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)
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:Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter.
Starring: Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Rod Steiger, David Allen Brooks .USA. 1h 32m
80’s horror will always be remembered for being gutsy and it really liked to spill those guts all over the screen, This film is mild i some respects as it tries to build a respectable story but as the monster is slowly revealed there’s healthy lashings of tentacles and slime but without much actual blood, a strange combination that remains interesting but is noticeably lacking all the right ingredients to make it a stand out from all the other films of the era.
A brilliant scientist Amanda Hollins (Hunter) awakes from a coma and informs her equally brilliant son (Brooks) that he must destroy her journals and her final experiment aka his brother, bewildered he arranges to take his research staff and his girlfriend out to his mother’s house to carry out her request but soon she dies, unknown to him she’s killed by a rival (mad) scientist Dr. Phillip Lloyd (Steiger), who can’t be trusted around small animals and to be honest I wouldn’t trust him with kids either, but he’s desperate to find out what Amanda has been up to. Continue reading The Kindred (1987)
Director : Adrián García Bogliano
Starring : Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest. USA/Spain. 1h 35m
I had been looking for this film for some time as i made it a personal mission to watch every werewolf movie when I was a creepy deathrock teenager and preferred them over vampires any day. Werewolf Order!!!
It’s an unusual set up to a lot of other horror movies with wild beasts involved, and the strange concoction of seasoned cast seems to side step the normal for a set of very unusual and slightly surreal characters, at times I wondered if this was a metaphor for something more profound?
A cantankerous veteran Ambrose (Damici) moves into a quiet and peaceful retirement home in a gated community called Crescent Bay, after the loss of his wife, the aging, blind vet and his dog are settled in by Will (Embry), Ambrose’s adoring son but it’s clear their relationship has been through the the wars there’s respect but something gloomy from the past under the surface. Ambrose’s exceptional smell and hearing leads him to his adorable neighbour who he befriends, but later on that night she’s brutalised by a hairy beast, Ambrose attempts to save her but he and his dog are injured in this unexpected animal attack. Sadly the beloved dog dies from his injuries but Ambrose goes into survival mode and begins a personal hunt for the beast. Continue reading Late Phases / Night of the Wolf (2014)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier~
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Macon Blair . USA . 1h 35m
Here’s another gorgeous piece of gore from the invigorating direction Jeremy Saulnier, the director who likes to use colours in his film titles. After the success of the brutal revenge movie Blue Ruin (2013) he returns with a punks vs nazi horror flick that hold back no punches.
In the UK there was a similar but tamer film that ran into a mini series called This is England which showed the peaceful Skins get tainted by psychotic politics and there was a divide as the Nazi’s tried to take the scene over. This pales in comparison to the night of hell this alternative band is about to experience in the Green Room but it’s equally important to make a note of the difference of opinions between punks and nazi’s..
Seemed to be the next on the list of taboo scenarios that attracts the attention of Saulnier, Punks vs nazi’s has been an age old battle. But what’s really interesting is Saulnier’s choice of cast, it seems the unlikely bunch, Patrick Stewart, especially after his years with American Dad just doesn’t “sound” like a neo nazi leader but being such a brilliant actor he performed so well, as does the small role by the main star of Blue Ruin (2013), Macon Blair who’s the cutest and most polite fascist ever. But let’s start at the beginning… Continue reading Green Room (2015)
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 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: 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: Rene Perez
Starring: Robert Bronzi, Karin Brauns, Alanna Forte, Nicole Stark, Charlie Glackin, Robert Kovacs .USA. 1h 17m
I was a bit confused about this movie, the cover made it look like Charlie B has come back from the dead to hunt a monster in the desert, and I’d buy that for a dollar. This indie film is only slightly different in that it actually stars Robert Bronzi who is an Ukranian actor who made it big as a Charles Bronson impersonator.. In this Horror Western he’s an experience hunter and tracker who is on hot pursuit for a deranged serial killer who’s been stalking women in the desert and wrecking their bodies in a similar style as a certain well known London killer. Continue reading From Hell to the Wild West
Director:James Bryan, Brother Bryan .
Starring. Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz,James P. Hayden,Angie Brown. USA. 1h 22m.
This is a total no brainer horror, but one of the uncanny I’ve seen from this era for quite some time. at first it seems that it’s going to build into something special in that b movie kinda way but I feel this is one of the Sharknado, Icetastrophy, Zodiac of the apocalypse low budget flops of yesteryear that didn’t mature well.
A group of young people head into the wilderness for some “fun” mostly pratting around splashing water at each other and pulling stupid pranks but unbeknownst to them there’s a lunatic in a joke shop viking outfit that stalks the woods and kills tourist on a whim. Usually the teens are a bit more liberal, heading out into nature for sexy good times and probably ludicrous amounts of drugs, but back in the 70’s it was usually just a chance to make out. While there’s not a lot of naughtyness there is a fair amount of slashing, for a slasher.. So one by one they are stalked by this crazy guy wearing skins who lives off trash and the land, he doesn’t say much apart from some odd screeching but he can book it for a fat guy. Continue reading Don’t go into the woods (alone) (1981)