Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Eli Craig
Tyler Labine
Alan Tudyk
Katrina Bowden

This weekend I had the fortune of having a preorder arrive early... This is the first time this has ever happened as usually I don't get the fucking thing until Wednesday. Huzzah... Let's get our review on.

This starts off like your usual horror. A bunch of badly acted teen stereotypes head out to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for spring break. On the way they pass some dodgy looking hillbillies. They realise they need beer and stop to grab some. At the store however the film changes from your run of the mill horror set up and starts following the hillbillies Tucker and Dale.
So basically without spoiling anything because as you all know, people who post spoilers are cunts. Like Rosie O'Donnell. As Tucker and Dale head out to their new holiday cabin the teens start to believe they are homocidal hillbillies from a horror movie that have kidnapped their friend and begin making attempts to attack them.

This film is awesome, and not just if your a fan of the kind of films this is sending up. Even the wife was laughing. I mean not as much as me, but she made it through the whole film, which is a lot more than can be said for most of the stuff I put on. It's a perfect comedy horror, and that's hard to do. I mean the only one I can think of right now is Shaun of the Dead. If you want to throw the Evil Dead films into the comedy horror genre then that's cool. This film sits right up there with all of them.
It manages to be both gruesome and funny as hell. Probably because the gruesome scenes are also funny. The set up is perfect and every time you go back to see what the teens are doing you can totally picture the other side of this movie in which they believe the hillbillies are out to get them. The film also has the best explanation to a cop I have ever seen. I know that sounds weird right now but when it happens in the film you'll laugh your ass off.

Anyway, it's a new release to DVD on Monday. Buy the damned film. It's awesome and you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

New Hammer DVD releases

In a rather awesome stroke of luck Hammer are releasing some of their old films on DVD. Films that haven't been available for some time. Hurrah. Okay not all the discs are perfect but it's still good news right... Okay here's the run down on what to expect.

First up The Dick Barton Trilogy.
I'm doing this one first as it's the only non horror release of the selection. For those who don't know the history of Dick Barton, he was the main protagonist in a daily radio programme in the late 40s. Hammer bought the rights to make a series of films based on the character, the series ended after the actor playing Dick Barton, Don Stannard died in a car crash.

The first film in the series is Dick Barton Special Agent (1948) and to be honest it's bloody awful, the print is really bad and the film is not much better. The attempts at humour haven't aged well and the whole cast with the exception of Stannard is fucking horrendous. I nearly didn't make it onto the second film this one was so bad. Luckily I did.
Dick Barton Strikes Back (1949) is an outstanding old detective story, the far superior Bruce Walker is now playing his comedy sidekick Snowy and the rest of the gang from the first film have thankfully disapeared. The print is much better and the film itself as mentioned above is really good. Entire villages in England are being wiped out and Dick Barton is on the case. It's this film that made me realise how good a character Dick Barton was and stands up well against other detective films of the time like the Mr Wong and Mr Moto series.

Finally we have Dick Barton at Bay (1950), another good detecive yarn, unfortunately George Ford is back playing Snowy but he's much better in this film than our first encounter, probably due to a lack of the awful Jock. Anyway this is another good film in which Dick Barton goes after a Death Ray that's been stolen by the Russians. Just a few years after the war and the Russians are evil already. Awesome.

It's another decent print and an enjoyable film. It's worth picking up this set if your a fan of old detective films, I'd skip past the first one though as you may not bother with the second one having suffered through 70 minutes of pure drivel.

Next up X the Unknown (1956).
This was clearly trying to be a sequel to the awesome Quatermass Xperiment, but for whatever reason Nigel Kneale refused to have his character used for it. Regardless it is a damn fine film with some rather gruesome face melting scenes. A radioactive blob is roaming the Scottish courtyside eating up all the radiation it can find, all the while leaving bodies in it's wake.

The print is okay, though the quality of the sound isn't that great. It's well worth a watch and considering it's only the second horror film Hammer produced we've got a lot to thank it for. The screenplay is by the outstanding Jimmy Sangster who also wrote The Mummy, Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula. He couldn't direct for shit but had to be one of the best writers working for Hammer. Definitely worth a pick up, especially for the low price these films are available for.

Last, but not least in any way is The Abominable Snowman (1957).

Written by Nigel Kneale and starring Peter Cushing this is one of the best Hammer films I've seen that hasn't been readily available on DVD. I mean you could buy this for £25 from Spain but that's a ton of cash to spend on a film you've never seen before. Having watched the film now though I wouldn't have been disapointed if I had spent that amount. This is outstanding, the print and film are both of the highest standard.
Cushing plays an English botanist who teams up with a group who are set on finding the fabled Yeti. THings however quickly start going wrong on the expedition. I really can't praise this film highly enough and considering I got the preorder for under a fiver it's great value for money.

Now I am fully aware that I have left a couple of the new releases out. I didn't preorder the Quatermass films (1955, 1957) as I heard they were having some troubles with it and that it had been put back. It was however released on time without any major problems. I have seen both films before and they are outstanding, especialy the perfomance of Richard Wordsworth in the Quatermass Xperiment as the returning astronaut with "problems". I can't however comment on the quality of the print. If they're anything like the ones used by BBC four recently then you should pick it up right away.

The other release was Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter (1972), this was a major cluster fuck by Icon who managed to release the DVD with the wrong print of the film. I do have the incorrect print sitting next to me now but I'm not going to open it since Hammer have stepped in and managed to sort it out. If you have picked up a copy of the incorrect print like me, then go to There are instructions there on how to get a hold of the correct print.

All in all it's a good set of releases. The prints may not have all aged well but I'd rather have a poor print than no print. All we need now is for them to announce the next batch of films for release. I can't wait.

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Lonely Place To Die

Melissa Gilbert has been slowly getting together a rather awesome CV of films, Triangle, the shockingly good Amityville remake, 30 days of night. The list goes on. I mean she'll always be Angel from Home and Away but there's not too many people that started off in Home and Away that manage to do anything... Danni Minogue doing a crap Macbeth at the fringe then being a cunt on the X factor doesn't count.

She was the main reason I went to see this... I didn't know too much about the rest of the cast, or the director before stepping into the theatre. The cast is actually pretty outstanding for a low budget British thriller. You will know most of the faces that appear onscreen. You won't even spend the first minute or two trying to remember where you know them from. Which is always a bonus.
Now I did think this was a horror before I went to see it, but that was me being my usual dumbass self. It's actually a rather good (and at times horrifying) thriller. A group of climbers come across a young girl who has been locked inside a hastily built chamber, after hearing her screaming from an airpipe. They try to take the girl to the local police but on the way come across the kidnappers who then proceed to chase them across the countryside.

It's paced well and the violence goes from quick bursts to sheer brutality. One of the things I love is that when the violence happens, it's very real. There's no grandstanding, it's bang and the guy is fucked. Don't get me wrong there are moments when you're like "how the hell is she still standing?", but you get over it quickly as something else happens before you get the chance to dwell on it.
The best thing about this film had to be the woman sitting in front of me who gasped and shrieked in all the right places. It really enhanced my viewing pleasure. But that's why we go to the cinema right. It's not all teenagers being cunts and eating loudly. Sometimes you get a good audience. Who the fuck thought I'd ever say that???