ORBzine Movie Reviews September 2000

TITLE & REVIEW
Spartacus

Spartacus

This is the ultimate 3-hour epic, restored in the early 1990s to include the oysters and snails dialogue that was originally censored for being too homosexual in implication.

The title character, a Gladiator who leads a slave revolt, is played by Kirk Douglas. Jean Simmons is his love interest, a household slave. They are both owned by Peter Ustinov, the token good Roman. Ustinov's gladiator farm is visited by the evil Crassus [Sir Laurence Olivier], who buys Ms Simmons and then forces Spartacus to duel to the death with the token black man, Woody Strode. This bloodshed encourages the Gladiators to revolt against the cruelty of their masters, with Spartacus as their leader.

Crassus heads to Rome, where he seeks to wrest power from the Senate. Tony Curtis [father of Jamie Lee Curtis ] is a Greek slave who flees from Crassus, and becomes Spartacus' closest friend.

Herbert Lom gets a brief appearance as a Phoenician pirate who tries to help the slave army escape from Italy. However, Crassus wields the Roman Legions - they close in on the slaves, and Crassus knows that if he is victorious he will be hailed as ruler of Rome ...

  • Search This Site
  • Barbarella

    Barbarella

    French director Roger Vadim cast his wife, the delectable Jane Fonda , in the title role - a late 1960s psychadelic interstellar female James Bond. This film was shot during the Vietnam war, when Ms Fonda was best known as an anti-War protester. Her character's stated aim in this film is to recover a missing scientist [called Duran Duran - later used as the name for a 1980s pop band] who has developed a superweapon. The infantry-scale violence her character perpetrates [she shoots down some flying saucers with her trusty hand-held missile projector] is therefore acceptable, because it is to prevent wholesale destruction.

    On her travels Barbarella encounters a number of strange characters. Marcel Marceau pops up, and John Philip Law [Golden Voyage of Sinbad] plays a blind angel called Pygar. They help her get into the city where she believes the scientist is hiding.

    Anita Pallenburg is the babelicious Evil Queen of the city, and David Hemmings has a cameo as an incompetent revolutionary who is trying to overthrow her. Milo O'Shea [Theatre of Blood] is the Queen's evil vizier, who tries to execute Barbarella by sticking her in a pleasure-inducing machine!

  • Search This Site
  • Saturn 3

    Saturn 3

    Predictably for a post-Star Wars film, this movie starts with a giant star-cruiser thundering overhead. We meet Harvey Keitel [dubbed by George C. Scott], an astronaut who has been sidelined because of emotional instability. He murders his replacement and takes over his old assignment - a trip to the isolated Saturn 3 agricultural research station.

    The only crew on Saturn 3 are Kirk Douglas [Spartacus] and the babelicious Farrah Fawcett . The newcomer's arrival creates tension between the 2 lovers. Keitel tells Fawcett [with Scott's voice] the immortal line: You have a beautiful body. May I use it?

    The script was written by Martin Amis , and is a retelling of Frankenstein's Monster. This kind of thing has been done before - and much better - by Isaac Asimov. Keitel's job is to build an experimental AI robot called Hector. The AI uses human brain tissue. This, of course, would be illegal on Earth - but in the secret, isolated research station it is worth the risk. However, because keitel is insane the robot is also psychotic!

    The conundrum is this. With space flight at such an advanced level, with giant star-cruisers thundering overhead with their artificial gravity and their [experimental] biotechnology AI robots ... how the hell can the research station be so bloody isolated? Their only regular outside contact is Ed Bishop [U.F.O.], who flies past in a 2-man probe ship once every 6 months.

  • Search This Site
  • Hands of the Ripper

    Hands of the Ripper

    The movie was filmed at Pinewood Studios in the early 1970s. It is an example of Hammer Horror without the familiar presences of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. The film is left to stand on itself, and manages to do so.

    Angharad Rees plays a young woman in Edwardian London. She is overcome with strange trances in which she murders people for no reason. A doctor, studying the fledgeling field of psychology, secretly takes her under his care so that he can discover why she murders people. However, she manages to rack up quite a body-count.

  • Search This Site
  • Man Who Fell to Earth, The

    Man Who Fell to Earth, The

    The title character is David Bowie [with his hair dued bright red], an alien who lands on Earth. The film was directed by Nicholas Roeg [ Don't Look Now] . It is typically complex, with scenes of Bowie being examined by doctors intercut with the occasional shot of a family clad in blue space-suits, lost in some kind of alien desert.
  • Search This Site
  • Daybreak

    Daybreak

    In the dark near-future this film predicts, the victims of a plague [un-named, but implied to be AIDS] are victimised by a police state in the USA.

    Moira Kelly is a young woman who meets rebel leader Cuba Gooding Jnr [ Chill Factor ], and they have an interracial relationship. The only other notable cast member is African American Omar Epps.

  • Search This Site
  • E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial

    E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial

    Henry Thomas plays the young boy in an LA suburb who discovers an extra-terrestrial in his back yard. The very young Drew Barrymore is his baby sister.

    They hide the alien from their mother, Dee Wallace Stone - so often cast as the archetypal mother figure. She played the mother in Cujo and Lassie, and acquits herself well here.

    Peter Coyote [Southern Comfort] is a pre- X-Files Man in Black. The Feds are closing in on ET, who needs the boys to save him so he can go home ... ET is a Christ figure, not least because he can do magic. The climax is an escape on flying BMX bikes.

    This film was written by Melissa Matheson [wife of Harrison Ford] and directed by Steven Spielberg . Yes, this is one of the BETTER Spielberg movies - corny, but nice. He uses his knack for visual story-telling to deliver a popular child-friendly feel-good follow-up to Close Encounters of the Third Kind , which was a relative flop.

  • Search This Site
  • Being Human

    Being Human

    This is a flop from back in 1994, narrated by Theresa Russell. Scottish writer Liz Lochhead was also involved in the production.

    The central character is Hector, who seems to be reincarnated through the years as Robin Williams. Along the course of his adventures, Williams bumps into a number of British actors, such as Robert Carlyle [ The World Is Not Enough ] and David Morrissey.

    In one story Williams plays a Priest's Scottish pal. The priest is played by Vincent D'Onofrio [ Whole Wide World]

    In another tale he is a Conquistador, shipwrecked with

  • Hector Elizondo [Chicago Hope]
  • Ken Stott [The Debt Collector]
  • Ewan McGregor [ The Phantom Menace]

    The final tale shows him working in the US Property Market. William H. Macey [Fargo] plays his business partner, and Lorraine Bracco [Sopranos] is his ex-wife.

  • Search This Site
  • Scanner Cop

    Scanner Cop

    This is a sort-of-sequel to David Cronenberg 's early 1980s masterpiece. This was made in 1994, over 10 years later - by a different company which had bought the rights off Cronenberg. A pity - nothing he has done in recent years has been anywhere near as good as Scanners

    This time the hero is a young Scanner boy whose father is murdered. The boy is raised by a cop, and becomes a cop himself.

    Richard Lynch [the villain in Galactica: 1980 ] plays a mad scientist who has perfected a method of brainwashing. He orders his victims to murder police officers ...

    The Scanner Cop is asked by his foster-father [now the Head Cop] to investigate. He can read the victims minds, and thus see the nightmarish visions they see. Sometimes they relive real trauma [like robbery or war], but the ones with uneventful lives see SPFX-intensive monsters. How come they never realise that the alien demon is a halucination?

    The Scanner Cop himself is overzealous and uncaring towards others - he slowly goes out of control, especially as his powers grow. These powers include

  • mind-reading
  • telekinesis
  • chasing souls of dead people into metaphorical asylums
  • Search This Site
  • Best Defense

    Best Defense

    The bookend segments within which the story is told concern Strategic Guest Star Eddie Murphy, who plays a US tank commander on a mission to Kuwait in 1984.

    The main story is told in flashback to 1982. The hero is Dudley Moore, unhappily married to Kate Capshaw [Temple of Doom]. In a twist that seems to have inspired Small Soldiers 15 years later, the weapons designer also creates toys for his kids. This comes in handy at the end!

    George Dzunda is Moore's cheery sidekick, while Helen Shaver plays his babelicious boss.

    The company they work for are government contractors, assigned to build a component for a new tank - the X-10 Annihilator. This is a typical military project - in other words, a lot of cost-cutting.

    While Murphy takes the tank on manoeuvres in Kuwait, the country is invaded by its neighbour Iraq. Yes, this film predicts and pre-empts the Gulf War by 6 years!

    Will Moore be able to fix his part of the tank in time to save Murphy?

    Written by Lucas cronies Gloria Katz [Producer] and Willard Hyuck [Director].

  • Search This Site
  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    Part 7 of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, this was meant to be the last. Wes Craven is long gone: this attempt was written and directed by Rachael Talahay , who went on to do Tank Girl.

    Lisa Zane [ Roar ] plays a psychologist assigned to help troubled teenage runaways. They get a new client - an insomniac kid from Freddy's town.

    Robert Englund [ V is back - and we even see him WITHOUT the make-up. Roseanne Barr [Roseanne] has a brief cameo.

    When Freddy finally appears, he doesn't just disembowel the irritating teenagers. No, he starts to play up to the camera. The idea of Freddy Kreuger the serial killer has become so much of a joke that even the movie itself admits it.

  • Search This Site
  • Final Fire

    This film was produced by Roger Corman , which should be sufficient warning for anyone.

    Michael Pare [Streets of Fire] is an astronaut, on an asteroid-mining spacecraft. His wife is a Secret Agent of some kind, in a sinister Government department that uses VR torture on suspects. She is investigating a group of eco-Terrorists.

    The first hour is incredibly slow going. However, it turns out that the terrorists have someone aboard the spacecraft - they are secretly altering its course for their own nefarious ends.

  • Search This Site
  • Asphyx, The

    Asphyx, The

    This film starts with the police pulling out a pedestrian out of the wreckage of a head-on car crash. Yes, he was between 2 cars that went head-on with each other. And somehow he survived!

    We do not see the survivor's face, so we do not know which of the characters it is until the end of the film.

    The story is told in flashback. A Victorian scientist and his sidekick, Robert Powell, discover the secret of Eternal Life. A demon, the Asphyx, comes to take the victim's soul. However, the scientists can trap the Asphyx and thus prevent death - forever!

    The first time they try it on a human they don't have enough people handy to trap the asphyx.

    The second time, they use a gillotine; something that has no off switch!

    As one of the characters in an ancient Greek myth learned, eternal life is not the same thing as eternal youth.

  • Search This Site
  • Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin

    Max Grodenchik [the inept Ferengi in Star Trek: DS9 ] plays the title character, a baby-eating gnome with supernatural powers.

    The local witch-woman turns up, and uses her Magicks. The gnome is imprisoned for a thousand years, until a child's wish sets him free. Only a thousand years? And she gives him a get-out clause?

    The well-directed brutality of the shoot-out contrasts sharply with the patheticly bad action scenes that make up the rest of the film.

    The cop's widow buys the rock-elstilstkin at a Wiccan shop, and as you have probably guessed she makes a wish and inadvertently frees the gnome. The babe beats the hell out of him with a broom and a massive kitchen-knife.

    The babe and her kid make a run for it, and the gnome chases them - first on a motorbike, then in a HGV tractor rig. Terminator did this so much better. Why the hell did they decide to ape a film that would always show up their inadequacies?

    The babe teams up with a Jerry Springer-type TV personality, on his vacation. He speaks of his $5000 speedboat [very cheap] and says it took 2 years for him to afford it. What the hell kind of salary is he pulling in? As always in this kind of film, it explodes as if filled with barrels of petroleum!

    The gnome's magical powers are not consistent throughout the film. Whenever it is deemed conventeint to the plot he can

  • teleport
  • disembody himself
  • use pixie dust to see what a specific person is doing some distance away, and can even strangle them at a distance.

    The worst thing - well, ONE of the worst things - is the predictable ending. Everyone who knows the original fairy tale knows how to defeat him. This is even repeated by characters in the film. So why didn't she just do this at the start of the stupid film?

  • Search This Site
  • I, Monster

    I, Monster

    This is a Hammer-style retelling of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, though for some reason the writers chose to change the characters' names! Christopher Lee plays Dr Marlowe, a Victorian physician who develops a serum that works as a disinhibitor. It removes inhibitions, such as an up-tight lady's frigidity.

    Marlowe tries the serum on himself, and uses the pseudonym Mr Blake so he can enjoy his decadence while his reputation is protected. Nobody realises that Blake and Marlowe are the same man - despite the fact that they are both clearly Christopher Lee!!!

    Peter Cushing pops to as one of Lee's friends. Pity they could afford a couple of big stars but not much of a script.

  • Search This Site
  • Babylon 5: In the Beginning

    Babylon 5: In the Beginning

    The story is told in Flashback by Emperor Londo. This means that a lot of the mysteries of the series are given away. This reviewer shall attempt not to spoil them for anyone.

    We see things from the Minbari side - especially Delenn and her oposite number in the military caste.

    We get a glimpse of Michael York, in the role he had in Season 3 of the show. We also see the young Ivanova [with a bowl cut] and Sheridan [with a crew-cut].

    Dr Franklin makes his principled stand against the use of his work for NBC warfare - even though he knows the Minbari are determined to destroy the entire human race! He also teams up with Sheridan for a brief interlude. Nobody thinks to compare Franklin's attitude with Sheridan's more practical by any means necessary stance.

    G'Kar and Londo both pop up to help the humans - and Kosh advises the Minbari to end the conflict.

    Sheridan is the main hero, though Sinclair pops up at the Battle of the Line. The footage is taken from a previous episode, of course, but it fits in well.

    The only down side? While this film gives a good account of the Space Fleet's actions, there is no sign of GROPOs like Garibaldi or Murdock from The A-Team.

  • Search This Site
  • Shocker

    Shocker

    Wes Craven did a lot of trash horror flicks in his post-Nightmare on Elm Street, pre-Scream days, and this is just big-budget crap.

    A US city is terrorised by a serial killer called the family slasher. He is actually a TV repair man called Horace Pinker [Mitch Pileggi - Knight Rider 2000 X-Files ], some kind of satanist who communes with television demons. One of the killer's early victims is a cameo appearance by Heather Langenkamp [Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street]

    The movie's hero is the young Peter Berg [Last Seduction, Chicago Hope]. He gets a serious concussion on the practice field, and that night he witnesses Plinker murder more victims. Berg seems to be developing a psychic link with the killer. Anyhow, he leads the police to Plinker's hideout. Even though the cops have no evidence against him, Plinker doesn't talk his way out of it. No, he goes on a kill-crazy rampage!

    Berg's name and photograph, and the full details of Berg's psychic vision, are not only released to the Press but made front-page news! It is revealed that Berg was adopted at age 7. It is later revealed that Berg had a Gart Ennis-style crappy childhood. The only reason he cannot recall it is because he incurred head trauma so severe he has permanent amnesia of his life before age 7. However, in this typically cliched film it is used as you killed my partner type motivation instead of as an opportunity to better explore Berg's character and his relationship with Pinker.

    Pinker stalks his pursuer. However, the killer is eventually caught, and some time later [only a few months at most, it seems - though most prisoners last more than 5 years on Death Row] is executed.

    But as you have probably guessed, there are complications. Pinker's soul escapes, with the ability to jump from body to body. However, these bodies still have the limp. The only weapon that can force Pinker out of the bodies he possesses is a magical necklace.

    Pinker frames Berg for a series of copycat murders In the climax, Berg travels into TV-land and confronts his enemy. Pinker chases Berg through the sets of several TV shows, and news footage of the Vietnam war. And it gets worse. Berg uses a TV remote control to freeze-frame Plinker!

    Interesting cameos include Ted Raimi and 1960s drug-culture guru Dr Timothy Leary.

  • Search This Site
  • Big Trouble in Little China

    Big Trouble in Little China

    John Carpenter 's second teaming with Kurt Russell - they also did Escape from New York & Escape from L.A. together.

    Here Russell plays Jack Burton, a trucker. He winds up in San Francisco, where he gives a friend a lift to Chinatown. They run into a battle between 2 Tongs, which is interrupted by the 3 Storms - a trio of magical warriors who can fly, shoot electricity, are immune to bullets and wear wicker baskets on their heads.

    Lo Pan [James Hong] is the archvillain, who was cursed with eternal life in 272 BCE. The only way to lift the curse is for him to marry a girl with green eyes, then sacrifice her. Unluckily for the heroes there are only 2 green-eyed babes in town - one is Gracie Law [ Kim Cattrall - Star Trek 6: Undiscovered Country] and the other is Burton's friend's fiance! And guess what? The fiance gets kidnapped and the heroes have to save her.

    Lucky for the heroes, they have a wise man of their own who can lead them through the maze of tunnels beneath Chinatown. The climax is an action-packed kung-fu battle. Back in 1986 when this film was made, such scenes were only in Hong Kong movies. Carpenter brought Hong Kong action back to Hollywood

    Some reviewers have called Russell's character unheroic. However, he is a fish out of water. He has no magic or kung-fu skills at all, never mind to the highly-advanced levels displayed by the villains.

    The only interesting cameo is Jerry Hardin [ X-Files ] who pops up as a lawyer.

  • Search This Site
  • AD Police

    AD Police

    This is an entertaining piece of manga, set in the futuristic city of Megatokyo. Although this is made in Japan, all the writing is in English.

    The AD Police are tasked with hi-tech crimes, especially those dealing with Boomers - the robots that proliferate in their society.

    Our heroes are 4 babes - an AD cop, a pop star, a stockbroker and a rich bitch - a vigilante group called the Knight Sabers. The leader is smart enough to let her underlings do all they risky recon work; she only turns up in person when the battle starts, wearing her power-armour!

    A group of robbers are using military-style power-armour suits. The suits are of a type believed to be used by a mercenary organisation called the Illegal Army. However, the mercs are now believed dead after a botched operaion financed by a Japanese Megacorp.

    A Megacorp called the Zone Corporation is developing an AI system, and the experimental parts are what the robbers are targetting. The Megacorp calls in the vigilante babes - yes, a quartet of slappers go up against a hardened band of mercenary war-veterans!

    Later, the villain sprays a laboratory with automatic fire, killing all the inhabitants without damaging the equipment!

    Part 2: Geo Climber

    The story concerns a new-type Boomer called Adama. He escapes from the bad-guys' clutches, and the babes must save him.

    The villains' AI assassins can't differentiate between friend and foe. Why not use 1990s IFF transponders?

    Part 3: Melt Down

    Construction boomers go crazy, and start a Call-Me-Kenneth style Robot Rebellion.

    This is the result of a virus - and whoever is behind the virus is responsible for stealing the AI unit!

    The climax involves a cybernetic Godzilla - and the babes have to do a Star Wars 4: A New Hope style trench-run against it!!!

  • Search This Site
  • Class of Nuke'em High

    Class of Nuke'em High

    This is a 1980s High School comedy - one of the first big successes produced by the infamous Troma production company. The story is set in the fictional US town of Tromaville. Pollution from the local nuclear power plant contaminates the high school, and the unruly teenagers become mutated.

    The school bullies are a gang of drug-dealing, gun-toting bikers! Luckily, the school wimp becomes some kind of toxic ... avenger?

  • Search This Site
  • Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

    Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves

    After the second film, which featured a giant baby in Las Vegas, this is a return to the Land of Giants antics of the original.

    This is just more of the same - less plot, cheaper SPFX - hell, you know what to expect.

  • Search This Site
  • Retroactive

    Retroactive

    This film is a good take on the 12.01 time-loop plot made famous in Groundhog Day. Frank Whaley [Pulp Fiction] plays a young scientist who has perfected a way of sending things back in time by several minutes. However, when they go back they will be in the same physical space they were originally in at that time.

    Kylie Travis plays a former Police Negotiator whose car breaks down in the desert. She hitches a lift with redneck asshole James Belushi and his girlfriend, Shannon Whirry . However, at the nearest fuel stop Belushi bumps into his buddy M. Emmett Walsh. The result of their conversation is a bloody shootout, and Travis races across the desert where she just happens to find herself at Whaley's lab.

    Whaley sends Travis back in time to sort the mess out - but every time she tries she just makes it worse.

  • Search This Site
  • Xtro 2

    Xtro 2

    At a secret underground base, US scientists open a portal into another dimension. However, something goes wrong - surprise, surprise.

    They call in a 4-man Special Forces rescue unit - two of whom have shoulder-length hair, the leader chews an unlit cigar and the fourth is Nicholas Lea [Krychek in X-Files ].

    They also bring in Dr Sheppard [Jan-Michael Vincent - Airwolf] whom the Project's current director blames for a previous disaster.

    Soon a big rubber monster with big rubber teeth is drooling slime and chomping through lots of extras. Yes, this is a complete rip-off of the Alien films. The marines even have a LMG on a steadicam rig!

    The creature moves through the air vents. Yes, that's right - this supposedly secure military base is completely vulnerable! Apart from the 4 mercenaries they have no guards available. The female scientist swops her white coat for a Steyr AUG assault rifle and a Linda Hamilton-style sweaty vest.

    To get out they have to climb 500 METRES [!!!] up a lift shaft. That means they are over 1500 feet [or 150 storeys] underground!

  • Search This Site
  • The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire

    The Loves of Count Iorga, Vampire

    Robert Quarry plays the title character - a vampire living in a mansion in the USA, in 1970.
  • Search This Site
  • Ticks

    Ticks

    A group of big-city teenagers are taken on a field trip, to stay in a cabin in the woods. However, the local marijuana growers are using steriods to speed-grow their crops - and the pollution affects the local blood-sucking wood-ticks. Soon the kids are chased by crazed rednecks and giant blood-bugs. Hmm.

    The kids include Ami Dolenz, daughter of one of the Monkees, and Seth Green [ Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Spy Who Shagged Me ]. The token black kid is played by Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

    This was written by the duo who went on to do the great Dark Skies and the not-so-great Mortal Kombat 2.

  • Search This Site
  • Stay Tuned

    Stay Tuned

    Would you believe that this was directed by Peter Hyams [ Time Cop ]? No, neither would this reviewer - but it looks like Hyams DID sink that low, back in the early 1990s.

    John Ritter and Pam Dawber [Mork and Mindy] play a married couple. Ritter signs a Mephistolean deal with Jeffrey Jones [Howard the Duck], who sells him a hi-tech television. Ritter and Dawber are sucked into the TV set, where they have to survive a series of TV shows where their characters are doomed to die. Inside the TV they bump into Eugene Levvy [American Pie], who explains the situation to them.

    Kristen Cloke [ Final Destination ] has a tiny appearance.

    The film is also a nostalgia trip, digging up memories of early 1990s US TV shows like Northern Exposure and Wayne's World.

  • Search This Site
  • Damien: Omen 2

    Damien: Omen 2

    Damien is now being fostered by William Holden [Stalag 17]. The wee lad is sent away to military school, where his commander is Lance Hendriksen [ Aliens ]. Meanwhile, Holden collects ancient middle-eastern artefacts ...

    A big black satanic crow pops up regularly whenever someone is doomed. Just to add tension.

    Leo McKern, last seen in Israel where he gave David Warner the daggers, is still digging up relics. He discovers a temple of the whore of Babylon - just before a big black satanic crow lands nearby.

    Sequels tend to go bigger and better, and usually they fail. However, this one does not disappoint; they even out-do the decapitation scene from the first one!

  • Search This Site
  • Dark Star

    Dark Star

    John Carpenter produced, directed and co-wrote this - along with Dan O'Bannon , who also did the SPFX. Carpenter later did The Thing while O'Bannon went on to write Alien - and this film's alien effectively parodies and pre-empts both!

    The story is set aboard the starship Dark Star, whose mission is to travel through the galaxy and blow up unstable planets with AI nukes. The problem with AI nukes is, well, they have a mind of their own.

  • Search This Site
  • Haemoglobin

    Haemoglobin

    The star is Roy Dupois, the wooden french-Canadian guy from La Femme Nikita. He is some kind of pale-skinned cripple who has psychic flashes. His wife takes him out to a remote island where his family are supposed to live, but on the boat he has some kind of attack. While he convulses the babe sets his medicine down beside his feet. No doubt you can guess what happens next.

    They go to the nearest doctor, who happens to be Rutger Hauer [ Blade Runner ]. In a nice piece of exposition he tells the wife that the island population's in-breeding somehow encouraged mutation. This is of course biologically impossible, but nobody bothered to tell the writers.

    Strange things are afoot in the graveyard. The old coffins are being removed and re-buried on the mainland. However, the coffins are empty and one worker dies mysteriously. One young lady goes there alone at midnight to excavate a grave ...

    In a scene that has no real relevance to the rest of the film, a woman discovers an albino dwarf thing that gets conveniently chopped into unrecognisable mincemeat by a boat's propellor.

    This B-movie straight-to-video trash was co-written by SF veterans Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusett. How the mighty have fallen!

  • Search This Site
  • For Your Eyes Only

    For Your Eyes Only

    This film starts with a couple of nods to earlier Bond films, especially On Her Majesty's Secret Service. We first see Bond laying flowers on his wife Tracey's grave. This is quickly followed by the usual pre-credits teaser - this time Bond is ambushed by an un-named bald villain reminiscent of Blofeld. Since this was around the time that Kevin McLory won the legal rights to the names Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion [SPECTRE], this is clearly the point where they are written out of the Official Bond films. Watch out for Blofeld's cryptic last words: I'll buy you a delicatessen - in stainless steel!

    Normally Bond films - especially Roger Moore ones - have nothing in common with the Fleming books beyond the title. Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker are both blatant remakes of You Only Live Twice, while View To A Kill is a rehash of Goldfinger. This film, however, embraces at least three.

  • crossbow girl's revenge
  • Greek smugglers tale
  • Dr No - Bond is keelhawled by villain

    The reason for the back-to-basics approach is simple. After Moonraker's OTT Star Wars rip-off, Bond had nowhere else to go. He had to return to his Cold War roots. And as a result this is one of Moore's best Bond outings.

    The stereotypical villain lounging beside a pool, surrounded by a bevvy of babes scene is notable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is usually reserved for a major villain; here it is relegated to the domain of a minor villain. The other point is that one of the models hired for this scene was Caroline Tula Cossey, a transsexual who has appeared in Playboy several times.

    The main female role of the film goes to Carole Bouquet - who is French, though the character she portrays [Melina] is Greek.

    The supporting female role is played by ice-skater Lynn Holly Johnson . Although many do not find her performance to have depth, in this role she is far better than today's blonde ice-skating nypmhette, Sarah Michelle Gellar

    Other familiar faces include

  • Topol, who played Hans Zarkoff in Flash Gordon
  • Julian Glover, who played General Veers in Empire Strikes Back and also appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Charles Dance - he later became famous, while here he plays a generic thug

    Examples of notable dialogue include:

  • Farewell, Mr Bond, but not goodbye This should be familiar to everyone who has seen Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Conserve your gas supply, Bond tells Ms Bouquet as they SCUBA dive. Speak only when necessary. Thanks for the pointer, Jim. After all, she may only be a weak and feeble woman but she is also a PROFESSIONAL full-time S.C.U.B.A. diver while you just have to pass your refresher every few years.
  • Hope he was dining alone, Bond says when a shark swims out of the wreck's hull. He was dining on the corpses of your friends and fellow Royal Navy officers, Commander Bond. Roger Moore's one-liners do not get much more dire than this.

    As another note, there seems to be TONS of space inside the minisub.

  • Search This Site
  • Licence to Kill

    Licence to Kill

    This was Timothy Dalton's second and last Bond film. It's not as good as The Living Daylights , but that's not saying much.

    Robert Davi [Die Hard] plays the villain, a Panamanian drug lord. Powers Booth wanted the role, which would have allowed him to reprise his performance in Extreme Prejudice. Talisa Soto [Mortal Kombat 2] is the gangster's moll. Carey Lowell is the top Bond girl, a tough-ass agent in her own right.

    Benicio Del Toro [Usual Suspects] and Anthony Zerbe [Omega Man] play a couple of Davi's criminal associates.

    Many people think this film flopped because the Drug Lord storyline could have come straight out of Miami Vice. However, Live and Let Die had a similar theme - and though it was not one of the better Bond films it has not been given the same disrespect as this film has.

    This film, however much it is hated, is the closest to Ian Fleming's Bond. It embraces a number of Bond stories:

  • The message He disagreed with something that ate him.
  • Bond's quest to avenge Tracey's death
  • Milton Krest - a character in The Hildebrandt Rarity
  • Search This Site
  • Goldeneye

    Goldeneye

    This is the first outing for Pierce Brosnan [Remington Steele] as Bond, and Judi Dench's first appearance as M. Bond has to investigate the theft of a NATO stealth-chopper by femme fatale Famke Janssen , and also to retrieve the title object - the control card for an EMP superweapon. Izabella Scorrupco is the other Bond Girl, a Russian computer programmer.

    As well as the new MI6 staff, there is no more Felix Leiter. Instead we get Joe Don Baker, who previously worked with the director in the excellent Edge of Darkness and also played a villain in The Living Daylights.

    Robbie Coltrane [Cracker] introduces the Vladmir character who later reappeared in The World Is Not Enough. Minnie Driver [Grosse Point Blank] has a cameo as his girlfriend.

    The other Russian Scot, also following in Sean Connery's footsteps, is Alan Cummings ( X-Men 2 ) as Boris, an ultra-cool computer hacker.

  • Search This Site
  • Return to the September 2000 Special