Archive for the ‘DVD Reviews’ Category

A shot of Tequila betwee the eyes…

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Wild East present another fine Spaghetti Western double-bill, this time featuring a duo of performances from little known Jugoslavian actor Anthony Ghidra. Tequila Joe is the reason to get this set – a well written, solidly directed film with a very good leading performance from Ghidra and looking very good on DVD. A Hole Between the Eyes is rather generic but worth watching once and makes for a nice bonus feature.

And with that Mondo Esoterica hits 60 complete Spaghetti Western reviews! Stay tuned for loads more to come as well…

The Riddle of the Sands (1979)

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

As if you needed proof that Mondo Esoterica is the most versatile DVD review site on the web, a review of something completely different. Riddle of the Sands is a classic British adventure novel, well adapted for the screen with Michael York in the lead role. Recommended for all fans of period adventure films.

Peplum Pirates Double Bill

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Alan Steel and Rosalba Neri star in a wonderfully daft attempt to combine Peplum and Pirate films Hercules and the Black Pirate (1964) available as a decent if unexciting print from Retromedia. More interesting is the grand scaled  Sandokan the Great (1963) starring Steve Reeves and directed by Umberto Lenzi. Filmed on location in Sri Lanka it is highly enjoyable and would make for a great Sunday matinee.

Spaghetti for two

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Will this do? A new review of two little known, storyline focused Spaghetti Westerns from Wild East. Hate Thy Neighbour (1968) and Django the Last Killer (1967).

I’ve also thrown in updated biographies of Horst Frank and Ferdinando Baldi – the most detailed English language biographies of these two important players in the Spaghetti Western available on the internet.

Hope that is enough to keep things moving, more updates coming real soon (honest).

John Drew Barrymore

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

One of the most controversial actors of his day, John Drew Barrymore was born into an acting dynasty and appeared in several films, but his hard living reputation and several spells in jail saw him unable to find work in the US and instead, like many actors during the period, he travelled to Italy to find an industry desperate for imported talent.

He appeared in several adventure films including a few Pepla and I have reviewed one of his most unique entries, the horror themed Roma Contro Roma (1964). If you want to read the full story of the Barrymore family’s black sheep, I have also uploaded an all new biography.

Vincent Price

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Getting right back into the world of cult cinema, I take a look at the late, great Vincent Price.

An all new biography is first, but I also have new reviews of the Corman Poe productions Tales of Terror (1962) and Tomb of Ligeia (1964) and the lesser known independent anthology horror Twice Told Tales (1963). There is Price’s solo television play An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (1972) and the 3-D horror of House of Wax (1953) which saw Price in his first horror movie leading role.

Bruno Mattei Westerns

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Wild West Summer goes seriously esoteric with a look at two Westerns created by Italian exploitation veteran Bruno Mattei in the late 1980s.

A decade after the Spaghetti Western demised, these two films show a strange mix of influences, combining exploitation gore (and lots of it in Scalps especially) with some surprisingly enjoyable and well paced storylines and good looking direction.

Recommended to Euro-cult fans looking for something different, Bianco Apache (1986) and Scalps, venganza india (1987) are available on good looking Spanish DVDs, with English audio.

Door into Silence (1991)

Monday, August 17th, 2009

With his career slipping away, Lucio Fulci jumped at Joe D’Amato’s offer to make a film, little knowing it would be his last.

Door into Silence is not classic Fulci and in fact is not recognisable as Fulci at all with only the New Orleans setting to bring to mind his classic The Beyond (1981). Still the script does have a few interesting ideas and Fulci collectors will certainly be interested in Severin’s good looking new DVD, marking the film’s first US release.

DEFA Films present the Indianerfilm

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Wild West Summer takes a real esoteric twist with a look at the Westerns with a Twist boxset, three films from the East German DEFA’s studio’s answers to the West German Karl May Western series. Politically influenced with a strong anti-US feel, the films were the first to have Native Americans as the lead characters and were all based on the real stories of the oppressed tribes.

Certainly of interest to fans of obscure cinema and Western fans in general.

Harry Alan Towers (1920-2009)

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

We take a break from the Wild West to pay tribute to one of the unsung icons of Euro-cult cinema.

British born producer Harry Alan Towers, who died last week, was behind a huge number of films, from the Fu Manchu series starring Christopher Lee, to a number of classic soft-core cable porn films in the 1980s. His most important contribution to cult cinema however came in 1968 when he ‘discovered’ the Spanish director Jess Franco and hired him for the four Fu Manchu film.

That film was not to prove a success, but together, Franco and Towers began to explore the limits of film making at the time, looking to the works of the Marquis de Sade to make unprecedented films like Eugenie: The story of her journey into Perversion (1970). Franco only worked with Towers for a few years, but this time set him on the course that he would follow for the rest of his career.

As a tribute to Towers, I have taken a look at Skeleton Coast, a typical example of his 1980s output and a clear demonstration of his key philosopy – that having big names in the cast, even in tiny roles, will sell a film far better than money spent on scripting or effects.

You can also read more in our guide to Harry Alan Towers