F9: The Fast Saga (a.k.a Fast and Furious 9) (2021, Dir. Justin Lin)

Ridiculous extension of the tired franchise. So bereft of new ideas it borrows from its own cannon. The result is 2hrs of absurd plot contrivances, gravity defying stunt stupidity, terrible scripting and horrible acting from everyone. Cena is especially wooden and bloody awful. For die hard F&F fans only.

Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007, dir. Victor Garcia)

The sister of a survivor of the previous movie becomes involved in the search for a magical idol. OK-as-far-as-it-goes DTV sequel expanding on the first movie in promising ways, and gleeful in its gore. A cast of vaguely-familiar UK telly faces helps, even though the movie crumbles into daftness.

Here’s the trailer.

House on Haunted Hill (1999, dir. William Malone)

A theme park owner hosts a birthday party in a supposedly-haunted ex-asylum. Remake of the Vincent Price flick. More a premise than a movie, though there’s some fun to be had before it kinda falls apart, not least in Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen out-camping each other, and in some neat FX touches. A DTV sequel followed.

Here’s the trailer

Soapdish (1991, dir. Michael Hoffman)

Machinations behind the scenes of a daytime soap opera. One key moment aside (a plot twist that doesn’t hold nowadays), this is a sprightly camp farce with everyone in on the joke and strength in depth in the cast and playing. Something of a time capsule, but there’s plenty of fun here to be had nevertheless.

Here’s the trailer.

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974, dir. Roy Ward Baker [and Chang Cheh])

In 1904 China, a visiting Van Helsing helps combat a Dracula-led vampiric uprising. The last pic of the Hammer cycle innovates through genre mash-up (and a deal with Shaw Brothers). It’s messy, but fun: martial arts showcasing, twists on undead lore, plus some location spectacle all helps.

Here’s the trailer.

Freejack (1992, dir. Geoff Murphy)

A race driver is time-jumped to near-future 2009, where his body has been requisitioned for transplant purposes. Ramshackle chase thriller with SF trappings. Some fun in the casting and in odd moments, but this is nevertheless tatty and derivative: a troubled production, as this was, can leave scar tissue.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, dir. Alan Gibson)

Dracula seeks revenge on the modern-day Van Helsings. This series reboot revisits plot elements from Taste The Blood Of and … Has Risen but sets them in then-contemporary Chelsea. The swinging London stuff was dated in ’72, but this is still a brisk romp with a time-capsule attraction and some grittier asides.

Here’s the trailer.

Texas Killing Fields (2011, dir. Amy Canaan Mann)

Detectives struggle with a series of murders. Based very loosely on real-world unsolved crimes, this noir-ish thriller can’t decide whether to go for procedural or for obsessive cop angst. It tries both, and so doesn’t gel. Decent performances from an up-and-coming cast and an OK look make this a not-uninteresting curio though.

Here’s the trailer.

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968, dir. Freddie Francis)

A revived Count seeks revenge on the priest whose exorcism has barred him from his castle. Continuing from Dracula: Prince of Darkness, this series entry doesn’t offer much that’s new, but Francis’s direction is fun, and a dull second act leads to a lively climax.

Here’s the trailer.

What Keeps You Alive (2018, dir. Colin Minihan)

A woman taking a first anniversary break with her wife discovers she is psychopathic. While some of the story beats are a little off, this is nevertheless a well-sustained and confident variation on the backwoods survival thriller. Decent performances, solid direction and some quirky moments all help.

Here’s the trailer.