LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story - Blu-ray review
By James W, Saturday 15th September 2018
Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story 88 Films Certificate 18
Known around the world under several different titles such as White Slave, Cannibal Holocaust II, Blonde Captive and Forest Slave, Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story was one of the last hurrahs of the Italian Cannibal movie genre. Like most gut-munchers it claims to be based on fact, but the real fact here is that its more melodrama then splatter movie. This isn't a bad thing at all.
Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story tells the story of a western blonde (Elvire Audrey) who is captured, stripped and tormented by a group of jungle head-hunters. Can she escape from this tribe or will she learn more about life than she could ever have imagined?
Though the main titles contain a lush, European-style theme which gives way to a courtroom sequence and backstory where we witness a couple being ambushed by very unpleasant Amazonian head-hunters and then decapitated. Their daughter is taken captive and has to think quickly if she is to escape this nightmare. The film then settles into a story of survival, love, and revenge rather than just endless pieces of half-eaten entrails and exposed guts being passed around the local cannibal camp.
Though she is dubbed, Elvire Audray does give a haunting performance even when half naked, which she is most of the time. Dick Campbell finally gets to be the hard-chinned hero he always wanted to play with the bonus that he dubbed his own voice for once. Mario Gariazzo, directing under the name of Roy Garret, allows a lot of the bold images do the talking rather than punctuating it with needless or inane dialogue. It is gory and is violent but not to the extreme limits of other cannibal movies.
The image is sharp, and colourful with plenty of detail during the jungle sequences. It shows some grain in places but that will due to the stock it was shot on. The mono soundtracks are also nice and clear but the Italian one is the one to use as the dubbing on the English track is a tad dodgy in places.
As this is an 88 Films Italian series release you can be sure that it comes with some very worthy extras including the superb documentary, The Last Supper: The Final Days of the Italian Cannibal Film This follow-up to the award winning Eaten Alive! The Rise And Fall of the Italian Cannibal Film includes interviews with actor Michael Sopkiw (Massacre In Dinosaur Valley), directors Ed Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project) and Ruggero Deodato (Cut and Run), academics Mikel Koven and Calum Waddell and author and critic John Martin. There's also an interview with Cameraman Federico Del Zoppo, a collector's booklet on the life and times of Amazonia actress Elvire Audray and the original theatrical trailer.
Though not in the same grimy league of the grindhouse cannibal efforts that had been released before, Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story is a solid movie that tried to take the genre in a different, more audience friendly (meaning there's no animal cruelty) direction and is all the better for it.
Related show tags: 4 STARS MORE REVIEWS Halloween (2018) Original Soundtrack review
Posted on Thursday 18th October 2018
For most horror fans out there 2018 has been a golden year with the genre regularly topping box-offices around the globe. But, as they say, the best is usually last and this year it's a real biggie, Halloween is back, and this time John Carpenter is attached to the project. Not only is he one of the Executive Producers but he's also composed the score alongside his son Cody and Daniel A. Davies.
Let's get things straight, I love the Halloween series of movies (yes, even the sequels) and having Carpenter connected in such a way is pure horror fan bliss and I didn't want my admiration for both to cloud my judgement but this is a classy score packed with invention, new interpretations of a class...SHARE: READ MORE Frightmare - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 27th September 2018
Another lost shocker from the early 80s gets a tasty release from 88 Films and this one from 1983 is pretty obscure. Frightmare (or The Horror Star as its known on this print) is one of the movies that is really of its time. Shot at the height of home video fever the film, when viewed now is tame with an incredibly camp turn from Ferdy Mayne as the Vincent Price/Christopher Lee wannabe actor Conrad Razkoff.
This slasher tells of a celebration for a late, great horror star... only the actor in question might not be entirely dead and soon the participants at his supposed party are being picked off one by ...SHARE: READ MORE Death Line - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 23rd September 2018
The 1970s, a time of wood-chip wallpaper, the faded dreams of flower power and industrial change. Britain was experiencing three-day weeks, power shortages and general misery. Cinema reflected this depressing time and none more so than Death Line. This gritty, grimy, gory piece is rightly regarded as a classic and Network have given it a transfer that gives it a new lease of life.
When a philandering politician goes missing on the London Underground, the subsequent police investigation uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden since the 1800s. Who - or what - is turning the Underground tunnels into a Death Line..? Re...SHARE: READ MORE Bad Dreams - Blu-ray review
Posted on Monday 13th August 2018
When A Nightmare on Elm Street re-introduced the world to the power of supernatural shockers the whole movie industry seemed to want to be in on the act. Who could forget Shocker, Child's Play and let's face it the Friday the 13th series near its end. Within this slew of movies, one really did stand out, 20th Century Fox delivered Bad Dreams.
A young girl, Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin) the only survivor of a cult's mass suicide awakens in a psychiatric hospital after spending thirteen years in a coma. She's convinced the leader of the cult, Harris (Richard Lynch) still wants her dead and is appearing all a...SHARE: READ MORE Cannibal Ferox - Blu-ray review
Posted on Wednesday 11th July 2018
Another month another cannibal classic from Shameless, this time its Umberto Lenzi's intestinal-churning gut-muncher, Cannibal Ferox. Often used as a test for one's ability to stomach some of the hardest scenes filmed on celluloid, this brutal movie from 1981 has troubled censors constantly. Now available on Blu-ray in its fullest form ever in the UK, thankfully most of the scenes of animal cruelty have been removed.
An academic, Gloria (Lorraine De Selle), journeys to the Amazon jungle where things go awry when her party encounters sadistic druggy villain Mike (Giovanni Lombardo Radice aka John Morghen), as ...SHARE: READ MORE The Boneyard - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 21st June 2018
I pride myself in owning a large library of horror movies, whether it be on tape, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray and now 4K editions but for some reason The Boneyard has escaped being a member of my collection. Now this has finally been put right thanks to 88 Films who have given this under the radar schlocker the Blu-ray treatment.
The plot is straight forward as a cop, a psychic and two coroners try and halt a possible "zombie children" outbreak in a mortuary. But this is just the start of their problems.
Way, way, way over-the-top in style and substance, The Boneyard is a joyous and go...SHARE: READ MORE Attack of the Adult Babies - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 10th June 2018
Attack of the Adult Babies
Dom Brunt's bizarre and genre breaking Attack of the Adult Babies delivered one of the most inventive and gross-out pieces at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. No one could have guessed what this movie was going to be about and let's just say it split the audience right down the middle. It's a stomach punch of satire, horror and surreal comedy that takes time to sink in so this Blu-ray edition is the perfect opportunity to watch the film several times, so you can "get" what the message is and that all the weird stuff going on means something in the end!
...SHARE: READ MORE Offerings - Blu-ray review
Posted on Tuesday 5th June 2018
Another slasher gem from the end of the VHS video boom get the 2K restoration treatment thanks to 88 Films. Offerings was originally released way back in 1989 and was the first movie from writer/director Christopher Reynolds.
The plot concerns a young mute boy, John who is kept at home by his abusive mother who likes to remind of his hobby, that of mutilating pets. Luckily for John he has a friend, Gretchen who has taken him under her wing. Unfortunately, the local bullies like to poke fun at him and after a bout of teasing from them he ends up at the bottom of a well. Forward 10 years and these bullies are no...SHARE: READ MORE Alice, Sweet Alice - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 3rd June 2018
Alice, Sweet Alice
A superior slice of 70s grindhouse has been given the 2K restoration treatment from 88 Films. Also known as Holy Terror (as it is on this transfer) Alice, Sweet Alice was released in 1976 and was the first movie for Brooke Shields. It was re-released a few years later and re-titled as Communion to cash in on her fame.When ten-year-old Karen (Shields) is killed in church on the occasion of her first communion, her seemingly innocent older sister Alice (Paula Sheppard) becomes the prime suspect. Matters become complicated as more of Alice#s family members are attacked, along with residents of ... SHARE: READ MORE The Mountain of the Cannibal God - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 3rd June 2018
The Mountain of the Cannibal God
A true "nasty" from the golden era of moral panic, Sergio Martino's The Mountain of the Cannibal God (La montagna del dio cannibal) was caught up in the furore mainly due to its graphic violence, questionable sex scenes and animal cruelty. Now, thanks to Shameless we can view this Italian gut-muncher in a smart UK Blu-ray debut with a 2K transfer without the unnecessary, out of context and meaningless animal cruelty sequences, well apart from what happens to a pig, more on this later!
Ursula Andress is Susan, traveling to the New Guinea jungle in search of her scientis...SHARE: READ MORE Gifted - Blu-ray review
Posted on Thursday 24th May 2018
Thanks to 88 Films, my experience of Asian cinema has been wildly and widely expanded and Gifted, their latest title is one of their best as it's a true punch to the head and guts piece that is shocking as it is powerful.
In this tense thriller, Min-soo, one of life's losers is laid off from his job whilst his fiance's life is on the up. His brother-in-law to be helps him land a freelance gig, that of stealing cars but though it involves nothing in the way of pay it allows for plenty of murderous pleasure! Will he feel any guilt, or will his murderous ways go undetected by his family?
Written and directed by Jai-hong Juhn, Gifted (also kn...SHARE: READ MORE Grizzly - Blu-ray review
Posted on Sunday 22nd April 2018
The "nature-runs-amok" genre is littered with plenty of forgettable pieces but there are a few gems such as Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972) and Dogs (1976) but apart from Orca: Killer Whale (1977), Grizzly is the one that gets closest to being the most realistic, if you take it with a very large pinch of salt and swap the jaws for paws!
Starring Christopher George and directed by the exploitation master William Girdler, Grizzly traces the bloody rampage of the titular animal who is chomping, tearing and terrorising innocent campers and showcasing a case of insatiable hunger.
This movie is a lot of fun, completely old-school in its se...SHARE: READ MORE Reviews Archive: 2018 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 PICK OF THE WEEK
Wednesday 24th October
Monday 29th October
Saturday 27th October