Saturday, 21 August 2010

Last Impressions

The Last Horror Film 1982 US
Directed by David Winters
Troma DVD Region 0

I should possibly put up a spoiler warning here but... seriously... I think the only way I could possibly spoil anything here is by actually recommending this movie to anyone.

Two things you should know about the “uncut special edition” of The Last Horror Film.

1. It’s presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio which normally would have me running for the off button and returning the film back to the stall I bought it from and moaning about crimes against filmanity. But I haven’t done that because it has the truly wonderful Caroline Munro in it and this is the only way I can get this film. Also, as I was going through it, I think the 4:3 ratio may have come about from splicing in the previously cut bits of footage. My guess is it was shot in something like 4:3 and this is an open-matte transfer... so technically nothing’s missing... it’s just not being seen as it was meant to be seen in a cinema. On the other hand... If I’d paid to see this in a cinema I would have hastily regretted my actions by about ten minutes into the movie.

2. The quality of a lot of this movie is terrible with some kind of video haze trashing the picture... I was pre-warned about this on a nice message screen from Troma just as the picture was about to start... so I can’t exactly complain about this.

I bought this movie because I really like Caroline Munro. She’s a real nice person to chat to and a nice talent and she’s a bit of a horror and fantasy genre scream queen with a bit of a cult following. In The Last Picture Show, which is set during the Cannes Film Festival, she plays Jenna Bates, "a horror and fantasy genre scream queen with a bit of a cult following..." so you can see why Ive been anxious to see this movie, right? You may remember Miss Munroe from such films as At The Earth’s Core, Star Crash, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter and Taste The Blood of Dracula. You might also remember her as the henchwoman who winks at James Bond as she is trying to shoot his Lotus off the road from her helicopter in The Spy Who Loved Me. Older readers of this blog who used to travel the London tube lines in the early seventies may remember her wonderful face and figure adorning large posters when she was the Lamb’s Navy Rum girl. Or even as the Dusty Bin girl on ITVs game show 3,2,1!

Unfortunately, although she’s been in some clunkers of movies, this is probably one of her all time worst movies and I’ll lay the blame of that one at the director’s and producer’s doors, I think, because the art design on this movie is quite well thought out... it’s just got terrible production values. The script is truly awful and does not give the performers much to go on... which is why everyone seems to look so wooden in this movie I suspect. And it’s such a shame because the idea of this movie is quite sound. A would be director and stalker wants to put Jenna Bates in his movie so he follows her to Cannes and a series of gruesome murders take place amongst the cast and crew of her last movie. There are lots of little fantasy scenes with the maniac (played by Maniac’s Joe Spinell) and the general impression is a kind of serial killer version of Martin Scorcese’s The King of Comedy... except if it was The King of Comedy made on a budget of 5 dollars and a bag of lemon sherberts by someone who needs a seeing eye dog to get him to the locations.

I suspect the films funding is to blame here. There are a hell of a lot of “stolen” shots from the Cannes FIlm Festival and while I was pleased to see lots of movie posters from movies I’d forgotten about... I’m sure that people like Marcello Mastroianni probably don’t realise they’re in this movie.

Everyone does their best in this but it just doesn’t seem to work very well and the big twist ending is probably something you will figure out from the start. If you really want to know the twist ending then follow me on twitter and send me a Direct Message... it’s got to be better than having to sit through this movie.

Really disappointed by this one... but my quest to buy everything which has Caroline Munro in its credits continues.

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