• Faceless



    Faceless is an interesting pick for our film club as it's a remake of one classic movie we enjoyed, and contains several actors from a lot of non-classics we've also sat through. As the title portends, the movie is rip-off of Eyes Without a Face (1960), and it was directed by Jesús Franco who had already had a previous crack at this story with his 1962's Spanish film Gritos en la noche. He returns to the concept with an English…

  • Napoleon



    This might end up only being two thirds of a review, but then again this version of Napoleon is really only two thirds of the actual film. Ridley Scott is pretty much the king of the director's cut, and has already confirmed he's working on a four hour plus version of Napoleon, leaving this 157 minute version more of an appetiser than the full banquet. His 2010 Robin Hood movie is (probably) no one's favourite take on the legend, however…

  • Ricco



    Last week I was discussing nepotism when it came to the career of Peter Hyams' son, but acting "dynasties" are far more common than directing ones. So, ladies and gentlemen, may we present, a lifetime achievement for a career on the B-list: Christopher Mitchum. That's right, the offspring of the legendary Robert Mitchum, who on the basis of this inherited little of his father's talent. He did get a number of chances to justify a place in the industry, being…

  • High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter


    Clint Eastwood's second directorial effort and first western, is a most unusual western, being far closer to a horror movie, and that's where the controversy started and has never really ended. Eastwood was inspired by the spaghetti westerns he'd starred in over in Europe, just as they had been inspired by the classic American westerns of John Ford and others. However when John Wayne spoke out against this new direction in what was to him more than just a movie…

  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


    What is there left to say about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Hailed instantly upon release as a rare example of a sequel that is superior to the original film, and to this day it's regarded as the best movie in the franchise, that's pretty much it. The movie is a classic, we've all seen it, we all love it. The Star Trek film that deserves a real second look is 1979's The Motion Picture, and the tortured…

  • Wolf Blood

    Wolf Blood


    Watched accompanied by Wolves in the Throne Room's Black Cascade and Two Hunters albums.

    Wolf Blood is the oldest surviving werewolf movie, there was an earlier one from 1913 however that is now lost. However it barely qualifies as one, as get ready for long discussions on the Canadian logging business of the 1920s, a tedious romance and stern lectures on the perils of drinking on the job, but with very little werewolf action. And even more painful than the…

  • Dust Devil

    Dust Devil


    It's a cruel irony that Richard Stanley is probably most well known for the film he didn't direct, or rather the one he made a start on and was then quickly fired, 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau. He got that gig after making a name for himself in elevated genre cinema, and while I didn't end up loving Dust Devil, it's definitely aiming higher than your typical horror flick, so points for that. However not too many, as the…

  • Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

    Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning


    To put things into historical context, Universal Soldier (1992) was pretty much the peak of Dolph Lundgren, mid period in the career of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the beginning of director Roland Emmerich's rise to Hollywood royalty. That an openly gay German man would come to define the most American and heteronormative of genres, the blockbuster action movie, isn't something anyone saw coming, but he kept churning out the hits, and in Tinseltown that's all that matters. What the original…

  • The Millionaires' Express

    The Millionaires' Express


    I'm very (self) conscious of repeating myself in these reviews, but honestly with a lot of these 1980s Hong Kong films I'm aware I end up writing the same thing over and over again. This could be summed up in essentially three dot points:

    Story: basic.
    Comedy: variable.
    Action: awesome.

    And that perfectly describes The Millionaires' Express. There's a bunch of factions who for various reasons zero in on a train. The whys of this are only there to set…

  • The Good, The Bad, The Weird

    The Good, The Bad, The Weird


    Oddball culturally transposed "western" that is set in Manchuria just before the Second World War....does this make this film an "eastern" then? As you can tell by the title, the movie a broad riff on Segio Leone's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966), but really only in the sense there are three gunslingers hunting for buried treasure. The film is really on its own trip, even if it uses a lot of the tropes of the traditional Hollywood/spaghetti…

  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

    The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes


    If the world doesn't end, or at least if the United States doesn't continue its metamorphosis into Panem next year, then cinematically 2023 might be remembered as the year of the disappointing franchise entry. This year I've been let down by Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, underwhelmed by Fast X and while it was by no means bad, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was a big step down from its predecessor. There's also been a bunch…

  • Welcome, or No Trespassing

    Welcome, or No Trespassing


    Every serious cinephile has been deeply moved by Elem Klimov's devastating war epic Come and See (1985), but few have ventured any further into Klimov's back catalogue. You really should though, as his debut feature is an absolute delight. Seriously, these Khrushchev-era Soviet comedies are just a joy to watch. Welcome, or No Trespassing is set at a summer camp for Young Pioneers, sort of an equivalent to the scouts and guides for children aged 9-14. There was actually a…