Director: Stephen Herek
Starring: Dee Wallace, Scott Grimes, Billy Zane, Terrance Mann, Don Keith Opper, M. Emmet Walsh, Lin Shaye .USA. 1h 28m
Critters are basically an intergalactic cross between Gremlins and Hedgehogs. I feel bad saying this as the director, Stephen Herek, got so much stick for copying Gremlins even though Critters was written and in production before Gremlins but small little creatures with a mischievous nature are all alike to me.
80’s American horror was often family based, possibly a ploy to get it into every home, but this average family find themselves having a night from hell when a group of Crites escape from their asteroid prison hijack a spaceship and speed down to Kansas where they start hunting for food. Luckily for the people of earth there are two highly skilled bounty hunters hot on their tails but on entering earth, one takes on the guise of a famous rock star but his sidekick has a bit of trouble with his green glowing face and ends up resembling random towns people he runs into, which is something that really confuses the already confuzzled local police force. Continue reading Critters (1986)
Director: Robert Lieberman
Starring: C B Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, James Garner, Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 49m
Based on: The Walton Experience by Travis Walton
After a decade of making dramas tinged with politics or romance, Lieberman took a step out of his comfort zone for this creepy film based on a the alleged accounts of an alien abduction survivor Travis Walton and this life after returning to earth.
The film starts out innocent enough when a group of life long friends are returning home from work in Snowflake Arizona, when Travis (Sweeney) is abducted by lights in the sky, the friends freak out but Mike Rogers (Partrick) reports that Travis has been abducted by aliens, this sparks a rugged local sheriff (Garner) to think that Mike and the others, were involved in Travis’s disappearance. after a lot of nervousness between the men who are reporting the incident, taking their unreal fear for guilt he approaches with a fairly open mind but believes he just needs to find evidence of a misdemeanour. Continue reading Fire in the Sky (1993)
Director: Bernard Launois
Starring: Véronique Renaud, Marcel Portier, Catherine Day .France. 1h 12m
This crazy French horror movie isn’t easy to categories, it’s definitely unique at times quite zany and while it has certain charms with being different and outlandish its major let down is the repetitive sound effects that really started to grate on my nerves within the opening 20 minutes only increase its irritability right to the bitter end.
Overall Devil Story feels as if narrative isn’t really all that important but the director, Bernard Launois, seems to have reveled with delight by adding everything you possibly could into his last production. The film opens with a crazed man slashing innocent victims and rural France and ends up with an occultist bringing about a Mummy Showdown. But like other infamous French movies of the era such as Zombie Lake (1981) there seems to have been this drive to just make gory horror films with little story line to back them up, but it’s generally all good groovy fun and being a lover of “bad movies” you gotta roll with the bizarre and they don’t get much more off the beaten track than this. Continue reading Il était une fois le diable / Devil Story (1986)
AKA: For my sister, Story of a Whale.
Director: Catherine Breillat.
Starring: Anais Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero De Rienzo, Arsinee Khanjian. France. 1h 35m.
Catherine Breillat’s dark drama inspects the lives of two young sisters at a pivotal moment in their development into womanhood with all the graphic insights that Brielliat is akin to producing for her fans and mostly for her critics.
Anais (Reboux) and Elena (Mesquaida) are two sisters who are poles apart, the film opens with them walking into town from their families holiday home, discussing losing their virginity and sex, which is quite advanced for such young girls but Elena is firm in her beliefs that it should be between two people who really love each other and her huskier sister; Anais, is on the thought train of losing one’s virginity should be just done to get it out of the way, she’s convinced that any stranger will do then she’ll just get on with her life.
Be careful what you wish for. Continue reading A Ma Soeur / Fat Girl (2001)
Director: Ali Abbasi
Starring: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff .Denmark/Iran/Sweden. 1h 50m
It’s clear from the outset of Ali Abbasi’s latest project, Border, that aspects of his debut Danish horror Shelley (2016) were going to pour through. It chooses to focus on a strange character, whom one might pass everyday and not really notice, and this character and her job at border control only goes to empahses out many conflicts of globalisation.
After sniffing out a teenager over his quota on alcohol he mumbles “Ugly bitch” at Tina (Melander) a border guard at a Swedish ferry port who has an uncanny sense of smell, not only can the stocky lass smell illegal imports but her attuned nose can even sense guilt on an SD card harboring child pornography. After work Tina returns to her home in the woods, which she shares with a lazy and feckless dog trainer Roland (Jorgen Thorsson) their platonic relationship is purely for convenience and it’s evident how little he really cares for Tina but she entertains herself by exploring the natural world around her where she appears to be more comfortable, during these voyeuristic nature scenes, Tina is often happier in her naked form and Ali manages to capture a romance between a woman and the natural eden that surrounds her with a sensitive eye.
Continue reading Gräns/Border (2018)
Starring. Jesse McCartney, Devin Kelley, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Nathan Phillips, Dimitri Diatchenko. Hungary/Serbia. 1h 33m.
The first time I watched this movie I wasn’t overly impressed, silly me was sat there pffpffying at the screen cos I had seen better and scarier I was grown and I could deal with this, but then I started getting recurring nightmares and they were fucking awesome so I’m giving the film a mini thumbs up for that!
The entire film paints a pretty dim picture of the Ukraine/Serbia area, it’s monochrome greys and blue hues overpower the movie during its brightest hours, when a group of unattached youngsters manage to get smuggled into the no go area in the shadow of the Chernobyl disaster area. A young american couple are heading out for a off beaten adventure with the intention to propose just to warm the audience, while a scandinavian/Australian couple are just out for what they can find. After being stalled at the first checkpoint in the Ukraine they eventually go in through a rougher secret path that was discovered years ago by their local guide Uri. He assure them it’s safe, he has a geiger counter (so fuck your fears kids let’s ROLL!) but they are all constantly on the lookout for dangerous (glowing) wildlife and the military but they roam around the dusty ghost town in awe of the tragedy and well aware of the possible dangers. Continue reading Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
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: Raymond Wood.
Starring. Hayley Lovitt, Jason MacDonald, Teddy Cole, Brook Todd, Ace Harney. USA. 1h 37m.
Knowing that this Indie Movie is both found footage and about possession it’s a no brainer what’s going to happen, check out my list of what to expect in a possession, exorcism and demonic movie. but with indie movies, there’s usually a degree of experimental artistic license and providing they don’t play it safe, there can be amazing results. Sadly this film falls into most of the typical plot holes and ends up flopping around like a dying priest before expiring in it’s own unoriginal mess. Continue reading 1st Summoning (2018)
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: Barry Shear
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Paul Benjamin. USA. 1h 32m
A poetic slice of American history is adapted into this explosive crime drama, and only a few years after racial tensions ran extremely high during the “hot summer” riots, and makes the most of key Harlem locations.
Two prolific stars in their own rights clash as gangs and civil rights spark rage and chaos in the streets, initially the film opens with a daring robbery staged by Jim Harris (Benjamin) results in him and his crew stealing around $300,000 from a Mafia run Numbers Game, things turn bad and there’s a blood shoot out, leaving seven dead both black and Italian and police officers. The case is assigned to the ultimate odd couple , Lieutenant William Pope (Kotto), a driven black police officer is assigned to work the case with aging Captain Frank Mattelli (Quinn), a street-wise racist Italian-American cop. Obviously sparks will fly but deep down you know they will find common ground amongst the bloodshed. There’s a constant reminder that the older Italian officer is on his way out and the new more empowered black officer is rising up to replace him. The entire slice of stereotype pie is eaten. Continue reading Across 110th Street (1972)