Tuesday, 24 February 2015

88 Films Round Up

This time last year I posted a round up of all the films I had been sent by 88 Films for review but hadn't had the chance to do a full write-up of. In what threatens to become a yearly occurrence, here I am doing the very same thing once again (although obviously with different films). While Arrow seem to be a making a valiant bid to become the UK's answer to top notch US Blu-ray and DVD company Criterion, 88 Films are doing their best to be the most prolific distributor in town of low budget cheap and cheerful exploitation pictures, and there's nothing wrong with that. Much of what they release can hardly be called quality cinema, but they've certainly endeared themselves with their enthusiasm for movies that would most likely otherwise end up without UK releases at all. So here are my reviews of some of what 88 Films have released in the last couple of months, cut down to capsule size so I can fit them all in:


In which NASA astronaut Walter Koenig and his sidekick Bruce Campbell discover something very odd in the remains of a giant spacecraft. They bring it back to earth where it activates and shows a remarkable ability to build itself into a giant robot using anything to hand. It all turns out to be something to do with the moon and so off they go where they discover the remains of an ancient civilisation, more robots, and an (eventually) naked lady alien. Essentially the kind of movie Charles Band and Roger Corman became famous for in the 1980s, this was produced by neither of them but obviously has the same kind of low budget. It's a bit slow at times but you do get Chekov and Ash in space, which for many is going to be worth the price of admission.


Another in 88 Films' "Slasher Classics" collection, this 1980 movie from Charles (not Charlie, that's someone else altogether) Kaufman starts off laugh out loud but quickly becomes really quite unpleasant. This is a cult favourite in some circles (Eli Roth likes it a lot and you can make of that what you will) but I'll admit that I had trouble getting through it. 88 Films' Region B Blu-ray offers you more extras than the Region A Troma release so this is the one to get if you're not sure. Not to be confused with the Darren Lynn Bousman remake of a couple of years ago, and definitely not to be confused with the forthcoming 2015 movie of the same name starring Christina Ricci and Laura Dern about 'interwoven stories of what it's like to be a mom'. Kaufman's film is probably more watchable than that at least.


Obese unkempt pig farmer's son threatens clean-cut American teens with an axe. There, that's the plot of this one so we can move on. Oh, except I should warn anyone who might be disturbed by violence towards animals that the film opens with a prolonged (and obviously realistic) track through a pig slaughterhouse, complete with details of the slaughtering process, to the most inappropriate Carry On oompah music they could find in the music library. Lots of extras with this one including interviews, a commentary and…er…raw on-set footage.


Ted V Mikels strikes again in a movie that has been compared to SHOWGIRLS in that both movies feature young ladies dancing, and both will make your jaw drop at the sheer incredulity of what's going on. Fans of BLOOD ORGY OF THE SHE-DEVILS and THE CORPSE GRINDERS will know what to expect, but if you've never seen a Ted film before you're better off starting with one of the others. Featuring a wannabe dancer as the star of our show who is meant to be 'the best' but actually can't dance at all, inadvertent teleportation that could just be appalling editing, and all the other usual TVM misdemeanours and…oh you probably already know if you want this one or not.

All the above are currently available from 88 Films

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