Director: Ewald André Dupont
Starring: Robert Shayne, Joyce Terry, Richard Crane, Doris Merrick, Beverly Garland, Tandra Quinn USA/Germany. 1h 18m
One of my movie weaknesses is vintage sci fi movies, I just adore the heroism and pure wonderment and moral dilemmas they still offer, the 50’s were a golden age for the beginning of big scale science fiction, from mad scientists to space exploration, monsters and space exploration. Things might not really work how they were depicted, the same generation who were sure radioactive insect bites would only enhance a man also encouraged their kids to smoke, but sci fi wouldn’t really be sci fi without a level of taking things too far and being outlandish.
The Neanderthal man is a prime example of a down trodden scientist who pushes the envelope and takes things to the extreme The mockery of a brilliant scientist Prof. Clifford Groves (Shayne) by his peers, pushes him to the dangerous edge of self exploration, after being publicly ridiculed the professor continues his feverish work to prove that our cells remember their prehistoric past and turns himself into a Neanderthal man, his cat into a Sabretooth and his housekeeper into some scary beastly wild woman. The trio have little recollection of their primal actions and terrorise the wildlife and residents of their small town. Continue reading The Neanderthal Man (1953)
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: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: Sarik Andreasyan
Starring: Sebastien Sisak, Sanzhar Madiyev, Anton Pampushnyy, Alina Lanina, Valeriya Shkirando, Stanislav Shirin, Vyacheslav Razbegaev .Russia. 1h 29m
This is Russia’s slightly underpowered answer to movies like The Avengers (2012) and came out the same year as Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 (2017), initially the movie was hyped but instantly bombed in the Russian Charts and started to receive numerous negative reviews mostly in Russia, but it’s slowly gained a trickle of fans worldwide despite its flaws it’s an ok movie, for me it’s way more enjoyable than other blockbusters that try to take themselves too seriously so if you’re into B-Movies or anything psychotropic then it might just be the super flick you’ve been looking for.
Kicking off in the Cold War, a secret organization called “Patriot” gathered some heroes together from former states in order to defend the homeland, altering their DNA these different nationalities of the Soviet Union all have their own individual special powers, a quick run down, and I’m only using their codenames, Ursus (Serbia) (Pampushnyy) who’s generally a strong man but is also a cuddle Werebear, Khan (Kazakhstan) (Madi) who looks a lot like Casshern but he’s super fast and uses curved swords and flashes around like Nightcrawler, Ler (Armenia)(Sisak) can control the earth and rocks, a bit like Bluto and Ben from Fantastic 4, and finally Xenia (Moscow) (Lanina) who can turn invisible and transform into water and all sorts of lady shit..yadda yadda… Continue reading The Guardians / Zaschitniki / Защитники (2017)
Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.
Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).
Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)
Director/Writer: Michael Crichton
Starring: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley, Stan Shaw .USA. 1h 39m
When I first saw this movie it literally blew my socks off, I was at the tender age of about 6 or 7 and it didn’t take a lot to impress me, but the idea of a future littered with robots and advanced technology was always something that really sparked something in me. Growing up saw a few inventions, phones beame fun again and not just the colourful see through ones, but more and more technology slowly creeped into my life, and luckily without any of Skynett’s T100, but looking back at Runaway is something I have the urge to do periodically as I still really enjoy the movie despite the dated clunky robots and suspect acting, it still holds some Vaporwave charm, and is still lighting a new generation alive with the hopes of electric dreams.
IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines are being programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all. Continue reading Runaway (1984)
Director: J.A. Bayona
Starring : Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Justice Smith. USA. 2h 9m.
So once again we learn how dangerous dinosaurs are, and that includes mutant dinosaurs.. Because the old school variety just aren’t as scary as we thought… Jurassic World introduced a slightly different take on the “let’s make a theme park with dinosaurs”, Chris Pratt became a new lead with a group of modified raptors including his darling Blue. But the sentiment is quickly launched out the window for a fast paced non heel breaking action flick. All that pent up emotionalism returns in this even quicker paced often silly sequel.
Opening with a group of mercenaries trying to collect dinosaur bones to build more beasts, as their island is destroyed by a volcano, they are soon despatched by a few lose dinosaurs. A montage follows the world is divided, let the dinosaurs die or do they have a right to life and should we save them? Claire Dearing (Dallas Howard) is determined to save as many as she can, after hooking up with Owen they are summoned to the mansion of Benjamin Lockwood (Cromwell), who was there when the first dino’s were extracted and with the help of his associate Eli Mills (Spall) they have set up a sanctuary. All Claire and Owen have to do it fly to the island, gather as many dinosaurs as possible and get them back to the sanctuary. Claire and Owen do their “thing” without their feelings get in the way too much. Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Director: Yō Moriyama
Japan. 6h 30m ish
This epic mini series was made in honour of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Manga Ashita no Joe. It closely follows the often tragic story of Junk Dog, a young fighter who has been picked up by a trainer, Gansaku Nanbu who has fallen from grace and uses the kid to fix fights to raise money to pay off his debts.
In this future era there’s a classic sci fi set up, there are two distinct classes, citizens and non citizens, Junk Dog is of the lower cast, a non citizen who fights in the outskirts of a mega city but he dreams of making it into the Megloboxing ring as a citizen to fight the number one ranked fighter, Yūri. Who, through a series of unfortunate events turns up in Junk’s ring and the two battle it out, Junk Dog gets his ass handed to him but the young kid never gives up and this intrigues Yūri, who leaves the fight but urges the “Stray Dog” to com and fight him in the big ring. This really awakens something and soon he encourages Nanbu to help him fight in Meglabox. Nanbu is pretty useless but he strikes an all or nothing bargain with the man he already owes money to, the pair arrange for a fake citizen card for Junk Dog who renames himself Joe, and they enter him into the games. Continue reading Meglobox (2018)
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)