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)
Director: Nicolas Pesce Writer: Ryû Murakami
Starring: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa. USA/Japan. 1h 21m
Piercing, a movie about a man who plans to kill a prostitute in his hotel room, was an instant for my to watch list, but after seeing it get run into the dirt by many reviewers I did start to question myself. A tiny bit of research renewed my passion when I realised that this thriller is based on a book by Ryû Murakami, yep, the twisted individual that wrote the novel Audition who’s film adaption comes highly rated with it’s dark surreal undertones and horrific gore scenes. Top this off with the director of The Eyes of my Mother (2016) I can’t see how this could really be so bad..
A young father, Reed (Abbott) struggles to restrain himself from stabbing his baby daughter with a skewer, the pressure forces him to find a way to get this deadly desire out of his system. He hatches an incredibly details plan to hire a hotel room, rent a hooker and play out his stabbing fantasy, once she’s dead he hopes to return to his happy normal life.Unfortunately the unhinged hooker he encounters, Jackie (Wasikowska) has her own demons to exorcise and the two of them play an destructive game of cat and mouse. Continue reading Piercing (2018)
AKA The Parasite Murders, They Came from Within and Frissons,Orgy of the Blood Parasites
Director: David Cronenberg.
Starring. Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry, Barbara Steele, Alan Migicovsky . Canada. 1h 27m.
I wasn’t prepared for this movie when I first saw it, as a youngster, despite this I adored Cronenberg movies as there was a huge fantasy element of what the fuck about them, but re watching as an adult there are things we still really fully comprehend with his stories but it doesn’t make them less enjoyable. For a while I used to get Shivers and Squirm mixed up, but I really dug into the concept of viral orgies so if your up for some of that hit me up.
Opening with a commercial about the most perfect living area known to man, The Starliner Towers is a modern high rise in Montreal, the site manager named Merrick invites affluent people into their new faultless homes, in one of these units the first gruesome scene unravels, in a silent and violent clip, Dr. Emil Hobbes attacks, Annabelle, a young girl in a school uniform, strangles her, cuts open her stomach and pours acid into the wound, finishing himself off the scene ends, meanwhile Nick (Migicovsky) has stomach convulsions in his bathroom. Continue reading Shivers (1975)
Director: Michael R Roskam
Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Barbara Sarafian. Belgium. 2h 8m.
There is something majestically beautiful about Roskam’s savage mafia drama. That sees a man fight against his own nature using the same tools that he applies to nature for his own gains. Usually Belgium is seen as a boring country where nothing really exciting happens, but even with the crime connections in this film, they aren’t peddling class a drugs or trafficking humans, nothing that dangerous or “glamorous” instead this mafioso gang are pedding steroid laden beef, typical farmer stuff but filled with meaty treats. Continue reading Rundskop / Bullhead (2011)
Director: Gustav Noe
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull, Giselle Palmer, Taylor Kastle. France. 1h 35.
There is always something risque with any Noe film and usually it’s no big shock when the crazy sexual violence is going to spring in but Climax, a film which , for me doesn’t live up to its name and just doesn’t really pique, but it does get crazy, just crazy, nothing ban worthy… darn it.
I successfully managed to avoid the hype train, as I had no idea this was in the pipeline, the only piece of information I had was that the film was about some dancers who are spiked we with drugs, the possibilities are fucking endless. and yet. . 20 minutes in I was bored, 40 minutes in… I was bored then the plot picks up…but ultimately I was bored, let me explain. Continue reading Climax (2018)
Director: Dušan Makavejev
Starring:Carole Laure, John Vernon, Anna Prucnal, Pierre Clémenti, Jane Mallett, Roy Callender, Sami Frey. France, Germany, Russia. 1h 38m
The film is like a psychedelic socio political nightmare orgy, with some kind of comedy added to cushion the blow.
Following the lives of two women, Miss Mode 1984 and Anna Planeta, both are figureheads for different movements, Miss Mode (Laure) represents modern commodity culture, while on the other hand Anna (Prucnal) is the spearhead of the failed communist revolutionary. The film opens with a glitzy show, where women around the world are aiming to win the Most Virgin competition, the winner is Miss Canada with her golden shiny vagina. Her prize is to marry Mr. Kapital, a milk industry tycoon played by the daring and often enigmatic John Vernon, losing her virginity doesn’t go to plan, despite a golden dick, she soon bribes a servant to smuggle out of the Milk Tycoons mansion after his mother tries to drown her. Miss Mode goes on to join a cult, she gets seduced by a glittery Latin singer called El Macho (Frey). Continue reading Sweet Movie (1974)
Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m
Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.
Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body. Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)
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)
Director: Matthew Holness
Starring: Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong .UK. 1h 25m
There’s a place that some dark artist like to go, it often involves gloomy and eerie aspects from a fuzzy past that are easily recognised but often pushed back to those obscure corners of our minds, like a suppressed memory Possum manages from slither its way out of the dank interior of an old English home, and hides itself in the brown bag carried by a disgraced children’s puppeteer as he embarks on a journey to confront his stepfather and his own inner demons.
The film opens with Philip (Harris) wandering aimlessly around a remote area of Norfolk with his bag clutched tightly to him, after some atmospheric art house scenes backed by a heavy Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. He spys a few teenage boys on a train he tries to talk with one but he runs away from the creepy man, Philip returns to his home, a dank rundown home with a disheveled garden, here he opens his bag and chucks the contents into a metal barrel with the promise to destroy the leggy creature, eventually we are made aware of Maurice (Armstrong), a sly and controlling character who seems to want to encourage Philip to keep his puppet, while constantly keeps asking if he’s going to burn it, which Philip agrees to but then never does. Little by little Maurice exerts control over Philip and suggests different places for him to visit, while the puppet is slowly revealed and each time the effects on Philip get more disastrous. As a news story about a missing school boy flourish in the news, questions are raised over Philips possible involvement. Continue reading Possum (2018)
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. USA. 2h 7m
Boldly highlighted as the most frightening film of all time, Hereditary certainly does have its moments and a dark twisted ending but is it really all that horrific? It’s undeniably creepy and boils into a crescendo of violence and psychological demise, but what it doesn’t offer are hoards of false jump scares, buckets of blood or unbelievable torture porn.
It’s hard to detail the movie as it’s subtle approach and devilish details makes it something that once explained will ruin many surprises. The movie does manage to support a constant feeling of dread for the first 90 minutes it’s hard to really see which direction the film is taking, hard to know what’s real and what might be a dream and ultimately it lines up a powerful ending that won’t be predicted by the more discerning horror fan. Continue reading Hereditary (2018)