Welcome to UK Films Net

Welcome to UKFilms.net - Providing independent movie reviews since 2002. Here at UK Films Net, we are on a mission to seek out the coolest films and hidden gems from micro-budget to Hollywood blockbusters. We review films in all genres and all eras. We review the actual movies and the DVD quality. We have an attraction to B-Movies as this is the area where most hidden gems can be found, but we provide the lowdown on popular blockbusters too.

Bridge of Dragons Movie Review

Title: Bridge of Dragons
Format: DVD
Year: 1999
Label: Double DVD Pack ( unknown )

Wow! Seriously, this movie is something to behold. Dolph apparently wanted to do a proper action movie after his disappointment with the outcome of his previous film 'Sweepers' - and Bridge of Dragons is.....well it certainly has action.

Scanning the synopsis, I picked out Sci-Fi and Post Apocalyptic - I had to see this movie. When it begins, the text states that the story takes place where the future meets the past.

The first 15 mins are very confusing. First of all you think it's set in some Medieval / Robin Hood era, but then you see modern buildings - my first thought was budget restrictions, but then we cut to a navy seals / expendables type scene which plays out like an episode of the A-Team - lots of slo-mo jumping as explosions go off.
The direction was very strange. I couldn't quite place it. It was somewhere between 70s exploitation, Kung-Fu and Children's TV ( slo-mo action and zooms / dollies into faces, strange face pulling. ) It was unique, but at the same time it felt familiar. I will reveal more in due course.

The dubbing was bad, which is no bad thing. The actions was hit and miss - literally. The story was both formulaic and weird, Dolph's acting was good, but the other actors were comical. Having said all that, it was entertaining and the ridiculous world created was almost captivating. There were even glimpses of Terry Gilliam style flair - well maybe not quite.
After looking up the Director on IMDB, all became clear. I had seen this directing style before. Only ever in one place. The running in and out, the face pulling, the forced low angles and extreme deaths that somehow seem inoffensive.....Power Rangers!! It's the Director of Power Rangers!!!
This movie is laugh out loud bad. That is a good thing. It is also odd. Again, this is a good thing. It's like Rambo / Navy Seals / No Retreat No Surrender meets Time Bandits - directed in the style of Power Rangers on about the same budget as a single episode of said show. In one scene, I was almost hysterical as the same actors got killed 3 or for times each. Legendary stuff. I still haven't made up my mind whether it's a cult classic, but it shouldn't be left to fade into the ether. In fact I've just decided. It's a B-movie essential so go and find a copy right now ( probably about 20p inc postage on eBay. )
UK Films Rating: 7.5/10
Release Rating: 7/10 - Good 4:3 picture
Did Marc like it? Yes

Traceroute Movie Review

Title: Traceroute
Format: Online Screener
Year: 2016
Label: Monochrom

Here we have a documentary which probes the world of sub / alternative cultures, from techno geeks to biological artist, from alternative dildo sculptors to sometimes under-appreciated hollywood practical effects artists. It's a magical mystery tour.

Directed by Johannes Grenzfurther, this feature length documentary starts with some history about the director himself and how he became a bastian of geek culture.
Johanne soon reveals the true theme of the film - A road trip like no other. A jouney across the united states, stopping off at every, any and sometimes hidden geek havens.
Traceroute is gripping from beggining to end. There is a real sense of riding along with Johannes as he introduces us to strange new worlds.

Some of the places, subjects and people are bizarre, some insightful and some politically and socially challenging, but always fun. That is the brilliance of Traceroute. It's a social commentary delivered from a totaly new angle and with real flair.

Johannes is always opinionated, but always open with a real sense of self discovery. I loved every minute of this quirky film. There is such a wide veriety of subjects, tied together by the geek theme, that it feels fluid and expansive, much like the subject matter its self.
Traceroute is certianly the most original documentary I have seen, it's well researched, well executed and extremely well directed & edited. It's fresh and thoroughly entertaining.

I have only seen the online screener so I'm not sure if there are any extra fetures availabe, but to honest there really isn't any need for extras. I suggest that everyone should see this movie. It doesn't matter whether you are interested in geek culture or not - it's just a breath of fresh air.
UK Films Rating: 9/10
Release Rating: 9/10
Did James like it? Yes

Soul Warriors Legends : Spiritual Showdown Teaser Review

Title: Soul Warriors Legends : Spiritual Showdown
Format: YouTube
Year: 2015
Label: Zion Studios

Written by Sean Badger & Dishaun Jones and Directed by Raul Urreola, could this short film add something new to the martial arts genre? Let's find out.

First of all, I must stress that this is a teaser trailer and as such cannot be analysed in the same was as a narrative film, but there is certainly enough contained in the 5 minutes to get a taste of the film to come.

This teaser film is essentially a fight scene. There are some guys in cars at the start, it's not entirely clear what their motives are, but soon enough, that is all forgotten as we are straight into some martial arts action. What feels strange to begin with is the elegant motion of the fighters - almost like performance art. 

The next thing that struck me was the lack of any impact hit sounds which are commonly found in action and martial arts films. That's when I realised that this was intentional and really added to the overall poetic and spiritual atmosphere.

The camera work is sympathetic to the momentum of the scene and the colour and lighting is excellent. The dramatic score really builds throughout and adds genuine anticipation.
As a teaser trailer I think this film delivers the goods. The stylistic shooting style and intriguing premise leaves the audience with unanswered questions as it should. I would have liked to have seen a little more character development, or just a taste, but as a short teaser it would have been a difficult task to squeeze in. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the full film as the unique atmosphere and shooting style really holds your attention and offers a new take on the martial arts genre.

UK Films Rating: 7/10
Release Rating: 7/10 - Good picture and audio.
Did James like it? Yes

Princess Movie Review

Title: Princess
Format: YouTube 4k
Year: 2015
Label: Witching Season

Here we have a horror short from Writer/Director James Morris and producer Michael Ballif. This particular film is episode two of 'The Witching Season' series. Each film is a self contained short story.

From the outset, this film ticks all the right boxes. The opening titles set the mood perfectly, creepy Halloween decorations hang in the wind of a lonely looking street. There is a real sense of atmosphere. The retro titles and subtle music score really build anticipation.

A mother and young daughter arrive at a new house and immediately we are presented with a shot that is reminiscent of The Amityville Horror. The feeling of unease grows as we are introduced to the interior as the plot is slowly revealed.

The acting is solid with a stand out performance by Emily Broschinsky who plays the daughter. As the story progresses and we delve into the basement and there are genuine spine tingling moments, shock and horror and the music score really gets the heart racing.

The direction is top notch, the camera movement is elegant and the audio superbly mixed. The subtle film grain and colour grade adds just the right amount nostalgia and best of all it is presented in 4k, which really does look excellent.
Although the concept isn't anything new, what we do have is a very well executed, thoroughly engrossing and genuinely creepy short which utilises the best elements of films like Amityville, Poltergeist, Childsplay and one of my favorite hidden gems - Fallen.
All in all this is an excellent film made by a group of passionate filmmakers and that passion shines through on the screen. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.

UK Films Rating: 8/10
Release Rating: 9/10 - Excellent picture and audio.
Did James like it? Yes

Stone Henge Apocalypse Movie Review

Title: Stone Henge Apocalypse
Format: DVD
Year: 2010
Label: Anchor Bay

From the mind of Paul Ziller, the director of 'Beyond Loch Ness' comes another mythical TV movie with a lot of fake British accents, ridiculous locations and CGI stones. But it can't be all bad, can it?  

To be fair, this is a TV movie. It's a low budget TV movie. I'm not sure which station is was made for but I would say that it probably filled it's criteria.
The acting is actually petty solid, which is quite a compliment considering that the amount of psudo science dialogue is mind numbing at best often bordering on annoying. 

The whole thing is generally shot well. The non CGI sets are passable and the lighting is pretty good. 

The main problem with this movie is that most of the most dramatic apocalyptic scenes are not seen. We experience them from within a control room - I understand that the budget dictates this point, but a few external shots with a bit of panic and carnage would have helped a lot. Added to that, the fact that there is no real Bad Guy - A few are introduced towards the end, but they have very little menace about them. 

The music works well a and the action scenes also have sufficient urgency and pace.Misha Collins does an OK job in the lead role, but he is not very charming or intreguing. The role was acted very seriously which I think was a big mistake. 
If the character had come accross a little lighter ( I'm thinking Cristian Slater / Micheal J Fox style ) or geeky like The Librarian or more of a rogue like Indiana Jones - Basically if he was given a character it would have improved the film massively.

This film is a Stargate / Independence Day / 2012 wannabe and falls short in almost every respect. Pure budget TV fodder. Worth a watch? No not really. It's bearable. That's about the long and short of it.  

UK Films Rating: 3/10
Release Rating: 7/10 - Good picture, Making Of included.
Did James like it? No


The Death Merchant Movie Review

Title: The Death Merchant
Format: DVD
Year: 1991
Label: 1st Miracle Pictures

Here we have a strange action thriller from Director James Winburn... Who? What is it with all the stunt coordinators making z movies? Well anyhow, here is another one. Not all terrible - but very hard to like. The story is OK, the cast are pretty good and the direction is just about passable. If you look past it's flaws, is it worth the effort? Let's take a look...
The lead character seems to be the villain called Ivan played by the late great Lawrence Tierney. And quite rightly so. He has the presence and the pedigree to carry this film, which he just about manages to do.

The story is a bit messy but essentially, an archaeologist finds an artifact with supernatural powers. Ivan wants it. We are then introduced to lots of forgettable characters who also want it.  

The worst thing about this movie ( and to be honest, there is a lot not to like ) is the sound mix and music. At times the music is mixed out of sync with the following loop, there is also an awful echo effect used at various times on dialogue, effects and music which is totally distracting and downright annoying. I think the sound mixer Jack Lindauer must have acquired a 1970s copycat echo machine and was intent on using it.

There is no need for anyone to watch this movie. It's a mess. Where films like aquanauts embraced and exploited their low budget trash audience, The Death Merchant just pisses them off. Not ridiculous enough to be a worthy b-movie and not executed well enough to be a passable TV movie.

UK Films Rating: 2/10
Release Rating: 4/10 - Picture ok, trailer included.
Did James like it? No

Aquanoids Movie Review

Title: Aquanoids
Format: DVD
Year: 2002
Label: Screen Entertainment

Wow! I will sum it up now and work my way backwards - Stupid, Awful & Brilliant in equal measure. This is very low budget trash cinema for the die hard trash cinema fans. The general viewing public will undoubtedly turn this movie off after the first 2 mins. BUT...if you like trash cinema and stick with it, it's actually a fun movie.

It's a classic B-Movie creature feature done pretty badly but almost unashamedly. It's Jaws meets, Piranha meets Zombie Lake with lots of static camera shots, terrible acting and dodgy framing.
I can see I'm not selling it so far....On the plus side, the gore FX & makeup are brilliant, the music works well and there are a few characters and actors that lift the production just enough to pull you in. 
The lead actor is a busty blond, who gives it her best shot but falls short, by a long way. In fact, she struggles to talk and move at the same time for the most part. The lead male only features in the film for about 30 seconds at the beginning and 30 seconds at the end. If the director had gone with him as the lead, the movie could have been a cult classic. 
There are creatures in the bay that attack swimmers. That's pretty much it. The stand out characters are the mayor and his side kick played by Edwin Craig ( Batman ) and Ike Gringrich ( None worth mentioning )
This duo work brilliantly together as the villains who must put a stop to these melding kids before they ruin their plans to build a shopping centre in the cove.
The direction is pretty poor, even by trash standards. Lots of static badly framed shots and unnecessary cut shots. There is a lot of underwater footage which is actually pretty good and definitely adds production value. There is a nod to Roger Corman films and their Italian knock offs which is nice. This kinda sums it up. This movie is a knock off of a knock off of a knock off.

I must say that I actually enjoyed this movie. There were even a few laugh out loud moments - mainly due to the horrific acting and stupid dialogue, but I guess that's kind of the whole point of these type of movies. Megashark, sharktopus etc have just polished the turd, or trash, as would be the case. I would not recommend this to anyone other than z-movie enthusiasts - if that sounds like you, then I thoroughly recommend Aquanoids.

UK Films Rating: 5/10
Release Rating: 5/10 - Picture poor, but trailers included.
Did James like it? Yes