Lockout (2012) Snake Plissken’s Brother From Another Mother & The Last DVD I Ever Rented From Blockbusters

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce science fiction prison rescue action movie DVD cover

This review is for the science fiction action film Lockout from 2012. Regular readers will probably notice this is the newest film I’ve ever reviewed on here!

Tagline –Take No Prisoners. Escape Before Time Runs Out!

Who’s our hero today?
Yep that really is Mike from Neighbours all buffed up. Guy Pearce plays Marion Snow. “My old man was a John Wayne fan.

Had I seen this one on VHS/DVD back in the day?
This was the very last DVD I ever rented from my local Blockbuster’s before it’s sad fate shut it down in 2013. To be honest I’d rarely used it anymore, the rental prices were going through the roof. What with the ever changing way we would start to watch content and it’s unwillingness to move with the times unfortunately Blockbusters sealed it’s own demise. Anyhow, I’d had either missed Lockout at the cinema or it was never shown? The trailer looked like good cheesy sci-fi action fun. Like a throw back to the 80s with flashier effects. It had an almost Escape From New York (1981) vibe to it. Later I’d find out I was right and it had more than a vibe! So my very last rental memory would become Lockout! Rest in peace Blockbusters……….

Lockout (2012) Blockbusters Video chain rental store Ashley Road Parkstone Poole Closing down Shut VHS DVD

The actual Blockbuster video store were I last rented this DVD from before it closed down.

Quick plot run down.
Now does any of this sound familiar? The year is 2079 rather than 1997. The world is over-run with dangerous criminals. To keep them out the way of the human population, MS One, a maximum security prison is built orbiting around Earth. Prisoners are kept in stasis pods for lengths at a time between their sentence. A procedure that is believed to develop a mental instability, like dementia, turning the convicts even more insane. The President’s daughter is on-board MS ONE to investigate the claims. Yeah you guessed it. She’s gets taken hostage and now the Secret Service need a cigarette smoking, wisecracking, total bad ass to go in and save her. One that has just been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S! There’s even a briefcase containing secrets! Our reluctant hero has the opportunity to save the Presidents daughter and retrieve the briefcase to prove his innocence. Luckily, unlike his brother from another mother, he’s not injected with micro-explosives!

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce warning offensive t-shirt

Does the hero have a day job?
Snow was a maverick CIA agent who’d been investigating another agent selling secrets. When evidence shows an undercover agent being coldly murdered by Snow he soon finds himself with a one way ticket to the floating maximum security penitentiary in space.

What’s our heroes special skills?
Knowledge in all types of military strategies, weapons expert and completely fearless. But his main special skill is his nonstop banter. Luckily he does warn us with his “Warning Offensive” t-shirt.

Emilie – “Are you always this obnoxious?” Snow – “Shh…” Emile – “Did you hear something?” Snow – “No, I’m just enjoying the silence.”

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce science fiction prison rescue action movie gun hero

Heroes weapon of choice?
A futuristic retrofit Heckler and Koch sub-machine gun with laser sighter. But the best bit of kit he has is noise activated mini mines. Used twice with similar effect. As a baddie quietly lifts their head through into ceiling space and witnesses the mini bomb go live, both proceed to curse “Shit” or “Fuck” and then BOOM!

Heroes drink of choice?
He goes off on a right bender! Whisky, beer, a few lines of nose candy! Really hits rock bottom! (Check it on this music video called “His Body” I never knew he sang?)

Does hero have a sidekick?
He has his contact, inside man, Mace (Tim Plester) but his real side kick is the President’s daughter. See below.

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce maggie grace needle rescue prison sci-fi

Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
President Warnock’s (Peter Hudson) daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) is on board MS One to investigate evidence that the slowly turning deranged prisoners locked up in stasis are in fact also being used as test subjects. Soon she and the staff population of the prison ship are either killed or taken hostage. Snow might be there to save her but she isn’t a fan of the arrogant and cocky hero. With the banter and abuse she reluctantly, with no other choice, gets pushed through one dangerous situation to the next.

Who’s the main baddie?
Tough criminal mastermind Alex (Vincent Regan) thinks he is in charge of the prison revolt.

Baddies special skills?
Depends how you look at who’s in charge but Alex’s brother Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) could be classed as his special skill! He initiated the prison break and hostage situation releasing his older brother to run things. But unfortunately for Alex his brotherly love alliance for Hydell will bring complete carnage as the guy is a complete psychopath.

Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 9/10
Alex scores a strong 8 but Hydell irrational psychotic behavior ramps up all the way to 10. Leveling them out for 9 on the Richter scale of badness.

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce Joseph Gilgun and Vincent Regan bad guys

Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 9/10
Snow is hardcore enough to lose his balls! “I’d rather castrate myself with blunt rocks.” His brother Snake scored a perfect 10 so Snow will have to come in at a 9 to not cause any sibling rivalry.

Surely it features a training montage scene?
Not sure if the training montage scene made it out of the 80s and 90s? I’m sure a few slipped on by but not here I’m afraid.

Does it feature an impossible mission?
For sure it does! A prison in space filled with psychotic, riotous, killer lunatics and the chance that the prison could very well be exploded to smithereens if all else fails!

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce MS One Maximum security prison in space

Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
It is quoted that Guy undertook a high-protein diet and weightlifting regimen to increase his muscle mass. He certainly looked the most beefed up I’d seen him. He fitted in well with the action role IMHO.

Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Nothing to report I’m afraid.

Sex scene?
A few innuendos but nothing else. Emilie’s face lands on Snow’s waist. “Oh, you don’t have to do that. A simple thank you is enough!

Any good totally random surprise scenes?
Neurotransmitter stimulation needle through eye into the brain resulting in the Lambada!

Films body count? Low/Medium/High
Uncountable amount. Tons!

Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Massive amount.

How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
I’m sure everyone was completely fine. Not like the old days of stuntmen getting blown up with no health and safety guidelines. Now it’s all CGI and fancy trickery.

Any cool car chases?
Actually quite a cool future motorcycle chase down the highway through the futuristic city pursued by a flying police car as explosions and cars flip and crash all over the place. Bit OTT on the CGI but it’s a fun scene nonetheless.

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce zipper lighter smoking cigerette

Best lines
Langral –Again, what happened in that hotel room?
Snow –Oh, it was coupon night and I was trampolining your wife.” POW punched in the face.
Langral –You’re a real comedian aren’t you, Snow?
Snow –Well I guess that’s why they call it the punch line.” POW punched in the face.

Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
Peter Stormare plays his usual self as the Chief of the Secret Service Scott Langral who could be good or could be bad!
Lenny James plays a CIA agent called Harry Shaw. He’s probably best known at the moment as Morgan in The Walking Dead. He’s also a very well known face on British television.

Production Credits
Lockout is directed by James Mather and Steve Saint Leger which they both co-wrote the screenplay based on an “original” idea by French filmmaker Luc Besson know for Leon: The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997) to name a few.

From what I’ve read it looks like John Carpenter had noticed big similarities between Lockout and his own Kurt Russell film Escape From New York (1981). Alleging in court that they had indeed plagiarized their film resulting in the court awarding damages. Then a year later Luc Besson tried to appeal the ruling only for it to be rejected and the damages to be largely increased.

Lockout (2012) Guy Pearce Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) prison convict psycho

Cheese-O-Meter! Low/Medium/High?
It’s pretty cheesy tbh. The biggest offender in the Philly cheese steak championship is Hydell (Joseph Gilgun). He’s just so annoyingly over the top crazy.

IMDB score rating – 6.1/10

Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 9/10

Wolfman over all film rating – 7/10

Closing thoughts………………………………………….
Regardless of the controversy of the plagiarizing claims, Lockout feels and plays out just like a bejazzled 80s throw back. If you treat it as such I believe you would enjoy it more. Guy Pearce, I felt, surprisingly pulled off the big action role. He looked like he was having fun in the part. I’d of probably even jumped on board for a sequel had there been one.  Found myself enjoying it more than I did the first time I saw it. Probably down to the fact that I’d just come off the back of doing 30 action films reviews in a month and that i’m partial to a bit of sci-fi. Not sure I will be reviewing many more new films but thought it fitted in well with the video rental action reviews being that it was the last DVD to be rented by myself!

PS Lockout (2012) is on Netflix at time of writing.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.

Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmings Freaks To The Johnny Harris Funky As Hell Soundtrack

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmings Gayle Hunnicutt poster cover dvd columbia pictures horror mystery

Tim Brett (David Hemmings) has a wildly funky soundtrack following him around. Maybe it was all the heroin he’d injected in his veins? Maybe all the acid trips he’d dropped. You’d of thought now he was a recovering drug addict, chilling out in sunny Italy, he’d of cleared his mind of that intoxicating driving beat! His sweet Aunt Lucy (Flora Robson) visits him and congratulates him on his success. The flute goes off his mind. You see his eyes twitch. Aunt Lucy wants to help people. His foot taps to the beat. She looks away, calls the waiter. An involuntary spasm! Arms and legs going ecstatic to all the instruments. A peculiar sight to see. Like he was trying to play every instrument at once. He was unprepared for such an outbreak. He manages to control it. It was now contained. Aunt Lucy hadn’t seen his freak-out. He feared opening his month just in case that frantic flute fanfare blasted out, straight into her innocent face. Oh his beloved Aunt.

Tagline – Murder in Pompeii. Voices in the night. Despair in the gutter. A phantasmagoria of fright!

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmingsstaring in shop chemist

Something compels him to do a karate chop! Why? That damn groovy music spontaneously keeps trying to escape! Oh gosh! Not now! Damn you cool music! I’ve got such sad news to deal with. Now was not the time to gyrate! You see poor Aunt Lucy’s been murdered. A woman screams. She found her covered in flies. He moves his hips to the infectious sounds within his head. He hates it but loves that killer beat. He shouts, muffled through his clasped hand. “I wanna cry Bruce Lee fighting sounds and do back-flips“. He decides to ask the woman out. She says yes. Maybe she was in shock! Maybe it’s his tremendous well timed dance moves! “What the hell are you doing Tim!!?” asks Juliet Bristow (Gayle Hunnicutt). “I’m dancing” is all he could honestly reply.

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmings Gayle Hunnicutt italy

He sat by the graveside and pondered the thought that maybe he’s damaged his brain? “Insane in the membrane?” Too many drugs not enough recovery time. Oh Aunt Lucy what happen? He spies a note stuck between the bereavement flowers. It reads. “From The Stepping Stones in memory of happier times…” What the hell does that mean Aunt Lucy? “Who or what are the Stepping Stones?

Months pass. He’s back in London. Wedding plans soon come. Oh that’s ok. His mind is visited by the other melody. The mellower chilled out theme tune. The other one. Still a cold darn funky number. He slowly jigs his body, smiles and nods his head. It’s certainly not as frantic. A kind of dirty jazz funk sound. Sleazy and sexy. His hips start grinding again. Another flashback. Hippy’s, hands, ooooo lovemaking. Suddenly aware the curtains and the windows are open in his room. There’s a pigeon called Columbus. The telephone rings.

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmings sweating horror paranoia mystery stare confussed

Weird stuff happens. He’s scared, he pukes. Strange phone calls. A hysterical laugh. Dodgy coppers, people watching. The door opens, the floorboards creak. There’s someone here! Then that damn FLUTE! Oh I do love that flute. So raw, so animalistic, sensual maybe? crazy………

OK as you’ve probably guessed none of that or some of that didn’t happen. I’m not really sure to be honest. What I do know is Tim goes investigating his Aunts unexpected death and it turns his life upside down.

Tim –Either I am mad and all this isn’t happening to me, or else I’m sane and it is.

Fragment of Fear (1970) David Hemmings sweating horror paranoia mystery stare close up

The Production

This British psychological thriller was adapted from a book of the same name written by John Bingham. Who interestingly goes by the super fancy name of John Michael Ward Bingham, 7th Baron Clanmorris and was a former MI5 spy turned novelist writing thrillers and spy books. The screenplay was by Paul Dehn who’d worked on the spy thriller The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1965) and all the Planet of the Apes sequel films. In the directors chair sat Richard C Sarafian. He’s go on to make the cult classic Vanishing Point (1971) and the excellent Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) which I’d reviewed last year.

The amazing thing about Fragment Of Fear is the cast. So many familiar faces pop up. You got the quintessential gentleman Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Dad’s Army very own Capt. Mainwaring’s Arthur Lowe. George and Mildred’s Yootha Joyce and Grady (Philip Stone) from The Shining (1980) and Dave The Barman Harris from Minder otherwise known as Glynn Edwards. Then there’s eye patch James Bond villain Largo from Thunderball (1965). Plus Aunt Lucy might only have a small part but what a career she had. Flora Robson was in Black Narcissus (1947) to 7 Women (1966) to name a few. So many different character actors keep appearing in this film.

The Soundtrack

I only recently knew that the composer and musical arranger Johnny Harris record Movements I’d been freaking to for many years was bizarrely featured within this film. It even says on the back cover that the tracks Fragments Of Fear and Stepping Stones are from the Columbia motion picture Fragment Of Fear. I hadn’t notice it until a friend mention it and sparked my desire to see the film as soon as I could. So intrigued to see how on God’s sweet Earth this soundtrack could fit into a film filled with mystery, horror, paranoia and madness. Well of course for me it was perfect. However I will honestly add that I could well imagine, for many, this soundtrack is waaaaaaaay off the chart too bonkers for this film. The track “Stepping Stones” is in pure 70’s cops, robbers, pimps, you name it, chase theme stylee. When it’s first used, it’s when Tim walks from his Aunts grave! Yep that’s right, walks from his Aunts grave and then proceeds to look in a bin!. Give it a listen.

But first read this Aunt grave visiting music comment on YouTube…..
bloody hell, I wasn’t mentally prepared for this much funk!

So much funk that Levi’s 501 Jean’s used it in their 1997 Kung Fu inspired commercial. Note, not a sad melancholy TV commercial for elderly burial coffins, old people homes or wills.

The main theme that actually drifts in and out throughout the whole soundtrack is the one named after the film. It’s a beautiful piece of music. Piano and arrangements are conducted by Johnny Harris with Bass by Herbie Flowers, drums by Harold Fisher and that amazing flute by Harold McNair. Check it out. Sit back and chill to this after the mayhem of Stepping Stones. Much like the cover photo it might give you an orgasm face! So please be warned.

It’s a shame just those two tracks were used as I’d have loved to of heard my other favourite from the album, the beautiful, serene and easy listening Footsteps On The Moon. Which I believe was originally used during the television broadcast of the actual Moon landing footage.

Here’s me chilling with my copy. The picture doesn’t pick up that my whole body is in fact gyrating to the beat.

Wolfman cult film johnny Harris record vinyl fragments of fear movements LP wolf

The Verdict

It’s an intriguing film that’s for sure. I’m a sucker for these type of films. Was it any good? I liked it a quite a lot. The two best things that overshadow everything else is obviously the soundtrack that is wildly over the top for the film. The other superb thing is the atmosphere. The world is created and expertly filmed with an almost dream like quality to it. Felt myself drawn into the story but ultimately let down a tad by the end. With a bit more time to have developed on a twist which could of elevated the film more. David Hemmings carries the film well, he looks scared and worried when he needs to, sweats buckets and deals with the bizarre oncoming situations well. I’ve always loved David Hemmings for his choice of interesting movies. Whether it’s 60s iconic films like Blow-Up (1966) or Barbarella (1968) or the amazing two little unknown mini masterpieces that I’ve reviewed on here like Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971) and The Long Day’s Dying (1968).

I’ll give Fragment Of Fear an interesting oddball offering of……….. 7.5/10

Thanks for popping and if you did read the above please except my apologies. Yeah I get a bit carried away sometimes. Hehe… Have fun with movies…

Mikey Wolf

His Kind of Woman (1951) Effortlessly Cool Robert Mitchum And Scene Stealing Vincent Price Go Toe To Toe With Gangster Burr

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Robert Mitchum Jane Ruseell Vincent Price Poster Noir

Stepping into frame with that sleepy-eyed uber cool swagger is Robert Mitchum. This review is for a fun little noir called His Kind of Woman (1951)

What’s going down?

Dan Milner (Robert Mitchum) is a gambling man. Down on his luck. On the look for his next trick. His unlucky streak is made worse when three gangster’s heavies turn up at his apartment. Demanding money owed on a horse race he never bet on. It ends with Dan taking a beating. Later he’s contacted to take a mysterious job that will pay big bills. 50 thousand dollars with a 5 thousand advance. The job will take him out of the country to a remote Mexican resort. He will then receive further instructions to his task. Dan Milner isn’t stupid. He takes the job to keep the gangsters off his back but he’s stays forever observant. They aren’t gonna get one over on him! Dotted around the resort are many suspicious and dodgy looking holiday makers. Dan keeps his eye on each and everyone. Caught up in the story is underworld boss Nick Ferraro (Raymond Burr) trying to escape Italy after being deported. Wishing to get back on American soil to continue his gangster ways. Can Dan Milner work out what he is being paid to do?

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Robert Mitchum film noir drama thriller

The main players

Robert Mitchum – Dan Milner
Jane Russell – Lenore Brent
Vincent Price – Mark Cardigan
Tim Holt – Bill Lusk
Charles McGraw – Thompson
Marjorie Reynolds – Helen Cardigan
Raymond Burr – Nick Ferraro
John Mylong – Martin Krafft

Tagline – They were two of a kind ! …and bound to meet, but neither of them knew what such a meeting would mean!

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Robert Mitchum Jane Russell together sex appeal

Sure I’ve seen them in something?

  • Of course Robert Mitchum is known for amazing performances like Out of the Past (1947), The Night of the Hunter (1955) and one of my favorites Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957). The only two I’ve done, so far, for my film blog are Crossfire (1947) and the masterpiece The Yakuza (1974). Pop back over the month, more Mitchum’s to come.
  • I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen any Jane Russell movies other than Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) many years ago. Feel free to recommend.
  • If there’s one film you see with Charles McGraw then makes sure it’s The Narrow Margin (1952)
  • I don’t believe this is my first Vincent Price post! How could it be! The guys a legend! Check the awesome The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), House of Wax (1953) and Laura (1944) to name a few.
  • Tim Holt starred alongside Humphrey Bogart in the western treasure digging drama The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) along with many other westerns.
  • It’s amazing to know that Raymond Burr was always the go-to bad guy with his hulking big frame. Then later in his career he’d become the quintessential, much loved, good guy in TV crime detective characters such as Ironside and Perry Mason. He stars in possibly my favourite Alfred Hitchcock film with James Stewart in Rear Window (1954) and two I’ve reviewed on my film site called Desperate (1947) and Raw Deal (1948) both of which are essential noirs.

Notes on production?

His Kind Of Woman is directed by John Farrow who had earlier made these two excellent noirs. Alias Nick Beal (1949) and The Big Clock (1948) both starring Ray Milland. Production sounds like a total nightmare. I read that Howard Hughes was desperate to get his two big stars Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell to feature together as “the epitome of sexual chemistry“. When the film wrapped he wasn’t happy at all. Even resulting in what sounds like blackmailing uncredited director Richard Fleischer to re-shoot chunks of the film, especially the end. Using Fleischer’s recently finished The Narrow Margin as a bargaining chip. Hughes wanted more Vincent Price, who he loved and for the film to feature more comedy, more death, brutality, and more fighting. Howard Hughes must of drove everyone to their absolute wits end but there’s no denying that his changes were, for us the viewer, perfection.

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Robert Mitchum film noir drama thriller spying

Hits like a sledge hammer

Robert Mitchum always looks so damn cool but his take on Dan Milner is stylish, rugged and tough with an unabashed confidence. Each time he walks on screen he stops, pops his hands in his suit jacket, leans back and begins to read the room. Busy taking in the atmosphere. Prying to be one step ahead of whatever dangerous situation he has coming his way. But when things start to hit like a sledge hammer he can’t always be ready. And boy does he take a beating. “The boys know not to mess up his face! OK! Don’t rough him up too much“. is just the start. When the end arrives it’s insanely brutal, so brutal that I read that Mitchum saw red! Going completely mad on set, smashing the hell out of everything when acting turned into more of a bashing for this star during the finale. Which must be saying something as you can only imagine Mitchum being just as tough off screen. It’s also said that Raymond Burr might of even accidentally knocked him out.

Nick Ferraro –I want him to be fully conscious. I don’t like to shoot a corpse. I want to see the expression on his face when he knows it’s coming.

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Raymond Burr gangster gun mafia boss

Made me smile from ear to ear

“Hollywood legend” Mark Cardigan (Vincent Price) putting on his own personal cinema showings of his films as he sits at the back rejoicing in his talents. Dressed in his evening smoking jacket he claps excitedly to his own movie performances. Glancing around the room to catch peoples reactions whilst his swashbuckling swordsmanship play out on the screen. It’s a delight to watch him as it always is but here it reaches another level of brilliance and it warms your heart. To add to this he announces wonderful lines like these “Now might I drink hot blood and do such bitter business the earth would quake to look upon.” or “I must rid all the seas of pirates!

His Kind Of Woman (1951) the wonderful vincent price clapping himself

Verdict

His Kind Of Woman manages to slice a few differing film genres within it’s narrative. You got a hard-boiled gangster drama, a dark film noir filled with action, a little romance and some surprising comic moments. You could worry that the comedy side, which has Vincent Price in hilarious form, would distract from the grittiness of the story. However, strangely it doesn’t at all. Even more bizarre is Robert Mitchum plays his part perfectly, he’s tough, wise and just looks so effortlessly cool. But somehow Vincent Price’s portrayal of the brave and kind thespian Mark Cardigan completely steals the show. He’s desperate to show he’s as brave as the part he plays in his films. You are with him as he relishes in his moment. Oh and Jane Russell is smoking hot too.

His Kind Of Woman (1951) Robert Mitchum Jane Russell on beach swim suit

This was a SUPERB recommend by Mikes Take On The Movies. I’m sure he has a review as the big Vincent Price fan that he is. Be sure to check his Spotlighting Vincent Price On the Small Screen Part one and Part Two.

Rating score

Wolfman’s rating 8.5/10       IMDB 7.1/10

Feel free to recommend me related movies and any other trivia if you wish. Keep having fun at the movies…. Mikey Wolf

McVicar (1980) Gritty British Prison Escape Movie Starring Roger Daltrey

McVicar (1980) Roger Daltrey prison escape breakout on the run poster movie

WHO had thought it was a good idea to have Roger Daltrey play a hardened criminal and WHO would ever of realised he’d pull it off so convincingly? Right that’s got the WHO gags out the way. Roger Daltrey if you didn’t already know was the lead singer of the British rock group The Who. Branching out from the music side of things, the band had expanded into film production. The Who Films started with the classic Mods and Rockers clash, Quadrophenia in 1979 along with the bands very own documentary The Kids Are Alright. The production company only made one other film. The prison drama, McVicar. Continue reading