Category Archives: Fantasy

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Day 8 – Carnival of Souls

Director: Herk Harvey.
Starring. Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, USA. 1h 24m.

A cult classic that still influences a host of modern directors, this independent horror film manages to create a bizarre ghostly atmosphere that has been difficult to re-create since.

A few girls are out for a lark, when then encounter some greasers who challenge them to a drag race over a bridge, the girls car crashes in the river and they get pulled along by the rapids, the rescue mission fails to find anything but a shabby and bemused young blonde bombshell emerges from the water the only survivor from this tragic misadventure. Mary’s life is never quite the same after the accident. The church organist relocates to Utah, where she finds herself set apart from the locals and stalked by a strange pasty faced ghoulish man (Harvey) as she’s drawn towards a mysterious carnival on the outskirts of town near the river,  where she’s inclined to dance. Continue reading Carnival of Souls (1962)

Advertisements

The Void (2016)

Day 3 – The Void

Director: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie  .
Starring. Aaron Poole, USA. 1h 30m.

It’s not often a film grips my attention quite like this one. The first trailer I chanced upon was quiet mysterious and the poster had tentacles, that’s pretty much me sold on any movie. So the Void didn’t promise much, it kept 90% of the fun a secret and that added to the fun and intensity of the gory film. Starting with a curious scene a man escapes from some crazy occultist and flees into the woods, bleeding and disorientated. A lone cop sees him the road and takes him to the nearest hospital to get him patched up. The hospital is in the process of being relocated, so there is minimal staff and they are caring for one pregnant girl and packing, quite reminiscent of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and before you know it, they are soon surrounded by shrouded occultist and have to barricade themselves but unlike the 70’s siege film they are fighting unknown metaphysical forces that are beyond comprehension, yet very familiar to those lured tales from HP Lovecraft. Continue reading The Void (2016)

Dr Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (1973)

AKA The Mansion of Madness

Director:Juan López Moctezuma .
Starring.Claudio Brook, Arthur Hansel, Ellen Sherman. Marin LaSalle. Susana Kamini. Mexico. 1h 39m.

The concept of this darkly macabre path into insanity is simple, the inmates have taken over the asylum. This  vision of madness come from the king of the unusual, the film is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The System of Dr Tarr and the Professor Feather.  A reporter (Brook) and his entourage have been invited to 19th century asylum hidden deep in the woods, their guide promises easy access but they are confronted by two armed guards, eventually they are let in and split up, the reporter takes one route while his beloved is chased through the woods and abused. After meeting various groups of people acting out wildly in the forest he meets the megalomaniac who’s running the whole affair and soon realises that the inmates have taken over and the prisoners are the redundant staff. In the absence of medical care they are left to their own crazy devices and act out their basest fantasies and have incredibly surreal urges. Continue reading Dr Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (1973)

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins. USA. 1h48m.

When I first heard about this film I was shaking my head crying about Another remake, but I still headed out to see it, just because I wanted to have a sofa to myself at the new local Empire Cinema,so I booked those two seats baby!

So it’s not a remake but it is a remake, yet again we’re discovering Kong but he’s not King anymore, in the same was that Spider man is not just a spider man he’s the AMAZING Spiderman, so now that King Kong had been downgraded and a slightly different persona and his tastes for blondes has been abandoned.
Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Garden Of Love (2003)

Director: Olaf Ittenbach.
Starring.Natacza Boon, James Matthews-Pyecka, Daryl Jackson. Germany. 1h 26m.

It’s quite easy to slate a film just because of it’s shoddy acting and low budget but then there are a few golden films where we actually really adore them just for those reasons, I want to name the Room (2003) but really I don’t know why it’s’ the best of the worst.. but it is. Garden of Love has some pretty bad qualities, poor production being the more noticeable but there is a damn fine slasher movie somewhere in the mess. Continue reading Garden Of Love (2003)

Lights Out (2016)

Director:David .F Sandberg .
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Maria Bello . USA. 1h 21m.

Back in 2015 David Sandberg frightened a lot of people with his short film entitled Lights Out, despite it being only a few minutes long it really did hit a nerve with a lot of people including me. Now the story has been refined and more details lead to more scares, it’s a great attempt to make something from a short film and provides a decent horror film but it is lacking a few details. Continue reading Lights Out (2016)

Hausu / House (1977)

Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi.
Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Kumiko Ohba, Kumiko Oba, Mitshtoshi Ishigami, Miki Jinbo, Reiko Sato. Japan. 1h 27m.

Every now and then I have the urge to watch something completely off the wall, and I’ve seen and heard so much about House over the years and deemed that most of it couldn’t be true..  but finally managed to find a copy at a semi reasonable price so I relaxed into it a few nights ago… then panicked a lot, but there is a lot going on in this cartoon style fairy story. Continue reading Hausu / House (1977)

The Terror (1963)

the-terror-jack-nicholson

 

Director: Roger Corman
Starring: Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller, Dorothy Neumann. USA. 1h 20m

There’s not a lot to this old meets new Roger Corman film, a gothic ghostly romance that features Boris Karloff near the end of his career and Jack Nicholson near the beginning of his illustrious career and he’s still quite wet behind the ears, especially in stark contrast of the seasoned Karloff, but even with his mastery it’s easy to see that the film would have benefitted from being much shorter. Continue reading The Terror (1963)

Wer (2013)

wer-xi

 

Director : William Brent Bell
Starring :  A.J. Cook,  Brian Scott O’Connor, Simon Quarterman, Sebastian Roché,Vik Sahay . USA. 1h 29m.

A modern day werewolf movie that awkwardly slots into the found footage genre. From the director who gave us another found footage horror only a year before, Devil Inside (2012) and sadly this film makes lots of the same mistakes but it also quite enjoyable.
There aren’t many werewolf found footage movies, in fact I can’t think of any, but this film isn’t pure found footage,  it’s  just a bog standard film with a few clips filmed via security cameras for added unrest.

Starting out from cam footage, a family are attacked by an unknown ferocious beast, if you hadn’t seen a trailer (or read this review) you’d have thought it was a bear on meth, it’s such a violent scene. Later through news clips it’s announced that Talan Gwynek (Brian Scott O’Connor) has been arrested for the murders. This is when Kate Moore (A. J Cook) steps in, to protect Talan as he’s not had a fair representation. While interviewing the curious man she starts to realise that he might just be capable of the murders, it’s not until after Talan is tested for Porphyria that Kate and her team including Gavin Flemyng (Simon Quarterman) start to realise just what they are faced with and how the werewolf curse is already affecting them…
Continue reading Wer (2013)

Młyn i krzyż – The Mill and the Cross (2011)

the-mill-and-the-cross

Director : Lech Majewski
Starring : Rutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling. Poland/Sweden. 1h 36m

It’s always interesting for a art nut like myself to discover something about an era of art, an artist or in some cases just one single painting being extracted in the wonderful world of cinema. It’s not like someone ever sits down to paint something that’s going to take weeks or months or even years for the sake of painting, yet when you find out the details behind some of the epic masterpieces it can be quite breathtaking and you need to look at the painting again. While I’m hugely into art and it’s history, I’m still in two minds weather these make good movies or not!?

Without diving deeply into the artist’s personal life but with some quirky and lively anecdotal excerpts of family life, children squabbling, and tumbling out of bed, breakfasts being eaten and blessings over the family table, the film aims to details the features of the work, the drive behind it and ultimately expressions of divine intervention.

From the initial introduction the remarkable  accomplishment of the jaw dropping visuals  is very apparent and if you only see the  introduction scenes then the film will remain with you forever as they are exquisite.  The rest of the film is like watching the paint settle into the masterpiece, it’s not like watching paint dry, instead you are gradually walked through the initial concept sketches and inner musings of the artist and strife of every single character within it, each journey explained, including the tortured man (check out the painting here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Procession_to_Calvary_(Bruegel) ). The artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, skilfully acted by  Rutger Hauer and is patron Nicholas Jonghelinck is sternly portrayed by Michael York and the feminine aspect of the movie is played by the most stunning Charlotte Rampling her steely eyes peer judgements at Rutger as the Virgin Mary giving advice to the artists throughout his journey through his own painting. Do masterful pieces of artwork demand such a film? The canvases of concern are The Mill and The Procession to Calvary,  the later depicts a Dutch crucifixion masterpiece created when Flanders was under brutal Spanish occupation. But it’s not a simple as painting a crucifixion painting, and without going into detail the film shows the symbolism of the characters in relation to the current persecution of the people of flanders against a similar strife that happened when Jesus was carrying the cross.

Every aspect of the film is enchanting it really does bring the entire painting to life although at times did remind me of the Storyteller series it’s obvious green screens and lots of CGI in order to create backdrops but they are very accurate and seem only enhance the practice of bringing the art to life. Like any work of art it comes together piece by piece which makes for a slow paced movie but it does build into this great crescendo as this masterpiece is solely piece together from the sum of its parts.

“This is like watching a painting dry” – but in a good way

Pieter Bruegel the Elder himself is mostly concerned; not with the main subject of Jesus being crucified But instead with the world that he is passing and the people who usually go  unnoticed and in spite their massive numbers are the actual  focal point and it’s not a huge canvas considering how many people are involved in the very end we see it right next to the Tower of Babel painting in a museum.

Exquisite  attention to the  minute detail to create the world around the painting but ends up in the painting the clothes are designed by  Dorota Roqueplo  helps bring this reality into existence.

Ultimately this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea not everybody isn’t art not everyone cares about the history of a single painting but you can’t deny is the artistic qualities within the film. Even some of the “still” moments are totally consuming,  this should definitely be considered a breakthrough piece for the director and every moment of the film is extraordinarily spellbinding and wondrous it’s literally like having a dream with the artist while painting has been created.

AOFA07

Rating 7/10

R The Girl with the pearl earring (2003),
L  – Artist Biographies
5sRutger Hauer, Michael York, Charlotte Rampling