Digital Review: V/H/S/2 (2013)


V/H/S/2 CoverDistributor: Koch Media

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard

Starring: Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Mindy Robinson, Samantha Gracie, L.C. Holt

2012’s V/H/S was a brave but somewhat ill-executed attempt at expanding the boundaries of the found footage medium of storytelling and putting together an anthology of short films plus a wraparound story to try and tie it all together. There were a couple of great moments but overall the film never really reached its full potential and came across as quite cold and uneven. Somebody must have taken notice, however, as the sequel arrived in a pretty timely fashion but with a few improvements here and there.

Beginning with the wraparound story – entitled Tape 49 (directed by Simon Barrett – You’re Next) – one of the first shots we see is of a pair of naked breasts but instead of somebody being egged on to expose themselves like last Continue reading


Blu-ray Review: The Raid (2011)


The Raid BR CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno

Apart from the old-school rumblings of The Expendables films and the grindhouse tribute that was Robert Rodriguez’s Machete series, there haven’t been many major balls-to-the-wall action flicks in recent times that deliver thrills like the classics. Yeah, you can have your Bourne or Bond films but those are far too polished and – by comparison – quite tame when put next to The Raid, an Indonesian film directed by Welshman Gareth Evans.

A run-down apartment block is about to get purged of its more corrupt inhabitants as an elite team of SWAT soldiers take advantage of the early morning darkness and Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Lifeforce (1985)


Lifeforce BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Tobe Hooper

Starring: Steve Railsback, Mathilda May, Peter Firth, Patrick Stewart, Frank Finlay, Aubrey Morris, Christopher Jagger

Although he’ll forever be known as the director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre over anything else he may have done before or since, Tobe Hooper has put his name to quite a few well-regarded genre films since that groundbreaking classic but has never quite managed to replicate the artistic and critical success of that film, with much of his output being fairly inconsistent when you compare it to the careers of many of his peers such as John Carpenter or Wes Craven. Lifeforce originally came out in 1985, three years after Hooper directed the relatively Continue reading

DVD Review: Grudge Match (2013)


Grudge Match DVD CoverDistributor: Warner Home Video

BBFC Classification: 12

Director: Peter Segal

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, LL Cool J, Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Jon Bernthal

Bet you thought that Rocky Balboa would be the final time you’d get to see an old age pensioner stepping into the ring for one last bout of glory – wrong! Eight years after Sylvester Stallone drew the Rocky series to a close in a satisfyingly graceful way the Italian Stallion returns, only this time he’s fighting Jake La Motta. No, it’s not one of those fantasy fight simulators but Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro going toe-to-toe to see whose denture grip lasts the longest in Grudge Match. In a way it could be viewed as an alternative take on Rocky Balboa, with Stallone’s Continue reading

DVD Review: V/H/S (2012)


V/H/S DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard

Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Jas Sams, Simon Barrett, Joe Swanberg

V/H/S is an anthology film made up of five found footage shorts plus a wraparound story. Having had a life on the film festival circuit in 2012 – including a showing at Film4 FrightFest in London in the summer of that year – the film managed to create something of a buzz amongst horror fans at the time, and given the involvement of a couple of key names and the nature of some of the content it is easy to see why.

Much has been made of the tone of V/H/S and its gratuitous use of nudity, and that is fair comment as there is plenty of flesh to see here (and not all of it Continue reading