Monday 19 September 2011

Xtreamer SideWinder 2 Media Player & Streamer

Movie and TV Mistress here again, this time I’m not reviewing a movie or TV show but a piece of equipment for home entertainment.
The Xtreamer SideWinder 2 is a new and improved media player with wifi, it plays all video formats, music files and pictures through your TV.

I know you must be wondering why I'm reviewing this, well a friend of mine asked me to look at this new Media Player & Streamer and give an honest opinion of the product. After a couple of days playing around with the device I have to say it is very easy to use with an excellent interface.

The SideWinder 2 can be connected to your TV via HDMI, Composite, Component, Coaxial and Optical, It has Network and Wifi Capability and the new USB 3.0 which make the transfer of data much faster and smoother.

You don't need a computer, keyboard or mouse there is a virtual keyboard on screen which you use your remote to navigate and you can search online for video's to stream directly to your TV. Alternatively you can use this as a storage devise or connect an external hard drive with any downloads you have and play them through your TV. You may say, well I can connect my hard drive to my Blu-Ray and play them that way, this is true, but Blu-Ray players may not be able to play all video formats.

This devise makes it easy to play your downloads and stream video's direct form the internet and is a major improvement on earlier media players, with more people watching films and TV shows online this is an excellent piece of tech for those who want to go digital and not have so much clutter and DVD's around the TV.

If you would like more information on this product and to purchase it with Free Delivery in the UK and Ireland, please visit the following website:

They also have a Facebook page:

Till next time folks, I will be back with more films and TV show reviews soon.

Friday 9 September 2011

WISHMASTER 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)

Welcome to another WISHMASTER review, lets hope it's the last one.
This is another straight to DVD release and it was filmed back to back with the third one but is meant to have a more adult tone.

The movie starts with a naration of the Djinn, then we see a couple move into their new house and have sex and leave the front door open, I know it is filmed in Canada but that’s just asking for trouble. The credits are still rolling and we have tit shots, sex and naked drawing they leave on a motorbike and next it's 3 years later, so what was the point of that opening other then to fulfil the 18 rating.

The girl (Lisa) from the start goes to another man's house to discuss a case that they are working on, the guy called Steve loves her and gives her a silver mirrored box with a big red ruby in it, she drops the box when the guy tries to kiss her. Neither of them noticed the big ruby till Lisa goes to leave and touches the ruby awaking the Djinn and her connection to it. Steve puts the ruby in his safe and Lisa goes home.

Lisa's boyfriend Sam from the start is now in a wheelchair and is a drunk and is very angry that they haven't had sex in 3 years, he believes Lisa is sleeping with Steve their lawyer. Meanwhile Steve finds the Djinn in his house wishes that the Djinn would not talk in riddles and then is killed and his identity taken by the Djinn.

We get more tit shots of Lisa in the shower and her trying to cheer Sam up, but the Djinn Steve turns up and takes Lisa to breakfast. He gets her to make her first wish, that the company responsible for the failed brake's on Sam's motorbike would settle, the Djinn gets the other lawyer on the phone and makes him pull out his tongue, cut off his nose, stab his face, sign the settlement and then shoot himself. At least with this film so far, I can see why it is an 18 rated film there is nudity and some gore.

Though they got ten million dollars Sam is not happy as he believes Lisa is only with him for the money and will leave him. Djinn Steve invites them to dinner but Sam refuses to go, Lisa makes her second wish, that Sam could walk again, we see Sam struggle in pain while Lisa and Steve are entertained by a belly dancer, we see a couple kiss and the waitress says she wishes someone would kiss her like that and then every person in the restaurant starts kissing her. Usually the Djinn's wishes lead to death but we don't see her hers kills her.

Lisa asks why he is still angry, he tells her he hated being pittyed and that the sex has not been great since he's been in the wheelchair, so he heads to a strip club and she heads to Steve's. Steve and Lisa chat and he explains the difference between a prayer and a wish, she asks for some water and she makes a third wish that she could love Steve as he really is. So at least the title of the film is accurate the prophecy has finally been fulfilled, she made 3 wishes.

I have noticed that this film has chosen to ignore the physic connection the waker and Djinn have, so Lisa does not have any visions of pain and suffering which is probably why she is completely oblivious to what she has done.

Steve asks Lisa to leave and the other Djinn tell him to grant her wish but he can't because love must be given freely. I'm reminded of the 3 provisos of the genie in Aladdin which were 1, he can't kill anyone 2, he can't bring people back from the dead and 3, he can't make anyone fall in love. This Djinn has broken rule one so who's to say he can't break the other rules.

Steve goes to see Lisa's friend for some advice on love and asks her how he can tell Lisa his secret, while what appears to be the Angel Michael, called the Hunter is awakened and is hunting for the waker and Djinn. Lisa's friend wishes fro some killer sex and has sex with thin air up the wall, who knew thin air is all you need to have sex with. Lisa dreams of having sex with Sam but the Djinn turns up and she wakes up screaming just as Sam comes home and he gets upset that she had a nightmare about having sex with him.

Sam starts carving a statue based on his drawings of Lisa and Steve goes to a strip club, Steve is trying to understand human love and seems to think it is all based on money and sex. The Hunter goes to Lisa's shop and cuts off her other friends head and goes after Lisa. Steve invites Sam to the strip club and asks him to make a wish but he refuses, Steve is chucked out and and beaten up by a bouncer and then beats up and kills the bouncer after he wishes he would have put up a better fight.

The other Djinn have another go at Djinn Steve and tell him to grant Lisa's wish, the Hunter catches up with Lisa and tells her he must kill her for waking the Djinn and chases after her, she crashes her car and runs off from the Hunter and Steve saves her and fights the Hunter with a branch against a sword, the Djinn then makes a sword from the ruby and defeats the Hunter and kills him. Another one of the pointless story lines in this film which just makes this dull.

Lisa finds a letter from Sam telling her he's gone and won't be back and how much Steve loves her, Steve turns up tells her how he feels and they make out and start having sex in the living room while the other Djinn watch and touch her, the sex lasts less five minutes, he asks her if she loves him for who he is and she doesn't answer his question, she asks who he is and leaves to get dressed and the other Djinn start destroying her house and Steve Djinn tries to get her to except him for who he is but Sam turns up and shoots the Djinn in the form of Steve, himself and Lisa then he wishes for a way to kill him and is given a sword which the Djinn stabs through Sam's chest.

Sam plays dead and Lisa goes to kiss the Djinn in Sam's form she pushes the Djinn on to the back of Sam and kills the Djinn before the final wish was granted and Lisa ends up single.

That was just awful to watch, there were so many pointless scenes which did not add to the story other then to make the film last longer the Hunter was pointless and the scenes of Sam carving a statue of Lisa added nothing other then telling you that he still loved her.

I have to say that at least it wasn't WISHMASTER 2 but I said that about the third film, this film starts as a horror film then changes into a strange love story that doesn't end in the way I expected, I had thought that it would end with her truly loving the Djinn just like beauty and the Beast and then there would be hell on Earth.

If you do ever feel the need to watch any of the WISHMASTER films I would say watch the first film but if you do want to watch a sequel just stick the third, but definitely avoid the second film at all costs.

Friday 26 August 2011

WISHMASTER 3: Devil Stone (2001)

Movie and TV Mistress back with the third instalment of WISHMASTER films.

This third film is called WISHMASTER 3: Devil Stone in the UK but is also known as WISHMASTER 3: Beyond The Gates Of Hell. Like the second film it is another straight to DVD release, this film is also rated 15 rather then 18 like the rest of the series, these are signs that it will yet again be bad, but you never know so lets see if this can redeem the franchise.

We have some very sedate opening credits showing Persian statues, pottery and a star shaped puzzle box engulfed in flames. Then we have the nightmare of the female lead called Diana, she has a nightmare about the car crash she survived but which killed her parents, while that’s happening she has decided to climb to the roof of her dorm and her boyfriend Greg follows her. Greg thinks she has jumped off the roof and we get a bad attempt at a jump scare when her foot touches his neck.

I predict that Diana will wish that she died in the car crash, meaning everybody will be alive and well at the end of the film.

Diana is a TA in a mythology class, her boyfriend is a student in her class, yeah we all know he wants her for one thing the answers. So she is doing some extra stuff at the museum with the Teacher, nothing kinky even though Jason Connery so wants to. I find Jason's performance in most of his films to be awful and very creepy, no change there then.

While waiting for Jason to arrive Diana checks out the Persian puzzle box, this is all starting to remind me of Hellraiser, but with a magic eye puzzle; what Diana needs is a fatty-boom-batty blunt! And I guarantee she'll be seeing a sailboat, an ocean, and maybe even some of those big-tittied mermaids doing some of that lesbian shit!

She sees the button to open the box, pulls out the ruby and rubs it, this is a first the ruby does not get broken at the start. Jason arrives wants to take her to dinner, but is denied. Diana leaves and he is left alone and wouldn't you know it the Djinn arrives, the Djinn in this film is now played by John Novak in make up, but will also be played by Jason, oh the joy.

I figure the fact the stone was found in a puzzle box could explain the difference of Djinn in this and the fourth film. It's sad that horror monsters aren’t played by the same actor, Robert Englund stuck with the franchise to the very end, he was right not to come back for the reboot, but his Freddy was and will always be the best.

Jason knows who the Djinn is and says he doesn't want anything but the Djinn blackmails him into wishing, so he wishes for the two most beautiful girls to want him and be there, Djinn obliges and then Jason is sliced to pieces by the girls and the Djinn takes his face so he can walk around. Meanwhile Diana is hanging with her friend who is telling her that her boyfriend will leave her if she doesn't change and then she gets the vision of Jason's death so goes to investigate.

So far I have to say this film is better then the second film and slightly closer to the first so that’s good but the downside is as it is a 15 rated film we only see tits and no real gore.

Diana's friend has sex with boyfriend in public after scaring her boyfriend with a bull head, perhaps that is a set up for later, or maybe I’m expecting too much from this film. Diana knows all about the mythology and what the box and stone are and asks her boyfriend to trust her and tells him everything, but Greg needs to know if she loves him and why she won't get help for her issues and leaves.

Jason is trying to get info about Diana but can't get it so gets the registrar to make a wish, she wishes all the files would go up in flames which ruins his plan to find Diana that way. Diana has a research montage and is late for class. Djinn Jason teaches class telling the class that the Greek gods were Djinn and that the Trojan war was due to the Djinn because Helen of Troy wished to be loved by everybody, what a selfish bitch.

Well wouldn't you know it the College is putting on the play Faust wow isn't that subtle, Jason is tricked in going to a girls room believing he will find Diana but finds Melissa who wants to have sex with Jason, so he leaves and heads to Diana's room where Greg confronts Jason and we get a bad morph job on Jason's face so Greg now believes and runs to find Diana and takes her to church but Jason is there.

We finally get some gross gore and and bad make up effects as a girl becomes thinner, so Diana wishes for her pain to stop and then wishes for the Arc Angel Michael to fight the Djinn, Diana is about to take Michael into her but Greg pushes her out of the way, he and the Djinn fight and Michael barely wins and runs off with Diana. Melissa still wants the professor and wishes for him to break her heart. While Michael and Diana hide in the theatre and he has a go at her for releasing the Djinn.

We get another wish and death, while Diana tries to block the visions from the Djinn, they talk to each other through the visions straight to camera. Diana tries to wield Michael's Flaming sword but gets burnt, so Michael heals her by blowing on her, now that one hell of a blow job. Diana's Friend Katie runs when she sees her boyfriend and then Jason and hides in an animal research lab, phone's Diana and wishes for somewhere to hide and is forced into a cage with rats.

Michael and Jason fight again and Michael cuts off the Djinn's hand but he just grows another, Michael and Diana drive off but Jason jumps on top they continue to fight but then we have a car crash just like the start of the film and she saves Michael before the car explodes. Jason has some dodgy body reforming, which looks like they copied the transformation for Judge Doom into the crazy toon at the end of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?

Diana jumps off a building saying that if the waker dies before the last wish he looses, but Jason grabs her arm, Michael throws the sword and she stabs Jason and they both fall the Djinn dies. Michael thanks her and resurrects her she and Greg are back together and she tells him she loves him.

This film was way better then the the second, but that’s not hard that was a complicated mess of a film which didn't make sense; this film owes a lot to the teen horror films like SCREAM and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. Jason Connery is well cast as the villain and is very good at sleazy and creepy, the only real problem is that the deaths are nothing like what you have come to expect of the WISHMASTER they are very tame and the effects are very poor.

Though the film was closer to the original in plot, if you came in half way though you would probably think it was a typical teen slasher film, it was very dull and dragged, of course not as much as the second, but that movie felt like the Machine in THE PRINCESS BRIDE, I think it took a year from my life. Thankfully there is only one more movie in this franchise left.

Saturday 13 August 2011

WISHMASTER 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)

Movie and TV Mistress back again with another WISHMASTER film, this time it's WISHMASTER 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)

This film didn't even come out at the cinema it premièred on cable and went to DVD which is now out of print, that bodes well for this sequel doesn't it. At least Andrew Divoff returned to play the Djinn, sadly KNB effects didn't return to do the make up or effects.

The Movie starts very quickly we see Robert England's collection then thieves stealing items, guards try to stop them by shooting and wouldn't you know it they shoot the statue with the Djinn Ruby in it and a Thief takes the ruby, that thief is shot by a guard but it's fine, apparently bullets are attracted to the Djinn and so the ruby was shot and damaged the thief is revealed to be a girl and is burnt by the ruby. Her Boyfriend is shot, she kisses him and runs off leaving the broken ruby behind, the Djinn breaks loose and gets Eric to make a wish, he wishes he had never been born, we get some dodgy morphing effects and bad CGI with the Djinn.

The cops arrive, it is not Robert Englunds house from the first one it looks like a museum or gallery, a cop finds the Djinn who now appears to have horns, the cop tells him to freeze so the Djinn freezes the cop. The other cops arrive and the Djinn has turned into his human form from the first movie. Meanwhile Morgana the girl who got burnt by the ruby is having a bit of a hissy fit and mental breakdown, she seems surprised that her boyfriend was shot asking why...well lets see, you break in and steal stuff in America you are bound to be shot at, tut tut tut.

The Detective is questioning the Djinn and getting no where and the Djinn was unable to get him to make a wish but in the cell he gets a tough guy to wish and of course Morgana is connected to the Djinn and dreams about his victims. We have our first gory death and Morgana goes to church and see a priest played by Paul Johansson (Dan Scott from ONE TREE HILL). Morgana believes the Djinn is the Devil, I can see how she made that mistake he has horns and gives people what they want for their souls, yeah the Djinn and Devil so alike.

The Djinn is now in Prison and calls himself the Wishmaster, how to slip the title in. An inmate who is wrongly imprisoned asks the Djinn to put his lawyer though the pain and suffering he's been through and the lawyer shows up to say he can get him out and all the charges dropped but then is folded in half and rocked back and fourth, in a very comedic way.

Morgana has a nightmare again and does some research on the statue the ruby was in and so time for that history lesson. She is unsure if Eric is dead and here is a plot hole that bugged me from the start, Eric wished he was never born therefore no one should remember him and the Djinn would have no connection to Morgana and the incident may not have happened so this whole movie is a paradox.

Morgana explains everything to the priest who tells her to confess and find piece. She goes in search of the Djinn and goes to the prison to meet him, while another inmate asks the Djinn to get him out of jail, he is Russian and says “you are the devil and will give things for my soul.” Morgana speaks with the Djinn but doesn't get any real information. More inmates ask for stuff from him, which pisses off the big guy in the prison, who asks to get wasted and is beaten up by his twin martial arts bodyguards.

Morgana has more back story of the Djinn and talks it all out with the Priest who then offers to meet the Djinn with her and try to help, the priest discovers that the Djinn is not of this world and then we have the required shower scene where the Djinn scares her. The Priest explains the prophecy and then says he now believes in the Devil, I thought if you were a priest you'd believe in the devil as it's in the bible, he believes in god why not the devil till now; The priest wants Morgana and isn't hiding it.

The priest and Morgana have a plan and that’s to not make any wishes, Morgana cuts off her little finger and returns the stolen art work as well as confess in church. This movie is boring and the finger thing makes no sense and there is still 40 minutes to go, I wish it would end already, at least the first one was gross and funny there is no real scares or horror in this boring film.

The guard that hates the Djinn wishes he could slow dance with him alone Compton style, he regrets it when he see the Djinn in its real form, yet again we see nothing. The guard is now the Djinn , the Russian prisoner and the Djinn both escape. The Djinn has got as many souls as he can in prison but requires more, apparently 800 souls. Morgana finds the Djinn in the Russian mob club and shoots him, he tells her that she will make her 3 wishes and she runs off scared.

The Russian shoots Morgana thinking he can stop the Djinn but she is uninjured, the Djinn is in Vegas getting more souls and calls Morgana using the Russians voice telling her to fly to Vegas and stop the Djinn. The Priest finds the incantation to put the Djinn back in the ruby, they get closer and make out, there's a priest with principles. The Djinn reforms the ruby as he now has enough souls. Everybody in the Casino is winning and loosing their souls.

Morgana wishes that the Djinn be gone forever and be back in the stone but he can not grant these wishes, The Priest wishes that he go back to his hell and they all end up in the stone and the priest is on a cross, so she has her first wish. They end up back at the Casino and the owner wishes to see it all come to an end, god so do I. We get a bizarre scene with cards and roulette wheels attacking people, frogs and locusts.

Morgana wishes that the guard she shot was alive and takes god into her soul and says the incantation and everybody's soul is expelled, I really hope this is over soon. It ends with what’s meant to be the last scare of the Djinn staring at camera inside the stone, Barney the Dinosaur is scarier.

That movie was Awful, Boring and made no sense; as I said earlier it contains a paradox and other plot holes, like why does he now need 800 souls when he didn't in the first and why does she cut off her little finger. I know this film was made for TV but only showing 2 deaths at the start and having the rest take pace off camera made this film unscary and boring, it did not need to be 95 minutes long so much could be cut to make this a better paced film, not a better film though.

I guess it's on to the next WISHMASTER film, maybe it will be better, sadly Andrew Divoff does not return.

Monday 8 August 2011


Movie and TV Mistress back again with another Horror Franchise, this time it's WISHMASTER.

I actually remember seeing this at the cinema, as it came out in May 1998 in the UK. I do know I found it funny more then scary back then, I wonder if I still feel the same way, has this laughable film improved with age?

Directed by Robert Kurtzman, a founding member of KNB effects who have worked on EVIL DEAD films and lots of other horror films including the recent Zombie series THE WALKING DEAD. This was his second time directing, his first being THE DEMOLITIONIST (1995), think ROBCOP with out the robot, it sounds hilarious and I will now be looking for it.

On with this film, which if you don't know is about a Djinn which is a Genie unlike Robin Williams or Jeannie from I DREAM OF JEANNIE. The movie opens with a Gem being cast, the McGuffin of the film. Next we have a long scroll about the history of the Djinn, narrated by Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man from PHANTASM). We hear a man in Persia wishing to be shown all the wonders of the world, a man is made part of a wall and looks just like Han Solo in Carbonite.

OK I’m less then 5 minutes in and I’m already laughing, it kind of reminds me of ARMY OF DARKNESS, the Type face is the same and it seems to have a similar film quality. I do wonder, what was it about the 90's which made movies so self referential We get to see lots of great make up effects which KNB are excellent at. We have a guy with a weird alien like creature popping out of his chest which bites a woman, next we have a man's skeleton escape his skin and attack people and another man turned into a snake. The wizard to the sultan tells him not to make any more wishes and then traps the Djinn in the red ruby which is then encased in a statue for safe keeping.

It's a hell of an opening for a movie and sets the mood for the rest of the film, which to me like HOUSE it is a horror comedy.

We flash forward to present day and Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) and Ted Raimi (Joxer the Mighty) are at a dock receiving a shipment of the very statue the McGuffin ruby is in and of course a crew guy is drunk and drops the crate with the statue on Ted's head. Ted always dies in horror films in the funniest ways.

The statue is broken and the ruby is exposed and a dock guy takes it to an auction house for appraisal. we are introduced to Alex the heroine of the film, who doesn't want to date a hot guy (Josh) who fancies her. OK so Alex is a gem expert at the Auction house and just happens to have a Genie bottle like that in I DREAM OF JEANNIE in her office, see you can't take this movie seriously. Alex rubs the gem and we get a jump scare of her boss being right beside her, she takes the gem to Josh to check it further.

Ah set up for the finale battle between Alex and the Djinn, she tells a girl basket ball team they need stillness. While Josh uses a laser scan on the Gem and releases the Djinn who kills him by wishing for the pain to cease. Alex feels the pain and death of every victim and is connected to the Djinn. The Djinn creature grows and gets stronger with every wish.

This movie has so many horror actor cameo's Reggie Bannister from the PHANTASM films is a pharmacist and Buck Flower who plaid Red Thomas the Bum in BACK TO THE FUTURE again plays a bum. They argue and The bum wishes for Reggie to die.

Meanwhile Alex is upset and her sister doesn't believe her visions, Shannon thinks Alex is just having nightmares, which is true she is having nightmares about the Djinn. Alex investigates where the Gem came from and meets Robert Englund and gets some history and advise while the Djinn gets a human face and blinds a medical student. Alex meets a folklore professor who explains the plot and how the Djinn works, while we have more silly jump scares just to keep the audience on their toes.

We have a montage of Alex reading about the Djinn's history and more exposition. While the Djinn goes to her boss to find out where Alex lives, and on the Boss's Desk has a classic Genie Lamp like that is Aladdin. More smoking from both Alex and the Djinn, meanwhile the Djinn puts the Gem back together so he can bring more of his kind into the world, bit like the dark overlords in HOWARD THE DUCK, which is funny since the Djinn sounds just like the possessed Dr Jennings.

Alex goes to the professor again but it's very obvious that the Djinn has taken over her body or something, it's very red riding hood. Alex gets a free wish and wishes the Djinn to blow his brains out which he does but he cannot die, she then wishes to know what he is and is then trapped in the Gem being chased by her fears. Alex wishes her second official wish and we have a scream moment with the house phone.

Alex heads to Robert's party where the final battle will take place and is stopped by Tony Todd (Candy Man), she gets in and the Djinn gets Tony to try and escape a water tank and tricks Robert into wishing that his party was like that at the start of the film. Alex promises that she won't wish and runs way but the Djinn makes the soldier statues come to life and attack her and traps her sister in a burning painting. So she wishes that the Dock worker had not been drinking on the job 2 days earlier so everyone including Ted Raimi is safe and sound and Alex asks Josh out on a date.

So that was WISHMASTER it was still as funny as I remember and gross and the make-up effects were just as good as you would expect from KNB. As a Director Robert Kurtzman didn't do a bad job, this film definitely deserved the 18 rating for the Make-up and effects alone, more so then HOUSE. I would not tell you to go out of your way and watch this film, but if you like 90's self referential horror and seeing loads of classic horror actors meet horrific ends in a movie you might enjoy this just for a laugh, plus I’m sure there are some fun drinking games you can have with this film.

Can you guess what comes next?

Friday 22 July 2011

HOUSE 4: The Repossession (1992)

Movie and TV Mistress back again with the final instalment of the HOUSE films.
The Fourth movie is called HOUSE 4: The Repossession and it sees the return of Roger Cobb again played by William Katt. Though William Katt is back as Roger Cobb the character, House and family are completely different to the first movie. The only memory of this film I have is that Roger is a ghost, the movie is not going to be as dark as the third film and promises to be a comedy horror, lets hope so, lets start the final movie.

Well at least the correct title appears at the start and it is called HOUSE 4, we see Kelly Cobb standing on the road outside a huge house and she walks in and joins Roger and his step brother Burke talking about home movies, Burke wants Roger to sell the house. Roger has promised to keep the house in the family and renovate it but Burke won't give up on Roger selling. A random Indian has arrived called Ezra, who parts some wisdom on Kelly and the family saying the spirits will rest because Roger is honouring his Grand Father's agreement.

Everybody drives off, but Ezra goes into the basement and checks on a glowing green hole in the floor, carries out a ceremony. Meanwhile Kelly is driving and asks Roger to explain the agreement, Rogers Grand Father made a blood oath on his wedding day not to sell the house, after explaining everything they have a car crash. Kelly is able to pull Laurel her daughter free but the car blows up with a living Roger stuck in it. Laurel survives but is paralysed. For 1992 you'd think Kelly would get her daughter an up to date wheel chair, but no it's a creepy old wicker type.

They return to the house and put Roger's Ashes on the mantle her Dad tries to persuade her not to stay or fix it up. The house is covered in cob webs everywhere and the furniture is all falling apart. Laurel wants to have a Halloween party at the house and starts talking about her first Halloween and we get our first flashback of this movie. She cuts her hand on a piece of glass in the house and goes to wash it but looks like the slime from Ghostbuster 2 is in her taps. Laurel is stating the obvious I hope she doesn't do that in the entire film. Kelly goes to answer the door but the person has already let themselves in, Verna Klump, who claims to be the house keeper is played by Denny Dillion yet another cast member from Night Court, Richard Moll played Big Ben in HOUSE.

There are strange noises coming from the basement so time to investigate, I wonder will we have any jump scares in this film. No she sees a mouse falls over and sticks her bloody hand in the glowing green hole, hay that’s one way to trick a girl into giving a blood oath. 25 minute in and nothing remotely scary has happened. Kelly's cut has healed in a day, wow that house is magic; this house kind of reminds me on the house in the Munsters and Practical Magic. Kelly has more flashbacks and Laurel looks longingly at girls skipping, but Burke arrives to take the property from her to sell it to a Toxic company.

Finally 33 minutes in and an official jump scare, Roger's Ashes are on the ground, Kelly goes to touch it and a hand pops out and grabs her, then Verna arrives and the Ashes are back on the mantle. Yet another William Katt horror film with that scare. There are strange noises in the basement but this time Al the Plumber pops out. Here comes the most famous part of this film the singing pizza man arrives but its the singing pizza with a face that Kelly kills in the garbage disposal which is so famous and hilarious.

Laurel has yet to see anything creepy and probably thinks her mum is nuts. Time for a shower sequence, you got to fit it in somewhere and she is showered in blood. And the mirror says Get out or Die then she sees a burnt up Roger in the mirror. Now it's getting all creepy Nightmare on Elm street style; must be time to go to Church for Ezma's help and time for Ezma to give the exposition of the film.

OK the script writer wasn't even trying when he came up with the name of the chemical company and owner, they're called Acme Chemical and there is a load of gross our humour from Mr Grosso the owner. The henchmen go into the house in bug and snake masks and attack Laurel telling her to get out, her dog lamp comes to life and attacks them, the house tries to hurt the henchmen but they escape. Laurel ends up in hospital and begs her mum to not go back to the house so Kelly calls Burke and tells him to bring the papers.

Kelly sleeps and the sheets are pulled up around her, when she wakes up she rolls off the bed and the projector starts playing home movies, the bed breaks again and she laughs and of course changes her mind and doesn't sell the house to Burke. The two henchmen arrive with some heavy artillery but it's like a dream, well it turns out to be the house showing her what really happened the night she crashed the car. Kelly speaks to Ezma and he tells her to let it go and just go to the police but she is too angry because Burke’s Henchmen killed Roger.

Verna brings Laurel home and tries to protect her, but is knocked out and the Henchmen, who try to set fire to the house, they are turned into a snake and a bug, with very bad effects which reminds me of Dreamscape and The henchmen freak out and shoot each other and the gasoline keeps pouring out and the heat of a bullet shell ignites it. Laurel is trying to crawl out of the house, but can't and Kelly can't get to her, they choke on the smoke and Kelly wakes up with Roger telling her she needs to go back to save Laurel. The healing spring in the house breaks free puts out the fire and heals Laurel so she can walk again. (That was so predictable from the start.)

Burke is arrested in cliché fashion by Verna Klump who turns out to be FBI and Roger appears one last time as a cop and vanishes to the stars, must be one of the left over powers from his time as The Greatest American Hero.

OK that was not as bad as HOUSE 2 but not as great as the first one. The balance of comedy and horror seemed off, it never really had any scary moments and any attempts at scary were so predictable that you saw it coming a mile off including the ending. The script went through so many rewrites by different writers and the director, which could explain the lack of balance.
William Katt being in this film was an after thought and you can tell, he is just added to tie it to the first most successful film. Though on the upside it was nice to see him back in the film and for the franchise to end on a movie closer in style to the original.

What have I learnt from this series of films, well like any franchise, it is very hard to recreate the success of the first film, Comedy and horror do work well together when the balance is right and that in the 80's it was OK to experiment with styles in horror franchise, just look at Halloween, Evil Dead and even the Alien Franchise. Now the horror films lack comedy and never seem to deviate in style between films, which is why we have 7 Saw movies which are basically the same story over and over again.

I would recommend the first film and if you like that, you should check out the rest just for a laugh, they are definitely good films to watch drunk.

If you like commentaries they have provided them to all but the third film and they are fun but the fourth commentary has the added bonus of having James Cameron being called and giving his opinion on one scene.

Till next time.

Sunday 17 July 2011

HOUSE 3: The Horror Show (1989)

Movie and TV Mistress here with the third instalment of my HOUSE reviews.
I should start by talking about the title of this film, in the UK and as you can see from the cover it is called HOUSE 3 but in the US it is called THE HORROR SHOW and when the credits start the film is just called THE HORROR SHOW even on the British DVD. This has lead to debate online as to whether it is a true third instalment of the HOUSE series.

This is what I believe, it is part of the series, partly because it is called HOUSE 3 and comes in the box-set, but mostly because if you look at the plot it is similar to the first HOUSE film without comedy. It is a haunting brought on by revenge. However I am also aware that according to producers, the fourth film is actually the third movie in the "House" series. Because the unrelated “THE HORROR SHOW" adopted the title "HOUSE 3" in both the UK and Australia.

Sean S Cunningham mentions on the HOUSE 2 commentary that he saw these movies as an anthology of haunted house tales not a series of movies about one house, which explains the differences in styles between each one.

So on with the review, the movie's credits start with a silly home video of the family in the house having a BBQ and playing in the yard, this may be the lightest this movie gets, as this is the darkest movie of the series and stars Lance Henriksen as the cop/father, Brion James as Meat Cleaver Max (in case you can't tell, he's the villain) Dedee Pfieffer as the cop's daughter and Aron Eisenberg as her brother (he used to be in DS9 as Nog the Ferengi kid)

The house in the movie is just a typical big American house, nothing like what’s shown on the cover art. It's the middle of the night and Lance is checking the house and family, I guess there may be our first scare coming already, as he gets his gun. Oh no the front door is open and it's all foggy, I suspect this opening sequence is a dream. All of a sudden a cat jumps out of no where giving us our first Jump scare, I'm always reminded of Ripley's cat in Alien when this type of scare happens. Lance stares at the furnace in the basement smiles and then we are at a location where he and his partner are hunting down the serial killer, I bet his partner is one day from retirement. Anyone for some fried hand or heads for dinner, looks like quite the delicacy.

I may be making all the jokes as this movie is to serious. Oh and I was right his partner didn't make it. Max has hold of a little girl, he cuts her head off but she still screams, Lance wakes up hurting his wife but it's Max in drag who sticks a meat cleaver in his chest and then he wakes up again but has blood on his chest. This seems like Nightmare on Elm Street, which may explain the tag line “You'd rather be on Elm St.” You may be thinking this movie also sounds like another Wes Craven movie called SHOCKER which it really does, even the electrocution scene seems like it belongs in a Craven movie. I thought the horrible electrocution in THE GREEN MILE was bad this is worse.

So Max didn't die straight away he got loads of volts broke his restraints and while on fire told Lance “I'm coming back to tear your world apart” he then promptly dies. A weird professor asks the doctor if there has been any electric impulses or weird activity, but the Doctor says he had 50000 volts put though him and leaves the professor to do his checks, the professor witnesses an Electric spirit leave the body and then we see it in Lance's House fuse box, time for cat jump scare number 2, oh dear no cat, will it return or has Max already killed it?

Lance sees his Psychiatrist who thinks the cut could be a form of stigmata, lance laughs it off and leaves, the Professor warns Lance in the car park but of course he is ignored. We get set ups for later scares including seeing a Halloween mask and instead of finding Max behind the cloths in the basement it's Vinny, Dedee's boyfriend. It's suddenly night and Lance is driving and picturing everything that happened he nearly has a car crash and then talks to Max in the car.

Lots of stuff happening in the rooms in front of mirrors, mirrors in horror movies always make me nervous. Vinny is still in the basement and is going to leave when he hears Dedee's voice telling him what to do, but he can't see her. It's Max he's back and kills Vinny.

Dedee goes to the basement but can't find Vinny, Lance nearly gets some action with the wife but Max calls, killing the mood. Dedee gets her brother to help her look for Vinny. Oh Yay, more creepy music while people sneak around the house, Lance goes to the Basement and shouts at the Furness as it sounds like Max, well I think it sounds like Beetlejuice, I expect him to say “I've come for your daughter” while he talks about her. Dedee comes clean and is grounded next day the family is having a turkey lunch. Now this is the 80's horror movie with twisted images, so I suspect something is inside or is going to come out of the Turkey, because they keep giving us close up's. I was kind of right the turkey changed and had Max's face on it telling Lance that his family was dead.

Next the family are watching some comedy on TV, but Lance see Max doing stand up and can't take it so shoots the TV. He goes to his therapist and says he thinks he's going crazy, he decides to visit the home of Max but the Professor shows up explaining everything including Max being electromagnetic evil and how to kill him.

Dedee gets a phone call from a dead Vinny asking her to go to the basement and surprise, surprise Vinny falls on her. Because Lance was shouting in the Basement when Vinny was last seen he is arrested. Meanwhile the professor still at Max's place records his plans to kill Max but Max kills him. Lance is questioned by Internal Affairs and then Max disguised as an attorney threatens him, Max calls and threatens Dedee and then we have the classic shower scene required in all horror movies, but no scare yet. Ah he's a gentleman he waited till she was dressed and in her room before he attacked her.

Lance escapes the Police station, but meanwhile it's the mothers turn to be scared by following a girl to the basement and the reveal of the dead cat and the girl with a cut throat, Max kisses the mother while making cat noises. Lance arrives to find his son's ears cut off then Dedee can't get out of bed because she is pregnant to Max, while Lance's chest cut is getting worse and opening. It's starting to remind me of Videodrome or any David Cronenberg film with weird images and make up.

Lance falls down the stairs and then wakes up finding his son and daughter are tide up at the dinner table, Dedee has a baby, which Lance takes and goes to smash it but everyone disappears. Lance goes after Max and ends up in the place from the start, the professor's head reminds him what he needs to do and then blows up. Lance catches up with Max and his wife, there is a fight and Lance and his wife get away and electrocute him which makes him real and then Lance shoots up his body in the real world.

The family sell the house and everybody including the cat is back to normal, but what about the Professor?

So that was HOUSE 3 it's definitely a lot creepier and darker then the other two. As I said it owes a lot to Cronenberg and Craven in it's style and format, there really isn't anything you haven't seen in the more successful horror series of the 80's. This movie felt like a bit of a mess and seemed to be making things very complicated with how Max's character worked, there were definitely elements of Freddy Kruger, but so much more in common with SHOCKER the other Craven film, which came out the same year as HOUSE 3 and was the more successful film at the box office. If you would rather see a HOUSE movie try to be scary then this one might be for you, but I still think the first one works the best in it's own way.

Next the return of Roger Cobb (William Katt) in HOUSE 4: The Repossession.

Thursday 14 July 2011

HOUSE 2: The Second Story (1987)

Movie and TV Mistress time for the second story in the HOUSE series.
OK so this is the second movie and we all know the sequels are usually not going to be as good as the first one, but this one though it's an 18 goes all out comedy with subtle horror elements, it's like are you afraid of the dark. Also yet another movie that focus on a Crystal Skull which just adds to how much this movie also disappoints me.

But on with the review the House in this film is different it is a brick mansion but just as big as the first one, it has many different art styles inside. The film starts in the past with a couple giving their baby to another couple, they head back in and hear a noise go to investigate, husband has gun in hand and they find a figure in a room, the husband goes to shoot but is shot by the figure the wife runs but is caught by the figure and he tells her to give him the Skull and she's shot. We then flash forward 25 years and Jesse, played by Arye Gross who used to be in Ellen moves in with his girlfriend the house has been passed down his family.

They explore the dusty house and find an empty pedestal, I guess that’s where the crystal skull goes, the electricity isn't working but the girl can make a phone call... we get a quick history of Jesse's family and he knows the couple killed in the opening were his parents and we see his Great Great grand father. Jesse wakes up in the middle of the night and will something scary happen... No just a collapsible Iron board falls on his head. Jesse's friend and girlfriend arrive next very drunk, yay Amy Yesbeck in another bad 80's sequel, I know she is really funny and I do love her in movies and Wings but I always feel she could do something great.

So we get more history about the Mcguffin Crystal Skull with diamonds in it's eyes, and exposition about the skull and Jesse and his friend go in search and dig up his Great Great Grand father, who buried the Skull with him and is still alive as the skull gives ever lasting life, he wears a hideous mask but looks pretty good for over a hundred and seventy years old. Like I said earlier there really aren’t any scares in this film and 20 minutes in the skull has been found.

Gramps explains more about the house as a temple and protecting the skull, and how it was supposed to make him young again. But he notice's that he is 170 year old zombie who can't die. Charlie Jesse’s friend takes Gramps out for a drive and a drink. I'm board with this film but oh look it's Bill Maher. This movie feels like a lot of exposition and information from Gramps and when he tells a story I’m reminded of an old BT advert. Boring story montage who knew that was possible.

There is a party happening in the house and Charlie forgot to tell Jesse, Jesse bumps into an old flame, Gramps joins the party and the Skull starts doing stuff and lets out a big guy from an ancient time into the party, this movie is reminding me of the second Waxworks movie. Jesse's girlfriend beats him up because of his old flame and Gramps is beaten up by the big guy who then steals the skull and returns to the room he came from which has got a jungle in it. Jesse has to get the Skull back from the stone age guy Charlie tags along and brings weapons.

In the jungle there are some weird creatures and dinosaurs the history of this is stupid the guy is meant to be from the stone age which is well after the dinosaurs, or polished metal swords, but I’m nit picking. The stone age guy is eaten by what looked like a ROUS. And again they get the skull back only to loose it to a pterodactyl. I hate this story so much, why is it even an 18 movie? it might as well be a kids adventure film, Gremlins was scarier then this. I'm only half way though this film and I just want it to end already.

They crash though the jungle into the basement with the skull and baby pterodactyl and weird dog creature that looks like a caterpillar with a dogs face. Jesse chases the baby dino bird around the house and then hide it from his girlfriend and boss who are high on valium Jesse and Charlie get slapped as they find Jesse’s ex girlfriend in the cupboard. So now we're down to 3 guys in the house and some weird creatures.

Looks like the Incas hurt Gramps and took the skull, yay at last John Ratzenberger has arrived as Bill the electrician, Bill has no problem with the fact the house has other time dimensions in it and now we have a Temple of Doom like scene Bill is awesome and is like a real hero in comparison to the other guys. Bill beats them out since he was fighting when they left him, he gives them his card which says Bill Towner Electrician & Adventurer. That section is my favourite part John Ratzenberger can do no wrong why do you think Pixar love him.

The weird group including a virgin Inca girl have dinner and finally the figure from the start turns up to fight Gramps for the skull, he looks a bit like Bubba Ho-Tep, he shoot Gramps and takes the girl and skull to old west and Jesse finds out the bad guy killed his parents so goes after him. Time for a showdown but Jesse can't shoot straight with a pistol, he gets a shotgun. Jesse keeps getting shot how is he still standing and firing, the Police arrive because of the gunfire and Jesse shoots the figures head to bits, then gets the skull back to Gramps, but it's time for Gramps to move on.

The police are still waiting for Jesse to come out but the headless figure gets up and shoots his the sheriff and the police open fire the house is set alight and Jesse gets the creatures and Gramps out by going into the western dimension and stays their with his friend and new Inca girlfriend.

The writer director set out to make a completely different movie from the first, he definitely did that and he was planing on an anthology of haunted house movies. I think I hate this movie because it makes less sense then the first and went down the all out comedy route, which doesn't work very often with horror franchises, the only one I can think of is Army of Darkness. I know it's not meant to be a horror but it is so ridiculous and has to many pointless characters, except for Bill just cause I love his stuff. I would not go out of your way to watch this film unless your having trouble sleeping.

Next HOUSE 3 or THE HORROR SHOW to Americans.

HOUSE (1986)

Movie and TV Mistress here reviewing the first of the HOUSE movies.

Now don't get this confused with House MD, HOUSE is a Horror series that started in 1986, it's about a haunted House, but nothing like Amityville Horror. This is like a lot of the horrors of the 80's a Horror Comedy, well the first one is and well the others are a little different, I’ll explain as I review each one.

So HOUSE opens with very ominous and creepy music and has a quick image of the House that will feature in the series. Think Psycho meets Wisteria Lane. The Director of Photography or editor has used negative images to show the house in a disturbing way, the camera travels all around the house, well it is a character itself and so we need to know more about it and thanks to a delivery boy we get to go inside. There are disturbing pieces of modern art which do seem out of place in an old house, the grocery boy walks up stairs and checks the rooms for Mrs Hooper and finds her in her bedroom, where she has hung herself, that’s one way to get out of tipping the boy or paying your bill.

We are now introduced to Roger Cobb played by William Katz from Perry Mason. Roger is a Horror writer signing his books, he no longer wants to write horror, instead he wants to write about his experience in the Vietnam war. Now I laugh at this moment because Mindy Sterling AKA Frau Farbissina in Austin Powers starts bugging him about his famous ex wife, even back then she was comedy gold.

Roger is pretending he's doing well while on the phone with his ex wife who he still clearly loves but they broke up because of the disappearance of their son. Next we get a random Vietnam type dream with his son playing on a grave and a monster reaching up for him. This film doesn't do subtle mood changes it just jumps between comedy and horror when it feels like, I guess it keeps you on your toes.

Roger is shown round his aunts house where his son disappeared by a funny realtor. We get a flashback to how his son Jim disappeared and it starts to feel a bit like the Shining Mini series, the son was pulled under the water but isn't there when Roger dives in. we're back with the funny realtor and he shoots a harpoon at Roger and they act like nothing happened. Back to flashback and we see why people thought his aunt was crazy she told the police that the House took his son.

Roger tells the realtor he is not selling and he moves in. there is a lot of set up and this part of the movie is like when Ash was alone in the cabin in Evil Dead 2, there are weird noises and creepy stuffed animals and fish. He goes into his aunts old room, this is where I get scared every time I see it, hay I'm a chicken sometimes. His dead Aunt is there and she tells him what happened and then she hangs herself again and disappears. She warns him to leave as the house will trick him, but when does anyone in a haunted house leave when their told...Never.

Yay we finally meet Roger's neighbour George Wendt AKA Norm from Cheers, he tells Roger he's his biggest fan and I start picturing Misery with Norm. Roger escapes to the house to write his novel and we get flashbacks to Vietnam then the TV comes on and he turns it off and his son is on a window and he turns that off with the remote two, stop taking the drugs. He follows the laugh of his son into his aunts room and then says he must be going crazy and walks away he brushes his teeth and changes his mind and checks the closet just before midnight nothing happens and then the clock tolls and he opens the door again and is attacked by a huge monster.

This is before internet but he buys loads of camera's, lights and sound equipment and tests out his plan to capture images of the creature in the closet. He runs out in full army gear and is met by Norm and says he's just writing.
Later that night Norm comes into the house just before midnight saying he brought a midnight snack and he thinks solitude is better with someone else. Roger explains his whole life and why he has all the camera's in his aunts room, Norm thinks he's crazy and making it up and steals Roger’s address book and phone's Sandy Roger's Ex wife about his concerns.

Sandy calls Roger be he is too engrossed in his own flashback to Vietnam; The Vietnam stuff feels strange but it is all set up for later in the movie but I’ll get to that later. Roger's alone and a toy car comes driving in then a huge fish on the wall comes to life and attacks Roger, so just like Ash, he heads to the shed for a shot gun but the garden tools are trying to kill him too. He escapes and trips in the kitchen dropping 2 shells under a table. He shoots the fish and puts a towel over it, all seems well until there is a knock on the bathroom door and the Garden tools are their.

Sandy had said to Norm that she could not come as she had an early morning call but how strange she's here, oh no I was wrong it's an ugly Jessica Rabbit puppet he shoots it and wakes Norm. The House is really playing with Roger now because the monster looks like his wife again, so he hides her body. Norm calls the police and Roger pretends that he's cleaning the gun and that it went off, I have never known police to arrive so quickly, but it is movie world.

The cops find the 2 dropped bullets and startle Roger a couple of times before they finally leave and don't write him up for firing his shotgun. The Dead body of Sandy has disappeared oh no what ever could that mean...he heads to his aunts room and she has walked into the closet or so he thought, no it tricked him and the ugly Jessica Rabbit sounds like Alvin from the chipmunks, he fights her and opens the bathroom door and the garden tools kill and chop her to bits.

We have a great song and montage of him burying parts of the body in the backyard. We're 55 minutes in and we get a new character introduced, another neighbour a hot girl who flirts, meanwhile a dog has dug up the monsters hand, I predict high jinx like Evil Dead 2.

The hot neighbour asks if Roger is ready to play but she means with her son Robert, who has the monsters hand on his back. He chases Robert around and flushes the hand down the toilet and she basically dumps her kid on Roger so she can go out. Yet another Nam flashback showing how crazy his friend Big Ben was and how he died. Robert has disappeared with a couple of creepy looking monsters, Robert seems to be enjoying this game. Ah what directors will do to there own kids in a movie. If this movie was made today this section would not happen.

Roger invites Norm round after the kid is gone and tells him that the ghost in the closet is a giant raccoon and that they are going to kill it and at midnight Roger opens the door and Norm is freaked, but does shoot the harpoon, roger gets caught on the line and is dragged into the other world in the closet which looks just like Vietnam. Ah they are trying to confuse us, is this really happening now or is it a flashback...feels like a flashback but the closet door is still open.

Roger has worked out what’s happening and the movie is showing us, we finally see the whole picture his aunt painted. His son is trapped in the other realm behind the bathroom mirror where a cathulu type monster tries to kill Roger, he ties a rope around the toilet and takes his shot gun and abseils down the bottomless void, he is attacked by a creepy skull faced winged monster that steals his gun, it shoots the rope and Roger falls into water he finds his son in a bamboo cage like a Vietnam prisoner of war, they escape and appear in the pool. It has the typical it's over happy music but we know it's not.

A Decomposing Big Ben turns up and admits he took Roger's son because Roger didn't kill him when he was injured and be was tortured for weeks, Roger runs around the house avoiding Big Ben and tells his son to run to a neighbours house. Big Ben chucks Roger about, but Roger fights back and beats Ben with his own arm which Ben reattaches. During the fight the House has moved to a cliff and Rogers hanging off the edge, but roger pulls Ben off the edge instead. It has to be over right...nope Ben and the house tricked him again, Ben has his son again; we get a labyrinth type ending with Roger saying you have no power over me and blows him up. Sandy finally arrives for real and the house is on fire but Roger and Jim are fine.

True this movie is not as remembered as The Evil Dead and Friday 13th films but boy is is fun, it is ridiculous, creepy and doesn't make a lot of sense, at times it feels like a series of comedy sketches put between horror but I like it. As I have pointed out a few time in this review, there are a lot of similarities between what happens to Roger and Ash in Evil Dead 2, so if you like your horror cheesy and funny like Evil Dead 2 then check this one out.

Next I'll be reviewing HOUSE 2...

Tuesday 21 June 2011


Movie and TV Mistress here with a film called Nine Lives.

If you type the title into there are 9 films with that title and one film with Wesley Snipes called Unstoppable which has the alternate title Nine Lives, but the one that I’m watching is from 2002 and apparently stars Paris Hilton, so my expectations are very low.

Before I review this movie I should explain how I came to this point. I really am enjoying writing reviews of films I know many people have not seen, but a lot of the ones I have reviewed are films I like and though it's nice to read and write a positive review once in awhile, I found I really did like slating some of the terrible films I have seen. I was at a friends and she was getting rid of a lot of her DVD's, we have similar tastes, but she has some films I have not even had the guts to pick up and buy such as this one; so I asked if I could take some from her to review she was more then happy to let me take them off her hands and so we are brought to me sitting down and finally forcing myself to watch a Paris Hilton film.

I have read the very long description on the box which tells you exactly what happens and the cause of the up coming deaths I just hope this is a short film, well at 81minutes it looks like it could be, but time as Einstein says is relative.

So the Movie opens with a girl running though corridors with a knife crying I guess that will be towards the end. Next we have the opening credits with cars driving to a very large estate in Scotland and then it says on screen “Earlier that day” Like we couldn't guess. I don't know if the lighting is bad or if their trying to be stylish in some way.

I can tell Paris is not acting she is basically playing herself as usual. So we have a group of good looking and posh kids I already want to die and it is only 5 minutes in to the film, that’s a Lie when I read the box I wanted them dead.

OK we have couples forming and really bad jump scares that mean nothing, we have a boring scene of them talking about shit around a dinning table. Not even the diner room scene in The Evil Dead was this long and even in Peters Friends I cared more about what was happening between the friends at those dinners then I do right now.

I am now 15 minutes in to the film and I’m yearning for some one to be killed so this film can end, as I write this we see our first possession by an evil spirit but no death. Oh dear there is a creepy book hidden behind a wall, could it be an ancient Sumerian text that was not meant for the living, no it's the history of the house and a guy called Murray. While that's happening we have Paris Hilton Striping for what reason I don't know.

Finally after Tom has read the book it becomes blank and just says I have returned in it, then Tom has no eyes and knocks the birthday boy to the ground. Next we have girls being scared and Paris screaming, Yay Paris is dead.

All the phones in the house even the mobiles are not working wow that’s unlucky, we have more pointless jump scares. The staff are dead, Tom is still missing, the girl with the Birthday boy freaks out thinking he is the killer and runs to the door and surprise surprise in pops eyeless Tom who kills her. He then fights with Birthday boy who kills Tom and is then possessed by the evil spirit of Murray and slices another girl in the stomach and runs.

At last something is happening and I feel that they are trying to emulate Evil Dead and The Thing with the possession and paranoia. The girl (Laura) from the start of the film seems the smartest she's locked herself in a room with a guy and the girl who was cut and won't let anyone in.

I thought the lighting was bad before now the lights in the huge house are all out, well accept the lights plugged into the wall in the study Laura is in, which makes no sense if the fuses have blown. Damien and Pete are looking in the Basement for Birthday boy Tim, Duh Duh Duh, Tim turns up and knocks Damien and Pete out, Damien kills Tim then disappears, Pete wakes up he goes back to the locked room and Andy the guy with Laura lets him into the room. We get another explanation of the history and the Spirit of Murray Possessing people, Laura believes Damien is possessed and is going to kill them.

More lame jump scares as Laura and Pete go in search of Damien and plan to capture him, their plan would have worked if they didn't loose a key. The girl with the sliced stomach is doing well considering no medical treatment.

This is so boring I'm finding it hard to focus on it but after some more jump scares Damien goes outside and jumps though the window into the locked room kills the girl who is dying Andy kills him Girl wakes up with no eyes and Andy kills her again. Now it is between Laura, Pete and Andy to survive when Laura accidentally stabs Andy it is finally at the start of the film and she is locked out begging to be let in then she asks peter to Kill her before Andy dies to break the link. She stabs herself, I hope that’s this over.

The book is back to normal and Pete gives a long monologue about why he survived because he was the only Scottish guy in the group then burns the book. If the police turned up he would probably go to jail for all the murders.

OK this film is a boring and terribly written film. The possession starts with a mistake, the writer/director says a book is found which unleashes the evil spirit but then why is Tom Possessed before he finds the book?

The movie is made up of people explaining the Murray Spirit over and over again with lots of pointless jump scares. As I said earlier I wanted all the posh and boring friends to die within 5 minutes there was nobody I felt connected to or wanted to survive, Paris Hilton was only in this film to bring a name to the project and to die first.

If I want to watch a group of friends on Holiday get killed I'll watch the Original April Fools Day, it was more interesting and scary for the right reasons, and it had Tom F Wilson (Biff Tannan).

That’s my thoughts on this film and now I just have to get rid of it.

Wednesday 8 June 2011


Movie & TV Mistress here again.

I recently watched a film called Ground Zero: Deadly Wave on SyFy channel, if you try to look this up online the movie comes up as Polar Opposites or Deadly Shift; another one of those made for SyFy movies with multiple titles.

I was in the mood for a dodgy sci fi film and SyFy with it's silly name never seems to let me down, in the middle of the night they aired this film and it stars Charles Shaughnessy from The Nanny and Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire it also has Tracy Nelson aka Stevie from The Father Dowling Mysteries and other familiar faces from TV and movies.

The premise is that a nuclear bomb is exploded in Iran and this sets off a series of Earthquakes and the end of the world by shifting the magnetic poles of the Earth.

So we get the typical bad CGI effects to show the explosions and Earthquakes at the start of the film and that's it really, this surprised me after seeing films like mega-shark and Octoshark which relied so heavily on CGI.

But on with the film. Charles's character is a scientist called David Terran who published a book about his theory of shifting poles, how that also assisted in the death of the dinosaurs and how it may happen again. He was shunned by the scientific community for these theories and has left his wife and lives in the middle of nowhere with his father. His old friend and brother In law, Martin, is also a scientist who observes the atmosphere and satellites. He is the first to witness the effects of the underground nuclear explosion on the atmosphere, with the increase of radiation around the world.

David's ex wife, Jenna, is a doctor working in a chemotherapy clinic, all her patients who have finished chemotherapy and are in remission start falling ill with symptoms like radiation poisoning.

While these three sub-plots are going on we see the white house situation room and government officials trying to work out what they should do in relation to the nuclear bomb test in Iran, as usual in films the government wants to shoot then ask questions, but thanks to the rise in radiation noticed by Martin they delay this and investigate how this might affect there decision. They go to see Martin, he tells them that David knows more about this issue. David has already worked out what’s happening without computers and high tech gear when General Railen and Martin arrive and explains that there are multiple magnetic fields which leads to the poles shift and the Earth will flip over meaning the end of Mankind.

David has resigned himself to dying and that the world will end, when Martin arrives with the general but after some discussion and apologies from Martin they decide to be with Jenna as the world ends. The general does not want to give up on saving the world, but with the satellites down the mobiles and internet are no longer working so she can't contact the president. On the way to Jenna's Clinic they go to Martin's lab which has been destroyed by more Earthquakes, they discover the Earth is trying to stabilise itself but if the American government deploys another bomb to Iran the world will not be able to fix itself.

Everybody gets to Jenna's clinic, there they discover a way of contacting the president situation room with the information and prevent the planed attack on Iran and the world is saved by doing nothing.

I was actually surprised and slightly disappointed because this film wasn't as bad as I had expected, It has likeable characters and good performances from the actors and very little SFX. The let down of the film is the lack of perspective, which though different from other disaster films, it only relies on America being affected by this disaster and to save the world. In a big budget movie like this you would see the rest of the world being affected, if not real it would be on the news but there is never any mention of it. The science in the story seems to make sense, but I think that shows good writing or good acting.

I would not tell people to go out of their way to watch this film but I would say it is one of the better made and performed films shown on the SyFy channel. Hopefully the next film I watch on SyFy will be one of those bad ones I was expecting, but maybe I should stick to watching the Horror channel where I can guarantee a bad film or two.

Friday 27 May 2011


Movie and TV Mistress is back.

This review as you can tell by the title is about the very short lived TV series from the BBC called Crime Traveller, it was a detective show which used time travel to solve the cases. The show ran for 1 series in 1997, which was 8 episodes long; due to a new Head of Drama at the BBC the show was not renewed as expected by the cast and crew.

The show focus's on Jeff Slade a CID Detective and the science officer Holly Turner, who work together to solve crimes with Holly's Time Machine. They work under Kate Grisham, with officers Morris and Nicky who'll I discuss later.

Holly's father built a Time Machine in the living room of his flat, think TARDIS Console room with out the bigger on the inside joke. Her father became lost in Time when he did not get back to the machine in time. She has continued to work on the machine and his research in her spear time, while working for the police. She is played By Chloe Annett who famously plays Kristine Kochanski in Red Dwarf.

Holly has worked out several rules of Time Travel, which she continuously explains though out the series, they are:
  1. You cannot travel back more then once as you cannot exist in more then two time frames.
  2. You cannot change anything in the past, as anything you do when time travelling has already happened.
  3. You cannot meet yourself it would create a paradox.
  4. You cannot travel to the future, it's not possible to travel to something that hasn't happened.
  5. You must get back to the machine before you originally left or you will be stuck in a loop of Infinity.
  6. Holly cannot control the length of time the machine will take you back.
The creator Anthony Horowitz does a good job of sticking to these rules but does bend a couple of them as the series progresses, which makes me wonder about what the future could have held in a second series.

Jeff Slade or SLADE! As he is constantly called/shouted, is the best cop in the team played by Michael French who was best known as David Wicks in Eastenders at the time but now as Nick Jordan in Holby City. He is manipulative and very smart, but won't give up on changing the past.

Kate Grisham is in charge, but I get the impression her character is like the stereotypical chief's who are their to just shout at the hero's. She was played by Sue Johnston, she was in Brookside but is most famous for playing Barbara in The Royle Family.

Nicky is fresh out of the academy, posh, very smart, a 1997 walking wikipedia played by Richard Dempsey who I knew growing up as Peter in the BBC kids series The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. His character reminds me of Timothy McGee from NCIS but with out a computer or decent mobile phone.

Lastly the CID team has Morris, he is slow and well comes off as being unable to read or do anything, that said he does work out that at times there are two Slade’s running about. He was played by Paul Trussell who has had bit parts in lots of TV shows and a few British films such as Secrets & Lies.

I remember watching the series when it originally aired in 1997, it felt like this might be the show to finally fill the gap left after the BBC cancelled Doctor Who, but with the bad reception of the Doctor Who Movie the previous year I didn't know what to expect. The series quickly established the characters and how the Time machine would fit into the classic detective show in the first episode and I was hooked every Saturday night. Incidentally in the sixth episode there is an appearance of the Doctor Who Police Box, which was a lovely homage.

It is obvious from the opening music and the style of the show that it is a classic British detective series, the theme sounds like that of Poirot, which creator Anthony Horowitz wrote for and the plots are classics which aren't hard to work out it you have watched any detective shows in your life. That said I feel that it was the characters of Holly and Slade that kept me coming back and I wanted to see if Slade would ever be able to change the past.

Each show would usually start showing the murder/crime and then CID would turn up and try to solve it without any real forensic work done; that’s the one thing that I noticed re-watching the series, with shows like CSI and NCIS and even shows of the time like The Bill, you would expect them to finger print places. Finger prints are mentioned once when Holly's print is found on the glass that her aunt drank from, and by Slade in the first episode when he says to wipe their prints from the room. But what about the rest of their prints left at crime scenes before they arrived and Slade’s own blood left, if the show was set today I think they might be arrested as possible serial killers, just a thought.

Sadly the show does looked dated and it's not the clothes or the hair styles, it's the computers in the station the fact they use huge walkie talkies on sting operations which really stand out and that the one time we see a Mobile phone its bright yellow and has a large aerial, at least it wasn't a brick. I do have to admit that it does seem pointless to get annoyed about these minor issues in a show where they use time travel to solve cases.

I admit I have a soft spot for this show as I am a Time Travel fan, but the time travel doesn't change what the series really was, which was a classic detective series in mould of shows like Poirot, Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder and many others. The series is a cult classic now, which I feel belongs with shows like Manimal, Automan, The 1975 Invisible Man and other short lived Sci Fi Detective shows, why do these shows end so quickly while we still have CSI: Miami?

Well till next time...

Monday 2 May 2011


Hi everybody, it's me again. I know it's been a while, but I've been busy moving back to the UK from Canada and sorting out all the government forms I need to do, so I can live in my home country.

Well on with another cult classic movie from my childhood SPACED INVADERS.

SPACED INVADERS came out in 1990 it is one of the many sci fi comedies of the late 80's and early 90's like RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOS, TREMORS and those CRITTERS films. OK CRITTERS was a serious... I can't finish that without laughing.

Anyway back to SPACED INVADERS, the film was written and directed by Patrick Read Johnson, who wrote the DRAGONHEART films and Directed BABY'S DAY OUT, some may say he went up in the world but I think that's debatable. The film stars a young girl who you will recognise from JURASSIC PARK and TREMORS Ariana Richards, she is dressed up as an Alien from ALIEN which makes me wonder if she went for the part of Newt in ALIENS. Her father in the film is the new town sheriff performed by Douglas Barr, Who I grew up watching in the great 80's TV show THE FALL GUY with Lee Majors. But the real stars of the film are the Martians and a little scout robot.

The movie starts with classic space model shots and then we get the opening exposition by a masked alien telling 5 other masked aliens how bad they are and that they are being sent to the asteroid field and are being given an enforcer drone to make sure they follow the instructions. The drone looks just like the shout at the start of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Next we are in Big Bean Illinois and are introduced to a dying small town and a new sheriff being held at gun point by an angry farmer, after another bit of exposition we know that a farmer is going to loose his land. Then it's back to space to see what’s happening with the Martians they are about to collide with a sun and the enforcer drone just wants to fight, there is an explosion and it's back to earth and the introduction of Ariana as the sheriff's daughter who is not happy to be in a small town after LA and is getting ready for Halloween.

And at 10 minutes into the film it's hard to know exactly what to make of the story, but don't worry the inciting incident is about to arrive thanks to a radio station deciding to play Orson Welles audio drama of WAR OF THE WORLDS; which was famous for causing panic in America. Now if you know anything about radio waves and sound you know it takes years for it to travel though space, but this is a movie and well it is instantaneous and a small Martian crew who are trying to find the rest of the Martian fleet mistake the radio transmission for real news like the people over 50 years ago did and so they decide to head to Earth.

So the Martians crash land in the angry farmers barn, reminds me of the start of BACK TO THE FUTURE. The Martians take of their masks and we are introduced animatronic big heads with antennas aliens. The pilot sounds like Jack Nicholson and the weapons officer sounds like Cary Grant and the science officer sounds like Dr Strange Love and Pez who wears a red coat sounds like Howard the duck and thinks he is going to die, their captain walks into a road and is hit by a car.

Ariana is at a Halloween party and feeling like and outsider but makes friends with a boy I will call ducky, because he is dressed like a duck for most of the film. Three of the aliens join the Halloween party because the adults think they are kids in costume. Ariana finds their tiny scout robot and works out their real aliens, meanwhile the captain after being scraped off the front of a truck wakes up and makes the attendant into his slave.
The Parent looking after the trick or treating kids kicks out the Martians, ducky and Ariana, and drives off, sure Ariana says she sees her dads car coming but the lady doesn't even wait to make sure the kids are safe and this is why kids go missing.

There are jokes like a deputy sheriff giving the Martian pilot a speeding ticket for going 3000mile per hour, not having plates, lights and wheels while the farmers dog puts new film in the camera for him. And now 40 minutes in the pilot and drone knows the broadcast was not real as it has ended and the sheriff knows Aliens have landed.

With the second act started the Enforcement drone goes after the crew to kill them for this mistake, the towns people are told about the aliens and the sheriff calls them intelligent which the Jack Nicholson one laughs at cause he's the smartest in their crew. While this is happening the captain and his slave are building a giant robot to attack the town.

The aliens destroy a new off ramp for the town and fire a laser at a farm silo and heating up and creating Pop Corn. While Ariana and the small robot team up, ducky and Jack Martian team up and then the three other aliens find out about the ending to WAR OF THE WORLDS and start to panic about germs. The crew get back together and face off against the towns folk by strapping themselves into the D.O.D (Donut Of Destruction) and like so much about this crew the D.O.D doesn't work.

I have to admit as it enters the third act that when describing this film it does seem to be too busy and complicated story and I could point out continuity issues, but I like this movie too much.

At this point the team want to return to space but their ship is broke so with the help of the two kids and the farmer they try to fix it, while the captains slave finishes the Farmzoid which is like a Godzilla size farm equipment to distract the town while the ship heads back to the farm so that the farmer can use the TNT to help the ship lift off.

But just before they can do this the drone turns up again to kill the crew, however while the crew have been fixing the ship it has been counting down to destruction; Ariana explains that if Earth is destroyed that Mars will fall out of orbit and will be destroyed, so the drone agrees to let them get back into space. However, we get the usual evil genius monologue from the drone and the farmer tricks it into holding a lit stick of TNT, blowing up, they help the Martians get back to space.

But because the ship is still too heavy to make it out of the atmosphere they have to lighten the load and so flush the toilet sprinkling green stuff over the farmers field. The next morning the farmer is about to have his farm taken by the bank but thanks to the Alien manure he has giant pea pods.

As I said before I saw this as a child and that I actually like it, the reason being I love Sci Fi movies and Spoofs and this is an excellent spoof, it has so many classic and Sci fi movie references to mention and it never takes it's self seriously which is why it still makes me laugh. Sure the special effects aren't perfect but at least you can see the stuff was real and done in camera rather then on a computer.

I know that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's PAUL was Influenced by classic 70's and 80's Alien films but I think the character of PAUL has some traits similar to the Jack Nicholson Martian and I could see Hollywood remaking it with motion capture of something for the aliens, but I don't know if this film could be improved upon.

I say if you haven't seen it and you like films like RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOS or HOCUS POCAS check this out it's just silly fun.