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Reviews Written by
BD Ashley "vidiot_y2k" (Otago, New Zealand)

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Awful Dr Orlof [Import]
Awful Dr Orlof [Import]

3.0 out of 5 stars OK cult horror flick, Nov. 14 2002
This review is from: Awful Dr Orlof [Import] (VHS Tape)
Another cult horror "classic" from Jesus "Jess" Franco. This one concerns a doctor who drugs attractive women in order to remove their skin to graft onto the face of his disfigured daughter, he has found he needs live skin from live women as dead skin is no good for his purposes.
Orlof's assistant is a hideously disfigured, bug-eyed blind man in a Dracula cape named Morpho. It would have been cool if Franco had teamed up Morpho and the hairy huchbacked freak from his later film SADISTEROTICA for another movie.
More surrealism, effectively eerie visuals and a creepy soundtrack make this a nostalgic experience for horror fans Remember this was made only a mere 2 years before Herschell Gordon Lewis's groundbreaking (if you can call it that) BLOOD FEAST although ORLOF is in B&W and BF is in "Blood Color".
For a while THE AWFUL DR. ORLOF is interesting, but it's also pretentious and rather harmless by today's standards. The movie also ends rather abruptly,it's still well worth a look but I expected it to be more gruesome given the subject matter.

God's Lonely Man
God's Lonely Man

4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult subject, sensitively handled, Oct. 27 2002
This review is from: God's Lonely Man (VHS Tape)
GOD'S LONELY MAN is amazingly, inspired by a true story. Ernest (Michael Wyle) is a strange, naive man who works in a porno shop (his mother thinks he is a cop) but winds up losing his job. His insecurities see him using coke and speed to help him cope with his sense of isolation. Ernest feels as though he is cursed, has suicidal thoughts and in one manic moment in the film, slices off his pinky. But despite all his problems Ernest is basically a good man and he befriends a teenage girl, Christiane (Heather McComb) who is being degraded by pornographers (a kind of homage to the movie CHRISTIANE F.?) She is also an alcoholic and Ernest offers to attend her counselling sessions with her. But he is slowly plotting to take revenge on the kiddie porn/ snuff film makers who who have exploited Christiane. The revenge sequence is justifiably bloody and graphic, but the film handles its difficult subject matter sensitively and only features graphic violence near the climax. Former porn star Ginger Lynn Allen has a cameo as a member of an AA group.

Monster in the Closet [Import]
Monster in the Closet [Import]

2.0 out of 5 stars Where's Col. Sanders when you need him?, Oct. 27 2002
Yet another homage to 50s sf/horror flicks. The movie predictably opens with a woman being eaten by the monster of the title (Kevin Peter Hall). No prizes for guessing where it's hiding. Being a PG movie there is no blood, just clothes being thrown out of the door. Strange considering this is a Troma production. But soon the monster, which resembles a man-sized chicken wing breaks out of the closet and as in all B movies wrecks havoc on the townspeople. Soon a biological technician and a small town obituary columnist(?!) are assigned to investigate the strange diappearance while the police, army and every man and his dog are called in to eradicate the chicken. This isn't one of Troma's best, or one of their "Best Worst" but you get to see Stella Stevens in the shower, so that's god enough for me to rate this 2 stars.

Queen of the Damned
Queen of the Damned
Price: CDN$ 9.29
24 used & new from CDN$ 7.04

2.0 out of 5 stars King of junky kiddie metal compilations, Oct. 25 2002
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (Audio CD)
Despite my 2-star rating, the soundtrack is a lot better than the movie. Sure it features tracks from "nu-metal" bands aimed at the kiddies- Static-X, Papa Roach, the vocalist from Stinkin Park. But thankfully Marilyn Manson is on here with REDEEMER and Disturbed's wicked DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS, prior to their radio friendly stuff, which is the best and heaviest song on the CD.
Also included is the good Deftones track Change (In The House Of Flies) which helps lift QOTD... In addition there are several track's co-composed by Korn's Jon Davis- performed by the vocalists of Static-X, Stinkin Prk and Orgy. So there are a few good songs here, but kids, most of this ain't metal. ...

Queen of the Damned [Import]
Queen of the Damned [Import]
Offered by aok imports
Price: CDN$ 9.99
7 used & new from CDN$ 8.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Damn this boring movie!!!, Oct. 22 2002
First I'll make it clear that I am not a fan of Anne Rice's books, and prefer Poppy Z Brite to Rice. Many Rice fans will hate what I am about to say about QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, but why should I care?
The plot concerns Lestat awakening from a century long sleep and discovering rock music, so he takes the guitar as "the instrument of (his) resurrection" and becomes a rock star. Soon the authorities are alerted to "harmful" subliminal messages in Lestat's music (Will Tipper Gore make a comeback and claim Ozzy's a vampire after she sees this movie?)
Despite QUEEN OF THE DAMNED having a darker, more gothic tone than INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, this soon becomes just as much of a leaden bore as its predecessor. But the first five minutes of this movie is better than all two hours of INTERVIEW.
However, on a more positive note the movie features good performances from Aaliyah (though she barely features) and from Stuart Townshend as Lestat- he is far superior to Tom Cruise, who was awful and did moviegoers a huge favor by refusing to do the sequel This movie is already bad enough without Cruise reprising the role.

Angel Eyes [Import]
Angel Eyes [Import]
5 used & new from CDN$ 17.89

2.0 out of 5 stars Psychological snoozer, Oct. 21 2002
This review is from: Angel Eyes [Import] (VHS Tape)
Not much psychology or thrills in this lumbering "psychological thriller". At least it's better than the likes of A KISS BEFORE DYING and RAISING CAIN.
Early on we get to see cop Sharon Pogue (Jennifer Lopez) bash a skinhead's skull on the hood of her car. Later she almost becomes the victim of a drive-by shooting and is saved by a mysterious man known only as Catch (Jim Caviezel). Catch makes his home in a bare warehouse and no known records of him exist.
Predictably, Sharon wants to find out more about his past, but Catch can't, or won't remember, or is he hiding something? Do you even care? But unbeknownst to both of them they have met before and you know what happens next...
ANGEL EYES features good performances by the two leads, but the movie's convoluted plot leaves viewers wondering what the point of the movie really is. Not only that, the camerawork and cinematography are relatively soft for much of the film, but during the police scenes the camera crew resort to NYPD BLUE style camera tilts and the ending is lousy and completely unsatisfying. But one thing's for certain: Lopex sure knows how to fill a police uniform.

America's Sweethearts [Import]
America's Sweethearts [Import]
Offered by BalancingAct
Price: CDN$ 5.99
6 used & new from CDN$ 5.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Some good dialogue, but mushy and forgettable, Oct. 21 2002
Press agent Lee (Billy Crystal) is fired but is reoffered his job on one condition- to pull off the next to impossible task of getting Hollywood's most famous (and newly estranged) couple, Eddie (John Cusack) and Gwen (Catherine Zeta Jones) back together. It is up to Lee and his assistant Kiki (Julia Roberts) to steer the media away from the truth while the couple's latest movie is promoted. AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS sounds like a screwball comedy, but isn't; sounds like a romantic comedy, but isn't; sounds like a satire, but doesn't even work on that level. Watching this movie is like eating an omelette with slivers of concrete in it. The cast is able and there's some good dialogue, as well as a few memorable scenes, such as Eddie driving his motorcycle through the window of a restaurant where Gwen is eating. Christopher Walken is excellent as a reclusive director who has bought the Unabomber's cabin to use as his editing room. But other than that, AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS has little to offer. I expected a sharp Hollywood satire and I got a mushy,instantly forgettable connect-the-dots chick flick. Check out John Waters' CECIL B. DEMENTED instead.

Hart's War [Import]
Hart's War [Import]
6 used & new from CDN$ 8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Hoblit keeps the proceedings hobbling along, Oct. 16 2002
This review is from: Hart's War [Import] (VHS Tape)
Based on the John Katzenbach novel, for a while HART'S WAR feels like an extended R-rated episode of HOGAN'S HEROES minus the laughs.
Col. William McNamara (Bruce Willis)fights for the civil rights of his men in a POW camp.- as if the Nazis cared about people's rights. He soon concocts a plan to hold a court martial to distract the Nazis while he and Lt. Tommy Hart (Colin Farrell) escape and destroy a German weapons plant.
Directed by Gregory Hoblit, who made PRIMAL FEAR and FALLEN, HART'S WAR is technically well made, but doesn't evoke fond memories of THE GREAT ESCAPE or VON RYAN'S EXPRESS, though admittedly there are a few good explosions here and there. Pity the rest of the movie wasn't explosive.

Red Rabbit
Red Rabbit
by Tom Clancy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 25.59
76 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

1.0 out of 5 stars Run Rabbit Run!!, Oct. 15 2002
This review is from: Red Rabbit (Hardcover)
RED RABBIT is a dreadful prequel to the other Jack Ryan books. If Clancy had written this before RED OCTOBER maybe it would be forgivable, but this is 16 years on; and the second lousy novel in a row from him. The plot concerns a young Jack Ryan attempting to foil an assassination attempt on the Pope, or that's what RED RABBIT is supposed to be about. What the reader gets is page after page of hot air and rambling and pretentious drivel. We all know that without the extensive research Clancy is just a lousy writer,with RED RABBIT not even the research can save him. At only 650 odd pages it's a lot shorter than some of his books, but it could have been edited down to about 300 pages. Don't expect to see this one filmed any time soon. It's still slighter better than BEAR AND THE DRAGON, but surely Clancy couldn't get any worse than that. Tom, maybe you should consider going back to selling insurance and leave the techo thrillers to the new blood like Matthew Reilly. Now HE is really good. Check out Reilly's ICE STATION or AREA 7 instead of this abomination.

Ice Age [Import]
Ice Age [Import]
20 used & new from CDN$ 1.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Don't be left out in the cold, check this out, Oct. 15 2002
This review is from: Ice Age [Import] (VHS Tape)
ICE AGE is a movie featuring deceptively simplistic animation.
Saber tooth tigers kidnap a human baby from its eskimo parents because the eskimo's tribe hunted and killed their pack.
It is up to scrawny Sid, an annoying sloth (John Leguizamo, who has played more irritating characters see THE PEST, or better yet, don't see it) and his companion Manny, a wooly mammoth (Ray Romano) to save the baby and return it to its parents. The mismatched pair are joined in their quest by Diego (Denis Leary) a sabre tooth tiger who has been cast out of his pack. What Manny and Sid don't know is that Diego has set out to deceive them and is luring them into an ambush, in which his fellow saber-toothed ones plan to kill and eat Manny. ICE AGE is another film which will appeal to adults as well as kids, and features a relatively short running time (around 70 mins). Some of it might be a bit scary for very young children but ICE AGE is a good movie to sit the tots in front of while you try to catch up on the housework. The bonus features are interesting as well.

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