Mad God (2021)
Director: Phil Tippett
Starring: Alex Cox, Niketa Roman, Satish Ratakonda, Harper Taylor .UK. 1h 23m
It’s beautiful when an artist manages to present their life works, their magnum opus, their artistic love child piece, and finally after 30 years of on and off graft Phil Tippett was able to, with the help of Shudder , unleash Mad God onto the world and it hit the scene gaining nothing by admiration and rightly so.
Director: David Amito, Michael Laicini Starring: Nicole Tompkins, Rowan Smyth. Canada. 1h 35m
I have to admit that before seeing Antrim I had no idea what the word actually meant so I did have to Google it. Turns out that it means, “A nearly closed cavity or chamber…” Well ok, How does one make a movie about a nearly closed cavity? Somehow directors, David Amito and Michael Laicini managed to turn this notion into a retro cursed movie project and argue that the film is (loosely) based on a movie by David B. Earle titled Dining Room or There is Nothing. Believe it or not if you have ever seen any of the creepy movie compilations on YouTube then you probably have seen this short but were unaware of its title, and here is the movie in all of its esoteric glory.
Director: Adam Elliot Starring: Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana, Narrated by Barrie Humphries. Australia/USA. 1h 32m
It’s hard to summarise the movie in words and it just makes you think and feel of so many childhood moments and nostalgia once again. If you’re someone who’s in a dark place I’d like to think that the two requited characters The are the scent of Elliot’s movie will help rekindle something in you as they speak to audiences on a universal level.
Director: Various Starring: Too Many To Mention .Worldwide. 2h 5m
I was one of the few who really adored the ABC’s of Death (2012) and was gleefully happy to stroll right into part two. It’s pretty much in the same vein as the original movie,however it comes together a tad better with a quainter intro and title cards, there still the unwritten guessing game of trying to work out what the letter stands for and often it’s a surprise at the end of the short.
Everything is covered in one or more movies, sadness, gore, violence, romance, and some intellectual questions which all float around in the genre of horror. However there’s been a slight shift with movies such as this series, Southbound and the VHS trilogy which really hit on a very black humor, clever ideas and shocks to get their audiences to squirm, not relying on the old tried and tested forms of horror for something a little more hipster and experimental with longer cuts, ad more involved set ups. ABC’s of death has this overriding theme however each film is very very different in it’s composure and execution, I’m going to give you an example of my cream of the crop.
CLASSIC ANIMATION (ON 4) STOP MOTION AND WTF SHORTS VOL.2
It’s been a long while since I last caught up with this *series* but here we go with another volume, part 1 can be found here.
This induced a few nightmare and is certainly one of the vivid animations that I have never been able to shake off or forget. A man is walking home when he hears violent cries as a woman is being drowned in a public fountain, on saving her he realises he’s a Harpy and his life is never going to be the same again. This dimly lit mix of stop motion and clever cinematography bring to
life an ancient creature with all it’s vivid horrors and mysteries.The erratic movements and unique language really give a crazy edge to an already claustrophobic movie.
This film isn’t necessarily one of the most inventive but it’s a great story but what i really love about this clip is it’s actually from the Four-Mations show!! I used to get all excited about life when I used to see that vivid intro!
This black and white piece by Ruth Lingford deals with a woman’s perspective of love sex and death ultimately. The basic drawings shouldn’t be mistaken for a basic story in the slightest,instead the fluid concepts tend to grow on screen as life morphs and progresses, at times it’s frightening but with beautiful overtones.
The Black Dog – Alison De Vere
I’m adding all of my favourites in this edition as I’ve lost a lot of links since posting the first story but The Dog was a life changer for me, this came on Fourmations but I had seen it before with a series of animations about insomnia, something I was experiencing at the time and lived with for years.
A woman is woken by a Black Dog, he takes her to a mysterious area called Complex Fatal which hosts a shop, restaurant and disco, the woman is drawn into the boutique and experiences the finest goods that the mythical creatures can conjure up for her as the expense of many animals and expensive materials but the payoff is a life changing lesson for her, I adore it’s creativity and blend of nightmare and dreams. There’s something rather sinister about it but for a long while I got as drawn into it all as the main character, it’s easy to get lost in this much imagination. Continue reading CLASSIC ANIMATION (ON 4) STOP MOTION AND WTF SHORTS VOL 2→
Director: Sôichi Umezawa. Starring. Kyôka Takeda , Momoka Sugimoto , Ena Fujita , Kanji Tsuda. Japan. 1h 21m.
I used to be blown away by Japanese horror, going through the Tartan Horror series with much glee as it was miles apart from the slowdown that was occurring with its Western counterpart. with the fresh of breath air that the creepy tales sprung upon me, eventually I started noticing a huge split between genuine Japanese Horror and that fringe area which incorporated their unique humor, gore, body horror and sprays of blood. After a while I let things run their course, on returning I was gobsmacked by the array of mundane items which the Japanese has found a way to make scary! Continue reading Chi o sû nendo / Vampire Clay (2017)→
Director: Greg Lamberson Starring: Robert Sabin, Mary Hunter, Bunny Levine, Dennis Embry. USA. 1h 28m
Despite being on par with the average Troma movie this imaginative occult gory body horror is strangely fun to watch and gives adequate nods to a number of classic horror movies in a psychotropic manner.
When a young art student, Alex (Devon) moves into a new apartment in a run down area of NYC with the intentions of getting his girlfriend Lori (Hune) to “sleep over”, he tries to be accommodating of his misfit neighbours, but after a supposedly vegetarian meal of Himalayan Yogurt made by Landlady Lizzie (Jane Doniger Reibel) with one of the more poetic tennants Roman (Embry), that’s quickly washed down with a mysterious home brew made by her dead alchemist father Zachary. His timid girlfriend Lori Starts to notice disturbing changes in her boyfriend, especially after he awakens one morning with a new blood lust and dripping with slime. Continue reading Slime City (1988)→
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama Starring: A bunch of people.. Canada/USA. 1h 20m
Horror anthologies can be a lot of fun, what could be wrong with a collection of thrilling stories that aim to excite, shock and thrill? Usually there is little to connect the stories apart from a wrap around. But the delight in XX is that it’s a female themed horror anthology, made by women possibly for women..it’s aim is to show that girls can make horror that is just as good if not better than the boys, but instead we have a few short films which seem to revolve around some incredibly boring women and inconsistently moan about motherhood.
Horror is generally seen as a male orientated genre and this hit back was disappointedly weak. Each segment has its moments and there’s absolutely no problem with the direction and production, but if XX is trying to make some kind of statement then it failed to make it clear.
Beginning with some artistic flare from the work of Mexican stop-motion animation artist Sofia Carrillo, who makes the wrap around that consists of a small critter that travels around a run down house slowly putting pieces together to make a child, tits just another peg in the films woman role board, all the characters are mother, caretakers etc.
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.
Director: Peter Greenaway. Music: Michael Nyman Starring. Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andrea Ferreol, Frances Barber UK/Netherlands. 1h 51m.
It’s impossible to mention Greenaway without Nyman, the two work so well together (until their falling out.. ) but it’s noteworthy to mention that this is the first collaboration with cinematographer Sacha Vierny and who he referred to as the most important collaborator, Vierny passed in the 1990s.
The film has lots of subtexts; the first is loss and grieving. Twin zoologists, Oswald and Oliver Deuce are at work studying animal behaviour when their wives are killed in a car tragic accident involving a large white swan which crashes through the windscreen, the eccentric woman who was driving the car, Alba Bewick (Ferreol) survives but has to have her leg amputated.Continue reading A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)→