Director: Howie Askins
Starring: Ryan McCoy, Brett Rosenberg, Ashley Brack, Toby Bryant, Abigail Richie .USA. 1h 18m
Small budget aside this imaginative found footage movie actually outdoes some of the more costly attempts to freak out audiences, with its stereotypical beginnings it ramps up the psychotropic madness as it’s survivors run a gauntlet of terror that’s totally unexpected and wholesomely different and that alone; is worth the wait as this simple but highly effective story plays out.
Howie Askins’s debut Devil Girl (2007) didn’t leave a great lasting impression on its audience, the attempt to revise the ultimate horror road movie with buxom chicks just didn’t pique much interest, sadly the 9/10 review on IMDb comes from someone with the username howieaskins .. funny that. Continue reading Evidence (2012)
Director: Lee Won-Tae .
Starring. Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim, Mu-Yeol Kim. South Korea. 1h 50m.
One of my all time favourite genres in film is the South Korean Crime Thriller, They are filled with such slick plots, crazy bloody knife fights and inhuman bad guys, often thick with plots twists around organised crime, bent cops, serial killers and a strange honour code there’s a dark sharp violence in them which isn’t easily mimicked. I didn’t get too hyped about this until the second half but I have valid reasons. With a lot of Korean thrillers, there’s often an air of strangeness the crimes and methods of solving them are usually played out under sheets of rain at night, and usually the killer is really fucking derranged and hard to track, control or kill. But in this case they catch the guy but it’s not the end of the story it’s only the beginning. Continue reading 악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)
Director: Don Sharp
Starring: George Sanders, Beryl Reid, Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Roy Holder, Robert Hardy .UK. 1h 35m
AKA Death Wheelers
Sadly this is the only hippy occult psychotropic suicidal biker gang musical cult horror that Beryl Reid ever made, a movie that was the final nail in the coffin for George Sanders and one which most of the actors hated making but one of the first British cult motorcycle horrors that lives in the hearts of many fans.
Australian-born British film director, Don Sharp, is best known for his deeply atmospheric Hammer movies, in the 1960s, his titles included The Kiss of the Vampire (1962) and Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966). In his early days he often appeared in B rated movies, this lead to him being adept at making the most of any meager budget, something which he demonstrated with his 17th Century based movie Witchcraft (1964) elegantly shot in monochrome and it’s follow up Curse of the Fly (1965) but his strangest picture is Psychomania. Successfully managing to combine the Hippy agenda of freedom and peace with a dark frog worshiping satanic cult, Sharp blends all of this with a tongue in cheek humor but without much of a plan as to the hows and whys of immortality and untapped power, the film wasn’t made to make sense but as a feast for the senses. Continue reading Psychomania (1973)
Starring: Yul Edochie, Prince Iyke Olisa, Adanna Luke, Stella Udm, Akanchawa Okolo, Stan Edubka, Chuck Etikomeni .Nigeria. 4h 20m
Sometimes the desire to have an expensive lifestyle and to flash extravagance is more powerful than any learned common sense. This seems to be the moral of the story in this Nigerian drama that centres around a young man who is happy to squander his uncle’s cash to impress random women and to upgrade how his village sees him.
Prince Ikye Olisa plays Uwaebuka the main catalyst in this turbulent movie the film opens with him running home and threatening to kill himself, his long suffering mother takes away his rope and immediately goes to visit her brother Orimiri, (Edochie) for money to help her son. It’s here that we learn what a waste of space the boy is, constantly getting handouts and instantly squanders the money, each time the uncle threatens to cut him off. Continue reading Million Million (2020)
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Starring: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale Coka, Alexandra Masangkay .Spain. 1h 34m
When we have the truth of our social or cultural climate thrown in our face in graphic ways it’s quite common for people to feel ashamed, disgusted or maybe intrigued by its complexity. Taking something which most are unable to comprehend or actively turning a blind eye too, and reinventing it, is threaded throughout this spectacular Spanish Sci Fi Thriller.The Platform is an incredibly busty portrayal of our current tragedy of the commons but this one is a touch harsher than the Allegory of the Long Spoons fable.
It’s a popular trend for movies made for a more astute audience to often hit the ground running, chucking it’s characters and audience into an odd situation and assuming that grey matter will get them through the fleshing out of the plot, this is so welcomed than a third of the movie being taking by the director hammering home what they want the audience to think. So after watching a Michelin style kitchen prepare perfect foods, Galder opens with the lead Goreng (Massague) waking up on a bunk, on a platform with a strange man who keeps saying obviously.. there should be a warning to buckle up because things are going to get strange, violent and incredibly deep. Continue reading El Hoyo / The Hole AKA The Platform (2019)
Director: John Mark Robinson
Starring: C Thomas Howell, Sarah Trigger, Brian Austin Green, R Lee Emey, Dale Dye, Michael Bowen, Michael Cavanaugh. USA. 1h 31m
If Chilling Revenge Western were a genre then this would be its definition, and despite the heat of the blistering desert, John Robinsons thriller only takes about 20 minutes to get to the first death, he really wasn’t messing around. After beating up some local bullies and getting the attention of the hottest girl in town the tall dark handsome stranger (Howell) rents a room and goes to the local hardware store, picking up some weird supplies, the clerk asks him “do much huntin’?” The Kid replies.. Thinking about startin” and we’re off to the first kill, the one that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Continue reading Kid (1990)
Director: Bruce Toscano
Starring: Gary Wallace, Karin Sjöberg, Robert Gerald Witt as Jack, Dean Schoepter, Les Miller, Don Donovan .USA. 1h 25m
Often described as one of the worst of the worst, this trippy sci-fi thriller is packed with a weird psychotropic atmosphere and has an interesting concept and sterling synth soundtrack but it really does write the book on how not to make a movie, while still maintaining that under-developed charm which B Movie enthusiasts really love.
It’s not entirely clear what Toscano was going for with his movie, it starts well but once the random trippiness kicks in his main character spends so little time in the real world there’s not a lot to grasp onto, the ploy is generally simple, but there’s so much imagery which really needs explaining. With attempts to blast the audience with Altered States-esque visual conundrums with alien and religious iconography. Continue reading The Jar (1984)
Director: Richard Stanley
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Some Alpacas, Tommy Chong, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliott Knight, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hillard, Josh C Waller. USA. 1h 51m
Richard Stanley has made a succinct but highly notable list of horror movies over the last 37 years, my personal top favourite is Hardware AKA Mark 13 (1990), a film I associate with so closely I have my own MARK 13 tattooed as part of my sci fi leg piece, Dust Devil (1992) and Island of Dr Monroe (1996) received mixed reviews but retains a solid cult fan base for their unique approach to horror. Somewhere within all of his back catalogue there includes crazy hallucinogenic colour bursts, unknown hidden horrors and strong powerful characters who are usually lost in the heat of the earth. Continue reading Color Out Of Space (2019)
Director: Irvin Berwick.
Writer: John Buckley. Starring. Robert Gribbin, Russell Johnson, John Harmon, Randy Echols, Dorothy Bennett, Mary Ellen Christie USA. 1h 27m.
This is a strange concoction between Hitchcock’s Psycho and any generic sleazy 1970’s exploitation with hints of real life serial killer shenanigans, what a perfection mix of madness and murder! Most of the movie is as obsessed with Howard (Gribbin) as he is with his prey. For the most part Howard us a pleasant clean cut young man, he’s polite and dedicated to his mother and his job, which involves driving around picking up and dropping off people’s laundry but he’s a good Samaritan and will pick up lonely single women who are trying to hitch a ride. Depending on their reasoning for hitching, they might make it to their destination or they become the next victim of a one of his violent sexual tension and murderous rage. Continue reading Hitch Hike To Hell (1977)
AKA: Demons III
Director: Lumberto Bava
Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Continue reading The Ogre (1987)