Category Archives: Science Fiction

Assassin (1986)

Director: Sandor Stern
Starring: Robert Conrad, Karen Austin, Richard Young, Jonathan Banks, Robert Webber, Ben Frank. USA. 1h 09m

There’s something charming about a story of a retired agent coming back into the fold to help fight an advanced robot with a kill list. Coming out 2 years after the original Terminator movie where everyone is young and pretty, a much more mature cast is set for the TV movie version and a less fancy, more down to earth robot is generated for this thriller.

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Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)

Director: Jacob Gentry
Starring: Harry Shum Jr, Kelley Mack, Chris Sullivan, Anthony E Cabral .USA. 1h 44m

Jacobs Gentry’s uncanny valley neon lit thriller is a great diversion for horror fans, but unlike other broadcast horrors it fails to give a satisfactory conclusion to its own question but will raise eyebrows though it’s stunning display of solid drama and a deep dive investigation.

While logging tapes of retro TV Broadcasts, a video archivist, James (Shum Jr.) discovers a disturbing clip that he believes is a sign of early hacking, out of his armchair investigation, James is innocently trying to track down the source but it turns into a deadly cat and mouse chair that night lead to solving a slew of murders.

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Undergods (2020)

Director: Chino Moya
Starring: Johann Myers, Ned Dennehy, Burn Gorman, Kate Dickie, Tim Plester .UK/Estonia. 1h m

After watching a deeply profound movie Undergods from Chino Moya, I still have questions, but I don’t really want to utter them too loudly in fear that the Corpse Collectors might come.. Very much in the vein of Domink Moll, Peter Strickland, and Ben Wheatley, this trippy blend of strange comedy and the darker elements of human nature, really creeps under the skin and while the film trips over its own message from time to time there’s mountains on mythology and messages worth contemplating. There’s a familiarity in both worlds depicted here, worlds in which we can all recognise but just uncanny valley enough for us not to properly understand.. or maybe we don’t want to admit to it.

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Old (2021)

Director: M Night
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Ken Leung, Aaron Pierre, Emun Elliott, USA. 1h 48m

At first glance this was always going to be an awkward film for any director to make , after the great success of Sandcastles, the amazing graphic novel detailing the dark and immersive story of a group of strangers trapped on a beach, am night was the only person who probably is just crazy enough to take this on and to convert it for the Hollywood screen .

I had read the comic several years before when it first came out I have to buy a new copy as I had lost my original lent to it a dear friend who maybe one day will give it back to me, so now I have a fancy new version with extra insights from the author and cool little sticker that says it is being made into a movie. but for the life of me I couldn’t quite work out how he was going to translate this into a story for the big audience , but strangely he has come up with her intelligent and intriguing storyline which dips from the curious into conspiracy.

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Alien Dead (1980)

Director: Fred Olen Ray Starring:Buster Crabbe, Raymon Roberts, Linda Lewis, Georeg Kelsey. USA. 1h 27m

Mind bending retro sci fi horror, featuring gator eating alien zombies that lay siege on a quaint rural southern town where a journalist ends up in a dead end town that seems to be running out of gators only to stumbles on the story of a lifetime.

They came from outer space to eat the living!

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Curse II -The Bite (1989)

Director: Frederico Prosperi (as Fred Goodwin)
Starring: J. Eddie Peck, Jill Schoelen, Jamie Farr, Bo Svenson .Italy/USA. 1h 37m

After the success of The Curse (1987), an indie effort to breathe cinematic life into the classic HP Lovecraft story The Color Out of Space. An Italian/American sequel, in name only manages to cobble together a strange blend of body horror and romance and in some respects it stands strong as a very strange orphan.

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Deep Space (1988)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m

I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi  classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark (1979),  and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth (1981)

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Dark Encounter (2019)

Director: Carl Strathie
Starring: Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Spike White, Nicholas Pinnock, Alice Lowe, USA/UK. 1h 37m

Dark Encounter is another film in a long line up, of Intricately detailed thought provoking sci-fi, drawing more towards the side of hard sci-fi and yet remaining dreamily artistic, this bold attempt to to blend a missing person case in and around the most profound alien contact, proved to be very thought-provoking, and somewhat beautifully bittersweet.

With other epic sci-fi titles out there such as Interstellar and Arrival, Dark Encounter can proudy sit among them as a strong contender. Even without going full Christopher Nolanesque and devising a complex world that falls in and on itself, with surreal curveballs and slips within time and space, there is a palatable connection between our world and another. Were the reasoning why, being slightly baffling, it still proves to be an outstanding piece of work both visually and intellectually.

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The Rift – Endless Descent (1990)

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Starring: Jack Scalia, R. Lee Ermey, Ray Wise, Ely Pouget, Deborah Adair,John Toles-Bey. Spain/USA. 1h 19m

If you’re a fan of underwater horrors such as The Abyss, Leviathan, DeepStar Six etc, then this film will feel really familiar to you. Often seen as a BMovie version of the movies mentioned above due to its lack of originality in the plot, the film is often praised for providing a decent entertaining sucker punch for it’s limitations. Considering that 1989 was the sterling breakthrough for deep sea thrillers involving a host of alien and mutant creatures, it’s a strange step backwards to watch Endless Descent ride on their back 2 years later, but for all its flaws it’s incredibly watchable.

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The Dark (1979)

Director: Tobe Hopper, John Cardos Starring:William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Jacquelyn Hyde. USA. 1h 32m

This could have been a real contender as one of the more imaginative bold and vibrant sci-fi thrillers of the late 70’s but it fails on a few fronts which is a crying shame. The total of it’s dismal failures is all down to a ton of rewrites as the director duo of Tobe Hopper and John Cardos scramble around trying to wedge their classic into the shadow of the other highly successful sci-fi movies like Ridley Scott’s ALIEN (1979).

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