The Mind Of Mr Soames (1970)
When Amicus is brought up, rarely does the name Mr Soames follow anywhere in the conversation and I don't know why. Terrence Stamp is sublime as the titular Soames who has been in a coma since birth only to be awoken by a suavely bearded Robert Vaughn. Nature vs Nurture comes into play and we have a retake on Frankenstein as the baby goes on a misunderstood rampage across England.

Animal Factory (2000)
Directed by Steve Buscemi and featured a great as always performance by Willem Defoe who takes one too many minor offence Eddie Furlong under his wing in this prisoner drama. Gritty to the bone with some great cameos including a dirtbag Tom Arnold as you've never seen him before.

Almost An Angel (1990)
This time the guy from down under is working for the man upstairs. After Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan seemed to be on a trajectory to the top of Ayers Rock. I remember watching his comedy shows late night and not really getting the adult humour but enjoying his charisma. In Angel, Hogan is a bank robber using disguises as various hasbeen rockers until one day he is
hit by a car and becomes an angel (or does he?) forcing him to turn over a new leaf. Charm and ozzie accents in buckets.

10 Seconds to Hell (1959)
I came across this researching for Hammicus. Who would have ever thought Hammer made a war film with Jack Palance as a German POW betting other POWs on defusing unexploded bombs in Berlin. Well here it is and it's a beauty. Ace in the hole 1951 Must admit I didn't know anything about this going in. It was a blind buy based on Kirk Douglas on the cover and the title. What I got was whipped back in time to the days of old when one man's vision, ambition and selfishness can create mountains. Not just Douglas' Chuck Tatum weaving deceit for his own benefit but also Billy Wilder's strength over the film. Massive sets and cast of extras that just would not happen today. A reminder of days gone by.

The Last Wave (1977)
I go through phases of mini marathons depending what I seem to be interested in at anytime and this came up while I was on a bout of supernatural Australian films. Richard Chamberlain is a lawyer on a defense case involving a taboo murder while searching for a lost aboriginal tribe that live underground in Sydney. All while having nightmares of the end of the world due to a tidal wave. Great stuff if you want something cerebral and off the beaten track. Great special features too. If you only know Peter Weir from big budget american fair, seek this out.

Seance on A Wet Afternoon (1964)
Dickie Attenborough can do no wrong in my opinion, from Pinkie Brown to John Hammond and everything in between. Seance had somehow slipped by me over the years but not in 2011. Attenborough comes through with meek Billy Savagein a wonderfully twisting noirish kitchen sink kidnap. Makes me think how many more films are out there just waiting for me to discover.

Simon King of The Witches (1971)
Simon was definately among the strangest of films viewed last year. A warlock living in the sewers, invokes the help of the evil forces in order to take revenge of a man who cheated him with a bad cheque. Captivating from the start, this demands repeat viewings to understand what is really going on.

The Offence (1972)
"You can spare a few Chips can't ye?" Sydney Lumet and Sean Connery are among the greatest partnerships in cinema history and if I only got to watch one director's and one actors' work for the rest of my life it would be these lads. The Offence is a terrifying piece about post traumatic stress taking it's toll on a police officer hell bent on finding a missing girl. Dark, bleak and true in nature of the crime. Ian Bannen serves up a character to remember. Connery was promised 3 films of his choice if he would reprise Bond, this being his first choice but unfortunately taking 9 years to recoup it's budget, the studio balked on the other 2 which included an adaptation of Macbeth.

Murder by Natural Causes (1979)
In the spirit of Sleuth and Deathtrap here comes Hal Holbrook using his mind control and psychic abilities to pull off the perfect murder.

Trojan Eddie (1996)
A bugger of a film to find which is strange as the cast includes Richard Harris, Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleason and just about every other Irish actor out there. Rea steals the show going up against Harris in one of his strongest roles in later life.

How To Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
Richard E Grant has been working a bit too hard lately and seems to be paying the price. Is it all in his head? or is it a question of which one? Glad it got a Criterion release. A delight to watch especially one of the greatest monologues in cinema history.

Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
Heart breakingly penned by Rod Sterling of Twilight Zone fame. Cassius Clay makes an appearance as himself to knock out Aidan Quinn's Mountain Riviera to begin the downward spiral to complete degradation. Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleeson add a few punches on the way down. This is a true testament to "they don't make em' like they used to"

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002)
Singing Shane Meadows praises til the cows come home I had never seen midlands before. Although more comic in tone compared to his other work, nobody observes working class Britain in such a way. Touches of spaghetti mixed with ale brings this charming story to life with typically fantastic performances for an all round excellent cast. Do yerself a flavour.

The Glass Tomb (1955)
Watching this for Hammicus Noir, I was amazed at the technical skill of the directing, cinematography and trickery incorporated to tell the story of a side show exhibit of a man starving to death in a glass tomb. At just over an hour long don't bother watching CSI again tonight, give this a go. Rare dramatic role for carry on laughing star Sid James.