Tag Archives: dying

Deathwatch (2002)

Director: M J Bassett
Starring: Jamie Bell, Ruaidhri Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox, Kris Marshall, Hans Matheson, Matthew Rhys, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 34m

The general trends with World War II movies is to punch your audience right in the gut with the violence and depression of the war. With all the progressions of cinema they all translate in more effect ways of demonstrating the darkest side of human nature and the brutal fight for freedom, but this isn’t the only way to portray the horrors of this dark chapter, since the was there have been numerous ghost stories written about lost soldiers, everlasting love and the occult nature of the “the enemies” of righteous civilisation. But is Deathwatch the new ghostly war story we need?

Bassett’s track record includes an array of action movies all tinged with the macabre, but Bassett is versatile in his approach with the lavish fantasy Solomon Kane filled with magic myth and monsters, and Wilderness, a group of wayward chavs verses a mystery slasher while stranded on a secluded island, he’s not a man who liked to be pinned down with a specialty apart from directing engaging movies. Continue reading Deathwatch (2002)

Zombie Vs Shark

In the summer of 1979 Lucio Fulci released Zombi 2 also known as Island of the Living Dead, also known as Nightmare Island and sometimes known as Zombie Flesh Eaters, and possibly many other titles. This bold and sensual movie was intended as an unofficial sequel to George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), it was quite a popular theme for Italian directors to make unofficial sequels to American releases, for me the most iconic would be Alien 2 : On Earth (1980) which was Ciro Ippolito and Biagio Proietti’s attempt to make an earth bound sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 cult classic Alien. It’s as different as day and night to Alien and the intended sequel Aliens, but it’s a really wacky but thrilling lower budget movie. It’s brilliant that the ambition to make a daring sequel spurred on a wonderful director to try and achieve something new, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Continue reading Zombie Vs Shark

Death Ship (1980)

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Starring: George Kennedy, RIchard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Victoria Burgoyne. Canada. 1h 31m

Death Ship could easily be labelled as another prime example of how the horrors of World War II still plague the minds of modern man, with acts so cruel, barbaric and insane that the strong cinematic belief that this pinnacle of human shame has the power to infect and infest. Time and time again movies find the dark depraved experiments and human torture so hard to portray on screen that it’s analogiased as a demonic haunting, let’s face it, witnessing world War ii is like peering into vignettes of hell.

I wouldn’t want to say this was the blueprint for future ocean horrors but it so easy to see its effects in the tangled mess of Triangle (2009) and the palatable Ghost Ship (2002) the mechanics of this salty horror have more in common with Outpost (2008) and Christine (1983) and in my humble opinion Amityville (1979). Continue reading Death Ship (1980)

Ghost Stories (2017)

Director:Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Starring: Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Martin Freeman. UK. 1h 32m

By the time I had seen the trailer for this movie it was already being slated by a lot of the horror community, apparently it just isn’t scary enough, and looking back I can see where they are coming from, while I wholeheartedly disagree. If I were 18-19 and now venturing into the horrific side of cinema I think I would also be confused and high disappointed but this drama based horror, my hype train would be derailed and I left in tears.

There’s nothing quite like Ghost Stories out in the market today, there are no strange Swedish cults, no crazy CGI monsters, and no hint whatsoever of creepy clowns or a Sharknado. The main reason, well it’s based on a stage play and therefore it won’t be like all the rest, it’s been dutifully adapted in a pretty sensitive manner to really play off the original stag setting. The star of the production a character named Phillip Goodman (Nyman), speaks to the audience about his history and current job, which involves poo pooing the cold readers, fake psychics and charlatans who fool us into believing there’s an afterlife and a paranormal world around us, is this the life of Darren Brown? Continue reading Ghost Stories (2017)

The Bridge (2006)

Director: Eric Steel.
Starring.Various. USA. 1h m.

Worlds literally end in Eric Steel’s slightly tastefully feature length documentary which focuses solely on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. For one year the iconic bridge was filmed including every suicide that took place on The Bridge that year with candid interviews of the people left behind.

The film opens like a tourist promo, with beautiful scenes of the bridge, the crew setting up hidden cameras, vibrant wildlife is in abundance, the quiant businesses nearby are lit in golden sunshine, then suddenly a body drops, and we are initiated into the Bridge, a bold unwavering look into the jolly suicide spot.

Be afraid of what lies beneath…

Continue reading The Bridge (2006)

They Found Hell (2015)

Director: Nick Lyon.
Starring. Chris Schellenger, Katy Reece, Austin Scott, Laurie Kynaston, USA. 1h 27m.

For a movie made with a “low” budget and special effects from about 20 years ago, it’s not terrible but it’s lacking a bit of energy in places but for a TV horror it’s quite different from the normal gumpf that you get served on a regular basis, but this seems to be by pure accident more than intent. Lyon’s falls into many of the typical horror traps, but it seems to be his style as he’s the father of a huge range of ‘tastrophy movies that all swim in the same stream, but somewhere in there is a fairly interesting story but delivered by a bunch of wailing idiots…

They thought they opened the portal to somewhere cool…

Some bright hopeful students successfully create a portal but unfortunately for them they open a doorway into hell, for some reason the film doesn’t show them coming together for this project, which is that touch of background that really introduces the characters but we’re landed into a situation where giant craters that lead into hell are being reported on the TV and the students are in the thick of it. Continue reading They Found Hell (2015)

Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988)

Director: Guy Maddin
Starring: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gotti, Angela Heck . Canada . 1h 12m

With a lot of surreal movies, I don’t assume to fully understand them, but I do find their unpredictability evocative. While this film is visually different there’s a lot to puzzle over with the linear but a bashitcrazy story.

Seemly inspired by the Directors childhood memories heightened by a DMT trip, there’s a lose connection. Madden does have Icelandic heritage and a lot of vocal history does get tainted over the years but for part it’s a realistic situation at first..

While their mother lays dying in a hospital bed, a pair of siblings are being confronted in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital by their grandmother. She tells the children a long and convoluted story about the Gimli of old, a tale about Einar the Lonely and his best friend Gunnar and the angelic Jofridur.

Einar (McCulloch) has contracted smallpox and is resting in the old Gimli Hospital when he makes friends with Gunnar (Gotti), the pair really appreciate the company in their time of sickness and the bond grows between them, but only for  a short time.

While divulging personal information with each other their tales start to get weirder and the men’s testosterone really gets them going once a sexy nurse catches their eye and they really start to outdo each other to gain her adoration.

Independent movies with a surreal flaire are fairly popular but none of them quite have the same creepy and yet riveting atmosphere as the Gimli Hospital. It’s dark and at times intensely creepy but at times it has a bit of razzmatazz slapstick.

Some scenes are filled with characters babaliese with a gentle overture and smooth poetic voice overs. Juxtaposed with the harsh black and white shadowy photography that flickers as if lit by candle, the film “feels” scary but nothing will jump out at you.. Apart from some of the most bizarre but engaging cinema you’ve ever seen.

It’s impossible to guess what’s coming next and there’s no sense in trying to look for themes, it’s erratic but yet at the same time you begin to expect the unexpected. The imagery is pretty powerful, from buttock bloody manly wrestling (not like that you fiend) and milk dripping from the ceiling of the hospital, there’s a deep motherly aspect that runs throughout the film but if you didn’t guess it’s in the strangest way.

Guy Maddin seems like a pretty laid back normal guy, and has a very fine tuned appreciation of film and the arts.It really shows in his works, the detailed attention and courageous scenes are out of bounds with what it usually attempted to be shown on film. Definitely not something easily forgotten and certainly something new, no matter what you’ve seen in the past.

Rating: 7/10

R: Eraserhead (1977), Archangel (1990), the Heart of the World (2000)

A: Where’s the fish a short and incomplete guide to surrealist cinema Vol. 1

 

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Day 8 – Carnival of Souls

Director: Herk Harvey.
Starring. Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, USA. 1h 24m.

A cult classic that still influences a host of modern directors, this independent horror film manages to create a bizarre ghostly atmosphere that has been difficult to re-create since.

A few girls are out for a lark, when then encounter some greasers who challenge them to a drag race over a bridge, the girls car crashes in the river and they get pulled along by the rapids, the rescue mission fails to find anything but a shabby and bemused young blonde bombshell emerges from the water the only survivor from this tragic misadventure. Mary’s life is never quite the same after the accident. The church organist relocates to Utah, where she finds herself set apart from the locals and stalked by a strange pasty faced ghoulish man (Harvey) as she’s drawn towards a mysterious carnival on the outskirts of town near the river,  where she’s inclined to dance. Continue reading Carnival of Souls (1962)

Halley (2012)

Halley 2012

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I found this movie by total accident, I dunno what drew me to it, the decaying body on the cover or the name!? I love space and shit and what’s not to love about the Halley’s comet!? But what’s the connection!?

Well the film tells the fragile tale about Beto (Alberto Trujilo) a security guard working in a mexico city gym, who’s shy and reserved due to his  body being consumed by a mysterious sickness that seems to isolate him further from humanity. The illness? Well in a similar way to Thanatomorphose (2012) and the cheap rehash Contracted (2013), both dealing with people who are slowly decaying from some unknown disease. The actual contraction isn’t noted in the film, similar to Thanatomorphose (2012) Something just happens, although Beto gets more time to deal with his disease he injects himself with embalming fluids, and is a medical genius, keeping his wounds clean and removing maggots from his flesh. It’s incredibly slow at times, but the interactions between the few people he encounters are brilliant, a morgue assistant, his boss, who treats him to an amazing night out and details the astonishing Halley’s comet to him using a flashlight in a power cut darkened room. In Between these scenes are similar to those long drawn out cuts in Hunger (2008).

This film deal with a unknown and morbid disease and one incredibly lonely person who is coming to terms with his Frankenstein existence.

I really loved the atmosphere of the film, the character was totally isolated and the reflection of that was spot on. There is also a lot to be said about his quiet fragile life verses the lives of all the big healthy bodies in the gym that he looks after.

Not a film that will gain a lot of popularity, mostly due to it not being in English and there are some slow scenes and that seems unpopular with the masses, but an instant favourite for me, with a very loose tie in with Frankenstein, the film is so very graphic in it’s depiction of the rot that you can almost smell it’s acrid bitterness  and despite it being quite uneasy it’s what I love about cinema that causes a reaction in me… i’ll explain in the full review.

10/10