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/

The Nanny (1965)

I have a real soft spot for the Hammer movies, they really have a charm about them. obviously there horror films are probably there most well known productions but Hammer had a quite diverse filming range outside of horror and sci-fi as well. The Nanny is a prime example of this really as its really more of a psychological thriller than anything really resembling a horror movie…I mean; I suppose the ending falls a little bit into the Macarbre but realistically the rest of this movie is about as close to a non horror as hammer could get really.

I think this is one of Bette Davies’ finest roles as the titular “Nanny” and she’s terrifically watchable as she flicks in style between the very sensible and well measured on the surface Nanny and the role she eventually ends up playing towards the end of the film.

I cover pretty much everything I can say about this movie in the review itself but I would also like to add that since publishing this review I’ve found it amazing how difficult it is to actually find much information about this movie. Mainly due to the fact that there was a CBS sitcom called “The Nanny” which ran from 1993 to 1999. I dont know how popular that show was but according to google it was more popular than this film…You can mark this one down as another “Underrated movie that doesnt get the amount of airing that it should”.

(Based on the “Bath” scene I can see why this one isnt played on Television all that often…still criminally underrated though…)