Director: Franco Prosperi.
Starring: Lorraine De Selle, Ugo Bologna, John Stacy, John Aldrich Stefania,Pinna Italy/Germany. 1h 32m.
A short while ago the Amazon delivery guy brought two films to my door, on a chilly winter morning, Wild Beasts and ROAR! I had hope for a double bill of amazing creature features and I got it.. I started the duo with this gem from the 80’s which like Roar (1981) involved the use of many large wild animals, undergoing a wild night in the city.
Half horror and half “let’s think about what we’re doing to the environment” movie, it’s scattered with gruesome animal attacks as well as highlighting ecological issues. But it’s just a normal day at the zoo when a beautiful photographer Laura Schwarz (De Selle) arrives to take some photos at the local zoo, she’s introduced to the various lives of a range of animals and procedures in the zoo, while the animals seem to be going about their normal day to day lives there are some concerns that they are “off their food”. Wrapping things up the photographer gets the cold shoulder from her young daughter who she rarely see’s day to day and is experiences abandonment issues. While the brilliant zoologist Ruper Berner ( Aldrich) retreats to his home for a shower.. Continue reading Belve Feroci (Savage Beasts) / The Wild Beasts (1984)
Director: Gerald Kargl
Starring:Erwin Leder, Edith Rosset, Josefine Lakatha, Sylvia Rabenreither. Austria. 1h 15m
I am constantly looking for films about serial killers that aren’t total let downs and after years of searching it seems I missed the boat as one of the greatest and more accurately disturbing films was released when I was a toddler, but despite its age it really hasn’t lost any of it’s vivacity and manages to detail the gruesome slaughtering of one family by a repetitive mass murder Werner Kniesek. Continue reading Angst / Fear (1983)
Director: Nick Szostakiwkyj
Starring: Shane Twerdun, Michael Dickson, Carl Toftfelt, Marc Anthony Williams, Andrew Moxham, Timothy Lyle, Steve Bradley. Canada. 1h 39m
Like a creepy love letter to John Carpenter’s; The Thing (1982) from a methed out HP Lovecraft, Black Mountain assembles a dark story the slowly gets more sinister until a bleak but strong ending.
Much like the thing, there are a small crew working in harsh icy conditions of Northern Canada, but this team are a group of archaeologists who uncover an ancient structure and some artifacts which date around the last ice age, perplexed by the date of the objects and in wonderment of the people who crafted them, the men continue to investigate and study the pieces but their presence spook the native members of the crew who quickly abandon them then their communications fail and their supplies are cut off, but this is the least of their problems. Continue reading Black Mountainside (2014)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Based on: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Starring:Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takeshi Kitano, Aki Maeda, , Chiaki Juriyama. Japan. 1h 54m
Battle Royale is Japan’s ultimate dystopian thriller, which follows a group of junior high schoolers who are forced to fight to the death by the Japanese government. due to the ultra violent nature of the film and the age of most of the cast it was met with widespread repulsion and band in excluded from distribution in several countries.
Veteran director fukasaku, at the tender age of 70, managed to put everything we had into this film. and while it’s often not easy to watch, stark, angsty and the incredibly unnerving it still remains an influential genre masterpiece, that takes place in a difficult near future, that we pray is an alternative universe to the one that we’re all comfortable with. Continue reading バトル・ロワイアル (Batoru Rowaiaru) Battle Royale (2000)
Starring: Stephen Dorff,Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Ben Sullivan. USA. 1h 25m
This unusual horror, loosely based on retro accounts of cults programming teens starts out well, an point of view break in results in the brutal stabbing of a couple in their bed, the culprit catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he’s wearing a mask and heads into the next bedroom, the young girl there recognises him, it seems he’s her brother, she’s concerned about the blood on his hands and runs to raise her parents, the culprit pulls down his mask and returns to the crime scene where he strangles her.
Every family buries secrets. But some secrets won’t stay buried.
Continue reading Jackals (2017)
Director: Can Evrenol
Starring: Gorkem Kasal, Mehmet Cerrahoğlu, Ergun Kuyucu. Turkey. 1h 37m
This surreal Turkish gory horror, directed by Can Evrenol, based on his 2013 short film by the same name, although in this blood soaked feature length debut he turns up the nightmare factor to full. Not running totally parallel it’s like a lucid dream within a dream, something more like Inception (2010) Vs Hellraiser (1987). While it’s not obviously as to what’s going on, the puzzle presented within Baskin is not something that you’ll be able to work out until the end, providing you have the stomach to get to the bitter end. There is a heavy handed dose of blood, meat, strange symbolism and a chilly silenthillesque atmosphere that is bound to entertain horror fans throughout. It’s crowning achievement is that it successfully manages to make you a passive spectator as this incredibly vivid nightmare unfolds. Continue reading Baskin / Raid (2015)
Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig.
Starring. Tobin Bell, Callum Keith Rennie,Matt Passmore, USA. 1h 32m.
So despite being dead since Saw 3, Jigsaw is back!? But how!? He was autopsied and buried already, but 10 years after he died John Cramer is once again making people confess to their sins and redeem themselves. I had to admit that I find the gory Saw movies highly entertaining and so much fun to watch, I honestly would love the franchise to run on forever I honestly don’t’ think I could get bored of this. When it comes to murder mysteries I find the typical Agatha Christie or Priot to be incredibly dull and struggle to follow along, with the length dialogue and cold bodies, Saw is the opposite there’s usually a lot of quick thinking, snap judgements, blood, gore and raw emotions, but strangely there are similarities too, like how this one uses the same index cards placed on the bodies as Christie’s Ten Little Indians (1965) but that’s where the similarities end. Continue reading Jigsaw (2017)
This lesser known video nasty from the mid 70’s has a small but dedicated cult following. The tagline of “Molly really knows how to cut men down to size” is a bit more descriptive of the film as Molly isn’t really a witch and doesn’t really come from the sea.
She does live and work along the seafront and gets a lot of shoddy tattoos by a scary weirdo, but after being sexually abused as a child by her grandfather she hates men and enjoys slicing and dicing them. Continue reading My favourite scene – The Witch Who came from the Sea (1976) – Rock a bye baby
Director: Anders Jacobsson, Tomas Sandquist .
Starring. Lars Bethke, Alida Morberg, Johanna Leamo.Sweden. 1h 27m.
An unusual B Movie horror with a lot of mixed messages, generally this works as a thriller but shows a lot of imagery akin to the modern day Hostel (2005) styled torture porn but doesn’t deliver a shred of this! Such a tease!
A mild mannered concierge with a big ole soft heart who single handedly runs a wayward hotel that doesn’t see much traffic due to a new road being built, meanders his life away, the only random faces he sees are those who have old maps and ends up at the hotel by total accident but he accommodates them the best he can. Continue reading Insane (2010)
Director:Alexandre Bustillo – Julien Maury
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, James Bloor, Jessica Madsen, Vanessa Grasse. USA. 1h 30m
Finally a modern prequel that actually has some substance and a wild dark nature!! The sequels and remakes tried to pick leatherface from the rest of the family and turn him into another serial slasher such as Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers and while this new prequel again singles him out it gives a larger insight into his family, hopefully next we’ll be able to see what turned Grampa into the hammer wielding nutter as I feel that’s the most interesting character (fan fiction anyone)? Continue reading Leatherface (2017)