Review: The Last Horror Film

Dir. David Winter

Cast: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro

Vinny Durand (Joe Spinell) is a New York City taxi driver obsessively stalking beautiful horror actress Jana Bates (Caroline Munro), as she attends the Cannes Film Festival while at the same time, a masked killer begins killing off all her proteges and associates. Is the obsessed fan the killer, or is there something more sinister going on?

Let's get this out of the way from the very beginning... NEVER trust a 15 year old boy's memory of what constitutes a good movie... reasons...

  1. If it has an actress that is considered 'hot'
  2. If it is of a genre popular at the time
  3. If their parents are guaranteed to hate it
  4. If the reviewers of the time hate it
  5. Last but not least... if it has lots of breasts jiggling around in it!

I will admit, one time and one time only, my raging hormones and 15 year old libido obviously took over when I originally saw this film (I am sure many young men have suffered the same over the years, Ultraviolet, Aeon Flux... to name but two!), I remembered it as compelling, clever, sexy and with some of the best gore effects I had ever seen (and considering by that point I had seen The Burning, An American Werewolf in London and The Thing... I even find that hard to fathom!). So, we get to the truth, well the truth of a 40-something who has seen many more things than gore effects and several pairs of jiggling breasts, here is what this supposed 'cult' movie is actually like...

Originally billed as a sequel of sorts to William Lustig's accomplished, if highly distasteful, Maniac (minus the genius of Tom Savini), The Last Horror Film succeeds only in reuniting Caroline Munro and Joe Spinell and that's where any similarity ends, unlike the former the script is dismal, the acting is so sub-par even Spinell's real life mom manages to outdo the majority of the alleged professional cast and the effects are well below average, considering this film cost considerably more to make than Maniac the only thing I can see they spent the money on was hiring Porsches, drinking Champagne and probably snorting so much white powder up their noses no-one was capable of following a script.

I know all the stories, Spinell was an untapped acting genius that never got the breaks he deserved and died too young, the alleged mob-related shenanigans behind the scenes that made this movie the perfect money laundering opportunity etc. etc. To be honest, Spinell was always a low rent, over fed version of Harvey Keitel and I finally had the realisation that Caroline Munro, although undoubtedly beautiful was still better when still or silent (e.g. The Lamb's Navy Rum ads, The Spy Who Loved Me, Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter), this film is quite frankly a mess, the humour never hits the mark, the menace is never really present, tension is diminished by laughable reactions from the actors and even the supposed twist ending is farcical.

Don't bother going back and revisiting this movie, trust me, it's not worth 90 minutes of anybodys time!

Review copy kindly supplied by

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