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  #50481  
Old 27th August 2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
Terrible isn't it.

I sold my Screenbound dvd immediately.
I think the word "terrible" is a bit mild to put it but yeah it was really bad
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  #50482  
Old 27th August 2019, 11:37 PM
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Popeye 1980.

Sailor Popeye arrives in a small town Sweethaven in search of his father, the town is governed by a pirate and bully Bluto.

First film role of the late great Robin Williams as the muscular sailor Popeye, Shelley Duvall as the annoying Olive Oyl and Paul L Smith as the villain Bluto. This has always been a laughable comedy musical that gets better with every viewing. At most times It doesn't make much sense but Williams portrayal as the one shut eye sailor makes it more funny. Any fan of Robin Williams will certainly enjoy this?

He's Popeye the sailor man
He lived in a caravan
He turned on the gas and burnt all his ass.
He's Popeye the sailor man *peep peep*
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  #50483  
Old 28th August 2019, 06:02 PM
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BLOODY NEW YEAR
A group of 80s style young ’uns end up stranded on an island, where they end up getting stuck in a time warp and harassed by zombies, bizarre creatures and ghostly figures.
The whole thing is completely daft, but I really enjoyed this one, as did most of the cast judging by the accompanying interviews. Director Norman J Warren comes across as such a likeable guy, and it’s fantastic to have a whole Blu Ray boxset devoted to his work.

TRACK 29
A young man arrives in America, in an attempt to track down his mother, who he claims abandoned him years ago.
Obviously with a combination of writer Dennis Potter and director Nic Roeg, you’re not going to get a straightforward narrative here and indeed the whole thing has a what is real / what is not real vibe running through it. Obviously, nothing is properly explained and the whole thing is left for the viewer to decide. Oh and do watch right through to the end of the credits. Lovely looking release as ever from Indicator.
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  #50484  
Old 28th August 2019, 07:02 PM
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Man On The Moon 1999.

A biography tale of comedian Andy Kaufman.

Being 3 years old when Andy passed away, seeing odd episodes of Taxi, and not realising this guy was a comedy screw ball and total prankster, the film does shed some light on his life.

Jim Carrey plays the lead role of Andy and his characters Latka and lounge singer Tony Clifton, Danny Devito as his manager and Paul Giamatti as his writing partner. As his antics were often questionable even to the point of being sacked from Saturday Night Live was he a accomplished comedian or a guy with a very dry sense of humour that wasn't funny? Milos Foreman did a great job (as he always does) as director of this, it's funny and sad at the same time, without seeing more of Kaufman's performances I can't say if this film would be for everyone.
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  #50485  
Old 29th August 2019, 04:17 PM
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Forbidden Zone

A strange one to be sure, a low budget art film/musical /comedy that appears to be made by a bunch of art and theatre students hopped up on speed/weed and LSD.

Directed by Richard Elfman, brother of Danny (Tim Burton's composer/Nightbreed/ Darkman etc..who also appears as Satan in this film.) and featuring that psycho dwarf from 'The man with the golden gun'.

This is a film i really want to love, it's just all over the place and a total mess but the sheer insanity makes it endearing to me, but i just can't get totally on board with it, seeming as though they set out to make a cult film but there is not enough that clicks to make it work.

Certain parts i really like but most are random,(the boxers tune with the overlaid mouth of the singer) and i kind of like the character Frenchie, but many scenes are too chaotic or juvenile that they just induce a headache.

It's one i'll keep and go back to again, who knows maybe someday i'll get my head round it, it's definitely of interest to lovers of bizarre films.

But for now it's just filed under interesting failure in my mind.

A mixed-up goofball 5/10

(I think i entered the Forbidden Zone editing this post, ah well... it is what it is.)
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  #50486  
Old 29th August 2019, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosferatu42 View Post
Forbidden Zone
It's one i'll keep and go back to again, who knows maybe someday i'll get my head round it, it's definitely of interest to lovers of bizarre films.

But for now it's just filed under interesting failure in my mind.

A mixed-up goofball 5/10

(I think i entered the Forbidden Zone editing this post, ah well... it is what it is.)
I enjoyed this one, but almost immediately I thought, oh this is going to be weird, just go along for the ride. Therefore I just viewed it as a series of set pieces and I liked the music too
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  #50487  
Old 29th August 2019, 07:10 PM
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This is my review of the Arrow Video Blu-ray release of Forbidden Zone, and a week or so before it was released:

There are some films where you watch them until the end of the closing credits and still don't know whether you liked them or not. This was the case with my first viewing of Forbidden Zone, where I was bemused, fascinated and unsure of what the hell I'd just seen. On a second viewing, I was more aware of what the plot was so was able to concentrate on the design, performances and song lyrics much more than the day (or two) before but, since I first watched it back in 2000, it's been put at the back of my priority list due to the number of unwatched and review discs I've had, so this new BD from Arrow Video gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit Richard Elfman's cult classic.

This began as a series of musical numbers by the stage show act The Mystical Knights of the Oingo Boingo, which were filmed on 16mm, with Richard Elfman keen to capture the idea of the stage show use this as a way of moving from music to making feature films. The initial short film was developed with fellow 'Mystical Knight' Matthew Bright, plus Nick James and Nick L. Martinson into a feature length film to be shot on 35mm film, with a narrative structure in which Danny Elfman's score and songs could be incorporated.

The film begins with an intertitle informs you Huckleberry P. Jones, a local pimp, narcotics dealer and slumlord, entered one of his empty houses to stash some heroin and finds a door leading to a sixth dimension and, with curiosity getting the better of him, he enters only to promptly escape, take his heroin and sell the property to the Hercules family. The bizarre family comprises Ma and Pa Hercules, Gramps Hercules and children Frenchy and Flash. Having had their breakfast and tied their Gramps up, they set off to school and find one of their friends and classmates Squeezit Henderson hiding in a dustbin claiming to have gained a telekinetic connection with his missing transgendered sister René whilst being beaten by his mother that morning. Squeezit tells Frenchy and Flash René is in the sixth dimension where she has been imprisoned.

During another 'normal' day at school, in which one pupil shoots another for cheating, Squeezit being ridiculed for not performing the alphabet song correctly and the teacher becoming involved in a gunfight with some of the more rambunctious pupils, Flash decides to leave and jumps through the classroom window. With Frenchy, he goes home and relays Squeezit's mysterious message to their mother. Frenchy goes one step further and decides to have a little peek behind the forbidden door in their basement, where she travels through a passageway shaped like human intestines and arrives in the sixth dimension only to be captured by the topless Princess and taken before King Fausto and Queen Doris.

When the midget King is besotted by Frenchy, the Queen orders Bust Rod, their frog servant, to lock her up and, to ensure she isn't harmed, the King tells Bust Rod to take Frenchy to Cell 63, where he keeps his favourite concubines, including René. The next day, when Flash unsuccessfully tries to persuade Squeezit to help him rescue Frenchy from the sixth dimension, he enlists Gramps to travel with him on the rescue mission.

After receiving some help from an elderly Jewish man and sneaking around, they, like Frenchy, are captured and interrogated by Queen Doris. When they refuse to talk, she has them lowered into a giant septic tank and, learning about Cell 63, has Frenchy and the other concubines relocated to a torture chamber, with the Princess overseeing the torture and execution. However, when Flash and Gramps escape from the septic tank and meet the former Queen, events become increasingly complicated, particularly when Pa Hercules (who accidentally fell through the door in the basement) is also found in the sixth dimension and sent to work in the La Brea Tar Pit Factory.

As you've probably guessed, events in Forbidden Zone are, to say the least, offbeat, especially with Flash played by a man in his 50s dressed up as a cub scout, King Fausto played by the diminutive Hervé Villechaize (perhaps most famous for his role in The Man with the Golden Gun), the permanently topless Princess, a human chandelier and the expressionist set design by Marie Pascale Elfman (Richard Elfman's then wife, who also plays Frenchy). As such, it was far from a box office smash, with Elfman accused of racism (because of Huckleberry P. Jones, a character who appears in blackface) and anti-Semitism (the strange old Jewish man, who is actually Richard Elfman's grandfather!) but, like so many obscure and low budget films, it found an audience on the midnight circuit and then following its release on DVD.

With its bizarre blend of comedy, fantasy and music, Forbidden Zone has become a firm favourite of mine and a film I could watch at almost any time; for this review I watched it three times in two days and could have easily watched it several more. Actually, writing this review has made me want to watch it again! That said, it's definitely a 'Marmite' film and one you will either love and what repeatedly or be left utterly underwhelmed by such a bizarre piece of filmmaking which left you cold. A quick look at the trailer will either intrigue you and leave you wanting to watch the entire film or leave you shaking your head in disbelief!

The Disc

Extra Features
Forbidden Zone was filmed in black and white and has always been seen that way. However, in 2008, Richard Elfman oversaw a colourisation process and the main menu gives you the option of watching the film in colour or black and white. Until watching this new BD, I hadn't seen the colourised version – something I approached with extreme trepidation – but found it to be a really interesting addition and something which makes the set design look completely different. More importantly, this version is slightly longer has a couple of songs have additional lines which aren't in the black-and-white version.

The commentary with Richard Elfman and Matthew Bright is the same as on the 2006 Arrow Films DVD, with the two principal writers chatting amiably about the film's development, how certain scenes were based on aspects from their own lives and addressing the contentious 'racist' and 'anti-Semitic' scenes. There are quite a few moments when they burst into laughter at what they see on screen, making it quite funny and enjoyable commentary track which is also quite informative.

A Look into Forbidden Zone (37:17, HD) is introduced by Richard Elfman, who explains the genesis of the film, with a clip from the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo stage show, then you have Richard and Danny Elfman talking, mostly with Richard interviewing his brother about such things as the Satan character (with some footage of the stage show following). Richard Elfman is then joined by Marie Pascale, his former wife, then Matthew Bright, Danny Elfman and John Muto, talking about the set design, writing process, the music and the animation, respectively. There is also an interview with Suzan Tyrell, who talks about her relationship with Hervé Villechaize, both on and off screen (declaring she had always wanted to "**** a midget'!).

Although it's clear Richard Elfman knows the answers before he asks them, this probably allows him to structure the conversations to make them as informative as possible. This piece was also on the previous DVD release and has been upscaled, but only the film clips and some of the footage of the Mystical Knights’ stage show have a noticeably increased bitrate.

Outtakes (11:18, HD) are more like deleted scenes than your typical 'gag reel', beginning with Gramps (tied to a wall) singing along to a Yiddish song, then one of the Queen with Frenchy in the torture chamber, a food fight between the Kipper Kids, a fight between Squeezit and Frenchy and three more involving the Hercules family, two of which without sound.

Deleted Scenes (4:47, HD) are five more extended and omitted scenes, similar to those from the Outtakes section and appear to have been rightfully left out of the finished film.

Scenes from the Hercules Family (5:40, HD) is one lengthy scene with Satan and the Oingo Boingo band with Squeezit being beheaded and then another with Frenchy as a nightclub singer. I'm not sure why these are in a separate section as they could easily fit in the Outtakes or Deleted Scenes.

Oingo Boingo Music Video 'Private Life' (3:51, HD) is a welcome addition and something you wouldn't expect to see from such an offbeat musical group.

Japan Promo (4:02, HD) has Richard Elfman standing in a theatre, giving an introduction in Japanese and talking about the film and its background, presumably to it being shown on TV.

Theatrical Trailer (0:47, HD) spoofs the tagline from The Last House on the Left with some appropriately wacky footage from the film.

I haven't yet seen the finished package as a problem at the printers has put the release date back, but I love Jeff Zornow's new cover design so the three alternate artwork panels, though very good options, are unlikely to make me switch from the new cover artwork. I also look forward to reading the booklet and seeing the poster.

The Picture
As the film opens with a shot of a 2D house, you know the visuals are going to be far from conventional and, as it progresses, the 3D sets, John Muto's animation and Marie Celeste Elfman's expressionist set design makes Forbidden Zone a very visually striking movie. Of course, when Flash is played by a man in his 50s dressed like a Cub Scout, the Princess in the Sixth Dimension is permanently topless and the King's waiter is a frog, you realise the costumes have as much to do with the characters and the overall aesthetic as any other part of the art department.

As you have the choice of watching this in black and white or colour, there are arguments for both, but I feel the overall look and zany subject matter is best reflected in the original monochrome. The colourised version is really interesting and makes some scenes look completely different, with increased depth and a slightly more surreal appearance. However, whenever I watch this in future, it'll be the black-and-white version and I'll only watch the colourised version for novelty value.

This new MPEG 4 AVC 1080p HD encoding gives a pin sharp picture in which – on the black-and-white version – the deep contrast creates inky blacks which really contrast with the whites which results in a highly detailed image. The busier scenes with numerous characters, a more complex set design and quicker camera moves are never blurry and the level of definition – without any noticeable DNR – makes everything much easier to see than on the DVD.

When it comes to the colourised version, there isn't any colour bleeding and, though the colours are graded and not 'block' as they would be in an animated film, they look natural and it's amazing how accurate a computer can be when applying colours to a black-and-white image. I generally don't like colourised films, particularly when cinematic greats are 'coloured in' to make them more palatable to those who (inexplicably) don't like black-and-white films, but this is one of the best I've seen.

The Sound
Given the choice of DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround or mono, I decided to give the surround track a try and it wasn't long before I decided to switch to the original mono, a track which concentrates the sound to the centre speaker, resulting in much clearer dialogue.

Although this is ostensibly a musical, the bulk of the soundtrack is undemanding, with no LFEs or scenes which bring the surround speakers into play so the 5.1 track leaves most of the speakers dormant, albeit with some of the sounds coming from the front surrounds instead of just from the centre channel. Personally, I prefer the mono soundtrack as it suits the visuals.

Danny Elfman's score - his first- is superb, clearly bringing the sound from the stage show to the movie and the songs, whether in English, Spanish or French, are incredibly catchy and you'll probably find at least one of them going around in your head as you try to sleep! Fortunately, there is a 'music only' option (DTS 5.1 surround) which allows you to watch the film and concentrate just on the music and songs. You may find yourself wondering why the mainstream sounds familiar and, if you've seen the cartoon series Dilbert, Danny Elfman remixed the theme so it's probably more well-known and associated with Dilbert than Forbidden Zone!

Some of the lyrics and dialogue are very fast, so the optional English HoH subtitles are worth putting on for one viewing. They are very well written, faithful to the dialogue and on-screen action and, with a large white font edged in black, are clear to see against both light and dark backgrounds.

Final Thoughts
Forbidden Zone won't be a film for everyone and, if you don't 'get' the anarchic humour and extremely offbeat setting, you will probably become bored very quickly. However, if you are one of those who loves the concept, dialogue, setting and songs, this will become one of your favourite films and one you'll watch repeatedly, whether in the original black-and-white for colourised version.

I don't think any of the cast or crew have gone on to do anything of note, with the obvious exception of Danny Elfman, who wrote The Simpsons’ theme and whose collaborations with Tim Burton and songs on the likes of The Nightmare before Christmas have marked him out as one of the most distinctive composers working. With the Terry Gilliam inspired animation, brilliant expressionist set design and superb soundtrack (the CD is well worth tracking down), I really like this and, despite watching it four times to write this review, could easily watch it again tonight.

Although the extra features are virtually identical to those on the 2006 Arrow Films DVD, this is well worth buying for the remastered HD picture and sound and the packaging which, as it has been delayed due to a problem at the printers, I haven't yet seen but looks to be very special.
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  #50488  
Old 30th August 2019, 09:38 AM
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mostro-dellopera-il-italian-movie-poster-md.jpg l Orgie des vampires.jpg
THE MONSTER OF THE OPERA (1964)

A dance troupe decide to perform in a run down theatre, ignoring warnings from the theatre caretaker.
The caretaker is the servant of a vampire and the lead dancer appears to be the reincarnation of the vampires lost love who betrayed him.

Slow moving entry in to Italy's vampire movies and not a patch on the earlier films PLAYGIRLS AND THE VAMPIRE and VAMPIRE AND BALLERINA.
The whole thing is very strange and I was baffled why the vampire kept threatening the girls with a pitchfork and never actually did anything. In fact, none of the vampires do anything at all. Like the above mentioned films there are many scenes of scantily clad dancers and sensual moments and that's great but that's about it. There is a bizarre scene where the dancers seem to be dancing in a trance for some reason and seem to be as baffled as I was as to what was going on.
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  #50489  
Old 30th August 2019, 07:00 PM
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Curtains 1983.

At a remote mansion, young actresses are invited to audition for new movie but they are being stalked by a mask killer.

John Vernon (Dirty Harry) plays the director looking for the perfect actress in his up and coming film. Samantha Eggar (The Brood) plays one of the hopefuls but may seek revenge for being locked up in a asylum.

Aside from good acting and some creative killing moments and a unexpected ending, the film does have it's moments of dragging on to being pointless and having some plot holes, maybe due to production problems that happened and wanted to speed things up instead some scenes seem to drag on, there is a creepy Old woman mask that makes it more atmospheric. Don't expect a big budget movie with this. 5-6 out of 10.
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  #50490  
Old 30th August 2019, 09:50 PM
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Fear I'm the night 1972.

A young woman recovering from a nervous breakdown is leaving with her husband to work in a private boys school. She believes she is being terrorised by a one arm man but nobody believes her.

Judy Geeson (Doomwatch) plays young Peggy the woman slowly loosing her mind. Ralph Bates (Taste the blood of Dracula) plays her husband Robert. Joan Collins (Dynasty) plays the headmasters wife who seems to hate Peggy and Peter Cushing plays the headmaster.

This was a decent psychological film rather than a horror film, it shows how someone recovering from a nervous breakdown to slowly driven back to madness. It does start of slow and parts shown in flashbacks. This may not be a perfect hammer horror film but it is intruiging and has some tense moments even upto the climax of the film. 7 out of 10.
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