Tag Archive | The Birthday Series

The Return of Jarv’s Birthday Series- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)


I’d completely repressed the fact that we’d done these bloody birthday series, which come complete with the added bonus of only being stopped by the reviewers’ actual death. Anyhoo, as I’m still on the unemployment train, I thought I’d have a look to see what treasures 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 had left for me before my imminent birthday this year. So, having briefly perused Wikipedia, I was quite pleased to see a palatable list that I’ve already (for the most part) seen and, more importantly, didn’t hate. My provisional list is: Premium Rush, You’re Next, Sinister 2 and, for 2014 and today’s entry, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. I’ll also update the scores for the first run through after I catch up with 2016’s entry.

Contains new material written especially for Werewolves on the Moon that isn’t as good as the material that has already been published in this series (heh) and spoilers below

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Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Rich Kids (1979)


Winding down the Birthday Series for this year, and this will be the last time, as I’m not going into the third choice films (that way madness lies) and we come to the third last review: 1979’s Rich Kids (release date 17th August in the USA). This would not, outside of the Birthday Series, ever be a film that I would have gone out of my way to watch because it’s a drama about divorce and I find it a matter of mild curiosity how many of these type of films were released in the late 70’s. It seems as if Divorce was some kind of taboo subject that Hollywood had finally worked up the balls to take on, and so they did what Hollywood always does and splurge a load out. Some, as in Kramer v Kramer are considered classic now, but others, such as the subject of today’s review, have justifiably sunk into the abyss and are forgotten. Occasionally those films have some kind of value, and are unjustly overshadowed by their more famous counterpart, but most of the time the reason they’ve been forgotten is simple: they weren’t that worthwhile or memorable in the first place, striving for mediocrity at best.

Contains vicious shrews, a suspicious lack of pictures and spoilers below Read More…

Requiem for procrastination: Jarv looks at the last 12 months of Werewolves on the Moon.

Another October has passed and we’re another year older and wiser. Thus it is time for me to trawl through the archives and present some of our efforts that have been hugely entertaining and maybe worthy of another look.

Last year, I did this by month, but I’m not so sure that’s the way forward this time. Basically, the year has been dominated by a number of series, and so instead of me churning out loads and patting myself on the back, I thought I’d just look at a few of the contributions from various good Changians. Some have been fun for all involved, and some of them less enjoyable for one of the brethren (Just Pillow Talk).

So, here we go: Happy Belated Birthday to us….

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Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Schock (1980)

As has been oft-noted on the various odysseys through the Birthday Series that we’ve done, the closer to the 1970’s you get, the more difficult it is to find the release dates of films. Wikipedia can only help out so much. So, turning to other sources, I find myself digging deep into the dregs of the internet to root out a film, any film, released remotely near to my date of birth. Sometimes this works out just fine, but on other occasions it can throw up some utter dross, or even worse than that Italian horror. So, with no further preamble, let me introduce you to the late unlamented Mario Bava’s last work, cleverly entitled “Schock”. Or Beyond the Door 2 if you’re American.

Contains woman possibly going insane or maybe not and massive, massive spoilers below.

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Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

I think I’ve accidentally meandered, possibly while drunk, into Droid’s forthcoming bombs series. That is the only explanation I can come up with for the cinematic boredom that flitted its way across my screen on Sunday. Not only was Honky Tonk Freeway (Release date 21st August in America) terrible, but it is one of the biggest bombs in history, taking a mighty $2m from a $25m budget in 1981. The question I have to ask, though, is who on earth decided that this was the film to spend that whack of cash on? Seriously, who? Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, this was also a real bastard to find, and I ended up watching  almost all of it on YouTube. So, thanks for that too- this was probably the only way I could have found to make the entire experience more of a trial.

Contains an elephant on water skis and a singular lack of comedy not to mention mild spoilers below Read More…

Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: The Thing (1982)

Welcome back to The Birthday Series. For those that don’t know, this is how it works: Pick a film released each year as close to your Birthday as possible. In my case, that’s 23rd August. As I get nearer to my actual date of Birth, finding, for the most part, the films can prove to be difficult. There’s one year, though, where it’s easy: 1982. 1982 was a vintage year for genre films, the kind of year that we just don’t get any more. Still, the 26th August in the UK saw John Carpenter’s classic The Thing released, a film that has rightly gone down as a classic with one of the most iconic taglines of all time:  Man is the warmest place to hide.

May contain crazy Swedes and Spoilers below.
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Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983)

Nearly there…

It’s down to the early 80’s in this run through the Birthday Series. For those that aren’t familiar, the idea is to pick a film released as close as possible to your birthday. In my case, that’s 23rd of August. The early 80’s are always a witheringly inconsistent time, as 1982 and 1984 are two of the greatest all-time years for genre cinema, but there’s a frankly obscene amount of trash released around it. So, for my 1983 effort, it’s Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared-Syn (19th August in the US),  a Charles Band (of Full Moon fame) sci-fi effort that makes almost no sense whatsoever.

May contain power crystals and spoilers below. Read More…

Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Oxford Blues (1984)

Back on the Birthday Series after my brief detour through the vault, and I can’t say I’m that happy to be back. For those that don’t know the rules, all you do is pick a film released as close to your birthday as possible and review it. Today’s offering is, I think, only the third sport based movie that I’ve ever done, as they do tend to be formulaic in the extreme and my interest often depends on the sport being filmed. Oxford Blues managed the impossible, and somehow found a sport more boring than Drag Racing. That sport? Rowing. Seriously, each year the BBC try to pretend that the nation gives a red fuck about “The Boat Race” between Oxford and Cambridge rather than that tiny proportion of the country that can claim either of them as an alma mater.

Contains cocky Americans showing us stuffy English types how it is done and spoilers below. Read More…

Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: Better off Dead (1985)

8 films to go before I take on the probably useless Total Recall remake this summer. I quite like doing these Birthday Series as there’s always a wide variety of films available. For those unfamiliar with the rules, this is how it works: Pick a film released as close to your date of birth as possible and then watch and review it. Sometimes it turns lucky, sometimes (*cough* Just Pillow Talk *cough*) it’s an exercise in torture. Today’s entry is Savage Steve Holland’s 1985 teen parody Better off Dead (21st August in Australia- I knew there was a use for the country), a film I hadn’t seen since the late 80’s and one that I was thoroughly looking forward to rewatching.

May contain saucy French foreign exchange students and spoilers below. Read More…

Jarv’s Birthday Series Redux: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

As I approach the last handful of films on the Birthday List, this is where I expect the quality to start varying wildly. The problem is that when you near the early 80’s, it becomes more difficult to pin down the exact release date of the various films, so you’re left with whatever you can get hold of. The rules to The Birthday Series are simple: take your date of birth, and review a film that was released somewhere as close to that date as possible.  There’s always the odd classic that leaps out, but the rest of them tend to be a mishmash of schlocky garbage, nonsense sequels, unfunny comedies and heavy-hitting drama. It is strange, actually, but one of the anomalies of my list is the sheer absence of action movies. Which is a shame, because I like those.  Anyhow, I haven’t had a horror movie in a while, so let’s step up with Tobe Hooper’s belated sequel to his all-time classic: it’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (release date 22nd August 1986). I vaguely recalled seeing this about 15 years ago, and not liking it very much, so this bodes well for this review.

May contain a Chili cook off and spoilers below Read More…