Cabaret (1972)

Director: Bob Fosse

Writer: Jay Presson Allen (Screenplay) John Van Druten, Joe Masteroff, Christopher Isherwood (Play/Novel)

Starring: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey, Fritz Wepper, Marisa Berenson

Plot: A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.


Tagline – Come to the Cabaret 

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightfully Entertaining

Story: Cabaret starts when British man Brian Roberts (York) moves to Berlin into a spare room of female entertainer Sally Bowles (Minnelli), the two become friends as Brian is trying to become an actress, while Brian teaches English.

Both Brian and Sally offer advice to a German friend Fritz (Wepper) who is trying to start a romance with Natalia (Berenson), as we continue to see Sally open world experience being used to help people learn about the world as she is waiting for her love Maximilian von Heune (Griem), we dive into how the tough life of a dreamer in Berlin can be right as the Nazi party is starting to rise to power.

Thoughts on Cabaret

Characters – Sally Bowles is an entertainer from America working in Berlin, she knows how to use body to get men interested in her dancing and off stage, she has dreams of being an actress, but for now she must just entertain a crowd, she isn’t like most women being more open to relationship, which sees her become a bad example to Natalia and her love for two different men will make her life more complicated. Brian Roberts is an English man who has come to Berlin to teach, he rents one of the rooms in the same apartment as Sally, as the two become friends, he has his secret which during the era of this film could see him ruined, but his unconventional friendship with Sally shows the opposites can be friends. Maximilian von Heune is the German love interest for Sally, he is rich and turns her head to a better future, only not everything will be what it seems through his actions.

PerformancesLiza Minnelli is fantastic in the leading role showing her skills in music and in acting to make her character feel way before her time. Michael York is brilliant too, bringing a character to 1930s Germany that wouldn’t be welcomed in this era, bring his conflicted character to life with ease. Helmut Griem brings us a strong character through the film and Joel Grey gets the entertaining parts of the film down with ease.

StoryThe story here follows an American entertainer, an English teacher who are living in Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party, trying to navigate the socially acceptable behaviour, while remain their individual selves. Where this story truly shines is not hiding away from looking at the socially acceptable parts of characters for the era the film is set in, be is homosexuality or un-lady like behaviour through the eyes of a locals of Sally. This is tackling these themes head on and shows just how nervous the Germans would be getting with the Nazi party gaining power.

MusicalThe songs and dance in this film are just as big as you would imagine, though I was expecting to see a few more if I am being honest.

SettingsThe film being set in Berlin shows us just how the mindset of the characters are during the rise of the Nazi party, it shows us just how people from different backgrounds could become friends or more.


Scene of the Movie – The songs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – I was expecting more songs.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderful classic, that isn’t scared to hide from the difficult themes for the era and gives us some of the biggest musical numbers in film.

Overall: Classic all around.

Rating

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Director: Freddie Francis

Writer: Milton Subotsky (Screenplay) Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, William M Gaines, Graham Ingels, George Evans (Story)

Starring: Ralph Richardson, Joan Collins, Ian Hendry, Peter Cushing, Richard Greene

 

Plot: Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.


Tagline – DEATH LIVES in the Vault of Horror!

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Horror Anthology

 

Story: Tales from the Crypt starts as we follow a tour group inside the crypt, when the five Joanne (Collins), Carl (Hendry), Elliot (Phillips), Jason (Greene) and Rogers (Patrick) get lose in the crypt, the Crypt Keeper (Richardson) entertains them.

Each one sees how they will die in a vision, showing us that they’re not so perfect lives will take a dark turn when they stop living the honest lives they have built for themselves.

 

Thoughts on Tales from the Crypt

 

Characters – Where this film is an anthology we don’t get too much time with each character, Joanne is a married woman with her own desires for life, showing a darker side after killer her husband on Christmas Eve. Carl Maitland is a married man that is planning on leaving his wife and children, he is involved in an accident which brings into a new lease of horror. Grimsdyke is an older man, he has lived with his wife in one home, with her passed away he wants to die in this house and must deal with the snotty neighbours that is trying to force him out. Jason is a businessman that has spent more than he has earnt forcing him to face bankruptcy for his actions. Rogers is the final story as a manager of home, he comes in with his strict ideas struggle to connect with the people he is meant to be caring for.

PerformancesBy being an anthology the stars only get limited time, Joan Collins gets the ball rolling as is good in her role with us believing how calculated her actions are. Ian Hendry is solid in his role, he is behind the camera for the most part making it hard to believe everything. Peter Cushing shines as the kindly old man that is getting pushed out of town.  Richard Greene is solid enough without getting too much time to show us what makes his character unique. Nigel Patrick does make this character one of the more unlikable with ease.

StoryThe story here takes us down the horror anthology line, we get to see five stories of five characters deaths, this does give us something different in each side of the horror scale, we know some are shorter than others with Blind Alleys and Poetic Justice being the stand out of the five stories. There is a big twist in the connection to the stories, but if you do know the TV show you will know the outcome. For a horror anthology this is everything you need without being to the extremes they go nowadays. Each short could easily become a longer film which is always positive.

HorrorWhen it comes to horror we sometimes get to best moments in shorts, anthologies give us a chance to experience different types of horror which will offer something for all horror fans.

SettingsEach film takes us to the world where the character comes from which shows us how the normal lives they live have the darker secrets.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good through the film they show us what is capable with good practical effects.


Scene of the Movie –
Blind Alleys when the door opens.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some stories are too short.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good anthology for horror, it gets the best moments correct and keeps us guessing to what will happen to the characters involved.

 

Overall: Simple anthology.

Rating

 

 

Deliverance (1972)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: James Dickey (Screenplay) James Dickey (Novel)

Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden

 

Plot: Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.


Tagline –  Four men ride a wild river. A weekend turns into a nightmare.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Thriller

 

Story: Deliverance starts when four city man Ed (Voight), Lewis (Reynolds), Bobby (Beatty) and Drew (Cox) head to the Cahulawassee river for a river-rafting trip down the river before the river is turned into a lake, Lewis leads the group being an outdoors man.

What seems like a pleasant enough trip takes a brutal turn when the locals force themselves on Bobby before Lewis kills one of them. The friends now face a race against time to make it out of the wilderness before the rest come for revenge in the deadliest chase of their lives.

 

Thoughts on Deliverance

 

Characters – Lewis is the outdoors man of the group, he is close friends with Ed and you feel like they have been on many an adventure together. He has the plans for the trip believing he doesn’t need to ask for help and when their backs are against the wall he must step up. Ed is the linchpin between the friends, the one they turn to when things are not going their way for advice and almost comfort, he does witness the attack on Bobby, left helpless to only watch. Bobby is an insurance salesman that joins the trip, he clearly isn’t used to being in the outdoors and goes through the worst ordeal of them all. Drew is the final member of the group or tries to play the morale and legal compass when things get out of hand.

PerformancesThe performances here give us four of the best actors of a generation at different stages of their careers, they are all fantastic in what they do too. Jon Voight stands above them all, but you can’t deny they shine in the moments they need too.

StoryThe story keeps things very simple, four friends go on an adventure rafting trip only for a peaceful trip to turn into a nightmare as they are attacked and hunted down by the local hillbillies. We have a moral discussion about what to do when you murder to protect yourself, seeing how difficult it can be for one man to get pushed to the limits of needing to take a life and an environmental discussion around the ideas of what would happen when rivers are being turned into lakes. This is one of those movies where the story never needs to get complicated, you truly believe the peril the characters are in too.

Adventure/ThrillerThe adventure the friends go on, takes out characters on a rafting trip, one that was meant for pure happiness and endurance, they got the endurance, but a race against time too. We are kept on the edge of our seats from the moment the attack happened, because we don’t know how many people are going to be looking to hunt them down.

SettingsThe film takes place in the wilderness of the American countryside, this is used for the beauty of the settings and the peril of the situation with the nature and the locals being the threat.


Scene of the Movie –
The clifftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel like there would be bigger scars after what happened to Bobby.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest thriller to ever be made, it has four excellent performances and shows that we can have horror in moments that should be calm.

 

Overall: Brilliant from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

Horror Express (1972)

Director: Eugenio Martin

Writer: Arnaud d’Usseau, Julian Zimet (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto De Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Pena, Angel del Pozo

 

Plot: In 1906, in China, a British anthropologist discovers a frozen prehistoric creature and must transport it to Europe by train.


Tagline – A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Lovers Horror

 

Story: Horror Express starts as anthropologist Professor Sir Alexander Saxton (Lee) has made a prehistoric discovery in China and must now transfer it back to Europe for further studies. He discovery is secret and Dr Wells (Cushing) is curious about what is in the box and after people start disappearing and dying, Saxton is forced to open the box.

When the creature gets loose on the train, the bodies start piling up and the decision on whether to follow science or just survive get bought up.

 

Thoughts on Horror Express

 

Characters – Professor Sir Alexander Saxton has travelled the world for his anthropology missions and his latest find could well be his biggest find of his career, now he must fight to keep it from being killed as it hunts for prey. Dr Wells wants to conduct his own investigation into the creature which soon leads him to let the monster out the box. The characters on the train each face their own problems on how to tackle the creature roaming the halls.

PerformancesChristopher Lee and Peter Cushing are two of the biggest icons of horror films, they both shine with their characters which they bring to life. The supporting cast are good without being overly stand out.

StoryThe story follows the transportation of an unknown prehistoric creature from China to Europe when things start to go wrong and the question of science and faith come into question. The story here gains from being on the train meaning our characters must com together for the solution to the problem instead of running and hiding. This is good for a story, but sadly it doesn’t end up being as engrossing as it should be.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from the idea of a creature loose on the train that is taking victims, with the sci-fi side looking at the history of life’s unknown moments before history was recorded.

SettingsThe film takes place on the train, we don’t leave the train which leaves out characters trapped at the mercy of the evil hunting them down.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the time, the change in the characters after the creature attacks do work well.


Scene of the Movie –
The change in eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to believe in the supporting cast for the most part.

Final ThoughtsFor a cult movie this is a good movie, this does the basics for a horror to make us entertained throughout.

 

Overall: Good cult horror film.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Director: J Lee Thompson

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Natalie Trundy, Jari Rhodes, Severn Darden, Lo Wagner

 

Plot: In a futuristic world that has embraced ape slavery, Caesar, the son of the late simians Cornelius and Zira, surfaces after almost twenty years of hiding out from the authorities, and prepares for a slave revolt against humanity.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Continuing the Good Story Telling

 

Story: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes starts in the future of the last film, Caesar (McDowall) raised in the circus away from the world where domestic pets have been wiped out by a plague bought to the planet by Zira and Cornelius, humans now uses the apes as their domestic pets and slaves who are starting to rebel against this way.

When Caesar is captured he must become the leader of the apes as they start to become smarter, sold to Governor Breck (Murray) it isn’t long before Caesar becomes the target of assassination from the humans but now, Caesar leads the uprising.

 

Thoughts on Conquest of the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceCaesar is the son of Zira and Cornelius, he has been in hiding for years but now he finds himself learning the truth about how humans treat apes now. Caesar leads the uprising of the apes becoming their leader against man. Breck is the Governor that wants to keep the truth about Caesar being alive a secret before the apes take over, you know the typical villain. Lisa is an ape that Caesar takes a shine to, one of the smarter ones of the new wave.

Performance wise, Roddy McDowall returns to be a good in the leading role once again, the rest of the cast are fine without having to play any original characters.

StoryThe story here is very similar to what we would know from the modern film ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ because it shows on the one more intelligent ape that is good natured needs to rise up against humans. The story is easy to watch but does feel slow in places though.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is simple fighting sequences nothing more with the sci-fi side that does look into the future where apes are now domestic pets.

SettingsThe future world does what it needed to visually but the truth is, it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used when needed without being anything to make the film more important.

Final ThoughtsThis is once again good story telling by continuing the franchise as we continue to learn how the apes came to rule Earth.

 

Overall: Nicely told story throughout.

Rating