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The Malevolent DVD Awards

I’ve been renting DVDs via Amazon for over a year now, and just had a look back through my rental history…

The Good

The Machinist
A dark, quirky, suspenseful thriller that deserved far more attention.
Some may find it way too geeky, mundane and hard to follow (I lost track of some aspects towards the end), but this has to be amongst the best no-budget films made. Shane Carruth’s acting and direction manages to convey the quiet terror of discovering something too powerful to cope with.
Altered States
A barmy film from slightly barmy director Ken Russell (whose work I often find unwatchable); silliness, suspense and creative weirdness.
Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence
Worth watching just for the opening credits’ use of music and imagery.
The Conversation
A superb 1970s conspiracy thriller that I’d meant to get round to seeing for years. Well worth the wait.
I was a bit tired and kept falling asleep during this one, but who cares. Every time I awoke I was greeted with beautifully atmospheric scenes.
American Splendor
Maybe it would’ve worked better just as a documentary, as the real people are more interesting than their dramatised equivalents, but it’s still fascinating.
Kind Hearts and Coronets
I shot an arrow in the air; she fell to earth in Berkeley Square. One of the few films I can watch again every couple of years.

The Bad

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Boring. Boring, Boring, boring. Appallingly boring.

The Ugly

The Plague Dogs
I rented this out of curiosity, to see if an animated film about two dogs escaping from a lab could be the most relentlessly downbeat thing produced in the history of cinema. At one point a kindly farmer spots the dogs and one of them runs over to him… then accidentally knocks his shotgun and shoots him in the face. And that’s one of the more cheerful scenes.


I thought I was the only person to ever watch Altered States?!?! And what were you thinking in renting the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? Must have been bored out of your mind...

[email removed to keep it from spammers]

— Shawn, 22nd May, 4:57am

Well, it got reasonable reviews, and a couple of people had said it was OK, so I thought it was worth a try.

How wrong I was. I got more laughs out of The Plague Dogs.

Matt Round, 22nd May, 8:26pm

Boring is a little tame in my opinion Matt and that aside Martin Freedman (is that the name of the cheeky chappy from the office) wouldn't know Arthur Dent if 'it' came up and slapped him on his cheeky cheeks.

— Rob, 6th Jul, 3:13pm

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