Director: David MacDonald
Starring: Hugh McDermott, Hazel Court, Peter Reynolds, Adrienne Corri, Joseph Tomelty, Sophie Stewart, John Laurie, Patricia Laffan
MICHAEL: “Mrs Jamieson, may I introduce your latest guest, Miss Nyah. She comes from Mars.”
MRS JAMIESON: “Och, well that’ll mean another bed.”
Believe it or not, the UK was doing sci-fi themed stage plays as early as the 1950s. Devil Girl From Mars was one such production: what we have here is actually a movie adaptation. Continue reading “Devil Girl From Mars (1954) review”
Director: Patrick McManus
Starring: Lauren Bronleewe, Stuart Rigby, Bailey Gaddis, Elizabeth Friedman, Jessie Paddock, Sarah Schreiber, Alena Savostikova
Also known as: The Mummy Resurrected (original title)
RONNIE: “I thought we need a permit.”
TRALANE: “Not if we’re only going to find the tomb. We’re fine as long as we don’t take anything out. Shall we?”
RONNIE: “I don’t know, that sounds like the archaeologist’s version of ‘just the tip’.”
It’s only fitting that the resurrection of That Was A Bit Mental begins with a review of a film in which something else comes back to life after a long period of death.
In this case, however, it should probably have been left in its coffin. The mummy, I mean, not this website. Continue reading “Resurrection Of The Mummy (2014) review”
Director: J Lee Thompson
Starring: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Tracey Bregman
“You’d be proud of me now, mother. All the kids like me.” – Virginia, Happy Birthday To Me
After the success of Halloween, film studios went out of their way to ensure every other major calendar date was covered by a slasher film.
Graduation Day, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas, Friday The 13th – it’s safe to say that if Shrove Tuesday existed in America someone would have made a movie about a killer jamming poisoned shroves up hapless victims’ shitepipes.
It went without saying, then, that someone would eventually make a slasher based on birthdays. After all, everyone celebrates their birthday, so everyone can relate.
Cue Columbia Pictures with Happy Birthday To Me, a Canadian horror film that’s actually a little more left-field than you may expect. Continue reading “Happy Birthday To Me (1981) review”
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Samuel L Jackson, Terence Stamp, Chris O’Dowd
“Because our abilities don’t fit in the outside world, we live in places like this, where no-one can find us.” (Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children)
If you’ve read anything about Tim Burton’s latest film you’ll probably have seen countless comparisons to the X-Men movies, due to the fact it’s set in a school occupied with children with special powers.
But I’m not that lazy.
Instead, I hereby declare that Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is in fact Tim Burton’s version of The Raggy Dolls, the popular British ‘80s and ‘90s cartoon in which a group of wee dudes with abnormalities team up to fight crime or something.
(I don’t know if the Raggy Dolls actually fought crime, I didn’t really watch it. I just liked the theme tune.) Continue reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016) review”
Director: Maxwell Munden
Starring: Michael Gough, Patricia Roc, Ronald Howard
CAROL: “Spencer’s a lonely man I feel I can help, even if it’s only by letting him paint me. I don’t think I’m able to help my husband no matter how hard I try.”
MICHAEL: “I’m sorry darling. But you see, sometimes a man can sense an inner corruption in another man that is hidden from a woman by sentiment and sex.”
CAROL: “Inner corruption in another man! How do you know you’re not fighting it in yourself?”
Michael Gough was a legendary English actor who appeared in over 200 film roles over the course of nearly 60 years.
Perhaps best known to modern and international audiences as Alfred in all four 1990s Batman films, Gough had been a star of British stage and screen for decades before this.
The House In The Woods is one of his earlier roles, and though it’s more or less been forgotten over time it’s still a decent example of his ability to drive a film with his performance. Continue reading “The House In The Woods (1957) review”
Director: Joe Berlinger
Starring: Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica Leerhsen, Tristine Skyler, Stephen Barker Turner
JEFF – “If you don’t believe in the Blair Witch then why the hell did you come along?”
KIM – “I thought the movie was cool.”
After The Blair Witch Project sold out cinemas and soiled boxer shorts around the world, a sequel was quickly greenlit to capitalise on its massive success.
There was one hefty problem, though. Part of what made the first film so successful was the fact it came out of nowhere.
Here was this film about young filmmakers who had gone into the woods and disappeared, and crucially it had this found-footage style that made many cinemagoers question whether what they were seeing was actually fiction.
Realising (perhaps wisely) that lightning probably couldn’t strike twice in the same place, director Joe Berlinger and the rest of the Blair Witch 2 crew instead decided to ditch everything that made the first film a success and go in a completely different direction. Continue reading “Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) review”
Head chefs: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Ingredients: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader
“We’re the non-perishables, motherfucker.” (Mr Grits, Sausage Party)
Take one hot dog sausage (Rogen) and one hot dog bun (Wiig), destined to be together but forced to sit separate from each other in their packaging prisons on a supermarket shelf.
Pre-heat a premise about a promised land said to lie outside the supermarket’s doors, one in which any foods chosen by ‘the gods’ (humans) will get everything they desire. Keep this premise simmering throughout, regularly adding religious nods to taste.
Add a sub-plot involving two more sausages (Cera and Hill) who find themselves chosen for the promised land but quickly discover that the food paradise they expected is actually a kitchen-based massacre of biblical proportions. Continue reading “Sausage Party (2016) review”
Director: Mark Hicks
Writer / Composer / Cinematographer / Casting Agent / Sound Effects Editor / Special Effects: Mark Hicks
Starring: Mark Hicks, John McCuin, Jennifer Hamill
“Qava! I want you to start rounding up all of the Laffrodites off the Boulevards en masse! They will become infamous in the Maximus.” (Polpox, Actium Maximus)
Many amateur filmmakers dream of making the next underground smash, the next low-budget gem that does a Night Of The Living Dead or Clerks and emerges from obscurity to take over the world.
Mark Hicks, who is seemingly some sort of real life Garth Merenghi figure, clearly had this goal in mind when he wrote, directed and acted in Actium Maximus. Unfortunately, during this process he failed to notice his complete lack of writing, directing and acting ability. Continue reading “Actium Maximus: War Of The Alien Dinosaurs (2005) review”
Director: John McTiernan
Starring: Chris Klein, LL Cool J, Jean Reno, Rebecca Romijn, Naveen Andrews
“ROLLERBALL!” (Paul Heyman, Rollerball)
As I wrote in my recent review, the original 1975 version of Rollerball is a fantastic, prescient commentary on the way massive corporations suffocate society.
It’s also a superb action movie, with plenty of high-paced and violent sequences with rollerskates, motorbikes, fists and feet flying all over the place.
What a difference 27 years makes, then, because the 2002 remake is one of the biggest piles of vapid cockwash ever committed to celluloid. Continue reading “Rollerball (2002) review”
Director: Norman Jewison
Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn
“Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it’s ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.” (Mr Bartholomew, Rollerball)
The best futuristic movies are those grounded in reality, the ones that aren’t just flying cars and laser guns but actually feel like they really could happen in the years to come.
Although some elements of Rollerball may not fall under this category – I don’t see a sport in which deaths are considered acceptable coming any time soon – so much of it feels remarkably spot on 40 years after its release. Continue reading “Rollerball (1975) review”