Monday, 21 November 2011

Thriller: A Cruel Picture

Thriller: A Cruel Picture (aka They Call Her One Eye) is a classic revenge exploitation film, once described as the first film to be banned in Sweden (a big claim indeed!). Thriller tells the story of a mute young woman who is forced into heroin addiction for which she has to work as a prostitute, and her revenge on the men responsible for her humiliation.

Starring the beautiful Christina Lindburg, this film has earned much notoriety over the years. During production real ammo was used and Lindburg was made to inject saline solution into herself for the drug use scenes. An actual corpse was also used in one scene to show the star being stabbed in the eye. The film was cut, cut and cut some more in an attempt to get it out to audiences. An X-rated version was also released (with a body double for the scenes) in an attempt to try and bring the punters in.

This is the sort of film that exploitation fans like myself dream about, blood, guns, beautiful women and a history as messed up as the film itself! A thoroughly enjoyable wild ride of a movie, and for completists out there, I recommend the limited edition DVD, which includes the movie uncut in all its gory details. You can also pick up the Vengeance edition which is more widely available, but doesn't contain as much violence as the LE. Pick up a copy today and see just what you were missing!

More info on this film can be found here:

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Young People Fucking

                                                     Video probably NSFW ...

To be honest, I went into this film with a bit of trepidation, expecting something similar to the frankly dreadful 'Shortbus', but what Young People Fucking gave me was a frank, funny and often cringe-making look at a group of different couple types navigating through the difficulties of their sexual relationships. We had the First Date couple, the Exes, the Couple, the Best Friends etc. The film was split into sections including Foreplay, Sex, Interlude, Orgasm etc and whilst some parts were certainly more interesting and entertaining that others (the Roommates section for example), I came away from this film pleasantly surprised.

YPF is certainly no Oscar winning masterpiece, it's very talky in parts, but the character development is good, the characters are likable and you really find yourself routing for particular groups to make the best of their situation.

Definitely worth a look on a cold winters evening when there's little else on, you may come away amazed that you enjoyed this film quite as much as you will!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sleeping Beauty

This Auzzie film is a twisted tale, in a Kubrikian style, of a Sleeping Beauty who desperately attempts to navigate student life whilst doing everything she can to make some money on the side. Step forward for the opportunity to sleep whilst strangers pick you up, roll you about but never, never sleep with you.

Emily Browning is perfectly suited to the role, an upcoming actress with untarnished beauty who plays innocent as easily as she plays slutty. She seems to have sprung from relative obscurity with Lemony Snicket to Sucker Punch and I can only see bigger and better things from her in years to come.

I recommend this film to anyone wanting something a little less eye-candy and a little more intellectual. If I have one criticism, it is that the film's ending is a little flat and leaves you feeling that something was lacking, but overall, worth a look for anyone out there wanting a break from the gore and psychedelic craziness of their usual viewing!
Apologies to all for the recent lack of posts, I have been ill and haven't had a chance to add anything, but normal service will resume this evening. Please enjoy this trailer to my all time favourite film in the meantime. Thank you! :)

                                                         The Wicker Man

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

Possible spoilers below:

I've literally just finished watching Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) and it is one sick little puppy. The first half of the film leaves you wondering what all the fuss was about. If you've seen Centipede 1, then it's pretty much a load of clips from that with a few other slightly weird sequences chucked in to build the plot, but it's very slow going. The second half however is another beast altogether. The official UK release is cut by over 2 mins and I'm pretty certain that they will almost all come from this half of the film.

I don't want to give away any spoilers but there are some pretty gruesome scenes, including teeth smashing, face stapling and a new born fetus trampled into the floor. The director of this film obviously deciding that shock value was the way forward and it doesn't fail to deliver.

In all, this is not a good film, by any measure, but if you want to see more of the same from C1, with extra nastiness thrown in for good measure, you'll be on to a winner to watch this. Let's hope this is the final installment of this series now as it feels like it has run its course. Something tells me it isn't though and we can expect more to come very soon.

Someone's Knocking at the Door

"The most depraved film of the 21st century" the tag-line proclaims ... well, maybe not, but this is certainly a twisted little puppy of a film. The premise: a pair of twisted serial rapist murderers return to a hospital where they were tested upon to take revenge on the medical students who study there.

This independent film is a horror one minute, a comedy the next, a psychological drug-fueled head fuck the next moment and a deviant sexual nightmare the next. There are more than enough moments to make you shake your head at what you have just seen and more than enough gore to satisfy the die-hard horror fans out there, although the red stuff isn't lingered upon, more thrown in your face and then wiped away and as you're rubbing your eyes at what you have just seen, a fat man with a foot long phallus will come running at you waving everything he has in your face!

This really is a rather silly film, but thoroughly enjoyable with plenty of over-the-top sex and gore and at only 76 minutes long is the perfect length ... I'll have to leave this review here for now, I think Someone's Knocking at the Door ...

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

'Rated X by an all white jury' - Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song starts Melvin Van Peebles (father of Mario) as the eponymous hero Sweet Sweetback. This film tells the story of an African American man's flight from white oppression ... and when this guy runs, he really runs! It's like watching the love-child of Shaft and Forrest Gump as Sweet runs and runs and runs ... and runs some more. When Sweet's not running, he manages to find the time and energy to sleep with a number of beautiful women ('actresses' hand-picked by Van Peebles for the express purpose of him having unsimulated sex with them on screen - although the sex is real, none of the 'ins and outs' are shown, but Van Peebles did end up contracting an STD during the making of the film and successfully filed for compensation for his 'injury'!

Highly regarded by some critics as an early masterpiece in Black Cinema, I encourage you, unless you are a film student or rampant cinephile, you'd probably thank me for saying that you should give this self-indulgent waste of time (in the same sense that Brown Bunny was a self-indulgent piece of shit) a wide berth. There are so many much better examples of Black Cinema out there which don't try to be what they're not.

If you know what's good for you, you will run and run and run as quickly as you can in any direction, so long as it's away from anywhere this film is playing!

Monday, 31 October 2011

They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore

                             Interview with director Nathan Shiff followed by trailer

Nathan Schiff's They Don't Cut the Grass Anymore tells the story of 2 psychotic hillbilly gardeners who, fed up with the treatment at the hands of their well-to-do clients, decide to turn their gardening skills towards people rather than plants. Independent filmmaker Schiff, well know for his first exploitation film Weasels Rip My Flesh, ups the ante in this shocker with his usual mix of terrible acting and full on cheap-but-gross special effects. Limbs fly, faces are literally chopped from the skull and blood flies through the air, but Schiff still manages to dish up plenty of belly laughs along the way.

Filmed in glorious Super 8, the film is often scratchy, jumpy and grainy. It can't have cost more than a few pounds to make, but it has a certain something about it, something that only a mid-eighties film made on a battered old dirt-cheap camera can produce.

Obviously this film will not be to everyone's taste, all of you who are used to clean, polished finishes will probably hate the look of the film, but those of you willing to give something 'different' a try might just enjoy it. On the downside, this is film is obviously not available for general release so tracking down a copy may prove difficult but if you can find one (or any of Schiff's movies) you're certainly in for crazy ride.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


In the not too distant future, the threat of terror has reached fever pitch. A decision is made to link all CCTV cameras to a central mainframe which can reduce the terror threat by keeping a watchful eye on everything at all times, but all is not as it seems as the Eyeborgs begin to take on a terrible new role in the 'war on crime' whilst trying to 'protect the safety of all citizens'.

This independent futuristic thriller isn't a bad fare for it's low production price. The special effect, whilst never seemingly sitting well with the real world, look fairly fluid and are very much out of the 'Robocop' vein of robots. The acting does let this film down a little, but as always the ever reliable Danny Trejo is worth the rental price.

If you're after a little light sci-fi entertainment and don't mind your films looking less like I, Robot and a bit more like it was put together by the 18 year old techie-nerd in a computer animation class, then this is worth a look. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Following on from Hobo with a Shotgun, we have another film which attempts to tread the grindhouse boards but sadly comes up short. Gutterballs follows rival bowling gangs over one night in bowling alley. Throw in a mask wearing psychopath hell-bent on killing each and every one of them and a pretty nasty scene involving a gang of thugs, a female bowler and a bowling pin and you have this messy 80's throwback. Unlike Hobo which includes numerous comic scenes this is one of those 'nasty for nasty's sake' films - now don't get me wrong, I usually have nothing against those types of films - but I at least demand to be entertained. I'll be generous and give this film a 5/10 as it does contain one or two decent attempts to shock and thrill, but sadly it doesn't make the strike it's hoping for and falls short of the mark.

NB: If you do decide to watch this film (not released in the UK so you will need to look overseas to get a copy) bear in mind that there are 2 versions. The 'best' edition currently available is the 'Balls Out' version which includes more gore etc.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Hobo With A Shotgun

                                        Warning: Video is uncut and contains strong
                                        violence and profanity ... Enjoy!

Hobo With a Shotgun - what can I say? A brilliant throwback to the trashy films of the 70's and 80's, which achieves what Tarantino set out to do with his Grindhouse films, but failed to achieve. This exploitation flick is full of more gore, guts and gags than anything churned out of Hollywood right now and will leave you with a headache, a slightly nauseating feeling and a great big smile on your face. 8/10 - I'll give this a thumbs up/try it you just might like it!


Hello and welcome to Carl Sykes' Alternative Film Reviews. I watch a lot of films in my spare time, so I want to use this blog as an opportunity to briefly review each film, post a video link where possible and let you know what's good, what's bad and what is down-right appalling in the celluloid world. You won't find your run of the mill Hollywood films here, just the stuff you've never seen, never wanted to see or always wondered what it was like. Hopefully someone will find this interesting and it may just point you towards a hidden gem you've not yet seen, or help you to avoid the biggest turkey!