Tag Archives: kurt russell

La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

Continue reading La Weekend July 5

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

 

Bone Tomahawk

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The first Horror/Western I’ve ever seen advertised and with so many wow’s! There is so much to grip the imagination here. A very different type of western but with a very familiar Kurt Russell.

The film starts off with Captain Spaulding, sorry Buddy (Sid Haig) and his sidekick  Purvis (David Arquette), clearing up after killing a group they chanced upon in the desert.Coldly killing and systematically robbing them they stumble on a peculiar burial ground when Haig is shot and kill and Arquette manages to escape, the next town he stumbles into  (cheerfully named Bright Hope) is run by a Snake Plissken style Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Russell) who shoots him in the leg, then calls the doctor Samantha O’Dwyer (Lili Simmons) to remove the bullet, she has to leave her wounded lover Arthur O’Dwyer (Patrick Wilson), during the night there is a swift and violent attack and by morning everyone is very aware that the town was invaded by a small group of Native hunters and the Doc, deputy and prisoner are missing. Russell, his “Back Up Deputy” Chicory (Richard Jenkins), a gentleman/womaniser John Brooder (Matthew Fox)and the crippled cowboy set out to retrieve their lost from what is suspected to be a native tribe of cannibals!! YAY So now the movie turns into a fairly long cross country story with a cripple, a bad tempered sherif, his trusty aged sidekick and a hipster.

But

It’s freaking awesome!

The group are very comical with the characters being very deep and compelling. set in some endless landscapes they chance upon bandits and have enough trouble dealing with each other. I’ve no idea how the cowboy made it that far with his bandy leg?? But one of the aspects of the movie is that love and honour conquers all. The native tribe are like nothing you have seen before and are a sort of proto tribe, and the film proudly delivers one of the most brutal kill scenes of the year, and the film wisely keeps lot of the bloodthirsty action for the latter half after building up great characters and a decent story line.

Packing a jagged punch, this unusual horror western is both great in drama and brutal kill scenes, possibly giving us the best death scene of 2015….

There isn’t much to really pick apart here but for me it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why it’s so great, the time flys by, and it’s a good 2 hours of movie, it’s daring in its approach to portray a very different type of western, and Russell is a blessing on the screen with a very strong supporting cast, Chicory/ Richard Jenkins being the most memorable,  the ending scene ran a bit quicker than I would have liked and I did get something in my eye… *sniff* damn it..

9/10

Full review and post discussion to come ,the end of the film is amazing and I can’t not talk about it….

The Thing (1982)

 

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The Thing  (Horror, Science Fiction,  1982) (18) D: John Carpenter W: Bill Lancaster (Screenplay) John W Campbell Jr (book) P:  C: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, TK Carter, David Clennon, Thomas G Waites. 1h 49m. USA.

Synopsis : In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.

TAGLINE : What you fear most… is among you/ When man is the warmest place to hide.

 

A masterpiece of horror that transforms an 1938 novel from the original lumbering monster, icy psychological creepshow into a full frontal explosion of guts, gore, sinew and other substances, that managed to help a whole new genre of horror breakthrough in the early 80’s. Long gone were the blustery castles of hammer horror classics, horror was taking a turn and it was heading straight into a chest cavity rather than going for the heart.


Back in 1938 John W Campbell Jr, penned an astounding science fiction story under the name of Don A. Stuart and stunned a small audience with his unusual tale Who Goes There!?. Since then it’s been adapted many times as The Thing from Another World (1951) and a lose but great link to Hammer Horror escapade, Horror Express (1972) and while they play heavily on the psychological horrors, the Thing (1982)  was the primary tearaway in the direction of putrid science.

The film plays on all of the traditional aspects of the original story that I will explain but it also really pushes the boundaries of modern special effects. They are bountiful but intelligently places and very experimental for the time. Carpenter  transforms the original monster from a Frankenstein (1931) style lumbering monster into what the original book depicted, a shape shifting alien running amok in an military arctic base whose every cell is a living creature.

the thing

The basic plot is.. a group of scientist in a remote arctic station are under attack from an unknown being from another planet who can transform into any one of them. the film quite literally starts of at running pace, the classic opening of the dog running through the snow and it’s arrival at the base that kicks off the bloodshed. Thing remain intense as the team become aware of their alien foe, tempers and suspicions run high and there is a ton of accusations and conflict mixed with technicolour gore. Suddenly your friends might no be your friends, but instead they might be the monster.

While the original is a superb movie, the effects are of course limited to the skills of the time. After the intro scene of the dog running through the snow and some clashes of character between the scientist, and McCready vs the Chess Machine (gotta note the machine is voiced by Andrienne Barbeau). The film takes a dramatic change when the dogs face explodes and an arm with an eye tried to pull itself through the ceiling. It shocked audiences back in the 80’s and despite watching the movie over 100 times it still gets a reaction out of me. This only kicks off a spectacle of tentacles, giant teeth, mangled body parts, that might not seem all that unusual today but this is coming to a generation who had hammer house of horror ghouls and caped vampires to contend with,  suddenly they are are getting alien juices in their faces, it was truly terrifying.

There are many interesting quirks, for the horror fans it has to be the effects. When chest cavities start to open up as a tooth filled mouth and heads grow legs and run away, the film is a psychotronic tapestry of gory fun. But what can’t be ignored is the chilling ending and constant guessing on who the alien is. In a similar way to Blade Runner (1982) fans are often looking out for those little clues to suggest who had contracted the virus and when.

Considering this film is set in one of the least habitable areas on the planet, there wasn’t a lot to be done with sweeping landscapes, what could be done was covered in the opening scenes when the dog is being chased down and on an excursion trip to the frozen Norwegian (Swedes) base. The base itself is amazing,the final stages of an epic struggle are frozen in time and in ice as if a picture was taken and left for the American team. While it’s graphically damning and curious, we can clearly see the base has been partially burnt out and team members have slit throats while holding razors, we don’t really understand why until it all starts kicking off.

 

the thing

Careful attention is payed to the screenplay in this sci fi mystery. it has curious little scenes interjected at high octane moments that hint at whereabouts of the Thing, but you do have to piece things together especially at the end. One of the wonders of the thing is that while clues are given as to who the thing may be, it’s still often a shock when it decides to reveal itself, not only as to who isn’t who they appear to be but also the fucking insane creature developments that sprout out when the alien is cornered. As with all of John Carpenter’s films this one boasts one of his deep pounding electronic soundtracks, it masterfully orchestrates  this bleak isolated films heartbeat. It also raises the fears and tensions that this confined base is experiencing. When the shit starts kicking off, you’ll notice something strange scuttling in the corner of the room, this is often the monster making a break for it. It’s strange to look back on it but for most of the film the creature is right in front of us.. but you just never know.


Kurt Russell returns as a slightly more chilled Snake Plissken, equally heroic and majorly pissed the fuck off. He’s great for this type of role,and successfully manages to give enough for a team effort to fight the thing while keeping his wits about him for some self preservation. MccReady really is my hero, possibly more so than Snake.Along side him there are several very strong characters, including the Keith David as Childs, possibly the only other character as pissed off as McCready and the ultimate ancient aliens stoner Palmer played by the multi talented David Clennon.


the thing

I honestly think that Carpenter was having a Palmer inspired smoke while coming up with the wild ideas on how this creature could split up and explode out of dogs heads and all the crazy shit going on with the thing. It really hammers home the idea that the “thing”has visited countless planets and life forms and has all of their memories and survival tactics at hand in its biological arsenal, as with a similar creature in Horror Express (1972) It’s hard to understand how such a creature could die or be disposed of. I also find it quite funny that these amazing specimens managed to crash land or get left behind.

While it cannot be ignored that the basic plot for this movie centres around a group of scientist battling against a creature that can break itself down to a molecule and infect others and take over bodies and duplicate itself, it’s worth mentioning that it’s also a massive struggle for survival of both creatures. it’s more prevalent in Horror Express as the creature communicates and details its plans, but ultimately it just wants to survive and return home. The scientist are more concerned with science things and assumes that it wants to take over the planet.

the thing

You’ll need a fairly strong stomach to get through this film, for me it’s a great one to watch with friends, often falling into long deep conversations starting with “if i were the thing how would you know?” you’ll be amazed at how much the people around you really take in about you, and this is what makes the film extra special, the thing had to mimic each person so perfectly that their closest friends couldn’t ever tell. How fucked up is that!!??

VERDICT

Truly one of the greatest 80’s horror movies and will certainly remain a cult classic for some time. Fair enough it’s a remake of a film based on a great book. But it made bold jump from psychological sci fi horror to a intense gore filled psychological sci fi horror action nightmare! I will never fall out of love with this movie and it’s characters it’s simply amazing and I can’t praise it enough. I would recommend watching the original movie and reading or listening to the story Who Goes There,I hope you find them all as rewarding and inspirational as I do. As for the prequel I’m not sold but I will rewatch it and review it at some point. It honestly scared the bejsus out of me as a child and some aspects of it still scare me today, it might not totally frighten audiences today but it is still a great action movie and shouldn’t be missed.

AOFA10

R: 10/10

R: Blutgletscher – Blood Glacier (2013), Horror Express (1972), The Thing (2011), Alien (1979)

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