Deathstalker (1983) is a terrible film

“We shall committ many sex crimes together, brother”


Quite often the phrase “for its time” is used when trying to evaluate movies, but I’ve no idea as to when the use of rape as narrative punctuation was ever considered an acceptable thing. I also appreciate that saying such things is a strong opening for a review, but when it’s in the lynchpin of the first, second, and every subsequent scene in this sword-and-sexual-assault fantasy its discussion needs to be as prominent as writer Howard R. Cohen and director James Sbardellati made it.
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Violent Night (2022) is a must see classic.

The high-concept pitch for this is “Santa rescues a rich family from the clutches of armed criminals from the cut-and-weld version of Die Hard & Die Hard 2”. And if the recipient’s instant reaction wasn’t “KA-CHING£$!” they need to be fired. David Harbour is Santa McClane, and that covers half the bill by itself.
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Dust Devil (1992)


There is a lot in common between my blog and the filmography of Richard Stanley. They’re both essentially uncommercial works, they are based on a love of cinema and belief in the scope of what movies can be, and they both rely on introspection interspersed with brutal violence. But whilst I do quick reads about other people’s work for free, he convinces people to give him millions of dollars to make two-hour gothic epics set in random deserts. Also; he once got driven crazy by Val Kilmer, but that’s a whole other story.
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Dark Disciple (2016)


Allan Caggiano, who by his own admission has no formal training, set out with a four-person production crew to make a movie and for that I applaud him. He also said that “reviews (even the harsh ones) are greatly appreciated” so on the off change he gets to read this I hope he doesn’t think I’m being unfair with what’s about to be said. Making any kind of film is a soul-breaking task, and at the very least he brought into the world something that a group of us spent a pleasant hour and a half watching.
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Bats (2021) is, against all odds, enjoyable nonsense


Chekov said “The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them” so Scott Jeffery (writer and co-director) has produced some of the purest art available because I can’t think of a single one of the 83 minutes of this movie in which I wasn’t going “what the fuck?” at the screen.
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FairyTale: A True Story (1997)


As a long-time reader of The Fortean Times, and having a general interest in the more esoteric bits of social history, I was keen to find out what this dramatization of the Cottingley Fairies story would be like. I could remember it making some noise when it first came out, but that was mostly because it was a British costume drama that had some bits of CGI in it rather than because it was a great film. So I was also curious if was going to be bogged down with The Great British Worthiness that meant we had tried to pretend we never had a genre cinema industry after the 70s. Continue reading

Loki (2021) – Season One, Episode One “Glorious Purpose” Review

It’s another season of Marvel TV, so it’s time to go through the all-important mythos introductions with this first episode. In this case, the titular character is pretty straightforward as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been with us since his Marvel cinematic debut with Thor in 2011. He’s charming, arrogant, happy to knife anyone that gets in his way, and his helmet is still both utterly ridiculous and fashionably dashing. The only minor complication is that the Loki we have here is the defeated mischievous god at the end of Avengers Assemble, rather than the emotionally evolved one we saw die in Infinity War. But don’t worry about that, as this is just Marvel Universe 199999, introducing us to the fun multiverse shenanigans that Universe 616 has been dealing with for ages.
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Ink (2009)


Ink is a 2009 indie film; written, directed, executive produced, composed, and edited by Jamin Winans. It’s billed as “a Wonderful Life meets Sin City” and a “high-concept visual thriller”, and is a passion project that tells a story about a mysterious creature called Ink, two mysterious forces battling for the fate of a girl, and the redemption of an ill-fated father. This $250,000 budget film has managed to gain 86 ten-star reviews on IMDB.com since its release, and for the life of me I can’t work out why, because it’s pompous, dull, and irredeemable Trash. I appreciate that it’s harsh to cut straight to the final score, but given how bloated and overlong the film was, I felt I had to restore some kind of cosmic balance. Maybe if you value the ratings given out here then the time saved not reading the rest of the review could make up for the time wasted watching the film. If not, here’s some nice things before the meat of its problems.
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The 5 Uwe Boll Ball Movies Ranked


Before we start, two observations that apply to all of these films and need to be addressed.

Firstly, they all look very good. Both in terms of production values and how they are shot, all of the movies show a surprisingly high level of technical ability within the crew. The cast are, mostly, similarly talented. Whilst there are a couple of bad performances, most are quite good IF you ignore the material they have to deal with. These are multimillion-dollar productions, and they have the look and feel of multimillion-dollar productions that don’t sap your will to watch. As such, any and all criticism has to be placed directly at the feet of the director and producer, Uwe Boll, for the active decision to make such god-awful movies when they could so very easily have made perfectly okay ones.

Secondly, the sex scenes are atrocious. They are not sexy, most of them are not needed, there is next to no chemistry between anyone involved, and even the ones that you can just about accept as part of the plot are excessively long to the point of dullness. These films were obviously made with a predetermined boob quota and the assumption that showing a breast is, in and of itself, erotically charged. The most pointless was in Along In The Dark, as it could have been cut from the film and made zero impact on any of the story even though it involved two of the main characters. The most offensive was in BloodRayne 3; wherein the hero and unconscious heroine in a van taking them to a concentration camp, with zero romantic build-up, decide to have wild, freaky sex because he groped her whilst she was unconscious. Everything else is somewhere between those two points, and all are down to “artistic” decisions Uwe Boll made.
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Doom Patrol Season One (2019)

Doom Patrol is finally to be available for streaming in the UK, via the Amazon Prime sub-subscription service StarzPlay. So, after raving so hard about The Pilot at launch on DCUniverse (and then watching it all again on Blu-Ray), it was time to do the season review.

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