Hardcore Henry (2015)

Director: Ilya Naishuller
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, Russia/USA 1h 36m

It’s hard to know if we do actually need a first person shooter style movie considering the amount of computer games that are widely available on the market, but we definitely have one now,  after the success of both Crank (2006/2009) movies,  budding director Ilya Naishuller, took things one step further with his action packed Sci-Fi thriller Hardcore Henry which was promised to be a full of adrenaline rush for the whole 1 hour 36 minutes duration, and to be fair it achieve its’ goal but with a more detailed and complicated narrative than was expected. Continue reading Hardcore Henry (2015)

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Sanjuro (1962)

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Book: Shūgorō Yamamoto novel Hibi Heian
Starring: Toshiro Mifune,Tatsuya Nakadai,Keiju Kobayashi,Yūzō Kayama. Japan. 1h 95m

After the raging success of  Yojimbo, Akira Kurosawa, adapted Hibi Heian,  to incorporate the lead character and developed Sanjuro. A sort of pseudo sequel,  while carrying on all of the comedy antics from Yojimbo, this film only has one classic full on Samurai scene and it’s very end,   but it’s generally entertaining throughout, if only a little off key from the original.

A group of young Samurai,  gather together the temple to discuss the Lord Chamberlain who they believe is corrupt,  one of them tells the superintendent and he agrees to intervene and meet the secretly at the Shrine to discuss the problem.  A Ronin (Mifune)  emerges from another room where he’s been resting,  overhearing the Summarise discussing their plan, he suggests that it’s the Chamberlain who is  corrupted, they feel insulted by his claims but soon find themselves surrounded by the superintendent men proving that in fact the Ronin was correct. He persuades the men to hide while he goes out at face the  superintendent Men full on, in this altercation he manages to save the young gullible Samurai, a manager’s to win rust on both sides. Continue reading Sanjuro (1962)

I Zombie (1998)

Director/Writer/Producer: Andrew Parkinson.
Starring. Giles Aspen, Ellen Softley. UK. 1h 18m.

For this debut feature film writer/director/producer Andrew Parkinson has come up with a personal and cruelly dark mockumentary detailing the demise of a single man from a zombie virus.

The mockumentary opens with a woman talking about the disappearance of her ex-boyfriend Mark in past tense, the restarts with mark coming home to Sarah who’s making the finishing touches to her event, which Mark regretfully has to skip to collect samples, the couple argue and the scene ends, Mark is then seen trekking through a wooded area, the botanist is searching for moss samples (slime mould I’d imagine) when he stumble on a decaying station wagon intrigued he follows another path and eventually finds an abandoned agricultural building . He enters and explores the rooms when he finds an injured man leaned up against the wall, hearing a female scream he rushes in to help, finding a decaying woman having a seizure on a rotten mattress he tries to pick her up to get her to safety but she bites his neck, he drops her and rushes into the forest. Continue reading I Zombie (1998)

The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton and Adam Nevill’s The Ritual
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton. UK. 1h 34m

One of the perks with Netflix is that it gives you the opportunity to watch on the go, which I tried to do with Ritual, but after watching the opening scene I had to stop the film, get home, get comfortable and absorb this film as it instantly grabbed my attention.

It opens with a few guys, not really willing to admit they are getting older but needing to get out on an adventure,  or just the yearly lads holiday, Ibiza!? no they are getting to old, camping, that’s too boring.. so what? The discussion goes into the street and on the way home a couple stop to get some vodka, the night is young and it must be continued while picking up the booze in the offie, they become aware that the place is being robbed, Luke (Spall) hides behind a display while his best friend tries to talk the situation down, it doesn’t work they start attacking him, and he bleeds to death while staring at his cowardly friend… this is the first lesson of this movie but the location changes to the deep dark forests of Sweden and the stakes get higher. Continue reading The Ritual (2017)

Mad Max (1979)

Director: George Miller
Starring: Mel Gibson, Hugh Keays-Bryn, Joanne Samuel, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, Roger Ward, Geoff Parry. Australia. 1h 35m

Let me just start this off with a short introduction to explain that I absolutely live for this film and can’t even come close to express my obsession with it with mere words, I’m going to try and remain as calm as possible while writing this short review as I feel I need to put something on my blog but there will be a Post Discussion where I’ll get into much more details and pour my heart out even more..

This bleak dystopian thriller stars Mel Gibson as “Mad” Max Rockastansky, a seasoned police officer who prefers to work alone but begins to fear that he’s becoming as crazy as the people he hunts down in high speed chases across the Australian desert roads. Continue reading Mad Max (1979)

Slash Dance (1989)

Director: James Shyman
Starring: Cindy Ferda, James Carroll Jordan, J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner. USA 1h 23m

This movie was brought to my attention from fellow Twitter reviewer, Christopher Zisi @cjzisi Who is the master of all B-Movies,  and in this case I just couldn’t resist and I had to give this one a go  as it really did seem too good to miss.

A super tough female police officer who believes that she could probably kick Cynthia Rothrock ass,  goes undercover As a dancer in a old theatre and order to uncover who has been killing young girls auditioning for particular role. Continue reading Slash Dance (1989)

The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell
Starring:Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons. USA. 1h 41m

Boy meets girl on a ferry  months after a world shattering invention has been made. A reserved and often recluse scientist Thomas Harbor (Redford) calmly sits down to tell a interviewer about his new discovery; with it, he’s proven, without a doubt, there is life after death. Instantly one of the crew members shoots themselves. The world has a record number of suicides as people are desperately trying to pass on to the other side, there are public counters that are constantly ringing up the number of dead,  in the meantime, the boy and girl are journeying to meet, Harbor (Redford) the boys father and girl saviour? it’s supposed to be romantic but they animosity and angst coming from the girl makes the scene rather awkward. Continue reading The Discovery (2017)

Repulsion (1965)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. UK. 1h 45m

In Polanski’s highly thrilling black and white drama that kick started his tenant trilogy (which consists of  two other classic films  The Tenant (1976)  starring Polanski himself,  and the Cult classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) ,  and this dark thriller, a young beautician drops deep in a claustrophobic insanity possibly spurred on by a suppressed family trauma as her feline sexuality sparks great interest from many suitors.

Repulsion is strangely enjoyable, and is a deep internal  nightmare that transpires through any age, and is easily relatable to. Adapted by Gérard Brach it is fantastically brought to life by Polanski and on a meager budget of £65,000, this debut  English film the budding director lost his footing at first, but as the dialogue vanishes he turns up the atmospherics and the results are quite dark and bold.

A beautiful timid girl Carole (Deneuve) is left alone in an apartment shared by her sister and her sisters husband, they are off to Europe for their holiday, leaving her some outstanding rent money for an angry landlord they skip town. Instantly the first cracks start to show in the relationship with her boyfriend  and soon she starts making mistakes at work. Very slowly we see the layers of Carole’s psyche peel away leaving a vulnerable kitten and murderous vixen.

It’s quite easy to write off Carole in the early throes of the films, you hardly notice the little mouse in contrast of her sisters sultry boldness overwhelms her and she spends a lot of the time hiding behind her bleached blonde 60’s bouffant hair, but as her character changes, she starts to give up the goods and her performance is tremendous, her charisma teamed with the reclusive scenes of the apartment and shocking effects persuades the

viewer to miss the realities of what’s going on. Blending themes from Dementia 13 (1963) and Persona (1966).

The ingenuity of the effects are really beautiful not only do you literally see the cracks appearing in Carole life but her fears are coming out of the walls and dark shadows of her apartment. Polanski plays the art house card now and again, there are silent shots of rotten vegetables and dirty plates that co exist with the knife wielding madwoman episodes, but

these are short and frantic, but cause as many ripples as any Hitchcock Psycho scene and emphasis her meltdown and the effects it’s having on the real world.

It’s hauntingly stark at times but a real tour de force once it gains momentum, the horrific faces of the returning couple finding their apartment in disarray reflects the faces of any avid viewer. It’s very unusual for this style of horror/ thriller to have a knife welding psychotic serial killer but with several hints at previous sexual abuse and possible incest it’s no real shocker that this girl is this fucked up.. Her next step would be Haute Tension (2003)

Rating 8/10

R: Haute Tension (2003) , Dementia 13 (1963), Persona (1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Tenant (1976)

L: Black and White Thrillers, Femme Fatals
5s : Roman Polanski

Post Discussion.

 

8 Post Apocalyptic Shorts

The Last Man (2015)?

Written and Directed by Gavin Rothery – Starring :  Richard D Glover
This short film stars Richard D Glover who usually appears on Ben Wheatley productions, we follow his solitary struggle as he navigates a barren burnt wasteland in search for survivors, hints at a war between two groups is evident from the propaganda littering the derelict buildings but at this point he’d be happy to just meet anyone. From time to time we hear a radio broadcast asking for people to respond but our silent hero has no means,  apart from this the film is almost silent.

Glover is a pretty decent actor so his contributions really help but the detail and effort that went into the production of the film and those desolate backdrops is pretty stunning. It’s certainly nothing new but it’s clear to see that this is someone’s pride and joy and a lot of effort had gone into it.

Continue reading 8 Post Apocalyptic Shorts