Recent Reviews

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Blu-ray)
The film opens with a gaggle of teenaged girls excitedly leaving their school behind for the afternoon. Still clutching their books, they're all smiles as they set out on mopeds and bicycles with their boyfriends, traversing this lovely stretch of Rome to a tune that I can't help but bob my head to. As this montage ends, so too does the joyous childhood innocence it portrays, replaced by a pair of legs in a dingy attic. A handful of police officers, led by Inspector Valenti (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage's Mario Adorf), break open the locked door to discover the corpse of this 14-year-old girl dangling from the rafters. What few effects surround her – schoolbooks, notebooks, a cardigan, a blouse, blue jeans, white nylon panties – offer little indication what could bring someone so young to take her own life.

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She didn't, as quickly becomes evident. Silvia Polvesi (Cheryl Lee Buchanan) – a child born of wealth and privilege, and, astonishingly, soon to have been a mother herself – was murdered. As Assistant D.A. Stori (Giovanna Ralli) and Inspector Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) continue the investigation, they're lead down a trail of grisly murders and sexual exploitation. They're circling around secrets that cannot risk being exposed, and a masked killer with a meat cleaver is hellbent on ensuring that this investigation is cut short.

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What Have You Done to Solange?, the previous installment in Massimo Dallamano's 'Schoolgirls in Peril' trilogy, revolved around an amateur sleuth conducting his own investigation and steamrolling over the authorities at most every turn. What Have They Done to Your Daughters? dispenses with that familiar giallo trope altogether, instead placing an assistant district...[read the entire Blu-ray review of What Have They Done to Your Daughters?]

A Strange Adventure (Blu-ray)
Harold (Ben Cooper) follows Lynn (Marla English) around his mom's motel like a doe-eyed puppy. Who can blame the kid? This nightclub singer is a dead ringer for Liz Taylor, after all. She's also the honeypot for a gang of thieves, and Harold's teenage crush quickly lands him in the middle of an armored car heist. Al (Jan Merlin) has all the angles worked out, leaving the cops a trail of breadcrumbs pointing to a former partner who just busted out of the clink. Anyone who knows enough to testify otherwise is shot dead.

The scheme might've gone off without a hitch if he and Phil (Nick Adams) hadn't forced a teenage boy at gunpoint to be their getaway driver. A worried mother calls the cops thinking that her underage kid was trying to elope with Lynn, and Harold's souped-up Mercury is a one-of-a-kind that anyone who knows the guy could spot a mile away. The noose tightens. The body count rises. A frantic detour unexpectedly leads them to the perfect place to lay low.

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Terry (Joan Evans) tries to give them a friendly warning in time. Once the first flakes of snow touch down, these roads will be completely impassable for five full months. Of course, if you've just gunned down a cop and made off with the modern equivalent of a million dollars, being snowbound in the mountains till Spring allows for plenty of time for the heat to cool down. Terry's older brother Luther (Peter Miller) lives up here in the mountains with her, and they have plenty of food and supplies to make it through the winter, even with four uninvited guests in tow. Three seasoned criminals. Three hostages. No chance of escape.

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It's not altogether surprising that A Strange Adventure has languished in obscurity for so many decades. It's an instantly...[read the entire Blu-ray review of A Strange Adventure]

Piranha II: The Spawning (Blu-ray)
Just when you thought it was safe to stay out of the water again.

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What, Leatherface is giving you nightmares? Don't mess with Texas, and you'll be safely out of harm's way. Pinhead? Put down the puzzle box. Jason Voorhees? C'mon, if you're reading a Blu-ray review in 2018, you've long since aged out of his crosshairs. Great whites are only a thing in saltwater, so if Jaws left you trembling with terror, just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to. How do you escape carnivorous fish with wings, though? You can't. The original Piranha transplanted a swarming, flesh-eating menace from the Amazon to small-town America. Piranha II: The Spawning takes them out of the water altogether.

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I mean, it all comes down to the usual Army/Navy rivalry. A decade and change earlier, the Army had engineered mutant piranha in the hopes of devouring the Vietcong. The Navy rolled its eyes and gave the fuckers wings, thus creating the ultimate killing machine. And, y'know, The Navy, so of course these piranha aren't going to be limited to freshwater when they decide to go for a swim. It's just that the naval supply ship carrying several cannisters of those eggs crashed off the shore of some nameless Caribbean island. And – audible gulp – this tropical island is home to the luxurious Club Elysium, whose guests include one amateur diver after another who just can't resist the siren song of that wreckage.

Dive instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) warns her boss that something is devouring the tourists and that all water events need to be cancelled tout de suite until they figure out what's going on. The guy practically snorts in her face. Her dive classes are booked solid for days, and the big grunion run fish fry on...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Piranha II: The Spawning]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 8/14: Avengers: Infinity War (Steelbook) (Uhd)
  • 8/11: The Changeling (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/11: Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops (Hdtv)
  • 8/10: Under Capricorn (Blu-ray)
  • 8/9: Metric: Dreams So Real (Blu-ray)
  • 8/8: Justice League (Uhd)
  • 8/6: A Case of You (Hdtv)
  • 8/5: Wonder Woman (2017) (Uhd)
  • 8/4: Suicide Squad (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD) (Uhd)
  • 8/4: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (4K Ultra HD) (Uhd)
  • 8/3: What If? (Hdtv)
  • 8/2: Forces of Nature (Hdtv)
  • 8/2: Extinction (Hdtv)
  • 7/31: What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 7/30: What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 8/12: DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: Supergirl: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: The Flash: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/9: Metric: Dreams So Real (Blu-ray)
  • 8/8: Under Capricorn (Blu-ray)
  • 8/8: Doctor Who: Complete Series 9 (Blu-ray)
  • 8/7: Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (Uhd)
  • 8/6: Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Season 3 (Blu-ray)
  • 8/1: Deadpool 2 (Uhd)
  • 8/1: The Changeling (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/1: Avengers: Infinity War (Steelbook) (Uhd)
  • 7/25: A Matter of Life and Death (Blu-ray)
  • 7/16: Man of Steel (Uhd)
  • 7/16: Leon The Professional (Uhd)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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