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since 03/03/2003


Independence Day: Resurgence (Blu-ray) 13/03/2017

We Had 20 Years to Prepare...But So Did They...And On Blu-ray

Independence Day: Resurgence (Blu-ray) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** TITLE: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) [Blu-ray] RATING: **1/2 CAST: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Travis Tope, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, Angelababy. DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich SCREENWRITERS: Nicolas Wright & James A. Woods and Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt. STUDIO: Twentieth Century Fox / Centropolis-Electric Entertainment RUNNING TIME: 120 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 12 (UK) & PG-13 (US); contains violent destruction and some language. AVAILABILITY: 7 GBP [DVD] & 10 GBP [Blu-ray] at Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******* PART ONE: HELLO BOYS!!!....I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!! *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******* Nostalgia is a funny thing: sometimes its warm and inviting, and other times you want to let it rest in the past. I grew up in the 1990s, yet don't have much love for the decade as a whole when it comes to pop culture, entertainment, and world events. Not to say I was miserable during that time; there just isn't much that I look back to with fond memory and return motivation. I consider myself a late bloomer at the end of the Generation X era, the last few years before mobile phones and the ...

Friday The 13th (Blu-ray) 06/03/2017

The Horrors of 1980: The Classic Mother of Slasher Movies

Friday The 13th (Blu-ray) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ****** TITLE: Friday the 13th (1980) [Blu-ray] RATING: ****1/2 CAST: Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Kevin Bacon, Betsy Palmer, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, Peter Brouwer, Rex Everhart, Walt Gorney, Ari Lehman. DIRECTOR: Sean S. Cunningham SCREENWRITER: Victor Miller STUDIO: Paramount Pictures (US) / Warner Bros. (Europe) / Georgetown Productions RUNNING TIME: 96 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 18 (UK) & R (US); contains gruesome violence, cannabis use and some strong sexuality/nudity. AVAILABILITY: 6.50 GBP (new Blu-ray) & 3 GBP (new DVD) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********* PART ONE: THE FIRST HALLOWEEN CLONE GETS CRITICALLY MAULED *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********* Universally despised by the majority of parents and critics in 1980, the original Friday the 13th is far from being the greatest movie ever made. Yet, its impact on pop culture and the horror genre has been so fascinating and massive that it's impossible to dismiss it as just another cardboard killer thriller. While I've never been devoted to horror as much as those that attend annual conventions, which have been happily accommodating the thousands of Friday the 13th cast & crew members, I truly understand their deep passion of a ...

One, Two, Three (DVD) 01/12/2016

How To Transform a Communist into a Capitalist in Three Hours

One, Two, Three (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** * TITLE: One, Two, Three (1961) RATING: **** CAST: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, Liselotte Pulver, Hanns Lothar, Howard St. John, Leon Askin, Ralf Wolter, Peter Capell, Red Buttons. DIRECTOR: Billy Wider SCREENWRITERS: Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond BASED ON THE PLAY: "Egy, Ketto, Harom" by Ferenc Molnar STUDIO: United Artists / The Mirisch Company / MGM (DVD) RUNNING TIME: 108 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: U (UK) & Not Rated (UK); contains mild sexual innuendos. AVAILABILITY: 5.69 GBP (new DVD) & 3.19 (used DVD) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************* PART ONE: GUTEN MORGEN, MEIN FUHRER MACNAMARA! *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************* On Sunday, August 13th, 1961, the eyes of America were on the nation's capital, where Roger Maris was hitting home runs number 44 and 45 against the Senators. On that same day without any warning, the East German communists sealed off the border between East and West Berlin. I only mention this to show the kind of people we're dealing with---real shifty! Having been stationed in Berlin and having dealt with them, I know what I'm talking about. Let's go back to last June: considering the abnormal situation of a divided city, life in Berlin was more or less normal. Traffic flowed freely ...

Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (DVD) 30/11/2016

Modern Times: Humanity Crusading in the Pursuit of Happiness

Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** * TITLE: Modern Times (1936) RATING: ***** CAST: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Stanley Sandford, Chester Conklin, Hank Mann, Stanley Blystone, Allan Garcia, Dick Alexander, Cecil Reynolds, Myra McKinney, Murdoch McQuarrie, Wilfred Lucas, Gloria DeHaven. DIRECTOR: Charles Chaplin SCREENWRITER: Charles Chaplin STUDIO: United Artists / Criterion Corporation (Region 1) / Curzon Artificial Eye (Region 2) RUNNING TIME: 87 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: U (UK) & Not Rated (US); contains minor vulgarities, comic violence and smuggled "nose-powder." AVAILABILITY: 8 GBP [Artificial Eye Blu-ray] & 6 GBP [DVD] from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************* PART ONE: CHARLIE'S FINAL SILENT & BOW FOR THE LITTLE TRAMP *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************* I've been writing movie reviews for Ciao for nearly 15 years now, and the truth is I have rarely discovered an instance where one of the greatest films ever made has yet to garner one single review. Case in point: Charlie Chaplin's timeless 1936 masterpiece Modern Times, where the Little Tramp battles industrialization and the machine age with uproarious results. It kind of disturbs me that we have over 20 reviews for exploitation garbage such as Cannibal Holocaust and yet, up until now, we have not had ...

The Watcher In The Woods (DVD) 01/11/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Disney Horror Freezes New York Critics Cold

The Watcher In The Woods (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********* TITLE: The Watcher in the Woods (1980) RATING: ***** CAST: Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, Carroll Baker, David McCallum, Benedict Taylor, Frances Cuka, Richard Pasco, Ian Bannen. DIRECTORS: John Hough & Vincent McEveety (uncredited 1981 reshoots) SCREENWRITERS: Brian Clemens, Rosemary Anne Sisson, Gerry Day & Harry Spalding BASED ON THE NOVEL: "The Watcher in the Woods" (1976) by Florence Engel Randall STUDIO: Walt Disney / Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Anchor Bay (DVD) RUNNING TIME: 100 Minutes (original version); 83 Minutes (1981 re-release) CLASSIFICATION: PG (UK & US); contains frightening imagery. AVAILABILITY: 58 GBP (new Anchor Bay release) & 19 GBP (used) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************** PART ONE: WALT DISNEY'S RESPONSE TO THE EXORCIST *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************** In April of 1980, Disney's brand new film The Watcher in the Woods was making its premiere in New York City and Los Angeles. The plan was to celebrate Bette Davis' arrival in Hollywood approximately 50 years before, as the legendary star had now entered the twilight of her long, incredible career as a film actress. The Watcher in the Woods was based on a 1976 young adult novel, and was directed by John Hough, who had previously ...

An Officer And A Gentleman (DVD) 01/11/2016

Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong

An Officer And A Gentleman (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** * TITLE: An Officer And A Gentleman RATING: ***** CAST: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, Louis Gossett Jr., Lisa Blount, David Keith, Lisa Eilbacher, Robert Loggia, Harold Sylvester, David Caruso, Grace Zabriskie, Victor French, Tony Plana. DIRECTOR: Taylor Hackford SCREENWRITER: Douglas Day Stewart STUDIO: Paramount Pictures RUNNING TIME: 124 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 15 (UK) & R (US); contains strong language, male/female nudity, simulated sex, violence, and adult subject matter. DVD AVAILABILITY: 3 GBP (Original DVD); 9 GBP (Special Edition) from Amazon *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************** PART ONE: FALL IN…I SAID FALL IN YOU SLIMY WORMS! *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************** When I entered U.S. Navy boot camp in September of 1997, I was challenged: vigorous exercise, constant marching, endless training, the gas chamber and, of course, profane-laden screams and intense intimidation from our enlisted petty officers. I never became an officer, yet dealt with them for eight years; officers can indeed be drunken bastards who sleep around while many women want nothing less than to snag one as a husband. These things happen at virtually every military base in the world, a tradition that has goes on as long as there has been a military. It should be noted that the ...

Mama Dracula DVD 30/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Nurse Ratched Requires the Blood of Wergins

Mama Dracula DVD *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******** TITLE: Mama Dracula (1980, Belgium) RATING: *1/2 CAST: Louise Fletcher, Maria Schneider, Marc-Henri Wajnberg, Alexander Wajnberg, Jimmy Shuman, Jess Hahn, Michael Israel, Suzy Falk, Vincent Grass, Jose Gral, William Del Visco, Marie-Francoise Manuel. DIRECTOR: Boris Szulzinger SCREENWRITERS: Boris Szulzinger, Marc-Henri Wajnberg & Pierre Sterckx; Tony Hendra (additional English dialogue) STUDIO: RTBF / SND Films / Valisa Film Productions / UGC Europe-1 / Televista (DVD) RUNNING TIME: 91 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 15 (UK; originally rated 18) & Unrated (US); contains some nudity, a comic sex scene and fake blood. AVAILABILITY: 10.30 GBP from Amazon UK (*****FILM-ONLY REVIEW*****) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ****** Belgian professor Van Bloed (Jimmy Shuman) is determined to win the Nobel Prize for his work on artificial blood, but his experiments are interrupted when he is officially summoned to attend the World Blood Congress at Bathory Castle at the request of the Countess Bathory (Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, literally). The Countess, aka Mama Dracula, has been able to survive for centuries but now has a serious problem: she's always required rejuvenation via a bath of virgin's blood. No, vait, I'm sorry, wergin's blood is vhat she says and, unfortunately in 1980 Beligum, ...

He Knows You're Alone DVD 30/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Tom Hanks Knows When You're Alone, Baby!

He Knows You're Alone DVD *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************* TITLE: He Knows You're Alone (1980) RATING: ** CAST: Don Scardino, Caitlin O'Heaney, Elizabeth Kemp, Tom Rolfing, Lewis Arlt, Patsy Pease, James Rebhorn, Tom Hanks, Dana Barron, Joseph Leon, Paul Gleason. DIRECTOR: Armand Mastroianni SCREENWRITER: Scott Parker STUDIO: United Artists / Metro Goldywn Mayer (MGM) RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 18 (UK) & R (US); contains nudity and suggested sex, violent murders and mild profanity. AVAILABILITY: 28 GBP (Region 1 DVD import) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** PART ONE: TOM HANKS' SCREEN DEBUT PERFORMANCE IN 1980 *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** "Too bad they don't have a rollercoaster!" --- Tom Hanks "Thank God for small things!" --- Amy Jenson "I told you'd be too scared..." --- Amy's little sister "More people do to be scared, it's something very primal, very basic you know what I'm saying? Horror movies and the rollercosters and the House of Horror rides..." --- Tom Hanks "I want to go on that next!" --- Amy's little sister "You can face death without any real fear of dying. It's safe; you can leave the movie or get off the ride with a vicarious thrill and the feeling that you've just conquered death, it's one a hell of ...

Fade To Black (DVD) 24/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: The Celluloid Killer is a Real Movie Maniac

Fade To Black (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** TITLE: Fade to Black (1980) RATING: **** CAST: Dennis Christopher, Tim Thomerson, Gwynne Gilford, Linda Kerridge, Norman Burton, Marcie Barkin, Morgan Paull, Eve Brent, Mickey Rourke, Peter Horton. DIRECTOR: Vernon Zimmerman SCREENWRITER: Vernon Zimmerman STUDIO: American Cinema Releasing / Anchor Bay Entertainment RUNNING TIME: 102 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 18 (UK) & R (US); contains bloody scenes of murder and death, strong language, brief sexuality & drug use. AVAILABILITY: 11.50 GBP (new DVD) & 64 PENCE (used DVD) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********* PART ONE: SOMEONE HAS TAKEN THEIR LOVE OF CAGNEY ONE STEP TOO FAR *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******** Out of the hundreds of slasher movies that came out in the early 1980s, I've probably seen barely a third of them. Some I checked out due watching the original to a remake (1983's House on Sorority Row became 2009's Sorority Row) to nothing more than oddball curiosity (writer-director Jimmy Huston's 1981 quasi-comedy Final Exam). Before Friday the 13th in May 1980, we had disturbing psycho thrillers like Don't Answer the Phone and David Hess' To All a Good Nght, which all seemed to have a single purpose: having a killer sexualize, stalk and slaughter young, ...

The Unseen (DVD) 23/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: A Mutant Movie Best Left Unseen

The Unseen (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ****** TITLE: The Unseen (1980) RATING: **½ CAST: Barbara Bach, Sydney Lassick, Karen Lamm, Douglas Barr, Lois Young, Leila Goldini, Stephen Furst. DIRECTOR: Peter Foleg (aka Danny Steinmann) SCREENWRITERS: Danny Steinmann, Kim Henkel, Michael L. Grace, Tom Burman, Nancy Rifkin & Stan Winston. STUDIO: Code Red RUNNING TIME: 92 Minutes RATED: R (US) & 18 (UK); contains some intense moments, brief nudity, and gore. DVD AVAILIBILITY: 11 GBP (new DVD) & 1-2 GBP (used DVD) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *********** PART ONE: DON'T GO INTO THE BASEMENT! *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *********** Since Halloween is upon us again, I've decided to turn my attention to some horror films. I did this several years ago, including write-ups for such well-remembered shockers as Cujo, Poltergeist, and Kingdom Of The Spiders. Horror is not one of my favorite genres, though there are some standouts for me, including the three I just mentioned. This year, I've decided to go with some more obscure titles and while all of them won't have positive recommendations, rabid fans may want to check them out anyway and come up with their own assessments. I was hoping beyond hope The Unseen was something different. I mean, it's a horror film that got a two-disc DVD treatment, so it's gotta have something, ...

Night of Death (DVD) 23/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: A Night To Dismember

Night of Death (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************ TITLE: Night of Death! (1980, France) RATING: **½ CAST: Isabelle Goguey, Charlote de Turckheim, Betty Beckers, Michel Flavious, Denise Montreal, Ernest Menzor. DIRECTOR: Raphael Delperd SCREENWRITER: Raphael Delperd & Richard Joffo STUDIO: Synapse RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes RATED: Not Rated; contains gruesome scenes, graphic violence, and nudity. DVD AVAILABILITY: 7 GBP (Amazon UK) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ************ After months of dealing with unemployment, beautiful Martine (Isabelle Goguey) grabs an open position as assistant nurse at a secluded retirement home called Deadlock House. The head nurse Nicole (Charlotte de Turckheim) isn't too happy about the situation, but she takes Martine under her wing nonetheless. The cold, stern boss Helene (Betty Beckers) tells Martine she can't have any nights off or phone calls for the first two months, but lets her go on a date with her boyfriend the night before she officially begins work. When she returns, Nicole has mysteriously disappeared, allegedly fired by Helene. It's only a matter of time before Martine begins to sniff out something sinister going on at Deadlock House. La Nuit De La Mort, aka Night Of Death!, has all the ingredients of a grand Gothic thriller. There's the creepy, Igor-like groundskeeper with a limp who is vulnerable and eccentric. All the strange ...

Death Ship (DVD) 16/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Will Scare You Shirtless, No Shipless, No...

Death Ship (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** TITLE: Death Ship (1980) RATING: *** CAST: George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Sally Van Howes, Kate Reid, Victoria Burgoyne, Jennifer McKinney, Danny Higham, Saul Rubinek. DIRECTOR: Alvin Rakoff SCREENWRITER: John Robins; Jack Hill & David P. Lewis (story) STUDIO: AVCO Embassy Pictures / Scorpion Releasing / Nucleus Films RUNNING TIME: 91 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 15 (UK; originally rated X) & R (US); contains mild nudity/sexuality, some intense death scenes (including a literal shower of blood), and brief profanity. AVAILABILITY: 7 GBP (DVD) & 10 GBP (Blu-ray) at Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******* PART ONE: NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH GHOST SHIP (2002) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******* First and foremost, this review on the 1980 feature Death Ship should not be confused with that 2002 turd called Ghost Ship even though the latter term is used in the poster's tagline and the poster itself has more than a slight resemblance to the film that would eventually surface in 2002. Even while watching the 1980 film, I got confused if I was watching Death Ship or Ghost Ship, although it ultimately doesn't even matter. Before this week, I had never seen or heard of Death Ship, a Canadian tax shelter production that was ...

The Changeling (DVD) 14/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: First Genie Award Winner, Best Canadian Film

The Changeling (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********* TITLE: The Changeling (1980, Canada) RATING: **** CAST: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh, John Colicos, Helen Burns, Madeline Sherwood. DIRECTOR: Peter Medak SCREENWRITERS: Russell Hunter, William Gray & Diana Maddox STUDIO: Associated Film Distributors (AFD) / StudioCanal (DVD) RUNNING TIME: 107 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 15 (UK) & R (US); contains minor profanities, some mildly bloody violence and frightening images. AVAILABILITY: 6 GBP (new/used) from Amazon UK (ASIN# B001AOHPYO) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** PART ONE: THE BEST CANADIAN FILM OF 1980 IS A HORROR FILM? *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** * Why do horror films get constantly ignored at the Oscars, BAFTAs and most other award shows? #HorrorFilmsMatter Let's do a quick history check, shall we: aside from Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist(1973), Jaws (1975), The Omen (1976), the Best Picture-winning The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Sixth Sense (1999), have there been any other horror films that have garnered serious attention and recognition by critics and within the industry itself? Are you all telling me the next breakthrough didn't come until 2014, when an Australian film called The Babadook managed to TIE for Best Picture (the ...

Cannibal Holocaust (DVD) 11/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Banned Italian Cannibal Exploitation (18+)

Cannibal Holocaust (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ********** TITLE: Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Italy) RATING: *** CAST: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Giorgio Barbareschi, Salvatore Basile, Ricardo Fuentes, Gabriel Yorke, Paolo Paolini, Ruggero Deodato. DIRECTOR: Ruggero Deodato SCREENWRITER: Gianfranco Clerici STUDIO: United Artists / Trans-American Film Distributors RUNNING TIME: 97 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 18 (UK; originally banned) & Unrated (US); contains animal murder and gut-munching cannibalism, gang rape, graphic nudity, disgusting & disturbing images including scenes of torture, and language. Banned in the UK from 1984-2001. AVAILABILITY: Two-Disc Director Edition DVD (12 GBP new) & Ruggero Deodato's New Blu-ray Edit (13 GBP new) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******** PART ONE: THE GROSS GRANDDADDY OF FOUND FOOTAGE MOVIES *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ******* [The film journalist for Fangoria magazine arrived in the Amazon Rainforest for his next horror film challenge. He gets flown to the "capital city" of Leticia in the Amazonas portion of Columbia, which is near the borders of Brazil and Peru. He explains to his tour gude that he just came from Egypt where he had watched a mummy movie with Charlton Heston. His next assignment is to watch Cannibal ...

The Awakening (DVD) 09/10/2016

The Horrors of 1980: Dull British Adaptation of Bram Stoker Novel

The Awakening (DVD) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ** TITLE: The Awakening (1980, United Kingdom) RATING: **1/2 CAST: Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend, Stephanie Zimbalist, Patrick Drury, Bruce Myers, Nadim Sawalha, Ian McDiarmid, Miriam Margolyes. DIRECTOR: Mike Newell SCREENWRITERS: Clive Exton, Chris Bryant & Allan Scott BASED ON NOVEL: "The Jewel of Seven Stars" (1903) by Bram Stoker STUDIO: Warner Bros. / Orion Pictures RUNNING TIME: 101 Minutes CLASSIFICATION: 15 (UK) & R (US); contains graphic and intense scenes of death. AVAILABILITY: 10 GBP (new) from Amazon UK *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ***** PART ONE: SISKEL & EBERT'S DOGS OF THE YEAR (1980) *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** *************** ***** December 30, 1980: Public Broadcasting in Chicago, "Sneak Previews: Dogs of the Year starring Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert "My first lousy movie of the year illustrates the problem with an old-time Hollywood actor who persists in making boring, old-time movies; the film is The Mountain Men and the actor is Charlton Heston. The movie is a cornball portrayal of a couple of fur trappers trying to battle the Big Fur companies and the Indians. This is my nomination now for the worst scene in an American movie in 1980: fur trappers Charlton Heston & Brian Keith laughing and scratching in the ...
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