WHAT I WATCHED - NOVEMBER 22-28 2015:
Bound to Vengeance (2015) AVI
-Decent little rape revenge flick that thankfully doesn't dwell on the sexual assault for long (unlike a lot of these types of movies). The storyline - a rape victim escapes her captor and makes him take her to other captive girls to free them - is simple but done in an interesting way. There's a twist which I predicted quite early in the piece, but it's well executed enough to not take away from the overall enjoyment.
Gag (2006) DVD
- This straight-to-DVD movie sells itself as a Saw-type affair, but it's not really torture porn, it's more a psychological thriller with some minor moments of torture thrown in. Two thieves break into a house in search of a safe, but find a man chained to a bed. Everything isn't as it seems though, and soon they're in a fight for survival. Shot for just $40,000, this is far more ambitious than its budget, with some nice camera work and passable acting. The plot has a lot of holes but is entertaining enough. Go in with low expectations.
The Blood Lands (2014) Netflix
- The set up to this one has been done a million times in horror - a couple flee the big city (London) and buy a house in the countryside (here it's Scotland), where things go pear-shaped. Good acting and some suspenseful work by director Simeon Halligan (Splintered) keep you guessing as to whether events are supernatural or man-made. I enjoyed seeing Polly McIntosh in one of the lead roles here - apart from her short turn in Tales of Halloween I've only really seen her in her non-speaking roles in Offspring and The Woman, so it was nice to see her in a more conventional role. This one has undertones of the English-Scottish rivalry and a great, isolated setting. Recommended.
Legend of Galgameth (1996) VHS
- I watched this with my son and while it didn't offer much in the way of adult viewing, he enjoyed it quite a bit. Essentially it's a tale of a young prince in medieval times and his golem-like protector (a dinosaur-like being that grows bigger and bigger as the movie goes on). Some of the special effects are pretty laughable by today's standards, but charming in a 90s-kids-movie kind of way.
Circle Man (1987) VHS
- I watched this one as I was copying it from VHS to DVD (it has no official DVD release) and found it to be a quite bland fist-fighting actioner, saved mainly by the work of lead actors Vernon Wells (Commando, The Road Warrior) and William Sanderson (Blade Runner) as an aging fighter and his promoter. The story is pretty thin and the fist fights are only marginally exciting, but it's just great to see Wells in a lead role after so many great supporting jobs. Also known as Last Man Standing.