Reviews (200)

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Not having read the book, I have to accept from other reviewers that this is a faithful adaptation. Having said that, Sir Walter Scott has given his hero strange treatment, having him bedridden from a jousting injury early in the story. Perhaps Scott was trying to put across a picture of racial and religious intolerance, zealotry and bigotry. Certainly, some of the actors paint this picture vividly.

    Actors of note in this production include Anthony Bate, Roger Bizley, Peter Dineley and especially Andre Van Gyseghem but Eric Flynn was perhaps not the best choice for playing Ivanhoe, the knight just returned from the crusade. Also,Tim Preece just did not convince as the nasty scheming Prince John. The whole production did not look too good either.

    The action sequences looked rather amateurishly done and although the mail armour for the knights looked real enough, the weapons sounded wooden. With bare trees and snow lying on the ground, it looked as if this series was made in the depths of winter - perhaps renting the locations was cheaper in winter. I felt that the BBC did not do justice to Scott's novel.
  • I remember this series from years ago when it was shown on UK TV. Watching the box-set episodes in quick succession, certain observations come to mind. Conrad Phillips as William Tell is well cast as the hero, and Willoughby Goddard makes a great Gessler, but after a while, the episodes with Tell and Gessler take on a similar pattern with Tell getting the better of Gessler. The other cast members are interesting for different reasons though.

    Walter Tell (Richard Rogers) appears regularly to start with and then disappears for a long time; but Hedda Tell (Jennifer Jayne) is the most interesting. She is no shrinking violet and readily picks up crossbow and sword and pitches in when necessary; maybe she is TV's first Feminist before the word Feminist was invented: and she also starts off regularly but her appearances diminish with time. Could the viewing lads and lasses have found Hedda more appealing than William? An actor's ego can be a fragile thing.

    Also of interest are the minor cast members who would go on to greater things - among them Christopher Lee, Patrick Troughton, Warren Mitchell and an early appearance of Michael Caine.

    All things considered, the cast and crew did a fine job producing an adventure series which has stood the test of time and is worth watching today.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Here's a mystery: Why do Hollywood kids call their mums, "Mormy, Mormy"? You never hear teenagers or adults say it like that, so the question is, at what age do Hollywood kids stop saying "Mormy" and what triggers the change? Anyway, now for the film. The question is not who did it - we actually know the answer - but who instigated it? Faith Kelsey (Cybill Shepherd) wants her wedding ring back but is that a good enough motive for murder? Or could be that the dead woman stole Kelsey's first husband? Faith herself is hardly a paragon of virtue, playing the seductress to get her way; and her father is hardly sympathetic to her problems.

    Whilst the other actors play their parts well enough, Cybill Shepherd does not really convince as the cunning seductress she is supposed to be. In fact, it would be difficult to think of any reason why she would have so much attraction to any man. She comes across as a bit of a Plain Jane and not much better on the emotion front. On a different subject, I found it quite amusing during the assassination attempt at the lake, when the actor (or stuntman) playing Faith's new husband Terry, tries to escape the gunmen by jumping high into the air before diving into the water. He should be recruited into the Olympics high-jump team. Otherwise it was an acceptable way of passing three hours.
  • This Lotus Esprit episode is the only one I have seen and it will probably be the last. I just cannot believe it. The one thing that I have learned over the years is that you have got to take the reality in Reality TV with a good dose of salt. The car restoration bit could have been more detailed especially the engine being sent off to Lotus. I think Lotus would have welcomed a bit of extra publicity and it would have been good to see the experts in action in the engine's reassembly. For me though, the real problem was the two presenters and their so-called chemistry.

    For me, the two presenters had no chemistry whatsoever: it was like trying to mix oil and water. They tried hard but it came out as false and just plain embarrassing to watch. Who thought that a pie in the face was a good idea? I think it failed but careful editing made it look as if it succeeded. Then there was the banter, an example of which went something like this:

    What are you looking at?

    Nothing.

    What are you looking at?

    Nothing.

    What are you looking at?

    Nothing.

    I think I have got the number right. It was so bad, I thought Alan Partridge was going to jump out in front of the camera and give us an Aha! The end of the program when the car was handed over to Gary the fireman still posed the question in my mind - how much reality is in Reality TV? (I do know that Alan Partridge is really Steve Coogan).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had only recently bought this DVD when I found out that Julie Strain had sadly passed away. This is the sort of film I like and Julie Strain played to her strengths as the chief dominatrix at an underground S &M club which may have been involved in the disappearance of a model a year previously. Monique Parent is Claire Reynolds, a reporter who is on the trail as she falls for tycoon Justin Deville (Justin Carroll) who is the key figure. As is the way of these things, Claire falls for Justin but everyone has dark secrets, so who is really going to fall? There is always a sting in the tail with these films.

    The fact of an S & M venue gives some good scope for some naked pain and frequent nudity. I am not really a fan of the obviously over-augmented breasts but to each his own. It is a pity that the Parent/Carroll sex scene was spoiled by the over-zealous use of superimposed imagery and too much close-up. Why do they do this with sex scenes? Remember KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. On the other hand, the Strain/Parent scene was worth a look especially Parent standing naked in the rain. On the whole, this is a fairly run-of-the-mill erotic thriller with S & M thrown in.
  • Having read the book, I have to say that the film follows the book quite closely in many ways but the film left me pretty cold because of the differences. The most obvious change was the move from New York to Los Angeles; then some character changes as well; and lastly the mystery object that everyone was after. The cinematography was good and Cloris Leachman was good in her acting debut but they were the only good points.

    The pacing seemed too slow with everyone moving about at a snail's pace. Everyone seemed to talk in a slow drawn out drawl as well: except Nick the garage mechanic who must surely be the most annoying character ever committed to the silver screen until those two horrible kids that Tom Cruise had to put up with in War of the Worlds. Ralph Meeker as Hammer did not look to be the grizzled war veteran of the books. As a war veteran Hammer would have known about shapes, shadows and silhouettes when he was in Lily Carver's apartment; and Hammer would not have romanced Velda as shown in this film.

    The end of the film was not to my liking either. The big mystery for me was not the object in the box but what material was the box made of which could contain a device of such immense energy? For me, the film just did not hold me as did the book. According to the blurb, this film was "rediscovered" but maybe there was a reason why it was hidden in the first place.
  • This could have been a good film if only Bo Derek's acting was as fantastic as her body. Like any erotic thriller, there is a mystery to be solved: in this case Christina Ford (Bo Derek) accuses captain Jack (Jeff Fahey) of killing her husband and raping her. This is further complicated when it emerges that the husband has a twin brother (both roles played by Steven Bauer). The question becomes, who really went overboard on that fateful night? This is the question that the lawyer played by an almost sleepwalking Robert Mitchum must answer. The film reaches its resolution in a muddled way and it comes from an unexpected quarter.

    It is a pity that Bo Derek cannot show any sort of acting ability. Her face barely changes at any time during the film, always showing a sort of half-smile all the time despite the crimes that have supposedly been committed against her. She does get to show off her body though at several points in the film, especially in the motorcycle scene, but director Robert Ginty could have done better, after all Miss Derek is not shy when performing these scenes. Never mind though, Miss Derek does compensate for a mediocre film.

    I have seen a few versions of this film, VHS and DVD; the Hong Kong DVD has Miss Derek's pubic area blurred; and the Dutch DVD has most of the nudity and sex scenes deleted but adding some extra dialogue between Christina and Jack.
  • I bought this DVD on ebay very cheaply and I still think I was overcharged. This tries to be a romantic comedy but the cast look to be porn actors who are trying to prove that they can act - and failing miserably. The theme of the film in which a lottery ticket is split between two people was done much better in, It could Happen To You (1994), and the idea of two people having to convince the authorities of the validity of a marriage was done much better in Green Card (1990).

    This follows the well-trodden path of rom-coms with boy meets girl; boy loses girl; boy wins girl in the end. This goes on for too long with the added scenario of the marriage and the inevitable will they, won't they share the marital bed? The cast simply try too hard and so nothing is convincing. Even the nudity scenes are pretty boring; and the close-up of two tongues entwining does nothing for me. Sorry folks, only two stars.
  • Richard Rawlings had an idea for a TV show and pursued the networks for several years before hitting the big-time so congratulations to him. The TV show that started in a small way has grown but now seems to be a parody of itself. Each episode used to end with a tally-up of profit or loss but that bit has been dropped. Now it seems to be an ego trip for Richard who throws his hands in the air, shouting, "Yow", or patting his hair down while calling for a beer. The mechanics do their share of acting in between the work. The only one who seems to be grounded in reality is Christie. Sue the upholsterer does the same thing when Richard comes calling, "You bring me junk, You can have it tomorrow".

    The car builds are interesting for me at least although I do wonder about the haggling that goes on between buyer and seller, especially with a camera present. Just how real is Reality TV? Just keep telling yourself, It's only a TV show; it's only a TV show; it's only a TV show.
  • I have not read the book by Robert Ludlum on which this film is based but I hope it makes more sense than the film. This is the last film of Sam Peckinpah and although there are the usual Peckinpah trademarks such as violence and slow-motion action, the plot leaves big enough holes to drive a bus through.

    The performances by the cast are OK, particularly John Hurt as the embittered CIA man, Lawrence Fassett, Burt Lancaster as the scheming bombastic Maxwell Danforth and Rutger Hauer as the photogenic TV host, John Tanner, but they are let down by lacklustre direction and a poor script. The worst aspect are the missing details that would make some sense of the whole thing. For instance, how did Fassett come to know that Danforth was responsible for his wife's death and how did he get hold of the videotape? A little bit of extra dialogue would have helped matters. Then there is the action.

    It really does beggar belief that the gunmen here couldn't hit a barn door even with their laser sights but hey, who needs them when you have Meg Foster, she of the piercing stare and her bow and arrow? I have seen this film at least three times and it goes down in my estimation each time.
  • This is Casanova Part 2 which has ben padded out to give us another film with the legendary John Holmes. This film supposes that Casanova has had a son who grows up to be Don Juan. Like father like son, Don Juan becomes another great lover and there are some good sex scenes to bear this out but the whole production of this inserted porn looks too clinical - as if it was made as a porn advert for a Glamorous Homes magazine. For me, the only good sex scene was the one with the injured swordsgirl (Cathy Linger) who wants to know what great sex is like before she expires. Who better to show her than our very own Mr John Holmes? Then he turns his attention to the Gypsy girl (Bridgette Felina). This scene was part of the original film. The rest of the film is a mess.

    We get a series of so-called talking head experts (no, not that sort of head despite this being a porn film) espousing stuff that I have now forgotten about, but who wants that intellectual stuff in a porn film anyway? There is some old footage and lots of free love and a mushroom cloud! Yes, really. What's that about? In this case, more is less.
  • I first saw this film many years ago when it was a single film but at some point, some-one decided to chop it in two and while most of the film constitutes Part 1, the second part was given a new scenario which is something to do with Don Juan being a descendant of Casanova. Anyway, this review is for Part 1.

    The film is certainly lavish with its costumes and sets but the film starts off with a clip showing Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland from Start the Revolution Without Me. After that we get to the main story which is the modern descendant of Casanova, played by John Holmes, inheriting a potent perfume which renders any female who smells it putty in his hands. This, of course is just what porn films are all about. Besides the obvious sex scenes this film takes on darker themes - the term, family relations, takes on a whole new meaning; and the scene with the three young ladies may be at odds with today's sensibilities. As a porn film though, this delivers the goods.

    John Holmes gets to show off his legendary manhood in some hot scenes but for me the best is the one at the motel with Iris Medina. She is fabulous, so much so that it seems unlikely she could ever me a motel maid, but this is a porn film after all. This scene is not just sex but sexy as well. A missed opportunity was the scene with Susan Silver as Doctor Sharpe. This could have been a great scene if some-one had used a bit of imagination. Overall though, a good film of its type.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bo Derek has a fantastic body. Right then, that's the positive taken care of but what about the negatives? Ye Gods, where to begin? Anthony Quinn's talent is wasted as he spends most of the time as an ethereal talking head surrounded by some sort of shimmering light that looks like an early Star Trek special effect. Bo Derek just cannot express facially, any different emotions despite going through a range of experiences during the film. There are laughs to be had but unfortunately they are unintentional. The biggest laugh for me was when Bo dives out of the cockpit of a seaplane (she is flying solo) but leaves the still powered-up plane to float off to who knows where. Then there is the ethical question of actually inciting some-one to commit murder - and this is supposed to be a comedy of sorts. The biggest let-down is the end. In a sexy film the ending should have a great sex and nudity scene but there isn't one. This has got to be the anti-climax of all anti-climaxes.

    This review is based on a US DVD and the UK VHS which was released in 1990. The US DVD runs for 94 minutes compared to the UK VHS at 83 minutes. Some of this difference can be put down to the NTSC and PAL frame speeds but the UK edition has had the following cuts. The NTSC DVD is used as the reference.

    The first cut is at 2:45 when Quinn says, "I'm having a heart attack". The UK film cuts directly to the hospital ward instead of showing Katie comforting Scott. The second cut is at 13:29 when Katie says, "You're scaring me Great One". The UK film cuts directly to Scott writing a final draft of a letter instead of Katie and Scott comforting each other. The final cut is at 46:27 and in the UK version the clips showing the Pill Man spying on Katie in the swimming pool before confronting her in the shower have been cut. The BBFC makes no mention of these cuts so they must have been made before the film was submitted for classification. Why were the cuts made? Who knows, but they help move the film along.
  • Forbidden Games? It is this film that should have been forbidden. Generally, I like erotic films but this one does not rank highly in my opinion. The film starts off with a supposedly erotic scene which is meant to be the initial crime but then gets steadily worse. Jeff Griggs plays the private Investigator with psychic powers but he is not quite psychic enough to know instantly who did it - which is a pity because it would have saved me the ninety minutes watching this.

    There are a good number of beautiful women in this but they generally sit or lounge around a swimming pool. In a film such as this of course, there are the obligatory sex scenes but there is more to it than just showing acres of female flesh, welcomed though it is. As for the ending, that was less than an anti-climax and him being a psychic cop, he should really have seen it coming. The film could have been better than it is and the people who shoot erotic scenes should really learn how to do it.
  • This was the sort of film that us kids used to watch at Saturday Morning Pictures but by the time this film was made, I was long out of short trousers and making my own home.

    Watching this film now, this reminds me of that other scared alien film ET, although this was made a few years before Mr Spielberg - and one would imagine with a much smaller budget. The pace of this film though does not allow any weepiness and there is not a wasted minute in this Boys Own style adventure. The fairly short film is about a small scared alien, in the form of a small ball, befriended by two boys who help it in trying to find its way back to its mothership. On the way there is the unscrupulous (and hapless) local crook and the authorities trying to track it down.

    A couple of familiar faces from the past crop up - Ron Pember as the crook and Derek Deadman as the ice cream van driver. There is also an uncredited appearance by Linda Robson as the cashier. Special mention must be made of the special effects, especially in the supermarket and taken all round, the film is an entertaining hour of family viewing.
  • In the UK, this film is called Armageddon of the Dead but the film is so bad I am surprised it did not have the words zombie and apocalypse in the title. In reality it is another zombie film in which a group of people are holed up in a building while the zombies are massing outside. It would not be so bad if some of the decisions taken by the people made sense. For instance, the people know that being bitten by a zombie is fatal yet some injuries are ignored and no-one seems to think anything is wrong when an injured person dies, but then are surprised when dead person rises again. The Sherriff seems to be the only one with his head screwed on properly but even he must have had a senior moment when he handcuffs a suspected infected person to the emergency exit door: think about it because these people certainly didn't. I could go on but it would take too long, not to mention the debacle at the sanctuary so I will stop here.
  • Whether or not it was intended to be a comedy, this film was a riot. All the best clichés were there including the line that all British panto lovers will know - there're behind you. The thing that makes this a hoot though, is that it is played straight - everyone is just so serious; but first, a bit about the plot.

    The special edition DVD comes with a comic booklet explaining the origins of the zombie virus and the film picks up when the zombies are inadvertently let loose. The film revolves around a group of people who have to battle the zombies in order to survive but also a corporate or government plot to kill a rogue agent who mumbles and murmurs like a Bruce Willis wannabe with a sore throat. The action clichés are equally unimpressive.

    You have to wonder how fit people are caught by shuffling zombies and watch carefully as just about every cliché is incorporated here; and don't get me started on the martial arts fighting. Still, it is great fun and worth watching for a laugh.
  • When I saw this DVD for sale I was hoping for a worthy zombie comedy along the lines of Shaun of the Dead but while there are good comedy moments, most of the humour failed to hit the mark. The plot was a simple one: a group of mates are holed up in a telephone exchange while the zombies are surrounding the building. The banter keeps flowing with the characters discussing the usual Aussie subjects of cricket and beer. In typical Aussie style, they even managed to include a couple of scantily clad women, one of them topless. Discussing the fate of their friend's wife was a good moment and so was the rooftop firework scene but this latter scene looked too similar to the Roadrunner cartoons. The real let-down was the timing of some of the action: some of the zombies took ages to shamble a few yards but if this was meant to be the joke then it failed. Generally, I like Aussie films, both comedy and drama but not this one.
  • Gregory dark has directed quite a number of these erotic thrillers and in this one he delivers the goods. Nick West (Martin Hewitt) is a late-night radio host whose reputation for his sexy talk show has earned him legions of fans but also some enemies so when Nick is heard having sex with female fan Honey, (Tracy Tweed) on-air, his listeners are shocked when the moaning and groaning turns into choking and croaking. Nick goes on the run and with his barmaid girl friend Cinnamon, (Deborah Driggs) he has to trawl the sleazy haunts in search of clues.

    This all leads to some great sex scenes, not forgetting of course the early scenes of a couple of his female fans pleasuring themselves as Nick seduces them over the air. The sex scenes are hot and feature girl/girl as well as a hot scene with Nick and Cinnamon. David Carradine also appears as Vincent, the psycho club owner - there's no Kung-Fu grasshopper here. However, it is the erotic scenes that viewers will be watching for and with the great eye-candy on show, this is one of the better films of the genre.
  • The end credits says that this film was based on a stage play and it certainly seems that way with almost all the action happening indoors. The film consists of three intertwined stories against a backdrop of a zombie plague but actually the stories could easily have been three separate half-hour plays with no zombies at all. It is my belief that the zombies were mostly a marketing ploy.

    The first story is about a couple whose marriage has hit a rough patch with the wife being neglected by the husband who is obsessed with writing a play (or book) and spends all his time on his computer. Unbeknownst to the couple, the computer is cleverer than they realise.

    The second story features a vampire couple who take in a young woman who is not what she seems. The couple cannot believe how lucky they are when the young woman lets them drink her blood but there is a price to pay for this largesse.

    The DVD cover which shows a Lara Croft look-a-like about to blow away a zombie was the reason I bought the DVD and is the main character in the final story. Our glamorous heroine has rescued a young boy from the zombies, (it did not have to be zombies - it could have been any plague) but two priests believe the boy to be the Antichrist and want to kill him. The question is, is he really the Antichrist or are the priests just religious zealots gone mad?

    You see? There really was no need at all for the zombies. To give the film its credit, the zombies were well done and so was the chomping and chewing but perhaps the budget spent on the film could have been better spent in some other way.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is actually quite a good erotic drama if you do not mind the poor acting and the rather laughable action scenes. Lea Anne Beaman is the journalist investigating mobster Mike Florian (Sam Jones, an actor so wooden a fence post would give him a run for his money) when she sees photos of an unknown woman, found in her husband's jacket. This start her off on a journey not only to discover this mystery woman's identity, but also to discover the truth about herself. Her troubles are not only personal but also professional as she has to deal with sexual politics and corporate rivalry.

    Jag Mundhra occupies the same position as Gregory Dark when it comes to erotic film making and this film has a good amount of erotic scenes especially the one with Miss Beaman and the exotic Juliet Reagh, who for some reason calls herself Jenna Persaud for this film. I think Jag Mundhra missed a trick at the start of the film when the first love scene is curtailed by a phone call: always start the film with a hot sex scene to hold the viewer's attention. Despite this, the film delivers what it is meant to deliver.
  • This has got to be one of the best erotic thrillers ever made. It may be a bit far-fetched at times but the erotic content in this movie is fantastic, especially Deborah Shelton. She plays Roxy, the ex-girlfriend of insurance CEO Ted Quincy (Matt Roe) who wants her back and her husband dead in order to collect the insurance. The plot is a bit convoluted but the obvious standout scene is the one with Miss Shelton and Nick Cassavetes, Jack, the ex-con insurance investigator who is - sorry, no spoilers. A mention also goes to Michele Brin who plays the suspected insurance fraudster early in the film. It is a pity we do not see more of her.

    Despite the praise for this film mentioned above, two stars have been deducted because I feel that there were missed opportunities for more erotic content; Michele Brin mentioned above; Courtney Taylor has legs to die for so we could have seen more; and there is a hint of a girl/girl relationship. In conclusion, if you are a fan of the erotic thriller genre, this film is a must-see.
  • I think I have got the right number of Doobys. This is one of those songs that will haunt your head while the film is gathering dust on the shelf. Maybe the film could be labelled as Eurotrash which was a popular genre back in the day. The film is meant to be a comedy as Sylvia (Corinne Brodbeck) goes in search of sexual fulfilment when her TV-mad husband ignores her sexual overtures. It may have been funny once but it has not aged well.

    A couple of scenes which may have been acceptable back then would probably raise objections now but I am not going to write spoilers. On the plus side, the leading ladies are not shy doing their nude scenes and thankfully look totally natural. Ajita Wilson is also in this and bearing in mind how trans people are coming to the fore, it could be said that she was way ahead of her time. The locations from the Côte d'Azure to the Austrian Tyrol look good, so what a pity we do not see more of them. Finally, the last shot of the aeroplane is pure Benny Hill but it does not save the film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Not to be confused with the Shakespearean character, this Lady Macbeth is Katherine, a 19th century wife in northern England who is left to run the estate after her husband and father-in-law are called away on business. The loneliness is well conveyed by the slow pacing of the film as Katherine sits alone in the house and the cinematography which captures the isolation amidst the open moorland. The lack of music adds to the bleakness of the situation as do the echoes of Katherine's footsteps in the house. It is no wonder that Katherine seeks passion in the arms of another man and goes to desperate measures to keep her freedom and the film takes on a very sinister form. However, it is the speed with which the affair begins.

    It is the same old cliché we have seen many times before - a woman resists a man but he only has to give her a kiss and she is putty in his hands. James Bond did it with Pussy Galore; then there was Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara and I an pretty sure that other leading men such as John Wayne and Robert Mitchum have done it with their leading ladies. One would have thought that in the 21st century, that old idea would have been laid to rest but apparently not; or maybe I don't know women. That, for me really let the side down and I do not think the film deserved many of its plaudits.
  • Set in London, this is an anarchic satire on the consumerist yuppiedom of the Thatcherite 1980s. Written by and featuring the cast of The Comic Strip series, the film could be a Who's Who of the 1980s UK show business. All credit to them for getting people such as Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman and Koo Stark and Motorhead who contribute much of the soundtrack.

    Director Peter Richardson creates the restaurant (the IMDb does not permit me to mention its name) in which much of the action takes place and the feasting of the patrons and their behaviour as they stuff their faces is a metaphor for the excesses of the 1980s but the film does show the ugliness of all levels of society.

    The film is a bit uneven in its pacing but maybe this was intentional as the frenetic pace of the city is offset by a rather pedestrian pace when the location changes to the countryside. Overall though, the film is of its time and with the screen filled with celebrities of those days, some forgotten, some who made it big, this film deserves repeated viewing, even if it is only to play spot the celebrity.
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