Director: Adam Pfleghaar Starring:Various USA. 1h 14m
This detailed insight into how we fit into the bigger scheme of things as one element of planet earth, starts as an engaging documentary that slowly unravels into strange conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas which seem to sell a bitter snake oil.
Film-maker Adam Pfleghaar has devised a collage of interviews and compiled meticulous research , and constructed an audio-visual meditation on the themes of how we, as a species are only a tiny cog in a giant wheel, seeing the bigger picture is alluring and understanding how far detached we are from nature if eye opening but the end result of In Search For Balance had me scratching my head working out how these guys cured diabetes but The method and technique doesn’t seem something marketable for the rest of the public
Director: Jeremy Lovering
Starring:Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech. UK, Ireland. 1h 25m
There’s nothing new about a couple going for a fun thrilled romantic break in Ireland, it’s not like the market is swamped and this is a genre movie but with crackers like From the Dark (2014), which sees a more established couple trying to revive a strained relationship while descending on a village overrun by hard to kill vampires, along with this creature feature there’s a brilliant psychological tale Travellers (2011) that involved a group of city boys running into some Irish travellers but until a few magical 360 plot spinning reveal it’s hard to know who’s the worst set of characters. So with these already out and about, for seasoned horror fans, this movie initially kicks off as more of the same, or is it? Jeremy Lovering uses these others as stepping stones and red herrings, helping to throw his audience off and In Fear manages to fool and chill constantly from beginning to end.
AKA Hired to Kill, Manhunt in the City, Manhunt in Milan, Manhunt
Director: Fernando Di Leo. Starring. Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 40m.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, Dave Catania (Silva) and Frank Webster (Strode) 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 beautiful local assistant will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite a useless as everyone suspects.
Small time pimp and crazy headbutting tough guy Luca Canali (Adorfi), seems pretty low key, not the shifty character you’d expect to accidentally lose such a precious cargo. The film partially opens with him spending a pleasant day with his “girlfriend/bottom bitch”in the park then beating up two douchebags using Tekken 2 tactics.But the magic of this film is that Luca is a family man, his stunning ex and beautiful daughter get all his love and attention, and pretty soon the movie shifts from the two tough guys high tailing and it turns into the “Luca show” while he tries to keep ahead of all the mobsters who are now suddenly hot on his tail and all in his slightly comedic style.
Director: Fruit Chan Starring: Jin Zhang, Anderson Silva, Kevin Cheng, Suet Lam .Hong Kong. 1h 25m
The UFC is an absolute goldmine not only does it make super fighters, but it and generally if you can nurture a dynamic Hong Kong action movie with at least one big name you’ll take in cash.. But blend the two poorly and you’ll end up with this disjointed mess, that feels as if the producers knew what they wanted to do, but wrote any bull in to make it happen.
What starts as a really engaging crime thriller following a determined gun happy cop, Officer Kowloon (Jin) who opens the film boiling in a cooking pot, in a seedy backstory restaurant, Lam Suet taunting him as the two compare Dragon tattoos, fortunate that our hero has a better back story featuring an adorable (brightly coloured cgi) Dragon that he met as a child…after the bonding he shoots Lams hand off in a function room and gets suspended, this becomes a trend with Kowloon even while investigating a spate of murders targeting female police officers he manages to fudge the operation, not only letting the only suspect go, but losing his fiancee\fellow officer. Continue reading The Invincible Dragon (2019)→
(a.k.a. Zombies, Zombie Bloodbath and Voodoo Blood Bath)
Director: Del Tenny Starring: William Joyce, Heather Hewitt, Betty HyattLinton, Dan Stapleton .USA. 1h 25m
There’s a kitchy comic wanderlust feeling about this movie which is what makes it so memorable, no matter how cheesy or racist it ends up, it’s from the mid 60’s it’s going to be questionable by todays standards but it had a great vibe, a goofball story and possibly the first suicide bomber zombie?
Written, Produced and Directed by Del Tenny in the mid 60’s there wasn’t much scope for getting the movie released until 1971 when it was unshelved and became a drive in legend with a similar named production called I Drink Your Blood (1970) and as off key freaky duo they work together however with the addition of savage natives, zombies and evil scientist neither are really all that scary. Tenny’s other swinging flicks include The Horror of Party Beach and The Curse of the Living Corpse both from 1964 and share all the psychobilly themes of any halloween tiki party. Continue reading I Eat Your Skin (1964/1971)→
Director: Nathan Catucci Starring: Laila Robins, Santino Fontana, Dennis Boutsikaris. USA. 1h 24min
Part of the charm of Impossible Monsters is that it plays with ideas of sleep and dreams without really alluding to many of the schemas behind the expansive theology and science behind this complicated field. Often advertised as a film dealing with nightmare dreams and sleep paralysis, I don’t remember seeing much about it, and instead Impossoble Monsters falls into a rabbit hole of dark sexuality and crime de passion, ideas surrounding the opedious complex and a tutor who gets caught up in the murder of one of his students as the lines begins to blur between reality and a Ken Russellseque dreamworld. Continue reading Impossible Monsters (2019)→
Director: Leigh Whannell Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen . Australia/USA. 2h 04m
So many years after the temptatious story of the Invisible Man by the legendary H G Wells, later made into a Black and White Classic by Universal Studios. The implausible idea of a chemical formula to make humans invisible has now been cleverly updated to an optical genius and a camera suit but why would we need such an application in this day and age? Infiltrating rival governments? To make an invisible army to take over the world or just a tool to torment an ex girlfriend who dared to leave a toxic relationship?
Director: Alexandre Courtes Starring: Rupert Evans, Dave Legeno, Anna Skellern, Richard Brake .USA. 1h 25m
No matter how crazy you can get in one lifetime; there’s one thing that is certain, that’s the fact that you’re going to need nourishment, this simple fact of life seems to be the driving point of this punk rock hop through body horror hell.
Alexandra Courtes has a long history in making music videos including that iconic monochrome dream that is Seven Nation Army by White Stripes, so he can create very stark and stunning aesthetics which he does in two different ways in Asylum blackout. Initially the world is a bleak white world of aesthetically clean halls but once the lights go out it’s an insipid black nightmare. But aesthetics aside there’s a lot of crazy people doing some fucked up shit in the later half of the movie which takes some sudden psychological turns and keeps it’s audience on their toes. Continue reading Asylum blackout (2011)→
Director: Shane Abbass Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster, Harry Pavlidis. Australia. 1h 30m
Sometimes the ideas in sci-fi movies are so brilliant they are easily missed, but when dealing with advanced concepts about mimicking bodies, mutations and genetic diseases that are totally alien, there’s no real easy way to go about it. But I feel with some more attention to editing and with an actual drive to interact with an audience then this could have been more hard-hitting and some of its counterparts
I would never suggest that Shane Abbass, is actively copying any other films that I’m about to mention, but I’m willing to step up and say that I’m actually quite intrigued by what he could do with a small budget, this previous movies Gabriel (2007) managed to pull off a lot that was missed from the Prophecy film franchise, with all of his film mastery and magic however, just now and again he just can’t seem to get something quite right and I can’t quite put my finger on it. To my eye, there seems to be a really strong connection with Franck Vestiel’s, Eden Log (2007) and Pandorum (2009) and though Inifini doesn’t really step on any toes per say it appears that they are probably best watched together as a trio of great sci fi movies all connecting a similar theme. Continue reading Infini (2015)→
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer Starring: Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault, Carmel Daniel, Boyd “Red” Morgan .USA. 58m
Even if you’re a criminal on death row there’s always someone out there who’s worse than you, but while the moral compass spins around and around in this balsy film noir sci fi thriller there’s a poignant message that you have to do the right thing once in a while especially when faced with a evil tyrant.
Ulmer was a prolific director, hailing from the Czech republic and claiming to have worked on a number of classics like M and Metropolis, but without much evidence of this, however there is solid proof that he did work on Der Golem. Never really giving up his horror histories, he went on to direct a number of sci-fi, horror and film noir movies, while this adventure came near the end of his career he combined all that he learnt over the years.