Director: Gore Verbinski Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Ivo Nadi, Celia Imrie, Mia Goth. USA/Germany. 2h 26m.
Gore Verbinski’s hellish story of entrapment in a world filled with mysteries and a strange folklore is full of disturbing quirks, but not enough to really step the film into the realms of greatness but instead it just comes off as a bit weird. The plot follows a young executive, Lockhart (DeHaan) who, after a misdemeanor at his firm, is sent to retrieve the company’s CEO, who is currently staying in a rehabilitation centre in the Swiss Alps. During this trip there’s hints of a sinister chapter from his childhood that still influences his life, but once he enters the secluded grounds of the wellness centre a dark fairytale atmosphere begins to take over.
Written by Ira Levin who gave us such classics like Rosemary’s Baby(1968), Stepford Wives (1975) and, The Boys from Brazil (1978), but the biggest influence on the story is Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel, The Magic Mountain (German: Der Zauberberg) . A book which does feature in the movie, those with a keen eye may spot it, is already considered to be one of the most influential works of twentieth-century and centres on a man unravelling a complex story from the backstories of key characters that he meets in a similar spar in the Alps. The war that’s faced in the novel is a World War, whereas Lockhart’s war is initially within him.
Director: Michael Feifer Starring: Corin Nemec, Andrew Divoff, Tony Todd, Debbie Rochon .USA. 1h 32m
This was Michael Feifer’s first, bold attempt to retell the bloody history of a serial killer. Chicago Massacre follows the childhood and killing spree of one of America’s most deranged individuals, Richard Speck. This debut saw Feifer pair up with Corin Nemec, playing the lead role of a prominent killer. A year later the two would reunite for Bundy: A Legacy of Evil (2008). This could have continued with Nemec playing Gacy, Gein and even Kemper if the duo had the desire but it seems this is all we’re getting folks!?
It feels that the movie was conceived with a lot of promise, a couple of well known names were thrown into the mix, Todd and Divoff , who seemed eager to help as law enforcement officers trying to understand and track a man who single handedly slaughtered a number of women in july 1966, but their acting expertise is often overshadowed by the need to show Speck not killing people, they could have been the B Movie versions of Somerset and Mills, however the focus is on Speck and not the people tracking him, although their scenes are quite special, but always seem like some kind of pensive Film Noir.
Director: Fernando Di Leo Starring: Gastone Moschin, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bouchet. .UK. 1h 42m
Well famed for being the ultimate super cool, cult hit, this is the first of a trio of virtuoso politicization films, the following movies, La Mala ordina/The Italian Connection and Il Boss/The Boss, are all based on a short story collection all using the original names by Giorgio Scerbanenco. Each film stands out for their own powerful impact with straight forward stories harnessing beautiful women, treachery and tons of gratuitous violence.
Director: Robert Redford Starring:Robert Redford, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Saradon, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendand Gleeson, Sam Elliot, Stephen Root. USA. 2h 5m
Robert Redford isn’t a stranger to the director’s chair, however as much as The Company You Keep is a solid well made thriller and definitely is robust with ideas, philosophy and heavy drama, it’s just not as exciting as it could have been.
There’s a lot of interesting story to get through, but there’s not a lot of on screen action to enjoy. Hanging it’s narrative on ideas of what happens to freedom fighters and activists; after their youthful antics, when they are all settled as respectful members of society. Slowly unwinding mentally and regretfully of the bank robberies and murders of the past, do they just settle into the society they were fighting against or does the fight never end?
Director: George Basha Starring: George Basha, Richard Green, Brian Eillson David Field, Franc Violi, Millie Rose Heywood, David Roberts. Australia. 1h 50m
While it doesn’t feel that there’s a shred of originality in this epic b-movie prison flick, there’s a lot of reports suggesting it’s based on a true story!? but i’m yet to verify these claims. Either way, fact or fiction won’t make it digest any easier. A harrowing story of a man who, through a one off accident ends up in prison for manslaughter. Unbeknownst to him there’s a hidden agenda which will see him fight a tougher sentence than any other inmate.
While his girl is being preyed on by strangers, Ray, a burly war veteran, steps in as a hero to defend her honor, the altercation ends in an accidental death. The father of the murdered bully makes a deal with the Prison Warden to make Rays stay unusually difficult. not that prison life isn’t hard enough. Rays struggles enough, working his way through cryptic prison politics, race wars, gang pressure, creepy showers and the occasional trip to the hole, but unlike Andy Dufranes he doesn’t have a guy who knows how to get things to ease his time inside.
Director: Michele Soavi Starring: Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chapliapin Jr. Barbara Cupisti, Antonella Vitale, Asia Argento .Italy. 1h 42m
I’d like to suggest that Michele Soavi’s The Church (1989) is a good movie, but the least I could say is that it’s interesting, on occasions quite fascinating and occasionally on board with Clive Barker for it’s sexy bodies and ugly monster creepiness. But is it a good movie?! Between the incoherent plot and awkward characters it sells a mystical story and it’s highly entertaining and that’s what counts. Continue reading La Chiesa / The Church (1989)→
Director: William Cooke, Paul Talbot Starring: Gunnar Hansen, Robin Roberts, Tres Holton .USA. 1h 28m
Some of the best horror movies from the golden era of the 80’s and 90’s are some of the most down to earth, homegrown labor’s of love that cinema has ever presented and this entertaining anthology is one of the lesser known fun flicks that offers a bit of psychotropic kicks more than anything all too seriously scary it’s totally off the wall b movie goodness. Continue reading Campfire Tales (1991)→
Director: Damien LaVeck Starring: Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner, Chris Lew Kum Hoi. USA. 1h 34m
I specifically watched this feature as it had such a low rating, generally it seemed to have been panned by critics and a lot of the horror community seem to find it laughable but I really enjoyed the film, it has a lot of qualities that crop up in some of the darker classics, a strong story, a few cheesy laughs, and a dedication in making a film thrilling fun, it’s bold, occasionally charred and gory and providing you switch off a little it’s really entertaining… or at least I think so.
There has always been this strange surreal nature to the epic ideas of Russian Science Fiction, be it art, animation, novella or cinema you’ll always find something so profound and lavish in the Russian culture of art. From the early Aelita (1924) to the genre defining Stalker (1979) Solaris (1972) and Visitor to Museum (1989) there’s a strong sense of new ideas and concepts so far out and esoteric it’s hard to take in but yet these films stand as testament to the ingenuity of Russian Cinematographers (using soviet brutalism and derelicts to their advantage) and Directors who work an orchestra of stunning and creepy visuals and wonderment. Continue reading Спутник / Sputnik (2020)→