Director: Lee Won-Tae .
Starring. Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim, Mu-Yeol Kim. South Korea. 1h 50m.
One of my all time favourite genres in film is the South Korean Crime Thriller, They are filled with such slick plots, crazy bloody knife fights and inhuman bad guys, often thick with plots twists around organised crime, bent cops, serial killers and a strange honour code there’s a dark sharp violence in them which isn’t easily mimicked. I didn’t get too hyped about this until the second half but I have valid reasons. With a lot of Korean thrillers, there’s often an air of strangeness the crimes and methods of solving them are usually played out under sheets of rain at night, and usually the killer is really fucking derranged and hard to track, control or kill. But in this case they catch the guy but it’s not the end of the story it’s only the beginning. Continue reading 악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)
Director: Fernando Di Leo.
Starring. Henry Silva,Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Mario Adorf , Luciana Paluzzi Italy. 1h 35m.
Following on from Caliber 9, De Leo hits back with another violent manhunt movie.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming syndicate boss Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, David (Silva) and Frank (Strodey) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A local assistant, Eva will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite as useless as everyone suspects. Continue reading Italian Connection / Hired to Kill / La mala ordina (1972)
Director: Rick Rosenthal.
Starring.Dean Penn, Esai Morales, Clancy Brown, Ally Sheedy, Eric Gurry, Reni Santoni, Robert Lee Rush. USA. 2h 3m.
This gritty coming of age movie, set in a juvenile detention centre was an epic leap of faith, with several of the main characters having their debut in what is seen as a breakthrough piece. After his directorial debut Halloween II (1981) he got stuck into 4 episodes of Darkroom then onto this game changer,launching the career of Sean Penn and Clancy Brown among others. Continue reading Bad Boys (1983)
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)
Director: Simon Rumley.
Starring.Terry Stone, Leo Gregory, Jamie Foreman, Roland Manookian. UK. 1h 51m.
I have to admit that I was spellbound by the cover of this lovely movie, but within seconds of the opening scene I was soon knocked off my feet that this is basically a retro version of Rise of the Footsoldier! In all fairness I really enjoyed the footsoldier movies, they started out with a purpose and were watered down but they had their own unique, balls in your face charm and a recurring cast, although a few characters are a little bit different in this war time london escapade, the most notable is Roland Manookian usually he plays the role of a drugged up loser who basically a bit of a plonker but he’s resurrected as a psychotic killer who’s not afraid to bleed. It’s pretty interesting to see him take on such a grisly role, maybe the boy will go far.
The film is based on real people and events, mostly surrounding Billy Hill and Jack Corner, again much like Rise of the Footsoldier (2007), and possibly with as much dreamy fantasties. The film looks authentic but doesn’t feel genuine in any way, it certainly feels like a modern movie but with just a cosmetic change and some different clothes, which is a shame as it could have been a real opportunity to branch out and try something an off key. The film seems to be poorly researched but the delivery is bold, a bit too forceful at times, it seems the use of shouting and violence takes the place of intense drama. Continue reading Once Upon A Time In London (2019)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier~
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Macon Blair . USA . 1h 35m
Here’s another gorgeous piece of gore from the invigorating direction Jeremy Saulnier, the director who likes to use colours in his film titles. After the success of the brutal revenge movie Blue Ruin (2013) he returns with a punks vs nazi horror flick that hold back no punches.
In the UK there was a similar but tamer film that ran into a mini series called This is England which showed the peaceful Skins get tainted by psychotic politics and there was a divide as the Nazi’s tried to take the scene over. This pales in comparison to the night of hell this alternative band is about to experience in the Green Room but it’s equally important to make a note of the difference of opinions between punks and nazi’s..
Seemed to be the next on the list of taboo scenarios that attracts the attention of Saulnier, Punks vs nazi’s has been an age old battle. But what’s really interesting is Saulnier’s choice of cast, it seems the unlikely bunch, Patrick Stewart, especially after his years with American Dad just doesn’t “sound” like a neo nazi leader but being such a brilliant actor he performed so well, as does the small role by the main star of Blue Ruin (2013), Macon Blair who’s the cutest and most polite fascist ever. But let’s start at the beginning… Continue reading Green Room (2015)
Director: David Michod.
Starring: Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, Luke Ford, Laura Wheelwright. Australia. 1h 53m
There is something extraordinarily authentic about Animal Kingdom, this sinister tale of a twisted criminal family is something can nervously be regarded as far fetched, but after an ounce of research into the criminal underworld of the Land Down Under, after watching this movie there’s a lingering fear that “based on a true story” might appear in the closing credits.
With characters like the notorious Chopper (2000) and the gut churning Snowtown (2011) just two pieces of projects based on real events and people, this just feels like the next step in a progression of a young country with a criminal culture that’s making up for lost time. Continue reading Animal Kingdom
Director: Alfredo Giannetti
Starring: Franco Nero, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Carlos de Carvalho. Italy. 1h 36m
A somewhat whimsical crime thriller, Blue Eyed Bandit stars the iconic Franco Nero as Renzo Dominici, mild mannered crippled and aged clerk who works for a bank, but little do his employers know what by night he transforms into a young, dynamic blue eyed criminal mastermind.
By day he shuffles around in a clever disguise, working long hours, visiting his mother in her nursing home and all the while secretly scoping out the office and waiting for the big pay day but as he ultimate heist get closer, Stella (Lazzaro); a loose member of the cafeteria staff starts to work out that there is much more to the old quiet clerk and she attempts to slide into the deal. Continue reading Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri / Blue Eyed Bandit (1980)
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock and Anita Strindberg .Italy. 1h 40m
This movie could easily be called “Il criminale più stupido d’Italia” as it follows the misadventures of a total psychotic loser criminal who couldn’t con his way out of a paper bag successfully but his constant efforts do cause some sensational cinema.
Opening with a bunch of robbers/kidnappers, snatching a young boy, their (not so trusty) getaway driver is Giulio Sacchi (Milian) manages to kill an officer while waiting and soon the gang is being chased around the city, they manage to speed past a train which cuts them off from the cops in time for them to drop the child and ditch the cops, they find a secluded place to recoup and kick the crap out of Giulio for foiling their efforts, after threatening to castrate him he heads back into the city alone. The brute roughs up his girl for some money and kills another cop while robbing a cigarette machine, while other officers arrive to investigate he starts displaying disturbing behaviour by squaring up to Inspector Walter Grandi (Silva). Eventually the bad tempered loose cannon, devises a scheme of kidnapping the daughter a wealthy businessman, who his girlfriend works for, but with a crazed moral compass and no scruples his manages to mess up each step of the way, but just manages to stay one step ahead of Inspector Grandi but mostly by mistake. Continue reading Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare / Almost Human (1974)
Director: Zackary Adler
Starring: Craig Fairbrass, Emily Wyatt, Emma Butt, Shaun Ryder, Larry Lamb, Jamie Foreman, Daniel Stisen,Roland Manookian . UK . 1h 39
Rise of the foot solder (2007) was such a brilliant insight into the world after football hooliganism. Coming to screen around the same time as other brilliant British movies such as Cass (2008) it crested a wave and it’s brilliance among the genre really glimmered., it was brash, ambitious and savage. Often run into the ground by critics but while it’s not acclaimed it’s bloody brilliant.
After this a range of sequels and Rise of the foot soldier II (2015) saw the return of Carlton Leach, Bonded by Blood (2010+) ran alongside the Foot soldier story. Continue reading Rise of the Foot soldier 3 :The Pat Tate Story (2017)