Silent Running (1972)

I have a bit of a soft spot for Silent running truth be told. I’d wanted to watch it literally for years but had never quite been lined up in the right place at the right time to actually sit down and view it. And when the time came I was genuinely blown away at just how emotionally invested I ended up being towards the characters.

I think I sum up my feelings quite nicely in this review and I dont have too much extra to say about it in this post honestly. What I can say is that this movie actually ended up becoming a review here purely for the gag intro at the beginning.

I had a period of about 3 weeks where I became obsessed with the “Astro Farm” theme tune. like…unbearably obsessed…I think it’s a great little theme tune but one of the problems I have is if I get a song in my head the only way to get it out is to listen to it until I get bored of it…and I didnt get bored of this one easily…in fact there’d be multi-hour long sessions where I’d just have it on on a loop until I literally got dull of it.

Anyway; one night I was working through a few movies and I landed on Silent Running while the theme was playing in the background and like chocolate and peanut butter it was a match that made me laugh for a solid 5 minutes (Im easily amused)…had it not been for that brief flash of humour this review literally wouldnt have happened for a good few years…as it stands im really grateful for the cosmic intervention.

 

(That poster makes this movie look WAY more dramatic than it actually is…it’s a corker of a slow burner in all honesty…)

Liquid Sky (1982)

It’s rare that I get to see films like Liquid sky. Movies movies sacrifice plot over absolutely everything in order to deliver a creative, colourful and unique viewing experience. This isnt a film that is trying to balance a good plot with visuals. This film couldn’t care less where its going. It just wants to look good doing it. And in that sense it’s absolutely achieved its goal here.

The films a rare example of a “Nice Video; Shame about the song” movie that’s made it onto my shelf of interesting things. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be there for a pretty long time. It does have its faults, bit it’s far from a terrible film.

Equally; I’m not sure if I mention this in the review (I wrote this some time around March 2019) but I found out today (19th July 2019) that lead actress Anne Calisle plays both Jimmy and Margret in this film. If I dont mention it in the review then I almost certainly would have as it’s an astounding performance in this case! If I do mention it…then I was a good egg for doing so and its yet further proof of my increasing frailty. Anyway! Enjoy.

(While the original poster is nice…the VS re-release poster is just astounding…if not a tad muted for my taste.)

She (1984)

Well, We’ve hit another recommended episode this week and this one was brought to my attention by Raymond; A man who’s been doing this a hell of a lot longer than I have who’s genuinely been one of the most welcoming guys I’ve met on youtube. his channel really doesnt get a whole lot of love but he deserves to do better than he does. He really does.

I feel like I’ve warmed to “She” a bit more since watching/writing the review for this one…it’s not that I think it’s any better with the distance of time behind it but rather I think i’ve warmed to it’s style a bit more and what it’s aiming to do. I still pretty much stand by what I say in my video review, I just think some of those positive points shine a little bit brighter in hindsight.

Im hoping to work on a collaboration with Raymond sometime soon and he’s been very supportive in helping make it so. So you may not have seen the last of him on my channel just yet.

(I still say the Universal Monsters are the better elements of this film)

Gandahar (Light years) (1988)

I first watched Gandahar about 3 months ago and im still about as lost for words about it as I am to this day. Seriously. Where do I even begin to process what I saw in this epic Pure unadulterated slice of sci-fi…and this is pure sci-fi. theres no mistaking that. it’s pumping through this movies veins.

It’s such a wonderful piece of art from a time when Hand drawn animation was just beginning to wind itself down and the “Adult cartoon” genre was fizzling out into hybernation for the better part of 15-20 years when it would inevitably be revitalised by the likes of Adult Swim, Fox and MTV.

My review of this movie will speak more for it than anything I could ever type here. I feel that even typing this basic mop up post above this review is in some way cheapening the effect of this movie. it’s a tremendously powerful picture. So much so that this is the longest single review I’ve done for my channel to date (Clocking in at a whopping 33 minutes and 38 seconds) and the worst part is. I feel I could have said more…as it stands…well, I let me do the talking…

 

(In 1000 years my youtube channel will be deleted and 1000 years ago it will be restored…)

Phantom from Space (1953)

I was expecting better from “Phantom from Space” when I first popped it on. One of the joys of having an ongoing review series on youtube is that theres a constant feeling that I need to keep things varied. For example; I dont want to have too many action movies grouped together, or martial arts movies, or horror movies.

Doing that can make things a bit stale and unless I do themed months (Like last years Halloween run or this years “Alternative Doctor who” season) I always try my best to create a bit of distance between similar genre inspired films.

It’s been a good while since I did an old B-movie. Ring of Terror would be my last dip into the world of rubbish public domain 50’s and 60’s cinema and that was over 3 months ago! So I thought it was probably time to dust off the old “Mill Creek entertainment” sets and pick out another classic to spotlight.

“Phantom from space” was a title that immediately jumped out at me. it sounded spooky, ominous even. I was having visions of space based phantasms flying through the skies picking off members of the public and generally being very scary. The reality was much less so (As the review will testify) but I have to admit to having a bit of a “Guy with a sore tooth” fixation on old sci-fi movies like this. I hate them. I absolutely cant abide them unless they’re genuinely groundbreaking (Like “The Day the earth stood still” or many of the Toho movies) but I just keep coming back to them and I really cant shake them.

As it stands I still have about 120 of these movies left to cover so do expect more public domain oddities in future but for now I can only apologise for the boredom im about to unleash.

(NORMAL VIEW!!!!….NORMAL VIEWWW!!!!!!!!)

Alien Species (Alien Terminator) (1995)

This review has (To date) been the biggest pain in the backside to put together out of any of the videos I’ve made before or since. not from an editing standpoint you understand, no that part was easy. What screwed me over with this film is the title. As I mention in the review there are 2 films called “Alien Species” that were released within 12 months of each other. This film is the earliest of the two.

I actually ended up having to bin half a review I wrote for this movie purely because of the date and title confusion. as IMDB and a few other sites on the internet have seemingly confused to two to such a point now that there listings are pretty much melded together with little to no rhyme or reason I’d ended up writing an extended piece describing this film but attributing it to the 1996 cast and crew. Picking apart what was related to this movie and what was related to the 1996 “Alien Species” was an absolute nightmare.

Mercifully once I’d struck a vein with this movie I was able to really get to grips with it and get to the matter at hand. Not that this film particularly needed glowing and in depth coverage. This is not one of Troma’s finest. And I love Troma movies…Sgt Kabukiman, the toxic avenger series, Class of Nuke’em high, Terror Firma. All good stuff…but at the same time theres a terrible side to Troma…the kind of side that gives us movies like this or “Surf Nazi’s must die” or “Rabid Grannies”…Its a real shame but they’re known for casting there nets as wide as possible and im sure they’ve helped a lot of up and comers really cut there teeth when starting out.

I dont have a tremendous amount of nice things to say about Alien Species. I remember it as being a boring slog featuring uninteresting characters that had maybe 1 or 2 memorable scenes but is ultimately just a cheap cash in trying to make some coin from “Species” and the “Alien” franchise. Its acceptably entertaining if there literally nothing left to do or watch. But thats not saying much because I think I’d rather change car tyres all day than watch this movie again any time soon.

 

(The cover/film poster as well is just awful. not only is it way too generic I have no idea whats actually going on in that cover)

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/

Gammera The Invincible (Daikaiju Gammera) (1965)

So!; Season 3! and we’re opening with Daikaiju because why not!?…honestly outside of MST3K i’d never seen a Gammera movie until this one. The giant turtle had escaped me really because while I had seen the likes of Godzilla in the past. I just never really cared much for giant monster features. for me, when they hit they hit hard, but thats very few and far between…most of them just end up being kind of goofy which often works to the detriment (See “Giant Spider invasion”)

Though I must admit I was very plesently surprised with Gammera…granted its not the fastest paced movie in the whole world but looking back to when this was written and recorded (Which would have been some time in November 2017) I feel now like I should have enjoyed it more than I apparently did. though admittedly the only 3 scenes that stick in my mind about this film is the opening sequence on the boat, the ending with the rocket and the weird sequence involving a pop group singing “GAMMERA!” in the style of the adam west batman theme over and over again.

Other than the film itself this season features the debut of the new heavily trunkated opening title sequence and a new end screen card that kind of makes things a bit neater and to the point. One of the bigger gripes I had about my early intro sequences were that they were waaaaaaay too long.at first I didnt think anything of it really but when I saw that other people were using intro sequences that were 5-10 seconds and that mine was near 30 it began to irk me a bit…the new intro runs to about 10-15 seconds which is still a bit longer than I’d like…but to be honest I dont think I could trunkate it any further without detrimentally effecting it. Though I feel it does its job and im happy i’ve landed on something that feels “right” to my mind at least.

(I originally made this episode with the old intro screen and no end card but had to go back and re-edit it to add the new versions in because DAMNIT! I’m a sucker for uniformity!)

Cyborg 3: The Recycler (1994)

I kind of find it hard to justify movie sequels like “Cyborg 3” (Or “Cyborg3” or “Cyborg Cubed” if your feeling fanciful) and I say that not because I dont like film franchises that run on pretty much endlessly, but rather because the connection that this film has to any of the other Cyborg films is thin to the point of almost being see through…

“Cyborg 3” has two connections to the other Cyborg films and thats about it…our pregnant protagonist is apparently a character from “Cyborg 2” albeit recast and tonally different from her previous portrayal and I believe theres a recurring bad guy as well. That being said if your looking at the Cyborg franchise I dont think theres very many series out there quite as disjointed as this one. The original Cyborg being a moderately well recieved sci-fi action thriller starring Jean Claud Van Damme, its sequel being more of a science fiction driven “Blade runner” esq affair. and this movie basically being Poundland Mad max. realistically you could watch the first film and have absolute no interest in the other two they’re that different from each other.

As it stands for me, this movies one of those “So bad its good” type affairs. Malcolm mcdowell is heavily touted as being in this film but realistically he only appears in about 5 minutes of it before dissapearing never to be seen again. The cast are week and the effects are ropey. But it really has its own charm about it that I think edered me to it honestly.

To me, I think this film would be best taken as part of a triple screening. maybe the first or final film in a triple screening if I was being specific. Its not good enough to be the “Main feature” of a bad movie triple feature, yet at the same time I could very easily see it being the warm up act to a genuinely entertaining¬† “Good/bad” film…or the warm down from a “Good/bad” film.

I suppose what im trying to say is that it’s entertaining. But not enough to warrent watching it all by itself. It’s certainly not worth seeking out all by itself. There are significantly more entertaining “Mad max” style knock off films out there. Though I think my review of this sums up why quite nicely.

(90’s CGI rainbow space baby will occasionally crop up in my thoughts…So I guess in that sense it’s given me a long lasting memory…*Shudders*)

Cyborg Cop (1993)

From the worst movie I’ve ever seen to frankly one of the most unmemorable films I’ve ever seen. In all honesty I can only recall three things about this movie:

*John Rhys-Davies camping it up to an astounding degree

*A scene featuring a “Terminator” knock off slowly destroying a car and then a person

and David Bradley getting involved in a high speed car chase.

Other than that and some very fleeting memories of an opening combat battle which has a man fully on fire I literally couldnt tell you one thing about this film. In fact arguably had I not reviewed this film I may have forgotten that i’d watched it all together.

Okay so I’ve just rewatched my review of it to see if it jiggled anything out of my memories. It did nothing…I seem to have enjoyed it more than I remember at the time of writing so I may well be misremembering how I felt. But I can only honestly tell you how I feel about it now. And how I feel about it now is that I dont have a strong opinion about it either way it’s a “Grey zone” movie in my mind. I mentioned in the review that I think it could work well as a B-movie or as part of a double or triple feature. And I actually think this is probably the best way to describe this film. Its by no means an “Essential watch” but if your using it to subsidise another film (Like say “Terminator woman” or “Robocop”) then I think it could work really well…I’ll probably do the sequels to this at some point in the future…If I can remember to…

(You wont believe how hard it was to source a film poster of this movie for this review…I ended up using the VHS cover because it was the only “Medium” sized image I could find”)