Director:David Cronenberg .
Starring: James Woods, Debbie Harry, David Cronenberg, David Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Julie Khaner. Canada. 1h 29m.
Having watched Videodrome at quite a young age the film fascinated me for all the wrong reasons, pulsating VHS tapes, clips of dodgy torture rooms and people morphing into guns and machines really lit my young mind on fire, this was something that really carried on through my teens while lapping up underground comic books and really came to life when I discovered tales of the dark web and Tetsuo Iron Man (1989) which hit home this idea of bio mechanics along with my love of Giger’s artwork but nothing was quite on that level of bizarre as Videodrome, covering so many aspects of the darker side of the human psyche it’s science fiction body horror touches on some worrying habits and disgusting practices but all in such a way that it’s almost too clever for it’s own good.
James Woods takes centre stage as Max, as the CEO of a small UHF television station specialising in sensationalist programming he’s constantly displeased with his current line up which is mostly soft core, while looking for ways to boost the station, he stumbles on a bizarre broadcast featuring extreme violence and torture which he believes is staged and wants the show known as Videodrome for his station as he perceives it as something that everyone wants to see. While searching for the source of the broadcast, he employs his cameraman Harlan, to record the shows for him, eventually he deduces that the show is being transmitted from Malaysia, and soon Max orders that Harlan to broadcast the show unlicensed via his network. The more Max watches Videodrome the more he begins to hallucinates the world around him, mechanical items become soft and fluid, pulsating with life and breathing, but this is only the beginning. Continue reading Videodrome (1983)
Short Movie Roundup 14 JULY 2019
Cute little social media based movie claiming to have one of those “SHOCKING VIDEOS” that you have to share to receive.. But the movie is more than shocking it’s deadly. The film has some great gore effects but doesn’t do a whole lot in the way of frightening it’s audience. Still better than unfriended though.. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 14 JULY 2019
Director: Raymond Wood.
Starring. Hayley Lovitt, Jason MacDonald, Teddy Cole, Brook Todd, Ace Harney. USA. 1h 37m.
Knowing that this Indie Movie is both found footage and about possession it’s a no brainer what’s going to happen, check out my list of what to expect in a possession, exorcism and demonic movie. but with indie movies, there’s usually a degree of experimental artistic license and providing they don’t play it safe, there can be amazing results. Sadly this film falls into most of the typical plot holes and ends up flopping around like a dying priest before expiring in it’s own unoriginal mess. Continue reading 1st Summoning (2018)
AKA The Ancestor and Shatterbrain
Director: Dan O’Bannon.
Starring. John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus. USA. 1h m.
Based on: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward : HP Lovecraft
I didn’t know this was based on Lovecraft’s writings before watching because I do very little research about movies as I know I’m going to watch them to find out if I like them anyway.. But it takes about 15 or so minutes before that heady sense of Lovecraftian crazy logic and dark magic seeps through this straight to video horror movie.
Starting like any modern detective story, the film opens with a rich and forgotten wife Clare Ward (Sibbett) pleading for help from a private detective John March (Terry) to investigate the worrying mysterious behaviour of her husband Charles Dexter Ward (Sarandon). Through a series of conversations the backstory is revealed, Charles has recently isolated himself in the families carriage house, after doing extensive family history research he discovers an ancestor, Joseph Curwen, to whom he bears an uncanny resemblance. Continue reading The Resurrected (1991)
Director: Barry Shear
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Paul Benjamin. USA. 1h 32m
A poetic slice of American history is adapted into this explosive crime drama, and only a few years after racial tensions ran extremely high during the “hot summer” riots, and makes the most of key Harlem locations.
Two prolific stars in their own rights clash as gangs and civil rights spark rage and chaos in the streets, initially the film opens with a daring robbery staged by Jim Harris (Benjamin) results in him and his crew stealing around $300,000 from a Mafia run Numbers Game, things turn bad and there’s a blood shoot out, leaving seven dead both black and Italian and police officers. The case is assigned to the ultimate odd couple , Lieutenant William Pope (Kotto), a driven black police officer is assigned to work the case with aging Captain Frank Mattelli (Quinn), a street-wise racist Italian-American cop. Obviously sparks will fly but deep down you know they will find common ground amongst the bloodshed. There’s a constant reminder that the older Italian officer is on his way out and the new more empowered black officer is rising up to replace him. The entire slice of stereotype pie is eaten. Continue reading Across 110th Street (1972)
This is an accomplished short but there’s just a little something missing, I’m not sure if it’s the acting or the slightly disconnected storyline but it just needs some attention. Either way it’s an ok Sorority story, of a young woman with supposedly amazing hair, but after a terrible fire is transformed into a deranged serial killer.. The special effects are pretty awesome but I feel a bit more character development and more in depth expansion for the later part of the movie would really help the film along.
This short is creepy as fuck, I really love the creature effects and it just works so much better than any CGi would. it touches on some of the work done in Yami Shibai, Evil Dead and a touch of Creepypasta. A girl gets duped into another world through a mirror by a malevolent entity, but the creature is perfectly odd and creepy in it’s jerky movements and evil demeanor, it’s a full on horror fuckfest.. definitely a highlight from directors, Ivan Sunguroff and Drew Bierut. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 07 JULY 2019
AKA Natural Selection
Director: Mark Lambert Bristol.
Starring. David Carradine, Darren E Burrows, Michael Bowen, Joe Unger USA. 1h 31m
The offbeat style of this movie is incredibly alluring, as a possessive and unhinged FBI detective (Carradine) is tracking down a deranged psychopath but he might have bigger demons than the killer!? Eventually the story morphs into something very different as regular cop gets involved and the film takes on a documentary style, but despite being blasted from all directions this highly strange movie was on a duo disc with Satan’s Little Helper (2004) and if you’ve seen and enjoyed that, then there’s a chance you’ll get into this too.
Carradine’s character, Louis Dehoven, is brilliant, and possibly a requisite of his actual mentality at the time, but the Special Agent is tormented by demons who give him insights when he performs rituals with corpses and through self flagellation he gets clues for his case, there’s no real solid evidence that he’s anyway connected with the FBI as he claims but he’s certainly out for the killer. Continue reading Killer X (1999)
Director: Tarsem Singh.
Starring. Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jake Weber, Dylan Baker. USA. 1h 47m.
I missed the boat on this visual adventure I don’t feel too hard done by but I think if I had watched this 19 years ago then I might have got more of a wow out of the visuals but I’m sure I’d agree with myself that the story was a little weak. But what we didn’t know back then is that Tarsem Singh was only now beginning his his filmography of stunning but needful movies.
I got duped into seeing Anaconda (1997) and I’ll never trust J Low again, actually I didn’t watch her in anything until she acted alongside Viola Davis in Lila and Eve (2015) and I only watched it to see Viola do awesome shit.. but I was looking for visually stunning movies and it got mentioned, a lot, I knew that it involved some amazing costumes by Eiko Ishioka but I’m a sucker for a good story FIRST and stunning visuals to follow . This was a very lavish attempt at an insight into a killers mind while fueled up on bright dresses but also fell short at times usually when out of the dream world, the back up story just add up. Sadly it I was left feeling that this was just a poor rip off of Silence of the Lambs (1991) with an emphasis on style rather than substance, and masochistic imagery. Continue reading The Cell (2000)
In the early days I was a big believer that Mr Gibson might just be a brilliant actor given time, but while he took over Hollywood with his quirkness his personal life definitely lost him some fans, but it’s pretty easy for me to set that all aside and focus on his acting and he does constantly reinvent himself and returns with something fresh and new.. Here are 5 Selected Mel Gibson films, probably Volume 1..
Mad Max (1979)
Doing something his epic while starting your movie career will cement you in the history books no matter what crap you produce later on, strangely the charismatic lead went onto some pretty awesome movies while also showing himself up to be a douchebag on so many social occasions, but he remains well loved on the screen.. In Mad Max he plays the quiet loner, a family man who seems to take on a different persona while on the roads running down (quite literally at times) bikers and crooks galore. Max Rockastansky is both brilliant and when pushed, highly dangerous and sadistic, and the man is really pushed to his limits by a brutal biker gang headed by a deranged and brilliant stage actor Hugh Keays Byrne. Going head to head the battle hits new lows as the men target each other and everyone around them slowly picking off by standers until he’s mano et mano. A thrilling indie apocalyptic movie which really brought out the best acting for Mel, although we were never to see this particular persona again. Continue reading 5 Selected : Mel Gibson
Director: Liam Gavin.
Starring. Steve Oram. Catherine Walker. UK/Ireland/Wales. 1h 39m.
For a directorial debut things can’t get much better than this enlightened and powerful independent movie about grief, revenge and the harsh deeper side of the occult.
An obviously distraught and confused mother, Sophia (Walker) rents an isolated house in rural Wales to try and convince an angry and unhinged occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to lead her through months of grueling rites in order to summer her Guardian Angel to grant her a special favor after her son was abducted and murdered, all she wants is to talk with him again.
Sophia follows the rules to the letter, collecting large amounts of supplies and spending thousands just to entice Joseph to the house and after some rugged persuasion he begrudgingly agrees but has reservations about Sophia’s motives but she is persistent and pretty durable, and she grinds through the punishing exercises, changing her diet, and begin soaked with chilled water, denied sleep and spends hours learning complex sigils and rituals. All the while in the dim secluded house that’s alien to them both and is constantly creaking and being generally creepy, Joseph remains a moody occult guide and rude rule maker, reading from the Book of Abramelin, and making some things up to help him keep his mind in the game, usually involving Sophia’s naked body.. Meanwhile Sophia doesn’t see enough results for her hard work, but ever so slowly the magic starts to work, or is it all a result of the demanding time locked away in the house with a volitlie and pushy occultist? Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)