to be “The Golden Turkey Awards” hollywoods most esteemed honour when it comes to terrible film making. In 1986 Wood would feature extensively in the book “Incredibly Strange films” and in the early 90’s MST3K would riff 2 of Woods films to great audience response. The 10 years following woods death would see his entire ouvre re-evaluated and what was at one time unwatchable dross was now loved unwatchable dross…and that changes everything.

(Ed’s last film was found quite recently and has been released on Bluray. I havent seen it yet but I certainly hope to.)

As we see out tonights session Im going to play you Woods Masterpiece “Plan 9 from Outer Space” I’d like you to bear in mind while watching this film that Ed Wood thought this was the movie that would “Make” him. The film that was going to get him the star on the hollywood walk of fame and would set him up for life. And…in some ways he was right. Though probably not in the way he had intended. As always im happy to talk about any of the films mentioned tonight and im also happy to recommend any titles should anyone here be interested in learning more about Ed wood, film makers like Ed wood or the Atomic Age of film making in general. Thank you again all for coming. And Enjoy.

The WNUF Halloween Special (2013) Comedy Dining Experience

Well, earlier this year my partner in crime Ben informed me that he was relocating to my home town! meaning previously our efforts of meeting up twice a year, recording 3-4 commentaries and winging it, could now be improved to once a month if not even more frequently! So I took him up on the offer! and so for the Halloween season we sat down and watched the “WNUF Halloween special” a film that is very close to my heart.

As mentioned multiple times (I will stop eventually!) the director currently has plans for a sequel and is currently fundraising here! and I highly recommend checking it out as it should be great fun!

This films one thats still as entertaining to me now as when I first found it nearly 5 years ago and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

The WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

I count myself exceedingly lucky that I have been able to see a film like “The WNUF Halloween Special” these kinds of films typically fall through the cracks of cinema history and I cannot stress enough how hard it is to find films like these, especially when you live in the UK.

The WNUF halloween special is no exception. as it stood up until recently the only way to get your hands on a copy of this film if you were UK based and wernt lucky enough to swipe up a copy of this when they were first selling them on DVD and VHS was to spend a frankly extortionate amount importing a very pricy NTSC only VHS or Region 1 DVD from the states, then forking out again for a player to play said expensive Tape/Disc and due to the cultish nature of this movie if you didnt pick a copy up during the initial US sales drive, there was literally no other way to get your hands on this film.

Well…there was illegal torrenting. Which unfortunately was the route I had to take in order to see this simply due to the complications listed above. While it probably wont bring much comfort to the Director/Producer. Chris. I would be honoured to help dub and distribute this tape across european terratories. PAL users have been neglected of a film like this for too long and if I can help from my little dubbing station here in the UK then please get in touch. I’d love to try and help you out in spreading this frankly amazing piece of cinema.

There is no European release of this film. and with a Sequel coming up on the horizon hopefully in a couple of years. I really hope that this one gets the worldwide release it really quite frankly deserves.

 

(This bloody poster…jesus its gorgeously done. Serious Kudos to whoever designed it. They’re a Master of the craft clearly)

The Boogey Man (The Bogey Man) (1980)

I really wasnt expecting much from “The Bogey man” when I first put it on. The Video Nasties craze of the 1980s was a very sporadic period in the UK with dozens of titles being caught up in the frothing fever of trying to “ban the filth” and this meant that a few titles that really shouldnt have been listed as “Nasties” somehow got sweapt up in the hoopla.

I dont subscribe to the belief that the 1984 video recordings act was in anyway a good thing, I think it heavily censored creativity and drove the interest in these movies into the hands of the underground market where prices ran rampant and quality control was non existent. even if I did accept the act in some capacity (Which I most definitely do not) the consistency was all over the place, with films like “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Maniac Cop” being perfect examples of movies that quite reasonably could justify this act to a degree (They’re both very hard watches that are purposefully designed to be uncomfortable and shocking) through to movies like “The Evil Dead” and “Zombie Flesh Eaters” which while pushing the envelope a bit, were hardly going to “Corrupt the youth”. Conservative drive and a Newspaper driven campaign, only spurred on by the Mary whitehouse brigade only led to further confusion and unwarrented restrictions.

Arguably the most famous being a recurring issue in which police officers would repeatedly seize copies of “The Littlest Whorehouse in Texas” which is a PG comedy movie and copies of “Apocalypse now” which were passed by the BBFC being seized because it sounded too much like a Cannibal movie…only spurring things on and causing a rise in panic, incidents like “The Hungerford massacre” or the “James Bulger” case were sensationalised in the tabloids as being indisputable proof that violent films were corrupting people. In these incidents Hungerfords massacre happened because the killer watched “Rambo 3” (There was no proof of this…The only evidence given was that he’d worn a bandana when he committed the killings), and in the latter “Childs Play 3” was put to blame (Despite the fact that again there was no proof of this and the only evidence was that the killers father had rented the movie, not watched it, and returned it 2 days later) it was this incident that led to one of the “Last hurrah” moments of the Video nasty movement when the Sun ran with the sensationalist front page title “For the sake of ALL our kids Burn your video nasties”

Today barring a few seconds of animal cruelty here and there almost all of the original banned video nasties have not only been released but have been released officially multiple times both in standard and High definition. Theres only one video nasty that remains thats still been denied a classification, that’s “Love Camp 7” but a majority have now been released uncut. And being able to see these films for what they are and realise that a majority of them were purely on the list because of histeria is both eye opening and distressing to me.

The Boogey man is the perfect example of this. This movie has 2 graphic moments in it pretty much, and quite honestly theres much much worse out there. This shouldnt have been on the video nasties list and yet both this and the movies sequel (Which im told is a total and utter raging toxic sludge of a movie) were on the banned list with litte to no justification.

And its a pretty okay movie to boot!, its no masterpiece but I was really genuinely surprised by just how high quality it was when compared with some of the shinola on the banned list. it made it to my “Shelf of interest” as a quirky and slightly unusual oddity. One I’d reccommend you look out for.

(The Posters misleading as well…there are windows, women and shadowy figures in the movie…but not necessarily all at once)

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…)

The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993)

This one can be chalked up to another “I didnt know what I was buying, BUT LOOK AT THAT TITLE!!!” style escapade. Theres a goodwillesq Charity shop that I frequent when Im running low on titles to review (I say “Shop” its really more of a thrift wearhouse) It was on route to a local dump and I have to assume at this point that quite a lot of the stuff that ended up in said Charity shop only did so because it was a shorter distance and often less fuss than dealing with the people who ran the dump.

I’d visit them at the end of every month and in amongst maze like arrangements of vomit and food stained sofas, broken kitchen appliences and Childrens toys that looked like they’d been tied to a tree and abandoned for the best part of 40 years I’d find the “DVD section”… I put it in quotes because realistically it was a book case full of DVD’s, pc games and anything else that could fit in a DVD bookcase.

While usually made up of TV series (Believe me if you’ve ever wondered where the biggest collection of “24” and “Midsummer murders” boxsets were held up you need go no further than this place. Nestled in amongst the TV trash and the mainstream titles that time had forgot (14 Copies of “Percy Jackson and the lightning thief” says it wasnt the most popular movie in the world) you’d find the good stuff. Films like “let’s ruin Dads day”, “Santa and the three bears” and the grail for me? “Hollywood DVD” releases and “DVD multipack” sets. The former a cheapo label that mainly deals with knock off copycat movies or the kinds of low budget affairs from the 80’s and 90’s that would make a prisoner on death row beg for the end. And the latter 9 times out of 10 being bundled in groups of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50 and very very rarely 100 and paired with a DVD player during the early days of the formats release.

Sadly, in both of these labels cases they’re sadly on the way out. improper storage, mass binnings and the general idea that these are worthless discs has rendered large swathes of them either scratched beyond repair or succumb to the deadly sickness that is “Discrot” (Basically when DVD’s were first being manufactured they used a plastic coating on the “read” side to protect the discs from damage not realising that that same plastic coating degrades when damaged and slowly turns into an acid that eats the disc.

Due to there prevelence you’ll always find these discs knocking around at CEX or in charity shops though I highly reccommend you check the silver side before you buy. They were manufactured cheap and sold cheaper with the understanding they were there to showcase how crisp DVD could look on a budget.

I dont visit that Charity emporium very often these days…I think there was a change in management a short while ago as I went on 3 seperate occasions over a 6 month period and all of the “Good stuff” was gone…replaced with actual proper mainstream titles that were legitimately good, there were even blurays thrown into the mix! and while I dont exactly need to find any more films to fill in my collection (I literally have stacks and boxes of tapes/dvds in my room right now). I cant help but feel a bit sad that a ritual that I did for years has been taken out of my hands…I’d clear them out of all the films they didnt want because noone in the general public would ever dream of buying “Cyborg 3” well…not unless they were genuinely mad.

This was one of the films I picked up in my final proper haul from that place and while I dont have anything to add that my review doesnt cover here…just bear in mind that when I pulled this out of a festering stack of “Little britain” DVD’s, just for a split second, I’d found my “Good stuff” for the day…and it made the trawling all worth while.

 

(Im a sucker for a southern accent)

Split (1989)

Now I may not be 100% accurate on this one but I believe this was my first ever “Requested” review. And Joel (The absolute diamond who suggested this film to me) chose an absolute stomper of a film right here. Its absolutely astounding and the mental images that this film paints have stayed with me as clear and vividly many months after I watched this film as they did the first time I saw it.

This was the only film that Chris Shaw ever made and he was pretty involved in it as far as I can tell acting as 3 of the critical roles that a film needs to get made (Writer, Director and editor) but thats really just scratching the surface. Chris is this film to much of an extent there are very few elements outside of the other casts performances that dont have his fingerprints on them to some degree.

But thats a good thing here! This is a very clear and strong vision of how arthouse and experimental cinema can challenge audience expectations and be cerebral at the same time. This is a challenging watch, but in a good way. I came away from this film really wishing Shaw and his crew had made more movies as I’d love to see them develop and further expand there ideas using this film as a launching pad…even if it were a multi media endeavour.

Not much has changed for me in terms of my feelings towards split. The review took a very long time to put together because I wanted to ensure that the wording for it was just right. this is one of the only reviews I’ve written thats exceeded 3 drafts, purely because trying to explain my interpretation of Split vocally was a surprisingly challenging thing to do.

I would heavily suggest you watch this film with as little forewarning as possible because if you go into this film with pre-set expectations your judgement may get a little clouded by just how strange this film can be at times. So please. This is one of the few times I’ll actively tell you not to watch this video if you havent seen the movie first.

Also; I really feel the need to say that Chris Shaw is simply a very lovely man, and my experience of talking to him (While limited) was a real treat. Both him and his brother are wonderful conversationalists and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to ask them about split. This review has definately been a highlight for me of producing these videos. and had I not recieved the suggestion i’d probably have never found it.

 

(…I usually write a comment here about the film but what do you say about this thing…”Undescribable” is all I have really…)

 

Split was due out on Bluray in March of this year but due to some delays it has now been pushed back to an undisclosed time. However it will be released eventually by Verboden Video and I for one will have my preorder well in place because it looks to be astoundingly good!

If you are interested in owning “Split” please show Verboden some support by following them at the link below and possibly considering picking up some of there titles as they seem like a great bunch of lads too!:

http://verbodenvideo.com/

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.)

Terror in Beverly Hills (1989)

I cannot begin to explain my frustration with this film. both in sourcing it and in reviewing it the entire thing just left me on the border of wanting to tear my hair out. Theres still no easy way to get a hold of this movie. It took me the best part of 2 days of backroom skullduggery to find a copy that wasnt utterly destroyed by youtubes compression systems.

Since I recorded this review I also attempted a further 2 more times to get a copy of this film once more on DVD (And guess what I ended up with…) and a final time on VHS tape, which I was feeling pretty confident about until the deal fell through at the last minute and the seller pulled out and dissapeared.

I think I’ve pretty much decided that i’ll never actually get my hands on this movie in a legitimate form…well barring a Bluray release…like that’ll ever happen!!. Though in all fairness the movie just isnt that good to begin with. its a 50/50 split of unbelieveably amazing campy bad movie action cheese and just really dull and boring non plot…

Only damaging it further is the sound fault throughout which is only using one channel of a stereo recording…it means quite often sound effects, room tone and peoples voices will just dissapear from the movie all together…again; I have no idea whether this is how its always been or whether the limited resources that this film has means that the only version available online is a broken version.

This is probably the closest i’ve come so far to having a journey while reviewing a movie…it shouldnt be this difficult to get a hold of a film thats been available at least twice on DVD and has been released in multiple countries on VHS…it just shouldnt. and yet here I am in a situation where seemingly the film might as well not exist for how easy it is to get a hold of it.

Its not an irrideamable movie. it has some really good moments and some very strange film work…it’s just not worth the effort to go and seek it out…you could either watch my review or “Red letter medias” coverage of this film and you’ll have pretty much seen everything worth seeing in this film.

(I dont know one person who doesnt immediately fall in love with Cameron mitchell and the police woman who cant type in this film. they’re mesmorizing)