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: Scotty Baker
Starring: Doug Jones, Marina Sirtis, Morgan Lariah, Mindy Robinson, Armin Shimerman, David Lim.USA .1h 29m.
In the opening scenes a woman’s body is retrieved from a space vessel, while recuperating, her memories of the events that led up to her rescue are watched by Marina Sirtis, who’s an agent trying to find out what happened to the crew, in order to report to a committee she is charged with viewing the memory “playback”.
In a turbulent maladjusted future there are two distinct classes, Citizens and Non-Citizens, the later class are considered bottom feeders who have very little rights and are generally only entrusted with meanal jobs, looking after livestock etc. But one woman stands out among them, Eve (Lariah) a technical officer despite her exclusion from the higher class. Continue reading 5th Passenger (2018)
Director: Jim Henson.
Starring. David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Brian Henson, Frank Oz, USA. 1h 47m.
It’s hard to write to about films that have been around so long, that are so wildly popular, but alas it’s a film that I’ve seen; many times and therefore it has a place on my illustrious blog, but don’t expect me to take this review all that serious, because that would be boring and this film like so many other Henson productions always suggest that you shouldn’t take life too serious.
The film is a meeting of three great talents and a lavish history of children’s fairy tales, arranged and directed by Jim Henson’s who made a range of amazing creatures in all sizes, all built around the twisted imagination of renowned Brian Froud, and with the presence of David Bowie the film already has enough credentials for perfection, and it literally all the ingredients you need for the faultless fantasy film. Continue reading Labyrinth (1986)
Director: Mike Flanagan
Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken , Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 43m
Based on Gerald’s Game by Stephen King
Sometimes I read the synopsis of a film and then check the time and can’t fathom how someone can drag out something so simple for so long, reading about Gerald’s Game, a woman trapped along chained to a bed, the mind doth boggle how i can last for nearly two hours, but this movie is amazing in the details and revelations that incur during Jessie’s surprise and accidental incarceration.
Jessie (Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Greenwood) travel to a remote beach house to rekindle their marriage, with a bit of kink, after running into a stray dog, Jessie puts some food out for the dog incase it’s still in the area and notices that a door has been left open. Focusing on the fun she slips into a something more comfortable and Gerald pops two viagra, handcuffs his wife to the bed and dies from a heart attack. Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017)
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: David Cronenberg
Based on – Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs
Starring: Peter Welller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider. Canada, Japan, UK. 1h 55m
This bold, Kafkaesque putrid remake of the legendary novel by William S Burroughs, is possibly as vivid and imaginative as the original book, but if you’ve read the book you’ll realise that no film could ever really be a true adaptation, so the screenplay is a metatextual adaption. Detailing characters and scenes from a complex novel and other works from Burroughs, both fictional and from his journal and the events which lead to the 1951 death of Joan Vollmer, Burroughs’s common law wife. So while it’s not entirely Naked Lunch, it should at least FEEL like Naked lunch and at times it feels a lot like Burroughs but slightly more coherent.
As a surreal autobiographic piece the film follows the life of William Lee, who is basically Burroughs, a bug exterminator who discovers his wife is stealing his insecticide and using it to get high. Lee is arrested and starts hallucinating because of his exposure to the powder. Believing that he’s a secret agent he beings a strange relationship with two handlers, one is a insect typewriter and an alien “Mugwump“. The typewriter assigns him a mission of killing Joan, she’s allegedly an agent of an organization called “Interzone”, Lee dismisses this notion but on returning home he finds Joan having sex with a friend and kills her, inadvertently carrying out the mission, he flees to interzone, a city in North Africa where he spends his time writing reports to his handlers, this slowly becomes the Naked Lunch book and after taking more mind altering drugs and getting a new typewriter, a Clark Nova, this insect stresses that he needs to find Dr Benway by seducing Joan Frost who’s a doppelganger of his dead wife and then things get really weird, and with the addition of a drug that is made from a centipede. Continue reading Naked Lunch (1991)
Director: john Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen, Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh . USA . 1h 35m
A sort of coming of age of the Beat Poets, Kill Your Darlings presents a “as they were” to the major literary movement. Krokidas uses a small time 1940’s murder as a feature to lead into how these soon to be famous writers first met. He romanticize everything, including all the negative aspects of the characters, their argumentative nature and self destructive tendencies are all keys of inspiration but the film wallows in a faux nostalgia and sensationalism rather than digging deeper to provide a better insight. Continue reading Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Director: John Curran
Starring: Jason Clarke, Kate Mara,Bruce Dern. USA.
Jason Clarke impresses as the last Kennedy whose reputation sank along with the demise of a young supporter in murky mystery.
The history of the Kennedys and their prominence in the hearts of the American public as they rose to new heights of the country’s political area. But after the demise of Bobby and and Joe Jr, everything landed on the shoulders of Ted. This is all mapped out in Chappaquiddick, attentively directed byChappaquiddick (2018). The writing was all down to Allen and Logan, a screenplay not adapted from any specific research as no one knows what actually happened. But this becomes part of the point. But Chappaquiddick isn’t all about the facts from this fateful night, it’s microscopic lense is pointed at the Kennedy’s behaviour during the turmoil, and eventually turns it’s analytical finger at the audience and makes you question what you would do with such a powerful network at your disposal and a presidency at risk. Continue reading Chappaquiddick (2017)
Director: Hiroshi Katagiri
Starring: Eva Swan, Sean Sprawling, Katherine Taylor, Simon Philips, Doug Jones, Lance Henriksen. USA/ Japan. 1h 45m
Katagiri’s feature length debut opens up with an embellished biblical quote from Matthew 18:9, but instead of casting your eye into hell fire, the word is changed for Gehenna, this cuts away for a group of natives performing a ritual involved cutting off a mans face and walling him up in a cave.
After the bloodshed, the film cuts to a pristine office, where Morgan (Henriksen) speaks with his daughter about checking out a new spot in Saipan, the family business is tied with tourism and they have acquired a new piece of land which Paulina (Swan) is determined to check out as she’s planning on taking over the family business soon, this is all you’ll see of Henriksen so don’t get your hopes up Henny fans.
Continue reading Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)
Starring. Aura Garrido, David Oakes, Ray Stevenson. Spain. 1h 48m.
The background of this mesmerising thriller is reminiscent of stories straight from the imagination of HP Lovecraft, but the film is actually based on a story by Albert Sanchez Pinol with the same title. They both involve a lone man on the edge of his sanity who lives locked tight in a light house on a remote and uninhabited island, existing like a hobo and fighting off deadly sea creatures each night.
The film breaks open at sea, a fine-looking ship is being chased by dolphins as a young Irishman named Friend (Oakes) travels to this remote island in the South Atlantic to work as a meteorologist, the only inhabitant of the island is the caretaker of the lighthouse, a tough character called Gruner (Stephenson). After a cold and abrupt introduction Gruner informs Friend that the previous meteorologist died from typhus. The crew depart leaving Friend to cosy in his new cabin he watches Gruner in his fortified lighthouse with intense curiosity, why would someone need to defend a lighthouse? Friend unpacks and finds a journal from the late meteorologist, detailing nightly attacks from strange creatures form the sea, assuming this was feverish dreams of a dying man he drifts off to sleep until a slimy webbed hand feels under the door and he finds himself under attack. He managed to fight off the intruders, the next day he tries to get Gruners attention but is ignored. He spends the day fortifying the cabin and finds a gun. Awaiting another attack but he’s overrun and in the fight ends up burning the cabin to the ground, hiding on the rocks of the beach with a blanket he spends the night hiding. Continue reading La Piel Fria / Cold Skin (2017)