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Underworld
Transmutations

UK 1985
produced by
Kevin Attew, Don Hawkins, Al Burgess (executive), Paul Gwynn (executive) for Alpine, Green Man, Limegreen
directed by George Pavlou
starring Larry Lamb, Denholm Elliott, Steven Berkoff, Nicola Cowper, Irina Brook, Art Malik, Brian Croucher, Ingrid Pitt, Trevor Thomas, Gary Olsen, Paul Bown, Philip Davis, Miranda Richardson, Paul Mari, Philip Tan, Tina Maskell, Clive Panto, Sean Chapman, Candy Davis
screenplay by Clive Barker, James Caplin, based on a story by Clive Barker, music by Freur

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Roy (Larry Lamb), ex-bodyguard for the mob, is hired by his ex-boss Motherskille (Steven Berkoff) to find Nicole (Nicola Cowper), Roy's ex-girlfriend, who had been working as a prostitute lately - but it was said that she was really good at it - & who was kidnapped by a gang of monsters

The Madam of the whorehouse Nicole was working at, Pepperdine (Ingrid Pitt) reacts remarkably evasive to his questioning, but Roy finds out anyhow that she was (ab)using some substance, which leads him directly to dubious professor Savory (Denholm Elliott) ... who by the way seems to be producing monsters in his secret lab.

Nicole meanwhile wakes up amongst her kidnappers, the monsters, & learns that they mean her no harm, but need her because they are addicted to the same drug as she is (Savory's stuff), but while she stays remarkably beautiful (in an 80's sort of way) & can use the drugs secret powers to fulfill wishes (which makes her such a good whore), the monsters have turned into ... well monsters, thanks to the drug.

Nicole, nice gal that she is, decides to help them, & soon sees herself as one of them.

Meanwhile Roy has, after much to-&-fro, found out the monsters' hideout, but is captured & tied up by them (what did he think, that they'd be happy he has come), while the monsters & Nicole conjure up a plan to steal a wagonload of drugs from Savory. But Roy was duped: Motherskille wasn't interested into Nicole's whereabouts at all, he just wanted to find where the monsters hide out to destory them for good because of ... insert reason here.

To cut a long story short, at the end pretty much everybody ends up dead except for a few of the monsters & of course Roy & Nicole, whose druginduced supernatural powers have by now come to full swing. But when Roy offers her to take her with him, she refuses, because (referring to the monsters' hideout somewhere in the sewage systems) "This is my home now !" ... well I suppose it could turn into something cozy with a lick of paint, but then I'm not an interior designer.

 

Clive Baker's short story which this film was based on did have some interesting concepts - even if the idea of having monsters as the mistreated good guys was an old cliché by the mid 80's -, the film however leaves no room for any subtleties, instead drowning everything in a totally flat & uninvolving directorial effort that seems to have taken more time in arranging neon-lights (after all, this was the mid-80's) than creating anything remotely resembling any atmosphere. Bad actors & incredibly stupid dialogue do not make this film one bit better.

By the way the first adaptation of a Clive Barker story into a feature film. Director Pavlou would make another Barker-adaptation, Rawhead Rex, the next year, and even though that movie is the better film, it's not much better than Underworld.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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