Final Exam (1981) is a bad film with some genuinly amazing ideas.

In context, this still makes no sense


This can easily be dismissed as yet another slasher that turned up on the coattails of Halloween and Friday The 13th, as part of The Golden Age Of Slashers. And it has all the hallmarks of such a film; it’s cheap, follows the tropes, and has a lot of so-so acting and directing. However, for all it’s many failings, writer and director Jimmy Huston needs to be applauded for making a film that really tried to do something different with the genre in several interesting ways.
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The Last Case Of August T. Harrison (2015)

Renowned curmudgeon and author HP Lovecraft is dead and, unlike many other popular franchise creators in a similar situation, his works are in the public domain. It’s a mythos that you can have great fun with so writer/director Ansel Faraj decided to make a genre-bending movie based that asks two important questions: “what if Lovecraft wrote about things that are real” and “what is a father was coming to terms with his son being…. an artist!”
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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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Merrick (2017)


Another day, another apocalypse; this time in the form of Merrick; a boxing champion who had his career curtailed by one of those annoying diseases that wipes everything out for plot purposes. It’s written, directed, and produced by newcomer Benjamin Diouris, and the trailer makes it look low-budget. well presented, and a bit of a downer. Just the thing for a quiet summer’s viewing.
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End Of The World (1977) couldn’t end soon enough


One of the greatest things about Sir Christopher Lee (of which there is a long list) is that he always gave an incredible and committed performance regardless of the quality of the film he was in. As such, whenever someone finds one of his lesser-known works it’s always worth a punt, even if the film is otherwise quite bad. And by golly does this 1977 John Hayes directed movie prove that!
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Cyberzone (1995)


Want a practical example of why bad films get released under multiple names? This bit of viewing was picked purely on the grounds of there being the word “cyber” in its title; so had it been seen under its “Phoenix 2” or “Droid Gunner” monikers then you wouldn’t be about to read this cautionary tale. Then again, had just that bit more effort been put in by director Fred Olen Ray then the following would probably have been far more positive. It’s funny how life works out like that.
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The Haunted House Of Horror (1969)


I wasn’t sure how to write this review, but after I did a bit of reading I found out that the producers had no idea about how to make this film. Half of it is an interesting proto-slasher, directed by Michael Haworth and stating a giggle of up-and-coming stars of British Cinema (and Frankie Avalon on his way down). The other half is an interesting drama, using the backdrop of swinging London and mostly the same cast. Sadly, you can see the welds. Continue reading

Spiderhead (2022), the dawn of cyberbeige


Of the big streaming services, mostly because it’s given up on having any kind of 80s and 90s back catalogue, Netflix is currently the best place for new cyberpunk things to watch. So, when this Chris Helmsworth fronted drama, written by the team who did Deadpool randomly appeared on Friday I was all kinds of pumped up about it. And now I can happily report that it was mostly okay if you have time to kill. Continue reading

Hick (2011)

It’s hard to write the intro to this Derick Martini movie because after watching it and thinking about it for three days I can’t begin to work out what the hell the film was trying to accomplish. It’s not especially strange, although it’s certainly off-beat, and it’s certainly not dumb. It just seems to be what happens when you get a bunch of really talented people together and forget to have anything to say for 98 minutes. Continue reading

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