Category Archives: Lists

Classic animation (on 4)  stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1

After reading this title, I believe a  short Introduction is an well growing up in the 90s I was rudely introduced to stop motion and bizarre animated shorts through the Channel animation on 4. Obviously as a child and young teenager I’ve seen lots of animated films series and feature length films, but nothing could quite prepare me for the onslaught of dark mechanical don’t like creatures from the insipid creative minds of the Quay brothers Paul Berry’s and the claustrophobic social construct  of Phil Mulloy.

While it frightened and unnerved me it did also,  open my eyes to unlimited dreamscapes and nightmares!? I would sit up late at night transfixed to the mirage of movement and curious situations which eventually started to warp my art, thinking, and most facets of my life. I suppose it was truly influential, but it’s take me this long to get back into that niech groove  and present my all time favourite classic animations, mostly from Animation on 4, stop motion shorts and everything else that fits in between.

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8 Post Apocalyptic Shorts

The Last Man (2015)?

Written and Directed by Gavin Rothery – Starring :  Richard D Glover
This short film stars Richard D Glover who usually appears on Ben Wheatley productions, we follow his solitary struggle as he navigates a barren burnt wasteland in search for survivors, hints at a war between two groups is evident from the propaganda littering the derelict buildings but at this point he’d be happy to just meet anyone. From time to time we hear a radio broadcast asking for people to respond but our silent hero has no means,  apart from this the film is almost silent.

Glover is a pretty decent actor so his contributions really help but the detail and effort that went into the production of the film and those desolate backdrops is pretty stunning. It’s certainly nothing new but it’s clear to see that this is someone’s pride and joy and a lot of effort had gone into it.

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Final Girls Vol.1

Horror is certainly one of my favourite genres, over the years it’s changed from ghouls and monsters creeping around in the darkness, to more ferocious Hammer Horror and Universal Monsters thrashing around and breaking new ground, generally women were the victims or just an attractive side kick, slowly through horror and sci fi, action and drama, women started to find a voice and became stronger on the silver screen, some of them even became our saviours and heroines. This is a list of 10 women who displayed their true grit and managed to make it through a horror flick without getting mauled, eaten or kidnapped for alien breeding programmes… Please note that I will be discussing the END of these movies and therefore SPOILERS!

01.Suspiria (1977)

One of Dario Argento’s classic films see’s a young dancer, Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) travel from New York to the Tanz Dance Academy in Freiburg, Germany, but on arriving she starts to notice strange events and these escalate into gresome Giallo technicolour murders. Feeling out of place and having to cope with peculiar events and  possibly being controlled by mysterious forces she manages to unravel what/who is picking off the lovely girls around her, which makes her a number one target. She’s incredibly brave but it’s fear which really keeps her going! The film is lavish with a neon effect which is something idolised by modern directors who are still highly influenced by Argento’s deep sensual style. 10/10 Continue reading Final Girls Vol.1

The Most Dangerous Game – Chess

First things first what’s the attraction to Chess? The King of Games…Well first it’s one of the oldest games known to man, it’s technical and shows a lot of character of the person playing.  As soon as you see a chess game set up in the movie you know there is a mental war going on. The cunning tactics that you need to lure a person into a trap, the poker face antics that are played until the final moments are all time which a director can really hit the message home that he’s playing for keeps, the characters are so high class and sophisticated if you’ve not picked up on a think or two then you’d better start taking notes.

There is usually a battle of minds, more than a battle of brawn, someone is up to an evil plan, so check the finer details and see if you can out play the director, and the most devastating move, death, usually this battle will result in some death in some way or in some scenes it will be played by death.

There has been a long lasting kinship between chess and cinema, often seen as the thinking man’s game it’s often used to display character and intelligence. Here’s a list of a few films that have some kind of chess connection.

 

01.Pawn sacrifice (2014)

The film that inspired this list. I am not a chess player myself, I struggle with draughts but I was really interested with this film, it had an usual atmosphere and based on real events, it was a chance to learn something and be entertained. Tobey Maguire, stars as Bobby Fischer, who battled against the soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). The film is as concentrated about the game as it the characters and tells a thrilling but tragic life story, filled with mental health issues and the US vs USSR cold war and how any event between the two countries was considered a  full on war.  9/10

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New French Extremity Vol 1.

I’m sure there are book written about this subject and I’m not claiming to be an authority on it but here’s an easy and slightly obvious guide to the new wave of French bizarre and disturbing films.

The term was originally coined by James Quandt to summarise a collection of transgressive films by French directors. Despite this list claiming to be French a couple of these films are Belgique or even Canadian but are just French in language.. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

So in no particular order at all, here are 10 easy to find and probably most talked about French Extreme Movies, Vol 2 will be a little more obscure.. or at least I hope so.

01. Proie /Prey (2010)

This movie is probably the most recent that I’ve watched and it’s the only reason why it’s in this top position. It’s a disgusting buckets of gore body shocker that highlights the dangers of chemical waste being released into the nature and breeding mutant creatures. A family who are spending time in a remote cabin fancy a bit of hunting are soon have their weekend turned into a nightmare when they become the prey of a large mutated bore.  A delightful step up from Razorback (1984) and Pighunt (2008), this film fixates on the pungent rotting mess that the abandoned pesticide has created, and if the stronger stomachs can sit through this it has a lot of gory and disturbing action scenes to top it off. It’s all kinda their own fault as it is the patriarch of the family who authorised the dumping of the waste in the first place..  8/10

02.Frontière(s) /Frontier(s) (2007)

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