The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black.
Starring. Thomas Jane, Boyd Holbrook, Keegan Michael Key, Sterling K Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen, Jake Busey, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn USA. 1h 58m

For a while I had a lot of faith that after Shane Black’s death by the hands of the original Predator back in the 80’s cult classic jungle sci fi mayhem epic adventure, and his subsequent career as a director, that he could be trusted with this remake. But then I remembered he’s Shane Black and you cannot trust this man! To be fair Shane is totally okay and I still regained some faith but the writer, Fred Dekker was an odd choice. His previous classics are cult but for very different reasons, Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad (written with Shane Black) were high for their levels of comedy antics. Dekkers contributions for House (1986) gave the film a surreal and yet again comedic undercurrent, and his more recent work included Robocop 3 which ruined the trilogy by adding in some cute kids and morals… this is when I knew someone has fucked up. Continue reading The Predator (2018)

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Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988)

Director: Guy Maddin
Starring: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gotti, Angela Heck . Canada . 1h 12m

With a lot of surreal movies, I don’t assume to fully understand them, but I do find their unpredictability evocative. While this film is visually different there’s a lot to puzzle over with the linear but a bashitcrazy story.

Seemly inspired by the Directors childhood memories heightened by a DMT trip, there’s a lose connection. Madden does have Icelandic heritage and a lot of vocal history does get tainted over the years but for part it’s a realistic situation at first..

While their mother lays dying in a hospital bed, a pair of siblings are being confronted in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital by their grandmother. She tells the children a long and convoluted story about the Gimli of old, a tale about Einar the Lonely and his best friend Gunnar and the angelic Jofridur.

Einar (McCulloch) has contracted smallpox and is resting in the old Gimli Hospital when he makes friends with Gunnar (Gotti), the pair really appreciate the company in their time of sickness and the bond grows between them, but only for  a short time.

While divulging personal information with each other their tales start to get weirder and the men’s testosterone really gets them going once a sexy nurse catches their eye and they really start to outdo each other to gain her adoration.

Independent movies with a surreal flaire are fairly popular but none of them quite have the same creepy and yet riveting atmosphere as the Gimli Hospital. It’s dark and at times intensely creepy but at times it has a bit of razzmatazz slapstick.

Some scenes are filled with characters babaliese with a gentle overture and smooth poetic voice overs. Juxtaposed with the harsh black and white shadowy photography that flickers as if lit by candle, the film “feels” scary but nothing will jump out at you.. Apart from some of the most bizarre but engaging cinema you’ve ever seen.

It’s impossible to guess what’s coming next and there’s no sense in trying to look for themes, it’s erratic but yet at the same time you begin to expect the unexpected. The imagery is pretty powerful, from buttock bloody manly wrestling (not like that you fiend) and milk dripping from the ceiling of the hospital, there’s a deep motherly aspect that runs throughout the film but if you didn’t guess it’s in the strangest way.

Guy Maddin seems like a pretty laid back normal guy, and has a very fine tuned appreciation of film and the arts.It really shows in his works, the detailed attention and courageous scenes are out of bounds with what it usually attempted to be shown on film. Definitely not something easily forgotten and certainly something new, no matter what you’ve seen in the past.

Rating: 7/10

R: Eraserhead (1977), Archangel (1990), the Heart of the World (2000)

A: Where’s the fish a short and incomplete guide to surrealist cinema Vol. 1

 

Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Starring: Jinpachi Nezu,Mako Hyōdō . Japan . 1h 15m

This avant grade collaboration between Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii is like a waking dream, the film has very little dialogue and what is said is as fragmented as the action within the film. The sparse plot, while linear, doesn’t really suggest a solid straight forward narrative but, but instead has a hazy, “make of it as you will” atmosphere. It’s very easy to sum this up as “Animated Art House” rather than a film with direct meaning and purpose, but it continues to inspire with its unfamiliar themes and dark visuals.

There are two main characters, a young girl who lives in an abandoned building near an abandoned town, a man appears on the shore watching a temple like orb raise from the ocean, and he descends silently into the town. Meanwhile the girl collects her giant egg, an object she protects each day by stuffing it under her dress, and heads into the eerie neo gothic town to scavenge for food and bottles to collect water in. She wanders around looking through windows and only gets startled when the man arrives on a biotechnical tank their silent glare results in the girl running away and the man slowly following after her. Continue reading Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

The Bunny Game (2011)

Director: Adam Rehmeier
Starring: Rodleen Getsic, Jeff F Renfro, USA. 1h  16m

Bunny Game is one of those movies I kept seeing when asking for a list of Disturbing movies but not one that anyone really rated. Supposedly based on a true story experienced by the leading lady Rodleen Getsic, who co wrote the story, there’s a harrowing experience laid out that I feel deserves a lot of credit.
The broad stroke of the  movie details a terrible event for a young prostitute looking for her next date and a hot meal. Bunny, as she’s later known, opens the film with a blowjob, it’s an actual blowjob which is probably the reason why this film is so unliked, there’s some real sex involved, something you’d expect from a movie about a prostitute right? But obviously not something film goers actually want to see?

Bunny is doing ok, scoring some dates and drugs, she take a break, has a snack and gets back to work, later on in the day she does a bit too much oh the ole white and is robbed, coming around she realises her last date took all her cash and stash. Devastated she sobers up a little and heads out to start all over again. But her luck has run out and she end up climbing into a van with Hog. At first he appears to be a an old trucker who might be interested in a bit of old relish but soon he’s huffing gas, and chasing Bunny through the desert wearing his leather pig mask. Continue reading The Bunny Game (2011)

The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

 

Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m

This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn)  despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.

At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)

10 Horrors from 2002 worth talking about

For me 2002 was the year of shitty american remakes of wonderful Japanese/Chinese/Korean Horrors, like The Eye  (2002) and the Ring (2002) but Japan was still releasing wonderful films like Ju On  (2002) and Dark Water  (2002).

28 Days Later (2002)

A film that really raised the bar for Zombie movies by introducing the Infected! A bicycle courier is blindsided and awakes weeks later in an abandoned london, he soon discovers that a rage virus was released causing people to go batshit crazy and infect/kill each other. He hooks up with a few other people who travel to Manchester in hopes of gaining the protection of an army base who have been broadcasting but salvation might not that simple. A sterling performance from everyone involved in this cult classic Danny Boyle film, shot on unconventional cameras and on a tight budget the film has an atmosphere unlike any of its counterparts. Bold acting and a thrilling dangerous story really boosted most of the cast into unreal terms of stardom and made the film a drooling gore filled cult classic with a perfectly haunting soundtrack. 10/10 Continue reading 10 Horrors from 2002 worth talking about

Apostle (2018)

Director: Gareth Evans.
Starring. Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins, Michael Sheen. USA. 2h 10m.

Gareth Evans’ Apostle is a troubled journey into the dark nature of man being forced upon the nature around him in the guise of a new religious cult who have hauled up on a remote island. Evan’s previous projects are considerably different in nature, mostly the Raid (2012) and Raid 2 (2014), which saw a lot of action and violence, although he did perfect sidestep into horror in the V/H/S 2 (2013) anthology when he co directed the Safe Haven segment but again his horror came with a fast pace. But in this epic horror, he manages to divide the film into something more brooding before it picks up speed and descends into a casserole of blood or torture.  Much like Panos Cosmatos Mandy (2018). When you think you’ve “got” the movie, suddenly there’s a shift into something unexpected and there’s not going back.
Continue reading Apostle (2018)

Occult Angel (2018)

Director: Andy Roberts
Starring: Jack Angel, Andy Roberts,  UK. 1h 06m

While not wanting to dumb down the power of this movie, but it has to be said that this is like a British version of The DaVinci Code (2006) set around the city of Bath

and surrounding countryside,  Andy (Roberts) is a talented young student in photography  and film hooks up with his psychic uncle Jack (Angel) and friends  to uncover the secret mysteries behind the architecture and history of the city. Jack,  has a knack of hearing supernatural entities and sensing presences that are ethereal in nature, after getting his young nephew to join him in filming his investigations, young Andy starts noticing some life-changing events.

Drawing on the success of various other found footage and mockumentary films, there’s a lot of charm in occult angel. Initially a digs deep into the history of the city and the formation of famous landmarks and churches,  and then it starts to look at the prehistory, pagan beliefs and uncanny connections between prestigious buildings and pagan icons. Continue reading Occult Angel (2018)

The Elf (2017)

Director: Justin Price
Starring: Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes. USA. 1h 30m

I’m sure this film was intended to scare but it’s a new form of mental torture that I wasn’t quite prepared for when I sat down to watch this.

The not so credible story is centred on Nick (Miller) and his bodacious botoxed girlfriend Victoria (Halabi), opening in an old antique/toyshop that Nick has inherited the couple take stock of the contents while out shopping for Christmas gifts. Nick breaks away while Victoria take a pointless and long winded phone call, meanwhile he discovered a chest with handmade toys, the room begins to fill up with fresh snow as he discovers a creepy Elf toy holding a knife, attached to it is a curse/spell after reading this out he noticed that there’s a list of name at the bottom and they correspond to his family, meh nothing strange about this. Continue reading The Elf (2017)

WΔZ  / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)

Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h

With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.

The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.

The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz)  with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ  / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)