Infini (2015)

Director: Shane Abbass
Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster, Harry Pavlidis. Australia. 1h 30m

Sometimes the ideas in sci-fi movies are so brilliant they are easily missed, but when dealing with advanced concepts about mimicking bodies, mutations and genetic diseases that are totally alien, there’s no real easy way to go about it. But I feel with some more attention to editing and with an actual drive to interact with an audience then this could have been more hard-hitting and some of its counterparts

I would never suggest that Shane Abbass, is actively copying any other films that I’m about to mention, but I’m willing to step up and say that I’m actually quite intrigued by what he could do with a small budget, this previous movies Gabriel (2007) managed to pull off a lot that was missed from the Prophecy film franchise, with all of his film mastery and magic however, just now and again he just can’t seem to get something quite right and I can’t quite put my finger on it. To my eye, there seems to be a really strong connection with Franck Vestiel’s, Eden Log (2007) and Pandorum (2009) and though Inifini doesn’t really step on any toes per say it appears that they are probably best watched together as a trio of great sci fi movies all connecting a similar theme. Continue reading Infini (2015)

Fiend (1980)

Director: Don Leifert.
Starring. Don Leifert, Richard Nelson, Elaine White, George Stover, Greg Dohler, USA. 1h 30m.

A gothic styled ghoul horror with a touch of mom and pa sleuths is the strange workable combination that Don Leifert had forged together for his follow up to the B Movie cult classic The Alien Factor (1978). Starring in his second feature but taking on an entirely different role is adaptability is certainly one of his strong points and I have to say despite all the limitations with budget, he seems constantly determined to develop wonderful psychotropic movies and I think I’m a bit of a fan already and I’m only 2 films in. Continue reading Fiend (1980)

They Reach (2020)

Director: Sylas Dall
Starring: Mary Madaline Roe, Morgan Chandler, Eden Campbell .USA. 1h 27m

For a first time full length feature, there’s a lot of potential here, great believable character creation and development, an interesting narrative and some sterling cinematography, however there’s just something amiss with Dall’s creepy drama. Firstly it can’t make up its mind if it’s a horror movie with kids, or for kids…

Dall has a gorgeous set up as he hurls his cast back into the early 1970’s, opening with a father an son who are on the road to attend an alleged possession case, while recording their findings they are convinced something demonic is going on, and attempt an exorcism using an arcane tomb, as with any credible horror, things go terribly wrong but the tape catches it all including the demonic forces and seems to hold on to them. Continue reading They Reach (2020)

Ma (2019)

Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silves, McKaley Milley, Corey Fogelmanis, Luke Evans. USA. 1h 40m

I’ve always been excited to see a black lead in any movie, and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a lead black female in a psychological horror, so long I can’t actually think back to the last one. Can you? While Ma isn’t about race it is indeed about a woman with some deep psychological issues. This “Friday Night Movie” is just a head above the rest due to it’s difficult primary character, who’s masterfully acted by the Oscar winning Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann, a loner who keeps to herself until she’s approached by some teens looking for an adult to buy them some booze. Originally written for a full white cast, the story was re written by Tate Taylor for Octavia who starred in his previous film The Help (2011). Continue reading Ma (2019)

Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)

Director: Jack Cardiff
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege. UK. 1h 32m

I’d just like to give a heads up, that I mean no disrespect with my terminology in this review. I am utilizing a lot of the terminology used in the movie, purely to keep it synced.

This movie feels like a mashup between Andy Mulligans insane indie horror Blood (1973) and the early cult classic The Freaks (1932) by Tod Browning. Combining newfangled science fiction ideas with unthinkable genetic splicing with animals and plants. The film is spiced up with trippy psychedelics, a touch of nudity and fascinating stop motion visuals, and it makes for a very interesting psychotropic creature feature that has to be seen to be believed, and all from acclaimed academy awarding winning director Jack Cardiff who gave us such classics as The Red Shoes (1948) and Black Narcissus (1947). Continue reading Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)

8213: Gacy House (2010)

Director: Anthony Fankhauser
Starring: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Michael Gaglio, Brett A. Newton, Diana Terranova, Sylvia Panacione, Rachel Riley .USA. 1h 32m

You have to love a bad setup for a found footage movie?! Not only has John Wayne Gacy’s house been demolished and rebuilt but as he was executed in a prison, shouldn’t his ghost be residing there and it would be the victims ghosts still in the house or the land where they were killed?

Without much fanfare the movie begins with the team arriving at the house to set their equipment up, a mass of cameras are placed in every room, and once they are pointing to where no action will be caught clearly the investigation really starts. It has a slightly different setup up to a lot of the other paranormal researcher inspired movies, most teams usually have quite a lot of enthusiasm but this one is is filled with scathing skeptics and some crazed hippy wiccan woman who believes some rhyming spells will be able to protect them from some kind of evil entity or poltergeist. In all my years of armchair occultist I’ve never known of anyone asking the goddess to help in some kind of seance before I’m sure there’s some eyebrows raised to offering a t shirt of a friends young son (what? why?) to the spirit of a serial killer!!? Continue reading 8213: Gacy House (2010)

Broken Horses (2015)

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Starring: Vincent D’Onofrio, Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette, María Valverde, Thomas Jane .USA. 1h 41m

A charming American Western style thriller centring around two brothers and the ties that bind them, Chopra has adapted 1980s Hindi movie for the American audience but it only vaguely translates for the different culture and atmosphere overall, the true sentiment of the movie really works however from time to time it just seems too melodramatic, something that would definitely work in the Bollywood industry but seems a bit too over the top for what could be a really violent thriller. Continue reading Broken Horses (2015)

The Great Martian war 1913-1917 (2013)

Director: Mike Slee
Starring: Mark Stong, Jock McLeod, Joan Gregson, Ian Downie .UK/Canada. 1h 30m

It’s often quite typical for a mockumentary to just detail a single little project or some kind of investigation using the found footage format to make the most of a small budget and hopefully to give chills and thrills for its audience, however The Great Martian War goes a step beyond to rewrite human history with a War of the Worlds fashioned World War.

The team has model their creative documentary with the flare of the (Sky) History Channel and goes as far to have the logo in the corner and a lot of the formatting looks quite genuine although it is lost halfway through the movie for some random effects that I’ve never personally seen any type of TV documentary but maybe this is artistic flare? It does hold up to the high standard of a professional job and it doesn’t go out of its way to explain certain details in the same way that a normal history show would expected it’s audience to have a grounding knowledge around the subject which is quite a clever stance. Continue reading The Great Martian war 1913-1917 (2013)

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring: Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault, Carmel Daniel, Boyd “Red” Morgan .USA. 58m

Even if you’re a criminal on death row there’s always someone out there who’s worse than you, but while the moral compass spins around and around in this balsy film noir sci fi thriller there’s a poignant message that you have to do the right thing once in a while especially when faced with a evil tyrant.

Ulmer was a prolific director, hailing from the Czech republic and claiming to have worked on a number of classics like M and Metropolis, but without much evidence of this, however there is solid proof that he did work on Der Golem. Never really giving up his horror histories, he went on to direct a number of sci-fi, horror and film noir movies, while this adventure came near the end of his career he combined all that he learnt over the years. Continue reading The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)

The Collector (2009)

Director: Marcus Dunstan.
Starring. Josh Stewart, Andrew Roth, Juan Fernandez, William Prael, USA. 1h 30m.

Sometimes we just have the urge to sit back and watch people get tortured, and if that’s your bag, then this debut from budding director and gore king Marcus Dunstan is something that till tantalise as it has a fairly compelling backstory and delivers some trippy Saw like setups even if there are plot holes, the overall aesthetic and creepiness of the movie makes it a neon marvel of pain and guttural cinema for a new generation after the video nasty era slowed down to nothing all that special despite special effects and cheaper methods of film making becoming more available, it feels as if cinema got rather sensible for a while. But in the rise of gore and torture horror, for me this is own of the more wild and lavish mainstream titles. Continue reading The Collector (2009)