Short Movie Roundup 15 August 2021

So after a couple of weeks of neglect I’m back on board with the blog. The negative and vile feedback from Twitter has been processed and I’m dealing with that and moving on, so here’s a handful of interesting short movies and videos that I found interesting from the week.

Nightingale

Jasper de Bruin’s slow burning thriller follows the night shift of an enigmatic nurse who’s elderly patients are on critical care, and some aren’t expected to make it through the night, however her stalker has reason to believe the passing of the patients might not be that natural and will the overworked nurse be able to make it till dawn? heavy overtones of let the right one in along with an overbearing sense of doom in this chilling horror.

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Deep Space (1988)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m

I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi  classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark (1979),  and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth (1981)

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Dark Encounter (2019)

Director: Carl Strathie
Starring: Laura Fraser, Mel Raido, Sid Phoenix, Grant Masters, Spike White, Nicholas Pinnock, Alice Lowe, USA/UK. 1h 37m

Dark Encounter is another film in a long line up, of Intricately detailed thought provoking sci-fi, drawing more towards the side of hard sci-fi and yet remaining dreamily artistic, this bold attempt to to blend a missing person case in and around the most profound alien contact, proved to be very thought-provoking, and somewhat beautifully bittersweet.

With other epic sci-fi titles out there such as Interstellar and Arrival, Dark Encounter can proudy sit among them as a strong contender. Even without going full Christopher Nolanesque and devising a complex world that falls in and on itself, with surreal curveballs and slips within time and space, there is a palatable connection between our world and another. Were the reasoning why, being slightly baffling, it still proves to be an outstanding piece of work both visually and intellectually.

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Kaleidoscope (2016)

Director: Rupert Jones
Starring: Toby Jones, Anne Reid .UK. 1h 40m

Rupert Jones, brother of lead actor Toby Jones, has curated a chilling deep cerebral exploration of an ex-con’s relationship with his domineering mother as he attempts to reason with a new insurrection and the secrets of his past. Kaleidoscope is only shy of being perceived as disturbing, because of TJ’s amazing character portrayal of a shy man searching for love. This down to earth portail is so poignant and beautiful raw, that the mystery surrounding his latest date is ever intertwining through reality and fantasy beings to pale in comparison. Maybe the two brothers working together was one of their best moves or maybe they are both just so brilliant at what they do anyway?

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My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Director: Marc Meyers Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche, Zachary Davis Brown. USA. 1h 47m

After the massive success of the indie graphic novel, this disturbing film steps into the shoes of the adolescent, much “loved” serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. A highly attuned retro aesthetically driven adventure, does what a lot of serial killer films avoid, it dives right into the beginning and shows that a killer was born and wasn’t nurtured into his sadism. Obviously there were shitty aspects to his childhood but the strange obsessions with dead flesh seemed to always be in him.

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Spotlight – Eli Roth

Here are a handful of Eli Roth movies that I think are more notable, which movies would you choose?

05.Hostel (2005)

Director/ American Stoner

Roth managed to breath some life into the torture subgenre of horror with his breakthrough Hostel, the initial part of a trilogy which is best watched at a duo, the third installment is just terrible and so detached. The film follows three friends travelling around Europe who encounter a man (who likes to eat meat) on a train, he persuades them to check into a hostel in a secluded Slovakian village with the promise of encountering lots of hot lusty women. The guys scarper to the Hostel, only to find themselves drawn into a deadly game.

The films selling point is the buckets of guts and blood, with the attempt to make a nouveau video nasty Roth was content to add in as much material which was both questionable and a potential to get the film banned in a few countries, cut and uncut versions flew off the shelves as the wildly thrilling movie filed with real belly laughs and splattered kill scenes gained a lot of fan thumbs up.

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Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sota Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara. Japan. 2h 20m

Miike’s career has turned into a long line of massive remakes of Japanese Classic cinema for some time now. I’ve been racking my brain why, but I’m still unsure what he’s trying to achieve, but it’s working out for him and I wonder what’s next? He’s making some solid and faithful remakes but I do wonder if we really need them all despite their powerful impact? This just seems to be another one, however even while watching the series after the film.. I found it’s expressionary style and character depth on a different planet entirely, and yet each are ridiculously impressive but in their own way. 

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Mary and Max (2009)

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.

Two unlikely people. Two different worlds come together in a story about a most unusual friendship.

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Byzantium (2012)

Director: Neil Jordan
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry-Jones  .UK. 1h 58m

Every few years vampires find themselves reinvented and they refuse to remove their fangs from our necks. Jim Jarmusch swung back with Only Lovers Left Alive, a revival of the romantic mixed with his own take on the eternal blood sucking genre, and it’s been two decades since Interview with a Vampire, the film that made millions swoon…

Byzantium switches between modern day and yesteryear through dreamy sequences and guttural gore as Gemma Arterton, often dolled up in numerous sexy outfits, and her supposed daughter Saoise Ronan play vampires who after years of running from hunters, end up in a dead end seaside town.  After shacking up with a timid hotelier, Daniel Mays, they set up their own brothel in his shabby establishment.

By the time the girls have settled into their new home, the authorities are taking an interest in them, but these agents have a good idea of the monsters lurking within the innocent faces and they are highly equipped to track down these undead wenches in order to make them more dead.

The strange unsettling drama will always been known as one of the new wave of modern neon movies, at times it sets itself among vibrant titles like Into the Void (20??), and yet there’s a creepy nostalgia when remote waterfalls turn into torrents of blood, but as the girls struggle through adversity in the 19th and 20th century, with and without corsets, the compelling story of power and hunger has a heavy feminist subtext that adds weight to the already fantastic adventure.  The girls are very unique from other vampires, while they are super strong and have acute senses, but their tool of the trade is a retractable fingernail which they use to kill, with this slightly feline temperament and talons the movie oozes yet another feminine thread.

” I’m never merciful, and knowledge is a fatal thing.”

-Clara

The story often stops and starts, falling over its own timeline, the girls seem to spend a lot of time sandboxing, falling in love with sick boys, updating their fries, struggling with the school system and the bittersweet gothic backstory determines why the girls hate men so much. But with such a long play time it seems to take a long time to describe what we have already guessed, and yet we still don’t really know where they are intending to go.

Certainly one for those who like a bit of mysticism and pretty visuals as much as a compelling story but don’t expect to have too many memories of the film other than pretty visuals as it frustratingly loses its personality along the way.

Rating: 6/10

TLDR

Related: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Enter the Void (2009)
Lists: Vampire romances Vol 1, Neon Cinema
Spotlight:  Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones

Post Discussion

Trailer

Peterloo (2018)

Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Roy Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, Neil Bell  .UK. 2h 34m

Political riots just aren’t what they used to be, it seems like only yesterday innocent people were being shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed for arguing against the poll tax. WIth the Tories finally getting their wish to ban protesting it feels all that more poignant to remember our rights to speak out against matters we feel are unjust and wrong.

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