Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m
Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.
This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Director: Yō Moriyama
Japan. 6h 30m ish
This epic mini series was made in honour of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Manga Ashita no Joe. It closely follows the often tragic story of Junk Dog, a young fighter who has been picked up by a trainer, Gansaku Nanbu who has fallen from grace and uses the kid to fix fights to raise money to pay off his debts.
In this future era there’s a classic sci fi set up, there are two distinct classes, citizens and non citizens, Junk Dog is of the lower cast, a non citizen who fights in the outskirts of a mega city but he dreams of making it into the Megloboxing ring as a citizen to fight the number one ranked fighter, Yūri. Who, through a series of unfortunate events turns up in Junk’s ring and the two battle it out, Junk Dog gets his ass handed to him but the young kid never gives up and this intrigues Yūri, who leaves the fight but urges the “Stray Dog” to com and fight him in the big ring. This really awakens something and soon he encourages Nanbu to help him fight in Meglabox. Nanbu is pretty useless but he strikes an all or nothing bargain with the man he already owes money to, the pair arrange for a fake citizen card for Junk Dog who renames himself Joe, and they enter him into the games. Continue reading Meglobox (2018)
Director: Brian Smrz
Starring Ethan Hawke, Xu Qing, Paul Anderson, Rutger Hauer, Tyrone Keogh, Nathalie Boltt, Liam Cunningham, Jeremy Yong .USA. 1h 39m
The overall character is like a science fiction bourne movie, the strengths lie in the espionage action thriller but you can’t ignore the countdown timer in the leads arm. But the film has a huge anchor and this drags along in a sea of theology Travis is a man on a mission but it’s plagued with ghosts of the afterlife, as he stands looking into the abyss it’s looking back at him and he’s reminded that he needs to make amends.
Travis Conrad (Hawke) is introduced as a drunk, hanging out with his father-in-law they are fishing and drinking in preparation for spreading some ashes, afterwards the old man, played by the enigmatic Rutger Hauer passes out and Travis heads to the tittybar, grabs a hit and notices some men following him, in a shifty trick he immobilize them and sits down next to the man who sent them, his old friend who offers him a job worth $2 million. Accepting his new job of executing a unknown man he has to find him, and so he starts tracking the family of an operative who’s been hired to protect him. While learning the whereabouts he spares Lin (Qing) but she kills him after plugging him in the chest, but Travis awakens on a hospital bed where’s he’s quizzed about the location, after givin up the news he soon realizes his mistake and that he’s time is up (again) but he breaks free, the doctor explains that he’s got a timer which gives him 24 hours to live again he spares another woman and escapes to get back at his employer by protecting his previous target but to summarize the film in one phrase, Travis is having a particularly bad day. Continue reading 24 Hours to Live (2017)
Director: Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell
Starring: George Knapp, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell, Colm Kelleher .USA. 2h 07m
Based on the best-selling book by George Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher, Hunt for The Skinwalker is a documentary about the most intensive scientific study of a “paranormal” hotspot in human history.
The film is an alluring documentation of a deep scientific look at highly strange paranormal events, in what seems to be a hotspot for a malevolent consciousness that is constantly changing a slowly becomes more disturbing as they investigators charge on with their experiments in the Uintah Basin.
Technically this is two documentaries for the price of one that haphazardly switches between new and older footage, some filmed over a decade ago but each scene is equally relevant and usually just as shocking. Continue reading Hunt for the Skinwalker (2018)
Director: Erdal Ceylan.
Starring. Alyson Walker, Tony Giroux, Meelah Adams. USA. 1h 15m.
Selfie from Hell, started out as a 2 minutes horror movie that for millions of views on YouTube years ago, but now we have this full length feature that’s supposed to up the ante and the short answer is that.. “nope” it just doesn’t come across as being more frightening or more compelling than the horror short.
So some girl gets terrorised by a shadowy figure which is stalking her in her selfies, any other photo is totally fine but whenever she takes a picture of herself this dark monster begins to get closer, until one picture later and boom it’s upon her and while she’s now bedridden her “niece”? (I really couldn’t care for the relationship, the build up to this point was slow and .. boring) visits to help look after her, and starts to dig into the story and is soon hunted by the same entity but luckily she has a laptop and starts to find answers on the dark web… Continue reading Selfie from Hell (2018),
AKA Friday the 13th: Part V
Director: Danny Steinmann
Starring: Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross, Richard Young. USA. 1h 32m
One of the more kooky and tame sequels in the Friday the 13th universe, sees Jason or his “ghost” terrorising and possessing an unlikely bunch of social misfits that are being cared for in fictional halfway house, one of the first deviations away from Camp Crystal Lake that envisions the return of iconic cult serial killer and the kid who killed him in the previous movie.
The murderous spirit of Jason Voorhees is enough to strike fear even when he’s assumed to be dead, and the entire plot of this mad horror hinges on the mystery around whether he’s possessing the body of his murder or potentially returned from the grave. Continue reading Friday 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Director: Scotty Baker
Starring: Doug Jones, Marina Sirtis, Morgan Lariah, Mindy Robinson, Armin Shimerman, David Lim.USA .1h 29m.
In the opening scenes a woman’s body is retrieved from a space vessel, while recuperating, her memories of the events that led up to her rescue are watched by Marina Sirtis, who’s an agent trying to find out what happened to the crew, in order to report to a committee she is charged with viewing the memory “playback”.
In a turbulent maladjusted future there are two distinct classes, Citizens and Non-Citizens, the later class are considered bottom feeders who have very little rights and are generally only entrusted with meanal jobs, looking after livestock etc. But one woman stands out among them, Eve (Lariah) a technical officer despite her exclusion from the higher class. Continue reading 5th Passenger (2018)
Coming of age during a Zombie apocalypse is pretty hard, but dealing with the bleak Swedish winter as a young boy alone with his mother doesn’t really bolster the situation. Still the duo soldier on until they find an abandoned car by the side of the road with supplies and just enough petrol to get them to safety, but the mother finds two of the owners in the forest but something or someone appears to be missing.
It’s not earth shatteringly new, watching the pair stagger through the ice, it’s easy to see where the film is driving the narrative to, but it’s so well filmed and acted it’s a pleasure to watch, but could have done with a bit more of a rousing score. Continue reading Shorts Roundup May 5 2019
Director: Jeff Maher.
Starring. Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cymyn, Dennis Andres, George Kirssa, Hamza Fouad. Canada. 1h 25m
After watching the long lost and brilliant psychotropic Death Bed : The bed that eats (1977) , I chanced upon this modern gore thriller about a similar piece of haunted furniture and thought I’d see how far we’d come in terms of awesome cinema and to sum it up in one sentence, watch the 1970’s classic instead..
This film is based on one wishy washy idea then introduces another and another then forgets to actually define why any of this is happening! But it all respect it has a respectable level of cinematography, effects and tries to be devious with a semi intelligent plot but it runs out of steam after the initial 20 minutes and fades from memory. Continue reading Bed of the Dead (2016)
Director: Daniel Leone
Starring: Constantin Tripes,Ashton Leigh, Max Rhyser, Brandon deSpain, Boomer Tibbs. USA. 1h 45m
I find it’s adorable that this century old story is still influencing directors today, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been one of my all time favourite novels since I was a wee bearn, and the ancient histories of North Africa has been a huge influence, both villains have been huge horror characters since cinema began and finally they meet in the dank basement of an American University in this sketchy horror, it could have flourished into something with more substance but is still entertaining, more so than others in the genre but don’t expect your socks to be blown off.
Heavily inspired by the Gothic novella and possibly a few Hammer Horrors in between, this tepid horror attempts to pull together two monsters for an epic battle but totally misses its own mark and churns out a terrible romance story which slows the movie down and doesn’t give much space to maneuver these foes. Continue reading Frankenstein Vs The Mummy (2015)