The Alternative Monthly VHS & DVD Review – Guide to Reviews in Past Issues Here is a listing of the reviews in every issue of VideoVista. Some of these titles can be found in the VideoVista archives.

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Go to #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24

#1 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Back In The USSR, Benefit Of The Doubt, Blue Tiger, Dark Waters, Fearless, Grumpy Old Men, The Last Seduction, Necronomicon, On Deadly Ground, Police Academy: Mission To Moscow, Robotech, Something In The Shadows, True Romance, Vinyl Virgins, When The Bough Breaks
#2 Arnold – The Man Behind The Muscle, Bay Of Blood, Cruel Passion, Deep Red, Full Eclipse, The Getaway, Häxan, Kiss Me Monster, A Lustful Mind, Mark Of The Devil, Maverick, One Wedding And Lots Of Funerals, The Phantom Carriage, Return Of The Evil Dead, Sadisterotica, Thumbelina, Tombs Of The Blind Dead, The 25 Year Mission
#3 Against The Wall, The Art Of Love, Big Beat Box, Black Candles, Blown Away, The Brain From Planet Arous, Cat-Women Of The Moon, Cyborg Cop 2, Deadly China Dolls, Dracula: Prince Of Darkness, Erotic Dreams Of Cleopatra, Evolver, F.T.W., Gilda, Heritage Guides To Great Britain, Holy Virgin vs The Evil Dead, Identification Of A Woman, The Jungle Book, Lethal Panther, Magic Cop, The Mesa Of Lost Women, The Monastery Of Sendomir, The Mummy’s Shroud, The Pleasure, Randall & Hopkirk, The Red Squirrel, The Saint, Season Of The Witch, Spooky Encounters, Stroszek, Top Fighter, Visions Of Light, War Of The Buttons, Wings Of The Honneamise, A Woman Scorned, Working Girls, X-tra Private Lessons
#4 Airheads, The Alcove, Angel Cop 1, Bubblegum Crisis, The Client, Cronos, Dark Habits, Dr Crippen, Frankenstein Created Woman, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Hand Of Death, The High Crusade, Honor & Glory, Ladislaw Starewicz, Love In The Strangest Way, Monster From Green Hell, Naked – As Nature Intended, The Navy vs The Night Monsters, One Armed Boxer, Rasputin The Mad Monk, Revelations, The Silent Feminists, Story Of A Cloistered Nun, Teenage Monster, The Tin Drum, Titanic, A TV Dante, The X-Files
#5 Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, The Atomic Café, The Avengers, The Babysitters, City Slickers 2, Eastern Heroes Video Magazine, Escape From Brothel, Fatal Instinct, The Flying Saucer, Godzilla vs Mothra, The Guyver: Dark Hero, The Hideous Sun Demon, The Hot, The Cool & The Vicious, Immoral Tales, Island Of Fire, L’Enfer, The Line, The Cross & The Curve, My Crazy Life, Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live, The Refrigerator, The Tigers, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
#6 The Atomic Submarine, A Better Tomorrow, Bob’s Birthday, The Brain, Corridors Of Blood, Cyber Tracker, Eyes Without A Face, First Man Into Space, Funny Man, Guardian Angel, Just Cause, Last Gasp, Leon, Logan’s Run, The Lost Boys, Martin Scorsese Directs, Midnight Angel, Mind Ripper, Mutiny On The Bounty, Night Caller, The Outer Limits, People’s Hero, Pink Floyd – Pulse, Project Shadowchaser: Beyond The Edge Of Darkness, Reckless Kelly, Clive Barker’s Salome & The Forbidden, Showdown, 13 Cold- Blooded Eagles, THX-1138, Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis, With Honors
#7 Angels 2, The Best Punk Video In The World…Ever, The Black Cat, Blue Thunder, Boulevard, City Cops, Deadly Dream Women, Death Match, Die Harder, Fade To Black, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Frontline, Ghost In The Shell, Guns Of Dragon, Hell Night, Highlander, Hollywood Hiccups, Introduction To The Internet, Jail Of No Return, Judge Dredd, Little Red Riding Hood, Man Wanted, Marc Bolan: The Groover, No Surrender, Oasis: Live By The Sea, The Other Hell, Parasite, Piranha 2: Flying Killers, The Pope Of Utah, Runaway, Stagefright, Street Fighter II, Transgression, The Upstairs Neighbour, Willow, Witchfinder General
#8 Angel Enforcers, Armitage III, Avenging Quartet, Baby’s Day Out, Caged Women, Can You Keep It Up For A Week?, City Hunter, Curse Of The Demon, Dead Of Night, Expect No Mercy, Exquisite Tenderness, Faraway, So Close, Halloween, The Harvest, The Many Faces Of Christopher Lee, The New Age, Princess Madam, Ring Of Steel, Seven, The Shaolin Temple, Species, Under Lock & Key, War Zone, White Tiger, The Wind & The Lion, Winsor McCay: Animation Legend, Zeram, Zeta One
#9 Above Suspicion, Animalympics, Assassins, The Bedford Incident, Cleopatra Jones, Clockwork Mice, Crime Story, Dragon Ball: The Movie, Dr Strangelove, Eagle’s Claw, Fail Safe, Hitman In The Hand Of Buddha, House Of Whipcord, L.A. Takedown, Lord Jim, Martial Combat, Naked Killer, Paris, France, Super Fly, Under Siege 2, White Angel, The Young Master
#10 American Yakuza 2: Back To Back, A Bucket Of Blood, Bullet In The Head, Copycat, Cross Of Iron, Cybersex, Decoy, The Demolitionist, The Dentist, The Devils, Escape From L.A., Executive Decision, Face/Off, The Final Cut, From Dusk Till Dawn, GoldenEye, Homicidal, Independence Day, Johnny Mnemonic, Last Man Standing, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Mars Attacks!, Natural Born Killers, The Prophesy, Radiohead Live, Screamers, Sheryl Crow: Live In London, Striptease, True Crime, Twelve Monkeys, Twister, Violent Tradition
#11 Alien Resurrection, The Big Lebowski, Blade, Contact, Dante’s Peak, Enemy Of The State, Event Horizon, The Fifth Element, Godzilla, Grosse Pointe Blank, Hollow Point, Jackie Brown, Kiss The Girls, L.A. Confidential, Lost In Space, Mercury Rising, Mimic, The Peacemaker, The Postman, Project S, The Replacement Killers, Sliding Doors, The Triple Cross, US Marshals, U-Turn
#12 Against The Law, American History X, The Assignment, The Astronaut’s Wife, Blast From The Past, Cube, Dark Star, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Erotic Ghost Story, Goodbye Lover, Lost & Found, The Mummy, The Negotiator, Pirates Of Silicon Valley, Pleasantville, Ronin, Storm Of The Century, The 13th Warrior, The Trench, Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars, The Wisdom Of Crocodiles, Xena: Warrior Princess, You Know My Name
#13 Analyze This, The Avengers, Basket Case, Beast Cops, The Blade, Carnival Of Wolves, Crash, Dance With Me, Dead Man’s Curve, Drive, Eyes Wide Shut, The Faculty, Gormenghast, Killer Instinct, King Cobra, The Legend Of 1900, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Progeny, Sheryl Crow: Rockin’ The Globe, Stop Making Sense, What Dreams May Come, Young And Dangerous 2, You’re Dead
#14 Bride Of Chucky, The Bride With White Hair, The Corruptor, The Deep End Of The Ocean, Detroit Rock City, East Is East, The Eternal, eXistenZ, Happiness, Instinct, Lion Of The Desert, Mad Cows, Raw Nerve, Ride With The Devil, Soldier, The Straight Story, Thick As Thieves, Vampires, The Vivero Letter, Wild Wild West, Xena
#15 American Pie, Bowfinger, Crash, Deep Blue Sea, Demolition University, The Dentist 2, Dogma, Fight Club, Forget Me Never, Gloria, The Iron Giant, Julian Po, The Mod Squad, Payback, Practical Magic, Pushing Tin, The Rage: Carrie 2, The Sixth Sense, She’s All That, Slam, A Slight Case Of Murder, Swing, Tenebrae, True Crime, Virus, The World Is Not Enough
#16 The Big Tease, Brooklyn South, Complicity, The Debt Collector, Dr Who: Time-Flight, End Of Days, The Gate, Ghost In The Shell, GMT, Inspector Gadget, The Limey, Mickey Blue Eyes, Onegin, Rancid Aluminium, Star Trek: Insurrection, Time Regained
#17 Adventure Duo, American Beauty, Anguish, The Batchelor, The Bedroom Window, Body Shots, Boys On The Beach, The Carriers Are Waiting, Chance Or Coincidence, Dark City, Evilspeak, Four Sided Triangle, Freedom Song, H.O.T.S, House On Haunted Hill, Les Enfants Du Marais, Martin, Mifune, The Muse, Nosferatu, Quatermass 2, Shock, Star Blazers: The Quest For Iscandar, Stigmata, The Thirteenth Floor, Three Seasons, Tron, Urotsukidoji III: The Return Of The Overfiend, The War Zone
#18 Annie Hall, The Beach, Being John Malkovich, Blood & Black Lace, The Bone Collector, A Clockwork Orange, Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child, Fail Safe, Hard Boiled, Knightriders, Manhattan, Molly, Ordinary Decent Criminal, A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, Possession, Rosetta, Simpatico, Sleepy Hollow, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Thing, Three Kings, The Virginian
#19 American Psycho, The Boiler Room, Chinatown, The Green Mile, Hellraiser, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The Idiots, Independence Day, Kiss: The Second Coming, The Lathe Of Heaven, Leon: The Professional, Lovers Of The Arctic Circle, Magnolia, Matador, Mystery Men, Next Friday, Pola X, Space Precinct, Topsy-Turvy, Tumbleweeds, Watching The Detectives, Xena: Warrior Princess, X – The Unknown
#20 The Abominable Snowman, Airwolf: The Movie, Apocalypse Now, Beowulf, Bruce Lee: The Path Of The Dragon, Crime Story, Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet, Down To You, Felicia’s Journey, Final Destination, Gallivant, The Groundstar Conspiracy, The Hairdresser’s Husband, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Kevin & Perry Go Large, Last Hurrah For Chivalry, Modulations: Cinema For The Ear, My Best Fiend, The Philadelphia Experiment, Positive I.D., Pusher, Repo Man, Strapless, Supergirl, 2010, Vampyres, With Or Without You, Woyzeck, Yojimbo
#21 Aardman Classics, Beau Travail, The Big Boss, Blood Surf, Blowback, Body Weapon, Bogus Witch Project, Brothers, The Brutal Truth, Cheaters, Deadlocked, Doctor Who: The Robots Of Death, Dreamscape, 8MM, The Filth And The Fury, First Blood, Frequency, Galaxy Quest, Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, The Highwayman, Holy Smoke, Island Of Fire, Jack Reed: Badge Of Honour, L’ennui, Mr Murder, New Dragon Gate Inn, Nora, Once Upon A Time In China And America, The Perfect Storm, Pitch Black, Rambo: First Blood 2, Rambo III, The Realm Of The Senses, Relative Values, Richard III, Saving Private Ryan, Scandal, Serpent’s Kiss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Wild Side
#22 Bats, BattleStar Galactica, B.Monkey, Bruce Lee: The Man The Legend, Chill Factor, Chopper Chicks In Zombietown, Class Of Nuke ‘Em High, The Delivery, Eye Of The Killer, Falling Through, Fear City, Fight Club, Five – Live, Gangster No.1, The Girl On The Bridge, Gladiator, Go, Heavy Metal, Jesus’ Son, The Last Supper, Love & Basketball, Man Bites Dog, Maybe Baby, Michael Flatley: Gold, The Million Dollar Hotel, Ms .45, Of Freaks And Men, Scorn, Small Time Obsession, Strange Planet, Straw Dogs, Surf Nazis Must Die, Three To Tango, The Tichborne Claimant, The Toxic Avenger, U-571
#23 Affliction, Agnes Browne, The Big Hit, Boiler Room, Cherry Falls, Chicken Run, Cliffhanger, Dogma, Dragons Forever, The Fly/The Fly 2, For Love Of The Game, The Fugitive, Funny Games, High Fidelity, A History Of The Avant-Garde: Britain In The Twenties, A History Of The Avant-Garde: Britain In The Thirties, The House Of Mirth, Mission Impossible 2, Night Of The Living Dead, The Patriot, Snatch, Starship Troopers, Stir Of Echoes, Supernova, Two Hands, The Whole Nine Yards, Wonderland, X-Men, Zombie
Movie Vault: Island Of Lost Souls
#24 The Alcove, Battle Creek Brawl, Breakfast Of Champions, Carole King: In Concert, The Cell, The Cranberries: Beneath The Skin, Don Henley: Live Inside Job, Earth, End Of Innocence, Fantasia 2000, Freeway II: Confessions Of A Trickbaby, Gargoyles, Godzilla 2000, Gossip, The Governess, Hana-Bi, Hell’s Angels On Wheels, Himalaya, Hound Of The Baskervilles, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Jazz Channel Presents: B.B. King, Joan Of Arc, Kids, Liberty Heights, The Luzhin Defence, Moonraker, One Deadly Summer, Place Vendôme, Play It To The Bone, A Room For Romeo Brass, Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour ’74, Scarface, Siberia, Sign Of The Four, The Spy Who Loved Me, Stranger Than Fiction, Sunshine, Sweet Hereafter, Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train, Thou Shalt Not Kill… Except, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Two-Lane Blacktop, When Justice Fails, Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo, Zatoichi The Outlaw
Movie Vault: Touch Of Evil
#25 April 2001 Alice Et Martin, And Now You’re Dead, Armour Of God, Astérix & Obélix, Barber of Siberia, Bring It On, Cherry Falls, Circus, Dancing At Lughnasa, Doctor Who: Remembrance Of The Daleks, Fist Of Fury, Fist Power, Giulietta Degli Spiriti, Hard-Boiled, Holy Smoke, In All Innocence, Intern, I Vitteloni, Kentucky Fried Movie, La Dolce Vita, L’Appartement, La Haine, Looking For Alibrandi, Nasty Neighbours, Nora, Once Upon A Time In China, People On Sunday, Praise, Prophet’s Game, Regan, Regeneration, Return Of Living Dead, Ring, Romeo Must Die, Roy Orbison: Black And White Night, Salo, Seven, Shanghai Noon, Some Voices, Stuart Little, Supercop, The Thin Blue Line, Turbulence 3, Une Liaison Pornographique, What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted?, Where The Money Is
Movie Vault: Night Of The Eagle

cast: Brittany Murphy, Dean Cain, Mimi Rogers, Peter Bogdanovich, and Tim Thomerson

director: Michael Feifer

84 minutes (12) 2010
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Scanbox DVD Region 2
[released 13 June]

RATING: 7/10
review by Paul Higson


Running times seem to be shrinking again and it’s all for the better. Particularly so, as the longer a film gets the less story they appear to have to tell, and the more hours they put you through the less content there is.

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To this end Brittany Murphy’s last film is a pat, well-paced thriller with the expected twist and the quota of three acts. No dawdling, just a lean, winding adventure told in a short 80 minutes. In the first act we are introduced to Mary (Murphy) a banking talent who is escorting her beau of four months, Kevin (Dean Cain) to a doctor’s appointment for an operation on his leg.

Following a string of bad luck relationships, Kevin is seemingly the one, but just so as not to jinx this she has kept him from view, and her best friend Christine (Kristen Kerr) is pressing her for an introduction. This doesn’t quite ring possible as Kevin was at Mary’s mother’s funeral a month before, and Mary may have few friends but, what, no other friends or family or acquaintances that could turn up? Still, the plot needs this unfeasible detail as Kevin must go in for his appointment but fail to return from it and, in the absence of those introductions, she can find nobody to verify that he was in the hospital or for that matter ever existed. The doctor who was scheduled to operate on him is on holiday, he went through reception unnoticed, ahead of Mary while she parked, and the nurse who met them, Amanda (America Young), is no nurse that any of the staff recall.

When he is over an hour late returning she goes looking for him and wrong sides the hospital staff; particularly hospital administrator Markham (Mimi Rogers) and the burly security man Holloway (Scott Anthony Leet). The more that she insists and the more she evades them the more convincing is their argument that she is suffering a mental breakdown and that the boyfriend is imagined. A police detective, Franklyn (Jay Pickett), visiting the hospital for a check-up is asked to evaluate the situation. He searches all floors and puts questions to all staff but to no avail. A glimpse of Kevin is identified by Mary in the corner of reception CCTV footage but it could be anyone.

Psychiatrist Doctor Bensley (Peter Bogdanovich) becomes involved and summarises that the fantasised perfect boyfriend is a result of her needing someone to help her with her recent bereavement and the failure to come to terms with her mother’s death. Medication is found on her to support all this, which she does not deny is hers but, of course, this helps convince nobody that what she is reporting as her version is the truth. This plot point made so early at least dismisses the twist option that Kevin is imagined as a double bluff and that being the case would be unwise.

Kevin, with his fear of hospitals, asked her not to leave him, not to abandon him, and it is a promise Mary is determined to keep. Evading everyone again, she hides in the morgue and finally receives a call from Kevin asking her to find him and instructing her not to trust anyone before he is seemingly discovered with the phone and assaulted. An accident puts her in one of the hospital beds where she is visited by the old man (Tim Thomerson) who had earlier befriended her in the canteen. His story then was a tear-jerker about supporting his wife in her treatment for cancer. Now he has another story revealing the true story of the plot against. Her talents are to be put to use or accomplices will begin cutting Kevin up into little pieces. Mary must now make some big decisions if she is to save Kevin, and she cuts loose through the hospital again to make a series of deadlines while trying to determine who she can trust.

This veteran film watcher was not to be tricked or derailed by any of the film’s revelations, though others should enjoy the rollercoaster ride for all of its twists and turns. Unfortunately, though the film is quick it is not zippy enough to avoid the un-likeliness of some of the plot devices. The CCTV cameras are not governed by anyone in the plot, so even if cameras were being avoided it seems unlikely that it could be spun out without their assistance. The inspiration for the plot against Mary comes from a book that plays a returning role in the story but it seems too big a clue to leave lying around and is an absurd revelation. The funeral attendance has been identified already as too much of a contrivance. The time frame is a bit ungovernable too. Jeez, are waiting times that good in the U.S.A. that someone is going to fret about someone one hour overdue. Kills do not take place when it would be most convenient for the villains. Instead, it is drawn out long enough for a reprieve and retaliation. But despite all of these chagrins, the pace of the mental legerdemain, whether it fools you are not, is appreciable.

On a more troubling note, there is certain tastelessness to the final shot and line when Murphy’s character is asked how she means to proceed following her ordeal. She responds, “I’m just going to go on living one day at a time.” They walk in silence towards an exit and the film announces in subtitles there and then that it is dedicated to its tragic star. It may have been wiser to withhold the dedication until after a fade to black.