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ARMOUR OF GOD II: OPERATION CONDOR, WITCHCRAFT (aka LA CASA 4) & BEYOND DARKNESS (aka LA CASA 5) Available Now on Blu-ray from 88 Films

ARMOUR OF GOD II: OPERATION CONDOR, WITCHCRAFT (aka LA CASA 4) & BEYOND DARKNESS (aka LA CASA 5) Available Now on Blu-ray from 88 Films

The Asian Hawk is back! Undeterred by nearly dying while making the first Armour of God, Jackie Chan returned to battle for a sequel that’s bigger, better and even more daring. Witchcraft is a carnage fuelled splatter fest, and what lurks Beyond Darkness?

“On his most dangerous mission ever, the world’s toughest secret agent isn’t going in alone.”

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Rabid (2019, Canada) Review

Rabid (2019, Canada) Review

Sylvia and Jen Soska, known as The Soska Sisters, have made quite a name for themselves directing, writing and acting in some of most visceral, brutal horror films of the last ten years. Their breakout film, 2009’s Dead Hooker in a Trunk, attracted more attention for its controversial name than the movie itself. However, it established the style and mystique the Soska name would bring to independent film. I have to give Sylvia and Jen props for taking on the re-imagining of one of Canada’s greatest director’s best films.

“You’ve just had reconstructive surgery… You can’t take your bandages off just yet!”

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ActionDramaExploitationFilmReviews

Women of Mafia 2 (aka Mafia Women 2) (2019, Poland) Review

Women of Mafia 2 (aka Mafia Women 2) (2019, Poland) Review

Fans of writer-director Patryk Vega’s Mafia Women, rejoice! There’s a sequel to the film I called “unbelievably bad” in this very space, and it’s titled, appropriately, Women of Mafia 2 (or Mafia Women 2, depending on your Polish-to-English translation). You’ll be pleased to know that Women of Mafia 2 has quite a lot in common with the first film, including graphic violence, frontal nudity, and a script so nonsensical that the writing must have been outsourced to the proverbial primate with a typewriter, minus the infinite timeline.

“Starting today we have sex with whoever we want!”

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A Good Woman Is Hard to Find (2019, UK / Belgium) Review

A Good Woman Is Hard to Find (2019, UK / Belgium) Review

Sarah is doing it tough. Having lost her husband to an as-yet-unsolved murder only a few short months prior, she is stretched both financially and emotionally. She has two small children to give her strength and motivation as she privately grieves and tries to hold her family together. But A Good Woman Is Hard to Find opens with her covered in blood. She washes it off in the shower and then we reflect back on how she got there; and what an exhilarating tale it is. Directed by Abner Pastoll and written by Ronan Blaney, this Northern Irish production has much to admire.

“They’re my children… I’m their mother… and I love them.”

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Art of the Dead (2019, USA) Review

Art of the Dead (2019)

It’s rare that I’m left speechless or lost for words after a horror film but perhaps the only way to describe Art of the Dead is to say that it defies any definition! Brimming with influences that range from Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) to American Horror Story and Dario Argento, this offering from director Rolfe Kanevsky (who has a prolific output) is a visceral feast for the eyes. It’s fair to say that this is a horror based in spectacle, shock and sensory overload rather than it being a deep and searching exploration of fear. If this film were a painting itself, it could be described as schlocky, daring and off the hook.

“Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. What’s your sin?”

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Women of Mafia (aka Mafia Women) (2018, Poland) Review

Women of Mafia (aka Mafia Women) (2018, Poland) Review

While you don’t need to take a ball-peen hammer to the forehead to enjoy Patryk Vega’s film Mafia Women (aka Women of Mafia), it sure would help. The movie’s biggest failure is the unbelievably bad plot, which would be laughable if so much money hadn’t been spent trying to turn such a cinematic sow’s ear into the semblance of a silk purse. The only reason why certain characters survived the events of the film was because everyone around them made so many stupid, unintelligible decisions…

“Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, and you think women can’t make drugs?”

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The Beyond (1981, Italy) Shameless Blu-ray Review

The Beyond (1981, Italy) Shameless Blu-ray Review

Directed by the prolific master of the macarbre, Lucio Fulci, The Beyond is the second film in Fulci’s ‘Gates of Hell‘ trilogy; a series of horror films all connected by a unifying theme, and actress Catriona MacColl. In each of these films, one of seven gateways to hell is activated, bringing misery to those unfortunate to stumble upon the doors of death.

“The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places… And from the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth.”

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Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND on Special Edition Blu-ray (13 January) from Shameless Screen Entertainment

Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND on Special Edition Blu-ray (13 January) from Shameless Screen Entertainment

Shameless proudly presents Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (aka …E tu vivrai nel terrore! L’Aldila’) from a 2K-scanned and restored source; available 13 January 2020 on Blu-ray.

“The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places… And from the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth.”

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Red Christmas (2016, Australia) Review

Red Christmas (2016, Australia) Review

There’s an old joke that goes something like, “If God can do anything, can He create a rock so heavy that even He couldn’t lift it?” Adapted to the cinema, the question becomes, “Can you make a slasher flick so bad that even Dee Wallace couldn’t save it?”

Yes. Yes, you can. Red Christmas is that movie. There are such things as good slasher flicks. Maybe they’ve got some funny lines, some memorable kills, or a distinctly horrific antagonist. Unfortunately, Red Christmas has none of those things…

“This Christmas, the only thing under the tree is terror.”

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Botoks (aka Botoxx) (2017, Poland) Review

Botoks (aka Botoxx) (2017, Poland) Review

Botoks is unafraid to address controversial subjects like abortion, though it does so in a way that might charitably be described as clumsy. For example, an OB-GYN doctor manipulates the system to allow a woman to abort her 22-week-old baby, and the wriggling, mewling child, having survived the procedure, is placed on a metal tray in an empty room to die. This is considered Standard Operating Procedure, apparently. Later in the movie, when the doctor herself gets pregnant, she has a change of heart and refuses to perform any more abortions. She then gets fired by her amoral male boss.

“What the fuck is going on in this hospital?”

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Silent Night, Bloody Night (aka Night of the Dark Full Moon) (1972, USA) Review

Silent Night, Bloody Night (aka Night of the Dark Full Moon) (1972, USA) Review

Christmas time approaches, snow is falling and the once opulent and lively Butler House has now stood abandoned for many years following the mysterious death of its proprietor. Jeffrey Butler, grandson to the property’s namesake is in town to sell his inheritance but just why he has appeared after so long and what dark secrets lie within the Butler family history are a puzzle to the locals. An entertaining piece that often has a charm in its roughness, Silent Night, Bloody Night gives us some memorable kills complete with the help of that old favourite Kensington Gore.

“The mansion… the madness… the maniac… no escape.”

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The Crow (1994, USA) Review

The Crow (1994, USA) Review

Dark, poetic and a visual masterpiece.

The Crow is a movie that is very much dear to my heart. Released in 1994 on the back of some very serious hype (for all the wrong reasons) involving the death of star Brandon Lee, it was billed as a sort of adult version of Tim Burton’s Batman. I can clearly see why people would perceive this as it’s a very dark piece. Audiences hadn’t really seen many movies stylistically like Burton’s Batman, so it was easier to class them in the same vein. Even more so with both being comic book incarnations…

“It can’t rain all the time.”

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