Director: Eran Creevy
Starring: Riz Ahmed, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng, Jay Simpson .UK. 1h 26m
You could argue that the British Urban genre is still in its infancy, or at least it’s fixated on youth and troubled adolescence that it’s hard to see it in a mature sense. However debut director Eran Creevy raises the bar with this uber smart, darkly funny and engaging drama all stuck together on a meager budget. Usually the scene is something daryl troubled like Kidulthood, Cherry Tree Lane, and they all have their visceral points to make but Shifty is more chilled and less aggressive but it does highlight street violence and the grimey underbelly of our streets but it’s achievement of highlighting the friendship of two amazing friends and the characters they meet along the way will make an audience smile before smacking them with a gory ending.
Continue reading Shifty (2008)
Director: Mike P Nelson
Starring: Matthew Modine, Adain Bradley, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee, Charlotte Vega .USA. 1h 30m
Wrong Turn is a franchise that, in my opinion, kinda did what it needed to do, gross out audiences in a blood soaked adventure that ends when there are no more young people to carve up. After the ultimate mutant hillbilly interaction, it took the inevitable path of destruction with numerous sequels getting cheaper as the madness carried on, but for some reason during the height of lockdown, we needed a reboot! Director Mike P Nelson decided to take his off road story further off the beaten track, and attempts to make a high functioning and credible horror from something that’s often watched purely for the body count, made the entire concept weary more than hardcore.
Continue reading Wrong Turn (2021)
Director: Partick Alan
Starring: William Aabka, Michael Bernardo, Maryam d’Abo, Martin Kove, Bolo Yeung, Edward Albert. USA. 1h 40m
Slightly lesser known but wildly loved, Shootfighters plays on a few fight to the death tournament tropes but there’s a lot of genuine talent, not much love interest based distraction and tongues of sweaty muscles and heart, just like it should be!
Starting out with a disgraced fighter being kicked out of a legal fighting ring, Mr Lee (Kove) then travels from the Far East to Tiuana and starts up a similar righting ring but the winner of each match is only crowned when one man is unconscious or dead. Mr C (Albert) is a sly fox sidekick to Mr Lee and his job is to entice down and out fighters with bills to pay into the tournament with the promise of winning big, he manages to rope Ruben (Zabka) into the next tournament and his best friend Nick (Bernardo) tags along to keep an eye on his friend during this dangerous fight game. Somewhere back home there’s a couple of love interests but they really don’t add anything to the guy action packed adventure.
Continue reading Shootfighter Fight to the Death (1993)
Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Starring:Jai Courtney, Nat Wolff, Finn Wittrock, Arturo Castro, Beau Knapp .USA. 1h 39m
It’s hard not to feel a little bit conflicted with the ending of Brothers In Arms AKA Semper Fi. The film successfully builds up a golden camaraderie between a pair of brothers Callahan (Courtney) and Oyster (Wolff) who, along with their Marine Corp Reserve Brothers, they manages to pull off the impossible and with the best intentions but in the big scheme of righter and wronger, was it really justified?
Continue reading Brothers In Arms / Semper Fi (2019)
Director: Joe Begos
Starring: Graham Skipper, Josh Ethier, Vanessa Leigh. USA. 1h 20m
For the most part Almost Human has a lot of connections with comedic scifi horror, Altered (2006), and ultimately feels like a blood splattered version of the classic Fire in the Sky (1993) but this indie thriller is way more serious and writhes with brutally dark violence and gore once it builds momentum.
Continue reading Almost Human (2013)
Director: John Kirkand
Starring: Ultra Violet, Marland Proctor, Claudia Reame. USA. 1h 15m.
In all fairness the coolest aspect of this movie is that one of the actresses is called Ultra Violet and she enters the film with the coolest Superman Lunch box and from then on it’s downhill for this Scooby Doo nightmare. Continue reading The Curse of the Headless Horseman (1972)
AKA The Devils Hour
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.
Continue reading The Cleansing Hour (2019)
Director: Ari Aster
Starring:Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe, Will Poulter . USA/Sweden. 2h 18m
Ari Aster has a bone to pick with our perceptions of folklore and his method is to scare and intrigue us by old practices which somehow feel familiar to us but also keep us up at night. By his own admission, his own personal demons and fear of germs helped centre him as the central character, something which might have spurred on his need to move away from horror, he loves musicals and rom coms, who’d have thunk it? Despite his love of folky cult themed horrors, he does have a great eye for colour and dramatics, so maybe his distinctive style will happily manifest in other dramatic and loud ways, but I don’t doubt for a second that whatever he dreams up next will be unmistakably Asterish. Continue reading Midsommar (2019)
Director: Graham Hughes
Starring: Graham Hughes, Annabel Logan, Paddy Kondracki, Patrick O’Brien, Joma West.UK. 1h 28m
Found footage movies are generally the cheapest and “easiest” to make however a lot fail when they try to hard, overthinking the details and missing the obvious, a lot of film makers would have jumped into this movie as a teen drama, however, Graham Hughes uses himself and his own flat to make a really personal and cerebrally challenging film that turns out the be one of the best in the genre despite the one terrible cliché it falls into occasionally.
Graham stars as himself, in his own home, as a wannabe YouTube star, attempting all the trends that we remember from planking, the ice bucket challenge to bottle throwing he seems desperate to find fame online, but he’s more than just a wannabe he is a cultured soul and tells some really great sensitive story about world war II parachuters who had issues with perception, after jumping out of a plane, many would land of roofs and simply jump down, after falling hundreds of feet without injury, a few feet just doesn’t seem to much however that’s when they would gain their biggest injuries… and perception is what Graham is about to rick roll his audience with in many sinister ways. Continue reading Death of a Vlogger (2019)