Posts Tagged ‘Jake West’

Video Nasties

 

I’ve been aware of this little gem for a couple of years now, but seeing as how it was only available in the UK, I never got around to importing it. So, when it was announced that Severin would be releasing this in the US this summer, it immediately hit my must buy list.

A couple of weeks back while perusing the various vendors at Texas Frightmare Weekend (which is one of the best cons around), I came across Severin’s table and their usual goodies. I was surprised to see a couple of copies of Video Nasties among the usual offerings, seeing as how it doesn’t street until June 3rd! I quickly grabbed a copy, along with The House on Straw Hill, which happens to be a Nasty, as well as a great release.

To start off the party, Disc 1 has the outstanding documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship, and Videotape, which is directed by Jake West (Doghouse, Evil Aliens). It features interviews with genre filmmakers as well as some great footage taken from the 80s. This is a great look at the insanity of the BBFC and the Video Nasty list. I would have bought this documentary on its own, but wait, there’s more…

Discs 2 & 3 contain trailers for all 72 films targeted by the BBFC (the 39 that were successfully prosecuted, plus the other 33 that were on the list at one point in time). This isn’t your typical stash of trailers though, each and every one is introduced by different film historians and journalists and can be played as a feature, making for an exhaustive runtime of 13 hours and 58 minutes across all 3 discs.

Not only is this a must buy for fans of the movies on the list, but I really think this is a must buy for ALL genre fans. Censorship is a vile practice, and it’s important to understand our past, so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future. This set is not only entertaining, but very informative. Don’t delay, add it to your collection now.

Here’s the link to Severin’s store: https://www.severin-films.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=173

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Doghouse (2009)

Directed By: Jake West 

Starring: Stephen Graham, Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke, Lee Ingleby, Keith-Lee Castle, Emil Marwa, Neil Maskell, Terry Stone, Christina Cole, Mary Tamm

Subgenre: Horror-Comedy

Synopsis: A group of friends decide to head to a remote town to get away from their “women-troubles” and drink the weekend away.  Once they get to this remote village, they realize that their troubles are just beginning.  It appears if all the men in the village are dead and the women are all infected with some sort of virus that turns them into bloodthirsty killers.

Thoughts: I am the first to admit that British humor isn’t always for everyone, but for the most part, I “get it.”  Doghouse lays on the jokes pretty thick, taking its lead from Shaun of the Dead, but it works for the most part.  It was a nice little departure from the daily grind, not mentally taxing or depressing.

What stood out to me here are not really the guys on the trip, but the individual women that they encounter.  In these sorts of movies, the enemy, whether they are cannibals, zombies or some infected pseudo-zombies, seem to be rather generic.  Occasionally there are exceptions (Bud for one), but they are usually random nasty creatures.  Here each woman is very different, even stereotyped, but it just worked for me.  The hair stylist goes after the guys with scissors, there is a dentist using her tools for a more nefarious purpose and so on.  Each possessed woman is very different.  Their movements and facial appearance owe a lot to Sam Raimi and The Evil Dead movies as well.

Where I thought the movie lost a little steam was when the group made it into the church and discovered the military operation.  The possessed women subsequently advance to level 2 (is this a video game?) and are stronger, faster and tougher to defeat.  I started to lose some interest at this point, wondering when the movie would end.

Thankfully, there were some pretty funny moments soon after that pulled my back in.  The guys oblivious friend finally shows up and provides some comedic relief.  Doghouse is very much in the same vein as Evil Dead or Dead Alive, but not in the same league.  I would think if you liked something like Dead and Breakfast, you would like this.