Director: Bernard Launois
Starring: Véronique Renaud, Marcel Portier, Catherine Day .France. 1h 12m
This crazy French horror movie isn’t easy to categories, it’s definitely unique at times quite zany and while it has certain charms with being different and outlandish its major let down is the repetitive sound effects that really started to grate on my nerves within the opening 20 minutes only increase its irritability right to the bitter end.
Overall Devil Story feels as if narrative isn’t really all that important but the director, Bernard Launois, seems to have reveled with delight by adding everything you possibly could into his last production. The film opens with a crazed man slashing innocent victims and rural France and ends up with an occultist bringing about a Mummy Showdown. But like other infamous French movies of the era such as Zombie Lake (1981) there seems to have been this drive to just make gory horror films with little story line to back them up, but it’s generally all good groovy fun and being a lover of “bad movies” you gotta roll with the bizarre and they don’t get much more off the beaten track than this. Continue reading Il était une fois le diable / Devil Story (1986)
AKA Are You There?
Director:Scott Di Lalla .
Starring.Demetrius Sager,Courtney Foxworthy, Kelly McLaren, Caleb Courtney USA. 1h 25m.
As part of my Occult A-Z I have been watching some of the best and worst that cinema has to offer and pretty early on I was easily set on this being the end of the list but i’m afraid that the list will end on a low note.
I‘m a huge supporter of lower budget movies but what they lack funds they do have to make up with some passion, some drive, a bit of energy!! But this is little more than entry level horror, which is a shame as the whole Zozo mythos is pretty interesting and usually harbors a few jumps and sleepless nights. Continue reading I am Zozo (2006)
Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.
Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).
Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)
Director: Alfredo Giannetti
Starring: Franco Nero, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Carlos de Carvalho. Italy. 1h 36m
A somewhat whimsical crime thriller, Blue Eyed Bandit stars the iconic Franco Nero as Renzo Dominici, mild mannered crippled and aged clerk who works for a bank, but little do his employers know what by night he transforms into a young, dynamic blue eyed criminal mastermind.
By day he shuffles around in a clever disguise, working long hours, visiting his mother in her nursing home and all the while secretly scoping out the office and waiting for the big pay day but as he ultimate heist get closer, Stella (Lazzaro); a loose member of the cafeteria staff starts to work out that there is much more to the old quiet clerk and she attempts to slide into the deal. Continue reading Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri / Blue Eyed Bandit (1980)
Director: James Mangold.
Writer: Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None
Starring. John Cusack, Jack Busey, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Pruitt Taylor Vince. USA. 1h 30m.
The sophistication of the movie sets it apart from other thrillers of the era, at first I couldn’t quite pinpoint it but after researching the film and discovering that it’s loosely based on an Agatha Christie novel, then it all fell into place. While I’ve never been really into Christies work I am often spellbound by the dynamic and grizzly narratives. This is a perfect testament to the fact that her writing strengths are unbound and with the right adaptation will probably live on. Continue reading Identity (2003)
Director : Carl Colpaert
Starring : Tony Markes, Rainbow Dolan, Filiz Tully. Japan/Australia. 1h 25m
There is always an element of Love and Hate with this Anime/Live Action mashup, the film will captured my affection many year ago and I still enjoy watching it, while blindingly unaware of it’s origins I just assumed two directors got together to produce this mix of post apocalyptic drama/ baroque mystery, many years later I realised how this project basically butt fucked a precious classic Anime movie and turned it into a Troma movie BUT I still adore it.
So the original Anime is Mamoru Oshii’s 1985 undefinable classic Angel’s Egg, which sees a young girl traverse an abandoned town while nursing a giant egg and entertaining a young soldier, the film dissolves into a biblical darkness that even the director himself can’t really explain. But Carl Colpaert decided to rehash the strong imagery in between new footage filmed in the hot Australian desert and brings new life and meaning to the bizarre original. Continue reading In the Aftermath (Angels Never Sleep) (1988)
Director: Sidney J Furie
Starring: Michael Caine, Aubrey Richards, Guy Doleman, Nigel Green. UK 1h
After getting into trouble while serving in the army, Harry Palmer (Caine) has a choice, two years in prison or a few months in the secret service, reluctantly he chooses the service and remain the typical bad boy. While being totally loyal his cunning and total disregard for authority and procedure does earn him a reputation and he’s soon passed from one frustrated leader to another, his most recent doesn’t have a sense of humor, which is something Harry duly notes.
The cool swinging sixties world that is revolving around Harry is quite dangerous, especially if your a brilliant scientist of some sort, they seem to be quitting jobs and vanishing like it’s going out of fashion and Harry is forced onto the case, a replacement for a agent brutally killed while trying to protect a wonderfully British scientist. Continue reading The Ipcress File (1965)
Director: Jack Smight
Starring: Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom, Robert Drivas . USA . 1h 43m
Based on the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (1951)
A bold adaptation of an amazing groundbreaking anthology book from the legendary Ray Bradbury, really this film couldn’t go wrong, especially when you mix Rod Steiger into the mix, the classic actor is enormous in any role he puts his mind and body into and was a dramatic baluster in the many roles he played in this sometimes difficult science fiction movie.
The original book was a collection of 18 Science Fiction Stories, only 3 made it into the film, sadly the least provocative but certainly not the least shocking. The Veldt, The Long Rain and The Last Night of the World, along with some of the wrap around story were all adapted using the same three characters. For me the movie was very influential, as a child I marveled over the amazing illustrations especially the rose in the palm, the first tattoo, although I chose a slightly different tattoo when I eventually got to that rather sensitive area myself. But even after seeing the demise of a once strong man, the lovely Felicia and her amazing mysteries still enchant audiences today. Continue reading The Illustrated Man (1969)
Director/Writer/Producer: Andrew Parkinson.
Starring. Giles Aspen, Ellen Softley. UK. 1h 18m.
For this debut feature film writer/director/producer Andrew Parkinson has come up with a personal and cruelly dark mockumentary detailing the demise of a single man from a zombie virus.
The mockumentary opens with a woman talking about the disappearance of her ex-boyfriend Mark in past tense, the restarts with mark coming home to Sarah who’s making the finishing touches to her event, which Mark regretfully has to skip to collect samples, the couple argue and the scene ends, Mark is then seen trekking through a wooded area, the botanist is searching for moss samples (slime mould I’d imagine) when he stumble on a decaying station wagon intrigued he follows another path and eventually finds an abandoned agricultural building . He enters and explores the rooms when he finds an injured man leaned up against the wall, hearing a female scream he rushes in to help, finding a decaying woman having a seizure on a rotten mattress he tries to pick her up to get her to safety but she bites his neck, he drops her and rushes into the forest. Continue reading I Zombie (1998)
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)