Category Archives: True Life

Skin (2018)

Director: Guy Nattiv.
Starring. Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, USA. 2h.

Redemption is the painful process etched out in Guy Nattiv’s gortty violent drama that sees a neo nazi break away from his mythical white only family in order to be a better person with the help of someone who he would normally happily attack for no reason other than the colour of his skin. Continue reading Skin (2018)

Cruel Summer (2016)

Director: Philip Escott, Craig Newman
Starring: Richard Pawulski , Danny Miller, Reece Douglas, Natalie Martins, Gary Knowles, Grace Dixon. UK. 1h 20m

Philip Escott and Craig Newmans movie is an intensely controlled, beautifully raw and a bittersweetly acted account of the systematic hunt and brutal murder of an innocent autistic teen. Richard Pawulski plays a peaceful young man, Danny, who heads into the countryside for some camping, ethical fishing and to enjoy the solitude for this Duke of Edinburgh award, but unknown to him, an enamored Julia (Martins) has lied to a violent and jealous Nicholas (Miller) about Danny having sexual relations with his (now) ex, this lie starts to spread and grows into Danny being a pedophile to encourage another friend to help them track him down and teach him a lesson. Continue reading Cruel Summer (2016)

The Freaks (1932)

Director: Tod Browning.
Starring. Wallace Ford, Harry Earles, Olga Baclanova, Leila Hyams, Roscoe Ates, USA. 1h 04m.

This has long been one of my favourite movies since I was a young child, I think my parents realised that I was going to be watching what I liked but my mother was always a spokeswoman for learning history and basics, so I read and watched the classics, which included The Freaks! I had a hand me down horror book which I still hold dear to my heart, I obsessed over the grainy black and white photos and was really drawn to the sideshow misfits of Tod Browning’s The Freaks which I still have to admit are a huge thing for me, not just the movie but the history and scientific research and study, encouraging me to travel the world visiting museums like Mutter and seeking out Cabinet of Curiosities worldwide.

Being one of the first and (possibly) only movie with a predominant cast of genuine “circus freaks” this tale is quite European in it’s make up, with a range of fair maidens, lost love and bitter revenge it’s something quite magical, but don’t get lulled into a false sense of security this fairy tale is grotesque and dark as fuck. Continue reading The Freaks (1932)

Missing 411 (2004)

Director: Michael DeGrazier, Benjamin Paulides
Starring. Jaryd Atadero, DeOrr Kunz Jr., Nate Eaton .USA. 1h m.

I was slightly on the wrong track with this movie, no pun intended.

After listening to the Mysterious Universe Podcast (since season 5 check out the awesome podcast here https://mysteriousuniverse.org ) I’ve heard/read a lot about Missing 411 persons, but obviously with the theme of the podcast these tales go into high strangeness often involving Bigfoot and UFOs etc etc. I was expecting to see some crazy trail camera footage and maybe some abandoned staircases in the woods, or even recounts of historical unsolved cases. In contrast this documentary movie is more about a handful of cases which represent the tip of the iceberg of Missing 411’s but with a slight connection, all cases involve young children often with hearing impairments. Continue reading Missing 411 (2004)

Der Goldene Handschuh / The Golden Glove (2019)

Director: Fatih Akin
Starring: Jonas Dassler, Margarete Tiesel, Katja Studt .Germany. 1h 50m
Based upon the novel of the same title, written by the author Heinz Strunk and published in 2016.

Unlike a ton of American productions about Serial Killers which feels the need to pick at the upbringing and give a reason for the erratic behaviour, there’s a ton of grotty mess throughout this pretty accurate retelling of the crimes of a notoriously bad character who eventually killed 4 part time prostitutes in a region of Hamburg in the late 70’s. Fritz Honka has a troubled life from a youngster but the film opens with the discarding of his first corpse, one that would alter the police but not much else would come from his nightly escapade of desperate sex and murder.

Honka is played by a pretty attractive and young German actor, Jonas Dassler who works his ass off to play this misaligned and deformed character with the use of some marvelous method acting and special effects he really does a lot to mimic the grimy nutcase. The film plays out the four year span where Honka did most of his killing, there’s some elaborations and artistic licence with story, with the inclusion of a young teen couple who are trying to be adults in and around the red light district, they story dips in and out giving Honka some wank material and moves the plot along when it begins to flounder. Continue reading Der Goldene Handschuh / The Golden Glove (2019)

Gosnell: The Trial of Americas Biggest Serial Killer (2018)

Director:Nick Searcy .
Starring. Earl Billings, Dean Cain Sarah Jane Morris, Michael Beach, Nick Searcy USA . 1h 33m.

When I saw a movie claiming to be about the most prolific killer in America and with a name I didn’t recognise I had to sit down and ponder if I had lost all of my Serial Killer Groupie points.. The story of Dr Kermit Gosnell was something that cropped up but not something I had really ranked in my personal Murderpedia so I allowed myself to go into this blindly and see what I can learn from this TV movie production that claims to be about the trial but hardly sees a courtroom. Continue reading Gosnell: The Trial of Americas Biggest Serial Killer (2018)

Mr Turner (2014)

Director: Mike Leigh .
Starring: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, UK. 2h 34m.

There is so much praise I can lavish on Mr Turner but first and foremost I have to admit that the choice in leading actor is such a strange but perfect cast, Timothy Spall is such a seasoned actor with talent coming out of his arse but as for looking and being J W M Turner, he wouldn’t be a first choice but he totally embodies the persona of Turner, from what is known and how he’s been portrayed from first hand accounts he is the spirit of the great artist and that’s primarily why this movie is so successful. Continue reading Mr Turner (2014)

Once Upon A Time In London (2019)

Director: Simon Rumley.
Starring.Terry Stone, Leo Gregory, Jamie Foreman, Roland Manookian. UK. 1h 51m.

I have to admit that I was spellbound by the cover of this lovely movie, but within seconds of the opening scene I was soon knocked off my feet that this is basically a retro version of Rise of the Footsoldier! In all fairness I really enjoyed the footsoldier movies, they started out with a purpose and were watered down but they had their own unique, balls in your face charm and a recurring cast, although a few characters are a little bit different in this war time london escapade, the most notable is Roland Manookian usually he plays the role of a drugged up loser who basically a bit of a plonker but he’s resurrected as a psychotic killer who’s not afraid to bleed. It’s pretty interesting to see him take on such a grisly role, maybe the boy will go far.

The film is based on real people and events, mostly surrounding Billy Hill and Jack Corner, again much like Rise of the Footsoldier (2007), and possibly with as much dreamy fantasties. The film looks authentic but doesn’t feel genuine in any way, it certainly feels like a modern movie but with just a cosmetic change and some different clothes, which is a shame as it could have been a real opportunity to branch out and try something an off key. The film seems to be poorly researched but the delivery is bold, a bit too forceful at times, it seems the use of shouting and violence takes the place of intense drama. Continue reading Once Upon A Time In London (2019)

Roberto Succo (2001)

Director: Cédric Kahn
Starring: Stefano Cassetti .France/Italy/Switzerland. 2h 4m
Based on: Je te tue. Histoire vraie de Roberto Succo assassin sans raison
by Pascale Froment.

What exactly is a criminal? Someone who goes above and beyond to get what he wants with little regard to anyone else or the law, or a totally feckless loser who just stumbles from mess to another? Cedric Kahn manages to paint a detailed picture of a man who crosses both of these descriptions and still manages to be both comical and highly dangerous in his escapades.

In this brilliant, slightly polished adaptation of real events, a bizarre criminal anti hero is etched out as Cassetti masquerades as Roberto Succo, a mixture of Jesse James, Hitler and Norman Bates, he argues about art, nationality and politics along the way. Mr Succo, esconded form prison five years after being convicted for the murder of his parents in 1981. His death defying run of fun saw him elude police in three different countries for 2 years, spending his time woeing girls, sightseeing, killing, raping, burgling and fucking up the odd bank job. The movie is generally detested by the French police for its alleged glamorisation of a real-life killer, but it’s a testament to the accuracies within the film and highlights how useless they were to allow him to carry on for so long. Continue reading Roberto Succo (2001)

Fire in the Sky (1993)

Director: Robert Lieberman
Starring: C B Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, James Garner, Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 49m
Based on: The Walton Experience by Travis Walton

After a decade of making dramas tinged with politics or romance, Lieberman took a step out of his comfort zone for this creepy film based on a the alleged accounts of an alien abduction survivor Travis Walton and this life after returning to earth.

The film starts out innocent enough when a group of life long friends are returning home from work in Snowflake Arizona, when Travis (Sweeney) is abducted by lights in the sky, the friends freak out but Mike Rogers (Partrick) reports that Travis has been abducted by aliens, this sparks a rugged local sheriff (Garner) to think that Mike and the others, were involved in Travis’s disappearance. after a lot of nervousness between the men who are reporting the incident, taking their unreal fear for guilt he approaches with a fairly open mind but believes he just needs to find evidence of a misdemeanour. Continue reading Fire in the Sky (1993)