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.

T-Force Movie Review

Title: T-Force
Format: DVD
Year: 1994
Label: ILC

A change of pace now with some 90s Sci-Fi Action with... T-Force. Now the first rule of B-Movies, in fact the only rule of B-Movies is: Make the artwork a million times better than the movie. They got this one completely wrong. This movie should thank it's lucky stars that it found me because no other person on the planet would watch this movie based on this crappy cover. It's a shame because it could have had truly epic artwork and the movie is actually pretty good.

A simple story set in the near future. A group of Robocops go off the rails and turn into Terminators. 90 minutes of gunfire, explosions, robot components, boobs, corny one liners, male bonding, buddy cops, helicopter battles and dune buggy chases ensue. There isn't very much else to say. Why has this film not been given the love it deserves? Because of that god awful artwork! Did I mention that before?
I really liked the direction on this. Some really cool angles, nice dramatic dolly shots reminiscent of the 80s Italian zooms and some well executed chase sequences. The effects are also very impressive for the most part. We can ignore a little tin foil here and there. As a poor man's Robocop/Terminator/UniversalSoldier/48hours/Raw Deal, this pretty much hits the spot.
The acting is fine and the writing is pretty decent. It does weave in a little sentimentality and hints at some deeper Bladerunner style moral quandaries, but soon discards those notions in favor of cheap gags - and all the better for it I reckon. The only thing that I wasn't keen on was the T-Force costumes. Not tacky enough to be cool and not techy enough to be plausable, but whatever.

That about sums it up. I'm sure the Director would have liked to make the world feel a little more futuristic in a total recall style, but he did a good job overall. There are some decent little virtual reality and holographic gadgets which help set the scene. So to summarise I'd say it's a poor man's Robocop/Terminator/Universal Soldier/Raw Deal and I like it. A hidden gem.

UK Films Rating: 7/10
Release Rating: 5/10 - Good picture. No extras.
Did James like it? Yes

Warrior of the Lost World Movie Review

Title: Warrior of the Lost World
Format: VHS
Year: 1983
Label: Thorn EMI

Back to some good old Italian Post Apocalyptic trash. This one is ridiculous and I loved every minute.

The cast is superb. Not the actual acting, but the pedigree of actors is brilliant and makes the whole thing even more ridiculous. Everyone just seems to be having a great time. Rumor is that the director was not given a script or story, just a poster and told to make a film to match. And what a film he made.

Our lead actor, I'm not sure if he had a name, rides a bike similar to street hawk with an onboard computer with a character which can only be described as the bastard child of R2-D2 and kit. Our anti-hero is a bit of a rogue in the style of Han Solo and gets roped into a rebel attack on the evil empire called Omega by the princess ( maybe not really a princess but she might as well have been. ) to save her father. An epic journey begins in the style of King Solomons Mines - The Richard Chamberlain Indiana Jones rip off, but far more messed up with far worse jokes.
But this story is irrelevent really. It's all about the characters, costumes, vehicles and sound effects.
The rebels are made up of various gangs best described as the characters of Street Fighter II breaking out of the screen and having an orgy. There's a Kung Fu gang, all dressed as Ryu, GI Joes, Black Nazis, Punks, Prostitutes and wrestlers.  It's amazing. 

The head of the baddies is basically Blofeld, Dr. Evil before Dr. Evil. His henchmen are nazi storm troopers all carrying MP40s. But this is a strange thing. All of the guns in the movie are vintage with the exception of a few chrome pistols. They all fire bullets, but it seems that they must have originally planned to use lasers, or at least someone came up with a laser sound, and they just stuck with it. It doesn't fit at all, but I love it!
The effects, sets and locations are very good. Some look a little rushed, like an open well kept green field with random burnt out cars, but most are great. The constant changing of locations does keep you entertained while nothing much is happening, from indiana jones style caves with spiders and snakes to futuristic bars and vast  military compounds.

The direction is a little heavy handed, but who cares. It's a wham bam thank you mam of a film. It shoes glimpses of genius and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the fact that the director was thrown into this, obviously took the challenge on and decided to have a good time doing it. They asked for a film to go with the poster. That's what they got. So he then has the gall to

leave the end begging for a sequel. Brilliant. If you like this genre, you have to see this movie. Even if you hate it, you'll have a good time hating it. What more can you ask for. Everyone's a winner.

UK Films Rating: 8/10
Release Rating: 7/10 - Great picture for a 1983 VHS
Did James like it? Yes

The Divide Movie Review

Title: The Divide
Format: DVD 
Year: 2011
Label: Momentum

First of all let me say that the cover art is a little misleading. 99% of this movie is set in a bunker. But the image of the apocalyptic earth depicted in the artwork does match the image formed through unfolding of the story in the bunker.

The first thing that struck me about this movie is the quality of the production. It looks and sounds great. The camera movements and direction are excellent. The acting for the most part is also very good.

The story is simple but brilliant. A group of people descend into the basement of their apartment block when bombs start falling outside. It turns out that the building's care taker has created a functional fall out shelter.
The main story focuses on the collapse of society in the microclimate housed in the fall out shelter. The changes in the characters and overall states of minds is brilliantly done. It incorporates all of the best ellements of any post apocalyptic movie and crams it all into the tiny clausraphobic space. It's been seen before in horror thrillers, but this is extremely well done and horrifiying in parts.

Needless to say that not everyone makes it. A few events early on make it very clear that this movie takes no prisoners. There are so many well defined characters that it would be difficult for me to go into those here, but they are all individuals that really build the tension.

When things really start to get messed up around the mid way point, it is difficult to look away. My wife's pained frown all the way through this portion of the movie is enough for me to love it, but it really is a well crafted and well executed triumph of cinema in my opinion.

UK Films Rating: 9/10
Release Rating: 9/10 - Great picture & sound. 24min Making Of
Did James like it? Yes

Hero Wanted Movie Review

Title: Hero Wanted
Format: DVD 
Year: 2008
Label: Sony Fight Factory

Here we have another Cuba Gooding Jr. straight to video action movie. You know the format by now. Team up Cuba with another B-List actor, throw in a few guns and a few bad guys, job done. But....this one is pretty good.
In fact, I really liked this one. Solid acting, lots of action and a constantly twisting story line.

While watching Hero Wanted, I couldn't help but compare it to another Cuba straight to video gem - The Hit List. The story although original had a similar vibe. Which I liked. So I looked up the director. Different director but the same writers: Chad & Evan Law. Who have since written films starring Jean Claud Van Damme and another with John Cusack.

The story involves our lead actor becoming a local celebrity when he saves a little girl from a car crash. His fame soon fades until he becomes a victim in a bank heist. The bank robbers then try to eliminate one of the witnesses, a woman who Cuba's character quite likes. Cuba takes things into his own hands to protect the woman. But all is not as it seems. Ray Liotta plays the detective on the trail of this mysterious vigilante and does a good job. You can tell that they didn't have much budget to pay Liotta so he's not in it a lot, but just enough to establish his character and progress the plot.
The production quality is excellent as too are the effects. The screenplay is also solid and much more fluid than most movies in the action thriller direct to video genre. Blows away any Seagal outings of recent years.
If you are into action movies or if you like The Hit List, definitely check this one out. I watched the Sony Fight Factory release and the quality was very good, both sound and picture. Not any real extras but does feature a commentary with Cuba, The Director Brian Smrz ( this is his one and only film that he has Directed. Well known as a Stunts co-ordinator ) and either Chad or Evan - I'm not sure which.

UK Films Rating: 7.5/10
Release Rating: 7.5/10 - Good picture and sound. Commentary track.
Did James like it? Yes

Atomic Cyborg Fists Of Steel Movie Review

Title: Atomic Cyborg Fists Of Steel
Format: DVD 
Year: 1986
Label: 23rd Century

Atomic Cyborg aka Hands Of Steel would seem to be a rip off of Cyborg at first glance, but it was released 3 years earlier than Cyborg. It plays out more like a cross between The Terminator, Short Circuit and Bladerunner but with a much lower budget.

The acting is pretty solid from all cast members. It is obvious that John Saxon's guest appearance added a familiar face to the cast. It is also evident that they only have limited time to shoot with Saxon. His is the only dialogue which was not dubbed, but Sergio Martino did a pretty good job getting the most bang for his buck out of Saxon.

The story is pretty standard but works well. A cyborg trained to be an assassin goes awol after failing to complete his assignment. The shady agency responsible for the cyborg try track him down and terminate him. Saxon plays the head of this organisation and he appoints two hit men. One of the hitmen gets swapped about a quarter of the way through, but it kinda works. The new hit man is much more charismatic.
The dialogue is cheesy just how we like it. There are some good sets and a few memorable scenes. The arm wrestling mini story is a little messy but I guess Martino may have pre-emped a successful year for the arm wrestling theme with the release of Stallone's Over The Top in the same year. In fact the two tiles for this film seem to be hedging their bets. Atomic Cyborg for The Terminator fans and Hands Of Steel for Over The Top fans, notice the similarity in the poster Art? 
 The effects are pretty good for a low budget movie. Something that Martino was slowly becoming a master of. And it's obvious that this has some of Marinos classic touches, some taken from one of my favorite Martino movies 2019 - After The Fall of New York.

This movie had so much potential. The characters were good, the writing was fine, it just seemed as though the budget held it back. There was an underlying story of the world being corrupt and the effects of pollution crippling the world, but it wasn't developed. There is a scene where the lead character - Pablo - drives through an acid rain area. This was great. There were hints all the way through that this was set in a dystopian future, but there was not enough evidence. The truck drivers, bad agents and good agents were the only real groups introduced. There was plenty of scope for a full on post apocalyptic style divide with mutants, rebels etc.

There was a cool looking massive laser gun which only appears in the final scenes which was awesome. Props like this should have been introduced early on to establish the futuristic vibe. It would have added contrast to the run of the mill 80s American street scenes of the opening credits.
The character development of the FBI agents was a little disappointing. It would have been nice to follow the plot of their story, but they were relegated to the background. Only occasionally cutting to their office. They could have revealed more about the background of the cyborg and also the world in which the story is set.
The love story works well and is subtle. The ending is intentionally weird just for the sake of it, but I like it. Despite the lack of development of some characters and plot, all in all I really enjoyed this movie. Any fans of 80s B-Movies should pick it up. The DVD is quite rare, but it seems to be a VHS Rip anyhow so why not pick up an original VHS.

UK Films Rating: 7/10
Release Rating: 6/10 - Decent VHS picture and sound.
Did James like it? Yes