Rat Man (1988)

  
When a pretty model is found dead on an island, her body mutilated, an investigation begins in to just what happened. The deceased model’s sister arrives with a mystery novel writer (David Warbeck), to try and figure out what was the cause of her sisters murder. The duo discover that the explanation is far more bizarre than they ever could have realised. 

A scientist has created a rat/monkey hybrid, for reasons unknown, though he does mention a Nobel peace prize at one point. The hybrid played by Nelson de la Rosa (The Island of Dr. Moreau), has developed murderous tendencies and decides he doesn’t like being caged up anymore. 

  
This movie is straight up trash and I loved it. I’ve always had a soft spot for David Warbeck as he’s always given 100% no matter what the role or how strange the movie is. He kind of downplays it a tad here, but he’s still the sort of hero he played in The Beyond. The plot dithers about and feels patchy and incoherent in places, but I feel it adds to the charm. I mean when the tag line reads ‘He’s the critter from the shitter’ I think it’s safe to say you know what sort of movie you’re getting. 

  
Nelson de la Rosa seems to enjoy his role as the carnivorous Rat Man, particularly as he gets close to some scantily clad women, and if you’ve seen the documentary about the making of ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ then you know he’s quite fond of the ladies. 

    

The acting is atrocious in places, but if you’re a fan of trashy movies then that really won’t be an issue to you. These sort of horror movies have never really attempted to wow you with their acting, preferring to throw blood and naked women in your direction instead and hope that it keeps your attention. Fans of cheap Italian horror will find a lot to like here, and David Warbeck is always good value. The supporting cast are not the best, but they make do. 

  
Shameless Screen Entertainment have released the movie uncut for the first time ever in the U.K, and the film is presented in 16.9 anamorphic widescreen. The film is available to purchase now directly from the Shameless website via the following link:

http://www.shameless-films.com/shop/Ratman.html

I’d like to thank Shameless for providing me with the movie for review. 

3/5

JM

  

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I, The Jury (1982)

  
After his old war buddy is gunned down, private detective Mike Hammer (Armand Assante) seeks vengeance. However as Hammer investigates, he finds that this is more than a case of simple murder. 

  
As the investigation deepens, Mike and his gorgeous secretary Velda (the stunning Laurene Landon), find out that the government are involved and are using mind control to create assassins with the help of a sexual therapy clinic. It’s a bit crazy, but a lot of fun. 

  

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A Serbian Film (2010)

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I don’t smoke, well not all the time anyway. However I can tell you that I needed a cigarette after viewing this. I no bloody prude, not by a country mile, but this film was almost a bridge too far for me. It challenged me like no other film I’ve seen before. Hollywood this ain’t. There are scenes here, and bear in mind this is the cut version, that’ll make your fucking head spin. I always thought I could pretty much watch anything that the film world could throw at me, but this was by far one of, if the toughest things I’ve had to endure.

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I’m not bigging this up you understand? Certain films have done that in the past. Both A Clockwork Orange and Last House on the Left have been touted to being very hard to watch. Not for me. Maybe I’ve become desensitised I don’t know, but both the aforementioned movies did little to shock me. A Serbian Film is a different beast.

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The film begins with retired porn star Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) being approached by an old friend with an offer to star in a new porn film. Being touted as ‘art porn’ by it’s director Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic), the film will require Milos to just do what he does best. He is offered a lot of money but not told what the film is about as Vukmir believes he’ll elicit a more honest performance. Milos is not comfortable with the idea of not knowing what the film is about as he has a wife and small child and doesn’t want anything to jeopardise that. When Milos tells his wife how much money he was offered she encourages him to take the role. The film starts off tame enough, but as it goes on Vukmir gets Milos to commit more depraved acts in the name of art. When Milos tries to back out, it kick starts a series of brutal events which will not end well. Milos becomes a man who realised he lost his soul years ago, and his attempt at redemption only drags him further into despair.

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I don’t think I’ll watch this again. Majority of movies I will always return to in time, but with A Serbian Film I don’t see what benefits repeated viewings would bring. I am not overplaying this, A Serbian Film really is messed up indeed. All of the actors are on top form, acting in what are some very tough scenes. I don’t happen to agree with the director saying that the movie was an allegory on how the government ‘mentally’ rapes its people, but maybe I was just so stunned by what I was seeing that I failed to see any deeper meaning. This copy was graciously provided by the kind folks over at http://www.safecrackerpictures.com. Please stop by and follow them on twitter @SafecrackerP for competitions and film news.

3/5

JM

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Videodrome (1983)

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Max Renn (James Woods) runs a sleazy late night cable channel called CIVIC-TV. Max believes he gives the viewing public what they want. Sex, violence, nudity, you can find it on CIVIC-TV. However Max feels that his latest acquisition of Japanese softcore porn just doesn’t cut it. He wants something harder, something dirtier…something that will really pique his viewers interest. Max asks his tech guy Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) to find something for him. Peter tells Max he has just the thing. Peter operates the CIVIC-TV pirate dish and has found a signal broadcasting something called ‘Videodrome’, a kinky show which has no plot, just torture and sado-masochistic sex. Max thinks it’s just what is viewers want.

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Max appears on a talk show where he defends his programme decisions, feeling he provides a decent service. There he meets a a philosopher called Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley) who never appears in person, and a radio psychiatrist called Nikki Brand (Debbie Harry) who he begins to have a relationship with. He shows her Videodrome and the begin to experiment in S&M. Later strange things begin to happen to Max. He sees a broadcast from Brian O’Blivion who tells him that soon television will take the place of every aspect of a persons life. Max also begins to have strange things happen physically. He learns that Videodrome was created to weed out the filth of society so that only the decent folk remain, since it’s only the filth and perverts that will watch Videodrome. All leading to a bloody conclusion.

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Directed by David Cronenberg when he was still heavily into his whole ‘body-horror’ phase, Videodrome is a movie that needs to be seen. It is a mind-fuck in every sense of the word. The effects for a movie that is 30yrs old are brilliant. I have always been a purist, so I just adore practical effects and this movie delivers.

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This is seriously worth a watch. If you’ve never seen it, then give it a go. It’s pretty crazy yes, but I have a feeling many will like it. If you’re into the weird shit, then you’ll dig this.

4/5

JM

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Rolling Thunder (1977)

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Major Charles Rane (William Devane) has spent 8 long years in  a POW camp, being beaten and tortured. He returns home greeted as a hero, with his friend Johnny (Tommy Lee Jones). However life has moved on while the major has been away. His son doesn’t really know him and his wife has met somebody else. The Major is given a nice new car and a box full of silver dollars as a thank you for all he did during the war. A group of greedy thugs see him being presented with the gifts on TV and decide they want the silver dollars for themselves. The thugs break into the majors house and wait for him to come home and reveal the location of the silver dollars. When the major refuses, his wife and son are viciously murdered in front of him and his hand his shredded in a waster disposal.

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After months of recovery the major decides he is going to track down those responsible and seek retribution for his wife and son. All leading to a bloody and ferocious shoot-out in a brothel. Now fear not, I haven’t spoiled anything by revealing the death of the wife and son as it all happens in the first 15-20 mins. The rest of the movie consists of Major Rane recovering, learning how to use his hook hand and seeking down those responsible.

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Quentin Tarantino has named this as one of his favourite movies. So much so that he named a distribution company after it. William Devane is magnificent as Major Rane. He brings a raw intensity to the role, and I have always really rated him as an actor. Tommy Lee Jones is also great as Johnny Vohden. He doesn’t seem the brightest but his character is infused with a strong sense of loyalty, especially when the major tells Johnny that he’s found the ones that killed his family, all Johnny says is “I’ll get my stuff”.

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The script is written by Paul Schrader who tends to write a lot of these dark scripts, focusing on folks on the outskirts of society. Directed by John Flynn who also directed my favourite Steven Seagal flick ‘Out For Justice’. The final shoot-out is just amazing. Fizzing with energy you can see that both men are back where they belong, right in the thick of it. I really recommend this movie. If you’re a fan of gritty 70’s movies, then give this a shot.

5/5

JM

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