Monday, October 05, 2020

2020 movies part the first


  1. Shaolin Drunkard - A 1983 chopsocky 'comedy' of high octain WTF?ery which had Number One Daughter and I in hysterics for its entire running time.
  2. Highlander : The Source - Holy fucking CRAP! What an amazingly awful film! I was in hiccup inducing uncontrollable giggles for its entire length. Number One Daughter walked through the room during one of the Fight Sequences - she's two movies behind and doesn't want to spoil things so didn't watch it with me - "That," she said after watching a few cuts and moving on, "looks like a trailer for a PS1 Game." She was so right. Oh dear gods, my sides hurt.
  3. Side Effects - A neat enough pretty intelligent thriller from Steven Soderbergh that was doing great guns till the final twist [SPOILERS, Sweety] in which it turns out that it was all an evil lesbian plot by evil lesbians. Oh... great. More mainstream evil lesbian plottery. Just what I need.
  4. The Independent - A rewatch of a favourite with #2 Daughter who was less than impressed. Ah well.
  5. 36 - Le Sweeny.
  6. Spice World: The Spice Girls Movie- I have no shame in admitting that this has been on my Must Watch List for the longest time and I finally found a copy yesterday in a charity shop for a quid.

    The Daughters and I watched it tonight while the wife ran away - Number One has a thing for Richard E Grant and I have a thing for Scary Spice - Number Two daughter who WASN'T WATCHING IT snuck in when she realised Naoko Mori (Tosh from Torchwood) was in it - and you know what? We had the most fun we've had with a film for ages. It's stupid. It's badly acted. It makes absolutely NO sense. If I was uncharitable I could say it's just a full colour remake of A Hard Day's Night with tits - but it works. There were times when I was both laughing both at and with the movie at the same time - which is a neat trick if you think about it.

    I'm sorry to say I nearly had a bladder-related accident when one of the girls dived into a phone box wearing a silver spandex catsuit, span round to the classic TV Wonder Woman music, and transmogrified into.... Bob Hoskins! That kind of stupid. I loved it.

  1. Alexander Nevsky - Prompted by hearing Prokofiev's rather terrific music for The Battle on the Ice on the radio
    and next day noticing I had a copy of the movie in my unwatched pile. For a film buff I'm woefully ignorant about Eisenstein's work. I must say that for a film made in 1938 it looked very primitive. Like a silent with breaks for locked-off camera speeches about defending Russia from invaders. Ok, it was the Stalin era, and WW2 was heaving into view but, compared with what was being produced elsewhere in the world, it must have looked very old fashioned even then. Having said that there were moments of WOW! during the battle sequences - I remember thinking, I bet Kurosawa watched the hell out of this movie - and some very dramatic use of hand held camera which I'm not sure was in the average DP's repertoire back then.
  2. Justice League - I fell asleep. I've not seen Man of Steel or Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice so had little or no idea what was going on for the first half - apart from the bits featuring the Amazons because I have seen Wonder Woman - I haven't read a Flash comic since the 1960s and had no idea who the bloke with the glowing eyeball and all the CGI bionic stuff was. My ears pricked up at the words 'Mother Box' before I realised this had very little to do with the Mother Boxes I remembered from the New Gods/ 4th World books that I loved as a kid. Ping! ping! By the time the story finally got going I didn't care. I fell asleep. By the time I woke up again Superman wasn't dead any more and the same people were still hitting each other (and Superman) so I went back to sleep again.
  3. Mr. Holmes - Half way through I had the thought that I had seen this film before. It reminded me so much of something else. Then I realised it was reminding me of Gods and Monsters which also starred Ian McKellen as a once famous talent living in isolated retirement. Reading the credits afterwards I found both were directed by Bill Condon.
  4. I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With - Mild rambling American indy film which was better than I was expecting.
  5. La Dolce Vita - In a beautifully restored print in a cinema. The best way to any movie.
  6. The Darwin Awards - Intermittently very funny, occasionally really not good 50p well spent in CEX
  7. The Gorgon - Mid-period (i.e. pre 'let's fill the screen with vampire lesbians and tits!") Hammer horror.
  8. Paul - Funnier than I remembered.
  9. The Truth about Cats and Dogs - I was too tired to think
  10. The Comic (1985) - I introduce Number One Daughter to the deliriously dreadful films of Richard Driscoll. (Who, I discovered tonight, appears to be out of jail and is making films again - hurrah!) This is my IMDb review of The Comic:
  11. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) - a biopic about the creator of Wonder Woman and the women in his life. A beautifully romantic polyamorous love story.
  12. The Killer Nun (1979) - I'm sure The Killer Nun made sense to someone somewhere at some point during its production but by the time it got to my eyeballs it was an incoherent, bonkers mess. Though there was just enough to keep me watching - some really oddly edited sequences during the drug-addicted, central character's morphine trips - and the astonishingly beautiful Paulo Morra...​

    Wow! It's really hard to find an online
    picture of this woman with her clothes on! the lesbian killer nun. Another one ticked off the Video Nasties list.​
  13. At the Earth's Core - the Doug McClure, Peter Cushing one. Watched with my Number One Son aged 10 who lapped it up. The next day he said, "Dad, I just realised. That film we watched last night. I didn't have any songs in it." which is one of the odder things I've ever heard about a film with exploding dinosaurs and Caroline Munro's cleavage.


  1. The Handmaiden - A rewatch and not as wonderful as I remember but then I have just read the book it was 'inspired by' and I was very conscious of the way the film wandered well away from (and simplified) the complicated revelation-filled latter third of the novel. Still a damn fine piece of film making though.
  2. Cat Women of the Moon - Stupendously awful entry in the First Mission to the Moon encounters an All Female Society genre which I have watched far too often for my own good. Watched with #1 Daughter and we had the most ridiculous fun. She's very good at the MST3K type one liners. I'd never noticed, before, the sheer ludicrous suggestiveness of the line delivered by one of the seductive cat women to her venal male victim. She wants the low-down on how his space ship operates; he wants the gold she say lies in abundance not far from where they are sitting. " "I'll make a bargain with you," she purrs. "You take me to your rocket ship; I'll show you the cave of gold!" - pure Freudian smut that's what it is. Filth!
  3. The Notebook - long, overly sentimental, slushily romantic guff which - had I known what is was - I doubt I would have put in my DVD player but as I didn't (I found the disc in a pile of unsorted rubbish and wondered what it was) I watched it and was weeping like a baby at the end of it.
  4. Dragonheart - I'm working my way through a stack of back issues of Empire magazine I bought a few years ago - my collection is taller than Tom Cruise - . Dragonheart is a lead story in the one I'm currently reading. I noticed today I had a copy near the top of my To Be Watched pile. Empire was right. It's not good.
  5. The Exterminator -
  6. Lair of the White Worm (1988) - seriously bonkers Ken Russell 'Horror' film with the best Kilted Bagpiper Vs Snake vampire policeman battle ever put on screen. And Amanda Donohoe wearing a giant sacrificial dildo.
  7. Ghost in the Shell - the live action remake which left me wondering "Why did they bother?". It's not that it was bad and the casting issues didn't bother me but it felt like a shot for shot remake of the original (I'm sure it wasn't but that's the impression I came away with). The original is just an amazing piece of art. This was just another CGI heavy movie without the stillness of the original - OR the bloody brilliant music. Bizarrely they included some of the original music over the end titles just to remind you what you could have been watching instead.
  8. The Knack - "a British movie that has 'Sixties' written all over it ".
  9. Potiche (2010) -
Unwatchable dross of the month club:
Voodoo Academy - Would-be homoerotic horror which fails on both counts. I lasted 20 minutes.


  1. Empire of Ash - a seriously dreadful American post-apocalyptic effort that spent

    80% of its running time filling the screen with people firing semi-automatic weapons at each other in a quarry (which was pretending to be several different places).

    10% of its time showing us hairy leather-clad biker types riding around in trucks shouting "Get the mother f*8kers!" at each other.

    5% of its time in close ups of 'actors' muffling ump their lnes an mbbling guff tht th wrtrs tht ws a plot. (The main bad guy was brilliant. You could barely understand him when he was on screen and could see his lips sort of moving a bit. When he was delivering dialogue off camera he was incomprehensible!)

    And finally the film spent 5% of its time getting the two Victoria's Secrets models that hung around in this quarry for no apparent reason to get their tits out. Hint to future movie makers of the world. You cannot make a nude bathing scene interesting (or even credible) if you have only 6 inches of water in a rocky stream to play with. Can't be done.
  2. Kiss Me, Monster - I introduce #1D to the incomprehensible film making of Jesus Franco. Many WTF?s were generated.
  3. Blue Gate Crossing - sweet little Chinese film about two girls and a boy who, within that triangle, each love someone unobtainable.
  4. Diva - with #2 daughter - "What did you think?" I asked her. "... It was... very French."
  5. Hundra - My favourite 1980s barbarian movie which just gets better each time I see it. This time was the first time I have watched it with anyone (#1D). I was a little nervous at the start that it was going to be one of those films which divided rather than bought us closer - it starts with a prolonged sequence in which Hundra's (our heroine's) peaceful, all-female tribe are wiped out, brutally murdered and raped by hairy barbarians. I needn't have worried. As soon as Hundra started on the path of revenge and whacking the bad guys, and fomenting female emancipation while trying to get pregnant, she was right there with it. The film is a lot funnier than I remembered. Having someone there to share the jokes heightened the humour. She now has a printout of the poster stuck up in her room.
  6. The Mummy - the Brendan Fraser one. I like Brendan Fraser. Got a bit of a crush on him. But this one was just generic. meh! Too much running around and SFX. I didn't believe a word of it. The most fun I had while watching it was listening to John Hahhah's accent wobbling about. And I had one of those moments when I idly rewrote one of the sight gags in my head ( I was that engaged) and turned it into something I don't think I've seen anywhere - so it's going in the notebook for possible future use.
  7. Little Ashes - Fictionalised account of the (possible) real life romance between Salvidor Dali and Frederico Garcia Lorca - in which Dali was portrayed as the obnoxious wanker (literally) that I always thought him as being. Looked great but... I dunno. There was something missing. I wasn't convinced.
  8. Carry on Screaming - with #2D
  9. Strangers on a Train - with #1D who was on the edge of her seat. Another off the 1001 list. I've seen it before but was gripped too but managed to slip in the odd analytical thought. I'd never noticed before what a significant part staircases play in Hitchcock's films. He uses staircases well.
  10. Nightcrawler -
  11. Two Faces of January - and another rule of thumb is born. Anything based on a book by Patricia Highsmith is worth a watch.
  12. Scanners - with #1D
  13. How to Get Ahead in Advertising -
  14. Ignition - Routine by the numbers actioner which had some nice camera angles. Doubt if I will remember any of it in a week's time. But I do need to see one of the director's earlier movies
    Pourquoi l'étrange Monsieur Zolock s'intéressait-il tant à la bande dessinée? (1983)
  15. Mrs Henderson Presents - Bob Hoskins NUDE!
  16. Summer Things - mercifully short (by French standards) 103 minutes spent in the company of a bunch of unpleasant bourgeoisie on holiday. It was billed as a comedy. Hmm...
unfinished in April:

Promethus never seen it before. I lasted just shy of an hour before turning it off. I didn't believe a word of it. I nearly turned off at the five minute mark when our archaeologist dated the cave paintings she had just discovered within seconds. And I'm just so fed up of people doing stupid stupid things just to keep the plot going especially when they are supposed to be intelligent scientists. Dumb movie. And an expensive dumb movie which somehow makes it worse.

Infini - Read a good review of it in an old Empire magazine I was flicking through the other day and saw it on Amazon Prime as I was scrolling through the availables. Gave up after 25 minutes of low budget Aliens meets Event Horizon. I am done with watching sweaty people being terrified up and down the same three dark corridors.


  1. Flashman - Rubbish day so I watch some shite with Number One Daughter. Flashman is a seriously awful Italian superhero movie which had #1D and I in stitches for its whole running time. And then we watched:
  2. Future Women (aka The Girl from Rio) - seriously WTF Jess Franco lesbian utopia SF dross We both felt a lot better afterwards. Number One Daughter especially I suspect because she exorcised a mini demon of hers. The box set which had Future Women in has a menu screen with a loop of clips from many of the films in the set. One of the shots in this loop has haunted her for years. It's a weird moment where a man in a hat, with his back to the camera, turns round as a couple approach him to reveal:

    It's an utterly bonkers shot and she finally got to see in its very odd context - though not in as good a print as that still was taken from.
  3. Diner de cons -
  4. Better than Chocolate (1999) -
  5. Billy Liar -
  6. Head - The Monkees movie. And what a weird treat. #1D and I had more WTF?!s per minute during this one than we usually generate in a month's worth of movie watching. And a movie that is going to play a pivotal role in our endless game of 'Warwick Davis' in that it's a quick shortcut from Ed Wood's films (Tor Johnson) to Mel Brooks and Star Trek (Terri Garr) to Kubrick (Jack Nicholson) and all sorts of other blink and you missed it delights.
  7. Downsizing -
  8. Elvira -Mistress of the Dark - which just gets funnier each time I see it.
  9. Queen of the Amazons - I needed cheering up so I spent the afternoon watching s**t with my Number One Daughter.
  10. The Manster - A Japanese American mad scientist monster movie from the 50s which alternated between being hilariously awful and actually really very good... without breaking step between the two which is remarkable achievement. Watching crap films with #1Dis great fun. DIY MST3K fun.
  11. Earth Girls are Easy - Gods! I'm evil. "Fancy watching an early Jeff Goldblum film?" I asked Daughter Number One who is a bit of a fan." "Ok!" she said, settling down. "Wait!... Wait!... It's not Earth Girls are Easy is it?!" But by then it was too late. The disc was in the player and she was doomed. Afterwards she said she probably invented several new emotions while watching it. The feeling of, "Thank you for sharing that - I hate you." being one of them, "I have a headache now." Half-way through she asked if we could watch Voyage of the Rock Aliens as a palette cleanser. Mwahahahaha!
  12. Eating Raoul - D#1's turn and we get to giggle our way through what has to be one of the most amoral films I have ever seen. Utterly reprehensible - the entire plot is that a married couple lure 'degenerate swingers' to their apartment and kill them for the money without the slightest qualm - and it's insanely funny.
  13. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) - well that was pretty boring.
  14. Taxi 2 - and that was silly fun.
  15. Drôle de Félix - low budget, French gay road movie which had its moments.
  16. Starship Invasions -
  17. Carry-on Doctor
  18. Le Bossu - #2D and and I. She likes films with subtitles I like French movies.
  19. Curse of the Golden Flower
  20. Ikarie XB1 - for the umpteeth time. It gets better each time I see it.
  21. Breaking In - written by John Sayles and directed by Bill Forsyth. Both did sterling work but it just didn't quite work for me.
Abandoned in May:
- alien killer car garbage which out wore its welcome after about 10 minutes.

  1. Razorback - Giant mutant killer pig in the outback with #1D.
  2. Casablanca - with #2D.
  3. Solar Crisis - Hoooo boy! Why do I do this to myself.
  4. Footlight Parade - one of THE greatest films of all time.
  5. Paprika - One of the better Anime that D#1 has tried to enthuse me with. She likes Anime and thinks I should too.
  6. Candyman - She also likes horror films.
  7. The Dish
  8. Paris, je t'aime -
  9. Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome - D#1 gets to hear what Boris Karlof sounds like! "You go, we stay we belong dead!" from Bride of Frankenstein doesn't count.
  10. I'm a Cyborg but That's OK -
  11. I Walked with a Zombie - Val Lewton classic
  12. The Legend of Boggy Creek 2(MST3K) - again. I'm a sad bugger.
  13. Carnival of Souls - I've been meaning to take another look at this for ages and I shared with #1D (who loved it).
  14. The Shape of Things to Come (1979) -
  15. Gold Diggers of 1933 - We're in the money! Not as great as Footlight Parade but still pretty darn good and....I really found myself very affected by the My Forgotten Man Number. I almost cried.
  16. Bugsy Malone
  17. Phantom of the Paradise (1974) - Daughter Number one and I have a Paul Williams double bill.
  1. Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976) - I really don't know why I do this to myself but every now and then I go poke about on the Firestick till I find a 1970s British 'Sex Comedy' (which are always from my experience neither) and watch it through to the bitter end. Someone on IMDb described this film as 'Dismal'. That's the perfect word. Watching these things is a horrible. soul-destroying experience but I'll tell you what. It really makes anything you watch after it for several months look a hell of a lot better. Even crap like...
  2. Space Amoeba (aka Yog: Monster from Space) - an Ishirô Honda double bill! Space Amoeba is from late in his carreer and, from the look of it, he just didn't give a s**t any more as long as it was in focus.
  3. Mantango (aka Attack of the Mushroom People) - from a decade earlier is (even in a horribly dubbed version) a far superior film. Atmospheric, creepy, slow, almost decedant. I really liked it. I suspect I would have liked it more in a subtitled version.
  4. Battle Beyond the Stars - Roger Corman's SF reworking of The Seven Samuri.
  5. Spider Baby - peculiar (and funny) horror.
  6. The Velvet Touch - Hollywood hookum of the first water that couldn't make its mind up if it was a Noir, a 'woman's picture', a Freudian psychological guilt movie or a Columbo-like 'we know who dunnit but how does our detective prove it' movie. I rather enjoyed it.
  7. Les Hommes libres - fictionalised account of the role played by Moroccan Muslims in the French resistance and the saving of Jews from the Nazi occupation. A chunk of history of which I was totally ignorant.
  8. Dracula's Daughter (1936) - the first (mainstream) lesbian vampire movie?
  9. Theatre of Blood - A 1973 film in which Vincent Price has a whale of a time as a ham Shakespearean actor bumping off - in true Shakespearean manner - all the critics he blamed for ruining his career ably aided by Diana Rigg in drag. It's a bonkers, camp hoot.
  10. The Prestige - I liked that. I liked that a lot.
  11. I, Tonya - which left me less than overwhelmed.
  12. Tekkonkinkreet -
  13. Warlock - to celebrate the fact that my VHS player does work after all (long story) I make D#1 (Richard E Grant fan that she is) watch him putting on a very variable Scottish accent, Connor McCloud hair and cossy, and run around modern day America trying to over out overact Julian Sands as the titular warlock. She may never forgive me.
  14. Man in Outer Space (aka Man From the First Century 1962) a slight Czech SF comedy with a few amusing moments and some seriously groovy art design. I first came across it on Youtube where it was used as the imagery for this earworm of 80s Czech electronica.
  15. Let the Right One In - D#1's been wanting to see this for ages and sat me down tonight to watch it with her. What a great wee film! I have NO intention of ever watching the remake.
  16. Gwendoline (aka The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak) - OMG. I was expecting bad (it's based after all on a comic strip in John Willie's 1950's leather / bondage fetish magazine Bizarre - how good could it be?) but when it got to the point where our heroine rescues our hero by riding off in a chariot pulled by three leather clad pony girls - only then to be chased by another three similar chariots... and I realise I'm am more interested in the location it was filmed in than in the action you have to question the quality. Just how bad does a film have to be to make a salt mine (?) more interesting than 20+ semi-naked women in leather fetishwear running around in the foreground?

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