The only way to confirm that you were watching a horror movie in the 1980’s was the moment a pair of boobs were flashed across the screen, the exposure of flesh was the indicator that you were in for some slaherific blood and gore, monsters and creeps and this 1988 film is a perfect victim of its age! The intro plays out like a dated underwear advert (something the director was king of having filmed over 600 of them), but this panty advert lasts what feels like 20 minutes, but luckily the models are soon hacked to pieces so don’t get too attached..
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, Kate Capshaw, Tomisaburo Wakayama. USA. 2h 5m
Michael Douglas travels to Japan with a deadly crazy Yakuza criminal, accidently releases him to his gang but then proceeds to school the Japanese Police department!? Only in the 80’s would this have worked and only Ridley Scott would have been able to make it work so well.
It can’t be ignored that the film feels half homage to at least 3 of the greatest names in Japanese Cinema, as the two cultures class, , Ken Kakakura, Yusake Matsuda, and the badass Tomisaburo Wakayama, who play both good and evil characters throughout the film. Ken is the attentive Asst. Insp. Matsumoto, who spends his time chasing around a fiesty Douglas and Garcia, partly babysitting them and taking a lot of flak from them. There is one beautiful drunken scene in a karaoke bar when the three men finally let their guards down and realise they are on the same side but cultural differences and career prospects are all that are keeping them on slightly different paths throughout this cat and mouse chase. The legend who was the Lone Wolf and Zatiochi respectively is just a highly respected gangster but his inclusion in this stylistic movie can’t go unnoticed, and most heartbreakingly this would be the final film of cult classic actor Yusake Matsuda, who knowingly went into the project with a serious cancer diagnosis, and in order to be ferocious for his role, refused to take any medication, shortening his chances of recovering even more.
Director: J R Bookwalter Starring: Matthew Jason Walsh, Barbara Katz-Norrod, Thomas Brown, Cherie Petry, Shannon Doyle. USA. 1h 10m
Jeff (Walsh) works in a dead end job, working the night shift in a gas station. The lonely young man doesn’t have any friends and no prospect at anything more lavish in his working life than mopping floors and stacking shelves, but his home life is worse. Each morning Jeff returns home to a domineering mother, a woman.. a vampire hell bent on making her son into a cold blooded killer like herself as she feasts on neighbourhood kids and beats him into submission.
Director: David Blue Garcia Starring: Mark Burnham, Elsie Fisher, Owlen Fouere, Neil Hudson Sarah Yarkin, Jacob Latiore, Moe Dunford. USA. 1h 21m
I wasn’t aware that we needed another addition to this blood soaked series but it seems that coming out of a pandemic we just might need some fun chainsaw fun time again. The brilliance is that this isn’t a remake, a reboot or a re-imagined mish mash of horror pulp and a genuine attempt to revisit a dusty town has been achieved although with all the tropes, cliches and homages, was it really worth the effort?
Director: Sean Foley Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard Cabe, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, David Schofield, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner. UK. 1h 29m
When your indie retro styled Brit Flick has major stars like Andrea Riseborough, Kenneth Brannagh and Simon Callow playing minor little cameos then you’d assume you’ve hit the big time or at least have an idea so crazy it might just work!? Mindhorn is a triumph of British comedy, starring Julian Barratt, who’s made us all laugh in comedy shows like The Mighty Boosh but has also astounded fans in solid trippy dramas like A Field In England, but let’s face it, if you don’t laugh at he antics in the Ben Wheatly classic then you’d end up in an asylum. But in this ridiocusly production he takes the lead and delivers an outstanding performance as a dated washed up actor who is called in by Isle of White police to help them fight a devious criminal.
It’s the truth time!
There has always been a strong comedy troupe, about that one guy who won’t let go of the past, He’s the chap in the corner of the pub, talking about his old band and possibility of being a Rockstar, but he just missed a great opportunity, all of this is maximised in Mindhorn. Julian Barrat plays the role of a hasbeen actor, who once had the role of a lifetime the lead in a hit TV show where he is a blend of 6 million dollar man and James bond, but today he’s washed up, he can’t get a role, drinks too much, no one takes him seriously and he still wears his retro 70’s clothing and a ridiculous mishmashed toupe.
Mindhorn is totally pathetic but he truly believes in himself as his tv character and with the chance to live that lifestyle again he jumps at the opportunity but fails miserably at every hurdle, the man can’t even make a phone call without wrecking the room. As a blend of Mr Magoo and Inspector Clouseau he’s a tornado of antics but at least he’s hysterically funny for the audience otherwise this would be jarring. Any hero who wakes up part naked on a police officer’s desk, half naked and high on pills having to explain drawing a pair of tits on someone’s land rover, is worth a few minutes of your attention, am i right?
If you’re a fan of the Boosh and subversive British humour then this can’t be missed, let your hair down and don’t take life too seriously, alongside the cast and have a super funny night even is Barret does wear black face for part of the film, i doubt anyone will be triggered due to the circumstances.
Related: Hot Rod (2007), Black Dynamite (2009)
Lists: Modern British Comedies
Spotlight:Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner.
Over the years, a majority of the serial killer cinematic adventures have always been a total let down. Not giving enough of the gory insights for hardcore fans, or trying to make excuses for killing patterns that we may never understand as the killers have been long gone or don’t wish to talk. In stark contrast Monster Preacher manages to almost circumnavigate the killer himself and tightly focuses on two victims, two brave women who survived an horrendous ordeal the killers hands, and yet somehow had never reunited until this documentary.
Director: James M Munro Starring: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sfreeazza, Nicole potter, Jane Arakawa, Pat Ryan, Bernard Perlman, RL Ryan, USA. 1h 31m
Cinema can be used for many things, most films are there to purely allow it’s viewers to switch off and eat some popcorn, highlight a great night out, others are more contemporary and are tool used to expand esoteric ideas and philosophy, then there’s street trash an almost plot less movie with lots of slimy stuff oozing out of low lives in New York while they do stuff but it’s delivered in such a unique way that it’s gained a solid cult following and is a guilty pleasure for many.
James M Munro initially crafted a short movie with the same title back in 1984 and expanded the abstract story into a full feature length however there’s hardly any addition to the plot. The gooey film is still just about a group of winos drinking contaminated booze and slightly borders on the sub comic in Alan Moore’sSwamp Thing called Nukeface Papers where the destitutes begin to drink toxic waste and get up to crazy shenanigans.
Frederick Leonard stars as a man who has it all, and this puts him in the front running and he’s hit on daily by many beautiful women, but he’s an honourable man and only has eyes for his darling wife Cindy (Adelana).
His overbearing mother is intent on ending his marriage and for him to marry a girl that she chooses, seeing the current union as going against her will and therefore null and void, she spends her waking hours, actively running schemes behind their backs to shroud their marriage in doubt and fear, and doesn’t think twice about telling Cindy that she would like to see her dead… charming! Continue reading My Wife My Life (2020)→
Director: Vicente Amorim Starring: Carla Salle, Pablo Sanábio, Juliana Lohmann, Emílio de Mello, Guilherme Prates .Brazil . 1h 32m
The wonderful set up for this movie is filled with mysterious characters and a mythical folkloric wonderment that builds up Amorim’s film into a pensive dark thriller just to be doused by blood and sinew by the final scenes in what could have been the premiere gore soaked Brazilian thriller of the year.
Starting out with a strange sequence that see’s a young man creep into what seems to be an abandoned workshop, he finds a rare and valuable component on a bike being worked on and attempts to steal it, it burns a pattern into his hand as he’s literally caught red handed, a wisen old man rambles on about a fabled curse on those who are willing to steal for vanity and selfish reasons but a beautiful young woman eventually takes pity on him. But is it too late for him or is this a question of the soul. Continue reading Motorrad / Motorbike (2017)→
Director: Sean Cain Starring: Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Jamie Bernadette, Bo Borroughs, Timothy Muskatell .USA. 1h 15m
I’ve been dying to call this my first zombieless zombie movie! As it has everything lined up to be just that but instead it’s an indie cabin under siege adventure, it doesn’t pack a hard punch but it’s brilliantly accomplished movie with some questionable acting but full on heart and that makes it incredibly watchable.
Sean Cain has wonderful titles under his belt including Jurassic City (2015), Eruption LA (2018) and Terror Birds (2016), but stepping away from crazy apocalyptic b movie trash with an attempt to deliver a credible thriller and he’s really worked hard on a less than convincing plot but a brilliantly entertaining cabin in the wood thriller with a few poignant messages. Continue reading Dead By Dawn (2020)→