V/H/S 94 (2021)

Director: Various Starring: Various Worldwide. 1h m

Despite setting records on the Shudder platform, there’s a lot lacking from this instalment of the VHS series, however maybe there was a gap in the market, as this came out during the height of yet another lockdown! leaving it with reviews swaying from weak to the best of the series? Being a total marmite chapter lets me dive deep into it. The wrap-around for this anthology-found footage compilation follows a SWAT team stumbling on a sinister VHS cult and the underground compound, for all of the other wraps it’s one of the strangest as we don’t really see the team settling into the movies like the rest.

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Spotlight – Dominic Cooper

Dominic Edward Cooper has always been one of those actors who, while working alongside some brilliantly trained and classical actors, is able to match them, but I feel if and when he’s given a leading role he loses a little bit of his strange presence. A lot of people question his ethnicity but from what I can find online he’s just brit, although with dark hair and olive features he’s been able to play a range of other ambiguous races in his films, but remainsone of those average white guy actors aka Your Guide to the Indistinguishable British Dudes as featured in Vulture https://www.vulture.com/2014/10/luke-evans-looks-like-orlando-bloom.html

Here are his top films in order..

04.Stratton (2017)

In this pint sized James Bond styled movie, Cooper plays John Stratton, a British SBS operative on some world saving mission. He plays the quiet type of saviour who likes to get his head down and be tough, and in an attempt to maybe make him more human he spends just as much time trying to get over the evil things he is forced to do to save Queen and Country. The film seemed to have been set up to be part of a franchise but it wasn’t accepted as well as expected, probably the fact that part of the highlight showdown was on a double decker bus!? 3/10 {REVIEW}

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In The Earth (2021)

Director: Ben Wheatley Starring: Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires, Reece Shearsmith. UK. 1h 47m

Ben Wheatley hit the movie scene with a handful of cracking gritty and unusual films which instantly gained my a cult status and loyal fans, a mix of hard british brutality, comedy and strongest flavoured his early titles and it was only going to be a matter of time before he got bigger budget movies and we all knew this was going to be a downfall for him. He proved that with Rebecca and High Rise he was able to make a movie outside of his own prescribed type cast but ultimately these films weren’t half as interesting as his other gripping and guttural work.

and then he came back swinging with In the Earth.

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Short Movie Roundup 24 July 2022

Short Movie Roundup 24 July 2022

The Artist

A delightful student project from Tyler Buss that hits on all the typical horror elements such as dramatic noises, a torture artist and creepy cellphone pictures.

An artist and his friend are awaiting the arrival of a patron, a notable collector of art who chooses a quiet hour to visit and view his commission. but are instead visited by an eternally creepy entity.

It’s not all horror and gore, there is a deep philosophical conversation about the artist separating themselves from the world and their art, unexpected but shows a level of flexibility and character for a young director.

Without a budget, traine actors and special effects this is still a superb effort, not exactly a master class in art but a perfect beginning for Tyler if he chooses to carry on making horror stories with sharp twisted endings.

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Get Out (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, LaKeith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Lil Rel Howery, Caleb landry Jones, Stephen Root .USA. 1h 44m

The title comes from a history of black audiences shouting “Get Out” to any black cast members in horror movies, it’s a trope that has been played to death more recently as we being to embark on the serious questions of race and stereotypes, and it’s during this brave new wave that Jordan Peele has unleashed some amazingly creepy and mind bending stories centering around the black community.

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Crash and Burn (1990)

AKA Robot Jox 2 : Crash and Burn
Director: Charles Band
Starring: Paul Ganus, Megal Warn, Jack McGee, Eva LaRue, Bill Moseley .USA. 1h 25m

Originally being a concept for the follow up to Robojox, a much harder end of the world scenario is placed in Band’s post apocalyptic sci fi thriller. Crash and burn does recycle some aspects from Robojox, most noeably the stop motion aniated robots themselvees but it slaps a can of terminator and max mad on to it’s murder mystery plot.

The film is set several years after a global economic collapse, and after Covid it’s easier to imagine than it was in 1990. All of fears of the future from the classic writers are dropped throughout the film, global warming, nuclear poisoning and corporation control all raise their ugly heads and Crash and Burns gives us a glimpse of what it might be like to try and live with all these oppressions but there is hope, a group of freedom fighters attempt to jam TV signals and promote messages for people to rise up against the corporations. The world is pretty dismal, it’s hot, sueper desert hot all the time, there are frequent power cuts and water is hard to find and when you drink it is probably recycled only hours before. Kids learn via some kind of interactive TV and have no connection with each other. it’s life but not a happy one.

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Broil (2020)

Director: Edward Drake Starring:Jonathan Lipnicki, Avery Konrad, Timothy V Murphy USA. 1h 30m

Coming of age is a difficult time for any young girl but it’s especially troubling for Chance in Drakes power struggle vampire film with a gritty power struggle a troubled hero and s touch of je ne sai qoir but it doesn’t go that extra mile to really set itself apart from all the other TV vampire movies but it’s still thoroughly enjoyable to watch family fireworks.

Opening with a family trying to control their wayward and violent teen daughter Chance (Konrad) they send her to live with her pious grandfather and extended family on a remote estate. Slowly the easily distracted teen uncovers a family secret and her only chance of survival comes from the dead and an assassin destined to end her family’s reign.

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Short Movie Roundup 17 July 2022

MAKR

When a fake healer attempts to exercise a woman possessed by a Djinn, his fake work is spotted by her husband and things become complicated as the truth slowly seeps out of Hana Kazim’s beautifully shot and engrossing short movie.

Initially we’re lead down a supernatural path only for the carpet to be stripped out from under the feet of the audience as well as one of the main cast.The twist in the movie hits much harder than any of the long drawn out hollywood epics, There’s a sharp and hard lesson to be learnt here.

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Amethyst (2016)

Director: Jared Masters
Starring: Grace Klich, Valerie Miller, Derrick Biedenback, Olivia Yohai, Vincent Joel, Jared Masters .USA. 1h 1m

This full on silent dance tells a story, and apparently that story is true… Jared Masters comes hot off the heels of his thriller Ballet of Blood and changes tones from blood red to whimsical Amethyst as he follows a young girl on the trip of a lifetime.

Totally silent and fully trippy psychedelic effects, this movie does manage to hold the attention through the sheer strangeness of its narrative, the cast, instead of blabbing with their mouths manage to communicate through contemporary dance and drama, which is actually more impressive than it sounds.

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Shifty (2008)

Shifty (2008) Director: Eran Creevy Starring: Riz Ahmed, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng, Jay Simpson .UK. 1h 26m

You could argue that the British Urban genre is still in its infancy, or at least it’s fixated on youth and troubled adolescence that it’s hard to see it in a mature sense. However debut director Eran Creevy raises the bar with this uber smart, darkly funny and engaging drama all stuck together on a meager budget. Usually the scene is something daryl troubled like Kidulthood, Cherry Tree Lane, and they all have their visceral points to make but Shifty is more chilled and less aggressive but it does highlight street violence and the grimey underbelly of our streets but it’s achievement of highlighting the friendship of two amazing friends and the characters they meet along the way will make an audience smile before smacking them with a gory ending.

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