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The Shallows

The Shallows

Columbia Pictures, Weimaraner Republic Pictures, Ombra Films, USA, 2016
AKA: Lost Vacation, In the Deep
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Cast: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Joseph Salas, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge, Pablo Calva, Diego Espejel, Janelle Bailey, Ava Dean, Chelsea Moody, Sully Seagull

Nancy is in Mexico looking for a beach. It’s a secret beach so nobody will tell You where it is and if You find it anyway, nobody will tell You it’s name. It’s a bit like Fight Club. Nancy isn’t a fighter, but a surfer, and so was her mom. It was her mom who told her of this beach in the first place. She spent time her when she was young, but she fell seriously ill and the doctors couldn’t save her. That’s why Nancy dropped out of med school and went surfing on her moms old secret beach.

She hitches a ride to the beach with Carlos in his pick-up. She tells him she’s alone cause her friend met some guy the night before and was too hung over to come with her. She basicly tells him she’s on her way to somewhere nobody in the world knows about all by her self. That should be a big no-no, but Carlos is the decent Mexican. (I’m convinced most Mexicans are decent, but in Hollywood movies statistics are to their disadvantage). Carlos is a good guy though, which is obvious when he decline payment for the ride. He says he was going the same way anyway since he lives not far away. Nancy calls her younger sister and tells her she’s on moms beach. She talks to her father who tries to convince her to come home to Texas and finish school. Then she goes surfing.

But before all this (really?), before the credits a young boy is playing on the beach when he finds a helmet with a GoPro mounted on it washed ashore. He plays the film and see two surfers getting attacked by a shark. The boy runs from the beach and passes a washed up broken surf board. It’s a clue to the chronology but we don’t know that yet since we still haven’t seen Nancy’s board. Therefore there is no way for us to know that the boy is decent Carlos’ son and he runs to get his dad and by doing so the beginning of the story becomes the end, or maybe the other way around. Sorry for spoiling the film, but if You have something better to do than watch a girl and a seagull sharing a rock, You can stop watching now.

The rest of us watch Nancy surf. Out there she encounters two other surfers. One of them has a helmet with a GoPro mounted on it. What is it with Mexican surfers and GoPro’s? (nudge, nudge.) They appear to be friendly and invite Nancy to join them, but she want’s to do her own thing. Anyway, they give her some advice and warnings of the undercurrents, corals that burn, and some rocks that isn’t visible at high tide but becomes little islets at low tide.

It’s getting late and the two others are leaving. Nancy says she’s gonna stay and catch another wave. She watches a bit suspicious as they pack their stuff in the car but they too, are decent Mexicans and they leave her backpack and her valuables where they are. Nancy discovers a dead whale and paddles over to take a closer look. This is a bad idea since the whale already has been claimed by a great white. Nancy tries to get away but is attacked by the shark and badly bit in a leg, but she gets lose and climbs on top of the whale carcass. The shark tries to get to her but eventually she makes it to one of the islets together with a seagull with a wounded wing. She has to patch up her leg somehow and figure out a way to get off the islet before high tide returns. The beach is only 200 yards away but the shark is going back and forth between her and the dead whale.

After spending the night with the seagull she wakes up and see a man on the beach. She calls for help, but unfortunately he is the bad Mexican she’s more or less has been expecting all the time. Instead of helping her or calling for help he steals her things at the beach. Then he sees her surfboard a couple of feet from the beach and get greedy. He thinks it’s a good idea to go get it. It wasn’t. Later in the morning the two surfers from yesterday turn up. When they see the wounded Nancy on the islet they jump in to come get her. She tries to warn them but one of them replies “There are no sharks here”. Well, he was wrong.

The plot is very simple, really. Nancy is on a sinking islet (or rather the water is rising), she’s wounded pretty bad, and the shark won’t let her leave. He can’t get to her now but when the water rises… When the film premiered there was a lot of hype and then most viewers seemed to get rather disappointed. There isn’t much of a story and there are several plot holes and weird happenings, but I don’t think it’s bad. It doesn’t really make sense to me why the shark just doesn’t eat the whale. There’s plenty of food there and yet he or she has to kill and eat every single person that gets into the water. The shark patrolling and stalking Nancy doesn’t make sense either. Most predators give up. They don’t stalk a certain person for days when there is alternative food served. The filmmakers try to explain this width a big hook stuck in the sharks jaws. Somebody has hurt him and now he hates humans, sort of. I don’t really buy that, but what ever. A rather weird goof is the buoy Nancy tries to hold on to. when two of the three chains that hold it in place breaks it falls over. WTF? Buoys don’t work that way. The chains aren’t there to keep it upright, but to stop it from drifting away. It’s like a boat. It doesn’t fall over when you pull the anchor up. (Well there was this famous Swedish boat once back in 1628, but apart from that…)

So, did I hate it? No. I think it was quite entertaining. In fact, I have to say it was the best shark movie I’ve seen in a while. Several reviewers have complained about bad CGI, but I don’t think that’s fair. If You compare The Shallows width all the SyFy/Asylum shark films the CGI is extremely good. The Shallows has also been called a Jaws rip off, and [spoiler] the way Nancy finally kills the shark [/spoiler] has been both laughed at and criticized. I think, if The Shallows is a Spielberg rip off we have to go deeper than Jaws. Four years before Jaws, Spielberg directed a film for TV called Duel. It’s about a business man who is getting stalked by a psychotic truckdriver in the Californian desert. This truckdriver, for reasons unexplained is out to kill the businessman with his truck. In the end the businessman uses the same tactics as Nancy does in The Shallows. Same, same, but a great white instead of a truck.

My verdict: 6 out of 10.

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Delinquent Girl: Alleycat in Heat

Nikkatsu, Japan, 1973
AKA: Furyô Shôjo: Noraneko No Seishun, Delinquent girl: Stray Cat in Heat
Director: Chûsei Sone
Writer: Norio Miyashita
Cast: Yûko Katagiri, Setsuko Ôyama, Eimei Esumi, Jôji Sawada, Hyôe Enoki, Hidetoshi Kageyama, Akira Takahashi, Michiko Komori

Hatoko is a farm girl from Osaka. She has a lover whom she meets for a “roll in the hay” on a regular basis. They decide to elope together to Tokyo. Hatoko lives with her single mother who is having an affair with the local pharmacist. He is flirting with Hatoko and trying to feel her up, and her mother doesn’t seem to care.

When Hatoki gets to the train station all dressed up and ready for the big city, her lover doesn’t show. She waits for a long time and then she tries to phone him, but he doesn’t answer. Eventually she has to board the train without him and go to Tokyo all by her self. At the station in Tokyo a man in a suit is watching her and when she leaves he follows her. When Hatoko is approached by another man he drags her away. He tells her the other man is dangerous, that she is to naive and goodhearted for her own good, but that he, Gomame, can take care of her. He takes her home and tries to rape her. He doesn’t have to as she likes him and agrees to have sex with him. While their at it two neighburs walks in and they have sex with her to when Gomame is done.

At night Gomame steals Hatokos money from her handbag. He’s a gambler betting on horses but he looses and he owes money to the yakuza. The yakuza tells him his debt is paid if they can have Hatoko. When home alone Hatoko peeps on the two neighbors having sex with girls and teaching them to strip and doing lesbian shows. When Gomame comes home he lies about trying to find a job. Hatoko offers to help and he gets her a jobb as a masseuse in a Turkish bath giving “happy endings”. Eventually Gomame gets impotent when thinking of her work and he agrees to sell her to the yakuza.

Hatoko is moved to the home of Gorô, a yakuza and a customer at the bath. He falls in love with her and asks the boss to give her to him, but the boss refuses. His decision is Hatoko will work as a whore for the yakuza.

This is a tragic story really, about a girl that is let down and used by everyone she trusts. However she doesn’t see it that way. When she runs into Gomame years later he apologies to her for selling her to the yakuza, but she says it’s OK. She’s doing fine and whatever has happened to her didn’t really matter.

My verdict: 4 out of 10.

Tilt

Tilt

Ball & Chain Productions, ReKon Productions, USA, 2017
AKA:
Director: Kasra Farahani
Writer: Kasra Farahani, Jason O’Leary
Cast: Christian Calloway, Elijah Collins, Joseph Cross, Jessy Hodges, Billy Khoury, Kyle Koromaldi, C.S. Lee, Brian Leng, Ron Marasco, Rya Meyers, Shelley Mitchell, Alexia Rasmussen, Jade Sealey, Kelvin Yu, Junes Zahdi, Michael Zakhar, Keir Gilchrist, Logan Miller

Jack Torrance is a writer with writersblock. He pretends to be working but starts to slip into madnes. Sorry wrong film, but not really. Joseph Burns did a documentary about flipper games called Tilt which had some success and ever since, he has been working on his new film. It’s not really going anywhere and in reality he is unemployed and on his way into a depression. His wife Joanna is pregnant but her work as a nurse is what keeps them floating.

Joanna tries to use her connections to get Joseph a job, but he’s not really interested. He doesn’t seem very interested in the expected baby either. When he doesn’t get anywhere with his film, he takes to roam the streets at night showing more and more psychotic signs. Obviously he is heading for disaster.

Tilt basicly is Shining except for the suroundings. Instead of an isolated Hotel we’re in the middle of the city. Joseph Cross even looks a bit like a young Jack Nicholson, but unfortunately Farahani is no Kubrik. Acting is fine and execution of the film is OK. The story is boring and predictable though.

My verdict: 3 out of 10.

The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration

Ninth Configuration, USA, 1980
AKA: Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane
Director: William Peter Blatty
Writer: William Peter Blatty
Cast: Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller, Ed Flanders, Neville Brand, George DiCenzo, Moses Gunn, Robert Loggia, Joe Spinell, Alejandro Rey, Tom Atkins, Steve Sandor, Richard Lynch, Gordon Mark, William Lucking, Stephen Powers, David Healy, William Paul, Tom Shaw, Gordon K. Kee, Bruce Boa, Linda Blatty, Hobby Gilman, Marilyn Raymon, Bobby Bass, Billy Blatty, William Peter Blatty, Tim Rossovich

“Towards the end of the war in Vietnam an unusually high percentage of american servicemen suddenly manifested symptoms of psychosis. Most of them was in combat and had no prior history of mental disturbance. These facts plus the epidemic scope of the problem and the controversial nature of the vietnam war led american authorities to wonder wether many if not most of the men, were faking. To probe the mystery, the government established a network of secret study centres and clinics. The last of these No. 18 was highly experimental in nature set up in an old abandoned castle in Pacific NorthWest in United States.”

Psychiatrist Colonel Kane of the United States Marine Corps arrive at the castle to take command. The place is chaotic with one inmate weirder than another. One of them is trying to stage classic plays by Shakespear but with dogs as actors. Problem is he only has one dog. Another one thinks he’s superman and wears his superman outfit most of the time. Upon arrival Kane is greeted by a doctor who turn out to be an inmate who has stolen the real doctors clothes.

Among the inmates is Billy Cutshaw. He was an astronaut but ruined a spacemission when he suddenly went mad and refused to enter the spaceship. When asked why later in the movie he admits he was scared and panicked. He never say why he got scared, but prior to the mission he was a guest at a party at actress Chris McNeil’s house when Chris’ 12 years old daughter Regan suddenly tells him “You’re gonna die up there” before urinating on the carpet. This of course happened in The Exorcist which preceded this film, but Regans statement was what scared Cutshaw to abort the spacemission.

At one point Cutshaw sais he suspect Kane of being crazy, since psychiatrists often go crazy and have the highest suicide rate of any profession. Kane has recuring nightmares about the war, and himself holding the decapitated head of a young boy in his hands. When asked about the nightmares he claims they belonged to his brother “Killer Kane” who was a violent murderer personally responsible for killing hundreds of people in the war. He is dead now but by telling his brother about the dreams he passed them on to him.

After a discussion about wether Hamlet is mad or in fact saves himself from going mad by pretending to be, Kane tries a new aproach by letting the inmates indulge in their madness instead of trying to repress it. This seem to have a slightly positive effect.

Cutshaw and Kane have several discussions about faith, religion and wether there is a meaning to life or not. At one point he makes Kane promise to if posible give him a sign should he die first. One day Cutshaw escapes and goes to a bar. He gets recognised by a biker gang who harass and assault him. Kane goes after him but he to ends up being assaulted by the bikers. He tries to reason with them but to no good and eventually he snaps.

On the surface The Ninth Configuration might look like crazy people doing crazy stuff while other crazy people tries to cure them, but when You get into the story it’s really a thriller. A lot of the conversations between Kane and the inmates are deep and cover universal questions. Even if it has very little to do with The Exorcist it is obvious it’s sort of a sequel. You can se similar thoughts being the foundation once You scrape of all the icing. Apart from flashbacks to the war and Cutshaw and Kanes run in with the biker gang there isn’t very much violence, but The Ninth Configuration is more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie.

My verdict: 9 out of 10.

Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams

Delinquent Girl Boss

Toei Company, Japan, 1970
AKA: Zubekô banchô: Yume wa yoru hiraku/Blossoming Night Dreams/Tokyo Bad Girls
Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Writer: Norio Miyashita, Kazuhiko Yamaguchi
Cast: Reiko Oshida, Masumi Tachibana, Yukie Kagawa, Keiko Fuji, Hayato Tani, Saburô Bôya, Bokuzen Hidari, Tonpei Hidari, Nobuo Kaneko, Toshiaki Minami, Junko Miyazono, Junko Natsu, Harumi Sone, Kayako Sono, Yasushi Suzuki, Tatsuo Umemiya

Juvenile delinquent Rika is released from prison and has decided to live an ordinary life within the law. She gets a job at a drycleaner, but things don’t work out so well. The owner is trying hard to get into bed with her and his wife hates her and accuses her of stealing. She leaves to look for some other job but runs in to a pack of girls that attack her. She beats them up and meets a guy who claims he can get her a job in the bar where he works. It turns out some of her girlfriends from jail is already working there and the owner too is a former juvenile delinquent and has done time in the same prison.

Mr. Ohba, a local Yakuza leader wants to take over the bar and has offered to buy it on several ocasions. Problem is he won’t take no for an answer, and he is prepared to do whatever nesesary to get it. One of Rikas friends who work at the bar has a little sister who is a drugaddict. She gets her drugs from the same female gang Rika beat up earlier, and to complicate things further they are selling for Mr. Ohba.

For a Pinku Violence this film is pretty tame both on violence and nudity compared to later films. There are however a lot of catfights and there is a veritable massacre at the end when the girls decides to stand up against the Yakuza and they go at each other with swords and knives.

My verdict: 5 out of 10.

Related

Deco Truck Gal Nami

Deco Truck Gal Nami - Dekotora Gyaru Nami

Leone, Japan, 2008
AKA: Dekotora Gyaru Nami, Big Bad Mama-San: Dekotora 1
Director: Hideo Jôjô
Writer: Hideo Jôjô
Cast: Toshio Arikik, Keitaro Azumi, Slappy Cortez, Mack De’erens, Fukuten, Tiffany Grant, Ben Hammered, Jay Hickman, Hiroaki Hinjaiji, Horiken, Ryôichi Inaba, Shun Kando, Hiroyuki Kaneko, Wakato Kanematsu, Takashi Kawasaki, Tamana Kiku, Rino Konno, Nanaka Kozaki, Vicky Manjina, Yûya Matsuura, Maru Moriizumi, Seiji Nakamitsu, Eiji Nakamura, Kazutomo Nakatsukasa, Masayoshi Nogami, Yûichirô Sakamoto, Rusty J. Sequoia, Manzô Shinra, John Swasey, Atsushi Tobita, Masahiko Tsugawa, Kazuaki Tsuji, Wataru Tsunashima, Masaomi Ueda, Shuhei Yamashita, Mutsuo Yoshioka, Akiho Yoshizawa

No werewolves, vampires, zombies, aliens or even serialkillers in this one. It is a comedy/drama but it is bizarre enough though..

Akiho Yoshizawa began her film career in the adult business at age 18. She did some nude modelling which led to contracts with two different film companies the following year. She was hard working and most of the time she did a movie every month, alternating between the two companies. Several of her early films were incest-themed and she won some awards for her roles. Three years later she “moved up” by signing contracts with two new, bigger AV-companies. Apart from her work in hardcore movies she’s been doing softcore, mainstream films and appeared on television and have won numerous awards. In 2004 she was in the horror movie Koibone and she’s also done science-fiction (so she’s sort of on topic anyway). In Japan she is a superstar and when she retired from the film industry (or at least the adult film industry) this year she did it by going on a tour from January 1 to march 31 to meet and greet her fans and at the same time she released her last film, AV Complete Withdrawal ~ FINAL SEX ~ Yoshizawa Akiho, together with a documentary of her life and carrer.

Deco Truck Gal Nami was a huge hit in Japan when it came. It got three sequels all starring Yoshizawa, and it spawned an entire new genre of “Lady Trucker films”.

Nami is a female truckdriver. She inherited a “Deco Truck” or dekotora, which is an extremely decorated truck popular in Japan, commonly displaying neon or ultraviolet lights, extravagant paints, and stainless or golden parts (both on the exterior and the interior). Dekotora may be created by workers out of their work trucks for fun, or they may be designed by hobbyists for special events. They are sometimes also referred to as art trucks. Unfortunately she also inherited large debts, but she’s working hard to pay them off. Her father was a legend among truck drivers and Nami is on her way to be one her self. Lady truck drivers are rare so Nami has to be tough and stand up against her male colleagues.

She runs in to the prostitute Momoka and they eventually become friends. There are truck races, trucker gangs, crazy police men and even more crazy truckers often hanging out at a truck stop/noodle restaurant.

Momoka sometimes messes things up a bit for Nami, and one evening they find a box by the deco truck. Nami believes Momoka just forgott to load it and tells her to put it in the back, before they take off. Problem is it belonged to some Mafia guys. They come after the girls and decide not only to take back the box, but to rape and murder the girls.

Deco Truck Gal Nami is fun if You like over the top films. Everyone is weird and crazy, the girls are cute, the men not so cute and sex is hilarious. We get T&A combined with a feminist message which is a contradiction in it self. Another contradiction is the sad ending of this wild comedy. I wont give anything away, but watch it if You get the opportunity. It’s worth it, but if You have a choise go for the japanese original with subtitles instead of the dubbed “american” version with added country music and all. That one really suck!

My verdict: 7 out of 10.

Deadly Runway

Wild Lights, USA, 2018
AKA: Fatal Fashion, Designed to Kill
Director: Doug Campbell
Writer: David Chester
Cast: Joshua Hoffman, Linsey Godfrey, T.J. Hoban, Heather Hopkins, Stevie Johnson, Jamie Luner, Ellen Michelle Monohan, Maria Pallas, Diana Popick, Zachary Roozen, Paul Toweh

OMG. This is so bad, and I don’t even understand how it can be labeled a Horror. It has the pace and the look of a 80’s made for television film.

David is the school nerd, but the new teacher miss Higgins (who is also a fashion photographer) sees his potential and get him restyled, redressed (and undressed – or at least half dressed) for a private photoshoot one night. She sells some of the pictures to a fashion magazine and over night the nerd is a model.

All of a sudden David is very popular, but miss Higgins has developed an obsession over him and won’t let anyone take him away from her. Not girlfriends, not professional agents and not even his own mother. At night she even touches her self to his pictures.

We learn that miss Higgins has a history of mental illness, she has had numerous affairs with her male models and broken upp with them very violently. A year ago she pulled a knife on her boyfriend/model at a photoshoot in front of vitnesses. One of her former boyfriends died when he was in a traffic accident caused by her taking pictures of him while he was driving.

When David finally sees the real miss Higgins she ties him up, and forces his girlfriend Caitlyn to whip him with an electrical cord.

My verdict: 1 out of 10 (and that’s more than it deserves).

1984

Umbrella-Rosenblum Films Production/Virgin Benelux/Virgin Schallplatten/Virgin, UK, 1984
AKA: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Director: Michael Radford
Writer: George Orwell, Michael Radford
Cast: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Andrew Wilde, David Trevena, David Cann, Anthony Benson, Peter Frye, Roger Lloyd Pack, Rupert Baderman, Corinna Seddon, Martha Parsey, Merelina Kendall, P.J. Nicholas, Lynne Radford, Pip Donaghy, Shirley Stelfox, Janet Key, Hugh Walters, John Hughes, Robert Putt, Christine Hargreaves, Garry Cooper, Matthew Scurfield, John Golightly, Rolf Saxon, Ole Oldendorp, Eddie Stacey, Norman Bacon, John Foss, Carey Wilson, Mitzi McKenzie, Phyllis Logan, Pam Gems, Joscik Barbarossa, John Boswall, Bob Flag, Keith Gale, Annie Lennox, Lucien Morgan, Michael Munn, Peter Ross-Murray, Jason Savage, Fred Wood

Winston Smith is a newseditor for the Bureau of Information in totalitarian Oceania. His jobb is to change the news in retrospect, in whatever way the government want him to. The party is working towards abolishing orgasms. By doing so they hope to lower the number of familys. Without family there will be even less privacy and no loyaltys competing that to the party and Big Brother. Also, sex is extremely dangerous since it inevitably leads to thought crime.

One day Winston meets Julia. They begin to see each other in secret for sex, and maybe even for love. They do get caught accused of thought crime. Winston is put in a cell. He gets tortured and brainwashed and finally he is taken to the infamous and feared Room 101.

1984 was a dystopian tale of the future when George Orwell wrote it in 1948. Today we are way past 1984 and the world looks different, but the story is still important. This is where we might end up unless we defend democracy.

War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength!

My verdict: 7 out of 10.

The Punisher

New World Pictures (Australia)/Marvel Entertainment/New World Pictures, Australia/USA, 1989
AKA:
Director: Mark Goldblatt
Writer: Boaz Yakin
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeroen Krabbé, Kim Miyori, Bryan Marshall, Nancy Everhard, Barry Otto, Brian Rooney, Zoska Aleece, Kenji Yamaki, Hirofumi Kanayama, Larry McCormick, Todd Boyce, Lani John Tupu, Gianfranco Negroponte, Noga Bernstein, Emma Soloman, Courtney Keiler, Emily Nicol, Cathy Stirk, Dominic Baudish, Robert Fraser, James Klein, Fotis Pelekis, Christian Manon, Colin Leong, Brian McDermott, May Lloyd, Holly Rogers, Brooke Anderson, Lois Larimore, Harry Weiss, John Samaha, Robert Simper, Johnny Raaen, Lawrence Woodward, Tom Coltraine, Donal Gibson, David Arnett, Brett Williams, Al Gockimen, Colin Handley, Isao Hirata, Ken Wayne, David Morris, Richard Carter, Char Fontane, Aku Kadogo, Steve Kuhn, Roslyn Gentle, Maurice Brimo, Joanna Lambert, Arthur Sherman, Chris Hession, Jade Gatt

When Police Officer Frank Castle’s family was killed by a car bomb by the Mafia everyone thaught he died with them. He didn’t. Instead he went underground and resurfaced as “The Punisher”. He is out to avenge his family and to punish the guilty.

The Punisher is suspected of the murder of 125 members of organised crime during the last five years, and wanted by the law and the outlaws. When the head of the Franco crime family is released by the court, The Punisher, wipes out him, most of his men and blows his house up. The Franco family brings in Gianni Franco from Europe to take over as the new head. He brings new ideas about uniting the different crime familys and end the Mafia wars. The first joint Mafia venture is a huge shipload of drugs brought in by boat.

The Punisher is watching and about to interfere when the smugglers and the mobsters are attacked and killed, and the drugs end up on the bottom of the harbour. The attackers were the Yakuza wanting in on the american market as the Mafia is loosing it’s grip thanks to the Punisher’s war on them. The Mafia refuses to cooperate with the Yakuza so Lady Tanaka, head of the Yakuza, have the children of every Mafia family leader kidnapped.

The Punisher realises this was possible only as a result of his war against the Mafia. They are so weakened they no longer can protect their own. He attacks the place where the children are kept and manages to free all but Tommy Franco, Gianni’s son. As the Punisher delivers the children to their familys he is arrested and put in a cell. Next day when he is being transfered to a proper jail the transport is attacked and he is taken from the police by Francos men.

Gianni Franco wants his help to find and rescue Tommy and he threatens to kill Franks ex-partner if he doesn’t agree. So the Punisher and the crime lord heads off together to attack the Yakuza headquarter and try to find Tommy.

The Punisher was one of my favourite Marvel heroes when I was a kid, and I think Dolph Lundgren does a very good interpretation of the comic book hero. The part is perfect for him as even his flaws as an actor is an advantage. Where I live the film was banned upon release so untill movie censorship was abolished many years later all we had was really bad pirated third or fourth generation VHS-tapes but I still loved this film. Today 30 years later I still love it.

My verdict: 7 out of 10.

Absolution

Bulldog Productions Ltd., UK, 1978
AKA: Anthony Shaffer’s Absolution, Murder by Confession
Director: Anthony Page
Writer: Anthony Shaffer
Cast: Richard Burton, Dominic Guard, David Bradley, Billy Connolly, Andrew Keir, Willoughby Gray, Preston Lockwood, James Ottaway, Brook Williams, Jon Plowman, Robin Soans, Trevor Martin, Sharon Duce, Brian Glover, Dan Meaden, Hilary Mason, Hilda Fenemore, Robert Addie, Kevin Hart, Philip Leake, Michael Crompton, Andrew Boxer, Richard Willis, Michael Parkhouse, Richard Kates, Martyn Hesford, Clive Gehle, Charles Rigby, Michael Bell, Martin Stringer, Francis Fry, Julian Firth, Tim Short, Keith Macey, Michael Munn.

“Under no circumstances what so ever may a priest break the seal of the confession.”

Father Goddard is a priest and a teacher in a boys’ Catholic boarding school, and during one of his lessons the rules of confession is discussed. Around the same time a drifter shows up on a motorcycle and sets up camp in the woods surrounding the school. One of the schoolboys befriends him but when Father Goddard finds out he makes the boy promise never to see the drifter again and calls the police to make them drive him off.

Soon one of the boys in confession admits to Father Goddard to have killed the drifter and buried him in the woods. Goddard diggs up the shallow grave and finds a scarecrow instead of the drifters body. He is outraged by this prank on him but can’t do much about it since he is bound to silence. Next the boy confesses once again. This time he claims to have really done what he only joked about the first time. He also confesses to have plans for another murder, this time on one of his fellow students.

Goddard must try to prevent the murder and protect the intended victim, but is at the same time still under the seal of confession so he can’t tell anyone what is about to happen.

The movie is a bit slow paced at the start, but the twists of the plot soon got me interested. The acting over all is very good and Billy Connolly does his first role in a movie. Absolution wasn’t released in the US until 1988 (four years after Richard Burton’s death) and in Finland it premiered on Television in 1998. A modern day remake would be interesting to see. Imagine some blood and gore added to this plot.

My verdict: 6 out of 10.