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Satans Blade Killer Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Satan’s Blade: the evil spirit of an ancient and violent mountain-man terrorises tourists at a secluded ski lodge. At 80 minutes, you expect a punchy slasher, and with the first ten minutes only consisting of women getting undressed then shot in the tits, it’s half way there… however it all goes south very quickly. Released in 1984, this has more of a 50s/60s feel due to very basic camerawork, acting, editing, and a very poor sound mix – people talking inside a car, but no car noises; missing screams; shouting through walls but sounding crystal clear; silent shower curtains etc. Also, for a slasher, the deaths are fairly disappointing, with dabbed on blood and lots of cutting/editing; but very little gore. The acting isn’t much better, with ‘studenty’ performances, and stunted delivery of very stale dialogue. You know a film’s amazingly bad when the IMDB page is full of its actors/writers tearing it to pieces and apologising for it! Regular viewers will be disappointed by Satan’s Blade; but as a formerly rare, no budget b-movie, the Blu Ray release is a treat for hardened collectors and VHS nostalgists looking to upgrade their copy, and learn about the film through the plethora of new extras and features.

Score: 2/10

Satans Blade Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Satans Blade Death Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Standard death acting in this picture

 

Mutilator Fall Break Poster High Resolution Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham, Bennie Moore, Buddy Cooper

The Mutilator [AKA Fall Break]: years after accidentally killing his mum (which drove his father insane), a teenager brings some friends to the estranged dads beach condo for an autumnal break. Despite being firmly in B-Movie territory, it’s quickly apparent that this is a completely amateur production. The big faults of the film fall at the feet of one-time director/writer/producer Buddy Cooper: there’s no tension, lots of awkward silence, bad original music, stale acting, and every scene feels dragged out for longer than it needs to be – to hit the coveted 90-minute mark. In fact, everything about this picture is so corny and cheap, it gives The Mutilator a certain charm that all the money in the world couldn’t buy: things like the second-long pause between lines in conversations, the stilled delivery of dialogue, the seemingly straight sentences like “I got a baaad feeling about this”, the awkwardness of every extra, and the campy death screams… The saving grace are the substantial gore effects of Mark Shostrom (Videodrome, Evil Dead II, X-Files, Buffy) as each character gets picked off with boat motors, battle-axes, pitchforks and fishing gaffs – the latter being the films single ‘ho-leeee sheeeet’ moment. A solid poster, catchy tagline, sensible re-naming, and handful of gory moments will ensure that this routine slasher flies off the shelves for years to come. Despite the professional level blood ‘n’ guts, everything else about The Mutilator has an Alan Smithee quality which will be enjoyed, but only by hardened genre fans and drunk friends.

Score: 2/10
B-Movie Score: 5/10

By Sword
By Pick
By Axe
Bye Bye

As always, Arrow Films have given this relatively unknown film the definitive release: it’s completely uncut and director-approved for the first time in the UK, boasts a 2K scan from the original copyright print, original mono soundtrack, and more commentaries / features / stills than you can shake a bloody axe at!

Mutilator Fall Break Car Axe Killer Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham, Bennie Moore, Buddy Cooper Mutilator Fall Break Battle Axe Throat Slit Gore Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham, Bennie Moore, Buddy Cooper Mutilator Fall Break Night Gown Saucy Nudity Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham, Bennie Moore, Buddy Cooper

Mystic River: drama/mystery that follows three childhood friends in Boston from a day that changed all of their lives forever. Acting-wise, this is an absolute powerhouse of a roster with too many big names to do justice; Penn‘s passion and attitude are outstanding – a career-defining role for him, Bacon‘s awesome at staying cool and reserved, Fishbourne‘s flawless as a badass cop, Robbins is great at portraying a man on the edge, and hell, even the bit-part boyfriend’s hyper believable… everyone involved is outstanding. Technically, the film’s a masterpiece. Every shot is picturesque, the detail’s all there, the camerawork is spot-on, the direction is simple but effective and the lighting in particular adds a whole other dimension to the film – most noticeable with Robbins, who’s progressively lit to look more crooked and bizarre as the film goes on. The final product is haunting, atmospheric and unbelievably gripping as it builds up to the finale. On paper, this is as depressing a story as any other Eastwood film of late – but with a cast this strong, great pacing and simple storytelling this a proper tour de force – and while it is quite bleak, that’s where all of the mystery and drama comes from. in a nutshell, this is simply a great film.

Score: 9/10