Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 115521 times)

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #540 on: June 06, 2015, 02:53:39 PM »
Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live Die Repeat) (5-051892-163484)
United States 2014 | Released 2014-10-13 on Bluray from Warner Home Video
113 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.40:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong

An alien race, undefeatable by any existing military unit, has launched a relentless attack on Earth, and Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) finds himself dropped into a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage is thrown into a time loop, forced to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again. Training alongside warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), his skills slowly evolve, and each battle moves them one step closer to defeating the enemy in this fun action thriller.

My thoughts about Edge of Tomorrow (aka Live Die Repeat):
Tom Clancy supposedly once said "The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense". I don't know if he actually said that, but I like it. And this is one of the points where Edge of Tomorrow fails. It doesn't make sense, especially not the ending.

The documentary reveals that the script wasn't written when production started. They made it up as they went along. I suspect that this is a major contributing factor to the sloppy ending. I'm sorely tempted to buy the book ("All You Need is Kill") that the story is based on, just to learn how it should have ended.

Also, time travel is a tricky subject for me. I find that it works best in comedy or full on fantasy. In a sci-fi movie that tries to emulate the feeling of WWII, albeit in the future, it feels a bit out of place.

Then, of course, there is the matter of the CGI effects.  Too many movies today suffer from "too-much-ities", and this one is no different. This just takes me out of the story. For me, less is more.

As for the actors I really liked Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farrell. And Tom Cruise is just Tom Cruise. Anyway, what could have been a great film was reduced to a rather mediocre experience by the script and the CGI.
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Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #541 on: June 12, 2015, 07:15:38 PM »
Dark Shadows (5-051895-206256)
United States 2012 | Released 2012-09-19 on Bluray from
112 minutes | Aspect ratio 1.85:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Turkish Dolby Digital Dolby Surround, Other Dolby Digital 5.1
Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley

Vampyren Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) ligger begravd i två hundra år tills han återuppstår 1972 i en helt förändrad värld. Han svär på att återställa sitt hem och släktnamn till forna glansdagars prakt, trots motansträngningar av hans före detta älskarinna – den förförande häxan Angelique (Eva Green) – i detta märkligt fantasifulla äventyr (Sam Hallenbeck, NBC-TV).

My thoughts about Dark Shadows:
After hearing the news of Christopher Lee's passing I thought it would be a good idea to see if I had anything unwatched with Mr. Lee. I had  - of course - no major roles of his in my unwatched pile, but I did have a couple of films where he had small roles, so I chose Dark Shadows. As it turned out, his contribution to this film is hardly more than a cameo, but even so he makes a great impression.

As for the rest of the film, I thought it was OK, but certainly not one of Tim Burton's best films. I am not familiar with the long running TV series that this film is based on, so I have no opinion as to how well it emulates the style of the show. The script didn't impress me all that much, and much of the cast seemed wasted in their roles.

I'm not a big Depp fan, and I'm not quite sure how to evaluate his performance. I do like Michelle Pfeiffer, but I felt she was underused. And it felt like Victoria (Bella Heathcote) got lost in the script.

Still, the film had its moments, so it wasn't a total waste of time.
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Offline DSig

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #542 on: June 13, 2015, 03:27:36 AM »
Gsryn .. although our tastes normally seem to be similar (probably a wiser more knowing age thing :) ) I think this one you have under rated (though by just 1/2 star :) ).
I first saw this in the theater 1st day and wasn't that impressed .. like you i thought .. ok not a waste but not their best work.  But I have watched 2-3 times since then an it has grown on me.  I really like the visuals and enjoy the characters very much.  They are (in a small way) caricatures of those form the TV series.
I have to admit I really like Johnny Depp in most of the things he has done.  And his role in Benny & Joon really sealed it for me.  I find him to be pretty wide range in his capabilities and in this one was just good fun.
Like you I don't think this is their best work but for me almost a 4 .. so at least a 31/2.  Wait a bit and watch it again .. it might grow on you.
Thank you
David

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #543 on: June 13, 2015, 02:04:18 PM »
although our tastes normally seem to be similar (probably a wiser more knowing age thing :) ) I think this one you have under rated (though by just 1/2 star :) ).
Perhaps. Or maybe you and I aren't prefect clones after all  ;)
We'll see. I'm not planning to revisit it any time soon, though.

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #544 on: June 13, 2015, 02:06:47 PM »
Big Hero 6 (8-717418-451097)
United States 2014 | Released 2015-05-25 on Bluray from Buena Vista Home Entertainment
108 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.40:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Portuguese DTS 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, Catalonian DTS 5.1
Directed by Don Hall, Chris Williams and starring Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung

With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is an action-packed comedy adventure that introduces Baymax, a lovable personal companion robot, who forms a special bond with robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to Baymax and his diverse group of friends — adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred — who transform into a band of unlikely heroes. Bring home Disney's Big Hero 6, featuring comic-book-style action and hilarious, unforgettable characters — it's fun for the whole family!

My thoughts about Big Hero 6:
When I saw the trailer for Big Hero 6 I thought it looked like a fun film, like a Disney-Pixar movie. I was dismayed when I realized it was more a Disney-Marvel movie. I usually don't respond well to Marvel superhero movies or TV shows, Daredevil being the exception, and as it turns out I didn't much like this one either. For one thing, the story was way too predictable. Baymax was fun, but that couldn't save the movie for me.

A lot of people loved this movie. Good for them. I'm not going to knock the movie, but I'll just say that it wasn't my cup of tea.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #545 on: June 13, 2015, 06:43:07 PM »
The Land Unknown (4-041036-370213)
United States 1957 | Released 2014-08-15 on Bluray from Anolis Entertainment, Hollywood Classics, Universal Studios International
78 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.35:1 | Audio: German DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Directed by Virgil Vogel and starring Jock Mahoney, Shawn Smith, William Reynolds, Henry Brandon, Douglas R. Kennedy

Eine Hubschrauber-Expedition zur Antarktis endet nach einem Zusammenstoß mit einer unbekannten Kreatur mit der Notlandung. Doch entgegen einer Eiswüste finden die Forscher  einen tropischen Dschungel. Hier  wimmelt es von urzeitlichen Monstern, darunter  ein  ausgewachsener Tyrannosaurus Rex. Doch neben den Dinosauriern macht die Hubschrauberbesatzung auch die Bekanntschaft eines Forschers, der seit zehn Jahren als verschollen gilt. Die lange Zeit im Urwald hat den Mann zu einem mental instabilen Eremiten gemacht, dessen Verhalten zu weiteren unvorhersehbaren Problemen führt. Kann die Gruppe dieser gefährlichen Welt je wieder entkommen?

Mit FLUG ZUR HÖLLE schuf die Firma Universal einen weiteren klassischen  Monsterfilm, der tricktechnisch eine  Herausforderung  darstellte. Erstmals schuf die Effektabteilung des Studios aufwendige animatronische Monster ein, um den Kinozuschauern das Fürchten zu lehren.

My thoughts about The Land Unknown:
I love fifties sci-fi and horror movies. Even when they are bad they are entertaining. The Land Unknown isn't really bad. It has it's weaknesses and its strength. You know it's far from perfect when the lizards are scarier looking than the dinosaurs. The T-Rex is just embarrassing. I can overlook that, but only just. Some of the special effects look quite good, though.

The story is essentially fine. It's kind of The Land that Time Forgot, but at the other pole. Is it sexist? Yeah, by today's standard, but you can't measure a 50+ year old movie with today's yardstick. The German blu-ray release looks fantastic. I enjoyed this very much, but of course Jurassic World it is not.
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Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #546 on: June 19, 2015, 04:31:05 PM »
The Unliving (802993-217508)
United States 2004 | Released 2015-01-27 on DVD from Retromedia, Bayview Entertainment
96 minutes | Aspect ratio Anamorphic 1.66:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Fred Olen Ray and starring Paul Naschy, Jay Richardson, Michelle Bauer, Stephanie Bentley, Stephanie Bentley

The last of the great horror legends, PAUL NASCHY, revives his most famous monster creation, the doomed werewolf, Count Waldemar Daninsky, in this blood-soaked Gothic nightmare.

For the first time ever, Naschy brings his classic werewolf character to life in America as he ioins Scream Queen, MICHELLE BAUER and Late Night Cinemax favorite, BEVERLY LYNNE in director Fred Olen Ray's tribute to the great Spanish horror films of the l970s.

The story begins as a TV crew makes its way to Castle Daninsky in search of a story. The Castle is rumored to possess a secret treasure hidden within its walls, but ultimately death is all they find as the eternal Countess Elizabeth Bathory seeks to sacrifice them in order to please the Lord of Darkness, bathe in their blood and revive Daninsky from his tomb.

My thoughts about The Unliving:
This movie doesn't get a lot of love, and I think I know why. People are expecting a Paul Naschy movie, but they are getting a Fred Olen Ray movie. Fred's movie are, to a large extent, an acquired taste. And this isn't even a very good Fred Olen Ray movie.

I don't know how this movie came about, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something like this:
- Hey, Paul Naschy is coming to L.A. Let's see if we can get him for a couple of days to do a werewolf movie!
- We're not going to get enough scenes for a full movie in a couple of days. You're not Roger Corman, Fred!
- I know, but we can pad it out with something. Tits and ass, and some soft-core sex always sells!

This was originally released as Tomb of the Werewolf, but the DVD that I got is the uncensored, uncut version, known as The Unliving. I suspect that the bits that were previously cut were some sex scenes rather than some horror scenes, so if you've seen the old version and was hoping for more gore, you're probably going to be disappointed.

If you're a fan of Paul Naschy it's fun to see his last attempt to play Waldemar Daninsky. If you like T&A, there are some nice looking women here, but you'll have to overlook the werewolf bits. If you're a fan of Fred Olen Ray, you might find the mix of the two genres amusing, but you would still realize that it doesn't really work.

I fall into the latter category, so if you don't, you might want to take my 2 1/2 star rating with a grain of salt.
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Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #547 on: June 22, 2015, 12:25:58 PM »
The Carnosaur Quadrilogy

The Carnosaur Quadrilogy? Wasn't there just three Carnosaur movies? Well, yes and no. I'm actually counting Raptor as a fourth installment. It contains massive amounts of stock footage from the three Carnosaur movies. In fact, pretty much all of the dinosaur footage is lifted from these movies.

I re-watched all four of these movies. Why? Because I'm a sucker for punishment. Actually, I read some comments about Raptor, and I just got a hankering to see all these movies again, just to see how much of the footage in Raptor I could recognize from the Carnosaur movies. And it was a lot.

Although all of these movies are pretty silly, there are two things that annoyed me more than anything else in the first one. First of all, the dinosaur puppets just don't work. They just look silly. The closeups may look good in some shots, but the shots of the full puppets don't work at all. Secondly, there is that damned disco light "laser" containment.

Diane Ladd certainly is not a bad actress. With three Academy nominations for best supporting actress in her baggage, how did she end up in this movie? And her daughter (Laura Dern) appeared in Jurassic Park the same year!  Raphael Sbarge is also talented, but I bet he doesn't list this role on top of his CV.

I actually liked Carnosaur 2 a bit better than the first one. By this time they had fixed some of the problems with the dino puppets, so they moved a bit more natural. Again we have some capable actors. The top billed John Savage is usually very good. Another familiar face is Cliff De Young. We also get Don Stroud, but he is underused and his character gets killed of rather too soon. The script steals a lot from Aliens. Or - if you interpret it kindly - pays homage to Aliens.

Unfortunately Carnosaur 3: Primal Species is as bad as the first one. The acting is worse - only B-movie actors. Here the dinos end up in a ship out at sea. Nothing noteworthy at all about this one. Except possibly the life preservers, but I'll come back to them.

Now, for Raptor producer Roger Corman turned to director Jim Wynorski. Corman figured that he had three dinosaur movies and he could reuse action footage from these to make a new movie, and what director was best known for doing that? Jim Wynorski, that's who. So with some new footage starring Eric Roberts and Corbin Bernsen, all this footage is cut together seemlessly, right? Well, not quite. In fact you would have to be half asleep not to notice at least some of the glaring inconsistencies. Perhaps the most obvious one is the final battle between the T Rex and ... well, it switched between a big yellow forklift and a small Bobcat.

And then we have the matter of those life preservers. We get scenes lifted from Carnosaur 3 that takes place on a ship, and there are life preservers hanging on the walls. But Raptor takes place underground! Now, the ironic part is that the life preservers are misplaced even in Carnosaur 3. They're on the walls deep down inside the interior of the ship. You don't hang life preservers there! You wouldn't want to drag them all through the ship if something should happen. They should be on deck, near where they would be used.

As far as the acting goes, let's just say that when Corbin Bernsen gets outacted by Eric Roberts, he's not having a good day.

To sum it up, these four movies are fine if you are either a dinosaur completist, or if you enjoy so-bad-that-they're-good movies. If you don't fall into one of these categories, stay away from them!

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #548 on: June 30, 2015, 10:12:22 PM »
Crocodile (089859-829826)
Thailand 1981 | Released 2002-08-27 on DVD from VCI Entertainment
92 minutes | Aspect ratio Non-anamorphic 1.66:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Sompote Sands and starring Nat Puvanai, Tany Tim, Angela Wells, Kirk Warren

Dr. Akom and Dr. Roger are planning a family vacation at the beach, but their trip turns to tragedy when three people from their family turn up missing. After the bodies are discovered, the doctors examine the remains of their family members and determine a giant crocodile has ripped through their bodies. They set out to destroy the crocodile at all costs. Dr. Akom hires an expert to kill the beast but it is too large to be hunted and trapped. Soon the giant, ravenous crocodile devours dozens of the local people and after a long search they find the monstrous beast and do everything to blow it to bits.

My thoughts about Crocodile:
Ineptitude, thy name is "Crocodile".

I guess I have to check this down to morbid curiosity. I like movies with big animal monsters, but I had heard that this one was especially incompetent. And oh boy, is it ever. Among my 6000+ DVD titles it is easily the most inept piece of filmmaking I have seen. And I own such groaners as "Frankenstein Island". But this one tops them all. Everything is just awful; script, direction, cinematography, editing, music, "special" effects. You name it, it's crappy.

And to add insult to injury, the DVD that VCI put out some 13 years ago is cropped from 2.35 to 1.78 and non-anamorphic. In fact, I would guess that it's a 4:3 p&s version that has then been further cropped vertically to make it 1.78. The composition looks so awkward that it's either that or the cinematographer was criminally incompetent.

The best thing I can say about this move is that they spelled "The End" correctly. I just wish it had come a lot sooner. So heed my warning: Unless you suffer from a bad case of masochism, stay away from this one!
I rate this title
(Well, actually that ought to be half a star, but that's not in Profiler's vocabulary, so to speak)

Offline Achim

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #549 on: July 01, 2015, 06:16:13 AM »
(Well, actually that ought to be half a star, but that's not in Profiler's vocabulary, so to speak)



 ;D

You "simple put "0.5" (without the quotes, of course) between the tags.

EDIT:
On second thought, I understand your comment now. It's about DVD Profiler, where your template takes the movie's data from... You just didn't take the time to change the rating here on the site. :bag:
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 06:32:35 AM by Achim »

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #550 on: July 01, 2015, 06:43:39 PM »
You "simple put "0.5" (without the quotes, of course) between the tags.
Thanks! I'll keep it in mind the next time I need to rate anything 1/2 star, which I hope will be never.

Offline Achim

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #551 on: July 02, 2015, 06:09:31 AM »
Thanks! I'll keep it in mind the next time I need to rate anything 1/2 star, which I hope will be never.
I hope so too... It's already amazing that you saw a ½* movie and still found the energy to write about it :laugh:

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #552 on: July 02, 2015, 01:44:15 PM »
It's already amazing that you saw a ½* movie and still found the energy to write about it :laugh:
Well, I love old B-movies. Many of them have a certain charm in their simplicity. And I know that many others share that enthusiasm. Maybe not so many here, but certainly on Letterboxd where I also post my reviews. So when something comes my way that is so awful that it's way beneath "so bad that it's good", I feel that I should warn others.

On Letterboxd, Fred Anderson claimed that the original version (which differs significantly from the US edit) is "quite good". I find that hard to believe. If I had understood Thai I might have been tempted to try to seek it out, but since I don't, and as there is no English-friendly version, I guess I'll never know. But I think I can survive that.  8)

Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #553 on: July 05, 2015, 12:19:42 PM »
Interstellar (5-051895-390726)
United States 2014 | Released 2015-03-30 on Bluray from Paramount Home Entertainment, Warner Bros Pictures
169 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.40:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 5.1, German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Ellen Burstyn, Matthew McConaughey, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Timothée Chalamet

From director Christopher Nolan comes the story of a team of pioneers undertaking the most important mission in human history. Oscar® winner* Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, who leads an expedition beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. Oscar® winner** Anne Hathaway and Oscar® nominee† Jessica Chastain also star.

My thoughts about Interstellar:
There is something to be said for reading up on movies before you watch them. Usually I don't. I don't want to go into a movie with my expectations too high. But then again, not knowing anything may still set your expectations too high.

In the case of Interstellar, I wish I had read more about it. If I had, then I wouldn't have bothered to watch it at all. I would have realized that it was not my cup of tea. That's not to say that it's a bad movie. I have no respect for people who dismiss a movie that millions of people love as crap. You should acknowledge that people have different tastes.

I belong to the small minority that didn't like 2001 at all. So I should have realized that I wouldn't like Interstellar either. It looked darn impressive, and I liked some of the performances. Surprisingly, I didn't much care for Anne Hathaway. I've liked her before, but not here. Don't quite know why.

So if by chance you haven't seen it yet, and you wonder what to trust, my two stars or IMDb's 8.7 score, I say ... Trust no one!
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Offline GSyren

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Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #554 on: July 07, 2015, 07:11:57 PM »
Voodoo Woman (5-025539-960583)
United States 1943 | Released 2001-09-03 on DVD from Orbit Media
67 minutes | Aspect ratio Non-anamorphic 1.37:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono
Directed by Edward L. Cahn and starring Marla English, Tom Conway, Touch Connors, Lance Fuller, Mary Ellen Kay

Tom Conway plays the mad scientist determined to create the perfect human being. Using a combination of science and black voodoo he creates a new species - a cross between man and beast. When his creations will not kill upon his telepathic command he meets the murderous English and turns her into his kiler monster.

My thoughts about Voodoo Woman:
I knew Voodoo Woman was a crappy movie, so why would I subject myself to it?

Well, for me there are two main reasons to watch crappy fifties B-movies. Some of them have a naive charm that I find endearing. Some people might call it "so bad that it's good". I don't quite buy that. For me it's more "bad but yet it's good". It's not the badness in itself that makes it good. I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

Then there is the other reason I may watch a movie like that. It's because it has something special that interests me. In the case of Voodoo Woman it was the monster suit. I knew that they used Paul Blaisdell's She Creature suit, slightly modified, mainly with a different head. I saw pictures of it in Famous Monsters back in the sixties, being compared to how it looked in The She Creature.

It might be a bit of an overstatement to say that I'm a fan of Paul Blaisdell, but I do admire how he managed to create monsters on a budget that one wouldn't even call "shoestring". Some of them look rather crappy, but that was not always Blaisdell's fault. "Beaulah", the monster in It Conquered the World was originally flat topped, but deemed to short, so it was redesigned with that pointy head. It was also only supposed to be shown inside the dimly lit cave, but ultimately shot outside in full daylight.

The design for The She Creature wasn't bad at all. Unfortunately the film wasn't very good, though. When it was modified for Voodoo Woman the design didn't make much sense, and the head looked terrible. And when the woman changed into the monster, her clothes changed as well. Oh, well, logic was never the strong suit in these films.

Anyway, I blame Forry Ackerman for my interest in this title. In fact, I blame him for my interest in 50's genre B-movies in general. No, on second thought I shouldn't say that I blame him. I credit him. He piqued my interest, and I've had a lot of fun watching these movies over the years. It would be a gross exaggeration to say that Voodoo Woman is a good movie. It isn't. But I have to say that I find it easier to watch than movies with choppy fast cutting like for example Quantum of Solace.
I rate this title