Tag Archives: f

La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

Continue reading La Weekend July 5

Last Night’s Movies 25.07.2017

 

I got new art supplies so while I was tinkering with those I managed pull out a few golden oldies but then when I realised a new DVD was pretty short I crammed in one priceless Giallo too!

Bullitt (1968) –  I remember watching my mother get all excited about Bullitt, she’s a huge fan of Steve McQueen and as a kid I didn’t know why but i’ve been converted, I brought Bullitt a few years back and was totally blown away by it time and time again, I’ve had a passion for retro/vintage cars and while I’ve always adored Mercury Lead Sleds I finally caved in and I want a Dodge now.. But the film is quite strange, famed for being “that car film” there’s a lot of crime thriller going on as well. McQueen plays a toughen San Francisco cop who is out for blood, his target is a local king pin who has killed a witness who was left in his care. McQueen’s need for speed sparked him to insist on doing all the car chases and he made a point to keep his head near or out of the window in all the scenes to the audience that it was him at all times… damn I love car chases!! 9/10 Continue reading Last Night’s Movies 25.07.2017

The Forest (2016)

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Director: Jason Zada.
Producer(s): Tory Metzger, David S. Goyer
Starring: Natalie Dormer Taylor Kinney Yukiyoshi Ozawa Eoin Macken. USA. 1h 39m

After Goyer realised that no film has been made about the famed Aokigahara forest, or Suicide Forest in Japan, he soon put together an outline and the Forest was born. And with the premise of telling a story based in one of the most haunted and protected areas in the world, the film held a lot of potential for being one of the top horrors of 2016… Continue reading The Forest (2016)

Find Me (2014)

Find me

Director: Andy Palmer.
Starring: Cameron Bender, Kathryn Lyn, Rachelle Dimaria . USA. 1h 25m.

A young couple are still unboxing when an unwelcomed entity becomes a terrifying pain in the ass. Yep I’m going there with this film, it has to be done. There are shedloads of these poor horrors that are neither sensible, linear or entertaining, Fine me doesn’t offer as much as it promises and only slowly eeks out a twist that we all saw coming. Continue reading Find Me (2014)

Frida (2002)

Frida

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A lavish biopic, half artistic masterpiece half Spanish soap opera, this historical account of the life of Frida Khalo is a stunning as her work. I’m a little bias here as I’ve always studied artist and art literally for my whole life. And i wish there were more artist movies like this when I was school as it would have saved me a lot of reading.

It’s never easy to try and sum up an entire life in one film, it’s hard enough to summarise in it in a book, and there is always more in the book than a movie.. but this film does a great job at detailing a lot of the great features in this unusual diva’s life. Continue reading Frida (2002)

Fields of the Dead (2014)

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Director: Daniel B Lske.
Writer : Scott Coleman
Starring: Lara Adkins, Mark Booker, Mike Delange . USA. 1h 24m.

Seven friends go out to study an isolated farm, they know about the terrible supernatural history that surround the dielectric site but put it down to pagan superstitions and carry on their investigations until things start to go awry. Continue reading Fields of the Dead (2014)

Flutter (2011)

 

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Director :  Giles Borg
Writer : Stephen Leslie
Starring : Joe Anderson, Ricky Tomlinson, Laura Fraser, Autumn Federici, Billy Zane, Luke Evans. UK. 1h 26m.

The second full length film from budding director Giles Borg takes a much darker and diabolical path, but retains a healthy humorous streak. Personally I was quite smitten with the film and have enjoyed it several times, the humour is deathly dark and some of the surreal scenes near the end of the film are executed with a great attention to detail.

John (Joe Anderson) is addicted to gambling, it’s all that he and his friends do together, gamble down the tracks as often as they can and reap the rewards or drown their sorrows as a team, until one fateful day when Stan, their loyal bookie is missing and a blond bombshell is takes his place, this gorgeous stranger turns out to be the “new Stan” (Autumn Federici) who offers the boys good odds on bets they simply can’t refuse. Lured into big payoff bets set by the ever demanding Stan, John is slowly spiraling into a surreal and dank future that seems to be controlled by Stan’s ever growing need for power and control, how long can John keep going until he gets the big win of his dreams? Continue reading Flutter (2011)

Feher Isten – White God (2014)

White god

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Despite the scary title, this film is brilliant in every way, it tells an intricate story about a noble young girl who has been dumped into her father’s care while her mother is away on business, the trumpet playing princess is very attached to her mixed breed dog, Hagen. The pair are inseparable which is made difficult during a massive round up of stray dogs and a bitch of a neighbor who makes a false claim against the dog. The film separate and while Hagen is left on the highway and strives to survive in a dangerous environment with the help of a fellow dog who he bonds with, his owner Lili has her own problems and adventures to embark on, dealing with her missing dog, bonding with her estranged father and discovering boys and clubbing.

I really enjoyed the film, it has a lot of layers, with rising notes of coming of age, there are many subconscious links with immigration and slavery (that’s what I picked up), animal rights and modern families. Lili is such a strong and powerful girl, with her love can conquer all approach, the film slightly takes her perspective as she travels through the unknown.The filmmakers utilized the acting talents of 274 dogs from various shelters.

There are so many bizarre elements in this film, the father works in a slaughter house, the daughter is this comic style heroine, who’s so distinctive on her bike, with a blue hoody and a trumpet. Many of the scenes are poetic not coming from the script but purely from the moods and ambiance.. Generally the film is muted but still manages to convey massive waves of emotion.

The film has been likened to The Birds (1963), and ultimately it is, the story is about Hagen meeting up with a network of stray dogs, after being abused by some shady characters in the Hungarian underworld start an uprising. It’s something that is beautiful in terms of the oppressed rising up, but on the flip side it will agitate anyone with Cynophobia, but then I suppose Cujo (1981) did more damage in the 80’s.

9/10

Full review to follow soon…..

The Fog (1980)

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Day 3 of 31

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The Fog  (Horror, 1980) (18) D: John Carpenter W: John Carpenter and Debra Hill  C: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie, Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, John Houseman, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook. 1h 19m. USA.

Synopsis : Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town’s centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

TAGLINE : NONE

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A chilling film about a small town with a dark past that on it’s 100th birthday finds itself at the mercy of a group of not so jolly zombie pirates who cloak themselves in an unseemingly dangerous fog. Surprisingly this film isn’t based on the book by James Herbert with the same name, instead it’s a story written by Carpenter and Hill, collating a lot of folklore and urban legend style stories of old American towns, corruption and inert fears of the weather.

With a few similarities to Halloween (1978) the residents of Antonio Bay are being plagued by a series of strange supernatural events that are drawn to the church within the town.

Considering the film is basically about a haunting it does have equal amounts of action and tense slower creeping scenes. It starts out in a miraculous way. An old man is telling a campfire tale to some school children around a fire, a story about ghosts and old ships wrecked on the shore, it really sets the scene for the movie, although the film is a tad scarier than the old man’s story!! Cutting from there we’re introduced to Stevie Wayne (Andrienne Barbeau) a radio DJ who works alone and lives with her young son. She’s considered quite a hotty and is often chatted up by Dan O’Bannon (Charles Cyphers) who gives her the weather information. Nick Castle (Tom Atkins), an avid fisherman is another inhabitant of the island and picks up Elizabeth Solley (Jamie Lee Curtis) when she is hitchhiking, as their romance blossoms during the most tragic era of Antonio Bay. Kathy Williams (Janet Leigh)is setting up the celebrations of the town’s 100th birthday with her amazingly enthusiastic assistant Sandy (Nancy Kyes/Loomis) and to top it off we have the drunken paranoid priest Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) who uncovers a secret diary and starts to decipher the real history of the town. The film flows through keeping the scares and chills regularly between but as more information is uncovered about the past then as a viewer your perspective is changed.

Taking different aspects of many an old tale, the Fog filters through being a ghost story, as well as being a thrilling mystery as well.  It’s also interesting how pieces of information is uncovered by separate groups of people and how they come together to try and solve the big picture, everyone is connected to the past here. There is a huge recurring theme within the movie about families and family ties,  and part of the conundrum is in relation to the founding fathers and this is revisited time and time again when it comes to the relationships among the characters.

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Now I’m going to talk about two really intriguing moments in the movie that I absolutely adore but they are totally random and no one else care about them. So get the violins out and bare with me. There are a few scenes of mystery that I really adore, I don’t want to take away all the thunder from the amazing creepy scenes on the boat and in the hospital when corpses become very animated. But there is a simple yet great scene when Andy (Stevie’s Son) finds a gold coin on the beach but when it tries to pick it up, it’s suddenly a piece of driftwood, I personally can’t see the cut scene, how did they do it? Also I can’t not write about this film and mention the scene where Blake voice take over the radio (funnily enough this is a follow on scene from the coin morphing driftwood scene) he says “Something that one lives with like an albatross around the neck, No, more like a milestone. A plumbing stone, by God! Damn them all! Now I don’t know if it’s just Charles Nicklin’s voice or the sentiment but it’s just so powerful.

The quirkiest part of this movie isn’t the visuals or the effects it has to be the names! Carpenter used so many names of people he knew as characters and chucked in a few comedy names too including Dr Phibes, and finally.. John himself and Deborah Hill appear in the film unaccredited of course.

From the Wiki.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog

  • Dan O’Bannon is a screenwriter who worked with Carpenter on Dark Star (1974).
  • Nick Castle is the actor who played Michael Myers in Halloween (1978).
  • Tommy Wallace has worked with Carpenter as an editor, art designer, and sound designer on several of his films in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Richard Kobritz, the producer of Carpenter’s 1978 TV film Someone’s Watching Me! inspired the name of the character Mrs. Kobritz.

Other references that are interwoven into the film include the name of the John Houseman character “Mr. Machen” (a reference to British horror fantasist Arthur Machen); a radio report that mentions Arkham Reef; and the town’s coroner Dr. Phibes was named after the titular character of the horror films starring Vincent Price from the early 1970s.

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One of the titanic factors in relation to the spooky effects has to be great rolling fog scenes and creatures hidden in the mist. Don’t get your hopes up they aren’t like Silent Hill in anyway but they are a different style of hopalong horror pirate kinda way. although there are no parrots, you can’t have a pirate film with no parrots.. I might have to write to John about this! I jest. Going back to my point, there are some effect scenes where the fog is blowing into the town and while some of it looks a little tacky today it could be a lot worse.

For me it’s impractical to pinpoint the bad guys in this film. I want to point the finger in a few directions but not at the people who are currently being persecuted, this makes Blake and the other pirates total assholes, but they still descend upon the town wreaking havoc and  I’m not sure what justice they were expecting?

Poor Jamie Lee got the worse role in the movie, she appears as if from nowhere and her character is suddenly thrust into a world of spooky weird shit.  She does consider herself to be unlucky and she was so right. She has strange flying objects hitting cars that she’s a passenger in, dead people falling on and around her, then ends up being chased by zombies, it’s as if she wasn’t punished enough in Halloween (1978). Kurt Russell was offered the chance to appear in the movie but declined, it would have been a great early Carpenter Holy Trilogy of Russell movies but the the life of me I can’t picture him in this style of film, the ghosts would have left when he flamed the shut outta them, blowing up the entire town and pissing off the mayor and priest.

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Carpenter was coasting along on a few massive success stories with his previous movies and I think he aimed really high with this film, despite it being cut and slashed before being released it’s still an excellent film but I wonder what he really had in store for us. I would imagine the team involved in this had a lot of fun playing around in whatever weather effects.

If you like a bit of spooky and it’s a clear night then this will be a good choice, but it’s not as hard hitting as other Carpenter movies of the time,  it doesn’t have the dynamics of Precinct 13 (1976) or the thing. It’s way more “traditional”  it’s story and approach.

The ghostly aspects of this film work well, the phantoms are both brutal and cunning and pretty creepy with their red eyes and hooked hands, but a little bit of me wanted to see more kills and violence but that’s the kinda girl I am. I adore the mystery solving, it’s not too Miss Marple and even a simpleton like myself is able to follow along. There isn’t much wrong with the film and I thoroughly enjoy it, apart from the double ending, one is okay the other is quite what the fuck!?

V: While it will be considered dates and has been remade with an inferior 2005 film. I have constantly enjoyed The Fog time and time again. It was one of the earliest Carpenter films that I remember seeing similar faces in and I adore directors who work with people time and time again. The Fog still gives me chills and I enjoy so many of the well scripted and beautiful scenes, not always the most scariest but also some warming interactions.It’s just brilliant!

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Rating –  9/10

L: Radio DJ’s in films, Weather movies, Pirate films, Selected Ghost flicks
R: Silent Hill (2006), Prince of Darkness (1987), The Fog (2005), Village of the Damned (1960)

From the Dark (2014)

From the Dark

From the Dark  (Horror,  2014) (18) D: Conor McMahon  C: Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, Ged Murray. 1h 30m. Ireland.

Synopsis :  A couple on a trip through the Irish countryside find themselves hunted by a creature who only attacks at night.

Back to basics horror that reinforces our primal fear of the dark.

Setting the scene is set as an elderly man desperately trying to bury a body in a peat bog, the soil starts to move, there is a scream and a struggle, cutscene and a young couple make their way through the beautiful Irish countryside bickering over marriage ( I hasten to add that I totally agree with the definition of love and marriage in this conversation). The car breaks down and help is sought in a quiet village down the road. Then things start to get very strange.

Director Connor MacMahon has been slowly ploughing through all the different types of movie monsters in his films and while the actual monsters origins and species isn’t fully explored within the movie it’s easily categorised as a Vampire, looking and acting most like  Nosferatu (1922).  The film boasts an extremely small cast of 4, but doesn’t lack on suspense and thrills, while trudging through at a slow pace.

Being afraid of the dark is quite a natural thing for most of us, having a calculating psychotic monster with a blood lust stalking you doesn’t ease the fear. From the Dark explores all of those creepy moments in the quiet darkness.

from the dark

After the couple make it into an abandoned cottage with the monster hot on their heels they soon work out that light is their own saviour. Being in strange surroundings and with one of them injured it becomes a tricky fight for survival. After Mark (Stephen Cromwell) is mauled by the beast his immobility leads Sarah (Niham Algar) to take the lead in fighting and getting them both to safety. The bickering couple soon have only each other to hang onto and love is no longer in the question, in a similar vein as Hush (2008) they find a much stronger bond to overcome any troubles they once had.

With the hungry creature stalking them  at at all times and trying to work out it’s strengths and weaknesses while protecting Mark, the quick witted and extremely brave Sarah becomes resourceful in her search for light and weapons. Unlike other thrillers like Storm Watch (2007) where Nadia Fares suddenly turns into Macgyver when the shit hits the fan, Sarah’s attempts are much more grounded and realistic. The creature is kept out of sight for most of the movie but it is very apparent that its fast, violent and likes to dwell in the darkness.

The film is high tension and full of jump-scares as well as playing on various phobias, a creepy spider scene as well as some claustrophobic moments, much like the survival horror video game series Alone in the Dark. The effects are very simple, there is little CGI if any, everything is left up to great acting intelligent creature effects. the downside is the lack of varying scenes. the film does lull in the middle, there are only so many times Sarah can run freely around in the darkness with this killer beast always missing her before the mind wonders how long until the end. Things do pick up though, and the ending is quite dramatic and makes up for any earlier shortcomings.

There is a decent slice of gore in between the running around in the dark, a brutal amputation scene and very little dialogue towards the end. It’s a great attempt for a horror movie with an obvious low budget. It makes the best of what it available and dare i suggest that it has a Hammereque style to it. I would imagine something like this coming from the Hammer Horror revival.

It is simple and does revert back to the basics of the horror genre, but its flare is in the wild thrills of the chase the bravery against the unknown. It’s an interesting change to the style of horror that is being produced in modern times, it’s not relying on buckets of gore and huge effects but is an actual horror movie and unashamedly nothing else. I would like to see more modern films taking this on board, as well as future movies from MacMahon.

It won’t grasp a lot of cinema fans as it doesn’t have a classic ending, it’s on the quiet side, more could have been done with sound track in all fairness. There are some moments which people will want to see the gore but it’s not shown. But for me it’s breath of fresh air into my much loved genre.

L : Vampire movies that don’t mention vampires, Selected Irish films, Film that make the dark scary again, Small movie casts, Creatures afraid of the light
A: Creatures who are afraid of the light, therefore.. Demonic.
R: Dog soldiers (2002), 30 days of night (2007), Nosferatu (1922), Hush (2008), Alone in the Dark (2005),

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Rating –  6/10


V
: It’s a good film, but with it’s quiet nature and lack of effects it won’t win over too many hearts. Once the mechanics are in place it’s quite interesting with a few screams and shocks in this bitter sweet love story in a dark and horrible chase until dawn. I admire the fact that a lot of the graphical horror scenes are left for the imagination but I also would like to have seen some intelligent use of lower budget creature effects too add a bit of character and oomph. Still an all round good movie it just needed a little tidying up around the edges.

5B : Connor MacMahon
OST: Soundtrack – gorgeous song at the end.
TIL : Bad guys always have long coats

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