Chernobyl Diaries (2012) review

Chernobyl Diaries posterDirector: Bradley Parker

Starring: Ingrid Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Olivia Dudley, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips, Jonathan Sadowski

“So, there’s this place called Pripyat. It’s the town right next to Chernobyl. Uri, who is really excited to take us there, is an extreme tour guide. He’s going to show us this city that was abandoned overnight. Literally. They had no time to take anything. Factories, schools, stores, homes apartments, everything’s still there. Imagine the photo shoot you could have there, Amanda.” (Paul, Chernobyl Diaries)

I’ve got a fascination with abandoned towns. I love the idea of exploring a location trapped in time: a once thriving place that, for whatever reason, was suddenly abandoned and left to nature to take over.

The premise of Chernobyl Diaries speaks directly to that part of me. And then ruins it all by throwing in baldy zombie mutant things. Continue reading “Chernobyl Diaries (2012) review”

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Snowpiercer (2013) review

Snowpiercer posterDirector: Bong Joon-ho

Starring: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swanton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner

“Order is the barrier that holds back the flood of death. We must all of us on this train of life remain in our allotted station. We must each of us occupy our preordained particular position.

“Would you wear a shoe on your head? Of course you wouldn’t wear a shoe on your head. A shoe doesn’t belong on your head. A shoe belongs on your foot. A hat belongs on your head. I am a hat. You are a shoe. I belong on the head. You belong on the foot. Yes? So it is.” (Mason, Snowpiercer)

If I had a penny for every ‘the end of the world has come and only a small number of survivors remain’ film I’d seen, I’d have about 16p to my name.

Snowpiercer takes that tired plot device, makes things interesting by sticking everyone on a train, then asks “how much would you fucking have now, Chris?”

The answer, of course, is 17p. Regardless, my point is that Snowpiercer puts a new twist on an overused idea and succeeds for the most part. Continue reading “Snowpiercer (2013) review”

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 posterDirector: David DeCoteau

Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Brian Bremer, Christopher Wolf, Sara Suzanne Brown, Michele Matheson, Don Dowe

Also known as: Virgin Hunters

“We come from your future. Our mission here is to prevent a corporate takeover of the planet, and the banning of sex between consenting adults.” (Naldo, Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000)

Let’s face it, even if you don’t know anything about this film you already know why I decided to watch and review it.

Yes, I’m a sucker for a great film title, and if my rating at the end of each review was based on titles alone this little beauty would find itself in the Hall Of Fame with gusto.

Sadly however, the film itself doesn’t quite live up to the heady expectations set by its name – how could it ever expect to? – and as such the number of Trevor Moorhouse heads you see at the bottom is lower than one would have hoped.

Here’s another thing I didn’t expect: it turns out that rather than the comedy sci-fi film I was expecting, this is actually supposed to be a softcore porn film. Oh. Continue reading “Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review”

Robot Wars (1993) review

Robot Wars posterDirector: Albert Band

Starring: Don Michael Paul, Barbara Crampton, James Staley, Lisa Rinna, Danny Kamekona

DRAKE – “It’s getting ugly out here chief, request surface troops on the double.”

LT PLUNKETT – “Request denied. Stop acting like a weak sister.”

As you may have guessed, this review isn’t about the 1998 BBC TV show in which Craig Charles commentated while a bunch of pale recluses battled their own custom-made robots, before fidgeting nervously as the producers cruelly get a beautiful woman to try and get an excruciating interview out of them.

No, this is yet another low-budget offering by beloved B-movie studio Full Moon, this time pitting two massive mechanical monstrosities against each other while the filmmakers cruelly get a beautiful woman to try and solve a mystery in the process.

So you see, it’s very different. Except for the big robots and the beautiful woman. And the cruelty. Continue reading “Robot Wars (1993) review”

The Day After (1983) review

The Day After DVD coverDirector: Nicholas Meyer

Starring: Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg

DR OAKES – “Do you have any idea what’s going on in this world?”
DR LANDOWSKA – “Yeah. Stupidity. It has a habit of getting its way.”

The threat of nuclear attack is something that has remained ever-present for the past 70 years. The technology may keep improving, and the potential enemy may keep changing, but whether it’s the Japanese, the North Koreans, the Americans, the Cubans, the Iraqis (ha!) or – in the case of The Day After – the Russians who are the would-be obliterators, much of the world lives its day-to-day life with the constant underlying knowledge that at any point another pissed-off country could press a button and that’d be that.

The Day After was an ambitious and brave TV movie that attempted to convince all who watched it that nuclear war shouldn’t be the ultimate answer (which sort of goes without saying, but some people are a bit daft). It shows the build-up, the result and the aftermath of a fictional nuclear attack on Kansas City. Continue reading “The Day After (1983) review”