Director: Eran Creevy
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng, Jay Simpson .UK. 1h 26m
You could argue that the British Urban genre is still in its infancy, or at least it’s fixated on youth and troubled adolescence that it’s hard to see it in a mature sense. However debut director Eran Creevy raises the bar with this uber smart, darkly funny and engaging drama all stuck together on a meager budget. Usually the scene is something daryl troubled like Kidulthood, Cherry Tree Lane, and they all have their visceral points to make but Shifty is more chilled and less aggressive but it does highlight street violence and the grimey underbelly of our streets but it’s achievement of highlighting the friendship of two amazing friends and the characters they meet along the way will make an audience smile before smacking them with a gory ending.
Director: Olly Blackburn Starring: Tom Burke, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley. UK. 1h 39m
This might just be one of the most marmite movies of the year. Donkey Punch really plays with some exceptional ideas but squanders all the good intentions of a nasty thriller, instead of building up to something more palatable it just gets under the skin for all the wrong reasons.
The first half of the movie, everything is set up perfectly. A group of twentysomethings are on holiday in the sun desperately seeking a good time with all the sex, booze, drugs and tunes that any young person could desire. Taking their party on board a luxury yacht anchored off the coast on an unnamed Spanish island, the film turns into an episode of The Only Way is Essex meets Knife In the Water directed by Larry Clark.
Clive Barker has a distinctive, personal vision and interpretation of horror, it’s a rough gory world filled with nasty monsters, visceral torture and eternal pain, this very unique selling point which, when missing causes his movie adaptions to not do so well and come across without their wholesome disgusting glory. Midnight Meat Train does have some hands-on work from Clive in the production chair but for me, it’s definitely a good horror movie but it’s not true to form Clive Barker horror at all. Continue reading Midnight meat train (2008)→
Director: Dennis Gansel. Starring. Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich. Germany. 1h 47m. Based on: The Wave, by Todd Strasser
Some of the most daring and provocative dramas in modern cinema have come from the diverse experiments led by questionable scientists. In this case a loose canon of a teacher, Ron Jones who back in the early 60’s experimented the notion that a group of children could easily be led into a fascist regime after applying a totalitarian state in his classroom. He was fired once his dark social experiment was discovered but this led to a detailed book by Todd Strasser and then it’s adaption of the same name, The Wave.
Gansel draws on a gritty documentary style to his movie, with a very fluid camera and fly on the wall experiences are quickly paced and incredibly gut wrenching to see these hopeful youths fall into the abyss after being led to it by their outcast tutor. Continue reading Die Welle / The Wave (2008)→
Director: Justin Timpane. Starring. Cory Eskridge, Okouchi, Daniel Ross, Dan Guy, Carla Okouchi, PJ Megaw. USA. 1h 26m.
Independent cinema is a minefield to navigate sometimes, there are bad films and bad bad films and good bad films, but those gems which really capture fan attention are those which no matter how bad they appear, there is a clear attempt do make something to the best of one’s abilities here and to have fun while doing it and that just might be the charm which makes this a unusual cut above the rest.
This is definitely a homemade, call in the help of some buddies and maybe a local band to get this project off the ground; but in all fairness without the years of classical training and millions of bucks it’s quite an accomplishment, although on par with the video segment from VHS 2.5. It’s strange how we take some projects to heart and ignore others, luckily though it’s small cult following there have been a few follow ups. Continue reading Ninjas Vs Zombies (2008)→
Director: Joel Anderson Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m
Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.
Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body.Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)→
Director: Marc Price Starring: Alastair Kirton, Dominic Burgess, Daisy Aitkens . UK . 1h 37m
I get all giddy over low budget movies and this one I think has to be the cheapest movie ever made for a record £45! Well done Mr Price you are a legend! Shot on a camcorder this well written horror deserves the hype that it originally receive at the Aberystwyth Abertoir Film Festival.
The film is a study of the social break down around a zombie outbreak more than just being a Zombie film, while it had lashings of shock factors in it with zombies attacking a house party and some random attacks on British streets, the main protagonist is Colin (Alastair Kirton), just an average guy trying who get’s bitten early on in the film, the magic is that the film remains focused on Colin no matter what states he’s in.Continue reading Colin (2008)→
Director: Steve Barker. Starring. Richard Brake, Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Michael Smiley, Julian Rivett, Enoch Frost, UK. 1h 30m.
Military horrors and bunker films have been a unique niche market for some time, when done right they offer a healthy lashing of terror, there hadn’t been much to hit the big screen since Deathwatch, where a team are tormented by supernatural forces in the trenches of WWII, add an element of the occult and science fiction and voila.. Outpost. In this murky horror a team of weary mercenaries are hired to travel into war torn Eastern Europe where they have found a well-hidden and abandoned bunker with a very unusual machine. The wealthy businessman who picks up these seasoned troops, keeps his secrets close to his chest and while he thinks he knows the ins and outs even he’s surprised by depravity that was carried out by the deranged nazi scientists in the depths.Continue reading Outpost (2008)→
It was a short night but I just about managed two films
Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
I wasn’t too bothered with this when it was first advertised but then I found out it was based on a true story and ectoplasm was present and I was SOLD! The first time I watched it I did get a few chills, but it seemed to have really pissed over the true story. Generally it’s slated and carries a low rating on rottentomatoes which is a shame, but it could have been shorter and the magic doesn’t happen until you watch the extras, that’s when I turned on the lights. So a family relocates after their son is diagnosed with cancer, they aim to be closer to the hospital but end up moving into an ex funeral home, that was used to séances the house soon starts to show signs of powerful paranormal activity. If you haven’t watched the extras or know much about the real story check it out. But what really grinds my gears is why is ectoplasm left out of movies.. it’s an awesome concept. 6/10 (10/10 for the extras).Continue reading Last Nights Movies 01-08-2017→
One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10