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First Time Watches - April 2012

Turn Me On 'Dammit (2012)
On paper this sounded like a Norwegian "Welcome To The Dollhouse" but it's much more aimed at a teen audience.
Norwegian teens seem a lot more advanced than most others though and this features copious masturbation, breast fondling, and even an erect penis. This in a movie whose characters are all fifteen! It will probably get the equivalent of an "R" rating everywhere outside Northern Europe which means it's target audience won't even hear about it.
Helene Bergsholm is brilliant in the lead role of a constantly horny teen, running up her mother's phone bill on sex lines and daydreaming about being ravished by every male she encounters. I wouldn't be surprised to see her break out into English language films in the future. 5/10


Acolytes (2008)
I was totally engrossed by the first hour of this Aussie thriller before it sadly ran out of ideas. Director Jon Hewitt creates some brilliant atmosphere while cinematographer Mark Pugh puts together stunning compositions. The most obvious influence is Tarkovsky, especially in an elaborate homage to the kiss over a ditch in "Ivan's Childhood".
Joel Edgerton is great as the moustachioed serial killer blackmailed by teenagers out of their depth.
For fans of brooding atmosphere only. 6/10


X (2011)
Jon Hewitt's latest is a sleazy rollercoaster ride through the seamier parts of Sydney. Two hookers, one high class, one street level, find themselves on the run after witnessing the murder of a client.
The location filming is reminiscent of "The Sweet Smell Of Success"  in it's effective capturing of a busy city late at night and Hewitt's regular cinematographer Mark Pugh again does great work. I think this guy is right up there with his compatriot Chris Doyle.
Viva Bianca and the stunning Hanna Mangan-Lawrence are both excellent in the lead roles. The movie is too muddled to really work but if you like old school sleazy exploitation it'll kill ninety minutes. 6/10


Chillerama (2011)
Directors Adam Green, Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch and Tim Sullivan conspire to deliver without doubt the worst horror anthology ever to (dis)grace the screen.
The level of juvenile toilet humor is pathetic, was this made by grown men or twelve year olds? They try to capture the fifties and seventies grindhouse look by adding some cheap after effects but everything just ends up looking like a porn from 2003 rather than a horror movie from 1973. 1/10




Scooby Doo & The Music Of The Vampire (2012)
A sub-par entry in the Scoobsters catalogue sees the Mystery Inc crew become embroiled in vampirism in Louisiana. Fun is poked at "Twilight" but the laughs are few and far between. There are a lot more musical numbers than is the norm and the songs are thoroughly bland. Back to basics please for the next outing. 4/10




The Adopted (2011)
Current French Belle Du Jour Melanie Laurent makes her directorial debut with this turgid melodrama. It has more in common with those awful English indie dramas of the noughties than contemporary French cinema. A highly unlikable bunch of Parisians with fantasy bohemian careers mope around while one of them lies in a coma. You'll be wishing for the plug to be pulled yourself. 2/10




Rabies (2011)
Billed as Israel's first slasher flick, this just imitates every bad American slasher. The dialogue tries to ape Kevin Williamson and comes off as ridiculously forced. Every culture has it's own creepy legends and I'm sure a good movie could be made from Jewish folklore. This film could have been made in any westernised nation though and brings nothing to the genre.  2/10




Playback (2012)
This awful mid budget horror feels like the worst ever episode of the "X-Files", a dated plot about a teen who gains evil powers by viewing some found footage. There are two movies within the movie but the quality is so bad overall that it's hard to distinguish any of them. Christian Slater looks relatively healthy again so his mum might like watching this, nobody else will. 2/10


Switch (2011)
Preposterous French-Canadian thriller about a twentysomething her swaps her Montreal apartment for one in Paris. Once there she is framed for murder and finds her identity has been switched with the real killer. Plotholes are as wide as the Seine, for example why not ask the police to contact your family to confirm your identity. This is getting some hype due to Eric Cantona's portrayal of a detective. His acting certainly isn't bad for a footballer but he maintains a look of constipation throughout. Even if Man Utd fans could actually read subtitles I wouldn't recommend they watch this. 3/10

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