Category Archives: War

The Man With the Iron Heart (2017)

AKA HHhH AKA Killing Heydrich

Director: Cédric Jimenez
Starring:  Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O’Connell, Jack Reynor, Stephen Graham .UK. 2h 

World War II has a host of characters that will be eternally admired and despised, routinely Hollywood steps in to honour the brave hero’s with a rendition of their stories, just lately we’ve been finding more names of brave men who rose up to fight the evil tyrants of the SS. Hopefully these reminders will help remind future generations of the price of freedom!?

There seemed to be a race to release a homage to operation Anthropoid, this particular movie, with a working title of HHhH (Himmlers Hirn heißt Heydrich),  was put on hold and renamed to make way for a film released in  2016 which took the converted and obvious title of “Anthropoid” , starring Cilian Murphy but is this really the poor relation to the saga? Poor, no but an alternative perspective.. just maybe. Both cover the basics of the 1942 plot by Czech resistance who sent two young recruits from London to Prague to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the ruthless psychopath who came up with an evil plan known as the Final Solution. 

Continue reading The Man With the Iron Heart (2017)

Deer Hunter (1978)

Director: Michael Cimino
Starring: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, Georeg Dzundza, Chuck Aspegren. USA. 3h 3m

Michael Cimino is a fairly laid back director, with only 8 titles under his belt he seems to only get out of bed to make a groundbreaking movie if and when he has something poignant to say. So 4 years after Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) he returns with this dark cult classic that will forever be etched in the minds of many cinema enthusiasts.

There isn’t much I can say about Deer Hunter that hasn’t been said already. It’s impact has been massive, but even with the parodies, tributes and deep analysis, what is the film trying to say? Is it anti war, is it purely dealing ? It is purely about the male bond of a few good friends? Whatever you get from the movie it starts with a wedding and ends with a funeral and there’s a lot of pain and torment that happens in between, which sounds like a nihilistic  analogy for life itself. I think I knew more about the movie before watching than any other film

Continue reading Deer Hunter (1978)

The Great Martian war 1913-1917 (2013)

Director: Mike Slee
Starring: Mark Stong, Jock McLeod, Joan Gregson, Ian Downie .UK/Canada. 1h 30m

It’s often quite typical for a mockumentary to just detail a single little project or some kind of investigation using the found footage format to make the most of a small budget and hopefully to give chills and thrills for its audience, however The Great Martian War goes a step beyond to rewrite human history with a War of the Worlds fashioned World War.

The team has model their creative documentary with the flare of the (Sky) History Channel and goes as far to have the logo in the corner and a lot of the formatting looks quite genuine although it is lost halfway through the movie for some random effects that I’ve never personally seen any type of TV documentary but maybe this is artistic flare? It does hold up to the high standard of a professional job and it doesn’t go out of its way to explain certain details in the same way that a normal history show would expected it’s audience to have a grounding knowledge around the subject which is quite a clever stance. Continue reading The Great Martian war 1913-1917 (2013)

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Bigfoot (2019)

Director: Robert D. Krzykowski .
Starring.Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Bigfoot, Larry Miller, Caitlin Fitzgerald. USA. 1h m.

So we have a film with the title but seems to pluck headlines from clickbait news titles and you’d be forgiven for believing that this was going to be some fanciful psychotropic romp, but instead in Robert D krzykowski slightly downtrodden epic we find a very down to earth and grounded adventure/drama, but without pop characters, huge explosions and superhero’s there’s a lot of cinema gold here and it seems to work purely because of Sam Elliott’s total coolness.

You’ll also be forgiven for believing that this film is set in an alternate reality, but the movie is set in our reality, but back in 1987, where we find the now aged Calvin Barr played by he panty dropping silver fox and his infamous mustache, which should get as much credit as whatever David Bowie was hiding in his pants in Labyrinth (1986). Continue reading The Man Who Killed Hitler and Bigfoot (2019)

Deathwatch (2002)

Director: M J Bassett
Starring: Jamie Bell, Ruaidhri Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox, Kris Marshall, Hans Matheson, Matthew Rhys, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 34m

The general trends with World War II movies is to punch your audience right in the gut with the violence and depression of the war. With all the progressions of cinema they all translate in more effect ways of demonstrating the darkest side of human nature and the brutal fight for freedom, but this isn’t the only way to portray the horrors of this dark chapter, since the was there have been numerous ghost stories written about lost soldiers, everlasting love and the occult nature of the “the enemies” of righteous civilisation. But is Deathwatch the new ghostly war story we need?

Bassett’s track record includes an array of action movies all tinged with the macabre, but Bassett is versatile in his approach with the lavish fantasy Solomon Kane filled with magic myth and monsters, and Wilderness, a group of wayward chavs verses a mystery slasher while stranded on a secluded island, he’s not a man who liked to be pinned down with a specialty apart from directing engaging movies. Continue reading Deathwatch (2002)

The Necromancer (2018)

Director: Stuart Brennan
Starring: Stuart Brennan, Marcus Macleod, Mark Paul Wake….UK. 1h 28m

This darkly twisted fairy tale follows a group of soldiers fleeing a war zone who find themselves lost deep in the woods where only magical things can happen.This British horror with a small budget definitely dreams big and while it has a solid story the execution comes across a little trying.

There is evil inside all of us.

Continue reading The Necromancer (2018)

Sand Serpents (2009)

Director: Jeff Renfroe
Starring:Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Elias Toufexi, Sebastian Knapp, Chris Jarman. Canada. 1h 30m

Like a strange warped version of Monsters: Dark Continent (2014), blended with Jarhead (2005)and Tremors (1990), Sand Serpents doesn’t really feature a nest of deadly vipers as I expected instead the foes are more like miniature versions of the adorable Dune (1984) like sand worms but with a blood thirsty taste for human flesh.

A small group of US Army Soldiers become stranded in the remote Afghan desert, but against all odds and while teaming up with a father and daughter team from the local region they battle the Taliban and the epic worm like creatures from an unknown source, not something covered in basic training. Continue reading Sand Serpents (2009)

Overlord (2018)

Director: Julius Avery
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbæk USA. 1h 50m

I didn’t know anything about this movie before I started seeing it’s backlash, but I personally believe that it’s a mistake to look at Overlord as a Horror movie, it’s just a Blackened Action War movie. The mechanism is generally simple, good guy Americana vs pure evil monster nazi,in between there’s a overnight coming of age, us and them dynamics and any excuse to shoehorn in some swearing and mild violence. Overall I find that the film sits neatly between a homage to lurid EC Comics series like Tales from the Crypt and the Wolfenstein video games, without taking it too seriously or trying to fit it neatly into historical facts I really enjoyed the black lead cast in their sometimes gory adventure, it’s not a great film, there’s nothing truly outstanding but for me it’s incredibly enjoyable. Continue reading Overlord (2018)

Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m

Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.

This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)

Dog Pound (2010)

Director: Kim Chapiron .
Starring. Adam Butcher,Shane Kippel,Mateo Morales, Slim Twig.Canada. 1h m.

Long after a wave of brutal British films hit the screen in the late 70’s and early 80’s detailing social disturbances, punk and skinhead culture and a lot of lost souls, race relations were at a boiling point with the rise of right wing groups in English cities and this all got reflected in such institutional films as Scum (1979), Made in England (1982) and Scrubbers (1982), that era passed and there was a lot of calm, but director Kim Chapiron, who had blasted on the scene with Sheitan (2010) a creepy occult themed thriller starring Vincent Cassel. While Dog Pound doesn’t employ the macabre of the unknown it’s equally disturbing and a loose remake of Scum. Continue reading Dog Pound (2010)