Tag Archives: A

Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker.
Starring. Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet, Robert De Niro. USA. 1h 53m.

In the dark final scenes of Angel Heart, after you’ve picked your jaw up and shaken the last hour and 1 hour 53 minutes out of your system the sweat dries, the blood and dust settles and it’s all quite simple to understand but it certainly didn’t’ feel that way only moments before and you begin to feel silly for not seeing all the warning signs as the detective story turns into a dark occult nightmare. Continue reading Angel Heart (1987)


A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)

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)

Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein  / Hard to be a God (1989)

Director: Peter Fleischmann.
Original book same title by
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Starring. Alexander Philippenko, Edward Zentara, Werner Herzog. Russia/USSR/(West)Germany. 1h 59m.

While trying to get hold of the second remake of Hard to be a God (2013) I noticed a resurgence of the earlier remake from the 80’s and managed to watch them in chronological  order, not that it matters much as they are two extremely different movies which look at different fragments of a brilliant science fiction story, originally written by Arkand and Boris Strugatsky, this is a simplistic version of a deeper more complicated story but it’s easier to watch and at times stomach more than the 2013 version.

On another planet out in the vast universe a simple civilisation is going through their Medieval period and it’s quite similar to ours, this has sparked interest in the more advanced cultures, namely us! An employee of the institute of experimental history from Earth is sent to this planet disguised as a noble named Rumata of Estor and he’s tasked to observe the culture and find the previous person who was sent there to also observe, another spy who has perished while trying to raise an unlucky coup against the main palace and Rumata has to take his place as a resident. He soon discovers that many of the 30 others have also perished in this harsh society and is soon pulled into the next coup Soon he meets all the horrors of medieval society, war, palace coups, mass executions, peasantry and they prove to be too barbaric for scientist, and he’s disgusted to find out that people are slaughtered if they are considered to be too intellectual, and thus keeping the society in a permanent state of Medieval life. Continue reading Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein  / Hard to be a God (1989)

Odishon / The Audition (1999)

Director: Takashi Miike. Story by: Ryū Murakami
Starring. Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina. Japan. 1h 43m.

Famed as being one of the breakthrough modern Japanese video nasties, the Audition has a sacred place in the hearts of anyone who likes the gore and chills turned right up, from the granddaddy of Japanese bizarre cinema, Takashi Miike.

Based on the chilling horror novel The Audition By Ryū Murakami (thanks to @GiornataNera  for the info, if you ever need someone awesome to follow on twitter check out this wonderful guy) and it captures an mesmerizing  dreamlike feel when things start to get weird the “deeper” throws of the movie. Continue reading Odishon / The Audition (1999)

La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio / A Blade in the Dark (1983)

Director: Lamberto Bava
Starring. Michele Soavi, Andrew Occhipinti, Fabola Toledo, Anny Papa. Italy. 1h 50m.

The literal translation of the title is The House with the Dark Staircase which is a little bit more appropriate; at least for the opening scene. Initially cast as a mini-series the film was scraped by Italian TV moguls for being too violent, so re edited as a much shorter film.

Starting with a peculiar scene a groups of boys dare each other to go down some dark stairs (hence the name) eventually one of the boys is forced down into the darkness where he meets his grisly fate, from there Bava leisurely  sets the pace of a whodunit with some impressive jump scares. Continue reading La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio / A Blade in the Dark (1983)

Ragazza Tutta Nuda Assassinata Nel Parco / A girl killed in the park (1972)

Director:  Alfonso Brescia.
Starring. Robert Hoffman, Irina Demick, Pilar Velazquez, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 32m.

I’m not sure what the fascination is with the Giallo scene and parks, houses being on the edge, and girls getting killing in them.  But this was a bit of a jumbled mess for me, I got the story but some of the characters were a little too bat-shit-crazy to make the film all that plausible. Continue reading Ragazza Tutta Nuda Assassinata Nel Parco / A girl killed in the park (1972)

Efter Brylluppet / After the Wedding (2006)

Director: Susanne Bier.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Denmark/India/Sweden. 2h 2m.

There’s a strange sense of duty and a unique stiff upper lip with Scandinavian culture, often associated with bravery and wisdom, sometimes things get a little sharp and precise with the Northern European restraint, and it unfolds with a glorious and bitter results.

The film opens with Jacob (Mikkelsen) a good Samaritan who has cast off all the luxuries of Denmark and is running an orphanage in India which is in dire need of funding. A mysterious man Jorgen (Lasagard) insists on giving the a large sum of money to the cause but only if he gets to meet with face to face, at first he’s hesitant but then soon realises the fate of the children rests on his shoulders. Continue reading Efter Brylluppet / After the Wedding (2006)

Ginger Snaps(2000)

Day 1 – Ginger Snaps

Director: John Fawcett .
. Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche,Mimi Rogers. Canada. 1h 48m.

Usually teen coming of age movies are both shocking and comedic, and while ginger snaps has all of this, it takes everything to a new level, the comedy is blacker and there’s much more blood than you’d expect from a couple of girls who are just trying to get by in high school..


A lot of horror films involve teenagers; classic horrors like Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) have thrilled and scared our pants off, but usually the teens are the victims, but a whole lot Ginger Snaps strives to be different from all the rest and in this teen dream film meets hammer horror, the beast wears lipstick and heels while feeling really awkward in social situations. Continue reading Ginger Snaps(2000)

La Weekend August 1


District 9 (2009) – I was flabbergasted when I realised just how much this film was hated, I got my copy for free when I asked if anyone has seen it, people were giving it away.. so I was a bit dubious about watching it, but I was hooked within seconds.. it’s a mockumentary look at a group of alien (workers) who have go stuck in South Africa. The effects are brilliant, both the alien technology and “Prons” design look and “feel” impressive. Obviously the setting is key, the messages are deep an poignant. The film is elevated by the amazing and life changing performance from ?? who plays Vikers he goes through every emotion and reacts in non Hollywood’s way, giving a more interesting and diverse story. Personally I find it so attuned and turned on, I was really hoping for a sequel, but I guess I’ll have to sit quite tight. [REVIEW]10/10 Continue reading La Weekend August 1

The autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)


Director: André Ovredal
Starring: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch,  USA. 1h 39m

I was pretty psyched about this film, thinking it was going to be some cop drama about a dead chick and while ripping her body apart they get hurled into an investigation that was going to change their lives, but this is what I get for not checking out more about the movie..it’s something totally different, fortunately it turned out to be much better than I ever imagined.

Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch play a father and son duo who work in the mortuary lab, and are tasked with performing an autopsy on a Jane Doe discovered in an unusual spot, under the home of a family that have been brutally murdered, Cox is still training his son in the fine art of dissecting and inspecting bodies, the old school champion still abides by lots of historic methods including the tying of bell to the toe of a corpse, which his son and his girlfriend find quite amusing until the old man scares them with his old wit.

The two fearless men, decide to pull an allnighter to work out why this woman died, as she doesn’t appear to have any wounds, her body is in pristine condition. So how did she die? From the moment the make the first cut and start taking her apart, things start happening, strangely her blood flows, which is not normal for a dead body, blood coagulates after death right? They discover more questionable items within her and about her body. Her tongue has been removed, her heart is scarred, there is cloth placed inside of her, what happened to this girl and why? As the night draws on they notice strange noises coming from the corridors and in the morgue shelves, that’s when things really start getting strange.

The atmosphere and tense situations are really magnified in the later scenes of this film, it doesn’t spend a lot of time introducing the plot and story which is great as it has so much more to offer during the actual autopsy which is the bulk of the film. It’s gripping and imaginative, slowly a story eeks out that dates back to the 1800’s, it’s elegantly crafted to keep you gripped, I lost my breath a few times. The men have to use their wits and knowledge to combat the strange happenings in the once familiar setting which becomes very dangerous and alien to them.

Every body has a secret.

Brian Cox is always a gem, and gives a brilliant performance here, as a protector and investigator; he’s backed up by Hirsch who reminds me of a more serious Jack Black, but as the momentum builds, he slowly steps up to the mark and really develops an interesting character as the student/son, he becomes more believable  it’s an usual change of pase from Norwegian Director André Øvredal who gave a thrill on an epic scheme with Trollhunter (2010) and successfully creates a film as equally ambitious and creative, but with totally different creepy origins and it continues to deliver a brilliant unfolding mystery until it’s tinkling end.



Rating – 8/10

R – The Witch (2015), The Conjuring 2 (2016), The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
L – Corpses…

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