Posts

Showing posts from August 26, 2012

Review: Hell Below Zero

Alan Ladd decides to join a whaling crew in the Antarctic as a ship’s mate, as a favour to Joan Tetzel, whose father has died. The old man was apparently a former fleet captain who leapt from the bow of a company ship. It is said to be suicide, Tetzel thinks otherwise. Ladd thinks Tetzel is fetching. Joseph Tomelty is a ship captain, Niall MacGinnis is the drunk doctor on board, Basil Sydney is co-owner of the ship also on board, and Jill Bennett is a spunky Norwegian captain of a whaling vessel. Stanley Baker is Sydney’s son and one-time flame of Tetzel whom Sydney is very protective of.

Dull 1954 cheapie from the usually reliable Mark Robson (“The Seventh Victim”, “The Harder They Fall”, “Inn of the Sixth Happiness”), was one of a few British films Ladd made around this period. It’s less shoddy-looking than “The Red Beret”, but it’s still pretty lifeless and poorly scripted. A major disappointment given the presence of several 007 alumni in the credits (writer Richard Maibaum, produ…

Review: Hell Comes to Frogtown

Ten years ago, the world was all-but obliterated by nuclear war. Roddy Piper stars as Sam ‘Hell’ Hellman, one of the few fertile men alive, who has signed a contract with MedTech. Saddled with an electronic chastity belt, his assignment is to head out into mutant territory to rescue some fertile young women captured by amphibian ruler Commander Toty (Brian Frank). He is then required to...um...repopulate the world. In addition to his chastity belt (which gives him a shock whenever he fails to control himself), Sam is kept in line by nerdy Nurse Spangle (Sandahl Bergman!), who is one cold fish. Cec Verrill plays the butch Corporal Centinella, a military tough gal who mans (er...y’know) the M60 machine gun atop the customised ambulance our protagonists are sporting. Rory Calhoun turns up as Looney Tunes, an old buddy of Sam’s, whilst perennial villain William Smith plays the fascistic Captain Devlin, who is most displeased when he finds Sam bedding his daughter, and we later find has tu…

Review: American Movie

Directed by Chris Smith, this documentary from 2009 introduces us to a modern day Edward D. Wood Jr. in Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt (whom Smith met at a film class Smith was teaching). Borchardt, who barely makes a living doing odd jobs, and who has a whole lot of passion to be a filmmaker (His favourite films include “Night of the Living Dead”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and- I shit you not- “The Seventh Seal”). Unfortunately, he seems to have a serious lack of actual talent. Undeterred, the 30 year-old pours his heart, soul, and a substantial amount of money from his 82 year-old and possibly senile Uncle Bill, into pursuing his dream project. Called “Northwestern”, it will be a personal story about dead-end life in Wisconsin, full of ‘rust and decay’. Borchardt, who has been making movies since he was 12 (with titles like ‘The More the Scarier’ and its apparent sequels), hasn’t yet got the funds to make his dream film. In fact, despite having kids to support, he’s practically …

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) use goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis, who also plays Prof. Flitwick) and a little magic to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s (Helena Bonham-Carter) vault to destroy one of the remaining Horcruxes, which contain the soul of Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes). Apparently there is another one on the premises of Hogwarts, where the sinister Prof. Snape (Alan Rickman) has taken over after the death of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Harry gathers together the students of Hogwarts (and a few other allies) for a final battle with Voldermort and his horde, soon to descend upon Hogwarts.

I know millions worship everything Harry Potter-related, but as someone who has never read the books, the series of films have been somewhat hit or miss for me. Too many characters, too little room for depth, and a seriously underwhelming (and underused) villain have stopped me from getting into the series, though I might’ve enjoyed it as an 11 ye…