Page A ~ Page B~ Page C ~ Page D ~ PageE ~ Page F ~ Page G ~ Page H ~ Page I ~ Page J ~ Page K ~ Page L~
~Page M
~ Page N ~ Page O ~ Page P ~ Page Q ~ Page R ~ Page S ~ Page T ~ Page U ~ Page V ~ Page W ~ Page Z ~

Also Known As
II Gatto Dagli Occhi Di Giada
The Cat’s Victims
Italy/1977 – R – 95 Minutes
D: Antonio Bido
S: Paola Tedesco, Corrado Pani, Franco Citti
DVD Provided By VCI Entertainment
Extras: Trailers, radio spots, bios

A woman inadvertently witnesses a suspect flee from a brutal murder scene. Within a short time, she is stalked by the murderer and enlists her new boyfriend for help. It soon turns out that there is more going on than just a murderer trying to kill a witness. Writer/director Antonio Bido tries his hand at an Italian giallo and the results are mixed. Make no mistake, everything about this production is a serious giallo attempt, including the film’s tone, camerawork, and music score. However, it lacks the suspenseful punch, rhythmic smoothness, and sexiness of better works by Dario Argento or Mario Bava. That’s not to say that this is a bad film. The death scenes are rather cool, there are several moments when the plot gets taut and suspenseful, and Trans Europa Express does a heck of a job with the original music score. If only the film had more visual stylishness and clarity, it might be better than just an average Italian mystery from the late 70’s. Still, it’s worth a watch if you like giallo films. The plot contains plenty of red herrings and the reason for the killings is fairly complex. Not great but not horrible, this one is worth a rental. – Craig Hamann

2008 – PG-13 – 98 Min.
D: Antony Szeto
S: Sammo Hung – Wenjie Wang – Yachao Wang – Pheobe Wang – Junjie Mao
DVD Provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
English language or Mandarin with English subtitles (subtitled version for review)
Extras: Behind The Scenes – Wushu World Premiere – Trailer Gallery

Martial arts themes permeate this exceptional and dramatic tale centering on the lives of several young people raised in a Wushu training school. Sammo Hung is a respected teacher as well as the father of two of the schools leading students. Also, his wife is buried nearby in order to keep the family as together as possible, under the circumstances. Much of the plot focuses on the experiences of the predominately young cast as they strive to better themselves and perform well in an upcoming competition, but there’s a sub-plot involving a villainous ex-student of Hung’s that’s built a business out of illegal fighting and the kidnapping of young children. When these two story arcs come together, that’s when the real success of the project is fully understood. Wushu, at its core, is a tribute to the spirit of the art and the philosophy behind it. Szeto masterfully strikes a perfect balance of drama and action while integrating all elements of the script into a cohesive whole. There’s even more to it than that, though; Wushu delivers on emotional as well as visceral levels while maintaining its intelligence, its heart, and its ability to excite. In short, this movie is just plain good. The entire thing’s presented with a distinct visual style that’s every bit as engaging as the story itself. And yes, the throw-down between Sammo and his sadistic nemesis is every bit as cool as the hype promised. Still, that’s not the point, so it doesn’t end there… Recommended. - Michael Mackie

2004 – N/R – 100 Minutes
D: Xiaogang Feng
S: Andy Lau, Rene Liu, You Ge, Baoqiang Wang, Bingbing Li
DVD Provided by Tartan Video
Widescreen/Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Making Of Featurette, Trailers

A young couple, who make a living by being thieves, find retribution when they run across a simple orphan who happens to have a ton of money to travel home and find a wife. Most of the movie takes place onboard a moving train. Also on for the ride is another group of thieves and an undercover police officer who is hot on their trail. The acting is wonderful, and the movie is well directed, but its self-importance gets in the way. Whenever our heroes do something meaningful, we get too many slow motion scenes with beautiful slow music to show us how much a revelation are characters are actually receiving. The whole thing becomes an exercise in the obvious causing tediousness to sink in. Some of the tricks and action scenes are outlandish while others we’ve seen many times before. I’d rather watch Chow Yun Fat steal another painting than this one. Still, it is nice to look at and the actors give their all. Not for all tastes. – Mark Engle

2005 – N/R – 87 Minutes
D: Anthony Indelicato
S: Joseph Anthony, Michael Bolten
DVD Courtesy of Echo Bridge Entertainment
Extras: Trailers, Blooper Reel, Making Of Featurette

Several city slickers head off to the back woods for a weekend camp trip. Apparently, it’s a yearly trip for many of the families and most know about the legend of crazy Cappy, the backwoods butcher. When two of the older teens think they’ve discovered the loony’s cabin, they head off into the woods with their younger brothers to give them a good scare. Unfortunately, Cappy and his clan are waiting for them, including one son who is mentally retarded due to a car accident as a child. It isn’t the worse Hillbilly horror I’ve sat through, but it isn’t very good either. The direction and acting is hit and miss but above norm for the particular budget and amateur filmmaking at hand. Some of the gore is effective, including a knife through head out the eye and a decapitation, but the rest is scarce and the most effective part of this particular feature is the fact that our hick bad guys are truly huge characters, making them somewhat more frightening and believable than your average miscast SOV project. Unfortunately, it’s all by the numbers and never disturbing. You’all never come back ya hear! – Mark Engle

2006 – NR – 75 Min.
D: Jesse Baget
S: Rey Misterio – Leyla Milani – Jeremy Radin – Irwin Keyes
DVD Courtesy of Anchor Bay
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Commentary – Featurette – Trailer

You’re faced with a horror movie called Wrestlemaniac; it’s a safe bet that if you take it home you are going to end up with exactly what you’re looking for. For all curious passers-by it goes a little something like this…. A group of generally unlikable lowlifes curse and snort their way around Mexico trying to find a perfect location to shoot their no-budget porno project. They end up at a ghost town where, as the legend goes, a crazed medical experiment was stashed away after the government was unable to control him. The titular threat, a Frankenstein’s Monster (literally) of a masked wrestler named El Mascarado, begins to take them on and out one by one. Nobody’s breaking any new ground here by any means. Against all odds there are some fairly effective scenes, even so, this is by the numbers slasher fare and as such it’s absolutely average. Sometimes the silliness gets tough to negotiate (a woman gets her pants stuck on and ripped off by a door handle so we can watch her run around in her underwear – a man decides to put a mask over his head and battle the ‘wrestlemaniac’ etc), but a few performers rise above and there’s some eventual graphic slaughter. Fortunately, the most annoying among the cast are killed off first. Deal or No Deal case #13 model Leyla Milani performs well and looks sultry no matter the situation. And, no, you won’t get to see her naked. Brief nudity, enough F-Bombs to make Tony Montana blush, escalating graphic violence and Rey Misterio as an unstoppable monster in a mask pulling people’s faces off…. Your move. The disc is solid but the bland color palette doesn’t do the film any favors. The commentary is lively and contains quite a bit of background. It’s tough to recommend a movie that feels overlong at 75 minutes and even though Wrestlemaniac has its moments this is just another modern throwaway slasher flick with the added flair of the Mexican wrestler legend. Let’s put this one in the beer and buddies category. I don’t think Santo should concern himself. - Michael Mackie

2010 - R - 88 Minutes
D: David DeFalco
S: Rob Van Dam, Stormy Daniels, Dave Bautista, Ava Santana
Widescreen/5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
Extras: Featurettes/Interviews/Training Video/Trailers

Forget the fact that David Boutista's face and name is all over the DVD box, this is by far Rob Van Dam's show all the way. Boutista literally only has about 10 minutes screen time. Rob plays nice quiet married suburban Bobby Kalinowsky, who through a set of circumstances gets invited out to a night on the town with his wife and new neighbors, much against his better judgment. Unfortunately, his premonition skills are dead on when they happen to be having dinner at the hottest night club in town owned by a mob kingpin. During dinner, the owner's brother/son (yeah, you read that right), tries to rape Bobby's wife when she is returning from the bathroom. Circumstances lead our hero to protect his lovely lady only to have the scumbag fall on his own knife. From here on out, Bobby, wife and friends are in for a night of hell when all they want to do is go home. Our mobster has ties with the police and now Bobby has a 100 grand bounty on his head if brought in alive. Every gangster, street thug and drug addict are now after him. After several unsuccessful attempts to bring in this Ex-Navy Seal, they go after his teen daughter to hold as bait. Will he save her? Or will he kill the distributors for stealing the movie he starred in to make it look like a Bautista flick? There are no surprises here at all whatsoever, but I must admit I did enjoy watching it go down the familiar territory. The acting is iffy, but Van Dam plays a pretty likable character. The bad guys are either stupid or over the top depending on their character. Overall, this plays like a Steven Seagal movie trying to be THE WARRIORS but without the grittiness or atmosphere that either possesses. Most of the fight scenes come across stagy until the final showdowns (yes, more than one), the best, believe it or not, involving David Boutista. Action fans, you've seen much much worse, so give it a shot if you are bored on a rainy Sunday afternoon. - Mark Engle

Page A ~ Page B~ Page C ~ Page D ~ PageE ~ Page F ~ Page G ~ Page H ~ Page I ~ Page J ~ Page K ~ Page L~
~Page M
~ Page N ~ Page O ~ Page P ~ Page R ~ Page S ~ Page T ~ Page U ~ Page V ~ Page W ~ Page Z ~