Director:Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter.
Starring: Amanda Pays, Talia Balsam, Kim Hunter, Rod Steiger, David Allen Brooks .USA. 1h 32m
80’s horror will always be remembered for being gutsy and it really liked to spill those guts all over the screen, This film is mild i some respects as it tries to build a respectable story but as the monster is slowly revealed there’s healthy lashings of tentacles and slime but without much actual blood, a strange combination that remains interesting but is noticeably lacking all the right ingredients to make it a stand out from all the other films of the era.
A brilliant scientist Amanda Hollins (Hunter) awakes from a coma and informs her equally brilliant son (Brooks) that he must destroy her journals and her final experiment aka his brother, bewildered he arranges to take his research staff and his girlfriend out to his mother’s house to carry out her request but soon she dies, unknown to him she’s killed by a rival (mad) scientist Dr. Phillip Lloyd (Steiger), who can’t be trusted around small animals and to be honest I wouldn’t trust him with kids either, but he’s desperate to find out what Amanda has been up to. Continue reading The Kindred (1987)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m
Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.
This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Director: George A Romero
Starring: Ed Harris, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman, Stephen King, Christine Forrest, Gary Lahti, Warner Shook . USA . 2h 25m
While Romero is well known for his ground-breaking horror movies, it is his change of pace movies like Monkey Shines (1988) or Knightriders that really spark the imagination and allowed him some personal exploration, this drama about a travelling renaissance fair troupe is not only deeply personal for him and it’s cult followers but a chance to express some of his moral code into an imaginative story.
Seemly inspired by age old tales from Medieval Europe and a man dealing with his own strict moral code, there’s an amazing battle between good and evil temptations in this action drama and it all starts with Billy (Harris), who leads a travelling troupe of motorcycle jousts. Billy styles himself according to King William’s ideals, and is constantly balancing these internally within the ruins of the modern world. His battle, financial pressures and the strains from the group becoming so popular start to fracture the group apart. Continue reading Knightriders (1981)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)
Director: john Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen, Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh . USA . 1h 35m
A sort of coming of age of the Beat Poets, Kill Your Darlings presents a “as they were” to the major literary movement. Krokidas uses a small time 1940’s murder as a feature to lead into how these soon to be famous writers first met. He romanticize everything, including all the negative aspects of the characters, their argumentative nature and self destructive tendencies are all keys of inspiration but the film wallows in a faux nostalgia and sensationalism rather than digging deeper to provide a better insight. Continue reading Kill Your Darlings (2013)
Director: Katie Wolfe
Starring: Calvin Tuteao, Dean O’Gorman, Pana Hema-Taylor, Nathalie Boltt, George Henare, Vicky Haughton . New Zealand . 1h 16m
Based on : the novel Nights in the Gardens of Spain by Witi Ihimaera.
Even though 80% of what I watch is considered “World Cinema” there are still areas which I find it hard to break into, and for some strange reason New Zealand is one of them, mostly because the only film anyone ever talks about is Once Were Warriors! Even I’ve been guilty of it, I’ve searched for the next fix, and I thought I had found it with The Last Saint, while a gritty drama it just didn’t pack the power of Once were Warriors, but I didn’t give up, New Zealand Cinema has a lot to offer and while this isn’t the very best, I found it to be a charming alternative albeit a little bit basic. Continue reading Kawa (2010)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic. UK/Ireland/USA. 2h 1m
One main thing which I have admired about Yorgos Lanthimos is that since his debut in 2009 with Dogtooth, he’s got a persistent streak to deliver his brand of cinema no matter what, his idosynchetric practice is very distinctive and each film since has been highly meticulously created, giving something different each time but with a strong je ne sai quoi which is very Lanthimos-esque.
Obviously loving the experience from The Lobster (2015) Colin Farrell returns for another darkly bizarre story this time it’s not about falling in love it’s all about a cold dish of revenge. The film opens with open heart surgery being performed by the skilled surgeon Steven Murphy (Farrell), afterwards he meets a young boy named Martin (Keoghan) the relationship between the isn’t explained and the curiosity continues as Steven returns home to his family, Anna (Kidman) and their two children, with their idyllic and somewhat stale life in the suburbs. Continue reading Killing of the Sacred Deer (2017)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins. USA. 1h48m.
When I first heard about this film I was shaking my head crying about Another remake, but I still headed out to see it, just because I wanted to have a sofa to myself at the new local Empire Cinema,so I booked those two seats baby!
So it’s not a remake but it is a remake, yet again we’re discovering Kong but he’s not King anymore, in the same was that Spider man is not just a spider man he’s the AMAZING Spiderman, so now that King Kong had been downgraded and a slightly different persona and his tastes for blondes has been abandoned.
Continue reading Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Director: Val Guest
Starring : Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lee, O J Simpson, Maud Adams. USA. 1h 42m
Basically this is just five guys out to complete a diamond heist, but the in depth plot is a bit more tit for tat, the head of security, Harry Webb (Savalas) believes there is going to be a robbery in one of the diamond mines out in the desert and soon becomes unpopular with everyone including a cover girl model who happens to be the daughter of his boss and owner of the mine who is love with one of his team, Mike Bradley (Fonda). Nelson, the mind administrator, gives Bradley the task of stealing a diamond not only to test him but to get him involved with a group who are planning a major heist. Continue reading Killer Force AKA The Diamond Mercenaries (1976)
Director: Luigi Cozzi.
Starring: George Hamilton, Antoine Saint-John. Italy. 1h 28m.
This nifty little Giallo film is actually quite intriguing if not totally underpowered. A juggalo boyfriend, Giorgio(Hamilton) is about to be cut off from his stunning rich girlfriend and her fortune after she’s had enough of his player ass, so he storms out and witnesses a man dumping a woman’s body into the river…instead of calling the police he confronts the man, invites him out, get his prints on his lighter and blackmails him into killing his girl, a similar setup is manufactured in Strangers on a Train (1951), but starts spinning his own web of deceit by claiming that she has been kidnapped and asks her father to pay up a million for her, which is about the figure the two haphazard dial a crooks got in Fargo (1996), the local police aren’t ready to buy that bullshit so keep on digging, the only minor problem is that the killer has lost the body, a couple of hipster kids managed to steal his car with the body in the trunk so the killer (who is only known as “the killer throughout the film) must chases them down and must kill and kill again until he can put things to rights… Continue reading L’assassino e costretto ad uccidere ancora/The Killer Must Kill Again (1975)