Director: Emilio Portes.
Starring. Joaquin Cosio, Tate Ellington, Tobin Bell, Aurora Gil. Mexico. 1h 54m.
Whenever I need a real horror fix I usually find it within the ranks of non English, or at least non Hollywood movies, the last thing which really rocked my boat was the Turkish Baskin (2015) and the aptly named Aterrados/Terrified (2017) from Argentina to name a few, but in nearby Mexico I found a gem in Belzebuth. I was quite pleasantly surprised about this violent demonic film from seasoned director Portes, who’s mainly known for his fast paced action comedies, so to see him traverse this new genre like a pro says much about his outstanding directorial qualities and hopefully we’ll see more from him in the future, with this blinding spiritual sequel to Pastorela (2011). Continue reading Belzebuth (2017)
Director: Demian Rugna.
Starring. Maxiiliano Ghione, Norberto. Elvira Onetto. Argentina. 1h 28m.
We who are about to be scared Salute you Argentina!! Thank you so much for breaking the rules and making a truly terrifying movie!! (you see what I did there?)
I get really annoyed when people give up on a genre, be it music, art or indeed beloved Cinema, for the amount of media being produced you can be guaranteed to find something to tickle your fancy but the only thing stopping you from finding it is effort and if you’re searching for that next buzz, then I always suggest that you try something not aimed as the masses for profit. Continue reading Aterrados /Terrified (2017)
Director: Jeffrey Bloom.
Starring. John Saxon, Burt Young, David Huffan, Marianna Hill, Otis Young, Stegan Gierasch. USA. 1h m.
We all love spending time on the beach when the weather is good, until it begins to consume us! Which is the general gist of Jeffrey Blooms stand out low budget horror which aims to make us fear the sand as much as Jaws (1975) made us fear the waters.
For the short running time, Bloom wastes no time getting to the gory basics when the first innocent victim is taken within the opening scene, where a elderly dog walker is sucked into the sand screaming in agony, never to be seen again, it’s a desolate beginning, leaving the scene with a dog barking at the sand in desperate search of his owner..with this deadly foreplay the characters are slowly introduced, sadly the main cast aren’t that strong but the supporting actors really stand out mostly the legendary John Saxon who’s character, Captain Pearson, takes no bull shit and has a back up of Sergeant Royko, (Young) who plays a petty skeptical officer who is absolutely no help but does liven the movie up with his jive talking insults. Continue reading Blood Beach (1980)
Starring. Jean Reno, Ryoko Hirosue, Michel Muller, Yoshi Oida. Writer: Luc Besson.France/USA/Japan. 1h 34m.
This film is so cute and annoying! There’s so much I really adore about it but in equal parts it really grates on my nerves. I get the bigger picture of it being a charming heartwarming comedy action film but some of the characters and sets up are just too gross and I find myself not being able to cope with the overload.
Continue reading Wasabi (2001)
Director: Gerard Johnson
Starring: Peter Ferdinando, Stephen Graham, MyAnna Buring, Elisa Lasowski, Neil Maskell, Richard Dormer, Tony Pitts, Mehmet Ferda .UK. 1h 24m
This matter of fact police corruption movie turns out to be not only thrilling, but delicately devious which sees the argument of righter and wronger turns heels from the streets of London into a literal blood bath.
Johnson keeps the movie on it’s feet with fast camera action that in ways follows it’s heroes and foes like an episode of [insert your favourite cop drama here] the story slowly steps out from the clamamtiy from time to time through bloody revelations, and it all becomes too much for the hardened street cop who is the focus of the movie. There’s something raw about the filming approach, the locations aren’t luxurious especially in the daytime which are filmed on any street corner, something we can all relate to, but at night the film comes alive in darkness and neon, the characters aren’t built on in the conventional way, instead they are more like sweaty desperate chess pieces but still the camera moves around them with glee. Continue reading Hyena (2014)
Director: Barry Shear
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Paul Benjamin. USA. 1h 32m
A poetic slice of American history is adapted into this explosive crime drama, and only a few years after racial tensions ran extremely high during the “hot summer” riots, and makes the most of key Harlem locations.
Two prolific stars in their own rights clash as gangs and civil rights spark rage and chaos in the streets, initially the film opens with a daring robbery staged by Jim Harris (Benjamin) results in him and his crew stealing around $300,000 from a Mafia run Numbers Game, things turn bad and there’s a blood shoot out, leaving seven dead both black and Italian and police officers. The case is assigned to the ultimate odd couple , Lieutenant William Pope (Kotto), a driven black police officer is assigned to work the case with aging Captain Frank Mattelli (Quinn), a street-wise racist Italian-American cop. Obviously sparks will fly but deep down you know they will find common ground amongst the bloodshed. There’s a constant reminder that the older Italian officer is on his way out and the new more empowered black officer is rising up to replace him. The entire slice of stereotype pie is eaten. Continue reading Across 110th Street (1972)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)
Director: Afonso Poyart
Starring:Abbie Cornish,Jeffrey Dean Morgan,Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins,Marley Shelton, Kenny Johnson USA. 1h 41m.
Solace appears to be one of the modern thrillers speeding in on the heels of the Se7en (1995) phenomenon, a group of mismatched detectives with the addition of an aged psychic are on the trail of a serial killer whose victims seem to have nothing obvious in common. Merriweather (Morgan) plays an fairly unconvincing and over friendly detective who has loosely tied together a handful of homicides together, along with his feisty sidekick Katherine Cowles (Cornis) who aims to build a psychological profile for this person but is struggling and thus causing an age of an old friend as psychic John Clancy played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins who reluctantly aides them in their task. It’s a mish mash of mediocre thriller and cop drama cliches with some adaptive CGI from new director Afonso Poyart. Continue reading Solace (2016)