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Showing posts from August 17, 2014

Review: The Beastmaster

Marc Singer is Dar, the title Beastmaster, who was fated to die as a child by the evil sorcerer Maax (Rip Torn), but saved from certain death and raised as the son of a simple farmer. Now a fully grown, buff warrior-type, who has a special ability to communicate with animals. When his adopted family and village are slaughtered, Dar and his animal companions (an eagle, a panther, and two thieving ferrets) head for the kingdom of Maax, who has recently usurped the king and instituted a ritual of child sacrifice. Because he’s evil as fuck. Along the way he even picks up human companions like warrior John Amos and slave girl Tanya Roberts, who is Dar’s guide into Maax’s temple.

Revisiting beloved childhood favourites can be a daunting undertaking, especially when the film was never viewed especially favourably by critics. However, I’m happy to say that this 1982 sword-and-sorcery tale from co-writer/director Don Coscarelli (“Phantasm”, “Bubba Ho-Tep”) holds up just as enjoyably as it did …

Review: Time After Time

Beginning in the 1890s, Malcolm McDowell stars as H.G. Wells, who has gathered together a group of friends and colleagues to show off the new time machine he has just invented. Yes, he invented it. Unfortunately, it’s at this time that the police show up looking for the man responsible for the Whitechapel murders, y’know that Ripper of a fella named Jack. And while Wells is dealing with the cops, one of his guests Dr. Leslie John Stephenson has decided to commandeer the time machine and heads for the future. Yep, you guessed it, Stephenson is the Ripper. When Wells realises what has happened, he sets about going after him, landing in late 70s San Francisco, where ‘ol Jack is starting to get up to old tricks. Whilst trying to track down Stephenson, Wells takes in the marvels of the modern era, lamenting that it isn’t the violence-free utopia he had envisioned. He does, however, meet a sweet bank teller played by Mary Steenburgen, so the future’s not all bad I guess.

One of the best tim…

Review: Lizzie Borden

Set in Massachusetts in 1892, this is the true story of Lizzie Borden, a supposed wild child alleged to have murdered her father (Stephen McHattie) and stepmother, and put on trial. Clea DuVall plays Lizzie’s more stable and upstanding sister, who believes in her sister’s innocence, but with increasing reservations. Billy Campbell turns up as Lizzie’s lawyer who argues a woman is incapable of caving in two skulls with an axe, and Gregg Henry plays the other side of the fence.

AKA “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax”. The underrated and frankly underused Christina Ricci (who earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, deservingly) is the whole show in this not very interesting TV movie retelling of the famed true crime story. It’s directed without distinction by Nick Gomez (Writer-director of “Laws of Gravity”, and “Illtown”), but it’s the screenplay by Stephen Kay (who has directed TV movies mostly, as well as the underrated “Get Carter” remake and writing the film version of “The Mod Squad”) tha…