AKA Demoni 3 Director: Umberto Lenzi Starring:Keith Van Hoven, Joe Balogh, Sonia Curtis, Philip Murray, Juliana Teixeira, Maria Alves, Clea Simones .Italy/Brazil. 1h 28m
With a host of amazing titles under his belt already, from Giallo, Poliziotteschi, horror and gore, Lenzi struggled to make such an equal impact as Cannibal Ferox, Almost Human and Nightmare City in his 90’s Voodoo romp Black Demons. Originally titled as Demoni 3, with the anticipation of being a third in the Lamberto Bava’s series the movie has very little to do with the cult series.
What starts out not a million miles away from any other Voodoo based zombie story, an accidental uttering of a n ancient curse in a foreign tongue results in the undead coming back to life to prey on the living. But is this the first undead race war? Usually zombies don’t see color, even though this sketch does suggest something to the contrary.
Director: Albert Shin Starring: Addison Tymec, Mikayla Radan, Tim Beresford, Tuppence Middleton, David Cronenberg, Aaron Poole .USA. 1h 40m
A hazy mix of trauma-drama and whodunit, embossed with a cool neon noir highlighted thriller, Disappearance at Clifton Hill is an outstanding art piece following the life of Abby (Middleton) as she attempts to unravel a troubling fragmented memory from her childhood on returning to her hometown in Niagara Falls after her mothers death.
Marie Antoinette (2006) Director:Sofia Coppola Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Marianne Faithful .USA, France, Japan. 2h 3m
A lot of cake was eaten in Sofia Coppola’s punktastic retelling of the life and downfall of Marie Antoninette. From her teen marriage to the King of France and their bizarre and lavish life together, offset to a brilliant pop punk soundtrack, there’s probably just enough to get help you through a GCSE but there’s very little accurate history involved but lots of analogies to just how much of a pop princess Marie was for the age.
Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta / Shadows in an Empty Room (1976)
Director: Alberto De Martino Starring:Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow.Canada/Italy. 1h 54m
Shadows in an Empty Room is a distinct 1970s crime film with mad tones of Euro grime; this De Martino might be out of place in Canada, but it doesn’t drag for a minute. Shadows in an Empty Room is what would remain if you stripped a Giallo movie of its euro trash, bumped it up with a heavy Polittesco narrative, and went full frontal.
On the campus of Montreal college a man notices his ex girlfriend having a moment with her lecturer, and suspected lover, Dr Tracer (Landau), later on that evening a prank turns into a suspicious murder, and the prime suspect is Laundau, and his student/girlfriend is stone cold. Unlucky for him, her brother is a hard ass police officer, played by Stuart Whitman and his back up is the steely eyes John Saxon and they are about to get some Canadian Justice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Director: Jesse V Johnson Starring: Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbass, Thomas Turgoose, Leo Gregory, Nick Moran. UK. 1h 30m
Scott Adkins breaks away from Boyka for a moment to seamlessly blend in with the leftover cast from the Rise of the Footsoldier series to take on a slightly different London Gangster/ Prison flick. Casting a few Kung fu kicks into the story of a young gym owner who finds himself slammed into an overly oppressed prisons situation but why?
Director: Karen Arthur Starring: Lee Grant, Crole Kane, Will Geer, James Olson, Budar. USA. 1h 42m Éric Westphal (play “Toi et les nuages”)
Ever so often, a film is made that’s so unique, strange and plain batshitcrazy that it sets itself apart from all the rest and nothing could be as true as this masterpiece from a seasoned director Karen Arthur. Starring two gorgeous American actresses Carol Kane and Lee Grant in their prime, set in a romantic home and alongside a primate or two it’s strange that the unspoken realisations are the key to the stroy when the visuals are so strong. Freud would stay up all night in cold sweats trying to define what’s going on are so very different it’s hard to define or digest, it is just simply great and very unsettling and utterly beautiful to behold.