January 2, 2017

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)

Plunkett and Macleane is a drama taking us back to a time of Georgian greed and debauchery with the hardened but entertaining characters of playboy James Macleane, (Jonny Lee Miller) and William Plunkett (Robert Carlyle),who according to history between them committed around twenty highway robberies within a six month spree of terror against England’s wealthy society. The production is loosely based on the real life of the foresaid Macleane, the son of a Presbyterian minister. On blowing … [Read more...]

The Nanny (1965)

Well, Chrimbleplops is very nearly upon us, and another yearly tradition in the Lea household begins: the ceremonial watching of old psycho-thrillers with mad old ladies in them. This all leads eventually to a viewing of AUNTIE ROO after festive dinner, something which my poor unfortunate companions, whoever they be that year, have to put up with. I can't quite remember when this grand old custom began (although I imagine it was sometime in the mid 80s) but I can't imagine a Yuletide … [Read more...]

The Fallen Idol (1948)

“The Fallen Idol” is one of those films that can be seen as a child, and then later on seen as an adult and at both times are able to be viewed and considered through the eyes of a child. While it was Reed's intention for the film to be seen that way, what we do not always consider as adults when viewing this film is that it is seen in the black and white views of a child's world – that everything is either right or wrong with no gray areas. The film opens with a scene of … [Read more...]

Love Is a Splendid Illusion (1969)

It's not often that I feel compelled to write a review of a film I've only seen once, particularly one I wasn't amazingly impressed with. So, why am I writing about this relatively obscure Bachoo Sen-produced oddity? Seriously, I'm baffled. But I feel that I should. For some reason, I am drawn towards it the way a fly is drawn towards a huge pile of poo. Not that I would describe this film as such- heaven forefend, it's still enjoyable in its own way. So why do I fail to connect with it … [Read more...]

Hysteria (1964)

There are certain films you always feel a fondness for, no matter how many people, both trusted colleagues and refusenik hacks think of you as utterly bonkers for exactly that reason. Freddie Francis' HYSTERIA, the fifth in Hammer's popular series of Hitchcock/Clouzot homage’s, is without a doubt for me one of those. The film marks a departure from its predecessors in several ways. For one thing, it's set mainly in London, and even its 'French' segment is quite … [Read more...]

Twisted Nerve (1968)

"No puppetmaster pulls the strings on high, But a twisted nerve, a ganglion gone awry, Predestinates the sinner or the saint." The above is a seemingly innocuous quote from a seemingly innocuous poet- who may be Keats, but may just as likely be screenwriter Leo Marks. Yet, when viewed in the context of the film in question, those very words echo and recall the furore and brouhaha caused by no less a milestone in British cinema than the preceding decade's Peeping Tom (1959) - … [Read more...]

Permissive (1970)

Welcome to the world of another great and unjustly forgotten subgenre of British cinema's counterculture period - Hippiesploitation!! Regarded at the time as a slow, bleak, poorly-acted and badly produced attempt at cashing in on the 'groupie craze' (see Derek Ford's GROUPIE GIRL or its German counterpart ICH EIN GROUPIE for further reference) from the director that had already brought us such low-budget sexploitative horror fare as NIGHT, AFTER NIGHT, AFTER NIGHT (1969) - albeit … [Read more...]