Revisiting . . . License to Kill (1989)

When it comes to Bond, Timothy Dalton has found himself low down in the pecking order.

As the first actor to fulfil the male fantasies of a generation, Sean Connery will always be regarded as the true original. Roger Moore, whose eyebrow-raising quips were not for everyone, brought a dash a debonair to the character which saw him star in a record-equalling seven instalments […]

Read Article →

K.C. Munchkin – Odyssey²/Videopac

“How many Munchies can your Munchkin munch before your Munchkin’s all munched out????”

That is the question posed on the box of the controversial (at the time) Odyssey²/Videopac game, K.C. Munchkin. That question also serves as a succinct synopsis of a game with an interesting history.

Designed & programmed by Ed Averett and released for the Odyssey²/Videopac in 1981, K.C. Munchkin is, in essence, a Pac-Man clone […]

Read Article →

Revisiting . . . Death Wish 2 (1982)

By 1982, British director Michael Winner was in desperate need of a hit.

Eight years prior he had immortalised western stalwart Charles Bronson by taking his John Wayne act to the streets of New York City. Although the original Death Wish tackled the growing problem of street crime in America, it was denounced by critics due to a vigilante theme that relished in the very violence it was supposed to be condemning […]

Read Article →

Raft of the Medusa: The Untold Story of Jaws 2

Roy Scheider was not a happy man. He’d just left The Deer Hunter due to creative differences; the standard industry term for quitting or being fired. Unusually, in this instance, the differences were very much of the creative kind.

“It’s completely implausible that anyone would go halfway around the world to save a friend,” he declared. Scheider felt trapped. He’d signed a three-picture contract with Universal and, so far, he’d only made one movie for them. The man wanted out. He wanted to tear up the lousy contract and start anew. But what he most definitely did not want was to make another shark movie […]

Read Article →

Blind Fury (1989)

Rutger Hauer is a very unique talent.

Not only did he dazzle with his famous ad-libbed monologue as the queerly sympathetic Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, he scared the living crap out of us as the psychotic John Ryder in The Hitcher. A few years later he starred in Blind Fury, the kind of tongue-in-cheek action extravaganza most associated with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he did a mighty fine job of it too, slipping into the role with the kind of consummate ease […]

Read Article →

Absurd (1981)

Joe D’Amato’s Absurd is anything other than its title suggests.

Gaining notoriety as one of the 72 ‘video nasties’ deemed unfit for public consumption, it is a transparent derivative of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher Halloween, leeching off its popularity without quite figuring out what made it so effective in the first place. Far from the agonizingly-paced slice of subtlety it aspires to emulate, the movie is […]

Read Article →

This Month In . . . 1988 (March)

Storming the box office charts for March was Mike Nichols’ comedy-drama Biloxi Blues. Adapted from a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon, the movie would star Ferris Bueller’s Matthew Broderick as a young army recruit attending boot camp during the Second World War.

Broderick would create the role of Eugene on Broadway, a character with three goals in life: to become a writer, lose his virginity and fall in love. It would also explore bigotry and racial segregation […]

Read Article →

Revisiting . . . ‘The Burbs (1989)

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in my experience the opposite is true.

In reality people tend to fear the unfamiliar, and the more distant a person is the more they have to hide, at least in the minds of those who have been ignored. This is never truer than when a somewhat reclusive neighbour moves into an established community. Before long, suspicions begin to breed and spread, and every little detail becomes a reason for condemnation […]

Read Article →