Directed by Ernest Dickerson.
Brayker (William Sadler) is on the run from a hideous Demon master
from the depths of Hell (so thatll be Billy Zane right?). Holding up in a Church
turned seedy Hotel, Brayker, with a bunch of rednecks, prostitutes, crazed postal workers
and winos, becomes trapped inside as Billy Zane unleashes a horde of rubbery slimy demons.
Brayker and co have to battle the forces of darkness to prevent a mysterious key
(containing Christs blood) falling into the Demons hands thus preventing eternal
darkness and Hell on Earth.
One by one everyone gets pegged off, except sassy ex-con/dishwasher Jada Pinkett, who kills Zane and takes over the mantle of keyholder/Demon fighter.
It starts, and ends, with the mega annoying Crypt-Keeper (That
tagline is pretty much the pinnacle of the Crypt Keeper's 'humour' - The Prophet).
Its all fairly dopey, extremely gory, and the hardcore metal soundtrack grates.
Billy Zane (either a huge plus or minus point depending on your views) doing a substandard Beetlejuice impression.
Its a fairly low budget horror flick that everyone has
actually made an effort in writing, direction, characterisation and acting.
A perfectly acceptable Saturday night horror rental.
Lowlife slimeball Roach who hands over the sacred key to
Zane which will destroy Mankind: -
"You know this "Hell on Earth" Business? Big Fucking deal - Ive got haemorrhoids!"
How about the Collector offering to restore the arm his demons
tore off if the landlady, Irene (CCH Pounder) gives up the key. She holds out her stump.
Collector: Is that a yes?
Irene: No. That's me giving you the finger.
Production Values The director makes the most out of essentially a one set film. Special effects are good (if a little sparingly used), the Demons are nasty and gooey, and theres a ton of fake blood. 9
Dialogue and performance The acting is solid, everyone being deadly serious in the most ridiculous circumstances (except Billy Zane overacting wildly!) and facing ridiculous over the top gore. Pinkett goes from sulky ex-con to bad-ass Demon butt kicker with aplomb. Sadler explains what the hell is going on (just about) and CCH Pounder spends half the film with her arm missing Then blows herself up with a grenade. The script has some great ideas, several moments of what could almost be called wit and sort of makes sense. 7
Plot and execution Well handled tension narrative and pace. The opening and closing segments with the Cryptkeeper are distracting, and (more than?) a little annoying. 8
Randomness Theres a few moments of "Huh" but most of the time you dont care as youre waiting for someone else to get splattered. 11
Waste of Potential With a shred of originality and thought, its a damn sight better than a lot of bigger budget horror flicks Ive seen (although Im not really a big horror fan) (And leave us not forget that we have seen some pretty Godawful horror films) Its tongue-in-cheek style and hyperkinetic gore makes it a rental of quality. Just dont expect to remember any of it afterwards! 5
Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Jon Voight (Uh-oh)
Childhood friends Rafe (Affleck) and Danny (Hartnett) have to go off
to war. The day before they are due to leave Rafe falls in love with Nurse Evelyn Johnson
(Kate Beckinsale) and promises to return to her after hes fought for his country.
Then he is shot down and presumed dead, so Danny breaks the news to Evelyn, not before
falling in love with her himself. Danny and Evelyn end up going out, and Evelyn gets
Then (surprise!) Rafe shows up again.
Heartache all round. A bunch of stuff gets blown up, and conveniently Danny gets killed in a heroic self-sacrificing way (whilst crucified to a wooden cross Hmmm?), leaving Rafe free to foster the newborn Baby, and they call it Danny.
Oh! Danny and Rafe win the Second World War too. (And somewhere along the line, I believe the Japanese bomb pearl Harbour - The Prophet)
The three-hour bit between the beginning and the end.
Admittedly the Dogfights and action scenes are incredible. Planes
swoop through explosions, and for once it is almost impossible to tell which are real,
models or CGI. Although the battles are played out like X-Wing rip-offs, which is ironic
as the X-wings dogfights were based on Tora, Tora, Tora. Even parts of the script from
Star Wars are lifted blatantly "I cant shake him
I cant shake
him!" and the shocker "Stay on target!"
Affleck's callsign is even Red 5!
I dont use the term putrid bile often. However in this case
The Bombs eye view camera shot. The camera follows it in one long take as it drops from the plane, all the way down to landing on the USS Arizona. That would have been a real Wow factor, if it hadnt featured on every TV and cinema advert.
Production Values Too good. The entire film is shot like a Calvin Klein advert. Everything caked in a golden hue, the actors bronzed and dripping with sweat (ewwww!). Its all so slickly done you could almost forget how crap it is. But we at the BMM are made of stronger stuff than to be bowled over by the superficiality of a Levi Jeans advert. You cant polish a turd! 5
Dialogue and Performance With a script of quite startling
ineptitude I almost felt sorry for the 3 leads, as they have all proved they can act in
previous films. However Affleck is toe curlingly awful as a short-sighted, dyslexic
ace with a penchant for misty-eyed pouts at the camera "Dont take
my wings from me Doc!" he bemoans during an eye exam. Hartnett scrapes through with
some degree of dignity. Beckinsale has nothing to do other than look concerned, and she
doesnt even do that well. But it is Ewan Bremner (Spud from Trainspotting) who
embarrasses the most as the stuttering ginger nerd with a caricatured American accent who
cant tell his crew there are Japanese planes approaching as hes stuttering
like Arkwright from Open all hours.
Writer Randell Wallace (who also wrote Braveheart) has managed to crowbar in as many clunking lines as is humanly possible. The lines "Lets get them Jap Suckers!" and "Here come the Sons-a-bitches!" are used about 10 times during the 30 minute middle battle sequence.
"Ill never look at a Sunset without thinking of you" "Theres nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer" and "Our boys are flying blind on empty tanks God help them all!" are personal favourites. 20
Plot and Execution There is no plot to speak of, just three hours of treacle to wade through. Michael Bay can handle the action scenes, but if required to do anything other than a ship exploding he flounders like a child in a swimming pool without waterwings on antibiotics. 19
Randomness Yeah Ive covered some of the random bits, and after a while I just stopped caring enough to even write them down. 19
Waste of Potential With a budget of $135 million, an epic wartime romance full of explosions, emotions and heartbreak with a cast of capable actors this could have been a real class act. But rather than being Gone with the Wind for the new generation it was more Gone in 60 Seconds for the redneck generation. 20
"YEAR: 2045 - PLACE: Detention Satellite 3, Maximum Security Prison - MISSION: To Get Out Alive!!!"
Directed by Allan Sandler and Robert Emenegger
Starring Jackson Bostwick, Guest star Bubba Smith and Special guest star Roger Cornthwaithe (who he?) (Ah; special guests stars. Sign of a bombed TV pilot - The Prophet)
Space federation agent Andy Lavette (despite being called Andy
Lavell on the back on the video box) is falsely convicted of blowing up Starbase
14 and is sent to DS3 (Detention Satellite Three) a prison that orbits the Earth.
He teams up with three other convicts, British Petro-Chemist Jesse, hulking lifer Mac, and Anarchist electrician Gwen, and sets up a plan to escape.
From then on it gets a little confusing. The four prisoners plan an intricate plan to escape that involves running around in yellow pyjamas, making pieces of art, short-circuiting sexdroids and shooting the guards with hairtongs.
Then after piling into a spacecraft full of antiques they drift into space saying, "Were on vacation".
The film (produced by Steven Speilberg's sister Anne so
at the start it says A. Speilberg production
Gotta love the marketing strategy)
obviously has the budget of about £37.69. The entire film takes place in what looks like
leftover sets from Blakes 7 where the 4 prisoners talk and plan every dull minute
detail of their escape for about 80 minutes.
The space scenes are of the model spaceship on string floats past black backdrop variety.
Jackson Bostwick (little bro. of Barry) is a complete plank with silly hair and the rest of the acting is laughable.
There is also the voice of reason (or paranoia) that each character experiences as a voice over, which is baffling and very stupid.
Not much. The Doctor Who standard effects gives it a vaguely endearing quality.
Terrible really And very very boring.
There isnt really one.
Production Values Laughably poor. Wobbly sets, silly costumes and hair dryer laser guns. Probably filmed in Spielberg's garage (which would explain the Stepladder). The sound quality is mumbled, so much so I could barely hear the plot. Although I dont think it would matter much anyway. 18
Dialogue and Performance The acting is complete guff, you can actually see the actors reading cue cards. Bostwick is as wooden as Julian Sands, Bubba Smith can barely articulate a sentence And the others are instantly forgettable. 19
Plot and execution The plot to escape is dull and its so cack-handedly done you just dont care And takes itself oh so seriously! 18
Randomness Oh loads. Whats with the kindly prison warden cum art critic? Why do they bother framing Lavette anyway? Whats with the thermostat dial fiddling? "Not only are we framing Lavette, but now his house is going to be freezing too Ha ha ha" says government welder. The film was so mumbled and jumbled I lost track of the gaping plot holes. 19
Waste of potential This could have been a nice little sci-fi camp classic. But its too damn dull. 16