Director: Michael Feifer
Starring: Corin Nemec, Andrew Divoff, Tony Todd, Debbie Rochon .USA. 1h 32m
This was Michael Feifer’s first, bold attempt to retell the bloody history of a serial killer. Chicago Massacre follows the childhood and killing spree of one of America’s most deranged individuals, Richard Speck. This debut saw Feifer pair up with Corin Nemec, playing the lead role of a prominent killer. A year later the two would reunite for Bundy: A Legacy of Evil (2008). This could have continued with Nemec playing Gacy, Gein and even Kemper if the duo had the desire but it seems this is all we’re getting folks!?
It feels that the movie was conceived with a lot of promise, a couple of well known names were thrown into the mix, Todd and Divoff , who seemed eager to help as law enforcement officers trying to understand and track a man who single handedly slaughtered a number of women in july 1966, but their acting expertise is often overshadowed by the need to show Speck not killing people, they could have been the B Movie versions of Somerset and Mills, however the focus is on Speck and not the people tracking him, although their scenes are quite special, but always seem like some kind of pensive Film Noir.
Continue reading Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck (2007)
La polizia chiede aiuto, lit. ‘The police ask for help”
Director: Massimo Dallaman
Starring: Giovanna Ralli, Claudio Cassinelli, Mario Adorf, Franco Fabrizi .Italy. 1h 30m
Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.
Continue reading What Have They Done To Our Daughters (1974)
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Tony Curran .USA. 1h 38m
Clive Barker has a distinctive, personal vision and interpretation of horror, it’s a rough gory world filled with nasty monsters, visceral torture and eternal pain, this very unique selling point which, when missing causes his movie adaptions to not do so well and come across without their wholesome disgusting glory. Midnight Meat Train does have some hands-on work from Clive in the production chair but for me, it’s definitely a good horror movie but it’s not true to form Clive Barker horror at all. Continue reading Midnight meat train (2008)
Director: Adam Mason
Starring: Andrew Howard, Pollyanna Rose, Olivia Hill .UK. 1h 31m
For a movie that actually is fairly interesting for what it is, a laddish take on a supernatural psychological thriller, but if it could only drop the attitude for a minute… sheesh. It feels as if Mason wanted to make a new football ‘hooligan’ movie and a gory horror then decided to clash the two together but dropping unlikely characters into a Saw trap with a strange entity watching the games being played is a bitter tasting bag of all sorts. Merit has to be given for his ability to blend the it all together successfully, but why would anyone want to do this? I have the feeling I’m not the target audience, but I dug in and was surprised in many ways but not thrilled with the overall results. Continue reading Devils Chair (2007)
Director: Herb Freed
Starring: May Britt, Cameron Mitchell, Aldo Ray, Ben Hammer .USA. 1h 37m
There’s a lot bubbling under the surface of Herb Freed’s tangled thriller, Haunts. On the surface it’s a slow paced brooding psychological horror following a violent psychopath preying on the women in a small North Carolina town, armed with a handy pair of scissors and attacking under the cover of darkness no woman is safe but so much seems to surround an isolated farm on the outskirts of town. Continue reading Haunts/The Veil (1976)
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt . USA. 2h 6m
Only one year after The Crow (1994) darkened cinema screens with a midnight gothic punk industrial wild decent into grief, loss and revenge, David Fincher hit back and an equally hard hitting film which was often likened to the Crow in the early headlines as popular cinema tried to refocus on what was happening, somehow subvergent underground ideas from comics and madmen were becoming popular and adjustments had to be made. These dark worlds filled with grimy stress, rain and a heavy oppressive atmosphere often mimic the inner depression and rage of one or more of their characters. Eric Draven’s depression at losing the love of his life is mimicked by the dark night and rain, his tears, but what is creating the dark dirty polluted rain filled world within Fincher’s, unnamed metropolis it’s certainly not from lost love. Continue reading Se7en (1995)
Director: Basel Owies.
Starring. Scott Glenn, Chris Coy, Stephen Tobolowsky, Kristen Hager, Max Arciniega. USA. 1h 35m.
A debut feature from elusive director Basel Owies, is a slow burner that attempts to demonstrate just how you can never judge a book by it’s cover and appearances are everything, so brush up and read on.
Budding cop played by Chris Coy, loses his father to suicide when he couldn’t put a psychopathic criminal behind bars, eventually the suspect is released due to little or no evidence, the ashamed officer commits suicide. 20 years later his son begins to follow the same path, believing he’s located the psycho now living under a new identity, but is Eugene Van Wingerdt (Scott Glenn) the innocent small town barber or is it a criminal mastermind? Continue reading The Barber (2014)
Director: Anthony Fankhauser
Starring: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Michael Gaglio, Brett A. Newton, Diana Terranova, Sylvia Panacione, Rachel Riley .USA. 1h 32m
You have to love a bad setup for a found footage movie?! Not only has John Wayne Gacy’s house been demolished and rebuilt but as he was executed in a prison, shouldn’t his ghost be residing there and it would be the victims ghosts still in the house or the land where they were killed?
Without much fanfare the movie begins with the team arriving at the house to set their equipment up, a mass of cameras are placed in every room, and once they are pointing to where no action will be caught clearly the investigation really starts. It has a slightly different setup up to a lot of the other paranormal researcher inspired movies, most teams usually have quite a lot of enthusiasm but this one is is filled with scathing skeptics and some crazed hippy wiccan woman who believes some rhyming spells will be able to protect them from some kind of evil entity or poltergeist. In all my years of armchair occultist I’ve never known of anyone asking the goddess to help in some kind of seance before I’m sure there’s some eyebrows raised to offering a t shirt of a friends young son (what? why?) to the spirit of a serial killer!!? Continue reading 8213: Gacy House (2010)
Director: Jamie M. Dagg
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt, Odessa Young, Jared Abrahamson .USA/Canada 1h 35m,
For the most part this dark neo-noir thriller takes two distinctive strong men and the troubles that surround them, highlights their strengths and weaknesses, then crash them together in the mist of a brutal cash for murder in a small American town and watches the fireworks blow them apart in a spectacular and emotive fashion.
A puzzling stranger sends bloody shock waves through a close knit community, after committing three brutal cold blooded murders. In the wake of the devastation of the remote and bleak Alaskan town, a tightly wound drifter Elwood (Abbott) checks into a motel run by Sam (Bernthal) a former Rodeo star, having retired he is making ends meet with this new venture to motel keeping but he’s a deeply troubled soul. Continue reading Sweet Virgina (2017)
Director: Lee Won-Tae .
Starring. Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim, Mu-Yeol Kim. South Korea. 1h 50m.
One of my all time favourite genres in film is the South Korean Crime Thriller, They are filled with such slick plots, crazy bloody knife fights and inhuman bad guys, often thick with plots twists around organised crime, bent cops, serial killers and a strange honour code there’s a dark sharp violence in them which isn’t easily mimicked. I didn’t get too hyped about this until the second half but I have valid reasons. With a lot of Korean thrillers, there’s often an air of strangeness the crimes and methods of solving them are usually played out under sheets of rain at night, and usually the killer is really fucking derranged and hard to track, control or kill. But in this case they catch the guy but it’s not the end of the story it’s only the beginning. Continue reading 악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)