29 Jul 2012

WEEK 63: Revenge of the Boogeyman

Alternate Titles : Revenge of the Bogeyman, Boogeyman II, The Boogey Man 2, The Boogeyman 2, Bogeyman 2
Year: 1983
Reviews / Author Comments due: 04/09/2012 Reviews put on hold while original version is sourced.
DPP Status: Removed from list July 1984
BBFC Status: No entry exists on the BBFC Website, The Redux version is currently available rated 18, although even this seems not to be listed with the BBFC.
Wikipedia: LINK
DVD: Not Available (Note that the currently availbale Directors Cut / "Redux" version is a very different film)

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

28 Jul 2012

Prisoner of the Cannibal Gods - Will's Review

It's hard to believe that this one is older than most of the other cannibal movies on the list (I believe only Deep River Savages is older) because it seems to borrow elements from most of them; in reality it seems that the similarities are either coincidental, or the other movies each 'borrowed' their favorite parts from this one, stoping short of lifting the plot wholesale.

Either way, I could pretty much write an outline for one of these things in my sleep by now...

Up front we are told that our leading lady's husband went missing while out exploring the jungle, after failing to get help from the local authorities, she recruits someone who already knows the jungle and, with 2 of her and her husband's friends, they go of to find him.

The encounter a primitive, but friendly tribe, who are subsequently attacked by a war-like, cannibalistic tribe, who happen to be based in the area that our hero's need to search.

Along the way we see many scenes of animal cruelty and killing (both real and simulates) and plenty of stock footage of animal-on-animal violence.

Our characters are predictably captured and held, and they manage to work in a rape and a castration.

Seem familiar? Yeah, thought so.

To be fair, there are touches I haven't seen elsewhere - one thing I did like was that as the film progressed we discover that not all of outlets leading characters are necessarily what they seem to be, and some may have their own  motives for heading into the jungle.

The obligatory ritual is different here too - it involves our heroin being tied up and anointed, and then ignored while the tribe go into a sexual frenzy - a frenzy show to us in three separate acts (totally seperate, there is nothing an any of the shots to suggest that the rest of the tribe are even present, although they are supposedly all in the same cave); a couple have sex, a tribes woman (very graphically) masturbates, and a guy fucks a pig (the pig is far more interested in eating a nearby plant and seems happy to ignore the idiot pulling his tail and dry-humping him).

In the end though, we've seen it all before, and far too much of the film is spent walking around and cutting to animals killing each other; distressed monkey aside (I really did hate to see that - even though it was just nature doing what nature does*) it's mostly a very dull movie.

*UPDATE - It has been indicated that even this was staged

ANIMAL BODY COUNT: 16 - mostly real.

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Prisoner Of The Cannibal God - Lisa's Review


So, another Cannibal movie in our list.  I thought we had exhausted them all with the passing of 'C', but nope, here's another entry.

This movie left me a little cold.  Not for the obvious hatred of close-up scenes of animal deaths (which this movie contains), but because I found it so monumentally dull.  To be fair, I think unless I adore or hate a movie, if its somewhere in the middle, it is very much dependant on my mood how I will find it.  Maybe on a different day, I would feel this one 'wasn't too bad'.  I don't think I would ever go as far as even describing this movie as 'good', but I found reaching the end of this one a bit of a struggle as I had absolutely sod all interest in how it ended.

The basic premis is, our main female character Susan (played by Ursula Andress) and her brother Arthur set off on an exhibition to find Susans' missing husband.  She brings an ex colleague of her husbands (Prof Edward Foster) who seems to have an idea where he could have gone.

After what seems like a sh*t load of red tape and needless scenes of them getting permisson to go, what follows is stereotypical jungle wandering.  We are also treated to the mandatory high maintenance, helpless female to frustrate any ladies who may be watching. The characters are all pretty one dimensional (mostly arseholes) and played out very obviously.  The acting is not the worst I've seen, but does appear wooden in a lot of places.
Interspersed throughout the movie are inserted scenes of animal deaths, which seem to have no place in the movie.  They are nothing to do with the storyline, were not needed and add absolutely nothing.  In fact they just leave you feeling a bit sick to the stomach and make you want to reach for the remote and turn it off entirely.  What makes it worse is the very obvious setting up of the worst scene of a python devouring a live monkey.  I persevered, just to see if this movie improved any.  Sadly it did not.

We learn throughout the movie that Susan's reasons for coming on the expedition aren't as originally stated.  She has no concern whatsoever for her missing husband, in fact if anything, she has utter disdain for him.  She is in it for entirely selfish reasons, as is the accompanying Professor Foster, who was taken prisoner by natives years ago and wants to exact revenge.  We also have an explorer Manolo who joins the party part-way through... yet we still wonder where the cannibals are?

We trundle through the movie wandering when something of any interest is going to happen.  Even the death of Foster, who loses his footing while climbing a waterfall is a kind of 'meh' moment.  Arthur also dies as they reach their destination and Manolo and Susan are taken prisoner.  This is where we see the body of Susans husband who the natives are worshipping as they believe to still be alive due to the ticking coming from his geiger counter.

They decide Susan is a goddess.They tie her up, strip her naked, smear her in mud and afterwards dress her in a very elaborate, beautiful (and very light coloured given the dirty surroundings) costume.  Manolo is tortured.

I won't spoil the ending, but I would be surprised if anyone who no interest in a naked Ursula Andress or who isn't on a 'Nasties completion task' would have got that far.

In conclusion, not one I would watch again or recommend.  Seemed to have a much larger budget than the other cannibal movies on this list and had some great cinematography, but all that was at the expense of good acting, effects and keeping your attention.

Big fat Meh from me.

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22 Jul 2012

WEEK 62: Prisoner of the Cannibal God

Alternate Titles : Slave of the Cannibal God, Primitive Desires, The Mountain of the Cannibal God
Year: 1978
Reviews / Author Comments due: 28/7/2012
DPP Status: Removed from list May 1985
BBFC Status: Passed with almost 2 min of of cuts in 2009 (cuts made by distributor prior to submission - the Current version, listed as "uncut" by the BBFC, is only 20s longer than a previous version, which had 2m6s of cuts)
Wikipedia: LINK

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

Possession - Will's Review

I honestly have no idea what to say about this movie.

If asked what it's about I'd be forced to answer with concepts, rather than plot points; it's about duality, divorce, resentment, madness, betrayal; so many things that I could probably list them all day, and still later think of some that I missed!
Filmed in Berlin, with an international cast (including a young Sam Neil) by a polish director, it at times has the look of a French art house movie, at time it borders on German expressionism.

By rights it should be a mess; but despite being utterly unfathomable on the story front, it remains totally compelling.

If I had to compare it to anything, I'd say it was like Cronenberg and Lynch had re-worked Alien and Kramer vs Kramer into one movie.

Not a movie I can fairly describe, much less review, it is however one that I can recommend, as long as you can handle 2 hours of mind bending.

The opening credits, sadly, contain a spoiler; giving credit in large letters to something that we don't even see in the first hour or so of the movie, but when it does show up, it is very well done, and you can see why it warranted a place in the opening credits.

If you enjoyed Videodrome, Naked Lunch and Eraser Head, I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy here.

And suddenly: car chase.

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21 Jul 2012

Possession - Lisa's Review

*** SPOILERS ***

This weeks movie is going to be very, very hard for me to review.  Mostly because certain aspects were so confusing.  That aside, I did think it was an incredibly well made movie and it does warrant at least another watch.

We see a known actor for a change, in a young Sam Neill (Mark) returning from work to his beautiful wife Anna in Berlin.  The movie is shot right beside the Berlin wall which I don't think is accidental in any sense given the division throughout the movie between the husband and wife.  It almost feels like the director is trying to show the unseen by giving the incredible emotion of this movie a solid presence.  The hard, cold concrete and stark scenes set in Berlin convey their relationship wonderfully.

That is fundamentally what the movie seemed to be... the portrayal of a relationship downward spiraling faster than is can recover from and the breakdown of the characters.   It is a very uncomfortable movie and has scenes which are very difficult to watch between Mark and Anna, including a horrendously nasty physically abusive scene between the 2 of them.  Also as a parent, I found the presence of their son and his neglect by Anna after Mark has left their home very uncomfortable.  The characters seem to be emotionally unhinged and self involved to the extreme, concentrating on how everything effects them with Anna even having no concern for her own son.

In our storyline Mark discovers his wife has been unfaithful after she asks for a divorce.  As the movie continues, it becomes clear he has too, but that seems unimportant and the concentration seems to be very much upon Anna's infidelity.  In fact, the movie seems to concentrate very much on Marks feelings and portraying things from Marks point of view.  Any scenes which are meant to be from Anna's perspective seem incomplete confusing or contradictory.  Her personality was very hard to make sense of.  I wasn't sure if this was a deliberate thing to add to the mania and to hint towards the complexity of women who can be almost impossible to understand or whether it was an oversight on behalf of the director.

Mark hires a private detective to follow Anna.  This is where the confusion started for me in earnest.  There is a man/octopus thing (very convincingly put together btw) that Anna is sleeping with.  It develops more and more throughout the film by eating body parts it seems, fed to it by Anna.  One very odd and lingering scene shows Anna making love to the 'thing' and repeating the word 'almost'...  The detective and his partner are murdered by Anna when they find out too much and she feeds them to the man/octopus?  While this is happening Mark starts to date his son Bobs teacher, a 'good' version of Anna , called Helen (played by the same actress) who has her 'kindness' visibly displayed by brilliant green eyes.

A scene which deserves a mention in the movie is Anna's mental and physical breakdown in the Subway.  It is quite lengthy, VERY uncomfortable (I think because its so raw and human) and very well executed and culminates in her sitting on the concrete with blood running from her head and what looked like a mixture of blood, pus and urine coming from between her legs.  Again, I didn't quite understand this part but visually it was very dramatic and effective.  She makes a comment about the episode being her 'loss of faith'.

The ending of the movie is very confusing but mind blowing.  I won't completely spoil it, but the man/octopus reaches its final evolution into a doppelganger of Mark.  Helen is left in the appartment with Bob and the Doppelganger.  The same 3 physical beings are we started with fundementally.

This movie will probably leave you with more questions than answers and feeling a little confused, but if you watch it, you would have to admit that its a very powerful, dark,ominous and disturbing movie with phenomenal acting  from the leads, moreso Isabelle Adjani.  You certainly won't have seen anything like it before.

Thumbs up from me.

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15 Jul 2012

WEEK 61:Possession

Alternate Titles : The Night the Screaming Stops
Year: 1981
Reviews / Author Comments due: 21/07/2012
DPP Status: Removed from list September 1983 following Jury Trial
Satus: Passed uncut in 2010
Wikipedia: LINK
DVD: R2 uncut

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

14 Jul 2012

Nightmares in a Damaged Brain - Will's Review

You know how the saying goes; Another week, another forgettable (though not entirely terrible) slasher with the word nightmare in its title!

This week, our leading man goes by the name of George Tatum and has spent an indeterminate amount of time in some kind of experimental medical facility, where he is the first person to be declared successfully cured of psychopathy by a state of the art technique.

His being 'cured' however, leaves me with 2 questions; who does he regularly wake screaming from a dream about an axe murder, and why are the guys who run the facility so worried about his escape near the beginning of the movie?

A reasonable person might be inclined to think that someone who frequently dreams about a couple engaged in a light bondage session suffer coitus interrupts by way of an axe, while a young boy looks on, might not be all that stable. A reasonable person would be right!

And so Tatum  makes a beeline for a family which is so clearly his own (it's supposed to be a surprise when we find that out - it isn't) killing anyone he encounters.

There's a hint that Tatum 's rehabilitation might be part o some sinister government programme, but as this may have given the movie a point of interest, the idea is quickly dropped.

The Italian influence is obvious in this one, even though it's an American movie, unfortunately the galioesk feel that is played over the opening scenes is quickly dropped in favour of a more typical low-rent post-Halloween stalk an slash, albeit a slightly confused one.

Forgettable but not utterly terrible.

Body Count: 8
Boob Count: 1 Pair
Most Memorable Death: Quit Ice-Picking on me!

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Nightmares in a Damaged Brain - Lisa's Review


A little late with the review for this one, my apologies, just completed a relocation back to good old Norn Iron.

Soooo what to 'Nightmares in a damaged brain', well I enjoyed this one.  I can find quite a few faults if I want to be pedantic, but sometimes I like the general 'feel' of a movie and with this one I did.

Our basic storyline is a schizophrenic George Tatum being released from his secure unit due to the supposed success of some new experimental wonder drugs.  It is very clear however from the outset that George is far from cured.  He is obviously being released to commit all kinds of havoc.

The first signs our man is not all well (apart from the fact he's in a mental institution) is his recurring nightmare flashback.  He is obviously very disturbed by this each time he wakes.  As the story progresses we get to see more and more of the scene which gets progressively more gorey and disturbing.  With each 'vision' more havoc is wreaked by George.  I don't know why, but I kind of felt sorry for him.  Wierd I know, but there was something very human about him.

I think of all the wierd places, his humanity is exhibited by his visit to a peep show (on a side note, how interesting!  I had no idea how they worked and was amazed that men can see other men looking in at the same woman... you would think that would put them off). He seems like any man in these scenes and is almost gentle in his approach when the stripper approaches him and allows him to touch her.

The following of George, runs alongside a story of a family and their very odd young son, who has a bit of an obsession with blood and being a little sod.  They are being pestered by telephone calls and the mother is getting increasingly worried about it all.  I think it is meant to be a surprise, but this is Georges family and he is making his way to them all through the movie.  Now I'm not the quickest in the world cracking onto these things granted, but even I managed to grasp this one.

In the finale as George arrives at his family home (wearing a quite creepy mask and carrying a leathal looking ice-pick).  People die.  We also see the entire 'nightmare' played out and we can make full sense of the scene.

Sadly the effects are very poor and I think this movie would have been much better if it had of had a 'less is more' approach.  The blood was fine, but the texture of flesh and skin was all wrong, a beheading was almost laughable and is it even possible for hands to reach for the stump of a neck when the head has gone??    I did enjoy the axe to the head though.

Anyways, that aside.   I did like the movie, the ending and the feel.  I liked Georges character.  Very believable.  The 'like father, like son' angle was quite poignant too.

I am giving this one the 'Lisa Recommends' tag.  You could do worse than check this one out.

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8 Jul 2012

WEEK 60: Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

Alternate Titles : Nightmare, Dark Games, Blood Splash, Schizo
Year: 1981
Reviews / Author Comments due: 14/07/2012
DPP Status: Successfully prosecuted 
BBFC StatusPassed uncut in 2005
Wikipedia: LINK
DVD: Uncut R2

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.

7 Jul 2012

Nightmare Maker - Lisa's Review

Bit of a weird one this week.  This movie, like a few other 'nasties' has the feel of a TV movie to me, but the content is most definately not something you would find on TV.  Obsession, incest, homophobia and murder pretty much sum it up.

We focus on teenager Billy, who has been living with his aunt Cheryl since the death of his parents in a car accident.  The movie actually opens with the accident and some pretty ok effects I thought.  A nasty decapitation for the dad  and a roll job and burst into flames for the mum.  I thought the sudden and fast entry into some action bode well for the movie, but we were led onto a completely different movie from then on.

It becomes very clear early on that aunt Cheryl is not all she seems and has rather sinister incestuous intentions towards young Billy.  Given that she has raised him from a very young child and is like a mother to him, this is very disturbing and somewhat uncomfortable to watch.  All seems well in their rather wierd world until Billy starts to live his life to the exclusion of his aunt, intending on going to college (which she does everything initially to dissuade him from) and spending time with a girl from college who seems to have a crush on him.  The very thought of losing Billy from her clutches seems to send Cheryl over the edge of whatever small amount of sanity she possessed.

We cross from disturbed and creepy into completely insane and murderous when a poor TV repair man spurns her advances and she reacts by stabbing him to death.  Billy walks in while she still has the weapon in her hand, still stuck into the victims neck... she immediately claims rape.   A couple of neighbours also call in and witness the gory aftermath, so obviously the police are called in.  Cheryl manages to talk Billy into covering for her to the cops but our cop smells a rat.  Questions are raised as to how Cheryl managed to escape from the heavyset repair man to stab him and he is later discovered to be gay.... so obviously its a bit odd that he would be trying to rape a woman.

The cop may smell a rat but he is chasing the wrong person as he believes Billy is hiding something and is to blame.  He also believes Billy is gay, something he has a whole load of problems with.  This is another aspect of the movie that is quite uncomfortable... the homophobic language and derisory manner that gay people are discussed throughout.  It is very clearly from a different time and uses language no director would dare to today.  I lost count of the amount of times 'Fag' was mentioned.  The police have it seems no interest in solving any crime or getting to the bottom of any murder in this movie.  There is an altogether more important agenda for this dirty cop.

The rest of the movie plays out as you would expect with more madness, more violence and death, more incestuous discomforts and more homophobia.  I found it really difficult to stay focused and pay attention without my mind drifting.  Its a sign to me that I'm not enjoying a movie when I have to force myself to pay attention to it.

I wouldn't say I hated this movie, but I personally didn't particularly enjoy it.  It certainly wasn't one of the worst I've seen but I could understand people enjoying this one, it just didn't stand out for me and the only thing remotely different about it was downright cringeworthy.

In conclusion, I wouldn't say avoid it, but I wouldn't say rush out and watch it either.

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Nightmare Maker - Will's Review

I watched this on a couple of days before penning the review, which I now realise was a mistake as it's a fairly forgettable movie, so we'll have to wait and see what comes back to me as I write.

Obviously, it's not Devil Hunter forgettable; I did at least manage to remember the beginning of the movie all the way to the end, just kind of generic and... Meh.

The thing is, in the beginning it felt like it might be fairly interesting: a young couple leave their baby with its aunt while they go on a trip, but die shortly after heading out, when their brakes fail. Cut forwards 15 years and baby Billy (now a young man on the brink of graduation) lives with the aunt, who's more than a little creepy:

Erm... That's your NEPHEW you freak!

Her creepiness goes into overdrive when Billy announces that he's about to win a basketball scholarship to an out if state college; to prove how needed her nephew is, she attempts to seduce the plumber in an effort to frame him for rape, but when he refuses her advances, she looses her rag and stabs him to death - just on time for Billy to come home and witness it.

She ticks to the rape story, claiming that she killed him in self defence, however the police are skeptical as a) there isn't a mark on her and b) the plumber is gay.

To make matters worse, the plumber was in a relationship with the (thus far closeted) gym teacher.

To round of a 'prefect' investigation, the officer in charge is massively homophobic, and instantly decides that Billy was having an affair with the gym teacher, and killed the plumber in a screaming queenly hissy-fit, and that his Aunt is covering.

From here though, it starts to flounder a bit; mainly because the aunt isn't the right type of crazy - you see, if the aunt had developed a taste for murder and went on a spree at this point; inadvertently causing more and more suspicion to fall on her Nephew; that may have made for a decent movie. Alas, not a lot happens in the films middle third. The coach gets shit for being gay, the aunt tries a few things to further sabotage her nephews chances of getting the scholarship, the policeman goes around using the word 'faggot' a lot.

Then things get out of hand, there are a couple more kills, a twist that really doesn't make any sense when you think about it, and the film abruptly ends, pausing before the credits roll to give us a true-story style 'what happened to the characters' text crawl.

Not an utterly terrible movie, but a very VERY dull one.

Body Count: 8
Boob Count: 1 Pair
Most Memorable Death:

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1 Jul 2012

WEEK 59 - Nightmare Maker

Alternate Titles : 'Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker', Night Warning, Evil Protege, Momma's Boy, Thrilled to Death
Year: 1981
Reviews / Author Comments due: 7/7/2012
DPP Status: Removed from list December 1985
BBFC Status: Still banned
Wikipedia: LINK
DVD: Not available

Feel free to use the comments section of this post to add your own reviews and thoughts about this movie.