Masked psychopath Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield yet again to stalk his niece, played again by Danielle Harris. Donald Pleasence also returns as psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, but this chapter in the story is a total snooze.
What more can be said about The Great Escape, arguably one of the best and certainly one of the most popular World War II films? Seeing this again on the big screen was a reminder of everything that makes this film a classic, from Elmer Bernstein’s familiar, often referenced and richly varied score, through the excellent cinematography and editing, to the sharp, memorable performances from Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, David McCallum, Gordon Jackson and co.
Despite weighing in at 172 minutes, The Great Escape keeps a steady pace that will not tire contemporary audiences. An outstanding film with a moving mix of humour, guts and tragedy, played in a way that makes it accessible to a vast range of film lovers.
Quintessentially Australian, yet wholly unique, Wake in Fright was directed by Canadian Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) and stars British actors Donald Pleasence and Gary Bond, as the school teacher with a gambling problem who finds himself trapped in the Outback. His Odyssey quickly spirals out of control into a maelstrom of machismo, overbearing heat, kangaroo boxing and beer…never before has a film been so dreanched in the amber nectar. Infused with an edgy, anti-authoritarian spirit, this is a true cult classic that is now seeing a much-deserved second life.
John Carpenter had a fantastic run of form, from his debut Dark Star in 1974, up until They Live in 1988. Just before that sci-fi action classic he made this excellent little supernatural horror movie, which I had somehow failed to see until now. Donald Pleasence plays a nameless priest who enlists the help of controversial scientist Victor Wong and his team of research students. In the bowels of an abandoned church they discover a mysterious cylinder that might just prove to be a portal to another dimension, and Satan himself is knocking on the door. Something of a slowburn, the film nevertheless successfully builds suspense and tension, while serving up a decent number of old school scares and splatter effects. The unconventionally downbeat ending only adds to the reasons why this film stands out.