Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Viewings: October 2023

The two highest ranked films watched in October were Peter Bogdonavich's Targets and Brian Duffield's No One Will Save You. The latter being my favourite 2023 film thus far.  However, what with it being Halloween, it's only appropriate that Boris Karloff's mug from Targets graces October's screenshot, don't you think?

It wasn't by design, but the majority of other notable films discovered this month were set in a pub: Revenge, Hotel Coolgardie and The Royal Hotel.  The exception to the rule being Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby which is the type of amazing movie you stumble upon on late night TV when coming home half cut from the pub.



Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968)*

Figures in a Landscape (Joseph Losey, 1970)*

Assault (Sidney Hayers, 1971)

Family Life (Ken Loach, 1971)*

Quest for Love (Ralph Thomas, 1971)*

Revenge (Sidney Hayers, 1971)*

All Coppers Are... (Sidney Hayers, 1972)*

Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind (Tsui Hark, 1980)*

Hard Rock Zombies (Krishna Shah, 1984)*

Der Todesking (Jörg Buttgereit, 1990)

Singapore Sling (Nikos Nikolaidis, 1990)*

Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (Matthew Bright, 1999/2000)*

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (Mike Hodges, 2004)*

Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror (Stacy Title, 2006)*

Death Sentence (James Wan, 2007)

The Baader Meinhof Complex (Uli Edel, 2008)*

The Canyons (Paul Schrader, 2013)*

The Dyatlov Pass Incident AKA Devil’s Pass (Renny Harlin, 2013)

Night of the Rat (David R.L, 2015)*

Hotel Coolgardie (Pete Gleeson, 2016)*

Beau Is Afraid (Ari Aster, 2023)*

Bottoms (Emma Seligman, 2023)*

The Equalizer 3 (Antoine Fuqua, 2023)*

The Last Voyage of the Demeter (André Øvredal, 2023)*

The Meg 2: The Trench (Ben Wheatley, 2023)*

Night of the Hunted (Franck Khalfoun, 2023)*

No One Will Save You (Brian Duffield, 2023)*

The Nun II (Michael Chaves, 2023)*

The Royal Hotel (Kitty Green, 2023)*

Saw X (Kevin Greutert, 2023)*

Suitable Flesh (Joe Lynch, 2023)*

Totally Killer (Nahnatchka Khan, 2023)*

V/H/S/85 (Scott Derrickson, David Bruckner, Mike P. Nelson, Gigi Saul Guerrero & Natasha Kermani, 2023)*


Batman - Season 1 (William Dozier, 1966)

Ghosts - Season 5 Epsiode 1 (Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard & Ben Willbond, 2023)*

Mastermind - Episodes 6 - 10 (Bill Wright, 2023)*

Only Connect - Season 19 - Episode 16 (Chris Stuart, 2023)*


*First time viewings. 

Dada Debaser Notes:

  • The Meg 2: The Trench is further proof Ben Wheatley has fallen off since he can't even make a half decent creature feature.
  • Night of the Hunted is an inferior American remake to the Spanish thriller Night of the Rat. The cringeworthy political commentary really ruined the film. Can't believe Khalfoun and Aja made this.
  • All for the current trend of action heroes acting like slasher villains, but you don't see Jason Voorhees cotching all day in a café when he's not slaughtering people like Denzel Washington does in The Equalizer 3.
  • Nice of Nikos Nikolaidis' son to upload his old man's explicit noir uncut and in HD on YouTube. Won't ever see a kiwi fruit in the same way again.
  • Ari Aster's Beau Is Afraid and André Øvredal's The Last Voyage of the Demeter turned out to be major disappointments for me.
  • Marc Wilkinson's music for depressing mental health drama Family Life is perfectly suited to a vintage horror and completely wasted in a Ken Loach film.
  • More a silly teen comedy than a proper horror film, but Totally Killer ended up being a suprisingly decent timewaster. Kudos to the film makers for featuring one of my favourite ever 80s jams in a slasher:
Totally Killer (Heather's death scene)
Nahnatchka Khan, 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Two in the Bush

The Royal Hotel (Kitty Green, 2023)

When the trailer to Kitty Green's psychological thriller The Royal Hotel (2023), blipped its way onto my radar over the summer, it evoked serious Wake in Fright (1971) vibes for me. Thankfully, those nightmarish feelings were still present in the full length feature film.

Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) are two young backpackers in Sydney, Australia who wind up broke after partying a bit too hard. Through the aid of a recruitment agency, the pair are offered jobs as barmaids in a remote mining pub in the Outback. With it being such a remote location, full of burly blokes, they're advised to only accept the offer if they're comfortable with receiving "a little male attention". Brillo-haired Hanna, the smarter of the two, accepts the vacancy with trepidation, while the more naive Liv accepts for the simply silly reason of getting to see kangaroos in the wild out there.

The Royal Hotel is essentially a strangers in a strange land type deal. Civilisation hasn't reached every corner of the globe and for our two female leads, they're in for a rude awakening. You can't get any ruder than The Royal Hotel's alcoholic owner Billy, played by a constantly scene stealing Hugo Weaving. Billy is an aggressive type of Aussie, who talks bluntly and calls Hanna "a smart cunt" when talks back to him condescendingly. The culture shock is very real. This clash of worlds is introduced in an amusing way initially, but as the film progresses it delves into far darker and hostile territory. This leads to some incredibly intense scenes throughout the film.

Green's film excels at generating a forboding sense of unease for Hanna and Liv, where you'll be forgiven for thinking this might be a horror film along the likes of the Outback classic Wolf Creek (2005). The film's obvious agenda is to showcase male toxicity in a backwater part of the world and villify them. But The Royal Hotel's overall message is applicable in a far broader context by contrasting the nature of those who are educated and civilised people against the rough around the edges folk eking out a living in a harsh environment.

Julia Garner and Jessic Henwick exhibit good chemistry together in their lead roles. Garner's cautious attitude increases with the same rate as Henwick's recklessness. The supporting cast aren't slouches either. They include: Romper Stomper's Toby Wallace as Kylie's #1 fan in the Outback; Snowtown's John Bunting in strong form as the psychotic Dolly; and lastly, the aformentioned Hugo Weaving who absolutely kills it.

Perhaps the one real flaw was its cop out ending. It's a slow burn psychological thriller, highly atmospheric, so I expect the tightly wound tension to snap in a quick and abrupt manner, that logically provides a believable outcome, but, without going into spoilers, did it really need that awful closing shot? It tarnishes what is otherwise a great film. Still, despite this erroneous error, it's still an overwhelmingly good film for the vast majority of its running time.

Dada Debaser Bonus Feature:

Did not know that The Royal Hotel was inspired by Pete Gleeson's slice of life documentary Hotel Coolgardie (2016). You can bet I was all over it the moment I found out. It's a feature worthy of a review itself as it's equally funny and horrifying with a randomly messed up post script to cap it off. Hotel Coolgardie also makes for an excellent double feature with The Royal Hotel as you can compare the exaggerated levels Kitty Green went with the source material. Ironically, it's very reminiscent of what certain exploitation film directors would do when inspired by real events.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Juvenile Hell: Parts 6 & 7

Two fun-sized reviews in the latest instalment of Dada Debaser's Juvenille Hell series. Admittedly, I'd completely forgotten about continuing them, but having finally watched Matthew Bright's Freeway II: Confessions of Trickbaby (1999) for the first time this month (thank you, Plex!), it's high time I covered both of these twisted adaptations of classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

Freeway (Matthew Bright, 1996)

If the nineties was ever a decade of endless possibilites, then believe it or not, a young Reece Witherspoon once became girlboss par excellence as the foul mouthed Vanessa Lutz in the superb nineties gem Freeway (1996).

Co-produced by Oliver Stone, Freeway is comedy crime thriller loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. Our poorly educated heroine, runs aways from social services after her parents get busted by the cops. This sets her course of action of searching for the grandmother she's never met. After her stolen car breaks down on the freeway, she unknowingly hitches a ride with the notorious I-5 serial killer, played by Kiefer Sutherland; the wolf in this wild tale.

Aside from Witherspoon and Sutherland's strong performances, Matthew Bright's screenplay is a real shining light here. Given it's a contemporary take on Little Red Riding, albeit a bizarre one, you're still never quite sure in what direction the film is headed. Bright's characters look and act like they're the type of guests who would appear on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show. There is of course the breezy pacing, which in turn never leads to a dull moment in the film.

Despite it coming from the nineties, Freeway harkens even further back to less politically correct times and that's probably why this film feels even more anachronistic today than it did originally. This is the true magic of the film.

Hard to believe, but even the "buffons" [sic] that the troll critic Armond White was referring to were correct about Freeway and gave it a glowing review back in the day.


Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (Mattew Bright, 1999)

Matthew Bright wrote and directed a straight to video follow-up in the tail end of the nineties. Amazingly, Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (1999) is an even crazier tale; bordering on a lucid nightmare in some areas.

This time around Bright's sequel takes its cue from another of the Brothers Grimm's stories - Hansel and Gretel, where the proverbial breadcrumb trail is replaced with crack rocks. Our protagonist is Crystal, AKA White Girl, played by Natasha Lyonne. Sentenced to a twenty-five year bid by an overzealous judge played by John Landis for a string of burglaries, our heroine is being treated in a juvenile correctional facility to cure her bulimia. With the lax security there, White Girl and her lesbian, serial killer cellmate Cyclona leg it before they're carted off to the belly of the beast.

This is a sequel that has a lot more in common with Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994) than it does with its predecessor. There's no real connection to Freeway other than a clip from the film appears as a scene on a TV.  Both films do possess common character and plot similarities, however; a lower class and highly independent girl protagonist being the most obvious example. The film itself is a violent odyssey as White Girl and Cyclona escape into Mexico. From there they meet the witch Sister Gomez as played by Vincent Gallo and the film switches into a further gear of insanity.

Various heavy themes are in this film, and depending on your point of view, the levity in their handling can be interpreted as either tone deaf or comically genius. For this blogger, they're very much the latter. For this very reason, I consider the sequel on par to its predecessor.

There were no further films in the Freeway series, but Matthew Bright did continue with his serial killer trend with the unexpectedly funny Ted Bundy (2002), AKA Bundy. It's a film worth discussing about another time on account of it being something the Farrelly brothers might have helmed during the noughties wave of real life serial killer biopics. It's where I first discovered Bright and was left both gobsmacked and weirdly amazed by. Add that film with his aformentioned juvie films, and I'm under the impression he might have been some great American auteur in the making, if he didn't quit the film industry after his two and half hour rom-com, Tiptoes (2002) wasn't butchered by the studio to ninety minutes. Haven't seen it, and I'd rather cross my fingers for Bright's version to resurface one day, but I'm willing to forgo my revulsion for rom-coms and long arsed movies on account of Bright's previous work - and also because Gary Oldman plays a dwarf in it.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Letterboxd Blasphemies

Ought to preface this post with the only reason I even returned to Letterboxd was the utility it offered in rating and cataloging all the movies for this blog. Like all social media, it runs afoul of being another online cesspit. 

Whether it's bored kids, unfunny influencers, or cringeworthy journos masquerading as bonafide film critics, here's an example of the awful reviews plastered on there:

Believe it or not, the positive reviews tend to be even more toxic than the horrible ones posted above, since the rush of covering eagerly anticipated films fuels the narcissistic personalities of these critics and their desire to chirp the loudest in their online echochamber:

Quietly praying for some real life Bond villain like Elon Musk to buy Letterboxd and watch these wannabe Eberts go even more mental than how they act now. Potential five star entertainment in the making.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Alienated Nation

No One Will Save You (Brian Duffield, 2023)

Science-fiction has become a ubiquitous film genre ever since nerd culture became the norm thanks to the shite sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2007 - 2019). It's usually the genre of choice for many tent pole blockbusters. As a result, more slower paced and cerebral offerings tend to never make it on the radar whenever some VFX heavy spectacle is doing the promotional rounds during the same time. Brian Duffield's No One Will Save You (2023) is sadly one of those films, as it's condemned to streaming Hell via Hulu (Disney+ in the UK). This is a huge shame as the film is superb.

No One Will Save You centres around a social pariah called Brynn. Without spoiling it, the reason for her being ostracised from her local community becomes revealed later on in the film. Brynn often writes to her childhood friend Maude, but there's no real human contact in her world - other than a postman trashing her parcels doing his deliveries (probably works for Evri). She has no one to talk to. Enter what might be perceived as the film's major gimmick - there is virtually no dialogue (five words in total). This might be drawing from the same well as A Quiet Place (2018) to some audiences.

Our outcast protagonist experiences creepy goings on one night and begins to think it's not hungry raccoons rummaging about in her bins, but encounters of the third kind once one of them terrorises her in her home. They're the grey aliens we all recognise from various media. They also possess telekinetic powers, which makes dealing with them very difficult. For much of the film, it's a cat and mouse type situation until it becomes apparent that this plays out on a far larger scale for our planet.

What we have here is a film that reveals informations via action. Show! Don't tell! That's the methodology for the film. As a result, the lack of dialogue comes as a complete antithesis to all the expository drivel with many of today's films. Additionally, Kaitlyn Dever's performance as Brynn is fantastic; her ability to convey so much in a restrictive physical performance is what elevates the film above the generic sci-fi extravaganzas pumped out by major studios.

Fans of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone (1959 - 1964) might draw parrallels to The Invaders episode from the first season. A mute hermit woman in a cabin having to face off aliens? Identical premise. A more contemporary comparison would be M. Night Shamalamadingdong's Signs (2002) meets Mike Flanagan's Hush (2016) as the film does verge into horror territory, too. Of course, No One Will Save You eventually diverts on a different path to the aforementioned titles once it progresses further.

Without spoiling it, the biggest controversies are perhaps the film's curveball ending and the lack of dialogue. It's what makes No One Will Save You such a Marmite film; you'll either love it, or hate it! Doubt these detractors would have enjoyed The Invaders episode either. Personally, I consider this a great little film, despite some minor flaws here and there. My personal gripe being some of the visual effects look a bit ropey at times, but in no way do they ruin the suspense and tension in the film. Also, the ending did not rub me the wrong way like it did for others.

In summary, I totally get why Hulu released inferior films like Hellraiser (2022) and Prey (2022) in the past, but No One Will Save You is a legitimate rollercoaster ride. It would have been perfect in the cinema rather than rot as a streamable film. Hopefully, this will get a physical release as it's one of the few films from this year that warrants a blu-ray purchase from me.

No One Will Save You (Bedroom scene)
Brian Duffield, 2023

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Tape Todeskingz

Der Todesking (Tuesday scene)
Jörg Buttgereit, 1990

Revisiting Jörg Buttgereit's Der Todesking (1990) AKA The Death King years later and it's still a depressing viewing experience. The art house horror anthology is connected via a sequence of short films themed around death and suicide; each one representing a day of the week. Craig David's Seven Days it ain't!

The most upbeat scene in this doomfest is where a film degenerate like myself scans the aisles of classic films in a crummy video store; a much lamented ritual that was common for your host. This was a important tradition spanning from the early eighties until the local Blockbuster became a Greggs sometime in the mid noughties. Gutted! What isn't relatable is what follows afterwards as men will be crossing their legs when they witness what's on that fake Ilsa She Wolf of the SS film our protagonist rented.

Down with the Todesking!

Perhaps the most surprising legacy about Der Todesking is the crude logo from the film being tatooed on the alabaster skins of numerous emo goths, doomer edge lords and other misguided crusties. These permanent ink stains, shared on social media, are a worse fashion faux pas than the video store clerk’s Timmy Mallet threads, in my opinion.

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Wish List: 'You Ain't Seen Me, Right?' Edition

We've reached that time of the year where folks like to flex their favourite/best horror films for content. Guessing late game Gen X’ers and millennials are feeling nostalgic since the latest meta is on horror's lost decade - the 1990s. Too lazy for all that palava, although it does remind me of some glaring films I've yet to see before even entertaining the very notion of a nineties horror list.

I've been either ignorantly unaware of the following films, or have found them just too elusive to track down:

Baby Blood (Alain Robak, 1990)

This early nineties French horror actually aired in the noughties on UK TV as part of a season dedicated to banned films, which included infamous titles like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Salo (1975) on the roster. Alain Robak's Baby Blood is about an ancient demonic parasite dwelling in a woman's womb and forcing her kill inorder to feed its need for blood. This has Second Sight release written all over it since feminist film critics and Kotaku journalists have embraced the hustle of writing film essays for overpriced limited edition boutique film releases.

The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley, 1990)

Philip Ridley's southern gothic really piqued my interest for actually appearing as a serious film rather than the dime a dozen, straight-to-video trash around at the time. Other than how gorgeous The Reflecting Skin looks, I'm keen to see it largely because Viggo Mortensen's performances in horror films tend to be really fun to watch and elevate films like Prison (1987) and Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) more than they deserve to be. I can see this being released by Arrow Films or possibly even Criterion.

Evil Dead Trap 2: Hideki (Izô Hashimoto, 1992)

Huge fan of Toshiharu Ikeda's slasher meets body horror mash-up Evil Dead Trap (1988). Watching that film and you can see the obvious influences of Dario Argento and David Cronenberg. I couldn't tell you how the sequel fares, however, as I only knew about its existence earlier this year when Unearthed Films released it on blu-ray. Sadly, they're in the States, and importing anything these days has become way too costly in recent times. Fingers crossed a domestic label like 88 Films might take a stab at releasing the J-Horror sequel over here.

Nadja (Michael Almereyda, 1994)

Mid-nineties, monochrome vampire flicks set in New York City are like waiting for a 29 bus as both Nadja and Abel Ferrara's The Addiction (1995) both arrived around the same time. It might lack the hilarity of Onyx's Fredro Starr being in it, but it does have the eccentric director David Lynch amongst its cast and features two Portishead bangers on its soundtrack, which instinctively tells me I'll be cranking my head to and fro like an epileptic headbanger even if it is some emo vampire shite. This potentially might be the type of art house horror that Marc Morris and Jake West over at Nucleus Films could release. Bound to be better than West's very own God-awful blood sucker film Razor Blade Smile (1998), innit?

Tesis AKA Thesis (Alejandro Amenábar, 1996)

Serious 8mm (1999) vibes in this Spanish mystery horror about a snuff film discovered on a university campus by a film student. Written and directed by the same bloke who gave us what's arguably one of Nicole Kidman's best films, The Others (2001), along with writing her midget ex's Vanilla Sky (2001), this has me yearning to find out if Tesis is any good. I can't find this film anywhere, however. Considering Radiance Films have released another dark themed Spanish film from the nineties recently, I'm praying the company might do the same for this.

In summary, taking into account these are all unwatched, there's no real guarantee if these films are any good or not. What is a certainty is these titles fitting this blog's film tastes to a tee, making them ripe picks for the wish list.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

No Country for Old Monsters

Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968)

You've got to hand it to Roger Corman, he really loves to get his money's worth by recycling older films he's produced by editing them into his new stuff. This requirement brief was imposed upon the young up and coming wunderkind, Peter Bogdanovich, along with utilising two days worth of filming with Boris Karloff that was owed to Corman. The result is the highly impressive debut Targets (1968), a meta film unlike anything I've witnessed under the Corman umbrella.

Targets is a film with two seperate narratives running adjacent to one another which converge in the final act: the first story is Karloff in a self-referential role as Byron Orlok, an iconic horror actor who feels old and out of touch with the now; the other, is played by Tim O'Kelly as Bobby Thompson, a young and clean cut ordinary suburbanite that's the very embodiment of a wolf in sheep's clothing. These two characters represent a passing of the torch, if you will: the monsters that feared us in fiction with the real ones that exist in our modern society.

The character of Bobby Thompson takes obvious inspiration from the infamous Texas Tower Sniper Charles Whitman; to the extent that many of the details evident from his killing spree are disturbingly recreated in the film. In contrast, the elderly Byron Orlok's weariness of feeling like a dinosaur from a bygone era, "as an acclaimed dramatic actor, I can't compete with real life terror" is literally juxtaposed with Karloff's actual role in the film The Terror (1963), featuring a young and very grateful Jack Nicholson. You don't need a rocket science degree to work out Targets' message on fictional terror in film pales in comparison to the real life horrors in this world, but you can still appreciate it, though.

Much to the chagrin of cinephile's who turn their heads at B-movies, Targets is fundamentally a genre production, but it does crossover into their more acceptable film territory via Bogdanovich's serious treatment of the subject matter. He shares the writing credits with his wife at the time Polly Platt, but according to Bogdanovich, much of the screenplay was reworked and improved upon by his friend and fellow film maker Samuel Fuller, although he wanted to remain uncredited. Bogdanovich also has a supporting role as Sammy Michaels (Samuel Fuller's first and middle names being used as a thank you), a  young director attempting to persuade Orlok to accept a role for his film. Michaels serves as light relief throughout the film as he's the butt of Orlok's banter, but also a welcome break from Thompson's disturbing storyline.

Targets' dual storylines really do signify an oncoming change in both film and the real world. It comes about at a time when Sergio Corbucci's bleak and frozen western The Great Silence (1968) revealed that the age of the traditional hero was no more, while Charlton Heston cursed us all in front of a rusted and partially buried Statue of Liberty for squandering the future in Planet of the Apes (1968). Films would get more nihilistic and more reflective of the oncoming decade to come. 

No pun intended, but I would have claimed Targets as Karloff's The Shootist (1976) if it weren't for the Mexican films that hardly anyone seen from the aging horror icon. Despite being in poor health, he also starred alongside Christopher Lee and a green painted Barbara Steele in the so-so Curse of the Crimson Alter (1968) from the same year as Targets. Let's just say that Targets is Karloff's last real hurrah, though! Thanks to Peter Bogdanovich, a director who I never really bothered with until the other week, and only really knew from his acting role as Lorraine Bracco's shrink in The Sopranos (1999 - 2007).

A personal observation I noticed were some similarities with Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019). Two storylines set in L.A and the same period running parallel to one another in the film; one, a tale of a screen actor's relevancy; the other, an actual real life atrocity. If that's just a harmless coincindence, then how about the weaving in and out of traffic driving scenes with the same DJ waffling over his music playlist? Thankfully, Targets is a much better film and has the common courtesy to run at an acceptable film length and not an arse-numbingly two hours and forty-one minutes.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Carry on in All Seriousness

British film producer Peter Rogers might be synonymous with the legendary Carry on... films, but on rare occasions he broke from the saucy postcard humour for more serious and edgier productions. From 1971 - 1972, Rogers was the executive producer on four films which ranged from thrillers, sci-fi romance and kitchen sink drama. Curiousities for anyone with a passing interest in British film from this particular era, but for the more observant, they're oddly appealing for incorporating various recognisable visual and audio elements featured in the Carry on... comedies.

Bless the rippers who uploaded these hard to find rarities to YouTube. These films are even more invaluable now since Network Releasing, the slept-on film distributor who originally released them, went under this year. 

Decided to rank them from best to worst:

Revenge (Sidney Hayers, 1971)

When a suspected child killer is released on the same day as pub landlord Jim Radford's (James Booth) daughter's funeral, the entitre family is outraged by it. The Radford's along with another victim's father decide to take justice into their own hands on the pathetically vile Seely (Kenneth Griffith) by abducting him and becoming his executioners.

What makes this a compelling watch is not only the understandable empathy the viewer would feel for Jim Radford and his family, but also the mental and emotional toll the revenge takes on them. Bizarrely, there's some repressed sexual attraction between Jim's wife, Carol (Joan Collins) and her stepson. Ultimately, this a film which charts the demise of what was already a dysfunctional family heading into ruin. 

The cast are exceptionally good, particularly Booth, Collins and Griffith, with some genuine moments of tension whenever Griffith's character might be discovered in the cellar. One stand out part in the film is the disturbingly creepy scene of Seely's mother's bedroom. There's also the recurring question whether their abductee is guilty or not. The seeds of doubt eventually route their way into Jim's conscious making revenge all the more difficult. 

Spartan says: Revenge features one of my dream pubs, the Whippet Inn from Carry on Abroad (1972), although it has the less comical name The Crown in this film. Sadly, it lacks the same cozy atmosphere created by Vic and Cora Flange taking over the boozer. In my head cannon, Revenge might serve as a possible prequel to Carry on Abroad, where after the violent escapades, it leads to a new name for the pub, similar to how Crystal Lake became Forest Green in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986).

All Coppers Are... (Sidney Hayers, 1972)

What potentially kicks off as a British crime thriller about a young bobby on the beat winds up as a kitchen sink drama focusing on a lovers triangle. The players in this ménage à trois' include: Joe, a newly wed police officer (Martin Potter); Barry (Nicky Henson), a jack the lad with hopes to make it in the big league by pulling off an armed robbery and Sue, cynical working class girl, played by Ben Fogle's mum (Julia Foster).

All Coppers Are... dabbles in some social commentary concerning working class living and attitutes towards the police.

The characters are rather likeable despite some of their actions. It goes along away in not adhering to two dimensional profiles and puts them all under a morally grey spotlight. That goes a long way, particularly when Joe is an adulterous man abandoning his wife at a wedding reception to score with Sue. This focus on character complexities seems to come at the cost of the rest of the subplots in the film, however. As a result, Barry's big robbery and the violent riot between the Old Bill and hairy hippy protestors is crudely wedged into the very last leg of the film.

A flawed, but decent drama. It's way more Up the Junction (1968) than the hard boiled British crime thrillers from that era like Get Carter (1971).

Spartan says: Cult British actor, Ian Hendry has a small role as a gangster with a surreal Cockney accent in the film. The scene where he menacingly muches on a packet of Golden Wonder crisps in a bowling alley is hilarious and my favourite part in the film. All Coppers Are... also uses some of Carry on... composer, Eric Rogers' music. If you're familiar with Eric Rogers works, then listen out for Mike's theme from the film adapatation of Bless this House (1971) and Sid James' criminal gang theme from Carry on Matron (1972).

Quest for Love (Ralph Thomas, 1971)

Adapted from sci-fi writer John Wyndham's story Random Quest, Quest for Love (1971) is a tale of physicist Colin Trafford (Tom Bell) being transported to an alternate Earth after a freak lab accident. This other world is very much like our own, only major historical twentieth century events such as World War II and the assassination of John F. Kennedy never happened. Trafford discovers he's a highly successful and womanising author in this alternate reality. He also falls for his alternate self's wife, the unloved and neglected Ottilee Harsham Trafford (Joan Collins). 

It's a real shame the alternate reality premise isn't totally explored, and rather the film dedicates its focus on the romance plotline. The science fiction part is the most fascinating. Eventually, Ottilee begins to believe old Trafford isn't new Trafford and falls in love with him. The clincher in this loved up storyline is the romance is doomed as Ottillee suffers from an inoperable heart condition. What a stroke of luck for old Trafford when he ends up back in his world again, for if Ottillee exists in an alternate reality, then she might exist in his own. A reality that's far more progressed due to technological advancements discovered during WWII and the space race. She can be saved. Trafford goes on a rampage searching for Ottilee which has him running around Heathrow airport like a complete loon trying to find her. Comes across as obsessive stalking than romance, in my opinion.

The really tragedy is the audience's knowledge that new Trafford is going to break Ottillee's heart again and she won't survive. She's doomed to an off-screen death.

Bell and Collins have great chemistry together and make this love story with a sci-fi twist the kind of tolerable watch if you ever caught it airing on TV. It's all very effervescent, but it's at least watchable for what's essentially a tear jerker turned happy ending (ooh err, missus!).
Perhaps the biggest drawback is Eric Rogers on soundtrack duty again. His music compliments the bawdy humour of the Carry on movies with sheer perfection, but on Quest for Love, it's a wrong fit. It doesn't work at all.

Spartan says: Beggars can't be choosers. I would rather watch this version of Quest for Love than any eventual Hollywood remake where an annoying Owen Wilson falls head over heels with an insufferable Jennifer Lopez, and you're praying they both die, along with every other alternate incarnation of them that might exist in space and time to maintain cosmic dimensional karma.

Assault (Sidney Hayers, 1971)

A legit British giallo featuring Suzy Kendall, a bonafide queen of giallo cinema. How could it go wrong? Spectacularly! 

School girls are being targeted by a rapist killer that preys on them whenever they trek through the nearby woods going home. Art teacher, Julie West (Suzy Kendall) fleetingly witnesses the killer, and with the aid of the police and the press, uses herself as bait in catching the foul fiend. 

A supporting cast which includes Frank Finlay as the detective chief super intendant, an over the top Freddie Jones as the unscrupulous reporter, a very young Leslie Anne Down, and the actor who played the Shadmock from The Monster Club (1981) can't really save this highly problematic and shambolic thriller. 
The film spends way too much time on overly touchy doctors and nonce vibe blokes posing as suspects for the film's sick antagonist. Red herrings or not they ought to be serving time, regardless. Assault also commits the cardinal sin of introducing a major player very late into the game, the Doctor's nemesis, an unrecognisable Anthony Ainley, AKA the Master - sans the trademark evil goatee.

Eric Rogers is on soundtrack duty here again and any potential moments of dread and suspense (there really aren't many) are squandered by his bombastic and inappropriately comical music. It really does sound like a Carry on film rather than a giallo. Would have been better off being treated as an actual comedy spoofing the giallo - Carry on Solange!
Admitedly, there's plenty of unintentional comedy brought about by its misjudged tone to its dark subject matter. The film’s only real appeal is to view it as the train wreck that it is, or the for desperate fans craving another giallo fix,. Historially, Assault is another title charting the popularity of psychosexual killer themed films from this era, but there are far better films out there in this vein.
Spartan says: Assault features the same girls school that Barbara Windsor and her friends were students of in Carry on Camping (1969). This somewhat taints the classic comedy since Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw now look like a pair of predatory nonces now. Gutted.
Overall, Revenge was the best film produced by Peter Rogers during his 1971 - 1972 stint with serious cinema. It's also the one film in the bunch I wouldn't have minded coppin' on physical media. Credit should also go out to its director Sidney Hayers, and its composer Eric Rogers, for not repeating all of Assault's failures in the space of a just a few months.

All the films have working YouTube links (at the time of posting) in their respective titles.